Digital Pausanias: Migrations and Transformations

In this research project we will investigate movement, transformation, and crisis through the prisms of digital technology and ancient history, using the second-century CE Description of Greece (Periegesis Hellados) of Pausanias.

The project team will create a Geographic Information System (thereon GIS) a database and a digital map of Pausanias' representation of the Greek world. Unlike conventional maps, Periegesis' digital map aims to represent the text's multi-layered spatial configurations, in particular its intersections with different moments in the cultural history of this contested and ritualised landscape. Based on annotating the text of Pausanias, the map will enable the identification and visualization of all place entities and connected ritual activities and/or historical events. In this way, the digital map will form part of the investigative process, to enable the study of movement and trace the transformation of social infrastructures (temples, theatres, tombs etc.) in times of peace and conflict.

The results of this project will reach a broad audience interested in: (1) understanding constructions of cultural and ethnic identity within nations in times of refugee crisis, war, migration and colonization; (2) exploring new media literacies i.e. dynamic map interfaces; (3) visualization as a research process for the study and dissemination of history, archaeology and cultural heritage; (4) rejuvenating interest in the work of Swedish Archaeology in Greece and other Hellenic archaeological finds; (5) Radically invigorating Digital Research Infrastructures in Swedish academia. Other researchers and organisations (cultural heritage groups, educationalists, activists, etc.) will be able to construct their own pathways through Pausanias, reflect on the construction of a cultural past, and reuse visualizing technologies for textual case studies other than Pausanias.

Members 

Anna Foka, Umeå University 

Elton Barker, The Open University, London

Johan Åhlfeldt, Umeå University