Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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

September 26, 2016

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Unesco listing for Phnom Kulen spells unease for residents

A recent announcement to include Phnom Kulen in the Angkor World Heritage property means an uncertain future for the some 300 people who live on the mountain. UNESCO push will clear villagers off of Kulen Mountain Phnom Penh Post, 05 July 2016 Hundreds of villagers living on Siem Reap’s historic Phnom Kulen are reeling after … Continue reading "Unesco listing for Phnom Kulen spells unease for residents"

Profile on Dr Alison Carter

The Phnom Penh Post’s feature on Dr Alison Carter, a personal friend of mine, and her work in household archaeology in Cambodia. Digging beneath the surface Phnom Penh Post, 04 July 2016 For many expats, Cambodia is no more than another country to be ticked off the list of places to spend two years before … Continue reading "Profile on Dr Alison Carter"

Free entry in the National Museum of the Philippines

As of 1 July, admission to the National Museum of the Philippines is free for all nationalities. Entrance to the National Museum now ‘permanently’ free Rappler, 30 June 2016 National Museum admission now free – permanently Philippine News Agency, via Interaksyon, 01 July 2016 – It’s been a day of new beginnings as the nation’s … Continue reading "Free entry in the National Museum of the Philippines"

Bali’s first mosque

A feature on the oldest mosque in Bali, believed to be established during the Majapahit period. The earliest mosque on the Island of the Gods Jakarta Post, 30 June 2016 Rusiah and other local residents believe that their ancestors were a group of 40 courtiers sent by King Hayam Wuruk from the Majapahit Kingdom and … Continue reading "Bali’s first mosque"

September 25, 2016

The Heroic Age

Models of Authority and DigiPal are organising two digital methods sessions at Leeds 2017 

Session 1: "Digital Methods 1: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Palaeography"

Session 2: "Digital Methods 2: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Manuscript Studies"

Interested? Then send us an abstract! It's all pretty simple really. All you need to do is read the blurbs
below; decide which session suits you best; and then send an abstract of a couple of hundred words or so
(we won't count them, but try not to overdo it) to by 28th September 2016.

Looking forward to reading your abstracts,

Dr Stewart J Brookes
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London

"Digital Methods 1: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Palaeography"

Taking palaeography and codicology as its focus, this session will consider how computer-assisted techniques
might advance our understanding of the handwriting of medieval scribes.

"Digital Methods 2: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Manuscript Studies"

The large number of initiatives to digitise medieval manuscripts mean that we now have unprecedented access
to medieval texts. In many ways, this explosion of knowledge can be compared to the early years of the printing
press. But how might we best utilise this growing body of material? This session will explore the potential for the
computer-assisted study of medieval manuscripts; discuss the intersection of manuscript studies and Digital Humanities;
and share methodologies. The topics under discussion will include the encoding and transcription of medieval texts, the
practical and theoretical consequences of the use of digital surrogates and the visualisation of manuscript evidence and
data.Models of Authority and DigiPal are organising two digital methods sessions at Leeds 2017
Session 1: "Digital Methods 1: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Palaeography"

Session 2: "Digital Methods 2: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Manuscript Studies"

Interested? Then send us an abstract! It's all pretty simple really. All you need to do is read the blurbs
below; decide which session suits you best; and then send an abstract of a couple of hundred words or so
(we won't count them, but try not to overdo it) to by 28th September 2016.

Looking forward to reading your abstracts,

Dr Stewart J Brookes
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London

"Digital Methods 1: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Palaeography"

Taking palaeography and codicology as its focus, this session will consider how computer-assisted techniques
might advance our understanding of the handwriting of medieval scribes.

"Digital Methods 2: Computer-Assisted Approaches to Manuscript Studies"

The large number of initiatives to digitise medieval manuscripts mean that we now have unprecedented access
to medieval texts. In many ways, this explosion of knowledge can be compared to the early years of the printing
press. But how might we best utilise this growing body of material? This session will explore the potential for the
computer-assisted study of medieval manuscripts; discuss the intersection of manuscript studies and Digital Humanities;
and share methodologies. The topics under discussion will include the encoding and transcription of medieval texts, the
practical and theoretical consequences of the use of digital surrogates and the visualisation of manuscript evidence and

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Archive of the XML files of the Mannheim / Heidelberg CAMENA Neo-Latin project

Archive of the XML files of the Mannheim / Heidelberg CAMENA Neo-Latin project

CAMENA - Latin Texts of Early Modern Europe: the XML files


CAMENA (Corpus Automatum Multiplex Electorum Neolatinitatis Auctorum), a DFG-funded research project carried out at the German Department of Heidelberg University Chair of German Literature (Modern Period), in cooperation with the Information Technology Center and the Library of the University of Mannheim, and led by Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Kühlmann, was active from 1999 to 2013; we particularly thank the spiritus movens of Wolfgang Schibel, as well as Reinhard Gruhl, Emir Zuljevic, Heinz Kredel, and other members of the team.

In our opinion, CAMENA was one of the most important Neo-Latin digital initiatives. Since its machine-readable texts were made available under the Creative Commons Attribution / Share Alike license, here we are republishing the XML files of all the CAMENA collections as a Github repository, with all the caveats of the original project regarding citing and reliability, and with the intent to enable further digital experiments with CAMENA Neo-Latin material.

Again, sincere gratitude goes to colleagues involved in CAMENA for all their efforts, and for making this possible. Sumus nani gigantum humeris insidentes.


In CAMENA, the texts are divided in five collections: POEMATA, Neo-Latin poetry composed by German authors; HISTORICA & POLITICA, Latin historical and political writing; THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS, a reference collection of dictionaries and handbooks of the period 1500-1750; CERA, printed Latin letters, mostly by German scholars, from the period 1530-1770; and ITALI, works by Italian Renaissance humanists born before 1500. The collection ITALI has no XML files, so it was not included in this repository.

We were not able to find information on the exact number of XML files produced by CAMENA. This repository contains 949 XML files in the POEMATA section, 382 files in the HISTORICA & POLITICA, 296 files in the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS, and 124 files in CERA, with the total of 1751 files. These files contain 50,458,045 words (tokens) below the text element (more on this in Word count).

Not all CAMENA XML files provide full text of the digitized source. For example, the file Arenhold_conspectus_index_II.xml in CERA offers only the table of contents to the digitized volume of Arenhold, Silvester Johannes: Conspectus Bibliothecae Universalis Historico-Literario-Criticae Epistolarum : Typis Expressarum Et M[anu]S[crip]tarum, Illustrium Omnis Aevi Et Eruditissimorum Auctorum. - Hanoverae : Sumptibus Hereduum [!] Foersterianorum, 1746. In the CAMENA-CERA version, the table of contents contains links to respective page images of the digitized book. We did not try to exclude such partial XML publications from this repository.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Peter Tompa's Sausages

In a sniping post on his Cultural Property Obfuscator blog, antiquities trade lobbyist Peter Tompa has a post about Cyprus "turning its back further away from its past Common Law traditions as part of the British Commonwealth of Nations..." because it proposes making dealers and collectors demonstrate the legitimacy of the items they hold  (see here). Mr Tompa and his dealer mates (brought up to rely on a 'they-can't-touch-yer-for-it-legality')  insist everyone should give them the benefit of the doubt (antiquities dealers - get it?) and presume an innocence until (somebody else) can prove their guilt. By virtue of the fact that all paperwork was thrown away by the trade for all-but everything they handle, that's what they feel safe (indeed, untouchable) with. I am among those who feel very strongly that this is not how it should be a legitimate trade does not exist by virtue of naming the name alone, it has to demonstrate its legitimacy - especially when it concerns a class of commodity where we know items of illicit and false origins are rife.

Although he published a snide comment by his BFF metal detectorist John Howland, he rejected mine on this matter, apparently unwilling to answer it honestly, so here it is:
If antiquities dealers turn their back on business practices which would allow documentation of licit provenance of the goods they handle, then they have only themselves to blame. I don't know how it is with sausages you buy in Washington, but here in eastern Europe butchers don't have this problem, they'll have the documentation of where those sausages have come from available for the health inspector. Woe betide a butcher that buys products with no documentation and thinks they'll get away with it. Are you a consumer of unprovenanced sausages of unknown contents and origins Mr Tompa?
Sausages of course were chosen in my analogy, as they are one of the cheapest form of meat (apart from giblets, but I'd not recommend Mr Tompa feeding his kids with unprovenanced giblets of unknown origins either).

So how is it with sausages in Washington, Mr Tompa?

Vignette: What's in your kiełbasa Peter? 

From a Recent PAS Report

The main achievements of the PAS in 2014: • 113,794 finds were recorded; a total of 1,127,586 recorded on its database ( to date. • 96% of finds were found by metal-detectorists. • 91% of finds were found on cultivated land, where they are susceptible to plough damage and artificial and natural corrosion processes.
On all of it? So why are there any artefacts left at all?  What actually is the "achievement" here? This is not responsible public outreach, it is uncritical repetition of artefact hunters' own self-justifications. Where is the BM Research Report to back up this glib statement?

Vignette: Name plate corroding just as is BM's reputation for spouting pseudo-science

For Nigel: For the Rest of You a Free Bit of the Book and Explanation of why Blogging is Light at the Moment

Nigel, a new draft of the first bit of:
Black is our old text, blue the new bits. After it is the bit with all the risible quotes about the PAS from the dealers. 
The pas in a wider context

Soon after its inception, the PAS became of great significance for collectors of portable antiquities both in the UK and beyond. Anyone engaging with the global portable antiquity collecting milieu will be struck by the frequency with which the opinion is voiced in such circles that allegedly the only possible way forward for the archaeological world is firstly to accept that the worldwide exploitation of the archaeological record for collectables on a massive scale is inevitable and unstoppable and secondly that the world archaeological community should therefore react by creating a ‘fair and voluntary scheme’ whereby what is taken by collectors can be documented to the same degree as the (always) admirable British Portable Antiquities Scheme. This will, it is alleged, be the panacea to all the problems. In this way, Britain’s PAS has been taken to hold out the hope of a satisfactory solution to the ethical and legal disconnect between antiquity preservation laws and what hunters, dealers and collectors wish to do (in other words it is taken as showing that laws restricting the activities of the antiquities trade are unnecessary). 

The Portable Antiquities Scheme has directly played a part in the development of this trend. In September 2009, a one-day PAS-sponsored conference was held in the British Museum program entitled: ‘Recording the Past: How Different European Countries Deal With Portable Antiquities’. It was attended by speakers from ten European countries who addressed the issue of their government's legal and administrative approach to recently discovered portable antiquities. At the meeting,  Roger Bland, the head of PAS, gave the keynote speech presenting the successes of the PAS in England and Wales and the 1996 Treasure Act and Treasure award system. Participants from the national museums of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic discussed the situation in their countries, and all suggest that artefact hunters were active in all three areas, but reporting levels were very low there.  There were  speakers from the Netherlands, Denmark who talked about the manner in which artefact hunting was accommodated in those countries and the archaeological benefits they saw in this. Representatives of Schleswig Holstein, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland discussed the situation in countries where artefact hunting was regulated, or punishable. The conference apparently came to the conclusion that ‘if the proper recording of finds is the objective, those systems which most closely follow the [British] approach of credible market-value rewards and outreach are the most successful’. [1] One cannot avoid suspecting that this is precisely what the British organizers were hoping to hear. It is a shame that the conference proceedings and discussion sessions were never published.

More recently, members of staff of the PAS have been involved in attempts by European portable antiquities collectors to weaken foreign legislation and legalise unrestricted artefact hunting. In once case, in April 2015 PAS employees were involved in the creation of promotional material for a campaign (‘Green Light for Change’ attached to the Irish metal detecting forum)[2]'to legalise metal detecting for antiquities in the Republic of Ireland'. This campaign, led by Norfolk-based detector user Liam Nolan, basically consisted of pointing out what a success the PAS had been getting finds recorded in Norfolk, and that if the laws in Ireland were relaxed, more loose artefacts would be taken out of the ground and recorded there too. A senior figure in the PAS is reported by Mr Nolan to be in ‘regular contact’ with the Campaign and allegedly ‘offered to fly over to address any meetings and explain to archaeologists how such a system could be modified to suit the specific Irish needs but we want there to be a more positive climate before that happens’.[3]

It is not per se against the law in Ireland to use a metal detector, but to use it without a permit to dig up artefacts to collect and sell is. The whole of section two of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1987[4]sets this out quite clearly, and below that, the procedure for obtaining a permit and reporting finds thus made. Section 20 and 23 set out the measures for dealing with those not reporting. Since a measure to get chance finds and (both legal and illegal) finds made with the use of a metal detector reported is already in place in the legislation, instituting a PAS is clearly superfluous. 

The same Mr Nolan was also involved in setting up the European Council for Metal Detecting (ECMD). This developed from meetings of several groups of artefact hunters from the continent in 2011 and 2012 in which Trevor Austin of the NCMD became involved. The ECMD’s inaugural conference in April 2015 at The Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport was sponsored by metal detector manufacturer Minelab and the ‘Searcher’ metal detecting magazine. This was intended to bring together artefact hunters not only from England, Ireland and Spain, but also France (Groupe Militante Pour un Treasure Act Francais), Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Germany. The keynote speaker was the new PAS head, Dr Michael Lewis. The stated aim of this meeting was to create conditions in which artefact hunters could ‘work together for the common cause to allow responsible metal detecting to be allowed in all European countries’. The ECMD (closely modelled on Britain’s NCMD) is to create a framework through which foreign artefact hunting and collecting organizations

can help establish a working relationship with their respective governments, the eventual aim being to encourage the type of co-operation and recording of finds that has been so successful here in the UK and with the power to advocate reform and influence existing National [sic] legislation. [...] The promotion of the benefits of the "English Model" will be a key factor in achieving these goals [...].[5]

It is disturbingly to see the PAS involved in this plan to undermine European preservation legislation. Of course the function of European antiquities preservation legislation is not merely to ensure things are recorded so that collectors can pocket them, article 2 and 3 of the Valetta Convention - the very ones the UK rejected (Chapter 4) - exist to attain that. 

These efforts all ignore one basic fact, the Portable Antiquities Scheme was not set up in order that national laws could allow artefact hunting and collecting, it is instead a symptom of lax laws which allow pilfering of sites for collectables - something the laws of all those other countries without a PAS strive to protect sites from. Instead of prompting foreign countries to abandon any attempts to prevent looting, to bring them down to the same parlous level as the UK, rather one would expect an organization like the PAS to be more deeply involved in efforts to tighten up the British legislation.

The pas and the global antiquities market
Of course anyone else who is not my co-author can comment on this fragment too (Nigel, comments offline please). That applies especially if you work for the PAS, for this book is mostly about you, now we've chucked out the chapters about metal detectorists (you'll see those in 2017/8). But if you work for the PAS you'll not be reading this blog anyway, will you?

Egypt’s Malawi Museum Reopened Three Years After Being Trashed

Egypt’s Malawi National Museum, located in El Minya, reopened on Thursday three years after it was ransacked and partially torched.
The restoration, which cost around EGP 10 million and was partly financed by the Italian government, provides a more educational experience for visitors. Malawi National Museum was ransacked, looted, and parts of it torched in August 2013 during violence that followed the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi. More than 1,000 antiquities spanning 3,500 years of history were reported to have been stolen, with the few remaining pieces left damaged. However, according to state media Al-Ahram, the majority of the pieces were eventually recovered by the Egyptian government after police promised not to prosecute anyone returning looted antiquities.
Vignette: Thoth ibis

Question for Tony Robinson

"My son Spike loves nature, and wants to become an ornithologist. Any advice? Is a pair of bird-nesting climbing boots a good present?"
Tony's answer,
tell him to join an ornithology club and, yes, the boots are a good idea but only if he does not use them "wantonly". Any eggs he pockets should be taken along to the local ornithologists who will make a record of them. Then it's OK.


What I want to know is why after millions and millions of pounds thrown at "archaeological outreach to the British public" which has lasted twenty years - you get a dumbass question like that. IS artefact hunting and collecting archaeology? No. No more than nesting and bird egg collecting is ornithology. We'll never get those twenty years back, PAS.

CifA Hates Artefact Hunting and Collecting?

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Code of Conduct published December 2014

1.6 A member shall know and comply with all laws applicable to his or her archaeological activities whether as employer or employee, and where appropriate withnational and international treaties, conventions and charters including annexes and schedules.

1.7 A member shall not knowinglybe employed by, or otherwise contract with, an individual or entity where the purpose of the contract is directly to facilitate the excavation and/or recovery of items from archaeological contexts for sale, and where such sale may lead to the irretrievable dispersal of the physical and/or intellectual archive, or where such sale may result in an undispersed archiveto which public access is routinely denied.

Cyprus promotes new convention to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property

In a move that hopefully will gather momentum, during its Presidency of the Council of Europe, between November 2016 to May 2017 Cyprus plans to organise a series of activities that would kick-start a new criminal law convention to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property (CNA News Service Cyprus promotes new convention to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property / Sept 23rd 2016)
Cyprus led a cross-regional Statement on the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflicts in the framework of the Human Rights Council. The statement was co-sponsored by a staggering number of 146 members and observer states of the HRC, thus [...] putting the issue of cultural heritage firmly in the Human Rights agenda.
The point is that the no-questions-asked buying of antiquities is simply a lack of respect by the buyers of the richer ('market') nations of the rights of the citizens of the countries whose past they so shamelessly and selfishly exploit. Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidesannounced that: 
in a few days, in collaboration with a core group of partners, Cyprus will present at the 33rd Session of the HRC in Geneva, a comprehensive Resolution on “Cultural rights and the protection of cultural heritage”. “Yet, what we see as imperative is the active role of the UN Security Council on this issue, and particularly on the crucial issue of the provenance of cultural artefacts. As you are well-aware, the main obstacle encountered in securing the restitution of looted cultural property is the proof of identification by the claimant country, especially for objects that have not been inventoried or adequately documented” [that is why dealers and collectors apparently routinely discard any documentation that they have for any antiquity PMB] the burden of proof must not fall to the claimant state for the blocking of auctioning suspicious objects and, eventually, for the restitution of artefacts.He pointed out that was is of most importance, is a robust UNSC Resolution through which purchases of artefacts originating from conflict zones are not considered “bona fide” purchases and which will apply universal limitations on the trade and transfer of artefacts originating from all conflict zones, with the obligation of proof of legitimate trade resting upon the traders, auction houses and buyers and not on the originating state.
and, in the circumstances, with trade-wide responsibility-laundering discarding of documentation of collecting history of the artefacts passing through it to avoid detection, this is how it now has to be. Dealers and collectors only have themselves to blame.

Vignette: Cyprus 

Don't Believe Lying Dealers

Candid comment:
“Generally, you have to be very careful of what a Middle Eastern antiquities dealer tells you,” said Lenny Wolfe, himself a Middle Eastern antiquities dealer based in Jerusalem. “You’re probably safer not believing it.”
Ben Harris, 'Medieval texts found in Afghan cave' Times of Israel January 25, 2012.


Poles demonstrated today against their current government which divides the nation and leads it away from EU values. A great time was had by all KODers.

One Born Every Minute

The ebay seller  ancientgas aka Dr Geoffrey A Smith (1061) is offering this unlovely item for a mere US $1,200
Part of my personal collection  it was adherent to a larger item ..? Shield face  I really think this was Mycenae Or a bit later Greek which was looted by the Celts thus in a Celtic dig site as an item of status. Ex Smith, Guaranteed
Maybe Mr Hooker (FSA) will be putting in a bid? Or offering an expert opinion? Or witholding it in collectors' solidarity? 

Stated provenance: "in a celtic dig site". In which country and under what circumstances it left that country and entered the (seemingly limitless) "Smith collection" are simply not stated, or why the previous owner cleaned only one face of it  - neither is the basis of the dating (analogies?) and trite narrativisation. The Celtic invasions of the Mycenaean realms are an as yet unknown episode of ancient historiography enlightened for us by the collector's ... um, .... 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

'Romani Bambino' statue brought back home to Gaziantep after 85 years

The ancient statue of “Romani Bambino,” a Roman child holding a cluster of pistachios,...

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)


While talking with Shayna Sheinfeld and Meredith Warren in Italy this summer, they suggested that it would be fun to organize a conference panel in which all the papers had the same title, with only the subtitle differing. The common title that we started with was “The Bird is the Word.” I can’t remember the ones [Read More...]

Jim Davila (

Congress volume for 15th IOSCS meeting, 2013

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Stökl Ben Ezra, Qumran

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Amal Clooney calls out the UN for the Yazidis

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The Memoirs of Og

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Mahnaz (ed.), Zoroastrianism

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Elena Cano (Γνωθι τους αλλους)


Ahora que la realidad virtual está adquiriendo en nuestras vidas una importancia tan capital y que la publicidad omnipresente nos empuja machaconamente a confundir realidad con deseo, no está nada mal recordar historias como la que cuenta este divulgador científico, que ilustra maravillosamente el papel de los mitos en la vida humana.

 La verdadera historia del descubrimiento de la penicilina:

Si te ha gustado la charla, puedes encontrar todas las de las jornadas de divulgación donde se pronunció aquí.

Compitum - publications

A. A. Barrett, E. Fantham et J. C. Yardley, The Emperor Nero: a guide to the ancient sources


Anthony A. Barrett, Elaine Fantham et John C. Yardley, The Emperor Nero: a guide to the ancient sources, Princeton, 2016.

Éditeur : Princeton University Press
xxvii, 300 pages
ISBN : 9780691156514
35 $

Nero's reign (AD 54–68) witnessed some of the most memorable events in Roman history, such as the rebellion of Boudica and the first persecution of the Christians—not to mention Nero's murder of his mother, his tyranny and extravagance, and his suicide, which plunged the empire into civil war. The Emperor Nero gathers into a single collection the major sources for Nero's life and rule, providing students of Nero and ancient Rome with the most authoritative and accessible reader there is.
The Emperor Nero features clear, contemporary translations of key literary sources along with translations and explanations of representative inscriptions and coins issued under Nero. The informative introduction situates the emperor's reign within the history of the Roman Empire, and the book's concise headnotes to chapters place the source material in historical and biographical context. Passages are accompanied by detailed notes and are organized around events, such as the Great Fire of Rome, or by topic, such as Nero's relationships with his wives. Complex events like the war with Parthia—split up among several chapters in Tacitus's Annals—are brought together in continuous narratives, making this the most comprehensible and user-friendly sourcebook on Nero available.

Lire la suite...

September 24, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Latin Teaching Materials at Saint Louis University

 [First posted on AWOL 10 December 2012, updated 24 September 2016]

Latin Teaching Materials at Saint Louis University
Claude Pavur
The ultimate outcomes of Latin studies relate to your quality of consciousness, and to the breadth and depth of your vision. You do not even know who you are if you have no memory. If you develop your memory of and appreciation of significant realities, if you learn how to judge what is helpful and admirable and what is not, then you are being helped to becoming a greater person yourself, that unique "greater person" that you are called to be. ("Become who you are!" says Pindar.) Latinity is a significant part of the past for us. We have to know it to more fully know who we are culturally, but it also gives us a wealth of material that can help us to fashion ourselves individually.

And see also AWOL's  list of

Liz Gloyn (Classically Inclined)

To Cyclops or not to Cyclops?

When I first came up with the Monster Book proposal, I decided I wanted to have the first half of the book think about some of the big issues around monsters and dedicate the second half to chapters focusing on individual case studies – the plan is for those to look at Medusa, the Minotaur, centaurs and sirens. As I’ve been starting to get to grips with the project, I’ve had to think about what I want to do about Polyphemus, the Cyclops who first turns up in Homer’s Odyssey. It’s funny, because when I initially thought about classical monsters, Polyphemus simply didn’t come into my mind.

If you read the original text, for me it’s a story not about what makes a monster, but how to be human. Polyphemus is one of a tribe of Cyclopes rather than a one-off beast. Yes, he eats some of Odysseus’ men and has every intention of eating all of them, but he only does so after discovering the company in his cave, rifling through it and breaking all the laws of guest-hospitality that should govern the first encounter between civilised peoples. Odysseus’ decision to rifle through Polyphemus’ possessions, essentially pillaging them, makes it clear he doesn’t think that Polyphemus is worth treating like an equal – so Polyphemus returns the contempt. So there’s appalling interpersonal relationships, but no worse than many of the humans that Odysseus meets on the rest of his travels.

However, although Polyphemus is an exaggerated human rather than a monster for Homer, in his later incarnations the trappings of civilization that surround him get stripped away. Eleanor OKell has written about this in the context of the cyclops created by Ray Harryhausen for The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, if you fancy reading more about this (the link goes to a PDF), but the general gist is that the social complexity of Polyphemus’ life, his co-existence with other Cyclopes, his command of language and his obvious competence in the complicated art of shepherding and cheese-making get overwhelmed by the man-eating and the single eye. In the process of transmission, he gets flattened out into a beast.

So I think my initial instinct on this is right, and I’m not going to spend too much of the book talking about Polyphemus or the Cyclops – he’s a special case, in that his monstrosity is imposed on him. It certainly wasn’t the only thing that the ancients associated with him – he fell in love with the sea nymph Galatea, who did not return his affections. Both Theocritus and Ovid wrote about Polyphemus’ unrequited love – not something you find when people are talking about the Chimera or the Minotaur. While it’s understandable that the Cyclops in contemporary popular culture has been trimmed down to a one-dimensional bogeyman, the price that’s paid is the humanity that Homer and other ancient poets saw in him.

Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

Did Chinese live in Roman London?


One of the latest discoveries from Roman London has just hit the news. "Chinese lived in Roman London" is the message (or "How did two Chinese skeletons find their way into a Roman Cemetery in London?" to quote the Daily Mail). Professional archaeologists have been a lot more cautious. But what is the truth about the two Chinese skeletons in ancient London ?

Well, it is absolutely obvious that Rome and Roman Britain were much more multi-cultural/multi-ethnic societies than has often been assumed. You can see exactly that in some of the epitaphs that survive (my favourite is put up to his wife near Hadrian's Wall by "Barates from Palmyra"). But there is increasing evidence from skeletal remains of a very wide diaspora ending up in Roman Britain. You find a sub-saharan ancestry for the so-called "Bangle lady" in York and "Beachy Head Woman" from East Dean; and that ancestry is largely judged from the shape of the skull. But recent science has gone a bit further.

New science can examine the teeth of ancient skeletons, and can work out something about the environment in which the person grew up while their adult teeth were forming in the jaw. It is still a bit rough and ready, but it is already possible to say, for example, that the dead person spent their early years in a climate much warmer than the one in which they died.

So where does it leave these  "Chinese" in Roman London?

Well, we have two skeletons whose skull formation suggests a far eastern ancestry. That is based simply on the shape of the skull, and it is a reasonaable but not fail-safe diagnostic. Their teeth composition strongly suggests that they had grown up somewhere warmer than Britain. None of this means that they came directly from China. There were all kinds of trading connections between Rome and China: that is where Roman silk came from, and Chinese sources seem to have called Rome "greater China". But the connections were as much indirect as direct. And the likely story is that if the skull morphology is correct (big "if") then these people were the grandchildren or great grandchildren of someone with some connection by marriage to China some way back, and part of a diaspora over generations.

That is to say, in other words , they attest to the multicultural world of the Roman empire. But they do not mean that these are a pair of people who made their way, in one generation,  from China to Rome.

If you want a clear and expert description on the science and its limitations, then try what  Kristina Killgrove has to say here.






Ancient Peoples

Mummified bullock with linen wrappings and geometric patterns...

Mummified bullock with linen wrappings and geometric patterns on chest, Roman Period Egypt (British Museum EA6773).    

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Bibliotheca Antiqua Numerica (l'Institut des Sciences et Techniques de l'Antiquité (ISTA) de l'Université de Franche-Comté)

Bibliotheca Antiqua Numerica

Bibliothèque en ligne Bibliotheca Antiqua Numerica

La BAN a pour objectif de présenter en ligne, aux chercheurs comme à tous les amateurs d'objets historiques, des ouvrages et des manuscrits appartenant au patrimoine de la Franche-Comté. Au cours de cette première étape, les documents proposés proviennent de la Bibliothèque d'étude et de conservation de Besançon.

La BAN est conçue et alimentée par l'Institut des Sciences et Techniques de l'Antiquité (ISTA) de l'Université de Franche-Comté, lequel développe des recherches, en lien avec les documents présentés dans la BAN, en particulier sur la réception et la transmission des savoirs antiques de la fin du Moyen Âge au XIXe siècle.

La BAN est soutenue par l'Université de Franche-Comté, le Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté, la ville de Besançon et la MSHE Claude-Nicolas Ledoux

6 fonds actuellement disponibles

Papiers Chifflet

  • 2 volume(s)

Papiers Granvelle

  • 8 volume(s)

La bibliothèque idéale (1547)

  • 1 volume(s)

Open Access Monograph Series: Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum

Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum
Les volumes du Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum sont en accès libre au format pdf, après une barrière mobile de deux ans pour les plus récents.
LoiAgraire647La partie africaine de la loi agraire de 111 av. J.-C. (lignes 43-95) eut pour but de trouver une solution à la situation des terres de l’Africa. Le bouleversement agraire et humain des décennies précédentes conduisirent le législateur – Marcus Baebius selon l’auteur – à résoudre les difficultés en confiant à un commissaire, le duovir, la mission de les régler sur la base de la distinction entre une terre publique grevée d’impôts, et des terres privées des colons, des acquéreurs des ventes publiques ou privées, des alliés. La loi a joué un rôle fondamental, au moins jusqu’aux réformes flaviennes et antonines. L’auteur. propose une analyse juridique et historique, une restitution et une traduction.
ArpentageAntiqTard 2013 150x208pxL'ouvrage reprend, traduit et commente des textes d'arpentage de l'Antiquité tardive ou destinés aux géomètres, édités par Karl Lachmann (Berlin, 1848). Les auteurs cités sont l'empereur Théodose Ier et le Préfet du Prétoire Néotorius, l'arpenteur Dolabella, la prophétesse étrusque Végoia. Le livre comprend aussi les extraits « De finium regundorum » intégrés au corpus gromatique.
Faisant suite à l'ouvrage publié par les PUFC en 2008, l'ouvrage envisage : le système de tracé des « limites » mis sous l'égide de l'empereur Théodose Ier et du Préfet du Prétoire Néotorius : cette Ratio limitum comprend huit parties ; un exposé illustré des « lettres des terres » qui rappelle les Casae litterarum ; des extraits des « Livres de Dolabella », particulièrement intéressants pour les liens qu'ils révèlent entre l'arpentage et la religion ; la célèbre prophétie de Végoia ; des extraits légèrement modifiés du Code Théodosien et du Digeste destinés aux géomètres. Deux appendices portant sur le Code Justinien (III, 29) et la signification du mot « praescriptio » éclairent ces documents juridiques.

Arpentage-admin 150x205pxL'ouvrage comprend, réalisés principalement à partir de l'edition de K. Lachmann, une traduction et un commentaire de textes émanant du bureau des géomètres perfectissimes de l'administration civile romaine sous la dynastie valentino-théodosienne. Ces passages sont susceptibles d'intéresser les historiens qui se demanderont pour quelle raison on relève une telle activité vers 400 ; les archéologues et les juristes y puiseront des informations sur l'organisation du sol et sur le bornage, les philologues purront être intéressés par la distinction qui est proposée entre notes de terrain et rapports élaborés, ainsi que par le vocabulaire technique.
CAR VII 150x205pxLes deux Libri coloniarum (« Libri des colonies ») rassemblent des notices administratives mises en forme au IVe siècle et concernant les cités des régions de l'Italie. Ils nous reseignent sur le statut des ces villes et sur l'organisation de leur territoire. Le présent volume offre la premieère traduction francaise complète des ces notices en regarde du texte latin de Lachmann que les auteurs ont amélioré et éclairé par des notes. Une introduction présente le problématique des Libri, et des annexes historiques, philologiques et linguistiques sont suivies d'indices latin exhaustifs.
CAR VI 150x232pxCet ouvrage publié par l'Action COST A 27 est le fruit d'une collaboration scientifique étroite entre plusieurs équipes de six pays au sein du WG 2 « Rural Landscapes ». L'étude des marqueurs des paysages culturels hérités constitue l'objectif prioritaire de notre Action qui est illustré très tôt, dès l'Antiquité, par les débats et controverses qui agitent, dans la longue durée, le monde rural.
Le texte qui suit, traité technique et pratique, insiste sur la multiplicité des modes de marquage, dont bien des traces subsistent encore partout en Europe, ce dont témoigne ce travail collectif. Nous avons ainsi pu mettre en évidence l'ancienneté des règlements juridiques et la pérennité des types codifiés de marqueurs - bornes, lignes d'arbres, chemins, talus, fossés, murets, terrasses de culture... - qui ont modelé les formes paysagères européennes en liaison avec les structures de la propriété.

Isidore Etymo15 150x207pxLe livre 15 de la grande encyclopédie d'Isidore de Séville (premier tiers du VIIe siècle) modélise une Cité des hommes fortement structurée aussi bien dans sa composante urbaine que dans l'organisation de son territoire. Les structures spatiales de l'urbs offrent le cadre dans lequel se maintient une ciuitas dont la permanence, posée comme une réalité par Isidore, assume et transcende la diversité des sources antiques que l'évêque de Séville juxtapose en une puissante synthèse. C'est dire que ce texte, qui n'avait encore jamais été traduit, est un élément de référence obligé pour les historiens et pour les anthropologues autant que pour les philologues.
CAR V 150x211pxLongtemps présentés comme un des acteurs gromatiques les plus anciens, il est désormais acquis qu'Hygin s'inscrit dans une fourchette chronologique précise qui le rattache au mouvement de reprise en main des terres par l'autorité de l'État, de Vespasien à trajan. Dans ce cadre, les sciences et les techniques gromatiques connaissent un regain de vitalité, regain auquel ont concouru les auteurs-patriciens cités ci-dessus. Hygin occupe peut-être une place originale dans ce renouveau, dans la mesure où il apparaît plus comme un abréviateur de thèmes et de problèmes évoqués plus largement par les autres auteurs gromatiques. Il ne faudrait pas cependant minimiser son intérêt puisqu'il nous permet souvent de mieux appréhender un certain nombre de problèmes, notamment grâce à l'utilisation d'un vocabulaire souvent original qui vient, de fait, élargir le lexique technique et nous offrir un tableau affiné de l'art des arpenteurs.
CAR IV-2 Frontin 150x221pxNous sommes en présence, comme chez Hygin l'Arpenteur, d'une tentative de formalisation du savoir technique des arpenteurs, mais également, et peut-être pour la première fois d'une manière aussi marquée, d'une formalisation juridique. Cette dernière s'exprime notamment à travers la classification qu'opère Frontin à propos des controverses sur les sols, les propriétés, les limites, etc. Cette typologie constitue le coeur d'un ouvrage, dont l'ultime partie, consacrée à l'"art de la mesure", a posé tant de questions aux chercheurs. Frontin, dans la production littéraire duquel l'oeuvre gromatique n'est qu'un aspect, modélise et tente de rationaliser une connaissance, pratique et savante, à destination d'un public d'arpenteurs que le dernier tiers du Ier siècle de notre ère met à contribution dans la réorganisation des terres publiques.
CAR IV-1 Hygin 150x224pxCe volume présente la première traduction d'un traité d'arpentage écrit au Ier siècle de notre ère, conservé et illustré par des manuscrits antiques et médiéveaux à partir du Ve siècle. L'ouvrage est consacré à la conception et à la construction des limites orthogonales qui dessinent et structurent les paysages volontaires antiques, dont l'orientation et le quadrillage symbolisent l'ordre cosmique et l'harmonie du monde. Mais si les principes de base ont déterminé un modèle d'organisation et d'aménagement hiérarchisé du territoire, il s'est adapté aux contraintes du milieu et aux nécessités de l'histoire. D'où l'existence de cas de figures multiples qu'illustrent les nombreuses vignettes. Le modèle, essentiellement consacré aux territoires des colonies, intègre en souplesse les divers niveaux, publics et privés, d'organisation spatiale, de production et de vie sociale. L'auteur présente ici le territoire de chaque cité, avec la place de son cadastre centurié, comme une image du monde.
CAR II-III 150x223pxCe livre rassemble les volume II et III du Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum. Il contient l'édition et la traduction du texte de Balbus : Présentation systméatique de toutes les figures, ainsi que le traité sur La mesure par pieds, et les textes connexes extraits d'Epaphrodite et de Vitrivius Rufus : La mesure des Jugères.

Current Epigraphy

TOPOI Supplément 14 (2016)

Topoi Supplément 14: L’Éolide dans l’ombre de Pergame, édité par Ivana Savalli-Lestrade à été publiée. Voici le sommaire:

I. Savalli-Lestrade, « L’Éolide comme espace régional et construction culturelle » 7-28

R. Hodot, « Dialecte, koinè, latin… État des lieux » 29-41

B. Helly, « Aioleis à Démétrias. De l’ethnique au démotique ? » 43-64

A. Grüner, « Theutrania. Eine kleinasiatische Polis der klassischen Zeit und ihre Bedeutung für die Herrschaftsideologie des attalidischen Pergamon » 65-86

A. Matthaei, « Atarneo. Una città all’ombra di Pergamo ? » 87-105

L. Meier, « L’établissement éolien d’Élaia et ses relations extérieures à l’époque hellénistique » 107-121

G. Ragone, « Territorio e formazione dell’identità nella regione tra il Caico e l’Ermo » 123-169

R. Pace, « Kyme eolica in età classica ed ellenistica. Uno sguardo attraverso le necropoli » 171-197

Cl. Biagetti et A. Serrano Méndez, « “All’ombra di Archippe”. A proposito di un’iscrizione monumentale da Cuma eolica » 199-228

J. Chameroy et I. Savalli-Lestrade, « Pergame, cité et capitale dynastique au miroir de la prosopographie interne et des trouvailles monétaires » 229-284

D. Kassab, « La petite plastique de Myrina inspirée de la grande plastique de Pergame » 285-302

Chr. Schuler, « Die Aiolis in regionalgeschichtlicher Perspektive. Zugänge und Schwierigkeiten » 303-319

BiblePlaces Blog

Weekend Roundup

Digital imaging technology has virtually opened an ancient scroll from En Gedi to reveal the first two chapters of Leviticus. The publication in Science Advances includes a number of photos. Another article published in Textus is also online. The portions deciphered so far exactly match the Masoretic Text, but the radiocarbon date of 3rd-4th centuries AD differs from the paleographer’s date to the 1st or 2nd centuries.

The discovery of a menorah at Abila provides the first evidence of Jewish presence at this city of the Decapolis.

2,000-year-old human skeleton remains have been found buried at sea near a shipwreck at Antikythera, Greece.

A fisherman's house from the Ottoman period was discovered along the beach in Ashkelon.

Bedouin youths have helped to excavate Byzantine-era farm buildings in the Negev.

A new virtual reality tour in Jerusalem takes “visitors” inside the Temple. There’s a short video clip here.

Archaeologists plan to finish reconstruction work on Laodicea’s Hellenistic theater within three years.

The Malawi Archaeological Museum in Minya was reopened this week after three years of renovation.

Omar Ghul, an epigrapher at Yarmouk University, discusses important inscriptions discovered in Jordan.

Laïla Nehmé is interviewed by Ancient History Etc. about the history of the Nabateans.

Ferrell Jenkins concludes his series on Iznik (Nicea) with a post on the modern city and its vicinity.

Wayne Stiles considers the history and the lessons from Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

Chris McKinny will be lecturing at Texas A&M Corpus Christi on October 3 on the Late Bronze finds from Tel Burna.

On sale for Kindle for $2.99: Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith?, edited by James K. Hoffmeier and Dennis R. Magary. I require several of the chapters for at least one course I teach.

Mordechai Gichon died this week.

Ferrell Jenkins remembers Erle Verdun Leichty on the announcement of his passing.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Cave paintings found in southern Turkey date back to the prehistoric era

Archaeologists announced the discovery of 10 cave paintings in the southern city of Mersin on Friday...

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

Die griechische Kolonisation im nördlichen Schwarzmeerraum vom 7. bis 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr.

Fornasier, J. (2016) : Die griechische Kolonisation im nördlichen Schwarzmeerraum vom 7. bis 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr., Bonn. Cet ouvrage se propose d’étudier la colonisation du nord de la mer Noire dans une perspective comparée. La colonisation est étudiée sur … Lire la suite

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Crowdsourcing Creation in Popular Culture

Having just submitted an article that I had been working on, I am shifting to my next projects which will be a focus of attention in coming months. One of them is a reference article on creation in popular culture. I thought I would ask for input from a wider community, not in producing the [Read More...]

L’Association Française pour l’étude de l’âge du Fer (Le Blog de l'AFEAF)

Vix et le phénomène princier. Colloque à Châtillon-sur- Seine. 27-28 octobre 2016

Le colloque international « Vix et le phénomène princier » aura lieu les 27 et 28 octobre 2016. Lieu : Salle Luc Schréder rue Albert Camus 21400 Châtillon sur Seine     Contacts :`

Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

Cyprus Turns its Back on the Common Law Tradition

By advocating for an international convention that would reverse the burden of proof and place it on auction houses selling antiquities, Cyprus has turned further away from its past Common Law traditions as part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Auction Houses can and should be more transparent about what is known about an object's provenance, but proposals that call for a reversal of the burden of proof are more appropriate for Middle Eastern dictatorships than for democracies like Cyprus.

And as one of the comments to the linked Cyprus Mail article mentions, in any event perhaps it's not the best time for Cyprus to make such demands given that ongoing matter in Paphos

Jim Davila (

The case of the missing verse

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Armitage, Theories of Poverty in the World of the New Testament

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Syriac inscriptions from Kazakhstan

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NovT TC reviews

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James Hamrick (The Ancient Bookshelf)

Chung Hyun Kyung Resources

A little bit of bibliographic information I put together for those interested in learning more about salimist theologian Chung Hyun Kyung:

The Oldest Humans, Aboriginal Australians

A genetic and cultural analysis, published in Nature, of 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 Papuans from New Guinea suggests there was just one wave of humans out of Africa, 72,000 years ago. These these early migrants gave rise to all contemporary non-Africans, including indigenous Australians and Papuans. This group descended directly from the first people to inhabit the continent some 50,000 years ago. That makes them world’s longest running civilization.

Lockhart River dance troupe at the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival. Laura, Queensland, Australia. COPYRIGHT:© Andrew Watson

Lockhart River dance troupe at the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival. Laura, Queensland, Australia. COPYRIGHT:© Andrew Watson

Manjinder Sandhu, a senior author from the Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge, stated,

“Our results suggest that, rather than having left in a separate wave, most of the genomes of Papuans and Aboriginal Australians can be traced back to a single ‘Out of Africa’ event which led to modern worldwide populations. There may have been other migrations, but the evidence so far points to one exit event.”

The ancestoral split from this pioneering group around 58,000 years ago as these prehistoric Australians and Papuans continued to make their eastward journey. “Sahul”—a prehistoric supercontinent that connected Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania was occupied around 8,000 years later, and the rising sea levels isolated them off from the rest of the world about 10,000 years ago. They’ve been there ever since.

There are several other intriguing findings of this study. For starters, the authors uncovered genetic evidence that points to the existence of an unknown human species, possibly Denisovans, that interbred with anatomically modern humans as they migrated through Africa. The researchers also presented new perspectives on how Aboriginal culture itself developed. An internal migration happened some 4,000 years ago, explaining the presence of younger languages and the emergence of new stone technologies in the archaeological record.

Filed under: Blog, Physical Anthropology Tagged: australia, genetics, human evolution, peopling of australia, Physical Anthropology, population genetics

Archaeology Magazine

Rare Roman-Era Coffin May Have Been Reused

Roman Sarcophagus BurialDORSET, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that a limestone sarcophagus holding the remains of a Roman man was uncovered in a quarry in southwest England by a team from Thames Valley Archaeologist Services. The researchers said that the burial was unusual because the man’s feet had been bent backwards so that his body would fit in the coffin. “In the Roman period, burial in a sarcophagus was moderately common in Italy but very unusual in Britain, where even wooden coffins seem to have been rare,” said archaeologist Steve Ford. He thinks the sarcophagus, which would have been a prestigious item, may have been reused. An initial examination of the bones did not reveal any signs of disease. Further investigation into the cause of death are underway. For more on Roman Britain, go to "Artifact: Roman Eagle Sculpture."

Geoglyphs Mapped in Southern Peru

Peru Quilcapampa geoglyphsTORONTO, CANADA—Live Science reports that dozens of circular geoglyphs of varying sizes have been recorded in southern Peru, near the ancient town of Quilcapampa. Many of the images, dated to between A.D. 1050 and 1400, were created by removing stones from the surface of the ground. Justin Jennings of the Royal Ontario Museum and his colleagues mapped the intertwined rings with satellite imagery, aerial drones, and ground surveys, and found that they had been placed near trade routes. The researchers suggest that the circular images may reflect the continuous movement of people, goods, and food along the route linking the coast and the highland. Some of the geoglyphs are accompanied by cairns, or rock piles, as part of the design. To read about another massive site in Peru, go to "An Overlooked Inca Wonder."

Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

Chinese Skeletons In Roman Britain? Not So Fast

Were Chinese skeletons just found in Roman London? The picture is much more complicated than that.

Archaeology Magazine

Possible Iron Age Broch Discovered in Scotland

Scotland Iron Age brochABERDEEN, SCOTLAND—Shetland News reports that Michael Stratigos of the University of Aberdeen and underwater archaeologist Sally Evans think they may have found the remains of an Iron Age broch—a type of hollow-walled stone roundhouse found only in Scotland on an islet in the Loch of Strom. The site consists of a large mound with a small, circular depression in its center. Possible stone piers have also been found. “If it’s not a broch and is an Iron Age house, then it’s still significant because we don’t have many large Iron Age houses, and we should have more,” commented archaeologist Val Turner of the Shetland Amenity Trust. Stratigos said that part of the broch may have already been lost to erosion. “It is difficult to say how well preserved the site is without taking back some or all of the vegetation, something that would undoubtedly speed up the decay of the site,” he explained. To read more, go to "Hillforts of the Iron Age." 

Cambodia’s Forestry Officials Foil Suspected Looters

Cambodian Statues RecoveredSIEM REAP, CAMBODIA—The Cambodia Daily reports that forestry official Mom Bun Lim, chief of the Banteay Srei division, seized two tenth-century sandstone sculptures after pursuing a car on rural roads for several hours. He noted that the vehicle seemed overloaded, and suspected the two occupants were carrying a load of illegal timber. He called for reinforcements to cut the driver off when he neared a populated area. The illegal cargo turned out to be two ancient sandstone sculptures that may have been stolen from the remote site of the Koh Ker temple in Preah Vihear province, which is located about 75 miles away, since the region around the Angkor Archaeological Park is well guarded. Anthropologist Ang Choulean of the Royal University of Fine Arts said that antiquities thefts were “a pretty frequent occurrence in the 1990s, but it’s been years since we’ve heard talk of thieves.” To read more, go to "The Battle Over Preah Vihear."

September 23, 2016

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Iconography of Deities and Demons in the Ancient Near East

[First posted in AWOL 4 March 2010. Updated 23 September 2016]

IDD - Iconography of Deities and Demons in the Ancient Near East
Iconography of Deities and Demons in the Ancient Near East (IDD) is designed as a companion to the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (DDD), edited by Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter van der Horst (Leiden: Brill, 2nd edition 1999). Its focus will be on visual sources, which are essential for interpreting the religious symbol systems of antiquity. 

IDD will not restrict itself to DDD's selection of lemmata. As a matter of fact, numerous DDD lemmata do not have visual correlatives; on the other hand, visual sources attest 'icon types', which cannot always be identified or labeled with a divine name. Moreover, while DDD demonstrates how many of the Near Eastern deities and demons have found their place into the Bible in some way or another, there are others, including major deities, who are not mentioned in the Bible and thus remain absent from DDD. 

Our project aims at restoring the balance by establishing a selection of lemmata on an historical and archaeological basis: IDD should refer to all major deities and demons of the areas covered, regardless of whether they are attested in the Bible or not. On the other hand, in order to control the material boundaries of IDD, we take the 'biblical world' to cover the Eastern Mediterranean and Near Eastern area to the extent that were part of the biblical writers' geographical horizon. Wherever possible, reference will be made to visual evidence attested on objects recovered from known archaeological contexts in Palestine/Israel.
Electronic Pre-Publications

Note that electronic pre-published articles are subject to change. Presently lacking information is indicated in red. The articles and illustrations are provided as PDF. Illustrations cannot be printed. Most of the drawings were made by Ulrike Zurkinden-Kolberg (Düdingen, Switzerland). Currently a total of 135 documents are published.
Regional introductory essays (3) Illustrations (3)
Dictionary entries (73) Illustrations (56)
Amurru • Anahita • Anat • Ancient of days • Apkallu • Apophis • Ariel • Ashera • Ashima • Astarte • Aya • Azazel Baal • Baal Hammon • Baalshamem/Belshamin • Bastet/Sekhmet (Levant, Phoenician colonies) • Constellations (Egypt) • Crocodile • Dagan • Dog • Donkey • Enlil/Mullil • Female solar deities • Figure in nimbus • Fly Gad • God on serpent throne • Gula • Hare • Harpocrates • Hatmehit • Heh • Heracles • Human-headed winged bull (“Aladlammu”) • Iconography of Animals in the Representation of the Divine (Palestine/Israel) • Ishara • Kassite cross • Khonsu • King (Levant) • Lamp Marduk • Mekal • Melqart • Milkom • Min • Mistress-of-animals • Mithra • Monkey • Mountain god (Aegean) • Mountain god (Ancient Near East) • Narunde • Ninkhursaga • Nusku • Onuris • Ostrich • Pataikos • Pazuzu • Qudshu • Ra • Rakib-El • Resheph • Rooster • Salmu • Scorpion • Sherua • Spade • Stylus • Swine (Palestine/Israel) • Tammuz • Teraphim • Typhon • Vulture • Yam
Online IDD Database

ArcheoNet BE

Kerk Sint-Agatha-Rode geeft geheimen prijs

Tijdens opgravingen in de kerk van Sint-Agatha-Rode (Huldenberg) heeft een team van Studiebureau Archeologie de voorbije weken de resten van een oudere kerk uit de 11de eeuw blootgelegd. Ook werden verschillende graven gevonden onder de vloer van de kerk. Wie benieuwd is naar de vondsten, kan nu zondag 25 september de opgravingen bezoeken. Van 11u30 tot 18u worden er rondleidingen voorzien.

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

A new translation of Agapius into Italian, plus the publication of two more pages of the text

A correspondent has drawn our attention to a rarity – a new translation of the Arabic Christian writer, Agapius of Hierapolis (or Mahbub ibn Qustantin, in the graceless phrase of that language).  It is a translation into Italian, by Bartolomeo Pirone, who translated Eutychius back in the 80s.  Here’s the front cover:


Bartolomeo Pirone, Agapio di Gerapoli: Storia universale, Edizioni Terra Santa (2013), series: Monographiae vol. 21.  Links:,, and the Italian site of the publishers.  The ISBN is 978-88-6240-164-7, it is 494 pages long, and available for around $50, which is quite a lot.

For anyone interested in Arabic Christian studies who knows Italian, this is probably a must-buy.  The histories that a language group write about themselves are always the first items to read.

It is now a few years since I converted the old French translation of Agapius into English, and placed it online.  The second half of the work exists in only a single, water-damaged manuscript in Florence, Ms. Laurenziana Or. 323.  A few years ago Robert Hoyland went to look at the manuscript, and discovered that it had been conserved, and two pages, previously stuck together, were now readable!  He published them with an English translation; and has now uploaded that to here.  Which is rather marvellous, really!

Archaeological News on Tumblr

New broch site excites archaeologists

The remains of what could be an Iron Age broch have been identified in a loch near Whiteness by a...

The Archaeology News Network

8,000 year old cave paintings found in southern Turkey

Archaeologists announced the discovery of 10 cave paintings in the southern city of Mersin (Greek Myrsini) on Friday and said they dated back about 8,000 years ago. The paintings discovered in a cave in the city's Gülnar district were almost fully intact, scientists said at a press conference. The discovery sheds light on the prehistoric period of the region formerly known as Cilicia. Professor Murat Durukan of Mersin University and...

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Jim Davila (

Tilly et al. (ed.), L'adversaire de Dieu

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The Los Lunas inscription, once more

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Roman skeleton with 'bent feet' found at Dorset quarry

The skeleton of a Roman man who had his feet bent backwards to fit in his coffin has been found in a...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: ISMAgazine: Periodico di informazione dell’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico (ISMA-CNR)

ISMAgazine: Periodico di informazione dell’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico (ISMA-CNR)
ISSN: 2385-300X
L’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico (ISMA) è nato nel 2013, dalla fusione dell’Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltà Italiche e del Mediterraneo Antico (ISCIMA) e dell’Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltà dell’Egeo e del Vicino Oriente (ICEVO). Svolge ricerche interdisciplinari di carattere storico, archeologico e filologico-epigrafico relative ad una vasta area geografica e ad un ampio arco cronologico: le attività dell’Istituto, infatti, riguardano le civiltà antiche del Vicino Oriente e del bacino del Mediterraneo (Egeo, area etrusco-italica e fenicio-punica, età classica e tardo-antica), coprendo un periodo che va dal IV millennio a.C. fino ai primi secoli della nostra era.
Dal punto di vista metodologico i metodi della ricerca storica sono integrati da archeometria e informatica, con lo scopo di realizzare anche soluzioni innovative avanzate applicabili alle fonti storiche, ai dati archeologici e a quelli epigrafico-linguistici. L’Istituto intrattiene strette collaborazioni con Enti locali, Soprintendenze, Musei ed altre Istituzioni nazionali e con Enti di ricerca e Istituzioni di numerosi Paesi stranieri europei ed extra-europei.
Periodico di informazione dell’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico (ISMA-CNR)Coordinamento: Alessandro NasoRedazione: Lucia Alberti, Vincenzo Bellelli, Marco bonechi, Massimo Botto, Alessandra Caravale, Carla SfameniCuratori: Alessandra Caravale, Marco BonechiProgetto grafico, ricerca iconografica, impaginazione, elaborazioni e trattamento delle immagini:Marcello Bellisario, Laura Attisani
1 – Settembre 2014
N° 2 – Luglio 2015

Open Access Journal: World Archeological Congress e-Newsletters

[First posted in AWOL 13 August 2009. Updated 23 September 2016]

World Archeological Congress e-Newsletters
The email newsletter of the World Archaeological Congress was established to facilitate communication between the WAC Executive and WAC members, and amongst WAC members. It is issued every two months. We invite members to submit material for inclusion in the newsletter.

Volume 42 December 2013 (PDF)
Volume 41 November 2012 (PDF)
Volume 40 May 2012 (PDF)
Volume 39 December 2011 (PDF)
Volume 38 April 2011 (PDF)
Volume 37 April 2011 (PDF)
Volume 36 January 2011 (PDF)
Volume 35 November 2010 (PDF)
Volume 34 September 2010 (PDF)
Volume 33 May 2010 (PDF)
Volume 32 March 2010 (PDF)
Volume 32 December 2009 (PDF)
Volume 30 October 2009 (PDF)
Volume 29 June 2009 (PDF)
Volume 27 April 2009 (PDF)
Volume 26 February 2009 (PDF)
Volume 25 December 2008 (PDF)
Volume 24 October 2008 (PDF)
Volume 23 August 2008 (PDF)
Volume 22 June 2008 (PDF)
Volume 21 April 2008 (PDF)
Volume 20 February 2008 (PDF)
Volume 19 December 2007 (PDF)
Volume 18 October 2007 (PDF)
Volume 17 August 2007 (PDF)
Volume 16 June 2007 (PDF)
Volume 15 April 2007 (PDF)
Volume 14 February 2007 (PDF)
Volume 13 December 2006 (PDF)
Volume 12 October 2006 (PDF)
Volume 11 August 2006 (PDF)
Volume 10 June 2006 (PDF)
Volume 9 April 2006 (PDF)
Volume 8 February 2006 (PDF)
Volume 7 December 2005 (PDF)
Volume 6 October 2005 (PDF)
Volume 5 June 2005 (PDF)
Volume 4 April 2005 (PDF)
Volume 3 February 2005 (PDF)
Volume 2 December 2004 (PDF)
Volume 1 October 2004 (PDF)

Open Access Journal: Archeologia e Calcolatori

[First posted in AWOL 8 June 2009. Updated 23 September 2016]

Archeologia e Calcolatori
Istituto per l'archeologia etrusco-italica.; Università di Siena. Dipartimento di archeologia e storia delle arti.
ISSN 1120-6861
Archeologia e Calcolatori
The first issue of Archeologia e Calcolatori was published in 1990 on the initiative of the Istituto per l'Archeologia Etrusco-Italica (now Istituto di Studi sulle civiltà italiche e del Mediterraneo antico) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), together with the Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti of the University of Siena. Edizioni All'Insegna del Giglio in Florence were chosen as the publishers because of their long-established experience in the publication of journals and books relating to archaeology.

The stimulus to establish a new journal came from an analysis of this field of studies in Italy. In fact, whilst growing interest and various applications allowed for the recognition of the positive introduction of computers in archaeology, the obvious need emerged to create a stable point of reference, in order to collect projects and diffuse the results of Italian research internationally.
Such a publication had been lacking up till then. As a result, the journal was established with the idea of publishing in a homogeneous and systematical way the results of computer research carried out in the field of historical archaeology, offering an up-to-date edition of projects in progress both in Italy and abroad: thus, the way was paved for new developments in computer application.
Index by Year

Archeologia e Calcolatori 1990  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1991  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1992  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1993  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1994  









Archeologia e Calcolatori 1995  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1996  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1997  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1998 nuovi pdf
Archeologia e Calcolatori 1999 nuovi pdf
1998 pdf  
1999 pdf  









Archeologia e Calcolatori 2000  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2001  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2002  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2003  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2004  
2000 pdf  
2001 pdf  
2002 pdf  
2003 pdf  
2004 pdf  









Archeologia e Calcolatori 2005  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2006  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2007  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2008  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2009  
2005 pdf  
2006 pdf  
2007 pdf  
2008 pdf  
2009 pdf  









Archeologia e Calcolatori 2010  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2011  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2012  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2013  
Archeologia e Calcolatori 2014  
2010 pdf  
2011 pdf  
2012 pdf  
2013 pdf  
2014 pdf  









Archeologia e Calcolatori 2015  
2015 pdf  











The Archaeology News Network

Unusual burials unearthed at ancient cemetery in Georgia

Two headless skeletons and a burial of a skull are among the discoveries of Georgian-Polish team of archaeologists during excavations in the ancient cemetery Beshtasheni in the region of Lower Kartli, south-eastern Georgia. The largest tomb discovered during this season - bronze strip visible in the upper right corner.  The "pedestal vessel" is located in the upper left corner [Credit: Dimitri Narimanisvhili]In total, during the...

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Christopher Heard (Higgaion)

Deeper black, whiter pale

ltbylbA very distinguished journalist used a very ill-considered metaphor today, illustrating just how far we white folk have to go in rooting out deep-seated prejudices that may manifest themselves despite our own best efforts. While considering the relatively small polling gap between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote of Mr. Trump, “Every week he manages to stain his character a deeper shade of black” (my emphasis).

This metaphor suggests that misbehavior makes you blacker. In a time when being a large black man instantly gets Terence Crutcher labeled “a bad dude” by an observer in a helicopter, we white people must pay more attention to the metaphors we use. Equating blackness with misbehavior, even metaphorically, undermines the attempts we might otherwise make to treat black folk with dignity and respect. It’s not just arguing over words. Breaking the metaphorical link between blackness and evil can be an important component of uprooting deep-seated personal prejudices and systemic biases. (Insert obligatory reference to Lakoff’s and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By here.)

To anticipate one possible objection, I don’t in the least think that Mr. Brooks specifically chose that metaphor with the intention of disparaging black people. I can’t even imagine that of him. But that’s a part of what makes this conversation so important: we have to expose our own blind spots. Mr. Brooks could have written “manages to stain his character more deeply” or “manages to stain his character further” or “manages to stain his character again” or something like that without compromising his point in the least. But somehow, it felt natural to Mr. Brooks to qualify the stain on Mr. Trump’s character as “black.” And we need to make that feel unnatural if we white folk are ever going to get over feeling that we’re inherently superior to black folk.

To anticipate another possible objection, I understand and accept that Mr. Brooks was probably thinking of the jet black color of licorice, “RGB(0,0,0),” not the range of skin tones characteristic of, say, Barack and Michelle Obama, usually labeled as shades of brown in a box of crayons. If you hear that Mrs. Obama wore a black dress, you don’t immediately think the dress blended into her skin. But in our cultural moment, I think we need to refuse ourselves refuge in this sort of distinction when it comes to metaphors that attach value judgments to colors. “Black-like-licorice is bad” just bleeds over far too easily into “black-like-Barack is bad.” We know all too well nowadays how pervasive, and how damaging, the latter type of association can be.

Given Mr. Trump’s seeming disdain for black Americans (or at least very clumsy missteps in courting black voters), and his apparent popularity among American white supremacists, it is particularly jarring to think of Mr. Trump’s misbehavior making him blacker week by week. Would it not be more accurate to say that Mr. Trump’s particular varieties of misbehavior make him whiter week by week? Would we white Americans have read so easily past Mr. Brooks’s metaphor—would we have noticed it more readily, would we have been more uncomfortable, would we even have taken it as negative—if he had written that Mr. Trump’s misbehavior “manages to bleach his character a whiter shade of pale”?

Ancient Peoples

Wooden anthropoid coffin of Taiuy; painted detail on plaster...

Wooden anthropoid coffin of Taiuy; painted detail on plaster including rishi-pattern and Hieroglyphic text. Thebes, Egypt, 17th dynasty.

British Museum EA54350

The Archaeology News Network

Roman skeleton with 'bent feet' found at Dorset quarry

The skeleton of a Roman man who had his feet bent backwards to fit in his coffin has been found in a quarry in Dorset. Tests are being carried out to find out how the man died  [Credit: Hills Quarry]Archaeologists made the discovery at Woodsford, near Dorchester, where they have been carrying out excavations for several years. Thames Valley Archaeological Services said the man died in his 20s or 30s. Tests are being carried out...

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What does our Iceman Ötzi sound like?

The team behind Ötzi the Iceman reconstructed his vocal cords using a series of CT scans. They announced the project back in February. After recontrustrion of the length of the larynx, they then ran that data through mathematical models and special software to simulate how the vocal tract works. The result—presented yesterday at a conference is a rough digital approximation of a prehistoric voice.

So what does our man Ötzi sound like? It’s a rough, gravelly kind of male voice, reminiscent to some of a chain smoker. Mind you, they still need to incorporate the effects of soft tissues in the mouth and throat, as well as the tension and density of the vocal cords, to get a more accurate reconstruction. but have a listen here:

Read more about it at Discover.

Filed under: Asides, Audio, Blog, Linguistic Anthropology, Physical Anthropology Tagged: Ötzi, human evolution, Linguistic Anthropology, paleoanthropology, Physical Anthropology

The Archaeology News Network

Fountain in ancient city of Kibyra to be restored

Water will flow again from a 2,000-year-old fountain unearthed during ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Kibyra, located in south-west Turkey, near the modern town of Gölhisar. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Asst. Prof. Şükrü Özüdoğru, head of the excavation team and an academician at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University's Department of Archaeology, said excavations have been conducted since 2006. Pointing out that they jump-started...

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Jim Davila (

Still more on the Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Study offers new insights to the Franklin Expedition mystery

A new study by University of Glasgow researchers may give further insight to the deaths of all 129...

The Archaeology News Network

Ancient graves found in northeast Libya

Two ancient graves have been discovered in the oasis town of Awjila, which date back to the 4th century BC, archaeologists say. The Benghazi-based Libyan Department of Antiquities said it is the most important and greatest archaeological discovery in Libyan history. It's only the chance that led to this important discovery. A local resident from Awjila was leveling a piece of land to build a new house on it when he suddenly found...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Cochno Stone reburied

The “most important Neolithic cup and ring marked rock art panel in Europe”, which was...

Ring-Shaped Geoglyphs Found Near Ancient Town in Peru

Dozens of circular geoglyphs, some comprising several intertwined rings, have been identified and...

The Archaeology News Network

Chinese outrage over ‘ugly’ restoration of Great Wall

Chinese social media users were in an uproar Friday over restoration of a 700-year-old section of the Great Wall that has been covered in cement, turning it into a smooth, flat-topped path. A villager sits on a paved-over section of the Great Wall of China  [Credit: AFP/Getty Images]Known as one of the most beautiful portions of the "wild", unrestored wall, the eight-kilometre (five-mile) Xiaohekou stretch in northeast Liaoning...

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ArcheoNet BE

Onder Torhoutse voeten

Van 24 september tot 14 oktober loopt in het stadskantoor van Torhout de tentoonstelling ‘Onder Torhoutse voeten’. De tentoonstelling, een initiatief van de Torhoutse geschied- en heemkundige kring, biedt een overzicht van 75 jaar archeologisch onderzoek in de West-Vlaamse stad.

De Geschied- en Heemkundige Kring het Houtland-Torhout startte 75 jaar geleden zijn werking met archeologisch onderzoek. De laatste jaren was er binnen de vereniging opnieuw meer aandacht voor het archeologisch verhaal van de stad. De tentoonstelling wil een overzicht bieden van wat er in de periode van 75 jaar werd gevonden. Voor het eerst worden de resultaten zo uitgebreid getoond aan het ruime publiek. Ook kan je kennis maken met de meer recente vondsten.

De expo toont vondsten uit de middeleeuwen, Romeinse tijd, prehistorie, Eerste Wereldoorlog… De voorwerpen worden in een ruimer kader geplaatst, zodat je beter begrijpt wat ze betekenen. Een aanrader voor iedereen met interesse in de geschiedenis van de stad Torhout en zijn omgeving.

Praktisch: de tentoonstelling is te bezoeken tijdens de openingsuren van het Stadskantoor (Aartrijksestraat 11b, Torhout)

AIA Fieldnotes

Petrified Forest International Archaeology Day

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Petrified Forest National Park
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Petrified Forest National Park will be celebrating International Archaeology Day with short tours, exhibits, and back-country hikes. At 9:30, join us for a back-country hike to McCreery Pueblo, a unique pueblo with a great kiva that was used around 1100 (RSVP required). Stop in at Puerco Pueblo any time between 10-3 for short tours of the pueblo, to see artifact displays and archaeology exhibits, learn about our latest research in the park, and participate in kids archaeology activities.


Amy Schott
Call for Papers: 

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

One Born Every Minute

'Find' from Inverurie:
Antiques - Antiquities - British- 
"Metel detecting bronze find. Was found a lot of years ago and I have a pritty good idea this is very old."
Arrr obviously "write like a pirate week". Which goes to show you really should not trust anything a metal detectorist says. Somebody paid 225 quid for this on stubby-fingered seller's say-so.

hat-tip to David Gill

AIA Fieldnotes

Goddesses, Whores, Vampires and Archaeologists: Excavating Ancient Mytilene

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Classical Association of Canada, Archaeological Institute of America New Brunswick Society, the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of New Brunswick
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Friday, September 23, 2016


Dr. Hector Williams, University of British Columbia: Goddesses, Whores, Vampires and Archaeologists:  Excavating Ancient Mytilene, Friday, September 23, 2016, 7:30 pm. University of New Brunswick Archives. Classical Association of Canada, Eastern Lecture Tour 2016-2017.

With support from the Archaeological Institute of New Brunswick and the Department of Classics and Ancient History UNB.



AIA Society: 
Maria Papaioannou
Call for Papers: 

The Heroic Age

Call for Papers: Fifth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO
June 19-21, 2017

The Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies provides a convenient summer venue in North America for scholars in all disciplines to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern worlds.
We invite proposals for papers, sessions, and roundtables on all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and early modern studies. Proposals from learned societies and scholarly associations are particularly welcome. The deadline for proposals submissions is December 31.
The plenary speakers for this year will be Christopher Baswell, of Barnard College and Columbia University, and Bruce Campbell, of Queen's University, Belfast.
The Symposium is held on the beautiful midtown campus of Saint Louis University, hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. On-campus housing options include affordable, air-conditioned apartments and a luxurious boutique hotel. Inexpensive dorm meal plans are available.
All sessions take place in state-of-the-art classrooms and auditoriums with complete audiovisual facilities. All sessions, events, meals, and housing are located within easy walking distance of each other. A rich variety of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues are also only a short walk away.
During their stay, participants are welcome to utilize the Vatican Film Library as well as the rare book and manuscript collections of the nearby Pius XII Library. Those interested in using the Vatican Film library, should contact Susan L'Engle ( by email or phone at 314-977-3090. Participants may also use the library's regular collections, which are especially strong in medieval and early modern studies.
All sessions are 90 minutes long. A variety of session formats are welcome. Preference will be given to organized sessions that involve participants from multiple institutions.

The John Doran Prize - $500
Dr. John Doran (1966-2012) was senior lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Chester, UK, and an expert in the history of the papacy and the city of Rome. In honor of his commitment to scholarly excellence, the annual John Doran Prize recognizes outstanding work by a graduate student. The author of the winning paper will receive $500 and the option to have their paper published in the journal Allegorica. The prize is endowed by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. Submissions are due by April 31, and the winner will be announced at the Symposium. More info at
Fifth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies
June 19-21, 2017

Société Internationale des Amis de Cicéron (Tulliana News)

SIAC Newsletter 116 (19/2016)

Les noms des membres de la SIAC sont en gras. – I nomi dei membri della SIAC sono in grassetto. – Names of SIAC members are written with bold characters.



– Valeria Marchetti – membro scientifico – Göttingen – Germania

– Mattia Calcagno – membro ordinario – Rivalta di Torino – Italia



– Di Pinto, L., Riflessioni in tema di edictum. Testimonianze ciceroniane e letteratura edittale del III secolo d. C., “Koinonia”, 39, 2015, 303-331. LINK

– Fraňo, Peter, Termín prudentia v spisoch Marca Tullia Cicerona [Prudentia in the Writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero], “Filozofia”, 71, 5, 2016, 401-409. LINK

– Kany-Turpin, José (éd.), Cicéron, Fins des biens et des maux, Paris, Garnier-Flammarion, 2016. LINK

– Pierre, Maxime, Carmen. Étude d’une catégorie sonore romaine, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2016 [Cicéron et les caprices des poètes; Cicéron: Discours, lois et formules efficaces; Les vaticinations de Cicéron]. LIEN

– Santos, Dominique, As invasões de César à Bretanha repercutem no senado romano: uma análise das cartas de Cícero (Q fr ii, 15; Q fr iii, 1; fam. vii, 5; fam. vii, 7), “Oficina do Historiador”, 9, 1, 2016, 325-340. LINK

– Sillett, Andrew, Quintus Cicero’s Commentariolum: A Philosophical Approach to Roman Elections, in Edmund P. Cueva & Javier Martínez (eds.), Splendide Mendax. Rethinking Fakes and Forgeries in Classical, Late Antique, and Early Christian Literature, Eelde, Barkhuis, 2016, 177-192. LINK

– Tsouni, Georgia, Rez. zu Philip Schmitz, Cato Peripateticus – stoische und peripatetische Ethik im Dialog. Cic. fin. 3 und der Aristotelismus des ersten Jh. v. Chr (Xenarchos, Boethos und ‘Areios Didymos’), Berlin, de Gruyter, 2014, “sehepunkte”, 16, 7/8, 2016. LINK

– Zollino, Giorgia, Il commento di Poliziano Super Philippicas Ciceronis, in Paolo Viti (a cura di), Cultura e filologia di Angelo Poliziano. Traduzioni e commenti (Atti del Convegno di studi Firenze, 27-29 novembre 2014), Firenze, Olschki, 2016. LINK


Volume in onore di Carlos Lévy. È di prossima uscita presso l’editore Brepols Vérité et apparence. Mélanges en l’honneur de Carlos Lévy, offert par ses amis et ses disciples, una raccolta di studi a cura di Perrine Galand e di Ermanno Malaspina per onorare l’insigne latinista della Sorbona, ben noto per i suoi contributi in vari àmbiti degli studi di latino, dalla storia del pensiero, alla riflessione politica, alla retorica, nei quali ha dimostrato di coniugare la capacità di superare barriere meramente “disciplinari” conservando però sempre il massimo rigore scientifico e filologico. Il volume si può prenotare al prezzo speciale di € 85 ed è possibile far inserire il proprio nominativo nella “Tabula Gratulatoria”: l’adesione va comunicata entro e non oltre il 28 ottobre 2016 secondo le modalità operative reperibili a questo LINK.

Nous annonçons la prochaine publication, chez Brepols, de Vérité et apparence. Mélanges en l’honneur de Carlos Lévy, offert par ses amis et disciples, recueil d’articles édité par Perrine Galand et Ermanno Malaspina pour rendre hommage à l’éminent latiniste (Université Paris-Sorbonne), connu pour ses contributions relatives à de nombreux domaines des études latines, de l’histoire des idées à la réflexion politique et à la rhétorique, études dans lesquelles il a toujours démontré sa capacité à dépasser les barrières proprement “disciplinaires”, en conservant toujours cependant la plus grande rigueur scientifique et philologique. Le volume peut être acheté en pré-vente au prix spécial de 85 euros et il est possible d’ajouter son nom à la “Tabula Gratulatoria” en passant commande avant le 28 octobre 2016. LIEN

PhD and postdoc position in Latin at Leiden University within the research project “Mediated Cicero. The Influence of Ancient Canonisation on the Image of Cicero the Orator and Politician since Antiquity”. Both researchers should ideally start their work in February 2017. The PhD candidate will look at the canonisation of Cicero in ancient (Greek and Latin) historiography and eventually its reception in the Renaissance; the postdoc project will deal with the importance of ancient and late antique commentaries and scholia for the idealised image of Ciceronian rhetoric and eloquence. For both positions, the deadline for applying is October 25th, 2016. LINK LINK

– Colloque Qu’est ce qu’un auctor ? auteur et autorité : du latin au français, Tours, 29-30 septembre 2016. Sophie Aubert-Baillot (Université Grenoble-Alpes /Litt&Arts-Translatio), Auteur et autorité en philosophie chez Cicéron ; François Guillaumont (Université de Tours / ICD, EA 6297), Auctor mundi et expressions similaires ; Aldo Setaioli (Université de Pérouse, Italie), Auctor et interpres chez Sénèque. LIEN

Newcastle Classics and Ancient History Research Seminars, Newcastle, 5th October 2016. Jill Harries (St Andrews), Autokrator: Justinian, Cicero and the myth of popular sovereignty. LINK



Audano, Sergio, Palinodia consolatoria. A proposito di τὸ κράτιστον in Plut. Cons. ad Apoll. (108E), “Studi classici e orientali”, 62, 2016, 237-244. LINK

Berno, Francesca Romana, Seneca al bivio. Il paradigma di Eracle nelle lettere 66 e 115, “Prometheus”, 42, 2016, 115-122. LINK

Degl’Innocenti Pierini, Rita, La virtù come compagna e la ‘compagnia’ delle virtù in Seneca e nella tradizione filosofica, “Prometheus”, 42, 2016, 123-143. LINK

Ferrary, Jean-Louis, Les Grecs devant le Sénat romain, in Pascale Derron (éd.), La rhétorique du pouvoir. Une exploration de l’art oratoire délibératif grec, Vandœuvres, Fondation Hardt, 2016. LIEN

Garcea, Alessandro & Lhommé, Marie-Karine & Vallat, Daniel (éd.), Fragments d’érudition. Servius et le savoir antique, Hildesheim & Zürich & New York, Georg Olms Verlag, 2016 [Alessandro Garcea, Érudition et grammaire antiques : quelques remarques liminaires]. LIEN

Lévy, Carlos, La dunamis philonienne et l’idée de puissance dans la pensée romaine de son époque, in F. Calabi, O. Munnich, G. Reydams-Schils, E. Vimercati (a cura di), Pouvoir et puissances chez Philon d’Alexandrie, Turnhout, Brepols, 2015. LIEN

Setaioli, Aldo, rec. di M. P. Futre Pinheiro, Mitos e Lendas da Grecia Antiga, vol. I, “Prometheus”, 42, 2016, 301-302. LINK

Tarigo, Paolo Giovanni (ed.), Diui Claudii Ἀποκολοκέντωσις, Alessandria, Edizioni dell’Orso, 2016. LINK


– Convegno La filologia e l’errore, Roma, 28-29 settembre 2016. Paolo De Paolis, Le conseguenze dell’errore. L’inevitabile persistenza delle false attribuzioni. LINK

– Conference Nos sumus Romani qui fuimus ante… Memory of ancient Italy, Oxford, 28/09-01/10/2016. Valentina Arena, Varro and Italy. LINK

[Last updated on September 23th, 2016.]

Filed under: Newsletter

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

L’innovazione culturale a Mantova per ArtLab 16

Da mercoledì 28 settembre a sabato 1 ottobre la Capitale Italiana della Cultura 2016 accoglierà i 25 appuntamenti di ArtLab 16, la piattaforma nazionale sull'innovazione culturale promossa dalla Fondazione Fitzcarraldo di Torino. L'evento, che si avvale della partnership di Fondazione Cariplo e di un'ampia rete di partner pubblici e privati, italiani ed europei, trasformerà Mantova nel centro propulsore dell'innovazione culturale con centinaia di operatori italiani ed europei impegnati in un programma ricco d'incontri, tavole rotonde, workshop e momenti di formazione.

The Archaeology News Network

'Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven' at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Beginning around the year 1000, Jerusalem attained unprecedented significance as a location, destination, and symbol to people of diverse faiths from Iceland to India. Multiple competitive and complementary religious traditions, fueled by an almost universal preoccupation with the city, gave rise to one of the most creative periods in its history. Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 26, the landmark exhibition...

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

La Mythologie grecque au Parc Astérix : quelle complémentarité pour nos musées ?

Comment la mythologie est-elle abordée dans les parcs à thèmes ? Les mythes y sont-ils traités différemment que dans les musées ? Quelques éléments de réponse sont apportés ici à partir d’une analyse du « Vol d’Icare », attraction du Parc Astérix.

« Les Editions Albert René / Goscinny-Uderzo »« Les Editions Albert René / Goscinny-Uderzo »

Oser comparer les parcs d’attractions et les musées, est ce possible ? Oui, si c’est pour montrer les dangers qui guettent depuis de nombreuses années nos grands établissements culturels, temples de l’art. Jean-Michel Tobelem parle ainsi dans son célèbre ouvrage, Le nouvel âge des musées, du risque de « disneylandisation » des musées1. Le musée lieu de savoir et de délectation se transformerait alors en parc de loisirs géant ouvert à la consommation d’expositions, d’événementiels, de boutiques et de restaurants. Nos recherches sur les œuvres mythologiques en musées nous ont amené à nous intéresser à l’imaginaire antique dans nos sociétés et à ses sources. Parmi elles, nous nous sommes rappelé que les dieux et héros grecs étaient aussi présents dans les parcs de loisirs et notamment, en France au Parc Astérix, situé à environ 30 km au Nord de Paris, à Plailly2.

Une Grèce de carte postale

Ouvert depuis 1989, le Parc propose aux touristes, des attractions autour du monde d’Astérix, tiré de la bande dessinée imaginée par Goscinny et Uderzo. Il possède une partie « Grèce antique » depuis 1994. Au fil d’ajouts successifs, celle-ci est composée aujourd’hui de six attractions, deux restaurants, une boutique, un spectacle. Si le terme « Grèce antique » renvoie généralement à un concept historique et civilisationnel, il désigne ici, presque exclusivement, la religion du monde gréco-romain entre le VIIIe siècle av. et le IIe-IIIe siècle apr. J.-C. Aucune référence donc à des concepts comme « démocratie », « hellénisme », ou à des personnages comme Périclès ou Alexandre le Grand.

La vision de la mythologie grecque donnée par le Parc peut-elle être mise en parallèle avec celle des musées ? Le premier « s’inscrivant dans une logique économique »3 et le second faisant partie du champ culturel, les deux sont-ils conciliables dans leur manière de médiatiser le mythe ? Musées comme parcs le montrent dans le cadre d’une architecture et d’un parcours spécifique avec ses propres significations. De plus, ils possèdent des outils de médiations plus ou moins visibles qui invitent le visiteur à entrer dans cet univers mental des dieux et héros antiques. Nous chercherons ici à ne plus voir le parc d’attraction comme un « risque » pour les musées mais à montrer les apports potentiels intrinsèques à ces deux structures culturelles. Et si nous étions, à la fois, dans une certaine « Astérixisation » des musées et une « muséalisation » des parcs ?

Décrivons tout d’abord l’univers « Grèce antique » du Parc Astérix qui n’est alors qu’un univers parmi d’autres. Si la thématique principale est centrée sur les Gaulois et les Romains, d’autres civilisations sont abordées en lien avec les nombreux albums de bande dessinée. Les liens entre Astérix et la Grèce pouvant notamment se retrouver dans le douzième album : Astérix aux jeux olympiques. L’univers que nous allons étudier se situe à l’ouest du parc et, chose intéressante, pour y accéder, nous devons d’abord passer par le Monde Romain4. Nous entrons chez les Grecs par trois colonnes doriques, dont deux totalement remontées et portant le début d’une architrave. Nous sommes alors dans une image d’Épinal où la Grèce se caractérise avant tout par son passé et ses vestiges, plus ou moins bien conservés. L’univers musical est aussi directement présent. Des hauts parleurs placés un peu partout diffusent des airs inspirés des musiques de Mikis Theodorakis pour le film Zorba le Grec réalisé par Michael Cacoyannis en 1964, qui lança notamment la mode du sirtaki. Nous entrons alors dans une petite allée avec, de chaque côté, une architecture très stéréotypée de maisons blanches aux toits bleus, que l’on peut retrouver dans les îles grecques comme Santorin, avec la présence inévitable et anachronique d’un (faux) moulin à vent. Cette partie, qui regroupe principalement la boutique et les deux restaurants, possède déjà quelques occurrences mythologiques, notamment dans les noms. Le petit restaurant se nomme La Taverne de Dionysos, celui-ci étant le dieu de l’allégresse. Or dans les menus, plus aucun lien avec la mythologie, il s’agit d’un simple snack de sandwiches où l’on ne peut même pas acheter du vin. En face, on remarque le Théâtre de Poséidon. Cette zone de spectacle permet d’admirer les acrobaties d’animaux aquatiques. Puis, vers l’extrémité de cette « rue », se trouve la première vraie attraction : le Cheval de Troie. Les maisons blanches et bleues s’arrêtent. À droite nous découvrons le grand lac du parc ; à gauche, une succession de trois attractions : le Vol d’Icare, l’Hydre de Lerne, la Rivière d’Elis. Celles-ci nous mènent au bout du chemin, à la grande montagne russe, emblème du parc : le Tonnerre de Zeus ainsi qu’à une nouveauté cette année, le Discobélix, inspirée de la célèbre sculpture du Discobole de Myron.

Ainsi le parcours est organisé pour accéder au plus grand des dieux : Zeus. On peut alors décomposer le cheminement en trois parties :

  • Une première partie « ambiance », qui place le visiteur dans l’imaginaire de la Grèce : maisons blanches, sirtaki, noms de divinités…
  • Puis vient le tour des attractions à « héros ». On passe des restaurants aux manèges liés à de grands personnages mythologiques : Ulysse, Dédale et Icare, Hercule…
  • Enfin, visible de loin, se dresse l’imposante montagne russe tout en bois du Tonnerre de Zeus, où une statue géante du dieu nous invite à entrer.

L’organisation de l’univers monte donc crescendo, allant métaphoriquement du monde des mortels jusqu’au sommet de l’Olympe. « Nous avons décidé de faire un parcours comme si c’était une ascension vers le ciel, là ou habitent les dieux ». Cette phrase ne vient pas d’un des architectes du parc mais du muséographe, Daniel Gastonguay, récent concepteur de l’exposition « Les Maîtres de l’Olympe » au Musée de la Civilisation de Québec5. Le parallèle nous paraît alors légitime. Le but d’une exposition comme d’un parc est de créer du sens par rapport à un point de départ et d’arrivée. Les pièces maîtresses ne sont pas placées dès l’entrée pour pouvoir créer une progression et de l’attente vis à vis du visiteur. De la même manière, les grandes montagnes russes d’un parc de loisirs sont souvent situées aux extrémités.

Le Cheval de Troie - Parc AstérixLe Cheval de Troie – Parc Astérix

Le Vol d’Icare

D’élévation, il en est question dans une attraction, le Vol d’Icare. Celle-ci, à l’inverse des autres attractions proposées6, possède une identité propre qui fait d’elle une illustration originale du mythe, voire de l’histoire minoenne. Rappelons le mythe: suite à la victoire de Thésée sur le Minotaure, Dédale fut enfermé par Minos, le roi légendaire de Crète, dans le labyrinthe dont il était l’architecte avec son fils Icare. Par la suite, les deux héros parviennent à s’évader en volant grâce à des plumes attachées avec de la cire d’abeilles. Mais, parce qu’il vola trop près du soleil, Icare tomba dans la mer et se noya, ses ailes ayant fondues7. De nombreuses fois représenté dans l’art, notamment par Pieter Bruegel, Rodin ou Matisse, ce mythe trouve un nouveau type de représentation dans l’attraction du Parc Astérix. Dans tout lieu culturel d’importance, le début de la visite commence par un temps d’attente. Les parcs en tiennent compte dans l’architecture de leurs attractions en créant ainsi, si possible, une ambiance propre à chacune. C’est le cas du Vol d’Icare où l’espace de la file d’attente reprend les ruines du palais de Knossos en Crète, lieu de la légende. L’écrivain grec Nikos Kazantzakis décrit Icare ainsi dans cet environnement : « […] ce jour-là, [il] ne pouvait rester enfermé dans l’atelier de son père. Il rôdait dans le Palais, tout au long des étroits celliers où se tenaient alignées les gigantesques jarres » ((Nikos Kazantzakis, Dans le palais de Minos, Plon, Paris, 1984, p. 138.)). On retrouve ainsi, dès l’entrée, les vases typiques de l’art minoen et la file d’attente suit de nombreux méandres, comme si le visiteur était lui-même dans le labyrinthe. D’ailleurs, à un endroit de la file, est représenté un petit labyrinthe avec la mention humoristique « Vous êtes ici ». Le décor reprend les restaurations, encore critiquées, de l’archéologue anglais Arthur John Evans qui fouilla Knossos au début du XXe siècle. On retrouve les hautes colonnes bétonnées d’un rouge criard, les fresques, le mobilier… : tout est vraiment bien reproduit. L’attente se fait ainsi dans un cadre plutôt agréable, alors que celles qui se créent pour accéder dans les musées et les grandes expositions se font plutôt en extérieur ou de manière beaucoup moins organisée au sein des bâtiments.

Le Vol d'Icare - Parc AstérixLe Vol d’Icare – Parc Astérix

Tout nous renvoie alors au mythe et à son déroulement. Le visiteur est dans un labyrinthe, comme Icare et Dédale après la fuite de Thésée. Il ne sait pas où il va, jusqu’à ce qu’il parvienne au début de l’attraction où plusieurs trains composés chacun de deux wagons l’attendent. Nous pouvons être par deux à l’intérieur, comme Icare et son père. Les wagons sont garnis de deux ailes blanches. Ainsi, avec ce véhicule, les deux héros trouvent un moyen de sortir du labyrinthe de Minos. L’attraction commence par une grande montée et, au sommet, un grand soleil est représenté. S’ensuit, pendant environ deux minutes, une série de montées et descentes qui nous ramènent au point de départ. Comme Icare, le visiteur s’est approché trop près du soleil et la montagne russe le fait redescendre violemment. Nous sommes dans l’expérimentation pleine et entière du mythe, de manière physique. Dans une tradition issue d’André Malraux8, reste imprégnée l’idée que les œuvres des musées ont vocation à faire ressentir de grandes émotions au visiteur. Ici, le visiteur peut effectivement verser des larmes, même si elles sont dues à la vitesse et au mouvement des wagons. Cependant, cette analogie entre l’attraction et le mythe, combien de touristes la font ? Aucun élément de médiation n’est présent dans et autour de la montagne russe pour rappeler les histoires de Dédale, Icare, du Minotaure ou de Thésée. Le lieu de l’attraction, Knossos, n’est pas non plus explicité. Tous ces artefacts créent un décor, un contexte qui fait entrer chacun dans un univers, mais qui n’est ni nommé ni expliqué, à l’inverse d’autres parcs comme Waterword à Chypre où de petits panneaux expliquent les mythes devant chaque attraction. Ces artefacts ont-il alors un sens ? À quoi sert l’ascension vers le soleil, qui dans le mythe renvoie de plus à une métaphore de l’orgueil ? Dans son omission, le parc assume pleinement sa fonction de loisir. Or, le visiteur a souvent soif de connaissances, les professeurs Gilles Brougère et Giulia Fabbiano montrent très bien en effet que « l’on ne peut comprendre le tourisme en général […] sans mettre en évidence la logique de découverte et de curiosité »9, associée à celle « d’émerveillement »10, le plaisir n’étant donc pas une antithèse du savoir. D’ailleurs le Parc Astérix s’occupe d’éducation et fait montre d’une certaine pédagogie lorsqu’il s’agit d’attirer un type de public spécifique, partagé avec les musées : les scolaires. Des dossiers pédagogiques à destination des enseignants du Primaire et Collège leur sont proposés et le mythe d’Icare y est mentionné. Sur le site internet présentant l’attraction, cet épisode du mythe est évoqué de manière allusive :

Direction le soleil ! Montez, montez, montez… la descente vous donnera un coup de chaud !

Une approche sensorielle, ludique et humoristique des mythes

Certaines attractions prennent ainsi le parti pris de la copie et du pastiche pour montrer les mythes, a contrario des musées qui se doivent de proposer des œuvres vues comme authentiques et propres à leurs auteurs. Les parcs usent alors d’une ambiance, d’une tonalité qui n’est cependant pas tant éloignée des autres institutions culturelles. Prenons l’exemple de la musique. L’objectif des musées est souvent de tendre au silence pour pouvoir contempler les œuvres sans être dérangé. Pourtant ce silence est lui même un mythe, les bruits étant nombreux et divers : chuchotement des visiteurs, bruits de leurs pas, de l’extérieur, cris d’enfants, grésillement d’une ampoule… Pourquoi ne pas alors donner à chaque salle une atmosphère propre par le biais d’un fond sonore, comme le fait le Parc Astérix qui, en plus du thème général, possède des thématiques propres à chaque attraction ? On pourrait ainsi imaginer une recomposition de musiques antiques dans les salles de céramiques grecques ou des extraits d’opéras dans celles où se trouvent des peintures et sculptures mythologiques de l’époque moderne. Or, des expériences ont déjà été menées dans ce sens11, sans compter les nombreux concerts programmés dans les musées. Leurs succès montrent toute leur pertinence et posent la question de la permanence de la musique au sein de ces institutions.

Ce qui frappe aussi est le caractère ludique du parc d’attraction, notion vers laquelle se dirigent de nombreux musées, que l’on pense aux simples livrets-jeux, ateliers ou goûters d’anniversaire au sein des établissements. C’est que, vis-à-vis de l’école, le musée cherche à se démarquer en appliquant une éducation dite informelle, « fournisseur d’idées »12 sur un temps plus court que l’école. Musées et parc se rejoignent alors dans cette idée que « sous d’autres formes, dans d’autres lieux, avec d’autres moyens et d’autres méthodes, la VS [vulgarisation scientifique] se propose de contribuer à l’acculturation scientifique du public des non spécialistes »13. Prenons alors le cas de l’humour. Le Parc Astérix est rempli dans ses décors de parodies et pastiches. Héraclès en prend alors pour son grade, par exemple, près de l’attraction l’Hydre de Lerne ou sur un grand vase, il nettoie les écuries d’Augias avec… un aspirateur. Au musée, l’humour est souvent réservé aux enfants dans des cartels et livrets-jeux spécifiques, et/ou cantonné à une exposition temporaire14. Mais de plus en plus d’expériences sont menées dans des collections permanentes. Par le biais de copies, de pastiches ou de parodies d’œuvres, les musées mettent en valeur leurs peintures, sculptures ou céramiques. Ainsi au Nationalmuseet de Copenhague, dans la collection des statuettes romaines, les conservateurs ont installé une figurine du dessin animé Hercule de Disney15. De la même manière, s’est déroulée du 10 avril au 5 juillet 2015, une exposition au Palais des Beaux-Arts qui « mêle culture classique et culture populaire » avec des œuvres du collectif allemand InterDuck dans les salles d’exposition permanente du musée16. Ce genre d’action est une piste exploitée par les musées aujourd’hui pour attirer le public familial, cible centrale, aussi privilégiée par les parcs d’attractions. Déjà en 2005, le muséologue Raymond Monpetit réfléchissait sur cette tendance des musées17 :

Que le musée d’aujourd’hui se veuille convivial, interactif et même amusant, qu’il prenne note que ceux qui s’y rendent le font dans leur temps de loisir, n’indique pas, à nos yeux, qu’il offre moins de contenus ni d’occasions de vivre des expériences qui favorisent la réflexion et le développement. Les dimensions ludiques et de participation de certaines muséographies sont des composantes parmi d’autres de la visite ; elles n’empêchent en rien que les visiteurs entrent aussi dans des dynamiques de socialisation et d’éducation, ni qu’ils ne tirent de leur parcours, à la fois un certain bien-être, un certain savoir, du plaisir et du sens, ainsi que le désir d’en connaître davantage.

Ainsi, par le prisme de la mythologie grecque, on a vu quelques intérêts communs des musées et parcs d’attraction. Les deux permettent de donner corps à un certain univers mental mais aussi à différents aspects du mythe grec. Le Parc Astérix est à cet égard un exemple significatif avec la présence de ruines, sirtaki, statues géantes,etc., regroupés autour de grandes figures comme la statue de Zeus ou le palais-labyrinthe du roi Minos. Mais à quoi sert cette ébauche de représentations sans un minimum d’explications ? Il y manque sans doute une certaine médiation et la volonté plus affichée de rendre accessibles ces références. C’est là où les musées ont beaucoup à apporter, d’autant plus qu’aujourd’hui les médiations peuvent être très variées et ludiques. À l’inverse, les musées peuvent s’inspirer des parcs pour rendre leurs collections plus accessibles au grand public, la dimension de conservation et d’éducation étant tout à fait compatible avec des notions comme l’humour ou le divertissement.

Tonnerre de Zeus - Parc AstérixTonnerre de Zeus – Parc Astérix

Notes du texte

  1. Jean-Michel Tobelem, Le nouvel âge des musées : les institutions culturelles au défi de la gestion, Armand Colin, Paris, 2005, p. 260.
  2. D’autres parcs utilisent cet univers comme Europa-Park en Allemagne ou Terra Mitica en Espagne.
  3. Annette Viel, Anne Nivart, « Parcs sous tension », in Culture & Musées. Du musée au parc d’attraction : ambivalence des formes de l’exposition (sous la direction de Serge Chaumier), N°5, 2002 p. 138.
  4. Une autre entrée est possible, mais beaucoup plus éloignée, en passant par les Vikings.
  5. Catalogue de l’exposition, Les Maîtres de l’Olympe : Trésors des collections gréco-romaines de Berlin, ouvrage collectif, TTM Éditions, Issy-les-Moulineaux, 2014, p. 110.
  6. Difficile par exemple de voir dans le Cheval de Troie, un quelconque lien avec le mythe. Rien, tant dans l’architecture que dans l’expérience ne renvoie à cet épisode.
  7. Ovide détaille le mythe dans les Métamorphoses, Livre VIII.
  8. Notamment dans l’Introduction de son ouvrage, Le Musée imaginaire, Gallimard, Paris, 1965.
  9. Gilles Brougère, Giulia Fabbiano, Apprentissages en situation touristique, Presses Universitaire du Septentrion, Villeneuve d’Ascq, 2014, p. 26.
  10. Ibid., p. 24.
  11. Comme en 2014 avec l’opération « Open Museum #1 Air » au Palais des beaux-Arts de Lille ou en mars 2015 au Museum of Fine Arts de Boston.
  12. Bernard Darras, Anna M. Kindler, « Le musée, l’école et l’éducation artistique » in Publics et Musées : Education artistique à l’école et au musée N°14, 1998, p. 22.
  13. .M. Lucas, 1983, cité dans La Muséologie, champ de théories et de pratiques, Anik Meunier (dir.), Presses de l’Université de Québec, Québec, 2012, p. 3.
  14. Comme du 30 mai au 1er novembre 2015, l’exposition « Les Petits Mythos » au Musée gallo-romain de Saint-Romain-en-Gal.
  15. De John Musker et Ron Clements, en 1997.
  16. Bruno Girveau, directeur du Musée, Livret de visite de l’exposition « Open Museum #2 Donald ».
  17. Raymond Monpetit , « Expositions, parcs, sites : des lieux d’expériences patrimoniales », in Culture & Musées, op. cit., N°5, 2005, p. 114.

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Forwarded from Ulrike Roth:

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Venerdì 23 settembre 2016 è stato presentato il nuovo complesso "Via Francigena ENTRY POINT" in Lucca, un centro visite situato sulle mura cinquecentesche di Lucca, nei pressi di Porta Elisa, dedicato al turismo tradizionale e alla realtà del pellegrinaggio religioso, con una serie di servizi culturali e turistici.

AIA Fieldnotes

Become an Archaeologist for a Day!

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Department of Archaeology, University of West Bohemia
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 15, 2016

The university archaeologists invite you to come to the archaeo laboratory to learn and have fun with archaeology. Visitors of all ages will experience the work of archaeologist, lab specialist and will learn interesting things about excavated pottery, bones atc.


Josef Hložek
Call for Papers: 

Decline of Roman Empire and the Migration in the End of Antiquity

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Prácheňské Museum in Písek
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Thursday, October 27, 2016 -
4:00pm to 6:30pm

Archaeologist Jaroslav Jiřík is going to present a lecture on the current state of knowledge both archaeological and historical on the final phase of antiquity, the fall of Roman empire and the migration of the period. Recent archaeological findings in the Czech republic contribute a lot to our understanding of this particular period.


Jaroslav Jiřík
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David Gill (Looting Matters)

Spotlight on European collections

Attic black-figured amphora
 from the Schinoussa Archive. Courtesy of Christos Tsirogiannis.
Following the recent return of antiquities from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek to Italy, the spotlight will be on other European collections that contain archaeological material that appears to have been derived from Italy. Among the museums are:
The Italian authorities will no doubt be negotiating with each of these institutions to secure the return of this material.

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Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2016.09.38: Playing Hesiod: The ‘Myth of the Races’ in Classical Antiquity. Cambridge Classical Studies

Review of Helen Van Noorden, Playing Hesiod: The ‘Myth of the Races’ in Classical Antiquity. Cambridge Classical Studies. Cambridge: 2015. Pp. x, 350. $110.00. ISBN 9780521760812.

2016.09.37: Cleone: Un politico ateniese. Documenti e studi, 60

Review of Vittorio Saldutti, Cleone: Un politico ateniese. Documenti e studi, 60. Bari: 2014. Pp. 221. €35.00 (pb). ISBN 9788872287309.

Compitum - publications

D. Albrecht, Hegemoniale Männlichkeit bei Titus Livius


Daniel Albrecht, Hegemoniale Männlichkeit bei Titus Livius, Heidelberg, 2016.

Éditeur : Verlag Antike
Collection : Studien zur Alten Geschichte
378 pages
ISBN : 9783938032831
79,90 €

Männliche Akteure dominieren die römische Geschichte des Titus Livius. Sie treten in verschiedenen Feldern als Rhetoren, Väter und Krieger in Erscheinung und vollziehen Handlungen, die nach ihren situativen Kontexten narrativ eingeordnet und bewertet werden. Das Anliegen dieser Untersuchung ist, die Vielfältigkeit ernst zu nehmen ohne dabei in die Beliebigkeit zu verfallen und einerseits einen Beitrag zur Erforschung von Männlichkeiten in den antiken Gesellschaften zu leisten, andererseits die dazu notwendigen Herangehensweisen zu reflektieren und geeignetes Rüstzeug bereit zu stellen. In den narrativ verarbeiteten Männerbildern werden zentrale Bausteine ausgemacht, die sie konfigurieren und auf Vorstellungen von Männlichkeit verweisen, sich jedoch im konkreten doing masculinity beweisen müssen.
Die vorliegende Untersuchung zeigt, dass das Konzept der hegemonialen Männlichkeit auch für einen antiken Text Anwendung finden kann. Männlichkeit ist demnach verhandelbar, prekär und bedarf der Anerkennung; hegemoniale Männerbilder müssen mehrdimensional sein, in „ernsten Spielen“ bestehen und sich dabei als intelligibel präsentieren. Doch auch abseits der „großen Männer“ wird nach geschlechtlichen Zuschreibungen gefahndet und danach gefragt, wie sich die jeweiligen Figuren zu den hegemonialen Entwürfen positionieren.

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Bucap al #TFA2016 per parlare di digitalizzazione dei beni culturali

Bucap partecipa alla terza edizione di TECHNOLOGYforALL 2016, il Forum dedicato alle tecnologie applicate ai beni culturali, al territorio, all’ambiente e alle smart city, il 5 e 6 ottobre presso la Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma. Gli esperti di Bucap interverranno per dibattere sui benefici dei progetti di digitalizzazione nell’ambito dei beni culturali e per presentare le soluzioni proposte.

Giovedì 6 Ottobre nella sessione "L'immagine digitale del Patrimonio Culturale" prevista nell'Auditorium della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale dalle ore 9.00 alle ore 10:15 . è in programma l'intervento dal titolo "La Digital Transformation al servizio della valorizzazione dei nostri Beni Culturali", Flavio Tieghi e Maria Vittoria Grisolia di Bucap.

Bucap con i suoi 400 dipendenti in 8 sedi sul territorio, opera in Italia nel settore degli archivi cartacei e digitali, Document Imaging, servizi di BPO, servizi IT e Logistica. Per Archivi e Biblioteche, PA e aziende private è un partner strategico nella trasformazione digitale supportando più di 500 clienti nei progetti di digitalizzazione, nell'automazione dei processi e nella gestione dell’intero ciclo di vita dei documenti. Valorizzare il proprio patrimonio documentale e gestirlo in modo efficace ed efficiente sono obiettivi che apportano importanti benefici in termini organizzativi ed economici. Bucap svolge servizi di digitalizzazione presso le proprie sedi, o del cliente progettando e realizzando la soluzione più adatta per la gestione digitale di qualsiasi tipo di documento, corrente e antico, e su qualsiasi tipo di supporto, cartaceo e no n. Propone, inoltre, un vasto catalogo di scanner professionali: planetari Zeutschel, piani e rotativi WideTEK, robotizzati e manuali Qidenus e lettori scanner multimediali per microfilm Nextscan ed e-Image Data.


He has a wife you know

chantellecoco: Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2017 Ready to...


Mary Katrantzou

Spring/Summer 2017

Ready to wear



Archaeology Magazine

Computer Model Simulates Ancient Climate Change, Migration

Milankovitch cycles simulationMANOA, HAWAII—Live Science reports that scientists led by Axel Timmermann of the University of Hawaii at Manoa have developed a new computer simulation, spanning a period of 125,000 years, of how rainfall, temperature, sea levels, glacial ice, vegetation, carbon dioxide levels, and the migration patterns of modern humans might have been affected by Milankovitch cycles, or wobbles in the planet’s orbit and tilt that occur every 21,000 years. The model suggests that modern humans may have traveled between northeastern Africa and other parts of the world through periodic “habitable green corridors” in the Sahara and Arabian deserts. Timmermann says these results align with archaeological and fossil data from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. “If the climate had been constant over the past 125,000 years, we would have evolved in a very different way,” he said. A future version of the simulation will add Neanderthals, interbreeding, cultural exchange, and competition for food into the mix. For more on modern human origins, go to "Our Tangled Ancestry."

Genetic Study Links Indigenous Australians to First Arrivals

Australian Aboriginal DNACOPENHAGEN, DENMARK—The Guardian reports that evolutionary geneticist Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen conducted a population analysis of 83 Indigenous Australians and 25 Papuans, and found that their ancestors can be traced back 50,000 years, to the first arrivals on the continent. “They are probably the oldest group in the world that you can link to one particular place,” he said. The study also suggests that about four percent of the Indigenous Australian genome came from an unknown human relative. Willerslev added that Indigenous populations in Australia remained almost totally isolated until about 4,000 years ago, about the same time that the languages now spoken by these populations began to spread. “You see a movement of people spreading across the continent and leaving signatures across the continent,” he said. “That is the time that this new language has spread.” For more on the prehistory of Australia, go to "The Rock Art of Malarrak."

AIA Fieldnotes

Wolf Creek Heritage Museum Annual Fundraiser

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Lipscomb County Historical Commission
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2016 -
6:30pm to 10:00pm

An annual event sponsored by the Lipscomb county historical commission to raise funds for the museum.   $25.00.  6:30 - 10:00 pm at the Lipscomb School House (auditorium) on Third St.  Information: Virginia Scott or Lovella Theissen, 806-852-2123,


Virginia Scott
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Texas Outdoor Education Association Workshop

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Texas Outdoor Education Association
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Friday, September 30, 2016 - 2:30pm to Sunday, October 2, 2016 - 12:00pm

The Texas Outdoor Education Association Workshop provides a dynamic learning experience for educators by educators.  The event will host from 50 - 70 different sessions, over a three-day period, from academic topics addressing the Texas Knowledge and Skills to physical education in all levels of learning.  Sponsored by the Texas Outdoor Education Association.  $150 registration fee minus $25 per presentation. Friday, 2:30 p.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m. at HEB Foundation Campsite, 11756 North U.S. Hwy.


Carlos Guerrera
Call for Papers: 

Archaeology Magazine

Scientists Successfully Image Ancient, Charred Bible

En Gedi scrollLEXINGTON, KENTUCKY—Live Science reports that a team from the University of Kentucky has “virtually unwrapped” the En-Gedi scroll using X-ray-based micro-computed tomography scans. The scroll was discovered in the Holy Ark at the synagogue at En-Gedi, which was destroyed by fire around A.D. 600. The team, led by computer scientist Brent Seales, first identified each of the five layers of parchment in the scroll. Then they created a virtual geometric mesh for each of the layers to help make the text, written with an ink containing metal, more visible. In the last step, the researchers digitally flattened the scroll and merged the layers into one, 2-D image. The text, placed in two columns, consists of 35 lines of Hebrew. Biblical scholars now know that the En-Gedi scroll contains the beginning of the Book of Leviticus, the third of the five books in the Jewish Torah. And the text is identical to the text of the Book of Leviticus in medieval Hebrew Bibles. “This is quite amazing for us,” said Emanuel Tov, professor emeritus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “That in 2,000 years, this text has not changed.” To read about a similar project, go to "The Charred Scrolls of Herculaneum."

AIA Fieldnotes

LUAS Archeology Fair

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Llano Uplift Archeological Society
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Llano Uplift Archeological Society (LUAS) will hold its annual archeology fair and open house at the Nightengale Archeological Center in Kingsland.  Activities include tours of the Kingsland Site, which is a State Antiquities Landmark; opportunities to test atlatl and rabbit stick skills; processing fibers to make cordage; painting pebbles; and sampling yaupon holly tea.  Exhibits include an interpretive museum and a replica of a prehistoric campsite, including a hut and cooking feature.  Sponsored by the Llano Uplift Archeological Society.  Free.  1 p.m. – 5 p.m.


Lisa Weatherford
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September 22, 2016

AIA Fieldnotes

HCAA Annual Archeology Celebration

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Hill Country Archeological Association
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Come join the Hill Country Archeological Association at the Riverside Nature Center for a fun afternoon of artifact identification, demos, presentations, and refreshments. Dr. Robert Lassen and Sergio Ayala from the Gault School of Archaeological Research (GSAR) will present their research on Folsom Technology and Sites in the Southwest and a New Quarry Site in Gillespie County. Sponsored by the Hill Country Archeological Association. Free. 10:00 a.m.


Kay Woodward
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Call for Papers: 
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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access articles on Archaeology and Classical Studies from Oxford Handbooks Online

Open Access articles on Archaeology and Classical Studies from Oxford Handbooks Online


The Archaeology of Amarna  

Anna Stevens

This essay assesses the body of archaeological research connected to the New Kingdom settlement site of Amarna (ancient Akhetaten), the short-lived capital of Egypt founded by king ... More

Bronze Age Mongolia  

Jean-Luc Houle

This article discusses the Bronze Age in Mongolia, a period when pastoralism, mobility, and interaction between regional communities increased dramatically. It also corresponds to the ... More

Compositional Analysis in Archaeology  

Michael D. Glascock

Compositional analysis in archaeology involves the analysis and interpretation of chemical fingerprints obtained from archaeological materials. The primary objective of compositional ... More

Egypt and the Mediterranean in the Bronze Age: The Archaeological Evidence  

Bettina Bader

This chapter provides an overview of possible types of cultural contact between Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean and of the available sources, both archaeological and textual, and their ... More

Egyptian Archaeology and Social Anthropology  

Richard Bussmann

The article explores anthropological perspectives on pharaonic Egypt (ca. 3300–332 BCE). Central authority absorbed economic resources via local temples but had no interest in penetrating ... More

Egyptian Archaeology and the Museum  

Alice Stevenson

The relationship between excavation and museums is often assumed to be linear, with artifacts removed from the field and transferred to a museum. This article, however, envisages a more ... More

Glass Tools in Archaeology: Material and Technological Change  

Andrew Martindale and Irena Jurakic

Glass that appears in archaeological contexts outside of the communities of its production and shows use as toolstone for lithic-like industries can be described as remanufactured. Such ... More

The IFAO Excavations at Deir el-Medina  

Cédric Gobeil

Through a thorough examination of the archive kept in the Institut français d’archéologie orientale (the French Archaeological Institute in Cairo; hereafter IFAO), this chapter details the ... More

The Neolithic of the Caucasus  

Christine Chataigner, Ruben Badalyan, and Makoto Arimura

This article presents our current state of knowledge on the Neolithic of the Caucasus based on reviews of previous and continuing research. In this region, this period has generally been ... More

The Norse in Iceland  

Davide Marco Zori

The Norse discovery and settlement of Iceland in the late ninth century AD offers a test case for the study of human impacts on previously unoccupied landscapes and the formation of new ... More

North America  

Charles R. Cobb and Randall H. McGuire

This article examines the archaeology of North America. It highlights the variability in North American Native American cultures, ethnic groups, and languages and discusses ... More

The Origins and Early Development of Writing in Egypt  

Ilona Regulski

The Egyptian writing system represents one of the oldest recorded languages known to humankind, along with Sumerian. But the system took centuries to adapt to what we now regard as its ... More

Radiocarbon Dating and Egyptian Chronology—From the “Curve of Knowns” to Bayesian Modeling  

Felix Höflmayer

Radiocarbon dating has become a standard dating method in archaeology almost all over the world. However, in the field of Egyptology and Near Eastern archaeology, the method is still not ... More

The Social Impact of Trade and Migration: The Western Desert in Pharaonic and Post-Pharaonic Egypt  

Anna Lucille Boozer

Egypt’s Western Desert is located on the fringes of Egypt proper. Despite its remote location, the Western Desert inhabitants connected with people in the Nile Valley and more distant ... More
Classical Studies

Affect and Emotion in Greek Literature  

David Konstan

This article examines the way the ancient Greeks conceived of the emotions. Special attention is paid to the differences between classical Greek and modern English conceptions, in line ... More

Ecphrasis: Visual and Verbal Interactions in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature  

Michael Squire

This essay explores the intersections between ancient and modern notions of ecphrasis (defined by Imperial Greek rhetoricians as “a descriptive speech” that “brings the subject shown ... More

Egyptian Law, Saite to Roman Periods  

Sandra Lippert

This article treats the development of the Egyptian legal system from the Saite to the Roman period (664 BCE to about 150 CE). It addresses the much-disputed question of whether one can ... More

Globalization, Transnationalism, and the Local in Ancient Greece  

Christel Müller

This article examines the idea that Greek poleis were interconnected in different types of networks and that localism and the notion of the local are byproducts of globalism. It considers ... More

Greek Literature in Contemporary Political Theory and Thought  

Demetra Kasimis

This article explores the uses of Greek literature, philosophy, and politics in contemporary political theory. It explains that, since the second half of the 20th century, the study and ... More

Latin Didactic, Scientific, and Technical Literature  

Courtney Roby

Roman authors developed a rich and creative literature in Latin on a wide range of scientific and technical subjects, intended for a variety of readerships and spanning many different ... More

Money and Prices in the Papyri, Ptolemaic Period  

Sitta von Reden

This article examines developments in money and prices in Egypt during the Ptolemaic period based on numismatic and papyrological evidence. It first considers the introduction, spread, and ... More

The Natural World in Greek Literature and Philosophy  

Mark Payne

This chapter examines the role of the natural world in ancient Greek literature and philosophy by way of Schiller’s claim, in “On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry,” that there was a ... More


Myrto Malouta

This chapter traces the history of Naucratis and highlights the city’s main characteristics, arranged thematically. Naucratis represents the first instance of organized Greek presence ... More

Philology and Greek Literature  

Sean Gurd

This essay provides an overview of the recent revival of interest in philology (a discipline in which both textual criticism and interpretation are at home). Although Greek and Latin have ... More

The Places of Roman Isis: Between Egyptomania, Politics, and Religion  

Lauren Hackworth Petersen

This article examines ancient Rome’s ties to Egypt via the goddess Isis. More specifically, it considers the political meanings of Isis and her place in Roman religion and ritual. It first ... More

The Predictive Sciences: Measuring and Forecasting Weather Conditions  

Daryn Lehoux

This article examines the science and folklore of Greek and Roman methods of weather prediction, dividing techniques into astrometeorological practices (those that looked at the motions of ... More

The Ptolemaic Army  

Christelle Fischer-Bovet

This essay discusses the recruitment and payment of soldiers, as well as the ethnic composition, organization, and training of the Ptolemaic army, through the examination of papyri, of ... More

Roman Military Culture  

Lindsay Allason-Jones

A significant proportion of the people who lived in Roman Britain were linked to the military either as soldiers, dependants or suppliers. Did the objects these people used in their daily ... More

The Roman Republic  

Olli Salomies

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the range and distinctive features of Latin republican epigraphy. It focuses on inscriptions from the last century or so of the Republic (c. ... More

Social Relations and Constructions of Social Identity among Roman Non-Elites  

Jerry Toner

This article discusses the social relations of the Roman non-elite in two overlapping areas: the modes of behaviour that governed their communication and relations with each other; and the ... More

Taxation in the Achaemenid Empire  

Kristin Kleber

The present contribution treats taxation in the Achaemenid, or First Persian, Empire, which lasted from 538 to 330 b.c.e. Its focus lies on information derived from the cuneiform texts ... More

Taxation in the Greco-Roman World: The Roman Principate  

Sven Günther

The article deals with the different taxes that were exacted in the Roman Principate. It analyzes not only the different concepts of taxation with a differentiation between tributa, ... More

Technologies of Knowledge: Pharmacology, Botany, and Medical Recipes  

Laurence M.V. Totelin

This article presents an overview of the main questions in the history of Greek and Roman pharmacology and botany. It presents the actors in the transmission of pharmacological and ... More

Theorization, Measurement, and Standardization of Calendrical Time  

Robert Hannah

This article initially considers the sociology of time in general. It presents a framework of four aspects of time—time frame, timing, temporality, and tempo—derived from the work of ... More

Time, Tense, and Temporality in Ancient Greek Historiography  

Jonas Grethlein

One of the most important trends in recent scholarship on ancient historiography is to explore how historical meaning is constructed through the form of narrative. This essay argues that ... More

Travel in the Roman World  

Robert L. Cioffi

This article examines Roman travel. It seeks to show how deeply travel was woven into the fabric of the ancient world and how many aspects of the Roman experience relate to it. Rather than ... More

Ancient Peoples

Redware pottery jar with white chevrons, 20 cm high.  Naqada I...

Redware pottery jar with white chevrons, 20 cm high.  Naqada I period Egypt (Predynastic).  British Museum EA58199.

The Archaeology News Network

Viking sailors took their cats with them

The world’s first large study into ancient cat DNA reveals that the earliest ancestors of our furry friends reached Eurasia and Africa at the same time as early farmers, and were later helped by mariners, including the Vikings. Vikings took cats with them on their travels to keep rodents in check  [Credit: Shutterstock]Scientists sequenced the DNA from 290 cats from more than 30 archaeological excavations throughout Europe, the...

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Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

America's Rome


I have just been giving some talks and lectures in America, starting in Houston and ending up in Los Angeles vis Seattle. One of the places I visited was Scripps College (above), which is I guess the Newnham of Los Angeles, a women's college on the West Coast, so a kind of home from home. But there were other great locations too: Los Angeles Public Library, Seattle Town Hall and Christ Church Cathedral in Houston. Thanks to all for the great welcome. I am now in need of a good night's sleep!

I was, of course, talking about things Roman (as usual), but there was a difference from what I have found before. People at lectures have always been quite keen to raise questions about parallels between ancient Rome and modern America. But -- on the basis of this four-day visit (and it wasn't a representative sample, I agree) -- that has ramped up a notch. Everywhere I went, I had questions about how far we could draw parallels with, or learn lessons from, ancient Rome.

What is it that has driven this interest? In part, it seems to be Trump. As I've said before, there is something about Trump which brings out the Roman in people. But if I prefer to see the only real comparison in the Julius Caesar style hair, there have been all kinds of suggestions which make Trump the late Republican demagogue (Clodius?), or even the new Caesar in a much more fundamental sense (the classic populist dictator, the restorer of order after the debacle of the late Republic -- albeit at the cost of autocracy, and so on). In part, it was an issue of imperial geo-politics. Is the American empire (if that's what you should call it) experiencing a decline like that of the Roman empire? And what caused the decline of the Roman empire anyway?

 A bit of both, of course. But I think it is driven by a much greater institutional echo between ancient Rome and modern America than anything we know in the UK. In Britain we connect with Rome largely through historical geography (roads, place names, and the Roman villa in our backyards); they were here. In the USA, it is much more a question of the (constructed) inheritance of political institutions: the senate, the Capitol, etc. So, at the cost of a bit of wild generalisation, political issues and debates can very quickly and apparently "naturally" get a Roman dimension. I mean, we don't here compare Farage to a Roman -- but that seems to be a favourite point of reference in the States.

It certainly produces some good and lively discussions, but how much it actually tells us about ancient or modern discussions is a moot point.



Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Nabataean: Corpus of Nabataean Inscriptions

Nabataean: Corpus of Nabataean Inscriptions
The Corpus of Nabataean inscriptions on DASI has been accomplished thanks to the agreement with the CNRS laboratory UMR 8167 – Mondes Sémitiques, under the scientific supervision of L. Nehmé. Presently it includes all the tomb inscriptions from Hegra.

Turkish Archaeological News

Terrace Houses in Ephesus

Terrace Houses in Ephesus

The Terrace Houses complex in Ephesus consists of luxurious residential villas, located on the northern slope of Bülbüldağı Hill, next to Curetes Street and opposite the Temple of Hadrian. So far, two housing complexes - Eastern and Western - have been excavated. They were built according to the Hippodamian plan where the roads transect each other at right angles. The excavation work of the Terrace Houses started in 1960. The restoration of the houses is an ongoing process and every year there is something new to admire there.

The Archaeology News Network

Giant pool at Aphrodisias comes to light

The ancient Greek city of Aphrodisias, located in the western Turkish province of Aydın’s Karacasu district, is home to a giant pool reflecting the magnificence of Roman-era cities that is set to be completely excavated by 2017. Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the city has drawn attention for its well-preserved monumental structures. Excavations in the city first started in 1904 by foreign archaeologists and were headed by...

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Centre for the Study of Christian Origins

Robert Powell, Pilate, and other biblical characters


It’s hard to believe, but 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Franco Zefirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth. Filmed in Morocco and Tunisia, and with a huge star-studded cast, the British/Italian miniseries aired on TV in the run-up to Easter 1977 in four two-hour episodes, reaching many millions of people throughout the globe.

Over the summer I participated in a four-part programme commissioned by the Smithsonian channel to mark the anniversary. Zefirelli’s film had stressed the divine Jesus: this was a Saviour equipped with unblinking eyes, an otherworldly, ethereal presence, and accompanied throughout by the film’s haunting soundtrack. The idea of the new programme was to have Zefirelli’s Jesus, actor Robert Powell, go to Israel in a quest to discover the ‘real’ Jesus (by which they meant the ‘historical’ Jesus of Nazareth). My role in all of this was to spend five days in Israel, meeting with the actor in various locations (including the splendid excavations at Magdala) and to talk on camera about the man from Galilee.

Robert Powell as Jesus


I’ve done this kind of thing before, and most programmes follow the same kind of format, but what was unusual about this trip was travelling about Israel with Robert Powell. Of course he’s much older now, but he’s still recognisably the same man, and there’s nothing like being surrounded by a camera crew to focus people’s attention. Everywhere he went, he was greeted by people who remembered his portrayal of Jesus; some had even made momentous life-decisions after having seen the film – one had become a nun, another a priest.

I’d never before considered the aftermath of playing a role as iconic as Jesus. When Powell signed the contract back in 1975 he wasn’t simply agreeing to act a part but taking on a huge responsibility; from then onwards, he would be Jesus for millions of people throughout the world. Even at the time there was disquiet about the fact that he was living with his girlfriend (surely not a thing that Jesus would do!), and it was clear from discussions with him that he has taken the responsibility of ‘being’ Jesus seriously even since.

Before I met Powell I had joked that he was ‘my’ Jesus too. I just about remember the TV series, or at least an early repeat, and I remember the deep impression it made on me. Of course as a scholar my reconstruction of the historical Jesus is worlds apart form Zefirelli’s: I’m convinced that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet, announcing God’s imminent establishment of his Kingdom. With Schweitzer, I expect that I would have found him unfathomable, unruly and unpredictable. And yet there’s something of Powell in my mental image. The gospels say nothing of Jesus’ physical looks (a curious omission I always think; why not bestow on him Davidic good looks?), so it’s perhaps natural – or at least excusable – that in my less reflective moments I tend to think that he looked something like Powell.

Zefirelli made a specific decision that Jesus should be played by an unknown actor, someone who wouldn’t bring a host of other associations to the part. And this worked well for Powell, perhaps explaining to some extent why the audience were so quick to identify him so completely with the role. But what of other characters in the biblical drama? The defining feature of most of the supporting cast was their fame; in fact, the series could boast a galaxy of stars – Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance, Christopher Plummer, to name but a few. And while more recent biblical dramatizations have tended to eschew well-known faces (History’s The Bible, for example), almost all of the supporting cast in Zefirelli’s drama were well known for other roles.


Rod Steiger as Pilate


Take Pilate, for example. The role of the Roman prefect was played by Rod Steiger, noted (as Wikipedia so aptly puts it) for his ‘offbeat, often volatile and crazed characters.’ Steiger brought to the role a pre-history of tough mobsters and police-chiefs, he’d even played Napoleon (Waterloo, 1970), and the lead role in Mussolini (1975). His Pilate (in full legionary dress) is a weary military man, dismissing Jesus as a ‘dreamer’ and handing the whole affair to the will of the Jewish people through the paschal amnesty. This could easily be a wishy-washy Pilate, but it’s not; Steiger’s bemused interrogation naturally reminds viewers of the harsher characters he’s played, and when he looks at both Jesus and Barabbas and wonders who the real enemy is, we understand it as a flash of political insight.


Peter Ustinov as Herod


Watching the film now, 40 years later, I’m also struck at the way other characters have been defined by their post-film lives. Take Herod, for example, played by Peter Ustinov. The actor’s large personality, sonorous voice and well-fed kingly opulence all evoke the kind of images we might well associate with Herod. His own exotic background (he was Russian nobility with a mix of Ethiopian, German and Jewish) brought a sense of ‘otherness’ to the role, at the same time that his public school demeanour saw him consorting effortlessly with the Roman elite, and treating his people with condescension and scorn. He managed to convey a sense of crazed ruthlessness, heightened all the more by his final cries of ‘Kill them all’. Viewers at the time no doubt remembered similar roles played by Ustinov – Nero in Quo Vardis (1951), and Lentulus Batiatus in Spartacus (1960). And yet, watching it now, I’m struck by a mismatch in what I know of Ustinov’s later work, both on and off the screen. He became a respected intellectual and diplomat, and (rather ironically, given his role here as Herod), a Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and won a Grammy award for the best recording for children. I was at Durham University when their Graduate Society was renamed Ustinov College in his honour, and I’ve seen him countless times as Agatha Christie’s loveable detective Hercule Poirot (a role he played from 1978 onwards). Do I interpret Ustinov’s Herod differently now than in 1977? I suspect I do, not only because I’m older, but because I associate the role with everything that I now know about the actor.

As biblical scholars, we may think we’re above this kind of thing, that popular presentations don’t affect our unconscious bias. But I’m not so sure. Perhaps it’s particularly with the minor characters that we need to be on our guard, where the gaps in our knowledge are so great that a Ustinov or a Steiger can get into our minds and affect our interpretations not just once but in an ever-increasing spiral as subsequent roles and knowledge add extra facets to the biblical characters we think we know. . .


Robert Powell and Helen Bond



Written by Helen Bond


Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Outrage: First Draft of Opening Comments

I spent this morning working on a draft of some very brief opening comments for the 2016 North Dakota University System Arts and Humanities Summit. The topic is OUTRAGE. My comments will be very brief and introduce UND’s new president Mark Kennedy.

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The first word in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, is μῆνιν, wrath, and with it begins the Western literary tradition and, in some ways, our current disciplines of humanistic inquiry. The anger of Achilles drives the Iliad through the violence of the Trojan war. Wrath is the subject of the poet’s work. 

My specialty is the late antiquity during which many of the the Western world’s social, political, and cultural institutions emerged. This was also a time of barbarian invasions, civil wars, the sack of cities – even Rome – and, perhaps most significantly, violent and vigorous religious disputes. These disputes spurred outrage both among prelates, provincials, and, of course, the Emperor, his court, and his army. As the great bishop Gregory of Nyssa observed “If you ask for your change, someone philosophizes to you on the Begotten and the Unbegotten. If you ask the price of bread, you are told, “The Father is greater and the Son inferior.” If you ask, “Is the bath ready?” someone answers, “The Son was created from nothing.”

These most outrageous of times had a lasting impact on Christian theology, political boundaries, and the cultural landscape of Europe and the West and continues to shape conflicts “at the edge of Europe” today.

Closer to home, outrage has a significant role to play in contemporary political and social conversations across the US, in North Dakota, and across the NDUS. In fact, I corresponded a bit with Robert Kibler from Minot State, and he argues that the first Liberal Arts Summit in 2001 originated in a series of tense conversations between various state board members, university presidents, the chancellor, and Kibler who pushed publicly for a liberal arts summit to complement more technology and business oriented research summit convened by the NDUS. Perhaps these tense conversations did not achieve the standard of outrage…

Nevertheless, anger, frustration, and passion are potent creative and generative forces from the dawn of Western literature, the formation of Europe, and the recent foment at the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp at Cannoball, among the faculty and students in Music Therapy here at UND, and in the myriad smaller – and certainly less significant events – that cause spasms of outrage to punctuate our daily lives. I can’t help but thinking that without outrage our world would be a far less vibrant place.

The Archaeology News Network

Face of Peru's Lord of Sipán recreated

The skull of one of the most famous archaeological finds of the twentieth century has been reconstructed using 3D imaging. Brazilian scientists have revealed what Lord of Sipán - the royal ruler of the mysterious Moche civilisation - would have looked like if he had been alive today. Two gold eyes patches and one for the mouth decorate the wealthy remains of the Lord of Sipán. The skeleton was  discovered in 1987 and was the...

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Fire came with costs: Are modern humans simply bad at smoking?

The art of making and using fire was one of the greatest discoveries ‘ever made by man’, wrote Charles Darwin. Besides providing protection against cold temperatures, the use of fire in food preparation and the introduction of energy-rich cooked foods in our prehistoric diet had a major impact in the development of humankind. Scientist looked for the genetic footprint of fire use in our genes, but found that our...

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Kostis Kourelis (Buildings, Objects Situations)

Migrant and Refugee Camp Catalog, Mainland, Greece

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Migrant and Refugee Camp Catalog, Mainland, Greece

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During this last year, I have been energized by the conversations over archaeological responses to the recent refugee and migrant camps in Greece. There is a rich tradition of an archaeological discipline, from Janet Okely's Roma camps in England (1975) to Jason De León s Undocumented Migration Project  in the Arizona-Mexico desert (2009). The conversation in Greece began in April, with the

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

The Skittles Problem

I apologize for the language in this Facebook post, but it seemed worth sharing. I could see the Skittles problem replacing the trolley problem as the go-to ethics thought experiment in coming years…

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Melting Ice in the Arctic is Actually a Nightmare for Archaeologists

Archaeologists who work in the Arctic are typically spoiled with pristinely preserved artifacts, but...

Unusual burials at an ancient cemetery in Georgia

Two headless skeletons and a burial in the form of… a skull are among the discoveries of...

China to help Myanmar renovate quake-hit ancient pagodas

A Chinese archaeological expert team will help Myanmar renovate quake-hit ancient pagodas and...

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Australia's 'father of archaeology' dies aged 90

The man described as the father of Australian archaeology, Emeritus Professor John Mulvaney, has...

James Clackson et al. (Greek in Italy)

Oscan podcast

It’s been a bit quiet here of late, I know. We’ve been busily starting new jobs/doing research/going on holiday over the summer. One of the places I went was Pompeii, and I’ll put up some photos from that soon. In the meantime, however, here I am talking about Oscan on Helen Zaltzman’s podcast about language, The Allusionist.

The Archaeology News Network

Palaeontologists uncover age-old secret of Hollywood celebrities

300 million-year-old pre-mammalian reptiles knew that it was their beautiful smiles that made them sexy, so they evolved mouths full of teeth to attract mates. This skull belongs to the carnivorous gorgonopsian therapsid Smilesaurus ferox which lived 255 million years ago  [Credit: Cradle of Humankind/Flickr/WikiCommons]Hollywood celebrities spend large amounts of dollars on it. The hunky stud at the local pub thinks he knows it....

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Unusual new species of extinct reptile shows dinosaurs copied body, skull shapes of distant relatives

Iconic dinosaur shapes were present for at least a hundred million years on our planet in animals before those dinosaurs themselves actually appeared. College of Science researcher Michelle Stocker holds a cast of Triopticus primus specimen, displaying  the area where the left eye was located [Credit: Virginia Tech]In a study published in Current Biology, a multi-institutional team of paleontologists including Virginia Tech...

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Scientists triple known types of viruses in world’s oceans

The world's oceans teem with scientific mystery, unknowns that could prove to be tools that will one day protect the planet from global warming. Marine viruses (a different kind) isolated from phytoplankton collected during the Tara Oceans Expedition.  Lined up end to end, it would take about 250 of them to reach across a human hair  [Credit: Jennifer Brum/Tucson Marine Phage Laboratory]Today, researchers report they've...

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Jim Davila (

More on the Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll

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James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)


I have shared a thought experiment here before, one which I was actually introduced to here on this blog by a commenter almost a decade ago. It focuses on the question, “What would it take to make you lose your faith?” It came up here again relatively recently. And it is also one that I use [Read More...]

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Architectural terracottas from Pyrgi

It now appears that some of the architectural terracottas returned from Copenhagen to Italy [press release] were derived from the Etruscan sanctuary site at Pyrgi, the port serving Cerveteri. It is unclear why the museum authorities in Denmark have been so reluctant to disclose a full list of what has been returned. What is becoming clear is that many of the objects were handled by or associated with individuals such as Robert Hecht, Giacomo Medici, and Fritz Bürki.

Other European museums, especially those in Germany, Holland and the UK, need to be looking carefully at objects that were acquired from these same sources.

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Jim Davila (

Menorah engraving found in Abila, Jordan

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Gardner on charity in ancient Judaism

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Current Epigraphy

EAGLE and IDEA: the future of digital epigraphy

Event organised by the International Digital Epigraphy Association

On 9 May 2016 a group of core partners of the EAGLE project founded IDEA – The International Digital Epigraphy Association in order to maintain, perpetuate and improve upon this ground breaking project. The goal of the association is the promotion of the use of advanced methodologies in the research, study, enhancement, and publication of “written monuments”.

IDEA first General Assembly will take place in Pisa on 28 September 2016 together with a half day public event to present the Association to the wider audience.

View here the programme of the event (in Italian).

The association is open to individuals, institutions and organizations, private and public, societies and other associations. The membership form can be found here


Jim Davila (

The Son of David in Romans

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