Monday, February 25, 2019



About iDAI.chronontology

iDAI.chronontology (short form: ChronOntology) is a web service that connects chronological terms, i.e. epochs, periods and events, with dating information. Hosted by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and part of the iDAI.welt, ChronOntology is an internet research tool for the Archaeology and Altertumswissenschaft. Anyone can refer to its data, and anyone can add their additional project-specific or research-specific data on request. At the DAI, ChronOntology is the standard gazetteer for period names. Like the iDAI.gazetteer for place names, it serves as a norm data vocabulary for other information systems at the DAI and links them with other global time gazetteer systems.
The ChronOntology project was funded from 2015 to 2018 by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and was developed by two partner institutes: the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and Institute for Spatial Information and Surveying Technology (i3mainz). The long-term availability of the data is guaranteed by the DAI within the scope of the iDAI.welt.

How to use

ChronOntology is provided free of charge. Creating an account is optional. You can search for periods and use the permalinks to refer to the selected periods in your work. On request you can add your own periods to ChronOntology.
In order to use ChronOntology you will need a modern internet browser. Recent version of Firefox, Chrome and Safari are supported. Modern versions of the Internet Explorer and Edge should also work. The browser needs to accept cookies and JavaScript. Normally these settings are active out of the box, but if you have problems displaying ChronOntology in your browser please make sure these settings are in fact active.
The interface of ChronOntology will be displayed in your preferred language if possible, with English as the default language. Since you see this text in English, your browser preference is either set to English or to another language for which no translation of this page exists at this time. ChronOntology uses the text encoding “Unicode (UTF-8)”. Your browser should recogonize this encoding automatically.

The Data Model

ChronOntology is a tool to collect and link periods as found in publications or other sources. It neither seeks to define periods or assign dates to them if the information is not found in the original sources, nor does it aim to solve dating problems or to make any decisions about what is a good dating methodology. ChronOntology provides periods with fixed IDs that other systems can refer to. It is flexible enough to allow several timespans for the same period (which may be imprecise or quite specific) as needed by the researches and projects making use of our system.
An important aspect of the ChronOntology data model is that periods are spacetime volumes (STV), i.e. they have a geographical extent in addition to their temporal extent. The system also accepts periods with missing or incomplete time or space specifications to allow for an accurate reflection of the state of research. For instance, a period may not yet be well determined in time and/or space, or such information is not explicitly mentioned in the sources. Accordingly, every period record represents a period as described in the provenance or source cited, and only includes the information available in that source. If any information is missing in the original source, or could not be deduced, the respective field it is left empty in ChronOntology.

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