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Archaeological Records of Europe - Networked Access


Welcome to the ARENA Network Web Resource

Please use the navigation bar above to access our resources. You can also learn more about the network partners, the project, our activities and output.

Latest ARENA Network News

ARENA 2 Kick off meeting held in the King's Manor, York, February 2009.

The ARENA portal has now been running more or less successfully since 2004. However, the underlying technologies have since been challenged by more sophisticated approaches to interoprtability. Under the auspices of both the DARIAH project and the ACE project the ADS is coordinating a second phase of the ARENA project - ARENA 2 - which will take full advantage of web services and a SOA approach whilst demonstrating that 'legacy' systems (such as Z39.50) can be integrated into this architecture.

The first meeting for ARENA 2 was held in King's Manor on the 6th and 7th of February 2009 and had representatives from all the original ARENA partners as well as number of organisations that will join the portal in this and later phases of the ARENA project. The ARENA 2 page has the latest information on partners and supporting projects for this exciting new development.

ARENA special edition published in Internet Archaeology

The ARENA partners are pleased to announce that they have published a set of papers in the on line journal Internet Archaeology.

Three years of work amongst the ARENA partners has covered many areas of interest for the cultural heritage management community and archaeology as a discipline. The set of seven papers presented in Internet Archaeology can be read in their own right, each taking a separate and vital topic, or they can be seen as a collection. As a collection of papers, it highlights the many difficulties that face us as we seek to find pathways across national boundaries, but they also show us the routes that these pathways can take towards sharing archaeological data across Europe and beyond.

Kenny and Richards consider the problems inherent in using heritage projects to build a sense of European identity while Oberländer-Târnoveanu considers the links between language and identity in multilingual resources. The collected papers all consider the vast potential for dissemination and access inherent in digital archiving. In particular Aldred looks at innovative ways that archaeology and digital archives are published and presented to the public in Iceland, and Eide et al show how digital document resources can be linked with each other and with the landscapes to which they refer. Dam and Hansen consider the potential for sharing cultural resources throughout Europe, in particular sharing sites and monuments data. This data can be made accessible through innovative use of maps and hand-held devices allowing access to people on the move. Not all archaeological data is digital. Prinke describes the digitisation work carried out by the Poznan Archaeological Museum to preserve and make accessible the historic collection of images from excavations at Biskupin in the 1930s. Coping with language and, more importantly, meaning that lies behind language is a vital issue for any European project.

The overall approach that was taken by ARENA is discussed by Kenny and Richards while Oberländer-Târnoveanu considers the long term implications of multilingual resources and the projects that are striving to take us forward. In linking such varied resources together via the ARENA portal, how people find these resources is taken up by Waller who presents a vision of sharing data across Europe through the power of the Internet. This is not a new idea, Hansen proposed it 1992, but it is now getting closer to reality. These papers show some of the experiences of the ARENA partners as they sought to identify and demonstrate pathways towards the vision.

ARENA Portal Launched.

The ARENA search portal allows users to search for sites and monument index data from the ARENA network partners. This is a significant technical advance for searching databases on a European scale.

You will find that you can search indexes by period, theme or place. Use a map interface to select the area that you want to search or use the when and what facilities to make searches that cover more than one ARENA partner.

Using the ARENA archives.

The ARENA Archives went live in April 2003. The archives have been made available by the ARENA partners because they have particular significance as archaeological projects or as particular resources. Each archive has required specific preparation and preservation to make it accessible.

If you have visited the archives and are thinking about how they might be used take a look at Using ARENA Archives. Here you will be able to link to tutorials created by the PATOIS project in the UK. These tutorials demonstrate digital archive resources in action.

The image above comes from one of the ARENA archives. Run you mouse over the image to see where or what you are looking at.

Promotional Leaflet

The ARENA Leaflet publicising the project can be viewed online. If you would like some leaflets email Jon Kenny on email

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The content of this project does not necessarily reflect the position of the European Community, nor does it involve any responsibility on the part of the European Community.

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