Mikhail Zhukovsky

(Moscow State University, Russia)

Through its long history archaeology has produced an immense amount of data. Some of it were lucky enough to be processed, analyzed and published, while larger part are still being piled for “the future times”. The last decade has showed a rising interest to archive data and its involvement in current research. While contemporary data procession is totally digital such involvement makes integration in digital archives and information systems an only chance for old data.
Digital procession of old excavation data is probably the most challenging task. It is very heterogeneous and dependant on the particular site or researcher with a scope of his skills and experience. It also manifests an excavation methodological paradigm contemporary to the time of its creation. So, two very similar mounds excavated with a 50 years gap may have absolutely different excavation documentation.
The paper presents one of the modules of the information system mastering the whole amount of archaeological data of the Gnezdovo complex of archaeological sites collected through 135 years of field research. It handles the full cycle of procession of old excavation data – from scanning to integration within analytical information system. Data are embedded in two structuring “containers” – XML and SQL Server database entities. All data management is provided by SQL- and XML-queries (transactions). The paper focuses on the AutoCAD-based component of the module handling graphical stratigraphy record. It processes stratigraphy record as a hierarchy of vector objects and uses an object oriented approach for their structuring. Thus stratigraphy data and, widely, excavation data structure is specified by a set of XML templates and thesauruses, which makes it flexible and open for excavation data of merely any structure and consistency.