The EU project “ARIADNE” aims to improve the access to digital archaeological data by bringing together and integrating existing infrastructures. The resulting integrated service is expected to facilitate research and open up new methodological avenues.
There is a large number of digital datasets documenting archaeological research results, which, altogether, span different periods, domains and regions. Further datasets are continuously created by individual researchers, research teams and institutions. However, these datasets form a vast and highly fragmented corpus. Data are scattered amongst diverse collections, datasets, inaccessible and unpublished fieldwork reports, “grey literature”, and in publications, the latter still being the main source of knowledge sharing. Therefore, their vast potential as a resource for international research cannot be fully exploited, as it is constrained by difficult access and non-homogenous perspectives. The ARIADNE project aims to address this challenge. It sets out to create an integrated service which will enable trans-national access of researchers to data centres and analytical tools. This is to be achieved by creating new web-based services based on common interfaces to data repositories, and by improving the availability of reference datasets. ARIADNE will encourage the building of a community of researchers who are ready to exploit IT-based research opportunities and to incorporate new tools in the body of established archaeological research methodology.
The ARIADNE project is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme for RTD (FP7), in the “Research infrastructures” part of the FP7 “Capacities” programme. The project started in February 2013 and will run for four years until the end of January 2017. Salzburg Research is, amongst other aspects, responsible for analysing user requirements, promoting the community building, and developing an innovation agenda for the project.