In this project, which is realized within the framework of the Research Center HiMAT (History of Mining Activities in Tyrol and adjacent areas - impact on environment and human societies), an innovative attempt is made to combine archaeological field research with remote sensing data and technologies of the Semantic Web in order to achieve the following goals:

  1. A method for integration of semantic and spatial data
  2. New insights into the spatial structure of Bronze Age mining landscapes
  3. The localization of research gaps as well as archaeological suspected areas in the form of copper ore mining and production sites (beneficiation and smelting sites)
  4. The development of a tool that allows to apply this approach to other areas of archaeological (and related) research discipline


Graphical Abstract


The methodology organizes existing research data according to ontological principles and builds a semantic network with spatial information through the integration of different information sources. In this semantic network information (e.g. objects or sites) is arranged in a web of data, which allows to display relationships and spatial context. The additional use of high resolution digital terrain models allows to examine the data in its geographical context using geographic information systems. This provides geomorphological and proximity indicators for the discovery of previously unknown or forgotten sites of Bronze Age copper production. The reliability of the methodology will be tested in the field through archaeological and geophysical (mainly geomagnetic) surveys. For this purpose, copper ore deposits near the prehistoric mining district of the Kelchalm (Aurach near Kitzbühel), in the area of the Brixental and the district of Zell am See (Salzburg) were selected as Key-Areas. Localized archaeological sites are going to be investigated through the different disciplines involved in the Research Center HiMAT.

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