Biblical studies are becoming global occupations. They are coalescing into a singular, increasingly coordinated, universal occupation. The parochial, particular, and narrow study of the Biblical studies is becoming things of the past. Much of this movement is due to the advent, application, and flexibility of the computer.
The new Levantine Ceramics Project (LCP) at www.levantineceramics.org, for example, is a model for communicating about and linking the expanding volume of ceramic data.
The LCP is a universally open-access, crowd-sourced public web application (software that is hosted on the web) devoted to the comprehensive and universal inventory of the ceramics produced anywhere in the areas of the Middle East (Turkey, Syria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Egypt) from the Neolithic era (c. 5500 BCE) through the Ottoman rule (c. 1920 CE).
This means the the possibility of submission, search, browsing, display, attribution, provenance, description, drawing of every ceramic artifact in a single location. The number of such items may be in the millions. The website is universally accessible and usable. No other repository is comparable or could be better. It can only improve in its universality.
Biblical studies, in many sub-disciplines, are reaching for universality in cooperation, access, and transparency as part of an even larger human search for truth in our past.
Resources: A. Berlin, “Pottery in the Computer Age” in Biblical Archaeology Review (September/October 2016) at p.24f. The image is from this article.