Aims

IsoArcH has been designed to be:

  • a web isotopic database for bioarcheological finds (e.g. humans, animals, plants and organic residues) from Antiquity and Late Antiquity (i.e. from the 8th c. BC to the 8th c. AD) containing metadata (i.e. site location, biological identification, archaeological data and references) for each sample site.
  • a collaborative database accessible for the use of scholars and non-specialists where users can explore and download all the available data, and may contribute to the expansion of the content of the website by uploading and sharing their own data sets.
  • a spatial database dedicated to the Graeco-Roman world and its margins (e.g. Europe, Near and Middle East, and North Africa), storing georeferenced isotopic and archaeological information, and allowing to re-contextualize data within global geopolitical frameworks by displaying them on ancient world maps.
  • an open-access database available to anyone and free of all restrictions on both access and use.

The full advantages of this database are expected to be achieved due to its cooperative aspect. IsoArcH plans to become a new efficient tool at the service of the scientific community to provide an overview of the state of paleodiet and paleomobility research for this area and this time period. In addition, IsoArcH allows to highlight the lack of interest by science-based archeologists specializing in isotopic analysis for certain subregions during Antiquity and Late Antiquity. IsoArcH is part of a broadly-based concept to elicit new discussions and to encourage further academic cooperation. The website consists, in effect, of a library of embedded data with multiple layers which will help to save time and effort and will avoid the need to create individual baselines for specific isotopic comparisons. Instead, the objective, here, is to standardize the datasets used for this type of comparisons. Finally, IsoArcH proposes to facilitate monitoring of current publications and research, which, in the case of isotopic topics, is noted to be highly active in the last few years. In other words, an advantage of online publishing is that updates are easy.