The Persepolis Fortification Archive Project (PFA)

Editorial team:
Annalisa Azzoni (Vanderbilt University: Aramaic texts)
Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre (University of Colorado: seal impressions on Aramaic texts)
Mark B. Garrison (Trinity University: seal impressions on all items)
Gene Gragg (Oriental Institute: electronic analysis of Elamite texts)
Wouter F. M. Henkelman (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris: final edition of Elamite texts from the papers of the late Richard T. Hallock)
Charles E. Jones (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University: new Elamite texts, weblog)
Matthew W. Stolper (Oriental Institute: catalogue, new Elamite texts, project oversight).

The Persepolis Fortification Archive consists of tens of thousands of clay tablets and fragments excavated in 1933 by the Oriental Institute at the Achaemenid Persian palace site of Persepolis, and loaned to the Oriental Institute for study and publication in 1935.  The tablets are administrative documents with texts in Elamite and Aramaic, and sometimes in other languages and scripts, and with impressions of thousands of cylinder seals and stamp seals.The main aims of the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project are to make useful records of the tablets, texts, and seals, and to make them available widely, continuously, as they are created and improved.  The records include conventional, high-resolution, and dynamic digital images, drawings of seal images reconstructed from multiple fragmentary  impressions, text editions, glossaries, and catalogs of seal use.  Since 2006, the Project has accumulated over 70 TB of image data, editions of over 7,500 texts, and records of over 4,000 seals.

Because OCHRE was designed to handle many kinds of information in a common framework, it offers a way to record the several languages, scripts, and lexicons of the Persepolis Fortification texts; the seals, their patterned use, and their visual language; and the physical realities of the tablets in a way that connects them (as they are were connected in antiquity and are connected on the tablets) and still lets them be broken out separately or in combinations for specialists focused on each kind of information.

Matthew W. Stolper

Professor Emeritus of Assyriology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

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