The University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences (AAS) have a long tradition of research on ancient South Arabia. The Austrian scholar Eduard Glaser collected a lot of material in Yemen during the 1880s and 1890s. His estate consists of artefacts, squeezes, diaries and other manuscripts, photographs, notes, books, and articles about this fascinating region of the Near East. An important part of this estate is now preserved at the AAS (where it has been dealt with in two earlier projects).
That said, the artefacts are currently spread all over the world, making it extremely difficult for researchers in South Arabian epigraphy and architecture, ethnology, geography, linguistics, and history to get a full picture of what Glaser has gathered.
GlaViWo seeks to collect all available information on Glaser’s collection, store it in a single database, and present it in the most modern way available, namely in a 3D virtual world which will be created dynamically depending on the users’ requests.
This virtual open-access system will not only make research by scholars much easier but will also attract young people to the field. With this in mind, we will present an outline of the proposed project at the most important conference for ancient South Arabian studies (Rencontres Sabéennes) as a role model for presenting scientific contents, as well as at universities to attract pupils’ interest in this field.
Having experts in each of these disciplines based in Vienna greatly benefits science.
Virtual reality, Ancient South Arabia, knowledge management, artefacts, Eduard Glaser