CAA2015 Siena has ended
Official schedule of the CAA 2015 Siena Conference, held from March, 30th to April, 3rd in Siena, Italy.
Keep the revolution going.
Roundtable [clear filter]
Tuesday, March 31

15:00 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 2 - Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System

The Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System was developed by the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund as an open source web-based geospatially-enabled information system to help inventory and manage immovable cultural heritage. The Arches software is free and available for download at www.archesproject.org. It was created in response to the persistent need for a system that fits the needs of the heritage field without requiring onerous investment of time and resources. Arches represents a unique initiative undertaken for the benefit of the cultural heritage field at large, with the long-term goal of improving heritage management worldwide. It combines state-of-the-art software development with the insights of many heritage professionals from around the world. This enterprise system incorporates the CIDOC-CRM (Conceptual Reference Model [ISO 21127: 2006]) as well as IT standards. Version 3.0 of Arches is planned to be released in January 2015, and will include a Reference Data Manager to internally manage complex thesauri.

Roundtable participants, including from the project team, will present Arches version 3.0, and discuss a range of topics related to the Arches project, including the rationale behind development decisions, describe the Arches graph data structure, potential benefits of incorporating the CIDOC-CRM and IT standards, our experience following an open source approach, and potential related benefits to the cultural heritage field. Participants will also discuss implementations of the Arches software, both existing and potential, its applicability to archaeological heritage, and outline the process that others may follow to deploy the software.

Keywords: GIS, heritage management, inventories, CIDOC CRM, semantic technologies, ontologies, thesauri, open source software

avatar for Stephen Stead

Stephen Stead

Director, OU & Paveprime Ltd
Member of the CIDOC CRM-SIG.Should talk to me about the new CRMinf extension

Tuesday March 31, 2015 15:00 - 16:40 CEST
Room 103

17:00 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 4 – Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology
In the last few years approaches commonly classified as computational modelling (agent-based and mathematical modelling, as well as other types of simulation) are becoming increasingly common and popular among the archaeological computing community.

Almost all research activity could be termed ‘modelling’ in some sense, for example, in archaeology we create conceptual models (hypotheses, typologies), spatial models (GIS), virtual models (3D reconstructions) or statistical models to name but a few. Most of them, however, investigate either the elements of the system (individual pots, skeletons, buildings etc.) or the pattern produced by the system elements (cultural similarities, settlement distribution, urban development etc.) and only theorize about the possible processes that led from the aggregated actions of individual actors to population-level patterns. In contrast, simulation allows us to investigate and reconstruct such processes in a formal way, threfore tackling some of the past complexity. It helps us to create ‘virtual labs’ in which we can test and contrast different hypotheses, find irregularities in the data or identify new factors and relationships which we would not suspect of having a significant impact on the system. In short, complexity science techniques have great potential for diverse applications in archaeology and may become a driving force for formalisation of descriptive models for the whole discipline.

The aim of this roundtable is to discuss the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation, including but not restricted to:

  • the epistemology of computational modelling (what it can and cannot do);
  • data integration and its use for model validation;
  • system formalisation and the role of domain specialists;
  • replicability and reuse of code;
  • lessons learnt from other disciplines commonly using simulation (ecology, social science, economics etc.)
  • communication between modellers and the wider archaeological public;
  • further directions of research.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to propose the creation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) under the auspices of CAA (named: ‘CAA Complex Systems Simulation SIG’), and to discuss a preliminary plan of the proposed activities of the SIG and an outline of how the SIG is to be organised.

avatar for Barcelo, Juan

Barcelo, Juan


Tuesday March 31, 2015 17:00 - 18:45 CEST
Room F University of Siena San Niccolò Building

17:00 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 6 – Thinking between the lines: conceptualising the future of archaeological databases

This session will combine 5 minute lightning talks – appropriate for describing specific database examples, solutions, or methodological approaches – with a concluding round-table discussion that pulls together the threads of a more reflective approach to the conceptual structure of archaeological databases and the ways in which databases influence our thinking through constraints and facilitation. The last decade of innovation and development in archaeological DBMS has provided a multitude of platforms, techniques, vocabularies, and movements in the management of complex datasets collected in the field and laboratory, not to mention the incorporation of materials from GIS and other sister disciplines. Beyond their most common usage as simple storage and visualization receptacles, what are archaeological databases for and where are they headed? How do the rarely unified goals of data sharing, publication, and analysis influence the types of databases sought or produced by archaeologists?

How do data management models affect the types of analysis and argument made by archaeologists as they interpret the past? Participants presenting lightning talks are invited to bring a poster to the conference, which will be displayed during the sessions. Each block of lightning talks will be followed by a significant networking period (approx. 40 minutes) around the posters to allow immediate person-to-person discussion of the ideas presented and the development of new connections. In the concluding roundtable, we aim to bring together representatives of the major archaeological database platforms, as well as those concerned with semantic structure, metadata standards and repositories. Panelists will be invited to address the fundamental concepts and theoretical commitments that underlie archaeological databases, from HCI and software architectures, through relationships with the web and social media, to an increasingly connected internet of things.

This higher-level debate often takes a back seat to the practical issues of management, maintenance, and facilitation of other peoples’ data. We encourage submissions on any topic related to archaeological databases including, but not limited to: the database structures and concepts essential to the management of archaeological data; the relationship(s) between goals of data curation, analysis, and publication; data sharing standards and DBMS communication, interaction, and translation; appropriate chains of data production and curation from data collection devices to tertiary HCI and data export; integration of archaeological databases with the internet of things; the benefits and hindrances of ‘social’ archaeological databases; long term database sustainability as a possibility and goal; and the growing and changing roles of data management personnel, database administrators, and field archaeologists as data managers.

avatar for Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson

Honorary Associate, University of Sydney
Web-based databases and GIS/mapping applied to historical and archaeological applications. Mobile/tablet applications for field data collection and delivery of historical and cultural tours, Augmented Reality, semantic web

Tuesday March 31, 2015 17:00 - 18:45 CEST
Room E University of Siena San Niccolò Building
Wednesday, April 1

09:00 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 3 - The whole is other than the sum of its parts: where is the spatial data infrastructure for cultural heritage?

“It has been said: The whole is more than the sum of its parts. It is more correct to say that the whole is something else than the sum of its parts, because summing up is a meaningless procedure, whereas the whole-part relationship is meaningful” Kurt Koffka, 1935

Through the INSPIRE Directive national Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) have been established across Europe to share environmentally related datasets across public organisations within their own country and in neighbouring European countries. The Directive addresses 34 spatial themes needed for environmental policies, and policies or activities which may have an impact on the environment.

Despite the environmental focus of INSPIRE, datasets about Europe’s cultural heritage and historic environment are largely underrepresented with limited engagement from data curators. In part, there is genuine ambiguity in how the Directive applies to cultural heritage data.  For instance, some data has been released through the Protected Sites theme but are Protected Sites only those formally designated or do they also include sites managed through legal or other effective means?  Where does primary data created through a range of fieldwork techniques, from remote sensing through to excavation, sit within the Directive?  INSPIRE is about public sector data so how can data created through developer funded or privately sponsored fieldwork be accommodated?

Although cultural heritage data often has a strong spatial component, the full potential of the geographies created through discovery, recording and analysis is far from being realised.  Approaches to documenting fieldwork remain project focused ignoring the bigger picture. There is a lack of standardisation, or metadata, about work undertaken.  Data gathered in the course of fieldwork is subsequently forgotten about on completion of the project.  Spatial information is locked into published plans in reports or buried in the megabytes of digital data that may, or may not be formally preserved as part of a project archive. It is not easily discoverable or usable.  As a result we have a partial picture of the historic environment based on selective availability of spatial datasets often reduced to locational point data rather than describing the spatial extent of investigations. A thematic SDI should revolutionise in how we handle spatial information in archaeology – unlocking the potential of individual datasets across the discipline through the consistent creation, management and sharing of project data –to build something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

This round table session seeks to build a case for developing a thematic SDI but is thematic SDI even necessary with existing digital infrastructure initiatives – Archaeolandscapes (Arcland), ARIADNE and Europeana – in place?  Where are the current initiatives and exemplar projects, particularly for data created through fieldwork and scientific analysis, for harmonising spatial data?

Koffka, Kurt (1935) Principles of Gestalt Psychology, London, Lund Humphries.

Wednesday April 1, 2015 09:00 - 11:00 CEST
Room 14 University of Siena San Niccolò Building

15:00 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 5 – Linked Open Data Applied to Pottery Databases

The indestructible nature of pottery has left an abundant amount of material in the archaeological record. Vessels were formed into a variety of shapes and sizes which inform the modern scholar about their possible function and/or manufacturing process. In addition to being an excellent tool for dating, pottery also enables researchers to reconstruct the nature of a site and/or point to evidence of trade between groups of people. Some types of pottery even exhibit additional decoration that reflects the style of a certain period, the visual language of a region, or scenes that offer information about religion, daily life, literature, or contemporary events.

Ceramics exist in a variety of databases within museum collections, archives, or as part of excavations or surveys. The basic ideas underlying the classification of ancient Mediterranean pottery (e.g., shape, production place, painter, potter, iconography, etc.) are shared across languages, but the aggregation of data on a massive scale cannot be undertaken without standardised identifiers and ontologies. Presently, there are no firm standards for representing and/or publishing pottery datasets on the web, and, for this reason, it is difficult to query across multiple collections for research purposes. Linked Open Data (LOD) can play a vital role in ameliorating some of these technical challenges. Building on the methodologies developed for Nomisma.org, a collaborative enterprise that seeks to define the intellectual concepts of numismatics, we have undertaken a new project, Kerameikos.org, that likewise will apply these technologies to pottery. Kerameikos.org, a thesaurus that seeks to define pottery concepts with URIs and RDF, will enable those publishing ceramic data to encode their information in an accessible manner, following emerging web standards in the cultural heritage community.

This roundtable follows the introduction of Kerameikos.org during the 2014 CAA (Gruber and Smith). Since that time we have selected a Scientific Committee comprised of experts relevant to the current project content, including information technologists and pottery specialists. Currently, we seek to solicit feedback from the informatics and ceramics communities on our future direction. While Kerameikos.org is focused currently on Greek black- and red-figure ‘vases’, we welcome presentations and discussions of digital projects in other fields of pottery studies. It is our goal to design a tool whose application can meet the needs of archaeologists working in museums, the field, or archives. We hope that this roundtable will encourage further dialogue and collaboration.

avatar for Ethan Gruber

Ethan Gruber

Diretor of Data Science, American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society Twitter: @ewg118ORCID

Wednesday April 1, 2015 15:00 - 16:40 CEST
Room 15 University of Siena San Niccolò Building
Thursday, April 2

09:00 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 1 – Challenging Digital Archaeology – the discussion continues

Following on from the vibrant discussions at the CAA 2014 round table “What do you want from Digital Archaeology”, the premise of this session is to develop and refine some grand disciplinary challenges which will generate transformative impetus and direction to the practice of digital archaeology and at the same time contribute significantly to the development of theories and methods in the discipline of archaeology more generally.

In this session we invite contributions which discuss areas which can truly revolutionise and challenge digital archaeology, and at the same time seek to engage the international expertise of CAA to help identify and agree some concrete steps to engage with selected grand disciplinary challenges.

Thursday April 2, 2015 09:00 - 11:00 CEST
Room 15 University of Siena San Niccolò Building

11:30 CEST

ROUNDTABLE 7 – Digital Technologies and Quantitative Methods in the Study of Prehistoric Art

The application of digital technologies and quantitative methods to the study of prehistoric art is producing exciting new results in a wide range of areas. Three-dimensional modeling and imaging of painted/engraved caves provide enhanced opportunities for scientific study and new platforms for sharing protected sites with the public. Digital displays of archaeological sites and museum exhibits allow for broader public engagement with prehistoric art. Detailed renderings of decorative motifs on many materials (cave walls, stone, bone, antler, and ivory) are providing insights into the gestures and techniques used to create works of prehistoric art. Increasingly sensitive dating techniques are refining the chronology of prehistoric art. Quantitative studies of the morphology of early symbolic and ornamental systems are shedding light on the aesthetic values and social organization of production among prehistoric groups. Non-destructive chemical analysis of raw materials is revealing patterns of movement and exchange in prehistoric networks. In the wake of these diverse and exciting developments, collective reflection on the benefits and challenges of new methods is essential.

Numerous publications in the last decade have introduced a wide range of exciting methodological developments. The goal of this round table session is to engage specialists in computer-based and quantitative methods in a discussion of the benefits, limitations, challenges, and ethical implications of their methods of study. Chronological and geographic area are open, limited only to the pre- and protohistoric. Participation will be limited in order to provide ample discussion time. Participants will be asked to submit in advance a publication or a manuscript in development for discussion at the round table. In the session, participants will present their methods of analysis in detail, will have the opportunity to pose and respond to questions about these methods, and will engage in broader discussions about established and emerging computer-based and quantitative techniques. In closing, participants will be asked to reflect upon the implications of these methods in terms of public engagement, interpretive challenges, and the management, presentation, and preservation of data.

Thursday April 2, 2015 11:30 - 13:30 CEST
Room F University of Siena San Niccolò Building
Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.