Thornton L. Staples
Director, Community Strategy and Alliances
Fedora Commons, Inc.
This presentation will demonstrate the first prototype for including archeological excavation data from two major sites in Greece into a broader digital library for the American School for Classical Studies in Athens. The system is designed to be a network of information objects among which a variety of formal semantic relationships may be asserted. The backbone of the network is a set of XML files that are digital surrogates for the contexts that are excavated, the finds which are revealed and the features which are postulated from the evidence. Both the descriptive and the relationship information is extracted and expressed as Resource Description Framework (RDF) triples in two Mulgara (an open-source RDF engine) indexes. Though the prototype does not use a formal repository system, the approach taken is designed to be easily moved into one such as Fedora to ensure long-term durability of the digital information while maintaining flexibility of access. This approach demonstrates that all of this archaeological data can be managed as flat files that can be sustained in the long term without any dependence upon specific software, while allowing for rich semantic networks to be accessed through purpose-built indexes. It also shows that multiple versions of any representation, to provide different states of interpretation, can be handled with ease.