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The Centre for the scholarly study of Ancient Documents

By       -   August 31st, 2019

The Centre for the scholarly study of Ancient Documents

A walk that is short the Ashmolean, the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD) is making waves from the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies on St Giles’. The interview happens to be set up for more information about new imaging technology that is being used to reveal previously illegible inscriptions that are ancient.

I’m here to fulfill Dr Jane Massйglia, an Oxford alumna, former secondary teacher and now research fellow for AshLI (the Ashmolean Latin Inscription Project). Jane works to encourage general engagement that is public translating these ancient documents. There are several nice samples of this: calling out on Twitter for the interested public to have a stab at translating these inscriptions that are ancient.

The person that is second meeting today is Ben Altshuler, ‘our amazing RTI whizzkid.’ RTI, or Reflectance Transformation Imaging, may be the software used to decipher inscriptions that are previously impenetrable. Ben Altshuler, 20, happens to be working with CSAD on his gap before starting a Classics degree at Harvard later this year year.

What’s the remit of CSAD and how achieved it come to be?

‘The centre started about two decades ago,’ Jane informs me. ‘It came to be out of several projects that are big original texts such as the Vindolanda tablets (a Roman site in northern England which has yielded the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain). There was clearly suddenly a need to accommodate various different projects in Classics looking at primary source material, and a feeling it was better joined up together. It’s a good idea: epigraphers, the individuals who study these ancient inscriptions – do things in a way that is similar similar resources and technology. Read More

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