14-18 August 2023: Digital Applications in Assyriology Nordic Summer School

The Digital Applications in Assyriology Nordic Summer School will take place at the University of Helsinki, Finland, from Monday 14 - Friday 18 August 2023.

The second Digital Applications in Assyriology Nordic Summer School will take place at the University of Helsinki, Finland, from Monday 14 - Friday 18 August 2023. Deadline for independent works will be 28th of August and presented in Zoom on 1st of September 2023. The school is jointly organised by the projects Ancient Middle Eastern Nordic Network (AMENN), Geomapping Landscapes of Writing (GLoW) and Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (ANEE), and aims to provide students with a working knowledge of core digital applications for the creation, curation, analysis and visualisation of digital data. 

The five-day programme focuses specifically on real-world cases from Assyriology and related fields presented by researchers who are actively engaged with ongoing and digitally oriented research projects. Next to a solid working knowledge of digital applications and their use in the field of Assyriology, the summer school will give participating students an opportunity to meet and join in training with students from other countries, as well as a diverse range of scholars from universities in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and beyond.


The school extends over five full days, consisting of sessions with hands-on training in a variety of computing applications as well as sessions with lectures and discussions from teaching staff and invited speakers. Following the successful completion of the summer school, students will be given a choice between five project themes which they will work on independently. The independent projects will be submitted 28th of August and briefly presented and discussed with staff and the whole group in a concluding meeting in Zoom on Friday 1st of September. 

Participants who successfully complete the summer school program and independent project will receive a certificate of completion with which the students can apply to their home universities to receive study credits, 5  ECTS is recommended by the organizers. However, the summer school cannot guarantee that all universities will give study credit for the course. Grade for the course will be pass/fail and evaluation will be based on 1) participation in classes (50% of the grade)  2) project that is submitted (30%) 3) presentation based on the submitted project (20%). 

Overall, the summer school will give the participants:

  • an in-depth understanding of file formats and information search and management
  • ways of collecting, cleaning, and integrating text and data
  • knowledge of online data structures and the use of linked data
  • setting up and working with relational databases
  • basic visualisation methods for exploring and communicating data
  • structure and use of map resources and geographical information systems
  • preparing data for and working with social network analysis
  • using and exploring lexical networks
  • the ability to execute a simple digital humanities research project under supervision

Introduced and discussed programs and tools include:

  • Excel
  • OpenRefine - tool for inspecting and cleaning tabular data
  • Python version 3.9. - programming language
  • Tableau - tool to visualize tabular data
  • QGIS - free and open source GIS
  • Google Earth Pro - virtual globe desktop application, using Google satellite imagery
  • Gephi - free and open source network analytical software

Please see the image below for the detailed programme. Please note the location change from the Porthania building to Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40).


The summer school is intended for students in Assyriology and related fields without much prior experience in the application of digital tools to the study of cuneiform sources or related materials. Preference will be given to BA- and MA-level students from higher research institutions in the Scandinavian countries, but the summer school is open to participants from all nations. Applications from doctoral students will be considered as well. Note that participants will be required to bring a laptop for their personal use.

How to apply

Students who wish to participate in the summer school should submit an application (max. two pages), outlining their motivation for participating, current stage of education, courses passed, and a brief summary of any previous experience with digital applications for research. Please provide contact details for a primary teacher or course representative at your home institution whom the organisers can get in touch with in case of questions. Note that participation in the summer school is free of charge, but that participants will have to cover expenses for their own travel and accommodation. The summer school staff will be available to offer advice and guidance on travel options and places to stay.

Applications should be submitted as a single .pdf-document by email to anee-info@helsinki.fi no later than 31 March 2023. Applicants will receive confirmation of acceptance by 15th of April.  If you have any issues with this, please contact the organisers as soon as possible.

Applications are now closed and all applicants have been contacted.

Organizers and further information

The Summer School is organized by Prof Saana Svärd (University of Helsinki), Dr Lena Tambs (University of Helsinki), Dr Ellie Bennett (University of Helsinki), Dr Seraina Nett (Uppsala University and University of Copenhagen), Dr Rune Rattenborg (Uppsala University). The Summer School will also feature Aleksi Sahala (University of Helsinki) and Émilie Pagé-Perron (Oxford University and Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative) as teachers.

For questions and inquiries, please contact the organizers at this address: anee-info@helsinki.fi.