Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
C38-9 (AF:490375 AR:272975)
On campus and online classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
The course will challenge a comprehensive understanding of the main theoretical and practical aspects of Digital Archaeology and Digital Methods for Cultural Heritage, taking advantage of the most recent tools and techniques. The course will provide a general overview of the methods to identify, investigate, document and analyse archaeological contexts and objects. Students will learn how to approach the past by combining multiple 2D and 3D data sources. Students will also acquire skills to manage and exploit such kind of data in a GIS environment devoted to CRM practices (Cultural Resource Management). Archaeology will be presented as "citizen science" through digital resources. The entanglement between public engagement ad digital media is seen as an indispensable tool for making and disseminating heritage experiences, considering the crucial role of "alternative" views in providing sustainability for the archaeological practice in the 21st Century.
1) Knowledge and understanding:
- Familiarity with the concepts around Digital Archaeology and its impact on the public, Cultural Heritage and politics, and Cultural Heritage's ethics;
- Familiarity with the theoretical background around Digital Archaeology; knowledge about practical issues and implementation of digital products for research and dissemination;
- General knowledge of the leading digital techniques and digital methods applied to archaeological research and archaeological communication;
- General knowledge of the methodological approaches to document digitally archaeological sites and landscapes also through community based and citizen science strategies;
- Ethics in digital archaeology.
2) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
- Ability to recognize suitable methodologies of Digital Archaeology for specific cases and planning the research;
- Ability to manage GIS environment and exploit multiple 2D and 3D data.
3) Judgement skills:
- Ability to mediate the recent debates about ownership, responsibility, and definitions of Cultural Heritage.
- Ability to critically investigate and evaluate digital archaeological sources;
- Ability to develop critical thinking skills concerning Digital Archaeology.
Students who want to attend this course are not required to possess any prerequisite for admission.
Digital and Cultural Heritage, Specific Topics:
1. What is Digital Cultural Heritage? Theory and practice
2. What is Digital Archaeology? Digitizing archaeological data and narrating data digitally
3. Maps, Digital Maps and spatial and geographic thinking: digital data and mindscapes
4. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Cultural Heritage: mapping the past for interpreting the present days
5. GIS application in archaeology: the relationship between spaces and cultural objects in the past and the contemporary world
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) for archaeological research: theory, practice and ethics in the application of automatic analysis of archaeological contexts
7. CRM, Cultural Resource Management and the digital revolution. Managing Heritage through the digital tool
8. Digital Museums e Digital born Heritage: when 'data' is "The Heritage";
9. New frontiers in digital disseminations: hybrid technologies for sharing the past;
10. Digital data and narratives.
11. Learning Cultural Heritage by playing serious games. Videogame and archaeology. Modelling and communication: virtual reality heritages.
- Class notes and pdf of the lessons will be available on Moodle.
- An array of specific paper and book chapters and internet videos that will be available on Moodle

Referral text will be:
- T. L. Evans, P. Daly (eds.), Digital Archaeology, bridging method and theory, 2006
- M. Forte, S. Campana S., Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology. Archaeology in the Age of Sensing, 2016
- M. D. McCoy, The site problem: a critical review of the site concept in archaeology in the digital age. In Journal of Field Archaeology, vol. 45, No. S1, pp. S18-S26, 2020
- S. Campana, Drones in Archaeology. State of the Art and Future Perspectives. In Archaeological Prospection 24, pp. 275-296, 2017
- R. S. Opitz, D. C. Cowley (eds.), Interpreting Archaeological Topography. 3D Data, Visualization and Observation, 2013
- E. Watrall, L. Goldstein, Digital Heritage and Archaeology in Practice: Presentation, Teaching, and Engagement, 2022
- F. R Cameroon, The Future of Digital Data, Heritage and Curation: in a More-than-Human World, 2021
- P. Rodríguez-Gonzálvez,, Muñoz-Nieto, Á.L., Pozo, S.D., Sánchez-Aparicio, L.J., Mills, J.P., Fieber, K.D., Haynes, I., Guidi, G., Micoli, L.L., Barsanti, S.G., 4D Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage Sites. In Latest Developments in Reality-Based 3D Surveying and Modelling; Remondino, F., Georgopoulos, A., González-Aguilera, D., Agrafiotis, P. (eds.); pp. 119-140, 2018
- M. Forte, N. Dell’Unto, K. Jonsson, N. Lercari, Interpretation Process at Chatalhöyük using 3D. In Assembling Çatalhöyük; Hodder I., Marciniak a. (eds.), 2015
- P. Verhagen, Spatial Analysis in Archaeology: Moving into New Territories. In: Siart, C., Forbriger, M., Bubenzer, O. (eds.) Digital Geoarchaeology. Natural Science in Archaeology, 2018
- A. Argyrou, Agapiou A. A., Review of Artificial Intelligence and Remote Sensing for Archaeological Research. In Remote Sensing 14, 2022
- L. Deravignone, Macchi Janica G., Artificial Neural Network in archaeology. In Archeologia e Calcolatori, 17, pp. 121-136, 2006
- L. Magnini, Bettineschi C., Theory and Practice for an Object-based Approach in Archaeological Remote Sensing. In Journal of Archaeological Science, 107, pp. 10-22, 2019
- J. Casana, Global-Scale Archaeological Prospection using CORONA Satellite Imagery: Automated, Crowd-Sourced, and Expert-led Approaches. In Journal of Field Archaeology, 45:sup1, S89-S100, 2020
Grades: Minimum of 18 to a maximum of 30/30 cum laude.
- completeness and clarity in the presentation of the acquired information;
- aptitude in critical and personal assessment;
- capacity in making the attained knowledge relevant to the personal experience and original contexts/cases.

Assessment will grade the class participation (25%) and the final oral examination (75%), in which students will be evaluated as to the knowledge and the skills they acquired during the course.
The modules include frontal lessons and lectures with Italian and international guest scholars.
Lessons are completed with hybrid (in-person and virtual) site visits using remote devices.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Cities, infrastructure and social capital" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 27/06/2023