Communicating Cuneiform:The Evolution of a Multimedia Cuneiform Database

Woolley, Sandra, Davis, Tom, Flowers, Nick, Pinilla-Dutoit, Javier, Livingstone, Alasdair and Arvanitis, Theo (2002). Communicating Cuneiform:The Evolution of a Multimedia Cuneiform Database. Visible Language (36.3),


Our paper presents the work of the Cuneiform Digital Forensic Project (CDFP), an interdisciplinary project at The University of Birmingham, concerned with the development of a multimedia database to support scholarly research into cuneiform, wedge-shaped writing imprinted onto clay tablets and indeed the earliest real form of writing. We describe the evolutionary design process and dynamic research and developmental cycles associated with the database. Unlike traditional publications, the electronic publication of resources offers the possibility of almost continuous revisions with the integration and support of new media and interfaces. However, if on-line resources are to win the favor and confidence of their respective communities there must be a clear distinction between published and maintainable resources, and, developmental content. Published material should, ideally, be supported via standard web-browser interfaces with fully integrated tools so that users receive a reliable, homogenous and intuitive flow of information and media relevant to their needs. We discuss the inherent dynamics of the design and publication of our on-line resource, starting with the basic design and maintenance aspects of the electronic database, which includes photographic instances of cuneiform signs, and shows how the continuous review process identifies areas for further research and development, for example, the “sign processor” graphical search tool and three-dimensional content, the results of which then feedback into the maintained resource.

Divisions: Aston University (General)
Full Text Link: http://visiblel ... eiform_database
Related URLs:
Published Date: 2002-09
Authors: Woolley, Sandra
Davis, Tom
Flowers, Nick ( 0000-0001-5150-2164)
Pinilla-Dutoit, Javier
Livingstone, Alasdair
Arvanitis, Theo

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