ArcheoFOSS 2020

Available demos

  1. PAThs: the Archaeological Atlas of Coptic Literature
  2. Roman Open Data: computational tool to analyze the Roman Empire trading system
  3. SITAR: Sistema Informativo Territoriale Archeologico di Roma
  4. AF 2006-2020. An incomplete Introspective view on the FLOS/CH community
  5. Virtual Archaeology for the little guy? A case-study based assessment of the feasibility and sustainability of minimal resource VR modelling and its applicability to small-scale archaeological research

PAThs: the Archaeological Atlas of Coptic Literature

Author: Paola Buzi and PAThs’ team

The Archaeological Atlas of Coptic Literature ( is the growing result of four year of activities of PAThs, an ERC granted project (Advanced Grant 2015, no. 687567), directed by Paola Buzi and based at Sapienza University of Rome, whose goal is to provide an in-depth diachronic understanding and effective representation of the geography of Coptic literary production and in particular of the corpus of literary writings, almost exclusively of religious contents, produced in Egypt between the 3rd and the 13th centuries in the Coptic language.

It is by far the most important open access database related to Late Antique and Medieval Egypt, providing detailed information on literary manuscripts, works, authors, titles, colophons, persons and modern collections containing manuscripts. These information are strictly connected and completed by to the archaeological context and perfectly illustratd by important historical cartographic basemaps that have been carefully georeferenced and published online as web map tile service.

Roman Open Data: computational tool to analyze the Roman Empire trading system

Authors: J. Pérez González, J.M. Bermúdez Lorenzo, J. Remesal Rodríguez

Interface developed by: Giménez, X., Rull, G., Mosca, A., Rondelli, B.

The portal is the culmination of the knowledge representation efforts conducted during the “EPNet: Production and distribution of food during the Roman Empire” project (ERC ID: 340828). The Users can explore both epigraphies and amphoras from the database of CEIPAC, one of the most precise archaeological and historical semantic markers available from the Roman Empire trading system.

The aim of the portal is to allow access to the project’s epigraphic data on Roman amphorae to both the project members and the community in a standard and interoperable way and promoting the Open Science principles and practices in the context of Digital Humanities. To this end, it provides two main interfaces. The emphasis of EPNet is on providing historians with computational tools to analyze data about Latin and Greek inscriptions on amphoras. This information system relies on an Ontology-Based Data Access and Integration engine, namely Ontop. The core interface is a virtual knowledge graph, which is presented in RDF, conforms to an ontology, and is queryable through a SPARQL endpoint. The second interface is a visual query system, built on top of the SPARQL endpoint, that allows non-technical users to explore the data without having to worry about writing queries.

SITAR - Sistema Informativo Territoriale Archeologico di Roma

Authors: Mirella Serlorenzi and SITAR team

SITAR (Sistema Informativo Territoriale Archeologico di Roma) is a public archaeology project promoted by the Soprintendenza Speciale Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Roma. To enhance visibility, transparency and dissemination of archaeological knowledge has been the main ambition since the early stages of the project (2007); it was carried out through scientific data sharing related to archaeological excavations undertaken in the city of Rome.
The OPEN DATA digital platform contains spatial data, attributes and documents from over 6000 excavations, these information can be easily visualized, queried and acquired in the main open formats, both raster and vector, as well as through geo-services protocols (WMS/WFS). Platform indexing and searching engines, together with an advanced OCR (optical character recognition) system, allow users to carry out full-text searches within the Digital Library’s database. SITAR has been designed to ensure maximum inbound and outbound interoperability with other information systems through RESTful API with JSON format.

AF 2006-2020. An incomplete Introspective view on the FLOS/CH community

Authors: Julian Bogdani, Federico Sciacca

This brief presentation is aimed at throwing a rapid eye on the activity of the FLOS, i.e. Free Libre and Open Source Community related to Cultural Heritage. The main sources for the data behind the presentation are the publications of the Proceedings of the ArcheFOSS conference. Particular attention is paid to the licensing of the presented applications and to the attempt to recover their life after the presentation. The result is an interesting, perfectible, introspective view on ArcheoFOSS as an incubator and mouthpiece of FLOS software, applications and data portals. Hopefully it will offer useful considerations for a well-informed planning of future activities.

Virtual Archaeology for the little guy? A case-study based assessment of the feasibility and sustainability of minimal resource VR modelling and its applicability to small-scale archaeological research

Authors: Ben Price

The prevalence and sheer accessibility of computer games engines has been a revolution in the indie games development scene for a number of years now, and use of games engines in archaeology is certainly no new thing, but can this free resource be used for non-games related tools for archaeological investigation and if so can it be done without the backing of a multidisciplinary team?

In my recent PhD thesis, I attempted to answer just this question and explore the realms of free to use and open source tools to create a Virtual Reality tool that can investigate virtual landscapes produced with LIDAR and a smattering of reconstructed models. The goals of the investigation were to see what the pitfalls were along the development track and whether these could be overcome by a single developer, whether such a tool was even feasible with a games engine (in this case the Unreal Engine 4) and what impressions such a tool would have on archaeologists familiar with the real landscape. This paper is a summarisation of that thesis, discussing how this accessible method of application creation can not only provide an academically beneficial method of investigation but also show that it is affordable and within the means of dedicated people to produce.

The free development tools used were the Unreal Engine 4 by Epic Games which is royalty free for free projects, the Cloudcompare open source project, and the GDAL open source toolset for geographic data. Other software that was used was free for students but not generally free, such as Autodesks Maya, Allgorithmic (now Adobe) Substance. Other free resources were used such as a plethora of free plugins for the Unreal Engine, all with the aim of keeping costs as low as possible.

In essence the project proved that yes, it is possible to produce such a tool but the process (currently) is not for the fainthearted. However recent additions to the Unreal Engine have the potential to significantly improve the workflow resulting in faster conversion of LIDAR data to 3D landscapes.