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Soetkin Vervust

Soetkin Vervust

Post-doctoral scientists


I am a landscape archaeologist with a background in physical geography, geoinformatics and historical cartography. My broad research goal is to pursue the development of multidisciplinary approaches that bridge the gap between conventional studies (in which printed and manuscript archive sources and maps play a prominent role), and archaeological investigations of landscape features using advanced GIS and remote sensing methods, field survey and scientific dating techniques, particularly OSL dating of earthworks.

I started my academic career at Ghent University (Belgium) in 2004, where I obtained a Master’s degree in Archaeology and a Master’s degree in Geography, specializing in landscape archaeology, physical geography and geoinformatics. In 2010 I started working as a scientific researcher at the Department of Geography of Ghent University. One year later I received a fellowship of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) to pursue a PhD, focusing on the production process of the large-scale manuscript Carte de cabinet of the Austrian Netherlands by count de Ferraris (18th c.) and the use of digital techniques and GIS analyses for the study of old maps. After completing my PhD in 2016 I worked as a scientific researcher for the Archaeology Department of the Brussels-Capital Region using historic maps to better grasp the city’s history. Since 2015 I also serve as Executive Secretary of the International Cartographic’s Association’s Commission on the History of Cartography (, and am involved in the yearly organization of international conferences, workshops and exhibits.

In the summer of 2017 I started a [PEGASUS]² Marie Curie postdoctoral research project at Newcastle University and the VUB, funded by the FWO and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The project’s aim is to assess the historic character of landscapes and their long-term development for sites in both the UK and in Belgium by integrating methods from remote sensing, scientific dating through OSL and digital data analysis using GIS.

Five key publications

Vervust, S., Kinnaird, T., Herring, P., Turner, S. (2019) Dating earthworks using optically-stimulated luminescence profiling and dating (OSL-PD): the creation and development of prehistoric field boundaries at Bosigran, Cornwall (UK). Antiquity (accepted for publication 14/08/2019).

Kent, A.J., Vervust, S., Demhardt, I.J., Millea, N. (eds.) (2019) Mapping Empires: Colonial Cartographies of Land and Sea. 7th International Symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography, 2018. Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Cham.

Vervust, S., Claeys Boùùaert, M., De Baets, B., Van de Weghe, N., De Maeyer, P. (2018) A study of the local geometric accuracy of count de Ferraris’s Carte de cabinet (1770s) using Differential Distortion Analysis. Cartographic Journal, 55(1), 16-35.

Vervust, S. (2017) Studying the production process of the Ferraris Maps (1770s) and its implications for geometric accuracy. Maps in History, 57, 18-22.

Altic, M., Demhardt, I.J., Vervust, S. (eds.) (2017) Dissemination of Cartographic Knowledge. 6th International Symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography, 2016. Springer International Publishing AG, Cham.