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.

July 15, 2019

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership

[First posted in AWOL 4 August 2016, updated (new URLS) 15 July 2019]

Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership
ISSN: 1941-4692
The Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership (JBPL) is a refereed scholarly journal that aims to provide a forum for international research and exploration of leadership studies focused on the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Representing the multidisciplinary fields of biblical, social-science, historical and leadership studies, the JBPL publishes qualitative research papers that explore, engage and extend the field of knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of leadership as found within the contexts of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
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See AWOL's full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies

Archaeology Briefs


In a sweeping new criminal case, Subhash Kapoor, a former Manhattan art dealer the authorities describe as one of the world’s largest smugglers of antiquities, was charged Monday with running a multinational ring that trafficked in thousands of stolen objects, valued at more than $145 million, over 30 years.

Mr. Kapoor, 70, is currently jailed in India, where he has been awaiting trial on similar charges for nearly eight years. Before his downfall in 2011, he was widely feted in New York art circles for consistently obtaining remarkable items for sale and for his donations to museums. After his imprisonment in India though, federal officials referred to him as “one of the most prolific commodities smugglers in the world.”

Even though the general scope of Mr. Kapoor’s smuggling had been laid out in previous investigations, many details in the complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office were new, and jarring.
For example, officials revealed that 39 looted antiquities, valued at $36 million, are still missing. Officials said Mr. Kapoor had been able to hide those items, even after his initial arrest in Germany in 2011, by instructing employees to entrust the most valuable ones to his family members, who moved them to “an unknown location.”

So far, some 2,600 antiquities, valued at more than $107 million, have been seized from storage locations Mr. Kapoor controlled in Manhattan and Queens during a decade-long investigation, the authorities said. The smuggling ring harvested objects from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand, the complaint said, and it created false paper trails that gave the items a patina of legitimacy, then sold them globally for large profits to collectors, art dealers and museums.

Mr. Kapoor was charged along with seven co-conspirators, most of them overseas, who would also require extradition. Arrest warrants for all eight men were filed Monday in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, along with a painstakingly detailed complaint that reconstructed a smuggling scheme stretching back to 1986. Much of the evidence put forward by the authorities, including federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations, was based on tens of thousands of records seized from Mr. Kapoor’s former Madison Avenue gallery, Art of the Past.

Those records, officials say, included detailed logs of trips Mr. Kapoor made to India to meet with conspirators, often to see the objects he would ultimately acquire. The records also show how artifacts were secreted into the United States using false import documents; how many were then shipped to London to be cleaned and restored for sale; and how the conspirators created fraudulent invoices and provenance papers asserting the items had left their nations of origin legally.

Two of the accused co-conspirators were identified as restorers who enhanced the value of the pieces — often still marked by the dirt from which they had been dug up by hired thieves — and brought them back to life as treasures. Items said to have been smuggled by the ring and later sold include Hindu and Buddhist statues in stone and bronze that are considered national treasures.

Investigators said buyers included many museums around the world, among them the Toledo Museum in Ohio and the National Gallery of Australia. Often, Mr. Kapoor would briefly lend an item to a museum to bolster its legitimacy, telling his customers the object had been vetted by reputable experts, the complaint said.

For now, the objects are being held in secure storage by both federal and local investigators.
Mr. Lederman also said he does not know why Mr. Kapoor has been held in India without trial for so long.

Mr. Kapoor’s case has been a cause célèbre in India for years, in part because it illustrated the vulnerability of that nation’s ancient treasures, many of which were in remote, unguarded temples that were easy targets for thieves. “The scale and brazenness of the thefts is mind-blowing,” said S. Vijay Kumar, a private investigator from Singapore who has for years tracked many of the items Mr. Kapoor is accused of stealing. Mr. Kumar said he grew suspicious after noticing that Mr. Kapoor was selling so many rare Indian idols out of New York.


Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities will organize the opening ceremony of the Bent Pyramid of the Pharaoh King Sneferu in Giza’s Dahshur archaeology area. The Bent Pyramid was one of the three pyramids built by King Sneferu. Its construction took about 14 years, and the pyramid rises from the desert at a 58-degree inclination, but the top section (above 47 meters) is built at the shallower angle of 55 degrees, lending the pyramid its very obvious ‘bent’ appearance.

The restoration works were carried out from the base of the pyramid to a height of approximately four meters. The stones were collected from around the pyramid and returned to their original places. The joints between the stone pillars, which were destroyed due to erosion, were also restored.

King Sneferu, the first king of the Fourth Dynasty, began the construction of his colossal pyramid in Maydum, but his architect Nefermaat found that Maydum did not have enough stones to build a huge pyramid. So this pyramid became a symbolic burial ground for the king, while his residence was transferred from Maydum to Dahshur, where he began to build the pyramid known as the Bent Pyramid. When the architect found that changing the angle might hinder the burial of the king should he die suddenly, he started constructing the Northern Pyramid, but Sneferu settled on being buried inside the Bent Pyramid and then turned the Step Pyramid in Maydum into a full pyramid.


A 210,000-year-old skull has been identified as the earliest modern human remains found outside Africa, putting the clock back on mankind's arrival in Europe by more than 150,000 years, researchers said Wednesday. In a startling discovery that changes our understanding of how modern man populated Eurasia, the findings support the idea that Homo sapiens made several, sometimes unsuccessful migrations from Africa over tens of thousands of years. Southeast Europe has long been considered a major transport corridor for modern humans from Africa. But until now the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens on the continent dated back only around 50,000 years.

One of them, named Apidima 2 after the cave in which the pair were found, proved to be 170,000 years old and did indeed belong to a Neanderthal. But, to the shock of scientists, the skull named Apidima 1 pre-dated Apidima 2 by as much as 40,000 years, and was determined to be that of a Homo sapiens.

That makes the skull by far the oldest modern human remains ever discovered on the continent, and older than any known Homo sapiens specimen outside of Africa.

But the skull discovery in Greece suggests that Homo sapiens undertook the migration from Africa to southern Europe on "more than one occasion", according to Eric Delson, a professor of anthropology at City University of New York. Harvati said advances in dating and genetics technology could continue to shape our understanding of how our pre-historic ancestors spread throughout the world.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Fundmünzendatenbank AFE4HD

Fundmünzendatenbank AFE4HD
Mittels der Fundmünzendatenbank werden im Rahmen von Forschungsprojekten (Münzhorizont Rhein-Neckar) des Heidelberger Zentrums für antike Numismatik (ZAN), angesiedelt am Seminar für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik, antike Fundmünzen der Großregion erfasst. Die Datenbank AFE4HD basiert auf der AFE-Datenbank (Antike Fundmünzen in Europa). Diese wurde in Kooperation von Römisch-Germanischer Kommission und der DBIS der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt entwickelt. Mit beiden Institutionen kooperiert das ZAN hinsichtlich der Anpassung der Datenbank an die spezifischen Projektbedürfnisse, der Optimierung der Erfassungssystematik sowie der Entwicklung und Implementierung passender, detaillierter Abfrageapplikationen.
Mit AFE4HD wird somit langfristig nicht nur die Erfassung von Fundmünzen mit insg. über 30 Parametern möglich, sondern auch eine direkte Auswertung und Visualisierung der Abfrageergebnisse.
Momentan ist die Datenbank noch nicht für die Öffentlichkeit freigeschaltet.

Open Access Publications of The Inscriptions of the Temple of Edfu Project

Open Access Publications of The Inscriptions of the Temple of Edfu Project
D. Kurth unter Mitarbeit von A. Behrmann, D. Budde, A. Effland, H. Felber, J.-P. Graeff, S. Koepke, S. Martinssen-von Falck, E. Pardey, S. Rüter und W. Waitkus: Die Inschriften des Tempels von Edfu. Abteilung I Übersetzungen; Band 2. Edfou VII, Harrassowitz Verlag 2004  (ISBN 978-3-447-05016-6)

D. Kurth unter Mitarbeit von A. Behrmann, A. Block, R. Brech, D. Budde, A. Effland, M. von Falck, H. Felber, J.-P. Graeff, S. Koepke, S. Martinssen-von Falck, E. Pardey, St. Rüter, W. Waitkus und S. Woodhouse: Die Inschriften des Tempels von Edfu. Abteilung I Übersetzungen; Band 3. Edfou VI, PeWe-Verlag 2014  (ISBN  978-3-935012-14-0)

A. Effland, M. von Falck, J.-P. Graeff, "Nunmehr ein offenes Buch..." - Das Edfu-Projekt. Herausgegeben zum 160. Geburtstag des Marquis Maxence de Rochemonteix (1849-1891), Hamburg 2009

A. Effland, M. von Falck, J.-P. Graeff, Das Edfu-Projekt. Inschriften des ptolemäerzeitlichen Tempels von Edfu, 7-33
A. Effland & J.-P. Graeff, Neues zur Lage von Behedet, 34-52
J.-P. Graeff, Einblicke in die Arbeit des Edfu-Projektes, 53-63
A. Lochte, Das Projekt von Außen gesehen, 64-67

Multimedia und Downloads

Diese Seite bietet Informationen und Downloads des Edfu-Projektes an, welche im weitesten Sinne mit der Arbeit des Projektes zu tun haben.

Unter Umständen werden hier jedoch auch andere Materialien ins Netz gestellt, welche nicht durch die Arbeit des Edfu-Projektes zustande gekommen sind.

Die Edfu-Datenbanken (Informationen)

Vector Office 2011 - Der offizielle Nachfolger von PerfectGlyph - Hieroglyphische Textverarbeitung. Günstige und leistungsfähigere Alternative zu WinGlyph.

Informationstexte zum Edfu-Projekt als PDF

Original EDFU-Bildschirmschoner

Die Edfu-Formulardatenbank (Upgrade)

Das Modell des Tempels von Edfu

360° Panorama des großen Hofes

Besuchen Sie den virtuellen Edfu-Tempel

Der virtuelle Edfu-Tempel (under construction). Der virtuelle Tempel benötigt mindestens einen Windows-PC mit Pentium III-500 CPU, 128 MB RAM, 3D video card (32+ MB), 3D sound card.
 Windows 98 SE / ME / 2000 / XP and DirectX 9.0c or above.

Bybliothecae Pierpont Morgan Codices Coptici Photographice Expressi

Bybliothecae Pierpont Morgan Codices Coptici Photographice Expressi
On verso of t.p.: Membranas reficiendas evravervnt praesides Bybliothecae Vaticanae adaventibvs svmmis pontificibvs Pio x Benedicto xv Pio xi. Codices ordinavit tabvlas omnes photographicasmembranis contvlit titvlos adposvit indices digessit Henricvs Hyvernat ... For contents see index volume. Supplemented by: "[Index]" (2 p. ℓ. [235] p. : 38 x 29 cm.) published: Romae, 1922. Lettered on cover: Bybliothecae Pierpont Morgan codices coptici. Index. The index consists of extra copies of the title-pages and contents of the 56 volumes, preceded by two leaves (notice of gift and half-title). "Bybliothecae Vniversitatis stvdiorvm Statvs Michigan ensis exemplar e xii qvae perfecta svnt decimvm lohannes Pierpont Morgan page p. p."

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Inside the Belt and Road - China and Italy

The Silk Road, originated in ancient China’s Western Han period (202 B.C – A.D 8), started from Chang’an (now Xi’an) and connected many countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa, and finally arrived in ancient Rome. The Silk Road’s initial role was to transport China’s silk, porcelain, and other products to the other countries, but it gradually plays a role in the cultural, political, and economic communications between different countries. On March 23, 2019, Italy signed China’s New Silk Road project. Through thousands of years’ communication, China and Italy have built strong ties over various facets. Archaeology is one of the closest bonds. The archaeological and cultural cooperation between Italy and China have created innovative and surprising breakthroughs.

Jim Davila (

Review of Andrade, Zenobia: Shooting Star of Palmyra

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David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for July 15, 2019

Hodie est a.d.  Id. Quintiles (Iulias) 2772 AUC ~  14 Hekatombaion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

In the News

In Case You Missed It

Latin/Greek News

Public Facing Classics

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

Synopsis: On the eastern frontiers of the Seleucid Empire, Parthia, Bactria and the Indo-Greeks struggle for regional supremacy.  The stalemate in Syria and murder of Eucratides advance the fortunes of Mithridates…

In this episode I take a look into Rome’s foundation myth and how Livy, Dionysus and Plutarch handled the various elements within it.

Augustus et Catharina et Iustus apud Rusticationem Virginianam cum multis amicis in ipso maeniano sedentibus colloquuntur

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions

Professional Matters


‘Sorting’ Out Your Day

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If there is any thunder today, there will be agitations among the common people and a shortage of grain.

… adapted from the translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Environmental Determinism and Causality in Archaeology

This weekend as I descended into a seasonally appropriate panic about how little I had accomplished, I read the most recent discussion in Archaeological Dialogues on environmental determinism and causality in archaeology. Like most archaeologists, I’ve struggled to understand much less integrate the flood (see what I did there?) of regional and global climate data into the archaeology of particular places in the Eastern Mediterranean. I’ve recently read work by Sturt Manning and Katie Kearns on Cyprus and John Haldon, Hugh Elton, and James Newhard on Anatolia and started to think a tiny bit about environmental data might speak to issues like urban change in Late Antiquity, the nature of insularity, and agricultural and settlement patterns in the Western Argolid.  

Connecting how we understand environmental data to how we produce archaeological arguments pushes us both to think about temporality (and the multiple scales of time that shape archaeological knowledge) and, as the articles in Archaeological Dialogues foreground, causality. There’s a temptation to connect environmental changes to social, economic, and political change in the archaeological record. This, of course, maps on nicely to recent discussions on the impact of climate change in the 21st century. As Bruno Latour and others have suggested, the ancient and modern challenge of associating environmental changes with political changes is that it rests on the dichotomy between the natural and the human. Recent, and to my mind more subtle and thoughtful, work has emphasized the blurred lines between the natural, the social, the political, and the culture. As a result, arguments for causality that see one variable – say climate change – directly transforming another – say political or economic relationships – tend to be problematic. Contemporary commentators, for example, have proposed alternately, that the poor will bear the burden of modern climate change more than the rich; others have suggested that the poor may well be more resilient than the wealthy when faced with ecological and environmental instability. As Amitav Ghosh sagely noted, in the 21st century, the poor are already experiencing the future. This observation nicely complicates the idea of progress that seems to reinforce the linear ideas of causality. 

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Cognitive Science, Memory, Oral Tradition, and Biblical Studies

I wanted to post this brief response to something I read about memory for a long time, but I forgot… On the one hand, I greatly appreciated this point made a while back by Hector Avalos when reviewing Bart Ehrman’s book: “In the end, we retain virtually the same list of historical claims deemed accurate […]

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

Nokalakevi Tsikhegoji Archaeopolis: Archaeological excavations 2001-2010

Everill, P., éd. (2014) : Nokalakevi Tsikhegoji Archaeopolis: Archaeological excavations 2001-2010. Anglo-Georgian Expedition to Nokalakevi, Oxford. Nokalakevi se trouve à une quarantaine de kilomètres de la mer, dans le nord de la Géorgie. Il est occupé  par des indigènes depuis … Lire la suite

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2019.07.28: Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy. Trends in Classics. Supplementary volumes, 58

Review of Rosa Andújar, Thomas R. P. Coward, Theodora A. Hadjimichael, Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy. Trends in Classics. Supplementary volumes, 58. Berlin; Boston: 2018. Pp. x, 456. €109,95. ISBN 9783110573312.

2019.07.27: Le Parménide au miroir des platonismes: logique, ontologie, théologie. Collection d’études anciennes: série grecque, 157

Review of Frédéric Fauquier, Le Parménide au miroir des platonismes: logique, ontologie, théologie. Collection d’études anciennes: série grecque, 157. Paris: 2018. Pp. 546. €55,00 (pb). ISBN 9782251448275.

2019.07.26: Late Antique Images of the Virgin Annunciate Spinning: Allotting the Scarlet and the Purple. Texts and studies in Eastern Christianity, 11

Review of Catherine Gines Taylor, Late Antique Images of the Virgin Annunciate Spinning: Allotting the Scarlet and the Purple. Texts and studies in Eastern Christianity, 11. Leiden: 2018. Pp. xiii, 240. €176,00. ISBN 9789004346758.

Compitum - publications

S. Destephen, Br. Dumézil et H. Inglebert (éd. ...


Sylvain Destephen, Bruno Dumézil et Hervé Inglebert (éd.), Le prince chrétien de Constantin aux royautés barbares (IVe-VIIIe siècle), Paris, 2018.

Éditeur : Association des Amis du Centre d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance
Collection : Travaux et mémoires 22/2
608 pages
ISBN : 978-2-916716-66-4
90 €

La conversion du monde antique au christianisme ne modifia pas la position centrale du Prince au sein de son État. Loin de remettre en cause les fondements traditionnels du pouvoir, la nouvelle religion offrit des arguments supplémentaires pour légitimer le souverain dans la mesure où il incarnait et appliquait les valeurs du christianisme dans sa vie personnelle comme dans son action publique.
Les élites chrétiennes mirent rapidement au service du pouvoir la rhétorique de la justification divine tant pour exalter le souverain que l'inviter à conformer ses actes à la parole du Christ. Dans la représentation du pouvoir par les contemporains lettrés et dans son autoreprésentation à travers les textes, les monuments et les images, le souverain assuma le modèle mis à sa disposition, quitte à en jouer pour servir les besoin de l'heure.

Lire la suite...

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: July 15

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE: Idus Iuliae

Cancros lepori comparas.
You're comparing crabs to a rabbit.

Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora.
Eggs today are better than chicks tomorrow.

Litteras disce.
Learn your letters.

Optimum medicamentum quies.
Rest is the best medicine.


Ranae et Iuppiter
Latin version and English version(s)

Ursus et Amici Duo
Latin version and English version(s)


Achilles and Hectorby Agnes Cook Gale

Traditional Oral Epicby John Miles Foley

July 14, 2019

ArcheoNet BE

Ex situ 24: over Romeinse terpen, gouden kruisfibulae en duiventorens

Onlangs rolde het 24ste nummer van Ex situ van de persen. Ook deze keer staat het tijdschrift garant voor een afwisseling van interviews, verslagen en fotoreportages over Vlaamse opgravingen en Vlaamse archeologen in het buitenland. Ontdek de hele inhoud op en neem meteen een gratis abonnement!

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space - Research Project

The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space - Research Project 
The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space - home page
The project has applied advanced 3D visualisation technologies to study the practice of ancient masked theatre. It has made 3D scans of Greek and Roman mask miniatures relating both to comedy and tragedy, and reproduced them at life-size by rapid prototyping. The project has used motion capture and chromakey video technologies to record experimentation with these masks by practitioners of Asiatic and European traditions, and has situated the results in 3D models of ancient theatre spaces. 

Jim Davila (

AJR series on Jensen, "The Cross" and Fine, "The Menorah"

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James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Written Islands in an Oral Stream

I was delighted to learn that the Festschrift for Jimmy Dunn on his 70th birthday, Jesus and Paul, has now been released as a paperback, which makes it much more affordable. I contributed the first chapter, on one of the many topics that Dunn has devoted his attention to over the years, namely oral tradition and […]

July 13, 2019

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Scriptorium

[First posted in AWOL 18 Octobere 2016, updated 13 July 2019]

ISSN: 0036-9772

Revue internationale des études relatives aux manuscrits. International review of manuscript studie

 Fondée en 1946, Scriptorium revue internationale des études relatives aux manuscrits médiévaux, est une publication semestrielle multilingue qui traite de codicologie (description matérielle de tous les éléments du livre manuscrit : support, mise en page, reliure, paléographie, miniature, etc.), du contexte culturel et de la bibliographie afférant aux manuscrits médiévaux d'Europe occidentale, centrale et orientale. Elle comprend des articles, des notes et matériaux, une chronique et des comptes rendus approfondis d'ouvrages. La revue est éditée sous la responsabilité d'un comité scientifique international. 









And see also:


Vitrine de la revue Scriptorium et du Bulletin codicologique, sur le web, les index présents sur Scriptorium ont pour objectif de rendre la culture écrite du Moyen Âge européen accessible à un public international.

  • Un index cumulatif, par institutions de conservation, des manuscrits traités dans la revue Scriptorium et dans le Bulletin codicologique (1946 - 2014) La base de données renferme tous les index annuels de la revue depuis 1946 jusqu'à nos jours,
    soit près de 258.505 cotes de manuscrits accessibles grâce au formulaire de recherche " Chercher un manuscrit "
    (cliquer sur le bouton du menu " Catalogue et recherche ").

  • Un index catalographique exhaustif des ouvrages et articles recensés dans le Bulletin codicologique (1994 - 2014) Les références bibliographiques issues des volumes 1994-2014 sont actuellement consultables via le formulaire de recherche
    " Chercher un compte rendu " (cliquer sur le bouton du menu " Catalogue et recherche ").

  • Un sommaire complet, cumulatif et par volume, des articles, notes et matériaux, chroniques et comptes rendus, publiés dans la revue Scriptorium (1946 - 2014) Toutes les tables des matières de la revue, depuis le premier volume paru jusqu'à nos jours, sont disponibles sur le site
    (cliquer sur le bouton du menu " Catalogue et recherche ").

Open Access Journal: EXARC Journal

[First posted in AWOL 19 February 2013, updated 23 July 2019]

EXARC Journal
ISSN: 2212-8956
EXARC Journal online and Digest
The leading journal for those involved in experimental archaeology or archaeological open-air museums, featuring the latest developments in fieldwork, academic research, museum studies and living history interpretation.
EXARC is the ICOM* Affiliated Organisation representing archaeological open-air museums and experimental archaeology. EXARC raises the standard of scientific research and public presentation among our membership through collaborative projects, conferences and publications.

Open Access Ancient Law Journals

These are the open access eJournals focused on ancient law of which I am aware.  Are there others?  Please let me know.

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

How to approach translating hagiography; St Valentine of Rome; and why I won’t translate his “Life”

I pressed “Publish”.  My post with my translation of the Passio of St Valentine of Terni shot out onto the internet.  What now?

I found myself thinking about the “other” St Valentine, Valentine of Rome, the priest.  I went back to the Acta Sanctorum, February vol. 2, for February 14th, and looked at the material there.  I obtained the electronic text, including introduction and footnotes, and created a Word file; then fixed up the Latin by getting rid of ligatures, and the Word file by setting the paragraph margins to zero, left and right.

The text was in five Lectiones.  It was printed from two manuscripts and a breviary.  There was reference to a “Ms. Ultraiectinum S. Salvatoris”.  After a bit of guesswork, this turned out to be the church of St Saviour, part of the Cathedral of Utrecht.  Another manuscript was mentioned, which I could not identify.

But clearest of all was that this “passio” was merely a selection from a long work, the Acts of Marius, Martha, Audifax and Abachum, printed in the Acta Sanctorum under January vol. 2, for January 19!  If so, why bother with it?  No wonder it was just extracts from breviaries.  It would be better, surely, to translate the full Acts.

So off I went to the January vol. 2, and did the process again with the Acts of Marius &c.  Luckily for me, the electronic text that I had found had the BHL number for the work at the top – the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina index number, which was BHL 5543.  Had it not been there, of course, the BHL volume is at, for it is a century old.

Now once I have a BHL or BHG number, I always google for it.  It’s always a good idea to see what is out there.  Has somebody written a study on it?  Can I get an idea of its contents, its age, the scholarship?

So off I went and googled “BHL5543”.

Initial results were discouraging.  All dross really.  But I have found by experience that I need to keep going through several pages, and even redo the search in Google Books.  So I did.  And…. boy did I get this right.  I hit jackpot.

In fact I found this: Michael Lapidge, The Roman Martyrs: Introduction, Translations, and Commentary, Oxford University Press (2017), present on Google Books preview here.  It contained 800 pages of pure gold: translations and commentary and a sterling introduction to every single Passio relating to a Roman martyr.  This included a full translation of the Acts of Marius, Martha, Audifax and Abachum, complete with the bits that are about St Valentine of Rome.

So there is in fact no need for me to make a translation of this work at all; Dr. Lapidge has done it, and with the aid of his publisher probably better than I could.  The only fly in the ointment is the extraordinary price of the volume – $140 at Amazon, and £115 at Amazon UK (discounted from a p***-taking £140).  This places it firmly outside of the hands of the general reader.

It is a remarkable book.  The sheer labour in translating 800 pages of passiones is awe-inspiring.  But that is only part of what it achieves.  This is not just a translation but a study.

I learned – from what I could see of the introduction – that it soon becomes clear that all these Roman passiones correspond exactly to places of pilgrimage in Rome!  There is a church dedicated to each and every one of them, all of much the same period.  The conclusion, that the passiones were composed by the clergy of these churches is hard to resist.  But without working on the entire body of saints for Rome, Dr. L. might never have noticed this.

Likewise the clearly fictional nature, and even the stereotyped nature of the stories becomes clear.  Flicking through the introduction, I found page after page of solid hard information about hagiographical literature, about why it was written, when it was written, the history of printing them, and much else.  It’s almost a primer on hagiography, although at 42 pages, all too short, and one studded with up-to-date bibliography.  To read it is to feel the crying need for workers in this field.

But …. it is a book that nobody can afford to read.  I wish I had a copy.  I have a feeling that it would repay reading right through.

St Valentine – his “Passio” now online in English

St Valentine’s Day is February 14.  But who was St Valentine?  Well, he was bishop of Terni, or Interamna.  His (fictional) “Life” or “Passio” is now online in English.  It probably dates from the 6th century AD.  It’s fairly short, and it has – sadly – nothing to do with romance.  The romantic connection with St Valentine’s Day goes back no further than Chaucer.

I’ve also included the Latin text and a short introduction.  As usual, the material is placed in the public domain – use it as you like.

Here it is:

I’ve also placed the files at here.

There is another Life of a saint Valentine on 14th Feb – a “St Valentine of Rome”, who was a priest.  He might be the same chap, actually.  The Life is not so well attested, or widely known.  I might look at translating this next.

Sarah E. Bond

Consider the Anus Radish: Etymologies, Adultery, and the Defense of the Microhistory

Isidore was a learned scholar and the Bishop of the Spanish city of Seville from 600-636 CE. Thousands of manuscripts containing his Etymologiae (“The Etymologies,” also called the Origines, “The Origins”) survive today; the only work to surpass it in terms of extant manuscript copies in Western Europe is the Bible (Throop 2005: xii). The sheer number of copies of the Etymologiae that survive is a testament not only to the fact it was used as a foundational school text during the Middle Ages, but to the late Roman and medieval belief that the etymology of words––a form of what we might call today microhistory––is fundamental to unlocking the order and creation of human knowledge within the universe.

tumblr_p5nbc152tB1rqxd5ko1_1280“Blue Root” herb, Italy, 15th century CE, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Rare Book & Manuscript Library (@upennmanuscripts), LJS 419, fol. 42r (Image from “Discarding Images“).

In his first book, Isidore noted (1.29):

Etymologia est origo vocabulorumHanc Aristoteles σύμβολον, Cicero adnotationem nominavit…Omnis enim rei inspectio etymologia cognita planior est.

Etymology is the origin words…Aristotle called this practice σύμβολον, whereas Cicero called it adnotatioFor the inspection of anything is clearer with the etymology having been understood.

Of particular interest is Isidore’s notation within the etymology of the word “radish” (from the Greek word ῥαφανίς and the Latin rādīx, meaning “root”) that those who soaked their hands in radish seed juice could then handle snakes with impunity or perhaps use it to whiten ivory (17.10.10). I mean, I always suggest reading Isidore, but can’t always recommend listening to his suggestions.

In any case, I tweeted out my own etymological note that the words “radish” and “radical” have the same root, even if  the word “radical” has come to mean something altogether different since the surfing lingo of the 1980s and then its popular usage by certain mutated turtle ninjas. 

As I began to ponder the use and abuse of the ancient radish, it was Roman legal scholar Paul du Plessis who wrote to let me know of the legal connections between radishes, anuses, and adultery in Greco-Roman antiquity.  While there is debate over the actual application of the punishment, it appears that Athenian adulterers may have been punished with “Rhaphanidosis” in the Agora by having radishes or fish shoved up their assholes and then having their pubic hair depilated by hot ash.

Modern knowledge and discussion of the supposed punishment is based largely on a comedic passage within Artistophanes’ Clouds (1083-104) and subsequent scholia addressing the passage, all of which are helpfully translated and discussed over at Sententiae Antiquae: 

Just Argument: “What if he should have a radish shoved up his ass because he trusted you and then have hot ashes rip off his hair? What argument will he be able to offer to prevent himself from having a gaping-anus?”

Δίκαιος Λόγος: τί δ᾽ ἢν ῥαφανιδωθῇ πιθόμενός σοι τέφρᾳ τε τιλθῇ,
ἕξει τινὰ γνώμην λέγειν τὸ μὴ εὐρύπρωκτος εἶναι;

The goal of the insertion of the radish––which at that time was likely larger; more like a carrot rather than the smaller, rounded radish of today––was as O’Bryhim (2017: 326) posits, in order to give the offender the condition of a εὐρύπρωκτος (a “large anus”). This transformed the anal cavity into a vagina. I am convinced by O’Bryhim’s argument that the punishment then feminized the adulterer and allowed the prosecutor (often the husband) to reassert his masculinity over the adulterer by giving the cuckolding offender a vaginal cavity. 

But there is the question of sources. Can we really use a comedic mention in order to reveal applied law in the 5thC BCE? Why do the oratorical treatises not confirm Aristophanes? In her work on public punishment in Athens, Danielle S. Allen notes that while citizen bodies in ancient Athens were generally legally protected, adulterers in particular were corporally vulnerable to abuse. They could be killed on the spot if caught in the act. If brought to trial and convicted, they could be humiliated by the prosecuting party. And while oratorical treatises don’t discuss the “radishing” of adulterers directly, they generally did not discuss many non-capital crimes or licentious topics. The omission of “radishing” in oratory is then likely due to genre rather than an Aristophanic fiction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFresco from the thermopolium (“hot bar”) at Ostia showing eggs, olives, and the hot radishes available to customers. Regio I – Insula II – Caseggiato del Termopolio (“The House of the Bar”), Detail of the painting on the east wall of room 6, Ostia Antica, Italy (Image and partial caption by Carole Raddato via her Flickr page under a CC-BY-SA 2.0).

If we turn to the Romans, there is some poetic evidence that Romans inherited or at least had knowledge of the use of the Athenian vegetable punishment inflicted on adulterers. In Catullus 15, the poet notes:

percurrent raphanique mugilesque.
both radishes and mullets will run you through

Juvenal (Sat. 10.314-317) also remarks on the insertion of a mullet into the anus of an adulterer as a punishment beyond even the bounds of law.

ut in laqueos numquam incidat. exigit autem
interdum ille dolor plus quam lex ulla dolori              
concessit: necat hic ferro, secat ille cruentis
uerberibus, quosdam moechos et mugilis intrat.

And sometimes the husband’s wrath exacts greater penalties than any law allows: one lover is slain by the sword, another bleeds under the lash; some undergo the punishment of the mullet (trans. Ramsay).

As many modern commentators on the passage note: These are meant as pseudo-phallic insertions into an anus in order to impose a feminine humiliation on the adulterer. Perhaps proof positive that toxic masculinity comes in many disturbing forms––including anal radishes. Even if epigraphic and legal evidence for the practice don’t seem to exist, it appears that satirists and comedians were aware of its existence.

Where does all this rather arcane exploration of the phallic insertion of ancient radishes leave us in the grand scheme of things? I pondered this question a lot on the long flight home yesterday, particularly after Candida Moss reminded me of the accusation that early Christian Montanists were derided as heretical ῥαφανοφαγίας (“radish-eaters”). While Hippolytus was likely decrying them as pseudo-ascetics, I wondered if the radish was still cast as a feminizing vegetable in Late Antiquity, and thus became an insult that had layers to it.

I may not have a definitive ruling on whether radishes were actually inserted into the anuses of adulterers in antiquity, but I do think the history of ancient radishes is itself a defense of our curiosity in the everyday. It stands as a thesis for the continued utility of the microhistory in the form of academic blogging that can allow researchers to go down the rabbit hole in order to explore. Not everything needs a dedicated monograph, and the radish is a strong statement for why academic blogs should exist.

The vegetable also illustrates Isidore’s main point, namely that etymologies can reveal to us organizations of human knowledge in a way that is not readily apparent in a modern world brimming with  overarching macro-histories of war, imperialism, and powerful men. Much as when I first read Italian microhistorian Carlo Ginzburg‘s transformative Il formaggio e i vermi (“The Cheese and the Worms”), about the life of a 16th century miller, I was brought back to why the cultural turn within history was so… radical. Proof that there remains a need for both distant and close readings; for micro and macro histories; for monographs and blogposts.

AN1613292625_lRoman mosaic depiction of a red mullet fish (150-225 CE) now located at the British Museum (Image via the British Museum).


Danielle S. Allen, The World of Prometheus The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (Princeton University Press, 2000). 

Christopher Carey, “‘Return of the radish or just when you thought it safe to go back into the kitchen,” Liverpool Classical Monthly 18.4 (1993): 53–55. 

David Cohen, “A note on Aristophanes and the Punishment of Adultery in Athenian Law,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Romanistische Abteilung. Issue 102 (1985): 385–387.

Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms : the cosmos of a sixteenth-century miller (Johns Hopkins Press, 1980).

Shawn O’Bryhim, “Catullus’ Mullets and Radishes (c. 15.18-19),” Mnemosyne 70 (2) (2017): 325-330.

ῥαφανιδόω: Never Look at A Radish in the Same Way Again,” Sententiae Antiquae (January 1, 2017).

Priscilla Throop, trans., Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies : the complete English translation of Isidori Hispalensis Episcopi Etymologiarum sive Originum Libri XX (2005).

BiblePlaces Blog

Weekend Roundup (and the fake “Ziklag”)

The big story of the week was the “discovery of Ziklag,” a claim made by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel regarding his recent excavations of Khirbet a-Ra‘i. You can read about it in the The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz (premium). You can download high-res photos or watch a one-minute silent video showing excavations at the site. I think the whole thing is sad.

Now, to the week’s stories, of which there are not so many:

You might have trouble picking out your friends in this year’s group photo of the Gath excavation team. (Very clever!) You can poke around the blog for recent updates and lots of photos.

The Tel Burna excavation season is over. John DeLancey created a video of the site with his drone.

A journal article has been published on last year’s discovery of a ceramic pomegranate at Shiloh.

Scott Stripling is back on The Book and the Spade discussing this year’s excavations at Shiloh.

A newly constructed building on an archaeological site in the hills near Hebron has been bulldozed.

On the Logos blog, Karen Engle explains the value of biblical archaeology.

It’s always more enjoyable to think about a difficult passage when you feel more immersed in its setting, and that’s what Wayne Stiles does this week with Jesus’s question at Capernaum.

Israel’s Good Name enjoyed a fascinating outing to the Nizzana Dunes. Don’t skip this one if you love wildlife.

Carl Rasmussen has begun a very interesting series (part 1, part 2) on Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Malta.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of Capernaum with a unique perspective.

OK, so I’ll elaborate briefly on my thoughts on “Ziklag.” First, the lead archaeologist who made the claim has a track record of making dubious sensational claims. Second, the archaeologist was very careful to conceal his idea from other scholars until he made his big announcement to the press. Now, that may be the way to do things in the competitive business world, but in academia, you’re supposed to share your ideas with colleagues for fruitful critique. Garfinkel’s approach, once again, is more designed to make headlines than to discover truth.

Third, other sites, such as Tel Sera, have appropriate occupation levels, from the Philistines followed by the Israelites, with destruction layers. From the biblical text, we know that there were dozens of sites in this area, and David no doubt removed the Philistines from more than one of them (1 Chr 18:1). Furthermore, the minimal amount of Philistine pottery gives reason to doubt that Kh. a-Ra‘i was actually a Philistine site at all.

Fourth, Khirbet a-Ra‘i (coordinates 31°35'26.83"N, 34°49'10.03"E), is near Lachish (2.5 miles northwest), but according to Joshua 15, Ziklag is located in a more southern district (grouped with sites like Beersheba and Hormah). That is why scholars have proposed for Ziklag the sites of Tel Sera (15 miles southwest of Lachish) and Tel Halif (13 miles south of Lachish). If Khirbet a-Ra‘i was Ziklag, it should be in verse 38 of Joshua 15, not in verse 31. Fifteen miles distant is a long way in the land of Israel!

As with Kh. Qeiyafa, Garfinkel simply ignores what the Bible says about the geographical situation of sites and chooses the most spectacular name to attach to his site. The press will let him get away with it, because sensational stories mean more money for them. By the time that journal articles are written or professors speak up, the headlines have already raced around the world, and the public’s attention is elsewhere. Khirbet a-Ra‘i is a fine archaeological site; it doesn’t need false claims in order to make it worthy of study or publicity.

Final note: Amanda Borschel-Dan has written a solid report for The Times of Israel in which she quotes at length two scholars dumbfounded by Garfinkel’s claim. Luke Chandler (a volunteer at the site this year) and Ferrell Jenkins also weigh in. My analysis here was written before I read these reports, but you’ll see there’s a good bit of overlap.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Keith Keyser, BibleX

Jim Davila (

Trotter, The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora

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Postdocs for LXX project

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

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

What Jesus Learned from Mary Magdalene

I am still debating whether to start my chapter about Mary Magdalene in the book I am writing, What Jesus Learned From Women, by trying to get jokes out of the way first. Q: What did Jesus learn from Mary Magdalene? A: How to be a good husband. I’m not persuaded that Jesus and Mary […]

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2019.07.25: The Hellenistic Peloponnese: Interstate Relations: A Narrative and Analytic History, 371-146 BC

Review of Ioanna Kralli, The Hellenistic Peloponnese: Interstate Relations: A Narrative and Analytic History, 371-146 BC. Swansea: 2017. Pp. xxxiii, 556. $95.00. ISBN 9781910589601.

2019.07.24: Journeys to the Underworld and Heavenly Realm in Ancient and Medieval Literature

Review of John C. Stephens, Journeys to the Underworld and Heavenly Realm in Ancient and Medieval Literature. Jefferson, NC: 2019. Pp. 175. $45.00 (pb). ISBN 9781476674513.

2019.07.23: Ovid in Late Antiquity. Studi e testi tardoantichi, 16

Review of Franca Ela Consolino, Ovid in Late Antiquity. Studi e testi tardoantichi, 16. Turnhout: 2018. Pp. 506. €115.00. ISBN 9782503578088.

Archaeology Magazine

6,000-Year-Old Dart Tip Uncovered in Canada

SASKATOON, CANADA—The Star Phoenix reports that archaeology student Kristina Chomyshen of the University of Saskatchewan uncovered a 6,000-year-old dart tip at the Wolf Willow site in south-central Canada’s Wanuskewin Heritage Park. The point would have been propelled by hunters with a device called a throwing board. “The Gowen cultural period wasn’t known to be at the Wolf Willow site and very [little] has been found at other sites in Wanuskewin,” Chomyshen said. “So it’s an incredibly exciting find.” To read about a barbed arrow point that was discovered in the southern Yukon, go to “Time’s Arrow.”

Ancient Amphoras Found Near Albania

DURRES, ALBANIA—The Associated Press reports that members of the RPM Nautical Foundation discovered 22 amphoras in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Albania’s Karaburun peninsula. The vessels are thought to have held wine or oil and to be at least 2,500 years old. If the remains of the ship that carried the amphoras were to be found, said archaeologist Mateusz Polakowski, it would be the earliest ship known to have sailed along the Albanian coast. The ship may have been traveling to the ancient coastal cities of Dyrrachium or Apolonia, added Auron Tare of UNESCO. From there, goods could have been carried east along the Via Egnatia. Remains of similar amphoras have been found inland. For more, go to “Letter from Albania: A Road Trip Through Time.”

Inscription Honoring Dionysus Found in Bulgaria

PLOVDIV, BULGARIA—According to a report in The Sofia Globe, a third-century Greek inscription honoring the god Dionysus has been found on a slab that was reused in the floor of a fifth-century Christian basilica at the site of Philippopolis. The dedication, which is followed by the names of 44 members of a mystical society, thanks Dionysus for their rescue from the invasion of the Goths and asks for protection for the new Roman emperors Valerian and Gallien. “What is interesting is that the position of members in the organization are also listed, and they are very diverse,” said epigraphist Nikolai Sharankov. “There are several heads of mysteries, different kinds of priests, people who have an obligation to wear specific sacred objects.” The inscription is only the third one to be found at the site that can be dated to the period after the invasion, Sharankov explained. To read about the discovery of a Greek inscription containing an excerpt of the Odyssey, go to “Epic Find.”

July 12, 2019

Archaeological News on Tumblr

22 ancient amphoras found off Albanian coast

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A joint Albanian-American underwater archaeology project says it has found...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space - Digitised masks archive

The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space - Digitised masks archive
by Martin Blazeby
The digitised masks archived on the project website have been recorded using photogrammetry and laser scanning technologies (see: Project pipeline - Mask scanning process). All masks have been subjected to varying degrees of post scan manipulation using 3D editing software and a selection chosen for rapid prototyping (see: Project pipeline - Rapid prototyping process). Some of the masks have also been 'virtually' decorated used in preparation for full-sized mask construction (see: Project pipeline - Virtual mask decoration process).
The masks are categorised by type and listed by their respective museum accession numbers. Other classifications i.e. Webster, Monuments Illustrating New Comedy are also referenced where possible.
Digitised Masks archive:

Female (10)

Slave (13)

Young Men (25)

Middle-aged Men (6)

Old Men (7)

Satyr (4)

Miscellaneous (7)

Romans 1 by 1

Romans 1 by 1
Romans 1by1 is a population database recording people identified in Greek and Roman epigraphy. The areas integrally covered at this point are the provinces of Moesia Inferior, Moesia Superior and Dacia. From Pannonia Superior, we have integrated so far the urban centers of Poetovio, Neviodunum, Siscia, Savaria, Brigetio and Scarbantia. 

Open Access Journal: Quaderni di Vicino Oriente

Quaderni di Vicino Oriente
ISSN: 1127-6037
e-ISSN: 2532-5175
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente XI - 2017:

La percezione dell'ebraismo in altre culture e nelle arti IV-2015
a cura di Alessandro Catastini


L. Sist - I sogni del faraone (Genesi 41: 1-36): abbondanza e carestia in Egitto tra realtà e τόπος letterario

S. Zincone - “Allora tutto Israele sarà salvato”: osservazioni sull’esegesi cristiana antica di Rom. 11, 26 segg

F. Cocchini - La dichiarazione Nostra Aetate

A. Gebbia - Il teatro Yiddish in America

M. Passalacqua - Un umanista del XX secolo: Paul Oskar Kristeller

A. Camplani - Mosè, Elia e Abramo nel Vangelo di Marcione
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente X - 2015:

La percezione dell'ebraismo in altre culture e nelle arti III-2014
a cura di Alessandro Catastini


R. Nicolai - La Giudea di Strabone e la percezione del giudaismo all'epoca di Augusto

S. Zincone - Non insultando sed exsultando:
l'Adversus Iudaeos di Agostino tra polemica e dilectio

L. Capezzone - L'eredità classica greca e il medioevo islamo-ebraico di Leo Strauss

P. Botta - A. Garribba - Judío e derivati negli antichi dizionari spagnoli

D. Vaccari - Il personaggio del judío nel teatro spagnolo del XVII secolo

M. Sonnino - La classicità rifiutata.
Filologi classici (ed) ebrei nella Germania tra Otto- e Novecento

E. Prinzivalli - Gli ebrei nella predicazione di Origene:
note a margine delle omelie sui Salmi del Cod. Mon. Gr. 314

L. Sist - Note su alcuni motivi egizi presenti nella cultura materiale giudaica

E. Tagliaferro - Augusto e gli ebrei

A. Catastini - Il banchetto della necromante di En Dor

L. Nigro - David e la presa di Gerusalemme:
sinnôr al millô: ri-costruzione della storia
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente IX – 2015:

Jamshid’s takht or Solomon’s malʿab? Archaeological Reflections on Persepolis and Iṣṭakhr in Arabic and Persian Texts (9th-15th centuries)
Michelina di Cesare
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente VIII - 2014:

La percezione dell'ebraismo in altre culture e nelle arti II-2013
a cura di Alessandro Catastini


L. Nigro - David e Golia: Filistei e Israeliti ad un tiro di sasso. Recenti scoperte nel dibattito sull'archeologia in Israele

M. Passalacqua - Lezioni di filologia: Ludwig Traube, Elias Avery Lowe, Eduard Fraenkel

P. Buzi - Il conflitto che non c'era. Ebrei e cristiani nella tradizione letteraria copta del V-VIII secolo

A. Gebbia - Nuove tendenze e nuove voci nelle letterature ebraiche degli Stati Uniti e del Canada

F. Mastrofini - Presente e prospettive del dialogo ebraico-cristiano

S. Zincone - Giudei e giudaizzanti nelle omelie Adversus Iudaeos di Giovanni Crisostomo

P. Botta - A. Garribba - Canti giudeo-spagnoli di tradizione orale

L. Sist - Testimonianze di giudaismo in Egitto: i templi di Yahweh e le risultanze archeologiche

A. Catastini - La simbologia del vino nuovo nel banchetto sacro
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente VII – 2014:

Umberto Scerrato: saggi inediti e opera minora
a cura di Maria Vittoria Fontana
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente VI - 2013:

La percezione dell'ebraismo in altre culture e nelle arti
a cura di Alessandro Catastini


E. Prinzivalli - "Noi" e "Loro", la lacerazione indicibile. Ebrei e Cristiani nel I e nel II secolo

A. Camplani - Declinazioni dell'antigiudaismo nel cristianesimo siriaco delle origini

A. Gebbia - Il violinista su Hollywood: gli Ebrei e il cinema americano

F. Gabizon - Percorsi ebraici nella letteratura inglese e americana

A. Catastini - La questione delle origini ebraiche

J. Nigro Covre - R. Cilione - Gli artisti e l 'ebraismo tra Italia e Francia intorno al 1930

F. Piperno - Ebrei in Musica

L. Nigro - L 'Archeologia Biblica e la percezione dell 'ebraismo

M. Caffiero - Gioco di specchi. Ebrei e Cristiani in età moderna: rappresentazioni e autorappresentazioni
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente V – 2010:

Ana turri gimilli. Studi dedicati al Padre Werner R. Mayer da amici e allievi
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente IV – 2010:

Tiro, cartagine, Lixus: nuove acquisizioni.
Atti del Convegno Internazionale in onore di Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo. Roma, 24-25 novembre 2008
a cura di Gilda Bartoloni - Paolo Matthiae - Lorenzo Nigro - Licia Romano
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente III – 2002:

Da Pyrgi a Mozia. Studi sull’archeologia del Mediterraneo in memoria di Antonia Ciasca
a cura di Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo - Mario Liverani - Paolo Matthiae
Quaderni di Vicino Oriente II –

Quaderni di Vicino Oriente I –

Open Access Journal: Vicino Oriente

[First posted 7/26/09,   Updatee 12 July 2019]

Vicino Oriente
ISSN: 0393-0300
e-ISSN: 2532-5159
Vicino Oriente is the journal of the Sezione di Orientalistica (Section of Oriental Studies) of the Department of Sciences of Antiquity of Rome “La Sapienza” University. 
VO is published yearly and deals with Near and Middle Eastern Archaeology, History, Epigraphy, extending its view on the whole Mediterranean with the study of Phoenician and Punic documents. 
Purposes of the journal are: to host preliminary reports of excavations currently carried on by the Department in the Near and Middle East, Egypt and the Mediterranean; to report about and update the status of research projects in progress; to introduce PhD projects currently undergoing in the Department.
The journal publishes contributions of historical, archaeological, artistic, philological, philosophical, and religious disciplines in ancient Mediterranean, Asia, and Africa. Papers submitted to the Editorial Board are, of course, selected by the members of the Scientific Committee, all scholars of the Section of Oriental Studies of Department of Sciences of Antiquities at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.
Current Issue


L. Nigro - Da Gerico a Betlemme. La missione della Sapienza a Gerico e l’archeologia italiana in Palestina (1997-2017)
con il contributo del Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale

L. Nigro - L. Fattore - D. Montanari - 3D scanning, modelling and printing of ultra-thin nacreous shells from Jericho: a case study of small finds documentation in archaeology

Z. Kafafi - Life and settlements during the Iron Age in the Central Jordan Valley: aspects from the site Tell Deir ‘Alla and nearby sites

L. Nigro - F. Spagnoli - Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots

A.Mª Niveau-de-Villedary y Mariñas - Gadir revisited. A proposal for reconstruction of the archaic Phoenician foundation

F. Giusfredi - On Phoenicians in Ptolemaic Cyprus: a note on CIS I 95

M. Guirguis - Una brocchetta eburnea dalla necropoli di Douïmès: artigianato fenicio tra Nimrud e Cartagine

P. Bartoloni - Bambini fenici nel tofet. Review article: B. D’Andrea (2018), Bambini nel ‘limbo’. Dati e proposte interpretative sui tofet fenici e punici, Roma 2014

M.G. Amadasi - Due colleghi all’“Orientale” di Napoli
Review article:
G. Toloni (a cura di), L’opera di Francesco Vattioni (1922-1995), Brescia 2016
G. Toloni (a cura di), L’opera di Luigi Cagni (1929-1998), Brescia 2018

A.L. Corsi - A stucco merlon from the Congregational Mosque of Siraf at the British Museum

F. Duva - Gay in the Sasanian period: some preliminary notes on its circular urban plan

M.V. Fontana - A small intruder: a Medieval marble winged lion from Ravello

V. Laviola - Some newly discovered Islamic buckets from Ghazni (Afghanistan)

G. Maresca - Between ‘Early and ‘Late’ Iron Age in South-eastern Iran: notes on the possibility to evaluate the ‘Achaemenid impact’ on the area

M. Massullo - Une inscription au nom d’Akbar. Écho du pouvoir moghol à Ġaznī (Afghanistan)

S. Paolini - Palanquins on camels and elephants in the Islamic world



A. Catastini - Ricordo di Giovanni Garbini (1931-2017)

Nigro - D. Montanari - A. Guari - M. Tamburrini - P. Izzo - M. Ghayyada - I. Titi - J. Yasine - New archaeological features in Bethlehem (Palestine): the Italian-Palestinian rescue season of 2016

J. Bogdani - The archaeological atlas of Coptic literature. A question of method

V. Pisaniello - Hittite (ninda) kaz(za)mi(t)-

A.L. Corsi - A brief note on the Early Abbasid stucco decoration.
Madinat al-Far and the first Friday Mosque of Isfahan

F. Duva - New perspectives on the first Abbasid Masjid-i Jumʿa of Iṣfahān

V. Laviola - Three Islamic inkwells from Ghazni excavation

R. Giunta - Tombeaux et inscriptions funéraires de Ghazni (Afghanistan).
Quelques documents inédits Du XIe-XIIIe siècle

M.V. Fontana - Qalʿa-Iṣṭakhr and the Si Gunbadān

L. Colliva - G. Terribili - A forgotten Sasanian sculpture. The fifth bust of Narseh from the monument of Paikuli

M. Di Cesare - A note on an Umayyad carved ivory plaque kept at the Walters Art Gallery

A. Santi - The role of Madīna in the emergence of the Mosque-Dār al-Imāra combination: a preliminary note

L. Nigro - D. Montanari - M. Ghayyada - J. Yasine - The el-Atan Tomb: an Early Bronze IVB female burial in the heart of Palestine

V. Laviola - Unpublished Islamic bronze cauldrons from private collections: two early and one very late specimens

D. Montanari - Bollettino delle attività del Museo del Vicino Oriente, Egitto e Mediterraneo della Sapienza, anno 2017

A. Ten - Roma, il culto di Iside e Serapide in Campo Marzio: alcuni aggiornamenti



F. Spagnoli - Una brocchetta con protome d'ariete dall'Area Sacra del Kothon a Mozia

R. Francia - Gli avverbi di luogo ittiti in -an: forme di nominativo accusativo neutro singolare?

A. Carfì - Early Islamic models of urban and rural settlements in the South Bilād al-Shām

M.V. Fontana - A brief note on the Yemenite chahār tāq mausoleums. The case of Barāqish

Scavi e Ricerche

L. Nigro - R. Gharib - Jamaan at the pass of Bi'rein: an Iron Age IIB-C Ammonite stronghold in central Jordan

M.V. Fontana - A.A. Asadi - M. Rugiadi - A.C. Felici - A. Fusaro - Estakhr Project - third preliminary report of the joint Mission of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the Parsa-Pasargadae Research Foundation and the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Museo del Vicino Oriente, Egitto e Mediterraneo

E. Pomar - Save Palmyra. La distruzione del patrimonio archeologico nel Vicino Oriente. Perché e come ricostruire

D. Montanari - Bollettino delle attività del Museo del Vicino Oriente, Egitto e Mediterraneo della Sapienza, anno 2016



L. Nigro - Bethlehem in the Bronze and Iron Ages in the light of recent discoveries by the Palestinian MOTA-DACH

V. Pisaniello - Parallel passages among Hittite-Luwian rituals: for the restoration of KUB 35.146

F. Spagnoli - Una testa di sileno in bronzo da Mozia

N. Chiarenza - Una matrice per terrecotte con sileno dall'Area sacra del Kothon a Mozia

G. Labisi - al-Fudayn: an Umayyad residence in Northern Jordan

P. Buzi - Early Christianity in the Fayyūm: the new contribution of archaeology

I. Materia - Preliminary notes on the ware depicted on the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo

S. Autiero - Indian Ocean trade: a reassessment of the pottery finds from a multidisciplinary point of view (3rd Century BC-5th century AD)

M.M. Jamhawi - N. Al-Shakarchi - I. Al-Hashimi - Assessment of tourists' satisfaction in the downtown of Amman

Scavi e Ricerche

L. Nigro - C. Fiaccavento - M. Jaradat - J. Yasine - Archaeology from A to Z: Abu Zarad, an ancient town in the heartland of Palestine

L. Nigro - D. Montanari - M. Ghayyada - J. Yasine - Khalet al-Jam'a. A Middle Bronze and Iron Age necropolis near Bethlehem (Palestine)

L. Nigro - G. Ripepi - I. Hamdan - J. Yasine - The Jericho Oasis Archaeological Park - 2015 Interim Report. Italian-Palestinian Cooperation for protection and valorization of archaeological heritage

R. Francia - L'archivio di tavolette del complesso B-C-H di Büyükkale e l'organizzazione degli archivi reali ittiti. Considerazioni preliminari

V. Pisaniello - La collezione di tavolette del complesso B-C-H di Büyükkale

T. De Vincenzi - L'archivio di tavolette del complesso B-C-H sull'acropoli di Büyükkale

Museo del Vicino Oriente, Egitto e Mediterraneo

L. Nigro - Il nuovo allestimento del Museo del Vicino Oriente, Egitto e Mediterraneo della Sapienza

D. Montanari - Bollettino delle attività del Museo del Vicino Oriente, Egitto e Mediterraneo della Sapienza, anno 2015


A. Orsingher - E. PAPPA (2013), Early Iron Age Exchange in the West: Phoenicians in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic (Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement Series 43), Leuven - Paris - Walpole 2013, MA.: Peeters


L. Nigro - Editoriale


M. Jafari-Dehaghi - Čahār zahagān in Middle Persian literature

S. Seminara - Beyond the words. Some considerations about the word "to translate" in Sumerian

R. Francia - Gli Ittiti e la loro riscoperta nella Turchia repubblicana

K. Rashid Rahim - C.G. Cereti - L. Colliva - A. Fusaro - C. Insom - G. Labisi - S. Mancini - J. Bogdani - M. Galuppi - G. Terribili - MAIKI, Missione Archeologica Italiana nel Kurdistan Iracheno: la carta archeologica dell'area di Paikuli, obiettivi e metodologie applicate

L. Nigro - The Copper Route and the Egyptian connection in 3rd millennium BC Jordan seen from the caravan city of Khirbet al-Batrawy

M. Sala - EB II-III aegyptiaca east of the Jordan: a reevaluation of trade and cultural interactions between Egypt and Transjordanian urban centres

C. Fiaccavento - Two EB III Red Polished jugs from Palace B in Khirbet al-Batrawy and jugs with Reserved Alternate-Hatching Decoration (RAHD) from Palestine and Transjordan

D. Montanari - An EB IV dagger from Tell es-Sultan/Jericho

F. Spagnoli - Una brocchetta dipinta dal Tempio di Astarte nell'Area sacra del Kothon a Mozia

B. D'Andrea - Nuove stele dal Tofet di Mozia

A. Orsingher - Listen and protect: reconsidering the grinning masks after a recent find from Motya



P. Gignoux - Souvenirs d'un grand savant: Gherardo Gnoli (1937-2012)

N.N.Z. Chegini - M.V. Fontana - A. Asadi - M. Rugiadi - A.M. Jaia - A. Blanco - L. Ebanista - V. Cipollari Estakhr Project - second preliminary report of the joint Mission of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the Parsa-Pasargadae Research Foundation and the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

A. Asadi - S.M. Mousavi Kouhpar - J. Neyestani - A. Hojabri-Nobari - Sasanian and Early Islamic settlement patterns north of the Persian Gulf

L. Nigro - Before the Greeks: the earliest Phoenician settlement in Motya - recent discoveries by Rome «La Sapienza» Expedition

C. Fiaccavento - Potters' wheels from Khirbet al-Batrawy: a reconsideration of social contexts

D. Montanari - A copper javelin head in the UCL Palestinian Collection

A. Massafra - A group of metal weapons from Tell el-'Ajjul in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow

A. Campus - Costruire memoria e tradizione: il tofet

F. Spagnoli - Demetra a Mozia: evidenze dall'area sacra del Kothon nel V secolo a.C.

R. Francia - Lo stile 'poetico' delle historiolae ittite

V. Pisaniello - Il sumerogramma IR nei testi ittiti



D. Montanari - Copper axes and double-apses buildings: investigating EB I social interrelations

P. Sferrazza - Cattivi presagi: analisi della raffigurazione della Stanza 132 del Palazzo Reale di Mari

I. Melandri - A new reconstruction of the anklets of Princess Khnumit

G. Ripepi - Gli edifici su podio in Palestina durante l'Età del Ferro II

F. Spagnoli - Un altare bruciaprofumi punico dalla "Casa del sacello domestico" a Mozia

M. Guirguis - Monte Sirai 2005-2010. Bilanci e prospettive

V. Tusa - Le armi dei corredi tombali della necropoli arcaica di Mozia

M.C. Benvenuto - F. Pompeo - Il sincretismo di genitivo e dativo in persiano antico

M.V. Fontana - S.M. Mireskandari - M. Rugiadi - A. Asadi - A.M. Jaia - A. Blanco - L. Colliva - Estakhr Project - first preliminary report of the joint Mission of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the Parsa-Pasargadae Research Foundation and the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

C.G. Cereti - L. Colliva - M.V. Fontana - G. Terribili - J. Bogdani - A. Bizzarro - A. Tilia - S.S. Tilia - From flint to silicon, modern technologies applied to the understanding of history. The Italian Archaeological Mission in Iraqi Kurdistan

M. Rugiadi - Il complesso di ricevimento del palazzo ayyubide a Shawbak

L. Nigro - An EB IIIB (2500-2300 BC) gemstones necklace from the Palace of the Copper Axes at Khirbet al-Batrawy, Jordan

A. Caltabiano - Temples et sanctuaires urbains du littoral syrien à l'âge du Fer: continuité et transformation culturelles

M. Sala - Egyptian and Egyptianizing objects from EB I-III Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho


F. Spagnoli - Un'anforetta dipinta dalla Tomba T.177 di Mozia


M. Sala - Sanctuaries, Temples and Cult Places in Early Bronze I Southern Levant

D. Montanari - Sei lance rituali in metallo del Bronzo Antico I (3400-3000 a.C.) dal Levante meridionale

L. Romano - La stele del simposio?

S. Lanna - Land-management and food-production in early Egypt (Dynasties 0-2)

S. Paradiso - La brocca RS 24.440 da Ugarit: rappresentazione di una scena di offerta

G. Pagliari - Ancient Egyptian Palace: The Tripartite Plan of Audience System

M.G. Amadasi Guzzo - On the Beginnings of the Punic Scripts

B. D’Andrea - S. Giardino - “Il tofet: dove e perché”: alle origini dell’identità fenicia

L. Sist - Preliminary notes on two royal buildings discovered in Napata

A. Colazilli - Il pianto nell’antico Egitto

A. D’Aleo - Il mito di Butes: un caso paradigmatico di “sincretismo”?

S. Della Ricca - I. Della Ricca - Quale sanità nel Vicino Oriente urbanizzato?

V. Messina - J. Mehr Kian - Ricognizione dei rilievi partici d’Elimaide. La piana di Izeh- Malamir

M. Rugiadi - The Emergence of Siliceous-paste in Iran in the Last Quarter of the 11th century and Related Issues. The Dated Assemblage from the Southern Domed Hall of the Great Mosque of Isfahan

I. Melandri - Nuove considerazioni su una statua da Qaw el-Kebir al Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino


D. Nadali - Eph‘al, I.,The City Besieged. Siege and Its Manifestations in the Ancient Near East, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 36, Brill Ed., Leiden - Boston 2009

D. Nadali - Curtis, J.E. - Tallis, N (eds.), The Balawat Gates of Ashurnasirpal II, The British Museum Press, London 2008


A. Vacca - Rappresentazioni di edifici sacri nella glittica dei periodi di Uruk, Jemdet Nasr e Protodinastico I

L. Romano - La corona del dio. Nota sull’iconografia divina nel Protodinastico

M. Sala - Il Temple en L a Biblo

M. D’Andrea - Trickle Painted Ware: an Early Bronze IV Specialized Pottery Production in Palestine and Transjordan

A. Iob - Forme, colori, funzione dei collari usekh: confronto tra immagine e modello reale

D. Nadali - La Stele di Daduša come documento storico dell’età paleobabilonese. Immagini e iscrizione a confronto

L. Peyronel - Guerre e alleanze in epoca paleobabilonese: il peso di Inibšina, figlia di Daduša di Ešnunna

G. Pedrucci - Kubaba: presenze anatoliche e antecedenti siriani

S. Festuccia - Le forme da fusione della Città Bassa Settentrionale di Tell Mardikh-Ebla

L. Mori - Osservazioni sulla tipologia delle strade dai testi di Emar

A. Vallorani - Bâtiment III: il palazzo neosiriano di Hama

M.G. Amadasi Guzzo - J.-Á. Zamora Lopez - Un ostracon phénicien de Tavira (Portugal)

M. L’Erario - Un Osco a Solunto. Una nota sul cosiddetto «oscillum» di Solunto

M.G. Amadasi Guzzo - Su due dediche neopuniche da Henchir Ghayadha

F. Bron - L’inscription néo-punique de Cherchell, NP 130

D. Piacentini - Una bilingue greco-palmirena dal Negev: una nuova interpretazione

L. Nigro - L’unzione del re? nota su un passabriglie protodinastico al Museo del Louvre

L. Romano - Recensione al volume: Margueron, J.-Cl., Mari. Métropole de l’Euphrate au IIIe et au debut du IIe millénaire av. J.-C., Paris 2004



L. Romano - La Stele degli Avvoltoi: una rilettura critica

L. Nigro - Alle origini della prima urbanizzazione palestinese. Il caso dell’Edificio 7102 di Tell el-‘Areini

M. Sala - Prodromi della prima urbanizzazione palestinese ai confini del deserto basaltico siro-giordano: l’insediamento fortificato del Bronzo Antico I (3400-3200 a.C.) a Jawa

G. Spreafico - La formulazione architettonica e spaziale dell’area sacra nell’edilizia templare del Ferro I in Palestina

R. Francia - Osservazioni sulle strategie linguistiche e stilistiche nelle lettere ittite

G. Capriotti Vittozzi - Rivisitando la tomba di Petosiri: note su alcuni aspetti iconografici

A. Orsingher - Bruciaprofumi lotiformi: una produzione fenicia 115

F. Susanna - Templi punici o di matrice punica con cripta o con strutture sotterranee in Nord Africa

N. Chiarenza - Una nota su un altare a tre betili da Selinunte

M.G. Amadasi Guzzo - Une lamelle magique à inscription phénicienne

C. Greco - Recensione al volume Mozia - XI


M. Liverani - La scoperta del mattone. Muri e archivi nell’archeologia mesopotamica

A. Archi - The “lords”, lugal-lugal, of Ebla: a prosopographic study

M.G. Biga - Wet-nurses at Ebla: a prosopographic study

M. Ramazzotti - Appunti sulla semiotica delle relazioni stratigrafiche di Gerico neolitica

N. Marchetti - A Middle Bronze I ritual deposit from the ‘Amuq Plain: note on the dating and the significance on the metal anthropomorphic figurines from Tell Judaidah

E. Ascalone - Interpretazione stratigrafica e proposta di periodizzazione della città di Susa. Studio comparativo degli scavi effettuati e analisi storica dell’abitato tra la fine del IV e l’inizio del III millennio a.C.

L. Peyronel - Sigilli harappani e dilmuniti dalla Mesopotamia e dalla Susiana. Note sul commercio nel golfo Arabo-Persico tra III e II millennio a.C.

L. Nigro - L’assedio di Bīt Bunakki da Ninive ai Musei Vaticani. La sua collocazione originaria nel Palazzo Nord di Assurbanipal e gli scavi di Giovanni Bennhi

R. Bertolino - I corpora delle iscrizioni semitiche di Hatra, Palmira e Dura-Europos: un bilancio

P. Grossmann - Zur Rekonstruktion der Südkirche von Antinoopolis

M. Ramazzotti - Un’ipotesi di proposta interpretativa: l’architettura domestica in Egitto come indice del cambiamento nella struttura socio-economica


A. Amenta - Aspetti culturali dal tempio di Tod

A. Bongioanni - Tradizioni sciamaniche nel manto “stellato” sacerdotale: il caso di Anen e Tutankhamon

R. Buongarzone - Una nuova versione del Libro della Terra

G. Capriotti Vittozzi - Una statua di sovrana al Museo Egizio di Torino: la tradizione del Nuovo Regno nell’iconografia della regine tolemaiche

E.M. Ciampini - I percorsi misteriosi di Rosetau

S. Demichelis - Papiri calendariali al Museo Egizio di Torino

P. Gallo - Una nuova statua del re Nekhthorheb sotto forma di falco da Pharbeithos

E. Fiore Marochetti - Un frammento di iscrizione proveniente dalla grande “Mastaba du Nord” a el-Lisht

V. Massa - I giuramenti demotici di Pathyris nel Museo Egizio di Torino

A. Piccato - Percezione della storia, narrazione degli eventi e storiografia dell’Egitto del III e del II millennio a.C. Alcune brevi osservazioni

P. Romeo - Stele di Qadesh e stele di Horus


M. Krebernik - Neue Beschwörungen aus Ebla

A. Archi - Bulle e cretule iscritte da Ebla

A. Archi - Eblaita: paš–šu “colui che è addetto all’unzione; sacerdote purificatore; cameriere al servizio di una persona”

L De Urioste Sanchez - Aspetti della circolazione di metalli preziosi ad Ebla: catene di distribuzione e restituzione parziale

M. Bonechi - ARET I 2 + ARET IV 23

A. Enea - Per una rilettura delle abitazioni palestinesi a pianta curvilinea del Bronzo Antico I

N. Marchetti - L’aquila Anzu: nota su alcuni amuleti mesopotamici

L. Nigro - Dieci asce protodinastiche dal Luristan della Collezione Lorenzo Vannini

F. Venturi - Una ‘fiasca del pellegrino’ da Tell Afis. L'evoluzione dei ‘Pilgrim Flasks’ cananaici nel passaggio tra Bronzo Tardo e Ferro I

S. Di Paolo - Gli avori di Megiddo: un esempio di arte siriana?

R. Francia - Il pronome possessivo enclitico in antico ittita: alcune riflessioni

A. Roccati - La datazione di opere letterarie egizie

E.M. Ciampini - Testi funerari del Medio Regno in contesto “anomalo”: il caso di formule su stele

E. Mitchell- Redazione preliminare della carta archeologica del Jebel Barkal

A. Ciasca, R. Di Salvo, M. Castellino, C. Di Patti - Saggio preliminare sugli incinerati del Tofet di Mozia



S. Donadoni - La situazione archeologica

L Sist - Le figurazioni della Tomba TT 27

A. Roccati - Reminiscenze delle Tombe di Asiut nel monumento di Sheshonq

F. Tiradritti - Il capitolo 146w del Libro dei Morti

G. Rosati - Il Libro dei Morti sui pilastri orientali della corte

S. Bosticco - I ritrovamenti

B. Moiso - Conservazione del monumento e ripristino architettonico



M.G. Biga - Osservazioni sui criteri di redazione dei testi di Ebla: TM. 75. G.1730 e i testi del rituale per il re e la regina

F. Pomponio - Abba-kalla di Puzriš-Dagan

G. Wilhelm - Zum eblaitischen Gott Kura

C. Zaccagnini - Ceremonial Transfers of Real Estate at Emar and Elsewhere

L. Sist - Un frammento di statua da Crocodilopoli

F. Tiradritti - Stele di Amanitore e Arikankharor dal «Palazzo di Natakamani» al Gebel Barkal

M. Salvini. - Note sulle tavolette di Bastam

G. Falsone - Nuove coppe metalliche di fattura orientale

A. Ciasca - Mozia: sguardo d'insieme sul tofet

N. Marchetti - L'iscrizione della cappella rupestre di En-Numêr a Petra e la paleografia nabatea

A. Alberti - Nihil sub sole novum. Osservazioni a margine di MEE 10

A. Archi - Integrazioni alla prosopografia dei «danzatori», ne-di, di Ebla

E. Badalì - La festa di primavera AN. TAÐ.ŠUM: contributi su alcuni aspetti del culto ittito

L. Innocente - Stato delle ricerche sul cario

F. Israel - Note di onomastica semitica 6: l’apporto della glittica all’onomastica aramaica

Addendum to: D. Schmandt-Besserat: Tokens as Funerary Offerings, VO 7, pp. 3-9



A. Archi - F. Pomponio - Tavolette economiche neo-sumeriche dell’Università Pontificia Salesiana


Whose Conference Is It Anyway?

I’ve consumed countless hours of improv comedy, from podcasts like My Brother, My Brother and Me and My Favorite Murder to live performances. But while I’ve enjoyed being an audience to improv techniques, I’ve never thought about throwing my hat in the ring. It turns out, however, that improv skills can be applied to other environments and may even be useful in helping us survive graduate school. Shira Lurie has a particularly good take on this with Inside Higher Ed, but the benefits of improv have been touted by many. 

According to the Improv Social Skills Group at Vanderbilt University, improv techniques can help if you “feel unable to break into a conversation without feeling your face is on fire, or if you just wonder if your conversational skills are holding you back from better engagement on social or academic levels.” If “breaking into a conversation” and “conversational skills are holding you back” don’t describe two of my most deep-set phobias as a grad student, then I don’t know what does.

Kathleen Toohill, a journalist with The Atlantic, describes the improv stage as “a space free of judgment or fear of failure, making it an ideal environment for people who struggle with low self-esteem, social anxiety, or other types of anxiety disorders.” While the end of Toohill’s description may apply to many people, nowhere is it more applicable than in the imposter-syndrome-ridden land of graduate school. Toohill also describes how Kristin Krueger, a neuropsychologist and improv artist, was drawn to improv comedy “because it isn’t about ‘getting it right’—a liberating departure from the pressures of a life in academia.”

All of these are interesting points and reasons to consider embracing improv techniques in our grad student lives. But I think these skills can be applied to the larger realm of academia. In particular, using the principles of improv comedy may help the conference experience.

Yes, and…

The central tenet of improv, the “yes, and…” principle ensures that you first accept what someone else has said and then build off of it, adding on your own information. By its very nature, “yes, and…” is collaborative and inclusive, encouraging practitioners not to shoot down ideas but to find what you think is good or true in a statement and use that as a springboard rather than dismissing the point entirely.

Academia is a world that has built itself around the idea of critique — from in-class exercises evaluating reading to dissertation feedback from your advisor to response essays in popular journals. Marrying critique with the “yes, and…” may initially seem difficult, leaving as it does little room for disagreement. Lurie points out that the important point for academics may be the “and” — disagreeing and critiquing can be improved by offering up suggestions and your own ideas. “The ‘Yes, and’ principle,” Lurie writes, “reminds us to bring our own ideas to the table when expressing an opinion on another’s work.

I think the idea can be applied more literally to the conference setting, however. Many attendees struggle with the social aspects of conferences, from the 15 minute coffee breaks to organized social events. Engaging in improv practices might be a method for working to reduce that anxiety. It provides discreet conversation goals (“Did I build off of what my interlocutor was saying?”) and techniques for continuing conversations past initial pleasantries (“What point in their last sentence can I latch on to and build off of?”).

My current real-life reactions to prolonged social interaction at conferences. This can be improved upon.

“Yes, and…” is also an ideal practice for creating collaborative and congenial question sessions. If you are considering asking a conference presenter a question, can you think of a way to phrase it that “yes, and…”s their work? Can you ask for clarification or further details by first accepting their talk and then contributing to it? The process can work the same for responding to audience questions — can your response build off of what they have asked, even if it’s just one small point?

Ultimately, I think the “yes, and…” improv technique can be a tool for conference attendees to navigate social interactions and some of the most dreaded aspects of presenting. It’s not a cure-all, but it may be something that helps you. It’s not the only tool that improv gives us, however.

Make Your Partner Look Good

This is my favorite technique necessary for improv. Comedy and academic research both require the participation of many different people, from partners to funding agencies. Recognizing the need for collaboration is imperative, and nothing eases this collaboration more than actively working to make your partner look good. In comedy, this may mean not always stealing jokes and trying to one-up your partners, but instead setting them up for punchlines and working with them. Not trying to assert yourself constantly as the funniest person on the team actually produces a funnier and more enjoyable performance.

The same holds true for academia — classroom discussions that foster ideas by collaborating on understanding topics and arguments tend to be more productive (and more enjoyable!). Often this can be accomplished by working to help others clarify their thoughts through well-intentioned questions and expanding on their ideas. By working to make classmates look good, the end result is a discussion that puts no one on the defensive.

This practice can be applied to conferences in exactly the areas you would expect — the question period after presentations, social situations, etc. Conferences can be stressful for many people, so making the effort to lift people up whenever possible can go a long way. This may be especially true if you are presenting — make the other presenters in your session feel welcome and respond to their work (if they present before you)! 


Regardless of whether you’re honing your improv skills for use on the stage or at the conference podium, it takes practice. Each conference is a learning experience, a chance to hone your “yes, and…” and practice making your partners look good. But if you mess it up? Or if your anxiety is too much? It’s okay to bail, on the conversation or on the conference. These skills take time to learn and get right, and giving yourself space to learn and implement them is critical.

The bonus here is that as you practice your improv skills and applying them to your academic and conference-going life, you may gain other benefits as well. Scientists like Krueger are researching the use of improv as therapy for altering moods and coping with anxiety. So improv may be a tool for improving your conference game, but it certainly isn’t limited to this environment.

Improv may not be helpful for everyone, and it certainly isn’t a panacea — but the next time you’re feeling awkward while waiting for a panel to start, consider engaging in some of its teachings. “Yes, and…”ing the people you converse with and working to make your partner look good are tips and tricks that may help you create more positive interactions — at a conference, in a class discussion, or just as a human existing in the world.


The Archaeology News Network

22 ancient Greek amphorae found off Albanian coast

A joint Albanian-American underwater archaeology project says it has found amphorae that are at least 2,500 years old in the Ionian Sea off the Albanian coast, which might yield an ancient shipwreck. An amphora which dates from between the 7th and 5th centuries BC stands underwater near the shores of the Karaburun peninsula, Albania [Credit: RPM Nautical Foundation via AP]The research vessel Hercules of the RPM Nautical Foundation...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

DIALG: The Diachronic Interactive Lexicon of Greek

 DIALG: The Diachronic Interactive Lexicon of Greek

 [Description from the Digitalclassicist Wiki]
The Diachronic Interactive Lexicon of Greek contains all the entries of the dictionaries and provide them meanings (seasonally), referring primarily to quotations and other details in the dictionary (or dictionaries) which is the source of Information-importance. The same will be done with different types of a word (eg. verb types) or how to write when it is diverse, with references back-references to the "dictionaries-sources." The dictionary is open to additions or new entries or additional information (types, meanings and pensions), which are not mentioned in sub-dictionaries sources DialG. These additions come either from the team or from users' suggestions. The new data will be incorporated to the Dictionary at regular intervals, following a review by the editorial team. So we will have in the future a key tool for the Greek texts of all time. As it is widely known, the compilation of a lexicon of Greek is actually an endless project. Almost in every byzantine text (or text of the late antiquity), even among those already critically edited, words remain to be discovered; that is words which either have not got registered at all yet, they have an unregistered meaning, they appear in a new form or within a new construction. It is also well known that every index verborum or index graecitatis supplies new lexicographical material, and such material is also to be found in numerous minor or major publications. Besides, many isolated lexicographical observations remain unpublished, therefore unknown. Collecting such information systematically may in the best case, and only after a long time, lead to the compilation of a new Volume supplementary to the existing Lexica. This is is not exactly useless, but rather very inconvenient for the user. Even worse, this new Volume itself is bound to be “old” and obsolete from the very first moment of its publication. The vanity of such an effort could be observed in the case of the Supplement of the LSJ: After the user has read for example the entry ἀβόλλα in LSJ (where only one instance of the word is given), he/she is encountered in the Supplement with the statement: “delete the article”. Even more, this also proves to be false by means of new evidence: According to TLG ἀβόλλα does occur, and more than once. Additionally, allow me to remind you, that also all the Lexica Sophocles, Lampe, and Trapp (from now on LBG) are in fact supplementary to LSJ. Furthermore, the Greek translation of LSJ (: from now on LSK) is not only a translation but an enrichment too, and it has its own supplement (not identical to the English one!). Similarly, Demetrakos copies LSK for the ancient Greek, but offers additionally new material concerning medieval and late and, of course, modern Greek. Last but not least, the old Thesaurus Graecae Linguae (from the 16th. century) is still not completely replaced, that is, it offers material, which has not been thoroughly incorporated in the modern Lexica). An example will be given in due course. These are the Lexica usually consulted when reading a byzantine text. It goes without telling that all these Lexica need to get updated from time to time! This situation, in fact the idea of updating, has led us to the concept of a web-lexicon of Greek, which will comprise all the existing lexicographical information and will be able to get continuously enriched and corrected, in other words, updated. The DIAL-G will also be interactive; this means, it will be possible for anyone to suggest new material or corrections or supplementary notes, which, after being supervised, might be incorporated, in fact uploaded. This implies that it will be offered to all readers, and still retain the name of the first one to make the suggestion. Let us now present how it works with the help of some examples: Τhe word ἐθνεσιφόντης (used only once in Th. Prodr. carm. hist. 42 vers 21) is not registered, even in LBG, so it will be displayed only in DIAL-G: ἐθνεσιφόντης, ὁ only: Th. Prodr. Hist. Ged. XLII 21, slayer of the enemies/not Christian people...

Stoa Archiving and Rehosting

Stoa Archiving and Rehosting
At Duke University's Digital Classics Collaboratory (DC3)Ryan Baumann undertook to ensure that at least one snapshot of every page on the Stoa had been submitted to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine for long-term preservation. This archival copy may be browsed starting at*/
In order to keep as many Stoa URIs from going stale as possible, Tom Elliott (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU), undertook to establish a new, primary server for the domain and to work with original project authors and others to rehost static versions of the Stoa content. This is an on-going effort, and the status of individual projects is provided on the new home page.
Following are links to the new locations:

In memoriam


Since 2003, the Stoa Blog fronted this site, providing news, announcements, and other posts of interest to creators and users of digital resources in the Classics. In 2019, the blog was rehosted to a server operated by the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London. It can be reached directly at

About this site

The Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities was founded by Allen Ross Scaife in 1997 as an umbrella project for many projects in the Classics. Information about the history and the current status of the Stoa may be found on this site's "about" page.


A list of abbreviations for "1253 Greek Authors, from an older edition of the LSJ". The origins of this list are unclear, but the resource is linked from a number of other pages on the web.

Ancient City of Athens

The Ancient City of Athens is a photographic archive of the archaeological and architectural remains of ancient Athens (Greece), developed by Kevin T. Glowacki in 2004.

Ancient Journeys

Ancient Journeys: A Festscrift in Honor of Eugene Numa Lane was edited by Cathy Callaway with the assistance of Pamela A. Draper and published on the Stoa in 2002 with the editorial oversight of Anne Mahoney and Ross Scaife (assisted by Mark Weber and Phillip Sauerbeck). The version available here as of 2019 is a static HTML capture of the original, which used the Perseus hopper to transform the XML files used to encode the text.


The Confessions of Augustine: An Electronic Edition is an on-line reprint of James J. O'Donnell's 1992 text and commentary (Oxford: ISBN 0-19-814378-8).


Dēmos: Classical Athenian Democracy was developed and edited by Christopher W. Blackwell for the Stoa. It incorporates contributions from Danielle Allen, Elizabeth Baughman, Victor Bers, Michael de Brauw, Matthew Christ, Christopher Cotten, Casey Dué, Michael Gagarin, Craig Gibson, Edward Harris, Steven Johnstone, Konstantinos Kapparis, Adriaan Lanni, Thomas R. Martin, Josiah Ober, David Phillips, Hershal Pleasant, Amy Smith, and S.C. Todd. The original publication was encoded in TEI XML and converted to HTML for web dissemination on demand using a bespoke web application dependent on Apache Tomcat and Coccoon. This application could no longer be maintained after 2019 and so a static HTML version of the content is now hosted here.


Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World was launched by Ross Scaife and Suzanne Bonefas in early 1995 and was maintained by Scaife until his death in 2008. In 2017, the Women's Classical Caucustook over maintenance of a "new and improved" Diotima, which may be accessed at An archival copy of the old Diotima can be accessed via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine at


Enhanced Digital Unwrapping for Conservation and Exploration was a project Scaife was pursuing at the time of his death in 2008. It aimed to develop non-destructive mechanisms for detecting and visualizing text preserved on problematic objects like papyrus scrolls and damaged codices. The page linked here announces the award, in 2006, of a large grant from the National Science Foundation to Scaife and his co-investigators (Brent Seales and James Griffioen). Seales has continued the work in collaboration with others under the rubric: "The Digital Restoration Initiative".

The Electronic Aelfric

For a period of time between 2006 and 2010, the Stoa seems to have hosted an informational website about a project directed by Aaron J. Kleist and funded by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities ("The Ælfric of Eynsham Project"; Grant number: RQ-50239-06). This project has since reached full publication under the auspices of the Modern Language Association's "Approved Edition" program. Its title is now The Digital Aelfric: Eight Catholic Homilies and it is hosted on the Scholarly Digital Editions website:

EpiDoc Guidelines

Since the late 1990s, the Stoa has hosted both the Guidelines and the RelaxNG schema maintained by the EpiDoc Community, an international, collaborative effort that provides guidelines and tools for encoding scholarly and educational editions of ancient documents.

Johannes Tinctoris

A digital edition of The Theoretical Works of Johannes Tinctoris, created by Ronald WoodleyThe Stoa version, kept here for historical reasons, was superseded in 2014 by a new version on the Early Music Theory website.


Metis QTVR was developed by Bruce Hartzler and initally published on the Stoa in 1998, with a major upgrade for performance and function in 2003. Metis provided users with manipulable panoramas for 63 different ancient Greek sites, using the "QuickTime VR" format introduced by Apple in 1995. Apple discontinued QTVR in the late 2000s, thus rendering inoperative Metis and other web publications that had used the technology. Discussions are underway concerning the feasibility of creating an archival version in another format. Meantime, the structure of the site (but not the movie content) can be reviewed via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine at

Miscellaneous Texts

The Perseus Hopper instance on contained a number of scholarly texts in a collection titled, simply, "misc". As the hopper could not be re-installed on the new server in the summer of 2019, these texts are currently not available here; however, work is underway to produce static versions of them. In the meantime, captured versions are available from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine:

Neo-Latin Colloquia

The Colloquia Scholastica (Neo-Latin Collquia) page on the Stoa was created by graduate students and faculty associated with the University of Kentucky's Institute for Latin Studies. It was intended to serve as "a gateway to a variety of materials" they developed "for the renewed study and enjoyment of neo-Latin colloquia scholastica, texts that date primarily from the 16th century." It was last updated in 2011. Several of the texts produced by this group were encoded in TEI XML and hosted through the Perseus hopper at As the Perseus Hopper cannot be maintained on following the 2019 transition to a new server, Terence Tunberg and Mark Lauersdorf are working on a new hosting arrangement. In the meantime, archival versions of these materials may be viewed through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine at


Stoa content related to the ancient city of Olynthus was developed by Nicholas Cahill and collaborators. As of 2002, it was to have included the full text of Cahill's 2002 book Household and city organization at Olynthus (Yale), as well as a "Database of Houses, Rooms, and Objects" linked to a "Site Plan" GIS. The book content was still functional, via the Stoa copy of the Perseus hopper, as of 2019, but "Coming soon" notices were posted for both the database and GIS, so it seems that this portion of the site was never completed. A static version of the book content will soon be brought forward to the new server. Until the static version is available, interested users can access a copy of the book content via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at:


Since 2007, the Pleiades gazetteer of ancient places has been hosted on its own server at The Stoa provided incubation space on a development server during the early years of the project's design (2002-2007), as well as a permanent "home" in the form of a subdomain within domain.

Pembroke 25

At one time, the Stoa site hosted information about a project to transcribe the late anglo-saxon period manuscript known as Pembroke 25 (collection of Cambridge University, Pembroke College). In 2010, this information was transferred off the Stoa. The project, which is co-directed by Dot Porter and Paul E. Szarmach, is now headquartered at the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (University of Pennsylvania):

Pompeian Households

Pompeian Households: An On-line Companion was published by the Stoa in 2004. These "materials to accompany Penelope M. AllisonPompeian Households: An Analysis of the Material Culture (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Monograph 42, 2004) [include] detailed documentary information on 30 Pompeian houses and their contents, consisting of 865 rooms and more than 16,000 artifacts." A static version of the original site will be posted here during summer 2019. In the meantime, the Internet Archive's copy may be browsed starting at

Pompeii, Insula of the Menander

The On-line Companion to Penelope M. Allison, The Insula of the Menander in Pompeii volume iii (August 2008) is hosted on a server at the University of Leicester:
Ross Scaife added the Stoa Image Gallery to the Stoa site in 2004 or 2005 using the now-defunct open-source "Gallery" software package. A number of collaborators were given access to make changes and additions to the gallery through its web interface. Most activity on the site seems to have ended in 2006 or 2007; however, some users have continued to make minor changes through 2019. As of July 2019, the gallery hosted 12,639 images in 17 top-level albums. Gallery software could not be migrated to the new server in summer 2019, so the image gallery will be offline until a new hosting strategy can be implemented and the content migrated. In the meantime, Stoa Gallery images can be browsed via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at

Suda On Line

Suda On Line: Byzantine Lexicography began in 1998 and achieved its initial goal in 2013: an open, peer-reviewed English translation of all 31,000+ entries in the 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia known as the Suda. This ground-breaking, collaborative digital project continues today, with the continual update and improvement of the translations and other related research tasks. It is currently hosted on a server operated by the department of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky while a more permanent new home is sought.

Suetonius: Electronic Texts and Resources

In the late 1990s, Laura Gibbs curated a page on the Stoa devoted to information about online texts of Suetonius: Updates seem to have stopped around 2000.

Trajan’s Column

In 1999, the McMaster Column of Trajan Project produced an on-line presentation of the Column of Trajan. At least two copies were put online. One was at McMaster University. It can be accessed at, although some images and pages (notably, the credits page) are now missing. Another copy was put online at the Stoa. The Stoa version is offline as of summer 2019, as the new Stoa server cannot host the database-driven portion of the site; however, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine's copy of the Stoa mirror (which seems to include most or all of the missing pages and images) may still be browsed via The original McMaster version is also backed up in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Viking: finds from the field

I recently visited the excellent 'Viking: Rediscover the Legend' exhibition at Norwich Castle.

One of the striking things to emerge from the exhibition was the number of hoards and collections derived from metal-detecting. These include the Vale of York hoard (2007) and the Great Camp Assemblage (2003) (also known as 'Ainsbrook'). It would have been helpful for the exhibition to have reflected on the value of scientific excavation for the contribution of knowledge on the Vikings in Britain.

The exhibition continues until September.

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David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for July 12, 2019

Hodie est a.d. IV Id. Quintiles (Iulias) 2772 AUC ~  11 Hekatombaion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

Check out the ‘Sorting out your day’ section! 

In the News

In Case You Missed It

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

In this special guest episode, I am joined by Joe Goodkin, a Chicago-based singer/songwriter, who tours the country performing his one-man folk-opera interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey. He has performed his Odyssey over 290 times in 38 U.S. states and Canada.  Joe’s Odyssey is part lecture, part musical performance, and part interactive discussion. The centerpiece of Joe’s Odyssey is a 30 minute continuous performance of 24 original songs performed only with an acoustic guitar and voice and with lyrics inspired by Odysseus’ famous exploits…

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions

Professional Matters


‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If there is any thunder, there will be unexpected cold in the summer, because of which the necessities of life will be spoiled.

adapted from the translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Jim Davila (

Septuagint Song of Songs in French

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ArcheoNet BE

Twee doctoraatsstudenten gezocht aan de KU Leuven

De KU Leuven is momenteel op zoek naar twee doctoraatsstudenten (m/v). Het gaat om twee interdisciplinaire doctoraten (Geografie-Archeologie en Geografie-Geschiedenis) met als doel het ontrafelen van de mens-milieuinteracties in Vlaamse valleigebieden. De twee Phd’s passen binnen een recent goedgekeurd onderzoeksproject aan KU Leuven met als promotoren Gert Verstraeten (Geografie), Yves Segers (Geschiedenis) en Bart Vanmontfort (Archeologie).

Er is een vacature voor de periode 500-1500 AD en een vacature voor de periode vanaf de 18de eeuw.

Jim Davila (

Jason’s Tomb

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Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Summertime Quick Hits

I generally don’t surf the web as much in the summer as I do during the academic year when my days are more structured and I find myself sitting in front of a computer more often. 

That being said, I do see things that I’m sure other folks have seen, but maybe not all of the other folks, and so it seems worthwhile sharing them. I’m pretty excited to read Archaeological Dialogues 26.1 (2019) dedicated to Environmental Determinism and while finding a link to this issue, I came across this article on the archaeology of home and the Chinese diaspora in American Antiquity

I’m also looking forward to reading Anthony Kaldellis and Ioannis Polemis recently published translation of the Saints of Ninth and Tenth-Century Greece which includes the lives of Peter of Argos and Theodore of Kythera. We work in the shadow of the former’s church and I’ve published a bit on the latter.

My colleagues at North Dakota Quarterly continue to amaze me. Out poetry editor Paul Worley and his co-editor Rita Palacios appear on the SECOLAS (Southeast Council on Latin American Studies) podcast to discuss their new book. Our non-fiction editor, Sheila Liming has a new piece on Inside Higher Ed (and she grew up next door to Octavia Butler). David Haeselin, who might as well be “editor at large” for NDQ and is my co-conspirator at The Digital Press appears on the podcast Meant to be Eaten to talk about driving a beet truck and food in general. One of our newest board members, Suzzanne Kelley is the director of the North Dakota State University Press and one of that press’s most recent books, Pacing Dakota, was just named book of the month by UNL Center from Great Plains Studies

As if you didn’t know, podcasts really are a thing. You can hear a lecture by Sun-Ra here. This is an interesting landscape review of scholarly publishing and academic resources. The entire Dirk Obbink saga is weird

Check out this review of Dynaco’s first solid state amplifier. It’s sort of wild to think that 50 years ago we were still debating whether serious amplifiers could be solid state.

Translating garbage could describe what we do as archaeologists. Go pet a dog.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Learning to Scroll Again for the First Time

The Tech Edvocate made the claim that print textbooks will never go away, and that that is a good thing. One of the reasons particularly struck me: Research has shown that scrolling negatively affects the reader’s ability to comprehend texts in a deeper way. Students are able to get the gist of a text from […]

Colleen Morgan (Middle Savagery)

Archaeological Fieldwork with Children: Update

IMG-9392It helps to have excavation directors who are intimately familiar with all of the My Little Pony names.

I’ve spent the last three days on Jersey, as the guest of the fantastic Elizabeth Castle Project. I am working with a separate(ish) small research team on a digital drawing project, details of which will be revealed at a future date. I’ve been excited about this project as it follows on from me and Holly Wright’s Pencils & Pixels article that examines digital and analog drawing and it fits well within my larger career goal: doing cool research with good friends.

Anyway, I was interviewed by the excellent Emily Sohn writing for Nature on Ways to juggle fieldwork with kids in tow a while back and the article came out more recently. I went to Qatar twice with T at 8 and 20 months and most of the experience I had was about towing a baby around. Now at 3 years (!!) T is officially a preschooler (shock, horror) and things are way different in pretty much all respects.

I’m not on the Elizabeth Castle Project team but part of another, adjacent project and so I have a lot of agency–my results do not inform the main ECP project goals. Other factors: Jersey is closer to York, culturally very similar to England, T is very independent, we are in a hotel, and…I’m single parenting. Dan is in Leiden, running the Seminar for Arabian Studies and very busy in his own right.

It has been pretty full on, but, similar to last time, I have a lot of help and have been given a lot of slack. The directors of the ECP have been great about having T around, the project itself is basically in a park, and my research team have been super supportive, walking at preschooler pace, okay with waiting through melt-downs, helping me out with the tremendous amount of luggage (apparently bringing an assortment of stuffed animals to site is non-negotiable) and watching her for brief periods of time when I’ve had to scamper off to take photos and such. T has also been taking long afternoon naps, during which I try to be useful.

IMG-9376.JPGShelters: essential kit for kids (and adults!) on site

I can’t imagine giving advice on this stuff, as I know many, many more people who have carted their kids around much more successfully, but…snacks and cartoons have gotten us pretty far. I am very lucky and very privileged to be in a position where I have a lot of control over what is required for this research and our schedule. Sometimes we need to go and check out flowers. Or climb to the top of the castle. Or play in the backdirt. Right now T is watching cartoons and eating a bell pepper (her choice) while I type this out in a spare moment.

T’s afternoon nap means we will be able to attend a team dinner. There are other things that we are very limited in–that’s mostly socializing and extracurriculars. Which is, honestly, fine. Getting T around, living out of a hotel and engaging in a research project is…enough. I guess as a parent and as an academic I’m starting to understand my carrying capacity and this is it. It’s good though.


Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2019.07.22: Ricerche sull'Historia Augusta

Review of Eliodoro Savino, Ricerche sull'Historia Augusta. Napoli: 2017. Pp. 341. €50,00 (pb). ISBN 9788874780495.

2019.07.21: L'allusione necessaria: ricerche intertestuali sulla poesia greca e latina. Filologia e critica, 102

Review of Maria Grazia Bonanno, L'allusione necessaria: ricerche intertestuali sulla poesia greca e latina. Filologia e critica, 102. Pisa; Roma: 2018. Pp. 236. €68,40 (pb). ISBN 9788833151212.

2019.07.20: Hannibal ad portas: Silius Italicus, 'Punica' 12,507-752. Einleitung, Übersetzung und Kommentar

Review of Jan Robinson Telg Genannt Kortmann, Hannibal ad portas: Silius Italicus, 'Punica' 12,507-752. Einleitung, Übersetzung und Kommentar. Heidelberg: 2018. Pp. 405. €78,00. ISBN 9783825368685.

Jim Davila (

On digressions in the Talmud

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Compitum - publications

R. Moreno Soldevila, A. Marina Castillo et J. ...


Rosario Moreno Soldevila, Alberto Marina Castillo et Juan Fernández Valverde, A Prosopography to Martial's Epigrams, Berlin, 2019.

Éditeur : De Gruyter
706 pages
ISBN : 978-3-11-062135-8
129 €

A Prosopography to Martial's Epigrams is the first dictionary of all the characters and personal names found in the work of Marcus Valerius Martialis, containing nearly 1,000 comprehensive entries. Each of them compiles and analyses all the relevant information regarding the characters themselves, as well as the literary implications of their presence in Martial's poems. Unlike other works of this kind, the book encompasses not only real people, whose positive existence is beyond doubt, but also fictional characters invented by the poet or inherited from the cultural and literary tradition. Its entries provide the passages of the epigrams where the respective characters appear; the general category to which they belong; the full name (in the case of historical characters); onomastic information, especially about frequency, meaning, and etymology; other literary or epigraphical sources; a prosopographical sketch; a discussion of relevant manuscript variants; and a bibliography. Much attention is paid to the literary portrayal of each character and the poetic usages of their names. This reference work is a much needed tool and is intended as a stimulus for further research.


Source : De Gruyter

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: July 12

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE: ante diem quartum Idus Iulias

Cauda de vulpe testatur.
The tail gives evidence of the fox.

Catus amat pisces, sed non vult tingere plantam.
The cat loves fish but doesn't want to get its foot wet.

Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae.
There is no great genius without some madness mixed in.

Domi manendum.
Home is where you should stay.


Lupus, Umbra Eius, et Leo
Latin version and English version(s)

Galli Duo Certantes
Latin version and English version(s)


The Story of the Iliadby Edward Brooks

Archaeology Magazine

Ice Cores Preserved 1,500 Years of Industrial Lead Levels

lead ice coresRENO, NEVADA—Cosmos reports that an international team of researchers analyzed particles of lead trapped in 13 ice cores from Greenland and the Russian Arctic in order to measure levels of economic activity over the past 1,500 years. Lead levels are a useful measure of economic activity because the metal is released into the atmosphere during the mining and smelting of silver, which has been used for producing coins since the Roman era, and during the burning of fossil fuels. Joseph McConnell of the Desert Research Institute said the new study indicates lead emissions increased during periods of expansion in Europe, and decreased during periods of war, plague, famine, and climate disruption. Overall, the study found that lead levels increased by 250- to 300-fold between A.D. 500 and the early 1970s. Lead levels are still about 60 times higher today than they were during the medieval period, despite an 80 percent decline since enactment of the 1970 Clean Air Act in the United States. For more on evidence of past lead pollution, go to “The Environmental Cost of Empire.”

Possible Early Homo Sapiens Skull Identified in Greece

Greece modern humanATHENS, GREECE—According to a Live Science report, a partial modern human skull found in a cave in southern Greece has been dated to 210,000 years ago, suggesting that modern humans left Africa and arrived in Eurasia some 150,000 years earlier than previously thought. The skull is one of two discovered at the Apidima site in the 1970s. Recent reconstruction of the partial cranium known as Apidima 1 has revealed that it had a mix of archaic and modern characteristics, including a rounded back, which is a feature unique to modern humans. Katerina Harvati of the University of Tübingen said this population, however, died out, and has no living descendants today. The other skull, known as Apidima 2, has Neanderthal characteristics, including a thick, rounded brow ridge, and has been dated to 170,000 years ago. The early modern humans represented by Apidima 1 were probably replaced by the Neanderthals represented by Apidima 2, Harvati added. Neanderthals in Europe eventually went extinct some 40,000 years ago, and were replaced by another group of modern humans. To read about 300,000-year-old Homo sapiens bones discovered in Morocco, go to “Homo sapiens, Earlier Still.”

Traces of Medieval Cathedral and Crypt Unearthed in Hungary

Peter of HungaryPÉCS, HUNGARY—Hungary Today reports that a Roman-era cemetery and the walls of a medieval structure have been unearthed at the site of Hungary’s Cathedral of Pécs. The original cathedral was constructed by Peter Orseolo, king of Hungary, in the eleventh century A.D. Also known as Peter the Venetian, Orseolo succeeded his uncle, Stephen I, to the throne, but was deposed in 1041, and eventually restored to the throne in 1044 by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry III. Archaeologist Zsolt Tóth said Orseolo is presumed to have been buried in the crypt at the site. For more, go to “Letter from Hungary: The Search for the Sultan's Tomb.”

Ancient Cattle DNA Analyzed

Cattle domestication zebuDUBLIN, IRELAND—Gizmodo reports that an international team of scientists led by Marta Verdugo, then of Trinity College Dublin, sequenced the genomes of 67 wild aurochs and domesticated cattle, or Bos taurus, that lived in the Middle East and the Levant dating back up to 8,000 years ago. Analysis of the ancient genomes suggests aurochs DNA from different populations was periodically introduced into domestic herds over a period of several thousand years. The researchers also detected an influx of DNA from humped cattle known as Bos indicus, or zebu, some 4,000 years ago. Farmers may have introduced drought-tolerant zebu into their herds during a period of climate change across the greater Near East. For more, go to “Raise a Toast to the Aurochs.”

July 11, 2019

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

Still working on the translation of the “Life” of St Valentine of Terni

The two pages of the medieval Life of St Valentine have taken me rather more time to translate than I had realised.  But we’re getting there!

When I decided to make this translation, I first located the text in the Acta Sanctorum (AASS) volume for February 14.  I was preparing to transcribe this, but I was then was directed to an online transcribed version.

I split the text into sentences, sometimes phrases, and interleaved it with the output from Google Translate for those same phrases.  Google Translate is not that good for Latin, but it often picks up when the text is that of scripture, and generally offers some vocabulary.  This works best for short bits of Latin, which is another reason why I proceeded as I did.

Having created this file in Word, I proceeded to work through it, translating each bit, and looking up words in QuickLatin or other tools.

On getting to the end of the first pass – a few knotty bits aside – I had intended to revise.  But in fact I then obtained a copy of the modern critical text by D’Angelo.  I could hardly ignore this, so I scanned this to create an electronic version.  Then I coloured it red, and interleaved it into my working document, placing D’Angelo first, the AASS next, and my draft translation after that.  This gave me something like this:

It was, inevitably, tedious to go through the whole thing comparing three lines at each point.  But I have just reached the end of this.

My principle, naturally, was to use the modern text wherever possible.  I found, in fact, very few differences, and almost none that made any significant difference to the meaning.  A couple of examples appear above, but these were rare.  This validated D’Angelo’s remark that the AASS text was basically sound.

I did modify D’Angelo in a couple of ways.

Firstly he used strange medieval spellings, like “nichil” for “nihil” and “michi” for “mihi”.  He admits that the spelling of the author’s copy is not recoverable, so I could see no reason to preserve the corruptions of the copyists.  His policy led him, in fact, to give the name “Ephebus” in two different spellings, which is simply confusing.  These features would merely be a barrier to any seeking to read the Latin.  I normalised the text, therefore.

Secondly he followed the modern practice of replacing “v” with “u”.  This fad came in during the early 20th century, and was justified on the grounds that no such letter ever existed in lower case Latin.  But this is the same issue.  Roman books were written in capitals, without word division or punctuation.  There were no lower case letters.  There is no obvious reason to reproduce this today.  We do not reproduce the incompetent spellings and renderings of the age of Shakespear or even Jane Austen in our modern editions, because to do so is to interpose a barrier between the text and the reader.  The old approach is of interest to specialist scholars, but to nobody else.  My purpose is always to encourage the general reader to look at the text.  Such a reader has no interest in the oddities that we have discussed.  So once again I restored a more normal spelling.

The process of reading through the whole translation again was useful in improving it.  It was burdensome to do, but it did produce real improvements.  We have to allow for the fact that translators get tired, and make mistakes; and a second pass will pick these up.

The translation document at the moment is as shown above.  The next stage is to produce a proper word document, and read through it all again, looking for bugs.  We’re not too far away, I feel.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Egyptian journal of archaeological & restoration studies (EJARS)

 [First posted in AWOL 2 November 2011. Updated 11 Jul 2019]

Egyptian journal of archaeological & restoration studies (EJARS)
National ISSN: 18178/2010
International ISSN: 2090-4932
Online ISSN: 2090-4940
The Egyptian Journal of Archaeological and Restoration Studies (EJARS) is an International Journal issued by Center of Archaeological and Conservation Studies and Research (ACSRC) - Sohag University. 

The international journal EJARS Encourage international discussion on several fields such as archaeological problems, Conservation science, coupling between archaeology, archaeometry and management of Conservation projects.

It focuses on the Arabian, African and Mediterranean regions and presents an international forum of research, innovations, discoveries, applications and meetings concerning the modern approaches to the study of human past. Also, the journal focuses on a specific new methodology in archaeological and restoration fields

Volume 9 Issue 1(Current)

It is our owner to introduce the 9th volume - issue (1) of EJARS. This volume comprises 9 articles in restoration and archaeological fields. 5 in the Restoration field, 2 articles in Egyptology & 2 in Islamic Archaeology.
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Amin, E.

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El-Badry, A.

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Omar, A., Taha, A.& El-Wekeel, F.

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Elsayed, Y.

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Hamed, S.

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Abou Zaid, O.

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Eltoukhy, M.

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Abd al-razik, M.
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Hagras, H.

The Archaeology News Network

Layout of historic Nubian city revealed

Polish archaeologists have gained an insight into the 18th century layout of an old city in what is now Sudan using geophysical research. Given the site’s size, archaeologists were unable to examine all of it using traditional excavation methods so turned to geophysical methods, which involve using quantitative methods to analyse physical processes and properties of the Earth [Credit: S. Lenarczyk]Located on the east of bank of the...

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Trafficking Culture

The Market for Mesoamerica: new book co-edited by Donna Yates and Cara Tremain (with discount code)

We are happy to announce that the new book, The Market for Mesoamerica: Reflections on the Sale of Pre-Columbian Antiquities, co-edited by our Donna Yates and Dr Cara Tremain is now available through the University Press of Florida.

You can order the book here:

Use discount code AU719 before 31 July for 50% off the list price.


The Market for Mesoamerica: Reflections on the Sale of Pre-Columbian Antiquities

Pre-Columbian artifacts are among the most popular items on the international antiquities market, yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor these items as public, private, and digital sales proliferate. This timely volume explores past, current, and future policies and trends concerning the sales and illicit movement of artifacts from Mesoamerica to museums and private collections. Informed by the fields of anthropology, economics, law, and criminology, contributors critically analyze practices of research and collecting in Central American countries. They assess the circulation of looted and forged artifacts on the art market and in museums and examine government and institutional policies aimed at fighting trafficking. They also ask if and how scholars can use materials removed from their context to interpret the past.

The theft of cultural heritage items from their places of origin is a topic of intense contemporary discussion, and The Market for Mesoamerica updates our knowledge of this issue by presenting undocumented and illicit antiquities within a regional and global context. Through discussion of transparency, accountability, and ethical practice, this volume ultimately considers how antiquities can be protected and studied through effective policy and professional practice.

The Archaeology News Network

Art ring charged with smuggling $143 million in antiquities

An art dealer who authorities called one of the most prolific smugglers in the world and seven others were charged with trafficking more than $140 million in stolen antiquities, prosecutors said Wednesday. Three of the items seized by the Department of Homeland Security during the course of the investigation into Subhash Kapoor and his co-defendants [Credit: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office]Authorities described the case as one...

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Climate change threatens Greenland's archaeological sites: study

In Greenland, climate change isn't just a danger to ecosystems but also a threat to history, as global warming is affecting archaeological remains, according to a study published Thursday. Students and scientists investigate materials found at the Norse site Iffiartarfik [Credit: Roberto Fortuna, National Museum of Denmark]There are more than 180,000 archaeological sites across the Arctic, some dating back thousands of years, and...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, Korp Version, May 2019

Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, Korp Version, May 2019


Persistent Identifier of this resource:

Access location:



Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (Oracc) brings together the work of several Assyriological projects to publish online editions of cuneiform texts. The Korp version of Oracc allows extensive searches on the texts and presents the results as a KWIC concordance list. Korp also offers statistical information and comparison of the search results. Downloading the query results is possible as well.

This version of Oracc in Korp contains almost all the data that were available on the Oracc project website in May 2019. The data have been extracted from the JSON files provided by Oracc. The Oracc projects in Korp are:

ADsD: Astronomical Diaries Digital
ARIo: Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions online
blms: Bilinguals in Late Mesopotamian Scholarship
CASPo: Corpus of Akkadian Shuila-Prayers online
CAMS: Corpus of Ancient Mesopotamian Scholarship
CTIJ: Cuneiform Texts Mentioning Israelites, Judeans, and Other Related Groups
DCCLT: Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts
DCCMT: Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Mathematical Texts
eCUT: Electronic Corpus of Urartian Texts
ETCSRI: Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Royal Inscriptions
HBTIN: Hellenistic Babylonia: Texts, Iconography, Names
OBMC: Old Babylonian Model Contracts
RIAo: Royal Inscriptions of Assyria online
RIBo: Royal Inscriptions of Babylonia online
Rīm-Anum: The House of Prisoners
RINAP: Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period
SAAo: State Archives of Assyria Online

Other projects, contains texts from several smaller projects:
-Idrimi: Statue of Idrimi
-akklove: Akkadian Love Literature
-Contributions Amarna
-CKST: Corpus of Kassite Sumerian Texts
-Glass: Corpus of Glass Technological Texts
-LaOCOST: Law and Order: Cuneiform Online Sustainable Tool
-OBTA: Old Babylonian Tabular Accounts
-Suhu: The Inscriptions of Suhu online.

The Languages present in the Corpora are:
Old Persian

The Archaeology News Network

Island cores unravel mysteries of ancient Maltese civilisation

The mysteries of an ancient civilisation that survived for more than a millennium on the island of Malta—and then collapsed within two generations—have been unravelled by archaeologists who analysed pollen buried deep within the earth and ancient DNA from skulls and bones. The Ġgantija temples of Malta are among the earliest free-standing buildings known [Credit: Bs0u10e01, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0]It's part of a field of work...

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Dalla modellazione 3D al deep learning per il Cultural Heritage: Scuola di Computer Graphics 2019

Anche quest'anno Cineca organizza la Scuola di Computer Graphics per i Beni Culturali - che si pone l'obiettivo di fornire ai partecipanti le istruzioni di base per poter partecipare a progetti di digital heritage. La scuola si terrà dal 7 all'11 ottobre e avrà come tema "Ambienti virtuali interattivi: dalla modellazione 3D al deep learning per il Cultural Heritage".

The Archaeology News Network

The world's oldest autograph by a Christian is in Basel

A letter in the Basel papyrus collection describes day-to-day family matters, and yet is unique in its own way: It provides valuable insights into the world of the first Christians in the Roman Empire, which is not recorded in any other historical source. The letter has been dated to the 230s AD, and is thus older than all previously known Christian documentary evidence from Roman Egypt. The papyrus P.Bas. 2.43 has been in the...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Philosophie antique 10: Philosophie et mathématiques

Philosophie antique 10 | 2010  

Philosophie et mathématiques
couverture PA 10/2010
Informations sur cette image
16 x 24 cm
ISBN 978-2-7574-0179-8
Les mathématiques tiennent une place importante dans la pensée de Platon, tant par la nature de leurs objets que par leur puissance démonstrative. Quel était le degré de développement des mathématiques à son époque ? Quelle a été leur influence sur le type de raisonnement employé en philosophie ? La postérité de Platon a-t-elle donné autant d'importance aux mathématiques ? Les mathématiques ont-elles eu le même privilège épistémologique dans les autres écoles ? Telles sont les questions auxquelles ce numéro propose des réponses.

Apidima 1 – A New Look At Old Skull

In the 1970’s, the Apidima Cave site in Greece was excavated by archaeologists. Lodged within a chunk of rock was the Apidima 1 specimen. It was found adjacent to a distorted 170,000 year old Neanderthal skull called Apidima 2. In the image below you can see how close in proximity the two specimens were discovered. Suffice to say, for the last 40 years, it is not surprising that Apidima 1 was a thought to be Neanderthal, too.

The two skulls appear to have washed into Apidima cave A with sediments that later solidified into breccia. Harvati et al., 2019

The two skulls appear to have washed into Apidima cave A with sediments that later solidified into breccia. Harvati et al., 2019

Katerina Harvati and her crew recently took a second look at Apidima 1 and published their findings in Nature. They suggest that the Apidima 1 fossil is Homo sapiens. As if that is not earth-shattering enough, they redated the specimen and say that it’s roughly 210,000 years old. That makes it the oldest member of our species ever found outside of Africa.

Apidima 1. A view of the Apidima 1 skull from behind (a), above (b), and below (c). The scale bar represents 5 cm. Harvarti et al., 2019

Apidima 1. A view of the Apidima 1 skull from behind (a), above (b), and below (c). The scale bar represents 5 cm. Harvarti et al., 2019

Using computed tomography, or CT scanning, the team was able to perform a digital reconstruction of the distorted, fragmented skull. With the reconstruction, they performed a comparative anatomical study to other fossil skills from modern humans, older hominins, Neanderthals, etc. The Apidima specimen was found to have a rounded skull at the back; this feature is unique to our modern day species, Homo sapiens.

The Apidima 1 partial cranium (right) and its reconstruction from posterior view (middle) and side view (left). Harvarti et al., 2019

The Apidima 1 partial cranium (right) and its reconstruction from posterior view (middle) and side view (left). Harvarti et al., 2019

The team then used uranium-series dating to redate the skull. They estimate that the Apidima 1 skull could be as much as 210,000 years old. This makes it older than Misliya-1, another fossil discovery I covered in January 2018, and makes it the oldest modern human outside Africa.

Coupled with ancient DNA studies which have suggested that 270,000 years ago Neanderthals were met by early waves of human migrants, there is growing evidence that early humans spread out of Africa earlier and migrated wider faster than we previously assumed.

What do you think this means for the Out of Africa theory?

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for July 11, 2019

Hodie est a.d. V Id. Quintiles (Iulias) 2772 AUC ~  10 Hekatombaion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

Again, apologies for lateness … we will probably be late tomorrow morning as well.

In the News

In Case You Missed It

Public Facing Classics

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

Ancient Greece is notorious for keeping women silent, veiled, and firmly fixed at the loom. But was life for women in places like Athens really so restrictive? After exploring their houses, rights and duties in Part 1, we’re going to talk about life as a matron: childbirth, our relationships with the enslaved around us, Athenian nightlife (including the famous escorts who rule it), ritual and festivals. We’ll even hop on over to Sparta to see what mischief those ladies are getting up to.

Shortly after Livia’s death, Tibbo wrote a letter to the senate attacking both Agrippina and Nero. They were prosecuted by Aulus Avillius Flaccus – the future prefect of Egypt, which leads Cam into a sidenote about Flaccus’ treatment of the Jews in Alexandria – and were both sent into exile. Then in 30, Tibbo finally went after his nemesis – Asinius Gallus – the man who married the love of his life

Book Reviews

Professional Matters


The Archaeology News Network

Ancient genomics pinpoint origin and rapid turnover of cattle in the Fertile Crescent

The keeping of livestock began in the Ancient Near East and underpinned the emergence of complex economies and then cities. Subsequently, it is there that the world's first empires rose and fell. Now, ancient DNA has revealed how the prehistory of the region's largest domestic animal, the cow, chimes with these events. A zebu-shaped weight from Tel Beth-Shemesh [Credit: A. Hay, Tel Beth-Shemesh Excavations]An international team of...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Island cores unravel mysteries of ancient Maltese civilization

The mysteries of an ancient civilization that survived for more than a millennium on the island of...

The Archaeology News Network

New species of lizard found in stomach of microraptor

A team of paleontologists led by Prof. Jingmai O'Connor from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with researchers from the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature, have discovered a new specimen of the volant dromaeosaurid Microraptor zhaoianus with the remains of a nearly complete lizard preserved in its stomach. Their findings were published in Current...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Les gouverneurs et les provinciaux sous la République romaine

Les gouverneurs et les provinciaux sous la République romaine
Les gouverneurs et les provinciaux sous la République romaine
Le colloque tenu à Nantes en mai 2010 a permis d'affiner la connaissance de l'administration concrète des provinces de la République romaine par la prise en compte simultanée des textes littéraires, des inscriptions et de l'archéologie, avec un souci de casser les divisions géographiques entre l'Est et l'Ouest de ce qui devenait un empire territorial. Cet ouvrage regroupe en quelques grands thèmes les articles de spécialistes des provinces romaines.
Les relations entre les autorités romaines e...

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  • Éditeur : Presses universitaires de Rennes
  • Collection : Histoire
  • Lieu d’édition : Rennes
  • Année d’édition : 2011
  • Publication sur OpenEdition Books : 10 juillet 2019
  • EAN (Édition imprimée) : 9782753514201
  • EAN électronique : 9782753568181
  • Nombre de pages : 304 p.
Nathalie Barrandon et François Kirbihler
Jean-Michel Roddaz

The Archaeology News Network

Bird-like dinosaur is oldest unearthed in North America

A team of palaeontologists from the UK and US have identified a one of a kind 150 million year old dinosaur skeleton. The specimen has been classified as a new species to science with the discovery also raising questions about the evolution of avian flight. Credit: University of ManchesterDuring the summer of 2001, the skeleton was discovered while removing overlying rock during the excavation of Wyoming's longest dinosaur,...

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Oldest completely preserved lily discovered

Botanist Dr. Clement Coiffard of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin discovered the oldest, completely preserved lily in the research collection: Cratolirion bognerianum was found in calcareous sediments of a former freshwater lake in Crato in northeastern Brazil. With an age of about 115 million years, Cratolirion is one of the oldest known monocotyledonous plants. These include orchids, sweet grasses, lilies and lilies of the...

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James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Can Fundamentalists Understand the Bible?

This blog post started out as being about the old canard that non-Christians supposedly cannot understand the Bible. That claim is often justified by appeal to a passage that the Christians who make the claim, rather ironically, have misunderstood. By the end of the process of putting the post together, I found myself thinking that […]

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2019.07.19: Hellenistic Philosophy

Review of John Sellars, Hellenistic Philosophy. Oxford; New York: 2018. Pp. xii, 260. $24.95 (pb). ISBN 9780199674121.

2019.07.18: The Petra Papyri V

Review of Antti Arjava, Jaakko Frösén, Jorma Kaimio, The Petra Papyri V. Amman: 2018. Pp. xxiii, 338; clx p. of plates. $135.00. ISBN 9789957854379.

2019.07.17: Anton Francesco Gori, Gaetano Albizzini, Francesco Vettori e l’officina del Museum Etruscum. Symbolae antiquariae, 7 (2014)

Review of Stefano Bruni, Anton Francesco Gori, Gaetano Albizzini, Francesco Vettori e l’officina del Museum Etruscum. Symbolae antiquariae, 7 (2014). Pisa; Roma: 2018. Pp. 116. €115,00 (pb). ISBN 9788833151106.

Pedar W. Foss (quem dixere chaos)

ROMARCH: Oxford Workshop: Textile Art in the Graeco-Roman World

Oxford Workshop: Textile Art in the Graeco-Roman World

Thursday 26th and Friday 27th September 2019

Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU

The provisional programme for our 2019 CARC workshop, kindly supported by Jean-David Cahn and Tony Michaels, is now available on our website.  Textile Art in the Graeco-Roman World will focus on the visual imagery of ancient textiles from Archaic Greece to late antiquity, asking questions about a fundamentally important art tradition which we glimpse through extraordinary chance survivals and representations in other media. Subjects will have a wide chronological and geographical range, but will revolve around a shared set of art-historical and archaeological questions.

All are welcome and attendance is free, but please book a place by emailing

Download the draft abstract here.

Download the draft programme here. Please check the website for updates and time changes.



Classical Art Research Centre

Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies
66 St Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3LU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 278083

Fax: +44 (0)1865 610237

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Where Did Your Interior Decorator Get That?

Trophy art buyers, please noteOne of the most prolific smugglers in the world...”. Did your southeastern Asian conversation piece come from this importer? Find out where the trophy art in your home actually came from, contact the supplier and demand full documentation to cover yourselves.

Kapoor to Face trial in US?

Chasing Aphrodite report that US authorities have finally brought criminal charges against American antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor and seven members of his alleged smuggling network. It seems that Kapoor himself has been charged with 86 criminal counts by Manhattan DA ranging from Grand Larceny to Possession of Stolen Property and Conspiracy. These charges come seven years after a raid by Federal agents on his Manhattan gallery in July 2012. Interestingly, it is also reported that among those charged was British antiquities restorer Neil Perry Smith, who faces 28 criminal counts related to his work for Kapoor preparing recently looted objects for sale. This gentleman's lawyers were snooping around this blog when I mentioned him in the context of work on some Cambodian objects. Chasing Aphrodite also note "Smith's attorneys threatened legal action when we wrote about him back in 2012". I think conservators everywhere will take an interest in the outcome of these charges. It transpires that another conservator is also mentioned in court documents, Richard Salmon, a British born antiquities restorer in NYC, is reportedly facing 47 criminal counts for his work with the Kapoor network
The five additional people charged are alleged members of Kapoor's Indian smuggling network: Sanjeeve Asokan, Dean Dayal, Ranjeet Kanwar (aka Shantoo), Aditya Prakash and Vallabh Prakash. Collectively they face dozens of additional criminal counts. Kapoor's global antiquities smuggling network is described in staggering detail over the 186 page criminal complaint, 8 arrest warrants and hundreds of exhibits filed in Manhattan courts. A case study like none other.
This promises to be big.

Tom Mashberg, 'Investigators Say a Ring Smuggled $145 Million in Ancient Artifacts' New York Times 11th July 2019. 

Jim Mustian, 'SmugglingArt ring charged with smuggling $143 million in antiquities' APNews 11th July 2019. 
The lead prosecutor, Matthew Bogdanos, told the AP that none of the defendants is believed to be in the United States. He said the authorities asked Interpol to issue international warrants for their arrest.

The Role of Restoration in Making Archaeological Artefacts into Saleable Trophy Art

Two British restorers are facing charges as part of a smuggling ring in the upcoming Kapoor trial (Tom Mashberg, 'Investigators Say a Ring Smuggled $145 Million in Ancient Artifacts' New York Times 11th July 2019)
The smuggling ring harvested objects from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand, the complaint said, and it created false paper trails that gave the items a patina of legitimacy, then sold them globally for large profits to collectors, art dealers and museums.  Mr. Kapoor was charged along with seven co-conspirators, most of them overseas, who would also require extradition. Arrest warrants for all eight men were filed Monday in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, along with a painstakingly detailed complaint that reconstructed a smuggling scheme stretching back to 1986. [...] artifacts were secreted into the United States using false import documents; [...] many were then shipped to London to be cleaned and restored for sale; and [...] the conspirators created fraudulent invoices and provenance papers asserting the items had left their nations of origin legally.  Two of the accused co-conspirators were identified as restorers who enhanced the value of the pieces — often still marked by the dirt from which they had been dug up by hired thieves — and brought them back to life as treasures. 

The responsibility of the conservators that work on material coming from the international anriquities market has long been a cause for concern, this case may well prompt a new look at this.

July 10, 2019

Archaeology Magazine

New Thoughts on Rare Teeth

Denisovan three rootsNEW YORK, NEW YORK—Cosmos reports that a 160,000-year-old molar discovered in a cave on the Tibetan Plateau in 1980 may be evidence of a link between Denisovans and the ancestors of modern Asians. The molar features a third root, which is found in nearly one-third of modern Asian populations, but in fewer than four percent of modern Europeans and Africans. The anomaly has also been found in up to 40 percent of ancient remains recovered in northern China and islands in the Bering Sea that were once part of the land bridge connecting Asia and North America. Shara Bailey of New York University said the trait, which can occur through mutation, may have been passed to archaic humans in Asia by Denisovans. It had been previously believed that the third root evolved in Homo sapiens after they migrated out of Africa. For more on teeth in the archaeological record, go to “The Case of the Missing Incisors.”

Possible Remains of Napoleonic-Era General Found in Russia

Russia French generalMOSCOW, RUSSIA—Reuters reports that a team made up of French and Russian researchers has unearthed the possible remains of General Charles-Etienne Gudin, a French aristocrat, in the western Russian city of Smolensk. Gudin, a childhood friend of Napoleon Bonaparte, was killed on August 22, 1812, during the emperor’s unsuccessful attempt to invade Russia. According to historic records, before Gudin died from his battlefield injuries, his left leg was amputated. His right leg was also wounded. The researchers say the remains are consistent with Gudin’s injuries, making the identification highly probable. “Napoleon was one of the last people to see him alive, which is very important, and he’s the first general from the Napoleonic period that we have found,” said archaeologist Pierre Malinovsky. Gudin’s body was buried in Smolensk, but his heart was carried to Paris, where a street is named for him. Gudin’s name is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe, and a bust of his likeness is in the Palace of Versailles. The researchers will attempt to retrieve DNA from the remains and compare it with samples obtained from the general’s descendants. To read about excavation of a mass grave in Lithuania containing members of Napoleon's army, go to “The Grand Army Diet.”

Statue Fragment Unearthed in Siem Reap

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA—The Khmer Times reports that the three-foot-long torso section of a sandstone statue was discovered at the site of the ninth-century A.D. Preah Ko temple in northwestern Cambodia by a local resident who contacted heritage authorities. Ly Vanna of the Apsara Authority said the statue’s head, hands, and feet are missing. The figure was depicted wearing a short skirt decorated with fishtail patterns and a belt. “The kind of clothing is similar to that of a Vishnu of Prea Ko style,” Vanna said, although without the figure’s head or hands, it will be difficult to confirm its identity. Statues of Vishnu feature four hands, while statues of Shiva have two, he explained. For more, go to “Letter from Cambodia: Storied Landscape.”

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

Ignorant musings about saints

This evening I was thinking about saints.  As a protestant I know very little about them, and how the institution works.  That makes me admirably suited to make some ignorant remarks on the subject.

What sparked my interest was the question of whether there was a patron saint of cats.  There seems to be a popular idea around that it is an obscure lady named Gertrude of Nivelle.  But … it seems to be a confection of time and imagination and the internet.  In fact I wonder if the cult of various saints might arise in a rather similar way, by popular tradition, invention, imagination.  Certainly the saints’ lives in medieval literature arise in this way – they are a form of folkstory, like the ballads of Robin Hood, not history.  So the creation of a cult by a gradual process is not a modern thing.

So… is it valid?  What does it mean, if it just appears over time?  One could say that perhaps this is an example of the work of God, to reveal an idea to the people.  But does anybody say that?

This led me to think about saints that actually probably never existed.  Their cult grew up over time, in a more or less popular, or even superstitious way.  But then in modern times the investigations by people like the Bollandists reveal that Saint Rastus – or whoever – never actually lived.  We could say this of St George; if he lived, he certainly was not responsible for a line of the various hagiographic stories, which themselves were condemned as “silly” in the Decretum Gelasianum in late antiquity.

St George is a good example of another phenomenon.  He gets adopted as the patron saint of England during the crusades.  So … how does this work?  How does anybody know that the saint, if he existed, and is in heaven, has the slightest interest in England?  How is this real?  Can patron saints just be created?  Or is it the case that, in reality, the distinction is an earthly one: that any saint may be prayed to about anything, but that for convenience the church, official or otherwise, suggests that people pray to this saint or that for specific things?

I have no answers on this, but suggestions of things to read would be welcomed.  It is, after all, rather embarrassing to produce material about the saints while having so little understanding of the subject!

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

Histria. Cent campagnes archéologiques

Angeslescu, M. (2019) : Histria. Cent campagnes archéologiques, Édition universitaire européenne. L’auteur est actuellement co-directeur des fouilles du site archéologique roumain d’Histria et a longtemps occupé un poste clé au sein du ministère de la Culture en charge de l’archéologie roumaine. … Lire la suite

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie

[First posted in AWOL 25 January 2010. Updated 10 July 2019]

Rheinisches Museum für Philologie
ISSN: 0035-449X
Die Zeitschrift wurde 1827 unter dem Titel „Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, Geschichte und griechische Philosophie“ von Barthold Georg Niebuhr, August Böckh und Christian August Brandis gegründet und erschien unter diesem Namen bis 1829/32. Von 1832/33 bis 1839 wurde die Zeitschrift unter dem Titel „Rheinisches Museum für Philologie“ von Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker und August Ferdinand Naeke weitergeführt. Seit 1842 erscheint die „Neue Folge“ des „Rheinischen Museums für Philologie“. Erstherausgeber waren Friedrich Ritschl und Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker (vgl. auch C.W. Müller, Das Rheinische Museum für Philologie 1842–2007. Zum Erscheinen des 150. Bandes der Neuen Folge, RhM 150, 2007, 1–7).

Das „Rheinische Museum für Philologie“ ist die älteste, bis heute erscheinende altertumswissenschaftliche Fachzeitschrift. Seit ihrer Gründung veröffentlicht sie wissenschaftliche Beiträge zu Sprache, Literatur und Geschichte des griechischen und römischen Altertums und seiner Rezeption in den Sprachen Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch, Italienisch und Latein. Sie ist international verbreitet, und die im „Rheinischen Museum für Philologie“ veröffentlichten Artikel sind jeweils drei Jahre nach Erscheinen der Druckfassung kostenfrei im Internet abrufbar.

Alle eingesandten Beiträge werden von wenigstens zwei Experten begutachtet, die dem Herausgebergremium angehören oder extern hinzugezogen werden. Für weitere Auskünfte wende man sich an den Herausgeber unter:
Rheinisches Museum für Philologie (Neue Folge) 
Open access to volumes 1 (1842) -  159 (2016)

Band 159 (2016)



Rheinisches Museum für Philologie

Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, Geschichte und griechische Philosophie

The Archaeology News Network

Ancient statue found in Cambodia's Siem Reap

An incomplete piece of a statue measuring over one metre, thought to be an ancient remain, was found in the northeastern corner of Preah Ko temple in Siem Reap province’s Ov Lork village on Monday. Credit: Apsara AuthorityLy Vanna, director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventative Archaeology with the Apsara Authority, said the statue was incomplete, noting that only the body was found, while the head, both...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Modern Humans Failed in Early Attempt to Migrate Out of Africa, Old Skull Shows

A prehistoric, broken skull is revealing the secrets of ancient humans, divulging that early modern...

Remains of one of Napoleon's 1812 generals believed found in Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - More than 200 years after he died of his battlefield wounds in Russia,...

The Archaeology News Network

More than 1,000 ancient coins seized from Turkish national at Greek border crossing

Customs officials at the Kipi border post seized more than 1,000 ancient Greek coins on Tuesday from a Turkish national who was crossing into Greece by bus. Credit: KathimeriniAuthorities said that he had packed 1,055 coins in seven plastic water bottles wrapped in tape and placed at the bottom of his bag. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The suspect told police that the coins – that date from different periods of...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Monograph Series: Patrimoine de la Méditerranée

Patrimoine de la Méditerranée
CNRS Éditions
« Patrimoine de la Méditerranée » : une collection qui se propose de retrouver l’esprit des lieux, de les faire revivre à travers leur histoire, de susciter l’imagination du passé. Chaque ouvrage, s’appuyant sur les acquis les plus récents de la recherche, s’organise autour d’un thème privilégié. 

Open Access Journal: Rivista del Museo Egizio

Rivista del Museo Egizio
ISSN: 2611-3295
La Rivista del Museo Egizio promuove, raccoglie e diffonde le ricerche su tutti gli aspetti della collezione del Museo Egizio di Torino e sui siti archeologici da esso indagati oggi e in passato, nonché studi su argomenti aventi una rilevanza indiretta per la collezione.

Invito a pubblicare

La rivista sta raccogliendo i contributi per il secondo numero (2018). Per le modalità di presentazione e le linee guida, vedi la sezione Pubblica con noi.

RiME 3 (2019)

The Archaeology News Network

Ancient church found at Bulgaria’s Misionis site

Remnants of a church estimated to date from the end of the First Bulgarian Kingdom – about the 11th century – have been found at the Misionis fortress site near Turgovishte in north-eastern Bulgaria. Credit: targovishte.tvAlso found were fragments of frescoes. Dig team head Professor Nikolai Ovcharov said that he believed that the building was the personal chapel of the bishop of the ancient city. Misionis is believed to have been...

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3-D images of oldest Christian church in Russia obtained via muon radiography

NUST MISIS scientists together with the colleagues from P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics Lomonosov Moscow State University and Dagestan State University have published the first results of a "scan" obtained by the method of muon radiography of the underground space in the Derbent fortress of Naryn-Kala. The preliminary...

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Earliest known Homo sapiens in Eurasia found in Greece

Early modern humans left Africa earlier than previously assumed, reaching Europe nearly 150,000 years earlier than previously known, indicates research led by the Universities of Tübingen and Athens. After comprehensive analyses, scientists identified a skull from the Apidima site, southern Greece, as early Homo sapiens and dated it to about 210,000 years ago. This makes it the earliest modern human known outside Africa, says the...

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The Heroic Age

The Ibero-Medieval Association of North America (IMANA)is delighted to
release the Call for Papers for the following panels at the International
Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS) at Western Michigan University (7-10
May 2020).

IMANA-sponsored panels always invite graduate student submissions, as well
as scholars at all levels of experience and from the breadth of disciplines
that touch on medieval Iberia, literary, historical, and beyond.

Please join our conversation at the ICMS by submitting a proposal for a
paper, attending any of our panels during the Congress, and joining us for
the IMANA Banquet!


Race and Its Historiography in Medieval Iberian Studies (panel discussion)

Organizer: Isidro Rivera (

The present political and cultural moment is intensely focused on issues of
race, diversity, and inclusion. This panel seeks to address the lack of
engagement with race and diversity in Medieval Iberian Studies, and
therefore connect our field with other areas of medieval studies. The panel
discussion will open between the panelists and the audience a discussion
about the ways in which topics such as racial(ized) and ethnic minorities,
the whitening of Iberia, the Middle Ages, and disciplinary marginalization
have shaped Hispano-Medieval Studies.

Keywords: race; medieval Iberia; historiography

The Canon Walks into a Bar: Humor in Medieval Iberian Literature (session
of papers)

Organizer: Paul Larson (

Making learning fun (and funny) is hardly new: it has a deep history, often
expressed as docere delectando or delectare et docere.  How do "serious"
canonical works of the Iberian Middle Ages delight while they teach? How
can a text be serious and funny all at the same time? This panel shifts
attention to the hybridity of canonical texts in deploying low humor, often
scabrous, for high purposes. This panel seeks papers on texts in any
Iberian language(s) and their use of humor, to put them into dialogue
across Iberian textual and scholarly traditions.

Keywords: humor; Iberian literature; the canon

Iberomedieval Studies: Taking Stock, Moving Forward (roundtable)
Organizer: Linde M. Brocato (

The relevance of medieval studies in general to the present has become both
more evident and at the same fraught, and Iberomedieval studies must assess
how the discipline works within this shifting context.  This is happening
as the organization of IMANA itself is shifting to take on greater
collective governance and responsibility, which also merits broader
consideration within the context of the social and disciplinary shifts in
medieval studies.  This roundtable will consist of a conversation among
practitioners across all domains, generations, and positions of
Iberomedieval studies, to take stock of how the field is structured, how we
constitute our community through conversations, work, and organizations
like IMANA, and how we can move into the future integral to the larger
academic and intellectual work of our time.

Keywords: the disciplines; Iberomedieval studies; academia

Literature, Language, and Identity during the House of Aviz (session of

Organizers: Ross Karlan ( and Michael Ferreira (

This panel offers an interdisciplinary approach to the diversity and
different identities on the Iberian Peninsula at a time when the Trastámara
Dynasty often takes center stage. Focusing on the House of Aviz
(1385-1580), this panel will highlight lusophone and related materials at a
time of great change surrounding the Portuguese crown, including imperial
expansion, diverse ethnic contact, and the attempt to form a unique
Portuguese identity in relation to other parts of Iberia. Given the broad
scope of the crown's sphere of influence, texts may touch on geographic
diversity both within the Iberian Peninsula and beyond, including Africa,
India, China, and the Americas.

Keywords: Medieval Portugal; book history; identity; Aviz

Questioning Mysticism (session of papers)
Co-Sponsor: ASPHS, Jes Boon (
Organizer: Erik Alder (; Amy Austin (

Mysticism and the mystic continue to constitute one of the most commonly
discussed subjects at the ICMS during recent years. Despite this, entire
sessions specifically dedicated to mysticism itself are few and far
between. Accordingly, this session invites papers that seek to mine the
depths and significations of mysticism, particularly in light of recent
theoretical models: to what extent does the body and the eye inform the
mystic? To what extent does mysticism defy and subdue the body? To what
extent can mysticism serve as a backdoor for power and resistance, inasmuch
as it allows the individual to work both within and outside of accepted
structures of power? How does mysticism subvert or conform to existing
epistemologies and ontologies? As sponsored by IMANA, this session will
take special interest in Spanish mysticism, but will of course be
interested in contributions across disciplines.

Keywords: mysticism; embodiment; epistemology; ontology

Draft IMANA Mission Statement
The Iberomedieval Association of North America is an international
community of those who study the Iberian Middle Ages, conceived broadly,
and including all of the disciplines concerned with areas of study
characterized by languages, literatures, religions, cultures, societies,
and politics in medieval Iberia.  As such, we work as a community in
intensely and uniquely interdisciplinary and interstitial ways, dealing
with the rich and fascinating artifacts and dynamics of medieval Iberia, a
zone of intense cultural, intellectual, and religious contact.
Iberomedieval Studies is therefore uniquely positioned – and poised – to
also turn the legacy of racist and antisemitic violence and oppression into
a transformative understanding of those dynamics.  As a community, we value
and foster rigor, respect, inclusion, diversity, and support for all
scholars at all levels of endeavor.


The Archaeology News Network

Agricultural productivity of Chaco Canyon could not sustain 2300 residents

Chaco Canyon, a site that was once central to the lives of precolonial peoples called Anasazi, may not have been able to produce enough food to sustain thousands of residents, according to new research. The results could shed doubt on estimates of how many people were able to live in the region year-round. The Hungo Pavi great house in Chaco Canyon [Credit: National Park Service]Located in Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: In Situ. Revue des patrimoine

[First posted in AWOL 1 July 2011, updated 10 Jul 2918]

In Situ. Revue des patrimoine
ISSN électronique 1630-7305
In Situ. Revue des patrimoines offre à l'ensemble des professionnels du patrimoine un
organe de diffusion des résultats de leurs travaux portant sur la connaissance, la conservation et la valorisation du patrimoine. Elle favorise les échanges entre les différents acteurs et les différentes disciplines de la recherche appliquée au patrimoine et met à disposition du public les nouvelles connaissances sur le patrimoine.

39 | 2019
Imagerie numérique et patrimoine culturel : enjeux scientifiques et opérationnels

Imagerie numérique et patrimoine culturel : enjeux scientifiques et opérationnels
Informations sur cette image
Crédits : Laura Bontemps, François Guéna. © Map-MAACC/Inp

Coming Soon: Digital Classicist London 2019: Translating the Homeric Scholia

Digital Classicist London 2019: Translating the Homeric Scholia

July 12, 4:30 PM GMT+1
The Homer Multitext project offers a complete, web-based, digital scholarly edition of the contents of the manuscript Venetus A (10th century), the oldest complete witness to the poem, together with its marginal comments (scholia). The text and scholia have been transcribed as a digital diplomatic edition, representing faithfully the text of the manuscript, and marked up with TEI-XML encoding for several key features. In this paper, our goal is double: we will explain something of the importance of this deluxe manuscript and we will describe the work of transcribing and translating it in digital form.

Seminar will be livestreamed and archived at:

Full programme:

Open Access Monograph Series: Edizioni dell’Istituto Papirologico «G. Vitelli»

Edizioni dell’Istituto Papirologico «G. Vitelli»
La collana si propone di accogliere l’edizione di testi su papiro dell’antichità greca, romana e bizantina, nonché volumi di studi e approfondimenti su tematiche particolari nel vasto campo della papirologia letteraria e documentaria. Le Edizioni dell’Istituto Papirologico «G. Vitelli» intendono proseguire una più che secolare tradizione, iniziata dalla Società Italiana per la ricerca dei papiri greci e latini in Egitto (1908-1927) e proseguita poi dall’Istituto Papirologico «G. Vitelli». L’Istituto, costituito in seno all’Università di Firenze nel 1928, presenta dal 1939 nella sua denominazione ufficiale il nome di Girolamo Vitelli suo primo direttore e iniziatore degli studi papirologici in Italia.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

12,000 Years Ago, a Boy Had His Skull Squashed into a Cone Shape. It's the Oldest Evidence of Such Head-Shaping.

Ancient people in China practiced human head-shaping about 12,000 years ago — meaning they bound...

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for July 10, 2019

Hodie est a.d. VI Id. Quintiles (Iulias) 2772 AUC ~  9 Hekatombaion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

In the News

In Case You Missed It

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

Odysseus – after twenty years away – wakes up on the shores of his own dear Ithaka.  Athena provides her boy with an intelligence briefing, a reconnoiter strategy, and, of course, a disguise.  And then Odysseus launches into the most dangerous part of his homecoming journey yet:  figuring a way to overcome 108 dangerous suitors, and one very circumspect wife.  This episode includes a bittersweet of father-son reunion, a heartbreaking story of a faithful dog, and an episode-concluding cliff-hanger: “Does Penelope KNOW, or NOT KNOW, that that beggar in her hall, is actually her husband Odysseus?”.

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions


The Archaeology News Network

Bird with unusually long toes found fossilized in amber

Meet the ancient bird that had toes longer than its lower legs. Researchers have discovered a bird foot from 99 million years ago preserved in amber that had a hyper-elongated third toe. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, suggests that this bird might have used its toes to hook food out of tree trucks. This is the first time such a foot structure has been observed in birds, either extinct or living. Reconstruction of...

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Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

British Museum Hung on to Lots of 'Irisagrig' Cunies

Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets
 (© Trustees of the British Museum)
Eight years after their seizure (somewhere), a large number of looted artefacts from Iraq are returning home from the  UK. The objects were 'stored at the British Museum for safekeeping' (Meilan Solly, 'Hundreds of Artifacts Looted From Iraq and Afghanistan to Be Repatriated' July 9th 2019):
According to a British Museum press release [...] the British Museum will return a set of 154 Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets to the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. Seized in 2011, the clay texts date to the mid-3rd century B.C. and describe administrative operations in the lost city of Irisagrig. With the permission of the National Museum of Iraq, a selection of the artifacts will also go on view at the British Museum before returning home.  
It is not immediately clear why so long was needed to identify what these objects are and put this material in boxes and send it back.  Its not as if any of the consigners and buyers have been put on trial in the UK... In the time it took the Brits to get their fingers out, the foreign looters and sellers have got away scot-free.  Oh yeah, let the BM congratulate itself but the rest of us can see how awful it is at sending back to people what is theirs, not the property of the BM.
It might be worth putting that information in the context of these Lambert-examined items ('Barakat Gallery selling cuneiform tablets with no documented history' PACHI Saturday, 29 September 2018) and also another batch of cunies from the same source (perhaps same supplier?) seized in the US a year earlier ('Stolen Sumerian Tablets Come from the Lost City of Irisagrig' PACHI Wednesday, 2 May 2018). Let us hope the delay was not caused by a desire of British Museum affiliated scholars to repeat the PAS 'partnership' with artefact hunters by "Working with the Smugglers: 'Publish the Irisagrig tablets" before they "enter the bowels of the Iraq Museum" where brown-skinned scholars will have access to them, instead of western cunie-fondlers.

The Archaeology News Network

Origin of life insight: peptides can form without amino acids

Peptides, one of the fundamental building blocks of life, can be formed from the primitive precursors of amino acids under conditions similar to those expected on the primordial Earth, finds a new UCL study. The findings, published in Nature, could be a missing piece of the puzzle of how life first formed. Underwater volcanic vents in Japan [Credit: Pacific Ring of Fire 2004 Expedition, NOAA Office of Ocean...

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Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

British Museum Congratulates Itself: Afghan Loot Being Repatriated 17 years Late

The nine sculpted heads were recovered
at Heathrow Airport in 2002
(© Trustees of the British Museum) 
Seventeen years after their seizure at London's Heathrow Airport, a large number of looted artefacts from Afghanistan are returning home. The objects, currently stored at the British Museum for safekeeping, include 4th-century Buddhist sculpture fragments ( Meilan Solly, 'Hundreds of Artifacts Looted From Iraq and Afghanistan to Be Repatriated' July 9th 2019):
 In 2002, border officials at London’s Heathrow Airport intercepted a pair of wooden crates brought into the country via a flight from Peshawar, Pakistan. Inside, they found a patchwork of 1,500-year-old clay limbs that had been crudely hacked off of sculptures that once stood in Buddhist monasteries in the ancient kingdom of Gandhāra in present-day northwestern Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan. [...] the 4th-century sculptures—which include nine sculpted heads and one torso [...]  were likely targeted during the Taliban’s 2001 iconoclasm spree  [...] the sculptures speak to Buddhism’s short-lived influence in what is now Afghanistan, where the religion thrived between roughly the 4th and 8th centuries. 
A BM press release states that to Afghanistan will also be returning:
examples of the 1st-century Begram Ivories, a Buddha statue dating to the 2nd or 3rd century, Bronze Age cosmetic flasks, medieval Islamic coins, pottery, stone bowls, and “other minor items of mixed date and materials.”
It is not immediately clear why as long as 17 years were needed to identify what these objects are and put this material in boxes and send it back.  Its not as if any of the consigners and buyers have been put on trial in the UK... In the time it took the Brits to get their fingers out, the foreign looters and sellers have got away scot-free. How much time, for example, was spent mounting the loose heads on black stands (!) and then setting up the lighting for the snazzy publicity shot? Ridiculous... oh yeah, let the BM congratulate itself but the rest of us can see how awful it is at sending back to people what is theirs, not the property of the BM.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Good Omens and the Bible #CFP

Meredith Warren is the perfect person to spearhead an academic project about Good Omens and the Bible. I spoke with Meredith recently about her latest book, Food and Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Literature, which is about hierophagy or “sacred eating” as depicted in literature from ancient Greece, ancient Judaism, and early Christianity. I’m looking forward […]

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Buyer Sought by Police?

"Christie's auction house in London sold

the 11 inch brown quartz bust for £4.7 million
to an anonymous buyer in early July at one of 
its most controversial auctions in years".

The seller refused to show any legitimating paperwork for the artefact sold last week, while the Egyptian state claims it was stolen under the terms of existing laws. The sale was not suspended to allow the seller time to provide a verifiable alibi that should in any case have been in place before the sale was even contemplated - so the police have been called in (Josie Ensor, 'Egypt asks Interpol to recover Tutankhamun statue sold by Christie's' Telegraph 9 July 2019). Will Christie's co-operate with the investigation and indicate the seller and the present whereabouts of this item?
Christie's has denied any wrongdoing, saying it carried out "extensive due diligence" to verify the provenance of the statue and had "gone beyond what is required to assure legal title." The auction house has published a chronology of how the relic changed hands between European art dealers over the past 50 years and told AFP that it would "not sell any work where there isn't clear title of ownership."Yet it is not established how Austrian dealer Joseph Messina (the owner of Galerie Kokorian and Co, Vienna) obtained title through its documented purchase (allegedly in 1973-4) from Prinz Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis (1919-2004), because not only does it seem no such document exists, but the alleged former owner's family says he never owned and never sold this rather notable object. There were questions to be asked before the sale went ahead, those questions will not cease to be asked because somebody has paid men in suits £4.7 million for an object with 'sketchy origins'.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2019.07.16: Ludovico Ariosto. Latin Poetry. I Tatti Renaissance Library, 84

Review of Dennis Looney, D. Mark Possanza, Ludovico Ariosto. Latin Poetry. I Tatti Renaissance Library, 84. Cambridge, MA: 2018. Pp. xxvii, 258. $29.95. ISBN 9780674977174.

2019.07.15: Zenobia: Shooting Star of Palmyra. Women in Antiquity

Review of Nathanael J. Andrade, Zenobia: Shooting Star of Palmyra. Women in Antiquity. Oxford; New York: 2018. Pp. xvii, 284. $35.00. ISBN 9780190638818.

The Archaeology News Network

Astronomers expand cosmic 'cheat sheet' in hunt for life

Using nature's color palette from early Earth, Cornell University astronomers have created a cosmic "cheat sheet" in order to understand where discovered exoplanets may fall along their own evolutionary spectrum. To understand where exoplanets are in their own evolution, astronomers can use Earth’s biological milestones as a Rosetta stone [Credit: Wendy Kenigsberg/Cornell Brand Communications]Jack O'Malley-James, a research associate...

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Compitum - publications

L. Cilliers, Roman North Africa. Environment, Society and Medical Contribution


Louise Cilliers, Roman North Africa. Environment, Society and Medical Contribution, Amsterdam, 2019.

Éditeur : Amsterdam University Press
256 pages
ISBN : 9789462989900
95 €

This book examines the environment and society of North Africa during the late Roman period (fourth and fifth centuries CE) through the writings of Helvius Vindicianus, Theodorus Priscianus, Caelius Aurelianus, and Cassius Felix.
These four medical writers, whose translation into Latin of precious Greek texts has been hailed as "the achievement of the millennium" by one modern scholar, provide a unique opportunity to understand North Africa, the most prosperous region of the Roman World during Late Antiquity. Although focusing on medical knowledge and hygiene, their writings provide fresh insights on the environment, economy, population, language, and health facilities of the region.
This study includes the first full discussion of the exceptional career of the physician Helvius Vindicianus, as well as a valuable reassessment of other writers whose works were read throughout the Middle Ages. It will therefore prove invaluable not only for scholars of Late Antiquity and North Africa, but also for those working on later periods.


Source : Amsterdam University Press

The Archaeology News Network

Pair of supermassive black holes discovered on a collision course

Astronomers have spotted a distant pair of titanic black holes headed for a collision. Each black hole's mass is more than 800 million times that of our sun. As the two gradually draw closer together in a death spiral, they will begin sending gravitational waves rippling through space-time. Those cosmic ripples will join the as-yet-undetected background noise of gravitational waves from other supermassive black holes. A galaxy roughly...

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Al Centro di Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale una Borsa di studio per manufatti in materiale cartaceo e fotografico

La Fondazione Cecilia Gilardi mette a disposizione una borsa di studio per perfezionare le tecniche di conservazione e restauro di manufatti in materiale cartaceo e fotografico presso il Centro.

The Archaeology News Network

Star formation may be halted by cold ionised hydrogen

For the first time ionized hydrogen has been detected at the lowest frequency ever towards the center of our Galaxy. The findings originate from a cloud that is both very cold (around -230 degrees Celsius) and also ionized, something that has never been detected before. This discovery may help to explain why stars don't form as quickly as they theoretically could. A composite image showing our Galaxy, the Milky Way, rising above the...

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Dimostrazione 3D Imaging Scanner Leica BLK360 al Centro di Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale

Martedì 16 luglio 2019 a Moncalieri, presso il laboratorio metrologico di LEONARDO 3D METROLOGY il Centro di Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale sarà ospite d'eccezione per la presentazione e dimostrazione del laser scanner BLK360 di Leica Geosystems.

The Archaeology News Network

Holes in the universe sharpen cosmic measurements

Regions of the Universe containing very few or no galaxies - known as voids - can help measure cosmic expansion with much greater precision than before, according to new research. The change in the average shape of voids caused by Doppler distortions and the effects of dark energy and curvature [Credit: Dr. Seshadri Nadathur/University of Portsmouth]The study looked at the shapes of voids found in data from the Sloan Digital Sky...

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Il World Heritage Policy Compendium dell'Unesco è ora completamente online

È stato presentato durante la  43-esima sessione del World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan (30 June – 10 July 2019) il compendio sulla politica del patrimonio mondiale, una raccolta di politiche che hanno guidato l'attuazione della World Heritage Convention sin dalla sua adozione nel 1972. Assembla le politiche adottate dal Comitato del patrimonio mondiale e dall'Assemblea generale degli Stati parti nelle loro decisioni, risoluzioni e altre testi strategici.

Archaeology Magazine

Ottoman-Era Tunnel Found in Ancient Tomb

PLOVDIV, BULGARIA—According to an Archaeology in Bulgaria report, a 130-foot-long tunnel large enough for draft animals to pass through has been discovered in a third-century A.D. tomb by a team of researchers led by Kostadin Kisyov of the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology. The tunnel is thought to have been dug in the sixteenth century A.D. in order to loot the ancient tower tomb, which was hidden within Bulgaria’s Maltepe Burial Mound. Once inside the structure, the Ottoman-era looters dug a pit about eight feet deep, which they then refilled, Kisyov said. They then attempted to dig upward into the tower, he added. The diggers left behind a coin minted during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520–1566), two earlier coins, a metal bridle bit, and draft-animal droppings. Burn marks on the tunnel’s ceiling indicate the diggers carried torches or lamps. Scholars speculate the tomb may contain the remains of the Roman emperor Philip I the Arab, who ruled from A.D. 244 to 249. “However, I don’t rule out the possibility that an Odrysian aristocrat might be buried in it, such as Teres, who was a proxy for the emperor, and governed the entire Roman province of Thracia,” Kisyov said. For more on archaeology in Bulgaria, go to “Iconic Discovery.”

Excavation Uncovers Turkey’s Sacred Road

Turkey sacred roadMUGLA, TURKEY—The Anadolu Agency reports that the 3,000-year-old ceremonial pathway between the temple of Hecate in Lagina and the town of Stratonikeia has been uncovered near the coast of western Turkey. “It is the most important sacred road that connects the political center Stratonikeia with [the] religious center Lagina,” said Bilal Sogut of Pamukkale University, who explained that priests would oversee processions on the holy road in which a girl carrying a key walked in front and a choir walked in the back. The procession entered Stratonikeia through the Northern City Gate, passing the city’s tombs along the way. “We want to exhibit the most important of the tombs in their original locations, to keep the burial traditions of the Sacred Road alive,” Sogut added. The team of excavators also uncovered the Northern City Gate and columns lining the sacred road as part of the project. For more on archaeology in Turkey, go to “In Search of a Philosopher’s Stone.”

Researchers Travel From Taiwan to Japan in Dugout Canoe

TAIPEI, TAIWAN—Japan Today reports that a team of researchers traveled in a 25-foot-long dugout canoe approximately 125 miles from southeastern Taiwan to Okinawa over a two-day period using the stars, sun, and wind to navigate. The strong current known as the Black Stream is thought to have carried migrants along the same route to Japan some 30,000 years ago, based on artifacts discovered on the Ryukyu Islands in southwestern Japan. “The Black Stream carried the canoe and all we did was steer it a little,” explained lead paddler Koji Hara. Previous attempts to make the trip in boats made of bamboo and rattan and canoes made of straw were unsuccessful. For more, go to “Japan’s Early Anglers.”

July 09, 2019

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

Tutorial: How to download the LIDAR datasets from the UK Environment Agency website

Lidar is a technique for displaying the shape of the ground using pulses of laser light.  The results have been widely used to discover Roman monuments, as they can process them to omit modern buildings, trees, etc.  I have been interested in this ever since I discovered some Lidar images of the seabed showing the submerged ruins of the Roman fort of Walton Castle at Felixstowe.

Most of the United Kingdom has been surveyed using Lidar, and the resulting datasets are now freely available for download on the Environment Agency / DEFRA website.  If you can download them, then you can pull them into a tool like QGIS, and turn the data into images.   But this website is not well organised.  I have never been able to work out how to download anything!

Partly this is because I used my Android mobile much of the time.  Just don’t.  You won’t be able to get it to work.  Instead go to your trusty PC and open your browser.

1. Go to the Defra Home page, and search for LIDAR

Go to and put LIDAR in the search box.  You currently (July 2019) get 20 results, which look like this.  (Click on the image for a larger image)

The LIDAR Composite DTM and DSM materials are what you want, taken at various resolutions.  DSM is the raw data.  DTM removes surface objects like trees and houses.

2. Click on LIDAR Composite DTM – 1m

This takes you to a waffle page.  At the bottom are various links:

The “Dataset links” do not work – any of them.  On enquiry I was told that:

You need to open the WMS/WFS links within the GIS software in order for the data to load, please refer to the following FAQ:

Apparently “WMS” is is a way to get the datasets from the GIS tool directly.  Not what I have in mind here at the moment.

The one you want is the “Survey Download” icon, which I have highlighted in red.

3.  Click on Survey Download

This takes you to, which after a long pause builds the following inscrutable screen:

Note how, cunningly, the pane marked “Download your data” only refers to *uploading*!

Ignore everything in the grey box under “Select your area”.  I have no idea what it is for, other than to confuse.

The bit you need is the square.  But… NOT YET!  If you hover over it, the mysterious tooltip “Polygon” will appear.  It is, in fact, a tool to draw an area on the map.  We’ll use it in a moment.

4.  First, zoom into the area that you want to look at

This bit is fairly obvious.  Use the “+” icon to zoom, and drag the map around.  Once you get far enough in, a grid will appear with references on it. If you know the reference, you can enter it in the search box, although I notice this sometimes does not work.

I’m using the area off Felixstowe, so I get to this.

Until you are zoomed in, you can’t do anything.  You can only download datasets for small areas, you see.  But this is probably enough.

5.  Draw a polygon on the map of the area for which you want Lidar

Now at last you can click on the “polygon” button.  It turns blue.  Now you can draw.  (This frankly can be pretty tricky too.)

  • Hover over the map at one corner of wherever you want to draw.  A tooltip will come up telling you to click to start.  Do so.  Nothing will seem to happen.
  • Now move the mouse.  A red line will follow you.  Click again for that corner.
  • Repeat until your polygon looks right, then double-click to save.

It will now look like this:

Note my polygon on the map.  But … also note that, cunningly, some extra stuff has appeared underneath the drawing tool, where you were not looking!  And partly off the page – so scroll down.

Now, at last, you have something you can download.  Hit the down arrow underneath “Download your data”.

There will be quite a pause – and then a new menu will appear!

What this lists is the various different types of dataset.  In fact it lists the lot, of all sizes and resolutions.  Whatever you choose, you get a link in blue, which I have highlighted.

The link is to a zip file.  In Chrome, just click on it to download to the Downloads folder; in IE, right-click and choose “Save target as” in the usual way.  Either way you will end up with a file on your PC.

I’m more interested in the DTM 1 meter stuff, so I will redo this for that:

What are these various types of file?  Well who knows?!  I believe I want DTM anyway.

6.  Unzip the dataset

How you use the dataset is a different question, but I will give you what I found out.

First, you need to unzip the dataset.  I use 7Zip on my PC, and right-click, 7-Zip, and extract to folder.  So…

That created a folder Bathy-Coastal-Multibeam-2013-TM33nw in that directory.

I’m more interested in the DTM 1 meter stuff, so I get a download of, and unpack it to a folder LIDAR-DTM-1M-TM33nw.

Inside the new folder are a bunch of .asc files.  These together make up the dataset.

Next, you need a GIS tool to view this stuff.

7. Import into QGIS

I found this very hard to do, but here’s some notes on what I did.  I worked it out based on this tutorial for an older version:

First, I installed the latest version of QGIS from the download site, which for me was 3.4.5.  Look for the “long term stable release” stuff, and ignore the rest.  This installed fine, and created a folder on my desktop, labelled QGIS 3.4, and an icon, “GRASS GIS 7.6.0”.  Now … do NOT try to start that icon.  Instead drag it into the folder, and forget about it.

Next open the folder, and double-click on the QGIS Desktop icon, again ignoring the GRASS thing.  This will open something you can work with.

Next, create a project by Project -> New.  Then do Project -> Save, and choose a name for your QGZ file – I used my own name.

Next, you need to import the dataset.  Raster -> Miscellaneous -> Merge brings up a daft dialog box headed “Merge”.

Click on the “…”, and you get another daft dialog box headed “Multiple Selection”.  Click on “Add”, and browse into the folder LIDAR-DTM-1M-TM33nw.

Select all the files in the folder, and hit “Open”.  They will all appear in the “Multiple Selection” box.

Now hit “OK”.  You’ll be back at the Merge dialog box.

You’ll want to save the resulting .tif file, so under “Merged” there is “Save to temporary file” – hit the “…” next to that and choose “Save to file”, and then pick a name.

Your “Merge” dialog will now look like this:

Don’t twiddle anything else.

Now hit Run, and go and make a cup of coffee.  It takes a while.

When it finishes, it will pop up “Algorithm ‘Merge’ finished”, and look like this:

Hit “close” to get rid of the dialog box.  You now have some results.

You can use the mouse to drag it around, and zoom in.  The results are likely to look… disappointing.

On the left side is a box “Layers”.  If you right-click on “Merged”, and choose “Properties”, you get stuff that you can play with.  Select “Symbology”, and you can change the “Render type”.  You can change it to “Hillshade” (whatever that is), and hit “Apply” and you get more details:

But that’s as far as I could get.

However, it IS more than I knew before.


Some links that I found useful:

  • – overview of the datasets
  • – the datasets are “shape files”
  • – possible viewers
  • – Easily the best way to  view Lidar.  Only works on Chrome tho.  Based on the 1m DSM data.  Actually better than anything I got from this!

The Archaeology News Network

Bones engraved with ochre incisions discovered at archaic hominin site in China

Chinese archaeologists have discovered two engraved bones with ochre incisions dating back 110,000 years, giving the world's earliest evidence for human beings' deliberate use of ochre engravings for symbolic purposes. Credit: Xinhua News AgencyThe animal bones were discovered at the Lingjing site in Xuchang, central China's Henan Province, where Chinese researchers had found human cranial fossils dating back 105,000 to 125,000 years...

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

A good portrait of Constantius II?

I’ve been googling online, and I have been unable to locate a good likeness of Constantius II, who succeeded his father Constantine, murdered all his cousins, then his brothers and left only a nephew, Julian the Apostate, to succeed him.  His reign is described vividly by Ammianus Marcellinus, and the church remembered him as an Arian.

Long ago I placed online the Chronography of 354, a magnificent collection of documents illustrated by a famous artist and presented to a nobleman in that year.  The original is lost, but copies have reached us.  One of the illustrations is of “our emperors”, Constantius and his nephew, the luckless Gallus.

Since then the Barberini manuscript (Vatican barberini latini 2154B) of the Chronography has come online.  Here’s the portrait of Constantius from it, online here:

Constantius II in 354 AD. From Ms. Vatican Barb. lat. 2154 B, folio 13.

It is a splendid portrait, isn’t it?  What a face!

But I was surprised to discover that the illustrations were monochrome.  The printed version was monochrome but I had always assumed that was just to make it possible to print.

Another manuscript of the Chronography is also online,  in Vienna, here.  But this does not include the portraits of the emperors, although it does include other illustrations.

I wanted to see if other representations matched the one above.  The first item that I found was a bust of a young prince, almost 3 feet tall, and identified as either Constantius II or possibly his brother Constans.  It’s at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, inv. MC2882:

Colossal head of Constantius II or possibly Constans. Musei Capitolini, Roma, inv. MC2882.

The Last Statues database catalogues this as LSA-561, and gives a reference to a catalogue, sadly offline.[1]  I must say the portrait is not obviously similar to that of the Chronography.

Another portrait at Wikipedia is this:

Presumed bust of emperor Constantius II (317 – 361), son and successor of Constantine the Great. Temporary exhibition in Colosseum (aug.2013), Rome, Italy.

I don’t know anything else about this, but I can see that the nose seems to be restored, and much else; so I fear this is not a likeness.  There is also a widely miscaptioned picture of Theodosius II under the name of Constantius.

The next item I found on Tumblr:

Emperor Constantius II (?). Second third of IV century AD. Bust is modern. Marble. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Inv. Cp 6399 / Ma 1021

The head is ancient but the darker bust material is modern.  But again is this Constantius?

Also on Tumblr, was this silver bowl from the Bosporan kingdom, i.e. the Crimea.  I think that it is from Kerch, and is probably held in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia.[2]

Bowl: the triumph of Constantius II. Place of origin: Eastern Mediterranean. Date: A.D. 4th century. Archaeological site: Bosporan Necropolis, vault on the Gordikov estate.

The long face is very like that of the Chronography.

Here’s another item, the Missorium of Kerch, preserved in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg in Russia.  Wikipedia has a monochrome image here.

The Missorium of Kerch is a ceremonial dish depicting the Emp. Constantius II on horseback, leading a soldier and being crowned by Victory.

This also depicts a long-faced Constantius.  So I think we may treat the depiction in the Chronography as fairly accurate.  Not bad for a renaissance copy of a Carolingian copy of an ancient book!

  1. [1]Fittschen, K. and P. Zanker, Katalog der Porträts in den Capitolischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom, Band I, Mainz 1985, 156-7, no. 125, pl. 156
  2. [2]This I infer from a snippet view of a book on Google Books: Bernard Samuel Myers, Encyclopedia of world art, – Volume 9 – Page xcvi: “Two dishes found at Kerch (Leningrad, The Hermitage) refer to an anniversary of Constantius in 343. The style of these dishes … The third, and most splendid, piece of this type is the Missorium of Theodosius I (II, PL. 487), which celebrates …”

The Archaeology News Network

Morocco to restore Lixus archaeological site

Lixus is an ancient city on the banks of the Loukous River. First settled by the Phoenicians in the 12th century BC, it flourished under the Roman empire. The site is home to the only Roman amphitheater in Morocco and a large industrial complex where fish was preserved in salt. The city was destroyed during the Muslim conquest of Morocco in the late 7th century. Credit: Bermudez Lievano/Flickr (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle ||...

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British Museum announces return of looted Iraqi and Afghan artefacts

Looted ancient artefacts from Iraq and Afghanistan seized in Britain will be returned to their country of origin after appraisal by the British Museum, the institution said on Monday. The fourth-century sculptural heads were discovered stuffed in wooden crates at Heathrow airport in 2002 [Credit: Trustees of the British Museum]The London-based museum revealed it has been working with law enforcement agencies including the UK Border...

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Gorillas found to live in 'complex' societies, suggesting deep roots of human social evolution

Gorillas have more complex social structures than previously thought, from lifetime bonds forged between distant relations, to "social tiers" with striking parallels to traditional human societies, according to a new study. Young gorillas take a break from feeding to socialize [Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society]The findings suggest that the origins of our own social systems stretch back to the common ancestor of humans and...

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Archaeologists uncover biblical town of Ziklag

Researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, believe they have discovered the Philistine town near Kiryat Gat, immortalized in the Biblical narrative. Ziklag is mentioned multiple times in the Bible in relation to David (in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel). According to the Biblical narrative, Achish, King of Gat, allowed David to find refuge in Ziklag while...

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5,000-year-old house ruins discovered in north China

Chinese archaeologists have discovered house ruins dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years ago in north China's Shanxi Province, according to local authorities on Saturday. Aerial view of the Degang site excavation area [Credit: Shanxi Provincial  Institute of Archaeology]According to the provincial archaeological institute, the remains were excavated in Degang Village, Luliang after a two-month rescue excavation began in April. An...

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Archaeology Briefs


Sometime in the 12th century B.C., a family in the ancient port city of Ashkelon, in what is today Israel, mourned the loss of a child. But they didn’t go to the city’s cemetery. Instead, they dug a small pit in the dirt floor of their home and buried the infant right in the place where they lived.

That child’s DNA is now helping scholars trace the origins of the Philistines, a long-standing, somewhat contentious mystery. In accounts from the Hebrew Bible, the Philistines appear mostly as villainous enemies of the Israelites. But who were the Philistines, exactly? In the Bible, ancient cities like Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron were mentioned as Philistine strongholds.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, scholars finally started to piece together a distinct archaeological record of Philistine culture. Excavations revealed that these cities saw the emergence of new architecture and artifacts at the beginning of the Iron Age, around 1200 B.C., signaling the arrival of the Philistines. Pottery found at Philistine archaeological sites, for example, appeared to have been made locally, but looked strikingly like wares created by Aegean cultures such as the Mycenaeans, who built their civilization in what is now mainland Greece. And the Bible mentions “Caphtor,” or Crete, as the origin place of the Philistines.

Now, researchers have extracted DNA from the remains of 10 individuals, including four infants, who were buried at Ashkelon during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The results, which were published today in the journal Science Advances, suggest the Philistines indeed migrated to the Middle East from southern Europe.

The new study stems from a discovery in 2013 of a cemetery with more than 200 burials contemporary with the Philistine settlement at Ashkelon just outside the ancient city walls. The cemetery, which was used during the late Iron Age, between the 11th and 8th centuries B.C., was the first Philistine burial ground ever found. The archaeologists documented burial practices that were distinct from the Philistines' Canaanite predecessors and their Egyptian neighbors. For example, in several cases, little jugs of perfume were tucked near the head of the deceased. Finding Philistine human remains also meant there might be potential to find Philistine DNA.

Getting DNA from the newly discovered human remains at Ashkelon, however, proved tricky. The southern Levant does not have a favorable climate for the preservation of DNA, which can break down when it’s too warm or humid, says Michal Feldman, who studies archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, and is the lead author of the new report. Nonetheless, the researchers were able to sequence the whole genome of three individuals from the cemetery.

To establish a baseline for the local genetic profile, the researchers also sequenced genomes from the remains of three Canaanites who had been buried in Ashkelon during the Bronze Age, before the alleged arrival of the Philistines. The team was also able to extract DNA from the remains of four infants who had previously been found in Philistine houses during excavations between 1997 and 2013. These children were buried in the Iron Age, in the 12th or 11th century, shortly after the Philistines supposed arrival in the region. The results showed that the four Iron Age infants all had some genetic signatures matching those seen in Iron Age populations from Greece, Spain and Sardinia. “There was some gene flow coming in that was not there before,” Feldman says.

The researchers interpreted these results as evidence that migration indeed occurred at the end of the Bronze Age or during the early Iron Age. If that’s true, the infants may have been the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the first Philistines to arrive in Canaan.

The findings are a good reminder, Feldman says, that a person’s culture or ethnicity is not the same as their DNA. “In this situation, you have foreign people coming in with a slightly different genetic makeup, and their influence, genetically, is very short. It doesn’t leave a long-lasting impact, but culturally they made an impact that lasted for many years.”

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)


n 1947 the American School of Classical Studies at Athens produced a color film called Triumph Over Time. The project was envisioned as a publicity tool to launch the first post-war capital campaign of the American School. The 40-minute film was produced by the numismatist Margaret Thompson and directed by the Swedish American archaeologist, Oscar Broneer.  Fox Movietone processed the motion picture in the United States at the request of the founding owner of Fox Studios, Spyros P. Skouras, who served as a Trustee of the American School from 1946 to 1971.

In 2006, a search through the School’s Archives produced a celluloid original and a wealth of information concerning the film's history. At the same time, the School acquired the papers of Oscar Broneer, which offered unknown information about Broneer’s role in the making of the movie and his active participation in a number of relief organizations helping Greece during WWII. Further research indicates that, although Triumph Over Time was the first of a series of archaeological films made about Greece, it has largely been forgotten. The film received a brief mention in the second volume of the History of the American School at Athens, but was missed by the two most important surveys of existing archaeological films. This is surprising when one considers that it played for over a decade in the United States, England, and Greece, and was used as a diplomatic tool by the U.S. Department before dropping out of circulation.
Read the story behind the filming of Triumph Over Time, here.
Triumph Over Time from ASCSA on Vimeo.

Archaeology Briefs


Archaeologists have discovered a Roman road and possible ancient mine during excavations in Cornwall as they work to discover more about the history of the county.

As well as the possible mine they have discovered a Roman road, which would have served regular military traffic in and out of the fort. The excavation has revealed a rare glimpse of timber-built Roman military buildings constructed outside of the fort, as well as a series of rubbish and cesspits, indicating that the Roman army was also active outside of the fort's defenses.

The archaeologists have also found the remains of a medieval timber longhouse, suggesting the site was later occupied between the 8th and early 13th century but was then deserted. This explains why the parish church, originally built to be at the heart of a hamlet or village, is now isolated.

Dr. Smart said: "It has been wonderful working with so many of the local community to better understand the area's Roman and medieval past. We are very pleased to have found such a well-made Roman road and the possible mine workings have proved a real unexpected bonus. Whilst we still do not know their age, it is possible that they are from the medieval period."

No objects were found in the possible mine, making it hard to date when it was used. One of the deep pits cuts into the Roman road, so it is likely that they are later than the Roman military occupation of the area. Calstock Roman fort was discovered in 2007 as part of an earlier University of Exeter project to investigate medieval silver mining in Bere Ferrers, on the opposite side of the River Tamar, in Devon. Excavations between 2008 and 2011 provided evidence that it was constructed in around AD 50, and remained in use with a garrison of about 500 men for 30 years. At some point in the life of the fort a second defensive circuit was added to enclose and protect buildings outside of the fort, and this may point to a period of heightened threat.

The excavation has now finished but visitors to the site can find out more by reading an information board outside the parish cemetery, or at the project's website.

The Archaeology News Network

Remodelling ruins to preserve rural heritage

Luzzone, located some 2,150 meters high in Ticino's Malvaglia valley, was a small hamlet used by mountain herders and their livestock. It was abandoned in the 1950s and today lies mostly in ruins. But this past weekend, the workshop's 120 participants teamed up to restore and remodel the ancient structures. Around 120 architecture students, including some from EPFL, took part in a unique workshop on Mount Luzzone in Ticino on 6–7...

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Archaeology Briefs


Senior American and Israeli officials attended the inauguration Sunday evening of the ancient Pilgrims’ Road, which served as the main thoroughfare for pilgrims walking from the Pool of Siloam, where they would ritually purify themselves on route to the Temple, during the Second Temple Period. The event comes after six years of painstaking archeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Director of the City of David and Israel Prize Laureate, David (Davidle) Be'eri stated "In ancient times, the Pilgrimage Road paved the way for tens of thousands of pilgrims from across the land of Israel and the four corners of the globe on their way to the Temple. Soon millions of visitors from Israel and abroad will be able to walk once again on those very same stones. The Romans thought they had brought an end to Jewish life in Jerusalem, but today nothing could be further from the truth. The Jewish people have returned to Zion and reestablished our united capital here in Jerusalem."

Yisrael Hasson, Director of Israel Antiquities Authority said: “The stepped road project is an integral part of the unearthing of ancient Jerusalem which was approved at a cabinet meeting. The plan seeks to look at the sites of ancient Jerusalem from a comprehensive governmental planning and budgetary perspective, which will create a structured and complete visitor experience through this unique space. We are currently in the second phase of the plan, which will be a total game changer. This entire endeavor is part of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s new vision to initiate new ways to showcase our national heritage and culture.”

Shaul Goldstein, Director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said: “It is extremely moving to walk on the road on which Prophets, Kings, Cohanim and the entire Jewish nation walked on to reach the Temple Mount in ancient times. It’s been said that these stones have a human heart. The City of David National Park has uncovered a lot, but there is still so much more to discover. Together with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the City of David Foundation we will continue to improve and develop the site for the good of the hundreds of thousands of visitors. In the near future we will also add Shaaraim –Khirbet Qeiyafa where David fought the enemy of his generation, the Giant Goliath.”

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)


Despite my efforts to have a “shorter season” this summer, it still felt pretty long. My time in Greece and Cyprus was both productive and exhausting. I’m looking forward to going home and tucking into a few publishing projects, the next issue of North Dakota Quarterly, and some more serious writing. Maybe I’ll even have time to pet the dogs (but not because Donna Zuckerberg told me to).

I learned new stuff this summer. I discovered that I really like Loux brand soda waterI learned how to make and how not to make a GeoJSON, and I discovered that for a label to be effective in a photograph, it must be visible. I also feel like I came to accept my fate as someone who publishes Hellenistic fortifications and I learned about topobros. I continue to try to come to grips with the 7th century in Greece and maybe the 8th century in Cyprus. I thought carefully about how I use legacy data and started to think about whether island archaeology can productively inform the archaeology of Late Antiquity and Byzantium. So far, then, it was a good summer.

IMG 3990

IMG 3979

IMG 3756

IMG 3765

Finally, I discovered that sometimes it’s not the lamp that you photograph, it’s how you photograph the lamp.

IMG 3769

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Tutankhamun, Christie's and rigorous due dligence

It was announced today that the Egyptian authorities would be taking legal action against Christie's over the sale of the head of Tutankhamun ("Egypt to sue Christie's to retrieve £4.7m Tutankhamun bust", BBC News 9 July 2019).

The BBC reports:
Egypt's former antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, said the bust appeared to have been "stolen" in the 1970s from the Temple of Karnak. "The owners have given false information," he told AFP news agency. "They have not shown any legal papers to prove its ownership."
Christie's maintain the history of the piece as follows:
It stated that Germany's Prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis reputedly had it in his collection by the 1960s, and that it was acquired by an Austrian dealer in 1973-4.
However the family of von Thurn und Taxis claim that the head was never in that collection [see here].

Christie's reject any hint of criticism:
"Christie's would not and do not sell any work where there isn't clear title of ownership and a thorough understanding of modern provenance."
All the auction house needs to do is to present the authenticated documentation showing the sequential history of the head as it passed from collection to gallery. This is all part of the rigorous due diligence process that auction houses are expected to conduct.

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