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.
Anna Foka, Umeå University
Elton Barker, The Open University, London
Johan Åhlfeldt, Umeå University