Upload is part of the interdisciplinary research project From Object to Icon, conducted at the Institute for Egyptology in cooperation with the research group Multimedia Information Systems at the University of Vienna (funded by the Austrian Science Fund, project number P 25958). It is based on the research that was initiated with the project MeKeTRE (Middle Kingdom Tomb Relief Evolution), in the course of which we have started to systematically collect, research, and study the reliefs and paintings of Middle Kingdom tombs of Ancient Egypt. For more details on the projects click here.
The data collected so far are available online in the MEKETREpositorythat has been developed in order to serve public use. It provides users with a collection of themes and scenes attested in the decorative programme of the tombs of officials datable to the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom (ca. 2150–1640 BC) and encompasses plans, images (drawings and photographs), descriptions as well as references.
Upload constitutes a crowd sourcing approach that is ideally suited to enrich the MEKETREpository. It is a platform enabling users to upload unrestricted high-quality photographs depicting relevant art items in Middle Kingdom tombs, provide annotations, or suggest inclusion of new thesaurus terms. It offers an easy-to-use interface through which everyone can share private photo collections and perform simple repetitive but highly helpful tasks, thereby contributing to the scholarly enterprise. Upload is meant to engage both scholars as well as the interested public.
The expected results are twofold: First, we aim to acquire extensive material (especially photographs) that has the potential to complement the MEKETREpository. All data of sufficient quality gathered through Upload will be regularly transferred to the repository and certainly improve its usability. Second, the methods developed and applied in the implementation and data gathering process will constitute a contribution on their own, hopefully providing valuable insights about quality assessment and integration of data coming from citizen science projects.
Utilizing a crowd sourcing approach to support the work of Egyptologists is a novel yet promising way to assist the workflow of scholars.