Tag Archives: GSTAR

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



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

Hestia 2 seminar – GSTAR presentation

I gave a talk on my PhD research (the GSTAR project) at the Hestia 2 event in Southampton last Thursday. Given I am still early on in the process, and having been asked to relate my work to the world of commercial archaeology, I decided to follow an overview of my research with some ideas for the future and how Linked Data approaches could be used to overhaul the (painful and convoluted) ways we manage heritage data in the UK.

The talk will soon be up on the project webpages and the slides are presented below via Slideshare. There are some great write ups of the day over on the Hestia webpages. Continue reading

HESTIA2 – registration now open!

Herodotus by Skara Kommun

Herodotus by Skara Kommun

Following on from the last post on this conference, the programme is now published and registration open.

I will be speaking about geosemantic technologies in archaeology and my GSTAR research, the abstract is as follows:

The semantics of heritage data is a growing area of interest with ontologies such as the CIDOC-CRM providing semantic frameworks and exemplary projects such as STAR and STELLAR demonstrating what can be done using semantic technologies applied to archaeological resources. In the world of the Semantic Web, advances regarding geosemantics have emerged to extend research more fully into the spatio-temporal domain, for example extending the SPARQL standard to produce GeoSPARQL. Importantly, the use of semantic technologies, particularly the structure of RDF, aligns with graph and network based approaches, providing a rich fusion of techniques for geospatial analysis of heritage data expressed in such a manner.

This paper will give an overview of the ongoing G-STAR research project (GeoSemantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources) with reference to broader sectoral links particularly to commercial archaeology.

Specifically, focus will be applied to approaches regarding the integration of spatial data into the heritage Global Graph and the relationship between Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and Linked Data, moving beyond notions of ‘location’ as simple nodes, placenames and coordinates towards fuller support for complex geometries and advanced spatial reasoning.

Finally, the potential impacts of such research will be discussed with particular reference to the current practice of commercial archaeology, access to and publishing of (legacy, big) data, and leveraging network models to better understand and manage change within archaeological information systems.

See the conference website for full details and the calendar entry for when/where. Registration is free but tickets need to be booked in advance. Early registration is advised due to limited places.

HESTIA2: Exploring spatial networks through ancient sources



The Hestia2 project is described as “a public engagement project that aims to cross boundaries between the academic, commercial and educational sectors“.

As part of this, a free one-day seminar is taking place on 18th July organised by Elton Barker, Stefan Bouzarovski, Leif Isaksen and Tom Brughmans and in collaboration with The Connected Past. Continue reading

Geosemantics; the story so far

Semantic Web Rubik's Cube by dullhunk

Semantic Web Rubik’s Cube by dullhunk

Into the second month of the PhD now and things are starting to coalesce and take shape. A framework for development, testing and deployment of proposed demonstrators is emerging and I’m making good headway demystifying the world of geosemantics (at least, it’s becoming clearer in my head!).

So, as well as continuing with the literature review, I’m knitting together a whole bunch of tools:

  • Java Development Kit (JDK) – the programming language at the heart of it all
  • Maven – a project management and comprehension tool
  • Eclipse – open development platform
  • Jena – a Java framework for building Semantic Web applications
  • Oracle 11g – relational Database Management System (RDBMS) with Spatial and Semantic components
  • D2RQ – a system for accessing relational databases as virtual, read-only RDF graphs.
  • AllegroGraph – a graph database
  • Prolog – logic programming
  • Protégé – ontology editor and knowledge-base framework
  • GeoSPARQL – query language for geospatial data stored as RDF
  • ArcGIS – Geographic Information System for data preparation, processing, etc
  • GeoServer – open source GIS server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data.

I’ll be posting more along the journey. Next steps will be to complete the literature review, submit stage reports and use some real archaeological data. Exciting stuff!