Digital Documentation and Archiving System

Development and implementation of a digital documentation and archiving system on the basis of the late antique-medieval city quarter in Ephesos

Archaeological field research in Ephesos generates a large quantity of data. Through the documentation of the excavations in the late antique-medieval city quarter to the south of the Church of Mary an exemplary system will be developed that can ensure the data collection and processing as well as the long-term archival of data. 

Status quo


In the past several years the production and availability of data has increased enormously through the further development of methods and the integration of a variety of disciplines in the archaeological basic science as well as through technological progress. Taking this circumstance into account, a variety of documentation systems have been developed at the OeAI that are oriented towards the requirements and needs of the various research areas. Without a doubt these isolated solutions permit a flexible and individual processing of the respective data but in regards to the interoperability they quickly reach their limits. And because project-specific solutions are often developed and implemented it is not always entirely guaranteed that the data will be available and reusable in terms of a consistent archival management.

In addition to the digital data, in its archives and collections the OeAI safeguards a wealth of ›analog‹ documentation materials which will also need to be taken into account because some of them are unique information sources and sometimes also about no longer existing contexts.

Case Study: Late antique-medieval city quarter


Based on the data generated and still expected through the study of the late antique-medieval city quarter south of the church of Mary a concept for a comprehensive digital solution will be developed in a first step by taking into account all the applied disciplines and methods. In addition to the long-term archiving of the material, the focus will be placed on the development of a practical tool for users to process data and optimize the work flow. This will be accompanied by standardized methods and procedures in the documentation in order to make it possible to apply it in the future within all research projects of the OeAI respective of the various specifications.

Incorporation into international networks


In addition to the already existing internal systems it is necessary to take the existing solutions of related institutions into account during the conception phase for data management in order to ideally exchange data with other projects. Another aim is the online-accessibility of the data so that not only the research results can be verified but also so that the long-term use of this research can be guaranteed.

The project is part of the initiative »archaeological information and archival system« at the OeAI.