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.

March 20, 2018

Archaeology Magazine

2,000-Year-Old Liquid Reportedly Recovered in China

SHAANXI PROVINCE, CHINA—According to a Xinhua report, a Qin Dynasty (221–207 B.C.) cemetery in western China has yielded some 260 artifacts, including a bronze kettle sealed with natural fibers that still contained about ten ounces of milky white liquid. Xu Weihong of the Shaanxi Province Archaeological Institute said analysis of the liquid suggests it had been fermented. The kettle is thought to have been a sacrificial vessel used for worship rituals, like many of the objects in the tomb. Other artifacts include a bronze sword measuring about two feet long. Nicks on its blade indicate it had been used in battle. A five-inch-long turtle shell bearing punch marks on its inside and burn marks on its edge was also recovered. It may have been used by a fortune teller for divination purposes. To read about another recent discovery in China, go to "Underground Party."

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Monograph Series: Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis

[First posted on 24 May 2017, updated 20 March 2018 - 170 volumes free for us to use in less than a year? Is that not awesome? ]

Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis Online
170 volumes online as of 20 March 2018

    Ancient Peoples

    Silver Tetradrachm of Seleucus I Iran, found at Pasargadae,...

    Silver Tetradrachm of Seleucus I

    Iran, found at Pasargadae, minted ca. 312–281 B.C. 

    The obverse of this tetradrachm displays an idealized portrait of Seleucus I (r. 312–280 B.C., previously one of Alexander the Great’s generals) wearing a helmet covered with a leopard skin and adorned with a bull’s ear and horns. Around Seleucus’ throat is another leopard skin, knotted in front by means of the beast’s forepaws. The features of Seleucus resemble those on coins showing Alexander the Great and with whom the new Macedonian rulers wished to be compared.

    Under Seleucus I, coins were minted at a number of cities throughout his empire. This example was minted at Persepolis, the administrative center in Persia.

    Source: Met Museum

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Newly added to Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis Online March 20, 2018

    Newly added to Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis Online
    Wettengel, Wolfgang (2003). Die Erzählung von den beiden Brüdern: Der Papyrus d'Orbiney und die Königsideologie der Ramessiden. Freiburg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Universitätsverlag / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    Zawadzki, Stefan (2006). Garments of the Gods: Studies on the Textile Industry and the Pantheon of Sippar according to the Texts from the Ebabbar Archive. Fribourg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Academic Press / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    Strawn, Brent A. (2005). What Is Stronger than a Lion? Leonine Image and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Fribourg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Academic Press / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    Knigge, Carsten (2006). Das Lob der Schöpfung: Die Entwicklung ägyptischer Sonnen- und Schöpfungshymnen nach dem Neuen Reich. Fribourg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Academic Press / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    Hübner, Ulrich (1992). Spiele und Spielzeug im antiken Palästina. Freiburg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Universitätsverlag / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 
    Matthews, Donald M (1992). The Kassite Glyptic of Nippur. Freiburg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Universitätsverlag / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    Biblische Welten: Festschrift für Martin Metzger zu seinem 65. Geburtstag. Edited by: Zwickel, Wolfgang (1993). Freiburg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: Universitätsverlag / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

    Open Access Monograph Series: Dickinson College Commentaries

     [First posted in AWOL 18 May 2012, updated 20 March 2018]

    Dickinson College Commentaries


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


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


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


    Aeneid  Selections
    Read Online
    Tacitus Annals

    Tacitus, Annals 15.20–23, 33–45

    Read Online
    Get Print Book
    Allen & Greenough’s Latin Grammar

    Allen & Greenough’s Latin Grammar

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


    Gallic War selections
    Read Online
    Callimachus Aetia


    Read Online
    Cicero Against Verres 2.1.53–86


    Against Verres 2.1.53–86
    Read Online
    Get Print Book
    Cicero On Pompey’s Command (De Imperio), 27-49


    On Pompey’s Command (De Imperio), 27-49
    Read Online
    Get Print Book
    Core Vocabularies

    Core Vocabularies

    Latin and Ancient Greek
    Read Online
    Cornelius Nepos Life of Hannibal

    Cornelius Nepos

    Life of Hannibal
    Read online
    Get Print Book
    Goodell's School Grammer of Attic Greek

    Goodell's School Grammar of Attic Greek

    Read Online
    Lucian True Histories, Book 1


    True Histories, Book 1
    Read Online
    Get Print Book
    Ovid Amores Book 1


    Amores Book 1
    Read Online
    Get Print Book
    Sulpicius Severus The Life of Saint Martin of Tours

    Sulpicius Severus

    The Life of Saint Martin of Tours
    Read Onlin

    ArcheoNet BE

    AVRA-lezing: het archeologisch onderzoek in de basiliek van Tongeren

    Op woensdag 21 maart organiseert de Antwerpse Vereniging voor Romeinse Archeologie (AVRA) de lezing ‘Het archeologische onderzoek in de O.L.V.-basiliekvan Tongeren (1997-2013)’. Gastspreker is Alain Vanderhoeven.

    Van 1997 tot 2013 vonden ingrijpende werken plaats in de O.L.V.-basiliek van Tongeren. De aanleg van een vloerverwarming bedreigde tot op grote diepte het bodemarchief. De opgraving daarvan bracht een bouw- en bewoningsgeschiedenis van ca. 2000 jaar aan het licht.

    Gedurende de eerste 3 eeuwen van onze tijdrekening stond een stadswijk op de plek van de huidige kerk. Omstreeks het midden van de 4de eeuw werd een basilica gebouwd, die waarschijnlijk tot het midden van de 6de eeuw in gebruik bleef. Vervolgens werd een kleine Merovingische kerk gebouwd, die tot het einde van de 9de eeuw functioneerde. Omstreeks 900 werd een poging ondernomen om deze kerk te verbouwen. Om ongekende reden werd dit project stopgezet, werd de oude kerk afgebroken en onmiddellijk daarop aansluitend werd een nieuwe, laat-Karolingische driebeukige kerk gebouwd. In de loop van de 10de eeuw werd die al weer vervangen door een nieuw, romaans cultusgebouw, waaraan begin 13de eeuw een westtoren werd toegevoegd. Vanaf het midden van de 13de eeuw werd de romaanse kerk geleidelijk van oost naar west afgebroken en vervangen door de huidige, gotische kerk.

    Praktisch: de lezing start om 20u in de UA-Stadscampus (Rodestraat 14, Antwerpen). De toegang is gratis. De lezing wordt georganiseerd i.s.m. de Vakgroep Geschiedenis van de Universiteit Antwerpen.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Icelandic Epic Predicted a Fiery End for Pagan Gods, and Then This Volcano Erupted

    A series of Earth-shattering volcanic eruptions in Iceland during the Middle Ages may have spurred...

    Compitum - événements (tous types)

    Grec et latin à l'oral

    Titre: Grec et latin à l'oral
    Lieu: Université Lille III / Lille - Villeneuve d Ascq
    Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
    Date: 24.03.2018
    Heure: 17.30 h - 19.00 h

    Information signalée par Peggy Lecaudé

    Grec et latin à l'oral

    Séminaire de recherche pédagogique sur l'enseignement des langues anciennes


    Au sein des discussions sur le renouvellement des méthodes d'enseignement et d'apprentissage du latin et du grec, la pratique orale de ces deux langues anciennes occupe une place toujours plus grande. Des méthodes « audio-orales » existent depuis longtemps, mais elles ont souvent suscité la méfiance ; il arrive encore qu'on n'ose pas les adopter pleinement, par crainte de perdre les avantages de la méthode dite traditionnelle ou du fait de la profonde inhabitude que l'on a soi-même de pratiquer ces langues à l'oral.
    Il ne s'agit pas de les considérer totalement comme des langues vivantes, dans l'idée de rendre élèves et étudiants capables de débattre de l'actualité en latin ou en grec, mais plutôt de développer un moyen de les assimiler vite et mieux en les pratiquant à la façon des langues vivantes, pour mieux les comprendre ; cela passe par des exercices qui peuvent être écrits (poser des questions sur un texte au lieu de ou avant de le traduire, composer des légendes ou des bulles pour des images…) mais aussi oraux.
    Parce que c'est à la fois le versant qui peut encore intimider le plus les enseignants de tous degrés, et l'aspect qui rejoint des évolutions comparables dans notre rapport à la culture et notamment à la littérature (on propose de plus en plus de lectures publiques des oeuvres, le goût revient de la lecture à voix haute), c'est précisément sur cette dimension orale que nous nous concentrerons au cours de cette journée. Réunissant des enseignants du second degré et du supérieur qui se sont particulièrement qualifiés dans la pratique du latin et/ou du grec à l'oral, mais aussi des enseignants qui se sentent concernés par ces approches en les ayant diversement expérimentées, elle se veut fondamentalement une occasion d'échanges et de discussions. C'est la première d'un séminaire lillois de recherche pédagogique que nous souhaiterions pérenniser.


    10h00: Accueil

    10h15-10h30: Introduction, par Séverine Clément-Tarantino (Univ. Lille, HALMA) et Peggy
    Lecaudé (Univ. Lille, STL)

    10h30-12h00: Grec ancien oralisé, pédagogie et entraînement Charles Delattre (Univ. Lille,

    13h30-15h00: les méthodes audio-orales d'apprentissage du latin Germain Teilletche (Collège Camille Claudel de Latresne, ARELABOR)

    15h15-17h15: Retours d'expériences et échanges de pratiques - Table ronde modérée par
    Marjorie Fontaine-Lévêque (Collège Léonard de Vinci et Lycée Diderot de Carvin, APLAAL
    et Arrête ton char) et Juliette Lormier (Univ. Lille, ALITHILA).

    17h15-17h30 : Conclusions

    Lieu de la manifestation : Université de Lille (F0.13), Campus du Pont-de-Bois, Villeneuve d'Ascq
    Organisation : Séverine Tarantino et Peggy Lecaudé
    Contact :,,

    Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

    March Pieces Of My Mind #2


    Arlanda control tower seen from the Clarion Hotel.

    • At the DiLeva sings Bowie show last night, there were two songs from after 1985: “Where Are We Now?” from The Next Day (2013) and “Lazarus” from Blackstar (2016).
    • Driving practice with a young friend from Homs. Super happy fellow after he aced his first motorway and then parked the car neatly in our garage.
    • In the Spirit Island boardgame, everybody may act at the same time, which means that nobody feels that it’s their turn and the game never advances.
    • Had my biannual health checkup. All values nominal except the triglyceride blood fats. It’s a bad sign if they’re above the nominal range. Mine are below it.
    • Remember last year when I was ranked #1 for this academic job in Trondheim but wasn’t even invited to give a test lecture? They just told me whom they hired instead. A local 36-year-old with 26 publications. Roughly one seventh of my scholarly output so far. Screw you, Academia!
    • 14-y-o Jrette playing the guitar in her room and singing First Aid Kit’s “Emmylou”. Young Stockholm woman singing hits by young Sthlm women.
    • Someone said that we’re back in the Cold War again. Another answered “I wonder what side the US is on this time.”
    • Reading my first Hugo packet last year was largely a major drag. Not doing that again.
    • For most of my life I’ve lived a few hundred meters from the small Viking Period pagan cemeteries of Fisksätra. I learned recently though that the student dorm where I lived from 1990-92 is even closer to such a cemetery. It is known only from early maps as it was completely destroyed when the Frihamnen docks were built about 1900. According to Clas Tollin, the cemetery probably served the hamlet of Unnaröra.

    BiblePlaces Blog

    Mikveh at Macherus

    For photographs, sometimes timing is everything. A recent example of this comes from Alexander Schick’s visit to Macherus after the discovery of a large mikveh (ritual bath). He took this photo in November 2016.

    Macherus mikveh Alexander Schick P 4971

    But he returned to the site a few weeks ago, and this is how it looks now.

    Macherus mikveh filled in, Alexander Schick, P1030239

    For reasons we can only speculate about (safety?, preservation?, anti-Jewish sentiment?), the mikveh has been filled in. Macherus is still a fantastic site to visit, but you won’t be able to see the ritual bath that its Jewish inhabitants used in the 1st century.

    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #podcastitas ~ How to Survive a Siege, Part 1: Street Cleaners of Carthage — Ancient History Fangirl


    How would you survive an ancient siege? We take a close look at the brutal siege of Carthage at the end of the Punic Wars–and give you a few tips and hacks for staying alive when the enemy has breached the gates.


    The Mayan Pet Trade Was Thriving 2,400 Years Ago

    The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper yesterday on the results animal remains from a Mayan site Seibal in Guatemala. The dog and cat bones are dated to the Middle Preclassic period (700-350 B.C.). This is centuries older than prior known Mayan pet keeping.

    The Maya site of Seibal in Guatemala has evidence for some of the region's earliest ceremonial activity. PHOTOGRAPH BY STUART BAY, ALAMY

    The Maya site of Seibal in Guatemala has evidence for some of the region’s earliest ceremonial activity. PHOTOGRAPH BY STUART BAY, ALAMY

    Just how do we know these animals were pets? Well we know the Mayans capitalized on domesticated corn. They analyzed the ratio of various isotopes present in these remains. A diet rich in carbon isotopes indicates consuming a lot of domesticated corn while on the other hand lower levels would indicate that it ate less corn. All of the dog remains had high carbon isotope levels. Which implies the dogs had been fed corn-based diets. A jaguar, also had a similar diet represented by its isotopes, but the other large cat remains didn’t, indicated they weren’t kept as pets and were likely wild animals.

    An interesting additional find in the studying of these isotopes is the implications that the Seibal Mayans traded pets. See 44 of the 46 sets of animal remains came from creatures that were born locally. They could tell that based upon comparing the isotopes of the animals to the local environment. But two dogs came from the southern lowlands, a drier area. One of which was buried in a pit along with a large cat beneath a building in Seibal’s ceremonial center around 400 B.C.

    This study highlights how one can determine human behavior from archaeological sites. This means in the Pre Classic period, pets weren’t used for agriculture. They were buried under a building. In Mayan culture pets were traded and used in ceremonies. That means pets likely had some additional meaning. The may have been a symbolism attached to pets to promote economic, political development and likely played an important role in the development of Maya civilization as Seibal was becoming a regional center of political power.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Artifacts Stolen in Massive Archaeological Theft Recovered in Canterbury

    Following a tip last week, police in Canterbury, England, have recovered most of the 2,000 items...

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    The University of North Dakota’s Writers Conference

    The first week after spring break every year (well, at least for the last 49 years), is the University of North Dakota’s Writers Conference. It’s an annual gathering of writers and readers from around the world and around the state.

    This year’s theme is “Truth and Lies” which seems both intriguing and contemporary. The features authors include Molly McCully Brown, Nicholas Galanin, David Grann, Marlon James, Lauren Markham, and Ocean Vuong who offer readings, speak on panels, and show films that inspire and excite them.  

    Undwc18 11x17 layers new nd

    The complete schedule is here.

    This year, there will be a parallel event called the Grand Challenges Information Symposium. It features panels that intersect in some way with the Grand Challenges articulated by the visionary president of the University of North Dakota. Two editorial board members, David Haeselin and Eric Burin, and yours truly will be at a panel on Wednesday, March 21, from 2-2:45 in the Lecture Bowl of the Memorial Union to talk about the future of publishing. 

    So if you’re in the region, please plan to attend the Writers Conference and our panel at the Grand Challenges Information Symposium! 

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Fish accounted for surprisingly large part of the Stone Age diet

    New research at Lund University in Sweden can now show what Stone Age people actually ate in...

    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #podcastitas ~ Episode 21: Rome’s Legacy and the Barbarian Kingdoms — The Fall of Rome Podcast


    As central government disappeared from what had been the Western Roman Empire, the barbarian kingdoms stepped into the void, creating new forms of rulership and institutions that would lay the groundwork for the fragmented, fractured medieval world.


    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Italy opens 1,000 hidden cultural treasures to the public this weekend

    This weekend, Italy will open up more than 1,000 cultural monuments, archaeological areas and other...

    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #podcastitas ~ Ep. 034 – Marathon and Persian Naval Power — Maritime History Podcast



    A substantial portion of the Persian fleet was wrecked in a storm in 492 BCE, but after Darius ordered it to be rebuilt, they set sail for Greece in the summer of 490. […]


    Jim Davila (

    Isaiah the prophet

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    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #podcastitas ~ Episode B53 – Memento Mori — The Ancient World

    …]Synopsis: Aurelian returns East to crush Palmyrene revolts in Syria and Egypt. The sources relate differing accounts of Zenobia’s ultimate fate. “To the tumultuous throng which crowded under these porticoes the solitude of death has succeeded. […]


    Jim Davila (

    The Talmud on why God permits idolatry

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    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #podcastitas ~ Episode 1.4 – Cooperation & Conflict — Historyteller

    By the middle of the eighth century BC, the Tyrians were all over the Mediterranean. Under Hiram I, they had begun developing an extensive trading network that connected various Mediterranean regions. They traded in precious metals like gold, silver, tin, and […]

    via Episode 1.4 – Cooperation & Conflict — Historyteller


    Jim Davila (

    Review of Leuchter, The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity.

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    "Copy" or original?

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Resurrection and Hope

    I received an e-mail from a blog reader a while back, and have long meant to share it here in case others found it – and my reply – interesting. Dear Dr McGrath I have been a follower of your blog for a while now, always enjoyed hearing your opinions on religion and biblical interpretation. […]

    Per Lineam Valli

    The Roman Army A to Z: ballistarium

    ballistarium (n. pl. ballistaria)

    Perhaps an emplacement for a ballista, but more likely where they were stored. Plaut., Poen. 1.1.74; RIB 1280–1. [Johnson 1983]


    The Roman Army A to Z: ballista

    ballista (f. pl. ballistae)

    Before Trajan, a torsion-powered, twin-armed, stone-throwing catapult, but later used for a bolt-shooter. Vitr. 10.11; Veg., DRM 4.22. [Bishop and Coulston 2006]


    The Roman Army A to Z: auxiliarius

    auxiliarius (m. pl. auxiliarii)

    A member of the auxilia. Livy 44.4.11; Tac., Ann. 1.56; Hist. 2.68. [Goldsworthy 2003]


    Compitum - publications

    J. Amengual Batle, La Circular del bisbe Sever de Menorca


    Josep Amengual Batle, La Circular del bisbe Server de Menorca sobre la conversió dels jueus (418-2018). Una crònica mediterrània abans de l'ocupació dels vàndals. Edició trilingüe del text, Minorque - Palma de Majorque, 2018.

    Éditeur : Institut Menorquí d'Estudis - Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics
    Collection : Cova de Pala, 34
    194 pages
    ISBN : 978-84-15291-38-1
    15 €

    La carta del bisbe Sever, reflex de la profunda romanització de Menorca, mostra com l'arribada de les despulles de sant Esteve feu explotar una situació de convivència entre jueus i cristians, no adaptada al catolicisme imperial. A partir dels somnis sobre l'absorció dels jueus de Mogona pels cristians de Iamona, els prodigis es reetiren fins a la convesió final, anunciada a tot arreu per l'escrit del qual el 2018 es compleixen 1600 anys i que ens arriba de la mà del seu màxim estudiós.


    Source : Institut Menorquí d'Estudis

    Archaeology Magazine

    1,000-Year-Old Cathedral Foundations Uncovered in England

    England Norman cathedralHERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that the foundations of the original A.D. 1077 apse were uncovered at St. Albans Cathedral under just three feet of soil. “One of our major aims was to confirm its presence and confirm the abbey was one of the early Norman cathedrals,” said Ross Lane, director of the excavation for the Canterbury Archaeological Trust. The excavation also uncovered approximately 20 graves dating to the eleventh and twelfth centuries. “They are clustered close to the walls in tile-lined tombs,” Lane said. The people in the graves are thought to have either lived in the abbey or been its benefactors in order to have received such honored burial spots. A new visitor center will be built on the site. To read about graffiti in medieval English churches, go to “Letter From England: Writing on the Church Wall.”

    Nineteenth-Century Gold Mine Found in New Zealand

    WAIKAIA, NEW ZEALAND—The Southland Times reports that traces of a late nineteenth-century gold mine were found on New Zealand’s South Island by archaeology consultants engaged by the forestry company IFS Growth. The consultants first spotted the site, which is now covered over with heavy scrub, in historic aerial photographs. “To everyone’s surprise, we could see an extensive and largely intact gold mining complex consisting of water races, reservoirs, sluice workings, and sludge channels,” said Matthew Sole of Kopuwai Consulting. Miners’ huts were also part of the complex. Known as the Muddy Terraces site, the mine yielded as much as 42 ounces of gold during one five-week period, according to one newspaper account. Once the site’s boundaries have been determined, the forestry team will continue their harvest around it. To read about a discovery in Australia, go to “Death by Boomerang.”

    March 19, 2018

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Journal: Layers. Archeologia Territorio Contesti

    Layers. Archeologia Territorio Contesti
    ISSN: 2532-0289
    Page Header
    Layers. Archeologia Territorio Contesti is a peer-reviewed open access journal which focuses on archaeological research into the Landscape Archaeology. Studies of sites, results of scientific excavations and studies on artefacts found in the excavations fall into this field. The journal accepts unpublished scientific contributions characterized by originality and innovation. The journal accepts contributions related to any specific geographical region and relevant to any period, from prehistory to the Middle Ages.


    No 1 (2016)

    Questo 1° numero contiene gli Atti del Convegno di Studi
    Daedaleia. Le torri nuragiche oltre lʼetà del Bronzo
    Cagliari, Cittadella dei Musei, 19-21 aprile 2012)
    curati da E. Trudu, G. Paglietti, M. Muresu

    Impaginazione a cura di E. Cruccas, M. Cabras, G. A. Arca,  M. Todde, C. Parodo


    Supplement to issue 2

    Notizie & Scavi della Sardegna Nuragica.
    Abstract Book del I Congresso Regionale (Serri, 20-22  aprile 2017)


    No 3 (2018)

    Calixtlahuaca Archaeological Project

    Publication Round-Up

    Angela Huster

    The past two years have seen the publication of several articles, book chapters, and a dissertation related to the project. If you would like a copy, please contact me or the authors. (If you've written something on the project and I missed it, please let me know!)

    Huster, Angela C.
                    2018       Regional-Level Exchange in Postclassic Central Mexico. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 50: 40-53.

    This article summarizes Middle and Late Postclassic trade patterns in ceramics in the Basin of Mexico, Morelos, and Toluca Valley, using data from Calixtlahuaca and several other published projects. It evaluates three hypotheses for the origins of the Postclassic market system and finds both bottom-up and top-down processes played roles, but that that the market system was not a product of the Aztec Empire.

    Huster, Angela C.
                    2016       The Effects of Aztec Conquest on Provincial Commoner Households at Calixtlahuaca, Mexico. Doctoral Dissertation, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

    An evaluation of Aztec rulership strategies, using Calixtlahuaca as a case study. Includes trade, craft production, household wealth, and identity based on domestic ritual and food preparation.

    Manin, Aurélie, Raphaël Cornette and Christine Lefèvre
                    2016       Sexual dimorphism among Mesoamerican turkeys: a key for understanding past husbandry. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10:526-533.

    This paper is an analysis of turkey bones from multiple Classic and Postclassic sites in Western Mesoamerica, including Calixtlahuaca. It shows that Mesoamerican turkey flocks were heavily skewed toward female birds, which is consistent with flocks managed for a mix of egg and meat production.

    Manin, Aurélie and Christine Lefèvre
                    2016       The use of animals in Northern Mesoamerica, between the Classic and the Conquest (200-1521 AD). An attempt at regional synthesis on central Mexico. Anthropozoologica 51(2):127-147.

    This paper is an analysis of faunal material from multiple Classic and Postclassic sites in Western Mesoamerica, including Calixtlahuaca. Calixtlahuaca shows a relatively heavy reliance on dog, and somewhat less on hunted on garden-hunted species.

    Sergheraert, Maëlle
                    2016       Aztec Provinces of the Central Highlands.In The Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs, edited by D. L. Nichols and E. Rodríguez-Alegría, pp. 463-472. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    An overview of the archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence for Aztec rule in Central Mexico, using Calixtlahuaca as a case study.

    Smith, Michael E.
                    2016       Aztec Urbanism: Cities and Towns. In The Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs, edited by D. L. Nichols and E. Rodríguez-Alegría, pp. 201-218. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    An overview of organization, form, population, and common features of Aztec cities, including Calixtlahuaca.

    Umberger, Emily and Casandra Hernández Fahan
                    2017       Matlatzinco Before the Aztecs: José García Payón and the Sculptural Corpus of Calixtlahuaca. Ancient Mesoamerica28(1):1-19.

    This work summarizes Emily, Casandra and Maëlle’s work on the stone sculptures from the Garcia Payón excavations at Calixtlahuaca. While the best-known sculptures from the site are Aztec-style pieces, there are also a large number of pieces in a local Matlatzinca style, which are described for the first time in this article.

    The Archaeology News Network

    Discovery of 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

    An analysis of 115,000-year-old bone tools discovered in China suggests that the toolmaking techniques mastered by prehistoric humans there were more sophisticated than previously thought. Retoucher on a long bone fragment from a large mammal [Credit: Luc Doyon]Marks found on the excavated bone fragments show that humans living in China in the early Late Pleistocene were already familiar with the mechanical properties of bone and knew...

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    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    St Albans Abbey 'one of England's early Norman cathedrals'

    St Albans Abbey has been confirmed as one of England’s early Norman cathedrals after experts...

    Some dogs were royalty, others were dinner in ancient Mayan culture

    If you were top dog in Mayan Latin America, you might be an honored guest at the king’s feast. But...

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Journal: Hirundo, the McGill Journal of Classical Studies

    [First posted in AWOL 9 November 2009. Updated 19 Mar 2018]

    Hirundo: the McGill Journal of Classical Studies
    ISSN: 1718-8296
    Hirundo, the McGill Journal of Classical Studies, is published once a year by the Classics Students Association of McGill. The journal is completely authored, edited, and produced by undergraduate students at McGill University.

    Hirundo seeks contributions from students and alumni related to the ancient Mediterranean world broadly defined. Essays on Classical art and literature, ancient European and Near Eastern history from the prehistoric through late antique periods, religious studies, ancient philosophy, and the Classical tradition are welcome. Hirundo aims to bring together students with diverse yet overlapping interests, and offer them the opportunity to publish their work for a wider audience and thereby promote Classical Studies.
    Hirundo I 2000-2001
    Hirundo II 2001-2002
    Hirundo III 2004-2005
    Hirundo IV 2005-2006
    Hirundo V 2006-2007
    Hirundo VI 2007-2008
    Hirundo VII 2008-2009
    Hirundo VIII 2009-2010
    Hirundo IX 2010-2011
    Hirundo X 2011-2012
    Hirundo XI 2012-2013
    Hirundo XII 2013-2014
    Hirundo XIII 2014-2015
    Hirundo XIV 2015-2016
    Hirundo XV 2016-2017

    The Archaeology News Network

    Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds

    A long-standing debate in the field of cultural evolution has revolved around the question of how and why human societies become more hierarchical. Some theorize that material changes to a society's resources or subsistence strategies lead it to become more hierarchical; others believe that hierarchy is the cause rather than the result of these changes. Many see the answer as being somewhere on the spectrum between these two extremes....

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    AIA Fieldnotes

    OIKOS: Archaeological Approaches to House Societies in the Ancient Aegean

    Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
    Sponsored by AEGIS at the UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve
    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Thursday, December 6, 2018 to Friday, December 7, 2018


    Archaeological approaches to House Societies in the ancient Aegean

    International Workshop organised by AEGIS at the UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, 6th-7th December 2018.

    1st Circular

    Conveners: M. Relaki & J. Driessen


    Maria Relaki
    Call for Papers: 
    Right Header: 
    Right Content: 
    CFP Deadline: 
    May 30, 2018

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Agriculture initiated by indigenous peoples, not Fertile Crescent migration

    Small scale agricultural farming was first initiated by indigenous communities living on...

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Journal: NABU at Achemenet

    [First posted in AWOL 16 December 2009. Updated 19 March 2018]

    Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires (NABU) [articles pertaining to the 1st. mill. BCE at Achemenet]
    ISSN: 0989-5671
    With the permission of the team that runs the review NABU, now also published on-line, the Achemenet site also provides on-line publication, in a specific format, of Notes from the Achemenid era that have already appeared in NABU since 1987; it also includes Notes on the neo-Babylonian era and the Hellenistic era.
    As of 2012 the full run of NABU is available online:

    Ancient Peoples

    Stone Mason’s Chisel and MalletAncient Egypt, Middle...

    Stone Mason’s Chisel and Mallet

    Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, reign of Mentuhotep II,  ca. 2051–2000 B.C.

    From Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, MMA excavations, 1926–27

    Source: Met Museum

    The Archaeology News Network

    Agriculture initiated by indigenous peoples, not Fertile Crescent migration

    Small scale agricultural farming was first initiated by indigenous communities living on Turkey's Anatolian plateau, and not introduced by migrant farmers as previously thought, according to new research by the University of Liverpool. Neolithic house uncovered during excavations in central Anatolia [Credit: Professor Douglas Baird]Professor Douglas Baird and his team discovered the presence of carbonised seeds and phytoliths of...

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    Fish accounted for surprisingly large part of Stone Age diet in Scandinavia

    New research at Lund University in Sweden can now show what Stone Age people actually ate in southern Scandinavia 10 000 years ago. The importance of fish in the diet has proven to be greater than expected. So, if you want to follow a Paleo diet - you should quite simply eat a lot of fish. Fish bones [Credit: Blekinge Museum]Osteologists Adam Boethius and Torbjörn Ahlström have studied the importance of various protein sources in the...

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    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    MALP (= M(orphologically) A(nnotated) (and) L(emmatized) P(apyri) corpus)

    MALP (= M(orphologically) A(nnotated) (and) L(emmatized) P(apyri) corpus)
    This repository contains the MALP (= M(orphologically) A(nnotated) (and) L(emmatized) P(apyri) corpus) corpus. This contains all the texts of which could be automatically sentence splitted. You find documentation about its creation in the forthcoming article:
    Celano, Giuseppe G. A. (2017). An automatic morphological annotation and lemmatization for the papyri of the Integrating Digital Papyrology Project ( in Reggiani N. (ed.), Digital Papyrology II. New Tools for the Digital Edition of Ancient Papyri. De Gruyter

    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #podcastitas ~ 071 – Love, Sex, and Prostitution — The History of Ancient Greece Podcast

    In this episode, we discuss Greek love and sexuality by examining the formal social institution known as pederasty; the various philosophical theories of love as described by Plato (through various speakers) in his treatise, the Symposium; the various methods in which Athenian males (and non-citizen women) were able to have sex; the depiction of nudity…

    via 071 – Love, Sex, and Prostitution — The History of Ancient Greece Podcast


    The Heroic Age

    Call for papers

    XXV Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity:
    Tvärminne, Finland, 26.-27.10.2018

    The 25th multidisciplinary Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity will be organized on 26-27 October 2018. The symposium will bring together scholars and postgraduate students with an interest in Late Antiquity from a variety of universities and disciplines (philology, archaeology, history, theology, religious studies, art history etc.). The theme of this year’s symposium is Seafaring, Mobility, and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity (ca. 150-700 CE), which will be approached from a wide perspective, including social, economic, cultural, religious, ideological, and literary aspects; the symposium will be divided into thematic sessions broadly structured around archaeological, literary, and historical frames of inquiry.

    We welcome papers discussing Late Antique seafaring, mobility, and the Mediterranean from any viewpoints, but encourage especially the following themes:
    1.      Networks of Communication and Commodification in the Late Antique Mediterranean
    2.      Sea as a Metaphor in Late Ancient Literature
    3.      The Mediterranean as ‘Mare Nostrum’

    Please send a short abstract of 250–300 words words, with your name, affiliation, e-mail and paper title, by 7th of May 2018 to Dr Ville Vuolanto: ville.vuolanto(at) Applicants will be informed by the beginning of June 2018 at the latest whether they have been accepted. We have reserved 20 minutes for each presentation, plus 10 minutes for discussion.

    The symposium will be organized at the zoological research station of the University of Helsinki at Tvärminne, on the southern coast of Finland ( – a suitably maritime venue. The symposium will have a participation fee (20€ from students, 60€ from others), which will include accommodation (one night) at the symposium venue, as well as meals for two days. We offer also the transportation from Helsinki to Tvärminne and the return journey. Registration for the symposium will start on 20 August and will close on 28 September 2018.

    There are three invited keynote lectures in the symposium:

    Professor Greg Woolf, director of the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London:
    Changes in Traffic Volume across Mediterranean Maritime Networks in the first millennium CE.

    Professor Rebecca Sweetman, University of St Andrews
    Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Communication, Complexity and Christianization in the Aegean

    Professor Arja Karivieri, director of the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, Rome
    The Ways to Control Mobility in Ostia and Portus

    The symposium is organized by Raimo Hakola (, Antti Lampinen ( and Ville Vuolanto ( and funded by the following research projects: Reason and Religious Recognition (The Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki; headed by Risto Saarinen); Segregated or Integrated? – Living and Dying in the Harbour City of Ostia, 300 BCE – 700 CE (The Academy of Finland research project, University of Tampere; headed by Arja Karivieri); Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (European Research Council, Consolidator Grant, Kaius Tuori).

    Please distribute further to potentially interested people. Follow also our facebook page:
    On behalf of the organizing committee,

    Ville Vuolanto

    Ville Vuolanto
    PhD, Lecturer in History
    Faculty of Social Sciences
    University of Tampere, Finland

    Roberta Mazza (Faces & Voices)

    Dove comprare papiri antichi in greco e demotico? Al Museo del Papiro di Siracusa

    Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 16.36.13

    Avviso di vendita dei papiri postato nel sito del Museo, screenshot

    Questa mattina mi sono alzata e ho avuto notizie dall’Italia. Il Museo del Papiro di Siracusa ha messo in vendita venti papiri della sua collezione, apparentemente tutti inediti, greci e demotici. La notizia e’ apparsa in forma di pubblicita’ sulla pagina Facebook del mio collega Luigi Prada. Abbiamo pensato a uno scherzo, ma sia la pagina Facebook che il sito del museo riportano la stessa notizia.

    La direttrice del museo, Anna Di Natale, ha risposto in questi termini a una mia richiesta di informazioni mandata attraverso la PAPY-list (la mailing list dei papirologi): “Il Museo del Papiro ha deciso di mettere in vendita alcuni papiri della propria collezione per reperire risorse per realizzare altri progetti.”

    Quali siano questi progetti non e’ per ora dato a sapere. La provenienza della collezione viene definita “accertata” (senza altri dettagli) e l’acquisto risalente a dieci anni fa.

    Come si legge nel sito, il museo del papiro di Siracusa e’ un’istituzione privata fondata e gestita dall’Istituto Internazionale del Papiro, nato nel 1987 per opera di Corrado Basile e Anna Di Natale, attuale direttrice. Una grande importanza e’ riservata alla didattica rivolta agli studenti: mi chiedo che tipo di messaggio il museo pensi di trasmettere alle nuove generazioni, vendendo manoscritti antichi di cui il museo medesimo dovrebbe infatti essere custode. Il museo e’ spesso sede di convegni scientifici di Egittologia e Papirologia organizzati dall’Istituto Italiano per la Civiltà Egizia. Mi domando cosa pensino i membri di questo istituto della vendita.

    L’episodio non e’ certo isolato; tra gli ultimi casi, ricordo la vendita di alcuni papiri della collezione Bodmer al collezionista americano Steve Green (Museum of the Bible), e la vendita ad almeno tre collezionisti privati di alcuni papiri da Ossirinco da parte del Bade’ Museum of Archaeology di Berkeley (in questo caso un paradosso visto che uno dei papiri in questione era un famoso testimone del Vangelo di Giovanni…).

    Certo un museo del papiro che vende i suoi papiri rende la vicenda particolarmente surreale.


    The Archaeology News Network

    First evidence of live-traded dogs for Maya ceremonies

    Police detectives analyze isotopes in human hair to find out where a murder victim was born and grew up. Ashley Sharpe, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and colleagues combined clues from carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and strontium isotope analysis discovering the earliest evidence that the Maya raised and traded dogs and other animals, probably for ceremonial use. Ashley Sharpe, staff scientist at...

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    ArcheoNet BE

    DAWN – Workshops Digitale Archeologie CAA Nederland/Vlaanderen

    Op 26 april 2018 organiseert de Digital Archaeology Group van de Universiteit Leiden, in samenwerking met CAA NL/FL, vier workshops omtrent het gebruik van digitale technieken in archeologisch onderzoek. De thema’s zijn Image Based Modeling, LiDAR Processing, 3D Modeling in Archaeology en het gebruik van Archis (wellicht minder van belang voor Vlaamse deelnemers). De workshops zijn gericht op zowel studenten, onderzoekers als archeologen actief in de commerciële sector.

    De workshops zullen plaatsvinden in de Faculteit Archeologie van de Universiteit Leiden. Deelname aan de workshops is gratis, maar registratie is verplicht. Alle informatie vindt u op

    Perseus Digital Library Updates

    Its alive! Perseus and the Scaife Digital Library Viewer

    On March 15, Eldarion released the initial version of the Scaife Digital Library Viewer. The release is, of course, a first step, but this first step changes the world in at least two fundamental ways: (1) Perseus is alive — it can finally include new materials on an on-going basis; (2) the Scaife Digital Library Viewer provides a foundation for an environment that can publish a growing range of born-digital, openly licensed, and networked (and fully networkable because they are openly licensed) annotations and micro-publications that cannot be represented in the incunabular digital publication systems that still internalize the limitations of print publication.

    First, Perseus can now be configured so that it can include new materials almost immediately. We have not yet established a regular workflow — the initial Scaife Digital Library Viewer still runs on a server maintained by Eldarion rather than Tufts — but updates on a weekly and even a daily basis, if not real time, would be quite reasonable. New content does not even have to be in Greek or Latin — we already include a Persian edition of the Divan of Hafez. More importantly, if someone outside of the extended network of Perseus collaborators puts their content in the right format (for now CapiTainS-compliant EpiDoc TEI XML), we can include it. Thus, Neven Jovanovic was able to publish the first of what is expected to be a series of early modern Latin texts in Perseus (Scaliger’s Latin translation of Sophocles’ Ajax). Prof. Hayim Lapin from the University of Maryland converted his CC-licensed version of the Hebrew Old Testament , Talmud, and Mishnah. At present, anything that ends up as visible in the Scaife DL can be (because we require an open license) a permanent part of the Perseus collections. We need to think through a general process of content submission (and however open we wish to be, there are obviously some limits), but there are enough established collaborators with content to add and enough CC-licensed material that we would like to add that we already have enough materials to test a workflow for updates.

    Second, the use cases of Perseus and of Digital Classics are not only more varied than those of print but involve so many data types and so many implicit use cases that they represent an emergent system. These include born-digital critical editions (with variants classified and dynamically configurable), diplomatic editions with alignments between transcription and source images, alignments between different versions of the same text in the same language, bilingual alignments between source texts and translations morphological and syntactic analyses, co-reference resolution, and other categories of linguistic annotation, social networks, geospatial data, representations of digital intertextuality (including annotations expressing estimating probabilities that a given word or phrase represents a paraphrase or direct quotation from a lost source text), and an unbounded set of potential new annotation classes. Use cases include not only specialists posing new kinds of questions (e.g., search a corpus for instances of “future less vivid conditionals” or a semantically clustered list of verbs associated with male vs. female agents) but a fundamentally new mode of interaction that we might term language wrangling or language hacking, where readers have such dense networks of explanatory annotations that they can engage immediately, at some level of precision, with any annotated source in any language, whether or not they have any prior of knowledge of that language. Such reading is a new form of engagement that lies between the experience of experts who have spent their 10,000+ hours immersed in a subject and the passivity that a print modern language translation, with no mechanisms to get past its surface and into the source text, imposes upon the reading mind.

    Looking at the first release of the Scaife Digital Library Viewer, it is easy to see all the work that needs to be done. Indeed, for me, the steady progress towards a Perseus 5.0 only deepens my appreciation for what went into the development of Perseus 4.0 (the Java-based version, initially developed by David Mimno more than fifteen years ago and still in use at and Perseus 3.0 (the Perl-based version that David A. Smith initially developed on the side to give Perseus its first web presence back in 1995). More than a decade ago, we solved another, less immediately obvious problem for having Perseus emerge as a place in which to publish content. In March 2006 (after being badgered by Ross Scaife, as well as Chris Blackwell, Gabby Bodard, Tom Elliott, Neel Smith and others), we began to apply a Creative Commons license to content that had no legal entailments. As soon as we decided that we would create collections that only contained CC-licensed content, we solved the bottleneck problem: so long as we actually made the content available, we could never use exclusive control over that content to restrict the development of services that we could not provide (say hello to Perseus Philologic,

    The Scaife Viewer of March 2018 may only be a beginning. It may have a great deal more to do (e.g., integrating treebanks and source text/translation alignments). But the code is open and the possibilities are almost unbounded.

    The Archaeology News Network

    Volcanic eruption influenced Iceland's conversion to Christianity

    Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island's conversion to Christianity, new research suggests. Part of the Eldgjá fissure in southern Iceland [Credit: Clive Oppenheimer]A team of scientists and medieval historians, led by the University of Cambridge, has used information contained within ice cores and tree rings to accurately date a massive...

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    AIA Fieldnotes

    No (e)scape? Towards a Relational Archaeology of Man, Nature, and Thing in the Aegean Bronze Age

    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Friday, March 23, 2018 to Sunday, March 25, 2018

    "The conference is dedicated to the memory of Maria Kyritsi (1991-2013), a student of archaeology from the University of Athens.

    The attendance of the conference is free of charge and open to any interested audience. Information on submission requirements and deadlines is published in our call for papers. Please note that the organizing committee may consider the possibility for individual abstracts to be presented as poster presentations."

    No (e)scape Conference
    Right Header: 
    Call for Papers: 
    Right Content: 

    Graduate Student Fellowship in Classics for Modern Greek Speakers

    April 30, 2018

    "The University of California at Santa Barbara is delighted to offer a new funding opportunity: *6 years of full funding for a Classics PhD student who is able to teach modern Greek*. The successful applicant will be expected to teach modern Greek to undergraduates for two quarters each year, and will be on fellowship for the third quarter (for five years; a 6th year will be funded by a fellowship year or teaching ancient languages or Greek myth). Summer funding is included. Greek-speaking applicants from Greece, the US, and other countries are encouraged to apply.


    Contact Name: 
    Helen Morales

    Denisovans & Modern Humans Introgressed At Least Twice

    Sharon Browning and colleagues published a paper in Cell last week that shows there are uniquely different Denisovan genomes in the DNA of East Asian individuals, indicating that interbreeding with Homo sapiens happened in two independent episodes. See we already knew Aboriginal genomes from Australia and Papua New Guinea contain fragments of Denisovan DNA. Introgression of Denisovans is nothing new, but this a second Denisovan ancestry was not found in these populations. And that’s the exciting thing about this study.

    Excavations in the Denisovan Cave have yielded tiny bone fragments that have had an outsized impact on our understanding of human evolution. Bence Viola

    Excavations in the Denisovan Cave have yielded tiny bone fragments that have had an outsized impact on our understanding of human evolution. Bence Viola

    Browning and crew compared 5,639 whole genome sequences from people who live in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas to the known Altai Siberian Denisovan genome. They got their samples from UK10K Project, 1000 Genomes Project, and the Simons Genome Diversity Project. They noticed that the Aboriginal Denisovans matched to the true Siberian Denisovan genome. People of South Asian and Oceanian descent had different sets of Denisovan genes from people of East Asian descent. Denisovan genes in the eastern populations, such as the Han Chinese, Chinese Dai, and Japanese were more closer. In other words, people of South Asian and Oceanian had different sets of Denisovan genes from East Asians.

    This allows them to make the conclusion that two distinct Denisovan populations mated with humans. Both of these populations mated with the ancestors of East Asians, but one population mated with the ancestors of South Asians and Oceanians. A plausible scenario is that as the first Denisovans split within Eurasia, some moved towards Siberia while others towards Oceania. Around 40-60,000 years ago, modern humans were migrating all over, interbreeding without human populations.  Just how exactly this happened is uncertain. But I can say with confidence based on studies like this that Denisovan DNA introgressed at least twice because the species ranged widely throughout Asia.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    17th-Century Houseguests Slaughtered Hosts, and Archaeologists Are Investigating

    For the chief of a 17th-century Scottish clan, missing a deadline was nothing to shrug off. In fact,...

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Cyprus is Everywhere

    Last week, Annemarie Weyl Carr asked if anyone could offer a summary of a recent publication that they might share with the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute’s newsletter.  I thought it would be fun to share my most recent book on the Bakken, which in very real ways had its origins in the Eastern Mediterranean and on Cyprus, in particular.

    So here’s my little write-up. It’s another attempt at writing in a more breezy and accessible style.

    The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape
    Or Cyprus is Everywhere.

    My first season excacating on Cyprus was in 2008. At that time, I had completed four seasons of intensive pedestrian survey at the site of Pyla-Koutsopetria, a coastal site located some 10 km east of Larnaka and just inside the British Base at Dhekelia. I was carrying the controller of a differential GPS unit across slopes of loose soil at the coastal height of Vigla while an unlikely colleague, Bret Weber, dutifully held the rover in place and leveled it as I recorded the point. We did this thousands of times on our way to making a high-resolution DEM of our site. It was boring work but gave us plenty of time for conversation.

    Bret Weber was the project’s cook and camp manager, and he’d help out in the field almost every day. He also had a PhD in Western History and had almost completed his Masters in Social Work. He was deeply active in issues surrounding housing both in our home town of Grand Forks, North Dakota and in his scholarship in 20th century urbanism and social welfare. As we took point after point, we discussed the Bakken Oil Boom that had just started to rumble in western North Dakota and the growing rumors of life in the temporary “man camps” that had popped up across “the patch” to accommodate the influx of works. Those who couldn’t find room in a hotel or in a man camp ended up squatting in the Williston Walmart parking lot, and in various make-shift camps across the Bakken counties. At the same time, our work at the site of of Vigla where we clicked off point after point, revealed what we thought was probably a 4th-century mercenary camp, housing soldiers who occupied this prominent fortified height on the Cypriot coast during the tumultuous early Hellenistic era. We wondered about life in an ancient camp and whether the mercenary camp was similar to the encampments and short-term settlements that for millennial served miners in the Troodos mountains. Our field work, the history of settlement and extractive industries on Cyprus, and important work of archaeologists and historians to unpack the relationship between the two, framed our discussion of what was going with settlement and extractive industries in western North Dakota.


    When Bret and I returned home we continued to reflect on our fieldwork conversations, we read extensively on the organization of settlement and extractive industries in a global context, we recruited a range of colleagues to our project, many of whom were Mediterranean archaeologists, and, finally, in 2012, we inaugurated the North Dakota Man Camp Project. The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape (Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University Press 2017) is the first book-length publication from this project.

    This book used the genre of the tourist guide to present the bustling and sometimes ephemeral landscape of the Bakken oil patch. The decision to frame our work as a tourist guide once again drew on my experience as a tourist in Greece in the 1990s and then Cyprus in early 21st century which indelibly shaped my view of the landscape. The language of my trusty Rough and Blue Guide for Greece and Cyprus suffused the language of The Bakken, which, like these handy guides, is divided into routes and sites. Our goal was to evoke the modern experience of tourism created, in part, by such iconic guidebooks as Baedeker’s and the Blue Guide which became synecdoches for the informed tourist. More importantly, my summers in Greece and Cyprus as both an informed tourist and an archaeologist reinforced the parallels between these two deeply modern experiences of landscapes. The spaces and places defined and described by both tourism and archaeology are profoundly modern. In short, my time on Cyprus made me aware of my modern way of seeing the world.

    In a 1982 essay, the poet Tom McGrath used the phrase, “North Dakota is Everywhere” to reflect on the influence of the prairie state on writers, artists, and readers around the world. In writing The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape, I hope readers familiar with my other archaeological work will see in its pages that maybe “Cyprus is Everywhere” as well.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Century-old shipwreck found in Lake Erie, 8 died in sinking

    The wreckage of a steamer that sank in Lake Erie over a century ago and eluded shipwreck hunters for...

    David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

    #classicalpodcast ~ Episode 27: A Bard and a Horse — MythTake

    We’re back with a full-length episode! For episode 27, we crack open our shiny new copy of Emily Wilson’s translation of Odyssey! After a chat about the challenges of accessing myths through translation, we take a look at a small episode that makes up a big part of the Trojan War myth. […]

    via Episode 27: A Bard and a Horse — MythTake


    New Podcast: Pompeii and Herculaneum — The Partial Historians

    Dr Radness makes a guest star appearance in an episode of the Wonders of the World podcast hosted by Drew Vahrenkamp. Herein they discuss Pompeii and Herculaneum! […]

    via Pompeii and Herculaneum — The Partial Historians


    Podcast: Quomodo Dicitur

    Augustus et Iason carmina amicae Gemmae nomine ab ipsa recitata audiunt eaque disserunt. Solesne carmina vel alia opera Latine scribere? Certiores nos facias aut hac in pagina (infra) aut apud Prosopobiblion (“ 34 more words

    via QDP Ep 92: Cum Gemma — Quomodo Dicitur? Podcast

    [I’m experimenting with using my blog to aggregate podcast updates]



    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    2,000-year-old liquor unearthed from ancient tomb in western China

    XI'AN  – Archaeologists have unearthed a bronze kettle containing liquor from a Qin Dynasty...

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Things that travelled-Mediterranean Glass in the First Millennium CE

    Things that travelled-Mediterranean Glass in the First Millennium CE
    ISBN: 9781787351172 Year: 2018 Pages: 416 Language: English 
    Publisher: UCL Press 
    Subject: Archaeology --- History --- Anthropology 
    Recent research has demonstrated that, in the Roman, Late Antique, Early Islamic and Medieval worlds, glass was traded over long distances, from the Eastern Mediterranean, mainly Egypt and Israel, to Northern Africa, the Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Things that Travelled, a collaboration between the UCL Early Glass Technology Research Network, the Association for the History of Glass and the British Museum, aims to build on this knowledge.Covering all aspects of glass production, technology, distribution and trade in Roman, Byzantine and Early Medieval/Early Islamic times, including studies from Britain, Egypt, Cyprus, Italy and many others, the volume combines the strengths of the sciences and cultural studies to offer a new approach to research on ancient glass. By bringing together such a varied mix of contributors, specialising in a range of geographical areas and chronological time frames, this volume also offers a valuable contribution to broader discussions on glass within political, economic, cultural and historical arenas.

    The Archaeology News Network

    Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs

    As you picture the first fish to crawl out of primordial waters onto land, it's easy to imagine how its paired fins eventually evolved into the arms and legs of modern-day vertebrates, including humans. But a new study by researchers from the University of Chicago and the Andalusian Center for Development Biology in Spain shows how these creatures used an even more primitive genetic blueprint to develop their proto-limbs: the single...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

    Jim Davila (

    Quick on Deuteronomy and Aramaic curses

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    Mary Magdalene the "apostolesse?"

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Προϊστορική εργαστηριακή εγκατάσταση και Νεκροταφείο Προϊστορικών Χρόνων στα Αστέρια Γλυφάδας

    March 26, 2018 - 12:44 PM - LECTURE Κωνσταντίνα Καζά, Αρχαιολόγος -Δ/ντρια της Συστηματικής Ανασκαφής στα Αστέρια της Γλυφάδας

    Jim Davila (

    Priestly laws in the Torah

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Η διάρκεια της αξίας του Θουκυδίδη μέσα στο χρόνο

    March 30, 2018 - 12:42 PM - LECTURE Θάνος Βερέμης, Ομότιμος Καθηγητής Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών

    Homer and Traditional Poetics

    March 29, 2018 - 12:39 PM - LECTURE Margalit Finkelberg (Professor of Classics [Emerita], Tel Aviv University)

    Migrants in the 12th-century BC Aegean: A guide to identification

    March 28, 2018 - 12:38 PM - LECTURE Dr Bartłomiej (Bartek) Lis (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, British School at Athens)

    Exploring the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic transition in southern Europe: a View from the north of Italy

    March 28, 2018 - 12:34 PM - LECTURE Marco Peresani, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής Πανεπιστημίου Ferrara

    Jim Davila (

    Koller, Elitzur and Bar-Asher Siegal (eds.), Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew and Related Fields

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Η Ύδρευση των Μεγάρων κατα την Αρχαιότητα

    March 29, 2018 - 12:31 PM - LECTURE Παναγιώτα Αυγερινού, Δρ Αρχαιολόγος

    Another Athens: the Athenian chapter of the Seyahatname by Evliya Çelebi (XVII century AD)

    March 27, 2018 - 12:17 PM - LECTURE Prof. Marco Di Branco (‘Sapienza’ Università di Roma)

    Portus Project

    Portus Field School 2018

    The Portus Field School will run again this summer, between June 18th and 29th. In the two weeks we plan to reveal a section of the norther facade of the Palazzo Imperiale opening towards the port of Claudius, as well as finish the photogrammetry of the Severan warehouses. All those interested should get in touch with me- please see the Application Process tab for details of how to apply.

    Portus Field School 2015

    The post Portus Field School 2018 appeared first on Portus Project.

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    What Does Crucifixion Sound Like?

    One of the questions that I ask students in my course on the Bible and music is “what does crucifixion sound like?” We survey a range of treatments of the passion story that involve music, including straight settings of biblical text, classic oratorios that combine biblical and other material in their libretto, and also cinematic […]

    Per Lineam Valli

    The Roman Army A to Z: auxilia

    auxilia (n. pl.)

    Auxiliary troops, complementary to the legions, providing light infantry, cavalry, and specialist missile troops such as archers (Caes., BG 3.23; Veg., DRM 2.2); a. palatina: Late Roman infantry units, part of the field army with, but distinct from, the comitatenses (ND Or.Occ. 5). [Goldsworthy 2003]


    The Archaeology News Network

    Climate change threatens world's largest seagrass carbon stores

    In the summer of 2010-2011 Western Australia experienced an unprecedented marine heat wave that elevated water temperatures 2-4°C above average for more than 2 months. The heat wave resulted in defoliation of the dominant Amphibolis antarctica seagrass species across the iconic Shark Bay World Heritage Site. Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), in...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

    Per Lineam Valli

    The Roman Army A to Z: asinarius

    asinarius (m. pl. asinarii)

    A muleteer. RMR 9.12 [Goldsworthy 2003]


    The Roman Army A to Z: ascensus

    ascensus (m. pl. ascensūs)

    Stairway or ramp giving access to the top of a fortification. DMC 58. [Johnson 1983]


    The Roman Army A to Z: armorum custos

    armorum custos

    see custos armorum


    The Archaeology News Network

    Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

    A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million years earlier and were not as deep as once thought. The early ocean known as Arabia (left, blue) would have looked like this when it formed 4 billion years ago on Mars, while the Deuteronilus ocean, about 3.6 billion years old, had a smaller shoreline. Both coexisted with the...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

    'Oumuamua likely came from a binary star system

    New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system. Artist’s impression of ‘Oumuamua [Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser]"It's remarkable that we've now seen for the first time a physical object from outside our Solar System," says lead author Dr Alan Jackson, a postdoc at the Centre for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

    Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    2018.03.35: Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths

    Review of Emily Katz Anhalt, Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths. New Haven; London: 2017. Pp. xiv, 268. $30.00. ISBN 9780300217377.

    2018.03.34: Ricerche nell'area dei templi di Fortuna e Mater Matuta (Roma). Ricerche - Collana del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione Archeologia, 10

    Review of Paolo Brocato, Monica Ceci, Nicola Terrenato, Ricerche nell'area dei templi di Fortuna e Mater Matuta (Roma). Ricerche - Collana del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione Archeologia, 10. Arcavacata di Rende: 2016. Pp. 236. €65.00 (pb). ISBN 9788898197064.

    2018.03.33: Athletics in the Hellenistic World

    Review of Christian Mann, Sofie Remijsen, Sebastian Scharff, Athletics in the Hellenistic World. Stuttgart: 2016. Pp. 366. €62.00. ISBN 9783515115711.

    Compitum - publications

    J.-Ch. Courtil, R. Courtray, P. François, V. Gitton-Ripoll et A.-H. ...


    Jean-Christophe Courtil, Régis Courtray, Paul François, Valérie Gitton-Ripoll et Anne-Hélène Klinger-Dollé, Apprendre le latin, Toulouse, 2018.

    Éditeur : Ellipses
    432 pages
    ISBN : 9782340025004
    29 €

    Ce manuel s'adresse à tous ceux qui ont besoin d'apprendre le latin de manière systématique et progressive (étudiants de lettres classiques, de lettres modernes, d'histoire, de philosophie, d'espagnol, d'italien…) et à ceux qui ont envie d'apprendre cette langue par eux-mêmes ou de consolider leurs connaissances. Il allie une présentation synthétique de la langue latine, réellement accessible au public d'aujourd'hui, à un éclairage stimulant des multiples aspects de la littérature et de la civilisation latines qui ont nourri notre culture. Une attention particulière est apportée aux genres littéraires fondateurs des littératures modernes : épopée, élégie, histoire, comédie… ainsi qu'à quelques auteurs majeurs de cette littérature. Réalisé par une équipe de cinq latinistes de l'Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès, cet ouvrage est le fruit d'une longue pratique pédagogique, guidée par la passion… mais aussi par le pragmatisme. Les différents chapitres peuvent servir de support à un cours universitaire ou être travaillés de manière autonome. Ils offrent une approche graduée de la grammaire, allant à l'essentiel, assortie d'exercices corrigés, et permettent aux lecteurs de découvrir « la lumière des Lettres latines » (lumen litterarum
    Latinarum), selon l'expression de Cicéron.


    Source : Editions Ellipses

    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

    Recapping New York v. Nancy Wiener – The Antiquities Coalition Blog

    via The Antiquities Coalition Blog: The first of a four-part story on the case of a New York art dealer’s arrest and her part in the looted antiquities trade. This is the first of a four-part series that will recap the ongoing case of Nancy Wiener’s arrest for antiquities trafficking in the run-up to Asia … Continue reading "Recapping New York v. Nancy Wiener – The Antiquities Coalition Blog"

    Pzaf 2018 – Postgraduate Zooarchaeology Forum

    Just passing on this information about the Postgraduate ZooArchaeology Forum (PZAF) which will take place between the 27th and 29th June 2018 in Palermo (Sicily, Italy). Abstracts from any field of zooarchaeology will be considered, and can be submitted through the PZAF 2018 website The deadline for abstract submission is on 31st March 2018. … Continue reading "Pzaf 2018 – Postgraduate Zooarchaeology Forum"

    Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    via Phnom Penh Post, 16 March 2018: When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which would be … Continue reading "Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang"

    March 18, 2018

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Make Your Own Maps of Corinth and Greece

    Make Your Own Maps of Corinth and Greece
    We present this collection of modern and historical maps, GIS data, and resource links for archaeologists, novice cartographers, and experienced GIS users. Original material, redistributed copies, and modified versions are offered under Creative Commons licensing. Feel free to copy, share, remix, transform, and build upon the maps and data as long as the source and changes are documented and they remain free. Download links may be found for both high resolution TIF images and Shapefiles covering the Corinthia and beyond. Those who wish to finish the readymade maps with an image editor like Photoshop may click the links beneath each thumbnail map. Others with GIS skills to construct their own dynamic maps should see the GIS Data section. Sources for the data as well as other good open data resources are further down the page.
    PLEASE report broken links to James Herbst! Errors?

    Readymade High-res Basemaps with Layers (click links to download)

    Peloponnese, Attica, and Southwestern Aegean (1:1,000,000)
    Attica and the Northeastern Peloponnese
    Corinthia (1:250,000)
    Bioitia (1:333,333)
    Crete (1:750,000)
    Attica (1:250,000)
    *see the GIS data section for Greece for the data sources.
    Creative Commons License Corinth Archaeological Data and Basemaps by American School of Classical Studies at Athens are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  


    GIS Data

    The archaeological data, basemap, shapefiles, and optional layer files (see bottom of page for use of layer files) can be downloaded and assembled into a dynamic map using GIS software. The Corinth material is our work. It is followed by redistributed copies and modified versions of regional data with sources noted.


    Corinth archaeological data: cover the Corinthia, the ancient city of Corinth, or the central archaeological site (WGS 84, zone 34N). We will add to these shapefiles when possible.
    • City walls: line shapefile for the Classical and LR city walls.
    • Monuments: these are non-adjacent overlapping polygons circumscribed around the subject with place/monument names attached.
    • Sites: point file with archaeological sites and few museums in the Corinthia. Also in Google Earth KMZ.
    • Central archaeological area, ca. 325 B.C.E: line file plan of the monuments of the main site just before the construction of the South Stoa.
    • Peirene state plan: new topographical survey of the Peirene Fountain completed in 2006.  Dangerous and unsurveyed areas were supplemented by Hill's drawings.
    • Classical houses: Buildings I-IV were resurveyed for Corinth VII.6
    • Underground water system: new survey data used to 'rubbersheet' Hill's plan of the Peirene underground tunnels.
    • Sacred caves: a group of ten caves (points) in the Corinthia and beyond, assembled from various sources noted in the data.
    • Surface geology with layer file: polygon shapefile of central portion of the Corinthia.
    Corinth orthophotos, DEMs, and other products: produced from low level aerial photos in Agisoft Photoscan.
    Corinth Archaeological Site, Scale 5cm pixels, UTM zone 34N
    Peirene, Scale 5mm pixels, UTM zone 34N
    Korakou, UTM zone 34N
    Historical maps of the Corinthia: These raster images are rubberheeted and georeferenced to modern control points in UTM, zone 34N. Each zipped file contains a TIF and a TFW world file.
    Francesco Morosini map of central Corinthia, 1687: 720Mb, Dated on Christmas day several months after his army made it's "fortunate shot" destroying the Ottoman powder magazine (the Parthenon) during the seige of Athens. It was drawn with south oriented to the top and split over six linen sheets. In this file it is reoriented north to the top and reassembled in one image before georeferencing. Ancient features, contemporary buildings and roads, fountains and springs, fortifications and towers, and topographic features are highlighted on this map. The area to the east of the Isthmus still has quite a bit of distortion.
    Pierre Peytier map of Ancient Corinth, 1829: 122Mb, a small but accurate survey by the Morea Expedition shows that the lines of many roads in the village remain unchanged.
    Greece shapefiles with optional layer files: Coverage is the entire country or greater (various UTM). Sources and versions noted below. The layer files are optional, created by us, to enrich the visualization of the data.
    Basemap, contours, and ASTER DEM: Coverage is 36-39 degrees latitude and 20-26 degrees longitude. ASTER GDEM is a product of METI and NASA. Bathymetry derived from EMODnet data
    •,118 Mb and, 326 Mb: intended as a backdrop for the shapefiles on this page. The file is a zipped GeoTiff with a world file (.tfw) generated from the DEM below with naturally colored visualization (similar to the color maps at the top of the page) based on elevation, slope, and hillshade to provide a pleasant and informative background for other data. It retains the resolution of the original data which is nominally 1 arc-second or about 30 m per pixel, though actually less.
    • Contour lines at 50 m interval and Layer File: lines generated from DEM, 15Mb
    • Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and Layer File: raster, 88Mb.  Mosaic from 1 degree x 1 degree DEMs.
    • The European Environment Agency also has some very nice 1 arcsec (~30m) base maps derived from SRTM and ASTER GDEM.
    •, 929 Mb, from EMODnet data.
    *Note that the rivers and place name data may seem repetitive but each dataset has strengths and weaknesses.
    *Greek names encoded with ISO 88597 and may not display properly in ArcGIS. Default encoding for ESRI must be set on Windows via "regedit" as per this ESRI support page.


    The data are from the following:
    • USGS Earth Explorer: a complete search and order tool for aerial photos, elevation data and satellite products distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey's Long Term Archive (LTA). The LTA at the National Center for Earth Resource Observations and Science in Sioux Falls, SD is one of the largest civilian remote sensing data archives. It contains a comprehensive record of the Earth's changing land surface including ASTER GDEM and SRTM.
    • OpenStreetMap (OSM): Built by a cartographic community that contributes and maintains worldwide data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more. © OpenStreetMap contributors (ODC Open Database License, Artibute/Share-Alike/Keep open). (next entry below) probably has the most convenient up-to-date shapefiles, this OSM page has other sources, and QGIS has a great builtin function for querying and downloading data.
    • Geofabrik: incorporated in late 2007 with the conviction that free geodata created by projects will become increasingly attractive for commercial uses. They provide regularly updated (new build each night) modern features and place names from Open Street Map data in Shapefile format. (ODC Open Database License, Attribute/Share-Alike/Keep open)
    • NGA GEOnet Names Server: the official repository of standard spellings of all foreign geographic names, sanctioned by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The database also contains variant spellings (cross-references), which are useful for finding purposes, as well as non-Roman script spellings of many of these names. Toponymic information is based on the Geographic Names Database, containing official standard names approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names and maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. More information is available at the Products and Services link at The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency name, initials, and seal are protected by 10 United States Code Section 425. (no licensing requirements or restrictions)
    • designed, developed, and is maintained by the Institute for the Management of Information Systems of the "Athena" Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies, with the aim to provide a focal point point for the aggregation, search, provision and portrayal of open public geospatial information. (Greek License Creative Commons Attribution, cc-by)
    • European Environment Agency (EEA): an agency of the European Union, they provide sound, independent information on the environment. EEA standard re-use policy: unless otherwise indicated, re-use of content on the EEA website for commercial or non-commercial purposes is permitted free of charge, provided that the source is acknowledged (
    • European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet): provides services for discovery and requesting access to bathymetric data (survey data sets and composite DTMs) as managed by an increasing number of data providers. Data resolution since early February 2015 is 7.5 arc-second. To download, follow this link, click "download products", select a grid square, then select from a list of file formats (EMO, ASCII, GeoTif, NetCDF, SD, XYZ). If you need more, select another grid square, and repeat.
    • Pleiades: gives scholars, students, and enthusiasts worldwide the ability to use, create, and share historical geographic information about the ancient world in digital form. At present, Pleiades has extensive coverage for the Greek and Roman world, and is expanding into Ancient Near Eastern, Byzantine, Celtic, and Early Medieval geography. Pleiades is a joint project of the Ancient World Mapping Center, the Stoa Consortium, and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.  (Creative Commons License- cc-by)
    More open data resources and information:
    • Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization (DARMC): makes freely available on the internet the best available materials for a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach to mapping and spatial analysis of the Roman and medieval worlds. Geo-data offered covering topics such as climate, natural resources, settlements and harbors, artifacts, roads, shipwrecks, political boundaries, rats.(CC BY-NC-SA)
    • ArchaeoStuff: a blog by Galician archaeologist, Emilio Rodríguez-Álvarez with a growing number of GIS tutorials using GRASS.
    • Corinthian Matters: authored by ASCSA alumnus David Pettegrew, this blog is devoted to the archaeological and historical research of the modern region of the Corinthia. The "Maps" category is another source for similar images, contour datasets, and a tutorial for GIS software.
    • Archaeology in (Geo)Space: Stories from one GIS-using-archaeologist to another: another excellent blog by an ASCSA member concerning GIS data, problems finding it, and using it in Greece. Check out the "Resources" page.
    • Ancient World Mapping Center: an interdisciplinary research center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it promotes cartography, historical geography, and geographic information science as essential disciplines within the field of ancient studies through innovative and collaborative research, teaching, and community outreach activities.  Free maps and shapefiles for ancient roads, names, aqueducts, and other ancient features (CC BY-NC).
    • Archaeological Mapping Lab: originally established at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology by Dr. David Gilman Romano, the Lab has relocated to its new home at the School of Anthropology, University of Arizona.  Well published in paper document formats (JSTOR) but no electronic map files offered.
    • Interesting links to various WMS servers and a page on Greece. Little is known about this site but here is a quote from the page, "Actually this is just a test. The idea is to provide an HTML user interface to a Free Gis Data CSW, organized by place and keyword."
    • GeoCommons: the public community of GeoIQ users who are building an open repository of data and maps for the world. The GeoIQ platform includes a large number of features that empower you to easily access, visualize and analyze your data.
    • GeoNames:  geographical database covering all countries and contains over eight million placenames that are available for download free of charge.
    • GSHHG: A Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Geography Database.  They have detailed coastline data.
    • Digital Archive @ McMaster University Library: High resolution downloads of WWII Topographic maps with a collection of Greece at 1:100k. Thanks Dimitri Nakassis for the link!
    • Natural Earth: public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.
    • Open Linked Data Greece: this page has very good information similar to
    • datahub: a free, powerful data management platform from the Open Knowledge Foundation, based on the CKAN data management system.
    • Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (sedac): one of the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) in the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SEDAC focuses on human interactions in the environment. Interesting data including anthropogenic biomes of the world from 1700 CE to present.
    • National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A.: their mission is the study, development, and operation of the Hellenic land registry.  They offer a Web Mapping Service server basemap for Greece that is more accurate than Google Earth.  Add the following link ( to an Image Overlay in Google Earth or in ArcGIS, Add Data>Look in:GIS Servers>Add WMS Server>URL.  For guidance adding the WMS server, see these links for Google Earth and ArcGIS.

    Layer Files, how to...

    Layer files (.lyr) contain information on the color and symbols used to visualize the data.  They are included here to save time assembling an attractive map.  In ArcGIS first add the shapefile or raster data, then right click>Layer Properties>Symbology Tab>Import>Browse button and browse for the .lyr that corresponds to the data.  Alternately try a Google search for "import symbology from layer file."


    The data on this page are gathered and presented in good faith. For the information from outside sources, we assume no responsibility for errors or consistency in transliteration. Pleiades and Geofabrik/OSM are community driven projects with regularly updated data. Visit the sites to download updates or join the sites to create and edit data yourself. For errors in the Corinth archaeological data, please contact James Herbst.

    Mary Harrsch (Roman Times)

    Review: Atlas of Empires by Peter Davidson

    A historical resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2018

    In the opening pages of this reference work, Peter Davidson tells us about his friend who defined an empire as "murder, incest, and the wearing of expensive jewelry!"

    "There is the image here both of glorious conquest and of power held over far-flung lands, and indeed this captures something of what we have come to mean by the term 'empire,'" Davidson observes, "But how, then, does empire come about, what forms can it take, and does it have a defining characteristic?"

    These are the questions he attempts to answer as he compiles information about most, if not all, empires that have arisen and collapsed throughout world history.

    He begins by dividing up his work into nine main chapters, beginning with early civilizations formed when the social construct of empire was a new concept.  The first chapter, entitled "War and Peace", examines the contention between Sumer and Akkad, the rise of Egypt, how the attributes of a military society like Assyria could not achieve stability without advances in administration like those developed by the rulers of Babylonia, and how religion was used to forge unity between disparate peoples by the kings of Persia.

    Chapter two focuses on empires of the classical world including Greece and Rome, as well as Alexander's conquests, the Parthians and Sasanians of Iran, the Mauryas and Guptas of India, and the Qin and Han of ancient China.

    "The story of Rome is one of adaptation," Davidson points out. "The early growth of Roman power sprange from a zealous and rapacious republicanism that eventually threatened to destroy the republic itself. Unlike Athens, however, Rome restructured to resolve the tension between republic and empire. Subsequently, Rome began to resemble the Persia of Cyrus and Darius in the measures it took to cope with its increasing size and multiculturalism."

    In chapter three Davidson leaves the ancient world behind and concentrates on what he terms "Empires of Faith", the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Abbasid Caliphate.
    "All the classical empires found ways to supplement control by force with a measure of consent delivered by shared beliefs," Davidson explains. "As the classical world crumbled and people looked for something to hold on to, however, religious ideas promising salvation exerted a stronger pull than political ideas such as citizenship."

    Empires of the horse take up Chapter Four as Davidson examines the conquests and achievements of the Mongols, the later empires of the Chinese beginning with the Sui and ending with the Qing, Muslim India with the splendor of the Mughals, and the Ottoman Empire.

    "The horse made light work of invading Eurasia's agricultural civilizations but building empires was another matter," Davidson points out. "The steppe riders faced the usual tribal problems of creating a larger community. They also faced the dilemma of what to do with the societies they conquered. If they destroyed they gained little. If they bent themselves to an alien way of life they stood to lose their identity."

    Chapter Five looks at what Davidson terms "Empires of Isolation." Three empires are examined here including Mali, the Aztecs, and the Incas. Davidson observes that the empires arising in Eurasia  were ultimately linked by trade and religion but such was not the case in sub-Saharan Africa and in Central and South America. And yet, spectacular empires arose even without the use of iron and steel, draft animals or even the wheel, in some cases.

    Chapter Six looks at the first global empires, Spain, Portugal, the Dutch, and both Britain and France in the Americas.

    "Managing such far-flung empires was a new challenge," says Davidson. "It was partly a question of money. To squeeze profit from the silver mines of Peru or the nutmeg trees of the Est Indies, ships had to be built, voyages that could take two years had to be financed, and things had to keep going at home."

    Chapter Seven examines the conquests of Napoleon, the development of Tsarist Russia and the rule of the Austrian Habsburgs.

    "As much in opposition to French occupation as in sympathy with French ideals, national independence movements sprouted across the continent," Davidson observes. "The age of the nation-state had arrived, with first Greece, and later Italy, Germany, and others finding their modern form."
    The imperialism of Britain and Japan are examined in Chapter Eight.

    "By the 1870s, nationalism had become as much a force to serve imperial ambitions as to incite independence movements. A second industrial revolution now gave Continental powers the chance to compete with Brtain, and , as the 19th century drew to a close, a single global empire gave way to a feeding frenzy for colonial possessions ending in the First World War," Davidson states.

    In the last chapter, entitled "Empires and Utopias" Davidson looks at the U.S., the Soviet Uniion, and the European Union.  In it, Davidson says each of these entities were ultimately searching for a better world but with the world defined differently to different people with widely disparate histories.

    Like any good atlas, this one is full of maps I found extremely helpful in understanding the migration routes of various groups that conquered or influenced specific civilizations. There are other illustrations of cultural art and architecture. Davidson also includes an index and suggested readings.

    Davidson does a good job of defining and describing key cultural characteristics of each empire and the inherent challenges their leaders faced.  He also astutely defines the strengths and weaknesses of each and how these either helped it to achieve greatness or resulted in its ultimate decline and destruction. You will not find descriptions of specific battles or a comprehensive discussion of each emperor's reign. Davidson limits even the most complex empire to about four to five pages including illustrations. But, I think this reference work does an excellent job of providing an overview of peoples and forces that have shaped our world.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Corinth Computer Project

    Corinth Computer Project

    A Collaboration Between

    University of Arizona & University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology under the auspices of Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
    Since 1988 a research team from the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania has been involved in making a computerized architectural and topographical survey of the Roman colony of Corinth. Known as the Corinth Computer Project, the fieldwork has been carried out under the auspices of the Corinth Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Dr. Charles K. Williams II, Director. 

    Free articles from Dead Sea Discoveries

    Free articles from Dead Sea Discoveries
    To celebrate the 25th Volume of Dead Sea Discoveries, 25 articles from the past 25 Volumes will be available for free downloading during 2018.
    The first 5 articles are now freely accessible until 15 April
    See all online issues here

    ArcheoNet BE

    Tweede symposium Romeinse kust: het programma

    Op maandag 23 april wordt in Middelburg (Zeeland) voor de tweede maal een symposium over de Romeinse kust georganiseerd, en dit naar aanleiding van de tentoonstelling ‘Romeinse kust. Het land van Nehalennia’ in het Zeeuws Museum. Het volledige programma is nu rond, en omvat bijdragen van onderzoekers uit Nederland, België en Engeland  rond twee hoofdthema’s: de bewoners langs de kust en transportnetwerken.

    Alle info en inschrijvingsmodaliteiten zijn terug te vinden op

    Sporen van Oorlog: nieuw boek bundelt resultaten WO I-archeologie

    In het kader van de tentoonstelling ‘Sporen van Oorlog’, die momenteel in Ieper te zien is, verscheen ook een prachtige publicatie over de archeologie van de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Het boek is rijk geïllustreerd met archiefmateriaal, foto’s van opgegraven objecten en verduidelijkende overzichtskaarten en luchtfoto’s.

    Aan het einde van de Eerste Wereldoorlog was het landschap langs de frontlijn in Vlaanderen omgevormd tot een grote woestenij. Na de oorlog kwam de bevolking terug en wachtte haar de enorme uitdaging om de regio opnieuw op te bouwen en bewoonbaar te maken. Op dat moment werden de sporen van de oorlog weggevaagd en werden ze een deel van het archeologische bodemarchief. Overal in de Westhoek sluimeren onder de grond, nauwelijks 30 centimeter diep en onzichtbaar voor het blote oog, de archeologische resten van de oorlog.

    Dit boek, het eerste in zijn soort, brengt inzichten en resultaten van ruim tien jaar archeologie van de Eerste Wereldoorlog in België samen. In heldere tekstbijdragen wordt ingegaan op talrijke spectaculaire bodemvondsten die het resultaat zijn van meer dan 150 opgravingen in de frontregio en van het gebruik van nieuwe technologieën. De rol van het landschap als laatste getuige van de oorlog wordt op een verrassende manier belicht. Deze materiële overblijfselen uit militaire kampen, hospitalen en loopgraven tonen het dagelijkse leven aan het front en vertellen ook het persoonlijke verhaal van gesneuvelde soldaten en paarden.

    Praktisch: ‘Sporen van Oorlog. Archeologie van de Eerste Wereldoorlog’ is verschenen bij uitgeverij Hannibal. Het boek telt 192 pagina’s en kost 29,50 euro.

    Ancient Peoples

    Bronze bow fibula (safety pin) with four ducks Villanovan...

    Bronze bow fibula (safety pin) with four ducks

    Villanovan culture, Italy,  ca. 900 B.C. 

    Source: Met Museum

    ArcheoNet BE

    16de Nacht van de Geschiedenis in het teken van ‘Religie’

    Op dinsdag 20 maart vindt de 16de Nacht van de Geschiedenis plaats, één van de grootste jaarlijkse geschiedenisevenementen van Vlaanderen. Deze editie staat in het teken van ‘Religie’. Verspreid over Vlaanderen heeft het Davidsfonds zo’n 200 activiteiten in petto. Rondleidingen, lezingen, concerten, theatervoorstellingen en tentoonstellingen brengen de rijke religieuze geschiedenis opnieuw tot leven. Alle info en het volledige programma vind je op

    The Role of Climate Change on Early Human Society & Creativity in Kenya’s Olorgesailie Basin


    Aerial view of the Olorgesailie Basin, Human Origins Program, Smithsonian

    Aerial view of the Olorgesailie Basin, Human Origins Program, Smithsonian

    Based on the following three recently published Science studies, in order to survive the climate chances 320,000 ago, early humans in East Africa created complex tools, traded and maybe even developed symbolic language.

    In east Africa during the Middle Stone Age, the Acheulean culture is represented by large, bulky, relatively simple stone handaxes and cleavers. They are replaced by the more advanced Levallois technique which is represented by small, sharp bladelets that requires careful planning to chip flakes from a prepared core chunk of stone. This revolution occured in Kenya’s Olorgesailie Basin by 300,000 years ago. Alan Deino of the helped pin this date by analyzing the ratio of argon isotopes above and below a site.

    The sophisticated tools (right) were carefully crafted and more specialized than the large, all-purpose handaxes (left). Human Origins Program, Smithsonian

    The sophisticated tools (right) were carefully crafted and more specialized than the large, all-purpose handaxes (left). Human Origins Program, Smithsonian

    With the date of a stone tool culture revolution in store, Alison Brooks focused on obsidian from a site called BOK-2, which is 305,000 and 302,000 years old. BOK-2 has obsidian. Curiously, there are no obsidian deposits nearby. The closet are 25 and 50 km away. Ans about 1/4 the the obsidian came from farther locations based on  X-ray fluorescence. Looking at each strata, of BOK-2, they noticed the diversity of material became predominantly obsidian, as if these people were selecting for these tools, which in turn represents very advanced planning and trading. There are other evidence of trading from BOK-2, some of the material found at BOK-2 site, like two lumps of an iron mineral streaked with red, came from a western site called GOK-1.

    The last of these three studies, led by Rick Potts, looks at what were the forces that drove the early humans of Olorgesailie Basin to shift from Acheulean to Levallois and also suddenly do more complicated things, like trade iron and obsidian. He and his team looked fossilized phytoliths in the soil.  At around 320,000 to 295,000 years ago, the local climate of the Olorgesailie Basin become unpredictable; carbon isotope ratios in those tiny plant fossils swang back and forth from wet to arid without much warning, leading to a collapse in the ecosystem. Brooks, Deino, and Potts all argue that this shift in climate change selected early humans to do more complex things.

    The Archaeology News Network

    Hair was dyed for first time as part of funeral rituals, study shows

    Archaeologists from the University of Granada have carried out excavations in the Biniadris Cave located on the Balearic Island of Menorca, uncovering enigmatic funeral rituals. This Bronze Age cave was used by different societies over 3300-2600 years ago. Researchers from the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), among others, are also participating in this pioneering research...

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    Researchers add 700 years to Malta's history

    Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that the first people to inhabit Malta arrived 700 years earlier than history books indicate. Xaghra Mandible [Credit: Queen's University, Belfast]Through analysis of ancient soils, the researchers have found that the first inhabitants arrived about 5900BC. Ground-breaking DNA analysis revealed they came from different parts of the Mediterranean and Europe, including Africa....

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    Jim Davila (

    Gnostic America Conference at Rice University

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    Shofar sheep

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    Clandestine Aramaic

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    ArcheoNet BE

    Guynemerpaviljoen in Langemark-Poelkapelle opent de deuren

    In Langemark-Poelkapelle opent dit weekend het Guynemerpaviljoen zijn deuren voor het brede publiek. Het nieuwe paviljoen brengt niet alleen het verhaal van de legendarische Franse gevechtspiloot Georges Guynemer, die op 11 september boven het luchtruim van Poelkapelle verdween, maar ook dat van tal van andere piloten van alle nationaliteiten. Daarnaast krijg je het verhaal van de evolutie van de technieken en tactieken van de luchtvaart tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Blikvanger is de replica van de Morane-Saulnier, gemaakt door VTI Ieper.

    Meer info vind je op

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Can a Muslim Follow Jesus?

    There was quite a bit of discussion a while back about whether the Muslim God and the Christian God are the “same God.” I had said a little about the topic in some posts written at that time. But now I want to explore some related questions in more detail, in response to a blog reader who contacted […]

    Jim Davila (

    Neef, Arbeitsbuch Biblisch-Aramäisch

    <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

    The Archaeology News Network

    Scientists detect radio echoes of a black hole feeding on a star

    On Nov. 11, 2014, a global network of telescopes picked up signals from 300 million light years away that were created by a tidal disruption flare — an explosion of electromagnetic energy that occurs when a black hole rips apart a passing star. Since this discovery, astronomers have trained other telescopes on this very rare event to learn more about how black holes devour matter and regulate the growth of galaxies. Artist's...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

    Compitum - publications

    C. Deloince-Louette, M. Furno et V. Méot-Bourquin (éd.), Apta compositio. ...


    Christiane Deloince-Louette, Martine Furno et Valérie Méot-Bourquin (éd.), Apta compositio. Formes du texte latin au Moyen Age et à la Renaissance, Genève, 2017.

    Éditeur : Librairie Droz
    Collection : Cahiers d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 146
    488 pages
    ISBN : 978-2-600-05787-5
    69 €

    L'étude de la mise en forme des textes a fait ces dernières années l'objet de travaux importants depuis ceux, pionniers, d'Henri-Jean Martin. On sait qu'une même œuvre acquiert des significations différentes quand sa mise en texte et en page se transforme, que le texte apparaît bien souvent comme « une forme de l'intention » qui fait intervenir plusieurs « co-élaborateurs » (l'auteur, le typographe, le destinataire ou lecteur) et dont la réalisation définitive sur la page est le produit d'une tension entre un projet et les difficultés qu'il rencontre. Au croisement de l'histoire du livre, de la rhétorique et de l'histoire des idées, les vingt et une contributions ici réunies, issues du IVe congrès de la Société d'Etudes Médio et Néo-latines (Semen-l), montrent comment la mise en forme matérielle et intellectuelle des textes latins au Moyen Age et à la Renaissance conditionne leur réception, en interrogeant à la fois leurs dispositifs matériels, leurs choix rhétoriques et leurs pratiques éditoriales.

    Lire la suite...

    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    Trasportare le opere d’arte in sicurezza


    Le opere d’arte, quando trasportate, possono subire seri danni dovuti a sollecitazioni di temperatura e umidità e urti. 

    Peter Konieczny and Sandra Sadowski (History of the Ancient World)

    Can You Name The Greek Version Of The Roman Gods?

    Jupiter, Pluto and Diana are the names of Roman gods. What are their Greek equivalents?

    March 17, 2018

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments

    [First posted in AWOL 1 October 2016, updated 17 March 2018]

    Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments
    Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments presents a topographical survey of the standing historical monuments and architecture in the region from Iraqi Kurdistan and South Eastern Anatolia (Turkey), to Southern Iraq. A work in progress, this monument survey covers all historical periods from ancient to modern. It includes ancient Mesopotamian rock reliefs carved into the cliff faces of the mountains, early Christian churches and monasteries, early Islamic, Ottoman and twentieth century architecture and monuments. This database of images invites you to explore the multiple layers of the rich historical landscape of Mesopotamia. Envisioned and directed by Professor Zainab Bahrani, the basis of the survey is an on-going field project that assesses the condition of monuments, maps their locations and records them with  digital techniques in order to provide a record and to facilitate future preservation work across this region.

    Peter Konieczny and Sandra Sadowski (History of the Ancient World)

    How to climb the social ladder in ancient Rome

    By Jerry Toner

    It is easy to imagine ancient Rome as a society where the emperors, senators and other nobles sat on top of an undifferentiated, static mass of ordinary Romans (who in turn sat above the mass of slaves). But Roman society was, in fact, highly stratified throughout and people of all social levels went to great lengths to better their lot in life and climb the social ladder. Some even succeeded in joining the empire’s richest ranks.

    The traditional view of the Roman people lounging around at the games ignores just how much they had to work. As Pliny the Younger noted when recommending a young man to a friend: “He loves hard work as much as poor people usually do”. Most free men in the country were peasants and in the towns and cities were unskilled labourers, doing such jobs as carrying the goods imported to the docks of Rome at Ostia and working on building the great imperial buildings, such as the Colosseum.

    Manual work was never going to pay well and probably provided little more than a subsistence income. The main way for people to improve their quality of life was to acquire a skill. If a worker could learn a craft then his income as an artisan could comfortably rise to double or treble that of an unskilled worker.

    Sale of bread at a market stall. Roman fresco from the Praedia of Julia Felix in Pompeii.

    Get a trade

    The variety of skilled jobs we find in the sources is extraordinary. More than 225 trades are listed on tombstones and other inscriptions. A letter attributed to the emperor Hadrian, for example, gives us an idea of the competitive industry that the urban population of Alexandria showed in their pursuit of making a living:

    No one is idle. Some are blowers of glass, others makers of paper, all at least are weavers of linen or seem to belong to one craft or another … Their only god is money, which everyone adores.

    Women also played an important economic role. That women are listed in only 35 different occupations, however, shows that their opportunities were far more limited. They worked mainly in the service sector, spinning wool, making jewellery, serving in taverns, hairdressing and making and mending clothes.

    Banking and commerce

    If a Roman had some capital, lending money could be very profitable. One source describes commercial moneylenders “rejoicing in the accrual of money which increases day by day”. Their joy was understandable as 12% interest was typically charged for unsecured loans. Interest on short-term loans in crisis periods could reach 50%. And if the borrower failed to make payments on time, creditors held considerable legal powers and could sell all the debtor’s possessions – including his children – into slavery.

    Trade was anther profitable business – and the empire’s shipping routes were busy with vessels transporting all manner of goods, such as wine, pottery, olive oil, spices and slaves. The aristocracy looked down on trade as being beneath them but that did not stop them from using front-men to carry out business on their behalf. It seems that former slaves were often used in this role, presumably because they could be more trusted to do what they were told and hand over the bulk of the profits at the end of the deal.

    These freedmen frequently proudly asserted their prosperous – free – status on inscriptions on their tombs. Some former slaves of emperors became extremely influential and rich, such as Narcissus – a former slave of Emperor Claudius in the first century AD who went on to amass considerable wealth and influence as a freedman. The status of freedman as former slaves, however, meant they were never fully accepted among the social elite.

    Gaius Appuleius Diocles – photo by Zemanta / Wikimedia Commons

    Big league

    If a Roman wanted to make it really big then he needed to become a celebrity. Successful gladiators were adored by the crowds. Mosaics featuring them were widespread. They were a common topic of conversation and even a clay baby’s bottle at Pompeii was stamped with a figure of a gladiator – presumably so that the infant could drink in strength and courage along with its milk. The fighters were handsomely paid for their work but, of course, few survived to enjoy a prosperous old age.

    Charioteers actually seem to have earned the most, reflecting the great popularity of the regular chariot racing – the Circus Maximus held 250,000 spectators. The most successful charioteer known was the second-century AD champion Gaius Appeleius Diocles, from Lusitania, now Portugal. In a 24-year career, he competed in 4,257 races, winning 1,462 of them. His career earnings reached 35,863,120 sesterces – estimated at US$15 billion. Given it took only one million sesterces to qualify as a senator, the size of his fortune is clear.

    So it took hard work, patience – and sometimes a great deal of risk – but if it all came good, any Roman could hope to rise up to a position where they owned a villa and amassed a fortune. Those who achieved it, though, were the lucky few.

    Jerry Toner is the Director of Studies in Classics, Churchill College, University of Cambridge

    This article was first published in The Conversation

    Did ancient irrigation technology travel Silk Road?

    Using satellite imaging and drone reconnaissance, archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an ancient irrigation system that allowed a farming community in arid northwestern China to raise livestock and cultivate crops in one of the world’s driest desert climates.

    Lost for centuries in the barren foothills of China’s Tian Shan Mountains, the ancient farming community remains hidden in plain sight — appearing little more than an odd scattering of round boulders and sandy ruts when viewed from the ground.

    Surveyed from 30 meters above using drones and specialized image analysis software, the site shows the unmistakable outlines of check dams, irrigation canals and cisterns feeding a patchwork of small farm fields. Initial test excavations also confirm the locations of scattered farmhouses and grave sites, said Yuqi Li, a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences who discovered the site with grant support from the National Geographic Society.

    Preliminary analysis, as detailed by Li and co-authors in the December issue of the journal Archaeological Research in Asia, suggests that the irrigation system was built in the 3rd or 4th century A.D. by local herding communities looking to add more crop cultivation to their mix of food and livestock production.

    “As research on ancient crop exchanges along the Silk Road matures, archaeologists should investigate not only the crops themselves, but also the suite of technologies, such as irrigation, that would have enabled ‘agropastoralists’ to diversify their economies,” Li said.

    “In recent years, more and more archaeologists started to realize that most of the so-called pastoralist/nomad communities in ancient Central Asia were also involved in agriculture,” Li added. “We think it’s more accurate to call them agropastoralists, because having an agricultural component in their economy was a normal phenomenon instead of a transitional condition.”

    The Spatial Analysis, Interpretation, and Exploration (SAIE) laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis is devoted to understanding human societies through time and across space. Working with The Spatial Analysis, Interpretation, and Exploration (SAIE) laboratory at Washington University, Li and colleagues first used satellite imagery to target an area known as MGK, so named for the adjacent Mohuchahan Valley, an intermontane valley of the Tian Shan.

    More detailed on-site mapping was accomplished using a consumer-grade quadcopter drone and new photogrammetry software that stitched together about 2,000 geotagged aerial photos to create 3D models of the site.

    The site provides researchers with a remarkably well-preserved example of a small-scale irrigation system that early farmers devised to grow grain crops in a climate that historically receives less than 3 inches (66 millimeters ) of annual rainfall — about one-fifth of the water deemed necessary to cultivate even the most drought-tolerant strains of millet.

    Researchers believe the site was used to cultivate millet, barley, wheat and perhaps grapes. They have identified seven areas along the Mohuchahan River where ancient irrigation systems once functioned. The current study focuses the MGK4 plot.

    An ancient irrigation system along the Tian Shan mountains of China allowed the cultivation of crops in one of the world’s driest climates. Image courtesy of Yuqi Li, Washington University in St. Louis.

    The discovery is important, Li said, because it helps to resolve a long-running debate over how irrigation technologies first made their way into this arid corner of China’s Xinjiang region.

    While some scholars suggest that all major irrigation techniques were first brought here by the troops of China’s Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.), Li’s study suggests that local agropastoral communities adopted many arid-climate irrigation techniques before the Han dynasty and kept using them to the post-Han era.

    A stream known as the Mohuchahan River drains the valley and carries a seasonal trickle of snow-melt and scarce rainfall down from the mountains before vanishing in the sands of China’s vast Taklamakan Desert.

    The Tian Shan Mountains, which form the northern border of this desert, are part of a chain of mountain ranges that have long served as a central corridor for the prehistoric Silk Road routes between China and the Near East.

    Li’s research on MGK builds on work by his Washington University colleague Michael Frachetti, professor of anthropology, whose research suggests that herding communities living along these mountain ranges formed a massive exchange network that spanned much of the Eurasian continent.

    Ongoing research by Frachetti and colleagues at Washington University contends that the seeds of early domestic crops gradually spread to new areas along this Inner Asian Mountain Corridor through social networks formed by ancient nomadic groups — who met as they moved herds to seasonal pastures.

    Based on his research at MGK, Li argues that early irrigation technologies also followed this same route, passing from one pastoral group to another over thousands of years.

    Li notes that small-scale irrigation systems similar to MGK were established at the Geokysur river delta oasis in southeast Turkmenistan about 3,000 B.C. and further west at the Tepe Gaz Tavila settlement in Iran about 5,000 B.C.

    The Wadi Faynan farming community, established in a desert environment in southern Jordan during the late Bronze Age, has an irrigation system nearly identical to the one at MGK, including boulder-constructed canals, cisterns and field boundaries.

    Compared with known Han Dynasty irrigation systems in the Xinjiang region, the MGK system is small, irrigating about 500 acres across seven parcels along the Mohuchahan River. Li’s current study focuses on one of these seven parcels, known as MGK4, which provided irrigation for about 60 acres.

    By contrast, the “tuntian” irrigation systems — introduced by the Han Dynasty at the Xinjiang communities of Milan and Loulan — used longer, wider and deeper straight-line channels to irrigate much larger areas, with one irrigating more than 12,000 acres.

    While some researchers estimate that Han Dynasty workers would have had to move about 1.5 million cubic meters of dirt to build a tuntian system capable of irrigating 2,500 acres, Li calculates that the 500-acre system at MGK could have been constructed by a small community of farmers with much less effort in a few years.

    “The irrigation system at MGK4 suggests that, although the Han Dynasty brought sophisticated irrigation technology to Xinjiang, this set of technology did not replace the irrigation technology that appeared earlier in Xinjiang,” Li said. “Instead, it continued to be used in the post-Han period. We believe the reason was that this set of technology was well-adapted to the ecological and social conditions faced by local agropastoralist communities.

    “Given recent research on the routes of early crop exchanges, it is possible that the technological ‘know-how’ of irrigation in this region originated with earlier agropastoral traditions in western Central Asia,” Li added. “As a fundamental technology that underpinned the agropastoralist societies in Xinjiang, irrigation probably spread to Xinjiang through the Inner Asian Mountain Corridor along with crops during prehistory.”

    Click here to read the article “Early irrigation and agropastoralism at Mohuchahangoukou (MGK), Xinjiang, China”

    Centre for the Study of Christian Origins

    The Canonical Process Reconsidered

    The canon of the Hebrew Bible was defined, if not yet finally closed, by the end of the first century CE.  The Pharisaic canon became the canon of Rabbinic Judaism, because the majority of those who re-founded the Jewish religion after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans were Pharisees.  The process that led to this canonization needs to be explored.  How should we think about the books that were eventually included in the canon?  Unlike the early church, ancient Jewish communities did not have a central authority that defined the books of the canon. The formation of the Jewish canon was not prescribed by the priests of the Temple of Jerusalem, it emerged from the bottom-up with each community holding to its own collection of authoritative texts.

    I suggest that the books of the canon were not selected according to a set of criteria. One cannot explain why one book was chosen over another book by a set of standards or norms.  I avoid the terminology of “criteria” altogether and its connotation of an external standard. The canonical process was multifaceted and complex, both in the way that each community formulated its own understanding of authoritative scriptures and the rationale implied in the selection.  We need to apply a different kind of logic to understand how the process worked in defining the canon by drawing on the conceptual resources of analytical philosophy on non-essentialism, blurred definitions and family resemblances.  The result of this process, the definition of the canon, is explained by indicative logic.

    Criterial Logic Questioned

    Criterial logic was used in the Patristic period to explain why some books, and not others, were included in the canon.  It was thought that the canonical status was determined by criteria, namely the books’ use in the synagogue and church or by the original language of Hebrew in which they were written.  But these explanations are rationalizations “after the fact” and of a later time.  The Hebrew criterion, for example, does not explain why books that were originally composed in Hebrew (e.g. Ben Sira, Jubilees, the Temple Scroll) were left out of the canon.  Other books (Ezekiel, Qohelet, Song of Songs, Proverbs, Esther, and Ruth) were disputed by the Rabbis despite being written in Hebrew.

    Another kind of explanation, based on criterial logic, is the divine inspiration of the biblical books.  This criterion is often stated, but seldom explained.  It is taken as self-evident. The criterion is believed to be so obvious that its invocation in a debate often silences awkward questions about the canonical process altogether. In fact, some feel that it is positively irreverent to be asking just how belief in a book’s divine origin explains its inclusion in the list of authoritative writings, for how could a divinely inspired text be anything other than canonical? Also absent is the reasoning for the exclusion of other books that likewise claim that God had revealed the content, if not the very words, of the book to the author.

    But the claim to divine inspiration is not restricted to the books that were eventually canonized.  The book of Enoch, Jubilees, the Habakkuk Pesher, and the Pauline letters, to name only a few examples, all claimed divine inspiration, but were not included in the canon of the Hebrew Bible.  The selection of books for the canon cannot be explained by this kind of logic, since the claim of divine inspiration depends on the validation of a community.  The claim-validation sequence required in divine inspiration follows the biblical pattern set at Mount Sinai.


    Indicative Logic

    The definition of the canon is better explained by indicative rather than criterial logic.  Indicative logic points to the fact that a group of texts (such as the Pentateuch and books of the prophets), authoritative in various ways, eventually came to be included in the canon.  It does not require that this group of texts meet certain external criteria that other texts do not meet.  The features of this group of texts are not sufficient and necessary; their characteristics can also be found in other texts (e.g. Book of Jubilees, 1 Enoch, the Temple Scroll) and their distinctive attributes are not constitutive of the definition of the canon.

    A good way of thinking about these factors is to appeal to the biological analogy of the genetic makeup (DNA code) that manifests itself in the physical attributes of a family. Individual characteristics or traits are not all the same in a family, but the genetic information for eye, hair and skin colour, shape of the nose, face and head, and height and body-type are passed on and contribute to family resemblances. Each familial characteristic (e.g., blue eye colour) could also be found in others who are not biologically related to the family.  Similar combinations of physical characteristics, usually among the same ethnic group, could result in a coincidental family resemblances.

    An indicative definition of the canon points to the family resemblances that are shared among the books that were eventually included in the canon.  The features of this family of texts are not unique, but may be found elsewhere among other non-canonical texts.  The fact that this rather than another group of authoritative texts was eventually canonized is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition.  It was not inevitable, yet it is meaningful and significant.

    The Indicative Definition of the Canon

    Indicative logic is implied in the study of authoritative texts that evidence the formation of the canon; although, I am unaware of anyone who has explicitly discussed it in relation to the concept of blurred definitions and family resemblances. The concept of family resemblances is assumed in much of the work on orality and scripturalization of traditional material: a group of texts, sharing similarities that are not unique to them, was nevertheless regarded as worthy of copying, commenting, updating, and transmitting and are instantiated in the canonical process.

    The process that led to the canonization of the Hebrew Bible is complex and included various factors, both external and internal, that are indicative of its formation and constitution. I have suggested elsewhere that there were different collections of authoritative texts used by the various Jewish communities before the Pharisaic canon became the majority canon of Rabbinic Judaism. These collections shared a common core of the Pentateuch with or without a loosely defined corpus of prophetic texts. The impetus of collecting and defining the authoritative books arose from the outside as Jews elevated the law as part of the Persian policy of provincial governance in the Achaemenid period. Other outside factors include the standardization of the Homeric epics as “the Bible of the Greeks” in Alexandria and the emergence of the writings of the Christians.

    There were also internal factors. Texts were increasingly used to support the development of Jewish religion before and after the exile. The observance of laws and rituals, both at the Temple and in the family home, required the textualization and scripturalization of the traditional teachings. These teachings, once committed to writing, themselves became the object of interpretation and comment.

    Several books traced the story from creation to the election of the patriarchs, emergence of the people of Israel, the conquest of Canaan, the period of the judges, the establishment of the monarchy, its division, and the eventual fall to the Babylonians, the exile of the Judaeans and the subsequent restoration in the Persian period. Whether one wishes to call this “credo”, “confessional recital”, “myth” or simply “the story of Israel,” the origins of the people of God appear in several texts to support various aims.  The story of Israel is rehearsed in texts of the Second Temple Period: for instance, in the call to separate from foreigners (Neh 9:6-14), the idealization of the Davidic kingship (Chronicles), the praise of the fathers of old (Sirach 44-50), the admonition of sectarian leaders to follow Jewish law correctly (4QMMT, section C), the first century canonical notice (Josephus, Against Apion 1.38-41), and the definition of faith (Hebrews 11).

    I propose to re-think the canonical process.  It is suggested that one cannot account for the books included in the canon by the use of a set of criteria.  The search for criteria should give way to a different way of thinking, an indicative logic that is non-essentialist and with blurred boundaries.  The indicative definition points to a set of texts that came to be included in the canon without having to meet the criterion of uniqueness.  Drawing on the game-theory of analytical philosophy, I have suggested that the concept of family resemblances is a useful, conceptual tool for thinking about the canon.  The biblical books resemble one another in memorializing the history of Israel, and they also resemble other books that do the same, but were not included in the canon.  The fact that these, and not those, books were canonized is nonetheless significant.  The indicative definition of the canon is a formal definition that recognizes that in the canonical process a group of texts transmitted the story of Israel and was eventually included on the list of authoritative books.


    Adapted from “An Indicative Definition of the Canon” in When Texts are Canonized ed. Timothy H. Lim (Brown Judaic Studies, 2017), pp. 1-24.


    Written by Timothy Lim


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

    New at a revised Zosimus translation

    Zosimus, “Count of the fisc” in the 6th century, wrote an oddball history in 6 books, which only just reached us.  It was an oddball text because Zosimus was a pagan, and blamed Constantine for everything.  Although he wrote around 550, he had access to lost sources, which make him our only source for events in Britain after the death of Theodosius I in 396.  The sole surviving manuscript was kept on the closed shelves in the Vatican until modern times.

    Long ago I placed online an English translation of this work, which I obtained with great difficulty.  My introduction to it is here.

    Today I heard from the excellent Jona Lendering of, who has tidied this up and added it to his marvellous site:

    I have copied your scan of Zosimus and put it online. I have also

    • polished a part of the spelling (as you already indicated, it’s a bad reprint of a cheap book that does not even mention the name of the translator),
    • added chapters and sections according to the Budé edition (anchors for the page numbers have been inserted),
    • linked to relevant pages,
    • and wrote an introduction based on information from the Budé.

    You will find it at

    The public domain English translation appeared in 1814, but was itself a reprint of a 1684, probably very lax, translation.  A nice modern translation by Ridley exists, done for the Australian Byzantine series, but of course this is not public domain and so is known only to specialists.

    Back in 2002 I requested a copy of Zosimus by interlibrary loan.  What arrived after a considerable delay was a bound photocopy of the openings, itself faint, and with the pages effectively back to front.  This I scanned.

    A year later I discovered that a copy was in Oxford, in the Bodleian, and I mae a special trip there to find it.  It wasn’t in any normal part of the Bodleian.  I ended up going to a building that I’d never known about; and then being directed to an annex in a house in an obscure part of west Oxford.  The street was narrow and with quite peculiar architecture, and an odd roundabout-park at the end of the road.  I was the only visitor!  I photocopied what I needed, and left.  Years later I saw the street in an episode of Inspector Morse.

    That was in 2003, I find.  Back then Google Books did not exist.  Today a copy of the 1814 printing can be found there, at this link.  But so can a copy of the 1684 volume, here!  An 1802 German translation is here.

    Ancient Peoples

    Short Sword with Four Kulans’ Heads on the...

    Short Sword with Four Kulans’ Heads on the Handle

    Northeast China, 10th-8th century BC

    Bronze,  L. 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm)

    (The kulan is a species of onager or wild ass native to Central Asia).

    Source: Met Museum

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Nubian Monasteries

    Nubian Monasteries
    This page aims to bring the Nubian monasticism closer to the community of sholars and wider audience as well.
    In 2012 I’ve started a program regarding Nubian monasteries. Thanks to the hospitality of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago and generosity of the Foundation for Polish Science and de Brzezie Lanckoronski Foundation I lead a project on publishing the Qasr el-Wizz monastery carried out by a team of European scholars. The monastery has been fully excavated by George Scanlon on behalf of the Oriental institute in 1965, yet only two preliminary reports in Journal of Egyptian Archaeology has been published. Our objective is to publish the entire material recovered at the site and made this exceptional collection available for the public.
    I am also implementing the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology project at the Ghazali monastery, Northern Province, Sudan sponsored by the Qatar Sudan Archaeological Project. It is one of the best preserved and picturesque sites in Sudan. The main objective is preservation of the historic site and its various historical and cultural values for future generations. It consists of two modules: excavations and site management which in turn contains protection, conservation and presentation of the site. The latter part is being done in cooperation with a leading company in the field in site management in the Nile valley.
    In March 2015 I have received a grant no. 2014/13/D/HS3/03829 from the National Science Centre, Poland to produce the monograph on Nubian monasteries and compare them with the monastic communities in other countries in the peripheries of the Byzantine world. This website was created thanks this funding

    Links Galore: links to collections of books of interest to classicists, medievalists etc. in the public domain

    [First posted in AWOL 12 December 2016, updated 17 March 2018]

    Links Galore
    Links Galore is an ever-growing list of links to digital copies of some collections of books of interest to classicists, medievalists etc. in the public domain published by Google Books, and others. There aren't any fancy features like graphics or colors because if you're here what you want is the links, the whole links and nothing but the links. It is presented as a Google spreadsheet, as it is easy to keep working on, and the content is updated automatically.
    You can navigate the collection using the tabs.. Collections published so far:

      AS: Acta Sanctorum (Société des Bollandistes)

      BG: J.A. Fabricius' Bibliotheca Graeca (and Harless' expanded edition)

      CC: Corpus Christianorum (Series Graeca, Series Latina, Claves etc.; no longer working)

      CSEL: Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum

      CSHB: Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae

      GCS: Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte

      Loeb: Loeb Classical Library

      Mai: Angelo Mai's editions (Patrum Nova Bibliotheca, Spicilegium Romanum, etc.)

      MGH: Monumenta Germaniae Historica

      Migne PG: Migne's Patrologia Graeca

      Migne PL: Migne's Patrologia Latina (in progress)

      Stephanus: H. Stephanus' Thesaurus Graecae Linguae (first edition; Valpy; Hase et al.)

      Teubner: Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (and other Teubner)

      Open Access Journal: Oriental Institute Annual Report

      [First posted in AWOL 5 November 2009. Most recently updated 17 Marrch 2018]

      Oriental Institute Annual Report
      The print versions of the Oriental Institute Annual Report are available for members as one of the privileges of membership. They are not for sale to the general public. They contain yearly summaries of the activities of the Institute’s faculty, staff, and research projects, as well as descriptions of special events and other Institute functions.

      Download the Entire 2016-2017 Annual Report in a Single Adobe Acrobat Document







      Public Education and Outreach. Leila Makdisi

      • Adult and Community Programs. Carol Ng-He
      • K-12 Educator Programs. Carol Ng-He
      • Family and Youth Programs. Leila Makdisi
      • On the Horizon Calgary Haines-Trautman 

      Volunteer Program. Susan Geshwender




      • Emeritus Faculty
      • Faculty
      • Research Associates
      • Staff


      2015–2016 Annual Report

      2014–2015 Annual Report
      2013–2014 Annual Report

      For an up to date list of all Oriental Institute publications available online see:

      The Archaeology News Network

      'Majestic' Roman villa discovered in Amyntaio, Northern Greece

      For anyone visiting northern Greece, there will soon be a new “must visit” on the cultural itinerary. The Roman “Villa of Alexandros” which was uncovered last summer in Amyntaio, Florina, is a majestic complex covering over 1.2 acres of land, making it one of the largest finds of its kind. It is also one of the most luxurious ancient villas ever found, containing sophisticated artworks, sculptures and mosaics from the 3rd century AD,...

      [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

      Fish the primary source of nutrition in medieval Northern Ostrobothnia

      Researchers investigated the diet of people buried in the Ii Hamina cemetery from the 15th to the 17th centuries by analysing isotopes in the bones of the deceased. Isotopes preserve information on the various nutrient sources used by humans during their lifetime. A study published in the Environmental Archaeology journal reveals that the dominant protein source was small fish, such as roach or Baltic herring. Piece of bone from...

      [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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

      Notes and news

      Here are a few items that I learned about over the last couple of weeks.

      •  De Gruyter have published an edition of the fragments of the Ecclesiastical History of Gelasius of Caesarea, ed. Martin Wallraff &c, with a translation by Nicholas Marinides.  The De Gruyter item is here.  A “teaser” extract is now available on the translators page here.  This is, of course, a very welcome addition to historical sources for the period, tho at $150 a pop I shall not i invest.
      •  Less expensive – indeed free for download online – is a translation of Book 3, chapters 1-30 of the Histories of John Cantacuzene (given as “John Kantakouzenos”; why not Ioannes Kantakouzenos, on the same logic?).  It’s a thesis by Brian McLaughlin, and it’s great to have available, and is online at Royal Holloway here.
      •  Another bunch of free translations can be found at the St George Orthodox Ministry blog,  Homily 67 of Severus of Antioch; indeed quite a bit of Severus of Antioch.
      •  Finally another commercial item, which I happened to find quite useful in my work on Nicholas of Myra legends: John L. Hoh, Santa Claus: Is he for your child? 2011, eBook.  It’s padded out with all sorts of stuff, but I found it a useful version of many of the popular stories.  Not recommending it, you understand; but I didn’t know people were still publishing such things.

      Apologies for slow correspondence.  I’ve had a winter bug.  Hopefully I can start catching up now!

      Some more notes on the Archko volume

      Fake gospels have been composed continuously from the second century until our own times.  The object is either to convert Christians to something else, or to make money off them.

      One interesting example, which I have discussed before, is the Archko Volume, a collection of “ancient documents” corroborating the events of the New Testament, but in reality composed by a rural American presbyterian minister named William Dennis Mahan and self-published in 1884.  It’s a fairly crude fake, but has remained in print since.  The intended victims appear to be rural American Christians with limited education, and it is still marketed to them now.  The author was caught and tried by his church, found guilty and suspended for a year.  But nobody was going to allow a money-spinner to go out of print, and after a quick revision to remove some of the more damning evidence, it went into a “second edition” which is what circulates today.

      I’ve recently come across some more material about this item, telling us about the author, and also about why it is circulating today.

      Firstly, I have always wondered if Mahan was an honest man who outsmarted himself.  Perhaps he tried to compose a historical novel, in epistolary form, and found his parishioners took it as real?  Once money changed hands, a poor clergyman might be trapped in the mistake.

      Recently I came across a collection of materials from his presbytery, the Cumberland Presbytery, and this has an entry for W.D.Mahan, listing his appointments.

      Until 1885 he was a minister of the New Lebanon Presbytery.  In that year we read:

      Suspended by New Lebanon Presbytery for one year.
      [Source: Minutes of the New Lebanon Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, September 25-29, 1885, pages 134-148]

      “Your committee to whom was referred the motion to grant W. D. Mahan a letter of dismission and recommendation after the term of his suspension expires, have had the subject under consideration, and in view of all the surrounding facts, and in view of the interests of the Church, we recommend the following:

      Whereas, This Pres., at its session in Slater, Sept. 29th, 1885, did suspend from the functions of the ministry, for one year, W. D. Mahan; said one year terminating on the 29th of the present month; and

      Whereas, The definite form of said suspension was more the result of sympathy for him and his family, than a desire for rigid administration of the law, and this sympathy being exercised under the hope that said W. D. Mahan would use all proper efforts to heal the wounds his course had inflicted; and,

      Whereas, It now comes to the knowledge of this Pres., that he still occupies the same position, by the sale of his publications, and by negotiations to bring out new editions, therefore;

      Resolved, That the suspension of the said W. D. Mahan, be, and the same is hereby declared indefinite, or, until he shall have complied with the law of the Church, as it applies in the case.”
      [Source: Minutes of the New Lebanon Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, September 10, 1886, pages 185-186]

      I do not yet see online the source documents, but we need only wait.  A couple of other documents are reproduced at the same site, including the following:

      After the suspension he made no effort to return to the pastorate, but lived quietly at the home of his son-in-law, a hotel keeper in Booneville. He declined to make any further statement regarding the part he had taken in the preparation of the book except to say when it was told him that the literary world pronounced it a forgery: ‘Well, I have been a much deceived and a much persecuted man.’

      It would be interesting indeed to know what lies behind those words.  But even so, it is useful to hear this much.

      The book has certainly been profitable.  I discovered today that an American TV preacher named Benny Hinn promoted its modern circulation until quite recently.  A blogpost by Tony Breeden of “Defending Genesis” in 2011 asked bluntly why.

      Realizing that Mr. Hinn’s television broadcast reaches 200 countries worldwide and has hundreds of thousands if not millions of viewers, I hastily contacted his organization by phone…

      But to no avail.  Breeden, who had no a-priori objection to Hinn, wrote a follow-up article at another blog later in the year here.  It seems that his experiences led him to conclude that Hinn also was a fraudster.  The correspondence does give the impression of dealing with a sales-oriented retail business organisation, rather than anything else.

      Fortunately I find that the promotion has now vanished from Hinn’s site.  Mind you, at $50 a copy, the profit margin was pretty substantial.  Another blogger in 2011 remarked:

      It’s a well-intentioned fraud, but it’s a fraud nonetheless. And you can buy it on Amazon (if you must) for $10, which is a fair bit less than Hinn’s $50.

      I was just about to wrap-up, when I learned of something even more peculiar, on LinkedIn, of all places: the existence of a 38-minute film adaptation “Archko Confessions” made by someone named Douglas King.  According to IMDB he is a writer and director, known for Scrubbed (2014), A Second One Night Stand (2017) and This is Libby (2018).  Nice!  His LinkedIn profile says:

      “Marketed to the Christian market”; of course.

      But what did Christ say about all this?  Something about the love of money…?

      BiblePlaces Blog

      Weekend Roundup

      The Column of King Merneptah has been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

      Popular Archaeology investigates the discovery of three skeletons at Gezer last summer.

      Researchers at Bowdoin College Museum of Art are working to reconstruct the color on ancient Assyrian reliefs.

      The luxurious Roman silver Berthouville Treasure collection is now on display in Denmark.

      James Mellaart, former excavator of Catalhoyuk, is accused of having forged murals and inscriptions that he claimed to have discovered.

      Was the synagogue of Capernaum in Jesus’s day white or black? Leen Ritmeyer explains why it was black.

      As Easter approaches, Carl Rasmussen shares related photos, including one of a “crown of thorns.”

      Gary Rendsburg gives a tour of the world’s oldest Torah scrolls.

      Wayne Stiles looks at Abraham’s visit with Melchizedek in Salem.

      The latest from Walking the Text is “Returning to the Path.”

      This week’s program on The Book and the Spade addresses the tomb of Jonah and archaeological destruction.

      For years I’ve used a helpful OT chronological chart with my students. Now Kris Udd is making it available to the public (via Academia).

      HT: Ted Weis, Agade

      Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

      Wounds of time: Paradiso 32 -> 33

      προαιρεῖσθαί τε δεῖ ἀδύνατα εἰκότα μᾶλλον ἢ δυνατὰ ἀπίθανα
      What is convincing though impossible should always be preferred to what is possible and unconvincing. Aristotle, Poetics, 1460a

      A final thought -- more like a trial balloon -- on Paradiso 32, in an effort to put this enigmatic canto in some "light" that takes note of its critical place in the Commedia.

      The absence of voice, song, and light (luce appears not at all, and lume appears once in the canto - each word appears five times in canto 33) sets it apart from what we've been used to in the canticle.

      Bernard carefully delineates the divisions that run like cicatrices through the Rose, but no systematic explanation for this order rather than any other is revealed. Historical facts are presented, but not illuminated by reason (logos). Also, the finite detail of these 18 beings stands in stark contrast to many precedent scenes of illimitable constellations of angels and souls.

      Women from Eve down through the Old Testament form the wall, bracketed by Mary, linked through the piaga, the opening wound marking the genesis and inscription of human history upon flesh. The stories from the Old Testament involve love, wiles, violence, seduction, willingness to take heroic risks, and merciful, healing care.

      Grandgent and others have noted that the "seating" in the Rose has no apparent order. Mary is clearly the solar pinnacle of the Rose; next comes Eve; the series continues, but disobeys categories such as historical or ethnic order. One can say that the persons in this wall (except Mary) are women whose names are found in the Old Testament.

      Readers seeking rational closure will pull out their hair asking "why these people and not these people?" Bernard is a subtle and sophisticated interpreter of the Song of Songs and other Old Testament texts. But, when he says . . .
      Ne l'ordine che fanno i terzi sedi,
      siede Rachel di sotto da costei
      con Bëatrice, sì come tu vedi.
      Within that order which the third seats make
        Is seated Rachel, lower than the other,
        With Beatrice, in manner as thou seest. (32: 7-9)
      . . . perhaps we've not learned to take him literally enough. If i terzi sedi make the order, then the third seats are the third seats because they are the third seats. There is no cryptic mystery here, no arcane interpretive decoding. Rather, the order is sì come tu vedi - such as you see. No point in asking why Ruth or Judith are listed. They are what you see because they're what you see.

      The series of Old Testament figures stubbornly defeats neat ordering schemes, just as the history of the stiff-necked Jews is a broken tale, rich in promise, failure, disaster, and unforeseeable rescues. We are left with an incomplete, seemingly arbitrary, unspeaking, dimly lit congeries of names and events, which we call the word of God.
      τούς τε λόγους μὴσυνίστασθαι ἐκ μερῶν ἀλόγωνἀλλὰ μάλιστα μὲν μηδὲν ἔχειν ἄλογονεἰ δὲ μήἔξωτοῦ μυθεύματος, 
      so far as possible there should be nothing inexplicable, or, if there is, it should lie outside the story. Poetics 1460a.
      The first and culminating figure in the wall, Mary, enjoys a pivotal place in the scheme of things. She is described -- not with mimetic sensory depiction, but with elation that suspends gravity:
      Io vidi sopra lei tanta allegrezza
       piover, portata ne le menti sante
       create a trasvolar per quella altezza,

      che quantunque io avea visto davante,
       di tanta ammirazion non mi sospese,
       né mi mostrò di Dio tanto sembiante;
      On her did I behold so great a gladness
        Rain down, borne onward in the holy minds
        Created through that altitude to fly, 
      That whatsoever I had seen before
        Did not suspend me in such admiration,
        Nor show me such similitude of God.   (32: 88-93)
      With the affetto of this allegrezza, the silence of the canto turns to music. Courtly Gabriel gracefully enacts the anomalous grace of the Annunciation, bringing an unthinkable choice to receive the divine seed, logos spermatikos.

      Zeus is not bearing off a bull-beguiled Europa; Apollo is not frustrated by unwilling Daphne; Hades is not dragging the virgin Persephone down to the Underworld. The pivotal moment of human history hangs in this suspension, waiting upon the free consent of a young girl.
      Nel ventre tuo si raccese l'amore,
       per lo cui caldo ne l'etterna pace
       così è germinato questo fiore.  (Par. 33:7-9)
      When in the final canto Bernard echoes Gabriel's greeting, he puts into narrative form the betrothed virgin's's unforced assent to plant that seed in her ventre, grounding the fiore of immortal life in history.

      What divine power would allow the fall, the damnation and so much suffering to flow from one couple's decision in a garden, then provide his beloved own son as sacrifice so that the species of those who killed him could accede to the possibility of a seat in heaven? You couldn't make this up --- it lies "outside the story."

      As we stand with the pilgrim in the Rose, the realization of this order is self-evident, because we know what imposed that meaningful order from without -- ἔξωτοῦ μυθεύματος.

      This is not what sensible people like Aristotle would describe as probable (mimetic) behavior. The twists and turns of the Jewish people, the story of the Virgin and her son and the entire history of Creation achieve intelligibility only if we accept an ebullient suspension, a wounding rift in the logic and conventions of history. It breaks into two covenants, one before, one after, Mary's assent.

      So here's my trial balloon: Canto 32 is unadorned and fails to have an ending because it stands in relation to Paradiso 33 as the Old Covenant to the New. The literal features of canto 32 -- the obvious lack of poetry -- stripped of imaginative fire, of light, of sonority -- lend a forbidding aspect to this bewildering tale that arrives at no conclusion.

      What other poet would do what Dante does here? At the portal to the godhead, Canto 32 remembers the human experience of being in the dark. When, like Ugolino, we are imprisoned, groping in darkness, discovering to our horror that we are stumbling on the bodies of our children whose death is our paternal legacy, the canto leaves one thing left to do: To act, to pray with all one's affetto.
      E cominciò questa santa orazione:
      Canto 32 is to Paradiso 33 as the Old Testament is to the New, or as the dim human realm is to exorbitant splendor and sweetness of the Rose. One turns, as the Creator did, to the Virgin and asks for help.

      Note there are no male heroes named in 32. No Joseph, no Abraham. Moses and David get a sideways glance. The wings of this poet are powered by the oriafiamme. Cherchez la femme.

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

      Please don’t contribute to Wikipedia

      Another day, and another example of some quite interesting research which some intelligent person has inserted into a Wikipedia article.  I can only sigh.

      Wikipedia is an example of the centralising trend of the internet, placing control in the hands of a handful of very rich men or companies.  All of them are of one background, outlook and politics.  All of them are terribly susceptible to pressure by certain political groups.  Not one of them has any attachment to any principle of free speech.  Not one of them has ever resisted attempts to silence people for their opinions or politics.  And all of those trends always go in one direction.

      Tim Berners-Lee pointed out recently that all these sites, like Google or Facebook or Twitter, exist by sucking out the life of a previous free and varied internet.  If one website got a sudden urge to act like Hitler, it was easy enough to create another.  If one blogger went mad, there was always another.  Now we have monoliths, all under political control.

      Don’t contribute.  If you have research, start a blog of notes and queries.  By all means get Wikipedia to point to it, to get the traffic.  But do not contribute to making the web centralised.

      Suppression of information is endemic in our age.  Don’t make that easier.

      Jim Davila (

      Boccaccini is a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy

      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      Free articles from Dead Sea Discoveries

      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      Women, WIkipedia, and the ANE: International Women's Day 2018

      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      Jack Miles at BC

      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      Banished from the Heavenly Boardroom

      When this was shared on Facebook, the following question was posed in a comment: Did God banish Satan because he thought dinosaurs were better, or because Satan used poor grammar? While I could have just shared this bit of humor and been done with it, I actually feel I should follow with something a bit […]

      ArcheoNet BE

      Stoomgraanzuiger in Antwerpen uitzonderlijk open voor publiek

      Dit weekend wordt de graanzuiger aan het MAS in Antwerpen onder stoom gebracht en is hij uitzonderlijk open voor het publiek. De enorme machine is sinds oktober te gast in Antwerpen en het is zo’n tien jaar geleden dat hij hier in werking is geweest. Het openstellen van de graanzuiger is bovendien de aanleiding voor het evenement ‘Rondje Bonapartedok’, waarbij het MAS samen met zijn partners het kostbaar maritiem erfgoed in het dok in de kijker zet. Meer info op

      Bryn Mawr Classical Review

      2018.03.32: Proclus and his Legacy. Millenium-Studien / Millennium studies, 65

      Review of David D. Butorac, Danielle A. Layne, Proclus and his Legacy. Millenium-Studien / Millennium studies, 65. Berlin; Boston: 2017. Pp. x, 456. $168.00. ISBN 9783110466997.

      2018.03.31: Sulle sponde dello Ionio: Grecia occidentale e Greci d’Occidente. Diabaseis, 6

      Review of Giovanna De Sensi Sestito, Maria Intrieri, Sulle sponde dello Ionio: Grecia occidentale e Greci d’Occidente. Diabaseis, 6. Pisa: 2016. Pp. xiii, 518. €48.00 (pb). ISBN 9788846746221.

      2018.03.30: Sparta. LACTOR, 21

      Review of M. G. L. Cooley, Sparta. LACTOR, 21. London: 2017. Pp. 309. $25.00 (pb). ISBN 9780903625401.

      Compitum - publications

      C. Munier et C. Gaston, Le quartier antique du Palatium et ses domus Archéologie au collège ...


      Claudine Munier et Christophe Gaston, Le quartier antique du Palatium et ses domus Archéologie au collège Lumière à Besançon, Besançon, 2017.

      Éditeur : Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté
      Collection : Annales littéraires
      574 pages
      ISBN : 978-2-84867-594-7
      59 €

      Dans le quartier Saint-Paul à Besançon, les fouilles effectuées au collège Lumière en 2004 ont concouru à l'interprétation des ruines citées au VIIe siècle lors de la fondation d'un monastère et alors mentionnées comme les vestiges d'un Palatium. Une exceptionnelle domus résidentielle construite vers 160, qui semble avoir été définitivement abandonnée autour de 300, abrite une série d'ostentatoires espaces de réception, dont plusieurs aux sols ornés de mosaïques.
      Cette domus pérennise une résidence déjà particulièrement somptueuse, édifiée au dernier tiers du Ier siècle, qui remplace elle-même une série d'occupations plus modestes implantées à partir de La Tène finale (vers 150 av. J.-C.). L'étude architecturale de ces constructions associée à l'analyse des objets mobiliers découverts permettent de suivre l'évolution urbaine de ce quartier aujourd'hui occupé par un collège.


      Source : Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté

      Archaeology Magazine

      Horned-Eye Bead Found in Tomb in China

      CHANGSHA, CHINA—Xinhua reports that an unusual, horned eye-shaped bead was recovered from a tomb in southern China dating to the Warring States Period (475–221 B.C.). “It is in blue and white and incomplete, with only seven horns remaining around a base bead,” said Xi Peishen of the Hunan Institute of Archaeology. “It looks like the compound eye of a dragonfly.” The bead measures about an inch in diameter, weighs about an ounce, and may have been used as a decoration on clothes or furniture. Similar beads have been found in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and India, and are thought to have been introduced to China through contact with West Asian civilizations during the Spring and Autumn period (779–476 B.C.). The tomb in which the bead was found is one of about 200 dating to the Warring States Period at the site. To read about another recent discovery in China, go to “Underground Party.”

      Tool Discovery Pushes Back Onset of Middle Stone Age

      Middle Stone AgeWASHINGTON, D.C.—According to a Science News report, Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution and his colleagues suggest that early humans may have entered the Middle Stone Age tens of thousands of years earlier than previously thought. The researchers analyzed soil samples taken from the Olorgesailie Basin of Kenya’s Rift Valley, and noted that frequent changes in the climate and earthquakes transformed the resources available to human ancestors. Erosion has destroyed about 180,000 years of the geological record at the site, but Potts said that during that time, there must have been a rapid period of evolution because lumps of pigment and new types of tools appear when the geological record resumed some 320,000 years ago. The toolmakers had shifted from sharpening large hand axes to making smaller tools, such as sharp flakes mounted on spears to be used as projectiles, and blades and points made from obsidian. Obsidian is not available locally, which suggests the toolmakers had to travel and perhaps interact with other human groups to obtain it. No hominid fossils have been found at the site, however, so researchers cannot be sure that Homo sapiens made the artifacts. For more, go to “The First Toolkit.”

      March 16, 2018

      Archaeology Magazine

      15,000-Year-Old African Genomes Analyzed

      North African genomeJENA, GERMANY—Science Magazine reports that an international team of scientists has extracted DNA from the ear bones of human remains unearthed at Grotte des Pigeons, an undisturbed, 15,000-year-old cemetery in a cave in Morocco. Known as Iberomaurusians because they were thought to have come from the Iberian Peninsula, these hunter-gatherers made microliths similar to those of Europe’s Gravettian culture. But the genomic analysis suggests the people buried in the cave were related to Natufians, from the Middle East, with whom they probably shared a common group of ancestors who lived in North Africa or the Middle East more than 15,000 years ago. The team also detected DNA linked to sub-Saharan Africans in the bones from Grotte des Pigeons. This genetic material may have come from contemporaneous or ancestral migrants from the south. To read about another discovery of ancient human remains in Morocco, go to “Homo sapiens, Earlier Still.”

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Mycenaean Atlas Project

      Mycenaean Atlas Project 
      The purpose of this web site is to provide accurate latitude and longitude coordinates for all the Early, Middle, and Late Helladic (Mycenaean) find sites both in Greece and in places which the Mycenaean culture touched. This site also provides some bibliographic information as well as times of occupation and the nature of the finds at the various sites. The main purpose is, however, to provide locational information.

      Locational Data: Accuracy

      Every effort has been made to confirm the exact location of each site. For a complete description of this parameter and of the concepts of Precision and Accuracy as they apply to this web site see this.

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Rare bead found in ancient Chinese tomb

      CHANGSHA – An unusually shaped bead was discovered in a tomb dating from the Warring States...

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Open Access Exhibition Catalogues and Museum Brochures from Arabia Antica

       [First posted in AWOL 31 August 2016, updated 16 March 2018]

      Open Access Exhibition Catalogues and Museum Brochures from Arabia Antica
      Arabia Antica: Pre-islamic Arabia, Culture and Archaeology

      Insights into ancient South Arabia: the collection of the Museo Nazionale d'Arte Orientale "G. Tucci" in Rome

      Irene Rossi and Alexia Pavan (with a contribution by Paola D'Amore) 2015, Dedizioni, 105 pp., ISBN 978-88-95613-24-6 The collection of ancient South Arabian objects from the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale ‘Giuseppe Tucci’ has been growing larger since 1976 and includes four collections containing ceramics, sculptures, reliefs, architectural elements, inscriptions, bronze objects, terracotta figurines and coins. ...

      Along the aroma and spice routes. The harbour of Sumhuram, its territory and the trade between the Mediterranean, Arabia and India

      Alessandra Avanzini (ed.) 2011, MB VISION - BANDECCHI E VIVALDI, 127 pp., ISBN: 978-88-8341-476-3, 20 euros From 1996, the IMTO mission of the University of Pisa has been working on the site of Sumhuram, in the territory of Khor Rori (southern Oman), since ancient times a region famed for the excellence of the frankincense it produced. This volume coincide with the conclusion of a project funded by MIUR...

      Art and technique in Yemen. The bronzes from the Museum of Baynun

      Alessandra Avanzini (ed.) 2009, Bandecchi e Vivaldi, 131 pp., ISBN: 8883414411 This catalogue has been published on the occasion of the exhibition "Art and technique in Yemen. The bronzes from the Museum of Baynun", which took place at Pisa from May, 27th to June, 10th 2009. The exhibition was an initiative which is part of the Italy-Yemen cooperation project CASIS, whose aim...

      Oman, the land of Sindbad the sailor

      Alessandra Avanzini, Alexia Pavan and Michele Degli Esposti 2012, pp. 44 The exhibition that was set up in the Museo di S. Matteo - Pisa in 2012 intended to illustrate Oman by drewing connections between this distant, exotic land and more familiar things. The title of the catalogue suggests how closely the fortunes and the destiny of the country were linked to the sea...

      The Museum of Baynun

      Alessandra Avanzini and Alessia Prioletta 2010, pp. 24 The museum of Baynun is the largest museum of the Dhamar governorate in terms of number of objects and their artistic and historical importance. The museum, founded in 1990 by sheikh A. al-Huzeizi, collects the antiquities found in Baynun and the surrounding areas. More than 70 inscriptions,...

      The Museums of Dhamar

      Alessandra Avanzini and Alessia Prioletta 2010, pp. 24 This brochure includes a short guides of both the Regional and the University Museums of Aden, produced within the project CASIS. The Regional Museum is the main museum of the Dhamar governorate. It was built at Hirran, north of Dhamar city, in 2002. Its pre-Islamic collection comprises over...

      The National Museum of Aden

      Alessandra Avanzini and Alessia Prioletta 2010, 20 pp. The National Museum of Aden is located in a wonderful colonial building of “Qasr al-Sultan”, in the Crater. Founded in 1966, it is one of the greatest Yemeni museums for number of pieces and prestige. Its huge collection of antiquities had to comprise some 500 pieces, especially from the kingdoms...

      Ancient Peoples

      Spear head (mao) China,  6th–4th century B.C., Eastern Zhou...

      Spear head (mao)

      China,  6th–4th century B.C., Eastern Zhou dynasty, Spring and Autumn period (770–476 B.C.)

      Bronze with metallic inlay,  H. 10 ¾ in. (27 cm); W. 2 in. (5.2 cm)

      Source: Met Museum