Thursday, August 30, 2007

Babel

Some of the earliest writing that has been preserved for us is written on stone, or in baked clay. The writing system used in what was called Mesopotamia, is called the cuneiform script. Much of these clay tablets can be found in museums, collections and in archaeological sites.

Today I came across a really nice website called VirtualSecrets, it provides you with a tool that allows you to translate English into Assyrian/Babylonian, Sumerian and Egyptian. It is a really nice tool and I get the idea that it should be good because museums use this tool as well.

Soldiers of many nations are currently in Mesopotamia, they are bound to bring souvenirs home. Some of them will be original clay tablets. Much of these tablets will be useless without the context where they came from. But given a machine translator, it would be possible to have a text translated from photos.

Photos from the clay tablets in an archive, would make a digital collection. The texts can be translated and with an ever increasing amount of material in such a repository, individual tablets that are currently out of context may fall into place after all.

Thanks,
GerardM
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