Pedagogical Activities

Ancient Language Processing Colloquium of the DANES Network

Ancient languages contain rich human historical and cultural wealth. So far there has been good advancement in applying language technologies to ancient languages such as Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Latin, Ancient Greek, and Ancient Chinese, especially in the construction of digital language resources and resources to facilitate computational analysis. Ancient Language Processing aims to focus specifically on ancient languages and scripts from the emergence of writing in Mesopotamia and Egypt, to the entire world up till 800 AD. They require expert knowledge and explicit efforts to build lexicon and corpora, as well as new-designed Natural Language Processing (NLP) models. The purpose of this yearly colloquium is to bring together students and scholars of ancient history, ancient Near Eastern languages, and computer science to this subfield of NLP.

We will discuss and contrast the shared epigraphical challenges in ancient language processing: such as Latin, non-Latin and non-alphabetic scripts, Right-to-Left, transliteration conventions and fragmentary texts, and in particular, the multilingual framework to represent the morphology, syntax, and semantics, as well as machine translation models. We will analyze classical studies and consider emerging research questions in the field of ancient Near Eastern studies, in order to address them computationally using ancient language processing. Lectures will include hands-on digital philology with novel methods, code, and techniques.

For the spring 2023 program and recordings of talks follow this link

This colloquium is organized by Katrien De Graef ( and Shai Gordin ( They can be contacted with further questions. It is part of the working group on Ancient Language Processing under the Digital Ancient Near Eastern Network (DANES).

For further information please register to the DANES network by sending an email ( to the lab!