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.


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



Programme details



9.00 am               Welcome


9.15 am               Introduction to GIS

                              - Key concepts and principles

                              - Examples of how GIS is used in archaeology


10.30 am             Coffee/tea


10.45 am             Using GIS software: Practical Session I

                              - useful tools to know about        


12.45 pm             Lunch


1.30 pm               Using GIS software: Practical Session II

                              - creating features

                              - Attribute data


3.00 pm               Coffee/tea


3.15 pm               Making a Map

                              -  How to effectively utilise Symbology

                              -  Using templates

                              -  Publishing deliverables


4.15pm                Final discussion and questions


4.30 pm               Course concludes


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: £4.70
Hot Lunch: £13.50


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 based at their Kemble office. He has worked in professional archaeology for 11 years, with 7 years’ experience in geomatics and illustration.  As Principle Geomatics Officer he has gained specialist knowledge in survey, mapping in ArcGIS, geospatial analysis, Lidar visualisation, deposit modelling and 3d visualisations. He also spent a year as Acting Senior Illustrator at Cotswold Archaeology.  He has played a key role in enhancing Cotswold Archaeology’s GIS capabilities and was responsible for the recent installation and delivery of ArcGIS for server. He has a degree in Ancient History and Archaeology.


Laura O'Connor


Laura O Connor is a graduate of University College Cork, Ireland, where after completing a BA (Hons) degree in Archaeology & History, she received a MPhil in Archaeology and 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 as a Geomatics Officer in Cotswold Archaeology.


Course aims





Learning outcomes