Cultural contact in Early Roman Spain through Linked Open Data (Granados)

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PhD dissertation 2016-2019

Student: Paula Granados (Open University, Department of Classical Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)

Supervisors: Phil Perkins, Open University (first supervisor), Ursula Rothe, Open University (second supervisor), Gabriel Bodard, Institute of Classical Studies (external supervisor), Alessandro Adamou, The Insight centre for Data Analysis (external supervisor).

Working title

Cultural Contact in Early Roman Spain through Linked Open Data.


Current scholarship regarding the question of cultural interaction in Early Roman Spain is producing significant amounts of data that need to be managed at an ever-growing scale. Nevertheless, initial research has identified several barriers to the access and consumption of this data. In most cases, archaeological databases constitute closed-world data silos that allow very little access to the information and impede data querying and processing. The findability of content is restricted to browsing facilities on the respective Web portals, and even then, the functionality offered by these resources is far from ideal.

My research deploys Linked Open Data technologies to overcome the impediments regarding data processability, accessibility and interoperability in archaeological scholarship with the aim to investigate the question of Cultural Contact in Early Roman Ulterior Baetica from 3rd ct. BCE to 1st ct. AD Poster. With this aim, I have created the Early Roman Ulterior Baetica dataset ERUB, a dataset of almost 3 million RDF triples integrated by data gathered online from LOD databases such as Pleaides, and EDH and a whole set of new triples generated ex novo based on a subset of data collected from Spanish institutional catalogues and secondary scholarship using python scripts.

During the modelling of the data, dissatisfaction with the existing domain ontologies for capturing data related to cultural phenomena has motivated the development of the Cultural Contact Ontology CuCoO. CuCoO defines main concepts related to cross-cultural interaction in antiquity and explores different ways of perceiving and modelling cultural contact phenomena.

At the moment, I am a PhD student at the Open University in the Classics Department. I have collaborated with the Sunoikisis Digital Classics online programme where I designed and taught a class on Geographic Semantic Annotation and visualisation Geographic Semantic Annotation and visualisation and I have taken part in trainings and workshops on the incorporation of Digital tools for the study of the Ancient World.