THE TEMPORAL DIMENSION IN A 4D ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA MODEL: APPLICABILITY OF THE GEOINFORMATION STANDARD
In recent years, the interest of many researchers in various domains is triggered to move beyond the traditional border of twodimensionality and explore the possibilities of the third and even the fourth, temporal, dimension. The emerging research interest concerning 3D and 4D and the handling of these additional dimensions can bring many benefits to archaeology as well. A 4D GIS tailored to archaeological data would facilitate better insights and more complex analyses. Its basis must be a conceptual 4D archaeological data model, which pays attention to existing data models and standards. Although in some cases more complex, archaeological data are closely related to geography and geo-information. Since the temporal dimension is a, and possibly the most, substantial element in archaeological research, this paper focusses mainly on this dimension. In this paper, the applicability of the ISO 19108 geo-information standard on temporal information for archaeological data is investigated. For a set of common temporal categories, e.g. the excavation time, the appropriate description according to this standard is determined. This will indicate in which cases the internationally recognized standard is suitable for use in an archaeological data model. Furthermore, three versions of the West European archaeological time scale as temporal ordinal reference system are constructed. For the first version, the ISO 19108 structure is used, whereas the second and third are based on geological variants. The results of the performed analysis are favourable to the usability of the ISO 19108 standard in archaeology; however, other temporal standards or data models may yield up better results.