Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

This feed aggregator is part of the Planet Atlantides constellation. Its current content is available in multiple webfeed formats, including Atom, RSS/RDF and RSS 1.0. The subscription list is also available in OPML and as a FOAF Roll. All content is assumed to be the intellectual property of the originators unless they indicate otherwise.

November 25, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

La rive orientale de la mer Rouge, d'Aqaba aux Îles Farasan durant l'Antiquité

Conférence donnée par Laila Nehmé dans le cadre du Séminaire "Techniques et économies de la Méditerranée antique" dirigé par Jean-Pierre Brun.

Pour en savoir plus sur ce séminaire

November 21, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

L'hittitologie aujourd'hui : études sur l'Anatolie hittite et néo-hittite à l'occasion du centenaire de la naissance d'Emmanuel Laroche

Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Université Koç, Istiklal cadd. 181, Beyoglu/Istanbul

Colloque organisé par Alice Mouton et l'Institut Français d'études anatoliennes (IFEA)

Ces rencontres se tiendront à l'occasion du centenaire de la naissance d'Emmanuel Laroche

- Consulter le programme

Contact

November 14, 2014

October 22, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Rencontres scientifiques d'Antiquité Classique et Tardive

Programme de la première séance

- Pour en savoir plus sur ces rencontres

October 16, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

L'argent des dieux

Colloque organisé par Julie Masquelier-Loorius, Jonathan Cornillon et Jean-Marie Salamito

Les rapports entre les religions et l'argent sont loin de se limiter aux discours que développent souvent les premières en matière de régulation éthique des activités lucratives et d'usage des richesses. Toute vie religieuse implique – à des échelles diverses, mais inévitablement – une dimension économique. Il faut des biens matériels pour les gestes du culte, l'offrande de sacrifices, la fabrication d'objets ou d'images, la construction et l'entretien de sanctuaires, la rétribution d'un clergé ou encore l'organisation de la solidarité communautaire. Quelles sont donc les pratiques des religions en matière d'économie ? Comment les communautés religieuses s'y prennent-elles pour créer, rassembler, gérer, utiliser et distribuer des richesses ? En quoi consiste l'impact concret de la vie religieuse sur la vie économique ? Comment les usages « religieux » de l'argent sont-ils justifiés ou critiqués à l'intérieur des différentes traditions ?

C'est à de telles questions que ce colloque répondra, en étudiant les religions qui ont marqué le monde méditerranéen depuis la plus haute Antiquité jusqu'à la fin du Moyen Âge : les divers polythéismes, le judaïsme, le christianisme, l'islam. La prise en compte d'une aire géographique cohérente permettra d'établir des comparaisons probantes entre des époques différentes et des confessions variées.

L'argent des dieux. Religions et richesses en Méditerranée dans l'Antiquité et au Moyen Âge

Organisé par Julie Masquelier-Loorius, Jonathan Cornillon et Jean-Marie Salamito

affiche_argent_dieux Les rapports entre les religions et l'argent sont loin de se limiter aux discours que développent souvent les premières en matière de régulation éthique des activités lucratives et d'usage des richesses. Toute vie religieuse implique – à des échelles diverses, mais inévitablement – une dimension économique. Il faut des biens matériels pour les gestes du culte, l'offrande de sacrifices, la fabrication d'objets ou d'images, la construction et l'entretien de sanctuaires, la rétribution d'un clergé ou encore l'organisation de la solidarité communautaire. Quelles sont donc les pratiques des religions en matière d'économie ? Comment les communautés religieuses s'y prennent-elles pour créer, rassembler, gérer, utiliser et distribuer des richesses ? En quoi consiste l'impact concret de la vie religieuse sur la vie économique ? Comment les usages « religieux » de l'argent sont-ils justifiés ou critiqués à l'intérieur des différentes traditions ?

C'est à de telles questions que ce colloque répondra, en étudiant les religions qui ont marqué le monde méditerranéen depuis la plus haute Antiquité jusqu'à la fin du Moyen Âge : les divers polythéismes, le judaïsme, le christianisme, l'islam. La prise en compte d'une aire géographique cohérente permettra d'établir des comparaisons probantes entre des époques différentes et des confessions variées.

Consulter le programme du colloque

avec le soutien du Labex RESMED

October 15, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Les religions et l'argent

En parallèle du Colloque "L'argent des dieux " qui se tiendra du 16 au 18 octobre, un Café des sciences dont le thème sera : "les religions et l'argent" est organisé le 15 octobre à 18h30 à l'Espace Pierre Gilles de Gennes, 10 rue Vauquelin Paris 5e.

Les invités débattront dans un premier temps des relations établies entre les religions et l'argent de l'Antiquité jusqu'au Moyen-Âge.
Dans un deuxième temps sera abordé la place de l'économie religieuse dans les sociétés contemporaines.

Participeront à ce débat :
Julie Masquelier Loorius, épigraphiste à Orient et Méditerranée
Jean-Marie Salamito, historien à Orient et Méditerranée
Jonathan Cornillon, historien
Lionel Obadia, anthropologue à l'université Lumière Lyon2
Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, évêque-auxiliaire de Paris, chargé des finances du diocèse de Paris

Le débat sera filmé et diffusé en ligne ensuite sur ce site.

Avec le soutien de la Délégation CNRS Paris A

October 09, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Corps, âmes et normes : approches cliniques, légales et religieuses du handicap

Organisé par :
Hedwige Rouillard-Bonraisin (EPHE - UMR 8167)
Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault (EPHE - UMR 8167)
Jean-Michel Verdier (EPHE)
Christophe Lemardelé (EPHE)

- Consulter le programme

Autour du livre, "Christianisme et philosophie. Les premières confrontations (Ier-VIe siècle)"

Table ronde organisée par l'IRER. Elle portera sur le livre récemment paru de Sébastien Morlet, "Christianisme et philosophie. Les premières confrontations (Ier-VIe siècle)" (Le livre de poche, avril 2014)

La séance sera présidée par Mme Isabelle Bochet (Centre Sèvres - Institut d'études augustiniennes) et réunira Mme Marie-Odile Boulnois (EPHE) et M. Arnaud Perrot (Université Paris Sorbonne Paris-IV)

Sébastien Morlet sera présent et participera au débat qui suivra la présentation du livre.

October 04, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

La guerre et la Grèce

Sous la présidence de Michel ZINK, Secrétaire perpétuel de l'AIBL, Professeur au Collège de France, Président de la Fondation Théodore Reinach, Jacques JOUANNA et Philippe CONTAMINE, membres de l'AIBL.

Messieurs Jacques Jouanna, Jean-Claude Cheynet, Olivier Picard, membres du laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée interviendront lors de ce colloque

- Télécharger le programme

- Télécharger le bulletin d'inscription

- Pour en savoir plus

October 01, 2014

Ancient Art

“Do not stand up against / me as witness; do not...





Do not stand up against / me as witness; do not contradict me in the court; do nothing against me in front of the deities; / do not treat me with hostility in front of the Keeper of the Balance. You are my Ka (life-force), which is in my body; the creator, / who makes the limbs of my body whole; you may come out to the beautiful place, which is there prepared for me. Do not cause my name / to stink in the presence of the members of the court, who make people to resurrected (at) the beautiful place. Excellent is it for the posers; a pleasure is it / for the judge. Do not speak lies against me beside the great god.”

-A translated section from the right scarab, which is from spell 30B of the “Book of the Dead” (trans. Walters).

Scarabs in ancient Egypt.

One of the most well-known amulets from ancient Egypt is the scarab, which represented the dung-beetle. These amulets were usually made of faience or stone, decorated with an almost endless repertoire of geometric and figurative designs engraved on the base, and came in various sizes.

Originally a form of personal seal, scarabs took on the role of good-luck charms. The scarab-beetle itself was associated the Atum and the sun god Re, both deities concerned with resurrection and rebirth. The idea that the dung beetle was symbolic of rebirth and regeneration was probably inspired by its life cycle. When the beetle laid its eggs hidden in the sand, the newly hatched insects would emerge from seemingly nowhere, as though they were the result of self-generation. 

Large scarabs with engraved text from the Book of the Dead were used as a substitute for the heart in burial, intended to ward of evils and help gain the joys of the Egyptian paradise. The scarab shown in the right image is one such heart scarab. This funerary amulet was intended to have a supportive function for its deceased owner in the Court of the Dead, as illustrated by its translated text at the start of the post.

Both chosen examples of scarabs are from the Walters Art MuseumBaltimore, and via their online collections: 1984.30.542.81. The first dates to 946-525 BC (Third Intermediate-early Late Period), and the second, 1070-736 BC (Third Intermediate).

When writing up this post Rosalie David’s Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt (Penguin UK, 2002) was of use.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Chicago House Bulletin

 [First posted in AWOL 28 December 2010. Updated 1 October 2014]

Chicago House Bulletin
The Epigraphic Survey based at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt, is directed by W. Raymond Johnson, PhD, Research Associate (Associate Professor) NELC and Oriental Institute.
The mission of the Survey since its founding in 1924 has been to produce photographs and precise line drawings of the inscriptions and relief scenes on major temples and tombs at Luxor for publication. More recently the Survey has expanded its program to include conservation, restoration, and site management. In addition to the field director, the professional staff of the Survey normally includes three to four epigraphers, four to five artists, two photographers, an architect, a librarian, several conservators, stonemasons, and IT consultants. The epigraphers and artists include both graduate students and post-doctoral scholars who have received training in all aspects of Egyptology. The Epigraphic Survey is currently conducting its 90th archaeological field season.
Some issues of the Chicago House Bulletin originally appeared as a part of the Oriental Institute News & Notes:


For a listing of all Oriental Institute publications available online  see:

Kate Cooper (kateantiquity)

Re-Thinking the link between Religion and Violence

Perugino - altarpiece-of-st-augustine-scene-john-the-tufer-and-the-st-augustine-1510_Fotor

Pietro Perugino, Altarpiece of St Augustine (source: WIki Art)

This week sees the publication of  Religion, Security, and Global Uncertainties a report by a Research Councils UK/Global Uncertainties team on Religion, Martyrdom, and Global Uncertainties sponsored by the Open University and the Research Councils UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research. I’ve had the good fortune to play a small part in the project, and an earlier post, Northern Lights, gave an account of a collaborative workshop that fed into the report.

The report makes fascinating reading. It focuses on how a lack of understanding of how religion ‘works’ causes  problems for policy-makers as they struggle to understand the role religious groups can and do play in challenging (and supporting) national security in the UK. But in fact, the contributions from scholars studying religion from a wide variety of approaches add up to a kaleidoscope of insight on how religion and ‘unreligion’ intersect with conflict.

My own contribution to the report is entitled Religion, Conflict, and ‘The Secular': The View From Early Christianity. In it I try to explain how the idea of ‘secular values’ grew up within fifth-century Christianity as a tool to guard against the moral failings intrinsic to the idea of theocracy in a fallen world.  This goes back, naturally, to Augustine of Hippo’s City of God, his response to the tragedies of religious violence in the parts of Roman Africa that are now North-Eastern Algeria and Northern Tunisia. It is useful, I suggest, to recognise that our modern idea of ‘the secular’ is the creation not of an Enlightenment thinker in a European University, but rather that of a community-leader in ancient North Africa making a point that echoes down through the ages: violence for the sake of religion is not really religion at all.

* * *

Religion, Conflict, and Global Uncertainties (PDF, 48 pp.); Executive Summary and Recommendations (PDF, 2 pp.)


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Mamasani (Iran) Archaeological Project Online Publication

[First posted in AWOL 5 June 2013, updated (changed URLs 1 October 2014]

The Mamasani Archaeological Project: Stage 1
The response from colleagues to the appearance of the first edition of The Mamasani Archaeological Project: Stage One was tremendous but, for various reasons, it proved difficult to distribute the book from Tehran where it was published. Although co-publication with a publisher in Britain, Australia or Europe was investigated five years ago, nothing came of these original enquiries. Earlier this year, we raised the issue of distribution and, with the assistance of Dr Abbas Moghaddam, we put a proposal to Dr Mohammad Mortezaie, Director of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR), suggesting the publication of a revised, second edition, as well as a downloadable PDF version, outside of Iran so that students and scholars with an interest in Iranian archaeology could easily access the book. To our great delight this proposal was approved and the result is before you.
D.T. Potts, University of Sydney.

Purchase

The second edition of The Mamasani archaeological project stage one: A report on the first two seasons of the ICAR–University of Sydney expedition to the Mamasani District, Fars Province, Iran is published by Archaeopress as BAR S2044 and may be ordered directly from them, Amazon.co.uk, or the David Brown Book Co.

Downloads

Complete edition

Individual chapters


High-resolution downloads

Note that these files are extremely large and you will almost certainly be satisfied with the above versions instead.

Complete edition: High-resolution

Individual chapters: High-resolution

Archaeology Magazine

Wild Chimpanzees Observed Transmitting Behavior Socially

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND—The Sonso chimpanzee community living in Uganda’s Budongo Forest has been observed passing a new natural behavior from individual to individual by a team made up of scientists from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Neuchâtel, Anglia Ruskin University, and the Université du Quebec. This is the first time that social transmission has been documented in a wild community. The chimpanzees developed variants of using “leaf-sponges,” which are folded leaves used for drinking water. The variations included adding moss to the leaves to make a drinking device, and reusing a discarded leaf sponge. Science Daily reports that by using a technique called network-based diffusion analysis, the researchers estimated that each time a “naïve” chimpanzee observed moss-sponging, this individual was 15 times more likely to develop the behavior. Thibaud Gruber of the University of Neuchâtel explained that such social learning probably originated in an ancestor common to great apes and humans. “This study tells us that chimpanzee culture changes over time, little by little, by building on previous knowledge found within the community. …In this respect, this is a great example of how studying chimpanzee culture can help us model the evolution of human culture. Nevertheless, something must have subsequently happened in our evolution that caused a qualitative shift in what we could transmit, rendering our culture much more complex than anything found in wild apes. Understanding this qualitative jump in our evolutionary history is what we need to investigate now,” he said. To read more about chimpanzee tool use, see ARCHAEOLOGY's "Cultured Cousins?"

 

American Philological Association

CFP: Addressing Matters in Context: The Art of Persuasion across Genres and Times

This conference will take place at the University of Cyprus from August 7-9, 2015.  Most people think of persuasion in antiquity only in the context of the law-court, where two litigants present their arguments in an attempt to persuade the judges. In reality, however, persuasion was employed in antiquity across many genres and this very generic flexibility makes the forms of persuasion an inherently interesting subject for inquiry for scholars of ancient literature. Since antiquity the art of rhetorical persuasion has also been employed in public speaking. Rhetoric is central to political processes and outcomes: it gives the speakers the power to influence their audience to achieve their political aims.

Newberry Library Fellowships

Newberry Library Fellowships provide support to researchers who wish to use our collection. We promise you intriguing and often rare materials; a lively, interdisciplinary community of researchers; individual consultations on your research with staff curators, librarians, and other scholars; and an array of both scholarly and public programs. Applicants may apply for both Long- and Short- Term Fellowships within one academic year. All applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Newberry’s online catalog and collection guides before applying.

We are now accepting applications for the 2015-16 academic year.  For more information, visit our website: www.newberry.org/fellowships

CFP: Shoes, Slippers and Sandals: Feet and Footwear in Antiquity

The conference will be held at the Great North Museum, Newcastle, on June 29-30, 2015, with a visit to Vindolanda Roman fort and museum also scheduled for 1st July. The standard conference fee is £50 and £35 for students. Tea/coffee, lunches and transport to Vindolanda are included.

Archaeology Magazine

Ancient Earthquake Damage Found in Israel

Israel-Ancient-QuakeHAIFA, ISRAEL—A team led by Michael Eisenberg of the University of Haifa has uncovered the northern section of the first-century basilica at Hippos, a center of Greek and Roman culture located near the Sea of Galilee. The roof of the structure collapsed during an earthquake in 363, killing the occupants, whose skeletons were found beneath the rubble. Among the victims was a woman who had been wearing a gold dove pendant. Eisenberg and his team used coins to date the collapse and attribute it to the earthquake. “The latest of those coins dated to 362 A.D. About three feet above the debris of the basilica we found Early Byzantine rooms dated by dozens of coins in the floors themselves to 383 A.D.,” Eisenberg told Discovery News. “It shows that major parts of the city were totally destroyed and neglected for a period of about 20 years.” Hippos was finally destroyed by an earthquake in 749. To read about the dramatic history of a Hellenistic site near the Sea of Galilee, see ARCHAEOLOGY's "Excavating Tel Kedesh."

 

American Philological Association

Ancient Greek Theatre Comes Alive: A Study Tour of Greek Theatrıcal Spaces and Performances

Bella Vivante will lead this tour from July 13-28, 2015.  This Greek theatrical tour, in English, will explore in place the physical and dramatic origins of theatre in Ancient Greece. We will:

  • Visit ancient theatre sites and learn the principles of their construction.
  • Read select ancient Greek plays in English and explore ancient theatrical production.
  • View performances of ancient Greek plays, some in ancient theatres such as Epidauros, and discuss the elements of their modern productions.
  • Meet with contemporary Greek dramatists to discuss stagings of ancient Greek plays.
  • Give our own reading/performance in an ancient theatre.
  • Have time to relax, experience Greek culture, and savor scrumptious Greek food and drink!

We will visit sites and museums and view performances in and around our 2 bases of Athens and Nauplion.  The tour will include in Greece

Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

Cheltenham Literary Festival - for Latin lovers

3443-fitandcrop-890x502

I am off to Cheltenham this Sunday (long day for me) and looking forward to seeing some commenters after the signing session after my last gig. Meet in signing tent. No need to bring anything ... though it would be quite helpful to have confirmed numbers (via blog comments).

I am doing three gigs. One is a discussion with Lynne Segal (chaired by Libby Purves) on the pleasures and perils of ageing (it's called Oh Do Shut Up Dear... where have I heard that title before?). One is a talk on Roman laughter  (based on the book, but with a bit more). And in between, we're doing our usual How to Read a Latin Poem slot.

This year it's the epigrams of Martial

In the past we have done rather serious "classics" -- Virgil, Horace, etc -- so this is a bit of a departure. And the question is a bit different. I guess that with Virgil and the boys, people by and large know that they are somehow "important" amd "worth studying". The question is, how to make them mean something for you? And (as Peter Stothard is always reminding us) how to work out what value-added the Latin gives, especially if you have only got a few words of it. Why does word order matter? Why does metre matter? And so on.

I guess with Martial, it's a bit different. The question is, what kind of artistry is there in these (sometimes) two liners? They may be quite simple to translate (especially with the crib that we will hand out) -- but is there more to them than appears? Are they wortk thinking about harder? (Our answer is going to be yes, you will not be surprised...)

And another issue concerns the raunchy ones. Now I dont think we had better pick the raunchiest for our very mixed (in every sense) audience. But we do have to think what the sexual themes are doing in these little poems, and why the ones that get omitted from the more staid collections might be worth reading with attention too.

Anyway, we're just getting the final selection together. So if you have a favourite that you would like discussed, can't promise it will fit, but let me know. Or any themes you would like us to talk about?

Cheltenham is, after all, the only literary festival to my knowledge that actually does LATIN  in LATIN.

 

 

 

 

Archaeology Magazine

Remote Sites Yield Evidence of Early South Americans

South-American-RochshelterORONO, MAINE—New research is focusing on hunter gatherers who colonized South America at the close of the last Ice Age. Kurt Rademaker of the University of Maine has found a rock shelter high in the Andes that was inhabited 12,400 years ago. “The [Pucuncho Basin] has fresh water, camelids, stone for toolmaking, combustible fuel for fires and rock shelters for living in,” he told Nature News. “Basically, everything you need to live is here. This is one of the richest basins I’ve seen, and it probably was then too.” And scientists are carefully examining the stone tools from South America’s Paleo-Indian sites because many of them are made from stone not available in the area where they were found. “What we’re seeing is that 12,000 years ago or more, these groups already had networks, knew the landscape and moved between the coast and the interior,” said César Méndez of the University of Chile. To ready more about the earliest sites in the New World, see ARCHAEOLOGY's "America, In the Beginning." 

 

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #558

Todays list of Open Access (free to read) Archaeology articles:

Medieval and other material in Linlithgow Palace Museum
http://bit.ly/1f2JcNw

A fragment of comb from Dun Scalpsie, Bute
http://bit.ly/Z8tb4g

Lower Palaeolithic surface finds from northern scarp of the Downs at Kithurst Hill, Near Storrington, West Sussex
http://bit.ly/13Ju5lB

Date Codes Discovered on Milk Bottle Rims: A West Coast Dating System
http://bit.ly/1rIZXHA

Notices (1) of the Discovery of Bronze Age Urns on the Braid Hills; and (2) of the Discovery of a Cist and Urn near Portpatrick, Wigtownshire.
http://bit.ly/Z5eLBR

Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at: http://bit.ly/YHuyFK

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

RIP Mecca's Heritage or Why Wahhabis R Wrong

A nice summary of a very sad situation: The Destruction of Mecca - NYTimes.com

I think I've covered the Wahhabi philosophy of destroying heritage before, even anything associated with the Prophet Mohammed. This is in case they become idols, and in some ways is a little like other religious prohibitions that add layer and layer to the original intent to the point where is is distorted.

For example when Mohammed gained control of Mecca he destroyed the idols but not the image of Jesus and Mary. Having gone through everything he said, he was clear that images should not be used as idols but did not advocate the destruction of them all.

ISIS is currently misinterpreting it by assuming they know better what the Prophet Mohammed wanted than the people who knew him and recorded his teachings.

Saudi is a little better, but the Wahhabi culture they exported is directly responsible for the various fundamentalist groups claiming the AQ and now the ISIS philosophy. For some reason journalists often call those in north Africa Salafi and seem to be unaware that this is just another name for Wahhabi.

The Saudis funded the more extreme members to go proselytise, many went to Mauretania, and then north into "Western Sahara" and into Algeria. Then Libya ... where we call them Salafis. It's why I could never espouse the trendy cause of Independence for Western Sahara that pop stars and celebutards seem to embrace. If you can't see on this map what a mess that makes it, please don't ask me to sponsor your fundraising for either them or your electoral race.


(map by Eric Gaba – Wikimedia Commons user: Sting)

Archaeology Magazine

Students Unearth Sweat Lodge at Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia-Sweat-LodgeSAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI—Students from Saint Louis University discovered three partial house basins and the entire basin of a burned sweat lodge during their field school at the Fingerhut Tract of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site this summer. The sweat lodge measures nine feet in diameter and would have had a domed roof. Charcoal within the sweat lodge will be radiocarbon dated. The students also uncovered many microdrills. “This area of Cahokia Mounds may have been involved in craft specialization for the prehistoric chiefdom,” said principal investigator Mary Vermillion. To read about a recent discovery of a ritual burn at Cahokia, see ARCHAEOLOGY's "Mississippian Burning." 

 

The Stoa Consortium

CFP: Seminar on Latin textual criticism in the digital age

The Digital Latin Library, a joint project of the Society for Classical Studies, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Renaissance Society of America, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announces a seminar on Latin textual criticism in the digital age. The seminar will take place on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, the DLL’s host institution, on June 25–26, 2015.

We welcome proposals for papers on all subjects related to the intersection of modern technology with traditional methods for editing Latin texts of all eras. Suggested topics:

  • Keeping the “critical” in digital critical editions
  • The scholarly value of editing texts to be read by humans and machines
  • Extending the usability of critical editions beyond a scholarly audience
  • Visualizing the critical apparatus: moving beyond a print-optimized format
  • Encoding different critical approaches to a text
  • Interoperability between critical editions and other digital resources
  • Dreaming big: a wishlist of features for the optimal digital editing environment

Of particular interest are proposals that examine the scholarly element of preparing a digital edition.

The seminar will be limited to ten participants. Participants will receive a stipend, and all travel and related expenses will be paid by the DLL.

Please send proposals of no more than 650 words to Samuel J. Huskey at dll-seminar@ou.edu by December 1, 2014. Notification of proposal status will be sent in early January.

Ancient Peoples

Yuny and his wife Renenutet 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom Ramesside...



Yuny and his wife Renenutet

19th Dynasty, New Kingdom

Ramesside Period

c.1294-1279 BC

These figures represent Yuny seated next to his wife Renenutet. Yuny, who lived in the city of Asyut, was a chief royal scribe and holder of many other offices, perhaps including that of physician. Additional inscriptions on the base of the statue further elaborate Yuny’s responsibilities. On the center fold of Yuny’s pleated skirt is an inscription that reads: “May everything that comes forth upon the offering table of [the god] … and all pure food that comes forth from the Great Enclosure [the temple complex at Heliopolis] be for the chief scribe, royal scribe of letters, Yuny, justified.”
Renenutet affectionately places her right arm around her husband’s shoulders. On the back of the statue she is described as a singer of Amun-Re. In her left hand, she holds by its metal counterweight a heavy bead necklace called a menat. Menat necklaces were ritual implements that were held in the hands and shaken like cymbals, especially in the service of the goddess Hathor, but also when entering the presence of other deities..
Appropriate to their high secular and religious positions, Yuny and Renenutet wear the elaborate wigs and fine linen attire fashionable in their time. Renenutet is adorned with a lotus fillet and a necklace called a broad collar. The beads are in the shape of nefer hieroglyphs (meaning “good” or “beautiful”), offering vases, and floral petals. Traces of black remain on the wigs. The couple sit together on a bench with elegantly carved lion-paw feet.
On the back of the chair in both sunken and raised relief are two scenes illustrating the ancient Egyptian ideal of affection and remembrance among family generations. In the upper register, Yuny and Renenutet receive offerings from their son; in the lower, Renenutet offers food and drink to her parents.

(Source: The Met Museum)

Penn Museum Blog

Borneo Odyssey – a “Live from the Archives” performance

Before a house in Borneo. Penn Museum image 16273

Before a house in Borneo. Photograph by Alfred C. Harrison, Jr.; hand-colored by Katharine Gordon Breed. Penn Museum image 16273

Early in September, during the HAIKU conference on Humanities and Science, the Penn Museum hosted a performance by Thai born visual artist Skowmon Hastanan, based on a collection of records from an early expedition to Borneo. Skowmon had been invited a year earlier to explore the archives to see if something sparked her creativity in an experiment in artistic use of primary source materials. She focused on the tinted glass lantern slides from what became known as the Furness, Harrison, and Hiller expedition to Borneo, 1896-1898. The expedition was a particularly colorful one, in which the three young men, all with connections to the University of Pennsylvania, traversed the globe in 1896, ending up in Sumatra and Borneo for a number of months.

William Henry Furness. Penn Museum image 139022

William Henry Furness.
Penn Museum image 139022

Aside from being extensively tattooed, the three also kept journals. But most interestingly to Skowmon, an obituary of Furness detailed his attempts to teach an orangutan to speak English.

Orangutan on the porch. Photograph by Alfred C. Harrison, Jr.; hand-colored by Katharine Gordon Breed. Penn Museum image 216299

Orangutan on the porch. Penn Museum image 216299

Catching this as a point of interest, Skowmon, together with her creative team, including Joel Holub, came up with a performance piece in which the orangutan speaks as if reading from a “learned report” on the Borneo trip, originally presented by Hiller at the American Philosophical Society. Furness’ ghost, in period costume and a pith helmet, shares the stage as a counterpoint, going through the artifacts collected in Borneo (a number of which can be found in the online collections of the Museum), recreated for the stage in facsimile by the artists for the performance. At the end of the slide show, in the pitch dark Harrison auditorium, the artists passed the facsimile artifacts—including decorated skulls— out to the audience, with small personal lanterns for illumination. Together with the lush original score and live musical accompaniment, the performance set a mood that was well received by the audience, numbering over 200.

Though not purposely didactic, from one angle the meaning of the piece is a critique of the ethos of collecting, especially in the 19th century, as well as on scientific (or Western) views of other cultures and animals.

Performers included: Jeff Gottesfeld as Furness, Joel Holub as the orangutan, Eric Schnittke as the archivist/lantern slide projectionist, Skowmon Hastanan (artist in residence) as the assistant. Composer and pianist: Theodore Kersten, Stephen Gauci: Flute and clarinet. Stage assistants: Carmen Guzman y Lombert, Nina Simoneaux and Minou Pourshariati. Video and sound engineer: Katia Berg. Thanks are offered to the Events department, Tena Thomason and Rachelle Kaspin for their indispensable work, and to Alessandro Pezzati for his archival knowledge and support of the project, and to the Haiku conference and Dr. Beckman for her extensive support as well.
See also the previous post on the expedition slides of William Henry Furness III, Alfred C. Harrison, Jr., and Hiram M. Hiller, by Senior Archivist Alessandro Pezzati

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Coin smuggling attempt foiled at Cairo Intl Airport

An attempt to smuggle seven Ottoman coins was foiled Wednesday at Cairo International Airport.

Youssef Khalifa, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities section of the Ministry of Antiquities, related that during a routine inspection of luggage at the airport, customs personnel discovered seven antique coins in the luggage of an Egyptian citizen who was travelling to the United Arab Emirates.

The coins were of the same size and eroded. They bear the year when they were made, and decorative elements. Khalifa continued that customs officers asked the Ministry of Antiquities to assign an archaeological committee to check the authenticity of the coins.

The committee, he said, verified the authenticity of the coins, saying they date back to the Ottoman period. The coins are now in the Egyptian Museum for restoration and study. (source)

Update: Franklin wreck found in Arctic identified as captain’s ship

Canada has determined the historic Franklin Expedition shipwreck discovered in the Arctic last month is in fact the HMS Erebus, the vessel on which Sir John Franklin sailed.

It’s another puzzle solved in the enthralling story of the famous British expedition that tried to traverse the Northwest Passage but ended in misery with all 129 crew members perishing.

The Erebus was the vessel that Franklin occupied as the commander of the expedition and was the base for the captain’s quarters.

Stephen Harper, whose government had backed annual searches for the lost Franklin expedition as a demonstration of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, announced the news of the ship’s identification Wednesday in the House of Commons. Read more.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

PAS: Now on BB1

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The first South Americans: Extreme living

From the mouth of a cave high in the Andes, Kurt Rademaker surveys the plateau below. At an altitude of 4,500 metres, there are no trees in sight, just beige soil dotted with tufts of dry grass, green cushion plants and a few clusters of vicuñas and other camel relatives grazing near a stream.

The landscape looks bleak, but Rademaker views it through the eyes of the people who built a fire in the rock shelter, named Cuncaicha, about 12,400 years ago. These hunter-gatherers were some of the earliest known residents of South America and they chose to live at this extreme altitude — higher than any Ice Age encampment found thus far in the New World. Read more.

Geoff Carter (Theoretical Structural Archaeology)

Dumbing down the past.

Dumbing down through abstraction.
In two previous posts, [ 1 + 2 ] I have demonstrated that one of the central images of British Prehistory, the Wessex Roundhouse, is a construct which does not accurately the evidence.  It is not a discovery, or rocket science, I just read the relevant reports and looked at the plans and sections.
While I am happy to call these roundhouse constructs dumbing down, what to call the scholarship they generate presents a problem, since it represents the application of presumably perfectly acceptable theory to an imaginary data set. 
Archaeology is often at its best and most incisive when it has borrowed from other disciplines, but left to their own devices some academics have wandered off through the dewy system to delve into ideas about the relationship between people and built environments. But perhaps sometimes they just look at the pictures.
It is possible for anthropologists to study the relationship between people and their built environments; the humans can be questioned and observed, and the spaces inspected. In such a study, we might also wish consider factors of age, status, and gender, as well as more complex issues pertaining to the ownership and creation of spaces.
In anthropology, a theory, a set of ideas or a cosmology which explain the patterns of behaviour associated with particular places can be developed through the study of people and spaces. 
However, in Archaeology the people we study are dead and their spaces destroyed, or they usually are after we have finished with them....
If your understanding of a relationship is good enough, as in algebra, you can substitute one missing value, but not two; [? + ? = 4] is not a basis for understanding either of the unknowns.  In the study of prehistoric timber buildings there are no real people or spaces.  
Images from a Google 'Iron Age Roundhouse" image search. Note; only one image has anything to do with the Iron Age.
Archaeology is not a science, but more of a faith based study, and one reason for this is that people believe the pictures on the cover, but ignore the evidence inside, as is case with the roundhouse.  Further, since we have imagined and rebuilt the past, so it has seemed possible to sketch in one of the unknowns, and then project our theories into the minds of imaginary people who might inhabit in these pictures and constructs.
Hence, Iron Age Building Cosmology, or as my PhD tutor put it “… at least we understand roundhouses now…”.
Exemplum -
How people we have never met perceived spaces we have never seen - this was my terrible watershed moment, the retaliation there is no way through this mire of theoretical obfuscation. People take it seriously, it was an article of faith, and I was never going to be able to dumb my research down enough for PhD at Newcastle {caveat emptor}. It is not that understanding timber buildings is difficult, it just that it often conflicts with the pictures of the past and the ideas they generate. Unfortunately, as an archaeologist, I know that the picture on the cover is only a serving suggestion and not necessarily a guide to content, but;
  • The tutor knows she is correct about Iron Age Building Cosmology
  • Iron Age Building Cosmology is peer reviewed
  • The Postgraduate Dean knows the tutor is an expert in Iron Age Building Cosmology
  • The University knows there are no bad academics only poor students
  • All Institutions know there are no bad universities only poor students
The latter universal principle ensures that the application of simple engineering to archaeological evidence for structures remains a post – university study. 
The game is stacked against new research, I may have the numbers, but my tutor has the picture cards and can play a joker; you can't argue about the archaeology of timber structures with the Postgraduate dean, since, like my tutor, he also knows nothing about the subject, and has not read my work.  Ironically, you can’t have an academic argument with a university, since, in a faith based study, tenure infers a degree of infallibility; thus, in a faculty of arts, 3 + 1 can = 4, if you tutor says so.  A faculty is only as smart as its dumbest don.
Realistically, Universities are fee earning institutions, there to look after the interests of their fee-earners, and as long as the fees come in, dumbing in any direction is not a matter of concern.   However, dumbing down does appear inevitable as successive years of student intake have been perceived as poorly educated by academics who were themselves criticised by their own teachers.
Archaeology – The Trowel Test
As a result of the deep personal trauma of watching my life savings go down the pan because academics cannot distinguish between archaeological evidence and a construct of our shared visual culture, I am deeply suspicious of archaeology that has not been in contact with a trowel; a principle I extend to archaeologists.   Outside this redbrick reality, you cannot represent the views, opinions, feelings, perceptions, beliefs, cosmologies, or humour of the preliterate dead as some sort of knowledge, even if you use complex language and the magic words Claude Lévi-Strauss.
Most of what archaeology actually finds, things like postholes, can be summarised on a A4 context sheet, perhaps with a scale drawing on the back, and any bits of interest popped in a bag for later study; it’s simple, so simple even field archaeologists can understand it.  In contrast, the study of what archaeologists don’t find, and post-processualism in general, is characterised by irrelevant digressions into ethnography and theory, where simplistic observations are disguised by a complex, elusive, exclusive and intimidatory vocabulary, illustrating not only an inability to communicate, but also a lack of anything significance to say.  Dumbing down by abstraction.  
We need look no further than the Peter Principle, and what I imagine must be some form of Imposter Syndrome, as the cause of institutions that promote and protect a narrative of faith based learning.
 Circular Arguments
In the case of roundhouses, we connect their archaeology with buildings on the basis of shape, not form, function, construction method or materials.  Shape also trumps technology, culture, climate, and environment as a basis for comparison and "ethnographic parallels". Above left; Little Woodbury reconstruction by  Crown Film Unit [2]
Except for a few notable exceptions, our pictures and realisation of the past are not real, or even necessarily evidence based, yet can have a powerful influence the way we think and visualise the past.   This visual conditioning presents the biggest barrier to understanding the evidence; it is probably akin to deprogramming former cult members, who have also received positive feedback and reward from their peers that reassures them their beliefs are rational, hoverer strange they may seem to us. 
Ploughing in Abyssinia - Johann Bernatz 1842 [3]
I have suggested that imperialism and classical education helped generate an idea of  ”primitive culture“ as a universal quasi-evolutionary phase somehow comparable to our Pre-Roman culture.  In addition, it’s natural that archaeologists, consider woodworking tools in terms the materials they are made from, rather than what they were used for, further aiding inappropriate comparison.  
I have also argued that, rather than copying his methodology, post-war field archaeology sought to reproduce the results of Bersu’s Little Woodbury [roundhouse] excavation, giving rise to a fundamental bias in our methodology and subsequent results[4]
  [Above; P Reynolds and J Lindsey ploughing at Butser ].
The untimely death of Peter Reynolds, leaving his work unfinished, has meant that what he had termed a "construct" has become slavishly reproduced as a "reconstruction". His original building at Butser had a roof pitch of 45˚, because he argued it is simple to create and it was used in Africa, which tells us much about an intellectual climate of his time, ideas that still persists today [5] .  The roof leaked and the structure was damaged in a storm and had to be demolished, which should have taught us more than it did.
This simplistic borrowed conception of a prehistoric built environment has created a discontinuity with our own historical architectural and craft culture, particularly the use of wood.   Dumbing down the past betrays its practitioners, patrons and the public, undermining value and trust in education among those who pay for it.  Experimental archaeologists, re-enactors, and the builders of ancient buildings want to believe in the authenticity and educational value of what they do.
Above left; Detail from Secoton North Carolina by John White, 1585.  [1]
As recent work at Stonehenge has shown, the representations of past landscapes that we have routinely imagined are completely wrong, proving basing our ideas on pictures and constructs is simply building a house of cards, sticks, straw, or any material you care to imagine.  

Sources and further reading
[1] Detail from Watercolour painted by John White, 1585.  "North carolina algonkin-dorf" by John White, explorer and artist - British Museum, London. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North_carolina_algonkin-dorf.jpg#mediaviewer/File:North_carolina_algonkin-dorf.jpgJohn White (1585-1593)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_White_(colonist_and_artist)
[2] http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/469778/[3] Bernatz, Johann Martin (1802-1878);  Album of 19 drawings of scenes and landscapes made during an embassy to Abyssinia. 1841-1843
[4] G. Bersu: 1940: Excavations at Little Woodbury, Wiltshire. Part 1, the settlement revealed by excavation. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 6, 30 -111
[5] Harding, D W, Blake I M, and Renolds P J, 1993 An Iron Age settlement in Dorsett: Excavation and reconstruction. University of Ediburgh. Department of Archaeology Monograph series No. 1. & visit http://www.butser.org.uk/index.html

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Jerome’s Life of Paul the Hermit in Syriac (and a colophon on Dayr al-suryān)

In some Christian traditions, today is the commemoration of Jerome, so I thought of a Syriac text connected with Jerome that I cataloged some time ago. In CFMM 261, pp. 3-13, there is Jerome’s Life of Paul the Hermit, the Latin text of which is in PL 23, cols., 17-30 (ET here). See BHO 909-916 for Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, and Gǝʕǝz versions. The Syriac text* has been published in Bedjan’s Acta martyrum et sanctorum 5: 561-572 (here at archive.org), and the text also appears in The Book of Paradise (ed. Budge, vol. 2, pp. 242-251; online here). The beginning of the CFMM text is missing, but the identification of the work is sure, not least thanks to the end of the work (see below). I have not closely compared the printed editions with this witness from CFMM, but, unsurprisingly, even a quick look reveals some differences. Only considering the end of the work we see that CFMM 261 has six lines that are absent from the texts of Bedjan and Budge.

*Bedjan’s edition of this text is based on these two manuscripts: Paris syr. 317 (Chabot, “Notice sur les manuscrits syriaques de la Bibliothèque nationale acquis depuis 1874, JA IX, 8 (1896): 264-265; Nau, “Notices des manuscripts syriaques, éthiopiens et mandéens, entrés à la Bibliothèque nationale de Paris depuis l’édition des catalogues,” ROC 16 (1911):  287) and BL add. 12173 (Wright, Cat., pp. 1070-1072).

CFMM 261 (olim Dayr al-Zaʿfarān 116; cf. Dolabani, Dayr al-Zaʿfarān catalog, pt. II, pp. 86-88) has an original part, along with some later additions on pp. 441-464. The original colophon (see below, with translation), coming at the end of quire 22, pp. 439-440, is incomplete and lacks a name and date, while the date of the later part (1757/8) is on p. 464. The original part is perhaps of the 16th century. A careful comparison is necessary, but the contents of CFMM 261 and the list of stories in the colophon are very close to the original contents of BL add. 14732 (Wright, Cat., pp. 1141-1146). As the scribe says in the colophon, he found his exemplar for this manuscript among the Syriac books of Dayr al-Suryān, which ceased to have a major Syriac presence in the early seventeenth century (L. Van Rompay in GEDSH 386-387).

Here are the last two pages of Jerome’s Life of Paul the Hermit in the CFMM manuscript.

CFMM 261, pp. 12-13

CFMM 261, pp. 12-13

And now the colophon, which will be of interest to readers well beyond those concerned especially with Jerome, together with an English translation.

CFMM 261, p. 439

CFMM 261, p. 439

Ended, completed, lined, and concluded are these confused and mixed up lines, altered [for the worse] in every way, inasmuch as I am not a scribe, but for lack of scribes, for necessity, I was compelled to corrupt these pages, because I was sojourning [or in exile] in the d[esert] of Scetis, in our monastery of the Syrians, and when I went up the large tower that is in the holy monastery and saw the Syriac books that were in it, countless and numberless in their quantity, I saw a large book that had stories of all the holy fathers, as for my consolation. So I took it to my cell and was greatly consoled by it. I read the stories, but not all of them, and according to the power that the Lord gave us — me and my spiritual father, the monk and priest Šams al-Dīn — we left the city of Egypt [meṣrēn] and brought with us a few pages [qallil waraqē], and as we read these stories of holy people, at the beginning of the book was written the story of our lady, the Theotokos, Mary, and after that, the story of Paul, the story of Antony, chief of monks,

CFMM 261, p. 440

CFMM 261, p. 440

and all the perfect fathers, one after another according to their times, leaders of monasteries, cells, and deserts. I selected a few of the stories, according to my ability and according to the demand of my spiritual father, and these are the stories that I copied:

  1. first, Paul, [the fi]rst and the firstborn of solitaries, ascetics, and mourners,
  2. Paul the simple, the disciple of Anba Antony,
  3. Paul the bishop,
  4. John the priest,
  5. the holy, blessed and exalted martyr Anba Moses the Ethiopian, monk and master among ascetics,
  6. the holy, god-clothed master among ascetics, Anba Paul, concerning his labors and exhaustion,
  7. the holy, god-clothed, and blessed Anba John Kama [ⲕⲁⲙⲉ],
  8. the holy Mary of Egypt [igupṭāyā meṣrāytā],
  9. on the life of the blessed Evagrius,
  10. the holy John, bishop of Tella,
  11. the holy Šāhdōst, catholicos, together with those who were with him,
  12. the blessed Ephrem the teacher and pride of the Syrians,
  13. the holy and blessed Symeon, who was called a fool [Salos] on account of Christ,
  14. John, his spiritual brother,
  15. the martyrdom of the holy Cyprian and Justina, his holy daughter

Bibliography

Here is one resource specifically on Jerome and Syriac, with two more general excellent studies:

Adam Kamesar, Greek Scholarship and The Hebrew Bible: A Study of the Quaestiones Hebraicae in Genesim, Oxford Classical Monographs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).

Daniel King, “Vir Quadrilinguis? Syriac in Jerome and Jerome in Syriac,” in Andrew Cain and Josef M. Lössl, eds., Jerome of Stridon: His Life, Writings, and Legacy (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 209-223.

Stefan Rebenich, Jerome, The Early Church Fathers (London:  Routledge, 2002).

 


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

Huge Roman Coin Hoard found in England

A hoard of 22,000 Roman coins has been unearthed near the English town of Seaton in East Devon. The ‘Seaton Hoard’ of copper-alloy Roman coins is one of the largest and best preserved fourth-century collections to have ever been found in Britain.

Seaton Hoard - British Musuem

The hoard was found near the previously excavated site of a Roman villa at Honeyditches in East Devon in November 2013. Realising the significance of the discovery, and that much of it was in situ, the finder (Laurence Egerton, 51) immediately contacted the landowner (Clinton Devon Estates), as well as Danielle Wootton (Devon Finds Liaison Officer, based at the University of Exeter) and Bill Horner (County Archaeologist). This prompt and responsible action ensured the coins were properly excavated and allowed for the later recording of the hoard and its context at the British Museum.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is launching a bid to purchase a massive hoard. The amount needed to purchase the hoard will be determined by the British Museum’s Treasure Valuation Committee when it meets later in the year.

It appears that the coins were buried together as a single group in a small isolated pit, the lozenge-shaped form of the coin deposit suggests the coins were buried in a flexible container, perhaps a fabric or soft leather bag, though this has not survived. The combined weight of the coins is 68kg and they have been lightly cleaned at the British Museum prior to valuation under the Treasure Act 1996. The coins range from the late AD 260s to the AD 340s, a period of much turmoil in Roman Britain. 99% of the hoard is nummi, common coins struck between AD 330 and AD 341. The group terminates in AD 347-8 during the joint reign of Constantius II and his younger brother Constans, sons of Constantine I. Constans was the last legitimate emperor to visit Britain.

County Archaeologist Bill Horner added, “Our archaeologists and the team at the British Museum have reported that the majority of the coins are so well preserved that they were able to date them very accurately. This is very unusual for Devon because the county, as a whole, has slightly acidic soil which leads to metals corroding. The soil in this area is chalky which is why they’ve survived so well.”

The scale of the Seaton Hoard is remarkable. This is one of the largest hoards ever found within the whole Roman Empire. Despite the number of coins found, the financial value would not have been great, amounting to approximately four gold coins (solidi): this sum of money would possibly have provided a soldier’s food or a worker’s salary for two years.

Finder Laurence Egerton described how he found the hoard: “Initially I found two small coins the size of a thumbnail sitting on top of the ground and then, as I began working in a grid formation in the surrounding area I had a 50 50 signal on the metal detector which means that there is probably iron involved. Most detectors are set up to ignore iron but I decided to dig the earth at that spot and immediately reached some iron ingots which were laid directly on top of the coins. The next shovel was full of coins – they just spilled out over the field. I had no idea how far down the coins went so I stopped immediately and phoned my wife to come to the site with a camera.

Seaton Hoard 2“Under the terms of my licence, I contacted Clinton Devon Estates and Danielle Wooton (Devon Finds Liaison Officer) and Bill Horner (County Archaeologist) and was instructed to take away what was loose and then fill in the hole. Between finding the hoard and the archaeologists excavating the site I slept alongside it in my car for three nights to guard it!”

Rosie Denham, Exeter’s Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, expressed local delight at the discovery: “This extraordinary hoard will add greatly to our picture of life in Roman Devon. It would be a wonderful addition to RAMM’s collection of local Romano-British objects, which includes finds from Honeyditches. We hope that public support will enable us to acquire the hoard. It has so many exciting stories to tell, not least of which is the exemplary cooperation between the finder, landowner, PAS and county authorities. We look forward to developing and sharing these stories and invite all to help buy and conserve this important discovery.”

Under the Treasure Act 1996, now that the hoard has been declared Treasure by a coroner, it has to be offered to an accredited museum to acquire. The finder and landowner are normally entitled to a reward equal to the market value of the hoard, as determined by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Mr Egerton addeed, “It’s by far the biggest find I’ve ever had. It really doesn’t get any better than this! It is so important to record all of these finds properly because it’s so easy to lose important insights into our history.”

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Archeology Students Discover Prehistoric Sweat Lodge

Saint Louis University students participating in the 2014 Archaeological Field School at the Fingerhut Tract of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, a World Heritage UNESCO site, made a significant contribution to the understanding of American Indian prehistory with the discovery of three additional partial house basins and the entire basin of a burned sweat lodge.

Generally, a sweat lodge is a domed hut made of natural materials. They were — and continue to be — used by American Indians as steam baths for physical cleansing as well as for ritual purification.

The sweat lodge discovered this summer is three feet in diameter and superimposes the corner of a large rectangular structure. Read more.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Breasts: We All Have Them ...

Men and women - although breast cancer is rarer in men.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month in the UK, and I hope that every woman will take a moment to check for lumps. I've been for private check-ups where the female doctor saw problems that weren't there (very disconcerting) and where the NHS nurse told me "don't worry, large breasts can just seem lumpy" ... I felt more comfortable with frank honesty, but as uncomfortable as it can make you, going for a check-up is always better than living in denial. If you're a man and think your wife has a lump, then make her go to the doctor; if you leave it as the elephant in the room, it can kill.

Every year nearly 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK, that’s the equivalent of one person every 10 minutes
4870 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the UK.
Nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year.
4872 Breast cancer also affects men, but it’s rare
– around 400 men are diagnosed each year.

The three main risk factors are:

1. Gender - being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer.
2. Getting older - the older the person the higher the risk, more than 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60.
3. Significant family history – this isn’t common, around 5% of people diagnosed with breast cancer have inherited a faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.
More than eight out of 10 (85%) people survive breast cancer beyond five years.
For free, confidential support and information visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk or call our Helpline on 0808 800 6000.


To me the concept of having surgery unless one needs it is a foreign concept, but it is becoming increasingly popular with young women, and those that have had augmentation for whatever reason have to pay particular attention to lumps as silicone can mask them.

For most women the figure given for breast cancer is 1 in 8, but almost half my friends who've undergone IVF have gone on to develop breast cancer - obviously this is anecdotal, but it seems to be one of those "dirty little secrets" women don't talk about, so it's worth highlighting.

Breast Cancer Care has some amazing resources on their web site here, and always get lots of companies to take part in raising funds by pledging a percentage of their products.


Most companies pledge a percentage of sales from one of two products ...

The amazing Elemis instead make a £10,000 donation to Breast Cancer Care, so it frankly doesn't matter if you buy their Limited Edition Pink Jar or some of their other products. I love the monoi oil the best, then the salt scrub then ... anyway they have various offers on: Promotion: Spend £50 and receive a free full size Skin Nourishing Milk Bath, Promotion: Spend £50 and receive a free full size Aching Muscle Super Soak, Promotion: Free Starlight Spa Candle When You Spend £60 or more, Promotion: Free Body Beautiful Stocking Filler worth £10 with the purchase of any Elemis Christmas collection,* anyway they also have a good outlet section and stock brands like Bliss and Essie.

Heidi Klein is given 20% on the Rio range ... although I prefer other ranges; there's a new collection of swimwear and there's an extra 10% off the sale items with the code Sale60.*

Heidi Klein

Most companies still produce pink products to "celebrate" women ... and whilst Ellie sometimes likes them, I don't. It's better to make a donation, but many other forms of cancer could do with the money more (next month is Movember). The very best thing women can do is check for lumps and make an appointment if they have the slightest doubt.


James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Religion and Doctor Who for Kindle

The book Religion and Doctor Who: Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith is now available for Kindle from Amazon.com. The Kindle price is $9.99, which is significantly less than the price of the print volume, and even cheaper than the Kindle book for the British edition.

Geoff Carter (Theoretical Structural Archaeology)

Posthole archaeology; function, form and farming


By the Bronze Age in British Isles, and certainly in terms of the proto-historic Late Iron Age, we have what historians might call petty kings and aristocracy, sometimes with a more wider regional and national institutions.  Although our museums have their weapons and treasures, architecturally, we have lost sight of the petty king in his palace and the homes of the aristocracy, always such a feature of our countryside.  
But this is just the tip of an iceberg of ignorance, since we know very little of the charcoal burner in his hut, and have no real notion of cart sheds or byres; only “roundhouses”, and, thousands upon thousands of uninterpreted postholes.
It is this functional deficiency that I hope to explore in series of posts, since it represents a serious gap in our knowledge of an area fundamental to understanding any culture.  One way of broadening thinking about function is to ask the question; what buildings does a moderately complex hierarchical agricultural society require? 
What’s the problem with our understanding of function?
Roundhouses"."; in recent posts I have pointed out that what we have accepted as unicellular single story structure with a fire at the centre is construct not supported by the excavated evidence.  This is not to say that simple round huts did not exist, but circularity of design in the ground plan is a style, not a form.   The passive acceptance of this idea and the exclusivity with which it has been applied to archaeological data has been a disaster to our understanding of Prehistory. 
The problems with roundhouses have arisen from reducing form to shape, and then assuming uniformity of domestic function.
While I think we can take it for granted that most people lived in house, there was a wide variety of animals, materials, processes and social activities that required a building.  In this post we are going to look briefly at the building needs of farmers, in particular housing their animals and crops.
13 Key points to contextualise the origins of Prehistoric farm buildings in NW Europe.
  1. While this is a complex issue, agriculture seems to expanded to NW Europe as a frontier, gradually clearing suitable land in the major river valley systems; what business might call “organic growth”.[1]
  2. For the LBK agriculturalists that spread north and west the Neolithic revolution was something that had happened a long time ago and far away.
  3. In this context, the story begins with the farm buildings of these LBK agriculturalists who required a much more complex built environment than the Mesolithic populations who had moved in after the Ice Age. [above][2]
  4. This was a fully-formed functional system of architecture; it was not transitional from living in caves or tents, and is not way related to what happened previously in these areas.
  5. Agricultural practices and buildings had a long time to adapt to the changing conditions for growing, processing and storing products, and the increasing need to house and feed animals during the winter. 
  6. Farming in a cold, wet, and windy climate, which reduces the growing season, light levels and available dry days, is more dependent on buildings. 
  7. High wind, wet, and snow are particularly deleterious to buildings. 
  8. In temperate Europe there is an abundance of hardwood, particularly oak, and also a lack of serious wood eating pests like termites, allowing the development of robust long lasting timber framed buildings.
  9. The remains of Neolithic buildings from European lake side sites [3] were buildings with wooden floors and doors, and [like crannogs], demonstrate that hearths can be used in wooden floored buildings. 
  10. While it is perhaps possible to grasp the concept and imitate aspects of agriculture, the same is not true of a complex technology like building that resides in the minds of individuals.
  11.  The construction of buildings, spatial ordering and other agricultural engineering were probably the most specialised skill set of the Neolithic; farmland needs only to be laid out once, and farm houses should last a lifetime, these were not every day or seasonal skills.  
  12. While ground stone woodworking tools are diagnostic, in a world largely fabricated from wood, it was what they produced that was of significance to Neolithic craftsmen, although this is largely invisible to the archaeologist. 
  13. An important and easily overlooked aspect of the Neolithic skill set is woodland management which allows continuous production of woodland products, including long cycle [c.40-50 years] structural building timber.  
    Farmers
    The initial uniformity and scale of LBK farmhouse architecture might  suggest a degree of self-sufficiency within a cooperative environment; [Elsloo, Netherland. Left][2].
    As always we have only a fragment of the picture, but as with seafaring cultures, the need for mutual aid and cooperation may have engendered a more egalitarian society among these agricultural pioneers.  However, this is relative; there is no reason to suppose that the LBK did not use slaves, and my guess is that they would have enslaved, if not displaced or killed, the existing Mesolithic populations.  
    I am not sure that the range LBK buildings are well enough understood to know how architecturally self-sufficient these large farm houses were, and if smaller subsidiary buildings were important.  Scale maybe related to function, and not necessarily status.   
    As already noted, by the time we get to the Bronze Age, there is a much more complex social differentiation and distribution of ownership to be reflected in architecture.  While farming was the basis of the economy, and land ownership probably the basis of wealth,  the individuals and institutions at the top of the food chain were not necessarily involved in the work of agriculture in any meaningful way.  Further, we might also like to consider the difference between a Farmer and a Farm Labourer; on a pre-mechanised farm there is a much greater demand for labour than knowledge.  Much of the daily and seasonal agricultural work is routine,  and although working with animals requires skill, it does not require a high level of strategic decision making.
    However, concentration of agricultural wealth should be represented in the nature of farm buildings, with concentrations of larger and more specialised structures, perhaps in association with non-agricultural built environments.   
    By the Bronze Age, the design of agricultural built environments has to accommodate two important new factors, wheeled transport and the widespread use of horses.
    Farms
    Our traditional vision of a farm as a collection of buildings around a farmyard, is good starting point, but we also have to appreciate, that as a man made environment, a farm is system of enclosed spaces laid out in relation to topography aspect and soil, with due consideration of water supply and drainage. Hedges, fences, ditches and ponds, can be augmented using temporary structures like hurdles.   The system is linked by a network infrastructure of tracks, gates and pens, with the farmyard and its buildings at the centre, their scale reflecting the various capacities of the associated land.   
    Animals out-number people on farms, and if they have to housed, together with their feed, can take up a lot more room in terms of ground floor area. It should be borne in mind, that apart from the convenience and their own their own safety, we also need to enclose animals to stop them being stolen, a principle that extends to all agricultural products.  While the traditional farmyard villain was the fox, in prehistory, wolves, eagles and bears were not yet extinct, although as today, rodents, birds, and insects are the farmers habitual enemy. 
    Farm Buildings 
    Above and beyond the requirements of the humans, represented by things like houses, privies and woodsheds, there is a basic set of covered spaces that together constitute a basic set of farm buildings for mixed farm.[4] Spaces may be multipurpose or change their use depending on the season, and as the LBK longhouse illustrates,  some can be combined with human accommodation within a single building.  However, the specific form and function of each space is sufficiently unique for them to be considered as separate buildings.  
    • Byer / Cow house
    • Cart Shed
    • Barn
    • Granary
    • Stable
    • Pig Stye
    • Henhouse
    • Farm House
    These are all spaces we should ideally be able to detect archaeologically on a regular basis..
      Byer / Cow House
      Depending on local conditions, cattle may have to be kept indoors in severe winter weather, not only because there is no grass to eat in the fields, but also they could turn the churn pasture into mud.  Even when animals are enclosed in the open, such as in a yard, in order to control, some form of [shelter] shed may be required to help dispense, protect and conserve the feed.  Living over the cow house or byer is a good way of utilising the heat generated by the animals. 
      Byers tend to have:
      • Drinking water
      • Low ceiling
      • Door only slightly wider than human.
      • Stalls or method securing the cattle in position
      • Mangers for feed/ hay
      • Straw on the floor
      • Access to stores of hay straw and feed
      • Drains from the building
      Pairs of Working Oxen are routinely kept indoors where they can be fed high energy food and handled more easily, similarly milking cows will need stalls.
      Cart Shed
      The farm vehicles, carts [2 x wheels] or wagons [4 x wheels] need a shed, as does the plough, tools and a host of other equipment. Generally, yoked Oxen were used more than horses for farm work; [the former being more of a traditional diesel unit while the later are more like petrol engines]. Generally, a cart shed should be / have:
      • About the size of a garage
      • Wide and tall double doors
      • Tall spaces
      • Doors open outward into a yard/ space
      • Near the oxen/horses
      These buildings are characterised by a wide opening an adaption evident in any part of the farm that the cart may require access to.  
      Roundhouse with wide entrances: A: Pimperne Down, Hampshire. B & D: Little Woodbury, Wiltshire. C: Moel Y Gaer P10, Flintshire. E: Longbridge Deverill Cow Down, Wiltshire. F: Orsett S9, Essex. [5]
      In general, the width, height and turning circle of wheeled vehicles should be reflected in the design and layout of built environments they use.  Tall double doors are more complex to construct and hang, and should be firmly fixed even when open.  
      The Barn

      Although the term is wisely misused, a barn is a building for processing cereals and the storage of products. Once harvested, cereals have to be threshed to detach the grain from stalks [straw], and then winnowed to separate it from the lighter chaff.  Typically, threshing was done with a flail on a special [threshing] floor and winnowing by tossing the grain in a draught using a basket, both activities are best done in a lofty space.  
      So the characteristics of a barn are generally:
      • Tall space
      • Wide Door/s for wagon access
      • Through Draught
      • Threshing Floor
      • Space for storage of the unthreshed grain / straw
      Threshing and bagging grain in Germany in 1695 [6]
      The straw, the dried stalks of cereals, and hay, grass left to grow, cut down and dried in the sun,, can be can be satisfactorily stacked and covered without a building, but are probably better kept under cover. As with all bulk products storage close to where it is be used is preferable.
      The Granary 
      Traditionally’ granaries are raised off the ground or on a second floor, which also helps secure them against vermin, and keeps the grain away from the ground. 
      Grain has to dried before it can be stored, or it might rot or sprout; so spaces are required for processing and storage have to be dry.  In addition, Grain is transported by wagon and is stored in sacks, in bins or loose, so the ergonomics are also served by a floor raised to the height of a cart or wagon floor.  Grain was a valuable commodity. 
      • Raised above the ground
      • Strong load bearing floor
      • Dry and well ventilated
      • Secure 
      The "four-Post" granary, is one form of archaeological structure where function is apparently understood, and are another legacy of Bersu's Little Woodbury Excavation [7].  I have sugested a cantilever design based on the evidence from the LIA site at Orsett, [8].
      I have always felt grain storage pits/silos, that are found in the Iron Age, are a feature of chalk as they not become waterlogged, but have only one great advantage over a granary, - they can be hidden.
      Stables
      As already noted horses were not best suited to heavy work and more obviously adapted to speed.  They are relatively high value animals, and represent a significant investment in time and training.  Unlike domestic cattle which are relatively docile, horses are more spirited and can panic and hurt themselves. Ponies and horses vary in hardiness, and size, which effects how they are housed, but working animals are kept in doors for convenience, where they can be fed and kept dry particularly in winter. Horses are notably associated with chariots; both were items of prestige and status, which also need suitable housing.  Stables tend to be/have:
      • Relatively lofty open space
      • Water supply
      • Drain
      • Secure 
      • Slightly wider/ taller door 
      • Individual Stalls / loose box format.
      • Access to stores of hay straw and feed
      Other buildings
      Birds like Hens, Ducks, and Geese are kept for their eggs and meat, they should be housed or enclosed, [at least night], to protect them and for convenience of collecting eggs.  The design of the Henhouse is conditioned by the hen’s preference for roosting off the ground, and any attached run by the need to protect them from predation.   The traditional pig style is a low building with an attached pen, troughs and water supply.
      Individual animals of any kind may require separating, perhaps when sick,  and putting into a loose box, a flexible space to accommodate such eventualities.
      Sheep [and goats] are the hardiest of animals, but still need enclosure and protection, particularly during lambing when they are vulnerable. Unlike other domesticated species, sheep, and particularly ewes, don’t readily become accustomed to being handled. Depending on the regime individual sheep may require attention or separating into different groups; they will have to be sheared and their fleeces stored.  There is a range of domestications evident by historical times such as ferrets, Birds of prey, even bees, but their ‘archaeology’ is somewhat obscure.
      Conclusions
      Animals kept indoors require appropriate systems for storage and dispensing of water, feed and bedding, which are simple and practical to replenish. Disposal of wastes in its various forms is also a matter of real concern, but usually only visible to archaeology when drains are used inside a building. In many respects, the layout of animal accommodation is primarily to serve human needs. 
      What becomes of the agricultural products for human consumption, the spaces needed for processing, storage and consumption relates to a different set of buildings that cater for the diverse needs of people is a separate topic.     
      I have covered a range of theoretical buildings, any one of which would be a PhD research project in its own right, since in terms of British Prehistory you would be starting from ground zero. Such buildings are rarely alluded to in reports and they would have to be sought in the detail of excavation data.  A methodology of reverse engineering structures from excavated data is only way conceivable way of developing a more nuanced understanding of both form and function in prehistoric build environments. However, for farmers, it is often the shared connective space, the yard/s, rather than the buildings that is often the focus of activity.  For archaeology, the postholes and other features are the focus, but it is the nature of the spaces they define that is the key to understanding function, and it is their relationship to open areas that often gives context to farm buildings. 

      Sources and further reading

      [1] P. Bogucki (1996), 'The Spread of Early Farming in Europe'. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 3, May-June, 1996.
      [2]PJR Modderman (1970): 'Linearbandkeramik aus Elsloo und Stein 2.' Tafelband, Leiden Univ., Faculty of Archaeology.
      PJR Modderman (1975): 'Elsloo, a Neolithic farming community in the Netherlands,' in Bruce-Mitford, R L S, Recent archaeological excavations in Europe, Chapter IX.
      PJR Modderman (1985), D'ie Bandkeramik im Graetheidegebiet, Niederländisch-Limburg.' Berichte der Römisch- Germanischen Kommission, 66:25-121
      [3] eg; Robenhausen site;
      http://www.mpm.edu/research-collections/anthropology/online-collections-research/robenhausen-site
      [4] R W Brunskill, 1999: Traditional farm buildings of Britain
      and their conservation
      [5]After D. W. Harding, I. M. Blake, and P. J. Reynolds (1993): An Iron Age settlement in Dorsett: Excavation and reconstruction. University of Edinburgh. Department of Archaeology Monograph series No. 1
      G. Bersu (1940): 'Excavations at Little Woodbury, Wiltshire. Part 1, the settlement revealed by excavation.' Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 6, 30 -111
      G. Guilbert1 (1981): "Double-ring roundhouses, probable and possible," in Prehistoric Britain Proc Prehist Soc 47 &. G. Guilbert (1982): 'Post-ring symmetry in Roundhouses at Moel y Gaer and some other sites in prehistoric Britain', in Structural Reconstruction - Approaches to the interpretation of the excavated remains of buildings; British Archaeological Report 110, BAR, 67-86
      S. C. Hawkes (1994): "Longbridge Deverill Cow Down, Wiltshire, House 3: A Major Round House of the Early Iron Age." Oxford Journ. Archaeol. 13(1), 49-69
      G. A. Carter (1998): 'Excavations at the Orsett ‘Cock’ enclosure, Essex, 1976'. East Anglian Archaeology Report No 86
      [6] Original image description from the Deutsche Fotothek Landwirtschaft & Getreideanbau & Dreschen & Lagerung http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Fotothek_df_tg_0007706_Landwirtschaft_%5E_Getreideanbau_%5E_Dreschen_%5E_Lagerung.jpg
       [7] G. Bersu: 1940: Excavations at Little Woodbury, Wiltshire. Part 1, the settlement revealed by excavation. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 6, 30 -111
      [8] G. A. Carter (1998): 'Excavations at the Orsett ‘Cock’ enclosure, Essex, 1976'. East Anglian Archaeology Report No 86

      Ancient Peoples

      Bronze Tripod c.1250-1050 BC Late Bronze Age Cypriot The bronze...



      Bronze Tripod

      c.1250-1050 BC

      Late Bronze Age

      Cypriot

      The bronze tripods and other vessel stands from Cyprus represent some of the finest metalwork produced in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Late Bronze Age. Some were cast in one piece; others, such as this one, were composed of pieces cast or worked separately and fastened together by means of hard-soldering. The decoration shows a blend of Mycenaean Greek and Near Eastern elements. The stands themselves have a wide distribution, having been found on Cyprus, Crete, and the Cyclades, as well as in mainland Greece, Sardinia, and Italy. Ancient repairs to this stand’s rim are one indication that it was a valuable, treasured item that may have been passed from one generation to another.

      (Source: The Met Museum)

      ArcheoNet BE

      Vesalius. Het lichaam in beeld

      In 2014 is het 500 jaar geleden dat de wereldberoemde anatoom Andreas Vesalius het levenslicht zag. Vesalius was een van de invloedrijkste figuren van de renaissance en een bekend alumnus van de Leuvense universiteit. Met zijn meesterwerk ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’ zette hij in 1543 de toenmalige anatomie op zijn kop. De stad Leuven en de universiteit vieren deze verjaardag met een groot stadsproject, waarvan de tentoonstelling ‘Vesalius. Het lichaam in beeld’ in museum M het hoogtepunt vormt.

      De uitgave van de Fabrica, met zijn prachtige illustraties van theatrale ‘skeletten’ en ‘spiermannen’ in imaginaire landschappen, zette Vesalius (1514-1564) definitief op de wetenschappelijke én culturele kaart. Nog tijdens zijn opleiding als arts in Leuven begon hij met het ontleden van lichamen van terdoodveroordeelden. Vesalius brak met de toenmalige praktijken door zijn onderzoek te baseren op eigen en directe waarnemingen.

      De ontdekking van het anatomische lichaam was het startschot van een groot internationaal enthousiasme voor publieke dissecties. Studenten geneeskunde, maar ook notabelen en gewone burgers woonden massaal de spektakels in de anatomische theaters van Europa bij. Na Vesalius zou elke zichzelf respecterende wetenschapper of kunstenaar het menselijk lichaam van heel dichtbij willen ontdekken en bestuderen.

      Op de tentoonstelling ‘Vesalius. Het lichaam in beeld’ in museum M is er niet alleen aandacht voor Vesalius als historisch figuur, ook zijn verregaande invloed op de ontwikkeling van de geneeskunde, de omgang met ons lichaamsbeeld en de beeldende kunsten komen uitgebreid aan bod.

      Praktisch: de tentoonstelling ‘Vesalius. Het lichaam in beeld’ loopt van 2 oktober 2014 tot 18 januari 2015 in M Leuven. Meer informatie over het Vesalius-jaar vind je op www.vesaliusleuven.be.

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      Biblical Studies Carnival September 2014 and More

      The latest Biblical Studies Carnival has been posted on the Cataclysmic blog. See also Reading Acts for information about future carnivals – and opportunities to host them.

      Brian Small has the past month’s Hebrews Highlights.

      There is lots more that is new on the Bible Odyssey website.

      Of related interest, David Stark shared information about University of St. Andrews theses online, Ben Witherington has reached part 86 (!) in his series blogging through N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God, and there is information about what is happening at GTS on Safe Seminary, the Episcopal Cafe website and elsewhere.

      And finally, I’m just sharing this for the element of surprise (HT Marc Cortez):

      element of surprise

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      St Louis archaeological society sells Egyptian treasure

      image

      The national leadership of the American Institute for Archaeology (AIA) has voiced its “deepest concern” over a planned sale on 2 October of ancient Egyptian “treasure” by a St Louis chapter of the organisation. The AIA says it was not consulted before the collection, estimated to bring in £80,000-£120,000, was consigned to auction at Bonhams, London.

      “We are strongly opposed to the proposed sale”, says Ann Benbow, the executive director of the AIA, in an email to The Art Newspaper. “If [it] goes forward, it will tarnish the long-standing reputation of the AIA, which has a strong stance against the sale of antiquities… Archaeological artifacts should be cared for and made available for educational purposes, not put up for auction.” Benbow adds that the AIA has “formally asked the St Louis Society not to go forward with the sale and are awaiting their response”. Read more.

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Not Just Beauty, But M&S Beauty ... PSA

      I loose a make-up bag almost every trip I take - and I'm sure Freud would have something to say about there being no such thing as accidents - so I do tend to buy more products than most ... I'm also in stocking up for presents early mode whilst there are bargains to be had, and so this M&S offer appealed to me:

      25% off selected beauty items with code: BEAUTY25*

      I probably shouldn't point out that it seems to work with the BOGOHP offers too; and some brand are doing gifts with purchase ... the BEAUTY25 code is only valid to 9am Friday, and it seems like rather a good bargain.


      I am aware that a lot of men seem to shop my beauty posts, so don't forget that if you're buying presents for a loved one, whether male or female, try to avoid anything that says "anti-wrinkle" ...

      APIVITA is a great natural organic brand which is more popular in Greece than Korres. Their lip care stick with a hint of blackcurrant is very good, as are most of their products.

      NUXE is a brand where I've raved about the lip products before.

      JURLIQUE is an Australian brand which is quite pricey, so this is the time to buy it; don't 'get' the facial spray, but the calendula products are very good for redness and itchy skin (think of it as the grown-up version of what was smeared on you as a child).

      REN and Dr Hauschka are products women seem to like to be given, but whilst REN is good, I honestly don't see what the fuss is about with DrH.

      Rodial is a brand I ask people to avoid. Whilst Maria Hatzistefanis can seem charming, any fan of Ben Goldacre and Bad Science would not be thrilled by her bullying tactics. I'm afraid that no amount of dinners or freebies will make me change my mind about her products.


      Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

      There is only one thing worse than not being read, and that is being read (by AQIS and ISIS)

      Within hours of me showing that the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir ez-Zor had been destroyed by the Islamic State (or factions within the Islamic State) @conflictantiq, the comparison image had been appropriated by abualtidore @abualtidore: ‘[the] Armenian Church in #DeirEzzor [has been] destroyed by #USA Coalition Airstrikes’. (Since then, his account has been […]

      Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

      Enough Already

      The Association of Art Museum Directors has made a powerful case to CPAC that the State Department's standard operating procedure of simply renewing (and sometimes expanding) MOUs and associated import restrictions  over and over again is not working.  Here is part of what the AAMD has told CPAC in its public comments on the proposed renewal of a MOU with El Salvador:


      El Salvador is one of the best examples of why the current system of simply renewing MOUs is ineffective and inconsistent with the CPIA.  The absence of a significant legitimate market in the United States for El Salvadorian Prehispanic objects has apparently had little or no effect on looting in El Salvador.  If the past, and presumably current, submissions to this Committee are to be believed, United States import restrictions alone have not been effective in significantly curtailing looting in El Salvador.  The time has come for the Committee to explore new ways, within the confines of the CPIA, to render real assistance to countries like El Salvador. 

      The AAMD does not suggest that it has all of the answers to this issue, but one can begin to identify those answers by admitting that simply repeating what has been done in the past is not likely to have any different result than what has occurred over the last 27 years.  In 2010, the AAMD recommended to this Committee that El Salvador be encouraged to begin a legal system of exchange of cultural property. This can be suggested under 19 U.S.C. § 2602(a)(4). Any such exchange should be taxed and the proceeds of that tax should be used to protect cultural sites and to encourage related employment by the local populations and the scientific exploration, storage and conservation of objects from those sites.  There may well be other approaches that reasonable people on all sides of these issues can recommend, but the first step needs to be taken by this Committee in acknowledging that new and different approaches must be taken if the archaeological record of a country like El Salvador is to be preserved and protected.

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Sarah Bond Likes MapScholar

      I know people found her post about the resources she used most very helpful - Sarah Bond: A Top Ten List of Websites for Daily Life in Antiquity - so this is her tip from today:


      (note - I must get more people to go these Top Ten Web Resources suggestions)

      David Gill (Looting Matters)

      Northampton Museums Service breached museum Code of Ethics

      Northampton Museums Service has withdrawn from Museums Association due to the sale of an Egyptian statue (Geraldine Kendall, "MA bars Northampton Museums Service for minimum of five years", MA 1 October 2014).
      The disciplinary panel ruled that the service, which is run by Northampton Borough Council, had breached the MA’s code of ethics by selling the ancient Egyptian statue Sekhemka from the collection of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. 
      The statue was sold at Christie’s in July for £15.8m and the council intends to share the proceeds with Lord Northampton, whose ancestors donated the statue to the museum. The council plans to use its share of the proceeds to fund a £14m extension of the museum. 
      The committee ruling found that the council had not demonstrated that the sale of Sekhemka was funding of last resort in relation to the development plans for the museum site. In addition, its plan to share the proceeds of the sale indicated that legal title of the object was not resolved. 
      David Fleming, the chairman of the MA's ethics committee, said: “We do appreciate the huge financial pressure that many local authority museums are under at the present time, but the MA's Code of Ethics provides for such a sale only as a last resort after other sources of funding have been thoroughly explored. 
      “At a time when public finances are pressured it is all the more important that museum authorities behave in an ethical fashion in order to safeguard the long-term public interest. Museums have a duty to hold their collections in trust for society. They should not treat their collections as assets to be monetized for short-term gain.” 
      Sharon Heal, the MA’s acting head of policy, said that the association had decided to bar the museums service from membership after careful consideration. 
      “Northampton Borough Council has clearly breached the MA’s Code of Ethics by selling the statues from its collection. Its actions are a clear violation of public trust at a local, national and international level. 
      “The MA is convening a summit of funding bodies later in the year to agree on a new range of sanctions and deterrents for governing bodies considering this course of action.”
      This is a major setback for Northampton's plans to develop their museum service.

      Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Collecting 101: A Head at Bonhams

      I'm always vaguely amused when people try to slander me to newspapers - the women who claimed to the Daily Mail I was trolling her, the collector I declined to work for who told the NY Times a pack of lies, Zahi Hawass who claimed to the WaPo he had a file an inch thick on my bad work in Egypt ... the problem is that a lot of untrue stories do make it into the press, and also a lot of propaganda about looting and collecting antiquities. There are too many people who have cried wolf and made too many unsubstantiated allegations, so they are not taken seriously by people dealing with the day to day business of antiquities, whether selling or buying. The looting of archaeological material and the destruction of sites is a huge problem, and I would in no way wish to downplay it. In recent years there has however arisen a whole industry of 'experts' most of whom do little other than travel from one conference to another, and complain about the issues to raise funds to travel to more international conferences.

      So we have a lot of hot air and a lot of allegations, but very little actual outreach explaining it to people. I've taken a slightly different approach. Whilst I often decline to answer questions about my work because of security or legal issues - or I don't want smugglers to know how we catch them! - I also thought it might be useful to explain some basics.

      Today the Greek Ministry of Culture issued a press release saying that Bonhams had withdrawn this lot from tomorrow's London Antiquties auction.

      The reason given is that "the head is contained in seized photographs, which shows the possible origin and illegal export" - given that it says "seized photographs" I assume they mean the polaroids taken by dealer Robin Symes and sometimes called the Schinoussa Archive, which were found in his Greek home there.

      There are people who kick up a huge fuss about anything that appears in these and in the polaroids of Giacomo Medici, but although both were dodgy dealers, they also sold a lot of licit material. Some photos showed newly excavated material covered in earth, others items bought at auction. So appearing in these polaroids is a black mark against an item, but not necessarily proof of anything more. That's why whatever self-proclaimed experts say, the Greek government is using the word "possibly" ... and if the photos had shown it had been stolen from a site or museum they would have said so.

      This herm was a copy of an original by Alcamenes, and was copied from the 5th century BC and throughout the Roman period. Even a quick Google Image Search shows just how many there were of these ...

      Where dodgy people often mess up is in trying to be too clever with the provenance and literature:



      This is pretty meaningless. It is almost suggesting a link, as if it could possibly have come from Pergamon by implying it rather than stating it. Almost as if they'd rather hoped it had had this inscription on the missing bits like the complete copy in Istanbul ...


      And then we move on to the description and provenance, which are like a series of red flags to a bull:


      "Probably originally from a herm"?!! Unless there is evidence to the contrary, it was almost certainly from a herm.

      "archaic style" is a term I have only heard people bluffing their way through art use: it's either Archaic and early 5th century BC or earlier preceding the Classical period, or it is archaising in that it is deliberately executed in an 'old' style to deliberately recall a past age - the latter is what Alcamenes was aiming for, and what the sculptors at Amphipolis were too. My issue with auction houses is that they often employ people who don't know what they are doing as they can pay them less, but since Olga Palagia also has issues differentiating when it comes to this, perhaps I am being to harsh.

      "Nicolas Koutoulakis Collection, Geneva, acquired circa 1965, thence by descent" ... circa 1965 is designed to evade the 1970 cut-off point. And "circa" to me suggests that once again Bonhams would not be able to provide paperwork to substantiate this; collectors have complained about this to me in the past. Nicolas Koutoulakis died in 1996, and Bonhams seem to have passed through his Geneva collection. The fact that a ridiculously high percentage of the items that passed through his hands have turned out to have been looted is neither here nor there, as most were before 1970. The bigger issue for me is that he kept most of his collection in Paris.

      So Symes polaroids + dodgy dealer + Bonhams track record + no paperwork + odd write-up + second dodgy dealer = the balance of probability suggests that this piece was looted.

      I've already said that I think this plate looks like a modern fake. This doesn't really bother me - auction houses operate under caveat emptor, and frankly I don't care if arrogant collectors buy fakes any more than if they exhibit exceptionally bad taste in their vanity project museums. Fakes have been around forever, and arguably the Roman Hermes above is a fake of Alcamenes' Hermes Propylaios - and they don't damage archaeological sites.

      Bonhams are the ones to watch in terms of dodgy antiquities, and nobody else would have had the arrogance to try to sell the Sevso Treasure ...

      ... and did anyone notice that they announced with huge hyperbole in 2009 as the property of European Private Collector, this Roman cameo glass vase? ... it was bigger than the Portland Vase so it had to be better ... forget the quality, just feel the weight ...

      I asked to see it at the time, and Bonhams told me they were only showing it to experts. The hand-selected experts they allowed to see it were all suitably grateful. Representatives of the north African government who felt that the balance of probability was that it was recently looted from their soil were not.

      Bonhams got their press puffery, but were unable to sell the vase. Christie's have an excellent legal department who take issues raised by reputable sources seriously. Bonham's bluffed and lost.

      Obviously not everything Bonhams sells is dubious, as even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      The provenance of this Roman head sounds just as nebulous - no dodgy dealer named, but also not much concrete information.


      But they left out mention of the key point which shows that the head clearly has a long collecting history - the old nose repair ...


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

      Ps.Chrysostom, De Salute Animae, now online in English

      A rather splendid Greek sermon appears in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum as entry 4622 (vol. 2, p.577-8), among the spuria of Chrysostom, with the title De salute animae (on the salvation of the soul).  Some mss. attribute it to Chrysostom, others to Ephrem Syrus.  It exists in two versions in Greek, and also in Coptic, Georgian and Arabic versions.

      The content of the sermon is terrific!  It is an exhortation to Christians not to be led astray by the things of this world, but instead to strive to work out our salvation and to be what Christ wants us to be.  The writer points out how futile the distractions will look on judgement day.

      Adam McCollum drew my attention to this obscure work, and he has kindly translated the two Greek versions for us.  The translation is given in parallel columns, so that the differences can be seen.  As is quickly apparent, this is one sermon that has been reworked by a secondary author.

      Here it is:

      Since the two are in parallel format, there’s only a PDF of this at the moment.  (It is also on Archive.org here)

      As with all my commissions, I place this in the public domain.  Do whatever you like with it, personal, educational or commercial.

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      New Polish archaeological project in Jordan

      Scientists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University are searching for traces of human presence from the Stone Age to the Roman period near Tafilah in southern Jordan.

      "We have just started the first season of work, which will continue until the beginning of October - explained Dr. Piotr Kolodziejczyk, who leads the project together with Dr. Wojciech Machowski. - This year’s surface surveys, during which we search for fragments of pottery and ancient tools on the surface, are carried out in very difficult, mountainous conditions" - he added.

      Some parts of the area selected jointly by the Poles and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities are almost inaccessible or will require climbing, and even the use of drones in the process of documentation. Read more.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Northampton Borough Council is barred from Museums Association membership for sale of Sekhemka statue.


      Northampton Borough Council is barred from Museums Association membership for sale of Sekhemka statue. Northampton Borough Council is only the fourth organisation that has been barred from membership in the MA's 125-year history. Let us see if the AIA can put their money where their mouth is and suspend the St Louis branch for its upcoming sale tomorrow.

      Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

      Hellenistic Corinth

      Over the last few weeks I’ve bee reading Mike Dixon’s new book: Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Corinth, 338-196 BC for a book review. As with so many of my plans, I had hoped to have a draft of the book review done by the end of September. It doesn’t look like that will happen, so instead, I’ll write a blog post that can serve as a rough draft of the review and to capture my impressions on the book before they get washed out by a million other little projects.

      Dixon’s work on the Hellenistic Corinth was eagerly anticipated. His 2000 dissertation on interstate arbitration in the northeastern Peloponnesus became a convenient guide to the unpublished antiquities and general topography of the southeastern Corinthia. It was among the finest of a group of topographic dissertations focusing on the northeastern Peloponnesus in Greek antiquity. In this work he demonstrated that he was a conscientious reader of archaeological landscapes, and he brought this same care to his reading of the political landscape of the Hellenistic Corinthia.

      There is much to like in this book.

      First, it appears at a time when the Hellenistic world is enjoying a renaissance and the archaeology of Hellenistic Corinthia will get its share. The publication of Sarah James’ dissertation, the imminent publication of the Rachi settlement above the sanctuary at Isthmia, and David Pettegrew’s soon to be published monograph on the historical periods on the Isthmus, and even my own modest contributions to the fortification and topography of the Late Classical and Hellenistic Corinthia demonstrate the extent of scholarly interest in this period and this place. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Hellenistic period is the new Late Antiquity. 

      Dixon’s book provides a single destination for the literary sources central to the basic narrative of the Hellenistic period at Corinth. This alone makes the book valuable to scholars of the Corinthia. Dixon’s argument that the Corinthian polis negotiated its relationship with its Macedonian rulers through the strategic deployment of eunoia, or reciprocal goodwill, is likely to attract critique, but it is consistent with how scholars like John Ma have understood the relationship between cities and Hellenistic rulers.

      Dixon’s book is explicitly and almost exclusively political in scope, and he creatively weaves together the admittedly limited sources for the city’s political life throughout this period. At times, Dixon’s work feels a bit speculative. For example, his efforts to understand why Corinth did not return the actor Thessalos who had fled to Corinth after angering Phillip II for attempting to arrange a marriage alliance on Alexander’s behalf. Dixon offers several possible scenarios to explain why Corinth defied Phillip’s request despite having a Macedonian garrison there. Dixon proposes (albeit gently) that Thessalos could be a Corinthian and this accounted for his confidence in fleeing to the city. The reason for Corinth’s failure to comply and endangering eunoia with the Macedonian dynasty remains unclear, and Dixon’s speculation adds little substantive to his arguments. In fact, if more evidence existed for Corinth during this period, it would be tempting to reject the historicity of the Thessalos affair and the letter of Phillip as many scholars have and move on. In Dixon’s defense, he marks his treatment of this affair as speculative, and I tend to appreciate his willingness to explore the limited sources fully, but to others these red herrings may detract from his overall arguments.

      More problematic in Dixon’s work is his tendency to read the behavior of the city as monolithic in its motivation. For example, I struggled to discern the strategy of eunoia from the goals of the Corinthian state. Even when a Macedonian garrison watched over the city of Acrocorinth, there must have existed factions within the Corinthian demos who sought not only different ends but also different means to these end. For example, in the complex political wrangling that involved Corinth’s relationship with the Achaean League and the political influence of Aratos of Sikyon, some of Corinth’s vacillating might reveal political factions within the city who had varied interests rather than the pivot of the entire city based on proximate military or diplomatic threats. 

      While we lack the sources to confirm the existence of these factions, Dixon’s reading of the Corinthian politics assumes certain strategic understandings of power relations in the Hellenistic world. In recent years, the study of Hellenistic diplomacy and practical political theory has enjoyed renewed attention. My entrance into these debates came through Michael Fronda’s book on the diplomatic moves of Hannibal and the Greek cities of south Italy during the Second Punic War. Dixon’s book and arguments would have been stronger had he engaged some of this recent scholarship more fully to frame his work in a larger historiographic and theoretical context. Whether this would have revealed more nuanced readings of Corinth’s diplomatic history is difficult to know, but it certainly would have linked the history of this important city more clearly to ongoing discussions on interstate relations in the ancient world. 

      I would have also enjoyed a more thorough treatment of archaeological work outside of the immediate environs of the city. Dixon’s dissertation and experience excavating at Corinth demonstrated his archaeological chops, and he dedicates a chapter to the archaeology of the Hellenistic period on the Isthmus. Most this chapter focused on major monuments and sanctuaries, and most of his critical engagement with recent archaeological work in the region appears only in his footnotes. For example, it would have been useful to understand how Dixon understood David Pettegrew’s recent skepticism toward the economic significance of the diolkos. I have also valued Dixon’s take on the various remains fortifications from the Late Classical and Hellenistic period throughout the Corinthia. Understanding the strategies employed by various Macedonian monarchs (and invading armies) to fortify or garrison the city’s chora might provide insights into how recognized Corinth’s military value in a regional context as well as their approach to protecting the city’s  economic foundation in the countryside.

      In general, my desire for greater attention to archaeological detail and efforts to connect Corinthian diplomatic practices to ongoing discussions within the field reflect more my interest and the book that I’d like to see, than any shortcoming on Dixon’s part. 

      Finally, (and I say this with the trepidation of someone who just published a book) I wish these Routledge books were better copy edited. While copy editing problems never obscured the meaning of the text, they were frequent enough to be distracting. Things like this, however, do not detract from the book’s over all value. It’ll be the first book on a new shelf in my library ready to receive the fruits of the impending Hellenistic revival.   


      Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

      DEFENDENTI Federico

      Doctorant contractuel de l'EPHE

      - Thèse en cours (début en 2012)

      Bâtir un Empire ? Urbanisme, territoire, pouvoirs et idéologies royales au Proche-Orient à l'Âge du Fer

      Thèse préparée en co-tutelle sous la direction de : Mme Maria Grazia MASETTI-ROUAULT (EPHE) et Mme Rita DOLCE (Università di Roma III)

      - Principaux thèmes de recherches :

      • Archéologie de la région syro-anatolienne et mésopotamienne à l'Âge du Fer I-III
      • Principautés syro-hittites
      • Empire médio et néo-assyrien
      • Impérialisme dans le monde ancien
      • Propagande et idéologie royale
      • Géographie historique
      • Urbanisme

      - Participation à des projets scientifiques au Proche-Orient :

      2009 et 2010 : Fouilles archéologiques du site de Tell Masaïkh/Kar-Assurnasirpal (région de Deir-ez-Zor, Syrie), dans le cadre du projet « Terqa et sa région », sous la direction de Mme Maria Grazia MASETTI-ROUAULT.
      2010 : Fouille archéologique du site de Kilik Mishik (Erbil, Kurdistan d'Irak) sous la direction de M. Olivier ROUAULT (Université de Lyon 2) et de Mme Maria Grazia MASETTI-ROUAULT.
      Depuis sa création en 2011 : Fouilles archéologiques du site de Qasr Shemamok/Kilizu (Kurdistan d'Irak) sous la direction de M. Olivier ROUAULT (Université de Lyon 2) et de Mme Maria Grazia MASETTI-ROUAULT. Responsable de l'enregistrement informatique des données.

      - Communications scientifiques

      7 juin 2012 : Rapport sur les travaux du Chantier B de la deuxième campagne de fouille (avril-mai 2012) de la Mission Archéologique Française à Qasr Shemamok/Kilizi, dans le cadre du séminaire de Mme MASETTI-ROUAULT à l'EPHE, Paris.

      18 juillet 2012 : « French Archaeological Mission in Qasr Shemamok/Kilizi (Iraqi Kurdistan) : 2012 Preliminary Report » communication à la 58e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 2012 (15-21 juillet 2012 - Université de Leiden, Pays Bas), avec Ilaria CALINI (doctorante à l'EPHE),

      22 mai 2013 : « Le site néo-assyrien de Tell Masaïkh en Syrie. Identification, étude et interprétation des différents types d'espaces » communication à la 8e Journée doctorale d'Archéologie » organisée par l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ED 112.

      6 juin 2013 : « Rapport sur les travaux dans les loci K29 et K30 du Chantier B de la troisième campagne de fouille (avril-mai 2013) de la Mission Archéologique Française à Qasr Shemamok/Kilizi », dans le cadre du séminaire de Mme MASETTI-ROUAULT à l'EPHE, Paris.

      14 juin 2013 : Présentation du projet de doctorat « Bâtir un Empire ? Urbanisme, territoire, pouvoirs et idéologies royales au Proche-Orient à l'Âge du Fer », dans le cadre du colloque international Archéologie et Histoire des empires : modèles, projets et travaux en cours en Mésopotamie du Nord. Nouveaux programmes au Kurdistan d'Irak, organisé par Mme MAETTI-ROUAULT et la Mission archéologique française à Qasr Shemamok, 14-15 juin 2013, à l'EPHE, Paris.

      20 Novembre 2013 : « Le pouvoir royal proche-oriental au Ier millénaire av. J.-C. : Le cas du royaume de Tabal en Anatolie méridionale », communication dans le cadre du Colloque « Les mises en scènes de l'autorité dans l'Antiquité » organisé par le laboratoire ERAMA à l'École Normale supérieure de Lyon.

      05 juin 2014 : Rapport sur les travaux du secteur Ouest du Chantier B de la quatrième campagne de fouille (avril-mai 2014) de la Mission Archéologique Française à Qasr Shemamok/Kilizi, dans le cadre du séminaire de Mme MASETTI-ROUAULT à l'EPHE, Paris.

      9-13 juin 2014 : Poster « Le site de Qasr Shemamok/Kilizu », IX ICAANE 2014, Bâle, Suisse, en collaboration avec S. OBREJA (doctorante Paris I).

      CV de Federico DEFENDENTI

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      Based on a True Story?

      I saw this ad for the upcoming Left Behind movie on the blog Speculative Faith:

      leftbehind_basedonatruestory-576x1024

      There is no sense in which Left Behind is “based on a true story” – even one that hasn’t happened yet. It is based on an impressionistic reading of Revelation that ignores its original context, and often ignores what it explicitly says, and finds ways of turning it into a story that conveys the authors’ twisted theological ideology.

      Of related interest, Fred Clark is continuing to skewer the Left Behind series in his blog review of Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist. His review posts provide ample evidence of why the Left Behind series is poor literature as well as poor theology and poor Biblical interpretation.

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Pirate Outfits ... PSA

      I understand that in the US the St James striped tees have been marketed as the nec plus ultra, but I've always preferred those from nautical shops or Petit Bateau ... The tees make perfect striped pirate tops as well as everyday wear, and because children grow so fast, like everyone else I try to buy them in the sale.

      Petit Bateau Private Sale runs from today for four more days*

      EAGLE News: Europeana Network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy

      Eagle 2014 conference in Paris: the Poster

      Here’s our amazing poster for the Eagle 2014 conference in Paris! Heartfelt thanks to École Normale Supérieure and Collège de France Chaire Religion, institutions et société de la Rome antique who hosted this most high-profile event!

       

      15255_712185915542844_3235386804590927079_n

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      "Detectorists" Inviting a Public Debate


      "The 66-year-old recently unearthed a
       2,000-year-old Roman coin in a field in Wiltshire,
       to add to his small collection of ancient finds. [...] 
      He’s one of the UK’s legion of about 20,000 metal detector owners.
      "

      Adrian Lee ('Detectorists: The treasure hunters digging up a fortune' Daily Express, October 1, 2014) has not won himself many friends in the metal detecting community this morning with his opinion piece on tomorrow's debut of "Detectorists" "a new BBC comedy revolving around the bizarre world of metal detecting". He's interviewed some real life artefact hunters, Dave Rees chairman of a club in Wiltshire and "his small collection of ancient finds", Jeanette Jacobs from Scunthorpe, and of course de rigeur, Dave Crisp the photogenic PAS poster-boy, the £360,000 Frome Hoard finder. Also interviewed was a gender-muddled Harry Bain ("he" is a "she"), editor of "The Searcher", and Trevor Austin GenSec of the NCMD. 
      In the BBC sitcom [Mackenzie] Crook plays Andy, an archaeology student [that's a new piece of information] who is working part-time as a cleaner. He and friend Lance, whose marriage collapsed when his wife left him for the manager of a pizza restaurant, are members of Danbury Metal Detecting Club and dream of unearthing a priceless Saxon hoard. “They are searching for something in their lives, not just gold coins,”  

      I don't know where Mr Lee gets his "20 000" figure from, but PAS's 531,620 records divided by 20 000 and divided by 17 years, comes out at each of them has reported just 1.56 finds a year. Hardly anything that the PAS could claim as "progress". And the archaeological heritage of Britain currently being curated in twenty thousand undocumented scattered and ephemeral personal collections is certainly a figure worth thinking about and discussing. Also if we were to accept that there are 20 000 active metal detecting artefact hunters in the UK, the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter would have to tick away twice as fast, hinting at how many undocumented items those collections potentially contain.



      Dealers and Mud


      Storied vessel
      PhDiva on her blog, perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, reacts to my earlier brief post about an opera's musical director on tour in Abu Dhabi passing by an antiquities shop there and commenting on it. She writes her of my "Throwing Mud At Dealers?":
      There are many fakes or dubious items on the market [...] but people have to stop throwing mud at dealers just because they are against the perfectly legal practice of collecting.
      Perhaps dealers could do a lot themselves to enhance the image of their business. Collecting is indeed perfectly legal, but is it always done perfectly legally in relation to the laws that apply to the material concerned in a given place or time? If it is, why not go a little bit out of the way to actually demonstrate it up-front? If mud-slinging achieves an awareness and an increased desire of individual dealers and dealers' associations and representatives to demonstrate kosher practices, then all for the better. Here is my reply:
      Hi, I suspect you have misunderstood the sense of what I wrote. Personally, I would expect Mr B. (like other dealers do) to have some broadly-formulated statement that all his goods have been legally-sourced and "sold with a guarantee of clear title" as well as being guaranteed as authentic (not fake).  Have a look though what he actually guarantees on the page to which I linked.That is the point I was making. What one makes of that is another matter.

      As for the question of guarantees of authenticity. Frankly, if you are guaranteeing something, I think that what is required is a statement which back that up which goes further than "because I say so".  We have all seen that there is a difference between an "informed opinion" (casus two 'Cabinet W' coins) and a cast-iron fact-supported guarantee - for example the availability of a report detailing what scientific analyses have been conducted by whom, when and what the results were. This applies in particular to artefacts where the seller is not providing full and verifiable collecting histories to show that the object concerned is fully 'grounded' to use Elizabeth Marlowe's term. Collectors seeking guaranteed authenticity should obviously demand either one or the other, and preferably both just to be sure.

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

      Norwich cathedral – no entrance unless you pay $8?

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.  All public institutions in our time seem to be in decay, with ever fatter salaries for those nominally in charge, and ever less concern as to whether the job gets done at all.  This is sometimes eerily remniscent of the 18th century.  Yesterday I found myself thinking of a passage in the Memories of Dean Hole, the Victorian Dean of Rochester, where, looking back on the wretched state of things as they were at that period, and imagining a foreigner visiting, he writes[1]:

      But most impressive, at first sight, to me was the sight, not only in cities and in towns, but in every village, of the church tower or spire, rising over the roofs and the trees, and hard by the pastor’s peaceful home. Surely, I thought, we have here, not only a prosperous, intellectual, energetic, brave, and accomplished people, but they are devout and religious also. Imagine then my disappointment when, as I drew near, I found the graveyards were uncared for, the tombstones broken, defaced, defiled, the church doors barred and locked, and when I obtained admission, for which I was manifestly expected to pay, I looked on desolation and decay, comfortable apartments for the rich, with cushions and carpets, bare benches for the poor; and was told that the church was only used once in the week, and that the chief shepherd resided a hundred miles from his sheep!

      Emphasis mine.

      Yesterday I visited the ancient city of Norwich, and, taken by a whim, walked over to the cathedral close in the deliciously named Tombland district of the city.  Once inside the close, an oasis of peace after the busy traffic without, I walked across to the west door, the entrance to the cathedral.  But … it was closed.  Instead, signs directed me to a little doorway, in the dreadfully inappropriate modern extension, with gift shop, restaurant and other commercially-driven features.  Not that I have any objection to a cathedral restaurant; but visiting it was not the purpose of my visit.

      norwich-entrance

      Rather gingerly I ventured into this entrance, and found myself looking at plate glass sliding doors, rather like an upmarket shop for women’s clothes.  The doors opened as I approached, and I stepped inside, and looked to see where the entrance to cathedral might be.  None was visible; but I was instantly buttonholed by an attendant who opened a leaflet she was proferring with a plan of the cathedral, and started heaping on me advice and help.  All of which was very unwelcome.

      The need for all this was caused solely by the fact that the Dean and Chapter had closed the west door and diverted me to a side door in a different building.  It was, frankly, very intrusive to be forced to engage in conversation with this tourist guide.  I wasn’t there for commercial purposes; she, on the other hand, was there for no other purpose.

      I declined the map, and obtained the information that entrance might be found to the left, behind some building work.  I walked, already feeling rather unsettled by all this, and found another doorway.  On the other side of this was an admissions desk, of the kind familiar from every tourist attraction, and prominently featured in very large letters was a statement along the lines of “Recommended Donation: £5″.  The whole view gave a very definite message to the visitor, and not by accident either.  If I went through that door, the message was, I had better be prepared for a fight, or to lose a substantial amount from my wallet.

      Of course I could have hardened my heart and strode through.  But what manner of man comes to a cathedral in that frame of mind?  Other than perhaps Oliver Cromwell, whose attitude towards cathedrals at that moment struck me as more reasonable than it usually does.

      What sort of church creates conditions in which sensitive visitors are guilt-tripped into handing over money, or else made to feel uncomfortable throughout their stay, or encouraged to make themselves insensitive?  We’re not children.  We know how modern fund-raising is done.  We all know that such people are sharks, whatever they say.   All this flummery was merely manipulation, deliberate, cold-blooded, by design, and for no other purpose than to shake down the visitor for money.  And the visitor was presumed to be comfortably middle-class; for what poor man would enter, faced with this?

      I’m not ashamed to say that I turned around and walked back to the entrance that I had come in.  I didn’t want to be subjected to such psychological abuse.  I didn’t have to be here, after all.

      Not that I could get out so easily; the “automatic” door only admitted people, and it required the assistance of the tourist person to find a button to let me out.  It was noticeable how much less friendly my reception was on trying to leave!

      Outside I was accosted by a young man, dishevelled, his face bearing the marks of habitual insobriety, and with the urgency of one in need of his next fix.  On seeing my face he quickly abandoned his effort to get money, and I saw him approach several old ladies, and then he scampered out of the close.

      I wandered back to the town centre, and there I found a group of old men preaching and handing out leaflets.

      20140930_streetpreachersnorwich

      They weren’t slick.  Indeed their amateurishness was rather embarassing, and everyone gave them a wide berth.  But they kept on trying, and were still there a couple of hours later.

      One of them was trying to give away leaflets, without much luck.  I took one, and found that for the price of a stamp I could get more booklets and a free bible (which would otherwise cost £10).

      I was reasonably sure that none of these old men were members of the chapter of Norwich cathedral.

      The contrast between the two ways of following God struck me forcibly.  On the one hand was a vast estate of prime real estate, filled with lovely ancient buildings, providing those who ran it with every comfort and nice incomes.   These saw their task as extracting money from the visitor, in order to improve their own situation and that of the estate.  They were, in some respects, no different to the beggar at their door, seeking money for his fix; except that he was in need and they, conspicuously, were not.

      On the other hand were a group of men, asking nothing, unpaid, giving away what they had and willing to give more for the price of a stamp, and willing to be unpopular and mocked for doing so.

      It was an uncomfortable reflection, and somewhere in it is the root of all anti-clericalism, and indeed all atheism.

      It would be easy to be unfair on the Dean and Chapter, of course.  They owe their appointment to the state, which controls all church appointments by a Byzantine system of committees,[2] and appoints men principally for their loyalty to the establishment, their flexibility in principle, and their ability to shuffle the paper and utter pieties when needed.  But what it does not provide is funding to go along with it.  The appointees must make do with whatever historic funds their institution has; and this is rather slender.  Naturally men of this kind will try to make ends meet by whatever methods are available, as any of us might in the same position.  They are not sensitive to the claims of Christianity, and its responsibility to others, for otherwise they would not have been appointed.[3]  So … they do as such men have always done.  What else could they do?  They do, indeed, as the Jewish priests in Roman times did.  They act pragmatically.  But I do believe that a certain Jesus of Nazareth commented unfavourably on such behaviour.  On the other hand, since he could never have afforded the “recommended donation”, perhaps it doesn’t matter?

      It’s all rather sad.  I hope that I live long enough to see, as Dean Hole lived long enough to see, the end of such things.  Let us hope that we too can say, of our imaginary foreigner, looking at what we see now:

      How great would be his surprise of joy could he return to us now!

      Let us hope it will be so with us too.

      Postscript: I commented on this on Twitter. This drew the following curious response:

      I enjoyed the irony of this: the bland denial of the extraction process, followed by an email address starting with the word “marketing@…”.

      No thank you, gentlemen; I am not part of your “marketing”.

      1. [1] Online here, p.137.
      2. [2] Those who question whether Anglican appointments are indeed of this nature – for I have seen it questioned – should ponder on the appearance of an Old Etonian archbishop recently, appointed by an Old Etonian Prime Minister with a cabinet full of Old Etonians.  The appointment provoked an outbreak of mirth and cartoons in major  newspapers.
      3. [3] I am told that it is now almost 20 years since any bible-believing Christian was made a bishop, and that 80 appointments have been made since.  Not one bishop now believes the bible.  Such are the perils of a state church.

      ArcheoNet BE

      Twee nieuwe brochures zetten Mechels erfgoed in de kijker

      In twee nieuwe brochures van de Provincie Antwerpen wordt het erfgoed en het landschap in Mechelen en omgeving in de kijker gezet. De landschapsbrochure ‘Zennegat en Battenbroek. Landschap van mens en rivier’ vertelt over het water rondom Mechelen. De erfgoedbrochure ‘Schuilen binnen de stadsmuren. De refuge van Sint-Truiden in Mechelen’ vertelt dan weer de geschiedenis van het prestigieuze toevluchtsoord in de Mechelse binnenstad.

      Zennegat en Battenbroek. Landschap van mens en rivier
      Deze brochure in de reeks ‘Landschappen in de provincie Antwerpen’ werd op dinsdag 30 september voorgesteld tijdens de jaarlijkse provinciale Landschapsdag. Volledig in het thema van deze dag, besteedt de brochure uitvoerige aandacht aan het rivierlandschap rondom Mechelen. Het Zennegat, waar de Zenne, de Leuvense Vaart en de Dijle samenvloeien, maar ook het Battenbroek en de Grote Vijver, waar de Nete en de Dijle bijeenkomen, zijn vandaag een waardevol en beschermd natuurgebied met een grote verscheidenheid aan fauna en flora, maar kent ook een interessante geschiedenis. Archeologisch onderzoek dat werd uitgevoerd vooraleer het Vlaamse Sigmaplan van start ging, bracht namelijk heel wat informatie op over hoe onze voorouders in het gebied leefden en met het water omgingen.

      brochure_refugeSchuilen binnen de stadsmuren. De refuge van Sint-Truiden in Mechelen
      Open Monumentendag vormde de aanleiding voor de uitgave van een nieuwe brochure over de geschiedenis van de prestigieuze refuge van Sint-Truiden aan de Schoutetstraat in Mechelen, een onbekende parel tussen de provinciale eigendommen. Kanunnik Willem Sarens liet de refuge in de 16de eeuw optrekken als schuiloord voor de benedictijnenabdij van Sint-Truiden. In 1921 kocht de provincie Antwerpen het complex aan en liet het historisch onderzoeken met het oog op een grondige restauratie. Door de jaren heen werd de refuge verbouwd, herbestemd en gerestaureerd. Vandaag wordt het gebruikt door het aartsbisdom Mechelen.

      Praktisch: Deze en andere brochures zijn gratis verkrijgbaar bij het Cultuurloket van de provincie Antwerpen via cultuurloket@provincieantwerpen.be of 03/240.66.30. Meer provinciale erfgoedpublicaties vind je terug op www.provincieantwerpen.be.

      Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

      September Pieces Of My Mind #2

      • Did I just tell the students that “polysemic” refers to people who donate repeatedly to sperm banks? Surely not?
      • In mid-70s Dungeons & Dragons, players would often bring their characters from one dungeon master and gaming group to another, effectively skipping between worlds. Unheard of in Swedish 80s and 90s gaming.
      • Annoying: seeing that the next five end-notes in the book I’m reading are just brief citations with no interesting text, making a mental note of this, then forgetting and looking the following end-note up anyway. I wish end-notes would be consistently narrative text or citations, not both in the same book.
      • Easily anthropomorphised bird behaviour: the Common Murre, Sw. sillgrissla, forms couples that rear a single chick on a high rock ledge. When the chick is fledged, the male flies down to the sea surface below the ledge and calls to the chick until it jumps down to dad. Then the male feeds and accompanies the chick until it is ready to become independent.
      • I’ve got two similar keys on my work keyring. Only one of them actually fits the three locks on the office door and iron gate. But of these locks, one doesn’t quite like its key. You have to turn the second, irrelevant key in that lock before the real key will open or close it.
      • Why doesn’t ecologically grown cocoa powder come in large packages? I understand the difference between unit price and kilogram price, thank you very much. Don’t all consumers? If not then they are not fit to live.
      • Was just frustrated to find no watch top right in my paper book.
      • Strangely intimate to shave and brush my teeth at a washstand in Bromma Airport’s co-ed departure-hall bathroom. Better than getting up 20 minutes earlier.
      • I discombobulate students by moving halfway down the room for discussions instead of remaining up front at the lectern.
      • On the walking tour of Kalmar with the students, this oldish lady joined the group out of nowhere. She made the students carry her stuff and asked a lot of slightly off-topic questions in a reasonable and cultured tone. For instance, while I was talking on site about the late-17th century demolition of the old town cathedral, she wanted to know what people over in Kalmar Castle ate in the Middle Ages.
      • Flunked job interview. Got rave reviews on students’ anonymous course evaluation. Don’t know what to think. Maybe I’m good at teaching but bad at job interviews?
      • Do you miss the Beatles and the Super Furry Animals? Then listen to The Dowling Poole’s first album, Bleak Strategies, that came out in April. I love it!
      • Banksy Moon hides in plain sight as Secretary General of the UN.
      • Jr. is on the school LAN party committee. He designed the logo. Jrette is starring in a kids’ science show for Swedish Broadcasting, working two full days a week with this until the end of the year. *proud dad*
      • Being a bookish nerd who doesn’t watch TV, I’ve always had some trouble finding shared points of cultural reference with people. This has become doubly difficult as I’ve begun teaching folks who are in their early 20s, where there’s a major age gap as well.
      • Esprit d’escalier is Treppenwitz in German.
      • Reading a 2004 urban fantasy story about a teenage girl. Personification of slim is “Ally McBeal”, of beautiful is “Britney Spears”.
      • The flying rowan at Kristineberg subway station is still doing well.
      • I really hate the smug claim to a privileged meta-perspective on previous research that is the defining characteristic of post-modernist humanities writing.
      • Slightly outweirded when Facebook suggests that I should befriend an account that represents a Stockholm BDSM club, on the grounds that three of my Fb friends, each from a separate social circle, are buddies with it.
      • I started gradually going bald around when the first seasons of The X-files aired in Sweden, and it was a comfort to me that Mulder’s and Scully’s badass boss Skinner was an honest-to-goodness side-fringy baldy. Mitch Pileggi who played Skinner was 41 when the series started, and here I am now, same age, same hair style, same badass demeanour.
      • “Is that prostitute wearing full plate armour and brandishing a sword?!” “Oh, yeah, that’s Betty. She’s just a complete Ivanhoe, ‘s all.”
      • Swansea = Sveinns ey = Sven’s Island.

      Compitum - événements (tous types)

      Journée d'étude sur les théâtres gallo-romains

      Titre: Journée d'étude sur les théâtres gallo-romains
      Lieu: Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée / Lyon
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 25.10.2014
      Heure: 16.00 h - 14.00 h
      Description:

      Information signalée par Filipe Ferreira et Carmen Palermo

      Journée d'étude sur les théâtres gallo-romains

       

      Matiné (présidé par Jean-Charles Moretti)

      9h30 - 10h00 Accueil des participants
      10h00 – 10h30 Introduction à la journée par Jean-Charles Moretti
      10h30 – 11h00 Matthieu Poux « Le théâtre de Corent et les premiers édifices théâtriformes en Gaule »
      11h00 – 11h30 Christophe Belliard « L'édifice de spectacle de Naintré (Vienne) : une relecture du monument à la lumière des découvertes archéologiques récentes »
      11h30 – 12h00 Filipe Carvalheiro-Ferreira « La redécouverte du théâtre de la Genetoye à Autun »

      12h00 – 12h30 échanges

      12h30 – 14h00 pause déjeuner

      Après-midi (présidé par Jean-Yves Marc)

      14h00 – 14h30 Thomas Hufschmid « Augusta Raurica et Aventicum - deux théâtres gallo-romains en Suisse. Architecture, utilisation, histoire »
      14h30 – 15h00 Carmen Palermo « L'édifice de spectacles de Drevant »
      15h00 – 15h30 Elio Polo « Le site du Colombier à Sault-Brénaz (Ain): site méconnu dans le paysage archéologique»

      15h30 – 15h40 pause

      15h40 – 16h10 Séverine Blin et Fabien Pilon « Le théâtre de Châteaubleau »
      16h10 – 16h40 Myriam Fincker « Tracer un théâtre sur un terrain en pente »

      16h40 – 17h00 échanges

      17h00 – 17h30 Thomas Hufschmid « Conclusions et perspectives de recherches »

      Lieu de la manifestation : 7 Rue Raulin, MSH -Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon.
      Organisation : Ferreira Filipe / Carmen Palermo
      Contact : fferreira@unistra.fr / carmen.palermo.mail@gmail.com

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Metal Detectorist Arrested in Greece



      The seized artefacts (Greek Reporter)
      Antiquity looting and smuggling are a pervasive problem in Greece, the Greek police make dozens of arrests per year in connection with the trade. Greek police announced the arrest on Monday of a 72-year-old Greek man accused of violation of cultural heritage law, possession of illegal weapons, as well as embezzlement. The 72-year-old man had reportedly been involved in similar activity in the past.
      Investigation of the man’s home in a village near the city of Alexandria in northern Greece revealed 1,061 ancient copper coins. Most date from the Hellenistic period – the third to first centuries BC – the Byzantine period – 330 AD to 1453 AD – and the Ottoman period – the 15th to the 19th centuries AD. Police said that the coins were seized on Sunday, along with 30 silver coins dating to the same periods, 16 copper rings, as well as precious jewels of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine eras. Police also found an assault rifle, seven pistols of various calibers, six handguns, two hunting rifles, 15 metal detectors [...] . 
      The photo accompanying the article shows a heap of uncleaned coins which were either in his own personal collection or were destined for the market, and artefacts among which is something which looks like aqn radiate headed fibula. One of the objects however, while it may be 'Byzantine', I suppose looks awfully like the sort of things that come out of the SE Baltic/ NW Russian regions. Is this collection a mixture of locally found and imported artefacts? Only closer analysis can tell.

      Nikoleta Kalmouki, 'Greek Man Arrested for Illegal Possession of Ancient Coins' Greek reporter Sep 30, 2014.

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Roman Inscriptions of Britain

      Roman Inscriptions of Britain
      http://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/images/RIB001065LS-home.png

      Welcome to the home of RIB online

      This website hosts Volume One of The Roman Inscriptions of Britain, R.G. Collingwood's and R.P. Wright's magisterial edition of 2,401 monumental inscriptions from Britain found prior to 1955. It also incorporates all Addenda and Corrigenda published in the 1995 reprint of RIB (edited by R.S.O. Tomlin) and the annual survey of inscriptions published in Britannia since.

      Preface (2014)

      Editorial Policy

      This online edition of RIB aims to faithfully reproduce the printed edition and the relevant addenda and corrigenda published in Journal of Roman Studies and Britannia. We have endeavoured to make as few editorial interventions as possible, apart from the correction of typographical errors and the modifications necessary to incorporate the addenda and corrigenda. In particular:
      • Addenda have been interleaved or appended, as appropriate (e.g., 1045, 1051). Addenda from the 1995 reprint are indicated by the notation ‘[RIB + add.]’. Addenda from Britannia since 1995 are similarly notated with their respective volume numbers and page references.
      • Corrigenda have been silently applied.
      • Last known locations of inscriptions have been updated where more recent information has been obtained.
      • Measurements have been converted from English imperial to metric, except where quoted. However, conversion of Roman measures to English feet (e.g., from passus or pedes) are unchanged.
      • Certain personal names have been regularized: Lywhd, Lluyd (sp?).
      • Instances of consonantal u have been changed to v.
      • Instances of ‘(centuria/o)’ and ‘(milliaria)’ have been converted to respective symbols (𐆛 and ) (e.g., 143, 977).
      • Newer readings characterized as ‘read’ or ‘better’ in the Addenda published with the 1995 reprint of RIB have been incorporated into transcripts.
      • References to "Mr. (now Professor) …" changed to "Professor …" (etc.)
      • Per Addendum (see note to RIB 152), all translations of numen as ‘deity’ have been changed to ‘divinity’, e.g., instances of ‘deities of the emperor’ are now ‘divinities of the emperor’.
      • Certain museum or other holding institution names have been updated (e.g., Carlisle Museum is now Tullie House Museum).
      • There have been numerous reorganizations of modern political boundaries in Britain in the nearly fifty years since RIB was first published. Accordingly, all geographical references have been updated to reflect these changes. E.g., the former county of Westmorland has been subsumed into Cumbria (formerly Cumberland), the Ridings of Yorkshire have been re-organized into their respective modern counties, Jarrow has been moved from County Durham to Tyne & Wear, etc.
      • Other geographical changes are as follows:

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      Academic Conferences Are…

      A Facebook page shared this image:

      academic conferences are

      I tried typing in those words and didn’t get the same suggestion, and so this is presumably either photoshopped or an indication of what the person who made it usually searches for. When I tried typing in variations, I found this:

      Why academic conferences are important

      I’ve never found an academic conference to be a waste of time. Even when the papers have not been of interest to me (and that has never been all or even most of the papers at a conference I’ve attended, except at big ones where most of the papers are supposed to be irrelevant to you, because it is a conference covering a big field), the conversations have been meaningful to me not only personally but professionally.

      But I expected that when I typed in “Academic conferences are…” it would suggest adding “expensive.” And so the question of whether universities with tight budgets will continue to fund travel to conferences is a question that we should be pro-active in thinking about. We need to articulate clearly the reason why we need to all travel long distances to present our ideas to our peers, when this can now be done online - and/or we need to begin making use of current technology to accomplish many of the same things in a less expensive and more efficient manner.

      If Google auto-completed your search query about academic conferences, what would it suggest, based on your own experience and online activity?

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      The Friedberg Genizah Project News

      Via e-mail
      The Friedberg Genizah Project (FGP) is pleased to announce that, following an Agreement with the Oxford Bodleian Libraries, high-quality digital images produced by the  Oxford digitization services for all Genizah manuscripts and fragments in these Libraries (about 25,000 images) will be displayed in the Friedberg Genizah website.

      FGP would like to thank the Bodleian Libraries and their Officers for their goodwill and their genuine spirit of cooperation in this endeavor.
       


      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Burial vault found in Youghal church

      Archaeologists have found a burial vault beneath a floor they were preparing for restoration in a church in east Cork.

      The vault — believed to date from the 1700s — was discovered in the 900-year-old St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal.

      During excavations, the archaeologists also found evidence of centuries-old heating systems.

      The vault, 30cm beneath the surface, was unearthed by Daniel Noonan, who runs an archaeological consultancy agency, working with John Kelly of David Kelly Partnership.

      They were investigating the floor’s subsidence in a €60,000 restoration project funded by the Heritage Council of Ireland. The stone vault was crisscrossed by protective pine beams between it and the floor. Read more.

      Israeli wine researchers aim to revive ancient libations

      ARIEL, West Bank (JTA) — The small cardboard box in Elyashiv Drori’s palm looks like it’s full of black pebbles.

      Closing the box quickly, he explains that it cannot be open for long. The pebble-like pieces, which were uncovered in an archaeological dig near Jerusalem’s Old City, are in fact remains of a kilo of grapes stored nearly 3,000 years ago. They were preserved under layers of earth from the era when David and Solomon ruled over the Land of Israel.

      Next to his laboratory at Ariel University, Drori — an oenophile who has judged international wine competitions — already has barrels of wine made from grapes that have grown in Israel for two millennia. Finding a living sample of the 3,000-year-old grapes will be the next step in his years-long quest to produce wine identical to that consumed in ancient Israel. Read more.

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Halloween Countdown ...

      Last year I was ill and curled up in bed, but this year I'm in charge ... Halloween and going trick or treating is relatively new in the UK, but in the US it's been a big deal for decades. The Boss is always popular as he gives full size bars of candy.

      I tend to be way over-prepared; I've preposted a lot of historical and archaeological posts related to the Holiday for the 31st, and the Holiday might possibly bring out my inner geek ... because I have left it a little late, I've ordered all my supplies off Amazon and chosen items that are available through Prime for next day delivery.

      Step One.

      Purely practical: how do you let people know you welcome trick or treaters? A neighbour came up with the brilliant idea of dropping notes with orange balloons to people in the area, asking them to pin them to their doors if they were taking part.
      100 x 10" Orange Latex Belbal Balloons (Helium or Air).



      Step Two.

      There are some amazing treat bags available now, from skeleton hands to cobweb patterned, but in case not many people turn up, I don't want to be stuck with themed items cluttering up ... so I went for plain ones:

      Pack of 100 - Clear Party Bags - Cone Cellophane Display Bags


       This gives a simple base with which to work. 

      I'm not normally a fan of curling ribbon, but some occasions call for a touch of kitsch ... I'll use the black and orange first and use anything left over for Hanukkah and Jesus' Birthday in December.

      10 Rolls x 25m Curling Ribbon (mixed colours)

      Step Three.

      The bags will be filled with seasonal sweets such as fangs:

      Bebeto Dracula's Teeth (Pack of 120)


      And brains:

      Vidal Jelly Filled Brains (Pack of 2, Total 240 Pieces)


      And some less seasonal items. Pumpkins are good for those then celebrating Thanksgiving, but coins work well for Hanukkah and Jesus' Birthday so I went for those. Who can resist a piece of pirate treasure!

      These are not Kosher, but I know very few people who keep Kosher, so these will be piled up on top of gift bags as geld.*

      Milk Chocolate Golden Pirate Coins 1 x 1kg


      Then, closer to the time, I'll make up the bags ... and torment children by answering "trick" ...


      -------------
      * = if you're looking for certified Kosher coins that taste good, then the coins from Divine Chocolate are the ones I recommend (most other Kosher coins unfortunately taste *&%$* ... and honestly those are the ones I'd give friends).

      ArcheoNet BE

      Diversiteit van de ‘moderne mens’ in Laat Pleistoceen Afrika

      De Onderzoekseenheid Archeologie van de KU Leuven organiseert op dinsdag 7 oktober het eerste ‘Leuven Archaeological Research Seminar’ (LARS) van dit academiejaar. Isabelle Crevecoeur (CNRS, Université de Bordeaux) zal er een lezing houden met als titel ‘Late Pleistocene modern human diversity in Africa’. Het fossielenbestand en genetische studies wijzen reeds lang op het ontstaan van de ‘moderne mens’ in Afrika tegen ca. 200 Ka. We hebben echter nog steeds weinig inzicht in de diversiteit en diversificatie van deze ‘moderne mens’.

      Dit is deels te wijten aan de schaarste van het fossielenbestand in Afrika voor het Laat Pleistoceen, maar heeft ook te maken met de historische nadruk op Europese prehistorische contexten en fossielen. Recente studies van resten uit het Afrikaanse Laat Pleistoceen hebben echter aangetoond dat onze kennis van de diversiteit van de ‘moderne mens’ in het verleden heel beperkt is, en dat dit Afrikaans fossielenbestand cruciaal is om de evolutionaire geschiedenis van onze soort te doorgronden.

      Praktisch: de lezing vindt plaats op dinsdag 7 oktober om 17u in lokaal 01.28 van het Monseigneur Sencie Instituut (Erasmusplein, Leuven).

      Melissa Terras' Blog

      Want to be taken seriously as scholar in the humanities? Publish a monograph

      (This is the unedited version of a piece published yesterday over at Guardian Higher Ed.)

      A decade ago, in my first year as lecturer in a Humanities department, an eminent Professor helped me secure a book contract with a top university press for my recently completed doctoral thesis. Another senior colleague stopped me in the corridor: “This is very rare,” she said. “And this is what gets you ahead in this game.” The book itself is a lovely object, of which I’m still very proud (it took me four years of doctoral research, plus another two years of preparation). It only sold a few hundred copies: enough to make the press happy, and to give me annual royalties of a fiver. There is an ebook, comparable in price to the physical version, but no Open Access version. Despite little proof that it is well read, it has been cited just enough to give me another elusive point on the dreaded H-index. We don't write Humanities monographs for riches, we may do for an attempt at academic fame, but the career kickback for me was rapid promotion. In the Humanities, the monograph’s the thing.

      Today, the Humanities publishing landscape is, of course, changing alongside every other. We must work through the potentials and issues that digital technologies bring. With digital publishing comes the uncoupling of content from print: why should those six years of work (or more) result in only a physical book that sits on a few shelves? Why can’t the content be made available freely online via Open Access? Isn’t this the great ethical stance: making knowledge available to all? Won’t opening up access to the detailed, considered arguments held within Humanities monographs do wonders for the reputation and impact of subject areas whose contribution to society is often under-rated?

      Research councils are prescribing Open Access requirements for outputs which will be submittable in the next REF, and there are now nods towards monographs being included in those requirements at some elusive point in the future. The Humanities’ dependency on the monograph for the shaping and sharing of scholarship means that
      scholars, and publishers, should be paying attention.  How will small-print runs of expensive books fare in this new “content should be available for free” marketplace? How will production costs be recouped? Predatory models are already emerging, with established presses offering Open Access monographs alongside the print version for an all inclusive £10,000 charge to offset a presumed (but not proven) fall in revenue: out of the reach for most individual academics, or many institutions. I certainly couldn't have afforded those costs, a junior academic fresh out of the doctoral pod, with student debt hanging around my neck.

      The latest JISC survey on the attitudes of academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences to Open Access monograph publishing makes an interesting contribution to this debate, showing how central single author monographs still are to the Humanities, and how important the physical – rather than digital – copies are. People still like to read, and in many cases buy, them. The survey suggests monographs are fairly easy to access even in physical form (inter-library loan, anyone?). Open Access is welcomed, and is seen to increase readership, but the physical object is still central to the consideration of the monograph: something which should allay fears of publishers wondering how any change in the REF requirement will affect their bottom line.  The most difficult problem seems to be securing a book contract in the first place, whether that has an Open Access option or not: the survey clearly shows that ECRs need help and guidance to do so.

      Will I publish another monograph without an associated Open Access version? No, but getting published in the first place is the important thing. What advice do I have for early career researchers looking to publish their doctoral thesis, especially if they had the chance to do so with a strong, established academic publisher? The monograph is still the thing: anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a scholar in the Humanities should work towards having one. Open Access requirements are on the horizon, so broach them with the publisher. Don't accept £10,000 costs. Brandish this survey, say People Still Buy Books. Ask for help from those further along the academic path to help you navigate the pre-contract stage. Even with the changing publishing environment, some things stay the same: the importance of the physical single author monograph, and the importance of academic patronage.

      Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

      Aramean nation?

      MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Op-Ed: Is There Really an Aramean Nation? Are the Israeli Christians part of the ancient Aramean people rather than Arabs? (Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva).
      One of the last things Israel's Interior Minister Gideon Saar did before resigning from the Knesset was to recognize the Israeli Christians as members of the Aramean nation. The decision caused a media uproar, especially in the Arab sector, with most critics saying that there is no Aramaic nation and that the real reason for this step was an attempt to cause a split in the Arab population of Israel so as to "divide and conquer" and gain control of the Arab sector.

      This calls for an investigation and an investigation into the veracity of an Aramean nation's existence must be conducted on two planes: the historic-lingual-religious one and the civilian one.

      [...]
      He argues that it is valid to think in terms of an Aramean nation. Background here. There are very complicated historical and linguistic issues involved, not to speak of the political ones, and more than a newspaper article or a blog post would be necessary to address them properly.

      Past posts on speakers of Aramaic in Israel are here (scroll down to third story from bottom), here, here, and links.

      Antiquity Now

      Bon Appetit Wednesday! Popping Up Some Ancient Amaranth

      Today’s recipe is for 5-Minute Amaranth Popcorn—a nutritional, gluten-free snack food to accompany a rousing ballgame or a family movie night. It’s so scrumptiously delicious it will fool even the most hard-core popcorn devotees! The best part about this recipe … Continue reading

      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Nuova tecnica non invasiva indaga la Dama con l'ermellino

      dama-ermellino-analisiSi chiama Layer Amplification Method (Lam) la tecnologia non invasiva messa a punto da un ricercatore francese per indagare la tecnica e la storia esecutiva del celebre dipinto "Dama con l'ermellino" di Leonardo da Vinci.

      Heritage Science un'infrastruttura per la valorizzazione dei beni culturali e la loro fruizione

      heritage-science-merjenj jpgHeritage Science è una nuova insfrastruttura di ricerca dedicata ad accogliere soluzioni tecnologiche innovative per il restauro, la diagnostica, la fruizione e la promozione del patrimonio culturale.

      Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

      The PhDiva on the Jobar Synagogue

      DOROTHY KING: RIP the Jobar Synagogue, Syria. With pre-destruction photos.

      Background here and links.

      Blood moon tetrad part 2 - Sukkot

      COSMIC SYNCHRONICITY WATCH: Is lunar eclipse at Sukkot an ominous sign? (Edmon J. Rodman, JTA). Excerpt:
      Jeremy Schnittman, a research astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and an observant Jew, is putting up his, so maybe we shouldn’t worry.

      “The lunar tetrad event is perfectly normal,” Schnittman told JTA.

      “Every night when you go outside on the first night of Sukkot, it is going to be a full moon. And every lunar eclipse happens during a full moon,” he said. “On average there are two lunar eclipses every year. The chance of having a lunar eclipse on Sukkot is one in six.

      “The same is true for the first night of Pesach,” he said, demystifying what at first seems like an awesome coincidence.

      But what about the fact that the eclipses fall on the two Jewish holidays?

      “If there’s one on Sukkot, then there’s a very high chance that there will be one on Pesach,” said Schnittman, noting that the holidays are exactly six months apart.

      “There’s been a lot of hubbub about ‘Four Blood Moons’ in a row,” he added. But once the plane of the orbits of the moon and earth are aligned so that an eclipse occurs, “it’s actually quite reasonable that you are going to get them again every six months for the next couple of years before the cycle moves a little bit out of alignment.”

      As for the blood-like color, which is even mentioned in the book of Joel, Schnittman explained, “Full eclipses are always red. Just like the clouds on earth turn red during the sunset, during an eclipse the full moon turns red.”
      So don't get excited; it's not a sign of the apocalypse. Last year's blood moon at Passover was noted and discussed here.

      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      ETT a LuBeC 2014: le tecnologie per i Musei innovativi

      Parsjad ALTINO Domus VirtualTourAnche la società ETT parteciperà all’edizione 2014 di LuBeC – Lucca Beni Culturali, l’incontro internazionale, organizzato da Promo PA Fondazione, dedicato allo sviluppo e alla conoscenza della filiera beni culturali - tecnologie - turismo, che si terrà il 9 e 10 ottobre a Lucca.

      Current Epigraphy

      L’Année épigraphique 2011 published

      Mireille CORBIER (corbier@msh-paris.fr), director of L’Année épigraphique (Paris), writes to announce:

      L’Année épigraphique 2011 (containing 1811 entries, and 946 pages including 206 pages of index) was published in August, 2014, and is now available. Orders should be sent to Presses Universitaires de France at revues@puf.com

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Tomorrow: Detectorists, BBC4

      A brand new comedy written by Mackenzie Crook about metal detectorists starts tomorrow night on BBC4.


      BBC - Detectorists - Media centre:
      A new comedy about two friends Andy (Mackenzie Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones) who go in search of their hearts' desire with a couple of metal detectors.
      Following a chance encounter with a young history student, Lance and Andy embark on a journey towards the discovery of a lifetime. All they need to do is get permission from the local landowner - the 'mad one' who is rumoured to have done away with his wife.
      There is a trailer on their Facebook page here.

      The first of six episodes is on at 10 pm, and will be available on the BBC's iPlayer soon after.

      Detectorists never know what they’ll find – but fame? No thanks - Telegraph

      Remember that although looking for treasure with metal detectors is a hobby many enjoy, because it involves our nations' heritage, there are a few rules for metal-detecting: see www.finds.org.uk. The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a DCMS funded project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. They will help you record what you've found, and if you do want to sell off your treasures it is much easier to do so with their record numbers.

      [I've asked a few people if they'd be willing to do Q&As about metal detecting and the PAS, but although no-one has said no ... no-one has said yes ... yet?]

      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Il riuso dei contenuti culturali digitali: un'opportunità per le industrie culturali e creative

      athena plus

      
Presso la Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Viale Castro Pretorio giovedì 2 ottobre si svolgerà la Conferenza Internazionale del Progetto europeo AthenaPlus dal titolo "Il riuso dei contenuti culturali digitali per l’istruzione, il turismo e il tempo libero".


      Bryn Mawr Classical Review

      2014.09.65: Cult Places and Cult Personnel in the Roman Empire. Variorum collected studies series, CS1039

      Review of Duncan Fishwick, Cult Places and Cult Personnel in the Roman Empire. Variorum collected studies series, CS1039. Farnham; Burlington, VT: 2014. Pp. xii, 378. $170.00. ISBN 9781472414731.

      2014.09.64: Cultes et sanctuaires de l'île de Cos. Kernos Supplément, 28

      Review of Stéphanie Paul, Cultes et sanctuaires de l'île de Cos. Kernos Supplément, 28. Liège: 2013. Pp. 442. €40.00 (pb). ISBN 9782875620293.

      2014.09.63: Graffiti and the Literary Landscape in Roman Pompeii

      Review of Kristina Milnor, Graffiti and the Literary Landscape in Roman Pompeii. Oxford; New York: 2014. Pp. xvi, 311. $125.00. ISBN 9780199684618.

      2014.09.62: The Epic Gaze: Vision, Gender and Narrative in Ancient Epic

      Review of Helen Lovatt, The Epic Gaze: Vision, Gender and Narrative in Ancient Epic. Cambridge; New York: 2013. Pp. x, 414. $110.00. ISBN 9781107016118.

      2014.09.61: Ancient Persia. A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE

      Review of Matt Waters, Ancient Persia. A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE. Cambridge; New York: 2014. Pp. xx, 252. $29.99 (pb). ISBN 9780521253697.

      2014.09.60: Greco-Scythian Art and the Birth of Eurasia: From Classical Antiquity to Russian Modernity. Oxford Studies in ancient culture and representation

      Review of Caspar Meyer, Greco-Scythian Art and the Birth of Eurasia: From Classical Antiquity to Russian Modernity. Oxford Studies in ancient culture and representation. Oxford; New York: 2013. Pp. xxix, 431. $160.00. ISBN 9780199682331.

      2014.09.59: The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade. Oxford studies on the Roman economy

      Review of Ben Russell, The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade. Oxford studies on the Roman economy. Oxford; New York: 2013. Pp. xxi, 449. $150.00. ISBN 9780199656394.

      2014.09.58: Creating a Common Polity: Religion, Economy, and Politics in the Making of the Greek Koinon. Hellenistic culture and society, 55

      Review of Emily Mackil, Creating a Common Polity: Religion, Economy, and Politics in the Making of the Greek Koinon. Hellenistic culture and society, 55. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: 2013. Pp. xvii, 593. $95.00. ISBN 9780520272507.

      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Le tecnologie del futuro per un tuffo nel passato alla XVII Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico

      archeovirtual-Purini-CesareVivere il passato, nei suoi edifici, nei suoi paesaggi e nella sua quotidianità, attraverso video ed applicazioni mobili: alla Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico tutto questo è possibile grazie alla Mostra ArcheoVirtual. La Borsa, giunta alla XVII edizione, si svolgerà nuovamente nell’area archeologica della città antica di Paestum nei giorni 30-31 ottobre 1-2 novembre. Le suggestive location saranno l’area adiacente al Tempio di Cerere (tre strutture geodetiche con i lati trasparenti ospiteranno il Salone Espositivo e due delle 4 sale conferenze), il Museo Archeologico e la Basilica Paleocristiana.

      3D ArcheoLab Academy: corsi di fabbricazione digitale per i Beni Culturali

      3darcheolab-corsi3D ArcheoLab Academy organizza corsi sulle tecniche di fabbricazione digitale applicate ai Beni Culturali.

      Il termine Fabbricazione Digitale (o Digital Fabrication o fabbing) fa riferimento al processo attraverso cui è possibile creare oggetti solidi e tridimensionali partendo da disegni digitali. Questo processo, utilizzato ampiamente in manifattura per la creazione rapida di modelli e prototipi, può sfruttare diverse tecniche di fabbricazione sia additive, come la stampa 3D, sia sottrattive, come il taglio laser e la fresatura.

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Today In 208: Severus Alexander Born






      If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc

      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Il progetto Primarte al Salone del Restauro di Firenze

       

      affresco-convegno-primarteLa prima presentazione pubblica completa della metodologia integrata sviluppata nell’ambito del progetto di ricerca e sviluppo PRIMARTE - “ApProccio integrato di Rete per l'Innovazione nelle Metodologie di diAgnostica e inteRvento sul paTrimonio artistico e architEttonico” - si svolgerà in occasione del Salone per l'Arte e il Restauro di Firenze che si terrà a Firenze dal 13 al 15 Novembre 2014. Il progetto è stato finanziato dalla Regione Toscana nel quadro del Bando Unico R&D 2012 - POR CReO FESR 2007 – 2013 Linea d’intervento 1.5.A - 1.6.

      Corso di formazione: un approccio multidisciplinare e integrato per la diagnostica dei beni culturali

      corso-primarteSono aperte le iscrizioni al corso di alta formazione: "Il cantiere innovativo: un approccio multidisciplinare e integrato per la diagnostica e l’intervento sui beni culturali e architettonici" durante il quale si prevede sia l'approfondimento delle metodologie impiegate che la presentazione dei risultati ottenuti nell’ambito del progetto di ricerca e sviluppo PRIMARTE: “ApProccio integrato di Rete per l'Innovazione nelle Metodologie di diAgnostica e inteRvento sul paTrimonio artistico e architEttonico” finanziato dalla Regione Toscana nel quadro del Bando Unico R&D 2012 - POR CReO FESR 2007 – 2013 Linea d’intervento 1.5.A - 1.6. 

      Basamento antisismico per la statua di San Michele Arcangelo e del Drago del Duomo di Orvieto

      duomo orvietoL'ENEA ha recentemene comunicato che dopo il suo recente restauro la statua in bronzo di San Michele Arcangelo e del Drago, originariamente collocata sulla facciata del Duomo di Orvieto *, è stata posta in sicurezza all’interno del Museo dell’Opera del Duomo di Orvieto mediante l'impiego di un basamento espositivo antisismico progettato dall’ENEA, che è in grado di preservare la statua in caso di terremoto grazie anche alla sua funzione di isolamento sismico.

      Christopher Blackwell (Classics and Furman)

      Eupatrid (Tuesday): Tools and Texts

      The Project

      I am teaching Greek Civilization this semester. The course is focusing on Athenian Democracy. I don’t think I understand Athenian Democracy very well, despite having spent a lot of time trying to understand the various institutions, offices, laws, assumptions, and rituals by which the free, male Athenian citizens undertook to govern themselves and the other inhabitants of Attica in the 5th and 4th Centuries BCE.

      In an effort to take advantage of the 37 Furman students, with many different areas of expertise, who have signed up to look at Athenian Democracy with me, I want to look at the Athenian aristocracy, the “Eupatrids” (“the Well-Born”), who tended to hold high office, and who have (our ancient sources tell us) many connections to city-states outside of Athens. I want to start compiling a collection of data that captures these relationships. It seemed reasonable to call this project Eupatrid

      There will be a link to a “Eupatrid” site as soon as it is ready.

      Tools

      Working on long-term projects like the Homer Multitext or the Furman University Manuscripts Club,  we have had great success using Git and GitHub to manage collaborative editing of texts, creation of data collections, and the other scholarly work necessary to document and analyze ancient texts.

      For Eupatrid, however, we need to allow 37 people to build a collection of analytical data very quickly. For this, we need a relational database that conforms to the Atomicity. So after a few years away from it, I am back to working in Grails, a framework for quickly creating web-based applications that interact with relational databases. Here's what I have so far:

      • A PostgreSQL database backend.
      • A Grails application that allows users to log in as Editors and create records for…
        • Historical Persons
        • Relationships among Historical Persons
        • Relationships between Persons and Places
        • Citations to texts that document the above.

      For historical places, we are infinitely grateful to Pleiades, which is a gazetteer of ancient geography. For this project, we have the always awesome Ryan Baumann to thank for making available tools that allow us to grab the complete Pleiades dataset and translate it into GeoJSON.

      So… I think we are in good shape to capture relationships among…

      • Texts
      • Historical Persons
      • Places

      My experience with projects like this has taught me that it is a terrible mistake to assume that you can capture data now, and wait until late in the semester to come up with a way of displaying it. The end of term is crazy; there is no time; and once the term is over, you move on to other things. So I think it is important to implement visualization of the data as we go along.

      My plan for Wednesday is to get to the point where I can call Pleiades data from the CITE architecture and show it on a map. Later in the week, I'll work on showng graphs of family relations. Over the weekend, perhaps I can show graphs of relations layered atop geography, but that might be crazy-talk.

      Before anything else, we don't want to make anything up. So step one is to get our Texts in order.

      Texts

      For every Person, we need at least one citation to an ancient text attesting that person. Likewise, for each relationship of peson <--> person, or person <--> place, we need citations to ancient texts that provide evidence. So we need our evidence to be citable.

      From earlier work, we have a good Greek text of Kenyon’s edition of Aristotle’s Constitution of the Athenians in a CTS service. This lets us add citations to that text, and resolve them simply, like this:

      http://folio.furman.edu/cite-cts/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0086.tlg003.fuKenyon:3.1
      Thanks to the Perseus Project, I have been able to start processing texts for the English translation of that work, as well as Plutarch’s Life of Solon in English and Greek. That should be a start. I hope that my next update will be able to provide links to those texts, online and citable with CTS URNs.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Ka Nefer Nefer: One to Watch Out For


      David Gill announces (Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 'Ka Nefer Nefer Mask: a review of its acquisition') that he has just completed a review of the available correspondence and memoranda for the acquisition (and related due diligence process) of the Ka Nefer Nefer mask purchased by the St Louis Art Museum:
      There is clearly new evidence that has not been discussed before and that did not appear to form part of the legal cases that concluded in 2014.
      Will this be enough to persuade US and world public opinion  that the Museum acted improperly and had and have not established its moral right to hang on to the object?


      September 30, 2014

      Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

      “With the jawbone of an ass…”

      Many years ago I read F.F. Bruce’s In Retrospect, and among the anecdotes he relates that for some reason or other have remained in my memory is one about W.M. Edward of Leeds University. Bruce says (pp. 106-107),

      My new chief, Professor W.M. Edwards of the Chair of Greek in Leeds, was an unusual man. He had been born into a military family and himself embarked on a military career, being an officer in the Royal Garrison Artillery until his later thirties. He then went to Oxford as an undergraduate, taking his B.A. at the age of forty and becoming a Fellow of Merton College the same year. Three years later he was appointed Professor of Greek in Leeds. He was an accomplished linguist, speaking Welsh, Gaelic, Russian and Hebrew as well as the commoner European languages. … On another occasion he came into my room to see me about something or other, and found me reading the Hebrew text of Judges. Immediately he threw back his head and recited in Hebrew, Samson’s song of victory, “With the jawbone of an ass…”

      The Samson story is a good one, and well known. Students making their first forays into classical Hebrew prose rightly learn it thoroughly, and these two lines in verse 15:16 (בלחי החמור חמור חמרתים בלחי החמור הכיתי אלף איש), with the word play and the rhythm, make a good inhabitant of the memory’s palace. For fun, here they are in a few more languages, and some vocabulary in case students of any of these languages are reading.

      Poster for Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949). Source.

      Poster for Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah (1949). Source; cf. this one.

      Aramaic (Targum) בלועא דחמרא רמיתנון דגורין דלועא דחמרא קטלית אלף גברא

      • לווּעָא jaw
      • חמָרָא ass
      • דְּגוֹר heap

      Greek Ἐν σιαγόνι ὄνου ἐξαλείϕων ἐξήλειψα αὐτούς, ὅτι ἐν σιαγόνι ὄνου ἐπάταξα χιλίους ἄνδρας.

      Syriac (Pesh.) ܒܦܟܐ ܕܚܡܪܐ ܟܫܝ̈ܬܐ ܟܫܝܬ ܡܢܗܘܢ. ܒܦܟܐ ܕܚܡܪܐ ܩܛܠܬ ܐܠܦ ܓܒܪ̈ܝܢ܀

      • pakkā jaw, cheek
      • ḥmārā ass
      • kšā to pile up, heap (both verb and pass. ptcp. here)

      Armenian ծնօտի́ւ իշոյ ջնջելով ջնջեցի́ զն(ո)ս(ա), զի ծնօտիւ իշոյ կոտորեցի հազա́ր այր։

      • ծնօտ, -ից jaw, cheek
      • իշայր, -ոյ wild ass
      • ջնջեմ, -եցի to destroy, exterminate
      • կոտորեմ, -եցի to shatter, destroy, massacre
      • հազար thousand

      Georgian (Gelati; only the first half translated, and no mention of the ass!) ღაწჳთა აღმოჴოცელმან აღვჴოცნე იგინი

      • ღაწუი cheek
      • აღჴოცა to kill off (participle აღმოჴოცელი and finite verb both in the sentence)

      Arabic (from the London Polyglot; there are other versions)

      judges_15_16_london_polyglot

      • ṭaraḥa (a) to drive away, repel
      • ʕaẓm bone
      • ḫadd cheek
      • ḥimār ass
      • tulūl is a pl. of tall hill, but here, heap
      • fakk jawbone (cf. Syriac above)

      Gǝʕǝz በዐጽመ ፡ መንከሰ ፡ አድግ ፡ ደምስሶ ፡ ደምሰስክዎሙ ፡ እስመ ፡ በዐጽመ ፡ መንከሰ ፡ አድግ ፡ ቀተልኩ ፡ ዐሠርተ ፡ ምእተ ፡ ብእሴ ።

      • መንከስ፡jaw, jawbone (√näkäsä to bite, like näsäkä, with cognates in many Semitic languages)
      • አድግ፡ ass
      • ደምሰሰ፡ to abolish, wipe out, destroy

      NB: In Islamic tradition, it is not the jawbone of an ass, but that of a camel (laḥy baʕīr), that Samson employs:

      وكان اذا لقيهم لقيهم بلحي بعير

      (J. Barth & Th. Nöldeke, Annales quos scripsit Abu Djafar Mohammed Ibn Djarir At-Tabari, 1.II.794.7-8 [1881-1882]; available here) [More broadly, see Andrew Rippin, "The Muslim Samson: Medieval, Modern and Scholarly Interpretations," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 71 (2008): 239-253.]


      Ancient Art

      Monte Testaccio Rome 2014!

      Monte Testaccio Rome 2014!:

      archaeospaindigs:

      image

      image

      image

      image

      We’ve finished the first half of Archaeospain’s program at Monte Testaccio in Rome, where we examine an artificial mound that was created by centuries of discarded broken amphorae. In ancient times, amphorae were the main containers used for the transportation and storage…

      A few recent finds from Monte Testaccio

      David Gill (Looting Matters)

      Ka Nefer Nefer Mask: a review of its acquisition

      I have now reviewed the available correspondence and memoranda for the acquisition (and related due diligence process) of the Ka Nefer Nefer mask purchased by the St Louis Art Museum. There is clearly new evidence that has not been discussed before and that did not appear to form part of the legal cases that concluded in 2014.

      I am grateful to numerous colleagues who have assisted in pointing me to leads - and for making helpful comments.

      The key questions are as follows:
      a. What was the reported collecting history of the mask as known at the point of acquisition by SLAM?
      b. How was the emerging collecting history (and documentation) verified?
      c. How did SLAM curatorial staff respond to the February 1999 revelation that the mask had been excavated at Saqqara? Did they contact the Egyptian SCA?
      d. Did SLAM curatorial staff contact Dr Zahi Hawass and the SCA when allegations were made about how the mask surfaced?
      e. When was the identifying personal name removed from the hand on the mask?


      Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

      Archaeology Magazine

      3-D Images Will Help Scholars Decipher Eroded Hittite Tablet

      ISTANBUL, TURKEY—A team headed by Andreas Schachner of the German Archaeological Institute will partner with scholars from the University of Naples to decipher the 3,500-year-old carvings found on a rock at the Hittite capital of Hattusa. “The Hittites used two different writing systems. The first is the cuneiform script on kiln tablets and the other is hieroglyphs, which is mostly seen on rocks,” he told Hurriyet Daily News. The tablet will be scanned to create 3-D images of the badly eroded writing. “Some certain points on the rock are determined. They will be scanned and the photos will be merged. After this ten-day work, the laboratory work will start. We will get the results a few months later,” he explained.

      American Philological Association

      CFP: The Fall of Troy in Vergil’s Aeneid

      Vergil Week 2015 Symposium at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)

      Friday 24 April 2015

      The Greek conquest of the city of Troy is one of the most powerful and haunting legends from antiquity. The narratives of the victors’ brutality, the tragic dignity of the captive Trojan women, and the smoldering ruins of the once-great city of Priam have inspired literature and the arts for thousands of years. Vergil’s account of the Fall of Troy in Book Two of the Aeneid remains preeminent among narratives of the last day of Troy because we hear of the catastrophic events from Aeneas, a main participant in the action, and the character who unites the Homeric Greek tradition with an Italian foundation tradition. Book Two, moreover, includes some of the most important characters, unforgettable images, famous episodes and memorable lines in the entire epic: the Trojan horse, Neoptolemus and the killing of Priam and his son, Aeneas carrying his father on his shoulders, the ghost of Creusa...

      Alexandra Trachsel (Travelling with Demetrios of Skepsis)

      Digital Classicist Seminars Berlin

      Two years ago I took part in the Digital Classicist Seminars in Berlin. I was therefore very happy to see the new programme for 2014-15. It looks pretty exciting!

      Capture d’écran 2014-09-30 à 22.53.47

      For more detail, please have a closer look at the Digital Classicist Berlin homepage


      Archaeology Magazine

      4,000-Year-Old Ritual Site Discovered in Poland

      WARSAW, POLAND—A 4,000-year-old ritual site has been unearthed on a hilltop in northeastern Poland. Fragments of decorated cups and bowls made by the Bell Beaker culture were found surrounded by burned bones and a fragment of an amber bead. A second amber object was found nearby. “Amber was an exotic and prestigious material for the Bell Beaker communities, and never before found in Podlasie. These discovered ornaments are among the oldest objects of this type in the region,” archaeologist Dariusz Manasterski of the University of Warsaw told Science & Scholarship in Poland. Stone tools, including an adze, a fragment of a curved blade, and fragments of a dagger were found, along with arrowheads and other blades and knives made of flint. “The entire ritual deposit is an exceptional find in central Europe. It contains one of the richest collections of objects usually found in the elite graves in Western Europe from this period,” he added. Understanding how those artifacts traveled so far east requires further investigation. To read about 4,000-year-old Bronze Age rituals in Eastern Europe, see "Wolf Rites of Winter."

       

      Open Access Archaeology

      Open Access Archaeology Digest #557

      Your Open Access (free to read) Archaeology daily:

      Camulodunum
      http://bit.ly/13uGa1a

      Cemetery, Dunbar, East Lothian
      http://bit.ly/18ghe3a

      Dispersed settlements in medieval England. A case study of Pendock, Worcestershire
      http://bit.ly/12JViFC

      Results of Excavations at the Veliko polje Cemetery in Zvonimirovo in 2005
      http://bit.ly/1CEXfXd

      Computing the DUA pottery
      http://bit.ly/17VmR6u

      Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at: http://bit.ly/YHuyFK

      Archaeology Magazine

      Canoe & Climate Shed Light on Polynesian Sailing Technology

      AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—Two new studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shed light on how Polynesian seafarers colonized the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Lead author Dilys Amanda Johns of the University of Auckland described a 600-year-old canoe discovered in 2012 near the Anaweka River on New Zealand’s South Island. The nearly 20-foot long section of a vessel estimated to have been 45 feet long was constructed with wood from trees native to New Zealand, but in a manner similar to a canoe of the same age that was discovered in the Society Islands. There is also a turtle carved in relief on the hull just above the water line, which is a common motif among the Polynesians, but is rare in art from New Zealand. The second study, led by Ian Goodwin of Macquarie University, created a model of the paleoclimate in 20-year increments, in order to evaluate whether or not Polynesian vessels, which were not capable of sailing into the wind at the time of colonization, would have had to travel into the wind to head east. The model suggests that shifting climate conditions would have opened up times when the Polynesians could have traveled with the wind at their backs. “Our reconstructed sailing conditions during the period of East Polynesian colonization would have enabled all of the known colonizing routes, and others,” Goodwin told Science. The window for sailing to New Zealand would have closed before 1300, however. “There is a timing discrepancy,” commented Johns. She thinks the canoe, which has been radiocarbon dated to 1400, may have been built by New Zealanders with techniques handed down from the time of Polynesian contact. To read more about nautical archaeology, see "History's 10 Greatest Wrecks."

       

      Ancient Peoples

      Drum 1st Century AD Nasca Culture, Peru Ceramic drums with...



      Drum

      1st Century AD

      Nasca Culture, Peru

      Ceramic drums with central, bulging sounding chambers were made in southern Peru at the turn of the first millennium. Among the most elaborately finished are those of Nasca style. They were surfaced with the many rich colours commonly used on Nasca ceramic vessels. A favoured form was one in which a fat-bodied figure was worked into the shape of the instrument, the rotund body spreading out equally on all sides and the legs drawn up in the front. The figure is depicted atop the wide mouth of the drum, over which a skin would have been stretched. The image is symbolically complex; a snake emerges from under the figure’s chin and a killer whale outlines each eye. The killer whales are in profile and show the “two-tone” colour differentiation normally given them in Nasca depictions. A headband is wound around the head and tied to form a hornlike projection on the forehead. In back, the figure’s hair is shown as serpents with long tongues.

      (Source: The Met Museum)

      Penn Museum Blog

      Ur Project: September 2014

      Gold Fit for a Queen (or) How to Wear a Headdress
      Spotlight on Puabi’s headdress (museum numbers B17711, etc.)
      Display of jewelry on model heads

      Royal Cemetery grave PG800 was excavated in December of 1927 (announced in a telegram of Jan 4, 1928). It contained the burial of a woman identified by a cylinder seal at her shoulder as “Puabi” (originally read Shub-Ad) followed by the word NIN, meaning “The Lady.” The presence of the title with no reference to a husband “The King” might well mean that she ruled as Queen in her own right.

      Whether or not she ruled as regent, co-regent, or not at all, she was certainly adorned like a queen. The summary description of her headdress alone takes up a page or more in Woolley’s publication Ur Excavations 2: The Royal Cemetery. Gold ribbons criss-crossed about her head, four wreaths of gold leaves sat atop (B17711), and gold rings hung down over her forehead. Large gold earrings (B17712), carnelian, lapis and gold beads as well as a large gold comb with gold flowers (B16693) completed the ensemble. The total weight of this gold and semiprecious stone crowning jewelry was over three kilograms.

      Model head created by Katharine Woolley for display of Puabi's headdress. Penn Museum Archival Photo 191121

      Model head created by Katharine Woolley for display of Puabi’s headdress. Penn Museum Archival Photo 191121.

      Woolley believed that it all sat atop an exaggerated hairdo, likely a padded wig. He removed the gold ribbons from the ground intact, retaining as closely as he could the measurements of the hair on which they would have sat. It amounted to a hefty 38cm—more than twice the typical diameter of a skull from ear to ear. His wife made a model head and wig onto which the jewels were placed and originally displayed in the 1928 exhibition at the British Museum, before the artifacts were sent to Penn. Since Puabi’s skull was badly preserved, Katharine based her reconstruction on a plaster cast of a skull from the nearby site of Tell el’Ubaid.

      The reconstruction of the face, head, and hairstyle led to some controversy, however.

      Penn’s Babylonian Section Curator, Father Leon Legrain, felt the model didn’t look anything like Sumerian sculpture, which he believed was a more accurate depiction of personal appearance in the minds of the Sumerians themselves. For example, artwork almost always showed eyebrows meeting in the middle over the nose, whereas Mrs. Woolley’s reconstruction showed separated eyebrows.

      Model head created by Leon Legrain for display of Puabi's headdress. Penn Museum Archival Photo 8312.

      Model head created by Leon Legrain for display of Puabi’s headdress. Penn Museum Archival Photo 8312.

      In 1929, Legrain set about making his own model head, on which the jewelry would be displayed at Penn for a few years. He based his model on a particular sculpture, known as “la femme a l’echarpe,” housed in the Louvre. The Penn museum has a plaster cast of this artifact, museum number B15573, obtained in 1924. The original comes from the site of Tello (Girsu) in the time of Gudea of Lagash, some 500 years after Puabi, which was one of Woolley’s many objections to Legrain’s reconstruction. But Legrain felt it was the best model of feminine features in the ancient Near East, saying in a Museum Journal article for winter of 1929: “She has the high cheek bones, large nose, and large eyes under powerful eyebrows of a true oriental beauty.”

      Plaster cast of Musee du Louvre object known as 'la femme a l'echarpe'. The cast is accessioned at the Penn Museum as object B15573.

      Plaster cast of an artifact from Tello. The cast is accessioned at the Penn Museum as object B15573 and formed the basis of Legrain’s model head reconstruction.

      The hairdo on the Tello sculpture scales up to much less than Woolley’s measures for Puabi’s coiffure, but Legrain suggested this was because the ribbons ran from front to back rather than side to side and that they held a fold of hair raised at the back. Even in this position, his model didn’t have enough room for all four wreaths and he called into question whether Puabi could have worn them all at the same time. Woolley responded by saying that the question was moot. Whether she could have worn them or not, she was unquestionably buried with them on her head.

      There are a number of interesting letters showing the disagreement between various parties in the question, with the Penn Museum director, Horace Jayne, trying to remain impartial. That he was not fond of model heads and their controversy is shown by his final word, in a post-script of a letter dated December 23, 1932: “P.S. Legrain’s head of Queen Shubad is abandoned. We have the coronets and comb separately shown. It is a considerable improvement.”

       

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Identify Imperial Portraits

      Identify Imperial Portraits
      Sebastian Heath, NYU/ISAW
      Introduction

      Put simply, this page collects 3D models of Roman imperial figures so that students can gain skills in identifying them. It is part of a sequence and readers are encouraged to begin on the coin identification page.

      The portraits shown below come from the following institutions or collections: Capitoline Museum, Corinth Museum, Getty Villa, Metropolitan Museum of Art, an Art Institute of Chicago via Anonymous Loan from Private Collector, North Carolina Museum of Art, Vatican Museums, and Yale University Art Gallery. The 3D models are generated from personal photographs and images from wikipedia/flickr or were dowloaded from public internet sources.
           http://numismatics.org/collectionimages/19001949/1948/1948.19.1032.obv.width350.jpg

      The above [click through] model of a portrait now on display in the Getty Villa, and images of a coin, now in the collection of the American Numismatic Society, both show an image of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Click on the model and rotate it to view Augustus in profile. That emphasizes the similarity of the small numismatic portrait and the larger sculptural representation. Also note that the coin identifies its subject. Specialists use such "self-identifying" Roman coins to identify portraits. Follow this same procedure for the unidentified portraits below.

      One hint before you start, none of the portraits shown below are also of Augustus. That would be too easy.

      Identify Imperial Portraits: Coins

      Identify Imperial Portraits: Coins
      http://numismatics.org/collectionimages/19501999/1955/1955.21.14.obv.width350.jpg
      Sebastian Heath, ISAW/NYU

      Identify 5 of the following coins using the search tools at acsearch.info and the American Numismatic Society (ANS). You can also refer to the exhibition catalog "Faces of Power," which is available as a downloadble PDF. Don't be boring by identifying just the first five coins, instead choose a selection that interests you.

      To indicate that you've identified 5 coins, send an email with links to the same coin type that you found at either acsearch.info or at the ANS. Both of these sites allow you to link to individual records. It is those short direct links that you want to submit. Examples:

          http://numismatics.org/collection/1944.100.18295
          http://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=778052

      This page is part of a sequence on identifying Roman imperial portraits. After completing the "coin identification" exercise, you can use these coins to help you identify the portraits on this page.

      AIA Fieldnotes

      International Day of Archaeology

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Archaeology in the Community
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      fair
      education
      Start Date: 
      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

      Location

      Name: 
      Leah Weissburg
      Telephone: 
      4014655062
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Ancient swordsman’s grave could hold many more secrets

      The National Board of Antiquities has announced plans to carry out further, deeper excavations at the site where the grave of a thousand-year-old swordsman was discovered last year.

      Earlier this month archaeologists from York University in the UK carried out geophysical surveys of the field, accompanied by a television film crew.

      The preliminary results of the tests suggest widespread evidence of human activity remains deep beneath the surface of the field. Some signs point to the area housing an ancient burial ground or even a settlement.

      The York team carried out a series of geophysical tests using equipment including a pulse-induction metal detector and a magnetometer. Read more.

      Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

      Petrie Rolling Over in his Grave?

      Flinders Petrie was one of those great archaeologist-collectors of the 19th-20th centuries. His massive collection was sold to help form the basis of the Petrie Museum at the University College London.

      So, CPO wonders how the great one would feel about his namesake museum not only taking the AIA's St. Louis chapter to task for deaccessioning some Egyptian artifacts, but actually suggesting that the sale of well-provenance material in their possession encourages criminal activity.

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Excavations expose how family introduced new flavours to Britain

      Archaeologists have exposed the scale of an 18th century olive oil merchant family’s drive to introduce a range of culinary tastes to Britain.

      A 17-day excavation in the grounds of 390-year-old Kiplin Hall, between Northallerton and Richmond, revealed previously unknown layers of history, including how the road running by the 4,500-acre estate to the towns was changed twice to develop a pioneering horticultural enterprise.

      Archaeologist Jim Brightman said the contents of trenches at five places across the estate illustrated how generations of the non-aristocratic Crowe family, which bought the property in 1722, had displayed nouveau riche tendencies as they worked to establish their country gentry credentials. Read more.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      El Salvador and the Heritage Debate


      It is interesting to look at the docket of the El Salvador MOU renewal public comments which has no coiney or metal detectorist nonsense.  The first comment to have gone up last night was a brief one from that Paul Barford chap. This was followed by one by Leila Amineddoleh, on behalf of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (LCCHP). Unfortunately this one would not open for me (temperamental computer day). No doubt it said all the right things. Then it was the turn of Anita Difanis,  representing the Association of Art Museum Directors, which was followed by "Anonymous, Anonymous" on behalf of the Association of Art Museum Directors (Oh dear... "Please substitute this document for the one filed earlier today on behalf of the Association of Art Museum Directors” ). It's a closely-argumented and footnoted text, but the attitudes that come through I find appalling. Read it for yourselves and decide what you think of these people's attitude (to a simple request from a little nation to restrict certain types of imports to items with the two kinds of paperwork envisaged by the CCPIA). The highlight is (currently) the last,  a really well-argued one by Karen Olsen Bruhns, well worth reading (especially the last paragraph).

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Today in 1943: The Holocaust Became News

      It always amazes me how many people knew about the Holocaust quite early on because of the actions of Righteous Gentiles like Witold Pilecki ... but disbelieved the stories for a long time because they seemed like such an abhorrent concept that it was assumed they were propaganda.

      Pilecki got himself arrested and sent to Auschwitz so that he could document the atrocities there.






      Thanks to him the French Resistance paper today in 1943 published the first photographs in the press, and his Witold's Report to the Polish Government in Exile finally galvanised the Allies into action.

      After the war the Soviets tried and executed him, largely because of his continued loyalty to the Polish Government in Exile.

      I too held a passport from the Polish Government in Exile until it returned Poland's emblems to Lech Wałęsa in 1990, and I was given a Polish-Polish passport.

      At this time of year, as so many people attend synagogues around the world, and as so many people in too many countries are still falling victim to religious and ethnic genocide, I hope people will take the time to remember one of the great heroes. Like them, he was buried in an unmarked grave and his killers hoped that his memory would be forgotten.

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Augustus celebrations continue

      Rome, September 30 - Events marking the bimillennium of the death of Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, continued on Tuesday with the reopening of the ancient Vicus Iugarius, or street of the Yoke-makers, in the Roman forum after restoration lasting four years.

      Visitors can now follow the street running along the shoulder of the Capitoline hill to the Basilica Julia that once represented part of the original trade route to the river Tiber.

      The reopening of the Vicus Iugarius was one of a series of initiatives by Rome’s cultural and archaeological authorities to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Augustus, including the reopening of part of the ancient Roman Baths of Diocletian following a 6.5-million-euro restoration project lasting six years. (source)

      Ancient Peoples

      Unfinished Stele of Amun Re 20th Dynasty, New Kingdom Ramesside...



      Unfinished Stele of Amun Re

      20th Dynasty, New Kingdom

      Ramesside Period

      c.1184-1070 BC

      This unfinished stela from the Valley of the Kings depicts the barque of Amun-Re carried in procession. Below is a hymn to the god, recited by the scribe Amennakht, his son Pentwere, and the chief carpenter, Amenemope. The god was believed to give oracles during such processions by influencing the movements of the priests carrying the barque shrine. the coronation inscription on a statue in Turin, Italy , seems to indicate that such an oracle took place when the pharaoh Horemheb ascended to the throne.

      (Source: The Met Museum)

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      The Amphipolis Caryatids and News

      The Ministry of Culture just issued this press release.

      This photo shows them removing the later 'sealing' wall blocks to reveal the much finer original marble blocks in the first antechamber.

      The Caryatids were on pedestals which continued the pattern of blocks lining the walls. The height of the pedestals is 1.40, width 1.36, depth 0.72 m. The total height of the statues and pedestals is 3.67 m - since the statues wore poloi they were 367 - 140 = 2.37 m high or 'heroic' size ... 

       I am not home, so can't check to compare the statues from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus but the statues there differed in size partly based on where they were on the building, and partly depending on whether they depicted gods or heroes (ie Mausollus and the dead Hecatomnids were 3 m high) 


      "The second floor is elevated by 0.07 M. Trace blue color detected in front of the upper surface" 

      The floor is a rough marble chip 'mosaic' - I used the term loosely, as there were much higher quality mosaics from Olynthus, well dated to before 348 BC when Philip II destroyed the city. (So let's not waste time on the claim that this too makes the tomb Roman, unless one is going to argue Philip and Alexander were ...).

      From the photo it looks as if this floor was covered with a mostly now missing layer which was painted reddish-purple. The 'skirting' band seems to have been painted blue. It was not unusual to paint architectural elements - for an early example of this and of the addition of gilded bronze elements, see the Erechtheion and other capitals from the Acropolis in Athens. Many domestic interiors, for example at Pompeii and on Delos, used stucco and paint to imitate monumental architecture and coloured marbles.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      My comment on El Salvador's MoU Extension Request


      Santa Ana (Ilamatepec) Volcano,
      El Salvador's highest peak 
      I opened up the El Salvador MOU renewal docket here. (see PACHI Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 'CPAC: No Lunatic Comments This Time') and was saddened to see it was empty. Perhaps hundreds of people concerned about preserving the archaeological record of central America have sent comments and the DoS has not yet posted them up, we will see tomorrow. Anyway, I decided to do my bit to show solidarity with the smallest and most densely populated nation in Central America in their fight with smugglers and the US no-questions-asked market:
      It is heartening to see this time, in contrast to many other recent public submissions to the CCPIA process, the relative lack of dealers and collectors attempting to defend their “rights” to profit from cultural property brought in from other countries without being required to document licit export.

      The Republic of El Salvador was an early ratifier of the 1970 UNESCO Convention (February 1978) and has long attempted to take legislative and administrative measures consistent with the Convention to protect its cultural patrimony. Obviously, in the very fact that it has asked the good people of the USA to help it continue to regulate the outgoing trade in certain categories of archaeological material from its Prehispanic cultures, El Salvador regards its cultural patrimony to be in jeopardy from pillage and illegal transfer of ownership. Who would want to deny them, on what grounds and by what right?

      It would therefore be only proper for the US to continue to apply import restrictions in accordance with the CCPIA with respect to this archaeological material for as long as is necessary. This would be in line with those measures already automatically applied by all other countries who are States party to the 1970 Convention (Art 1-26). This would be of substantial benefit in deterring any cultural racketeering, pillage, and smuggling of such artefacts, which is consistent with the general interest of the international community.

      It is only a shame that the US, almost alone among the 127 States Party to the Convention, implements the 1970 Convention so selectively and at the same time subjects fellow States Parties to this humiliating process of remote assessment by a Washington committee. Please agree to El Salvador's request.

      Heritage Bytes

      Research outcomes of multi-author collaboration using open data

      Q: What do you get when you mix a room full of zooarchaeologists with 200,000 records from seventeen archaeological sites?
      A. An exercise in herding cats
      B. A research paper in PLoS ONE
      C. Both of the above

      For better or for worse, the answer, in this case, is “C. Both of the above.”

      In 2012, with support from the Encyclopedia of Life and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we brought a group of scholars together to integrate faunal data from seventeen archaeological sites in Anatolia and to collaboratively address a research question using those data. Our interest in organizing this project came from a desire to see more actual research outcomes drawing on data from multiple, open datasets. Up to that point, there had been a lot of discussion of the potential for data integration, but very little applied research showing how it actually happens, what the results might be, and what we can learn from the process of data sharing.

      A better understanding of data sharing and reuse is important because funders of archaeology are increasingly requiring data management plans and open data, but researchers lack information on how to meet these requirements. Good data management should imply that our data can be accessed, understood, and reused by others. But achieving those goals involves solving some hairy problems. We thought that a good starting point would be to gain a better understanding of how people use data that they didn’t create. Collaborating with researchers in the actual process of data reuse could help identify key requirements in effective and meaningful data management.

      Organizing collaboration on this scale with researchers often feels like “herding cats”. Collaboration takes hard work and trust, and involving data in collaboration requires patience, skills, methods and expectations that will hopefully become more mainstream. Everyone has other research, teaching and service commitments, and we know time is precious. We are grateful that so many researchers participated in this study, committing their hard-earned data, but also their creativity and thoughts on how to analyze these disparate datasets together. The success of this project was not a foregone conclusion and it really depended on the trust and commitment shown by this team!

      For this project, everybody in our Anatolia bone study shared their raw datasets (mainly Excel spreadsheets). No individual dataset was a significant challenge on its own, but when viewed as a whole, the group of more than a dozen datasets was daunting in its complexity. Though the projects all recorded similar fields, recording styles varied greatly. The datasets took many hours of editing and alignment before they were ready for integrated analysis. When we met at a mid-project workshop in Kiel, Germany, we had to work through many different opinions on just what aspects of these data could be compared with confidence, and where methodological, sampling, and other factors made comparisons problematic. The details of this process can be found in a paper we published this summer in the International Journal of Digital Curation. The paper outlines our editorial process, including data cleaning and annotation steps that we performed to set the stage for analysis. It also discusses how these processes need to fit into larger systems of scholarly communications, including digital repositories, version control systems, and incentive structures.

      As for the research paper in PLoS ONE… This is the part that comes after much “data wrangling” and discussion. Ben Arbuckle, of UNC Chapel Hill, spearheaded the data sharing effort, and his years of work building trust with this community was key to the project’s success. Project participants agreed to openly share their datasets in Open Context. The data came from archaeological sites in Turkey, spanning the Epipaleolithic through the Chalcolithic, with an aim to explore how integrated datasets can inform us about the spread of early domestic animals westward across Turkey. The project highlighted a complex regional picture in the spread of agriculture, with particularly notable differences between coasts and inland regions. The research outcomes were published this summer in PLoS ONE. This project is the first of its kind involving the large-scale, digital publication and integration of zooarchaeological datasets. We hope that this model for archaeological collaboration will encourage others to build on the datasets published in this project, therefore contributing more data to further inform this particular research question, as well as address new questions.

      American School of Classical Studies in Athens: News

      Hesperia 83.3 Now Online!

      Topics in this issue include the EH II–III transition at Lerna and Tiryns, pedimental reliefs from Helike, "nonsense" inscriptions on Attic vases, Agora I 5162, and Italian sigillata stamps on Crete.

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      The Task of All Great Religions

      Obama Quote Religion

      This quote came to my attention via several pages on Facebook. You can read the entire speech at the UN on the White House website. Here’s a longer excerpt from which the quote in the image is taken:

      It is one of the tasks of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world.  No children are born hating, and no children — anywhere — should be educated to hate other people.  There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they’re Jewish, or because they’re Christian, or because they’re Muslim.  It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source, and that is the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.

      That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate.  It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down.

      That means contesting the space that terrorists occupy, including the Internet and social media.  Their propaganda has coerced young people to travel abroad to fight their wars, and turned students — young people full of potential — into suicide bombers.  We must offer an alternative vision.

      That means bringing people of different faiths together.  All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all great religions:  Do unto thy neighbor as you would do — you would have done unto yourself.

      The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day.  Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies — Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose:  “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”  Look at the young British Muslims who responded to terrorist propaganda by starting the “NotInMyName” campaign, declaring, “ISIS is hiding behind a false Islam.”  Look at the Christian and Muslim leaders who came together in the Central African Republic to reject violence; listen to the Imam who said, “Politics try to divide the religious in our country, but religion shouldn’t be a cause of hate, war, or strife.”

      The Archaeology News Network

      The Amphipolis Caryatids fully excavated

      The marble pedestals on which the two Caryatids of the Amphipolis burial mound stand were fully revealed after the two last blocks of the sealing wall in front of the second diaphragmatic wall were removed. The decoration of the pedestals follows the marble revetment of the walls. Each pedestal’s height is 1.40m (4.59 feet), their width 1.36m (4.46 feet) and their depth 0.72m (2.36 feet). The total height of pedestal and statue is an...

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

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Egyptology Books and Articles in PDF Online

       [First posted in AWOL 19 December 2013, updated 30 September 2014]

      Egyptology Books and Articles in PDF Online
      University of Memphis logo
      The world-wide-web is replete with links to Egyptological resources, and there are many pages of bibliography out there, of which the prime example is the Online Egyptological Bibliography. But as yet, none of the more systematic bibliographies are publishing links to the actual PDF files of books and articles which may be freely acquired online, although they may be collecting the URL references. This project attempts to go some way toward filling that gap.
      Click here for the full list.
      Notice: Bookmark this page, not the full list, as the file name may change.
      The list uses standard Egyptological abbreviations for books and journals.
      This project is a "work in progress", and is bound to contain errors and omissions. The document takes the form of one large HTML file with the data arranged by author; links to both the web page from which the file can be accessed and the PDF file for the document itself are given. Searching must be done using the Find function of your web browser. It may be possible to enhance this capability in the future, but much will depend on the reactions of internet users to this work.
      The data has been collected and arranged by Andrea Middleton, Brooke Garcia, and Robyn Price, Graduate Assistants in the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, a unit of the Department of Art in the University of Memphis (Tennessee, USA). We have tried to seek out as many books and articles as possible on Egyptological subjects which are freely accessible to anyone without the need for privileged access. Thus we have searched sites such as the Internet Archive, the University of Heidelberg Library, the Oriental Institute, the Metropolitan Museum, the Giza Library, Ancient World Online (AWOL), and many more, as well as attempting to collect links noted in the pages of EEF (Egyptologists' Electronic Forum) News.
      Sites which require institutional access or a password are not included—thus journals on JSTOR have not been indexed. Nor have papers available on www.academia.edu or  http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bifao/ (BIFAO) been included here. It is likely that some articles on JSTOR are duplicated elsewhere, and it is equally possible that some articles and books are available at more than one location. In the latter case, we have tried to give all the options.
      Please report comments, errors, omissions, etc. to  nigel.strudwick @ memphis.edu. We hope this work is useful.

      Nigel Strudwick
      September 2014


      ArcheoNet BE

      Relicta 11 van de persen gerold

      Zopas verscheen het elfde nummer van ‘Relicta. Archeologie, Monumenten- en Landschapsonderzoek in Vlaanderen’, het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift van het agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed. Relicta 11 is volledig gewijd aan Romeinse archeologie. Een eerste omvangrijke bijdrage stelt het archeologisch onderzoek aan de Sacramentstraat in Tongeren voor en in een tweede artikel komen we meer te weten over nieuwe inzichten in de lay-out, het verdedigingssysteem en de bewoningsgeschiedenis van het het Romeinse castellum van Oudenburg.

      Praktisch: Relicta 11 kost 40 euro. Je kunt de publicatie bestellen of de artikels downloaden op onroerenderfgoed.be.

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

      Some translations by Anthony Alcock from Syriac, Coptic and Arabic

      Anthony Alcock has been busy on a number of texts, creating new translations.  He has kindly sent a number of these to me for upload here, although I think that they are also available on Academia.edu and perhaps on Alin Suciu’s blog also.

      In each case he provides a useful introduction.

      Here they are (all PDF):

      • Chronicle of Séert I – A rather important Syriac chronicle, written by a Nestorian writer in the 9-11th century.  A detailed study of the text by Philip Wood (Oxford, 2013) is accessible on open access (yes!!!) here.
      • Chronicle of Séert II – Part 2 of the same.
      • Preaching of Andrew – A fresh translation of one of the Christian Arabic apocrypha from Mount Sinai.
      • Sins1 – A Coptic text on the Sins of priests and monks, by ps.Athanasius.  An Arabic version also exists.  This is the first English version, so is very welcome.  The text is interesting because of the interaction with Islam, and may be one of the sources used by the Apocalypse of Samuel of Kalamoun.  However I wasn’t able to locate this text in either the Coptic Encyclopedia or Graf’s GCAL – does anyone know where it is?
      • Sins2 – Part 2 of the same.

      It is profoundly useful to have this kind of material available in English and online, and our thanks to Dr Alcock.

      Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

      Kleine ägyptische Texte

      Részletek a felhívás szövegéből: 
      Ten years after the publication of Vol. 14 the renowned series „Kleine ägyptische Texte (KÄT)“ (Short Egyptian Texts) is being revived. As of now the new editors Hans-Werner Fischer-Elfert and Franziska Naether accept manuscripts for the publishing house Harrassowitz – literary and documentary texts or text corpora in hieroglyphic, hieratic and Demotic script that shall be published as an edition and/or in a didactically prepared form as a monograph for academic teaching. The number of pages is non-limited in general, but it should be appropriate for the purpose and the format of the series (“short texts”). Publication languages are German, English and French. Demotists are particularly encouraged to approach the
      editors with publication ideas, for the „KÄT” shall foremost be extended in this field.


      Please contact the editors
      Prof. Dr. Hans-W. Fischer-Elfert: fischere (at)uni-leipzig.de
      Dr. Franziska Naether: naether(at)uni-leipzig.de
      or the director of Harrassowitz Verlag:
      Dr. Barbara Krauß: bkrauss(at)harrassowitz.de

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Amphipolis: More Questions, More Answers

      There are several questions I have been asked, which I cannot answer for the simple reason that the information has not yet been released by the Ministry of Culture. They will do so in due course, but for now this is a round-up of the Questions people have posed, and the Answers I can give.

      I saw a video where the archaeologist said the tomb shows signs that it was built by Dinocrates, she mentioned something like trademark numbers used by Dinocrates have been seen on the tomb. Do you know anything about this?

      A few years back I blogged about this, and whilst I initially thought there was a building inscription, this turned out to be miss-communication. The link to Dinocrates seems to be common sense and deductive reasoning - he developed the perfect circle, and the design of the tomb seems to fit what we know of his work, and other evidence which the excavators have chosen not to release yet.

      Could the story about Alexander’s body being in Egypt be made up by Ptolemy? Could the funerary cart have made it to Macedonia? I also note that the Library of Alexandria probably housed all the surviving texts and could have edited them.

      Anything is possible, but the overwhelming majority of the evidence suggests that both Alexander the Great and his funerary cart ended up in Egypt and stayed there until the Byzantine period. Had he been moved by a Diadoch, there would not have been solid Roman records of him in Alexandria. It is possible that the body was moved in the Byzantine period, but if so it is more likely to have been moved to Constantinople. Yes history is often re-written by people to suit themselves ... for example arguing that Alexander's bone were really in Amphipolis ... but the Library of Alexandria whilst famous was merely one of many similar Academies, the most famous and best renowned of which was in Athens ... so since I find it unlikely that the Athenians also promoted Egyptian lies, I consider this unlikely.

      An interesting issue is how politicized the Tomb has become. Many Greeks (especially those supporting the opposition) saw the Prime Minister's visit and the subsequent publicity given to the Tomb as an attempt by the government to steer the public's attention away from pressing issues as unemployment, new taxes etc. In a way they feel that the Tomb has been "appropriated" by the government and seem to resent any "positive" news coming from the excavation (fearing it might be used as government propaganda). 

      I have seen the Parthenon sculptures and the campaign to get them returned to Greece used in a similar way, to distract attention from 'bad news' various governments might have. Honestly, I think it is fabulous how invested people are in Greece with history, and wish more countries were so enthusiastic and easily distracted from more politicians' nonsense.

      I just assumed the people claiming it is Roman are just not very good at their jobs, as that has been my previous experience of them.

      a) They are taking longer now because the third chamber are having security problems?

      Yes the structural issues must have severely slowed down progress - for example they are trying to remove soil above to alleviate the weight bearing down on it. Nobody wants it turn out to be a tomb for archaeologists (and I use that term as a generic to encompass everyone working on the site). This is a good thing, as is slowing down work so that the team have more time to work on it.

      c) Do you think that this tomb has a structure that can approximate the others already found in the same area and date 

      There are plenty of mounds and roundish structures from roughly this period, and comparanda for the sculptures, painted architectural elements and other details ... but the size and that they are all together at Amphipolis make it unique.

      d) The latter chamber this painted red? Reasons for that, do you have any? 

      Royal Purple was also called Tyrian Red as one can describe the shade either way. Or there could be a dozen other reasons for its use starting with the purely decorative.

      The photos from the Amphipolis tomb clearly show the upper arm of the sculptures being parallel or almost parallel to the ground level, which makes it difficult for the figures to support the epistyle. Holding the epistyle could be possible only if the Caryatids had a longer lower arm; a longer arm as a visual correction is not impossible, but we still have to see the evidence to define the meaning of the gesture. Another suggestion is that they hold their poloi instead of the architrave.

      Good points! And ... the evidence suggests that they do not hold their poloi, but the Amphipolis Caryatids are already re-writing what we know, so we'll have to wait and see the evidence for the hands when they present it.

      The archaic Korai (not Caryaties according to you) of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi look very much like the female figures of Amphipolis and do not belong to a funerary monument. 

      The similarity is superficial in that these and other Delphi figures were Archaic, and the Amphipolis ones were deliberately designed to suggest archaic sculpture - in the same way that women can do their hair and make-up to love like Marilyn Monroe, but it's usually obvious by the little details that they are living today not in the '50s ... Obviously I disagree about what Virtuvius intended, but the fabulous thing is that for the first time in my life everyone is discussing what Caryatids could or could not have been. (Next time I do a talk on them, I'll try to put it up on YouTube).

      And what about a connection of these figures to the Persians? The earlier cases, like the ones belonging to the Siphnian Treasury and the Erechtheion of the athenian acropolis, up to the tomb of Amphipolis, could somehow, even indirectly, be related to the Persians, and Vitruvius connects the motif to the Persian wars anyway.

      Vitruvius made the connection to the Persians, and Michael Vickers wrote a very interesting article connecting Caryatids to Persians. I disagree with his dating and conclusion, but I highly recommend people interested read it. (His articles including a new version of the article are available here).

      was any importance placed on where materials were taken from? I'm wondering about the sand coming from the Strymon and whether there'd be a symbolic reason to use that over soil from much closer to hand, or whether it would have been purely 'have some sand left over from building mound, might as well use it'.

      What an interesting question, and I wish I have enough information about the finds to answer it. Honestly I had not heard that Strymon sand was used instead of soil but there are plenty of other examples of it. The most obvious one would be porphyry (hint - if you spot any, it's a god or a royal).

      Would the sculptures been carved by local artists or where they created by teams of artists who moved around - say from Athens? Do we assume they were carved on the spot?

      With big projects local workshops were created, for example Pheidias' had been excavated at Olympia. There is often a link between a sculptor and a marble he favoured, for example Scopas of Paros, but at other times the marble is local; it depended how much of good quality was available, and the budget. Thasos was nearby, and that seems to have been used here. Most of the big sculptors worked more in bronze than marble, although there are exceptions when it comes to important projects. The consensus with architectural sculpture is that it was roughed out at the quarry, worked more at the site and finished in situ - partly so that it was not damaged before it was in place, partly so that there was continuity and the frieze blocks joined.

      When Alexander and his successors built their cities with Greek artists creating sculptures - where did they come from? Macedonia? Western Asia Minor? They must have ramped up fast to create so much. Maybe Alexander had artists in tow that went with him. What do we know?

      A lot! Firstly, Alexander had 'court' artists. Secondly when he conquered the Persian Empire, he would have found a lot of good artists there. Praxiteles and Scopas are two famous sculptors who for example worked for the Hecatomnids in various Carian cities, such as Cnidos. The Persians had used Greek artists for generations, and there is a very good book by John Boardman about this (he also wrote one on the Greeks recreating the past through nostalgia - a great scholar).

      Do you think we will see more figures in the excavation?

      I keep being amazed by the sculpture so ... [Fight Club Rules]

      Is there an estimate of when the wall and sand were placed in front of the Caryatids? It would seem as if the wall and sand were there to preserve the Caryatids from further decay, as if the Amphipolis tomb were previously excavated.

      I think it seems pretty certain by now that the sand was used to stop the structure collapsing, and the wall to hold it in - see other posts for more ...

      Could the damage to the right foot and toe be due to those falling pieces? In addition, it was reported the Caryatids fingers (not the arm?) were found in the sand? Would this suggest that the wall and sand were added at a later date, when the Caryatids were crumbling?

      Yes, these all seem to be fissures due to structural damage


      More answers soon ...


      Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

      Historical Maps, Topography, Into Minecraft: QGIS

      Building your Minecraft Topography(An earlier version of this uses Microdem, which is just a huge page in the butt. I re-wrote this using Qgis, for my hist3812a students)

      If you are trying to recreate a world as recorded in a historical map, then modern topography isn’t what you want. Instead, you need to create a blank, flat world in Worldpainter, and then import your historical map as an overlay. In worldpainter, File >> New World. In the dialogue box, uncheck ‘circular world’. Tick of ‘flat’ under topography. Then, on the main icon ribbon, select the ‘picture frame’ icon (‘image overlay’). In the dialogue box, tick ‘image overlay’. Select your file. You might have to fiddle with the scale and the x, y offset to get it exactly positioned where you want. Watch the video mentioned below to see all this in action. Then you can paint the terrain type (including water), raise, lower the terrain accordingly, put down blocks to indicate buildings… Worldpainter is pretty powerful.

      If you already have elevation data as greyscale .bmp or .tiff

      • Watch the video about using Worldpainter.
      • Skip ahead to where he imports the topographic data and then the historical map imagery and shows you how to paint this against your topography.
      • You should also google for Worldpainter tutorials.

      If you have an ARCGIS shapefile

      This was cooked up for me by Joel Rivard, one of our GIS & Map specialists in the Library. He writes,

      • Using QGIS: In the menu, go to Layer > Add Vector Layer. Find the point shapefile that has the elevation information.
      • Ensure that you select point in the file type.
      • In the menu, go to Raster > Interpolation.
      • Select “Field 3″ (this corresponds to the z or elevation field) for Interpolation attribute and click on “Add”.
      • Feel free to keep the rest as default and save the output file as an Image (bmp, jpg or any other raster)

      If you need to get topographic data

      In some situations, modern topography is just what you need.

      • Grab Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data for the area you are interested in (it downloads as a tiff.) To help you orient yourself, click off ‘toggle cities’ at the bottom of that page. You then click on the tile that contains the region your are interested in. This is a large piece of geography; we’ll trim in a moment.
      • Open QGIS
      • Go to Layer >> Add Raster Layer. Navigate to the location where your srtm download is located. You’re looking for the .tiff file. Select that file.

      Add Raster Layer

      • You now have a grayscale image in your QGIS workspace, which might look like this

      Straights of Hercules, Spain, Morocco

      • Now you need to crop this image to just the part that you are interested in. On the main menu ribbon, select Raster >> Extraction >> Clipper

      Select Clipper Tool

      • In the dialogue box that opens, make sure that ‘Clipping Mode’ is set to ‘Extent’. With this dialogue box open, you can click and drag on the image to highlight the area you wish to crop to. The extent coordinates will fill in automatically.

      • Hit ‘Select…’ beside ‘Output File’. Give your new cropped image a useful name. Hit ‘Save’.

      • Nothing much will appear to happen – but on the main QGIS window, under ‘layers’ a new layer will be listed.

      Imgur

      • UNCHECK the original layer (which will have a name like srtm_36_05). Suddenly, only your cropped image is left on the screen. Use the magnifying glass with the plus sign (in the icons at the top of the window) to zoom so that your cropped image fills as much of the screen as possible.
      • Go to Project >> Save as image. Give it a useful name, and make sure to set ‘files of type’ to .bmp. You can now import the .bmp file to your Worldpainter file.

      Importing your grayscale DEM to a Minecraft World

      Video tutorial again – never mind the bit where he talks about getting the topographic data at the beginning

      At this point, the easiest thing to do is to use WorldPainter. It’s free, but you can donate to its developers to help them maintain and update it. Now, the video shown above shows how to load your DEM image into WorldPainter. It parses the black-to-white pixel values and turns them into elevations. You have the option of setting where ‘sea level’ is on your map (so elevations below that point are covered with water). There are many, many options here; play with it! Adam Clarke, who made the video, suggests scaling up your image to 900%, but I’ve found that that makes absolutely monstrous worlds. You’ll have to play around to see what makes most sense for you, but with real-world data of any area larger than a few kilometres on a side, I think 100 to 200% is fine.

      So: in Worldpainter – File >> Import >> Height map. In the dialogue box that opens, select your bmp file. You’ll probably need to reduce the vertical scale a bit. Play around.

      Now, the crucial bit for us: you can import an image into WorldPainter to use as an overlay to guide the placement of blocks, terrain, buildings, whatever. So, again, rather than me simply regurgitating what Adam narrates, go watch the video. Save as a .world file for editing; export to Minecraft when you’re ready (be warned: big maps can take a very long time to render. That’s another reason why I don’t scale up the way Adam suggests).

      Save your .world file regularly. EXPORT your minecraft world to the saves folder (the link shows where this can be found.

      Go play.

      Wait, what about the historical maps again?

      The video covers it much better than I could here. Watch it, but skip ahead to the map overlay section. See the bit at the top of this post.

      Ps. Here’s Vimy Ridge, site of a rather important battle in WW1 fought by the Canadian Army, imported into Minecraft this way:
      Vimy Ridge in Minecraft


      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      ASOR Annual Meeting Programs

      ASOR Annual Meeting Academic and Business Meetings Schedule

        Annual Meeting Academic and Business Meetings Schedules


        Past Annual Meetings

        2013: Baltimore, MD
          • 2013 Academic Program Schedule in PDF.
          • 2013 Business Meetings Schedule in HTML and PDF.
          • 2013 Schedule At-A-Glance in HTML and PDF.
           
        2012: Chicago, IL
          • 2012 Academic Program Schedule in PDF.
          • 2012 Business Meetings Schedule in PDF.
           
        2011: San Francisco, CA
          • 2011 Academic Program Schedule in PDF.
          • 2011 Business Meetings Schedule in PDF.
        2010: Atlanta, GA
          • 2010 Academic Program Schedule in PDF.
          • 2010 Business Meetings Schedule in PDF.
        2009: New Orleans, LA
        2008: Boston, MA
        2007: San Diego, CA
        2006: Washington, DC
        2005: Philadelphia, PA
        2004: San Antonio, TX
        2003: Atlanta, GA
        2002: Toronto, ON
        2001: Boulder, CO
        2000: Washington, DC (centennial celebration)
        2000: Nashville, TN
        1999: Cambridge, MA
        1998: Orlando, FL
        1997: Napa, CA

          Archaeological News on Tumblr

          Hittite tablet to be deciphered with 3D

          A tablet found on a rock during excavations in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite civilization in the central Anatolian province of Çorum, will be deciphered with a 3D scanning system.

          Assistant Professor Andreas Schachner, the head of the excavations, said the team had started working to decipher the 3,500-year-old tablet. He said that what was written on the tablet had been an object of interest to the science world, and added the writing was nearly wiped off after being exposed to bad weather conditions for millennia.

          “The Hittites used two different writing systems,” Schachner explained. “The first is the cuneiform script on kiln tablets and the other is hieroglyphs, which is mostly seen on rocks.” Read more.

          James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

          Doctor Who and Religion: A Short Trip through 50 years of Time and Space

          OleMiss Dr Who

          I will be guest speaking later this week at the University of Mississippi, as the first of this year’s Religion Forum speakers. My lecture is titled “Doctor Who and Religion: A Short Trip through 50 years of Time and Space.” It will be  on Thursday at 4:30 pm, in Bryant Hall 209.

          Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

          Punk Archaeology: The Book

          Punk Archaeology: The Book
          ISBN-13: 978-0692281024 (The Digital Press at The University of North Dakota)
          ISBN-10: 0692281029
          Edited By
          William Caraher
          Kostis Kourelis
          Andrew Reinhard
          http://mediterraneanworld.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/punka_cover_1.jpg?w=900&h=900
          Download it here or here.
          Description:
          Punk Archaeology is a irreverent and relevant movement in archaeology, and these papers provide a comprehensive anti-manifesto.

          Acknowledgements:
          This volume was made possible by a whole community of folks ranging from the relentless Andrew Reinhard who proofed this over and over and over again to Aaron Barth who put together the conference which produced these papers. The authors were great to work with except Richard Rothaus who insisted that we include his handwritten paper. (I kid, I kid). Support for the whole deal came from the Cyprus Research Fund, the Center for Heritage Renewal at North Dakota State University, and the North Dakota Humanities Council. Administrators at the University of North Dakota are to be commended for raising their eyebrows politely and ignoring what I was doing

          Archaeological News on Tumblr

          ASI begins conservation work on historic Diwan-e-Khas

          The Archaeological Survey of India on Monday began conservation work on the roof of the historic Diwan-e-Khas at the Red Fort. It hopes to restore the monument to its pristine glory within four months. Officials working on the project said what they have undertaken is “not a restoration but the real work (conservation)”.

          Restoration is beautifying the monument/building by plastering and applying other means. Though the conservation will not be ‘visible’ to common people and tourists as it is done silently without disturbing them but it would make the roof stronger after the process.

          The very reasons and process of the work involved has interesting details that clearly explains the hurdles faced by the institution in carrying out such a mammoth task. Read more.

          The Archaeology News Network

          600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand

          Centuries before Captain Cook explored the South Pacific, Polynesian seafarers in canoes crossed vast swaths of water to colonize lonely islands from Samoa and New Zealand all the way to Hawaii. But how they managed such a daring feat remains something of a mystery. This turtle was carved on the hull of a 600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand. Turtles  are rare in pre-European Maori art. The engraving might be a nod to the...

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

          Dorothy King (PhDiva)

          Syria: plus ça change ...

          ... plus c'est la même chose.


          Chemical warfare in Syria? The Romans experienced it first in Syria. Tunnels? That too.

          PhDiva: The Siege of Dura Europos, AD 256 (Updated):
          Death in the Dark, Blood in the Streets: New Insights into the Siege and Fall of Dura-Europos
          Simon James, University of Leicester
          Around A.D. 254, anticipating renewed invasion of Syria by the Sasanians, the Roman garrison of Dura-Europos massively strengthened the city’s defences, intending to hold it at all costs. The Sasanian attack came c. 256, in a ferocious siege known entirely through archaeology: no historical account survives. This involved the full range of known siege techniques, including artillery, an assault ramp, mines, and countermines.

          And if they start wearing chain mail? The Romans did that first in Syria too ...

          PhDiva: The Evidence for Roman Chain Mail

          I know every keeps talking about ISIS being Medieval or worse that we should go all Medieval on them ... but the Romans did it first, and frankly going back to them would be preferable.

          Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

          Vietnamese ceramics found on disputed Spratlys

          A discovery that will surely displease China, Vietnamese archaeologists have discovered Vietnamese ceramics on the disputed Spratly Islands.

          Vietnamese ceramics from Spratlys. Source: Thanh Nien News 20140928

          Vietnamese ceramics from Spratlys. Source: Thanh Nien News 20140928

          Ancient Vietnamese artifacts found in Spratlys
          Thanh Nien News, 28 September 2014

          Vietnamese archaeologists have announced the discovery of ancient Vietnamese artifacts in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

          Recent excavations in the archipelago — Spratly Island, Namyit Island, Pearson Reef, and Sand Cay — in June yielded Vietnamese pottery shards that dated back to between the 13th and 19th centuries, archaeologists said.

          Bui Van Liem, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, said: “The results of the June explorations strengthened those of our explorations in Truong Sa in 1993, 1994, and 1999. They prove that Vietnamese people operated in the archipelago in the past.”

          “The artifacts contribute to support Vietnam’s assertion of sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelago,” said Liem.

          Full story here.

          Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism

          An excavation at the Gunung Padag megalithic site has drawn criticism for its excavation methods by the local archaeology centre. The excavation is being run by an independent team of researcher, who according to the report, have “unlimited” funding.

          Archaeologists slam excavation of Gunung Padang site
          Jakarta Post, 30 September 2014

          Bandung Archaeological Center head Desril Riva Shanti has taken issue with the excavation process being carried out at Gunung Padang megalithic site in Cianjur regency, West Java, adding the process had not followed standard methods that were usually applied in archaeological projects.

          “I’ve yet to go to the site but I can judge it from photographs. An archaeological excavation method shouldn’t have been carried out in that way,” Desril said on Monday.

          She said an archaeological excavation should be carried out in stages and at a slow pace, by using tools smaller than a hoe.

          Based on observations by The Jakarta Post, a number of Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers had used hoes in the excavation at eastern and western parts of Gunung Padang, until the inner part of the site appeared.

          Full story here.

          Colleen Morgan (Middle Savagery)

          Punks, Hard Drives & Minecraft Archaeology

          CLE_1605

          The inimitable Sara Perry and I have been working on the archaeological excavation of a hard drive, for science! We’ve been writing about it on Savage Minds, the Other blog about Savages. Here are the blog posts in order:

          I’m also very excited that the Punk Archaeology volume has landed, be sure to download it–there’s a photo of me holding a trowel! A leaf trowel, BUT STILL! Many thanks to Bill Caraher, Andrew Reinhard and Kostis Kourelis for bringing the project together and allowing me to make my small contribution. Download it! Love it! Share it!

          Punk Archaeology: the Book

          Finally, with huge amounts of help from our vibrant community of digital archaeologists here at the University of York, I organized a Minecraft & Archaeology event as part of Yornight. I actively did not promote it much, as it was a pilot scheme and I wasn’t sure how it would play out. It went very well though and we were at capacity during much of the evening. I’ve been asked to write it up in a journal, so more details will be forthcoming. You’ll get a sneak preview if you happen to be in Shawn Graham’s class this evening, as I’m a remote guest in the classroom. If it works. We’ve been trying to remotely collaborate since 2006, so fingers crossed!


          Archaeological News on Tumblr

          'Pompeii. Gods, Myths, Man' exhibition opens at Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg

          image

          HAMBURG.- For the very first time one of the large villas of Pompeii is being shown in an exhibition in its entirety. The presentation at the Bucerius Kunst Forum is based on the architectural design of the house. It displays the magnificent décor in its original context. The unusually large frescoes, bronze figures, reliefs and portraits are among the most beautiful works of art found in the city at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Life in ancient Pompeii and the role of art in daily life can be experienced through more than 80 outstanding loans from the National Archeological Museum of Naples.

          Citizens of ancient Pompeii decorated their living spaces with scenes of mythical lovers, floating gods and goddesses and gardens. These murals are among the best examples of Roman painting to have survived. The exhibition Pompeii. Gods, Myths, Man at the Bucerius Kunst Forum reveals the development of Pompeiian imagery from its beginnings to the destruction of the city in the wake of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Read more.

          Dorothy King (PhDiva)

          Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

          And there's nothing waspish about pointing it out ...


          (for those in need of a clue, see Adrian Goldsworthy's most recent book).

          Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

          BBC Documentary on Angkor

          Last week the BBC broadcast its documentary Jungle Atlantis, featuring some of my colleagues working in Angkor. The focus was on the data that was revealed through Lidar, uncovering an extensive network of roads, buildings and features beneath the jungle surface.

          Angkor Wat Lidar Source: Khmer Archaeology Lidar Consortium

          Angkor Wat Lidar Source: Khmer Archaeology Lidar Consortium

          Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city
          BBC News, 23 September 2014

          Jungle Atlantis
          (Watch on iView)

          At its peak, in the late 12th Century, Angkor was a bustling metropolis covering 1,000 sq km. (It would be another 700 years before London reached a similar size.)

          Angkor was once the capital of the mighty Khmer empire which, ruled by warrior kings, dominated the region for centuries – covering all of present-day Cambodia and much of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. But its origins and birthplace have long been shrouded in mystery.

          A few meagre inscriptions suggested the empire was founded in the early 9th Century by a great king, Jayavarman II, and that his original capital, Mahendraparvata, was somewhere in the Kulen hills, a forested plateau north-east of the site on which Angkor would later be built.

          But no-one knew for sure – until the lidar team arrived.

          The lidar survey of the hills revealed ghostly outlines on the forest floor of unknown temples and an elaborate and utterly unexpected grid of ceremonial boulevards, dykes and man-made ponds – a lost city, found.

          Dorothy King (PhDiva)

          RIP the Jobar Synagogue, Syria

          As the year draws to a close, it is important to remember that Syria used to have a very vibrant Jewish community, but more synagogues have been destroyed there this year than at any other point since the time of Titus.


          Whilst as tragic as the loss of the site of the Dura synagogue was, most of the items from it are safely elsewhere. The same cannot be said for the Jobar synagogue, whose foundations are older but whose library and cult objects are unaccounted for. This destruction seems to have accidental, and the local anti-government rebels had been going out of their way to save it.

          Jobar falls well outside the remit of LootBusters, but I felt it was important to post these photos as a tribute to the synagogue and its Community. I have blanked out the faces, but have otherwise not tinkered with these photos as I feel it is important to try to preserve a record of the synagogue.































































          If anyone else has photos of now destroyed monuments, I am always happy to hear from them, and do not post them without express permission.

          Archaeological News on Tumblr

          Hero Stones Belonging to Pallava Era Found Near Tirupattur

          image

          VELLORE: Five hero-stones believed to have belonged to the Pallava period, dating back nearly 1,400 years, were discovered in Puliyanur village (bordering Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Krishnagiri districts) by Professor Appasamy Murugaiyan of Paris University and R Poongundran, a retired assistant director of State Department of Archeology.

          Two of the five stones discovered were damaged while three had inscriptions and pictorial depictions.

          Over 1,000 hero-stones have been discovered in the Thenpennai river basin so far, especially in Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri belt. Tamil literature cites worship of these hero-stones by the villagers of the time and this practice has waned over time, he added. Read more.

          Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

          Heracles, Theseus, Achelous, & Deianira in Metamorphoses

          A few of the many questions that Ovid's text of Hercules, Achelous, and Theseus provokes for me - no particular order:

          Why the careful set-up of the exquisite dinner party in Achelous' grotto - (a setting so intriguing that it was imitated in Renaissance gardens for hundreds of years)?

          Ovid also depicted Theseus at the notorious dinner party for the wedding of Pirithous - what does this conjunction suggest?


          What is Achelous's relation to his nature as a river?

          Asking why water, trees and transformation run deeply throughout the tales told in the grotto, all precedent to the entrance of Heracles in Book 9.

          One might notice, though not right away, that the story of Deianira frames all of the tales between the end of the Calydonian Boar hunt in Book 8 and the death (and birth) of Hercules in Book 9. Does this suggest a relation between the Boar (and Hunt) and the strange career of Hercules and Deianira?

          Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

          Punk Archaeology: The Book

          I’m impatient. So, I decided to push the button and publish Punk Archaeology today. This is the first book published by The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. We’re so punk that we don’t really have a webpage.

          That being said, we’re also so punk that we will release a book here for free.

          Download it here or here.

          I have one favor to ask. If this book is something that you think sounds cool, spread the word. Facebook it. Tweet it. Ello it. Tell everyone you know about it. Since this press has no budget, no staff, no offices (and you might suspect no editors…), I need my readers to serve as our marketing wing. Blow up the internet, please.

          PunkA cover 1

          Description:

          Punk Archaeology is a irreverent and relevant movement in archaeology, and these papers provide a comprehensive anti-manifesto.

          Acknowledgements:

          This volume was made possible by a whole community of folks ranging from the relentless Andrew Reinhard who proofed this over and over and over again to Aaron Barth who put together the conference which produced these papers. The authors were great to work with except Richard Rothaus who insisted that we include his handwritten paper. (I kid, I kid). Support for the whole deal came from the Cyprus Research Fund, the Center for Heritage Renewal at North Dakota State University, the North Dakota Humanities Council, and the delicious beer makers at Laughing Sun Brewing in Bismarck. Administrators at the University of North Dakota are to be commended for raising their eyebrows politely and ignoring what I was doing.

          This book would not have been possible without the efforts of Joel Jonientz who did the cover design and layout. I wish he was around to see the results. The book is dedicated to him.

          NewImage

          Other Details:

          The print copy should be ready to go by the end of the week and available at Amazon. I’ll post a link to that. It should cost around $30.00, but look like a million bucks. Make sure to order copies for friends and families as well as university libraries and private collections.

          Here are links to the papers being read at the conference on Soundcloud thanks to Tim Pasch, Chad Bushy, and Caleb Hulthusen for recording the event:

          https://soundcloud.com/punk-archaeology-speaks

          https://soundcloud.com/tags/punk%20archaeology

          And listen to Andrew Reinhard’s soundtrack here:

          http://www.soundcloud.com/charinos/sets/punk-archaeology

          Here’s the book, folks: