Original location of the text-bearing object


As discussed in the general section on provenance, information about the origin and subsequent history of a text-bearing object is collected in a history element that is part of the msDesc in the teiHeader. An origin element is used within history, and its child element origPlace is used for topographic and geographic assertions associated with the object's origin. origPlace is normally accompanied by an origDate element (q.v.), which is used to encode information about the date of origin.

Relevant element documentation (TEI):

origPlace has the same basic content model in the TEI as a p (paragraph) tag, so its contents can range from plain text to highly structured and cross-linked data (or a combination of both).

origPlace can carry both the type and subtype attributes. EpiDoc does not require the use of these attributes, nor does it constrain their values via the schema; however, the following values for the type attribute are recommended if useful for a given project:

composedplace of original (ancient) composition of the text
executedplace of original (ancient) execution of the text; i.e., where the physical support was when the text we have was placed upon it
sentfor a letter or other transmitted document: whence it was dispatched in antiquity
receivedfor a letter or other transmitted document: where it was delivered in antiquity
storedfor a portable document, such as a codex or papyrus roll, where it was habitually stored in antiquity

The following examples illustrate some of the options.

Plain-text examples

A simple, plain-text example that assumes a narrow topographic context implied by the framing publication or corpus:

<origPlace>Probably from the cella wall.</origPlace>

A more expanded example providing geographic context might be written thus:

<origPlace>Probably from the cella wall of the temple of Aphrodite at Aphrodisias.</origPlace>

A plain-text assertion that the place of origin is coincident with the place of finding (which is presumably described appropriately in a provenance element elsewhere in the history):


TEI markup can be added to deal with a wide variety of details, as in this example where multiple languages and writing systems are used:

<origPlace ref="origPlace.xml#p003n="1">
 <seg xml:lang="ru">Херсон</seg>
 <seg xml:lang="en">Chersonesos</seg>

Structured data and links to gazetteers and other controlled vocabularies

Best practice is to mark placenames as such, using the appropriate TEI placeName element:

<origPlace>All commentators agree that the altar must originally have been placed somewhere on the
site of ancient <placeName type="ancient">Veii</placeName>.</origPlace>

The information in the origPlace could be linked to an internal list of places/monuments with a key

<origPlace>Perhaps <rs type="monuListkey="db1047">Shrine of the

The ref attribute can be used to link to a project-specific or external list or gazetteer that makes use of HTTP Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to identify individual structures or places:

<origPlace>Perhaps from the <rs type="monuListkey="db1047">Shrine of the Dioscuri</rs>
at <placeName ref="http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/423025">Rome</placeName>.</origPlace>

Linking place of origin to place of finding

In one of the simple examples above, the word "Findspot" was put inside origPlace to assert that the text-bearing object was found in situ. Some projects may want to be able to use software to identify programmatically and exploit such situations for fuller output, map-making, index creation, and the like. It is possible to write a script or transform that, upon encountering such a construct, attempts to look up a provenance element with the standard type="found" attribute value in the same file; however, it is not difficult to make such a cross reference more readily machine actionable in the XML. By using the corresp attribute to link origPlace to a provenance element that carries an xml:id attribute with a matching value, such connections are rendered more consistent and reliable. Note that any corresponding ID value could be used; "findspot" was chosen for this example because it is readily meaningful to the human reader.

  <origPlace corresp="#findspot">Findspot.</origPlace>
 <provenance xml:id="findspottype="found">Found in the Carrer de Llibreteria,

The same technique is used in this extended example:

<history>    <origin>   <origPlace corresp="#findspot-1">    The shrine of  <placeName type="modern"
Drang Lai</placeName>     in the town (<foreign>thị xã</foreign>) of Ayun Pa (formerly Cheo Reo), in the modern     province of Gia Lai.   </origPlace>  </origin>    <provenance xml:id="findspot-1"
  <ab>The inscription was first mentioned as being at     <placeName type="modern"
Cheo Reo</placeName> in a report,     based on observations of <quote>an annamite</quote>, from missionary J.-B. Guerlach     cited in BEFEO 1 (1901), p. 413.</ab>  </provenance>    <provenance type="observedwhen="1902">   <ab>It was observed again by a certain Stenger (see BEFEO and 2 (1902), p. 227);     presence at “Cheo Reo” described by <bibl><ptr target="cic-bibl:parmentier-1902"/>:     282</bibl>; proper provenance ascertained by Prosper Odend’hal in 1903 (see     <bibl><ptr target="cic-bibl:finot-1904b"/>: 535</bibl>). The stela was described in     <bibl><ptr target="cic-bibl:parmentier-1909"/>: 562-563</bibl>.<note>Two published     photographs show the stela when it was placed at the temple of Yang Mum: fig. 129 on     <bibl><ptr target="cic-bibl:parmentier-1909"/>: 561</bibl> and photo 181 in     <bibl><ptr target="cic-bibl:ghesquiere-2005"/></bibl>.</note></ab>  </provenance>    <provenance type="observedwhen="1927">   <ab>It was received at the EFEO Museum in Tourane in 1927, as reported in BEFEO 27,     p. 460.<note><quote>Le Musée a reçu par les soins du Résident de Kontum les sculptures     et inscriptions provenant de Draṅ-lai et de Yaṅ Mum qui avaient été groupées à la     Résidence. C’est ainsi que la grande statue de Çiva qui trônait sur l’autel du temple     de Yaṅ Mum (<hi rend="italic">IC.</hi>, I, p. 561), le Çiva sur Nandin, le petit Çiva     assis devant un chevet inscrit au dos, et la stèle inscrite sur trois faces     (<hi rend="italic">ibid.</hi>, p. 562, Liste Cœdès, C. 42-43), ces trois dernières     pièces provenant de Draṅ-lai, ont trouvé au Musée un asile plus sûr que celui qu’il     avait été possible de leur assurer jusqu’ici.</quote></note></ab>  </provenance>    <provenance type="observedwhen="1986">   <ab>The stela was removed from the Museum under unknown circumstances at an unknown     point of time, no doubt during the turbulent period between WW II and Vietnamese     reunification in 1975. It resurfaced when it was acquired by the Museum of Fine Art     in Boston (USA) in 1986, where it was recorded under <ptr target="#inv-MFA"/>.</ab>  </provenance>   </history>

Responsibility for this section

  1. Simona Stoyanova, author
  2. Tom Elliott, author
  3. Arlo Griffiths, author
  4. James Cowey, author
  5. Scott Vanderbilt, author

EpiDoc version: 9.5

Date: 2023-04-26