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Archives from the French-Syrian Mission to Dura-Europos (MFSED) Online Soon at PSL-Explore
In recent years, much of Iraq’s and Syria’s archaeological heritage has been altered or destroyed. In some cases, the only thing that remains of these sites, where ancient treasures were preserved for centuries, is the work of archaeological teams: written archives, stratigraphy reports and maps, photographs, drawings, etc.
Many of these documents are housed at French scientific institutions, in particular the libraries and archives of PSL schools and laboratories. These archives represent precious resources whose digitization and distribution would benefit science, human heritage, and citizens.
To realize these benefits, the Resources and Knowledge Department of PSL, in partnership with the AOROC team (UMR 8546 – CNRS-ENS-EPHE), responded to the second CollEX-Persée call for proposals by submitting REVIS, a project to virtually restore the archaeological heritage of Iraq and Syria, which has now been selected as a winner.
The project aims to create a document entry in PSL’s digital library for Iraqi and Syrian heritage. AOROC’s library at ENS contains the archives from 25 years of field work (digs and restoration) conducted by the French-Syrian mission under Pierre Leriche and the Syrian director of the Deir ez Zor museum at one of the most famous sites in present-day Syria, Dura-Europos. This corpus will be entirely classified and described. REVIS will digitize and post online the photographic archives from the dig, now of inestimable value, in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the site’s discovery (March 2020). Over time, other collections will be added to the entry, some of which are already digitized. This Syrian-Iraqi library will be harvestable and may be combined with other French or international initiatives, in an approach based on sharing and mutual enrichment of open data.
The REVIS Project in Brief
Title: Virtual Restoration of the Archaeological Heritage of Iraq and Syria (REVIS)
Duration: March 2019 - August 2020
Scientific Committee: The scientific committee for the project is composed of Pierre Leriche (AOROC), Christophe Goddard (director of AOROC), Michael Guichard (EPHE), Ioanna Rapti (EPHE), Thomas Römer (Collège de France), Stéphane Verger (EPHE / AOROC), Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk (EPHE, PSL).
Tasks: Classify and describe the archives (photographs, reports, summaries, and maps); digitize, post online, and make usable the photographic corpus on PSL-Explore.