Category Archives: Research News

From MPhil to PhD; GSTAR update

After a longer than anticipated gestation, my Transfer Report has left my hands and is working its way through the administrative system to be externally examined. Fingers crossed, this is one of my last posts as an MPhil student and I will soon (post viva) be a PhD student proper.

Time for some celebratory fireworks!

Time for some celebratory fireworks!

The Transfer Report included a condensed form of the literature review and also a detailed report on Pilot Study. This Pilot Study was designed to lay sound foundations for the PhD research and involved implementing a system using geosemantic technologies, primarily to investigate ways in which semantic and geospatial data can work together but also to help me get to grips with the subject area and technologies available.

The full report will be made available in due course, once it has been examined (viva scheduled for end of November) and any corrections completed, but for now here is an update on some of the key findings of the Pilot Study and conclusions drawn.
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ScARF Directory of Archaeological Scientists

The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework

The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework

ScARF is the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework, yet another forward thinking move from our heritage colleagues north of the border. I never cease to be amazed by the good work emanating from up there; Scotland certainly blazes a trail for cultural heritage, a shining example of how to crack on and get good things done.

ScARF is described as follows:

The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) reflects the current state of knowledge regarding Scotland’s past. As understanding of the past changes, so too will ScARF. It should be seen as a live document that will be constantly updated, edited and improved. The people developing ScARF are the people who use it: those who research Scotland’s past for enjoyment, employment, or frequently both.

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Day of Archaeology

Day of Archaeology

Day of Archaeology

Last Friday was the Day of Archaeology and judging by the number and quality of posts, this year’s event looked to be one of if not the most successful yet. Massive congratulations and thanks to the organising team who do all the hard work, so much of it in their own time! Continue reading

Colonisation of Britain

Colonisation of Britain Linked Data

Colonisation of Britain Linked Data

The Colonisation of Britain project was undertaken by Wessex Archaeology, commissioned by English Heritage, and involved the digitisation of the archive material of Roger Jacobi.

The project aimed to provide a comprehensive survey of the Upper Palaeolithic resource, with a pilot study of the Mesolithic in England involving three counties. A comprehensive survey of these periods (c.38,000-c 6500 BP) was considered of particular importance because many of the sites and find spots represent evidence for the recolonisation of Britain after the Last Glacial Maximum by hominid groups. Unlike earlier recolonisations this event is part of the most northerly early migration of social groups of anatomically modern humans.

The major primary source of data for the survey is the invaluable and extensive archive compiled over many years by the late Dr Roger Jacobi. Securing this archive was identified as a priority in itself. The project included the digitisation of the Jacobi Archive, both as an image dataset and as a structured relational database, enhanced with additional information from SMR/HERs.

One of the outputs from the project is a Linked Data version of the outputs and Archaeogeomancy were pleased to be commissioned to undertake this component. Continue reading

Linking Geospatial Data 2014

LGD14 Barcamp, featuring open plan space and beanbags.

LGD14 Barcamp, featuring open plan space and beanbags.

I was very pleased to attend this event co-organised by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) through the SmartOpenData project, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the UK Government (data.gov.uk), the Ordnance Survey (OS) and Google. Hosted by Google Campus London, the two day event comprised presentations, lightening talks and a barcamp, all focussing on the use of geospatial data within the world of Linked Data. It was refreshing to be amongst researchers, users, developers and commercial folk all working in this area; I for one picked up some good ideas to help with my research project and hopefully my contributions were of use.

It was certainly good to bring together the camps working in this area: the geospatial technologists on the one side and the web folks on the other (And people like me who have one foot in each camp, as well as limbs in other domains, my primary domain being digital cultural heritage of course). To make this stuff work it’s going to take both groups working together through their respective consortia, the W3C and OGC.

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GSTAR: investigation of methods for working with geosemantic data, integrating geospatial data with semantic data

Mapping rubble by Brian Hoffman

Mapping rubble by Brian Hoffman

The first investigation in the GeoSemantic Technologies for Archaeological Research (GSTAR) research project is nearing completion, an assessment of approaches to the integration of geospatial archaeological data into a semantic framework to provide geosemantic capabilities.

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First Birthday!

Birthday cake by Will Clayton

Birthday cake by Will Clayton

Archaeogeomancy are pleased to be celebrating our first birthday this month! It’s hard to believe it has been a whole year since it all began, but LinkedIn confirms this with some lovely congratulatory messages, for which many thanks.

It’s been a busy year with a range of work successfully completed for a growing client base. 2014 is looking like it’s going to be a good year too with order books full for this quarter and a new and exciting venture just beginning.

Paul’s PhD is also progressing nicely with the three month review successfully completed and the first major case study in the final stages of being completed, ready for the next one and the transfer report.

So do follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and contact us if you need some advice, training or have a project in mind.

‘Between the Monuments’ at Avebury

The dig in the West Kennet Avenue, August 2013

The dig in the West Kennet Avenue, August 2013

It’s been almost a decade since I was last digging at Avebury as part of the ‘Negotiating Avebury‘ project, so it was lovely to be invited along with my Avebury Archaeological and Historical Research Group (AAHRG) colleagues to visit the latest excavations at this amazing place, part of the current ‘Between the Monuments‘ project and following the team’s 2012 geophysical survey. This latest project features two of the site directors from the Negotiating Avebury Project, Dr Josh Pollard (University of Southampton) and Dr Mark Gillings (University of Leicester), joined this time by Dr Nick Snashall (National Trust) as co-director. Continue reading

Some detailed modelling – archaeological excavation data

Pottery

Pottery

As part of my PhD research, the GSTAR project, I’ve been doing some more detailed work data modelling using the CRM-EH extensions to the CIDOC CRM, looking specifically at the concepts of ‘context’ aka ‘stratigraphic unit’ and how to model stratigraphy and context specialisms and relationships. Also the related processes by which objects become deposited in archaeological contexts and are subsequently found.

I will hopefully be publishing this work more fully in due course but for now here is a taster of some of the preliminary results.

This is very much open for discussion so any comments gratefully received. Continue reading