Tyler Jo Smith and Linked Open Greek Pottery
Tyler Jo Smith of the McIntire Department of Art recently received exciting news regarding her, and an interdisciplinary team of specialists’, ongoing efforts to enhance the archaeological study of ancient Greek pottery through facilitating the sharing of information using a new digital platform. Smith has been awarded an NEH Digital Humanities Grant worth more than $85,000 for Kerameikos.org, a project for Linked Open Greek Pottery. Smith was joined on the project by Gruber and Renee Gondek, former graduate students in Classical Art and Archaeology in the Joint Program in Art and Architectural History, in addition to an international scientific committee of leading museum professionals and other academic experts. “This generous award will allow us to move forward with things in a much more concrete way,” Smith said. “I am extremely grateful to Larry Goedde and the McIntire Department of Art for supplying much-needed funding to this project for conferences, workshops, and both graduate and undergraduate student assistants over the past few years. I am also grateful to Neal Grandy, who has been a great resource throughout this application process.” Linked Open Greek Pottery, according to the proposal, is based around “the development of a model for aggregating information about dispersed collections of ancient Greek pottery based on the concepts of linked open data, to provide greater access to the collections, and to allow new ways of analyzing the materials.” Kerameikos.org is an international effort to define the intellectual concepts of Archaic and Classical Greek pottery following the methodologies of Linked Open Data (LOD). These concepts include categories such as shapes, artists, styles, and production places. When linked externally to other LOD thesauri, such as the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, Keremeikos.org allows for connections between disparate museum and archaeological datasets, creating an information system that facilitates broader public access. Kerameikos.org will standardize and document an ontology and model for exchanging pottery data, provide easy-to-use interfaces to visualize geographic and quantitative distributions of Greek pottery, and publish a new series of data manipulation web services that allow archaeologists and museum professionals to contribute data to this ecosystem. Another long-term goal of the project is to create something useful for museums and scholars engaged in the study of other types of ancient pottery, including South Italian, Roman, and Cypriot.