Semantic ENrichment Enabling Sustainability of arCHAeological Links


SENESCHAL is an AHRC funded project (£76k). The project is in collaboration with the Archaeology Data Service and project partners, Bespoke HER User Group, English Heritage, RCAHMS, RCAHMW, Wessex Archaeology.

SENESCHAL builds on outcomes and tools from the previous AHRC funded STAR and STELLAR projects. Doug Tudhope is PI and Ceri Binding is the Research Fellow on the project. The main project website is at where we have published national cultural heritage vocabularies as Linked Data as one of the SENESCHAL outcomes.


SENESCHAL is a one year Knowledge Exchange project based on enhanced vocabulary services that aims to make it significantly easier for vocabulary providers to make their vocabularies available as Linked Data and for users to index their data with uniquely identified (machine readable) controlled terminology that is semantically enriched and compatible with Linked Data.

It builds on the STAR and STELLAR projects, where we encountered a lack of vocabulary control (with unique identifiers) that hindered the full potenetial of the resulting Linked Data. Although STELLAR tools are capable of generating controlled types, the resulting linked data currently employ free text strings and are not directly connected to other data via thesauri. Major thesauri act as standards but currently lack the unique identifiers that would allow them to act as vocabulary hubs for the Web of Data.

The project will employ major vocabulary resources as exemplars – including the Monument Types Thesaurus, the Event Types Thesaurus and the MIDAS Archaeological Periods List. These resources will be converted to standard machine readable data formats and made freely available under a suitable open licensing arrangement. It is anticipated that converting these resources into standard linked data format with unique identifiers will encourage wider use of controlled terminology by archaeology users and act as exemplar for the wider cultural heritage domain. RESTful web services will be developed for the project to make the vocabulary resources programmatically accessible and searchable. These will include provision to 'feed back’ new terms (concepts) suggested by users.


  • Knowledge Exchange based on enhanced vocabulary services
  • Make it significantly easier for data providers to index their data with uniquely identified (machine readable) controlled terminology
  • Make it easier for vocabulary providers to make their vocabularies available as Linked Data


  • Widening access to key vocabulary resources. Making these resources more openly accessible as Linked Data will encourage wider adoption of standard terminology and will engender useful community feedback on possible improvements to the vocabularies.
  • Improving the consistency of existing metadata. This will be achieved by exemplar bulk semantic enrichment operations to align legacy datasets with controlled vocabulary resources for Linked Data.
  • Improving the consistency of future metadata. Better integration of controlled vocabulary resources in the data creation workflow will be facilitated via web services and interface widgets generating unique identifiers for Linked Data .

SENESCHAL is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council