In order to address the complexity of archaeological data integration, ARIADNE’s main challenge was to develop a global, extensible schema in the form of a formal ontology that will allow for integration without loss of meaning. CIDOC CRM was chosen as the backbone of the ARIADNE Reference Model and a suite of extensions was developed to address the complexity of archaeological data integration. CIDOC CRM (ISO21127) is a formal ontology intended to facilitate the integration, mediation and interchange of heterogeneous cultural heritage information. It was developed by interdisciplinary teams of experts, coming from fields such as computer science, archaeology, museum documentation, history of arts, natural history, library science, physics and philosophy, under the aegis of the International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). It started bottom up, by reengineering and integrating the semantic contents of more and more database schemata and documentation structures from all kinds of museum disciplines, archives and recently libraries as empirical base. CIDOC CRM contains the most basic relationships to describe what happened in the past at a human scale, i.e. people and things meeting in space-time, parts and wholes, use, influence and reference. More detailed kinds of discourse require extensions.


Individual Models

CRMinf: the Argumentation Model

CRMinf is a formal ontology produced by Stephen Stead, Paveprime Ltd and collaborators and is  intended to be used as a global schema for integrating metadata about argumentation and inference making in descriptive and empirical sciences such as biodiversity, geology, geography, archaeology, cultural heritage conservation, research IT environments and research data libraries. Its primary purpose is facilitating the management, integration, mediation, interchange and access to data about reasoning by a description of the semantic relationships between the premises, conclusions and activities of reasoning.

The Argumentation Model is reducing the IAM model in Doerr, Kritsotaki and Boutsika (2011) and embedding it in the CRM Sci. It simplifies IAM by making the inference structure (such as a mathematical proof) and the belief in this structure implicit to the argumentation event. It develops explicit scope notes for the concepts in this model. It maintains the flexibility of the IAM with respect to the system of belief values to be employed. It is motivated and has been validated by examples of argumentation about facts (in contrast to categorical theory building) from archaeological reasoning and reasoning on text elements and annotations in manuscripts. It takes further into account reasoning about facts in scientific data in the form of observation, measurement, data evaluation and citation in biodiversity, geology, archeology, cultural heritage conservation and clinical studies.

Besides application-specific extensions, this model is intended to be complemented by CRMsci, a more detailed model and extension of the CIDOC CRM for metadata about scientific observation, measurements and processed data in descriptive and empirical sciences, also currently available in a first stable version [CRMsci, version 1.2 – Doerr, M. and Kritsotaki, A. 2014].

CRMinf v0.7 (February 2015), reference document and RDFS encoding

Contact info: Stephen SteadMaria Theodoridou

CRMsci: the Scientific Observation Model

The Scientific Observation Model is a formal ontology intended to be used as a global schema for integrating metadata about scientific observation, measurements and processed data in descriptive and empirical sciences such as biodiversity, geology, geography, archaeology, cultural heritage conservation and others in research IT environments and research data libraries. Its primary purpose is facilitating the management, integration, mediation, interchange and access to research data by description of semantic relationships, in particular causal ones. It is not primarily a model to process the data themselves in order to produce new research results, even though its representations offer themselves to be used for some kind of processing.

It uses and extends the CIDOC CRM (ISO21127) as a general ontology of human activity, things and events happening in spacetime. It uses the same encoding-neutral formalism of knowledge representation (“data model” in the sense of computer science) as the CIDOC CRM, which can be implemented in RDFS, OWL, on RDBMS and in other forms of encoding. Since the model reuses, wherever appropriate, parts of CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model, we provide in this document also a comprehensive list of all constructs used from ISO21127, together with their definitions following the version 5.1.2 maintained by CIDOC.

CRMsci v1.2.2 (August 2014), reference documentpresentation and RDFS encoding (updated May 8, 2015)

Contact info: Maria Theodoridou

CRMba: the Buildings Archaeology Model

The CRMba is an ontology and RDF Schema to encode metadata about the documentation of archaeological buildings. The model was conceived to support the process of recording the evidences and the discontinuities of matter in archaeological buildings, in order to identify the evolution of the structure throughout the centuries and to record the relationships between each of the building components among them and with the building as a whole. It aims to express the semantic relations of the stratigraphic units of a standing building, taking into account the stratigraphic analysis theory of the standing buildings.
The goal of the CRMba conceptual model is to provide support to understand the building structure and its development; recognize the use of a building and how it has evolved over the years; identify the various phases of the building as a result of construction, transformation, modification and reuse; support the investigation and interpretation of the material evidence in the standing structures; understand the correlation between parts of a buildings and whole; recognize, analyse and interpret the stratigraphy of standing structures and of ruins; support the dating process through the identification of the Stratigraphic Relationship (SR) between the various Stratigraphic Units (SU), which can be inferred by the identification of the Stratigraphic Interfaces (SI).

CRMba v1.4 (April 2016), reference document and RDFS encoding

Contact info: Paola Ronzino

CRMarchaeo: the Excavation Model

CRMarchaeo is an ontology and RDF Schema to encode metadata about  the archaeological excavation process. The goal of this model is to provide the means to document excavations in such a way that the following functionality is supported:

  1. Maximize interpretation capability after excavation or to continue excavation
    Reason of excavation (goals). What is the archaeological question?
  2. Possibility of knowledge revision after excavation
  3. Comparing previous excavations on same site (space)
  4. All kinds of comprehensive statistical studies (“collective behavior”)

CRMarchaeo, version 1.4 (April 2016), reference document and RDFS encoding

CRMarchaeo tutorial (January 2015) 
CRMarchaeo tutorial at CIDOC 2014, Dresden, 6-11 September 2014
Contact info: Paola RonzinoAchille Felicetti

CRMdig: a model for provenance metadata

CRMdig is an ontology and RDF Schema to encode metadata about the steps and methods of production (“provenance”) of digitization products and synthetic digital representations such as 2D, 3D or even animated Models created by various technologies. Its distinct features compared to competitive models is the complete inclusion of the initial physical measurement processes and their parameters. It has been developed as compatible extension of ISO21127 (CIDOC CRM), which allows for querying the most relevant facts and returning complete descriptions encoded in this model by generic ISO21127 terms without need to refer to its specific properties. In contrast, competitive models cannot be queried by a more general standard and are restricted to the computational provenance only. Data encoded in the major competitive models can be transformed without loss of meaning into a CRM-Digital-form.

The use of CIDOC CRM for provenance modeling  has been conceived in the framework of the European IP CASPAR for different disciplines (digitization, born digital objects, performing arts, satellite data) by interpreting OAIS guidelines and was fully developed and tested on relevant data sets in the framework of the European IP 3D-COFORM. During the latter, also the mandatory practical user guidelines for the identification description of provenance-related entities, such as physical objects, equipment, software, people, time where developed and a repository infrastructure capable to effectively store, query and access such metadata and the related data items has been created. As such, 3D-COFORM has a real impact in drawing together the workflow from initial data capture to communication of results.

The model is so far being employed in the Greek national project “3D-SYSTEK” on managing 3D model production, in a US-national NSF-funded project for RTI tools lead by Cultural Heritage Imaging, San Francisco and in InGeoClouds for geological observational data. ARIADNE has adopted CRMdig in the ARIADNE Reference Model for modeling scientific data in archaeology.

CRMdig v3.2.1, reference documentpresentation and RDFS encoding

Contact info: Maria Theodoridou

CRMgeo: a Spatiotemporal model

CRMgeo is an extension for the CIDOC CRM to provide an “articulation” (linkage) between the standards of the geospatial and the cultural heritage community in particular between GeoSPARQL and CIDOC CRM. The model was developed from the analysis of the epistemological processes of defining, using and determining places. This means that we analyzed how a question, such as – this the place of the Varus Battle or is this the place where Lord Nelson died, can be verified or falsified, including geometric specifications. Consequently, we reached at a detailed model which seems to give a complete account of all practical components necessary to verify such a question, in agreement with the laws of physics, the practice of geometric measurement and archaeological reasoning. This model indeed appears to have the capability to link both ontologies and shows the way how to correctly reconcile data at any scale and time – not by inventing precision or truth that cannot be acquired, but by quantifying or delimiting the inherent indeterminacies, as it is good practice in natural sciences. This model aims at being a comprehensive theory from which mutually compatible simplification can be derived for implementations in more constraint environment, such at those lacking moving frames.

CRMgeo v1.2, rdfs encoding
CRMgeo v1.0, reference documentpresentationrdfs encoding and OWL encoding

Contact info: Maria Theodoridou