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ArchAIDE – Archaeological Automatic Interpretation and Documentation of Ceramics

ArchAIDE. Archaeological Automatic Interpretation and Documentation of cEramics – this is the name of the project that was granted in the EU tendering program “Horizon 2020”, in which the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne has been involved with a subproject since 2016. ArchAIDE is an international effort, which is conducted with partners from universities and cooperations in Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Israel, and Germany. The projects aims to facilitate the work processes on excavations that are concerned with pottery and ceramics.

Pottery plays a huge part in classifying, dating and contextualizing archaeological sites. It helps understand production processes, trading routes and social networks in Antiquity. The reliable analysis and determination of pottery finds is one of the most time and work consuming steps in the processing of excavation findings up to this day, which can only be done by specialists. An international team of archaeologists and IT-specialists is now working on the facilitation and (partly) automatization of this task within the ArchAIDE project. The aim is to allow a fast study of archaeological objects and a free online publication of the new insights. For this, photographing the sherds with a mobile device, sending the photos to a database, activating an information system and getting a result with further information on the object by automated recognition, should be sufficient.
A reference database is an integral part in this procedure, which is developed in the Cologne subproject ArchAIDE. In (semi)automated processes, 
older publications on pottery are digitized in order to extract texts and pictures and then transferred to the reference database. Roman amphoras, Terra Sigillata and Majolika are the focus of the current testing phase of the project.
ArchAIDE is funded by the EU and employs more than 35 researchers, IT-specialists, designers and filmmakers of 9 universities, public research institutions and private companies from 5 countries (Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Israel).

Supervisor of the Subproject in Cologne:


  • Michael Remmy, Felix Kußmaul


  • M. Gualandi – G. Gattiglia (University Pisa), J. Richards – H. Wright – Tim Evans (University York), L. Wolf (University Tel Aviv), J. Buxeda i Garrigós (University Barcelona), M. Delle Piane (CNR-ISTI Pisa), M. Ángel Hervás (Baraka Ciudad Real), L. Vila Socias (Elements Mallorca), M. Zallocco (Inera Pisa)


  • European Community (Horizon 2020)

Further information: