GIS and Archaeology- Some Resources on Learning GIS for Archaeology

Posted on March 5, 2012


In the past, I have occasionally written about GIS and Archaeology, specifically how to learn GIS for Archaeology. It’s a real shame but there are not many high quality resources for those interested in learning GIS for Archaeology on their own. I have gathered together some resources here. Let me know if there are some I am missing.


University of Leicester GIS Training for Archaeologists – decent FREE online course that takes you through the basics. It uses ArcGIS which is a pretty expensive program to buy and it is also base on version 9.1 (newest version is 10.0). Though even watching the videos will give you an idea of the basics of GIS.

To get the basics of GIS and to understand how it works see this presentation. It is a great series of presentations by R Haddlesey though a bit dated (2007) but still incredibly good.

For more on GIS you can see the chapter by W. Fredrick Limp on GIS and Archaeology in the book Archaeological Computing. This is a FREE book to download. The rest of the book is a great read too.

Oxford Archaeology has developed a manual for Open Source GIS and archaeological survey.

GIS software can be very tricky to handle but if you read through the above sources you should be able to get a handle on it.

Free to Use Software

Before you try to use this software read the resources above. If not you will just be frustrated.

GIS software package from an Oxford Archaeology associate – a suit of open source GIS tools and Portable software package

They do not hang you out to dry with this software package and there are supports for each piece of software-
international mailing list

international mailing lists

support pages

UMN MapServer:
mailing lists

support pages

Quantum GIS:

GRASS GIS and Quantum GIS are two programs that you can also download on your own. They also have supporting documantation to help you learn how to use the software- again read the resources above or you might have problems.

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