SURVEYING MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY: A NEW FORM FOR HARRIS PARADIGM LINKING PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND TEMPORAL RELATIONS
Keywords: Medieval Archaeology, Harris Matrix, Close-Range Photogrammetry- Ontology, Time representation
Abstract. The paper presents some reflexions concerning an interdisciplinary project between Medieval Archaeologists from the University of Florence (Italy) and ICT researchers from CNRS LSIS of Marseille (France), aiming towards a connection between 3D spatial representation and archaeological knowledge. It is well known that Laser Scanner, Photogrammetry and Computer Vision are very attractive tools for archaeologists, although the integration of representation of space and representation of archaeological time has not yet found a methodological standard of reference. We try to develop an integrated system for archaeological 3D survey and all other types of archaeological data and knowledge through integrating observable (material) and non-graphic (interpretive) data. Survey plays a central role, since it is both a metric representation of the archaeological site and, to a wider extent, an interpretation of it (being also a common basis for communication between the 2 teams). More specifically 3D survey is crucial, allowing archaeologists to connect actual spatial assets to the stratigraphic formation processes (i.e. to the archaeological time) and to translate spatial observations into historical interpretation of the site.
We propose a common formalism for describing photogrammetrical survey and archaeological knowledge stemming from ontologies: Indeed, ontologies are fully used to model and store 3D data and archaeological knowledge. Xe equip this formalism with a qualitative representation of time. Stratigraphic analyses (both of excavated deposits and of upstanding structures) are closely related to E. C. Harris theory of “Stratigraphic Unit” (“US” from now on). Every US is connected to the others by geometric, topological and, eventually, temporal links, and are recorded by the 3D photogrammetric survey. However, the limitations of the Harris Matrix approach lead to use another representation formalism for stratigraphic relationships, namely Qualitative Constraints Networks (QCN) successfully used in the domain of knowledge representation and reasoning in artificial intelligence for representing temporal relations.