Digital Solutions for Complex Numismatic and Archaeological Data (DigiNUMA)

Principal investigator: Eljas Oksanen
Level: External project (International)

Digital Solutions for Complex Numismatic and Archaeological Data (DigiNUMA)

Keywords (3-5): Semantic Computing, ontologies, pan-European archaeological data harmonisation, numismatic/archaeological culture heritage, museum collections management

The interdisciplinary research project DigiNUMA investigates challenges and solutions in data management and dissemination of pan-European Cultural Heritage. It develops a new model for harmonising national and international archaeological datasets for Digital Humanities (DH) analysis as well as public dissemination through Linked Open Data (LOD).

DigiNUMA answers challenges and opportunities created by the digitisation of society:

1) The need for digital solutions in Cultural Heritage management stemming from the vastly increased amount of information generated by the public, with particular reference to the growing number of archaeological finds recovered by metal-detecting and other public finders in European countries including Finland and the UK.

2) The pan-European need to develop an internationally operable and harmonised LOD infrastructure for using Cultural Heritage data from different countries in research.

3) Increasing the accessibility of Cultural Heritage data among different audiences, including outside the scientific community.

The project develops an infrastructure for transnational Cultural Heritage data management and dissemination based on ontologies extracted from the classifications and typologies used for describing Cultural Heritage artefacts. DigiNUMA examines the potential offered by data harmonisation strategies in developing digital heritage services. Ontological work will be complemented by user experience research on international public heritage portals, in order to develop optimal solutions for structuring and disseminating heritage data.

DigiNUMA extends the FindSampo framework [1], Sampo model (, and the new FindSampo system (see into a transnational technical solution for Cultural Heritage data management and dissemination. As a case study, the rich and complex numismatic data from Finland (Finnish National Museum) and the UK (British Museum and FitzWilliam Museum) are investigated. The functionality of the resulting data models will be tested through intensive DH analyses (e.g., Geographic Information Systems analysis, multivariate statistical analyses, spatial network analysis) with a focus on Viking Age numismatics (AD 800–1150). During this historical period coin circulation was particularly international, creating socio-economic links between countries in Europe and beyond, and underlining the necessity to bring numismatic data (like other archaeological material) together from trans-national sources in order to better appreciate world-historical large-scale patterns in economic growth and monetisation.

DigiNUMA produces (1) a ontology of Viking Age coin data; (2) new internationally relevant research on coin use and contacts between monetised and non-monetary societies during the Viking Age; (3) theoretical research on models suitable for international heritage services for numismatic data, with direct relevance for all archaeological data. The project collaborates with other pan-European LOD data harmonisation projects, especially ARIADNEplus ( (all archaeological data) and (specifically numismatic data).

Other Researchers: Eero Hyvönen, Heikki Rantala, Esko Ikkala, Mikko Koho, Jouni Tuominen

Referee: Michael Lewis (PAS, BM)


[1] Eero Hyvönen, Heikki Rantala, Esko Ikkala, Mikko Koho, Jouni Tuominen, Babatunde Anafi, Suzie Thomas, Anna Wessman, Eljas Oksanen, Ville Rohiola, Jutta Kuitunen and Minna Ryyppö: Citizen Science Archaeological Finds on the Semantic Web: The FindSampo Framework. Antiquity, A Review of World Archaeology, 95(382), Cambridge University Press, 2021.

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