Talks and Poster Presentations (without Proceedings-Entry):

C. Traxler, W. Neubauer:
"Design of the Harris Matrix Composer, a new tool to create and edit Harris Matrices";
Talk: Internationale Konferenz "35 Jahre Harris Matrix", Wien; 2008-09-17 - 2008-09-19.

English abstract:
The Harris Matrix - formulated by Dr. Edward C. Harris in 1973 - is the established way of representing the archaeological stratigraphy of an excavation. The Harris Matrix is a sequential diagram defining stratigraphic relations between stratigraphic units. It is an important method to document the stratification that is destroyed by the excavation process and hence a vital tool for analysis. The theory was recently extended to distinguish between two types of stratigraphic units, deposits and surfaces. Deposits represent layers that are dug away and hence are volumetric data, whereas surfaces represent immaterial interfaces between layers of stratigraphy. Based on the analysis of finds and samples temporal relations, like "later" or "contemporary" can be set to supplement stratigraphic ones. The analysis also results in a division of stratigraphic units into phases and periods. Phases are structural entities, like post-holes of an ancient dwelling. Periods represent a certain historical epoch. Since this extension of the theory is not considered by any tool, we decided to design and develop a new one, the Harris Matrix Composer (HMC). With the HMC a Harris Matrix can be created and edited by drawing its graph structure with an intuitive and easy to use GUI. A layout mechanism arranges units into a top-down structure that reflects their stratigraphic and temporal relations. The validity checker helps users to avoid errors. The HMC will have an interface to a GIS system to access digital archaeological data by selecting units, phases or periods in the Harris Matrix and hence in a meaningful way for analysis. In that respect it will close a gap in the archaeological toolbox.

Related Projects:
Project Head Christoph Traxler:
LEOPOLD Lively Experience of the Pastime of Leopoldsberg from digital Archaelogical Data

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