This year the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference will be held in Southampton (26-30 March 2012). I will be chairing, together with Dr. Felix Schäfer (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin) and Dr. Prof. Reinhard Förtsch (CoDArchLab University of Cologne), a session on Linked Open Data for the Ancient World.
This session aims to explore the opportunities, challenges and methodological consequences related to the Linked Open Data approach for the study of the ancient world. We welcome multi-disciplinary submissions dealing with the following or related aspects of Linked Open Data: URIs for Cultural Heritage objects, methodological consequences of LOD, projects publishing data as LOD, relevant tools and live applications based on LOD, digital libraries and their content in relation to ancient world objects, other approaches of making data interoperable and interlinked.
Linked Open Data for the Ancient World (abstract)
[session code: Data1]
The study of the Ancient World is by nature a rich soil for the adoption and exploitation of the Linked Opden Data (LOD) approach. Indeed its long tradition, the diversity of materials and resources as well as the high level of disciplinary specialisation lead to a situation where silos of knowledge, even when available online and under open access licenses, are isolated from each other. This situation is also reflected by the segmentation that the study of the Ancient World has reached with the inevitable tendency to favour one single perspective in despite of others. On the contrary, the LOD approach allows us to integrate heterogeneous sources of information by means of links and persistent identifiers while preserving the disciplinary specificity of data.
The recent adoption of the LOD principles by projects such as Pelagios , SQPR  and the British Museum , in acceptance of the CIDOC-CRM’s Linked Open Data Recommendation for Museums , are important steps towards a future of interoperable data in archaeology and classics. There is a variety of ways in which different resources are related to each other: an inscribed stone, for instance, will be linked to the edition of the text, to the building and location it belonged to, to different photographs of the object, to a record in the museum catalog and to related literature. Having those different pieces of information interconnected would allow us to overcome to some degree the mentioned fragmented view on antiquity by rendering a more wholistic image of the past.
In this session we shall discuss the advantages and disadvantages of LOD for the study of the Ancient World, look at available data, existing tools and live applications (beyond the status of being testbeds) and question which steps should be taken to overcome existing obstacles to increase the amount of LOD. Furthermore we welcome reflections on the opportunities, challenges and methodological consequences for the disciplines involved. In continuity with past sessions of the conference on related topics, this section addresses issues including but not limited to:
* URIs for Cultural Heritage objects
* methodological reflections on consequences of LOD
* experiences of projects publishing their data as LOD
* discussion of relevant tools and live applications based on LOD
* digital libraries and their content in relation to Ancient World objects
* other approaches of making data interoperable and interlinked