MaSNaqtu is an interdisciplinary project group based at the University of Basel. Interested in the material and literary culture of the ancient Near East as well as in computer science, its members seek to fruitfully process the growing ANE big data. Therefore, the project builds a relational database integrating different available sets of data along with ones curated by us with the aim to enrich contemporary research with new perspectives and innovative approaches to classical research questions with a main focus on the 1st millennium BCE on the one hand, and participating in shaping future Digital Humanities emphasizing the importance of sustainability and linked open data on the other hand.

MaSNaqtu is inspired by the Akkadian masnaqtu, a word best translated with “check”, “verification” (dt. Prüfung, Überprüfung). The term is used when referring to the checks a person undergoes when entering a city gate and the verification of quality of merchandise (dt. Überprüfung der Qualität der Waren [Brot, Bier usw.], cf. W. von Soden, “Zum akkadischen Wörterbuch. 31–40”, Orientalia 18/4 [1949], 385–403, entry 38, 398–399.). In a similar way we are concerned with the quality control of the data sets and the checks (and amendments) data has to undergo before being granted entry into our database.



Nesina Grütter, PhD: PostDoc/Senior Assistant at the Department of
Old Testament and Semitics, Faculty of Theology, University of Basel

Margareth Warburton, B.Sc. in Computational Physics
currently master student in Integrative Prehistory and Archaeological Science, Faculty of Sciences, University of Basel
HiWi at IFS/SICF (Swiss Inventory of Coin Finds, since 2018) and BEBB (Basler Edition der Bernoulli-Briefwechsel, since 2020)

Samuel Gasser, B.Sc. in Computer Science (Faculty of Sciences, University of Basel), with special interest in crowdsourcing and gamification; independent


Upcoming Events:

July 2023 "Bug or Feature? V4.0"
MaSNaqtu is again part of the organizing committee, details TBA.


Paper presentations:

"Case study: Waiting for Godot."
at "Bug or Feature? V3.0", Virtual Symposium for Early Career Scholars, Basel/Zoom, July 7, 2022.

"Reviving Completed Projects: Upcycling through Digitisation"
at "Bug or Feature? V2.0”, Virtual Symposium for Early Career Scholars to discuss current Ideas, Projects, and Research in the Digital Humanities, Basel/Zoom, July 8 and 9, 2021.

"Mapping related interatextual and extratextual Geodata"
at "Bug or Feature?”, Online Symposium for Early Career Scholars in the Digital Humanities, University of Basel, July 9 and 10, 2020.