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Toward Standardised Vocabularies for Norwegian Archaeology

Espen Uleberg, Mieko Matsumoto, George Alexis Pantos and Letizia Bonelli

Cite this as: Uleberg, E., Matsumoto, M., Pantos, G.A. and Bonelli, L. 2023 Toward Standardised Vocabularies for Norwegian Archaeology, Internet Archaeology 64.


The Museum of Cultural History (MCH) at the University of Oslo, Norway, has undertaken a series of infrastructure projects with the aim of improving the standardisation of archaeological data and increasing data integration at both a national and international level. This builds on decades of earlier work and includes a revision of shared National database systems (unimus), integration of previously disparate data types and spatial data (ADED), and more recently the development of a 3D publishing platform (BItFROST). These projects feed into broader aims of large-scale data integration as part of the European-wide ARIADNE Research Infrastructure. This article provides an overview of the history and development of these systems in Norway and takes a look at some of the roads still ahead.

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  • Keywords: Controlled vocabulary, data management, MUSITark,, Norwegian archaeology
  • 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: Espen UlebergORCID logo
Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway

Mieko MatsumotoORCID logo
Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway

George Alexis PantosORCID logo
Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway

Letizia BonelliORCID logo
Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway

Full text

Figure 1: The five archaeological museum districts in Norway. The south-east region served by the MCH includes the area with the largest population density and conurbation and consequently the majority of development-led archaeology in the country

Figure 2: The welcome page of the current online unimus resources

Figure 3a: Screenshots of the ADED platform

Figure 3b: Screenshots of the BItFROST platform

Figure 4: Screenshot of the MCH resources in the ARIADNE portal

Figure 5: The Humanistic Information System as conceptualised at the time. The image depicts the different stakeholders and degree of subject overlap and interaction with the intended centralised approach to terminology definition

Figure 6: Example of the not-quite common vocabulary used in Norwegian archaeological data. Variation in terms comes both from regionally distinct archaeology but also variations in orthography, spelling and research tradition

Figure 7: Example of an annotated depiction of a tækkekrog — roof hook — in Nomina Rerum Mediaevalium, illustrating the challenge of mismatching terminologies and concepts between regions and language groups

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