Archaeological Digital Imaging ARCH4072

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Digital imaging has emerged as a fundamental archaeological skill, with applications relevant for career paths in commercial archaeology, museum and curatorial practice, research, and public engagement. Beyond mechanistically applying these technologies, archaeologists must be able to critically evaluate what techniques will be relevant to a project's goals, and engage with the current debate on the social consequences and implications for the value of 'real things' of digital imaging. This course will provide hands-on training in the application of structure-from-motion imaging, reflectance transformation imaging, manipulation of data from laserscanning and microCT imaging. It will provide an introduction to the manipulation of 3D model data, including assembling scenes for dissemination, image and model interpretation, and metric analysis. Finally, the course will engage with the theoretical and intellectual frameworks within which the practice of digital methods in archaeology are enacted.


2x1 hr lectures; 4x1 hr seminars; 14x1hr workshops over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Archaeology and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Archaeology, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Final project (2000 words) - 35% 

Final lab notebook (1500 words)  -35% 

Critical Review Essay (1500 words)  -30%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide hands-on training in standard digital imaging techniques as applied in archaeology.

■ Develop practical skills in the manipulation of 3D and imaging data for presentation and metric analysis applications in archaeology.

■ Develop transferable skills in digital data analysis, digital data management, and web communication.

■ Review and assess applications of digital imaging in archaeology to build a knowledge base of these techniques and how they are used

■ Enable informed discussion of the intersection of the practice of digital imaging and key theoretical frameworks in archaeology and heritage.

■ Identify digital imaging projects for  identification of appropriate techniques through publication of results.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Independently execute simple to medium complexity projects using standard digital imaging techniques.

■ Evaluate a project, critically assess its requirements, and select the appropriate techniques to apply.

■ Produce a reasoned critique of an application of digital imaging in archaeology or heritage.

■ Synthesize the outcomes of a project in order to communicate the results to public and specialist audiences.

■ Participate in informed discussions on the role of digital imaging in contemporary archaeological and heritage practice.

■ Communicate practical information on workflows, methods and techniques to peers effectively

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.