YDEA is harnessing the power of Linked Open Data (LOD) to reassemble and re-contextualize archaeological data from Dura-Europos.
Unique circumstances of preservation – including the construction of an earthen embankment to shore up the western city wall and the dry desert sands that packed the site after destruction – make Dura-Europos a rare archaeological resource. The city provides unparalleled glimpses into a multicultural religious life, the running of a military garrison, and domestic coexistence of different ethnic groups, and has preserved hundreds of organic materials that survive in the archaeological record from few other places.
But recognition as a singular resource for information about the ancient past has come at a price. Excavations involving multiple institutional partners and well-intentioned efforts to share-out access to physical objects from Dura has led to the dispersal of the site’s artifacts and other archival materials into collections across the world.
We’re using cutting-edge technology to power a new search feature for Dura-Europos archaeological data as a means to mitigate this phyiscal dispersal.