Issue 315: New classes and properties about archaeological excavation

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

In the 36th joined meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9 and the 29th FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, Achille proposed  new classes to be added to the CRMarchaeo. These are:

1) A9 Archaeological Excavation.AP21is organized in: E7 Activity:
A comment was that it should just be P9 because it is a part of relation. If it is not then it should be explored why this property is needed since the target is not constrained. Is there any relation with planning

2) The A11 Excavation Area definition: 
A comment was that it should be distinguished the declarative place from phenomenal place

3) AP3 Excavated:
There is a terminological question about the label since excavated property term sounds very active

4) the  A12 Excavation PermissionIt was proposed that it should be an activity pattern. 

5) the A13 Permission Declaration is the “will”. It creates an information object that can be carried on a document or not. The document carries the links to the validity period. The E31 Document (Permission Document) is a plan with a foreseen validity period. Any right is a plan which pertains to an activity pattern. The declaration of will is also a historical event. There is no superclass of CRM for the excavation permission validity. The sig assigned to Achille, Oyvind, George, Wolfgang, Christian Emil should elaborate for specializing the E29 Design or Procedure

6) The E31 Document (Permission Document) is a plan with a foreseen validity period. Any right is a plan which pertains to an activity pattern. The declaration of will is also a historical event. There is no superclass of CRM for the excavation permission validity. Following Achille’s presentation, George informed the group about the on-going discussion and cooperation with the Dutch working on a model of ‘Archaeological Survey’ (Tymon de Haas and P.M. van Leusen). He remarked they have a problem with how to document negative results. They want to document that they observe nothing of a certain type. The comment of the CRM-SIG was that the same statement holds for the conservation. Then the SIG agreed that an activity declaring of collecting samples similar to part removal is needed, i.e we picked up something that has a stability of form that give us an evidence for the past.

The sig assigned to:   Achille, George, Steve will communicate with the Dutch group and with Apostolos Sarris in order to consolidate ways we deal with areas of surveys and remote sensing.

Heraklio, August 2016

posted by George on 29/11/2016

Dear all,

In light of the upcoming SIG in Berlin, I am writing in relation to a discussion from the last SIG. At that time Achille presented several new classes for use in the standard including:

A9 Archaeological Excavation

A11 Excavation Area

AP3 Excavated

A12 Excavation Permission

A13 Permission Declaration

These were under discussion as of last SIG and will likely be discussed anew at this SIG. The point was raised at the time that the work being done by Tymon and Martijn on archaeological survey might produce classes and relations that could be incorporated into archaeo or might affect the definition of archaeo classes and relations. For example, a ‘survey’ class might be required to capture the distinct elements of the activity of surveying.  Further, the consideration of survey might change the existing definitions. For example, since the archaeological process tends to begin with survey before moving to excavation, the proposed class ‘A9 Archaeological Excavation’ might need to be reworded and relabelled. Its intension is to group together all the activities of a single archaeological project for one unit of time. Given that it is formulated without explicit reference to survey however, its present label and scope note may be too narrow. A label like ‘Archaeological Campaign’ with significantly broad enough scope note could be a class of use to both excavation and survey.

I am therefore writing this mail, simply to see if Tymon and Martijn have had a chance to see the latest version of CRMArchaeo and to inquire if there are more thoughts in this direction which should be considered at the upcoming SIG in Berlin.

Posted by George on 29/11/2016

Dear all,

I have not had any time to do any proper research around planning activities, nevertheless the issue comes up in homework 315. There the question was raised of how to deal with the permissions granted (and required in modern archaeological research) in order to carry out archaeological activities.

The homework specified to create a special class of design or procedure. I wonder, however, if that is the way to go.

Legal Permissions come from some official declaration act. This is an event, a kind of speech act that has a transformative effect on following acts that are within its range. This event may or may not be documented in some tangible form.

The tangible document produced would be the record of this event and the specifications (i.e. E29 plan) for that which it authorizes  (or they may simply be a reference to other documentation of actual plans etc.)

So I wonder if ‘authorization’ in a general sense couldn’t be made a special kind of E13 attribute assignment which ‘authorizes’ (assigns attribute)  another instance of E7 activity and then assigns it limiting plans, place and time. I would limit the authorization to activities, because this is usually the substance of legal acts to my knowledge. Laws allow or disallow acts.

Authorization could in turn have to be supplemented by an equal class ‘annulment’ whose function would be the annulment of the original authorization.

This documentation would work fine retrospectively but if it is applied before an activity occurs then one might introduce entities into the information system which never actually come about.

I do not pretend that this presents a solution to the issue, but perhaps it can add to the conversation.

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In the 37th joined meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9 and the 30th   FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, the crm-sig discussed about planned activities, considering George' s proposal, and asked him to continue working on this taking into account the following comments:

- an activity pattern is needed which publishes permissions

-this would only cover activities that actually did take place

Berlin, December 2016

Old Proposal: 

Posted by Achille on 30/3/2017


Concerning issue 315 please note that the following decisions have been taken:

1. We have realised that an A9 Archaeological Excavation can consist of different A7 Activities not only of various A1s. Consequently, the P9 specification has been removed from the scope notes since there is no need to specify it there.

2. The A11 Ecavation Area entity needs to be further discussed and defined. It will maybe be introduced within the next version of CRMarchaeo specification.

3. The name of AP3 property was changed from “excavated” to “investigated”, according with SIG suggestion.

Reference to Issues: