METHODS

All computer applications in the cultural heritage domain, from the description of primary data to the interpretation of the relevant cultural contexts, rest upon a cyclical dynamic process based on the tripartite model of data representation, analysis, and interpretation. This model complies with some basic theoretical assumptions already put forward almost sixty years ago to formalise the mechanisms of archaeological reasoning within a cognitive process.

Currently, sophisticated ICT tools accelerate knowledge acquisition, sharing and dissemination, but the history of past experiences still provides a key to better understand present approaches to cultural heritage documentation. Major topics can be identified, pivoting around quantitative methods, inventory systems and databases, and later around GIS, multimedia systems, and Internet applications. Many research lines are involved in the process of data digitisation: Cultural Resource Management, classification of archaeological finds, surveys and excavations, data dissemination and education. They open up far more complex theoretical perspectives suggested by the use of computers, such as data encoding and formalisation, as well as the evolution of languages, standards and metadata.

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