by 
Keith May @Keith_May
Ceri Binding & Prof Doug Tudhope

Faculty of Advanced Technology

University of South Wales

To...
Excavation record data modelling
• CRM-EH focuses on common ‘core’
Concepts of our Archaeological processes
• Stratigraphi...
What about comparing records across different countries?
With thanks to Anja Masur
Documentation
• Different excavation methods bring differing documentation
• Comparison of different documentation sheets
...
Context
Locus
Excavation
Unit
Lot
Level
Stratum
Behälter
(Troy)
(Basket)
Semantics
One language - one meaning – different ...
With thanks to Gerald Hiebel
English Heritage
Recording Manual
English Heritage
Recording Manual with CRM-EH 'Extensions'
German - e.g. Gottingen & Bayer
Befunde - Stratigraphic Unit /
Context
1. Bayer -Befundbuch (positive
deposit?)
Bodenbefun...
With thanks to Gerald Hiebel
Bavarian
Recording Manual
Catalhoyuk - Hodder's
'Post-Processual' excavation recording
Units - Stratigraphic units,
similar to Contexts
Features - g...
French - e.g. ???? Please !!!!
Examples using Single
Context Recording
methodology?
INRAP N'est pas?
Other excavation
meth...
Prototype Controlled Vocabulary searching
▪Controlled vocabularies online
▪Vocabularies from EH, RCAHMS, RCAHMW
▪Conversion to a common standard format (SKOS)
▪Pers...
STELLAR Project Tools - SKOS Template
SKOS = Simple Knowledge Organisation System
Using SKOS - W3C standard for Web-based ...
skos:Concept
Castle:c789
skos:Concept
Motte:c456
skos:broader skos:narrower
skos:Concept
Bailey:c789
skos:Concept
Motte:c4...
Voacabulary Widgets – e.g. for OASIS
▪ Scheme list
▪ Scheme details
▪ Top concepts
▪ Composite control
(composite control)...
LOD Heritage Vocabularies: http://www.heritagedata.org
Thesaurus searching and browsing
- Semantic ENrichment Enabling Sustainability of arCHAeological LinksSENESCHAL
Early adoption (continued)
▪Clwyd-Powys Arc...
British Oceanographic Data Centre - LOD
EH
Thesauri of
Maritime
Craft
With Thanks to 
Adam Leadbetter
Typical alignment problems encountered
▪ Simple spelling errors
▪ POSTHLOLE”, “CESS PITT”, “FURRROWS”, FLINT SCRAPPER”
▪ A...
Data alignment - R&D approach
▪Levenshtein edit distance algorithm
▪ Measures optimal number of character edits
required t...
Data Alignment R&D Results – Monument Types
Needs some level of 
Human verification by 
Domain experts.
Do we need semantic...
Conclusions and Challenges -
Do you want to share Open Archaeological Data
somewhere on or over the horizon?
Different arc...
References

Catalin Pavel. "Describing and Interpreting the Past"

Tudhope, May, Binding, Vlachidis. "Connecting
Archaeolo...
CAA 2014 - To Boldly or Bravely Go? Experiences of using Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources
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CAA 2014 - To Boldly or Bravely Go? Experiences of using Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources

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This paper is based upon practical experiences of Conceptual modelling, using CIDOC CRM, of the single context recording system at English Heritage and mapping it to other 'single context' based systems. It also presents recent work on identifying conceptual commonalities that may exist in different archaeological recording methodologies, whether 'single context recording' or otherwise, along with practical challenges based on experiences of trying to integrate, or simply search across, data from different archaeological recording systems. In addition it introduces the work to date on developing http://www.heritagedata.org/ and suggests opportunities for sharing and aligning further archaeological vocabularies using SKOS and Linked Open Data technologies.

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CAA 2014 - To Boldly or Bravely Go? Experiences of using Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources

  1. 1. 
 by Keith May @Keith_May Ceri Binding & Prof Doug Tudhope
 Faculty of Advanced Technology
 University of South Wales
 To Boldly or Bravely Go? Experiences of using Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources
  2. 2. Excavation record data modelling • CRM-EH focuses on common ‘core’ Concepts of our Archaeological processes • Stratigraphic relationships (e.g. Harris matrix) crucial for relating individual records • Mapped only a Limited degree of the minute archaeological detail to CIDOC CRM • Different broad categories of contexts (Deposits, Masonry, Timber, etc) handled by separate forms but modelled together • Model already "complex" enough - most archaeologists find it a little daunting Details of Context on recording form
  3. 3. What about comparing records across different countries? With thanks to Anja Masur
  4. 4. Documentation • Different excavation methods bring differing documentation • Comparison of different documentation sheets Similarities and Differences
  5. 5. Context Locus Excavation Unit Lot Level Stratum Behälter (Troy) (Basket) Semantics One language - one meaning – different terms Stratigraphic Unit
  6. 6. With thanks to Gerald Hiebel English Heritage Recording Manual
  7. 7. English Heritage Recording Manual with CRM-EH 'Extensions'
  8. 8. German - e.g. Gottingen & Bayer Befunde - Stratigraphic Unit / Context 1. Bayer -Befundbuch (positive deposit?) Bodenbefunde (soil SU) Baubefunde (built SU e.g. Walls) BefundeKomplex - Feature (Group) Planum = Multi-context plans by level?
  9. 9. With thanks to Gerald Hiebel Bavarian Recording Manual
  10. 10. Catalhoyuk - Hodder's 'Post-Processual' excavation recording Units - Stratigraphic units, similar to Contexts Features - groupings of units or more complex structures, similar to MoLA Groups
  11. 11. French - e.g. ???? Please !!!! Examples using Single Context Recording methodology? INRAP N'est pas? Other excavation methodologies?
  12. 12. Prototype Controlled Vocabulary searching
  13. 13. ▪Controlled vocabularies online ▪Vocabularies from EH, RCAHMS, RCAHMW ▪Conversion to a common standard format (SKOS) ▪Persistent globally unique identifiers for every concept ▪Made available online as Linked Open Data ▪Also downloadable data files and listings ▪Web services ▪Facilitate concept searching, browsing, suggestion, validation ▪ Tools to use controlled vocabularies ▪Browser-based ‘widget’ user interface controls ▪Search, browse, suggest, select concepts ▪Case studies ▪Legacy data to thesaurus alignment ▪Thesaurus to thesaurus alignment ▪Third party use of project outcomes
  14. 14. STELLAR Project Tools - SKOS Template SKOS = Simple Knowledge Organisation System Using SKOS - W3C standard for Web-based Terminologies
  15. 15. skos:Concept Castle:c789 skos:Concept Motte:c456 skos:broader skos:narrower skos:Concept Bailey:c789 skos:Concept Motte:c456 skos:related skos:related skos:ConceptScheme Monument:s123 skos:Concept Motte:c456 skos:inScheme SKOS_CONCEPTS – scheme_id, broader_id, related_id
  16. 16. Voacabulary Widgets – e.g. for OASIS ▪ Scheme list ▪ Scheme details ▪ Top concepts ▪ Composite control (composite control)(top concepts) (scheme details) (scheme list) More Widget details on HeritageData.org
  17. 17. LOD Heritage Vocabularies: http://www.heritagedata.org
  18. 18. Thesaurus searching and browsing
  19. 19. - Semantic ENrichment Enabling Sustainability of arCHAeological LinksSENESCHAL Early adoption (continued) ▪Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (SENESCHAL widgets embedded into HER application and mobile field recording app)
  20. 20. British Oceanographic Data Centre - LOD EH Thesauri of Maritime Craft With Thanks to Adam Leadbetter
  21. 21. Typical alignment problems encountered ▪ Simple spelling errors ▪ POSTHLOLE”, “CESS PITT”, “FURRROWS”, FLINT SCRAPPER” ▪ Alternate word forms ▪ “BOUNDARY”/”BOUNDARIES”, “GULLEY”/”GULLIES” ▪ Prefixes / suffixes ▪ “RED HILL (POSSIBLE)”, “TRACKWAY (COBBLED)”, “CROFT?”, “CAIRN (POSSIBLE)”, “PORTAL DOLMEN (RE-ERECTED)” ▪ Nested delimiters ▪ “POTTERY, CERAMIC TILE, IRON OBJECTS, GLASS” ▪ Terms not intended for indexing ▪ “NONE”, “UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT”, “N/A”, “NA”, “INCOHERENT” ▪ Terms that would not be in (any) thesauri ▪ “WOTSITS PACKET”, “CHARLES 2ND COIN”, “ROMAN STRUCTURE POSSIBLY A VILLA“, “ST GUTHLACS BENEDICTINE PRIORY”, “WORCESTER-BIRMINGHAM CANAL”, “KUNGLIGA SLOTTET”, “SUB-FOSSIL BEETLES” ▪ More specific phrases ▪ “SIDE WALL OF POT WITH LUG”, “BRICK-LINED INDUSTRIAL WELL OR MINE SHAFT”, “ALIGNMENT OF PLATFORMS AND STONES”
  22. 22. Data alignment - R&D approach ▪Levenshtein edit distance algorithm ▪ Measures optimal number of character edits required to change one string into another ▪ Accommodates small spelling differences/errors ▪ Bulk alignment process ▪ Compares each value to all terms from specified thesaurus – obtain best textual match ▪ Similarity threshold introduced to suppress low scoring matches. Levenshtein algorithm will always produce a match, even if it is a bad one! ▪ Periods require an additional approach due to mixed formats (named periods, numeric ranges etc.)
  23. 23. Data Alignment R&D Results – Monument Types Needs some level of Human verification by Domain experts. Do we need semantic wiki -style interfaces To enable that?
  24. 24. Conclusions and Challenges - Do you want to share Open Archaeological Data somewhere on or over the horizon? Different archaeological recording systems share common conceptual frameworks and semantic relationships By conceptualising common relationships in our different data sets at a broad (metadata) level and aligning vocabularies of shared reference terms we can cross-search data with more semantic accuracy to find patterns and answers to related research questions The technologies are being developed in other domains but is there a common will for sharing archaeological data Openly in the interests of improving research methods?
  25. 25. References Catalin Pavel. "Describing and Interpreting the Past" Tudhope, May, Binding, Vlachidis. "Connecting Archaeological Data and Grey Literature via Semantic Cross Search" - Internet Archaeology Vol 30 Contact: Keith.May@english-heritage.org.uk @Keith_May

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