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Syllabus: GIS and Mediterranean Archaeology

CLST 361: GIS and Mediterranean Archaeology

  'The faculty members reserve the right to adjust this syllabus as necessary.'


  • Prof. Pedar W. Foss (DePauw): Tel. 765-658-4597;
    Office Hours (EC 303):  MWF 2:45-4:30
  • Prof. Michael Galaty (Millsaps): Tel. 601-974-1387;
    Office Hours (SH 343): MWF 11:00-12:00
  • Prof. P. Nick Kardulias (Wooster): Tel. 330-263-2474;
  • Prof. Kenny Morrell (Rhodes): Tel. 901-843-3821; (c) 901-830-4094;
    Office Hours (RT 515c): M 9:00, T 9:00, F 3:00
  • Prof. Rebecca Schindler (DePauw): Tel. 765-658-4760;

Class Times

Before October 31 DePauw 2:00-3:50
Millsaps 2:00-3:50
Rhodes 2:00-3:50
Wooster 3:00-4:50
After October 31 DePauw 3:00-4:50
Millsaps 2:00-3:50
Rhodes 2:00-3:50
Wooster 3:00-4:50

Course Materials

ACS Course Delivery System  


This course is the seminar associated with CGMA, a collaboratory for GIS (geographic information systems) and Mediterranean archaeology funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and headquartered at DePauw University. The CGMA project uses an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary program of undergraduate seminars, summer research internships, student-faculty workshops and work-study grants to begin construction of a web-based geographic information system for archaeological field survey projects. being the first Mediterranean-wide GIS registry of this kind, it provides a functional framework for broad studies of the interactions of humans and their environment in antiquity.


This upper-level undergraduate seminar (limit: 3-4 students at each of the 4 campuses) is held every fall term from 2003-2006. the primary locus of instruction and the supervising professor rotates annually amongst the 4 campuses. This year the course will originate at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Sessions are held in person at the institution of the supervising professor, and conducted in real time over the Internet for students from the other institutions. A course delivery system developed by the Technology Center of the Associated Colleges of the South serves as the means to webcast class sessions to the other institutions, to post discussion questions and answers, results of the practicum, and as a forum for communication between the students at participating institutions. Its address is:

Course Description

This course introduces advanced undergraduates to methods, theories and practice in:

  • Primary (field or lab) and secondary (library) research in archaeological survey;
  • Archaeology and information technology, especially GIS.
There are three major pedagogical components:
  1. Weekly lectures on history, method and theory, while students engage in readings and discussion;
  2. A multi-stage practicum on survey and GIS which students on each participating campus do in small groups;
  3. Individual projects which put the teaching and training to work in the construction of the CGMA resource.

The supervising professor and all participating students meet twice a week for instruction, problem-solving and real-time discussion; students also share ideas, questions, problems, research strategies and results over the CDS. Once during the term, participating faculty and students, as well as visiting experts, meet for a workshop at that year's host institution. For their individual project, each student works on a component of CGMA based on their interests, their expertise, and the needs of the project. Computer science students can work on database, GIS or internet delivery programming under the supervision of the project programmer; students in classical studies, anthropology, geography, etc., can work on collecting, organizing and assessing archaeological survey metadata from specific Mediterranean regions. At the end of the term, each student will write a 3-page reflective summary of their learning process and the product to her work product and provide the specific programming or data that she has developed during the term.

Note: students who successfully complete the course are eligible to apply for work-study on the project the following spring term, and for a research internship during the following summer, funded through the CGMA grant and the participating institutions.


Group activities and participation In-class and CDS (web) discussion 10%
Mid-term workshop at Rhodes 10%
Group practicum 25%
Individual work Project 45%
Three-page reflective summary 10%


All readings are available on-line, on electronic reserve through the ACS Course Delivery System, or on reserve at the library of each school. Students should have worked through all readings before the class period on which they are listed below in the schedule.
  • Wheatley, D. & Gillings, M., Spatial Technology and Archaeology (London: Taylor & Francis, 2002), ISBN: 0415246407
  • Additional readings will be available on-line through the ACS Course Delivery System.
  • Each campus will have copies of some recent survey publications from the Mediterranean area, to which students can refer as models. Some campuses may have to order publications for the student projects.


Students will meet twice each week for approximately 110 minutes.

Week 1 (8/31-9/2)
Week 2 (9/7-9)
Week 3 (9/14-16)
Week 4 (9/21-23)
Week 5 (9/28-30)
Week 6 (10/5-7)

Week 1 (8/31-9/2)
Tuesday Topic: Introductions; overview of course
Thursday Topic: Introduction to archaeological survey, GIS and CGMA
Notes: We will look at a number of examples of GIS in class:
Week 2 (9/7-9/9)
Tuesday Topic: GIS and archaeological survey: rationale and resources
  • We will review the project areas for each of the campuses.
  • During the second half of class, we will discuss and explore the tools and resources for locating and acquiring book and journal publications for projects at their local libraries.
Thursday Topic: Approaches to archaeological survey: theory and technique.
Notes: We will introduce the practicum assignment.
Week 3 (9/14-16)
Tuesday Topic: Approaches to archaeological survey: motive and meaning
Thursday Topic: Archaeological methods: sampling, data collection and databases
Week 4 (9/21-23)
Tuesday Topic: Presentations of practica: stages 1 and 2
Notes: Each campus will have fifteen minutes to present and discuss the status of their practicum.
Thursday Topic: Archaeological survey data analysis and interpretation
Week 5 (9/28-9/30)
Tuesday Topic: Reading and critiquing archaeological survey publications
Readings: Cherry, J. F., "Regional survey in the Aegean: the 'new wave' (and after)," in P. Nick Kardulias (ed.), Beyond the site: regional studies in the Aegean area (Lanham: University Press of America, 1994), pp. 91-112.
Notes: We will continue the discussion of the readings from the previous Thursday and then move on to consider the reading from Kardulias' Beyond the Site.
Thursday Topic: Archaeological reports and metadata
  • DePauw: Cherry, J. F., J. L. Davis, and E. Mantzourani, Landscape archaeology as long-term history: northern Keos in the Cycladic islands (Los Angeles: UCLA Monograph Series, vol. 16, 1991).
  • Rhodes: Barker, G., Gilbertson, D., Jones, B. and Mattingly, D. (eds.) Farming the Desert: the UNESCO Libyan Valleys Archaeological Survey (Paris: UNESCO Publishing; Tripoli: Department of Antiquities; London: Society for Libyan Studies, 1996), vols. I-II.
  • Millsaps: The Pylos Regional Archaeological Project
Notes: For Thursday, we will return to a consideration of metadata. Each campus will review the assigned project and compile information about the project based on the Dublin Core. Each team should submit their results in the "Study Questions" section of the CDS.
Week 6 (10/5-10/7)
Tuesday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS I (a case study)
Readings: V. Gaffney and Z. Stancic, GIS approaches to regional analysis: a case study of the island of Hvar (Ljubljana: Znanstveni institut, 1991)
  • You are to provide an update on your campus projects using the elements in the Dublin Core. Campus teams should submit these reports before the beginning of class.
  • During class we will look closely at and discuss the work on Hvar.
Thursday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS II (data categories)
  • There will be a set of study questions for the readings this week. Please consult the "Study Questions" section of the CDS. Responses from each team will be due before the beginning of class.
  • This session will feature the competition for the CGMA Cup, currently held by Rhodes. During the class period, the teams from each institution will respond to questions, some oral during a conference call that will connect all three campuses, some written that will appear in the chat room. The questions will range over all of the readings we have discussed so far including information found in the readings for this week. Good luck!
Workshop (10/8-10)
FridayBefore 6:00 Check-in to your hotel.We've made reservations at the Hampton Inn and Suites-Memphis Peabody Place. Directions to the hotel and maps are available from the website. When you arrive, be sure to identify yourselves as part of the CGMA conference. The hotel will directly bill the college for the costs of your rooms and taxes. You will be responsible for any incidentals.
6:00-9:00 Dinner catered by Bar-B-Q Shop We will meet for dinner in the East Village Lodge. Directions to campus are available from the college website. To locate the East Village Lodge, DO NOT consult the map on the college's website. Instead, download the campus parking map. You will find it located, not surprisingly, on the far eastern side of campus.
Saturday8:00-8:45 BreakfastFood is available in the campus dining facility, which students affectionately refer to as the "Rat." Simply identify yourselfs to the cashiers, who have a list of participants.
8:45-9:45 Session 1 History of the project and status report Buckman Hall 214
9:45-10:00 Break First-floor lobby of Buckman Hall
10:00-11:30 Session 2 Outstanding issues:
  1. Help files
  2. Testing the database
  3. Search and browse capabilities
  4. Locating geographic coordinates
Buckman 214
11:30-12:30 Lunch and fieldtrip possibilities
2:30-4:00 Session 3a CGMA board meeting Buckman 204
2:30-5:00 Session 3b Student training sessions
  1. Trimble GPS unit
  2. Downloading data to GIS
  3. Setting up the GIS (ArcGIS)
  4. Using the GIS
Buckman 214
5:00-6:00 Dinner The Rat
6:00-7:30 Session 4 Student training sessions (cont.) Buckman 214
7:30 Experience downtown Memphis Beale Street
Peabody Place
Sunday 8:00-8:45 Breakfast The Rat
9:00- Team from DePauw departs
9:00-10:30 Session 5 Using a total station TBA
Week 8 (10/19-21)
Tuesday No class (Fall Break)
Thursday No class (Fall Break)
Week 9 (10/26-28)
Tuesday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS III (map data and data manipulation).
Notes: Our class will address three topics:
  1. Review and discussion of the readings
  2. An overview of the procedure for completing and reporting on your projects
  3. Entering data into the MAGIS database
Thursday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS V (data visualization)
Week 10 (11/2-4)
Tuesday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS VI (data quantification)
Thursday No class
Notes: Please submit to the "Drop Box" section of the CDS, the following two items: a document with your metadata updated to reflect the work you have done on the project since you submitted the last metadata on September 30 and the database you have assembled in the course of your project. The next submisssion, which will include the addition of spatial information in a GIS, will be due on Tuesday, November 16. Each campus will make a presentation to the class on their projects during the last week of class on Tuesday, November 30, and Thursday, December 2.
Week 11 (11/9-11)
Tuesday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS VII (data analysis and explanation)
Thursday Topic: Archaeology and technology: GIS VIII (interpolation and prediction)
Week 12 (11/16-18)
Tuesday Topic: Comparing Surveys: Interaction between the Researchers and the Archaeological Record
Notes: Each team should submit in the "Drop Box" section of the CDS, the next installment of their project. This will include an updated set of metadata, the database, and the integration of the attribute and spatial data within a GIS. Remember, presentations from each team will take place during the last week of classes on Tuesday, November 30 (Millsaps and Rhodes), and Thursday, December 2 (DePauw).
Thursday Topic: Population Studies (Part I)
Week 13 (11/23-25)
Tuesday Topic: Population Studies (Part II)
Thursday No class (Thanksgiving)
Week 14 (11/30-12/2)
Tuesday Topic: Project Reports: Millsaps and Rhodes
Thursday Topic: Project Reports: DePauw

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