Chiara Piccoli's portfolio


My name is Chiara Piccoli. I am a Research Associate and Data Scientist at the 4D Research Lab (University of Amsterdam), and an affiliated member of the UvA Data Science Centre. In my research I investigate the historical relationship between people, their built environments, and their material culture with the aid of digital methods, in particular 3D modelling and GIS mapping. Would you like to get in touch? Contact me at:

Research areas


How were past cities built and how did they function? These are some of the questions I am investigating in my research supported by digital mapping and visualization tools.


I take an interdisciplinary approach to examine houses as architectural structures and microcosmoi of human activities. I am particularly interested in how domestic spaces were used and experienced.


How were knowledge and ideas passed on through books and visual media from the early modern period onwards and how did changes in media impact this process?


I specialized in 3D modelling and (3D) GIS and developed advanced skills in a variety of software packages and methodologies.

Work experience


University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


As a Research Associate and Data Scientist at the 4D Research Lab, I work on projects of the 4DRL, the CREATE lab and the Amsterdam Time Machine and I create new collaboration opportunities.


Archol, Leiden, The Netherlands

GIS specialist

As a GIS specialist in the archaeological company Archol, I was the contact person for geospatial mapping and visualization.


University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

postdoctoral researcher

My postdoctoral research project Visualizing Amsterdam Interiors investigated how individuals created, used, displayed and experienced cultural goods in their homes during the seventeenth century. To this end, I studied building historical, archival, art historical and comparative sources to develop virtual reconstructions of a selection of domestic interiors. My case studies have been the house of Pieter de Graeff, Amsterdam patrician and VOC director, the house of Rembrandt (Het Rembrandthuis museum) and the house of the painter Gillis van Coninxloo. These 3D models served as data integration and hypothesis visualization platforms to spatially connect, manage and research the rich and heterogeneous data on this period. This project aimed to contribute to our understanding of the socio-cultural and spatial context of the production and consumption of the Amsterdam creative industries. Moreover, it aided the development of a methodology to handle uncertainty and annotations in 3D visualizations.

The Virtual Interiors webviewer allows the exploration of 3D models and contextual information. Would you like to try it yourself? You can explore my 3D reconstruction of the entrance hall in the house of the Amsterdam patrician and VOC director Pieter de Graeff (1638-1707) at Herengracht 573 here. Read more about the viewer in Huurdeman & Piccoli 2021.

Leiden University, The Netherlands

Research/teaching staff member Digital Archaeology Research group

I developed and taught courses in the Digital Archaeology MSc, I was the internship coordinator of the MSc track and I co-organized the “Archaeology of the Future symposium”, National Museum of Antiquities (RMO), Leiden, The Netherlands (7 June 2018), the international conference “Heritage under Threat: Centre for Digital Heritage annual meeting”, Leiden, The Netherlands (15-16 June 2017) and the 19th Leiden Centre of Data Science on “Big data in archaeology”, Leiden, The Netherlands (12 May 2017). During this appointment I obtained the University Teaching Qualification (Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO).


Leiden University, The Netherlands


Researcher in the FP7 European project CEEDS - The Collective Experience of Empathic Data Systems. The main goal of CEEDs was to develop innovative tools to exploit implicit human responses by analyzing users’ bio-signals and non-verbal behaviours. By associating these implicit responses with different features of large datasets, CEEDs aimed to guide users’ discovery of patterns and meaning within the datasets. The project was articulated in several sub-projects each focusing on different applications (archaeology was one of them, together with neuroscience and retail), and on developing ad hoc technologies that were integrated in a main common show-case. Within the consortium, I closely collaborated with the department of Computing at Goldsmiths University, London (Prof. Frederic Fol Leymarie), the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig (Prof. Jürgen Jost and Dr. Eckehard Olbrich) and the Informatics and Telematics Institute (CERTH/ITI) in Thessaloniki (Drs. Petros Daras and George Th. Papadopoulos).



Leiden University, The Netherlands

PhD in Archaeology with focus on digital methods

Research project “Visualizing cityscapes of Classical antiquity: From early modern reconstruction drawings to digital 3D models. With a case study from the ancient town of Koroneia in Boeotia, Greece”. My thesis is published in the Archaeopress Open Archaeology Series and available Open Access here. If you would like to have a look at the CityEngine rule files that I have written for this project, you can find them at my github page.


Leiden University, The Netherlands

Master's Degree in Book and Digital Media Studies

Graduated with 9 cum laude with thesis “The Thesaurus Antiquitatum et Historiarum Italiae (Leiden, 1704-1725) between historical research and digital dissemination”. My thesis has been awarded the Tiele-Stichting thesis prize for the best thesis in the field of Book Studies in the Netherlands in 2011. This research appeared in C. Piccoli “Publishing in the Republic of Letters: Behind the Scenes of Pieter van der Aa’s Thesaurus Antiquitatum et Historiarum Italiae (Leiden, 1704-25)”, Quaerendo 43 (2013), pp. 61-82.


University of Siena, Italy

Master’s Degree in Greek and Roman Archaeology

Master’s Degree in Greek and Roman Archaeology (University of Siena, Italy). Graduated with vote 110/110 cum laude with thesis “Le lucerne di Thamusida (Marocco)” (oil lamps of Thamusida, Morocco). This research appeared as C. Piccoli, “Suppellettile da illuminazione”, in A. Akerraz, S. Camporeale, E. Papi (eds.), Sidi Ali ben Ahmed – Thamusida, 3. Le matériel, pp. 214-37.


University of Trento, Italy

Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Heritage

Graduated with vote 110/110 cum laude with thesis “La krene del Karasis. La sorgente della fortezza tardo ellenistica in Cilicia Orientale: analisi tipologica e restituzione tridimensionale” (The krene of Karasis. The late Hellenistic fortress spring in East Cilicia: Typological analysis and 3D reconstruction). During my Bachelor I spent a semester at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki as Erasmus student.

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