AWMC Founder Richard Talbert’s new book, Roman Portable Sundials: The Empire in Your Hand is now available for preorder from Oxford University Press. Featuring numerous maps and illustrations prepared by the Mapping Center, the book uses Roman portable sundials as a lens into ancient worldviews, perceptions of geography, and Roman identity. Use the code AAFLYG6 at checkout to receive a 30% discount from oup.com.
Anyone interested in G.I.S. reconstructions of the ancient world should check out an excellent review article published in the latest edition of Early Christian Studies. Written by UNC Ph.D. Alumna Sarah Bond and Peter Martens, the article situates the Historical Atlas of Ancient Christianity (ed. Berardino & Pilara) within the broader context of digital mapping projects of the ancient world.
In addition, historians of cartography will enjoy Ségolène Débarre’s Cartographier l’Asie Mineure : l’orientalisme allemand a l’epreuve du terrain (1835-1895), which sets the 19th century cartography of Asia Minor against a background of German and Ottoman imperialism.
Our colleagues at ISAW/NYU will be holding a workshop on digital antiquities research on December 2, 2016, and are now accepting paper proposals. This promises to be an interesting event, especially for those of you in the New York metro area. Details are available here: http://isaw.nyu.edu/
August 2, 2016 in Report
5-1-15 to 4-30-16
ANCIENT WORLD MAPPING CENTER (http://awmc.unc.edu)
For 2015-2016, the seemingly routine annual claim that the past year has been busier than ever is no exaggeration for sure. Not only did an exceptional number of commissioned maps achieve completion, but the Center also made substantial headway on several research projects as well as mounting its first conference.
Particularly significant among completed commissions is a set of nine maps for the fifth edition of the much-used Oxford Classical Dictionary, the first of its editions to be digital-only, and the first to include any maps! The set – designed by Center Director Gabriel Moss – ranges from the spread of Greek colonization to the administrative divisions of Constantine’s empire. Graduate assistant Alexandra Locking produced ten maps for Mercury’s Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World, a collaborative volume co-edited by Fred Naiden and Richard Talbert, due for publication by Oxford University Press in 2017. Other notable commissions included maps for the first-ever English translation and commentary on Dionysius of Byzantium, Anaplous Bospori (Thomas Russell, Oxford University Press); for Brill’s Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean (ed. Timothy Howe and Lee Brice); for a display of ancient coins at the University Museum, Oxford MS; and for Civitates, a board game designed for high-school students learning Latin. Plans developed last year with the Bible and Gospel Trust, UK, led to the production and delivery of a dozen maps to illustrate the bible. Trevor Bryce’s Atlas of the Ancient Near East and Persia from Prehistoric Times to the Roman Imperial Period, for which the Center made 130 full-color maps last year, has now been published by Routledge, an impressive volume.
In April the Center held its first conference, on the theme Mapping the Past: G.I.S. Approaches to Ancient History. This well-attended occasion – with keynote address by the Center’s first director, Dr Tom Elliott (NYU) – provided a productive forum in which twelve speakers from North America and Europe shared approaches and techniques for using geography and digital tools to study the ancient past. The technology training workshop G.I.S. for Historians organized in connection with the conference filled to capacity. All presentations were filmed and are publicly available on the Center’s new YouTube channel: (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEr92C0pVw6-CeM9krzNs2Q)
Two ongoing research initiatives were advanced: the map of Hispania at 1:750,000 scale, and digital manipulation of Forma Urbis Romae fragments in collaboration with Prof. Ryan Shaw and graduate assistant Will Knauth in the School of Information and Library Science. Further initiatives were launched, in particular the creation of digital maps to add a cartographic dimension to Ptolemy’s Table of Important Cities and to the Synekdemos of Hierocles. Maps to illustrate travel accounts were also started, among them Egeria’s pilgrimages and the journey of Theophanes from Hermopolis in Egypt to Syrian Antioch.
The Center’s partnership with Pleiades at New York University (Pleiades.stoa.org) remained active; this project has embarked on a new phase with the award of further support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Center’s two publicly available mapping resources, the Antiquity-A-La-Carte platform and the Ancient World Map Tiles, continue to be in great demand from scholars and educators. Former Center director Dr. Ryan Horne designed both, and has maintained them: the platform now has approaching 2,000 registered users, while this year alone the tiles have been viewed nearly one million times.
The Center’s assistants have proven as dedicated and talented as ever. It is a blow to be losing both graduate students: Will Knauth has completed his MLS, and Alexandra Locking has won a fellowship which requires exclusive focus on the completion of her dissertation. Among undergraduates, Ashley Cloud graduated after two years of dedicated work for the Center. Michael Heubel continued for a third year, and was joined by three excellent recruits Sabrina Cheung, Daniel Hawke, and McKenzie Hitchcock. It is the Center’s good fortune that Gabriel Moss, after an outstandingly successful year as director, will continue in that position for 2016-2017.
As part of a broader project to remove needless restrictions on our data (see last week’s changes to A-la-Carte), as of June 8, 2016, all shapefiles on our Resources page are now available under the Open Database License (ODbL 1.0). This replaces the previous Creative Commons 3.0 Non-Commercial License, and provides users significantly more freedom to use our data in any and all forms of research and publication. As always, please direct any questions or suggestions to email@example.com.
June 3, 2016 in Funding
From our colleagues at the American Geographic Society Library at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:
The AGS Library is one of the premier collections of its kind in North America, containing over 1.3 million items including maps, atlases, books, periodicals, and photographs. The cartographic collection dates to 1452, with particular strengths in documents related to American empire. The collections are vast and varied, and include, for example, the portfolio of maps used by the Americandelegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919; an original copy of the 1861 Daedong yeojido by Korean cartographer Kim Jeong-ho; and extensive collections from Latin America, Asia and Polar regions.
Photographic collections reflect the global travels and studies of individual geographers and members of the Society throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with particularly notable collections in polar exploration and Western U.S. expansion. Archives include various collections related to the history of American geography. Books and periodicals include an extensive collection of early travel literature and guidebooks, as well as a rich historical collection of globally produced geographical
Currently, there are two types of eligibility:
- Scholars at all levels, including faculty and Ph.D. dissertators, at U.S. federally defined Minority-Serving Institutions are eligible for the AGSL Fellowships for MSI Scholars. ($600/week, up to 4 weeks)
- Scholars at all levels, including faculty and Ph.D. dissertators, at any university are eligible for John and Helen Best Fellowships. ($400/week, up to 4 weeks)
Complete fellowship descriptions can be found on the AGSL website. Past fellowship recipients have included scholars of history, geography, cartography, climate, environmental studies, and literature. Lists of previous AGSL fellowship recipients and their projects may be found here and here. Applicati
Please circulate this announcement widely.
May 5, 2016 in Site Information
It has come to my attention that in the last 24 hours a number of you may have received spam through AWMC’s message system, messages that in some cases appeared to come from an official AWMC email address. The user responsible has been removed from the site, and I’ve adjusted our group and messaging settings to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future. Neither your user information nor the basic functionality of the site appear to have been compromised. If you received spam, I apologize for the inconvenience. As always, please email if you have any issues or concerns with the website.
AWMC founder and faculty advisor Dr. Richard Talbert will give a talk on Friday, May 6 at the Association of Ancient Historians Conference in Tacoma, WA. The talk is entitled “Latitude and Worldview: The Evidence from Roman Portable Sundials.” Details on the conference are here.
April 18, 2016 in Conference
The recordings of last month’s conference are now up on YouTube. If you couldn’t make it to the conference, you can now watch the proceedings. Thanks again to everyone who made the event possible, and for all our presenters for allowing us to record and post their talks.
April 13, 2016 in Conference
A huge thank you to everyone who attended the “Mapping the Past” conference last weekend! We had a collection of excellent papers and a large and enthusiastic audience. All talks were recorded and will be posted to YouTube in the next week–I’ll post updates when they’re available. Thanks again to everyone who made this event possible!