Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Persepolis Fortification Archive page at the Oriental Institute

The Oriental Institute has published a web-presence for the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project.

The Persepolis Fortification Archive Project is a new phase in recording and distributing the information that brings about these changes, using electronic equipment and media alongside the conventional tool-kits of philology and scholarship. In its early phases, the PFA Project has:

  • Captured and edited conventional digital images of almost a thousand Elamite Fortification tablets, accelerating work that has been under way since 2002;
  • Started to capture and edit very high resolution digital images of hundreds Aramaic Fortification tablets and their seal impressions, as well as uninscribed, sealed Fortification tablets, using large-format scanning backs and Polynomial Texture Mapping apparatus built specifically for the project;
  • Started to explore advanced technologies for recording and conservation of Fortification tablets and fragments (3D scanning, subsurface laser scanning, CT scanning, laser cleaning and others);
  • Formed a team of editors to prepare editions of Elamite and Aramaic Fortification tablets and studies of seal impressions, both those accompanying texts and those on uninscribed tablets, to be distributed on a real-time rolling basis along with images of the tablets;
  • Catalogued, assessed and sorted about a third of the thousands of tablets and fragments that remain to be recorded, to identify priorities for conservation, study and presentation;
  • Set up data structures for recording, linking, analyzing and presenting images and documents in the On-Line Cultural Heritage Environment (OCHRE);
  • Entered co-operative agreements with projects at the Collège de France, the University of Southern California, and UCLA. which will lead to distribution of PFA data through at least three other on-line sources;
  • Established a weblog to collect news reports on the status of the PFA as well as on-line images, articles, and books connected with Persepolis and the Persepolis tablets.

The PFA Project Team:
  • Annalisa Azzoni (Vanderbilt University: Aramaic texts);
  • Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre (University of Colorado: seal impressions on Aramaic texts);
  • Mark B. Garrison (Trinity University: seal impressions on all items);
  • Gene Gragg (Oriental Institute: electronic analysis of Elamite texts);
    Wouter F. M. Henkelman (Collège de France: final edition of Elamite texts from the papers of the late Richard T. Hallock);
  • Charles E. Jones (American School of Classical Studies in Athens: new Elamite texts, weblog);
  • Matthew W. Stolper (Oriental Institute: catalogue, new Elamite texts, project oversight).

Technical Support:
  • Laura d’Alessandro (Oriental Institute: conservation);
  • Marilyn Lundberg (University of Southern California: high-quality imaging of Aramaic and uninscribed tablets);
  • Lec Maj (Humanities Research Computing, University of Chicago: advanced technology application, IT support and liaison);
  • John Sanders (Oriental Institute: IT support);
  • Sandra Schloen (Oriental Institute: OCHRE development and support);
  • Bruce Zuckerman (USC: high-quality imaging of Aramaic and uninscribed tablets).

Student Workers and Volunteers (2006–07):
  • Dennis Campbell (post-doc, NELC);
  • Ivan Cangemi (undergraduate, Classics);
  • Elizabeth Davidson (undergraduate, Classics);
  • Irene Glasner (volunteer, OI);
  • Louise Golland (volunteer, OI);
  • Jennifer Gregory (graduate, NELC);
  • Elise Macarthur (graduate, NELC);
  • Clinton Moyer (graduate, Cornell University);
  • John Nielsen (graduate, NELC);
  • Miller Prosser (graduate, NELC)
  • Foy Scalf (graduate: NELC)

Support for some phases of the PFA Project has been received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Chaire d’Histoire et civilisation du monde achéménide et de l’empire d’Alexandre of the Collège de France; the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration; the PARSA Community Foundation; the University of Chicago Provost’s Program on Academic Technology Innovation; the University of Chicago Women’s Board. Proposals to other agencies and donors are pending or in preparation.

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