Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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May 24, 2015

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Punishing irony: Virgil's witness in Inferno 4

In Canto 4 of the Inferno, Dante turns to Virgil and asks him a veiled (coperto) question:
“Now tell me, master, tell me this alone,”
I said to him, wishing to be assured
Of that faith by which all doubt is overthrown,
“Have any gone from here and then secured
Salvation, by their own or Another’s fee?”*
Virgil replies:
And he, who understood my covert word,
Said, “This condition was still new to me
When I beheld a Mighty One appear,
Who was crowned with a sign of victory.
He took our first begetter’s shade from here,
With Abel, Noah, and Moses, who did show
The laws to man and how to hold them dear;
King David and Abraham of long ago;
Israel with his father and his seed,
And Rachel, for whose sake he labored so;
And many more, and made them blest indeed.
And I would have you know I can attest
That, before these, no human souls were freed.”*

This exchange is of interest for several reasons. For one, it's the witness of a lost soul to the harrowing of hell and liberation of a select few. Virgil, who had died about 50 years earlier than this event, attests first-hand to the unprecedented act of a "Mighty One."
ci vidi venire un possente
The event became one of the articles of the Christian creed, but Virgil recounts it  in the words of an honorable Roman. Un possente is a generic term for anyone of power, and, while accurate as far as it goes, it is blank with regard to the unique identity of the Mighty One: the martyred Son of the God of Abraham, fresh from his trial and crucifixion.

Virgil speaks of what he sees. His natural light of human reason can and does report and support the faith Dante and all Christians practice taken from Scripture. What Virgil "sees" is veiled - the facts are reported, but their potent implications are not.

What we as readers find here is something I think Dante the poet does throughout the Comedia - a poetic enactment of the profound discontinuity between the light of reason, art and science on one hand, and revelation via the Book, on the other.

In the moment that Virgil voices and demonstrates his authority as teacher, guide, prophet, poet and witness, we find a blindness, a falling short -- the irony of his inescapable ignorance. It is a punishing irony, consigning him to hopeless finality in a half-lit suspense of endless desire.

Dante dramatizes the reality that obtains in a world where human genius, nobility of spirit and incorrigible honor just are not enough. For Virgil and the rest of those in Limbo, what the mind and sense and soul can see, and what the imagination or inspiration can intimate, is merely the outward appearance of a unique event whose full import == the breaking not of rocks alone, but of the rule of death -- remains "coperto." Another word for that might be "illegible."

We might want to be on the lookout for further examples of this mode of poetic acting out in the Comedia. With Revelation comes a shattering literacy.

*From an unpublished translation of the Inferno by Peter D'Epiro.

May 23, 2015

Ancient Art

thegetty: So much detail in only 2 inches.This fragment reveals...


So much detail in only 2 inches.

This fragment reveals a blonde theatrical mask depicted on blue glass. Look a little closer.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies

[The version history of this list is at: Updates on the list of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies]
This list includes 1510 titles

Have you found a broken link in this list?  Let me know via the comments.

                  Open Access Journal: Mitteilungen der Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft

                  [First posted in AWOL 15 November 2015, updated 23 May 2015]

                  Mitteilungen der Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft (DWhG)

                  Die Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft e.V. (DWhG) wurde am 19. Januar 2002 im über 2000 jährigen Mainz gegründet.

                  Die DWhG ist als gemeinnützig anerkannt und aufgrund ihrer Satzung im Vereinsregister beim Amtsgericht Siegburg eingetragen.

                  Sie ist aus dem 1963 von Dr.-Ing. Martin Eckoldt (+) an der Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde in Koblenz gebildeten Studienkreis für Geschichte des Wasserbaus, der Wasserwirtschaft und der Hydrologie hervorgegangen.

                  Aktuelle Mitteilungen vom Dezember 2014

                  Mitteilungen Nr. 19 | Dezember 2014
                  DWhG Mitteilungen_Dezember 2014.pdf
                  PDF-Dokument [782.1 KB]

                  Frühere Mitteilungen

                  Mitteilungen Nr. 18/September 2013
                  DWhG Mitteilungen_September2013.pdf
                  PDF-Dokument [6.1 MB]
                  Anhang: Berühmte europäische Aquädukte der Neuzeit auf Briefmarken
                  Anhang zu Mitteilungen Sep. 2013_Aquäduk[...]
                  PDF-Dokument [4.1 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 17/Januar 2013
                  PDF-Dokument [3.8 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 16/August 2011
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 16.pdf
                  PDF-Dokument [1.6 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 15/September 2010
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 15.pdf
                  PDF-Dokument [5.6 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 14/Mai 2009
                  PDF-Dokument [3.3 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 14 Anhang/Mai 2009
                  PDF-Dokument [4.3 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 13/Juni 2008
                  PDF-Dokument [2.2 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 12/Januar 2008
                  PDF-Dokument [1.3 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 11/Dezember 2007
                  PDF-Dokument [8.9 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 10/Dezember 2006
                  PDF-Dokument [3.5 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 9/Januar 2006
                  PDF-Dokument [7.8 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 8/August 2005
                  PDF-Dokument [11.3 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 7/Januar 2005
                  PDF-Dokument [11.9 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 6/August 2004
                  PDF-Dokument [4.3 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 5/Januar 2004
                  PDF-Dokument [3.9 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 4/Juni 2003
                  PDF-Dokument [5.4 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 3/Januar 2003
                  PDF-Dokument [6.1 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 2/Juni 2002
                  PDF-Dokument [1.4 MB]
                  Mitteilungen Nr. 1/Januar 2002
                  PDF-Dokument [228.6 KB]


                  [First posted in AWOL 7 April 2012, updated 20 May 2015]

                  The focus of this ambitious series is on the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel and its literature, from the early Neolithic to the early Hellenistic eras. Studies that are heavily philological or archaeological are both suited to this series, and can take full advantage of the hypertext capabilities of “born digital” publication. Multiple author and edited volumes as well as monographs are accepted. Proposals and manuscripts may be submitted in either English or Spanish. Manuscripts are peer reviewed by at least two scholars in the area before acceptance. Published volumes will be held to the high scholarly standards of the SBL and the Centro de Estudios de Historia del Antiguo Oriente. The partnership between the SBL and the Centro de Estudios de Historia del Antiguo Oriente was initiated under the auspices of SBL’s International Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and represents the type of international scholarly exchange that is the goal of ICI. 

                  Disembodied Souls: The Nefesh in Israel and Kindred Spirits in the Ancient Near East, with an Appendix on the Katumuwa Inscription
                  by Richard C. Steiner
                  download paperback hardback
                  Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew: Steps Toward an Integrated Approach  
                  by Robert Rezetko and Ian Young
                  download paperback hardback
                  Israel and the Assyrians: Deuteronomy, the Succession Treaty of Esarhaddon, and the Nature of Subversion  
                  by C. L. Crouch
                  download paperback hardback
                  Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires  
                  edited by Alan Lenzi and Jonathan Stökl
                  download paperback hardback
                  Deuteronomy-Kings as Emerging Authoritative Books: A Conversation  
                  edited by Diana V. Edelman
                  download paperback hardback
                  The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel 
                  by Israel Finkelstein
                  download paperback hardback
                  Constructs of Prophecy in the Former and Latter Prophets and Other Texts 
                  edited by Lester L. Grabbe and Martti Nissinen
                  download paperback
                  Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction 
                  Alan Lenzi
                  download paperback
                  El Intercambio de Bienes entre Egipto y Asia Anterior: Desde el reinado de Tuthmosis III hasta el de Akhenaton 
                  Graciela Gestoso Singer
                  Centro y periferia en el mundo antiguo: El Negev y sus interacciones con Egipto, Asiria, y el Levante en la Edad del Hierro (1200-586 a.C.)
                  Juan Manuel Tebes

                  Compitum - événements (tous types)

                  Les représentations du livre

                  Titre: Les représentations du livre
                  Lieu: INHA / Paris
                  Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
                  Date: 15.10.2015 - 17.10.2015
                  Heure: 09.00 h - 16.00 h

                  Information signalée par Marie-Karine Lhommé


                  Les représentations du livre aux époques carolingienne et ottonienne


                  Le livre prend, avec la renaissance culturelle carolingienne, une place majeure dans la société du IXe siècle qui perdure dans le monde ottonien. Sa production est suffisamment abondante pour que près de 8000 manuscrits de cette époque nous soient parvenus, et le soin apporté à la qualité de leur confection est remarquable. Les manuscrits, précieux ou non, corrigés, glosés, comparés, échangés, servent à l'action, politique ou judiciaire, à la spiritualité, à la réforme religieuse, au développement de l'« humanisme » carolingien. Dans la société et
                  la culture chrétiennes, l'objet-livre revêt un caractère précieux et somptuaire, comme en témoignent sa place de choix au sein des trésors d'église et sa haute valeur monétaire. Il est l'incarnation à la fois de l'autorité sacrée, du pouvoir et du savoir ; investi d'une forte charge symbolique, il peut aussi être source de conflits et victime de destructions. Polymorphe, il intervient dans de multiples situations et se trouve au coeur des relations entre protagonistes : il peut être tour à tour exhibé sous l'aspect d'un rouleau, d'un codex ouvert ou fermé, mangé, foulé aux pieds, dissimulé, utilisé pour prêter des serments…
                  Études et notices de catalogues se multiplient pour mieux cerner l'histoire de chacun de ces objets manuscrits et de leur contenu. Reste à savoir la manière dont les carolingiens se représentent le livre, en images et en mots : loin d'être seulement matériel, le livre est aussi un objet imaginaire et imaginé. L'articulation entre sa valeur socio-culturelle et sa valeur « iconique » gagnerait à être précisée. L'enquête collective envisagée ici cherchera à dépasser la dimension archétypale du livre pour cerner, à travers une approche pluridisciplinaire combinant l'histoire sociale, culturelle et artistique, la spécificité des représentations carolingiennes et ottoniennes du livre. À la fois contenant et contenu, objet et parole, le livre véhicule un message symbolique très fort. Dans les sources écrites et iconographiques, de quel(s) livre(s) est-il question (livre indéfini, livre de loi, Bible…) ? Quel(s) statut(s) les Carolingiens et les Ottoniens lui confèrent-ils, comment le décrivent-ils ? L'importance nouvelle accordée au livre à cette période infléchit-elle les traditions figuratives antérieures ? Quel est le rapport entre le livre et le Livre par excellence, la Bible ? Entre livres de loi, livres de science, et livre de la Loi, de la connaissance de Dieu ? 
                  L'objectif du colloque est de faire dialoguer textes et images pour mieux comprendre les sens et les valeurs que l'on donne au livre, en tant qu'objet matériel et symbolique, aux époques carolingienne et ottonienne. Pour ce faire, on s'attachera à l'analyse de l'ensemble des sources disponibles : textes de diverses natures (lois, exégèse, liturgie, inventaires de bibliothèques…), enluminures des manuscrits, ivoires sculptés, arts monumentaux.

                  Jeudi 15 octobre 2015
                  salle Vasari (INHA)
                  9h-9h45 : Introduction (Charlotte Denoël, Anne-Orange Poilpré, Sumi Shimahara)

                  Dire et figurer le livre – Présidence : François Dolbeau
                  9h45-10h15 : Charlotte Denoël, Représentations du livre au Haut Moyen Âge : essai d'une typologie formelle
                  10h15-10h45 : Bruno Bon et Krysztof Nowak, Autour de 'liber', étude (e-)lexicographique
                  10h45-11h15 : pause
                  11h15-11h45 : Isabelle Marchesin, La mise en voir géométrique du Verbe divin dans les manuscrits insulaires et carolingiens, genèse d'une tradition.
                  11h45-12h15 : Lawrence Nees, Design, Default or Defect in Some Perplexing Represented Books.
                  12h15-12h45 : discussion
                  12h45-14h15 : déjeuner

                  Livre, loi et autorité – Présidence : Yves Sassier
                  14h15-14h45 : Stefan Esders, Livre et loi
                  14h45-15h15 : Anne-Orange Poilpré, Dans et avec le livre : Jérôme, David et les souverains carolingiens
                  15h15-15h45 : pause
                  15h45-16h15 : François Bougard, Livre et autorité
                  16h15-16h45 : Helmut Reimitz, History books and the History of the Book in the Carolingian World
                  16h45-17h30 : discussion
                  20h : dîner

                  Vendredi 16 octobre
                  salle Vasari (INHA)

                  Livre et Bible – Présidence : Jean-Pierre Caillet
                  9h-9h30 : Yves Christe, De l'Ancienne à la Nouvelle Loi : un nouveau Sinaï pour Pierre et Paul
                  9h30-10h : Caroline Chevalier-Royet, Livre et exégèse carolingienne (livres historiques)
                  10h-10h30 : pause
                  10h30-11h00 : Sumi Shimahara, Livre et exégèse carolingienne (Exode, Ezéchiel, Apc, Evangiles ou EP)
                  11h-11h30 : Beatrice Kitzinger, The Gospels and the gospel book beyond the Carolingian center: Illumination in Brittany and West Francia
                  11h30-12h15 : discussion
                  12h15-14h15 : déjeuner

                  Livre et liturgie – Présidence : Michel Sot 
                  14h15-14h45 : Adam Cohen, The Book and Monastic Reform
                  14h45-15h15 : Cécile Voyer, Mise en abîme. Le Sacramentaire de Marmoutier et ses images
                  15h15-15h45 : Max Diesenberger, Livre et sermons
                  15h45-16h15 : pause
                  16h15-16h45 : Jean-Pierre Caillet, Le livre dans l'édifice cultuel
                  16h45-17h15 : Marie-Céline Isaïa, Le livre, un objet fragile et périssable? Paradoxes des représentations du livre dans l'hagiographie
                  17h15-17h45 : discussion
                  20h : dîner

                  Samedi 17 octobre


                  Byzantins et Ottoniens – Présidence : Geneviève Bührer-Thierry
                  9h-9h30 : Reinhart Ceulemans, Le livre et l'exégèse dans la période macédonienne
                  9h30-10h00 : Kelly Linardou, Books in Books: Representations of a multivalent sign in Middle-Byzantine Illustrated Manuscripts
                  10h-10h30 : pause
                  10h30-11h : Eliza Garrison, Presentation and Representation in the Egbert Psalter
                  11h-11h30 : Christoph Winterer, Le livre dans le cycle apocalyptique de Bamberg et l'Apocalypse-Evangéliaire de Bamberg comme objet-livre
                  11h30-12h15 : discussion
                  12h15-14h15 : déjeuner

                  Livre, signes, images littéraires – Présidence : Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk
                  14h15-14h45 : Cécile Treffort, Pages blanches et livres inscrits : la figuration de l'écriture sur les livres des évangélistes dans les manuscrits des IXe-XIe s.
                  14h45-15h15 : Fabrizio Crivello, Les représentations du livre dans les pages frontispices
                  15h15-15h45 : pause
                  15h45-16h15 : Francesco Stella, Les représentations du Livre dans les textes poétiques carolingiens et ottoniens
                  16h15-16h45 : Christiane Veyrard-Cosme, Dire le livre dans les recueils d'énigmes au Haut Moyen Age : l'écrit et l'écriture comme objets figurés
                  16h45-17h30 : discussion
                  17h30-18h00 : Conclusions – François Bougard

                  Org. Charlotte Denoël (BnF / Centre Jean Mabillon EA 3624), Anne-Orange Poilpré (Paris I / HiCSA EA 4100), Sumi Shimahara (Paris Sorbonne / Centre Roland Mousnier - UMR 8596 / IUF)
                  Contacts : / /

                  Source : L'humanisme européen

                  Robert Consoli (Squinches)

                  King Lykaon and the Wolf - The Myth

                  "Now, was there ever a wolf that could boast of a man's cub among her children?"

                  'Mowgli's Brothers'
                  The Jungle Book
                  Rudyard Kipling, 1894

                  Lykaon, a son of Pelasgos, was an ancient King of Arcadia and well into historical times he was still the central figure in a cruel myth.[1]

                  The elements of that myth were as follows:

                  King Lykaon was a devout king who piously paid the gods their due and refrained from wrong-doing. Zeus would often visit him and inspect the just and the unjust. At a dinner for Zeus some of the people wanted to establish that Zeus was really a deity and set a test for him. They sacrificed a boy and mixed chunks of his flesh in among the boiled meats.  Zeus, as always, instantly detected the outrageous impiety; he destroyed the murderers and turned Lykaon into a wolf.  Zeus' anger at this evil-doing may have induced him to send the great flood which we associate with Deucalion.

                  This story is told with variants and so, in the following chart, I have depicted the various elements of the story as they appear in the several sources.

                  Themes in the myth of King Lykaon [2]

                  What’s striking about this is that not only do we have the justifying story but also a description of the rite on Mount Lykaion which it accompanied. I'll address that next time.

                  (I have placed a .kmz and a .kml of the sites mentioned in this post and the next on Google Drive here.  Download them and click on them; they will open in Google Earth.)


                  [1] Pausanias viii.2.1.  From Levi [1971] pp. 371-2 and see footnote 8 on 372.  Levi, like Pausanias, seems to accept the story of human sacrifice at face value.  For the Neuri see Herodotus iv.105:   Many more details in Burkert [1983] 84-93; Kershaw [2000] 163; Jost [1985] 255.

                  [2] Apollodorus, The Library, iii.8.1-2; in Frazer [1921] 394-395.  Pausanias, Arcadia, ii.3-4. In Jones [1933] 350-1;  The Suda quotes the narrative of Nicholas Damascenus (FGrH 90 F38).  This fragment is preserved in de Virtutes et Vitii (i.340) which was a compilation of various ancient writers under an initiative of Constantinus VII Porphyrogenitus.  It comes down to us in the Codex Peirescianus which is now in Tours, France. In Suda s.v. ‘Λυκάων‘ which is online here. The narrative of Plutarch is in Quaest. 39 of the Quaestiones, Babbitt [1936] 223 ff.  For Ovid (i.164 ff.) see Miller and Goold [1916] 12.


                  Babbitt [1936]: Babbitt, Cole, trans., Plutarch. Moralia, Volume IV: Roman Questions. Greek Questions. Greek and Roman Parallel Stories. On the Fortune of the Romans. On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander. Were the Athenians More Famous in War or in Wisdom?.  Loeb Classical Library 305. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1936.

                  Burkert [1983]: Burkert, Walter.  Peter Bing (translator).  Homo Necans. University of California Press, Berkeley 94720.  1983.  Originally published as Homo Necans, Walter de Gruyter & Co.,  Berlin. 1972.

                  Frazer [1921]: Frazer, James G., trans., Apollodorus. The Library, Volume I: Books 1-3.9. Loeb Classical Library 121. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1921.

                  Jones [1933]: Jones, W. H. S. trans., Pausanias. Description of Greece, Volume III: Books 6-8.21 (Elis 2, Achaia, Arcadia).  Loeb Classical Library 272. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1933.

                  Jost [1985]: Jost, Madeleine, Sanctuaires et Cults d'Arcadie. Paris: École française d'Athènes, Études Peloponnésiennes, 1985. Online here.

                  Kershaw [2000]: Kershaw, Kris. The One-Eyed God: Odin and the (Indo-) Germanic Männerbunde.   Journal of Indo-European Studies.  Monograph no. 36.  Washington D.C.,  2000.  Institute for the Study of Man. 0-941694-74-7.

                  Levi [1971]: Levi, Peter, trans. Pausanias: Guide to Greece. Volume2: Southern Greece. Penguin. 1971.

                  Miller and Goold [1916]: Miller, Frank Justus (trans.), revised by G. P. Goold. Ovid. Metamorphoses, Volume I: Books 1-8. Loeb Classical Library 42. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1916.

                  Race [1997]: Race, William H., ed. and trans., Pindar. Olympian Odes. Pythian Odes.  Loeb Classical Library 56. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

                  Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

                  "Is it time to rethink our ideas about preserving world heritage?"

                  The Financial Times asks the right question, and offers several useful answers.

                  A couple of caveats:

                  High-resolution recordings of soon-to-be-pulverized monuments may well be the best one can do in the absence of military action to secure sites or to deter movement of looters and iconoclasts onto sites. It should be clear, however, that what we lose when we are left with mere records rather than the things themselves is not just the materiality of the things but the knowledge that materiality may hold. A hi-res photograph captures only the visible and only certain aspects of the visible. It is much better than nothing but not a perfect substitute, regardless of whether one values authenticity. Craftspeople already know well how to make fakes that can fool even some experts -- one archaeologist has suggested that something like a quarter of the Meso-American artifacts in museums are probably fakes. But that's not a cheering thought.

                  Preservation, new or otherwise, of already-excavated monuments and artifacts from iconoclasm or other war-related destruction is a different problem from that of preserving (the context of) not-yet-excavated artifacts from looters. The article notes that what we need to do is to "stall the economic benefits of looting", and suggests that looting can be reduced by better policing of the international antiquities market. That is absolutely correct. The question, however, is how policing can be improved. ICOM's online guide to the types of artifacts that emerge points to one answer: more information. Police need more information, and not just to be able to seize or refuse import of banned items (which ICOM's guide can in some cases assist in), but to go after the smuggling networks by tracking the chain of ownership of seized antiquities. As things stand, dealers and auction houses buy and sell antiquities without disclosure requirements. That has to change. There should be transparency regulations requiring any sale of antiquities over a certain threshold price to be reported with the name and address of the buyer and seller along with photos and other identifying information. (The newly released app from ARCH shows how such reporting might be done in a very streamlined way.)

                  But even with such information, policing is going to be ineffective absent the funding resources needed to pay for site guards, customs officials, antiquities policing units, and local investigations to do the job of monitoring and going after the criminals. And despite professed new interest in cracking down noted in the article, it is very unlikely that governments in general are going to devote scarce resources to this problem. As the article also notes, the opposite is the case: heritage protection is being outsourced. And foundations and NGOs are unlikely to pick up the slack, especially given that policing, unlike restoration, is a permanent task. Some suggest that looters could be deterred by moral suasion from local religious or traditional authorities, and that undoubtedly must play a role; we know for instance that Muqtada al Sadr was able to turn looting on and off by issuing fatwas. But there are too many sites and not enough moral suasion for this to be the only solution. Another suggestion, being pursued with some success by the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, is that locals will guard their own stuff if they have an economic incentive for protecting it as a revenue-generating tourist attraction -- but while that may protect already-excavated individual sites it won't preclude those locals from going off to dig the unexcavated ones. What's needed is a sustainable revenue stream to pay for more and better policing of unexcavated sites.

                  The funding solution, as I have suggested in the past, is to tax the higher-end licit antiquities market, with proceeds going into a fund for international heritage protection.

                  James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

                  The Argument from Dignity

                  SMBC argument from dignity

                  This Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoon (HT Hemant Mehta) makes a good point that can be taken even further. One could object to any number of things, including things that young-earth creationists claim to be true, on the basis of it supposedly detracting from the value or dignity of human beings. “I didn’t come from a mere fertilized egg.” “I’m not modified dirt.” “I’m not a collection of chemicals.” I’m not a bunch of cells.”

                  But we are a bunch of cells, and a collection of chemicals, developed each and every one of us via natural processes from a fertilized egg. Those are verified and verifiable facts. And if those facts do not detract from human dignity, than neither does the evolutionary history of our species.

                  BiblePlaces Blog

                  Weekend Roundup, Part 1

                  Palmyra has fallen to ISIS. The fear now is for the safety of the monuments and museum.

                  This CNN slideshow features 19 monuments destroyed in the war.

                  “Cyber-archaeologists” are working to virtually restore what has been destroyed.

                  Archaeologists were baffled at a meticulously excavated Byzantine-era winepress in Jerusalem until they learned it was exposed by local teenagers.

                  Catacombs are being constructed in Jerusalem to bury the dead. The first stage of the underground necropolis will hold 22,000.

                  This weekend’s celebration of Shavuot/Pentecost may be the largest in Israel’s history.

                  Donald Brake is on the Land and the Book discussing Jesus: A Visual History.

                  A 20-year-old female tourist died at Masada after she suffered heat stroke and fell from a cliff.

                  What would be at the top of your list of yet-to-be-discovered finds in biblical archaeology? Steven Anderson lists his top ten.

                  HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Ted Weis

                  Weekend Roundup, Part 2

                  The lighthouse of Alexandria is to be rebuilt near its original location.

                  An ancient Egyptian temple has been discovered at the Gabal Al-Silsela quarries.

                  One of the earliest complete copies of the Ten Commandments (from the Dead Sea Scrolls) will be on display at the Israel Museum two days a month for the next seven months.

                  Wayne Stiles: The Mount of Olives—Where to Stand and What to Read

                  A PEF lecture by James L. Starkey’s son: Not for the Greed of Gold: A Tribute and Biography of the Life and Career of J.L. Starkey, Director of the Wellcome-Marston Archaeological Expedition to Palestine, 1932-1938.

                  A new aerial panoramic photo from SourceFlix: Where David fought Goliath.

                  The Museum Center at 5ive Points in Cleveland, Tennessee, is hosting an exhibition with artifacts from Khirbet el-Maqatir.

                  Vandals have painted Palestinian flags on the ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Haluza in southern Israel.

                  The Israeli government has approved a five-year plan to upgrade the Western Wall plaza.

                  HT: Agade, Paleojudaica

                  Ancient Peoples

                  Earflare with a depiction of a warriorAD 390-450 PeruMoche...

                  Earflare with a depiction of a warrior

                  AD 390-450 


                  Moche Culture

                  (Source: The Met Museum)

                  Per Lineam Valli

                  55. How high were turrets on Hadrian’s Wall?

                  Turrets make little sense unless they were higher than the curtain wall to which they were attached. Parallels from other contemporary Roman fortifications show square towers at gates, corners, and at intervals between those key points rising above the curtain walls of forts and fortresses. When reconstructing them, scholars have generally favoured only one additional storey, although differing over whether they had a flat-topped roof or a peripheral balcony.

                  Further reading: Symonds and Mason 2009

                  Francesca Tronchin (Classical Archaeology News)

                  Is it time to rethink our ideas about preserving world heritage? -

                  Is it time to rethink our ideas about preserving world heritage? -

                  Military protection aside, three strategic approaches to “new preservation” are generally favoured. The first of these is the use of archaeological technology in still-accessible areas to record monuments in high resolution. Leicester and Oxford Universities have been backed by the Arcadia charity fund to deliver a £1.2m, two-year aerial reconnaissance programme, led by Dr Robert Bewley, who estimates that there are between 3m and 5m archaeological sites in the Middle East and north Africa.

                  Second, we might recognise that modern construction methods have replaced many of the traditional skills that constantly replenish our cultural inheritance. The Prince’s Foundation is one notable attempt to develop an international ethos of craft and design skills and to reinstate those traditions. 

                  The third possibility is to stall the economic benefits of looting by better policing of the international antiquities market. The International Council of Museums (Icom) has published an online guide to the types of artefacts that emerge from pillaged sites, including sculptures and architectural elements. Twitter feeds, for example that of the archaeologist Sam Hardy (@conflictantiq), offer information and updates on destruction and looting. Governments are starting to crack down: in April, Lebanon declared its intention to police illicit antiquities better, while Unesco has developed the #Unite4Heritage campaign to engage younger people in the care of sites. 

                  James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

                  Mandaeans: Mysteries and Misunderstandings

                  The Mandaeans and related topics have gotten mentions in the blogosphere and elsewhere online recently, and so I thought I would round up some of those instances:

                  Brian LePort has been teaching about John the Baptist, and in the process, has been diving into the Mandaean sources.

                  Tony Burke noted, as did I, the Mandaeans as a significant omission in Nicola Denzey Lewis’ recent book, Introduction to “Gnosticism”: Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds.

                  Glenn Snyder noted the problematic treatment of the Mandaeans (and much else) in Robert Price’s recent book, The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul.

                  See too Peter Kirby’s treatment of the arguments for and against the authenticity of the passage about John the Baptist in Josephus’ Antiquities.

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  ISIL Expands its hold in Middle East

                  As ISIL establishes itself in the newly captured town of Palmyra and the world braces itself for more bad news, Hassan Hassan suggests that "anyone telling you the Islamic State is in decline isn’t paying attention to what is happening" ('The ISIS March Continues: From Ramadi on to Baghdad?' Foreign policy May 19, 2015)
                  The fall of the city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province, leaves no doubt about the jihadi group’s capabilities: Despite U.S. attempts to paint it as a gravely weakened organization, the Islamic State remains a powerful force that is on the offensive in several key fronts across Syria and Iraq. Ramadi is far from the only front on which the Islamic State is advancing. The group last week launched an offensive, supported by multiple suicide operations, in the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor against President Bashar al-Assad regime’s holdouts in the military air base. In the central city of Palmyra, it attacked a regime base near the ancient Roman ruins. It also recently clashed with Syrian rebels and the regime in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, the provinces of Homs and Hama, and the southern city of Quneitra, near the border with Israel. [...]
                  It is argued that the picture prevalent in the media, that the Islamic State is destined to decline appears to be false. Although the U.S. is downplaying the significance of the recent advances, they show that US strategy is failing, and ISIL will continue to expand in the region. "The idea that the Islamic State is losing or declining now seems absurd".
                  Rather than suffering from resource and manpower shortages, the group is only increasing its grip on the local populations in its strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa, Syria; it is also attracting a considerable number of recruits, especially among teenagers. [...] it should be clear that the current U.S. strategy to fight the Islamic State has failed. The White House’s focus on airstrikes in Iraq - while making little progress in training anti-Islamic State Sunni forces in either Syria or Iraq - is allowing the group immense space for planning, maneuvering, and redeployment.
                  That presumably includes outside attempts to interfere with the source of the groups financing which obviously has not dented its capabilities.

                  In fact, is it not the case that whipping up sudden hysterical concern for the fate of the ruins  is not a social-engineering strategy by our media intended to deflect attention away from the strategic significance of the lost city? It is a central hub of the road system leading to Damascus, here are important military bases, an airfield (and prison) and its loss is a severe blow to those who all-too-naively-assumed that sending in a few planes to bomb a few tanks and stuff would be enough to end the advance of the islamists. What will happen to the ruins will happen, instead of fussing over what we did not do to document and preserve them, we should be giving thought to what needs to happen to bring a better future for Syria. 

                  See also:  Jane Onyanga-Omara, 'Activists: Islamic State seizes more than half of Syria', USA Today, May 21, 2015

                  Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

                  IconAegean: Exploring Aegean Iconography

                  IconAegean: Exploring Aegean Iconography
                  I feel privileged to have spent many years researching, writing about and sharing my knowledge of the seals, signet rings and sealings that are part of a golden age of art in the Bronze Age Aegean.

                  You are invited to explore the subject through my lectures and publications as well as through my databases of the iconography of the seal images.
                                                                                                                                                         Janice L Crowley
                  The IconAegean Database will hold images and data on all the seals published in the Corpus der minoischen und mykenischen Siegel (CMS). The seal data will be set out in the same format as in the IconAData Database and will use the standard vocabulary as set out in the IconADict Database and the book The Iconography of Aegean Seals. The IconAegean Database will provide for the ordering of the seal material according to iconographic criteria (a first in Aegean iconographic studies) and allow multi-termed searching across its database fields.

                  Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

                  Invocations for three canticles

                  Inferno 2. 7-9

                  O muse, O alto ingegno, or m'aiutate; 
                  O mente che scrivesti ciò ch'io vidi, 
                  qui si parrà la tua nobilitate.

                  O Muses, O lofty genius, aid me now!
                  O memory that noted what I saw,
                  here shall be shown thy worth!

                  Botticelli: Dante's Inferno

                  Purgatorio 1. 7-12
                  Ma qui la morta poesì resurga, 
                  o sante Muse, poi che vostro sono;
                  e qui Caliopè alquanto surga, 
                  seguitando il mio canto con quel suono 
                  di cui le Piche misere sentiro 
                  lo colpo tal, che disperar perdono.

                  But here let poetry rise again from the dead,
                  O holy Muses, since I am yours;
                  And let here Calliope rise up for a while
                  and accompany my song with that strain
                  which smote the ears of the wretched magpies
                  so that they despaired of pardon.

                  Botticelli: Mountain of Purgatory

                  Paradiso 1. 13-27

                  O buono Appollo, a l'ultimo lavoro
                  fammi del tuo valor sì fatto vaso,
                  come dimandi a dar l'amato alloro.
                  Infino a qui l'un giogo di Parnaso
                  assai mi fu; ma or con amendue
                  m'è uopo intrar ne l'aringo rimaso.
                  Entra nel petto mio, e spira tue
                  sì come quando Marsia traesti
                  de la vagina de le membra sue.
                  O divina virtù, se mi ti presti
                  tanto che l'ombra del beato regno
                  segnata nel mio capo io manifesti,
                  vedra'mi al piè del tuo diletto legno
                  venire, e coronarmi de le foglie
                  che la materia e tu mi farai degno.

                  O good Apollo, for this final task
                  Make of me such a vessel of your power
                  As you require for your beloved laurel.
                  Up to this point, one summit of Parnassus
                  Has served me well, but now I need them both,
                  Entering on the arena that remains.
                  Come into my breast and, there within me, breathe,
                  As once, on that occasion when you drew
                  Marsyas from the scabbard of his limbs.
                  O power divine, but grant me of yourself
                  So much that I may figure forth the shadow
                  Of the blest realm imprinted in my mind,
                  And you shall see me come to your chosen tree
                  And crown myself beneath it with those leaves
                  Of which my theme and you will make me worthy.

                  Invocations Infernal and Purgatorial

                  Prof. Giuseppe Mazzotta of Yale speaks of reading the Comedia "horizontally," that is, with attention to the interaction between similar moments across the three canticles.

                  If we look for example at the invocations that the poet employs in the three poems, suggestive differences among them can be noted. Each invocation addresses a distinct source of inspiration, from which other potentially significant differences flow in turn. The poem is telling us something about how it is to be read. The invocations of the three canticles can be found here.

                  The shortest invocation, in the Inferno, addresses the Muses as alto ingenio - this can mean high genius, but ingenium was an ancient Latin term for one's own innate character or nature. From there it extended to the idea of natural capacity, talent, or genius, evolving into a rich and complex sense (see, for example, here and here.)

                  Dante moves quickly to address mente -- a faculty that scrivesti ciò ch'io vidi -- wrote that which I saw -- hence a form of memory, of notation, faithful to the pilgrim's experience. The poetry of Inferno will be faithful to what the pilgrim saw and heard -- poetry in the mode of representation, mimesis, but thanks to alto ingenio, one that will show its nobilitate.

                  By contrast, the invocation of Purgatorio invokes the sante Muse, who are asked to let poetry, which is dead, rise again (risurga). This already is more than natural. What's on offer here is not merely recording, but transformative action:

                  And let here Calliope rise up for a while
                  and accompany my song with that strain
                  which smote the ears of the wretched magpies
                  so that they despaired of pardon.

                  Calliope, the Muse of Epic, is called upon in particular to rise up alquanto -- perhaps not just for a while, but to an extent, somewhat. Calliope is needed to smite the daughters of Pierus, a "crowd of foolish sisters" who, according to Ovid, were turned to magpies after inanely challenging and losing a competition with the Muses. To accomplish this, it seems, Calliope needs not rise to the highest level of style. That will be sought and needed in Paradiso.

                  The tale of the battle of songs, taken from Metamorphoses 5, stages the competition, and the contrast between the two performances couldn't be more marked. Calliope, singing of the Rape of Persephone, wins. The judge was Athena, and the daughters of Pierus turned into mimicking magpies.

                  The invocation of Purgatorio enlists the Muses in a struggle. This is poetry with an active purpose in this world, and it means business. Actually, it means unfinished business, as Purgatorio takes place in time, in the realm of human desire, engagement, choice. Unlike Inferno, things on this mountain are not settled by any means, nor are they fixed in stone. All is in motion. The Purgatorio is quite simply a poem of metamorphosis, like that whose tale of the magpies inspired its invocation.

                  We'll leave the invocation of the Paradiso for a later moment, for it again calls upon a different source, calling forth yet another mode -- other than pure mimesis or performance - to actualize itself.

                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  Machu Picchu site to be expanded

                  Machu Picchu, the undisputed jewel of Incan archaeology, is going to be expanded significantly –...

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  A History of metal detecting in 3 flyers

                  Heritage Action, 'A History of metal detecting in 3 flyers', The depressing cul-de-sac that is Britain's portable antiquities policy can be deduced from just three flyers. With one to print out and distribute yourself.

                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  'Cyber-archaeology' salvages lost Iraqi art

                  Priceless historical artefacts have been lost recently, to violence in Iraq and earthquakes in...

                  Current Epigraphy

                  Bertinoro 2015. L’iscrizione esposta

                  Epigraphica. Bertinoro 2015, Colloquio Borghesi

                  L’iscrizione esposta

                  Bertinoro, 4-6 June 2015

                  See programme attached


                  Jim Davila (

                  Shavuot 2015

                  THE FESTIVAL OF SHAVUOT (Weeks, Pentecost) begins today at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. Some biblical background is noted here.

                  Review of Secunda, The Iranian Talmud

                  BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Review: The Iranian Talmud. By Geoffrey Herman at AJS Review.

                  Background here and links.

                  Early Islam: The Sectarian Milieu of Late Antiquity?

                  ENOCH SEMINAR CONFERENCE: Early Islam: The Sectarian Milieu of Late Antiquity? / Fourth Nangeroni Meeting (2015 Milan), conference. It meets on 15-19 June, just before regular bi-annual meeting of the Enoch Seminar at the same venue. I shall be at the latter, presenting a main paper, but I am sorry to have to miss this Nageroni meeting.

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  Tracking the Antiquities of ISIL Funding?

                  Now they have occupied and pacified Palmyra, Pamela Engel declares in Business Insider that "ISIS is about to make A LOT of money off (sic) 'the archaeological equivalent of a beheading'..." May 22, 2015.
                  Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider that ISIS makes most of its money from racketeering, which includes collecting "taxes" from the residents who live within the borders of the territory it has taken over, plundering people's homes, and looting historical sites and selling antiquities on the black market. "It’s a racket. And that’s how ISIS continues to survive and thrive," Schanzer said. "They need to jump from community to community in order to sustain themselves financially." Smugglers who talked to BuzzFeed News described Palmyra as a potential windfall to their business. One Syrian smuggler said he was sure ISIS would sell the artifacts they could get their hands on in Palmyra.
                   Maybe, but only if they can get somebody to buy the antiquities. So, who is going to buy them? The hysterical warnings that "terrorists"are selling antiquities have now been trundled out almost daily for a year. ("terrorists" =ISIL, nobody else in the region with guns, because after all the US have been financing some of the others themselves).  Fine, it gets people looking askance at those no-questions-asked transactions on our antiquities market.  Certainly that is needed, and this manner of dealing in cultural property needs to end. We have seen the dealers do not take too kindly to such a notion and are putting up a (weak) fight. But the longer the story is put out, the more people other than dealer are going to ask about the details - like where are those "millions of dollars" worth of antiquities? Where are they going? Even if the market is entirely clandestine and underground, if it is on such a scale, why are not "accidents" happening and one or two shipments being seized? When journalists go on a search for the proceeds of digging, all they ever come up with a re a few scraps (handfulls of metal detector finds) and above all fakes? Is that because these journalists (or their local fixers) are no good at their job, or is there some other explanation? Or are we looking in the wrong places?

                  Here's a map (from Business Insider) showing a current interpretation of what ISIL holds:

                  ISIL terrirory (May 2015 - Business Insider)
                  How can ISIL make money if the material is not, in fact leaving Iraq and Syria at all? How, actually is it postulated that this stuff is leaving ISIL territory? Can somebody give us a realistic suggestion of the routes used? It's all very well making the "assumption" that it is all going across the "wild" (sic- as per Business Insider) Turkish border, but which antiquities dealers have direct or indirect business contacts with, for example, Turkey? But if that really is so, who is selling artefacts that have come onto the market through Turkey? If we believe that the contact zone between ISIL territory and Turkey is the area where this material is surfacing, maybe we need to be searching online markets for material of types found in precisely this area to see who has suppliers there. But perhaps is is wrong to concentrate our attention on this border. What about material leaving across the porous borders in Iraq? Down the Persian Gulf (to Qatar or Dubai for example)?  Or into Jordan or Saudi Arabia? Or perhaps the material is not leaving the territory of ISIL at all? Who is to say when there are assumptions, no information, and a market which hides everything? 

                  Thoman Love Peacock's Palmyra

                  Palmyra (2nd edn 1812)
                  Thomas Love Peacock [extract]
                  So swift is Time's colossal stride
                  Above the wrecks of human pride.
                  These temples, awful in decay,
                  Whose ancient splendor half endures,
                  These arches, dim in parting day,
                  These dust-defiled entablatures,
                  These shafts, whose prostrate pride around
                  The desert-weed entwines its wreath,
                  These capitals, that strew the ground,
                  Their shattered colonnades beneath,
                  These pillars, white in lengthening files,
                  Grey tombs, and broken peristyles,
                  May yet, through many an age, retain
                  The pomp of Thedmor's wasted reign.
                  But Time still shakes, with giant-tread,
                  The marble city of the dead,
                  That crushed at last, a shapeless heap,
                   Beneath the drifted sands shall sleep.

                  Chester Archaeological Society and the Metal Detectorists

                  Chester Archaeological Society is announcing that it is going, in support of its aims, to make a "grant to support the study of PAS finds from Cheshire":
                  The Society wishes to encourage the study and publication of objects (or groups/types of object) reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme from Cheshire and adjoining areas, to ensure that their potential contribution to the understanding of the archaeology and history of the county is realised. It is therefore offering a grant of GBP 700 every two years to help suitable persons to undertake such research.
                  Seven hundred quid, eh? That should cover a drawing or two. So, they feel the "potential contribution" of the one in five bits and bobs from artefact hunters' private collections which get reported is being unrealised? Why would that be, are not archaeologists falling over themselves to get their hands on these "data"?  Coincidentally, yesterday I finished a text for publication here in Poland on whether the PAS in Britain actually are producing anything that can be classed as "data" and what constraints the manner in which the information is gathered and the form in which it is presented have on their use for any kind of serious research. There were eight listed, and seven hundred quid is unlikely to make a dent in any of them.Chester, don't waste your members' money, get out and do some real archaeological outreach.

                  For the lazy and library-challenged  ('Coin Collectors Posing as "Academics"... ' PACHI Thursday, 7 May 2015), I'll put my paper up on the moment the Polish publisher's rights to it run out.

                  UPDATE 19th May 2015 (a few minutes later)
                  Ha ha, capital! The moment I pressed "send" on this blog post an email popped into my inbox with this "gem" Taylor, Abigail, 'The Portable Antiquities Scheme as a Research Tool for Exploring Cultural Identities in the Fourth to the Sixth centuries CE', and that title illustrates very neatly one of my eight points.

                  A Museum Curator and Some Metal Detectorists

                  This film would not be possible
                  without the help of .....
                  The replies to my query of 25th April about the appearance of three English local authority archaeologists in an anti-legislation campaign video by metal detectorists are coming thick and fast now. Hot on the heels of the response by a professional numismatist and an archaeologist, I now have an answer to my query from Dr Tim Pestell (Senior Curator of Archaeology, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery). It was a very informative answer and touched on several different topics, but my main concern was to check the veracity of the film's claim that the objects hoiked by unregulated collection-driven exploitation of archaeological sites ends up in Norfolk's museums. The film producers edited what he said (0:55) to produce something like that falling from the curator's lips. In my response to this, I pointed out in reply that whether or not he sees himself as campaigning for anything, it cannot be denied that in the film under discussion, three Norfolk heritage professionals are engaged in a shallow and one-sided presentation of the issues surrounding heritage policy in a manner intended to influence public opinion. I question whether that is appropriate. Also in my reply I remarked:
                  In the video you say (twice) that "countries that do not record" are missing out on (object centred) information (8:12). What those watching do not learn from you includes the implications of getting that “information” from the random stripping out of diagnostic finds from surface sites by collectors. Those countries that regulate intervention on archaeological sites do so for a reason, and of course do record that which is recovered as a result of searches under a permit, and often the material is deposited in a public collection. That includes Flanders which you mention which has not repealed its 1993 legislation (unless you know otherwise).
                  It seems to me that Pestell is guilty of propagating myth engendered as part of PAS spin, which takes one aspect of a foreign system for heritage protection in isolation and then criticises the whole - without really understanding it. So for example in my country we have no PAS, metal detecting on archaeological sites without a permit is illegal, but we do have the AZP (which - for the record - I am not saying is without its own problems). How many British archaeologists even know what that is? Yet Poland falls into that category of (allegedly "unenlightened") places that "do not record metal detectorists finds" criticised here alongside Ireland.

                  Dr Pestell then explains that of the material we saw in the video (allegedly most of which was on its way to a museum where all members of the public can "learn from" it), he estimates the Museum actually only ever receives 0.5% (half a percent) of the 10000 hoiked objects reported annually. A very different picture from that presented by the tendentious propaganda video in which he appears. This is precisely what I suspected was the case. Pestell, like Marsden and Rogerson justifies (feels he has to justify) this:
                  This depends upon the generosity of landowners and finders and, typically, the financial value of the items found. [...] However, it would also be true to say that the vast majority of material recovered [by metal detctorists] is of limited interest to us even when recordable by the PAS. This is because it either duplicates material we already hold, or because (as with excavation), preservation by record is frequently sufficient for us to understand particular aspects of the archaeology.
                  I suspect here he is talking about limited use for display rather than research purposes, having two or fourteen items of the same type of brooch is far more useful in studying - for example typological variation - than having "one typical" example. Or a badly-preserved one can have a bit cut off for metallurgical analysis for example. Researchers studying groups of objects have the chance of spotting things earlier examiners missed. Kershaw in her study of Viking ornaments (to which I referred in an earlier post) gives some examples of this and points out that if 'duplicate' objects are not made available for study by being curated, the original records cannot be checked and the object examined from the point of view of aspects not originally considered - that is one of the functions of museums.

                   'Preservation by record' is a fine notion only if that record is one which is properly observed and properly detailed. The superficial three-line 'descriptions' of an object passing through a recorder's hands between club meetings with no photos which we saw in some of the NMDC records to which Drs Marsden and Rogerson pointed us yesterday are  not preservation by record. If savings are made on proper storage and archiving, then adequate resources need to be in place to create an acceptable alternative. But as I remarked in response to what Dr Pestell had written:
                  You do not take the ‘overflowing museum storerooms’ argument to its logical conclusion. It cannot be “responsible detecting” (or anything else) for anyone to continue wanton exploiting sites for collectables in this way and generating loose material if the museums have no room to store more than a small fraction of them (and that is before we even begin to think about the costs of Treasure acquisitions etc.).
                  The same goes for ability to adequately document material in private temporary curatorship. But this half percent figure is very revealing:
                  Despite what the film says [...] your estimate indicates that 99.5% of the objects found by these people goes straight into their pockets, and not into public collections. And this is probably what Mr Nolan and his pals want – not really for learning at all, but so they can flog it off. That is the implication of your comment on the relationship between donations and "the financial value of the items found".
                  Has Mr Nolan ever sold - or attempted to sell - any archaeological artefacts? Maybe Dr Pestell knows the answer to that question.

                  What can archaeologists, professional archaeologists, do to avoid becoming entangled in the social media manipulations of interest groups such as that represented by Mr Nolan and his 'Green Light to Scrap Heritage Legislation in Ireland' campaign? Is this not covered in the UK by the Museums Association Code of Ethics and those for archaeologists (museum archaeoogists and others)?  

                  May 22, 2015

                  Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

                  Michael C. Astour: A Biographical Essay

                  Michael C. Astour: A Biographical Essay
                  James J. Weingartner, Southern Illinois University EdwardsvilleFollow


                  Michael Astour's scholarly productivity was prodigious and was recognized and respected by the international community of historians of the ancient Near East. His accomplishments would have been impressive in anyone, but were especially so given the tumultuous and tragic events of his personal life, which were part and parcel of the tragic and tumultuous century in which he lived. The Festschrift that grew out of a celebratory conference in his honor begins with a paraphrase of an ancient Sumerian proverb: “A scribe who does not know Sumerian, what kind of a scribe is he?” It reads, “Scholars of Mediterranean, Biblical and Near Eastern Studies who do not know the work of Michael Astour, what kind of scholars are they?”[1] Obviously, that’s a rhetorical and somewhat hyperbolic question, and I lack the knowledge to pass judgment with any confidence on his work. Ignorance is easily impressed. Nevertheless, the story of Michael Astour’s life deserves to be told, if only by someone who is definitely not a scholar of the ancient Near East, but who knew him as a colleague. Many of his friends and colleagues urged him over the years to write a memoir, something he adamantly refused to do. This may have been due in part to the pain that such an effort would have caused him, although he argued that others had told similar stories better than he could. But, finally, he may have regarded such an undertaking simply as an unwelcome distraction from the scholarship that he loved and that he pursued almost to his dying day.[2]
                  This essay is based largely on Astour’s voluminous correspondence spanning a half- century. He meticulously saved letters he received, as well as copies of those he sent. His papers fill dozens of boxes in SIUE’s archives. Many of his letters are multi-paged and are uniformly thoughtful and frequently witty. They stand in stark contrast to the brief and often superficial electronic communications that pass for inter-personal correspondence today which is, in most cases and, perhaps appropriately, transitory. They exemplify a category of historical source material that, sadly, is no longer being generated.
                  [1] Gordon Young, Mark Chavalas, Richard Averbeck, eds., Crossing Boundaries and Linking Horizons: Studies in Honor of Michael C. Astour on His 80th Birthday [Bethesda, MD., 1997], xi.
                  [2] Astour to Chavalas, March 2, 1992, Box 25.

                  Open Access Journal: Revista de Estudios de Egiptologia (REE)

                  Revista de Estudios de Egiptologia (REE)
                  ISSN: 0327-3822
                  Vol. 1 (1990) VER EDICION ONLINE
                  J. KOGAN, La personalidad de Abraham Rosenvasser (1896-1983); Abraham Rosenvasser visto por Manuel Mujica Lainez;
                  E. HUBER, “En verdad” por A. Rosenvasser;
                  P. FUSCALDO, Bibliografía de Abraham Rosenvasser, Ashka (Serra West): El templo de Ramsés II, La lista topográfica del atrio;
                  A. DANERI DE RODRIGO, La inscripción enigmática del atrio;
                  V. PEREYRA DE FIDANZA, La realeza egipcia. Su origen y fundamentación temprana;
                  J.E. BURUCUA, La cultura de Sebastián Serlio: El Egipto antiguo y la tradición hermética.

                  Vol. 2 (1991)
                  VER EDICION ONLINE
                  P. FUSCALDO, Las inscripciones en las puertas de los depósitos del templo; Aksha (Serra West): Fragmentos con escenas e inscripciones en el Museo de Ciencias Naturales de La Plata;
                  A. DANERI DE RODRIGO, Aspectos políticos de la deificación de Ramsés II en Aksha (Nubia);
                  S. LUPO DE FERRIO, V. PEREYRA DE FIDANZA, Los s3sw y los md3yw en sus relaciones con el estado egipcio;
                  G. GESTOSO, El culto a Aton en el Egipto de la dinastía XVIII. Sus antecedentes;
                  C. BARGUES CRIADO, La dinastía XXV en Egipto. La legitimación de su poder.

                  Vol. 3 (1992)
                  VER EDICION ONLINE
                  P. FUSCALDO, Aksha (Serra West): la datación del sitio;
                  ALICIA DANERI DE RODRIGO, Historia e historiografía: el Primer Período Intermedio en Egipto;
                  VIOLETA PEREYRA DE FIDANZA, Los maryannu: su inserción socio-política en los estados de Siria y Palestina durante el Período del Bronce Reciente;
                  GRACIELA NOEMI GESTOSO, Los mensajeros en la época de El Amarna;
                  JOACHIM SLIWA, A group of Egyptian signet-rings from the former Czartoryski/Dziabynski Collection a Goluchów; ALAN SCHULMAN, The Reshep bronces and other loose ends.

                  Vol. 4 (1993)
                  VER EDICION ONLINE
                  ALICIA DANERI DE RODRIGO, Aksha (Serra West): las escenas de coronación de Ramsés II; VIOLETA PEREYRA DE FIDANZA, Los maryannu: su inserción socio-política en los estados de Siria y Palestina durante el Período del Bronce Reciente. II;
                  SILVIA LUPO DE FERRIOL, Snefrw en la tradición egipcia;
                  Graciela N. GESTOSO, La administración egipcia en Asia según la documentación de la época de El Amarna; ALEJANDRO BOTTA, Matrimonio y divorcio en los “Papiros arameos de Elefantina”; SILVANA FANTECHI, Los ‘3mw en los documentos egipcios del Reino Medio; ALICIA DANERI DE RODRIGO, Informe sobre la participación en las excavaciones del Proyecto conjunto de las Universidades de Toronto, Illinois y Washington en Tell er Rub’a (Mendes), República Arabe de Egipto (15/VI al 31/VII/92); EDUARDO A. CRIVELLI MONTERO, Informe sobre la participación en las excavaciones de la Misión Italiana en Arslantepe (Alto Eufrates), Septiembre-Octubre de 1992; JORGE A. TRENCH, Sobre la geometría exterior e interior de las pequeñas pirámides de Giza.

                  Vol. 5 (1994)
                  VER EDICION ONLINE
                  PERLA FUSCALDO, Some more on Aksha; ALICIA DANERI DE RODRIGO, Aksha (Serra West). El templo de Ramsés II: las inscripciones de los pilares del patio; M. VIOLETA PEREYRA DE FIDANZA, A mention of Beth Shean in a Literary Text of the New Kingdom; SILVIA LUPO DE FERRIOL, Amenemhat III en el Fayum: algunos aspectos de su deificación; ANDREA PAULA ZINGARELLI, La política religiosa de Cambises en Egipto; M. REMA VAN VOSS, Zum Titel von Totenbuch 64; ROLF GUNDLACH, Die Titulaturen der Triade von Amarna (Zur Königsideologie Der ausgehenden 18. Dynastie).

                  Vol. 6/7 (1996-1999) (CD ROM)
                  The Preliminary Report of the Three Campaigns of the Argentine Archaeological Mission at Tell El-Ghaba, North Sinai, Egypt, 1995-1997 (Excavation and Study Seasons); PERLA FUSCALDO, EDUARDO CRIVELLIi, VIOLETA PEREYRA DE FIDANZA, ANDREA ZINGARELLI, Las Cartas Arameas de Hermópolis y el formulario epistolar en el Cercano Oriente Antiguo; ALEJANDRO FELIX BOTTA, La ciudad de guarnición de Beth Shean y su relación con la organización de la corvea agrícola durante la dinastía XVIII egipcia; GRACIELA NOEMI GESTOSO, The h[3tyw-(from Byblos in the Early Second Millennium B.C.; ROXANA FLAMMINI, Tehenw, temehw y el Estado Egipcio; SILVANA FANTECHI, Magia y racionalidad en la antigua medicina egipcia y griega ANA MARIA ROSSO DE LORENZUTTI, Los canales artificiales y el Nilo en la frontera oriental del Egipto antiguo: estado de la Cuestión; ANDREA ZINGARELLI, El valle y el delta del Nilo entre 20.000 y 4.000 años a.p.: cambios hidrológicos y climáticos.

                  Die ägyptische und orientalische „Rubensohn-Bibliothek“ von Elephantine

                  Die ägyptische und orientalische „Rubensohn-Bibliothek“ von Elephantine
                  Hauptsächlich während des 5. Jahrhunderts, als Ägypten unter persischer Oberherrschaft stand, war auf der Nilinsel Elephantine, gegenüber der Stadt Syene, dem heutigen Assuan, eine aramäo-jüdische Gemeinde angesiedelt. Von der Existenz dieser jüdischen Diaspora in Ägypten berichten bereits die alttestamentlichen Quellen, Jeremia 41 oder 2 Kön 25 und ein sensationeller aramäischer Papyrusfund zeitgenössischer, aber außerbiblischer Texte, der aus Elephantine selbst stammt, bestätigt diese Angaben. Durch den Handel kamen schon recht früh aramäische Papyri von der Nilinsel Elephantine auf den europäischen Antikenmarkt, so nahm beispielsweise Richard Lepsius bereits in seinen Denkmälern aus Ägypten und Nubien einen aramäischen Papyrus auf. Es handelt sich um einen aramäischen Text aus der Sammlung d’Athanasi, die vom Museum in Berlin 1842 angekauft worden war. In der Elephantine gegenüberliegenden Stadt Syene wurde ein größerer Fund sehr gut erhaltener Papyri 1904 von Robert Mond erworben, weitere ebenso von Lady William Cecil. Diese wurden 1906 von Sayce und Cowley veröffentlicht. In der Folge entstand entsprechend der Wunsch, durch systematische Ausgrabungen das neue Material zu ergänzen und vor der Zerstörung zu retten. Im Auftrag der königlichen Museen zu Berlin wurden schließlich drei Grabungs-Kampagnen auf der Nilinsel Elephantine zwischen 1906 und 1908 durch den deutschen Archäologen Otto Rubensohn und den Papyrologen Friedrich Zucker durchgeführt. Darüber schreibt Adolf Erman, der damalige Direktor des Ägyptischen Museums, in seinen Erinnerungen:
                  „Viel weniger Mühen und Kosten als [diese] großen Ausgrabungen haben uns die kleinen verursacht, die wir an verschiedenen Stellen Ägyptens in den Stadtruinen versucht haben, um Papyrus zu gewinnen. Und doch hat wenigstens eine von ihnen Ergebnisse gebracht, die wissenschaftlich von der höchsten Bedeutung sind. Daß die Fellachen in der alten Stadt der Insel Elephantine Papyrus fanden, war bekannt, und 1904 trat dort ein großer Fund zutage, der aramäische Urkunden jüdischer Soldaten enthielt; zur Perserzeit hatte in dieser Grenzfestung eine Garnison aus Fremden aller Art gelegen. Diese Spur weiter zu verfolgen, ging Otto Rubensohn 1906 nach Elephantine, und gleichzeitig gingen auch französische Gelehrte mit dem gleichen Ziele dorthin. Der Generaldirektor Maspero teilte das Grabungsgebiet zwischen beiden Parteien, aber wir waren es, die diesmal das große Los zogen, denn auf unserem Gebiete, dicht an der Grenze des französischen, stieß Rubensohn auf ein einfaches Haus, und das enthielt wirklich die Akten der jüdischen Gemeinde.“
                  Auch Rubensohn begann seinen zusammenfassenden Grabungsbericht mit dem Hinweis auf die aramäischen Texte, es heißt hier:
                  „Die Ausgrabungen auf Elephantine sind eine Folge der Aufdeckung jener aramäischen Papyri, die als „Aramaic Papyri discovered at Assouan“ von Sayce und Cowley publiziert worden sind. Ein Besuch in Assuan noch im Jahre der Aufdeckung 1904 verschaffte mir die Bekanntschaft und das Vertrauen der in Betracht kommenden Händler und Sebbachgräber. Sie führten mich auf mein Verlangen an die Fundstätte der Papyri. Die Stelle, die sie mir wiesen, lag aber nicht in Assuan, sondern am Westrande des Koms von Elephantine. Es war ein Punkt etwa 1m nördlich von dem Platz, an dem wir später den großen Fund an aramäischen Papyri gemacht haben. Auf meinen Antrag beschloß die Generalverwaltung der Königlichen Museen zu Berlin die Inangriffnahme der Arbeit, und mit gewohnter Liebenswürdigkeit erteilte Hr. Maspero im Namen des Service des Antiquités die erbetene Erlaubnis, auf der westlichen Hälfte des Koms von Elephantine Grabungen nach Papyri zu veranstalten.“
                  Die Grabungsgenehmigung wurde auf „Monsineur le Docteur Rubensohn, au nom de la Direction des Musées Royaux de Berlin“ am 5. Dezember 1904 für ein Jahr ausgestellt, am 8. November 1905 und am 10. Dezember 1906 jeweils für ein Jahr verlängert und zuletzt auf Friedrich Zucker übertragen. […]
                  Der größte Teil der bei der Fundteilung am 24. Dezember 1907 den Berliner Museen zugesprochenen Papyri sowie Ostraka und Siegelabdrücke befindet sich heute in der Papyrussammlung bzw. im Ägyptischen Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin.

                  Ancient Peoples

                  would you be so kind as to telling me all you know about Cleopatra VII ? I would love to know ^_^

                  Cleopatra VII ate Cleopatra IX…

                  That was the infamy she dealt with all her life and throughout history.

                  Glass Cinerary Urnmid 1st-2nd Century ADMid Imperial Period...

                  Glass Cinerary Urn

                  mid 1st-2nd Century AD

                  Mid Imperial Period Rome

                  (Source: The Met Museum)

                  Richard Rothaus (Whitewashed Tomb)


                  I am bored when people weep over the destruction of Nineveh. Their brief public wailing has no tie to the basalt roots carved by waves of conquest and cruelty. Do they imagine that Shamshi-Adad would hold hands with them, and … Continue reading

                  Archaeology Magazine


                  York medieval foundationsYORK, ENGLAND—The foundations of St. Leonard’s Hospital have been found under the stage and auditorium at the site of the York Theatre Royal. It had been thought that the medieval foundations had been destroyed in the Victorian era, but they have been found intact. “It is amazing that, considering all the alterations to the theater since 1764, so much of the medieval hospital has survived under the stalls and elsewhere within the building,” chief archaeologist Ben Reeves told The Northern Echo. To read about another recent medieval discovery in England, go to "Medieval Leather, Vellum, and Fur."


                  LIMA, PERU—A small temple thought to predate the great temples of the Moche culture has been discovered on a mountain in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru. The two small mounds on the mountain are surrounded by looted cemeteries. “The temple, which is 30 meters wide and 40 meters long, dates back to the earliest stage of the Mochica culture,” archaeologist Walter Alva, Director of the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, told The Andina News Agency. The oldest Mochica structure at the site is a white and yellow low platform. There are signs of erosion of the adobe structures from heavy rain and subsequent repairs. “This might imply that heavy rains affected the place in early Mochica’s times and that its origin must have been characterized by small religious and administrative centers that later evolved into huge pyramidal constructions such as Sipan and Pampagrande,” he added.


                  Taimyr wolf domesticationCAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS—DNA from an ancient Taimyr wolf bone from Siberia has been compared to DNA from modern dogs by Pontus Skoglund of Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute, and Love Dalén of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. They say that the specimen, dated to 35,000 years ago, represents the most recent common ancestor of modern wolves and dogs, and shares a large number of genes with today’s Siberian Huskies and Greenland sled dogs. “Dogs may have been domesticated much earlier than is generally believed,” Dalén said in a press release. It is also possible that there was a divergence between two wolf populations at that time, and one of those populations gave rise to modern wolves, but if that were so, then the second wolf population would have had to have gone extinct in the wild. “It is possible that a population of wolves remained relatively untamed but tracked human groups to a large degree, for a long time,” added Skoglund. Earlier genetic studies have suggested that the ancestors of domesticated dogs split from wolves no more than 16,000 years ago. To read more about the archaeology of dogs, see "More Than Man's Best Friend."

                  Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

                  Fall of Palmyra Calls for Safe Harbor for Syrian Antiquities

                  As fear grows that ISIS may target Palmyra's ancient ruins for destruction, it's time to rethink the wisdom of repatriating artifacts to failed states like Syria and Iraq.  If anything, artifacts of cultural significance from such war zones should be removed and given temporary safe harbor, something suggested by the AAMD.

                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  Ancient Aqueduct Unearthed In Jerusalem

                  Workers building a sewer line in Jerusalem unearthed a section of the ancient lower aqueduct, which...

                  Archaeology Magazine


                  Jerusalem Lower AqueductJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have excavated a section of Jerusalem’s ancient Lower Aqueduct, which was uncovered during the construction of a new sewer line in the Umm Tuba quarter of the city. “The Lower Aqueduct to Jerusalem, which the Hasmonean kings constructed more than 2,000 years ago in order to provide water to Jerusalem, operated intermittently until about 100 years ago,” excavation director Ya’akov Billig said in a press release. The aqueduct began at a spring near Solomon’s Pools and sloped gently downward for more than ten miles along an open channel until the Ottoman period, when a terracotta pipe was installed inside the channel to protect the water as it traveled through the growing city. This section of the aqueduct has been preserved for future generations. To read more about ancient aqueducts, go to "Rome's Lost Aqueduct."

                  ArcheoNet BE

                  Romeins weekend op 24-25 mei in Oudenburg

                  In het Pinksterweekend wordt Oudenburg weer overspoeld door Romeinse soldaten. Tijdens het Romeins weekend op 24 en 25 mei wordt het abtspark omgetoverd tot een levensecht Romeins kampement. Je ziet hoe de Romeinen leefden, aten, vochten, werkten… en je kunt meedoen aan verschillende workshops en doe-activiteiten. Nieuw dit jaar is de workshop ‘LEGO in Roman style’. Op zondag kun je ook je eigen archeologische voorwerpen laten onderzoeken. Pinkstermaandag wordt traditioneel voorbehouden voor de kinderen. Een echt gladiatorengevecht sluit het Romeins weekend af. Je vindt het volledige programma op

                  Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

                  This week at Forbes: Beheadings and cannibalism, origins of obesity, Roman dentistry, historic cemetery clean-up, and endangered Native American sites

                  Here's what I wrote over at Forbes the week of May 17-23:
                  • New St. Louis Rams stadium may be built on ancient Native American city.  For whatever reason, I missed this news back in April with St. Louis's NPR station covered it... which was odd, since I was in St. Louis in April for the American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference, staying not too far from the proposed location of a new NFL stadium.  This short piece summarizes the battle so far, but I suspect there will be more to come.
                  • How devastating floods created opportunities for Tennessee archaeology.  Another good friend, Tanya Peres, was telling me how it's the fifth anniversary of the catastrophic 1,000-year flood that inundated Nashville.  So I wrote up a summary of her work in mitigating damage to archaeological sites caused by the flooding.  Whole lot of shellfish eating going on!
                  • Industrial Revolution caused rise in cancer, obesity, and arthritis, archaeologists suggest.  Several weeks ago, I read a brief press release about a new study at the Museum of London to address the origins of modern diseases that may have increased with the Industrial Revolution.  The coverage was uneven and didn't explain what information was being collected, so I reached out to the study leader, Jelena Bekvalac, to learn more about this fascinating research.
                  • Roman Forum yields stash of teeth extracted by ancient dentist. I talked with bioarchaeologist Marshall Becker about his recent publication of 86 teeth from a drain in the Temple of Castor and Pollux.  He argues that they were extractions done by a very skilled dentist. These also seem to be the first direct evidence for dental extractions in ancient Rome.
                  • Clean up a cemetery this Memorial Day.  Wondering what to do with the kids for the long weekend?  Why not visit a local cemetery to learn about your community's history and clean it up a bit while you're at it? In this piece, I talk with Sarah Miller, an old friend from grad school, about her state-wide Cemetery Resource Protection Training program.  I just like that CRPT is like crypt.
                  I'm gonna try to dial it back next week, since I have a deadline for a contributed chapter based on my actual research I need to write.  But it's hard, because blogging is way more fun.


                  Ethnolinguistic vitality

                  Irish, Welsh, etc. and Yiddish and Hebrew in The Economist.

                  James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

                  Visualizing Religious Switching


                  Mike Bell created the above image, displaying the movement of individuals either remaining within or changing out of their religious communities. The data derives from the Pew surveys.

                  I think this is striking in ways that reading the numbers, or graphing them in other ways, has not been. The fact that greater numbers have moved from the mainline to unaffiliated than the reverse, while it has been something close to a fair exchange between evangelicals and the mainline, are among the things that really jumped out at me. The number of the unaffiliated who become affiliated was also more striking in this depiction than it ever was looking at the numbers alone.

                  What strikes you about this representation of the data?

                  Click through for further details about the colors on the right representing small groups, his 2007 graph of the same sort, and his plans to offer additional commentary.


                  Some Greek compounds

                  γλυκύ-πικρος (Sapph.130)
                  γύν-ανδρος ( and ἀνδρό-γυνος (Hdt. Pl.+) and γυναικ-άνηρ (Epicharmos)

                  ἱππό-ταυρος horse-bull LSJ, Heliodoros, Aithiopika X 29:
                  καὶ τὸν Θεαγένην λαμπρῶς ἐκθειάζειν ξένην τινὰ ταύτην ἱπποταύρου ξυνωρίδα

                  κλαυσί-γελως smiles mingled with tears LSJ, X.Hell. VII 2.9:
                  πάντας δὲ τοὺς παρόντας τότε γε τῷ ὄντι κλαυσίγελως εἶχεν.
                  (?) cf. Sall.Cat.61.9: ita varie per omnem exercitum laetitia, maeror, luctus atque gaudia agitabantur.

                  λευκο-έρυθρος (Arist.)
                  -μέλᾱς grey (LSJ): a combination or mixture of white and black rather than of animals like pandas and of things like chess boards that are white and black.

                  χλωρο- (Galen), ὠχρό- (Dioscorides Ped.)

                  Cf. Sanskrit nīla-lohitá dark blue and red = dark red (A.A. MacDonell, A Vedic Grammar for Students, § 186 B 1 'The adjectives that designate colours, their combination expressing a mixture of the two'.

                  Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

                  Orientalia 83/2 (2014)

                  A tartalomból:

                  Karkemish 2011-2013
                  A. Dinçol et al.: A stele by Suhi I from Karkemish

                  G. Bitelli - F. Girardi - V. A. Girelli: Digital enhancement of the 3D scan of Suhi I’s stele from Karkemish

                  A. Dinçol - B. Dinçol - H. Peker: An Anatolian Hieroglyphic Cylinder Seal from the Hilani at Karkemish

                  G. Marchesi: Epigraphic Materials of Karkemish from the Middle Bronze Age

                  N. Marchetti - H. Peker: A Stele from Gürçay near Karkemish

                  H. Peker: A Funerary Stele from Yunus (Karkemish)

                  S. Pizzimenti: Three Glyptic Documents from Karkemish

                  M. Zecchi: A Note on Two Egyptian Seal Impressions from Karkemish

                  A. Roccati: Dating Pthahhotep’s Maxims (Note Letterarie VI)

                  J. Bauer: Der Göttername d(nin–)/asˇbar/

                  Scott Moore (Ancient History Ramblings)

                  Finishing Up at Polis

                  IMG_0063 - CopyI realized today that I have not posted anything in a few days. This is due to a few factors – less than reliable internet at the hotel and long days trying to finish up our work here at Polis. Anyway, not much to report. We finished looking at the pottery from the levels we had targeted from EF2 (Late roman Basilica).  The final result is that we analyzed about 5,000 pottery sherds. We even finished in time to clean up the apotheke and put everything back in place with time to spare. Usually, we are so pushed for time that we are frantically putting things up at the absolute moment. It was nice to be on schedule for a change and not have to worry about whether we were working fast enough.

                  IMG_0062 - CopyI also had the opportunity to try out Lays Mediterranean Herbs and Cheese chips. It looks like, based on the ingredient list and picture, that herbs equals parsley. They tasted a lot like the Greek Salad IMG_0071 - Copychips, but a bit saltier, I would have to give them a ***(3) out of 10. I also picked up a can of spicy ginger ale to go with them – I am a big fan of ginger ale and was looking forward to finding out what spicy ginger ale is. I was a bit disappointed in that evidently spicy does not mean what I expected. It tasted like regular ginger ale to me.

                  IMG_0066 - CopyLast night we took one of our colleagues to Limassol to catch the bus to the airport, which gave us the opportunity to visit the Syrian Friendship Club there. We usually visit the one in Nicosia, but were happy to seize the opportunity to visit this one. I was especially happy since I did not get the opportunity to visit this restaurant either of the last two years – a real failure on my part. The only trick is finding the restaurant. Limassol is a city that I do not visit often IMG_0069and even more rarely at night. Fortunately, a smart phone app helped us navigate right to the correct address. As usual, we ordered the meze and as usual it was fantastic. As you can see from the image above, it was a lot of food – and this isn’t even all – the meat course had not arrived yet. The dips were so good. I try very hard to recreate these back in Indiana, and even though my versions are good, they are never quite right. Even though this meal resulted in a one and half hour drive that got us back after midnight – it was well worth it. Now, maybe I need to visit the Nicosia location and compare the two, or is that overkill?

                  IMG_0064 - CopyRSM

                  ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

                  From the Nile to the Desert and Back

                  Writing a New History of Egyptian Monastic Site Formation

                  At the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, Darlene Brookes Hedstrom, of Wittenberg … Read more

                  The post From the Nile to the Desert and Back appeared first on The ASOR Blog.

                  Per Lineam Valli

                  54. How many turrets were there on Hadrian’s Wall?

                  There were two turrets between each milecastle, so there was a notional total of 160 (assuming turrets existed between Milecastles 73 and 76). However, a number of additional turrets are known, where a pre-existing tower was incorporated into the Wall, as at Pike Hill (a short distance east of Turret 52A) and Turret 45A, or a new turret was added for tactical reasons, as happened with the Peel Gap tower between Turrets 39A and 39B. Thus it is possible that there were other, as yet undiscovered, additional turrets, so it seems 160 was a minimum.

                  Further reading: Breeze and Dobson 2000; Symonds and Mason 2009

                  Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

                  Old Georgian phrases and sentences 54 (Lk 4:23: Physician, heal thyself!)

                  Below is Lk 4:23 in the Old Georgian Adishi version, divided into phrases. For comparison, I also give Greek, Syriac (Peshitta), and Armenian (Künzle). (Since the online display of Syriac is still so sketchy depending on a machine’s setup, I give the Syriac in transliteration.)

                  1. καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς·
                  2. āmar lhon Išoʿ
                  3. Եւ ասէ ցնոսա·
                  4. და თავადმან ჰრქუა მათ:
                  • თავადი he himself
                  1. πάντως ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην·
                  2. kbar tēmrun li matlā hānā
                  3. ապաքէն ասիցէ՞ք առ իս զառակս զայս·
                  4. მრქუათ სამე იგავი ესე:
                  • მ-რქუ-ა-თ aor conj 2pl O1 რქუმა to say
                  • სამე well
                  • იგავი proverb
                  1. ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν·
                  2. āsyā assā napšāk
                  3. բժիշկ. բժշկեա զանձն քո·
                  4. მკურნალო, განიკურნე თავი შენი!
                  • მკურნალი physician, healer
                  • გან-ი-კურნ-ე aor impv 2sg განკურნება to heal
                  • თავი head > self
                  1. ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν Καφαρναοὺμ ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου.
                  2. w-kul da-šmaʿn da-ʿbadt ba-kparnaḥum ʿbed āp hārkā ba-mdi(n)tāk [Sinaiticus paraphrases: w-aylēn da-šmaʿton d-ʿebdet ba-kparnaḥām tēmrun li ʿbed āp hārkā ba-mdi(n)tāk]
                  3. որչափ լուա́ք զոր արարեր ի կափառնաւում. արա եւ ա́ստ ի քում գաւառի։.
                  4. რავდენი გუესმა საქმე კაფარნაომს, ქმენ აქაცა, მამულსა შენსა!
                  • გუ-ე-სმ-ა aor 3sg O1pl (indir. vb) სმენა to hear
                  • საქმე thing
                  • ქმენ aor impv 2sg ქმნა to do
                  • მამული homeland, place of origin (< მამაჲ father)

                  James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

                  Defending the Bible

                  Sometimes Biblical scholars are accused of attacking the Bible quote

                  In a post yesterday, I wrote “Sometimes Biblical scholars are accused of attacking the Bible, or of attacking “believers,” or both. But the truth is that most Biblical scholars love the Bible, and are defending it from the distortions, misrepresentations, and lies that are committed by people who praise the Bible, but either don’t know or ignore what it actually says.” I thought that was memeworthy, and so offered a challenge to meme it.

                  No one took me up on the offer, and so I guess if you want a job done, you have to do it yourself…


                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Excavations show Harappan site died as Saraswati river dried

                  The Indus Valley civilisation, popularly known as Harappan civilisation, has been a puzzle for several decades now. But with the ongoing excavation in Rakhigarhi, Haryana, jointly conducted by archaeologists of Deccan College, Pune, and Haryana Department of Archaeology, along with forensic scientists from Seoul National University, South Korea, history is on the verge of being rewritten. Archaeological Survey of India, in...

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                  American Philological Association

                  Socrates on Fifth Avenue in 1978

                  In a recent issue of Vanity Fair author Peter Davis writes about a dinner party hosted by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at which John H. Finley, Jr. and I. F. Stone discuss (mainly) the death of Socrates but also other aspects of ancient Greek civilization.

                  Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

                  5 Free Things Anyone Can Do To Save Historic Cemeteries

                  Cemeteries offer a quiet respite from the world. Anyone can use these 5 preservation hints to help give back to the local community.

                  Clean Up A Cemetery This Memorial Day

                  Cemeteries offer a quiet respite from the world. Anyone can use these 5 preservation hints to help give back to the local community.

                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  New Study Suggests Theory Of Early Humans In Naxos

                  The “Stélida Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP)”, directed by Dr. Tristan Carter of McMaster...

                  Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

                  Adventures in Podcasting in Absentia! Richard Rothaus and Tom Isern talk Heritage Renewal

                  Summer is upon us.  Bill is in Cyprus and Greece doing real archaeology, and Richard is set upon by various lesser North American archaeological endeavors, so get ready for some innovative summer podcast programming,

                  In this episode, Richard discusses the Heritage Preservation Renewal with Distinguished Professor Tom Isern, of North Dakota State University’s Center for Heritage Renewal.  We recorded this episode in our luxurious hotel suite in Stanley, North Dakota, prior to a session of the Man Camp Dialogues at the wonderful Sibyl Center.  North Dakotans will recognize the mellifluous voice of Isern from his Plains Folk radio show.  Richard really sounds like a mouse with a cold when mismatched such.

                  During the episode, Tom talks about why Renewal, not Preservation, is a worthy and appropriate goal.  Richard bemoans the state of “historic preservation” as a profession.  We both agrees that we are not sentimental about historic preservation as a cause, but we are committed to life and communities on the Great Plains.  We discuss how the once traditional adversarial relationship with the environment of the Northern Plains has changed with the latest settlers and generations.  We discuss how the study of history has developed in North Dakota and the Northern Plains, and note what some of us see as the unusually damaging interpretation of North Dakota’s grandfather of history, Elwyn Robinson.

                  Apparently the State really is so small that one historian’s “too much of the too much mistake” can have a lasting impact. The short version –  there is strong strain of belief in the Northern Plains that residents are victims, not agents.  Richard and Tom think that’s really detrimental, and let’s opportunities slip by.  Tom exercises his rights as a tenured professor, and makes a strong interpretation of the behavior of the North Dakota legislature. Tom asks, in a cross-partisan way: “how much can we tighten our belts before we strangle ourselves?” and wonders why we tolerate an attitude of “don’t get your hopes up.”

                  Want to know how embedded this sentiment into Northern Plains culture?  Enjoy this sign from an official employee bulletin border in the State Capitol.

                  low expectations

                  But, we end on very positive notes about how there is a generation that very much wants to bring renewal to the Northern Plains and North Dakota. When people want to stay, and there are no jobs, they will create them.  We also discuss Tom’s work in building German-Russian heritage tourism, and Richard opines that it is an idea that is just the right amount of crazy.  We actually have a really vigorous discussion of this topic about 40 minutes in, to make up for the egg-headed beginning of our discussion.


                  During editing Richard noted he really, really needs to work harder at creating context.

                  There’s an easter egg at the end of the podcast.

                  Some links:

                  IMG 1524And for those who are wondering, the Mighty Milo is doing just fine this summer… except that he decided to eat a bunch of pebbles which gave him a wicked tummy ache!

                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  Excavations show Harappan site died as Saraswati river dried

                  The Indus Valley civilisation, popularly known as Harappan civilisation, has been a puzzle for...

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  New Faces of SAFE

                  SAFE begun by Cindy Ho and her colleagues has been going longer than this blog, indeed attacks by the coin dealers' representatives on my work with SAFE was the beginning of this blog. Although the dealers and their hired thugwits would like to see the organization founder, SAFE is going from strength to strength, showing that there are some in North America who genuinely care about protection of the archaeological record from the effects of Collection-Driven Exploitation of sites. Thank you Cindy, thank you SAFE for being there.

                  It is a  pleasure to note that the group has acquired some new personnel, Dr Douglas Boin has been appointed the new head of the Board of Directors. Dr Boin has been active in the field for some time now, appearing before the CPAC, being one of the strongest critics of St Louis AIA over its recent sales of artefacts entrusted to it, papyrus dealings  and author of a number of pieces in the media ('Papyrus, Provenance and Looting'). Congratulations to him, I am sure he'll give the dealers a run for their money.

                  Rachel Dewan has joined the organization as Executive Director and her primary task is to run their STAFF campaign.  This brings SAFE staff up to 13, many of whom are young energetic people with a vision of the future for the past. The board is here. It seems that exciting times are ahead, building on the great deal that has already been achieved in the field of raising awareness. Please give them all your support.

                  James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

                  Descartes’ Demon


                  Another great treatment of philosophy of religion from Existential Comics.

                  Jim Davila (

                  Summer School on manuscripts, philology, and technology

                  DEADLINE LOOMING: manuSciences '15: Franco-German Summer School : Interdisciplinary approaches to manuscript studies combining philology, materials studies, computer science and digital humanities. Via the International Organization for Qumran Studies (IOQS) mailing list. In the the message, the following from the summer school organizer, Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra, is included:
                  Dear colleagues
                  Excuses for cross-posting. We call for applications to the manusciences '15 summer university organized by the Freie Universität Berlin and the Ecole pratique des hautes études on the beautiful island of Frauenchiemsee near Munich between September 6 and September 12, 2015. In presentations and practical exercises we will present the possibilities and limits in the application of CSI-style techniques from material sciences, imaging computational and digital humanities to manuscripts. MA students, PhD candidats, postdocs and colleagues from all countries dealing with any of the concerned disciplines or manuscript cultures may apply. We have numerous scholarships to cover the hotel and meal expenses.
                  Many further details can be found here:
                  Deadline: May 26, 2015 (soon!).
                  Kind regards

                  Corpus Avesticum conference

                  BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Corpus Avesticum meeting: “Ḫorde Avesta.” A conference in Berlin which starts today, in which a group of specialists in a research network meet to discuss their work on producing a new, and much needed, edition of the Avesta.

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

                  « Quand naissent les dieux » : colloque international de Rome (18-20 juin 2015)

                  Après deux journées d’étude, une table ronde et deux séminaires de formation doctorale,  le programme mutualisé entre l’École française d’Athènes et l’École française de Rome « Des espaces et des rites : pour une archéologie du culte dans les sanctuaires du monde méditerranéen » accueille un colloque international autour de la naissance des dieux dans le monde antique intitulé : « Quand naissent les dieux : fondation des sanctuaires. Motivations, agents, lieux. »

                  Le colloque se tiendra à Rome, dans les locaux de l’École française du 18 au 20 juin 2015. Il est porté par les deux Écoles d’Athènes et de Rome avec la collaboration du LabEx Archimède « Archéologie et Histoire de la Méditerranée et de l’Égypte anciennes » et organisé par Sandrine Agusta-Boularot (Université Paul Valéry Montpellier), Sandrine Huber (Université de Lorraine) et William Van Andringa (Université de Lille).

                  quand-naissent-les-dieuxLes procédures juridiques, mal décrites par les textes avouons-le, ne suffisent pas à rendre compte de l’acte exceptionnel que constitue la fondation d’un sanctuaire. Les données archéologiques récentes montrent des processus variés qui touchent tout autant la religion que l’organisation humaine, la vie politique et économique des communautés ou la perception des territoires. La fondation d’un lieu de culte était d’abord un acte exceptionnel qui mettait en œuvre un écheveau complexe de motivations et d’agents divers tout autant que de relations choisies dans le paysage, avec les habitats et les territoires puisqu’il s’agissait au premier chef d’installer un dieu dans un lieu propice. Les communications s’orienteront autour des thèmes suivants : les motivations, les agents et les lieux.

                  Télécharger le programme.

                  Jim Davila (

                  Latest on Palmyra

                  PALMYRA WATCH: I can find no news about what has happened to the antiquities and ruins of Palmyra in the last day, since ISIS captured them. Probably no one knows. But here are a couple of relevant articles:

                  Ancient Palmyra Treasures at Risk From ISIS: Photos (Discovery);

                  After Palmyra, Islamic State said to control half of Syria (AFP/Times of Israel).

                  Background here and links.

                  More archaeological vandalism

                  Vandals Paint Palestinian Flags Over Israeli UNESCO World Heritage Site (David Daoud, The Algemeiner).
                  Inspectors from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority filed a complaint on Wednesday with the Dimona police department over the vandalism at the ruins of the ancient city of Haluza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Negev desert.
                  Haluza was one of four cities in the Negev on the Nabatean Incense Route.

                  Antiquity Now

                  AntiquityNOW Month: Factoid Friday! Hygiene and the Yuck Factor

                  What do ashes, animal fat and goat tallow have in common? Find out what the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Germans and Gauls knew about soap and you’ll have your answer. From 2800 BCE we’ve been scrubbing and dubbing ourselves with … Continue reading

                  Buildings of the Future With Foundations in the Ancient Past

                  UPDATE! This post was originally published on December 16, 2014. In the post below we discussed some ancient building techniques that are being employed in creative and practical ways. These techniques, while thousands of years old, are being utilized in … Continue reading

                  Jim Davila (

                  Review of Satlow, How the Bible Became Holy

                  BOOK REVIEW: The authority of the written word (Rabbi James B. Rosenberg, The Jewish Voice).
                  Michael L. Satlow’s “How the Bible Became Holy” (Yale University Press, 2014) is an audacious book. Satlow, professor of Religious Studies and Judaic Studies at Brown, spells out his intentions in the introductory pages: “This book proposes a very different answer to the question of when and how the Bible gained authority. I will argue here that Jews and Christians gave to the texts that constitute our Bible only very limited and specific kinds of authority well into the third-century and beyond. The “peoples of the book” did not know their book very well.”

                  Earlier reviews etc. are noted here and links.

                  Maggie Anton profiled

                  Talmudic temptation (Linda Mothner, Jewish Journal).
                  From a glass-enclosed cabinet in her Westchester home office, historical novelist Maggie Anton removed a small clay pot. Indicating the Hebrew characters inscribed on the pot in the same Aramaic text as in the Talmud, she noted the rough outline of a demonic form inside the “incantation bowl.” She explained during an interview that during the fourth to sixth centuries, the same time that the Talmud was being created, the bowls, purchased in an antiquities store in Israel, were ubiquitous in Iraq — once known as Babylonia — the setting for Anton’s latest novel, “Enchantress.”


                  The Talmud also claimed a major presence in Anton’s earlier trilogy, “Rashi’s Daughters.” A former clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente, Anton said that she never could have written “Enchantress” without first telling the story of the great scholar who lived in 11th-century France. The availability of historical documentation on Rashi helped greatly. Teasing out the basic information from just the Talmud about the characters in another book, “Rav Hisda’s Daughter,” was much trickier.

                  I have linked to numerous articles on Maggie Anton's novels about late-antique Judaism: start here and here and follow the links. And I have collected some posts on those ancient Babylonian Aramaic incantation bowls here. This article is interesting because it tells about the unusual self-publishing route by which she started publishing her novels. If I knew that before, I had forgotten, and I'm pretty sure I've never highlighted it.
                  Many aspiring authors might have given up at this point. Not Anton. Hiring a literary shepherd, she and her husband, Dave Parkhurst, a patent attorney, became publishers themselves.

                  “I knew how to reach Jewish women, and I knew there was interest. I did a lot of cold calling of [synagogue] sisterhoods, Hadassahs and National Councils of Jewish Women chapters. Then I went all over the country and Canada and hit the Jewish talk circuit — sold books in the back of the room. They would tell their friends. There was buzz.” In 18 months, 26,000 books had sold.
                  Then the big publishers started a bidding war over her.

                  John Dee and the "Enochian" language

                  ENOCH WAS NOT JUST FOR THE SECOND TEMPLE ERA: Enochian: The Mysterious Lost Language of Angels (Bryan Hilliard, Ancient Origins).
                  In the year 1581, occultists John Dee and Edward Kelley, claimed to have received communications from angels, who provided them with the foundations of a language with which to communicate with ‘the other side’. This ‘angelic’ language contained its own alphabet, grammar and syntax, which they wrote down in journals. The new language was called "Enochian" and comes from John Dee's assertion that the Biblical Patriarch Enoch had been the last human to know the language.

                  The essays in Ancient Origins have been of mixed quality lately, but this one is a good summary of the story of John Dee, his "scryer" Edward Kelley, and their angelic revelations, which included the "Angelic" (later "Enochian") language; and also a good overview of the current state of the question in scholarship and among practicing magicians. Nice photos too. Dee's massive diary of his angelic séances has been useful in my own work on ancient revelatory praxis and experience (see my 2012 SBL paper here). And I have more on John Dee etc. here and links.

                  Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

                  Inquadra: un approccio multimediale per la Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria

                  Lo scorso 19 dicembre fu presentato al pubblico e alla stampa il progetto INQUADRA che prevedeva una nuova visione di fruizione delle opere presenti nel museo. Partendo dalla nuova attribuzione iconografica della sala 18 della Galleria, che per anni fu la sala che raccontava le gesta del condottiero perugino per antonomasia “Braccio Da Montone” e che, dopo una attenta rilettura del ciclo, ha visto nei “Farnese” gli interpreti delle sontuose decorazioni, si è preso spunto per la creazione di un innovativo approccio multimediale applicato ad uno dei gioielli della Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria.

                  Bryn Mawr Classical Review

                  2015.05.31: The Final Pagan Generation. Transformation of the Classical Heritage, 53

                  Review of Edward J. Watts, The Final Pagan Generation. Transformation of the Classical Heritage, 53. Oakland: 2015. Pp. xvii, 327. $34.95. ISBN 9780520283701.

                  2015.05.30: Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works

                  Review of Diane J. Rayor, André Lardinois, Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works. Cambridge; New York: 2014. Pp. x, 173. $70.00. ISBN 9781107023598.

                  American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

                  Αρχαιότητα και διαδίκτυο

                  June 03, 2015 - 10:56 AM - LECTURE Σοφία Βουτσάκη Καθηγήτρια Ελληνικής Αρχαιολογίας, Πανεπιστήμιο του Groningen

                  “Roman Peasants: Food, Lives, Landscapes”

                  June 17, 2015 - 10:55 AM - LECTURE Kimberley Bowes, Director, American Academy in Rome

                  Le monnayage de Cnossos.

                  June 08, 2015 - 10:52 AM - Les Rencontres numismatiques C. Carrier - Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV

                  Into the Labyrinth: Research Methods and the Study of Minoan Iconography,

                  June 11, 2015 - 10:49 AM - Greek Iconographies Anne Chapin (Brevard College)

                  Τα υδραγωγεία της ελληνιστικής εποχής και η συμβολή τους στην ιστορία της υδροτεχνολογία

                  May 28, 2015 - 10:43 AM - LECTURE Λώλος Γιάννης, Επίκουρος Καθηγητής ΙΑΚΑ

                  H Ενεπίγραφη Πινακίδα του Ιδαλίου

                  May 25, 2015 - 10:38 AM - Eκδήλωση

                  Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

                  I giovani ed il restauro: un convegno internazionale a Roma

                  I GIOVANI E IL RESTAURO. L’ARTE NEL TEMPO: SIGNIFICATO, TRASFORMAZIONE E CONSERVAZIONE” è un convegno nazionale ed internazionale per i giovani laureati nelle discipline inerenti la conservazione ed il restauro, in modo particolare per le figure professionali del restauratore e dell’esperto scientifico. L’oggetto del convegno concerne la presentazione delle migliori tesi di laurea afferenti al campo della Conservazione e del Restauro dei Beni Culturali.

                  American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

                  Pour une archéologie de la Première Guerre mondiale en Grèce: l’Armée d’Orient

                  June 03, 2015 - 10:32 AM - Conférence annuelle de présentation des travaux de l’École Française d’Athènes, Alexandre Farnoux, directeur de l’EFA, Tassos Anastassiadis, Professeur assistant en histoire, McGill University

                  «1453: Η Άλωση της Πόλης»

                  May 29, 2015 - 10:27 AM - προβολή ντοκυμαντέρ

                  Using what laws? Plato’s Statesman and the Athenian Patrios Politeia debate”

                  May 29, 2015 - 10:24 AM - LECTURE Anders Dahl Sørensen, PhD

                  ”When Aristotle Went West - Aristotelianism in Western Europe.”

                  May 26, 2015 - 10:22 AM - LECTURE Prof. Sten Ebbesen

                  Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

                  Corso sul Rilievo fotogrammetrico 3D e gestione delle mesh a fine giugno a Roma

                  A seguito del successo delle ultime edizioni, Terrelogiche presenta una sessione straordinaria del corso “Rilievo Fotogrammetrico 3D e gestione delle mesh” per soddisfare le richieste di iscrizione. Si tratta di un corso di base della durata di tre giorni che si svolgerà dal 24, 25 e 26 giugno 2015 a Roma.

                  American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

                  Η Αθήνα των Περιηγητών “Το ταξίδι προς την Αθήνα: Φαντασία, έμπνευση, πραγματικότητα”

                  May 28, 2015 - 10:12 AM - Συζήτηση Νίκος Βατόπουλος, Νάσια Γιακωβάκη, Νικόλας Νικολαΐδης, Χρήστος Χρυσόπουλος, Μαρία Γεωργοπούλου

                  “Pantāi krēpides: shoe-talk from Homer to Herodas”

                  May 29, 2015 - 10:09 AM - LECTURE C.L. Caspers (Classicist, Murmellius Gymnasium Alkmaar)

                  Société Internationale des Amis de Cicéron (Tulliana News)

                  SIAC Newsletter 83 (11/2015)


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


                  – Altman, William H. F. (ed.), Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Cicero, Leiden, Brill, 2015: William H. F. Altman, Introduction; Martin McLaughlin, Petrarch and Cicero: Adulation and Critical Distance; Kathy Eden, Cicero’s Portion of Montaigne’s Acclaim; Gábor Kendeffy, Lactantius as Christian Cicero, Cicero as Shadow-like Instructor; Robert G. Ingram, Conyers Middleton’s Cicero: Enlightenment, Scholarship, and Polemic; Carl J. Richard, Cicero and the American Founders; Alex Dressler, Cicero’s Quarrels: Reception and Modernity from Horace to Tacitus; Paul Allen Miller, Cicero Reads Derrida Reading Cicero: A Politics and a Friendship to Come; Carlos Lévy, Ancient Texts, Contemporary Stakes: J. Carcopino as Reader of Cicero’s Letters; William H. F. Altman, Cicero and the Fourth Triumvirate: Gruen, Syme, and Strasburger; Elisabeth Begemann, Damaged Go(o)ds: Cicero’s Theological Triad in the Wake of German Historicism; Caroline Bishop, Roman Plato or Roman Demosthenes? The Bifurcation of Cicero in Ancient Scholarship; John O. Ward, What the Middle Ages Missed of Cicero, and Why; Matthew Sharpe, Cicero, Voltaire, and the Philosophes in the French Enlightenment; JoAnn DellaNeva, Following Their Own Genius: Debates on Ciceronianism in 16th-Century Italy. LINK

                  Berno, Francesca Romana, rec. di G. Zago, Sapienza filosofica e cultura materiale. Posidonio e le altre fonti dell’Epistola 90 di Seneca, “Aevum”, 89, 1, 2015, 169. LINK

                  Borgna, Alice, Citare per alludere. Gli incipit ciceroniani nelle Familiares di Petrarca, “Petrarchesca”, 3, 2015, 161-168. LINK

                  Borgna, Alice, Quando la storia è noiosa. Giustino e lo strano caso delle morti in stock, in Anna Busetto, Sebastiano C. Loukas (a cura di), Ricerche a confronto. Dialoghi di Antichità Classiche e del Vicino Oriente (Bologna-Roma-Torino, 2012), Zermeghedo (VI), Edizioni Saecula, 2015, 279-294. LINK

                  Del Core, Vincenzo, Elementi di linguaggio giuridico nella Fam. IX 8, tra uso tecnico e connessioni intertestuali, “Petrarchesca”, 3, 2015, 175-178. LINK

                  García-Hernández, Benjamín, La transformación y creación de enunciados proverbiales en textos plautinos y cartesianos, “De lingua latina”, 11, 2015, online. LIEN

                  Görler, Woldemar, Ciceros Religion – Polytheismus oder Monotheismus?, in Christoph Kugelmeier (Hrsg.), Translatio humanitatis. Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Peter Riemer, St. Ingbert, Röhrig Universitätsverlag, 2015, 405-427. LINK

                  Guérin, Charles, La Voix de la vérité. Témoin et témoignage dans les tribunaux romains du Ier siècle avant J.-C., Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2015. LIEN


                  – XLVIIIème Congrès de l’APLAES/Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, 29 mai 2015, Journée scientifique, “Manuscrits et aventures d’éditeurs”. Jean-Louis Ferrary, Jean Matal et les manuscrits d’arpenteurs romains. LIEN

                  – Conference Liberty: an Ancient Idea for the Contemporary World, University College London, 5 and 6 June 2015, organised by Valentina Arena. Isabelle Cogitore (Université Stendhal – Grenoble 3), Changes of Political Liberty between the End of the Republic and the beginning of Principate; Jed Atkins (Duke University), Citizens’ Rights and the Libera Res Publica. LINK

                  18e Colloque international de linguistique latine, Toulouse, 8-13 juin 2015. R. Toledo, Condicionales de acto de habla en dos obras de Cicerón: In Verrem y ad Atticum ; A. Mäkilähde et V. Rissanen, A pragmaphilological approach to code-switching in Cicero’s letters ; E. Dupraz, Ille introducteur de citation chez Cicéron ; B. García-Hernández, Lexicalización y gramaticalización. Los indefinidos latinos como bases léxicas ; A. A. Raschieri, Les œuvres rhétoriques en latin au premier siècle av. J.-C. Essai d’analyse lexicale. LIEN

                  – Colloque La philosophie des non-philosophes dans l’Empire gréco-romain (Ier-IIIe s.), 18-19 juin 2015, Université Stendhal-Grenoble III. Carlos Lévy (Univ. de Paris-Sorbonne), Philon, la philosophie et les philosophes ; Ermanno Malaspina (Univ. de Turin), Pline le Jeune et la philosophie ; Alessandro Garcea (Univ. de Paris-Sorbonne), Nec ignara philosophiae (Quint., Inst., 1,4,4) : l’évolution de la grammaire au miroir des Nuits attiques d’Aulu-Gelle ; Mélanie Lucciano (Univ. de Bourgogne), La métaphore de la cire: réutilisation d’un motif platonicien (Theet., 191-195) à Rome ; Andrea Balbo (Univ. de Turin), Traces of philosophy in Calpurnius Flaccus. LIEN

                  – Séminaire Alter et ipse (2014-2015), Montpellier, 23 juin 2015. Charles Guérin (UPEC), Le tribunal romain comme espace de confrontation à autrui : interrogatoire, dialogue et altercations. LIEN

                  II. CICERONIANA


                  – Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico Valle dei Templi, Notte ad Agrigentum, Agrigento, 16 maggio 2015. Lectio magistralis di Antonella Burgio, Dalla parte degli Agrigentini: Cicerone ad Agrigentum; monologo di Enzo Gambino, Al ladro! Al ladro! Il furto della statua del tempio di Ercole (dalle Verrine di Cicerone). LINK

                  – International Conference Classical Association of Canada/Société canadienne des Études classiques 2015, Toronto, 20-21 May 2015. James Kruck, Stoic Authority in the Library of Lucullus: Cicero and Cato in De Finibus 324 [sic]; Melanie Racette-Campbell (Concordia University), Cicero’s Post Exile Recovery of Masculinity. LINK

                  – King’s College London Postgraduate Classics Conference 2015, Looking Back, Looking Forward: Ancient Perspectives on the Past and the Future, London, 2-3 June 2015. Nina Montgomery (Oxford), Framing Cicero’s Exile through the Letters of Ad Atticum 3. LINK

                  – Giornata di studi In amicitia per Renato Badalì. Viterbo, 8 giugno 2015. Lorenzo Chiarinelli (Vescovo Emerito), Per Amicizia: tra Cicerone e Aelredo di Rievaulx.

                  Revisiting Vergil and Roman Religion. A symposium sponsored by the Vergilian Society of America at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma, Italy, June 24–26, 2015. Spencer Cole (University of Minnesota), Mapping the Posthumous Path: Vergil, Cicero, and the Afterlife. LINK

                  – Conference Representing Self-Transformation and Conversion in Literature of the Roman World, London, 29th/30th June 2015. Alex Dressler, The Aesthetic Basis of Conversion from Cicero to Paulinus of Nola.

                  [Last updated on May 22, 2015.]

                  Filed under: Newsletter

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  Local Authority Numismatist and Archaeologist on Norwich Detecting

                  Dr. Adrian Marsden (professional numismatist) and Dr Andrew Rogerson, both of Norfolk Historic Environment Service and both participants in the film by the campaign group 'Green Light For Change - Metal Detecting in Ireland' have at last got round to replying to my enquiry of 25th April 2015.

                  In connection with their participation in the film, I asked about their thoughts on the rescinding of the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004  in the Republic of Ireland (in particular section 2 of the 1987 act which makes reporting of finds compulsory) in favour of unregulated artefact hunting. Characteristically of those who 'partner' artefact collectors, neither was willing to share any thoughts on the legislative change the film they took part in was advocating: "this is not our concern and neither myself nor my employer has a view on it". That is rather sad, I would have thought heritage policy is indeed a matter of concern of all professional archaeologists and something about which balanced and informed discussion should be encouraged rather than avoided.

                  The film in which both took part presents the case that unregulated metal detecting was in some way "better" than the current system of compulsory reporting, and led to many finds being reported by metal detectorists and donated to museums. I was primarily interested to know the archaeologists' view on that. What I learnt was that the finds from the Norwich Metal Detector club which were shown laid out (without labels) in 19 trays on a tabletop in the film "have now been recorded". They did not feel qualified to say how many had "been donated to a museum". What they did say however was:
                  In March of this year 225 finds were recorded by us from that club and in April 307. We record all finds at a club that are pre-1700 in date (or pre-milled in the case of coins). Of course a significant number of finds on the table are not of recordable age. Some of those recorded will be awaiting the addition of photos and so will not yet be live. The rest you can view now by going to the Portable Antiquities database and, using an advanced search, search under the Other Reference of NMD032015 (for March) or NMD042015 (for April). I [...] hope you enjoy looking at them.
                  Well, let's have a look at them. I do not know what the links which they supplied are supposed to be, but the majority of the 200 (not 225) records for "March" are without any images at all. Only 19 objects (all Roman coins) currently figure as having "images taken". The rest have no images by which they could eventually be identified if they turn up, for example, on the market, or verified (Kershaw 2013, 17). The objects break down as follows, a few pre-Roman, 81 Roman objects, 4 early Medieval, 63 medieval and 50 post medieval. Over half are coins.

                  The "April" figures obtained by following the link supplied are similar. We get 313 records (not 330). The balance of artefacts is greater, with coins accounting for 91/313, buckles 37/313 and strap fittings 21/313. The preponderance of decorative, addressed and emblemic items is notable and reflects what collectors collect - rather than being an indicator of what archaeological evidence a site exploited by these collectors held. The spread of dates is similar to the figures a month earlier: 14 pre-Roman, 48 Roman, 16 Early Medieval, 78 Medieval, 61 Post Medieval. What is particularly disturbing is that of these 313 records online now, only five currently figure as with "images taken". If this is characteristic of the state of the Norfolk records as a whole, this is no kind of record of artefacts which have been hoiked out of the archaeological record and vanished into scattered ephemeral personal collections (remember Marsden and Rogerson say that the records awaiting photos will not yet be "live" - I presume that means online - the equivalent record for 2014 shows just 17 with digital images, and from the year before with 53 out of 218 records). This is appalling.

                  In the film we saw them examining 19 trays on a table, presumably the finds of up to 19 individual hunters. Perhaps the totals Marsden and Rogerson give are the sums from all members of that club in a month. The club has a fixed (and capped) membership list of 60 members. If 225 finds from that club for March are divided by 60, we get a minimum of 3.75 finds for that month for March. The April figure 330/60 is 5.5 each. Of course, for some reason or other, if not every member of the club is supplying the finds to be recorded when the archaeologists come, the number of items in the collections of those that do is consequently greater. If we look at the trend of record numbers through an average year in Norfolk (like 2014), March and April are about average months. We also learn that these figures quoted by Marsden and Rogerson that the Norwich Metal detecting club (right under the museum's nose of course - easy to get to) accounts for about a third of the records made by NMS. That is important because if we map where that searching is going on, it is not evenly spread in the county:
                  The April figures mapped by PAS database clunky mapping widget

                  Coming back to those numbers, if in two months, each finder is showing at a club meeting 3.75 and 5.5 recordable finds (and even taking into account the way the number of recorded finds as a whole fluctuates through the year) it means that in statistical terms it is likely that in Norfolk, each of these finders is taking between 45 and 66 recordable finds from the archaeological record a year. It is worth remembering that the HA artefact erosion counter operates using figures which come out at about 30.25 artefacts a year, the actual figures supplied by Marsden and Rogerson here show this could be a considerable underestimate. After all, it is in this eastern region that Kershaw (2015, 15) adduces evidence of "substantial and widespread under-reporting" and (2013, 16-7) in the Norwich area specifically anecdotal evidence that suggests that 75% of local detector users did not report any of their finds
                  Also the decision to ignore the "significant number of finds [presented at NMDC meetings] not of recordable age" is distorting the picture. These objects have been removed by collectors from archaeological assemblages, often those that also include older material. To ignore part of the material on grounds of historicity distorts the picture (a) of the sites they come from, in other words ignores archaeological evidence of the history of the site, and (b) distorts the picture of the collecting activity which produces the 'data' recorded in the PAS database.

                  It should be obvious that artefact collecting is no more "doing archaeology" than collecting folk costume Barbie dolls is "doing ethnography". In order to understand the information recorded by the PAS, collecting patterns need to be understood - and you cannot do that by the PAS throwing away enormous quantities of evidence about that activity. That is bonkers. What is more, the PAS deliberately obscures that information in its records, you can only with difficulty (and with the risk of error) put together a picture of individual collector's collection using the public information presented there.

                  Secondly, that it is Norfolk which is discarding the evidence of the continuity of settlement is disturbing. it was precisely systematic fieldwalking here in the 1970s and later (some of it by Andrew Rogerson as I recall) which gave rise to a whole lot of discussion about settlement continuity and settlement shift from the Middle Saxon onwards. The PAS data used to be supposed to be usable by the public (who pay for it) to get a ("sense of place") picture of the development of their own little homelands, giving communities a sense of roots. They cannot do that if a lot of the material which does that has been ignored by the recorders. It is precisely the evidence of the past three hundred years that is more visible in the built landscape (and the cultural landscape - field boundaries, hedgerows etc.). This evidence recovered by artefact hunters (who their forums and blogs indicate are particularly interested in this period where there are more sources to illustrate it and create a 'link with the past') should not be being put aside. Selectively, as it happens because of course Norfolk's PAS is recording some Post-Medieval stuff. So what is the logic, where is the policy set out? On what grounds is a selection made?

                  For the same reason, Marsden and Rogerson's logic is way out when they express a lack of concern whether a system of compulsory reporting and archive deposition like the Irish system is better than the British approach where, when it comes to how many of the 10000 items which pass through the hands of Norfolk PAS end up being properly curated in museums. Adrian Marsden say:
                  What I would say is that I would think that many – being very common, run-of-the-mill objects in poor condition - would probably not be of interest to a museum in the first instance.
                  Yet they are evidence of a site that was dismantled by a collector. Archaeological evidence is not archaeological evidence because it is not "common, run-of-the-mill objects" and not related to their financial value or state of preservation. Fossilised poo, iron slag and snail shells are also evidence of various aspects and contexts of past activity. I really do not think that a hastily created record of an object with no photo of a few select items  and the  rest ignored is any kind of record of a collector's activity on an archaeological site in the Norfolk area, and nor do I think that there is a cat's hope in hell of the latter being capable of producing any kind of a record of the site itself, the fiasco a while ago over the interpretation of so-called "productive sites" being a case in point (compare Pestell's work on these with the results of the VASLE project).

                  Andrew Rogerson claimed 20th May he was too busy to answer a public enquiry about the issues raised by the film, "because I have been extremely busy recorded (sic) finds for many months". On that day he managed two buckles, a pin, two thimbles and... a button (obfuscation code "for security" 0013EA168E001AD6), none of them had images taken.

                  Dr. Tim Pestell, Curator of Archaeology at Norwich Castle Museum, has yet to respond to my query of 25th April about the number of those objects donated to the Museum (perhaps he's got somebody who is still counting them) and why he said what he did about other countries scrapping their heritage legislation in favour of something more closely mirroring Bonkers Britain. I look forward to hearing from him.

                  Kershaw, J. 2013 Viking Identities: Scandinavian Jewellery in England. Oxford: Oxford University Press,

                  Pestell, T. and Ulmschneider, K. (eds.) 2003 Markets in Early Medieval Europe: Trading and 'Productive Sites', c.650-850, Windgather Press.

                  Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

                  Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: May 22

                  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 PDF copies of my books, you can find links to all of them here: #PDF Tribute to Aaron Swartz

                  HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem undecimum Kalendas Iunias.

                  MYTHS and LEGENDS: The art image for today's legend shows The Death of Hyacinth; you can also see the legends for the current week listed together here.

                  TODAY'S MOTTOES and PROVERBS:

                  3-WORD MOTTOES: Today's 3-word motto is Alis aspicio astra (English: Rising on my wings, I gaze at the stars).

                  3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word proverb is Exercitatio potest omnia (English: Practice accomplishes everything).

                  RHYMING PROVERBS: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Intima per mores cognoscimus exteriores (English: We know a person's inner being through his external habits).

                  VULGATE VERSES: Today's verse is Ambulate dum lucem habetis ut non tenebrae vos comprehendant (John 12:35). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

                  ELIZABETHAN PROVERBS: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Sub ipsius iudicio sorex perit: The Rat dieth by utteryng of her self. This Proverbe toke the beginning of the propertie of this vermin for the Rattes be wonte to make a noyse muche more than mice do, and do more rumble about and make a noysom crieng while they gnaw candels endes or such other trifels to whiche noyse many men harkeninge forthwith though it be in the darke night throw at them and to kill them. Semblably many men and women there be which by theyr owne noyse, and be wraying of them selves, seke their owne bande and destruction.

                  BREVISSIMA: The distich poster for today is Virtuti Mors Nocere Non Potest. Click here for a full-sized view.

                  And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

                  Aut mors aut victoria!
                  Either death or victory!

                  Iuventus ventus.
                  Youth is wind.

                  TODAY'S FABLES:

                  FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Asinus Leoni Cantans, and you know the lion king is not impressed by the donkey's singing (this fable has a vocabulary list).

                  MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Luscinia, Accipiter, et Auceps, a story of bird karma.

                  GreekLOLz - and Latin and English, too. Below is one of my GreekLOLz; for the individual Greek, Latin and English versions of the graphic, see the blog post: Αἰεὶ τὰ πέρυσι βελτίω. Semper anteriora meliora. Always the things of yesteryear are best.

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  Two Officially Excavated Oxyrhynchus Papyri in Green Collection

                  Brice Jones, ' P.Oxy. 11.1351: From Oxyrhynchus to the Green Collection' 20th May 2015:
                  Pap 1351 was donated by the Egyptian Exploration Fund to a theological seminary, but in 2003 the latter sold it at Sotheby's in a larger lot of papyri. The ethical issues involved are still being debated 
                  This is a good example of how artifacts can "move" on the market. They leave a museum, exchange multiple hands, and sometimes they simply disappear. I suppose the good thing in this case is that the item is now in a public museum, which was the original condition of donation by the Egyptian Exploration Society (EES). Several questions remain, however. Who bought the item from Sotheby's? From whom did the Green Collection buy the fragment? Does the EES approve of the artifact's relocation? Should it, in fact, be returned to the EES? Will scholars be given access to the fragment for research purposes? And a related question: will the Green Collection ever deaccession any of its items, and if so, how will they do it? 
                  A Gospel of John fragment sold in the same sale P. Oxy 1780 is also now in the Green Collection.


                  Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

                  Open Access Journal: The Journal of Egyptological Studies (JES)

                   [First posted in AWOL 12 October 2011, updated (full text of vol. 3) 21 May 2015]

                  The Journal of Egyptological Studies (JES)

                  The Journal of Egyptological Studies (JES) is published by the Bulgarian Institute of Egyptology. It is issued on an annual basis since September 2004. The JES is a result of the development and expansion of Egyptology in Bulgaria. It gives Egyptologists an opportunity to publish new original ideas, new approaches and data in connection with the language, literature, religion, archeology and history of the “place where our hearts live”.

                  The Journal of Egyptological Studies is open to the international Egyptolgical society, but also aims to establish a bridge between Western schools of Egyptology and their colleagues from Eastern Europe. As a result of World War II and the political changes, which took place afterwards, part of the connections between scholars from different countries in Europe has been interrupted. Nowadays, for example, few Egyptologists abroad know about fundamental achievements of Russian scholars in the field of socio-economic, political and cultural history of Ancient Egypt. We want to cooperate in filling this gap, encouraging young scholars to contribute to the process of exchange of ideas and experience in our field.
                  See the full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies

                  May 21, 2015


                  Scavi, in mostra i calchi delle vittime dell’eruzione di Pompei

                  Sono giunti alle ultime fasi di restauro i calchi di 86 vittime dell’eruzione di Pompei per essere inseriti nella mostra “Pompei e l’Europa. 1748-1943″ in programma dal 26 maggio tra il sito archeologico ed il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.

                  I corpi furono riportati alla luce nel 1863 dall’archeologo Giuseppe Fiorelli che ideò la tecnica con cui rilevare i calchi delle vittime dell’eruzione, per estrarli intatti dagli scavi.


                  Articolo originale


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                  Trovato in Siberia il bracciale in pietra più antico del mondo

                  Uno splendido bracciale in pietra verde datato a 40000 anni fa ed attribuito alla cultura Denisoviana è stato trovato in Siberia nella regione di Altai.

                  Articolo originale:
                  “It is intricately made with polished green stone and is thought to have adorned a very important woman or child on only special occasions. Yet this is no modern-day fashion accessory and is instead believed to be the oldest stone bracelet in the world, dating to as long ago as 40,000 years.

                  Unearthed in the Altai region of Siberia in 2008, after detailed analysis Russian experts now accept its remarkable age as correct.”


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                  Petizione per salvare uno splendido paese medievale in rovina

                  La notizia sta ormai facendo il giro del mondo. Anche Dario Fo e Ennio Morricone portavoce di una petizione per salvare dalla rovina la città medievale di Civita di Bagnoregio.

                  Articolo originale:

                  A group of Italy’s most acclaimed intellectuals have thrown their weight behind an urgent appeal to save one of the country’s most striking medieval villages from crumbling into oblivion.

                  The tiny stone hamlet of Civita di Bagnoregio sits on top of a rocky outcrop which is gradually being eroded by rainfall and rock slides.


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                  Dentisti romani fanno ancora clamore due millenni più tardi

                  Trapped in the bend of a sophisticated floor drain in an unassuming shop in the Roman Forum, 86 loose teeth – intact but all with cavities – were discovered in 1987. Nearly three decades later, one bioarchaeologist thinks he has gathered enough evidence to prove that the teeth were extracted by a highly skilled Roman dentist in the 1st century AD.

                  Articolo originale:

                  L'articolo Dentisti romani fanno ancora clamore due millenni più tardi sembra essere il primo su ArcheoBlog.

                  Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

                  A Catalog of Digital Scholarly Editions

                  v 3.0, snapshot 2008ff

                  compiled by Patrick Sahle, last change 2015/02/03
                  by title
                  by general subject area
                  literature (153), history (176), philosophy (21), music (5)
                  by material
                  by language of material
                  latin (67), english (154), french (27), german (70), italian (13), other (30)
                  by epoch
                  antiquity (10), early (23) / high (32) / late (58) middle ages, early modern (64), modern (169)

                  Tom Elliott (Horothesia)


                  >>> import
                  >>> import pprint
                  >>> tools = [n for n in dir( if n[0] != '_']
                  >>> pprint.pprint(tools)


                  Greece considers raising archaeological site admission charges

                  Greek Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis has announced that the country is considering raising the admission fees for Archaeological sites.

                  In many ways, it is a shame that more of the archaeological sites and museums in Greece aren’t given more autonomy to set their own charges. As far as I am aware, the Acropolis Museum is the only state run institution with any real control over its own budget. As this worked fairly well (the museum has never closed due to strikes), I would have thought that other locations in the country ought to have also transferred to a similar model.

                  A new ticketing system sounds great (in theory), although Greece has never had the massive waits in queues that every site in Rome seems to. The focus here seems to be more ass using it as an excuse to increase charges than anything else.

                  Greek culture minister Nikos Xydakis

                  Greek culture minister Nikos Xydakis

                  ANSA Med

                  Greece: Athens mulling hikes to ticket prices at museums
                  18 May, 16:11

                  Greece’s Culture Ministry has appointed a team of experts that are amining a change in the price structure of tickets to enter Greek museums and archaeological sites, Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis revealed on Monday as Kathimerini online reports. In a response to a question in Parliament, Xydakis said the panel would be examining schemes implemented in other countries and would not be proposing an across-the-board increase in ticket prices.

                  Xydakis added that the government will also introduce tickets giving access to multiple sites and museums. He said that a new ticketing system would be introduced at the Acropolis from June and would then be extended to the next 59 most popular sites and museums. The minister also indicated that the ministry would like to make greater commercial use of Greece’s heritage via the Internet, including offering more merchandise

                  The post Greece considers raising archaeological site admission charges appeared first on Elginism.

                  Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

                  New in ARTA: A New Inscription of Xerxes? One More Forgery

                  Schmitt, Rüdiger, with contributions of Hamid Rezai Sadr. “A New Inscription of Xerxes? One More Forgery.” ARTA: Achaemenid Research on Texts and Archaeology 2015, no. 003 (2015): 1–8.

                  CDLI News: Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)

                  Detroit Institute of Arts—Cuneiform too!
                  The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-supported research project “Creating a Sustainable Digital Cuneiform Library (CSDCL),” are delighted to announce the addition of new resources to the web in support of online research and of the digital preservation of shared world cultural heritage. Under the general direction of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), an international research project based at the University of California, Los Angeles, an initial agreement of cooperation was reached in December of 2013 between Prof. Robert K. Englund, CDLI Principal Investigator, and Lina Meerchyad, DIA Collection Research Associate, who managed communication, catalogued objects, compiled and shared photographs, and translated texts of DIA cuneiform objects. With the generous support of the Department of Collections Management and the Department of the Arts of Asia and the Islamic World at the DIA, the collection was scanned in May of 2014 by CDLI member and UCLA graduate student Michael Heinle, working closely with Lina Meerchyad in Detroit. The results of that collaboration have now been added to the CDLI website, viewable here; they can also be viewed via the project’s search page (type DIA in “Collection number”). 
                  The DIA is one of the top art museums in the United States. In addition to having great collections of famous artworks, the Museum also possesses discoveries from ancient Middle East, Africa, Egypt, Europe, Greece, America, etc. The art of Ancient Middle East collection consists of significant archaeological artifacts from the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Iran, and the Arabia. Within the collection is a group of 34 administrative cuneiform clay tablets, cones, and bullae that were formerly in the collection of Prof. Albert T. Clay, Yale University, donated to the museum by Henry Glover Stevens in 1919. The objects date back to the Sumerian kings of the Third Dynasty of Ur, Shulgi, Amar-Sin, Shu-Sin, and Ibbi-Sin, and were mostly found at Puzrish-Dagan, Umma, and Girsu (ca. 2112-2004 BC). Among them are documents from the time of Sin-kashid of the Early Old Babylonian (ca.1790 BC), as well as from the Old, Middle, and neo-Babylonian periods, dated from the 19th-6th centuries BC. Other inscribed objects are neo-Assyrian reliefs of Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC), a brick of Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC), a relief from the Palace of Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC), all from Nimrud, and a statue of Gudea, the governor of Lagash (ca. 2150-2125 BC). Three publications in the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts on the latter objects can be viewed here.
                  With the goals of ensuring the long-term digital preservation of ancient inscriptions on cuneiform text artifacts, of furthering Humanities research, and of providing free international access to all objects data, we hope that the DIA-CDLI collaboration will be welcomed by Assyriologists, scholars of related fields, and all those generally interested in the history of the ancient Near East. We look forward to their investigation of the DIA digital content, and are grateful for their corrections and interest in our catalogue and in publishing unedited texts in the collection. For publication purposes, any inquiries about the cuneiform collection should be directed to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
                  For the Detroit Institute of Arts:
                  Lina H. M. Meerchyad, Collection Research Associate, Collections Management, DIA
                  For the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative:
                  Robert K. Englund, Director, CDLI, and Professor of Assyriology, UCLA

                  Archaeology Magazine


                  cave dice gamingEDMONTON, CANADA—A cave on the shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake has yielded butchered bison and elk bones and hundreds of child-sized moccasins made by the members of the Promontory culture in the late thirteenth century. Now archaeologist John Ives of the University of Alberta is studying dice, hoops, and carved pieces of cane from the cave that are thought to have been used for gambling. “The numbers and diversity of gaming artifacts that we see in the Promontory record are unparalleled in western North America,” Ives told Western Digs. Many of the gaming pieces were discovered around a central hearth near the entrance to the cave, in what was probably a social, domestic space. “The propensity of the Promontory people for gaming signifies a genuine interest in engaging in peaceful interactions with neighbors extending over the far-flung area in which they ranged,” added University of Alberta’s Gabriel Yanicki, who has studied historical accounts of games played with similar objects. To read about a famous collection of figurines found in Utah, go to "Investigating a Decades-Old Disappearance."

                  Irene Hahn and Bingley Austin (Roman History Books and More)

                  online book chats

                  Exlibris logo, click for website This blog is an adjunct to The Roman History Reading Group which meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month except August in our chat room from 9:30 to 11:00 p.m. US EST (UTC/GMT -04).  This means that in Asia and Australia/Pacific, it's daytime. Here is a world time clock as a general assistance for non-USAns.

                  Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM.

                  2015 Reading Schedule

                  9780307743749June 3 & 17
                  Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero
                  by James Romm
                  Author chat (June 17)
                  also as eBook

                  9781932158960July 1 & 15
                  Corpus Conundrum
                  by Albert Bell
                  Author chat (July 15)
                  also as eBook

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                  Shop at Barnes & Noble and make some money for our local historical society.

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Findings indicate existence of Neanderthals on Greek island of Naxos

                  Did Neanderthals exist on Naxos island? Most probably, according to new research in Stelida, situated three km northwest of the capital of Naxos at a very developed tourist area. Aerial view of Stélida from the West [Credit: D. Depnering]The Canadian Institute in cooperation with Antiquities Ephorate of Cyclades conducted an excavation in the area which brought into the limelight a series of objects that certify the existence of early...

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                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  Archaeological find at Norton Bridge turns out to be from Saxon period

                  Archaeologists have discovered a wooden butter churn lid unearthed at Norton Bridge is from the...

                  Archaeology Magazine


                  saxon butter churn2STAFFORD, ENGLAND—Carbon dating has revealed that the lid to a butter churn unearthed during construction work in Staffordshire dates to the early medieval period, between A.D. 715 and 890. “During this period this part of Staffordshire was part of the Mercian heartland and was populated by a pagan tribe called the Pencersaete. Existing knowledge of this period for the north and east of the Midlands and the UK in general is very scarce, so this find is fantastic and of regional significance,” senior archaeologist Emma Tetlow of Headland Archaeology told The Staffordshire Newsletter. To read more about Anglo-Saxon England, go to "The Kings of Kent."

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Earliest evidence of wine making found in Georgia

                  Intensive archaeological excavations currently taking place in Georgia could prove the country was the birthplace of vine cultivation. Archaeological excavations currently taking place in Georgia's southern region  could prove the country was the birthplace of vine cultivation  [Credit: Agende News]Georgia’s Minister of Culture and Monument Protection Mikheil Giorgadze visited Imiri village in Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli region...

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                  Preistoria Festival al via in Lessinia

                  Dal 24 Maggio al 07 Giugno 2015 la Lessinia e Grotta di Fumane sono protagoniste di Preistoria Festival: conferenze, escursioni, paleo-cene, laboratori didattici e visite guidate per esplorare la preistoria in modo coinvolgente ed appassionato, alla ricerca dell’essenza del nostro Essere Umani.





                  L'articolo Preistoria Festival al via in Lessinia sembra essere il primo su ArcheoBlog.

                  Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

                  Les Céramiques peintes archaïques d’Olbia

                  Bujskikh, A. V . (2013) : Архаическая расписная керамика из Ольвии (восточногреческая, лаконская, коринфская, имитации)Arkhaicheskaja raspisnaja keramika iz Ol’vii (vostochnogrecheskaja, lakonskaja, korinfskaja, imitacii), Kiev, [Les Céramiques peintes archaïques d’Olbia (Grecques orientales, Laconniennes, Corinthiennes, imitations)].

                  L’ouvrage est consacrée aux céramiques peintes retrouvé à Olbia, Après une brève présentation de la collection, l’auteur publie le catalogue de ces céramiques par provenance et type., puis évoque le rôle de cette céramique à Olbia. Cette étude permet de préciser la chronologie du début de l’existence de cette cité.

                  le sommaire

                  olb arkh ker

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

                  Dogs' special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 21. Earlier genome-based estimates have suggested that the ancestors of modern-day dogs diverged from wolves no more than 16,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age. Ancient Taimyr Wolf bone from the lower jaw. The animal lived...

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                  Strumenti litici di 3,3 milioni di anni scoperti nel Lago Turkana

                  Human evolutionary scholars have long supposed that the earliest stone tools were made by the genus Homo and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change and the spread of savannah grasslands. New fieldwork in West Turkana, Kenya, has identified evidence of much earlier hominin technological behaviour. We report the discovery of Lomekwi 3, a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site where in situ stone artefacts occur in spatiotemporal association with Pliocene hominin fossils in a wooded palaeoenvironment. The Lomekwi 3 knappers, with a developing understanding of stone’s fracture properties, combined core reduction with battering activities. Given the implications of the Lomekwi 3 assemblage for models aiming to converge environmental change, hominin evolution and technological origins, we propose for it the name ‘Lomekwian’, which predates the Oldowan by 700,000 years and marks a new beginning to the known archaeological record

                  Articolo originale:



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                  Archaeology Magazine


                  mobility bone strengthBALTIMORE, MARYLAND—A recent study of the bones of hundreds of people who lived in Europe over the past 33,000 years suggests that the rise of agriculture and the corresponding reduced mobility led to a change in human bones. Christopher Ruff of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a team of researchers from Europe and the United States took molds of arm and leg bones in museum collections and scanned them with portable x-ray machines. “By comparing the lower limbs with the upper limbs, which are little affected by how much walking or running a person does, we could determine whether the changes we saw were due to mobility or to something else, like nutrition,” Ruff said in a press release. The team found that leg-bone strength began to decline in the Mesolithic era, some 10,000 years ago, while arm bone strength remained fairly steady. “The decline continued for thousands of years, suggesting that people had a very long transition from the start of agriculture to a completely settled lifestyle. But by the medieval period, bones were about the same strength as they are today.” To read more about the evolution of human limbs, go to "No Changeups on the Savannah."


                  Denmark Egtved Girl2COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—Isotopic analysis of the preserved hair, teeth, and nails of the Egtved Girl show that she had not been born in Egtved, Denmark, where her partial remains were discovered in a Bronze Age barrow in 1921. Analysis of the strontium isotopes in one of her first molars shows that she had been born outside of Denmark, and when combined with the strontium isotopic signatures obtained from her clothing, scientists were able to pinpoint her place of origin to the Black Forest of southern Germany. Karin Margarita Frei of the National Museum of Denmark and the Centre for Textile Research at the University of Copenhagen was also able to track the girl’s last journeys through an analysis of the strontium isotopic signatures in her long hair. “Neither her hair nor her thumb nail contains a strontium isotopic signatures which indicates that she returned to Scandinavia until very shortly before she died. As an area’s strontium isotopic signature is only detectable in human hair and nails after a month, she must have come to Denmark, and Egtved, about a month before she passed away,” Frei explained in a press release. To read more about prehistoric burials in Scandinavia, go to "Bog Bodies Rediscovered." 

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Ancient Jerusalem aqueduct exposed during sewer work

                  A section of Jerusalem’s Lower Aqueduct, which conveyed water to the city more than 2,000 years ago, was exposed in the Umm Tuba quarter (near Har Homa) during the construction of a sewer line in the neighborhood by the Gihon Company. This line is just part of an extensive project directed by Zohar Yinon, CEO of the Gihon Company Ltd, to install a modern sewer system for the benefit of the residents of Umm Tuba and Sur Bahar. The...

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                  ArcheoNet BE

                  Monument Vandekerckhove stelt digitale archeologische databank voor

                  Met enige trots, en na twee jaar investeren en programmeren, stelt de afdeling archeologie van Monument Vandekerckhove nv vandaag zijn digitale databank via Archeonet voor aan het grote publiek. Deze databank is door alle geïnteresseerden vrij te raadplegen via

                  Sedert midden 2014 worden alle onderzoeksgegevens gegenereerd bij archeologische prospecties of opgravingen van Monument Vandekerckhove nv digitaal aangemaakt en gearchiveerd in een databank. Deze databank is sinds enige tijd ook publiek toegankelijk: al wie beschikt over een internetverbinding kan grasduinen in deze database en de benodigde informatie exporteren, downloaden, filteren… zonder enig paswoord te moeten ingeven. Op deze manier worden onderzoeksgegevens op een snelle en overzichtelijke manier ter beschikking gesteld aan alle belanghebbenden en geïnteresseerden, via een zeer gebruiksvriendelijk platform. Bovendien kan er geen informatie verloren gaan, alles wordt blijvend gearchiveerd. Een beknopte handleiding voor het gebruik van deze databank is te vinden als projectdocument ‘Handleiding en Patchnotes – Databank 2015′, onderaan in de projectenlijst.

                  De databank is een work in progress dat continu wordt verbeterd en aangepast naar de noden van de gebruikers. Alle feedback is dan ook welkom via

                  Externe link: archeologische databank Monument Vandekerckhove nv

                  BiblePlaces Blog

                  Jerusalem Lower Aqueduct Section Discovered

                  A new section of the Lower Aqueduct built by the Hasmoneans to bring water to Jerusalem has been exposed near Har Homa between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. A press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority gives more details.

                  The Israel Antiquities Authority conducted an archaeological excavation there following the discovery of the aqueduct. According to Ya’akov Billig, the excavation director, “The Lower Aqueduct to Jerusalem, which the Hasmonean kings constructed more than two thousand years ago in order to provide water to Jerusalem, operated intermittently until about one hundred years ago. The aqueduct begins at the ‘En ‘Eitam spring, near Solomon’s Pools south of Bethlehem, and is approximately 21 kilometers long. Despite its length, it flows along a very gentle downward slope whereby the water level falls just one meter per kilometer of distance. At first, the water was conveyed inside an open channel and about 500 years ago, during the Ottoman period, a terra cotta pipe was installed inside the channel in order to better protect the water”.

                  The aqueduct’s route was built in open areas in the past, but with the expansion of Jerusalem in the modern era, it now runs through a number of neighborhoods: Umm Tuba, Sur Bahar, East Talpiot and Abu Tor. Since this is one of Jerusalem’s principal sources of water, the city’s rulers took care to preserve it for some two thousand years, until it was replaced about a century ago by a modern electrically operated system. Due to its historical and archaeological importance, the Israel Antiquities Authority is taking steps to prevent any damage to the aqueduct, and is working to expose sections of its remains, study them and make them accessible to the general public.

                  The Umm Tuba section of the aqueduct was documented, studied, and covered up again for the sake of future generations. Other sections of the long aqueduct have been conserved for the public in the Armon Ha-Natziv tunnels, on the Sherover promenade, around the Sultan's Pool and additional projects are planned whose themes include the Lower Aqueduct.

                  The story is reported by the Jerusalem Post, Arutz-7, and The Times of Israel. A more complete report of an earlier excavation of this aqueduct is available in Excavations and Surveys in Israel 2011. The Pictorial Library of Bible Lands includes a 50-slide presentation on the entire ancient aqueduct system.

                  UPDATE: Joseph Lauer sends along a link to three high-res photos.

                  Lower Aqueduct section

                  Lower Aqueduct section recently discovered
                  Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

                  Ancient Peoples

                  Foreigners in Procession18th Dynasty, New KingdomAmarna...

                  Foreigners in Procession

                  18th Dynasty, New Kingdom

                  Amarna Period

                  The triumphal procession of the king and the royal family to the temple was a popular scene in the reliefs at Amarna. The family is sometimes accompanied by attendants carrying fans and sun shades, like the four men whose heads are preserved on this block. This group of faces is notable because it includes at least one foreigner. Although the first two men have been described as Asians, they are clean shaven and have no distinguishing characteristics identifying them as a specific ethnic group. Even their hairstyle is similar to one worn by Egyptians of this period. The hairstyle of the third man, however, is typically Nubian. Nubians are known to have served as mercenaries in the Egyptian army since the Middle Kingdom. The four men are standing beside the king’s chariot and carry fans. The reins of the chariot are visible along the bottom of the block.

                  (Source: The Met Museum)

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  The Bronze Age Egtved Girl was not from Denmark

                  The Bronze Age Egtved Girl came from far away, as revealed by strontium isotope analyses of the girl's teeth. The analyses show that she was born and raised outside Denmark's current borders, and strontium isotope analyses of the girl's hair and a thumb nail also show that she travelled great distances the last two years of her life. Egtved Girl's grave, from 1370 BC [Credit: The National Museum of Denmark]The wool from the Egtved...

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                  Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

                  Roman Forum Yields Stash Of Teeth Extracted By Ancient Dentist

                  Teeth found in a floor drain in the Roman Forum suggest some ancient dentists had developed sophisticated extraction techniques.

                  Ancient Roman Dentists Were Skilled At Extractions, New Research Shows

                  Teeth found in a floor drain in the Roman Forum suggest some ancient dentists had developed sophisticated extraction techniques.

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Ancient shipyard used by Admiral Zheng He may lie beneath construction site

                  Experts estimate that a construction site in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, where hundreds of shipbuilding tools have been unearthed, contains the remains of a shipyard that built vessels for one of China's greatest navigators, Zheng He. The admiral lived from 1371 to 1433. Remains of the early 15th century Longjiang shipyard in Nanjing, China,  where the giant Ming armada was constructed under the supervision  of Admiral Zheng...

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                  Current Epigraphy

                  Inscribing Space: The Topography of Attic Inscriptions

                  Workshop in cooperation with the Department of Historical Studies of the University of Turin

                  ZAW — Marstallhof 4, Hörsaal 513, Heidelberg

                  May 29th-30th, 2015



                  EAGLE-EpiDoc Workshop 2015 – Bologna


                  25-27 maggio 2015

                  Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna

                   Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, sezione di Storia Antica

                  Sala Celio – piano V – Via Zamboni 38

                  Pietro Liuzzo (Universität Heidelberg, EAGLE Project, Rodopis)

                  Alice Bencivenni, Irene Vagionakis (Università di Bologna)

                  Giuditta Mirizio (Università di Bologna, Universität Heidelberg)



                  LUNEDÌ 25 Maggio 2015 (09:00-17:00)

                  09:00 Introduzione al corso (Alice Bencivenni)

                  09:30 General introduction to EpiDoc; Introduzione a EpiDoc, TEI e XML (Pietro Liuzzo)

                  10:30 Intro to XML (Irene Vagionakis)

                  11:30 The EpiDoc guidelines. I parte: trascrizione del testo (Irene Vagionakis)

                  12:30 Pranzo

                  13:30 The EpiDoc guidelines. II parte: indicizzazione (Irene Vagionakis)

                  14:30 Markup di iscrizioni: esempi completi (Alice Bencivenni)

                  15.00 How to use Oxygen (Pietro Liuzzo)

                  16:00 Hands-on work on IGCyr texts

                  MARTEDÌ 26 Maggio 2015 (09:00-18:00)

                  9:00 Dai file sorgente al sito: costruiamo un sito di esempio (Pietro Liuzzo)

                  GIT, FILEZILLA, Altervista.
 An online edition basic structure: HTML and CSS.

                  Get a basic result online edition from the source: transformations

                  12:30 Pranzo

                  14:00 EAGLE: vocabolari LOD, Wikimedia projects (Pietro Liuzzo)

                  EAGLE BPN and EUROPEANA
Vocabularies management and indexing

                  Contributing: translations and images of inscriptions in Commons

                  16:00 PersName and SNAP:DRNG (Gabriel Bodard via Skype)

                  MERCOLEDÌ 27 Maggio 2015 (09:00-17:00)

                  9:00 e Leiden+ (Giuditta Mirizio)

                  11:30 Hands-on work on

                  12:30 Pranzo

                  13:30 Pelagios 3 (Pau De Soto via Skype)

 Hands-on work



                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Cirencester Roman tombstone to go on display

                  A Roman tombstone, dug up in Cirencester earlier this year, will be put on permanent display at the town's Corinium Museum. The tombstone had a Latin inscription as well as decorative carvings  in the triangular pediment [Credit: Cotswold Archaeology]The gravestone, thought to be the first of its kind unearthed in the UK, was uncovered in February. It was found near skeletal remains thought to belong to the person named on its...

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                  James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

                  From Jesus of Nazareth to Church of Jerusalem

                  A commenter asked a good question about the geographical shift in early Christianity, from Jesus of Nazareth active primarily in Galilee according to the Synoptic Gospels, to a church whose leaders are based in Jerusalem.

                  One can certainly articulate reasons why a move of this sort would have made sense – Jerusalem was the hub of Jewish life and identity, after all.

                  But there is still less that is indicated about this explicitly in the New Testament than a historian would like.

                  We should of course ask whether the portrait of Jerusalem as the locus of activity is correct. On the one hand, Luke is the only of the Gospels that emphasizes that the disciples should remain in Jerusalem, and then in Acts he depicts the church spreading outward from there. But Paul, our earliest source, confirms this. And so why then do Mark and Matthew have the disciples returning to Galilee? They do not necessarily remain there, of course.

                  Other questions are worth asking. Might Jesus have moved his “base of operations” to Jerusalem by the end of his public activity? Perhaps the Gospel of John, and hints in the other Gospels, provide clues to this?

                  If the shift to being based in Jerusalem is post-crucifixion, then might the relocation have something to do with reverence for the tomb of Jesus?

                  What are your thoughts on this topic?

                  BiblePlaces Blog

                  37 Years of BAR for $60 Today Only

                  I almost missed this, but still available through today is this great deal for every issue of Biblical Archaeology Review through 2012 for $60. That’s less than $2/year for 37 years. I suspect they may be preparing a 40th anniversary edition, but it will likely cost two or three times as much for the additional 3 years.

                  I have a BAR archive produced for Logos that goes through 2003 [no longer available]. This new archive has the additional years and may be easier to use because of its browser interface.

                  The website highlights these features:

                  • Archive of all 220 issues of BAR
                  • 4,100 BAR articles
                  • 13,000 breathtaking photos, maps, drawings and charts
                  • Searchable by keyword/phrase, author, title and images
                  • Easy-to-use, intuitive interface
                  • Option to separately print the text of an article and its accompanying images/captions
                  • DVD preloaded with Mozilla Firefox browser and all archive content; no Internet connection required

                  This deal ends at midnight (reg. $130). Shipping in the US is $9.

                  BAR Archive DVD 1975-2012

                  Tom Elliott (Horothesia)

                  New in Maia: Kristina Killgrove

                  I have just added the following two blogs to the Maia Atlantis feed aggregator:

                  title = Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)
                  url =
                  creators = Kristina Killgrove
                  description = Kristina Killgrove's stories.
                  feed =

                  title = Powered By Osteons
                  url =
                  creators = Kristina Killgrove
                  feed =

                  I'm embarrassed to admit that Powered By Osteons is only now getting into Maia. I've been impressed with and reading it for a long time; I don't know how I failed to include it previously. My apologies to the author!

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

                  Hopis Demand... "These Auctions Must Cease"

                  Hopi lands

                  The Hopi Tribe have learnt of  another 'tribal art' auction to be held by the EVE Auction House on June 1, 2015 will include objects of Native - American tribal origin. The Hopi Tribe is again requesting support of the "U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Justice, F.B.I. and other federal agencies" to assist the tribe achieve a voluntary return of auction objects identified to be of Hopi origin to the Hopi Tribe.
                  The Hopi Tribal Council has consistently directed its Ex ecutive Officers to pursue whatever means as necessary to stop our “ katsina friends ” from being illegally sold at auctions and forever lost in private collections. Chairman Herman G. Honanie stated “ We need to bring all our katsina friends home to their rightful place on the Hopi lands. Hopi is absolute in its stance that these auctions must cease. We call on all local, state and federal agencies to aid our efforts in recovering our sacred katsina friends. They belong on Hopi and must be returned.”
                  Well, we certainly all wish them the best of luck in their endeavours, but they are hindered by the legal situation. Despite what their press release states, these auctions are in no way "illegal" in France, in the same way as US dealers flogging off dug up antiquities from Egypt or Bulgaria is not illegal in the US ("no US law was broken"). The 1970 UNESCO Convention was created in order to provide a Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The USA could use it to get these masks back for the Hopi only if it had implemented the Convention in any meaningful way. Instead, trying to please the antiquity and "ethnographic art" dealers (who are far from pleased anyway about the CCPIA), they did it in a wholly ineffectual and ineffective way ("United States reserves the right to determine whether or not to impose export controls over cultural property"). Implement articles 6 and 7 and the problems of your Hopi citizens will be solved at a stroke of a Washington pen.

                  Also it is interesting that we are not seeing US dealers and their lobbyists telling their Hopi fellow citizens the same as they tell the other people in source countries whose cultural property (including sacred objects and products of grave-robbing) they peddle for profit. They tell the latter that they should be happy that through the sale of cultural goods, dealers and collectors are adding to the appreciation of other cultures, spreading "understanding and tolerance". That is what "universal museums" are (said to be) for, that's what collectors are (said to be) doing. Why won't the Hopi understand these arguments of US dealers?

                  If "these [French] auctions must cease", then the Hopi scan hardly not speak out against auctions on American soil of objects taken in the same or similar circumstances from other victims of cultural crime and indignity. Let's see some solidarity of victims.

                  Press Release: 'Hopis Demand Return of Sacred Objects at Auction in Paris',  May 15, 2015.

                  Per Lineam Valli

                  53. How many men were in a milecastle?

                  Certainty here is impossible, nor is there any guarantee that all milecastles held the same number of men all the time. Comparisons have been made between milecastle internal buildings and fort barrack blocks and the accommodation these offered and this has led to suggestions of between eight and thirty-two men per milecastle. If the upper figure were true, it would mean that nearly half of the fort garrisons would need to have been outposted to man the milecastles.

                  Further reading: Breeze and Dobson 2000; Symonds and Mason 2009

                  Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)


                  A few weeks ago I wrote: "If I am not mistaken, Ben Paites is the real name of the metal detectorist mentioned on this blog a number of times who hides behind the made-up name of "Alloverrover"..." Allover attracted my attention as a detectorist in the Essex region who (among other things) had written insultingly about a number of things, including me. I am glad to learn that I was mistaken, a Mr Ben Paites has contacted me  and wishes it to be known that he is in fact:
                  a professional archaeologist who has worked as a volunteer and Headley Trust intern with the PAS since 2013. I came to the scheme on a work placement whilst studying for my Master's at UCL and I have been involved with the scheme ever since. I do not metal detect, nor am I involved in the trade of archaeological material. 
                  So my apologies if I got that incorrect. Next time I am over in England I will make a point of visiting the Essex FLO in the Resource Centre and apologising personally. I am relieved that at least one archaeology graduate has not taken up metal detecting. Some do. It is not illegal, you know. Neither is selling legally-obtained artefacts.

                  The problem arose when I was trying to use the information in the public domain from the 'statistics' of PAS data to attempt to get some data which could be used to identify the size and scope of artefact hunters collections. I was attempting to use the information from the self-recorders tabulated in the statistics and then trying to follow the links back to the individual database entries. The trouble is the PAS unhelpfully hide the details under some obfuscating code, and therefore one cannot tell the difference in the public record from a self-recorder going through his own collection and a volunteer recorder doing stuff from a variety of collections. I was trying to get round this by several means. In one case a metal detectorist announced on a forum that he had recorded his finds and provided a link to them. On hindsight it was a mistake to assume correct use of syntax (causative have) in a metal detectorist, but it sounded like he was saying he was one of the new PAS volunteers which they have been so coy about. Following the link from the post produced the information in the PAS database that these finds had been recorded by volunteer Ben Paites. Hence the link which I made between the two. 

                  The problem was therefore caused, once again, by the lack of transparency of the records produced for public consumption by the PAS, which once again prove to be next to useless in the form in which they are presented for any serious purpose such as following the effects of current heritage policies.

                  The other problem is of course with metal detectorists engaging in their activities under a variety of pseudonyms. If what they do is so legal, above-board and archaeologically useful, then why can they simply not use their real names when presenting the results of their activities?

                  Again my apologies if I connected the wrong name with the shadowy pseudonym. Let us see more transparency in British metal detecting. Maybe the real Mr Alloverrover having said what he said will have the courage to come forward and introduce himself to us. Where are you Mr "Hoikski"?

                  "Enjoying" Collection-Driven Erosion of Archaeological Sites?

                  In his letter to me supplying the details of the recent recording in a metal detecting club, Dr Adrian Marsden suggested, perhaps tongue-in-cheek (?) - that I might "enjoy" looking at the March and April records from the club.

                  I do not enjoy looking at such things, it constantly amazes me how British archaeologists can be jubilant about the number of artefacts ripped from the surfaces (and sometimes deeper layers) of archaeological sites and assemblages just because they can make a scrappy record of some of them.

                  In particular I was shocked to see how many of the PAS records to which he refers me, intended to mitigate by record the knowledge loss from these sites, have no images "taken" at all. Perhaps I misunderstood what it means "go live", but I see the pattern goes back several years at least. While I understand that local circumstances mean that Norfolk has better information recovery from collectors than other areas of Britain (which is why Nolan used that example in his political agitation) the scale of knowledge loss through unreporting countrywide is clearly massive. Even the BM is now admitting it.

                  There is nothing to "enjoy" in the sight of these decontextualised collectables and the extent of the knowledge theft that they mask. Neither is there anything "enjoyable" in the spectacle of British colleagues going along with it passively.

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  Islamic State in control of Palmyra ruins

                  Islamic State militants overran the famed archaeological site at Palmyra early on Thursday, just hours after seizing the central Syrian town, activists and officials said, raising concerns the extremists might destroy some of the priceless ruins as they have done in neighboring Iraq. Smoke rises due to what activists said was shelling from Islamic State fighters on  Palmyra city, Syria May 19, 2015. Islamic State fighters in...

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                  DigiPal Blog

                  Manusciences &#39;15 Summer School

                  A very interesting summer programme is being run jointly by the Freie Universität Berlin and the Ecole pratique des hautes études to work on computational methods as applied to manuscript studies. The programme looks very interesting indeed, and many of the lecturers I know and I can attest that they are among the top in the field, so I strongly recommend looking into this if you are interested at all.

                  The announcement I have received is as follows:

                  We call for applications to the manusciences '15 summer university organized by the Freie Universität Berlin and the Ecole pratique des hautes études on the beautiful island of Frauenchiemsee near Munich between September 6 and September 12, 2015. In presentations and practical exercises we will present the possibilities and limits in the application of CSI-style techniques from material sciences, imaging computational and digital humanities to manuscripts. MA students, PhD candidats, postdocs and colleagues from all countries dealing with any of the concerned disciplines or manuscript cultures may apply. We have numerous scholarships to cover the hotel and meal expenses. 
                  Many further details can be found here:
                  Deadline: May 26, 2015 (soon!).

                  Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

                  Karen Radner-interjú

                  Az érdeklődők ezen a linken meghallgathatnak egy majd' háromnegyedórás beszélgetést a Deutschlandradioban Karen Radnerrel, az egyik legjobb ókori keletessel.

                  The Stoa Consortium

                  Linked Data for the Humanities Workshop in Oxford

                  Via Terhi Nurmikko:

                  Linked Data for the Humanities Workshop: A semantic web of scholarly data
                  Part of the Digital Humanities Oxford Summer School, held 20th – 24th July 2015.
                  Book your place via

                  Come and learn from experts and engage with participants from around the world, from every field and career stage. Develop your knowledge and acquire new skills to support your interest in Linked Data for the Humanities. Immerse yourself in this specialist topic for a week, and widen your horizons through the keynote and additional sessions.

                  The Linked Data in the Humanities workshop introduces the concepts and technologies behind Linked Data and the Semantic Web and teaches attendees how they can publish their research so that it is available in these forms for reuse by other humanities scholars, and how to access and manipulate Linked Data resources provided by others. The Semantic Web tools and methods described over the week use distinct but interwoven models to represent services, data collections, workflows, and the domain of an application. Topics covered will include: the RDF format; modelling your data and publishing to the web; Linked Data; querying RDF data using SPARQL; and choosing and designing vocabularies and ontologies.

                  The workshop comprises a series of lectures and hands-on tutorials. Lectures introduce theoretical concepts in the context of Semantic Web systems deployed in and around the humanities, many of which are introduced by their creators. Each lecture is paired with a practical session in which attendees are guided through their own exploration of the topics covered.

                  Book your place via

                  For more information about the Digital Humanities Oxford Summmer School, see .

                  Archaeological News on Tumblr

                  Archaeologists to search York stadium for temporary camps set up by Roman armies

                  The athletes carrying out their final training sessions at Huntington Stadium, the York arena which...

                  The Archaeology News Network

                  A golden makeover for an ancient Hindu temple

                  The ancient Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple, one of the 108 Divya Desams (holy shrines of  Vaishnavites), is being restored to its ancient glory, just as it was when it was raised in the eighth century. Renovation work underway at the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Temple  in Triplicane [Credit: P. Jawahar/Indian Express] The renovation work that began on January 26 has been going on in full swing, with the preliminary poojas for...

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