A Theoretical Framework for Stigmergetic Reconstruction of Ancient Text

  • Eugene Ch′ngEmail author
  • Andrew Lewis
  • Rolf Erlend Gehlken
  • Sandra I. Woolley
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


Cuneiform script, an intellectual breakthrough 5,000 years ago, made recording information possible. Cuneiform is mankind’s first ever script, recorded and communicated using clay tablets for thousands of years across the entirety of the Ancient Near East. Remnants of the medium are now stored worldwide in many of collections and time required for the joining of the fragments using traditional methodologies means that the information recorded within these fragments will not be known in our lifetime. The research narrated in this chapter opens up a novel method for reconstructing the fragments, using nature-inspired approaches and new mobile digitising technology. It covers groundwork done to date for supporting a full-scale stigmergy reconstruction of cuneiform tablets and provides hypothetical scenarios within a theoretical framework for testing ‘in the wild’.


Complexity Stigmergy Stigmergetic Stimuli-response Cooperative Collaboration Cuneiform Reconstruction Fragments 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of The Leverhulme Trust research grant number F000 94 BP, and the multidisciplinary support of the University of Birmingham’s Digital Humanities Hub.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene Ch′ng
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Andrew Lewis
    • 1
  • Rolf Erlend Gehlken
    • 3
  • Sandra I. Woolley
    • 2
  1. 1.IBM Visual and Spatial Technology CentreUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUK
  2. 2.Electronic Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUK
  3. 3.Institut für Archaeologische WissenschaftenGoethe-UniversitätFrankfurtGermany
  4. 4.Centre for Creative Content and Digital InnovationUniversiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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