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The ZBSA has a dedicated Geographic Information System (GIS) department, which is equipped to integrate spatially referenced data the ZBSA’s many research projects.The applications of GIS are as diverse as the research questions of the different projects.

Nydam-GIS new

Nydam-GIS 2019

 Spatial analysis of data from Roman and migration-period war-booty offering sites in northern Europe in particular demonstrates the possibilities provided by GIS to address archaeological problems.Drawings from the excavations between 1989 and 1999 of the offering site at Nydam in southern Jutland have been systematically scanned and digitised, linking countless photographs, excavation records and database entries with the site plans.This has allowed completely new techniques of visualisation and analysis, which have been applied at Nydam as the first example of a war-booty offering site.The spatial patterning of finds from different depositional episodes and reconstructions of military equipment and personal accessories, based on spatial analyses of their component parts, are particularly important questions.Impressive results can be achieved even with limited data. Together with modern maps, 19th century plans and documents allowed the precise location of C. Engelhardt’s excavations in 1860 on Thorsberg Moor in Süderbrarup to be determined.The Jutland offering sites Illerup Ådal and Ejsbøl have also been recorded in GIS. The largest Roman and migration-period weapon depositions in southern Scandinavia are thereby now held in digital form by the ZBSA.

Nydam 3D

The GIS-based analysis of settlements and central places like Haithabu and Wurt Elisenhof illustrates the potential of GIS to address entirely different questions, such as building reconstruction and settlement structure and development.Visualization of architectural structures is effective even at grave sites, as shown at the wooden chamber tombs of Neudorf-Bornstein, Kr. Rendsburg-Eckernförde, or Poprad-Matejovce in Slovakia.Finally, the linking of data from archaeology and the natural sciences allows the development of complex models of historic and prehistoric cultural landscapes.In this process, the transparency of all steps from data collection to interpretation is particularly significant.

Poprad_chambergrave reconstruction

Another competence, in collaboration with the Archäologischen Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein (ALSH), is 3-dimensional scanning of objects and subsequent data processing. This takes place both at the ALSH and in the ZBSA GIS department. The aim is to assemble publication-ready models from accurate images and cross-sections of their component parts. Three-dimensional models and PDF files with 3D content can also be created for single finds, such as Stone-Age artefacts. Another focus is the reconstruction of objects based on GIS results.A good example of this is the early migration period chamber grave from Poprad Matejovce, where the grave and part of its inventory have been reconstructed in 3D, based on GIS analyses.


Poprad Bett

The GIS department’s output appears in internal and external publications.Digital data are stored at the ZBSA and are available for other projects. A standard modular data structure for each project facilitates subsequent merging of data into larger units.


Projects of the GIS Department

Current Projects

  • Creation of a basic GIS for the Academy Project "Continuity of research and research of continuity: basic research on settlement archaeology of the Iron Age in the Baltic region", incorporating archive material held in Schleswig (Grenz and Fischhausen archives) and digitization of the so called Messtischblätterand geological maps of the territory of the former East Prussia (J. Nowotny, J. Prassolow)
  • Celtic oppida in Bohemia (K. Göbel, J. Nowotny, V. Salač)
  • Duvensee (N. Binkowski, J. E. Freigang, K. Göbel)
  • The early migration period chamber grave from Poprad-Matejovce (Project “Migration – Acculturation – Integration: Archaeological and cultural heritage in Central Europe (MAI)”) (K. Göbel)
  • 3D scanning and reconstruction of the chamber grave from Poprad-Matejovce and its wooden inventory (ALSH, J. Nowotny)
  • Digitisation of selected burial grounds for the dissertation of A. Früboes (J. Nowotny, N. Binkowski, K. Göbel)
  • Ahrenshöft Late Upper Palaeolithic site (N. Binkowski, K. Göbel)
  • Ahrensburg tunnel valley: collection, digitisation and analysis of documentation from the 1970s (ALSH, N. Binkowski, K. Göbel, J. Nowotny)

Dormant and completed projects


  • Ejsbøl – digitisation of excavations by von Hans Neumann, Haderslev Museum, in 1956–1964 (“Ejsbøl I”) (J. Nowotny)
  • Illerup-Ådal – digitisation of the 1975–1985 excavation records (N. Binkowski, K. Göbel)
  • Nydam - digitisation of the 1989–1999 excavation records, analysis and compilation of find maps (K. Göbel)
  • Thorsberg – location of excavation areas and compilation of find distribution maps (K. Göbel)
  • The Elisenhof houses – digitisation and reconstruction of the settlement structure and development (K. Göbel, N. Binkowski)
  • Digitisation and evaluation of excavation results from settements at Wiskiauten in the Kalininigrad region and Suzdal (J. Frenzel)
  • Find mapping of Schietzel’s excavations at Haithabu (N. Binkowski, J. Schultze).
  • Gold bracteates of the Migration Period (database construction and spatial visualisation) (K.Göbel, S. Hauschild)
  • Neudorf-Bornstein – digitisation and digital reconstruction of the grave chamber (K. Göbel)
  • Isotope research with Prof. T.D. Price (K. Göbel)
  • Migration Period daggers in the south-eastern Baltic region (K. Göbel)
  • Lübzow/Lubieszewo (K. Göbel)
  • Pilgramsdorf burial ground (K. Göbel)
  • Lübeck Bay terrain model (K. Göbel)
  • Selected burial grounds of the Wielbark culture (Dr. A. Cieśliński, K. Göbel, J. Nowotny et al.)
  • Quern LA 28 (J. Nowotny)
  • Satrup LA 2 (J. Nowotny)
  • Haithabu LA 48, LA 49 – Jankuhn’s trial trenches (J. Nowotny, N. Binkowski)
  • Frienstedt/Gottstedt (Chr. Schmidt, J. Nowotny)
  • Roman coin finds in the Baltic region (J. Nowotny, A. Zapolska)
  • Kiel Ellerbek- digitisation of Franzius’ 1883 map and creation of a 3D- model (J. Nowotny)
  • Bordesholm – Digitisation of the Klosterkirche documentation (N. Binkowski, K. Göbel, J. Nowotny, T. Opitz)
  • Digitisation of selected documentation from Hollingstedt (J. Nowotny)
  • Mapping and digitisation for the UNESCO-World Heritage application “Viking Age sites in Northern Europe” (K.Göbel, J. Nowotny)
  • Digitization of selected Saxon fortifications in Holstein and three-dimensional models of Stellerburg and Esesfelth castle for Th. Lemm’s dissertation (J. Nowotny)
  • Mejlby2, RIM 906 -  burial ground (M. Franozyk, K. Göbel)
  • Kasuciai – a burial ground in Lithuania (K. Göbel, J. Nowotny, E. Stankevičiūtė)
  • Creation of a property GIS for the administration of Schlossinsel Gottorf (J. Nowotny, M. Zabel)
  • GIS identification, analysis and visualisation of traces of manipulation on skull fragments from Zamostje (J. Nowotny, M. Torv)
  • Motala, GIS and 3D-visualisation (K. Berggren, K. Göbel)



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