Linking Ancient World Data

Hugh Cayless
Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing
@hcayless on Twitter


Josh Sosin, Ryan Baumann, Hugh Cayless

“The Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, the DC3, is a no-nonsense, interdisciplinary, results-oriented research group devoted to the creation and care of standards, services, and tooling for digital classics and beyond. We aim to be flexible, durable, and to leverage the strengths of our many partnerships so as to be a collection of parts flying in loose formation. Like the plane.”



Linked Data

  • Available on the web (whatever format) but with an open licence, to be Open Data
  • ★★ Available as machine-readable structured data (e.g. excel instead of image scan of a table)
  • ★★★ As above plus non-proprietary format (e.g. CSV instead of excel)
  • ★★★★ All the above plus: Use open standards from W3C (RDF and SPARQL) to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff
  • ★★★★★ All the above, plus: Link your data to other people’s data to provide context

- Tim Berners-Lee’s Linked Data Ratings System

Linked Data ≠ Semantic Web

  • The Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri
  • The Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens
  • The Advanced Papyrological Information System
  • Trismegistos
  • The Bibliographie Papyrologique
DDbDP Transcriptions
HGV Data about the documents
APIS Catalog records from institutions holding the documents
Trismegistos Issues identifying numbers and metadata about / analysis of documents
BP Bibliography


@prefix dc:    <> .

        dc:relation    <> .


        dc:relation    <;;37/source> .


        dc:relation    <> .

Let's take a walk:;;12,;16;2600


        dc:source  <;;12/work> .


        dc:source  <;;12/original> .

which means we can say (for example):

        lawd:foundAt  <> .
  ;;12/original is a Non-Information Resource (NIR), and it redirects to;;12, which is an Information Resource (IR)


an OA annotation:

        a               oa:Annotation ;
        rdfs:label      "Theben (Charax)" , "Theben" ;
        oa:hasBody      <> ;
        oa:hasTarget    <;;37> ;
        oa:motivatedBy  oa:linking 

  • supply types and properties for ancient texts and artifacts where there are no usable/convenient alternatives
  • link existing vocabularies together
  • do just enough work, no more

Thanks! Questions?