Encyclopedia > Computational archaeology

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Computational archaeology

Computational archaeology is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches that use computer-based methods for the study of the archaeological record.

This include, but are not limited to, the use of computer aided design (CAD) for the reconstruction and analysis of archaeological remains, geographical information systems (GIS) for spatial analysis, remote sensing for landscape analysis and archaeological survey, computer modelling and computer simulation of human behaviour, plus a variety of other forms of analysis dependent on computer software (such as architectural analysis using software such as University College London's Space Syntax software).

By and large, the computational methods used by archaeologists were developed outside archaeology and then adopted and adapted by archaeologists for their specific needs. The term 'computational archaeology' does not generally include the routine use of software such as databases, spreadsheets, or graphical manipulation, as these are now so pervasive in archaeology as to be the norm rather than the exception.

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