Irmela Herzog

(Bonn, Germany)

In the CAA or Vienna Workshop programmes of recent years, only very few papers can be found dealing with computer developments in stratigraphic analysis, with the exception of the Vienna workshop in 2001. The Harris diagram is the standard representation of stratigraphic relationships, often nowadays combined with GIS or even 3D documentation of the contexts involved. So is there no news from stratigraphic computing? In my view the main problem with the Harris diagram is that the chronological relationships do not result in an unambiguous relative chronology. Additional information must be taken into account to solve this problem, and the data available depends on the excavation to be analysed. For this reason, there is no straightforward best solution to this problem, and my paper presented at the Vienna Workshop in 2001 suggested several approaches. Four years later, some of these methods are supported by the Harris diagram software “Stratify”, and new algorithms have been developed. This paper will discuss conventional and new approaches to including additional dating information in the Harris diagram layout.
“Stratify” is on the web since July 2003, and it is interesting to look at the feedback from the archaeologists. University based archaeologists use the programme for data entry whereas staff of excavation units normally have their own recording data bases and want to import their data into “Stratify”. It is difficult to meet the varying needs of different user groups, especially since the software is not developed during office hours, but it is fun, too.