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Drs. Jitte Waagen

Drs. Jitte Waagen
Turfdraagsterpad 9
Computational Archaeology Specialist, PhD
Projects: Landscapes of Early Roman Colonisation, Sacred Landscape Project, Zakynthos Archaeology Project
After twenty years of experimentation with archaeological field-survey, straightforward methodological consensus is only slowly developing and calls for further research persist. The importance of the effects of the methodology of data collection on our understanding of human activity in the past is widely recognized. This is exemplified in the debate on the ‘hidden’ landscapes of Pre- and Protohistorical Mediterranean Europe and the problem of the ‘missing sites’ of the Early Roman colonization of Italy. The weight of this discussion bears even beyond historical problems, to issues of heritage management. Central to the methodological discussion is the role of GIS, spatial analyses and quantification techniques. In addition to the spatial and functional study of sites, it is in the assessment of so-called off-site distributions of artefacts that these tools are particularly instrumental and their application is under critical scrutiny. It is my contention that at least a part of the potential of spatial modeling and statistical analyses has thus far remained unexplored, and that they can be used to reveal intriguing aspects of collected archaeological datasets. For example, in one of my case-studies I have been able to establish a relationship between highly variable thin scatters of archaeological artifacts and the presence of archaeological sites in the subsoil. In this approach, I used basic principles of sample theory to identify ‘improbabilities’ in our sample database and examined them in detail in the field. Using techniques such as this, I aim to produce a series of analyses to assess our survey datasets and contribute to the methodological progress of this discipline and to its potential to help us understand human activity in the past.
Topics: Applications of GIS in Archaeology, Field-walking Strategies, Methodology of survey archaeology, Processing Survey Data, Site - Off-site Archaeology, Theory of landscape archaeology
Regions: Central Italy, Greek Mainland, Ionic Islands, Southern Italy
Periods: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Iron Age, Roman
Institutes: University of Amsterdam