Prof. Sencer Şahin (https://akdeniz.academia.edu/SencerSahin), who was one of the prominent epigraphers and the founder of the Dept. of Ancient Languages and Cultures at Akdeniz University (Antalya), passed away on 16th October, at the age of 75, in the hospital of Akdeniz University, where he was treated for three weeks against respiratory insufficiency.
20 October, 2014
17 October, 2014
- its ‘state of art‘, and the related
- Internet service Epigraphisches Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum München
16 October, 2014
Posted on behalf of Elisa Orlando
Archeologist (Postdoc independent researcher)
The discovery of new, effective technologies applied both to epigraphy and archaeology seems to prove how closely these two disciplines are linked. Many archaeological and epigraphic studies have emphasized the concept of inscription as a multi-disciplinary resource, closely linked to its context. So if we agree with the definition: “Inscription is a complex monument comprising three elements: text, writing and support”i we must recognize that archaeology plays an important role in the analysis of epigraphic data. Each inscription is the physical evidence of social and cultural features. As a result, the text and its support cannot be parted. ii
In recent years, many programs have been created within the framework of classical studies and cultural heritage; in particular, Relational DBMS and Geographical Information System.iii
The Eagle project, is a powerful example of how epigraphic data can be gathered, shared and managed. This European network is important for many reasons, but above all because it defines scientific standards and best practices in digitization of data, making them accessible to a wide audience. So, can the Gis solution enrich and aid this or other similar projects? Can it act as a “bridge” to bring Archaeology and Epigraphy closer together? T.Mommsen has already recognized the importance of including topographic information for the study of inscriptions in the CIL. In fact, he classified the inscriptiones on the basis of geographical areas, trying to relate them to their background.iv Today, new technologies such as GPS, GIS platform or web solution, like Google Earth, can place each single piece of evidence from an archaeological survey with great accuracy and may provide researchers and the public with documentation, which is more complete and scientific.v But these tools can also be useful for reviewing ancient corpora, in particular helping to reposition inscriptions that, for different reasons, have been removed from their original context and for which the geographic position is uncertain. Briefly, what can GIS offer for the management of epigraphic studies?
More precise information about inscriptions and their context.
Quick comparisons between different types of epigraphic data.
Merging of archeological, historical and epigraphic information.
Establishment of a scientific predictive model by means of spatial analysis and DBMS queries.vi
Without doubt, it is extremely important to design the geodatabase carefully, using standard computer language and common best practices. In fact, its main purpose should be to create a system which is accessible to different users (researchers, institutions, the public) and which can be managed via different computer media (smart phones, tablets, PCs, etc.).
The project, that we want to propose here, is a platform Open Gis that could bring together, in a single geo-database, information from several databases, relating to Eagle, allowing to display data on a map. The structure of the geodatabase will allow the connection of textual information and geographical ones for each inscription found in databases. Each text will have spatial coordinates x and y, expressed in a precise reference system and viewable with a precise indication on a map.vii The possibility to have a complete database of both types of information will make it possible to achieve different types of quests: this is why the database acts as a bridge between epigraphy and archaeology. Although, the project is very large and complex, the ability to import the data into individual databases on cartography (converting dataset in shapefiles queried)viii would add new opportunities for analysis and comparison for different lines of studies, such as the epigraphic and archaeological research.
The structure of the database, consisting of geographical and textual information, managed by a geo-database, will be developed by an open source software, e.g., Quantum Gis. This Information system, released under General public license (Gnu), is a project of Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).ix Its peculiarity is that it is compatible with all major operating systems and, through the use of plugins, you can create, edit and publish geospatial projects.
The creation of the geodatabase will allow textual information to be converted to vectors and to be displayed in raster maps. QGis lets you connect and import different formats of Rdbms and change them into spatial relational database (PostGis).x The creation of a geographic information system will also allow you to make some queries and spatial analysis directly on maps. Spatial analysis functions interpolate together textual information and geographic data: e.g. Overlay two different itemes like Iscriptiones and its context. The systems allows us to create different database queries from spatial criteria (proximity, inclusion, buffer zone,etc.). These statistics process can be useful to improve both epigraphic and archeological researches. Then the project can be published online with a QGis Sever; Qgis server provides a Web Map Service (WMS) with the same libraries of the Quantum GIS (QGIS) desktop application.xi
In conclusion, we should reflect on Mallon’s words, taken from his famous “Archéologie des monuments graphìques”: “Existe-t-il une possibilité de tirer une conclusion prudente de la repartition de inscriptions correctes et de inscriptions fautives selon leurs natures, leurs provenances géographiques et leurs époques?”. xii
The creation of Geographical information system can answer and make accessible to the public the different data coming from archaeological and Epigraphic studies.
i Campana A., Tutela dei beni epigrafici, Epigraphica, 30, Roma, 1968, p.5.
ii Archeologia ed Epigrafia, Dizionario di Archeologia, in Manacorda D., Francovich R. eds, 2000, Laterza, p.141; Buonopane, A. Manuale di Epigrafia latina, 2009, Carocci, pp.59-122.
iii For example Epigrafic Database Rome (EDR); Epigraphik Datenbank Clauss Slabi (EDCS); Epigraphische Datebank Heidelberg (EDH), Epigraphic Database Bari (EDB); Cultural Atlas Initiative; Arachne Central Object Database; IDai Gazeteer; Perseus Digital Library. For the importance of information technologies applied to epigraphic studies see: C. Zaccaria, Instrumenta inscripta Latina: potenziale informativo e importanza dei corpora elettronici. Alcuni esempi dalla Regio X orientale, in M. Hainzmann, R. Wedenig (eds.), Instrumenta Inscripta Latina II. Akten des 2. Internationalen Kolloquiums (Klagenfurt, 5-8 Mai 2005), hrsg. von G. Piccottini, Aus Forschung und Kunst 36, Klagenfurt, 2008; C. Zaccaria, Piccole iscrizioni crescono. Le possibili risposte di una banca dati epigrafica integrata con le scritte su instrumentum per la storia economica e sociale della Regio Decima, in Est enim ille flos Italiae…, in Vita economica e sociale nella Cisalpina romana, Atti delle Giornate di studi in onore di Ezio Buchi (Verona 2006), a cura di P. Basso, A.Buonopane, A. Cavarzere, S. Pesavento Mattioli, Verona 2008, pp. 369-383.
iv Mommsen Th., Henzen W. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum I, Inscriptiones Latinae antiquissimae ad C. Caesaris mortem, Berolini, 1863.
v GPS-Global Position System; Google Earth: A software that maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and geographic information system. Many archeological project use this tools for their research
The importance of multidisciplinary approaches to the study of inscriptions (understood as text and monument) is confirmed in the contribution: Panciera S., Eck W., Manacorda D, Tedeschi C., Questioni di metodo. Il monumento iscritto come punto d’incontro tra epigrafia, archeologia, paleografia e storia (a proposito dei primi tre volumi di Supplementa Italica – Imagines), in Scienze dell’Antichità, 13, 2006, pp. 583-610.
vi Panciera S., Eck W.,Manacorda D.,Tedeschi C., Questioni di metodo. Il monumento iscritto come punto d’incontro tra epigrafia, archeologia, paleografia e storia (a proposito dei primi tre volumi di Supplementa Italica – Imagines), in Scienze dell’Antichità, 13, 2006, pp. 583-610.
vii Georeferencing: To match evidence to its context with a set of geographic coordinates and a specific spatial reference system (SRS).Thanks to this process, it’s also possible to realize different spatial analysis and to interpolate different types of data.
viii Shapefile: is a geospatial vector data format for geographic information system software; this type of data describes vector features like points, lines and polygons with attributes.
ix QGis supports interoperability standards developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium: WMS (Web Map Service),WMTS (Web Map Tile Service)WFS (Web Feature Service), WFS-T (Web Feature Service Transactional, WCS (Web Coverage Service, SFS (Simple Features for SQL), GML (Geography Markup Language); http://www.qgis.org/
xi QGIS Server runs as CGI/FastCGI module within the Apache Webserver.
xii Mallon, J., L’Archéologie des monuments graphìques, “Revue historique”, 226, 1961, p.312.
12 October, 2014
Greek and Latin Epigraphy in the Near East (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria): International Symposium – Lyon – February 20th and 21st, 2015
International Symposium in Lyon
February 20th and 21st, 2015
Pierre-Louis Gatier, Julien Aliquot, Jean-Baptiste Yon
CNRS, UMR 5189 HiSoMA, Lyon
In Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, Greek and Latin epigraphy have experienced a significant development in recent years. Between 2008 and 2014, six volumes have been published in the series of the Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (IGLS XI; IGLS XXI.5; IGLS XIII.2; IGLS XVII.1; IGLS XV.1–2), as well as a Choix d’inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (2009) intended to a wider public. The first volume of the IGLS series had been published in 1929. Since then the programme has evolved considerably. Separate projects and other publications of epigraphical corpora have also contributed to the progress of epigraphy in the various languages which were used in the Near East in Antiquity. The conference will be an opportunity to assess the present progress and to bring together researchers working in the same areas in order to strengthen the scientific network of Near Eastern epigraphy through the presentation of unpublished inscriptions and of epigraphical dossiers.
At a time when the Near East is experiencing unprecedented changes, the scientific activity has had to evolve. In addition, the publication of epigraphical corpora is now conditioned by new physical constraints and benefits considerably from technological innovations. The symposium shall contribute to update ongoing programmes and publishing methods.
To this end, the international symposium will gather in Lyon, around the Directors of Antiquities of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, the Director of HiSoMA research unit (UMR 5189, CNRS / Lyon 2 University, Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée), also responsible for the IGLS programme, the Directors of the French Institute for the Near East (Ifpo), editor and support of the IGLS series, and the members of the programme, as well as scholars from Europe, the Near East and Australia, for two days on the 20th and 21th of February 2015. The papers presented on this occasion will be compiled into an edition of Syria, Ifpo’s review published in Beirut.
Pierre-Louis Gatier, email@example.com
Julien Aliquot, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean-Baptiste Yon, email@example.com
Programme and further information will be published at the symposium web-page.
9 October, 2014
What is an inscription? There are different ways to consider what an inscription is:
- Signifiers on a physical support [linguistic perspective]
- An artifact bearing text [archeological perspective]
- A text carved or painted on a durable material to be posted [historical-literary perspective]
In the past, scholars opted for just one of these viewpoints and most of them approached inscriptions as texts. But now the new positive trend is to mix disciplines and see the inscription between text and object as a semantic system to describe, read and interpret by means of at least a threefold approach: archaeological, textual and historical.
The task we now have is to restructure the epigraphic edition, not just by switching from the paper to the web, but by relying on a model that combines the textual as well as the material dimensions of an artifact bearing text, and that helps to determine:
- The arrangement of an inscription on the support;
- The textual cuts made by epigraphers on the base of different criteria.
In this endeavor, we have to keep in mind a trivial but essential notion: editing an inscription is, from start to finish, an interpretation and a matter of personal choice.
In a digital representation, a distinct markup is utilised to encode the physical and textual dimensions. In order to combine them, we submit a definition of some epigraphic notions, which supports the theoretical model of an encoding schema compliant with the EpiDoc guidelines. This model is designed as a part of the IGLouvre project lead by Michèle Brunet (Professor of Greek Epigraphy, University Lumière-Lyon 2), which aims to publish a digital edition of the Louvre collection of Greek Inscriptions.
The project’s guidelines specify some recommendations for the representation of 3 base structures. In the <teiHeader> of the EpiDoc files, a text is represented with a <msItem> element while a physicals part will be described in a <msPart> element. The surface, which bears the inscribed words, is analysed as a physical feature, that is to say a non-detachable part. It must be explicitly represented using a texpart subdivision of the <div> containing the transcription (e.g. div[@type=’textpart’][subtype=’face’]). Texts, objects, physical features and transcriptions are related with a combination of correspondence attributes (@corresp) and milestones (<milestone unit=’block’/>) for the representation of physical and textual boundaries.
Our encoding strategy permits us to meet the following requirements:
- The material and abstract dimensions of the items in the Louvre collection are taken into account in an EpiDoc markup, exploiting its capacity to provide fine grained identifiers and linking mechanisms that are required to build on an interface showing inscriptions not just as decontextualized texts;
- The scientific editors keep full control on the editorial choices they made beyond the structure of the printed or digital publication;
- The deconstruction of the notion of ‘inscription’ will also provide help for designing and implementing several extractions and data exports that will have to be developed in the near future to ensure the interoperability of the digital collection and its re-use for other projects.
You will find more information about this work in our paper:
Emmanuelle Morlock, Eleonora Santin, The inscription between text and object, in Silvia Orlandi, Raffaella Santucci, Vittore Casarosa, Pietro Maria Liuzzo eds., Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Cultural Heritage Proceedings of the First EAGLE International Conference, Rome (forthcoming).
Ortolf Harl writes to announce his new pubblication: Hochtor und Glocknerroute. Ein hochalpines Passheiligtum und 2000 Jahre Kulturtransfer zwischen Mittelmeer und Mitteleuropa, Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Sonderschriften 50, 2014.
This new book is about the highest situated pagan sanctuaries of the ancient world, located on the famous Hochtor pass in Austria, 2590 meters above sea level. The sanctuary discovered in 1992 by Harl together with the Glocknerroute, the path leading to it was considered one of the quickest routes to cross the alps.
Harl compares the newly discovered Hochtor Sanctuary with the well researched sanctuary of Großer St. Bernhard (2469 m) to illustrate the elaborate and costly infrastructure, necessary to regularly cross the alps.
The book puts archaeological findings in context with natural and environmental circumstances, with inscriptions, literature from ancient historians and results from numismatics and toponymy as well. It has also largely benefited from the work on the database www.ubi-erat-lupa.org by Friederike and Ortolf Harl.
7 October, 2014
Posted on behalf of Annamaria De Santis, Irene Rossi, Daniele Marotta
DASI-Digital Archive for the Study of pre-Islamic Arabian inscriptions is an ERC project of the University of Pisa and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, directed by Prof. Alessandra Avanzini, aimed at digitizing the pre-Islamic inscriptions from Arabia.
The hybrid system, combining both the database and the XML approaches for archiving and displaying data, describes the inscribed artifacts taking into account their dual nature. Each item digitized in DASI is represented by a physical object linked to one or more epigraphs. Metadata of the “Epigraph” provide information on linguistic features, writing, chronology and type of text; in addition to the notes of apparatus, there are general and cultural notes. Texts are encoded in XML according to the EpiDoc standard and structural, grammatical, transcription phenomena and onomastics, as well as editorial interventions, are marked.
Information about the object is not embedded in the “Epigraph”, but has its own autonomy. The entity “Object” includes attributes regarding: type of support, materials and dimensions, provenance and archaeological context, and the detailed description of its decorative elements. Several contextual entities record translations, geographical information, bibliography and iconographic documentation. For instance “Site” supplies not only the information needed to contextualize artefacts, such as provenance or place of production, but also ancient and modern toponyms, geographical coordinates, country, region, ancient kingdoms, archaeological information about the sites, such as monuments, history of studies, archaeological missions and so on.
The archive that presently counts nearly 6500 inscriptions, allows to browse through filters on metadata. Moreover it is provided with sophisticated tools for studying languages of the ancient Arabia, such as the list of words and the textual search that allows to perform queries also on textual variants. Lexica of the south Arabian languages will be shortly available.
1 October, 2014
Mireille CORBIER (firstname.lastname@example.org), director of L’Année épigraphique (Paris), writes to announce:
L’Année épigraphique 2011 (containing 1811 entries, and 946 pages including 206 pages of index) was published in August, 2014, and is now available. Orders should be sent to Presses Universitaires de France at email@example.com
26 September, 2014
September 29-30 and October 1, 2014
École Normale Supérieure
Collège de France Chaire Religion, institutions et société de la Rome antique
2 September, 2014
Guest post from Rupali Mokashi.
My stint with ancient Indian epigraphy started seventeen years ago when I commenced my Doctoral Research on ‘The Position of Women in Deccan as gleaned through inscriptions: 200 BCE-1200 AD.’
The inscriptions were always a realm of the epigraphists. Though the epigraphic data was scientifically analyzed and developed steadily it was not adequately used to understand the women in ancient India. Both epigraphy and gender studies followed their independent courses.
Inscriptions preserved valuable data about women that is well stacked in the milieu of time and space. Mostly votive, administrative and eulogistic in nature they held diverse information not only on the contemporary society, polity but also on the prevalent religious observances and the active involvement of women therein. The votive epigraphs constituted a significantly tangible source for reconstructing the history of women in India. This research work has taken into consideration the contributions of more than ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED WOMEN referred in the inscriptions but lesser known to the world of scholars and laymen.
As the Recipient of the Justice K. T. Telang Research Fellowship awarded by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for the research project on “Rekindling the History of Shilaharas of North Kokan as gleaned through the recent Epigraphical Revelations” (2013-2014).
The Shilaharas of North Kokan originated as a feudal clan of the Rashtrakutas during the reign of King Govinda III. Forty two donative Copper Plates and Rock edicts that were issued by various Śilāhāras Kings spanning a period from 843 AD – 1260 AD have been instrumental in understanding history of this dynasty. I have deciphered, compiled and analyzed the following recently discovered copper plates and rock edicts of this dynasty.
- Kalyan Copper Plates of King Chhittaraja (1019 AD)
- Panvel Copper Plate of King Chhittaraja (1025 AD)
- Thane Copper Plates of Mahakumara Keshideva (1120 AD)
- Panhale Copper Plate of King Mallikarjuna (1151 AD)
- Kiravalī Rock Edict of King Anantdeva III (1248 AD)
Further details and bibliography at Dr Mokashi’s blog.
1 September, 2014
23 September 2014
This editathon is to create and/or improve the Wikipedia pages of women classical scholars. Training in Wikipedia editing will be provided by Wikimedia.
If you would like to come, but the time or location is inconvenient, why not attend via Skype? There are parallel sessions integrated into the event, and a dedicated trainer for people attending via Skype.
Cost: free (includes lunch)
Location: Room 243 of the Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London
10.00 – Welcome to those attending at Senate House
10.30 – Wikipedia presentation and training. Welcome to those joining on Skype
11.00 – Editing session for all participants
13.00 – Lunch
14.00 – Afternoon session start. Welcome to those newly joining on Skype
14.10 – Dr Rosie Wyles, Lecturer in Greek History and Literature, University of Kent: ‘Madame Dacier: 17th-century champion for access’
14.40 – Editing session. Training for those newly arrived on Skype
18.00 – Close
For more information – and to sign up – please visit:
29 July, 2014
1. 153 new translations (by Stephen Lambert, P. J. Rhodes, Feyo Schuddeboom and Lina van’t Wout).
From the late-5th cent. BC:
(a) sacrificial calendar of Thorikos
(b) Athenian decree on the administration of the property of Kodros, Neleus and Basile (IG I3 84)
(c) accounts of payments from the treasury of Athena, 410-407? BC (IG I3 375 and 377, the “Choiseul marble” in the Louvre, Paris)
B. A selection of 27 important Athenian laws and decrees of 403-353 BC
C. A newly published inscription of ca. 340-325 BC honouring the historian of Attica, Phanodemos
D. The corpus of Athenian decrees of 229/8-198/7 BC, 121 in total, together with brief historical notes (IG II3 1, 1135-1255)
This brings the total number of translations on the site to 469.
2. Two new AIO Papers (4 and 5) and a revised version of AIO Paper no. 1. These discuss particular inscriptions, or groups of inscriptions, in greater detail:
S. D. Lambert, Notes on Inscriptions of the Marathonian Tetrapolis. AIO Papers 1.
S. D. Lambert, Inscribed Athenian Decrees of 229/8-198/7 BC (IG II3 1, 1135-1255). AIO Papers 4.
S. D. Lambert, Accounts of Payments from the Treasury of Athena in 410-407 ? BC (IG II3 375 and 377)
3. Improvements to translations and metadata already on the site
4. Upgrades, including:
(a) responsive design, which will facilitate use of the site with tablets and mobile phones and the addition of fuller notes to the translations
(b) XML and JSON outputs and API
(c) numerous other improvements to site design and functions.
21 July, 2014
Augustus from a Distance.
A conference in the bi-millennial year of the death of Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus Augustus
University of Sydney, 29 September to 2 October 2014
XIV A.D. Saeculum Augustum. O Século de Augusto. Congresso Internacional – Lisbona 24th – 26th september 2014
XIV A.D. Saeculum Augustum. O Século de Augusto
Lisbona 24th – 26th september 2014
XXe Rencontre franco-italienne sur l’Epigraphie du Monde Romain:
Esclaves et maîtres dans le monde romain Expressions épigraphiques des liens et relations
Poitiers (France) 18th – 19th september 2014