Epigraphy.info VIII workshop in Berlin

The eighth Epigraphy.info workshop will take place in Berlin (Germany), from 3-5 April 2024, hosted by the Department of Digital History at the Humboldt University of Berlin, with the courtesy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW).

The meeting will include presentations and training sessions. Part of it will be related to current Digital Epigraphy projects worldwide and we encourage scholars who work on Digital Epigraphy to present proposals adapted to a wide variety of formats. The meeting is ideally planned as an in-person event, especially to present a paper or poster, but you can attend and discuss remotely. We might record some of the presentations and talks and later make them available via the Epigraphy.info Youtube channel and place the posters on the Epigraphy.info website.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Epigraphy.info Steering Committee (info@epigraphy.info).

Registration for the Epigraphy.info workshop

In order to register for the workshop, please fill in the Google registration form (see below). The registration is open until 25 March 2024 and you can change your answers also until this date.

Please note that some parts of the workshop can be attended to only in person as some rooms and location do not allow remote participation (marked in the form). Zoom links for remote participants will be circulated during the week before the workshop to the registered email address.

The participation (both in-person and remote) is free of charge, thanks to the generosity of local organisers! The in-person participants will be kindly asked to cover the cost of the conference dinner on Day 2, should the wish to participate.

Programme and venue

Here you can download the latest version of the programme.

Here you can download the map of the venue and location of the rooms.

Wednesday, 3 April 2024

UdL – Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Unter den Linden 8, Berlin

  BBAW, UdL    
14.15 Project-rooms of CIL / IG ca. 20 min. (in small groups: 14.15; 14.45; 15.15) Collections and working space of CIL and IG
15.45 Vestibule Coffee + START (Conference badges, Infos)

Vortragsraum, UdL 07W04 Short presentation

Hands-on Session
[max. 35 particip.]
Squeeze Digitisation:

Matthäus Heil (BBAW, Berlin) Presentation: t.b.a (Digitisation of IG squeezes)

Eleni Bozia (Florida)
Digital epigraphy and archaeology – toolbox presentation abstract
18.00 Sitzungsraum UdL Welcome Elena Duce Pastor (Madrid); Marietta Horster (Mainz; BBAW/CIL), Kaja Harter-Uibopuu and Sebastian Prignitz (BBAW/IG); Martin Fechner (BBAW/Telota)
18.30 Sitzungsraum UdL Presentation Till Grallert (Berlin)
Digital History and the challenges of Data Culture at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
19.00 Vestibule UdL


For abstracts, see here

Thursday, 4 April 2024

Humboldt Universität Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

9-17 Lounge (in front of HU, 2249A) Posters Putting up posters
Conference Badges
Coffee, tea, water throughout the day
HU, 2070A Hands-on Session Vincent Razanajao (Paris)
A new implementation of the Patrimonium Editor for the Late Egyptian Artefact Database: a case-study deployment and hands-on session on an eXist-db application suite abstract
HU, 2249A Hands-on Session Jakob Jünger, Jens Borchert-Pickenhan, Mona Dorn, Markus Studer, Georg Hertkorn, Martin Riebel, Chantal Gärtner, Jörg Witzel and Maximilian Michel (Münster, Dig. Akad. Mainz, Akad. Leipzig, Akad.Göttingen)
Epigraf Tool: Digital Editions of Latin and German Inscriptions abstract
11.00 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 1 Valentina Mignosa, Maddalena Luisa Zunino, Andrea Brunello, Alessandro Locaputo, Nicola Saccomanno, Giuseppe Serra (Udine)
Restoring lacunae in Ancient Greek Dialectial Inscriptions Using AI techniques abstract
11.30 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 2 Monica Berti (Leipzig)
Exploring Ancient Greek Authors in Digital Epigraphic Corpora abstract
12.00 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 3 Rebecca Benefiel (Lexington)
The Ancient Graffiti Project abstract
    Lunch Break  
14.15 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 4 Georgios Tsolakis (Chicago)
Renewing Roman Law: Epigraphic Problems, Encoding Practices and Legal Challenges abstract
14.45 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 5 Tsvetan Vasilev, Dimitar Iliev (Sofia)
ORASIS: A Digital Collection of Bulgaria’s Post-Byzantine Church Murals abstract
15.15 Lounge Coffee Break  
15.45-17.10 HU, 2070A Hands-on Session Imran Asif, Petra Heřmánková, Marietta Horster, Jonathan Prag (Oxford, Mainz, Aarhus)
Using SPARQL with epigraphic RDF abstract
15.45-17.10 HU, 2249A Hands-on Session
Silvia Stopponi, Evelien de Graaf, Saskia Peels-Matthey (Groningen, Leuven)
Presenting and testing AGILe, the first Lemmatizer for Ancient Greek Inscriptions abstract
17.15 HU, Senatssaal Keynote Marja Vierros (Helsinki)
From EpiDoc XML files to a linguistically searchable corpus
19.00   Conference Dinner Restaurant Maximilians ca. 15min. walk, Friedrichstr.185-190

For abstracts, see here

Friday, 5 April 2024

Humboldt Universität Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

9.00 Lounge Posters + Coffee 14 Poster presentations, (all presenters should be present at their posters)
10.00 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 6 José Carlos López Gómez, Valentino Gasparini (Malaga)
Connecting the Past: An Introduction to the Platform Sylloge Inscriptionum Religionis Africae Romanae (SIRAR) abstract
10.30 HU, Senatssaal Presentation 7 abstract Hernán González Bordas, Alexandre Zanni (Bordeaux)
The Atlas of the Landed Estates in Ancient Maghreb (ALEAM) - project Database
11.00 Lounge Coffee Break  
11.30 HU, Senatssaal or 2249A Meeting Feedback on workshop, community decisions, elections, next workshop, perspectives and ToDos etc.
12.30/13.00   End of Workshop some helping hands might be needed …

For abstracts, see here

Poster presentations

To see the digital posters, please, go to the Digital poster session page.

  1. Federico Aurora (Oslo): Integration and collaboration in Epigraphy: EpiDoc-export/import function for Database of Mycenaean at Oslo – DAMOS
  2. Emine Bilgiç Kavak, Nurşah Çokbankir Şengül (Sakarya): Digitization of Inscriptions in the Isparta Yalvaç Archaeology Museum
  3. Andrea Brunello, Alessandro Locaputo, Stefano Magnani, Davide Redaelli, Giuseppe Serra (Udine): AI-aided analysis and restoration of late-antique Christian epigraphs (LACUNAE)
  4. Elena Duce Pastor (Madrid): Digital Epigraphy and Twitter: a proposal of public History for master students
  5. Marta Fogagnolo (Bologna): Writing on more than one face (in Didyma and Miletus): an epigraphic database (EFES)
  6. Aliénor Genety (Lyon): Épigraphie latine numérique de Césarée de Maurétanie : une recherche sur les données et les métadonnées d’un groupe de monuments funéraires (Ier siècle avant J.-C. au IIIe siècle après J.-C.)
  7. Petra Heřmánková (Mainz/Aarhus), Jonathan Prag (Oxford), Imran Asif (Oxford), Marietta Horster (Mainz): FAIR – Epigraphic vocabulary
  8. Estelle Ingrand-Varenne (Poitiers), Michèle Brunet (Lyon), Damien Strzelecki (Lyon): Epigraphy in the Biblissima+ project
  9. Christoph Klose (Berlin): Community Cluster: “Objects as Information Carriers” (NFDI4Objects)
  10. Winfried Kumpitsch, Wolfgang Spickermann (Graz): Celtic Divine Names in Latin Inscriptions of the Military Zone in Germania Superior on the Left Bank of the River Rhine
  11. Lorena Pérez Yarza (Warsaw), José Carlos López Gómez, Jaime Alvar Ezquerra, Beatriz Paneda Murcia, Pablo Rodriguez Valdés, Blanca Rabazas Rubio (Malaga): Specialized databases on cults of the Greco-Roman worlds: Magna Mater, Mithras and Isis
  12. Martyna Swierk (Warsaw): Individualism and the Community Facing the Cultural Changes: EPIDENTITY Project
  13. Tatiana Tommasi (Venezia): Sacred inscriptions from the Venetia et Histria region published by Ludovico Antonio Muratori in his Novus thesaurus veterum inscriptionum (1739-1742)
  14. Lorena Pérez Yarza, Marina Bastero Acha, Pawel Nowakowski, Julia Borczynska, Andrés Rea, Maciej Krawczy (Warsaw): Digital Atlas of Workshops in Epigraphy, DAWE

For poster abstracts, see here

Shared documents


Hands-on sessions

Hands-on session 1

The Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology Project: Hands-on Session

Eleni Bozia (Florida)

Over the past decade, archaeology and epigraphy have been reconsidering their modus operandi. Prompted and facilitated by technological advances, motivated by new research questions, and challenged by growing calls to engage with contemporary audiences, they have been experimenting with methodological approaches and interdisciplinary collaborations. Within this context, the Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology project (DEA) has been developing 3D digitization techniques that accommodate various types of artifacts, has been incorporating multidisciplinary approaches to achieve a more holistic stance towards the objects of study, and has focused on the reproducibility and accessibility of both its techniques and the 3D models. In this session, we propose to showcase our open-source and open-access cloud system to interested scholars and teach them how to use it https://www.digitalepigraphy.org/db/app/sfs.

The Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology project (DEA) Toolbox https://www.digitalepigraphy.org/ is a unique initiative as it provides the methods to digitize squeezes with minor handling with the use of an office scanner. The Toolbox runs as a web application that focuses on the digitization, 3D visualization, data mining, and electronic dissemination of artifacts. The tridimensional digitization is achieved through the bidirectional scanning of the squeeze using a typical 2D office scanner. The scanned images are then processed by the algorithm we developed, which analysesthe depicted shading in the images and reconstructs in 3D the original inscription. The advantages are numerous: 1) The process does not require any expensive equipment. 2) The squeeze can be safely preserved in a digitized form, thus eliminating the possibility of deterioration of the squeezed paper. 3) They can also be distributed electronically, facilitating epigraphic studies. 4) Finally, the digital squeezes can be more effectively visualized compared to the 2D images, as they can be viewed from different angles, under different artificial lighting conditions, and in different zooming scales.

The methods developed by the DEA project have been widely adopted and used so far in several projects, including the digitization of the collection of squeezes from the Monumentum Ancyranum, a collection of Abraham Lincoln’s Letters housed at the Library of Congress, collections of squeezes from Thasos, the Rosetta Stone, and several other projects that required different configuration of methods and accommodation of needs both in terms of the collections and the researchers https://research.dwi.ufl.edu/projects/digitalepigraphy.org/list/projects/.

Hands-on session 2

A new implementation of the Patrimonium Editor for the Late Egyptian Artefact Database: a case-study deployment and hands-on session on an eXist-db application suite

Vincent Razanajao (Paris)

Developed from 2017 onwards for the ERC Patrimonium project directed by Alberto Dalla Rosa (University Bordeaux Montaigne, Ausonius Institute), the Patrimonium Editor is a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) that makes easier the creation of XML/TEI/EpiDoc files, and their enrichment with metadata relating to people and places https://patrimonium.huma-num.fr/. This all-in-one web application built upon eXist-db https://exist-db.org/ has been implemented for other projects at the Ausonius Institute, including the GymnAsia Project jointly run by Pierre Fröhlich (University Bordeaux Montaigne, Ausonius Institute) and Christof Schuler (DAI, München) https://gymnasia.huma-num.fr/.

More recently, the Patrimonium Editor has been chosen to serve as the VRE for the Late Egyptian Artefact Database (LEAD), a project directed by Laurent Coulon and Olivier Perdu (Collège de France) that aims to create a comprehensive resource for the study of Late Egyptian art production, especially statuary https://lead.ifao.egnet.net/.

Drawing on the experience of this implementation of the Patrimonium Editor, the aim of this session is two-fold: 1) to present the required steps to install, customize and run the application suite; 2) give the opportunity to attendees to deploy a basic, ready-to-use version of the virtual research environment, and to start to adapt it the needs of their projects, whether it concerns digital epigraphic editions or projects dealing with epigraphic sources.

The prerequisites for this session are: working knowledge of Epidoc XML, have a computer running an instance of the last version of eXist-db, as well as a local web server ready to be set-up with a virtual host (practical details will be sent beforehand).

Hands-on session 3

Epigraf Tool Demo. Digital Editions of Latin and German Inscriptions

Jakob Jünger, Jens Borchert-Pickenhan, Mona Dorn, Markus Studer, Georg Hertkorn, Martin Riebel,Chantal Gärtner, Jörg Witzel and Maximilian Michel (Münster, Dig. Akad. Mainz, Akad. Leipzig, Akad.Göttingen)

Epigraf is developed and used in the interacademic project “The German Inscriptions” for creating editions of medieval inscriptions. Object descriptions, transcriptions, images, geodata and metadata are edited and published using the application. Epigraf is currently being migrated from a desktop application to a web application which, in conjunction with a flexible data model, will enable other projects to work with Epigraf.

Epigraf supports the full data lifecycle:

  • Collection: Articles contain object descriptions, editions, images and other metadata. The data model is open to support a wide range of data domains via configuration. Data can be both created in the application and imported from external files.
  • Annotation: A flexible annotation toolbar can be adapted to meet the project specifications, for example to enable EpiDoc annotations.
  • Linking: Data may be linked to each other and norm data is used to link to external data repositories..
  • Analysis: Articles can be searched and filtered by their content and annotations. Different views such as a map for geocoded objects are available. All data can be accessed via programming interfaces and downloaded in common file formats.
  • Publication: A pipeline system can be used to generate documents in EpiDoc, for Word or other file formats. Further, application programming interfaces allow transferring data to other publication platforms.

At the epigraphy.info meeting, we want to present the features with practical examples and invite participants to consider using it in future projects. In the coming years, Epigraf will be opened to a wider range of existing and new inscription data to support a general repository and search engine for the community.

Hands-on session 4

Using SPARQL with epigraphic RDF

Imran Asif, Petra Heřmánková, Marietta Horster, Jonathan Prag (Oxford, Mainz, Aarhus; FAIR Epigraphy)

Follow the tutorial SPARQL for Beginners online.

The FAIR Epigraphy project is dedicated to developing tools, resources and best practice guidelines for the development of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data for epigraphic study. Building on the work of the Epigraphy.info community, the FAIR Epigraphy project advocates the use of a Linked Open Data approach, with individual projects sharing data through the use of the RDF (Resource Description Framework) standard (see https://www.w3.org/egov/wiki/Linked_Open_Data))). The project aims to develop and host a RDF triple store to serve this ambition. Integral to such an approach are community-agreed standards (vocabularies), such as the EAGLE vocabularies, and a conceptual framework (ontology) to connect those standards. Development work is ongoing in the creation of revised vocabularies and a more fully worked-out ontology, building on the preliminary work of https://www.eagle-network.eu/resources/vocabularies/, https://epigraphy.info/vocabularies_wg/, and https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4639507. A proof-of-concept triple-store, with an interface at https://browser.inscriptiones.org/, demonstrates that this approach is viable, and in the coming months this will be expanded alongside the consolidation of the epigraphic ontology. In order to get maximum value from a RDF triple-store, without building an unsustainable software interface, users need to be able to query the data using the SPARQL standard (https://www.w3.org/TR/sparql11-overview/, as at e.g. https://browser.inscriptiones.org/#).

This interactive session aims to introduce participants to the application of SPARQL (SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language) within the context of epigraphic RDF datasets. SPARQL serves as a powerful query language for extracting and manipulating data from RDF-based repositories. The session will focus on practical exercises, guiding attendees through the basics of constructing SPARQL queries tailored to epigraphic data. Prior familiarity with SPARQL is recommended as a prerequisite: participants can benefit from the online SPARQL tutorial available at https://inscriptiones.org/tutorial/sparql-for-beginners/. Participants will need to bring a wifi-enabled laptop with them.

Through step-by-step tutorials and real-world examples using sample epigraphic RDF datasets, attendees will learn to formulate SPARQL queries to retrieve specific information and navigate relationships. The session will cover fundamental SPARQL syntax, including querying patterns, filtering, aggregations, and graph traversal techniques. By the workshop’s conclusion, participants will have acquired foundational skills in effectively leveraging SPARQL queries to interrogate epigraphic RDF datasets. This session is designed for researchers, scholars, and practitioners interested in leveraging semantic technologies for exploring, analyzing, and interpreting epigraphic data. Feedback from participants will inform the further development of both vocabularies and ontologies in the ongoing work of the FAIR Epigraphy Project.

Hands-on session 5

Presenting and testing AGILe, the first Lemmatizer for Ancient Greek Inscriptions

Silvia Stopponi (University of Groningen), Evelien de Graaf (KU Leuven), dr. Saskia Peels-Matthey (University of Groningen)

Despite the recent applications of Natural Language Processing techniques to Ancient Greek, no lemmatizer existed for Ancient Greek inscriptions until last year. However, lemmatization is a necessary step if one wants to retrieve all the occurrences of a lemma in a corpus of inscriptions. Subsequently, having observed an unsatisfactory performance of available lemmatizers trained on literary Ancient Greek, particularly weak at dealing with specific characteristics of inscriptions (such as dialectal and spelling variation), we developed AGILe at the University of Groningen: the first automatic lemmatizer trained and tested on Ancient Greek inscriptions (de Graaf et al. 2022; Peels-Matthey et al. in press).

Our lemmatizer achieves an accuracy of 85% on the test set (a portion of the Corpus of Greek Ritual Norms), and performs similarly on other digital collections of inscriptions. It can thus save considerable time for scholars who wish to lemmatize their collection of inscriptions. AGILe was published open access at https://github.com/agile-gronlp and its appearance has been welcomed by many scholars working on (digital) epigraphy. However, we received several requests for instructions from scholars who wanted to use it, but were not familiar with programming, and thus needed a more user-friendly access than a GitHub repository.

We already set up a provisional Google Colab notebook that provides a ready-to-use version of AGILe that we plan on expanding and would like to offer a practical session of its versatile uses for (digital) epigraphers. We have thus far been unable to provide detailed instructions on using AGILe as the presentations we gave until now were indeed very limited in time and more general in scope, and never focused on how to practically use AGILe.

This is the structure we propose for our contribution:

  • In the first 20 minutes, we give a more technical presentation in which we explain the technicalities of AGILe and give details for example about input and output, the characteristics of the training data, and the strengths and limitations of AGILe, especially in handling phenomena that are typical of the language of inscriptions.
  • In the subsequent 20 minutes, we give a hands-on session accessible to people with and without programming skills. We aim to show how AGILe can be integrated into the workflow of any epigrapher, explaining different possible input and output formats. In particular, we want to show how it can be used in tandem with Epidoc-compliant XML. During the hands-on session we help participants to lemmatize the inscriptions they are interested in and we explain how to customize punctuation removal.


Presentation 1

Restoring lacunae in Ancient Greek Dialectial Inscriptions Using AI techniques

Andrea Brunello, Alessandro Locaputo, Valentina Mignosa, Nicola Saccomanno, Giuseppe Serra, Maddalena Luisa Zunino (Udine)

The aim of LACUNAE is to apply artificial intelligence to support the process of restoring gaps in Archaic and Classical epigraphic texts written in different dialects and alphabets, i.e. documents whose small number and peculiar linguistic features pose specific methodological problems. Due to the specific nature of the chosen documents, the project aims to develop a tool capable of taking into account literary sources in addition to epigraphic ones in the restoration process and, above all, of retrieving texts - both epigraphic and literary - relevant to the document under study in order to fill in the gaps. Our starting point for this purpose is first and foremost the models that represent the state of the art tools used today, i.e. Ithaca and Ancient Greek BERT. In our paper we intend to present the preliminary results of the work carried out on Greek dialect inscriptions, while also discussing the methodological criticisms of the work and the strengths and weaknesses of the algorithms used. Our discussion will focus on evaluating the performance of the models across different dialects at different levels of granularity, and on testing new examples not yet seen by them. Finally, we will offer recommendations to address and improve the identified critical aspects of the models.

Presentation 2

Exploring Ancient Greek Authors in Digital Epigraphic Corpora

Monica Berti (Leipzig)

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10911823

The goal of this paper is to present ongoing work for the extracEon of information about Graeco-Roman authors from epigraphic sources. My previous work was based on literary sources and has been generaEng methodologies and linguisEc data about references to authors and works in ancient literature, with a focus on the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus, the Lexicon of the Ten Orators of Harpocration, and the lexicon of the Suda. These texts have been annotated semi-automatically to extract references to other authors and works. My goal is to continue this work by annotating Greek and Latin inscriptions which preserve information about authors and therefore literary history. The importance and interest for this kind of analysis are shown be recent printed publications like the volumes of Filippo Canali De Rossi for the series Scriptorum antiquorum tituli, the goal of which is to collect epigraphic evidence about Classical authors and works. Considering the growing availability of digital epigraphic corpora, I aim at presenting a paper with concrete data, questions, and methodologies for annotating Greek and Latin inscriptions. The ultimate goal is to extract information about authors and works and preserve it in external resources for a wide variety of analyses and researches in the fields of digital epigraphy, philology, history and linguistics.

Presentation 3

The Ancient Graffiti Project

Rebecca Benefiel (Lexington)

Ancient graffiti, or handwritten wall-inscriptions scratched into wall-plaster, were once largely dismissed, but over the past decade their value as primary evidence for social exchange and communication has increasingly come to be recognized. The Ancient Graffiti Project team is responsible for editing the handwritten inscriptions of the areas around Vesuvius for the Epigraphic Database Roma and has completed critical editions for more than 2000 inscriptions so far. Simultaneously, we have been developing a resource http://ancientgraffiti.org that is integrated with EDR and also provides a genre specific platform that highlights the unique nature of handwritten inscriptions. Since ancient graffitti differ from monumental inscriptions in form, format, location, audience, and other aspects, we enhance the presentation of these often brief, but fascinating inscriptions at The Ancient Graffiti Project by situating them within our geo-referenced, interactive maps of the sites and by adding graffiti-specific contextual metadata. We have also worked with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to incorporate into AGP more than 300 ancient graffi. from Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkiye). The resulting digital epigraphic collection – including graffiti from Herculaneum, Pompeii, the ager Pompeianus, Smyrna, and soon Stabiae – has been designed as a user-friendly tool for scholars and the public to access these illuminating texts and to facilitate new avenues for research on ancient graffiti.

Presentation 4

Renewing Roman Law: Epigraphic Problems, Encoding Practices and Legal Challenges

Georgios Tsolakis (Chicago)

The study of Roman law heavily relies on the analysis of epigraphically preserved legal texts. Despite their importance, these texts are scattered across multiple publications, and there is only one recent collection available, albeit highly selective and problematic in various aspects. This paper originates from the “Roman Statutes: Renewing Roman Law” project, a collaborative effort aiming to produce a comprehensive edition of all epigraphically preserved Roman laws in both print and online formats. The project not only seeks to provide a new edition of the epigraphically preserved legislation, but also aims to create an online environment that is engaging for students and an indispensable daily tool for ancient historians and scholars of Roman law. This paper delves into practical and theoretical challenges related to the particular nature of the epigraphic texts and the difficulties of providing a workflow to a team of over twenty international researchers. It focuses on three primary axes: 1) the complexities of encoding epigraphic texts with specific legal importance, 2) a proposed workflow based on an EpiDoc XML template for text encoding, and 3) the particular needs in front-end services. The paper does not aim to offer a universal solution but to bring into discussion the choices made to meet the epigraphic needs stemming from publishing texts of varying lengths with idiosyncratic nature and the educational and scholarly ambitions of the “Roman Statutes” project.

Presentation 5

ORASIS: A Digital Collection of Bulgaria’s Post-Byzantine Church Murals

Tsvetan Vasilev, Dimitar Iliev (Sofia)

Among the most interesting types of historical inscriptions hitherto poorly covered by Digital Epigraphy are those accompanying church murals and icons from the (post)-Byzantine world. Byzantine religious art left a rich heritage of artistic conventions that lived on long after Byzantium itself was gone, sometimes in quite different linguistic and cultural contexts. There is a great number of texts written in (sometimes substandard) Byzantine Greek accompanying various religious scenes in churches and monasteries throughout Bulgaria from the period of Ottoman rule (XV-XΙΧ c.). The forms and functions of such inscriptions have rarely been an object of research. However, such texts enter into a whole range of relations that require further study and proper representation. Firstly, there is the question of the place of the inscription in the context of the entire visual composition. Then, the issue arises about the intertextual relation of such quotations and the scriptural or liturgical traditions of which they were instances. As well, the roles of the inscriptions in the larger framework not only of the particular religious building needs examination. The present paper will describe the methodology and the workflow of a new project at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, which aims at resolving such complex issues through the EpiDoc-based tools elaborated during the work on the Telamon collection https://telamon.uni-sofia.bg.

Presentation 6

Connecting the Past: An Introduction to the Platform Sylloge Inscriptionum Religionis Africae Romanae (SIRAR)

José Carlos López Gómez, Valentino Gasparini (Malaga)

This paper aims to provide a detailed presentation of the SIRAR platform (Sylloge Inscriptionum Religionis Africae Romanae), as well as to present some statistical results obtained from the study of its database. SIRAR is an open-access platform that brings together over 5,700 catalogued and georeferenced religious inscriptions from Roman North Africa. While the platform functions as a conventional epigraphic browser, it has been designed a) to prioritize a search system that pays special attention to divine onomastics, significantly simplifying the identification of specific inscriptions based on theonyms and divine epithets; and b) to facilitate the exploration of the epigraphy through an interactive map, where users can also conduct searches to facilitate the geographical identification of the georeferenced pieces. The purpose of our paper is to introduce this new epigraphic platform to the scientific community and present a series of statistical results derived from the study of its database. These results encompass statistical data on theonyms, onomastic attributes, and the interrelation between them through network analysis. Based on these statistics, we will reflect on the degree of normativity in religious invocations or individual innovation in specific ritual or situational contexts.

Presentation 7

The Atlas of the Landed Estates in Ancient Maghreb (ALEAM) - project Database

Hernán González Bordas, Alexandre Zanni (Bordeaux)

The ALEAM (Atlas of the Landed Estates in Ancient Maghreb) project aims to comprehensively study the large landholdings of ancient North Africa. We will ask how a world empire became dependent on this one region for wheat and why North Africa managed to distinguish itself from the rest through its large agricultural estates. If imperial estates have been studied in recent projects, the properties of private individuals, which preceded them and with which the imperial property coexisted throughout its history, have never been the subject of a global study. Before the interpretation of the data, we will proceed with the creation and the filling of the database that will give rise to the atlas of the landed estates of the ancient Maghreb. It will be mainly fed with epigraphic, but also archaeological and literary sources. Its computer structure will be the adaptation of an existing open source platform. From the relational database, records of documents, individuals and sites will be linked, allowing the consultation of objective data. A committee of specialists in African antiquity will follow the work of creating and filling the database/atlas. This presentation will be divided in the scientific aspects of the project and the technical aspects of the in-progress database.


To see the digital posters, please, go to the Digital poster session page.

1. Integration and collaboration in Epigraphy: EpiDoc-export/import function for Database of Mycenaean at Oslo – DAMOS

Federico Aurora (Oslo)

DAMOS - Database of Mycenaean at Oslo contains annotated transcriptions of all the published Mycenaean texts. The data is stored in a relational (MariaDB) database and can be searched and browsed through an online graphic user interface https://damos.hf.uio.no/. The present project deals with developing the possibility to export and import data from and to DAMOS in the EpiDoc format with the aim to: 1) integrate the data from DAMOS into the larger landscape of Latin and Greek documentary sources, making them reusable in other databases; 2) simplify the process of updating the texts on the occasion of new editions and new discoveries: the new import function will provide a much better workflow and, crucially, support collaboration in the field, as it will be possible for researchers to create and submit a new edition of a text without needing direct access to the database. EpiDoc-XML constitutes also a sustainable alternative for the long-term storage of the data in DAMOS. The project is funded by and developed in collaboration with Humit - Centre for digital development at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Oslo. The funding application was kindly supported by the Epigraphy.info Funding Working Group and Steering Committee.

2. Digitization of Inscriptions in the Isparta Yalvaç Archaeology Museum

Emine Bilgiç Kavak, Nurşah Çokbankir Şengül (Sakarya)*

This project focuses on the digitalization of all Hellenic and Latin inscriptions preserved in the Isparta Yalvaç Archaeology Museum, which is located on a hill dominating the Yalvaç plain at the foothills of the Sultan Mountains and is one of the most important cities of the Pisidia Region, the city of Antioch. The museum houses nearly 140 inscriptions. The lack of such a study on the inscriptions exhibited in the museum, most of which are in the garden and a small portion inside, limits the use of epigraphic data, which constitutes one of the most important material groups shedding light on the history of the city. Indeed, it has been determined that reading the inscriptions on the columns exhibited in the garden, especially those on the surfaces of which are quite worn over time and due to seasonal conditions, is quite challenging. This project, encompassing the digitization of the epigraphic material to be carried out in the museum, is important for transferring cultural heritage to the coming years within the scope of a digital study and increasing the sustainability of this culture. With this project, which includes the digitization of the epigraphic material to be carried out in the museum, all inscriptions will be classified, transferred to a digital database, and compiled, prioritizing the publication of new inscriptions. Indeed, introducing and sharing new data about Pisidia Antioch with the scientific community is crucial for the regional history. This situation can be understood from the fact that the settlement history of the city and its territory can be traced from the 3rd millennium BC to the 13th century AD.

3. AI-aided analysis and restoration of late-antique Christian epigraphs (LACUNAE)

Andrea Brunello, Alessandro Locaputo, Stefano Magnani, Davide Redaelli, Giuseppe Serra (Udine)

The aim of the LACUNAE project is the development of a digital tool that uses artificial intelligence to support the process of integration of lacunae in Greek and Latin epigraphic documents. The Latin branch of the project will focus on Christian documents from the 4th and the 5th century and will analyze strictly the epigraphic evidence provided with iconography and particular signs (e.g., monograms, crosses, Alfa and Omega). The starting point is the selection of the inscriptions and simultaneously the definition of a taxonomy for the particular signs. These steps will fill a remarkable gap in specialist literature, where there is a lack of univocal and shared language to describe the iconographic parts. The selected inscriptions will be sectioned, differentiating the texts from the other formal aspects of the documents. The outcome will be an annotated dataset with a classification of the several iconographic parts and signs. This tool will enhance the global interpretation of late-antique Christian epigraphic sources – the iconography and special signs often gain a better understanding of the texts – and will facilitate the tasks of lacunae integration and retrieval of inscriptions based on a specific signum.

4. Digital Epigraphy and Twitter: a proposal of public History for master students

Elena Duce Pastor (Madrid)

In this poster, I will present the improvements of the Project with the master students of the subject. The Bronze Age in the Mediterranean: Minoans and Mycenaeans which is part of the interuniversity Master of Ancient History and Sciences of the Antiquity, held in the Autonoma and Complutense Universities (Madrid, Spain). In this period, the tablets of Linear B are essential to understanding the dynamics of the society. Nevertheless, the students’ previous knowledge is scarce in epigraphical resources. Thus, digital tools for this period, the DAMOS database of Oslo, based on digital epigraphy and NESTOR for bibliographical resources have helped us to create a service-learning Project based on public History using Twitter. Every student had to work with a Linear B tablet and create a thread on Twitter linking with epigraphic digital Databases. Last year, the Project was successful and this academic year we have included some innovations. Concretely, we have improved the Project with digital epigraphy training sessions to focus more on digital epigraphic resources and to promote significant learning in the students. With the help of Cristina de la Escosura, we have amplified the number of digital epigraphy resources that students use in other subjects. This proposal aims to present the main innovations and receive feedback for future academic years.

5. Writing on more than one face (in Didyma and Miletus): an epigraphic database (EFES)

Marta Fogagnolo (Bologna)

The poster aims to present a database published in EFES (EpiDoc Front-End Services) and encoded in EpiDoc-XML, which collects epigraphic supports inscribed on more than one face from Didyma and Miletus (57 records). The database examines a specific case study due to the huge number of supports with these features, but is intended to be implemented in the framework of my post-doctoral project ‘Writing on more than one face: historical, textual and material aspects of a Greek epigraphic practice’ (Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna). The project aims to collect in an organic and reasoned way (through historical, philological-textual, and archaeological analysis) the evidence of the use and reuse of stone for Greek, or bilingual, epigraphic texts on more than one writing face. In the process of encoding the epigraphic material, a semantic-digital analysis has also been conducted with the aim of implementing the Guidelines for the digital encoding of epigraphic texts specifically concerning the markup of structural textual phenomena both in the text and in the metadata. What is strongly desirable is to bring these topics to the discussion of the EpiDoc and epigraphy.info Community, raising problems and suggesting new markup to encode these features.

6. Épigraphie latine numérique de Césarée de Maurétanie : une recherche sur les données et les métadonnées d’un groupe de monuments funéraires (Ier siècle avant J.-C. au IIIe siècle après J.-C.)

Aliénor Genety (Lyon)

Mon sujet de thèse s’intitule Épigraphie latine numérique de Césarée de Maurétanie : une recherche sur les données et les métadonnées d’un groupe de monuments funéraires (Ier siècle avant J.-C. au IIIe siècle après J.-C.). Ce dernier porte sur l’étude des inscriptions, issues de nécropoles situées à l’ouest de la ville de Cherchell (Algérie). L’étude des inscriptions devrait permettre de cerner l’histoire de ce secteur et les différentes dynamiques d’implantation des nécropoles, le profil sociologique des usagers et l’évolution des pratiques et des techniques épigraphiques (formulaire, paléographie, matériaux, etc.). L’analyse complète de ce corpus, lie intrinsèquement pratique épigraphique et pratique numérique, l’un permettant de nourrir l’autre et inversement. Chaque notice est pensée et enrichie par un encodage en XML-TEI, pour faire face aux problématiques qui m’intéressent, à savoir le croisement du traitement du texte inscrit et du monument comme porteur de cette inscription. Le but de mon travail est de créer un certain nombre de modules portant sur les formulaires (Diis Manibus, etc.) mais également sur la paléographie même des caractères. Le traitement de ce corpus épigraphique est à voir comme un « programme » rédactionnel reposant sur une réflexion sur la technique d’écriture elle-même (taille et forme des caractères, usage du support, etc.) afin de déterminer si ces éléments peuvent apporter un éclairage nouveau à l’histoire des inscriptions de Cherchell, par exemple en créant des « mises en série » nouvelles pouvant poser la question d’un même atelier, ou d’un même groupe social.

7. FAIR – Epigraphic vocabulary

Petra Heřmánková (Mainz/Aarhus), Jonathan Prag (Oxford), Imran Asif (Oxford), Marietta Horster (Mainz)

The creation of an updated controlled epigraphic vocabulary has been identified by the community as essential to moving forward towards the best practice of FAIR and Open Science in epigraphy (Tupman 2021; Heřmánková et al. 2022). The proposed FAIR epigraphic controlled vocabularies present a consolidation of work conducted by the EAGLE Europeana Project in 2013-2016 (Liuzzo et al. 2013; Liuzzo 2015; Liuzzo and Evangelisti 2021) and an alignment of current standards of partner projects of the FAIR Epigraphy Project https://inscriptiones.org/. This ‘bottom-up’ application employs a multifaceted hierarchic categorization system allowing for multiple conceptual approaches while recognizing the complex and multilingual nature of inscriptions and the historiography of the discipline. Furthermore, the vocabulary adheres to the principles of FAIR data, emphasizing Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability as their core principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016). This means that researchers can easily locate and access relevant terms, ensuring that the vocabulary is user-friendly and widely applicable. Crucially, the controlled vocabulary is made available as a Linked Open Data (LOD) resource, accessible online with stable Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), hosted by the FAIR Epigraphy Project and the University of Oxford. This approach facilitates efficient collaboration, linking, and cross-referencing, enabling researchers to build upon each other’s work and explore epigraphy in a structured and accessible manner across project boundaries. Overall, this initiative enhances the research landscape in epigraphy by fostering cooperation and providing a reliable and standardized resource for scholars in the field. We present the first stage of the creation of the FAIR Epigraphic vocabularies: the type of inscription aligned across multiple projects, with a simple hierarchic order, multiple examples from partner projects and a detailed description of individual types. We are opening an invitation to discuss our proposed structure, its viability and robustness for long-term use within the digital epigraphic community.

8. Epigraphy in the Biblissima+ project

Estelle Ingrand-Varenne (Poitiers), Michèle Brunet (Lyon), Damien Strzelecki (Lyon)

Biblissima+ https://projet.biblissima.fr/fr is a multi-site digital infrastructure for primary research and services dedicated to the history of the transmission of historical texts, from the first Mesopotamian clay tablets 3,000 years ago to the first printed books, in all media and scripts. Biblissima+ is the place at the national level where all the data involved in the history of the transmission and study of ancient written cultures are processed and made interoperable. Biblissima+ concerns all heritage collections that transmit ancient texts, including archaeological sources, seals and coins, as well as the archives of modern scholars and contemporary researchers. The “Cluster 5a” brings together projects that apply TEI to epigraphic documents from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the modern period, which is a first in France for this discipline. This working group is giving priority to the generic rules of digital epigraphy by compiling a thesaurus for the discipline with the OpenTheso tools, and to modelling in order to create a “format pivot” for searching epigraphic data via the Biblissima+ Portal.
The poster will present the overall project and the first steps of the Cluster 5a TEI and epigraphy.

9. Community Cluster “Objects as Information Carriers” (NFDI4Objects)

Christoph Klose (Berlin)

The Community Cluster “Objects as Information Carriers” is part of the DFG-funded initiative NFDI4Objects (designated spokespersons Ulrike Ehmig (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, CIL) and Bernhard Weisser (Berlin State Museums, Coin Cabinet). The cluster aims to establish an open community representing both collecting and editing institutions as well as researchers from all disciplines who deal with written artefacts as material remains of human history. The cluster focuses on objects as carriers of (semantic) information that can be expressed in signs, letters or texts. The overarching goal is to model the complex relationships between the materiality of an object and the semantic information it contains from the perspective of research data management. In a process driven by the members of the community, needs and goals in this area of research and documentation are therefore identified. These may include topics such as: ∙ Improving the interoperability of existing data collections and data discovery services ∙ Transfer of high-quality research standards from reference works to the semantic web ∙ Qualification of research data through generally accepted and semantically agreed authority files, community-developed vocabularies and ontologies at the interface between textual, visual and (geo-)spatial information ∙ A first goal could be the creation of a transdisciplinary catalogue of existing digital repositories and databases. Once the objectives have been defined by the community, they are processed by Temporary Working Groups. Thus we expressively welcome experts, researchers and collecting institutions from the epigraphic field to join the community cluster in order to contribute to the creation of a future-oriented research data infrastructure.

10. Celtic Divine Names in Latin Inscriptions of the Military Zone in Germania Superior on the Left Bank of the River Rhine

Winfried Kumpitsch, Wolfgang Spickermann (Graz)


The above-named project is part of the F.E.R.C.AN. (FONTES EPIGRAPHICI RELIGIONVM CELTICARVM ANTIQVARVM) project of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW). It is a follow up project to “Celtic Divine Names in the Inscriptions of the Roman Province Germania Inferior A Case Study on Religion in the Context of Cultural Contacts and Cultural Transfer” which did the same research in the whole of Germania Inferior. The project’s objective is the comprehensive collection, evaluation and re-edition of epigraphic monuments with Celtic divine names in the military zone of Germania Superior on the right and left bank of the Rhine. The project not only applies new computer-assisted techniques for the (re-)reading of inscriptions in bad conditions, but also publishes the results as a digital inscription edition on GAMS (Geisteswissenschaftliches Asset Management System) of the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ZIM) at the University of Graz. In order to improve the workflow of this digital edition, the PATRIMONIVM editor has been adapted to facilitate data acquisition for the digital edition of inscriptions, forming a modular, customisable and integrated web application for the management of epigraphic corpora, based on the eXist-db platform. With the poster presentation we want to demonstrate the advantages of the PATRIMONIVM editor when curating a digital inscription edition.

11. Specialized databases on cults of the Greco-Roman worlds: Magna Mater, Mithras and Isis

Lorena Pérez Yarza (Warsaw), José Carlos López Gómez, Jaime Alvar Ezquerra, Beatriz Paneda Murcia, Pablo Rodriguez Valdés, Blanca Rabazas Rubio (Malaga)

The HHR (Historiography and History of Religions) research group, working within the ORINS (Oriental Religions in Spain) and EPIDI (Epítetos divinos. Experiencia religiosa y relaciones de poder en Hispania) research projects, aims to provide scholars of ancient religion with systematic catalogues of the epigraphic and archaeological evidence of different polytheistic cults in Roman Hispania. In this poster, the group presents, in particular, three open-access online catalogues on the most important so-called “oriental cults” in the region: “The Gens Isiaca in Hispania”, “Mithra in Hispania” and “Mater Magna and Atis in Hispania”. Moreover, HHR outlines in this presentation relevant outcomes of the analysis of the collected materials. From a methodological point of view, this analysis has focused on the religious agents involved in the introduction, reception and appropriation of such cults in Hispania and on the contextual circumstances of these processes, which has allowed us to overcome the reductionist diffusionist accounts of previous scholarship. Likewise, this study has adopted as a premise that ancient gods were constructed and continuously reshaped by worshippers through both their onomastic formulae and their visual representations and has thus examined both dimensions of the fabrique du divin in relation to one another. In doing so, the HHR research group has sought to enhance our understanding of the cults at issue and their sources within their historical contexts. More specifically, it has set out to elucidate the modes of the construction of the divine within the cults under study, the forms of reception of these in new local contexts, the evolution of the cults’ religious practices, and the socio-economic characteristics of their adherents.

12. EPIDENTITY Project

Martyna Swierk (Warsaw), Individualism and the Community Facing the Cultural Changes

Late Antiquity, or the early Byzantine period, was a time of fast-paced social, religious, and political changes for the inhabitants of the Roman Middle East. This includes the transformation of Rome into the Christian state, the revival of Jewish and Samaritan religiosity in Palestine and in the diaspora and many others. The main aim of the EPIDENTITY (Epigraphy and Identity in the Early Byzantine Middle East) project is to answer the question to what extent these changes are reflected in monumental inscriptions from the Middle East. Thus, we examine not only the changes that may have become apparent in the epigraphic habit, but also focus on the individual identification of persons acting in the inscriptions visible, for example, in the linguistic layer of the text, as allowed by the use of sociolinguistic methodology. The tool that makes such analyses possible for us is the emerging datebase of sites with non-Greek monumental inscriptions from the early Byzantine East. In the proposed poster I would like to present how using the EpiDoc standards may be of assistance in linguistic diversity research using scripts like Syriac, Christian Palestinian Aramaic, Hebrew or Old Arabic.

13. Sacred inscriptions from the Venetia et Histria region published by Ludovico Antonio Muratori in his Novus thesaurus veterum inscriptionum (1739-1742)

Tatiana Tommasi (Venezia)

My PhD project is dedicated to the study of the sacred inscriptions from the ancient Venetia et Histria region (Regio X), with particular attention to the handwritten tradition of epigraphic documents and to the potentialities offered by state-of-the-art digital technologies to study them. Digital technologies will be mainly applied for recovering the information contained in handwritten documents related to epigraphy (epigraphic manuscripts, but also epistolary exchanges) produced between the eighteenth and the nineteenth century, a fundamental period for the birth of the epigraphic discipline. As a case study, I will focus on the sacred inscriptions from the Venetia et Histria region published by Ludovico Antonio Muratori in his Novus thesaurus veterum inscriptionum (1739-1742) and recorded in the handwritten documents connected to the printed edition (especially the transcriptions of the epigraphic texts sent to Muratori by his contemporaries, who saw the inscriptions in person, now preserved in Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Archivio Muratori). During the first part of my project, I will apply Handwritten Text Recognition technologies to the archival documents in order to create an annotated version of them and to improve their layout analysis. In the last phase of my research, I will produce an EpiDoc database of the sacred inscriptions from the Venetia et Histria region, enriching the EpiDoc records with the information retrieved from the epigraphic tradition, in order to create a connection with other epigraphic resources available online.

14. Digital Atlas of Workshops in Epigraphy, DAWE

Lorena Pérez Yarza, Marina Bastero Acha, Pawel Nowakowski, Julia Borczynska, Andrés Rea, Maciej Krawczy (Warsaw)

DAWE is a digital database being developed as part of the ERC STONE-MASTERS project, collecting information on the stonemasons and artisans of Late Antiquity. Our approach views them as key players in facilitating cultural exchange from top to bottom, acting as cultural intermediaries between the elite and the general public during that period of transformation. Additionally, their prefabricated inscriptions (and therefore prefabricated goods in preindustrial societies) hold significant meaning as vehicles of cultural memory in both public and private commemoration. So far, epigraphists of the Roman period have had few instruments to draw upon for the purposes of pursuing synthetic workshop studies, and have been overwhelmingly captivated by other strands: the quantitative research, the study of the self-representation, the visibility of inscriptions, and the “viewers’ culture”. STONE-MASTERS argues, however, that a significant leap in our understanding can be achieved by establishing a highly regionalised network of workshops, which will identify the workshops of origin for most of the inscriptions from the 3rd to the 5th centuries and allow us to trace the changes in style and products offered by these workshops over the centuries. In order to achieve this goal, DAWE is utilising the workshop study techniques that have been developed for other crafts and eras, particularly early Greek vase painters and scribes/scriptoria, and tailoring them to fit the requirements of Graeco-Roman epigraphy.

Steering Committee elections + location Epigraphy.info IX

During the Epigraphy.info workshop, the election of new members for the Steering Committee will take place and the location for the next workshop will be decided. If you would like to candidate as member of the Steering Committee or if you would like to host the next Epigraphy.info workshop, please send your application to (info@epigraphy.info).