[Lod] Linked Data for Pottery roundtable: CAA 2015, Siena

Ethan Gruber ewg4xuva at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 21:01:25 CEST 2014


The http://kerameikos.org scientific committee would like to invite
presentations and discussion about linked data and pottery databases for a
roundtable at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in
Archaeology conference (http://caaconference.org/). The conference will be
held in Siena, Italy from March 30 to April 3, 2015.

Below is the abstract:

Linked Open Data Applied to Pottery Databases

The indestructible nature of pottery has left an abundant amount of
material in the archaeological record. Vessels were formed into a variety
of shapes and sizes which inform the modern scholar about their possible
function and/or manufacturing process. In addition to being an excellent
tool for dating, pottery also enables researchers to reconstruct the nature
of a site and/or point to evidence of trade between groups of people. Some
types of pottery even exhibit additional decoration that reflects the style
of a certain period, the visual language of a region, or scenes that offer
information about religion, daily life, literature, or contemporary events.

Ceramics exist in a variety of databases within museum collections,
archives, or as part of excavations or surveys. The basic ideas underlying
the classification of ancient Mediterranean pottery (e.g., shape,
production place, painter, potter, iconography, etc.) are shared across
languages, but the aggregation of data on a massive scale cannot be
undertaken without standardised identifiers and ontologies. Presently,
there are no firm standards for representing and/or publishing pottery
datasets on the web, and, for this reason, it is difficult to query across
multiple collections for research purposes. Linked Open Data (LOD) can play
a vital role in ameliorating some of these technical challenges. Building
on the methodologies developed for Nomisma.org, a collaborative enterprise
that seeks to define the intellectual concepts of numismatics, we have
undertaken a new project, Kerameikos.org, that likewise will apply these
technologies to pottery. Kerameikos.org, a thesaurus that seeks to define
pottery concepts with URIs and RDF, will enable those publishing ceramic
data to encode their information in an accessible manner, following
emerging web standards in the cultural heritage community.

This roundtable follows the introduction of Kerameikos.org during the 2014
CAA (Gruber and Smith). Since that time we have selected a Scientific
Committee comprised of experts relevant to the current project content,
including information technologists and pottery specialists. Currently, we
seek to solicit feedback from the informatics and ceramics communities on
our future direction. While Kerameikos.org is focused currently on Greek
black- and red-figure ‘vases’, we welcome presentations and discussions of
digital projects in other fields of pottery studies. It is our goal to
design a tool whose application can meet the needs of archaeologists
working in museums, the field, or archives. We hope that this roundtable
will encourage further dialogue and collaboration.

Ethan Gruber, American Numismatic Society
Renee Gondek, George Washington University
Tyler Jo Smith, University of Virginia

*****

The abstract text is also available at
http://kerameikos-project.blogspot.com/2014/10/caa-2015-roundtable-linked-data-for.html.
Please see the CAA call for papers (
http://caaconference.org/2014/10/10/call-papers-now-open/) and program (
http://caaconference.org/program/) for more information about the
conference and procedures for participating in the roundtable.
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