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Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities with focus on “Archaeological Information Systems” and “Digital Cultural heritage”

Koordination: Armin Volkmann


The Junior Research Group Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage is a co-operation of the Cluster Asia and Europe in a Global Context with the Heidelberg Graduate School of Mathematical and Computational Methods for the Sciences (HGS MathComp) at the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Scientific Computing (IWR), and funded by both.

The aim of the JRG Digital Humanities is the establishment of knowledge for digital methods and standards in the humanities and the arts. The spectrum of the young discipline of digital humanities ranges from the corpus linguistics through computer philology to applied computer sciences. The JRG thus complements the ongoing projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA) in the field of digital cultural heritage, which involve issues revolving around the standardization of workflows and the digitization and treatment of heterogeneous data sets (text, sound, images, and data). In addition, the JRG supports the HRA with the conceptual development of the teaching of innovative methods of digital humanities at Heidelberg University and are planning to jointly organize workshops, training sessions, and seminars at different levels of knowledge for specific target groups.

Within the framework of this research group we examine discourses linked to new possibilities in the use of digital methods in archaeology and evaluate opportunities and risks associated with big research datasets. This will result in standardized workflows for further archaeological investigations. We are also part of a team which works with GIS and LIDAR laser scanning data (2D and 3D modelling) in cooperation with a network of various research institutions within a digital research infrastructure. Furthermore, we are developing VREs (virtual research environments) for specific workflows such as the digitization of sub-projects in the humanities and arts.

We are working on a specific research infrastructure for the needs of archaeological sciences. So we develop an Archaeological Information System (AIS) in cooperation with the project OpenAtlas at Vienna University. The open source OpenAltlas is a database application for the work with archeological, historical and spatial data for GIS software like QuantumGIS.

Doctoral candidates

Karl Hjalte Maack Raun: LIDAR based semi-automatic pattern recognition within a European archaeological landscape

Michelle Pfeiffer: Methods and perspectives of digital research infrastructures for European Archaeology within a WebGIS

Digital ground model:

Digital ground model of the archaeological site of an early medieval (late 10th cent.) fort near Ottersburg (Sachsen-Anhalt); vertical exaggeration factor of 10; surveying and interpolation: A. Volkmann.


Armin Volkmann