Skip to main content

Technical Information

The Data

Data Structure

The project puts prominence on data that connects people, places, events and objects rather than describing any of these. The data structure has looked to model the ancient world through constructing many interconnected statements derived from an array of primary and secondary sources. Knowledge of the ancient world is incomplete, varying in reliability and precision, and is therefore suited to this graph-like structure.


The data in the graph has been directly mapped onto an ontology that is based on and extends the CIDOC CRM. This is an event-based conceptual reference model designed to enable the description of cultural heritage information supplied and used by museums, libraries, archives and academics.

Additional Oiko (O) classes:

  • O1 Killing
  • O2 Active Dissolution 
  • O3 Active Destruction

Linked Data is built with this interoperability in mind and it is on the roadmap to expose the data in a machine readable RDF format. The intent here is to both gain from and contribute to the Linked Open Data relevant communities of Linked Ancient World Data Initiative (LAWDI/#lawdi) and Linked Open Data in Libraries Archives and Museums (LODLAM) through the exchange of open data and interface technologies.

Where possible, places in the system are linked to Pleiades gazetteer entries.

If you would like a copy of the dataset, please send us a message using the feedback form.

The system


The uses a Drupal 8 backend. It has been heavily extended and customised to integrate the CIDOC CRM ontology and provide a data creation interface for the building of the structured data.

Native data formats

Temporal: Extended Date/Time Format (EDTF - draft specification)  from century level precision and partial dates to specified day level granularity.

Spatial: Well-known Text (WKT) vectors mapped to coordinates of varying levels of accuracy.

The front-end

The front-end has been developed as a single page application (SPA) using JavaScript frameworks. Major components include:


Leaflet: uses the Leaflet library for interactive mapping functions used in the map interface.

Vis.js: uses vis.js, a dynamic browser based visualisation library for the interactive comparative timeline interface.

We plan to make the re-usable parts of the application freely available as drupal contributor modules. If you are interested to know more about the system, please use the feedback form to contact us.


The application is run on virtual machines provided by the Linux Hosting Service at the University of Warwick.