Marble material is widely used for artistic, sculptural and architectural work all over the history of Europe. Marble masterpieces are known from Greek temples, busts of Roman noblemen, and baroque figures to modern facade material, to mention only a few examples. The multitude of raw material and the various creation techniques raise several questions concerning the analysis, provenance, restoration of the objects. A number of proposals have been recently published to unify the data content of data bases concerning marble artefacts and samples. Our approach is similar to the previous workers, however, we renew our earlier concept that a common interface is needed for the data management and query. In this paper we give an account on the state of the art of our project that intends to provide an integrated, scalable and extendable data management and analysis system.
The project aims to characterise historic and recent marble quarries, as well specific marble objects, and makes the information available to all other people involved in the field of research and preservation of marble artefacts. We have developed a software solution for the problem based on client/server architecture. The server-side engine can be installed both on Windows and Linux systems, while the client software is Windows-based. The client software connects to the server via internet connection in a way that the user does not need to install any additional software. The clientside software can be easily updated: the user receives a message to automatically update the software and the update is done by a single mouse click.
The data content of our data base follows the principles laid down previously. Beside of the sample description (geographic location and catalogue data) the data base includes information on colour and fabric, physical properties, chemical composition, mineralogical composition (both macroscopic and instrumental), isotopic data, and textural analyses like fractal analytical and quantitative textural properties. Most of these properties are suitable as filtering criteria to provide query tools and data grouping possibilities. Furthermore there is a sophisticated geographical hierarchy defined in the system, so the samples can be organised into a logical geographic context as well. This context later can be used for larger scale studies, e.g., for provenance determination.