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Home » News » Dr. Carrasco Awarded NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant

Dr. Carrasco Awarded NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant

Published April 25, 2014

CarrascoNEH_CVATDArt History Associate Professor Michael D. Carrasco was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant, Level II $60,000 (2014-2015) to support The Mesoamerican Corpus of Formative Period Art and Writing. This is a collaborative, multidisciplinary project among Drs. Carrasco, Joshua Englehardt (Centro de Estudios Arqueológicos, El Colegio de Michoacán), and Dennis Slice (FSU’s Department of Scientific Computing). The project will also involve graduate student researchers Lesley Wolff from the Department of Art History and Cameron Berkley from the Morphometrics Lab (Department of Scientific Computing). The grant was the only NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to be awarded to a Florida researcher this year.

Exciting new discoveries and four decades of intensive research have provided a clear view of the steps spanning art and writing in Mesoamerica that potentially illustrate the critical moment when writing was invented. This project will significantly advance research on this period of transition from iconography to phonetic scripts and thereby test current hypotheses on the emergence of writing in one of the few locations in the world where writing developed. By combining new archaeological finds with poorly documented data gleaned from disparate, restricted sources into a centralized database, and creating a suite of analytic digital tools accessible through web and mobile device applications, the Corpus project will allow investigators to consider the evidence in a new light, generate new hypotheses, and reassess the critical role of Olmec art in the invention of writing in the Americas.