Gazetteer of the Ancient Near East
In August 2011, the AAI received a Digital Humanities Level II Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop the Gazetteer of the Ancient Near East (GANE), an authoritative, free and open access compendium of over 8,000 places from the Ancient Near East. The 18-month project commenced in September 2011.
GANE is based on software developed by the Pleiades project, an extant and successful model for open access publication of easy to reference, authoritative place and time information. Pleiades offers unique URLs to reference specific places, locations, and toponyms. GANE’s ultimate goal is to enable future researchers to develop a geospatial index of archaeological sites and historical places from the Natufian period through the Iron Age (c. 12,500 – 600 BCE). Researchers would link historical events, people, and archaeological evidence through notions of place and time.
By developing a free and open corpus of ancient places, this project will make it easier for scholars to bring together disparate lines of historical and archaeological evidence on the Web. This critical piece of infrastructure will greatly benefit research in the Ancient Near East by adding greater breadth, depth, and precision to the research process.
Milestones and updates:
- American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting (November 2011, San Francisco): Eric Kansa (AAI) and Chuck Jones (NYU / ISAW) gave presentations about the GANE project and Pleiades in the forum Topics in Cyberinfrastructure, Digital Humanities, and Near Eastern Archaeology (I)
- American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting (November 2012, Chicago): Eric Kansa (AAI) and Sarah Whitcher Kansa (AAI) presented on the GANE project and how it relates to publishing Linked Open Data with Open Context. This presentation “From Data to Knowledge: Organization, Publication, and Research Outcomes” occurred in the forum Topics in Cyberinfrastructure, Digital Humanities, and Near Eastern Archaeology (II)
- American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting (November 2013, Baltimore): Eric Kansa (AAI) will discuss the TAVO dataset, Pleiades, and the potential application of the GANE project outcomes to facilitate text mining in Biblical studies and other areas of Near Eastern studies in the forum Topics in Cyberinfrastructure, Digital Humanities, and Near Eastern Archaeology (III)
- Heritage Bytes blog post: “The Red Sea Is Arabian, Erythraean, …”
Pleiades blog post: “Sorting out the Red Sea”