NEH – Mellon Grant to Federico Buccellati

The Alexandria Archive Institute, the nonprofit organization behind Open Context, is very pleased to announce that Dr. Federico Buccellati will join us in 2017 as a Research Fellow, thanks to the generous support of his project by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Federico is the principal investigator of an innovative publication project that makes the study of ancient architecture and the logistics of constructing monumental buildings more reproducible. His project, A Web-Based Energetics Calculator for Ancient Architecture, is described below:

Architecture is one of the main elements of material culture that archaeologists find in the archaeological record. One of the most important aspects of architecture is the process of construction leading up to the first use of the building. Cost-calculation-algorithms can be applied to the volumes of ancient architecture to explore the temporal, material or energetic ‘cost’ of the steps of that process. Up to now this has been done on an ad-hoc basis, with scholars finding appropriate comparisons.
This project will produce an interactive interface where scholars enter volumetric data from their research. The algorithms draw from a wide variety of sources from across diverse cultural spheres. The final result will be a web-based interface published on GitHub so that future scholars can add to the algorithms and sources.

We are very excited about this project because it ties together the types of data we work to curate with the kinds of reproducible analyses needed to strengthen the rigor of our knowledge about the past. The Alexandria Archive Institute and Open Context will provide Federico with technical assistance and support in developing, disseminating and preserving his publication outcomes.

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