Aarhus Universitets segl

Event-based archaeological registration principles

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet

Peter Jensen - Foredragsholder

  • Institut for Antropologi, Arkæologi og Lingvistik
  • Afdeling for Forhistorisk Arkæologi
Although highly digitalized, the current excavation practice in Denmark is still largely dominated by routines and concepts that refer to a traditional paper-based registration. This limits the use of digital recording techniques and analysis capabilities. Over the last decade, Aarhus University has been developing a GIS data structure combined with a series of procedures for excavation documentation, which facilitates the use of a more efficient digital approach to excavation practices.
The new procedures are aimed at ensuring the proper relation of data, uniformity in classification and inclusion of interpretations. Moreover new registration concepts and units are introduced in order to proper structure and qualify excavation data for the digital platform. For example, the concept of drawings are replaced by Documentation Events and Data Collections, which introduce a historical dimension of data in recording practices, and therefore makes it possible to distinguish between original data, interpretations and various combinations thereof. This prevents redundant data as well.
The archaeological interpretation in the new procedures is based on a hierarchy; from interpreting the basic archaeological structures (post holes etc.), across the combined structures (buildings etc.), to the final meta-constructs, which are the structures which hold the abstract interpretations.

The new procedures have been further developed and implemented for use in the Jelling Project. A large-scale research project covering various aspects of the UNESCO World Heritage monuments of this royal Viking site, including new archaeological excavations and reinterpretations of historic archaeological data.
Jelling is a classic example of repeated excavations at the same archaeological site, leading to reinterpretation and new registrations of the same archaeological structures. However, the old data does not lose its significance. It represents the original observations that were made by the original excavations, which can not be repeated or redone. Over time this leads to a massive dataset of different representations and interpretations of the same objects, which can be difficult to handle properly.
By introducing the Documentation Event concept, a time-stamping of all data is inherited, and a distinction of whether they are primary excavation data or derived data made possible. The complex is being structured, and it is possible to perform temporal queries to reconstruct any historical research situation. At the same time it is possible to perform more dynamic interpretation and reinterpretation, because additions and modifications of data do not compromise the original records.
Finally the spatial data is integrated in the data structure. This facilitates more complex descriptions of the spatial data, elimination of redundant data and a faster and more efficient search and display of finds, structures, topographical data and historical maps.
12 apr. 201116 apr. 2011

Begivenhed (Konference)

TitelComputer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 2011: Revive the Past
Dato12/04/2011 → …


ID: 34208160