Future Directions


To our knowledge, IsoArcH is unique in both its presentation and its function. The integration of isotopic data and its metadata into the flow of the same website is unparalleled in other web resources. We have aimed for an open-access and collaborative isotope database for bioarcheological samples deriving from different sites of the Graeco-Roman world and its margins. In this optic, IsoArcH allows one to undertake multi-scale analysis and to realize extensive studies and syntheses on the issues of paleodiet, paleomobility and paleoenvironment during this period of time. In the interest of achieving more summarized and specific comparisons on the topics of diet and mobility of humans or animals, IsoArcH offers the opportunity to create more exhaustive baselines that go further than a traditional format of an individual research. Furthermore, isotopic data may be displayed on ancient world maps, which make it possible to re-contextualize ancient biogeochemical data within global geopolitical frameworks, which is an issue often unheeded by the scientific community.

Since the website is still in its early phases of construction, our perspectives are still numerous. IsoArcH database could expand in the future by adding new data and entities (e.g. new isotopic proxies, new archaeological parameters, etc.). This is hoped to be realised thanks to future exchanges with the users of IsoArcH. We plan to implement a free statistical software directly on the website (e.g. Rcmdr, http://rcommander.com) as well as develop a tool which will allow for the exportation of the generated ancient world maps on IsoArcH. Besides, a forum addressed to the scholars using the website is envisaged for private discussions about the topics raised by IsoArcH. In parallel, brief tutorial, possibly in the form of a video, will be introduced on the website to explain to the users the function of IsoArcH.

On a technical level and in order to facilitate the exploitation of the data on the website, automatic submission tools are planned to be developed so batch submission might be easily submitted later. In the future, user session will be expanded to allow members to operate private use of IsoArcH for their own unpublished works and make use of its advantages online (digital maps, datasets, baselines) without being compelled to share their data publicly. 

Our website offers a promising example with an easy-to-use database that will be updated regularly. Thus, we strongly encourage users to take over IsoArcH to give life to it.