ARCH is a collaborative project between the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents at the University of Oxford, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Paris and the Department of Archaeology at the University of Valencia, to create an online portal for Greek coinage. It establishes, for the first time, an overarching platform for the study, curation, archiving and preservation of the monetary heritage of the Greek oikoumene, the Ancient world from the 7th to the 1st century BC. Using the nomisma.org knowledge organisation system, ARCH has built a unified portal across multiple online typological resources, as well as a ‘Skeleton’ typology for the whole of the remainder of Greek coinage. In its initial publication it unifies data from the following projects: the ARCH project’s own IRIS database; Monedaiberica (MIB, University of Valencia); Corpus Nummorum (CN, Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften and Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin); and Hellenistic Royal Coinages (HRC, American Numismatic Society).
The ARCH portal is aimed at multiple audiences. By providing the first integrated portal to the whole of Greek coinage it is hoped that ARCH will open up the numismatic material of the ancient world to broader audiences than it as hitherto reached, including students, scholars in cognate fields, museum curators and a more general public without access to much of the existing specialist literature. It is also intended that the portal take its place in the armoury of professionals engaged in the battle against the trade in illicit antiquities, by providing an easily searchable and, ultimately, a richly illustrated database of ancient coins. ARCH is currently available in English and French, and MIB in English, Castilian, Valencian, French, Portuguese and Italian, but we hope to translate them in other languages in the future.
The portal employed for the ARCH project is powered by Numishare, an open-source Linked Open Data platform designed by Ethan Gruber at the American Numismatic Society. Modifications, additions and implementation for the ARCH project have been provided by John Pybus of the Oxford E-Research Centre. We are grateful to our colleagues Ethan Gruber (HRC) Dr Karsten Tolle (CN) and Alejandro Peña and Francisco Onielfa of Render Comunicación (MIB) for technical assistance.
The principal investigators of the ARCH project are Dr. Frédérique Duyrat (BnF, Paris); Prof. Andrew Meadows (CSAD, Oxford); Prof. Pere Pau Ripollès (Valencia).