ArchAIDE - #Archaeorevolutionisnow

Gabriele Gattiglia

Coordinator, H2020 ArchAIDE

MAPPALab - University of Pisa

Department of Civiltà e Forme del Sapere of the University of Pisa, via dei Mille 19, 56100 Pisa, Italy

Heritage in Motion App 2019




The Archaeologists’ Utopia Becomes Reality: An App Recognising Potsherds



Every day archaeologists around the world discover, collect and classify thousands of fragments of ceramic to reconstruct the past. They do that manually, consulting heavy paper catalogues in a very time-consuming activity. To avoid this, ArchAIDE project developed an innovative system based on Artificial Intelligence that can recognise potsherds through a photo, made by a smart-phone or tablet, and offer to everybody to consult its open digital collection. This aspect has impressed the Heritage in Motion Award 2019 jury who honoured ArchAIDE as the best app in the European Cultural Heritage.


The project was born from an idea of two Italian archaeologists and developed with EU funds by a European consortium of universities and companies. ArchAIDE system is an archaeological revolution, reached through hard work and high technology. Special software has been created to simulate millions of synthetic fragments and teach the neural network on how to recognise pottery shapes. Tens of thousands of pot-sherds have been photographed to train the algorithm for decoration recognition. Finally, several versions of the app have been released to deliver the best user interface.




The project has involved archaeologists, IT specialists and associates around the world for sharing their data and knowledge and improving the system. A few years ago, ArchAIDE would be considered a utopistic dream. Now ArchAIDE works and is growing up collecting new data. Find a fragment, take a photo, wait for few second and obtain your answer, bring with you the whole ceramic knowledge. “Archaeorevolution” is now a reality.




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