Spatial Archaeology – Archaeology in Landscape. Methods and Practice of Studying Landscapes in Archaeology


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Millenia between the Adriatic and the Danube

Course code: 82

Year of study: Without

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Štular, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussions classes


Course Syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)


  • an overview of current theories
  • an overview of current methods


Digital archaeology

  • web sources of relevant remote sensing data
  • web tools for analysis of remote sensing data
  • other tools in digital archaeology


Lidar and other remote sensing data

  • working with airborne laser scanning data
  • working with other remote sensing data
  • archaeological interpretation of data



Theory and methods

  • Ashmore, W., Knapp, B. A. (ur.) 1999, Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives. Malden, Oxford.
  • Aston, M. 1985, Interpreting the Landscape: Landscape Archaeology and Local History. London, New York.
  • Bender, B., Winer, M. (ur.) 2001, Contested Landscapes: Movement, Exile and Place. Oxford, New York.
  • Chapman, H. 2006, Landscape Archaeology and GIS. Stroud.
  • David, B., Thomas, J. (ur.) 2008, Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Walnut Creek.
  • Clark, J., Darlington, J., Fairclough, G. 2004, Using Historic Landscape Characterisation. English Heritage’s review of HLC Applications 2002 – 03. London.
  • Doneus, M. 2013, Die hinterlassene Landschaft. Prospektion und Interpretation in der Landschaftsarchäologie. Wien.
  • Garmy, P. 2012, Villes, réseaux et systèmes de villes. Contribution de l’archéologie. Paris, Arles.
  • Hooke, D. 1997, The Landscape of Anglo-Saxon England. London, New York.
  • Howard, P. 2006, Archaeological Surveying and Mapping. Recording and depicting the landscape. London, New York.
  • Kuna, M. 2004, Nedestruktivní archeologie. Teorie, metody a cíle. Plzen.
  • Lodewijckx, M., Pelegrin, R. (ur.) 2011, A Wew from the Air: Aerial Archaeology and Remote Sensing Techniques. Results and opportunities. Oxford.
  • Muir, R. 2004, Landscape Encyclopedia. Macclesfield.
  • Olsen, B. 2002, Od predmeta do teksta. Beograd.
  • Opitz, R. S., Cowley, D. C. (ur.) 2013, Interpreting Archaeological Topography. Airborne Laser Scanning, 3D Data and Ground Observation. Oxford.
  • Parcak, S. H. 2009, Satellite remote sensing for archaeology. London, New York.
  • Johnson, M. 2007, Ideas of Landscape. Malden, Oxford, Carlton.
  • Sarris, A. (ur.) 2015, Best Practices of GeoInformatic Technologies for the Mapping of Archaeolandscapes. Oxford.
  • Tilley, C. 2004, The materiality of stone: explorations in landscape phenomenology 1. Oxford, New York.
  • Trigger, B. G. 1967, Settlement Archaeology. Its Goals and Promise, American Antiquity 32 (2), 149-160.
  • Ucko, P. J., Layton, R. (ur.) 1999, The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape: Shaping your landscape. London, New York.
  • Wiseman, J., El-Baz, F. (ur.) 2007, Remote Sensing in Archaeology. New York.



  • Badjura, R. 1953, Ljudska geografija: Terensko izrazoslovje. Ljubljana.
  • Gams, I. 1974, Kras. Zgodovinski, naravoslovni in geografski oris. Ljubljana.
  • Ilešič, S. 1950, Sistemi poljske razdelitve na Slovenskem. – SAZU, Ljubljana.
  • Mlekuž, D. 2013, Skin Deep: LiDAR and Good Practice ofLandscape Archaeology. V: C. Corsi, B. Slapšak, F. Vermeulen (ur.), Good Practice in Archaeological Diagnostics. Non-invasive Survey of Complex Archaeological Sites, 113-131.
  • Novaković, P. 2003, Osvajanje prostora: razvoj prostorske in krajinske arheologije. Ljubljana.
  • Pleterski, A. 2011, Župa Bled. Nevidna srednjeveška Evropa. Ljubljana.
  • Slapšak, B. 1995, Možnosti študija poselitve v arheologiji. Ljubljana.
  • Štular, B. 2011, The use of lidar-derived relief models in archaeological topography. The Kobarid region (Slovenia) case study (Uporaba modelov reliefa pridobljenih z lidarskim snemanjem v arheološki topografiji. Študijski primer Kobariške), Arheološki vestnik = Acta archaeologica 62, 393-432.
  • Štular, B., Kokalj, Ž., Oštir, K., Nuninger, L. 2012, Visualization of lidar-derived relief models for detection of archaeological features, Journal of Archaeological Science 39 (11), 3354–3360.
  • Štular, B. , Lozić, E. 2016, Primernost podatkov projekta Lasersko skeniranje Slovenije za arheološko interpretacijo: metoda in študijski primer. V: R. Ciglič, M. Geršič, D. Perko, M. Zorn (ur.), Digitalni podatki, Ljubljana, 157-166.
  • Štular, B. (ur./ed.) 2020, Srednjeveški Blejski otok v arheoloških virih = Medieval archaeology of Bled Island. Opera Instituti archaeologici Sloveniae 42, Ljubljana.


Objectives and competences

The study of landscapes has a venerable tradition in archaeology. The changing approaches towards the subject in the last decades can be discerned by the use of phrases, such as settlement archaeology, spatial archaeology, siedlungsarchaeologie and landscape archaeology. Each term describes a combination of theoretical stances and methods applied and each formed a specific archaeological practice. In the last two decades the progress is no longer grounded in theoretical or methodological advancement but rather on the availability of ever-new technologies. Nowadays, technology makes vast amount of data available for research ranging from micro (e.g. a site) to macro scale (e.g. a region). Therefore, the boundaries between archaeology of a site and landscape archaeology are more and more blurred into one and the result can be described as the archaeology in landscape.


Students will revise the most important archaeological practices of studying landscapes in archaeology. The focus will be on the relevant contemporary approaches that are signified foremost by digital archaeology and so called lidar data (i.e. airborne laser scanning data) in conjunction with other remote sensing methods. The first enables an access to a vast quantity of data. The second has the potential to bear in a few years time an amount of new archaeological data that can be compared to the work of an entire generation of archaeologists that gave us the Archaeological sites of Slovenia catalogue (ANSL).


Both by revising the literature and by practical exercises in selected digital archaeology and/or remote sensing techniques the students will acquire competence to implement an archaeological analysis in landscape.


Intended learning outcomes

Intended learning outcome is a written paper in the form of a scientific article.



Long written assignment (70 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (10 %).


Archaeological Analyses of Iron Age Non-Ceramic Finds

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Archaeology of Early Medieval Period

Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Štular, Ph.D.,


From Small Archaeological Finds to History

Assoc. Prof. Janka Istenič, Ph.D.,


Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Sites

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,



Assist. Prof. Maja Andrič, Ph. D. ,


Roman Towns between the Adriatic and the Danube River

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,



Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,


The Neolithic and Eneolithic Periods in the Northern Adriatic

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


The Pile-Dwelling Period in the Southeastern Alpine Region

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Tool Hoards of the La Tène and Roman Periods

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,