Mini journal logo  Home Issue Contents All Issues

Digital Archaeological Archiving in Baden-Württemberg, Germany: an evolving system

David Bibby

Cite this as: Bibby, D. 2021 Digital Archaeological Archiving in Baden-Württemberg, Germany: an evolving system, Internet Archaeology 58.


Since 2005, the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg has been collecting semi-structured archaeological digital project data with the aim of one day turning that data into a real long-term digital archive. This process is still ongoing. In the last 15 years appropriate data formats have been defined, and the transition from CAD to GIS as the mainstay of project recording in Baden-Württemberg has been made. The research-driven development of the Software Survey2GIS (GNU GPL), initiated by the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg, facilitates on the one hand an easy-to-use transition of field data into GIS and on the other better control of data formats. We are learning to cope with increasingly more complex data - laser scan, LIDAR and sfm data. The recent advent of commercial archaeology in the state of Baden Württemberg is another factor with which we are confronted. We have experimented with the best methods of convincing archaeologists, technicians and ancillary staff of the necessity of saving their data in a central repository - for example friendliness, even occasional coercion, as well as the guarantee of recoverable data if the deposition rules are followed. The boundary of each saved excavation or survey project is uploaded to the State's own cultural heritage GIS-Application - ADAB - where it can be accessed by researchers. A simple click within the polygon will invoke metadata about the project as well as a selection of quintessential photos. The excavation archive in Baden-Württemberg is, as yet, by no means a fully accessible, usable 'real' digital archive. But we are succeeding in saving the data in a structured manner for future transition into that 'real' archive - hopefully as a pilot project within the framework of the federally financed NFDI infrastructure.

  • Google Scholar
  • Keywords: archaeology, archiving, excavation, GIS, data preservation, documentation, legislation, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • Accepted: 21 January 2021. Published: 31 May 2021
  • Funding: This article was funded by SEADDA as part of COST Action 18128, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union
  • PDF download

Corresponding author: David BibbyORCID logo
Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg

Full text

Figure 1: Adrian Brown's archiving 'maturity matrix' with self-estimated position of the LADBW at time of writing

Figure 2: Original digital folder structure was introduced by the LADBW in 2007 (English translation)

Figure 3: Revised digital folder structure was introduced by the LADBW in 2019 (English translation)

Figure 4: Project deposition frequency in Baden-Württemberg 2007-2018

Figure 5: ADAB heritage information system with all excavations in the system

Figure 6: ADAB heritage information system with excavation layer information: (meta) excavation information from the archive, short excavation report and representative photos

Brown, A. 2011 Best Practice and Minimum Standards in Digital Preservation, London: Oracle PASIG, UK Parliament.

Perrin, K., Brown, D.H., Lange, G., Bibby, D., Carlsson, A., Degraeve, A., Kuna, M., Larsson, Y., Pálsdóttir, S.U., Stoll-Tucker, B., Dunning, C. and Rogalla von Bieberstein, A. 2014 The Standard and Guide to Best Practice in Archaeological Archiving in Europe, Namur: Europae Archaeologiae Consilium (EAC Guidelines 1).

Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.

Terms and Conditions | Legal Statements | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy | Citing Internet Archaeology

Internet Archaeology content is preserved for the long term with the Archaeology Data Service. Help sustain and support open access publication by donating to our Open Access Archaeology Fund.