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.

August 24, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

L'alimentazione nell'Italia Antica

L'alimentazione nell'Italia Antica


La storia dell'alimentazione italiana dalle origini al periodo classico

L’iniziativa si inserisce nell’ambito della grande rassegna espositiva “Cibi e sapori nell’Italia Antica”, organizzata e coordinata nel 2004 dalla Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici e dalla Direzione Generale per l’Innovazione Tecnologica e la Promozione del Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali, coinvolgendo ben 110 sedi museali distribuite sul territorio nazionale, per dare l’opportunità di ripercorrere a ritroso una Storia e una Tradizione su un tema culturale che fa parte della nostra vita quotidiana e per il quale è difficile non sentire un senso di “appartenenza”. L’evento mira a favorire, inoltre, un momento di riflessione sui simboli e i significati del nostro comportamento alimentare. L’uomo, infatti, si distingue dagli altri esseri viventi per la sua capacità di simbolizzare, e il cibo è “lo strumento simbolico per eccellenza”. Il comportamento alimentare umano, infatti, non si rivolge al mero soddisfacimento fisiologico del senso di fame, ma assolve invece una serie di funzioni sociali e culturali che rimandano proprio alla definizione del senso di identità del gruppo e della persona.

Cibo come Cultura, dunque, per non dimenticare che, se è vero che la cucina è un indicatore culturale e definisce il senso di appartenenza a questa o quella comunità, è vero pure che, essa è il primo spazio umano - privilegiato - dove più velocemente si eliminano le barriere tra i popoli, favorendo l’incontro - attraverso scambi vicendevoli - di conoscenze preziose che divengono parte integrante del patrimonio e della identità culturale di ogni civiltà. 

Il tema di grande attualità, viene affrontato in questa sede con l’intento di offrire un contributo, scientifico, specifico e significativo, al grande dibattito che si è animato intorno al Cibo e ai suoi linguaggi, perseguendo al contempo l’obiettivo di comunicarlo a un più vasto ed eterogeneo pubblico, nel rispetto, quindi, della legge n. 4 del 9 gennaio del 2004 “Disposizioni per favorire l’accesso dei soggetti disabili agli strumenti informatici”.

Mondo Classico


Cibi e Sapori nel Mondo Antico

Museo Archeologico di Firenze (18 marzo 2005 - 15 gennaio 2006).
Durata: 35:09 minuti.

Pleiades Help: Add a new name resource

Pleiades Help: Add a new name resource
Creators: Tom Elliott Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Aug 24, 2016 08:15 AM

Do you need to add a new modern or historical name or name variant to a place resource in Pleiades? Here's how to do it. 
If you know the name (either historical or modern) of an ancient place in Pleiades, but see that it's not included in our dataset, you can easily add it and submit it for review and eventual publication. You should also add appropriate name resources to any new place resource that you are creating so that you can submit them as a set.

Concepts and Background

Pleiades stores geographical and historical information in four "information resources": places, names, locations, and connections. If you are not familiar with these terms and how they are used in Pleiades, you should first consult the short Conceptual Overview.
The editors have set out their expectations for the content of name resources in a section of the Editorial Guidelines. You should also consult it before starting to add name resources.

Step-by-step: How to add a new name resource

1. Login to Pleiades.

2. Navigate to the place resource to which you wish to add a name.

Add a name: Add

3. Scroll down the page to the bottom of the "Names" listing and select the "Add Name" button.

4. Pleiades creates a new name resource, assigns it to you, and automatically opens a form through which you can edit its contents. This new name resource begins life in "drafting" state, and is invisible to the public and other users (apart from the editorial college and site managers). Other contributors, when logged in, are able to see an entry for the resource (title and your name) in the Names listing on the parent place page, but they cannot see the contents of your draft. This level of visibility is intended to prevent duplication of effort by contributors. You may modify and save the new name resource multiple times until you are ready to submit it for review.

Add a name: Edit 
5. On the "Add Name" form use the component navigation tabs ("Default", etc.) together with the individual data entry fields and the "Save" button at the bottom of the page to record the modifications you wish to make. Please note editorial expectations and standards for names as outlined in the Editorial Guidelines document.
6. After the first time you save the form, you can open it again by selecting the "Edit" tab on the gray tertiary menu bar. It will now be titled "Edit Name" instead of "Add Name", but is otherwise identical.

Add a name: Submit 
7. When you are satisfied with the modifications you have made to the name resource, submit it for review by the editorial college by selected "State: Drafting" from the gray tertiary menu bar and then selecting "Submit for review" from the drop-down menu. 
8. If the editors have any questions or concerns about the content or format of your submitted name resource, they will contact you by email. If not, they will publish it. Upon publication of the name resource, your personal name will appear in the "Creators" section of the new name resource and in the "Contributors" section of the parent place resource. The contribution will also be reflected on the Pleiades Credits page.
Add a name: Retract 
9. If, after submitting the name resource, you realize that you have made a mistake or omitted to save a change, you can retract the submission and return the working copy to "drafting" state by selecting "State: Pending review" from the gray tertiary menu bar and then selecting "Retract" from the drop-down menu. This will permit you to make further changes. Retraction only works when the working copy is still in "Pending" state. If an editor has already published your changes, you will not be able to retract the resource. Instead, send an email to pleiades.admin@nyu.edu that includes the URI of the affected resource and explains the problem.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Dynamic Photographs (with poop)

After reading Y. Hamilakis’s and F. Ifantidis’s Camera Kalaureia (2016), I got to thinking how I could be a bit more vivid and dynamic with the photographs that I use to document, illustrate, and analyze my work. This is particularly significant for our work in the Bakken oil patch where we relied heavily on photographic documentation. As I note in my brief notes on Camera Kalaureia, the photographs in that volume move the viewers eye and invite close inspection. They are remarkably vivid.

While I certainly don’t have the “camera skillz” necessary to take these kinds of photographs consistently and tend to resort to a kind of documentary mode of photography, I began to play with using triptychs to demonstrate ranges of behavior or exempla of a particular phenomenon. The use of three images juxtaposes similar phenomena in a more engaging way and asks the viewer to consider the 

Here are two that I’ve prepared for an article that we’re revising for a Journal of Contemporary Archaeology forum.  

Fig 4

This image shows different types of architectural elaboration at a Bakken RV park ranging from a well manicured lawn and fenced yard to the a construction of a shell surrounding a small RV. 

Fig 5

This images captures various stages of abandonment in workforce housing sites in the Bakken. I think it’s fairly self-explanatory, but the last image to the right shows stuff left behind by squatters.  


August 23, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: International Journal of Archaeology

International Journal of Archaeology
ISSN: 2330-7587 (Print)
ISSN: 2330-7595 (Online) 
International Journal of Archaeology (IJA) is established specifically to deal with archaeology on a world-wide multiperiod basis. It provides a international forum for innovative, descriptive and theoretical archaeological research, paying particular attention to the role and development of human intellectual abilities and symbolic beliefs and practices,with contributions from an international cast of academics and field workers.

Open Access Journal: The Bible and Critical Theory

 [First posted in AWOL 28 April 2011, updated 23 August 2016]

The Bible and Critical Theory
ISSN : 1832-3391
The Bible and Critical Theory is an exploratory and innovative online scholarly journal for biblical studies, published by the Bible and Critical Theory Seminar. The journal explores the intersections between critical theory, understood in the broad sense, and biblical studies. It publishes peer-reviewed articles that investigate the contributions from critical theory to biblical studies, and contributions from biblical studies to critical theory. The journal has an active series of book reviews, which are published as they are ready.

BCT content is available freely on an open access basis. It is also aggregated by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and is indexed by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Database and Scopus.



Vol 1, No 1 (2004)

Open Access Journal: digitAR - Revista Digital de Arqueologia, Arquitectura e Artes

digitAR - Revista Digital de Arqueologia, Arquitectura e Artes
ISSN: 2182-844X
A digitAR - Revista Digital de Arqueologia, Arquitectura e Artes é uma revista de carácter científico que pretende cobrir um leque abrangente de temáticas relacionadas com o património cultural, disponibilizando os seus conteúdos on-line de forma gratuita. A sua edição está a cargo do Centro de Estudos Arqueológicos das Universidades de Coimbra e Porto (CEAUCP).


n. 2 (2015): O Corpo Através da Imagem

"O Corpo Através da Imagem"


n. 1 (2013): Actas do 6º ATP | 9º SIACOT

See AWOL's List of

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

The Great Medieval Bake Off

The return of a certain baking contest to British television screens this evening marks the time of year when viewers are struck by a peculiar kind of ‘baking fever’. Typical symptoms include: massively overestimating your own baking talents; buying and using peculiar ingredients you would never usually use; and avidly...

The Signal: Digital Preservation

Congress.gov Nominated for Award

Poster of the legislative process. Congress.gov

Poster of the legislative process. Congress.gov

FedScoop, the Washington DC government tech media company, announced that Congress.gov is one of their nominees for the 2016 FedScoop 50 awards.

Features on Congress.gov (which In Custodia Legis has been posting about throughout its development) include:

  • Ability to narrow and refine search results
  • Ability to simultaneously search all content across all available years
  • Bill summaries and bill status from the 93rd Congress through the present
  • Bill text from the 103rd Congress through the present Congressional Record
  • Committee landing pages
  • Comprehensive searching across bill text
  • Congressional Record index
  • Congressional reports
  • Easier identification of current bill status
  • Effective display on mobile devices
  • Executive communications
  • House and Senate calendars
  • Links to video of the House and Senate floor
  • Members’ legislative history and biographical profiles
  • Nominations
  • Persistent URLs
  • Top searched bills
  • Treaties

The FedScoop website states, “Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides free access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information. The Library of Congress manages Congress.gov and ingests data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Publishing Office, and the Congressional Budget Office. Congress.gov is fully responsive and intuitive. The success of Congress.gov has enabled the Library of Congress to retire legacy systems, better serve the public, members of Congress and congressional staff, and to work more effectively with data partners.”

Vote for your favorite Tech Program of the Year.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Ephemeris: The Classical Journal of Denison University

Ephemeris, the Classical Journal of Denison University, is published once a year and seeks to offer an opportunity for those interested in classical studies to publish their work in an undergraduate forum. It promotes the coming together of history, literature, philosophy, religion, art, architecture and creative works inspired by the classics.

Ephemeris was originally published between 2002-2004 and has now been revived in a fully on-line format. We accept submission from any undergraduate institution and look forward to a future of engaging with both traditional scholarly submissions and those made using the increasingly creative technologies provided by the on-line environment.
Ephemeris NS Vol. II. 2012
Ephemeris Vol. IV Fall 2003
Ephemeris Vol. II Fall 2002
Ephemeris Vol. I Spring 2002
Ephemeris Vol. III Spring 2003

Open Access Journal: Studies in Mycenaean Inscriptions and Dialect

Studies in Mycenaean Inscriptions and Dialect
Studies in Mycenaean Inscriptions and Dialects (SMID) contains glossaries of individual Mycenaean terms, tablet and series citations, and subject indices all linked to bibliographical references. As a reference tool, SMID is both complex and comprehensive, with indices of linguistic, archaeological, historical, religious, and cultural topics, as well as individual words and phrases in the tablets.


Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

George Starcher and The Future of the University

It’s the first day of classes here at University of North Dakota and the first semester for our new President Hon. Mark Kennedy. It could be an exciting new era here or it might not matter at all. The important thing is the we should all believe that it matters and look ahead to a new day here at UND. To celebrate this, I’m reposting a post for the North Dakota Quarterly page, which is, in turn, a repost of an article published in the 1956 volume of NDQ

62 years ago, the University of North Dakota welcomed George F. Starcher and two years later, North Dakota Quarterly awoke from its 23-year, depression-induced slumber. In the first volume of its return, NDQ featured an article by then President George F. Starcher titled the “Future of the University.” Starcher probably did more for UND as an institution than any president since Webster Merrifield, and while overshadowed by his popular successor, Tom Clifford, Starcher remade the university as a modern institution adaptable to the new responsibility and expectations of higher education in the post-war world. Whatever one thinks of the modern university, at the University of North Dakota, George Starcher set campus on that course. North Dakota Quarterly was part of that vision. For a retrospective on Starcher’s important term as president, check out the 1971 volume of NDQ where Elwyn Robinson tells the story of Starcher’s term in office. We wish UND’s new president Hon. Mark Kennedy the successes of George Starcher as he pilots UND into the heart of the 21st century. 

Spring  71 Cropped

George W. Starcher

It is never easy to look ahead and predict things to come. Yet it is essential that all of us at the University be continuously engaged in planning for the future. An educational institution, by its very nature, cannot stand still. Knowledge is ever growing, and ways of thinking change, too. Since we cannot know what new ideas the future may bring, we do not expect.a perfect blueprint for the University, accurate in every detail. But we can look ahead and see what the pattern will be like. If we are to meet the challenge that lies ahead, every step taken now must fit the larger pattern. Too often large complex institutions build only to meet a clearly evident present need.

We must always keep in mind our past history and the place of the University in the entire system of higher education in the state. The University was established by the territorial legislature in 1883 as the first institution of higher education in North Dakota. With the coming of statehood people felt the need for colleges distributed over the state providing specialized training. The Agricultural College, the School of Science, the School of Forestry and the five State Teachers Colleges all have special functions which we recognize as we plan for the future of the University. The founders of this University were interested in a “good education”, and from the beginning the people have insisted that emphasis be upon quality of education rather than upon size of enrollments or numbers of athletic contests won. The people who support a program of higher education of such variety and extent believe in the importance of all higher education to the state. The University will work with the other institutions in the state in seeking public support to strengthen and improve our total program, for what we all do is so interrelated that we can no longer afford competition for funds for one institution at the expense of another. Nowhere is it more important than in education to recognize that “the rising tide lifts all the boats,” for what helps one strengthens all. I believe the people will continue to support the Governor and the Legislature in any steps to continue the development of their University and Colleges along sound lines.

Good teachers and the excellence of their teaching are far more important than fine buildings in developing a great university. With this in mind, I believe that in the future higher salaries will enable us to meet the growing competition for distinguished professors who stand out as peaks of excellence in any university. The University will go farther toward relieving the faculty of concern for the future by securing added retirement benefits, insurance, and some form of protection against calamity.

The faculty will be spending even more time studying their courses and teaching methods. They will continue to search for better ways to do a better job and to keep· the unit costs of instruction at the lowest possible level consistent with an adequate program and effective teaching. Curricula will change – they need to if they are to be realistic and appropriate for tomorrow’s world. Better and more up-to-date equipment and teaching devices will be available. We shall probably teach fewer courses, always trying to improve the quality of our teaching rather than to multiply courses in a race to keep up with expanding knowledge. There will be more self-education by students Throughout the whole range of curricular and extra-curricular activities there will be more attention to character and responsibility as fundamental to the success, happiness, and usefulness of future University graduates.

Future Enrollments

It is always risky to venture a predic-tion of enrollments because so many factors, known and unknown, determine how young people will decide about their future. However, there are certain clear facts and signals we cannot ignore. We know that we shall have approximately 50 per cent more college- age youth in North Dakota by 1970. The increase in enrollment in all institutions of higher education in North Dakota in the fall of 1955 was nearly 20 per cent, while for the nation it was less than 9 per cent. If this means that a higher percentage of North Dakota youth of college age going to college, and/or that more of them are remaining in the state for their higher education, we can expect the trend to continue. If it does, we could have over 5,000 students at the University by 1970. This would be possible only if we have the housing and the facilities on campus to give them the education they will want and need. We are still a long way from realizing the aim of our founders – to make education possible for every boy or girl who has the ability and is willing to work. If we can see our student financial aids develop to the point where no worthy applicant is denied, then a prediction of 5,000 by 1970 is perhaps too low.

Student financial aid will grow. Many of our most outstanding schools have more than one-third of their students receiving scholarship aid, while state schools often exceed one in four. The people, who are concerned about realizing an equal educational opportunity for all, will see to it that there are more scholarships to be awarded on the basis of need to those able to profit from attending the University.

The physical plant will change. Fortunately, for more than thirty years a careful plan for campus development has been followed. There will be more attention to landscaping and many visitors will acclaim the campus one of the most beautiful in the country. We shall be dreaming of beauty achieved by appropriate placement of buildings and suitable landscape effects rather than by expensive architecture and elaborate horticultural displays not possible in the area.

A completed quadrangle unit of six dormitories can house one thousand men in the Hancock Hall area. A third dormitory for women west of Johnstone and Fulton Halls, with a dining unit, would give accommodations for a total of about five hundred women. Building in that section of the campus would force removal of the temporary service building. By that time we may be able to bring together all maintenance services in one unit.

A new administration building will add more than accommodations for widely scattered offices. It will permit better organization of administrative routines and provide facilities for procedures in accord with the best practices in university administration.

The future University may have a full day radio schedule and television outlet for educational programs produced on the campus. It is possible that North Dakota may undertake the support of a television network covering the state and carrying to schools and adults a systematic program of educational television. This would make it possible for every citizen to have access to the store of knowledge and cultural benefits from each of the state’s institutions of higher education as they share program time on the network.

An essential adjunct to the modern university is a program of convocations and performances that brings to the student body the constant stimulus of musical, dramatic, lecture, and other cultural experiences that require a large auditorium and a theatre.

Student Life

The future will see closer faculty-student relationships, better faculty counseling with students, and more student participation in committees. Custom will build traditions of greater student-faculty cooperation on committees concerned with fraternity and sorority affairs, athletics, social functions, radio and television. Students will participate in planning for their own welfare; and thus, they will know what is going on and have a part in it. They will seek advice of their elders, more than in the past and appreciate and respect even more fully the kind of responsibility that rests with the faculty and administration. The social life of students will be even better organized, with more emphasis on housing places as social units. Students will control themselves and be the means of achieving the basic aims of the University through their own concern for the intellectual and cultural life of the University, as well as for activities which develop social skills and cultivate habits based on sound character and a true sense of responsibility.

Academic Life

The future will see increasing emphasis on education for responsibility as a citizen. The development of personality and personal assets will be stressed both in extra-curricular activities and in the formal curriculum. Students will increasingly demonstrate that they want to prepare themselves to do worthwhile things rather than to pursue purely selfish and economic ends alone. They will want to include courses that emphasize character development and human relations skills.

The faculty will be continuously studying and revising their courses. Accelerating change will mean that lectures will have to be revised more often and be kept up-to-date. We shall get used to the fact that a course with a given title may be quite different from year to year. With a trend toward fewer and better courses, changing with knowledge, there will be modifications of basic degree requirements. Minimum requirements may be reduced in number, but there will be increased emphasis upon faculty advisement, as well as greater student interest in fundamental courses and in planning programs to give the best academic preparation for service in the world of tomorrow.

The University College will stress basic general education and preparation for specialization, but it will find two types of students not satisfied by present curricula. One is the student who is unable to meet the academic standards required for a degree. The other is the student who cannot or who does not wish to plan a four-year program, yet wants something that will permit two years’ preparation for some vocation. A two-year general and vocational edu- cation program in the University College is inevitable if we are to continue to meet the challenge of educational opportunity for all, on an equal basis, and at the same time maintain, high standards for our four-year degree programs. Moreover, a two-year program for some will help solve enrollment problems of the future by enabling certain students to complete their work in two years.

There will be new curricula and new emphasis in some of these we now have. Some programs will be curtailed. There will be a greater use of audio-visual aids and television in teaching. Discussion classes will be more common – perhaps combined – larger lecture groups. The case method of teaching, which was first adopted by the law schools, then taken up by the medical state and now by the business schools, will find its way more and more into the citizens undergraduate classroom as an effective way to teach certain courses. It will require a generation to develop the cases, to obtain the staff, and to secure general enough acceptance of the values derived from such teaching for us to have many of these courses. Curricula in areas now untouched will appear; for example, the appropriate program for the teaching of atomic physics and related phenomena will find an adequate place in our program.

Graduate work will develop. The state will see to it that we more nearly meet the demand for masters and doctors in North Dakota. Even if we are slow to fully recognize that this need is as important as others, we shall see that a program, comparable to what we do in the medical and law school for supplying these graduates is supported.


By the year 1970 the University will not be so large as to have lost any of its present advantages, but rather there will be more systematic attention to counseling and developing close faculty-student relationships both inside and outside the classroom. The physical plant – laboratories, shops, classrooms and lecture halls – will have to expand, with more attention being given to special-purpose classrooms. Funds appropriated for building in 1957 will not produce buildings ready for use before 1960. The first bulge from the increased birth rate, babies born in 1940, will be ready to go to college in 1958. If only half of an additional 1500 students need university housing, we shall have to add three large dormitories to what we have already scheduled.

Since the quality of what we do depends first upon the faculty, we must secure top people fully prepared for their tasks, with adequate personal and academic qualifications, from a market more highly competitive than anything we have ever faced. In addition to normal replacements we might have to add one hundred new staff members by 1970. The cost will represent an investment in the discovery and development of the most important natural resource the state possesses – its youth.

The road ahead must widen as the University grows in usefulness to the citizens of the state through curricula that will reach even more people and through increased research both pure and applied. The University has had a healthy growth; and it can now look to the future fortified in the strength of a sound administrative organization, a Board of Higher Education with vision and imagination dedicated to the ultimate good of the state, a well-prepared faculty, a vitally concerned student body, and loyal alumni. With the continued friendly interest and support of citizens, the respect of its institutional neighbors and the good will of the state’s elected officials the University will do its part to achieve the goal of a good education for more and more students.


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Nyame Akuma: Bulletin of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists

Nyame Akuma: Bulletin of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists
If you are interested in submitting an article: Instructions for Contributors

This is the main page for accessing the online archive of all issues of Nyame Akuma. Click on any of these issues to see the Table of Contents. Numbers 43 and later have downloadable PDF versions of individual articles, which can be accessed by clicking on any article title in blue. Numbers 42 and earlier have fewer illustrations and shorter articles, so the entire issue will download.

The six most recent issues of Nyame Akuma are accessible to digital (online) subscribers only. SAfA members who subscribe to Nyame Akuma in any form can access these issues with their member password. Please go to Membership to see our membership and subscription fees and to subscribe online. Membership plus digital subscription to Nyame Akuma is available at very nominal cost to Northern hemisphere residents. It is free for Africans residing in Africa.

If you have a password, go to digital subscriber login to access the full content of the six latest issues. Without a password, you will only be able to access the Table of Contents of the last six issues, plus the archive of the earlier issues, from the list below.
(Table of contents for recent issues and downloadable articles from archives)
2015     No. 83, June (Table of Contents Only)No. 84, December (Table of Contents Only)
2014No. 81, June (Table of Contents Only)No. 82, December (Table of Contents Only)
2013No. 79, June (Table of Contents Only) No. 80, December (Table of Contents Only)  

2012     No. 77, June No. 78, December
2011No. 75, June No. 76, December  
2010No. 73, JuneNo. 74, December 
2009No. 71, JuneNo. 72, December
2008No. 69, JuneNo. 70, December
2007No. 67, JuneNo. 68, December
2006No. 65, JuneNo. 66, December
2005No. 63, JuneNo. 64, December
2004No. 61, JuneNo. 62, December
2003No. 59, JuneNo. 60, December
2002No. 57, JuneNo. 58, December
2001No. 55, JuneNo. 56, December
2000No. 53, JuneNo. 54, December
1999No. 51, JuneNo. 52, December
1998No. 49, JuneNo. 50, December
1997No. 47, JuneNo. 48, December
1996No. 45, JuneNo. 46, December
1995No. 43, JuneNo. 44, December
1994No. 41, JuneNo. 42, December
1993No. 39, JuneNo. 40, December
1992No. 37, JuneNo. 38, December
1991No. 35, JuneNo. 36, December
1990No. 33, JuneNo. 34, December
1989No. 31, SeptemberNo. 32, December
1988-No. 30, December
1987No. 28, AprilNo. 29, December
1986No. 27, May-
1985No. 26, June-
1984-No. 24/25, December
1983No. 22, JuneNo. 23, December
1982No. 20, JuneNo. 21, December
1981No. 18, MayNo. 19, November
1980No. 16, MayNo. 17, November
1979No. 14, MayNo. 15, November
1978No. 12, MayNo. 13, November
1977No. 10, MayNo. 11, November
1976No. 8, MayNo. 9, October
1975No. 6, MayNo. 7, October
1974No. 4, AprilNo. 5, October
1973No. 2, AprilNo. 3, October
1972-No. 1, October

August 22, 2016

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

Which Star Sign Are You?

Are you one of those people who reads their star charts religiously? Does it matter whether you were born a Taurus or under the sign of Aries? Do Leos rub you up the wrong way or Capricorns get your goat? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, it...

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

How the Guardian Made RioRun

By Aliza Aufrichtig, Kenan Davis, Jan Diehm, Rich Harris, Lauren Leatherby, Nadja Popovich

How the Guardian Made RioRun

(The Guardian)

News organizations devote considerable resources to creating journalism about the Olympics, but we wondered if it was possible to create journalism that would allow our readers to take part as well.

Fortunately, in 2016 many of our readers carry around pocket-sized supercomputers loaded with sensors that we can make use of. So in an early brainstorming meeting, we asked ourselves what we could do with the data from those sensors that would provide readers with a meaningful Olympic experience—and that would allow us to spend our afternoons outside and call it “testing.”

Several weeks later, we unveiled RioRun, an “interactive podcast” that takes you on a guided tour of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic marathon course—all 26.2 miles of it—as you run.

When you open RioRun and go for a jog (or walk) wherever you are in the world, your phone’s GPS tracks your progress and triggers audio clips about your virtual surroundings in Rio based on the distance you’ve covered in real life. Our narrator, Valerie Lapinski, is on hand to recount the city’s history, politics and culture as you go, and the Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Jonathan Watts, tells you about recent news events leading up to the Olympics. Marathon coach Bob Larsen also chimes in with advice on distance running at key points throughout the race. All the while, ambient audio recorded in the Rio neighborhoods you’re “running through” plays in the background, immersing you in Brazil’s street life.

Here’s how we developed the idea, how we built the interactive, and what we learned along the way.

The app in use on a smartphone

The finished app.

From Sprint to Marathon

Our initial idea was to use the accelerometer that’s inside every modern smartphone to measure how fast our users run and let them compare themselves to Olympians.

We were inspired by past interactives like Slate’s comparison of Usain Bolt against bygone runners and the New York Times’ One Race, Every Medalist Ever, both from 2012. But we wondered: Could we get readers to physically test their own running time against the athletes? That would give an even more awe-inspiring perspective on the achievement of top Olympians–Usain Bolt is a few seconds faster than the next fastest man, but he’s a lot faster than me and you.

We hoped to be able to determine how long it takes a reader to run 100m, for example, and at the end tell them how much slower they are than the fastest men and women on Earth, but also how they would fare against Olympians of old (Thomas Burke, the winner of the 100m race at the 1896 Athens Olympics, finished in 12.0 seconds—slightly more achievable than the current 9.58 second world record).

But early prototypes dashed our hopes: while you can use acceleration and orientation sensors to determine movement (it’s called inertial navigation, and it’s used in fields like aviation), the consumer-grade sensors used in smartphones are nowhere near good enough.

Still, focusing on running felt like the right move, since lots of people run and very little equipment is needed. A lot of us on the team are runners—occasionally we’ll even run home together, something our coworkers describe as “adorable”—which added to our enthusiasm.

So, if we couldn’t use inertial navigation we’d just have to use geolocation. And since geolocation accuracy is limited, that meant we had to track people over longer distances than 100m—much longer.

A marathon was the obvious choice.

After we shifted the idea to a longer course, it was clear that the focus of the interactive would need to change too. After all, learning how much slower you are over 100m than Usain is mildly interesting; perhaps you’ll try again and do better next time. It’s a wholly different proposition when learning how many hours you were behind marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto.

Instead of having the runner focus on comparing him- or herself against Olympic athletes, we decided to put Rio de Janeiro itself at the heart of the interactive. We used the marathon route as a jumping-off point to tell the story of Rio and these Olympic games. The interactive podcast was born.

Photo from editing process

Aliza Aufrichtig and Jan Diehm editing the script (about two hours of audio which had to be carefully paced).

Sound and Fury

Though we were excited to do something ambitious with audio, audio is also notoriously tricky on the mobile web. There are basically two ways to go about it, neither of them good:

  • Using an <audio> element is the easy way. Unfortunately, you can only have one clip playing at a time, and playback can only be triggered by a user gesture. For RioRun, which can have up to three layered clips playing simultaneously, triggered by your distance, this was a non-starter.

  • Using the web audio API’s AudioBufferSourceNode. This gives you lots more control, but with the rather unappealing trade-off that it might crash your phone. That happens because the decoded audio—typically 11 times larger than the source MP3 file—has to fit into the phone’s limited memory.

Never the sort of people to be discouraged by such things, we set about solving the problem once and for all with Phonograph, an open source library that splits up large audio files into smaller chunks that can safely be held in memory and decoded as and when they’re needed.

Screen shot

How Phonograph works: overlapping chunks of audio are swapped in and out as needed.

This allows us to stream in background audio as you move into a new neighborhood, crossfading from the existing background audio, and seamlessly looping the clip back on itself with another crossfade when it ends, all the while playing commentary over the top. That would be impossible with <audio>, and dangerous with AudioBufferSourceNode.

You can read about the gory details of Phonograph on Medium.

Photo of recording process

Nadja Popovich and Valerie Lapinski (the host of RioRun, and head of video and audio at Guardian US) recording it.

Measuring Progress

To track a runner’s distance, you need more than raw location data.

Your phone determines your location from a variety of sources—GPS, cell tower triangulation, Wi-Fi networks—with varying degrees of accuracy, and your location will often bounce around. If you plot a typical series of geolocation points on a map, particularly from an old phone, it will look like an angry person drew it.

We built an app, Marshal, to capture geolocation data that we could use to refine an algorithm for cleaning it up. (The name comes from a. course marshals, who keep runners on track during a race, b. the computer science concept of marshaling data, which is how it gets from phone to server, and c. the US Marshals, who among other things track down fugitives—we weren’t capturing runners, but we were capturing runners’ data.)

Two screen shots of Marshal

A Marshal session, before and after correction. (Each session has a name generated by namey-mcnameface, to make it easy to share notes)

The algorithm we settled on was crude but reasonably effective: we eliminate points that have an accuracy radius much larger than the median, remove those that would require someone to run at unrealistic speeds, cap the speed at 12mph (just slower than Dennis Kimetto), and divide the result by 1.2. As kludgy as it sounds, this produces remarkably accurate results in most cases, and because we show progress in 0.1 mile increments, runners are unlikely to notice when we get it wrong.

Handmade Maps

We’re big fans of MapboxGL, but for this project we wanted a very specific look and feel, and quickly concluded that our best option was to render our own map of Rio.

Mapzen has a wonderful vector tile service that lets you freely download GeoJSON tiles of OpenStreetMap data. GeoJSON is very easy to manipulate—combining tiles into a single object, removing unnecessary properties and so on—but it’s not very efficient. Happily, Mapbox maintains two open source libraries called geobuf and pbf, which together shrink GeoJSON down to a tiny binary file on the server and decompress it on the client without any loss of data. (Remarkably, the decompression is actually faster than using JSON.parse!) It goes something like this:

// in node.js
const Pbf = require( 'pbf' );
const geobuf = require( 'geobuf' );

const data = getGeojsonSomehow();
const buffer = geobuf.encode( data, new Pbf() );
fs.writeFileSync( `path/to/geodata.geobuf`, buffer );

// on the client
const xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhr.responseType = 'arraybuffer';

xhr.onload = () => {
  const pbf = new Pbf( xhr.response );
  const data = geobuf.decode( pbf );

  doSomethingWith( data );

xhr.open( 'GET', 'path/to/geodata.geobuf' );

Once we have the OpenStreetMap data in the app, we can render it using a <canvas> element (we initially used SVG because it’s easier to work with, but it soon became obvious that SVG was much too slow for the task). We use one canvas for the map itself and another for the overlay showing your progress, meaning we only have to re-render the map when it moves or when the user zooms in or out. It’s not quite fast enough to render at 60fps on old phones, so while the map is moving we render at half resolution. Because it’s moving, this trick is all but imperceptible.

All told, the map rendering code (including geobuf and pbf) weighs in at about 8kb, and the geodata is a one-time download of 257kb. By comparison, doing the same thing with MapboxGL would involve over 900kb of code and data, meaning a slower initial load. There are definitely lots of situations where our approach wouldn’t be appropriate, but we’ll probably end up adapting it and using it in other visualizations in future.

Adding Sights to Sounds

Screen shot

After a few test outings it was clear that the look of this project was going to be just as important as how it functioned. We went from rough utilitarian mocks, to something that emphasized the controls and progress, and finally to something that we hope captures a bit of Rio’s joyful ambience.

The code and the design worked in tandem to guide our choices. As we got closer to understanding how people would interact with RioRun, we realized that we wanted to create a game-like atmosphere. We built in badges that unlock as you pass cultural landmarks and distance milestones along the route. Since this was an experience designed around Rio’s sounds, the design was our only chance to give people a glimpse into the city’s sights.

We also made sure to include a lot of social sharing opportunities for users—each badge has an associated share image for Facebook and Twitter. If we were asking people to complete a marathon (or at least part of it!), we wanted to reward them and give them an opportunity to brag.

Facebook card

One of the Facebook cards runners can share as they complete the course.

Designing alongside the development did mean that we sometimes went through several iterations before hitting on the final design. But it also allowed us to be quicker and more adaptive when we encountered user experience hurdles, like where to include all of the distance, time and speed stats (it ultimately ended up in a bottom drawer) or how much information to give people on the screen at the end of a session (we broke it down into two pages).

The designs went through some heavy evolution (some stages are not even pictured above), and so did the name. Initially inspired by Pokémon GO, we called the project RioGO, but in the end we chose the more straightforward name RioRun.

Crossing the Finish Line

Photo of runner on track.

Testing at the Red Hook Recreation Area in Brooklyn.

So far, at least one RioRunner, from Helsinki, has completed the entire course. And the development of RioRun was enough of a long, hard slog that we feel like we’ve run a marathon. Was it worth it?

Without giving our figures away, it’s fair to say that our unique users are lower than our interactives would normally get. But when you consider how much commitment is involved—how many pieces of journalism expect you to change clothes?—the analytics look much rosier. People from over 600 cities, including Rio itself, and from every continent except Antarctica have taken part in RioRun. Lots of them have come back to continue the marathon, in both outdoor and treadmill modes.

The trend in recent years has been towards making interactive journalism as low-friction and digestible as possible, but our data clearly shows that there’s an appetite for journalism that demands more from readers, as long as the reward is there.

The project was also a tremendous learning experience for our team. It was the first time we’ve created something that didn’t work on desktop, the first time we focused so heavily on audio, the first time experimenting with Progressive Web App techniques, and the first time creating something that relies so heavily on phone sensor data—all things that will pay dividends in future storytelling experiments.

Photo of runner on track.

The end of the road.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Athenian Onomasticon Online

[First posted in AWOL 7 June 2013, updated 22 August 2016]

Athenian Onomasticon
Sean G Byrne
Since the publication of the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names II (Attica) in 1994 and Foreign Residents of Athens in 1996, fresh epigraphic evidence has continued to emerge by the month in the form of newly published inscriptions and re-readings and reinterpretations of old material. This has entailed a steady enhancement in the state of the Attic onomsticon and prosopography, with new names added, evidence for known names and people supplemented, and misread or misinterpreted names abolished.
A gauge of this progress is provided only partially by the Bibliography, from which references are removed when subsumed by Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum items. A better indication is given by the Addenda / Corrigenda to LGPN, posted by us at regular intervals until 2008, recording the cumulative changes to be made to the printed LGPN II. And in addition to these there are the extensive updates to bibliographic references provided by the publication of such corpora as Agora XVI and XVIII, IEleusis, IRhamnous and SEMA, not to mention the sixteen volumes of SEG that have appeared in the intervening years.
This site makes available the complete up-to-date onomastic data for the population of ancient Athens, through a search facility, and through html files that present the latest version of the Onomasticon.

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

Event Roundup, Aug 22

By Erika Owens

Event Roundup, Aug 22

The Knight-Mozilla Fellows, a bunch of international speakers, and a thriving local community will gather in Buenos Aires.


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

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Africa Romana

[First posted in AWOL 3 August 2012. Updated 22 August 2016]

Africa Romana
Tutti i volumi dell'Africa Romana
Nel tentativo di incentivare gli studi sull'evo antico nell'Africa settentrionale il Centro di Studi interdisciplinari sulle Province Romane ha promosso l'edizione di una serie di volumi curati da autori italiani e maghrebini. 
Solo per restare all'ultimo decennio e senza contare gli innumerevoli articoli e le ormai decine di migliaia di pagine che raccolgono gli Atti del convegno L'Africa Romana, ricordiamo:
  • Uchi Maius, 1, Scavi e ricerche epigrafiche in Tunisia, a cura di A. Mastino e M. Khanoussi, 1997;
  • P. Ruggeri, Africa ipsa parens illa Sardiniae. Studi di storia antica e di epigrafia, 1999;
  • S. Aounallah, Le Cap Bon, jardin de Carthage. Recherches d'épigraphie et d'histoire romano-africaines (146 a.C.-235 p.C.), 2001;
  • P. Salama, Les bornes milliaires du territoire de Tipasa (Maurétanie Césarienne), 2002;
  • A. M. Corda (a cura di ), Uomo, Territorio, Ambiente. La cooperazione italo-tunisina nel settore archeologico, 2002;
  • M. Milanese (a cura di ), Uchi Maius tardo antica e islamica. Miscellanea di studi 1997/2002, 2003;
  • R. Zucca, Sufetes Africae et Sardiniae. Studi storici e geografici sul Mediterraneo antico, 2004;
  • A. Ibba, G. Traina, L'Afrique romaine de l'Atlantique à la Tripolitaine (69-439 ap. J.-C.), 2006;
  • A. Ibba (a cura di, con la collaborazione di M. Abid, Z. Benzina Ben Abdallah, C. Cazzona, D. Sanna, R. Sanna, E. Ughi, disegni di S. Ganga ), Uchi Maius, 2: Le iscrizioni, 2006.
Conscio dell'importanza del libro con insostituibile strumento formativo primario, il Centro di Studi interdisciplinari sulle Province Romane ha sempre posto gratuitamente a disposizione di Università e Istituti di ricerca algerini, libici, marocchini e tunisini e di giovani studiosi meritevoli di attenzione, questi volumi, al fine di incentivare la ricerca scientifica e di agevolare la formazione di elementi validi ma economicamente svantaggiati.
Elenco delle tesi di dottorato di argomento africano (file PDF - 37 Kb)
Università degli Studi di Sassari.
Elenco delle tesi di laurea di argomento africano (file PDF - 32 Kb)
Università di Sassari e Cagliari.
Elenco delle pubblicazioni del Dipartimento di Storia (file PDF - 65 Kb)
Università degli Studi di Sassari.
Atti dei convegni

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Red Line Proofs and Vivid Figures

It’s the first week of classes and I am flailing about trying to finish up a few projects before the onslaught of the semester gets under way. For this week, I have three projects that need to be shoved unceremoniously forward before the creep of on-campus responsibilities brings my productive days to an end.

First, I got redline proofs from my book, The Bakken: An Archaeology of An Industrial Landscape on Friday. I spent the weekend being politely overwhelmed by the prospects of tidying up a 40,000 word text in less than a week, but, yesterday, I got on with the program in earnest. So far, I’ve been relieved the the text is pretty tidy, but like any text that has come into being over the course of a couple years, rather than a couple months, there are consistency and style issues:

1. Second Person or Impersonal. When I first started working on the the book, I allowed myself to use the second person a bit: “you will see on the left an important workforce housing site.” As the book went through various revisions, I decided that this was a lazy way to write and not particularly consonant with the style in the vintage tourist guides that I was trying to imitated. With each revisions, I’ve found a few more examples of second person to the stamped out.

2. Adverbs. My writing – particularly in early drafts – reads like an adverb truck dumped its contents all over the page. I use adverbs relentlessly (see what I did there) both out of habit and to add sparkle to my prose. But like Usain Bolt’s limited edition Hublot chronograph, there can be too much of a good thing. While ites, green, and gold go a long way to celebrate Bolt’s legacy, my adverbial bling makes for some mighty tedious reading. My book could lose about 60% of its adverbs with no ill-effect.

3. Details. At a picnic yesterday to welcome new and returning graduate students, we were discussing ways to get our students to pay more attention to details. I stood awkwardly silent because I am not a detail oriented person (as any reader of this blog knows). In fact, most of my career has involved me surrounding myself with people who’s attention to detail can compensate for my own inattentiveness. The copy editing to The Bakken is first rate, but there are matters of detail and precision throughout that I need to tidy up before the book is typeset. I can’t imagine catching all the little problems in the text, but I can certainly catch most of them.

My second project for this week is pulling together some images for a forum submission to the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology on the work of the North Dakota Man Camp Project (and this involves me studiously ignoring several larger, simmering projects like an Oxford Handbook contribution and an archaeological volume!). It’s basically the only thing I managed to write this summer and the thin line between a productive and unproductive summer writing season. We received some very specific and focused feedback from the forum’s editor, Yannis Hamilakis, and have tidied up the text and made it more engaging and vivid. 

The last thing to do is wrangle the images for the paper and this involved both finding a good (as in already drawn) map and  bringing together an appealing gaggle of photographs. One thing that I do want to work on is preparing some images that include multiple photographs to illustrate a larger point or to show a sequence of events. This involves using Adobe Illustrator and (excuse, excuse, excuse) will get done this morning before it gets too hot.

Finally (and, yes, I know that I only had two things on my list), I have a few gestating web projects that just need to be tidied up before the links can be circulated or the sites taken live. There isn’t much work to do here, but the work that has to be done is fussy enough that it’ll take me some time. So look for some live links later this week and some images from the Bakken and more the The Bakken book.

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

An almost forgotten anti-Christian jibe by Golding, misquoting Richard Sission, “Answering Christianity’s most puzzling questions”

I’m purging my shelves at the moment, and I came across a volume which I bought only because of an online argument.  I can’t help feeling that I dealt with this online long ago, but if so I cannot find it.  So let me document here what was claimed, and the facts, and then I can clear another half-inch of shelf!

Here‘s an example of the claim:

Now let’s turn to a reference on page 18 and 19 of The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by Dennis McKinsey (quoting from Schmuel Golding’s Biblical Polemics Newsletter): …

Golding adds–“In other words, men, rather than a god, composed the Bible. Many Christians, especially Protestants, have great difficulty with any assertion to the effect that men are responsible for the Bible coming into existence. On page 8 Answering Christianity’s Most Puzzling Questions, Vol. one, apologist Richard Sisson states (On page 19)–“In fact, after the death of Jesus a whole flood of books that claimed to be inspired appeared. Disputes over which ones were true were so intense that the debate continued for centuries. Finally, in the fourth century a group of church leaders called a council and took a vote. The 66 books that comprised our cherished Bible were declared to be Scripture by a vote of 568 to 563”. (Unquote)

The same quote used to appear sometimes online, in various places, but has thankfully been forgotten.  But did this “Sisson” really say this?

Well, I acquired a copy of Sisson’s book, and I now upload a few pages containing the relevant section:

To save us all time, here’s the actual passage:


Many charge that it took our contentious church fathers 350 years to agree on which books belong in the Scriptures. The Bible was written over many centuries. Every time a new book was written there were new questions. In fact, after the death of Jesus a whole flood of books that claimed to be inspired appeared. This argument claims that the dispute over which ones were true was so intense that the debate continued for centuries. Finally, in the fourth century a group of church leaders called a great council and took a vote. The sixty-six books that comprise our cherished Bible were declared to be Scripture by a vote of 568 to 563.

It is amazing to see how many people believe that argument. Actually, what really happened was not like that at all. …

In other words, as sometimes happens in hate literature, a convenient quote has been taken out of context.  The statement by Sisson is made in order to disagree with it.  His book, in fact, is a mass of “difficulties”, with his response, grouped into sections.

Such frauds were more common when the internet was young, and “argument by (offline) book” was a favourite ploy.  I see it less today, partly because more material is online, and mainly because the forums in which such arguments took place have vanished.

But in case this canard ever appears again, well … I’ve documented it here.

August 21, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Bollettino dell'Associazione Iasos di Caria

Bollettino dell'Associazione Iasos di Caria
ISSN: 1972-8832
Cari soci,  20 anni di pubblicazione del nostro Bollettino sono un traguardo importante, ottenuto senza dubbio grazie ai frutti della continuità della vostra adesione all'Associazione e del vostro continuo supporto.
Per celebrare questa occasione, il sito mette da oggi a disposizione la versione integrale di tutti i numeri del Bollettino: la storia dell'Associazione, del sito archeologico di Iasos e molto altro ancora, a portata di click!

L'ultima uscita del Bollettino (n. 21/2015) è disponibile anche qui in alta definizione

La casa editrice “All’insegna del giglio” provvederà anche alla stampa di un certo numero di copie cartacee dell'ultimo numero.

Per ciò che riguarda il prossimo fascicolo, stiamo raccogliendo i contributi che ne faranno parte.
Se non aveste già provveduto, vi invitiamo ad effettuare il versamento della quota associativa per l'anno in corso.

La diffusione del "Bollettino dell'Associazione Iasos di Caria" costituisce un valido strumento tanto per l'informazione sulle attività svolte dall'Associazione, quanto per la divulgazione delle notizie relative ai lavori effettuati dalla Missione Archeologica Italiana.

Il "Bollettino" ha cadenza annuale e viene inviato ai soci ed a tutti coloro (Enti, Istituti, Associazioni, Soprintendenze, Musei, Università, Biblioteche, studiosi) che si ritengono interessati agli argomenti trattati.

Saremo lieti di accettare ogni vostro suggerimento, così come di ospitare i vostri contributi.

Per contatti e informazioni sul bollettino: iasos@tin.it

Open Access Journal: eisodos: Zeitschrift für Antike Literatur und Theorie

[Firsts posted in AWOL 2 June 2014, updated 21 August 2016]

eisodos: Zeitschrift für Antike Literatur und Theorie
eisodos – Zeitschrift für Antike Literatur und Theorie ist eine peer-reviewed, open-access, online-Zeitschrift für B.A.- und M.A.-Studierende sowie Doktoranden zu Beginn ihrer Promotion. Es werden sowohl Studierende der Klassischen Philologie als auch Studierende der Byzantinistik, des Mittel- und Neulatein, der Allgemeinen & Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft oder einer modernen Literaturwissenschaft eingeladen, Beiträge in deutscher oder englischer Sprache einzusenden.

Thematischer Schwerpunkt von eisodos sind Fragen der Interpretation von antiker Literatur und des Theorievergleichs. Interpretation von Literatur meint hier gleichberechtigt Studien zu Einzelwerken von Literatur, zu Einzelaspekten in diesen Werken sowie zu Literatur allgemein. Die theoretische Basis für verschiedene Herangehensweisen an Literatur sollen dabei stets auch thematisiert werden.
eisodos – Journal for Ancient Literature and Theory is a peer-reviewed, online-journal for B.A.- and M.A.-students as well as Ph.D.-Students in the early stages of their Ph.D. Classisicsts, students of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, as well as students of Middle and New Latin, Comparative Literature or any other Literary Studies are invited to submit contributions.

eisodos has as its focus questions on the interpretation of Ancient literature. The comparison of different literary theories is a further key aspect on which eisodos will welcome submissions. Interpretation here is intended to include both studies on individual works of literature or specific aspects in individual works of literature as well as studies on literature in general. The theoretical framework and approach that forms the basis of any of these interpretations should always be articulated.

August 20, 2016

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

The Grandisson Psalter

When John Grandisson (1292–1369) became bishop of Exeter in 1327, he was not taking up an easy job. His predecessor, Walter Stapeldon, had been murdered in London the previous year. The cathedral was half-finished. By 1348, the city was struck by the Black Death, bringing poverty everywhere. John struck back...

August 19, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Quaderni [Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici per le province di Cagliari e Oristano]

Quaderni Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici per le province di Cagliari e Oristano
ISSN: 1124-7827
Online ISSN: 2284-0834
La rivista accoglie contributi scientifici inediti dedicati all'attività di ricerca storico-archeologica della Sardegna e il Notiziario delle attività della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici per le province di Cagliari e Oristano.


Open Access Journal: Archaeology & History in Lebanon: AHL

Archaeology & History in Lebanon: AHL
ISSN: 1475-5564
The Lebanese British Friends of the National Museum is a private philanthropic association established in London as a trust in 1993. It was created with the aim of raising funds and providing technical support for the Beirut National Museum at a time when the museum needed it most. LBFNM’s philanthropic efforts began with the rehabilitation of the museum’s Conservation Laboratory, purchase from the British Museum. Among other activities, LBFNM helped organize the first post-civil war exhibition held at the National Museum, Uprooted Heritage; and coordinated the exhibition Beirut: Uncovering the past, which opened at the British Museum in March 1996 and lasted six months before travelling to the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.

Since 1995, LBFNM has been publishing the journal Archaeology and History in Lebanon (formerly National Museum News), which covers a variety of current topics on Lebanon’s cultural history and archaeological past. Other publication projects include the museum’s most recent catalogue Stones and Creed (1999) and A Decade of Archaeology and History in the Lebanon (2004).
Volumes 1-29 are open access


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Open Access Journal: Abstracta Iranica

 [First posted in AWOL 28 February 2014, updated 19 August 2016]

Abstracta Iranica
Couverture Abstracta Iranica - Volume 32-33
Revue de bibliographie sélective et critique pour le monde irano-aryen sur tous les aspects de la culture et de la civilisation iraniennes, des origines à nos jours

A selective and critical bibliographical journal of Iranian studies, also covering Afghanistan and other areas relevant to Iranian culture

چکیده‌های ایرانشناسی یک نشریه کتابشناسی گزیده و انتقادی است از پژوهشهای مربوط به همهً زمینه‌های فرهنگ و تمدن ایرانی‌ از آغاز تا امروز.

Abstracta Iranica est une revue de bibliographie sélective et critique pour le monde irano-aryen ; elle rend compte des travaux concernant tous les aspects de la culture et de la civilisation iraniennes, des origines à nos jours.

Les travaux présentés dans Abstracta Iranica sont sélectionnés parmi les publications de l’année précédente, et présentés par des chercheurs.

Les auteurs et maisons d’édition sont invités à adresser à la Rédaction les ouvrages et tirés-à-part des articles destinés à faire l’objet d’un compte rendu dans la revue.

Numéros ouverts

Numéros en texte intégral

Open Access Exhibition Catalogues: Museo Nacional de Arte Romano Catálogos de exposiciones

Museo Nacional de Arte Romano Catálogos de exposiciones
Las numerosas exposiciones temporales que ha acogido el Museo Nacional de Arte Romano desde la inauguración de su nueva sede han dado lugar, las más de las veces, a catálogos de las mismas. Éstos, aparte de las fichas de las piezas y como es habitual en este tipo de obras, suelen contener textos relacionados con el tema tratado o las secciones en que se divide la muestra.

Frente a los convencionales ejemplares en papel, el desarrollo de la sala temática instalada en la Sala IX de la Planta Segunda del Museo está dando lugar, desde el año 2014, a publicaciones digitales de descarga gratuita, coordinadas desde el Museo y maquetadas y editadas por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.

SABIO GONZÁLEZ, Rafael; ALONSO LÓPEZ, Javier: Sexo, desnudo y erotismo en Augusta Emerita. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Madrid, 2015.

  •  Presentación
  • I. El carácter mágico del atributo sexual
  • II. La imagen desnuda
  • III. Dioses del amor
  • IV. Sexo y erotismo en Augusta Emerita
  • Bibliografía
Pincha aquí para descargarte gratuítamente la publicación
 SABIO GONZÁLEZ, Rafael; ALONSO LÓPEZ, Javier; HIDALGO MARTÍN, Luis: Ars scribendi. La cultura escrita en la antigua Mérida. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Madrid, 2014.

  • Presentación
  • III. Los protagonistas: maestros, alumnos y usuarios
  • III. Los instrumentos de escritura
  • III. Los soportes de la escritura
  • IV. Los alfabetos y las lenguas. La evolución gráfica de la escritura
  • Bibliografía
  Pincha aquí para descargarte gratuítamente la publicación

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

The frog days of summer linger on, but the boys – the Mighty Milo and Eager Argie – seem to enjoy them. The semester starts next week, and, once again, I realize that the summer has slipped by without a vacation. No rest for the wicked, I guess. Fortunately, the autumn is my favorite season when NASCAR and Formula 1 race to crown champions, college and pro [American] footballing gets underway, and the boys of summer (in the land down under) get ready for their new home season. These are good times in our household.

We should also think back 154 years today to the Battle of New Ulm in the Dakota Wars. If you’re not familiar with the Battle of New Ulm, then you almost certainly should download or buy a copy of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s War with the Sioux. Don’t worry, it’s free! Or, if you have it handy, check out the review of the book in the latest issue of North Dakota History.

If you’re not up for adding another book to your reading list at this point of the year, then maybe a quicker read from my list of varia will appeal:

IMG 5353Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
This is not an interesting question in our house.

August 18, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: MNAR Digital (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano)

MNAR Digital (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano)
ISSN: 2341-1554

MNAR Digital es una publicación online dedicada a la divulgación de temas de museología y museografía, que pretende dar a conocer al público en general la actividad cotidiana de nuestro Museo. MNAR Digital tiene una periodicidad trimestral. Con un formato digital, la accesibilidad a los contenidos de la publicación es abierta y total, haciéndose realidad a través de la web del MNAR o suscribiéndose a la misma, mediante correo electrónico a la dirección mnar.digital@gmail.com.



Qui som

El GIDC (Grup d’Innovació Docent Consolidat) Electra té la seu al Departament de Filologia Grega de la Universitat de Barcelona. Es constituí a començaments de l’any 2000 per iniciativa d’un grup de professors d’aquell Departament coordinats per la Dra. Eulàlia Vintró.
Al novembre del 2000 va obtenir el reconeixement com a grup per part de la UB i, l’any 2003, va rebre la categoria de grup consolidat. Cada tres anys ha anat renovant aquesta categoria fins a l’actualitat. El 2004 la Generalitat de Catalunya li atorgà la Distinció Jaume Vicens Vives en reconeixement a la innovació docent del grup.
Des de la seva creació i fins avui, el treball ininterromput del grup ha pogut comptar amb alguns ajuts econòmics procedents de les convocatòries anuals de la Universitat de Barcelona i de la Generalitat de Catalunya destinades a la innovació docent.


Oferir als estudiants dels dos primers cursos del Grau de Filologia Clàssica materials, instruments i recursos d’aprenentatge que els permetin assolir els continguts i competències fixats en els itineraris curriculars de les assignatures de grec.
Utilitzar les TIC com a eina complementària a les sessions docents presencials.
Facilitar que l’alumnat de nou ingrés sense coneixements previs de grec clàssic s’incorpori al grau mitjançant recursos específics i compensatoris.
Adaptar material docent a les noves necessitats d’aprenentatge dels estudiants.
Crear cursos de grec clàssic on line i altres materials que permetin un treball individual, d’autoaprenentatge i d’autoavaluació.
Dissenyar procediments d’avaluació i aplicar-los per tal de conèixer l’ús i l’impacte dels materials i cursos en el procés d’aprenentatge de l’alumnat.

Línies de treball

Aprenentatges en entorns virtuals
    - LMS (Moodle)
    - Open Educational resourses

Metodologies actives per a l’aprenentatge
    - Aprenentatge autònom
    - Aprenentatge col·laboratiu
    - Mentoria i tutoria
    - Elaboració de projectes

    - Avaluació formativa.
    - Autoavaluació

Equip docent

CHER-Ob: An Open Source Platform for Shared Analysis in Cultural Heritage Research

CHER-Ob: An Open Source Platform for Shared Analysis in Cultural Heritage Research
CHER-Ob Screenshot
CHER-Ob (CULTURAL HERITAGE-Object) is an open source platform developed in an attempt to enhance analysis, evaluation, documentation, sharing and management of 3D and 2D visualizations as well as textual and conservation science data.
The development of CHER-Ob is intended to offer a flexible, expandable integrated platform for collaborative cultural heritage research. It is compatible with commonly used imaging data types (2D and 3D images, RTIs, CT) and textual information. CHER-Ob offers an enhanced annotation framework and metadata schema, automatic report generation, bookmark, screenshot, searching, sorting and filtering options.
For a quick into to CHER-Ob please see the quick guide. for a detailed explanation of the features see manual.  You can also download the sample projects to further explore the software.
The source code can be found in Github (http://github.com/WeiqiJust/CHER-Ob).

CHER-Ob was developed by the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage in collaboration with Yale Computer Graphics Group through a generous grant from the Seaver Foundation.

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

Interactive Data Journalism: A One-Semester Syllabus

By Jonathan Stray

Interactive Data Journalism: A One-Semester Syllabus

Imagery from a WPA poster advertising free adult education classes. (Library of Congress)

Data journalism draws on a remarkable array of skills—everything from statistics to graphic design to FOIA requests. It seems impossible to fit everything that aspiring data journalists might need into one semester. And it is. But so many people have asked for it that I tried teaching this course anyway.

This is a cleaned-up version of a course framework that I used at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in the fall of 2015. The structure is based on a previous CUNY syllabus by Russell Chun (now at Hofstra University), while the materials are adapted from a week-long immersive data journalism workshop I co-created with Yolanda Ma, to train Chinese journalists.

This syllabus is written for instructors teaching a course and the students taking it. But there are enough resources here that someone working on their own can learn valuable skills by following the materials and exercises—especially if they know an expert or two to ask when you get stuck. Here, you’ll find complete class plans and links to all materials—assignments, slide decks, sample data, and source code. The readings are mostly from open sources but include some textbook chapters. Russell, Yolanda, and I are placing all of the material we’ve authored in the public domain.

Data journalism is changing rapidly, so please adapt and remix as necessary!

About This Syllabus

Over 14 sessions, students in this course go from having no previous data or coding experience to creating interactive visualizations in D3. Although we get heavily into coding, the orientation of this course is eminently practical. The goal is to get students comfortable adapting HTML/JavaScript sample code and inserting their own data to illustrate their stories. Students will be expected to do a great deal of learning how to learn. They’ll need to get comfortable with everyday ways of answering technical questions, including asking other people, Googling error messages, and searching Stack Overflow.

Each class begins with something I call the “Festival of Data”: One student, according to a previously determined schedule, selects a data journalism story and presents it to the class along with a critique. We also critique all student-created stories during class time, so that we learn from each others’ experience and judgement.

How the Course Works, for Students:

This course includes a few lectures to get important theory across, but most of the class time is spent coding, and most of the homework time is spent reporting. The homework is three complete data journalism stories, culminating in a mobile-first interactive.

During in-person class hours, we do technical exercises, first with Excel and then HTML/CSS/JavaScript. We cover finding data, cleaning it, anaylizing it in Excel, visualization, mapping, interactivity, and scraping.

About the Role of the Instructor:

The instructor needs to be comfortable playing the role of editor for students’ reporting work and playing technical advisor for coding work. The value of learning to code in class (rather than homework exercises, online training, or a MOOC) is that the instructor can act as a personalized coach and expert problem solver. The instructor should also make themselves available for weekly office hours, where students can get help debugging their code before it’s due.

A Few Terms:

An in-class assignment is done (as you might guess) during class, with the instructor circulating to help students with problems. An instructor demo means the instructor goes through all necessary steps on their own computer while talking through the logic of the process. For a code along exercise, the instructor puts a sequence of source files on screen, proceeding to the next step only when all students have typed in the changes and gotten them working. All homework is due the week after it is assigned, and each homework counts equally towards the final grade.

Materials and Tech:

Students need individual laptops with Microsoft Excel installed. Throughout the course we also install free software packages such as Open Refine and a text editor.

Student stories are initially published to a WordPress blog. Account permissions must be set to allow embedded HTML and JavaScript so that students can use tools that generate embed codes. Later in the course, instructors need a web server that students can publish their work to, via FTP.


  • Cairo, The Functional Art, pages 25–31, 36–44, 118–129
  • Illinsky and Steele, Designing Data Visualizations, chapter 4
  • Stray, The Curious Journalist’s Guide to Data chapter on causal models.

Class 1: Finding Data

We begin the course by asking: What’s data journalism? These slides illustrate the different types of data-driven stories, everything from simple text reports to interactive visualizations to sophisticated news apps backed by a big database.

Today we cover the basics of finding data: classic open sources (including government, commercial and academic data sets); techniques for finding data, including Google advanced search and archive.org; and tools to extract tables from PDFs.

We also talk about the reporting process and review how homework works. Then we schedule students to present stories in the Festival of Data for the next 13 weeks.

Homework Find a data set that interests you. Be prepared at the next class to tell us where the data can be found (the URL), who maintains it, and in one-two sentences, explain why the data is interesting. Email the URL for the data to the instructor.

Reading Cairo, The Functional Art, pages 25–31, 36–44, on thinking through a visualization as a tool for the reader; what graphical form best serves the goal?

Class 2: Finding the Story

Class 2: Finding the Story

The class opens with the first Festival of Data presentation (and so does each class after this one.)

Next, homework review. The instructor will put each student’s data set on screen while the student briefly (in one minute) explains what it is and why it’s interesting. As a class, we’ll ask questions to try to draw out the challenges in finding useful data, and we’ll consider other places a journalist could find data on each topic. This is also the beginning of our discussion on data cleaning, as we will discover lots of data problems.

In-class assignment: We’ll dive right into the basics of Excel with an exercise for complete beginners. This is a list of every passenger on the doomed Titanic, their gender and passenger class, and whether or not they survived. Download this file, open it in Excel, then work in a group (of at most three students) to answer the question: which gender and class had the highest survival percentage? Groups may solve the problem using any Excel features they like, but your instructor will not explain how to do this. The point is to learn how to learn to solve a technical problem. You can ask your fellow students, look online, or contact someone who knows—any source of information except the instructor.

This exercise should take less than an hour. During this time, your instructor should walk between groups to discuss their problem solving strategies. The instructor will give advice on where to look for solutions, but not the solutions themselves. Then one or two groups will come up and present their solutions.

Instructor demo: The basic Excel features that can be used to solve this problem, which are also the basic functions of a spreadsheet: sorting, filtering, and pivot tables. This demo also covers data types, formatting (especially percentages), and very basic formulas—just enough to calculate a percentage using something like =A5/B5

The class will finish with a lecture on data interpretation—the art of asking what your data means. These slides introduce the concept of “interviewing the data.”


Spreadsheets and pivot tables

Class 3: Cleaning Data

First, we’ll ask: What is a “rate” and how does that turn into an Excel formula? Why can’t you simply average the rates for different groups to get an average rate?

Instructor demo: The connection between algebra and Excel formulas. Cell references are the same thing as variables, meaning that you can use all the tricks of algebra to figure out what your formula should be. Your instructor will use algebra to prove that you can’t average rates together for groups of different sizes, and to go backward from percentage change to the previous year’s quantity: from percent = (new-old)/old to old = new/(1+percent). Algebra is the solution to wondering if you’ve got the right formula.

Data is never error-free, or in the right format, as these slides illustrate. We’ll see examples of common data problems and learn how to think about histograms.

Instructor demo: How to clean data with Excel. Your instructor will show you how to find extreme values using sorting, blank cells using filtering, and garbage entries using pivot tables. You’ll also see the “convert to columns” command, and how to use the LEFT, MID, and RIGHT formulas to break text apart.

Then we’ll watch a short video on a powerful tool called Open Refine.

In-class assignment: Do this Open Refine exercise on this data. Your instructor will help you get Open Refine installed.


Cleaning campaign finance and war casualty data

Class 4: Visualization

Class 4: Visualization

First, we’ll discuss the homework: What answers did you get? How did you get them?

These slides introduce basic data visualization design principles. Visualization depends on human visual perception, and we know a lot about how the eye processes visual information in different “channels.” Today we review the classic experiments of Cleveland and McGill and their recommendations.

Then we’ll watch the GapMinder video of global health and wealth, and the associated interactive visualization. Discussion questions might include: how many different visual channels does GapMinder use to present data? Why did they choose those channels for these variables?

Then we’ll discuss the basic chart types and graphic design foundations: visual hierarchy, white space, colors and fonts. But data visualization isn’t just about plotting data: you need a clear narrative to explain why the data is interesting and where the reader should look. This is why annotation is so useful, as in this visualization of climate change models.

Finally, we’ll look at some different tools for creating visualizations:

Many of these will produce an “embed code,” a piece of HTML that your instructor will demonstrate how to include in a WordPress post.

In-class assignment: Download some data, make a visualization. Then publish it to the class blog using an embed code.

We’ll end this class by creating your story groups. You’ll work in groups, three people maximum, for much of the rest of the class. Form your teams today.


First data story pitch. This story will be done in your groups. The pitch must include a link to the data you will use, and a “nut graf” that explains what is going on and why we should care. You must also include the name of one source you have already spoken with, or three sources you plan to speak with. These sources should be experts who can explain or contextualize your data. You must publish your pitch on the class WordPress blog.


  • Cairo, The Functional Art, pages 118–129, on Cleveland & McGill’s perceptual accuracy.
  • Steele and Illiinsky, Designing Data Visualizations, Chapter 4: Choose Appropriate Visual Encodings.

Class 5: Mapping

This week’s slides demo the basic uses of maps and introduce the idea of geocoding. People have been putting data on maps for quite a long time, for example John Snow’s famous map of cholera cases in London. Today it’s easier than ever to work with geographic data, but just because you have spatial data doesn’t mean you should use a map.

For this course we’ll use CartoDB to make our maps.

Instructor demo: Geocoding with CartoDB, using New York daycare permits data. The completed map should look like this.

In-class assignment: Register for a CartoDB account and make a map that plots one of the indices from the UN’s Human Development Index, including cleaning the data in Excel (it comes with extra header garbage), uploading to CartoDB, making a chloropleth, and customizing the infowindow to display the data you have mapped when you click on a country.

Instructor demo: Load the shapefiles for a particular state’s census blocks into CartoDB and merge them with census data to create a map of household income, following these instructions.

In-class assignment: Download some data with city names or addresses, load it into CartoDB, geocode it, and make a map. Then publish the map, generate an embed code, and put it in a WordPress post.


First story draft. This must be a complete story that your instructor and classmates will be able to evaluate without your explanation. You should have completed all reporting, all data cleaning, and all visualizations. Don’t forget details such as legends, source links and photo credits, as well as a good headline. You must talk to at least one human source who can explain or contextualize the data. You don’t have to quote them in the story, but you do have to be able to tell the class what you learned from talking to the source. Post the draft on the class blog.

Reading: Cairo: The Functional Art, Reading part 3: pages 73–86, on presentation

Class 6: Visualization Ethics, Intro to Coding

Class 6: Visualization Ethics, Intro to Coding

First we’ll critique your story drafts. The whole class will take a few minutes to read each story, then we’ll discuss what we like about it and where it could be improved. We must be able to see that you understand the data (i.e., you’ve asked the “interview the data” questions and talked to appropriate experts) and we must understand the story itself (i.e., your writing and visualizations are clear and compelling.)

Not all visualizations are created equal, as we’ll see in The most misleading charts of 2015, fixed. Data choice, scales, and context can all change the meaning of data, and there are ethical issues here. Sites like Junk Charts keep collections of bad graphs.

Together we discuss questions such as: How do we avoid misleading data visualizations? Is there such a thing as an “objective” data visualization? Where do you stand on the “y-axis should always start at zero” rule? Not everyone agrees on this.

Now you’ve got the basic theory of data journalism. The rest of our class time will be spent on learning to code the languages of the web: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We’ll use JSFiddle as our interactive environment to learn how these three languages relate, and experiment with the basics.

In-class assignment: Follow these instructions to create your very first interactive page out of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

JSFiddle is great for working out an idea, but real web development involves creating source code files with a text editor and uploading them to a web server.

Instructor demo: What’s really in a Microsoft Word file. Your instructor will paste some code into a blank Word document, save it, and open the file in a text editor. Web browsers don’t want all this extra stuff, plus Word doesn’t give us syntax highlighting.

Instructor demo: How to combine HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into a single HTML file using <style> and <script> tags. And how to FTP this file to the class server using an FTP application such as CyberDuck or FileZilla.

In-class assignment: Install a text editor on your computer, such as Notepad++ for Windows or TextWrangler for Mac. Then work in your story groups to rewrite your story draft as an HTML file. You should be able to include your embedded visualizations just by pasting the embed codes into your source file. You should end up with a single .html file that you can view in your browser. Then upload this file to the class server. You will end up with a URL that you can type into any browser on the web to view your story! It probably won’t be as pretty as the WordPress version—we’ll work on that in the next class.


Final draft of your first story, with improvements suggested by the class and your instructor.

Class 7: Causation, Javascript Charting

Class 7: Causation, Javascript Charting

Very often, data journalists want to write stories about the causes of things: this pollution is causing cancer, these taxes are causing unemployment. But “cause” usually cannot be read from the data. This week’s slides illustrate why, and they offer some hints on correct causal inference.

In-class assignment: After the lecture, each story group will be assigned one of the charts at the end of the slides. Your group will work for 10 minutes to list every possible way that the variables could be causally related—every story that could be true—including possible confounders. Then each group will present their list to the class, argue for what they think is the correct explanation, and tell us what other reporting would be required to make sure.

After that, we’ll continue coding. We’ll learn how to create a visualization right on the page using JavaScript, rather than including visualizations through images or embed codes. This is the key to interactivity.

Instructor demo: Now that we’re writing more advanced web pages, we need more advanced debugging tools. The JavaScript console lets us view error messages when our page doesn’t load, and write out debugging messages using console.log(). The Web Inspector links the page to its source code. It displays the DOM, the “document object model,” which is the logical structure of our HTML page defined by our nested tags. You can use the Inspector to figure out how any web page is put together. And of course you can always view the entire underlying HTML using “View Source.”

In-class assignment: Recreate one of your story’s visualizations using Google Charts. Start by cutting and pasting example code, then modify it to put in your own data. You will need to deal with the <script> tags and make sure everything goes in the right place when integrating the example pages into your story page. You might also want to experiment with Highcharts, which is popular among news developers and works similarly.

In-class assignment: Pick any online data journalism story with an interactive visualization. Use the web inspector to figure out how they made the visualization. Did they use a JavaScript library? Which one?


Second data story pitch. This story will be done individually, not while working in groups. Post a pitch for the story on the class blog, including a link to your data and a source list, just like last time.

Reading: Stray, The Curious Journalist’s Guide to Data chapter on causal models.

Class 8: Interactive Web Pages

This class is a guided introduction to the basics of CSS, jQuery, and interactive visualization. CSS, the awkwardly named “Cascading Style Sheets,” is the language used to set colors, fonts, and layout on a web page. jQuery is a set of pre-defined JavaScript functions, which programmers call a “library,” for doing basic manipulation of the elements of a web page. You’ll use jQuery and JavaScript to build a simple interactive chart.

Code along: You will follow this sequence of files to build up to a page with borders, formatting, and images. This is our first code-along exercise, where your instructor will put up a series of files on the screen, explain what’s happening in each step, and you will type in the new code. Note: students should only download the first file. It’s important to type in the code for each step yourself, because you’ll make mistakes and learn how to debug them.

In-class assignment: Format the HTML you wrote for your story last class. Give it margins and center the charts.

Code along: Interactivity with jQuery in these steps. Now that we can style elements by hand, we’ll learn how to change the styling interactively, when the user presses a button, using small amounts of JavaScript code and the jQuery library.

Code along: An interactive Google Chart in these steps. As usual, you should start with the first file, and your instructor will talk you through each step.


Second data story draft. Your story must be complete including all interviews and visualizations. This time, your story must be written in HTML and uploaded to the class server. Again, this story will be done individually.

Class 9: JavaScript 101

Time for story critiques again. The whole class will take a few minutes to read each story, then we’ll briefly (in two minutes) discuss what was involved in getting the story to this point, what we like about it so far, and where it could be improved.

So far you’ve been cutting and pasting JavaScript without really understanding it. In this session, you’ll learn the basics: variables, arrays, functions, conditionals, and loops.

In-class assignment: CodeAcademy Javascript Getting Started with Programming, just the first unit (lessons 1–28).

Instructor demo: JavaScript types, array and object notation, following this tutorial. How to declare and access arrays of objects. Using a “for” loop and console.log() to print the fields of each object in the array.

In-class assignment: Use Mr. Data Converter to convert the data from one of your stories into JSON, and then paste it into an HTML page. Assign the data to an array variable and use a “for” loop to print each field of each row to your browser’s JavaScript console.


Final second stories, with changes suggested during critique by your fellow students and your instructor.

Class 10: Creating Visualizations in D3

Class 10: Creating Visualizations in D3

This class is an introduction to D3, a powerful library which originated at the New York Times, which can be used to create many types of interactive visualizations.

Instructor demo: You can make a D3 visualization by hand-coding each element like this. But this requires a line of code for each bar or point or circle. It’s much better to put the data in a separate block so we can edit it easily or paste it in from elsewhere. Your instructor will build up to a working example visualization following these tutorials (1,2, and 3.)

Also, D3 can read the data from a separate CSV file.

Instructor demo: Absolute and relative URL paths. A modern web page will include many different files, such as JavaScript, CSS, and data files. To tie these all together, you can use relative URLs that tell the browser how to find each file starting from the URL of the main page.

In-class assignment: Working in your story groups, pick a visualization from the D3 gallery. Or perhaps try this simple scatterplot. Download the files and get the example running on your computer. If the example contains multiple files, you will need to make sure that where you put the files on your computer matches up with the relative URLs that link everything together (if you have trouble, either move the files or edit the URLs.) When everything is working, replace the sample data with some of your own. (You may need Mr. Data Converter again.)


Third story pitches. Your pitch must include your data, a human source list, and sketches for what the story will look like. (You can use any sketching or mockup tool you like, including paper + camera phone.) This last story will once again be done in your story groups. It must be uploaded as HTML to the server, it must contain some element of useful interactivity, and it must work well on mobile.

Class 11: Interactive Libraries

Class 11: Interactive Libraries

The simplest and fastest way to add interactivity to your stories is to use an interactive library that someone else has already built. To do this, you’ll need skills like downloading JavaScript source code, modifying examples, and reading the documentation.

Instructor demo: Creating an interactive timeline using Timeline.js.

In-class assignment: Put an interactive element in the HTML for one of your stories. You can create a timeline using Timeline.js or put interactive tables into your story using a variety of table libraries. Actually, any interactive JavaScript library is fair game for this assignment. If you want to put a 360-degree panorama viewer in your story, go for it.


Third story first drafts. As usual, the story must be complete, including all visualizations and reporting. It does not need to be interactive or work on mobile yet.

Class 12: Mobile and Interactive

Class 12: Mobile and Interactive

Final story draft critiques. As usual, the class will read each story and then briefly discuss.

Next, we’ll go through a few slides on mobile design. Your final story must work on mobile, and to do this you will need to think about issues such as layout, font size, and overall design.

Code along: How to use CSS media queries to build responsive web pages.

Code along: Interactivity using JavaScript, CSS, and D3. These steps build up to a scatterplot where you can fade between data sets at the press of a button.

In-class assignment: Put the firearms data into your scatterplot and use the button to switch between OECD and non-OECD countries. Add country labels to the dots by using this code as a reference. If you want to change the axis as well, try this.


Third story, second draft. Your story must include all interactive pieces and work on mobile, too.

Class 13: Story Workshop

During this class, your instructor will be available to help you with the reporting, writing, design, and coding of your final stories.


Final versions of your stories.

Class 14: Scraping

For this last class, we’ll start with scraping, and we’ll save the good stuff (your final stories) for the end of the class.

Sometimes the data you want is online, but you can’t download it. In many cases you can “scrape” a series of pages, or a database behind a search box, by writing a small program that reads the HTML of the page and extracts pieces of it. Helpfully, there are also a number of simpler scraping tools. In this class, you’ll scrape using functions built into Google Sheets.

Instructor demo: The tabs of this workbook show how to scrape with Google sheets using ImportHTML and ImportXML, and xpath to get specific items on the page. Further references.

In-class assignment: Use ImportXML to scrape a page of apartment rental listings. Be aware that if everyone tries to scrape the same site, your whole classroom might get shout-out for a while due to too-frequent accesses from the same source.

Finally, we’ll look at your last stories. We’ll look at them on mobile as well.

Welcome to a Learning & Teaching Community

Congratulations, you’ve got data skills. Look what you made!

Humans have been working with data for thousands of years and today it appears in every corner of society. Finding data, analyzing it, making visualizations, coding interactives—there’s a lot to learn. And working with data goes far beyond journalism. This course is just the tip of the iceberg.

But you don’t have to be a master to do good work. Instead, what you need is the willingness to learn. Use the web, study other people’s work, build on open-source examples. Most importantly, work with your colleagues—both inside and outside the newsroom, both in-person and online. You’ll never be an expert on everything, but you’re surrounded by experts. The people who truly love their subject will delight in sharing.

Sooner than you think, you’ll get the chance to pay it forward. Data journalism doesn’t live in a stack of textbooks or even on GitHub. It’s a living, breathing community, and you’re now a part of it.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Methodos. Revista de didàctica dels estudis clàssics

Methodos. Revista de didàctica dels estudis clàssics
ISSN: 2013-682X
 La revista digital Methodos va ser fundada i dirigida en la seva primera època per Pedro Luis Cano. En la seva segona època, que s'inicia el 2011, Methodos. Revista de didàctica dels estudis clàssics és una publicació anual editada per Paideia. Grup de Didàctica de les Llengües i la Cultura Clàssiques de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, que integra professors del Departament de Ciències de l'Antiguitat i l'Edat Mitjana i de l'Equip de Formació i Innovació de Llengües i Cultura Clàssiques. Methodos publica articles sobre didàctica de les llengües i la cultura clàssiques en qualsevol nivell educatiu. La seva vocació és esdevenir un espai de trobada entre l'ensenyament secundari i l'universitari, entre l'estudi del llatí i del grec, entre la didàctica de la llengua i de la cultura clàssica.

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

Using Twitter to Advance Your Research Career -- My new online short course!

Modified from Kooroshication's Flickr image "Twitter Head" (CC-BY)
Are you an academic, researcher, alt-ac, scientist, NGO worker, digital humanities geek, or really anyone who wants to more effectively use Twitter in a professional capacity? Check out this three-week online course, starring me!  I mean... co-taught by yours truly! :-)

It costs just $25, and you'll learn a whole range of things, from how to use hashtags to how to integrate your social media profiles to more effectively harness the internet to further your research goals. (More info on topics at the link.)

The course runs from Sept 18-Oct 8.  It's largely self-paced, with regular weekly check-ins with the instructors and your classmates, so that you can help one another succeed in making the most out of Twitter.  Each week gets more in depth, but you can pop in and out to get what you need.  

Please share this widely -- although this is being run through #SciFund (which I joined way back when for help with my successful crowdfunding campaign), we're not just targeting scientists.  We'd love to have you social science and digital humanities folks, as skills in social media are crazy important for academic and alt-ac jobs these days.  Grad students are more than welcome, and even undergrads could benefit.

If you're interested in signing up -- have I mentioned it's just $25??? -- do click here. Don't be like the bird on the right...

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

Did the Catholic church oppose street lights? Some notes on the Papal States in the 1830s

A couple of days ago, I happened to see a brand new anti-Catholic slur online on Instagram. Here’s the item:

It’s not spread that far as yet, but claims to be from Cracked.com – a US humour site.

The poster makes three claims:

The Catholic Church opposed street lights.

In 1831, Pope Gregory XVI even banned gas lighting in papal states.

The church argued that God very clearly established the delineation between night and day, and putting lights up after sundown flew in the face of God’s law.

Well that’s pretty plain.  The Catholic Church under Gregory XVI made it offical teaching that street lights were evil, and that even (note the emphasis) gas lighting was banned in “papal states” (by which most people will understand “Catholic countries”).

It’s obvious that this poster is intended to defame, to injure and to bring contempt on the Roman Catholic Church.  But it is interesting to find that the words in the poster are very recent indeed.  In fact I can only find a single near-match anywhere.  This is in a 2015 publication by Bruce H. Joffe, “My Name Is Heretic: Reforming the Church, from Guts to Glory”.[1]  The author appears in fact to be a homosexual activist.[2] The Cracked.com poster is clearly derived (with a couple of word changes) from this.

The claim that “The church argued that God very clearly established the delineation between night and day, and putting lights up after sundown flew in the face of God’s law” does not appear elsewhere, and in the absence of evidence and reference we may hypothesise that Joffe simply invented it.

The poster also gives a reference, to Desmond Bowen.[3]  But when we search for street lighting, we find only a single result:

Papal ceremonies assumed unprecedented magnificence, and audiences were conducted with more than royal protocol. The building programme of Leo XII was continued, more ancient churches and monuments were restored, new palaces were built, and the Vatican was further enriched with valuable collections of art. At the same time the people of Rome were denied street lighting, and the pope refused to allow the coming of the railway to the city. Gregory XVI was a thoroughgoing reactionary, but his policies were implemented only because of the presence of French and Austrian as well as papal troops.

The Google books preview indicates no other reference to street lighting in the book.

With every historical claim, our first step must be to discover whether the claim is in fact true, as stated.  If it is true, we must next discover whether it is a fair representation of the facts, or a distortion.

Our first source of information is none other than the great Charles Dickens, in Bentley’s Miscellany, vol. 24, 1848, p.305, where he is reviewing a book about Italy by a certain James Whiteside, of whom more in a minute.

The effete but jealous despotism of the ancient system [of Papal government before Pope Pius IX] is well illustrated by the following anecdote.

“I became acquainted with a young, handsome, fashionable Count, who mixed largely in English society in Rome. During an evening’s conversation he remarked, he had never beheld the sea, and had a great desire to do so. I observed that was very easy, the sea was but a few miles distant, and if he preferred a sea-port, Civita Vecchia was not very far off. The Count  laughed. ‘I made an effort to accomplish it, but failed,’ he then said. ‘ You English who travel over the world do not know our system. I applied lately for a passport to visit the coast; they inquired in the office my age, and with whom I lived; I said with my mother. A certificate from my mother was demanded, verifying the truth of my statement. I brought it; the passport was still refused. I was asked who was my parish priest; having answered, a certificate from him was required, as to the propriety of my being allowed to leave Rome. I got the priest’s certificate ; they then told me in the office I was very persevering, that really they saw no necessity nor reason for my roaming about the country just then, and that it was better for me to remain at home with my mother.’ He then muttered. ‘The priests, the priests, what a government is theirs !’”

This passage sufficiently explains Pope Gregory’s hostility to railroads, but the cause of his hostility to gas-lights is less generally known, and must not be suppressed. When the chairman of a company formed for lighting Rome with gas, waited on the Pope to obtain the required permission, Gregory indignantly asked how he presumed to desire a thing so utterly subversive of religion! The astonished speculator humbly stated that he could not see the most remote connection between religion and carburetted hydrogen. “Yes, but there is, sir,” shouted the Pope, “my pious subjects are in the habit of vowing candles to be burned before the shrines of saints, the glimmering candles would soon be rendered ridiculous by the contrast of the glaring gas-lights, and thus a custom so essential to everlasting salvation would fall into general contempt, if not total disuse.” No reply could be made to this edifying argument. Silenced, if not convinced, the speculator withdrew; the votive candles still flicker, though not so numerously as heretofore, and they just render visible the dirt and darkness to which Rome is consigned at night.

We need not spend too long on this anecdote, which Dickens – no friend of the church – tells us that he heard from a failed salesman.  The aged and suspicious Pope doubtless had seen a series of such salesmen, and might well have said something sarcastic and irrefutable to get rid of a particularly irksome commercial gentleman.  But sadly the veracity of salesmen cannot always be relied on, even when the sale succeeds.

Much more interesting is Whiteside’s anecdote about the Roman prince denied a passport.  This gives an interesting picture of the Papal administration in the period – positively third-world.  It’s the sort of story that might come out of Egypt today, or some African slum state, where ordinary people are knotted up in pointless and destructive bureaucracy.

This gives us our first clues about this story.  We are not, in fact, dealing with “the Catholic Church”.  We are dealing with a now long-vanished petty Italian princedom, the Papal States, and its wretched and backward administration.

This is promptly confirmed when we consult Whiteside’s volume.[4]  Unlike Dickens, who knew without saying why the Papal government had banned railways, Whiteside actually does know:

Political fears deterred the government from sanctioning railways. When Gregory understood his loving subjects of Bologna might visit him in Rome en masse, he would not hear of the innovation. I remember the remark of a man of business on the subject: “Il Papa non ama le strode ferrate.” No reasons were given for the refusal to adopt the improvement, except that his Holiness hated railways.  Gregory reasoned as did an inveterate Tory of my acquaintance, who condemned railways because they were a vile Whig invention. Any improvements in agriculture which could be effected by agricultural societies were interdicted, all such noxious institutions repressed.

In fact if we read Whiteside’s pages, we see the familiar picture of a weak government, of the kind found everywhere in Africa today, suspicious of everything and willing to ban anything unless they see pecuniary advantage in it.

Around the same time, an Irishman named Mahoney published, under the pen-name of Don Jeremy Savonarola (!), a series of letters that he wrote from Italy.[5] These throw considerable light on attitudes in Rome at the time, not only among the government.

On p.24 Mahony describes the fate of an English sculptor who sought to warm his studio in Rome with a coal-fired stove:

But concerning the development of steam-power in this capital, and the prospect for its utterly idle people of the varied branches of industry to be created through that magic medium, I can hold out none but the faintest hopes. A straw thrown up may serve for an anemometer. One of our sculptors took a fancy to import from Liverpool an Arnott stove to warm his spacious studio this winter, and laid in his stock of Sabine coal with comfortable forethought; great was his glee at the genial glow it diffused through his workshop: but short are the moments of perfect enjoyment: in a few days a general outcry arose among the neighbours: the nasal organ at Rome, guide-books describe as peculiarly sensitive : a mob of women clamoured at the gate: they were all “suffocated by the horrid carbon fossile.” Phthisis is fearfully dreaded here: with uproarious lungs they denounced him as a promoter of pulmonary disease. Police came, remonstrance was useless. The artist’s lares were ruthlessly invaded, and his “household gods shivered around him.” The Arnott Altar of Vesta now lies prostrate in his lumber yard, quenched for ever!

On p.55 the subject of gas lighting appears:

There is much of quiet amusement not untinged with a dash of melancholy supplied perpetually to strangers here by the efforts of government to arrest the progress of those modem improvements which must obviously ultimately be adopted even in Rome. The mirth which borders on sadness is stated by metaphysicians to have peculiar fascinations… Some such feelings were apt to creep o’er the mind, in reading last week the newest edict of the local authorities affixed on the walls for the guidance of all shopkeepers and others; this hatti-sheriff, which it is impossible not duly to respect, denounces the modern innovation of gas light, made of our old acquaintance, the previously denounced “carbon fossile” and all private gasworks of this nature are suppressed. Hereby many an industrious and enterprising establishment has its pipe put out all of a sudden, while those which are suffered to remain are subjected to a thousand vexatory restrictions and domiciliary visits from officials, who, as usual, must be bribed to report favourably. They are further told that their private gas generators will be all confiscated at some indetermined period when it shall please the wisdom of authority to establish government gas works: a period far remote, to be sure, but sufficiently indefinite effectively to discourage the outlay of private capitalists on their private comforts or accommodation. Milan, Florence, Leghorn, Venice, Turin, and Naples are gas-lit long since.

This really makes things clear.  There is no Papal opposition to gas as such, because government gasworks are proposed.  The concerns are about air-quality, and the proliferation of smog in the city from all these private burners and get-rich-quick companies.  These are not illegitimate concerns, as anyone who has experienced the aroma from a neighbour’s barbeque on a swelteringly hot day can testify.

Later, on p.171, we learn that the new Pope, Pius IX, dismissed the city prefect, Marini, “an implacable foe” of “every amelioration”.

The letters, in fact, are well worth the reading, for the picture which they give of a  minor Italian state, on the cusp of modern improvements in the early 19th century.  Clearly the government – the Pope, if you like – did ban gas lighting, and railways, and all sorts of other modern improvements, from the papal state.  This policy was reversed by Pius IX, this successor.  But there is no theological question here – only politics.

It would be really interesting to see the text of the Edicts in question, actually.  But I could only find one online, which was for setting up a Chamber of Commerce, here.

Papal Rome is a country which is now far away in time and space.  We forget it ever existed – but it did.  It was a country which had its own laws, its own army, and its own political factions.  Like every Italian statelet it was perpetually concerned about foreign nations, and the threat of the Austrian army, or the French army.  It is, therefore, quite a mistake to treat the political initiatives of the government of that state as if they were theological directives by a modern Pope.

Let’s return to where we started.  The poster is very misleading indeed, therefore.

The first claim is mainly false.  The Catholic Church did NOT oppose street lighting.  The elderly ruler of the papal states in 1830s opposed gas lighting as projected by a foreign company, probably reflecting the ignorance and squalid suspicions of his people and worries about air quality.  His successor ruled differently.

The second claim is mainly true, but it is entirely misleading because the reader will think of Pope Gregory as like Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XV.  That Pope was not a modern Pope, issuing statements of faith and morals, but the autocratic ruler of a third-world state with a low-grade and corrupt administration, obstructing progress out of fear and obscurantism.

The third claim appears to be utterly unevidenced before 2015.

Thus are legends started; and, with luck, that one ends here.

All the same, I hope that you have enjoyed our visit to Papal Rome.  There are indeed guidebooks online in English for visitors, which might well repay the curious reader.  It may have been a backward place, but it had the charm that Rome has always had, whatever the faults of its rulers.

  1. [1] ISBN 978-1-5144-2756-9.  Preview here: “[Jesus] healed (worked) on the Sabbath and ate food consecrated to God, demonstrating the importance and power of the Spirit over the letter of the law. Back in 1831, Pope Gregory XVI opposed street lamps and banned gas lighting in Papal States. The church argued that God very clearly had established the delineation between night and day, and putting lights up after sundown flew in the face of God’s law. Still, we search the scriptures for words that would cause God to curse instead of bless us. And vice-versa. But, when did we decide to forget about God’s grace? The Church has lost much of the idealism and faith upon which it was formed and is based, replacing them instead with creeds and beliefs.” The argument is a standard among campaigners for vice.  It is to be observed that such campaigners act without mercy to those who dare express any disagreement, once they have obtained power themselves.
  2. [2] So I learn from the Google search result from  Bruce H. Joffe, A Hint of Homosexuality?: ‘Gay’ and Homoerotic Imagery In American Print Advertising, 2007: “Author royalties from this book will benefit the Commercial Closet Association, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization working to influence the world of advertising to understand, respect and include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender…”
  3. [3] Desmond Bowen, Paul Cardinal Cullen and the Shaping of Modern Irish Catholicism, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 1983.  Preview here.
  4. [4] James Whiteside, “Italy in the nineteenth century”, (1848) vol 2, p.288.
  5. [5] I owe my knowledge of this to Katarina Gephardt, The Idea of Europe in British Travel Narratives, 1789-1914, Routledge, 2016, p.112.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

CAARI Monograph Series at the HathiTrust

Yesterday, I began messing around with sprucing up the venerable CAARI (Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute) website. As part of that I thought I’d put together some links to the full and open digital texts of volumes in the CAARI monograph series published by the American Schools of Oriental Research.

A few years ago, the ASOR’s Committee on Publications under the leadership of Chuck Jones took steps to make out of print books published by ASOR open access through the HathiTrust. The most recent volume, Cyprus and the Balance of Empires, edited by Davis, Stewart, and Weyl Carr, is only a couple of years old, so it hasn’t been released yet (see my comments in this fine volume here). Oddly enough, the first volume, Res Maritimae, from 1994, was not picked up in The Googles scanning net, but I bet no one would object to a digitized copy of this book being made available. Maybe someone at CAARI can oblige! 

(As an aside, we hope that my volume with David Pettegrew and Scott Moore, Pyla-Koustopetria I: Archaeological Survey of An Ancient Coastal Town (2015) will be available in a linked, open format sometime quite soon!)

The only bummer about these volumes is that they are released under a CC-By-ND-NC license. This is a non-commercial license meaning that you can’t use these books for any commercial enterprise. Because this kind of license has been read pretty strictly, some (let’s say) benign commercial entities like universities and academic institutions have been reluctant to allow for the use of material released under non-commercial licenses in their classes, for example.

This is a quibble though because the books remain valuable contributions to our understanding of the island and they are now available for individual researchers to use for free. 

No. 1. Stuart Swiny, Robert L. Hohlfelder, and Helena Wylde Swiny (eds.). Res Maritimae: Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean from Prehistory to Late Antiquity, 1994.

No. 2. Stuart Swiny (ed.) The Earliest Prehistory of Cyprus from Colonization to Exploitation, 2001.

No. 3. Diane Bolger and Nancy Serwint (eds.). Engendering Aphrodite: Women and Society in Ancient Cyprus, 2002.

No. 4. Stuart Swiny, George Rapp, and Ellen Herscher (eds.). Sotira Kaminoudhia, An Early Bronze Age Site in Cyprus, 2003.

No. 5. Charles Antony Stewart; Thomas W Davis; Annemarie Weyl Carr (eds.) Cyprus and the Balance of Empires: Art and Archaeology from Justinian I to the Coeur de Lion, 2014.

Available Online

Verifying vs Reproducing Science and the importance of software

Torsten Reimer’s excellent blogpost on the use of software at Imperial College, led me to similar reflections on the usage of the software at TU Delft.

As part of the Data Stewardship project, I am involved in interviews with research groups across TU Delft’s eight faculties. In many of the interviews, the role of software often comes up.

Whether writing code to simulate the movement of volcanic ash clouds, to help model the problems in including renewable energy sources in power grids, or normalising a mass of data resulting from chemical analysis of biological samples, the software plays a critical role in defining and testing scientific hypothesis.


Utah House Solar Panels, CC-BY, Rick Willoughby

The relative importance attributed to software by researchers as part of their research life cycle also has interesting implications for research data management.

Take for example a scientist running simulations on the effectiveness of solar power in the electricity grid. Such a scientist runs hundreds of simulations, testing the effects of small adjustments to input parameters (eg customer demand, energy input from the solar panels) that goes into the model based on the code. Each simulation will spit out results as data.

When it comes to writing up the results in a paper, typically only the data from a few of the simulations will be referenced, perhaps in the form of graphs. Hopefully, the data from these referenced simulations will be available from a data repository.

But from the data management point of view what is interesting here is thinking about the reproducibility of this research. If another group wants to verify the results of the original group’s research that’s not too difficult. They can download the resulting data and documentation from the data repository (or they can ask the original scientist for it)

But does that mean the science in the paper is reproducible? To be reproducible, the second group would have to test the same software with the same input parameters and check that they got the same data. The data itself would not be enough. Reproducing science needs not just the data but the software as well.

This has implications for data management. As the term suggests much of the focus in libraries is currently on ‘data’. Yet much of the rationale behind good data management is that it helps make science reproducible. But if we really want to do this, then maybe we need to do a lot more in terms of good ‘software development’.

As the Imperial College blog post demonstrates, some university libraries are already thinking about this. But I think we have a long way to go.

August 17, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: American Research Center in Egypt E-Newsletter

[First posted in AWOL 29 October 2009. Updated 17 August  2016]

American Research Center in Egypt E-Newsletter
ARCE’s E-Newsletter provides the latest research, conservation, event and other news to members and subscribers on a monthly basis. The E-Newsletter is delivered free to your inbox each month, and is a great way to stay informed about all ARCE happenings.

December 2010
August 2010
April 2011

July 2011

October 2011
Fall 2012
Summer 2014
Spring 2015
Winter 2015

Micropasts: Photo-masking an Egyptian sarcophagus

Micropasts: Photo-masking an Egyptian sarcophagus
This application enables the creation of a high quality 3D model of an archaeological artifact via process known as photo-masking. There has been a revolution in 3D modeling in recent years and it is now relatively easy to construct such models from ordinary digital photographs. Isolating the object depicted in these photographs, and masking out the background, is an important first step to achieving high quality results.

This particular photo-masking application is an experiment as we are attempting to model an Egyptian sarcophagus on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS). The sarcophagus on permanent loan to DMNS from the Rosemont Museum in Pueblo, CO.

What we want you to do

We would like people to draw a polygon around the object that they see in each photograph in order to identify its outline and exclude the image background. This allows the 3D modeling process to concentrate on the object itself and ignore irrelevant background information.

If you are interested in what our 3D completed models look like, please have a look at our Sketchfab profile.
 Micropasts: Photo-masking an Egyptian sarcophagus

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

A note on the authenticity of Eusebius of Caesarea’s “Commentary on the Psalms”

In Rondeau’s account of ancient Christian commentaries on the psalms,[1] there is naturally a section on the commentary by Eusebius of Caesarea.  It contains an interesting footnote on the authenticity of the text.  But first, a few words about this little known item.

Eusebius is a writer whom we do not usually associate with exegesis.  But his extensive Commentary on Isaiah was rediscovered 60 years ago, and an English translation published in the last decade.  His Commentary on the Psalms has been less fortunate.  The portion devoted to Psalms 51-95, 3 has reached us, in a single manuscript, BNF Paris Coislin 44, which was edited by Montfaucon in the 17th century.[2]  The section on Psalm 37 was transmitted among the works of Basil of Caesarea.[3]

The remainder, however, is known only from extracts preserved in the medieval Greek bible commentaries.  These were composed of chains (catenae) of extracts linked together, with the author’s initial against each extract (but this initial was often corrupted).  Eusebius figures largely in the catenas and so there is a lot of material extant, if somewhat dubious.

Nobody has undertaken a critical edition of any of this material, and the portions derived from catenas are unreliable.  There is no translation of any of it, to the best of my knowledge, other than a translation of the section on psalm 51 made for this site by Andrew Eastbourne.

Now I’ve always had a soft spot for this huge but neglected work, and so I’ve started looking at Rondeau’s description, from which the above is mainly taken.  One of his footnotes caught my eye at once.

Dans la notice Eusèbe de Césarée de certaines encyclopédies, il est insinué que le texte du Coislin. 44 est non de l’Eusèbe authentique et pur, mais de l’Eusèbe caténal, interpolé ou remanié (E. Preuschen, dans Realencyclopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche 5, 1898, p. 615; E. Schwartz, dans PW 6, 1907, col 1435; J. Moreau, dans DHGE 15, 1963, col. 1446, et dans RAC 6, 1965, col. 1064). Notre expérience de l’ensemble de l’exégèse antique du Psautier ne confirme pas cette méfiance.

In the article Eusebius of Caesarea in some encyclopedias, it is insinuated that the text of Coislin. 44 is not direct from Eusebius himself, but rather the “Eusebius” of the catenas, i.e. interpolated or reworked. (E. Preuschen, in Realencyclopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche 5, 1898, p. 615; E. Schwartz, in PW 6, 1907, col 1435; J. Moreau, in DHGE 15, 1963, col. 1446, and in RAC 6, 1965, col. 1064). Our experience of the entire collection of ancient exegesis of the psalter does not confirm this suspicion.[4]

It is good to hear this.  To cast suspicion on the authenticity of a text is easy; to remove it hard.  The need for an edition and translation of this text is not helped by such suspicions.

UPDATE (17/8/16): There is a critical edition in progress of this work, at the BBAW, headed by Christoph Markschies.  This has been in progress for a while, but I enquired and he kindly wrote back and told me: “The project is still active and the three colleagues mentioned at the website (Bandt, Risch and Villani) are still working hard to produce the first volume (that will be a multi-volume edition …) the next year.”

Which is excellent news, of course.  Now all we need is a team of translators.

  1. [1] Marie-Josephe Rondeau, Les commentaires patristiques du psautier, vol. 1, 1982.
  2. [2] Reprinted as the whole of Patrologia Graeca 23; material on psalms 119-150, edited by Mai, appears in PG 24, cols. 9-76.
  3. [3] Edition in PG 29, columns 194-6 and 202.
  4. [4] Rondeau, l.c., p.64, n.137.

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

Explore our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

When we started this blog, back in the distant past (2010 to be precise, though sometimes it seems longer), we never anticipated how many people would take an interest in the beautiful world of medieval manuscripts. Who ever knew that unicorn cookbooks, knights fighting snails, magical swords and cats in...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Digital Classicist London Seminars 2016 on Youtube

Digital Classicist London Seminars

As usual, the Digital Classicist London Seminars  are available remotely this summer:

Another JSTOR Journal: The Classical World

The following somehow escaped my notice in JSTOR. Other recent JSTOR  additions include Eight More Antiquity Related Journals in JSTOR, and Six More Brill Journals in JSTOR.

The Classical World
ISSN 0009-8418
The Classical World 
Classical World (ISSN 0009-8418) is the quarterly journal of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, published on a seasonal schedule with Fall (September-November), Winter (December-February), Spring (March-May), and Summer (June-August) issues. Begun in 1907 as The Classical Weekly, this peer-reviewed journal publishes contributions on all aspects of Greek and Roman literature, history, and society; on the classical tradition; on the history of classical scholarship; and on the teaching of Latin, Greek, and classical civilization. The ideal reader of Classical World is a scholarly teacher or a teaching scholar, and the ideal contributor has something to say to this reader. In addition to publishing original articles, the journal also features authoritative bibliographies of recent research on ancient authors and topics, regular surveys of textbooks and audio-visual materials, and extensive and timely reviews of scholarly books on the classics.
The successor to:
And see also:
AWOL's full list of journals in JSTOR with substantial representation of the Ancient World

See AWOL's full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies

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

Anthony Alcock: translation Wansleben’s1671 account of Coptic church

Anthony Alcock has translated a curiosity for us: an account of the state of the Coptic church in Egypt made by a certain Johann Michael Wansleben, and published in 1671.[1]  Wansleben was a Lutheran traveller who hoped to reach Ethiopia.  His book is an account of Egypt as it then was.

Here is Dr Alcock’s translation of Wansleben’s account:

Such an early account must be of great interest.  Indeed it would be nice to have all of Wansleben in English.  Thank you, Dr. A., for translating this section.

Here’s a taster from the end, which is interesting in its own right for how Coptic books tended to be alienated from their holders, and why so many Coptic churches were in a disgraceful state when the British arrived in the 19th century:

The Turks genuinely allow each person a free conscience, not only in Egypt but in all their countries, provided it does not affect them. Nonetheless they often deprived Christians of their best churches and monasteries. Some years ago the Monastery of the Raven in Manfalut was turned into a mosque.

Similarly the late Pasha Ibrahim, three years ago, built a mosque in the village of Matariya outside Cairo five miles away where the was a small chapel; behind it a porphyry appeared to foreigners, on top of which the Virgin used to stretch out the clothes of the baby Jesus to dry them after washing. Nearby is the spring that miraculously started to dispense water, thanks to the omnipotence of Jesus, when on His arrival in Egypt he was suffering from great thirst. To this day it still dispenses water so sweet that surpasses in goodness all other waters, whether from the fountains of Cairo or the Nile itself. The Pashas themselves, notwithstanding the distance from their castle or being enemies of Christians and their things, used this water in their refectories. Past the chapel the way leads down to a garden with the fig tree behind which, according to an ancient tradition, Our Lord hid during the persecution by Herod. Opening in the trunk by itself, the fig wove spiders’ webs so thick and old in appearance that they concealed Our Lord from his enemies as they went by and did not look for him. Today no Frank is allowed to visit these places since it is now a mosque.

The Turks also took the Church of Anastasius in Alexandria from the Copts and turned it into a mosque. They make no effort to restore churches fallen into ruin as a result of penalties. Indeed, the Christians are not keen on removing the spiders’ webs for fear that Turks find them attractive.

Moreover, the Turks tax the churches and monasteries heavily, as happened with the Abyssinians in Cairo fourteen years ago. The Pasha of that time, out of a certain apprehension he felt towards them, threatened to take away their churches if they did not pay a certain large sum of money. They were forced to sell the property of the church and their manuscript books to pay this tax, These books, about forty of them, had been sent by Father Eleazar, a Capuchin, to Mgr Pierre Seguier the Great Chancellor of France, in whose house I saw them. That is also the reason why I was able to find almost no Ethiopic book in Cairo, except for four in the possession of the Father, which I copied. These taxes gradually began to annoy the Christians so much that they were no longer able to resist. The number of Coptic churches is constantly being reduced, and I have no doubt that the Turks will soon confiscate the remainder. The Franks are in a better situation than the Copts, because the Turks not only allow them to attend church services without harassing them, but they also have more respect for the missionary Capuchins and Franciscans, who both have their chapels behind their place of residence, each wearing the dress suitable to their order.

All of this harassment and discrimination was normal in Egypt, then as now, as we find from accounts in the History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandrai.  It was intended as a means to induce the Copts to convert to Islam.  It is remarkable, if we consider that they have suffered thirteen centuries of it, that the Copts have managed to remain in existence.

  1. [1] J. M. Wansleben, Relazione dell Stato presente dell’Egitto. 1671.  Online here; PDF via here.

Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations

Call for Web Developer

The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) seeks a Web Developer whose primary responsibility will be maintaining and developing ADHO's Drupal and WordPress content management systems. Tasks will include making necessary updates to and backups of ADHO's website; managing multilevel authorizations and potential security issues; making recommendations for improvements in the site's design and functionality; and troubleshooting site issues and implementing fixes as needed. The new web developer will also work closely with the Communications, Infrastructure, and Multilingual Multicultural Officers, and the system administrator to design and implement multilingual and accessibility functions for the ADHO site.
A prospective web developer will have a strong knowledge of and demonstrable experience in Drupal and/or WordPress front and back end development. The applicant will also have a strong interest and experience in developing internationalized, accessible online resources for a global academic community.
Please note that this is a volunteer position with flexible hours and a varying workload. However, the web developer will receive as compensation expenses paid (up to €1.200) for attendance at the annual Digital Humanities conference.
This position is ideal for a student, scholar, or professional who can work independently, is a proactive learner, and is interested in becoming involved in the global digital humanities community. The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations is committed to providing volunteer opportunities without regard to an individual’s age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
To apply, submit a CV/resume and a cover letter describing your interest in the position and your expertise in Drupal and WordPress development to Hannah Jacobs, ADHO’s Communications Officer: HannahLJ[at]gmail[dot]com. Please also contact Hannah with any questions.

Application Deadline: Friday, September 30, 2016

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Job Posting: Director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute

The Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute has opened their search for a new director. For the past 15 years, CAARI has played an important part in my career as an archaeologist and historian, and the two directors of the institute played no small part in the success of my field project, the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project. Both the current director, Andrew McCarthy, and the previous director, Andrew McCarthy, have helped us extract ourselves from sticky situations in archaeological politics on the island and provided perspective on the complexities of both the Cypriot and the American archaeological community on the island.

Over the past couple of years, they’ve completed construction of an expanded library which will, apparently, house paper books. CAARI has also supported a vibrant community of fellows, regular academic lectures and conferences, and the annual summer archaeological workshop which brings together many of the archaeologists active on the island to present their most recent findings. While I’ve not done too much research in the library nor availed myself to the hostel or other amenities that CAARI provides for scholars, we have sent students to the library there on a regular basis and the library’s collection (including runs of some local and rather obscure journals) is a nice “one stop shop” for focused research on the material culture of the island.

I’m on the CAARI Board of Trustees, but I don’t know much about the job search or what the committee is “really” looking for. The list of responsibilities seem a bit out of sync with the qualifications. They seem to be looking for a building manager, event planner, administrator, and liaison who happens to also be an archaeologist. There is nothing, necessarily, that makes the responsibilities and qualification incompatible, but they seem to want two different things. 

In any event, CAARI is a good and valuable institution, they’re offering an attractive package of salary and benefits; here’s a link to the job announcement. Applications are due September 20th.

AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

Free ebook: FETO's Coup Attempt in Turkey: A timeline, July 15-20, 2016

"This book gives a complete account of the events of July 15, 2016,
when the most brutal coup attempt in Turkey’s history was made by the
Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), as witnessed by Anadolu Agency’s
reporters and photojournalists.
Aside from a step-by-step account of events, the book includes striking
pictures and Anadolu Agency infographics (updated on July 20) detailing
the Turkish nation’s firm resistance against the July 15 coup attempt, a day
that will henceforth be remembered in Turkey as ‘Democracy Day’. "

Download: http://aa.com.tr/uploads/TempUserFiles/FETO_coup_ENG.pdf.

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

Leontion, 'Little Prostitute' or 'Great Philosopher'

Followers of our Twitter account may remember an image we posted a few months ago on #InternationalHugAMedievalistDay, showing a woman being interrupted from her reading by a man trying to embrace her. It turns out that the story behind the image involves ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, female intellectuals, Epicureans, misogyny...

Ancient World Bloggers Group

Syrian Antiquities

It seems to me that there is a growing emphasis on the damage being sustained to the archaeological record in Syria, but little on the solutions to prevent material derived from the looting being sold on the market. Some colleagues even deny that material is entering the market even when there is a growing body of evidence to suggest the contrary. There clearly needs to be an emphasis on training for those at ports and airports, intelligence driven interceptions, and prevention when material is offered for sale.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Pirradaziš: Bulletin of Achaemenian Studies

Pirradaziš: Bulletin of Achaemenian Studies
Download the full-sized PDF of Pirradazish: Bulletin of Achaemenian Studies, Number 8: 12 April 1994
Pirradaziš (Pirradazish) [OCLC Number: 863381899] is a newsletter produced by Charles E. Jones at the Oriental Institute Chicago. Eight issues appeared between 1990 and 1994.
Pirradaziš seeks to gather information, primarily bibliographical, which relates to the study of the Achaemenid Persian empire, as well as relevant material on the periods immediately preceding and following it. Each issue will cover the material seen by the editor during the six months (more or less) prior to the date of issue.
Pirradazish 1 (1 July 1990) 
Pirradazish 2 (10 January 1991) 
Pirradazish 3 (20 August 1991) 
Pirradazish 4 (7 February 1992) 
Pirradazish 5-6 (4 February 1993) 
Pirradazish 7 (8 October 1993) 
Pirradazish 8 (12 April 1994)

Rediscovering Scholarly Newsletters: A Challenge

Back in 2009, Andrew Reinhard, then at Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.  serialized the republication online of  The Pompeiiana Newsletter:
The Pompeiiana Newsletter was created and edited by Bernard Barcio and ran from 1974 through 2003. Pompeiiana offered a place for Latin students to publish comics, stories, games, and articles, and was a beloved resource for Latin teachers. In 2008, Barcio granted Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers the rights for all of Pompeiiana. This blog will make all 229 issues freely available to Latin teachers, students, and others interested in Classics, one issue per day.
In August 2013, the Medieval Sai Project: The Greek Norwegian Archaeological Mission to Sudan began the serialized republication of the 22 issues of Nubian Letters published between 1983 and 1994:

Nubian Letters in an independent biannual bulletin for Nubian history and archaeology, published under the auspices of the International Society for Nubian Studies and the Department of Early Christian Art at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Edited by Elizabeth de Ranitz and Karel Inemmée.
I'm really pleased to see these newsletters in general circulation. They represent a form of semi-formal scholarly communication which was common in the second half of the 20th century (and earlier), but which was never properly collected by libraries. Even those which have made the leap to digital media (and you can find many be searching the keyword "newsletter" in AWOL), remain mostly poorly curated or uncollected in libraries. They are nevertheless an extraordinarily important resource for the history of the disciplines they cover and the institutions and projects they represent.

In the Summer of 2014 Oriental Institute Research Archivist, Bibliographer Foy Scalf, began to scan the hard copies of the Oriental Institute Staff Newsletter (63 issues edited by me which appeared between February 1998 and March 2005) and upon discovering that they were incomplete, urged me to try to recover the lost files from a ten year old laptop. As a consequence we now have a complete set available. So a small piece of Oriental Institute microhistory is now recovered and preserved. They are available at Oriental Institute Staff Newsletter, and further information is at the OI History Blog.

Beginning in February 1998, with the encouragement and support of Gene Gragg who was then Director of the Oriental Institute, I compiled, edited and distributed by email an internal newsletter for the staff of the Oriental Institute. It chronicled the activities of the departments of the OI, and of individual scholars and senior students at the OI. It was distributed widely in the University of Chicago community by means of a listhost mailing list, but its archive was not publicly available.  

Many scholars keep files of these things, which they get by virtue of memberships in societies or organization, or association with projects, and in other ways. Likewise, many projects, association, and societies hold files of them in their archives, or in their archives of their successor or sponsoring institutions. If you have a files of one of these inaccessible newsletters, or know of one, I challenge you to follow in the footsteps of The Pompeiiana Newsletter, Nubian Letters, and
The Oriental Institute Staff Newsletter and make it available to your colleagues and the world at large. It is simple to set up a blog at Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr (or one of many other comparable tools), to scan an issue a day, and post them online. Please make sure that you get, or make a good faith effort to get, permission from the organization or person who published the newsletter in the first place.  

Since then a couple of additional newsletters have emerged:

This past year I scanned and posted Pirradaziš: Bulletin of Achaemenian Studies I produced in the 1990s.
Pirradaziš (Pirradazish) [OCLC Number: 863381899] is a newsletter produced by Charles E. Jones at the Oriental Institute Chicago. Eight issues appeared between 1990 and 1994.

Pirradaziš seeks to gather information, primarily bibliographical, which relates to the study of the Achaemenid Persian empire, as well as relevant material on the periods immediately preceding and following it. Each issue will cover the material seen by the editor during the six months (more or less) prior to the date of issue.

Also in 2015, colleagues at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World scanned and made available copies of the orphaned
Circle of  Inner Asian Art and Archaeology Newsletter as a component of the relaunched Ancient World Digital Library.

Please let me know if you can participate, and what and where you efforts appear so I can include it in AWOL's List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies.

And I'll happily offer advice and assistance in how to go about doing it If you'd rather have me do it, and can supply the hard copy, I'll gladly make that happen as well.

August 16, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

I.Sicily ~ Building a digital corpus of Sicilian inscriptions

[First posted in AWOL 27 September 2014, updated 16 August 2016]

I.Sicily ~ Building a digital corpus of Sicilian inscriptions
I.Sicily is a project to create and make freely available online the complete corpus of inscriptions from ancient Sicily. The project includes texts in all languages (Greek, Latin, Phoenician/Punic, Oscan, Hebrew, and Sikel), from the first inscribed texts of the Archaic period (7th-6th centuries BC) through to those of late Antiquity (5th century AD and later). In the first instance the project is restricted to texts engraved on stone, but it is intended to expand that coverage in the future. The project uses TEI-XML mark-up, according to the EpiDoc schema.

I.Sicily è un progetto che mira a creare e rendere disponibile online gratuitamente il corpus completo delle iscrizioni dalla Sicilia antica. Il progetto include testi in tutte le lingue (greco, latino, fenicio/punico, osco, ebraico e siculo), a partire dalle prime iscrizioni del periodo arcaico (VII-VI sec. a.C.) fino quelli della tarda antichità (V secolo e oltre). In un primo momento il progetto si limita ai testi incisi su pietra, ma l’intenzione è espandere la copertura in futuro. Il progetto usa il markup TEI-XML, in conformità con lo schema EpiDoc.

Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

A Tiny Excavation

Sometimes, the story emerges in the gaps…

TinyArchaeology‘ is a twitter bot that tweets out episodic glimpses inside a particularly dysfunctional excavation (using both emojis and text).

It was built with CheapBotsDoneQuick which uses the generative grammar ‘Tracery‘. Give it a shot. You can use the TinyArchaeology source code to get started.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Endangered Syria Heritage: Photographs of Roman Syria

Endangered Syria Heritage: Photographs of Roman Syria
By Nigel Pollard, Swansea University
I’m happy for these images to be used privately, for teaching or research purposes. I’m also happy for them to be published on-line or in print so long as I’m notified and receive acknowledgment with a credit that includes my name (Nigel Pollard) and a reference to Swansea University

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

Source Project Roundup, Aug 16

By Lindsay Muscato

Source Project Roundup, Aug 16

Michael Quinn/National Park Service via the Washington Post

Here's a handful of what we've been inspired by lately: new angles on the Olympics, an almanac of American national parks, striking maps of change in Delhi, and more.

America’s Natural Heritage

(Washington Post, August 15, 2016)
Search no further for spacious skies. Here’s an interactive way to explore 59 U.S. national parks. Check off which parks you’ve visited, and feel part of this natural patchwork of beauty.

RioRun: Take a Virtual Audio Tour of Rio de Janeiro As You Go

(The Guardian, August 6, 2016)

Run through the streets of Rio de Janeiro without ever leaving town when you plug into RioRun… We’ll take you on a virtual audio tour of Rio from wherever you are, following the route of the 2016 Olympic marathon. What you hear will depend on how far you run and how fast. Your distance will unlock new audio segments at key moments along the marathon route, so the further you go, the more you’ll discover.


The Decade that Changed Delhi

(Hindustan Times, August, 2016)
Witness how settlement in Delhi spread like broken blood vessels, from 1947 onward, fueled by refugees and political wrangling.


Texas Reservoir Levels

(Texas Tribune, August 15, 2016)

Using data collected from the Texas Water Development Board’s Water Data for Texas site, we have built a map that visualizes the current state of Texas’ reservoirs. The map auto-updates daily with new data. Each icon on the map represents an individual reservoir, color-coded based on how full it is currently.


On Your Marks

(Financial Times August, 2016)
Test your reaction time and remember why you’re not an Olympian. These mini-games create shareable achievements and shames.


For good measure, here’s one from the Wall Street Journal, and one from the New York Times. Or find your body double, with this quiz from the BBC, then hop over to Vox to find out where your body type can win or lose.

If you’d rather take yourself out of the equation—and compare an archery bow to a pizza instead—then this from the Washington Post is more your speed.

Where Does Foreign Aid Go?

(The Economist, August 10, 2016)

Which countries receive foreign aid, and which countries give it? This bar graph and map from the Economist paints the globe in the colors of money.

Even More

Retro telephone trolls (page 25), and how a company treated them.

Is this woman’s plight overstated? It is not…. When the telephone becomes an instrument of annoyance, unpleasantness, or terror, it is a matter of serious concern to us. Removing sources of customer irritation is an integral part of providing high quality service to our customers.

Redialing a publishing company. A dystopian business simulator. A shipload of ships. A gazeteer of real places. A landscape of unreal cartography.

Paying the JavaScript piper?

Not how graphs work.

An in-house CMS that works for the people who use it.

Just remember: “A dog catches no chickens.”

Here at OpenNews, we’re still overwhelmed with gratitude from last month’s SRCCON. Thanks again to everyone who made it to Portland, and to all those who followed along remotely. We’re collecting documentation on this Etherpad.

On our last OpenNews Community Call, we heard from some great folks, including Ben Myers and Sara Lipka, who walked us through the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Title IX Sexual Assault Investigations Tracker. (Missed the call? We saved you the notes, and here’s more on how the team made it.)

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Philologus. Zeitschrift für antike Literatur und ihre Rezeption

[First posted in AWOL 23 May 2012, updated 16 August 2016]

Philologus. Zeitschrift für antike Literatur und ihre Rezeption
Philologus. Zeitschrift für antike Literatur und ihre Rezeption ist eine der ältesten, bedeutendsten und angesehensten Zeitschriften auf dem Gebiet der klassischen Altertumswissenschaften. Der Philologus erscheint zweimal jährlich im Berliner Akademie-Verlag. Die Arbeitsstelle zur Herausgabe der Zeitschrift befindet sich an der Freien Universität Berlin.

Begründet wurde die Zeitschrift 1848 als Philologus. Zeitschrift für das klassische Altertum und sein Nachleben. Eine erste Folge wurde bis 1887/88 (Nummer 46) herausgegeben, eine zweite Folge ab 1889 begann erneut bei Nummer 1. In den 1940er Jahren erschien die Zeitschrift nur unregelmäßig, seit 1954 wieder regelmäßig.

Philologus erscheint zweimal im Jahr im Berliner Akademie-Verlag. Herausgeber sind derzeit Widu-Wolfgang Ehlers, Therese Fuhrer, Christof Rapp, Wolfgang Rösler, Peter Lebrecht Schmidt und Bernd Seidensticker. Die Arbeitsstelle zur Herausgabe der Zeitschrift ist am Institut für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie der Freien Universität Berlin angesiedelt, die von Widu-Wolfgang Ehlers und Bernd Seidensticker geleitet wird. Vor der Wende wurde die Zeitschrift in Ost-Berlin vom Zentralinstitut für Alte Geschichte und Archäologie der Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR herausgegeben. Von 1897 bis 1944 erschien der Philologus in Leipzig bei Dieterich.

Die Beiträge, die auf Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch, Italienisch, Lateinisch verfasst sein können, befassen sich mit Problemen der griechischen und lateinischen Literatur, der Geschichtsschreibung, Philosophie, Religionsgeschichte und Linguistik sowie ihrer Rezeption und der Wissenschaftsgeschichte. Ziel der Zeitschrift ist es, einen Beitrag zur Erhellung der geistigen Kultur der Antike und ihrer Wirkungsgeschichte zu leisten. Sie erscheint zweimal jährlich, im Juni und im November, und hat eine Auflage von 600 Exemplaren. [Description via Wikipedia]



Neue Folge 1889–

N.F. 1=47.1889–50=96.1943/44; 97.1948–

Supplement-Bände (Unterreihe)

Philologus : Zeitschrift für das klassische Alterthum ; Supplement-Band ↗ZDB, Dieterich, Göttingen/Leipzig 1.1859/60(1860)–35.1943[?]

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Undocumented Migration Project

This week I’ve become completely distracted by the work of Jason De León and his colleagues on the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP). I had known this project existed and had even skimmed some of their articles, but I hadn’t read their stuff carefully. With the semester looming and far more pressing projects (like writing syllabi), I decided to take a long look at this project’s publications. Check out the articles that De León has posted to academia.edu. This is his book on the topic, The Land of Open Graves (California 2015) appeared last year, and you can read reviews of it here, and here’s an interview.

Sites of Contention Archaeological Class pdf page 16 of 31

To summarize this project briefly, De León and company have been documenting the material remains of undocumented migrants across the Sonoran desert in southern Arizona. This route of undocumented migration is shaped largely through an official policy of “prevention through deterrence” which channels border crossers toward this forbidding desert route hoping that the immense challenge presented by this landscape will deter their efforts to enter the US. The result of this policy is hundreds of immigrants have died attempting cross the border through this desert and while thousands have made it successfully, the pain and suffering experienced in this landscape have left a material mark in the desert. De León documented over 300 sites of undocumented migration ranging from short-term shelter sites (themselves ranging from rest sites to camp sites), to religious shrines, humanitarian water drops, sites of death, and interception sites where the Border Patrol agents intervened in a border-crossers attempt. He complemented his archaeological data with ethnographic interviews and photography (including giving some border crossers disposable cameras to document their own trips across the desert with the extraordinary results). 

His work on the desert has given me serious project envy. Here’s why:

1. Archaeology of Care. Archaeology of the contemporary world has the unique opportunity of making the discipline of archaeology into an expression of care, interest, and concern. Richard Rothaus and I have termed this “the archaeology of care” and it emphasizes how the practice of archaeology created meaningful bonds between the archaeologists and the communities and create space for archaeology to create meaningful social change. The archaeology of care is a descriptive term that seeks to identify moments when archaeologists and communities identify shared priorities and commitments and work together to document experiences, sites, and objects in ways that build a view of the past that has both academic and social legitimacy. This shared process of constructing a meaningful view of the past allows communities to leverage archaeological knowledge production for their own ends and enables archaeologists to escape historical claims to paternalism or, worse, indifference to the communities in which they work. By documenting the material remains of immigrant crossings and working with immigrants to understand the challenges associated with these routes, the UMP produces a shared history of the border region and the communities for whom crossing the desert marks a significant moment in their history and experiences.    

2. Data: One of the long-standing challenges facing archaeology of the contemporary world is that that amount of material and data that we confront is overwhelming. As a result, many of the most exciting archaeological projects dealing with the modern world have been relatively data-poor, In fact, I’ve argued that the hyper-abundance of material has led to producing datasets that are both too complex for current archaeological approaches and equally abundant. De León’s team managed this data deluge as well as any project has dealt with the abundance of modern things. He not only documented numerous sites, but also documented and collected material from these sites to produce quantitatively meaningful assemblages. He then queried and analyzed this data in ways that allowed for more nuanced and sophisticated conclusions than impressionistic encounters would allow. This isn’t to say that De León’s work didn’t embrace qualitative arguments, but that it fortified these observations with an impressive dataset that I hope he makes available in the future.  

3. Sites. As a survey archaeologist, I am obsessed with sites. In fact, the definition of sites from surface scatters remains one of the great challenges of intensive pedestrian survey. The UMP’s sites in the Sonoran desert are interesting because they are rather well-defined scatters of material and the assemblages allow for the production of a significant (and meaningful!) typology of sites. The blurred edges of the typology, of course, form productive areas to queries the complex relationship between the material signatures left behind in the desert and human behaviors. 

4. Site Formation. One of the most useful and provocative observations appears in De León’s book. He states that formation processes are political. This is a simply statement, and difficult to refute, but for some reason I hadn’t thought about it in such a clear and direct way. De León was referring to efforts to “clean up” immigrant assemblages in the desert, the tendency to refer to material left behind from these desperate crossings as trash, and the refusal of some to see this work as archaeology at all, contributed directly to the production of the archaeological landscape in the desert.

In a recent short article that I submitted to a Journal of Contemporary Archaeology forum, I observe that political decisions concerning workforce housing in the Bakken oil patch will directly impact the future visibility of these sites in Bakken landscape. Calls for sites to be returned to their previous state (however “pristine” this was imagined) served to effectively erase workforce housing (and to some extent, the massive influx workers) from the Bakken landscape. This not only reinforced a view the oil just appeared from the ground to make North Dakotans wealthy, but also that permanent communities were somehow responsible for the oil wealth. It also has the unintended consequence of occluding the challenges facing the region during the Bakken Boom and embracing a nostalgic view of settlement in the region that ensures communities are unprepared for the next influx of population. The formation of sites in the Bakken, then, contributes to the production of a past for the region and impacts future challenges.

So, go read this stuff. It’s good.