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Aggregating Coin Find Data to the ARIADNE Portal. Challenges of using the Getty AAT for a specialist domain

David Wigg-Wolf, Anna-Lisa Pfeiffer and Karsten Tolle

Cite this as: Wigg-Wolf, D., Pfeiffer, A.-L. and Tolle, K. 2023 Aggregating Coin Find Data to the ARIADNE Portal. Challenges of using the Getty AAT for a specialist domain, Internet Archaeology 64.


Integration of data on coin finds into the ARIADNE portal presents a number of challenges, partly related to the use of the Getty AAT as a controlled vocabulary, in particular its incomplete coverage and hierarchical structure. Further problems arise from the fact that the majority of the data are being provided not from primarily numismatic projects and institutions, but rather from disparate archaeological resources that integrate a wide range of artefacts and records. As a result, they often focus less on the peculiarities of using the AAT for coin finds and the difficulties that arise from its use. This article illustrates how this can lead to quite disparate and inconsistent mappings of data to the ARIADNE portal.

Potential solutions such as aligning the AAT to the established vocabulary of, or even implementing the latter in the portal, as well as implementing a standard mapping for coin finds, are discussed. Also addressed are the possibilities for complex, granular searches using the SPARQL endpoint in the ARIADNElab Virtual Research Area.

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  • Keywords: Linked open data, controlled vocabulary, Getty AAT,, numismatics, coin finds
  • Accepted: 26 July 2023. Published: 31 October 2023
  • Funding: This article was funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 ARIADNEplus grant agreement n. 823914.
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Corresponding author: David Wigg-WolfORCID logo
Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts

Anna-Lisa PfeifferORCID logo
Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts

Karsten TolleORCID logo
Big Data Lab, Goethe University

Full text

Figure 1: Screenshot of NUMIDAT, a dBase III+ database for recording coin finds

Figure 2: The public online frontend of AFE-RGK ( (D. Wigg-Wolf, CC BY SA)

Figure 3: Excerpt from the table of issuers in AFE. The columns include the ID in, as well as the abbreviation for the emperor used to create the IDs for entries in Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE)

Figure 4: Information on the property hasReverse in the ontology and an example of its use to model data (

Figure 5: The hierarchy of the AAT thesaurus for concepts pertaining to Roman and Greek coinage

Figure 6: The list of AAT terms produced by a search 'Getty AAT subjects: as coins'

Debole, F., Meghini, C., Geser, G. and Tudhope, D. n.d. D15.2: Report on the ARIADNE Linked Data Cloud.

Gruber, E. and Meadows, A. 2021 'Numismatics and linked open data', ISAW Papers 20(6).

Tolle, K., Wigg-Wolf, D. and Gruber, E. 2018 'An ontology for a numismatic island with bridges to others' in M. Matsumoto and E. Uleberg (eds) Oceans of Data. Proceedings of the 44th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Oxford: Archaeopress. 103-8.

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