Håkan Thorén

(Riksantikvarieämbetet, Lund, Sweden)

Purpose: To show the advantages with a object-oriented data model when storing archaeological information in a database.

Result: The Intrasis software package.

Why do we put information into databases and how do we structure the information to get some kind of benefit out if it? The subject has always been discussed in our organization and a couple of years before the turn of the millennium the idea of using object orientation for archeological databases came up. Could it be possible to adapt the object-oriented thinking, most common used in computer programming, for storing archaeological information? A draft data model was produced and after a couple of years of “tuning” it become the framework of Intrasis. In the data model pieces of information is treated as objects that has a set of properties. Some objects share the same properties which groups them together in Classes and Subclasses. Between objects there could be several relations and these relations “glues” objects together into meaningful chains.
This is a very simple description of an object-oriented data model. The purpose with this paper is to further describe the data-model and the advantages of using object-orientation for storing archaeological information. A very important part of the model is relations. It is the relations between objects that makes it possible to supply the archaeologist with easy tools, tools that makes computer aided archaeology to preferable method.

Keywords: Object-orientation, database, documentation