An Introduction to GIS for Archaeologists

Course summary

An Introduction to GIS for Archaeologists


In recent years, GIS has fundamentally transformed the way spatial data is collated, analyzed and interpreted. In this respect, it is an extremely powerful tool for archaeologists with many professional heritage services companies now utilizing the technology for detailed spatial analysis of a wide spectrum of projects including Historic Landscape Characterisation studies, field walking projects, archaeological excavations and evaluations. This course will provide participants with a working knowledge of GIS software and its practical applications for use in archaeology and is aimed at those working in fieldwork or in the office within development-led archaeology, acting in supervisory or project officer roles. It is recommended that participants should have some prior understanding of how archaeological projects are usually carried out and a basic understanding of key GIS concepts prior to their attendance.

Programme details

9.00 am           Welcome


9.15 am           Introduction to GIS

                        - Key concepts and principles

                        - Examples of how GIS is used in archaeology


11.00 am         Coffee/tea


11.30 am         Using GIS software: Practical Session I

                        - useful tools to know about   


1.00 pm           Lunch


1.45 pm           Using GIS software: Practical Session II

                        - creating features

                        - Attribute data


3.00 pm           Coffee/tea


3.30 pm           Making a Map

                        -  How to effectively utilise Symbology

                        -  Using templates

                        -  Publishing deliverables


4.30pm            Final discussion and questions


4.45 pm           Course concludes



National Occupational Standards for Archaeology: this course contributes to the Knowledge Requirements for:

AC2     Conduct non-intrusive investigations



AC8     Undertake analysis and interpretation



AB2     Develop and agree objectives for projects



And supports the Performance Requirements for:

AC1     Research and analyse information to achieve objectives



AC3     Contribute to non-intrusive investigations



Recommended reading




Accommodation is not included in the price, but depending on availability it may be possible to stay at Rewley House before the course.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email  for details of availability and prices.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.


Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £230.00
Baguette Lunch: £4.40
Hot Lunch: £13.00


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking. Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:


Jonathan Bennett

Course Director

Jonathan Bennett is Principal Geomatics Officer at Cotswold Archaeology and specialises in survey, mapping in ArcGIS, geospatial analysis, Lidar visualisation, deposit modelling and 3d visualisations.

Laura O'Connor


Laura O Connor has a Higher Diploma in Geographical Information Systems. Having previously worked as both an archaeologist and a GIS specialist within the public and private sectors in Ireland, she is currently working in the Geomatics Department of Cotswold Archaeology.

Course aims





Teaching outcomes