Historical maps as archaeological source. Some experiences from Western Jutland


  • Esben Schlosser Mauritsen ARKVEST / Ringkøbing-Skjern Museum & Vardemuseerne




This paper presents ways in which historical maps can be implemented in archaeological research, and what can be achieved by doing so. The initial chapter focuses on the practical aspects of map georeferencing, and a best practice is suggested that allows the production of precise digital mosaics. Map searches for prehistoric monuments is the obvious starting point for the archaeologist. By far the most common group of monuments is burial mounds dating to the Neolithic or Bronze Age. As demonstrated, results can be significant and add substantially to the archaeological record. Another recommended use is to vectorize the map theme of land use. An example study is presented in which the possible regression of the historical landscape on basis of data set derived from historical maps. Finally, cases are demonstrated in which the historical maps have helped solving questions in field archaeology as well as aerial archaeology.