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Data license and entry protocols

Data license

Data in the database are accessible under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) v1.0.

Entry types

  • Entries are made into the CIDOC-CRM database under headings of various types (e.g. ‘move’, ‘activity’, ‘event’ ‘person’, ‘place’, ‘group’ ‘man-made object’).
  • The ontology has been extended to allow a more specific description of literary and musical objects (e.g. 'work', 'music', 'manuscript').
  • Often used is the heading ‘activity’, where a historical person or group have actively undertaken something; and the heading ‘event’, which is a more passive kind of incident. All types of entry can be made to interact with one another to show the connections between civilisations across Europe and Asia.
  • Birth activities not only record the event of the beginning of a life, but can also list paternity and maternity.


  • Dates can be entered into the system as short or broad time periods (for groups, empires, civilisations or equally for specific activities and events if the exact date is not known).
  • A contested date can also be indicated in the system to allow for/show historical inaccuracies/debates.

Places & Areas

  • The map upon which all the entries can be tethered is a topographical map from the Ancient World Mapping Center. Places can be entered either by locating them through the Pleiades web tool, or by entering specific latitude and longitude co-ordinates. These can be obtained through Google Maps if the geographical location, but not the specific co-ordinates, are known.
  • Areas can be indicated by mapping a polygon of singular points to create a region.
  • These can be arranged to form a hierarchy, so that a capital city can be noted within a larger territory.

People & Names

  • All names are in the original language.
  • A person may be known under multiple names (appellations), so that people who change their names may have alternatives listed.
  • Individuals can be listed as being part of a larger group in specific roles – as such, we can list a person’s title as emperor or general to indicate what part of the group represent.

Group entries

  • Groups are collections of people, and can be used to express communities/civilisation within the system.
  • These can be of any size, from just a few people, to being a group of groups. Groups can therefore express hierarchy and relationships between peoples and civilisations.

Links created between terms

  • Auxiliary details of entries allow connections to be drawn. These might include influences, geo-temporal relationships or hierarchies to connect the data that has been inputted into the system to as many other entries as the user wishes.

Sources and Bibliography

  • The primary and secondary sources, which the data entries rely on, are normally indicated in the detailed information for each entry.
  • A complete list of sources consulted can be seen in the Bibliography page under the main menu.