The Digital Rosetta Stone Project

Monica Berti, Franziska Naether (Leipzig) & Eleni Bozia (Florida)

Digital Classicist London seminar 2018

Friday June 29th at 16:30, in room 234, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Livecast at Digital Classicist London YouTube channel.

The goal of this paper is to present the Digital Rosetta Stone, which is a project developed at the University of Leipzig by the Digital Humanities Chair and the Institute of Egyptology in collaboration with the British Museum and the Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology Project. The Rosetta Stone preserves a decree issued at Memphis in Egypt in 196 BC and its importance is due to the fact that it is written in two languages (ancient Egyptian and Greek) and three scripts (Hieroglyphic, Demotic, and Greek). The goal of the project is to produce a collaborative digital edition of the Rosetta Stone, to address standardisation and customisation issues as for example the transcription of the Demotic text, and to create data that can be used by students to understand the document in terms of language and content and to read all three scripts in the original. The project is an experiment from a scholarly and a didactic point of view. A team that consists of two researchers and two assistants (one of them is a student) prepares the data. The results are then used in different courses in Digital Humanities, Digital Philology, and Egyptology. The project has been producing a complete transcription of the three versions of the text and an XML output according to the EpiDoc guidelines. The three versions of the text have been aligned with the iAligner tool that has also allowed the alignment of the ancient text with modern languages like English and German. The morphology and the syntax of the Greek text have been annotated with the Arethusa Treebanking Editor and have been exported in an XML format. Part of the project is also devoted to taking new pictures of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, to produce a 3D model, and annotate the text on high resolution images of the inscription.