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Archaeological Records of Europe - Networked Access

These pages are no longer actively maintained, consequently the content may be outdated.


Data Sources for archaeological research

 

Aerial Photography (Vertical only) - sources arranged alphabetically by country.

Austria (Österreich)

An archive of aerial photographs of archaeological sites is available from the Aerial Archive at the Institute for Prehistory and Protohistory (Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte) at the University of Vienna. Contact Michael Doneus at Michael.Doneus@univie.ac.at for more information.

Canada

GeoConnections Discovery Portal — formerly Canadian Earth Observation Network (CEONET). Offers a very large website with a variety of data archives and spatial databases. Aerial photography has been collected from a wide variety of agencies and companies in Canada and beyond.

Slovenia (Slovenija)

There is an extensive archive of aerial photographs covering the Republic of Slovenia. 1:20,000 vertical photographs can be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy (Ministrstvo za Okolje, Prostor in Energijo), and newer 1:17,500 (and larger) photographs are also available.

United Kingdom

National aerial photography coverage for the UK is available from the following organisations. If they do not have what you're looking for, they can probably point you in the right direction:

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
English Heritage
English Heritage National
Monuments Record Centre
Kemble Drive
Swindon
SN2 2GZ
Ordnance Survey
Colby House
Stranmillis Court
Belfast
BT9 5BJ
RCAHMS
John Sinclair House
16 Bernard Terrace
Edinburgh
EH8 9NX
Welsh Office
Register of Air Photographs
Planning 9
Room G-003, Crown Offices
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF1 3NQ
RCAHMW
Plas Crug
Aberystwyth
SY23 1NJ

The Unit for Landscape Modelling, formally Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography (CUCAP) has a collection of aerial photographs dating back to 1945. This collection includes aerial photographs taken by J. K. St. Joseph and his colleagues, and is one of the most important in the UK for archaeologists. Visits are by appointment only. The organisation can be contacted at:

Unit for Landscape Modelling
Sir William Hardy Building
Tennis Court Road
Cambridge CB2 1QB
Library@uflm.cam.ac.uk

Another excellent resource for locating aerial photographs in the United Kingdom is a book entitled Directory of Aerial Photographic Collections in the United Kingdom 1993 published by Aslib. The cost of this book is currently £22 (£18 for Aslib members), and copies can be ordered from:

Portland Press Ltd.
Commerce Way
Whitehall Industrial Estate
Colchester
CO2 8HP
UK
Telephone: +44 (1206) 796 351
Email: sales@portlandpress.co.uk

Infoterra — formerly the National Remote Sensing Centre(NRSC) located in the United Kingdom, distributes a variety of aerial photographs, and claims to have the largest colour A/P archive in the UK. These are available for purchase online.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Scientific Services Data Centre — negatives of all NERC airborne photographs taken from 1982 to the present with associated maps, flight reports, and calibration details. Access depends on whether one is a NERC grant recipient, a member of the UK Higher Education community, or another user. See the NERC website for details, or email Mrs Angela Morrison.

United States

United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a wide variety of aerial photographs, but rectified and unrectified. The EarthExplorer catalogue can be searched, and detailed ordering information is available online.

 

Aerial Photography Mapping and Archaeological Interpretation

In the above section, resources for finding aerial photographs were provided. In this section, sources for archaeological interpretation and mapping of the features on aerial photographs is covered.

Austria (Österreich)

An archive of aerial photographs of archaeological sites is available from the Aerial Archive at the Institute for Prehistory and Protohistory (Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte) at the University of Vienna. This website also provides helpful tips about rectifying and interpreting aerial photographs generally. Contact Michael Doneus at Michael.Doneus@univie.ac.at for more information.

Czech Republic (Česká republika)

Please contact the following people for additional information:

Martin Gojda
Institute of Archaeology
Czech Academy of Sciences
Letenska 4, Mala Strana
118 01 Prague 1
Czech Republic
Telephone: +42 02 573 20 942
Fax: +42 2 539 361
gojda@arup.cas.cz
Jaromir Kovarnik
South Moravian Museum
Premyslovcu 6 6/669
02 Znojmo
Czech Republic
Telephone: 0624 22496
Fax: 0625 225210
 

Slovak Republic (Slovenská republika)

For more information please contact Ivan Kuzma at:

Institute of Archaeology
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Akademicka 2
SK 949 21 Nitra
+421 87 357 38
+421 87 356 18 fax

Slovenia (Slovenija)

Please contact the following people for archaeological aerial photographic interpretation and remote sensing:

Darja Grosman
Department of Archaeology
University of Ljubljana
Zavetiska 5
1000 Ljubljana
+386 61 262 782 phone
+386 61 1233 082 fax
darja.grosman@uni-lj.si
Zoran Stancic
Centre for Scientific Research
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Gosposka 13
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
+386 61 1256 068 phone
+386 61 1255 253 fax
zoran@zrc-sazu.si

United Kingdom

The Unit for Landscape Modelling, formally Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography (CUCAP) has a collection of aerial photographs dating back to 1945. This collection includes aerial photographs taken by J. K. St. Joseph and his colleagues, and is one of the most important in the UK for archaeologists. Visits are by appointment only. The organisation can be contacted at:

Unit for Landscape Modelling
Sir William Hardy Building
Tennis Court Road
Cambridge CB2 1QB
Library@uflm.cam.ac.uk

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
English Heritage
National Monuments Record Centre
Kemble Drive
Swindon
SN2 2GZ
Environment and Heritage Service
Monuments and Buildings Record
5-33 Hill Street
Belfast
BT1 2LA
The National Monuments Record for Scotland RCAHMS
John Sinclair House
16 Bernard Terrace
Edinburgh
EH8 9NX
RCAHMW
National Monuments Record for Wales
Crown Buildings
Plas Crug
Aberystwyth
SY23 2HP

The three National Monuments Records for England, Scotland, and Wales have expert staff trained in air photo interpretation to provide advice for customers. There are also private consulting firms which provide aerial photographic interpretation services especially for archaeologists. In the United Kingdom these include:

Air Photo Services
Contact: Rog Palmer
21 Gunhild Way
Cambridge
CB1 4QZ
Air Photo Services Ltd
Contact: Chris Cox
7 Edward Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LJ
 

Help and advice is also available from the Aerial Archaeology Research Group which can be contacted via:

Cathy Stoertz
Chair
Aerial Archaeology Research Group
English Heritage NMRC
c/o Aerial Survey
Kemble Drive
Swindon
SN2 2GZ
 
 

GIS Data

Bartholomew Digital Map Data — can be ordered over the World Wide Web. Special discounted prices on this data are available to UK Higher Education institutions via CHEST. Contact your campus CHEST advisor for details. Data available includes 1:5,000 coverage for London and 1:250,000 coverage for the rest of Great Britain.

GeoConnections Discovery Portal — formerly Canadian Earth Observation Network (CEONET). Offers a very large website with a variety of data archives and spatial databases. Resources of interest to GIS users include the National Atlas of Canada Digital Data and the National Topographic Database for Canada.

The Centre for Advanced Spatial Technologies — provides a useful webpage called Starting the Hunt: Guide to On-line & Mostly Free U.S. Geospatial and Attribute Data compiled by Stephan Pollard. Great for research in the United States.

Digimap have negotiated access to Ordnance Survey Map Data on behalf of Higher Education, a service provided by Edina. Data includes UK Land Line data: large scale, comprehensive data depicting an extensive range of both man-made and natural features. Only registered institutions have access to the service. Contact Edina for more information.

In addition to Digimap, Edina also provides access to a UKBORDERS: United Kingdom Boundary Outline and Reference Database for Education and Research Study, and various bibliographic and research data sets.

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) — the company that produces Arc/Info and Arcview, has a variety of GIS datasets available, some of these are free GIS datasets. ESRI also maintains a set of pages specifically for GIS in archaeology, including technical notes, a discussion forum and links to their software.

The Institute for Historical Research at the University of London maintains a site that discusses historical mapping. This includes a gateway that lists electronic images of historic maps, many of which may be used in GIS or other studies.

Macaulay Land Use Research Institute - Scotland provides a variety of land cover and soil datasets for Scotland. They can be contacted at: Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB9 2QJ, Tel: + 44 (0)1224 311 556

Manifold, a company that produces a number of software tools, also produce a variety of GIS tools and related data sets. Their website also provides access to the Manifolf GIS user manual and case studies of how it has been used in business.

MIMAS, formerly MIDAS is a service at the University of Manchester which provides access to Bartholomew digital map data and The Census Dissemination Unit for the UK Higher Education sector. Site licenses are purchased by UK universities on behalf of their employees and students. Contact your campus representative for details, or email info@mimas.ac.uk for assistance.

NOAA Environmental Services Data Directory is a one-stop shop to find out about many datasets, both digital and non-digital, that relate to the study of the past and present environment.

The Ordnance Survey is the UK mapping agency, and thus offers a wide variety of data useful for GIS analysis. A product index on the left hand menu of the home page provides descriptions of the datasets. These include raster and vector data at a variety of scales up to 1:1,250, DEMs, boundary data, and address point data.

Rutgers University and USA-CERL market CD-Roms containing global environmental data. These CD-Roms are specifically designed for use with Arc/Info, Arcview, ERDAS IMAGINE, and GRASS and contain such interesting coverages as "pigs per square kilometer" and "camels per square kilometer" as well as the more run-of-the-mill soil, political boundaries, rivers, etc. This is small-scale data so it's appropriate for global modelling rather than site-specific archaeological overlays. Some sample images are available (no camels, though). Cost for the Arc/Info and Arcview CD-Rom is $375 plus $10 postage and packing.

NASA's Global Change Master Directory is a good web site for those who know precisely the data they want. The interface to this large database is primarily via user-defined searches rather than pull-down menus.

Spatial Information Enquiry Service (SINES) is a web-based query system that allows you to search for any data available from the Inter-departmental Group on Geographic Information (IGGI). This includes data from the British Geological Survey, Countryside Commission, Department of Environment, English Nature, Forestry Commission, Ministry of Defense, National Rivers Authority, Ordnance Survey, Scottish Office, and the Welsh Office. For the moment, enquiries should be addressed to sines@ordsvy.gov.uk

United States Geological Survey (USGS) distributes a wide variety of GIS datasets including Digital Line Graphs (DLG), Digital Raster Graphics (DRG), Digital Elevation Models (DEM), Land Use and Land Cover files (LULC), and regional U.S. datasets. The EarthExplorer catalogue can be searched, and detailed ordering information is available online.

 

Remotely Sensed Data

Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) — markets a wide variety of satellite products that cover Canada. This includes SPOT, Landsat Thematic Mapper, Landsat Multispectral Scanner, AVHRR, Seasat, ERS-1, Jers-1, Radarsat, and MOS MESSR data.

GeoConnections Discovery Portal — formerly Canadian Earth Observation Network (CEONET). Offers a very large website with a variety of data archives and spatial databases. Most of the satellite imagery comes from CCRS (see above), and its website is easier to search.

Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) International Directory Network (CEOS IDN) — This is a (slightly slow) website that helpfully provides a central point for information about satellite imagery. Data is clustered into four nodes: Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. This site is a good source of data from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States. Future links will add data from China and Russia.

Edinburgh University's Archaeology Department maintains a set of remote sensing links concerned primarily with their own continuing research, showing what can be done with remotely sensed data. They also have useful links to other remote sensing pages, and a comprehensive bibliography of interest to any researchers or students in the field.

Eurimage — distributes multi-mission satellite data, and specialises in coverages for Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Satellite products include Landsat TM, KVR-1000, RESURS-01, MK-4, ERS, AVHRR, JERS-1, and KFA 1000. Some quicklooks and metadata are available at no charge, but access to their full catalogue requires payment of a subscription.

European Space Agency's earthnetonline offers quick searching of a variety of satellite products including Landsat, ERS, and JERS.

MIMAS, formerly MIDAS is a service at the University of Manchester which provides access to UK coverages of ERS, Landsat and SPOT data for the UK Higher Education sector. Site licenses are purchased by UK universities on behalf of their employees and students. Contact your campus representative for details, or email info@mimas.ac.uk for assistance.

NASA's Global Change Master Directory is a good web site for those who know precisely the data they want. The interface to this large database is primarily via user-defined searches rather than pull-down menus. Expect to find information about commonly-used remotely sensed data (e.g. Landsat, SPOT, AVHRR).

Infoterra, formerly the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) located in the United Kingdom, provides a processing and archiving facility for ERS satellite products. Infoterra is also licensed to sell a wide variety of other satellite products including Landsat MSS and TM, SPOT, IRS, JERS, SAR, and various products from Russian Satellites (i.e. KFA1000, KFA3000, MK4, Kate200, KVR1000, TK350, and MSU-SK.) This website has a nice user interface, and clearly describes each of the sensors onboard the various satellites and the types of images that can be derived from each.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Scientific Services Data Centre — an extensive archive and catalogue of satellite and airborne data including 2000 tapes of non-NERC data (e.g. Landsat Thematic Mapper, Landsat Multispectral Scanner, and some SPOT scenes) plus NERC data from 1982 to the present (e.g. Airborne Thematic Mapper and some hyperspectral sensor data). Access depends on whether one is a NERC grant recipient, a member of the UK Higher Education community, or another user. See the NERC website for details, or email Mrs Angela Morrison.

SPOT — satellite systems designed by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales in France. Metadata for more than 4,000,000 SPOT images are available through the DALI catalogue and DIVA metadata handling tools. This catalogue is updated daily. Scenes can be searched over the Internet via a limited range of variables, but complete metadata records are available to registered users (current cost for this service is FFr 500 or roughly US$100 for one year). A CD-Rom version of the catalogue, containing 60% of SPOT images collected since 1986, is available for the cost of postage, packing, and media. Technical information about the satellites, their orbit, and the SPOT images is available.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) satellite imagery includes NASA photographs, AVHRR images, Landsat Thematic Mapper data, and Landsat Multispectral Sensor data. The EarthExplorer catalogue can be searched, and detailed ordering information is available online.

 

Environmental Archaeology

The majority of resources for the identification of faunal and floral remains have been put on-line by zoologists and botanists. An example of an on-line resource for the identification of floral specimens is the site managed by the Department of Quaternary Geology (Kvartärgeologi) at the University of Uppsala.

Environmental Archaeology Bibliography is an online bibliographic database containing over 10,000 reports concerned with environmental archaeology. The reports cover all biological, pedological and geological work on material from archaeological sites.

 

Sites and Monuments Records

Informing the Future of the Past (II) The essential set of working guidelines appropriate to all HERs, large and small, and for all staff, volunteers and students involved in managing, running, using or supporting an HER.

For a complete listing of Historic Environment Information Resources, ("HEIRs"), which includes a comprehensive listing of local, national and specialist inventories of sites and monuments, visit the Register of Historic Environment Information Resources.

English Heritage maintains a list of English Sites and Monument records (navigate to "Public Archive > Specialist Services > Sites & Monuments Records"), including the SMR for County Durham which is online from the county council's web site. The SMR for Greater London, maintained by English Heritage, provides metadata to ArchSearch.

There is a suite of GIS based files available for download for each of the counties of the Republic of Ireland, available from Dúchas The Heritage Service. These data sets are provisional, in that they are the subject of constant renewal and correction, and also require access to suitable GIS and database tools and expertise to be used effectively. The data is avalibale both in English and as Gaeilge.

The Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) offers online access to "CANMORE" the National Monuments Record for Scotland (Computer Application for National MOnuments Record Enquiries). for archaeology and the historic environment. A password is required for this service. The ADS holds a metadata record set for CANMORE, so a search of the ADS catalogue will present many of the same records.

The Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) now offers online access to parts of "END" the Extended National Database for archaeology and the historic environment. A password is required.

 

Radiocarbon Dating

A list of radiocarbon WWW sites and resources is available from the Radiocarbon-Related Information Sources. This page gives access to the radiocarbon Laboratory web-sites and also a few international databases of 14C datasets.

The Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit has an on-line radiocarbon datelist available.

CARD (Canadian Archaeology Radiocarbon Database) - is a new online "complilation of radiocarbon measurements that indicate the ages of archaeological and vertebrate palaeontological sites in Canada." Database queries yeild full data on radiocarbon (carbon-14) measurements, including provenence, taxon information, and comments. In addition, the site also explains the basic principles of radiocarbon dating and how the database was compiled.

 

Museum Information

It is not possible to be lost among all the museums on the internet, but a number of sources are worth a look, such as Museums in the Information Age, the Museum and Galleries Commission sponsored Cornucopia which lists many of the UK's on line museums, and the 24 Hour Museum.

 

Acknowledgements - Bob Bewley (RCHME) and Peter Halls (University of York) kindly provided a great deal of assistance in the construction of this web page.