Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Numismatic Data Standards and Ontologies Roundtable at CAA 2014

Andrew Meadows, Karsten Tolle, and David Wigg-Wolf invite participants for a roundtable on numismatic data standards and exchange, to be held at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference (http://caa2014.sciencesconf.org/), Paris, 22-25 April 2014. 

Coins survive in vast numbers from many historical periods and cultures, providing important evidence for a wide variety of social, political and economic aspects of those cultures. But currently these data are only potentially available, as differing national traditions have yet to integrate their substantial datasets on the basis of shared vocabularies, syntax and structure.

Building on the experience with Linked Data of projects such as nomisma.org, the European Coin Find Network (ECFN: http://www.ecfn.fundmuenzen.eu/Home.html) and Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE: http://numismatics.org/ocre/), the roundtable will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of (meta)data standards and ontologies for data repositories containing information on coins, with a view to advancing the possibilities of data exchange and facilitating access to data across a range of repositories. The round table follows on from the two joint meetings of nomisma.org and ECFN, which concentrated on ancient, primarily Roman coins, held in Frankfurt, Germany in May 2012; and Carnuntum, Austria in April 2013, which was attended by 25 participants from 10 European countries and the USA. The round table is intended to encourage discussion among a wider community, beyond that of ancient numismatics, drawing together lessons from a broader range of projects, and embedding the results in the more general landscape of cultural heritage data management. Too often in the past numismatists have allowed themselves to operate in isolation from other related disciplines, including archaeology, a deficit that this session also aims to address.

Although the core data required to identify and describe coins of almost all periods are relatively simple (e.g. issuer, mint, date, denomination, material, weight, size, description of obverse and reverse, etc.), and this can result in a significant degree of correlation between the structure of different repositories, linking disparate numismatics repositories presents a number of problems. Nevertheless, coins provide an ideal test bed for the implementation of concepts such as Linked Data and the creation of standardised thesauri, the lessons of which can be profitably applied to other, more complex fields.


Dr Andrew Meadows
Deputy Director
American Numismatic Society

Dr Karsten Tolle
Goethe University

Dr David Wigg-Wolf
Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts