Collaboration on New Techniques to Study Ancient Texts

Mindmap Lorentz


From 14 to 18 March 2022, the Centre for Global Heritage and Development co-organised a Lorentz-Centre workshop with Hubert Mara (University Halle-Wittenberg), Dominique Ngan-Tillard (Technical University Delft), Dirk Roorda (HUC KNAW), and Caroline Waerzeggers (Leiden University). The workshop proceeded in a hybrid format and hosted participants from the UK, USA, Iraq, Japan, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Scientific domains represented include Computer Science, Archaeology, Assyriology, Engineering, Digital Humanities, Data Science and Museum and Heritage Studies.

The goal was to explore novel ways to study ancient cuneiform clay tablets by looking at the inside of the artefacts (Micro-CT and related scanning techniques), the surface (fingerprint analysis, 3D scanning, fire and ink traces), conservation, and the ancient contexts (archaeological and environmental) in which the tablets were made and deposited. The workshop resulted in the creation of a new international consortium and ideas for multiple future grant applications.

The workshop received financial support from the Lorentz Centre, the Netherlands Institute for the Ancient Near East (NINO), the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, TU Delft Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, and ERC project P622841.