University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Re-introducing FASTI Online: FASTI and Furious
Jessica Ogden

Last modified: 2011-12-15


Between 1946 and 1987 the International Association for Classical Archaeology (AIAC) published the Fasti Archaeologici. It contained summaries of excavations throughout the the former Roman Empire, however, spiraling costs and publication delays combined to render it unsustainable. AIAC’s board of directors thus decided in 1998 to discontinue the publication and to seek a new way of recording and disseminating archaeological data. With the support of the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) FASTI Online was developed by L - P : Archaeology and first launched in 2003 using ARK (the Archaeological Recording Kit). Excavation projects since the year 2000 are published in note form including some basic information about the site as well a summary of each season of intervention in both the local language and English. ARK provides a web based interface for site administrators to enter new data, and gives public users free and open access to view and query the live database.

As web technologies have evolved since the inception of FASTI, recent strides have been made to improve the administrator and user experience of FASTI, as well as increase interoperability between other existing online resources. As such, FASTI now offers the ‘standard’ spatial data interoperability toolkit (GeoRSS, KML, WMS/WFS, etc.). FASTI has also been extended to include and link to online resources such as Geonames and Pleiades to better enable administrators in locating present and ancient world place names when entering and displaying site locations. In addition, by extending and linking FASTI sites to Pleiades via the Pelagios Project, we have been able to further maximise the impact of the data, and as FASTI is a dataset of ongoing and recent excavations we are actively contributing a unique resource to the corpus of knowledge about the Ancient World.

This paper aims to recap the successes and failures of the first 9 years of FASTI Online, with the hopes of shedding light on some of the practicalities of maintaining a sustainable, online, open access project in cultural heritage. We hope to also re-introduce FASTI to those already familiar, as well as reveal some of the latest improvements and work in the realm of Linked Open Data being carried out in collaboration with the Pelagios Project Partners. By extending the reach of FASTI Online data and publicising the latest improvements, it is our aim to generate increased interest, use, and re-use of this ever-growing online resource for archaeological interventions in the Mediterranean.

Further information can be found:

AIAC’s FASTI Online:

Pelagios Project:


The Archaeological Recording Kit:

L - P : Archaeology:


open access; interoperability; ARK; linked open data