3D modeling of medieval sites and tombstones

This placement will investigate the regional phenomenon of stećci, the medieval tombstones, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (12th – 16th C) through the digital modeling of 3D images of the monuments and sites.

Department: Archaeology

Supervised by: Dr Saša Čaval

The Placement Project

The UROP student will work as part of the international Marie Sklodowska Curie project (Social Landscapes as Multicultural Spaces: Stecci in Bosnia and Herzegovina), which is investigating the cultural roles of stecci, medieval tombstones in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the wider SE edge of Europe. Stecci, spanning the 12th to 16th centuries, synthesise the historical, chronological, cultural and religious components of the medieval Western Balkans. There are over 60,000 tombstones scattered around BiH. The project integrates complementary datasets from the archaeological and historical record, and adopts an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to study medieval funerary archaeology, with the aim of understanding the social life of medieval Bosnian society that left us stecci. To model ‘inter/intra-group’ interactions in medieval Bosnia, the project is integrating principles from landscape archaeology, remote sensing, digital humanities, and the scientific and theoretical approaches of social archaeology with medieval iconography and epigraphy, therefore bringing an entirely new understanding of European medieval archaeology. This placement will contribute to modern scientific recording and presentation of stecci tombstones as 3D models. In addition to their role as visual presentations, each phase of 3D modeling will add to the exploration of the pale decorations and inscriptions that were carved into these monuments about 800 to 600 years ago, helping us explore how these monuments surpassed all religious and ethnic boundaries and became a genuinely plural expression of the cultural heritage of the region.


The student will undertake the following tasks: • Preparing and updating a list of images (Excel, FileMaker) for approx. 100 tombstones and around 20 sites respectfully - the final number of both depends on the recording conditions; • Operating with the raw images and finished models from and to OneCloud; • Processing photo and video images; • Generating 3D models of the sites and tombstones, using Agisoft PhotoScan software (training provided); • Creating short videos of the decorated tombstones as a final presentation and web-publication.

Skills, knowledge and experience required

The placement offers a high impact learning opportunity for students considering the development of research skills and awareness, providing an authentic experience of a range of steps in the research process when using digital imagery. The student is not required to have any skills or knowledge, as they will receive the training. However, an interest in heritage, photogrammetry and/or digital processing would be appreciated.

Skills which will be developed during the placement

- Personal effectiveness (organisational skills, time management, preparation and prioritisation, responsiveness to changes), - Research governance and organisation (Intellectual property rights and copyright, appropriate practice, research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management), - Communication and dissemination (international team-work communication methods, media and publication types), - On top of gaining knowledge and intellectual abilities to do research (research use of photo and video imagery, image processing and digital modelling). The specialist software skills that the student will acquire are currently very sought after, at least by Archaeology employers. Thus, apart from research skills, this would also boost the student’s future employability.

Place of Work

SAGES (Archaeology, Allen lab and Wager Buildings). If candidates have their own computer some work can be done at home and in libraries.

Hours of Work

This placement is scheduled to be part-time over a period equivalent to 6 weeks full time, with a starting date on June 4th 2019; hours of work: M-F, 9am-5pm

Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Tuesday 04 June 2019 - Saturday 10 August 2019

How to Apply

The post will be advertised centrally on the UROP website between 25th February and 5th April 2019. Students should submit their CV and Cover Letter directly to the Project Supervisor (click on supervisor name at the top of the page for email). Successful candidates will then be invited to interview.

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