The second ARIADNE RI General Assembly was held on Monday 25th March where the two directors, Franco Niccolucci and Julian Richards provided a very upbeat overview of the finances and future plans. Former ARIADNEplus partners INRAP have joined as an institutional member and, David Wigg-Wolf from RGK has joined as an individual member. We also have a new partner., the Dept. of Civilisations at the University of Pisa which is very active in digital archaeology and has partnered with ADS in previous projects.

Administration of the RI resulted in a small positive balance when the activities of setting up a bank account and other administration costs were deducted from the income of membership fees last year. Now, with the funding provided by ATRIUM, ARIADNE is able to plan and implement updates to the Portal and to work towards automating the records updating process At present, two partners are using APIs to add and update their records and this is working very well.

Regarding the improvements to the Portal, ATRIUM will enable four new data types to be added, text, audio, 3D and images. The 3D-Hop 3D viewer will be incorporated into the Portal. Currently, several more datasets have been added including maritime records from the Unpath’d Waters project which include several thousand records from “CITiZAN”, a citizen science initiative where members of the public record maritime objects and artefacts found around the shores of the UK. Other planned updates include the addition of dendrochronology data from DANS, and interface enhancements such as s a new geographic filter by countries. ATRIUM is also providing Transnational Access and several of the ARIADNE partners will be offering training for researchers.

ARIADNE is currently working with three new data providers whose data will appear in the Portal over the next year or two and extend the data coverage in Africa and Asia.One highlight of the GA were the new videos which were popular with members who commented that these are very useful for explaining the benefits to potential new members. David Novak of ARAP, had presented ARIADNE at the European Archaeological Council (EAC) the previous week where it had been very well received, with some new contacts expected in the near future.

The SHADE COST CIG grant had funded the two videos and Sheena and Holly had attended a Business Plan training session in Brussels with the first draft under way. Finally, it was noted that the Grant Agreement for ECHOES was still in the process of being finalised and therefore the funding had not been included in the 2024 budget which would be updated once this was done with an expected project start date in June.