A PRE-HISTORIC ART DATABASE AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH A GIS EXPERIMENT
The “Past Signs and Present Memories. European Prehistoric Art: inventory, contextualisation, preservation and accessibility. – EuroPreArt” project was approved and co-financed by the European Union through the Culture 2000 program.
Its aims were to establish a data-base of European prehistoric art documentation, that included information’s about the art, images, maps and bibliography, to publish a guide of good practice and to present the results to the wider public, by building a web-site.
As a further aim, it was intended to contribute to the awareness, among European population, of the diversity and richness of European Prehistoric Art, as the oldest artistic expression of Humankind.
It also aimed to the improvement of methodologies on techniques of inventory, storing data, interdisciplinarity, networking and accessibility/diffusion, namely using new information technologies. It was intended the creation of a structure that may easy the introduction and permanent actualisation of a large amount of data, coming from different sources and dates.
The project focused on selected clusters, examples of the diversity of sources, from rock art to mobile art, from Palaeolithic to the Bronze age, from old stored records to modern field work studies.
Several European partners contributed for it’s accomplish, namely Portugal (coordinator of the project by the Institute Politécnic of Tomar), Sweden, Spain, Italy and Belgium.
After some weeks of discussion, the first guiding lines were established for a experimental database that would support all the information regarding the surveying of pre-historic art that were available in the participant institutions.
It was so created a database that was composed by 5 tables (Bibliography, Eurodb, Institutions, Keywords and Links) and 6 forms (Bibliography, EuroPreArt, Institutions, Keywords, Links and Pixnotes).
With the introduction of data, some little changes were made for the overall improvement of the database, as it’s data complexity assumed as relational database with characteristics that decreased to the minimum the entropy and reduction phenomena.
It was also thought that one of the next aims was the relationship of this database with a Geographical Information System.
Fruit of this collaboration and the natural change of ideas, new goals have been established, in a way that a all new project could be designed.
When the new Culture 2000 call for proposals opened, we wished the development of the Europreart project with a new proposal with the title: “Memories looking into the future: inventory, contextualization, preservation and accessibility”.
The aims of this new project is in few words: to promote new guidelines and a guide of good practice about the application of information technologies to this kind of heritage; use the socio-economic potential of prehistoric art to develop the regions in witch it is found, the majority of witch is needed; to construct new kinds of web based contents, didactic and scientific; to create a GIS that will be related with the database.
It was purposed to us, the improvement of the database and a devolopement of an experience of the connection of it with a GIS, using a restricted area, as a example of the analytical potentialities that we can achieve with the use of a GIS and its relationship with the information inserted in the database.
The chosen area was the Spanish side of the Guadiana Valley, from where several hundreds of carved rocks, from different periods, were recorded.
With this information we tried to make a set of thematic maps and spatial analysis with the relation of the carved rocks and the kind of landscape were they are inserted.
In the same way, we tried to developed a 3D landscape representation to better understand the space were the carved rocks are.
So, this work will be divided in three parts: the EuroPreArt database, the GIS connection and the importance of using news technologies in archaeology, and the analysis of Rock Art in the Cheles Zone.