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Valeria Poscetti

Archaeological Interpretation of Ground Penetrating Radar data through the integrated use of GIS-software and 3D Visualization software (such as AVS / Express).

Dir. PD Ao. Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Wolfgang Neubauer

Case study

The Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is nowadays largely used in archaeological prospection. The method, based on the propagation and reflection of electromagnetic waves (typically of frequencies ranging between 200 and 1000 MHz) in the subsoil, allows the 3D investigation of buried objects  such as stone structures, walls, floors and compacted layers, pits, postholes and cavities. The latest Ground Penetrating Radar systems (multi-channel and multi-frequency GPR systems) allow fast high-resolution collection of data covering large areas (several hectares per day with 8 cm lateral resolution). A large amount of data is produced, and very efficient methods for the archaeological interpretation of data are required.

The PhD project has the goal to develop new methods and efficient strategies for the archaeological interpretation of GPR data in the GIS environment.

The archaeological interpretation of GPR data is a complex process requiring the systematic classification and detailed description of the archaeological features, on the basis of the integrated analysis of different data sets (different GPR data sets collected with different frequencies, and/or different prospection data) and other types of information (historic sources etc.). A powerful tool to interpret the GPR data is represented by GIS technology permitting the integrated analysis of different types of data by means of features and attributes.

On the basis of 2D (time and depth slices) and 3D (isosurfaces) visualizations of the GPR data, innovative interpretation models of archaeological structures are created by using the GIS software (ArcGIS). Looking at the recent development of the 3D GIS technology, the attention is focused on the advanced use of the 3D editing with the goal to improve the 3D graphical interpretation of the data. The integrated use of the GIS software with 3D visualization and modelling software (such as AVS/express and Google SketchUp) is at the basis of this process.

Animation tools are also tested and successfully applied in GIS environment, allowing a new approach in the interpretation of the GPR data.

The efficient and comprehensive use of attributes also represents a crucial aspect of the project: new approaches in classifying and describing the features are tested in order to achieve standardization in the interpretation of the data.

Universität Wien
co Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science
Franz-Klein-Gasse 1/III
A-1190 Wien

T: +43-1-4277-40304
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