University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Places, People, Events and Stuff; building blocks for archaeological information systems
Paul J Cripps

Last modified: 2011-12-16


Archaeological information is by its very nature complex and uncertain. Typically, databases (when used) are used to record a 'perfect' and simplified version of the available archaeological information; there is little room for multivocality, uncertainty is reduced to a value qualifier and fundamental concepts are semantically indistinct. It is time for archaeological information systems to move forward with respect to the core concepts of subjectivity, multivocality, temporality and uncertainty.

There have been significant works in the last decade attempting to tackle some of these issues. This paper will focus on the specific concepts of subjectivity, multivocality, temporality and uncertainty and will examine how these concepts can successfully be modelled and made explicit within archaeological information systems, such theoretical constructs being independent of any particular modelling language or structure or implementation platform.


data modelling; CIDOC-CRM; ontology; UML; theory; semantics