DANES 2023

19–21 February 2023

In recent decades, the rich cultural heritage of the Near East is undergoing a digital revolution. Comprehensive online repositories have made the digital publishing of artefacts in 2D images, interactive 3D models, as well as text editions, a more sustainable common practice. Furthermore, computational analyses of ancient Near Eastern artefacts, texts and art, are starting to become more prevalent, applying quantitative analyses, natural language processing (NLP) or machine learning (ML), to answer questions about these complex ancient civilizations.

The conference, Computational Perspectives on Ancient Near Eastern Literature, Art and Material Culture, aims to establish a professional network for Digital Ancient Near Eastern Studies (DANES). This will consolidate the successes of recent initiatives led by different research centres, and discuss how best to integrate computational approaches and digital humanities research for ancient Near Eastern texts, art and artefacts. Lastly, we will Incorporate into these discussions a critical perspective on the use of computational methods for text analysis, as well the visual analysis of ancient Near Eastern objects. This conference will include invited long and short talks, an in retrospect section, and poster presentations.

Topics of Interest

We intive students and scholars to present their original papers in the conference, either remotely or in person, on the application of one or more of the following methodologies and issues:

Registration for Attendees

Registration for Attendees is open. Please register in the following link.

Call for Posters

We invite students and scholars to present their original research as a poster in the conference, either remotely or in person, on the application of one or more of the methodologies and issues mentioned above. We ask you to submit

at the following link. The abstracts will undergo a review process by the organizing committee. Accepted posters will be published on the conference website. The committee will also choose the three best posters by students or early career scholars to receive partial funding for attending the conference. The poster session will take place on Sunday 19th February in the Circulation Hall of the Sourasky Central Library, Tel Aviv University.

Important Dates

☐ Submission deadline for Speakers: December 1, 2022.

☐ Submission deadline for Posters: January 20, 2023.

☐ Conference: February 19-21.


You can downland the abstracts booklet here

Sunday, February 19

Center for Artificial Intelligence & Data Science (Tel Aviv University)

09:00-10:15: Opening Session & Keynote
09:00-09:15: Gathering
09:15-09:30: Opening Remarks:
Yoram Cohen (Tel Aviv University), Head of the School of Jewish Studies and Archaeology
Jonathan Ben-Dov (Tel Aviv University), Humanities community, TAD Center
09:30-10:15: Keynote:
A sketch of digital Egyptology: Exploring Texts, Language, and Scripts with 21st c. Technology
Eliese-Sophia Lincke (FU Berlin)

10:15-10:30: Coffee Break

10:30-11:45: Session 1: Optical Character Recognition
Chair: Gabriel Stanovsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Preparing Multi-layered Visualizations of Old Babylonian Cuneiform Tablets for an AI OCR Training towards Automated Sign Recognition
Hendrik Hameeuw (KU Leuven), Katrien De Graef, Gustav Ryberg Smidt, Anne Goddeeris (Ghent University), Timo Homburg (Mainz University of Applied Sciences), Kris Demuynck (Ghent University)

Cuneiform Sign Detection & Recognition
Yunus Cobanoglu, Enrique Jiménez (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich), Luis Sáenz (Ariel University and Heidelberg University)

“Deeplomatics”: Deep learning for automatic analysis of cuneiform texts
Morris Alper (Tel Aviv University), Shai Gordin (Ariel University)

15 min. Discussion

11:45-12:00: Coffee Break

12:00-13:00: Session 2: Data Visualization
Chair: Hendrik Hameeuw (KU Leuven)

Visualizing a Cuneiform Collection - Remote talk
Jon Taylor (British Museum)

Visualisation Of Metadata In 2D/3D Digital Cuneiform Artifacts
Michael Wamposzyc (Edinburgh Napier University)

10 min. Discussion

13:00-14:30: Lunch Break

14:30-15:45: Session 3: Critical DH and Computational Methodologies
Chair: Hubert Mara (University of Halle-Wittenberg)

Creating a Blockchain for Cultural Objects: Introducing AGUR - Remote talk
Mark Altaweel (University College London)

Combined Analysis of Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Images: Gains, Challenges and Risky Paths of a Computational Approach to Hittite Religious Atmosphere - Remote talk
Alessandra Gilibert (Università Ca' Foscari, Venice), Michele Cammarosano (Università L'Orientale, Naples), Renzo Orsini (Università Ca' Foscari, Venice)

MTAAC: Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages - Remote talk
Heather D. Baker (University of Toronto)

15 min. Discussion

15:45-16:00: Coffee Break

16:00-16:45 Session 4: Q&A Session
Moderator: Shai Gordin (Ariel University)
Venue: Circulation Hall of the Sourasky Central Library, Tel Aviv University.

Q&A Session on Ancient Language Processing
Niek Veldhuis, Eliese-Sophia Lincke, Hubert Mara, Hendrik Hameeuw

16:45-17:30 Session 5: Roundtables and Posters
Moderator: Stav Klein (Tel Aviv University and TAD Center)

Poster presentations and roundtable discussions on critical topics in digital ANE studies

Monday, February 20

Hosted by the Digital Pasts Lab (Ariel University)

08:30-09:30: Bus from Tel Aviv Hotel to Ariel University

09:30-10:30 Opening Session & Keynote
09:30–09:45: Opening Remarks
Itzick Shai (Ariel University), Vice president & Dean of R&D
09:45-10:30: Keynote: Niek Veldhuis (UC Berkeley)

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-12:00 Session 6: Computational Stylistics
Chair: Luis Sáenz (Heidelberg University/Ariel University)

Independent Unsupervised Examination of the Distinction Between Texts of Priestly and Non-priestly Origins in the Books of Genesis and Exodus
Gideon Yoffe (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Axel Bühler (Collège de France), Thomas Römer (Collège de France), Nachum Dershowitz, Eli Piasetzky, Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv University), Barak Sober (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

From Digital Editions to Text Analysis Queries: The Old Babylonian Example
Marine Béranger (FU Berlin)

Stylometry of First Millennium Akkadian Texts: A Method for Authorship Attribution?
Avital Romach (Yale University), Shai Gordin (Ariel University)

15 min. Discussion

12:00-12:15 Coffee Break

12:15-13:30 Session 7: Computational Text Analysis
Chair: Heather D. Baker (University of Toronto)

Tracing Word Meanings in Ancient Greek and Latin: Lessons Learnt from Using Computational Methods - Remote talk
Barbara McGillivray (KCL and The Alan Turing Institute)

Computational Approach to Emesal Code-switching
Aleksi Sahala (University of Helsinki)

Establishing Quantitative and Qualitative Bibliometrics for a Library of Assyriology
Adam Anderson (UC Berkeley)

15 min. Discussion

13:30-15:00 Lunch buffet

15:00-16:15 Session 8: Linguistic Annotation
Chair: Aleksi Sahala (University of Helsinki)

kīma aqbûkum! Towards an Analysis of Everyday Language as Expressed in Old Babylonian Letters Using Natural Language Processing
Katrien De Graef, Gustav Ryberg Smidt, Els Lefever, Anne Goddeeris (Ghent University)

Linguistic Annotation of Cuneiform Texts using Treebanks and Deep Learning
Matthew Ong (Ariel University and UC Berkeley)

The Cuneiform Annotator: Annotations on Cuneiform Clay Tablets in Linked Open Data
Timo Homburg (Mainz University Of Applied Sciences), Hubert Mara (University of Halle-Wittenberg), Kai-Christian Bruhn (Mainz University Of Applied Sciences)

15 min. Discussion

16:15-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-17:20 Session 9: Networks
Chair: Adam Anderson (UC Berkeley)

Three Degrees of Separation: Networks in the City of Babylon during the Reign of Darius I (522–486 BCE) - Remote Talk
Jinyan Wang (University of Toronto)

Stone Tools and Archaeological Context at Tel Burna, Israel. A Network Perspective
Shih-Hung Yang (Ariel University)

10 min. Discussion

17:20-17:30 Coffee Break

17:30-18:20 Session 10: Databases, modeling, and tools
Chair: Michael Wamposzyc (Edinburgh Napier University)

Advanced Computational Tools for Qumran Scroll Research
Nachum Dershowitz (Tel Aviv University)

Digital Prosopography: Problems and Prospects - Remote Talk
Laurie Pearce (UC Berkeley)

10 min. Discussion

Tuesday, February 21

Archaeological Tour: “In the footsteps of Sennacherib: A tour of the Judean Shephelah”

08:00: Bus from the Tel Aviv hotel
09:00: Tour of Bet Shemesh and Tel Azekah conducted by Boaz Gross
13:30: Lunch
15:00: Closing forum

Chairs: Shai Gordin (Ariel University), Hubert Mara (University of Halle-Wittenberg) and Gabriel Stanovsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

When & Where

The conference will be held at the Center for Artificial Intelligence & Data Science (TAD) at Tel Aviv University and the Digital Pasts Lab, Ariel University between 19-21 February 2023. The final roundtable session will be held in an (open air) amphitheater (given preferable weather conditions), or the excavation house of Tell Burna. Shuttle services will be provided to the different venues.


TAD Tel Aviv
Check Point Building 002
Tel Aviv University,
Tel Aviv, Israel
Sourasky Central Library
Circulation Hall,
Tel Aviv University,
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Digital Pasts Lab
Building 3A, floor 3,
Ariel University,
Ramat HaGolan Street 65,
Ariel, Israel


If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us:
Digital Pasts Lab LogoAriel University LogoTel Aviv University LogoHebrew University of Jerusalem Logo