Archaeological data is usually stored as software datasets, which differ not only by their supporting technology but, most importantly, by the conceptualisations that underpin them. Any intellectual effort that tries to relate information from multiple datasets needs to be aware of such conceptual differences and achieve optimal integration for the results to be meaningful. Data comparison, unification or transfer are examples of this. Current approaches to dataset integration in archaeology suffer from several problems, including that of severe inattention to abstraction issues; this means that conceptualisations at very high levels of abstraction such as CIDOC CRM are routinely ?mapped? to others at very low levels of abstraction such as physical database schemata. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach for the integration of archaeological datasets through the gradual refinement of models; this approach caters for abstraction and allows model users to choose how much information they want to see, and how much detail they need.
Data integration. Archaeological datasets. CHARM. Model refinement. Conceptual modelling.