STELLAR Applications

STELLAR provides tools for non-specialist users to map and extract archaeological datasets into RDF/XML conforming to the CIDOC CRM and its CRM-EH extension. For background on the STELLAR AHRC funded project see project homepage. STELLAR builds on the previous STAR Project and has been followed by SENESCHAL.

The STELLAR Introduction is a good place to start and the STELLAR manual should be read before using the applications. Various tutorials are explained below.

STELLAR templates

From experience in the STAR project, we identified a set of commonly occurring patterns in the datasets and the CRM. The STELLAR internal templates express these patterns. To generate RDF, the user chooses a template for a particular data pattern.The current internal templates correspond to the general aim of cross searching excavation datasets for inter-site analysis and comparison. See the
tutorial on STELLAR.Console application explained below.

Some internal templates are expressed in terms of the English Heritage CRM-EH archaeological extension to the CIDOC CRM. There are also more general CIDOC CRM templates conforming to the CLAROS Project format. Additionally there is a template allowing a glossary/thesaurus connected with the dataset to be expressed in SKOS standard format, which allows controlled data items to be linked via SKOS.

Any modification of the internal templates requires rebuilding the STELLAR application. STELLAR (additionally) allows user defined external templates for converting data to any user-defined textual form. A tutorial on user defined templates explains their creation and use.

A selection of user defined templates (intended to mirror the functionality of the internal templates) are freely available for download and use. Note: the .stg file extension was causing problems for downloading the files, so they have been renamed here with a .txt extension. You can rename them after download. Right click to save the files to your machine, then rename them minus the .txt extension (i.e. CRM.stg.txt becomes CRM.stg):


The STELLAR Introduction and the STELLAR manual should be read before using the applications.

STELLAR applications

STELLAR.Console is a command line utility application that performs a variety of data manipulation and conversion tasks related to STELLAR. Files of delimited tabular data (TAB, CSV) can be imported and consolidated to an internal database then queried using SQL. A series of “templates” can then convert the query results to Resource Description Framework (RDF) in a robust, consistent and repeatable way.

STELLAR.Win is a Windows application performing the direct conversion of delimited data files via user defined templates.

A tutorial on STELLAR.Console goes step by step through an excavation dataset example. When converting to RDF, the user specifies which template to apply. The user also supplies a file with the SQL commands that will generate the required input for the given template from the internal database. Batch processing is possible with STELLAR.Console, which has a wide choice of methods for expressing the inputs to the templates

Install the latest version of the STELLAR applications (Windows installer, 1444KB)
The application runs on Microsoft Windows platforms, and requires installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 runtime (will be installed automatically if not present).

The source code for the STELLAR.Console application is available under a Creative Commons open source license from

STELLAR.Web is a simpler browser based application that performs a subset of the STELLAR.Console functionality using the internal templates. Often you will have other means of producing the initial tabular delimited data (CSV files) so this application will work on your own pre-processed data files to produce the RDF output. You specify which template to apply and the CSV column names match the required input for the given template.

There are also tutorials on user defined templates and CLAROS project templates (see below).

STELLAR Reports and tutorials

Introduction with mapping and extraction guidelines (PDF, 86KB) Read this first
Manual for using Tools (PDF, 3746KB)
A tutorial explaining the use of STELLAR.Console
A short tutorial on the use of user defined templates with STELLAR.Console
Report on user defined template for use with CLAROS project (PDF, 232KB)
STELLAR.CONSOLE version history
STELLAR journal and conference outputs can be found under KOS publications.

STELLAR Linked Data output

Results from the final Linked Data publication phase are available from Archaeology Data Service Linked Data

STELLAR user experience

Matheo Romanello has blogged about using the STELLAR SKOS tool to create a thesaurus for the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) for the EU-funded DARIAH project. The blog is Skosifying an Archaeological Thesaurus

Paul Cripps has blogged about creating user-defined STELLAR templates involving other areas of the CIDOC CRM to produce linked data for the Colonisation of Britain Project, commissioned by English Heritage. The set of templates for that archive is available to download.