Topic ID #25489 - posted 12/11/2012 1:38 AM

18th International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies

Jennifer Palmer

Fwd from ARCHCOMP-L:

18th International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies

CHNT 18 2013 – 11th -13th November 2013, Vienna – Austria


Urban Archaeology and “Correct” documentation

Documenting the Data

Call for Sessions, Workshops and Round Tables


Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen!


Die “International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies”
wird im Jahr 2013 mit dem Thema “DOKUMENTATION” fortgeführt.


Sollte Sie Interesse haben, zu diesem Themenkreis eine Session, Workshop
oder Round Table zu organisieren und moderieren, möchten wir Sie einladen
uns bis spätestens 20. Jänner 2013 einen „CALL – Vorschlag“ zu schicken
(Kurzzusammenfassung 200-300 Wörter in Englisch). – siehe auch unten.
(Abstrakt an )


Die Bekanntgabe der Sessions, Workshops und Round Tables erfolgt am 30.
Jänner 2013.


Sollten Sie Fragen haben, stehen wir Ihnen jederzeit gerne zur Verfügung.


Ich möchte Ihnen auf diesem Weg ein Schönes und Erholsames Weihnachtsfest
und einen Guten Rutsch ins Jahr 2013 wünschen.

Wir würden uns freuen, Sie 2013 bei der Konferenz begrüßen zu können.


Viele Grüße aus der Stadtarchäologie Wien

Wolfgang Börner    /    Susanne Uhlirz


Urban Archaeology and “Correct” documentation

Documenting the Data


"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,-that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
(Keats: "Ode on a Grecian Urn")


Documentation of archaeological and cultural heritage sites is at the heart
of the archaeological process and an important component in cultural
heritage research and presentation. It is an essential step without which
interpretation and analysis are not possible. It is what makes archaeology
and cultural heritage "scientific".

Maybe we are storytellers. If so, the  type of story we tell is heavily
influenced by our way of collecting and organising our archaeological data.


But can we speak about CORRECT documentation or should we talk only about
usable and non-usable documentation?

The contemporary field is plagued by the involvement of operators each with
their own new tools. They propose solutions and suggest methods but are
often in blissful ignorance of the past investigations of the item, site or
cultural heritage they are working on. New technology, however, has to
support our research. Its use still depends on what we want to know next
(our research). The best solution is to have an underpinning of basic
documentation that allows any new researcher to easily access the core
record. Then they can then enrich the documentation with the results of
their new method, analysis and ideas.

It may be possible to build the ultimate recording system, but the
information we feed it is always potentially unreliable. How do we know when
our record is good - has integrity? What indicates that it might be bad –
lacking integrity?

Models are there to be used, not believed. Documentation is always for a
certain purpose and depending on that purpose, a set of documentation may be
regarded as good or bad, as “fit for purpose”. There will never be absolute
"true", "correct" or "right" documentation.

An abstract model of documentation should consist of the attributes we
record of the real world traits that we observe. The set of attributes that
we choose to record (out of the infinite set of possibilities) are the ones
that our current state of knowledge and our research aims (and therefore
designs) suggest will be the most useful to our current research
aims/agenda. If we want to reuse data beyond the current research
project/agenda then we must be very explicit about why, how and what we
record. This is the so called “para” data and goes beyond meta data to
include the “how” and “why” of data capture.


There are also very important points which should be should be considered.

1.      Documentation should be available for scientific research

2.      Documentation should be comparable with old and future documents

3.      Documentation can be used for monitoring and preservation of
national cultural heritage

4.      Documentation has to be suitable to fight illicit actions. Without a
good documentation it is hard or impossible to find stolen objects.

5.      Documentation has to enable repair or reconstruction, at least



Documentation is the main topic of this year’s conference and an import
issue to consider in all our work.

We would like to ask for “Session proposals” that invite researchers using
new technologies to come forward and discuss what documentation they are
using and why.


Deadline: 20th January 2013

Abstract: 200-300 words (

Notification: 30th January 2013


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