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Friday, July 15 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Leveraging Wikidata for Ethical Virtual Re-assembly and Re-contextualization of Cultural Heritage

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Thanks especially to its unique circumstances of preservation, the ancient site of Dura-Europos is a rare archaeological resource. But physical dispersal of Dura’s artifacts, and publication traditions (print and digital) that conventionally publish like with like (i.e. material grouped by type, material, or language) rather than as related assemblages, make it difficult, even for experts, to understand the rich intermingling of ancient cultures to which the site powerfully testifies. Beyond the challenges to comprehensibility presented by the current landscape of scattered data pertaining to Dura-Europos, there is also a pressing linguistic accessibility issue. The role of early 20th century colonialist power dynamics in the relocation of numerous Durene artifacts to the West presents an imperative to assure Arabic-speakers have intellectual access to the site’s artifacts and documentation. This talk will introduce the work of the International (Digital) Dura-Europos Archive (IDEA), a project using the power of Linked Open Data--but notably with a bottom-up design based in Wikidata--to virtually reassemble and re-contextualize the site’s archaeological data, while enhancing its discoverability and searchability in a host of world languages.


Friday July 15, 2022 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT