IDEA is harnessing the power of Linked Open Data (LOD) to reassemble and re-contextualize archaeological data from Dura-Europos.

Unique circumstances of preservation – including the construction of an earthen embankment to shore up the western city wall and the dry desert sands that packed the site after destruction – make Dura-Europos a rare archaeological resource. The city provides unparalleled glimpses into a multicultural religious life, the running of a military garrison, and domestic coexistence of different ethnic groups, and has preserved hundreds of organic materials that survive in the archaeological record from few other places.

But recognition as a singular resource for information about the ancient past has come at a price. Excavations involving multiple institutional partners and well-intentioned efforts to share-out access to physical objects from Dura has led to the dispersal of the site’s artifacts and other archival materials into collections across the world.

We’re using cutting-edge technology to power a new search feature for Dura-Europos archaeological data as a means to mitigate this physical dispersal.

Dura’s History

A brief introduction to Dura’s ancient inhabitants and the history of excavations.

Digital Accessibility

Learn why the digital accessibility of Dura data is more important than ever.

Dura Gazetteer

Learn about digital urban gazetteers and their role in virtual reassembly.

Our Team

Meet the team behind IDEA.