Beginning in 2007 the Gordion Archaeological Project at the Penn Museum began the process of digitizing the content of the Gordion Archive. Our goal is to produce not only a digital version of the archive, but also a tool to facilitate research and publication of the materials.
Recently available digital technologies can powerfully organize, process, and rapidly deliver large quantities of information (including masses of photographic imagery) to researchers throughout the world. At the same time, they can improve the researcher’s analytical toolkit, provide a backup of the data, and facilitate collaboration among scholars working on the same data from different locations. They have the potential to shave off years of post-excavation publication programs by liberating a research team from heavy logistical burdens and allowing them to concentrate on the actual interpretation and presentation of the material.
These benefits should enable the Gordion Project to overcome logistical obstacles that were practically insurmountable before. To examine the “paper” excavation records in the Gordion Archive, study visits have proved prohibitively expensive for researchers across the world, and usually inadequate in terms of the study time actually needed. Evaluation and processing of the enormous Gordion dataset has been time consuming and arduous, especially in terms of dealing with the complexities of the site’s stratigraphy and the manifold details of specific archaeological contexts.