The iPad is an ideal tool for field archaeology.

This blog sets out to bring together experiences of archaeologists using iPads.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

3D reconstruction of medieval Nieszawa

Animation by Jakub Zakrzewski and Stanisław Rzeźnik.

In 2012, precise location of medieval town Nieszawa was determined. And that's without sinking a shovel into the ground, with the use of non-invasive methods. Now, a professional, 3D reconstruction of the settlement has been prepared for everyone to see on YouTube.
Animation authors are Jakub Zakrzewski and Stanisław Rzeźnik, who created a preliminary reconstruction of the medieval Nieszawa in collaboration with Piotrand Wroniecki and Michał Pisz, and with archaeological and historical consultation with Lidia Grzeszkiewicz-Kotlewska and Leszek Kotlewski, dr. Jerzy Sikora and Dariusz Osiński.

Today’s Nieszawa is a small town situated on the west bank of the Vistula River, 30 km upstream from Toruń. Its history dates back to the thirteenth century, when it was given to the Teutonic Order by Konrad I Mazowiecki in 1228 (today small town Mała Nieszawka). Over the next 200 years, the town location changed twice. After the defeat at Grunwald, the Teutonic Knights were forced to tear down the Commandery and the castle. However, already in 1424 Władyslaw Jagiello founded Mała Nieszawka near Toruń. After 1460, the town was moved several miles up the Vistula, where it remains today.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

New archaeology apps may make you an armchair Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford Indiana Jones idol.jpg

A new app for tablets and smartphones will soon transport you to actual dig sites and ancient civilizations around the world, from China to Egypt to Peru, without getting you down into the mud, muck and malaria that often characterizes an archeological site.

It should help keep a curious public clued in to our amazing history, said Shawn Ross, an archeologist with the University of New South Wales in Australia.           
“Maybe it’s because we’ve all seen Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Ross told “Whether I’m in Sydney or Seattle or rural Bulgaria -- where my fieldwork has been for the past eight years or so -- people want to stop and talk about what you’re doing, what you’re finding, and what it all means.”

But communicating that information is little different today than it was for the whip-wielding Dr. Jones in the 40s. Most modern archaeology is a surprisingly low-tech process, he said: fieldwork recorded on paper and, sometimes, entered later into Excel spreadsheets, an Access database or perhaps some form of geolocation software.

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