76011 - Multimedia Technologies in Archaelogy

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Alessandro Campedelli

  • Credits 6

  • SSD INF/01

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in History, preservation and enhancement of artistic and archaeological heritage and landscape (cod. 9218)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Nov 10, 2021 to Dec 15, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The training objective of the course is the knowledge of information technologies applied to archaeological research in the various application areas that characterize the complex process process that brings the information connected with the archaeological data from the techniques of prospecting, excavation, cataloging, restoration and relative museumization. The extensive use of digital information representation technologies in the different passages means that computer science applied to archeology today constitutes a systemic process of networking integration of numerous multimedia representation technologies based on object - oriented multiplatform - web languages based, mostly organized in centralized structures (servers) and in the form of metadata (XML, JavaScript, KML etc.). At the end of the course the student: - is able to manage this complex process and technological process - is in possession of the theoretical and practical bases of the digital representation of archaeological data in various formats, - is in possession of the theoretical and practical bases relating to the techniques and the protocols of transformation, representation, transmission and communication of archaeological data - is in possession of the knowledge, the correct strategies and the practical skills that allow him to participate consciously in the project and in the realization of a server-web information system for archiving and multimedia representation of the archaeological data.

Course contents

The course program will be divided into three parts.

After an introduction and a reflection on the new multimedia technologies in the field of Cultural Heritage, all the operations will be addressed and analyzed (according to a logical and operational scheme) that allow to detect, know and virtually reconstruct an archaeological context.

The second part will be dedicated to modern documentation methods used in the field of archaeological survey (Total Station, Laser Scanner, GNSS Receivers and Photogrammetry). The main problems related to the documentation of an archaeological context will be presented with particular reference to the variety of its extension and the state of conservation. Then the main methods of processing 3D models from point clouds acquired both by Laser Scanner and by digital photogrammetric procedures (Image Based) will be introduced.

In the third and last part, also referring to some case studies, the themes related to Computer Graphics 3D techniques applied to archaeological research will be introduced that have determined in recent years a profound change in the way of relating with the past.

Since no virtual reconstruction, serious and scientifically correct, starts from imaginative ideas, the contents of the course will concern the single operations necessary to obtain the final result according to a scheme that develops not in order of importance, but logical and operational: from collection of information on the object to be reconstructed, to the definition of a set of graphic drawings useful for the development of the reconstructive proposals: 2D vector drawings; from the development of a 3D reconstructed model to the definition of the form of presentation to the public of the reconstructed product. Within this process, digital survey constitutes an important aspect and basis for guaranteeing the maximum reliability of subsequent reconstruction operations.



Students attending the course will be required to study, in addition to lecture notes, the following mandatory texts:

- E. Giorgi (on f.), In depth without digging. Non-invasive investigation methodologies and diagnostics for archeology (Groma 2/2009), Bologna 2009

exclusively the parties:

3. Topography for archeology

  • 3.1. Introduction to relief for archeology
  • 3.2. Topographic survey for archeology
  • 3.3. Photogrammetry for archeology
  • 3.8. Aerial photography for archeology

4. Topography for archeology. Cards

  • 4.1. Reference systems
  • 4.2. Coordinate systems
  • 4.6. Optical Level
  • 4.7. Total station
  • 4.8. GNSS (global navigation Satellite System)
  • 4.10. Terrestrial laser scanner

- G. Verdiani, Reverse design. Methods and experiences of digital 3D reconstruction for the built heritage. (DIDAPRESS, Florence, Italy), Florence 2017

 exclusively the parties:

  • Introduction
  • Reverse-design: concept
  • 3D digital reconstruction for architecture and 'reverse-design'

- Handout (10 pages) on topics related to Computer Graphics 3D techniques and software.

Given the particular setting of the course, all students are invited to attend the lessons.



Students who will not attend classes are required to study the following mandatory texts:

1) E. Giorgi (a c.), In depth without digging. Non-invasive investigation methodologies and diagnostics for archeology (GROMA 2/2009), Bologna 2009

  • full text

2) G. Verdiani, Reverse design. Methods and experiences of digital 3D reconstruction for the built heritage (DIDAPRESS, Florence, Italy), Florence 2017

exclusively the parties:

  • Introduction
  • Reverse design: concept
  • 3D digital reconstruction for architecture and 'reverse-design'

3) Handout (10 pages) on topics related to Computer Graphics 3D techniques and software.

Teaching methods

The lectures will have a laboratory-like approach, aimed at stimulating dialogue, with the use of the topographic tools covered by the course (optical level, Total Station, Laser Scanner, GNSS receivers) and IT (photogrammetry software and computer graphics).

At the end of the course, on a completely voluntary basis, the attending students will have the opportunity to participate in the excavations directed by prof. Giorgi and the teacher in the Roman site of Burnum (Croatia).

The course is connected to the Laboratory of "3D Survey: Photogrammetry with drone and Terrestrial Laser Scanner" which will take place in the summer at the archaeological site of the Roman city of Suasa (AN, Italy).

Assessment methods

The assessment of learning for the students who will attend the course will also focus on the evaluation of active participation in discussions and classroom teaching activities.

The final grade will be established by means of an oral exam in which at least three questions relating to the main topics addressed during the lessons will be asked:

1. Multimedia technologies and systems for the documentation and enhancement of archaeological sites;

2. Tools for the traditional and three-dimensional documentation of archaeological contexts (Total Station, Laser Scanenr, Photogrammetry);

3. Computer Graphics 3D techniques and software.

In order to pass the exam, the student must demonstrate that he has understood the topics covered, that he is able to identify the relevant methodologies suitable for the different archaeological contexts proposed and to know the procedure necessary for the realization of a virtual reconstruction, using the terminology proper to the discipline.

Evaluation criteria:

  • insufficient assessment: the student demonstrates extremely fragmented and superficial knowledge of the contents, errors in applying the concepts, insufficient exposure and inadequate preparation in any of the three parts of the test;
  • sufficient assessment: the student demonstrates sufficient but general knowledge of the contents, simple exposition, uncertainties in the application of theoretical concepts and acceptable preparation in at least two of the three parts of the test (score between 18/30 and 22/30);
  • positive evaluation: the student demonstrates knowledge of the appropriate contents, good ability to apply theoretical concepts and ability to present the contents in a sufficiently articulated way in all parts of the test (score between 23/30 and 27/30);
  • excellent assessment: the student demonstrates broad, complete and in-depth knowledge of the contents, significant skills in critical processing of the topics covered, good application of the contents, good ability to analyze and synthesize, safe and correct exposure in all parts of the assessment between 28/30 and 30/30);
  • praise: the student demonstrates very broad, complete and in-depth knowledge of the contents, well-established ability to apply contents, excellent ability to analyze, synthesize and interdisciplinary connections, mastery of exposure.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations;

Specialized bibliography possibly indicated to those who request it for further information;

Online teaching material (ONLY for attending students).

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Campedelli