Piotr KUROCZYŃSKI, Oliver B. HAUCK, Fabrizio I. APOLLONIO, Jonas BRUSCHKE | October 02, 2017 | 10 am

Since the beginning of the 1990s, digital 3D reconstructions have become ever more common in archaeology, architecture and other disciplines. Lost, but also present structures are being visualized to enhance the understanding of artefacts and point out historical and constructional relationships of the objects under consideration.


The reconstruction from a variety of sources is rather complex and highly interpretative. The source material might be incomplete, imprecise, or inconsistent, leaving room to uncertainty and many hypotheses. For an object dated back in the very past, available sources may be little and information very fuzzy. Nevertheless, an archaeologist might want to visualize the object on the whole. But how do other researchers or also non-experts know, which part of the reconstruction is very well backed by reliable sources and which is just fiction? In regard to scientific transparency, the processes and knowledge behind the reconstruction should be well documented and accessible to other researchers, so they can comprehend and validate the results. Documentation and accessibility are also claimed by the principles of the London and Seville Charter.

There are already approaches on how to integrate such information into the visualization, e.g. applying transparency or color codes to distinguish between factual and fictional objects. But there is not a formal representation yet to allow an exchange and integration of this information. The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) is a standard ontology in the field of cultural heritage. It has been more and more adopted by projects and institutions in the past years. As the reconstructed objects and related sources are usually part of cultural heritage, it seems to be obvious to use this standard ontology to document those real-world object, their digital counterparts and information regarding the reconstruction. Originally designed to describe museum objects, the core CIDOC CRM is, however, not capable to represent digital objects or fuzzy information.


The CHNT Round Table (RT) discuss the approach on behalf of some show cases. The goal is to clarify a common standard for e-documentation (CIDOC CRM referenced), focus on the mandatory description forms and the triples in the background. The RT is considered to sensitize the community to the requirements of the documentation following the requirements of Linked (Open) Data.


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