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ABCData, an online palynological and anthracological database: for a new approach to the vegetation history

Abstract : Palaeoenvironmental records, which represent a rich amount of information, set complex problems of data management. Thus, they need to be stored within an appropriate device, such as an online RDBMS. Indeed, several European bioarcheological database projects already exist but they don't concern anthracological and palynological records. For these reasons, we decided to gather the palynological and anthracological results of the investigatory works carried out among the UMR 6566 CreAAH of Rennes. Afterwards, we built an online relational database whose aims were to allow palaeoenvironmentalists to record, read and exploit this information. The database, called ABCData (for Archeology, Biodiversity, Chronology Data), was created using the FuelPhP framework, which respects the Hierarchical Model View Controller architecture, and allowed us to generate the numerous files associated to the CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) functions of the different tables. The tables are stored in a PostgreSQL database and were created through the administration PhpgAdmin interface. The user interface, (, required the use of several programming languages, as well as two free libraries, PhpExcel and D3.js. The first one allows the user to import and export spreadsheets, and the second one to generate graphic representations of the archeobotanical results. A prior attention was brought to ensure possibilities of interdisciplinary and interoperability with other palaeonvironmental remains and databases, and more specifically to foresee the problems associated to the dating and chrono-attribution of the samples, and to the taxonomic references. The php database also permitted the construction of a palynological query interface, in association with a SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) generator. These tools provide an interesting way of analyzing the sample data, crossing the different records and studying the impact of numerous parameters such as the topographic implantation or the sediment characteristics throughout the Holocene period. We conducted a series of analyses based on the palynological content of 55 sedimentary cores and 44 anthracological studies from the Paris Basin, in order to compare ABCData's performances to the synthetic history of the basin vegetation set on the empiric merging of the same data. This study revealed a great accordance between the two methods, and highlighted some bias and the necessity of permanently watching over of the statistic distribution of the samples.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 3:07:26 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 3:43:11 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02089170, version 1


Enora Maguet, Jean-Baptiste Barreau, Chantal Leroyer. ABCData, an online palynological and anthracological database: for a new approach to the vegetation history. Exploring the World’s Prehistory, XVIIIe congrès mondial de l’Union internationale des sciences préhistoriques et protohistoriques (UISPP), Union internationale des sciences préhistoriques et protohistoriques (UISPP), Jun 2018, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02089170⟩



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