ARIADNE: A Research Infrastructure for Archaeology

Carlo Meghini, Roberto Scopigno, Julian Richards, Holly Wright, Guntram Geser, Sebastian Cuy, Johan Fihn, Bruno Fanini, Hella Hollander, Franco Niccolucci, Achille Felicetti, Frederico Nurra, Christos Papatheodorou, Dimitris Gavrilis, Maria Theodoridou, Martin Doerr, Douglas Tudhope, Ceri Binding, Andreas Vlachidis

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Research e-infrastructures, digital archives and data services have become important pillars of scientific enterprise that in recent decades has become ever more collaborative, distributed and data-intensive. The archaeological research community has been an early adopter of digital tools for data acquisition, organisation, analysis and presentation of research results of individual projects. However, the provision of e-infrastructure and services for data sharing, discovery, access and (re-)use have lagged behind. This situation is being addressed by ARIADNE, the Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking in Europe. This EU-funded network has developed an e-infrastructure that enables data providers to register and provide access to their resources (datasets, collections) through the ARIADNE data portal, facilitating discovery, access and other services across the integrated resources. This paper describes the current landscape of data repositories and services for
archaeologists in Europe, and the issues that make interoperability between them difficult to realise. The results of the ARIADNE surveys on users' expectations and requirements are also presented. The main section of the paper describes the architecture of the e-infrastructure, core services (data registration, discovery and access) and various other extant or experimental services. The on-going evaluation of the data integration and services is also discussed. Finally, the paper summarises lessons learned, and outlines the prospects for the wider engagement of the archaeological research community in the sharing of data through ARIADNE.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages27
JournalACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2017


  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Heritage
  • E-infrastructure
  • Computer Graphics
  • Data Standards
  • SKOS


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