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2016-2017 Annual Report

August 1, 2017 in Report

5-1-2016 to 4-30-2017

ANCIENT WORLD MAPPING CENTER (http://awmc.unc.edu)

Yet again this has been an extremely active year at the Center, with the production of multiple commissioned maps, the completion of several projects initiated by the Center itself, and the formation of a new partnership to apply historical mapping technology to the public good.

The level of commissioned work reached an all-time high.  Notably, the Center produced three maps for Brill’s Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society (ed. Brian Turner and Jessica Clark), six maps for Damian Fernandez, An Invisible Class in a Silent Land: Aristocracy and Statehood in Western Iberia, three maps for Simon Pulleyn’s edition of Odyssey, Book I, and two maps for James O’Hara’s commentary on Aeneid, Book VIII.  Illustration of Richard Talbert’s Eitner lecture at the David Rumsey Map Center called for the delicate task of identifying and marking routes attributed to named travelers on sample sheets of Richard Kiepert’s Karte von Kleinasien.

The Center continued its longstanding collaboration with the Pleiades Project at New York University, developing partnerships with several individuals and organizations to expand the focus of the Pleiades gazetteer both spatially (into the Middle and Far East) and temporally (into Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages).

After several years of work by five successive directors of the Center and many others, it has finally been possible to release the magnificent wall map Asia Minor in the Second Century C.E. (1:750,000).  This is a larger-scale successor to the painstaking map by John Anderson (1903) and to its partial revision by William Calder and George Bean (1958).  Offered as a free digital download, the wall map has gained wide interest among archaeologists, cartographers, historians, and scholars of religion; it may also be printed (80 x 50 ins full-size).  The Center has now taken the further step of establishing a new series entitled Maps for Texts: it is designed to provide accurate, high-quality maps for a variety of ancient writings which merit that enhancement (although probably in most cases this was always lacking).  The series has been inaugurated with four maps to accompany Ptolemy’s Table of Important Cities; two of the four adopt Ptolemy’s own projection using a base kindly shared by Alfred Stückelberger and colleagues, who drew it for their 2006 Basel edition of the Geography.  All four maps are offered as free digital downloads.  Next in the series, and close to completion, is an interactive web-map of Hierokles’ Synekdemos,  Further texts due to be mapped in the series include Arrian’s Periplus of the Black Sea, the geographical books (2–6) of Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, the Parthian Stations of Isidore of Charax, and the papyrus record of the journey of Theophanes.

This year the Center launched a new partnership for scholarship in the public interest, focusing on the role of mapping in protecting cultural heritage from human destruction.  Working with the United States Committee for the Blue Shield, the Center expanded and developed “no-strike lists”, inventories of cultural heritage sites (such as schools, libraries and archaeological excavations) in active or potential war zones.  USCBS coordinates with the United States and allied militaries to protect these sites from inadvertent or malicious destruction.  The hard work of Alexander Griffin, in his senior year the Center’s first Cultural Heritage Protection intern, was indispensable to developing this partnership in collaboration with the History Department.

The work of the Center’s other staff members has also been excellent – two graduate students (Lindsay Holman and Peter Raleigh), and two undergraduates (Daniel Hawke and Laura Roberson).  After two years as assistant in the Center, Daniel is now graduating, and will be much missed.  So, too, will former Director Ryan Horne, whose continuing expert assistance during his postdoctoral fellowship has been invaluable; Ryan is moving to a similar position at the University of Pittsburgh.  Gabriel Moss, having most successfully completed a second year as Director, is now stepping down in order to return to the classroom.  He will be succeeded by Lindsay Holman.

Gabriel Moss

Richard Talbert

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Article of Interest

July 8, 2017 in Antiquity À-la-carte, Publication

A new article by Kurt Raaflaub and John Ramsey in Histos 11 is sure to interest practitioners of ancient cartography and GIS.  In “Reconstructing the Chronology of Caesar’s Gallic Wars,” Raaflaub and Ramsey make heavy use of the Barrington Atlas and AWMC’s Antiquity a-la-carte application to build a timetable for Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul.  The article is available here: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/histos/documents/2017AA01RaaflaubRamsey.pdf

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Maps for Texts

June 13, 2017 in Publication

AWMC is excited to launch a new series of “Maps for Texts,” providing accurate, high-quality maps for a variety of ancient documents which otherwise lack them.  For the first entry in the series, we have produced two maps of Ptolemy’s Table of Important Cities, available now in the dropdown menu under Free Maps (or click here).  For questions, comments, or suggestions for future Maps for Texts, please email awmc@unc.edu.

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Mercury’s Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World

May 4, 2017 in Publication

A new volume edited by Richard Talbert and Fred Naiden will be published this month by Oxford University Press.  Mercury’s Wings features numerous maps prepared by the Ancient World Mapping Center; special thanks are due to former Graduate Research Assistant Alexandra Locking, who served as lead cartographer on the project.  The book features numerous contributions outstanding on the means and meaning of communication in the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds, and is sure to interest scholars of ancient connectivity and travel.  Details available here.

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Classics Tea Talk: Dr. Daniëlle Slootjes

April 24, 2017 in Presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survival of the fittest: Dioceses, emperors and the church in the 5th century

Daniëlle Slootjes

Associate Professor of Ancient History, Radboud University

Murphey Hall 118
Wednesday, April 26
1:25 – 2:15 pm
Free and Open to the Public
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New Publication: Routledge Companion to Strabo

April 6, 2017 in Publication

Anyone interested in ancient geographic writing (and those who enjoyed Benet Salway’s excellent talk on Strabo last week) may be interested in the newly published Routledge Companion to Strabo, edited by Daniela Dueck.  Details available here: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Strabo/Dueck/p/book/9781138904330.

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Upcoming Public Lecture

March 23, 2017 in Presentation

On Tuesday, March 28, Dr. Benet Salway of University College London will give a public lecture entitled “Strabo in His Time and Place: Geography, Literature, Politics.”  The lecture will take place on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill in Hamilton Hall, Room 569.  All are invited, reception to follow.

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Richard Talbert to speak at Stanford

March 8, 2017 in Presentation

AWMC founder and faculty advisor Dr. Richard Talbert will give a lecture at the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University on Monday, March 13.  His talk, “Asia Minor, the Kieperts, and World War I” explores efforts to map Ottoman territory in the early 20th century.  For details, click here.

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Wall Map now Available: Asia Minor in the Second Century C.E.

February 22, 2017 in E-resource, Publication, Wall Maps

After several years of preparation, AWMC’s newest wall map is now available online.  This map is a successor to that of J.G.C. Anderson (1903) and its partial revision by W.M. Calder and G.E. Bean (1958).  It was displayed in draft at the ‘Roads and Routes in Anatolia’ conference organized by the British Institute at Ankara (March 2014).  It was then revised with a view to being issued with the volume planned to follow that meeting in due course.  Meantime the Center is now making the map available online.

The map is at 1:750,000 scale, and prints at a size of 80 in x 50 in (at 300 dpi).

For a link to download the map, please email awmc@unc.edu.

This work is licensed under CC-by-4.0

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Two Publications of Interest

February 21, 2017 in Interest, Publication

Anyone interested in ancient space and geography should take a look at Dr. Daniel Gargola’s new book, The Shape of the Roman Order: The Republic and Its Spaces, out soon from UNC Press.  Featuring several maps produced by the Ancient World Mapping Center, this fascinating monograph examines how Roman Republican elites conceived of the territories and spaces under their control.  The book is available for preorder here.

 

 

 

 

Those who enjoyed Dr. Richard Talbert’s recent work on Roman portable sundials may be interested in a recent write-up of his work in Smithsonian Magazine; it is available here.

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