Electra Atlantis: Digital Approaches to Antiquity


Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

This feed aggregator is part of the Planet Atlantides constellation. Its current content is available in multiple webfeed formats, including Atom, RSS/RDF and RSS 1.0. The subscription list is also available in OPML and as a FOAF Roll. All content is assumed to be the intellectual property of the originators unless they indicate otherwise.

October 23, 2014

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

Proof that Roman gladiators hated astronauts

Seen on Twitter this morning:

Hmm.  Maybe not.

We’re often told that “archaeology is science so only archaeology is reliable.”

So this is a fun illustration of the perils of that; of what can happen when you have no literary sources, and construct a narrative solely from archaeology or monuments.

October 22, 2014

EAGLE News: Europeana Network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy

EAGLE 2014 International Conference: The IGCyr | GVCyr corpora

By Alice Bencivenni (University of Bologna)


The IGCyr | GVCyr demonstration site is now available.

The Inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica (IGCyr) and the Greek Verse inscriptions of Cyrenaica (GVCyr) are two corpora, the first collecting all the inscriptions of Greek (VII-I centuries B.C.) Cyrenaica, the second gathering the Greek metrical texts of all periods. These new critical editions of inscriptions from Cyrenaica are part of the international project Inscriptions of Libya (InsLib), incorporating Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (IRT, already online), the Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica project (IRCyr, in preparation), and the ostraka from Bu Ngem (already available on the website Papyri.info).

A comprehensive corpus of the inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica is a longstanding desideratum among the scholars of the ancient world. Greek inscriptions from Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Cyrenaica are currently scattered among many different, sometimes outdated publications, while new texts have been recently discovered and edited. For the first time all the inscriptions known to us in 2014, coming from this area of the ancient Mediterranean world, will be assembled in a single online and open access publication. An essential addition to the IGCyr and GVCyr corpora, as well as a natural outcome of the study of the inscriptions, is the planned publication of the Prosopographia Cyrenaica.

Catherine Dobias-Lalou is the main epigraphy researcher working on these comprehensive epigraphic corpora in EpiDoc in cooperation with scholars from the University of Bologna, the University of Macerata, the University of Roma Tor Vergata, the University of Paris-Sorbonne and King’s College London. Although the edition of the inscriptions is still in progress, the team working on the project wish to share with others the structure of the publications and the research approach. For this reason three of the texts which will be published and a selected bibliography are included in the demonstration site.  The website, hosted by the University of Bologna, has been developed and is maintained by the CRR-MM, Centro Risorse per la Ricerca Multimediale, University of Bologna.

Melissa Terras' Blog

Reuse of Digitised Content (3): Special Festive Halloween Image Give-away Edition

In my first blog post about reuse of digitised content, particularly images, I suggested that institutions could think about batching up some good images, for people to take and reuse, so they could find them easily. They could also be prepared for people to reuse. But what would this mean, in reality? I decided to have a try, myself. Halloween is approaching - lets look for 5 really cute, public domain images about Halloween, and see if we can make them "more" reusable, whatever that may mean. Like this one:

Isn't she handsome? An illustration tagged with witch, over at the British Library book images photoset, Flickr. Originally taken from "Life & Finding of Dr. Livingstone", 1897.

But bother about all that writing, which makes it unusable on my Halloween party invitations. It would be better if there wasnt all that writing, just the image, right?

Or even, make the background transparent. Ta da! take it and do with it as you like, please do.
Nice, huh? and all this took me was time. An hour or so of grubbing about on flickr, an hour or so of messing around in Photoshop (I'm rusty). And as we all know, time is precious, and institutions dont have that level of time to devote to this kind of thing. Hmmm.

I also wonder what I'm really doing here. Turning images into clip art? erm, yay? Is that what we mean by reuse? But why else are we making images available, if its not for people to take them and do something with them? Does this make them more "useable"? Its certainly more easy to take the image and dump it into a poster, or webpage, etc. We need to ask ourselves what we mean by use and reuse, if we cant conceptualise what that really means in the first place.

But I said 5 images, right? I'm time pressed at the moment (shortly off on a big work trip), so - being honest here - I signed up for the first time to Fiverr, where you can get a myriad of small tasks done for $5, and bought some photo retouching for photos, and within an hour, I had four other Halloween images, this time from the Internet Archive Flickr Pool,  converted into black and white, with transparency too. A set of Halloween images! But Fiverr made me feel icky - even though this fixing up would be a relatively simple task for someone with better PhotoShop chops than I to do, and even though I chose someone who said they were a student in a first world country, it just seems such a small amount to pay someone. (I did try to engage them in conversation about that, and offered going hourly rate I would pay a student: they didn't reply). I am happy with the images provided, but I wouldn't advocate institutional use of this type of service if it can be avoided, something about it feels exploitative to me. It was interesting to try. (Perhaps its part of my penance that I share these images here for everyone but... shudder. Is that how we value skills now? Sorry, world. I know is the market economy, but, doesn't mean I have to pay people less than I believe a job is worth).

So now what.

I parked this, and a selection of others I found that I'll put at the bottom of this post, on a group over at Flickr. There's been obvious interest in them, with a total of 50 views or so in 24 hours, even though I didn't tell anyone where they were, yet. So I'll leave them up there, and take them if you like! I think they are cute. Do something, they are in the public domain! they are free! Use them at will! It only cost me time and some perhaps student's time and $5 and the electric that drives the internet and the heavy metals that are in our computers etc etc! and if you fancy telling me how you used them, on here or on twitter, that would be great, but you dont have to because its public domain! woohoo! (I may do some reverse image lookup in a while and see where they got to).

This is a minor experiment - especially compared to my last blog post, which was much more of an investment in both time and money - but it goes back to what I was saying previously about the time and skill needed to use the image content available successfully. Its not all just "there" yet, you need time to sort, and time to manipulate, and resources to do so. It also makes me think of what you read about in pre-print times, when artists' workshops had teams of people working for them who just painted silk, or hair, or skin or whatever, and the whole thing was a production line, where you farmed jobs out to other painters - sure, its a makers revolution, but its one that involves getting a student to do a quick job on PhotoShop for you, or a print shop to do some formatting and printing. You can take the content and do something with it, if you have the resources to both pay for and manage the process. The stuff is in the public domain, and is free. But doing something with it isnt, not really.

Except, of course, I'm not Raphael, I'm just messing about with images taken offline and turned into slightly cleaned up versions of themselves for clip art. I'd like to see a "real" collection do a longitudinal study on the benefits of this, releasing some of their content in different graphic formats, and tracking interest... hmmm, a potential MA student dissertation for this year, perhaps? Its a worthy topic, and one that should be pursued in more than a couple of hours, and a hurried blog post. 

Still, Happy Halloween, and feel free to reuse these in any way you like, should you want to. The full size I have is up here, made smaller to fit in blog format, you know what to do to grab the larger file. Black and white jpgs first, then transparent png. 

Originally taken from the Internet Archive Book Images Flickr Pool. This originally had only a couple of previous views, and isn't it delightful? ripe for putting at the top of any manner of Halloween related paraphenalia...

Originally taken from the Internet Archive Book Images Flickr Pool. It started off pink, mind! 

Originally taken from the Internet Archive Book Images Flickr Pool.

And last but not least, my favourite:

Originally taken from the Internet Archive Book Images Pool.  Brilliant.
All of them over at Flickr, too, if you'd prefer. Have fun! And don't have nightmares.  

AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

Database of Southeast Asian Islamic Manuscripts (D'SAIN)


Database of Southeast Asian Islamic Manuscripts

Catalog of Southeast Asian Islamic Manuscripts published by Faculty of Adab and Humanities, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University Jakarta.

"Database of Nusantara Islam Manuscripts is a database that provides various informations related to Nusantara Islam manuscripts. The database covers a wide range of Nusantara Islam manuscripts-based research—using philological approach or other approaches; conducting by foreign scholars or native scholars. As the center of Nusantara Islam manuscripts, the database not only records the title, author, copyist, language, and literacy texts, but also provides a number of manuscript collections and catalogues including lists, and various publications relating to manuscript which is used as the primary resource of research. In addition, the database provides authors and copyists’ biographical information and their activities. Therefore, Database of Nusantara Islam Manuscripts, as the center of information and research on manuscript that can be accessed online, is very important for the manuscripts-based researches and other researches. Thus, through the information contained in the database of Nusantara Islam manuscript, various topics of research can be developed further, while the potential for duplication and plagiarism cases in the study of manuscript can also be avoided."

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Studia Orientalia Electronica

Studia Orientalia Electronica
ISSN: 2323-5209
Welcome to the website of Studia Orientalia Electronica (StOrE)! StOrE is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal publishing original research articles and reviews in all fields of Asian and African studies. It is an offshoot of Studia Orientalia, an internationally recognized publication series (see http://www.suomenitamainenseura.org/studiaorientalia/ for further information on Studia Orientalia and the publisher, Finnish Oriental Society). StOrE was established in 2013 to keep up the fine publishing tradition of Studia Orientalia. The new journal publishes high quality articles in a more modern and accessible format.
The first volume (year 2013) of Studia Orientalia Electronica has been published (see Archives section). Furthermore, some articles of back issues of the printed Studia Orientalia are found in the Archives section and more are coming soon. In the Current section you will find the articles of 2014 (vol. 2) of StOrE.
Interested in submitting to this journal? We recommend that you review the About the Journal page for the journal’s section policies, as well as the Author Guidelines. Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting or, if already registered, can simply log in and begin the five-step process.


Cover Page

Vol 112 (2012)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 112 published in print in 2012.


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Vol 111 (2011)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 111 published in print in 2011.
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Vol 110 (2011)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 110 published in print in 2010.


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Vol 99 (2004)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 99 published in print in 2004.


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Vol 97 (2003)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 97 published in print in 2003.
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Vol 95 (2003)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 95 published in print in 2003.


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Vol 94 (2001)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 94 published in print in 2001.


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Vol 87 (1999)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 87 published in print in 1999.
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Vol 85 (1999)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 85 published in print in 1999.


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Vol 84 (1998)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 84 published in print in 1998.


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Vol 82 (1997)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 82 published in print in 1997.


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Vol 75 (1995)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 75 published in print in 1995.


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Vol 73 (1994)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 73 published in print in 1994.


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Vol 70 (1993)

Pdf files of Studia Orientalia 70 published in print in 1993.

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

Roman Gladiators' (and a Gladiatrix's?) Diet

A press release is going around about a dietary analysis of Roman gladiator skeletons from Imperial-era Ephesos, headlined "Roman gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank a tonic of ashes after training."

While I haven't had time to carefully and thoroughly dissect the publication, which came out last week in PLoS (Losch et al. 2014), it seems reasonably sound. The published C/N isotope ratios are totally in line with what we'd expect from the Roman diet--and also show the variation that we expect to see around the Empire.  (I have to confess I'm a bit miffed that they discuss all the C/N isotope studies from around Rome but not Killgrove & Tykot 2013 from Rome itself.)

The Sr/Ca trace element analysis is potentially more problematic.  Again, a confession: I don't fully understand the mechanics of the process of trace element analysis, nor the major issues with diagenesis (the chemical deterioration of organic skeletal components, like collagen, that can affect measurement of things like trace elements).  I do know that the ability to control for diagenesis has made great advances in recent years, meaning studies like trace Pb analysis are now possible.  But if I trust the researchers that they controlled for diagenesis to the best of their abilities, their Sr/Ca results are very interesting.

Relief of two gladiatrices from Halicarnassus
Losch and colleagues make the case that gladiators were drinking an ash-tonic based on both historical and chemical-ethnographic evidence.  Plant ash (pyxis) is mentioned in Roman texts as having medicinal properties, and as something that gladiators specifically consumed. But they cite another study (Burton & Wright 1995) that looked at a traditional Hopi food (bivilviki) that included ash. Burton & Wright similarly concluded that ash, even if infrequently consumed, could show up in the Sr/Ca of bone.  Pretty cool.  I think that Losch and colleagues may go too far in trying to figure out when the gladiators died based on the "strong gradient or high variation of Sr/Ca-ratios," and the paragraphs on feeding studies and bone turnover rates simply don't convince me that this can be accomplished, as they rely on many assumptions they can't test.

All in all, this seems to be a very well-designed study that answers interesting research questions but leaves others open for more research (from other cemeteries or with other methodologies).

My only complaint (you knew a complaint was coming, right?) is that the "only female to be found in the gladiator cemetery" seems to be treated as an anomalous burial rather than, dare I say it?, a gladiator -- or gladiatrix -- herself.  (I'm not sure what that conclusion was based on; perhaps some archaeological context?)  But, her slightly different diet (higher in millet or millet-consuming animals than the men's diets, and whatever her Sr/Ca ratio was) would be really interesting interpreted against a backdrop of gender differences in gladiatorial games.


Burton JH, & Wright LE (1995). Nonlinearity in the relationship between bone Sr/Ca and diet: paleodietary implications. American journal of physical anthropology, 96 (3), 273-82 PMID: 7785725.

Killgrove, K., & Tykot, R. (2013). Food for Rome: A stable isotope investigation of diet in the Imperial period (1st–3rd centuries AD) Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 32 (1), 28-38 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2012.08.002.

Lösch S, Moghaddam N, Grossschmidt K, Risser DU, & Kanz F (2014). Stable Isotope and Trace Element Studies on Gladiators and Contemporary Romans from Ephesus (Turkey, 2nd and 3rd Ct. AD) - Implications for Differences in Diet. PloS one, 9 (10) PMID: 25333366.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN)

First posted in AWOL  31 August 2009.  Updated 22 October 2014]

Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN)
 ISSN 1546-6566
Cuneiform Digital Library Notes is an electronic journal constituted in conjunction with the organization and work of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative to afford contributors to that effort the opportunity to make known to an international community the results of their research into topics related to those of the CDLI.
The CDLN is a moderated e-bulletin board for Assyriology and is conceived as a notepad publication of the Cuneiform Digital Library Journal and the Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin. The CDLJ seeks substantive contributions dealing with the major themes of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative, that is, with text analyses of 4th and 3rd millennium documents (incorporating text, photographs, data, drawings, interpretations), early language, writing, paleography, administrative history, mathematics, metrology, and the technology of modern cuneiform editing. Articles in the CDLB are shorter contributions of two to five pages that deal with specific topics, collations, etc., and do not attempt to offer synthetic treatments of complex subjects. The CDLN assumes the role of a bulletin board for the quick publication and internet distribution of short notices of at most one page.
The CDLN is hosted by the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative, LA/Berlin, and is in the editorial care of Klaus Wagensonner (University of Oxford).

Mesopotamian Seals

Mesopotamian Seals

Online resources for the study of Mesopotamian stamp and cylinder seals, often with incised legends naming the owner, his profession or educational standing, his patronymic and, looking up in the Mesopotamian hierarchy, his administrative affiliations, are difficult to come by, even though this small administrative tool has played a very substantial role in the development of writing, and in the smooth functioning of an advanced ancient society. Mespotamian Seals is offered to bring attention to the admittedly limited text annotation files of the CDLI as one of several avenues of research available in a sub-field more often treated by archaeologists and art historians than by philologists (CDLI’s initial seals work is described here; cleansing of those file entries is being undertaken by Richard Firth). The CDLI catalogue currently contains entries documenting ca. 32,450 Mesopotamian artifacts related to seals and sealing: 31,300 represent clay tablets, tags or other sealings, most of whose seal impressions included owner legends, and currently just 1,150 are physical seals; 5,370 more CDLI entries represent composites derived from seal impressions, and therefore the negatives of original cylinder seals now lost. 

All CDLI seals

Physical seals

Composite seals

Sealings (on tags, bullae, etc.)

Best attested seals:

   Ayakalla, Umma ensi2 (Ur III, Š46/ii/29 – ŠS9/i)
   Lukalla, Umma ‘scribe’ (Ur III, Š33/i – ŠS9/iv)
   Lugal-emaḫe, Umma ‘scribe’ (Ur III, Š34/vi – ŠS5)
   Ur-mes, Drehem ‘fattener’ (Ur III, AS9/xiii – ŠS9/xii)
   Akalla, Umma ‘scribe’ (Ur III, Š33 – ŠS 3/iv)

Seals and impressed tablets by period:
      Adab      Nippur      Umma
      Girsu      Tell Brak      Ur
      Isin      Tutub      Urkesh
   Lagash II (ca. 2200-2100 BC)
   Ur III (ca. 2100-2000 BC)
      Adab      Girsu      Susa
      Drehem      Irisagrig      Umma
      Eshnunna      Nippur      Ur
   Early Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1900 BC)
   Old Assyrian (ca. 1950-1850 BC)
   Old Babylonian (ca. 1900-1600 BC)
   Middle Babylonian (ca. 1400-1100 BC)
   Middle Assyrian (ca. 1400-1000 BC)
   Neo-Assyrian (ca. 911-612 BC)
   Neo-Babylonian (ca. 911-612 BC)
   Achaemenid (547-331 BC)
   Hellenistic (323-63 BC)

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

How To Be A Hedgehog

Longstanding readers of our Medieval Manuscripts Blog may know that we have a penchant for hedgehogs. In 2012, we published a post entitled The Distinguished Pedigree of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, based on the accounts of their behaviour in medieval bestiaries. In 2014, we brought you a hedgehog beauty contest, no less,...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Lettre d’information de l’IFAO

Lettre d’information de l’IFAO
Pour vous abonner à notre lettre d’information, envoyez un email vide à …
Subscribe to our newsletter: send an empty email to …
Vous receverez alors un email pour reconfirmer votre demande.
You will then receive a email to confirm of your demand.

Tom Gewecke (Multilingual Mac)

Languages Not Yet Supported in iBookstore

The iBookstore Formatting Guidelines of Nov 13, 2013 lists books in these languages as not yet eligible for distribution:  Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Burmese, Persian/Farsi, Hebrew, Khmer, Lao, Malay (Jawi/Arabic), Sinhala, Tamil, Urdu. This lists remains the same in the Guidelines for 9/14.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Ethnicity and Archaeology in Modern Methana

Hamish Forbes has had a productive retirement. It seems like hardly a month goes by without some significant article from the tip of his pen. I finally got around to reading his article, “Archaeology and the Making of Improper Citizens in Modern Greece,” in the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 27.1 (2014).

Forbes argues that many Methanites, who are Arvanitika speakers, do not relate to the national archaeological narrative constructed by the Greek state which have tended to celebrate the ties between modern Greece and Classical Antiquity and the monuments of Athens. Arvanitika speakers who settled in Greece at some point between the late Medieval period (say 13th century?) and the Ottoman period have stood outside of the national narrative in Greece that has been slow to recognize the existence of “ethnic minorities” typically defined by language. In fact, Forbes makes the point that there is no official capacity to recognize ethnic minorities in Greece, and this might be partially the result of conflating issues of ethnicity with desires for alternate national identities (ethnoi), partially the result of periods of hyper-nationalist political rhetoric, and partially the desire of the Greek state to distinguish itself in the European Union.

Forbes notes that Arvanitika speaking communities are common in Boeotia, Attica, and across the Northeastern Peloponnesus, but have generally found ways to hide their identities from outsiders and the unsympathetic gaze of the state. On the Methana peninsula, this has manifest itself in the community’s lack of interest in the ancient ruins on the peninsula, and attention to a fort dated to the Greek War of Independence. The fort was apparently constructed by the French philhellene Charles Fabvier to train Greek troops. Today, the fortification, visible on the narrow isthmus that separates Methana from the northern coast of Troezene, bears a large Greek flag painted on its flanks and this explicitly connects the site to a national identity. At the same time, the national identity manifest in this 19th century ruin, however, is nevertheless outside the main archaeological narrative promoted by the Greek state. In other words, the 19th century ruin provides an opportunity to locate the Arvanitika-speaking community within a positive narrative of the Greek state.

Forbes discusses the way in which local communities articulate their archaeological landscape and how it often differs from the interest of national or foreign archaeologists. He cites Susan Sutton’s description of the communities around the archaeological site of Nemea who associated more closely with a cave in a nearby hill that they relate to the den of the Nemean lion. Methanites likewise recognize the antiquity of a cave set high on the slopes of the volcanic peninsula, and Forbes notes that these natural features often provide points of reference in the landscape that allow local communities to establish regionally meaningful archaeological identities.

This article caught my attention for two reasons. First, on the Western Argolid Regional Project this summer we documented a fortification associated with the Greek War of Independence. Without getting into too much detail, graffiti festooned a number of parts of this rather visible fortification allowing individuals to locate their names within the archaeological landscape. This linked the nearby community of Lyrkeia very closely to a historical place. It is interesting to note that the nearby ancient ruins did not attract similar attention. The fort on Methana will also be a useful point of architectural comparison for our fortification in the Argolid although our fortress has far less august a historical pedigree. 

I was also interested in reading that Forbes did not mention the inventio story associated with the church of St. Barbara. According to Forbes’ monograph on Methana, a local resident had a dream which led the villagers to excavate and discover the bones of St. Barbara and St. Juliana who helped protect the island from the influenza epidemic in the early 20th century. I’ve blogged about it here. What’s interesting about this story is that it presents indigenous archaeology as more than simply the recognition of ruins or sites by a community, but the actual excavation of sites of particular significance. As Arvanitika speakers and Greek speakers in Greece share the Orthodox faith, it is significant that both communities have used these same methods to create locally meaningful archaeological landscapes (if not in the strictly scientific sense) that resonate with national narratives emphasizing the Orthodox (and Byzantine) roots of the Greek nation. This narrative is distinct from the national narrative that privileges Classical antiquity, and perhaps provides another alternate space for the forging of historically significant national identities.   

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Il progetto ARCHEOMEDSITES a Ravello LAB


Archeomedsites, progetto di cooperazione transfrontaliera tra Italia, Tunisia e Libano, finanziato nell’ambito del Programma ENPI CBC Med 2007-2013, sarà presente alla nona edizione di Ravello Lab – Colloqui internazionali, all’interno del panel 1 dal titolo “ Cooperazione culturale e progettazione territoriale euro mediterranea”.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Römische Inschriften Datenbank 24

Römische Inschriften Datenbank 24
Die Idee, die hinter rid24 steht, ist die Darstellung und Präsentation von Alter Geschichte und Archäologie des Rheinlandes mit den Möglichkeiten des Mediums Internet. Grundlage  von rid24 sind die von Brigitte und Hartmut Galsterer 1975 publizierten Römischen Steininschriften aus Köln. Die technischen Entwicklungen in den letzten Jahren bergen heute fast unbegrenzte Möglichkeiten der Darstellung. Neben der Datenbank-gestützten Inschriftensuche versucht rid24 darüber hinaus, dem Besucher weitere Hintergrundinformationen und Daten zur Verf�gung zu stellen. rid24 richtet sich nicht nur an Althistoriker und Epigraphiker, sondern auch an private Sammler und überhaupt an alle an der römischen Geschichte des Landes Interessierten. rid24 steht für einen jederzeit verfügbaren (eben 24 Stunden täglich) und barrierefreien Zugang f�r den Besucher, ohne zeitliche und informative Beschr�nkungen. rid24 bietet mit dieser Art der Darstellung dem Besucher M�glichkeiten und Informationen, wie es in einem gedruckten Buch kaum darstellbar w�re. Das Portal versteht sich nicht als Alternative, sondern als Erg�nzung der Museen mit ihren naturgem�� beschr�nkten Pr�sentations- und Verkn�pfungsm�glichkeiten, und hofft, den Museen nicht nur mehr, sondern auch mit mehr Hintergrundwissen ausgestattete Besucher zu verschaffen. 

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

MuseumNext 2015: qual'è il futuro dei musei?

museumnext2015L'edizione 2015 di MuseumNext si svolgerà a Ginevra in Svizzera dal 19 al 21 Aprile 2015. MuseumNext è la più grande conferenza europea dedicata al futuro dei musei.

Al Festival della Scienza una mostra sulla conservazione del patrimonio artistico



Dal 24 ottobre al 2 novembre a Genova si terrà il Festival della Scienza quest'anno dedicato al tema del Tempo. All'interno del Festival, presso il Museo dell'Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti, quest'anno è organizzata una mostra dedicata alla conservazione dei beni culturali dal titolo "Eterno o effimero: il tempo dell’opera d’arte".

Perfecto e Virtuale, l’Uomo Vitruviano diventa multimediale

uomo-vitruviano-mostra2014Dalle Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia a Fano. L’Uomo Vitruviano di Leonardo da Vinci, forse il disegno più celebre al mondo e canone rinascimentale della bellezza perfetta, esce virtualmente dal luogo storico in cui è conservato dal 1822 mostrandosi per la prima volta in assoluto in una versione digitale e tridimensionale ad altissima definizione. “Perfecto e Virtuale, l’Uomo Vitruviano di Leonardo” è una vera e propria mostra-spettacolo dove il visitatore può godere appieno della celebrità di quest’opera. L’appuntamento è dal 24 ottobre al 16 novembre 2014 nella chiesa di San Michele, attigua all’Arco d’Augusto.

Archaeology and the City Preserving enhancing interpreting


archaelogy-cityE' in programma il 7 Novembre 2014 a partire dalle ore 9.30, presso il Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche di Roma (P.le Aldo Moro 7, Aula Marconi) il Convegno Internazionale Archaeology and the City. Preserving enhancing interpreting.

Restaurare l'arte contemporanea? Workshop a Lucca

restaurare-arte-contemporaneaDue giornate di studio, l'11 e 12 dicembre 2014 a Lucca, organizzate dall'IGIIC, l'ICVBC, il Gruppo SCIBEC del Dipartimento di Chimica dell'Università di Pisa, il Centro Arti Visive di Pietrasanta che  hanno lo scopo di evidenziare le difficoltà che si possono incontrare nel difficile campo della conservazione preventiva dell’arte contemporanea.

October 21, 2014

Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative

Say Digital Humanities One More Time…

Early Modernists have done impressive work in the digital humanities as of late. This exciting shift in methodology allows greater opportunity to complete original research as well introduce new pedagogical techniques into our classrooms. In the end, I view digital projects as tools; tools used for collaboration, teaching, and further research. This blog post will introduce a couple of recent early modern digital projects. But first, the old faithfuls…

Early English Books Online (EEBO), the go-to online database of early printed (and now) digitized texts, has been a necessary tool for me as a scholar; I’ve had access to it throughout my academic career and I cannot imagine researching without it. The Text Creation Partnership (TCP) transcribes these scanned texts and creates fully-searchable text files that improve readability and accessibility.

My search for Hamlet using EEBO.

Hamlet (2)


Another source I’ve used quite frequently is Open Source Shakespeare. This online concordance, created by Eric M. Johnson (as part of his M.A. thesis!) allows users to search for particular words throughout all of Shakespeare’s texts. I’ve used it when researching artistic terminology; the site allowed me to search for passages that included Renaissance synonyms for painted portraits. Incidentally, Mr. Johnson is now the Director of Digital Access at the Folger Shakespeare Library and he will be leading a workshop on “Using Data in Shakespeare Studies” at the Shakespeare Association of America conference this April (I’ll be there!).

My search for ‘painted’ using Open Source Shakespeare.
Open Source Shakespeare (2)

And now on to some more recent discoveries…

The Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) taps into the popular DH interest of visualizing geographic space. The current version of the map was launched in 2013 by a group of scholars at the University of Victoria. The interactive map is sourced from the 1561 ‘Agas Map’. The website is user-friendly and the creators of the map certainly encourage scholars to make use of this tool, which of course could be used for a variety of research needs. Jenelle Jenstad and Kim McLean-Fiander will be presenting on the pedagogical possibilities for research-based learning at the SAA conference this April (I plan to attend this workshop as well as I am eager to learn more about this topic).

Each tile is easily clickable; the interactive points bring users to a list of documents containing that location.
Map of Early Modern London (2)


The Folger Luminary Shakespeare Apps
The Folger Shakespeare Library has produced several interactive digital editions of Shakespeare’s plays. These editions can be downloaded by students via iTunes and used in place of paperback editions. Full audio performances accompany each edition and the interactive texts allow readers to take notes and collect passages. Expert commentary from scholars and actors allows for deeper engagement. While I’ve admired these editions from afar, I look forward to using a digital edition this summer, perhaps A Midsummer Night’s Dream, depending on my teaching assignment.



The English Broadside Ballad Achieve from the University of California, Santa Barbara allows users to research and explore early modern broadside ballads—essentially cheap street literature that can easily be set to music and enjoyed aurally. I’ve personally used this resource when I taught a class on the representation of visual art within literature. I taught the anonymous drama, Arden of Faversham and used the ballad I found on EBBA to discuss the two representations of Alice with my students. I appreciate the album and ballad sheet facsimiles (with the ability to zoom in) especially because my students and I discussed dramatic vs. visual representation. The recording added a new dimension to our discussion of different media. I highly recommend this site for teaching early modern literature; I think ballads can add interest to a variety of early modern topics.

My search for the Arden of Faversham ballad.
Arden Ballad (2)

I look forward to contributing to this exciting field of research; stayed tuned for my November post when I’ll introduce my specific interest in early modern digital scholarship.

Early English Books Online: http://www.proquest.com/products-services/eebo.html
Open Source Shakespeare: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/
Shakespeare Association of America: http://www.shakespeareassociation.org/
The Map of Early Modern London: http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/
Folger Luminary Shakespeare Apps: http://www.folger.edu/Content/About-Us/Publications/Folger-Luminary-Shakespeare-Apps/
Broadside Ballads: http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Siedlungsforschung. Archäologie – Geschichte – Geographie

 [First posted in AWOL 2 August 2010. Updated 21 October 2014 (changed location online)]

Siedlungsforschung. Archäologie – Geschichte – Geographie
ISSN: 0175–0046
Die Zeitschrift "Siedlungsforschung: Archäologie - Geschichte - Geographie" enthält Aufsätze, Miszellen, Rezensionsartikel, Berichte und Bibliographien. Die Zeitschrift erscheint in einem Band von ca. 300 Seiten im Verlag "Siedlungsforschung" in Bonn. Bei den persönlichen Mitgliedern des "Arbeitskreises für historische Kulturlandschaftsforschung in Mitteleuropa e.V." ist der Bezugspreis im Jahresbeitrag enthalten.
The following volumes are available online:
Mit Beiträgen von: F. Irsigler, S. Freund, E. Gringmuth-Dallmer, V. Salač, T. Fischer, M. Hardt, P. Ettel, C. Zschieschang, H.-F. Kniehase, H.-G. Wagner, V. Kaminske, K.-D. Kleefeld
Mit Beiträgen von Winfried Schenk, Klaus Fehn, Ute Wardenga, Sebastian Brather, Eike Gringmuth-Dallmar, Fred Ruchhöft, Rainer Schreg, Udo Recker, Rudolf Bergmann, Theo Spek, Johannes Renes und Johannes C.A. Kolen, Peter Rückert, Axel Posluschny
Mit Beiträgen von Th. Glade, K.-E. Behre, G. J. Borger, E. Freifrau von Boeselager, M. Jakubowski-Tiessen, E. Gringmuth-Dallmer, P. Rückert, B. Heuser-Hildebrandt, M. Gudd, Ch. Röhr, L. Clemens, M. Deutsch & K. T. Rost, Ch. Stolz, Th. Meier, K. Fehn
Mit Beiträgen von: Dietrich Denecke, Franz Irsigler, Günter Mangelsdorf, Heiko Steuer, Christian Lübke, Hans-Rudolf Egli, Klaus Fehn, Reinhard Zölitz-Möller, Helmut Klüter, Reinhold E. Lob
Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Fehn, Karl-Heinz Willroth, Hans-Wilhelm Heine, Hauke Jöns, Caspar Ehlers, Christoph Bartels, Monika Meyer-Künzel, Dieter Rödel, Klaus Fesche, Olaf Mussmann, Siegfried Zelnhefer, Axel Priebs
Mit Beiträgen von Winfried Schenk, Leszek Pavel Slupecki, Jerzy Strelczyk, Izabella Skierska, Ralf Gebuhr, Winfried Schich, Rudolf Bergmann, Jerzy Piekalski, Krzysztof R. Mazurski, Peter Cede, Oliver Karnau, Zoltán Ilyés, Klaus Fehn, Dietrich Denecke
Mit Beiträgen von Winfried Schenk, Günter Moosbauer, Chrystina Häuber, Hansjörg Küster, Christoph Morissey, Peter Rückert, Bernd-Stefan Grewe, Aline Kottmann und Reinhold Schaal, Bernward Selter, Anton Schuler, Richard Pott und Holger Freund, Franz Schmithüsen, Per Grau Moler, Dietrich Denecke, Rudolf Bergmann
Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Fehn, Winfried Schenk, Peter Rückert, Klaus-Dieter Kleefeld, Hermann Parzinger, Perdita Pohle, Dirk Meier, Karl Martin Born, Mathias Koch, Günther Moosbauer, Hansjörg Küster, Renate Gerlach, Bernward Selter, Gabriele Recker, Ulrich Stanjek, Oliver Karnau, Josef Mangold, Franz Maier, Helmut Flachenecker, Jürgen Vollbrecht und Heinrich Otten

Mit Beiträgen von Werner Rösener, Johann-Bernhard Haversath, Mathias Austermann, Norbert Gebauer, Udo Recker, Brigitta Vits, Ulrich Reuling, Reinhard Bauer, Jürg Tauber, Friedrich Eigler, Hans Krawarik, Armin Ratusny Eike Gringmuth-Dallmer, Mathias Hardt, Hans-Jürgen Nitz
Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Fehn, Wolfgang Wegener, Hans-Werner Wehling, Rolf Plöger, Johannes Biecker, Michael Hartenstein, Horst Kranz, Jörg Wiesemann, Johannes Renes, Georg Römhild, Günther Hein und Christoph Willms
Mit Beiträgen von Michael Müller-Wille, Christer Westerdahl, Winfried Schich, Andreas Dix, Achim Leube,
Axel Priebs, Rolf Plöger, Bruno Benthien, Susanne Schumacher-Gorni, Gerd Hoffmann, Walter Dörfler und Jörn Thiede

Mit Beiträgen von Eike Gringmuth-Dallmer, Günter Löffler, Harm Tjalling Waterbolk, Theo Spek, Wim A. Ligtendag, Johannes A. Mol, Paul Noomen, Johannes Ey, Dirk Meier, Hans-Rudolf Egli und Carl-Hans Hauptmeyer
Mit Beiträgen von Hans-Jürgen Nitz, Georg Kossack, Walter Janssen, Karlheinz Blaschke, Felix Escher, Frank Hering, Dieter Scholz, Heinz Günter Steinberg, Thomas Wölker, Luise Grundmann, Heinz Schürmann, Horst Förster und Jörg Stadelbauer
Mit Beiträgen von Dietrich Denecke, Rudolf Bergmann, Manfred Balzer, Günter Mangelsdorf, Vladimír Nekuda, Rostislav Nekuda, Ervín Cerný, Alojz Habovštiak, Hans Krawarik, Peter Rückert, Peter Cede und Johannes Renes
Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Fehn, Hans Losert, Hans-Georg Stephan, Gabriele Isenberg, Miroslav Richter, Tomás Velimský, Lieselott Enders, Michel Pauly, Roland Flückiger-Seiler, Ernst Pleßl, Martina Stercken, Gerhard Henkel und Alois Mayr
Mit Beiträgen von Dietrich Denecke, Wolf-Dieter Sick, Uwe Kühl, Jörg Stadelbauer, Rainer Graafen, Heiko Steuer, Eike Gringmuth-Dallmer, Gerhard Billig, Volkmar Geupel, Wolfgang Schwabenicky und Rainer Aurig
Mit Beiträgen von Franz Irsigler, Hermann Parzinger, Helmut Bender, Vladimír Nekuda, Armin Ratusny, Hans-Jürgen Nitz, Winfried Schich, Ludwig Schober, Johann-Bernhard Haversath und Klaus Fehn
Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Aerni, Hans-Rudolf Egli, René Wyss, Paul Gleirscher, Jürgen Rageth, Werner Kreisel, Werner Meyer, Werner Bätzing, Susanne Pacher und Hans Becker
Mit Beiträgen von Jelier A.J. Vervloet, Guus J. Borger, J.H.F. Bloemers, W.J.H. Willems, H.A. Heidinga, Peter Henderikx, Herbert Sarfatij, Adriaan Verhulst, Jan Bieleman, J.D.H. Harten, Johannes Renes und Gerard P. van der Ven

Mit Beiträgen von Helmut Jäger, Walter Janssen, Jens Lüning, Arie J. Kalis, Karl-Ernst Behre, Helmut Bender, Ulf Dirlmeier, Christian Pfister, Jürgen Hagel, Engelbert Schramm, Achim Rost, Reinhard Mook, Helge Salvesen, Günter Bayerl und Hubert Mücke

Mit Beiträgen von Wilfried Krings, Günter P. Fehring, Miroslav Richter, Zdenek Smetánka, Pavel J. Michna, Vladimír Nekuda, Herbert Knittler, Jürgen Ellermeyer und Renate Banik-Schweitzer

Mit Beiträgen von Karlheinz Willroth, Brigitta Hårdh, Svend Gissel, Franz Irsigler, Karel A.H.W. Leenders, Ulrich Troitzsch, Frank Norbert Nagel und Gerhard Oberbeck

Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Fehn, Dietrich Denecke, Helmut Hildebrandt, Neek Maqsud und Hans-Jürgen Nitz

Mit Beiträgen von Michael Müller-Wille, Hans-Jürgen Nitz, Hendrik van der Linden, Guus J. Borger, Ekkehard Wassermann, Klaus Brandt, Rosemarie Krämer, Dietrich Hoffmann, Hans Joachim Kühn und Bodo Higelke

Mit Beiträgen von Busso von der Dollen, Burkhard Hofmeister, Winfried Schich, Felix Escher, Wolfgang Hofmann, Eberhard Bohm, Franz Irsigler und Henriette Meynen

From Stone to Screen

Open Access Week, October 28th – 29th


Every year UBC hosts participates in International Open Access Week, a global event aimed at the promotion of open access in scholarship and resarch. From Stone to Screen has been asked to join the panel on Student Innovation in the Open,  where we will present the digitizing work we’ve accomplished over the summer and talk a bit about how these resources are being integrated into classroom use. This is a great opportunity for us to engage with the academic community and discuss the value of open access to material, something we at FSTS feel very strongly about.

Open UBC is held in conjunction with the International Open Access Week, which encourages the academic community to come together to share and learn about open scholarship initiatives locally and worldwide. Open UBC showcases two days of diverse events highlighting areas of open scholarship that UBC’s researchers, faculty, students and staff participate in as well as guests from the global community. These events include discussion forums, lectures, seminars, workshops, and symposia on topical and timely issues from every discipline. All of these events are FREE and open to the public, students, faculty, staff and schools.

All sessions will be held in the Lillooet Room (301), of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC. Check out the schedule and if there are panels or talks you are interested in registration is free but required; coffee and snacks are provided.



Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Book: Past in the Present: A Living Heritage Approach - Meteora, Greece

Past in the Present: A Living Heritage Approach - Meteora, Greece
By Ioannis Poulios

The Past in the Present deals with the complexities in the operation and management of living heritage sites. It presents a new interpretation of such sites based on the concept of continuity, and its evolution to the present. It is demonstrated that the current theoretical framework and practice of conservation, as best epitomised in a values-based approach and the World Heritage concept, is based on discontinuity created between the monuments(considered to belong to the past) and the people of the present, thus seemingly unable to embrace living heritage sites. From this position, the study suggests an innovative approach that views communities and sites as an inseparable entity: a Living Heritage Approach. This approach brings a new insight into key concepts such as authenticity and sustainable development. Through the use of the monastic site of Meteora, Greece, as a case study, the discussion generated aims to shift the focus of conservation from ‘preservation’ towards a continual process of ‘creation’ in an ongoing present, attempting to change the way heritage is perceived, protected and, more importantly, further created.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bak

Table of Contents

Past in the Present TOC

  • Acknowledgements

  • A Note On The Author

  • Introduction

  • Introduction: Definition And Development Of Conservation – The Concept Of Authenticity

  • Recognising The Living Dimension Of Heritage Sites

  • Existing Approaches To Conservation

  • Defining And Managing ‘Living Heritage’

  • Description Of Meteora: Landscape, And History

  • Meteora Within The Systems Of Monasticism, Heritage Protection And Tourism Operation

  • The Meaning Of Meteora As An Orthodox Monastic Site

  • The Conservation And Management Of Meteora (1960 To Present): Presentation

How to cite
Poulios, I. 2014. Past in the Present: A Living Heritage Approach - Meteora, Greece. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org//10.5334/bak

Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems

Greece (is the Time, is the Place, is the Motion)

It turns out The Bee Gees were right. We've wrapped up work (for now) on Greek early geographic documents and the experience has made it clear that time, place and motion do indeed feature heavily.

First a few statistics. Our objective - as always - has been to identify sources for as many documents as we could, both in the original Greek and in modern translation. Wherever possible we have used open access, online materials so that people can access the texts and read them for themselves. This time we have identified some 66 works, of which we were able to obtain digital texts for 42 of them (and 8 in both languages). You can see our list of available texts on the Recogito public site and we’d be very happy to hear any suggestions for working with those texts which are still missing. Pau has been working like Greased Lightning over these long Summer Nights to produce a remarkable 48,000 edits (and counting)!

Pau has not been alone in this work either. We’ll talk more about the new Recogito Editors group in a future blog post, but for now we’d like to say an especially big thank you to Brady Kiesling who donated a large number of pre-annotated texts from his wonderful ToposText project, and even did some translation to boot. Shout-outs also go to Bruce Robertson, Greta Franzini and Monica Berti for their help in OCR’ing Greek geographic texts.

Thanks to Rainer’s hard work, the Recogito interface is really starting to shape up. Not only are new features such as detailed user- and document-stats being added regularly, but there’s now a tutorial for users, and various small enhancements were made to the front page (e.g. temporal ordering of documents, so that you can start to see the development of ancient geography at a glance). There are other major changes afoot for our third Content Workpackage on the early Christian tradition… but you’ll have to wait for another blog post to hear more about that.

Just like last time, we’ve generated a preliminary heatmap of our work on the Greek sources so far. Even incomplete as it is, it’s fascinating to see our authors focus not only on the Aegean Sea, Magna Graecia and the Black Sea, but also their explorations along the Red Sea, the Atlantic and even the Silk Road. 

So what about those sources? The list of documents we’ve been working with includes some of the biggest and most important in the history of geography, including Strabo, Herodotus and the immense Suda. We said that Greece was the place, but in fact what we are really talking about, and what emerges from these early investigations, is just how many places the "Greek world" comprises of and how many places "Greek knowledge" extends to. Time also plays an essential role. From Ptolemy’s "Hour Intervals", which divide up the world like the face of a huge celestial clock, to the Spartan Cleomenes's alarming realisation that it was not a matter of days to travel to the Persian capital but months, time is used to try to make sense of, or express bewilderment at, the vast distances being talked about. And Greek geography is not just static, but frequently in motion, with stadiasmoi, periploi, itineraries and even the occasional International Business TravellerWe hope you enjoy exploring these documents as much as we do. If you’d like to get involved and help us annotate the rest, please do get in touch. We'll go together like....

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Rasenna: Journal of the Center for Etruscan Studies

[First posted in AWOL 6 November 2009. Updated 21 October 2014]

Rasenna: Journal of the Center for Etruscan Studies
ISSN: 1940-073X
The electronic journal Rasenna: Journal of the Center for Etruscan Studies is published under the auspices of the Classics Department and the Center for Etruscan Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The journal is an integral part of the Center’s mission to advance and promote research on the Etruscans and their civilization within the academic arena as well as to the general public.

Print publications devoted to research on the Etruscans are rare. Reliable electronic resources of a scholarly nature are virtually non-existent. The journal Rasenna provides free access to cutting-edge, peer-reviewed articles that address topics across a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. The journal also publishes substantive reviews of the latest books in the field and encourages scholarly responses to published articles.

The electronic medium affords publication opportunities that cannot be matched by print journals due to cost and formatting constraints. It permits the publication of full-color images, video segments, and audio clips. Links to other sites can be embedded in the text. The Etruscans left behind a wealth of artifacts and epigraphic documents, images of which can be presented effectively in an electronic format. The electronic medium also permits more timely publication of research and reviews. By publishing electronically the amount of time elapsing between the submission of an article and its appearance in a print can be halved thus permitting more efficient transmission of scholarly ideas. Finally, given the rising cost of print productions and decreases in funding for library resources, an electronic publication ensures that the international community of scholars has free and unlimited access to the latest research in the field.

New Open Access Journal: Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting: from the first to the seventh century (JJMJS)

Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting: from the first to the seventh century (JJMJS)
ISSN: 2374-7862 (print)
ISSN: 2374-7870 (online

JJMJS is a new interdisciplinary peer-reviewed online journal, published in cooperation with Eisenbrauns.

A rich variety of Jewish and Christian traditions and identities mutually shaped one another in the centuries-long course of Roman Late Antiquity. A no less rich variety of scholarly approaches – from the history of Christian Origins to that of the late empire, from archaeology to Dead Sea Scrolls, from Rabbinics to Patristics – has in recent years converged upon this period, the better to understand its religious and social dynamics. JJMJS seeks to facilitate and to encourage such scholarly investigations across disciplinary boundaries, and to make the results of cutting-edge research available to a worldwide audience.

JJMJS is free of charge with complete open access. The journal is published in cooperation with Eisenbrauns and will be available in hard copy, which can be ordered from Eisenbrauns

JJMJS Issue 1 (2014)

If you want to download an individual article, please choose from the list below:
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The Signal: Digital Preservation

New Season, New Viewshare

The following is a guest post by NDIIPP summer intern Elizabeth Tobey. Liz is a graduate student in the Masters of Library Science program at the University of Maryland.

Along with the fall weather, food, activities and the new layer of clothes that are now necessary, this season also brings us a new and improved Viewshare. The new Viewshare has all the capabilities of the previous version but has a simplified workflow; an improved, streamlined look; and larger and more legible graphics in its views.

Originally launched in 2011, Viewshare is visualization software that libraries, archives and museums can use for free to generate “views” of their digital collections. Users have discovered a multitude of applications for Viewshare, including visualizations of LAM (Library, Archives and Museum) collections’ data, representation of data sets in academic scholarship and student use of Viewshare in library science classwork.

The new version of Viewshare has streamlined the workflow so that users can proceed directly from uploading data sets into creating views. The old Viewshare divided this process into three distinct stages: uploading records, augmenting data fields and creating/sharing views. While all these functions are still part of the Viewshare workflow, the new Viewshare accelerates the process by creating your first view for you directly from the imported data.

Once you have uploaded your data from the web or from a file on your computer, the fields will immediately populate records in a List View of your collection. You can immediately start reviewing the uploaded records in the List View, and if you choose, can begin creating additional views once you save your data set.

List View of uploaded data set.

List View of uploaded data set.


Once you save your data set, you can start adding new views immediately

Once you save your data set, you can start adding new views immediately.

Like in the old version of Viewshare, you will need to augment some of your data fields in order to get the best results in creating certain types of views, such as maps based upon geographical location or timelines based upon date. Viewshare still needs to generate latitudinal/longitudinal coordinates for locations and standardize dates, but the augmentation process has been simplified.

In the new Viewshare, you can create an augmented field by clicking on the blue “Add a Property” button and entering information into the dialog box about the augmented field and the fields you wish to base it upon. Here, the user is creating an augmented date field for use in a timeline:

Augmenting fields has also been streamlined.

Augmenting fields has also been streamlined.

Once you hit the “Create Property” button, Viewshare automatically starts augmenting the data. A status bar at the top of the window alerts the user when the field has been created successfully. The new field appears at the very top of the field list:

A status bar alerts users to the progress of augmenting fields

A status bar alerts users to the progress of augmenting fields.

Another great feature of the new Viewshare is that whenever you make changes to a record field (such as changing a field type from text to date), Viewshare saves those changes automatically. (However, you still need to remember to hit the “Save” button for any new views or widgets you create!).

The views in the new Viewshare have larger, more readable graphics than in the previous version. Here is an example of a pie chart showing conference participation data in the old Viewshare:

Old pie chart view.

Old pie chart view.

The pie chart takes up only about a third of the screen width and is tilted at an angle. Here is the same view in the new Viewshare:

Improved pie chart views.  you can start adding new views immediately.

Improved pie chart view.

Here, the pie chart occupies more than half of the screen and is displayed flat rather than tilted. This new style of view renders Viewshare graphics much more legible, especially when projected onto a screen.

Lastly, Viewshare has been redesigned with a simplified, streamlined interface that is as pleasing to the eye as it is easy to use. Unlike the old Viewshare, where lists of a user’s data sets and views were listed under different tabs, the new Viewshare consolidates the list of views into one dashboard:

Improved dashboard.

Improved dashboard.

Navigation has also been streamlined. Instead of multiple navigation options (a top menu and two sets of tabs) in the old Viewshare, the navigation options have been consolidated into a dropdown menu at the upper right hand of the browser window. Thus, it is easier for users to find the information they need.

Some users may wonder whether the new Viewshare will affect existing data sets and views they have created. Viewshare’s designers have already thought of this, and, rest assured, all existing accounts, data sets and views will be migrated from the old version to the new version. Users will still be able to access, view, embed and share data sets that they uploaded in the past.

Many of the changes to Viewshare were influenced directly by user feedback about the older version. Here at the Library of Congress we are eager to hear your suggestions about improving Viewshare and about any problems you encounter in its use. Please feel free to report your problems and suggestions by clicking on the green “Feedback” tab on the Viewshare website. You should also feel free to add your comments and contact information in the comment form below.

Enjoy the rest of fall, and make sure to take time to check out Viewshare’s new features and look!

Katy Meyers (Bones Don't Lie)

The Future of Cemeteries

If there is anything that we’ve learned from the past, its that there are a myriad of options for dealing with the deceased. The way the deceased are buried or […]

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Method, the Discipline, and The History Manifesto

Like many in my field, I read with interest Jo Guldi’s and David Armitage’s The History Manifesto over the weekend. Guldi and Armitage argue that historians should embrace the recent return to interest in long-term, large-scale historical inquiry which holds forth the potential to shed meaningful light on the most pressing issues of our day. Issues like global warming, growing economic inequality, technological change, and the pervasive spirit of crisis in higher education, all depend upon critical engagement with data from the past. At present, economists, environmentalists, scientists, and journalists all have exerted a substantial influence in how we understand the roots of global problems today, but none of these disciplines have the tradition of critical scrutiny at the core of historical analysis. 

Guldi and Armitage argue that over the last 40 or 50 years, historians has gradually backed away from considering questions of the longue durée in the interest of increasingly focused and small-scale studies sometimes associated with micro-history. The reasons for this are bound up in changes in the profession over this stretch of time. The pressure to focus on smaller periods of time and more focused problems appears to stem from the growing influence of “short-termism” which emphasizes the action of individual human agents, the impact of specific events, and absolute command over a small body of historical documents. Professionally, they hint, this short-termism reflects the pressures to publish efficiently to get a job, earn tenure, get grants, and establish a position within the discipline. The influence of these short-term goals and short-term approaches has saturated how we teach historical methods to undergraduates, who we are constantly urging to narrow their topics, to graduate student research seminars with too little time to go beyond a single body of sources or text subjected to close reading.

Google Ngram Viewer

Anyone who took one to Tim Gregory’s seminars in the 1990s or reads even superficially in the discipline of Mediterranean history knows that interest in the longue durée has only gained strength over the last three decades. From article length studies on containerization to massive monographs on historical connectivity and the protohistoric Mediterranean, scholars have continued to explore longterm trends in the history of the Mediterranean. In fact, regional studies of Mediterranean landscape, whether focusing on a single island or a particular valley, tend to engage in diachronic approaches drawing on archaeological and textual evidence in equal measure. It is genuinely heartening to read a work like the History Manifesto that pushed the discipline to absorb more lessons from the study of the premodern Mediterranean world.

At the same time, I left this book with a nagging feeling that the authors dodged a key issue driving historical work toward more focused studies. For the last century, historians have looked toward their methods to define their discipline. Our tendency to encourage students to focus on small bodies of material and limited questions has not been exclusively the product of short-termism or foreshortened professional horizons, but the need to pass on the basic skills of historical work. Critical reading of a text, for example, requires us to focus on single text, if only for the duration of a class or an assignment. Writing a thesis and making arguments grounded in critically engaged evidence remains the hallmark of historical work and practicing these methods requires attention to detail whether at the scope of a region, an epoch, or a single battle. If historical work depends on a particular set of methods which give historians a command of detail, nuance, and causality central to presenting a compelling argument about the past, telling the discipline to shift their focus toward understanding long-term trends in a critical, historical, way is not enough.

Google Ngram Viewer

Of course, Guldi and Armitage recognized this and argued that digital tools from the simple effectiveness of Google Ngrams to more complex designs that allow historians to perform “distant readings” from a well-defined and substantial bodies of evidence will accelerate historian’s ability to understand longer spans of time and more complex issues. At the same time, these forms of “distant reading” ask historians to suspend a certain amount of critical attention to individual texts and push historians to developed greater expertise in computer algorithms, quantitative methods, and arguments made from large datasets. While these things are possible, I can’t help but thinking that they represent substantial changes to the discipline and its methods. More importantly, these changes suggest that Guldi and Armitage see the strength of the discipline less in its current methodological tool kit (with its strengths, weaknesses, and discursive character) and more in the discipline’s authority in speaking about the past. In other words, they are asking historians to shift their disciplinary authority away from a body of methods, techniques, and skills refined over centuries, to new approaches under the same disciplinary and professional banner. While they couch this shift as a return to perspectives more common before the middle of the 20th century or still thriving in odd corners of the discipline like Mediterranean studies, they are asking historians to step into a very different river with fundamentally different disciplinary and critical character.

The interest in microhistory, agency, and close reading of texts arose, in part, to address the weaknesses of big picture thinking and to maintain a view of the humanities that is conscious of the individual. These practices coincided with the core qualities of the historical method: its philological roots, the character of history as craft, and the passionate faith in our working within a human-centered discipline (e.g. Collingwood’s rethinking historical thoughts). As someone how has spent a good bit of his professional career working with diachronic historical datasets, I continue to be skeptical about their ability to unlock something fundamental human condition, and I share Collingwood’s view that this is the discipline’s highest calling. After reading The History Manifesto, I’m wonder how much of our authority as a discipline is grounded in the humanistic and humane methods at the core of our practice and how much we’d lose when we step back from the individual to understand the past. 

Google Ngram Viewer

Check out the book, it’s free!

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Autopsia virtuale sulla mummia di Tutankhamon


Recenti applicazioni di tecnologie informatiche hanno permesso di realizzare una "autopsia vitale" sulla mummia del famoso Tutankhamon, noto come il faraone bambino.

October 20, 2014

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Kerameikos.org: defining the intellectual concepts of pottery

Kerameikos.org is a collaborative project dedicated to defining the intellectual concepts of pottery following the tenets of linked open data and the formulation of an ontology for representing and sharing ceramic data across disparate data systems. While the project is focused primarily on the definition of concepts within Greek black- and red-figure pottery, Kerameikos.org is extensible toward the definition of concepts in other fields of pottery studies.

See the github account at https://github.com/kerameikos, which contains repositories for the RDF data and the publication framework. This framework could be applied to other linked data thesauri.

McGregor Squeeze Collection Digitization

McGregor Squeeze Collection Digitization
The McGregor Squeeze Collection consists of over 1000 epigraphic squeezes of Greek inscriptions currently held by the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies (CNERS) [University of British Columbia].  An epigraphic squeeze is a filter paper impression of an inscription, which provides a precise copy of the incised letters on the original; this makes them a valuable tool for research when students and scholars cannot access the original materials stored in museums.
The McGregor Squeeze Collection was donated by Dr. Malcolm McGregor, a former professor and department chair in the CNERS Department.  These squeezes mainly represent inscriptions from Athens and the surrounding area of Attica from the 5th century BCE, as well as some inscriptions from Nemea in the same time period.  The most notable squeezes held by the department represent the Athenian Tribute Lists, which were the main focus of Dr. McGregor’s work for many years.  The originals of most of the squeezes in the McGregor Squeeze Collection are held in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens, Greece.  The collection also includes epigraphic charts, research tools which are drawings of reconstructions of the Athenian Tribute Lists based on the stone fragments.

The digitization of the McGregor Squeeze Collection is currently being carried out by Digital Initiatives together with From Stone to Screen, a CNERS graduate student-led initiative to digitize the department’s material collections, and funded by a grant from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund.  The process of digitizing these hundreds of squeezes is on-going, so new images and information are added regularly.  You can read more about the ongoing status of the project on its blog: www.fromstonetoscreen.wordpress.com.

Robert Consoli (Squinches)

The Erotes of Philostratos

Introduction: the 'Erotes' of Philostratus 
and its interpretation by Fra Bartolomeo

Robert Consoli
with contributions by
K. Bender

[This is the first of a series of posts which will examine the representation of Cupids and 
Erotoi in Western Art.  My friend, K. Bender, and I will be alternate contributors.
We begin this series  with the representation in the pictorial arts of 
Imagines I.6 (The Erotes) of Philostratus the Elder.]

“ἀλλ᾿ εἴδη ζωγραφίας ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὁμιλίας
αὐτὰ τοῖς νέοις ξυντιθέντες, ἀφ᾿ ὧν ἑρμηνεύσουσί 
τε καὶ τοῦ δοκίμου ἐπιμελήσονται.”

“we propose to describe examples of paintings
in the form of addresses which we have composed 
for the young, that by this means they may learn to 
interpret paintings and to appreciate what is esteemed 
in them.”

Philostratus the Elder, Imagines, I, 295 K., 11-14,   [1]

The camerino d’alabastro was the studiolo or private study of Alfonso I d’Este of Ferrara [2]. In this study, as was the custom of wealthy and cultured gentlemen such as Alfonso, the Duke placed paintings of the very best artists that he could commission. In 1515 he commissioned Fra Bartolomeo to create a painting based on section I,6, (The Erotes or Cupids) of the Imagines of Philostratus.

One of the pleasantest of the many happy books to come down to us from antiquity is the Imagines [3] of Philostratus.  It was written by two different men. Philostratus the Elder [4] lived from about 170 to 250 AD and he produced the first Imagines; a description of 65 different paintings which he saw in a private gallery.  Philostratus the Younger, the grandson of the former, wrote a second Imagines in imitation of his grandfather. It was produced in the second half of the third century (we do not know exactly when); it survives only in part [5].

The elder Philostratus had occasion to compose his Imagines during a stay in the seaside villa of a friend in Naples. In this villa there were many beautiful panel paintings and as he examined them he noticed that a ten year old boy, the son of his host, was observing him as he moved from one painting to the next. Finally the boy asked Philostratus to interpret them for him and Philostratus had the idea of creating a discourse devoted solely to these paintings. We mustn’t imagine from his statements that Philostratus was preparing a formal examination of antique painting. As a Sophist his primary concern was to produce striking examples of verbal artistry. It is this that gives the Imagines their lively vividness. This emphasis on the verbal art may, however, detract from their usefulness as accurate descriptions of second century painting. He has little interest in the technical aspects of painting tout court and mentions but one painter by name. On the other hand the Imagines are consistent with the themes of actually existing paintings, particularly from Campania. Although we cannot necessarily believe in the literal existence of the paintings he describes, Philostratus’ very detail allows the scholar of art history to use them as part of his data set. The translator of the Loeb Classical Library edition, Arthur Fairbanks, tells us to keep two things in mind. First, we must not forget that Philostratus primary interest was in literary art but, second, ‘there is little or nothing to indicate any inconsistency between the paintings existing in his day and the paintings he describes’ [6]

A case in point is that part of the Imagines (I.6) which is called ‘Erotes’. This description allows Philostratus to display both his sophistic verbal elaboration as well as his gift for detailed, almost hallucinatory, description. In the ‘Erotes’ Philostratus asks us to imagine a vast field in which troops of Erotoi (Cupids) are playing; in particular they are picking apples. They are flying up to the tops of the trees and gathering their golden fruit in baskets while their cloaks and quivers lie on the ground. In mythology the erotoi are the children of the Nymphs who are the devotees of Aphrodite. More than just beautiful apple pickers, the erotoi have lessons for us. In the foreground Philostratus uses the cupids to present an allegory of the difference between friendship and love. Behold, he says, two pairs of Cupids. The first pair are tossing apples to each other. This, he tells us, symbolizes two partners who form a lasting friendship. As they throw the apples towards each other they intensify and consolidate their friendship.A second pair is, at first sight, more savage. This pair is using bows and arrows to wound each other in the breast. Far from shrinking from the arrows the pair involved make themselves more prominent; intending to receive the blows and not retreat from them. This is an allegory which represents a pair who are already in love and are attempting to strengthen that love by re-inflicting Love’s wound and making it deeper.

Before his death in 1516 Fra Bartolomeo was only able to complete a preliminary sketch. Now what has Fra Bartolomeo made out of these suggestions? His preliminary drawing is preserved in the Uffizi [7] and it is a dramatic departure from the scene in the Imagines. Here is Bartolomeo’s sketch:

Sketch for a painting of the Imagines I.6 of Philostratus the Elder
 by Fra Bartolomeo 

In this sketch, unlike the Imagines, Aphrodite is explicitly depicted and placed in the center. There is no sign of her grotto. She stands with her weight on her right leg and with her head turned towards her left. She is boxed in by four nymphs and she seems to be acknowledging their worship; specifically that of the nymph at the lower right who is handing her a mirror.  This five-sided relation is emphasized by the pentagon in the next figure.  In the next figure I have redrawn the principal lines in the sketch to emphasize Bartolomeo’s ideas. Aphrodite is at A, two of the nymphs are at B and the other two at C (one nymph cradles a cupid, the other nymph is above her right shoulder). The pentagon formed by these five figures is supported by a roiling mass of cupids (the erotes) who are engaged in several different activities. They are both flying and picking apples from the trees at the right (D) and engaged in various wrestling matches (E, F, H). The figure at G may be plausibly interpreted as one of Philostratus’ archers but, if so, I do not see his intended target. It’s better, probably, to interpret his left arm as part of the compositional sweep that leads up to Aphrodite in the center. 

Five-sided relation of Aphrodite to Nymphs emphasized by pentagon.  
Letters explained in the text.

Fra Bartolomeo has, therefore, made a number of significant changes to Philostratus’ imagined scene.  Aphrodite is now the subject of the scene as opposed to a mere mention of her grotto; the grotto has disappeared. The nymphs are emphasized. The pair of archers and the pair throwing apples at each other are gone. The whole activity of apple picking is deemphasized and pushed to the edge of the composition. The cupids are now nothing more than a mass of circular shapes supporting the central act of Aphrodite worship. Bartolomeo’s conceptual changes show that the ideas of Philostratus were only a starting point for Renaissance artists and they felt that they could freely improvise on his themes.

In our next post we will examine what Titian made out of this same theme.

The Warburg Digital Photographic Collection - a work in progress - offers more than 1700 images of erotes [8].

Among them an engraving cut ca 1607-1613 and published on p.41 in the translation by Blaise de Vigenère, edition of 1629, Paris, 'Les images ou tableaux de platte peinture des deux Philostrates, sophistes grecs, et les Statues de Callistrate', depicting the erotes (Les Amours) chasing the hare and offering apples to Venus in her grotto.


[1]  [Fairbanks 1931] 4.

[2] It is reproduced online here (requires QuickTime).

[3] The text is known from a 13th century manuscript, the Laurentianus, LXVIX (30). Also known from the manuscriptParisiensis (greek) 1696. See further details in [1].

[4] Also the author of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana.

[5] Book II with its first section entitled 'Singers or Aphrodite hymned by maidens' in translation, will be the subject of a forthcoming post: Philostratos' Eikones: Book II.1 'Aphrodite elephantine' illustrated

[6] [Fairbanks 1931] xxvii

[7] Ga­bi­netto Di­se­gni e Stampe de­gli Uf­fizi, inv. n. 1269 E.

[8] The Warburg Institute, University of London, houses a Photographic Collection and Library. Its Iconographic Database contains digitised images from this Collection and Library. See post of February 20, 2012,  'Photo-Archives, Old and New'


[Fairbanks 1931]  Arthur Fairbanks, editor and translator, Philostratus the Elder, Philostratus the Younger, Callistratus.  Loeb Classical Library, vol. 256,  Harvard University Press. 1931.
A bilingual edition is available at archive.org.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology publications accessible on-line

Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology publications accessible on-line
The Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology produces quality books and periodicals that record the results of archaeological excavation and conservation projects carried out by the Centre’s expeditions — mainly in Egypt and Sudan, but also in Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Kuwait and Iran. All submitted publications are subjected to preliminary qualifying evaluation by members of the Editorial Board and the International Advisory Board, and to double-blind reviewing procedures.
Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean: volumes 1–19 at PAM Journal; issues starting with volume 17 at C.E.E.O.L.
Studia Palmyreńskie: volume 11 at journal's website.
Seventy Years of Polish Archaeology in Egypt: the book can be found on our Additional Materials page.
An array of plates, booklets and folders from exhibitions etc. can also be found among the Additional Materials.

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

Illuminated Manuscripts Conference - More Places Available

We are delighted to announce that – due to exceptional demand for places – the forthcoming AMARC conference has been moved to a larger venue in the Conference Centre at the British Library. There are now more places available to attend this exciting conference on fourteenth-century illuminated manuscripts in the...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean

 [First posted in AWOL 1 September 2010. Most recently updated 20 October 2014]

Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean. Reports
ISSN: 1234-5415
Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean. Reports, appears annually, in English, presenting the full extent of archaeological, geophysical, restoration and study work carried out by expeditions from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw. The PCMA is present in the Near East and northeastern Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Kuwait, formerly also in Iraq). Projects cover all periods from prehistory and protohistory through the Islamic age, emphasizing in particular broadly understood Greco-Roman culture and Early Christianity in the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean.

dh+lib: where the digital humanities and librarianship meet

Reaching Out to the Humanities for Open Access Week


Open Access Week 2014 logo

Today marks the start of Open Access Week, now in its 7th year. From October 20 through 26, individuals and institutions worldwide will hold events (workshops, symposia, lectures, and even upload-a-thons) centered on the issue of open access.

Last year, dh+lib compiled a round-up of events that focused on the humanities, and we’d like to do the same this year. If you’re hosting an open access event that specifically reaches out to disciplines in the arts and humanities, please send relevant info to dhandlib.acrl@gmail.com or tweet us! And if you’re interested in writing up your OA efforts in the humanities, pitch us your idea—we’re always looking for original pieces that showcase the work of our community.

Curious what others are up to this week? Check out the mammoth list of OA Week events over at the Open Access Directory.

The Editors

The post Reaching Out to the Humanities for Open Access Week appeared first on dh+lib.

The Signal: Digital Preservation

The ePADD Team on Processing and Accessing Email Archives

As archives increasingly process born-digital collections one thing is clear; processing digital collections often involves working with tons of email. There is already some great work exploring how to deal with email, but given that it is such a significant problem area it is great to see work focused on developing tools to make sense of this material. Of particular concern is how email is simultaneously so ubiquitous and so messy.  I’ve heard cases of repositories needing to deal with hundreds of millions of email objects in a single collection. Beyond that, in actual practice people use email for just about everything,  so email records are often a messy mixture of public, private, personal and professional material.


Email? from user tamaleaver on Flickr.

To this end, the ePADD project at Stanford, with the help of an NHPRC grant, is working to produce an open-source tool that will allow repositories and individuals to interact with email archives before and after they have been transferred to a repository. I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation from the projects technical advisor, Dr. Sudheendra Hangal, on the status of the project and am thrilled to have this opportunity to discuss work on it with him and his colleagues, Glynn Edwards and Peter Chan as part of our Insights Interview series. Glynn is the Head of Technical Services in the Manuscripts division in Stanford Libraries and the Manager of the Born-Digital Program and Peter is a digital archivist at Stanford Libraries.

Trevor: Could you briefly describe the scope and objective of the ePADD project? Specifically, what problem are you working to solve and how are you going about solving it?

Glynn: The ePADD project grew out of earlier experimentation during the Mellon-funded AIMS grant. One of the collections contained 50,000 unique email messages. Peter, who was our new digital archivist, experimented with Gephi (exporting header information to create social network graphs) and Forensic Toolkit. Neither option managed to provide a suitable tool for processing or to facilitate discovery. FTK did not allow us to flag individual messages that contained personal identifying information for restriction and neither provided a view of the entities within the corpus nor expose them to remote researchers.

Most of the previous email projects and tools we researched were focused specifically on acquisition and preservation. They did not address other core functions of stewardship – appraisal, processing and access (discovery & delivery).

During this experimental period, Peter discovered MUSE (Memories USing Email), a research project in the Mobisocial group of Stanford’s Computer Science Dept. Using NLP and a built-in lexicon, it allowed us to extract entities, view by correspondent or a graphical visualization of sentiments based on the lexical terms. This was a step in the right direction and we began a multiyear collaboration with Sudheendra Hangal, MUSE’s creator.

The objectives are to create an open-source Java-based software program built on MUSE that supports different activities aligned with core functions of the digital curation lifecycle: appraisal, accessioning, processing, discovery and delivery. In effect it would allow a user, anyone from the creator, donor, curator, archivist or researcher, to use the collection both before and after transfer to a repository.

Stanford, along with our collaborating partners (NYU, Smithsonian, Columbia, and Bodleian @ Oxford), created and prioritized a set of specifications for the initial development cycle, funded by NHPRC. We also developed and published a beta site to demonstrate our concept for exporting entities and correspondents to facilitate discovery. We have been steadily receiving more email collections. Our most recent acquisition contains over 600,000 unique messages. The grant states that the program will handle at least 250,000 messages – so this latest archive will be more than adequate as a stress test!

Trevor: Could you tell us a bit about the design of the workflow in the tool? How are you envisioning donors and processing archivists working with it?

Peter: The workflow is designed as follows:

Creators of email archives use the appraisal module to scan their archives and identify messages they don’t want to transfer. They can also flag messages as “restricted” and enter annotations to specify the terms of the restriction. The files exported from ePADD will NOT contain the messages flagged as “Do Not Transfer.”

After receiving the files from donors, processing archivists will then identify messages to be restricted according to the policy of their institutions and communication with the donor. Depending on the resources available, processing archivists may want to confirm the email addresses of correspondents suggested by ePADD. Archivists may also want to reconcile the correspondents/person entities extracted with authority records suggested by ePADD. After they finish processing, archivists will output two versions of the archive from ePADD. Neither set contains any restricted messages.

The first set is designed for the discovery module, with all messages redacted barring identified entities (people, places, organizations) and email address with a masked domain name. This version will be stored in the web server to be used for the discovery module.  Public researchers with internet access can browse and search the archives using the discovery module. They will only see a redacted version of the original messages containing extracted entities, but this is still useful to them to get a sense of the entities present in the archive, without being able to see what is said about them.

The second version, designed for the delivery module, will be stored in the reading room computer designated for email delivery. Researchers using the designated computer in the reading room will be able to browse and search the archives.  The messages, when displayed, will be the full messages without redaction. Researchers can define their own lexicon to analyze the collection. They may request copies by flagging the messages they need. Public service archivists/librarians can then give the researchers the files according to the policy of their institutions.

Glynn: I would only add that the appraisal module is meant to make it possible for a creator/donor to review their email archives, to create their own lexicon if desired, and prepare the files for export and final transfer to a repository. During this process they may take actions on specific messages (individually) or sets of messages (bulk by topic or correspondent) as restricted or elected not to transfer. We felt this functionality was important to offer a donor for two reasons. First, in the hope that they weed out irrelevant messages or spam! Second, there may be individuals they correspond with that do not want their messages archived – this is a case for one of our collections.

Trevor: How do you imagine archivists using this tool? Further, how do you see it fitting in with the ecosystem of other open-source tools and platforms that act as digital repository platforms and other tools for processing and working born digital archival materials like BitCurator and Archivematica?

The social life of email at Enron - a new study from user chieftech on Flicker.

The social life of email at Enron – a new study from user chieftech on Flickr.

Peter: I consider “processing” of born-digital materials to include both identifying restricted materials AND arranging/describing the intellectual content of the materials. My understanding of Bitcurator and Archivematica is that neither offers tools to arrange/describe the intellectual content of the materials. ePADD offers four tools to arrange/describe the intellectual content of email archives. First, it uses a natural language processing library to extract personal names, organizational names and locations in email archives to give researchers a sense of people, organizations and locations in the archives. Second, it gathers all image files in one place for researchers to browse and if necessary go to the messages containing the images.

Third, it offers user-definable lexicons which contain categories of words the system will use to search against the emails so that researchers/archivists can browse emails according to the lexicons they defined. Finally, ePADD reconciles the correspondents and personal names mentioned in messages with the FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) dataset which is derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Archivists can then give their confirmation to the suggested matches by ePADD. If none of the suggestions are correct, they can enter their own links to the authority records.

I can see people using ePADD to appraise, process, discover and deliver emails and sending the files generated for delivery and discovery to systems using Archivematica for long term preservation.

Trevor: In Sudheendra’s presentation I saw some really interesting things happening with approaches to identifying different distinct email addresses that are associated with the same individual over time in a collection, and some interesting approaches to associating the names of individuals with canonical data for names of people. I think he also illustrated ways that the content of the messages could be identified and associated with subjects. Could you tell us a bit about how this works and how you are thinking about the possibilities and impact on things like archival description that these approaches could have?

Glynn: With email archives – or any born-digital materials – archivists need automated methods to get through large amounts of data. ePADD incorporates several methods of automation to assist with processing of email. Here are three:

1. Correspondents & name resolution

During ingest, ePADD gathers all correspondents and recipients from email headers and performs basic name resolution tasks. When your cursor rolls over a name, different versions that were aggregated appear in a pop-up window. The archivist can go into the back end and override or edit the addresses that are associated with a specific name.

I would direct you to the wonderful documentation on processing and using email archives on the MUSE website. Regarding the resolution of correspondents, Sudheendra states (PDF) in the “MUSE: Reviving Memories Using Email Archives” report that “MUSE performs entity resolution by unifying names and email addresses in email headers when either the name or email address (as specified in the RFC-822 email header) is equivalent. This is essential since email addresses and even name spellings for a person are likely to change in a long-term archive.”

ePADD performs this process during ingest and allows the donor (appraisal module) or archivist (processing module) to correct or edit the email aliases that are automatically bundled together by ePADD at ingestion.

2. Entity extraction & disambiguation

ePADD extracts entities from the email corpus using Apache’s openNLP library and checks them against OCLC’s FAST database to identify authorities. In the case of multiple hits on a name, it shows all the matching records and can read data from DBpedia to automatically rank the likelihood of each record being the correct one. The archivist finally confirms which authority record is correct.

Example of how ePADD connects to l third party data to disambiguate and link names & identities.

Example of how ePADD connects to third party data to disambiguate, aggregate and link names & identities.

Algorithms are also used to help the archivist or researcher understand context while reading a message. For example, suppose a conversation mentions Bob, which could refer to any number of Bobs present in the archive. ePADD analyzes the occurrences of Bob throughout the archive with respect to the text and headers of this message, and thinks: “Hmm…when the name Bob is used with the people copied on this email, and when these other names appear in the message, its more likely to be Bob Creeley than other Bobs in the archive like Dylan or Woodward.” It displays a popup with the ranked list of possibilities (see image).

The colored bar underneath each full name indicates the likelihood of that association. This feature can be used by an archivist during processing or by researchers in the delivery module to understand the archive’s contents better. If you think about it, we humans do this kind of context-based disambiguation all the time; ePADD is helping us along by trying to automate some of it.

Example of identification of named entities in the Robert Creeley email archive

Example of identification of named entities in the Robert Creeley email archive

3. Lexical searches & review

The archivist can use the built-in lexicons or create one in order to tease out the subjects or topics in the archive. MUSE came with a “sentiment” lexicon and ePADD will include another default lexicon based on searching for Personally Identifiable Information and sensitive material. This will include the ability to identify regular expressions – such as credit card or social security numbers as well as material that may be governed by FERPA or HIPAA. These lexicons are editable or one could start from scratch and create a specialized one. The beauty of this is that once the terms are indexed by ePADD the user can view the messages individually or in a visualization graph.

An ePADD discovery module visualization graph.

An ePADD discovery module visualization graph.


Trevor: As a follow-up to that question, how is the project conceptualizing the role of the archivist engaging with some of these automated processes for description? Sudheendra showed how an archivist could intervene and accept/reject or tweak the resulting bundling of email addresses and associate them with named entities. With that said, I imagine it would be a huge undertaking, and one that seems inconsistent with an MPLP approach, to have an archivist review all of this metadata. To that end, are there ways the project can enable some level of review of particularly important figures and still communicate which part is automated and which part has been reviewed? Or are there other ways the team is thinking about this kind of issue?

Peter: In view of the large number of correspondents and personal names mentioned in an email archive, reviewing ALL name entities is usually not feasible. Depending on resources we have for each archive, we can review, say the top 1000 most mentioned names in an archive.

Glynn: Agreed. This is similar to processing the analog or paper correspondence in a collection. The archivist usually selects correspondents that are either well known, that have substantive letters – either in form or extent. Not all correspondents in a collection make it into the finding aid as added entries, into folder-level description, or even into a detailed index. With ePADD the top 50 or 100 correspondents (in extent) are easily and automatically identified.

However, because researchers may be interested in entities/correspondents that we do not “process,” we are considering allowing them much of the same functionality in the full text access module in the reading room. One example, would be allowing the researcher to create a new lexicon and search by their terms.

To identify what’s been processed is a work in process. We still need to build in some administrative features – such as scope and content notes – to let the researcher know the types/depth of actions performed.

Trevor: How are you thinking about authenticity of records in the context of this project? That is, what constitutes the original and authentic format of these records and how does the project work to ensure the integrity of those records over time. Similarly, how are you thinking about documenting decisions and actions taken in the appraisal process on the records?

Peter: According to “ISO 15489-1, Information and documentation–Records Management,” an authentic (electronic) record is one that can be proven:

a) to be what it purports to be,

b) to have been created or sent by the person purported to have created or sent it, and

c) to have been created or sent at the time purported.

Format is not part of the requirements for an authentic electronic record. One of the reasons is that electronically produced documents actually are not objects at all but rather, by their nature, products that have to be processed each time they are used. There is no transfer, no reading without a re-creation of the information. Furthermore, electronic records are at risk because of technical obsolescence as newer formats replace older ones.

ePADD does not address the issue of authenticity in this round of funding. This issue is definitely important and complicated and I would like to address it in the future.

Trevor: What lessons has the team learned so far about working with email archives? Are there any assumptions or thoughts you had about working with email as records that have evolved or changed while working on the project?

Peter: Conversion of old archived emails can be tricky. Even though normalization is not within the scope of ePADD, still people need to convert emails to MBox format before ePADD can work on them. One of our partners found missing headers from emails when looking at them using ePADD. The emails came from old Groupwise emails that were migrated into Outlook and then converted to Mbox. Is this a conversion error when converting Groupwise emails to Outlook? Or when converting the Outlook emails to mbox? Or when ePADD parses the emails?

Attachment files come in diverse file formats. The ability to view files in attachments is an important feature for a system like ePADD. Apache OpenOffice.org can read files in ~50 file formats. On the other hand, QuickView Plus can view files in ~500 file formats. Should we integrate a commercial software in ePADD in order to view files in the 450 file formats which Apache OpenOffice is not capable of? If yes, ePADD will not be an open-source project anymore. If no, ePADD users have to face the fact that there are files they are not able to view.

Glynn: The sheer volume of data to review can be very daunting. The more specific the terms in the lexicon to perform automated indexing to messages the better. You want to discover messages that should be restricted but not have too many false positives to wade through during review.

The ability to process in bulk cannot be stressed too much. When performing actions on a set of messages – either from a lexical result, correspondent or a user-defined search. ePADD allows to you apply any action to that entire subset. You can also apply actions to original folders. For example, if messages are organized into a folder marked “human resources,” the archivist or donor may choose to flag all the messages in that folder as “restricted until 2050.”

Trevor: What are the next steps for the project? What sorts of things are you exploring for the future?

Peter: I would like to look at the topics/concepts exchanged in emails (and match them against the Library of Congress Subject Heading – Topical). It would be interesting to know what books and movies were mentioned in emails. Publishing extracted entities as linked open data is definitely one thing I would like to do as well. However, it all depends on funding.

Glynn: This is the fun part – envisioning what else is needed or desired in future iterations. It is, however, reliant on funding and collaboration. Input is needed across different types of institutions – museums, government, academic, corporate to name a few. While many of the use cases would be similar, there are unique aspects or goals for different institutions.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken part in the NDSA-sponsored meeting (see Chris Prom’s blog post) and held ePADD’s first Advisory Group meeting. These sparked some wonderful discussions and ideas about next steps for greater discovery, delivery and collaboration.

There is a definite need in the profession to begin defining and documenting use cases, to analyze and document life cycles of email archives and existing tools in order to evaluate gaps and future needs, to further discovery through exporting correspondents and extracted entities from ePADD and publishing them with a dynamic search interface across archives. Other avenues we would like to explore are the ability to process and deliver other document types (beyond email), including social media.

The final delivery or access module is intended for reading room access, and we hope to provide more robust tools to allow user interaction with the archives. Additionally, we would like to offer data dumps for text mining/analysis or extractions of header information for social network analysis. Currently these are managed by correspondence through Special Collections.

One suggestion from our Advisory Group was to broaden use of ePADD before final release in the summer (2015). By allowing other repositories to use ePADD for processing we would expose more email collections for researcher use and hopefully get more feedback for the development and specification teams. This will be a better demonstration and test of the program. To this end we plan to release ePADD beyond our grant collaborators to other institutions that have already expressed strong interest.

Sudheendra: Glynn and Peter have answered your questions wonderfully, so I’ll just jump in with a little bit of speculation. In the last couple of decades, we’re seeing that a lot of our lives are reflected in our online activities, be it email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter or any other medium. A small example: a cousin of mine spent almost a year organizing a major dance performance for her daughter. She was reflecting on the effort, and exclaimed to me: “That was so much work. You know, I should save all those emails!” I think that is very telling. All of us have wonderful stories in our lives. There are moments of joy and exasperation, love and sorrow, accomplishment and failure, and they are often captured in our electronic communications. We should be able to preserve them, reflect on them, and hand them over to future generations. We already do this with photographs, which are wonderful. However, text-based communications are complementary to images because they capture thoughts, feelings and intentions in a way that images do not.

Unfortunately, the misuse of personal data for commercial or surveillance reasons is causing many people to be wary of preserving their own records, and even to go out of their way to delete them. This is a pity, because there is so much value buried in archives, if only users could keep their data under their own control, and have good tools with which to make sense of it. So in the next decade, I predict that individuals and families will routinely use tools like ePADD to preserve history important to them. We’re all archivists in that sense.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Fractured Land Author to Speak at the University of North Dakota

On Thursday, October 30th, Lisa Peters the author of Fractured Lands will speak in the East Asia Room of the Mighty Chester Fritz Library.  The book has received a positive review from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and I’ve offered my thoughts on it here.


While making a poster for the book, I took a few minutes to think about the font used on the cover. I think it’s a version of Cochin, but it’s clearly a transitional serif font. I suspect the use of this font for book covers is designed to evoke the cover of Larry Potter books which used a version of Cochin to evoke the fantastic and anachronistic world of the young wizard (or whatever he is). As someone who wrote a fairly long dissertation and endless articles under the oppressive gaze of Times New Roman, I’m sort of over transitional serif fonts. I can vaguely grasp the point of it on the cover. I suppose it is designed to evoke tensions between her father’s fascination with North Dakota oil and her own desire to move forward into a greener, more environmentally friendly world.  

Ironically, the book is set in a modern serif font, Escrow, made famous by the Wall Street Journal. I thought that was a nice touch, considering the topic of the book! I might have dumped the Larry Potteresque title and run an old style serif font like Garamond throughout. I like the intimacy of the Classical/Old Style fonts and I think they’d be fitting for a memoire. 

Font situation aside, her talk should be good fun. I’m donating some of my time from North Dakota Humanities Council affairs to organizing this talk, so it’s sponsored by the NDHC.

Here’s the link to the live stream on the day of the talk.


Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

Event Roundup, Oct 20

By Erika Owens

Event Roundup, Oct 20

Once again OpenNews is organizing an entire floor of journalism code awesomeness.


Know of any upcoming fellowship or conference proposal deadlines? Have an upcoming event? Let us know: source@mozillafoundation.org.

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

Philistine Pottery in the Core and Periphery

Production Centers, Stylistic Groups and Individual Artists

7-Linda-Meiberg-blogBy: Linda Meiberg, University of Pennsylvania
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow

The … Read more

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Un percorso digitale per scoprire l’oro sulle sculture degli Uffizi

putto-ala-dorataE' stato presentato in occasione dell’International Archaeology Day promosso dall’American Institute of Archaeology di Chicago lo scorso 18 ottobre 2014, il progetto "Gold Unveiled" iniziativa del Museo degli Uffizi di Firenze per la valorizzazione di alcune antiche sculture in marmo. Alcune delle  sculture che oggi sono conservati presso la Galleria degli Uffizi presentavano in passato delle parti dorate: "la Venere dei Medici della Tribuna aveva i capelli d’oro, così come le ali degli amorini del Rilievo dei troni, oppure come l’egida della Minerva che si ammira transitando nell’anticamera della Direzione della Galleria o come gli spallacci del busto di Adriano nel primo corridoio del museo".

Biologia e Archeobiologia: dalla Conoscenza alla Conservazione Preventiva

icpal-restauro-libroIl Convegno "Biologia e Archeobiologia: dalla Conoscenza alla Conservazione Preventiva" si terrà a Palermo dal 19 al 21 marzo 2015. E' rivolto a ricercatori, studiosi, restauratori e tutti coloro che operano nel settore della conservazione, fruizione e restauro dei Beni Culturali, ha lo scopo di instaurare e consolidare i rapporti scientifici e tecnologici fra diverse figure professionali, al fine di definire procedure interdisciplinari nel pieno rispetto dei moderni criteri della manutenzione e restauro conservativo.

Arte è Scienza, Prima Rassegna Nazionale di Archeometria


arte-e-scienzaL'Associazione Italiana di Archeometria (AIAr) organizza la prima Rassegna nazionale di Archeometria Arte è Scienza che vuole essere un’occasione per riflettere sul rapporto vitale tra i beni culturali e le tecniche scientifiche nell’ambito dello studio di siti e reperti archeologici, nella ricostruzione dell’ambiente storico, nella diagnostica delle opere d’arte, nella conservazione del nostro patrimonio artistico e culturale.

Milano partecipa alla Fondazione per le tecnologie innovative per i beni culturali


its-cantieri-arteIl Consiglio comunale di Milano ha approvato all’unanimità la delibera sulla progettazione di nuovi percorsi di istruzione tecnica superiore tramite la costituzione della Fondazione “Istituto tecnico superiore per le tecnologie innovative per i beni e le attività culturali – cantieri dell’arte” alla quale il Comune partecipa come socio fondatore. 

October 19, 2014

Michael E. Smith (Publishing Archaeology)

Open Access Week

This coming week is "Open Access Week". Check out the central website, called Open access week. The promise and importance of open access was one of the main reasons I started this blog in 2007. Over the years I think I have grown cynical about the lack of progress in open access on most fronts, but I remain committed to the concept. I was asked by librarian Anali Perry to respond to several questions about open access; my responses (and several others) will be posted on the library website this week. Here are my replies:

What is your experience with open access publishing?

I write about open access publishing in my blog, “Publishing Archaeology” (see URL below) and I speak out within my scholarly community (archaeology) through papers and workshops at conferences, publishing in newsletters, and such. I have posted papers in online open access “journals” (non-peer reviewed). I post most of my papers, somewhat inconsistently between my personal ASU website, Academia.edu, and the Selected Works site. I like to try out new scholarly programs and sites to see if they are useful for promoting open access and the values and benefits of OA. Academia.edu turned out to be a great site, but Researchgate turned out to be not at all useful, but with many annoying traits, so I unsubscribed. Selected Works has a very attractive interface, but seems less widely used the Academia.edu and slightly more difficult to use. I have a deep personal and professional commitment to open access (that is one reason I started my publishing blog in 2007), although I have become somewhat cynical over the lack of progress, and even signs of retrenchment or anti-progress, in the past few years.

Do you believe that open access to scholarly research is important? Why or why not?

If scholarly research is important, then open access is important. One does research in order to build knowledge that is communicated to others: colleagues and the public. Open access contributes in a strong way to the basic and fundamental goals of research and publication. Much of my research is funded by U.S. taxpayers, and they have a right to know what I have done with the funds, and to see my results. Traditional publishing in journals used to serve the goals of research/publishing very well, but today with the Internet we can promote the goals and values of research far more widely, and traditional journal publishing only serves a limited sector of our potential audience. Furthermore, commercial journals now serve to limit access to published papers by refusing to engage in open access (without a big fee).

I do research and fieldwork in Mexico. As such I work as a guest of the Mexican government and the Mexican nation. Most of the journals I publish in, however, are not available to my Mexican colleagues or the Mexican public. They are locked behind a pay wall, and people in Mexico (and most of the rest of the world) simply cannot afford the fees required to get access. When Academia.edu and Selected Works provide access statistics, my Spanish-language papers often have a higher download rate than my English-language papers. I interpret this as a function of the lack of availability of journal articles around the world. Most of my U.S. colleagues can get access to online journals through a university website, but that is not true in Mexico. Posting my papers online is the only way around this obstacle, yet that very simple and basic example of scholarly activity—making my own papers available online—is being turned into a crime.

What do you see as the biggest barrier to open access publishing options for scholars?

Let me list three barriers to open access publishing. First,the commercial publishers who lock up published papers behind a paywall are perhaps the largest barrier to open access. Modern academic research is the only realm where one works with compensation from the public and from one’s own time and resources, then gives the results for free to a large corporation, who then make profits from one’s work while preventing others from seeing it. Does this sound right? Not to me.

The second barrier to open access is apathy and ignorance by researchers. Most researchers just want to get on with their research without being bothered by setting up websites, posting papers, or dealing with the ethical and professional issues of open access.

The third barrier is universities that fail to recognize the substantial gains they could make if they embraced open access. Few universities have an institutional repository where all papers published by faculty (and students) are archived. While journals have the legal right to suppress the public posting of article pdfs, authors have the right to send pdf reprints to colleagues. The “reprint button” is a way around the barrier, by automating send sending of reprints while maintaining the lack of open posting of pdfs. How would universities (such as ASU) benefit from embracing open access, setting up a repository, and promoting other open access ideas and procedures?

First, research carried out at the university would become better known. Citations will increase (this has been shown quantitatively) and overall familiarity with university research will increase. This promotes science and scholarship and its availability to colleagues and the public. Faculty will benefit from this. Second, by boosting the research profile, it will increase the prestige of the university and its faculty. More people will see more of the activity taking place at the university. One of the basic missions of universities—creating new knowledge through research, will thus be promoted more explicitly and more intensively. Third, people outside the university will become more familiar with what the university is doing, and the university can thus have a greater impact on such people in the local region. Fourth,the global reach and engagement of the university will be improved with open access, as constituents around the world getter better access to the research findings of faculty and students. Fifth, the public display of research that is at the cutting edge of individual disciplines, and research that breaks new ground by synthesizing multiple disciplines, will benefit by finding a wider audience, which encourages communication and synergies.

In the case of ASU, these benefits of open access (and this is just a quick off-the-cuff list; there are surely more) fit with many of the principles of the New American University (http://newamericanuniversity.asu.edu/). I continue to be surprised at the lack of action on open access at this university.

What advice or recommendations about open access publishing (or scholarly publishing in general) would you give to early career researchers?

My first piece of advice would be that conducting research and publishing is more important than worrying about open access. I know of at least one colleague who put so much time into an OA project that they failed to produce sufficient scholarship to get tenure (and they were denied tenure). Everyone is grateful for this person’s professional contributions, but that person, and probably the discipline generally, would probably be better off if they had spent more time getting their own scholarship in order. That said, one rarely has to make a stark choice between basic scholarship and OA activities. I would advise early career researchers to make their publications available in one or more repositories or websites. Publish in OA journals, agitate within professional societies for OA policies and practices. Young scholars are generally highly media savvy, and they should explore the growing number of options for scholarship and scholarly communication, including OA and OA-related activities.


My blog, Publishing Archaeology:  (http://publishingarchaeology.blogspot.com/)
An online, open access, paper:  Smith, Michael E.  (2011)  Why Anthropology is too Narrow an Intellectual Context for Archaeology. Anthropologies3: (online).  http://www.anthropologiesproject.org/2011/05/why-anthropology-is-too-narrow.html.

My personal website:  http://www.public.asu.edu/~mesmith9/
My site on Academia. Edu:  https://asu.academia.edu/MichaelESmith

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Arys: Antigüedad, Religiones y Sociedades

[First posted in AWOL 2 October 2011. Updates 19 Octoberr 2013]

ARYS: Antigüedad, Religiones y Sociedades

ARYS es una revista de periodicidad anual desde 2010 en la que los artículos recibidos serán sometidos a una evaluación por parte de revisores externos mediante el sistema conocido como de pares ciegos.

 El Consejo de Redacción no modificará las opiniones vertidas por los autores ni se hace responsable de las opiniones emitidas por ellos o por los revisores externos. El Consejo de Redacción de ARYS considerará la publicación de trabajos de investigación, originales e inéditos, siempre que demuestren un nivel de calidad contrastado y se ocupen de aspectos religiosos y sociales, dedicados al estudio de la Antigüedad. Se atenderá a la novedad del tema, al tratamiento diferente más profundo de problemas ya identificados en la historiografía, a la aportación y valoración de datos novedosos respecto a una cuestión historiográfica determinada, o a la aplicación de nuevas o mejoradas metodologías.

Del mismo modo, ARYS publicará reseñas científicas de libros recientes cuya temática esté comprendida en el período de la Antigüedad, y preferente pero no necesariamente relacionada con aspectos sociales y religiosos.

ARYS acepta artículos redactados en español, inglés, francés, italiano, alemán y portugués.

En los años impares, la revista ARYS publicará un número monográfico con artículos cuya temática deberá estar relacionada con el título del congreso de la Asociación ARYS celebrado el año par inmediatamente anterior. El título del monográfico se anunciará con la suficiente antelación. 
Three year moving wall for open access


SCADS: Seleucid Coins Addenda System

SCADS: Seleucid Coins Addenda System: Addenda to Seleucid Coins Parts 1 and 2

In 2002 and 2008 the American Numismatic Society and Classical Numismatic Group published the two parts of Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalogue, by Arthur Houghton, Catharine Lorber, and Oliver Hoover. The first part, by Houghton and Lorber, presented and interpreted all the  numismatic material for Seleucus I to Antiochus III known up to 2002. The second part, by Houghton, Lorber, and Hoover, did the same for the Seleucid kings from Seleucus IV to  Antiochus XIII. In total, more than 2,491 primary coin types were published in these volumes.
No sooner had these important books come out in print than new types and varieties began to appear at the rate of almost 100 a year. This rapid growth of material made necessary the development of a system that could keep up with the coins. The Seleucid Coins Addenda System (SCADS) is intended to provide online access to the new material that has appeared since 2008. As there is no indication that the flow of previously unrecorded types and varieties will stop anytime soon, it is expected that the SCADS database will continue to grow over time. Interested parties will be instantly notified of new additions to the database through alerts on Facebook, Twitter, and direct email subscription.

The coins in the SCADS database are categorized by ruler, making it easy for users to find all new entries for a particular king with a single click. Extensive tagging of entry content allows for full searchability. Thus, for example, a user interested in all new material depicting Apollo  would simply enter “Apollo” as the search criterion and SCADS would provide all the relevant entries. If a user was interested only in Apollo on issues of bronze denomination C, “denomination C” could be added to narrow down the search. The coins in the database have all been given a unique catalogue number (SCADS1, SCADS2, SCADS3, etc.) for ease of reference, but these only reflect the order of entry and are not tied to the numbering system used in the Seleucid Coins volumes.

Sean Gillies Blog

Unix style spatial ETL with fio cat, collect, and load

Unix style spatial ETL with fio cat, collect, and load

In Fiona 1.4.0 I added a fio-cat command to the CLI which works much UNIX cat. It opens one or more vector datastets, concatenating their features and printing them to stdout as a sequence of GeoJSON features.

$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp | head -n 2
{"geometry": {"coordinates": [...], "type": "Polygon"}, "id": "0", "properties": {"AREA": 244820.0, "CAT": 232.0, "CNTRY_NAME": "United Kingdom", "FIPS_CNTRY": "UK", "POP_CNTRY": 60270708.0}, "type": "Feature"}
{"geometry": {"coordinates": [...], "type": "Polygon"}, "id": "1", "properties": {"AREA": 244820.0, "CAT": 232.0, "CNTRY_NAME": "United Kingdom", "FIPS_CNTRY": "UK", "POP_CNTRY": 60270708.0}, "type": "Feature"}

I’ve replaced most of the coordinates with ellipses to save space in the code block above, something I’ll continue to do in examples below.

I said that fio-cat concatenates features of multiple files and you can see this by using wc -l.

$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp | wc -l
$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp docs/data/test_uk.shp | wc -l

If you look closely at the output, you’ll see that every GeoJSON feature is a standalone text and each is preceded by an ASCII RS (0x1E) control character. These allow you to cat pretty-printed GeoJSON (using the --indent option) containing newlines that can still be understood as a sequence of texts by other programs. Software like Python’s json module and Node’s underscore-cli will trip over unstripped RS, so you can disable the RS control characters and emit LF delimited sequences of GeoJSON (with no option to pretty print, of course) using --x-json-seq-no-rs.

To complement fio-cat I’ve written fio-load and fio-collect. They read features from a sequence (RS or LF delimited) and respectively write them to a formatted vector file (such as a Shapefile) or print them as a GeoJSON feature collection.

Here’s an example of using fio-cat and load together. You should tell fio-load what coordinate reference system to use when writing the output file because that information isn’t carried in the GeoJSON features written by fio-cat.

$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp \
| fio load --driver Shapefile --dst_crs EPSG:4326 /tmp/test_uk.shp
$ ls -l /tmp/test_uk.*
-rw-r--r--  1 seang  wheel     10 Oct  5 10:09 /tmp/test_uk.cpg
-rw-r--r--  1 seang  wheel  11377 Oct  5 10:09 /tmp/test_uk.dbf
-rw-r--r--  1 seang  wheel    143 Oct  5 10:09 /tmp/test_uk.prj
-rw-r--r--  1 seang  wheel  65156 Oct  5 10:09 /tmp/test_uk.shp
-rw-r--r--  1 seang  wheel    484 Oct  5 10:09 /tmp/test_uk.shx

And here’s one of fio-cat and collect.

$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp | fio collect --indent 4 | head
    "features": [
            "geometry": {
                "coordinates": [
$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp | fio collect --indent 4 | tail
                "CAT": 232.0,
                "CNTRY_NAME": "United Kingdom",
                "FIPS_CNTRY": "UK",
                "POP_CNTRY": 60270708.0
            "type": "Feature"
    "type": "FeatureCollection"

Does it look like I’ve simply reinvented ogr2ogr? The difference is that with fio-cat and fio-load there’s space in between for programs that process features. The programs could be written in any language. They might use Shapely, they might use Turf. The only requirement is that they read and write sequences of GeoJSON features using stdin and stdout. A nice property of programs like these is that you can sometimes parallelize them cheaply using GNU parallel.

The fio-buffer program (unreleased) in the example below uses Shapely to calculate a 100 km buffer around features (in Web Mercator, I know!). Parallel doesn’t help in this example because the sequence of features from fio-cat is fairly small, but I want to show you how to tell parallel to watch for RS as a record separator.

$ fio cat docs/data/test_uk.shp --dst_crs EPSG:3857 \
> | parallel --pipe --recstart '\x1E' fio buffer 1E+5 \
> | fio collect --src_crs EPSG:3857 \
> | geojsonio

Here’s the result. Unix pipelines, still awesome at the age of 41!

The other point of this post is that, with the JSON Text Sequence draft apparently going to publication, sequences of GeoJSON features not collected into a GeoJSON feature collection are very close to being a real thing that developers should be supporting.

October 18, 2014

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: EPEKEINA. International Journal of Ontology. History and Critics

EPEKEINA. International Journal of Ontology. History and Critics
ISSN: 2281-3209
EPEKEINA is a new biannual peer-reviewed journal published by CRF - Centro Internazionale per la Ricerca Filosofica, a non-profit cultural association and independent research center founded in Palermo (Italy) in association with the local University. It covers a wide range of research on Ontology including Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mind, Political Philosophy, and other relevant areas of philosophical research. It seeks to provide an international platform for scholars worldwide to exchange their most recent philosophical research. The Journal is commited to making its contents free and open to the public with the intent of supporting the global exchange of knowledge.


Vol 4, No 1-2 (2014): Evil, Progress, and Fall: Moral Readings of Time and Cultural Development in Roman Literature and Philosophy

Edited by Rosa Rita Marchese and Fabio Tutrone

Table of Contents

Latin Philosophy and Culture

Introduction. Romans on Temporality: Past, Present and Future PDF
Rosa Rita Marchese, Fabio Tutrone
Vetustas, oblivio e crisi d’identità nelle Saturae Menippeae: il risveglio di Varrone in un’altra Roma PDF
Irene Leonardis
Beneficium, iustitia e imperium tra passato, presente e futuro PDF
Alice Accardi
Prima e dopo Epicuro: origine e sviluppo della civiltà nel De rerum natura di Lucrezio PDF
Francesco Staderini
Matrices of Time and the Recycling of Evil in Sallust’s Historiography PDF
Sophia Papaioannou
Time’s Path and The Historian’s Agency: Morality and Memory in Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae PDF
Aaron M. Seider
Beginnings & Endings: 146 BCE as an Imperial Moment, from Polybius to Sallust PDF
Sarah H. Davies
Veniet Tempus (QNat. 7.25): Stoic Philosophy and Roman Genealogy in Seneca's View of Scientific Progress PDF
Fabio Tutrone
At the End of Times: Human Civilization and a Roman Astrologer (Firmicus Maternus, Math. 3.2) PDF
Joanna Komorowska


The Negative Theology of Matter in Calcidius
Andrea Le Moli
Innominis / Omninominis: Bernard Silvestris’s Catalogue Poem as Act of Divine Naming PDF
Jason Baxter
Philosophical thought of the School of the Sextii PDF
Omar Di Paola

Notes, Reports & Interviews

Heideggers Interpretation des platonischen Sophistes PDF
Diego De Brasi, Marko J. Fuchs
Hegel and the phenomenological movement PDF
Gabriele Schimmenti
Il principio passione. Intervista a Vito Mancuso PDF
Doriana Prinzivalli


Relation and Individuation in the Philosophy of Leibniz PDF
Angelo Cicatello


Vol 3, No 2 (2013): Jean-Luc Nancy. L'iperbole del finito

A cura di Rosaria Caldarone, Patrizia Cecala, Giovanni Tusa

Vol 2, No 1 (2013): Ontology Revisited

Edited by Andrea Le Moli, Marco Carapezza, Pietro Giuffrida


Robert Consoli (Squinches)

Using the Loeb Classical Library Online. A Review.

Harvard University Press publishes the Loeb Classical Library series.  This consists some 520 volumes of Greek and Latin authors from Homer through about the fourth century AD; it is now an indispensable source for classical scholars and interested amateurs.

Well, the big news is that the Loeb has now been digitized and all the volumes are available to be read or searched on-line.  You can see a good video here.

What this makes possible is revolutionary: With a single search you can search over all the volumes.  In a previous post I described how I was able to find out quite a lot about Lake Copais and Orchomenos with just one or two searches over the digital Loeb.

In addition to searches (which can be saved) you can create bookmarks and attach your own annotations to the text.  I think that the digital Loeb really has institutions in mind and it is designed from the viewpoint that one institution licence will make the digital Loeb available to many users.  To that end each authorized user can create his or her own space where searches, bookmarks, and annotations can be stored.

To use the digital Loeb, then, the user logs onto the main site and then separately logs onto his own personal storage (bookmarks, etc.) space.

Having used it for just a few days I cannot think how I could ever be without it.  O.k. the bad news:  the price is $195.00 for the first year and $65.00 per year for each consecutive year after that.  O.k. not too bad.  If it had been $495.00 I don't think I could have justified it.  One thing about subscribing: as of this writing they have no on-line purchasing system.  You call them or mail them and you basically give your credit card number in the clear.  (I divided my credit card number over two e-mails but that's just pathetic.)  Wake up Harvard!  It's the twenty-first century!  Credit card number security ring any bells? PayPal?

Some criticisms:

The space in which you store your searches, bookmarks, or annotations cannot be partitioned.  You have one space (called 'My Loeb') and everything goes into it.  So if I search for 'Orchomenos' and then 'Cupids' (I'm currently writing a series of blog posts on Erotes) then every result, annotation, bookmark gets mashed in together and it's impossible to tell 'Cupids' from 'Orchomenos' without laboriously opening each item and inspecting it.  Not good.  Not good at all.  I can't believe that the talented people at Harvard cannot make 'My Loeb' partitionable by using folders.  Google Drive can do it!  Why can't Harvard!?

In fact, I've got to believe that the lack of partitionable spaces or folders might be a deal breaker for some people.  After all, there are other places on-line where you can inspect original texts or translations from the Classical period.  Perseus and University of Chicago are just two that I can think of off-hand.

There's a work-around.  From an empty 'My Loebs' you can perform all your searches and annotations on a single topic and then dump it as a .csv.  That .csv can be dumped into Excel and that becomes your primary search document for the specific topic.  The .csv also includes links to the specific references that you created and this might be an acceptable work-around.  I created such a .csv for 'Orchomenos' and you can find it on Google Drive here.  But this work-around presumes that you will then empty your 'My Loebs' space in preparing for the next topic search and that's a deeply uncomfortable prospect - work-sheet or no work-sheet.

And I don't like the search results much.  A search returns simultaneously too much and not enough.
In this search for 'Eros*' (they allow the standard wild-cards: '*' substitutes for all characters and '_' substitutes for one character) we have this result

This represents two results from a search on 'Eros*'.   I count 13 text lines and at least 10 blank lines, 23 lines in total, to represent two results.  I number the lines in the next illustration:

In this illustration I made a crude attempt to number the lines.  Bear with me.  Lines 2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8 can be dispensed with.  This material does not go in the search results; it goes one time at the top of the results page.  For each result the blank lines at 9, and 11 can be dropped,  On line 10 we're told that this result is from  'Callistratus Descriptions 3.  On the Statue of Eros'.  Hello!?  I know from Line One!  On lines 14 and 22 we're told that the work is translated by Arthur Fairbanks.  I'm sure that Arthur was a lovely man and a wonderful human being but why do I care to know that in the search results??  And notice the references: they're given as the LCL volume and page number.  What they should be (in addition, I admit) is the actual section or number in Callistratus.  The inability to know the traditional section numbers for documents is another serious drawback and perhaps the most serious of all.  In this scheme we can only find out by going to the actual page and spotting the K page number.  Sometimes finding where you are in the text requires you to page many pages backward to learn what section of a work you are in.

Here's how these two search results should look:

Callistratus Descriptions.   3. On the Statue of Eros. K.424 lines 16, 17, 18, 21 LCL 256: 384-5 (2/7)
Callistratus Descriptions.   3. On the Statue of Eros. K.425 line 16 LCL 256: 386-7 (1/3)


Callistratus Descriptions.   3.  On the Statue of Eros
- K.424, lines 16,17,18,21.       LCL 256: 384-5         (2/7)
- K.425, line 16                        LCL 256: 386-7          (1/3)

.. or something of that kind.  Yes, it's probably a very good idea to include the snippet of original text so that the searcher can make a preliminary determination about whether the result is useful or not.  But it shouldn't require a better than 10:1 line ratio to deliver the search results.

There should be separate links for the word 'Callistratus', 'Descriptions', and '3. On the Statue of Eros'  as well as the separate links on each specific result line.

That's how we do it, Harvard.

Taken together, the inability to create folders in 'My Loeb' and the bureaucratized search results without the actual citation locations make it difficult 1) to find the result or, having found it, 2) to know where you are exactly.

These two things should be fixed (I'll bet that their DB isn't set up to handle section numbers) in order to further the 99% who are going to use the digital Loeb for actual lexical or subject research.

But I know you're going to go out and buy the Digital Loeb because I know you're going to love it as much as I do.

Tom Gewecke (Multilingual Mac)

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: New Language Features

Upon initial testing I have found the following: +New Localizations: Spanish (Mexico) +New Spell Checkers:  Turkish +New Dictionaries:  Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Thai, Spanish-English +New Language Keyboards:  None +Various Improvements in Japanese Input +Context based candidates for Chinese Input +Improved Chinese and Japanese Spotlight search +40 Dictation Languages

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Publications de l’École française de Rome at OpenEdition Books

Publications de l’École française de Rome
at OpenEdition Books
L'École française de Rome publie les travaux de ses membres et le résultat des ses activités scientifiques en histoire, archéologie et dans les sciences sociales. Les ouvrages sont principalement publiés au sein des séries traditionnelles : la Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome (BEFAR) créée en 1876, et la Collection de l'École française de Rome (CEF) créée en 1964.

Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d’Athènes et de Rome

And see also Publications de l'École Française de Rome at Persée Proceedings and Series

October 17, 2014

Mia Ridge (Open Objects)

In which I am awed by the generosity of others, and have some worthy goals

A quick update from my CENDARI fellowship working on a project that's becoming 'In their own words: linking lived experiences of the First World War'. I've spent the week reading (again a mixture of original diaries and letters, technical stuff like ontology documentation and also WWI history forums and 'amateur' sites) and writing. I put together a document outlining a rang of possible goals and some very sketchy tech specs, and opened it up for feedback. The goals I set out are copied below for those who don't want to delve into detail. The commentable document, 'Linking lived experiences of the First World War': possible goals and a bunch of technical questions goes into more detail.

However, the main point of this post is to publicly thank those who've helped by commenting and sharing on the doc, on twitter or via email. Hopefully I'm not forgetting anyone, as I've been blown away by and am incredibly grateful for the generosity of those who've taken the time to at least skim 1600 words (!). It's all helped me clarify my ideas and find solutions I'm able to start implementing next week. In no order at all - at CENDARI, Jennifer Edmond, Alex O'Connor, David Stuart, Benjamin Štular, Francesca Morselli, Deirdre Byrne; online Andrew Gray @generalising; Alex Stinson @ DHKState; jason webber @jasonmarkwebber; Alastair Dunning @alastairdunning; Ben Brumfield @benwbrum; Christine Pittsley; Owen Stephens @ostephens; David Haskiya @DavidHaskiya; Jeremy Ottevanger @jottevanger; Monika Lechner @lemondesign; Gavin Robinson ‏@merozcursed; Tom Pert @trompet2 - thank you all!

Worthy goals (i.e. things I'm hoping to accomplish, with the help of historians and the public; only some of which I'll manage in the time)

At the end of this project, someone who wants to research a soldier in WWI but doesn't know a thing about how armies were structured should be able to find a personal narrative from a soldier in the same bit of the army, to help them understand experiences of the Great War.

Hopefully these personal accounts will provide some context, in their own words, for the lived experiences of WWI. Some goals listed are behind-the-scenes stuff that should just invisibly make personal diaries, letters and memoirs more easily discoverable. It needs datasets that provide structures that support relationships between people and documents; participatory interfaces for creating or enhancing information about contemporary materials (which feed into those supporting structures), and interfaces that use the data created.
More specifically, my goals include:
  • A personal account by someone in each unit linked to that unit's record, so that anyone researching a WWI name would have at least one account to read. To populate this dataset, personal accounts (diaries, letters, etc) would need to be linked to specific soldiers, who can then be linked to specific units. Linking published accounts such as official unit histories would be a bonus. [Semantic MediaWiki]
  • Researched links between individual men and the units they served in, to allow their personal accounts to be linked to the relevant military unit. I'm hoping I can find historians willing to help with the process of finding and confirming the military unit the writer was in. [Semantic MediaWiki]
  • A platform for crowdsourcing the transcription and annotation of digitised documents. The catch is that the documents for transcription would be held remotely on a range of large and small sites, from Europeana's collection to library sites that contain just one or two digitised diaries. Documents could be tagged/annotated with the names of people, places, events, or concepts represented in them. [Semantic MediaWiki??]
  • A structured dataset populated with the military hierarchy (probably based on The British order of battle of 1914-1918) that records the start and end dates of each parent-child relationship (an example of how much units moved within the hierarchy)
  • A published webpage for each unit, to hold those links to official and personal documents about that unit in WWI. In future this page could include maps, timelines and other visualisations tailored to the attributes of a unit, possibly including theatres of war, events, campaigns, battles, number of privates and officers, etc. (Possibly related to CENDARI Work Package 9?) [Semantic MediaWiki]
  • A better understanding of what people want to know at different stages of researching WWI histories. This might include formal data gathering, possibly a combination of interviews, forum discussions or survey 

Goals that are more likely to drop off, or become quick experiments to see how far you can get with accessible tools:

  • Trained 'named entity recognition' and 'natural language processing' tools that could be run over transcribed text to suggest possible people, places, events, concepts, etc [this might drop off the list as the CENDARI project is working on a tool called Pineapple (PDF poster). That said, I'll probably still experiment with the Stanford NER tool to see what the results are like] 
  • A way of presenting possible matches from the text tools above for verification or correction by researchers. Ideally, this would be tied in with the ability to annotate documents 
  • The ability to search across different repositories for a particular soldier, to help with the above.

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

The Death of King John

King John of England (1199–1216), of Magna Carta fame, was by all accounts a particularly unpleasant ruler. The charges levelled against him, many of them during his own lifetime, included the murder of his nephew, the sexual predation of the wives and daughters of his nobles, and the starving to...

Robert Consoli (Squinches)

Classical Written Sources Concerning Orchomenos, Lake Copais, and the Cephissus River. The Digital Loeb Classical Library in use.

I recently subscribed to The Digital Loeb Classical Library (a review blog post is forthcoming and go here to see a cool video) and I used it to research my current topic of interest, namely Orchomenos and Lake Copais.  What's nice (I should say 'revolutionary') about the Digital Loeb, of course, is that you can search, in Greek or Roman characters, across all of the 520 volumes in the library.  

The story of Orchomenos in Mycenaean times is simply told (although much we guess at).  About 1300 BC the people of the town undertook the enormous task of draining Lake Copais.  They succeeded to the extent that they created more than 150,000 acres of arable land from the drained lake bottom; this immediately catapulted them into the status of one of the richest states in Mycenaean Greece.  After a period of time (fifty or sixty years?) they were attacked and conquered by Thebes.  At some point during the great destruction at the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BC) the great works that drained the Orchomenian plain were destroyed or sabotaged and the Lake filled up again and, in that way, all that arable land was lost.

How much, though, do we know from the literary sources?  That's where the Digital Loeb comes in.  Herewith I present some fifty citations about ancient Orchomenos and Lake Copais, all but one are from the Loeb.  The citations are given in this order 1) List item number, 2) author's name, 3) Name of the work, 4) the traditional location in the text, 5) the Loeb volume and page number.  After that I either include the translation from the Loeb or some remarks of my own, or both.

What have we learned?  First we learn the bare outlines of the story that I outlined above (Pausanias, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus).  Then there is some concern about the introduction of the Dionysus cult to Boeotia (Aelian, Antoninus Liberalis (not in the LCL), and Ovid).  There are notices about the eels in Lake Copais (mostly in Athenaeus' 'The Deipnosophists' or 'The Learned Banqueters').  Apollonius of Rhodes tells the story of 'The Minyans' or, as we usually call them, The Argonauts.  Also, everybody, beginning with Homer, thought that they were rich in the Heroic Age.  That sounds right.  I also notice a potentially valuable testimony in Theophrastus (number 50 in this list) about the  plants that grow in the waters of Lake Copais (it was flooded again in his time).   Hope it's useful.

1. Aelian, Historical Miscellany, III, 42 [LCL 486: 173]
"They say that only the daughters of Minyas, Leucippe, Arsippe, and Alcithoe, rebelled against the dance in honour of Dionysus, and they did so for love of their husbands;"

2. Aelian, Historical Miscellany, III, 42 [LCL 486: 173]
The daughters of Minyas tore to pieces, as if he were a fawn, the young child of Leucippe, a boy still of tender years.

3. Apollodorus, The Library, II, 11 [LCL 121: 179-181]   A narrative of how Orchomenos and Thebes came to blows, Orchomenos conquers Thebes and then Hercules destroys King Erginus of Orchomenos.

4. Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, 4, lines1220 [LCL 1: 427]   The crew of the Argo referred to as 'Minyans'.

5. Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, 1, lines 229 ff. [LCL 1: 22-23]   Why the Argonauts are called 'Minyans'.

6. Aristotle, History of Animals, VII (VIII), 606a, 1   Moles common around Orchomenos but not in Lebadia.

7. Aristotle, On Marvellous Things Heard, 838b, 5 (or para. 99, line 1) [LCL 307: 279]  Dog chases a fox into an underground passage in Orchomenos

"In the city of Orchomenus in Boeotia they say that a fox was seen, which, when pursued by a dog, dived into an underground passage, and that the dog dived in after it, and made a loud noise of barking, as if it had found a wide open space; the huntsmen, assuming some supernatural agency, broke down the entrance, and forced their way in as well; but seeing by some openings that light was coming in they had a complete view of the whole, and went and reported it to the magistrates."

8. Athenaeus, The Learned Banqueters, 14.651a [LCL 345: 306-307]
In a discussion on the names for pomegranates (Punica granatum) and their types Athenaeus says:

"There is also said to be a plant known as a sidê (σίδη) that resembles a pomegranate and is found in the marsh near Orchomenus, right in the water; the sheep and goats eat its leaves, while the pigs eat its fruit, according to Theophrastus in Book IV of On Plants (fr. 401 Fortenbaugh), who reports that another plant by the same name, but that lacks roots, grows in the Nile."

The only other form the Greeks may have had access to is Punica granatum var. nanawhich may have had a wild origin (i.e., not a cultivar).  The only other species (Punica protopunica) is native to the island of Socotra (Yemen) and, so, is out of our scope.

9. Callimachus, Aetia, 7.19 [LCL 421: 12-13]  Argonauts referred to as 'Minyans'.

10 Dio Chrysostom, 'The Thirty-Seventh Discourse, The Corinthian Oration', p. 37 [LCL 376: 34-35]  The wealth of Orchomenos has deserted it.  "..days when some of the others too had wealth and might; but now, since wealth ( πλοῦτος) has deserted both Orchomenos and Delphi, though they may surpass you in exciting pity, none can do so in exciting envy."

11. Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History.  4.18.7  [LCL 303: 402-405]  Hercules dams the Kephissos (a stream near Orchomenos) or the Melana and so floods the Lake of Copais. "But in Boeotia he did just the opposite and damming the stream which flowed near the Minyan city of Orchomenus he turned the country into a lake and caused the ruin of that whole region."  and   "whereas in Boeotia he was exacting punishment from those who dwelt in Minyan territory, because they had enslaved the Thebans."  Here Diodorus contrasts Hercules' actions in creating a plain around the Vale of Tempe as a boon to the Greeks vs. flooding Lake Copais as a punishment of the Minyans.

12. Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History.  15.79.5 [LCL 389: 170-171]
"For from earliest times the Thebans had been ill-disposed towards them, having paid tribute to the Minyae in the heroic age, but later they had been liberated by Heracles…" 
Against the background of the events of 364 BC Diodorus explains the long-term hostility of the Thebans and the people of Orchomenos.

13. Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History.  4.10.3-5 [LCL 303: 472-5]
The youthful deeds of Heracles.  Rallies the young men of Thebes to destroy the Orchomenians. 
"Indeed, while he was still a youth in age he first of all restored the freedom of Thebes, returning in this way to the city, as though it were the place of his birth, the gratitude which he owed it. For though the Thebans had been made subject to Erginus, the king of the Minyans, and were paying him a fixed yearly tribute, Heracles was not dismayed at the superior power of these overlords but had the courage to accomplish a deed of fame. Indeed, when the agents of the Minyans appeared to require the tribute and were insolent in their exactions, Heracles mutilated them and then expelled them from the city. Erginus then demanded that the guilty party be handed over to him, and Creon, the king of the Thebans, dismayed at the great power of Erginus, was prepared to deliver the man who was responsible for the crime complained of. Heracles, however, persuading the young men of his age to strike for the freedom of their fatherland, took out of the temples the suits of armour which had been affixed to their walls, dedicated to the gods by their forefathers as spoil from their wars; for there was not to be found in the city any arms in the hands of a private citizen, the Minyans having stripped the city of its arms in order that the inhabitants of Thebes might not entertain any thought of revolting from them. And when Heracles learned that Erginus, the king of the Minyans, was advancing with troops against the city he went out to meet him in a certain narrow place, whereby he rendered the multitude of the hostile force of no avail, killed Erginus himself, and slew practically all the men who had accompanied him. Then appearing unawares before the city of the Orchomenians and slipping in at their gates he both burned the palace of the Minyans and razed the city to the ground."

14. Euripides, Heracles.  219-221.  [LCL 9: 328-329]
"Ἡρακλεῖ τέκνοισί τε, 220Μινύαις ὃς εἷς ἅπασι διὰ μάχης μολὼν Θήβας ἔθηκεν ὄμμ᾿ ἐλεύθερον βλέπειν;"
"Heracles and his children, the man who battled all the Minyans single-handed and caused Thebes to look once more with freedom in her glance…"

15. Greek Epic Fragments. Genealogical and Antiquarian Epics. Minyas [LCL 497: 268-269]

An epic, Minyas, attributed to Homer from a fragment of Pausanias, 10.28.7

-- Orchomenos in Arcadia.   16. Homer, Iliad, II.605 [LCL 170: 106-107]  "Ὀρχομενὸν πολύμηλον",   "and Orchomenus (IN ARCADIA!!!), rich in flocks"

17. Homer, Iliad, IX.381 [LCL 170: 422-423]  "ὅσ᾿ ἐς Ὀρχομενὸν ποτινίσεται",  "… all the wealth that goes to Orchomenus"

18. Homer, Iliad, II, 508  [LCL 170: 98-99] "And they who dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenus of the Minyae were led by Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares, whom, in the house of Actor, son of Azeus, Astyoche, the respected maiden, bore to mighty Ares, when she had gone up to her room; for he lay with her in secret. And with these were ranged thirty hollow ships."

19. Homer, Iliad, V, 706-9 [LCL 170: 258-259] "Oresbius with flashing apron, who dwelt in Hyle on the border of the Cephisian lake, greatly concerned for his wealth; and near him dwelt other Boeotians having a land exceeding rich."

20. Pausanias, Corinth, XXIX.3-4 [LCL 93: 402-403]  The Minyans and Phocis:
"In the time, then, of this Phocus only the district about Tithorea and Parnassus was called Phocis, but in the time of Aeacus the name spread to all from the borders of the Minyae at Orchomenos to Scarphea among the Locri."

21. Pausanias, Messenia, XXVIII.10 [LCL 188: 322-323]  About 360 B.C.  The Orchomenians and the Thebans still in enmity.  Orchomenians restored by Philip II of Macedon.   "The Minyae, driven by the Thebans from Orchomenos after the battle of Leuctra, were restored to Boeotia by Philip the son of Amyntas, as were also the Plataeans."

22. Pausanias, Boeotia, IX.1-5  [LCL 297: 211,213]  The War of the Seven Against Thebes.  "This war between Argos and Thebes"

23. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVI.4 to XXXVII.4   [LCL 297: 335-347] This is the primary account of the genealogy of the Orchomenians and how they went to war with Thebes and how they were destroyed [XXXVII.3 or p. 337].

24. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVIII.7 [ LCL 297: 345] "The Thebans declare that the river Cephisus was diverted into the Orchomenian plain by Heracles, and that for a time it passed under the mountain and entered the sea, until Heracles blocked up the chasm through the mountain. Now Homer too knows that the Cephisian Lake was a lake of itself, and not made by Heracles"

25. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVI.4 [LCL 297: 335 ] "The revenues that Minyas received were so great that he surpassed his predecessors in wealth."

26. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVI.6 [LCL 297: 335]   Distinguishes Minyans as not those guys in Arcadia.   "Orchomenus, in whose reign the city was called Orchomenus and the men Orchomenians. Nevertheless, they continued to bear the additional name of Minyans, to distinguish them from the Orchomenians in Arcadia."

27. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVIII.1 [LCL 297:341 ]  "At Orchomenus is a sanctuary of Dionysus, but the oldest is one of the Graces."  Sources of the Graces?  Others?

28. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVIII.6 [LCL 297: 343] "Seven stades from Orchomenus is a temple of Heracles with a small image. Here is the source of the river Melas(black), one of the streams running into the Cephisian Lake. The lake at all times covers the greater part of the Orchomenian territory.

29. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVIII.7-8 [LCL 297:345]  "It is not likely either that the Orchomenians would not have discovered the chasm, and, breaking down the work put up by Heracles, have given back to the Cephisus its ancient passage, since right down to the Trojan war they were a wealthy people. There is evidence in my favour in the passage of Homer [Iliadix.381.  See no. 17 in this list.]] where Achilles replies to the envoys from Agamemnon:— 'Not even the wealth that comes to Orchomenus', a line that clearly shows that even then the revenues coming to Orchomenus were large."

30. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXVIII.10 [LCL 297: 345-347]
Callippus wrote a history of Orchomenos?

31. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXIX.1  [LCL 297:347]
Western boundary of Orchomenos is Phocis:   "On the side towards the mountains the boundary of Orchomenus is Phocis"

32. Pausanias, Boeotia, XXXIX.2 [LCL 297:  347]  Description of Lebadeia and the origin of the name of the Hercyna.  Story of the Maid and Hercyna.

33. Pindar, Pythian 4, line 69-70 [LCL 56: 275]  Editor's footnote says:  The Minyae, the Battidae, or both. The Minyae were from Orchomenus (cf. Ol. 14.4).  "And for my part, I shall entrust to the Muses both him and the all-golden fleece of the ram, for when the Minyae sailed in quest of it, god-sent honors were planted for them."

34. Pindar, Olympian 14, line 1 ff. "You to whom the waters of Cephisus belong, and who dwell in a land of fine horses, O Graces, much sung queens of shining Orchomenus and guardians of the ancient Minyae, hear my prayer."

35.  PLINY THE ELDER, Natural History, IV.8 [LCL 352: 138-139]    "The places in Thessaly are Orchomenus,Thessaly. formerly called the Minyan"

36. Plutarch, Moralia The Greek Questions.  (299) E.  Alternatively The Greek Questions, par. 38  [LCL 305: 221-223]
The daughters of Minyas 'become insane'.  See no. 1 and no. 2 above, Aelian, for the same story.
"They relate that the daughters of Minyas, Leucippe and Arsinoê and Alcathoê, becoming insane, conceived a craving for human flesh, and drew lots for their children."  Having to do with the practice of the priest of Dionysus chasing women at the Agrionia (and cf. Moralia, 717 a; 291 a supra.) and killing the woman he catches.
..the daughters of Minyas.  Editor's footnote: Cf. Aelian, Varia Historia, iii. 42 (see nn. 1 and 2 above); Antonius Liberalis, Metamorphoses, x (see no. 40, below). Ovid’s account (Met. iv. 1 ff.; 389 ff.) is rather different and omits the murder of Hippasus.

37.  Plutarch, Moralia.  The Greek Questions, (302) B or, alternatively, The Greek Questions, par. 46 [LCL 305: 234-5]

38.  Strabo, Geography. iii.16  (C424) [LCL 196: 373]   Towns in the area of the Cephissus
"Parapotamii is a settlement on the Cephissus River near Phanoteus and Chaeroneia and Elateia. Theopompus says that this place is distant from Chaeroneia about forty stadia and marks the boundary of the territories of the Ambryseans, the Panopeans and the Daulians; and that it lies on a moderately high hill at the pass which leads from Boeotia into Phocis…"

39. Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, i.12 [LCL 108: 23]   "The present Boeotians, for example, were driven from Arne by the Thessalians in the sixtieth year after the capture of Ilium and settled in the district now called Boeotia, but formerly Cadmeïs; only a portion of these had been in that land before, and it was some of these who took part in the expedition against Ilium."

40. Anoninus Liberalis, Collection of Metamorphoses, Metamorphoseon Synagoge.  Section 10, 'The Minyades'.  Tells the story of the daughters of Minyas, how they refused the worship of Dionysus and were then frightened by him into giving him the son of Leucippe, Hipassos, as a sacrifice.  They then became Bacchae on the mountains until Hermes transformed them into birds.   See Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation, edd. Stephen Trzaskoma et al., p. 12, section 10, 'The Minyades'.

41. Ovid.  Metamorphoses, iv.389 ff.  Another version of the daughters of the Minyans but without the sacrifice of Hipassos.  At the end they are changed into bats.

42. Aelian On Animals xvii.10
[LCL 449: 337]
"Boeotia is free of Moles, and this animal does not burrow through at Lebadea, and if by some chance Moles are introduced from elsewhere they die. [But in the neighbourhood of Orchomenus they abound.]"

43. Alciphron, Letters of Fishermen, "Letter 11", iii.1, A praise of a young man's face and compared to the Graces of Orchomenos.  "..you might say that the Graces themselves have left Orchomenus.."

44. Strabo.  Geography.
iii.17,  (C 59),  [LCL 049: 219-221
"And again, by Lake Copaïs both Arne and Mideia were swallowed up, places which have been named by Homer in the Catalogue of Ships: 'And they that possess Arne rich in vineyards, and they that possess Mideia.' "

45. Athenaeus.  The Learned Banqueters.  ii.71.c,  [LCL 204: 403]  Discussing eels.  "..large numbers of what are referred to as royal eels, which are half again as big as the eels in Macedon and Lake Copais"
(footnote 243: "Lake Copais in Boeotia was a famous source of eels; cf. the material collected at 7. 297c–d, 298f–9b, 300c".)

46. Athenaeus.  The Learned Banqueters.  iv.135.d, [LCL 208: 149]
"In his tracks came a white-armed goddess-fish, the eel, who claims to have spent time in the arms of Zeus. She was from Copais, whence comes the race of wild eels, and was very large…"

47. Athenaeus.  The Learned Banqueters.  vii.297. c-d   [LCL 224: 379]
"Eel. Epicharmus mentions sea-eels in Muses (fr. 90). Dorion in his On Fish refers to the eels that come from Lake Copais and speaks highly of them. They grow extremely large; Agatharchides in Book VI of the History of Europe (FGrH 86 F 5), at any rate, claims that the Boeotians put garlands on the largest Copaic eels, as if they were sacrificial animals…"

48 Athenaeus.  The Learned Banqueters.  vii.300.d  [LCL224: 395]
"Boeotian eel-goddesses were also present, wearing beet. And in Medea (fr. 64): of a young Boeotian girl from Copais; because I’m hesitant to refer to a goddess by name."

49. Theophrastus.  Enquiry Into Plants, iv.10. [LCL 070: 361]
"Now in the lake near Orchomenos grow the following trees and woody plants: willow goat-willow water-lily reeds (both that used for making pipes and the other kind) galingale phleosbulrush; and also ‘moon-flower’ duckweed and the plant called marestail: as for the plant called water-chickweedthe greater part of it grows under water…"

50. Theophrastus. Enquiry Into Plants, iv.10.2,  [LCL 070: 361]
"The goat-willow is of shrubby habit and like the chaste-tree: its leaf resembles that leaf in shape, but it is soft like that of the apple, and downy. The bloom is like that of the abele, but smaller, and it bears no fruit. It grows chiefly on the floating islands; (for here too there arefloating islands, as in the marshes of Egypt, in Thesprotia, and in other lakes). When it grows under water, it is smaller.  Such is the goat-willow."

51. Theophrastus.  de Causis Plantarum, V.12.3.  LCL 475: 108-109
When Lake Copais is full Boeotia is warmer and he gives supposed reasons.  But he ignores the fact that the volume of water is heat storage and, until it freezes, it will keep the countryside round about warmer.   But this does not explain why Euboea would be warmer at the same time which Theophrastus also claims.  Lake Copais could hardly keep Euboea warm.

From Stone to Screen

The Future of Archaeology: Why 3D Rendering is Virtually Vital

Since starting to research photogrammetry in preparation for Saturday’s International Archaeology Day workshop, I’ve realized a couple of crucial points. One is that 3D rendering of objects and landscapes is fast becoming a standard practice in archaeology and the second is that the process is one of the few archaeological processes that can be picked up at home with no investment other than your time.


For our workshop we are using the free software 123DCatch, which has apps for computers, tablets and smartphones. The multi-platform app means that a student – if they have WiFi at the dig site – could potentially photograph and render in 3D on site and in mere minutes with their cell phone, producing detailed and accurate copies of artifacts or archaeological features that were once painstakingly drawn by hand.


If you’ve read Kat’s post on her dig over the summer in Italy, you already know there is plenty of slow, painstaking work in archaeology; there is no substitute for the precise, methodical uncovering of artifacts and features long buried under the dirt. (Fun party trick – just mention Heinrich Schliemann’s excavation tactics and watch your archaeologist friends cringe in horror and dismay.) That’s not to say that archaeological geophysics isn’t making strides in its own right, but those methods can only be used to identify buried features; no push of a button is going to actually shift the dirt carefully enough that we can replace eager students “cleaning dirt off of dirt”.


But where we can save time – in surveys, in rendering the artifacts and features more precisely and in greater detail – we have an obligation to do so. This is not just a question of getting your excavation finished in good time, or even getting the results published. I keep coming back to what Tom Elliott said when opening the EAGLE Conference – that we are all working together as the antidote to the destruction of our shared cultural heritage. This isn’t just an academic’s attempt to justify their work – there are genuine threats to our cultural heritage and the preservation of it is necessary and vital.

The Associated Press reports the Islamic State has taken to destroying key archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria– much of which includes the ancient land of Mesopotamia– and subsidizing their income with black market sales of ancient artifacts. In addition to Mosul, the Islamic State controls four ancient cities — Nineveh, Kalhu, Dur Sharrukin and Ashur– which gives them nearly unbridled access to a treasure trove of statues, tiles, and other highly-coveted items by collectors. Nineveh alone contains 1,800 of Iraq’s 12,000 registered archaeological sites. (Brietbart.com Sept. 21, 2014)

We fully believe that any student heading out on a dig in the future should be armed with a basic knowledge of photogrammetry, given how easily accessible the software is and how simple it is to use. Our scholarly focus may be on the past, but we need to keep our eyes on the future at least in terms of the tools and techniques we use in the field.

Further reading:

 A Discussion of the Analytical Benefits of Image-Based 3D Modeling in Archaeology

Photogrammetry in Archaeology: Using the Future to Understand the Past in the Present

Digital Archaeology in the News:

3D Model of the Amphipolis Tomb

Beyond Ankor: How lasers revealed a lost city