Implementing archaeological time periods using CIDOC CRM and SKOS

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Within the archaeology domain, datasets frequently refer to time periods using a variety of textual or numeric formats. Traditionally controlled vocabularies of time periods have used classification notation and the collocation of terms in the printed form to represent and convey tacit information about the relative order of concepts. The emergence of the semantic web entails encoding this knowledge into machine readable forms, and so the meaning of this informal ordering arrangement can be lost. Conversion of controlled vocabularies to Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS) format provides a formal basis for semantic web indexing but does not facilitate chronological inference - as thesaurus relationship types are an inappropriate mechanism to fully describe temporal relationships. This becomes an issue in archaeological data where periods are often described in terms of (e.g.) named monarchs or emperors, without additional information concerning relative chronological context. An exercise in supplementing existing controlled vocabularies of time period concepts with dates and temporal relationships was undertaken as part of the Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources (STAR) project. The general aim of the STAR project is to demonstrate the potential benefits in cross searching archaeological data conforming to a common overarching conceptual data structure schema - the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM). This paper gives an overview of STAR applications and services and goes on to particularly focus on issues concerning the extraction and representation of time period information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Semantic Web: Research and Applications
Subtitle of host publication7th Extended Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2010, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, May 30 –June 3, 2010, Proceedings, Part I
EditorsLora Aroyo, Grigoris Antoniou, Eero Hyvönen, Annette ten Teije, Heiner Stuckenschmidt , Liliana Cabral, Tania Tudorache
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-13486-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-13485-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010
Event 7th Extended Semantic Web Conference, Heraklion, L. Aroyo et al. (Eds.): ESWC 2010, Part I, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 6088, Springer-Verlag - Berlin Heidelberg
Duration: 1 Jun 20101 Jun 2010

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


Conference 7th Extended Semantic Web Conference, Heraklion, L. Aroyo et al. (Eds.): ESWC 2010, Part I, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 6088, Springer-Verlag


  • cidoc crm
  • skos
  • semantic interoperability
  • time periods
  • archaeology


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