Archeological Operating System, or ArcheOS

Archeological Operating System, or ArcheOS in short, is a GNU/Linux live distribution meant to address archaeological computing concerns. Currently, a new version (5.0), codenamed “Theodoric” is being developed. It is based on Debian “Wheezy.”

A Brief History

ArcheOS is one of the many specialist kinds of operating systems Linux users can download and use. This particular system is tailored to serve archaeological purposes. The OS is of Italian origin, and it was first released in 2005.

The second version would come three years later in 2008, and the third version would follow soon after in 2009. The fourth version of the was released in 2011, and it was based on Debian Squeeze.

Although the recent versions of the program are based on Debian GNU/Linux, version 1 was based on PCLinuxOS while versions 2 and 3 were based on Kubuntu.

Applications that Come with the ArcheOS


Some of the CAD applications on this OS include LibreCAD, and Spatialite and SQLite data base applications. SQLite is a world-famous SQL database engine; while Spatialite helps with the management of spatial data.

3D Graphics Applications

Additionally, Blender, MakeHuman, InVesalius, Meshlab, and Whitedune are bundled with the OS for the sake of 3D graphics processing. Blender is a pretty popular 3D content creation suite, and it is freely available. MakeHuman is another key 3D application intended for creating professional-grade 3 dimensional humanoid characters.


While Tellervo is the OS’s dendrychronology application, Python Photogrammetry Toolbox is the photogrammetry program. This latter application is useful for recording three-dimensional data.


GIS (Geographical Information System) applications included are GRASS, openJUMP, QGIS, and Josm. These should come in handy when capturing, handling and analyzing information with geographical references.

For instance, openJUMP is a Java-based program well suited to this role. On the other hand, GRASS, in addition to being a GIS application, can be used to analyze images, manage data, and help produce maps and graphics among other things.


Graphics programs include Gimp, Darktable, InkScape, Ristretto, and Shutter. These applications should assist with regular photo editing, but at a professional level for better results. For instance, InkScape is useful in the creation of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format files.

Other programs you will get with the OS include LibreOffice, LyX Processor, Marble, RStudio, Texmaker, Ipe, Jabref, and Scribus.

How to Install ArcheOS

ArcheOS is available free of charge, which is typical of all Linux distros. You can install the operating system using a DVD or directly from your hard disk. If you prefer the DVD installation, you have to download the ArcheOS .iso image file.

From there, you should burn it onto a DVD using a common software like Brasero or Nero. Burning at low speeds is recommended for better quality results. Once the operating system is in a DVD in a bootable format, you can go ahead and restart your computer with the DVD still in the tray.

Make sure the computer is set to prioritize DVD booting so that it does not load the OS already on the hard disk and skip right over the ArcheOS DVD. Other than the install option, the DVD will also give you a “live” option. This lets you run the program without having to install it on the hard drive so that you can get a feel of what it is really like.

The OS can also be installed directly from the computer using the install option provided. After that you should follow the easy to follow installation instructions until the OS is fully installed on your computer.

Getting ArcheOS through a Debian Wheezy Update

You do not have to make a clean installation of the ArcheOS on your computer if you already have Debian Wheezy installed. As mentioned earlier, ArcheOS is based on Debian Wheezy. So, you can update this base system into ArcheOS through a few update procedures. This can be done through your terminal.

You Can Also Build ArcheOS Yourself

This is for the pros who have some software development skills. The ArcheOS you build can even be distributed to other users. Without having to go into a lot of details, you should know that building ArcheOS requires you to ensure that your system and its OS setup meets the minimum standards.

After that, you have to configure your system in readiness for the OS building process. From there, you should follow the steps provided on the relevant sites. They include building the ISO file, adding the required packages, and changing the build architecture if you so desire.

Furthermore, if you want a custom made ArcheOS but are not in a position to create your own ArcheOS, you can always see what Team OS has to offer.


ArcheOS has plenty to offer archaeologists. The program has enough features to provide a unique computing experience for anyone collecting, editing, processing, and documenting archaeological finds.

The operating system has many world-class applications that will prove critical to this profession. Installation is also easy, and a live boot option is available, as a well as a dual boot capability for those who need it.

ArcheOS Download Links


ArcheOS is synonymous with archaeological exploitation system. It is a live GNU / Linux DVD distribution, with specialized software for archaeological purposes. 



James Patrick Mallory

James Patrick Mallory is an American-Irish archaeologist and Indoeuropeanist. Born in 1945, he is Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University Belfast, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Indo-European Studies.

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Ernt Heinrich

Ernst Heinrich is a German architectural historian and archaeologist, born in Berlin on December 15, 1899 and died in the same city on March 28, 1984. His research and publications focus on architecture in Mesopotamia and more generally in the ancient Near East. .

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Joseph-Marie Essomba

Joseph-Marie Essomba is a Cameroonian scholar, specialized in history and archeology, born October 28, 1939 in Mvengue II (South Cameroon Province), and died February 5, 2014 in Yaoundé. Emeritus professor of university, he was president of the Cameroonian National Committee of Museums (ICOM-Cameroon) from 1978 to 2013. He has been, in turn, Deputy Chief of the Department of Conservation, Deputy Director and Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Information and Culture of Cameroon.

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Cruciform Corridor Tomb

The cruciform corridor tomb is a complex variant of a corridor tomb found in Ireland, West Wales and Orkney Islands. They were built towards the end of the Neolithic, from about 3500 BC. They are distinguished by a long corridor, which leads to a central chamber with corbelled ceiling. From this hall extend in three directions sepulchral rooms, giving a view from above of the form of a cross. Some rooms have sub-rooms from the original three rooms.

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Chamber Tomb

A chamber tomb is a type of tomb used by different cultures throughout history. These tombs sometimes shelter several individuals, belonging to the same family or social group, or are sometimes for a single person or a couple and then demonstrate a high social level. It is not uncommon that beside the bodies (or ashes) of the dead are a number of objects. The rooms are often made of large stones or megaliths, but sometimes of wood, and covered with cairn or tumulus.

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