The aim of the SeLECT project is to develop a web-based cartographic tool that provides information on ancient European cultures and languages before the Roman and Greek expansion (the SeLECT Atlas). The tool is an online GIS application and is mainly based on geographical, historical, and archaeological data provided by the scientific partners of the project.
The data is stored in a FileMaker database, which contains ca. 30.000 records to date. These records are organised in 41 different sub-databases representing the datasets submitted by the scientific partners. These data have been and are still being normalised by the FEF.
The database contains information on places (normalised for European municipalities), chronology (normalised for centuries from 1000 b.C. until 300 a.C.), languages (such as Celtiberian, Raetic, or Oscan), archaeological data (such as a typology of objects or sites), writing systems (e.g., Greek, Latin, Phoenician, or Etruscan script) and writing directions (or ductus, e.g., left to right, right to left, boustrophedon, etc.).
The data can be exported from the database (e.g., as a CSV file) and then imported as data points into cartographic software. This allows not only the development of a web-based mapping tool, but also the creation of thousands of individual maps on archaeological cultures, languages, writing systems and writing direction in different time periods (centuries) and geographical areas. These maps can be used together with the web-based SeLECT atlas for scientific and educational purposes.
Overview over the SeLECT DB and its contents:
- The dataset “Archaic Latin” contains 194 records of inscriptions of an archaic form of Latin.
- The subsets “Balkans” and “Balkan identities” contain 88 records of archaeological findings and inscriptions of the ancient cultures in South-Eastern Europe, such as Thracian, Ancient Macedonian, Illyrian, and Dacian.
- The subset “Basilicata facies” contains 231 records of archaeological cultures in the Basilicata region such as Enotrian, Greek, or Lucanian.
- The 281 records in the collection “Calabria” contain data of Oenotrian, Greek, Siculian, Lucanian, and Brettian facies.
- The subset “Camuno” consists of 230 records containing information about inscriptions in Camunic, Celtic, Raetic and Latin.
- The “Cecas” dataset contains 130 records of mints located in the Iberian Peninsula.
- The subset “Cisalpine Celtic” contains 386 records of Celtic inscriptions in found and located in Northern Italy.
- The dataset “Coins” contains 103 records of Etruscan, Sabellian, and Cisalpine Celtic coins found in the Appenine Peninsula.
- The “Facies Gaule” dataset consists of 383 records of archaeological sites from Celtic Gallia.
- In the dataset “Falisco”, 430 records of Faliscan, Sabellic, and Latin inscriptions can be found.
- The subset “Golasecca” contains 64 records of the Golasecca culture in Northern Italy.
- The database “Hesperia” is the second largest subset in DB Select. It includes 3908 records from the Iberian Peninsula and refers to ancient inscriptions in Celtiberian, Iberian, and Tartessian, as well as in Greek and Phoenician.
- The subset “MLM” consists of 620 records of Messapic inscriptions in Apulia. It is based on the work Monumentae Linguae Messapica (MLM, edited by Marchesini and de Simone 2002).
- The data in “MLR” is based on the publication Monumentae Linguae Raeticae (edited by Marchesini and Roncador 2015) and contains 367 records of Raetic inscriptions.
- The 320 records of the subset “Phoenician Inscriptions IP” refer to inscriptions in Phoenician language found in the Iberian Peninsula.
- The “Puglia Facies” dataset contains 387 records of archaeological cultures in Apulia, e.g., Iapigian or Daunian.
- The dataset “Punic” contains 136 records of Phoenician inscriptions from Sardegna and Sicily.
- The “RIIG” inscriptions come from the online database Recueil informatisé des inscriptions gauloises (RIIG, https://riig.huma-num.fr/). It contains 429 Gaulish inscriptions in Greek and Latin script.
- In the dataset “Sabellian languages”, 950 records of (mainly) Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, and Sabine inscriptions are contained.
- The database “Santuarios” contains 58 records of sanctuaries and mints in the Iberian Peninsula.
- The dataset “Sicily2” consists of 148 inscriptions from Ancient Sicily in Elymian, Siculian, and Sicanian language.
- The “Palaeohispanic Inscriptions” contain 154 Iberian and Tartessian inscriptions coming from the Iberian Peninsula.
- The dataset “Venetico” includes 436 records of Venetic inscriptions.
- The dataset “Magna Graecia” consists of 40 records of Greek and Phoenician inscriptions in Southern Italy.
- The database “Etruskische Texte” is the largest data set in the database. It is based on the publication Etruskische Texte by Rix and Meiser (1991) and contains 9751 Etruscan inscriptions.
- The dataset “Liguria” includes 112 records of archaeological facies in Liguria.
- The dataset “Italia La Tène” contains 440 records of archaeological facies in the Appenine Peninsula mostly from the La Tène culture.
- The subset “Golasecca Facies” consists of 64 records of archaeological facies of the Golasecca culture.
- The 140 records in the “Raetia Facies” dataset refer to archaeological sites of the Laugen-Melaun culture and the Fritzens-Sanzeno (or Raetian) culture.
- The 149 records of “Celtiberian Facies” refer to archaeological facies of the Celtiberian culture in the Iberian Peninsula.
- The subset “Facies Etruria e Lazio” contains 253 records of archaeological sites in ancient Etruria and Latium.
- The dataset “Italia facies Veneto” includes 360 records of archaeological facies in the Veneto area such as Venetic, Fritzens-Sanzeno, or Roman Celtic.
- The dataset “Italia Fenicio Punico” contains 136 records of Phoenician inscriptions in Sicily, Sardegna, and the Apennine Peninsula.
- The subset “Post-MLM” contains 116 records of Messapic inscriptions in Apulia, which were found and catalogued after the publication of Monumentae Linguae Messapica.
- The subset “Tabulae Iguvinae” contains the 11 records of the Iguvine Tablets in Umbrian language.
- The “Siti Emilia Romagna” dataset includes 219 records of archaeological facies in the Emilia Romagna region.
Besides preparing the SeLECT DB, FEF produces sample maps and new GIS base map files connected with databases populated by the provided data. The maps you find in [insert exact location] have been realised by QGIS desktop and several plug-ins. The data on which they are based come from the SeLECT DB, but they may contain fields which are not part of the online SeLECT atlas. Moreover, the database allows us to calculate different kinds of statistics, the results of which can be used to create four kinds of maps: sub-descriptive, descriptive, analytic, and synthetic maps.
Descriptive maps are the primary representation of the original data, positioned on a general map without any further analysis. Sub-descriptive maps are created by integrating additional data, such as previously published scientific literature, images, and multimedia elements, into the descriptive maps. Analytic maps involve the analysis and classification of data, representing it in an ordered and structured way using dots, lines, and areas. Finally, synthetic maps combine data from different sources and analyses and point out correlations and connections among distinct phenomena, letting new configurations emerge.
The SeLECT project utilizes various cartographic techniques, such as location maps, choropleth maps, proportional circle maps, coloured proportional circle maps, heat maps, and grid maps. Location maps provide descriptive information about specific locations using symbols and geometric shapes. Choropleth maps are used to represent nominal and numerical variables through colours. Proportional circle maps represent absolute values. Coloured proportional circle maps combine different colours for each attribute of the same variable, but readability decreases with an increased number of attributes. Heat maps use colour to show the magnitude of a phenomenon in two dimensions based on punctual information, making them useful for discontinuous elements. Grid maps use a regular grid to divide the territory and are useful for analysing fragmented and inhomogeneous data. Each map is accompanied by a title, scale, legend, framing, and toponymy to enhance readability and clarity.
An overview of available sample maps can be found at: map_library
AELAW – Ancient European Languages and Writings
La Universidad de Zaragoza (2023): AELAW – Ancient European Languages and Writings. Available online at http://www.aelaw.unizar.es, checked on 9/8/2023.
Departamento de Filología Griega y Lingüística Indoeuropea, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2005): Hesperia. Banco de datos de lenguas paleohispánicas. Available online at http://hesperia.ucm.es/, updated on 8/30/2023, checked on 8/31/2023.
Ancient World Mapping Center, New York University, and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2000, 2008): Pleiades. Available online at https://pleiades.stoa.org/, checked on 8/31/2023.
-> There are also download links for Github or Zenodo for the DB, with more specific information like DOI etc. (https://pleiades.stoa.org/downloads), if we want to cite the DB, not the website
OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF): OpenStreetMap. Available online at https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright, checked on 8/31/2023.
-> Please use this link, because the editors wanted to have the link to the copyright page/ licence page.
Natural Earth (2009-2023): Natural Earth. Available online at https://www.naturalearthdata.com/, checked on 8/31/2023.
Ancient World Mapping Center
Ancient World Mapping Center, New York University: Ancient World Mapping Center. Available online at http://awmc.unc.edu/wordpress/, checked on 8/31/2023.
-> If we have use a specific resource e.g. a special shape file, this should be mentioned (suggestion by the editors: http://awmc.unc.edu/wordpress/faq/)
QGIS. A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System. Available online at https://www.qgis.org/en/site/, checked on 9/8/2023.
-> QGIS Server is part of QGIS / can be found at the QGIS homepage
Associazione Italiana per l’Informazione Geografica Libera – GFOSS (https://www.gfoss.it): Stefano Campus, Roberto Pispico, Andrea Mocco.
The SELECT Atlas contains evidence of the languages and cultures of Ancient Europe before Rome.
Research can be carried out on the written records that these ancient populations left us and the macroscopic aspects of their material cultures (facies).
In the Atlas, you can find:
– List and location of all the written records (epigraphy) of European pre-Roman cultures. Images and texts of single inscriptions are not available.
– List and positioning of ancient sites, distributed by type: settlements, necropolises, cult places, harbours.
The records referring to the archaeological cultures do not pretend to be exhaustive. The list of sites is not intended to be complete. They provide information on the macro-periods and archaeological cultures related to the populations who have left written documents. Only sites that have been confirmed with certainty are shown on the map. Due to the scarcity of archaeological sites in Poland, we have included surface finds in the map and only in a few specific cases settlements or necropolises. These attestations, belonging to the Latenian culture, do not necessarily indicate the settled presence of Celts on the territory of ancient Poland but may show contacts with the Celtic world.
– Modern toponyms
– Ancient map with coastlines
– Modern map
– Clickable pop-up windows appear on the maps with the search results displaying the most important archaeological or epigraphic information for each record in the list.
– Chronological determination for each record, given as a coloured bar: centuries are highlighted in different colours
– Referring infographics samples for each epigraphic or archaeological culture are given. In the epigraphic infographics, we have added some translations of texts. The sign '?' indicates unsure text content. In languages of fragmentary attestation, translations of texts are often subject to revision, so we encourage users to consider them only as a starting point rather than an endpoint for understanding them.
The European Regions included in the Atlas are:
For some Eastern European countries, we have very poor epigraphic documentation and different kinds of information: personal names, place names, people names, and glossae (annotations) of ancient authors.
These regions include Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia, and European Turkey.
The SELECT Atlas considers the civilisations of ancient Europe from the earliest written records of the 8th century B.C. to the age of Romanisation. The stage of Romanisation varies from region to region, so the upper chronological limit may also vary. In some areas, local populations continued to produce written documents in their language or use the Latin alphabet until the 1st century AD. In others, Rome’s conquest was more radical; from the 2nd century BC, no more writing was done.
The ATLAS consists of two parts: the map library (EXAMPLES), consisting of selected thematic
cartography, and the Map Manager, the tool for building the desired map.
The Map Manager offers three possibilities:
– Wizard: By entering a keyword, you can get all results contained in the Select database and select the one(s) of interest
– Advanced Search: Here, you can select the type of data (Epigraphy or Archaeology) and then select the fields of interest in the box below. Different kinds of layouts are available for background maps: modern and ancient. In the Advanced Search, you can also select specific record types (e.g. site type or epigraphic support type).
In both cases, it is possible to activate the geographical filter on the right of the screen.
The ancient peoples considered are listed in alphabetical order. In most cases, their names (ethnonyms) are
given by Greek and Latin authors.
The ancient peoples registered in the Atlas are:
Latins (only of the archaic times)
Sabellians (Oscans and Umbrians)
Populations of the Southwestern Hispanic Peninsula