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About the project

Swedish archaeologists conducted excavations in Greece long before the Swedish Institute at Athens was officially recognized as a foreign archaeological school with the right to conduct its own excavations in 1975. Hence, the field documentation from the early excavations often ended up in private archives in Sweden, while the finds were dispersed in different museums in Greece and Sweden. Many finds were also lost during the wartime occupation of Greece. For scholars it has therefore been difficult to find information of the whereabouts of the finds and the contexts they were found in.

To address this problem, the PRAGMATA database was developed within the project Archive and Database of Swedish Archaeological Research in Greece, a collaboration between The Swedish Institute at Athens, Museum Gustavianum in Uppsala and the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University. The objectives of the project were two-fold: to create a database of all finds from Swedish archaeological excavations in Greece; and to collect all field documentation from the excavations to the archive of the Swedish Institute at Athens.

The project was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, and co-funded by the institutions mentioned above between 2013 and 2016. The future maintenance of PRAGMATA will be shared between the Swedish Institute at Athens and Museum Gustavianum in Uppsala. Our goal is also to develop PRAGMATA further in collaboration with the Swedish Institutes at Rome and Istanbul.

Data sources currently in PRAGMATA

Note: One of the explicit aims of PRAGMATA is to retain the original structures of these data sources, so you may notice some unexpected design decisions in these data sources, as well as inconsistencies between them. Since all these databases were designed at different times by different people, and to fill specific needs, they tend to differ greatly in structure and in field names. We have mapped many of the fields into Dublin Core equivalents to facilitate simple search, but if you need to specify more exactly what you are searching for, you can use the field names listed below.

Also, the original field names have been somewhat cleaned up, by replacing spaces, single quotes, and periods with underscore characters (_).


SIADB is the main registration database for the original 2013-2016 project. It contains data from excavations in many sites around Greece, comprising material that is kept in museum storage/exhibitions in Greece, mainly in Nauplion and Mycenae.

SIADB inherited most of its original structure and some data (some 2500 records) from SIA’s DAMSEG database, and it was built with Microsoft Access, to handle inventory work by multiple simultaneous registrars with no access to the Internet.

Some useful fields in the Item table in SIADB are

Excavation information: Site, Area, Subarea, Trench, Tomb, Stratum, Depth, Find, Find context (Find_context), Excavator’s Name (Excavator_s_name), ExcavationYear, Date_of_excavation

Description and Classification: Material, Material subtype (Material_subtype), Type of object (Type_of_object), Object subtype (Object_subtype), Chronology, Technique, Decoration, State of preservation (State_of_preservation), Burnt, Worked

Osteological information for bone material: Type of bone (Type_of_bone), Taxonomy

Storage: Kept at (Kept_at), Museum inventory number (Museum_inventory_number)


The Asine material stored in Uppsala is recorded in a database oriented not around individual items, but based on numbered boxes containing mixed materials, quantitatively documented by type. The boxes themselves are associated with specific find contexts, and with references to field diaries.

The structure of this data source in Pragmata reflects the more complex database structure. Each box has an "AS number", which is used as the internal ID. The field ASNO contains the ID, prefixed with "AS". The quantitative content data is stored as sub-records under the key "content", so in order to search for a specific Subtype (see below), you would search on the field "content.Subtype".

Some useful fields in the "kontext" table in AsineDB are

Excavation information: Site, Sector, Trench, Location, Comments, Excavation_date, Diary

Box contents: content.Content (shown as Type in PRAGMATA), content.Subtype, content.Comments, content.Date_(majority) (needs to be typed as "content.Date_\(majority\)" when searching).


Data from the Kalaureia excavation were recorded in a database organized around the grid system at the site. The main record type represents a "block".

Associated with each block are a number of Bags, each containing a group of fragments, bones, shells etc. Each bag has a Bag number or "MusID", a Type and some other information. From each bag, individual objects may have been extracted. These objects have Find numbers, (“KepNo”).

Apart from being sub-records to the Bags, themselves sub-records to Blocks, the Finds are also recorded separately in Pragmata, since they are individual objects. The references between these different entities are, wherever possible, used to create links between the records.

Notable fields on Blocks are:

Excavation information: Site, Area, Block, ExcavationYear

Description and commments: Colour, Progress (a comment field), Str_type (Type)

Notable fields on Bags are bags.CommentsBgs, bags.OType

Notable fields on the sub-records for Finds are bags.finds.Category bags.finds.Object

Notable fields on Finds are: KepNo (ID), Site, Locus, Bag, Material, Category, Remarks, Part, Object

When searching for Blocks by Find information (where a Find is a sub-record of a Bag), you need to prepend the field names with “bags.finds.”, so you can, for instance, search for