Dr Rachel Opitz
- Lecturer in Spatial Archaeometry (Archaeology)
SPatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations (SPARC). SPARC is an NSF-funded program at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) and Archeo-Imaging Lab (AIL) dedicated to promoting geospatial research in archaeology. SPARC offers direct support to archaeological projects through awards in three categories:
- Fieldwork: On-site data collection
- Data & Analytics: Preparation, processing and analysis of geospatial data
- Publication: Presentation, publication and archiving of complex geospatial datasets
Executive Director and co-PI.
dataArc, Building Cyberinfrastructure to Enable Interdisciplinary Research on the Long-Term Human Ecodynamics of the North Atlantic, is a NSF funded project building the cyberinfrastructure necessary to support research on human ecodynamics in the North Atlantic. This research requires the analysis of diverse and heterogeneous datasets, the cooperation of international research teams, and the deep time perspective provided by archaeology. Data discovery, integration, and visualization are critical to all aspects of this research, and the development of cyberinfrastructure (CI) and tools can enable this crucial collaborative research. Investing in comprehensive online cyberinfrastructure provides the opportunity to link collaborators and data from the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, resulting in the opportunity for a holistic approach to understand the rapid social and environmental changes that occurred in the past and for the creation of digital tools for expanded capacity to engage other users, including students and Indigenous northern communities.
Work Package Leader and co-PI.
The Gabii Project is an international archaeological initiative under the direction of Nicola Terrenato of the University of Michigan and supported by the NEH. It was launched in 2007 with the objective of studying and excavating the ancient Latin city of Gabii, a city-state that was both a neighbor of, and a rival to, Rome in the first millennium BC.
Director of Topography and Digital Data.
CALCRome, the Capturing the Life Cycle of Ceramics in Rome Project, is a collaboration with archaeologists Marcello Mogetta at the University of Missouri and Laura Banducci at Carleton University to investigate traces of past use seen on Black Gloss ceramics from funerary and ritual contexts. Black gloss pottery plays an important role in our understanding of the consumption of food and drink both every day and on special occasions. Where did they come from, and how were they chosen for to be placed into the tomb of a friend or family member, or left in a sanctuary as an offering? To address these questions, our team has been carrying out 3D scanning to capture detailed surface models of the objects. These models are now being analysed to assess the types and extent of wear and marks of use on their interior and exterior surfaces. Current research is focused on developing new ways to measure and quantify these different types of wear, so that analyses can be performed across large datasets and more consistent assessment of the extent and type of use- wear can be made. The collection of data for a second set of vessels is planned for 2018.
I am happy to supervise Masters and Doctoral dissertations on topics related to archaeological remote sensing, landscape archaeology, computational and digital methods in archaeology, and applications and implications of 3D in archaeology. My regional and chronological expertise lies in the Roman Mediterranean.