Monday, May 4, 2009

Digital Hammurabi

Scholars have been working on a project, called "Digital Hammurabi", to "scan" cunieform tablets and publish them digitally. This is necessary because many, many known tablets have never even been read, much less published. To read a tablet, scholars all too often must fly to the city where the tablet is physically located. Then they must laboriously copy and translate the tablet.

Several links are available that provide information on this project. The ones I have found to date are:

1) An article in John Hopkins Magazine, September 2003.

2) An article in the Baltimore Sun.

3) Applied Optics magazine did an article on the science of scanning cunieform tablets in 2007.

4) John Hopkins University has a website devoted to the project. The small pictures on the right are links to other pages with some interesting content, including a short "movie" of how a cunieform "word processor" can be used. Another link provides progress reports on the project that have been published over the course of several years.

This is an interesting project, particuarly to anyone interested in technology as well as ancient history.

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