ARIADNE brings together and integrates existing archaeological research data infrastructures so that researchers can use the various distributed datasets and new and powerful technologies as an integral component of the archaeological research methodology. There is now a large availablity of archaeological digital datasets that all together span different periods, domains and regions; more are continuously created as a result of the increasing use of IT. The are the accumulated outcome of the research of individuals, teams and institutions, but form a vast and fragmented corpus and their potential has been constrained by difficult access and non-homogenous perspectives.
Ariadne will enable trans-national access of researchers to data centres, tools and guidance, and the creation of new Web-based services based on common interfaces to data repositories, availability of reference datasets and usage of innovative technologies. It will stimulate new research avenues in the field of archaeology, relying on the comparison, re-use and integration into current research of the outcomes of past and on-going field and laboratory activity. Such data are scattered amongst diverse collections, datasets, unpublished fieldwork reports (grey literature), and in publications. The latter still being the main source of knowledge sharing. Ariadne will contribute to the creation of a new community of researchers ready to exploit the contribution of Information Technology and to incorporate it in the body of established archaeological research methodology.
To achieve this result the project will use a number of integrating technologies that build on common features of the currently available datasets, and on integrating actions that will build a vibrant community of use.