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[POSTPONED] CALL. 30.04.2020: [WORKSHOP] Spatial Data for Cuneiformists (66e Rencontre Assyriologiqu




UPDATE: Due to the present global emergency situation and the impossibility ofserious planning we have to inform you with great regret that the RAI66 at Frankfurt and Mainz has to be postponed to 2022. In accordancewith the board of the International Association for Assyriology (IAA),the cancelled Rencontre of this year on the topic “Cultural Contact –Cultures of Contact” will be held in two years time, at July 25–29,2022, at Frankfurt and Mainz.

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Westend Campus (Frankfurt, Germany) - Philosophicum building, University Campus (Mainz, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Rune Rattenborg (Uppsala University).

INFO: web -


The formation, augmentation, and integration of spatial knowledge in a digital form offers immense opportunities for the further development of digital humanities research designs, particularly in Assyriology. With an empirical base counting close to half a million catalogued texts, distributed across all of the Middle East, and encompassing more than 3,000 years of recorded human history (Streck 2010), the sheer geographical and chronological span of the cuneiform script holds unique potential for pairing traditional philological, archaeological, and historical approaches with spatial data applications. By spatial data, we refer to a diverse spectrum of information, e.g. provenience data, historical gazetteers, web mapping resources, interactive cartographies, geotagging and -annotation, and a host of different spatial analysis tools that are rapidly becoming staples of data structuring and scholarly inquiry in a great variety of ways. Increasing integration and interlinkage of such resources, e.g. through linked open data (LOD) standards, will, in a not too distant future, enable a much closer binding of formerly dispersed data resources and further strengthen the potential application of spatial parameters as an integrated part of computer-driven research. Research agendas are bound to become increasingly imbedded in and reliant on fully digital research ecosystems in the future, ecosystems where spatial data plays an important, structuring role. Education, dissemination, public information, and management of archaeological and historical heritage will only become more reliant on the lasting integration of digital repositories and data collections in years ahead, including locational data. Fields closely related to ours are currently experiencing a rapid growth in the scale and quality of spatial data repositories, e.g. Near Eastern archaeology (see for example Harrison 2018; Zerbini 2018), and especially Classics, where the development and implementation of a wide range of spatial data resources and applications has boomed in recent years. In Assyriology, however, the definition, acquisition, integration, and dissemination of spatial data in a digital form is very much a developing and inchoate yet sprawling field of study. As there are no general surveys of spatial data or its applications in the field at the moment, this workshop intends to showcase current projects working with spatial data in Assyriology, to explore and discuss the potential and use of spatial data in future research designs, and to stimulate collaboration, data sharing, and dissemination across different scholarly projects and networks. The very diverse range of technological means and methodological approaches employed in current research, not to mention the wide range of different applications and digital ecosystems used to integrate analogue knowledge and spatial computing environments, invites extended dialogue and collaboration among scholars, so as to further data sharing, integration, and reuse. Consequently, this workshop aims to gather researchers and initiatives working with any aspect of spatial data in a digital form, to take stock of the current state of spatial data repositories and approaches in cuneiform studies, and to stimulate discussions about the future implementation and use of spatial data in research and knowledge dissemination. The workshop invites contributions engaging with any aspect of the definition, collection, storage and analysis of spatial data, with reference to one or more of the following themes; Artefact Provenience and Metadata, Historical Geography, and Spatial Analysis and Interpretation. Prospective contributors should submit an abstract of max. 200 words. Papers will be limited to a duration of 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion. The deadline for abstract submission to this workshop is 30 April 2020. For inquiries and abstract submission, please contact workshop organiser Rune Rattenborg (Uppsala University) at

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