Stratigraphic search examples

The Demonstrator facilitates browsing over the stratigraphy via the Context display tab. Additionally, semantic search permits queries containing stratigraphic relationships (see also section 4.4). As with the hearth-coin example, this illustrates the possibility of cross searching for conceptual patterns within the ontology.

Contexts > Context Notes = Occupation > Strat above > Context Type = Floor 
Returned 14 results: 12 LEAP, 2 RRAD

One of the LEAP results (4407) relates back to the Hearth scenario. The notes from the data read

'Cut of hearth containing (5582), (5519) and (5520). Cuts through layer (3925) and floor make-up and overlying floor surface (4420), hence the hearth goes stratigraphically with the latest occupation of structure 5570.'

Other examples show stratigraphic search for the Furnace and Hearth scenarios:

Context Type = Furnace > Stratigraphically above > Context Type = floor
Returned 1 results: 1 LEAP
Context Type = Hearth > Stratigraphically above > Context Type = floor 
Returned 4 results: 3 LEAP, 1 RRAD

It is possible to combine stratigraphic and other relationships in the same semantic query.

Context > Contains ContextFind = Coin > Stratigraphically below > Context_Type = Floor
Returned 7 results: 2 LEAP; 5 RRAD
Close up of interface

The stratigraphy view for the LEAP example (Context 4589) shows the "Crushed tile and gravel floor" of Context 4569 stratigraphically above Context 4589, which was returned by the query. The (4589) ContextFind Details for small find SF3110 show a 'coin illegible' dated tentatively to 1st BC.

This demonstrates the potential for complex semantic search, making use of relationships that hold between contexts and context finds using the various stratigraphic relationships. It can assist verification of stratigraphic sequences. The ability to interrogate across datasets what types of finds were stratigraphically below (or above) different types of features affords finds specialists the opportunity to make detailed comparisons with, and possibly refine dating of, assemblages from their own archaeological contexts.

Section 4.4 discusses further potential for more advanced 'transitive' queries over stratigraphic relationships. Stratigraphic search illustrates the potential of the CRM-EH extension of the CRM ontology to support specifically archaeological enquiries via the corresponding semantic relationships. This would not be possible in the general CRM ontology. On the other hand, since the CRM-EH is a specialisation of the CRM, semantic interoperability is possible with related cultural heritage domains (for example history) at a more general level.


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