Enabling European Archaeological Research: The ARIADNE E-Infrastructure

Nicola Aloia1, Ceri Binding 2, Sebastian Cuy 3, Martin Doerr 4, Bruno Fanini 5, Achille Felicetti 6, Johan Fihn 7, Dimitris Gavrilis8, Guntram Geser 9, Hella Hollander 10, Carlo Meghini 1, Franco Niccolucci 6, Federico Nurra 11, Christos Papatheodorou 12, Julian Richards *13, Paola Ronzino 6, Roberto Scopigno 1, Maria Theodoridou 4, Douglas Tudhope 2, Andreas Vlachidis2, and Holly Wright 13

1. Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche ISTI, Pisa, Italy
2. Faculty of Computing, Engineering And Science, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, UK
3. German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany
4. Institute Of Computer Science, FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
5. Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche Itabc, Montelibretti, Roma, Italy
6. PIN, Polo Universitario Citta' Di Prato, Prato, Italy
7. Swedish National Data Service, Gothenburg, Sweden
8. Digital Curation Unit, IMIS, ATHENA Research Centre, Athens, Greece
9. Salzburg Research, Salzburg, Austria
10. Data Archiving and Networked Services, The Hague, The Netherlands
11. Inrap, Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, Paris, France
12. Dept. Archives, Library Science And Museology, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece and Digital Curation Unit, IMIS, ATHENA Research Centre, Athens, Greece
13. Archaeology Data Service, University of York, UK
*Corresponding author:

Cite this as: Aloia, N., Binding, C., Cuy, S., Doerr, M., Fanini, B., Felicetti, A., Fihn, J., Gavrilis, D., Geser, G., Hollander, H., Meghini, C., Niccolucci, F., Nurra, F., Papatheodorou, C., Richards, J., Ronzino, P., Scopigno, R., Theodoridou, M., Tudhope, D., Vlachidis, A. and Wright, H. 2017 Enabling European Archaeological Research: The ARIADNE E-Infrastructure, Internet Archaeology 43.


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 has 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 article 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 article 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 article summarises lessons learned, and outlines the prospects for the wider engagement of the archaeological research community in sharing data through ARIADNE.

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