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PELAGIOS (University of Southampton)

PELAGIOS stands for 'Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems' - its aim is to help introduce Linked Open Data goodness into online resources that refer to places in the historic past. Why do we want to do that? Well, we think it will make all sorts of other things possible, including new modes of discovery and visualization for scholars and the general public. Pelagios also means 'of the sea', the superhighway of the pre-industrial world - a metaphor we consider appropriate for a digital resource that will connect references to ancient places. A short (10 slide) presentation providing a compact overview of PELAGIOS 1 & 2 is available online here. Pelagios is a collective of projects connected by a shared vision of a world - most eloquently described in Tom Elliott’s article ‘Digital Geography and Classics’ - in which the geography of the past is every bit as interconnected, interactive and interesting as the present. Each project represents a different perspective on our shared history, whether map, text or archaeological record, but as a group we believe passionately that the combination of all of our contributions is enormously more valuable than the sum of its parts. We are committed to open access and a pragmatic lightweight approach that encourages and enables others to join us in putting the past online. Pelagios is just the first step in a longer journey which will require many such initiatives, but we welcome anyone who shares our vision to join us in realising it. Pelagios phases 1 & 2, dedicated to classical antiquity (Greece and Rome) were funded by JISC, as part of their jiscGEO and Resource Discovery programmes.


ORBIS (The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World)

Spanning one-ninth of the earth's circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents. Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity. For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity. Taking account of seasonal variation and accommodating a wide range of modes and means of transport, ORBIS reveals the true shape of the Roman world and provides a unique resource for our understanding of premodern history.


Omnes Viae - The Roman Route Planner

The Tabula Peutingeriana is the unique preserved map of the road system for the cursus publicus, the public transport system in use in the Roman Empire. It covers the complete area of the provinces under Roman rule and the territories conquered by Alexander the Great in the East. It is preserved in 11 segments, written on parchment at the end of the 12th century. The Tabula can be seen as a mediaeval facsimile imitating the book scroll in use in Antiquity.


Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity (New York University)

Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity continues Institute for the Study of Ancient World’s innovative approach to the ancient world with a selection of objects that help viewers understand how Greek and Roman conceptions of the world were reflected in and defined by how it was presented in globes, maps, and other tools of navigation and representation. A digital component of the exhibition—accessible both in the gallery space itself and on the world-wide web—extends the show's reach to embrace continuing scholarly engagement with geographical aspects of antiquity.


ArchéoGéographie (CNRS)

Le site de l'archéogéographie est une réalisation du Groupe de Recherches du CNRS intitulé "Traité de l'ESpace des Sociétés Rurales Anciennes" (= GDR 2137, TESORA). Ce groupe, dont l'existence institutionnelle prend fin en 2007 après 8 années d'existence, a conçu et formalisé une discipline nouvelle nommée archéogéographie et rédigé le Traité d'archéogéographie qui lui sert de base (en cours de parution). L'archéogéographie est enseignée à l'Université de Paris-I Sorbonne dans le cadre d'un Master “archéologie et environnement”, dont elle constitue une des quatre options. Les cours d'archéogéographie sont donnés par Gérard Chouquer, Magali Wateaux, Sandrine Robert. La direction de thèses sur des thèmes d'archéogéographie est assurée par Gérard Chouquer dans le cadre d'un Doctorat d'archéologie de l’École Doctorale d’Archéologie de l’Université de Paris I (ED 112). Certaines thèses sont encadrées en co-direction avec Joëlle Burnouf. À partir de l'année universitaire 2007-2008, l'archéogéographie est enseignée à Coimbra, dans le cadre d'un Master "Archéologie et territoires", Spécialisation Archéogéographie, et, à partir de 2008/2009 dans le cadre d'un Doctorat d'archéogéographie. L'encadrement des thèses du doctorat d'archéogéographie sera assurée par Maria da Conceição Lopes. Le responsable du site internet de l'archéogéographie est Gérard Chouquer, directeur de recherches au CNRS dans l'équipe Arscan ("Archéologie et Sciences de l'Antiquité" UMR 7041 du CNRS) et la sous-équipe "Archéologies environnementales" que dirige Joëlle Burnouf.


The Stanford Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project

This site is dedicated to exploring the Forma Urbis Romae, or Severan Marble Plan of Rome. This enormous map, measuring ca. 18.10 x 13 meters (ca. 60 x 43 feet), was carved between 203-211 CE and covered an entire wall inside the Templum Pacis in Rome. It depicted the groundplan of every architectural feature in the ancient city, from large public monuments to small shops, rooms, and even staircases. For more information about the map itself, go to the Map page.The Severan Marble Plan is a key resource for the study of ancient Rome, but only 10-15% of the map survives, broken into 1,186 pieces. For centuries, scholars have tried to match the fragments and reconstruct this great puzzle, but progress is slow--the marble pieces are heavy, unwieldy, and not easily accessible. Now, computer scientists and archaeologists at Stanford are employing digital technologies to try to reconstruct the map. In collaboration with the Sovraintendenza of the Comune di Roma, a team from Stanford's Computer Graphics laboratory has been creating digital photographs and 3D models of all 1,186 fragments.


Archeobotanikai adatbázis (Kelet-Mediterráneum, Közel-Kelet)

Archaeobotanical database of Eastern Mediterranean and Near Eastern sites (University of Tübingen)

The archaeobotanical database is part of a research project that investigates the development of prehistoric wild plant floras of the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. The geographic area represented in the data, includes Greece, Turkey, Western Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Northern Egypt. The chronological frame comprises the Chalcolithic period, Bronze and Iron Ages, up to Medieval periods. The project is established at the Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters der Universität Tübingen and conducted by Simone Riehl. Financial support has been provided by the Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.


Ókori mediterrán vízgazdálkodás

ITIA Research Team (Ancient Hydraulic Works)

Itia is a research team working on the fields of hydrology, hydrosystems management, hydroinformatics and hydroclimatic stochastics. The name "Itia" is not an acronym; it is Greek for willow tree.

It consists of 18 members; the scientific leader is Demetris Koutsoyiannis. Itia is an open team and has collaborated with colleagues worldwide.

This web site is a repository containing:

Additional sites maintained by Itia are:


Aquae Urbis Romae: the Waters of the City of Rome

Aquae Urbis Romae: the Waters of the City of Rome is a cartographic history of nearly 2800 years of water infrastructure and urban development in Rome. Water is a living system that includes natural features (springs, the Tiber River, etc.) and hydraulic elements (aqueducts, bridges, fountains, etc.) that are linked through topography. Learn about the structure, methodology, and pedagogical goals of the project.



QuarryScapes Atlas (Conservation of Ancient Stone Quarry Landscapes in Eastern Mediterranean)

QuarryScapes is the first project of its kind for addressing the importance of ancient quarry landscapes and raising the awareness of the urgent needs for protecting such sites. The initiative to QuarryScapes was taken by Elizabeth Bloxam (UCL), Per Storemyr (NGU) and Tom Heldal (NGU), and the consortium was formed during the summer of 2004. The application was sent to the FP6 INCO-MED programme September 2004, and approved by the Commission February 2005. The project started November 1 st 2005 and will last for three years.

QuarryScapes will develop scientific and practical methodologies for documentation, characterisation and conservation of ancient quarry landscapes, raise awareness of the significance and vulnerability of such sites and contribute to legal protection measures and sustainable management of ancient quarry landscapes. Through case studies in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, the project will address development of theoretical and practical methods pertaining to the major steps in the process of conservation: from recognition, investigation and assessment of significance, to understanding the risks, developing sound conservation and monitoring concepts, and suggesting mechanisms for sustainable management.

QuarryScapes combines research and innovation-related activities. The research component is especially related to characterisation, detailed site survey, value assessment methodologies, as well as risk assessment and monitoring methodologies. The innovation component draws from these studies, as well as from other studies in related fields, and is particularly related to development of practical conservation concepts for specific sites/landscapes and sustainable management through inventory and GIS-based maps/atlases.

The most important general outcome of the project will be a booklet with general guidelines for investigation, value assessment, risk assessment, monitoring, conservation and sustainable management of ancient quarry landscapes that can be used in a range of cultural and historical contexts. Each year the project will organize open workshops, the first of which will take place in Turkey October 2006. In addition, QuarryScapes aims at disseminating project results through a variety of professional and scientific publications.


Millstonequarries.eu (European millstone quarries: a database)

When grains were ground in mills, millers equipped their mechanisms with stones with specific grinding properties. These stones were extracted from specific sites: called millstone quarries . Both open air and subterranean, huge and minute, these millstone quarries are still found by the thousands in Europe in general - and in France in particular - and constitute a remarkable heritage associated with the history of work and daily life.

Millstonequarries.eu consists of both an inventory of European millstone quarries and a source of related information. It is organised by the CNRS (UMR 5190, Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhone-Alpes). The database can be consulted freely on-line and anybody with knowledge of unidentified sites is free to fill in an entry .


Stoneworking in the Roman World (Kings' College London)

The Art of Making in Antiquity is an innovative digital project designed for the study of Roman stoneworking. Centred on the photographic archive of Peter Rockwell, this website aims to enhance current understanding of the carving process and to investigate the relationship between the surviving objects, the method and sequence of their production and the people who made them. The resource comprises around 2,000 images, largely Roman monuments with a selection of contextual sources, accompanied by analysis of the working practices underlying their making.

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