Мapping of the archaeological reasoning process in 4D: form of publication or excavation of another kind?

S2: Archaeology, Open Science & the Digital Humanities | Standard presentation
  • Hristijan Talevski
    Institute of Old Slavic Culture
  • Emanuel Demetrescu
    Istituto per le Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni Culturali
  • Bruno Fanini
    Istituto per le Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni Culturali

The process of the reasoning behind the available archaeological data is a very important segment in archaeological research. Whether it’s about the decision-making process during the field activities, whether it’s about publishing the results. Here, the experience of the team behind the excavation is of exceptional importance, and of course, the selection of appropriate and adequately applied methods, techniques, and technology for answering the existing questions. All in case of problematic approach in solving particular problems about the past.

However, despite the vast number of opportunities and tools for publishing the results from the field archaeological research, a significant part of the reasoning process upon which decisions are made, (why we approached this and no other way during excavation, or why we interpreted the data in this and not in another way) remains behind the curtains. Very often what we miss the most is a deliberate illumination of „the other possible and plausible solutions of the puzzle“, made by the one who acquired the data firsthand. Additionally, in absence of access to the raw archival documentation from a particular field research, much data with a significant potential to give side perspectives on the same data remain unreachable.

The subject of this presentation will be the evaluation of the potential for applying the logic standing behind Extended Matrix - The tool for virtual reconstruction in archaeology, in providing as much as possible - absolute insight in all the phases of the research process alongside the complete flow of the reasoning process. Also, the potential of the ATON framework for bridging the entire corpus of available data and providing efficient access to each particular piece of information in a virtual user-friendly environment will be presented. We believe that both of these tools and systems have the potential to bring us a step forward to establishing efficient access to all the data available from and for archaeological field and cabinet research. The basic idea behind the proposed “excavation of another” kind is that every researcher interested in the same contexts and the same material should have as clear as possible view of the degree of relevance of all the data used for interpretation, alongside the process of the reasoning behind the interpretations presented in a publication. All because very often, the interpretations of the material that remain from the past are presented as absolute truths without the presentation of the minimum needed argumentation. Additionally, the opportunities to use the same data, and the same approach in training professionals in field archaeology will be discussed.