TexTelSem - Texts, Tells, and Semantics
Modelling the Historical Geography of Northern Mesopotamia in the 2nd Millennium BC through the Integrated Analysis of Texts, Archaeological Data, Geoinformatics and the Semantic Web.
This interdisciplinary collaboration of Near Eastern Archeology, Assyriology, and information sciences aims to develop new methods for the visualization and integration of diverse data for historical geography. Archeological and spatial data yield information on settlement structures and terrain, while texts provide a thick network of explicit and implicit information on places, landscapes, and routes. Both the quantity and complexity of this archeological and philological data make the use of IT-supported forms of organization and analysis essential. TexTelSem is meant to link these types of information through the development of a system based on current data integration models. The core of the project is the development of ontologies suitable for the descriptive representation of available data. The regional and chronological focus is on the area of Upper Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium BC, including the Eastern Tigris regions, often (rightly) viewed as a core settlement area as well as an important communicative bridge in the Ancient Near East. The instruments developed within the framework of the project (including data structures and visualization methods) will serve as a tool for further research on the historical geography of other regions and periods.
The binational project is supported by a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Agence National de la Recherche (ANR). The research team is composed of French and German researchers from the fields of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Geoinformatics, and Near Eastern Archeology.
Principal investigators in TexTelSem are: Prof. Dr. E. Cancik-Kirschbaum (Philology, FU Berlin), Dr. N. Ziegler (Philology, CNRS Paris), Prof. Dr. K.-Ch. Bruhn (Geoinformatics, FH Mainz), Prof. Dr. A. Otto (Archeology, LMU München).
Research Associates are: Dr. Michael Herles (Archeology, München), Kristina Petrow (Philology, FU Berlin), Dr. Antoine Jacquet (Philology, CNRS Paris) und Dr. Anne-Isabelle Langlois (Philology, CNRS Paris).
Project page at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (currently offline)