Welcome to ESPRIT -- the Engraved Stone Plaque Registry and Inquiry Tool. ESPRIT is the first comprehensive and searchable catalogue of the engraved stone plaques of late prehistoric Portugal and Spain.
I began work on ESPRIT in 2001 as a way for me to organize and analyze the large and scattered corpus of Iberian plaques, which are published in over 60 articles and books and found in over 20 museums in Spain and Portugal. It soon became clear, however, that this database could be a powerful analytical tool for other scholars and students interested in the Iberian plaques. Thus, the idea of ESPRIT was born. The spirit of ESPRIT is to make information on the Iberian plaques freely available to scholars, students, and people interested in ancient art in general. The World Wide Web seems the perfect medium for this exchange of information.
The current version of ESPRIT has over 1100 plaques found at 210 sites. ESPRIT includes most of the published plaques as well as hundreds of unpublished plaques that I was able to study in 2003, on a generous grant from the Archaeological Institute of America, Archaeology of Portugal Fund. It is difficult to know precisely how many plaques remain unpublished and in museum collections. The best estimates we have place this number at about 4000.
ESPRIT should, therefore, be considered a work in progress. It will be updated as new plaques are discovered and new information is gathered. If you have information on an existing plaque in ESPRIT or on a newly excavated plaque, please go to Updating ESPRIT.
I welcome your comments and suggestions (email@example.com) on making ESPRIT more useful to you.