University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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ARCH (Archaeological Recovering for Cultural Heritage) and its application to the roman forum of Cástulo
Ana Martinez, Francisco Arias de Haro, Marcelo Lopez Castro

Last modified: 2011-12-20


Archaeological records and their interpretation are the basis of the archaeological discipline.  Records not only include documentation of all materials recovered in an archaeological context, but also contain their textual and graphical information in order to reconstruct the three-dimensional context with all its aspects. Documenting a particular context properly through graphical and textual information is essential for the development of scientific hypotheses and to explain and to give meaning to a historic space.

In the case of the Forum MMX project, a field inventory system called ARCH (Archaeological Recordering for Cultural Heritage) has been designed. The main objective of this system for recording information in the field is to systematize and standardize the information that can be obtained from an archaeological intervention. The importance of standardization of the information lies in the possibility of being reinterpreted retrospectively, allowing data to be accessed by different researchers and enabling the development of new hypotheses about the same historical space.

On the one hand, this system allows the capture of textual and attached graphical information during the fieldwork. For this task different digital forms have been designed for recording aspects such as the type of deposit, the documented materials and the excavation process.

On the other hand, 3D documentation of the different levels of excavation has been recorded. This method is based on low cost devices for data capture in the field (a digital camera) and open sources softwares (Arc 3D and MeshLab) for creating and editing 3D models.