Linking theories, past practices, and archaeological remains of movement through ontological reasoning

Nuninger, L., Verhagen, P., Libourel, T., Opitz, R. , Rodier, X., Laplaige, C., Fruchart, C., Leturcq, S. and Levoguer, N. (2020) Linking theories, past practices, and archaeological remains of movement through ontological reasoning. Information, 11(6), 338. (doi: 10.3390/info11060338)

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The amount of information available to archaeologists has grown dramatically during the last ten years. The rapid acquisition of observational data and creation of digital data has played a significant role in this “information explosion”. In this paper, we propose new methods for knowledge creation in studies of movement, designed for the present data-rich research context. Using three case studies, we analyze how researchers have identified, conceptualized, and linked the material traces describing various movement processes in a given region. Then, we explain how we construct ontologies that enable us to explicitly relate material elements, identified in the observed landscape, to the knowledge or theory that explains their role and relationships within the movement process. Combining formal pathway systems and informal movement systems through these three case studies, we argue that these systems are not hierarchically integrated, but rather intertwined. We introduce a new heuristic tool, the “track graph”, to record observed material features in a neutral form which can be employed to reconstruct the trajectories of journeys which follow different movement logics. Finally, we illustrate how the breakdown of implicit conceptual references into explicit, logical chains of reasoning, describing basic entities and their relationships, allows the use of these constituent elements to reconstruct, analyze, and compare movement practices from the bottom up.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (International Emerging Action (IEA) PICS07899 – MOVESCAPE), VU University Amsterdam (CLUE+ Activity Fund 0055 ), ZRC SAZU Ljubljana, University of Franche-Comté, University of Tours, and University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Opitz, Dr Rachel
Creator Roles:
Opitz, R.Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Funding acquisition
Authors: Nuninger, L., Verhagen, P., Libourel, T., Opitz, R., Rodier, X., Laplaige, C., Fruchart, C., Leturcq, S., and Levoguer, N.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Information
ISSN (Online):2078-2489
Published Online:24 June 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Information 11(6): 338
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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