Guntram GESER (Salzburg Research Institute, Salzburg, Austria)

The ARIADNEplus digital infrastructure for archaeology


ARIADNEplus ( is a project funded by the European Commission to provide a digital infrastructure that enables archaeological institutions and projects in the European Research Area (ERA) and beyond to more effectively share datasets that are dispersed and often difficult to discover and access. Furthermore ARIADNEplus promotes community building, supports data standardisation, and offers training in data management.

The ARIADNEplus consortium comprises of national heritage authorities, archaeological research centres and associations, data repository providers and technology partners. The 41 partners come from 23 European countries and include four international partners in Israel, Japan, Argentina and the United States. Moreover there are 11 associated institutions and projects that expand ARIADNEplus’ coverage of countries and fields of research even further. ARIADNE also collaborates with major archaeological bodies and associations, notably the European Archaeological Council (EAC) and the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA).

The ARIADNEplus digital infrastructure allows the archaeological community to share, find and access data in dispersed repositories and databases for use across institutional and national as well as disciplinary boundaries. The core components of the Cloud-based infrastructure are a catalogue of indexed data records and a data search portal. The catalogue includes monuments and sites inventories, archives of surveys and excavations, artefact databases, fieldwork reports and publications – currently around 2 million records, and growing. The portal allows searching the data records according to the three facets of “when” (time), “where” (space), “what” (object) and terms drawn from controlled vocabularies. The datasets as such reside in storage facilities of the contributors who maintain and control the access according to their terms.

While the ARIADNEplus infrastructure supports data from many archaeological domains, this session will focus specifically on data management and research concerning archaeological sites and built structures. Examples from Italy, Portugal and Romania will show how data record standards and vocabularies promoted by ARIADNEplus enhance access to datasets heritage managers and researchers need for their work.