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Hands-on Archaeological Conceptual Modelling

César Gonzalez-Pérez
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Research and practice in archaeology often generates, and needs to manage, a large amount of information, which exhibits complex relationships and categorisation phenomena. The quality of the conceptual models that we use when gathering, organising, processing and reporting this information determines, to a large extent, the quality of our work. Creating explicit, high-quality conceptual models is a crucial task in any information-intensive endeavour, and especially in those where the complexity of the information means that intuition alone is not sufficient. This workshop aims to introduce the discipline of conceptual modelling, often seen as pertaining to the engineering world, to archaeologists and related professionals. This introduction will be achieved by hands-on work, i.e. doing and experimenting rather than through theoretical explanations. The organisers have extensive experience in using conceptual modelling in archaeological domains for over 15 years, and will use ConML (www.conml.org) as a vehicle. ConML is a simple, high-level, affordable, powerful modelling language specifically designed with the humanities and social sciences in mind. In addition to supporting most of the object-oriented structural modelling constructs, ConML extends them with concerns that are rarely seen in industry-standard approaches but which are extremely important in archaeology, such as the ability to express temporality and subjectivity in conceptual models. The workshop will assume no previous knowledge of conceptual modelling, although it will assume familiarity with archaeological concepts and practice. It will begin by teaching the basic tenets of object-oriented structural modelling, followed by more advanced concepts and situations. Participants will be asked to undertake an extensive array of exercises and practical cases in the archaeological domain, either individually or in small groups, throughout the workshop. The maximum number of participants is estimated at 20. Similar experiences have been carried out internally at Incipit, in the form of postgraduate courses at CSIC, and as workshops at various editions of the CAA conference, with excellent results in all cases; archaeologists, historians and architects with no previous exposure to conceptual modelling were capable of creating good-quality models after a few hours of practice.


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Dates and versions

hal-00851186 , version 1 (12-08-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00851186 , version 1


César Gonzalez-Pérez, Charlotte Hug. Hands-on Archaeological Conceptual Modelling. Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology ( CAA 2013), Mar 2013, Perth, Australia. ⟨hal-00851186⟩


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