Georgian Epigraphy

Digital analysis of epigraphic monuments. Pilot project on the epigraphic record of Georgia.

Institute(s): Goethe University

Financed with funds from the project-executing agency: Dec. 2015 – Oct. 2016 as pilot project

Project collaborators

Dr. Lela Samushia, Goethe University
Dr. Armin Hoenen, Goethe University


The aim of the pilot project is to develop a database system capable of mapping and evaluating the many interrelationships that characterize inscribed language monuments with their various components: Author, writer, addressee, location, occasion or reference, historical context. This goal is achieved through a series of consecutive steps. First of all, the foundations must be created on the basis of which further data structure processing programs can be analytically active. An example corpus fulfilling this function was obtained from the digitisation of the Georgian corpus of inscriptions, electronically processed by the Georgian National Museum. At the same time, the Georgian abbreviation tradition is provisionally characterised and located in the overall field of ancient and modern abbreviation practices, taking into account language type and syntax.

Entries have been enriched with specific information: a metadata annotation mask further developed within the project allows the metadata of each inscription to be captured, including, for example, important data points such as the location of the find (exact geodetic data) and the function of an inscription. Another internally developed tool is an annotation platform that has been adapted to the particularities of Georgian epigraphy (GEpiTate). The data provided by the annotated sample corpus are semantically evaluated and made searchable in a final step (in progress).

Results will be incorporated into the Georgian National Corpus and the primary readings of the inscriptions will be made searchable there.


metadata annotation mask
GEpiTate Annotation Tool for Epigraphic Monuments

Relevant publications

  • Armin Hoenen, Lela Samushia. 2016. Gepi: An Epigraphic Corpus for Old Georgian and a Tool Sketch for Aiding Reconstruction. JLCL 31(2) pp. 25-38.
  • Armin Hoenen, Lela Samushia. Principles Aiding in Reading Abbreviations in Old Georgian and Latin. DHd Köln – Kritik der digitalen Vernunft: Book of Abstracts. 2018.


  • Reconstructing small epigraphic gaps assessing the use of recently created text in historical languages to overcome data sparsity. (presented at CRiLL-HL 2016)
  • Armin Hoenen, Lela Samushia: Principles Aiding in Reading Abbreviations in OldGeorgian and Latin. (presented at DHd 2018)

For further information

Cooperation with the Georgian National Corpus.
In order to network with other projects the CEDIFOR/GLCL workshop CRiLL-HL (Corpora and Resources for Low Resource Languages with a focus on Historical Languages) was organized and conducted (publication in JLCL) with a submission and presentations from the project.