year 4, Issue 13 (11-2020)                   Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2020, 4(13): 181-192 | Back to browse issues page

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Mirsafdari S, Mohammadifar Y. (2020). Recreating Information in Digital Archeology. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 4(13), 181-192. doi:10.30699/PJAS.4.13.181
URL: http://journal.richt.ir/mbp/article-1-314-en.html
1- PhD Candidate in Archeology, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran.
2- Professor, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran , mohamadifarbasu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (3155 Views)
The development of interdisciplinary sciences and the need for researchers to review scientific topics have led to the issue of “reuse of data” in archeology. Before any discussion, it is necessary to examine the challenges and theoretical foundations in this field, because uninformed use and without considering the indigenous needs of the country’s archaeological knowledge in these discussions will lead to opposite results and create consumerism and orientation in producing scientific results. This research has been done by the descriptive-analytical method and in this field from documents and library resources as well as observing the results of invalid scientific databases in the field of archaeological data studies from Digital Science Direct database, and a review of Open Context and CdocRM databases. Also, the results have been published on the T-Dar website. After reviewing and studying effective methods to identify effective strategies for reusing information and using digital tools in this field, finally, three main areas in data re-reading have been identified including standardization, metadata design, and texture documentation by digital tools. These strategies can be effective by combining their capabilities in the process of data reuse and have an intrinsic value according to the standardization frameworks of the obtained information and do not depend on factors such as information provision tools or the foundation itself. For this purpose, in the stages of field studies, classification, laboratory studies, and storing information in databases, scientific principles in this field must be carefully applied so that the information can be reused; Therefore, two main questions are raised in this research. 1) What key issues should be considered in the discussion of data reuse? 2) How can digital tools be useful in meeting the challenge of data reuse? We explored key areas in the reuse of archaeologists’ data and the role of large institutions in this area and introduced digital capabilities to address these challenges.
Keywords: Digital Archeology, Standardization, Metadata, Texture, Digital Documentation.

One of the main purposes of designing and using databases in archeology is to reuse data. One of the essential fields in the standardization of topics in our country is the integration of words and terms. For example, in many sources, words such as coarse, rough pottery, as well as red and orange peas, etc. are used, and many researchers use different words instead of each other. Many other basic concepts such as laboratory studies, theoretical studies, and conclusions, etc. also need to use the relevant standard frameworks so that this information can be used and evaluated in other studies.
Proper management and study of digital methods that can be used in archeology is also an important and fundamental issue. There are different study methods and the information obtained from them are reusable provided that the implementation of the standards in different stages is obtained. The rules of regulatory bodies governing archeology are also changing, with many countries now banning the exchange of antiquities and other finds, even for research purposes. Therefore, the use of digital documentation for archaeological research will be important because not only the destroyed sites must be documented, but also the “archaeological data” in their remaining countries of origin should be analyzed accordingly.

The information obtained from theoretical and practical research will be monolingual by executive standards that can be understood by researchers at different times and places and can be reused and shared. CIADCC Aram (International Committee for the Conceptual Reference Model of Documentation) has presented the most famous and well-known model of the formal theoretical foundations of archeology. The CID DocC Aram conceptual reference model is a theoretical and practical tool for sharing information on cultural heritage. This model can help researchers, professionals, and the public to answer complex archaeological questions in a diverse and scattered data set. Also, some groups have created vocabulary, controlled, and revised vocabulary (readable by computers), complementing descriptive topics, and their properties are quietly defined by CIADCC. The terms reviewed and controlled have also recently been published by the British Museum as open information and facilitate large-scale access to information from archaeological data classification and typology systems.

The first question that arises for re-users of this information is the method of collecting archaeological data. In some cases, different methods in a particular research field based on the objectives of the research are understandable. The characteristics of a research field, such as the period of study or the nature of an area, affect the research design, data collection methods, and research strategies. Due to field activities in caves and urban areas, each requires a specific method of drilling, but in many cases, this change of method depends on the excavator, and this makes it difficult for researchers to re-read the data in museums or repositories. Objects, on the other hand, are meaningless on their own, regardless of the texture from which they are derived. The nature of archaeological studies is such that after collecting and studying the data, they lose the interpretation of their original meaning, either by returning to the site or keeping them in museums or reservoirs and they have no original value and cannot be “existent” alone. Without the context in which the archaeological data was located, it is impossible to analyze and study them, and they are only describable in terms of similarities and structure.

Another feature of databases is the inclusion of metadata next to the original information. Providing information that details the subject matter of an object or concept and helps to understand data, object or concept, metadata supports and explains the main information. 
Archaeologists use the research data of others in different ways: 1) the method of sharing person to person 2) sharing through the museum archives and more recently 3) digital databases and it depends on factors such as the scientific ability of the person who obtained the information, the area from which the information was obtained, and whether the information was the result of scientific work or unauthorized excavations.
Digital archaeologists use different technologies in their work. These technologies fall into four main categories: 1) information databases and the Internet, which is known as the main platform for digital activities, and the results of other sections are uploaded to publish and reuse data. 2) Software, which plays an important role in analysis and archaeological information and their results are transmittable to databases. 3) Digital documents that provide researchers with the ability to store virtually and objectively transfer information. 4) Physical and chemical studies and analyzes. To share and reuse data, our most important tool will be the database. Also, to preserve the texture and insert appropriate metadata, we need digital documentation as well as software. Also, to insert appropriate metadata, we need to use chemical and physical analysis.

The application of new archaeological perspectives to previous studies or the reuse of data is a challenge that enable archaeologist to review and share information in the field of interdisciplinary studies. In this regard, the three main areas of standardization, metadata, and context should be considered and planned. Proper use of standards in the study, analysis, and uploading processes and compliance with contractual criteria, make the impact of the person, tools and other issues less. Be confident and valuable. To understand the relationship between the three tools introduced with the steps of the practical study process in archeology, Model 1 is presented. This model shows which steps the tools should be used. It should also be noted that each of these components is associated with other options (Model 2).
 The need to use standardization as an executive framework in the field of metadata is part of the information integration process, and the documentation of its context is part of the metadata. Digital archeology and its tools can solve this challenge based on guidelines, criteria and standards, and theoretical foundations as a procedure in preparing metadata to solve the problem of backup information. Datasets with theoretical foundations based on local needs as well as vocabulary control should go through this path as well. Using three main contexts in re-reading information as complementary concepts can facilitate the study process. There is a practical example of this relationship in the approach of some large organizations in the field of data management. The British Archaeological Information Service (ADS) has launched major plans to develop theoretical foundations and standardize basic information such as dating and metadata (which includes contextual information) to provide free access to standardize information and metadata. Researchers can check the accuracy and validity of information in a database based on their knowledge. The free Orchid Database has been created to identify researchers, using the Orchid Web API to display biographical information and publish information about participants in data collection. The Free Database provides new data on the expertise and credibility of data-gathering archaeologists. This organization presents these metadata in the form of a specific standard framework. Another manifestation of the interaction of these fields in databases is due to their functional nature, include standardization and use of metadata.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Interdisciplinary
Received: 2020/04/11 | Accepted: 2020/06/11 | Published: 2020/11/30

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