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New title concering the Artemidorus Papyrus

March 1, 2013 in Interest, News, Publication

Intorno al Papiro di Artemidoro, III. Geografia e Cartografia: Atti del Convegno internazionale del 27 novembre 2009 presso la Società Geografica Italiana. Villa Celimontana, Roma (LED, 2012). ISBN-13: 9788879165082.

A new title of interest has appeared on the ongoing study of the Artemidorus Papyrus. This title, edited by C. Gallazzi, B. Kramer, and S. Settis is Intorno al Papiro di Artemidoro, III. Geografia e Cartografia: Atti del Convegno internazionale del 27 novembre 2009 presso la Società Geografica Italiana. Villa Celimontana, Roma (LED, 2012). ISBN-13: 9788879165082.


Introducing Benthos

February 15, 2013 in Benthos, Interest, News, Site Information

benthos1AWMC has launched a Beta version of its new project, Benthos: Digital Atlas of Ancient Waters. This project aims to map not only the physical geography of ancient Mediterranean waters, but also to map cultural and historical information related to transportation, communication, and commerce. The initial sample includes data for Mediterranean ports, shipwrecks, and a preliminary attempt at creating network maps for point-of-origin for some elements of commercial wares that were included in the cargo of sunken ships. AWMC feels that a platform such as Benthos has great potential both as a standalone application, but that its value is increased greatly by interfacing with other cognate projects already online. AWMC welcomes community feedback on this new project, as well as inquiries from potential collaborators and data partners.


New title of interest: M. Scott. Space and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Cambridge, 2013)

February 14, 2013 in News, Publication

Space and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds

Michael Scott. 2013. Space and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-13: 9781107401501.

A new volume of interest has appeared from Cambridge University Press that is of interest for the geography of the ancient world. Michael Scott’s Space and Society in the Greek and Roman World treats various topics related to the spatial experience of Greek and Roman landscapes. The publisher’s blurb: “We cannot properly understand history without a full appreciation of the spaces through which its actors moved, whether in the home or in the public sphere, and the ways in which they thought about and represented the spaces of their worlds. In this book Michael Scott employs the full range of literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidence in order to demonstrate the many different ways in which spatial analysis can illuminate our understanding of Greek and Roman society and the ways in which these societies thought of, and interacted with, the spaces they occupied and created. Through a series of innovative case studies of texts, physical spaces and cultural constructs, ranging geographically across North Africa, Greece and Roman Italy, as well as an up-to-date introduction on spatial scholarship, this book provides an ideal starting point for students and non-specialists.” More information here.


Visualizing and modeling ancient landscapes

February 6, 2013 in Interest, News

Several volumes have arrived in UNC’s library recently that are exciting for those interested in approaches to modeling the past and collecting data about the nature of settled landscapes in antiquity. Focusing on aerial photography, terrestrial and airborne laser scanning, and other dynamic topics, these volumes remind us of the value of studying terrain in which humans have lived – both for the sake of the land forms themselves and also for the evidence of human activity preserved therein. This is particularly true of the need to exploit the vast legacy of twentieth century aerial photography data to mine information from them, in particular for cases where the landscape has changed substantially over the course of the past 50 to 70 years, as well as moving forward with the advanced technologies that now enable digital terrain mapping and modeling.

  • G. Ceraudo. ed. 2010. 100 anni di archeologia aerea in Italia : atti del convegno internazionale, Roma, 15-17 aprile 2009. Rome: Istituto poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Libreria dello Stato. ISBN-13: 9788884313768.
  • W. S. Hanson and I. A. Oltean. 2013. Archaeology from Historical Aerial and Satellite Archives. New York: Springer. ISBN-13: 978-1-4614-4505-0.
  • R. S. Opitz and D. Cowley. 2013. Interpreting Archaeological Topography: Lasers, 3D Data, Observation, Visualisation and Applications. Oxford: Oxbow. ISBN-13: 978-1842175163.

Archaeology from Historical Aerial and Satellite ArchivesInterpreting Archaeological Topography: Lasers, 3D Data, Observation, Visualisation and ApplicationsArcheoAerea-4e5-cop


Resources for ancient world geography

February 6, 2013 in News, Site Information

AWMC has added a page of Resources for ancient world geography to this site. This listing cannot ever hope to be exhaustive, but rather aims to provide basic list of print and electronic resources for ancient world geography.


Routledge Wall Maps for the Ancient World Series in the Routledge Classics 2013 catalog

January 31, 2013 in News

The Routledge Classics 2013 catalog has appeared – check out the listing for AWMC’s series of wall maps, “Routledge Wall Maps for the Ancient World Series“. These seven wall maps cover a range of topics from the ancient Near East to the empire of Alexander the Great to the journeys of St. Paul and are available in both hard copy and electronic formats.


AWMC API goes live

December 3, 2012 in API, E-resource, Interest, News, Site Information

The Ancient World Mapping Center is pleased to announce the rollout of a new application programming interface (API) that allows users to interact directly with the center’s database. The API can be found here and documentation related to the API can be found at the ‘API Documentation’ tab. The API allows the user access to all of the center’s geographical information, both physical and cultural. This would allow the user, for instance, to pull geographic data from the center’s database directly into a standalone mapping project. Just as with Antiquity À-la-carte, the data is released under the terms of the Creative Commons License. AWMC welcomes (and encourages!) user feedback.


Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome (Chicago 2012; ed. R. J. A. Talbert)

November 5, 2012 in Interest, News, Publication

 Ancient Perspectives

Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome

The University of Chicago Press is about to release Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, edited by Richard J. A. Talbert.

From the publisher’s website: “Ancient Perspectives encompasses a vast arc of space and time—Western Asia to North Africa and Europe from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE—to explore mapmaking and worldviews in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In each society, maps served as critical economic, political, and personal tools, but there was little consistency in how and why they were made. Much like today, maps in antiquity meant very different things to different people. Ancient Perspectives presents an ambitious, fresh overview of cartography and its uses. The seven chapters range from broad-based analyses of mapping in Mesopotamia and Egypt to a close focus on Ptolemy’s ideas for drawing a world map based on the theories of his Greek predecessors at Alexandria. The remarkable accuracy of Mesopotamian city-plans is revealed, as is the creation of maps by Romans to support the proud claim that their emperor’s rule was global in its reach. By probing the instruments and techniques of both Greek and Roman surveyors, one chapter seeks to uncover how their extraordinary planning of roads, aqueducts, and tunnels was achieved. Even though none of these civilizations devised the means to measure time or distance with precision, they still conceptualized their surroundings, natural and man-made, near and far, and felt the urge to record them by inventive means that this absorbing volume reinterprets and compares.”

The volume includes essays authored by Georgia L. Irby, Alexander Jones, Michael Lewis, David O’Connor, Francesca Rochberg, Benet Salway, and Richard J.A. Talbert.

280 pages | 9 color plates, 82 halftones, 34 line drawings, 2 tables | 7 x 10 | © 2012 The Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography

ISBN-13: 978-0-226-78937-8


Antiquity à la Carte 2.0

October 31, 2012 in Antiquity À-la-carte, Class Maps, E-resource, News, Pleiades Project

Antiquity À-la-carte 2.0

The Ancient World Mapping Center is pleased to release version 2.0 of the Antiquity à la Carte application. Version 1.0 appeared in spring 2012 and served as a proof of concept for the mapping application. The application, engineered by Ryan Horne, provides the user with a map base that can be populated by drawing on the collective databases of the Ancient World Mapping Center and the Pleiades Project. The new version, more fully featured, offers the user a range of new capabilities, including:

      • The option of saving data sets assembled using the application and that of uploading data to the map (.json).
      • Options for both printing and exporting the map created using the application; combining the export functionality with the ‘numbered features’ option provides an ideal template for a map-based quiz or examination.
      • Version 2.0 makes extensive use of linked data opportunities by connecting to the Pleiades Project and participating in the linked data initiatives of the Pelagios Project. For Pleiades community editors and members, editing of Pleaides can happen directly by means of this interactive feature of the application.
      • Version 2.0 offers an updated visual interface and site layout.
      • Version 2.0 allows other websites to communicate directly with the application using .json objects or text parameters in the url.
      • Version 2.0 allows the user to create a range of line work, polygons, and shading that then appear in the exported version.

These are but a few of the new features offered by Antiquity à la Carte 2.0. We encourage feedback from members of the community who use the application – your comments will help AWMC improve the application. Users can also become registered members of this site and thus be able to closely follow the discussion and receive word of further updates.

AWMC is especially grateful to the invaluable assistance provided by our colleague Joe Ryan of UNC ITS Research Computing.


Cultural heritage online

October 19, 2012 in E-resource, Interest, News

Screenshot from UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Recently a number of excellent online geographic compendia to archaeological sites have begun to appear on the web. These sites take advantage of the possibilities of linked data and the functionality of GIS-oriented interfaces, allowing the user to access both cartographic (spatial) and contextual information. Not only are such sites stimulating – both visually and intellectually – but they provide a vital service in creating online compendia that allow a wider public to know about and appreciate cultural heritage sites and, in particular, to be made aware of the degree to which many such sites find themselves in peril, whether due to neglect, open warfare or diminishing budgetary resources. Such compendia can, hopefully, encourage all of us to be better stewards of our cultural heritage and, perhaps, the web can be a place to cut across nationalistic boundaries. Chuck Jones recently profiled online e-resources for maps on his AWOL blog – a valuable listing that everyone should bookmark. Furthermore, our partner project Pleaides and our colleagues at the Pelagios Project continue to lead the way in creating stable identifiers for linked ancient world data, enabling online collaboration in the form of a geographic lingua franca. Hopefully stewardship – and its increasingly important place online – benefits from the efforts to develop and maintain these resources.

We’d like to here highlight a few notable sites in the vein discussed above.

  1. La carte nationale des sites archéologiques et des monuments historiques, Tunisie; La carte nationale des sites archéologiques et des monuments historiques : feuilles 1/50 000
  2. MEGAJordan: A State-of-the-Art System for Jordan’s Archaeological Sites
  3. Mappa dei Monumenti del Centro Storico di Roma
  4. UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  5. Portable Antiquities Scheme