technical skills

Survey Techniques

Archaeological surveys are the method of testing the potential archaeology of an area without causing disturbance to deposit or reducing it to a minimum. Rural and urban sites demand different methods of archaeological prospection.The appropriate use and combination of several technologies can provide a good base to evaluate the anticipated archaeology. As I know the technical premises of the involved techniques and carried many of them out myself, I am able to take an informed decision on the most suitable techniques to use.

Fieldwalking Surveys


Fieldwalking involves the collection of artefacts from the surface of ploughed land. The finds are marked on the surface and are measured by GNSS (GPS) or TST (total station). The mapped finds provide invaluable evidence for the location, dating and nature of the underlying archaeology, This can be used to inform further evaluation techniques like aerial and geophysical surveys.

Topographic Surveys

Landscape Surveys

Geophysical Surveys

Augering & Boreholes

Trial Trenching


Excavation Techniques

Since 1983, I work on archaeological excavations. During this period, I gained experiences on excavations, which were carried out under different circumstances (research and rescue) and conditions (climate, soil etc.). Time scheduled, staffing and budget required prioritising and flexibility.
There are two main practices of excavation, the stratigraphic and the arbitrary. I am able to adopt the appropriate excavation method to the specific conditions of an archaeological site.

Watching Briefs


A watching brief involves the monitoring of works such as the stripping of topsoil and infrastructure projects, such as the digging of service trenches. It is difficult to identify and interpret the archaeological features in the narrow trenches and potential delay is often upsetting the developer. Finds are usually unstratified, unless they can be assigned to the stratification in the recorded section.
I am proud to have delivered the most projects within the set time schedules by using modern recording techniques.

Stratigraphic Excavation

Arbitrary Excavation


Arbitrary excavation summarise the removal of soil by any possible means, e.g. the standard used on many German excavation is digging in spits, the controlled excavation in measured levels of a predetermined thickness “Planumsmethode”. This method is well suited for the excavation of large open areas. At sites showing stratigraphy, this method should be restricted to horizons where no differentiation in soil is recognisable. Nowadays, it is generally agreed that the arbitrary process of excavation is not suitable for the excavation of deeply stratified sites, such as urban centres or tells, as it removes finds form its archaeological context and the find becomes unstratified and therefore unsuitable for dating.


Metric Survey

Digital spatial forms for an decade an integral part of every archaeology project. I am used to capture, store and evaluate data for a wide range of projects. I use total station equipment and digital photogrammetry for data capture on a daily base and produce interpretative site plans, topographic plans and 3D models using GIS and CAD. Nevertheless, I am also familiar with use of survey-graded GNSS (GPS), time-of-flight laser scanners and the processing of different data formats.

For my special dedicated photogrammetry website which will finalised in due course follow this link.

TST (total station) Survey


Today, total stations are standard equipment on archaeological excavations. This instrument integrates an electronic theodolite for measuring angles with an electronic distance meter (EDM). It is used for the direct measurement of discrete points, which are either manually or automaticly joined when uploading to CAD or GIS. The smoothness of the delivered plan depends on the frequency of survey points. Though the instrument itself measures with mm-precision, the accuracy is influenced on the length of the reflector staff. The longer the staff is the larger the potential spatial error of the measurement.
For the Tell Fecheriye project; I created a special coding list to allow automatic upload of selected point data to CAD and the site database IADB. The later concerns especially the coordinates for finds and the outline of contexts and join the survey data explicitly to unique contexts and finds.
I carried out different types of measurement, like traverses, the stakeout of excavation trenches, the measurement of excavation with reflectors and reflectorless direct measurement of buildings and worked with different brands (Leica, Sokkia, Nikon).

Rectified Photography



Imagery from photogrammetric surveys can be used to accurately map and mesh 3D-data from excavations and finds. Using digital photos, I am able to create 3D-models of complete excavation trenches, architecture and artefacts.
Recent developments in digital photography and software have evolveed photogrammetry to a cost-effective and rapid way for the creation of a high quality truely 3-dimensional archaeological record.


Archaeological Illustration

I am proficient in technical area of archaeological illustration and able to select the appropriate technique for various types of artefacts and sites as well as maps. I can transfer illustration from different sources (manual, CAD) into printable masters and process photos using Gimp or Photoshop.

Manual Illustration




Archaeological Computing

Additional to the above mentioned areas, I have experience in other areas of archaeological computing, such as descriptive and multivariate statics and the interpretation of Radiocarbon data. I use DTP-software for the publication of reports and cope with several Web-technologies (HTML, PHP, JavaScript) for the creation of interactive websites.