(University of York, United Kingdom)




Building on the tradition of archaeological urban deposit modelling in the City of York (Arup 1991), advances in 3D mapping capabilities and recently updated geological mapping we are undertaking a new collaborative research project. This project brings archaeological, geological and mapping elements together as part of a coherent approach to urban deposits and as an aid to archaeological curation and management, planning control and civic engagement. Ultimately we aim to create a conceptual 3D landscape evolution model of the city.


The enhancement of current deposit datasets and their integration within recently developed British Geological Survey geoscientific mapping technology (GS13D ©) will allow us to characterise the nature, extent and value of potentially deeply stratified deposits in York (Price 2009). The application of the modelling technology is a conceptual as well as an explicative process and will result in knowledge advances within several different disciplines.

We will discuss the results of a current pilot study and discuss the development of methods to assess in situ preservation as part of the overall aim.

The research is innovative because it involves a multidisciplinary team from various organisations working together to integrate data in order to understand and represent archaeological deposits as an important heritage asset rather than ‘artificial ground’. The integration of multiscalar and variable resolution data is a methodological challenge and the implications for curation include the development of a cultural heritage interface that is complementary to existing site-based historic environment records with public access to visualised, accurate deposit models. This project emphasises the importance of human settlement, industrialisation and urbanisation as a transformative and dominant process shaping the cities in which we live, and their deposits.


archaeology, geology, urban deposits, mapping, curation