Securing Data in Mesopotamia: New Technologies for Secured Cuneiform Texts


14 - 18 March 2022

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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From the earliest stages of writing in Mesopotamia in the late fourth millennium BCE, the need to share information went hand in hand with concerns about data security. Clay tablets bearing cuneiform text were incised, imprinted, encased, wrapped, copied and otherwise manipulated in order to validate them and to protect them from forgery and unwanted access. The processes of data control that accompanied the written text since the dawn of history require a research strategy that goes far beyond traditional text analysis. In order to study Mesopotamia’s ancient communication system in all its aspects, we propose to create a new multidisciplinary research community consisting of historians, archaeologists, linguists, epigraphists, geo-scientists, computer scientists and experts from the social, cognitive and applied sciences.


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