University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Semantics and thesauri for the study of Ancient Curse Tablets
Achille Felicetti

Last modified: 2011-12-18


In this paper we present a relevant example of how new semantic techniques can be applied to the study of the ancient world. In particular, we present a set of activities whereby we apply semantic technologies and open source software for the study of a very specific class of archaeological and textual objects, the so-called defixiones. The term defixio refers to a cursing tablet, engraved on thin sheets of lead, especially as used in the Ancient Mediterranean area for various "magical" uses. The study of this field has not yet produced any complete systematisation of all the different material and interpretations. We intend developing a system bringing together all the existing information in order to offer scholars a tool comprising all available knowledge to date and the possibility to extend it with the results of their research. The system will also include the creatino of a digital archive of related semantically encoded information. The encoding process will also permit the creation of a thesaurus of relevant terms used in the inscriptions, which could further represent a valid contribution to the creation of a thesaurus of ancient magical.


Semantic, thesauri, curse tablets