This book offers a comprehensive guide to the world of metadata, from its origins in the ancient cities of the Middle East, to the Semantic Web of today. The author takes us on a journey through the centuries-old history of metadata up to the modern world of crowdsourcing and Google, showing how metadata works and what it is made of. The author explores how it has been used ideologically and how it can never be objective. He argues how central it is to human cultures and the way they develop. Metadata: Shaping Knowledge from Antiquity to the Semantic Web is for all readers with an interest in how we humans organize our knowledge and why this is important. It is suitable for those new to the subject as well as those know its basics. It also makes an excellent introduction for students of information science and librarianship.