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@perio_do 
A Linked Data gazetteer to bridge 
the gap between concept and usage 
in archaeological periodization 
Adam Rab...
The Iron Age: a very old period 
And then in turn wide-browed Zeus established another, fifth 
race of men, who were born ...
Getty AAT scope note for Iron Age 
Refers to the period and culture associated with the third 
age in the Three Age system...
British Museum period thesaurus (XML) 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
British Museum period thesaurus (RDF) 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
British Museum period thesaurus (RDF) 
skos:scopeNote: 
The Early Cycladic period (3200BC – 2000BC) refers to 
material pr...
ARENA Portal Period Search (ADS) 
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/arena/search/period.cfm 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 201...
FASTI Online Geographic Periodization 
http://fastionline.org/ 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
STAR.timeline service client, English Heritage data 
http://reswin1.isd.glam.ac.uk/STAR/UI/timelineclient.html 
Rabinowitz...
DINAA and decentralized period concepts 
Digital Index of North 
American 
Archaeology (DINAA) 
• NSF funded publication o...
Open Context “Time Tiles” (Kansa et al., SAA 2014) 
• Need to define earliest and latest possible dates for a tiling grid ...
Topotime, temporal geometry, and visualization 
http://dh.stanford.edu/topotime/ 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 20...
Topotime, temporal geometry, and visualization 
http://dh.stanford.edu/topotime/ 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 20...
Pleiades, Pelagios, and spacetime complexity 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
The basic PeriodO data model 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
An assertion expressed in JSON-LD 
DOI for assertion (minted by 
CDL EZID system) 
Start and end dates expressed as 
Julia...
Julian Day Numbers 
• Interval endpoints (start, [latest start], end, [earliest end]) will be 
normalized as Julian Day Nu...
PeriodO Architecture 
JSON-LD 
JSON-LD 
JSON-LD 
JSON-LD 
documents 
git client 
(power users & 
core collaborators) 
serv...
HTML5 Application 
• Search and browse period assertions 
comparable to Virtual International Authority File of 
name auth...
Search and visualization use-cases 
• What period terms are used to describe the 
archaeological record in a particular pl...
Assertions, Instances, and URIs 
• If a range of assertions made at different points in time 
are collected, can highlight...
Back to the Iron Age 
Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
http://perio.do 
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Endowment for the 
Humanities and the NEH Office of...
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Periods, Organized (PeriodO): a Linked Data gazetteer to bridge the gap between concept and usage in archaeological periodization

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Slides for paper delivered at the 2014 Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference in Paris, France, on April 24, 2014. The authors are Adam Rabinowitz, Ryan Shaw, and Eric Kansa. The paper concerns Linked Data approaches to periodization of archaeological and historical information (abstract available at http://caa2014.sciencesconf.org/28428).

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Periods, Organized (PeriodO): a Linked Data gazetteer to bridge the gap between concept and usage in archaeological periodization

  1. 1. @perio_do A Linked Data gazetteer to bridge the gap between concept and usage in archaeological periodization Adam Rabinowitz, The University of Texas at Austin Ryan Shaw, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eric Kansa, Open Context and The University of California at Berkeley
  2. 2. The Iron Age: a very old period And then in turn wide-browed Zeus established another, fifth race of men, who were born on the much-nourishing earth. I ought never to have been among this fifth race of men, but I should have died before or been born later. For now it is a race of iron: they never stop from toil and lament by day, nor by night from wasting away. Hesiod, Works and Days, 169c-178 (7th c. BC?) Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  3. 3. Getty AAT scope note for Iron Age Refers to the period and culture associated with the third age in the Three Age system developed by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in 1836. Iron Age culture typically developed from the Bronze Age at the point when the qualities of iron were exploited, particularly through carburization, in the manufacture of tools, weapons, and implements. It developed at different times in various parts of the world, first appearing in the Middle East and southeastern Europe around 1,200 BCE, and in China around 600 BCE. In the Americas, it did not develop from the Bronze Age but was introduced to Stone Age cultures by European explorers. Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  4. 4. British Museum period thesaurus (XML) Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  5. 5. British Museum period thesaurus (RDF) Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  6. 6. British Museum period thesaurus (RDF) skos:scopeNote: The Early Cycladic period (3200BC – 2000BC) refers to material produced in the Cyclades during the Aegean Early Bronze Age. Although it is part of the tripartite scheme (Early, Middle and Late) into which the Aegean Bronze Age is conventionally divided, it is difficult to apply the same subdivisions (I,II,III) as for Early Minoan or Early Helladic. For this reason it is divided into partly overlapping cultural groups, initially defined by Colin Renfrew. The three main groups used to subdivide the period are Grotta-Pelos (q.v.), Keros-Syros (q.v.) and Phylakopi I (q.v.). Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa CAA 2014 24.4.14
  7. 7. ARENA Portal Period Search (ADS) http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/arena/search/period.cfm Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  8. 8. FASTI Online Geographic Periodization http://fastionline.org/ Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  9. 9. STAR.timeline service client, English Heritage data http://reswin1.isd.glam.ac.uk/STAR/UI/timelineclient.html Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  10. 10. DINAA and decentralized period concepts Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA) • NSF funded publication of state site file data (from regulatory compliance) • ~700 period concepts from 11 US-states • PIs: David G. Anderson, Joshua Wells Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  11. 11. Open Context “Time Tiles” (Kansa et al., SAA 2014) • Need to define earliest and latest possible dates for a tiling grid • Latest is 0 BP, example below is 1 Million BP (Open Context allows 10MYA). • Recursive function to compute tile from earliest and latest BP date as input. (Source code: https://github.com/ekansa/open-context-code) • Tiles can be converted back to earliest and latest dates. • Like map-tiles, time-tiles easily aggregate at different scales by lumping together characters of the same value from left to right. Shaded regions show different aggregations of time-tiles. • Tiles allow arbitrary time ranges to be used in faceted search. • Time-tiles can be combined with controlled vocabulary of named periods (in development with DINAA). 1M-00000000122000110221 (Roman: 2000 – 1470 BP) 1M-00000000312010332212 (Iron Age: 3100 – 2500 BP) 1M-01001322312033201102 (Middle Paleolithic: 300KYA – 30KYA) Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  12. 12. Topotime, temporal geometry, and visualization http://dh.stanford.edu/topotime/ Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  13. 13. Topotime, temporal geometry, and visualization http://dh.stanford.edu/topotime/ Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  14. 14. Pleiades, Pelagios, and spacetime complexity Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  15. 15. The basic PeriodO data model Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  16. 16. An assertion expressed in JSON-LD DOI for assertion (minted by CDL EZID system) Start and end dates expressed as Julian Day Number URI for authority (e.g. VIAF) URI for geographic coverage (e.g. GeoNames or Wikidata) Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  17. 17. Julian Day Numbers • Interval endpoints (start, [latest start], end, [earliest end]) will be normalized as Julian Day Numbers: float values expressed in scientific notation. • The number of significant digits expresses the precision: Normalized value Significant digits Range interpretation 1.3E6 2 JDN 1,250,000 to JDN 1,350,000 1150BC ±150 years 1.30E6 3 JDN 1,295,000 to JDN 1,305,000 1150BC ±15 years 1.300E6 4 JDN 1,299,500 to JDN 1,300,500 1150BC ±1.5 years Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  18. 18. PeriodO Architecture JSON-LD JSON-LD JSON-LD JSON-LD documents git client (power users & core collaborators) serves HTML5 app proxy for EZID API HTML5 app (search, visualization, editing) mints DOIs for period assertions Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  19. 19. HTML5 Application • Search and browse period assertions comparable to Virtual International Authority File of name authority clusters • Visually compare temporal ranges of assertions comparable to ARENA Portal period search chart or the STAR.Timeline client • Add and edit period assertions edit data stored locally in browser, then push to GitHub and issue a pull request Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  20. 20. Search and visualization use-cases • What period terms are used to describe the archaeological record in a particular place? • What period terms are used to describe the archaeological record during a particular time range? • What period terms are used to describe material from a particular place AND time? • What are the points of disagreement between scholars with regard to particular period concepts? • What chronological range do scholars agree on with regard to particular period concepts? Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  21. 21. Assertions, Instances, and URIs • If a range of assertions made at different points in time are collected, can highlight scholarly disagreements and diachronic changes in period concepts • If period assertions can be connected with instances of use (in publications or in datasets), chronological and geographic scope can be refined and networks of intellectual influence established • With enough data, gazetteer could serve as machine-learning training dataset for mining chronological information from texts • Period assertion URIs, like URIs for places and people, can be used across datasets, allowing linking and chronological reconciliation without enforcing use of a single master period thesaurus Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  22. 22. Back to the Iron Age Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14
  23. 23. http://perio.do We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, the members of our advisory board, and the partners whose period thesauri form our core dataset Rabinowitz, Shaw, Kansa @perio_do CAA 2014 24.4.14

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