W. Neubauer ,  C. Traxler ,  A. Lenzhofer ,  M. Kucera (2018)

Integrated spatio-temporal documentation and analysis of archeological stratifications using the Harris Matrix

communication medium

Visual Heritage 2018/ EG GCH


The stratigraphic excavation process aims for the unearthing of the single units of stratification in the reverse order of their formation, along with all their descriptive attributes and topological relations, and to create a stratigraphic sequence known as Harris Matrix (HM). The HM is the fundamental diagrammatic representation of relative time for an archaeological site and the de facto standard for the diagrammatic representation of a stratigraphic sequence – the backbone for archaeological stratigraphy. It displays all uniquely identified units of stratification in a sequential diagram representing their relative temporal succession. It provides an inherent relative calendar, which is the testing pattern for the integration of any additional relative or absolute temporal information derived from the interdisciplinary post-excavation analysis of finds and samples. In this paper we described an integrated approach for the digital documentation and visual analysis of a combination of strati- graphic and chronologic relations originating from an archaeological site. The implicit chronologic sequence given by the HM becomes explicit as scientists are enabled to define a hierarchical time model and assign units of the HM to temporal intervals or provide exact dating. The system maintains a consistent visual representation, which means that a correct stratigraphic lay- out is preserved while units are aligned to intervals of the time model. Evaluation on a real-world use case showed that this combined visualization makes the scientific analysis and interpretation more efficient and reliable.

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