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Contenus numériques et interactions (CONTINT) 2013

Ontology and photogrammetry for generalization of survey in underwater and nautical archaeology

At the confluence of Computer Science and the Humanities, our project, whose fields of action are in underwater and naval archeology, gathers researchers from academia and industry working in France, Malta and the USA. Our central objective is to build an information system based on ontologies. This information system will provide a formal framework and tools to express and manage digital content and expert knowledge in a homogenous way. Our second objective is the development of methods for collecting data on sites sites and their integration into the information system right during the acquisition phase.
The archaeological survey process is analyzed based on the discrepancies between the models generated by a large corpus of formal knowledge and large amount of photogrammetric data. In the context of underwater surveying and excavation, photogrammetry proved to be a nearly ideal tool.
This declination of the link between measurement/knowledge in photogrammetry /ontology is appropriate, both in the context of naval archeology, where possible measures are often partial, and in that of underwater archeology, where is the aim is to develop sophisticated pattern recognition 3D/2D, which will propose or validate typological assumptions from very precise measurements.
The project is based on a survey of an exceptional deep water shipwreck in Malta (located 110m deep and probably the oldest shipwreck archaic central Mediterranean) which requires complete automation of the survey phase, using robots.
The survey of the current state of this shipwreck will be achieved through an automated process, departing from the recognition and localization of amphorae and other manufactured objects visible on the surface layer.
To achieve this full automation objective we will develop an original approach of underwater photogrammetry to be deployed from a specific instrumental complex implemented with the resources of the company COMEX. This photogrammetric approach is supported by a body of archaeological knowledge formalized in an ontology, both from the points of view of theoretical and geometrical conception of the artifacts and components involved, within the ontology developed - trades will be implemented to support and guide the process of measurement and exploitation of this measure.
In a second step, we will initiate a process of generalization of this approach to the body of naval archeology through several particular case study. The relation measurement/knowledge will be studied in the context of a naval archeology in collaboration with Texas A&M University which on one hand has already start working to formalize structural element of vessel and on the other hand led various archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean on this topic.
A more complete and detailed ontology, already initiated at Texas A&M University, will describe the structural elements of the vessel and propose a generalization of the relation measurement/knowledge is proposed in the context of naval archeology.


CNRS CCJ Centre Camille-Jullian, UMR 7299

CNRS DR12_LSIS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Délégation Provence Corse_Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Information et des Systèmes, UMR CNRS 7296


 Societe d'études et de travaux photogrammétriques

TAMU Texas A&M University, Texas, USA

UoM University of Malta, Department of Classic and archaeology

ANR grant: 633 435 euros
Beginning and duration: avril 2014 - 48 mois


ANR Programme: Contenus numériques et interactions (CONTINT) 2013

Project ID: ANR-13-CORD-0014

Project coordinator:
Monsieur Pierre DRAP (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Délégation Provence Corse_Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Information et des Systèmes, UMR CNRS 7296)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.