The aim of this article is to offer an overview of the specificities of the Ebla sources and how they impact in the development of digital tools for the analysis of ancient texts. A few methodological issues are raised in the second part of the article, where a description of the Ebla Digital Archives project (EbDA) is provided in some detail.

The paper provides an overview of the digital tools developed as part of the Ebla Digital Archives Project, which aims to offer a digital edition of roughly 3,000 cuneiform tablets from ancient Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh, in western Syria), dated to the middle of the third millennium BCE. The Ebla archive is the oldest one in the history of mankind, for which extensive information concerning the primary setting of the documents is available. The archaicity of the writing system, combined with the inherent difficulties in reconstructing languages from the remote past (Sumerian, Akkadian, Eblaite), pushes us to rethink the strategies to properly digitally capture the complexity of these sources, of invaluable historical significance: administrative documents, literary texts, vocabularies, letters, etc. We tackled the problem through the development of a PostgreSQL database, which is populated by ad hoc Python scripts that parse input transliteration files, which in turn are encoded using a shallow mark-up language. The individual steps in such workflow are discussed, as well as the benefits in terms of advanced queries for information retrieval that such approach offers.

The “Ebla Digital Archives” Project: How to Deal With Methodological and Operational Issues in the Development of Cuneiform Texts Repositories

L. Milano
;
M. Maiocchi
;
R. Orsini
2018-01-01

Abstract

The aim of this article is to offer an overview of the specificities of the Ebla sources and how they impact in the development of digital tools for the analysis of ancient texts. A few methodological issues are raised in the second part of the article, where a description of the Ebla Digital Archives project (EbDA) is provided in some detail.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3703574
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