Digital humanities and Assyriology: tools for an “online” history of the ancient Middle East

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Digital humanities and Assyriology: tools for an “online” history of the ancient Middle East

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Digital humanities and Assyriology:  tools for an “online” history of the ancient Middle East
©CDLI/Ashmolean Museum Oxford
In coordination with the international assyriological program Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), the AssyrOnline project aims to explore and develop new trends for writing an “online” history of the ancient Near Eastern civilizations, that relies on the various sets of digital data accumulated over the last few years. This project seeks to better use the rich information of these datasets and thereby also to make them more accessible to researchers and the interested public.
 
In addition to cuneiform tablets, the project also seeks to incorporate seals and seal impressions left on various clay objects: together these two dataset underpin our knowledge of the civilizations of the ancient Near-East, but only one, cuneiform tablets has ever been the subject of targeted digitization. The work on seals is done in cooperation with the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which keep two of the finest collections of Near-Eastern cylinder seals in the world.
 
Thus, by using tools and interfaces that are both innovative and simple (see our encyclopedic pages in Wiki format) and through an ongoing migration project of our resources to the Linked Open Data (semantic Web), the ultimate intention is to better highlight a particularly ancient and fragile cultural heritage, underrated and today under direct threat: that of the hundred of thousands of cuneiform documents, and the tens of thousand of seals and seal impressions, which date back to the origins of writing and History.
 

Project leader
Bertrand LAFONT, CNRS director of research, Archeologies and Sciences of Antiquity (ArScAn)
Jacob L. DAHL, associate professor, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

Internal cluster partners
Archeologies and Sciences of Antiquity (ArScAn, UMR 7041)
French National Library, Department of coins, medals, and antiquities
Maison Archeology and Ethnology, René-Ginouvès (MAE, USR 3225)

Associated partner
Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

Duration: 6 years

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