Semantically Documenting Virtual Reconstruction: Building a Path to Knowledge Provenance
Keywords: Virtual Reconstruction, Reconstruction Process, Reasoning Process, Modeling, Provenance, CIDOC-CRM
Abstract. The outcomes of virtual reconstructions of archaeological monuments are not just images for aesthetic consumption but rather present a scholarly argument and decision making process. They are based on complex chains of reasoning grounded in primary and secondary evidence that enable a historically probable whole to be reconstructed from the partial remains left in the archaeological record. This paper will explore the possibilities for documenting and storing in an information system the phases of the reasoning, decision and procedures that a modeler, with the support of an archaeologist, uses during the virtual reconstruction process and how they can be linked to the reconstruction output. The goal is to present a documentation model such that the foundations of evidence for the reconstructed elements, and the reasoning around them, are made not only explicit and interrogable but also can be updated, extended and reused by other researchers in future work. Using as a case-study the reconstruction of a kitchen in a Roman domus in Grand, we will examine the necessary documentation requirements, and the capacity to express it using semantic technologies. For our study we adopt the CIDOC-CRM ontological model, and its extensions CRMinf, CRMBa and CRMgeo as a starting point for modelling the arguments and relations.