ARIADNEplus held a virtual Scientific Data Workshop on the morning of 15th September which introduced the project aims and focussed upon the challenges presented by scientific data and the solutions being developed by the project to integrate such data with related archaeological information into the Portal. Over 60 people joined the session in which Achille Felicetti explained how a new application profile, CRMhs (i.e. a CRM extension for Heritage Science), seeks to address these challenges through the harmonization of existing ontologies. CRMhs allows for the sharing and integrating of scientific data as well as a conceptual guide for creating archives. Work actually started in 2016 with the PARTHY Taskforce and was taken up by E-RIHS and ARIADNEplus who followed a tried and tested process (i.e. requirements, scenarios to define a Heritage Science workflow and identify the key components) for the realisation of CRMhs – it is hoped that this will become an international standard.
Alessandro Bombini followed with a demonstration of “Metadatamask” (working name), a common tool for data storage and sharing based upon created by the DHLab (Digital Heritage Laboratories) of the Cultural Heritage Network (CHNet), the network of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) devoted to Cultural Heritage. Based on CRMhs, this has been designed to make it as easy as possible for researchers and archivists to create, store and search for metadata associated with institutions and projects with predefined options (e.g. for study objects, test type) and tools for the application of WikiData, the Getty ATT, OpenStreetMap, GeoNames and Periodo to be applied to the relevant (what, where and when) fields. More importantly, this tool provides a permanent repository for both raw and processed data as well as results and reports and microservices are under development that will enable data analysis as well. CHNet users are currently testing “Metadatamask” and it should be ready for use by early 2021 with rollout to ARIADNEplus and the wider community later in the year via the ARIADNE Portal. There is a limited version of this web tool, available to everyone (after previous authentication through a personal University/Research institution account) at: https://chnet-000.fi.infn.it/demomask/. Documentation of the digital infrastructure is available at: https://chnet-000.fi.infn.it/specs/.
The workshop then concluded with five case studies from project partners and one from INFN which illustrated how scientific data is now embedded into the archaeological workflow, whether this is raw data from 3D scans and the resulting models, DNA analysis or radiocarbon dating. Overall, CRMhs has been received very positively as it is flexible and maps onto existing schemas/database structures well. Some of the issues highlighted were: how detailed scientific data can be, (e.g. recording equipment details, the conditions under which it is was used, the procedures and protocols in place) and in the case of the Hungarian National Museum, the very specific structure of their database which made mapping to CRMhs a challenge. Whilst CRMhs can’t address all the issues, it is certainly a significant step towards integrating scientific data with the many different types of associated archaeological information and making these searchable and reusable for future users. The presentations from the Workshop will be available soon.