Italy, Pisa

Applied Informatics: Digital tools for archaeology and bioarchaeology

when 2 May 2016 - 13 May 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 6 ECTS
fee USD 700

Archaeological and bioarchaeological sciences have embarked on a path of development that is now indelibly linked to, and dependent upon, applied modern technologies. It is unthinkable to conceive a research project that does not support informatics or an excavation that does not extensively use electronic or computerized surveys. Nowadays, stratigraphic excavation must employ a GIS linked to a geodatabase, or surveys carried out with precision electronic instruments. Similarly, no anthropological laboratory can acquire data without the support of an electronic archive, and no institution can disclose its research without relying on the Web. All of these tools are taken for granted, but only few professionals are able to use them skillfully and even fewer can develop them from scratch. Indeed, methodological issues have often hindered such an approach to the discipline, and most archaeology college students complete their training without possessing even basic skills in applied technologies.
Among the issues hindering the adoption of applied technologies, it is worth mentioning the following:
• The vastness of the field covered by the disciplines of applied computing, which can intimidate and discourage the neophyte from undertaking a training course.
• The technical language characterizing applied technologies is very distant from humanistic epistemology, often underlying archaeological thought
• The difficulty intrinsic in turning theory into practice. In spite of the existence of numerous published references, only few people are able to apply the methodology of survey, reconstruction or, more simply, of storage to a specific project.
• The constant evolution of information technology, which implies that analysis protocols, software or methods may become obsolete after a few years. In this sense, even those who already have acquired a certain degree of proficiency over the years should periodically update and improve their weaknesses.
In order to address and overcome these issues we have structured a preparatory course centered on the acquisition of basic working knowledge of the main applied technologies used in archaeological information management. Upon completion of the course, participants will possess the skills necessary understand a wide spectrum of practical knowledge, which they may apply to a variety of research and professional situations.
The course will be based on certain educational principles:
• Provide students with an education aimed at learning issues collateral, but related to, their chosen field of study without notional overload. We therefore intend to use the parameters of a humanistic language that avoids computer technicalities unrelated to the archaeological-anthropological training of the participants.
• Apply the concepts presented through educational workshops and field exercises directly to actual archaeological cases.
• Use the latest generation of computing resources and, where possible, open source software.

Course leader

Prof. Maura Castagna
email: maura.castagna@med.unipi.it

Instructor:
Dr. Francesco Coschino
francesco.coschino@gmail.com

Target group

The Summer School welcomes students in anthropology, paleopathology and allied disciplines at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Course aim

- Provide students with an education aimed at learning issues collateral, but related to, their chosen field of study without notional overload. We therefore intend to use the parameters of a humanistic language that avoids computer technicalities unrelated to the archaeological-anthropological training of the participants.
- Apply the concepts presented through educational workshops and field exercises directly to actual archaeological cases.
- Use the latest generation of computing resources and, where possible, open source software.

Credits info

6 ECTS
Earning of 6 ECTS through the University of Pisa
Certificate of participation from IRLAB
Certificate of participation from the University of Pisa

Fee info

USD 700: - The cost includes Summer School activities (lectures, laboratory activities, staff costs), a “dining card” to access the students’ cafeteria, including 14 paid lunches, the visit to the archaeological excavation of Badia Pozzeveri (train ticket and lunch).
- Housing is not provided by the Summer School; however, an help to find an accommodation in private apartments or in rooms provided by the University of Pisa at subsidized price will be provided. The price for an accommodation in a single/double room is on average 200/300 euro two/three weeks.
- International travel to Italy and the notebook are not included in these fees and is the students’ sole responsibility.

Register for this course
on course website