The following are Case Studies of projects that have received TNA funding from previous calls and should provide an illustration of the type of applications chosen for funding.

Data Stewardship (ADS)

Case study 1: Applying data stewardship training to a Pergamon dataset

Felix Schäfer from the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin,  spent two weeks with ARIADNE partner ADS, York, learning about their workflows and documentation processes and  collections management system. Felix used his newly acquired knowledge and applied it to one of the datasets from the Pergamon excavation records held by DAI, Berlin. He explains what his training involved on the ADS blog “Sound bytes from the ADS” in 

In addition to Felix gaining much valuable experience on data stewardship during his placement at ADS which he will be using in his future work at DAI, he also was able to prepare a case study as part of a Good Practice Guide: “Selection and Retention of Files in Big Data Collections: The Example of the Pergamon Excavation of the DAI, Istanbul”.  His training was funded by ARIADNE (as part of Transnational Access) and the IANUS project.

Mapping datasets to CIDOC-CRM

Case study 2: CIDOC-CRM and the Provenance of Stained Glass Windows

Ivona Posedi started her PhD in 2016 at the University of Lincoln in the UK. She successfully applied for a TNA placement at PIN  to  learn about CIDOC-CRM in order to apply it to her work. Ivona is an archaeometrist and her interest lies in stained glass windows, particularly those in English cathedrals. Her thesis required the use of several diverse but complimentary techniques (e.g. SEM-EDS, handheld XRF, LA-ICP-MS, etc.) to obtain as much information about the glass as she could. The determination of the chemical composition of the glass provides information on the raw materials used. This can be valuable for determining the possible origin(s) of the glassmaking workshop(s) and providing a socio-economical context, such as the confirmation of historical trade routes.

It is a well-known fact that French craftsmen and architects were heavily involved in the design and construction of Britain’s earliest cathedrals. Stained glass windows were very popular during the medieval period as they provide a means of educating the mainly illiterate church-goers about the Bible. With regard to the windows, there are many visual as well as chemical similarities between those found in the UK and cathedrals constructed during the same time period in France. Craftsmen would bring or import glass from France to use to create their religious works of art. Sadly, many of these windows were destroyed during the Reformation and dissolution of the monasteries under Henry 8th and then later by Oliver Cromwell but some fine examples are still to be found. The windows in Lincoln Cathedral seem very similar in design to those of Saint-Chappelle, Paris and those in Canterbury Cathedral to Chartres which was a main glass production in France during the Middle Ages.

Currently, a variety of archaeometric techniques are used for analysing glass and the protocol for data manipulation and classification vocabulary (taxonomy) is not uniform. This makes it very difficult to make comparisons and draw upon existing data when conducting an investigation into the provenance of stained glass windows. The aim of Ivona’s research is to establish a standard protocol for determination of glass compositional groups and a standardised coded taxonomy. Recording information in a standard manner about the appearance of the samples and the archaeological/historical context, the conditions used for each instrument and the analysis results, along with storage in a free-access database system will enable all researchers to easily analyse, compare and reuse the data in a simpler and quicker manner. This requires the use of an XML schema for recording the data so CIDOC-CRM has been selected as the most appropriate one available to support Ivona’s research project. The week-long TNA on CIDOC-CRM at PIN provided the training and knowledge that Ivona needed to be able to use CIDOC-CRM for her PhD work.

Case study 3: Mapping EpiDoc to CIDOC CRM

Roberta Zeni is studying for a Masters in Digital Humanities at Kings College, London and she spent a week at PIN in Prato on the Transnational Access programme, looking at mapping EpiDoc to CIDOC CRM.

Roberta is interested in cataloguing, sharing information and using standards to do this for her dissertation. Her first degree was in Art History where a lot of different information is used to identify and date paintings. For example, Renaissance paintings often feature coins and these can be used to provide a date range. Her experience from Art History led to her interest in open linked data being used for this type of application.

Roberta’s  supervisor is Gabriele Badard who is involved in the Byzantine epigraphs from the Black Sea ( which are encoded with EpiDoc. The students from the Masters course had studied CIDOC CRM with him and the idea of mapping EpiDoc to CIDOC CRM has been discussed within the Department. Roberta had tried to get on an ARIADNE summer school the previous year but was too late so she was pleased that she could come to PIN the following year to get help with the mapping.

During her week at PIN, she learnt to use the 3M tool with support from Achille Felicetti to make the mappings. With 3M there is a lot more information to record, it’s more complex than the EpiDoc tool. Roberta commented that it was taking her a while to learn it as she had to think about why she was making a particular mapping but that she could see that this will also be a lot more useful in the long term. On her return to KCL, Roberta will continue to use 3M and mapping of EpiDoc to CIDOC CRM will be the subject of her Masters’ dissertation. The IOSPE project is very interested in what she is doing and she will be discussing with them whether this is the way forward for the future of the Epigraph database and making the data more openly available.