The Center for Epigraphical and Palaeological Studies site includes information about forthcoming events and courses (some of which are open to the general public) and offers several short-term post-doctoral fellowships in Greek and Latin epigraphy. The site (which is part of the Department of Greek and Latin at the Ohio State University) contains links to other related web-sites as well as images of inscriptions and manuscripts (ranging from Attic inscriptions to mediaeval Latin manuscripts). Unfortunately, as the site is still under construction most of these images are as yet unavailable, and so when one clicks on the images for Greek or Roman 'squeezes' (a plaster cast representation of an inscription) one is simply presented with a list of reference numbers. The dated Attic inscriptions do have pictures, but the images come without even the most basic commentary of what this inscription is, a reproduction of the text or translation, or the context in which it was found (all of which are essential). Reference numbers are provided so that one can look these inscriptions up in the relevant books which have all this pertinent information (but this defies the point of putting it on the web-site in the first place).
This webpage outlines Harold Mytum’s AHRC-funded research project into the funerary monuments associated with Scots settlers in Ulster, North America and Australia. Through examining graveyard memorials, texts and symbols the shifting patterns of cultural and political affiliations can be traced over time and place and the dynamic relation between coloniser and colonised can be illuminated. The website describes work to date, as well as providing links to Mytum’s other work, including graveyard research.
Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) is an online collection of resources on cuneiform, the international writing system of the ancient Near East for thousands of years, in which were recorded historical, religious and administrative documents in a wide variety of languages including Sumerian, Akkadian (or Babylonian) and Hittite. The (CDLI) is an collaborative project led by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and the University of California at Los Angeles to create a digital record of the earliest horizon of cuneiform texts ca. 3300-2000 B.C. to facilitate research and cast further light on the origins of writing and of urban civilisation. The resource, published as two mirrored websites hosted by the project partners, consists of a series of inter-related databases of fourth and third millennia B.C. cuneiform texts, including proto-cuneiform, from a variety of institutions including the University of Leiden, the Hilprecht Collection and the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin. The databases include extensive glossaries of words and sign types and high resolution photographs of many of the writing tablets. Navigating the databases is sometimes confusing and the limited introductory material indicates that this a website for specialist in ancient Near Eastern languages and scripts. Bibliographic resources include the Gelb Library of over 10,000 references to scholarly works on the origins of writing and a special section on proto-cuneiform. The full-texts of several scholarly articles is also available, including one on the undeciphered script Proto-Elamite. Technical information on the digitisation process is also provided as is news about the on-going CDLI programme. This is a specialist resource will interest students of the Sumerian and Akkadian languages and archaeologists and cultural historians working on the origins of writing and administration in the Near East.
Cuneiform Digital Palaeography Project is the website of a project which attempts to design a complete palaeography for the cuneiform script. The website is centred on a database of digital images of cuneiform signs from sources which can be dated to a given reign or whose provenance is clear. The scripts and script types are categorised using established handwriting analysis techniques. The database may be browsed by: period; king; genre; medium; text vehicle; and museum; or searched by a large number of criteria including (in addition to the above): sign; borger; labat; function; and locality. The site also includes: pointers to other related research, including: scribal identification; wedge order; and 3D imaging; a glossary of technical terminology; and a list of publications.
This specialist resource is an online edition of Dr Nicolle Hirschfeld's 1996 book The PASP database for the uses of scripts on Cyprus (Minos Supplement 13) which aims in the long-term to provide a comprehensive account of all the ancient inscriptions and glyphs from Cyprus, whether on stone, clay or metal and coin. The people of the island of Cyprus employed a variety of writing systems to record their spoken languages in the Bronze and Iron Ages, including the syllabic Cypro-Minoan and Cypro-Classical scripts as well as alphabetic Greek and Phoenician letters. The current database includes Cypro-Minoan writings from the Late Bronze Age circa 1700-1000 BCE which record an undeciphered language (or languages) and the closely related Cypro-Classical script of the succeeding Iron Age which lasted down to the 3rd century BC when it was displaced by the Greek alphabet. Cypro-Classical was used to record both the local Greek dialect and an undeciphered tongue called Eteo-Cypriot. Phoenician and Roman inscriptions will be added in future editions of the database, in addition to the inscriptions in cuneiform, Egyptian and Ugaritic which have also been found in the island. The database is searchable by inscription number, object type, geographical context, nature and material and is prefaced by various instructions on how to use the data. This resource will benefit researchers in the ancient writings and scripts of the Mediterranean world, particularly those interested in the transmission of the alphabet to the Greek world and the interaction of cultures in the region in the Bronze and Iron Age, as well as more general students of Cypriot and Near Eastern archaeology.
"L'aventure des écritures" is a French-language site that provides a detailed, multi-layered and richly illustrated introduction to the history of writing. There are three section: one dealing with the origin and diffusion of some 25 world writing systems from ca. 3300 B.C. to ca. 1200 A.D (Naissances); one introducing the various supports for writing (Matters and forms - Matière et formes); and the third introducing "the page" (La page) namely presenting the history of the printed paper and the book. The website reflects an exhibition at the BNF in 1999. Using a hypertext medium, the reader is guided through the history, mythology and cultural context of the world major writing systems: Cuneiform, Egyptian, Chinese, African and Pre-Columbian and related scripts. These are complemented by sections outlining theoretical and cultural aspects of writing systems such as signs and cryptography, the relationship between writing and speech, and the symbolic and religious associations of letters and scripts. In addition to the wide-ranging bibliography and glossary of terms, there is extensive citation of academic and literary reflections on writing. The related, and equally splendidly presented 'dossiers pédagogiques' deal with the physical aspects of writing, book making and printing from inscribed clay tablets to illuminated manuscripts to the CD-rom. The excellent education section provides a very useful resource for teachers at all levels of education though it will be particularly useful for schools. This website has a wide potential audience from the general public to students, teachers and researchers of archaeology, classics and ancient languages or else to those interested in e-publication and education.
The “Online Cultural Heritage Research Environment” (OCHRE) is an Internet database system for cultural heritage information available to researchers. OCHRE provides a service available to any scholar. Several projects already use the database, including the Chicago Hittite Dictionary (letters L, M, N, and P available; project directed by Theo van den Hout and Harry Hoffner of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago); The Persepolis Fortification Archive Project (directed by Matthew Stolper of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago); and forthcoming others. The interface is neat and uses Java, but exporting and printing data is still a work in progress. At the time of review, OCHRE had not been fully launched and therefore more improvements can be expected. OCHRE promises to be a great tool for archaeologists and linguists specialising in ancient writings and this is already evident with the contents already available.
The papyrus Egerton 2 is a fragment of an unknown gospel, dated between 150 and 200 CE and found in Egypt in the 1930s. This home page is a private site published under the University of Bremen Web pages, containing high quality images of the Egerton 2 papyrus, with full transcription and translations into English and German. The author has also provided a brief history of the papyrus and the scholarly debate it has provoked, information on its palaeography and a discussion of its canonical parallels. Finally, this resource holds an extensive bibliography and a number of online secondary sources.
Tom Malzbender is an online collection of materials on the work of the scientist who has developed image-based relighting technology to enable scholars to decipher ancient texts. Malzbender's process captures images of three-dimensional objects - such as tablets - thereby helping scholars to read inscriptions that were previously invisible to the human eye. The site contains a short article about the technology, explaining in lay terms how it works and what it can do. There are also Quicktime films demonstrating how the process 'reads' a text. Some technical research data is also available.
The website "Vindolanda Tablets Online" is an excellent site which provides an online database of the Vindolanda Tablets found at the Vindolanda fortress near Hadrian's Wall dating from the first century of the common era. The site is extremely easy to navigate and features a help section. The database is intended to be used as a learning tool for teaching Latin and Classics at all levels; primary school (there is a link to the Latin course for primary schools, Minimus), A and AS levels, undergraduate, postgraduate and for research purposes. The website is based on the publication of three volumes of materials on the tablets, but obviously offers many more facilities than the printed form. There is a section on the background history to the fort of Vindolanda, where the tablets were found. The tablets provide information on the social, cultural, and military history of the fortress. There is an online exhibition of the tablets, which features sections on people, places, documents, reading the tablets, and forts and military life. An excellent reference section provides information about Roman systems of dates, measures, currencies, military units and ranks, and Roman nomenclature. The tablets themselves can be viewed individually, and through an image zooming viewer. The tablets are arranged as a fully searchable set of digital materials with information included that is related to the tablets. The texts of the tablets can be searched by document type, people, places, military terms, archaeology, and other terms. A comprehensive links page provides information on over 70 websites and a bibliography of printed material. The project is based within the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford University and is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The initial capture of the digital images was supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Board grant.