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Dallas – Emerging digital practices in archaeological research. Presentation slides.

Training workshop: Digital methods and tools for archaeological data curation

Session 1: Curating archaeological knowledge digitally: from practice to method

This session introduces the issue of curating archaeological knowledge digitally, in the context of the proliferation of data and resources from legacy fieldwork projects, museum archaeological collections, commercial and community archaeology, and of emerging digital practices of “sheer curation” supporting a process of upstreaming/downstreaming between data representation and interpretation.  It further presents critically a methodological framework for ensuring the effective discovery, appraisal, representation, organization, curation, and use of archaeological information based on information science scholarship and professional education. For this purpose, it introduces the main principles, concepts, methods, use contexts and considerations of a general “discipline of organizing”, supplemented by research-based contributions from information science, and sets them in the context of the archaeological record, and contemporary challenges of data definition, representation and use it entails.  Participants will be expected to contribute to critical discussion and elaboration of appropriate questions, ideas and approaches of managing information digitally in the archaeological context, drawing from their experience in seeking, building, managing, curating and using archaeological information resources in the context of their own research project.

This introductory session calls attention to questions such as the following:

  • What is the “archaeological record” in terms of information, data and knowledge? How is it produced and represented in the form of information resources, description models, standards and systems?
  • How can we conceptualize the archaeological knowledge curation lifecycle? What are the key information-centred activities involved in archaeological work, viewed as parts of an organizing system?
  • What are the contexts of interaction that shape archaeological work at a time of ubiquitous digital infrastructures, multiple stakeholders, and the rise of open, social and participatory media in archaeology?
  • What is the impact of practice-based, community-driven and critical approaches in information science, archival science and digital curation scholarship on archaeological information management?

Dallas – Curating archaeological knowledge digitally+ from practice to method. Presentation slides.


Boast, R., & Biehl, P. F. 2011. Archaeological knowledge production and dissemination in the digital age. In E. C. Kansa, S. W. Kansa, & E. Watrall (Eds.), Archaeology 2.0: new approaches to communication and collaboration (pp. 119–155). Los Angeles, CA: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1r6137tb.

Dallas, C. In print. Curating archaeological knowledge in the digital continuum: from practice to infrastructure. In Huggett, J., Tanasi, D. (Eds). 2015. Topical issue on challenging digital archaeology, Open Archaeology. Pre-publication version.  http://summerschool.dcu.gr/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/opar-2015-00111.pdf.

Glushko, R.J. (Ed.). 2013. The discipline of organizing (pp. 1-93). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Chapter 1: Foundations for organizing systems. http://disciplineoforganizing.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/TDO-20130920-2ndPrinting-Ch01.pdf.
Chapter 2: Activities in organizing systems. http://disciplineoforganizing.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/TDO-20130920-2ndPrinting-Ch02.pdf.

Isaksen, L., Martinez, K., Gibbins, N., Earl, G., et al.. 2010. Interoperate with whom? Formality, archaeology and the semantic web, in: Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, April 26-27th, 2010, Raleigh, NC.http://journal.webscience.org/357/.

Kansa, E.C., Kansa, S.W., Arbuckle, B., 2014. Publishing and pushing: mixing models for communicating research data in archaeology, International Journal of Digital Curation, 9, 57–70. http://ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/9.1.57.

Labrador, A.M., Ontologies of the future and interfaces for all: archaeological databases for the twenty-first century, Archaeologies, 2012, 8, 236–249. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11759-012-9203-2.

Richards, J.D., Hardman, C.S. 2008. Stepping back from the trench edge: an archaeological perspective on the development of standards for recording and publication. In: Greengrass, M., Hughes, L.M. (Eds.), The Virtual Representation of the Past, London: Ashgate, 2008, 101–112. http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/7795/1/richardsjd4.pdf.

Session 2 – Semantic modeling of legacy archaeological data

Given the complexity, ambiguity, heterogeneity, and frequent lack of integrity and contextual information characterizing legacy archaeological data, archaeologists find formidable challenges as they wish to use them for “re-excavation”, comparative analysis or integrative research. A first step to make such data amenable to further analysis and use as evidence consists in eliciting as much information as possible from the data, and combine it with categorical and middle-range knowledge, as well as with an assessment of salient queries furthering archaeological research. This session addresses the construction of semantic representations of pre-existing archaeological datasets or collections of resources based on an analysis of their information content and context on the one hand, and of salient queries and information “use cases” on the other. These representations are derived from an ontological reference model, the CIDOC CRM (ISO 21127), and usually take the form of XML, RDF or OWL schemas. Participants will be expected to take part in pencil-and-paper domain modeling activities, using a diagramming technique that will be introduced in the session, as well as examples from archaeological legacy resources.

Books on conceptual modeling

Olivé, A. 2007. Conceptual modeling of information systems, Springer.

Boman, M., Bubenko Jr., J., Johannesson, P., Wangler, B. 1997. Conceptual Modelling, Prentice Hall.

Standards and recommendations

CIDOC CRM (also ISO 21127:2006, 2014)


In particular see:

CIDOC CRM Version 6.1, February 2015. http://www.cidoc-crm.org/docs/cidoc_crm_version_6.1.pdf. Look especially at the Introduction, pp. vii – xx

Dominic Oldman and CRM Labs. 2014. The  CIDOC Conceptual  Reference  Model (CIDOC-CRM): primer (edited by Donna Kurtz), July 2014. http://www.cidoc-crm.org/docs/CRMPrimer_v1.1.pdf.

Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), W3C


In particular see:

SKOS Primer


Papers and presentations

Tzompanaki, K., Doerr, M. 2012. Fundamental categories and relationships for intuitive querying CIDOC-CRM based repositories. Technical Report ICS-FORTH/TR-429, April 2012. http://www.cidoc-crm.org/docs/TechnicalReport429_April2012.pdf.

Norton, B. 2014. Book of the Dead project: A new approach to digital editions of ancient manuscripts using CIDOC-CRM, FRBRoo and RDFa, Senate House, Univ. of London, August 2014. http://www.cidoc-crm.org/tutorials.html.

Bekiari, C, Constantopoulos, P., Doerr, M. 2007. Information design for cultural documentation. Presented in 1st International DELOS Conference, Pisa, February 2007. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_q4lqs18xOWUGtoYUpRbnVMNUk/edit.

Constantopoulos, V. Dritsou, and E. Foustoucos. “Developing Query Patterns”. Proc. 13th European Conference on Digital Libraries, Corfu 2009, pp. 119-124. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-04346-8_13

Working examples

The Temple of Poseidon:

Excavations at Isthmia – University of Chicago


Description of the working example The Temple of Poseidon at Isthmia, SE CorinthiaARIADNE_Poseidon

Basic sources in print:

Broneer, O. 1971. Isthmia I: Temple of Poseidon, ASCSA, Princeton, New Jersey.

Broneer, O. 1973. Isthmia II: Topography and Architecture, ASCSA, Princeton, New Jersey.

Morgan, C. 1999. Isthmia XIII: The Late Bronze Age Settlement and Early Iron Age Sanctuary, ASCSA, Princeton, New Jersey.

Morgan, C. 1994. The evolution of a sacral ‘landscape’: Isthmia, Perachora and the early Corinthian state”. In Alcock, S.E., Osborne, R. (Eds.), Placing the Gods – Sanctuaries and sacred space in Ancient Greece, Oxford, 105-142.

The Epitaphios GE34604 of the Benaki Museum:

Doerr, M. Dionissiadou, I. 1998. Data Example of the CIDOC Reference Model: Epitaphios GE34604, http://www.cidoc-crm.org/docs/epitafios5.0.1.pdf


Session 3 – What to do with LiDAR and geophysical field data? A case study

This session, based on a case study from the Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari, Wales, hillfort excavation, addresses the issues related to the use of LiDAR and geophysical survey data for an archaeological research project. It will discuss methods of integration and assess how useful they are in a research-based excavation. This talk will be used to stimulate discussion based on participants own experiences of archaeological field work especially survey and excavation.

The underlying question for this session is:

  • To what extent do digital technologies remove us from the intimate process of collecting, recording and interpreting archaeological data/information?’


See the EU funded ArcLand Project (http://www.arcland.eu/), look under the tabs Capture, Interpret and Case Studies (includes bibliographies).

You can watch videos of papers from the final ArcLand conference ‘Sensing the Past’ at (News/Sensing the Past presentation videos available online)

http://www.arcland.eu/news/1845-sensing-the-past-presentation-videos-available-for-download  these cover all aspects of remote sensing and interpretation.

Kamermans, H., Gojda, M. and Posluschny, A. (Eds.) 2014. A sense of the past. Studies in current archaeological applications of remote sensing and non-invasive propection methods. Oxford: BAR International Series 2588.

Opitz, R. and Cowley, D. (Eds.). 2013. Interpreting archaeological topography: 3D data, visualisation and observation. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Wood, J. 2009. Geomorphometry in Landserf. In T. Hengl and H.I. Reuter (Eds.). Geomorphometry: Concepts, Software, Applications, 333-349. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

LandSerf: http://www.landserf.org/

Session 4: Discovering archaeological datasets and resources through registries and repository services

This session introduces the problem of data discovery in archaeology, as archaeological research seeks increasingly to leverage the potential benefits of data integration and linking across heterogeneous collections. After a generic introduction to these problems, and to current technologies allowing more effective resource discovery of online research resources, it  presents the ARIADNE registry and the affordances it offers to archaeologists and stewards of archaeological information to appraise, ingest, curate and access information on archaeological datasets, metadata models (schemas), controlled vocabularies and other resources of interest, and introduces the challenges and utility of data management and knowledge enrichment services necessary in order to ensure the usefulness of such an infrastructure. It also introduces the challenges involved in providing access for discovery to archaeological metadata through a variety of data management, knowledge enrichment, geodata and semantic linking services.

Papatheodorou – Discovering datasets and resources through registries and repository services


Caplan, P. 2013. Metadata Fundamentals for All Librarians, American Library Association ISBN 9780838908471

C. Papatheodorou. 2012. “On cultural heritage metadata”. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies (IJMSO), Vol. 7(3), pp. 157-161.

ISO 11179 Part1 Framework for the Specification and Standardization of Data Elements (2004)

P. Le Boeuf, M. Doerr, Christian E. Ore, S. 2015. Stead Definition of the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model. http://www.cidoc-crm.org/docs/cidoc_crm_version_6.1.pdf

C. Papatheodorou. 2012. “Ontology-based Integration of Cultural Heritage Metadata”. 8th Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries, (IRCDL 2012), Bari, Italy, February 9 – 10, 2012 in M. Agosti, F. Esposito, S. Ferili, N. Ferro (Eds.) Digital Libraries and Archives – 8th Italian Research Conference, IRCDL 2012, Revised Selected Papers, p. IX, Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS), Vol. 354:Springer-Verlag, ISBN: 978-3-642-35833-3, 2013.
C. Papatheodorou, C. Dallas, C. Ertmann-Christiansen, K. Fernie, D. Gavrilis, M.E. Masci, P. Constantopoulos, S. Angelis. 2011. “A New Architecture and Approach to Asset Representation for Europeana Aggregation: The CARARE Way”, Metadata and Semantic Research, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference (MTSR 2011), Izmir, Turkey, October 2011, Communications in Computer and Information Science, (CCIS) No. 240: Springer-Verlag, 2011, pp. 412-423.

Session 5 – Humanizing GIS: new approaches to spatial data representation and interpretation in archaeology

Based on an introduction to a theory of spatial thinking in the context of tensions between processual and post-processual understandings of the archaeological landscape, this session focuses on a critical view exploring the potentials of GIS for archaeological representation, visualisation and interpretation. A number of relevant archaeological examples will be presented, to set the stage for a discussion where participants will be called to introduce experiences, questions and ideas addressing the challenges archaeologists face as they seek to employ GIS technologies in the context of contemporary epistemological debates.

The underlying question for this session is:

  • What do we want and expect from GIS technology? Is drawing maps enough or modelling human experience of landscape?


Gillings, M. 2012. Landscape Phenomenology, GIS and the Role of Affordance. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 19(4), 601-611.

Herzog, I. 2014. Least Cost Paths – some methodological issues. Internet Archaeology, (36), online at http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.36.5

Lake, M and Ortega, D. 2013. Compute-intensive GIS visibility analysis of the settings of prehistoric stone circles. In A. Bevan & M. Lake (eds) Computational Approaches to Archaeological Space, 213- 42. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Polla, S. and Verhagen, P. (eds). 2014. Computational approaches to the study of movement in archaeology. Berlin, De Gruyter. TOPOI. Berlin Studies of the Ancient World Volume 23. See especially the following two papers:

Lock, G., Kormann, M. and Pouncett, J. Visibility and movement: towards a GIS-based integrated approach, p.23-42.

Murrieta-Flores, P. Developing computational approaches for the study of movement: assessing the role of visibility and landscape markers in terrestrial navigation during Iberian Late prehistory, p. 99-131.

Ruestes Bitrià, C. 2008.  A multi-technique GIS visibility analysis for studying visual control of an iron age landscape, Internet Archaeology, 23, online at  http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.23.4

Session 6 – Digital archaeological practice and Virtual Archaeology: putting things in context

This session introduces the background, current capabilities and emerging promise of virtual archaeology technologies as tools for knowledge production and management across the entire value chain of archaeological research, including the potential for novel affordances in archaeological scholarly publication and public communication.


Beale, G., Reilly, P. 2015. Additive archaeology: the spirit of virtual archaeology reprinted. In: Papadopoulos, C., Paliou, E., Chrysanthi, A., Kotoula, E., Sarris, A. (Eds.) Archaeological research in the digital age: Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Greek Chapter (CAA-GR), Institute for Mediterranean Studies – Foundation of Research and Technology (IMS-FORTH), Rethymno, 120-128. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/364455/.

Denard, H. 2012. A new introduction to the London charter. In Bentkowska-Kafel, H., Baker, D., Denard, H. (Eds.). Paradata and transparency in virtual heritage. Ashgate Publishing, 51-72.

Lipson, H., Kerman, M. 2013. Fabricated: the new world of 3D printing. Wiley, Indianapolis.

Reilly, P.  1991. Towards a virtual archaeology. In Computer Applications in Archaeology Conference Proceedings (1990). British Archaeological Reports (International Series) 565, 133-139. http://proceedings.caaconference.org/paper/21_reilly_caa_1990/.

Session 7 – Archaeology, information and digital curation

Chan, L. 2004. Supporting and enhancing scholarship in the digital age: the role of open access institutional repository. Canadian Journal of Communication 29.3..

Clark, J.T., Slator, B.M., Landrum III, J.E., Frovarp, R., Bergstrom, A., Ramaswamy, S., Jockheck, W. 2006, “Digital archive network for anthropology.” Journal of Digital Information 2, no. 4.

Constantopoulos, P., Dallas, C., Androutsopoulos, I., Angelis, S., Deligiannakis, A., Gavrilis, D., Kotidis, Y, Papatheodorou, C. 2009. DCC&U: An extended digital curation lifecycle model. International Journal of Digital Curation 4, no. 1, 34-45.

Huggett, J. 2004. The past in bits: towards an archaeology of information technology. Internet Archaeology 15.

Kintigh, K. 2009. The Challenge of Archaeological Data Integration.Technology and Methodology for Archaeological Practice: Practical Applications for the Past Reconstruction. BAR International Series S 2029, 81-86.

Merriman  N., Swain, H. 1999. Archaeological archives: serving the public interest?. European Journal of Archaeology 2.2, 249-267..

Richards, J.D., Austin, T., Hardman, C. 2010. Covering the costs of digital curation. Heritage Management 3.2, 255-263.

Richards, 2002, J.D. 2002. Digital preservation and access. European Journal of Archaeology, 5(3), 343-366..

Ross, S. 2012. Digital Preservation, Archival Science and Methodological Foundations for Digital Libraries. New Review of Information Networking, 17(1), 43 – 68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13614576.2012.679446.

Ross, S. 2006. Approaching Digital Preservation Holistically. In Information Management and Preservation, (Oxford: Chandos Press), 115-153, (ISBN 1843341867).http://www.academia.edu/10844259/Approaching_Digital_Preservation_Holistically.

Ross, S. 2000. Changing Trains at Wigan: Digital Preservation and the Future of Scholarship, National Preservation Office (British Library), Occasional Publication, 44 pages, ISBN 0712347178. http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/collectioncare/publications/reports/wigan_digital_preservation.pdf.

Tringham, R.  “Forgetting and Remembering the Digital Experience and Digital Data.” Archaeology and Memory, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 68-105.

Expert forum: Digital futures of archaeological practice 2020-2025 

The expert forum will be based on a specific scenario-building methodology. Participants will be asked to reflect on the topic of each session on the basis of identifying key challenges and underlying factors, and then establish a collaborative picture of the potential future developments of that particular aspect of digital archaeology through contribution of experiences, potential scenarios, arguments and connections.


Presentation slides

Reilly – digital achaeology futurity+ a scenario approach

Geser – Digital research infrastructures and archaeology: present value, future promise

Digital archaeology and digital heritage: futures, grand challenges and research agendas

Arnold, D., Geser, G. 2008. EPOCH research agenda for the applications of ICT to cultural heritage, Archaeolingua, Budapest. http://public-repository.epoch-net.org/publications/RES_AGENDA/final_res.pdf.

Aspöck, E., Geser, G. 2013. What Is an archaeological research infrastructure and why do we need It? Aims and challenges of ARIADNE. In 18th International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies. Vienna: Stadt Archäologie Wien. http://www.chnt.at/wp-content/uploads/Aspoeck_Geser_2014.pdf.

ARIADNE. 2014.The way forward to digital archaeology in Europe. ARIADNE project. http://www.ariadne-infrastructure.eu/content/download/4569/26666/version/2/file/Ariadne+Booklet.pdf.

Beale, G., Reilly, P. 2015. Additive archaeology: the spirit of virtual archaeology reprinted. In: Papadopoulos, C., Paliou, E., Chrysanthi, A., Kotoula, E., Sarris, A. (Eds.) Archaeological research in the digital age: Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Greek Chapter (CAA-GR), Institute for Mediterranean Studies – Foundation of Research and Technology (IMS-FORTH), Rethymno, 120-128. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/364455/.

Barceló, J.A. 2007. Automatic archaeology: Bridging the gap between virtual reality, artificial intelligence and archaeology. In Kenderine, S, Cameron, F. (Eds.) Theorizing digital cultural heritage, 437–56. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Pre-publication version: http://prehistoria.uab.cat/Barcelo/publication/AutomaticArch.pdf.

Ch’ng, E. 2009. Experiential archaeology: Is virtual time travel possible? Journal of Cultural Heritage 10 (4), 458–70. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1296207409000831.

Dallas, C. In print. Curating archaeological knowledge in the digital continuum: from practice to infrastructure. In Huggett, J., Tanasi, D. (Eds). 2015. Topical issue on challenging digital archaeology, Open Archaeology. Pre-publication version. http://summerschool.dcu.gr/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/opar-2015-0011.pdf.

Huggett, J., Disciplinary issues: challenging the research and practice of computer applications in archaeology, In: Earl, G., Sly, T., Chrysanthi, A., Murrieta-Flores, P., Papadopoulos, C., Romanowska, I., Wheatley, D. (Eds.), Archaeology in the digital era, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2013, 13-24. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/92301/.

Huggett, J., Tanasi, D. (Eds). 2015. Topical issue on challenging digital archaeology. Open Archaeology, 1 (1). http://degruyteropen.com/ticdarch/.

Justrell, B., Fresa, A. 2014. Deliverable D3.5: Final version of the roadmap, Digital Cultural Heritage Roadmap for Preservation – Open Science Infrastructure for DCH in 2020 project. http://www.dch-rp.eu/getFile.php?id=404.

Kansa, E., Kansa, S., Watrall, E. (Eds.). 2011. Archaeology 2.0: New approaches to communication and collaboration, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles, 2011. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1r6137tb.

Kilbride, W. 2006. Grand challenges: grand opportunities? Archaeology, the historic environment sector and the e-Science programme, AHDS e-Science Scoping Study Expert Seminar Report. http://www.ahds.ac.uk/e-science/e-sciencescoping-study.htm.

Kintigh, K.W., Altschul, J.H., Kinzig, A.P., Limp, W.F., et al., Cultural dynamics, deep time, and data planning cyberinfrastructure investments for archaeology, Advances in Archaeological Practice, 2015, 3 (1), 1–15. doi:10.7183/2326-3768.3.1.1.

Kintigh, K., Altschul, J., Beaudry, M., Drennan, R., Kinzig, A., Kohler, T. 2014. Grand challenges for archaeology, American Antiquity, 79 (1), 5-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.7183/0002-7316.79.1.5.

Schnapp, J., Presner, T. 2009. The Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0. http://www.humanitiesblast.com/manifesto/ Manifesto_V2.pdf.

Scenarios, grand challenges and futures studies

Barker, D., Smith, D.J.H. 1995. Technology foresight using roadmaps. Long Range Planning, 28 (2): 21–28. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002463019598586H.
Borup M., Brown N., Konrad K., Van Lente H. 2006. The sociology of expectations in science and technology. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 18, 285–298. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09537320600777002.
Inayatullah, Sohail. 2002. Reductionism or layered complexity? The futures of futures studies. Futures 34 (3), 295–302. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016328701000453.
Slaughter, R.A. 1998. Futures studies as an intellectual and applied discipline. American Behavioral Scientist, 42 (3), 372–85. http://abs.sagepub.com/content/42/3/372.short.
Winter, S., Butler, B. 2011. Creating bigger problems: grand challenges as boundary objects and the legitimacy of the information systems field. Journal of Information Technology, 26 (2), 99-108. http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jit/journal/v26/n2/pdf/jit20116a.pdf.

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