About this Collection

Templum is an open source static React JS website which provides an explorable GUI for an open-source dataset of Ritual Sites in Britain & Ireland. Templum and it’s accompanying dataset is an attempt to collate evidence for Late Iron Age to Late Antique ritual temple and provide complete bibliographies and locations in a single place.


Templum is currently scoped towards what are understood to be ‘temple’ sites, that is constructed buildings and their environs used for, or dedicated to religious activity, this includes sites from Late-Iron Age shrines, Roman Temples, to Early Christian Churches. We understand that the what is defined as a temple can be vague and so we intend to keep our understanding of the term porous, allowing us to study continuous or related activity that pre-dates or post-dates the constructed environs. All discussions on this topic should happen within either the Templum website repo or the dataset repo to keep a record. Scope for entries into the project are currently:

  1. Entries should have an identifiable location within the boundaries of the islands of Britain & Ireland including off-shore islands.

  2. The time-frame for entries should be kept within the Late Iron Age to Late Antiquity for Britain & Ireland, that is roughly 150BCE to 600CE. The constructed environs that make up a temple should fall in this time frame, but contiguous activity may extend beyond these boundaries.

  3. There should at least be a reasonable argument for a site being a temple, understanding that it is not always easy to seperate these sites from others.

  4. An entry should provide at least the common name for the site, the location, the date range of use, a description, and a bibliography. To see further details on the entry format go here.


Templum and its accompanying dataset is all open-source, meaning that it is all completely free and accessible to anyone. Being hosted on GitHub anyone can ‘fork’ a copy of the project, and make a change to their local version and commit the change to a ‘Pull Request’ (PR). The PR is then reviewed, and if approved is merged into the ‘master’ project.

How to

An excellent practical guide on how to make a contribution to an open-source project is available here. The Templum dataset is available here and the Templum Website here.


Entries into the Templum dataset must be made in the “sites”: [] array and keep to the following format:

{"site":"The common name for the site e.g. Maiden Castle",
"location":"England, Dorset, Dorchester, Maiden Castle Road",
"description":"An appropriate description, ideally a paragraph or two that sums up the sites significance.",
"Cleary, S., 2014. The 'end of the gods' in late Roman Britain. Gallia, 71(1).",
"Sharples, N., Ambers, J., Armour-Chelu, M. et al., 1991. Maiden Castle: Excavations And Field Survey 1985-6. 1st ed. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, Historic England."

Locations should generally follow the format of Country, County, Townland, nearest road if possible. We currently use the Harvard System of referencing, more information on this style can be found here.

Useful Tools

Below are some useful tools we use in our workflow, all of which are free:

  1. Visual Studio Code - a lightweight IDE from Microsoft.

  2. GitKraken - Git GUI client for Windows, Mac & Linux.

  3. JSTOR - JSTOR is a hugely popular digital library. However, most of the content is behind paywalls or requires organisational credentials, but a good place to start searching.

  4. Academia - an Academic social-networking site that also acts as a repository for free academic material.

  5. Sci-Hub - One of the most important websites you can know about as an amateur scholar, sci-hub provides most paywall blocked articles for free. Do a quick Google for it as its address has to change often.

  6. Z-Library - Similar to Sci-Hub, Z-Library is a file sharing site that provides a large corpus of books and articles for free.

  7. LibGen - LibGen is another academic file sharing site, but tends to not have Archaeology or Humanaties works so we don’t use it nearly as often as Sci-Hub or Z-Library.

  8. Zotero - Zotero is a tool for collating and managing bibliographies.