S. M. Paley 1 / R. P. Sobolewski 2 / D. H. Sanders 3 / S. Bongiovanni 3
(1 The University at Buffalo, USA / 2 Polish Center of Archaeology, Poland / 3 Learning Sites, Inc., USA)
Within the context of the Nimrud Citadel Digital Virtual Reality Project, the Central Palace excavations of the Polish Center of Archaeology at Nimrud, Iraq, have become one of the focuses of our research. With a grant from Harvard University, the results of our research will available on the World Wide Web, organized by Learning Sites, Inc. of Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA. The project is reconstructing the few fragmentary rooms and scenarios found by Layard and Rassam in their 19th century excavation, some stones of which were left behind and rediscovered by the Polish excavation team.
This paper will describe the progress we have made preparing a digitized database that both documents the finds and is retrievable on the Web. As we refine the functionality of the database, we have taken care to achieve maximum capability to collapse and expand the hierarchies for cleaner viewing and to have the ability to hold the photograph, drawing, and bibliographic information for each record. These are special problems that had to be overcome here. Because a lot of the data for these elements are free text, some will need to have links embedded in them – they don’t necessarily fit neatly into a hierarchy format. We are also working on code for automatic sorting of alphabetical lists so that at some point in the future more detail can be added to the hierarchies (ways to automatically expand and contract the lists depend on the level of specificity of the inputting). This paper will also explain the way digitized plans and drawings correct previous ideas of the ancient planning of the center of the Nimrud Citadel, for example the orientation of the plazas and the back walls of the Northwest Palace and the Palace of Adad-nerari as well as correct the details of Layard’s drawings based on the newly rediscovered bas-reliefs. This process is an excellent example of how computer-based technology can assist in the interpretation, documentation and publication of an archaeological excavation on the Web and on conventional interactive CD-ROM formats.