The Etruscan Sigla Project

by Blue Hat

The Etruscan Sigla Project aims to assemble documentation on the thousands of examples of Etruscan nonverbal writing (sigla) of one or more letters, numbers, or symbols dating from around 700 BCE to the first century BCE, which were incised, painted or stamped on objects of many different made of clay, metal, bone, ivory and stone. These markings, found on numerous Etruscan archaeological sites, are normally relegated to the background in Etruscan studies in favor of letters that form the potential of communication in these markings, ESP will create a database of previously published sigla that aims to recognize and group similar items by means of matching scanned images and other factors such as date, provenance, context, artifact type, artifact function, and location of the mark on the artifact. An international team from the US and Italy - archaeologists and computer scientists, professors and students - will meet and share research and will experiment to develop terminology, methofology and software in multiple languages for the new systematic tool.