The departments of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology and Classical Archaeology have a large experience in different excavation techniques. Ongoing projects at different sites in Germany, and other European countries cover different periods of human prehistory, different ecological zones, preservational conditions and types of sites. Thus, the doctoral students have access to abundant data and also have the opportunity to get experience in the archaeological fieldwork in all its facets, the implementation of up to date techniques of excavation, recording, preservation, and data management systems. State-of-the-art technical equipment is available at the participating archaeological institutes.
The Ecology Centre of the CAU has equipment to core peat, lake sediments and soil profiles. Together with the archaeobotany section of the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, coring expertise and equipment at CAU is exceptional compared to other universities.
Some new equipment of the Graduate School in this area includes a NitonXL3t portable XRF scanner to provide non-destructive on-site analysis of the main elements – down to magnesium – in archaeological artefacts, such as ceramics and metal objects, as well as in the soil, in which these were found.This measurements can be repeated at the school with the same instrument with higher sensitivity.
Near surface geophysics
The Department of Geophysics of the Institute of Geosciences has an extensive array of state-of the-art equipment, such as ground-penetrating radar with antennas from 20 MHz to 1 GHz, instruments for electromagnetic induction measurements, magnetometers, geo-electrical direct current measurements, and portable gamma-ray spectrometers, for the detection and study of near surface geological structures and archaeological sites. A survey of the subsurface will be of great help for the planning of projects of the Graduate School and the efficient use of field time.
Surveying equipment such as tachymeter and differential GPS systems are available for use before and during excavations. A multi-method approach is applied, where several techniques, together with more traditional soundings, are used in a single site. The digital integration of the results of geophysical mapping, excavations/soundings, and archaeological finds allows the creation of 3D site representation by GIS or other 3D visualisation techniques.
Courses offered within the Graduate School deal with the application of geophysical instruments, but also foster the students’ ability to plan, carry out, and interpret geophysical measurements in the context of landscape archaeology.
The scientific diving at CAU and diving training are organised by the Working Group for Maritime and Limnic Archaeology (AMLA) and the Scientific Diving Centre at CAU respectively. The education matches the requirements of the European standard AESD (Advanced European Scientific Diver).
Although modern marine science uses manned and unmanned submersibles for many purposes, scientific scuba diving is essential for the accomplishement of several tasks. Local conditions such as the occurrence of shoals, surf conditions, or shallow waters as well as the complexity of some underwater operations sometimes prevent the use of submersibles or highly sophisticated remote operated vehicles (ROV´s) and make scientific divers indispensable. The depth limit for scientific diving of 50 m allows the investigation of most underwater archaeological sites where the majority of the operations are carried out in shallow waters less than 10 m deep.
Because of their highly specialised equipment, the divers of the Scientific Diving Centre of CAU can work regardless of water temperature and light conditions, therefore, year round, and its operations can be carried out from artic to tropical areas, from oceans to fresh water lakes.