Partners from the ARIADNE project hosted a workshop at CAA in Paris to introduce archaeological researchers to a variety of on-line data resources, including those held by the three partners providing on-line access to their data as part of the EC Infrastructures funded Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking (ARIADNE) project.
The three partners were the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), ARACHNE at the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), and Fasti Online at the International Association of Classical Archaeology (AIAC). In addition to the ARIADNE partners, the workshop featured a presentation on data and data integration in the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), an international digital repository based in America for the digital records of archaeological investigations.
A slight hiccup in room allocation made the first challenge one of getting the speakers and attendees together in the same room in the same building at the same time, although we chose to find the lack of AV equipment a situation full of Parisian charm! Michael Charno started the workshop with an overview of the work of the ADS (http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/) with a special focus on the work they undertake to make the data they host freely and openly available for reuse, not only by individual researchers and users but other data providers. This really helps in the reach of the data that the ADS holds. The workshop found the approaches taken by the ADS to be interesting and effective.
Keith Kintigh from the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) (https://www.tdar.org/) gave an interesting presentation on the work of this digital archive based in the USA. Keith gave an overview of the types of data that they accept and the organisations with whom they work. Of particular interest to the workshop attendees was the innovative approach to deposition and charging that tDAR have implemented.
This was followed by a presentation about Fasti On-line (http://www.fastionline.org/) by Jess Ogden about the work her organisation undertakes and the bringing together of a wide range of the excavation information from across the ‘Roman’ world. Fasti on-line provides a database of excavations since 2000, providing a record in English and in the local language for each season. Each participating country is responsible for uploading the data it gathers and jess was able to provide a great illustration of what can be achieved when researchers use a common platform.
Marcel Riedel and Fabian Scheler from ARACHNE (http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/drupal/) showed the workshop participants a resource based in Germany which provides archaeologists and Classicists with a free internet research tool for quickly searching hundreds of thousands of records on objects and their attributes, in both English and German. The number of images available is vast and the discussion among participants surrounded the challenges that were presented by delivering such large data sets in a useful fashion.
Many thanks to all the speakers and participants.
Catherine Hardman (Workshop Chair)