Branch of Study Archaeoinformatics

Studium

Digital technologies have dramatically changed our view on 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 insightful simulations of virtual pasts. Archaeoinformatics 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. Currently the archaeological subdisciplines in Cologne offer various modules in Archaeoinformatics as part of the Bachelor and Master degrees in Archaeology. Starting from October 2017 (subject to final approval) the M.A. Archäologie will include 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.

Degree summary

The new branch of study "Archaeoinformatics" aims at introducing the field in breadth and depth. It is designed to equip students with practical, theoretical and critical skills in established and emerging digital technologies in Archaeology, and support a career in academia, cultural resource management, museums, as well as public and private cultural heritage organisations. Students will have the opportunity to use the facilities of the Cologne Digital Archaeology Lab (CoDArchLab), which is equipped with teaching and study spaces, numerous workstations (PCs and Macs), commercial and open source software, as well as specialised computational imaging equipment. Some modules of the degree are taught in German and some in English.
Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop core computing skills in Data Science (database theory and design, data visualisation and representation, network science) and Web technologies and become acquainted with current issues in archaeological data management and policy in Germany.
  • Familiarise themselves with the use of state of the art 3D technologies and media and learn which techniques are best suited for data capture, documentation and analysis in different situations and contexts (e.g. fieldwork, museum, research projects).
  • Think critically on the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial analysis and statistics, and computational modelling in Archaeology and learn how to best apply these methods to gain insights into past human behaviour and socio-political organisation in natural and built environments.
  • Take work placements (Praktika) in excavations, museums, or cultural heritage management organisations and test their practical skills in real life situations.
  • Combine their study in Archaeoinformatics with a specialisation in Classical Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Prehistoric Archaeology, or Egyptology.
  • Entry requirements

  • Degree: Bachelor degree in Archaeology (Prehistory, Classical Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces or Egyptology) with an amount of at least 180 CP, respectively a comparable degree of another university of the same scope. Alternatively, a Bachelor degree can be accepted, if at least 60 CP were achieved in Archaeology.
  • Language skills: For non-native German speakers the language requirement of CEFR C1 or DSH 2 in German needs to be fulfilled. Student work can be submitted in German or English.
  • Master thesis requirement: For the registration of a Master thesis a language level of CEFR B1 in English is required.
  • Modules in Archaeoinformatics are also offered to Erasmus students (non-native German speakers must prove sufficient language skills in German or English).
  • Degree Structure

    Within the M.A. Archäologie students that wish to specialise in Archaeoinformatics have the option to choose between study profile A and B:

    Studienprofil A Studienprofil B
    includes 4 compulsory modules in Archaeoinformatics includes 2 compulsory modules in Archaeoinformatics
    SM 1: Core computing module SM 1: Core computing module
    SM 2: 3D documentation, modelling and reconstruction SM 3a: 3D documentation modelling and reconstruction or
    SM 4: GIS and spatial analysis SM 3b: GIS and spatial analysis
    SM 5: Placements and independent study SM 1 and SM 3 modules of another subject: Classical Archaeology, Prehistoric Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, or Egyptology
    Additional modules
    BM: Foundation module (Basismodul) in Archaeological Theory
    AM*: Advanced module (Aufbaumodul)
    EM*: Supplementary module (Ergänzungsmodul)
    *These modules include further optional courses in Archaeology, Digital Humanities, Natural Sciences (incl. archaeological prospection) or Archaeoinformatics.

    Career prospects

    Nowadays the use of digital and computational methods pervades every aspect of archaeological knowledge production, especially data capture, documentation, visualisation and analysis. Graduates with a specialisation in Archaeoinformatics will be offered a wide range of opportunities for an academic career in Archaeology and Digital Humanities, and will be well-suited for positions in cultural resource management, museums, and public and private cultural heritage organisations. Furthermore, they will have completed relevant work placements and gained valuable real life working experience, which is very much appreciated by employers. The skills acquired in this study program are highly transferrable to fields outside Archaeology, including the public and private sector.

    People working in Archaeoinformatics

    Summary

  • duration: 4 semesters (full-time)
  • start date: October 2017 (subject to final approval); thereafter every winter or summer semester
  • language: English, German
  • degree options: MA Archäologie-Archaeoinformatics (study profile A or B), dual-subject Master degree (in combination with a discipline other than Archaeology)
  • application deadline: usually middle of July for the coming winter semester and middle of January for the coming summer semester
  • Co-ordinator of the MA Archäologie-Archaeoinformatics: Prof. Dr. Eleftheria Paliou, email: e.paliou@uni-koeln.de
  • General enquiries: Sebastian Hageneuer, M.A, email: s.hageneuer@uni-koeln.de
  • Because of a limited number of places students who apply at the University to Cologne with the aim to study Archaeoinformatics are asked to also inform Sebastian Hageneuer about their preferred study profile in advance.