Museen der Stadt Wien – Stadtarchäologie

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Johannes TINTNER

Senior scientist at the Institute of Physics and Material Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Specialist since 15 years in aging processes of organic matter, archaeometry, infrared spectroscopy and thermal analysis. After his habilitation in the field of environmental sciences he contributed groundbreaking research on dating by means of molecular decay based on machine learning methods. His research covers a wide range of organic materials including wood, straw in earthen architecture, paper, charcoal, hair, and bones. He holds collaborations with prehistoric and medieval archaeologists, historians, dendrochronologists, soil scientists and palaeoecologists, not only in Austria, but also international. He is speaker of BOKU research groups in heritage science at the platform Heritage Science...

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CHNT 25, 2020 – Permissions

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The Babylonian Engine

Human-Machine collaboration for restoring ancient Mesopotamian heritage Ethan Fetaya FETAYA 1 | Shai GORDIN 2(1 Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan | 2 Ariel University Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ariel, Israel) Abstract: The documentary sources for the political, economic, and social history of ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) constitute hundreds of thousands of clay tablets inscribed in the cuneiform script. Most tablets are damaged, leaving gaps in the texts written on them, and the missing portions must be restored by experts. In our talk, we will present a new open-source initiative called the Babylonian Engine, a Digital Humanities project that aims to reconstruct the ancient Babylonian society, environment and landscape using philological data and Machine Learning algorithms. We will discuss available digitized texts in Akkadian and how they can be used for training advanced machine-learning algorithms to restore daily economic and administrative documents from Babylonia under the rule of the Persian empire (6th to 4th centuries BCE). As the amount of digitized texts grows, the model can be trained to restore damaged texts belonging to other genres, such as scientific or literary texts. Therefore, this is a first step for a large-scale reconstruction of a lost ancient heritage, by creating a human-machine interface for the historical sciences and the...

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Stefan EICHERT | Nina BRUNDKE | Alexander WATZINGER | Roland FILZWIESER | Jennifer PORTSCHY(Natural History Museum Vienna and Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna Austria) Keywords: Burial Archaeology, Anthropology, Open Data, Digital Humanities, Open Source Description of the APP: THANADOS – The Anthropological and Archaeological Database of Sepultures ( and is an open source online application for the dissemination, presentation and visualisation of data on archaeologically and anthropologically investigated burials.It works with data based on the CIDOC-CRM that were acquired through the OpenAtlas system ( It represents an open data repository of Austrian cemeteries from the Early Middle Ages and allows the user to browse these data on very detailed levels, conduct all kinds of queries and visualise them via maps, plots etc. and export them to various formats for further research. It includes a vocabulary for burial archaeology and anthropology, links to various gazetteers, detailed metadata and provides an API for linked open data.It comprises – amongst other things – descriptions, classifications, images and (if available) 3D models (e.g. of finds and features, detailed osteology data (e.g. “Osteology tab”) and allows for intrasite as well as for intersite searches and GIS visualisations with a variety of options.It is being developed within an ongoing “GoDigital! – Next Generation” project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The project is hosted at the Natural History Museum Vienna (Prehistory Department) and the Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAW – Vienna) in cooperation with the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH). Technically it is entirely based on open source technology and released under the MIT license. The content is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International...

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