- Room nr:14a-00
- Unit:faculteit der letteren (oudheid)
I worked in contract archaeology as a specialist in Geographical Information Systems with RAAP Archeologisch Adviesbureau from 1992-2005. From 1992 to 1998, I participated in the European Union-funded Archaeomedes and Rio Aguas projects, doing geo-database management and spatial analysis for a number of study areas in France (Rhône Valley) and Spain (Vera Basin). Both projects analyzed the long-term development of settlement and land-use dynamics, for which GIS proved to be a powerful and efficient tool.
From the mid-1990s on, I have actively participated in the development of predictive modelling for archaeological heritage management in the Netherlands, especially within the BBO project (Bodembeheer in Behoud en Ontwikkeling; NWO programme running from 2002-2009). This eventually resulted in the publication of my PhD thesis, completed at Leiden University in 2007. In this thesis, I explored and developed a number of methods and techniques for building and testing predictive models..
From around 2001, I have also worked on issues concerning the reliability of archaeological survey techniques for detecting archaeological sites, especially core sampling and trial trenching. This research resulted in national guidelines for optimal survey strategies in Dutch archaeological heritage management.
Since 2009, I am working as a post-doc researcher at VU University with a VENI-grant awarded by NWO. From September 2012 on, I will continue my research with a VIDI-grant.
Research interestsPredictive modelling, GIS and spatial analysis, statistics, computing in archaeology, archaeological survey, archaeological heritage management, landscape archaeology
Current research project
VIDI project (started 1 September 2012)
The project aims to apply spatial dynamical modelling to reconstruct and understand the development of the cultural landscape in the Dutch part of the Roman limes zone.
The Roman conquest and occupation of the Lower Rhine region resulted in a system of fortifications of the Rhine border (the limes). The garrisons needed provisions like food and building materials. Where these came from and how they were managed is only known in general terms. Great uncertainties exist on the organisation of the socio-economic system, its relation to the military presence in the area, the logistics involved, and its impact on land use.
Spatial dynamical modelling can assist in interpreting past landscape development. It is a computer technique for building rule-based models that will simulate spatial processes - like the development of land use - through time. In this way, cause-and-effect chains will become more transparent. It can also tell us whether developments inevitably lead in a certain direction (path dependence), and if different scenarios produce similar outcomes (equifinality).
The Dutch limes zone offers a rich set of archaeological and palaeo-environmental data. We want to use these data and spatial dynamical modelling to set up scenarios of resource management along the limes, and test these against the archaeological evidence. What was needed to maintain the border garrisons? How did the Romans organize production, transport and distribution of goods? How did the local population respond? How did it influence landscape development and settlement pattern?
The modelling will result in scenarios of cultural landscape development using different theoretical perspectives and focusing on the interaction of natural, economic and socio-cultural factors. The plausibility of these scenarios can be assessed by comparing the modelling results to the archaeological record. We will also formulate best practices for spatial dynamical modelling in archaeology that will benefit other researchers.
My previous (VENI) research project (2009-2012) focused on the question of introducing the ‘human factor’ into archaeological predictive modelling. It aimed to introduce relevant insights and concepts from social anthropology, cultural and economic geography, and the historical research of landscapes (landscape biography) into predictive modelling. Four major topics are addressed:  the spatial organization of social territories,  the socio-political aspects of visual perception and site visibility,  the role of social memory in the (re)ordering and (re)use of space, and  the role of path dependence in the long-term development of cultural landscapes.
During the project, I have developed a new methodology to derive relevant socio-cultural factors for predictive modelling from environmental and archaeological (settlement) data, in particular parameters concerning visibility, accessibility and social memory, and by analyzing the surroundings of settlements rather than just their position in the landscape.
I also investigated the implications of using theory-based (cognitive) modelling rather than data-driven approaches to predictive modelling. It was concluded that cognitive modelling can be applied successfully and more easily than statistical methods. It provides a flexible way to set up a number of models based on different theoretical perspectives, and can be used to explore all kinds of questions on the spatial behaviour of people in the past. Predictive modelling used in this way evolves into a heuristic tool for developing and testing archaeological theory. However, the available GIS methods are not very well suited for dealing with spatio-temporal dynamics.
- 'Site discovery and evaluation through minimal interventions: core sampling, test-pits and trial trenches'. In Corsi, C. and F. Vermeulen (eds.) Good practice in archaeological diagnostics. Non-invasive surveying of complex archaeological sites. Springer.
- (with S. Polla and I. Frommer). Finding Byzantine junctions with Steiner trees. In: Polla, S. and P. Verhagen (eds.), Computational Approaches to Movement in Archaeology. De Gruyter, Berlin.
- (editor, with S. Polla). Computational Approaches to Movement in Archaeology. De Gruyter, Berlin.
- (with L. Nuninger, F.-P. Tourneux, F. Bertoncello and K. Jeneson). ‘Introducing the human factor in predictive modelling’. Proceedings of CAA2012, Southampton.
- (with T. Brughmans, L. Nuninger and F. Bertoncello). ‘The long and winding road. Combining least cost paths and network analysis techniques for settlement location analysis and predictive modelling’. Proceedings of CAA2012, Southampton.
- ‘On the road to nowhere? Least cost paths, accessibility and the predictive modelling perspective’. In: F. Contreras, M. Farjas and F.J. Melero (eds.), CAA 2010. Fusion of Cultures. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Granada, Spain, April 2010 (BAR International Series 2494). Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 383-389.
- (with L. Drăguţ). 'Discovering the Dutch mountains. An experiment with with automated landform classification for purposes of archaeological predictive mapping.' In: F. Contreras, M. Farjas and F.J. Melero (eds.), CAA 2010. Fusion of Cultures. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Granada, Spain, April 2010 (BAR International Series 2494). Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 213-216.
- (with E. Rensink, M. Bats and P. Crombé). Establishing discovery probablities of lithic artefacts in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites with core sampling. Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 240-247. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.05.041
- (editor, with M. Zhou, I. Romanowska, Z. Wu and P. Xu). Revive the Past. Proceedings of the XXXIX Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Beijing, 12-16 April 2011. Pallas Publications, Amsterdam.
- Biting off more than we can chew? The current and future role of digital techniques in landscape archaeology.’ In: S.J. Kluiving and E. Guttman-Bond (eds.), Landscape archaeology between art and science. From a Multi- to an Interdisciplinary Approach. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp. 309-320.
- (with L. Drăguţ). Object-based landform delineation and classification from DEMs for archaeological predictive mapping. Journal of Archaeological Science 39, 698-703. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2011.11.001
- (with K. Jeneson). 'A Roman Puzzle. Tring to find the Via Belgica with GIS'. In: A. Chrysanthi, P. Murrieta Flores & C. Papadopoulos (eds.): Thinking Beyond the Tool. Archaeological Computing andhe Interpretive Process. Oxford: Archaeopress (BAR International Series 2344), pp. 123-130.
- (editor, with A. Posluschny and A. Danielisová). Go your own least cost path. GIS and Archaeological Interpretation (BAR International Series 2284). Archaeopress, Oxford.
- (with M. van Leusen, B. Ducke, A. Millard and H. Kamermans). 'The Bumpy Road to Incorporating Uncertainty in Predictive Modelling'. In: Jerem, E., Redö, F. & Szeverényi, V. (eds.): On the Road to Reconstructing the Past. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Proceedings of the 36th International Conference, Budapest, April 2-6, 2008, pp. 301-308.
- (with M. Wansleeben and C. Sueur). 'Setting a Standard for the Exchange of Archaeological Data in the Netherlands'. In: Jerem, E., Redö, F. & Szeverényi, V. (eds.): On the Road to Reconstructing the Past. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Proceedings of the 36th International Conference, Budapest, April 2-6, 2008, pp. 152-155.
- (with T.G. Whitley). 'Integrating Archaeological Theory and Predictive Modeling. A Live Report from the Scene'. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, online first version.
- (with H. Kamermans, M. van Leusen and B. Ducke). 'New developments in archaeological predictive modelling'. In: T. Bloemers, H. Kars, A. van der Valk & M. Wijnen (eds.): The Cultural Landscape & Heritage Paradox. Protection and Development of the Dutch Archaeological-Historical Landscape and its European Dimension (Landscape & Heritage Studies Proceedings). Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp. 431-444.
- (with H. Kamermans, M. van Leusen, J. Deeben, D. Hallewas, P. Zoetbrood)). 'First thoughts on the incorporation of cultural variables into predictive modelling'. In: F. Niccolucci and S. Hermon (eds.), Beyond the artefact – Digital Interpretation of the Past - Proceedings of CAA2004 - Prato 13-17 April 2004. Archaeolingua, Budapest, pp. 307–311.
- (with A. Wagtendonk, K. Jeneson, S. Soetens and M. de Kleijn). ‘Past in Place: The role of Geo-ICT in present-day archaeology’. In: Scholten, H. J., R. van de Velde and N. van Manen (eds.): Geospatial Technology and the role of location within Science. Springer, Dordrecht (GeoJournal Library , Vol. 96), pp. 59-86.
- (with A. Borsboom). ‘The design of effective and efficient trial trenching strategies for discovering archaeological sites’. Journal of Archaeological Science 36, 1807-1816.
- (with M. van Leusen and H. Kamermans). ‘The future of archaeological predictive modelling ’ in H. Kamermans, M. van Leusen & Ph. Verhagen (eds.): Archaeological prediction and risk assessment. Alternatives to current practice. Leiden University Press, Leiden (ASLU 17), pp. 19-26.
- (with R. Isarin and B. Goudswaard). ‘Archaeology as a risk in spatial planning: manoeuvring between objectivity and subjectivity’ in H. Kamermans, M. van Leusen & Ph. Verhagen (eds.): Archaeological prediction and risk assessment. Alternatives to current practice. Leiden University Press, Leiden (ASLU 17), pp. 41-48.
- ‘Testing archaeological predictive models: a rough guide’ in A. Posluschny, K. Lambers & I. Herzog (eds.): Layers of Perception. Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Berlin, Germany, April 2–6, 2007. Kolloquien zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Vol. 10. Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn, pp. 285-291.
- 2007. Case Studies in Archaeological Predictive Modelling. Leiden University Press, Leiden. ASLU 14. Download Order A review of my thesis appeared in Antiquity (March 2009). Download
- (with H. Kamermans & M. van Leusen). ‘Whither archaeological predictive modelling?’. in W. Börner and S. Uhrlitz, 2006: Workshop 10 Archäologie und Computer. Kulturelles Erbe und Neue Technologien. 7.-10. November 2005. Stadtarchäologie Wien, Vienna (CD-ROM).
- 'Quantifying the qualified: the use of multi-criteria methods and Bayesian statistics for the development of archaeological predictive models' in: Mehrer, M. & K. Wescott (eds.), GIS and Archaeological Site Location Modeling. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 191-216.
- 'The use of predictive modelling for guiding the archaeological survey of Roman pottery kilns in the Argonne region (N.E. France)'. in: Mehrer, M. & K. Wescott (eds.), GIS and Archaeological Site Location Modeling. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 447-459.
Publications in Dutch
- 2011 (with E. Rensink, M. Bats and P. Crombé). Optimale strategieën voor het opsporen van Steentijdvindplaatsen met behulp van booronderzoek. Een statistisch perspectief. Amersfoort, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed. RAM 197.
- 2009 (with E. Norde). Gemeente Helden. Archeologische waarden- en verwachtingskaart. Amsterdam, ACVU-HBS. ZAN 147.
- 2009 (with A. Borsboom). Leidraad Inventariserend Veldonderzoek. Deel: Proefsleuvenonderzoek (IVO-P). ACVU-HBS/Hazenberg Archeologie.
- 2008 (with H. Kamermans and M. van Leusen).’Een nieuwe impuls voor de archeologische verwachtingskaart’. Archeobrief 12-3, 27-34.
- 2008. Gemeente Schouwen-Duiveland. Archeologische waarden- en verwachtingskaart voor de historische kernen. Amsterdam, ACVU-HBS. ZAN 165.
- 2007 (with N. Willemse). ‘Wikken en wegen met vindplaatsen’. Archeobrief 11-2, 27-34.
- 2007 (with C. Sueur and M. Wansleeben). Advies archeologische uitwisselingsprotocollen SIKB. Vestigia, Amersfoort. Vestigia-rapport V513.
- 2004 (with A. Tol, M. Verbruggen & A. Borsboom). Prospectief boren; een studie naar de betrouwbaarheid en toepasbaarheid van booronderzoek in de prospectiearcheologie. RAAP Archeologisch Adviesbureau, Amsterdam. RAAP-rapport 1000.
- 1995. ‘De archeologische potentiekaart in Nederland: een methodologie voor het voorspellen van archeologische waarden op basis van archeologische en landschappelijke gegevens’. Westerheem 44(5), pp. 177-187
University of Southhampton