ClaReNet is a cooperative project of the Römisch-Germanische Kommission (German Archaeological Institute) and the Big Data Lab, (Goethe University Frankfurt). It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part to the programme “Förderung von Forschungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben zur theoretischen, methodischen und technischen Weiterentwicklung der digitalen Geisteswissenschaften” (Research and development projects on the further theoretical, methodical and technical development of the Digital Humanities), and will run for three years from 1st February 2021 to 31st January 2024.

The classification of archaeological finds and their representation are shaped by various object epistemological approaches and changes of medium. With ever increasing digitisation, there are now new possibilities of classification, e.g. thanks to methods of automatic image recognition, as well as the representation of finds on the web with linked open data. Using three examples of Celtic coin series that were each chosen to address particular research questions and problems, ClaReNet will test the possibilities and limits of new methods of classification and representation. To this end, traditional approaches of typification and the recording of attributes in numismatics and archaeology will be compared with IT-based methods of classification, including deep learning.

An extendable virtual union catalogue, Online Celtic Coinage (, will be set up for the coin series to be studied. The catalogue will link to publicly accessible online collections, following the paradigm of portals based on the vocabulary and ontology of, such as Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE).

The work processes will be accompanied by a science and technology study that will document the production and circulation of knowledge, as well as instigate reflection on changes in cognitive processes resulting from the use of digital tools and algorithms. This blog will present news and videos, and a reusable wiki will be set up for the project. ClaReNet will promote an interdisciplinary dialogue to sound out the potential and limits of systematic automation for methods of classification and representation in numismatics and archaeology.

Funding body

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Germany

Funding period

1.2.2021 – 31.1.2024

Lead institutions

Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (David Wigg-Wolf)
Big Data Lab, Goethe Universität Frankfurt (Karsten Tolle)

Cooperating institutions

Département des Monnaies, médailles et antiques, Bibliothèque nationale de France (Frédérique Duyrat)
Archäologische Staatssammlung, München (Bernward Ziegaus)
Inventar der Fundmünzen der Schweiz (Michael Nick)
IRAMAT CRP2A, Université Bordeaux Montaigne (Eneko Hiriart)
States of Guernsey, Culture and Heritage (Philip de Jersey)