Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Anthropological and Spatial Studies

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.03.00  Humanities  Anthropology   
2.17.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Geodesy   
6.02.00  Humanities  Archaeology   
6.12.00  Humanities  Geography   

Code Science Field
S220  Social sciences  Cultural anthropology, ethnology 

Code Science Field
6.05  Humanities  Other humanities 
social/cultural anthropology, archaeology, archaeoastronomy, spatial studies, geodesy, geographic information systems, remote sensing
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  25635  PhD Liza Debevec  Anthropology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  119 
2.  22570  PhD Nataša Gregorič Bon  Humanities  Researcher  2009 - 2014  170 
3.  25640  PhD Žiga Kokalj  Geography  Researcher  2009 - 2014  370 
4.  15112  PhD Krištof Oštir  Geodesy  Researcher  2009 - 2014  589 
5.  25040  Peter Pehani    Technical associate  2014  97 
6.  15688  PhD Tomaž Podobnikar  Geodesy  Researcher  2009  613 
7.  23960  Melita Robič    Technical associate  2009 - 2014 
8.  18930  PhD Ivan Šprajc  Archaeology  Head  2009 - 2014  494 
9.  15116  PhD Borut Telban  Anthropology  Researcher  2009 - 2014  422 
10.  20005  PhD Tatjana Veljanovski  Geodesy  Researcher  2009 - 2014  154 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,892 
Research programme of the Institute for Anthropological and Spatial Studies at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts connects two fields: anthropological research and development and application of methods and techniques of geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. All our anthropological studies are based on many years of fieldwork. A large corpus of archaeological and archaeoastronomical field data pertaining to the Maya culture was collected in central parts of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. The remains of settlements of different types are largely from the 1st millennium A.D., when the Maya culture attained its peak; the material vestiges observable on the surface are rich and diverse, including architectural structures of different sizes, functions and types, sculpted monuments, some with hieroglyphic inscriptions, and multiple small finds. The problems we intend to solve, using satellite imagery of the area and GIS, concern subsistence activities and land use, communication, socio-political organization and dependence of site location on environmental and related economic factors. In social and cultural anthropological research in Papua New Guinea we continue our investigation of the previously unexplored area in the East Sepik Province. A special attention is given to cosmology of Karawari speaking people, cultural history and historical topography of the area, people's poetic expression and to anthropology of landscape in general. Within Slovenia our research is focused on suitability or unsuitability of globalisation as a conceptual frame for understanding how citizens of Slovenia perceive Europe and EU. Methods and techniques of GIS and remote sensing, which we develop ourselves, are invaluable for interpretation of data we collect in the field. In remote sensing we investigate problems of automatic registration. The main objective of this project is to present a comparative study of some recent image registration techniques and to develop new image registration methods. In the project, techniques for multisensor and multitemporal image data will be particularly emphasized. This comprehensive study will enable the user to select algorithms that work best for a particular application domain. Our GIS studies are focused on: digital terrain model (DTM) of Slovenia, statistical analysis of different quality datasets, techniques of cognitive mapping, and modelling of natural and cultural landscape.
Significance for science
The research programme has enabled the continuation of our interdisciplinary research and has contributed to the development of scientific fields in which we have already achieved a high level of specialization and international recognition. The programme leader has been directing archaeological surveys in the central part of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, where his expeditions discovered a number of previously unknown sites, including major urban centers, which shed light on the Maya political geography. He has also become a leading expert in the field of Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy. Based on alignment data obtained through field measurements on a large number of archaeological sites, he has achieved original results, which allow a deeper understanding of astronomical significance of orientations in prehispanic architecture, and also have important implications for the development of archaeoastronomical methodology. In Papua New Guinea, the approach combining anthropological and linguistic studies has been brought to a level that supersedes the conventional studies in the respected fields. Several new areas, settlements, and people’s customs have been described and analysed for the first time ever. The applied focus on space and time has provided new insights with regard to customary life, social and cultural change, as well as new theoretical approaches to oral history and social and cultural anthropology on the whole. Our studies in southern Albania have significantly advanced the general anthropological knowledge of people’s engagements with and attitudes towards places and movements. The innovative use of techniques of data processing and their applicability in social and cultural anthropology has not only provided the means for visualization, acquisition and analysis of spatial data, but has also contributed to resolving many questions central to anthropology, archaeology, environmental sciences, and human history. Given the interdisciplinary focus of our programme, it must be emphasized that the development of new GIS and remote sensing methods and their applications represent a major scientific contribution of our programme and holds important practical, theoretical and methodological implications. The developed methods of spatial data and image processing have advanced the state-of-the-art not only in anthropological applications but also in remote sensing in general.
Significance for the country
The significance of the research program for the development of Slovenia can be assessed in the light of our constant presence in international scientific community, as well as by considering applicability of concrete results within the socio-economic and cultural development of the country. We have published our studies and results in books and renowned international journals, we have given seminars and presented invited papers at foreign universities and international workshops, symposia and conferences, and have been engaged in teaching, supervising, and advising graduate students in Slovenia and abroad. We have been appointed as referees for Slovenian and foreign scientific journals and as expert evaluators of international research projects, including those of European Commission (FP7) in the area of Socioeconomic Sciences and Humanities. We have also received prestigious foreign grants, fellowships, and different Slovenian and foreign awards. We hold important editorial positions (editor in chief, book review editor, member of the editorial board) in Anthropological Notebooks, the journal of Slovene Anthropological Society, published in English and indexed by several databases including SSCI, and adding to the cultural development and promotion of Slovenia. The results coming out of the diversity of thematic and geographic areas of our research and engagements with different societies and cultures, contribute substantially to a better understanding of our own social and cultural realities. This pertains also to the questions associated with Slovenian natural and cultural heritage and historical processes, which have led to the present day social reality in Slovenia. To sum up, our programme has been directly involved in social, economic and cultural development of Slovenia. GIS and remote sensing methods developed by the members of our programme have been applied in resolving a variety of problems associated with information and communication infrastructure, economical issues, and preservation of natural and cultural heritage. By attaining the programme goals, we have contributed to the introduction of the most innovative spatial techniques that can enable detection of elements in the landscape also in overgrown, degraded or hardly accessible environments. In these kinds of situations, remote sensing represents a unique technology: it enables localization and documentation of archaeological and other culturally significant sites where classical field methods cannot be easily applied or are not feasible at all. The results of our research have contributed to the archaeological and cultural knowledge of Slovenia, shedding light on a number of recent anthropogenic modifications of Slovenian landscape. Disseminating our results to the professional public, including Slovenian companies, we have provided them with various methods for advanced processing of remote sensing data, thus reinforcing their internationally competitive position.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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