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Wednesday, March 30 • 13:55 - 14:20
S21-06 Where is the House of the Dwarves? Enhancing granularity in the Pleiades Gazetteer: The examples of ancient Sicily and Pompeii

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Where is the House of the Dwarves? Enhancing granularity in the Pleiades Gazetteer: the examples of ancient Sicily and Pompeii

Valeria Vitale, Jeffrey Becker, Jonathan Prag

Pleiades, the online gazetteer of ancient places, has, for several years, been a precious resource for classicists and historians. Assigning a stable URI to each ancient place has allowed a number of digital projects to build on top of this infrastructure, developing new tools and resources such as Pelagios. 

We believe that Pleiades could stimulate and facilitate new and interesting applications by assigning URIs to geographical units smaller than cities. The aim of this paper is to support this idea discussing two examples:

The digital epigraphic project iSicily. This project involves the identification, locating and addition to Pleaides of various Sicilian contrade (an administrative unit that was common in rural southern Italy) and other sublocations that have been recorded in archaeological reports and previous bibliography as findspots of antiquities, or positions of ancient monuments (some of which no longer exist). The availability of these URIs allows a strong and informative synergy between academic research on those antiquities and museum metadata, expressed in linked data, showing relationships and suggesting potential patterns and future lines of enquiry.

The city of Pompeii. This project involves minting specific URIs for each Pompeian building. The Campanian city offers a unique case study due to the amount of information, bibliography, and often confusion, that orbits around many of the single buildings. Assigning a URI to each of them will help grouping and disambiguating the names and the interpretations (sometimes dramatically different) assigned to the same building during the last 250 years. Secondly, it will facilitate dialogue between several existing and future digital projects about Pompeian buildings. Lastly, it will link the information about Pompeian artefacts stored in databases, digital repositories or museum archives with the exact building where the artefact was found, and not exclusively with the generic provenance “Pompeii”, thus offering an immediate basic level of contextualisation and highlighting connections with other artefacts related to the same building.

avatar for Keith May

Keith May

Heritage Information Strategy Adviser, Historic England


Wednesday March 30, 2016 13:55 - 14:20 CEST
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