Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Projects to map and record Egypt’s historical sites

First there's a piece about the GIS mapping project being developed by the EAIS (Egyptian Antiquities Information System): "The need for a single comprehensive database has become more pressing than ever, and since 2000, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has been working with the Finnish Foreign Ministry to create an organization to map and describe all of Egypt’s historical sites.
EAIS recently inaugurated its Geographic Information System for use by various branches of the SCA. The cutting-edge system is a multi-functional computerized tool capable of collecting, storing, retrieving, transforming, displaying and analyzing massive amounts of data. . . . Knowing each site’s exact location and borders is crucial so it can be granted protected status under the law. Amlaak (literally translated as ‘property’), the branch of the SCA that surveys and maintains legal records on cultural heritage sites, is one of the main beneficiaries of EAIS’ work."
The EAIS website can be found at:

On the same page there's an item about the Chicago House project to capture details of existing monuments to provide a precise record of them: "While the EAIS has been working on large scale mapping of historical sites, the University of Chicago-funded Chicago House has been documenting antiquities on a smaller scale. Chicago House is continuing an 80-year project called the Epigraphic Survey, which draws on the skills of photographers, artists and Egyptologists. Dr. Raymond Johnson is the director of the Chicago House. “The goal of our project is to create something so precise that it could stand alone as a replacement for the original — which, unfortunately, has already proved necessary in some cases,” he says. At its core, the Epigraphic Survey is a collection of enhanced photographs.

See the above web page for more on both these stories. Thanks again to Kat!

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