Palestine Archaeological Databank and Information System (PADIS)
By Abed A. Khooli
Review date: January 9, 2013
Palestine Archaeological Databank and Information System (PADIS) is a joint effort between Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) and the Palestinian Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage. PADIS is part of a major project that aims to create a comprehensive databank of the archaeological and historical-cultural sites in Palestine.
The PADIS website is available in English with an Arabic abstract page that summarises the project background. The site uses Joomla as its content engine and is organised in a two-column layout with two banners on top.
The top banner has the logos and names of the PADIS partners, a search box, and a brief background menu. The brief menu starts with Arabic (an executive summary of the project in Arabic), then Publications (a sample from volume 7 - Archaeological Heritage in the Jericho Oasis - in English and Arabic) followed by About Us (contact information for the project partners), and PADIS Project, which explains the project’s background, goals, and achievements. A second banner follows and contains the PADIS logo and a photo of an archaeological terrain from the Jericho area.
The main menu is in the left column and begins, as usual, with Home, linking the first page. Next is Search for a Site, which enables you to look up archaeological sites using some matching and ordering options. Advanced Search allows you to browse sites based on archaeological periods and includes filter options (although the system was not happy when filtering was tested). Alphabetical List provides a paged alphabetical listing of all sites along with their Arabic names. Satellite and topographical maps are under the Maps menu and provide detailed plans of archaeological sites in the Jericho area. Visitors can also zoom in to a certain location using Google maps from the Geolocation menu. The last main menu item, Chronology, lists the date intervals for all archaeological periods cited in PADIS.
Two other sections follow the main menu: Other Projects has two items - Palestine Archaeological Items Rescue and Recovering, with a brief summary in Arabic, and Palestine Archaeological Bibliographic Resource, which links to PADIS. Sapienza Expeditions lists three sites that the university has worked on: Tell es-Sultan (Jericho), Khirbet al-Batrawy (Jordan), and Motya (Italy) with further details for each.
The content area starts with a breadcrumb bar (which indicates your location in site navigation) and lists the project features and partners, along with a thumbnail of the volume 7 publication, and concludes with project credits. The page ends with a copyright tagline.
PADIS website is unique in its content and value. It could be enhanced through increasing the Arabic content, fixing technical issues, and extending the project to cover other areas in Palestine.