Monday, 16 January 2012

FASTI Online - New Project Partner

As Fasti Online is one of the newest Pelagios partners, I thought it was about time we introduced ourselves to the project and let everyone know why we have joined and what we are hoping to bring to the table, and also what we hope to gain from Pelagios ourselves.

Between 1946 and 1987 the International Association for Classical Archaeology (AIAC) published the Fasti Archaeologici. It contained very useful summary notices of excavations throughout the area of the Roman Empire. However, spiraling costs and publication delays combined to render it less and less useful. AIAC's board of directors thus decided in 1998 to discontinue the publication and to seek a new way of recording and diffusing new results. The Fasti Online is the result of this effort.

Working with L - P : Archaeology [creators of the Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK)] AIAC and our project partners[1] have created an online database of over 2,700 archaeological sites in 13 different countries[2]. Each of these sites has had at least one excavation season since the year 2000 (in fact we have over 4000 excavation seasons in the database). Fasti Online, therefore, is a database of ongoing and recent archaeological projects, and not really a database of ancient places. This is what has made Pelagios so interesting to us, as by linking to the data provided by the other partners we can enrich our own and hopefully enrich theirs as well.

As to how we are planning on making the linkages, one of the fields recorded by the Fasti partners is the Ancient Site Name (where available). For the first round of linking we plan on matching our Ancient Site Names with those held in Pleiades, doing a check on the coordinates to make sure that they are the same place and then adding the Pleiades URI to the Fasti database. An initial run of the linking code has left us with 355 sites that match with Pleiades sites (only 955 of the Fasti sites have an Ancient Site Name attached) so that is not too bad at all for a first run.

We hope that at some point in the future we may be able to supply some of our Ancient site names back to Pleiades and of course the Pelagios partners should be able to link to the Fasti database to see if there are any ongoing excavations in their area of interest!

We'll write a further post once the linking script has been run, and we have managed to get an RDF representation of it all. Watch this space!

[1] the project is generously supported by the Packard Humanities Institute, while the Italian and Ukrainian sites receive additional support from the Ministero dei Beni e le Attivita' Culturali and the Ukrainian Studies Fund, respectively.

[2] the countries that are currently part of Fasti are Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Ukraine

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