Chronological Concepts of the Ancient World in Linked Data

Posted on 11 February 2014

Talk: Rainer Komp (DAI), “Chronological Concepts of the Ancient World in Linked Data”.


Date: Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Time: starting at 18:00 c.t. (i.e. 18:15)

Venue: TOPOI Building Dahlem, Hittorfstraße 18, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin (map)


Within digital data there is still a strong requirement for linking data in a way, that possible or even real relationships between data items are shown. Ideas of Semantic Web or Linked Data are promising but have not brought a satisfying complete implementation yet.

One of the naturally basic attributes of historic events and specifically archaeological objects is their chronological classification. Therefore this item must be given special attention in the big challenge of linking digital catalogues or even representations of excavation data or museum objects. Similar perceptions on geographic attributes of historic objects have recently led to intense developments of gazetteers successfully representing authorities for historic locations, which themselves also refer to dates. Acting on this assumption time-gazetters have already been proposed, but not yet implemented.

What are the troubles dealing with dates? Unfortunately, due to an extremely manifold field of calendar systems, eponyms and historical period terms there is a challenging diversity of dating practices to be matched. While chronology in terms of numerals seem to be exact and computable, calendar practices from antiquity up to modern times, not to mention historians’ classifications of periods in fact are not easy to implement.

Former initiatives reflected the problem of period names used to classify historic episodes. My research focusses on historic perceptions of time and their presentations in greek and roman testimonials, trying to find approaches to integrate chronology as key token in Linked Data. The aim is to contribute to archaeological object networks by applying the principles of the semantic web. In this paper, which is a work-in-progress report of my thesis, I will be giving an overview of selected chronological concepts and representations known in antiquity and reasoning current efforts of standardisation and relevant projects. I will be happy to discuss ideas of designing chronological concepts as Linked Data with the audience.


Or you can download the slides from here.




Or you can just download the video files (.mp4): talk (408 MB) ; discussion (84 MB).