A short walk from the Ashmolean, the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD) is making waves through the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies on St Giles’. The interview write my paper has been put up for more information about new imaging technology which is being used to show previously illegible ancient inscriptions.
I’m here to generally meet Dr Jane Massйglia, an Oxford alumna, former secondary teacher and now research fellow for AshLI (the Ashmolean Latin Inscription Project). Jane actively works to encourage general public engagement with translating these ancient documents. There are numerous nice types of this: calling out on Twitter for the interested public to have a stab at translating these ancient inscriptions.
The second person I’m meeting today is Ben Altshuler, ‘our amazing RTI whizzkid.’ RTI, or Reflectance Transformation Imaging, could be the software used to decipher previously impenetrable inscriptions. Ben Altshuler, 20, has been working with CSAD on his gap year before starting a Classics degree at Harvard later this year.
What is the remit of CSAD and just how achieved it turned out to be?
‘The centre started about twenty years ago,’ Jane informs me. ‘It came to be out of several projects that are big original texts like the Vindolanda tablets (a Roman site in northern England that has yielded the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain). Continue reading