Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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

December 01, 2015

David Stuart (Maya Decipherment)

New Book: Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya

12304325_10207052331199863_9028409822549416297_oMortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya

by Andrew K. Scherer

The University of Texas Press, 2015

Through a wealth of previously unpublished primary data, Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya examines Mayan death rites across sites, social classes, and kingdoms.

Available December 2015 through The University of Texas Press.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

ARIT Newsletter On-Line

 [First posted in AWOL 4 December 2009. Updated 30 November 2015]

ARIT Newsletter On-Line
Twice a year the Institute publishes the ARIT Newsletter, distributed widely in the academic community and among the Friends of ARIT. It provides information about the ARIT's recent activities and programs, including the news from each center, research reports from recent fellows in Turkey, lists of current fellows and donors.
Volume 58, Spring 2015
Volume 58, Spring 2015
  - Studies related to Turkey grow, along with ARIT institutional membership
      - ARIT Istanbul opens new on-line access to American Board archives and library materials
      - ARIT Ankara director presents at the 20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists
and facilitates programs on cultural heritage protection
      - Research reports: On social complexity and crop production at chalcolithic Çadır Höyük and on Looking over Ottoman readers' shoulders.
Volume 57, Fall 2014
  - ARIT and the NEH.
      - ARIT Istanbul Friends initiate the John Freely Fellowship Fund.
      - ARIT welcomes additional new institutional members.

      - Research report: Subsistence and Ritual as evidenced by bone remains in southern Cappadocia.
Volume 56, Spring 2014
      - Reflections on ARIT's 50th.
      - ARIT welcomes additional new institutional members.
      - Research reports: Statistics and reform in contemporary Turkey; the musical life of two Bektashi communities; Ottoman physical culture.
Volume 55, Spring 2013
      - 2014 is ARIT's 50th year: reflecting on past accomplishments and future plans.
 - ARIT welcomes additional new institutional member
      - New publication: writings of Dr. Toni M. Cross
      - Research reports: library collections of Ottoman Sufi scholars; Armenian churches in Istanbul.

Volume 54, Fall 2012
      - ARIT plans adaptations to reduced funding
 - ARIT welcomes five new institutional members
      - Research report: Classical architects of Asia Minor; Authenticating Eyüp in Istanbul.

Volume 53, Spring 2012
- ARIT's funding worries continue
 - ARIT Istanbul Library acquires the massive archive of the American Board of Missions
      - ARIT Ankara director reports on Turkish fellows traveling to Greece
      - Research report: Early Republican political cartoons

Volume 52, Fall 2011
      - ARIT loses much of its federal support for overseas operations and programs
      - ARIT Istanbul Library posts publications from the Library of the American Board of Missions on-line
      - ARIT Ankara director shares new developments concerning permits for U.S. archaeological excavations and surveys
      - Research report: Byzantine shipwreck explored

Volume 51, Spring 2011
      - ARIT Istanbul facilities and developments
      - Library of the American Board of Missions at ARIT Istanbul
      - ARIT Ankara names Coulson - Cross Aegean Exchange fellows for 2011
      - Research reports:  Ottoman Women, Legal Reform, and Social Change; Spanish Moriscos in the Ottoman realm

Volume 50, Fall 2010
      - Local Archives and Libraries of Overseas Research Centers (LAORC) launches new database on the Digital Library for International Research (DLIR)
      - Access to research facilities in Istanbul
      - ARIT facilitates cooperation with new permit procedures for archaeological projects
      - Research reports:  Religion and politics and the Ottoman-Iranian border; Polychromy of Roman marble sculpture from Aphrodisias

Volume 49, Spring 2010
      - Meet the new ARIT President
      - New ARIT Turkish fellows pursue a broad range of research projects
      - Archaeologists adapt to new excavation regulations
      - Research reports:  Late Antique Portrait Sculpture; Perspectives of German-Turkish return migrants.

Volume 48, Fall 2009
      - ARIT President Sams recounts his presidency that is coming to an end
      - ARIT center affiliates have diverse backgrounds and interests
      - ARIT Ankara and Cypriot American Archaeological Research Institute exchange scholar/directors
      - Research reports:  Piracy in the Ottoman Mediterranean; Hittite conception of space.

Volume 47, Spring 2009
      - ARIT Mellon Fellows contributions.
      - New tours and sites in Turkey
      - Machteld J. Mellink remembered in Ankara
      - Research report:  A study of Ottoman deeds in Çorum yields detailed histories.

Volume 46, Fall 2008
       - ARIT Ankara director changes: farewell to Baha Yildirim, greetings to Elif Denel.
       - Turkish Language programs and fellowships program grow
       - ARIT continues to seek new facilities for the Istanbul center
       - Research reports:  Ottoman military levies; Little Ice Age crisis in Ottoman lands.

Volume 45, Spring 2008
        - ARIT begins building a library endowment with the help of the NEH Endowment Challenge grant.
        - Kress Foundation fellows cited; Turkish fellowships program grows
        - ARIT seeks new facilities for the Istanbul center
        - Research reports:  Turkish Alevism; Greek pottery at Gordion.

Volume 44, Fall 2007
        - ARIT wins NEH Endowment Challenge grant to upgrade libraries.
        - Joukowsky Family Foundation supports publication of fellows' research.
        - Research reports:  Suleyman the Lawgiver; Cultural Debates in Istanbul Recording Studios.

Volume 43, Spring 2007
        - Ankara Library receives Mellink collection and expands.
        - Expanded intensive Department of State Turkish language programs continue.
        - Research reports:  The Making of the National Identity in Ottoman Macedonia; The Tektaş Burnu Shipwreck.

Volume 42, Fall 2006
        - The Council of American Overseas Research Centers marks twenty-five years.
        - New Department of State funding supports advanced language study in Turkey for U.S. beginning students.
        - List of ARIT Fellowships for 2006-2007.
        - Research report:  The Architectural Patronage of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad

Volume 41, Spring 2006
       - Machteld Johanna Mellink remembrance.
       - New legal status for ARIT in Turkey in process.
       - Annual Fund drive.
       - Research reports:  Thracian Names and the Greek Epigraphic Evidence in East Thrace and Asia Minor; Secularizations and their Discontents:  a Cross-National Study;        The Civil Basilica of Aphrodisias.   

Volume 40, Fall 2005
        - George and Ilse Hanfmann Fellowship Program.
        - Increased research activities in libraries and hostels in both Ankara and Istanbul.
        - List of ARIT Fellowships for 2005-2006.
        - Research report:  Roman urbanism in southwestern Turkey; history of the Sabbatian communities.    

 Volume 39, Spring 2005
        - The Turkish Cultural Foundation offers new support for Turkish fellows in Turkey.
        - Increased support means more Turkish fellows supported in the program administered by the Istanbul Dernek.
        - Aegean Exchange fellows plan their research projects in Greece.
        - Annual fund drive.
        - Research Report:  Byzantine-Ottoman 'overlap' architecture in Turkey.   
Volume 38, Fall 2004
        - William D. E. Coulson - Toni M. Cross Aegean Exchange gains permanent funding through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

        - Changes in the laws guiding applications for research permissions occupy directors in both centers.
        - List of ARIT Fellowships for 2004-2005.
        - Research report:  ancient wine-making in Turkey.    

Volume 37, Spring 2004
        - Interest in U.S.-based research in Turkey on the increase; research are programs thriving.
        - New Turkish law changes the process for foreigners applying for research permissions.  
        - Hanfmann Fellows travel abroad to carry out varied research projects; the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Consulate in Ankara continues to support the Aegean Exchange Program.
        - Research report:  prehistoric dietary habits examined through micro-wear analysis.

November 30, 2015

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Hortensii: Tackling the problems facing PhDs without permanent jobs

Hortensii: Tackling the problems facing PhDs without permanent jobs
Hortensii is a group of people inside and outside academia who want to alleviate the difficulties facing PhDs without permanent academic jobs. (We take our name from the Roman Quintus Hortensius, who in c. 287 BC sponsored the Lex Hortensia giving civil rights to Roman plebeians; our photograph is of Benjamin Franklin, who would also have wanted to help.) We think that even given current unpleasant realities facing academia many positive steps could be taken; see ‘What to do and why’ for exactly what these are, but to oversimplify grossly our goals are both to reduce the oversupply of disappointed would-be academics and to make life easier for PhDs who choose to remain in academia without a permanent job. We welcome anyone who shares these goals and is in broad agreement with our proposed actions to join us and help implement them, and we ask people with other agendas to respect ours and leave us to it. We are not fighting against anyone or anything and are not affiliated with any movement, political party, or country. Nor are we trying to help individuals gain employment or to interfere in any way with decisions on who should get the limited number of academic jobs available; as we have different subjects and different views on what constitutes good academic work in our fields, we wish to avoid internal dissension by remaining strictly neutral in such matters so we can work together to make life better for a group that badly needs such help. At present the contact person for Hortensii is Eleanor Dickey, a Classicist at the University of Reading in England.

ArcheoNet BE

Gelbe 13: de opgraving van een Duits jachtvliegtuig uit WO II in Kalken

Het nieuwste nummer van Weekend Knack bevat een uitgebreid artikel over de recente opgraving van de resten een Duits jachtvliegtuig in Kalken (Laarne). De Duitse vliegenier Wilhelm Lück stortte er op 14 mei 1943 neer met zijn Focke-Wulf Fw 190, die als roepnaam ‘Gelbe 13’ had. Meer dan zeventig jaar later geeft het wrak, dankzij het teamwork van archeologen en oorlogsexperts, zijn geheimen prijs.

De opgraving, uitgevoerd door zes vrijwillige archeologen en negen leden van de Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeology Team (BAHAAT), leverde niet alleen drie boordkanonnen en de BMW 801-motor (foto) op, maar ook tientallen persoonlijke documenten en voorwerpen van de piloot. Uit die personalia konden de onderzoekers ondertussen een deel van Lücks leven reconstrueren.

De gevonden stukken worden momenteel geïnventariseerd en schoongemaakt. Heel wat info over het onderzoek en de vondsten is te vinden op

Penn Museum Blog

Ur Digitization Project: November 2015

Horse and Rider at Ur
A look at U.20055 (Museum Object Number: 35-1-114)
And other horse and rider figurines

Horse and Rider Figurine, glazed ceramic, from Ur area NHHorse and Rider Figurine (U.20055, Museum Object Number: 35-1-114) glazed ceramic, from Ur, area NH (Neo-Babylonian Housing)

When did the people of Mesopotamia first start riding horses? It’s a straightforward question but it has a somewhat complicated answer. First of all, the true horse (Equus caballus) was a relatively late entry into Mesopotamia proper. The species was domesticated in the Caucasus region to the north somewhere in the period 3600-3100 BCE. It first appeared in northern Mesopotamia around 2400 BCE and farther south in the period 2100-1800 BCE.

Yet, the earliest depiction of riding in Mesopotamia comes from the south, in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. It is on a gold frontlet or diadem found in PG153 and dates to around 2450 BCE. The animal being ridden, however, is not a true horse but probably an onager-donkey hybrid. The depiction is not terribly clear, but the animal definitely has large ears.

Gold frontlet showing person riding a quadrupedGold frontlet or diadem from the Early Dynastic III Period, PG153 at Ur (U.8173, Museum Object Number: B16686). This is a close-up of the right side with a drawing beneath highlighting the rider.

The onager (Equus hemionus and extinct Equus hydruntinus) is not a familiar animal to most people. It is a wild donkey that is larger and more powerful than the domestic breed (Equus asinus). People have tried but not succeeded in taming them. Somewhere between 2700 and 2500 BCE, the clever Mesopotamians began catching them and breeding them with their domesticated donkeys in order to create a stronger, tame animal that could pull more weight and could be ridden more easily than a domestic donkey.

Although the onager-donkey hybrid was ridden at times, it was primarily used for work pulling carts. We don’t get good depictions of riders until much later, after the introduction of the true horse. Improvements in horse tack began to occur in the Middle Bronze Age and gradually gave people more control over their steeds. In the Late Bronze Age, around 1400 BCE, we find a horse training manual and later, in the Iron Age, bits and bridles were perfected even more and we finally begin to see cavalry—archers on horseback.

We can tell a lot about the figurine at the top of this blog post from its style and technique. It shows a true horse and its rider wears a rather bulbous, near conical hat or helmet. It’s made of a glazed ceramic, which is a late technology. So we know this is a piece from late in Ur’s occupation. Checking Woolley’s notes we find that it was discovered in a Neo-Babylonian (Iron Age) house in the final season of excavations at Ur, which fits in well. The style of headgear the rider wears is Neo-Babylonian. In fact, this type of horse and rider figurine is quite common in area NH, as recent re-investigations at Ur are beginning to show.

Seleucid horse and rider figurine.Seleucid horse and rider figurine from Nippur (Museum Object Number: B15480), partially reconstructed.

Riders on other horse and rider figurines have different styles of headgear and help us to place them in time. For example, the rider shown above has a flat, circular hat, the probable mark of a Seleucid horseman. The figurine comes from Nippur. The latest artifact found at Ur is a text from the time of Alexander the Great, but the Seleucids ruled after him (Seleucis was one of Alexander’s generals). Their empire covered parts of the Near East from 323 to 64 BCE.

Parthian horse and rider figurine from Nippur.Parthian horse and rider figurine from Nippur (Museum Object Number: B15473), partially reconstructed.

This rider is Parthian. His headdress is high and narrow and his face has been pressed in a mold to give better detail, though his body and the horse are still hand-made and relatively crude. This figurine also comes from Nippur. There is no Parthian material at Ur. The Parthian Empire existed from 247 BCE to 224 CE.

Such figurines make a fascinating sequence of details and thinking about their use is also of great interest. Were they symbolic gifts to the gods, or were they toys that aspiring youngsters used in make-believe adventures? We still aren’t completely sure.

For more information on horses and onagers, see especially:
Anthony, David W. 2012
“Horses, Ancient Near East and Pharaonic Egypt”
in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History


Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

Dubious Numbers Still Being Cited

It has come to CPO's attention that elements within the archaeological lobby are still claiming that ISIS has made "$100s of millions" or "tens of millions" from looting.   However, the former number traces back to Iraq's UN Ambassador. It is unclear what, if any basis, he had for the number.  And the "tens of millions" claim is yet another version of discredited tale that ISIS has stolen $36 million from one area within Syria alone.

At this late date, it can only be stated with some degree of certainty that ISIS has made at most "several million dollars" from antiquities sales.  Given ISIS' take of approximately $1 billion dollars, antiquities must be just one of many minor ISIS funding sources.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

58 Years of Computing

58 years of computing

The above photo came to my attention on Facebook. It is a very clever way of making the point about how much computers have changed over the past 58 years. The photo at the top is the first delivery of a computer. The photo at the bottom has one that has a much greater computing power, held in someone’s hand, at the right distance from the very same building in Norwich, England, so as to make it look like it is in the same spot.

There are lots of things that we can think of to trace technological change. But somehow this photo seemed to me to make the point particularly clearly, picturesquely, and amusingly.

Any other photos that one could use to make similar points about other changes over the past 58 years or so?

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Middle East - Topics & Arguments

Middle East - Topics & Arguments
ISSN: 2196-629X
Middle East – Topics & Arguments is a unique platform for innovative research on the Middle East combining disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Articles critically reevaluate established scholarly traditions and think beyond entrenched disciplinary boundaries. By bringing together well-known academics and young scholars with international backgrounds, a broad range of perspectives will ensure lively debates.

Middle East – Topics and Arguments wants to encourage interdisciplinary discussion on two levels: Firstly, between social sciences and humanities in the field of Middle Eastern studies, and secondly, between Middle Eastern studies and the systematic disciplines. We thereby aim at integrating regional academic discourse into a global setting. We hope to ensure trans-regional comparability, thus leaving behind the notion of cultural and religious exceptionalism which has for a long been connected with Middle Eastern studies.

Each issue of Middle East – Topics & Arguments focuses on one main topic. This allows for perspectives from different disciplines, such as:

cultural studies
literary studies
political science
ancient studies


AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

Open Access Journal: Middle East – Topics & Arguments

Middle East - Topics & Arguments
ISSN: 2196-629X
Middle East – Topics & Arguments is a unique platform for innovative research on the Middle East combining disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Articles critically reevaluate established scholarly traditions and think beyond entrenched disciplinary boundaries. By bringing together well-known academics and young scholars with international backgrounds, a broad range of perspectives will ensure lively debates.

Middle East – Topics and Arguments wants to encourage interdisciplinary discussion on two levels: Firstly, between social sciences and humanities in the field of Middle Eastern studies, and secondly, between Middle Eastern studies and the systematic disciplines. We thereby aim at integrating regional academic discourse into a global setting. We hope to ensure trans-regional comparability, thus leaving behind the notion of cultural and religious exceptionalism which has for a long been connected with Middle Eastern studies.

Each issue of Middle East – Topics & Arguments focuses on one main topic. This allows for perspectives from different disciplines, such as:

cultural studies
literary studies
political science
ancient studies


Archaeology Magazine

bonobo tools spearsHAIFA, ISRAEL—The University of Haifa announced that bonobos have been observed making and using tools and spears for the first time. Chimpanzees in nature have been seen making tools to obtain food such as tubers and termites, breaking open nuts with hammers and anvils, and making spears from branches for hunting. Itai Roffman of the university’s Institute of Evolution provided bonobos in a zoo setting and in a sanctuary setting with food that had been buried, hidden, and concealed in various locations. He also provided them with raw materials for toolmaking such as green branches and deer antlers. Both groups of bonobos were able to perform the food extraction tasks, but the sanctuary bonobos were much more successful. “The bonobos essentially showed that once they have the motivation to do so, they have analogous capabilities to those of archaic pre-humans, which is logical as chimpanzees and bonobos are our genetic sister species,” said Roffman in a press release. In addition, the dominant female in the zoo group crafted spears from the sticks, and she used the weapons to threaten Roffman. “To the zoo bonobos, I was a trespasser who was violating their privacy and stalking them,” he added. To read about the earliest known stone tools, go to "The First Toolkit."

reasoning teaching cultureEXETER, ENGLAND—A new study by scientists from the University of Exeter suggests that while teaching is useful for transmitting cultural knowledge, people can use reasoning and reverse engineering of existing objects to learn how to make them. The research team provided groups of people with materials to make rice baskets. Some were then asked to produce a basket alone, while others were part of a “transmission chain” where they could examine a basket, imitate another person’s actions, or receive instruction in basket weaving. At first, those participants who were taught to make baskets produced the most robust examples, but after six attempts, all groups made progress in the amount of rice that their baskets could carry. “Humans do much more than learn socially, we have the ability to think independently and use reason to develop new ways of doing things. This could be the secret to our success as a species,” Alex Thornton of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation said in a press release. To read about the transmission of culture in Borneo, go to "Letter from Borneo: The Landscape of Memory."

Dispersion map emotionsYORK, ENGLAND—Human ancestors migrated when population increases or ecological changes forced them to look for new, similar living environments. But around 100,000 years ago, people began to disperse across environmental barriers into new regions at a much faster rate. Penny Spikins of the University of York thinks that developing human emotional relationships, and the resulting moral disputes and betrayals among groups of people, may have motivated them to make such risky moves into new territories. “Active colonizations of and through hazardous terrain are difficult to explain through immediate pragmatic choices. But they become easier to explain through the rise of the strong motivations to harm others even at one’s own expense which widespread emotional commitments bring,” she said in a press release. “Moral conflicts provoke substantial mobility—the furious ex ally, mate or whole group, with a poisoned spear or projectile intent on seeking revenge or justice, are a strong motivation to get away, and to take almost any risk to do so,” she said. To read about how insects spread around the world, go to "Ant Explorers."

Ancient Peoples

Wine Vessel (You)China, Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 B.C.)From...

Wine Vessel (You)

China, Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 B.C.)

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Archaeology Magazine

England Shakespeare kitchenSTRATFORD-UPON-AVON, ENGLAND—Excavators led by Staffordshire University’s Centre of Archaeology have uncovered the kitchen at New Place, William Shakespeare’s family home for nearly 20 years. Shakespeare purchased the impressive home, which had ten fireplaces and more than 20 rooms, in 1597. The kitchen, where fragments of plates, cups, and other cookware were uncovered, had a cold storage pit and a fire hearth. The team also found a brew house where small beer was made and foods were pickled and salted. “Finding Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’ proved to be a vital piece of evidence in our understanding of New Place. Once we had uncovered the family’s oven we were able to understand how the rest of the house fitted around it. The discovery of the cooking areas, brew house, pantry, and cold storage pit, combined with the scale of the house, all point to New Place as a working home as well as a house of high social status,” Paul Edmonson, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Head of Research and Knowledge, said in a press release. The research has led to new drawings of the house. The site will reopen for visitors with artworks, landscaping, and exhibitions in time to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. To read about the unearthing of King Richard III's skeleton, which was a Top Discovery of 2013, go to "Richard III’s Last Act."

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient Greek Temple Aligned to Full Moon

An ancient Greek temple was built to face the setting full moon near the winter solstice, according...

Trafficking Culture

Behbeit el-Hagar temple reliefs

In 2004 a piece of temple relief was returned to Egypt from Christie’s New York

(Photo: comparable looted Behbeit el-Hagar relief returned from the UK to Egypt in 2011)

Lot 294 in the Christie’s New York 12 June 2002 Antiquities catalogue was described as a Late Period Egyptian granite relief, 38.3 cm high No provenance was provided. Egyptologist Christine Favard-Meeks recognized from her own photographic documentation of the site that the piece was a fragment of wall relief from the temple of Isis at Behbeit el-Hagar, built during the reign of Pharoah Nectanebo II (360-341 BC). The relief fragment had been stolen sometime in 1990 (El-Aref 2002; Pogrebin 2004). Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities notified Christie’s and US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) of the suspected theft. and Christie’s then withheld the piece from sale until ICE obtained a seizure warrant in 2003. It was returned to Egypt in August 2004.

Other stolen pieces from the temple are believed to have been advertised for sale or auction in 1993, 1995, and 2000, though none has been recovered (Pogrebin 2004).


El-Aref, Nevine (2002), ‘Temple pillaged’, Al-Ahram Weekly On-Line, 4-10 July., accessed 5 February 2014.

Pogrebin, Robin (2004), ‘Stolen relic from temple is returning to Egypt’, New York Times, 20 August.

ArcheoNet BE

Nieuwe workshop: archeologische vondsten fotograferen

Sinds kort biedt archeoloog en fotograaf Dieter Jehs een workshop ‘archeologische vondsten fotograferen’ aan. Jehs is al enkele jaren aan de slag als fotograaf van archeologische vondsten, zowel in opdracht van archeologische bedrijven als wetenschappelijke instellingen. Hij is ook huisfotograaf van Ex situ. De nieuwe workshop wordt op vraag georganiseerd, voor 4 tot 6 deelnemers. Meer inhoudelijke en praktische informatie over de workshop is te vinden in deze bijlage (pdf). Geïnteresseerden kunnen contact opnemen via

Trafficking Culture

Vaman Ghiya

Indian antiquities dealer accused of selling stolen antiquities through Sotheby’s.

(Representative Image)

In June 2003 police raided the home of Vaman Ghiya in Jaipur (Rajasthan, India), seizing hundreds of photographs of sculptures that appeared to have been forcibly removed from Hindu temple architecture. Over the following few days the police raided a further six of his properties in Jaipur as well as storage facilities in Mathura and Delhi, altogether seizing approximately 900 antiques and antiquities. Ghiya was charged with possessing and trafficking stolen cultural property (Barnett 2003; Keefe 2007).

Ghiya was proprietor of a large handicrafts saleroom in Jaipur, but the police placed him at the centre of a smuggling network that extended from rural India to the antiquities salerooms of London and New York. After a year-long investigation into his activities, the police claimed to have established that Ghiya had been purchasing stolen or looted objects from a network of intermediaries. These intermediaries were in turn obtaining material from thieves who removed it from temples or other cultural sites and institutions. Ghiya would then store material in Jaipur, Mathura or Delhi while arranging shipment abroad of objects, describing them on export documentation as handicrafts (Barnett 2003; Keefe 2007).

Ghiya began selling antiquities in the late 1970s (Keefe 2007), and by the early 1980s he was consigning material to Sotheby’s London. Under police questioning, Ghiya confessed to shipping material to Geneva (Barnett 2003), where it was known he maintained three front companies (Cape Lion Logging, Megavena and Artistic Imports Corporation). These companies would transact material amongst themselves to hide any trail of illicit trade, before selling objects on to other dealers and customers, including Sotheby’s, as revealed by Peter Watson (1997: 253). Between 1984 and 1986, Cape Lion Logging and Megavena between them consigned 93 lots to Sotheby’s, with a combined value in the region of £58,000 (Watson 1997: 253). To return his money to India, Ghiya had access to British bank accounts opened by a Sotheby’s employee in the invented names of A. Yarrow and H.C. Banks for use by foreign customers (Barnett 2003), and he also used the international Hawala remittance system, which allows the paperless transfer of money (Keefe 2007). So profitable was the relationship for Sotheby’s that in 1986, the company proposed that their India expert Brendan Lynch should visit Ghiya twice a year, at Ghiya’s expense, to discuss what objects might be suitable for sale at Sotheby’s and to set reserve prices (Barnett 2003; Keefe 2007).

After Watson (1997) exposed the link between Ghiya and Sotheby’s, Lynch left the company by mutual agreement and Sotheby’s transferred their South Asian sales from London to New York (Farrell and Alberge 1997; Keefe 2007), claiming to have stopped accepting consignments from Ghiya (Keefe 2007). Nevertheless, Indian police alleged that lot 135 sold on 22 September 2000 at Sotheby’s New York, described in the catalogue as a red sandstone figure of a Jina, circa twelfth century, had been stolen from Vilasgarh temple in 1999 and passed through the hands of Ghiya (Barnett 2003; Keefe 2007). Sotheby’s denied that the piece had been consigned by Ghiya (Keefe 2007). Ghiya himself claimed to have continued selling material through Christie’s auction house after 1997 (Keefe 2007).

Ghiya was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment, though it was reported in January 2014 that the conviction had been quashed by an appeals court because of procedural irregularities during the police prosecution (DNA 2014). The appeals court also ruled, however, that the seized material should not be returned to Ghiya. It should either be restored where possible to the dispossessed temples, or failing that, the Archaeological Survey of India should arrange for authentic material to go on display in a public museum (DNA 2014).


Barnett, Antony (2003), ‘Sotheby’s faces probe on sales of temple loot’, Observer, 6 July.

DNA (2014). ‘Ghiya won’t serve life term; idols will go to museum’, DNA e-paper, 16 January., accessed 10 February 2014.

Keefe, Patrick R. (2007). ‘The idol thief’, New Yorker, 7 May., accessed 10 February 2014.

Farrell, Stephen and Alberge, Dalya (1997). ‘Sotheby’s cuts antiquity sales over “smuggling”’, The Times, 19 July.

Watson, Peter (1997). Sotheby’s: Inside Story. London: Bloomsbury

Archaeology Magazine

CRAWFORD COUNTY, ARKANSAS—The U.S. Forest Service is investigating a man who may have illegally excavated prehistoric artifacts from the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest in Arkansas, according a report from 5News. The television station’s report is based on a search warrant affidavit from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Arkansas. The investigation began in May 2015, when the Forest Service received an anonymous tip that the man’s Instagram account contained evidence of what appeared to be illegal digging in the National Forest. Based on photos from the account, officers set up cameras to monitor several areas, which captured further evidence. According to the 5News report, an Ozark National Forest archaeologist told investigators that many of the artifacts in the photos would not have been found on the ground surface. No charges have been filed pending completion of the investigation. To read about Native American rock art sites in Arkansas, go to "Off the Grid."

Trafficking Culture

Lost in translation: ‘Unprovenanced objects’ and the opacity/transparency agenda of museums’ policies


Starting from the case of ancient Malian terracotta in this article I propose an epistemological reflection on the relationship between hidden practices of circulation of unprovenanced objects and official discourses and policies driven by museums. In particular I develop a critique of the Kantian association of Truth, Beauty and Goodness involved in cultural heritage policies and art circulation. Through this perspective I refer to Luhmann’s theory on trust and power as well as to Handler’s theory on authenticity in order to show how the erasing of the social life of the Malian terracotta (overlapping legal/illegal, individual trajectories of the art traders, investment strategies, acquisition policies) by museums finally produces social inequality because of the lack of information through the production of trust toward their public. In this sense I endorse a consequentiality principle linking beauty and properness through which the value of a given final art product is directly proportional to the degree of opacity of its multiple production stages: the more the local context of the grey market remains vague, the more the world-wide homogenization of deontological and aesthetical official criteria is effective and firm.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Ítaca: quaderns catalans de cultura clàssica

[First posted in AWOL 2 July 2009. Updated 30 November 2015]

Ítaca: quaderns catalans de cultura clàssica
ISSN 0213-6643 
ISSN electrònic 2013-9519

Ítaca (ISSN 0213-6643 / ISSN electrònic 2013-9519) és una revista de recerca en estudis clàssics, publicada per la Societat Catalana d'Estudis Clàssics, filial de l'Institut d'Estudis Catalans i que compta amb l'assessorament d'un comitè internacional d'especialistes. Amb aquesta publicació, la Societat pretén col·laborar en la redimensió de tota la cultura clàssica des d'una òptica interdisciplinària i amb rigor filològic. Té obertes les portes als estudiosos del país i d'arreu amb novetats per comunicar sobre el nostre àmbit d'estudi. 



2012: Núm. 27 : 2011


















Open Access Journal: Talia Dixit: Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetoric and Historiography

[First posted in AWOL 9 November 2009. Updated 30 November 2015]

Talia Dixit: Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetoric and Historiography
ISSN: 1886-9440
Talia Dixit: Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetoric and Historiography is a peer-reviewed electronic journal devoted to the study of rhetoric and historiography up until the Renaissance. Interdisciplinary in approach, the journal aims to take into account the rhetoric, cultural and ideological context of historiographic texts, and to provide a platform for historiographers and literary scholars to share perspectives on the analysis of classical, medieval and renaissance texts. 

Octubre 2014
Octubre 2013
Octubre 2012
Octubre 2011
Octubre 2010
Octubre 2009
Octubre 2008
Octubre 2007
Octubre 2006

New in OAPEN: Klassizismus in Aktion

Klassizismus in Aktion
Author(s)    Wolf, Norbert Christian & Ehrmann, Daniel
Publisher    Böhlau, Wien
Published    2015-11-16

Abstract:    The collection of essays considers the art journal Propyläen that was edited by Goethe in the years between 1798 and 1800 for the first time as a whole. This enterprise, which was of great significance for the history of aesthetics, will be placed in a new light. The book situates the texts within their historical contexts, and thus provides a key resource for future research, for literary as well as art studies.
Abstract (other language):    Die Beiträge des Bandes beschäftigen sich mit der von Goethe herausgegebenen Kunstzeitschrift Propyläen. Erstmals werden die darin veröffentlichten Texte und Abbildungen aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive unter Berücksichtigung des inneren Zusammenhangs der Zeitschrift sowie der zeitgenössischen Kontexte untersucht. Der Forschung soll so ein vertiefender Einblick in die spannungsreiche Beschaffenheit des klassizistischen Weimarer Kunstprogramms eröffnet werden.
Keywords    Classicism, Goethe, around 1800, Aesthetics, Literary Theory and Literary History, Art Theory and Art History, Classical Archeology
Language    de
Number of pages    462 Seiten
ISBN    9783205200895

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Nuove tecnologie per la friuzione al Museo Archeologico di Milano

Presso il Civico Museo Archeologico di Milano sono ora a disposizione del pubblico due nuovi strumenti tecnologici per la fruzione delle collezioni: si tratta di un’applicazione per smartphone e un monitor-touch interattivo entrambi disponibili in italiano e in inglese, e realizzati dalla società ETT S.p.A: . L'iniziativa è stata realizzata grazie al bando “Innovacultura -Sostegno all’innovazione culturale lombarda”, promosso da  Regione Lombardia, Sistema Camerale Lombardo e Fondazione Cariplo.

The Heroic Age

Digital Humanities Course

t is a pleasure for us to announce at the Open University announced that the registration period is extended until March 13, for the two courses offered by the Digital Innovation Lab @UNED (LINHD): the “Experto professional en Humanidades Digitales” in its second edition (specialization course in Digital Humanities), and the “Experto Profesional en Edición Digital Académica” (specialization course in Digital Scholarly Editing).
Registration is open till 1st December and admissions are limited. The courses will start in January 2015 and will end in September. Each of them consists of 30 units, and will be taught completely online and in Spanish.
We hope that this initiative will let users a deeper knowledge of digital humanities and digital scholarly editing. Please, feel free to circulate this message among all people that could be interested in following any of these programs.
Best regards,

Elena González-Blanco García
Director of the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab @UNED (LINHD)
Rosa Sebastià
Digital Medievalist --
Journal Editors: editors _AT_
Discussion list:

G.W. Schwendner (What's New in Papyrology)

Online-Wörterbuch zur Verwaltungssprache im griechischsprachigen Ägypten

Ein Team von Forschern und Informatikern der Universität Leipzig wird in den kommenden zwei Jahren in einem Pilotprojekt ein mehrsprachiges Online-Wörterbuch zum Fachwortschatz der Verwaltungssprache im griechisch-römisch-byzantinischen Ägypten erarbeiten. Es soll später das alte Lexikon des Kaiserlichen Telegraphendirektors aus dem Jahr 1915 ersetzen.
Die Forschungsarbeit des Teams aus Papyrologen und Informatikern unter der Leitung des Historikers Prof. Dr. Reinhold Scholl wird vom Sächsischen Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst gefördert. Das Projekt ist am Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte im Historischen Seminar angesiedelt und wird in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Universitätsrechenzentrum umgesetzt.
"Mit Verwaltung und ihrer bisweilen schwer bis gar nicht verständlichen Sprache haben wir alle zu tun. Verwaltung aber ist keine Erfindung der Neuzeit, sondern seit Anbeginn des menschlichen Zusammenlebens gibt es Verwaltung und ihre Kommunikationsformen. Gerade die vielen dokumentarischen Papyri in griechischer Sprache aus Ägypten beleuchten dieses Feld in einzigartiger Weise für die Antike", sagt Scholl. Seit der Erstellung des Vorgänger-Lexikons "Fachwörter des öffentlichen Verwaltungsdienstes Ägyptens" durch den Kaiserlichen Telegraphendirektor zu Straßburg im Elsaß Friedrich Preisigke vor 100 Jahren, sind ihm zufolge viele neue Funde hinzugekommen, und die Zahl der Texte hat sich rasant vermehrt. Zudem solle dieses neue Fachwörterbuch bei den alten und neu einzuarbeitenden Belegstellen sowohl Ort als auch Zeit erfassen und auf die Volltexte verlinken, die weiterführende Literatur zu den einzelnen Grundformen aktualisieren, die deutsche Übersetzung der griechischen Termini modernisieren und erstmalig weitere Übersetzungen in moderne Wissenschafts- und Kongresssprachen vornehmen.
"Es wird auch eine Suche von modernen Sprachen zu altgriechischen Fachwörtern möglich sein. Ebenfalls können Benutzer eigene Sachgruppen bilden. Das neue Fachwörterbuch wird systematisch um die Verwaltungssprache des byzantinischen Ägypten erweitert", erklärt Scholl. Die Mehrsprachigkeit des Wörterbuches trage der Multilingualität und Multikulturalität der Altertumswissenschaften Rechnung. Zugleich setze das Projekt auf bestehende digitale und online zugängliche und ihm als Projektleiter mitentwickelte und umgesetzte Verbundprojekte auf. Zu nennen wäre das von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) geförderte Verbundprojekt Halle-Jena-Leipzig, das die antiken Papyri, Ostraka, Pergamente und Papiere an diesen Standorten digital erschlossen hat und ebenso das in Leipzig konzipierte und erstellte sowie im Universitätsrechenzentrum installierte DFG-geförderte Papyrusportal, das alle in Deutschland digitalisierten Papyrussammlungen unter einem Dach nach einheitlichen Standards durchsuch- und anzeigbar macht.

Stephen Chrisomalis (Glossographia)

Throughout history: a history

Throughout history, undergraduates have peppered the opening sentences of their term papers with a phrase.  That phrase, of course, is ‘throughout history’.  And no matter how much we (college instructors) may tell them that it is too vague and general to possibly be useful in almost any paper, we run into it again and again.  But where did it come from?

A quick search on Google Ngram Viewer reveals that not only has throughout history not been used throughout history, but it is of relatively recent origin, and increasing rapidly:

The first instance I’ve been able to track down of these two words in order is from 1761, in Henry Brooke’s The Tryal and Cause of the Roman Catholics (1761: 104):

Many and various, throughout History, have been the Mischiefs, the Miseries, the inexpressible Calamities, that attended the King-deposing and King-killing Doctrine.

After that, we get them in quick succession, with new instances in 1764, 1767, 1769, and 1774 (you can see the little bump on the left of the Ngram).  Thereafter it remains in rare but steady use for nearly a century, and then really starts to take off through the 20th century.   One wonders (though I wouldn’t want to make too much of it) whether it’s a product of Enlightenment thinking or the broader historical perspectives of Enlightenment and modernist thought.  Opinions on the course of history abound in 20th century thought, of course.

And, although Ngram viewer gets really weird after 2000, so I can’t extrapolate the curve, I am sad to say that even the most esteemed authors use it in recent works:

This study is a comparative analysis of all numerical notation systems known to have existed throughout history – approximately one hundred distinct systems, most of which can be grouped into eight distinct subgroups. (Chrisomalis 2010: 3)

Ahem.  Well, I can defend my use in that I really am talking about all the numerical notation systems used throughout 5000 years of written history, right?   I suppose the broader point is that this phrase is at least ten times more common now than it was 100 years ago, and we should hardly be surprised, then, that our students pick it up.  After all, they have to get it somewhere, don’t they?


Filed under: Linguistics

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

Between Ancient Rhodes and Israel: Comparing Literary and Material Cultures

The project to understand the interaction between Rhodes and Israel and more specifically with Bethsaida, began with our assessment of Bethsaida as a Galillean site located between [...]

The post Between Ancient Rhodes and Israel: Comparing Literary and Material Cultures appeared first on The ASOR Blog.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Satan’s Ethical Code vs. God’s?

It has been funny to see what atheists have had to say about the Seven Tenets posted online by a Satanic Temple. You can read them below. What is interesting to me is the way these newly-minted tenets of a newly-minted religious group are used as a basis for mockery, saying something like “Look, Satan’s ethical code is better than God’s.”

That, presumably, was the point of creating them in the first place. But the whole enterprise is problematic, even as an attempt at mockery. The ten commandments are an ancient human invention, not a divine one. The same goes for Satan, who emerges from a figure with the title “the Accuser” (ha-Satan in Hebrew) and develops into a rebellious angel, before becoming a figure who stands as a symbol for individualist and capitalist selfishness in the hands of Anton LaVey, and more recently as a teacher of empathy and compassion in the hands of The Satanic Temple.

I am perfectly fine with people promoting empathy, compassion, concern for justice, freedom, and rejection of superstition.

But when it comes to empathy and justice, the Bible got there first. And when it comes to rejection of superstition, liberal Judaism and Christianity got there first. And so haughty self-righteous disdain from atheist latecomers seems inappropriate -not to mention being behavior at odds with some of the tenets of the Satanic Temple…

What do you make of websites/religious movements like this one? And what do you think of what online atheist voices have had to say about it? Click through some of the links embedded in the first sentence of the post above if you missed the comments from Valerie Tarico, Hemant Mehta, and John Loftus, among others. And see too my 2011 blog post, “Are Atheists Basically Just Like Liberal Believers?”

As promised, here’s the graphic with the seven tenets discussed in this post:

Satanit Temple Tenets

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Undermining the Global in the American West

Over the long weekend, I relaxed a bit and read Lucy Lippard’s newest book, Undermining: A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West (The New Press 2013). The book is quite wonderful and thought provoking and brings together art and argument in visually appealing ways. Lippard’s book considers the political ecology of the American West by focusing on the intersection of the local and global.

The book begins with gravel pits in New Mexico and considers the role these pits play in the production of roads. Road, in turn, open up the settlements, sacred landscapes, and delicate ecologies of New Mexico to development. At the same time, gravel provide a source of prosperity for isolated communities which frequently have limited resources, but also involves engaging those communities with a global economy that shows little interest in the local. Lippard’s use of gravel as her first case study evoked images of gravel pits across the Bakken and reminded me how important gravel has been to creating the infrastructure necessary for extractive industries in western North Dakota.

Lippard’s New Mexico shares many characteristics with the Bakken. Indigenous communities, small towns, and natural resources lace a sparsely populated and geographically and economically “marginal” landscape. Extractive industries, industrial development, and discard reflect patterns of use for marginal landscapes as local residents negotiate integration with the larger economy. Ironically the appeal of integration is that it can often provide access to resources necessary to preserve local ways of life. In New Mexico, gravel provides roads for the extraction of uranium, water, coal, and exploration for gas and oil.  

Lippard’s book also provided some parallels and local context for events like the dumping of Atari games in the Alamogordo landfill. Lippard discussed the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) near Carlsbad, New Mexico where radioactive waste from reactors around the US is deposited and ideally isolated for 10,000 years. The radioactive history of New Mexico extends to the earliest days of the nuclear warfare as the Trinity site at White Sands witnessed the first detonation of an atomic bomb. The radioactive plume from that detonation billowed northeast up the Tularose valley contaminating the air and the soil. The rural West with its isolated, poor, and minority communities seems particularly susceptible to dumping toxic material beyond the gaze of the urban world. In the documentary made about the dumping and excavation of the Atari games, Zak Penn, the director, asks the mayor of Alamogordo if he’d be willing to open the city’s landfill to another dump of video games. He answered in the affirmative, making explicit the link between local attitudes and global networks.

Lippard concludes her book with a meditation on the role that art can play in negotiating the fraught political ecology of New Mexico. While she recognizes that art also participates in the global market especially spectacular landscape works, she hints that local artists, embracing DIY approaches might find ways to leverage their access to specific landscapes, communities, and experiences to offer distinctly local solutions to global problems. 

Finding ways to mediate between the specific and the global remains a key challenge for articulating a political ecology that is simultaneously sensitive to the specific and generalizable to the global. My effort at writing a tourist guide to the Bakken oil patch fits into this larger project of making a distinctive landscape part of the universal, modern experience of tourism.    

Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

November Pieces Of My Mind #3

Irish trad session at Wirström's pub in Stockholm's Old Town

Irish trad session at Wirström’s pub in Stockholm’s Old Town

  • One of the most annoying and amateurish things a graphic designer can do, in my experience, is to insert hard hyphens.
  • I make a policy of keeping conservative and libertarian people in my Facebook feed and not muting them even though I don’t agree with them. But lately I’ve had to add a subclause: I’m only keeping the smarter, better-reasoning ones. Because really, it’s just unproductive for everyone if I allow my image of my political opponents to get skewed by the stupidest and angriest members of their camp.
  • A lot of people let Muslim refugees stay in their spare rooms right now. We can’t do that because we’ve got a Muslim bartender staying in ours while he has his Östermalm bachelor pad refurbished. He’s always here a lot for game night anyway.
  • Wife frying dried cuttlefish strips. A heavy cloud of unwashed crotch permeates our house.
  • The timer on the tree lights covering our little lilac tree sounds just like a defragging hard disk.
  • Woah. I just checked the competition for this job in a neighbouring country. The competitor with the largest number of publications in their national library has 7 titles there. I have 18. In their national library.
  • Can we just agree that “materiality” is a useless buzzword in archaeology and move on?
  • I want to make sacrifice to Odinn. Or pray to Saint Lawrence. But since I was born in Sweden after the Reformation, I can’t really. It would be diachronic cultural appropriation.
  • Author submits image with too few pixels. Argues that since it was clipped from a 300 dpi photo it should work just fine.
  • Hehe. Sinéad O’Connor’s cover of “Song To The Siren” copies the melodic ornaments of the TMC/Cocteau cover, with lyrics clearly mistranscribed from that version.
  • Jrette grumbling about Adele Adkins’s vocal range, which makes her songs difficult.
  • The latest episode of Radiolab is amazing. Deals with international surrogate parenthood, ”baby outsourcing”. It’s got terrified Israeli gay men running around Katmandu during the earthquake clutching their infant sons and daughters. It’s got interviews with housemaids from Darjeeling conducted in the house where they stay with their kids during their surrogate pregnancies. It’s a jaw-dropper!
  • Yesterday the Swedish government came out and said “We can’t receive more asylum seekers to a standard that we can accept”. I’m more interested in whether we can receive more asylum seekers to a standard that they can accept, that is, one that is preferable to getting tortured and killed by the Daesh.
  • This scholar publishes papers in Swedish, then tries to list them in later bibliographies with titles in English “because they have English summaries”.
  • “Candle” is bougie in French. This goes back to the town of Béjaïa in Algeria which was a centre of wax production and candle making in the Middle Ages.
  • In Medieval Stockholm, butchers lived on the west side of the town island towards Lake Mälaren with its rich farming districts. Fishermen lived on the seaward east side.
  • Driving four refugees last night to accommodation provided by a temperance lodge in Häggvik, I got directions from one of the guys who had satnav in his phone. It gave directions in Arabic and he gesticulated.
  • Went out scouting the forgotten strips of municipal property in the area my dad lives in. Discovered two types: disused unpaved streets (now largely paths) and post-borne power lines. The latter are used as free parking spaces for cars and boat trailers.
  • If you donate at least SEK 300 to the World Wildlife Fund right now, they’ll send you a cuddly turtle. I’m donating SEK 299 to avoid this. I wish they’d stop sending me a bloody book every year too.
  • A music journalist on Little Atoms last week exemplified those who don’t care much about music with “people who will just buy Adele CDs”. I was a little hurt. I’m a big music nerd and care lots, and I think Adele is really impressive.
  • I’m walking in this pro-refugee protest behind the banner of Revolutionary Communist Youth, despite being neither.
  • Jrette exclaimed “PNYEAH”. I decided that it was a freedom of speech issue and did not investigate. Or it may have been a sneeze.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Prehistoric artifacts found in China

YINCHUAN, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) – More than 300 items used by prehistoric people in their daily...

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

Euthymius Zigabenus, Commentary on the Psalms – draft translation online!

John Raffan has written a comment on another post, which deserves to be much more widely known:

On the topic of translations of Greek patristic texts, I would like to announce that I have made a new edition of the Commentary on the Psalter by Euthymius Zigabenus and have started to make an English translation of the work.

I have posted a draft translation of the Introduction and first 75 Psalms on my page.

This, needless to say, is being done without payment or prospect of payment, since commercial demand for such work is essentially non-existent. If, however, anyone would like to sponsor the translation of a patristic work, I would very happily consider the proposition!

Dr Raffan is not kidding: available for download is a complete and rather splendid edition of the Greek, and also the translation in draft.  And, curiously, nobody seems to be aware of it, for it has had only 3 downloads!  Grab yours NOW!

Would somebody like to assist this very worthwhile project?  Surely this should attract a publisher?

Translation of Porphyry’s “Ad Gaurum” on ensoulment

The technical works of antiquity tend to be neglected.  I have written before about the astrological works which, although on a subject of limited interest today, really should exist in English.  And indeed some modern enthusiasts for astrology have made such translations, and perhaps are the only people today to make use of the works in a manner that their authors would recognise.

This creation of translations should be encouraged.  So I thought that I would signal another of these, a translation of Porphyry’s Ad Gaurum by Andrea Gehrtz, under the title of Ensoulment.  Full disclosure: I commented on a draft of the first chapter, and she kindly sent me a copy.

It is offline, unfortunately, but intended for a group of people who perhaps would not usually be interested in ancient texts.  It is available from here for a trivial price.[1]

The book is printed by Moira Press.  It is a slim, small paperback.  There is no introduction, but there is a glossary.


The subject is when an unborn baby acquires a soul.  Porphyry’s answer is “at birth”, apparently; an answer that ought to have provoked some coarse ribaldry about just how that works, but presumably did not.

The Ad Gaurum is only preserved in a single damaged 12th century manuscript, found on Mount Athos by the conman Minoides Mynas, and now in the French National Library as Ms. Paris Suppl. gr. 635.  The manuscript also is the only witness for Galen’s Introduction to logic.  The scribe was unfortunately rather careless, and also used extensive abbreviations, some apparently his own.  Finally the manuscript has suffered water damage to the top and outer edges, and the last few pages are half destroyed in this way.  Another manuscript does exist, Paris Supp. gr. 727; but this is just a transcript made by Mynas, with a few corrections of his own.  The standard edition is that of Kalbfleisch, 1895, who divided the text into chapters and sections (there are no divisions in the manuscript).  I gather that a team of French scholars led by Luc Brisson is at work on a new edition.

The manuscript attributes the work to Galen; but this cannot be right, for, as Kalbfleisch pointed out, it contradicts Galen’s teaching on the subject.  The attribution to Porphyry is based on the fact that the author is plainly a neo-Platonist, some indications that Porphyry held views stated in the text, and the statement of Michael Psellus that Porphyry wrote a work on this subject.

Interestingly there is a rebuttal of the work in a dialogue in two books entitled Hermippus (On Astrology).[2]  This however is a 14th century work, written by a certain Johannes Kareones – a profoundly obscure gentleman! -, who must therefore have been familiar with the manuscript.[3]

Andrea Gehrtz is to be commended for translating the work, and I hope that it enjoys a large sale, and that she undertakes more translations of ancient technical works.

  1. [1] Since she began work on it, an academic translation has appeared: James Wilberding, Porphyry: To Gaurus on How Embryos are Ensouled and On What is in Our Power, A. & C. Black, 2014. Preview here, from which I have taken the remarks on the manuscript.
  2. [2] Printed in Teubner under the title Anonymi Christiani Hermippus : de astrologia dialogus, 1895, and available on here.
  3. [3] Brendan Dooley, A companion to Astrology in the Renaissance, Brill, 2014, p.40, n.117: “see Fritz Jürss, Studien zum spätantiken Dialog “Hermippos de astrologia,” Diss. Berlin 1964; Emilie Boer, “Hermippos 4,” in Der Kleine Pauly 2 (1979), col. 1080.”

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeologists Discover Ancient Thracian Clay Altar

An Ancient Thracian clay altar, the first of its kind ever found in Bulgaria, has been discovered...

Joint Library of the Hellenic & Roman Societies / Institute of Classical Studies Library

ICS Events this week: 30th November - 5th December 2015

Monday 30 November

17:00 ICS Ancient Literature Seminar
Senses of presence: Vision, spaciality and embodiment in Greek literature and rhetoric.
Ruth Webb (Lille)

Tuesday 1 December

17:00 ICS Classical Archaeology Seminar
Drawing towards Reconstruction: Illustration Projects at the British Museum
Kate Morton (British Museum)

17:30 Accordia Lecture
Sanctuaries and states in the archaic Mediterranean and beyond
Greg Woolf (ICS)

Wednesday 2 December 

15:30 ICS Mycenaean Series
Mycenaean iconography and agency
James Wright (Athens)

Thursday 3 December

16:45  ICS Ancient History Seminar
Zela, acclamations, Caracalla – and Parthia?
Andrew Burnett (BM)

Friday 4 December

14:30 ICS Early Career Seminar
Dynasts in Action. Art and Society in the Eastern Mediterranean under Persian Rule
Alessandro Poggio

16:30 ICS Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar
'How to praise the emperor inoffensively': Representation of power, or self-representation in the writings of Julian the Emperor
Lea Niccolai (Pisa)

Saturday 5 December

14:30 ICS Virgil Society Lecture
Fatum and fortuna: religion and philosophy in Virgil's Aeneid
Calypso Nash
ICS Events Page 
Seminar & Lecture Series

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

This Day In Ancient History ~ pridie kalendas decembres

pridie kalendas decembres

English: Theodor Mommsen, German historian, po...

English: Theodor Mommsen, German historian, politician and writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 406 B.C. — death of Euripides (by one reckoning)
  • 147 A.D. — birth of Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of the emperor-to-be Marcus Aurelius
  • 1817 — birth of Theodor Mommsen, Nobel prize winning ancient historian
  • 2004 — death of David Bain (University of Manchester Classicist)
  • 2007 — death of John Strugnell (Dead Sea Scrolls guy)

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Tabbourt Imgharen: La Porte des Anciens

Tabbourt Imgharen: La Porte des Anciens
Différents sites à votre disposition…

Vous pouvez ou pourrez consulter à partir d'ici les sites suivants : A) Maghreb :1) Bibliographie du Maghreb antique et médiéval   
Bibliographie par auteurs. Tables de revues, de mélanges,
de congrès, compléments pratiques aux Atlas archéologiques, etc…
2) Photographies aériennes des principaux sites antiques d'Algérie par Edouard Stawski (1961-2)
3) En cours de construction : L'aventure du Magenta : 2000 stèles puniques de Carthage au fond du port de Toulon...
4) En cours de construction : Kabylie antique
5) Outils d'archéologie algérienne
Outils et utilitaires en complément à l'Atlas archéologique de l'Algérie
Notamment 134 pages de compléments bibliographiques à l'Atlas archéologique.
6) Outils d'archéologie tunisienne
Outils et utilitaires en complément à l'Atlas archéologique de la Tunisie
B) France :- Meaux gallo-romain (présentation de la ville antique)
- Meaux : un patrimoine antique  en péril (en cours de construction)
- Histoire et Historiens de Seine-et-Marne
C) Turquie :
Alexandria Troas ( En cours de construction)
« Sic ergo quaeramus tamquam inventuri, et sic inveniamus tamquam quaesituri »
Cherchons comme devant trouver et trouvons comme devant chercher encore »,
Saint Augustin, De Trinitate, IX, 1,1.
Bonne lecture, et merci de vos remarques . .

ArcheoNet BE

Archeologie 2015. Recent archeologisch onderzoek in Vlaams-Brabant

Naar aanleiding van de infodag over archeologie in Vlaams-Brabant werd ook de brochure ‘Archeologie 2015. Recent archeologisch onderzoek in Vlaams-Brabant’ gepubliceerd. Op kun je deze publicatie nu integraal downloaden of (gratis) bestellen. In deze editie komen negen onderwerpen aan bod, met onder meer opgravingsresultaten uit Halle, Linden, Opwijk en Wilsele.

– De oude papierfabriek van Huizingen: een historisch indrukwekkende site met veel toekomst
– Archeologisch onderzoek in de basiliek van Halle
– Monumentenwacht en de Gallo-Romeinse grafheuvels in Landen
– Archeologische opgraving kasteel Bleydenberg in Wilsele
– Versterkingen op de Kesselberg
– Archeologisch onderzoek in het Kasteel van Linden
– Archeologisch onderzoek op de “Vetweyde” te Opwijk
– Twee is beter dan geen: archeologische toevalsvondsten in Vlaams-Brabant in 2015
– Extra: schadeatlas archeologische materialen

Lees meer:

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

Repititiationes ~ 11/29/15

Repititiationes ~ 11/28/15

Repititiationes ~ 11/27/15

Brice C. Jones

Stephen Carlson on the "Inn" in Luke's Infancy Account

Since Christmas is quickly approaching, I thought I would point my readers to a fantastic article by Stephen Carlson published in NTS in 2010 titled, "The Accommodations of Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem: Κατάλυμα in Luke 2.7." Carlson's study turns the traditional interpretation of the "inn" as being a kind of ancient hotel on its head. He also denies the view that Jesus was born in a stable or barn. Through a detailed lexical and semantic analysis of the term κατάλυμα (traditionally translated "inn") and Jewish patrilocal marital customs during the time of Jesus, Carlson demonstrates that the reference to κατάλυμα in Luke 2.7 alludes to a marital chamber built on top, or onto the side of, the main room of a family village home. According to Carlson, the phrase διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι should be rendered "because they did not have room in their place to stay." The reference to "their place" is the marital chamber attached to the family village home of Joseph where the married couple would have stayed for some time before finding their own place. Since there was no space in their room, Mary had to give birth in the larger main room of the house, where the rest of the family slept. Carlson also shows that it was common for a "manger" to be present in the main room of most Jewish homes and so this detail of the birth account is in keeping with Jewish living customs. I quote Carlson's conclusion found on page 342 of the article:

"Luke's infancy narrative therefore presupposes the following events. Joseph took his betrothed Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem (2.5). Bethlehem was his hometown (v. 3) and, in accordance with the patrilocal marital customs of the day, it must also have been the place where they finalized their matrimonial arrangements by bringing her into his home. As a newly married man, he no longer would have to sleep in the main room of the village house with his other relatives, but he and his bride could stay in a marital chamber attached to the house until they could get a place of their own. They stayed there for some time until she came to full term (v. 6), and she gave birth to Jesus in the main room of the house rather than in her marital apartment because it was too small, and she laid the newborn in one of those mangers (v. 7) common to the main room of an ancient farmhouse. After staying at least another forty days in Bethlehem (v. 22; cf. Lev 12.2–8), Joseph and Mary eventually moved to Nazareth to make their home together in her family's town (v. 39; cf. 1.26–27). To be sure, this scenario as presupposed in Luke's infancy account diverges greatly from the conventional Christmas story. There is no inn, no innkeeper, and no stable. But it is grounded in a careful exegesis of the text."

This is one of those articles that can be described as being truly groundbreaking. Carlson's conclusions are so convincing that it would take considerable evidence to overturn them. Indeed, some may be uncomfortable with how this evidence changes the face of the traditional Christmas story, but it is, as Carlson admits, "grounded in a careful exegesis of the text." This article needs to be circulated widely, not only among academics, but also pastors and lay people alike, because it has serious implications for how we should understand this story as told by Luke. Carlson has posted this article on his personal website and it can be found here. Happy reading and happy holidays to all!

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Atheist Dogmatism about Jesus

After having a discussion here at Exploring Our Matrix in which an atheist insisted that there cannot be atheist fundamentalists because atheists reject all dogmas, it was interesting to see Harry McCall dogmatically insist what atheists “must assert” when it comes to the historicity of Jesus. Indeed, he goes further and insists that he (despite offering nothing more than weak garbage in his post) knows why all professional historians, and all but a couple of fringe New Testament scholars, draw the conclusions that they do.

If nothing else, it is worth reading just to see the attempt to use a false antithesis in the same way Christian fundamentalists do: atheism and mythicism must go hand in hand, allegedly – just as Christianity and young-earth creationism must, according to Ken Ham and others like him.

I rather get the impression that there are some atheists who – like their fundamentalist Christian counterparts – irrationally believe that simply by embracing the true faith/antifaith, it automatically bestows upon them the infallible ability to reason, deduce, evaluate, and in other ways see clearly and comprehend.

But those who actually do the hard work of critical investigation, including of their own cherished beliefs, will know that neither atheism nor theism nor any other worldview leads their automatically, much less bestows it instantaneously.

Dare I hope that McCall’s presentation of mythicist dogma in this way will help many atheists realize that what scholars offer is far superior?

UPDATE: I wrote the above before McCall followed up with another post which focuses on the fact that Ehrman’s book lacks subject and author indexes, and then goes on to use the classic creationist ploy of claiming that a range of studies do not demonstrate evolution/the historical Jesus, but simply assume it.


If someone moves from fundamentalist religion to fundamentalist atheism



Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Cultural Innovation – Progettare per la Cultura, un corso a Milano

Ideato da Zoe Impresa Sociale, società no profit per la promozione e valorizzazione di beni e attività culturali in collaborazione con NeoArcheologia, il primo corso di archeologia 2.0 a milano, Cultural Innovation – Progettare per la Cultura segue un approccio pratico (learn by doing) e fornisce le basi metodologiche per operare nel settore della progettazione culturale e dell’industria creativa.

Jim Davila (

The GJW is back in the news

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Online tour of Petra

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Jenkins on the Gospel of Barnabas

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American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

Heritage on the borders of Archaeology, Anthropology and Contemporary Art

December 07, 2015 - 12:16 PM - UPPER HOUSE SEMINAR Dr Eleana Yalouri, Panteion University

Heritage on the borders of Archaeology, Anthropology and Contemporary Art

December 07, 2015 - 12:13 PM - UPPER HOUSE SEMINAR Dr Eleana Yalouri, Panteion University

Jim Davila (

New oracles of Metatron

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Prosegue l'attività di controllo per la conservazione degli Affreschi della Cappella degli Scrovegni

A Padova, dal 9 al 14 novembre 2015 si è svolta la settimana dedicata alle attività di controllo per la conservazione e manutenzione degli affreschi di Giotto nella Cappella degli Scrovegni.

Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

2015 Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee Conference

A few weeks ago I was able to film the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee Conference, but we shorten it to TaFAC. There are some great videos to watch (if you are reading this via email or RSS feed you may need to visit the page to see the videos:

TaFAC Logo








Discovering the Northern Picts-

The use and reuse of stone circles: new fieldwork at five Scottish site

Living Lomonds Landscape: Year 2 Update (Part 2)-

Living Lomonds Landscape: Year 2 Update (Part 1)

Surveying Fortingall Kirkyard

The Hunt for the Hidden Fort –results of excavation at MoncreiffeHillfort-

Historic Environment Scotland- A brief review –

SERF: Excavations at Wellhill, Dunning 2014 and 2015. Early Neolithic settlement, agricultural practice and a Bronze Age barrow-

Back to Tullilum – excavations at Perth Whitefriars 2014/15 –

The Mason’s Mark Project –



Jim Davila (

More vintage resurrection

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Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

Oxford paintings and donnish portraits


Oxford is stuffed full of paintings. The colleges and university have been commissioning portraits of their members and their benefactors for centuries, and inheriting (or being given) a good sprinkling of other works of art from grateful friends and alumni. In fact, between them Oxford and Cambridge must be the biggest customers for painted portraits in the country, as almost every college has its master or mistress immortalised, as well as assorted other figures from many parts of the college community.

Right now I am having fun exploring the Oxford collection, in two wonderful volumes from the Public Catalogue Foundation (one here, the second here ). The material is also available online on the BBC Your Paintings website, but I have been enjoying flipping through the pages in the old-fashioned way. I'm a paid-up supporter of the PCF, so I'm biased, but I think not hugely so.

As you might expect there are plenty of rather pompous-looking male dons (it makes you remember, lest you ever forget, quite how white and male most of the almost 1000-year history of Oxford has been, and how rapid the recent change has been). Apart from the occasional benefactress or wife, women as subjects appear only in the late nineteenth century.

But there are many more striking and different paintings and styles than you would think. One is the recent triptych of the non-academic staff at All Souls by Benjamin Sullivan, pictured above  (photo Simon Dunn of Scriptura) and you can read more here. But interestingly the idea of painting the staff rather than Ou_trin_t411_624x544just the 'top dons' goes back longer than you might have predicted. In 1929 the Fellows of Trinity commissioned a portrait (on the right, by Edwin Irvine Halliday, photo thanks to the college) of Owen Gillam, a long serving college "messenger"; not a job that has survived, I think!

But there are also a nice lot of variants on the standard "don-portrait" -- that is, the late middle-aged man, in suit or gown, sitting by desk with some appropriate book or trinket as prop.


For me Jennifer McRae's portrait (above, photo courtesy Worcester College) of Richard Smethurst, a recent Provost of Worcester, a nice change. A the pared down versions by Bryan Organ also hit home. This is his version of John Barron, who was my first boss at Kings College London, before he went on to be the Master of St Peter's (photo courtesy college).


That raised hand just captures nicely his memorable affability, his sense of relaxation, as well as his conviction that hard work needed to be balanced with a good time, and that the rat race might just be for rats. Or is it just because I knew him that I think that?


The women sitters capture the variety too. There are some traditional and slightly scary 'frumps', as well as some pretty powerful ladies converted into chocolate box style. One lesson here is that quite a few good portrait artists have trouble whith finding a visual rhetoric for female success (either over or Ou_smv_10_624x544under "feminizing" them).

But Somerville should be proud, I think, of the paintings of two of its recent Principals. I'd happily live with Thomas Leveritt's portrait of Fiona Caldicott (right) and Claude Rogers's portrait of Janet Vaughan (left, copyright Crispin Rogers; both photos courtesy of the college).

Overall, though, I decided that the prize should go to the Pembroke College JCR Art Collection, entirely run and funded by the Junior Common Room, whose students since 1947 have paid a little subscription each term in order to buy work by emerging British artists, which can then be hung in student rooms. These students have had good advice and/or a good eye and overall their collection gives the official college collection, including a great master-portrait by Tom Phillips and a memorable version of a late eighteenth-century master, John Smyth, by Henry Howard (below right, courtesy of the college), a good run for its Ou_pemb_8_624x544money. The students can boast, among other things, a nice John Craxton, Mary Fedden and Duncan Grant.

The idea was, as now enshrined in the charity the collection has become, 'to advance the education of undergraduate members of Pembrole College, Oxford by the acquisition and display to them of artworks of high quality by contemporary artists'. It would work for me I think.




Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2015.11.36: Minoan Stone Vessels with Linear A Inscriptions. AEGAEUM, 36

Review of Brent Davis, Minoan Stone Vessels with Linear A Inscriptions. AEGAEUM, 36. Leuven; Liège: 2014. Pp. xxiv, 421. $142.00. ISBN 9789042930971.

2015.11.35: Amor y sexo en la literatura latina. Suplementos de Exemplaria Classica, 4

Review of Rosario Moreno Soldevila, Juan Martos, Amor y sexo en la literatura latina. Suplementos de Exemplaria Classica, 4. Huelva: 2014. Pp. 267. (pb). ISBN 9788416061532.

2015.11.34: Contested Monarchy: Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity

Review of Johannes Wienand, Contested Monarchy: Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity. Oxford; New York: 2015. Pp. xix, 530. $105.00 (hb). ISBN 9780199768998.

2015.11.33: Editorial Note: Augustiniana Varia

Editorial note , Editorial Note: Augustiniana Varia.

Robert Consoli (Squinches)

Mycenaean Place Names in Messenia. A Google project to supplement UMME and PRAP

Google Map Mycenaean Sites in Messenia Project.

(I am making available a .kml file (Google Earth) that will show all of the Mycenaean settlement locations in Messenia.  Source material so far is Simpson [1981] and McDonald [1972].
To obtain a copy e-mail me at bob 'at'

In reading about the region of Messenia during the Bronze Age I was struck by how little I know about any of the places referred to beyond Ano Engliano (Nestor’s Palace) itself.  Modern Messenian place name study was put on a firm foundation by the University of Minnesota Messenia Expedition in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.[1]  To their own original research they added the research of other scholars in the field; McDonald estimated that 40% of the place names in the famous ‘Register A’ did not derive from their own surveys.[2]  The fundamental source of UMME’s work in identifying sites are registers A and B of their 1972 report.  Register A lists the prehistoric sites and Register B lists sites from the post-Mycenaean and forward.[3]  Of course Messenian archaeological research and site identification did not stop with UMME.   The UMME results were soon updated by Richard Hope Simpson.[4]

The Pylos Regional Archaeological Project (PRAP) has continued and enlarged on their work.[5]  They have considerably expanded the registers of Mycenaean period sites.[6]

I have decided that since I really didn’t know anything about Messenia at the ground level (despite my reading and actually visiting Messenia) that it would be useful to put some of this data in the form of a .kml file.  To that end I have been working out a method for converting the archaeologist’s descriptions into positions in Google Earth.  The main benefit of such a work would be to convert the very vague descriptions of site locations found in the UMME registers  into specific lat/lon coordinates and so remove the ambiguity inherent in these lists.  When completed anyone interested in Messenia would be able to display the exact points in Google Earth.

The bad news is that very few of the features described in the UMME registers are visible in Google Earth.  That means that the positions have to be fixed by dead reckoning.[7] The result of proceeding in this way is that sometimes a position cannot be precisely fixed.  When that happens I have indicated the fact with question marks or some such label as ‘approx.’.   To mitigate the imprecision that results when this happens I have, in all cases, ‘shown my work’.   In this way any interested party can retrace the steps in the deduction and possibly reach a better result.  Allow me to give an example 

UMME 46 (Simpson F17) is entitled 'Iklaina: Traganes'[8]

Simpson describes it like this:  "About 1.5 km. west-northwest of Iklaina is a substantial site (about 200 m. north to south by 150 m.) at the western end of the broad spur named Traganes, overlooking a deep ravine to the west and southwest and with a fine view over the bay of Pylos.  Excavations revealed remains of an important LH III building, including massive double walls and two fresco fragments."

Under 'UMME 46: Iklaina: Traganes' McDonald has: "1 1/2 km W-NW", i.e. from Iklaina, and "W end of low spur".[9]

So far, so good.  First of all, where is Iklaina?  Iklaina is a little town in a valley running E-W just to the south of Ano Engliano.  It is here on the map: 36°59'45.09"N, 21°43'25.45"E.  I show it in Illus. 1 tucked into the upper right corner of illus. 1.  The Osmanaga lagoon and the upper part of Navarino Bay are shown in the lower left.  From this you'll get a better sense of where it is.

Illus. 1.  The position of the town of Iklaina (upper right).  Osmanaga
Lagoon and Navarino bay at lower left.

Now we're told that the site is about one and a half kilometers west and north-west from Iklaina.  Whenever I was faced with an approximation of this kind I drew a circle with a radius of the distance required.  I have shown this in Illus 2.

Illus. 2.  1500 m. circle centered at Iklaina.

If the directions are accurate then our site ought to be somewhere on that circle.

But, where exactly?  We are only told that it is on the western end of a broad spur.  Now the town of Iklaina is enclosed on the north by a ridge which ends just about 1500 m.  to the west of the town and, where it ends, it forms a broad front.  I have taken Simpson's meaning to be this and have put a marker there.  In Google Earth I changed the vertical distortion to the maximum (3, look under 'Tools' and then 'Options') to dramatize the verticality.  I show this in Illus. 3.

Illus 3. West end of a broad spur.  Hypothetical placement of locator pin for MME 46.
It makes a difference whether we measure from the center of the town or the edge.  In Simpson it is almost never possible to tell.  But, as the area we're looking for measures some 200 by 150 meters, with the pin placed where it is we should be close to the area intended (the lat/lon pair for this point is: 36°59'59.85"N,  21°42'27.61"E)

Simpson tells us that this place has 'a fine view over the bay of Pylos'.  Does it?  I zoomed in as close as I could to our point and looked directly west.  Illus. 4 shows the result. (Vertical exaggeration x3)

Illus. 4.  View to west over bay of Pylos from induced MME 46.

Yes.  This seems to fill the bill.  Now, let's continue.  Associated with MME 46 is MME 47 whose location is derived from it.  Here's what Simpson ([1982] 117, F17) has to say:

"About 500 m. to the northwest of Traganes some scattered stones and sherds, including one probably LH, were found at Gouvitses on an eroded slope, .."

McDonald says "2 km W-NW" (i.e., from Iklaina) and "Eroded slope".

Now we have two ways of looking for MME 47.  We can draw a circle with a 500 m. radius from MME 46, and we can draw a straight line 2 km. in length from Iklaina and see where they intersect (if they do).

I show the result in Illus. 5:

Illus 5. Derivation of the site of MME 47 from MME 46 in Simpson.

Here the position of MME 47 is shown in the upper left corner.  It is derived two ways (both shown in blue), a 2 km. construction line from Iklaina and a 500 m. radius circle centered on MME 46.  They can be made to coincide at the  point marked with "MME 47: Iklaina Gouvitses".  My readers will notice the inevitable forcing on my part of the two figures to coincide.  Nonetheless I believe that those in search of MME 47 will have a good starting point in this.

Currently my map of Messenia includes all of Simpson [1982] in chapter 'F' which deals with Messinia.   Illustration 6 shows what it looks like.  Each site contains all the apparatus (bibliographic and geographic) which explains how the site was determined by me.

Illus. 6.  Mycenaean Sites in Messinia.  Includes all of Simpson [1981] Chapter F.

Zooming in on the Soulima valley it looks like this:

Illus. 7  Soulima Valley with most sites identified.

In the fifties and sixties of the last century precise GPS measuring was not available.  As a result most of the points in Simpson and in McDonald are of the 'about this distance from ..' type.  Nor are the folding maps in McDonald any real help.  I scanned four of those maps and overlaid them on Google Earth using 'Image Overlay'.  The maps fit quite well but are really useless for locating points of Mycenaean settlement because, on the map, each site mark covers about 1 square kilometer.  

I should mention parenthetically that PRAP really doesn't improve on the place identification scheme of McDonald or Simpson.

There are risks in proceeding the way I have done.  There is a high probability of mistaken results.  I have encountered more than one description in Simpson which would be problematic to reproduce.  But, if nothing else, archaeology should offer us reproducible results and, in this case, definite and reproducible place marks.  I hope that this effort can form the basis for other initiatives to give us a more precise understanding of places and locations in the Mycenaean world.  Indeed it is a strange feeling to cruise over the landscape of Bronze Age Messenia in Google Earth when the Mycenaean settlement sites have been identified.

My initial effort is to produce exact locations for the place names in Simpson [1981] under Map F.[10]

I encourage anyone who is interested in receiving the .kml and .kmz files for this initiative to send me an e-mail with 'Messenia Map' in the subject line.  My e-mail is:    

If you do this I will send you a Google Drive key that you can simply click on to retrieve the files.  Once you have the .kml you can double click on it and it will open in Google Maps. (To install Google Maps Pro go here.)  Once it's running you can modify or delete as much as you like.  The .kml file is also searchable.  You can use it as a platform for your own projects related to Messenia.  

If anyone has corrections for errors or ideas about extending this map then I would very much like to hear.


[1] McDonald and Rapp [1972], 5 gives the genesis and names some of the original participants in the UMME effort.  The history of archaeological exploration in the area along with site investigation is described in their chapter 8, “Archaeological Exploration” on pp. 117-147.

[2] Ibid., 121, “Indeed, something like 40 percent of the sites in the Registers were identified by researchers who have had no direct affiliation with UMME …”

[3] Register A in McDonald and Rapp [1972] 264-309 and Register B on pp. 310-321.

[4] Simpson [1981].

[5] Described for the interested public in Davis [1998]  (second edition 2008).

[6] PRAP’s web site is at    Their gazetteer of sites is at 

[7] ‘dead reckoning’ is ded. (deduced) reckoning.

[8] Simpson [1981] 117, F17 and McDonald [1972] 272, MME 46.

[9] McDonald [1972] 272, MME 46.  When he says 'W-NW' he means from the first name in the title, here 'Iklaina'.

[10] Simpson [1981] 113-152.   Map F itself is on p. 114.  This map is so crowded with detail that it is really of no more use for finding Mycenaean sites than the McDonald maps which I criticized above.


Davis [1998]: Davis, Jack L. and John Bennet. Sandy Pylos: An Archaeological History from Nestor to Navarino.  The University of Texas Press.  1998.  Second edition by The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 2008.

McDonald and Rapp [1972]: McDonald, William A. and George R. Rapp Jr., The Minnesota Messenia Expedition: Reconstructing a Bronze Age Regional Environment. The University of Minnesota Press. 1972.

McDonald and Simpson [1961]: McDonald, William A. and Richard Hope Simpson, "Prehistoric Habitation in Southwestern Peloponnese",  American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Jul., 1961), pp. 221-260

McDonald and Simpson [1964]: McDonald, William A. and Richard Hope Simpson. "Further Exploration in Southwestern Peloponnese: 1962-1963", 
American Journal of Archaeology, 68.3 (July 1964), 229-245.

McDonald and Simpson [1969]: McDonald, William A. and Richard Hope Simpson. "Further Explorations in Southwestern Peloponnese: 1964-1968", American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 73, No. 2 (Apr., 1969), pp. 123-177

Simpson [1981]: Simpson, Richard Hope.  Mycenaean Greece,  Noyes Press.  Park Ridge, New Jersey.  1981.

Simpson [2014]: Simpson, Richard Hope, Mycenaean Messenia and the Kingdom of Pylos. INSTAP Academic Press (Institute for Aegean Prehistory) 2014. 978-1931534758.

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Special Edition: Gaudium Mundo

LATIN HOLIDAY SONGS. As some of you may know, I have a blog full of Latin holiday songs: Gaudium Mundo. There are some traditional Latin hymns, some English carols translated into Latin, and also some Polish carols translated into Latin. I'll be featuring a "song of the day" in the Bestiaria posts for December starting tomorrow, December 1, but I wanted to go ahead and put the whole calendar for the month here today.

SONG WIDGET. If you are interested in having a Latin song in your own blog sidebar, you can grab a widget to use, either 200 pixels wide or 400 pixels wide. The widget will work anywhere that javascript is accepted, so it works great in Blogger blogs, in self-hosted WordPress (but not in free hosted blogs), in websites (but not in Google Sites)... just check to see if "javascript" is allowed. I host the script, so you don't have to do that, but your web environment needs to be javascript-friendly.

* * 2015 CALENDAR * *

December 1. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Rudolphus, a Latin version of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," along with the Latin hymns Puer Natus in Bethlehem and Beata Viscera, plus Laetissimam famam, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Wesołą nowinę."

December 2. The Latin holiday songs for today are: O Abies, a Latin version of "O Christmas Tree," and Resonet in Laudibus.

December 3. The Latin holiday songs for today are: O Viri, Este Hilares, a Latin version of "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen," along with Dies est laetitiae, and also In oriente sidus, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Jakaż to gwiazda?"

December 4. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Aquifolia Ornate, a Latin version of "Deck the Halls," along with Puer Nobis Nascitur.

December 5. The Latin holiday songs for today are: A Solis Ortus Cardine along with Jesus minimulus, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Jezus malusieńki."

December 6. The Latin holiday songs for today are: O Hanukkah, a Latin version of "The Hanukkah Song," in honor of the beginning of Hanukkah at sundown tonight, along with Lapsi Caelo Super Gentes, a Latin version of "Angels We Have Heard on High," and the hymns Jesu, dulcis memoria and Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

December 7. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Sit Prosperus Iesus Nati, a Latin version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," along with Corde Natus Ex Parentis and also Cunis iacet, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "W żłobie leży."

December 8. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Angelus ad Virginem along with Verbum supernum prodiens.

December 9. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Orientis Reges Tres, a Latin version of "We Three Kings of Orient Are," along with Nascitur cum Christus, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Gdy się Chrystus rodzi."

December 10. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Musicus Parvulus, a Latin version of "Little Drummer Boy," along with Conditor Alme Siderum and also Angelus pastoribus, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Anioł pasterzom mówił."

December 11. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Personent hodie, a medieval Latin hymn, and also Dormi iam, mi Jesu, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Lulajże Jezuniu." Plus... Avia Renone Calcabatur, from the the "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" song.

December 12. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Dum Servant Pecus Pastores, a Latin version of "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night," along with De natali Christi, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Z narodzenia Pana."

December 13. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Gaudete, on the occasion of Gaudete Sunday, along with O Sanctissima and also Cur hodie nocte, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Dlaczego dzisiaj wśród nocy dnieje."

December 14. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Canticum Turbonis, a Latin version of "The Dreidel Song" in honor of the last night of Hanukkah, along with Somnio Candidum Diem, a Latin version of "White Christmas," and the Latin hymns Dormi Jesu and O Viridissima Virga.

December 15. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Tres Naves, a Latin version of "I Saw Three Ships," along with Quem Pastores Laudavere and also Fratres, en spectate, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Bracia, patrzcie jeno!"

December 16. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Adeste Fideles, a Latin version of "O Come, All Ye Faithful," along with Quae stella sole pulchrior.

December 17. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Primum Noel Cecinit Angelus, a Latin version of "The First Noel," along with O Lux beata Trinitas and also Festinarunt ad Bethlehem, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Przybieżeli do Betlejem."

December 18. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Heu! quid jaces stabulo, a 15th-century hymn, and also Heri nocte prima, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "A wczoraj z wieczora."

December 19. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Angeli Canunt Praecones, a Latin version of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," along with Silentio noctis, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Wśród nocnej ciszy."

December 20. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Gaudium Mundo, along with Deus paret, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Bóg się rodzi" and also Prope accedamus, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Przystąpmy do szopy."

December 21. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Silens Nox, a Latin version of "Silent Night," along with Hodie Christus natus est and also Usque Bethlehem, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Do Betlejem pełni radości."

December 22. The Latin holiday songs for today are: O Parve Vice Bethlehem, a Latin version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," along with Magi, omnis orbis reges, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Mędrcy świata, monarchowie."

December 23. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Veni, Veni, Emmanuel!, along with Flos de radice Jesse and also O Stella de Bethlehem, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "O gwiazdo Betlejemska."

December 24. The Latin holiday songs for today are: En, Nocte Venit Media, a Latin version of "It Came upon a Midnight Clear," along with Misellum, silens, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Mizerna cicha."

December 25. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Procul in Praesaepi, a Latin version of "Away in a Manger," along with Missus Gabriel de coelis and also Triumphi Regis, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Triumfy Króla niebieskiego."

December 26. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Rex Wenceslaus, a Latin version of "King Wenceslas," along with Veni Redemptor Gentium and also Ad stabulum, pastores, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Do szopy, hej pasterze."

December 27. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Regis Olim Urbe David, a special carol for children, along with In natali Domini and also Cari pastores, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Pasterze mili."

December 28. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Duodecim Dies Natalis, a Latin version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," along with In noctis umbra desides and also Caelo ex excelso, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Z nieba wysokiego."

December 29. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Tinnitus, Tinnitus, a Latin version of "Jingle Bells," along with Christe, Redemptor Omnium and also O praesepe vile, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Ach, ubogi żłobie."

December 30. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Frigus vir nivis, a Latin version of "Frosty the Snowman," along with In Dulci Iubilo.

December 31. The Latin holiday songs for today are: Auld Lang Syne, a Latin version of the Robert Burns song, along with In hoc anni circulo.

Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

‘pretty crude fakes’ that were advertised as conflict antiquities from Palmyra Museum

I thought that the statue looked like a forgery, but I have no background in this material, so I didn’t want to judge. Plus, I didn’t think that Google would be able to translate “alleged antiquities, allegedly looted from Syria’s Palmyra Museum…”. I also feel like I’ve seen the wine chalice somewhere before, but I […]

November 29, 2015

Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

I Need Your Help

Dear Readers,

On Friday, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to support a project to film the TAG conference. The campaign is a bit tongue and cheek but the results are serious. If you have been following my posts for the last few months you would have seen lots of conference videos. While most of the time I do this work for free there are other expenses involved in producing these videos -travel, equipment, etc.  The TAG conference will be no different but more expensive as I will be paying for volunteers to attend so we can film multiple sessions concurrently. The EAA cost me 500 out of my own pocket to film and unfortunately I have recently lost one of my jobs and I am no longer in the financial position to afford to keep paying to film conferences. I need a little help to film TAG. Over the weekend we have reached 64% of our goal and we are very close to being able to film TAG. If you have a spare fiver laying around I would be very grateful if you could donate it at-

Thank you,


Ancient Peoples

Gold Solidus of Emperor Valentinian I (r. 364–75)Byzantine,...

Gold Solidus of Emperor Valentinian I (r. 364–75)

Byzantine, 364–375 AD

Made in Trier, Germany

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Save Lancashire's Heritage Petition.

Save Lancashire's Heritage - please sign the petition.
Lancashire County Council has made proposals that will devastate Lancashire's heritage. [...] the closure of 5 museums in the next year [...] funding to heritage will be sliced by 93% in the next 2 years [...]  all staff will be lost (including many specialists) [...] Remember once its all gone we can't get it back

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Doctor Who: Heaven Sent

This episode begins with a monologue about the sense of life being lived in constant threat of danger and death. The Doctor thinks about Clara’s death, and is angry in a way that we have rarely seen. The Doctor has been brought to a castle, but with TV screens on the walls. The Doctor realizes he is afraid of dying, and is confronted with the specter of a woman whose death he saw as a child and which terrified him in his nightmares. The Doctor then narrates how he assumes he will survive, and his calculations are made about his surroundings that allows him to jump through a window and survive.

Doctor Who Heaven Sent Clara paintingThroughout the episode he keeps talking to Clara, whose death he witnessed in the previous episode. He realizes that the way to survive in the context in which he finds himself is to tell truths he has never told before, confessions – but he insists that there are some truths he can never tell, echoing language used in “The Rings of Akhaten.” But he does confess that he didn’t leave Gallifrey because he was bored, but because he was scared.

The Doctor finds a message luring him to room 12. He says at one point that he isn’t afraid of hell – it is just heaven for bad people. Every living thing experiences two moments, being born and dying, and no one remembers either.

The Doctor keeps managing to get back and bring back the teleporter’s recorded pattern of himself, doing this again and again for 7,000 years, and on and on, 12,000 years, 600,000 years, 2,000,000 years, 20,000,000 years, 52,000,000 years, 2 billion years, and more. How many seconds in eternity? That question is asked, but as viewers we must also ask what relevance time or eternity has to one who can travel through time, and whose life is being constantly reset in the manner depicted in the episode. It is even suggested that the whole experience takes place inside his confession dial – with him, in essence, teleported inside it, while the confession dial with him in it was sent to Gallifrey.

Eventually, the Doctor mentions the prophecy of a hybrid, half time lord and half Dalek, and confesses that he knows it is real.The episode ends with the Doctor on Gallifrey. The prophecy (or rather, the interpretation of the prophecy) was wrong. The hybrid is not half Dalek – the Daleks would never allow that. The hybrid, destined to rule Gallifrey, is the Doctor!

The episode has a great deal for long-time fans. First, it is the only episode I can think of where the Doctor is, for all intents and purposes, the only character and speaker for almost the entire episode. Second, it addresses longstanding questions about the Doctor, both his person and his motives for actions such as leaving Gallifrey. Third, it may be reintegrating into the Doctor Who canon the detail from the TV movie with the Eighth Doctor, namely that the Doctor is half human on his mother’s side. I am very curious to see whether fans are mostly excited by that prospect, or worried. I am also interested to see whether the character of the Doctor’s mother – who appeared on the show in brief moments in “The End of Time,” and seemed to be able to reach out from inside the time lock that was a first measure to keep the Time War from continuing to ravage the universe, just as the Doctor found himself able to get in in “The Day of the Doctor.” If so, that would be impressive tying up of some longstanding loose ends.

What did you think of the episode? Why do you think it is called “Heaven Sent”? What do you think of the Doctor’s statement that hell isn’t scary, it is just “heaven for bad people”?

Of related interest, see the post highlighting Amy Calder’s work on the Doctor as messianic figure, on the Auckland Theology and Religious Studies blog.




Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Palmyra Museum Loot Intercepted in Turkey?

I was suspicious of this news item and decided not to report it, but Sam Hardy has had a closer look, discovered several different and muddled versions, and decided: 'Antiquities, looted from Syria’s Palmyra Museum, seized while for sale on the local market in eastern Turkey? No'. He discusses and illustrates the two items reported. Both are pretty crude fakes. He describes the sellers as at best "exploitative but incompetent opportunists" rather than regime agents or tax-paying middlemen in cahoots with ISIL.

Turkey and the Syrian Opposition

Allegations from Tehran, 'Turkey arms Daesh in exchange for oil, antiquities' Press TV Nov 29th, 2015. The question is to what degree Turkish aid sent to Turkmen rebels in northeastern Syria is taking place and to what degree these supplies are reaching ISIL.

Old-Looking Objects Seized from Dealers in Iran

A Tabletop of goodies saved from
entering the antiquities market
Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) 'Objects of historical interest seized in Tehran' Cultural Heritage Iran in Pictures November 24, 2015

The objects, including gold jewelry, silver coins, a seal that dates back to the Sassanid era, and figurines, were seized in three sting operations which led to the arrest of six smugglers. As many as 278 historical objects and 10 fake antiques have been seized from smugglers, the director general of Tehran provincial Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department said. The objects, including gold jewelry, silver coins, a seal that dates back to the Sassanid era, and figurines, were seized in three sting operations which led to the arrest of six smugglers. After laboratory examination, the items will be sent to museums to be put on display, the official said.
You can look at the photos ("released by the Iranian Labour News Agency") yourselves. If they see only "ten" fakes here, I really do not know what's going on.

Al West (West's Meditations)

Artillery in Melaka, 1511 CE

       In 1511, a Portuguese force under Afonso de Albuquerque successfully invaded the city-state of Melaka on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. At the time, Melaka was one of the world's foremost emporia. Peoples from throughout Eurasia appear in the Portuguese accounts of the conquest, including various groups from India, Java, China, Myanmar, and the Muslim world (likely grouped together as mouros in the Portuguese accounts). The capture of the city, followed by the construction of a fortress on the Straits, was intended to take the Eurasian spice trade out of Muslim hands.
Read more »

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Turkish Archaeological News

Turkish Archaeological News
Turkish Archaeological News aims at providing news about the latest archaeological discoveries in Turkey or related with history of Anatolia. We publish articles describing archaeological sites in Turkey and photos taken during our trips.

The site is published by ASLAN publishing company.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Doctor Who: Face the Raven

Due to the AAR/SBL conference and Thanksgiving, I am more than a week behind in blogging about the latest Doctor Who episodes. And so I will get caught up with two blog posts today – and then will soon get back to finishing off my blogging through the classic series, which I finished rewatching a while back and just need to actually blog about.

Face the Raven Clara and RavenThe episode “Face the Raven” witnesses Doctor Who going full Harry Potter, with a secret street hidden from muggles – sorry, I mean humans – but accessible to wizards – sorry, I mean aliens. But this isn’t a criticism – the same ideas have been recycled in human storytelling for a long, long time. And one interesting difference is that the street is not a place to buy a magic wand or a new pair of sonic sunglasses, but a refugee camp, where Ashildr has been overseeing the safety of aliens who are fleeing others, where they live disguised as humans.

Gavin Rumney said that he was looking forward to me blogging about the episode, since it features elements that can be compared to substitutionary atonement and the Protestant dichotomy between law and grace. While I often emphasize the need to dig deeper than surface-level Christ-figures, that doesn’t mean that we ought not to notice such symbolism when it is present. In fact, it is interesting to compare Clara’s action to save her student Rigsy to the way Jesus is depicted as approaching his impending death. We might ask whether Clara would have taken then quantum shade from Rigsy in order to save his life even if she had known it would mean her own death, and I imagine that the answer would be “yes.” And that represents a marked contrast to Ashildr, who seems willing to allow Rigsy to die in order to preserve the stability of the society she oversees. One could also compare Clara’s seeking to have the cup pass from her, and her eventual embracing of her fate, with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. And Clara’s plea to the Doctor to not let this change him, to turn him once more into a warrior rather than a Doctor, might be compared to Jesus’ words asking God to forgive those who were executing him, as found in some manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke.

Doctor Who Face the Raven mapOf course, things are not as they seem. Rigsy had not killed someone, and it was a set-up to draw the Doctor in. In a similar way, Clara had taken the quantum shade tattoo from Rigsy not as an act of self-sacrifice but as an attempt to move events in a particular direction. And so what we see is less an example of noble self-sacrifice, and more the tragedy that comes about when people create a plan for how to bring about a particular end, and fail to take into account the unpredictability of what other free agents have done or will do. And so, if one is inclined to relate the episode to theology at all, perhaps it works best as an indictment of the idea that God and other forces are manipulating events for their own ends, with each tragedy part of a greater purpose. (See the recent post at Geekdom House for an example from the experience of a DM trying to get players to have a particular kind of adventure experience in an RPG.)

In other words, if you’re looking for a theological point in the episode, perhaps it is to not depict God as like Ashildr. Clara is a better model, whether for God or the ethical human being – one who doesn’t know everything and cannot control everything, and who is confident but cannot be certain that things can be fixed and a positive outcome achieved, but who will risk their own death rather than allow someone else to be killed unjustly.

The focus on maps in the episode is a nice symbol of the points made above – it is risky to try to see everything, and even then, there are things that are hidden from view. But even if we manage to spot those hidden things, there is still no realistic way to understand everything that is happening, much less control it. Map is not Territory.

What did you think of “Face the Raven”?

I plan to blog about “Heaven Sent” later today. And see too the article in which Mark Gatiss talks about getting his moral code from Doctor Who.



Compitum - événements (tous types)

Présentation des travaux de PLATINUM sur le 'Legs Marichal'

Titre: Présentation des travaux de PLATINUM sur le 'Legs Marichal'
Lieu: Biblioteca Fra Landolfo Caracciolo / Naples
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 03.12.2015

Information signalée par Maria Chiara Scappaticcio

Présentation des travaux de PLATINUM sur le 'Legs Marichal'

Frammenti di Lingua e Letteratura Latina

Il “Fondo Marichal”
Prime riflessioni su un fondo d'archivio inedito e sul suo contributo allo studio dei testi latini

Biblioteca di Area Umanistica - 3 dicembre 2015
Ore 10.00 Maria Chiara Scappaticcio
I “Legs Marichal” e PLATINUM: per i testi latini su papiro

Ore 10.30 Tiziano Dorandi
“Gli archivi di Robert Marichal all'École Pratique des Hautes Études e un progetto irrealizzato sui papiri latini della biblioteca di Ercolano

Ore 11.00 Valeria Piano
Scritture latine ad Ercolano. Riflessioni preliminari sulle carte del fondo Marichal sui papiri latini ercolanesi

Ore 11.20 Gianluca Del Mastro
Marcello Gigante e Robert Marichal. La vicenda dei P. Herc. Paris 1 e 2

Ore 11.40 Dario Internullo
Marichal e i suoi interlocutori all'opera: prime riflessioni sui carteggi dell'archivio

Ore 12.00 Giulio Iovine
Marichal in Africa. Gli studi di Robert Marichal sugli ostraka latini di Tunisia e Libia (1964-1992)

Ore 12.20 Océane Valencia
Préparer un fonds pour la numérisation: le cas du fonds Marichal

Ore 12.40 Pausa pranzo

Ore 14.00 Discussione e conclusioni

L'Opificio costituisce una delle attività progettuali di PLATINUM - Papyri and LAtin Texts : INsights and Updated Methodologies. Towards a philological, literary, and historical approach to Latin papyri (ERC-StG 2014 - project number: 636983)
Responsabile scientifico: Maria Chiara Scappaticcio

Lieu de la manifestation : Naples, Biblioteca di Area Umanistica
Organisation : Maria Chiara Scappaticcio
Contact :

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: CEDRUS: Akdeniz Uygarlıkları Araştırma Dergisi

CEDRUS: Akdeniz Uygarlıkları Araştırma Dergisi
ISSN: 2147-8058
e-ISSN: 2148-1431
Akdeniz Uygarlıkları Araştırması Enstitüsü tarafından hazırlanan Cedrus, Tür­kiye tarihsel coğrafyası perspektifinde Akdeniz Hav­zası’nın kültür-tarih birikimini inceleyen Eskiçağ, Ortaçağ ve Yeni-Yakınçağ tarihi uzmanları için tartışma zemini bulacakları disiplin­lerarası bir süreli yayın olmayı hedeflemektedir. CEDRUS, farklı disiplinlerden gelen bilim insanları arasında diyaloğun geliştirilmesi, var olan bilginin güncellenmesi ve yaygınlaştırıl­ması süreçlerine katkı sağlayacak özgün ve bilim­sel çalışmaları akademi dünyasının ilgisine sun­mayı amaçlar. CEDRUS uluslararası hakemli bir dergi olup yılda bir kez yayımlanır.

The aim of the CEDRUS: The Journal of Mediterranean Civilisations Studies, an interdisciplinary publication, is to offer a forum for discussion to researchers focusing upon the Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern Periods and for the analysis of the cultural-historical background of the Mediterranean Basin within the extensive perspective of Turkey’s historical geography. CEDRUS aims to bring together original academic studies that can contribute to the process of developing shared perspectives and approaches between scholars from different disciplines and of revising and synthesizing the currently available knowledge for the attention of the academic world. Cedrus is a peer-reviewed journal published each year.

Volume 3

Untitled-1 İçindekiler

Sencer ŞAHİN
Cedrus III (2015) VII-XXV. 

Cengiz ÇETİN
Cedrus III (2015) 1-30.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011393

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 51-66.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011394

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 55-73.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011395

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 67-87.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011396

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 89-117.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011397

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 119-128.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011398

Öz & Abstract

Tarkan KAHYA
Cedrus III (2015) 129-139.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011399

Öz & Abstract

Erdoğan ASLAN
Cedrus III (2015) 141-161.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011400

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 163-180.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011401

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 181-229.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011410

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 231-242.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011411

Abstract & Öz

Cedrus III (2015) 243-256.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011402

Öz & Abstract

Hüseyin Sami ÖZTÜRK
Cedrus III (2015) 257-267.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011403

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 269-276.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011404

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 277-310.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011405

Abstract & Öz

Tarana OKTAN – Leyla DERVİŞ
Cedrus III (2015) 311-328.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011406

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 329-336.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011407

Öz & Abstract

Fahrettin TIZLAK
Cedrus III (2015) 337-350.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011412

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 351-364.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011408

Öz & Abstract

Cedrus III (2015) 365-378.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011413

Öz & Abstract


Erkan Kurul
Cedrus III (2015) 379-389.  DOI: 10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011409


Compitum - événements (tous types)

Autour de la parution de Umberto Roberto, Rome face aux barbares

Titre: Autour de la parution de Umberto Roberto, Rome face aux barbares
Lieu: MESHS / Lille
Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
Date: 11.12.2015
Heure: 09.00 h - 17.00 h

Information signalée par Dominic Moreau

Autour de la parution de

Umberto ROBERTO, Rome face aux barbares. Une histoire des sacs de la ville, trad. de Y. Rivière, Paris, Seuil, 2015.


15 h 00 – 17 h 00 : SÉMINAIRE autour du livre

18 h 00 : CONFÉRENCE de l'auteur - "The End of Rome: the sacks in 455 and 472 AD"

Lieu de la manifestation : Lille, MESHS, 2 rue des Canonniers, salle 001
Organisation : Pierre Jaillette, avec la collaboration de Stéphane Benoist et Dominic Moreau
Contact :

Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

Antiquities, looted from Syria’s Palmyra Museum, seized while for sale in eastern Turkey? No.

Update (30th November 2015): the objects were ‘pretty crude fakes‘ that seem to have been advertised as conflict antiquities from Palmyra Museum. Original post I think I’ve found the little information that exists – (sometimes very similar) reports from İhlas News Agency (İHA) in Milliyet (via Erman Ertuğrul in Arkeofili), Doğan News Agency (DHA) in […]

Compitum - événements (tous types)

Séminaire Antheia : L'Empire romain

Titre: Séminaire Antheia : L'Empire romain
Lieu: Maison de la Recherche de Paris IV-Sorbonne / Paris
Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
Date: 17.12.2015
Heure: 09.00 h - 17.00 h

Information signalée par Janyce Desiderio

Séminaire Antheia

L'Empire romain

La prochaine séance du séminaire Antheia portera sur l'Empire Romain, d'un point de vue géographique et anthropologique.
Jeudi 17 décembre
Maison de la Recherche - Paris-Sorbonne, salle D040

Emmanuel Doveri interviendra sur :
- "Le limes romain au IV/Vème siècle résistance et chute : émergence de nouvelles puissances."

- "L'Empire romain, première mondialisation? Raisons et conséquences économiques et sociales."

Lieu de la manifestation : Paris - salle D040, Maison de la recherche, Paris-Sorbonne
Organisation : Association Antheia
Contact :

Omnia vincit Amor: En torno al amor

Titre: Omnia vincit Amor: En torno al amor
Lieu: Universidad Complutense de Madrid / Madrid
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 15.12.2015 - 16.12.2015
Heure: 09.00 h - 17.00 h

Information signalée par Cristina Martín Puente

XXIII Seminario de Iconografía Clásica

Omnia vincit Amor: En torno al amor


9.30 h. Presentación. Dr.D.Luis Enrique Otero Carvajal, Ilmo. Decano de la Facultad de Geografía e Historia
10.00 h. Dra. Pilar González Serrano, UCM
Significado cosmogónico de los amores de Cibeles y Attis
10.45 h Dra. Pilar Fernández Uriel, UNED
Anquises y la trascendencia de una relación
11 .30 h. Pausa
12.00 h. Dr. Jacobo Storch de Gracia y Asensio, UCM
Matar por amor
12.45h. Dra. Cristina Martín Puente, UCM
La representación de los poetas grecolatinos como personajes enamorados
13.30. Debate
16.00h. Dra. Amparo Arroyo de la Fuente, UCM
Iconografía de Eros en el arte clásico
16.45 h. D. Carlos Crespo Pérez, UCM
Eros y Psique: de la muerte a la vida por amor
17.30 h. Pausa
18.00 h. Dr. Herbert González Zymla, UCM
Erómenos y erastés en la iconografía de Zeus y Ganimedes
18.45 h. Dña. Claudina Romero Mayorga, UCM
Apolo y Dafne
18.30 h. Debate

10.00h. Dr. Jesús Salas Álvarez, UCM
Sémele, la amante mortal de Zeus
10.45 h. Dra. Alicia Esteban Santos, UCM
Ariadna, un amor desgraciado y un amor feliz
11.30 h. Pausa
12.00 h. Dra. Ruth Piquer Sanclemente, UCM
Amor docet musicam
12.45h. Dra. Laura Rodríguez Peinado, UCM
La escenificación de los celos y las venganzas de Hera
13.30 h. Debate
16.00h. Dra. Isabel Conde Moreno, UCM
Los amores turbios: hombres que utilizan a las mujeres
16.45 h. Dra. Luz Neira Jiménez, UC3m
Endimión y Selene
17.30 h. Pausa
18.00 h. Dra. María Isabel Rodríguez López, UCM
Polifemo enamorado
18.45h. Debate y Clausura del Seminario

Lieu de la manifestation : Aula de Grados. Facultad Geografía e Historia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Organisation : Isabel Rodríguez López
Contact :

NEOI. Des hommes nouveaux dieux : de la titulature hellénistique à l'imitatio romaine

Titre: NEOI. Des hommes nouveaux dieux : de la titulature hellénistique à l'imitatio romaine
Lieu: INHA / Paris
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 05.12.2015
Heure: 09.00 h - 17.00 h

Information signalée par S. Wyler

NEOI. Des hommes nouveaux dieux : de la titulature hellénistique à l'imitatio romaine

Lexique, corpus, méthode


Nicole Belayche (Paris) et Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge (Liège), discutantes

Matinée 10h-13h

10h00 A.-F. Jaccottet, S. Wyler, Visite du chantier : résultats et perspectives de l'atelier Neoi 1 du 13 juin 2015

10h45 S. Caneva (Padoue), Alexandre et Dionysos. Un point sur la question

11h30 M. Widmer (Lausanne), La divinisation des souverains séleucides et lagides, en amont de l''appellation neos

12h15 J. Wallensten (Athènes), La signification des « dieux absents » : Zeus, Artémis, Athena

Après-midi 14h-18h

14h00 A.-F. Jaccottet (Genève), Neos Dionysos, naissance linguistique et conceptuelle d'une formule

14h45 S. Wyler (Paris), Des hommes nouveaux dieux à Rome ? Le cas d'Antoine neos Dionysos et d'Auguste nouus Mercurius

15h30 Pause

15h45 G. Frija (Paris), Les « nouvelles déesses » dans le culte impérial

16h30 F. Massa (Genève), « Le Fils de Dieu (…) n'est pas du tout nouveau » : polémiques chrétiennes autour de la création de nouvelles divinités

17h15 Discussion finale et perspectives 2016

18h00 Verrée

Lieu de la manifestation : Paris, INHA, salle Fabri de Peiresc (galerie Colbert, 2 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris)
Organisation : Anne-Françoise Jaccottet et Stéphanie Wyler
Contact :

Conférences du Centre Ernout

Titre: Conférences du Centre Ernout
Lieu: Maison de la Recherche de Paris IV-Sorbonne / Paris
Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
Date: 05.12.2015
Heure: 09.00 h - 17.00 h

Information signalée par Jean-Paul Brachet

Conférences du Centre Ernout

- Anna ORLANDINI, professeur, Université de Bologne, et Paolo POCCETTI, Professeur, université de Rome 2 et de Macerata : « Par-delà le cycle de Jespersen : nouvelles perspectives sur la négation en latin. »
- Paolo POCCETTI: « Variation linguistique dans les fragments des Satires de Lucilius. »

Lieu de la manifestation : Université Paris 4, Maison de la recherche
Organisation : Centre Ernout
Contact : Jean-Paul Brachet, Paris 4

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: ‘Atiqot

 [First posted 10/31/10, most recently updated 29 November 2015]

[Open Access after registration]
'Atiqot is the refereed journal of the Israel Antiquities Authority. It is published four times a year. The contents of the printed version is uploaded to the e-journal website. No changes are made to articles post-publication. The printed journal is available via the IAA website.

For details on how to submit, see our Guide to Contributors.

Range of Topics. ‘Atiqot covers a large chronological span, from prehistory up to the Ottoman period. Excavations are studied from various aspects and disciplines—often the result of the close interaction between researchers of the IAA and outside specialists. Thus, a report should include, in addition to the stratigraphic analysis, comprehensive treatments of the archaeological data, including studies of the various groups of finds, such as ceramics, glass, stone and metal objects, coins, jewelry, textiles, etc., as well as the geological, botanical, faunal and anthropological evidence. Laboratory analyses, such as petrography, radiocarbon dating and metallurgy, should be included where relevant.

The archaeological data published in ‘Atiqot are not confined to a specific range of periods or topics, but to a geographical area—the Land of Israel—which has been influenced by almost every ancient culture that existed in the Levant. The journal thus presents comprehensive research on the region and its connections with the neighboring countries. The publication is devoted to final reports and shorter articles, although occasionally a volume is dedicated to a particular topic (e.g., burial caves, agricultural installations), period (e.g., prehistoric, Islamic) or site (e.g., Acre, Jerusalem).

Excavation Reports. The papers published in ‘Atiqot are primarily the result of salvage excavations conducted by the IAA. Their results are sometimes unexpectedly important, filling in gaps that could not be understood by localized studies of the larger tells. ‘Atiqot is one of the few vehicles for imparting this important data and therefore a primary asset to any scholar in archaeology.

Bilingual Journal. The journal is bilingual, publishing articles in English or Hebrew; all Hebrew reports are accompanied by English summaries keyed to illustrations in the main text.
‘Atiqot 83 ISBN 978-965-406-531-3
  • A Tomb from the Early Bronze Age I and the Intermediate Bronze Age at Azor (Hebrew, pp. 1*–8*; English summary, p. 255)
    Eli Yannai
    Keywords: cemetery, burial goods
  • Two Seasons of Rescue and Exploratory Excavations at Horbat ‘Avot, Upper Galilee (with a contribution by Orit Shamir) (pp. 1–66)
    Eliot Braun
    Keywords: Upper Galilee, Horvat Avot, Iron Age, Neolithic period, Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age burials, Persian period, Wavy-Band pithoi, Galilean pithoi, incisions, potter’s marks, trade, economy, hill country, typology, ethnicity
  • A Pottery Workshop at Ahihud and Its Relationship to the Jar Industry in the Northeastern Zevulun Valley and Western Galilee during the Roman Period (pp. 67–92)
    Dina Avshalom-Gorni and Anastasia Shapiro
    Keywords: Western Galilee, pottery industry, double kiln, technology, typology, wine production, oil production, petrology, economy
  • Roman Burial Caves at I‘billin (with a contribution by Irina Segal) (pp. 93–123)
    Nurit Feig and Shulamit Hadad
    Keywords: Lower Galilee, cemetery, loculi (kokhim), burial goods, ethnicity, kohl analysis, purity laws, Jewish halakha
  • Meron: A Late Roman–Ottoman Settlement (pp. 125–142)
    Howard Smithline
    Keywords: Upper Galilee, Jewish pilgrimage, itineraries of Jewish travelers, Jewish community, Crusader documents, Frankish population, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
    • The Coins from Meron (pp. 143–144)
      Danny Syon
      Keywords: Upper Galilee, numismatics
  • A Georgian Monastery from the Byzantine Period at Khirbat Umm Leisun, Jerusalem (with a contribution by Jon Seligman and Iulon Gagoshidze) (pp. 145–179)
    Jon Seligman
    Keywords: Jerusalem, coenobium, monastic complex, monks, Bishop Iohane, mosaics, burial, anthropology, population, Christianity, Georgian language, inscription, epigraphy, paleography, stamped tiles
    • Paleographic Study of the Georgian Tombstone from Khirbat Umm Leisun, Jerusalem (pp. 181–184)
      Giorgi Gagoshidze
      Keywords: Jerusalem, Georgian epigraph, paleography, monastery, Georgian language, Christianity, epigraphy
    • The Inscription from Khirbat Umm Leisun, and Georgian Presence in the Holy Land (pp. 185–193)
      Tamila Mgaloblishvili
      Keywords: Jerusalem, Georgian epigraphy, paleography, monastery, Georgian language, Christianity, epigraphy, monastic life, Peter the Iberian, etymology, Georgian pilgrims, Georgian travelers, Georgian church
    • Bishop Iohane from Khirbat Umm Leisun and the Caucasian Albanian Church (pp. 195–197)
      Yana Tchekhanovets
      Keywords: Jerusalem, Caucasian history, Georgian epigraphy, paleography, monastery, Georgian language, Christianity, epigraphy, monastic life, Peter the Iberian, etymology, Georgian church, Armenia, Georgia, Albania
    • Glass Vessels from the Monastery at Khirbat Umm Leisun, Jerusalem (pp. 199–204)
      Natalya Katsnelson
      Keywords: Jerusalem, Byzantine period, Early Islamic period, eulogia, Christian motifs, Christianity
    • The Skeletal Remains from Khirbat Umm Leisun, Jerusalem (pp. 205–208)
      Yossi Nagar
      Keywords: Jerusalem, Byzantine period, anthropology, monastery, population, demography
  • A Late Byzantine Industrial Quarter and Early Islamic-Period Finds at Horbat Be’er Shema‘ (pp. 209–248)
    Tali Erickson-Gini, Benjamin J. Dolinka and Larissa Shilov
    Keywords: ancient sources, Justinian Plague, Islamic conquest, wine production, screw press, numismatics, bronze coins, pottery kiln, economy, church, industry
    • Magnetic Prospecting of Archaeological Targets at Horbat Be’er Shema‘ (pp. 249–253)
      Sonia Itkis
      Keywords: geophysics
Past Issues

Byzantine News

New Late Roman Sarcophagus found in Iznik, Turkey

A late-Roman era sarcophagus thought to be belonging to the Late Roman Empire was unearthed and transferred to a museum in Iznik, Bursa. The sarcophagus weighing nearly 7 tons.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Ten Commandments of Debating and Logic

Ten Commandments Debate Logic

Via Chris Spinks. It has some typos, and awkwardly places the period before the end of the sentence (I have a lot of students who do that when ending with a parenthetical citation, too). But it still seems useful.

AIA Fieldnotes

Aegean Seminar in Zagreb

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Department of Archaeology, University of Zagreb
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 1:15pm

The next Aegean Seminar in Zagreb, Croatia will be held on Tuesday 1 December 2015 at 13.15, at the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. It will host Prof. Janusz Czebreszuk (Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan, Poland) with a lecture “Amber in the Mycenaean culture: Some general remarks”. Read more »


Helena Tomas
Call for Papers: 

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

The Danubian Lands between the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas

Tsetskhladze,G. R., A. Avram et J. Hargrave, éd. (2015) :  The Danubian Lands between the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas (7th Century BC-­10th Century AD), Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress on Black Sea Antiquitie (Belgrade – 17-­21 September 2013), Oxford. La 5e édition du congrès pontique propose comme toujours des articles sur des thèmes variés qui concernent tout l’espace pontique. La plus grande partie des articles est … Lire la suite

Jim Davila (

Review of Spiró, Captivity

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Di Segni et al., The Onomasticon of Iudaea

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Zfatman, Jewish Exorcism in Early Modern Ashkenaz

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Review of Cumont, Les mystères de Mithra

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Smith's Jerusalem online

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The Egyptiana Emporium

NEWS: ’90 percent chance of hidden rooms in Tut tomb’, Egypt says


Japanese radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabe stands with his equipment outside King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in the Valley of Kings in Luxor, Egypt (Source: Ahram Online).

“Egypt said there is a 90 percent chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun’s tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum.

Researchers say the discovery of a new chamber could shine new light on one of ancient Egypt’s most turbulent times, and one prominent researcher has theorized that the remains of Queen Nefertiti might be inside.
Egypt began the search for the hidden chamber last week. Announcing the results of three days of testing in the southern city of Luxor, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said the findings will be sent to Japan for a monthlong analysis before the search is resumed” – via Ahram Online.

Read more here.

AIA Fieldnotes

International Obsidian Conference

Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 9:20am to Friday, June 3, 2016 - 9:20am
Robert Tykot
Call for Papers: 
CFP Deadline: 
January 31, 2016

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

What’s to be done about a Shrinking Passive PAS and a Milieu that Just Doesn't Get It? ?

Heritage Action have a thought-provoking text: 'PAS is shrinking. It really matters. So what’s to be done?', 28th Nov 2015. A tweet of a disgruntled FLO indicating that eighteen years on, the metal detectorists in her region really have not cottoned on to what the PAS means to them. As HA point out:
What did PAS ever do for us?” You mean apart from PR and ID services, massive positive advocacy to the Government, landowners and the public – and survival, and all completely free? Nothing mate.
I'd say enough is enough a failed social experiment in educating the tekkies is a failed social experiment. It did not work, time to STOP, and think of some other more holistic and more effective way of dealing with the Looting Matters.

Sam Hardy on Verona Museum Theft

It is worth taking a look at Sam Hardy's discussion: 'Were Verona Civic Museum’s paintings stolen to fund terrorism, stolen to order to supply a collector, or just stolen?':
Seventeen paintings have been stolen from a museum in Italy. They are theoretically worth €15 million/$16 million/£10.5 million though, whether they were stolen to be sold or stolen to be kept (then sold), any black market value may be far lower. The bigger question, right now, is why they were stolen…

November 28, 2015

The Egyptiana Emporium

NEWS: Tutankhamun unmasked?


Did the iconic funerary gold mask of King Tutankhamun belong to his stepmother Queen Nefertiti as Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves wrote in a scholarly work on the mystery? (Source: Ahram Online).

“Before being published in a scientific journal in December, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, from Arizona University, sent Al-Ahram Weekly an advance copy of his article on the original name inscribed on Tutankhamun’s mask.
Entitled “The Gold Mask of Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten” Reeves relates that an essay was behind his first doubts about King Tutankhamun’s possession of his iconic gold mask, now under restoration at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

In the paper Reeves wrote several years ago, in an essay which is yet to appear, he sought to demonstrate that the famous gold mask from King Tutankhamun’s tomb (KV 62) had been created not for the boy king but for the use of a female predecessor named Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten (Queen Nefertiti) who was King Akhenaten’s co-regent.

“The evidence in favour of this conclusion was, and still is compelling,” Reeves said, adding that he was able to muster for it no inscriptional support. Detailed scrutiny, both of the mask itself and of photographs, furnished not the slightest hint that the multi-columned hieroglyphic inscription with cartouche might pre-date Tutankhamun’s reign.

“Happily, this reluctant presumption of the mask’s textual integrity may now be abandoned,” Reeves pointed out in the paper, asserting that “a fresh examination of the re-positioned and newly re-lit mask in Cairo at the end of September 2015 yielded for the first time, beneath the hieroglyphs of Tutankhamun’s prenomen, lightly chased traces of an earlier, erased royal name.”

With the kind cooperation of former director of the Egyptian Museum Mahmoud Al-Halwagi and the museum’s photographer Ahmed Amin, it proved possible to secure an exceptionally clear image of this palimpsest.

Drawing by Gabolde illustrating:(upper) the present, Tutankhamun-era inscription(green)with visible portions of the earlier,underlying text (red); (Lower)the original name(yellow) as reconstructed on the basis of these still-visible traces (red) (Source: Ahram Online).

Given its significance, Reeves was keen to share this discovery with specialist colleagues, from whom he also sought input. “For, although the opening signs of the underlying text were obvious enough, those traces close to the cartouche’s ‘tie’ were proving difficult to disentangle,” Reeves wrote. He added that his request for aid evoked responses from both Ray Johnson and Marc Gabolde. “I am extremely grateful for their contributions to this note,” he said, confirming that “not only has our collaboration resulted in a reasonably definitive reconstruction of the name-form originally borne by the mask, but this name indeed confirms the conclusion I had reached previously on non-inscriptional grounds — namely, that Tutankhamun’s headpiece had been prepared originally for the co-regent Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.”

The changes to which the mask’s cartouche had been subjected are presented in a drawing by Gabolde. “Above, in green, we see the present, Tutankhamun-era inscription, with visible portions of the earlier, underlying text highlighted in red; below, in yellow, is the agreed reconstruction of this original name.””- via Ahram Online.

Read more here.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Lehrfilm zum Schreiben von Keilschrift

Lehrfilm zum Schreiben von Keilschrift

Lehrfilm zum Schreiben von Keilschrift

Das Institut für Altorientalistik hat einen kurzen Lehrfilm zum Thema Schreiben von Keilschrift mit dem Titel

"Am Anfang war der Keil -- Schrift und Schreiben im Alten Orient"

produziert, den Sie unter folgenden Weblinks aufrufen können.


Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

Prehistoric monument in Golan Heights fuels mystery

One of the most mysterious structures in the Middle East is easy to miss. The prehistoric stone monument went unnoticed for centuries in a bare expanse of field on the...

Mining in the Alps dates back to the Bronze Age

Mining in the Alps dates back much further than previously thought - in the Austrian region of Montafon since the Bronze Age. Thanks to C14 dating, a group of researchers...

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

A few notes . . . (part 3)

This is the third in a series of posts about the opening movement of Dante's Paradiso. Here are the other parts:
Part 1     Part 2     Part 4

If the faces in the Moon in Paradiso 3 turn out to be "really there," as opposed to being mere images or reflections, that reassuring sense of a determinate position in space gets turned on its head in canto 4, when Beatrice explains how Piccarda and the others whom Dante has just encountered are always actually in the Empyrean:
ma tutti fanno bello il primo giro,
e differentemente han dolce vita
per sentir più e men l'etterno spiro.
But all make beautiful the primal circle,
And have sweet life in different degrees,
By feeling more or less the eternal breath. (Par. 4. 34-36)
The literal ground Dante and the others stand "in" - the moon, falls away. Beatrice's words scramble the concept of presence. Instead of the polarity of presence/absence, we are invited to entertain another medium or mode, which Beatrice will call "condescension."


Before we get to that, I'd like to try, however tentatively, to trace a recurrent gesture in Paradiso:
  • In canto 1, the poet makes sure we understand that the text we are reading (or listening to) is but a shadow of a shadow of an experience, an experience he no longer can recall.
  • Something to cling to arrives in canto 2. Beatrice makes sure Dante understands that moon spots are not simply to be understood as variations in material density. Indeed she offers a replicable, empirical scientific experiment using mirrors to help demonstrate that a simple material principle will not explain the rich diversity of all that is.* Empirical knowledge and logical reasoning here are held up as authoritative ways for human beings to speculate about things they cannot directly experience.
  • That apparent gain in epistemic stability is challenged in canto 3, when Dante, now in the Moon, finds the very notion of "ground" has become problematic. The labile medium of the Moon makes it hard to tell how he, others, and the Moon occupy the same space. The faces that are suddenly before him seem reflections, appearing as if reflected on shallow water, and later disappear into seeming watery depths. The medium has no fondo, no ground -- one moment it seems shallow, the next moment profound. But it is not a reflective surface. Beatrice assures the pilgrim that Piccarda, Costanza and the others are vere sustanze.
  • The assurance of vere sustanze is further complicated when Dante learns in canto 4 that Piccarda and all souls in Paradiso are always actually in the Empyrean. It's not that Piccarda could be speaking to him either from a few feet away or from a point infinitely beyond all distance. Entangled, both are true at once: the vere sustanze are "here" and "there." The structure of Paradiso is really not a structure as we normally think of it, something resting on a foundation that rests on terra firma situated in space. Here, like the earth under Amphiaraus at Thebes, ground falls away. We're shading into the Uncanny, and certain elements in cantos 3 and 4 evoke its frisson.


If one were to attempt to characterize more concisely a pattern in these opening cantos, a figure in the carpet, it is perhaps something like this:
  • Canto 2: A gain in perceptual knowledge (illumination) is posited using negative proofs from the sensory realm.
  • Canto 3: That illuminating gain is then complicated as sense perception is put in question, leaving us lacking in sense certainty, but confident at least of the underlying reality of substance.
  • Canto 4: Substance is complicated, scrambled. It turns out that Paradiso is not a "place" subject to space and time. Rather, signs are being made
The effect is not unlike a recurring, self-effacing oscillation: Each time we think we've got a purchase on Paradise, there's a loss of certitude, a vanishing of grounds for judgement. For the visitor, it's not unlike being out to sea:
metter potete ben per l'alto sale
vostro navigio, servando mio solco
dinanzi a l'acqua che ritorna equale.
Well may you launch upon the deep salt-sea
Your vessel, keeping still my wake before you
Upon the water that grows smooth again. (Par. 2. 13-15)
The opening cantos have put the pilgrim and us on an epistemological roller-coaster, and the ride is not yet over. Like the wake that is the only trace of the poet's vessel, a trace soon erased, so the proper (object) of Paradiso keeps receding.

It's not that with each loss comes some compensatory gain, as if automatically. Rather, it's sink or swim: loss opens the way to the possibility of acceding to another kind of apprehension. It's up to you. As Beatrice says to Dante at one point, watch your step:
“Non ti maravigliar perch' io sorrida,"
mi disse,“appresso il tuo püeril coto,
poi sopra 'l vero ancor lo piè non fida,

ma te rivolve, come suole, a vòto:"
"Marvel thou not," she said to me, "because I smile
at this thy puerile conceit,
Since on the truth it trusts not yet its foot,
But turns thee, as 'tis wont, on emptiness." (Par. 3. 25-28)

If the senses and substance -- the reliable earthly bases of Aristotle's understanding of Nature -- are not sure guides to the mansion of God, what is? The ground is more quicksand than terra firma.

The opening movement of Paradiso conducts us to a carefully orchestrated cognitive crisis. By the time we reach the account of condescending in canto 4, it is an open question whether, like poor Nebuchadnezzar, we can even begin to say what we are experiencing, let alone penetrate to what it means. We might even have a spasm of sympathy for the king's murderous frustration with his "magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers." Lunacy impends.

The stakes for the poet, the poem, and its readers, have never been higher.

*For a parallel contemporary account of popular astronomy, see Ethan Siegal, Beyond the Galaxy. Chapter 1 here is free. 

To be continued . . . 

Al West (West's Meditations)

Marco Polo's Unicorn

      We've looked at a few of the marvels recorded in Polo's Devisement and Odoric's Relatio over the past couple of weeks. It's important to bear in mind that marvels are what the European travellers were interested in: accurate commercial and political information was considered less important than a good marvel, at least until some point in the fifteenth century, when Western European exploration became serious business. Before that, marvels were travel-writing gold.
Read more »

The Egyptiana Emporium

NEWS: Radar scans in King Tut’s tomb suggest hidden chambers


Hirokatsu Watanabe, a radar specialist from Japan, pushes his specially modified Koden-brand machine along the north wall of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber (Source: National Geographic).

“After two days of radar scans in the tomb of Tutankhamun, archaeologists have concluded that preliminary examination of the data provides evidence that unopened sections lie behind two hidden doorways in the pharaoh’s underground burial chamber.

The results, announced Saturday morning at a news conference in Luxor, bolster the theory of Nicholas Reeves, a British archaeologist who believes that the tomb contains another royal burial. The hidden tomb, he has speculated, belongs to Nefertiti, King Tut’s mother-in-law, who may have ruled as a female pharaoh during Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. If so, this would be only the second intact royal burial site to be discovered in modern times—and it would, in the words of Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Egyptian antiquities minister, represent “one of the most important finds of the century.” At the press conference, he said he was “90 percent positive” that another chamber lies behind the north wall of the tomb.
On Friday, Eldamaty stood next to that wall, which is painted with a scene depicting the burial rituals of the boy pharaoh, who ruled in the 14th century B.C. “The radar scan tells us that on this side of the north wall, we have two different materials,” he said. “We believe that there could be another chamber.”

The scans—conducted by Hirokatsu Watanabe, a Japanese radar specialist— also provide evidence of a second hidden doorway in the adjoining west wall.

Together these features lend credence to Reeves’s theory, which he made public in July. Since then examinations of the physical features of the burial chamber have added support. But until the tests began on Thursday, the evidence ran no deeper than the surface of the walls. Radar scans had never previously been conducted in the tomb, and they represent a crucial step in the investigation. For the first time, specialists have collected data about both the material structure of the walls and the open spaces behind them. It’s these spaces that are most intriguing—they could contain artifacts and possibly even burial goods that rival those found with Tutankhamun.

“Everything is adding up,” Reeves, a National Geographic grantee, told me on Thursday evening, immediately after a suspenseful examination with the radar. We were standing next to the north wall, whose painted scene has been visible since 1922, when Howard Carter rediscovered the tomb. But after observing the scans, I found that the wall looked different to me—I couldn’t help but imagine what may lie beyond. “The tomb is not giving up its secrets easily,” Reeves continued. “But it is giving them up, bit by bit. It’s another result. And nothing is contradicting the basic direction of the theory.”

The first scans in the tomb happened to be scheduled for Thanksgiving, and they began at dusk, after the tourists had left and the Valley of the Kings had fallen silent. Watanabe had last worked in the Valley 15 years ago on another Reeves project. Those scans revealed a number of features that appeared to be underground chambers, one of which turned out to be a tomb. (The others have yet to be investigated further.) Watanabe has also used radar to identify previously hidden ancient monuments in South America. Both of these projects involved radar machines that pointed downward. Such equipment is generally used by engineers; the radar can locate rebar in bridge decks, for example, or find structural weaknesses.

In 2009, a Madrid-based team of conservators and artists called Factum Arte began conducting high-resolution laser scans of the tomb.
After [an] aborted scan, Watanabe tinkered with the radar machine […]. The room hushed, and he began to push the cart along the wall once more. After moving a little more than half of the distance, he broke the silence: “They changed the material here.”

This was exactly the point at which there seemed to be a doorway on the Factum Arte scans. Watanabe is not an Egyptologist, and he had not studied Reeves’s ideas closely, but what he observed on the radar matched up. He did one more scan of the west wall, and then he proceeded to the north. “It’s just a solid wall,” he called out, at the beginning. He reached the section of the wall that Reeves had proposed was a blocked-over partition. “There is a change from here,” Watanabe announced.

After he was finished, he studied the multicolored bars that ran across the computer screen. “Obviously it’s an entrance to something,” he said through a translator. “It’s very obvious that this is something. It’s very deep.”

The next day, Eldamaty and Reeves confirmed that the initial analysis of the data was extremely encouraging. It showed at least two materials: bedrock and something else. “The transition from solid bedrock to non-solid bedrock, to artificial material, it seems, was immediate,” Reeves said, speaking of the north wall. “The transition was not gradual. There was a strict, straight, vertical line, which corresponds perfectly with the line in the ceiling. It seems to suggest that the antechamber continues through the burial chamber as a corridor.” He continued: “The radar people tell me that we can also recognize that behind this partition there is a void.” Eldamaty has said that Watanabe will spend another month analyzing the data, and then he will give final, detailed results” – via National Geographic.

Read more here.

NEWS: ‘Well-preserved’ sarcophagus of 22nd dynasty nobleman unearthed in Egypt’s Luxor


An anthropoid sarcophagus of a 22nd dynasty nobleman was discovered in El-Assassif necropolis on Luxor’s West Bank (Source: Ahram Online).

“During [Thursday’s] inspection tour in Luxor’s West Bank around the tomb of the 22nd dynasty’s Amenhotep-Hwi (TT28), Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty announced the discovery of the sarcophagus of a 22nd dynasty nobleman named Ankh-If-Khonsu.
Eldamaty explained that the sarcophagus was found to be well preserved and in excellent condition after being unearthed from a niche carved in the tomb’s rock. The find was made early this week by a Spanish mission from the Institute of Ancient Egyptian studies in collaboration with an Egyptian mission from the ministry of antiquities. 

(Source: Ahram Online).

 Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities department Mahmoud Afifi said that the sarcophagus is in the very distinct style of the 22nd dynasty and it is carved from wood that is covered in a layer of plaster.

The sarcophagus depicts the facial features of the deceased wearing a wig and a crown made of flowers. His chest is decorated with a necklace and he is holding papyri flowers. Afifi added that the sarcophagus is decorated with hieroglyphic texts and scenes depicting the deceased in different positions before deities Osiris, Nefertem, Anubis, and Hathor.

Sultan Eid, head of the central administration of Upper Egypt, told Ahram Online that the sarcophagus contains a mummy, but it has not been yet studied” – via Ahram Online.

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

online book chats

Exlibris logo, click for website This blog is an adjunct to The Roman History Reading Group which meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month except August in our chat room from 9:30 to 11:00 p.m. US EST (UTC/GMT -05).  This means that in Asia and Australia/Pacific, it's daytime. Here is a world time clock as a general assistance for non-USAns.

Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM.

2015 Reading Schedule
2016 Reading Schedule

9781616953874December is Mystery Month!

December 2 
The Marathon Conspiracy
by Gary Corby / author chat
al9780312582432so as eBook

December 16
Last Seen in Massilia
by Steven Saylor
9780312582432also as eBook


January 6 & 20,
February 3
First Man in Rome
by Colleen McCullough

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Ancient Peoples

Gold hairpin (showing a woman’s head and hairstyle)Made in...

Gold hairpin (showing a woman’s head and hairstyle)

Made in Northern France, 3rd–4th century AD (late Roman), 9 cm long.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Oil Patch Photos

I had to pull together some of my photographs from the oil patch. 

IMG 2543










IMG 2539



Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Klesarstvo i graditeljstvo - Building and Stone-masonry

 [First posted in AWOL 10 February 2010, updated 28 November 2015]

Klesarstvo i graditeljstvo - Building and Stone-masonry
ISSN: 0353-7897
Časopis Klesarstvo i graditeljstvo je zamišljen kao mjesto sučeljavanja i razmjene znanstvenih spoznaja koja zalaze u područje arheologije, povijesti umjetnosti i graditeljstva, povijesti tehničkih znanosti, očuvanja i zaštite kulturne baštine i kulturnog identiteta sredine, arhitekture i urbanizma, tehnologije branja, obrade, ugradbe i zaštite kamena, petrologije, geologije, rudarstva, područja umjetnosti i klesarstva, kiparstva i dizajna u kamenu. Izuzetno je značajna i njegova didaktička vrijednost za najširi krug građana, ljubitelja kamena i klesarskog umijeća, učenika, studenata akademije i postdiplomaca različitih usmjerenja. Časopis je pokrenut kao realizacija ideje izrečene tijekom proslave 80-te obljetnice osnutka Klesarske škole u Pučišćima. Opseg časopisa obuhvaća sva područja koja s bilo koje strane osvjetljavaju tematiku kamena.

Building and Stonemasonry journal is intended as a meeting point for the exchange of scientific knowledge, and the discussion of that knowledge, reaching into areas of archaeology, art history, construction, technical science history, the preservation and protection of the cultural heritage and cultural identity of a certain region, architecture and urbanism, the technology of harvesting, treatment, installation and protection of stone, petrology, geology and mining, as well as the fields of artistry, stone masonry, sculpture, and stone design.

Its didactic value is also extremely relevant for a wide group of people; stone and stonemasonry craft lovers, pupils, academy students and post graduates of various orientations. This journal was launched as an implementation of the idea presented during the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Stonemasonry School in Pučišća, on the island of Brač.

The volume of the journal encompasses all areas, thus illuminating all the various aspects of stone themes.

  Vol. XXV   No. 1-4
  Vol. XXIV   No. 1-2
  Vol. XXIII   No. 1-4
  Vol. XXII   No. 3-4
  Vol. XXII   No. 1-2
  Vol. XXI   No. 3-4
  Vol. XXI   No. 1-2
  Vol. XX   No. 3-4
  Vol. XX   No. 1-2

G.W. Schwendner (What's New in Papyrology)

BASP 52 (2015)

In Memoriam Leslie S.B. MacCoull
Roger S. Bagnall and James G. Keenan     5

A Hexameter Fragment in the Beinecke Library
Mark de Kreij     7

Letter about pentarouroi machimoi (and Another Ptolemaic Text)
Nicola Reggiani     15

School and Documentary Texts from Kharga Oasis at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Michael Zellmann-Rohrer     27

Papontos and the Hermaion Amphodon of Oxyrhynchus
Brice C. Jones     39

List of Payments (P.Mich. inv. 3935a)
Jaclyn Neel     45
(note that it should be διπλᾶ where it says διπλῆ)

A Labor Contract from the Dossier of Flavius Eulogius and His Descendants
C. Michael Sampson     59

A Byzantine Monastic Letter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Michael Zellmann-Rohrer     69

Un contrat de prêt copte du monastère d’apa Apollô à Baouît conservé à la collection Palau-Ribes
María Jesús Albarrán Martínez et Alain Delattre     79

Papyri, Archaeology, and Modern History: A Contextual Study of the Beginnings of Papyrology and Egyptology
Paola Davoli     87

Papyri, Ethics, and Economics: A Biography of P.Oxy. 15.1780 (𝔓39)
Roberta Mazza     113

A Michigan Musical Papyrus Revisited
Rebecca Ann Sears     143

P.Grenf. 1.5, Origen, and the Scriptorium of Caesarea
Francesca Schironi     181

Evaluating Scribal Freedom and Fidelity: Number-Writing Techniques in Codex Washingtonianus (W 032)
Zachary J. Cole     225

A Contribution to the Revenues of the Crocodile in the Imperial Fayum: The Temple Tax on Property Transfer Revisited
Andreas Winkler     239

The Woeful Adventures of a Small Greek Papyrus from Elephantine
Eddy Lanciers     265

The Prefecture of Caecilius Consultius
Caillan Davenport     275

Notes on Papyri
(Andrew Connor, Dieter Hagedorn, James G. Keenan, and Nikos Litinas) 283
Christian Inscriptions from Egypt and Nubia 2 (2014)
Alain Delattre, Jitse Dijkstra, and Jacques van der Vliet     297
Review Article
New Light on a Dark Corner of the Hermopolite Nome
Peter van Minnen     315
Sofía Torallas Tovar and Klaas A. Worp, with the collaboration of Alberto Nodar and María Victoria Spottorno, Greek Papyri from Montserrat
(Peter van Minnen)     325

Andrea Jördens (ed.), Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Ägypten, Achtundzwanzigster Band
(Arthur Verhoogt)     329

J.D. Ray, Demotic Ostraca and Other Inscriptions from the Sacred Animal Necropolis, North Saqqara
(Koen Donker van Heel)     331

Brian P. Muhs, Receipts, Scribes, and Collectors in Early Ptolemaic Thebes
(J.G. Manning)     335

Suzana Hodak, Tonio Sebastian Richter, and Frank Steinmann (eds.), Coptica. Koptische Ostraka und Papyri, koptische und griechische Grabstelen aus Ägypten und Nubien, spätantike Bauplastik, Textilien und Keramik
(Jennifer Cromwell)     337

G. Bastianini and A. Casanova (eds.), I Papiri di Eschilo e di Sofocle. Atti del convegno internazionale di studi, Firenze 14-15 giugno 2012
(Francesca Schironi)     351

Voula Tsouna, Philodemus on Property Management
(Richard Janko)     355

Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse and Stéphanie Wackenier (eds.), L’ armée en Égypte aux époques perse, ptolémaïque et romaine
(Arthur Verhoogt)     359

Kostas Buraselis, Mary Stefanou, and Dorothy J. Thompson (eds.), The Ptolemies, the Sea and the Nile: Studies in Waterborne Power
(Ian S. Moyer)     363

John Bauschatz, Law and Enforcement in Ptolemaic Egypt
(Ari Z. Bryen)     369

Philippa Lang, Medicine and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt
(Susan A. Stephens)     375 

Sabine R. Huebner, The Family in Roman Egypt: A Comparative Approach to Intergenerational Solidarity and Conflict
(Jennifer Sheridan Moss)     379
Books Received     381
American Studies in Papyrology     383

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

A translator's thoughts on making a new Iliad

Arline shared this interview with Caroline Alexander, whose new translation of the Iliad recently was released to high expectations, including her own:
“I know this sounds arrogant,” Ms. Alexander said, but she couldn’t imagine taking on the project “unless you believed you could do a better job.” She spent five years on her translation. Her goal is for her version to become the “translation of record.”
Alexander's discussion of her decisions in this translation are worth reading. Some have to do with diction (lexis):
I worked hard for restraint, and my mantra was “trust Homer, trust Homer.” I knew that if I could find the simple English word for his simple Greek, work for cadence—spoken cadence, not the cadence of “high” poetry—it would work.
Asked about a recent Hollywood treatment featuring Brad Pitt, she moves to another level of the work of the translator -- this not so much on the lexical level as on the level of thought (logos):
I didn’t watch the whole film. But I did see his first big kill in the opening 10 minutes. A stunning bit of stunt-work, very athletic and adroit, and totally un-Achillean. It implied that Achilles’ greatness as a warrior lay in his skill. Having just finished working on a documentary about tigers, I would venture that confronting Achilles would be more like coming face-to-face with a tiger than with a tricky swordsman.
This too is reading -- translating lived experience and that of the poem into a new vernacular of living images.

Turkish Archaeological News


When travelers visit the south-eastern Anatolian province of Mardin, they usually feel that they need to see just one place - the capital of the province. Meanwhile, in the area there are relatively little known but very interesting ruins of the ancient city of Dara. In the early Byzantine times, Dara was an important fortress, located in northern Mesopotamia, near the border with the Persian Sassanid Empire. Because of this strategic location, in the 6th century AD Dara witnessed many military conflicts, of which the most important was the famous Battle of Dara, fought in 530 AD. So if you get to Mardin, then try also to go to Dara, and certainly you will not regret this trip.

Ancient City of Dara, Mesopotamia

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Woodhenge sign stolen

Source: Historic England
The site of Woodhenge in Wiltshire was discovered in the 1920s through aerial observation and it was excavated in 1928. It was placed in state guardianship and metal plaques erected by the Ministry of Works to interpret the site for visitors.

This important part of the heritage of the site has now been stolen.

Woodhenge lies some 2 miles from Stonehenge.

Phil McMahon, inspector of ancient monuments for Historic England is quoted ("Historic prehistoric monument Woodhenge plaques stolen", BBC News November 28, 2015):
The sad theft of these historic plaques has deprived us of an important aspect of the story of Woodhenge. 
They represent a key part of one of the earliest attempts to interpret and present to the public the complex and internationally-significant prehistoric monuments of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. 
We very much hope that the plaques can be recovered and restored to their rightful place at Woodhenge.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

BiblePlaces Blog

Weekend Roundup

An 8-year-old boy discovered the head of an Iron Age figurine while visiting the site of Beth Shemesh.

A mosaic with an inscription from Isaiah 65 has been discovered near Adana, Turkey.

Archaeologists have found a “giant fence” at Tell ed-Daba that dates to the time of the Hyksos’ invasion.

The Algemeiner: “Hamas forces seized a chest full of Ottoman-era gold coins discovered in Gaza.”

Police arrested an antiquities dealer near Beth Shean with a collection of more than 3,000 illegally obtained coins.

Google is adding Petra to its “Street View.” The queen of Jordan contributed by writing the company’s blog post. I’m impressed.

Fadi Shawkat Haddad has released A Christian Pilgrimage Journey in Jordan. Haddad is a Christian tour guide in Jordan whom I worked with many years ago. The book covers 80 sites and costs $20 plus postage.

The Summer 2015 issue of DigSight is now available in pdf format. This issue includes a report on the season at Lachish, the Ishbaal inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa, and upcoming events.

Charles E. Jones has expanded his bibliography of autobiographies of archaeologists and given it a new home.

A team of researchers is learning more about how vellum was produced for pocket Bibles in the medieval period.

Premier Exhibitions recently had a media preview of its King Tut exhibition. It features more than 1,000 precisely crafted replicas, arranged in the exact manner found by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

Qedem Reports is now accessible online through JSTOR. In the future, all Qedem volumes will be available.

The Biblical Archaeology Society is running a Thanksgiving sale with discounts up to 85%.

The future of archaeology is non-invasive and non-destructive technologies.

This week on the Land and the Book: Bible Exploration Tech Tools with Scott Lindsey from Logos Bible Software.

Here’s more on the new papyrus of the Gospel of John.

BibleX has an interesting post on Paul and Bedbugs.

Israeli archaeologist Yoram Tsafrir died on Monday.

HT: Charles Savelle, Agade, Joseph Lauer, Pat McCarthy, Ted Weis

Archaeological News on Tumblr

King Tut tomb scans show '90 percent' chance of hidden room

LUXOR , Egypt, Nov. 28 (UPI) – Egyptian officials said Saturday there is a 90 percent chance...

The Archaeology News Network

Scans of Tutankhamun's tomb suggest hidden rooms

Scans in Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings point to a hidden chamber, the country's antiquities minister said Saturday, possibly heralding the discovery of Queen Nefertiti's resting place. Hirokatsu Watanabe, a radar specialist from Japan, pushes his specially modified  Koden-brand machine along the north wall of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber  [Credit: Brando Quilici/National Geographic]"We can now say that we...

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

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Papyrus und Ostraka Projekt: Halle, Jena, Leipzig

Papyrus und Ostraka Projekt: Halle, Jena, Leipzig
Das gemeinsame Vorhaben der Papyrussammlungen in Halle, Jena und Leipzig hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, die jeweiligen Papyrus-und seit 2009 auch die Ostrakabestände nach gemeinsam entwickelten Kriterien zu katalogisieren, zu digitalisieren sowie gleichzeitig eine Sicherheitsverfilmung durchzuführen. Die Ergebnisse der Digitalisierung und Katalogisierung werden mit Kurzbeschreibung und Bild über diese Seite sowohl den Spezialisten als auch einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit zur Verfügung gestellt. Die Implementierung erfolgte auf Basis des Open Source Projektes MyCoRe, welches von einer Reihe deutscher Universitäten entwickelt wurde und weiterentwickelt wird.

Achtung, die Präsentation der Papyri befindet sich derzeit im Aufbau bzw. in Erweiterung. In den kommenden Monaten wird die Zahl der eingestellten Papyri stetig weiter steigen. Wir freuen uns, dass nach und nach für ausgewählte Ostraka 3D-Darstellungen angeboten werden können. Diese finden Sie in der Ansicht des Objektes unter 'Digitale Dokumente'. Die Darstellung erfolgt mit WebGL. Ob Ihr Browser diese Funktion bereits unterstützt, können Sie unter überprüfen.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

"Who owns art" turned into "Safe harbor" debate

The dealer and collectors' hackneyed argument "who owns art (anyway)?" began losing steam when faced with the rightful riposte that its not so much about "whether" to collect, but "how", it's not about ownership but standards and best practice. As a result they've drifted away from that, and redirected attention by depicting what they do as some form of "opposition" to a partly mythologised Hostile Other ("who threatens the values we all hold dear"). In other words they are attempting to garner support for extremist views by scapegoatism.

Thus we have seen the emergence of the "Safe harbor" trope in recent years. This has gone on alongside the "ISIL makes money by looting sites" trope (which in itself is the same kind of rhetorical and social engineering tactic which can be suggested to have its origins in the group of academics and activists gathered around the US Department of State). Dealers and collectors are currently being vilified (quite justifiably in my opinion) for failing to adapt to the changing circumstances in which the market finds itself by demanding and producing documentation verifying licit provenance (collecting histories) of the objects they handle.  Instead of responsibly buckling down to find ways of doing this and establish new standards of best practice in the industry, they strike out on a tangent. Employing a Two Wrongs argument has always been their main escape  and here it is too. For a long time collectors have claimed that by hoiking artefacts out of their archaeological context or removing them from a monument, they are "saving art" ("saving art for everybody by putting it in my private collection"). Unwilling to think up more sophisticated excuses, this is the one they are going with in the industry's 'ISIS-Crisis'.  Suddenly they start presenting the whole heritage debate in terms of "Syria" (but rarely post-2003 Iraq) and "the fight against ISIL" (as if ISIL was the only foreign group of militants anyone ever need to 'think' about).

Their argument goes like this:
"ISIL destroy monuments" they say (linking to no end of shocking ISIL propaganda videos showing them doing precisely that).
"This art is extremely important, the most important thing in this whole conflict", they say (falling haplessly into the very trap the provocation has set up for them).
"This uncivilised behaviour must STOP"  they say (showing they share the same values as the rest of us)
"We must bring everything we can carry off to our country where it is safe" they say (assuming their country will never become in any way a threat - the Paris seven attacked a theatre and restaurants, they could have done the same in a museum),
"regardless of how we get our hands on the art, the art is more important than anything else, it is OUR heritage and we wants it", they say.

First of all, Syria, Iraq and other regions of the MENA area are conflict zones, when Europe was last a conflict zone in the lifetime of our parents (and sadly for some in southern and eastern Europe the lifetime of our generation too), cultural heritage was damaged. Some artefacts did get evacuated to the US - and in some cases like the Hungarian Royal Crown, it took the Americans a long time to give it back after the War ended (I have discussed other removals of items from Europe in 1945 by the US, both state-sponsored and private, elsewhere in this blog. Russia likewise has stuff "evacuated" from the front line in 1944/45 which still has not come back). Obviously, despite the existence f international conventions and what we all would want to be otherwise, destruction of monuments and heritage (and much else besides) is what happens in any social conflict. Unfortunately there are inevitably those who see the breakdown of the old order in such situations as an opportunity to take things which would otherwise be unavailable. They take them for themselves - or more often than not for sale.

While we can all agree that the destruction of heritage must be prevented and halted, gathering up the loose bits and taking them out of the country as trophies to an imagined philanthropism (which in reality is masking greed) is quite obviously not the way this can be achieved. In particular this is not the case when the introduction of these desired things onto the market is potentially doing its part to perpetuate the conflict (it is not enough to attempt to dismiss the issue on the grounds that there is contention in the shadowyness of the antiquities market about the scale at which the latter is the case).

There are a huge number of issues that need to be debated around the simplistic gung-ho "America (or France) Saves the World's Art" argument. This is especially the case when it primarily comes to the public domain when used merely as a deflecting tactic by the dealers' lobbyists (see what Peter Tompa and the ADCAEA are up to) and big-colonial-museums-must-have-more-stuff brigade (James Cuno is the poster-boy). We need to examine very closely the motivations of those who support such schemes, and - in particular - look at the effects on the citizens of the source countries.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Jesus’ Words Updated for Bird Lovers

And Jesus said to her, “It is not appropriate to take the birds’ food and throw it to the squirrels.”

The Syrophoenician woman replied, “But sir, even the squirrels eat seeds that fall from the birds’ feeder!”

People with bird feeders who also know the Gospels will get it…

2015-11-19 14.18.13



Per Lineam Valli

Driving Hadrian’s Wall: the Main Car Parks VI

Carrawburgh (NNP)

Coordinates: N55.035646, W2.220416 Facilities: none

Carrawburgh car park is immediately next to the B6318 (the Military Road) so is pretty much impossible to miss, whether travelling from the east or west. It is another of the Northumberland National Park car parks for which a season ticket can be acquired; an ordinary ticket bought from the machine here can be used on that day at any of the other National Park car parks along the Wall.


Always be aware of the possibility of thieves operating in the car park. Follow signs for the Hadrian’s Wall Path to access sites to either side of Carrawburgh. Stout footwear is advisable. Access to the fort and museum is by a paved path.

Carrawburgh car parkZone 1 (100m)

1. Carrawburgh fort

Zone 2 (500m)

2. The Temple of Mithras or mithraeum

Zone 4 (2 km)

3. Wall ditch Wall Mile 30

4. Limestone Corner

5. Vallum Wall Mile 30

Zone 5 (3km)

6. Curtain wall (between Limestone Corner and Black Carts)

7. Black Carts Turret

8. Milecastle 29

Jim Davila (

Gittin (ed.), The Ancient Pottery of Israel and Its Neighbors

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Fishbane, Jewish Hermeneutical Theology

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Fiensy and Strange (eds), Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods

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Crawford and Wassen (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran and the Concept of a Library

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Lieu, Neither Jew Nor Greek

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AIA Fieldnotes

Northern California Souk & Egyptology Lecture: "Driving Pharaoh's Chariots"

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Northern California Chapter, American Research Center in Egypt
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Sunday, December 13, 2015 - 2:30pm

The Northern California Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt; the Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley; and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, are sponsoring a lecture by Kathy Hansen, Independent Researcher.

LECTURE:   2:30 p.m.  Sunday, December 13, 2015
SOUK :        1:30 p.m. Come early for the chapter's
                    annual Souk and stock up on holiday gifts.

No charge, donations are welcomed. Read more »


Glenn Meyer
Call for Papers: 

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Friday Retrospect: What the Supporters of "Partnership" Ignore

In my opinion, those who think that we will get that much-needed "best practice" from UK metal detectorists by patting them all on the head, cooing and being everso-nice are deluding themselves: 'UK Metal Detecting: Heritage Action Challenged Again (Yawn), by a Newbie '. After presenting some thoughts on the typical sort of responses we hear from a typical range of metal detectorists, I conclude, I think not without reason:
In my opinion, long term observation of this phenomenon indicates starkly that it's a waste of money trying to outreach to those that resist education. And its a waste of time British archaeologists persisting in  faffing around at the tax-payers' expense trying to achieve the unachievable for the only reason that its easier to deceive yourself and others that its different than it is, than actually taking real action to deal with the problem of collection-driven exploitation (CDE) of the archaeological record head on.
Nobody has thought fit to challenge that point of view. Ask your FLO why not.

[Mr Currell by the way never came back with any more of his Jim-Bob 'justifications'. I doubt that this is because he reconsidered his opinion and decided to STOP pocketing the evidence of Britain's past.]


Museums, Dealers and Collectors Getting Hands on Foreign Ancient Objects

Jonathan Tokeley Parry and friend
CBC Radio recently re-ran material first broadcast in June 2015: 'Who Owns Ancient Art? Part 1' ( Friday November 20, 2015)  Listen to Full Episode 54:00' and 'Who Owns Ancient Art? Part 2' (Friday November 27, 2015) Listen to Full Episode 53:59.

The blurb reads:
When the the Taliban and ISIS destroy ancient artifacts, the world responds with outrage. But where should that outrage lead: taking ancient art out of the country of origin? Or would that amount to what some have called neo-colonialism and cultural genocide? Just who owns ancient art? That's the central question that Paul Kennedy explores in this two-part series, produced by contributor Anik See.
Among those interviewed: Jonathan Tokeley-Parry, Matthew Bogdanos, James Cuno, Nika Collison (member of the Haida Nation, and curator at the Haida Gwaii Museum.

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: November 27

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. If you are looking for free PDF copies of my books, you can find links to all of them here: #PDF Tribute to Aaron Swartz

HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem quintum Kalendas Decembres.

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


3-WORD MOTTOES: Today's 3-word motto is Nemo solus sapit (English: No one is wise by himself).

3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word proverb is Nil inultum remanebit (English: Nothing will remain unavenged).

RHYMING PROVERBS: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Debilis ac fortis veniunt ad limina mortis (English: Weak and strong, they come to the threshold of death).

VULGATE VERSES: Today's verse is Oritur sol et occidit et ad locum suum revertitur, ibique renascens (Ecc. 1:5). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

ELIZABETHAN PROVERBS: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Sera in fundo parsimonia: It is to late sparinge at the botome. This sentence of Seneca is worthy to be written uppon the boxes of all those houses, of al countinge houses, upon al kaskettes, al vessels of wine or such like thinges. It monisheth us to spare betimes, and not to follow the common sorte of prodigal yongkers, which whan theyr landes and goods be ones fallen into theyr hands, think there is no botome of theyr fathers bagges and cofers, nor no boundes of theyr landes.

BREVISSIMA: The distich poster for today is Omnes Sunt Felices, Ubi Omnes Amici. Click here for a full-sized view.

And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

Liber medicina animi.
A book is the soul's medicine.

Omnia bona desuper.
All good things come from above.


FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Canes Duo et Os, in which a third party profits from the quarrel (this fable has a vocabulary list).

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Crocodilus et Canis, a fable in which the dog is not fooled by that crocodile.

Canis et Crocodilus

Greek Bible Art - and Latin and English, too. Below is one of my Greek Bible Art graphics; for the individual Greek, Latin and English versions of the graphic, see the blog post: ἵππον καὶ ἀναβάτην ἔρριψεν εἰς θάλασσαν. Equum et ascensorem deiecit in mare. The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

November 27, 2015

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

New Releases: Ancient Books for the Holiday Season!

Books: SPQR - Mary Beard

Buy this book


Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (November 9, 2015)


A sweeping, revisionist history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists.

Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a “mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war” that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R., world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty.

From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 ce―nearly a thousand years later―when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of “The Senate and People of Rome”) examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation.

Opening the book in 63 bce with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this “terrorist conspiracy,” which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome’s subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us, though in a wholly different way, to famous and familiar characters―Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others―while expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome’s glorious conquests.

Like the best detectives, Beard sifts fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record, refusing either simple admiration or blanket condemnation. Far from being frozen in marble, Roman history, she shows, is constantly being revised and rewritten as our knowledge expands. Indeed, our perceptions of ancient Rome have changed dramatically over the last fifty years, and S.P.Q.R., with its nuanced attention to class inequality, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.


Books: Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar - Tom Holland

Buy this book

Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Doubleday (October 20, 2015)


Author and historian Tom Holland returns to his roots in Roman history and the audience he cultivated with Rubicon—his masterful, witty, brilliantly researched popular history of the fall of the Roman republic—with Dynasty, a luridly fascinating history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors.

Dynasty continues Rubicon’s story, opening where that book ended: with the murder of Julius Caesar. This is the period of the first and perhaps greatest Roman Emperors and it’s a colorful story of rule and ruination, running from the rise of Augustus through to the death of Nero. Holland’s expansive history also has distinct shades of I Claudius, with five wonderfully vivid (and in three cases, thoroughly depraved) Emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—featured, along with numerous fascinating secondary characters. Intrigue, murder, naked ambition and treachery, greed, gluttony, lust, incest, pageantry, decadence—the tale of these five Caesars continues to cast a mesmerizing spell across the millennia.


Books: Augustine: Conversions to Confessions - Robin Lane Fox.

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Augustine: Conversions to Confessions

Author: Robin Lane Fox

Publisher: Basic Books (November 3, 2015)


Saint Augustine is one of the most influential figures in all of Christianity, yet his path to sainthood was by no means assured. Born in AD 354 to a pagan father and a Christian mother, Augustine spent the first thirty years of his life struggling to understand the nature of God and his world. He learned about Christianity as a child but was never baptized, choosing instead to immerse himself in the study of rhetoric, Manicheanism, and then Neoplatonism—all the while indulging in a life of lust and greed.

In Augustine, the acclaimed historian Robin Lane Fox re-creates Augustine’s early life with unparalleled insight, showing how Augustine’s quest for knowledge and faith finally brought him to Christianity and a life of celibacy. Augustine’s Confessions, a vivid description of his journey toward conversion and baptism, still serves as a model of spirituality for Christians around the world.

Magisterial and beautifully written, Augustine will be the definitive biography of this colossal figure for decades to come.


Books: Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Deckle Edge.

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Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

Author: Tim Whitmarsh

Publisher: Knopf (November 10, 2015)


How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities.

Homer’s epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece’s only “sacred texts,” but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or “godless.” Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata.

Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity’s establishment as Rome’s state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label “atheist” was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy—and so it would remain for centuries.

As the twenty-first century shapes up into a time of mass information, but also, paradoxically, of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions, Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking. By shining a light on atheism’s first thousand years, Battling the Gods offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own, and, indeed, its own heroes.


Books: The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge - Paul Anthony Rahe.

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The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge

Author:  Paul Anthony Rahe

Publisher:Yale University Press (November 24, 2015)


More than 2500 years ago a confederation of small Greek city-states defeated the invading armies of Persia, the most powerful empire in the world. In this meticulously researched study, historian Paul Rahe argues that Sparta was responsible for the initial establishment of the Hellenic defensive coalition and was, in fact, the most essential player in its ultimate victory.

Drawing from an impressive range of ancient sources, including Herodotus and Plutarch, the author veers from the traditional Atheno-centric view of the Greco-Persian Wars to examine from a Spartan perspective the grand strategy that halted the Persian juggernaut. Rahe provides a fascinating, detailed picture of life in Sparta circa 480 B.C., revealing how the Spartans’ form of government and the regimen to which they subjected themselves instilled within them the pride, confidence, discipline, and discernment necessary to forge an alliance that would stand firm against a great empire, driven by religious fervor, that held sway over two-fifths of the human race.

The post New Releases: Ancient Books for the Holiday Season! appeared first on History of the Ancient World.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Iraqi Smuggler caught

Smuggler apprehended by Iraqi commandos NW of Baghdad in possession of ancient antiquities. To whom were they on the way?

Wick Hoard Mashup

The Mail account of a new hoard buried in or after the reign of Marcus Aurelius (c. 160) has to be one of the worst-written in recent years (Sarah Griffiths, ' Hoard of Roman coins dating back to Mark Antony are discovered in Welsh field' MailOnline 26 November 2015). It should actually be about the Treasure inquest, because the hoard was found some time ago. The text of the article wanders round random topics in a wholly confused way, the ultimate in British portable antiquities dumbdown. Without the space-filling waffle the main facts are:
A hoard of silver coins [....] have [sic] been discovered in a Welsh field [...], the 91 coins have been hailed by history experts as 'a significant find' and could be worth 'tens of thousands of pounds.'[...] They were unearthed by two friends out walking in a field near the small village of Wick in South Wales [...] Consultant psychiatrist Dr Richard Annear, 65 and John Player, 43, came across the small pot containing the money, including three particularly old silver denarii. They reported it to curators who were able to remove a chunk of soil containing the delicate find safely. 
Except the photo of that "delicate pot" shows the archaeologists did not do a very good job of it. It is not explained how "walkers" found a buried pot with coins. Perhaps they have X-ray eyes that can see through soil. But no, the problem seems to be that the reporters today found it in some way embarrassing to mention they'd been using metal detectors. As Edward Besly explains:

 Posted on You Tube by Wales News TV


The Archaeology News Network

Reformation 'recycling' may have saved rare painting

A rare medieval painting depicting Judas' betrayal of Christ may have survived destruction at the hands of 16th century iconoclasts after being 'recycled' to list the Ten Commandments instead. Detail from The Kiss of Judas [Credit: Hamilton Kerr Institute  & Fitzwilliam Museum] Now on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum, The Kiss of Judas, is one of the rarest artworks of its type. At the time of the Reformation and during the...

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Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

"Detectorists" Responsible detectorists caught "Nighthawking"

Fans of the comedy series "Detectorists" will probably be disappointed by the second series which has not really got anywhere at all and been very lacklustre in the comedy, last night's was the penultimate episode (there will be a Christmas special which is currently being filmed [spoiler alert], part of it in the BM Treasure department). The storyline still has not really taken shape, but I really enjoyed the comedy in the last episode of the walkie-talkie commentary on the "stakeout" of an aircraft crash site (apparently with Nazi gold).

What was interesting though is that the arrogant two-man "team of elite detectorists working with the museum" were nabbed "nighthawking", showing that the boundary between the two worlds is just having the right piece of paper (in this case a MOD search licence). Given that the majority of detectorists present finds to the PAS, or flog them off on eBay without showing any kind of signed search and take agreement, or finds allocation agreement whatsoever, the boundary is a fine one.

Many 'responsible detectorists' will claim to be an elite, separate from the law-breakers, but ask them for a piece of paper to show they have gained full ownership rights by a formal agreement  and it seems not all of them have any such thing. This brings us close to the fourth category of illegal artefact hunting identified recently by the Glasgow criminological theorists (see 'Whatever happened  to the "Glasgow Fourth"?' Tuesday, 5 March 2013 or search for "Glasgow Fourth").

The Archaeology News Network

Four pre-Inca tombs found at ceremonial site in Lima, Peru

Archaeologists say they have discovered tombs that are more than 1,000 years old in a pyramid-shaped cemetery in the midst of Peru's capital, Lima. The find confirms the historical presence in Lima of the Ichma culture which took hold on  the central coast around 1000 and disappeared around 1450 as Inca civilization  began to spread [Credit: AFP/Cris Bouroncle]"There are four human burial sites for adult individuals, three...

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Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Edinburgh finds Photos, Coins though are Probably half way round the world by now

In order that dealers and collectors can keep an eye open for them, the National Museum of Scotland manages to find after all photographs of the coins  of dates "1555, 1601 and 1604" stolen there September 2nd, which could well have travelled half way round the world and back in that time....  National collection shambles.  Oh, if you are a taxpayer up there, you've just lost assets worth, they say, "£20,000", while they've been looking for the photos. Go here for the pictures of three coins and two alleged suspects. I bet they'll find neither after all this time.


καπνιστήριο(ν): a Hellenistic, Byzantine, and Modern repeat neologism ?

The noun refers to a vapour bath or similar in a late Hellenistic inscription from Priene (other (conjectured) attestations), to a censer in the de Ceremoniis of Constantinus Porphyrogenitus (pp. 554-555), and, nowadays, to a smoking room (as a calque on French fumoir, salon á fumer).

The Archaeology News Network

2015 excavations of the Paphos Agora Project

The Cypriot Department of Antiquities has announced the completion of the fifth season of excavations of the Department of Classical Archaeology of the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University (JU), Kraków, Poland within the framework of the Paphos Agora Project, which aims to explore and study the Agora of the ancient city of Nea Paphos, the capital of Cyprus in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. This year, works were...

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A prosopographic problem: one man, who sets of names?

Such a question concerns one Gaius Valerius Troucillus in Caesar's Bellum Gallicum 1.19 and Gaius Valerius Procillus at Bellum Gallicum 1.4<7.4&gt; and 5<3.5>. There were of course any number of Gaii Valerii (see e.g. 1.47.4), the poet Catullus among them.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

The Silent Crisis of the UK

John Harris, 'End of austerity? A silent crisis in local services tells the true story' Guardian Thursday 26 November 2015
Over the next five years – and possibly for even longer than that – the kind of dire, drastic cuts councils have been forced to make since 2010 will be continuing. Indeed, the situation looks more impossible than ever. To quote one very reliable source: “Even if councils stop filling in potholes, maintaining parks, closed all children’s centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres and turned off every street light, they will not have saved enough money to plug the financial black hole they face by 2020.”
It seems that in the UK, certain sectors of the heritage are doomed to
fall into the same fragile category as libraries, parks, bus subsidies, welfare advice, help for homeless people, transport to school for children with special educational needs, and more: a great roll call of the basics of any halfway civilised society, either under threat, or disappearing fast.
Here is a summary  from the CBAof what the Chancellor's plans mean for the historical environment.

AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

New Open Access Journal: Hadīth and Sīra Studies

Hadīth and Sīra Studies
The mission to understand Prophet Muhammad and present his message to the world based on primary sources, which Meridyen Association began in 2007 with the launch of the web portal, is now expanding to a new field.

A peer-reviewed academic journal, Hadīth and Sīra Studies, is the next step in a line of academic activities that include “The Hadīth and Sīra Research Awards”, “Sīra Workshop” and “International Sīra Studies Symposium” conducted under the project. With the focus of gathering academic research of the Prophet Muhammad’s life to reveal universal guiding principles applicable to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, this biannual journal seeks to make a meaningful contribution to the field of hadīth and sīra studies.

Hadīth and Sīra Studies recognizes the rigorous intellectual standards set by Western academia and aims to adhere to them from its first issue as part of its long-term goal to become a leading international publication. In line with its interdisciplinary perspective, Hadīth and Sīra Studies welcomes contributions from diverse fields of research.

How primary Islamic sources have been understood and interpreted throughout history shapes the way they are understood by the present generation. It is therefore necessary to both convey the Islamic tradition through a re-evaluation and analysis of the literature written during previous centuries, and to make it relevant to contemporary problems. The critical and philosophical ideas voiced since the 18th century in both the East and West cannot be ignored and must be engaged with by hadīth and sīra studies. Classical Islamic texts should be reread and at the same time rediscovered in light of these intellectual developments. In tackling these significant issues, the importance of adopting both an international and interdisciplinary approach becomes clear. At this current time, Hadīth and Sīra Studies intends to publish articles in Arabic, English, German and French in addition to Turkish.

We welcome your academic contributions addressing the separate or common issues of hadīth and sīra studies, as well as those connecting them to relevant disciplines, for our second issue which will be published in May 2016.

Deadline for submissions: 15th March 2016

Volume:1 Issue:1 Autumn 2015


Very ealry Boeotian inscriptions

Buck, no. 38.2 (= Schwyzer 440.12 = Wachter, R., Non-Attic Greek Vase Inscriptions, Oxford 2001: n. 45 on BOI 10f + n. 74) is cited from Arch.Eph. 1900.107. The materials behind LSAG (94, no. 2, pl. 7, no. 2) seem to be all that is available online.

For ϝισϝ-, see IPArk 15 and IG V, 2, 321A21.

The LSAG materials for Buck, no. 38.1 (cited from the same periodical) are also available. Δε̄μοθέρε̄ς is described as a 'Euboic name on a bronze lebes from Thebes'at 88.23. Schwyzer notes simply: 'Δε̄μο.: ε̄ alienam originem prodit.'.

Antigona, a courtesan at Athens

An Ἀντιγόνᾱ appears in Hyperides, Against Athenogenes 3 and 5. The same non-Attic-Ionic formation appears in Theoc.17.61 (the wife of Ptolemy son of Lagus) and in Plutarch, On the Fortune of Alexander, 339 E-F.

LGPN knows 57 Antigonai.

ArcheoNet BE

Regionaal Landschap de Voorkempen zoekt erfgoedmedewerker

turfHet Regionaal Landschap de Voorkempen zoekt momenteel een projectmedewerker ‘Erfgoed & Landschap’ (m/v). Hij/zij werkt projecten uit rond de thema’s landschapsherstel en erfgoed, organiseert vormingen en publieksactiviteiten en neemt een aantal algemene en/of administratieve taken op. Solliciteren voor deze voltijdse functie van onbepaalde duur kan nog tot 13 december. Je vindt de volledige vacature op

BiblePlaces Blog

Black Friday Sales

Wayne Stiles has a Black Friday special today for the release of his new audiobook, Going Places with God. I’ve highly recommended the book in the past, and I expect the audiobook to be popular as well. You can get the 40% off discount here.

Amazon has lots of deals this weekend, but my favorite one is the 30% off any one book (up to $10 off). Use the code HOLIDAY30 at checkout. You’ll get the maximum discount on book that sells for $33 or more. Here are a few you might consider: has a huge 25% off sale going on this weekend. Discounts are pretty rare with these guys, so you should take a look.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Lingue antiche e moderne

 [First posted in AWOL 24 November 2013, updated 27 November 2015]

Lingue antiche e moderne
ISSN: 2281-4841
La nuova rivista “Lingue antiche e moderne” intende aprire un luogo di incontro e riflessione privilegiato per filologi classici e filologi moderni, nello spirito di collaborazione e partnership tra realtà culturali diverse che caratterizza l’Associazione dei Laureati in Lingue dell’Università di Udine, ateneo che fin dalle origini ha sempre valorizzato la presenza dell’insegnamento della lingua e letteratura latina nel corso di laurea in Lingue. L’iniziativa scientifica si segnala per la sua assoluta originalità, in opposizione al clima culturale contemporaneo, che tende invece a favorire la chiusura specialistica tra le varie discipline.

Particolarmente auspicati dalla rivista saranno perciò i contributi volti a indagare come le lingue antiche hanno continuato ad essere vitali e operanti all’interno della modernità, dall’Umanesimo al Classicismo, divenendo così anch’esse, a pieno titolo, lingue dei moderni. Ma in generale, la rivista sarà aperta alle più ampie problematiche della ricerca linguistica e filologica nei settori delle lingue antiche e delle lingue moderne.

Una prospettiva privilegiata sarà infine quella della didattica, partendo dal dato di fatto che il latino è da sempre in Europa la lingua della scuola e dell’università. Soprattutto verrà posta l’attenzione sul modo in cui le teorie linguistiche moderne continuano a confrontarsi con l’analisi delle lingue antiche. Grazie alla sua facile accessibilità gratuita on-line, la rivista si proporrà come ponte tra il mondo accademico e il mondo della scuola, nell’auspicio che la ricerca scientifica possa avere delle applicazioni pratiche nell’ambito dell’insegnamento.

The new Journal Lingue antiche e moderne aims to create a virtual meeting place of discussion for classical and modern linguists and philologists to promote the spirit of collaboration and partnership among different languages and cultures, the main tenet of the Association of Language Graduates (Associazione dei Laureati in Lingue) of the University of Udine (Italy). From the very beginning, the University of Udine has always valued the Latin language and literature offering courses in the curricula of the undergraduate and post-graduate  degrees in Foreign Languages and Literatures.

This Journal is a unique and original scientific initiative because it aims to overcome the current tendency towards divisive specialization among disciplines.

In particular, the Journal welcomes submissions which investigate how classical languages are still essential and have been highly vital and influential throughout our modern world, from Humanism to Classicism, thus becoming the languages of the Modern world. A privileged focus will be given to language teaching and learning, since in Europe Latin has always been the language par excellence in schools and universities. More specifically, the Journal will focus on how present-day language theories influence the analysis of ancient and classical languages and are influenced by it.

We hope that, thanks to its aims, scope and free on-line access, the Journal will represent a link between the world of school education and academia and will actively promote the connection between scientific research and language teaching.

Current issue

Volume IV, Year IV, November 2015
Valentina Prosperi, The Reception of Lucretius’ Second Proem: The Topos That Never Was.
Thomas Lindner, Garrula limoso prospexit ab elice perdix:
Textkritik und Wissenschaftsgeschichte am Beispiel von Ov. met. 8.23

Benedetto Passeretti, This all-graved tome. A Reading of John Donne’s A Valediction: of the Booke.
Martina Zamparo, Neoplatonism in Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience.
Innocenzo Mazzini, Greco-latino e inglese nella lingua medica italiana contemporanea: convivenza pacifica o sopraffazione?
Lorenzo Renzi – Gianpaolo Salvi, La Grande Grammatica Italiana di Consultazione e la Grammatica dell’Italiano Antico: strumenti per la ricerca e per la scuola.
C. Burrow, Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 341. (C. Guardini).
Download the current issue in pdf.
Volume 1 (2012)
Volume 2 (2013)
Volume 3 (2014)

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

ISIL from the Inside

Jürgen Todenhöfer
German writer Jürgen Todenhöfer spent some time inside the territory of ISIL, and wrote several thought-provoking articles on what he observed, summarised here. His conclusion:
I firmly believe that ISIS currently is the largest threat to world peace since the Cold War. We are now paying the price for George W. Bush’s act of near-unparalleled folly; the invasion of Iraq. To date, the West remains clueless as to how this threat is to be addressed.
He thinks bombing is not the answer.

Here is his website, and (a different version) in English.

UPDATE 27th November 2015
Some more words worth paying attention to: 
Jürgen Todenhöfer, 'I know Isis fighters. Western bombs falling on Raqqa will fill them with joy', The Guardian Friday 27 November 2015.


The Archaeology News Network

Sarcophagus of ‘high priest’ unearthed in Luxor

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Dr. Eldamaty announced today the discovery of the intact burial place with a coffin of a (Priest) of Amun-Re, King of the Gods who carried the name " Ankhef in Khunsu", inside the tomb of the Vizier Amenhotep, Huy number 28 in Asasif (Luxor). The announcement was made during the Antiquities Minister visit to Luxor to start the scanning works inside the tomb of Tutankhamun in search of a hidden tomb behind...

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Brice C. Jones

Update on P.CtYBR inv. 5087

Several months ago, I blogged about an interesting little papyrus slip from Yale's collection. Be sure to check that post out. My edition of this little papyrus has just been published in the BASP, and I have uploaded a copy to the publications section of this site. So, if you are looking for a little Thanksgiving reading, you can access the full article here