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THANADOS - The anthropological and archaeological database of sepultures

Hosting organisations
nhm - Prähistorische Abteilung and ÖAI - Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut
Responsible persons
Stefan Eichert and Nina Brundke

Several hundreds of early medieval (app. 600-1100 AD) burial grounds and graveyards are known from the area of present day Austria and were analysed archaeologically and/or anthropologically. The earliest ones were dug out more than 150 years ago. Since then, methods and documentation of archaeological and anthropological research, as well as new analyses and ways of presenting the results, were developed. But up until today the most common way of presenting these data are printout publications. Only rarely texts and tables are published as Open Access Document, e.g. in form of PDFs. But structured data, enabling further research, are not available to the public nor the research community. The THANADOS-project aims at developing an online repository of the already published early medieval burial grounds in Austria. In it, three different disciplines - archaeology, anthropology and digital humanities - will be combined. The graves known and published to date will be inserted into the Open Source Database OpenAtlas, which models the data according to the international well-established CIDOC CRM standard. For that purpose THANADOS accesses already digitised data from bygone projects carried out by the project members, that will be published as Open Data for the first time. For that, a user interface with an appropriate entry workflow will be developed. With this, grave finds from respective locations can be entered in the database, connected to information about the human remains as well as grave goods and/or other related finds in a standardised way. Next to textual summaries and categorial data, pictures (photos, drawings) can be stored as well as georeferenced GIS-geometries.

An interactive web-application for presenting the data will be developed by the team members of THANADOS in close cooperation with specialised colleagues of the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH) of the OeAW. This web-application, attainable with every modern web-browser, will allow the users to explore the data, search in the data pool and download raw data as well as specific search query reports in established formats. The cartographic and data-centered user interface complement each other smoothly.

From a technical point of view, THANADOS is completely based on Open Source technology. The developments will be included in the OpenAtlas project under Open Source licenses. Depending on their categories, all data will be available for the public under Creative Commons licenses or as linked open data.

The project aims at building an open online repository of archaeological and anthropological data of early medieval burial grounds in nowadays Austria. Furthermore, this can be used as a model for other regions, epochs and topics.



Additional images

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