Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

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February 24, 2017

Archaeology Magazine

WWII Bomb Defused in Greek City

THESSALONIKI, GREECE—Soldiers recently defused a World War II bomb in Greece’s second-largest city after evacuating tens of thousands of people from the area, according to a report from Agence France-Presse. The bomb was discovered during roadwork near a gas station. It took several hours to defuse the five-foot-long bomb, which was found to contain 375 pounds of explosives. According to Army chief of staff Nikos Phanios, the American-made bomb’s firing mechanism “was still in a very good shape, and this was what had us worried.” The bomb is thought to have been dropped by a British place as part of a campaign of strikes on the city’s railway station and port in 1943. Around 70,000 people were evacuated from a one-mile radius around the site before the bomb was defused. “A bomb of this size has never been found in an area this densely populated” in Greece, said regional security chief Apostolos Tzitzikostas. For more on handling unexploded ordnance from World War II, go to “Letter from the Marshall Islands: Defuzing the Past.”

Crouched Medieval Burials Found in Siberia

YAMAL PENINSULA, RUSSIA—Unusual burials of three women and a man dating to the eleventh century have been discovered in Russia’s Yamal Peninsula, according to a report from The Siberian Times. All four bodies were found in a crouched position, which archaeologist Andrey Plekhanov said indicates they may have been ritually buried or possibly even sacrificed. All four also suffered from serious diseases or starvation, and the man was set on fire after death, a phenomenon not previously recorded in the area. “We can be sure that he did not die in the fire,” said Plekhanov. “His dead body was set to fire, but not a very strong one. His bones remained almost intact, the fire damage[d] mostly the soft tissues.” Among the artifacts found with the bodies were a bronze bracelet with a bear image, a knife with a bronze handle, a tanning scraper, bronze and silver pendants, a ring, and a facial mask made of animal skin. Fragments of pottery, possibly from the funeral meal, were also found. To read about another recent discovery in the area, go to “Siberian William Tell.”

February 23, 2017

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

eDiAna: Digital Philological-Etymological Dictionary of the Minor Ancient Anatolian Corpus Languages

eDiAna: Digital Philological-Etymological Dictionary of the Minor Ancient Anatolian Corpus Languages
The aim of the Digital Philological/Etymological Dictionary of the Minor Language Corpora of Ancient Anatolia is to provide the first exhaustive lexical assessment of the entire corpus of the lesser attested ancient Anatolian languages, i.e. Hieroglyphic and Cuneiform Luwian, Lycian, Carian, Lydian, Palaic, Sidetic and Milyan (Lycian B). This includes the philological documentation of word usage with regard to semantics, grammar and context as well as cultural background and the historical linguistic interrelationships of the minor languages with Hittite and the other Indo-European languages, whereby the methodology of comparative historical linguistics plays an important role. The Digital Philological/Etymological Dictionary of the Minor Language Corpora of Ancient Anatolia is intended to serve as a fundamental resource for Hittitology and for Ancient Anatolian and Ancient Near Eastern Studies as well as for Indo-Europeanists. It will be published online (with multiple search options), printed (print-on-demand) and thus made accessible to a wide public including scholars of many different disciplines and other interested parties.
  • The Project
  • DictionaryDEMO
  • CorpusDEMO
  • LiteratureDEMO
  • Staff
  • Ancient Peoples

    Buddha’s Previous Life as a Woodpecker: Javasakunda...

    Buddha’s Previous Life as a Woodpecker: Javasakunda Jataka, c. 175-225

    India, Amvaravati Region, Andhra (or Satavahana) period, late 2nd - early 3rd Century

    Source: Cleveland Museum of Art

    BiblePlaces Blog

    Free Asia Minor Wall Map

    (Post by A.D. Riddle)

    The Ancient World Mapping Center is making available for free download their wall map of Asia Minor. The blog post from yesterday reads:
    After several years of preparation, AWMC’s newest wall map is now available online. This map is a successor to that of J.G.C. Anderson (1903) and its partial revision by W.M. Calder and G.E. Bean (1958).  It was displayed in draft at the ‘Roads and Routes in Anatolia’ conference organized by the British Institute at Ankara (March 2014).  It was then revised with a view to being issued with the volume planned to follow that meeting in due course.  Meantime the Center is now making the map available online.

    The map is noteworthy because the Ancient World Mapping Center has reconstructed the ancient coastline, most notable at places such as Miletus, Ephesus, north of Smyrna, and between Xanthos and Patara. The map shows Roman roads, bridges, quarries, and aqueducts. It also shows rivers, wetlands, and elevation with subtle hillshading. According to the legend, the map includes mountain passes and shrines, though I noticed only one of each.

    There are a few symbols that do not appear in the legend, and I am not entirely sure what they mean: an asterisk before the name Sparza, and these three patterns
    Yesterday, I could download the map directly, but as of today you have to email the Ancient World Mapping Center for a download link. The TIF file I downloaded is a whopping 1.72GB! If you were to print the map at 300dpi, the sheet would measure 80" x 50". (To download a JPG version of the map at about 100MB, use this temporary link.) The map is licensed under CC-by-4.0.

    This map is the latest creation by the Ancient World Mapping Center in a line of cartographic products which includes the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (print and digital), Benthos Digital Atlas of Ancient Waters, the AWMC à-la-carte Map, and the Routledge Wall Maps for the Ancient World.

    ArcheoNet BE

    Opensleufdag op markt Harelbeke

    In het kader van de heraanleg van de markt van Harelbeke vinden er momenteel archeologische opgravingen plaats op het plein. Benieuwd wat de archeologen al hebben gevonden? Op woensdag 1 maart is het grote publiek welkom op de archeologische site voor een gratis rondleiding door het team van archeologen. Er zijn rondleidingen om 14u, 14u30, 15u en 15u30. Het aantal plaatsen per rondleiding is beperkt tot 20 deelnemers. Inschrijven is gratis en kan via of via 056/73.33.10.

    1 miljoen euro voor de restauratie van het stadhuis van Tongeren

    Vlaams minister Geert Bourgeois kent een premie van 1 miljoen euro euro toe voor de restauratie van het stadhuis van Tongeren, ook wel het ‘Praetorium’ genoemd. Het stadhuis in classicistische stijl, een mooi voorbeeld van de 18de-eeuwse Maaslandse bouwtrant, prijkt sinds 1986 op de lijst van beschermde monumenten.

    In 1737 besloot de stadsraad van Tongeren een nieuw stadhuis te bouwen op het terrein van de in 1677 afgebrande lakenhal, naar een ontwerp van Pascal Barbier. Door het uitbreken van de Oostenrijkse Successieoorlog liet de afwerking van het stadhuis tot 1755 op zich wachten.

    “Het stadhuis vormt samen met de basiliek en het marktplein het hart van de oudste stad van Vlaanderen,” aldus Bourgeois. “Het restauratieproject verloopt in drie fasen: na de restauratie van het dak komen nu de gevels en het buitenschrijnwerk aan bod. In een derde en laatste fase volgt het interieur van het stadhuis. Bedoeling is dat het stadhuis nadien een ceremoniële functie krijgt.”

    Faculty of Classics, Cambridge

    Pilkington Teaching Prize 2017

    The Faculty congratulates Dr Ingo Gildenhard, who has been awarded one of the University's Pilkington Prizes in recognition of the outstanding quality of his teaching.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Revue de presse égyptienne

    Revue de presse égyptienne
    Revue de presse égyptienne compilée régulièrement à partir du Bulletin d’Information Archéologique (BIA) qui paraît sous le double parrainage de l’IFAO et de la chaire « Civilisation pharaonique : archéologie, philologie et histoire » du Collège de France sur le site :
    Revue mise à jour le 16 février 2017.

    I - Recherches et découvertes archéologiques

    II - Restauration, préservation

    III - Musées

    IV - Expositions archéologiques

    V - Thèmes généraux

    I - Recherches et découvertes archéologiques


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 9 nov 16 : 20 années de recherches sous-marines…
    La ville d’Alexandrie fête cette semaine la fondation du département d’archéologie sous-marine créé en 1996. Retour sur la création de ce département qui relève du ministère des Antiquités, et passage en revue de ses plus belles découvertes. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 9 nov 16 : Ibrâhîm Darwîsh : Les pièces que nous avons ressorties des eaux ne représentent que 2 % du trésor archéologique sous-marin…
    3 questions à Ibrâhîm Darwîsh, premier directeur du département d’archéologie sous-marine. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 26 jan 17 : Aswân discoveries…
    New discoveries in the Gabal al-Silsila area of Aswân have changed perceptions of this ancient Egyptian quarry, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 10 nov 16 : Aswân: The unfinished obelisk…
    New discoveries are being made in Aswân in Upper Egypt, one of the country’s most romantic destinations, writes Zâhî Hawwâs. Read Full Story…

    Barque de Chéops

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 18 jan 17 : Les barques solaires n’ont pas dit leur dernier mot…
    De nouvelles planches en bois appartenant à la seconde barque solaire du roi Chéops révèlent de nouveaux secrets sur la construction des embarcations au temps des pharaons. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 18 jan 17 : Barque solaire ou funéraire ?…
    Depuis la découverte de la première barque solaire de Chéops en 1954, les archéologues débattent sur la valeur et la fonction de ces objets de culte. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 1er fév 17 : Christophe Thiers : La préservation des monuments de Karnak est au cœur de notre préoccupation…
    Entretien avec Christophe Thiers, directeur du Centre Franco-Égyptien des Études des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK), qui fait le point sur l’œuvre du Centre. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 30 nov 16 : Découverte en série…
    Au cours des deux dernières semaines, plusieurs monuments importants ont été mis au jour dans les régions d’Abydos, de Louqsor et d’Aswân. Retour sur ces découvertes archéologiques d’une grande portée. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 24 nov 16 : New discoveries in Upper Egypt…
    Three major discoveries were recently made in Suhâg, Luxor and Aswân in Upper Egypt, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 9 fév 17 : Necropolis finds in Luxor…
    The discovery of a Ramesside-era scribal tomb in the Al-Khokha area of Luxor shows that this necropolis could contain more tombs from the same period. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 8 fév 17 : L’époque ramesside révèle ses secrets…
    Une tombe remontant à la XVIIIe dynastie pharaonique vient d’être mise au jour dans la région d’Al-Khokha, près de Louqsor en Haute-Égypte. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 15 déc 16 : New discoveries in Luxor…
    New discoveries in the Temple of Amenhotep III and an exhibition of other important finds are marking the anniversary of the Luxor Museum, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 5 oct 16 : Ramsès II se dévoile petit à petit…
    La mission archéologique égypto-allemande, opérant sur le site de Matariya au nord-est du Caire et dirigée par Dietrich Raue, a découvert de nouvelles preuves qui peuvent conduire à un temple du roi Ramsès II, 3e pharaon de la XIXe dynastie (1279-1213 av. J.-C.). Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 14 déc 16 : L’héritage fiscal byzantin…
    Une collection de papyri révèle l’influence de l’Empire byzantin sur le système fiscal arabe et égyptien en particulier. Focus. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 14 déc 16 : Le trésor des papyri arabes…
    Les papyri arabes retrouvés en Égypte sont un matériel précieux pour les archéologues et historiens du monde entier, qui continuent à les étudier avec passion. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 15 fév 17 : Les secrets de Pi-Ramsès…
    La mission archéologique allemande du Musée Roemer et Pelizaeus d’Hildesheim a mis au jour un ensemble de bâtiments dans le Delta, à Pi-Ramsès (actuelle Qantir). Lire la suite…

    Pyramide de Chéops

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 26 oct 16 : La grande énigme de la pyramide de Chéops…
    La mission Scan Pyramids a annoncé, jeudi 13 octobre, la découverte de deux cavités dans la grande pyramide de Chéops. Une annonce qui soulève un débat dans les milieux archéologiques. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 20 oct 16 : Pyramid anomalies found…
    The ScanPyramids team has found two anomalies in the Khufu Pyramid after one year of research, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    II - Restauration, préservation

    Banî Swayf

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 13 oct 16 : Banî Swayf tombs to open…
    Two tombs and the remains of a Ptolemaic temple will soon be open to visitors near the Upper Egyptian town of Banî Swayf, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    Caire historique

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 12 jan 17 : New life for the sabil-kuttabs…
    The sabil-kuttabs of Islamic Cairo are to be converted into cultural centres for children, writes Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 1er fév 17 : Un demi-siècle de restaurations…
    Le Centre Franco-Égyptien d’Étude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK) célèbre ces jours-ci son jubilé d’or. Créé en 1967, le centre a pour mission d’étudier et de restaurer les temples réaménagés par les pharaons successifs. Lire la suite…

    Complexe Qalâwwûn

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 14 déc 16 : Qalâwwûn désormais hors de danger…
    Le ministère des Antiquités a réussi à protéger le complexe mamelouk de Qalâwwûn, situé dans Le Caire historique, d’une montée anormale des eaux souterraines. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 4 jan 17 : Ahmad al-Nimr : Nous suivons les critères internationaux établis par l’Unesco…
    Ahmad al-Nimr, superviseur général de l’enregistrement des monuments coptes au ministère des Antiquités, explique les étapes à suivre pour la valorisation de ce patrimoine. Entretien. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 7 déc 16 : À la rescousse du patrimoine menacé par les guerres…
    À l’initiative de la France et des Émirats, une conférence internationale sur le patrimoine en péril dans les régions de conflit armé s’est tenue les 2 et 3 décembre dernier à Abu-Dhabi. Plusieurs décisions importantes ont été prises. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 26 oct 16 : Des activités sportives au service du patrimoine…
    Il est 7h du matin. Près de 2 000 personnes en tenue sportive se trouvent devant la célèbre basilique de la Vierge à Héliopolis pour participer à la « course patrimoniale d’Héliopolis ». Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 26 oct 16 : 5 gouvernorats, 1 association…
    Les ONG de cinq gouvernorats se sont regroupées en une seule association pour préserver la richesse patrimoniale de l’Égypte. Lire la suite…

    Église al-Butrusiyya

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 4 jan 17 : Al-Botrossiya retrouve son lustre…
    Après une restauration en un temps record suite à l’attaque terroriste du 11 décembre dernier, la messe du nouvel an a pu être célébrée à l’église Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul. Lire la suite…

    Mer Rouge

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 12 oct 16 : Le phare Eiffel, déclaré patrimoine national…
    Le comité du ministère égyptien des Antiquités vient d’inscrire le phare Eiffel, sur la mer Rouge, sur la liste du secteur des monuments islamiques égyptiens. Lire la suite…

    Mosquée al-Tunbugha al-Mardânî

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 27 oct 16 : Mosque restoration begins…
    Restoration work on the al-Tunbugha al-Mardânî Mosque in Cairo is to begin at the end of October, Nevine El-Aref reports. Read Full Story…

    Parlement égyptien

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 19 oct 16 : Des joyaux architecturaux…
    Les bâtiments du parlement sont construits dans le style raffiné de la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle et la première moitié du XXe siècle. Ils sont enregistrés comme monuments à conserver par le Conseil suprême des antiquités. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 23 nov 16 : Une collaboration exemplaire…
    Depuis plus de vingt ans, des équipes franco-égyptiennes travaillent main dans la main pour mettre au jour et restaurer le patrimoine exceptionnel de la rive ouest de Thèbes. Des efforts récompensés par de nombreuses découvertes. Focus. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 1er déc 16 : Suhâg under development…
    A programme has been put in place to preserve and develop the monumental sites of the Upper Egyptian governorate of Suhâg, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    Temple de Karnak

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 26 oct 16 : La chapelle de Thoutmosis III retrouve sa splendeur…
    Après de longues années de restauration, la chapelle de Thoutmosis III au temple de Karnak est finalement à nouveau rouverte aux visiteurs. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 9 fév 17 : UNESCO report sent…
    A report on the condition of the World Heritage Sites of the St Abu Mena Monastery and the Memphis Necropolis has been sent to UNESCO in Paris. Read Full Story…

    Wâdî al-Natrûn

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 4 jan 17 : L’art copte sous toutes ses formes…
    Les découvertes de la mission hollandaise en charge des restaurations de l’église de la Vierge du monastère al-Souriane n’en finissent pas. Explications. Lire la suite…

    III - Musées


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 9 nov 16 : Le musée sous-marin, pour quand ?…
    La construction d’un musée sous-marin est un rêve et un besoin urgent, afin de ressortir les antiquités sous-marines englouties. Lire la suite…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 16 nov 16 : Sha‘bân ‘Abd al-Gawwâd : Nous avons voulu adresser un message au monde entier…
    Après la vente par le Musée d’art de Toledo aux États-Unis de pièces d’antiquités égyptiennes, l’Égypte a suspendu toute coopération avec cette institution. Explications de Sha‘bân ‘Abd al-Gawwâd, directeur général du département des antiquités restituées. Lire la suite…

    Grand Musée Égyptien

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 11 jan 17 : Un futur complexe pharaonique…
    Le Nouveau Grand Musée égyptien est supposé être inauguré dans un an. Le chantier est en ébullition, les travaux vont bon train avec en parallèle la restauration de nombreux anciens objets. Visite dans les coulisses. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 15 déc 16 : GEM design awarded…
    A journey towards ancient Egyptian culture will be the main theme of the Grand Egyptian Museum’s exhibition design, writes Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 27 oct 16 : Work on the GEM continues…
    A soft loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency will enable construction work on the Grand Egyptian Museum to continue, writes Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    Musée Copte

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 9 fév 17 : Martyrs at the museum…
    An exhibition commemorating Egyptian martyrs was inaugurated at Cairo’s Coptic Museum earlier this week. Read Full Story…

    Musée d'Art islamique

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 25 jan 17 : Le musée d’Art islamique fait peau neuve…
    Le musée d’Art islamique a été inauguré la semaine dernière par le président de la République, après trois ans de fermeture, suite à l’attentat terroriste du 24 janvier 2014 qui l’avait endommagé. Après un long travail de restauration et une nouvelle muséographie, il rouvre ses portes aux visiteurs. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 25 jan 17 : Hamdî ‘Abd al-Mun‘im : 95 % des pièces endommagées ont retrouvé leur splendeur…
    Hamdî ‘Abd al-Mun‘im, chef des laboratoires de restauration du musée d’Art islamique, revient sur les efforts visant à sauver les pièces d’antiquité gravement endommagées par l’explosion du 24 janvier 2014. Entretien. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 19 jan 17 : Islamic Museum to reopen…
    The Museum of Islamic Art, damaged by a car bomb in 2014, will soon once again light up the Bab Al-Khalq district of downtown Cairo. Read Full Story…

    Musée de Louqsor

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 23 nov 16 : 25 ans de coopération archéologique…
    Le Musée de Louqsor accueille une exposition exceptionnelle pour célébrer les 25 ans de coopération archéologique franco-égyptienne au Ramesseum. Un événement qui réunit experts, professeurs et amateurs du 4 novembre au 4 décembre. Lire la suite…

    Musée Égyptien

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 1er déc 16 : Adventures in the Egyptian Museum…
    What lies hidden in the basement maze of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, asks Zâhî Hawwâs. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 24 nov 16 : Happy birthday to you!…
    The Egyptian Museum in Tahrîr Square celebrated its 114th birthday this week with a gala ceremony in its garden, Nevine El-Aref reports. Read Full Story…

    Musée Gamâl ‘Abd al-Nâsir

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 6 oct 16 : Nasser Museum opens…
    The long-awaited Gamal Abdel-Nasser Museum was finally opened to the public last week, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 5 oct 16 : Abdel-Nasser honoré chez lui…
    Le président Abdel-Fattah Al-Sissi a inauguré cette semaine le musée Gamal Abdel-Nasser. Un musée qui retrace la vie du leader mais aussi une importante tranche de l’histoire de l’Égypte et du monde arabe. Lire la suite…

    Musée Kom Ushîm

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 16 nov 16 : Kom Ushîm enfin inauguré…
    La région de Karânîs au Fayyûm a témoigné cette semaine de l’inauguration du musée de Kom Ushîm, fermé depuis 10 ans. Un centre de visiteurs et un musée en plein air ont également été ouverts au public. Lire la suite…

    Musée Kom Ûshîm

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 10 nov 16 : Openings in Fayyûm…
    The Kom Ûshîm Museum has been reopened after 10 years of closure and the Karânîs archaeological site developed in Fayyûm, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    Musée Manyal

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 26 jan 17 : Hunting Museum reopens…
    After a decade of closure, the Hunting Museum in Manyal Palace is to be reopened soon, writes Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    Musée national de la Civilisation égyptienne

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 16 fév 17 : The NMEC opens in Cairo…
    A temporary exhibition on the development of Egyptian crafts through the ages is marking the soft opening of the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Cairo. Read Full Story…

    Musée parlementaire

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 19 oct 16 : Le Musée parlementaire : Témoin d’un passé riche en péripéties…
    Situé au cœur du conseil des députés, le Musée parlementaire retrace la grande histoire du parlement égyptien. Visite guidée. Lire la suite…

    IV - Expositions archéologiques


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 19 jan 17 : Pyramids treasure in Toyama…
    Nevine El-Aref enjoys a trip back to the age of the pyramid builders in the Japanese city of Toyama. Read Full Story…

    Musée Copte

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 15 fév 17 : Célébrer les « Martyrs » au Musée Copte…
    Intitulée Martyrs de l’Égypte, une exposition au Musée Copte rend hommage aux martyrs égyptiens à travers les siècles en mettant l’accent sur les coptes qui ont été persécutés par les Romains au début de l’ère chrétienne. L’exposition vient d’être inaugurée pour 18 jours, elle prendra fin le 20 février. Lire la suite…

    Musée de Louqsor

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 13 oct 16 : Paintings on display…
    Paintings of al-Qurna Village have been put on display at the Luxor Museum in Upper Egypt, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…

    Musée de Suez

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 9 nov 16 : Suez l’islamique…
    À l’occasion de la journée de la ville de Suez, le 24 octobre, le musée de la ville a organisé une exposition sur les trésors islamiques de la ville. Visite guidée. Lire la suite…

    Musée Égyptien

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 15 fév 17 : L’Égypte, berceau des religions…
    Deux grandes expositions se tiennent actuellement au Musée Égyptien et au Musée Copte. Les pièces choisies relatent l’histoire des religions à travers les différentes étapes de la civilisation égyptienne. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 7 déc 16 : Une exposition doublée d’un hommage…
    Le Musée égyptien du Caire accueille une exposition exceptionnelle regroupant des pièces antiques issues de la contrebande. Il s’agit au passage de saluer les efforts des unités de lutte contre le trafic d’antiquités. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 30 nov 16 : L’héritage de Silîm Hasan au Musée Égyptien…
    L’œuvre complète du célèbre égyptologue Silîm Hasan a été le thème d’une exposition tenue cette semaine au Musée Égyptien. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 9 nov 16 : Le roi enfant accueille les visiteurs du Musée du Caire…
    Le Musée égyptien du Caire célèbre, le mois de novembre, le 94e anniversaire de la découverte de la tombe du jeune pharaon, Toutankhamon. Le musée expose à l’entrée cinq pièces de la magnifique collection en or du jeune roi. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 12 oct 16 : Les militaires de l’antiquité…
    Le Musée Égyptien commémore la victoire du 6 Octobre 1973, en organisant une exposition temporaire qui retrace l’évolution de l’armée égyptienne à travers les siècles. Lire la suite…

    Queens of The Nile

    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 7 déc 16 : Les reines du Nil aux Pays-Bas…
    L’Égypte est présente avec plus de 300 pièces antiques à l’exposition « Les Reines du Nil » au Musée national hollandais, à Amsterdam. L’exposition est ouverte jusqu’en avril 2017. Lire la suite…

    V - Thèmes généraux


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 8 déc 16 : New fund for heritage…
    The creation of a US$100 million international fund to safeguard endangered cultural heritage in areas of armed conflict was one main outcome of this week’s Abu Dhabi Conference, writes Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 13 oct 16 : Aga Khan memorandum signed…
    EGYPT’s Ministry of Antiquities signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) last week that is intended to broaden institutional engagements through joint ventures and exchange programmes in the field of museums and archaeology, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 8 fév 17 : Vivre avec les pharaons…
    Le Centre pour les enfants de la civilisation et la créativité accueille les familles pendant les vacances de la mi-année, une invitation à mieux connaître l’histoire et le patrimoine égyptiens. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 8 fév 17 : Ossama Abdel-Wareth : J’espère que ce centre permettra à des jeunes de découvrir leur vocation…
    Pour l’égyptologue Ossama Abdel-Wareth, nouveau directeur du Centre pour les enfants de la civilisation et la créativité, l’objectif de cet établissement est d’éveiller la conscience patrimoniale chez les plus jeunes. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 26 jan 17 : Archaeology, my love…
    Young people and others often ask me how I became an archaeologist, writes Zâhî Hawwâs. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 19 jan 17 : Naguib Mahfouz and ancient Egypt…
    The Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz often wrote about ancient Egypt throughout his long and distinguished career. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 30 nov 16 : Excursion dans une époque lointaine…
    Le Centre de documentation du patrimoine culturel et naturel (Cultnat) vient de faire une reconstitution numérique de la chaussée du complexe funéraire du roi Wanis, dernier souverain de la Ve dynastie. Un travail qui vaut le détour. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 10 nov 16 : Cultural feast in Luxor…
    The Upper Egyptian city of Luxor saw a feast of cultural heritage events this week. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 27 oct 16 : Sunshine for Ramses II in Aswan…
    Dignitaries, tourists and journalists watched the sun’s rays strike the face of Ramses II at the Abu Simbel Temples at Aswân, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 27 oct 16 : A man we loved and lost…
    Zâhî Hawwâs remembers the late Egyptian writer Anis Mansour and his sometimes unsung expertise in Egyptology. Read Full Story…

    In Memoriam

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 12 jan 17 : Mistress of the Cairo Museum. Obituary: May Trad (1930-2016)…
    “Mistress of the Cairo Museum” May Trad passed away in December 2016 in Lebanon. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 24 nov 16 : Obituary: Father of Egyptian archaeologists ‘Abd al-Halîm Nûr al-Dîn (1943-2016)…
    Muhammad ‘Abd al-Halîm Nûr al-Dîn, a pioneer in Egyptology, died Wednesday 16 November. Read Full Story…

    Pillage archéologique

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 5 jan 17 : Mosque lamps stolen…
    Six Islamic lamps out of the 15 that decorate the tombs of the former Egyptian royal family in the al-Rifâ‘î Mosque in Cairo have been stolen, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…


    Al-Ahram Hebdo du 11 jan 17 : 100 ans d’archéologie en images…
    Un ouvrage retraçant un siècle d’archéologie franco-égyptienne vient de paraître. Il regroupe 184 photographies d’une grande valeur historique et esthétique. Lire la suite…

    Restitutions archéologiques

    Al-Ahram Weekly du 12 jan 17 : The great Oxford debate…
    A recent Oxford Union debate was a further step towards the return of Egypt’s stolen cultural artefacts from abroad, writes Zâhî Hawwâs. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Hebdo du 14 déc 16 : Genève rend une stèle appartenant à l’Égypte…
    Le Parquet de Genève a décidé de rendre à l’Égypte une stèle volée il y a trente ans dans le temple de Bahbît al-Hagar, bâti durant l’Antiquité dans le delta du Nil, à côté de la ville de Mansûra. Lire la suite…Al-Ahram Weekly du 8 déc 16 : A historic agreement…
    The United States and Egypt signed a historic agreement this week aimed at thwarting the trafficking of antiquities, with artefacts being recovered from the US, Switzerland and the UAE, writes Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…Al-Ahram Weekly du 24 nov 16 : Repatriation wins the debate…
    Supporters of the repatriation of Arab artefacts acquired under colonial rule won a debate held at Oxford University last week, reports Nevine El-Aref. Read Full Story…


    Al-Ahram Weekly du 16 fév 17 : A visit by UNESCO’s chief…
    UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova is in Egypt on an official visit. Al-Ahram Weekly reviews her schedule. Read Full Story…

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

    Let’s not shout at the Vatican library for digitising microfilms

    The Vatican library digitisation has made a bit of a left turn lately, and I’ve certainly complained about it, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  Instead of the high quality brand new full colour photographs, they’ve started to digitise vast numbers of rather rubbish quality microfilms.

    Today a correspondent from the library gently took me to task for this, and I admit that I accept the reproof.

    It’s easy for us to forget that the Vatican state has no tax base.  The whole enterprise relies upon the generosity of people who do not live there.  We are accustomed to thinking of the mighty Roman Catholic Church as a rich institution, and so it is; but mostly in things like the roof of the Sistine chapel, which are actually a responsibility and a drain on resources, rather than a source of profit.

    Among this, the digitisation of the Vatican manuscripts is a mighty expense.  It has been paid for by donations, notably from the Polonsky Foundation, to whom the world now owes a huge debt.  But the digitisation can only go forward with the support of donations.

    What the Vatican library has chosen to do, in the meantime, is to make as much of its manuscript collection available as possible.  They may not be able to afford to rephotograph everything just yet.  But they can afford to scan the microfilms, for which they used to charge a pretty sum – so they are being generous here – and make these available online for free to us all.

    To their credit, this is what they have chosen to do.  I think we should applaud, not criticise.  Would that other libraries, like the British Library, or the Bodleian, would do the same.  It does give us some access to the manuscripts right now.

    Well done, the Vatican Library.  They have lost a revenue stream, in order to benefit us all.  We should be grateful.

    If you, reading this, are a wealthy man, please consider whether you could do anything so easily beneficial to scholarship as to sponsor the digitisation of the Vatican library.  If you are an ordinary mortal, like myself, please consider donating at the link here.

    A close up of the Meta Sudans from 1910

    The invaluable Roma Ieri Oggi site continues to upload photographs of old Rome, including photographs of vanished sites like the ancient fountain, the Meta Sudans.  A new one appeared a couple of days ago here.  It’s a close-up of the Meta Sudans, although I had to disable my anti-virus software (Kaspersky) in order to view it.  It seems that the site owner is very keen to monetise his site, and I suppose we cannot blame him for that.

    Here’s the image anyway:

    Meta Sudans, ca. 1910. Via Roma Ieri Oggi.

    I wondered if we adjusted the light levels, whether we might get a little more; but sadly darkness is darkness.  Worth a try tho:

    Wonderful to see these old photographs, tho. More! Note to non-Italian readers: remember that you can always view the Roma Ieri Oggi site using the Chrome browser, with built-in translation as you click. Google’s translator works really very well for Italian to English. So don’t be shy about visiting Roma Ieri Oggi.

    A new work by Apuleius!

    This story passed me by completely, until the excellent J.-B. Piggin tweeted about it, as part of his lists of Vatican manuscripts coming online.  Justin Stover has more here.

    In 1949, the historian of philosophy Raymond Klibansky made a dramatic announcement to the British Academy: a new Latin philosophical text dating from antiquity, a Summarium librorum Platonis, had been discovered in a manuscript of the Vatican (although he did not disclose its shelfmark). During the remaining fifty-six years of his life, until his death in 2005, his promised edition never appeared (Proceedings 1949).

    The work was transmitted with the other works of Apuleius, where it was treated as book 3 of De Platone, hitherto presumed lost.

    Piggin notes (after Justin Stover added a comment) that Klibansky did reveal the shelfmark in 1993, in his catalogue of the manuscripts of Apuleius’ philosophical works, with Frank Regen, Die Handschriften der philosophischen Werke des Apuleius.

    The manuscript is in fact Vatican Reginensis Latinus 1572, online here, although only in a wretched digitised microfilm.  The online catalogue entry is here.  The Vatican catalogue describes this as a 14th century manuscript, but R.H.Rouse has identified it as one of the manuscripts of the 13th century French bibliophile, Richard de Fournival.[1] It contains works of Apuleius, plus notes.  Justin Stover has a paper online here discussing how the manuscript fits within the stemma of the philosophical works of Apuleius.[2]

    The new work begins on folio 77r (frame 78), and here’s the opening portion.  The text starts with the Quod in the third column.

    Piggin adds that

    Stover’s edition, A New Work by Apuleius: The Lost Third Book of the De Platone, has since appeared with OUP. (HT to Pieter Buellens (@LatinAristotle).)

    Furthermore, there is also a paper online here from Justin Stover and Yaron Winter, in which the proposed authorship of the work is assessed using computational linguistics.[3]

    I think we all owe a debt to Justin Stover for his work on this one.

    And if you don’t follow J.-B. Piggin’s blog, with its endless notices of Vatican manuscripts as they come online, you should.

    UPDATE: My thanks to Pieter Bullens for correcting my mistake about the date of the manuscript on twitter.  I’ve updated the reference.

    1. [1]R.H. Rouse, “Manuscripts belonging to Richard de Fournival”, Revue d’histoire de textes 3 (1974), 253-269; p.266, where it is identified as number 85 in the Biblionomia of Richard de Fournival.  Online here.
    2. [2]J. A. Stover, “Apuleius and the Codex Reginensis”, Exemplaria Classica: Journal of Classical Philology 19 (2015), 131-154.
    3. [3]J.A.Stover & Y. Winter, “Computational Authorship Verification Method Attributes a New Work to a Major 2nd Century African Author”, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 67, 2016, 239-242.

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Data, Interpretation, Publishing

    I’ve been chewing on a blog post for a few days now and it just so happens that it coincides with the third installment of Dimitri Nakassis’s Archaeological Futures series over at his blog “Aegean Prehistory.” One of his more compelling points (and one that he has made several times in his blog) is that there persists a rhetorical divide between data collection and interpretation. Data collection continues to attract a particular kind of attention that generally focuses on issues of accuracy, efficiency, and productivity. In many ways, it represents a meaningful fork from a larger discussion of methodology prompted in large part by the emergence of New Archaeology in the 1960s and 1970s. The concern is that this emphasis on data collection as digital practice fragments how we talk about archaeological knowledge production and separates collecting datas in the field from analyzing them. If you’ve read my blog and some of my recent publications, you know my critical of this: slow archaeology.    

    It is probably valuable to stress that this division between data collection and interpretation is artificial and represents a divide in how we talk about archaeological practice and not archaeological practice in the field. The most eloquent advocates for sophisticated, more accurate, and more efficient data collection methods are generally fine field archaeologists who continuously draw on embodied knowledge, best practices, and their own data to make decisions on the fly at trench side or during survey. 

    The problem, then, becomes an issue of presentation. The generic divide between archaeological methods as an area of study and the analysis and interpretation of archaeological data has fostered what appears to be a divergent interests in the field. In practice, these interests deeply intertwined, of course, but on paper (so to speak!) they are not.

    Last week, I excitedly touted the release of a digital version of our bookPyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coast Town. It’s free. Download it today

    The chief asset of the digital version (aside from it being free and digital) is that a reader can “drill down” into the archaeological data upon which our arguments are based. This data was published by Open Context on their platform and was open and free. Earlier this week, Sarah Bond, introduced the Gabii projects remarkable 3D publication to a wide audience. University of Michigan’s press published the 3D book, which retails for $150, but the data on which the book is based is available for free. In other words, publishing practice has largely followed the scholarly conversation that separated data collection (and data itself) from analysis. The analysis in these cases, will run you about $150 for Gabii, and before we released our book for free, $75. To be clear, my point here isn’t to disparage either of these efforts or Open Context or Michigan. The material reality of archaeological publishing is such that the tools, skills, and infrastructure used to publish data remains distinct from those required to publish a traditional book. As a result, these two aspect of publishing have remained separate. While one could argue that archaeological publications long separated “data” which tended to appear in the form of catalogues as either separate volumes or in separate sections, digital publishing practices have seemingly expanded that divide. 

    I’ve just started working on a pilot project to publish a 3D dataset that would require – in its current formulation – at least three and perhaps four different platforms ranging from a archaeological data publishing platform (like Open Context) to platforms best suited to publish 3D data, a portable digital version of the data and analysis that does not require a internet connection, and, perhaps, a paper version that – like we did with Mobilizing the Past – that offers a way for a read more at ease with conventional paper publications to access the digital elements of the project. To my way of thinking, this distributed form of publishing provides someone interested in this project with multiple avenues to access the data and the analysis and interpretation.

    At the same time (and as some of my collaborators in this project have pointed out), this distributed model of publishing exacerbates the distinction between various forms of archaeological knowledge. The traditional codex (and page) represents the most familiar way to present linear arguments that move systematically from point to point to build their case. Data, however, is never as neat and linear as an argument, but the further it stands apart from the argument (whether through format, platform, or media) the less reciprocal or “entangled” the relationship between data and argument will appear. 

    So as I look toward the future of archaeology, I’m simultaneously excited about the impact of technology on how archaeology is practiced and published and completely humbled by my inability to think about how an entangled discipline that preserves both the linearity of archaeological arguments and the non-linearity of archaeological practice would appear. 

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

    Appel à communication : L‘âge du Fer ancien (Ha C–Lt A/B) en Europe Centrale, 20-22 juillet 2017, Nuremberg

    Une conférence internationale est organisée du 20 au 22 juillet 2017 sur le thème L’âge du Fer ancien (Ha C–Lt A/B) en Europe Centrale. Propositions de communications et posters à adresser avant le 20 mai 2017 à

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)


    I was delighted to find this neglected contribution by Richard Strauss to the musical treatments of biblical stories.

    Jim Davila (

    Are two elephants a fair trade for the Siloam Inscription?

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    Harari, Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah

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    More on the "Money Talks" lecture series

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    "Apocalypses" and "apocalyptic"

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    A template for the First Temple?

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    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

    A Sunken Treasure Will Appear in New York Despite Its Controversial Excavation

    Shipwreck exhibition's murky past acknowledged #newyork #asiasociety #indonesia #singapore #tangtreasures
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    Posted by Southeast Asian Archaeology

    Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    2017.02.44: Acts of Compassion in Greek Tragic Drama. Oklahoma series in classical culture, 53.

    Review of James Franklin Johnson, Acts of Compassion in Greek Tragic Drama. Oklahoma series in classical culture, 53.. Norman, OK: 2016. Pp. vi, 308. $34.95. ISBN 9780806151663.

    2017.02.43: Studi sull'Epitome di Giustino: II. Da Alessandro Magno a Filippo V di Macedonia. Contributi di storia antica, 13

    Review of Cinzia Bearzot, Franca Landucci, Studi sull'Epitome di Giustino: II. Da Alessandro Magno a Filippo V di Macedonia. Contributi di storia antica, 13. Milano: 2015. Pp. viii, 144. €18.00 (pb). ISBN 9788834331071.

    2017.02.42: Richesse et pauvreté chez les philosophes de l'Antiquité. Tradition de la pensée classique

    Review of Étienne Helmer, Richesse et pauvreté chez les philosophes de l'Antiquité. Tradition de la pensée classique. Paris: 2016. Pp. 320. €29.00. ISBN 9782711626854.

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

    Conférence au MAN sur Châteaumeillant (Cher)

    La visite des collections permanentes du musée d’Archéologie nationale est gratuite chaque premier dimanche du mois. À cette occasion, le MAN vous propose désormais de venir assister à un événement gratuit : conférence, spectacle, projection…  Vous pourrez assister à une conférence de Sophie Krausz, maître de conférences, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, UMR...

    Compitum - publications

    H. Schmalzgruber, Studien zum Bibelepos des sogenannten Cyprianus Gallus


    Hedwig Schmalzgruber, Studien zum Bibelepos des sogenannten Cyprianus Gallus. Mit einem Kommentar zu gen. 1–362, Stuttgart, 2016.

    Éditeur : Franz Steiner Verlag
    Collection : Palingenesia
    601 pages
    ISBN : 978-3-515-11596-4
    86 €

    Die Bedeutung der Bibelepik als einer Leitgattung der christlichen Spätantike ist unumstritten. Zugleich ist die philologische Erschließung des längsten erhaltenen Bibelepos in lateinischer Sprache, der sogenannten Heptateuchdichtung, ein noch weitgehend unbestelltes Feld. Diese Dichtung, deren nicht näher bekannter Autor oft als Cyprianus Gallus bezeichnet wird, ist wohl in die erste Hälfte des 5. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. zu datieren und umfasst in ihrer heute bekannten Form über 5500 Verse, in denen die ersten sieben Bücher des Alten Testaments behandelt werden. Hedwig Schmalzgruber konzentriert sich in dieser Studie auf das Buch Genesis der Heptateuchdichtung. Ihr Ziel ist es zum einen, die biblische Vorlage des Dichters und seinen erzähltechnischen Umgang mit ihr sowie sein Verhältnis zur patristischen Genesisexegese und die Rezeption poetischer Vorgänger zu untersuchen. Damit nimmt Schmalzgruber seine poetische und exegetische Leistung im Rahmen der Gattung Bibelepik in den Blick. Zum anderen erschließt ein musterhafter Kommentar der ersten großen Erzähleinheit (V. 1–362, Gen 1–9) den Text philologisch und im Hinblick auf seine theologischen Kontexte und beleuchtet die Arbeitsweise des Heptateuchdichters im Detail.


    Source : Franz Steiner Verlag

    Archaeology Magazine

    Chaco Canyon’s Matrilineal Dynasty

    Chaco Canyon Dynasty


    CHACO CANYON, NEW MEXICO—New research shows that a matrilineal dynasty may have controlled Pueblo Bonito, one of the massive masonry villages at the Ancestral Puebloan site of Chaco Canyon, reports Live Science.  A team of archaeologists and geneticists recently reanalyzed an elaborate two-layered burial crypt at the site that had been previously excavated. Such burial arrangements are rare in Puebloan cultures and the crypt is thought to have held high-ranking members of Chacoan society, who were buried there from A.D. 800 to 1120, when the site was abandoned. At the bottom of this crypt lay the graves of two men who had been buried with thousands of turquoise beads and other prestigious objects. Above them, separated by a wooden floor, were the graves of 12 people thought to have descended from the two men. A genomic study of the remains showed that nine of the people in the crypt all had identical mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from mothers, suggesting power was inherited at Chaco through the maternal line. "For the first time, we're saying that one kinship group controlled Pueblo Bonito for more than 300 years," said University of Virginia archaeologist Steve Plog, who co-led the study. "This is the best evidence of a social hierarchy in the ancient Southwest." To read about how Pueblo culture endured Spanish rule, go to “The First American Revolution.”

    Japanese Internment Camp on Oahu Excavated

    HONOLULU, HAWAII—Archaeologists are excavating an area of the Honouliuli National Monument where a Japanese internment and POW camp once stood, according to a report from NBC News. William Belcher, an archaeologist at the University of Hawaii West Oahu, and his students aim to preserve the site and map its features. In one area, they are looking for underground concrete slabs where they believe the camp’s mess hall once stood. The camp was one of more than a dozen World War II–era internment sites, and was used to detain prominent local Japanese residents and to house prisoners of war. Since Japanese people made up some 40 percent of Hawaii’s population, and many worked on plantations, only a small portion were interred at the camp. To read in-depth about underwater archaeology of the attack on Pearl Harbor, go to “December 7, 1941.”

    Ancient Children’s Footprints Uncovered in Egypt

    Egypt Pi Ramesse Child Footprints


    CAIRO, EGYPT—Children’s footprints dating back more than 3,000 years have been found at Pi-Ramesse, which was the Egyptian capital during the reign of Ramesses II (r. 1279–1213 B.C.), according to a report from Seeker. The prints were found near rare painting fragments in a mortar pit measuring around 8 by 26 feet. According to Henning Franzmeier, field director of the Qantir-Piramesse project, the footprints measure around 6 to 6.5 inches, which corresponds to an age of three to five. It is unclear whether the footprints were left by more than one child. “The differences in size are not big enough for us to clearly differentiate,” said Franzmeier. “And they are also not so well preserved that we could distinguish so far any other features of the feet.” It is also unclear why the children would have been in the area. Further excavation in the area and analysis of the footprints will be carried out in the project’s next field season. To read about another discovery in Egypt, go to “World’s Oldest Dress.”

    A Bronze Age Male Migration

    Yamnaya-Bronze-Age-TombPALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA—Science reports that a new DNA study shows males belonging to a Bronze Age culture now known as the Yamnaya had a transformative impact on the European population. Prior to the Yamnaya migration, many prehistoric Europeans were descended from Neolithic farmers who migrated to Europe from Anatolia beginning around 9,000 years ago. Some 4,000 years later, the Yamnaya, herders who had mastered horseback riding and were likely speakers of Indo-European, left the Eurasian steppe and moved west into central Europe. To investigate the ratio of men to women who participated in these two migrations, Stanford University geneticists used a new statistical method to compare DNA from 20 skeletons belonging to people who lived after the arrival of Neolithic farmers and 16 who lived just after the Yamnaya migration. They found that equal numbers of men and women took part in the Neolithic population movement, but that there were some 10 men for every woman who participated in the Yamnaya migration. The finding is consistent with the theory that the Yamnaya who moved west were largely horse-mounted male warriors. To read more about the study of prehistoric Indo-European languages, go to “Telling Tales in Proto-Indo-European.” 

    February 22, 2017

    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    GetCOO lo "Shazam dell'arte" Made in Italy

    Siete dei Turisti seriali e appassionati? Quante volte vi siete imbattuti in un quadro o un monumento e non avete trovato le informazioni che cercavate? Nessuna guida turistica in borsa e nessun cartello informativo all'orizzonte, nemmeno una piccola targhetta col nome per cercare su Google. 

    ArcheoNet BE

    Laatste kans om de opgravingen op de Markt in Oudenaarde te bezoeken

    Op zondag 26 februari organiseert SOLVA opnieuw een rondleiding op de opgravingen op de Markt in Oudenaarde. Van 13u30 tot 17u30 geven de archeologen voor de laatste keer uitleg bij de recentste ontdekkingen. Zo kwam in één van de kelders van het oude vleeshuis een bijzondere haard met mooie schouwornamenten aan het licht. Wil je meer weten over de vondsten, bezoek dan zondag de opgraving en de tentoonstelling ‘Graven onder de Markt’ in het MOU.

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

    Piranesi’s engraving of the Arco di Portogallo

    The “Arco di Portogallo” or “Arch of Portugal”, so called because it was located in the Corso in Rome near the residence of the Portugese ambassador, was demolished in 1662.  I had never heard of it, I confess, until Anna Blennow tweeted an engraving by Piranesi.  It stood near the Palazzo Fiano.  It seems to have been a late edifice, perhaps of the time of Marcus Aurelius, perhaps later.

    Let’s enjoy this image of another bit of vanished Rome.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    AKDC debuts new data visualization tool: Layer Cake

    AKDC debuts new data visualization tool: Layer Cake
    The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT has released its prototype of Layer Cake, a 3-axes mapping tool that enables users to build maps layering narrative, time, and space simultaneously. Envisioned by AKDC Program Head, Sharon C. Smith, Ph.D., the tool has become a reality thanks to the programming expertise of James Yamada (Master in Design Studies, Harvard GSD).

    Ali Asgar Alibhai (Ph.D. candidate, Harvard NELC) provided the content for the pilot project by analyzing textual sources of Ibn Jubayr’s 12th century pilgrimage from  Spain to Mecca.  The resulting map documents Ibn Jubayr’s travels temporally, geographically, and with accompanying descriptions of the cities and sites he visited.  Images and information about those cities and sites is linked to Archnet–AKDC’s globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world–to provide more context.

    While James, Ali, and Sharon continue to develop the tool and refine the interface, we welcome users to view Ibn Jubayr’s travels in Layer Cake and provide feedback for this test case.  Please send questions, comments, and suggestions to the project PI, Sharon C. Smith.

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

    From my diary

    It’s been a busy few days.  I have a few blog posts backed up, which I shall now be able to get to.   The last few days have been taken up with life stuff, and also with thinking about the post by Richard Carrier that I responded to earlier.

    Reading polemic is a tedious business, and responding to it more so.  I’m going to have to get back into the habit of declining to be involved.  None of us must spend much time on it, or it will rot our souls.  Nobody wants to hear why other people are wrong anyway.  We want to hear about enthusiasms, not hatreds.

    A friend to whom I mentioned this reminded me that, as Christians, we are called to love those who hate us.  That does apply to atheists too, tempting as it is to respond in kind.

    Once I clear the backlog, I shall return to Eutychius.

    More on the sestertius of Titus showing the Meta Sudans

    A correspondent kindly drew my attention to the following piece in the Daily Express.

    Rare Roman coin featuring early depiction of the Colosseum sells for £372,000

    AN INCREDIBLE rare Roman coin featuring one of the earliest depictions of the Colosseum has sold for £372,000 – nearly five times its estimate.

    The bronze Sestertius coin that dates back to AD81 is believed to be only one of 10 that exist today.

    Seven are in museums around the world while the other three are in private hands.

    This one, appearing in public for the first time in almost 80 years, was acquired by a wealthy British connoisseur of Roman bronze coins in 1939.

    It had remained in the late collector’s family ever since but was today sold to a European private collector through London coin dealers Dix Noonan Webb.

    A packed auction room watched on in amazement as the relic far exceeded its £80,000 estimate.

    One side of the coin features an image of the famous Colosseum in Rome, which had only just been built.

    It’s very interesting to learn that his coin is so rare.  In case they vanish from the web, I’d like to place here copies of the marvellous large photographs of the coin.  Note the depiction of the fountain, the Meta Sudans, to the left of the Colosseum, and some kind of long-vanished portico to the right.

    Words, Words, Words: A response to Richard Carrier on Feldman and Eusebius

    It’s always nice when my blog posts attract attention. I learned last week that an old post of mine, from 2013, has attracted a response from a professional atheist polemicist named Richard Carrier. In a rather excitable post here on his own blog he roundly denounces my casual remarks, and indeed myself (!), and offers a new theory of his own. A correspondent drew my attention to this, and asked me to comment.

    My original post was written after I happened to see an article by the excellent Josephus scholar Louis Feldman. This tentatively endorsed the fringe idea that Eusebius of Caesarea (fl. early 4th century) may have composed the so-called Testimonium Flavianum (TF), the rather odd passage in Josephus Antiquities 18 which mentions Christ.[1] This claim is not one that anybody has previously had much time for, and I didn’t see any purpose in rebutting it. Feldman was only summarising work by others, I felt.

    But then I saw something interesting. The article made the claim that, if you search the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database for a phrase towards the end of the TF, “And the tribe of Christians has not died out even to this day” (eis eti te nuneven/still to this day),[2] then it gives a bunch of hits in Eusebius’ works, and pretty much nowhere else.

    I do computer searches. I’m interested in Eusebius. So I did the search for the phrase, but I got only a handful of results. Disappointed, I blogged about it, added some cautions on rushing to conclusions from these kinds of matches, and thought no more about it.

    Last week I learned that, after four years, Richard Carrier has written a blog post in which he asserts rather over-enthusiastically that I simply did the search wrong – that instead I should have searched for eis eti nun; the te is just a particle, with the vague sense of “and”, and the two phrases are pretty much the same in meaning. Of course the two are indeed more or less identical in meaning.

    Carrier’s search produces splendid results. It gets 94 matches.[3] Of these, 6 are later than Eusebius; one each in six authors. The other 88 are entirely in Eusebius. In other words, practically nobody in all Greek literature ever uses the phrase other than Eusebius, if we can trust this search.  It looks like the claim that Eusebius wrote the TF is proved!

    But 88 out of 94 is not just a good result for the theory. It’s a fabulous result! In fact, it’s too good to be true. It’s like a Soviet election result with 99% voting for the official candidate. The number is supposed to produce confidence in the result, and does the opposite. It’s a sign that we need to sanity-check what we are doing.

    Doing so produces instant discomfort. Surely “even to this day” is a trivial phrase? Are we really saying that Eusebius invented something as obvious as that? It seems unlikely. Imagine a Greek, complaining about his neighbour, as man has done since time immemorial. Would he not say, “How long has this been a problem?” “Oh it started when we landed, and it has continued even to this day.” How else would you express that idea?[4]

    In fact, if we look at little further we find that the idea in rather similar words is indeed kicking around well before Eusebius, six centuries earlier, in the third century BC.   Apollonius Rhodius uses the idea in his Argonautica. He uses it to tie together past and present, in precisely the way that Eusebius does. [5]   The historian Polybius uses it, the poet Callimachus uses it. Nobody in our corpus uses it like Eusebius does; but then nobody is writing quite the kinds of works that Eusebius is.

    So why didn’t these authors appear in the results, when we do the search? Because these rely on searching for versions of eiseti nun, which differs only by a word-division and means much the same thing.[6] We can omit te; we can replace it with the stronger equivalent kai; we can run eis and eti together, especially when we know that Greek manuscripts did not feature word division.  Any claim that depends on the presence of a space in the text is a pretty fragile one.

    In fact there are quite a number of things we can do to twiddle the search, once we start thinking about it. Let’s just give the numbers from the TLG for a few versions of this search string, all of which mean much the same:

    • eis eti te nun – 4 hits. Josephus (1 hit), Eusebius (3 hits).
    • eiseti te nun – 7 hits. Eusebius (4), Sozomen (2), Oecumenius (1).
    • eis eti nun – 94 hits. 88 are from works of Eusebius, and the other 6 are later: Didymus the Blind (d.398) On Genesis, Procopius of Gaza (5th c.) Commentary on Isaiah, Stobaeus (6th c.), Chronicon Paschale (6th c.) and two 12th century Byzantine writers.
    • eiseti nun – 142 hits. Mostly pre-Eusebius; 7 hits in Apollonius Rhodius (3rd c. BC), Timaeus Historicus (3rd c. BC), Polybius (2nd c. BC), Philo (1st c. AD), Aelius Aristides (2nd c. AD), Lucian (2nd c.), Oppian (2nd c.), Clement of Alexandria (ca. 200), and others.  But Eusebius (63 hits) and Sozomen (41 hits) do appear.
    • eis eti kai nun – 23 hits. 2 hits from Porphyry (3rd c.) from different works. Some from Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, and then Byzantine writers.
    • eiseti kai nun – 110 hits. Callimachus (3rd c. BC), Herennius Philo (ca. 100 AD), Lucian, the Book of Jubilees (ca. 150 BC), Eusebius (56 hits) – especially in the commentaries on Isaiah and Psalms – Eutropius, Chrysostom, Palladius, and Byzantine writers.  Also an LXX variant reading for Isaiah 9:6 (given by Eusebius).

    All of these do show significant use by Eusebius. Some of these show pre-Eusebian use; others don’t.

    In fact Carrier is quite well aware of the pre-Eusebian results, which he proceeds to mention briefly in a paragraph that reads as if it was tacked on afterwards.   But it’s terrible stuff. Clement of Alexandria is just a Christian, so he doesn’t count (?!).  Polybius doesn’t count because no other historical writer after him uses this phrase.  In fact Carrier has changed his argument; from “only Eusebius uses this, so it proves that Eusebius forged the TF” – a defensible argument, if wrong – to “Eusebius uses this more than anyone, so that proves that he forged the TF”.  Which, of course, it does not.  Carrier has defeated himself.[7]

    Here’s the rub; the success or failure of our search comes to depend on us, on our judgement, on our ingenuity, on our knowledge of Greek.   This subjectivity was precisely why, in my first blog post, I never proceeded beyond the exact match.

    There are further possible issues with this method. Only 1% of Greek literature has survived. Much of that is biased towards technical, classical or ecclesiastical writings, those that were useful to copyists in the Dark Ages. The TLG contains only a portion of that 1%. Someone who knew more about computational linguistics than I do could easily point out more problems.

    The database itself is not “clean”;[8] it is comprised of texts edited by many different editors, whose choices from the manuscript tradition will reflect their preferences. One example of this may be found in searching outside the TLG for eis eti nun. The TLG gives no hits before Eusebius. But I find that the 1831 R. Klotz edition of Clement of Alexandria, Protrepicus, has three hits for it.[9] In the TLG, based on the GCS edition, eis eti is replaced by eiseti. There is no indication in the apparatus as to why. The results of each database search are therefore a reflection of editorial choices.

    Stylistic analysis, whether manual or automated, can be something of a trap. It’s terribly easy to forget how little we really know about the texts before us, the language which none of us speak as a native and which changes considerably over the thousand years before us, the vagaries of editors, the influence of ammanuenses and copyists, and of the non-literary spoken language, which surrounds the literary text like a warm bath at every instant but is almost invisible to us.

    To sum up, we saw that a search for the exact phrase does not confirm Carrier’s claim. A search for revised phrases which mean the same does not confirm the claim either.  Attempts to dodge this simply destroy the argument.

    *   *   *   *

    Now let’s go back to where we started. The argument in Feldman’s article was that the use of this phrase proved that Eusebius wrote the TF.   We don’t want any implicit assumptions here, so let’s lay the argument out explicitly.

    The claim is: (1) we have no evidence that eis eti te nun (etc) was used in Greek literature before Eusebius; (2) the search proves that Eusebius uses it extensively; therefore (3) any use of the term proves that Eusebius composed that bit of text; and (4) the TF as found in the Church History of Eusebius does contain it; so (5) Eusebius composed the TF.

    The second point is correct. Eusebius does use the eis eti nun phrase extensively, once or twice in every book of the Church History, and elsewhere.

    But the first point is dodgy, and so is the third. We have seen that in fact we do have evidence of its use for 6 centuries before Eusebius.

    But let us suppose for a moment that the TLG searches did in fact show, as Carrier contended (before he discovered otherwise), that nobody used eis eti nun before Eusebius. The argument still is flawed. For this argument is an argument from silence – that we have no evidence that anyone else … so it must have been him. Arguments from silence are not valid.

    The archaeologists never tire of telling us that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is the first thing that we must remember. And we’re searching only a subset of 1% of Greek literature, as we saw.  According to Carrier this means that we don’t have any evidence of use before Eusebius … very well. But even then we don’t have all the evidence. We have only a fraction of it.

    In conclusion, the claim that examining the use of eis eti nun proves that Eusebius composed the TF is not correct. The claim itself seems to involve an argument from silence. And the silence itself can only be sustained by ignoring the exact matches, using a related search, and then finding reasons to ignore other related searches.

    1. [1]There is another brief mention in Ant. 20 which also does so.
    2. [2]I have transliterated the Greek so that general readers can follow along.
    3. [3]This from a search of the TLG-E disk; I am currently unable to access the online system.
    4. [4]In fact it would be rather interesting to know how this was expressed in the classical period, as eis eti nun does not seem to be classical.
    5. [5]M.P. Cuypers, “Apollonius of Rhodes”, In: Irene J. F. De Jong, René Nünlist, Angus M. Bowie, “Narrators, Narratees, and Narratives in Ancient Greek Literature: Studies in Ancient Greek Narrative”, vol. 1. Brill, 2004, p.56 and n.24.
    6. [6]My thanks to Ken Olson for pointing this out in a comment on my original post. Dr O. is clearly no bigot, for he did so despite this information working against the interest of his theory: clearly a gentleman and a scholar.
    7. [7]Full disclosure: I wrote the majority of this post without Carrier’s post before me, so I did not remember his change of mind at this point.
    8. [8]See further M. Eder, “Mind your corpus: systematic errors in authorship attribution”, Literary and Linguistic Computing 28, 2013, 603-14.
    9. [9]Page 9 line 29, p.12  l.17, p.18 l.16. The first of these reads “καταδουλοῦται καὶ αΐκίζεται εἰς ἔτι νῦν τοιὶς άνθρώπους,”

    Ancient Peoples

    Maitreya, c. 200sPakistan, Gandhara, Kushan Period (1st...

    Maitreya, c. 200s

    Pakistan, Gandhara, Kushan Period (1st century-320 AD)

    The water bottle in his left hand indicates that this figure depicts the bodhisattva Maitreya. It is thought that Maitreya will reach enlightenment after the teachings of the Buddha have been forgotten, in order to spread the teachings again.

    Cleveland Museum of Art

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Wall Map now Available: Asia Minor in the Second Century C.E.

    Wall Map now Available: Asia Minor in the Second Century C.E.
    After several years of preparation, AWMC’s newest wall map is now available online.  This map is a successor to that of J.G.C. Anderson (1903) and its partial revision by W.M. Calder and G.E. Bean (1958).  It was displayed in draft at the ‘Roads and Routes in Anatolia’ conference organized by the British Institute at Ankara (March 2014).  It was then revised with a view to being issued with the volume planned to follow that meeting in due course.  Meantime the Center is now making the map available online.

    The map may be downloaded from Dropbox at this link:

    This work is licensed under CC-by-4.0

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    BREAKING NEWS: 7 Earth-Sized Planets in Trappist-1 System, 3 in Habitable Zone!

    NASA just announced that, using the Spitzer Telescope, they have detected a total of seven earth-like planets orbiting the star Trappist-1, and three of them lie in the habitable zone in which liquid water can exist. We can be sure that this system is going to be getting a lot of research attention in coming years. [Read More...]

    Elijah for In-Choir-Ing Minds

    Details in the image above about an upcoming event in Indianapolis, with discussion and some musical foretastes of the upcoming performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The work is fascinating for those interested in the intersection of the Bible and music, from its dramatic beginning with Elijah’s curse, to its ending which incorporates a range of scripture. [Read More...]

    Ancient World Mapping Center

    Wall Map now Available: Asia Minor in the Second Century C.E.

    After several years of preparation, AWMC’s newest wall map is now available online.  This map is a successor to that of J.G.C. Anderson (1903) and its partial revision by W.M. Calder and G.E. Bean (1958).  It was displayed in draft at the ‘Roads and Routes in Anatolia’ conference organized by the British Institute at Ankara (March 2014).  It was then revised with a view to being issued with the volume planned to follow that meeting in due course.  Meantime the Center is now making the map available online.

    For a link to download the map, please email

    This work is licensed under CC-by-4.0


    The Heroic Age

    Architectural Representation in the Middle Ages

    An interdisciplinary conference to be held on 7th–8th April at University College, Oxford.  Registration is open until 22 March.

    This is a conference covering all aspects of architectural representation, understood broadly to encompass actual, symbolic, or imaginary architectural features, whether still standing today, observable in the archaeological record, or surviving only through depiction in literature or art.  The conference will feature papers from across the spectrum of academic disciplines, including literature, history, art, theology, and archaeology. 

    Keynote speakers:
    • Robert Bork of the University of Iowa
    • Christiania Whitehead of the University of Warwick

    A provisional programme, links to the registration page, and further information are available on the conference website:

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Priceless 18th century icon seized in car trunk in Turkey’s Adana

    Police in the Mediterranean province of Adana seized on Feb. 22 an 18th century icon that has one of...

    The Archaeology News Network

    A closer look at the eye’s sharp vision spot

    Vision scientists have uncovered some of the reasons behind the unusual perceptual properties of the eye's fovea. Only humans and other primates have this dimple-like structure in their retinas. It is responsible for visual experiences that are rich in colorful spatial detail. Found only in the retinas of humans and other primates, the fovea is responsible for visual experiences  that are rich in colorful, spatial detail [Credit:...

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

    ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

    How to Use Photography to Document Ancient Sites and Why It’s Important

    Archaeological excavation photography (AEP) is a means of documentation vital to both the historical and archaeological record. [...]

    The post How to Use Photography to Document Ancient Sites and Why It’s Important appeared first on The ASOR Blog.

    Turkish Archaeological News

    Antioch of Pisidia

    Antioch of Pisidia is one of these archaeological sites that enchant visitors with their glorious past. At the same time, Antiochia has a quiet and peaceful ambience, free of the hustle and bustle, characteristic of more famous ancient cities of Asia Minor, such as Ephesus. The extensive ruins of the ancient city are located at an altitude of over a thousand meters above sea level, near the modern town of Yalvaç. Travellers interested in the geography of the New Testament often visit Antioch as a place closely associated with the missionary activity of Saint Paul.

    St. Paul Church in Antioch of Pisidia

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    The Church of the Force

    IO9 highlighted how the new Star Wars novel Aftermath: Empire’s End has offered a religious justification for the way Obi-Wan lied to Luke in A New Hope. There a passage is read in the Church of the Force from the Journal of the Whills which says: The truth in our soul Is that nothing is true. [Read More...]

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Call for Papers: The Medieval Countryside

    Years ago, Kostis Kourelis and I collaborated with a group of interested archaeologists of the Medieval Mediterranean to create an Archaeological Institute of American Interest Group. Since that time, the members of that group have hosted panels at the annual AIA meetings, collaborated on edited volumes, and served as a center of gravity for promoting Medieval archaeology.  

    Last year, they hosted two panels dedicated to the archaeology of abandoned villages and they were really good. 

    This year, they’ve proposed a panel on the Medieval Countryside. Here is the information:

    Call for Papers

    The Medieval Countryside: An Archaeological Perspective

    Proposed Colloquium Session for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Boston, MA, January 4-7, 2018

    Organizer: Effie Athanassopoulos on behalf of the AIA Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group

    The proposed colloquium will examine the contribution of archaeology to our broader understanding of the medieval period in Greece and the Aegean region, especially rural settlements. Since the early 1980s, when large-scale, intensive surveys were undertaken in several areas of Greece, a rich and diverse database of sites and off-site material pertaining to the medieval period has been generated. Thus, for the first time we can approach the rural landscape, habitation and land use, from the perspective of archaeology. Prior to this development, we were constrained by the lack of textual sources, such as tax registers or monastic archives, which are available only for few areas. Archaeological surveys, along with excavations, have expanded our options and provided a more even geographical coverage.

    However, the rich databases that have been generated by regional projects have not had significant impact on related fields, such as history, or existing narratives of Byzantium. Prominent publications in the field of Byzantine studies that include archaeological results tend to focus on excavations, with survey contributions rarely mentioned. So, why haven’t survey data been incorporated into broader historical themes involving settlement, land use, social history or cultural identity? Why hasn’t the promise of a broader impact of landscape archaeology projects materialized? What are the obstacles that discourage the engagement of a wider group of scholars with survey data? Is it simply a matter of time, because most survey projects have been slow to disseminate their results? What other issues need to be addressed?

    The purpose of this session is to identify obstacles that have limited the impact of this body of archaeological work and propose solutions. The goal is to bring together past and ongoing archaeological projects that focus on the medieval landscape, initiate collaboration, facilitate comparative research, and take steps towards enhancing data sharing and dissemination.

    If interested to contribute, please email the following information to Effie Athanassopoulos ( by March 3, 2017.

    1. Name(s), institutional affiliation and contact information
    2. Paper title and abstract (maximum 400 words) conforming to the AIA Style Guidelines



    Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

    Les maisons d’habitation des anciennes villes de la côte nord de la mer Noire

    Kryzhickij S. D. (1982) : Жилые дома античных городов Северного Причерноморья (VI в. до н. э.— IV в. н. э.) / Zhilye doma antichnykh gorodov Severnogo Prichernomor’ja (VI v. do n. é.— IV v. n. é.),  Kiev [Les maisons d’habitation … Lire la suite

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Thulamela: Iron-Age Kingdom in South Africa

    The city of Thulamela flourished in South Africa between the 13th and 17th centuries. Its...

    Jim Davila (

    Ancient Hebrew inscriptions on limestone capital in the Galilee

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

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Shaping the Mediterranean basin: islands, coastlines and cultures across time

    Shaping the Mediterranean basin: islands, coastlines and cultures across time
    By bridging approaches and methodologies from geosciences, archaeology and history, geoarchaeology is transforming our understanding of the history and cultures that have shaped the Mediterranean basin over millennia. The sheer diversity of current research offers an excellent opportunity for moving beyond geographical frontiers and to begin addressing the needs of a multifaceted and evolving Mediterranean world. This workshop calls upon environmental scientists, archaeologists and historians to discuss and share research advances in the geoarchaeology of Mediterranean islands and coastlines. The workshop will address issues, challenges and prospects of current research on Mediterranean island and coastal environments.

    Table of Contents

    Oral papers

    Marco Anzidei, Fabrizio Antonioli, Rita Auriemma, Alessandra Benini, Elena F. Castagnino Berlinghieri, Flavio Enei, Stefano Giorgi, Eleni Kolaiti, Nikos Mourtzas, Emanuela Solinas
    Carla Buosi, Paola Pittau, Paolo Orrù, Anna Maria Porcu, Giovanni Giuseppe Scanu, Marcella Sconamila
    Fekri Hassan
    Robyn Inglis, Lucy Farr, Charles French, Chris Hunt, Graeme Barker
    Giuseppe Mastronuzzi, Cristiano Alfonso, Fabrizio Antonioli, Marco Anzidei, Rita Auriemma
    Paolo E. Orrù, Fabrizio Antonioli, Giuseppe Mastronuzzi, Emanuela Solinas, Pier Giorgio Spano, Raimondo Zucca
    Yoann Poher, Philippe Ponel, Frédéric Guiter, Frédéric Frédéric Médail
    Jamie Woodward, Philip Hughes, Kathryn Adamson
    Andrea Luca Balbo, Jaime Frigola, Arnald Puy, Felix Retamero, Isabel Cacho, Helena Kirchner
    Helen Dawson
    Carlo Donadio, Micla Pennetta
    Alba Mazza
    Arnald Puy
    Steffen Schneider, Marlen Schlöffel, Albrecht Matthaei, Barbara Horeis, Brigitta Schütt
    Martin Seeliger, Lyudmila S. Shumilovskikh, Anna Pint, Peter Frenzel, Stefan Feuser, Daniel Kelterbaum, Melanie Bartz, Dominik Brill, Helmut Brückner
    Simone Sèstito
    Aleksey V. Zinko, Victor N. Zinko


    Cristiano Alfonso
    Domenico Aringoli, Federica Erbacci, Marco Materazzi, Gilberto Pambianchi
    Guénaëlle Bony, Nicolas Nicolas Carayon, Clément Flaux, Nick Marriner, Christophe Morhanges
    Carla Buosi, Paola Pittau, Paolo Orrù, Emanuela Solinas, Giuseppe Giovanni Scanu
    Valentina Caminneci, Vincenzo Cucchiara, Giuseppe Presti
    Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri, Fabrizio Antonioli
    Riccardo Cicilloni, Antonio Forci, Marco Cabras
    Anna Depalmas, Claudio Bulla, Giovanna Fundoni
    Benoît Devillers, Guénaëlle Bony, Jean-Philippe Degeai, Jean Gasco, Hamza Oueslati, Morgane Sutra, Florian Yung
    Federico Di Rita, Giulia Margaritelli, Fabrizio Lirer, Mattia Vallefuoco, Sergio Bonomo, Lucilla Capotondi, Antonio Cascella, Luciana Ferraro, Donatella D. Insinga, Donatella Magri, Paola Petrosino
    Federico Di Rita, Donatella Magri
    Enrico Giannitrapani
    Rita T. Melis, Giovanni Azzena, Anna Depalmas, Elisabetta Garau, Francesca Montis, Giorgia Ratto, Marco Rendeli
    Rita T. Melis, Anna Depalmas, Giovanna Fundoni, Francesca Montis, Giorgia Ratto, Serafina Sechi, Silvia Vidili, Marco Zedda
    Gasmi Nabil, Felice Di Gregorio, Barbara Aldighieri
    Paolo E. Orrù, Giacomo Deiana, Giuseppe Mastronuzzi, Enrico M. Paliaga, Cosimo Pignatelli, Arcangelo Piscitelli, Emanuela Solinas, Pier Giorgio Spanu, Raimondo Zucca
    Giacomo Paglietti, Carla Buosi, Giovanni Giuseppe Scanu, Paola Pittau
    Vincenzo Pascucci, Carla Del Vais, Stefano Andreucci, Giovanni De Falco, Anna Depalmas, Anna C. Fariselli, Rita T. Melis, Giuseppe Pisanu, Ignazio Sanna
    Micla Pennetta, Alfredo Trocciola, Carmine Minopoli, Renata Valente, Corrado Stanislao, Carlo Donadio
    Anna Pint, Martin Seeliger, Daniel Hoppe, Sabine Faas, Thomas Schmidts, Dennis Wilken, Tina Wunderlich, Sait Başaran, Peter Frenzel, Helmut Brückner
    Sebastian Ramallo Asensio, Milagros Ros Sala, Francisca Navarro Hervas, Jose Ignacio Manteca Martinez, Tomas Rodriguez Estrella, Josefina Garcia Leon, Miguel Martinez Andreu, Felipe Cerezo Andreo, Elena Ruiz Valderas, Alicia Fernández Diaz
    Tiphaine Salel
    Marlen Schlöffel, Steffen Schneider, Albrecht Matthaei, Brigitta Schütt
    Marco Serra, Valentina Mameli, C. Cannas
    Federica Sulas, Rita T. Melis, Charles French, David Redhouse, Sean Taylor, Giovanni Serreli, Francesca Montis, Giorgia Ratto

    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    Eighth International Conference on Science and Technology in Archaeology and Conservation (STAC 8) in Amman (Jordan)

    Riconoscendo la crescente domanda di un approccio multidisciplinare e inter-settoriale e di una politica partecipativa nella conservazione, la promozione e la protezione dei beni culturali, la VIII° conferenza internazionale sulla Scienza e la Tecnologia in Archeologia e la Conservazione, si terrà ad Amman dal 21 al 25 maggio 2017 con sessioni tematiche dedicate alle Scienze, le Tecnologie, la Conservazione, le Politiche, la Legislazione e l'Economia applicata al patrimonio culturale. E' aperta la Call for Paper.

    The Archaeology News Network

    New study gives weight to Darwin’s theory of ‘living fossils’

    A team of researchers from the University of Bristol studying the 'living fossil' Sphenodon -- or tuatara -- have identified a new way to measure the evolutionary rate of these enigmatic creatures, giving credence to Darwin's theory of 'living fossils'. The living tuatara tracks back to the Triassic, over 200 million years ago, and shows little change from that time  [Credit: Tom Stubbs/University of Bristol]The tuatara is a...

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

    Current Epigraphy

    Arabian Epigraphic Notes 2017

    Arabian Epigraphic Notes online journal announces the publication of the first three articles of 2017’s volume:

    “A New Nabataean Inscription from the Moab Plateau”, by Z. Al-Salameen, Y. Shdaifat

    “Betwixt and Between the Bactrian Camel and the Dromedary: The Semantic Evolution of the Lexeme udru during the 11th to 8th Centuries BCE”, by S.A. Al-Zaidi

    “A selection of Safaitic inscriptions from al-Mafraq, Jordan: II”, by A.Q. Al-Housan

    Jim Davila (

    Cargill on Qumran "Cave 12"

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

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Andrei Petrov, Creation of the World Suite

    The above piece by Russian composer Andrei Petrov is but one of many musical works inspired by the account of creation in Genesis. If you are in Indianapolis, don’t miss the performance tonight of Aaron Copland’s “In The Beginning”!

    Jim Davila (

    JSJ 47 (2016)+

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

    Yazidi refugees to go to Canada

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

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    In Search of Lost Clay: Clay soils in Attic pottery decoration, 6th-4th BCE

    March 16, 2017 - 12:45 PM - FITCH-WIENER LABS SEMINAR Ms. Artemis Chaviara, PhD candidate, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus

    Jim Davila (

    Five great books on apocrypha and pseudepigrapha

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

    Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    2017.02.41: Death on the Nile: Uncovering the Afterlife of Ancient Egypt

    Review of Helen Strudwick, Julie Dawson, Death on the Nile: Uncovering the Afterlife of Ancient Egypt. Cambridge; London: 2016. Pp. 256. $70.00. ISBN 9781907804717.

    2017.02.40: L'écriture des traités de rhétorique des origines grecques à la Renaissance. Scripta antiqua, 87

    Review of Sophie Conte, Sandrine Dubel, L'écriture des traités de rhétorique des origines grecques à la Renaissance. Scripta antiqua, 87. Bordeaux: 2016. Pp. 241. €25.00 (pb). ISBN 9782356131614.

    2017.02.39: Antisthenes of Athens: Texts, Translations, and Commentary

    Review of Susan Prince, Antisthenes of Athens: Texts, Translations, and Commentary. Ann Arbor: 2015. Pp. x, 784. $130.00. ISBN 9780472119349.

    Compitum - publications

    A. Puéjean, La Tarentaise gallo-romaine


    André Puéjean, La Tarentaise gallo-romaine, Nîmes, 2017.

    Éditeur : Editions Nombre 7
    284 pages
    ISBN : 978-2-36832-218-5
    30 €

    La Tarentaise, peuplée par les Ceutrons, fut conquise par Auguste et intégrée au monde romain. À partir de Claude, elle forma avec le Beaufortain et le Haut-Faucigny la province des Alpes Graies, dont l'administration fut confiée à un procurateur ayant sa résidence officielle à Aime. A la fin du IIème siècle, la Tarentaise fut réunie au Valais pour former une nouvelle province, celle des Alpes Graies et de la Vallée Poenine avec Aime pour capitale.
    Au Haut-Empire, la Tarentaise bénéficia de la Paix romaine et connut une réelle prospérité économique. Les Ceutrons adoptèrent progressivement le mode de vie romain, mais sur le plan religieux, s'ils pratiquèrent avec ferveur le culte impérial, ce sont les dieux gallo-romains qu'ils honorèrent le plus souvent.
    Dans la seconde moitié du IIIème siècle, les premières invasions germaniques et l'agitation bagaude plongèrent la Tarentaise dans un climat d'insécurité. Au IVème siècle, la capitale de la province demeura dans cette région alpine, mais elle fut transférée d'Aime à Moûtiers. Quant à la religion chrétienne, elle n'apparut et ne s'organisa que tardivement : il faut attendre l'année 428 pour voir un évêché s'installer à Moûtiers.
    Vers le milieu du Vème siècle, l'occupation burgonde mit fin à la domination romaine en Tarentaise et plus généralement dans les Alpes Graies et Poenines.

    Source : CRISES (EA 4424)

    Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

    Plague in diachronic and Interdisciplinary perspective

    This weeks videos come from a session at the EAA conference on the plague. Lots of presentations from people in different disciplines:


    Friday, 2 September 2016, 09:00-16:00
    Faculty of History, Room SP1
    Author – Gutsmiedl-Schümann, Doris, Universität Bonn,
    Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie, Bonn, Germany (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Kacki, Sacha, Anthropologie des Populations Passées et Présentes,
    Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, France
    Co-author(s) – Keller, Marcel, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Lee, Christina, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Keywords: Diachronic perspective, Plague

    Plague, an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, occurred in at least three major historical pandemics: the Justinianic Plague (6th to 8th century), the Black Death (from 14th century onwards), and the modern or Hong Kong Plague (19th to 20th century). Yet DNA from bronze age human skeleton has recently shown that the plague first emerged at least as early as 3000 BC. Plague is, as any disease, both a biological as well as a social entity. Different disciplines can therefore elucidate different aspects of the plague, which can lead to a better understanding of this disease and its medical and social implications.
    The session shall address questions like:
    • Which disciplines can contribute to the research on the plague? What are their methodological possibilities and limitations?
    • How can they work together in order to come to a more realistic and detailed picture of the plague in different times and
    • Which ways had societies to react to the plague? How can they be studied or proved?
    • Which commons and differences can be seen between the Justinianic Plague and later plague epidemics? Are there
    epidemiological characteristics that are essential and/or unique to plague?
    • What are possible implications of the pandemic spread and endemic occurrence of plague through the ages for the
    interpretation of historical and cultural phenomena?
    We would like to invite researchers from the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, biology, history, medicine and related subjects to present papers in our session.



    From Mild to Murderous: How Yersinia pestis Evolved to Cause Pneumonic Plague

    Author – Dr. Lathem, Wyndham, Northwestern University, Chicago, United States of America (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Zimbler, Daniel, Northwestern University, Chicago, United States of America
    Co-author(s) – Eddy, Justin, Northwestern University, Chicago, United States of America
    Co-author(s) – Schroeder, Jay, Northwestern University, Chicago, United States of America
    Co-author(s) – Ritzert, Jeremy, Northwestern University, Chicago, United States of America
    Keywords: evolution, plague, pneumonia

    How do new pathogens emerge, and how do these pathogens take advantage of host processes and pathways to cause disease? Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a recently emerged clone of the gastrointestinal pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis, but the specific genetic changes that enabled Yersinia to cause the respiratory disease known as pneumonic plague are not well understood. By using a mouse model of respiratory infection combined with comparative genetic and genomic studies between Yersinia species, we have identified two specific events – the acquisition of the Pla protease and the inactivation of the YadA adhesin – as key steps in the emergence of Y. pestis as an easily transmissible, severe respiratory pathogen. The acquisition of the Pla protease enabled emergent, ancestral Y. pestis strains to grow to high levels in the lungs and cause a fulminant, multifocal severe pneumonia, while the loss of YadA shifted the respiratory infection from a restricted, granuloma-like pathology to a loosely contained, easily expelled state. Indeed, the loss of YadA by Y. pseudotuberculosis may have been a key step by which Y. pestis acquired the ability to be spread by respiratory droplets, thus enabling epidemics of pneumonic plague.

    Fleas, rats and other stories – The palaeoecology of the Black Death Author – Panagiotakopulu, Eva, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Presenting author)
    Keywords: fleas, palaeoecology, plague

    Bubonic plague is a disease which involves various animal vectors and hosts and its ecology is both complex and of importance in terms of its spread and virulence. The origin of the Black Death is central to its better understanding and can throw light on the medieval pandemic and later epidemics. This paper discusses the ecology and biogeography of bubonic plague and looks into the natural history and palaeoecology relating to its vectors, primary and secondary, Xenospylla cheopis and other flea species and hosts, the e.g. Arvicanthis niloticus and Rattus rattus. The possible origins of the disease and its connection with the first urban centres of Egypt and Mesopotamia are discussed taking into account climatic, environmental and archaeological evidence. The hypothesis of the spread of the Black Death via trade links with Asia and Europe, in relation to the relevant archaeological record are also explored.

    Reconstructing ancient pathogens – discovery of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago Author – PhD Rasmussen, Simon, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Allentoft, Morten, Center for Geogenetics, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Co-author(s) – Nielsen, Kasper, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
    Co-author(s) – Orlando, Ludovic, Center for Geogenetics, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Co-author(s) – Sikora, Martin, Center for Geogenetics, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Co-author(s) – Sjögren, Karl-Göran, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Co-author(s) – Kristiansen, Kristian, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Co-author(s) – Willerslev, Eske, Center for Geogenetics, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Keywords: ancient DNA, paleogenomics, plague

    The bacterium Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asia and Europe dating from 2,800 to 5,000 years ago. By sequencing the genomes, we find that these ancient plague strains are basal to all known Yersinia pestis. We find the origins of the Yersinia pestis lineage to be at least two times older than previous estimates. We also identify a temporal sequence of genetic changes that lead to increased virulence and the emergence of the bubonic plague. Our results show that plague infection was endemic in the human populations of Eurasia at least 3,000 years before any historical recordings of pandemics. Our findings open the possibility of identifying other blood borne pathogens directly from human remains (See S. Rasmussen, M. E. Allentoft, K. Nielsen, L. Orlando, M. Sikora, K.-G. Sjögren …
    E. Willerslev (2015). Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago. Cell, 163:571–582).

    Plague in the eastern Mediterranean region 1200-1000 BC? Author – Prof. Walloe, Lars, University of Oslo, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Physiology, Oslo, Norway (Presenting author)
    Keywords: demographic crises, Mycenae, plague

    Over a period of 150 years from about 1200 BC, the Mycenaean states collapsed. The great Mycenaean centres did not decline slowly during this period, but suffered sudden destruction at the very peak of their prosperity. Five hypotheses have been proposed to explain the collapse: invasion, civil war, local risings, earthquakes and climate change. However, none of them seems to provide a satisfactory explanation of the existing archaeological material. At about the same time, similar disturbances and destruction also afflicted Cyprus, Syria and Anatolia, and the Hittite empire came to an end. The temporal and geographical distribution of these disasters and the subsequent course of events in the Aegean region show a strong similarity to developments in the European region following the two later pandemics of plague. In addition, there is strong documentary evidence that there was at least one epidemic of bubonic plague with high mortality in the eastern Mediterranean region at the relevant time. Recent analyses of Bronze Age DNA sequences resembling Yersinia pestis indicate that the infection was endemic in human populations, and that it acquired sufficient virulence to cause bubonic plague at some point in time between 1600 and 950 BC.

    L. Wall e: Was the disruption of the Mycenaean world caused by repeated epidemics of bubonic plague? Opuscula
    Atheniensia, 24:121-126, 1999;
    S. Rasmussen et al.: Early divergent strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5000 years ago. Cell, 163:571-582, 2015.

    Placing the Plague of Justinian in the Yersinia pestis phylogenetic context Author – Klunk, Jennifer, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Wagner, David, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, United States of America
    Co-author(s) – Sahl, Jason, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, United States of America
    Co-author(s) – Golding, G. Brian, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
    Co-author(s) – Waglechner, Nicholas, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
    Co-author(s) – Holmes, Edward, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Co-author(s) – Poinar, Hendrik, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
    Keywords: ancient DNA, phylogenetics, plague of Justinian

    The phylogenetic tree of the plague-causing pathogen Yersinia pestis has expanded in the last five years to include ancient draft genome sequences, which have allowed facets of the history of this disease to be explored in ways that were previously impossible. This pathogen has caused at least three human plague pandemics: the Plague of Justinian (6th-8th centuries), the Black Death (1347-1352 with waves continuing from the 14th-18th centuries) and the modern pandemic (19th-20th centuries), which have all been genetically characterized. Here we present the draft genomes obtained from two individuals who died in the first pandemic that allowed for genetic characterization of this pandemic. On the basis of maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses, we conclude that the Y. pestis lineages that caused the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death 800 years later were independent emergences from rodents into humans. These results show that rodent species worldwide represent important reservoirs for the repeated emergence of diverse lineages of Y. pestis into human populations. In contrast, recently published Y. pestis sequences from the 18th century plague outbreak in Marseille, France do show ancestry in the strains obtained from Black Death victims, but are not represented in any sampled modern lineages. Taken in concert, the phylogenetics of ancient pandemic Y.pestis genomes reveal that the geographical spread of the disease and subsequent establishment of rodent reservoirs varied between pandemics.

    Early medieval burials of plague victims: examples from Aschheim and Altenerding (Bavaria, Germany) Author – Dr. Gutsmiedl-Schümann, Doris, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Harbeck, Michaela, Department of Anthropology,
    State Collection for Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Keller, Marcel, Department of Anthropology,
    State Collection for Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Päffgen, Bernd, Ludwig-Maximilian’s-University Munich, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Rott, Andreas, Department of Anthropology, State Collection for Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Keywords: early medieval cemetery, Justinianic Plague, Upper Bavaria

    With this paper, we present burials from two early medieval cemeteries, Aschheim-Bajuwarenring and Altenerding/Klettham where the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, could be detected palaeogenetically. The burials from the early medieval cemeteries of Aschheim-Bajuwarenring and Altenerding/Klettham show that plague victims have been dressed and prepared carefully for their funeral. Compared to other graves from these cemeteries on the one hand and to contemporary burials in general, nothing basically indicates that the Y. pestis infected individuals had been treated different than other deceased. Among the buried who were infected with Y. pestis occurred some of the richest and most wellequipped graves of the cemeteries. Therefore, it cannot be proven on base of the Early Medieval plague graves of the Munich gravel plain that “[…]at that time all the customary rites of burial were overlooked. For the dead were not carried out escorted by a procession in the customary manner, nor were the usual chants sung over them […]” (Procopius, De Bello Persico II 23, 15). On the contrary: the burial rites, as far as reconstructable, had been carefully conducted. The only difference is that the so far confirmed victims of the plague seem to have been more often buried in double or multiple burials. However, the screening of single burials is still in an initial stage.

    The Justinianic Plague was nevertheless a disease that affected Europe in the Late Antiquity, but its occurrence appears not
    everywhere as catastrophic as the written sources make us believe.

    Analysis of a High-coverage Yersinia pestis Genome from a 6th Century Justinianic Plague Victim Author – Feldman, Michal, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Harbeck, Michaela, State Collection of Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Keller, Marcel, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Spyrou, Maria, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Rott, Andreas, State Collection of Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Trautmann, Bernd, State Collection of Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Scholz, Holger, Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Päffgen, Bernd, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Peters, Joris, State Collection of Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
    Co-author(s) – McCormick, Michael, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Co-author(s) – Bos, Kirsten, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Herbig, Alexander, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Krause, Johannes, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Keywords: ancient DNA, yersinia pestis, plague

    The Justinianic Plague, which started in the 6th century and lasted to the mid-8th century, is the first out of at least three historically documented plague pandemics. High numbers of casualties caused by the disease were suggested to be a contributing factor to the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire, marking the transition from the Antique to the Middle Ages. Historical accounts as well as molecular data suggest the gram negative bacterium Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) as the etiological agent of this massive plague outbreak. Here we present a high coverage Y. pestis genome, obtained from a 6th century skeleton recovered from a Southern German graveyard close to Munich. The reconstructed ancient Y. pestis genome is characterized by substitutions that are unique to this lineage, and structural differences in regions of the genome that have been previously suggested as virulence factors. These results may be influential for functional investigations that could explore the role of these newly discovered genomic characteristics in terms of physiology, virulence and host adaptation. We confirm Y. pestis was circulating in mainland Europe during the Justinian pandemic and that this lineage is likely to have become extinct, as previously published based on a draft Y. pestis genome from the same time period and similar geographic origin. Comparative analysis of the two Y. pestis genomes suggests a rapid spread of the plague during the 6th century in Southern Germany.

    Plague in Valencia, 546: A Case Study of the Integration of Texts and Archaeology Author – Gruber, Henry, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States of America (Presenting author)
    Keywords: bubonic plague, mass graves, Spain

    Although so-called Justinianic Pandemic of Yersinia pestis that began in the early 540s dramatically altered the history of the Mediterranean, our information about it is fragmentary. This is especially true in the Western Mediterranean, where few narratives or documents reveal the plague’s impact. Archaeology can fill these gaps. Recent work on the prevalence of mass graves in the late- and immediately post-Roman world suggests that mass graves, properly understood, can serve as a proxy for mass death. However, despite the work being done to bring together the documentation of these graves, it has been difficult to know whether these graves result from plague, famine, violence, or some other unknown cause.
    In this paper, I will argue that the canons of the Council of Valencia provide us with a test case for combining archaeological and philological evidence for the Justinianic Pandemic. The council was held in 546, three years after the first outbreaks of plague in Spain. The fifth canon is cocnerned with the sudden and unexpected death of bihsops and legislates that bishops be buried “in their own place”, so that “the old traditions for burying bishops might not be dishonored.” Given the large number of sixth-century mass graves from Valencia, concern about the proper burial of bishops “in their own place” suggests an institutional reaction to the plague pandemic and the breakdown of traditional burial practices. The evidence, however, is not straightforward.
    The paper is divided into three parts. The first analyzes the canon within the context of debates on the care of the dead in Late Antiquity. The second studies the archaeological evidence for burials in Valencia, both those of bishops within the sixthcentury ecclesiastical complex and the mass graves that are currently being documented. The third reflects methodologically on the potential for integrating church documents and funerary archaeology. This study will use the concatenation of evidence from Valencia to both chart a specific instance of the Late Antique plague and showcase the promise – and difficulty – inherent in the interdisciplinary study of bubonic plague.

    Germany and the Black Death: a zooarchaeological approach Author – MA Paxinos, Ptolemaios-Dimitrios, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München,
    Munich, Germany (Presenting author)
    Keywords: Black Death, livestock keeping, size

    Zooarchaeology is the study of faunal remains from archaeological sites. Animal bones can be used to track changes e.g. in herd composition, size or animal health. Significant changes in size over short periods of time are a testimony of the human influence upon their livestock. An increase in size can be triggered through food of higher quality, improvement of keeping conditions, but also through the import of new breeds from areas with specialized animal breeding. A decrease of size on the other hand is interpreted as deterioration caused not only by exogenous factors such as climatic shift and epizootic diseases, but also by societal and demographical changes. Zooarchaeological evidence can therefore reveal new, non-documented aspects. In the first half of the 14th century AD several devastating events affected great parts of Europe, leading to a gradual transformation of human society. The instability and unpredictability of the climate was the main cause of successive famines between 1315 and 1317, resulting in the loss of many lives. At the same time epizootics among cattle and sheep causing massive casualties across Central and Northern Europe must have had a great impact on the human nutrition. In the mid of the 14th century the Black Death (1347–1352) hit the European continent, causing long-term social and economic changes. The focus of the present paper is on German Late-Medieval and Renaissance archaeological sites. In two particular finding sites, the zooarchaeological evidence suggests that the Black Death had a negative impact on domestic livestock, especially on cattle. In addition supra-regional studies reveal that the impact differed not only between geographical localities, but also between settlement types.

    A demographic history of the plague bacillus revealed through ancient Yersinia pestis genomes Author – Spyrou, Maria, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany (Presenting author)
    Co-author(s) – Tukhbatova, Rezeda, Laboratory of Paleoanthropology & Paleogenetics, Kazan Federal University, Russi, Kazan, Russian Federation
    Co-author(s) – Feldman, Michal, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Drath, Joanna, Department of Archeological Sciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Kacki, Sacha, PACEA, CNRS Institute, Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, France
    Co-author(s) – Beltr n de Heredia, Juila, Museu de Historia de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    Co-author(s) – Arnold, Susanne, State Office for Cultural Heritage Management Baden-Württemberg, Esslingen, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Sitdikov, Airat, Institute of Archaeology named after A. Kh. Khalikov, Kazan, Russian Federation
    Co-author(s) – Castex, Dominique, PACEA, CNRS Institute, Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, France
    Co-author(s) – Wahl, Joachim, State Office for Cultural Heritage Management Baden-Württemberg,
    Osteology, Konstanz, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Galimzyanov, Ilgizar, Institute of Archaeology named after A. Kh. Khalikov, Kazan, Russian Federation
    Co-author(s) – Nurgaliev, Danis, Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies,
    Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russian Federation
    Co-author(s) – Herbig, Alexander, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Bos, Kirsten, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Co-author(s) – Krause, Johannes, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
    Keywords: ancient DNA, Black Death, plague

    One of the most devastating events in human history was the second plague pandemic, which began with the Black Death (1347- 1353). Sporadic outbreaks of plague continued in Europe until the 18th century, when the disease essentially disappeared. Initial sequencing of Yersinia pestis genomes from London victims of the second plague pandemic, identified the Black Death as the event that gave rise to most of the Y. pestis genetic diversity present around the world today. This result raised further interest regarding the relationship of this lineage to the ones associated with post-Black Death outbreaks, and to modern plague lineages. Recent climatic and ancient DNA studies have attempted to explore these relationships, although a clear consensus is still yet to be reached. Here, we present three historical Y. pestis genomes from the second plague pandemic in Spain, Russia and Germany. Our results provide support for low genetic diversity in the plague bacterium during the Black Death, followed by a subsequent eastward travel of lineages to later become the source for the worldwide third plague pandemic, which began during the 19th century in China. In addition, our data from a post-Black Death outbreak in Germany are best explained by the persistence of a European plague lineage that is now likely extinct.

    Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

    'Bones' Season 12, Episode 8 Review - The Grief And The Girl

    A biological anthropologist reviews Season 12, Episode 8 ('The Grief and the Girl') of FOX's 'Bones,' summarizing the episode and looking for errors.

    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

    ACM (Asian Civilisations Museum)

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    Records Point to Dealer’s Role in Artifact Theft - The Cambodia Daily

    Antiquities looting in Cambodia - court records point to dealings and conspirators #cambodia #looting #antiquities
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    Posted by Southeast Asian Archaeology

    Archaeology Magazine

    Kennewick Man Reburied

    Kennewick Man Reburied


    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—The Seattle Times reports that after two decades of legal battles, the 9,000 year-old remains dubbed Kennewick Man by scientists and called the Ancient One by Native Americans have been reburied at an undisclosed site on the Columbia Plateau. Since being discovered on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996, the remains have been claimed by tribes indigenous to the area, which pushed for the repatriation of the Ancient One even as his bones were being exhaustively studied by anthropologists. Last Friday, representatives of five tribes met with officials at Seattle's Burke Museum, where they took possession of the Ancient One's bones, as well as vials containing his DNA samples and a spear point that had been found lodged in his hip. All were buried on Saturday during a ceremony attended by more than 200 people. To read about the earliest people to arrive in North America, go to "America, in the Beginning."

    Kennewick Man Reburied

    Kennewick Man Reburied


    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—The Seattle Times reports that after two decades of legal battles, the 9,000-year-old remains dubbed Kennewick Man by scientists and called the Ancient One by Native Americans have been reburied at an undisclosed site on the Columbia Plateau. Since being discovered on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996, the remains have been claimed by tribes indigenous to the area, which pushed for the repatriation of the Ancient One even as his bones were being exhaustively studied by anthropologists. Last Friday, representatives of five tribes met with officials at Seattle's Burke Museum, where they took possession of the Ancient One's bones, as well as vials containing his DNA samples and a spear point that had been found lodged in his hip. All were buried on Saturday during a ceremony attended by more than 200 people. To read about the earliest people to arrive in North America, go to “America, in the Beginning.”

    Colonial-Era Artifacts Uncovered in Australia

    Parramatta Female Factory


    NORTH PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA—An excavation in a suburb of Sydney has turned up evidence of the early decades after the arrival of Europeans in Australia, according to a report from ABC News. The site, in North Parramatta, was home to an early nineteenth-century “female factory,” where women convicts sent to Australia were put to work. Later, it was expanded to include a mental asylum and orphanage. Among the items found at the site are toothbrushes, combs, beads, and bits of jewelry. The archaeologists are unsure who owned these items. A number of small pieces of glass have also been discovered, possibly dating back to 1788, around the time the first colonists arrived in Australia. Archaeologist Jillian Comber believes these provide evidence of relationships between the European settlers and Aboriginal people, who used the glass for cutting or carving. “The glass is really important,” she said, “because we don't have a great deal of evidence of that coexistence between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.” For more on archaeology of nineteenth-century Australia, go to “Alone, but Closely Watched.”

    Rob Cain (Ancient Rome Refocused)

    The Attraction of 47 BCE

    I have a great wife.  She sees me eye a book at our local Barnes and Noble, and she is checking on her iphone to have it delivered in a few days.  I just opened up a book titled Caesar by Adrian Goldsworthy. 

    I have been thinking about this for a long time.  Why does it seem that in the Hollywood genre there have been many, many remakes of Julius Caesar, and the Marc Antony and Cleopatra love affair?  The end of the Republic seems to be the favorite time for plays, film, and paintings.   Each and every new generation – is treated to another ‘telling’ of the great love affair, told and retold in glorious TECHNICOLOR.

    By the way, if you can find a still usable print of Theda Bara’s (the IT girl of the 20s…’IT’ meaning sex appeal) Cleopatra silent film you might be in for a bit of money.   There doesn’t seem to be any surviving print at this time – except for a few stills.   OK film buffs, dive into those garage sales and see what you can find.  The first one to find an intact print…let me know or sell it on ebay. 

    There are still rumors of a remake of Cleopatra with Angelina Jolie or Carmen Zeta Jones.  Except I think these rumors have settled down of late.

    cleo1Why Cleopatra?  Sex appeal, doomed love, a reach for empire – I get it.  However,  I am suspicious there are other times of Roman history that could provide us with a rousing tale.  There certainly has to be another story – of love and glory – out there to capture our imagination?

    That is why I bow to an actress named Lorrisa Julianus out of Chicago, Illinois who produced, wrote the music and starred in a musical about the Palmyra Queen Zenobia.   She is a member of this Facebook group by the way.   SALVE JULIANUS.  Sorry…I just had to say it.

    I am willing to be corrected on my premise.  Yes, there is an entire film history based on the Christian genre and the Roman World.  Yes, and there are various productions along pagan lines, the more recent Agora starring Rachel Weisz (of course this is Roman Egypt in the time of the rise of Christianity).     Eagle of the Ninth had a more pagan viewpoint (starring everybody’s favorite hunk Channing Tatum).  However, I still say there is a very strong attraction to 47 BCE by creative artists.  Tell me that I am wrong.  Give me some examples of movies and plays that have explored the rich and intricate pattern of ancient Rome, other than circa 47 BCE (give or take a 100 years).     I know the vast film history of Greek Myth – I know that well…growing up in the sixties Channel 32 played a continuous run of Italian Greek Myths all dubbed in English.  I read mythology religiously as a boy.  I still do.   I even remember a film on Romulus and Remus – in Italian…with subtitles.

    Now, excuse me while I open up another book.  Nancy caught me eyeing another book:  The Poison King by Adrienne Mayor.  I shall jump into exploring the time of Mithradates.  Drat.  I’m still in that 100 years…give or take.

    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

    Sabah to probe whether UMS salvage work broke law

    University to be investigated for alleged illegal salvage operation #malaysia #salvage #sabah #universitimalayasabah
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    Archaeology Magazine

    Medieval English Graffiti Surveyed

    Bolton Medieval Graffiti SurveyBOLTON, ENGLAND—Archaeologists are searching buildings in Bolton for medieval markings designed to fend off evil spirits and bad omens, according to a report in The Bolton News. Members of the Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society are being trained to spot the marks through tours of historic buildings such as Hall i' th’ Wood, a Tudor manor house built in the early sixteenth century. “Buildings often change uses,” says Ian Trumble, the society’s chairman. “For example, Hall i’ th’ Wood was a farmhouse before it become a posh home and markings could show the different uses of the building over time.” Among the markings society members will be looking for are daisy wheels, taper burns, and the “VV” sign, which stands for “Virgo Virginum” and has traditionally been associated with the cult of the Virgin Mary. To read in-depth about medieval graffiti, go to “Letter from England: Writing on the Church Wall.”

    Roman House Unearthed in Israel

    Israel Omrit Roman House


    OMRIT, ISRAEL—A house built in the late first or early second century A.D. has been unearthed at the ancient site of Omrit in northern Israel, reports Live Science. A team led by Carthage College archaeologist Daniel Schowalter excavated the building and found that its floor was covered in plaster and its walls were decorated with elaborate frescoes. The surviving images depict bucolic scenes of trees, plants, and fish, as well as two ducks that appear to be huddling together. Schowalter believes the house may have been built for a Roman official, but that it's also possible a wealthy local could have lived there and commissioned the Roman-style frescoes. The team also unearthed several amulets in the shape of phalluses, which were thought to ward off misfortune during the Roman period. To see elaborate frescoes dating to the same era, go to “Romans on the Bay of Naples.”  

    February 21, 2017

    ArcheoNet BE

    Bouwsector denkt aan verzekering tegen archeologische kosten

    In de commissie van het Vlaams Parlement reageerde Vlaams minister Geert Bourgeois vandaag op de kritiek van volksvertegenwoordiger Jean-Jacques De Gucht (Open Vld) over de huidige archeologie-regelgeving. “De reacties uit het veld op de recente bijsturingen van de archeologienota zijn positief, zowel bij het bouwoverleg en de architecten als bij de archeologen zelf,” aldus Bourgeois.

    “We zien ook de positieve effecten. Momenteel is er een wachttijd van zes tot zeven weken, terwijl dat vroeger minimum drie maanden was. De opmaak van een nota duurt gemiddeld nog slechts een week. Amper in 15 tot 20 procent van de gevallen gaat de prijs van de nota boven de 3000 euro. Er zijn intussen voldoende erkende archeologen, en er zou dus wel nog meer mededinging kunnen spelen.”

    “Het pijnpunt blijft natuurlijk de kost van de archeologische opgravingen zelf,” zegt Bourgeois. “In het decreet hebben we opgenomen dat er een solidariteitsfonds kan worden opgericht, maar dat is er ondanks grote inspanningen nog niet gekomen. Een lichtpuntje is dat de Confederatie Bouw recent heeft laten weten dat ze er werk van wil maken. Zij denken in de richting van een verplichte verzekering, zodat er een verzekeringsfonds bijdraagt. Men gaat nu een voorstel uitwerken.”

    Lees het volledige verslag op

    Calenda: Histoire romaine

    Sensorium: Sensory Perceptions in the Roman Religion

    The Institute of Historiography “Julio Caro Baroja”, at the University of Carlos III of Madrid, is organizing an international conference titled, “Sensorium: Sensory Perceptions in the Roman Religion”. Researchers of ancient history, religious history, archeology, anthropology, classical literature, and other related disciplines, are invited to present their research relating to the poly-sensorial practice of religion in the Roman world.

    David Gill (Looting Matters)

    More surfacings from Symes and Medici in London

    Source: Schinousa Archive.
    Dr Christos Tsirogiannis spotted three items that were auctioned in Westminster, London today.

    It is a good reminder of the apparently poor due diligence process conducted by some sectors of the antiquities market.

    a. Lot 49 Scythian rhyton. Sold: £3100. Collecting history: 'Property of a London gentleman; acquired from a major Mayfair gallery; acquired on the London art market before 2000.' As this seems to appear in the Schinousa archive it should be associated with the London dealer Robin Symes.

    b. Lot 79 Silver Sycthian moose.
    Sold: £2790. Collecting history: 'Property of a London gentleman; acquired from a major Mayfair gallery; acquired on the London art market before 2000.' This also seems to appear in the Schinousa archive indicating an association with Symes.
    Source: Schinousa Archive.
    Source: Medici Dossier

    c. Lot 183. Roman head of a youth. Opening bid: £900. Collecting history: 'Property of a London gentleman; acquired from a major Mayfair gallery; acquired on the London art market before 2000.'  This head appears to be the one that features in the Medici Dossier seized in the Geneva Freeport.

    These three examples suggest that owners of material that passed through the hands of Symes and Medici are now looking for less high profile ways of disposing of their collections. Notice that in all three cases the date of surfacing is said to be 'before 2000' yet clearly well after the 1970 UNESCO Convention.

    I understand that the relevant UK and European police authorities have been informed of the auction.

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    Zenobia: Empress of the East (Judith Weingarten)

    The Invisible City of Zenobia

    Last week, the Peruvian architect Karina Puente sent me her brand-new drawing of the "Invisible city of Zenobia", one of the fifty-five Invisible Cities that Italo Calvino created in his novel (more a prose poem, really) of the same name.  

    As she says, "I Dare! I dare because it is an experiment."
    The cities in Italo Calvino’s novel are metaphors for cities. And for our experiences, alone and together, within the walls we construct around ourselves, walls being metaphors themselves. And are metaphors for other metaphors. And for much else our walls cannot contain, what escapes our most rigorous designs, what exists within, beneath, and above the surface of our intentions. 
    In Calvino's Invisible Cities,* the traveller Marco Polo tells tales of impossible cities -- for example, a cobweb-city suspended over the abyss, or a microscopic city which gradually spreads out until we realize that it is made up of concentric cities which are all expanding.

    If you choose to believe me, good.

    For each city, after a precise description in words, Marco followed with a mute commentary, holding up his hands, palms out, or backs, or sideways, in straight or oblique movements, spasmodic or slow.  A new kind of dialogue is established. The cities he thus evokes are assigned to different themes such as Cities and Memory, Cities and Desire, Cities and Signs, Trading Cities, Continuous Cities, Thin Cities. Thin Cities are those rather abstract and airy creations like the city of Zenobia.**

    Invisible City of Zenobia by Architect Karina Puente

    Now I shall tell of the city of Zenobia, which is wonderful in this fashion: though set on dry terrain it stands on high pilings, and the houses are of bamboo and zinc, with many platforms and balconies placed on stilts at various heights, crossing one another, linked by ladders and hanging sidewalks, surmounted by cone-roofed belvederes, barrels storing water, weather vanes, jutting pulleys, and fish poles, and cranes.

    Zenobia by Colleen Corradi Brannigan
    And, here, in fact, we are.

    In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo -- Tartar emperor and Venetian explorer. The mood is sunset. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire, of his cities, of himself. 

    Marco Polo diverts the emperor with tales of cities that he has seen within the empire and Kublai Khan listens, searching for a pattern in Marco Polo's cities.  Here are all the cities ever dreamed of, strange magical invisible cities that nobody else ever saw. All are named after women (as they must be, since cities are feminine in Italian) -- Raissa, Irene, Phyillis, Olinda, Armilla, Chloe, Valdrada ... and, of course, Zenobia.

    No one remembers what need or command or desire drove Zenobia’s founders to give their city this form, and so there is no telling whether it was satisfied by the city as we see it today, which has perhaps grown through successive superimpositions from the first, now undecipherable plan. But what is certain is that if you ask an inhabitant of Zenobia to describe his vision of a happy life, it is always a city like Zenobia that he imagines, with its pilings and its suspended stairways, a Zenobia perhaps quite different, a-flutter with banners and ribbons, but always derived by combining elements of that first model.

    Zenobia by Sakerinox
    The emperor soon determines that each of these fantastic places is really the same place. 

    Marco Polo agrees: "Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased...." 

    This said, it is pointless trying to decide whether Zenobia is to be classified among happy cities or among the unhappy. It makes no sense to divide cities into these two species, but rather into another two: those that through the years and the changes continue to give their form to desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it.

    Kublai muses, "Perhaps, the empire is nothing but a zodiac of the mind's phantasms." 

    And Marco replies, "Cities, like dreams are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else."

    You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.

    For Calvino, one question was: What is the city today, for us?

    Zenobia by Cargo Collective
    "...I believe that I have written something like a last love poem addressed to the city, at a time  when it is becoming increasingly difficult to live there. It looks, indeed, as if we are approaching a period of crisis in urban life; and Invisible Cities is like a dream born out of the heart of the unlivable cities we know...." 

    Perhaps all that is left of the world is a wasteland covered with rubbish heaps, and the hanging garden of the Great Khan's palace. It is our eyelids that separate them, but we cannot know which is inside and which outside.

    "The desire of my Marco Polo," continued Calvino, "is to find the hidden reasons which bring men to live in cities: reasons which remain valid over and  above any crisis. A city is a combination of many things: memory,  desires, signs of a language; it is a place of exchange ... Only, these exchanges are  not just trade in goods, they also involve words, desires, and memories. My book opens and closes with images of happy cities which constantly take shape and then fade away, in the midst of unhappy cities."

    Zenobia by David Fleck
    All these cities may have been invisible to the sedentary emperor, but as the tireless Marco Polo made him see the most remote places, so Calvino recreates them for us, and --- no matter how distant -- they are eminently, unforgettably visible.***

    The Great Khan owns an atlas where all the cities of the empire and the neighbouring realms are drawn, building by building and street by street, with walls, rivers, bridges, harbours, cliffs.

    And, in fact, isn't that what we yearn for?  A drawing, or map, or sketch, to make the invisible cities visible?  Artists, architects and urbanists have been tempted, teasing out the hidden mathematics behind the construction and design of the cities; one might almost say, a playful invisible mathematics of surprises and few rules. And, of all the cities, Zenobia is one of the most suggestive and surreal of images.

    Zenobia by Pedro Cano, "miradores cubiertos de techos cónicos"
    Sometimes different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At times even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices’ accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled in their place.

    RIP City of Zenobia, Palmyra 2017

    * Almost seven years ago (8 August 2010), this blog first succumbed to the fascination of Calvino's Invisible Cities, taking in hand a real-life impossible project to build the city of Zenobia: Building An Invisible City.

    ** Text of Zenobia from Le Città Invisibili by Italo Calvino (1972); translation William Weaver (1974).

    *** William Weaver on Calvino and His Cities.  Also 'Italo Calvino on Invisible Cities', a lecture given to the students of the Graduate Writing Division at Columbia University on March 29, 1983.

    The Artists of the Invisible city of Zenobia:

    Karina Puente - Calvino's Invisible Cities Made Visible: The Drawings of Karina Puente; I Dare! I dare because it is an experiment. My especial thanks to her for sending me her very recent 'Zenobia'.

    Colleen Corradi Brannigan - The Invisible Cities Become Visible; The Invisible Cities; But Does it Float.  I am most grateful for her permission to reproduce her watercolour of 'Zenobia'.

    Sakerinox - The world is a parody of itself and I want to draw

    Cargo Collective - Faculty of Architecture/Istanbul Bilgi University

    David Fleck - Zenobia

    Pedro Cano - En las ciudades invisibles X

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    ‘A wrong had finally been righted’: Tribes bury remains of ancient ancestor known as Kennewick Man

    In the high desert of the Columbia Plateau, more than 200 people gathered early Saturday to lay the...

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Journal: ArcheoArte. Rivista elettronica di Archeologia e Arte

     [First posted in AWOL 13 January 2011. Updated 21 February 2017]

    ArcheoArte. Rivista elettronica di Archeologia e Arte
    ISSN 2039-4543
    Rivista elettronica di Archeologia e Arte - Università degli studi di Cagliari


    V. 3 (2014)

    Terzo numero di ArcheoArte. Rivista elettronica di Archeologia e Arte Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Storia, Beni Culturali e Territorio


    V. 2 (2013)

    Secondo numero di ArcheoArte. Rivista elettronica di Archeologia e Arte Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Storia, Beni Culturali e Territorio


    Ricerca e Confronti 2010

    Ricerca e Confronti 2010 (Supplemento ArcheoArte 1)

    Atti delle giornate di studio di archeologia e storia dell'arte a 20 anni dall'istituzione del Dipartimento di Scienze archeologiche e storico-artistiche dell'Università di Cagliari (Cagliari, 1-5 marzo 2010)


    V. 1 (2010)

    New Open Access Journal: Layers. Archeologia Territorio Contesti

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


    No 1 (2016)

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

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

    ArcheoNet BE

    Het Gallo-Romeins heiligdom van Harelbeke – Stasegem

    Vijftig jaar geleden, in 1967, werd in Stasegem (Harelbeke) een belangrijke Gallo-Romeinse vondst gedaan: een offerkuil of favissa van een heiligdom, waarin honderden aarden beeldjes en naar een broncultus verwijzende bekertjes begraven waren. Na een eerste studie en publicatie in 1973 werden deze vondsten, die bewaard worden in de collectie van de Stedelijk Musea Kortrijk, opnieuw bestudeerd. De resultaten van deze studie werden nu door Philippe Despriet gebundeld in de publicatie ‘Het Gallo-Romeins heiligdom van Harelbeke – Stasegem’, de 94ste monografie van Archeologie Zuid-West-Vlaanderen.

    Meer info:

    The Archaeology News Network

    1,800 year old Hebrew inscriptions exposed on a column capital in Western Galilee

    An 1,800 year old limestone capital dating to the Roman period that is engraved with two Hebrew inscriptions was discovered during the course of restoration and conservation work being carried out in the ancient synagogue and neighboring Beit Zinati visitor center at Peqiʽin, in the Western Galilee. The work is being conducted by the Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel as part of a heritage project by the Ministry of...

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    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Thousands of horsemen may have swept into Bronze Age Europe, transforming the local population

    Call it an ancient thousand man march. Early Bronze Age men from the vast grasslands of the Eurasian...

    DNA Reveals an Early American Dynasty Centered on Women

    When U.S. Army Lt. James H. Simpson and his guide Carravahal first entered Chaco Canyon, New Mexico,...

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    News from the PSI – Papiri della Società Italiana

    PSI – Papiri della Società Italiana Project News
    Dear colleagues,
    just a quick update about the psi-online project, on behalf of all the
    friends (and all the Institutions) involved in it. On our website
    ( it is now possible to browse images and datas about
    P. Flor. I, PSI inv. (around 300 papyri kept in the Istituto Vitelli but
    not published in the main PSI series, as PSI Com9, PSI Congr.XX; see the
    list in PSI XVI, pp. 313-334), P. Tebt. Pad. I and a number of P. Tebt.
    Pad. inv. (i.e., not yet published).
    During next months we will add also P.Prag. II-III and P.Flor. II-III to
    the database, as well as more informations on the collections involved.

    Carissimi saluti,
    Lucio Del Corso
    Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale
    Dipartimento di scienze umane, sociali e della salute -
    Laboratorio di ricerche storiche e archeologiche dell'antichità

    The Archaeology News Network

    Temple of Artemis at Ephesus turns into swamp due to neglect

    The Temple of Artemis in the Turkish district of İzmir (Smyrna) has turned into a swamp because of neglect and a lack of interest by authorities. Present state of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus [Credit: David John/My Favourite Planet]The Greek temple, which is among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List, draws millions of tourists each year. The temple, which was visited by tourists who...

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    BiblePlaces Blog

    New Tour: Paul’s Walk from Troas to Assos

    I’ve mentioned before “Paul’s Walk from Troas to Assos” tour that is being led by Mark Wilson and Meg Ramey. I think it will be a fantastic trip because not only will you see many important sites in western Turkey, but it is rare to have the opportunity to experience the land by an extended walk that follows in Paul’s footsteps.

    I’ve just learned that scholars and pastors qualify for a 50% discount on the trip. Whether you’re in that category or not, I think the trip will be extremely worthwhile. I have traveled with both Tutku Tours and Mark Wilson and they are top-notch.

    The walk is about 30 miles (48 km), spread out over three days. They have a bus that will provide transportation for any not up to walking all of it.

    Here’s the link for the itinerary and brochure. The dates are May 20 to 31 and the deadline for signing up is soon.

    I took the three photos below on my trip to Turkey last month. I imagine the scenery will be even more beautiful in the spring.

    Troas outer harbor, tb010517947

    Harbor of Troas

    Roman road west of Assos, tb010517863

    Preserved portion of Roman road between Troas and Assos

    Assos harbor sunset, tb010417628

    Sunset from Assos harbor

    Compitum - publications

    G. Guastella, Word of Mouth. Fama and Its Personifications


    Gianni Guastella, Word of Mouth. Fama and Its Personifications in Art and Literature from Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, Oxford, 2017.

    Éditeur : Oxford University Press
    464 pages
    ISBN : 9780198724292
    £ 85.00

    The concept expressed by the Roman term fama, although strictly linked to the activity of speaking, recalls a more complex form of collective communication that puts diverse information and opinions into circulation by 'word of mouth', covering the spreading of rumours, expression of common anxieties, and sharing of opinions about peers, contemporaries, or long-dead personages within both small and large communities of people. This 'hearsay' method of information propagation, of chain-like transmission across a complex network of transfers of uncertain order and origin, often rapid and elusive, has been described by some ancient writers as like the flight of a winged word, provoking interesting contrasts with more recent theories that anthropologists and sociologists have produced about the same phenomenon.

    Lire la suite...

    Carole Raddato (Following Hadrian)

    10€ gold coin to commemorate Hadrian

    The Italian State Mint will issue a new collector coin in March 2017 to mark the 1900th anniversary of the beginning of Hadrian’s reign (117 – 2017). The obverse shows a bust of Hadrian’s facing right. It was inspired by a portrait of Hadrian which is housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Around the bust […]

    Byzantine News

    Three Christian Martyrdoms from Early Islamic Palestine

    From the editors:
    A distinctive feature of Christian culture in early Islamic Syria and Palestine was a renewed interest in literature on martyrs, which represented a potential reaction among some Christian communities to the rise of Islam in the region. The adaption of this early Christian genre to the new circumstances of political domination during the early Middle Ages offers a revealing, yet until now largely unexplored, window onto how Christians responded culturally to Islamic imperialism. This bilingual edition of three martyrdoms provides a new opportunity to understand this historical phenomenon.

    These writings, composed at the Mar Saba monastery in the Judean Desert and attributed to famous members of that community, share a common high literary style, although each portrays Christian martyrdom at the hands of the Muslims very differently. This parallel-text edition offers the only English translations available of these important works, making it an invaluable resource for both students and scholars of religious history.

    Click here for more

    The Archaeology News Network

    Genetic data show mainly men migrated from the Pontic steppe to Europe 5,000 years ago

    A new study, looking at the sex-specifically inherited X chromosome of prehistoric human remains, shows that hardly any women took part in the extensive migration from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe approximately 5,000 years ago. The great migration that brought farming practices to Europe 4,000 years earlier, on the other hand, consisted of both women and men. The difference in sex bias suggests that different social and cultural processes...

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    British Museum training Iraqi experts to save Mosul heritage

    As Iraqi forces fight to take back Mosul from the Islamic State group, archaeologists trained by the British Museum are preparing for another battle -- trying to save what they can of the city's heritage. This file photo taken on November 15, 2016 shows destruction caused by the Islamic State (IS) group at the archaeological  site of Nimrud, some 30 kilometres south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, a few days after Iraqi forces...

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    Compitum - publications

    G. Botturi, I Synonyma di Isidoro di Siviglia e lo stilus isidorianus


    Giuseppe Botturi, I Synonyma di Isidoro di Siviglia e lo stilus isidorianus. Interpretazione letteraria e studio dello stile con riferimento alle meditazioni di Pier Damiani, Giovanni di Fécamp e Anselmo d'Aosta, Berne, 2017.

    Éditeur : Peter Lang
    Collection : Lateinische Sprache und Literatur des Mittelalters, 51
    299 pages
    ISBN : 978-3-0343-2126-6
    84,44 €

    I Synonyma di Isidoro di Siviglia (ca. 562–636), un dialogo in due libri tra Homo e Ratio, godettero di vastissima fortuna dalla loro composizione fino almeno al XVI secolo. Il dialogo è infatti composto nel peculiare stilus isidorianus – una prosa ritmata e rimata – e offre una meditazione sulla sofferenza umana, sul peccato, e sulla buona condotta di vita. L'autore conduce un esame intertestuale e interdiscorsivo dell'opera, ricercando a livello linguistico e a livello tematico possibili testi di riferimento per la sua comprensione. Sono indagate tre tradizioni letterarie: i libri sapienziali della Bibbia, la patristica latina di Agostino, Gregorio Magno, Ambrogio e Girolamo, e lo stoicismo cristiano. Nell'ultima parte sono considerate invece alcune orazioni anonime di epoca carolingia (IX–X sec.) e alcune meditazioni dell'XI secolo (di Giovanni di Fécamp, Pier Damiani, Anselmo d'Aosta) alla ricerca di eredità isidoriane e differenze nella composizione letteraria delle preghiere.

    Source : Peter Lang

    David Gill (Looting Matters)

    Is PAS transforming our knowledge of the past in England and Wales?

    There is a new online book, Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, edited by Gabriel Moshenska (UCL Press, 2017) [Introduction]. Among the essays (and not all have been published on the site: I am told that there will be second batch) is one by Roger Bland, Michael Lewis, Daniel Pett, Ian Richardson, Katherine Robbins and Rob Webley on "The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme in England and Wales". It includes a section on the Staffordshire Hoard (though the so-called Crosby Garrett helmet and the Lenborough Hoard do not feature). The authors note that the hoard "appeals to a wide and diverse audience".

    There is a discussion of the recording of finds, though no indication of the percentage of finds that are left unrecorded. The report touches on heritage crime:
    It has sometimes been said as a criticism of PAS that it has not stopped illegal metal detecting in England and Wales, but this is for the simple fact that it was not intended to. This is an enduring problem and PAS staff are working closely with English Heritage’s Heritage Crime Initiative, which is run by a police inspector on secondment.
    This is presumably an unsourced reference to the Forum piece for the Papers of the Institute of Archaeology entitled: "The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the Archaeology of England and Wales?" (available online). (I am informed that senior members of PAS were invited to respond but declined.) Or the allusion could be to other discussions and debates. Who knows? It is telling that the authors continue:
    This has had considerable success in targeting illegal detector users, known as ‘nighthawks’. However, it is important to put nighthawking in perspective: a survey commissioned by English Heritage in 2008 found that on two measures (the numbers of scheduled sites attacked by illegal detector users and the number of archaeological units that reported nighthawking incidences on their excavations), the number of cases has declined since 1995, when a previous survey was carried out (Dobinson and Denison 1995; Oxford Archaeology 2009).
    Note that the most recent reference is for 2009 to the "Nighthawking" report (and see comments here). A review article I prepared for Antiquity (2015) raised this very issue and highlighted contemporary examples of unauthorised digging on scheduled sites (online). Are the authors of the article unwilling to draw attention to such activities?

    The ineffectiveness of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act is noted.

    The article makes mention of the 8,000-10,000 metal-detectorists who contribute to the reporting of finds ("contributor base"). This figures relates to a number Roger Bland produced in 2010. Does it need to be updated?

    The article ends with a plea: "the PAS could benefit from more funding". But there needs to be a desire for the PAS to be seen to be protecting and preserving the rich archaeological heritage of England and Wales. And is this a realistic plea in an age of austerity?

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    The Archaeology News Network

    Radiocarbon dating and DNA show ancient Puebloan leadership in the maternal line

    Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful combination of radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA, have shown that a matrilineal dynasty likely ruled Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico for more than 300 years. Photo of Pueblo Bonito taken from the northern rim of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico,...

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    Colleen Morgan (Middle Savagery)

    Dig House Living: Seasonality & Materiality

    For the past couple of days I’ve been here in Qatar, setting up the dig house for the 2017 season of the Origins of Doha and Qatar project. My husband, Daniel Eddisford, is the excavation director (while I’m the digital archaeologist) and we’ve been doing all the chores required such as picking up the rental SUVs, cleaning up the dig house and buying odds and ends for the arriving team.

    Our dig house is undeniably urbane as these things go–Dan & I wrote an article about the contemporary archaeology of dig houses that featured much less comfortable living quarters, including Flinders Petrie’s residence in a tomb in Egypt.

    Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 11.29.57 AM

    Flinders Petrie in front of his tomb dwelling in Giza.

    Dig houses, as we say in our article, are good to think with–they are structuring structures that give shape to our thinking about the past. They also dictate critical social relations amongst team members so we try to give a lot of thought and care about our setup. Our dig house consists of two adjacent flats in “Education City” a sector in Doha that houses all of the universities. There are young families who live in the other apartments and we have a bit of grass, some palm trees, and open space.

    Yesterday Dan picked up several boxes of our kit that we’ve stored away for the year at UCL – Qatar. We have all sorts in there, spare lamps, kitchen knives, a christmas tree, a muffin tin, jigsaw puzzles and each team member has their own box of stuff that they’ve stored over the past year.


    It’s a tricky thing, storing stuff from year-to-year for excavation seasons. It’s a sign of confidence that 1) the project will continue without interruption and 2) you’ll be invited back. Even if you are very confident you’ll be back, it’s good to hedge your bets–we usually leave a random assortment of clothes that aren’t quite knackered…but close, along with various other odds and ends that aren’t worth transporting across the world, but we hate to throw away. Dan and I had stuff stashed on three different continents at one point.

    So this stuff, these little caches of assorted, slightly-knackered and mostly worthless kit become a bit nostalgic when you open them the next year. I’d forgotten about the hoody that I’m currently wearing. I bought it over a decade ago and I probably really should throw away but am currently thankful that I’ve left it as it’s chilly this week in Doha!


    This is a silly laundry basket that I bought for a long season in 2011 and am always happy to be reunited with.

    It’s also a point of pride, of anticipation of future work, to leave a box with your name on it. On the other hand, it can make people incredibly grumpy when they leave a box and then cannot retrieve the contents, even if they contain relatively worthless materials. When you do not plan on coming back, you often shed these same possessions, sometimes by burning or sometimes the project has a place to either donate or pass on clothing. Çatalhöyük had a giant box of miscellaneous ragged clothing that we’d rummage for costumes and such. Infamously, if you did not retrieve your washing from the clean washing pile you might find your beloved possessions in that same box.

    It’s an interesting class of possessions, slightly worthless, slightly precious, always a surprise when you rediscover it but nostalgic at the same time.

    Ancient World Mapping Center

    Two Publications of Interest

    Anyone interested in ancient space and geography should take a look at Dr. Daniel Gargola’s new book, The Shape of the Roman Order: The Republic and Its Spaces, out soon from UNC Press.  Featuring several maps produced by the Ancient World Mapping Center, this fascinating monograph examines how Roman Republican elites conceived of the territories and spaces under their control.  The book is available for preorder here.





    Those who enjoyed Dr. Richard Talbert’s recent work on Roman portable sundials may be interested in a recent write-up of his work in Smithsonian Magazine; it is available here.


    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Picking the President on Facebook Live

    I’m excited for the first Facebook Live event hosted by The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. It happens at 1 pm CST today and will feature Eric Burin, editor of Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College

    The event is free and open to everyone to watch on Picking the President’s Facebook page.

    First, if you haven’t already, download the book for free. If you haven’t had a chance to read it all, that’s ok, there won’t be a quiz.

    Then, show up at 1 pm CST.

    If you have a question or a comment, use the hashtag #PickingthePres on Twitter or Facebook or comment directly on the Facebook feed. 

    It will be fun! 

    Picking the President Cover

    Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

    February Pieces Of My Mind #2

    • Nalin Pekgul: “Us Muslim immigrants used to invite Jehovah’s Witnesses to practise our Swedish”.
    • Movie: Sweden, Heaven and Hell. Hilariously over the top Italian exploitation mockumentary about late-60s Sweden that manages to tell volumes about Italy instead. Narration similar to the closing voice-over in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Relentless blonde breast flaunting throughout. Grade: Recommended.
    • Movie: The Danish Girl. Transgender journey in 1920s Copenhagen and Paris. Main character’s self-absorption and sudden unwillingness to doink A. Vikander get kind of old. Grade: OK.
    • Imagine explaining to someone in 1975 that one day, you’ll be receiving regular phone calls from criminals in India who want to take your home computer hostage.
    • Your choice of headgear is unimportant to me. But I hope you’ll tell me if you’re being threatened or coerced.
    • Sojourning att Kenilworth in 1575, Elizabeth I and her secretariat processed 20 horse deliveries of paperwork every day.
    • Jrette has culled her library. I took four grocery bags of books to the public one.
    • Imagine finding a barf ball from an owl bear, containing the hair, bones and underwear of a 3rd level halfling cleric.
    • How to swear in German: Verschwörungstheorien und Online-Hass!!!
    • A friend of mine said something interesting about the Green Party’s representatives in Swedish municipalities. You get quite a lot of chemtrail-believing hippies. But almost exclusively in towns where the Green Party has never been in a majority position. Actual operative local government tends to weed them (!) out, leaving the pro-science technocratic Greens, for whom I have myself voted repeatedly.
    • Checking myself in the bathroom mirror, I discovered that I’m having a no hair day. But also a pretty good beard-stubble day.
    • I just saw something that would frighten you museum types out there pretty bad. A normal 25-y-o ziploc baggie. That has started to fall apart spontaneously because the plastic has degraded. And written on the baggie, of course, is the ID of its contents.
    • In the past decade I’ve entered three unfamiliar fields of research. I’ve used a method that may look evident to some, but still bears spelling out. It’s simply this: start with the newest publication and read up backwards.
    • Recalled this piece in my first-year German textbook. Mostly what we read there was of no interest to us other than as grammar exercises. But this one was unusually poignant in all its brevity. About a man who gets an ugly dog from a shelter. It’s an old scarred mutt. But the man likes his dog. Ich habe auch ein Paar Narben. “I also carry a few scars.”
    • I found something to write a new Wikipedia article about! A Swedish 1970s scifi publisher.
    • Movie: Louise by the Shore. Beautiful water-colour style animation about an old woman who gets left to spend the winter alone at a strangely empty summer resort in Normandy. Reminiscent of Tove Jansson. Grade: Recommended.
    • Weekly news mag Fokus offers statistics on where it’s easiest to find a spouse in Sweden. Erroneously looks at proportion of unmarried people instead of absolute number. Recommends looking in parts of the country with extremely low population density. *sigh*
    • Movie: The Odyssey. Lavishly produced, solid, pretty and conventional biopic about the J.Y. Cousteau diving movie family business. Grade: OK.
    • Studying the Swedish Social Democrat Party’s platform. Surprised to find that they/we want to establish a worldwide collective bargaining agreement between capital and workers (Sw. kollektivavtal). Not sure if this should be read as a Utopian ambition or an attainable goal.
    Baggensfjärden, view from my Dad's house

    Baggensfjärden, view from my Dad’s house

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    The Book of Job Explained for Today’s Reader

    I love this analogy. Certainly Facebook is the place in our time where one’s so-called friends aggrivate a person’s suffering by commenting on it at length in “conversations” that are in fact more like independent monologues, or indeed diatribes. Perhaps it would be a useful activity to try to paraphrase the Book of Job into [Read More...]

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Egypt's antiquities ministry restores colossus of Ramsess II at Karnak Temples

    Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities is conducting comprehensive restoration work on a colossus...

    Compitum - événements (tous types)

    Séance du séminaire Anthéia : Grèce antique et médecine grecque

    Titre: Séance du séminaire Anthéia : Grèce antique et médecine grecque
    Lieu: Maison de la Recherche de Paris IV-Sorbonne / Paris
    Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
    Date: 01.03.2017
    Heure: 18.00 h - 20.00 h

    Information signalée par Simon Brelaud

    Séance du séminaire Anthéia

    Grèce antique et médecine grecque


    La prochaine séance du séminaire Antheia aura lieu mercredi 1er mars, de 18h à 20h en salle D116 de la Maison de la Recherche.

    Au programme :
    Aurélien GAVOIS, sur :
    – La représentation du cheval et de la cavalerie dans la littérature grecque classique ;

    Tamara MARTI CASADO, sur :
    – Le traité du De Medicina de Giorgio Valla (1501): Histoire et identification des sources.

    Si vous voulez intervenir lors des prochaines séances, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter :

    Venez nombreux !

    Lieu de la manifestation : Paris, Maison de la Recherche Serpente
    Organisation : Séminaire Anthéia
    Contact : seminaireantheia[at]

    ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

    Masculinities and Third Gender: Gendered Otherness in the Ancient Near East

    Their masculine identity was considered to be ambiguous. These persons can be classified as belonging to a third gender. [...]

    The post Masculinities and Third Gender: Gendered Otherness in the Ancient Near East appeared first on The ASOR Blog.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Filming Antiquity

    Filming Antiquity
    Filming Antiquity is an interdisciplinary collaboration and digitisation project funded by a grant from the Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP) at University College London (UCL).  Over the next two years, Filming Antiquity will be digitising excavation films from the Harding archive held in the UCL Institute of Archaeology and making these films accessible through a project website.  The project team members come from three different UCL departments: Archaeology, English and Information Studies.

    The project has three main objectives: a) the digitisation of excavation films currently held in the UCL Institute of Archaeology (IoA), b) an interdisciplinary symposium with screenings of a sample of the digitised films and discussion and c) the construction of an online archive of these films and supporting materials. 

    The films we propose to digitise feature excavations and local context in 1930s British Mandate Palestine.  The early 20th century saw radical developments in technologies of transmission and mass communication.  In this period archaeology gradually shifted from amateur to professional practice, as the first generations of trained archaeologists solidified their techniques in the field.  Supported by the industrialists and museums who funded their work, these archaeologists embraced moving image technology to record life and work on site.  These amateur productions were sometimes shown alongside public exhibitions of artefacts as cinematic proof of the spadework tackling the problems of ancient civilisations within a changing modern context. 

    The collection of these artefacts into an online archive will contribute to dialogues on information storage and knowledge production through digital resources.  Filming Antiquity provides a model for making excavation films accessible and inviting public discussions and interdisciplinary scholarship through online platforms.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Did Stone Age people build a large labyrinth in Denmark?

    Archaeologists have discovered a large enclosure from the Neolithic period near Stevns in...

    The Archaeology News Network

    Experiments call origin of Earth's iron into question

    New research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals that the Earth's unique iron composition isn't linked to the formation of the planet's core, calling into question a prevailing theory about the events that shaped our planet during its earliest years. An infographic describing theories on how the Earth got its iron [Credit: Designed by Laura Martin/ The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences. Images 1...

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

    Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

    key concepts in public archaeology: the archaeological profession and human rights

    Human rights intertwine with archaeology around the work that is done, the material on which the work is done, the material that the work produces, the labourers who do the work and the communities amongst whom the work is done; equally, they intersect over the work that is not done, the material that is neglected, […]

    The Archaeology News Network

    400 million year old gigantic extinct monster worm discovered in Canadian museum

    A previously undiscovered species of an extinct primordial giant worm with terrifying snapping jaws has been identified by an international team of scientists. The holotype of Websteroprion armstrongi [Credit: Luke Parry]Researchers from the University of Bristol, Lund University in Sweden and the Royal Ontario Museum studied an ancient fossil, which has been stored at the museum since the mid-1990s, and discovered the remains of a...

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

    The Archaeology News Network

    Scientists explore the evolution of a 'social supergene' in the red fire ant

    Scientists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered that the chromosome responsible for the social organisation of colonies of the highly invasive fire ant is likely to have evolved via a single event rather than over time. A photograph of a Solenopsis invicta fire ant queen (large), five workers (smaller), one larva (whiteish) on a subset  of the DNA sequence of their social chromosome [Credit: Romain...

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    Jim Davila (

    Saint Jerome, India, and unicorns

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

    The Archaeology News Network

    How cathedral termites got to Australia to build their 'sky-scrapers'

    They build among the tallest non-human structures (proportionately speaking) in the world and now it's been discovered the termites that live in Australia's remote Top End originated from overseas - rafting vast distances and migrating from tree-tops to the ground, as humans later did. Mounds of the cathedral termite Nasutitermes triodiae at Litchfield National Park  [Credit: Jan Sobotnik]Referred to as "cathedral" termites, the...

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

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

    Edinburgh, 19-21 juin 2017 : international workshop

    Attention ! Le 28 février 2017 est la date limite pour répondre à l’appel à communication pour le workshop organisé conjointement par le First Millenia Studies Group et l’université d’Edinburgh. Une opportunité unique pour présenter des recherches sur les établissements ruraux à une audience internationale.   Contact et informations :...

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    The Bible in Arnold Schoenberg’s Music

    The entirety of Schoenberg’s “Moses und Aron” is on YouTube (just the music, not a staged version of the opera): So too is his Jacobsleiter (Jacob’s Ladder): Both are fascinating works in terms of both their relationship to Schoenberg’s developing artistic vision (often referred to, despite Schoenberg’s objections, as “atonality”) and his own religious views. [Read More...]

    Jim Davila (

    Orlov, The Greatest Mirror

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

    Kister on textual fluidity in the DSS

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

    Ancient house with frescoes and phallic amulets

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

    The Archaeology News Network

    Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

    Warming seawaters, caused by climate change and extreme climatic events, threaten the stability of tropical coral reefs, with potentially devastating implications for many reef species and the human communities that reefs support. Researchers found that the rates at which parrotfish erode the reefs increased following  the coral die-off event [Credit: University of Exeter]New research by the University of Exeter shows that...

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

    Journée d’étude Les formes de l’habitat du premier âge du Fer en Europe de l’Ouest

    Journée d’étude de l’Ecole du Louvre et l’Inrap Ecole du Louvre, Amphithéâtre Cézanne, le 31 mars 2017 (9h30 – 17h00, ouvert à tous et gratuit : mais inscription nécessaire) Les formes de l’habitat du premier âge du Fer en Europe de l’Ouest Journée organisée par Cyril Marcigny, Christophe Maitay et...

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Space, place and identity: Landscape as cultural heritage in rural Greece

    March 13, 2017 - 12:22 PM - UPPER HOUSE SEMINAR Dr Paris Potiropoulos (Hellenic Folklore Research Centre, Academy of Athens)

    Jim Davila (

    Vatican menorah exhibition

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

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: News

    Update from Corinth Excavations

    A new on-site program about music, new conservation technicians-in-training, and a mouth-watering vasilopita...

    The Archaeology News Network

    Tune your radio: Galaxies sing when forming stars

    A team led from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has found the most precise way ever to measure the rate at which stars form in galaxies using their radio emission at 1-10 Gigahertz frequency range. The compilation shows composite infrared images of these galaxies created from Spitzer (SINGS)  and Herschel (KINGFISH) observations [Credit: Maud Galametz]Almost all the light we see in the universe comes from stars...

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

    Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

    New planetary formation models from Carnegie's Alan Boss indicate that there may be an undiscovered population of gas giant planets orbiting around Sun-like stars at distances similar to those of Jupiter and Saturn. His work is published by The Astrophysical Journal. Boss' model of a planet-forming disk, which demonstrates that gas giant planets could be found orbiting Sun-like stars at  distances similar to Jupiter and Saturn....

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

    Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    2017.02.38: The Look of Lyric: Greek Song and the Visual. Studies in archaic and classical Greek song, vol. 1. Mnemosyne Supplements. History and archaeology of classical antiquity, 391

    Review of Vanessa Cazzato, André Lardinois, The Look of Lyric: Greek Song and the Visual. Studies in archaic and classical Greek song, vol. 1. Mnemosyne Supplements. History and archaeology of classical antiquity, 391. Leiden; Boston: 2016. Pp. xii, 391. $175.00. ISBN 9789004311633.

    2017.02.37: Studies on the Greek Epic Cycle (2 vols.). Philologia antiqua, 7 (2014) - 8 (2015)

    Review of Giampiero Scafoglio, Studies on the Greek Epic Cycle (2 vols.). Philologia antiqua, 7 (2014) - 8 (2015). Pisa; Roma: 2015. Pp. 139; 165. €245.00 (pb). ISBN 9788862278317.

    2017.02.36: À la recherche des idées: Platonisme et philosophie hellénistique d'Antiochus à Plotin. Histoire des doctrines de l'Antiquité classique, 46

    Review of Mauro Bonazzi, À la recherche des idées: Platonisme et philosophie hellénistique d'Antiochus à Plotin. Histoire des doctrines de l'Antiquité classique, 46. Paris: 2015. Pp. 176. €22.00 (pb). ISBN 9782711625789.

    2017.02.35: Asklepios: Medizin und Kult

    Review of Florian Steger, Asklepios: Medizin und Kult. Stuttgart: 2016. Pp. 162. €26.00 (pb). ISBN 9783515114479.

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

    Qui était Amelia Edwards ?

    Archéologue ? Écrivaine spécialiste en voyages ? Romancière ? Journaliste ? Musicienne ? Linguiste ? Collectrice de fonds ? Féministe ? L’article « Who was Amelia Edwards? » de Penelope Tuson, publié en juin 2015 sur le blog de l’éditeur Oxford university Press « OUPblog », brosse le portrait de cette femme hors du commun. La traduction française inédite publiée sur « Insula » est réalisée par Noémie Krol, étudiante en Master « Traduction Spécialisée Multilingue »-TSM, de l’Université Lille3.

    Contrairement aux autres billets publiés par « Insula », les traductions issues de « OUPblog » ne sont pas publiées sous une licence en libre accès.

    Amelia B. Edwards, 1890 - via Wikimedia CommonsAmelia B. Edwards, 1890 – via Wikimedia Commons

    Étonnamment, peu de personnes ont entendu parler d’Amelia Edwards. Les archéologues la connaissent en tant que fondatrice de la Fondation pour l’exploration de l’Égypte, mise en place en 1882, et de la chaire d’égyptologie à l’University College de Londres, créée en 1892 grâce à un legs qu’elle a laissé à sa mort. Le premier titulaire de la chaire Edwards, Flinders Petrie, a été nommé sur les recommandations d’Amelia et son nom est toujours en lien avec la chaire d’archéologie égyptienne.

    Vers la fin du XIXe siècle, Amelia Edwards a travaillé plus que quiconque pour susciter l’intérêt pour l’Égypte ancienne. En 1873, alors âgée de 42 ans, Amelia Edwards fit un voyage le long du Nil. Elle fut tellement ravie d’avoir fait des fouilles en amateur à Abou Simbel qu’elle retourna en Angleterre, déterminée à consacrer le reste de sa vie à promouvoir l’égyptologie en tant que discipline scientifique. Elle a fait des recherches sur le sujet et a étudié les hiéroglyphes en autodidacte. En 1877, elle a publié un long compte-rendu de son voyage, A Thousand Miles up the Nile, qui fut agréable à lire, et bien écrit d’un point de vue scientifique, et magnifiquement enrichi par ses propres illustrations peintes à l’aquarelle. Le livre a marqué un tournant dans l’écriture des livres de voyage des femmes en se concentrant sur le domaine traditionnellement masculin de l’histoire et de la recherche et en ignorant surtout la vie domestique des femmes, domaine dont Amelia a déclaré qu’elle n’avait pas vraiment eu l’occasion d’étudier.

    Western Women Travelling East 1716-1916 par Penelope Tuson - OUP 2014Western Women Travelling East 1716-1916 par Penelope Tuson – OUP 2014

    En une décennie, Amelia Edwards s’était tellement spécialisée en Égypte ancienne qu’elle participait régulièrement à la rédaction de revues universitaires. Elle s’est également investie dans la recherche de fonds auprès de professionnels et d’amateurs pour les travaux d’excavation et pour la préservation systématique et rigoureuse des monuments. Elle avait une énergie et une endurance physique énorme ainsi qu’une certaine aisance pour s’exprimer en public, talent qui a été brillamment mis en avant en 1889 lorsqu’elle a entrepris une grande tournée de conférences aux États-Unis. Pendant cinq mois, elle a sillonné le continent, s’exprimant parfois devant des auditoires de plus de deux mille personnes. Quand elle s’est cassé le bras quelques heures avant une conférence à Columbus, elle a trouvé un chirurgien pour réduire la fracture et elle s’est rendue à l’événement. Elle a reçu trois titres de docteur honoris causa de la part des universités américaines.

    Abou Simbel dessiné par Amelia B. Edwards, 1870. Domaine public via Wikimedia Commons.Abou Simbel dessiné par Amelia B. Edwards, 1870. Domaine public via Wikimedia Commons.

    Sans surprise, on se souviendra de la vie d’Amelia Edwards dans le contexte de l’archéologie. Cependant, elle était universelle. La traversée sur le Nil était un voyage qu’elle a entrepris à l’aube de la quarantaine alors qu’elle s’était déjà fait un nom en tant qu’écrivaine grâce au récit d’une randonnée organisée dans les Dolomites. Publié en 1873, Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys est toujours l’un des meilleurs livres de voyage jamais publiés sur la région et met en lumière avec une pointe d’exubérance et de spiritualité la glorieuse beauté des montagnes ainsi que leurs communautés précédemment isolées. Contrairement aux Alpes, la région n’a pas été envahie par les touristes. Les occasions de dessiner, de jardiner et de faire de l’alpinisme étaient nombreuses. Vous pouviez même entendre des airs de Verdi, parfaitement interprétés dans une auberge de village par le ténor local. Pour Amelia Edwards, elle-même chanteuse de talent, c’était un plus.

    À l’époque où elle a entrepris son voyage dans les Dolomites, l’égyptologue était déjà une célèbre romancière. Elle a écrit des articles, des poèmes et des histoires policières pour plusieurs revues dont celle de Charles Dickens, Household Words, et elle fut l’une des premières à apporter sa contribution à la revue mensuelle féministe English Woman’s Journal, lancée en 1858. Son best-seller, Histoire de Barbara, évoque la bigamie et l’infidélité, thèmes avant-gardistes mais néanmoins populaires de l’époque victorienne, tandis que son héroïne éponyme est une femme cosmopolite, fougueuse et érudite.

    Amelia Edwards est devenue par la suite vice-présidente de la Society for Promoting Women’s Suffrage (association de promotion du vote des femmes). Elle est l’une des nombreuses femmes européennes aux multiples talents à avoir changé la nature des récits de voyage chez les femmes. Jane Dieulafoy, Ella Sykes, Isabella Bird, Lady Anne Blunt, et Gertrude Bell ont toutes réussi à leur manière à dépasser les limites conventionnelles du voyage féminin. Qu’elles soient mariées ou célibataires, elles n’ont plus accepté que leurs intérêts et leurs récits soient réduits à des sujets littéraires et domestiques afin de garantir la publication. Bien que leur attitude à l’égard de la campagne pour le suffrage des femmes diffère parfois, elles ont toutes revendiqué leur droit d’être prises au sérieux au sein du monde masculin de la science, de la géopolitique et de la diplomatie.

    Archéologue ? Écrivaine spécialiste en voyages ? Romancière ? Journaliste ? Musicienne ? Linguiste ? Collectrice de fonds ? Féministe ? Amelia Edwards était plus qu’à la hauteur pour effectuer n’importe quelle tâche. Après sa mort, à l’âge de 60 ans, sa cousine, Matilda Betham-Edwards, a déclaré que, si elle avait vécu plus longtemps, Amelia aurait probablement laissé de côté l’égyptologie et se serait lancée dans un nouveau projet qui aurait eu autant de succès. « Qui peut savoir ? Elle se serait sûrement jetée à corps perdu dans les débats agités sur les droits des femmes… Non seulement elle avait l’étoffe d’un dirigeant puissant et d’un chef de parti, mais aussi de Premier ministre. »

    Traduction réalisée par Noémie Krol,
    étudiante du Master « Traduction Spécialisée Multilingue » – TSM, de l’Université Lille 3.

    newlogoTSMPlus d’informations sur le Master TSM :
    Blog du Master : blog MasterTSM@Lille
    Facebook :
    Twitter : @Master_TSM

    Les traductions publiées par « Insula » le sont avec l’accord des auteurs ou du responsable éditorial du site ou du blog concerné. Nous les en remercions chaleureusement.

    Abou Simbel. Photo par Dennis Jarvis. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Abou Simbel. Photo par Dennis Jarvis. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    The Archaeology News Network

    More on Brightest neutron star yet has a multipolar magnetic field

    ESA's XMM-Newton has found a pulsar – the spinning remains of a once-massive star – that is a thousand times brighter than previously thought possible. The record-breaking pulsar, identified as NGC 5907 X-1, is in the spiral galaxy NGC 5907, which is also known  as the Knife Edge Galaxy or Splinter Galaxy. The image comprises X-ray emission data (blue/white) from  ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray...

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    Brightest neutron star yet has a multipolar magnetic field

    Scientists have identified a neutron star that is consuming material so fast it emits more x-rays than any other. Its extreme brightness can only be explained if the star has a complex multipolar magnetic field, the researchers say. Ultraluminous x-ray sources (ULXs) are seen in some nearby galaxies and shine brighter than any x-ray source in our own galaxy. Artist's concept of a neutron star [Credit: NASA/Dana Berry]Simple...

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    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)


    Asian Civilisations Museum research fellowship - Applications Open #acmsingapore #fellowship #museum #singapore
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    Posted by Southeast Asian Archaeology

    Compitum - publications

    J. von Ungern-Sternberg, Les chers ennemis: deutsche und französische Altertumswissenschaftle


    Jürgen von Ungern-Sternberg, Les chers ennemis. Deutsche und französische Altertumswissenschaftle, Stuttgart, 2017.

    Éditeur : Franz Steiner Verlag
    Collection : Collegium Beatus Rhenanus
    309 pages
    ISBN : 978-3-515-11612-1
    54 €

    Les rapports entre les spécialistes des sciences de l'antiquité allemands et français ne pouvaient se soustraire aux ruptures des guerres de 1870 puis de 1914–1918. Pourtant, on a trop peu tenu compte du fait qu'avant 1870 et à nouveau jusque avant 1914, les échanges étaient nombreux, parfois même amicaux. Ce volume présente des études sur cette coopération, dans laquelle Maurice Holleaux, Theodor Mommsen et Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Möllendorff ont joué un rôle éminent. Mais il met en lumière également les stéréotypes nationaux réciproques et propose une analyse des différentes traditions de la recherche. Plusieurs études sont consacrées à l'interruption des relations scientifiques en 1914, vouée à perdurer bien au-delà de la fin de la guerre.

    Lire la suite...

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    The Ephemeral Muse: Ritual Context and Aesthetics in Fifth-Century Athenian Vase-Painting

    February 28, 2017 - 9:08 AM - LECTURE Carolyn M. Laferrière (Yale University)

    Deviant Burial and the Dangerous Dead in Ancient Athens

    February 24, 2017 - 9:06 AM - AEGEAN LECTURES Maria A.  Liston (University of Waterloo, ON, Canada)

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Assumptions in Question in New Times

    When voters feel democracy is not serving their interests, freedom starts to falter (Gideon Rachman, 'The authoritarian wave reaches the west' Financial Times, 20th Feb 2017): 
    [...] This authoritarian wave threatens to undermine comfortable assumptions about how politics works. The belief that the politics of the rich, established democracies of the west are fundamentally different from those of Latin America or Asia may need to be rethought. The idea that the middle-class and the young will always be the most stalwart supporters of democracy is also looking increasingly rocky.
    It seems not to be being noticed that the assumptions concerning 'western' attitudes to cultural heritage may be yet another casualty of the new times we seem to be entering.

    Vignette: Financial Times

    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    Dipinto da una donna fra le donne Artemisia Gentileschi e il suo tempo nell’Europa tra ieri e oggi.

    In mostra a Roma a Palazzo Braschi fino al 7 maggio 2017. 

    Caravaggio si dipinge nei panni di Micone lo Zoppo come una statua di Pigmalione nel cantiere della Cappella Contarelli. A figura intera dietro Giovanni Baglione di spalle con il suo Caravaggino, l’autoritratto commosso del Martirio di S. Matteo a S. Luigi dei Francesi. Alla scuola di Zeusi fra la moltitudine… dalla costola di Eva nisi fabula est, Artemisia Gentileschi

    Prima esposta nel percorso integrato del Museo di Capodimonte, la Giuditta e Oloferne di Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) a Napoli è entrata nella pertinente sezione della mostra intitolata alla pittrice romana, che si è aperta al Museo di Roma di Palazzo Braschi a novembre 2016. Artemisia Gentileschi e il suo tempo è densa di dipinti anche inediti ed in collezione privata, tra i quali non ultima nello spazio del suo periodo napoletano, la Salomé a Battistello Caracciolo (Christie’s 1982), che venne presentata nella vasta rassegna catalografica campana del 2009. Non tutta e non tutto Artemisia, l’esibizione rivisita l’iniziativa del Musée Maillol di Parigi del 2012, suscitando un'attrattiva sul pubblico del suo primo museo ideale meno introspettiva e analiticamente monografica, oltrefrontiera l’apertura della filiera di cantiere e di mercato alla pittrice italiana. Il confronto con le sue opere in rapporto al collezionismo messinese dei Ruffo vorrebbe nei titoli di testa, esposta al Prado nel 2016 con saggio a cura di Cristina Terzaghi, la Salomé del Palazzo Reale di Madrid, il quadro a Napoli nel 1657 in possesso di Garzìa d’Avellaneda conte di Castrillo e Haro, vicerè di Napoli dal 1653, che fu portato in Spagna nel 1666 ed entrò nella raccolta di Carlo III. Itinerante in questi giorni a Dublino e poi a Edinburgo, si è chiusa a Londra l’esibizione ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ alla National Gallery, che, nell’ampia carrellata di caravaggeschi dei musei inglesi curata anche da italiani, tra loro Gabriele Finaldi, ha incluso tra i suoi originali il Ragazzo morso da un ramarro e, faccia a faccia con l’analoga di Mathias Stom, la Salomé (National Gallery, Londra), la tela che, storicamente non sottintesa soltanto nelle Lettere scritte a Lanfranco Massa a Napoli nel 1610 (ASN), a quella data sarebbe tornata in città per la seconda volta senza entrare a far parte della sua raccolta[1]. In contemporanea a Roma alla Galleria Borghese, fino a marzo 2017, ‘Le origini della natura morta’ accentua la distanza tra Caravaggio e l’anonimo Maestro di Hartford, in rapporto alla propria collezione e alle nature morte ambrosiane, accentrando su Giovan Battista Crescenzi e Jan Brughel dei Velluti un lay-out critico, non senza avvalersi di approfondimenti di ricerca e giungere a dibattere il pertinente diario di materiali di lavoro di Federico Zeri, animandone con nuovi spunti il primo repertorio catalografico on-line  nella sezione tematica dedicata della Fondazione omonima. La mostra madrilena ‘Da Caravaggio a Bernini’ si è svolta in contemporanea ad una prospettiva su ‘Caravaggio e i pittori del Nord’ al Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, curata da Gert Jan Van der Sman, che ha concentrato il suo profilo, nell’ambito del prestito intermuseale di opere, su una selezione dei caravaggeschi tra i pittori europei, che nei primi due decenni del Seicento a migliaia avranno percorso l'Italia, appena chiusa al suo culmine un’altra retrospettiva ancora al Metropolitan Museum di New York, focalizzata inoltre sulla figura di Valentin de Boulogne. La smentita degli Het-Schilderboeck di Karel van Mander, il ‘Libro dei pittori’ andato in stampa con un’incisione datata 1603, ha scivolato nell’aneddotica il David e Golia (fg1) (Roma, Galleria Borghese) appartenuto al poeta Juan de Tassis y Peralta. Van Mander postillerà di essere stato male informato, scorgendo un mostro che sbeffeggiava le Storie di S. Lorenzo di Giuseppe Cesari D’Arpino a S. Lorenzo in Damaso, secondo Giulio Mancini e Filippo Titi nella navata destra, cui Gaspare Celio aveva aggiunto “sotto la zuffitta, alla sinistra dell’altar maggiore” della chiesa[2]. Dall’equivoco di un ‘tableau vivant’ dell’autoritratto di Golia soffocato dalla sua lingua, prominente nella definizione di Joachim von Sandrart, era smascherato David, che sarebbe stato impersonato dal suo Caravaggino (Manilli 1650), da sottinsù, a mezza figura coi calzoni sbracati, l’eroe con il suo gigante un Pigmalione e un Morgante Nano. Nella deposizione di Caravaggio del 1603 Tommaso Salini, il Caravaggino per antonomasia[3], era: “... uno che va sempre con lui [n.d.r.: Giovanni Baglione] che lo chiamano l’angelo custode... che lo chiamano per Mao.” Ovunque lo si voglia sostenere (Sotheby’s 2016), il candore marmoreo di Valentin del David e Golia a Madrid, al Museo del Prado, faceva precedere questo dipinto nel Libro di spesa, estratto del cardinale Ascanio Filomarino a Palazzo della Cancelleria e nell’inventario Barberini del quarto decennio del Seicento. Un doppio autoritratto di Artemisia sarebbe invece la Giuditta e Oloferne (fg5a,b, c), mentre Giuditta e Abra (Firenze, Uffizi, 1637) è raffrontata negli scenari espositivi alla Salomé di Budapest (Szépmüveszti Mùzeum), in mostra sempre a Milano nel 2011, in occasione di un altro recente riesame dei caravaggeschi, poi nel 2014 a Budapest, che aveva visto protagoniste le due Salomé di Londra e di Madrid.

    Fig.1- Caravaggio, Davide e Golia (Galleria Borghese, Roma)

    Ridando vita alla scultura romana abbattuta, dipinta da Tommaso Laureti nella volta della Stanza di Costantino vaticana, Caravaggio si era dipinto proprio come una statua di Pigmalione nei panni di Micone lo Zoppo (fg2) in fuga dalla scuola di Zeusi, nel cantiere della Cappella Contarelli, a figura intera dietro Giovanni Baglione, per il quale sembra avesse posato Mario Minniti, con il suo Caravaggino di spalle. L’autoritratto commosso del Martirio di S. Matteo a S. Luigi dei Francesi fra la moltitudine, mettendone a fuoco il volto barbato paragonato a Golia, indeboliva il profilo della figura di Malco con la lanterna al margine destro nella Presa di Cristo, variato nelle copie (fg5a, b). Un viso che sarà magro e accasciato nel domenicano, sempre dal fondo entrato sulla scena della Madonna del Rosario (Kunsthistorisches, Wien), in cui lo sguardo ha vigore.

    Fig. 2 - Caravaggio, Martirio di S. Matteo (Cappella Contarelli, S. Luigi dei Francesi, Roma), dettaglio

    Le figure a sinistra nella scena del Martirio hanno i volti del cardinale Francesco Maria Del Monte, Vescovo di Porto e di S. Rufina, con la porpora sotto il mantello, e di Francesco II di Lorena, un re Irtaco abbacinato, forse Carlo Saraceni, l’abbaglio della pittura al lume del candeliere nel movimentato ferimento dell’Evangelista (che si avvale nell’abito di Matteo di una sensibilità baroccesca). In primo piano, palpabile, la ritrosia del devoto alla confirmazione del celebrante ed il raccapriccio verso il carnefice fulminato, impersonato forse da Bartolomeo Manfredi, nel mezzo un ragazzo, o piuttosto una bambina con la tonsura del crisma in fuga a gambe levate, che con i capelli lunghi sarà ancora in fuga in controparte maschile nelle vesti di S. Giovanni nella Presa di Cristo Mattei, in luce la parola del Vangelo secondo Matteo nella predicazione degli oratoriani e la devozione del raccoglimento nel discernimento delle vocazioni tra gli accoliti. Sul lato opposto, la satira di Giambattista Marino non avrà risparmiato il ritratto allibito del committente Melchiorre Crescenzi tra i pubblicani, con le mani al fianco e dietro la schiena, la cui fisionomia era còlta non solo dal ritratto a mezzo busto romano del chierico di camera dalla Giustiniani, dov’era inciso (Gemäldegalerie, Berlino), ma anche nella flagranza del modello, Lionello Spada, ingaggiato a Roma al seguito di Pietro Aldobrandini. Per Ferdinando Gonzaga doveva essersi prestato un seguace dei Carracci, Giambattista Viola, seduto con il cappello piumato di fronte a lui al tavolo del gabelliere Matteo. Pietro, accanto a Cristo in primo piano, figura molto discussa in rapporto alle spettrografie che hanno mostrato fosse eseguita di getto, identificherebbe in Pierpaolo Crescenzi, quale referendario di Tiberio Cerasi, nel 1596 tesoriere del pontefice Clemente VIII, Ippolito Aldobrandini, che a sua volta è ritratto alle spalle di Matteo, colui al quale era spettata l’elargizione in luogo di Virgilio e di Giambattista Crescenzi della liberalità di Mathieu Cointreil, Matteo Contarelli sepolto nel 1590 nella Cappella di S. Luigi dei Francesi. Fintanto che, nel 1601, beneficiario della Fabbrica di S. Pietro sarà Berlinghiero Gessi, accademico dei Gelati, estimatore di Angelo Caroselli, di Alessandro Albini, pittore di Agostino Carracci con Francesco Gessi e il Mastelletta, Giovanni Andrea Donducci, che Caravaggio eleggerà nel fatidico 1603 tra i più valenti pittori. Il peccatore Matteo era l’uomo che maneggia denaro delle elemosine dei poveri, soggetto all’aggio nei pubblici offiicj non solo romani, un servo scettico dell’ausilio della legge sadducèa chiamato dal gesto michelangiolesco di Cristo alla contemplazione della grazia, dalla quale riceve ricompensa prima che dalla voce, schietto almeno quanto penetrante parabola fosse l’apofatismo di Paolo Sarpi, avverso con veemenza al gioco ai dadi e alle carte e alle scommesse di bravi e signori, che si sarebbe potuto trovare alle Terme Alessandrine alla chiesa francese, anche quando, nello scenario romano del 1601, tra la potenza delle fazioni domenicana e gesuita il priorato eleggerà Alof  Wignacourt nel magisterio di Gran Conestabile dell’Ordine Gerosolimitano dei Cavalieri di Malta. Saranno i pittori caravaggeschi, spesso stimati maestri d’imitazione, ad assimilare i tavoli ed i banchi di monete dei pubblicani nella ‘Vocazione di Matteo’ alle ore di attesa alle carte e ai dadi dei soldati di guardia ai piedi della croce e degli Atti degli Apostoli. Nell’alveo della Cappella di San Matteo, il ruolo della committenza Crescenzi faceva risalire al 1595 l’udienza pontificia a Ripetta, la Tesoreria nel privilegio mediceo di Piazza di Firenze, in cui Caravaggio avrebbe incontrato Filippo Neri e ne sarebbe resa testimoniale nel laterale della Vocazione da un possibile ritratto giovane del contabile Piero del Nero, nipote di Leone XI, se, loro concorrenti al pari dei Crivelli e dei Tassi Della Torre ambrosiani, fossero stati i Banchi Costa e Giustiniani, tra i non ultimi suoi fautori, sostenitori di Filippo. Nella lunga sequenza di contratti della Cappella Contarelli si sarebbe avvicendato Onorio Longhi, almeno una volta contraente per esteso negli ultimi documenti cronologicamente approssimabili anche per la scala di grandezza alla committenza delle tele romane, presente alla stipula del Banco della Curia romana a Rione Ponte, il Banco del Monte S. Spirito (la Croce bianca dell’altare del Martirio), ancora nell’egida del senese Fabio Nuti nel palazzo del notariato sulla piazza del Governatore dei tribunali Alessandro Medici a S. Eustachio. Sarà stato sempre Caravaggio a costringere in uno stanzino Lionello Spada con uno specchio in mano per osservarsi a capo chino da uno sportello e, invece di farne tre in un giorno solo, ad impiegarne diversi per la testa del Battista della Salomé (Londra, National Gallery) soltanto, come suggerito da Carlo Cesare Malvasia. Nel dipinto di Oloferne esibito a Tolosa da Eric Turquin, e a cura di Nicola Spinosa a Milano alla Pinacoteca di Brera fino al mese prossimo, affiorano sfumature ed enfietà di Frans Pourbus il giovane nella vecchia Abra, che, al pari di Abraham Vinx, era a Napoli. A tinte più apprezzabilmente caravaggesche è la Giuditta e Oloferne di Palazzo Zevallos - altro museo napoletano che annovera più di un’opera di Artemisia - dipinto stimato da tempo Louis Finson o concretamente anonimo, anche esposto a Brera. Nel catalogo dall’estesissima bibliografia della mostra a Palazzo Braschi, tra autori immancabili, Judith Mann e Nicola Spinosa sull’onda delle ultimissime monografie dedicate alla pittrice, i contributi di Francesca Baldassari, Jesse Locker e molti altri. Penetranti gli spunti biografici tratti dalle opere di Artemisia del periodo fiorentino dal vivo delle riflessioni galileiane e della scienza archeologica nell’Accademia del Cimento. Ampiamente riepilogativa degli apparati bibliografici della Giuditta e Oloferne di Caravaggio alla Galleria Barberini è la scheda relativa nel catalogo dell’esposizione, che vi riproietta il documento ancora ‘senza quadro’ della ricevuta rilasciata dal pittore ad Ottavio Costa nel 1602 dell’Archivio di Stato di Siena (Fondo Origo del Palagio) estratta dai Libri dei Conti del Banco, approssimando il termine ante quem non alla committenza della chiesa della Trinità, che Giacomo Manilli nel 1650 voleva tra i quadri recuperati della Villa Borghese. Alla considerazione della Giuditta Costa il testo di Giovanni Baglione aggiungeva: “…e diversi quadri per altri, che per non stare in luoghi publici, io trapasso…” Senza specificare se gli fosse stata dipinta un’Incredulità di S. Tommaso da destinare a qualche cappella come farà Giovanni Baglione, sarà stato Giulio Mancini a dirne almeno uno degli acquirenti il Costa: “Christo che va in Emaus che lo comprò a Roma il Costa.” Un’Incredulità di S. Tommaso, che, con il dipinto ad Hampton Court degli apostoli ‘Giovanni, Pietro e Giacomo’ prima indescritto, era entrata nella collezione della corona inglese - tra le più ricercate (Sotheby’s 1803; British Museum, Londra) le rispettive stampe ‘da Caravaggio’ alla maniera nera dei Murphy - ha trovato spazio nella mostra londinese con l’attribuzione a Giovanni Antonio Galli, lo Spadarino (Wrotham Park) (fg3a, b, c, d).  


     Fig. 3a - Pietro e Giacomo  

     Fig. 3b - Incredulità di S. Tommaso 
    Fg- 3c, d - John Murphy (Michael Angelo da Caravaggio pinxit) 

    La concretezza di dettaglio dei pesci mostrati da Pietro e del gesto ermetico di Giacomo accostava la terna di figure, tra i soggetti più interpretati dalla letteratura artistica, ancora ad un altro episodio del protagonismo di Giacomo, quale apostolo anziano nel ‘Tributo a Cesare’. Lo storico Stefano Ticozzi, nel rilevare la zincotipia in coppia con l’Incredulità di S. Tommaso del 1783, rendendo dialetticamente esortativa la terza mezza figura, la descriveva come “Pietro, e Giacomo, che conversano insieme”, senza cogliervi un passo determinato dei Vangeli, fosse pure aderente alla Trasfigurazione (Mt, 17, 1-9): “Sei giorni dopo, Gesù prese con sé Pietro, Giacomo e Giovanni suo fratello e li condusse con sé su un alto monte [n.d.r.: Monte Tabor]”, non meno celebre la Vocazione di Pietro e Andrea di Federico Barocci (Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles), proveniente da Pesaro la replica che, sullo scorcio dell’Ottocento, era nel palazzo romano dei Mattei (collezione Sterbini, Roma). Nella collezione Patrizi una Cena in Emmaus (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano), capiente anche di un ‘San Giovanni Evangelista’ attribuitovi a Caravaggio, è la prima tela ad essere stata nuovamente sottoposta nel 2010 a riflettografia elettronica ad infrarosso in modalità a 16 bande, migliorativa della tecnologia a banda unica. La scansione a colonne si è dimostrata efficace a penetrarne lo spessore della preparazione rossastra, dove a nero, evidenziandone l’abbozzo fine, a carbone. La provenienza Coppi (1951) della Giuditta della Galleria Barberini dalla residenza dei Costa sulla via Appia, eredi di Maria Costa, sepolta a Roma a S. Francesco a Ripa nel 1852, era attestata anche da Giuseppe Tomassetti nella Campagna romana, che vi documentava la prossimità nei primi decenni del Novecento alla Villa dei Coppi. Se non la stessa imbambolata nella Madonna del Rosario e della Salomé, la ricerca dei tratti di un’altra modella della Giuditta Barberini, stimata nello studio napoletano nel 1607 anche da Annibale Carracci, insegue un’Artemisia poco più che adolescente apprendista del padre Orazio al Casino delle Muse sul Quirinale, non senza che la scheda di Michele Cuppone tenti di accantonare la caratterizzazione di modelli maschili e attrici del teatro di posa che frequentavano il pittore, gli uni e le altre qualche volta scambievoli l’un l’altro, o di modelli di controfigura scelti per la somiglianza fisionomica, Fillide Melandroni che, in casa Giustiniani, aveva posato con Giulio Strozzi nella Buona Ventura, altrimenti insonne il delirio di Lena Antognetti in carne ed ossa della Madonna di Loreto e della Morte della Madonna. Il dipinto Gentileschi di Giuditta e Oloferne da Palazzo Zambeccari della Pinacoteca di Bologna (fg4c) restaurato ed esposto nel 2015, nei venezianismi cromatici, non è annunciato in mostra a Palazzo Braschi. Questo quadro, considerato replica della Giuditta di Capodimonte (fg4a), era definito flagrante nella sua terribilità da Charles Nicolas Cochin (1758), aggiungendo all’ormai sterminato caravaggismo letterario che: “On a perdu le souvenir du nom de l’auteur: mais on croit que c’est M. A. de Caravage”, come tale ammirato anche da Jerome Richard. Con qualche probabilità di essere stato commissionato alla pittrice a Firenze, da Laura Corsini secondo i curatori dell’esposizione, sarà stato Louis Viardot nel panorama europeo del 1842 a riconoscervi Artemisia, senza precisare con la dipendenza del quadro bolognese dalla Giuditta che a Napoli stimava di Caravaggio, l’appartenenza o meno di quest’ultimo all’Accademia di Capodimonte e ai Farnese. Nell’attuale mole di dipinti in numero a tre cifre della rassegna romana, che abbiano ruotato o appartengano al cromatismo delle ombre, se si eccettua una Samaritana al pozzo, Maddalena e forse Sant’Orsola, può dirsi biblica più che conformista la carrellata di dejà vu della pittrice, che stravolgeva l’eterno femminino caravaggesco. 


     Fig. 4a - Artemisia Gentileschi, Giuditta
    e Oloferne (Capodimonte, Napoli)  

    Fg - 4b -  Giuditta e Oloferne (Uffizi, Firenze) 


     Fig. 4c - Giuditta e  Oloferne (Pinacoteca
    Nazionale, Bologna) 


    Sfuggente una sua Cattura o Presa di Cristo, neanche tentato un accostamento alla descrizione della tela, forse non l’unica rappresentativa come originale esibita anche nella città partenopea, che era a Caravaggio tra i beni dell’inventario testamentale di Lanfranco Massa (1630, ASR), che a Napoli aveva soggiornato a lungo. Pubblicata per prima nel secolo scorso, con fotografia in bianco e nero e colore, la Presa già Ladis Sannini a Firenze aveva reso armato il profilo al margine destro con la lanterna (Antiquario Bigetti, Roma 2003), svecchiato nel restauro del 2003. Deludente, anche se l’altra a questa assimilabile per le angolosità dei visi, fedele alla scala cromatica precocemente nitida del pittore di Pastrana Juan Bautista Maìno, la copia della Presa di Cristo Mattei della Cattedrale di Sucre in Bolivia (Fig. 5a)                                                                                                                                                  

    Fig. 5a - Presa di Cristo, copia da (Museo Catedralico de Sucre, Bolivia) 

    Fig. 5b- Copia da (Museo d’arte orientale e occidentale, Odessa)

    (Museo Eclésiastico di Sucre) di provenienza spagnola, forse appartenuta ad Antonio José de Sucre. Maìno, aderente al primo caravaggismo e, com’è noto, attivo nella Cattedrale di Toledo, era personalità dotata di senso dell’osservazione e di una pratica devozionale della pittura sacra particolarmente felice nella chiarità degli incarnati, non senza una leziosità di dettaglio da caposcuola nella tecnica dei ‘Bodegones’, insistenti nella tela del San Giovanni Battista della Cattedrale dove si svolse un maestrato di Giovanni Battista Crescenzi. Di proporzioni e sviluppo analoghi alla Presa di Cristo di Sucre - la sua figura di S. Giovanni, priva di un qualche espediente di allungamento delle braccia e divaricazione della scena sulla tela, ed altrettanto consistente la gestualità di Giuda che, afferrandolo, fa vacillare la testa, i riccioli e il corpo di Cristo - il quadro a Valencia (Giacomo Di Castro) contraddistinto come ‘Bacio di Giuda’ nel Museo del Patriarca del Collegio del Corpus Christi (Fig. 6) annesso alla chiesa, omogeneo non senza appiattire l’originale (Firenze, Uffizi, depositi) (Fig. 7). Nel Collegio anche una Crocefissione di S. Pietro (Roma, S. Maria del Popolo), forse l’unico soggetto di Caravaggio presto rappresentato a Siviglia e Valencia da almeno un’autorevole copia presso il Duca di Alcalà, a dire di Francisco

    Fig. 6 - Presa di Cristo o Bacio di Giuda (Museo del Patriarca, Valencia)


    Pacheco (ed. 1649), che nel passo sui pittori valenzani, accademicamente in antinomia a Guido Reni, alludeva a Jusepe Ribera. Baglione e Pellegrino Orlandi avranno inoltre sottolineato le commissioni eseguite in competizione con Gaspare Celio da Orazio Borgianni per l’agostiniano Juan de Ribera, il patriarca d’Antiochia del Museo, procuratore di opere d’arte dei Collegi di Spagna. Confrontate entrambe alla riquadrata Hamilton-Nisbet (Dublino, National Gallery), commissionata dai Mattei a Roma sull’originale e venduta come Gherardo delle Notti, non ne dimostrano che l’iconicità nella copiosità accademica. Jerome De Lalande e Dominique Magnan avranno visitato nel 1765 il palazzo romano dei Mattei, la cui galleria da oltre un secolo conservava la Presa di Cristo di Caravaggio (Firenze, Uffizi) e una copia ordinata dagli stessi Mattei nella quarta camera[4], presto attribuita negli inventari a Gherardo delle Notti. De Lalande demanderà all’edizione in lingua francese di guide romane la descrizione della città, uscita nel 1769 dallo stesso editore del Voyage a Yverdon non senza riserve da parte dell’autore e l’edizione della Ville de Rome di Magnan, che la reputava a Roma, uscirà nel 1777. Nell’Itinéraire di Roma di Giuseppe e Mariano Vasi del 1786 sarà annotata nel Palazzo Mattei, tornata dal Castello Mattei a Giove nella quarta camera del piano nobile romano, solo la copia del Caravaggio, eseguita da Gherardo delle Notti, che, come tale, vi era stata portata: “Jesus-Christ arrété dans le jardin, de Gherard delle Notti” e che il diplomatico prussiano Friedrich von Ramdhor nel 1787 esalterà, invece che originale, con la circonlocuzione di ‘identica’, tela pervenuta da Edinburgo a Dublino nel secolo scorso (National Gallery, Dublino). Scorciando la guida d’Italia scritta in lingua francese da Charles Nicolas Cochin, neppure Jerome Richard si era soffermato, nella Description, sulla rassegna delle gallerie del palazzo romano dei Mattei, che si stava svuotando: “J’en ai vu plusieurs [n.d.r.: statue, 1761] sur l’escalier et dans les galleries du Palais Mathei à Rome”, andata in stampa nel 1766, postuma l’edizione contemporanea di Ridolfino Venuti con la “Presa del Salvatore nell’Orto del Caravaggio” a Palazzo Mattei, assegnando lo stesso Richard a Gherardo Honthorst una Cattura nell’orto a lume di candela a Palazzo Spada, il Cristo nell’orto  di “Monsù Gherardo delle notti” nello Studio di Filippo Titi (1763), dalla seconda metà del secolo scorso radicalmente dibattuto nella cerchia di Trophime Bigot, dall’Ecce homo di Honthorst (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). Innumerevoli gli imprimatur degli itinerari romani tradotti, che non descriveranno che in poche righe il Palazzo Mattei, del 1801 una relazione di Carlo Fea nella galleria che da Gerard van Honthorst oscillava a Rubens, al fine della prelazione della Camera Apostolica, la copia del quadro di Caravaggio nella vendita ad Hamilton-Nisbet, che menzionano ancora a Roma gli itinerari di Andrea Manazzale, curati per l’archeologia da Stefano Piale. Fintanto che, tra i dipinti stipulati dal Nisbet (1802), quest’ultima non sarà infine stata esportata ad Hamilton Palace ad Edinburgo, e, dal terzo decennio dell’Ottocento, la collezione Mattei non sarà stata ormai del tutto smembrata. La Hamilton, documentata distintintamente negli atti di esportazione dallo Stato Pontificio, nuovamente venduta (Dowells Ltd. 1922), avrà conservato nelle due ultime destinazioni di Dublino la cornice con il cartiglio di ‘Gherardo delle Notti’. Con un’Incoronazione di spine (Firenze, Uffizi), Bartolomeo Manfredi aveva replicato la Presa di Cristo nel giardino degli olivi di Caravaggio a Palazzo Mattei, invertendo e avanzando nello spazio in un profilo baroccesco anche la figura di Cristo, che nella rotazione e nello spessore luministico del paesaggio, ritraendosi, scansava la presenza di Giuda, sbaragliatane dallo specchio la ‘rondeur’, pubblicate e

    Fig. 7 - Caravaggio, Presa di Cristo  (Uffizi, Firenze) 

    Fg - 8- Bartolomeo Manfredi, Presa di Cristo, (Museo Nazionale d’Arte Occidentale, Tokyo) 

    segnalate nel secolo scorso rispettivamente la prima, sia nella Collezione Silvano Lodi che agli Uffizi e la seconda al Palais Dorotheum di Vienna nel 2002, in due repliche (G. Papi, 2006; 2010). Inciso in controparte nel 1658 (Pieter van Liesbetten, ‘P. Liesebetten fecit, Monfredo pinxit’, Th. Pict. ed. 1684), con provenienza dalla raccolta di Leopoldo Guglielmo l’esemplare in Collezione Koelliker a Milano della fortunata Presa di Cristo di Manfredi (Fig. 8), esposto a Roma nel 2006 (Sotheby’s 2014; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo 2015), è entrato in rassegna a Tokyo nel 2016, da questo dipinto la versione di Dirck van Baburen (Galleria Borghese, Roma). L’appartenenza agli Asburgo della copia in cui Giuda si presenta per baciare Cristo, realizzata da Manfredi allo specchio dalla Presa di Cristo di Caravaggio (fg7) (Firenze, Uffizi), attribuita nella galleria fiorentina a Tiziano da Nicolas Cochin nel 1758 e da Jerome Richard, non toglie che l’Incoronazione di spine a mezze figure dal Tiziano di S. Maria delle Grazie a Milano o Derisione di Cristo, appannaggio del Granduca agli Uffizi, sia stata inventariata a Caravaggio nella ‘Guardaroba’ nel 1793, ascrittagli da Luigi Lanzi, non soggiacendo a donazioni di Leopoldo II ai propri familiari e a Lucien Bonaparte, come anche il Cristo portacroce tizianesco (Scuola di San Rocco, Venezia; Uffizi, Firenze) nel genere ‘lombardo’, che aveva indotto Francesco Scannelli nel 1657 a riferire senz’altro a Caravaggio la tecnica rudimentale del Cavadenti (Uffizi, Firenze), immaginazione alla lettera scaturita dai diavoli cavadenti del Baldus di Teofilo Folengo.[5] Tuttora è agli Uffizi (fg.7) la Presa di Cristo o Bacio di Giuda di Caravaggio nella Galleria Palatina, che sarà inventariata nel 1802, ‘dipintovi Giuda che bacia Nostro Signore’. Tra Guido Cagnacci da Casteldurante e Michele Desubleo, la flagranza allo stesso tempo autobiografica ed antiquaria di Nicolas Régnier, ancora un altro cavaliere della decretata Accademia romana del disegno al servizio del marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani, è discutibile nella mostra di Palazzo Braschi entro i termini biografici della pittrice Gentileschi. Dalla collezione di questo artista francese sarà pervenuto agli Uffizi (1698), identificato da Giovanni Morelli, il quadro della raccolta di Gabriele e Andrea Vendramin dalla Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista a Venezia, le ‘Tre età dell’uomo’ di Giorgione (Fig. 9), che parla di sé ad ogni protagonismo di apprendista, un triplice ritratto della famiglia Vendramin, se confrontato al S. Girolamo di Leonardo (Roma, Pinacoteca Vaticana) e agli oli di Girolamo Alibrandi. L’anziano Matteo si volta nell’udire la parola di Cristo, toccata da Giacomo e taciuta da Giovanni, il ragazzo con il berretto che vi fissa le righe di un foglio: “Io non ci vedo altro, che il pensiero di Giorgione quando Christo il [n.d.r.: Matteo] chiamò all’Apostolato nella tavola del Santo”, il celebrato paragone della tavola veneziana alla Cappella Contarelli, che Federico Zuccari susciterà all’immaginazione di Giovanni Baglione.

    Fig. 9 - Giorgione, Vocazione di Matteo  (Uffizi, Firenze) 

    Dalla raccolta Contarini la tela della Scuola d’Atene di Giorgione (Kunsthistorisches, Wien), o dei ‘Tre filosofi’(ritratti di Pietro Bembo, Paolo Sadoleto e Niccolò Copernico), nel 1651 era alle pareti del Gabinetto dei pittori italiani della collezione di Leopoldo Guglielmo in più di uno dei dipinti di David Teniers il Giovane che lo raffigurano (Fig. 10) (Schleissheim; Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Bruxelles). Virtù dei Magi e dei filosofi, la ‘commensuratio’ dell’evangelista Giovanni penetra la luminosità rarefatta, ruotando con la squadra nello spazio il compasso, strumenti dell’acuità visiva, alle sue spalle Aristotele con l’abito turco e Platone in quello del mercante, che a sua volta ha in mano un compasso e le tavole astronomiche del sole e della luna, visioni dell’esilio di Patmos, all’orizzonte della ‘Conspiratio totius mundi’ di Porfirio, la corruzione della terra e dell’aria dalle comete e dalle eclissi, dalle eruzioni e dai terremoti, compaiono, a segnare l’orografia peninsulare a volo d’uccello un cimiteriale arco di Gallieno ed un cratere dell’Etna, vulcano cui Bembo avrà dedicato l’omonimo dialogo. La sua eruzione e la rotazione terrestre all’origine dello sciame di meteoriti che precipitò a Padova nel 1510, oscurandone il cielo, nella contingenza fenomenica e nell’accidentalità della carestia e dell’epidemia di peste che avevano colpito Venezia, dominati dall’atmosfera divinamente tersa (Zosimo, Storia nuova, I, 26). Questo quadro, come anche la Presa di Cristo di Manfredi, qualche volta sarà stato dipinto alle pareti della Galleria di Leopoldo Guglielmo (Schleissheim) da Teniers dallo specchio, proiettandolo inversamente destra-sinistra nelle serie che raffigurano il teatro della sua collezione (open in Media Viewer, relazionato con i singoli dipinti, le localizzazioni attuali e qualche incisione del Theatrum). 

    Fig. 10 - David Teniers il Giovane, Gabinetto dei pittori italiani di Leopoldo Guglielmo (Schleissheim)

    In mostra a Tokyo nel 2016 nella rassegna ‘Botticelli e il suo tempo’, anche il Sant’Agostino (Fig. 12) nello studio della chiesa di Ognissanti a Firenze, ritenuto nei primi decenni del secolo scorso un autoritratto, ha trovato nelle Confessioni la 

     Fg11- Domenico Ghirlandaio, Madonna
    della Misericordia
    (Chiesa di Ognissanti, Firenze) 
     Fig. 12 - Sandro Botticelli, Sant’Agostino 
    (Chiesa di Ognissanti, Firenze) 

    professione di apostolato dello studente dell’Università di Cartagine, dipinto non più giovane, ammutolito e assorto dal Tolle Lege dell’angelo, ad un tavolo in marmo ornato da un racemo. Dipinto da Domenico Ghirlandaio l’affresco di San Gerolamo datato 1480, con la sua iscrizione allusiva all’ombra, ritenuta anche posteriore al dipinto, Botticelli avrà ritratto Amerigo Vespucci nel Santo allo scrittoio, posati tra gli arredi liturgici della sua biblioteca gli strumenti di un’armilla, di un oroscopio di Eufraste dalla lectio vitruviana, che si vuole costruito dai Della Volpaia, e, sulla punta della mitria, la preziosa ghirlanda della mira adoperata dall’astrolabio nel calcolo della longitudine. Dalla posizione degli astri era calcolato lo spostamento nel moto della terra, cui allude l’iscrizione soprastante il dipinto, sulla rotta alle Indie aperta da Ippona in Algeria alle Isole Canarie, percorsa da Palos alla quarta parte del globo da Cristoforo Colombo e da Siviglia da Amerigo. Descritti entrambi da Giorgio Vasari, durante il loro distacco dal coro tra il 1564 e il 1566, le righe vergate di scrittura curiale su una pagina del manoscritto aperto del S. Agostino, ingrandite come attraverso una lente, alludono alla confessione agostiniana osservata nel Convento di San Martino al Mugnone e alla laicità sollevata da apocrifia (Giovanni Lami, 1766): “Domus Samartino id est in arno per dove andate di fuori dela porta al prato”. Caravaggio innalzerà a sua volta nella chiesa di S. Agostino, sull’altare della Cappella Cavalletti, un S. Agostino non più giovane e sua madre Monica, pellegrini allo studio agostiniano della Santa Casa, in ginocchio sul portale della chiesa romana davanti alla Vergine in piedi con il bambino. Dietro di loro si sarebbero ritrovati i fedeli che fossero entrati nella Cappella, ai piedi della scalinata della chiesa e alla soglia del sacello della Vita di Maria. Compiuta nel 1472 la conquista di Smirne nell’impresa contro i Turchi, il cardinale Oliviero Carafa sarà stato ritratto di spalle da Ghirlandaio nella Cappella di Ognissanti fondata da Simone di Piero Vespucci. La Madonna della Misericordia sovrasta Gerusalemme nel sottostante Compianto, una proiezione ideale della città fiorentina che aveva prestato le sue galee, svettata dalla verticale della Croce sul Golgota (‘Misericordia Domini Plena Est Terra’ il salmo sulla base scultorea ai piedi di Maria). Suggestivo e altrettanto frammentario era l’affresco staccato all’interno della chiesa di un coro soave, dove Amerigo sarebbe stato ritratto da Ghirlandaio nel 1474 nel committente col mazzocchio in preghiera, a fianco di Pier Soderini e alle spalle del cardinale Basilio Bessarione (ritratto da Melozzo da Forlì nella cappella a Santi Apostoli) con il vescovo Pietro Riario nell’abito canonico bianco del Santo Sepolcro, specularmente alla veneranda Giovanna e alla madre a sua volta di spalle, Lisa Mini. Tra loro erano anche, sotto il manto blu notte della Vergine, idealizzata adolescente nel 1470 da Botticelli nella Fortezza, Simonetta Vespucci, Suor Cristiana di Lapo de’ Vespucci conversa di Santa Maria Novella ed il piccolo Giovanni che indossa una collana di corallo, il monile prezioso per rilucere al lume di candela, la cui pesca era praticata fino all’isola di Tabarca a Valencia. Ai piedi della Vergine era forse il giovane committente del Cenacolo di Ognissanti, dove Ghirlandaio dipingerà un finto chiostro con lo splendore della Villa di Livia a Prima Porta (Museo Nazionale Romano, Roma), che sarà scavata nei secoli a venire. Ma la pittrice che più è amata e ricordata nei panni di Psiche nell’accademia della Villa pompeiana dei Misteri è anche la prima testimone ad essere dimenticata del ritrovamento archeologico delle Nozze Aldobrandini, il frammento di Apollo e le Muse (Musei Vaticani, Roma) dallo scavo monumentale del 1606 nel sito dei Trofei di Mario a S. Vito[6], tra i più copiati (Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Roma) nella storia del classicismo della scultura e della pittura: Artemisia Gentileschi[7]. Sulla fronte di sarcofago su cui sedeva Venere nell’Amor sacro e profano (Galleria Borghese, Roma), o delle Quattro Stagioni, erano state finte in marmo da Tiziano la Cacciata di Adamo ed Eva e le Offerte di Caino e Abele. Un saggio accademico di scavo archeologico di Artemisia sarà il pulpito di S. Luca dei professori di disegno Giovanni Baglione e Federico Zuccari, dal bassorilievo a racemi sulla Torre dei Colonna della Salita di Montecavallo, nella Susanna e i vecchioni (Fig. 13,13a) (Graf von Schönborn, Pommersfelden), dipinta da una donna fra le donne dalla costola di Venere dell’Eva prima Pandora di Tiziano. Non sarà Baglione a tacere lei nelle prospettive ribassate di Agostino Tassi tra le nove Muse nell’affresco del padre Orazio dell’omonimo Casino al Quirinale, dove risiedeva Scipione Borghese e dove dal 1608 si troveranno i dipinti della confisca a Giuseppe e Bernardino Cesari D’Arpino. Salutato come un novello Apollo tra le Muse da Ludovico Leporèo, il cardinale a Villa Borghese avrà presso di sé il Tiziano nel 1628, che alla morte di Paolo Borghese si troverà tra i quadri della raccolta di Villa Aldobrandini.

    Fig. 13 - Artemisia Gentileschi, Susanna e i vecchioni  (Pommersfelden)

    Fig, 13a -  Bassorilievo a racemi, dettaglio (Torre dei Colonna, Roma)


    Giambattista Marino avrà dedicato versi celebri nelle ‘Favole’ al dipinto di Callisto di Guido Reni, a lungo dibattuti nella letteratura artistica per essere più che attillati al concettismo del dipinto Kress (Annibale Carracci, Venere adornata dalle Grazie; London Christie’s 1878; Samuel Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington), in cui Diana ad un’olimpica fontana che vagheggia il bronzo di Benvenuto Cellini e al cui limitare siedono Marte e Zeus, scorge alle sue spalle nello specchio [“il vago simulacro”] la scoperta flagranza della ferina nudità di Callisto, mentre all’orizzonte il bosco si accende del bagliore dell’Orsa. Carlo Cesare Malvasia scrisse che in cambio dell’alloro poetico di questi suoi versi sarebbe stato Reni ad effigiare Marino. Ritratto nelle Sette Opere di Misericordia nel pellegrino votato alla professione di apostolato di Giacomo, nel sonetto della Galeria dal titolo Sopra il proprio ritratto dell’Autore di mano di Michelangelo da Caravaggio’, il poeta s’immedesimava liricamente nel Suonatore di liuto di Caravaggio (Museo dell’Ermitage, San Pietroburgo). L’ossimoro “Angel non già, ma Dio”, pronunciato “ut picura poësis” nel paragone del busto ad un’Erma di Giano, alludeva nei versi all’‘a solo’ del Liuto della partitura intitolata Caltus del secondo strumento di violino, raffigurato nel dipinto sopra il piano di marmo. Il capoverso nello spartito aperto ‘Voi sapete che v’amo’ rivendicava per un duetto di solisti la composizione cantata come sua da Giambattista Viola, vergata nel sopraporta da camera con il nome del fiore di campo sbocciato nel vaso. Ancora Marino, scrivendo al padre Agostino Berti, affermava in suo possesso una ‘Susanna’ di Caravaggio e se questo dipinto, a sua volta nel segno del ‘Sus Minervam docet’, di una tentazione della casta Susanna dal rustico serpe apollineo, a lungo considerato perduto, fosse sincreticamente rappresentato, nella dimensione da busto romano, dal broletto della caraffa di fiori in cui immerge il dito la Ragazza, od il ‘Ragazzo morso dalla lucertola’ nella definizione di Joachim von Sandrart, dalla collezione Vincent Korda[8] alla National Gallery di Londra, non ha trovato finora commentatori.


    [1] Lanfranco Massa era tra i committenti della Cappella omonima nella chiesa dei SS. Severino e Sossio a Napoli.

    [2] Nell’Accademia di Joachim von Sandrart: “…prope historiam quondam ab illo [n.d.r.: Giuseppe Cesari] picta nudum quendam pingebat Gigantem.”

    [3] Tommaso Luini (Pellegrino Orlandi 1763).

    [4] Nel soffitto Giuseppe e la moglie di Putifarre.

    [5] Bernardo Picciché, 2013.

    [6] Nel 1638 i Trofei erano collocati sulla scalinata del Campidoglio e ne furono temporaneamente rimossi nel 1721 nella costruzione della salita o cordonata a gradoni, percorribile in carrozza (Gaspare Celio 1638).

    [7] Il poeta Giovanni Canale canterà in versi dedicati ad Artemisia l’Apollo da lei dipinto per Girolamo Fontanella, che, alla data del ritrovamento, secondo studi recenti, era nato. Generalmente ascritta con provenienza dalla collezione di Cassiano Dal Pozzo e a Nicolas Poussin la copia del frammento alla Galleria Doria Pamphilj.

    [8] Pseudonimo di Vincent Kellner.

    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

    Malay Archipelago Archaeology Conference

    Malay Archipelago Archaeology Conference, 204 October 2017 #malaysia #penang #conference
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    Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

    Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: February 20

    Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. If you are looking for free copies of my books, you can find links to all of them here: Fables, Proverbs and Distichs — Free PDFs.

    HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem decimum Kalendas Martias.

    MYTHS and LEGENDS: The art image for today's legend shows Theseus and the Bull of Marathon, and there are more images here.


    TINY MOTTOES: Today's tiny motto is: Conabimur (English: We will try).

    3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Nil sine numine (English: Nothing without divine power)

    AUDIO PROVERBS: Today's audio Latin proverb is Errores medicorum terra tegit (English: The earth covers the doctors' mistakes). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

    ERASMUS' ANIMALS: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Veneri suem immolavit (English: He's sacrificed a pig to Aphrodite; from Adagia 3.1.30 ... and this is not a good idea, of course, since Aphrodite is not fond of pigs, especially after a boar killed her Adonis).

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

    And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

    Sciens cavebo.
    Being aware, I will take care.

    Audi, multa vide, multa loquare cave.
    Listen, observe much; be wary of saying much.


    FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Iuppiter et Serpens, a story about an unwelcome gift (this fable has a vocabulary list).

    MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Leo et Homo, Concertantes, a great fable about who gets to tell the story.

    Leo et Statua

    Evan Millner's Fables. I thought you might enjoy Evan Millner's marvelous fable videos; they are available at YouTube.