The ArchaeoGRID infrastructure, a laboratory of past for reconstruction, simulation and visualization of ecological and social processes dynamics in ancient societies Giuliano Pelfer CSDC, University of Florence, Italy Pier Giovanni Pelfer Department of Physics, University of Florence and INFN, Italy 1 â€“ Introduction Central problems of modern archaeological research concern the understanding of the social and ecological factors leading to global change and to biodiversity crisis. Integration of history of humans and ancient societies with the Earth system history needs for facing problems like the origin, growth and collapse processes of past societies and the interactions of the environmental and human processes that have contributed to determine such human and environmental dynamics or the social, environmental and economical processes leading to the emergence of the city and the state. The past is the only one laboratory we have to test our hypothesis and models on social and ecological processes dynamics. It is well known that in archaeology large use is done of digital technologies and computer applications for data acquisition, storage, analysis and visualization. The approach of modern archaeology to the study of the evolution of ancient human societies is based on the acquisition and analysis of many types of data. The amount of information coming from the archaeology and the other connected natural and human sciences, that need to be stored and made available for analysis, are increasing at a very large extent. Such data must, however, be analysed if they are to become valuable information and knowledge. The data analysis use advanced methods developed in mathematics, informatics, physics, geology, biology, ecology, anthropology and in other sciences. The inevitable result of this is an exponential increase of the amount and complexity of information that must be acquired, transferred, stored, processed and analysed. From another side natural disasters, wars and terrorism created enormous damages to the archaeological heritage and in many case destroyed definitively all information about ancient civilizations. It is urgent therefore a long term project for acquiring, storing and preserving at least the archaeological information. The paper presents the Latin America ArchaeoGRID project that, using GRID technologies developed at CERN and in other laboratories, is developing a GRID able to fit the very challenging requests of contemporary archaeology. In fact modern archaeology is far more than trench digging, and as it gets set to embrace the GRID it is shedding its low-tech image in favour of a high-tech approach to uncovering the past. Production, storage and use of archaeological information and knowledge is increasing in volume. The images from 3D scanned objects and excavation areas, from remote sensing, the data from laboratories and from computer simulation produce petabytes (RENFREW C.,BAHN P., 1991) Archaeological data is getting not only larger and larger, but also their complexity and heterogeneity are increasing, meaning that the extraction of meaningful knowledge require more and more computing resource Data include aspects of work from fields as diverse as physics, chemistry, earth sciences, biology, geography, anthropology and social sciences, as well as techniques developed according to the archaeological methods and theories. Modern archaeological science (RENFREW C.,BAHN P., 1991) depends on large collections of diverse, mundane objects - such as potsherds, stone tools and debris, and animal and plant remains - rather than small collections of treasures. Sites are unique, non renewable resources easily destroyed by erosion or modern land use. Old collections, original field notes, and report s of prior work have enduring research value. Archaeological data also lose much of its meaning when taken out of the original spatial-temporal context in which it was discovered. This spatial and temporal context of modern archaeological research extend from the dig site itself to much larger regions and long time periods. Archaeological data are spatial-temporal data. Traditional archaeological field and laboratory research was highly individualized. Simultaneous access of this huge amount of available data is not easy. Such data can be divided in different types like separately compiled databases held by museums, governmental agencies, private companies and individuals that reside on different computer platforms. Often data classifications and terminology vary, are regionally and temporally specific, and are inconsistently applied. There are archaeological GIS databases based on years
of accumulated paper records; voluminous unpublished literature consisting of limited distribution reports; images, maps, and photographs embedded in museum catalogs and archaeological reports, published and unpublished. Part of these data are not in digital format. ArchaeoGRID promote archaeological digital contents. 2 - Challenges of ArchaeoGRID ArchaeoGRID project is based on the GRID paradigm (FOSTER I. et al., 2001) which allows new ways of sharing resources in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in sciences and humanities. ArchaeoGRID combines and enables the advantage of multidisciplinary research - specialists work alone using appropriate techniques – and of interdisciplinary research – specialists cooperate and discover new aspects of their data. ArchaeoGRID aims to produce an integrated history of the climate, material and water cycles, ecosystem distribution, land use systems, human settlement patterns, technological changes, patterns of disease, patterns of language and institutions, wars and alliances, and other variables on earth from many new and existing data sources in a spatially and temporally consistent framework ArchaeoGRID by fostering new international groups-applications and by enabling new kind of worldclass collaborative solutions becomes the new medium for the cognitive process in archaeology and for advancing in archaeological knowledge unification and integration through the use of advanced GRID technological platforms ArchaeoGRID is a project connected with the fields of the archaeological activities like: 1- the archaeological research for production, sharing and diffusion of archaeological information and knowledge by the methods of ancient topography, field survey and excavation, archaeometry, simulation, telearchaeology, visualization and narration. 2- the archaeological heritage management from preservation to access of the archaeological digital data in a period of crisis of curation. 3- the economical exploitation of the archaeological information and knowledge by tourism, education, edutainment, heritage preservation, archaeological risk management, land management.(PELFER G. , 2003, 2006a-e, 2007a-c,2008a-b; PELFER G. et al., 2004, 2006, 207a-c, 2008; PELFER G., PELFER P. G., 2003, 2006ab, 2007a-c, 2008; PELFER P. G., 2005). ArchaeoGRID is not only grid applications. Some of ArchaeoGRID applications could be deployed on an e-infrastructure only if this structure will satisfy specific needs of the archaeological research and of the use of the archaeological knowledge. (PELFER G. et al., 2002) In fact, the digital library middleware must be present on the e-infrastructure, integrated at some level with GRID middleware, for the final narration by production of a digital document; a visualization laboratory, with the most advanced virtual reality – VR - and augmented reality – AR - technologies available, must be accessible; the archaeological geospatial - temporal data must be accessible and manageable by means of some GRID GIS spatial infrastructure; the grid interoperability must be ensured to operate with the other grid; last but not least, through the e-infrastructure must be possible design and access to large repositories of the archaeological information. Of obvious importance for archaeological inquiry are the rules for analysing and combining the categories of evidence from different sciences and humanities. Social, environmental, economical history of the large region will be investigated using archaeological data, written documents, proxy measures from earth sciences, ancient landscapes reconstruction. The structure of inquiry must be synergetic. Thus the advantage of multidisciplinary research, - specialists work alone using appropriate techniques - , and of interdisciplinary research, - specialists cooperate and discover new aspects of their data - , are combined and enabled by ArchaeoGRID ArchaeoGRID will enables the possibility for a large number world-wide spread communities of archaeologists from universities, research centers, museums to work together on a same project through distributed global collaborations . It will provide access to very large data collections, terascale computing resources, high performance visualisation and connection by high- bandwidth networks By ArchaeoGRID the archaeological research, made until now from small researcher groups, will move in the direction of large multidisciplinary virtual organization -VO -. ArchaeoGRID will enable also a new way to work by telearchaeology. Data from field survey and
excavation have the form of digital pictures and data files with topographical coordinates of artefacts and structures present in the images. Additional data files contain descriptions and measures of excavated materials. Those data could be sent using any telecommunications channel available - satellite communication, wireless internet - to ArchaeoGRID. Images will be then ortorectified with the help of topographical coordinates, and integrated into an archaeological GIS with all other data sent by the field team. Then the field team could make queries to the system during excavation and field survey: a portable computer can be used to understand what the archaeologists are excavating at run time. ArchaeoGRID enable knowledge sharing and knowledge growth by telearchaeology. Archaeological excavation and field survey is totally transformed by telearchaeology. These are no more a blind unearthing of hidden objects, but an understandable production of new data using a coherent framework made of previous knowledge. Archaeologists can understand the activity areas, occupation floors, walls, their are excavating, because they can recognise then as such when integrating all data at the same moment they obtain them. It is not a question of waiting for the end of the excavation to understand what. And many people can collaborate in the understanding and in the way the knowledge is extracted from the ground, without being there excavating. That means knowledge sharing and knowledge growth. Everyone learns: the archaeologist in the field and at the university, the technician at the laboratory, the public at the museum, the student at the classroom, the user in the office. The idea is to generate knowledge, to share knowledge and to use knowledge. 3 - The Latin America ArchaeoGRID lab In Fig.1 the ArchaeoGRID laboratory layout is shown. The structure of ArchaeoGRID infrastructure is very complex and challenging. Computing and permanent storage resources available on infrastructure will be accessed by the standard grid middleware layer. But more layers on top of middleware layer must be built:
the common GRID services layer for accessing virtual lab services, digital library services and advanced GRID services for analysis, visualization and narration; the archaeological spatio-temporal data infrastructure layer for the management of geospatial-temporal data and metadata and for their analysis by distributed GRIDGIS services and by multi-agent systems (MAS) platform. The access to other GRIDs in sciences and humanities for recovering data and using analysis tools
connected with the many different disciplinary fields that need for multidisciplinary research is built using P-Grade GRID portal. The ArchaeoGRID Infrastructure is set up for : a- the reconstruction of social, ecological and economical landscape of crucial historical periods and for large geographical regions, using archaeological, geological, biological and ecological and any other useful and available data. b- the simulation with models from theory of complexity of social, ecological and economical processes dynamics. c- the validation of the simulated processes by reconstructed landscape in a holistic top to bottom approach. d- the narration by the realization of a final digital document with a visualization laboratory and a digital library Archaeological documents are composed by maps, images, draws, tables linked by text. Textual parts, - narration - , connect all the elements of the documents in a coherent vision based on a theoretical model or subjective intuition . Text is the glue connecting anything. Any archaeological document is an open document. Archaeologists, by digital library services and visualisation lab services, will create a dynamic digital document, that could be reviewed and modified by new data acquisition or by theoretical model change and could be linked with digital data located anywhere in the world. Narration will exploit new possibilities with ArchaeoGRID. In Fig.2 the structure of a full- integrated open source archaeological GIS, for the storage and the analysis of spatial â€“ temporal archaeological data is shown. Software for spatial data developed by Open Source Geospatial Foundation( OSGEO ) is used. OSGEO software is largely used in archaeology for his good interoperability and functionality based on OGC standards. Interoperability with other grid ( Earth Sciences GRID, Biosciences GRID, etc. ) is also a condition for a full operability of ArchaeoGRID. 4. Grid applications for some case study in Latin America archaeology The multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary characters of the archaeological activities imply the organization of a link between researcher groups with expertise in many different fields in sciences and humanities, working in archaeological museums, in universities, in research centers and in other public and private institutions of the countries involved in the project. Aim of this organization will be the study of some of the central themes of the modern Latin America archaeology. Contemporary large regions archaeology could be the first ArchaeoGRID application. The research subject is the process conducting to the origin, growth and collapse of pre-Incas civilisations in North PerĂş. - Fig 3 - The research could focus two subjects connected one to the other: 1- the reconstruction of paleoenvironment and paleoproduction landscapes 2- the simulation of social processes related with the society development These examples show the amplitude and the complexity of the problem. Any aspects related with the situation in the shown areas must be evaluated. Data are available from the past research and from present research. The new technologies give the possibility to complete with new and more precise data the previous scenarios. Advanced analysis methods could be used. Mochica society could be analysed as a dynamic system, starting from simple dynamic model to complex dynamic model, from simple society to complex society. The archaeological GIS needs to be coupled to Multi Agent-Based Models (MABM) platform.
Paleoenvironment and landscape reconstructions are inverse engineering problems. Available and simulated data on climate, geomorphology , hidrography, land use, etc. are used for reconstruction of global and local ancient landscapes as: 1- the resource distribution as soils for agriculture and farming, as mines for metal production, as forest for wood, as fauna, as technique. 2- the activities areas for artefact production, for fishing, for any other production. 3- the terrestrial communication road, the fluvial way and the maritime routes and harbours based on the archaeological remains and the reconstructed geomorphologic , hydrographic and oceanographic situation. Social and economic changes are simulated by Multi Agent - Based Modeling – MABM - of complex social systems provide the potential to capture the dynamic trajectories of settlements development and their social and economical support systems and allow for a wide range of choices and trajectories—both rational and irrational—to contribute to the outcome of the models. The analysis of the ancient economy is centered on production from agriculture, metallurgy, craft production, on consumption, on noncommercial and commercial exchange at the different social scales like households, villages, regions and world system. The starting ArchaeoGRID application could be a paleoclimatic simulation. Paleoclimate simulation is relevant for evaluating: agricultural and pastoral activities; forests amount and distribution - wood has been a necessary resource for tools, habitation, ship fabrication, ceramic production, metallurgy -; exchange and trade - terrestrial roads, fluvial way, maritime routes, harbours -; environment - geomorphology, hydrography, sea level and temperature -; habitation and dressing; epidemiological situation. A second case study, strictly linked with the session subject, could be the analysis of relation between shape and function in the architecture of Mochica society by their development. - Fig. 4 and 5 The steps of such study could be: 1 – the creation of a complete repository of any information related with architectural remains and with settlements patterns.
2 – the architecture reconstruction by 3D graphics and virtual reality technologies. 3 – the reconstruction of social and ecological processes and simulation of their dynamics by multiagentbased model. By integration of the real and simulated data would be possible to analyse on a quantitative basis the relation between the buildings shape and their functionality in Mochica architecture. Visualization by 3D graphics and VR technologies of the analysis results is also a method for the control of the results quality. Digital documents by digital library services are produced for any research phase as a report of the past activities and the base for the future works. 6. Conclusions ArchaeoGRID enables the possibility to exploit advanced grid computational and storage technologies in archaeology for generating, curating and analysing big amount of data from field surveys, excavations, laboratories and for developing and explore models and simulations from data with a very large number of variables, needed for the analysis of the emerging large region archaeology. Archaeological knowledge building is a collective work. The explanation process needs knowledge as a raw material, and this knowledge does not exist in mind of one individual scientist. Knowledge is distributed in the community of researchers, on a global scale. To be able to interpret data, every researcher needs a previous knowledge on which he will make a specific reference. In the vision of a knowledge GRID , the ArchaeoGRID acts as unifying agent between applications and non homogeneous data. Easier access and management of big data and large packages are an advantage for a completely new way of producing archaeologically relevant knowledge 8. Acknowledgments Authors acknowledge dr. Walter Alva, dr. Ignacio Alva Meneses, dr. Luis Enrique Sanchez Gavidia and the research team of Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan, Lambayeque, Perú for the useful discussions during the paper preparation and for the nice images received from them and used in the paper. 9. References RENFREW Colin,BAHN Paul, 1991, Archaeology. Theories, Methods and Practice, Thames and Hutson Ltd., London FOSTER Ian et al., 2001, The Anatomy of the Grid. Enabling Scalable Virtual Organization, Intl. J. Supercomputer Applications PELFER Giuliano et al., 2002,The Origins of the City: From Social Theory to Archaeological Description , in F. Djindjian, P. Moscati, G.L. Cowgill, F. Vermeulen, A.Voorrips (Eds.), XIV UISPP Int. Congress, Liege, Commission IV, Data Management and Mathematical Methods in Archaeology. Proc. In Archeologia e Calcolatori, XIII, pp. 41- 63. PELFER Giuliano, PELFER Pier Giovanni, 2003 , From WEB to GRID, a New Perspective for Archaeology. IEEE 2003, NSS-MIC , Portland (USA). PELFER Giuliano et al., 2004, ArchaeoGRID, a GRID for the Archaeology . IEEE 2004, NSS-MIC, Roma. PELFER Pier Giovanni, 2005, ArchaeoGRID, a GRID for the Archaeology. EGAAP Meeting, Pisa.
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Abstract The ArchaeoGRID infrastructure is based on the GRID paradigm, a new way of sharing resources on GRID infrastructures in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in sciences and humanities. The ArchaeoGRID project is focusing the research on the origin, growth and collapse processes of past societies in a multispatial and temporal scale approach and on the interactions of the environmental and human processes that have contributed to determine such human and environmental dynamics. Archaeological data are geospatial and temporal data. Preservation, management, analysis and visualisation of archaeological data need the integration of a large number and types of distributed databases and GIS. GIS must be integrated Multi-Agent Systems for social, economical and ecological dynamical processes simulations. ArchaeoGRID digital library and visualization facility will be also used for production of internal reports and for the final narration.