Linking and Querying Ancient Texts (LaQuAT)

Project start date: 2008-09 Project end date: 2009-03
The LaQuAT (Linking and Querying Ancient Texts) project investigated technologies for providing integrated SQL-based views of diverse data resources related to classical archaeology, specifically containing epigraphic and papyrological material. These resources were quite heterogeneous in terms of standards and structure, comprising two relational databases with different schemas, and an XML-based corpus; they are hosted by different institutions in different countries, and are the outputs of divergent research communities. Nevertheless, the datasets overlapped geographically, chronologically and prosopographically. Such issues are typical of archaeological databases; to address them the project explored the applicability of 'grid computing', and in particular the OGSA-DAI software, for providing integrated views of such diversity.
Methods usedCategory
Resource sharingCommunication and collaboration
DocumentationStrategy and project management
Iterative designStrategy and project management
PrototypingStrategy and project management
Record linkagesData analysis
Searching and queryingData analysis
System quality assurance and code testingStrategy and project management
Textual interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
Funding sources: 
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
Content types created: 
Dataset/structured data
Software tools used: 
Source material used:  
LaQuAT used three existing digital data resources: - Projet Volterra, a database of late Roman legal texts, housed at University College London ( - Heidelberg Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens (HGV), a database of metadata for circa 65000 papyri. - Inscriptions of Aphrodisias, a corpus of mainly Greek inscriptions marked up in TEI XML (
Digital resource created:  
The project produced a demonstrator providing integrated views over the two database resources. Note: The following entries - Content Types and Data formats - relate to the existing data resources used by the project.
Data Formats created: 
Extensible Markup Language (XML), FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Access Database (MDB)
The OGSA-DAI ( software was used to provide integrated web views across the source databases.
- Blanke, Bodard, Hedges, ' Digital Classicist: Re-use of Open Source and Open Access Publications in Ancient Studies’, Proceedings of Digital Humanities 2009, Maryland, 2009.
- Blanke, Bodard, Hedges, Rajbhandari, Jackson, ‘Realising interoperability for digital classics resources’, SABRE, Text Mining Services, Leipzig, 2009.

- Blanke, Bodard, Dunn, Hedges, Jackson, Rajbhandari, ‘LaQuAT: Integrating and querying diverse digital resources in classical epigraphy’, Proceedings of Computer Applications in Archaeology 2009, Williamsburg, Virginia
- Jackson, Blanke, Bodard, Antonioletti, Hedges, Hume, Rajbhandari, ‘Building bridges between islands of data – an investigation into distributed data management in the humanities’, proceedings of the IEEE Conference on eScience 2009, Oxford.

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
King's College London
University of Edinburgh

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Mark Hedge, Tobias Blanke
Other staff:Computing officer(s) / Technical supporter(s), Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordMark Hedges
TitleLinking and Querying Ancient Texts (LaQuAT)
Record created2009-11-18
Record updated2010-01-25 16:54
URL of record
Citation of recordMark Hedges: Linking and Querying Ancient Texts (LaQuAT).
created: 2009-11-18, last updated 2010-01-25 16:54