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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

1st Edition

Virtual Reconstruction of Archaeological Sites Using GIS

March 18th-22nd, 2019, Crete (Greece)

Palaeontology and Archaeology

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Applied GIS: 3D Reconstruction of Archaeological Interventions

Course Overview

Any archaeological excavation necessitates the destruction of the site where it operates, eliminating the stratigraphical record in the process, and thus the possibility to review the archaeological context. This course focuses on methodologies on how to reduce that damage, while also providing new tools for archaeological research and dissemination.

The course teaches participants how to employ 3D virtualization for archaeological sites. Participants will learn how to apply GIS technology and operate different relevant 3D software (e.g. OpenJUMP, QGIS, GvSIG, Meshlab and Paraview).

The course aims to equip participants with the skills to employ and adapt virtual reconstruction methodologies to their own needs. To facilitate this aim, the course includes practical sessions working with concrete issues to provide first-hand experience in real-life cases.



Servili Tilissos
715 00 Heraklion, Crete (Greece)


March 18th-22nd, 2019




35 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 20 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.


Agustín Diez-Castillo instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Agustín Diez-Castillo
Universitat de València

Alfredo Cortell-Nicolau instructor for Transmitting Science

Alfredo Cortell-Nicolau
Universitat de València

Salvador Pardo-Gordó instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Salvador Pardo-Gordó
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science


Graduate or postgraduate degree in History, Anthropology, Archeology or any other Life or Earth Sciences.

Participants should bring their own personal laptop (Windows, Mac, Linux) with the following software installed: OpenJUMP, QGIS, GvSIG, Meshlab, Paraview, R.

Although the instructors will provide different working databases, participants are encouraged to bring their own.


Monday, March 18th, 2019. Learning about GIS.

  • Morning:
    • Introduction to GIS.
    • Open software: An open debate.
    • Basic GIS skills I. Map presentations.
    • Basic GIS skills II. Georreferencing.
  • Afternoon:
    • Practice: Creating a map with a chosen GIS.
    • Practice: Georreferencing with a chosen GIS.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019. Applying GIS to 3D reconstruction I.

  • Morning:
    • GIS databases and file formats.
    • Databases and file formats: The z coordinate.
    • Working with vector layers.
  • Afternoon:
    • Preparing 3D inputs I: Reconstructing a layer, including polygons, findings and labelling.
    • Preparing 3D inputs II: Reconstructing a layer from a given image. Orthophotos and georreferencing.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019. Applying GIS to 3D reconstruction II.

  • Morning:
    • 3D databases and file formats.
    • Introduction to 3D ambiences: Meshlab.
    • Introduction to 3D ambiences: Paraview.
    • Introduction to 3D ambiences: Photoscan.
  • Afternoon:
    • Preparing 3D outputs I: Building layers and preparing its 3D visualization.
    • Preparing 3D outputs II: Inserting findings and preparing its 3D visualization.

Thursday, March 21st, 2019. Fieldwork. 3D working with real examples.

  • Morning:
    • Gathering 3D information processes in a real site.
  • Afternoon:
    • Processing real archaeological information I: Targets and anchorage points.
    • Processing real archaeological information II: common problems.

Friday, March 22nd, 2019. R.

  • Morning:
    • Translating the real world into the virtual world: The local coordinate system.
    • Final Project I: Creating a 3D model from a real site.
    • Final Project II: Inserting stratigraphic layers into the 3D model.
    • Final Project III: Inserting findings into the 3D model.
  • Afternoon:
    • Final Project IV: Optimizing visualization.
    • Final Project V: 3D data analysis.


  • Course Fee
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  • Early bird (until December 31st, 2018):
  • 580 *
  • Regular (after December 31st, 2018):
  • 725 *
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
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  • Early bird (until December 31st, 2018):
  • 580 * + 350 = 930
  • Regular (after December 31st, 2018):
  • 725 * + 350 = 1,075
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, transportation from and to Heraklion, accommodation from Sunday to Friday, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

20 % discount will be applied to your fee If you belong to any of the Institutions listed HERE. Discounts (see Funding below) are not cumulative and apply only on the fee.

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact the course coordinator).


If you take the Accommodation Package option you will be hosted in Arolithos (take a look at the venue), inshared en-suite twin or triple rooms, although you will only share rooms with other classmates. The possibility exists that rooms will be mixed. Therefore, if this is an inconvenience for you, and you require staying in a room with only women or only men, please indicate so in the “Comments” field of the Registration form (see below).

A supplemental charge will be added if you prefer to stay in a single room with private bathroom.

If you do not want the Accommodation Package, there are several accommodation options in Heraklion. However please be aware that it takes about 25 minutes by car from Heraklion to Arolithos and there is no public transport between both. Therefore course participants will find that staying in Arolithos is more convenient.

How to get to Arolithos from Heraklion, Chania or Rethimnon.

Arolithos street

Arolithos street (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)

Arolithos twin room

Arolithos twin room (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)

Arolithos twin room

Arolithos twin room (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)


Course Schedule
  • Monday to Friday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included).
    • 15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.
Accommodation Package Schedule
  • Sunday:
    • 19:00 Meeting point at Heraklion Archaeological Museum (Heraklion) to take the bus to Arolithos. If you are planning to arrive later, you can find more information on the Arolithos website.
    • 19:30 Registration in the Youth Hostel.
    • 20:00 Dinner.
  • Monday to Thursday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Friday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 19:00 Meeting point in the Hotel to take the bus to The Archaeological Museum.
    • 19:45 Arrival at Heraklion.

    The schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.



Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

Furthermore, a 20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Organizations with discount). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in Greece, as well as PhD students based in Greece without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.

Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the fee, not to Accommodation Package or other options.


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