In an earlier post, I tried visualizing the structure of Latin inscriptions from a particular time and place by turning them (some 30 or so, as I recall) into a kind of directed network graph, the theory being that a network analysis might reveal something of the underlying structure of inscriptions in general. It was the mental equivalent of doodling, but I wondered if the approach might have some sort of predictive power, eg for inscriptions that were incomplete. Just idle curiosity – the same idleness which drove me to run the following through Wordle (can’t get enough of that toy!) – from the Epigraphische Datenbank Heidelberg:
province: Britannia modern country: United Kingdom
find spot (ancient name): Aquae Sulis find spot (modern name): Bath (Avon)
find spot (street, etc.): Römisches Bad
literature: AE 1983, 0633.
M.W.C. Hassall – R.S.O. Tomlin, Britannia 14, 1983, 336, Nr. 3; fig.
33 u. 34 (Zeichnungen). – AE.
A-Text: Primurudem // Basilia donat in templum Martis ani/lum(!) argenteum si servus si liber / (ta)mdiu siluerit vel aliquid de hoc / noverit ut sanguin(e) et liminibus(!) ob(!) // omnibus(!) membris(!) configatur vel et/iam intestinis excomesis (om)nibus habe(at) / is qui anilum(!) involavit(!) vel qui medius / fuerit
…which may or may not be a useful exercise. Guess I’d best ask a proper epigrapher. But in the spirit of discovering tools for visualization of data in new and hopefully illuminating ways, the following page, a periodic table of visualization methods, might introduce you to some new approaches.
If you recall, there was a flurry of activity for a while at the opening of 2008, concerning the idea of an online, Lulu-printed version, of the best of the academic blogs concerning all things archaeological – PD(Q). It was a good idea then, and it’s still a good idea, but in the course of events, regular life intervened, and life caught up with the major push behind it all – the incomparable Alun. That’s no excuse though for the rest of us – me included! – who thought it was a great idea, and could have taken things forward – mea culpa.
So I am pleased this morning for Alun, to see that he’s got his thesis done, and is now ready for the viva. Well done! And Good Luck! Alun’s one of the best bloggers for things archaeological and academic on the web, and I look forward to his resurfacing after everything he’s gone through this year.