Cultural Contact in Early Roman Spain through Linked Open Data

Granados-García, Paula Loreto (2020). Cultural Contact in Early Roman Spain through Linked Open Data. PhD thesis The Open University.



The study of the Roman colonisation of the western provinces has produced much literature, especially about the processes of assimilation of Roman culture by indigenous communities and the cultural changes experienced by these under Roman influence. In Spain, traditional scholarship has looked mainly at the literary evidence for these processes, and therefore, the ‘Roman’ perspective of the conquest; current schools of thought argue for a new reading of the cultural processes rooted in theory and a contextualised analysis of archaeological data.

Traditional methods lacked the tools capable of making effective relationships within large amounts of data. Linked Open Data (hereafter LOD) technologies provide the means to resolve this deadlock. In the last decade, a number of projects have made available large amounts of data leading to a burgeoning of resources that rely on LOD technologies. The number of databases collecting information from Hispania is also continuously increasing. While these resources provide a vast amount of material, most of them do not meet open-access requirements, becoming information silos that hinder information accessibility and interoperability.

This research applies LOD technologies to align and connect web-exposed datasets (that follow or can be integrated to follow LOD standards) together with enhanced and aggregated information to investigate the dynamics of cultural interaction in the southern area of Spain between the 4th century BCE and the 1st century CE on the basis of epigraphic, monetary and sculptural evidence. Ultimately, this thesis examines the extent to which the application of LOD technologies can improve the way archaeological information is accessed, retrieved and analysed by means of a LOD dataset (ERUB) and the Cultural Contact Ontology (CuCoO).

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