Thursday, July 28, 2016 crosses 100,000 coin threshold

Following the publication of RIC 6, 7, 8, and 10 to Online Coins of the Roman Empire, I extracted over 18,000 coins with references to these volumes from the British Museum SPARQL endpoint (with this query) and successfully matched and imported about 17,000 of these into Nomisma's SPARQL endpoint. There are now about 80,000 physical coins linked to the 38,000 Roman imperial coin types in OCRE. I also reprocessed the Berlin LIDO export and published 1,000+ coins from late Roman coinage into OCRE.

This recent import has brought the total number of physical specimens linked to online type corpora (including Coinage of the Roman Republic Online and PELLA) to 116,964, about 98,000 of which come from the British Museum and American Numismatic Society alone. The number of coins has more than doubled in a year.

Technical Process

The XML response to the SPARQL query linked above was processed through a PHP script I wrote several days ago. The script iterates through each result in the XML document in order to parse the reference text with regular expressions in order to generate a type ID that conforms to the OCRE convention (e.g., ric.7.anch.109) and test to see whether the URI exists. The result of the concordance process is written as a CSV file, which is then processed by another PHP script into RDF conforming to the ontology. An additional SPARQL query is executed on the British Museum endpoint for each row in the table in order to extract the weight, diameter, image, etc. The RDF is written to disk and then imported into the Nomisma SPARQL endpoint, where the data are immediately available in OCRE.

Friday, July 22, 2016

ANS coins from RIC 6-10 published to OCRE, and other updates

Following the release of volumes 6, 7, 8, and 10 to OCRE, we have republished our coins from these volumes to link them into the newly-published coin type URIs. This represents an addition of more than 17,000 physical specimens of late Roman coinage into OCRE, including photographs for more than 3,000 of these (and photographic gaps from previous volumes of RIC). There are now 36,000 Roman imperial coins from the ANS collection in OCRE, and 60,000 in total from all our partners. Including CRRO and PELLA, there are just under 100,000 physical coins aggregated by's SPARQL endpoint.

In addition to these coins, the Portable Antiquities Scheme provided access to several hundred imperial coins linked to OCRE URIs. The PAS had previously linked its entire collection of Republican coins (nearly 1,000) into CRRO, but the inclusion of imperial material in OCRE is a watershed moment for the study of Roman numismatics. These are the first few hundred of potentially hundreds of thousands of coins published in their database, each with attested findspots. This will have a dramatic effect on geographic analysis of ancient monetary circulation and trade.

The Harvard Art Museums API was also reprocessed. Harvard's coverage of late Roman coinage is quite good, and their contribution to OCRE has more than doubled to 1,300 coins.

Update (July 25): We have also added 174 coins published by from the Domuztepe excavations into the Nomisma triplestore to make them available in OCRE. These are late Roman coins, predominately from RIC 7 and 8.