BPS's scalability as an across-the-humanities tool depends on corpus development and its demonstrable usefulness on a variety of corpora. For initial deployments, we are investing in partners who are experts in particular corpora and are willing to submit their corpus editions for analysis by BPS. We have identified four potential partners who have agreed to make their work available to us. Each of them works on specific archives that are very different in terms of volume (number of individual texts), period, density, naming conventions, and transaction types. The BPS team and our partners will form a nuclear scholarly community of the type that we intend to create around the BPS tool.
Our development partners are:
- Professor Yoram Cohen. Tel Aviv University. With Prof. Ran Zadok, Cohen is developing the on-line corpus of cuneiform texts which document the Israelites and Judeans in first millennium Mesopotamia. Allon Wagner, M.A. student, is providing the technical support and background for the development of the CTIJ site; he also contributes to BPS's development of SNA tools.
- Professor Andrea Seri. University of Chicago. Seri's work on the 350-text corpus from the Rim-Anum archive provides documentation of the administrative organization at Uruk in the Old Babylonian period (1800-1600 BCE). In particular, the texts illustrate the extensive and complex networks associated with the distribution of personnel and resources. Prosopographic tools will facilitate analysis of the roles of individuals and the mechanisms of economic activity in this archive.
- Professor Caroline Waerzeggers. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (after Sept. 2010, University College London). Waerzeggers is a pioneer in the use of Social Network Analysis in the field of cuneiform studies. Applying SNA to the more than 2,000 texts from Neo-Babylonian period (7th century BCE) Borsippa, Waerzeggers has developed an intimate knowledge of the players and activities attested in this city. Her familiarity with her corpus and the networks contained therein will provide the team with a unique opportunity to assess the BPS tools and graph-building capabilities.
- Dr. Cornelia Wunsch. School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Wunsch is an expert on the 1,500 texts that document the activities of the Egibi banking family of the Persian period (6h-5th centuries BCE). Through an extensive system of loans and land management strategies, the Egibis built an important economic institution. Wunsch brings her keen analysis of the economic institutions and the networks that evolved between various members of the firm and individuals with whom they did business.
Corpus Development Tasks:
- creating new or transforming legacy digital transliterations of each text in a corpus in a BPS/TEI compatible format
- marking up transaction roles and name instances, using ontologies of personal names (in standardized form)
- identifying transaction types in the metadata of each text