Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Portable Antiquities Scheme in CRRO

The first archaeological materials have been linked into Coinage of the Roman Republic Online (CRRO). Yesterday, Dan Pett began working on linking Republican coins in the Portable Antiquities Scheme to URIs for Michael Crawford's RRC numbers in CRRO. Beginning with just four linked objects yesterday afternoon, in order to iron out the VoID and Nomisma data dump models, the number of PAS coins in CRRO has grown to 66 this morning. In total, we expect more than 1,000 PAS coins in CRRO by the time the database has been fully linked up.

The PAS coins have weights, axes, and diameters that can be used for quantitative analysis. Many have public findspots to show the geographic distribution of types, and of course, most have been photographed. RRC 322/1a, for example, contains links to two PAS coins, one of which has a findspot of Blyth, defined with a URI from the Ordnance Survey gazetteer.

Since most of the PAS Republican coins were minted in Rome, these new data have altered the heatmap distribution for the Nomisma concept of the mint of Rome, with a number of new findspots appearing in England, adding to the two findspots already recorded from Crisis of the Third Century hoards in which a number of University of Virginia Art Museum coins were found.

When the Republican coins in PAS are fully linked into CRRO, we expect that this will enhance the project's value as a research tool for investigating the circulation of Roman coinage into the British Isles.

Incidentally, I updated the underlying SPARQL query for the CRRO Contributors page to display coin counts and publisher information for coins which are not contained in museum collections (since the PAS database contains objects which may have been dispersed to a wide variety of public or private collections). These code updates affect Numishare in general, including OCRE.

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