View Full Version : The Ethnoraphic Database project

03-28-2007, 03:35 PM
An interesting project that is, really, just starting. At the moment, they have bandwidth issues but, if they generate interest it could be very useful.

The Ethnographic Database Project (EDP) is a web-based tool for the collection of comparative ethnographic data. The EDP enables anthropologists to enter information about their field research using a set of standard codes developed for cross-cultural application; the codes relate to a society’s organization, kinship and marriage practices, subsistence economy, and pattern of sexual division of labor. The EDP is in the form of a web-based questionnaire, which can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet.

The EDP aims to complement widely-used comparative ethnographic datasets such as the Ethnographic Atlas and the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample by: (i) obtaining data directly from anthropologists who conducted field research in the societies of interest, (ii) using standard codes developed for cross-cultural application for all societies, (iii) expanding the range of societies for which coded ethnographic data are available.

The first stage of the EDP includes societies speaking Indo-European languages, which are underrepresented in the existing ethnographic databases. We welcome contributions from researchers who have conducted fieldwork in societies speaking these languages.

Visit the EDP website at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucsalfo/EDP (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/%7Eucsalfo/EDP/) to read more about this project, to view a sample version of the EDP, and to find out how to contribute. Please forward this link to anyone who may be interested in this project!

03-28-2007, 06:50 PM
Hi Marc !
Overall, I think this will be an exciting database. Not just for Anthro lessons, but folks with language backgrounds or merely those with a desire to know a little more than how to say 'Bravo Sierra' in 27 languages :wry:

I remain however skeptical.

As good as this DB promises to be, and more importantly the list of scholars that are or will be contributing to it, everyone is content with "Three Baltic states but only two Baltic Languages" placing Estonian under Finnish.

One couldn't be more off the mark. You would not only really PO the Estonians, but to some extent the (sober) Finns as well.

Estonian doesn't merely fall under the Finnic branch. Estonia share similarities, but also tends to borrow somewhat more from the Ugric branch. Primarily Hungarian - albeit very old Hungarian.

EDP asks: "How can I contribute to the EDP ? The data you contribute will be made freely available on this website exclusively for the purpose of cross-cultural research."

We may need to send Greg over much sooner and get this DB straight once and for all. It's already been 800 years, and time is a wasting :D

Regards, Stan

03-28-2007, 06:55 PM
Hi Stan,

LOLOL! I have a feeling that it will be a while before they get their act fully together.:D

On the old Ugric / Hungarian angle, if I remember correctly, there was a Hungarian archaeologist in the 1950's and 1960's who tracked early Hungarian words back to Sumerian roots via the Ukraine. Makes me wonder why they would go north to Estonia :eek:.


03-28-2007, 07:12 PM
As I recall from my language and cultural lessons in 95, Hungarian's closest relatives were found in central Siberia - fine folks know as Ostyak and Vogul (who ?).

That's pretty close to the Ukraine :rolleyes:

Sumarian mythology has it that one was sitting along the Euphrates with herds of sheep and goats, and pondered over the Estonian women in mid-summer.....seriously !

If you come over and see the women, the migration from Siberia to Tallinn will no longer perplex you :cool: