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Seeing Triple: Archaeology, Field Drawing and the Semantic Web

Wright, Holly (2011) Seeing Triple: Archaeology, Field Drawing and the Semantic Web. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This thesis explores the Semantic Web with relation to archaeology, and whether it is yet possible for non-specialist archaeologists to create, use and share their data using Semantic Web technologies and principles. It also considers whether spatial data derived from field drawings can be incorporated alongside textual data, to ensure a more complete archaeological record is represented on the Semantic Web. To determine if these two related questions can be answered, a practical application was undertaken, followed by a discussion of the results, and recommendations for future work. Two archaeological datasets were chosen for the practical application. The first was an Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian site in the Yorkshire Wolds located near Burrow House Farm, Cottam, excavated by the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. The second was from the Anglo-Scandinavian area of the multi-period Hungate site in the York city centre, excavated by the York Archaeological Trust. One of the primary tenets of the Semantic Web is interoperability of data, and the sites were chosen because they were related archaeologically, but differed technologically. Both datasets included field drawings from which data could be extracted, along with augmentory databases to enhance the demonstration. The data was carried through a complete workflow, from extraction, alignment to an ontology, translation into RDF, querying and visualisation within an RDF store, and through to publication as Linked Data. This practical application was completed primarily using newly available generic tools, which required a minimal amount of specialist knowledge during most phases of the process. It demonstrated it is currently possible for non-specialist archaeologists to work with their data using Semantic Web technologies, including some data derived from field drawings. It showed how the Semantic Web allows archaeologists to use their data in new ways, and that it is a fruitful area for further work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Semantic Web, archaeology, spatial, data, field drawing, Anglo-Scandinavian, Cottam, Hungate, RDF, Linked Data
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.550256
Depositing User: Ms Holly Wright
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2012 09:43
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 12:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2194

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