Archaeology and Terminology

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The STAR project was an AHRC funded project in collaboration with English Heritage Centre for Archaeology, concerned with joining data from multiple formerly disparate dataset schemas together to enable seamless searching and browsing across archaeological datasets. This talk will focus on experiences and issues arising from the use of controlled terminologies within the project. The initial situation encountered was one of a disconnected archipelago of data islands. It was thought that an overarching ontological structure in conjunction with controlled vocabularies could provide a potential bridging solution, however it turned out that terminology usage was in a similar fragmented situation. This was possibly partly due to the way archaeology is organised (at least in England) – small commercial archaeological agency units working in isolation to each other. Also the nature of the work being undertaken influences the outcome - developer funded contract archaeology and research council funded archaeology have differing objectives. It is evident from initiatives such as INSCRIPTION (a list of wordlists for terminology corresponding to each MIDAS “Unit of Information”) and EHKOS (an online ontology containing data on monumental and historical information) that the profession as a whole clearly recognises the overall benefits of controlled vocabulary usage, but it was also evident from the datasets encountered that it is not necessarily practiced in an entirely coordinated way. Using free text (with reference to terminology guidelines) as the dominant data entry method; stages of the data creation process may delegate vocabulary control issues to subsequent stages, with the result that the issues may not be addressed at all.
Period18 Nov 201019 Nov 2010
Event titleMind the lexical gap: A conference on EuroVoc and multilingual thesauri
Event typeConference
LocationKirchberg, LuxembourgShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational