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A tantalizing buried library at Herculaneum that could hold some of the great lost classical works of literature -- and the painstaking methods used by archaeologists to bring some of the charred ancient rolls to a point of legibility:
Letters began to jump out of the ancient papyrus. Instead of black ink on black paper, it was now possible to see black lines on a pale grey background.
Scholars' ability to reassemble the texts improved massively. "Most of our previous readings were wrong," says Obbink. "We could not believe our eyes. We were 'blinded' by the real readings. The text wasn't what we thought it was and now it made sense."
Amid the multi-versioned and oft performed corpus of American folk songs is “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” which has in the refrain,
Pharaoh’s army got drownded,
O Mary, don’t weep!
This heilsgeschichtliche intertextuality bridges together — to name only two points in the song’s potential panorama — events in the experience of Mary, Lazarus’ brother (John 11), and a high point at the beginning of the Exodus, the passage through the Red Sea. (See the song, with only two verses, in Sandburg’s American Songbaghere.) The imagery of the Red Sea, of course, has often been picked up by the religious who knew the story. Here’s an example from a ps.-Ephremian collection of prayers in Armenian:
Ըկղմեա՛ Տէր՝ զթշնամին իմ որպէս զզօրութիւն փարաւոնի…
Drown, O Lord, my enemy, [as you did] the army of Pharaoh…
Mathews, The Armenian Prayers (Աղօթք) attributed to Ephrem the Syrian, TeCLA 36 (Gorgias, 2014), I.63, pp. 42-43
So for today’s OGPS, here — and the idea to do these verses really did originate in my recollection of the song — are verses 1, 4-5 from Exodus 15, with the song celebrating the event put into the mouth of Moses and the Israelites. These verses are not in the Oshki text, but I give them below (with LXX) from the Jerusalem lectionary:
JL = Jerusalem lectionary (Paris ms), ed. K. Danelia, S. Č’xenkeli, B. Šavišvili
In addition, I’m including the text from the first Ode (Ex 15) that appears at the end of the Psalter according to the following editions:
A = Rec. A, ed. Mzek’ala Šaniże
G= Graz ms, ed. V. Imnaišvili
(Electronic forms of these editions are all available at TITUS.) There are only minor differences between the three texts.
G5 ზღუამან დაფარნა იგინი, დაჴდეს და დაიძირნეს სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა ვითარცა ლოდნი.
და-ი-ძირ-ნ-ეს aor pass 3pl დაძირვა to send to the bottom
A5 ზღუამან დაჰფარნა იგინი, დაჴდეს და დაიძირნეს სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა ვითარცა ლოდნი.
Note that for the first verb the agent in Greek is apparently God, but in Georgian it’s the sea. Also notable is that there are two doublets in the second part of the verse: we have two verbs in Georgian where Greek has only κατέδυσαν, and for εἰς βυθὸν there are two related nouns in სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა.
We have another Georgian translation of part of these verses. Verse 4 with the beginning of 5 also appears, slightly differing, in the Georgian version of the Chronicle of George the Monk, § 8, p. 255.1-3:
ეტლები ფარაოჲსი და ყოველი ძალი მისი შთასთხია ზღუასა. რჩეული მჴედრები სამმდგომთაჲ მათ დაანთქა ზღუასა მეწამულსა. ღრმამან დაფარნა იგინი
This agrees with the Mc’xet’a Bible. Here we have ძალი “strength, power, might; army” instead of ერი, სამმდგომთაჲ “officer” (vel sim.) instead of მთავართაჲ, and instead of ზღუამან in verse 5 ღრმამან “deep, the deep” (ღრმაჲ; cf. სიღრმეჲ above).
Excursus on შთათხევა to throw, cast
For a fuller grasp of this verb, here are a few more biblical occurrences. I include the Greek for each quoted Georgian part, but, as you will see, there are places where the two texts are divergent. Here we see a Series I impv and a few more examples of Series II forms to compare with the aor form that appears above.
Building contractors unearthed and then concealed a unique sarcophagus dating to the Roman period in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. From a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority:
A unique and extremely impressive stone sarcophagus, about 1,800 years old, was exposed at a building site in the new neighborhood of villas currently going up in Ashkelon. This occurred during an operation carried out on Tuesday night (September 1) by inspectors of the IAA's Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery and patrol officers and detectives from the Ashkelon police station.
This is one of the rarest sarcophagi ever discovered in Israel. The coffin, which is made of hard limestone, weighing about 2 tons and 2.5 meters long, is sculpted on all sides. A life-size figure of a person is carved on the sarcophagus' lid. The sarcophagus was repeatedly struck by a tractor in different places, scarring the stone and damaging the decorations sculpted by an artist on its sides.
Dr. Gabi Mazor, a retired IAA archaeologist and an expert on classical periods, described the scene on the sarcophagus: "One side of the sarcophagus lid is adorned with the carved image of a man leaning on his left arm. He is wearing a short-sleeved shirt decorated with embroidery on the front. A tunic is wrapped around his waist. The figure's eyes were apparently inlaid with precious stones that have disappeared and the hair is arranged in curls, in a typical Roman hairstyle. On the other side of the lid is a carved relief of a metal amphora (a vessel used for transporting liquids such as wine) from which there are intertwining tendrils bearing grape clusters and grape leaves.
The sarcophagus itself, which was more severely damaged by the tractor, is decorated with, among other things, wreaths and images of bulls' heads, naked Cupids, and the head of the monstrous female figure Medusa which includes remains of hair together with snakes, part of a commonly held belief in the Roman period that she protects the deceased." According to Mazor, "Such sarcophagi were usually placed in or next to a family mausoleum. The high level of decoration attested to the family's affluence, which judging by the depicted motifs was probably not Jewish."
L’Aswan – Kom Ombo Archaeological Project (AKAP) si pone l’obiettivo di studiare le dinamiche di interazione tra la cultura egiziana e nubiana intercorse sin dal periodo preistorico nel loro territorio di "confine"
Direzione scientifica:Antonio Curci (DiSCi) - Maria Carmela Gatto (Istituto di Egittologia – Yale University)
I recently completed an article I was invited to write for a special issue of Leidschrift that focuses entirely on Pompeii and Herculaneum. My contribution looks specifically at the connections that exist between politics and religion. In doing so however, I noticed something that rather surprised me: it is difficult to reconcile the architectural and epigraphic evidence in regards to religious activity. There is a disconnect between which gods had temples dedicated in their honour, and which had active worshipers according to written records.
Dalla fine degli anni '60 gli storici dell'arte sanno che al di sotto del famoso "Vecchio uomo in costume militare" di Rembrandt (dipinto all'incirca tra il 1630 e il 1631), è presente un altro dipinto, uno studio del carattere del viso; il dipinto è uno più amati dipinti olandesi del J.Paul Getty Museum di Los Angeles.
"Let Us Not Forget" says the paid lobbyist of the International Association of Professional Dugupists that:
The Waziri Military Dictatorship's jailing of some Al Jazeera journalists once again underscores what too often is overlooked in the press. Cultural heritage bureaucracies of dictatorships like Waziristan and sectarian Iraq are part and parcel of abusive governments that also institute confiscatory laws relating to cultural artifacts. No wonder even without disruption due to civil conflict (largely of their own making) things are such a mess. As a consequence of their un-Americanness, we may steal their artefacts, rape their women, corrupt their children and send our drones to assassinate their leaders. There is no limit to what we can do. But we will still supply them with arms.
The rest of us feel that there is no excuse for people from so-called civilised nations acting against the interests of other world citizens just because they believe they have a superior system of government. Shame on the dealers' lobbyists. Fancy them thinking that civil conflict can be instigated from outside!
For centuries, Kyaukse township’s Tamote Shin Pin Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda lay hidden beneath a layer of rubble. Now, just a few years after its discovery and excavation, it is in line for belated recognition, with the Ministry of Culture proposing its listing as an ancient heritage site.
U Nyo Myint Htun, director of Mandalay’s Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, said the nomination was waiting approval from the Union Attorney General’s Office in Nay Pyi Taw.
He said listing would require the consent of other government ministries but would have significant tourism benefits.
“Surrounding businesses will benefit from more tourists and our country will be more dignified with another heritage site,” U Nyo Myint Htun said.
The Institute for Creation Research recently shared the above image on Facebook, claiming that Jesus quotes from Genesis more often than any other book in the Old Testament. That claim is verifiably false.
This is a clear example of them (1) assuming that what is central to them simply must have been important to Jesus, (2) not bothering to actually check, (3) asserting as truth what they have not in fact investigated, and (4) not knowing the Bible well enough to have avoided making this mistake in the first place. This sums up the characteristics of young-earth creationism as a whole very well.
Dear All I am writing further to our inaugural metal detector find auction – the auction, entitled ‘What Lies Beneath, A Treasure Hunting Sale’, to be held at our Auction Centre in front of an audience, will also be open to live bidding via our internet host, www.the-saleroom.com. We are currently looking for entries, and would like to offer you and your fellow detecting enthusiasts the opportunity to be involved by consigning finds. [....] I have been fortunate to be involved with several BBC television programmes, Bargain Hunt, Flog It and Antiques Roadtrip, enabling my company to reach a wide audience, which in turn means we can educate the public on such an intriguing and fruitful subject. [flogging off artefacts presumably - PMB] With such public interest in the recently discovered hauls, I feel now is the time, across the rich fertile soils of Britain, to hold a sale specialising in such items, and I hope such an opportunity of sale may be of interest to you and your fellow members and subscribers. Do please get in touch...
readers can find the man's contact details in the original letter. Why not give him a ring?
I will be experimenting this fall with a new series highlighting images of Corinth, the Corinthia, and the idea of Corinth in the ancient and modern period. The series will actually continue and develop an idea explored through previous posts (categorized Corinth in the Mind) that offered images of Corinth and Corinthian-inspired places and things.
Archaeologists in Malaysia working at the Sungei Batu archaeological site have reportedly discovered the remains of several shipwrecks, but funds are lacking to investigate further. The finds are consistent with previous work at the site which has uncovered the presence of jetties and the former river in the area.
Using ground penetrating radar, archaelogists have discovered outlines of more than five ships between 5m and 10m underground at the Sungai Batu Archaelogical Site, near Semeling, about 20km from here.
“This was once an ancient river with a width of about 100m and a depth of 30m. Now it is a swampy wetland,” said archaelogical team member Azman Abdullah.
Signs of the first shipwreck was unearthed in 2011 not far from the ruins of a jetty made of flattish square bricks.
“We dug until we found a 2m-long mast head lying horizontally. The wood had softened but it was still miraculously well preserved.
“We were excited and dug through the wet mud every day,” said Azman, 54. To the team’s horror, the excavation pit collapsed in 2012 after they reached a depth of 5m.
Applications are being sought from students interested in pursuing a three week intensive program focused on culture, heritage and archaeology in Cambodia. The Field School will begin in Phnom Penh and conclude in Singapore. Students will participate in lectures, field training (survey, excavations, local respondent interviews), analysis, and site visits. Students will produce a final report and group presentation. Partial lodging and travel subsidies will be provided for 10 applicants (subject to change).
Applicants for the Field School should be enrolled in a postgraduate program or be in their final year of undergraduate study. Preferred fields of specialization include: archaeology, anthropology, heritage and culture, history, art history, and museum studies. Applicants should be citizens of East Asia Summit (EAS) countries. The 18 East Asia Summit countries are: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam. Language of instruction: English.
News accounts and propaganda videos continue to report ISIL’s destruction of archaeological sites in Syria, and the ongoing devastation caused by the civil war. ANE Today is sad to present a series of the most recent links discussing these situations. [...]
PIE is a Scottish rock group that takes ancient sounds and turns them into heavy syncopation in a cross between rock and American ragtime. Fact or Fiction? HOVER YOUR CURSOR HERE TO SEE THE ANSWER Click here to read more about … Continue reading →
Skjelver noted that “”I first encountered Skarstein’s riveting narrative on the US-Dakota War in 2007. I had never read anything like it. Translating this work was fascinating and rewarding because of the book’s unique focus on a specific immigrant population, and because Skarstein admirably attempts to get at the action and emotion of the many sides of this conflict.”
Skarstein’s narrative focuses on the Dakota War of 1862-1864 which stands as one of the most overlooked conflicts in American History. Contemporary with the American Civil War, the Dakota War featured significant fighting, tactical brilliance, and strategic savvy set in the open landscape of the Northern Plains in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Karl Jakob Starstein’s The War with the Sioux tells the story of the Norwegian immigrants, American soldiers, and Lakota and Dakota Indians as they sought to protect their ways of life. Skarstein drew upon largely untapped Norwegian-language sources for life on the Northern Plains during these tumultuous years.
Prof. Gjellstad remarked “The American experience of Norwegian immigrants has been a red thread that has woven through my scholarship and teaching in Scandinavian studies. It began early in my childhood, growing up in rural North Dakota, and has spun into rich, new connections thanks to the collaborations of fellow scholars from the Northern Plains as we worked to bring Skarstein’s volume to an American audience.”
The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is a creative reimagining of the traditional university press. It publishes innovative and timely works in archaeology and on topics intersecting with life in North Dakota and the Northern Plains.
There has been some media attention concerning the leaves of an early Quranic manuscript discovered among the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts in the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Research Library.
Believed to date somewhere between 568 and 645, we are told that it is among the oldest Quran manuscripts in our possession. The story made the rounds in all the national media, including the BBC and CNN, and even made the front page of The New York Times. David Thomas, the University of Birmingham’s expert on Islam, was quoted in the BBC proclaiming: The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad. He would have seen him probably, he would maybe have heard him preach. He may have known him personally — and that really is quite a thought to conjure with.
So a parallel to what all those Green Scholars and their US mummy-mask dissolving hangers-on want from their papyrus trophies - to get back to a document as close to the time of writing of the Scriptures to confirm ... well, something or other.
Now the story is breaking that this manuscript is (allegedly) so old that the text predates Mohammed. This however is based on nothing more than a total ignorance of the people propounding it of what radiocarbon dating results can be and cannot be used do (what they say and what they do not say). These folk should leave the interpretation of such data to those who do understand its workings. The sad thing is these pseudo-historical interpretations (for that is what we are getting) are being misquoted as 'authorities' to undermine Islam. And that results from the sort of ideological intolerance that we so deplore when it is manifest in certain areas of militant Islam and other religions.
Ercolano non è Pompei. Anche un Museo archeologico per il progetto Packard
C’è una foto scattata da Amedeo Maiuri nel 1960 al solaio e all’ambiente sottostante al Collegio degli Augustali, nell’area degli scavi di Ercolano. Ci sono le immagini precedenti aperte su settori più ampi dell’area archeologica. Nella seconda metà dell’Ottocento ci sono gli oli su tela del ritrattista Eugenio Tano. Ovunque si rileva quel senso di provvisorietà, di incertezza, che nessuna relazione ha con il procedere delle indagini. E’ qualcosa di più profondo, quasi connaturato, non solo a quella città antica.
The third of the short works by Methodius of Olympus, On the leech (De sanguisuaga) is now available online, thanks once again to Ralph Cleminson who has translated it from Old Slavonic for us all. It’s an explanation of a couple of passages from the Old Testament.
There are a number of eyebrow-raising and hair-raising posts in the "Cleaning Finds" section of a metal detecting site near you. These people clearly have no idea about how to handle ground-dug metal objects. Here's one ungrammatically-named thread which is fairly symptomatic of the problem ("Restoring the patina on an over cleaned bronze coin?").
Ollie-C from Suffolk (Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:07 pm): I found my best bronze coin 4 months into the hobby but I didn't realise it at the time and stupidly over cleaned it stripping off all of the original patina, I have learnt my lesson! [emoticon, emoticon] Is there anyway [sic] I can restore the look of the original patina without purchasing any funky chemicals etc? I'd like to achieve a black/brown finish ideally, similar to how it came out of the ground. I currently have it in olive oil, but I'm not sure that will work? [sic] Pics of said coin (Celtic unit) are below.
Hmm, and it is "in olive oil" for what purpose? Let's see how many respondents start with saying he needs to degrease it and get the organic acids out from the porous structure visible in the photo before doing anything else. Basically nothing on earth can ever "restore the patina" on the ruinously pitted and stripped coin shown in the photo. Nevertheless his metal detecting comrades are optimistic:
Allectus: "The tannin in tea is a powerful dye".
Ollie-C: "As evident inside a colleagues tea cup! [emoticon] So, make a nice black brew and let it soak for a bit? Cheers"
Fusion "You could try the 'put it in the oven' method, as described in this thread". Ten pence! "You can buy a product called Brass Black which is used in the gun trade for er... turning brass or copper black or alternatively you can get some household ammonia which is relatively inexpensive and either mix some with some sawdust to dampen it then seal it in a container for a day or so, or suspend the coin by wire in a glass with a small amount of ammonia in the bottom, (the fumes turn copper green)and seal the top with cling film. Although in truth it's very hard to replicate what you've strip off". Especially as the coin shown has been electrochemically stripped to a pitted raw metal core. It's what we call in the profession "totally buggered".
Davybfast: adds ungrammatically and unhelpfully: "just washed my cup or I would have took a pic of the inside. lol".
Ravenrook is already confused: "Sounds like a complete minefield to me!! Be very careful you don't make it worse! I'd speak to a pro in a jewelers if I were you". Yeah, they do fings wiv metill don't they? Yeah.
Glenfiddich: "simple way would be to just stick it back in the ground for the next 50 - 100 years and see if that'll do anything [emoticon] sorry mate but seriously......I've no idea [emoticon] and as you already said that you've learned your lesson [emoticon] :( cheer up mate 50 - 100 years will fly in before you even know it, lol [emoticon] ". The damage OllieC has done to this archaeological object is totally irreversible. He basically has destroyed a large part of it.
bbuster88 "Hi Ollie, found myself asking the same when I was over cleaning [emoticon] tried: liver of soulful witch to be honest just stunk my kitchen out [emoticon] didn't go down to well, then danzigman recommend JAX PETINA SOLUTION, I'll put the link for you [Noble Roman coins], anyway works brilliantly, there's no smell and if you go for the 4 then you have the choice green/black/brown.... Works in around 20/30 seconds[emoticon]". That "soulful witch" who lost her liver in this guy's kitchen worried me, until I realised the semi-literate meant "liver of sulphur".... hmmm.
Cobs [OMG!]: "You could try reverse-electrolosis, im sure that would darken the metal instead but have a read up on that first, been a while since i used electrolosis, failing that you could seal it with black boot polish". I think boot polish is preferable to metal plating by a half brain. But then since the artefact is totally gone... go on Ollie finish the job, and post a video of it.
Ollie-C is grateful: "Thanks for all the advice, lots of different ways of potentially doing it then! I've currently got it soaking in tea. I'll report back with my findings [emoticon] I haven't got the patience to stick it back in the ground for 50-100 years [emoticon]" Ulvir (I knew this one was coming): "Put it in a dung heap for a while - works a treat.. "
Ten pence! forgets he gave his "ammonia in a glass" idea, so repeats it. ("put the coin/relic in the cup and bury it in the sawdust").
bbuster88 tries to sell something: "I have the jax 4-pack for sale from us, without doubt the best for touching up or completely re-patination products and save a coin, link at bottom, [emoticon] Without sounding a di@k just wash your coins with a bit of washing up liquid END OFF [sic] ! Really I've learnt my lesson [emoticon] pm me if interested buddy [emoticon] [Noble Roman coins link again]
targets returns to the organic gardening method: "poke it in a cow pat and leave for 3 months in the garden".
Note that not a single one of them pointed Ollie to something called a "book", or indeed the PAS webpage with advice on handling ground-dug metal artefacts.
The coin according to GcRap; The high-denomination octadrachm -- or eight-drachma -- coin was struck by a little-known Thracian ruler named Mosses around 480 B.C., the time of the second failed Persian invasion of Greece.Thessaloniki University professor of archaeology Michalis Tiverios said examples of Mosses' currency are very rare."There are very few coins struck in his name," Tiverios said. "Octadrachms were heavy coins used for transactions abroad, usually for mercenaries' wages, which is why they are very rarely found in Greece."
A Swiss court has ordered the confiscation of a very rare ancient silver coin that was allegedly illegally excavated in northern Greece and sold at auction in Switzerland, Greek and Swiss officials say.The lawyer representing Greece in the case said Thursday that the ruling in October opens the way for the early 5th century B.C. coin's return to Greece. The debt-crippled country's rich cultural heritage has long suffered depredations from antiquities smugglers supplying a lucrative international market. [...] Greek authorities have pressed charges of antiquities theft in the case, but no suspects have yet been named.
And it would seem no suspect now will ever be named, let alone a conviction achieved in this case. Which Swiss auction house accepted this items for sale and with what paperwork? Who put it up for sale and how did they demonstrate title to such a remarkable object? Three years on, the answers to these questions are apparently not in the public domain. A precious ancient object surfaces, is seized, the authorities tell us (stakeholders) that they are investigating. Now can they be accountable and show us what they have done and why the case was not taken any further than merely sending the coin home?
One of the last sessions from the CIfA Conference-
The Future of Their Profession
Receiving a Royal Charter is a very significant recognition of the Institute and its work. It acknowledges the professionalism of CIfA members, and allows us all to seek or assert parity of esteem with fellow professionals in other chartered institutes. So how do we capitalise on this opportunity? How does our position with compare with that of other professions and professional associations? What we can learn from what they have done, how they see the future, and how they are facing up to it?
The future generation of architects
Robert Firth, Council member RIBA, Vice President Royal Society of Architects in Wales
Future generations – Gen Y and Gen Z – are bringing different skill sets, attitudes and priorities into the profession. Architecture is a vocation which can fulfill many of the key drivers for the new generations – digital technologies, altruism through design, creative thought processes and a fast paced environment to work in. Conversely the new generations will also change the profession of architecture to suit their preferred ways of working and designing. We anticipate virtual practices, a portfolio of careers, numerous semi-architectural spin off roles and a major change to the working environment and site operations. The architectural profession and the whole construction industry could be very different in the near future.
Robert Firth has served on RIBA Council member 2000-2006 and 2014-2017, was President of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales President 1999-2001 (about to be elected for a second time (2015-2017)), has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Welsh School of Architecture for 16 years and is a Past Chair of the Construction Industry Council in Wales. In his career he has been Principal Architect at Swansea City Council 1992-1995, Partner at Austin-Smith:Lord 1995-2005, Head of Architecture at Capita Architecture 2005-2010 and Managing Principal at HOK International 2010-2013.
Post-Charter depression and how to avoid it
Alastair McCapra, Chief Executive, CIPR
The number of royal charters granted to professional bodies and learned societies has never been higher – making those who don’t have one feel ever more pressured. Working towards achieving chartered status can take years of planning and preparation, and involve some nasty internal feuds. Yet is quite common for organisations which have achieved chartered status to experience a ‘hangover’ and perhaps to wonder why they ever bothered becoming chartered in the first place. The journey to chartership is often buoyed up with mirages, the passage leaves you feeling seasick, and the attractions of the new port are often disappointing.
Alastair McCapra will talk about some of the issues faced by other organisations in obtaining their chartered status. He will also suggest ways that these problems can be overcome to ensure that the newly-chartered professional body is able to deliver on the promise that chartership originally offered.
Alastair is Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and was previously Chief Executive of the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Conservation. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a board member of Wikimedia UK, the charity that promotes the sharing of knowledge on Wikipedia and its sister projects.
Presented by Alison Richmond, Kate Kendall and Alex Llewellyn at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
Twenty-first century challenges for professionals and professional institutes
Professor Andy Friedman, University of Bristol and CEO of PARN
The 21st century is already proving to be particularly challenging for professionals and professional institutes. Competition is rising from many sources, new professions are developing and old ones are widening their jurisdictions, invading each other’s space. In particular competition is growing exponentially from information freely available on the Internet which, in the past, would only have been available through professionals. In addition automation of tasks and the appearance of new instruments to carry out tasks still in the remit of professionals seem to be speeding up.
Challenges of new media are greater than these direct effects. The availability of information about examples of professional incompetence or misconduct is much greater with the Internet and, more recently, social media. Trust in most social institutions has been declining. In addition a new broad concern with authenticity has been arising over the last few years (this may be a consequence of reality TV shows). Together there is an imperative for professionals not only to maintain their competence, but to be seen to do so. Not only an imperative for professional institutes to come down on instances of incompetence and misconduct, but to be seen to do so. In addition there is a need to identify efforts towards maintaining (and raising) competence of professionals and raising the reputation of the profession and, as far as possible, to measure them.
Important moves to raise the trustworthiness of professionals and their perceived trustworthiness are being undertaken by professional institutes. However this may be viewed as just so much window-dressing by many. The challenge will be to demonstrate the effectiveness of these policies, for professional institutes and professionals to demonstrate authentic trustworthiness.
Le tappe del restauro dello scheletro del Mammuthus Meridionalis "Vestinus", rinvenuto nel 1954 in località Madonna della Strada nel comune di Scoppito, a circa 15 chilometri da L’Aquila, oggi conservato nel bastione Est del Forte Spagnolo.
Datato a circa un milione e trecentomila anni fa (Pleistocene inferiore), rappresenta uno fra gli esemplari più completi rinvenuti in Europa. Le sue caratteristiche, come in una carta d’identità, sono di seguito elencate.
Progetto della Direzione Regionale per i beni culturali e paesaggistici dell'Abruzzo. Info su www.mammuthusmuseo.com
Il giorno 2 settembre 2015 il Comune di Sarzana ha consegnato ufficialmente a ETT Spa, la società genovese esperta in allestimenti museali interattivi, i lavori per la realizzazione del progetto del centro museale multimediale “Le due fortezze” che, come noto, verrà allestito all'interno della Cittadella dove il visitatore verrà accompagnato in un percorso interattivo che si snoderà lungo 24 sale, raccontando storia e caratteristiche della Lunigiana attraverso il cambiamento e la costruzione delle strutture fortificate del territorio. Un allestimento empatico ed emozionale, complice l’utilizzo delle tecnologie multimediali, che svelerà, attraverso la ricostruzione di ambienti e di architetture, le vicissitudini della città di Sarzana in epoca medievale. Tecnologia touch, proiezioni olografiche, animazioni in 3D per parlare quindi della Lunigiana e delle sue fortificazioni, degli usi e costumi dell’epoca, inserendoli nel loro contesto abitativo – borgo o castello - e, soprattutto, storico.
“La nascita del museo multimediale alla Fortezza Firmafede - spiegano il sindaco Alessio Cavarrra e l'assessore alla cultura Sara Accorsi - potenzia in maniera importante l'offerta culturale e turistica del nostro territorio. E lo fa proponendo uno spazio espositivo originale e unico in Liguria che, per la prima volta, ricomprende un'intera epoca e ricompone un territorio, la Lunigiana storica, oggi suddiviso in tre regioni. Una proposta culturale importante che non sfuggirà ai turisti che amano il nostro territorio come testimoniano i 22mila biglietti staccati per visitare le fortezze sarzanesi da quando queste ultime sono state aperte quotidianamente al pubblico, oltre ai 4600 visitatori che hanno visitato le mostre”.
“La realizzazione dell’allestimento multimediale presso la fortezza Firmafede di Sarzana è un’altra importante tappa nel percorso di crescita delle attività new media di ETT che sempre più si sta affermando in Italia e all’estero quale Industria Digitale e Creativa di riferimento - sottolinea Giovanni Verreschi, presidente e amministratore delegato di ETT. Siamo felici di poter contribuire alla crescita dell’attrattività turistica della nostra regione e, grazie alle nostre tecnologie e alla nostra esperienza, di poter amplificare il messaggio storico culturale, sottolineando l’unicità del Sistema Fortificato della Lunigiana”. Per l'assessore ai lavori pubblici e all'urbanistica Massimo Baudone “grazie ai 600mila euro di finanziamento regionale e agli oltre 200mila euro messi a disposizione dalla Provincia siamo riusciti a fare un importante intervento di valorizzazione del patrimonio storico munumentale della città che metterà in rete le due fortezze”.
I tempi per la realizzazione del museo “Le due fortezze” sono molto stretti dato che dovranno essere collaudati entro la fine del 2015. Alla conferenza stampa era presente il responsabile del progetto per conto del Comune architetto Stefano Mugnaini ha seguito l'attuazione del progetto in collaborazione con il settore cultura diretto dalla dottoressa Patrizia Rossi e con il direttore dei lavori Giorgio Rossini, ex soprintendente ai beni culturali della Liguria.
This post is dedicated to the memory of Dr Khaled al-Assad, a good and gentle man
The Beauty of Palmyra
When the Danish archaeologist Harald Ingholt was just beginning his third season of digging at Palmyra in 1928, someone offered to sell him this stunning portrait of a woman - and, in accordance with the practices of the time, he bought it on the spot. The bust - or more correctly, half figure - was shipped to Copenhagen where it still graces the New Carlsberg Glyptotek, one of the sponsors of his excavation.
The most beautiful female bust I have seen thus far, Ingholt said, and, short of a beauty context between at least six of my favourite female contenders, that probably still remains true.
The portrait shows a woman who was both wealthy and fashionable: look at the gold-coloured paint which enriches her exuberant jewellery -- imitating golden jewels she must have owned in reality -- and the deep red embroidered sleeves and ruddy dangling beads, red lips, and rouged cheeks (the reds, alas, more visible when she was found than now). An altogether elegant woman. More the pity that there was no provenance: no one knew where the bust was found, nor when the woman had lived....
Harald Ingholt's unpublished diary held the secret, only recently teased out thanks to the Palmyra Portrait Project. One of the goals of the PPP (headed by Rubina Raja of Aarhus University and Andreas J.M. Kropp at Nottingham University) is the transcription, translation and digitalization of all of Ingholt's archives, including his excavation diaries. Thanks to their careful work, we now can place the Beauty in her proper tomb: she comes from the underground house-tomb known as Qasr Abjad, 'White Castle', in the Western necropolis. Sculptural finds from this relatively modest sepulchre date to the late 2nd century CE so the woman whose portrait is our Beauty probably ended her life in the years between 190 and 210 CE.
All this and more in Aarhus (Denmark)
The Museum of Ancient Art at the University of Aarhus is highlighting Harold Ingholt's work in its thought-provoking show, Harold Ingholt and Palmyra (until 13 September). The exhibition is based on research carried out within the framework of the Palmyra Portrait Project: their scrutiny of Ingholt's dig diaries has brought to light previously unknown locations of tomb sculpture and new information on his excavations in the city. With his descriptions, sketches and reports, for example, it has been possible to identify some graves whose plans have never been published.
Ingholt carried out three major excavations at Palmyra in the 1920s, finding more than 50 tombs of which 24 could be entered, while the rest had collapsed. Although many of the graves had been robbed long before he got there, he still found a wealth of well-preserved sculptures, sarcophagi, inscriptions and smaller objects. In the mid-1930's, he returned for a brief season to excavate the collapsed tomb of Malkû son of Malkû, son of Nûrbel the doctor, for himself and his sons and their sons. This tomb, in the Southwest Necropolis, founded in 116 CE by the first named Malkû, was used for burials at least until 267 CE according to the last of its 14 inscriptions. This means that Malkû's descendants were probably still being buried in their own family tomb even as the city fought off the Romans and then fell in 272/273 CE.
Adding a Niche
Another long-lived tomb that Ingholt excavated is the subterranean communal tomb of Atenatan also in the Southwest Necropolis. Atenatan built it in 98 CE, one of the earliest underground house tombs at Palmyra, and it was used for well over a century; and then, in 229 CE, a side niche was built into it by a man named Julius Aurelius Maqqai -- who paid for it, as he boasts, with his own money. Maqqai had the ceiling of the niche painted and, at some point, three sarcophagi were installed along its walls (left). Relief figures on the sarcophagi depict Maqqai and his children, wife, and servants. Ingholt's drawings illustrate the many traces of red and blue colour that could be seen on their decorative reliefs when he excavated the tomb -- something never previously pictured.
As with the 'Beauty of Palmyra', it is now possible to get a good impression of how the sculptures were painted and installed in a tomb in combination with painted ceilings.
And that's the sort of new insights you'll get if you are lucky enough to visit Aarhus before 13 September. For those of us who can't get to Denmark, the Museum has published a 68-page illustrated booklet of the exhibition and generously makes it available as a free download. Click here for Harald Ingholt and Palmyra . There is a huge amount we have still to learn.
In the next post, I'll look at the ambitious Palmyra Portrait Project itself in much more detail. Their major goal is to build a corpus of every known Palmyran portrait, so that we'll be able to see and compare what is now scattered in museums and private collections around the globe. The PPP files already record details of over 2,600 portraits -- far more than anyone ever knew existed! In fact, it is now clear that the portraits from Palmyra form the largest Roman-era group of portrait sculpture outside of Rome. As the site itself is now looted and being destroyed, only our knowledge will keep the light of Palmyra alive.
It is interesting to see some speaking for the antiquities market admitting that yes, yes buying antiquities needs full due diligence and disclosure, while others hold out for the nineteenth century way of doing things. In light of the entirely logical chain of reasoning which leads to the first position the latter come over as stubbornly unreflexive retards. Like the ones in the USA who stubbornly pretend they cannot understand that the issue is about illicit antiquities and not "repatriation" - morons.
Anyway, atavistic dullards aside, we may consider how to build on the apparent desire of the representatives of the trade to foster a truly responsible and accountable antiquities trade, and turn fine words into action. William Pearlstein appears to speak for these folk in an interview on New York Public Radio on Sep 1, 2015 (listen here).
William Pearlstein, a partner at the firm Pearlstein and McCullough who specializes in helping collectors avoid buying stolen art, told WNYC that potential buyers shouldn't buy any art without proof of its origin. He said buyers should err on the side of caution and demand documents, like proof of U.S. import. Pearlstein said the majority of "high-end auction houses" and museums obey the law, but that "there's a sector of the market that willfully ignores the existence of legal restrictions and requirements and I think there's a segment that is reckless and actively irresponsible and acts badly and illegally."
I am a bit puzzled by the lawyer's juxtaposition of "proof of origin" and "obey the law". There is no such "law" and dealers staying merely within the law (and employing legal firms "who specialize in helping collectors avoid buying stolen art") to make sure they are) are the problem. We don't dealers who merely stay on the "they can't touch you for it" right side of the lax laws, we need dealers who offer watertight cases for the artefacts they handle being not only "legal on paper" but truly licit.
Pearlstein thinks about those who've unwisely invested money in antiquities under the principle "don't ask questions, get told no lies" and he reckons a register of antiquities "Already passed through the market" will do the trick. Obviously in order that fresh stuff cannot be added to this register, allowing it to be used to 'launder' increasing amounts of freshly looted material,, it has to have a cutoff date. Perhaps 31st December 2015 would be an appropriate one? Certainly, if this is what it takes to get the market cleaned up, the time to do it is now rather than talking and talking about it (I proposed the idea five years ago, David Knell tried to get a discussion going among collectors - guess what?). Pearlstein says:
"Ultimately, the only way to separate good material from bad and create order in the market" he said, "will be to create a web-based system on which listed objects would either be considered free and clear or be subject to a fair dispute resolution process. In other words, transparency would be traded for repose. This would require various stakeholders to rethink their current position, but in the end transparency is better than secrecy."
That is a good start: "transparency in the antiquities market is better than secrecy" - discuss.
And here is the dugup antiquities dealers association's lobbyist reporting it - note the 'R' word, and what Peter Tompa deliberately AVOIDS saying about Pearlstein's appearance.
Cardboard cutout time in Cornell... Lori Khatchadourian, Cornell assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies joins the ranks of those who reckon we should not discuss in social media the destruction of heritage by groups (ISIL is mentioned explicitly and exclusively). Prof Khatchadourian says that such destruction "is motivated by the desire for media attention – and the best offense is to deny such media".
“ISIS’s perverse campaign of carnage is a carefully staged performance designed precisely to draw media attention, shock our sensibilities, and attract adherents. To shine a spotlight on this stage is thus to cater directly to the Islamic State’s interests. [...] “It is time for a strong offense, a representational counter-assault centered on the success of heritage preservation the world over. Archaeologists around the world are working daily to research, preserve and teach the human past. Let us highlight discoveries in the Middle East and beyond that defy, undercut and sabotage the Islamic State’s media war. Let us leave the essential task of documenting the destruction to organizations in the business of heritage. “As things now stand, the media is covering the wrong success stories.”
Three points here. First of all, where on earth does this division between "archaeologists" and "organizations in the business of heritage" from? That's a nonsense. There is no division, either of obligations or interests here. Secondly, the public (stakeholders in the heritage) have a right to know (a) what is going on and (b) what archaeologist (the ones that ARE "in the business of heritage") think about it. Who does Prof Khatchadourian think she is saying we should deny them this information because it fits "our" (her) propaganda needs to trumpet other successes? I am all for making the information feely available and discussing it openly, frankly and with engagement. Not burying our heads in the sand and making out that - like "metal detecting" - it is somebody else's problem. I cannot think why anyone in academia (as opposed to the lot-to-hide-antiquities-trade) would be against such a notion
Thirdly, I do not think Lori Khatchadourian has spent much time with real ISIL propaganda. About the roads and the schools, getting the electricity up and running, getting the regime off their backs and all the rest. I guess the US media do not really point readers to this, and it takes a few mouse clicks to find what the Other is saying, more head-in-sand burying. The truth is the bruhaha about the heritage is not ISIL propaganda, but "our" own. It is primarily the USA which is guilty of cranking up emotions over the ruins and museums, the looting, the destruction. What was the speech John Kerry gave as the bombs were being loaded in the bomb bays for the first US strike against Syria in September 2014 - just one year ago? It suits the US narrative to have this black propaganda representing the enemy as culturally backward and ignorant vandals. That has been the staple of propaganda from at least since the scurrilous 'Che cosa hanno fatto gli inglesi in Cirenaica' (1941). It makes them "alien", an "Other" just as much as the shock-horror Daily Mail-esque stories about child brides and all the other staple of the spin put on the US phony war with ISIL. It's a far safer public justification for what the US is "doing" than made-up stories about WMD. Source: Kathleen Mary Corcoran, 'Cornell archaeologist says sabotage ISIS media campaign' Cornell University Media Relations Office September 1, 2015.
In a previous post I shared with you the first stab at using Brian Foo’s ‘Two Trains’. That experiment was mostly so that I understood what the code was doing. In the version I’m sharing below, I’ve got better data: counts of inscriptions at points mentioned in the second antonine itinerary, ie, watling street-ish, and counts of inscriptions for the surrounding county as a whole (from romaninscriptionsofbritain.org). The difference in those two numbers is the fodder for Foo’s algorithmn for selecting instruments, pitch, tempo, etc.
I will write more eventually about what these choices do for the sonification, and what they imply as a means of ‘visualizing’ Roman Britain. (Right now, I’m working with instruments that Foo selected for his piece, albeit more of the percussion instruments and a few of the woodwinds; up to now all recreations of Roman instruments I’ve found are gawdawful. So, by selecting these few instruments, at least I’ve got a bit of sound that might’ve made sense to a Roman. Fodder for reflection on this point.)
Foo also provides a processing script that grabs the latitude and longitude for each stop along the way, scaling appropriately to match the changes in the music. It’s quite clever – procedurally generated music matched by a procedurally generated visualization. I also like that this movement along a line is much closer to Roman conceptions of space – a sequence of what comes next, ie, an itinerary – rather than a top-down birds-eye view. Now, Foo also provides code to generate that kind of view, too, and I’ll probably play with that, just to see. But I don’t think it’ll make it into the final version of this project.
Bronze Age Sailors in the Libyan Sea: Reconsidering the Capacity for Northward Voyages between Crete and North Africa
By Michelle Creisher
Master’s Thesis, Brandeis University, 2015
Abstract: This thesis re-examines the factors which would have allowed for the possibility of a direct northward trade route between the North African coastal ports and Crete during the Bronze Age. The subject has been the topic of much scholarly debate over the years with various features being hailed as sticking points for any model of a two-way trade system in the Libyan Sea in the second millennium B.C. This paper offers a systematic discussion of each of the three major factors which have been purported by scholars as prohibiting northward voyages: the patterns and characteristics of the winds in the Mediterranean Sea, Bronze Age ship technology and the sailing techniques and practices of the time and finally, the physical evidence, both literary and archaeological, which supports a bi-directional theory.
Through the discussion laid out in this paper, one can see that in fact, the ship technology would have allowed for sailing northward from the North African coast to Crete both with the aid of an opportune southern wind and without. There are written records of such voyages having taken place, as well as a small amount of archaeological evidence which supports the model of two-way trade between Egypt and Crete. Especially during the Late Bronze Age, it is clear that certain ships would have opted for the shorter, more direct route of sailing northward in the Libyan Sea towards Crete rather than taking the longer route up along the Levantine coast towards Syria-Palestine and around.
For centuries it has been the accepted view that maritime trade in the ancient world was carried out in a counterclockwise direction around the coast of the eastern Mediterranean. According to the common views on the trade routes, sailors would set out from their home port and sail along the Mediterranean coastline in a counterclockwise direction and eventually, due to the circular nature of the eastern portion of the sea, arrive back at their home port; e.g. from the Aegean, ships would sail southward to Crete, down along the coast of North Africa to Egypt, then up along the Syrian coast, through the Cyclades, and ultimately back to Greek ports. Thus, for the most part, maritime trade routes in the Bronze Age Mediterranean are thought to resemble a modern traffic rotary. This view is supported, to a large extent, by archaeological material from both coastal sites and ancient shipwrecks around the Mediterranean. While it is well known that the Egyptians and Cretans maintained strong communications during these times and even earlier, as witnessed by the quantity of Minoan artifacts found in Egypt, the many references made to the Keftiu in Egyptian records, and the iconographic evidence of Minoan/Egyptian contact seen in the Theban tomb paintings, most of the evidence has seemed to point towards one-directional (southward) communications. Recent excavations, however, at the site of Kommos in southern Crete have unearthed numerous Near Eastern, specifically Egyptian, pottery fragments which, by their sheer numbers, would seem to suggest possible two-directional trade between the two regions in the Late Bronze Age. Thus, it appears as though the small section of the trade rotary known as the Libyan Sea might actually have been an area of twoway, rather than one-way, traffic.
I am working out of the country at the moment, and this morning had a few hours off in Rome. It wasnt exactly 'off' because it meant another little bit of delving into my Roman epitaphs' project.
That is to say I was paying my first visit for about twenty years to the non-Catholic cemetery (popularly known as the "Protestant Cemetery", but there's way more than Protestants in the ground there, hence the proper title). I was primarily looking for nineteeth-century replicas of the third-century BCE sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus, and there was a rich haul of those --as you can see from just this one (out of 9 or possibly, with the wind behind you, 10).
And this 'fashion' is one of the things that I am hoping to look at in my lectures in Bard in a few weeks. But that aside, the cemetery is a wondeful place, exactly where I would want to be buried -- after the rather more convenient St Giles' churchyard opposite my house.
The most famous burial is probably that of John Keats (above), though he probably vies in fame with Antonio Gramsci. But what is wonderful about it are the visual links with the vast pyramid tomb of a junior member of the ancient Roman aristocracy just next door: 'the pyramid of Cestius'.
But there is a wonderful glimpse of the range of people, especially (but not only) in the nineteenth century, who died --as non-Catholics --in Rome. There's Shelley and the young Goethe, as well as Karl Bruilov (who painted the vast 'Last Day of Pompeii') and the sculptor John Gibson (he of the 'tinted Venus'). And it is wonderfully kept up by a maintenance team, busy at work while I was there, and volunteers and a band of money raisers.
I often suggest that when people go to Rome they visit the Centrale Montemartini museum. This is about 20 minutes walk away. They make a great pair, and the cemetery is well worth supporting.
Welcome to The Ancient Graffiti Project, a website that provides a search engine for locating and studying graffiti of the early Roman empire from the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Ancient graffiti, inscriptions that have been incised or scratched into wall-plaster, comprise a special branch of epigraphy. They differ from inscriptions on stone in several respects. An inscription on stone may be commemorative, dedicatory, sacred (to name just a few classes of inscription), but in almost all cases forethought has gone into the preparation of the text and the inscribed monument. Graffiti, by contrast, are more often the result of spontaneous composition and are the handwritten creation of the “man on the street.” Since graffiti are scratched into friable wall-plaster, they are more easily perishable, but when they do survive they are almost always found in-situ, unlike many stone inscriptions that have survived to the present day through re-use.
Art lawyer William Pearlstein speaks common sense that is all too often lacking from most media discussions about the subject of how best to address the looting problem in the Middle East. Due diligence is necessary, but let's be realistic about it. And, of course, there is the larger policy question -- if cultural heritage preservation truly is the goal -- whether repatriation to failed states in war zones is really the right thing to do.
Na het succes van de eerste edities van ‘Conflict in Contact’ kon een vervolg niet uitblijven. De initiatiefnemers plannen in december 2015 een derde editie van deze contactdag over conflictarcheologie, waarop onderzoekers de mogelijkheid krijgen om hun resultaten te delen met alle geïnteresseerden. Wie een lezing wil geven op deze dag, wordt verzocht om dit voor 15 oktober te laten weten aan de organisatoren. De juiste datum en de plaats (in de provincie Antwerpen) worden later meegedeeld.
‘Conflict in contact’ spiegelt zich aan gelijkaardige evenementen zoals Archaeologia Mediaevalis, Romeinendag, Lunula… De contactdag wordt gevuld met korte lezingen en de voorstelling van doorwrochte opgravingsverslagen, studies of syntheses. In de kroniek krijgt iedereen de kans om zijn onderzoeksresultaten voor te stellen.
Het colloquium richt zich tot archeologen en archeologiestudenten, maar ook tot historici, antropologen, amateurs van allerlei strekking en alle geïnteresseerden in deze materie. Conflictarcheologie wordt ook breder gezien dan enkel de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Diverse slagvelden in een verder verleden in en in de directe omgeving van Vlaanderen en uiteraard ook de Tweede Wereldoorlog kunnen aan bod komen.
Wie een lezing wil geven, kan dit – met inhoudelijke argumentatie – tot 15 oktober meedelen. Teksten voor de kroniek kunnen nog tot 13 november ingestuurd worden. Teksten en voorstellen tot lezingen mail je naar firstname.lastname@example.org. Gelieve bij de teksten ook een archeologisch grondplan te voorzien.
De bijdrage wordt opgesteld in een Word-document getiteld ‘uw naam.doc’:
– Naam: Times New Roman. Hoofdletters, tekengrootte 12
– Titel (gevolgd door de afkorting van de provincie tussen haakjes): Times New Roman, vet, tekengrootte 12
– Tekst: Times New Roman, tekengrootte 12, uitgelijnd, maximum 8000 tekens (inclusief spaties), geen voet- of eindnoten.
– Figuren: Maximum 5 figuren in TIFF of JPEG formaat en een grondplan. De figuren worden niet in de tekst geïntegreerd. Ze worden genummerd (‘uw naam _figXX.jpeg’ of ‘uw naam_figXX.tiff’) en in een apart dossier opgestuurd.
– Legendes: De legendes worden in een tweede Word-document opgestuurd, getiteld ‘uw naam_legendes.doc’.
Researcher Notes and Intern Work
Spotlight on Legrain note cards (and the interns who helped with them)
Including a special look at model brick(?) U.7587 (Museum Object Number: B17216)
Near the end of the old Ur excavations, Father León Legrain (Penn Museum Babylonian Section Curator at the time) began writing two volumes for the Ur Excavation series. One would cover the seals and their impressions, and the other would cover the figurines and other small objects made of clay. The seals volume was eventually published (in 1951) as Ur Excavationsvolume 10. The figurine volume never appeared, though some of its information was used in other volumes. One of the reasons for not publishing the full complement of figurines as a separate book was lack of funding caused by the Great Depression and then the Second World War.
Though the figurine book did not appear, the Penn Museum Archives has more than 1,700 note cards that Father Legrain created covering these artifacts as well as a largely complete mock-up of the catalogue for the volume. These have rarely been seen and it is part of the Ur Digitization Project’s goal to make such information available to everyone. For this reason we have scanned the cards and the mock-up. The catalogue with its brief analysis is available on Ur-Online as a pdf and we are in the process of attaching individual note cards to their respective artifacts in the database.
Connections between images and artifacts must be made through tags (like the field number and Museum number) and keywords or transcriptions (so that they are digitally searchable). Once the original note cards are connected with their artifacts, researchers will be able to refine older work and go beyond it rather than begin from scratch and potentially recreate what has already been done. Thus, we began an experiment in tagging and transcribing the cards. In this experiment we were assisted by two excellent interns, Mali Fenning (Science Leadership Academy) and Julian Hirsch (Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy). They came to us through the Penn Museum Learning Program’s new Teen Summer Internship program and we couldn’t have been happier with their involvement. Their weeks with us went very well indeed, achieving more than double the progress we had anticipated.
Sample note card from Legrain’s research. The category for the figurine is in blue pencil at bottom.
Julian and Mali digitized hundreds of cards and thought a good deal about Legrain’s work and why some figurines are more common than others. Sometimes the cards had drawings of the object, other times they had photographs, and still other times they had no image at all. We found that the descriptions were often taken directly from Woolley’s field card, in which case they aren’t overly helpful, but in other cases they have additional information that we hope will aid researchers. In particular the categorization that Legrain followed is of interest. He grouped figurines, models, and miscellaneous clay objects by subject or artistic content. In other words, there were many figurines that he labeled ‘seated female goddess,’ ‘standing bearded god,’ ‘standing quadruped’ (sometimes more specific such as pig or ram), or any of many other examples. We might not always agree with his categorization, but we can at least examine those objects as a group to see what kind of criteria he was using and whether we would use a similar categorization today.
Legrain note card with photo attached. This object is particularly perplexing.
Our sharp-eyed interns also uncovered some rather unusual objects in Legrain’s research. The above card shows a particularly bizarre piece of unbaked, roughly square clay with dents pushed into it at different depths. The two dents at the side have small shells in them. Woolley referred to this artifact as possibly being an owl figurine because the two shells at the side resemble eyes and he thought the area between them had been pinched into a small beak. But the area between seems only to be a natural result of the close proximity of the two depressions and the overall resemblance to an owl is slight. What it is actually meant to represent is not certain. Legrain called it a “votive mud brick w. thumb-mark… head of an owl?”
Modern photo of the artifact in the Legrain card. Museum Object Number: B17216
Perhaps it is a model brick or even a model door socket with the depression in the top representing the place where a door post would have pivoted. But why would shells be pushed into one side of it? The shells do look a bit like eyes and must surely be symbolic. Perhaps the object represents an offering table or altar? The depression in the top could be a place for offerings and the eyes might represent the watchful eyes of departed ancestors? It’s impossible to know exactly what the people who made the artifact were thinking, but it is interesting to ponder the possibilities and the ways we might attempt to learn more about them. Accepting that this artifact is meant to represent an owl is not really an option. Looking for more such objects and analyzing their contexts and potential uses is the best approach. It would make an interesting research project and many such potential projects exist within the data we are presenting.
The potential contained in the figurines and small clay artifacts as well as in Legrain’s analysis of them is pretty clear, but let’s hear it from one of his contemporaries. Here’s an excerpt of a 1933 letter from Elizabeth Douglas Van Buren (author of the 1930 book, Clay Figurines of Babylonia and Assyria) to Father Leon Legrain:
During the short time that I worked in that Museum [Iraq National Museum in Baghdad] it seemed to me absolutely essential that they should have works like your catalogues of seals and of clay figurines, because when new material is pouring in all the time such books are invaluable for comparison, for showing a range of types, and for aids in dating the material. It is really most generous of the Museum Authorities to promise such a fine gift, and of you to have laid the case before them in such a persuasive manner.
Even in 1933 Legrain was cataloging all of the seals and figurines. The works promised to the Iraq Museum were versions of his preliminary catalogues while he was preparing a more official publication. Today we can disseminate information much more quickly and yet we often still await publications that are made on earlier models taking years to produce. We hope that the data currently contained in and still being added at www.Ur-Online.org will help researchers to accomplish their work much more quickly from anywhere in the world.
By Elspeth Dusinberre, Department of Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder
This post is part of a series reporting on the Gordion Cultural Heritage Education Project (CHEP), conceptualized and led by Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann, Deputy Director of the Gordion Project. Naomi F. Miller, consulting scholar at the Penn Museum, and Janelle Sadarananda, graduate student in AAMW, provided additional adult supervision in 2015.
On Sunday July 26, I had the good fortune to join the group on their trip into the lands of the Hittites, to visit Alaca Höyük and Boğazkale for the first time in 20 years. I’m a professor at the University of Colorado; I teach this material from time to time, so it was a great opportunity to see three different experts helping the Turkish students learn about their cultural heritage. It was also really fun to spend time with the students.
It’s a long way from Polatlı to Boğazkale, the great Hittite capital…. Photo Credit: Google Maps
We left the village of Yassıhöyük at around 8:15 am. Several of us from the Gordion team went to Polatlı to pick up the students. Then we hightailed it to Ankara to pick up Halil Demirdelen, Vice Director at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara[http://www.anadolumedeniyetlerimuzesi.gov.tr], and his intern. Halil had brought breakfast: fresh poğaças, with flaky light bread around savory cheese, soft sesame-coated simits, and fruit juice for all. It was such a typical and generous gesture—and it made me think about how sharing food with people creates community. Everyone was in high spirits and full of noisy enthusiasm as we made our way east, heading first for the ancient city of Alaca Höyük.
En route, Ayşe and Halil pointed out the different landscapes and how they are used now and explained specific places of historical significance. They are an amazing duo, with overlapping but different things to say, expressed in quite different ways. As a teacher, I loved listening to this: it meant that whatever their learning style, the students would be able to learn from these two experts.
Having spent years studying the Persian Empire (ca. 550–330 BCE)—the one that Alexander the Great conquered—I was thrilled to cross the Kızılırmak (‘Red River’), known to the ancient Greeks as the Halys. The river features in a famous cautionary tale: In about 550 BCE, soon after the upstart king Cyrus ascended the Persian throne, the Lydian king Croesus asked the oracle of Apollo at Delphi if he should invade Persia by crossing the River Halys, which marked its border. Delphi responded, “If Croesus crosses the River Halys, he will destroy a mighty empire.” Croesus thought to himself, “SWEET!” and made tracks east, only to learn that it was his own empire that would fall. The first time I saw the Halys I was moved to tears. Here’s what it looks like now:
Crossing the Kızılırmak near Kırıkkale Photo Credit: http://www.livius.org/site/assets/files/1356/halys_kirikkale.jpg
We had an early lunch at a roadside restaurant. The food was delicious, and the setting delightful: a glassed-in porch that opened onto a small green oasis of grass and trees, with a little creek running down below and the fresh scent of moisture on the air. I was happy watching our group relax and soak in a sense of well-being. I had my first bonding experience with the girl students here, too: a surprising sense of connection developed as we exchanged smiles in the mirrors above the sinks. A highlight of the lunch stop was the wedding party in the parking lot! Young men and women danced traditional village wedding dances in concentric circles—men on the inside, women on the outside—with a drum beating a repetitive rhythm “Bom bom BOOM! Bom bom BOOM!” and the special reeded flute that sounds a little like a cross between an oboe and a vuvuzela skirling headily around the drumbeats. Just before we departed, the newlyweds left in a black limo, bride and car both decked out with red veils and gauze. Halil explained that the traditional drumbeat is meant to bestow good fortune on the couple. Ayşe commented on the mix of traditional elements such as the dancing and the color red with modern ones such as the bride’s white dress.
“Ne mutlu Türküm diyene”—Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Halil Demirdelen agrees—”How happy I am to be a Turk.” Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Alaca Höyük was first excavated in 1907. In the 1930s Turkish archaeologists resumed excavations there at the personal request and with the personal financing of Atatürk himself! Before I heard Halil explaining this to the Turkish students I had never thought about the relationship of archaeological research to Turkish national identity. Addressing primarily the students, Halil emphasized how the ancient past is directly connected to the Turkish present; to have such an important site excavated by Turkish archaeologists matters; and it matters that modern Turks should know and care about their cultural heritage, too. Much food for thought.
Alaca is not an easy site to understand, but Ayşe and Halil treated us to an expert site tour. The students paid close attention the entire time thanks to the terrific work of our leaders. Alaca Höyük preserves archaeological sequences from the Neolithic [DATES?] through the modern period, with good evidence for the Chalcolithic [DATES?], when copper tools begin to be used alongside stone and some remarkable Bronze Age [DATES?] material. Alaca has thirteen Early Bronze Age “royal grave” shaft graves, from which came the famous “standards,” and Hittite reliefs and stone sphinxes, all of which are now in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
The roles and responsibilities of kingship…. Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Long-lived symbols of power Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
The visit brought me a wholly new experience, too. In Naomi’s absence, I took on the role of translator for Janelle. How do you have one language come in one ear and another one emerge from your mouth? How do you listen to what people are saying, store it in your head as you say something else in another language, and draw it up again a few seconds later to repeat? How do you make clear, if Halil and Ayşe are speaking back and forth, who says what—change your tone of voice? Add a cue such as “Halil says”? Deliver a smooth, simple monologue? Poor Janelle was very nice about my efforts. I must say I had a blast.
From here we went to Boğazkale, site of the great imperial Hittite capital, Hattuša. The landscape is high and craggy, with huge knuckles of rock thrusting towards the descending blue of the sky. The grass, golden at this time of year, whispers a backdrop to the sound of sheep bells. Hills and cliffs soar and gorges plummet—it is so wild and open and free! You feel like a hawk on the wing just being there. And the air has that clean tang, with a powdering of pine trees and flowers, that you find only at higher altitudes.
There is no way to convey the full glory and beauty and varied terrain of Boğazkale. Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
We had the extraordinary honor of being given a guided tour of the museum by the Director of the German Archaeological Institute’s excavations at Boğazkale/Hattuša, Dr. Andreas Schachner. He thoroughly explained the history of the site and the area, and helped us understand the significance of each artifact. His Turkish is outstanding and it was riveting to hear him speak about these things he knows so well and brings to life so vividly.
The great sphinxes from the southern gate to the city: now returned from Berlin and Istanbul Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Cuneiform texts tell us TONS about Hittite ideas and practices! By the end of this year, all of the thousands of texts excavated at Boğazkale will have been read and transliterated for further study. (That is me whispering a translation in Janelle’s ear, not the tender moment it appears.) Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
The students were full of questions and ideas and thoughts for the whole of a very intensive tour. The museum itself is super, I thought: not an enormous quantity of material, but beautifully displayed and with terrific information about the historical and social contexts of manufacture and use.
Plan of Hattuša Photo Credit: http://www.hattuscha.de/plan-fuehrer2002.jpg
From here we drove up into the site. Hattuša was the imperial Hittite capital and of particular importance in the 14th–12th centuries BCE; at its largest size it was almost two square kilometers with varied and sudden changes of the landscape):
Although some residences have been excavated, mostly it is the temples and the royal palaces that have drawn attention. And the waterworks. And the grain storage systems. Oh, and the fortification walls and gates, too…. It is a most spectacular site! Hittite texts speak about the “thousand gods of the Hatti-lands,” and many of which turn up in inscriptions and carved reliefs of the many temples and palaces at Hattuša. The two primary deities were the storm god (Tarqunt or Tarhun) and the sun goddess. It was therefore with excitement that we trooped off the bus to see what we could as the afternoon was drawing on. We started in the Great Temple (Temple 1 on the plan). Our guides, Ayşe and Halil, were on fire! They sparkled with ideas and information without overwhelming the students. They focused on what we could see and what the students could learn from the evidence before them. Everyone seemed to be having a great time as well as paying close attention—and this after a two-hour-long museum tour at what would usually be the end of a full day! But it felt like we were just beginning, and indeed we spent over two more hours exploring the great Hittite site.
Site overview, delivered as a duet Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Hittite masonry techniques learned on the spot Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Group photo op at the famous strange green rock Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
From here we drove up the great sweeping hill of the site, stopping at two of the primary gates (the Lion Gate and Yerkapı at the south, where once the sphinxes stood). With the sun setting and colors deepening all about us, we still had time to learn about Hittite sculpting techniques, the fortification system of Hattuša, and something about the ideas and values that permeated the society responsible for creating these unforgettable monuments.
Lion gate Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Yerkapı Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
It felt anguishing to clamber back into the bus and leave the site before exploring it fully. The good news was, we were headed for Yazılıkaya! This is an awe-inspiring outdoor shrine of the Hittites, formed of natural and enhanced clefts in the rocks that have been turned into sculpted galleries with reliefs of deities and kings lining the walls. Halil outdid himself with a detailed explanation of the reliefs and their significance, and a peroration on the importance of caring about cultural heritage and the need for Turks to invest themselves in Turkish history and culture.
The storm god and the sun goddess of Arinna, the thousand gods of the Hatti… Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
The group, with the Hittite Great King Tuthaliyas IV Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg
Despite the long drive home, the mood in the bus was exceptionally cheerful: music cards were handed back and forth to be plugged into the stereo system; animated “spot the license plate” games were played; what food we had was shared around; people chatted (or slept); the nighttime landscape and nighttime drivers caused comment. After dropping off all the students and arriving back home, it was drawing nigh to midnight. As we crunched across the courtyard gravel and crept to bed, I felt I could touch the stars in the crystalline sky. For days afterwards my heart remained in the land of the Hittites.
Every year, the Penn Museum provides support to Penn undergraduates and graduate students as they deepen their understanding of the human experience outside the Museum’s walls. Follow these blog posts from our intrepid young scholars as they report on the sights and sites that they encounter throughout their travels in the field.
In my last post, I talked about the site of Oğlanqala and its importance to archaeology in the Caucasus. Our survey focused on continuing the work of past seasons in order to link up Oğlanqala with surrounding fortresses and occupation sites. We also visited areas which had a good chance of producing evidence for previous occupation (these ranged from Chalcolithic sites all the way up to the Medieval era!) in hopes of expanding our knowledge of settlement patterns in the region. Several of these survey days revolved around hiking up to qalas or fortresses. Qalas were located at higher elevations (often on top of mountains) in order to provide a wide view of the surrounding countryside and for better protection against attacks.
Surveying the area had us climbing to the tops of mountains! Pictured is Dr. Emily Hammer smiling for the camera after we scrambled our way to the top.
Climbing was tough, but fun – here’s me taking a bit of a break before continuing on.
Several of the qalas we looked at were surrounded by large stone walls. To see if we could figure out a date of construction for these walls, the survey team opened up several small trenches alongside them with the intent of reaching their base. Some were successful in finding bits of charcoal which we can use for carbon dating, so hopefully once they are sent to a lab, we’ll know more about the date of these impressive walls!
One of the small trenches we dug next to some of the still-standing walls of a qala. Unfortunately, we hit bedrock before finding anything.
Not all walls were as well preserved as those in the first picture. More often than not, the walls we were recording looked more like this.
After the three-week long survey season, I stayed on to join the excavations at Qizqala. Qizqala is another fortress, located a little over a kilometer away from Oglanqala and likely occupied contemporaneously. Since I joined after the survey was over, excavations were well under way in several areas of the settlement and its surroundings. As I arrived, we began to open new trenches over graves situated in a valley on the other side of Qizqala. These graves are called kurgans, and are distinguishable by a ring of hewn stones commonly between 4 and 15 meters in diameter. (However, some of the larger ones have been over 90 meters!)
It was about a 15 minute hike up the valley every morning to where we were excavating the kurgans. The nearest mountain in this picture is where Qizqala’s fortress was situated.
At first, we thought that we were only excavating one kurgan. Once we removed the topsoil, however, it was clear that at least three more surrounded it! After expanding the trench to encompass two more, we found out that they were only marked by half-circles of stone – which had not been encountered before in kurgan types. Three weeks of excavation were dedicated to carefully excavating these graves and removing beautiful Bronze Age ceramics, arrowheads, beads, and, of course, skeletons.
After removing the topsoil, we found not one, not two, not even three…but four (or more) kurgans!
After expanding the trench to encompass two of the surrounding kurgans, everyone was working hard to figure out how they were related to one another.
The first pots of the season!
Don’t worry, there were plenty more where those came from. From all of the kurgans came these beautiful painted black-on-red pots.
In the last week of excavation, I left the kurgans to take over a trench in the domestic area of Qizqala’s settlement. We were interested in further exposing a large, curving wall which had been found in the trench right next to mine. For the last week of the excavation period, we managed to uncover not only the continuation of that wall, but three other walls as well, all very different from each other. Although more excavations in this area will take place next season, right now we are wondering if these walls belonged to stables, bounded areas used for storage, or were simply walls to an oddly-built tower!
With one week to go, I moved to a trench much closer to the base of Qizqala. Here’s the large wall, mostly uncovered on our last day of excavations.
I’m back home in Philly now, but the experience I gained this summer is sure to help add perspective to my studies of the ancient Near East. I don’t know what next summer will hold, but I’d love to rejoin the Naxcivan team in order to try and answer the many questions which this season, quite literally, turned up!
The road to Qizqala was rough and bumpy every morning, but excavating there was a great experience and I’m excited and hopeful to return next year!
Have you ever wondered what an archaeologist actually does? Did you know that there are archaeologists working and studying right here in San Francisco? To find out more, come join the archaeologists at the Presidio of San Francisco for International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 17th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Read more »
We have returned permanently from Australia and are now living in Norfolk UK. Being near to Stansted airport will allow us to make regular trips to Italy. Our first trip will be at the end of September when we hope to be able to photograph the improvements in Pompeii and to also visit some of the villas in Oplontis, Stabia and surroundings. These photographs will be on the web site after we return.
The Jashemski photographs are now all on pompeiiinpictures
We have now finished incorporating 11,500 Jashemski photos onto the web site. Our thanks to Clopper Almon for thinking of our site and who said that Wilhelmina would be so pleased that Stanley's photos are now available to so many people across the world.
We have also added 900 photographs of houses, shops and workshops courtesy of Nicolas Monteix. While we lived in Australia, and were unable to visit Pompeii, we were kept supplied with photographs by many enthusiasts, including Michael Binns, Buzz Ferebee, Rick Bauer, Drew Baker and many others. Our thanks to all.
1430 properties in total have been updated on the web site this month.
One last offering of Jashemski photos for comparison.
Sometimes plaster falling from a wall may not be such a bad thing, as otherwise this inscription, which had been covered over in antiquity, would never have been seen.
II.4.10. 1964. Exterior west wall (without showing the graffiti underneath), and entrance doorway
Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski. J64f0971
Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.
II.4.10. May 2011.
Exterior west wall on north side of doorway, showing multiple layers of graffiti or painted plaster.
L. Ceium Secundum aed… can be clearly read.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.
II.4.10. December 2006. West wall with visible graffiti.
Wayne G. Sayles ('FBI Warns Dealers and Collectors' FBI seeks cooperation of trade ACCG August 29, 2015) refers to the recent warning on the FBI web site alerting art collectors and dealers to be especially careful in the trading of antiquities from the Near East. He notes that the Bureau is asking U.S. art and antiquities market leaders to spread the word that "preventing illegally obtained artifacts from reaching the market helps stem the transfer of funds to terrorists". He says:
Concerns about looting in areas of strife are not unusual nor unfounded and the Civil War raging in parts of Syria and Iraq has rekindled those concerns. Some have argued that the sale of looted antiquities is a primary funding vehicle for terrorist activity. While that point is debatable, and certainly not true in the case of coins and other portable antiquities, the general point is well taken.
What I want to know is how anyone can admit that saying where the stuff dealers sell (including WG Sayles who cites very few collecting histories for the loose objects he sells) can actually say - apparently in all seriousness - where it does not come from. That's just bonkers. Sayles continus defensively:
No responsible dealer nor collector would intentionally or knowingly sell nor purchase objects that are likely to have emerged from the strife in Syria and Iraq.
There's that weasel word there again, "knowingly". But, hark, do we hear the penny dropping - however insincerely?
The only defense against unwittingly doing that is to determine to the best of one's ability where ancient and medieval objects originating in these countries have been in recent years. Due diligence would include the avoidance of purchasing groups of suspect coins from unverifiable sources. Although provenance is not typically available for average collector coins, the ACCG encourages dealers in ancient and medieval coins originating from these countries to, whenever possible, indicate in item descriptions the basis for a belief that the item being offered is not a product of the current conflict nor related looting. In other words, descriptions could include a good-faith effort to provide the nearest thing possible to provenance for at least the most recent transactions. This might include a citation to a known collection, previous offering in the trade, recent source or venue or any other pertinent information that aids seller and buyer diligence in following applicable laws.
Archaeology Day will begin on the main floor of the Desmarais building with lots of activities geared towards kids such as mini excavations, toga tying, and make your own mosaics. Algonquin College, Carleton University, and University of Ottawa representatives will be on site to discuss archaeological/historical programs at their respective schools. Read more »
Sponsored by Beaches Museum and History Park of Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Event Type (you may select more than one):
Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 10:00am
The archaeology fair will begin at 10 a.m. and go until 2 p.m. and will consist of displays showing how the indigenous peoples used their environment to meet their needs. There will also be a simulated dig to give individuals a hands on experience with excavation. Other history and archaeology organizations will also have displays of artifacts and processes. At noon in the historic 1887 chapel archaeologist Brent Handley will present a lecture titled "Digging into the Business of Archaeology." Mr. Handley is the Vice President and Senior Manager of Environmental Services, Inc. Read more »
Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 11:00am to Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 4:00pm
Have you ever wondered what we could learn about history just from an ancient artifact? Or from an entire excavation site?
It's time to get down and dirty at the ROM this Big Weekend as we celebrate International Archaeology Day. Share in the thrill of discovery and challenges of ongoing research in Pompeii and other places fom long ago as ROM archaeologists pull back the curtain on our collective past.
I started working on the Šumma Alu omens as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. My dissertation was a general overview of the series, and I completed text editions of Tablets 1-40 in If a City Is Set on a Height: The Akkadian Omen Series Šumma Alu ina Mele Šakin, volumes 1 and 2, published by the University of Pennsylvania Museum (1998 and 2006).
It is uncertain whether further volumes will appear in a conventional book format. However, I am posting text editions of the reconstructed Tablets on academia.edu, so that the work I’ve done on the remaining Alu Tablets will be available for anyone who is interested. Images of almost all the original texts are online, either on the British Museum website or in the database CDLI (Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative).
An ancient Greek sculpture - which experts believe dates to the third or fourth centuries BC - that was smuggled to Britain from war-torn Libya in 2011 is to be returned after a judge ruled in Westminster Magistrates' Court in London that it had been "unlawfully excavated". It was dug up in the ancient Greek colony of Cyrene and is believed to be worth on the antiquities market £1.5 million.
It was discovered in a west London warehouse by customs officials two years later and handed to the British Museum pending a court's decision over its ownership. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs HMRC said the statue was "misdeclared" on arrival to the UK after UK border officials were told it was from Turkey and worth $110,000 (£72,000). But Jordanian national Riad Al Qassas claimed the sculpture [...] belonged to him. District Judge John Zani today ruled that the sculpture was owned by "the state of Libya" and should be forfeited, as HMRC said it would take steps to return the statue to its "rightful owners". [...] Judge Zani said claims by Hassan Fazeli, a Dubai businessman who said the sculpture has belonged to his family collection since 1977, were also "false". [...] Al Qassas was not in court for the ruling, nor was he represented by lawyers, where he was ordered to pay £50,000 costs.
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Only registered users can annotate the satellite images with observations, so please remember to Register first, using the form in the upper right corner. If you are registering, press the "Register Here" button; it will open a small form, where we collect your name, email address, a password, and a password reminder. That's all the personal information we need, and we don't share it with others. Once you've registered, you can log in with your email address and password.
TerraWatchers.org Results Report as of September 2, 2015, 11:47 am (Arizona)
TerraWatchers.org currently has 162 registered users.
Currently, 63 users have contributed to "The Impact of Military Activity and Looting on Archaeological Sites in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq"
98.380% of the seedpoints in the mission have been visited at least once. There have been 9,574 visits to 2,551 of 2,593 seedpoints, an average of 3.753 visits per seedpoint. Users have made 2,264 observations on 1,250 seedpoints (49.000% of visited seedpoints), an average of 1.811 observations per seedpoint.
PAPHOS, CYPRUS—Live Science reports that University of Edinburgh archaeologists working at the site of Prastio Mesorotsos have built and tested a replica of a 9,000-year-old Neolithic pit oven. Over the course of three years, the team excavated a large stone-lined pit at the site measuring eight feet across and three feet deep that they believed could be an ancient oven. But its size led excavation director Andrew McCarthy to suspect cooking would not be feasible in it. As a test, before they began excavating this summer they dug a pit with similar dimensions near a local restaurant and lined it with the same type of stones used in the Neolithic pit. In a painstaking process, the team managed to cook a feast of goat and pig meat for nearly 200 guests. To read about a similar experiment testing ancient Irish brewing, go to “Mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh.”
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—The Iron Age artifact discovered in Ireland was originally thought to have been a spear-butt. However, Billy Ó Foghlú, a PhD student at the Australian National University, thought that it might have been part of a musical instrument, so he created a replica based on the object’s exact measurements using a 3D printer. When Ó Foghlú used the object as a horn mouthpiece, he found that it produced a rich, velvety tone. “These horns were not just hunting horns or noisemakers,” said Ó Foghlú in a press release. “They were very carefully constructed and repaired, they were played for hours. Music clearly had a very significant role in the culture.” Horns dating to the Bronze and Iron Ages have been discovered throughout Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, though according to Ó Foghlú no other mouthpieces are known to have been found in Ireland. To read about sculptures of musicians found in Peru, go to "Artifact."
DURHAM, UK—Construction work for a new café uncovered the jumbled skeletons of between 17 and 28 male individuals which research now shows are the remains of Scottish soldiers taken prisoner after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, according to a press release from Durham University. The battle, one of the bloodiest battles of the English Civil War, resulted in perhaps as many as 1,700 prisoners of war dying of malnutrition, disease, and cold on the 100-mile-march from southeastern Scotland to Durham in northeast England. Until now, it hasn’t been known what happened to the bodies of the victims of this forced march, but the new research shows that at least some—and perhaps many more—were buried on the grounds of Durham Castle. “It is quite possible that there are more mass graves under what are now University buildings that would have been open ground in the early to mid-seventeenth century,” says Richard Annis, a senior archaeologists at Archaeological Services Durham University. To read about a mass grave of Viking-Age soldiers, go to “The First Vikings.”
Mark Goodacre has two guest posts by Andrew Bernhard, and there is also a post by Christian Askeland on the ETC blog. The gist is that the “translation” of the text matches Mike Grondin’s online interlinear of the Gospel of Thomas, even where the Coptic text does not fit those English words, providing strong evidence that the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife was forged by someone who used that online resource.
What do others think? Shall we call it “The Gospel according to Mike Grondin’s Interlinear” from now on, rather than “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”?
Customs officials confiscated 3,300 historical artifacts discovered in a truck at Istanbul's Pendik port. The truck was en route to the Netherlands when officials checked it in a customs area. The artifacts found in six packages include arrowheads, crosses, rings and coins. According to the initial examination by archaeologists, items include artifacts from Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Artifacts were sent to the Archaeology Museum of Istanbul while the truck driver was detained.
Artifact smuggling in Turkey is on the rise according to recent figures although the authorities stepped up measures especially in the wake of a conflict in neighboring Syria, where a state of lawlessness facilitates the smuggling of artifacts. The number of historical artifacts seized by Turkish authorities rose tenfold last year compared to 2013, as revealed by latest figures. A total of 1,042 artifacts were confiscated at the Turkish border en route to the country, possibly to be sold to Turkish buyers or buyers from other countries.
US dealers applaud, this sort of thing keeps prices up.
OTAGO, NEW ZEALAND—Researchers using a range of techniques, including radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA analysis, have modeled the population histories of ancient seabirds in New Zealand and found that human hunting had a profound impact on them. According to a University of Otago press release, the study shows that populations of shag seabirds on Stewart Island, New Zealand’s third largest island, had a stable population history, while their counterparts on the two other major islands suffered a massive decline in numbers. "There was a loss of more than ninety-nine percent of their population size within 100 years of human arrival,” says University of Otago geneticist Nic Rawlence. “These once heavily-hunted mainland populations now occupy only a fraction of their prehistoric range, having never really recovered.” The human population on Stewart Island dwindled around 1500 A.D., which might help explain why wildlife populations there did not go into decline. While some scholars believe climatic changes were responsible for the die off, the researchers point out that Stewart Island shared the same climate history as New Zealand’s two major islands, and believe the new findings show prehistoric humans shoulder most of the blame. To read about hunting technology among Australia's Aborigines, go to "What's the Point?"
De restauratiewerken aan de kapittelvleugel de Ter Kamerenabdij in Elsene (Brussel) zijn afgerond. De archeologische studies van het gebouw, die gelijktijdig met de restauratie van de gevels zijn uitgevoerd, leidden tot de belangrijke ontdekking van een puntgevel uit de 13de eeuw, de periode waarin de eerste abdij werd opgericht.
Het resultaat van de restauratie werd vandaag voorgesteld in aanwezigheid van Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort. “De Ter Kamerenabdij is vanuit meerdere opzichten uniek,” aldus Vervoort. “Van de 46 kloostergemeenschappen die zich tussen de 11de en de 17de eeuw op het Brussels gewestelijk grondgebied hebben gevestigd, is de Ter Kamerenabdij de enige die haar oorspronkelijke bestemming heeft behouden. Ze herbergt namelijk nog steeds een broederschap in de kapittelvleugel.”
De werken zijn tussen 2013 en 2015 uitgevoerd door het bureau Arter. Het Brussels Gewest financierde 80 procent van de kosten, zo’n 1,4 miljoen euro.
This myth-busting exhibition will present and explore ancient Egyptian animal mummies, prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. Gifts for the Gods will explain the background behind this religious practice in the context of life in ancient Egypt and the environment in which the animals lived. It will explore the British fascination with Egypt, the discovery of animal mummies by British excavators, and how the mummies ended up in the UK, as well as taking a look at the history and future of their scientific study in Manchester. The display will combine mummified specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds with cultural artefacts such as stone sculpture and bronze statuettes, alongside 19th Century works of art and never-seen-before archives.
DCA (Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh) 62 contains various liturgical texts in Syriac. It is a fine copy, but the most interesting thing about the book is its colophon. Here first are the images of the colophon, after which I will give an English translation.
DCA 62, f. 110r
DCA 62, f. 110v
English translation (students may see below for some lexical notes):
This liturgical book for the Eucharist, Baptism, and all the other rites and blessings according to the Holy Roman Church was finished in the blessed month of Adar, on the 17th, the sixth Friday of the Dominical Fast, which is called the Friday of Lazarus, in the year 2150 AG, 1839 AD. Praise to the Father, the cause that put things into motion and first incited the beginning; thanks to the Son, the Word that has empowered and assisted in the middle; and worship to the Holy Spirit, who managed, directed, tended, helped, and through the management of his care brought [it] to the end. Amen.
I — the weak and helpless priest, Michael Romanus, a monk: Chaldean, Christian, from Alqosh, the son of the late deacon Michael, son of the priest Ḥadbšabbā — wrote this book, and I wrote it as for my ignorance and stupidity, that I might read in it to complete my service and fulfill my rank. Also know this, dear reader: that from the beginning until halfway through the tenth quire of the book, it was written in the city of Siirt, and from there until the end of the book I finished in Šarul, which is in the region of the city of Erevan, which is under the control of the Greeks (?), when I was a foreigner, sojourner, and stranger in the village of Syāqud.
The fact that the scribe started his work in Siirt (now in Turkey), relocated, then completed his work, is of interest in and of itself. As for the toponyms, Šarul here must be Sharur/Şərur, now of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (an exclave of Azerbaijan), which at the time of the scribe’s writing was under Imperial Russian control, part of the Armenian Province (Армянская область), and prior to that, part of the Safavid Nakhchivan Khanate, which, with the Erevan Khanate, Persia ceded to Russia at the end of the Russo-Persian War in 1828 with the Treaty of Turkmenchay (Туркманчайский договор, Persian ʿahd-nāme-yi Turkamānčāy). The spelling of Erevan in Syriac above matches exactly the spelling in Persian (ايروان). When the scribe says that Šarul/Sharur/Şərur is in the region of Erevan, he apparently means the Armenian Province, which contained the old Erevan Khanate. He says that the region “is under the control of the Greeks” (yawnāyē); this seems puzzling: the Russians should be named, but perhaps this is paralleled elsewhere. For Syāqud, cf. Siyagut in the Syriac Gazetteer.
See the Erevan and Nakhchivan khanates here called respectively Х(анст)во Ереванское and Х(анст)во Нахичеванское, bordering each other, both in green at the bottom of the map near the center.
L'arte non riproduce ciò che è visibile, ma rende visibile ciò che non sempre lo è.
- Paul Klee
As John Sinclair points out in his note for Purgatorio 12, Dante reports that he did not know a P had been removed from his forehead until Virgil told him, a fact he confirmed with his own fingertips. Not only is the first and greatest sin effaced, but the rest are "all but effaced."
The canto has much about art, and much art, which is so real that it seems, he says, "visibile parlare." The phrase captures what would be the pinnacle of proud achievement for any mortal artist: the fusion of the most powerful sensory faculty with the intelligence of speech. What if all the invisible powers of language were so wedded to the realm of the eye that one didn't need to hear sentences unfold themselves in time? Their full meaning would strike at the speed of light.
The hallucinatory superreality of the figures of the terrace of pride, so vivid that
non pur Policleto, ma la natura li avrebbe scorno
not only Polycletus but nature would be put to shame there (10.32-33),
crosses a threshold that Dante the poet, who for all his fiction of how this is not a fiction (poetry as bella menzogna), has the hubris to depict. It's one thing to slyly nod to the reader when speaking of surpassing the Guidos in poetic accomplishment -- this is how Dante confronts head on any reader's thought that he might have some issues with regard to artistic pride. But that is purely a matter of human fame in the eyes of men.
To dare to create in words a work of art that speaks of divine visibile parlare (10.95), and to insert a visual image, in canto 12, through the repeated letters
would seem to venture into dangerous artistic territory. Here Dante is not far from the famous mythological figures whose thefts from the gods got them in serious trouble -- Tantalos, for one, and Prometheus.
According to Robert Hollander, this has not gone unnoticed by certain readers. Here's one (Barolini) he cites:
"The exaltation of divine art at the expense of human art paradoxically leads to the exaltation of that human artist who most closely imitates divine art."
It's fair to say that while canto 10 opens up the topic of Pride, it seems far more engaged with the language of and about art -- an emphasis that will continue in canto 11 with Oderisi's discussion of how Giotto is superceding Cimabue. Perhaps implicit: God's visibile parlare is to human representation as Giotto's is to Cimabue's. There is no question that with Giotto, a whole new dimension of mass and human gravitas enters painting. The analogy fits, and is lovely, but Cimabue and Giotto are brought in to illustrate the passing of style, the endlessly ephemeral quest for the new. Presumably the divine Artificer's work is not equally subject to artsy fashionistas.
Something here is pointing toward a deep link between the hyperbolic sense of self in pride and the potency with which art renders the world to us. Perhaps the proud are artists with bad ideas, like Arachne.
After all the fascination with a fusion of showing and telling, image and thought, the two appear to be distinct near the end of canto 12. Here as the angel's wing removes the first (and most serious) P from Dante, he is unaware of it. He too is a work of divine art, and the visible speech on his forehead, undergoing erasure, has the effect of lightening the pilgrim. This movement towards levity is another dimension of comedy in the poem. Even as Bevilacqua sat heavily beneath his stone, he managed to transform the mood with his few brief barbs. He too will "lighten up" as he ascends.
Virgil understands what's happening here. Just as canvas doesn't feel the brush, or paper the pen, so the soul doesn't feel the erasure of its sins. Instead
"fier li tuoi piè dal buon voler sì vinti, che non pur non fatica sentiranno, ma fia diletto loro esser sù pinti.”
"Thy feet will be so vanquished by good will, That not alone they shall not feel fatigue, But urging up will be to them delight."
"Vanquished by good will" is a remarkable phrase - it's a happy sufferance of conquest, which in fact will be achieved by Dante when he is "crowned and mitered" over himself at the top of the mountain.
What's notable here is that being overcome by good will seems to happen on its own -- one doesn't fashion it, or will it. The soul, working, continually grows lighter. Good will conquers as one is in process of becoming the butterfly. Pride will suffer, crushed beneath heavy stones.
Once in Purgatory, the course is set by the Artist -- to levity:
on v'accorgete voi che noi siam vermi nati a formar l'angelica farfalla, che vola a la giustizia sanza schermi?
Do ye not comprehend that we are worms, Born to bring forth the angelic butterfly That flieth unto judgment without screen.
[FOR NEW PARTICIPANTS AND FOR THOSE WHO TOOK THE SURVEY IN 2014] Stories about romantic escapades on archaeological excavations are legend, as anyone who has worked on a dig can surely attest. We have all heard about happy relationships that began in the field and thrived for decades. But as we also know, excavation [...]
The session will be in the University of Glasgow Mathematics Building Rm 325, from 13:30 until 16:00.
Trafficking Culture: Research into the Global Traffic in Cultural Objects at the University of Glasgow
13:40–14:00 The interface between criminology and archaeology: trafficking culture, by Simon Mackenzie
14:00–14:20 Cultural property protection policy failure in Syria, by Neil Brodie
14:20–14:40 Preventing protection: On-the-ground barriers to effective cultural property policy in Bolivia and Belize, by Donna Yates
16:00–16:20 Lessons in Cultural Heritage Preservation: Learning About the Illicit Antiquities Trade from the Cambodian Civil War, by Tess Davis
16:20–16:40 Inside Job: The Effects of Archaeological Involvement on the Illicit Antiquities Trade, by Meg Lambert
16:40–17:00 An evidence-driven approach to mapping illicit antiquities networks, by Christos Tsirogiannis
In addition, Annemeik Rhebergen will be presenting a paper entitled: Community initiatives for site protection: a case study from Northwest Argentina on 4 Sept from 8:50 until 9:10 the Boyd Orr Building, Lecture Theater 2.
L’Infrared and Raman Users Group (IRUG) ha annunciato che la dodicesima Conferenza IRUG (IRUG12) si terrà presso la Fondazione Ormylia – Art Diagnosis Centre, ad Ormylia Chalkidiki, Grecia, dal 23 al 25 maggio 2016. La conferenza prevede sia sessioni orali, sia presentazioni poster che affrontano tutti gli aspetti dell’applicazione della spettroscopie IR e Raman per lo studio, la documentazione e la tutela del patrimonio culturale mondiale.
Scavi di Pompei, la necropoli: ecco le nuove sensazionali scoperte/FOTOGALLERY Obiettivo: trovare nuove informazioni sugli usi e i costumi degli abitanti dell'antica città tramite lavori di indagine e scavo in quattro aree specifiche nei pressi di Porta Nola
A Roma presso la sede centrale del Centro Nazionale di Ricerca, CNR, nei giorni 11 e 12 gennaio 2016 si terrà il workshop internazionale Sustainability in Cultural Heritage (SICH). Il workshop rappresenta l’evento finale di disseminazione dei risultati raggiunti nell’ambito del progetto SICH e ha come obiettivo principale la creazione di una piattaforma di scambio di conoscenze tra l'intera gamma di professionisti coinvolti nella conservazione e tutela dei beni culturali.
La lunga estate di Pompei, simbolo della battaglia per rinascere Le difficoltà, i turisti che non mancano mai e i grandi progetti, un reportage a 360 gradi
Quando, in un'afosa mattinata di fine luglio, i restauratori della soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei hanno iniziato a rimuovere le macerie della Schola armaturarum, hanno tirato un sospiro di sollievo. Quel crollo, che nel novembre 2010 squarciò davanti al mondo il velo delle inefficienze del sistema della conservazione di Pompei, ha risparmiato la gran parte degli affreschi originali e delle murature antiche.
Pompei, la mostra al Museo archeologicoLa sfida per cambiare il modo di comunicare Pompei comincia dal Museo archeologico nazionale di Napoli, dov'è allestita la mostra "Pompei e l'Europa". La mostra racconta una storia straordinaria, fatta di opere d'arte, arredi, manufatti, porcellane, quadri e sculture che hanno arredato le corti e le case dell'intera Europa. (anna laura de rosa e antonio ferrara)
Ercolano, i tesori nascosti Nei depositi del sito archeologico di Ercolano è nascosto un tesoro: mobili e arredi in legno carbonizzati. C'è una culla, un letto, piccoli tavoli, armadi di ogni dimensione e foggia e larari. Ma anche piccoli oggetti, statuine e resti di cibo (fichi e pane). Il patrimonio, al momento accatastato nelle sale di deposito (climatizzate) sarà esposto nel nuovo museo di Ercolano al quale sta lavorando l'architetto Renzo Piano su commissione della Fondazione americana di David Packard. (anna laura de rosa e antonio ferrara)
An ancient archaeological site of historic value was discovered by the Department of Archae-ology in the Anuradhapura District this week. Located a mile to the north from the famous Abhayagiri Vihara, the new site named ‘Vijayaramaya’ was found in a thick jungle by excavators. The 23-acre Vijayaramaya consists of ruins of a broken-down stupa, a shrine room, a poya house, halls and two ponds that date back hundreds of years.
Conservation work at the site is being conducted by the Central Cultural Fund (CCF) under the guidance of the Archaeological Department. Director in charge of Central Cultural Fund’s Anuradhapura project, Prof. T. G. Kulathunga, said the Vijayaramaya had been damaged by robbers.
Every month I sort through hundreds of google alerts, scholar alerts, academia notices, book review sites, and other social media in an attempt to find a few valuable bits to pass along via this site. I ignore the vast majority of hits that enter my inbox, store away those that I plan to develop into their own stories, and then release the ephemera (or those I fail to convert to stories) via these Corinthiaka posts. Here are a few from the last month–a small selection of the news, stories, and blogs about the Corinthia.
Archaeology and Classics:
Review of Waterfield’s Taken at the Flood. The Roman Conquest of Greece (in The Classical Review)
This is close enough to the Corinthia to include–the discovery of a submerged Bronze Age village in the Koilada Bay: covered at SperoNews. We noted the mysterious expedition of this large solar-powered boat back in January–glad to see the end in sight
We’re also close enough to note another exciting discovery posted last week, a “palace” with Linear B tablets at Ayios Vassileios near the village of Xirokambi in Laconia:
The historic Polonnaruwa sacred city’s archaeological excavations commenced under a five year plan.
It has been implemented as an international excavation work under the Central Cultural Fund. The Archeological excavations of Polonnaruwa will take place until the year 2020, under the supervision of Professor of Archeology Robin Canham with the aim finding out more information about the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.
The excavations were commenced from the ‘number two plot’ of Polonnaruwa Shiva Devalaya.
Registering the bones from this summer’s fieldwork at Landsjö.
Getting rid of excess stuff. Azerbaijani dude with a huge beautiful beard showed up on his wife’s orders and collected both bike baby seats, the rolling baby stool, the dinner table lamp and the microwave oven. *happy*
My wife’s workout app is giving her orders. It sounds like a very, very strange satnav.
User interface fail: our new microwave oven has not only start/stop buttons, but also on/off buttons that control whether the start/stop buttons are responsive or not.
Oh great, LinkedIn. You tried to find a job for me and emailed me the results. Ten jobs in fact. All of which had in common that they are in my home town and have nothing whatsoever to do with what I’m skilled at.
It always saddens me to see a librarian with shelf-inflicted wounds.
I idly comment in an Facebook thread on the issue of how old the cult of the Aesir is likely to be, reporting what I’ve understood of my reading of current academic literature on the history of religion. Dude tells me I’ve lost the argument because I’m just arguing from authority.
Is there a quick rule of thumb to tell a stylist from a stylite?
The Swedish Geological Survey has quietly doubled the chronological resolution of their shoreline maps! You can get them for every 500 years now instead of every 1000!
Cherry Twister sound exactly like Teenage Fanclub.
An anonymous German university wants my Bronze Age book. That’s nice and I would be happy to donate a copy. But instead of writing me, they’ve put in an order with a bookseller, who’s written me. Annoyingly inefficient.
When I get turned down for teaching jobs, I console myself with the thought that the scholars who influence their fields strongly, and get studied by historians of science afterwards, aren’t the ones who teach full time for years and years. As an archaeology teacher, you mainly get to influence the thinking of future archivists and bus drivers. So if you want me to STFU, just hire me and keep me busy.
Should I put in the fieldwork report that while registering the bone bags I was semi-nude, outdoors and listening to extremely druggy music?
Would you like me to Roger your Bacon?
The Chinese just outweirded me again. They’ve got something called “the Hundred Surnames”, which are exceptionally common. Among these are several true homophones, I just learned. So there’s the Zhang family and the Zhang family: same pinyin transcription, same tone, different characters.
Feta cheese in a vacuum pack keeps way way past its use-by date. Nom nom nom.
Looking inland from Kalundborg’s West Castle, you see a big fat Bronze Age barrow. This, the locals explained, was probably hard to avoid given how common these barrows are in the area.
Mulberries are amazingly good. And amazingly messy.
I often get the voice parsing input started by mistake on my phone. Now when I want to try it out I can’t turn it on.
Dear colleague. I am truly grateful to you for giving your paper in English. I sadly don’t know your native language. But frankly you are boring us all to tears by reading a manuscript out instead of improvising.
I learned on this trip that you can easily see across the Great Belt and Öresund. Medieval Denmark was pretty integrated.
Colleague demonstrates his grasp of Schwiizerdütsch with a series of vaguely Danish-sounding gurgles. Claims they mean “Have you already had your Ovomaltine cocoa this morning?”.
“Redemption” is such a strange word and concept. In US English you can barely read a movie review without coming across it. Yet in Swedish we hardly ever use its equivalents outside a religious context. And since few Swedes are religious, we rarely use the concept at all. I feel no need for or possibility of redemption.
Apollo is “Apollon” in Swedish, which means “monkey’s bell end”.
Eight young women in head scarves and Pakistani clothes are playing soccer in the field next to our house.
Incredible contrast between the 17th century’s oil paintings and Scandy sculpture. Like two completely separate traditions, the latter grotesque and abstract, divorced from the Classical heritage.
Hey, I’d vote for Jeremy Corbyn!
Been handy today: bought a doormat, long screws (no) with plugs, an electric plug and a window holder ajarer; used them to mat a door, fix a Pilaster book shelf to a newly painted wall, reenable my reading lamp after my dad installed earthed sockets, and hold a window ajar.
Updating my freshman presentations. Since last year, the oldest known stone tools have moved from 2.6 to 3.4 mya, and from Homo habilis to some Australopithecine. The bulk date of the great clearance-cairn areas of Småland has moved from the Early Iron Age to the High Middle Ages.
Reading this paper by a Scandy scholar whose English is shaky. They describe the defenders of a besieged castle using “guns, piles and stones”. Ow, me bum…
Hawkwind’s most beloved song, “Master of the Universe”, has huge information redundancy. It’s just one riff played in unison by bass and rhythm guitar all the way through, plus aimless quiet noodling on the lead guitar and swishy noises from the keyboards.
Movie: Dheepan. War-traumatised Tamil man-woman-child form a fake family to enter France, settle in ghetto shaken by drug gang fighting. Grade: pass with distinction.
Oh sure, LinkedIn. I’m definitely the right man to head a pharma research team working on immuno oncology. Thanks for telling me about the job!
Over the last week I’ve been active in initiating a conversation with the Empire Theater regarding their decision to host the anti-Muslim firebrand Usama Dakdok for the second time this calendar year. To be clear, the Empire did not invite Dakdok to speak, but they agreed to rent the theater to the group who invited him to town.
When Dakdok spoke in the spring, there were some protests and some behind-the-scenes expressions of disappointment at the Empire’s decision to host a speaker who advocated intolerance in our small town. It was all the more disappointing since Grand Forks has a small, new Muslim population and people are working hard to make help manage their transition into our community. Many of us felt that hosting a speaker like Dakdok did little to encourage the kind of acceptance and tolerance that our town needed at this moment in its history, but were heartened when many of those opposed to Dakdok message worked to create alternative events which brought Christians and Muslims together. In fact, Dakdok’s return engagement is “in response” to the events held after his last visit. Considering the success of these events and ongoing efforts to promote tolerance and diversity, we can certainly understand why someone of his predilections could justify a return engagement.
Dakdok’s approach is particularly painful to those of us who study the Late Antique world and religion. He insists on a selective reading of Muslim scripture that portrays Islam in an unfavorable way, and asserts personal authority grounded in his knowledge of Arabic and upbringing in Egypt. Any religious can be made to look bad when subjected to a selective reading of scripture backed by personal authority. Certainly there have been instances of Christianity being subjected to similar attacks. The goal of Dakdok’s lecture is not to understand the history of Islam and their scripture, but, as his website says: “to warn all Americans about the deceptive methods being used by Muslims that lead so many into the cult of Islam.”
Dakdok’s intentionally misleading approach to Islam is hardly the basis for a compassionate and tolerant engagement with another faith.
This letter, however, is not about Usama Dakdok. This letter is directed to the Empire Theater and their decision to provide a venue for Dakdok’s visit twice over the course of the year. In the lead up to his first visit, the Empire and other institutions in our community deflected criticism leveled against them for allowing Dakdok into our town with appeals to freedom of speech.
I’m not a legal scholar or a philosopher, but I am not convinced that hosting a speaker whose goal is to sow intolerance and suspicion is an effective time to appeal to freedom of speech. To my mind, freedom of speech is one of those pesky freedoms that ask us both as individuals and institutions to make compromises for the good of others. As individuals we regularly refrain from confrontation, recognize decorum, and, sometimes, remain silent when exercising our right to speak would do greater harm than good. Moreover, we recognize how positions of authority can lend speaking greater weight and positions of weakness can prevent even the most earnest speaker from being heard. Balancing the authority we grant to those in power against the need for dialogue is vital to preserving practical freedom of speech in any community. This is why we have rules and laws preventing consumer fraud, limiting the public use of profanity, restricting access to adult themed movies and events, and enforcing decorum. Finally, both private and public venues have standards and expectations ranging from noise restrictions to discretionary judgements regarding what is appropriate at a given site. Freedom of speech is always situational.
The Empire Theater is in a uniquely privileged position in downtown Grand Forks. They have a productive and meaningful partnership with the University of North Dakota as host of its art collection and that relationship is proudly advertised on its walls. Associating the venue with the University, even if this is just relationship of convenience, gives the Empire prestige and authority and this extends to speakers in its venue. It may not be Carnegie Hall, but events hosted at the Empire gain legitimacy and prestige from the venue. Moreover, the Empire represents a meaningful anchor of the downtown hosting entertainment, civic events, and celebrations throughout the year. It is very much part of our local civic fabric and has contributed to recent downtown renaissance. The Empire occupies a position of authority through its associations with both the University and the downtown community.
With this position of authority come certain responsibilities. I can perhaps forgive the decision to host Dakdok one time. While Dakdok does not obscure his mission, it may be too much expect an institution like the Empire which hosts hundreds of events a year, to vet every speaker carefully.
To host Dakdok a second time, however, is simply inexcusable. Granting Dakdok the legitimacy of a prestigious venue contributes to his authority and the legitimacy of his message. This is clearly not the intent of the Empire’s board or management, because by authorizing his message, they are authorizing a message that hinders communication between Christians and Muslims in Grand Forks. The Empire must hold itself to a higher standard and recognize that hosting a speaker like Dakdok undermines the efforts of many in Grand Forks to make lives better for the Muslim minority.
In fact, by allowing a speaker into our town bent on depicting a group within our community in a misleading way, the Empire is hindering opportunities for open dialogue between Muslims and Christians. They are not promoting freedom of speech in this situation, but making it more difficult for members of our community to speak freely and honestly. The Empire is helping to silence members of our community by contributing the prestige of their venue to a speaker who misrepresents the message of both Christianity and Islam.
The Empire must recognize its position in the community and use the prestige associated with their venue in a more responsible way. If it cannot do this alone, then those institutions that have partnered with the Empire must encourage and support the Empire as they try to do better or divest themselves of this partnership. It is not acceptable for the name of the University of North Dakota to be associated with a venue in which Dakdok is speaking. It is not acceptable for a venue that serves as a cultural anchor of our downtown and our community to lend its reputation to a speaker like Dakdok.
Several memes and political cartoons have addressed the hypocrisy in Kim Davis’ desire to have her own freedoms respected, while demanding the right to discriminate against others. Here are a few of my favorites:
And this one is from a while back, yet could have been made today:
The first two come via other Patheos bloggers Hemant Mehta and Ben Corey. Ben’s mirrors this statement which Daily Kos turned into a meme:
Nutritious, abundant and perfect for use in a multitude of dishes, corn has been a staple in the diets of Native North American and Mesoamerican diets for thousands of years. Today, in honor of a recent archaeological find in South … Continue reading →
De beschermde Delmerensmolen in Aarsele (Tielt) zou binnenkort afgebroken worden uit veiligheidsoverwegingen. Dat melden verschillende kranten. De stad Tielt zou een goedkeuring voor de sloop gekregen hebben van het agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed. De molen raakte door 25 jaar verwaarlozing volledig in verval.
De Delmerensmolen in Aarsele was al sinds 1944 beschermd als monument. In 1989 werd de molen aangekocht door een Brit, die ze onderbracht in een vennootschap met zetel op het eiland Man. Deze vennootschap ging echter in vereffening, waarna onduidelijk was wie de nieuwe eigenaar was. Door aanhoudende verwaarlozing geraakte de Delmerensmolen erg bouwvallig en vormde hij een gevaar voor de veiligheid van de omwonenden en voorbijgangers. Een ander probleem is dat de molen erg ingebouwd is geraakt.
In 2005 werd de molen gedemonteerd, en de nog herbruikbare onderdelen werden opgeslagen in een stedelijke loods. De stad Tielt wilde eerder de bescherming van de molenromp opheffen, maar dit verzoek werd afgewezen door de Vlaamse overheid. Nu zou de molen dan toch gesloopt worden.
Concerning the county clerk in Kentucky: Religiously neutral civil mechanisms are the only possible way for true religious freedom to exist for multiple religions simultaneously. Civil servants who are religious ought therefore to be even more scrupulous about preserving religious neutrality in their duties than non-religious servants, for they are more directly enjoying religious freedom in their own lives and have more to lose from threats to that freedom.
I asked for permission to quote him, and he gave it, and I am glad, because this makes a crucial and timely point, and makes it particularly well.
Nothing reveals the absurdity of her position more clearly than her lawyer’s response to the latest ruling against her. Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver continues to insist that elected public officials have a constitutional right to pick and choose which of their government duties they will perform based on their religious beliefs — in other words, that public officials can use religion to discriminate against certain citizens.
Nothing could be more un-American. What he is advocating would destroy the rule of law, a foundation of our republic. And imagine the chaos, given the wide range of religious beliefs.
See also what Zack Hunt had to say on the topic, which includes this:
We love to believe that biblical values are clear and being biblically faithful is easy or at least pretty straightforward. While sometimes those things might be true, the Bible isn’t quite as black and white as we want it or need it to be. Because the Bible was written in a language different than our own in a context dramatically different than our own for people who lived and died long, long before our great-great-great-great grandparents walked the earth, understanding and the living out what the biblical writers call us to live and believe isn’t as easy as just pointing to a verse and declaring “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.”
Not only is that sort of approach to faith incredibly lazy, it creates awkward situations like Kim Davis is currently experiencing (whether she realizes it or not) that can’t be resolved with more proof-texting. And, worse – much worse – proof-texting our faith transforms the Bible into a weapon and us into sanctified judges, juries, and executioners who wield the power to exclude, condemn, and destroy lives with nothing but a verse and our sincerely held religious beliefs.
This doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t live with conviction. We can and we should. But that conviction has to come from more than a list of proof-texts and sincerely held beliefs.
What Ms. Davis would do well to remember, what all of us would do well to remember in moments like this is the teaching of that great Church Father, St. Augustine who, via the teaching of Jesus himself, called us to read the Bible using the Greatest Commandment as the beginning and end of our scriptural interpretation for “the fulfillment and the end of the Law, and of all Holy Scripture” is love of God and love of neighbor. Therefore, Augustine says, “Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought.”
Simply put, if your interpretation of scripture compels you to treat your neighbors like second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same rights you enjoy, then you can rest assured that regardless of the proof-texts you have compiled, you have not reached an interpretation of those verses that builds up the twofold love of God and neighbor.
Organiser(s): Sarah Reilly, Historic England, Sarah MacLean, Historic England, Marion Page,
Dyfed Archaeology, Emily La-Trobe Batemen, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, and Jane
Golding, Historic England
Local government is facing cuts of a level not seen since the Second World War and research carried out by the LGA suggests that these cuts will deepen in 2015/16. As the impact of cuts and a changin local government landscape take their toll on HE services, how should we work to shape the future so that they don’t just survive the current crisis but emerge stronger? What are the new opportunities being presented by the exponential increase in relevant data, its organisation and how it relates to the creation and use of knowledge about the past? The session will aim to encourage a critical look at current approaches to HERs; how they relate to their stakeholders and other record; and how they might look in the future.
Highlighting two key issues around Big Data today
Presented by Emily La-Trobe Bateman at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
This paper will outline the key issues around best practice for managing a large quantity of digital data generated during large developer led projects. It will explore the challenges of creating such large datasets in dialogue with relevant parties e.g. HER, ADS, and of integrating professional information/work-flow into the excavation and post-ex process. The paper will examine the possible issues that can arise and what can be done to tackle them.
Working with big Data
Presented by Kate Waddington and Ray Karl at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
We will discuss the research methodology relating to a recent project undertaken at Bangor University which investigated the settlements of northwest Wales from the Late Bronze Age through to the Early Medieval period. The research for this project required the curation, manipulation and enhancement of a substantial amount of archaeological data from a variety of sources, including published and unpublished excavations and survey reports, the Historic Environment Record at Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, and previous project databases, such as George Smith’s (GAT) CADW-funded databases on the roundhouse settlements and hillforts of north west Wales.
Collaboration with Gwynedd Archaeological Trust on this project enabled the structure of the database to be designed so that it was compatible with the HER. This enabled information from the HER database to be easily transferred to the database during data-collection, but also enabled enhanced data to be transferred back to the HER following completion of the project. We will discuss the impact generated from this specific research methodology and any lessons learned in the process.
Know Your Place: Exploring data collection strategies and impact on decision making
Presented by Pete Insole at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
Launched in March 2011 Know Your Place aims to build a shared understanding of Bristol by providing access to Bristol City HER; historic maps, old photographs and paintings. It also enables people to share their personal photos and their own stories of the place. In daily use by planners, communities and schools, over 1,00 public contributions have so far been made. using Know Your Place as an example we will be looking at crowd-sourcing data and its impact on local decision making.
HER databases – the Welsh context: HERs as indexes not archives, a low-cost responsive future?
Presented by Chris Martin at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
HEROS (Historic Environment Records Open System) is a powerful, online integrated data management system allowing secure and controllable access to and analysis of ‘traditional’ data alongside digital mapping, documents and images. But where did it come from? This paper looks at the development of this system by the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts, the amalgamation of the four Welsh Historic Environment Records into a single data system, the creation of Archwilio (the public front end fro the system) and development of the android mobile app which allows interrogation and data capture on the move .
UK-level data collection – ADS and OASIS, workflow and best practice
Presented by Jo Gilham at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
The OASIS system currently collects information on archaeological events from England and Scotland. it came online in England in 2005, Scotland in 2007 with the aim that it would simplify the transfer of data from field workers to HER and NMR, streamlining the process which at the time was largely paper based. It is arguable that the this dream has not reached it s full potential but there have been clear benefits: over 20000 grey literature reports archived and online in the ADS Grey Literature Library and the reuse of data within some HERs, NMRs and other systems including the Geophysical Survey database.
In light of these lessons the ADS and EH/HE have undertaken the first phase of a redevelopment project, primarily looking at user needs and how OASIS can work with the requirements of curatorial and fieldwork professionals. At this early state it is envisioned that a new OASIS, building on the lessons of the past, will be able to offer a simplified mechanism for both archiving and recording of a range of data from archaeological events. In addition, discussions are currently ongoing on how OASIS might work within the national frameworks of Wales and Northern Ireland potentially bringing the benefits of OASIS across the whole of the UK.
SHED +1: Working together for Scotland’s Historic Environment Data
Presented by Robin Turner at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
Having and maintaining local, national and sectoral records is of fundamental importance to the care and understanding of the historic environment. These data sources are highly vulnerable in times of reducing financial and human resources, but there are also opportunities to work together – collaboratively and using advances in digital technology – to help balance diminishing resources with improved efficiency and effectiveness. Scotland’s Historic Environment Data (SHED) Strategy brings together the key players holding and maintaining historic environment records to try to keep our collective heads above water. A year on from the launch of the SHED strategy at the 2014 IfA conference in Glasgow, what progress has been made, and what lessons from Scotland might be applied more widely.
Knowledge Organisation and the historic environment sector
Presented by Phil Carlisle at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
This presentation will discuss the role of knowledge organisation and in particular Linked Open Data for recording the build and buried heritage of the UK. I will discuss the HeritageData.org website which has been established to allow access to SKOSified version of the English, Welsh and Scottish thesuair and to provide a collaborative working environment for the development of the thesaurus of cultural Heritage – un unber-thesuarus for recording the cultural heritage of the British Isles.
Heritage information Access strategy, EH: national versus local service provision
Presented by Keith May at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.
To support and enable better sharing of increasing amounts of digital information using computer systems we need to understand better the often cross-cutting needs of different users of historic environment information. Ideas being considered as part of the Heritage Information Access Strategy include how to improve the capabilities for National, inter-regional (cross-border) and local (site/event specific) query and search system. Achieving better access for those seeking such historic environment information is as much about addressing potential changes to people’s work practices and the resourcing issues of how to manage, share and curate such data, as it is about resolving the technical challenges and choices between data integration and data interoperability.
"Capitale Culturale e Capitale Umano. L'Innovazione al servizio della Cultura" è il tema della XI edizione di LuBec che si svolgerà dall’8 al 9 ottobre 2015 al Real Collegio di Lucca. Quest'anno il focus è su quattro aree tematiche di questa edizione: Istituzioni e Vision, Sviluppo e Business, Entertaiment e Audience Development, Energia e Mobilità, che verranno approfonditi mediante sessioni parallele, workshop, dibattiti, attività B2B e la rassegna espositiva LuBeC Digital Technology.
In all the Methodius stuff, I have not forgotten that there are many untranslated hagiographical texts about St Nicholas of Myra, or Santa Claus, which are still on my hit list. A correspondent has written to offer help with translating Greek texts, and I recalled that the Encomium by Andrew of Crete (BHG 1362, CPG 8187) might be a possible starting point. The work dates to the beginning of the 8th century, so might be a little early for that translator. But we will see.
Since I have to look this up, here’s some bibliography.
G. Anrich, Hagios Nikolaos, der Heilige Nikolaos in der Griechischen Kirche; Texte und Untersuchungen, 2 vols, Leipzig: Teubner, 1913-17. Volume 1, p.419-428.
Patrologia Graeca 97, col. 1192-1205, where the work is given as “oration 18” of Andrew of Crete. With Latin translation.
German translation: L. Heiser, “Die Festrede des Andreas von Kreta,” in idem, Nikolaos von Myra. Heiliger der ungeteilten Christenheit, Trier, 1978, p.80-89. I do have a copy of this, it turns out.
Partial English translation: I find by looking online that someone has made an English translation of a slab of it here, although who and from what is not clear. There is a link at the end to the PG text, so presumably that was used, or the Latin of it.
Let’s see what comes of this.
UPDATE: I came across a useful article on Andrew of Crete this morning, which gives us a little more information.
The best study of Andrew and his work is apparently S. Valhé, “Saint André de Crete”, Echos d’Orient 5 (1902), 378-87. There are some modern articles in Greek also. Also M.-F. Auzépy, “La carriere de André de Crete”, BZ 88 (1995) 1-12.
The Encomium may not, in fact, be by Andrew of Crete. It seems that Anrich expressed doubts on this (154-60, 339-56) which were endorsed by N. Sevcenko in The Life of St Nicholas in Byzantine Art, Turin, 1983, p.26. Apparently Auzépy fails to mention this question, tho.
 Mary B. Cunningham, “Andrew of Crete: a high-style preacher of the eighth century”, in: M. Cunningham and P. Allen, Preacher and His Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics, 1998, 267-294. ↩
Il Comune di Alghero, nell’ambito del progetto Europeo “I AM - International Augmented Med” di cui è capofila, ha pubblicato due bandi per l’individuazione dei migliori progetti di app per dispositivi mobili e di un prodotto audiovisivo innovativo su dispositivi a pilotaggio remoto, volti a promuovere il patrimonio culturale e ambientale del territorio di Alghero.
Le projet TALIE figure au programme du colloque « Digital Humanities : l’exemple de l’Antiquité (DHANT) », qui se tient à Grenoble du 2 au 4 septembre 2015, présenté par Séverine Clément-Tarantino, Mélanie Lucciano et Charlotte Tournier. Ce billet expose les questions que ce projet collaboratif soulève, les enjeux, ainsi que les premiers pas effectués.
Genèse de « TALIE »
« TALIE » est un projet collaboratif qui a commencé à être mis en œuvre au cours de l’année universitaire 2014-2015 grâce au soutien financier de la MESHS Nord-Pas-de-Calais, de l’équipe HALMA (UMR 8164, CNRS-Univ. Lille-MCC), du Service commun de la documentation de l’Université Lille 3, en partenariat avec les équipes « STL » de Lille 3, « Rome et ses renaissances » de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne et « CPTC » (Centre pluridisciplinaire textes et cultures) de l’Université de Bourgogne. Intégré aux axes de recherche du thème 4 de l’équipe Halma, il va se développer sur plusieurs années pour aboutir à plusieurs réalisations relevant des humanités numériques : création d’un site-portail, édition de textes en ligne, base de données.
L’acronyme TALIE, après quelques évolutions, signifie : « Traditions de l’Antiquité à Lille et dans l’Eurorégion ». Ces « Traditions » se développent en deux grands pans : les « Textes » et les « Traces ».
Une même volonté traverse les différentes parties du projet : participer à la valorisation et à la transmission d’un héritage richement représenté dans la région Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Notre démarche est multiple : elle relève de la médiation culturelle et scientifique par notre volonté de toucher des publics variés, elle est scientifique par les travaux de recherche, de traduction et d’édition que nous avons entrepris à propos de certains monuments ou textes ; enfin, elle se veut pédagogique par la volonté que nous avons de faire participer les étudiants – du département des langues et cultures antiques (LCA), mais pas seulement – aux différentes étapes du projet et de leur permettre à l’occasion de développer des compétences complémentaires de celles qu’ils acquièrent dans le cadre de leur formation. Depuis deux ans, les étudiants de première année de la licence HSI (« Humanités et Sciences de l’Information ») s’exercent ainsi à la rédaction de descriptions des œuvres à sujet mythologique conservées dans les musées de Lille et d’autres villes de la région ; dans le cadre d’une UE 10 « projet numérique », plusieurs étudiants se sont lancés l’an dernier sur la piste des « traces » de l’Antiquité dans Lille (voir plus bas) ; le travail entrepris sur les textes est, quant à lui, ouvert à tous les étudiants aimant traduire du latin, curieux de découvrir des textes inhabituels anciens et moins anciens (jusqu’au XVIIIe siècle) ou intéressés par le travail d’édition numérique (encodage xml/TEI en premier lieu).
Le projet TALIE est né de la rencontre entre les convictions de ses deux principaux responsables (Séverine Clément-Tarantino et Christophe Hugot) : qu’il vaut la peine de (re)faire des références à l’Antiquité présentes autour de nous des références partagées, c’est-à-dire comprises du plus grand nombre ; qu’il est temps de s’intéresser à des œuvres ayant servi de relais dans l’histoire de la réception de l’Antiquité et souvent dotées d’une grande valeur propre, pour éviter qu’elles ne se perdent ou ne soient jamais appréciées à leur juste valeur.
« Textes »
Ce chapitre a été rédigé par Séverine Clément-Tarantino, Mélanie Lucciano et Charlotte Tournier.
En ce qui concerne les « Textes », le déclic est venu d’une prise de conscience de la très grande richesse des fonds anciens des bibliothèques de la région, à commencer par la Bibliothèque universitaire centrale de Lille 3. Plusieurs manuscrits considérables et des éditions anciennes remarquables d’œuvres antiques y sont conservés. Certaines ont déjà donné lieu à plusieurs publications ou se retrouvent régulièrement au cœur d’expositions visant à mettre en valeur et à faire connaître le fonds ancien. C’est notamment le cas d’une édition commentée de Virgile datant de 1512 et due au grand imprimeur et savant humaniste Josse Bade (voir par exemple le billet rédigé pour Insula par Cécile Martini). C’est aussi le cas d’une édition postérieure (début XVIIe) due au grand savant jésuite espagnol Juan Luis de la Cerda. Il s’agit d’un commentaire, écrit en latin, sur les trois œuvres de Virgile : Bucoliques, Géorgiques, Énéide ; ce commentaire est de plus en plus souvent cité aujourd’hui par les chercheurs, spécialistes de Virgile ou de la tradition des commentaires, mais il reste à bien des égards mal connu. Or la réserve patrimoniale de la BU de Lille 3 compte un des deux volumes concernant l’Énéide. Les trois volumes qui composent la totalité de ce commentaire se trouvent à la Bibliothèque de l’Agglomération de Saint-Omer – qui renferme elle-même de nombreux trésors, qu’il s’agisse de Virgile ou d’autres auteurs de l’Antiquité (ou, comme beaucoup le savent désormais, de Shakespeare ! ).
Le travail que nous avons accompli en cette première année de TALIE a, de fait, consisté à effectuer un repérage des œuvres auxquelles nous voudrions rapidement consacrer un travail de médiation et éventuellement d’édition − cela dépendra de nos forces ! − ; par ailleurs, de façon concrète, nous avons commencé à travailler sur le commentaire virgilien de Juan Luis de la Cerda, en en entreprenant la traduction (nous avons commencé par la traduction du commentaire sur le livre III des Géorgiques) puis en en préparant l’édition numérique (encodage en xml-TEI). Nous sommes aujourd’hui quatre à travailler sur ce texte ; nous serions ravis d’accueillir d’autres collaborateurs, que leur envie soit de traduire du latin, d’identifier des références, de découvrir les joies de l’encodage xml !
Ce que nous faisons sur ce texte illustre l’aspect le plus spécialisé de TALIE. Mais y compris sur un tel texte, nous voulons pouvoir communiquer à différents publics ce que sont ses principales caractéristiques et ce qui, non seulement du point de vue de son contenu − de la « trace » de l’Antiquité qu’il représente −, mais aussi de sa forme d’objet-livre, le rend si précieux et remarquable. À côté du travail d’édition numérique, qui aura peut-être pour débouché le site HyperDonat, il nous faut donc penser et lancer le travail de diffusion de la recherche ou de médiation sur ces « Textes ». Parmi les ouvrages que nous avons retenus pour les traiter dans un proche avenir, mentionnons le manuscrit du XIVe portant la Pharsale de Lucain avec des gloses conservé à la Bibliothèque de l’Agglomération de Saint-Omer et dont une version numérisée est déjà disponible. Le « Virgile de Moreau » (1648), une édition rare de l’Énéide avec la traduction de Pierre Perrin et imprimée dans les très beaux caractères dus à l’imprimeur et calligraphe Pierre Moreau, fait aussi partie de cette première sélection : nous avons la chance de pouvoir consulter cet ouvrage dans la réserve patrimoniale de Lille 3 et lui aussi vaut la peine d’être connu, pour sa forme autant que pour son contenu.
Un dernier mot sur la façon dont nous avons opéré cette sélection : nous sommes partis en quête de Virgile, mais quand Rémy Cordonnier, de la BASO, a attiré notre attention sur le manuscrit de Lucain, nous avons facilement accepté de ne pas nous limiter absolument aux manuscrits et éditions des textes d’un seul poète. Nous étions surtout à la recherche de commentaires des œuvres classiques, mais il nous a rapidement semblé naturel d’intégrer des traductions de ces œuvres étant donné les liens étroits entre les deux pratiques (les traducteurs se sont souvent nourri des commentaires, et certaines traductions tiennent du commentaire). Les centres d’intérêt dominants des collaborateurs du versant « Textes » sont pris en considération et nous tenons par ailleurs beaucoup à la collaboration avec nos collègues conservateurs et bibliothécaires : en 2014-2015, une des manifestations organisées, dans le cadre du projet, par Isabelle Westeel, directrice du SCD de Lille 3, a permis des échanges très stimulants entre chercheurs, étudiants, conservateurs et responsables de bibliothèques et c’est dans cet esprit que nous voudrions continuer de travailler. L’équipe TALIE reste ouverte : si, en l’occurrence, la tradition des textes anciens et l’univers des bibliothèques anciennes vous intéressent, s’il y a un « texte » que vous-même voudriez mettre en lumière, n’hésitez pas à nous rejoindre.
« Traces »
Ce chapitre a été rédigé par Christophe Hugot.
Le second volet du projet se nomme « Traces ». Dans ce projet, il s’agit de retrouver les traces antiques dans l’espace urbain, à savoir − dans un premier temps − la ville de Lille intra muros.
Par la recherche de traces antiques, nous ne pensons pas à l’inventaire de vestiges de l’Antiquité − inexistants à Lille − mais à la survivance de l’Antiquité qui se trouve éparpillée dans la ville. Cela concerne la reprise d’éléments architecturaux antiques dans l’architecture moderne et contemporaine, la reprise de figures et de symboles, de noms.
Le projet « Traces » est né du constat que la ville comporte nombre de références antiques mais que ces dernières ne sont plus perçues, soit parce qu’elles se sont imposées à nous dans leur symbolique moderne soit, plus généralement, parce que ces références ne sont simplement plus compréhensibles. La plupart de ceux qui arpentent la ville sont en effet comme Usbek et Rica, des Persans perplexes face à des références devenues illisibles.
Pour reprendre l’avertissement d’Hannah Arendt, « nous sommes en danger d’oubli ». Face à ce danger, le projet « Traces » souhaite donner des clés de compréhension et inviter le passant à observer et décrypter un détail architectural, un chapiteau, une frise, une caryatide, une divinité, un nom, une inscription, une enseigne, et d’en comprendre l’origine. Il s’agit également de rendre compréhensibles les appellations fréquentes trouvées dans un contexte urbain, comme peuvent l’être les mots forum, agora, colisée, musée.
« Traces » souhaite, par exemple, montrer que la déesse symbolisant la Ville de Lille, imposante statue de bronze réalisée par Théophile Bra et inaugurée en 1845, a beaucoup à voir avec les statues antiques de déesses portant une tour sur leur tête. « Traces » veut montrer que l’aile de Niké se retrouve dans le célèbre logo qui orne la boutique de l’équipementier sportif Nike. « Traces » veut expliquer pourquoi un marchand de chaussures s’appelle Cothurne, ou souligner l’origine ovidienne de la devise d’un marchand de dessous féminins, « l’art d’aimer ».
Avec le projet « Traces », nous ne voulons pas nous adresser seulement au grand public curieux, ou au public scolaire. Deux exemples avec Hermès montrent l’intérêt de savoir décoder les symboles présents dans l’espace urbain.
Dans un ouvrage récent sur l’architecture universitaire lilloise, publié par des spécialistes, est mentionnée la Bibliothèque universitaire Georges Lyon, inaugurée en 1907. L’auteur de la notice écrit à propos de ce bâtiment : « Traité comme un temple de la connaissance à l’effigie du dieu Hermès, il est typique du style académique antiquisant ». On serait en droit de s’étonner de la présence d’Hermès pour décorer une bibliothèque, mais ce n’est évidemment pas lui qui figure au-dessus de la porte monumentale. Le personnage au casque ailé est ici Athéna, bien à sa place à l’entrée de ce lieu de savoir qu’est une bibliothèque, comme déesse de la sagesse, aisément identifiable pour un familier des dieux gréco-romains à son gorgonéion.
Autre exemple avec Hermès. Parmi les boutiques de Lille, on en trouve une de la célèbre marque « Hermès ». Il serait évidemment tentant d’associer le nom de la divinité du commerce et des voyageurs avec une entreprise qui fut à son origine une manufacture de harnais et de selles. Le logo d’« Hermès », adopté par la marque en 1945, représente une calèche − ou plus précisément un petit duc − tirée par deux chevaux devant laquelle se tient un homme portant un chapeau haut-de-forme. On pourrait en conclure qu’il s’agit d’une version actualisée des nombreuses représentations antiques montrant le dieu Hermès devant un char. Mais c’est là encore faire fausse route avec Hermès car la célèbre marque de luxe ne tient pas son nom du dieu espiègle mais de son fondateur, un certain Thierry Hermès, maître artisan harnacheur sellier, qui créa sa première manufacture à Paris en 1837.
« Traces » en est aujourd’hui à ses prémices. La méthode consiste à définir un secteur urbain (une rue par exemple) et à en relever l’intégralité des éléments perçus comme étant susceptibles d’avoir une origine antique. Chaque élément est enregistré sur une grille et photographié. Ensuite, les éléments recueillis sont décrits et nourris d’éléments rédactionnels. Pour mener à bien cette première étape, des étudiants ont été mis à contribution.
L’année universitaire 2014-2015 a servi d’essai pour parvenir à établir une grille, en définissant les items à renseigner. L’année 2015-2016 devrait permettre d’établir la structure de la base de données.
La base de données de « Traces » pourra éventuellement être croisée avec d’autres bases, comme celles de musées, ou de manuscrits, pour faire correspondre des thématiques artistiques, archéologiques ou textuelles avec les éléments trouvés dans l’espace urbain. La matière de cette base de données pourra servir à de nombreux développements. On peut par exemple imaginer qu’elle puisse servir à concevoir des parcours dans la ville selon des thématiques précises en offrant la possibilité de créer ses propres plans de ville, ou de générer des applications mobiles permettant de parcourir la ville à la recherche des inscriptions latines, des dieux antiques, des éléments égyptiens et orientaux, des symboles du pouvoir ou des professions, ou l’ensemble de ces sujets dans un endroit précis de la ville.
« TALIE » en 2015-2016
À partir de la rentrée universitaire, un atelier de traduction aura lieu au moins une fois par mois le vendredi (créneau horaire et salle seront précisés bientôt). On poursuivra le travail sur le commentaire de la Cerda ; selon les participants, il pourra aussi s’agir d’encodage xml. N’hésitez pas vous renseigner si vous avez envie de traduire du latin et ces textes singuliers que sont les commentaires !
Contact : email@example.com
Au premier semestre de l’année 2015-2016, le mercredi après-midi (de 14h30 à 15h30, salle à vérifier) : Jean-Christophe Jolivet consacrera un séminaire à une première exploration du manuscrit 660 de Lucain conservé à Saint-Omer.
Au second semestre de l’année 2016-2017, en lien avec l’UE 10 de licence « Projet numérique », Christophe Hugot et Séverine Clément-Tarantino animeront plusieurs séances de travail sur le versant « Traces » de TALIE. Des séances de présentation et d’organisation du travail seront auront sans doute pris place déjà dans les mois d’automne.
Étudiants ayant participé au projet en 2014-2015 :
Sur le versant « Traces » : Amina Boukhari, Mathilde Créton, Elizabeth Facompré, Pauline Goujet, Justine Malpeli, Mathieu Payen, Mathilde Sarot, Marie-Julie Teixeira, Constance Warnet.
Sur le versant « Textes » : Valentin Decloquement, Rémy Ghirincelli.
À propos du colloque DHANT
« Humanités numériques et Antiquité » : 2/4 septembre 2015 à Grenoble. Voir le programme.
TINY PROVERBS: Today's tiny proverb is: Vivis sperandum (English: The living must have hope).
3-WORD MOTTOES: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Libertas optima rerum (English: Freedom is the best of things).
ANIMAL PROVERBS: Today's animal proverb is Est avi cuique nidus formosus ubique (English: To each bird, its own nest is always beautiful).
POLYDORUS: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Inter os et offam multum interest (English: Much can happen between the morsel and the mouth).
PROPER NAME PROVERBS: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Tertius Cato (English: A third Cato; from Adagia 1.8.89 - This referred to an opinionated and unyielding person, following in the tradition of Cato the Elder and Cato the Younger).
GREEK PROVERBS: Today's proverb is Ἐλέφας μῦν οὐ δάκνει (English: An elephant doesn't bite a fly; see the bottom of the post for a graphic).
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: Ἐλέφας μῦν οὐ δάκνει. Elephas murem non mordet. An elephant doesn't bite a mouse.
Upload is part of the interdisciplinary research project From Object to Icon, conducted at the Institute for Egyptology in cooperation with the research group Multimedia Information Systems at the University of Vienna (funded by the Austrian Science Fund, project number P 25958). It is based on the research that was initiated with the project MeKeTRE (Middle Kingdom Tomb Relief Evolution), in the course of which we have started to systematically collect, research, and study the reliefs and paintings of Middle Kingdom tombs of Ancient Egypt. For more details on the projects click here.
The data collected so far are available online in the MEKETREpositorythat has been developed in order to serve public use. It provides users with a collection of themes and scenes attested in the decorative programme of the tombs of officials datable to the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom (ca. 2150–1640 BC) and encompasses plans, images (drawings and photographs), descriptions as well as references.
Upload constitutes a crowd sourcing approach that is ideally suited to enrich the MEKETREpository. It is a platform enabling users to upload unrestricted high-quality photographs depicting relevant art items in Middle Kingdom tombs, provide annotations, or suggest inclusion of new thesaurus terms. It offers an easy-to-use interface through which everyone can share private photo collections and perform simple repetitive but highly helpful tasks, thereby contributing to the scholarly enterprise. Upload is meant to engage both scholars as well as the interested public.
The expected results are twofold: First, we aim to acquire extensive material (especially photographs) that has the potential to complement the MEKETREpository. All data of sufficient quality gathered through Upload will be regularly transferred to the repository and certainly improve its usability. Second, the methods developed and applied in the implementation and data gathering process will constitute a contribution on their own, hopefully providing valuable insights about quality assessment and integration of data coming from citizen science projects.
Utilizing a crowd sourcing approach to support the work of Egyptologists is a novel yet promising way to assist the workflow of scholars.
This post provides my preliminary analysis of a newly-discovered Tangut wordbook which was sold at auction in November 2014, and was recently displayed at an exhibition of rare and precious books owned by private collectors at the National Library of China in Beijing. The provenance of this text is unknown, but I believe it to be genuine. See my previous blog post for further background
Sponsored by AIA-DC Valerie French Memorial Lecture & Subscription Dinner
Event Type (you may select more than one):
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 6:15pm
The event is a subscription dinner with a lecture by George Washington University's Professor Eric Cline. The cash bar opens at 6:15pm; dinner begins at 7:00pm; and the lecture starts at 8:00pm. Reservation forms for the dinner and lecture can be found online at www.dcaia.org (under "Subscription Dinner"). The lecture itself is free and open to the public, but one still needs to make a reservation. Read more »
500 resti di leoni delle caverne, dieci punte di giavellotti in selce e il cranio di un orso speleo colpito da un giavellotto sono stati trovati nella grotta Imanai negli Urali. Pavel Kosintsev del dipartimento Urali della Russian Academy of Science ha dichiarato che una quantità tale di resti di leone delle caverne e' un caso più unico che raro, il solo caso al mondo!
I leoni sono stati ritrovati nelle profondità della caverna, il che e' decisamente inusuale per i leoni. Le ossa rappresentano i resti di animali feriti o ammalati che sono stati trasportati all'interno della caverna da umani.
Kosinev ritiene che il trasporto di questi animali all'interno della grotta avesse un potere simbolico. Altre "grotte santuario" sono già state trovate in Austria e Repubblica Ceca, ma questa sarebbe di gran lunga la più antica.
Le punte musteriane trovate sono gli unici segni di attività antropica nella caverna, all'attuale stato delle ricerche. I livelli inferiori più antichi risalgono ad almeno 60.000 anni fa, se le datazioni daranno risultati ancora più antichi sarebbe "il piu' antico santuario di questo tipo del mondo".
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HAWAII—A U.S. Naval tanker that served in both World War II and the Korean War has been found in the protected waters of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. “This is a ship that wasn’t a glamourous part of World War II history, but was an important part,” Kelly Keogh, Maritime Heritage Coordinator for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, told Hawaii News Now. The USNS Mission San Miguel transported fuel for military vessels, and was traveling from Guam to Seattle in 1957 when it hit a reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and sank. The crew survived the incident, but the wreckage, hidden by the reef, was lost. To read more about underwater discoveries, go to "History's 10 Greatest Wrecks."
The Roman period village of Shikhin in Israel’s Lower Galilee is one of those sites. On one hand, it fills out our picture of Jewish villages in the Roman period. The material culture allows archaeologists to see connections between Judeans in the [...]
Arts asiatiques a repris la tâche qu'avait assumée la Revue des Arts asiatiques, fondée en 1924. Après une interruption due à la deuxième guerre mondiale, cette revue a repris, sous l'égide des Musées Guimet et Cernuschi, son rôle d'information. Arts asiatiques fait paraître chaque année, sans périodicité, des recueils d'articles de fond, largement illustrés, sur des questions d'archéologie et d'art de l'Asie, ainsi qu'une chronique et des comptes rendus.
ITHACA, NEW YORK—Two artifacts recovered from the graves of high-status people buried in the chancel of Virginia’s James Fort church were scanned by Mark Riccio, director of the Cornell Biotechnology Resource Center’s computed tomography scanning facilities. Jamestown Rediscovery senior conservator Michael Lavin and senior staff archaeologist David Givens took a small, sealed silver box and a block of earth containing silver threads to Riccio, who developed protocols to scan the objects. Together, the scientists were able to establish that the block of earth contained silver and silk threads and silver spangles that came from a captain’s sash, leading to the identification of Captain William West. “If you had given me the object, I could interpret the X-ray dataset but I wouldn’t have known enough about the object. But sitting with archaeologists, they could ask specific questions, and working together, we could answer those questions,” Riccio said in a press release. The silver box was examined and sent on to General Electric for even higher energy CT scans, which revealed small bones and a lead ampulla traditionally used for holding blood in a Roman Catholic reliquary. This item is thought to have belonged to Captain Gabriel Archer, whose Catholic parents had refused to join the Anglican Church. Finer scans may reveal an insignia on the ampulla. “But it’s still not clear that it was a Catholic artifact,” Lavin said. For more, go to "Burials of High-Status Leaders Indentified at Jamestown."
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK—The human body has gone through four main stages of evolution, according to an international team of scientists who studied fossils from the Sima de los Huesos in Spain’s Sierra de Atapuerca. The site of Sima de los Huesos, or “Pit of Bones,” dates back some 430,000 years and contains more human fossils than have been found anywhere else in the world. The researchers then compared the Atapuerca individuals to the rest of the human fossil record and found that they fit into the third stage of evolution, and shared many anatomical features with later Neanderthals. They were relatively tall, with wide, muscular bodies and less brain mass relative to body mass compared to Neanderthals. “This is really interesting since it suggests that the evolutionary process in our genus is largely characterized by stasis (i.e. little to no evolutionary change) in body form for most of our evolutionary history,” Rolf Quam of Binghamton University said in a press release. Such tall, wide, robust walkers seem to have been present in the genus Homo for more than a million years. Taller, lighter, narrower bodies emerged later with modern humans. To read more about Sima de los Huesos, go to "A Place to Hide the Bodies."
LUXOR, EGYPT—The 26th Dynasty tomb of Padibastet, the vizier of Upper Egypt, has been discovered within the tomb of Karabasken, who was ruler of Thebes and the fourth priest of Amun during the 25th Dynasty. The tomb contained paintings and architectural features that had been made especially for Padibastet. The members of the South Assassif Conservation Project expect to learn more as the survey continues and the tomb is excavated and cleaned. “Padibastet could be buried in a shaft inside the court or in a main burial chamber of Karabasken tomb,” Elena Pischikova, head of the mission, told Ahram Online. To read more about a recently discovered Egyptian burial, see "Tomb of the Chantress."
Bij opgravingen in het kader van de Oosterweelverbinding hebben de Antwerpse stadsarcheologen in Deurne gebouwresten gevonden die verband houden met het legendarische Papenhof. Een proefsleuf ter hoogte van de geplande verlegging van de rivier het Groot Schijn leverde muurresten op die teruggaan tot de middeleeuwen. Het Papenhof was vroeger in bezit van de Sint-Michielsabdij, maar raakte na de Franse revolutie in verval. De laatste restanten verdwenen in het midden van de 20ste eeuw. In september volgt in deze zone een uitgebreider onderzoek.
I could write about the strange aesthetics of annihilation, iconoclasm, nationalism, symbolism, weaponized cultural heritage and the murder of people, a place, an archaeologist. I am supposed to be an expert in this, after all. Intimate of the ancient.
Or, on a more personal level–how Palmyra blushed toward the blue desert sky. How I was ragged sick so I didn’t take very many photos, but dragged around the site anyway, sitting in the shade of columns. Picking out details. Petting the friendly cats in the ruins. Now every time I hear about something else being destroyed I go back over the same photos. How it was the same when I found out about the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, the Al-Madina Souq, Crac de Chevalier, Bosra, the Dead Cities–a UNESCO listing is a death sentence. These are only the big, well-known sites, there is extensive looting, destroying sites beyond all recovery.
It is easy to be glib (oh, now we can get to everything underneath! they were recorded anyway!) or post-modern (it’s only my white, western, colonialist/orientalist thinking that makes me care about old stacked stones), or relativistic (concrete houses & Greco-roman art, it’s all the same) and I’ve struggled through and re-written these scant 267 words. Yes, I care about people, I care about places, I care about things.
But I’m supposed to be an expert in caring about heritage and I still can’t find any fucking words. (though these help tremendously)
I have often turned here to Bayan’s ed. of the Armenian synaxarion in PO (see here for the appropriate volumes for each month). Thanks to archive.org, these volumes are all easily accessible, and thus it makes for a convenient reading-text. My colleague, Ed Mathews, in his recently inaugurated series of volumes providing an Armenian synaxarion text with facing ET, briefly sets forth the known versions of the synaxarion in Armenian and also points out that Bayan’s ed. is not quite what he says it is, namely, that of Tēr Israel (pp. xvii-xix). Others, too, have discussed the state of things with the Armenian synaxarion versions (see the bibliography below).
Among HMML’s collections there are, of course, some synaxarion manuscripts, so for today, here is one such manuscript, with a single episode from one of today’s commemorations, that of Symeon the Stylite, compared with Bayan’s edition. The manuscript in question is APIB (Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, Balat) 1, dated 1637, and with very clear Bolorgir script. Our passage appears on p. 72, col. b, lines 10-20; the corresponding text in Bayan’s ed. is in PO 5: 470.
Here, then, is the manuscript image, the transcribed text of the manuscript and Bayan’s ed. aligned by sentence, some vocabulary and grammar notes for students of the language, and English translations of each.
APIB 1, p. 72, col. b, lines 10-20
A = APIB 1
B = Bayan
A Կին մի ի գիշերի ջուր ըմպելով. եւ ընդ ջրոյն գնաց յորովայն նորա ձագ աւձի։
B Կին ոմն ի գիշերի ջուր ըմպելով՝ եմուտ յորովայն նորա ընդ ջրոյն ձագ օձի,
ըմպեմ, արբի, ա՛րբ to drink (here inf.instr.)
գնամ, գնացի to go
որովայն, -ից belly
ձագ, -ուց young (of a particular animal)
աւձ, -ից serpent
մտանեմ, մտիմ մուտ to enter
A եւ սնեալ աճեաց ի փորն՝ եւ յո՛յժ չարչարէր ըզկինն։
B եւ սնեալ ի փորին՝ աճեաց եւ յոյժ չարչարէր զկինն.
սնանիմ, սնայ to be nourished, fed
աճեմ, -եցի to grow, increase
փոր, -ոյ/-ի belly, abdomen, insides, cavity
յոյժ very, very much, considerably
չարչարեմ, -եցի to torment, cause pain
A եւ նա՛ գնացեալ առ ս(ուր)բն սիմէոն եւ ասաց զկիրս անձինն աղաչելով զնա՝ զի աւգնեսցէ՛ նմա։
B եւ գնացեալ առ երանելին աղաչեաց։
ասեմ, ասացի to say
կիրք, կրից (pl. tantum) suffering, pain, torment, passions, emotion, sentiment
անձն, անձին, անձանց person, being, mind, heart, self
աղաչեմ, -եցի to supplicate, pray
աւգնեմ, -եցի to help, assist
A Եւ ընդ աղօ՛թել սրբոյն ել աւձն ընդ բերան կնոջն.
B Եւ սուրբն Սիմէոն աղօթիւք եհան զօձն ընդ բերան կնոջն.
While a woman was drinking water at night, a young serpent went into her belly along with the water, and it was nourished and grew in her insides and was causing the woman considerable pain. So she went to Saint Symeon and spoke of her suffering, asking him to help her, and at the praying of the saint the serpent went out through the woman’s mouth, fell to the ground, and died. In size it was one cubit.
ET of Bayan’s text
While a certain woman was drinking water at night, a young serpent entered her belly along with the water, and it was nourished in her insides and grew and was causing the woman considerable pain. So she went to the blessed [Symeon] in supplication, and with his prayer Saint Symeon drew the serpent out through the woman’s mouth, and immediately it died. It was one cubit.
Adontz, N. “Note sur les synaxaires arméniens.” Revue de l’Orient Chrétien 24 (1924): 211–218.
Mathews, Jr., Edward G. On this Day: The Armenian Church Synaxarion, January. Provo, 2014.
Mécérian, J. “Introduction à l’étude des synaxaires arméniens.” Bulletin Arménologique, Mélanges de l’Université de S. Joseph 43 (1953): 99–128.
Nersessian, S. Der. “Le synaxaire arménien de Grégoire VII d’Anazarbe.” Analecta Bollandiana 68 (1950): 261–285.
Parts of the manuscript are bilingual, providing the Greek text of certain prayers in addition to the Arabic. The manuscript was copied in 1682; the right-hand page features an ownership inscription from 1695 [...]
The Tell-es-Safi/Gath project has recently been receiving much attention due to the recent discovery of the monumental city gate. As someone who was there at the time of the discovery, I can attest to the fact that it was very exciting to see and to be a part of! But…
Quali sono gli aspetti critici legati al trasferimento di un oggetto d'arte da una sede ad un'altra? Gli esperti che si riuniranno il 18 settembre a Brera affronteranno i numerosi temi legati alle opere in movimento. Nuovo incontro a Brera e quinto della serie di conferenze del ciclo Conservare per ricordare. Un viaggio tra le eccellenze italiane, voluto dal MiBACT per EXPO 2015.
Leipzig and Tufts Universities
September 1, 2015
This is a preliminary call for comment and for participation.
I expect to be teaching an advanced Greek course in Spring 2016, quite possibly on Thucydides. I would like to explore the possibility of coordinating that teaching with others so that our students can interact and, ideally, collaborate across institutions and even across countries. Courses may also be in advanced Greek but can be on history, archaeology or any other subject relevant to the period. This model of collaboration can be applied quite broadly and others may pursue such collaborations in my subjects. My particular goal is to get something started in North America that focuses on Fifth-Century Greek History and that could feed into the Sunoikisis DC efforts that my colleague Monica Berti began in 2015.
The goals of this collaboration are
(1) to connect students, who may be in small and somewhat isolated classes or in larger lecture classes and who often have little sense that they are participating in a larger community of learners.
(2) to enable students to contribute something as they learn and to leave behind contributions with their names attached. Larger lecture classes could, for example, contribute by analyzing people and places in English translations and thus participate in social network and/or geospatial analysis. Advanced language courses could, for example, contribute by treebanking texts.
(3) to link courses in Europe, North America and elsewhere by exploiting the differing academic schedules in different countries. Students in North America who begin their semesters in January 2016 can aim to develop courses projects and presentations that will feed into courses that begin at Leipzig in April, with US students presenting via videoconference to introduce topics and methods to students in Germany. In January and early February 2017, European students, who began their classes in October 2016, can reciprocate, presenting topics and methods to North American students, who can, in turn, present in April to the next semester of Europeans students. Here we hope not only to help students develop ties across national boundaries but to recognize that learning is an on-going and cumulative process.
One method of collaboration would be to participate in the 2016 version of http://sunoikisisdc.github.io/SunoikisisDC/ (Sunoikisis Digital Classics), which in turn builds up on the long term efforts of the http://sunoikisis.org/ program that Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies supports. Collaborations can, however, take various forms. Different classes could, for example, focus upon a single task (e.g., Treebanking selections of Greek historical sources or focusing upon comprehensive Treebanking of a particular author). Different classes might create shared discussion lists or complementary projects (e.g., one class focusing on language and another on the material record). I particularly welcome anyone from the Boston area who would be interested in the possibility of having our students meet jointly in person one or more times.
I welcome both public discussions in venues such as the Digital Classicist and private inquiries (which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Collambay, located in the chaupiyunga zone of the Moche Valley in northern Peru, sits on the eastern frontier of the coastal Chimú empire and was home to an Inca King’s coca fields. Archaeological, ethnohistorical and linguistic data from Collambay indicates its residents interacted with the coastal Chimú Empire, local Highland groups, and Inca Empire throughout the Late Andean Period (AD 1000-1470). Read more »
The Lower Mississippi Valley is among the richest archaeological regions on the continent. Home to thousands of earthern mounds, it contains both the oldest and some of the most elaborate monumental architecture in North America. The Coles Creek culture (AD 700–1000) existed during a particularly dynamic period in Lower Mississippi Valley history, when the construction of platform mounds became common place, people first began relying on domesticated plants, and a hierarchical sociopolitical system began to develop. Read more »
The Hellenistic period, the three centuries between the death of Alexander the Great of Macedon in 323 BC and the establishment of the Roman Empire at the end of the first century BC, was a critical era in the history of Greek art that has traditionally received less attention than earlier periods. This major international loan exhibition examines the rich diversity of art forms that arose through the patronage of the royal courts of the Hellenistic Kingdoms. Special emphasis is placed on Pergamon, capital of the Attalid dynasty which ruled over large parts of Asia Minor. Read more »