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Digital and Computational Archaeology

Digital technologies have dramatically changed our view of the ancient world. Computer-based methods enable the discovery of patterns, trends, and associations in large archaeological datasets, the modelling of complex human processes and simulations of virtual pasts. Archaeoinformatics (Digital and Computational Archaeology) is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of research concerned with the development and application of computational and digital methods in Archaeology.

For many years the University of Cologne has been a leading institution in the area of Archaeoinformatics in Germany and has participated in a great number of Digital Archaeology research projects and collaborations at the national and international level. The archaeological subdisciplines in Cologne offer various modules in Archaeoinformatics as part of the Bachelor and Master degrees in Archaeology. Since April 2018 the M.A. Archäologie includes a new branch of study in Archaeoinformatics, offering students the opportunity to pursue a broad and deep knowledge on digital applications in Archaeology. Foci of the new study program are the fields of Data Science, 3D technologies, Geographic Information Science, spatial analysis and computational modelling.

Involved institutes:


Cologne Digital Archaeology Laboratory (CoDArchLab)

A comprehensively equipped computer pool has been set up in the premises of the CoDArchLab, which is used for teaching specialised classes and for supporting ongoing undergraduate, postgraduate and post-postdoctoral projects. In addition, the CoDArchLab provides acccess to specialised RTI (Cameras, Lights, RTI-Kit, RTI Domes) and VR (HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality) equipment. The 3D printer of the laboratory is used to create prototype-prints that are relevant for study or research. A broad variety of the most important specialized software can be accessed in the computer pool by all students:

  • Database programs
  • Image rectification software
  • Geographical Information Systems (i.e. ArcGIS, Manifold, GRASS, QGIS)
  • 3D-Modelling-Software (Cinema4D, 3D Studio Max)
  • RTI Software (RTIBuilder, RTIViewer)
  • CAD-Programs (i.e. AutoCAD)
  • Statistics software (i.e.  R)

If you want to use the PC-Pool, please contact Sebastian Hageneuer after checking the schedule.