2009-2010 Report

This proved to be another very active year for the Center. The outstanding accomplishment was to meet the challenge of completing the large maps begun in 2008 by Richard Talbert, Elzabeth Robinson, and Ross Twele – now called “Classmaps” – and delivering them to Routledge for publication (both print and digital formats) in late 2010/early 2011. The set of seven comprises two maps of Egypt and the Near East (3000-1200; 1200-500 BCE)Greece and the Aegean in the Fifth Century BCEGreece and Persia in the Time of Alexander the GreatItaly in the Mid-First Century CEThe World of the New Testament and the Journeys of Paul (with inset New Testament Palestine); and The Roman Empire around 200 CE (the largest, measuring 75 x 56 ins). In connection with the first two maps, the Center was fortunate to secure Thomas Schneider and Lisa Cooper (both UBC Vancouver, Canada) as consultants for Egypt and the Near East respectively, and Kenneth Sams (UNC Classics) as consultant for Asia Minor. In addition, Eckhard Schnabel (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL) served as consultant for the New Testament map. Four of the seven maps were displayed in advanced draft at the January joint annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association (Anaheim, CA), and the Center also welcomed the invitation to display the same four in the department’s Graduate Applications room. The favorable reception given to these drafts, together with other requests received, has encouraged us to plan further such maps, in some instances for a more advanced audience than the Classmaps are designed to serve. It is clear that scholars would particularly value coverage of regions that are too extensive to present at a meaningful scale even as a doublespread in a large-format volume. To this end, a start has been made on preparing Asia Minor around 100 CE at 1:750,000, which requires an 8 ft-length.

As usual, a great variety of permissions was granted for maps already available from the Center to be reproduced – with or without adaptation – in books, articles, other publications (such as the programme for Phèdre at London’s National Theatre), and exhibitions (such as Art and Cultural Exchange Along the Silk Road at UNC’s Ackland Art Museum). The Center also continued to fulfill many commissions to make maps or bases for a range of publications. Such work this year included several of multiple maps for the forthcoming UNC Press monograph Rivers and the Power of Rome by Brian Campbell (Queen’s University, Belfast); three maps for Paul Keyser et al. (eds.), Barbarians of Ancient Europe: Realities and Interactions (Cambridge UP); a pilot map in a series for the Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage edited by Lucas Van Rompay (Duke) et al.; and a large “ancient world” base for an exhibition The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, which is now proceeding on tour to Oxford, England, and Athens, Greece. The Center maintains its association with the Pleiades project, which has received NEH funding for a further phase of its development of an online geographic workspace.

Two new recruits to the Center each performed invaluable service. Megan Coburn, a master’s student in the department of City and Regional Planning, successfully completed an experimental project for the production of 3-D maps, using data from an archaeological survey of the area of ancient Cosa in Tuscany as her test data. Steven Burgess, an undergraduate archaeology student, assisted in developing base maps and also initiated co-ordination of the Center’s databases of maps and images.

Brian Turner will continue as the Center’s Acting Director for 2010-11. The plan that Elizabeth Robinson should return to rejoin the Center staff (both her hope, and ours) has been trumped by her gaining the special distinction of a two-year Irene Rosenzweig/Samuel H. Kress Foundation fellowship at the American Academy in Rome for the completion of her dissertation.

The Barrington Atlas remains an indispensable reference tool for study and research on the classical world. Richard Talbert was invited to present a copy of it – as encapsulating the high quality of UNC scholarship – to HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, princess of Thailand, on her visit here in May 2009. ADictionary of Continental Celtic Place-Names: a Celtic Companion to the Barrington Atlas (ed. A. Falileyev, Aberystwyth) appeared in 2010. Last but not least, it is a privilege to see five maps from the Atlas now hanging in the department’s fifth-floor lounge.

Brian Turner, Richard Talbert