Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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January 20, 2017

Archaeology Magazine

Bones of Medieval Horse Recovered at Roman Colosseum

Colosseum medieval horseROME, ITALY—The Local, Italy, reports that the remains of a horse dating to between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was unearthed near the steps to the basement of the Colosseum. Francesco Prosperetti, Rome’s superintendent for archaeology, said that tests will be conducted on the bones to try to determine how old the horse was at the time of death and the state of its health. That information could help archaeologists figure out what it was doing at the ancient site. For more, go to “Rome's Imperial Port.”

January 19, 2017

AIA Fieldnotes

Dynamics and Organisation of Textile Production in Past Societies in Europe and the Mediterranean

Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 to Thursday, June 22, 2017

Textile production with its complex technology and high socio-cultural significance has been a key craft in past societies in Europe and the Mediterranean. However, despite its complexities and social and

economic importance textile manufacture has been often considered a household-scale production performed and maintained predominantly by women.

The present conference aims to examine the dynamics and organisation of textile production, through investigating the combined evidence of archaeological textiles, textile tools and equipment, archaeological


Dr. Agata Ulanowska
Call for Papers: 
Right Header: 
Right Content: 
CFP Deadline: 
January 31, 2017

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Great Mosque in central Mosul, recaptured by Iraq's special forces.

Inside the Great Mosque in central Mosul, recaptured by Iraq's special forces. Seems to be full of looted items.

Auctioneer Urges returmn of Pot to Turkey

A  Bronze Age  jug  has been returned to Turkey  ('British woman returns 4,500 year-old Yortan jug to Turkey', Daily Sabah 19th Jan 2017):
The jug was reportedly bought as a souvenir by British citizen Thelma Bishop, who visited the Ancient City of Ephesus in the 1960s and brought it back to Britain. Bishop decided to return the jug to Turkey when she found out that it is a cultural property, through Adam Partridge Auctioneers and Valuers in Macclesfield. A consultant at the auction house by the name of Jason Wood, who confirmed the jug's authenticity advised Bishop to return it to Turkey, and contacted the Turkish embassy, reports said. The Turkish embassy presented a Museum Card, which can be used in various museums throughout Turkey, to Bishop and Wood for returning a cultural asset. "The return of the Yortan jug is significant in terms of raising awareness about Turkey's and other countries' international legal struggle regarding unlawful export of cultural property amongst auction firms and other countries" the embassy said in a statement. Furthermore, the owner of Adam Partridge Auctioneers said that he was happy that the rare artifact returned home to Turkey, and wished that their action sets precedent to other auctioneers in Britain. 
Nah. Most of them would just flog it off, without batting an eyelid.

The Oriental Institute: Fragments for a History of an Institution

Oriental Institute Oral History Project Interview with John Larson, Museum Archivist

Published on Jan 19, 2017
Oriental Institute Oral History Project
Interview with John Larson, Museum Archivist
Saieh Hall for Economics at the University of Chicago

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Iceman Oetzi's last meal was 'Stone Age bacon'

Ötzi the famous “iceman” mummy of the Alps appears to have enjoyed a fine slice or two...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Protection of Cultural Property, Military Manual

Protection of Cultural Property, Military Manual
O'Keefe, Roger, Péron, Camille, Musayev, Tofig and Ferrari, Gianluca (2016) Protection of Cultural Property, Military Manual. Manual. UNESCO, PARIS, 91p. ISBN 978-92-3-100184-0. [Book]
[img] PDF
Protecting Cultural Property Military Manual UNESCO Blue Shield 246633e.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.
Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract (in English)

Unesco published this manual in order to enhance the importance of military and security forces'involvement in the protection of cultural heritage in times of conflicts. This is a practical guide to the implementation by military forces of rules of international law for the protection of cultural property in armed conflict.
Item Type: Book (Manual)
Ferrari, GianlucaUNSPECIFIED
Languages: English
Keywords: armed conflicts; protection of cultural heritage; military; guidelines; manuals; international meetings; international organizations; damages; destruction of cultural heritage; vandalism; international rules; cultural property; tools
Subjects: G.DETERIORATION > 02. Causes of deterioration
G.DETERIORATION > 05. Prevention of deterioration
K.LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES > 02. International legislation
K.LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES > 05. International organizations
Number of Pages: 91
ISBN: 978-92-3-100184-0
Depositing User: Mrs Lucile Smirnov
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2017 12:45
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2017 12:45

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient Yortan jug returned to Turkey from UK

The Culture, Tourism and Promotional Department of the Turkish Embassy in London has announced that...

Massive Burial Ground Unearthed at Medieval Monastery in Sudan

Four cemeteries, from which at least 123 individuals have been excavated so far, have been unearthed...

Major Viking Age manor discovered at Birka, Sweden

During spring of 2016 a number of large presumed house terraces were identified by the authors at...

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

Roman pranks: Glueing a coin to the pavement, in Horace and Persius

While reading Horace at the weekend in the old Loeb edition, my eye fell upon a passage in Epistles I, XVI 63:[1]

Qui melior servo, qui liberior sit avarus, in triviis fixum cum se demittit ob assem, non video; nam qui cupiet, metuet quoque ; porro, qui metuens vivet, liber mihi non erit umquam.

How the miser is better than a slave, or is more free, when he stoops at the crossroads to pick up the copper fastened there,[a] I do not see: for he who covets will also have fears; further, he who lives in fear, will never, to my mind, be free.

The footnote indicated:

a. We are told that Roman boys would solder a coin to the pavement and then ridicule those who tried to pick it up (so scholiast on Persius, v. 111).

Persius imitates the lines from Horace in Satire 5, line 111.  So looking at Jahn’s 1843 edition of Persius and the scholia,[2] which is most likely the edition referenced, I find the scholion as follows:

111. Inque luto fixum, id est: Sordidum lucrum spernis; aut certe visum in luto nummum praetermittis, quia solent pueri, ut ridendi causam habeant, assem in silice plumbatum infigere, ut qui viderint, se ad colligendum inclinesit, nec tamen possint avellere, quo facto pueri etiam acclamare solent.

That is:

You seek out filthy cash; or rather, seeing a penny lying overlooked in the mud, because boys, thinking it grounds for a laugh, used to fasten a coin on the stone with solder, so that when someone saw it and bent down to pick it up, and was unable to pull it of, when this happened, the boys used to raise a cheer.[3]

Human nature remains the same, even over a period of two thousand years.  For I remember this prank being practised a couple of decades ago on a television show that relied on this kind of embarrassment for its “humour”.  I have seen a coin affixed to the  ground in just this manner.

  1. [1]Tr. Rushton Fairclough, 1961. P.355-6 in the Loeb, volume 2.
  2. [2]Otto Jahn, Auli Persii Flacci Satirarum liber, 1843. Online at, here.  The page is 332, which is p.546 in the PDF, the scholia on Satire V.
  3. [3]Translation mine.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Avviso pubblico per aggiornamento database “SECURART”

Avviso pubblico per sollecitare manifestazione di interesse da parte di operatori economici per servizi di rilievo e aggiornamento database "SECURART".

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

More on Picking the President

The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota’s most recent book, Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College edited by Eric Burin is getting some positive attention both around campus and in the local media. 

If you haven’t downloaded the book, do it today! 

Check out Eric Burin’s interview with Prairie Public Radio’s Main Street here.

Our friend Jack Russel Weinstein has posted it to his blog, PQED, which I’m sure gets far more readers than this little outfit!

The book and some brilliant words from me and Eric also appeared today in the local campus outlet UNDToday. 

This weekend, I’ll get it all set for paper publication and with any luck it’ll be available on Amazon by the end of the month.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

More ISIL Atrocities in Palmyra

Palmyra was favoured by ISIL as the scene of showcase brutality, with executions and blowing up ancient structures during its ten-month occupatuion of the strategic city after first gaining control of the city in May 2015. The Islamists were driven out of the city by Syrian government forces and militias backed by Russian air strikes in March 2016, but returned last month after troops were pulled out for Bashar al-Assad’s offensive on Aleppo Now the atrocities are beginning again (Lizzie Dearden, 'Isis carries out mass executions in Palmyra's ancient ruins after retaking Syrian city' The Independent 19th jan 2017):
Isis has carried out a new wave of executions in the ancient ruins of Palmyra after re-taking the symbolic Syrian city. Monitors said teachers were among 12 people murdered in front of crowds of men and children, either having their throats slit or being shot by jihadis. The Palmyra Monitor group said captives were killed in three separate locations – Free Syrian Army and regime soldiers in two groups at the Roman theatre and in an abandoned Russian military base, and civilians outside Palmyra Museum. “There are now fears that Isis may carry out more executions against civilians who were arrested after it took control of the city,” the group said.
Russian intelligence suggests that ISIL is planning further destruction of the site's ancient remains:
Lt-Gen Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian defence ministry official, said intelligence indicated that Isis may be planning a new wave of destruction in Palmyra. “We have received information, confirmed by several sources, that a large amount of explosives has been brought into the Palmyra area and that the terrorists plan on destroying the city's world-class historical legacy,” he said.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

6,000-year-old cemetery unearthed in NW China

XI'AN, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) – A 6,000-year-old cemetery where an estimated 2,000-plus people were...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Chester Beatty Papyri at The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM)

Chester Beatty Papyri at The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM)
The Chester Beatty papyri, published in the 1930s and 1950s, are some of the oldest and most important biblical manuscripts known to exist. Housed at the Chester Beatty Library (CBL) in Dublin, they have attracted countless visitors every year. It is safe to say that the only Greek biblical manuscripts that might receive more visitors are Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, both on display at the British Library.

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) is pleased to announce that a six-person team, in a four-week expedition during July–August 2013, digitized all the Greek biblical papyri at the Chester Beatty Library. The CBL has granted permission to CSNTM to post the images.

NumberType Date
Rahlfs 963 Papyrus 2nd Century
Second century manuscript on papyrus; 55 leaves, 2 columns, fragmentary, up to 36 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Numbers and Deuteronomy. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: Rahlfs 963 (CBL BP VI)
Rahlfs 2149 Papyrus 4th Century
Fourth century manuscript on papyrus; 4 leaves, single column, up to 34 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint): Psalms 72.6–88.2 (sans Ps76). Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP XIII
Rahlfs 2150 Papyrus 4th Century
Fourth century manuscript on papyrus; 1 leaf, single column, 30 lines per column. Contents: LXX (Septuagint): Psalms 31, 26, and 2. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP XIV
Rahlfs 968 Papyrus 3rd Century
Early third century manuscript on papyrus; 13 leaves, Single Column, 26 lines per column. Contents: LXX (Septuagint): Daniel and Esther. Images are from the Chester Beatty Library Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP X
Rahlfs 965 Papyrus 3rd Century
Early third century manuscript on papyrus; 36 leaves, single column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Isaiah. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: Rahlfs 965 (CBL BP VII)
Rahlfs 962 Papyrus 3rd Century
Late third century manuscript on papyrus; 31 leaves, single column, up to 20 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Genesis 8–46. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP V
Rahlfs 961 Papyrus 4th Century
Early fourth century manuscript on papyrus; 51 leaves, 2 columns, fragmentary, up to 38 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Genesis 9–44. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP IV
Rahlfs 964 Papyrus 4th Century
Fourth century manuscript on papyrus; 2 leaves, single column, 33 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 36.28–37.11; 37.1–122. 46.16b–47.2; 46.6–11. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: Rahlfs 964 (CBL BP XI)
Rahlfs 967 Papyrus 3rd Century
Early third century manuscript on papyrus; 9 leaves, 2 columns, fragmentary, up to 32 lines; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Ezekiel and Esther. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: Rahlfs 967 (CBL BP IX)
Rahlfs 966 Papyrus 2nd or 3rd Century
Late second century or early third century manuscript on papyrus; 2 leaves, single column, fragmentary, up to 15 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Jeremiah 4.30–5.1; 5.9–13; 5.13–14; 5.23–24. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP VIII
Not yet catalogued Papyrus Unknown
Manuscript on papyrus; 1 leaf, fragmentary; Contents: LXX (Septuagint) Genesis, Enoch and Romans (folio 18 of P46). Images from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP 190
Not yet catalogued Papyrus 4th or 5th Century
Fourth or fifth century manuscript on papyrus; 1 leaf, fragmentary; Contents: Apology of Phileas and unknown text. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP X001
Not yet catalogued Papyrus 4th Century
Fourth century manuscript on papyrus; 8 Leaves + 1 fragment plate, single column, up to 44 lines per column; Contents: LXX (Septuagint); Enoch and Melito. Images from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP XII
Not yet catalogued Papyrus 3rd or 4th Century
Third or fourth century manuscript on papyrus; 8 leaves, single column; Contents: the Apocryphon of Jannes and Jambres the Magicians. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP XVI
Not yet catalogued Lectionary 12th Century
Late twelfth century Armenian lectionary of the Gospels on parchment; 259 leaves, 2 columns, 21 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL ARM 624
P46 Papyrus 2nd-3rd Century
Late second century or early third century (c. 200) manuscript of Paul on papyrus; 86 leaves, single column, 23–26 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP II (Dublin)
P47 Papyrus 3rd Century
Late third century manuscript of Revelation on papyrus; 10 leaves, single column, 25–30 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP III
P97 Papyrus 6th–7th Century
Sixth or seventh century manuscript of the Gospels on papyrus; 1 leaf, single column, 11–27 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP XVII
P99 Papyrus 5th Century
Late fifth century manuscript of Paul on papyrus; Greek-Latin diglot; 16 leaves (8 bifolia), single column, 27–32 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP XXI
GA 106 Minuscule 11th–12th Century
Eleventh or twelfth century minuscule of the Gospels on parchment; 212 leaves, single column, 22 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
Shelf Number: CBL W 135
GA 2603 Minuscule 12th Century
Twelfth century minuscule of the Gospels on parchment; 255 leaves, single column, 24-26 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 134
GA 2604 Minuscule 12th Century
Twelfth century minuscule of the Gospels with commentary on parchment; 378 leaves, single column, 20 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 139
GA 2605 Minuscule 13th Century
Thirteenth century minuscule of the Gospels on parchment; 176 leaves, single column, 24-27 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 140
GA 2606 Minuscule 13th Century
Thirteenth century minuscule of the Gospels on parchment; 119 leaves, single column, 28–30 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 141
GA Lect 1026 Lectionary 17th Century
Seventeenth century (1647) lectionary of the Gospels on paper; 1 leaf, 2 columns, 27 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 143.4.13
GA Lect 1027 Lectionary 17th Century
Seventeenth century (1610) lectionary of the Gospels on paper; 14 leaves, single column, 29 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 143.4.4–12, 14, 15; 143.5.1, 2, 4
GA Lect 1030 Lectionary 16th Century
Sixteenth century (1596) lectionary of the Gospels on paper; 1 leaf, single column, 18 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 143.5.3
GA Lect 1031 Lectionary 16th Century
Sixteenth century (1599) lectionary of the Gospels on paper; 3 leaves, 2 columns, 25 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 143.4.1, 2, 3
GA Lect 1957 Lectionary 10th–11th Century
Tenth or eleventh century majuscule lectionary on parchment; 200 leaves, 2 columns, 22 lines per column; Contents: lectionary contains weekday readings from Easter to Pentecost, and Saturday and Sunday readings for other weeks. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL W 138
GA Lect 2450 Lectionary 11th Century
Eleventh century lectionary of the Gospels on parchment; 1 leaf, 2 columns, 24 lines per column. This manuscript is included in the CBL ARM 624. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Shelf Number: CBL ARM 624
P45 Papyrus 3rd Century
Third century manuscript of the Gospels on papyrus; 30 leaves, single column, approximately 32-33 lines per column. Images are from the Chester Beatty Collection.
Location: Dublin, Chester Beatty Library and Vienna, Austrian National Library
Shelf Number: CBL BP I (Dublin), Pap. G. 31974 (Vienna)
P66 Papyrus 2nd–3rd Century
Late second or early third century manuscript of the Gospels on papyrus; 1 leaf, single column, 10–11 lines per column. Public images are from the Chester Beatty Collection. Images from other institutions available for private viewing.
Location: Cologny/Genf, Bodmeriana; Dublin, Chester Beatty Library; Cologne, Univ. Inst. fur Altertumskunde
Shelf Number: various

Antiquitas (Sciences de l'Antiquité à l'Université de Lorraine)

La fabrique des chefs : d’Akhénaton à Donald Trump

Christian-Georges Schwentzel, professeur d’Histoire grecque à l’Université de Lorraine, publie, ce jour même aux Éditions Vendémiaire, La fabrique des chefs : d’Akhénaton à Donald Trump (Éditions Vendémiaire, Paris, 2017, 288 pages).

Comment furent inventés les rois, pharaons, tyrans, empereurs et autres souverains antiques ? Comment ont-ils conquis leur pouvoir, emporté l’adhésion des foules ? D’Akhenaton à Constantin, en passant par Alexandre le Grand et Jules César, on explore ici, sous ses formes les plus diverses, l’élection d’un homme parmi tous les autres, fondement des pensées politiques de l’Antiquité. De la royauté divine égyptienne au chef romain, prétendument démocrate, en passant par le conquérant entraînant ses armées au nom de la lutte du Bien contre le Mal, nombre de pratiques et de théories du pouvoir inventées dans les premiers siècles de notre histoire étaient appelées à une longue postérité : on les retrouve, quasiment identiques, dans les régimes du XXIe siècle – jusqu’aux démocraties réputées les plus évoluées…

Illustration : Mosaïque d’Alexandre le Grand (Pompéi, Maison du Faune, vers 100 avant J.-C.;  Wikimedia Commons).

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Skepticism vs. Scholarship

Jonathan Bernier sums things up nicely: There is an unfortunate tendency in many circles to suppose that critical scholarship consists of pronouncing negative judgments on early Christians’ own self-understanding of their origins. I would suggest that this is a misunderstanding of what it means to be a critical historian. The critical historian is one who [Read More...]

Jim Davila (

Valmadonna Library acquired by Israel National Library

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The Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture (update)

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Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

First humans in North America 10,000 years earlier

The earliest settlement date of North America, previously estimated at 14,000 years BP, is now estimated at 24,000 BP, at the height of the last ice age. University of Montreal...

Neanderthals associated with Chatelperronian tool technology

An international team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany has demonstrated that Neanderthals were responsible for the Chatelperronian, a transitional tool-making industry from central and...

Jim Davila (

Forness on Syriac homilies

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Jesus exhibition at the Israel Museum

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

More colophons from Coptic manuscripts, by Anthony Alcock

A little while ago Anthony Alcock sent in a set of colophons – ending remarks – from Coptic manuscripts, which appear here.

Today I have received a follow-up email from Dr A., with translations of a further 20 colophons found in Coptic manuscripts.  It’s here:

Here is an example (number 111):

Through the zeal and providence of the God-loving brother Chael, the son of late Stephen the island farmer, the man of the plain which is north of Esna: he is responsible for the production of this book through his own labour and gave it to the monastery of Mercurius at Edfu for the salvation to provide reading materal about St John and Apa Pachomius so that Mercurius the General and victorious martyr, John the Baptist and forerunner of Christ and Apa Pachomius the archimandrite might call upon Christ on his behalf and bless him in this world and save him from the snares of the devil and wicked people and assist him in all things towards good. After the completion therefore of this life he will be worthy to have his sins forgiven and to receive his inheritance together with all the saints. So be it. Amen.

Remember me, Theopistos, the lowly deacon, the son of Severus the archpresbyter of the monastery of St Mercurius at Esna. I wrote this book with my hand. Pray for me that God might forgive me my many sins, for they are indeed numerous. So be it.

Added in Greek which is not readable in places:

Written Emshir 16, indiction 15, AM 703, AH 376.

Abba Nicodemus the lowly . . . Apollonia . . . Thebes . . . Philae. Amen

Amshir is the Coptic month that starts on 8 February, AH (Anno Hegirae) is the Muslim era, so this manuscript was completed by the deacon Theopistos, son of Severus, on 24 Feb, 987 AD.

Let us indeed remember him, as he requested; and thank Anthony Alcock for making these words accessible to us all.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2017.01.28: L’Epistola a Erodoto e il Bios di Epicuro in Diogene Laerzio: note testuali, esegetiche e metodologiche. Pleiadi, 20

Review of Walter Lapini, L’Epistola a Erodoto e il Bios di Epicuro in Diogene Laerzio: note testuali, esegetiche e metodologiche. Pleiadi, 20. Roma: 2015. Pp. xxiv, 282. €38.00 (pb). ISBN 9788863728279.

2017.01.27: Die antihäretischen Evangelienprologe und die Entstehung des Neuen Testaments. Abhandlungen der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse, Jahrgang 2015, Nr. 5

Review of Otto Zwierlein, Die antihäretischen Evangelienprologe und die Entstehung des Neuen Testaments. Abhandlungen der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse, Jahrgang 2015, Nr. 5​. Mainz; Stuttgart: 2015. Pp. 86. €15.00 (pb). ISBN 9783515112109.

2017.01.26: Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy. Ancients and moderns

Review of Daniel Orrells, Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy. Ancients and moderns. Oxford; New York: 2015. Pp. x, 246. $24.95 (pb). ISBN 9780195380934.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

"So-called "citizen archaeologists" do no damage, they only remove material from the top few inches of ploughsoil, innit"?

Telling UK artefact hunters that they are 'citizen archaeologists' has gone to their heads, like this message from a 'probono, Superhero' (Re: Lead Face Field « Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 03:42:57 PM »):
" I've asked the farmer on the land I detect if I can run a trench across what I suspect is a roman building (roof tiles / bricks / artefacts / pottery / squared off building blocks, that type of thing) and he said yes - although I've got until May to do it as he is putting Maize in it this year."
Note the way this thread describes glibly the targeting of known sites.

Compitum - événements (tous types)

Ecdotique, l'édition des textes anciens en devenir

Titre: Ecdotique, l'édition des textes anciens en devenir
Lieu: Institut des Sources Chrétiennes / Lyon
Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
Date: 23.02.2017
Heure: 17.00 h - 19.00 h

Information signalée par Marie-Karine Lhommé


Ecdotique, l'édition des textes anciens en devenir

5e édition de la table-ronde


La 5e édition de la table-ronde « Ecdotique, l'édition des textes anciens en devenir » se tiendra le jeudi 23 février 2017 aux Sources Chrétiennes, 22 rue Sala, Lyon 2e, de 14h30 à 17h45.


14h30-15h15 – Agnieszka Halczuk (Univ. Lyon 2) :
L'édition numérique d'un corpus d'inscriptions chypriotes de la région paphienne

15h15-16h00 – Georges Bohas (ENS, Lyon) :
L'édition des textes arabes subsahariens

16h00-16h15 – Pause

16h15-17h00 – Sarah Orsini (Univ. Lyon 3) :
Édition des manuscrits autographes de Giovanni Pascoli : la composition de poésie latine à l'œuvre

17h00-17h45 – Guillaume Bady (CNRS, HiSoMA, Lyon) :
Une homélie pascale nestorienne (CPG 4751) revisitée

La table-ronde vise à favoriser les échanges sur des travaux en cours, des questions de méthode ou des études de cas. Le mot « ecdotique » est ici compris comme comprenant les sources littéraires et non littéraires et les techniques les plus diverses.

La table-ronde a lieu dans le cadre du stage d'ecdotique des Sources Chrétiennes, qui est ouvert à des chercheurs et étudiants de divers pays.

Tél.:+33(0)472775455 –

Source : Blog Ecdotique

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: January 19

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. If you are a Pinterest user, you might enjoy following the Bestiaria Latina at Pinterest or the Distich Poems Board.

HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem quartum decimum Kalendas Februarias.

MYTHS and LEGENDS: The art image for today's legend shows Atalanta and the Boar, and there are more images here.


TINY PROVERBS: Today's tiny proverb is: Vae soli (English: Woe to the one who is alone).

PUBLILIUS SYRUS: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Beneficium saepe dare, docere est reddere (English: To often do favors teaches others how to return them).

PROPER NAME PROVERBS: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is In Orci culum incidas (English: May you fall into Orcus's butthole, a memorable curse from Erasmus's Adagia 2.10.68).

ELIZABETHAN PROVERBS: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Pluris est oculatus testis, unus quam auriti decem: An eye witnesse is of more value, then tenne are witnesses, that is to say, farre more credite is to be given to suche as report the thinge they sawe with their eyes, than ten such as speake, but by heare say.

BREVISSIMA: The distich poster for today is Dies Clarissima. Click here for a full-sized view.

And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

Ex parvo satis.
From little, enough.

Timendi causa est nescire.
Ignorance is the cause of fear.


FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Corvus et Mercurius, a story about a duplicitous crow (this fable has a vocabulary list).

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Concubinae Duae, in which a man has two lovers.

Vir et Uxores Duae

Alchemical Latin Reader. Below you will find an animated gif that shows all 50 of the emblems from Michael Maier's Atalanta fugiens; for more information, see this blog post.

Archaeology Magazine

Rock in Croatia Cave May Have Been Collected by Neanderthals

Neanderthal striped limestoneLAWRENCE, KANSAS—According to a report in Seeker, a team led by David Frayer of the University of Kansas and Davorka Radovčić of the Croatian Natural History Museum found an unusual piece of brown limestone with reddish corners and black stripes among artifacts recovered from a Neanderthal cave site more than 100 years ago. The stone measures about five inches long, four inches high, and about a half inch thick. Had the researchers come across the rock, “we would have likely taken it home with us,” Frayer said. The stone was never flaked, and does not show any signs of wear that would suggest it had been used as a tool. The researchers think the rock was collected “as a curiosity” some 130,000 years ago and stored by Neanderthals at the Krapina cave site. An outcropping of similar rock has been found about a mile away from the cave, where it could have been picked up, or it may have been carried closer to the site by a nearby stream. Neanderthals are also known to have collected teeth, shells, and bird talons and feathers as materials for jewelry. To read about another recent discovery involving Neanderthals, go to “Early Man Cave.”

Neolithic Long House Discovered in Moldova

Moldova long houseCHISINAU, MOLDOVA—Science & Scholarship in Poland reports that an international team of researchers has found traces of a 7,000-year-old long house in the Eastern European country of Moldova. Similar houses, built by what is known as the Linear Pottery culture, have been found in other parts of Europe, but this is the first one to be found in Moldova. Such long houses were made of wooden posts driven into the ground to support wattle-and-daub walls topped with gabled roofs. “Commonly, on both sides of the houses we discover cavities from which clay was taken to cover the walls,” said Maciej Dębiec of the University of Rzeszów and the University of Regensburg. Early European farmers are thought to have lived in long houses with their animals. Dębiec, Stanislav Terna of Chisinau University, and their team will return to the newly discovered site this spring for further investigation. They expect the Moldavian long house will be similar in size to other structures built by the Linear Pottery culture, or about 65 feet long 20 feet wide. The team has found two additional sites in Moldova where additional long houses may have stood. For more, go to “The Neolithic Toolkit.”

Penn Museum Blog

The Digital Penn Museum

The Digital Penn Museum has officially launched and is the culmination of multiple projects over what amounts to, after some reflection, almost the entirety of my seven years at 3260 South Street. None of these projects were full-time endeavors but steady, incremental progress over time allowed for it all to come together as a fantastic resource for both internal staff and the general public.

The Story so Far

  • The Blog was the first to launched in January 2009.
  • The first iteration of the Collections Database launched in December 2011 and the second iteration in 2012.
  • In 2012, we began watermarking and uploading some 700+ archival films to YouTube.
  • The Expedition Archive was a massive effort over the course of years beginning in 2012. Many hours sitting at an OCR station was necessary by various Digital Media Center staff and the text was finished some time in 2015. Many images were inserted, many objects linked to their collections record, and this is still an ongoing process.
  • In 2013-2014, we created an index of the websites that have accumulated over the years at the Penn Museum, some dating back to the mid-to-late 1990s and prioritized upgrades and edits to some of the more popular legacy websites.
  • In 2015-2016, we finished uploading our archival films to YouTube; built a database for all of the of Penn Museum videos, revamped our highlights section, and then focused on updating many of the existing projects’ aesthetics to match the main Penn Museum website we had upgraded and launched in 2015.

The end result wasn’t a plan we had in 2010 or 2011, but each project was logical to do. It then seemed obvious to have all the projects accessible in one place because if you’re interested in Penn Museum objects you’re probably interested in our articles, websites, and videos as well.

There’s still more to come though. For example, we have the content for other Penn Museum publications such as The Museum Journal and Bulletin to insert, our archival photos catalog, and a couple of other projects in the plans, including (hopefully) a federated search for all resource types.

Overnight success can take years.

The Online Collections 2011-2016The Online Collections 2011-2016
The Digital Penn Museum 2017 - The Digital Penn Museum 2017 – ∞

One of the things that I’d like to point out is the increase in number of object records and images available in the online object collections. We launched with 314,000 object records and 46,000 images and as I write this we’re at 367,568 object records (representing 877,714 objects) and 185,248 images. This isn’t the most glamorous part of museum work but the collections (and other applicable) staff members really have done an incredible job.

We’ve received a bunch of inquiries and kind words from internal and external museum people over the last couple weeks about The Digital Penn Museum. Some asking very specific technical questions. Most starting their own online collections or digitization projects and looking for insight. I won’t get into the nitty gritty technical details here but feel free to email. I will say that there’s no one right way to approach projects like these and while numbers can be overwhelming or make things feel never-ending; steady progress and time really do help.

Thank You’s

I’d like to thank everyone who worked directly and indirectly on The Digital Penn Museum.

  • Alyssa Kaminski in two stints at the Penn Museum, doing the lions share of getting the 700+ archival films on YouTube, heading video production and image creation for the Digital Penn Museum.
  • Brian Moyer and Lee Roueche who teamed up to do an amazing job with The Expedition Archive and video production.
  • My former partner in crime, Amy Ellsworth, who originated our YouTube channel and spearheaded video production from the inception of the Digital Media Center until her departure in 2012.
  • Everyone on the Museum’s EMu Committee (Xiuqin Zhou, Shawn Hyla, Steve Lang, Lynn Makowsky, Danni Peters, Eric Schnittke, and Jim Mathieu), plus Rajeev Thomas of Museum IT because nothing runs without servers and networking.
  • Our Film Archivist Kate Pourshariati who helped immensely on the video portion of The Digital Penn Museum.
  • Alex Pezzati and Eric Schnittke in the Museum Archives who I’m not sure have ever told me no when I’ve asked for help.
  • Every Keeper, Curator, Registrar, Conservator, Researcher, work-study student, intern, and volunteer who creates, updates, and maintains records.
  • Everyone who was enthused enough about a topic they had to (and found time to) write a blog post and share it with the world.
  • Our former Database Administrator Scott Williams and our current Database Administrator Danni Peters.
  • Our previous and current Museum Directors for prioritizing digital projects, not just analog ones.
  • Head of Digital Media Jim Mathieu, who supported every one of these projects and listens to whatever logic I think I have in my head.

Archaeology Magazine

2,400-Year-Old Basement Unearthed in Northwest China

XI’AN, CHINA—Xinhua News Agency reports that a basement dating to the Warring States Period (476–221 B.C.) has been discovered at the site of Yueyang City, the ancient capital of the Qin state, in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. The rare brick room had stone pillar bases, measured about 16 feet long by about 13 feet wide, and sat about three feet below ground level. It is thought to have been part of the ruler’s residential palace, and may have been used for storage. A fireplace was also found in the structure, according to Liu Rui of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Fireplaces are also thought to have been limited to residential palaces during the Warring States Period. The strength of the Qin state eventually gave rise to China’s first emperor, who established the Qin Dynasty and united China in 221 B.C. For more, go to “The Price of Tea in China.”

January 18, 2017

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

To an Antiquities Seller who thinks I "have to" change my Style

A Danish collector objects to my tone when I provided him with copies of my correspondence with about a former 'owner' of an artefact he'd carelessly bought. Readers will remmember that it was the fact that this previous owner was an Egyptologist that convinced him that the objct "must be" licit despite the lack of any paperwork. here's my reply:

> I do not appreciate your sarcastic way of communicating to me. If we shall have some kind of communication you have to change your style. <
Since the 1970 Convention, it has been very clear to everyone [Denmark since March 2003] what is and what is not a licit artefact both to sell and to buy, and that relies on documentation. Any collector who chooses to ignore that and replace that with other arguments really should not be surprised to receive criticism.  I provided you with information you clearly had not bothered to obtain yourself. I do not feel that it is I who should be criticised here. I haqve not allowed myself to become the current owner of this controversial item.

You indicate that your “due diligence” in buying it (and the others) went no further than your “feelings” ( You wrote:
“I can hardly believe that an intelligent person like Geoffrey Metz has obtained anything illegally in his collection bearing in mind he is an egyptologist, and that he sells his collection it in a public auction”. 

You can “believe” what you like, but that is a subjective judgement, not objective documentation. I know nothing about the man’s “intelligence”, we know he bought that shabti from Portabello Road (a London street market - and the Museum he worked briefly for now refuses to vouch for him, and since they have been made aware of his involvement in this sale has now removed his name from their website.

Nobody MADE you buy this object, you yourself took the risk of buying an artefact taken from the Valley of Kings which can only be traced (and that, by hearsay) to a London street market in 1992 (well after Egypt’s antiquities laws of 1983). The best you can do to support your belief that you did not buy a looted and smuggled artefact is to say it was “bought from an Egyptologist”. It could have been bought from the chief of Egyptian tourist police and still be an illicit artefact. 

And you propose selling it on to somebody else and can offer them no other assurance or documentation other than that – passing the problem onto them. But as collectors become more responsible and the standards they set more rigorous, at some stage somebody is going to be left with an unsaleable paperless artefact on their hands. Pray that it is not you.

Paul Barford
Vignette: Set animal.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Dickinson College Commentaries

 [First posted in AWOL 18 May 2012, updated 18 January 2017]

Dickinson College Commentaries

Latin and Greek texts with explanatory notes, vocabulary, and graphic, video and audio elements, for readers of Greek and Latin. Submissions to the series are welcome.
Dickinson College Commentaries presents Latin and Greek texts for reading, with explanatory notes, interpretive essays, vocabulary, and multimedia elements. The format has two columns, one with plain text on the left, and another on the right with three tabs for notes, vocabulary, and media. The commentaries are peer-reviewed, citable scholarly resources, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC BY-SA). Support for the project comes from the Christopher Roberts Fund for Classical Studies at Dickinson College, the Mellon Fund for Digital Humanities at Dickinson College, and Dickinson's Research and Development Committee. The Project Director is Christopher Francese, Asbury J. Clarke Professor of Classical Studies at Dickinson College (
Portrait of Julius Caesar in Greek marble, recently found in a cistern (#861) from the Pantelleria acropolis in Sicily. Photo: Roger B. Ulrich


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Portrait of Julius Caesar in Greek marble, recently found in a cistern (#861) from the Pantelleria acropolis in Sicily. Photo: Roger B. Ulrich


Aeneid  Selections
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Tacitus, Annals 15.20–23, 33–45

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Allen & Greenough’s Latin Grammar

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Portrait of Julius Caesar in Greek marble, recently found in a cistern (#861) from the Pantelleria acropolis in Sicily. Photo: Roger B. Ulrich


Gallic War selections
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Against Verres 2.1.53–86
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On Pompey’s Command (De Imperio), 27-49
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Core Vocabularies

Latin and Ancient Greek
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Cornelius Nepos

Life of Hannibal
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True Histories, Book 1
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Amores Book 1
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Sulpicius Severus

The Life of Saint Martin of Tours
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BiblePlaces Blog

New Video Series: Following the Messiah

I didn’t want this one to get lost in the weekend roundup, so here’s a link to the newly released, all-free video series entitled “Following the Messiah,” produced by Appian Way and featuring Barry Britnell.

We have mentioned this several times in the past, including when they were raising funds for the project on Kickstarter. The work is now complete, and all five videos are posted on their website. You won’t have to watch very long to see that the production quality is first-rate. Each episode is 20-25 minutes in length.

You can’t beat a personal visit to Israel, but for those who aren’t able to go, or for those eager to return, this is a terrific resource. A big thanks to Appian Way and to all of their supporters who made it possible!

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Collector Surprised: One Born every Minute

A collector was tempted by the offer recently made by ZZCoins to sell some bulk lots of 'unsorted coins from Israel'. Yeah, right, one born every minute. This, from a coiney forum, is what he found: (Re: ZZ Antiquities, ZZ Imports, ZZ Metals, ZZ Expensive... Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:50 pm (PST) . Posted by: swfeingoldsays):
I recently bought 1 kilo of uncleared coins from the dealer. There were very disappointing. About [one third] were small 8 mm coins with nothing to identify them whatsoever. Even though they were from Israel and advertised as including Judaeans, city coins and Seleucid most were late Roman or Byzantine and of the I only found 10 Nabatean 20 Judaeans no city coins and only 3 of any real interest
So, five hundred dollars down the drain. And how much archaeological destruction does the accumulation of that kilogramme of artefact dug-up-and-sold-like-potatoes represent? Because we do not believe the spiel that what is being sold in bulk lots is 'unsorted'. These are the bits of a much larger assemblage which are 'more difficult to sort' and are left behind when somebody else further up the supply chain cherry-picked what was saleable individually before amalgamating individual lots in a bulk mass to be sold by weight. The text 'the saga of the uncleaned coin' was disappeared by the dealers from the Internet about five years ago, but you can still read it on this blog, it is quite revealing. I used to do a lot about uncleraned coins, but thought I'd covered it, but it seems that some people are slow learners. Coineys, eh?

Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

Microagressions, debunked

A warning against taking politically-inspired gobbledygook (whose only benefit is to bureaucrats and as a means of virtue signalling by do-gooders) seriously.

Perspectives on Psychological Science Vol 12, Issue 1, 2017

Microaggressions Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence

Scott O. Lilienfeld

The microaggression concept has recently galvanized public discussion and spread to numerous college campuses and businesses. I argue that the microaggression research program (MRP) rests on five core premises, namely, that microaggressions (1) are operationalized with sufficient clarity and consensus to afford rigorous scientific investigation; (2) are interpreted negatively by most or all minority group members; (3) reflect implicitly prejudicial and implicitly aggressive motives; (4) can be validly assessed using only respondents’ subjective reports; and (5) exert an adverse impact on recipients’ mental health. A review of the literature reveals negligible support for all five suppositions. More broadly, the MRP has been marked by an absence of connectivity to key domains of psychological science, including psychometrics, social cognition, cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavior genetics, and personality, health, and industrial-organizational psychology. Although the MRP has been fruitful in drawing the field’s attention to subtle forms of prejudice, it is far too underdeveloped on the conceptual and methodological fronts to warrant real-world application. I conclude with 18 suggestions for advancing the scientific status of the MRP, recommend abandonment of the term “microaggression,” and call for a moratorium on microaggression training programs and publicly distributed microaggression lists pending research to address the MRP’s scientific limitations.


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

A virtual trek through Petra with Google Cardboard

A virtual trek through Petra with Google Cardboard

Centre for the Study of Christian Origins

The Dead Sea Scrolls At Seventy

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  What have we learned over the past three score and ten?  First, it has become increasingly recognized that we do not have a “library of the Essenes” in the way that it was previously understood.  Not every scroll found in the eleven caves is Essenic.  There are scrolls that reflect the views of one or more Jewish sects or schools, most likely associated with the Essenes, but the corpus of 800-900 scrolls known as “the Dead Sea Scrolls” constitute a heterogeneous collection of manuscripts.  Within it are texts that belong to Judaism generally in the late Second Temple period, such as the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls.  In the past, scholars have marginalized these biblical scrolls, but there is no evidence that they are sectarian biblical scrolls.

Second, the consensus of the Maccabean theory that reigned supreme in the first generation of scrolls scholarship has given way to a different kind of Essene hypothesis, resulting from a reconsideration of the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran and the literary analysis of the different versions of the Rule of the Community from Caves 1 and 4 (1QS and 4QS).  A reconsideration of the “communal phase” and the different periods within it by Jodi Magness, and more recently Dennis Mizzi, has led to a re-dating of the origins of the sect to the beginning of the first, rather than the middle of second, century BCE.

One view that has particular merit is what I have described as “the multiple communities theory”.  In the past, it was said that there were at least two different orders of the Essenes: the largely male-oriented, and maybe celibate, community of the Yahad at Qumran, and the married, family-oriented community of the Damascus Document (Josephus, BJ 2.120, 160).

John J. Collins moves the view forward by arguing that there are many more Essene communities.  The description by Philo and Josephus of some 4000 Essenes living throughout Judaea is consistent with this view.  There is not one, monolithic community of Essenes living at Qumran, but several chapters that flourished at the same time throughout Judaea.  Collins anchors his theory on the interpretation of the clause of 1QS 6.3, “in every place where there are ten men of the council of the community”, as referring to multiple communities.  More specifically, “of the council of the community” should be understood in the partitive, rather than locative, sense.  Multiple Essene communities were dispersed in different settlements at the same time throughout Judaea, and not just at Qumran.  For him, this explains why different editions of Serekh ha-yahad or Rule of the Community continued to be copied, and why the more primitive form (in the literary and halakhic sense) of 4QSd was not superseded by the more developed version of 1QS.

Third, the sectarians did not have a developed understanding of “canon”, but they did have the concept of “authoritative scriptures”.  I have characterized the sectarian view of authoritative scriptures as a dual pattern of authority and gradation of authority.  They had a broadly bipartite collection of the Pentateuch and an undefined collection of books of the prophets.  These traditional scriptures were interpreted and supplemented by other non-biblical but nonetheless authoritative scriptures, such as the book of Jubilees and the pesharim.

Fourth, the religious ideas of the sectarian communities were drawn from what I have called the “sectarian matrix” of ancient Judaism.  The sectarian communities reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls are not to be identified with the earliest followers of Jesus and the early church.  However, the use of so many of the same or similar terminology and ideas in their writings suggests a connection between them that is difficult to deny.  The identification of the Essene Gate and quarter in Jerusalem is consistent with the view that the communities likely interacted with one another.

The theory of the sectarian matrix posits that the Essenes and the followers of Jesus came upon the same biblical texts and distinctive ideas, but drew different lessons from them.  These ideas were absent or ignored in Judaism of the period.  For instance, the sectarians and early church were the only ones to have used the concept of “the new covenant” from the prophecy of Jeremiah.  Other Jews did not comment on “the new covenant” nor did they use it in their writings.  The sectarians of the scrolls, Paul and other Christian authors of the New Testament drew on this religiously significant notion of a new covenant in the prophetic writing, but they understood “newness” differently.  The covenanters took newness to be a renewal of the old covenant, whereas Paul and the author of the epistle to the Hebrews saw in the Jeremianic prophecy a new dispensation in the life and death of Jesus.  The sectarian matrix is a subset of ancient Judaism with distinctive and overlapping ideas.  It is the well from which the Essenes, Christians and other sectarians drew their inspiration.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have often been hailed as the greatest manuscript discovery.  On this seventieth anniversary of their discovery, it is worth asking whether they warrant such a description.  Why get excited over some dusty rolls and scraps of ancient Jewish writings?  In what sense are they “the greatest”?  The public often understand by this sensational description something of a paradigm-shifting significance, comparable to the great scientific discoveries in history.  For the scholar, however, the superlative description is much more specific.  Compared to what were previously available by way of primary sources dating to the centuries around the turn of the era, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been revolutionary.  We now know so much more about the transmission of the biblical texts and other Jewish literature, sectarianism in the Second Temple period, and the Jewish background to early Christianity.


Written by Timothy Lim


Timothy Lim is Professor of Hebrew Bible & Second Temple Judaism, and the author of The Dead Sea Scrolls.  A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), the second, updated edition will be published in March 2017.


ArcheoNet BE

Nieuwe JCW-archeologiekampen

Zoals ieder jaar organiseert Jeugd, Cultuur & Wetenschap (JCW) ook deze zomer weer enkele archeologiekampen voor jongeren met een passie voor het verleden. De archeologiekampen vinden plaats van 23 tot 29 juli in Verrebroek (Beveren), en zijn opgesplitst in de leeftijdsgroepen 13-15 jaar en 16+. Er zijn ook themakampen rond de prehistorie en zelfs een Romeins re-enactmenkamp.

JCW werkt in Verrebroek mee aan een grootschalig steentijdonderzoek met voornamelijk mesolithisch materiaal. Naast het veldwerk op de site krijg je een introductie in de steentijdarcheologie, een demonstratie vuursteen bewerken, vondstverwerking… Als een echte archeoloog werk je dus mee aan de dagelijkse bezigheden. Daarnaast zijn er ook interessante randactiviteiten voorzien, zoals een bezoek aan het verdronken land van Saeftinghe en de Archeologische Dienst Waasland. Dit kamp vindt plaats in samenwerking met BAAC bvba.

Alle details zijn te vinden op de website van JCW:
kamp 13- 15 jaar
kamp 16+

Naast deze archeologiekampen heeft JCW ook nog enkele andere interessante kampen in het aanbod. Voor 10- tot 12-jarigen organiseert JCW (i.s.m. Ardevora) een themakamp rond de prehistorie ‘De kleine krijger’. Deze kampweek wordt tweemaal aangeboden: van 16 tot 22 juli en van 13 tot 19 augustus.

Ook voor de 16-plussers is er een themakamp voorzien: met als thema ‘Romeinen’ kunnen zij van 15 tot 20 augustus deelnemen aan een internationale re-enactmenthappening in Marle (Frankrijk).

He has a wife you know

Ancient Blogger

Ancient Blogger:

ok, the pic was a while back but still - if you have a moment check out some of my vlogs on Rome

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - De Gruyter Open - Published in 2016

Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - De Gruyter Open - Published in 2016

Understanding Material Text Cultures (2016)

Ed. by Hilgert, Markus
ISBN: 978-3-11-041784-5
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Board Game Studies Journal

Product Type: Journals/Yearbooks
Format: Online

Materiality of Writing in Early Mesopotamia (2016)

Ed. by Balke, Thomas E. / Tsouparopoulou, Christina
ISBN: 978-3-11-045963-0
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as eBook (EPUB), Hardcover

Sarri, Antonia

Material Aspects of Letter Writing in the Graeco-Roman World (to be published April 2017)

ISBN: 978-3-11-042695-3
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Stol, Marten

Women in the Ancient Near East (2016)

ISBN: 978-1-61451-263-9
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Writing Matters (to be published June 2017)

Ed. by Berti, Irene / Bolle, Katharina / Opdenhoff, Fanny / Stroth, Fabian
ISBN: 978-3-11-053459-7
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Metatexte (2016)

Ed. by Focken, Friedrich-Emanuel / Ott, Michael R.
ISBN: 978-3-11-041794-4
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Galeni in Hippocratis epidemiarum librum commentaria...

Volume 2,1 Galeni In Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum II Commentariorum I-III versio Arabica (2016)

Ed. by Vagelpohl, Uwe
ISBN: 978-3-11-045405-5
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as eBook (EPUB), Hardcover

Galeni in Hippocratis epidemiarum librum commentaria...

Volume 2,2 Galeni in Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum II commentariorum IV-VI versio Arabica et indices (2016)

Ed. by Vagelpohl, Uwe
ISBN: 978-3-11-046398-9
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB), Print/eBook

Kröll, Nicole

Die Jugend des Dionysos (2016)

ISBN: 978-3-11-041920-7
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Gass, Anton

Das Siebenstromland zwischen Bronze- und Früheisenzeit (2016)

ISBN: 978-3-11-031119-8
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Kinetic Landscapes (2016)

Ed. by Düring, Bleda S. / Glatz, Claudia
ISBN: 978-3-11-044497-1
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Open Archaeology

Product Type: Journals/Yearbooks
Format: Online

V. Galeni in Hippocratis epidemiarum librum commentaria...

Vagelpohl, Uwe

Volume 1 Galeni In Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum I commentariorum I-III versio Arabica (2014)

ISBN: 978-3-11-040659-7
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover

Sommerstein, Alan H. / Torrance, Isabelle C.

Oaths and Swearing in Ancient Greece (2014)

ISBN: 978-3-11-022736-9
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Bremmer, Jan N.

Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World (2014)

ISBN: 978-3-11-029955-7
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Print/eBook, Hardcover, eBook (EPUB)

Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit Online

Product Type: Databases
Format: Online

Population Dynamics in Prehistory and Early History (2012)

Ed. by Kaiser, Elke / Burger, Joachim / Schier, Wolfram
ISBN: 978-3-11-026630-6
Product Type: Books
Format: eBook (PDF)
Also available as Hardcover

The Heroic Age

We invite applications to participate in a training workshop on digital editing of papyrological and epigraphic texts, at the Institute of Classical Studies, London, April 3–7, 2017. The workshop will be taught by Gabriel Bodard and Lucia Vannini (ICS) and Simona Stoyanova (KCL). There will be no charge for the workshop, but participants should arrange their own travel and accommodation.
EpiDoc ( is a community of practice and guidance for using TEI XML for the encoding of inscriptions, papyri and other ancient texts. It has been used to publish digital projects including Inscriptions of Aphrodisias and Tripolitania, Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri, Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri, and EAGLE Europeana Project. The workshop will introduce participants to the basics of XML markup and give hands-on experience of tagging textual features and object descriptions, identifying and linking to external person and place authorities, and use of the online Papyrological Editor tool.
The workshop will assume knowledge of papyrology or epigraphy; Greek, Latin or another ancient language; and the Leiden Conventions. No technical skills are required, and scholars of all levels, from students to professors, are welcome. To apply, please email with a brief description of your background and reason for application, by February 28, 2017.
All the best,

Simona Stoyanova
Research Assistant in
Classics and Digital Humanities

The New England Medieval Studies Consortium will take place at the University of Connecticut on Friday April 14th, 2017. Our theme for this year's conference is "Medieval Boredom and Tedium." 

We invite you to please distribute the attached call for papers to any and all graduate students whose work may bear on medieval understanding, representation, or reimagining of medieval boredom, tedium, and the passing of time. The CFP for this one-day conference now has an extended deadline: February 15th, 2017

More information can also be found on our website 

Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

Dysgenic trend in educational attainment in Iceland

This is a very important study which (if replicated in other countries, with more complex demography, less complete genealogy, but much larger sample sizes) bodes ill for the future. It should also prompt studies of the evolution of cognitive ability at longer time scales (beyond traditional genealogy). Much has been written about genetic differences between the human races, for example, with the "cold winters" theory proposed to explain them as a product of natural selection.

But, this assumes that these differences are long-standing and date to the time that modern humans left Africa for more northern (and colder) latitudes. There is good reason to doubt this explanation: ancient writers of the Mediterranean classical world predictably identified themselves as the optimum, but remarked on the spiritedness and dullness of northerners in contrast to the lack of spirit but intelligence of southerners, which seemingly contradicts present-day cognitive ability distributions. But, it may very well be that cognitive ability has changed dramatically over this time period; certainly the fact that one of its correlates (educational attainment) can change in a small isolated population (Icelanders) over a century does not add to one's confidence that this is a trait that has been stable for millennia (let alone since the time of harsh Ice Age winters). As more markers are discovered to predict cognitive ability in human populations and it becomes easier to study ancient ones, it might be possible to track this trait convincingly.

On the positive side, the pliability of the genetic influences on cognition undercuts arguments that possible differences in this trait among human races and ethnic groups are solidly entrenched and unalterable,. Rather they may be accidents of recent evolution which could, in principle, be reversed.

PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1612113114

Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment

Augustine Kong et al.

Epidemiological and genetic association studies show that genetics play an important role in the attainment of education. Here, we investigate the effect of this genetic component on the reproductive history of 109,120 Icelanders and the consequent impact on the gene pool over time. We show that an educational attainment polygenic score, POLYEDU, constructed from results of a recent study is associated with delayed reproduction (P less than 10−100) and fewer children overall. The effect is stronger for women and remains highly significant after adjusting for educational attainment. Based on 129,808 Icelanders born between 1910 and 1990, we find that the average POLYEDU has been declining at a rate of ∼0.010 standard units per decade, which is substantial on an evolutionary timescale. Most importantly, because POLYEDU only captures a fraction of the overall underlying genetic component the latter could be declining at a rate that is two to three times faster.


Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Adventures in Podcasting: David Pettegrew, the Isthmus, and Corinthian Awesomeness

It was really exciting to have David Pettegrew come and hang out on the Caraheard Podcast earlier this month. For those who don’t know David, he is one of oldest professional collaborators and friends and our careers have become inexorably linked starting with the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey (EKAS) and continuing through the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project and co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology.

For those who don’t know, David Pettegrew teaches at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Years ago now, he came to the University of North Dakota to deliver the Cyprus Research Fund Talk titled “Setting the Stage for St. Paul’s Corinth: How an Isthmus determined the character of a Roman city”.

He’s a colleague of Jon Frey and worked at Isthmia where we overlapped with Ömür Harmanşah. David, Richard, and I are all students of Tim Gregory and worked at the Panhellenic Sanctuary at Isthmia.

We mention Tim’s publication of the Hexamilion Wall and Fortress at Isthmia, Kenchreai (and the work of Joe Rife and Sebastian Heath).

We mention the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project (and we’d be remiss not to include a link to  Effie Athanassopoulos’s newest book: NVAP II: Landscape Archaeology and the Medieval Countryside),

We also mention John Bintliff and Anthony Snodgrass’s work in Boeotia and the Kea survey project which continues to attract scholarly attention.

If you want to know where the Kraneion basilica is. It’s here. It’s much more fun than reading about it in James Wiseman’s classic book The Land of the Ancient Corinthians

If you want to know what Cromna is or was, you have to start with this article.

We talk about Jay Noller and our methods at the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. To understand the folly of our ways (or our sneaky genius) start by reading this.

If you don’t know what slow archaeology is by now, you better ask someone.

We mention a bunch of other projects including WARP (Western Argolid Regional Project), our work on Ano Vayia as well as Tom Tartaron’s, the fort that I published with Tim Gregory on Oneion, and David’s famous “combed ware” article. For more EKAS related bibliography check out David’s bibliography at Corinthian Matters (but the link seems broken!).

Here’s a link to Pettegrew’s book, The Isthmus of Corinth: Crossroads of the Mediterranean World from University of Michigan press.



Richard thinks a book is old school if it uses footnotes. He’s post-citational.

Here’s David’s work on the Diolkos of Corinth, and here’s a rigorously researched ethno-archaeological reenactment of moving a ship over land.

We briefly mention Bill’s work on the the Justinianic Isthmus.

Finally, here’s a link to David’s fantastic Digital Harrisburg project.

Antiquity Now

Bon Appetit Wednesday! National Baking Month

It’s National Baking Month! This is the perfect time of year to enjoy a few of our delicious and ancient baked goods recipes. Red velvet cake and whoopee pies are yummy, but check out the recipes below to indulge in … Continue reading

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Brick tomb from Song Dynasty found in Chengdu

A brick-chambered tomb from the Song Dynasty was recently discovered at a construction site in...

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

Les amphores du VIe-IIe siècles av. n. è. de la collection du Musée de Kerch.

Monakhov S. Ju., E. V. Kuznecov, N. F. Fedoseev et N. B. Churekov (2016) : Амфоры VI-II вв. до н. э. из собрания Восточно-Крымского историко-культурного музея-заповедника. Каталог / Amfory VI-II vv. do n. je. iz sobranija Vostochno-Krymskogo istoriko-kul’turnogo muzeja-zapovednika. Katalog, Kerch-Saratov [Les … Lire la suite

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Danish archaeologist may have found the tomb of a really, really (really) old Viking chief

Bjarne Henning Nielsen, an archaeologist based in northern Jutland, believes that he may have found...

Jim Davila (

Solomon's mines at Timna

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Warlord and Scribe

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James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Megillat Esther, A Rock Opera

One nice part of searching for all the Bible-related music I can find is coming across rare or neglected gems. I think you’ll get a kick out of this, which comes from Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon’s 2016 Purimspiel.

Jim Davila (

Yom Tov

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Bockmuehl, Ancient Apocryphal Gospels

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Strategic move for Metatron

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Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

Past Forward: Celebrating Forty Years of Merseyside Archaeological Society

In October we videod and edited the Past Forward conference. It covered Merseyside (Liverpool, England) and Northern England. Here are those videos but first here is a bit about the conference:

Since the formation of the Society in 1976 much has changed in the state of knowledge of the archaeology of Merseyside. Using a combination of short lectures, workshops, discussion groups and tours, the Conference will review the ways in which archaeology on Merseyside has evolved over the last 40 years. It will look back on the Society’s work with local communities and institutions within and outside Merseyside to advance archaeological research and deliver a series of successful projects. The role of Merseyside Archaeological Society and other local society engagement in research, advocacy and governance in archaeology will also be explored. The Conference will also look forward into the next decade to envisage the challenges and opportunities that await and how the Society might have to adapt in order to build on its past achievements.

Merseyside Archaeological Society has brought together a prominent group of speakers with local, regional and national interests who will describe their experiences of working with the Society and how these successful collaborations might continue over the coming years. Attendees will also have the opportunity to describe any memories of their involvement with the Society and outline their vision for the future of archaeology on Merseyside.

The Old Hutt, Yew Tree Farm and South Castle Street: What those sites taught us and what we’ve learned since Mark Adams, Museum of Liverpool

Merseyside Archaeological Society – a personal view of the last 30 years

Rob Philpott, University of Liverpool & Freelance Archaeological Consultant

A personal view of the last thirty years, looking at the role the Society has played in fieldwork, research and publication within the region. In addition, the Society’s involvement in the growing area of community archaeology and in promoting and preserving the heritage of the region will be briefly discussed.

Making Merseyside: Metropolitan identity to localism in an era of public archaeology
Gill Chitty, University of York
Merseyside Archaeological Society was founded to protect and encourage public interest in the archaeological heritage of the new Merseyside metropolitan authority formed in 1974. As the MAS celebrates its 40th year, this paper constructs a biography of its achievements and evolution, drawn from the records, publications and experiences of the last 40 years. It considers what is formative in the making of a resilient local archaeological group. How does its history reflect broader shifts in public policy and heritage practice, from creating a new metropolitan heritage identity in the 1970s to the present era of public archaeology and community heritage?
Merseyside’s Archaeology in a regional context: a short history of archaeology policies and practice in North West England

Norman Redhead, University of Salford
Taken from a local government archaeologist’s perspective, this talk will chart four decades of changes in the way archaeology has been protected, investigated, promoted and engaged with in the North West of England. It will review our current situation and look forward to key challenges and opportunities.

Getting Involved: Community Archaeology at National Museums Liverpool

Liz Stewart, Museum of Liverpool

The first community archaeology project run by National Museums Liverpool (NML) was trial trenching on the site of 19th century housing at Stanley Bank, St. Helens. This developed into a successful HLF funded project investigating the industrial archaeology of the upper reaches of the Sankey Canal and generated links between NML, St. Helens Council and a diverse range of local groups. Since then NML archaeologists have collaborated on several community led projects and this talk will present a personal overview attempting to examine
what worked well, what sometimes didn’t work quite so well, and will look at some future possibilities.

Summing Up Day One of Past Forward Conference

Keith Dobney

Local Research Frameworks for Local People? Capturing the archaeological research impact of community and local groups

Mike Nevell, University of Salford

This paper will give a brief over-view of the range and volume of community and local archaeological work using the North West as a case study area. It will look at: the impact of local networking and the HLF on archaeological research since 2000; problems of dissemination and access to this new material; and assess the potential of the revised North West Regional Research Framework for the Historic Environment for engaging, capturing and disseminating the impact of the work of local groups.’

Community archaeology and a new direction for researching landscapes

Jamie Quartermaine, Oxford Archaeology North

Landscape archaeology has seen a dramatic change of fortunes over the last five years. For many years our unimproved open landscapes have been examined by management surveys which have entailed systematic walking across uplands and large estates, resulting in large numbers of dots on maps extending over enormous areas. This process has been invaluable for management purposes, allowing for the conservation of an extremely valuable resource, but it has done little to improve our understanding of the archaeology as there has been little or no detailed mapping, analysis or assessment of the individual sites. The funding for this type of survey has in any case dropped off in recent years, but in its place has emerged funding from HLF to undertake landscape community surveys and this is now providing a new resurgence in Landscape archaeology. These surveys are allowing for the production of detailed mapping and analysis of some very significant archaeological sites and the process has been both rewarding for the participants and immensely valuable for our understanding of our wider archaeological landscapes.

Funding outside the box: Lasting impact on the “Other” volunteer

Karen Gavin, Big Heritage

As funding becomes ever more difficult to secure as archaeologists we sometimes need to look at alternative sources of funding. This may produce the need to deliver projects in diverse ways. By using a recent project funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council Health Department as a case study I will discuss how projects with differing requirements can be successful in engagement with the community as well as still being archaeologically robust.

The MAS, the ASM, the SMR and the HER – recording Merseyside’s Archaeology over the last 40 years and looking ahead
Ben Croxford, Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service

The Merseyside Archaeological Society was founded in response to the realisation that archaeological sites, and the opportunities to investigate them, were being lost due to redevelopment. One of the first actions of the newly-formed society was to call for a survey to be carried out, identifying all of the known potential sites of interest in the then County of Merseyside. Starting in 2014 the results of that first survey began to be digitised, resulting in the new and improved Historic Environment Record for Merseyside. Though this phase of work is now finished, there remains much to be done with updates and new discoveries waiting to be added, work which volunteers and community groups can play a key role in.

From interest to influence: How to be an advocate for archaeology

Rob Lennox, University of York

The CBA seeks to protect archaeology by lobbying for proper regulation, recognition, and support for the historic environment. We rely on our members not only to support our work, but also to speak up themselves for the things that matters to them. This talk will explain how everyone can be an advocate for archaeology – and it’s not half so difficult as you think!

Summing up Day 2 of Past Forward Conference Mike Heyworth


Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2017.01.25: The Hippocrates Code: Unraveling the Ancient Mysteries of Modern Medical Terminology

Review of J. C. McKeown, Joshua M. Smith, The Hippocrates Code: Unraveling the Ancient Mysteries of Modern Medical Terminology. Indianapolis; Cambridge: 2016. Pp. xxiii, 370. $50.00 (pb). ISBN 9781624664649.

2017.01.24: Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas. Autor - Werk - Überlieferung. Malalas Studien, 1. Schriften zur Chronik des Johannes Malalas

Review of Mischa Meier, Christine Radtki, Fabian Schulz, Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas. Autor - Werk - Überlieferung. Malalas Studien, 1. Schriften zur Chronik des Johannes Malalas. Stuttgart: 2016. Pp. 310. €58.00. ISBN 9783515110990.

Turkish Archaeological News

Zeus Temple in Silifke

Zeus Temple in Silifke

In the centre of Silifke, there are modest remains of an ancient temple. Most likely, it was dedicated to Zeus, known in the Roman pantheon as Jupiter. Now, the ruins are known as the Temple of Storks because these birds have built a nest on top of the only standing column of the building.

Compitum - publications

C. A. Jones et S. G. Bruce, The Relatio metrica de duobus ducibus


Christopher A. Jones et Scott G. Bruce, The Relatio metrica de duobus ducibus. A Twelfth-Century Cluniac Poem on Prayer for the Dead, Turnhout, 2016.

Éditeur : Brepols
Collection : Publications of the Journal of Medieval Latin, 10
XI+216 pages
ISBN : 978-2-503-56827-0
85 €

The twelfth-century Latin poem called the Relatio metrica de duobus ducibus has never been edited or translated before. On its surface, the poem retells a popular exemplum about an encounter between two warring dukes and a mysterious army from heaven. While retelling the story in verse, however, the poet has greatly expanded his prose source, elaborating its teachings about the importance of intercessions for the dead and introducing wholly new emphases on knightly piety and the benefits of dying for a holy cause. The present book, which offers the first edition, translation, and analysis of the poem, situates the 827-line poem in its literary and historical contexts. The publication of the Relatio metrica should be of interest to scholars of medieval Latin poetry, Cluniac monasticism, and the spirituality of the Crusades.


Lire la suite...

Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

'Bones' Season 12, Episode 3 Review: 'The New Tricks In The Old Dogs'

A biological anthropologist reviews Season 12, Episode 3 ('The New Tricks in the Old Dogs') of FOX's 'Bones,' summarizing the episode and looking for errors.

Archaeology Magazine

1,000-Year-Old Tomb Unearthed in Denmark

Denmark noble tombAARS, DENMARK—The Copenhagen Post reports that a large tomb has been found in north Jutland by Bjarne Henning Nielsen of the Vesthimmerlands Museum. Nielsen speculates the tomb may have been constructed for the early eleventh-century Viking chief Ulv Galiciefarer, who was known for his raids on Galicia and was sometimes referred to in historic documents as an “earl of Denmark.” Nielsen says the burial site is surrounded by dark soil that may have been left by a building placed over the tomb—a practice reserved for the nobility. Nielsen also recovered a sword from the grave that dates to the early years of the second millennium. The region where the tomb was found is thought to have belonged to Valdemar the Great, king of Denmark from 1157 to 1182, whose great-grandfather is known to have been Ulv Galiciefarer. “It is private property he inherited from his father’s side,” Nielsen said, “and Galiciefarer is part of the lineage.” To read about another discovery in Denmark, go to “Bronze Age Bride.”

New Dates Obtained for Bones from Canada’s Bluefish Caves

Bluefish Caves bonesMONTREAL, CANADA—New radiocarbon dates have been obtained for animal-bone fragments discovered in northern Yukon’s Bluefish Caves in the 1970s, according to a report in CBC News. If confirmed, the results could push back the human presence in the area known as Beringia by 10,000 years. Ariane Burke and Lauriane Bourgeon of the University of Montreal examined some 36,000 bone fragments from the caves, and found 15 with cut marks and 20 others with possible cut marks. They sent the bones to Thomas Higham of Oxford University for radiocarbon dating. The oldest of the marked bones, a horse’s mandible that appears to have had its tongue removed with a stone tool, has been dated to at least 23,000 years ago. The researchers say these new dates support genetic research indicating a group of early migrants was isolated in Beringia, perhaps by glaciers, between 15,000 and 24,000 years ago. Tools and charcoal have not been found in the Bluefish Caves, however. “Is it the final chapter?” asked Yukon government archaeologist Greg Hare. “I don’t think so. But it’s good, solid work, and I’m excited they’ve been able to revisit it and come up with those dates.” To read in-depth about the peopling of the Americas, go to “America, in the Beginning.”

Low Water Levels Reveal Buddha Carving in Eastern China

NANCHANG, CHINA—Xinhua News reports that archaeologists have examined a 12-foot-tall Buddha statue that has been submerged in Hongmen Reservoir in eastern China for more than 50 years. The statue, carved into a cliff face, emerged when renovations to the hydropower gate lowered the water level of the reservoir by more than 30 feet. According to Xu Changqing, head of the Jiangxi Provincial Research Institute of Archaeology, the style of the statue suggests that it was carved during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The research team also examined the flooded remains of the town of Xiaoshi, which had been a trade center and a hub for water transportation. Local history suggests that the statue had been placed at the dangerous intersection of two rivers noted for the rapid flow of water. “According to folk tale[s], the ancient people built the statue to pray for safety,” said Guan Zhiyong, head of the Hongmen Township government. For more, go to “China’s Legendary Flood.”

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Resources for Teaching Ancient Geography

Resources for Teaching Ancient Geography
From History From Below: Musings on Daily Life in the Ancient and Early Medieval Mediterranean By Sarah E. Bond

Making Maps

Antiquity À-la-carte“The Antiquity À-la-carte application is a web-based GIS interface and interactive digital atlas of the ancient world, featuring accurate historical, cultural, and geographical data produced by the AWMC in addition to the entire Pleiades Project feature set. The map is completely searchable with customizable features, allowing for the creation of any map covering Archaic Greece to Late Antiquity and beyond. AWMC welcomes feedback from community members on the experience of using the application and welcomes suggestions and comments. Click here ... to launch the map application. This application works best with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. All site content and maps are released here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) license.”

Big Ancient Mediterranean: A project that marries texts, network analysis, and ancient geography. It currently allows you to see the people and places in the Book of Luke within the module Terra Biblica–built to house texts connected to early Christianity–and to explore a map of Latin authors. Project PIs are Sarah Bond, Paul Dilley, and Ryan Horne.

CartoDB: “is a Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud computing platform that provides GIS and web mapping tools for display in a web browser. CartoDB users can use the company’s free platform or deploy their own instance of the open source software. CartoDB is offered as freemium service, where accounts are free up to a certain size. For larger accounts, a fee is applied.[1] It was first released in Beta at FOSS4G in Denver in September 2011,[2] and officially debuted as a final release at Where2.0 in April 2012.” (Description via Wikipedia)

GPS Visualizer“GPS Visualizer is do-it-yourself mapping, for both beginners and power users. Its strengths are its simplicity and flexibility in terms of input, and its enormous number of options regarding the output. When you upload your GPS data, GPS Visualizer will automatically detect what kind of file it is and process it accordingly. The output can be in the form of Google Maps, KML files for Google Earth, JPEG maps, SVG drawings, elevation profiles, plain-text tables with all your raw data, or GPX files that can be used with many other GPS-related applications. Moreover, all of the maps and profiles can be adjusted in innumerable ways using the options on the input forms: you can change the size, the colors, the background map, etc. In the case of Google Maps, there is even more you can do to edit your map after it’s been created, if you’re comfortable with HTML and/or JavaScript.”

Google Earth and Google Earth Pro: Google Earth reads and produces a file called KML. “KML, or ‘Keyhole Markup Language’, is an XML grammar and file format for modeling and storing geographic features such as points, lines, images, polygons, and models for display in Google Earth, Google Maps and other applications. You can use KML to share places and information with other users of these applications. You can find example KML files on the KML Gallery and Google Earth Community site that describe interesting features and places.”

Harvard World Map: “WorldMap is an open source web mapping system that is currently under construction. It is built to assist academic research and teaching as well as the general public and supports discovery, investigation, analysis, visualization, communication and archiving of multi-disciplinary, multi-source and multi-format data, organized spatially and temporally. The first instance of WorldMap, focused on the continent of Africa, is called AfricaMap. Since its beta release in November of 2008, the framework has been implemented in several geographic locations with different research foci, including metro Boston, East Asia, Vermont, Harvard Forest and the city of Paris. These web mapping applications are used in courses as well as by individual researchers.”
Leaflet: “Leaflet is a modern open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps. It is developed by Vladimir Agafonkin with a team of dedicated contributors. Weighing just about 33 KB of JS, it has all the features most developers ever need for online maps. Leaflet is designed with simplicity, performance and usability in mind. It works efficiently across all major desktop and mobile platforms out of the box, taking advantage of HTML5 and CSS3 on modern browsers while still being accessible on older ones. It can be extended with a huge amount of plugins, has a beautiful, easy to use and well-documented API and a simple, readable source code that is a joy to contribute to.”

LEGO Build with Chrome: is a web application that allows users to explore and build a world of digital LEGO creations. A collaboration between Google Chrome and The LEGO Group, Build with Chrome was originally developed by a team of Google Australia developers for the LEGO Festival of Play. In January 2014, the Google Chrome team opened up Build with Chrome to everyone and added features such as the ability to sign in with a Google Plus account to help you find builds that people in your circles have created, a new categorization system for completed builds, and Build Academy.” (Pulled from Lego.Wikia)

MapBox: “is one of the biggest providers of custom online maps for major websites such as Foursquare, Pinterest,Evernote, the Financial Times and Uber Technologies.[2] Since 2010, it has rapidly expanded the niche of custom maps, as a response to the limited choice offered by map providers such as Google Maps.[2] Mapbox is the creator of, or a significant contributor to many popular open source mapping libraries and applications, including the MBTiles specification, the TileMill cartography IDE, the Leaflet JavaScript library, the CartoCSS map styling language and parser, and the mapbox.js JavaScript library.” (Description via Wikipedia)

Pelagios Project: A great tool for geography and for finding material culture for a certain area. It plugs you into the linked open data network for antiquity–e.g. inscriptions, ceramics, coins, and archaeological remains. Via the Pelagios Blog: “The aim of [the] work with Pelagios has been to create a static (non-layered) map of the ancient places in the Pleiades dataset with the capacity to serve as a background layer to online mapping applications of the Ancient World. Because it is based on ancient settlements and uses ancient placenames, our map presents a visualisation more tailored to archaeological and historical research, for which modern mapping interfaces, such as Google Maps, are hardly appropriate; it even includes non-settlement data such as the Roman roads network, some aqueducts and defence walls (limes, city walls). Thus, for example, the tiles can be used as a background layer to display the occurrence of find-spots, archaeological sites, etc., thereby creating new opportunities to put data of these kinds in their historical context.”


DIRT: Digital Research Tools“The DiRT Directory aggregates information about digital research tools for scholarly use. It evolved from “Bamboo DiRT”, a version of the directory developed by Project Bamboo, which itself developed out of Lisa Spiro’s DiRT wiki. The DiRT Directory makes it easy for digital humanists and others conducting digital research to find and compare resources ranging from content management systems to music OCR, statistical analysis packages to mindmapping software.”

Google Fusion Tables: “Fusion Tables is an experimental data visualization web application to gather, visualize, and share data tables.”

Esri’s StoryMapA video tutorial for using Esri’s Story Maps. Check out Odysseus’ Journey HERE. 

World Atlas: Find Longitude and Latitude: Find longitude and latitude coordinates quickly. Caveat internetor: Ancient places are not this Atlas’ strong point. Go with the Pleiades data.

Free Data 

Data.govDownloadable data from the US government.

Eurogeographics: “EuroGlobalMap is a 1:1 million scale topographic dataset covering 45 countries and territories in the European region.It is now available as opendata. EuroGlobalMap is perfect for use as background to many applications from planning, monitoring and network analysis to presenting environmental policies.”

Pleiades: “Get complete and regular shapshots of all Pleiades resources, available in multiple formats including CSV, KML, and RDF.”

USGS: The National Map: “The Global Map is an international effort by national mapping organizations to produce consistent and accurate mapping data of the world at a scale of 1:1,000,000. The 1997-2014 Edition of the National Atlas of the United States originally supplied all American data to the Global Map. The National Map will continue to publish two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features. The Global Map edition includes just the data fields and attribute values in the Global Map Specifications Version 2.2. National Map vector data includes all of the Global Map data fields and attributes plus those in the National Map data dictionary.”

GIS Classes (Some Free, Some Not So Free)

ESRI Virtual Campus Courses: online, self-paced, step by step lessons that cover a variety of topics related to GIS applications and technology. Currently there are 40+ course selections to choose from that are included with our standard subscription, and many more seminars are available that are free to the public.”

Coursera: “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution”: “This course brings together core concepts in cartography, geographic information systems, and spatial thinking with real-world examples to provide the fundamentals necessary to engage with Geography beyond the surface-level. We will explore what makes spatial information special, how spatial data is created, how spatial analysis is conducted, and how to design maps so that they’re effective at telling the stories we wish to share. To gain experience using this knowledge, we will work with the latest mapping and analysis software to explore geographic problems.”

Classroom Activities 

Google Editable Map: Ask students to contribute to an editable map and place information about themselves on it. This is a great way to start off a class and introduce spatial thinking, maps, layers, and data sharing.

Serpent Column: This activity explore the monument of the “serpent column” and how we can represent inscriptions and other textual sources geographically using The full Pleiades workshop video with this activity is available for viewing HERE.

Mapping Spartacus: Using in order to teach the Third Servile War (i.e. The Spartacan War).

Finding Digital Humanities Projects

Centernet: Find Digital Humanities Centers.


ἐν ἐφέσῳ: Thoughts and Meditations

A comprehensive grammar of Koine Greek

I posted a new set  of pages here on the website, providing the current table of contents of my wife and I’s in-progress reference grammar.

It’s time we stop pretending that it’s anything more than a pipe dream and start showing the evidence that this project is real, albeit slow in is progress.

We could use help, but we are still examining what that would/could look like and what our needs are.

Take a look, if you’d like: The Grammar.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.



Filed under: Cognitive Linguistics, Grammar, Greek, Historical Linguistics, Language, Linguistics

January 17, 2017

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Conferenza Internazionale su Geomatica e Beni Culturali

La prima conferenza internazionale “Geomatics and Restoration: Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Digital Era” su temi di geomatica, rilievo, conservazione, valorizzazione e restauro si terrà a Firenze dal 22 al 24 maggio 2017.

Calenda: Histoire romaine

Des femmes publiques. Genre, visibilité et sociabilité dans l'Antiquité grecque et romaine

Cette journée permettra de poursuivre le travail engagé à partir de la base de données Eurykleia en cours de constitution. Elle se clôturera par une conférence publique consacrée à la visibilité des femmes à partir des inscriptions gravées sur les lamelles du sanctuaire oraculaire Dodone.

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Intellectual Consequences of Forgeries

I attended the Second AHRC Workshop | Art, Crime and Criminals: Painting Fresh Pictures of Art Theft, Fraud and Plunder at RUSI in London yesterday. I was very struck that some of the issues that I have explored with Christopher Chippindale in our work on Cycladic sculptures were emerging for other works of art and from so many different cultures. Undetected forgeries corrupt the corpus of knowledge and undermine the genuine pieces.

Some of the lessons derived from the conference should be that academics need to be more cautious about providing attributions and opinions as these can be used to authenticate the forgeries. Secondly, the due diligence needs to be far more rigorous.

I will be revisiting Cycladic figures in February as part of a presentation in Cambridge and I expect modern creations will feature in the discussion.

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Archaeology Magazine

Personalized Necklace Recovered at Nazi Extermination Camp

pendant mazel tovJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Live Science reports that excavations at the Sobibór Nazi extermination camp in eastern Poland have uncovered a silver medallion thought to have belonged to a German Jewish girl named Karoline Cohn. The pendant, along with other pieces of jewelry, was uncovered near the site of a barracks for female prisoners. It is inscribed with the birthdate July 3, 1929, the words “Mazal Tov” in Hebrew, and “Frankfurt A.M.,” referring to the city and the Main River. Researchers used a deportation database maintained by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, to link the information on the pendant to Karoline Cohn. Cohn was born on July 3, 1929, and was deported from Frankfurt on November 11, 1941, to the Minsk ghetto, where some records indicate she died. If she did not carry the pendant to Sobibór herself from the Minsk ghetto, it may have been transported by a family member. Archaeologist Yoram Haimi of the Israel Antiquities Authority is investigating a possible family tie between Cohn and diarist Anne Frank, who was also born in 1929 and owned a nearly identical necklace. “It’s exactly the same, but only with a different birthdate,” Haimi said. Additional examples of the pendant may surface as the investigation continues. For more, go to “Gas Chamber Found at Sobibór Death Camp.”

He has a wife you know

I’m doing a vlog on the lorica segmentata soon, so here’s me...

I’m doing a vlog on the lorica segmentata soon, so here’s me wearing it and the other types of lorica ( th shiny squamata and somewhat unforgiving hamata). The bearskin was due to the standard bearer going off to make tea in case you wondered…

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Les Nouvelles de l’archéologie

Les Nouvelles de l’archéologie
ISSN: 0242-7702
Fondée en 1979, la revue se veut à la fois un lieu de débat et le reflet des évolutions de la discipline. Quatre fois par an, elle présente aujourd’hui des problématiques scientifiques de pointe, sous forme de dossiers et dans une perspective internationale. Les articles peuvent être sollicités par la revue ou émaner de propositions spontanées. Ils sont soumis au comité de lecture qui peut demander des modifications. L’abondance d’information peut conduire à différer la publication d’un article de six mois.

Numéros en texte intégral

Open Access Journal: Bulletin d’études orientales

[First posted in AWOL 25 December 2013, updated 17 January 2017]

Le Bulletin d’études orientales
ISSN électronique 2077-4079
Logo de l'Ifpo
Le Bulletin d’études orientales (BEO) est une revue scientifique créée en 1931 à l’initiative des chercheurs français travaillant au Proche-Orient dans le cadre de l’institut de recherche fondé initialement à Damas en 1922 pour étudier l’archéologie islamique et l’art proche-oriental ; la création du BEO a correspondu à un élargissement des champs d’intérêt et des disciplines à bien d’autres sciences humaines. Actuellement, le Bulletin d’études orientales publie des articles écrits par des universitaires, chercheurs ou doctorants spécialisés dans les domaines suivants Archéologie et histoire de l’art du Proche-Orient à l’époque islamique (à partir du VIIe siècle) ; Histoire du Proche-Orient depuis la conquête arabe (VIIe siècle) jusqu’à la fin de l’empire ottoman (1918) ; Littérature de langue arabe, classique et contemporaine ; Linguistique arabe ; Histoire de la pensée religieuse musulmane (« islamologie »), mais aussi chrétienne ou juive de langue arabe ; philosophie médiévale de langue arabe ; Histoire des sciences et des techniques dans le Proche-Orient d’époque islamique.
Les comptes rendus sont publiés uniquement en ligne sur ce site depuis décembre 2012.

Comptes rendus

Varia électroniques

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Anti-Archaeology Outreach: FLO Explains Lego-Looting

Farmer Jack catches Bob red-handed artefact
hunting on his land without first asking
permission to enter, search and take. Naughty
Bob, not a 'bona fide detectorist', obviously.
But the PAS will handle his finds anyway, they
wont check the permits.
Archaeological outreach in Bonkers Britain hits a new low: Vanessa Oakden, 'New Year, New Detector' PAS (!) blog, 17th January 2017
Happy New Year! Metal detecting is a popular hobby and metal detectors a popular Christmas present so I thought it would be a good time to blog about what’s what for new and young people taking up the hobby with the help of some Lego friends. Bob is off to do some detecting with his new machine. 
No discussion of why artefact hunting, collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record is not a good hobby, one condemned in most civilised countries of the world with archaeological communities with any guts. The only reason many people hear about metal detecting is because the PAS keep banging on about it. "Get permission", is all she says ("Bob makes sure to ask Farmer Jack for permission to search his land" and get the artefacts he takes away for collection and sale legally assigned to him). Documentation of archaeological context sidestepped with:
When an object is discovered note down where you found it, you can do this there and then with GPS (many free apps are available for smartphones if you don’t want to invest in a handheld GPS) or the old fashioned way by marking a map. Or you can do it when you return home with a map or online with handy to use websites such as Grid Reference Finder or Where’s the Path. By recording your grid reference your object can help us to understand more about the past, where people lived, traded, worked, changes in the economy and fashion and more.
No. A findspot alone cannot do that. Obviously. Best practice with archaeological recording (you know, what the PAS is paid to promote) involves far more than that. Then the Trumpish hyperbole
We have some fantastic researchers using your finds in their work so once the objects are recorded that is not the end of their story. They continue to work to tell us more about the past and can be used time and time again for different types of research. [...] hese can then be used in research to learn more about our shared past.
Yeah? Being dots on distribution maps is about what most of them are capable of, or used in object-centred typological studies. In other words Naked Retro Brit-Kossinnism. 

Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog

Thanks a million to my readers

This morning the one millionth visitor accessed my site, marking an exciting milestone.

I'd like to take a moment to thank all my readers for their interest, comments, and suggestions. The popularity of the site tells me people like the content, and that motivates me to continue the research required to put these posts together.

The site has been visited by people from 117 different countries. The top five are the United States, Ukraine, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Of the 327 posts on the site, the most popular title is "The maniple as a tactical unit in the Roman Army", with 34,000 visits.

As we go forward, I would remind everyone to reach out and let me know what subject matter you'd like to see, and I will do my best to accommodate the request.

The Archaeology News Network

Officials eye tighter security at Colosseum after graffiti sprayed on pillar

Italian officials want to install security cameras and a control room to monitor intruders and vandals at Rome's world-famous Colosseum monument and surrounding archaeological area, especially at night. Authorities in Rome are considering creating a no-go zone that would be monitored by surveillance cameras  to protect the Colosseum following the intrusion of two men at the monument  and the latest episode of vandalism...

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Byzantine tombs unearthed in Stratonikeia

Some 65 Byzantine-era tombs have been unearthed in the most recent archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Stratonikeia, known as the city of gladiators in the western Turkish province of Muğla (Yatağan district). “We are continuing works in the graveyard field. Sixty-five Byzantine era tombs were unearthed in the ancient city. The tombs belong to both adults and children,” said the head of the excavations, Pamukkale...

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The Stoa Consortium

EpiDoc training workshop, London, April 2017

We invite applications to participate in a training workshop on digital editing of papyrological and epigraphic texts, at the Institute of Classical Studies, London, April 3–7, 2017. The workshop will be taught by Gabriel Bodard and Lucia Vannini (ICS) and Simona Stoyanova (KCL). There will be no charge for the workshop, but participants should arrange their own travel and accommodation.

EpiDoc: Ancient Documents in XML

EpiDoc ( is a community of practice and guidance for using TEI XML for the encoding of inscriptions, papyri and other ancient texts. It has been used to publish digital projects including Inscriptions of Aphrodisias and Tripolitania, Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri, Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri, and EAGLE Europeana Project. The workshop will introduce participants to the basics of XML markup and give hands-on experience of tagging textual features and object descriptions, identifying and linking to external person and place authorities, and use of the online Papyrological Editor tool.

The workshop will assume knowledge of papyrology or epigraphy; Greek, Latin or another ancient language; and the Leiden Conventions. No technical skills are required, and scholars of all levels, from students to professors, are welcome. To apply, please email with a brief description of your background and reason for application, by February 28, 2017.

The Archaeology News Network

Possible tomb of famous Viking warrior chieftain found in Denmark

Bjarne Henning Nielsen, an archaeologist based in northern Jutland, believes that he may have found the tomb of the famous Viking chief Ulv Galiciefarer, the great-grandfather of Valdemar the Great, who was king of Denmark from 1157-1182. A burial spot fit for an earl? [Credit: Vesthimmerlands Museum]“It’s just a theory, an idea, but somebody has to say it first,” Nielsen told Videnskab. Galiciefarer, who became famous raiding,...

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ArcheoNet BE

Erfgoedcel Land van Dendermonde zoekt coördinator

De Erfgoedcel Land van Dendermonde is momenteel op zoek naar een nieuwe coördinator (m/v). Als coördinator neem je vooral de beleidsmatige taken op jou en sta je aan het hoofd van het erfgoedcelteam. Verder hou je je ook bezig met behoud en beheer en de verschillende vormen van ondersteuning die de erfgoedcel aanbiedt. Ben jij op zoek naar een uitdagende en afwisselende job? Ben je flexibel en heb je een hart voor cultureel erfgoed? Bekijk zeker dan de volledige vacature (pdf). Solliciteren kan tot en met 4 februari.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Inns, mosaics found in Şanlıurfa

Archaeological surface survey and cleaning works in the ancient site of Kızılkoyun and the outskirts...

The Archaeology News Network

Rare basement, fireplace excavated at 2,400-year-old palace in NW China

Chinese archaeologists have unearthed a rare basement and fireplace in the ruins of an ancient city that served as a state capital some 2,400 years ago. Photo taken on Jan 13, 2017 shows a basement excavated at the site of the ancient town of Yueyang in the Yanliang  district of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province [Credit: Xinhua]The five-meter-long and four-meter-wide room was built nearly one meter below ground...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Were Egyptian 'Pot Burials' a Symbol of Rebirth?

Ancient Egyptians who buried their deceased kin in pots may have chosen the burial vessels as...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Classics and Social Justice

Classics and Social Justice
The purpose of the group is to bring together those scholars in the field who are working in various ways on social justice, using Classics. This work is a form of outreach that brings Classics out of the academy and returns it to the least privileged in our society; we seek to draw together those trained in our field who are in some cases giving intellectual life-lines to those in nearly hopeless situations: the incarcerated, veterans, and children with least access to quality education. Each of these has so many underexplored dimensions and is too little visible at the SCS even though many individuals in the discipline are doing such work. Our goal is to create a dialogue about how Classicists and their students are using Classics, texts, traditions, and receptions, to address problems of inequality–social, educational, economic, etc.

The group members will discuss the practicalities of their programs and the theoretical structures that could help individual practitioners and expand our field’s interaction in the world outside of academia. We envision addressing such questions as: Should we use our positions in the academy as a springboard for activism? How do we include students and still teach them? What kinds of engaged work helps us foster our communities? How can we use art as an instrument of social justice?
The Committee sees these programs as continuing the work of opening the Classics beyond the elite; at the same time, advancing the discipline by showing the importance of a liberal education in the 21st century: the role of Classics in these marginalized settings gives new evidence of its value. By drawing into the field voices that have previously not been part of it, Classics as a discipline stands to benefit greatly. Invigorating new perspectives on Classical texts emerge from this work outside the traditional classroom. Thus, our discussions include the ways in which teaching outside the academy changes us as educators and how we see our profession.

Many in the teaching professions are beginning to wonder how we can call attention to the fundamental inequality between those who receive an education and those who do not and the role that this inequality plays in the problem of mass incarceration, and what we can do to help mend this inequality. The work of a Committee on Classics and Social Justice can advance that conversation and potentially rehabilitate our field — by establishing real connections to the communities outside of the academy in which Classics is very much alive and proving practically useful — just as much as it considers how we as Classicists can offer something to the rehabilitation of those in difficult life circumstances.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Discovery adds rock collecting to Neanderthal's repertoire

Maybe this Neanderthal was a rock hound?An international group that includes a University of Kansas...

The Archaeology News Network

Agios Sozomenos Excavation and Survey Project 2016

The Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus announced the results of the Agios Sozomenos Excavations and Survey Project (ASESP) which lasted from September 6 to 27 October 2016, directed by the Curator of Antiquities, Dr Despina Pilides. This excavation season included continued excavation and geophysical surveys at the locality Tzirpoulos and at the fortress of Barsak. View of the excavations at Agios Sozomenos [Credit:...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Sexism in Bronze Age China left signs of malnourishment etched on women's skeletons

Upheaval in farming methods in the Bronze Age Eastern Zhou Dynasty meant that life took a major turn...

Compitum - événements (tous types)

Séance de la Société des Études Latines

Titre: Séance de la Société des Études Latines
Lieu: Université Paris IV-Sorbonne / Paris
Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
Date: 04.02.2017
Heure: 15.30 h - 17.30 h

Information signalée par Jacques Elfassi

Séance de la Société des Études Latines


Les séances de la Société des Études Latines ont lieu en Sorbonne, de 15 h 30 à 17 h 30 (plan sur le site Chaque séance est précédée d’une réunion libre à 15 h.

samedi 4 février, salle D 690 (galerie Claude Bernard – à l’angle de la galerie Gerson)

Jean-Christophe COURTIL : Quelles activités physiques le philosophe doit-il pratiquer ? Quelques réponses dans la Lettre 15 à Lucilius de Sénèque.
Jean-Louis CHARLET : La signification du second livre Contra Symmachum de Prudence.

The Archaeology News Network

Discovery adds rock collecting to Neanderthal's repertoire

An international group that includes a University of Kansas researcher has discovered a brownish piece of split limestone in a site in Croatia that suggests Neanderthals 130,000 years ago collected the rock that stands out among all other items in the cave. Arrow indicates edge of the rock with the reddish-brown limonite staining.La fleche indique le bord de la roche presentant  une coloration de limonite rouge-brune. An...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Byzantine tombs unearthed in marble city

Some 65 Byzantine-era tombs have been unearthed in the most recent archaeological excavations in the...

Pedar W. Foss (quem dixere chaos)

Lazio vs Crotone

One of the many things on my bucket list was to attend a real professional soccer match in Italy, and today I am able to check it off my list. Not only did the experience go above and beyond what I could ever imagined, but it was also an experience that is hard to even put in words. In the book, The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, it gave a lot of detail about Italy’s soccer stadiums atmosphere as well as what to expect, and so going into the match I thought I was prepared; I was so very wrong. Words alone were not nearly enough to prepare myself for what I encountered. I think the only way that someone can really understand what it’s truly like, is to go experience it for themselves. 
The emotion that flowed throughout the entire complex combined, is probably more than I’ve felt in my life. The stadium held up to almost 100,00 people, and while only about 10,000 people were there, it still became overwhelming at times. Just being around the fans and witnessing their emotion first hand, was enough to spark emotion in me. It was amazing to see how much soccer meant to loyal fans. The book talked about how children in Italy are born into rooting for a certain team, and during the match it was amazing to listen to children around us get so caught up in the game. 

I learned that some stadiums don’t serve alcohol because it can be an accessory to violence. They also have barriers they put up between rivalry fans, and security guards on almost every other step, just to make sure fans are unable to throw things at each other, or get into fights. I also began to realize that they didn’t show any replays throughout the entire 90 minutes. I found out that they don’t show any replays in order to help protect the referee and fans from getting attacked if people didn’t like the call. We were also told that we were unable to wear any other teams jerseys at the cost of not being able to get into the match, and to ensure that we would not be harassed or attacked by fans. It blew my mind how many precautions were needed to keep everyone safe. The whole experience was truly amazing, and now I can’t wait to watch the next match where the stadium will be 10x as full, and the rivalry 10x as important. 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Royal Alberta Museum to crack open 1,600-year-old roasting pit with meal still inside

Royal Alberta Museum archaeologists are about to start a lengthy and intricate process of figuring...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Corona Atlas & Referencing System

[Firsts posted in AWOL 3 December 2011, updated 17 January 2017]

Corona Atlas & Referencing System
CORONA is the codename for the United States’ first photographic spy satellite mission, in operation from 1960-1972. During that time, CORONA satellites took high-resolution images of most of the earth’s surface, with particular emphasis on Soviet bloc countries and other political hotspots in order to monitor military sites and produce maps for the Department of Defense. The more than 800,000 images collected by the CORONA missions remained classified until 1995 when an executive order by President Bill Clinton made them publicly available through the US Geological Survey. Because CORONA images preserve a high-resolution picture of the world as it existed in the 1960s, they constitute a unique resource for researchers and scientists studying environmental change, agriculture, geomorphology, archaeology and other fields.

In regions like the Middle East, CORONA imagery is particularly important for archaeology because urban development, agricultural intensification, and reservoir construction over the past several decades have obscured or destroyed countless archaeological sites and other ancient features such as roads and canals. These sites are often clearly visible on CORONA imagery, enabling researchers to map sites that have been lost and to discover many that have never before been documented. However, the unique imaging geometry of the CORONA satellite cameras, which produced long, narrow film strips, makes correcting spatial distortions in the images very challenging and has therefore limited their use by researchers.

Thanks to grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of Arkansas’ Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) has developed methods for efficient orthorectification of CORONA imagery and now provides free public access to our imagery database for non-commercial use. Images can be viewed online and full resolution images can be downloaded in NITF format.


This project's initial focus was on the Middle East and surrounding regions, areas where CORONA coverage is abundant and where its value to archaeology and other fields has been well-demonstrated. The large majority of the images we provide come from the KH4B satellites, the latest generation of CORONA missions in operation from September 1967 through May 1972. During this time, there were sixteen successful CORONA missions, designated 1101 through 1117 which recovered more than 188000 images. These satellites were equipped with two panoramic cameras, one facing forward and another aft with a 30º angle of separation, producing an approximate ground resolution of 6 feet (1.8m) at nadir as well as offering the capability for stereo-viewing and the extraction of topographic data. Images were originally recorded on black-and-white film, copies of which are curated by the USGS EROS Data Center. The USGS has scanned the images at 7 micron (3600 dpi) resolution. Additional technical details regarding the CORONA program and image characteristics can be read here.

Cameras on different CORONA missions produced images that vary a great deal in quality, while many images suffer from cloud cover, atmospheric haze or other issues. For imagery which we purchased, we have concentrated on providing the greatest possible regional extent, as opposed to multiple images of the same area, and have also sought to offer stereo coverage wherever possible. Imagery purchased for this project has been supplemented by images purchased for other projects or those shared with us by colleagues, notably the Center for Archaeology of the Middle Eastern Landscape (CAMEL) and the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

Our work has been largely dedicated to developing methods for orthorectification of CORONA imagery. The technical aspects of this process are described in a forthcoming paper: Jackson Cothren, Jesse Casana, Tuna Kalayci and Adam Barnes, “An efficient method for rigorous orthorectification of CORONA satellite imagery” International Journal of Remote Sensing.

Images from our database reproduced in publications, presentations or online should be credited to: Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas/U.S. Geological Survey 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Rare basement, fireplace excavated at 2,400-year-old palace in NW China

XI'AN – Chinese archaeologists have unearthed a rare basement and fireplace in the ruins of an...

Archaeologists discovered 7 thousand years old house in Moldova

More than twenty meters could be the length of the relics of a wooden house from approx. 7 thousand...

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Ceramics from Koutsopetria in Context

Last week, I asked for an extension on a blog post on the ceramics from the site of Pyla-Koutsopetri on Cyprus. My generous readers granted my the extension and, believe, I hope that you’ll find that you’ve been rewarded for your wait.

This is the final section in the first effort to prepare a draft of our work at the site of Koutsopetria in Cyprus which we excavated in 2009 and Dr. Maria Hadjicosti excavated in the 1990s. This excavation produced a significant assemblage of ceramic material that could be compared to a similar assemblage of material produced through intensive pedestrian survey of the plain. This comparison allowed us both to consider the excavated area in a larger context, but also to speak to the relationship between material below the plow zone and material on the surface.  

My earlier posts focused on the architecture and history of the site, so here is what we can say about the pottery: 

Despite being dominated by a Late Roman period building, the excavations at Koutsoeptria produced a robust assemblage of ceramics that speak to the long history of activity at this site. In this way, the excavation produced an assemblage that provides us with a useful comparative perspective on the data collected from the intensive pedestrian survey of this area and published in 2014. Among the most persistent critiques of intensive survey is that the relationship of the objects on the surface and those outside the plow-zone remains ambiguous hindering our ability to make functional arguments on the basis of artifact scatters (e.g. Sanders 2004). The formation processes and depositional history of assemblages in long-lived, multi-period sites set amid active and dynamic landscapes compound this further. At Koutsopetria excavations revealed how the persistence of residual material used in construction and floor packing, the cutting into earlier layers by later building and activity at the site, and hint at the effects of erosion and plow smear across the site created a diachronic surface assemblage. At the same time, the excavated assemblage revealed complexity that our sampling of the surface did not recognize. This complexity allows us to add meaningful detail both to our understanding of our survey assemblage and to an emerging ceramic signature present at historical period sites in the eastern part of the island.

Our discussion of the assemblage from Koutsopetria excavations relies upon two different excavation teams who sampled and analyzed ceramics based on two different strategies. During the 2009 excavations, we collected and analyzed all ceramics that were not tiles and sampled the tiles by type and extant part. It is unclear whether and how the excavation in the 1990s sampled artifacts from excavated contexts, but after excluding roof tiles from the samples, the excavation produced approximately the same number of artifacts (in 2009 we collected 3063 whereas in the 1990s they collected 3127) but much more artifacts by weight (2009 = 27778 and 1990s=82879) suggesting a more selective method of collecting ceramic material for analysis focusing on larger, presumably more diagnostic artifacts. Despite the disparity between the character of the two assemblages and the way in which they were produced, they are remarkably similar. From 2009, 68% of our material could only be assigned to the broadest possible category: Ancient Historic; from the 1990s this category of material was amounted to 59% of the assemblage by count.

The excavated area produced two discernible groups of pre-Roman material. There was a small assemblage of ceramics of Iron Age, Cypro-Archaic-Classical, and Cypro-Classical date which included coarse, medium coarse, and fine wares. These made up only a small percentage (far less than <1% by both number and weight) of the material from the excavated area and coincided with a similarly small number of artifacts associated with this period from the survey area generally. Most of this material is in secondary context and the fragments are quite small. The material likely entered into an excavated area from either Classical period activities along the base of the Vigla height where the survey documented a small concentration of Cypro-Classical age pottery perhaps from near an earlier findspot of the large, inscribed Cypro-Classical to Hellenistic period settling basin dedicated to Apollo Karaiates (Hadjisavvas 1993: 75–76, 83). Another possible location for Iron Age material is the site on the nearby Kazamas ridge or the earlier phases of activity at the fortified site of Vigla which may have been quarried for building material. During the Hellenistic period, the coastal plain saw greater activity, and this is reflected in the residual pottery from the Koutsopetria assemblage. Unlike Iron Age material which tended to be small fragments of fine wares, the material dated to either the Hellenistic period or one of the broader, related periods (Hellenistic-Early Roman or Hellenistic-Roman) tended to be larger and represent a more functionally diverse assemblage with the full range of coarse and medium coarse utility wares, amphora, kitchen wares, and fine ware. Of particular note was the long-lived (Archaic-Hellenistic) basket-handled amphora that appeared in excavated contexts and appeared both on Vigla as well as on the coastal plain. The link between these vessels and settling basin may hint at the importance of olive oil production in the area. The fine ware present was evenly split between Black-Glaze (21) and Color Coated wares (23), and this followed closely the division in the Hellenistic fine ware assemblage from the survey area suggesting that these may reflect the supply to the area during this period. The excavated assemblages did not produce kitchen or medium coarse wares that appeared in the survey although these artifacts did not appear in the immediate vicinity of the excavated area. The broader Hellenistic-Early Roman period, however, did produce a more robust assemblage. The challenge with more broadly dated material is that they tend to straddle the overlap between the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

The Hellenistic-Roman and Hellenistic-Early Roman assemblage from Koutsopetria made up just over 5% of the total assemblage from Koutsopetria. The assemblage is diverse and includes coarse and medium coarse utility wares, amphora, kitchen, and fine wares. The comprehensive character of this assemblage is consistent with finds from the survey area, but likely reflects the slow spread of settlement on the coastal plain over the course of the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. Material from these long periods includes long-lived Rhodian type amphora, cooking pots, and fine wares types that persisted even Eastern and Cypriot Sigillatas replaced color-coated wares on local tables.

During the Early Roman period, the diversity and quantity of material from the site expands and this parallels neatly the expansion of material from this period in the survey area. The most significant distinction between the assemblage produced from excavation and survey does not appear to the be presence of Early Roman and Roman material, but the assemblage produced from excavation proved significantly more diverse. The excavated assemblage produced no examples of cooking pots or utility wares save a handful of Koan-type amphora, which were likely produced on the island. Some of this is the result of certain artifact types being shifted into broader categories. For example Rhodian amphoras which we identified as predominantly Early Roman in the survey, were dated Hellenistic-Early Roman in the excavation. The appears to be also the case for kitchen wares which were more commonly dated to the broader Roman, Hellenistic-Roman, or Hellenistic-Early Roman periods. As a result, fine ware represented the Early Roman period in the excavation. The most striking difference between the survey assembalge and the excavation assemblage is that Cypriot Sigillata comprised 28% (n=21) of the Early Roman fine wares from the survey, but only 4% (n=3) from the excavation. Other Early Roman fine wares – largely less diagnostic fragment of red slips – consisted of 27% of Early Roman fine wares from the survey (including a fragment of Arretine ware and Eastern Sigillata B) and 55% from the excavation. The remaining sherds were the common Eastern Sigillata A, but the excavation revealed six subforms (Form 19, 37, 38, 44, 65, and a lagynos) whereas the survey only produced a single recognizable subtype Atlante Form 4. It is worth noting that the 2009 excavations produced a small piece of Roman glazed pottery likely dating to the Early Roman period, but quite unusual and without parallel at sites in the region. The absence of Cypriot Sigillata from the excavation is consistent with relatively rarity of this type of Early Roman fine ware. At the nearby site of Panayia-Ematousa, near the modern village of Aradipou, Cypriot Sigillata accounted for only 8.8% of the total fine ware from the site. The absence of CS from the western part of the island may reflect the flow of ceramic materials from east to west with Eastern Sigillata entering the eastern part of the island from Levantine ports and CS circulating from the western production area. The majority of this material appears in secondary contexts, particularly in floor packing or fills, that reflect early patterns of activity in the area.

The broadly defined Roman period at Koutsopetria captures some of the transition from Early to Late Roman activity at the site. Like many places on Cyprus, the 3rd and 4th centuries are poorly represented in both the survey and excavation assemblage at Koutsopetria. The excavation, for example, produced no “pinched-handled” amphoras or forms of CRS or ARS with well-established 3rd-4th century dates. . There are a number of long-lived types of pottery that appear in the broadly dated Roman assemblage that might hint at at “middle Roman” activity at the site. For example, there are African Red Slip sherds that can be assigned to no specific type which makes it impossible to exclude the possibility of early forms existing at Koutsopetria, but no specific evidence for those early forms appeared. Among the range of undiagnostic coarse and medium coarse wares in Roman fabrics, the presence of a small number of long-lived micaceous water jars (Middle Roman 3 amphora) which appear from 1st to 6th century AD offer a glimpse of the middle Roman centuries. The presence of Roman lamps and cooking wares make clear that the coastal plain of Koustopetria was a settlement during the Roman period.

The Late Roman period is the most abundant from both the survey and excavation. The utility wares and amphoras from the excavated contexts are largely identical to those found in the survey. Late Roman 1 amphoras are predictably common in both contexts. The excavation also produced a small number (n=10) of Late Roman 2 amphora from the Aegean and Palestinian amphora (n=2 [check this]). The assemblage produced a significant quantity of kitchen ware sherds including a small number of rather late Dhiorios ware cooking pots that are likely the latest artifacts from the excavation and have comparanda from the survey of the coastal plain. As with most other periods, the fine ware from the Late Roman period provides the best opportunity to reflect on the diversity of material from our site. The two dominant categories of Late Roman fine ware were African Red Slip and Cypriot Red Slip with the former accounting for 48% of the Late Roman fine wares by count and 38% by weight and the latter being 44% by count and 53% by weight. The remaining 10% is made up of Phocaean ware and other rather less diagnostic Late Roman fine ware. It is notable that African Red Slip is significantly better represented in the excavated assemblage than in the survey assemblage. In the survey, ARS accounted for 17.4% of the Roman period fine ware whereas CRS accounted for 42.5% of the same total. The diversity of the two assemblages, however, speaks to their fundamental similarity. There are no ARS forms present in the excavated material that were not also present in the survey with ARS Forms 61, 67, and 105 appearing in both contexts. Likewise the CRS forms reflect the more common types CRS9 and CRS11 as well as the less common CRS8. Phocaean ware appeared in two forms PWH 10 and 5 and the very common PHW 3 was largely absent with only 1 possible example of that form. The presence of substantial quantities of African Red Slip pottery in the excavation assemblage supports two general impression from our survey. First, our local Late Roman fine ware assemblage was dominated by African Red Slip and Cypriot Red Slip suggesting that the site had ties both to regional production centers and Mediterranean wide trade networks. The small quantities of PHW in the excavated area does little to challenge the distribution of this type of pottery at the base of Mavrospilos and Kokkinokremos along the Late Roman coastline and coastal road. We have argued elsewhere that this concentration may mark the presence of warehouses associated with the site’s role as a emporion (Caraher et al. 2014, 295).

There is no compelling evidence for post-Roman material from the site aside from 2 fragments of early modern roof tiles. This is consistent with the distribution of the small quantities of later material in the survey which tend to be concentrated in units adjacent to the small Ottoman/Venetian coastal battery some 300 m to the east of the excavated area. The two tiles are likely the result of plow smearing, local road building, or even intruded during the excavation process rather than a reflecting evidence for a distinct later activity at the site. While it remains possible that some of the assemblage datable to nothing more narrow than Ancient Historic could include later material, it seems more likely that post-Roman activity on the coastal plain was limited and did not directly involve the collapsed church building.

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I corsi ISCR dell'International Training Projects

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Tigers could roam again in Central Asia, scientists say

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Risk of tree species disappearing in central Africa 'a major concern,' say researchers

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Insula: Le blog de la Bibliothèque des Sciences de l'Antiquité (Lille 3)

Pline : la saga d’un sage en manga

Après le succès du manga Thermae Romae, Mari Yamazaki s’associe à Tori Miki pour entreprendre une autre saga se déroulant dans la Rome antique. Cette fois, il s’agit de suivre les tribulations de Pline l’Ancien. Les deux premiers tomes paraissent chez Casterman le 18 janvier 2017.

 Gaius Plinius Secundus

Pline l’Ancien vécut de 23 à 79. Appartenant à l’ordre équestre, il eut des fonctions officielles importantes dans l’empire qui l’amenèrent à voyager dans de nombreuses régions, ce qui fait de ce baroudeur un personnage idéal à suivre pour visiter l’empire du 1er siècle, de la Germanie à l’Afrique.

pline-04Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

Pline se présente lui-même comme un homme dévoué, consacrant ses journées au service de l’empereur et ses nuits à l’étude. D’une production littéraire diverse, dont on connait la liste et l’étendue par Pline le Jeune, il ne nous reste que l’intégralité des trente-sept livres de l’Histoire naturelle, dédiée à Titus, son ami et futur empereur. Cette œuvre immense, qui englobe la totalité des connaissances sur la nature (histoire des animaux, des plantes, des minéraux, du ciel et de la terre), s’intéresse également aux réalisations humaines, dans des domaines aussi variés que l’agriculture, l’élevage, la médecine, la pharmacologie, les arts, l’architecture. Ce monument de la pensée a été lu et exploité comme une source sérieuse − y compris pour les scientifiques − jusqu’au début du XIXe siècle.

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

On ne connaît pas la vie de Pline l’Ancien dans le détail, mais par petites touches. Ce que nous savons de cette existence provient d’anecdotes racontées par lui-même dans son Histoire naturelle, mais également par les écrits de Pline le Jeune, neveu et fils adoptif de Pline l’Ancien, qui nous renseignent sur la vie de cet auteur singulier et, en particulier, sur les circonstances de sa mort: Pline l’Ancien est mort en 79, lors de l’éruption du Vésuve qui ensevelit Pompéi et ses habitants. Cette mort, qui est sans doute « l’image saisissante d’une des fins les plus dramatiques et les plus édifiantes qui soient jamais survenues dans la communauté universelle des savants et des érudits » (Stéphane Schmitt), fait de Pline l’un des plus éminents martyrs de la science.

C’est d’ailleurs par cet événement extraordinaire de l’éruption du Vésuve à Pompéi que commence la série Pline, manga réalisé à quatre mains par Mari Yamazaki et Tori Miki, dont les deux premiers volumes paraissent chez Casterman. On connaît la mort de Pline: le manga en raconte une existence. À partir de cette éruption de 79, le scénario remonte le temps et l’action se déplace de la Campanie vers la Sicile, au pied de l’Etna, avant de rejoindre Rome.

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L'Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

Le notarius

Pline prétendait que son Histoire naturelle, riche de « vingt mille faits dignes d’attention », était le produit de la lecture de deux mille volumes, tirés de cent auteurs dûment choisis. Ces chiffres, sans doute symboliques dans leur belle rondeur, reflètent la quantité de travail qu’un tel projet a nécessité. On connaît la manière de travailler du naturaliste grâce à Pline le Jeune. Dans une de ses lettres, ce dernier décrit en effet son oncle au travail (Epist., III, 10-17). En particulier, que ce soit chez lui ou en voyage, en toute occasion, Pline dictait ses remarques à un notarius, qui les prenait en sténographie et devait sans doute les faire recopier (voir à ce sujet Naas, p. 109-136). Pline le Jeune décrit ce secrétaire muni d’un livre et de tablettes, les mains protégées en hiver par des gants, pour que même la rigueur de la température n’enlève aucun instant à l’étude.

Ce secrétaire, ou sténographe, est incarné dans le manga par Euclès. Le jeune homme, issu de Grande-Grèce, rentre au service de Pline, qu’il suit partout avec ses tablettes, consignant le moindre de ses propos. La série Pline est à cet égard autant la vie du naturaliste que l’occasion de suivre celle de cet esprit curieux et naïf qu’est Euclès, à qui Pline peut donner des explications sur les phénomènes qu’il rencontre. En instruisant Euclès, Pline instruit le lecteur. On ne peut pas ne pas penser au Nom de la rose et à la relation entre Guillaume de Baskerville, homme mûr plein de savoirs, et Adso de Melk, son jeune secrétaire naïf, narrateur de l’histoire, amoureux d’une fille trouvée dans la fange.

Quelques cases très belles, dépourvues de dialogues, donnent une vision toute personnelle du cadre de travail de Pline, digne d’un Museum d’histoire naturelle, ou d’un Cabinet de curiosités: étagères remplies de bocaux où sont stockés divers échantillons et spécimens recueillis, milliers de rouleaux de papyrus rangés dans une bibliothèque semblant infinie, comme infinie semble la connaissance de cet homme. Euclès, au bout de nombreuses années au service de Pline, renonce d’ailleurs à comprendre « comment fonctionne cette tête remplie d’un savoir colossal, ou d’imaginer à celles de combien d’hommes réunis équivalent ses connaissances ».

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 2, Les rues de Rome (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 2, Les rues de Rome (Casterman, 2017)
Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 2, Les rues de Rome (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 2, Les rues de Rome (Casterman, 2017)

Dans l’Histoire naturelle, les éléments scientifiques avérés, les suppositions, côtoient des éléments remarquables et merveilleux qui ont pu faire passer Pline pour un être crédule et ont sans doute causé le désintérêt pour son œuvre dans nos siècles scientistes. Ces divers aspects de l’Histoire naturelle se retrouvent illustrés dans la série Pline. Le manga parvient à résumer la pensée de Pline sur bien des aspects, comme les passages décrivant les tremblements de terre ou le feu décrits dans le livre II de l’Histoire naturelle. L’une des images saisissantes est sans doute celle de ce monstre marin qu’un enfant de Grande-Grèce aperçoit sur la plage et qu’il décrit à Pline.

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L'Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

La Rome de Néron

Le manga est l’occasion de traiter de Néron. L’empereur, épris de poésie, intervient alors qu’il souffre de culpabilité à propos du meurtre de sa mère, que Poppée cherche à devenir impératrice, qu’il a chassé Octavie et Sénèque de la cour et qu’il fréquente tavernes et bordels, dissimulé sous un capuchon. Néron exige le retour de Pline à Rome. Ce dernier, ne connaissant pas les raisons de cette convocation, ne se presse pas pour rentrer dans la capitale. À l’image d’un Chostakovitch ne sachant pas si être convoqué chez Staline vaudrait félicitations ou exécution, Pline souhaite prendre son temps et goûter au spectacle de la nature avant de répondre à l’invitation du tyran.

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L'Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

Si la nature forme le décor du premier volume, Rome forme celui du second. L’intrigue se déroule en effet entièrement dans le cadre urbain de la capitale de l’Empire, laquelle est vue sous divers angles. Dans la série Pline, Mari Yamazaki oppose la nature et la ville de Rome. Pline chercherait à fuir la capitale de l’Empire où, partout où il porterait son regard, il ne pourrait ni contempler la nature ni le ciel, les insulae et les palais le cernant en se dressant comme des buildings new-yorkais.

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L'Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017) Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L'Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

Le Pline de l’Histoire naturelle n’oppose pas aussi abruptement la nature à l’Vrbs. Au contraire, la ville de Rome semble être à la fois le modèle et le lieu de toutes les convergences. Si le Pline de l’Histoire naturelle fustige le luxe inutile, ou les dépenses faramineuses faites à des fins individuelles, il admire à Rome les merveilles urbaines que sont les châteaux d’eau, les fontaines, les égouts, les bains (gratuits). Les aqueducs, en particulier, apparaissent comme les merveilles des merveilles, parce qu’ils allient la beauté à l’utilité, ce qui en font des créations supérieures à celles tant vantées réalisées par les Grecs.

Peu importe. Pas plus qu’il ne s’agit d’une biographie dessinée, la série Pline ne se veut une restitution fidèle de la pensée plinienne. Pour Mari Yamazaki, l’absence de précisions sur la vie de Pline est plutôt vécue comme une chance, car elle autorise les auteurs à se forger une idée personnelle du personnage, leur laissant une liberté créatrice pour lui donner corps. Soulignons que si les auteurs de la série Pline ont fait un travail de documentation pour construire le récit et le décor de leur manga, le récit sait se détacher intelligemment des sources et se nourrir d’autres influences qu’antiques, laissant la place à une vraie liberté graphique. Plutôt que de chercher une exactitude d’antiquaire, le manga offre au lecteur un récit plaisant et une fable qui entre en résonance avec des préoccupations contemporaines.

Les analogies de Pline avec le Japon

Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)Mari Yamazaki, Tori Miki, Pline. 1, L’Appel de Néron (Casterman, 2017)

Les premiers lecteurs du manga sont Japonais, Pline paraissant dans le mensuel culturel Schinchô 45. Les auteurs ont donc veillé à ce que l’histoire parle à ce lectorat, tout en lui offrant la possibilité de s’ouvrir à une autre civilisation que la sienne.

Thermae Romae, la précédente série « romaine » de Mari Yamazaki, était basé sur le goût du bain que la Rome antique et le Japon ont en partage, jouant sur les allers-retours entre les bains du Japon contemporain et ceux de la Rome antique, jusqu’à en épuiser le ressort comique. On retrouve l’usage du bain dans cette nouvelle série, Pline appréciant particulièrement les thermes (ce qui est attesté), jusqu’à pouvoir en décrire le système de tuyauterie et vouloir en prendre un alors que le Vésuve en éruption crache feu et pierres.

Parmi les analogies avec le Japon perceptibles dans Pline, la plus évidente concerne les aspects volcaniques et telluriques de l’archipel, où les tremblements de terre peuvent être accompagnés de tsunami, comme en mars 2011. Comment les Romains réagissaient aux séismes ? C’est pour répondre à cette question que Mari Yamazaki a choisi de faire de Pline un héros de manga, précise t-elle dans l’entretien qui achève le premier volume. D’autres détails parleront aux lecteurs japonais, comme l’intérêt gustatif que prend Pline pour un thon péché en Sicile, qui n’est pas sans évoquer la passion des Japonais pour ce poisson. Début 2017, le propriétaire d’une chaîne de restaurants de sushis a ainsi été jusqu’à débourser 74.20 millions de yens (605.000 euros) pour acquérir un thon de 212 kg à la première criée de Tokyo.

La figure même de Pline aurait son équivalent japonais, dans la figure de Kumagusu Minakata, un naturaliste japonais (1867-1941) qui, comme Pline, ne séparait pas les événements surnaturels de ceux qui sont scientifiquement prouvés. Pline et Kumagusu Minakata auraient ainsi le même ADN pour la mangaka.

Une fable écologique universelle

Au-delà de cet aspect comparatiste, la série Pline, ancrée dans l’Antiquité, peut être lue comme une fable écologique pour les temps modernes. Le manga commence en effet par l’image d’une abeille accompagnée d’un extrait de sa description au livre XI de L’Histoire naturelle. Les abeilles, que Pline mettait au premier rang des créatures, « faites pour l’homme », sont aujourd’hui menacées et officiellement reconnues comme une espèce en voie de disparition par The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, mettant en danger le cycle même de la vie. La série commence donc par un double avertissement. D’une part, l’humanité est menacée par les éléments naturels (tremblements de terre, éruptions volcaniques, tsunamis, feu venu du ciel) qu’elle doit comprendre, en particulier en s’intéressant aux actions et aux messages des anciens, et avec lesquels elle doit savoir vivre ; d’autre part, l’humanité est menacée par ses propres actions destructrices dont elle peine à en saisir les effets et à les limiter. Dans ce contexte, la série Pline est à lire d’urgence.

Pour en savoir plus

Miki Tori, Mari Yamazaki, Pline. Tome 1, L’appel de Néron, Paris, Casterman, 2017.
Miki Tori, Mari Yamazaki, Pline. Tome 2, Les rues de Rome, Paris, Casterman, 2017.
Tome 3 à paraître en juin 2017 et tome 4 en septembre 2017.


Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2017.01.23: Roman Festivals in the Greek East: From the Early Empire to the Middle Byzantine Era. Greek culture in the Roman world

Review of Fritz Graf, Roman Festivals in the Greek East: From the Early Empire to the Middle Byzantine Era. Greek culture in the Roman world. Cambridge: 2015. Pp. xvi, 363. $120.00. ISBN 9781107092112.

2017.01.22: Aristotle on Knowledge and Learning: The Posterior Analytics. Oxford Aristotle studies

Review of David Bronstein, Aristotle on Knowledge and Learning: The Posterior Analytics. Oxford Aristotle studies. Oxford; New York: 2016. Pp. xiii, 272. $74.00. ISBN 9780198724902.

2017.01.21: Plotinus: Myth, Metaphor, and Philosophical Practice

Review of Stephen R. L. Clark, Plotinus: Myth, Metaphor, and Philosophical Practice. Chicago; London: 2016. Pp. xxi, 344. $55.00. ISBN 9780226339672.

2017.01.20: Latin of New Spain

Review of Rose Williams, Latin of New Spain. Mundelein, IL: 2015. Pp. xx, 280. $19.00 (pb). ISBN 9780865168336.

American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

100 χρόνια Γενικά Αρχεία του Κράτους, 500 χρόνια ιστορίας

January 24, 2017 - 10:47 AM - ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑΣΗ ΚΑΤΑΛΟΓΟΥ ΕΚΘΕΣΗΣ Κ. Μανάφης, τ. Πρ. Εφ. ΓΑΚ /Δ. Παπαδημητρόπουλος, Εθν. Τυπογραφείο /Τ. Σακελλαρόπουλος, Αρχεία Μ. Μπενάκη /Λ. Κουζέλη, Φιλόλογος

The Archaeology News Network

A tale of two pulsars' tails: Plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers

Like cosmic lighthouses sweeping the universe with bursts of energy, pulsars have fascinated and baffled astronomers since they were first discovered 50 years ago. In two studies, international teams of astronomers suggest that recent images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of two pulsars -- Geminga and B0355+54 -- may help shine a light on the distinctive emission signatures of pulsars, as well as their often perplexing...

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Galaxy murder mystery

It's the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what's killing them? This artist's impression shows the spiral galaxy NGC 4921 based on observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope  [Credit: ICRAR, NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]New research published today by a global team of researchers, based at the International Centre for...

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Compitum - publications

Thesaurus linguae Latinae vol. XI, 2, fasc. IV : reddo-refocilo

thes.jpgThesaurus linguae Latinae vol. XI, 2, fasc. IV : reddo-refocilo, Berlin-Boston, 2016.

Éditeur : De Gruyter
80 pages
ISBN : 978-3-11-047910-2
69,95 €


Source : De Gruyter

January 16, 2017

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Sarcophagus fragment reported to have been seized

Image from Becchina archive. Source via Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
I was in London for a conference today and was informed that US authorities seized a fragmentary sarcophagus in New York over the weekend. Full details have yet to be confirmed and I also understand that the fragment remains on display in the gallery.

It seems likely that the piece of sculpture has associations with northern Greece.

The fragment featured in the Becchina archive.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Notiziario Italiano di Antichistica

Notiziario Italiano di Antichistica
unzioni e regole

Il Notiziario Italiano di Antichistica è un bollettino telematico di informazione sia sulle principali iniziative realizzate in Italia nel settore degli studi classici (convegni, seminari, incontri di studio) sia sulle nuove pubblicazioni (riviste, miscellanee, volumi, strumenti multimediali). Può anche diffondere notizie su manifestazioni culturali che si svolgono all'estero.
Il Notiziario, fondato da Emanuele Narducci per conto della Accademia Fiorentina di Papirologia e di Studi sul Mondo Antico e ora diretto da Sergio Audano, viene distribuito gratuitamente per e-mail, con periodicità di un numero ogni tre settimane, a quanti ne facciano richiesta all'indirizzo di posta elettronica: (si precisa che non è un indirizzo automatico).

Gli interessati sono pregati di indicare, nel messaggio di richiesta, il proprio nome e cognome e il proprio indirizzo di posta elettronica.
Il Notiziario, che già conta numerosi sottoscrittori, raccoglie e diffonde le informazioni e gli annunci che riceve. Esso fa pertanto affidamento sulla attiva collaborazione di tutti gli iscritti alla lista di distribuzione.

Regole per l'invio di annunci al Notiziario
Si ricordano alcune regole fondamentali per l'invio degli annunci: ciascun annuncio deve portare nella prima riga il titolo dell'iniziativa cui fa riferimento, e nella riga successiva il nome e l'indirizzo di posta elettronica del mittente (si prega di astenersi da comunicazioni personali al redattore, che vanno eventualmente affidate a un messaggio separato inviato all'indirizzo:
Il nome del mittente e il relativo indirizzo di posta elettronica saranno indicati pubblicamente (salvo esplicita richiesta in senso contrario). Gli annunci devono essere formulati come corpo del testo del messaggio, in 'plain text', evitando qualsiasi formattazione dei caratteri (il greco deve essere traslitterato). Sono accettati solo messaggi inviati da mittenti che risultano ufficialmente registrati nella mailing list. Per l'indicazione dei volumi si prega di adottare con la maggior precisione (di dati e di forma) lo schema abitualmente riportato. Si consiglia vivamente di inviare messaggi da ambienti Windows (e non Mac).

AVVERTENZE IMPORTANTI: il Notiziario non può assolutamente accettare annunci inviati sotto forma di 'attachments' (e allegati di ogni tipo): ciò sia perché questi ultimi appesantiscono notevolmente i tempi di spedizione, sia perché molti virus informatici si diffondono proprio tramite gli 'attachments'.
I messaggi contenenti 'attachments' vengono automaticamente distrutti. In ragione della finalità eminentemente informativa del Notiziario, circa le pubblicazioni si darà conto solo delle informazioni tecniche relative alla loro reperibilità (e, dove possibile, anche degli indici): i messaggi contenenti elenchi di titoli lontani nel tempo, riassunti, giudizi, o recensioni non saranno presi in considerazione, così come saranno ignorati gli annunci contenenti riferimenti a sponsor privati.
Gli annunci che non si atterranno alle suddette regole verranno ignorati, così come non si darà conto di quelli palesemente privi di rilevanza scientifica e culturale (o tali ritenuti dalla Redazione).
Quanti dovessero ricevere il Notiziario per sbaglio o senza averne fatto esplicita richiesta possono richiedere di essere depennati inviando comunicazione all’indirizzo e-mail del Notiziario (il redattore si scusa in anticipo per eventuali errori). Si ringrazia sentitamente per la cordiale collaborazione (la medesima procedura è valevole per quanti volessero iscriversi al Notiziario). A causa dell'alto numero di iscritti alla mailing list, la distribuzione del Notiziario avverrà tra la domenica e il lunedì successivi all'ultimo giorno utile per l'invio dei messaggi. Si ricorda di verificare sempre la data di scadenza per l’invio dei messaggi (non si darà conto degli eventi svolti in precedenza).

È qui di sotto attivo un motore di ricerca per facilitare la consultazione dei numeri del Notiziario a partire dal luglio 2007.

Ultimo numero:
7 gennaio 2017
Ecco i numeri passati del Notiziario:

Edizione straordinaria


Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Seizing Rifëo: The defiant poetics of Paradiso 20

"The whole story of Ripheus is nothing less than outrageous," says Robert Hollander, with complete justification. 

With the introduction of this Trojan warrior-turned Christian believer before the Christ event, Dante deliberately strains credulity. Why single out this obscure character from a pagan epic and turn him into a unique example -- one seized with such loathing for paganism that he finds the true savior, apparently, by imagining an alternative to all the gods he knew?

That Ripheus could, through his own unparalleled sense of justice, reach a higher vision is a pattern we have seen elsewhere. It fits with the motif that what is not able to be seen or grasped can offer more significant evidence than that which is visible. That we are unable to see and know everything argues that our roots lie beyond what is available to the senses, as noted in the Eagle's statement in Paradiso 19.

Ripheus is at that breaking point between the inner imaginings of his heart and the complete failure of his pagan world to reflect what he believes is true. But Dante could have singled out other ancients for this role -- why choose obscure Ripheus? A few suggestions are below.

As usual, it's revealing to look at the entire context of Dante's allusion to Ripheus in the Aeneid. He appears only in Book II, and is named three times in the course of Aeneas's tale of the Trojan Horse and the end of Troy. More particularly, Ripheus is part of a band of Trojans who have donned Greek armor and were successfully killing many Greeks, until one of their group, Coroebus, sees Cassandra being dragged from the temple of Minerva. As one who loved her, he cannot stand by, and loses his life in seeking to save her. Ripheus joins in, and dies too, along with several others:
         cadit et Ripheus, iustissimus unus
qui fuit in Teucris et servantissimus aequi
(dis aliter visum);  
then Rhipeus fell;
we deemed him of all Trojans the most just, 
most scrupulously righteous; but the godsgave judgment otherwise.  (Aeneid II: 426-28)
The first mention of Ripheus comes as he is among a group of fellow Trojans whom Aeneas rallies with an argument built upon despair:
My men, hearts vainly valiant, if your desire is fixed to follow me in my final venture, you see what is the fate of our cause. All the gods on whom this empire was stayed have gone forth, leaving shrine and altar; the city you aid is in flames. Let us die, and rush into the midst of arms. One safety the vanquished have, to hope for none!" (Aeneid II: 348-353)
This is the code of the Roman warrior who is confronting the darkest moment of his existence. A moment earlier, Aeneas, had recalled the words of Panthous, a priest of Apollo, telling him that all is lost:
"It is come -- the last day and inevitable hour for Troy. We Trojans are not, Ilium is not, and the great glory of the Teucrians; in wrath Jupiter has taken all away to Argos; the Greeks are lords of the burning city." (Aen. II: 324-327)
“Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus
Dardaniae: fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens
gloria Teucrorum; ferus omnia Iuppiter Argos
transtulit; incensa Danai dominantur in urbe."
The belief that Troy has been abandoned by the gods doesn't paralyze Aeneas, but it colors the entire scene with Ripheus and Coroebus that follows. The crisis of faith here is double -- the priest of Apollo can no longer believe in the survival of Troy because, he believes, the gods themselves no longer believe in, or care about, the city that once was the darling of the Olympians.

The crisis leads to Aeneas's rhetoric of despair -- "nothing left to lose" -- and they soldier on.

The salient points of the text where Ripheus appears are thus deeply relevant to the viability of faith and hope in the face of total annihilation. Dante's selection of Ripheus as the pagan baptized by the theological virtues brings this dark moment of Virgil's poem into view precisely as the mention of the three virtues at the right wheel of Beatrice's car reminds us that that is the last moment Virgil appears in the Commedia. The point is well made by Teolinda Baronlini:
Dante picks as his messenger of hope a character who, necessarily, because of his provenance in the Aeneid, brings with him not just hope but complicated feelings of loss and exclusion. Dante manages the story of Ripheus in such a way as to implicate both the author of the Aeneid, Vergil, and the memory of the character, Virgilio, a virtuous but unsaved pagan whom we last saw viewing the very same theological virtues involved in Ripheus's baptism. 
By plucking Ripheus, whose death is not even described in the Aeneid (wearing Greek armor, he loses his life as he tries to help Coroebus rescue Cassandra), from Virgil's poem and raising him to the eyebrow of the Eagle, Dante is doing something extraordinary. It is a plucking, a seizing, of this "iustissimus" character from a pagan poem, elevating him to a very high place. Indeed, it is almost a kind of savaging -- as an eagle might swoop down, grasp, and raise up some prized prey.

This is a kind of intertextuality one doesn't often see. Dante returns to his human poet-guide, but instead of being guided, he rewrites the ethos of soldierly courage and speaks of a soul who, despite all that anyone could dream of, envisioned another kind of courage. Ripheus is taken from Virgil in an act that re-creates our entire sense of him -- one that his own author couldn't have dreamt of. The imaginative leap of Ripheus is not unlike that of a poet, dreaming of something beyond what his experience has given him. (It is not by chance that in the pupil of the Eagle may be found David, the poet/warrior/king.)

All this is done through arbitrary fiat - nothing leads anyone to expect it, including Ripheus himself. It is the unbelievable in its pure state -- the sort of thing that rational people think of as foolery, or folly, much as the first apostles seemed idiots to the philosophically sophisticated gentiles.

One additional point: Perhaps there's another clue besides context to help us understand what the Commedia is doing here. Here's how Ripheus is introduced:
Chi crederebbe giù nel mondo errante
che Rifëo Troiano in questo tondo
fosse la quinta de le luci sante?
Who would believe, down in the errant world,
That e'er the Trojan Ripheus in this round
Could be the fifth one of the holy lights?
If the seizing of Rifëo seems more an act of creation than of derivation or mere allusion, it very much is. It's taking liberty in an almost violent way with a belief system that would find it more credible to think that a fallen city was abandoned by the gods. Rather than concede that only the absence of hope remained and could be a source of strength, Dante re-makes Rifëo into one helped by a kind of capricious grace. To re-make in Italian is rifare, which obviously bears a resemblance to Rifëo. The word appears in the opening lines of the canto:
lo ciel, che sol di lui prima s'accende,
subitamente si rifà parventeper molte luci,
in che una risplende; (Paradiso 20: 4-6)
The sky here, instead of going dark with the sun's setting, brightens with the many lights that reflect the sun's sole light (with a similar wordplay of sol and sol).* This brightening is expressed as "making itself reappear." This reappearance of the sun, not as itself, but in the form of its many star reflectors, remakes the sky. This making is a form of poesis that goes beyond mimesis. Rifëo Troiano is remade as the fifth light in the brow of the Eagle, even as the word for remaking appears in the fifth line of the canto, which is about reappearing lights.

Whatever else this is, it's a mode of intertextuality that plays havoc with normal notions of allusion and reference. To remake Rifëo is to recreate the poetry of Virgil. Ripheus's name echoes the act of making new:

The violence to the corpus of Virgil returns when the Eagle speaks to the quiditate of the exaltation of Ripheus:
Regnum celorum vïolenza pate
da caldo amore e da viva speranza,
che vince la divina volontate:
'Regnum coelorum' suffereth violence
From fervent love, and from that living hope
That overcometh the Divine volition;
For Dante, the act of faith is a creative leap beyond reason, fueled by lively hope. It is acted out here in the mode of poetic arbitrariness. Far from mimicking Virgil's portrait of Rifëo Troiano, Dante catachretically re-creates and sublimates him. As we've seen at other moments, Paradiso defies mimesis, adopting a poetics that violates and transforms nature via the powers known as the three theological virtues.

*Hollander points out that Dante does not name the sun after Paradiso 10, yet here, speaking in periphrasis about the sun -- sol -- he uses the homonym sol, i.e., "only." The wordplay is not unlike that of rifare and Rifëo.

ArcheoNet BE

ArcheoPro zoekt archeoloog

ArcheoPro Vlaanderen (het vroegere Condor Archaeological Research) is op zoek naar een archeoloog (m/v) om het team te versterken. Ben jij een gemotiveerde archeoloog op zoek naar een nieuwe uitdaging of een eerste job? Dan ben jij misschien de geknipte kandidaat. ArcheoPro is gevestigd in Hasselt en is vooral werkzaam in de provincies Limburg, Antwerpen en Vlaams-Brabant (en in Nederland). Deeltijds werk en thuiswerk behoren tot de mogelijkheden. Graag meer info? Stuur een mailtje met cv naar Sara Houbrechts.

He has a wife you know

lionofchaeronea: A woman sneaks a drink from a vessel while a...


A woman sneaks a drink from a vessel while a young servant girl looks on.  Attic red-figure skyphos, artist unknown; ca. 470-460 BCE.  Now in the Getty Villa, Malibu.  Photo credit: Dave and Margie Hill.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeologists and Metal Detectorists Find Common Ground

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Keith Wille was metal detecting in the woods of Connecticut a few years ago when...

Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

Text re-use in Instagram posts selling human remains

Lincoln Mullen has a wonderful R package on rOpenSci for detecting and measuring text reuse in a corpus of material (the kind of thing that is enormously useful if you’re interested in 19th century print culture, for instance). I wondered to myself what I would find if I fed it the corpus of material I’ve collected (see this gist) concerning the trade in human remains on Instagram (It’s looking for ngrams 5 words long, which means that I end up looking at 3k posts from my initial corpus of 13k). We’re writing all of this up for submission shortly, so this textreuse isn’t in our paper, yet; but anyway, a preview…

A score of ‘1’ indicates a perfect match. After running my materials through, I found many posts scoring 1. I thought, hmm, probably an error? Or perhaps, duplicate entries had found their way into my corpus? But after hand checking several I realized, no, the image is always different. So that’s interesting: people selling this material use the same language time and time again. Let’s consider some of it. We’ll start with this post:

  • Real human skull for sale, message me for more info. #skull #skulls #skullforsale #humanskull #humanskullforsale #realhumanskull #realhumanskullforsale #curio #curiosity

A post that scored 1 for similarity has the exact same text but a vastly different photograph. I’m not going to link to the photos or posts here because I don’t want to encourage this. A post at .9375 similarity has one extra hashtag appended to the text (and of course, a different photo):

  • Real human skull for sale, message me for more info. #skull #skulls #skullforsale #humanskull #humanskullforsale #realhumanskull #realhumanskullforsale #curio #curiosity #dead

We continue so on until we’re at arond .5 for our score:

  • Skull and arm £400 for the pair. One of the fingers on the hand is missing it’s tip and the whole arm needs glue removing and tidying up a bit. Real human skull for sale, message me for more info. #skull #skulls #skullforsale #humanskull #humanskullforsale #realhumanskull #realhumanskullforsale #curio #curiosity #dead

These posts are all by the same individual. That one phrase, ‘Real human skull for sale, message me for more info’, and that sequence of hashtags is as good an identifier for this individual as any username I’m thinking. I’m still going through these results, but the thought occurs that perhaps I might find *different* users using very similar language. If I found that, that would be very interesting indeed – a sign of influence between users? A sign of community? A kind of shibboleth, a marker of belonging?

Other implications?

The Heroic Age

The Art of Praise: Panegyric and Encomium in Late Antiquity
Organizer: Paul Kimball, Bilkent University
Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity
Near the turn of the last millennium two collections of essays appeared which called our attention to late antique panegyric. The Propaganda of Power: The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity, ed. Mary Whitby (1998) underlined the genre's public and political contexts, while Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity, edd. Thomas Hägg and Philip Rousseau (2000) explored its links with the forms and practices of biography and hagiography. The contributions to both volumes made it clear that from origins in the fourth century BCE to the end of antiquity (and beyond), panegyric proved a long-lived and highly adaptable platform for the articulation of social relations and the values that supported them. At the meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Boston, Massachusetts from 4-7 January 2018, the Society for Late Antiquity will sponsor a session to revisit the significance of the rhetoric of praise in late antiquity. We are especially interested in proposals that examine what, if anything, was distinctively "late antique" about late antique panegyric and encomium. In addition to papers addressing this specific question, we also welcome submissions on all aspects of these genres in late antiquity: theory and practice, political and private contexts, literary and declamatory presentations, prose and verse, parodic and ironic, etc.
Abstracts for papers requiring a maximum of twenty minutes to deliver should be sent no later than February 15, 2017 by email attachment to Paul Kimball at All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees. Prospective panelists must be members in good standing of the SCS at the time of submission andmust include their membership number in the cover letter accompanying their abstract. Please follow the SCS’s instructions for the format of individual abstracts: The submission of an abstract represents a commitment to attend the 2018 meeting should the abstract be accepted. No papers will be read in absentia and the SLA is unable to provide funding for travel to Boston.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Le ultime novità 3D Target per il settore UAV: le termocamere FLIR DUO e TC FUSION

3D TARGET presenta sul mercato due nuove termocamere per droni con doppia camera (visibile e IR): FLIR Duo/FLIR Duo R e THERMAL CAPTURE Fusion.

The Archaeology News Network

Excavations at Kephala site on Greek island of Skiathos completed

The five year excavation programme at the “Kephala” site on the island of Skiathos has been recently completed. It is one of the lesser-known sites of Greece and the only one from the Early Historic times in Northern Sporades which is undergoing systematic excavation survey. The excavation lasted two weeks (5-17 September 2016) and was conducted by the University of Thessaly, in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of...

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Esperienze tridimensionali: il Museo di Sir John Soane

Il Museo di Sir John Soane è uno dei musei più interessanti di Londra, presso la casa dell'architetto neoclassico John Soane (XIX secolo) e contiene molti dei suoi disegni, modellini, una vasta collezione di dipinti e antichità.

He has a wife you know

Lorica Segmentata vlog up soon

Filming this weekend so hope to have it up this time next week. I’m adding a ‘questions’ section so if you have a burning query to do with the lorica just message me and I’ll try and answer as best I can.

To give you a flavour here is my Youtube channel with my vlogs on it

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Donald Trump’s Inauguration: The Twilight Zone Returns

This appeared in the Scottish Sunday Herald TV guide yesterday:

The Archaeology News Network

Our hominid ancestors made and used tools

Neil Norman found the tools when he and Bruce Larson were walking down the local wadi, a usually dry watercourse that hadn't moved much in a long, long time. A diorama at the Nairobi National Museum portrays early hominids processing game with tools. But which  of our ancient ancestors was the first to butcher animals? [Credit: Ninara/WikiCommons]Seasonal rains would flood the stream, drowning animals and washing them downstream,...

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Liz Gloyn (Classically Inclined)

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus – Tony Harrison

Last weekend I was very lucky to get to a very rare performance of Tony Harrison’s Trackers of Oxyrhynchus at the Finborough Theatre. I’d never heard of the Finborough before, and before I get any further in this post, the performance is running until the 28th and there are still tickets left at the time of writing.  If you can get there, do. The cast are superb.

Trackers has been performed precisely three times – once at Delphi in 1988, once at the National Theatre in 1990, and now at the Finborough. It is, as we are reminded, almost thirty years since it was last staged. You’d expect it to have aged. It hasn’t. Given the specificity of its targets, this is rather worrying.

Trackers begins with the dig of Grenfell and Hunt at Oxyrhynchus, the city of the sharp-nosed fish, from whose rubbish dumps we have recovered amazing amounts of papyri and otherwise unknown texts. Grenfell is nervous and unwell, searching desperately for fragments of a lost Sophocles play which he says the god Apollo is urging him to find. He retires to his tent, overwrought – only for Apollo to possess him, and for us to segue, unexpectedly, into a satyr play of our own, with satyrs led by Silenus tracking down the play , discovering the god’s lost cattle, the baby Hermes and the discovery of the lyre. Apollo is delighted at this find, and pays off the satyrs in gold while promising that they will never have access to the sort of high art that he can now create. Having come to the end of the satyr play structure, the shift into a fearful messenger speech from Silenus about the flaying of Marsyas for daring to approach ‘high art’ is, frankly, harrowing. So is the remainder of the play, as the satyrs wander, outcast, wondering what to do, how to live, how to survive, until they end up as the homeless on the South Bank. Silenus makes a final appeal to the audience, asking if there is anyone who can help interpret the scraps of papyrus… before finding a voice and standing up on the ‘tragic’ stage, where no satyr has stood before, to shout. And curtain.

Is there a doctor…some don from Queen’s
who can tell the rest of us what all this means?

As is probably clear, Trackers is about high art and low art, about who gets to make art and who has access to it. It is also about the British class system. Apollo speaks with obvious received pronunciation, the satyrs have broad Yorkshire accents and clogs. It is also about the politics of classics, although that strand is obviously woven into the concern with class – white scholars from Oxford have access to the papyri and say what it means, the Egyptian fellaheen are the ones who actually get their hands dirty; Apollo’s high tragedy gets preserved safely while the mass culture satyr play gets dispersed into scraps; the satyrs aren’t allowed to go ‘outside’ their genre, which gets pushed down, down, down, while high art not only gets pushed up, but also becomes sanitising.

Wherever the losers and the tortured scream
the lyres will be playing the Marsyas theme.
You’ll hear the lyres playing behind locked doors
where men flay their fellows for some abstract cause.

Who gets to do classics? Who gets access to culture? Who gets the privilege? The context that generated this play, the Britain of the late 1980s with the closure of the coal mines, the rise in unemployment, the rise of the City and the fall of the working class, seems to be one reason that this play first of all didn’t get performed more, and secondly why it didn’t get performed again. But watching it last week, it still felt frighteningly contemporary and relevant – not least because of the current battleground in classical studies over whether the subject is an enabler or a limiter in terms of race and class. We know we have problems with both these fields in terms of what academic professors look like; the wider implications of the abuse of the subject are more frightening. Questions about who gets to own classics and who gets to play the lyre are, it seems, still very much up for heated debate. As they should be, given that the stakes are as high as they are.

There is, of course, the slight disconnect at a play which was only ever performed at Delphi and the National (and now the Finborough) castigating people for limiting access to things. Harrison knows his Greek drama, which is why I have come away from the performance with a much richer sense of how an ancient chorus might have worked – this production features some inspired clog-dancing sequences in hobnailed boots on board during the satyr play section which are glorious to watch. Yet for this message, this message, to be stuck inside the pages of the scripts and not to be seen, even now, unless you are one of the lucky fifty who can get a Finborough ticket on a given night or even know the Finborough exists? It feels as if there is something vaguely fitting for Trackers to be experiencing a similar fate to the fragments of the Oxyrhynchus piles, although I hope that this revival leads to it being staged much more frequently than it has been. The language alone deserves that.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Magnifica avventura di un frammento: il blocco NXLVI del fregio nord del Partenone in realtà aumentata

Lo Studio Glowarp presenterà il prossimo mercoledì 18 gennaio la videoinstallazione in realtà aumentata presso la SUN di Aversa - Facoltà di Architettura, in occasione del ciclo di Seminari del Dottorato organizzato dalla prof.ssa A. Cirafici. Per l'occasione sarà presentato il progetto di totem multimediale inerente l'utilizzo della SAR (Spatial Augmented Reality) in ambito museale (Aula P1 ore 10.30-17.00).

L’allestimento si pone come occasione per riflettere sul significato che l’introduzione delle tecnologie digitali sta assumendo in termini di strategie comunicative, nella fruizione del patrimonio culturale e sulla nascita di una nuova idea di ‘ambiente sensibile’, inteso come luogo in cui l’interazione tra presenza fisica e componente virtuale genera un inedito spazio dell’esperienza e dell’apprendimento capace di trasformare gli ambienti museali in ‘ecosistemi della conoscenza, luoghi immersivi della sperimentazione, territori della memoria’ Si tratta di un allestimento visivo della copia a grandezza naturale di una piccola porzione del lungo fregio, un unico pannello denominato Block NXLVI il cui originale, splendido gruppo di cavalieri al galoppo in marmo pentelico, misura 1 metro e due centimetri di altezza per 98 centimetri di lunghezza.
Nel suo dispiegarsi, il racconto di cui il frammento NXLV si rende protagonista coinvolge lo spettatore in una dimensione per così dire drammaturgica che mescola spazio fisico, spazio virtuale e narrazione in una vera e proprio sceneggiatura. Una magia che ridona significato ad una cultura dell’oralità che per lungo tempo è stata esclusa dalla esperienza museale e che invece è in grado di amplificare a dismisura la ‘densità umana’ della cultura antica. Un’occasione preziosa per trasformare un ‘contenitore’ di memoria in luogo di elaborazione e definizione di significati e identità collettiva.

Magnifica avventura di un ‘frammento’ - Videoinstallazione_Studio Glowarp (Aula P1 ore 10.30-17-00)

Seminari di ricerca del dottorato - Incontro a cura di A. Cirafici (Aula P9 ore 14.30)

- I musei e la progettazione strategica: l’esperienza del MANN (Ludovico Solima, docente di Management delle imprese culturali)
- Storytelling digitale e videomapping: Itinerari visivi nella comunicazione per i beni culturali (Donato Maniello, Studio Glowarp)

Il seminario ha l'obiettivo di proporsi come occasione di riflessione sul nuovo modo di concepire l’idea stessa di ‘museo’ e di gestione del patrimonio culturale.
In particolare l’intervento del prof. Solima tende a sviluppare una riflessione - attraverso l'analisi di un caso di studio - su un tema di grande importanza per i musei, che risulta però ancora del tutto assente nelle pratiche manageriali dei musei italiani: la formulazione del Piano Strategico. Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli è stato il primo museo in Italia ad affrontare questo tema, pervenendo alla stesura di un documento, in italiano ed inglese, presentato pubblicamente e reso disponibile via internet. La descrizione della genesi e della realizzazione del Piano Strategico 2016-2019 del Mann costituirà l'oggetto della testimonianza di Ludovico Solima, professore associato di Economia e gestione delle imprese e docente di "Management delle imprese culturali" presso il Dipartimento di Economia dell'Università della Campania, che ne ha curato la redazione insieme alla Direzione del museo.

L’intervento dell’arch. Maniello, a partire dall’esperienza della videoinstallazione del Il blocco N XLVI del fregio nord del Partenone in realtà aumentata, si proporrà come momento di riflessione sull'utilizzo della realtà aumentata indoor, sul suo ruolo per la valorizzazione dei beni culturali e sulle potenzialità espressive che la realtà aumentata offre alla fruizione museale, con uno sguardo non tanto volto alla ‘spettacolarizzazione’ dell’esperienza percettiva che così di frequente si accompagna alla moltiplicazione dei livelli informativi, ma piuttosto con una particolare attenzione alla costruzione sapiente di un ‘percorso informativo’ finalizzato all’ampliamento dell’esperienza in termini di accesso alla conoscenza di fruizione consapevole del bene.

L'evento si svolgerà mercoledì 18 gennaio 2017, presso la SUN (Università di Aversa, Facoltà di Architettura).
Fonte: Studio Glowarp

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Climate and Religion in the Late Roman Mediterranean

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading about in the recent work on the climate history, climate change, and the Anthropocene. I’ve been sucked into John Brooke’s massive work, Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey (Cambridge 2014) and spent altogether too much time surfing the footnotes. To simplify a very complex and nuanced book, Brooke argues that large-scale climate change has had a direct impact on the development of human culture. In particular, he argues that “the structure of human history is distinctly “Gouldian”/punctuational, with long periods of relative stability (stasis) interrupted by well- de ned breaks best understood as episodic (not necessarily cyclical) global climate crises – Dark Ages, perhaps – increasingly augmented and surpassed by the eruption of epidemic disease and destructive warfare.” In other words, he human populations, culture, and society as stable and resilient. As a result, change has tended to come when particularly disruptive natural events (in contrast to the slow pressures of, say, population growth) push populations to adapt quickly. Not every natural catastrophe had this impact on human societies, but many did.

Last week, David Pettegrew took the first mighty swing at the introduction to our Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology.  He traced the history of Early Christian archaeology and left us looking ahead to a section on the future of the study of Christian material culture. One of the issues that Brooke’s book has pushed me to consider – as well as recent works (such as the admitted problematic works like Ronnie Ellenblum’s The Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean: Climate Change and Decline of the East 950-1072 (Cambridge 2012)) – is the role of natural disaster in the rise of Christianity. There is a growing body of evidence that Late Antiquity saw a series of closely clustered natural disasters that ranged from earthquakes and the onsets of plagues to the end of the so-called “Classical Optimum” which was characterized by relatively stable climates and warmer temperatures and the start of 400 year period of greater climate variability. For Brooke and others (most notably Michael McCormick), nature has an impact on the transformations marking the end of the ancient world.

Notable among these changes was the rise of Christianity in the Mediterranean. It is difficult to deny the rate of cultural change that took place over the Late Antique centuries. For example, the accelerated growth of Christianity during Late Antiquity (i.e. after, say, 300) paralleled changes in pagan beliefs. In fact, many of the these changes took place side-by-side and created wonderfully diverse examples of pagan-Christian syncretism. This is not to suggest that either Christianity or paganism was stable and unchanging during its previous centuries. In fact, the internal organization of Christianity from its earliest days in cities around the Eastern Mediterranean adapted to persist in a politically hostile environment which included periodically intense persecutions often triggered by local natural (or social) disasters. The ability for Christianity to survive and adapt to attacks by communities who saw Christians as disrupting social cohesion or the relationship between the community and the divine, almost certain served it well as plagues, climate change, and political and military challenges beset the region.

The challenge for an archaeology of Early Christianity remains identifying evidence for the interaction of Christianity and climate change in specific instances. 

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Free online course: Rome: a Virtual Tour of the Ancient City

Rome: a Virtual Tour of the Ancient City
Explore the architecture and history of Rome, walking around a 3D digital model of the ancient city, with this free online course.
About the course 
Take a guided tour around ancient Rome with University of Reading expert, Dr Matthew Nicholls, using his detailed, historically accurate and award-winning, 3D digital model of this awe-inspiring city.

Immerse yourself in the architecture and history of Ancient Rome

Join Matthew on a walk around the city of Rome, and ask yourself:
Why was this ancient city built where it was? Did all roads really lead to Rome? How was drinking water supplied to the city’s million inhabitants? Where did Romans worship their gods and meet their political masters? And which buildings provided a backdrop for the spectacular events that both celebrated emperors and secured the loyalty of the masses?
The course will encourage you to explore the answers to all of these questions and many more. It combines excerpts and ‘virtual walk around’ views of the 3D digital model with timelines, animations and 360 degree panoramic images. Moving seamlessly between the digital model and real-life film footage of contemporary Rome, Matthew brings the ancient city to life as never before.
By the end of the course, you will:
  • be familiar with the topography, architecture, and political and social history of ancient Rome;
  • understand how experts study these topics and what they use as source material to gain an accurate insight into the past;
  • and better understand and interpret the archaeological ruins that you might encounter, for example, on holiday in Rome.

Learn with a Roman history expert from the University of Reading

Throughout the course, you will learn with Dr Matthew Nicholls, a recognised expert on ancient Rome. Matthew has extensive broadcast and public speaking experience on Roman history, and directs a specialist Masters degree on the ancient city in the Department of Classics at the University of Reading.

This course is open to anyone with an interest in discovering more about ancient Rome. You might be: planning a visit to the Italian capital; an avid watcher of documentaries on Roman history; or considering studying archaeology, classics or history at university.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Quote of the Week?

Per Article 7 (b) (ii) of the Convention, States Parties undertake,
at the request of the State Party "of origin", to take appropriate steps
to recover and return any such cultural property imported after the entry
into force of this Convention in both States concerned [...] Article 13 of the
Convention also provides provisions on restitution and cooperation.

We are asked to believe that there is a link between cultural heritage preservation and human rights abuse:
Peter Tompa ‏@Aurelius161180 2 temuPeter Tompa podał/a dalej Turkish Minute
There is a correlation between nationalistic govt's that demand repatriation of cultural artifacts abroad with human rights abuses at home.
Are the dealers getting good value for their money employing such an 'observer' to do their dirty work? There are 131 Member States of UNESCO that are states party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. I refuse to believe that all of them have a human rights record that is inferior to that of the lobbyist's own country. There is instead at least a partial link between human rights abuse and the trade in illicit and undocumented antiquities.

Current Epigraphy

Greek verse inscriptions – Venice, February 16, 2017


 Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sala Geymonat

 Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

 16 Febbraio 2017


10.00   Ettore Cingano (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

Epigramma iscrizionale, epos ed elegia nell’Attica arcaica: CEG 432 e CEG 47

10.45   Sara Kaczko (Sapienza Università di Roma)

“Dialoghi” (in)tra monumenti: riflessioni su alcuni epigrammi arcaici

11.30   Pausa caffè

12.00   Lucia Floridi (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Guarigioni miracolose nell’epigramma greco, tra epigrafia e letteratura

12.45   Pausa pranzo

14.30   Valentina Garulli (Università di Bologna), Eleonora Santin (CNRS, Lyon)

Oltre le parole: comunicazione non verbale nella poesia epigrafica bilingue greco-latina

16.00   Discussione finale

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