Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD)

abydos proskynemata

Ptolemaic and Roman proskynemata on a bas-relief of Isis at the Temple of Seti I in Abydos (Abdju). Photograph Kyriakos Savvopoulos

Based in the Faculty of Classics CSAD is one of the world’s foremost centres for the study of the documentary evidence for the ancient world. It hosts projects of national and international significance for studying the interplay of epigraphic cultures in antiquity, with a particular focus on Greek and Roman epigraphy. CSAD maintains close links with the related disciplines of papyrology, numismatics and prosopography. 

At the core of CSAD’s holdings lies a rich archive of notebooks, drawings and photographs, and one of the world’s largest collections of squeezes - a unique resource for palaeographic enquiry - donated by some of the great figures in the field. It includes the squeeze collections of George Forrest, Peter Fraser, David Lewis and Susan Sherwin-White, as well as the archives of Sir William Ramsay, Sir William Calder, Sir Christopher Cox, Theodore Wade-Gery, Michael Balance and Anne Jeffery. 

Since its foundation in 1995, the Centre has been home to research projects devoted to such disparate areas as Hadrian’s Wall, Asia Minor, Bactria, Sicily and Ptolemaic Egypt. CSAD has been a world leader in the development of new techniques and technologies for the study and presentation of ancient documentary sources. Work with Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) has led to enhanced reading of the Vindolanda tablets and the new ‘Bloomberg’ tablets from London. We are home to a number of TEI-based (EPIDOC) projects for the enhanced digital presentation of epigraphic texts. We work in collaboration with Oxford E-Research Centre and colleagues around the world in the development of new Linked Open Data resources in the fields of numismatics and sigillography.


Further details:

Director: Prof Andrew Meadows

Assitant Director: Dr Charles Crowther

Website: www.csad.ox.ac.uk

csad logo