CNET: World’s Oldest Known Map of Stars Found Hiding in Medieval Manuscript. “More than 2,100 years ago, Greek astronomer Hipparchus mapped out the stars — and for a long time, this had been considered humanity’s earliest attempt to assign numerical coordinates to stellar bodies. But despite its fame, the treatise was only known to exist through writings of another well-known astronomer named Claudius Ptolemy, who compiled his own celestial inventory some 400 years later. Until now, that is.”
Ars Technica: Researchers home in on possible “day zero” for Antikythera mechanism. “The mysterious Antikythera mechanism—an ancient device believed to have been used for tracking the heavens—has fascinated scientists and the public alike since it was first recovered from a shipwreck over a century ago. Much progress has been made in recent years to reconstruct the surviving fragments and learn more about how the mechanism might have been used. And now, members of a team of Greek researchers believe they have pinpointed the start date for the Antikythera mechanism, according to a preprint posted to the physics arXiv. Knowing that ‘day zero’ is critical to ensuring the accuracy of the device.”
Greek Reporter: Entirety of Parthenon Frieze Featured on New Website. “The upgraded website enables art lovers from around the world to analyze and marvel at the incredible frieze, which portrays a procession for the ancient festival called the Panathenaia. A stunning array of nearly 400 human figures, including charioteers and people on horseback, as well as hundreds of animals and countless offerings to the goddess Athena is emblazoned on the frieze.”
Microsoft: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport and Microsoft partner to digitally preserve ancient site of Olympia
Microsoft: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport and Microsoft partner to digitally preserve ancient site of Olympia. “The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport and Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds, a new collaboration to digitally preserve and restore ancient Olympia, the original home of the Olympic games, using AI. This digital revival project allows viewers around the world to explore ancient Olympia as it stood more than 2,000 years ago through an immersive experience via an interactive mobile app, web-based desktop experience, or a Microsoft HoloLens 2 exhibition at the Athens Olympic Museum.”
Michigan State University: Bringing an archaeology project into the digital age. “The design and tone of the new website combines classic and contemporary elements, reflecting the omnipresent application of digital technologies in modern-day archaeology. Visitors to the website will see a carefully curated blend of black-and-white and color photographs taken throughout the dig’s collaborative history.” The dig referenced is the MSU Excavations at Isthmia, Greece. Research at the site became an ongoing thing in the early 1950s.
Mind Matters News: How A Searchable Database Is Helping Decipher A Lost Language. “There was once a flourishing civilization on the island of Crete called the Minoan culture (3000–11100 B.C.). Two languages are associated with it, Minoan A and, later, Minoan B. Minoan B was deciphered but Minoan A has remained a mystery that has ‘tormented linguists for many decades,’ as Patricia Klaus puts it. Deciphering it would give us a window back as far as 1800 BC.”
NEW Online Exhibition: Rarely Exhibited Greek Pottery (University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology)
University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology: NEW Online Exhibition: Rarely Exhibited Greek Pottery. “This online exhibit, in two installments, illustrates examples from the Museum’s extensive collection of Greek pottery, most of which has not been exhibited in recent history. The first installment encompasses the Bronze Age to the Orientalizing period, ca. 2700–530 BCE.” The quote is from the PDF announcement.
Greek Reporter: Tour Ancient Olympia from Home Via New Digital Platform. “Created at no cost for the Greek state, the app was developed as part of Microsoft’s ‘AI for Good’ Corporate Social Responsibility program. Not only can users explore ancient Olympia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the fifth-most visited area in Greece in pre-Covid times, they can also contribute to the platform by adding their own personal content, communicate with other virtual visitors, and even network with others from all around the world.”
TechCrunch: AI is helping scholars restore ancient Greek texts on stone tablets. “Machine learning and AI may be deployed on such grand tasks as finding exoplanets and creating photorealistic people, but the same techniques also have some surprising applications in academia: DeepMind has created an AI system that helps scholars understand and recreate fragmentary ancient Greek texts on broken stone tablets.”
TechCrunch: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gets an educational mode — complete with quizzes. “In my review of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, I was blown away by the authenticity and level of detail in the game world. The game itself — well, it was fine. But the highlight was ancient Greece in all its classical splendor, and a new educational Discovery Tour mode aims to teach the history of that society through a gaming lens. The free update, available now to anyone who owns the game, adds dozens of historical ‘tours’ guided by a NPC, in which you can learn about the cities of ancient Greece, the life and crafts of the people who lived there, what they believed and how they were governed, and of course the many famous battles of the era.” Might have to get the game now.