AS Micro was produced as part of the research that I conducted during my MPhil in Mesopotamian Archaeology degree that I did at the University of Cambridge during 2010-11. I chose to extend the line of questioning of the ArcSeer project by continuing to look at the subject of archaeological representation. For my dissertation I focussed specifically on stratigraphic methodology within archaeology.
Stratigraphy is one of the oldest and most fundamental conceptual devices used in the archaeological discipline. Its representation in the visual form can be traced back to the drawings produced by the Dane Nicolas Steno in the 17th century. My thesis argued that in the time since Steno’s graphical innovation the ways in which archaeologists have chosen to represent stratigraphy has changed little. As with the ArcSeer project the research also included a practical component in the form of a new digital representational system that I called AS Micro.
AS Micro presents the stratigraphic recordings and interpretations of the archaeologist in three dimensions and in an interactive form. As excavation is a destructive process the ability to effectively replay the excavation process by viewing each layer using the AS Micro system promises to greatly ease the intellectual burden of producing interpretations at a point when the excavated material has been entirely removed.
AS Micro also provides access to data (text, images, quantitative) associated with each of the stratigraphic layers. These can be queried and updated and as with ArcSeer users are encouraged to leave comments and notes so that the knowledge system might continue to grow organically with user interaction.