Kretzulescu Orthodox Church, Bucharest




The annual Symposium of the Association ARA – Architecture.Restoration.Archaeology, Romania, was held on 5th-7th May 2022. The symposium brings together a wide range of professionals interested in the protection of historical monuments.

The project contributed a session, “ARIADNEplus for Archaeological Sites and Built Structures” on what the project offers to researchers and heritage managers regarding standards of digital documentation and datasets for ARIADNE. Download the abstracts (PDF).

The seven presentations by partners with contributions from Italy, Portugal and Romania are:

The session was held online on the Zoom platform with 41 participants.

Summary and highlights of the presentations and discussion

Guntram Geser (Salzburg Research Institute, Austria) introduced the participants to the ARIADNEplus digital infrastructure for archaeology, emphasising the core role of the deployed data integration standards. These include the ISO standard CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (ontology), which is being used for the ARIADNEplus Data Catalogue model (AO-Cat) and also extended for domain-specific documentation, such as CRMarchaeo for excavations.

Furthermore, core domain vocabularies are being used such as the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus for subjects and the PeriodO gazetteer for cultural periods. Importantly, ARIADNEplus partners also provide tools for mapping datasets to the CRM-based AO-Cat and domain extensions as well as of data providers’ subjects terms to concepts of the large and multilingual Getty AAT. The Getty AAT serves as a common “semantic hub” for data search based on subjects.

A session participant asked how ARIADNEplus could integrate aggregated data with data of other platforms such as Europeana. Geser explained that an approach could be Linked Data based on W3C standards such as RDF (Resource Description Framework). ARIADNEplus, Europeana, Getty AAT and many others provide Linked Data for their datasets which can be used for inter-linking data.

Effie Patsatzi (CARARE, Ireland) gave a broader overview of what ARIADNEplus offers to researchers and managers of archaeological heritage objects and data. This includes transnational access to ARIADNEplus data management centres, guidance and training for data management, and use of the Data Portal and other dedicated services, for example, a service for visual media content such as 3D models. Patsatzi also presented with demo videos how the Data Portal can be explored using different search filters and the content of Training Hub. The Training Hub is populated with thematically grouped Web-accessible resources selected specifically for the ARIADNEplus community, in formats such as online courses, training modules with videos, downloadable tools and tutorials, and more.

Bogdan Șandric gave a detailed overview of the work the Institutul Național al Patrimoniului (Romania) is carrying out for providing data from the National Archaeological Repertory (RAN) to ARIADNEplus. A question asked by the ARIADNEplus Deputy Director, Julian Richards (Archaeology Data Service, UK),  was what challenges this posed to their team. Șandric said that, first and foremost, there is the challenge of convincing archaeologists to adopt and follow common standards for the data they provide to the RAN. Next, came the challenge of developing a common language among their team and supporting ARIADNEplus colleagues for the work on providing RAN data to ARIADNEplus. More specific challenges were mapping the RAN to the CIDOC-CRM-based data catalogue model, and mapping subjects terms to the most appropriate concepts of the Getty AAT, for which in some cases the thesaurus offers many. Șandric also mentioned that an essential contribution to the ARIADNE data standardisation initiative will be the provision of a set of cultural periods for Romania to the PeriodO system.

Alina Iancu, also of the Institutul Național al Patrimoniului, presented how they systematically publish all excavation reports from the Romanian Chronicle of Archaeological Research volumes since 1994 through an online database and link these to records of the National Archaeological Repertory (RAN). This work included corrections of the identification data for the archaeological sites (e.g., RAN code) and refinement of other information about the sites. Available reports that did not make it in the published Chronicle volumes are also included in the online database. The database is regularly updated providing easy access to reports on excavations which may not be fully published for several years.

Paola Ronzino (PIN VastLab, Italy) described how the CRMba, an extension of the CIDOC-CRM for built heritage documentation, can be applied to model the information about a building and its components in a formal way. As examples she used structural components of Roman amphitheatres. Particularly fascinating was how changes to parts of a building as well reuse of parts or of the whole building for other purposes can be modelled and documented using the CRMba. Ronzino presented several diagrams of the modelling which may be reused by or can inspire scholars working on similar cases. Furthermore, she included examples of how others have applied the CRMba or classes of it, for example, in Historic Building Information Modeling (HBIM).

Maria João Correia presented the DB-HERITAGE system of the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (Portugal) and how participation in ARIADNEplus allowed the laboratory to upgrade the system to using common standards for sharing interoperable datasets. The DB-HERITAGE system provides systematic recording of data on heritage buildings, their characteristics and associated building materials, including details of the development of the buildings in space and time. Regarding the mentioned upgrade of the system, Correia described how it can now share information for the core search questions supported by the ARIADNE portal of ‘what’ (subjects), ‘where’ (location) and ‘when’ (cultural period and time-span). This concerned the first level of data for heritage sites and monuments of the ARIADNEplus catalogue. Furthermore, Correia addressed how the rich data of DB-HERITAGE, e.g. building components and materials of case studies, could be modelled and shared using CRM extensions such as CRMba and CRMhs (heritage science).

Radu-Alexandru Dragoman of the Institutul de Arheologie Vasile Pârvan (Romania) presented the ongoing work of members of the institute to document in a database categories of sites and monuments hitherto ignored in the record of Romanian heritage. This includes historical sites of agricultural production and village mosques and Muslim cemeteries in the Dobruja region, a number of examples of both are already included in the ARIADNE portal. The presentation focused on cases of village mosques and Muslim cemeteries illustrated with many photographs. Dragoman emphasised that the documentation could raise awareness among the local authorities that it is important to protect this heritage as well as open up new research directions with a focus on the memories it contains.