The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship

Paul Iversen


Before Apple and Dell there was the Antikythera Mechanism. This device, found in 1901 in a shipwreck, is estimated to have been constructed in the 2nd or 1st century BCE. Capable of computing and displaying information such as lunar phases, the rising and setting of stars and constellations, the lunisolar calendar of northwestern Greece, and Panhellenic festivals including the Olympic games, it is considered the first analog computer. Iversen will use this award to purchase tools that will facilitate the study of inscriptions on the Antikythera Mechanism and travel to Germany to work with the raw data consisting of CT images.


The IAS itself is a newly formed, long-term, interdisciplinary research collaboration between members of the Department of Classics at Case Western Reserve University (Iversen/De Giorgi), members of the Kelvin Smith Library system at Case Western Reserve University (Eustis/Holstein), members of the Department of Archaeology at Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi, Isparta (most importantly Bilge Hürmüzlü who is the project’s overall Director), members of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Tübingen (Richard Posamentir), and members of the Fachhochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin (Kay Kohlmeyer). It also will feature undergraduate and graduate students from all those institutions, most importantly CWRU students who will be taking CLSC 318/418, which is a new course on Landscape Archaeology and Epigraphy that will be firmly tied to the IAS (for the summer of 2009 we have four undergraduates and one graduate student who intend to go).

The area that will be the focus of our archaeological survey is located between the modern city of Isparta, the northeastern spit of Lake Burdur, and the northwestern shore of Lake Egridir (see map on p. 3). In antiquity this region was known as Pisidia. Here our international team of scholars and students will employ a coordinated array of research strategies and technologies, in particular linking a landscape archaeological survey that uses satellite images, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) coordinates, and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies with the publication of inscriptions on-line.

As mentioned above, CWRU students will be involved in the project through CLSC 318/418 and the methodology they will learn and employ is that of “Intensive Archaeological Survey,” Landscape Archaeology’s most powerful application, in which the careful sampling of the areas to be investigated is a primary concern. Once we arrive at the day’s starting point, we will walk next to our Turkish counterparts (both students and professors) spaced 10-20 meters apart to cover a pre-determined section of landscape. Along the way we will collect all the ancient artifacts that we find on the ground, photograph them, and map their trajectory via Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) hand-held devices. When a site is encountered with a concentration of cultural material, presence of architecture, or any other traces of human intervention, the area will be more carefully mapped and recorded by the Germans. Few landscapes have been studied in this holistic manner; in addition we will applying several recent technologies to the study of landscapes that will be incorporated into CLSC 318/418, so the students will have a hands-on experiential learning environment where they will apply cutting edge technologies and techiques to a real landscape archaeological project with real inscriptions.

The advantages of using the latest technologies for publishing these inscriptions online, both in Case Digital and on the Arts and Sciences server, are numerous. With the GPS coordinates and GIS technology, each inscription’s find spot will be perfectly situated in space to strengthen the intimate relationship between the text and its original environs. Linguistic peculiarities, names, and any meaningful lemmata will also appear on the GIS map and be searchable, thus suggesting patterns and relations such as that of families, kin groups, or individuals of Phrygian, Greek, Roman, or other origins. Being a part of both the Arts and Sciences server and the Digital Case archival repository, the website will be sustainable because it will have stability of citation (permanent URLs) and it will be freely available to the general public as well as to researchers.

For more information on Dr. Iversen's projects, please see his website.

  • Freedman Fellows 2011 Announced
  • Freedman Fellows Program 2011
  • Freedman Center Fellow Program 2010
  • Freedman Fellows 2009 Announced

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