This is a collaboration with Universiteit Leiden and KU Leuven. Our part is funded by BMBF via participation in ESF-HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area).pThe cultural encounters between the Old and New Worlds are among the most infamous in human history. The Caribbean was the centre stage for interactions between cultures of dramatically different backgrounds, which after a turbulent colonial period eventually laid the foundations for the modern-day, multi-ethnic societies of the region. The universities of Leiden, Leuven, and Konstanz will combine archaeology, history, archaeometry, and network science to study the transformations of Amerindian culture and society as a result of these encounters. Through collaborations with local experts, the involvement of local communities, and the organisation of workshops and museum exhibitions, this project contributes to capacity building and historical awareness. In a geopolitically diverse islandscape, with an archaeological record that is under threat from natural disasters and the growing tourism industry, this project stimulates the valorisation of Caribbean cultural heritage.

  • WG Brandes (Algorithmics)
  van Garderen, Mereke (2018): Pictures of the Past : Visualization and visual analysis in archaeological context

Pictures of the Past : Visualization and visual analysis in archaeological context


Data visualization, the main topic of this dissertation, is the science concerned with the design and creation of visual representations intended to convey information and facilitate understanding. In a scientific context, the data to be visualized are typically research results, which can originate from any discipline. The main challenges in data visualization are to find visual representations which (1) are as accurate as possible, (2) can be understood quickly and well by viewers, and (3) can be produced automatically and efficiently. The latter is especially important when large or dynamic data sets are involved. This dissertation is focused on addressing these challenges for a particular application domain: the visualization of archaeological data. We identify general properties that often characterize archaeological data and discuss a variety of visualization methods suitable for data with these properties. For existing methods from the area of mathematics and computer science, we explain how they can be applied – either directly or with some adaptations – in the context of archaeology. We also introduce new approaches, tailored to various archaeological applications. Case studies and real archaeological data sets are used to demonstrate the use of these approaches in practical applications. However, because of our focus on general data properties rather than specific data sets, the methods presented in this dissertation are in fact widely applicable beyond the field of archaeology as well.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Sonstige Stiftungen third-party funds research funding program 592/13
Further information
Period: 01.09.2013 – 31.08.2016