Back to basics, with a twist. Applying visual and data analytics to constructing typology and chronology of material culture at ancient Sagalassos and for the discipline of Archaeology
The construction of narratives is a typical activity of archaeology. This can be done at a variety of scales, ranging from regional historical studies, the waxing and waning of specific sites or at the level of the individual object. The crucial difference between narratives and story-telling, is that the former is situated within a disciplinary conceptual and methodological framework, and fully respects the rules of the game called science. Whether these archaeological narratives reach high end interpretations on the human environment relationship in the longue durée at subcontinental scale, or are rather tied to the scale of a local community, all of these necessarily apply a number of specific methodologies, including the typological and chronological study of material culture. This proposal wishes to revisit the strategic importance of the construction of typologies and chronologies, based on the case-study of the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project, yet clearly aimed at impacting on (or perhaps even reviving) this disciplinary-wide debate. We start by admitting that these problems are more complicated than generally expected, and therefore wish to bring on board best practices in visual and data analytics. This application aims at bringing together scholars, archaeological datasets, methodologies and conceptualizations in order to improve the narrative of ancient Sagalassos and insofar as possible to working of the discipline of archaeology.