Expanding Field-Archaeology Education: The Integration of 3D Technology into Archaeological Training

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This contribution analyses and discusses the use of 3D technology in education and learning. Basing the discussion on a case study performed during two seasons of a field school for 1st-year archaeology students, we explore how to expand traditional didactic programs by developing and testing a web-based system for educational purposes. We examine how these technologies can be used as educational means and supporting tools during an excavation; how universities can incorporate these technologies into pedagogy. We investigate whether the combination of these technologies with a successful pedagogical theory could promote students’ comprehension of the reflexive approach and engagement with the interpretative process.

We introduced the students to a complete excavation methodology, including excavation, documentation, data management, and interpretation. Alongside the traditional documentation, a digital approach was added, with 3D technologies and an Interactive Visualisation System that allows fully three-dimensional reasoning from the beginning and throughout the whole archaeological process. Preliminary results show that students easily incorporate 3D documentation into their toolbox for analysing and visualising the material and understand both the possibilities and limitations of the system. However, we identified some limitations in the students’ use of the system. Together with the students’ feedback, we will use them to develop it further and discuss its use in education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-573
Number of pages18
JournalOpen Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 6

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Archaeology

Free keywords

  • 3D-technology
  • education
  • fieldwork
  • interpretation
  • reflexive process


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