Gāndhārī Relic Inscriptions
The READ Workbench platform has been enhanced to support IIIF Annotation. An end-to-end workflow has been implemented to support art historians and philologists to collaborate on the analysis of inscribed items and is being piloted on Buddha statues, steles and reliquaries.
Workbench 3.2 was released in April 2022. The 3.2 release includes support for annotation of IIIF. The Workbench Image Annotation feature supports flexible annotation of both art historical features and inscriptions and the relationships between them. Any area of an image can be outlined, and semantic Tags applied from taxonomies in standards-based formats. Annotations can be elaborated with extensive notes and external links.
The Gāndhārī Relic Inscriptions project has piloted the integration of an inscription with a 3D model of the reliquary. Using the Theodotus Reliquary we have developed the methods to implement granular two-way synchronisation of a digital edition with the 3D model of that item.
Researchers can manipulate the 3D model and see the transliteration of each character and the translation of each word as annotations. Alternatively, they might conduct their research from the aspect of an edition, and select a word to zoom the 3D model to the optimal camera angle. The 3D integration capability was developed in partnership between Lahore University of Management Sciences, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Sydney and Prakaś Foundation. The 3D integration has proven productive as a pedagogic tool and has significant potential for immersive visualisation applications.
The Gāndhārī Relic Inscriptions project has commenced publishing an initial tranche of draft inscriptions. These digital publications are notable in that they are the first examples of ‘cubed texts’. Our Text Cubing methodology encapsulates and exposes the scholarly history of a text. An initial reference edition (often from a catalogue published in the 1920’s) is successively cloned and edited, to generate a rendition of each of the subsequent editions published over the last century. The process attributes each of the innovations of subsequent editors at their most granular. The work of the contemporary researcher in developing their own edition, adding new readings and interpretations, is predicated upon this homage to previous scholarship.