Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities

Karsten Lambers

Associate professor of Archaeological Computer Science

Areas of interest

Digital image analysis, machine learning, spatial analysis, 3D modelling

Current projects

As part of the university-wide Data Science research programme, we are currently investigating ways to incorporate advanced machine learning into the acquisition, processing and analysis of archaeological data for academic research and heritage management. The first sub-project applies text-mining to a vast corpus of technical reports of rescue archaeology. The second sub-project detects archaeological objects in high-resolution remote sensing data.


Karsten Lambers joined the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University in 2015 as Assistant Professor of Archaeological Computer Sciences and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017. At the faculty he is head of the Digital Archaeology research group and in charge of the MSc programme Digital Archaeology. Since 2017 he is also head of the Department of Archaeological Sciences.

Karsten graduated in American Anthropology (MA, University of Bonn, 1998) and in Prehistoric Archaeology (PhD, University of Zurich, 2005). His doctoral dissertation on the Nasca geoglyphs of Palpa, Peru, was awarded the Best Thesis Award of 2005 by the Faculty of Arts, University of Zurich. He held research and teaching positions at ETH Zurich (1999-2004), the University of Zurich (2004), the German Archaeological Institute (2005-2007), the University of Konstanz (2008-2010) and the University of Bamberg (2010-2015).

Karsten’s research interests in Digital Archaeology range from surveying, 3D recording, and remote sensing to modelling, spatial analysis, and digital image analysis. In his research he has extensively collaborated with geomatic engineers, computer scientists, geographers, geophysicists, and palaeoecologists. Currently his main research focus is on archaeological prospection, namely the automated detection of archaeological traces in remote sensing data. Since his graduate studies he has participated in archaeological and geoarchaeological fieldwork in Central Europe and Latin America and is currently co-directing a field project in Switzerland.


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