Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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November 21, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

Organisé par Alice Mouton et Jean-François Pérouse

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

- Consulter le programme

October 16, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

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

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

Consulter le programme du colloque

avec le soutien du Labex RESMED

October 09, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

- Consulter le programme

October 04, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

La guerre et la Grèce

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

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

- Télécharger le programme

- Télécharger le bulletin d'inscription

- Pour en savoir plus

August 28, 2014

Ancient Art

Egyptian relief of mourning men. This limestone relief dates...

Egyptian relief of mourning men.

This limestone relief dates to ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E., and is from Saqqara, Egypt.

This relief fragment shows two men, on the right, who make the gestures of mourners. The small cuts in the stone surface above and in front of the figures represent the dust that mourning Egyptians poured on their heads as a sign of bereavement. To the left can be seen the traces of a man in official dress who appears to be hurrying from the opened door of the tomb. Unlike many of the objects in this gallery, the scene suggests distress in the presence of death.

Courtesy of & currently located at the Brooklyn Museum, USA, via their online collections69.114. +If you’re interested in learning more about mourning in ancient Egypt, check out this post I did a while ago on the matter.

August 27, 2014

Kate Cooper (kateantiquity)

Remembering Monnica

Scheffer Augustine & Monnica - from Wikipedia_Fotor

Ary Scheffer (d. 1858), Augustine and Monnica – detail (source: Wikipedia)

For most of us, late August carries with it a vestigial thought of summer’s end and the beginning of the academic year – all the more so for students and teachers, or parents and children. But for the medieval Chuch, the 27th of August was the day for remembering Saint Monnica (d. 388), whose son Augustine would become Bishop of Hippo on the north coast of what is now Algeria.

Augustine famously started the school year, in the autumn of 384, by leaving for a new teaching job in Rome against his mother’s wishes. He was in his early thirties at the time, and to a modern sensibility the story he tells in his memoir, the Confessions, actually sounds quite unbalanced. It is all about his guilt at boarding a ship for Rome while his mother – who believed that the temptations of life in Italy would lead him astray – knelt praying that God would keep him from leaving Africa. Augustine’s story of how he gave his mother the slip and boarded the boat is one of the more woeful and melodramatic scenes of the Confessions. In fact, his tale owes something to the scene in Vergil’s Aeneid  where the hero abandons the African queen Dido before himself leaving Carthage for Italy, in order to fulfil his own destiny as founder of Rome. 

Santa Monnica, Carthage

Church of Santa Monnica, Carthage – overlooking the Bay of Tunis, on the site where Monnica is said to have prayed all night for her son while he boarded a ship for Rome (Photo: Kate Cooper)

But Saint Monnica is a fascinating figure in her own right. When I was working on my book about early Christian women, Band of Angels, I had initially intended to include a chapter on Monnica. But the chapter started to grow like topsy, and it quickly became clear that Monnica’s story could not be contained in a single chapter. And also, intriguingly, it was almost impossible to disentangle her from the man who was remembering her and writing about her – I really would have had to turn it into a chapter on Augustine and Monnica.

We know so much more about Monnica than we do about almost any other woman in the ancient world – not only because Augustine wrote what amounts to a biography of her, but also because of the emotional intimacy of what he wrote. His story of Monnica in Book Nine is, in many ways, really about him – some times, you do wish he would talk a little less about his own thoughts and feelings and a little more about what the woman he is writing about must have felt and thought. But often, you feel that you can glimpse the  private world of a fourth-century woman who knew her own mind and was able to hold her own in the face of circumstances that would intimidate most of us. (Child marriage? Tick. Spousal abuse? Tick. Life on a farm in Africa? Tick. Intrigue at the court of the Roman Emperor? Tick. Religious riots? Tick.)

 I did eventually finish the ‘missing’ chapter on Augustine and Monnica, and published it in an article entitled – appropriately enough –  Augustine and Monnica. But it is a story that one isn’t easily finished with. 

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

Histoire de l’ancienne Crimée

Oparin A.A. (2013) : История Древнего Крыма / Istorija Drevnego Kryma, Kharkov [Histoire de l'ancienne Crimée]

Cet ouvrage se présente comme un manuel d’histoire de la Crimée qui commence avec l’homme de Néandertal, avant d’aborder les différents occupants de la péninsule : les Cimmériens, les Taures, les Scythes, les Sarmates, les Grecs et les Romains.

Le sommaire

Archaeology Magazine

Scientists Publish Results of Kennewick Man Investigations

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—A new book due out next month will offer the most detailed account to date of the research conducted on the remains known as Kennewick Man. Discovered in 1996 on federal land in the Columbia River Valley, the analysis suggests that Kennewick Man was a seal hunter from the Pacific Northwest coast who died 9,000 years ago. Scientists found a projectile point lodged in his hip, five broken ribs that had healed improperly, two small dents in his skull, and a worn shoulder from the repetitive stress of throwing spears. “He was a long-distance traveler,” forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and a co-editor of the book, told The Washington Post. Scientists are still waiting for the results of genetic testing, which is being conducted in Denmark. The skeleton remains in the custody of the Corps of Engineers. For the latest on how archaeologists are rethinking the early history of the New World, see ARCHAEOLOGY's special section "America, in the Beginning."


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

TOC's of JJP voll.1 (1946) - 41 (2011)

Dear colleagues, 

Thanks to the efforts of the Museum of Polish History and their grant for humanities, we are able to offer you the access to The Journal of Juristic Papyrology on-line. 

The data-base grants you also access to some other Polish reviews that may be of interest to the Papyrological community.

On behalf of the Editorial Board, 

With very best from Warsaw,

Jakub Urbanik 

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Brazil's Cultural Heritage

There is a report in Attractions Management about the pillaging of cultural property in Brazil ("Brazilian states fight back to protect cultural heritage from trafficking", August 26, 2014). There is a small exhibition to mark objects that have been recovered. But the scale of acknowledged theft is huge:
Over the past 12 years, the Minas Gerais Office of the Public Prosecutor for Cultural Heritage and Tourism (CPPC) has recorded the loss of 700 objects of cultural value, though it estimates even more have been lost because most of the objects were never catalogued.
It looks as if this is another area where museums and private collectors need to adopt a more due diligence process before making an acquisition.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Archaeology Magazine

Vikings Used Boat Timbers to Build Houses in Ireland

CORK, IRELAND—The results of the excavation of an eleventh-century Viking settlement in Cork show that the settlers reused the wooden planks from their long-boats to build jetties and houses in a marshy area of the River Lee. Mud and wattle walls, door posts, sections of the bow of a Viking ship, fragments of decorated hair combs, metal artifacts, coins, bronze clothing pins, shoe leather, fish bones and scales, and cat skulls were also recovered in the excavation. “We also found an ax head nearby which showed that they were working the wood for the jetty on site,” archaeologist Ciara Brett told The Irish Examiner. Pottery fragments show that the Vikings imported French wine. To read about a massacre carried out against Vikings in England that occurred around this time see ARCHAEOLOGY's "Vengeance on the Vikings." 


Who Crafted Saudi Arabia’s 100,000-Year-Old Stone Tools?

BORDEAUX, FRANCE—A team of researchers led by Eleanor Scerri of the University of Bordeaux compared stone artifacts unearthed from three sites in the Arabian Desert with artifacts discovered in northeast Africa near the skeletons of modern humans. All of the tools were between 70,000 and 125,000 years old. Live Science reports that the artifacts from two of the three Arabian sites were “extremely similar” to the tools from northeast Africa, suggesting that the groups may have had some interaction, and that the Arabian tools could have been made by modern humans. The tools from the third Arabian site were “completely different,” however, and may have been crafted by a different human lineage. “It seems likely that there were multiple dispersals into the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, some possibly very early in the history of Homo sapiens. It also seems likely that there may have been multiple dispersals into this region from other parts of Eurasia. These features are what make the Arabian Peninsula so interesting,” Scerri explained. 

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #523

Open Access (free to read) articles on archaeology:

Locating the first Knights Templar Church

Roman Bronze Patella (exhibited by Dr John Alex. Smith)

Notice of the Examination of a Cairn and Interments of the Early Iron Age at the Black Rocks, Gullane, Haddingtonshire, on 14th March, 1908.

Defining Site Structure Complexity and Its Implications: Examples from Sites in the Santa Ynez River Basin

Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at:

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient throne discovered in excavations at Euromos

Excavation works in the ancient city of Euromos, located near the city of Milas in the western province of Muğla, have revealed the remains of a 2,300 year-old throne.

The ancient city of Euromos is home to some of the most well preserved temples in Anatolia. This year excavation works have been headed by Associate Professor Abuzer Kızıl.

Kızıl said they were very excited about the new findings, discovered close to a 3,000-person capacity ancient theater.

“[The throne] is a marble seat and was found very close to the theater’s stage. We believe it belonged to a noble person who lived in the city. Read more.

Archaeology Magazine

Amphipolis Tomb May Have Been Looted

AMPHIPOLIS, GREECE—Archaeologists led by Katerina Peristeri have entered the antechamber of the fourth-century B.C. Macedonian tomb under excavation in Amphipolis. “Now the front of the monument has been revealed almost entirely,” the Greek culture ministry said in a statement reported by Discovery News. There is a suspicious, man-sized opening in a wall blocking the interior, however, which suggests that the tomb may have been looted in antiquity. A second chamber and a wall can be seen through the hole. The burial complex, the largest tomb ever discovered in Greece, may have been built by Dinocrates, a friend of Alexander the Great known for the construction of Alexandria. 

Amphipolis Tomb May Have Been Looted

AMPHIPOLIS, GREECE—Archaeologists led by Katerina Peristeri have entered the antechamber of the fourth-century B.C. Macedonian tomb under excavation in Amphipolis. “Now the front of the monument has been revealed almost entirely,” the Greek culture ministry said in a statement reported by Discovery News. There is a suspicious, man-sized opening in a wall blocking the interior, however, which suggests that the tomb may have been looted in antiquity. A second chamber and a wall can be seen through the hole. The burial complex, the largest tomb ever discovered in Greece, may have been built by Dinocrates, a friend of Alexander the Great known for the construction of Alexandria. To read about recent excavations at the Hellenistic center of Zeugma, go to ARCHAEOLOGY's "Zeugma After the Flood." 


Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

Taking Advantage of a Bad Situation?

The hard-line archaeological advocacy group Saving Antiquities for Everyone is applauding the UK's new regulations aimed at banning the import of artifacts illicitly removed from Syria during its civil war.

While CPO understands the need for vigilance, CPO questions whether SAFE and related groups intend to take advantage of the bad situation in Syria to further their anti-collecting agenda.  In particular, when they call for the US to act, will they once again lobby for any import restrictions to be imposed based on place of production in ancient times rather than find spot in modern times as required under the US governing statute, the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act?  Of course, any such restrictions will once again put many minor artifacts without solid provenances at risk for forfeiture though there is no evidence they are the products of recent looting.

And what of the CPIA's process for imposing import restrictions?  Any emergency request must come from the Assad government, not SAFE or the Archaeological Institute of America.  But if there is a valid request that is granted, should any artifacts that are forfeited go back to that murderous regime or should they instead be held in trust by US Institutions for the benefit of the Syrian people until such time the country is again at peace?  Presumably, if recent history is any guide, the repatriationist instincts of SAFE and related groups will demand the return of such artifacts to Assad now, no matter the facts on the ground or the equities of the situation.

But, if so, they won't that only confirm that their ideology is more important than fairness or common sense?

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Bulletin of the Society for Arabian Studies

[First posted in AWOL 1 November 2009. Updated 27 August 2014 (web site no longer active - the following links are at the Internet Archive)]

Bulletin of the Society for Arabian Studies
ISSN: 1361-9144
The Society publishes an annual Bulletin in the Spring giving information on research, publications, field work, conferences and events in the Arabian peninsula in fields ranging from archaeology and history to natural history and the environment. It also carries feature articles and book reviews.
The Bulletin is sent free to all members of the Society. Current and back issues can also be purchased at the Arabian Seminar in July each year or from the Editor. Printed copies of the Bulletin are £5.00 each. The current and recent issues may also be downloaded free of charge in pdf format by clicking on the cover images below.
Current Issue, 2010Issue 14, 2009
Issue 13, 2008Issue 12, 2007Issue 11, 2006

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

The Doctor Who Kills

I thought of other titles for this post, but the fact that it manages to include “Doctor Who” in a sense other than as the title of the TV show, while being about that TV show, made me opt for this one. (Does anyone else regularly mistake articles about a doctor who did something, as being about “Doctor Who”?)

android from deep breathFans of Doctor Who know that a major debate about the first episode of the current season, “Deep Breath,” is [SPOILER] whether the Doctor actually pushed the cyborg to its death.

We may or may not find out the answer to that question. But we already knew that killing is not against the Doctor’s programming, contrary to his claim. He doesn’t like doing it, and if he did we would consider him profoundly immoral. But he does kill – and indeed, indicates that he is “afraid he might have to kill” the machine that has begun to become human through its process of substitution.

I don’t find the issue to be as poignant as some others do. The episode seemed to be intentionally echoing “The Christmas Invasion,” the first full episode in which David Tennant played the Doctor. The Doctor gives the Sycorax leader a chance to surrender, and when he tries again to kill the Doctor, the Doctor sends him plummeting to his death, saying “No second chances. I’m that sort of a man” Here’s the clip below:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Sarah Bessey, Richard Beck, Ross Miller, and Paddy O’Meara are among those who’ve discussed online whether the Doctor pushed the half-face man to his death at the end of “Deep Breath.” I’m not sure, but it wouldn’t be out of character if he did.

But it is great to see people debating this. Because fans of Dr. Who often debate matters that are simply ones of personal preference – like whether it was appropriate for me to use the abbreviation “Dr. Who” in this sentence. But there are also matters about which serious disagreement is possible, about which we need to learn to disagree in a principled and rational manner, and not just the way we do when something is about personal preference. Ethics seems to me to be just that sort of matter.

On the other sorts of topics Doctor Who fans are liable to debate, this cartoon from Real Life Comics is relevant:

Doctor Who and Consensus


Ancient Peoples

Marble Portrait Bust of a Woman AD 193-211 Severan...

Marble Portrait Bust of a Woman

AD 193-211

Severan Period


(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

A Tourist Guide to the Bakken Oil Patch

So, I’m thinking about writing something that starts like this:

The Bakken oil patch ranks among the great achievements of the contemporary age. The arrival of fracking technology in Western North Dakota has led to an industrial renaissance that transformed sleepy farm communities into the crucial cogs in the global extractive economy. Today, the area has become a global destination for roughnecks, petroleum engineers, pipeline “cats”, truck drivers, carpenters, contractors, and electricians as well as journalists, adventure scientists, academic scholars, photographers, and filmmakers. Low-unemployment, the bustle of extractive industry, and a landscape of dramatic contrasts holds forth an magnetic attraction for the adventurous traveler. Pack your camera, your sulfur dioxide sensor, some steel-toed boots and a Carhartts and get ready for a unique journey to the land where industry and nature meet.

The patch itself is a bewildering sight to the unprepared visitor on account of its vast area alone (over 100 sq miles) and can quickly overwhelm any simple approach to apprehending its significance or visiting the most meaningful sites. This short guide is meant to direct a tourist to a sampling of the many remarkable sites in the “Bakken” with a particular emphasis on the work and life of the new communities in the area with some reference to other sites of older historical significance. As with any tourist guide, this is not designed to be exhaustive, but to identify characteristic types of sites in the region by providing easily navigated itineraries across the region. Since the practice of industrial tourism remains in its infancy, this guide will also seek to bring to the fore some thought questions for the educated visitor to the Bakken both to stimulate discussion and to guide your explorations of this region of unprecedented industrial, historical, and natural beauty.


Route 1: Minot, ND to Ross, ND

The main point of entry into the Bakken from the north is the small city of Minot. Minot is served by Delta airlines, has an Amtrack station, and sits astride Route 2, the famous “The Highline”, that runs from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Everett Washington. It is the northernmost east-west highway in the U.S. and follows the route of the Great Northern Railroad from which it takes its name. The route from Minot to Williston, North Dakota is among the most scenic stretch of the Highline, and communities in North Dakota along this route had been in decline for two generations prior to the most recent oil activity. 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

World's Oldest Wine Cellar Fueled Palatial Parties

Israel isn’t particularly famous for its wine today, but four thousand years ago, during the Bronze Age, vineyards in the region produced vintages that were prized throughout the Mediterranean and imported by the Egyptian elite.

Last summer, archaeologists discovered a rare time capsule of this ancient drinking culture: the world’s oldest known wine cellar, found in the ruins of a sprawling palatial compound in Upper Galilee.

The mud-brick walls of the room seem to have crumbled suddenly, perhaps during an earthquake. Whatever happened, no one came to salvage the 40 wine jars inside after the collapse; luckily for archaeologists, the cellar was left untouched for centuries. Read more.

Vikings were experts in recycling and reclamation

The earliest Vikings settlers of 11th century Cork were recycling and land reclamation experts, and were trading with Europe, a major report on two of the city’s most significant archaeological sites has found.

The settlers were reusing wooden planks from their old long-boats to build jetties; to reclaim land from the River Lee; and as key support structures in their homes.

They were also importing wine from France and exporting hides to Europe, from their settlement near the South Gate Bridge. Read more.

All Mesopotamia

massarrah: Old Akkadian Administrative Text on Gypsum This...


Old Akkadian Administrative Text on Gypsum

This beautifully preserved administrative text from Nippur is recorded in Old Akkadian on a gypsum tablet. As the official language of records during the reigns of Sargon (c. 2334-2279) and his successors, Old Akkadian was used in administrative records such as the one above. It was also used in letters, and a few examples of literature in this early form of Akkadian have survived.

Sargon of Akkad is well-known for later legends about his origins, which chronicle how, having been abandoned, he was found floating on the Euphrates River in a basket made of reeds. His name in Akkadian, Šarru-kīnu, is a throne name meaning “The true (kīnu) king (šarru)”. (Sources 1, 2)

Old Akkadian, c. 2340-2200 BCE. 

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Photo from CDLI.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archeologists unearth first complete Inuvialuit driftwood house

An archeologist from the University of Toronto is celebrating the discovery this summer of the first complete example of a cruciform pit home across from Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. in the Mackenzie Delta.

The structures were built by Inuvialuit from about 500 years ago up until around 1900.

“For me, it was almost the capping of my career,” says Max Friesen, who’s been working in the area off and on since 1986.

Friesen says large, cruciform houses are one of the things most spoken about in early histories, recollections of elders and the writings of early explorers in the delta.

“But even though others have excavated parts of these houses, there’s never been one that’s fully dug, so you can actually see how it all fits together.” Read more.

Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

SAA 2015: Macroscopic approaches to archaeological histories: Insights into archaeological practice from digital methods

Ben Marwick and I are organizing a session for the SAA2015 (the 80th edition, this year in San Francisco) on “Macroscopic approaches to archaeological histories: Insights into archaeological practice from digital methods”. It’s a pretty big tent. Below is the session ID and the abstract. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, why don’t you get in touch?

Session ID 743.

The history of archaeology, like most disciplines, is often presented as a sequence of influential individuals and a discussion of their greatest hits in the literature.  Two problems with this traditional approach are that it sidelines the majority of participants in the archaeological literature who are excluded from these discussions, and it does not capture the conversations outside of the canonical literature.  Recently developed computationally intensive methods as well as creative uses of existing digital tools can address these problems by efficiently enabling quantitative analyses of large volumes of text and other digital objects, and enabling large scale analysis of non-traditional research products such as blogs, images and other media. This session explores these methods, their potentials, and their perils, as we employ so-called ‘big data’ approaches to our own discipline.


Like I said, if that sounds like something you’d be curious to know more about, ping me.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

African dig will focus on handaxes

An archaeologist from the University of Brighton is leading a dig in Tanzania in a bid to learn more about the origins of prehistoric handaxes.

James Cole will be joined by researchers from the country, as well as Wales and Gloucestershire, to take samples of sediment around the implements.

The Stone Age tools were used to butcher animals in the Iringa region.

The experts hope to accurately date the site for the first time.

They also hope to determine the age of the axes and learn who made them. Read more.


Chaque mot a son histoire

The statement "Each word has its own history" - a reaction to the Neogrammarian Regularity Hypothesis - is attributed to Jules Gillron.

According to William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., this statement is not found in that scholar's published works ('Dialectology and the history of the English language' at p. 84, in Donka Minkova and Robert P. Stockwell (eds) Studies in the History of the English Language: A Millennial Perspective, Volume 1, Walter de Gruyter, 2002.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Auctioneer discovers 3,000-year-old cobweb-covered coffin lid inside a wall

A mysterious discovery has been made inside the wall of a seaside house - the lid of an Egyptian coffin thought to date back 3,000 years.

Auctioneer Stephen Drake was assessing the contents of a property after the death of its owner when he found the cobweb-covered relic.

It was standing upright in the cavity of an outside wall, complete with painted face and faded hieroglyphics.

Mr Drake consulted historians at Cambridge University who said the six-foot-long sarcophagus cover appeared to date from 700 BC.

But how it came to reside inside the modest address which was being renovated in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex remains a mystery. Read more.

ArcheoNet BE

Nieuw licht op dagelijks leven in Sagalassos

Archeologen van de KU Leuven hebben tijdens de voorbije opgravingscampagne in Sagalassos (Turkije) enkele opmerkelijke vondsten gedaan, die nieuw licht werpen op de eetcultuur en het verenigingsleven in de Romeinse tijd. Zo werden de resten van een groepsmaaltijd uit ca. 200 n.Chr. gevonden, die lijken te wijzen op een bijeenkomst van een artisanele gilde of een religieus of sociaal genootschap. In een pottenbakkersatelier werd ook een volledig bewaard kookfornuis uit de 6de eeuw n.Chr. blootgelegd.

Archeologen van KU Leuven vonden deze zomer in Sagalassos een vrij groot rechthoekig gebouw, met grote deuren en in het midden een fontein. In drie kamers van het gebouw stuitten zij op enorme hoeveelheden materiaal, achtergelaten alsof het gisteren nog gebruikt werd. Het gaat om lepels, glazen kruiken en drinkbekers, olielampen en veel tafelwaar in keramiek. Heel wat schalen en kommen zijn volledig bewaard en liggen ondersteboven, vaak met de etensresten er nog in. Het lijkt er dus op dat hier een gemeenschappelijke maaltijd heeft plaatsgevonden waar tientallen personen aan deelnamen. De tafels werden om één of andere reden niet afgeruimd, maar omgegooid en zo achtergelaten.

De vondst omvat een schat aan informatie. Naast het gebruikte servies kunnen onderzoekers ook aan de slag met de gevonden etensresten. Het gaat om dierenbeenderen en verkoolde resten van planten, groeten en fruit. Bovendien werpt deze vondst ook een nieuw licht op het verenigingsleven in de Oudheid. De aard van het gebouw en het gegeven van de groepsmaaltijd doen vermoeden dat het ging om een artisanale gilde of een religieus of sociaal genootschap. Dergelijke genootschappen kwamen vaak voor in de Oudheid en waren heel belangrijk voor het alledaags leven in Sagalassos. Dit is het eerste dergelijke gebouw dat in Turkije wordt opgegraven.

saga_fornuisDe onderzoekers deden deze zomer ook een tweede belangrijke archeologische vondst. Het gaat om een kookfornuis uit de 6de eeuw na Christus, dat zich bevindt in een pottenbakkersatelier. Dit volledig bewaarde fornuis is een unieke vondst in Turkije. Het gaat om een eenvoudige vierkante constructie van zware stenen, dakpannen en bakstenen, samengehouden door modderplaaster. Het kleine stookgat onderin doet vermoeden dat er niet op hout maar op houtskool werd gekookt. Op het kleine gat bovenaan passen de kookpotten met bolle bodem die eerder al in Sagalassos werden opgegraven. Onderzoek wijst uit dat in deze potten vooral pappen en stoofpotjes werden bereid. Een lokale keuken die stilaan aan het verdwijnen was in de streek, maar door de recente vondsten opnieuw te vinden is op het menu van heel wat lokale horecazaken.

Het dagelijks leven in de Oudheid is één van de centrale onderzoeksthema’s van de Leuvense archeologen in Sagalassos. De opgravingen in Sagalassos werden deze zomer voor het eerst geleid door professor Jeroen Poblome, die vorig jaar de fakkel over nam van professor Marc Waelkens.

Wekelijkse berichten over het onderzoek in het antieke Sagalassos verschijnen op

Foto’s: © Sagalassos Project & Bruno Vandermeulen, KU Leuven

He has a wife you know

Roman toilet seat found at fort

Roman toilet seat found at fort:



Archaeologists at a Roman fort in Northumberland more used to finding coins, weapons and tools have found a 2,000-year-old perfectly preserved wooden toilet seat.

Dr Andrew Birley, one of the experts at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian’s Wall, believes it is the only find of its kind.

The site has…

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Roman toilet seat found at fort

Archaeologists at a Roman fort in Northumberland more used to finding coins, weapons and tools have found a 2,000-year-old perfectly preserved wooden toilet seat.

Dr Andrew Birley, one of the experts at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian’s Wall, believes it is the only find of its kind.

The site has previously revealed gold and silver or artefacts which relate to the military might of the Roman army, as well as everyday items like letters, shoes and babies’ booties.

Dr Birley, who is director of excavations at the fort, made the discovery himself in a muddy trench which was previously filled with historic rubbish. Read more.

Central China unearths large neolithic site

ZHENGZHOU, Aug. 27 — Archaeologists in central China’s Henan Province have excavated a large neolithic settlement complete with moats and a cemetery.

The Shanggangyang Site covers an area of 120,000 square meters and sits along a river in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, dating 5,000 to 6,000 years back to the Yangshao culture, which was widely known for its advanced pottery-making technology.

The site features two defensive moats surrounding three sides. Researchers have found relics of three large houses as well as 39 tombs, the large number suggesting several generations resided there, archaeologist Gao Zanling, a member of the Zhengzhou Administration of Cultural Heritage, said. Read more.

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Curious felicity in Heroides 16: Paris to Helen (I)

PARIS, the son of Priam, sends Ledaea that pure felicity
which only if imparted by your gift can come to me.

     Quae tribui sola te mihi dante potest.

The lovely opening of Heroides 16 sets a kind of conundrum centered on the act of giving and sending. We are as yet unawares of Paris's exact location -- and this is by design. Only gradually will it dawn on the reader that Paris is not writing from far off Troy, or some other distant land. Although he says "send," mitto, his epistle is in fact being conveyed from one room in Menelaos' palace to another. Paris is already "in the building," as we say, and the echo of Elvis might not be altogether misplaced.

Let's explore the oddity here a bit more. Paris says "I send felicity," (salutem: health, well being, welfare, prosperity...) but the very thing he sends to Helen can only come to him if she gives it to him. Mitto suggests distance, but dante ("giving") seems an act much closer to hand.  Yet the salutem in question -- which Paris does not have but can send -- only exists if both parties give and receive it to and from one another. This violates distance and time, as might be clearer in a paraphrase: I am sending you something I do not have, but I will have it for you if you give it to me.

In effect this is a condition of pure mutuality -- not as in sharing an ice cream cone, but more like a glance, or a kiss - neither can occur unless both parties simultaneously participate in it. This participation seems impossible if one is sending and therefore at a distance from the receiver. Only if both distance and time vanish in the act of giving can felicity occur. This is known as a specular, or mirror, relation, in which one can only see oneself seeing oneself in a mirror (speculum) if one's eyes reflect their mirror image, like Narcissus staring at his visage in the fateful pool.

That is to say, at the very beginning of his letter, Paris suspends polarities such as giving and receiving, distance and closeness, self and other, past and future. It might be worth noting, in this letter filled with allusions to prophecies, that prophetic speech suspends, and at times harshly dissolves, all that separates our usual compartmentalization of time. Seers see a future event in all its particular and imponderable uniqueness as if it were occurring now. We might return to this conjunction of beautiful people and hoary prophecy.

The entire letter elides temporal distinctions. First it seems Paris has not yet left Troy; then he's describing how his ships were built, and decorated; next thing he's getting a tour from Menelaos (even as he only has eyes for Helen), and a moment later he's winking at her at dinner and, from his lonely bed in the palace, writing to invite her company.

Another aspect of Paris's passion elides time just as his narration elides space:
My flames I brought with me; for I did not first find them here. They were the cause of my undertaking so long a voyage; They were the cause of my undertaking so long a voyage: for no threatening storm or wandering (error) drove us hither;
     Hae mihi tam longae causa fuere viae,

Paris's tale is the exact opposite of the sequence experienced by Aeneas (Heroides 7), who first wandered into Carthage (with divine nudging), then saw Dido, then felt passion for her.

Dido confesses in the Aeneid that the embers of her former love (for Sychaeus) are reignited as she gazed on and listened to Aeneas
adnosco veteris vestigia flammae
I recognize the vestiges of the ancient flame 
The reverse is true for Paris:
It is you that I seek, whom golden Venus pledged (pepigit) to my embraces; I desired you before you were known to me. I beheld your face with my soul before I saw you with my eyes, for fame was the first messenger of your beauty to wound me.
     Te prius optaviquam mihi nota fores

     Prima tulit vulnus nuntia fama tui. (35-39)

It's one thing to see a beautiful face and fall in love; another to love someone first, and then to see what they look like. Paris is saying his experience of falling in love with Helen is a reversal of the usual order of cause and effect - which is precisely is described by the rhetorical figure of prolepsis.
PROLEPSIS: the representation or assumption of a future act or development as if presently existing or accomplished. The representation of a thing as existing before it actually does or did so, as in he was a dead man when he entered.
First he loved her, then he saw her. Paris's love is proleptic, which, according to the above definitions, is not far from prophetic. No love was more steeped in prophecy that that of these two. To represent the future as present is to have a vision of that which is not yet. Unlike Dido, who re-cognizes love, Paris's love is fore-told, and in the telling, becomes real.

Which has everything to do with the question Paris poses right after his opening couplet:

Shall I then speak? 

Paris first seemed to write from afar, but he's right next to us (and to Helen). He speaks of a passion that preceded empirical knowledge, reversing the Dido-Aeneas paradigm. But the question he asks -- that he must ask before he can say anything -- is whether to speak out -- e-loquar -- at all. In Ovid, speech and love, logos and eros, are so deeply intertwined as to be close to indistinguishable. Like Narcissus's eye in the speculum, returning his gaze. We'll look at this more in another post.

Adrian Murdoch (Bread and Circuses)

Roman Camp found in Gernsheim, Hessen

Much in the German news that a long-sought for Roman camp has been found in Gernsheim, in the south of the state of Hessen. It dates to the middle of the first century - AD40-70-ish. The dig continues until 5...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Annual Report: AERA Annual Reports (Ancient Egypt Research Associates)

AERA Annual Reports (Ancient Egypt Research Associates)
Ancient Egypt Research Associates explores Egypt’s archaeological record seeking the origins of civilization. Our mission is to contribute insight and understanding to the present awareness of cultural evolution.

In recent years, we have explored the development of urbanism, labor organization, and the elementary structures of ancient daily life at the once-Lost City of the pyramid builders at Giza.

AERA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Dr. Mark Lehner and Matthew McCauley, with the assistance of Margaret Sears, in 1985 for the purpose of funding and facilitating the research of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, which grew out of the Sphinx Project.

Annual Report 2011-2012

2012 Field Season Excavations
2011-2012 Archaeological Field Schools
Archaeological Sciences: Hippo Hip and Olive Pit
Glen Dash Foundation Survey
Download a PDF of our 2012 Annual Report

Annual Report 2010-2011

Khentkawes Town East
The Luxor Study Field School
AERA-Egypt Receives NGO Status
Download a PDF of our 2011 Annual Report

Annual Report 2009-2010

Salvage Archaeology & Analysis and Publication Field Schools
The AERA Egypt Center
Capital Zone Walkabout 2010
Download a PDF of our 2010 Annual Report

Annual Report 2008-2009

The 2009 Advanced Field School
Giza Center Becomes a Reality
Celebrating 20 Years of Discovery in Giza
Download a PDF of our 2009 Annual Report

And see also the following Annual Reports of field seasons at Giza] published in the Oriental Institute Annual Report

Samuel Fee (Arranged Delerium)

Designing in the Browser

I’ve been thinking about my recent post regarding Photoshop, and realized it needed some clarification because I simply conflated a couple of issues. There are two issues here: software and workflow. Software Much of my criticism for Photoshop comes from the software side. My extreme… Continue reading

Constantina Katsari (Love of History Blog)

Academic Freedom versus Corporate Branding: The Salaita Case


You all know that the University of Illinois revoked a job offer to Prof. Steven Salaita, because he criticised Israel in its recent attacks in Gaza. The criticism came in the form of 140 character short tweets and ware angry in nature. By the time the professor learned the news, he already quit his job, sold his house and moved to Illinois with his family.

Academics started supporting Salaita as soon as they found out about the case. Among the notable academics, you can probably recognise Peter Levine, Michael C. Dorf, Giorgio Mariani. Other academics preferred to boycott the university, until its decision was reversed. The majority are signing petitions for the reinstatement of Prof. Salaitta. They all focus on the symbolism of this act: the loss of academic freedom.

The opponents of the current movement claim that Salaita would not have gained such support, if his tweets were vilifying the Palestinians. His anti-Israeli stance won the hearts and the minds of leftist academics (mostly historians). Such a claim could not be far from the truth. His cause seems to have attracted vocal supporters from all sides, for an obvious reason: academic freedom is intimately connected with tenure. They think that the very core of the academy will be in danger, if its ‘servants’ lose their job security. 

I actually disagree with this statement. I believe that academic freedom has been lost a long time ago. Tenured faculty are already following unwritten guidelines and they self-censor their work and their online presence. Heads of Departments, university managers and administrators are routinely checking the published words of their colleagues, whether these are blog posts, or tweets or facebook comments. 

Any transgression is considered valid reason for dragging the professor into disciplinary processes and submitting him/ her to performance management. Even if central administration do not fire him/ her, they may still reduce the salary, increase the teaching load, cut down the sabbatical leave or humiliate him. her. The poor ‘subject’ eventually will either retract the comments or face the full blast of university regulations. In most cases, tenured faculty prefer not to face the uneven battle and apologise profusely. The transgression is not to be repeated.

I do not want to excuse the behaviour of university non-academic professionals, which I personally believe to be criminal, since it attacks one of the most basic freedoms of the professoriate. Instead, I would like to explain why it happens.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who tried to explain the firing of Salaita, stated that 

“What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them.”

It is obvious that the Chancellor respects all viewpoints, apart from the ones that do not agree with the University of Illinois policy. Further below she also claims that 

“We have a particular duty to our students to ensure that they live in a community of scholarship that challenges their assumptions about the world but that also respects their rights as individuals.”

Once more the duty of the University to the students cannot be extended to the Faculty. It is correct that scholarship’s role is to challenge assumptions, beliefs etc. This role is obviously reserved for the students but not for the hired scholars, who need to comply to the views of the central administration.

Immediately after Wise’s letter was published, the Board of Trustees showed their unending support with the following statement.

“…Chancellor Wise reaffirmed her commitment to academic freedom and to fostering an environment that encourages diverging opinions, robust debate and challenging conventional norms. Those principles have been at the heart of the university’s mission for nearly 150 years, and have fueled its rise as a world leader in education and innovation.”

I would like to bring to your attention the focus of the university mission for nearly 150 years. The emphasis on the mission continues in another paragraph, where the Trustees claim that

“The University of Illinois must shape men and women who will contribute as citizens in a diverse and multi­cultural democracy. To succeed in this mission, we must constantly reinforce our expectation of a university community that values civility as much as scholarship.”

The language that describes the core values of the University of Illinois and reaffirms the purpose of the central administration to uphold them reminds us of the rhetoric of large corporations in the US and in Europe. This rhetoric is not just a way to keep the workforce in check (as creativity and innovation is almost by definition not allowed). It is one of the main instruments that keeps the Brand alive in the minds of the people.

The Brand is not just the logo. Visual symbols such as imagery, logo, typology etc. are only part of a larger concept that defines modern corporations. The Brand is the Identity of the organisation. In some cases, these organisations go as far as to perceive themselves as human. They have a distinct personality and clear characteristics, which distinguish them from the competition. They use a specific language, specific words, tone of voice, images. They use specific channels, marketing ploys, advertisements. And all of them have the same characteristics.

Imagine the dread of the marketing department, when they realise that Another Loose Canon of an Academic is altering the image they so carefully constructed! I feel sorry for them as I mention the distant possibility!

So, how can we align the mission of the Brand with Academic Freedom in order to help these poor souls? Well, we cannot! The Freedom of Speech in its very essence is part of the nature of academia. I repeat. Without it, academia can not exist. Plurality of voices, even if these become sometimes uncivil or downright rude, is essential for the survival of a democratic society and the promotion of scientific discovery. And academics are morally bound to uphold this freedom.

So, dear colleagues, keep up the boycotting, the petitions, the blogging and everything else that is necessary! You have my full support! My pen is at your disposal!


Penn Museum Blog

Archaeology at the border: Survey and excavation in Xinjiang (continued)

As we approach the end of the field season, with 2 weeks remaining, the cold weather  also begins to settle in. Since I last wrote, the grass has yellowed, leaving flocks of sheep and cow to scavenge from what is left from a summer much drier than prior years. The rainmakers had to be called in to induce precipitation by dispersing silver iodide into the clouds.

Up goes the rocket and down comes the rain.

Up goes the rocket and down comes the rain.

We are currently excavating the twenty graves we exposed at the site of Adonqolu this season. The site lies on the gentle south-facing slopes between two mountain ranges (please refer to my previous post for description). The graves are all oriented east-west with their capstones arranged generally in a north-south direction. They are lined with, most commonly, erect stone slabs on all four sides of the grave, and they sit inside quadrangular structures outlined by either erect stone slabs or flat-lying stones. Graves in the same enclosure may be dated to different time periods, and this chronological gap can be discerned by observing the stratigraphy as well as structural configurations. To understand their spatial arrangement and chronological relationship, we are also creating 3D reconstruction models using a photogrammetry software. All archaeological findings are shot in with a total station and the distribution of finds will be correlated with the structures in three dimensional space.

DSCF2912Besides gazing at human crania with Europoid features, the other highlight of my fieldwork has been the bronze objects I excavated in one of the graves, which include bronze beads, bronze bracelets/anklets, small bronze ornaments that might have been affixed to clothing, and what look like bronze mirrors (see picture at left). What is also interesting is that the bronze objects are mixed in a concentrated deposit of burnt human bones. Unlike this grave, most other graves yielded flat bottomed ceramic pots with incised patterns (picture below) that can be attributed to the Andronovo Culture of Central Asia, bronze objects are limited to one or two pieces if not absent. Where the bones of the deceased have been preserved, they are usually placed in a fetal position with the head facing north in the western end of the grave. Secondary burials have also been found.


Since our day is long, starting normally at 9am when the moon still hangs high in the sky, and ending at 8pm when the evening sun is still above the horizon, we take a siesta in our Mongol yurts with a pot of traditional milk tea. In the month of August, the weather has varied from tank top and shorts to thermal wear with fleece and wind jacket. The strong winds in the mountains are unrelenting at times, leaving us covered  completely in dirt at the excavation site. Teamwork is one of the most paramount aspects of archaeological fieldwork, and I am privileged to have worked with a team that has held its own through rain and shine.

Lifting the capstones with a pulley.

Lifting the capstones with a pulley.

While I find the hospitality of the herds equalling endearing as their owners, my companions beg to differ – we often find cows and camels roaming near our site, finding their way into our latrines and once, through our kitchen. They are also the most unperturbed pedestrians, they would stroll into the middle of the road at the most inopportune moments. But to be fair, this vast area of grassland is their home and we are the trespassers. They are the livelihood of many Mongols and Kazakhs who practice pastoralism in the area today, and most of whom I met have enthusiastically showed me their lifeways. I learnt how they make milk products including yoghurt, butter, hard cheese, and what they call milk wine (you add a dollop of butter and drink it hot!), all products derived from animal husbandry. They also showed me how to felt by hand. With increased industrialization, these traditional skills are gradually losing their limelight; it is also difficult for the pastoralists to keep making these products once they move into the urban environment, these processes require communal effort, an outdoor setting, and tools that cannot be found in stores. As I made these observations, it became more apparent to me the importance of documenting these activities before the skill sets are completely forgone by future generations.

[My summer fieldwork is supported by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS and the Penn Museum.]

Making milk wine from fermented milk by distillation.

Making milk wine from fermented milk by distillation.

Making cheese

Making cheese 

Preparing the wool for felting.

Preparing the wool for felting.

Laying the felt

Laying the felt

The kids love kicking and rolling the felt roll.

The kids love kicking and rolling the felt roll.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Good Vibes

Click here to view the embedded video.

I thought I’d send out some good vibes to blog readers, and in particular my colleagues at Butler University – and all faculty and students who are starting classes today.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Informal Practices and Space in the Bakken

This weekend I read another selection from the Kostis Kourelis Book Club: V. Mukhija and A. Loukaitou-Sideris eds., The Informal American City: Beyond Food Trucks and Day Labor. MIT 2014. The book is packed with astute observations on practices that shape the informal (as opposed to formal, regulated, and standardized) life of American cities. These range from gardens in vacant lots, perpetual yard sales, hidden apartments, and spaces beyond the reach or interest of formal zoning policies. 

The book got fueled my excitement about housing practices in the Bakken oil patch of North Dakota which is rife with informal practices motivated as much by the absence of regulation (or personnel to enforce existing regulations) as the need to adapt existing institutions, spaces, and places to the needs of a dynamic workforce.

Over the past 2 years, I have been working on a team that is documenting workforce housing in the Bakken. I have been particularly romanced by the architectural invention that takes place at what we call Type 2 camps. These camps typically consist of RVs and trailers arranged in lots with power, water, and sewage. The informality of these spaces comes from the ad hoc efforts to winterize the units, the techniques done to articulate spatial boundaries, and, most dramatically, the architectural additions designed to expand the space of the RVs and to make them more suitable for longterm habitation.

Peter Ward’s contribution to this volume, “Reproduction of Informality in Low-Income, Self Help Housing Communities,” caught my attention and opened up some new questions about life in Type 2 camps. Ward’s article looks at colonias and “informal homestead subdivisions” in the US. These are subdivisions which often lack utilities but are sold to low-income individuals and families at low prices and with irregular financing arrangements. They are typically associated with Hispanic communities in the borderlands between the US and Mexico, they also appear throughout the US at the periphery of cities where underdeveloped land is inexpensive and unskilled labor opportunities exist. While these settlements differ from our workforce housing camps because the residents actually own their land, they are similar because the residents typically engage in all sorts of informal architecture ranging from shacks built from plywood to RVs and mobile homes. In most cases, these practices represent an effort to gradually develop their property and housing with limited resources. The use of blue tarp, scrap wood, pallets, and other material that could be rearranged and reused for other purposes ensured that the investment was both modest and the structure itself served as a kind of provisional discard conserving useful material for other projects as needs change.   

Ward’s rather quick discussion of these forms of informal vernacular got me to wonder how certain practices – like the construction of mudrooms and other plywood and scrap wood additions – move around the country. Perhaps it is borderland colonias that developed this important, sustained tradition of ad hoc, vernacular architecture, and it moved northward to the Bakken following the route of oil patch workers from the Texas oil fields to those elsewhere in the US. 

During our last trip to the Bakken, we talked with the new management of one of our study sites, and they explained that they were trying to standardize and “clean up” the spectacular array of mudrooms present at their site. They argue that the large mudrooms are safety hazards and often act as extensions to the RVs to accommodate more people than they are designed to accommodate. During our visit, we noticed an abandoned mudroom that was set up for just this purpose. Note the use of blue tarp, the sale price of $1000, and the bed. There were two rooms in this mudroom both set up for sleeping.




On the one hand, we suspect an actual concern for safety in the camp as plywood mudrooms can represent a real fire hazard especially when they feature irregular wiring, are heated with gas heaters, and have inadequate insulation and ventilation. On the other hand, it is in the best interest of the camp to reduce the number of residents per unit. This not only increases the amount of rent collected per resident, but also lowers population density of the camp taking pressure off the basic infrastructure (trash removal, water, electric, parking et c.) and making keeping order in the camp easier. It was a useful reminder that safety, order, and regularity are not incompatible with profitability. The formal American city, like the formal man camp in the Bakken, is not without economic motives. 

Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

Internet Archaeology is going Open Access and you can win a prize- #iaopen

Internet Archaeology was the first Open Access Archaeology journal when it was launched back in 1996. It then took a brief detour into paywall publishing to pay the bills. But, now it is heading back to being Open Access i.e. free to read. In celebration of this fact Judith is having a neat little contest on Twitter. Create a tagline for this momentous occasion and win this prize:

Click on the image to see that it is a USB stick in the shape of a trowel. I thought it was pretty cool. Just tweet your tagline to  . Or, if you don’t have twitter get a friend to do it. Due in by August 29th.

I had not planned to blog this week while I take care of some other work but I couldn’t resist having some fun with this. So I gathered together some famous quotes or at least quotes attributed to famous people on the Internet about Internet Archaeology going Open Access.

“The kingdom of heaven is like IA, it has Open Access publishing”- Jesus Christ

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years, and if you published Open Access with Internet Archaeology”- Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t cry because the paywall is over. Smile because it is Open Access”- Dr. Seuss

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool and publishes Open Access” ― William Shakespeare

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure and publish OA in IA”- Bill Gates

“You only publish once, but if you do it right by publishing OA in IA, once is enough.”- Mae West


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: Open Access, Great!”- Robert Frost

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget that you published Open Access because they will be able to read it again.” ― Maya Angelou

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Ignorance cannot drive out Ignorance: only Open Access can do that.”― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Publish Open Access in Internet Archaeology” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“I came, I saw, I published Open Access in IA.”- Julius Caesar

“Open Access is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Corinthian Matters

Digitizing Isthmia with the Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS)

DKP Introduction: I noted yesterday that the National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded Jon Frey, Assistant Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Michigan State University, a major grant for the digital implementation of an open-source application known as the Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS). I asked Jon more about what his teams have been doing at Isthmia and what they hope to accomplish with the grant. He kindly agreed to provide the following overview of the work of Michigan State University and Ohio State University in recent years.

First of all, thanks to David for inviting me to post to Corinthian Matters as the forum he has created gives me an opportunity to write more candidly about our efforts to build an online collaborative workspace for the utilization and organization of digitized archaeological documentation. I tend to feel a bit awkward trying to describe this project more formally as if it has always followed a linear research plan with clearly defined goals and expectations. Rather, in the spirit of a weekend DIY project—and I think ARCS fits into that category in many respects—I’ve been learning as I go, largely through trial and error, but also through the helpful advice of far more experienced neighbors in what I have found to be a very welcoming and encouraging digital archaeological community. This is very much a good thing, as my own feelings about this project oscillate at unpredictable intervals between the fear that ARCS is nothing new (“good for you, you built a VRE!”) and the hope that this project will enable many smaller archaeological projects to share their evidence in a way that respects both their limited resources and the unique ways in which they have organized their recording systems.

History of the Project

The project as a whole began over five years ago with the digitization of notebooks at the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia. Yet far from following a clearly defined, institutional plan, this project served a much less lofty, personal goal. More than anything else, I was tired of returning to America at the end of the summer only to discover that I had failed to record a key piece of information and would have to wait until the following season to continue my research. By keeping all of these notebooks on a hard drive, I could eliminate this problem. At some point though, it became apparent that by relying on digital copies of these documents, I had effectively removed them from the information network in which they had been designed to function. This is because the document archive at Isthmia—as at most excavations and surveys—is essentially an analog form of a relational database. Depending on their research question, individuals may consult field diaries, photographs, maps, drawings, descriptions of individual artifacts, or informal reports, all of which, ideally, reference one another according to a pre-determined system.

Figure. Working at the Isthmia archives

Such systems have been refined over decades and have become quite effective at aiding in the retrieval of information, but are not without their inefficiencies and idiosyncrasies. As the work of individuals who are at different levels of experience—frequently the case at projects that also serve as field schools—certain documents may be incomplete or contain errors. Moreover, as artifacts themselves, archaeological records may deteriorate, be misplaced or become lost altogether. Thus, as most archaeologists know, gathering primary information is typically an immersive experience that requires as much time-consuming physical activity as mental. Moreover, most are also familiar with the fact that such archival work rarely reaches a successful conclusion without the helpful intervention of another, more experienced individual who is familiar with all of the peculiarities of a project’s documentation system.

Bearing all this in mind, I soon became interested in exploring how one might build a digital version of an archaeological archive that improves upon this system rather than replaces it altogether. A brief survey of other digital archaeology projects and services revealed a number of ongoing efforts to address related issues, but such initiatives appeared to be more concerned with the standardization and secure storage of archival quality digital data than with the utilization of that data in a virtual research environment. In addition, the use of such services was significantly easier for projects that had been “born digital” or possessed the financial resources to employ full time archivists or independent companies to digitize their entire archive at once.

As a result, with colleagues at the MSU College of Arts and Letters Academic Technology Office I began to develop an open source solution that would allow an archaeological project to create a digital workspace where documents could be collected, curated and shared according to an organizational scheme defined by the individual project. With the assistance of an NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant in 2011, we created the Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS), which can be accessed at the present moment at

The goals outlined in the NEH proposal seemed modest at the time, but in hindsight, were too ambitious. We offered to build a program that would:

  • Interface with Digital Asset Management systems like ResourceSpace and Omeka
  • Work on PC and mobile devices
  • Be easily modified to suit different archaeological projects
  • Allow a variety of file types and data types
  • Augment but not replace digitized documents through the use keyword tags and links to stable URIs.
  • Be open-source and free to use

As the project began, we soon learned that we could not reasonably achieve the first two objectives within the grant period. Thus we resorted to the creation of our own database and optimized the site to work best on PC devices running Google Chrome. In addition, the complexities involved in building a version of ARCS to be tested using data from Isthmia made it difficult to maintain a separate, project non-specific source code. There were also a number of issues that we discovered we needed to address before ARCS could become a useful system. To begin with, there was the question of who exactly would be carrying out the work of uploading and curating the information. Then there was the question of what metadata standard and terminology we would use in order to make the documents presented through ARCS easily searchable and relatable to other resources.

In order to address the labor issue, we adopted a “crowd-sourcing” approach, but this presented its own challenges. A great deal of time was devoted to devising and implementing the type of user access and control measures that are typical of all digital projects that have resorted to volunteer workers to achieve their goals. The metadata issue was less easily solved. While Dublin Core appeared to be the best solution, we soon discovered that this schema did not apply to archaeological documentation as well as we would have hoped. Quite often the 15 core elements had to be translated into descriptive categories at Isthmia that merely seemed the best fit. Other aspects of archaeological documentation were left completely unaddressed. The end result was the creation of a metadata schema for Isthmia that was more complex and idiosyncratic than the system already in use at the excavation. Finally, the development of a list of approved terminology and formats for these metadata fields has proven to be a challenge in and of itself.

These issues aside, the beta version of ARCS should still be seen as a successful demonstration of the advantages of presenting primary archaeological documentation as digitally augmented evidence. This is seen most clearly in the case of the field notebooks with which this digitization project began. On the one hand, a simple digital image of a notebook page cannot be easily parsed by a computer and thus made machine searchable.

70-GBO-002 uncropped.pdf


A 1970 notebook from the Isthmia Archives

On the other hand, electronic transcriptions (even when carried out in accordance with TEI standards) do not fully capture the dynamic and organic character of these documents with their photographs, drawings, and handwritten notes, often made by several different individuals over time. Yet, when a notebook page is presented as an image, supplemented by user-generated keywords and hyperlinks to other digital resources, the result is the best of both worlds.

ARCS notebook

Notebook as it appears in ARCS

The main governing principle throughout the development process has been to electronically update, but not replace the traditional operating procedures common to most archaeological archives. Thus the front page offers the user the opportunity to consult evidence by type (notebooks, maps and plans, cataloged artifacts, reports, etc.) just as these documents are physically arranged at an archive or library.

Thematic view

Front page of ARCS

While users may search for a specific reference at any time, the “resource view” interface also allows for a visual scan of the evidence, just as one might fan through the pages of a book or a series of index cards or drawings.

Inventory card

When a user has identified the information they seek, hyperlinks offer them the chance to follow digitally the cross references that already exist in the original documents. Moreover, just as one might gather together several different types of documents as part of their research, ARCS allows users to create digital collections to which they can return at any time.


All documents and collections have stable URIs so this information can be shared between users as well. Also, because work at an archive often involves conversation with colleagues and consultation with experts, each document on ARCS has an associated discussion forum, where users can ask questions or provide answers.

Finally, because excavations and surveys—even those that are not currently engaged in fieldwork—continue to grow and =generate evidence in both traditional and digital formats, ARCS is equipped with a simple drag and drop upload feature. While they are encouraged to provide as much information as possible about the resource they are creating, at the very least users must define a title and type for the resource. In this way, large batches of information can be uploaded at once and left on the system to be cataloged, tagged, and linked to other data later.


Upload page in ARCS

The version of ARCS currently in use at Isthmia continues to grow. At present the system contains nearly 7,300 unique resources, ranging from digital copies of all notebooks, to notecards representing all inventoried artifacts, to a representative sample of drawings, plans, and type-written reports. Other documents are added each season as they are scanned and processed. As a matter of conservation and preservation alone, this is an important step for the OSU Isthmia Excavations. At the same time though, any of these resources can now be organized into collections and shared with interested researchers in a matter of minutes. Thus requests for information from the Isthmia archives are now beginning to be met by means of an email containing a link to the relevant digital resource. But most significantly, the ARCS system has allowed a smaller project like Isthmia to “go digital” on its own terms (literally and figuratively) and budget without relying on its better-funded peer institutions to share their source code and resources.

In addition, the ARCS project has also produced an unexpected, but no less important, outcome. As a teaching tool, this online resource has been used not only as a way to provide undergraduate students with unprecedented access to primary archaeological documentation but also as a way to encourage them to contribute in a meaningful way to its creation. For the past three years, students enrolled in Prof. Timothy Gregory’s online classical archaeology courses at OSU have been presented with the full body of documentation associated with the excavation of a number of individual trenches at Isthmia, which they then use to generate archaeological reports of their own. For the past five years, students participating in my own study abroad program and courses at MSU have taken a lead role in scanning, processing, uploading and annotating the documents themselves. The process is not always perfect—asking undergraduate students in Greece to perform up to the standards of a professional archivist is at times a real challenge—but in the end, the results are generally reliable. In any case, such activities challenge students not only to make sense of several, potentially conflicting forms of evidence, but also to see the practices and assumptions that underlie the interpretations of the past that are often taken for granted. This is exactly the type of “doing history” that is now held to form the foundation of effective teaching strategies in undergraduate education (see, for example, the discussion in T. Mills Kelly’s recent book on Teaching History in the Digital Age).

Future Directions

While the source code is now freely available on GitHub, there is still much to be done before ARCS can be easily implemented at a wider range of archaeological projects. This is why I am excited that, in collaboration with Ethan Watrall at the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and with the funding of an NEH Digital Implementation Grant, we are now able to continue with this project. Some of the more significant improvements that we have proposed are as follows:

  • Because the creation of the underlying ARCS database had represented a stop-gap measure when integration with other data management systems proved too difficult, we plan to implement the KORA Digital Repository and Publishing Platform. This will improve the speed and efficiency of keyword searches as well as the overall organization of the data that is studied through ARCS.
  • Inasmuch as it became clear in the early stages of development that ARCS could not (and probably should not) serve as an archival solution, we will be developing an export utility that will properly format the data created and augmented within this system according to the standards required for data storage with services such as the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) and the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR). This export utility will also allow for the transfer of data generated in ARCS to other software applications such as Microsoft Access and ArcGIS for higher order statistical and geospatial analysis. In addition, because many projects—especially those that have transitioned from traditional analog to digital recording practices—have already created their own databases or other forms of machine-readable information, we will develop an import utility so that this evidence can be organized, augmented and shared through ARCS.
  • Because the import and export of different types of data will require a standard format for ease in identification, we will adopt the use of the ArchaeoCore metadata standard, developed at the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library at the University of Virginia specifically for use in archaeological contexts. We expect that, in keeping with the work of the Linked Ancient World Data Institute the use of ArchaeoCore will allow data to be shared between archaeological projects without requiring each individual project to redesign its recording system to fit a universal standard.
  • Having implemented these changes in the version of ARCS already in use at Isthmia, we will begin to collaborate with William Caraher and Amy Paplexandrou at the Princeton Polis Expedition Medieval Monuments Project, Adam Rabinowitz at the Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos Excavations at Chersonesos, and Kim Shelton at the UC Berkeley Excavations at Nemea in order to test the ability of the ARCS system to adapt to different recording systems for archaeological data. This will involve the creation of an installation wizard that can be used to customize ARCS to suit a particular project’s unique recording system as well as an ontology mapping tool to aid in the sharing of data between projects.

Given my experience in the first phase of this project, it is reasonable to assume that we will encounter some obstacles along the way. Likewise, it would be foolish to think that ARCS will offer a solution to all of the long standing issues associated with the transition to digital techniques for gathering archaeological evidence. For example, we at the OSU Isthmia excavations have maintained some traditional techniques but have adopted certain innovations so that the resulting mix of traditional, handwritten notebooks and artifact catalogues alongside digital images, illustrations and databases requires a concerted effort to coordinate. But at the same time, I think it is reasonable to hope that through the development of ARCS, it may be possible to achieve the elusive goal of sharing archaeological evidence between and among sites in way that nevertheless respects the unique identity of each project’s system for recording and interpreting its evidence. In this way, it may be possible to follow the lead of survey archaeologists in adopting a regional view of the ancient world, but with a degree of detail that is typically the strength of an excavation.

Turkish Archaeological News

Byzantine hospital in Side

Byzantine hospital in Side

The building, currently identified by many researchers as a Byzantine hospital, has been built during the 6th century AD. There are two main arguments suggesting the function of this building. Firstly, it is confirmed by the written source that emperor Justinian initiated the construction of a hospital in Pamphylia, and a healer named Kosma was supposed to be working in this hospital. However, the exact location of this building has not been specified and thus it is plausible to assume that it was built in Side.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Abandoned Antiquity Recognized not a Moment too Soon

Stephen Drake and the mummy case he found in empty house
A Cambridge auctioneer has found the lid of a Late Period (25th dynasty?) Egyptian coffin in a house in Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.
 He said: “It really was quite bizarre. I’d been asked to look at the house by relatives of the previous owner, who’d died. “When I got there the renovation work was fully under way, and a large hole had been smashed in one of the outside walls. When I stuck my head through and looked inside, I was surprised to see the coffin lid leaning up against a wall in the corner, covered in dust and cobwebs. There was a painted face on it and some hieroglyphics. “It was just like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie.” Mr Drake said the new owners of the house had no idea what the coffin lid was, but imagined it had been part of a collection of ancient items. He said: “I believe the previous owner may have collected old artefacts. There were other very old items in the house.” 
Donna Yates is suggesting the object is a fake, though on what grounds I do not know. The object looks genuine to me, in very bad condition, water damage on one side, soot deposits all over it, except the face, which some jerk has repainted with what looks like yellow ochre emulsion paint, going across the missing area of the nose. Possibly under the paint is some gap-filling to tart it up. I presume this was done by the previous owner, who mercifully stopped at the comedy mask. This is a good reminder of what can happens to archaeological artefacts in private hands. Collectors suggest that all collectors 'preserve' the past and 'look after it'. This piece has lost its lower half, contents and any associated items and information about findspot, has been been mistreated terribly and ultimately abandoned - with it seems the present owners of the building and its contents totally unaware of what it could be (they probably live in a hole in the ground with no TV). They could easily have dumped it in a skip, but called in an estate clearer instead. Oh by the way, there is no "seaside" at Bradwell, just hectares of mudflats and marsh - and a nuclear power-station.
Chris Elliott, 'Raiders of the Lost Sarcophagus: Cambridgeshire auctioneer amazed to find ancient Egyptian coffin in seaside house' 26th August 2014.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

The Other Neanderthal

We don’t know what the Denisovan looked like. We don’t know how it lived, what tools it used, how tall it was, what it ate, or if it buried its dead.

But from only two teeth and a piece of finger bone smaller than a penny, we’ve been able to extract the rich history of a species that split off from Homo sapiens approximately 600,000 years ago. We know they’re more closely related to Neanderthals than humans—though still distantly. We know they made their way to Southeast Asian islands, interbreeding with indigenous modern human groups in New Guinea and Australia. We know their interspecies mingling with modern humans in mainland Asia was brief, but enough to impart a few genes. And we know Denisovan genes reveal evidence of interbreeding with Neanderthals and an even more archaic hominid species.

It’s the first human cousin species identified with more than fossil records. Instead, scientists used the DNA it left behind. There’s now a mystery on our hands: Who were the Denisovans, and where did they go? Read more.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)


exterminate - caffeinate

Classes start today at Butler University. Caffeination is the way to prepare!

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

Karak Resources Project: 2014 Excavation at Mudaybi, Jordan

By: J. Dwayne Howell, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Campbellsville University Mudaybi, Jordan is an Iron Age II fortification located on the Fajj al-Usaykir on the Karak plateau.  It is being excavated by the Karak Resources Project, under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Mattingly (Johnson University). The project began in 1995 and there have been […]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Historic canoe removed from Pearl River bank

A historic dugout canoe thought to date to early 1800s settlement in Mississippi is being extracted today from its Pearl River resting spot by a suite of cooperating state agencies.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks (MDWFP) conservation officers Kallum Herrington and Mike Jones discovered the canoe Saturday while patrolling the Pearl River near Monticello, around 6:30 p.m.

They spotted it on the river bank, right at the water’s edge, while motoring back to the boat ramp. “It was an immediate slow down and turn around,” Herrington said. They could tell it was old and handmade. “Once we got to it and saw it, it was, in our opinion, an absolute, unique find.” Read more.

Jona Lendering (New at LacusCurtius and Livius.Org)

Interview with Jim West

Jim West and Zwingli

Jim West and Zwingli

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the blog of Jim West, Zwinglius Redivivus. Nor do you have to agree with everything he says to recognize that here we meet someone who is not only interesting, but manages to remain interesting. That’s not just because he’s funny. His real charm is that he has a clear, recognizable theme: while there are many people writing about Christianity, here’s a professionally trained theologian who understands the main issues, can offer context, and knows how to separate the good from the bad and the ugly.

He’s not just a blogger, though. West is also pastoring in the Baptist Church in Petros, which is a small town in Tennessee. I’ve not been there – in fact, I have never met Mr West – but photos show a sober, no nonsense building; its website shows a Christian community that appears to be open to others and willing to contribute to its town.

What caught my attention, though, is something completely else: Dr West has written a commentary on the Bible. Of course there are already many commentaries, but this one is focused on “the person in the pew”. The ordinary man or woman, in other words, who wants to read the Bible and just cannot make sense of that ancient text. Like the blogger West, commentator West seeks to educate people and show them the beauty of theology.

In this interview, done by e-mail, I will focus on two subjects: the commentary, because it is nearly finished, and the importance of Christianity, because that’s Jim’s theme.


Q: When I read the Bible, it took me about a year. You wrote a commentary, on almost every biblical book, which must have taken a lot of time. The project is obviously very dear to you. Why did you embark on it?

JW: The answer to that question is simple enough: commentaries are by and large written by scholars for scholars.  It seemed an absurdity to me that this was the case whilst the very folk most needful of biblical instruction were left aside.  I simply am seeking to correct that situation.

Q: Are you glad that it’s almost finished?

JW:  Yes.  I truly am.  It has taken a very very long time and I have 1-2 Chronicles in progress and then will only need to do 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings and that will be it.  I’ve enjoyed doing it and would do it again, but it has taken a lot out of me.

Q: I read one of the volumes and it is focused on people who really start to read the Bible. How are they responding? Have you changed your approach over the course of so many years and so many volumes?

JW: I have changed my approach only in that whereas before I used notes within the body of the text I am now using, sparingly, footnotes.  The commentary has been, I’m very happy to say, well received by its intended audience.  Layfolk who have read it are appreciative and one elderly Pastor who read the Commentary on Revelation wrote to say that he had never understood the book his entire ministry and had avoided it – but now he finally ‘got’ it.  He had never had the chance to attend seminary or graduate school but he wanted to know what the Bible meant.  There are, I think, rather a lot of people like that.

But I’ve also received very positive feedback from academics – so that’s gratifying.

Q: You are a Protestant, so I was surprised to see you write about the apocryphal books, which are not normally accepted as canonical by Protestants. You once admitted that you felt a profound dislike of Maccabees. Why did you include them?

JW: Simply because I think Protestants and Catholics, but particularly Protestants, need to know these books.  Especially Sirach.  A book I really like a lot.

Q: Does that mean that you are not reading those texts as the foundations of Protestantism, but as valuable as Jewish texts?

JW: Quite right.  They are historically interesting but theologically marginal.  And yet, they do possess theological merit.  Even Maccabees, though in its case the merit is anti-merit.  Never has any book made it quite so plain that the Maccabees were to their time what the Taliban are to ours: willing to kill anyone, even their own people, if they disagreed with their theology.

Q: Is there any chance you will add some from the Jewish religious texts that were not included in the Bible, the Pseudepigrapha?

JW: The Pseudepigrapha… hmmm… If span of life allows it would certainly be worth doing a commentary on the Enochic literature. That stuff is terribly important for the development of the thought found in the New Testament.

Q: At the end of any volume, you offer some suggestions for further reading. On the one hand, some basic texts; on the other hand, academic publications. It seems that you are experiencing the same difficulty as I do when I am explaining ancient history to a larger audience: there is hardly any secondary literature for people who are willing to make some intellectual effort and read a commentary or a book.

JW:  Indeed!

Q: My personal opinion is that skepticism towards modern scholarship is caused by the fact that precisely the people who are most interested, are essentially abandoned. Any thoughts about it? Would you like to write another commentary, now for people who have already some eduction, but are not yet ready for an academic study?

JW: I agree – as I stated previously – but I will have to leave such a work to someone else.  The idea of writing a basic commentary AND a median commentary to guide entrance into more complex commentaries does not interest me at all.  There is too much to teach the interested laity.

Q: One of the things I learned from you, is that we must not just explain how things are, but must also refute errors. I like your series of “twitter theology that makes me sigh“, in which you point out what is wrong in certain tweets. I also like your series on “Dilly the Dilettante“. What, in your opinion, makes poor scholarship so popular?

JW: Ignorance and stupidity and, if I might be blunt, the proclivity of people to gather to see an accident far more than they would gather to see a simple speaker.

Q: You have an open eye for the problems of modern Christianity.Your answer is very much an ecclesiastical one: people ought to take their church and its services seriously, while the church is there to serve God. Aren’t you underestimating the success of Christianity? I mean, Christian values are everywhere. Paul argued that in Christ, man and woman, slave and master, all were equal. In western society, no one denies that. Western humanism shares Christian values, and at least some atheism can be read as an attack on a Christianity that does not live up to its own standards and lets people down. Any thoughts?

JW:  Christianity can never be merely a social program.  Our job as Christians isn’t to make society better, or to make people better, it is to announce to them that they are not good and God loves them nonetheless and wants a better life, now and later, for them.  Any ‘gospel’ that decentralizes the Gospel is a false and damnable pseudo-gospel worthy of both scorn and mockery.

Q: You often write about “Fun Facts from Church History“. I like this, because it is a part of western history that I am not well-acquainted with. What I do not understand, though, is how much of sixteenth century Protestantism is still relevant. I cannot for a moment imagine that as an ancient historian, I would recommend people to live like a Plato or a Cicero. So, how much of Zwingli, Luther, and Calvin is still relevant today? Or, to rephrase it: what’s the importance of a specific Protestant theology as part of Christian theology in general?

JW: The relevance of Calvin and Zwingli and Luther doesn’t lie in their personal lives or even their ideas – it lies in their methodology and their theological focus.  They have much to teach moderns about how to THINK.  An art lost for many today – tragically – even theologians and biblical scholars.

Q: A related question: Christ believed that his generation would see the complete renewal of this world. The Kingdom still isn’t here. Does this in a way compromise Christianity’s message to today’s people?

JW: Ah but the kingdom did come, in Christ himself.  He is the means by which, through the work and power of the spirit that the reign of God commences.

Q: You have studied in Europe and often express sympathy towards typically European things: you love football and recognize the fun of having many languages. You are one of the few people who can offer and articulate an opinion on Christianity in the USA and Europe. What is the difference?

JW:  Europe is a genuinely Post-Christian continent.  America will be soon, but it is not yet.  And Christianity will survive in Europe and America, as a religious minority, but Christianity will grow in the East and Africa.  Those places will become the theological powerhouses of future Christianity.

Q: Final question: you used to make a lot of jokes about cats, who are little satans in disguise. They were a great running gag. Why did you replace them with Joel Watts?

JW:  Because Joel is a friend and he can take the constant ribbing, like Chris Tilling can.  Others are far too sensitive and (if I might) a little too self important.  And self important people loath being prodded with teasing.   And, finally, because Joel Watts literally IS the Devil.  You heard it here first.

the-person-in-the-pew-commentary-series[Jim West's Commentary on the Bible can be ordered here in electronic form for Logos users or individual volumes can be obtained from the publisher here.]

ArcheoNet BE

Algemene studiedag nieuwe regelgeving

Op 1 januari 2015 treedt het nieuwe Onroerenderfgoeddecreet in werking. Dit brengt voor overheden, lokale besturen en de privésector tal van wijzigingen met zich mee. Daarom organiseert het agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed dit najaar verschillende infomomenten waarbij de nieuwe regelgeving wordt toegelicht. De professionele sector wordt uitgenodigd op de algemene studiedag op 30 oktober in Mechelen.

Na een algemene toelichting over de nieuwe regelgeving in de voormiddag, zijn er in de namiddag parallelle workshops rond de thema’s archeologie; premies en beheersplannen; beschermingen, toelatingen en vergunningen en erkenningen en subsidies.

Inschrijven is verplicht en kan tot en met 15 oktober 2014. Meer informatie en het inschrijvingsformulier vind je op de website van het agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Ancient Greek Sandals: Heels like Hermes?

I was going to tweet a quick PSA to point out that Matches is doing an extra 20% off sale items until tomorrow night with the code EXTRA20 ... and that included some Ancient Greek Sandals (here) including these white winged 'Fteroti' design ones down from £135 to £64.80 ...

And then I got a little overly pernickety and thought "hold on ... aren't the wings on the wrong way?"

I've had the Ancient Greek Sandals' Ikaria design in gold in the past (left). I love their shoes, I recommend them as a 'bring back from Athens' souvenir to everyone, although half the shops in Plaka are now doing bad knocks offs, but ...

Aren't Hermes' wings meant to point back and out, as in this design?!?!?

In the Greek and Roman period, yes.

In the Byzantine period, as so often, iconography goes a wee bit wonky ... particularly when it comes to pagan scenes depicted during the Christian period.

This little 5th or 6th century Egyptian pyxis in the Walters (inv. 71.64) shows a naked Venus being awarded the apple by a near-naked Hermes.

He looks like a version of any other ancient Hermes until it comes to his heels ... and one notes that his wings are on backwards!

For those seeking an alternative, PINKGEEKSBOUTIQUE on Etsy sells a variety of "shoe wings" to add to trainers.

[And for those who are instead now browsing through the Matches sale selection, if I had the money I'd be looking at Altuzarra, particularly this coat, and I have a weakness for the clean architectural designs of Cédric Charlier and Osman ...]

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Pebbled and decorated with black and white square patterns

Archaeologists excavating the massive Macedonian style tomb have now fully revealed the monumental entrance to the building having also brought to light its floor.

The post Pebbled and decorated with black and white square patterns appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Building material

pantiles for detectorists (Builder Bill)
It's damage control time on a metal detecting forum near you, obviously (Percentage of 'Keepers'). Now we have another tekkie extolling the virtues of keeping artefacts instead of binning what is not wanted for a personal collection. This one ("Timesearch" from Staffordshire - Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:21 am) begins by telling us: "My interest in metal detecting came out of 25 years working in the heritage sector". I guess we are supposed to be impressed by the non-specific use of the H-word. He is careful to point out that he does not dig deep holes to take items away, claiming that this therefore is: "no threat to underlying archaeology". Missing the point totally of course, since surface sites are also a major subject of archaeological research. Odd though that for a heritage professional he is ignorant about basic facts and terminology. he announces:
I'm about to work on a site where pantiles have been found, indicating Roman occupation [which is going to be] steirlised by being turned into a car park.
Hmm, if it's being sealed by a car park, then there is no need to do anything, it will be preserved under the asphalt. But, "Timesearch" is of course thinking a site which is no longer available for his and his mates' hoiking is in some way being damaged rather than preserved.

But then this collector seems not to have learnt very much about the things one can find in fields anyway. He's far off the mark in thinking pantiles are an indicator of a Roman site (what do they teach "heritage professionals" with metal detectors these days?). They were and are used mainly on the eastern side of England and Scotland and were first imported from Holland in the early 17th century. But then, this is wholly typical of these collectors who say they are hoiking stuff, chucking what they don't want and walking off with the nicer collectables in order to study the past. They are not, are they if they are chucking away, totally disregarded, the stuff they do not want, to the degree that this numpty apparently cannot even tell the difference between Romano-British and post Medieval ceramic building material. Most artefact hunters do not collect anything other than metal (and primarily non-ferrous metal) objects  to "study the past" (sic). You cannot study the past on the basis of discarding most of the evidence for it. In the same way as you could not say very much about our own society on the basis of just going through the yellow bins into which residents have segregated all the plastic. What the PAS is collecting data on is not "evidence of the past" it is evidence of the scope of today's collecting activities and collectors like this one cannot even recognize a very common and diagnostic artefact type - how reliable is this person's recording of the context of deposition of any artefact he hands in?

Of course if the PAS would produce 'a guide to common building material types worth recording' like they did the COINS  they after seventeen years, we'd be getting somewhere.

Builder Bill has photos of Roman tegulae and imbreces and a brief text in simple English: Imbrex and tegula.

Focus on Metal Detecting: Simpletons

On a metal detecting forum very near you, "Liamnolan" (Re: Percentage of 'Keepers' - Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:04 pm ) is another one who attempts to explain away the doubts some of us have about the relationship between what metal detectorists in the UK are showing the PAS and what is actually being hoiked out of the archaeological record. He's decided to go for the name-calling tactic:
[...] There is always the chance that a simpleton =)) browsing this topic will not have a clue about metal detecting realities and thus not realise that the 99% of finds that are not coins etc are in fact RUBBISH such as tin foil, blobs of molten lead, shotgun cartridges, fragments of all sorts of domestic appliances, hot rocks ... the list is endless [...]

Simpletons are the people that write such crap, imagining that it will end the debate. Simpletons are the people who listen to them too. Mr Nolan does not name the "simpleton" whom he is addressing, but perhaps should be aware that in some of our cases (my own for example) we've been looking at metal detecting since the 1970s, when it started, have been to club meetings, out with detectorists on a number of occasions in more than one country, and have made a close study of the problem for a decade and a half. Anyone who's ever been involved in fieldwork of any kind (fieldwalking, earthwork surveying, hedgerow dating, excavation) in the heavily-littered English countryside is well aware of what gets into the fields in dirty Britain. I would say the accusation that people like that still "have not a clue about metal detecting realities" is clutching at straws. Certainly, I know enough about metal detecting argumentation to know that this very same argument has been trotted out regularly over the years.

This was the case in March 2005 when on another forum, the tekkies decided to put their money where their mouth is. They actually set out to demonstrate it. Thirty of them did, in different parts of the country. a total of 112 detecting hours, they turned off their discrimination and determined to "dig every target", ostensibly for a three hour session and log the results. They were going to show that - as Liamnolan puts it, "99% of finds are in fact rubbish".

They dug 1521 "hits". Of these only 493 were very modern finds (so to list the categories mentions by Liam Nolan: tin foil 61 pieces, ringpulls and drink can pieces 111, shotgun cartridges 173, fragments of domestic appliances and electrical waste 14). Hot rocks accounted for 14 dug hits.  There were 15 very modern coins (plus '14p in coppers').

The 'blobs of molten lead' may be "rubbish" to a collector, but could equally be archaeological evidence, deriving from reuse of Roman bath house fittings, roof lead flashings, medieval came manufacture, silver refining waste and so on (dating it would depend on the recording of distribution pattern taken with those of other artefact types). The 2005 survey found 262 pieces of lead 'scrap'. 

Apart from that there were 456 artefacts falling into the group categorised by Nigel Swift and myself as 'Old Timey' (collectable - and saleable - items between c. 300 and c. 90 years old  but not recordable by the PAS). Among these were 71 coins.

What is significant is that there were 55 PAS-recordable finds found in this exercise (one 'keeper' per two hours' detecting in this case).* Of these 30 were coins.

Those figures break down to
Recordable collectables: 4%,
Old Timey collectables, 30%,
Very Modern 32%,
Unattributed and scrap (by the finders) 34% 
 This is a far cry from the "99%" rubbish claim. If we are talking about modern items, the figure shown by this survey is actually 32%.** am sure that had the items not attributed by the finders been examined properly more archaeological items would have been recognized among them.

These are the sort of "metal detecting realities" we are talking about. The ones that induce detecting forum moderators to delete posts or entire threads when they are pointed out.

*Actual rates will be higher, these people had discrimination turned off and were deliberately spending time digging signals they knew were duds. 

**"Oh, what about Green Waste?" you can almost hear them screaming. What's the betting the next such survey will be done only on "Green Waste fields" to boost the "Very modern" category - you know, the ones the detectorists would normally avoid for that very reason

Jim Davila (

More Dovekeepers casting

TVLINE: Finding Carter's Kathryn Prescott Takes Aim at CBS' Dovekeepers Miniseries (Andy Swift).
The star of MTV’s Finding Carter has joined CBS’ upcoming miniseries The Dovekeepers, TVLine has learned, playing a teenaged tomboy named Aziza. Blessed with expert archery skills, Aziza disguises herself in her brother’s armor to join the male warriors of Masada — even managing to fool her lover Amram (played by 90210‘s Diego Boneta).

Obviously a rigorously accurate historical treatment of the story. Background on both the miniseries (due out in 2015) and the novel is here and links.

Phoenician shipwreck

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Phoenician shipwreck found off the coast of Malta could be the Mediterranean's oldest. But the exact location of the 2,700-year-old underwater ruin is being kept secret until research is finished.
By Emily Sharpe. Web only [The Art Newspaper]
Published online: 27 August 2014

Cargo from what may be the oldest shipwreck in the Mediterranean has been discovered off the coast the Maltese island of Gozo, reports the Times of Malta. Around 20 lava grinding stones and 50 amphorae of various types and sizes from the 50ft-long Phoenician wreck were found by a team of researchers from Malta, France and the US. Experts date the artefacts to around 700BC, when Malta was among several areas in the Mediterranean colonised by the Phoenicians.


Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Shitty News is Good News!

 (sorry - I couldn't resist the pun)

PRESS RELEASE - Earliest known wooden toilet seat discovered at Vindolanda:
Now archaeologists have another piece of this very personal human hoard at Vindolanda, a wooden latrine (toilet) seat, was discovered by the Director of Excavations, Dr Andrew Birley, in the deep pre-hadrianic trenches at Vindolanda. There are many examples of stone and marble seat benches from across the Roman Empire but this is believed to be the only surviving wooden seat, almost perfectly preserved in the anaerobic, oxygen free, conditions which exist at Vindolanda.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Ancient shipwreck with Phoenician artefacts has been located off Gozo

While the find has been reported in the local media, the exact location of the shipwreck will be diosclosed after experts finish their work.

The post Ancient shipwreck with Phoenician artefacts has been located off Gozo appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

The Song of the Earth

September 29, 2014 - 11:08 AM - Theatrical performance Artistic Organization ‘Kohili’

BiblePlaces Blog

Artifact of the Month: Esarhaddon Stela

(Posted by Michael J. Caba)

Esarhaddon was an Assyrian king noted in Biblical passages such as 2 Kings 19:37. He erected the monument shown in the picture to commemorate a military victory in Egypt. The dolerite monument is over ten feet high and was made in the 7th century BC. It was found in 1881 in the modern city of Zinjirli, Turkey, and the text is written in the Akkadian language using the cuneiform script. Esarhaddon himself is depicted in the carving, which is now located in the Museum of the Ancient Near East, Pergamum Museum, Berlin. 

Esarhaddon was a powerful Assyrian king during the 7th century BC, and King Manasseh of Judah was a vassal ruler under his sovereignty. In the royal inscriptions of Esarhaddon (not shown here) reference is made to "Manasseh, King of Judah," who was required to help provide building material to Esarhaddon for the construction of the Assyrian ruler's palace.

For information on similar artifacts related to the Bible, see Bible and Archaeology - Online Museum.

(Photo: Significant resource for further study: Lost Treasures of the Bible, by Fant and Reddish, pages 177-81.)

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Mayan city is rediscovered

We found the site with the aid of aerial photographs but were able to identify it with Lagunita only after we saw the façade and the monuments, says archaeologist Ivan Šprajc .

The post Mayan city is rediscovered appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Metal Detecting and the Heritage Debate: "Disappointed this is happening again".

Metal detectorists apparently consider that what they do happens in a vacuum. They take stuff, the rest of us are expected just to turn away and let them. The very idea that there might be some kind of debate about what we do to the heritage, what we allow to happen to it seems an anathema to them, indeed the possibility apparently never crossed their minds. So artefact hunter Kris Rodgers of 'National Geographic' and Greg's Bedroom fame "Addicted to Bleeps"adds his latest to the 'Re: Percentage of 'Keepers' thread (Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:17 pm:
Since I wrote my post, I've learnt about the underlying politics concerning this thread. Some people are great with political spin, and loaded questions, but surely healthy debate is the best way to come to a positive conclusion? Disappointed this is happening again.
He cannot make up his mind whether the penultimate sentence is a statement or a question, which probably is symptomatic of a certain confusion in thinking typical of the milieu. It is rather pathetic that these people do not recognize that heritage in general is 'political'. There is a heritage policy (or mixture of policies) in the UK, and this is and should be the subject of debate. My questioning what artefact hunters do to the archaeological record under the umbrella of a vague policy is part of that public debate. Metal detectorists Greg, Baz and Liam may not like that, they may not wish to take part, they may even wish to avoid even thinking about it (even to the extent of avoiding mentioning the names of people debating the issues) and they may be "disappointed" that others want to discuss it - with or without them - but yes, the rest of us will continue to expect a healthy debate to come to a positive resolution. That is not a question.  

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: More on the rate of 'Keepers' to 'Binned'

JamieB admits he collects mainly the hammered coins among the things he finds, the rest he treats as 'scrap' Jamie:
"I have found 35 hammered in 18 months which is one every two weeks which isn't bad"
Elsewhere he writes: "I've never counted how many targets I dig in a session but if I find one hammy per session and I've dug 100 targets I'm fairly happy". So 99% of the holes he digs, and 99% of the metal items he digs up are not of interest to him, because they do not produced the hammered coins he collects.  Fusion writes: I recall Moderator Dave2468 saying he was happy to get one 'keeper' per session, which sounds like the sort of rate I was indicating: 0 to 2 keepers per 30 - 60 targets. JamieB (Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:01 pm) replies:
I'm lucky that I normally can get out once a week and have access to some good permissions .. Actually, I hate to think how many holes I've dug and that includes just taking the top few inches off .. When I show people my coin collection they have no idea how many holes I've dug to find that lot .. It's probably well over 5000 eek ..
But of course archaeological evidence on the sites he searches does not consist of coins alone.The point here is always that the artefacts we see on sale by dealers or collected by collectors represents many, many more holes in the archaeological record. Here we see multiples of 60 times, a hundred times more being quoted by the people actually doing the artefact hunting. One coin on V-coins could represent sixty or more trashed bits of the archaeological record.

Castle Ashby Fire Caused by "Sparking Windows"

The Castle Ashby estate is (only now) claiming after a three day investigation, that 'Huge fire at Northamptonshire stately home ‘was accidentally triggered by workers’ tools’..'. Yeah yeah, just coincidentally on Wednesday, July 9 when the house's owner was waiting to hear how much he'd made from the Sekhemka sale. Well, the insurers can believe it was careless workmen ("friction and sparks caused while contractors where renovating windows" - eh?), we may choose regardless to believe another explanation and suggest that the new owner takes care. An angry akh can be a dangerous thing.

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Not much time left to send in your archaeology photos!

If you’re still keen to share your archaeology photos, I’m equally keen to post them up! The deadline for photo submissions in August 28. Send me a photo related to Southeast Asian Archaeology with a caption and your name (and affiliation, optional). The virtual exhibition will begin next week!

Book shows Bohol churches before and after 2013 earthquake

A new book released earlier this week showcases the churches of Bohol, in their former and current state after the devastating 2013 earthquake that damaged a number of churches.


Before and after Oct. 15, 2013
Inquirer, 25 August 2014

University of San Carlos (USC) of Cebu and Holy Name University (HNU) of Bohol are set to launch Monday the book “Pagsulay: Churches of Bohol Before and After the Earthquake of 2013.”

Written by Jose Eleazar R. Bersales and photographed by Fr. Generoso Rebayla Jr., SVD, and Estan Cabigas, the 240-page coffee-table book describes in both text and photography the state of the 26 churches in Bohol before and after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the province on Oct. 15, 2013.

Worst affected by the strong tremor were the churches of Loon, the biggest in the Visayas, and Maribojoc. Both are now in ruins. Other iconic churches also suffered from minor to major damages.

Full story here.

Security tightened around Borobudur in wake of terror threat

To be fair, the threat has only been made of Facebook, so it’s not sure how credible the threat is, but Indonesian police are taking it seriously. Good on them!


Security tightened at Borobudur temple after possible ISIS threat
Digital Journal, 24 August 2014

Indonesia’s police on alert over apparent ISIS terror threat to Borobudur Temple
The Straits Times, 23 August 2014

Indonesian police are on the alert at the Borobudur Temple after a threat against the world’s biggest Buddhist temple and UNESCO World heritage Site was made on Facebook by Islamic State supporters.

Police in Central Java, Indonesia have begun combing through data on the Internet looking for possible clues and traces of a plan, National Police spokesman Ronny F. Sompie told the Jakarta Post on Friday. “The Central Java Police chief has ordered an investigation into the threat and we expect that there will be cooperation with the temple’s security personnel and the Indonesian Military [TNI] to safeguard the temple from any possible damage.”

The Borobudur Conservation Agency (BCA) is preparing for the possibility of an imminent bombing by increasing the number of security personnel within and around the temple, said Marsis Sutopo, head of the BCA. “We’ve increased the number of security officers and have coordinated with PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur [TWCB manages tourism activities at the temple] and the local police,” he said in Magelang.

Full story here.

photo by:

Vietnam wants to remove foreign-looking lion statues

The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture has released an advisory to temples and heritage properties discouraging the use of non-Vietnamese lion statues. It seems like an attempt to maintain an idea of “pure” Vietnamese-ness… whatever that means.

Vietnamese lions. Source: Viet Nam News 20140823

Vietnamese lions. Source: Viet Nam News 20140823

Vietnamese lions to roar again
Viet Nam News, 23 August 2014

In the near future, foreign-style stone lions with fierce looks, large paws and sharp teeth are expected to be removed from relics, pagodas and temples throughout the country.

Cultural managers have decided that authentic Vietnamese guardian lion statues will replace these objects, which are unsuited to Vietnamese customs and culture. Soon, people will see Vietnamese stone lions roar again at the gates of ruins and heritage sites.

Duong Thi Thanh, vice director of the Ninh Binh Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said she will join with other cultural managers to raise the public’s awareness about exhibiting Vietnamese sacred objects which carry with them the nation’s history, traditional fine arts characteristics and spiritual symbols.

Fine arts researcher Tran Hau Yen The said the growing use of non-Vietnamese designs shows people’s lack of knowledge and is a result of non-selective cultural adaptation.

“Chinese lions look fierce, angry and threatening, while Vietnamese lions look tolerant and solemn,” he said.

Full story here.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

'Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art' Reviewed

A Bryn Mawr Classical Review reviw, by Josephine Shaya of the book (Elizabeth Marlowe, 'Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art' Debates in archaeology, London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013) which nobody involved in the portable antiquities debate can do without reading. (Unless they work for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, because there is no academic or public debate there.)

eClassics Everyone's Blog Posts - eLatin eGreek eLearn

Understanding what marketing “engagement” really means

Marketing directors are automatically expected to be experts in their field, but there is still a learning curve for everyone. Unlike days of bygone years when technological advancements came slowly and it was possible to be an expert without continuous learning, these days if you don’t read up on what’s new in the field at least once a week, you run the risk of using outdated marketing strategies.
Defining engagement
For instance, a word many marketers bandy about is “engagement.” It’s been around for a while now, but without a clear definition, it’s meaningless. For a time, people thought a good measure of engagement was how many re-tweets or Facebook likes or shares they got. But just because someone took one second to like a picture doesn’t mean they were actually “engaged” with the content.
Product value exchange
So contributor Greg Satell suggested marketers measure their success  on a basis of value exchange instead. There are three types he described, the first being product value exchange, which is easily explainable as the idea that a customer sees a products value and its price as being equal.
Content value exchange
He also mentioned content value exchange, which Satell said means, “Consumers increasingly expect brands to be partners by helping them get maximum utility and enjoyment out of their purchase.” This includes good customer relations, responses to customer concerns, and a willingness to guarantee a product’s quality and longevity.
Social value exchange
Third, Satell explained social value exchange, which he compared to drinking at a bar. He said, “Every pub owner has long understood that we’ll pay a whole lot more to go to a place where we can meet people than we will to get drunk at home.” What he meant was people don’t utilize their products and services in a vacuum. They like to receive recognition for their choices, so a brand with high social currency will be more attractive than one on the lower end of the scale.
Using these terms instead of “engagement” won’t automatically fix your marketing problems, but they will help you identify the goals and outcomes of each of your strategies. Focusing your energy specifically on social value exchange, for instance, will mean you’re not considering price or customer service value concurrently. You can consider and fine tune one aspect at a time by using these three pieces of terminology.
The true aim of marketing
Satell also pointed out that marketers tend to confuse marketing with promotion. In fact, he argued, “Marketing is about insights more than anything else.” He also quoted Peter Drucker, the legendary writer, professor, and management consultant, who once said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
Marketing News brought to you by

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Portableising Petroglyphs in California and its Implications

Derek Fincham said it, I'm quoting him here verbatim, this is not some Third World country with 20% literacy rate, this is Central California (Derek Fincham, 'Losing California’s ancient petroglyphs', Illicit Cultural Property, August 26, 2014):
Central California PBS affiliate KVIE has a segment showing and discussing the theft and destruction of ancient petroglyphs from California. It shows some of the sites themselves, the damage they have suffered, and a good overview of the laws protecting these sites. The segment really hits its stride in pointing out the disconnect between laws protecting these sites, and the local populations. There is a lot more public awareness needed. People should know better, but they don’t yet, and cultural resource managers need to redouble their efforts to do a better job educating the public about why they shouldn’t damage sites and remove items
Which should go hand in hand with educating the US public about the damage done by the no-questions -asked antiquities market as a whole. Why is this not making much progress? Why do we find even US broadsheets writing uncritically and blithely of the collection of "ancient art" as though it was an envronmentally beneficial phenomenon, when the Americans have such destruction on their doorstep? Is it really so difficult to make the connection?

 Watch Torn - Recovering California’s Stolen Cultural Heritage on PBS, it's really quite shocking.

Ancient Art

Banqueting scenes in ancient Greek Attic red-figure...

Banqueting scenes in ancient Greek Attic red-figure pottery.

Banqueter and musician, kalos inscription (“Ho pais kalos” “The boy is handsome”). Tondo from an Attic red-figure cup, ca. 490 BC. Colmar Painter, found in Vulci.

Boy serving wine in a banquet, holding an oenochoe (wine jug) in his right hand and a kylix (shallow cup) in his left hand. Side A from and Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 460-450 BC, Euaion Painter.

Banquet scene: youth holding a kylix (shallow cup), surrounded by two young men holding skyphoi. Attic red-figure cup, ca. 490-480 BC, Cage Painter.

Courtesy of & currently located at the Louvre, France, G 135, G 467 & G 133. Photos taken by Jastrow: 1, 2 & 3.

August 26, 2014

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

2014 State of the University

Click here to view the embedded video.

At the start of every academic year, the president of Butler University gives a talk called the “State of the University” address. I thought I’d share this year’s, since it is on YouTube, and it includes pictures of some of the exciting building projects that are planned on campus for the near future. There’s more about those on the Butler website, too.

Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

Oldest metal object found to date in Middle East

A copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East, was discovered during excavations at Tel Tsaf. The tool dates to the late 6th or early...

Humans were eating snails 30,000 years ago

Palaeolithic humans of present-day Spain were eating snails as much as 30,000 years ago - 10,000 years earlier than inhabitants of other Mediterranean regions, according to Javier Fernández-López de Pablo...

Archaeology Magazine

New Dates for Prehistoric Paintings in Utah’s Great Gallery

Utah-Pictographs-RedatedLOGAN, UTAH— A team led by Utah State University geologist Joel Pederson has used luminescence dating techniques to document the timing of geologic events in southern Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, and thus “draw a box” around a probable window of time for the creation of the paintings in Horseshoe Canyon’s Great Gallery. “The most accepted hypotheses pointed to the age of these paintings as 2,000 to 4,000 years old or perhaps even 7,000 to 8,000 years old. Our findings reveal these paintings were likely made between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago,” Pederson told The new dates suggest that the artists may have co-existed with the Fremont people, who are known for their carved pictographs. “Previous ideas suggested a people different from the Fremont created the paintings because the medium and images are so different. This raises a lot of archaeological questions,” Pederson explained. To learn more about art from this period in Southwestern prehistory, see "Investigating A Decades-Old Disapperance," ARCHAEOLOGY's account of a mystery involving Fremont figurines.


Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Playing with Sculptures ...

New Flexible Paper Sculptures by Li Hongbo | Colossal:

Li Hongbo’s stunning, stretchable, paper sculptures, inspired by both traditional folk art and his time as a student learning to sculpt, challenge our perceptions. With a technique influenced by his fascination with traditional Chinese decorations known as paper gourds—made from glued layers of paper—Li Hongbo applies a honeycomb-like structure to form remarkably flexible sculptures.

Click through as these are fun!

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Jew and Judean: A Forum on Politics and Historiography in the Translation of Ancient Texts

Jew and Judean: A Forum on Politics and Historiography in the Translation of Ancient Texts
August 26, 2014

Have scholars erased the Jews from Antiquity?

Jew or Judean SliderThe Marginalia Review of Books aims to host conversations about serious books and important ideas. Taking advantage of the opportunities supplied by new media, we are providing space for constructive debates on the questions that shape how we understand the world.
Adele Reinhartz’s essay in MRB on June 24 set off a vibrant discussion in the comments section and in the MRB editors’ inboxes. The range of responses to the piece dotted the spectrum from full support to indignation, proving that a sizable readership wanted to debate these ideas further. The forum is released today only two months after the Reinhartz essay thanks to the good will and the efficiency of the participants. The essays, beginning with Reinhartz’s original piece and concluding with her response to the collection, investigate the political and historiographical considerations involved in the translation of ancient texts, in particular how modern translators and historians ought to deal with the translation of the Greek word ioudaios (Ἰουδαῖος).
Along with the forum, MRB is excited to release an e-book version of the discussion free for our readers. We hope that you will read and share with as many people as you wish, and we hope it becomes a resource for use in seminars, classrooms, and other group settings. You can download the e-book in epub format (most readers) or in mobi format (Amazon Kindle).     — Timothy Michael Law
Adele Reinhartz
I am alarmed by the growing invisibility of Jews and Judaism in English translations of ancient texts and scholarship about them. The use of “Judeans” to translate all occurrences of ioudaioi achieves neither the scholarly precision nor the ethical high ground that scholars claim. On the contrary, the proliferation of Judeans inadvertently creates confusion and misunderstanding and merely sidesteps the issue without addressing the anti-Jewish or even anti-Semitic potential of texts such as the Gospel of John.
Steve Mason
All humanities disciplines invite us to explore the possibilities of human existence, but history opens the door to conditions that have really existed before our time. No one should be naïve enough, however, to think that we can simply enter the distant past as it really was, for it does not exist now. The vehicle that takes us there we construct today. We pose our questions about the past and gather any surviving evidence that seems relevant.
The problem of translating with sensitivity to ancient contexts is basic to the research and teaching of all ancient historians.
Daniel Schwartz
The question whether we should use “Jew” or “Judean” when writing about antiquity should, I assume, be approached no differently than other questions concerning the use of our modern English vocabulary for ancient phenomena. Just as we normally look at the evidence concerning antiquity and, when turning to describing what we see, strive to choose the English words that best correspond to what we see, so too in this case.
Annette Yoshiko Reed
At first sight, the debate might seem to pivot on the choice between Mason’s search for the most accurate English equivalent of the term’s meaning in the first century and Reinhartz’s concern to tailor its translation to the understanding (and potential misunderstandings) of present-day readers. Yet the ramifications are also much wider. Just as Mason shows how the translation of a single term can engage the very nature of identity in the ancient world, so Reinhartz also calls us to critical reflection concerning the degree to which modern historical research can be isolated from its own historical contexts. Rather than arguing for one side or another, I would thus like to push further on both fronts — in part by asking what we miss when we plot the different meanings of ioudaios along a straight line towards the concept of “Judaism” as “religion.”
Joan Taylor
To say, as Malina does, that a “Jew” is an anachronistic category in the first century erects a wall between modernity and antiquity. I do not want to sever Jesus from the designation “Jew” and insist on it being relevant only to a later time, because that might sever him from a Judaism today that embraces diversity within its past. To say that Jesus was a Jew is not to say that he was a Jew as the rabbis would define that term but a Jew as one might define him in the first century.
Malcolm Lowe
If a word — or some use of that word — is lacking in ancient sources before a certain date, we should be cautious both about assuming and about denying that it existed in earlier times. Moreover, we should beware of assuming that if a word or use of a word is not found in ancient authors, then those authors did not have the concept denoted by that word.
Jonathan Klawans
Is it really the case that the translation “Jew” has done great harm? If I am not mistaken, the question about “Jew” and “Judean” is, as it is taking place here, primarily an English-language question. Far be it from me to deny the influence of anti-Semitism in the English-speaking world. But lets be frank: on the whole, Jews have been and continue to be rather safe wherever the English language is spoken, even though all the Bibles talk about Jews.
Ruth Sheridan
It is not sufficient to say that subsequent Christian interpreters of the Gospel of John mistakenly identified the narrative’s “Jews” with real flesh-and-blood Jews living among them — with disastrously violent consequences — and that they misinterpreted John’s sense. It is also not enough to claim, on that basis, that the imperative facing us now is to “restore” the correct meaning (the entho-geographic one) to the text, translating hoi Ioudaioi as “the Judeans.” This avoids the fact that texts do carry within them the potential to become loosed from their authorial moorings and to reach beyond the particularities of their original reception.
James Crossley
The ioudaios debate is an especially good example of the impossibility of escaping ideology, no matter how disinterested a given scholar might be and no matter how unware a scholar might be. We have seen how easy it is to detect what we might crudely label “pro-Israel” and “anti-Israel” stances, ethical concerns about anti-Semitism, and a marginalizing of Palestinian concerns. Of course, there are genuine concerns about the pervasiveness of ideology for academic research. But we can perhaps calm some of these fears.
Adele Reinhartz
While not all participants in the Forum explicitly address anti-Semitism or its seemingly more benign variant, anti-Judaism, I believe that all recognize that the ioudaios question does have implications for this sensitive issue. As some of the responses note, the question of translation may matter less when readers have ready access to commentaries and more in the case, for example, of New Testaments that are used liturgically and therefore, in most cases, without commentary.

Archaeology Briefs


The Bureau of Land Management is offering up to $500 for information leading to the arrest/conviction of vandals responsible for defacing rock near rock art thousands of years old. The vandalism happened July 25-31, 2014.
Vandals spray-painted more than a dozen silhouette targets on rocks near Native American rock art at Utah County's Lake Mountain and then engaged in practice shooting with a large-caliber firearm.

The BLM said similar vandalism happened in 2011, prompting the federal agency to go to great lengths to remove the paint to prevent any more damage to the rock art.Native American rock art sites are protected under federal law by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1976. Violators causing damage to cultural resources on federal lands can face severe penalties including fines and jail time.

In May, a vandal etched initials and a date into the dark patina next to the prehistoric image known as the Pregnant Buffalo on a rock panel in Nine Mile Canyon.An investigation subsequently revealed that two youths from the Salt Lake City area were responsible for the Memorial Day weekend incident. A payment from the vandals for $1,500 helped to mitigate the damage, according to the BLM.

Anyone with information on this latest incident should call BLM ranger Randy Griffin at 801-977-4314.

Archaeology Magazine

CT Scans of Taung Child’s Skull Challenge Development Theory

Taung-Child-Skull-FacebookJOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA—Kristian Carlson of the University of the Witwatersrand, Ralph L. Holloway of Columbia University, and Douglas C. Broadfield of Florida Atlantic University have examined the skull of the Taung Child and its fossilized endocast with microfocus X-ray computer tomography. They found that the young Australopithecus africanus individual lacked the cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers, which allow for brain growth, as had been suggested by an earlier study. The researchers argue that the unfused patch of connective tissue between the two halves of the frontal bone of the skull, and the so-called “soft spot” on a modern human child’s head, may not even have been selectively advantageous to early prefrontal lobe expansion in hominin evolution. “We’ve demonstrated the misdiagnosis in Taung, and we believe it would be prudent to assess whether the presence of these features—unfused metopic sutures and open anterior fontanelles—may have been misdiagnosed in the additional specimens,” Carlson told Live Science. To read more about the evolution of modern human skulls see ARCHAEOLOGY's "Your Face: Punching Bag or Spandrel."


Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #522

Todays Open Access (free to read) Archaeology articles:

The Aucissa Fibulae

Notes on Broughton Church

How the Elephant became a Bishop: An Enquiry into the Origin of the Names of Chess Pieces

Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at:

All Mesopotamia

The history of dice becomes fun when the Sumerians are in the...

The history of dice becomes fun when the Sumerians are in the picture.

Read more here

Archaeology Magazine

Neolithic Oven Discovered in Croatia

Neolithic-Oven-CroatiaBAPSKA, CROATIA—A 6,500-year-old oven has been unearthed during recent excavations at a Neolithic home site in eastern Croatia. Marcel Buric of the University of Zagreb told The Croatian Times that the oven provided the residents with cooked food, hot water, and central heating around the clock. “This discovery is important. Because the houses of this period are made of wattle and daubed with a roof made of hay, using an open fireplace was dangerous. But a roofed fireplace, like the one in Bapska, besides being safer, also had other advantages,” he said. In addition, a smelted piece of iron ore, and the cremated remains of a 15-month-old child, left, that may have been sacrificed were uncovered. “We know that such sacrifices were made to ensure the growth of crops by giving a life and putting it back into the earth. The more treasured the life, say a baby, the better the result, or so they thought,” he added.  


Medieval Graves Unearthed in Norway

OSLO, NORWAY—Some 100 burials dating from 1100 to 1400 have been uncovered by archaeologists working ahead of a public railway expansion project into the oldest area of Oslo. Views and News from Norway reports that the medieval skeletons will provide scientists with information about what early Oslo residents ate, what illnesses they had, how old they were when they died, and where the city’s cemeteries were located. “That can also tell us what rank they held in society,” said lead archaeologist Egil Bauer of the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU). The cemetery was known from historical sources, but was thought to be lost when a railway line was built in the area during the nineteenth century. To read about artifacts from this period being discovered in Norway's melting glaciers, see "Letter From Norway: The Big Melt."


Geoff Carter (Theoretical Structural Archaeology)

Debunking the Iron Age Round House

Is Prehistory is more or less bunk ?
In 1916, when archaeology was in its infancy, the industrialist Henry Ford expressed the view that History is more or less bunk, so what he would have made of Prehistory would probably have been unprintable.[1]  However, perhaps as an engineer, his concerns were elsewhere, solving the problems in the present and helping to mould the future.
In his remark, we might perceive a fundamental dichotomy of science v arts, but while this is clearly simplistic, there is a certain resonance for archaeology which sits, sometimes uncomfortably, between the two. Much of what is important, incisive and certainly less bunk in archaeology originally came from outside, from the borrowing of scientific techniques from other disciplines.  Further, in Henry Ford’s prejudice one might also perceive a divergence between practical v theoretical, or practitioners v academics; for archaeology, the latter are often from an “arts background”, and by creating the past in their own image, have divested Prehistory of its engineers, architects, builders; a prehistoric built environment fabricated almost entirely from bunk.
In the West, Archaeology is fairly new discipline, not much older than the motor car, but prehistory is not vital, and so nobody cares if you get it wrong or make it up. Unlike engineering, archaeology can be a faith based study, with objectivity, and even the evidence being secondary, what is important is belief in the narrative and its institutions.  In archaeology things can be true because people believe them, not because they are supported by the evidence. 
This is hard concept to grasp if you come from another discipline, or importantly, if you believe in the intellectual integrity of archaeology, but ideas about ancient building are a classic case in point.
The Primitive condition   
In 1916 Britain was an imperial power and whatever our native archaeology represented, it was not civilisation, at least not in a classical sense, and that’s what mattered, and so naturally our intellectual focus was elsewhere - mostly in other people's imperial past.  In addition, Britain as an imperial culture whose spiritual raison d'être was to bring civilisation to primitive peoples, it was thus natural to see our own prehistory in these terms, with simple backward Ancient Britons awaiting the arrival of the Romans.   
Above left; reconstruction of Little Woodbury by  Crown Film Unit [2]
It is this second dichotomy, between Civilised and Primitive, which underlies much of our thinking about the past, with the later forming a geographically diverse monolithic culture, treated almost as an evolutionary stage transitional between Cave Man and Civilised Man Traditionally, an understanding of all things classical was at the heart of our education system, being seen as both the genesis and embodiment of science and the arts, leading to a tendency to see our primitive native culture from this civilised perspective.  
While this is a bit broad brush, you do have to try to find some context for the prejudicial way British archaeology has approached its own prehistory, and why it was thought appropriate to build a African style Roundhouse in southern England.
Since the Roman period we have mostly lived in rectangular buildings, some bigger than others, but it would be ridiculous pretend these buildings were all basically the same.  However, it is widely believed that before the arrival of Rome we lived in houses with circular plan which, varying only in size, were all single celled structures with a fire in the centre, with no concession to any form of utility or function, human or agricultural.  Presumably, it is because these were the simple buildings of primitive people, a universal stereotype, not a local cultural technological tradition, a conceit that underlies the misuse of ethnography by New Archaeologists
Debunking the roundhouse
Archaeology is a complex subject synthesised from study a range categories of evidence, which all apply different methodologies and standards of objectivity. 
As a subject, it often suffers from being taught in a Faculty of Arts; in science there is usually at least a statistical approximation of truth that can be demonstrated, and importantly, this is what matters to scientists.  In the arts, things are more faith-based, in that things can be true because people believe them to be true, and similarly, individuals are correct because people believe in them; in both cases, the evidence or lack of it is a moveable feast.
Above left; simplified of plan Little Woodbury used for reconstructions [3]
I wish to distinguish religious faith at this point, since I presume they would argue that their texts and tradition constitutes the evidence that justifies their belief, but the parallels are inescapable.  Faith is a personal matter, and I am sure that ideas about ancient buildings are sincerely held by all concerned.  Most readers probably think they know what a prehistoric roundhouse looked like, some may even imagine that they have seen one, but what is not understood is that reconstructions and artistic images are the product of a trinity of sins against objectivity. Fundamentally, belief in the model is generated and sustained by the following processes;
  • Excluding data that does not fit the model
  • And / or selecting only data that does fit
  • Embellishing the evidence to conform to the model
The model becomes self-referential, self-sustaining, and all embracing, to exclusion of all evidence which is contrary, or does not conform; in short, a belief system. All of these have their religious parallels, and in some senses define magical thinking, we could be talking about the Loch Ness Monster, miracles, or UFOs, and seem an inappropriate approach of archaeology to prehistoric built environments.  [But I bet you don't believe me. . . . . .]

The Evidence as excavated
The Pimperne Down plan was excavated, and used as the Model for the Original Butser roundhouse reconstruction, by Peter Reynolds [4], and Little Woodbury is the type site for this type of building [3], which has been reconstructed more than once, and it these and similar large buildings from southern England I wish to discuss. 
Fact 1
The Iron Age buildings at Pimperne Down and Little and Woodbury had both been rebuilt, and the excavated plan clearly shows complex internal features reproduced in successive phases, [which are similar to those found in single phase structures of this type].[5]
Fact 2 
Neither building showed evidence for central hearth, and at Cow Down where the floor surface survived there was no evidence of a fire. [5]
Sorry, in this context, the big round open space with a fire in the middle is a fiction; it is not true or real as a representation of the archaeological evidence.
Archaeology after the fact
Astronomers and astrologers are superficially both looking at the stars, but the former uses measurement and deductive reasoning as a basis for understanding, while the latter very selectively anthropomorphises the phenomena by projecting their own subjective experience and concepts onto it.  
The same selective use of data to simplify joining the dots in order to make appropriate shapes is also evident in our approach to finding and understanding buildings, a process completed by postprocessualists adding ideas about how ancient people perceived these imaginary spaces.[6]  Evidently, the fact that no Iron Age people have seen of our “reconstructions”,  just as we have never seen one of their buildings, is no barrier to scholarship in the tautologically challenging area of prehistoric cosmology. 
To be fair to Peter Reynolds, he only ever called it a “construct” and his untimely death has left his work not only unfinished, but also to be endlessly reproduced as a “reconstruction” like an architectural cargo cult.  Notwithstanding the roofed leaked and had to be demolished following storm damage, it was good enough for our primitive ancestors and British archaeology, which has always been run on shoestring; the idea of deploying the sort of resources available to the Iron Age aristocracy is unimaginable.  
Roundhouses are one of those ideas that are so deeply rooted, and so fundamental to our shared understanding, that they go unquestioned; an article of faith, but a phenomenon where the testimony of the eyes is in conflict with the truth.
I have been boyishly picking away at the invisible strands of this novel imperial costume for some time now, because I think if archaeology wants to be taken seriously, it must develop an evidence based approach rather than simply put faith in models and ideas which are unsustainable and are detrimental to the credibility and development of the subject. 

Sources and further reading
[1] Crawfordsville Review, June 6, 1916.  "history is more or less bunk"
[3] Bersu, G: 1940 Excavations at Little Woodbury, Wiltshire. Part 1, the settlement revealed by excavation. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 6, 30 –111
[4] Harding, D W, Blake I M, and Renolds P J, 1993 An Iron Age settlement in Dorsett: Excavation and reconstruction. University of Ediburgh. Department of Archaeology Monograph series No. 1. & visit
[5] Hawkes, S.C. 1994. Longbridge Deverill Cow Down, Wiltshire, House 3: A Major Round House of the Early Iron Age. Oxford Journ. Archaeol. 13(1), 49-69.
[6] Pearson Parker, M 1999, Food, Sex and Death: Cosmologies in the British Iron age with Particular Reference to East Yorkshire (Cambridge Archaeological Journal 1999 (a) 9:1 pp 43-69)

Ancient Peoples

Terracotta rattle in the form of a pig 2nd Century AD Mid...

Terracotta rattle in the form of a pig

2nd Century AD

Mid Imperial Roman

The pig’s back is inlaid with chunks of coloured glass.

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

Archaeology Briefs


Nobody would mistake the municipality of Savsjo for the borough of the Bronx.

Savsjo, surrounded by dense forests in southern Sweden between Stockholm and Malmo, has about 5,000 inhabitants (about one-tenth as many as the Co-op City section of the borough alone, but about 10 times as many as the number of Bronxites who claim Swedish heritage). Its medieval churches date to the 12th century (the oldest existing house in the Bronx was built in 1748). Savsjo’s best-known sports team plays handball, not baseball.

And yet the two localities share one largely forgotten favorite son, whose Swedish heritage has only recently been confirmed: Jonas Bronck. Bronck was born in 1600 just outside Savsjo (pronounced SEV-sho) in the hamlet of Komstad. He emigrated to Denmark, where he became a mariner, and then to the Netherlands, where he married a local woman. In 1639, after the local economy was roiled by a boom-and-bust mania for tulip bulbs, the couple sailed on the Fire of Troy for New Amsterdam.

The Broncks built a stone house they named Emmaus (after a site where Jesus appeared after his resurrection) at what would become East 132nd Street and Lincoln Avenue, on a bluff overlooking what would become a 680-acre farm flanked by the Harlem River, the Bronx Kill, which separates the borough from Randalls Island, and the Aquahung, which later became known as Bronck’s River.

The 375th anniversary of Bronck’s arrival and settlement as the first European in the Bronx will be celebrated this weekend in Savsjo by his descendants and dignitaries from both countries. (This year is also the centennial of Bronx County, New York State’s youngest.) “The invisible hand of the Almighty Father,” Bronck wrote to a friend in Amsterdam, “surely guided me to this beautiful country, a land covered with virgin forest and unlimited opportunities. It is a veritable paradise and needs but the industrious hand of man to make it the finest and most beautiful region in all the world.”

Bronck died childless at age 43 of unknown causes. His widow remarried and moved to what would be called upstate New York. Several descendants of his nephew or cousin Pieter, whose stone house in Coxsackie is now the headquarters of the Greene County Historical Society, plan to attend the commemoration.

“We have always been very proud of the fact that you do not go to Bronx but to the Bronx, meaning to visit that family or what remains of it,” said Audrey Bronk of Pinehurst, N.C., whose husband, Charles, 85, born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, a former salesman for a plumbing and heating company, is a 10th-generation descendant of Pieter. (The name, which gained an X from the Dutch, lost a C in English.)

The celebration was largely conceived by Brian G. Andersson, a Bronxite of Swedish ancestry. He is the former commissioner of records for New York City and a founding director of the Jonas Bronck Center in Savsjo, which is hosting the commemoration.

“The story behind Jonas Bronck will serve as a model and be the power behind Jonas Bronck Center’s goal — to make the cultural and historical treasure in Smaland and Savsjo, the focal point of tourism in this part of Sweden,” said Curt Wrigfors, the chairman of the center, which is also conducting historical and genealogical research. The center, a former hotel, also houses a Vietnamese restaurant and a tattoo parlor.

Until recently, when it has begun a modest rebound, the Bronx has been famous for the Yankees, the zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, but also disparaged for the Bronx cheer and Ogden Nash’s ultimate contumely (later retracted) “The Bronx? No thonx,” and mocked at home as a national symbol of urban blight (Howard Cosell: “The Bronx is burning;” Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities”).

So New Yorkers may be surprised that Jonas Bronck himself has been claimed as a native of Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and the Frisian and Faroe Islands. His Swedish roots were established only in the last few decades by Lloyd Ultan, the Bronx borough historian, and further authenticated by an Irish historian and Mr. Andersson.


Faint as the Avenue was, Vince Gaffney hustled along as if it were illuminated by runway lights. A short, sprightly archaeologist of 56, from Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England, he knows this landscape as well as anyone alive: has walked it, breathed it, studied it for uncounted hours. He has not lost his sense of wonder. Stopping to fix the monument in his eyeline, and reaching out toward the stones on the horizon, he said, “Look, it becomes cathedralesque.”

Gaffney’s latest research effort, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, is a four-year collaboration between a British team and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria that has produced the first detailed underground survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, totaling more than four square miles.

The results are astonishing. The researchers have found buried evidence of more than 15 previously unknown or poorly understood late Neolithic monuments: henges, barrows, segmented ditches, pits. To Gaffney, these findings suggest a scale of activity around Stonehenge far beyond what was previously suspected. “There was sort of this idea that Stonehenge sat in the middle and around it was effectively an area where people were probably excluded,” Gaffney told me, “a ring of the dead around a special area—to which few people might ever have been admitted....Perhaps there were priests, big men, whatever they were, inside Stonehenge having processions up the Avenue, doing...something extremely mysterious. Of course that sort of analysis depends on not knowing what’s actually in the area around Stonehenge itself. It was terra incognita, really.”

The huge bluestones each weigh between four and eight tons and were brought to the site from North Wales, 170 miles away. The Stonehenge landscape, the new evidence suggests, guided the movement of great crowds. The heelstone aligns with the rising sun on the summer solstice as seen from the stone circle, about 80 yards away. It is one of “an excessive number” of such features in the Stonehenge landscape. The massive stone monument rising from Salisbury Plain must have been an impressive sight to ancient visitors.

The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project used ground-penetrating radars and GPS-guided magnetometers (right) to produce what amounts to a 3-D map of a four-square-mile area. Nighttime only enhances the mystery of Stonehenge. Was it a temple? A graveyard? A healing place? Scholars believe the first stones were erected at Stonehenge around 2600 B.C. and that construction continued on the site for a millennia.

Nobody has yet put a spade in the ground to verify the new findings, which were painstakingly gathered by geophysicists and others wielding magnetometers and ground-penetrating radars that scan the ground to detect structures and objects several yards below the surface. But Gaffney has no doubt of the work’s value. “This is among the most important landscapes, and probably the most studied landscape, in the world,” he says. “And the area has been absolutely transformed by this survey. Won’t be the same again.”

Take the big question: Was Stonehenge predominantly a temple, a parliament or a graveyard? Was it a healing ground? We don’t know, for sure. We know that people were buried there, and that the stones are aligned in astronomically important ways. We also understand, because of the chemical composition of animal bones found nearby and the provenance of the stones, that people traveled hundreds of miles to visit Stonehenge. But we cannot say, with certainty, why.

See the wonderful photos in Smithsonian Magazine. Interested in a young adult book on Stonehenge? Caroline Malone and Nancy Bernard 's Stonehenge is still available through Amazon.

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

Top 10 Best Insults from Ancient Rome

The Romans were good with words, including witty insults. We could do a top ten list of insults by just Cicero or Martial, but we choose the best insults from 10 different Romans. Enjoy!

1. Everything you say is so unbearably boring, by Hercules, that it’s murder by monotony.

~ Plautus (c.250-184 BC): Ah, lassitudinem Hercle verba tua mihi addunt, enicas.

2. No one thinks you’re worth his attention, his time, a vote, a place in society, or even the light of day.

~ Cicero (106-43 BC): Nemo congressu, nemo aditu, nemo suffragio, nemo civitate, nemo luce dignum putet.

3. You’re an informer and a mudraker, a con-man wheeler-dealer, a gigolo and an educator in evil. All that, Vacerra, and amazingly, you’re still broke.

~ Martial (40-103 AD): Et delator es et calumniator, et fraudator es et negotiator, et fellator es et lanistra, miror quare non habeas, Vacerra, nummos.

4. He hasn’t got the brains of a sleeping two-year-old rocked in the rook of his father’s arm.

~ Catallus (c.84-54 BC): Nec sapit pueri instar bimuli termula patris dormientis in ulna.

5. All you do is run back and forth with a stupid expression, jittery as a rat in a roasting pot.

~ Petronius (d.65 AD): Curris, stupes, satagis, tanquam mus in matella.

6. You are the stench of a low-life latrine.

~ Apuleius (mid 2nd century AD): Foetorem extremae latrinae.

7. His mind is one vast wasteland.

~ Sallust (86-35 BC): Vastus animus.

8. You pretend you are one of the big boys

~ Horace (65-8 BC): Longos imitaris.

9. He makes a noise like a rooster nagging his hen.

~ Juvenal (Early 2nd century AD): Ille sonat quo mordetur gallina marito.

10. Are you still snoring? Is your slack head almost snapped on its stalk, with your face unzipped by the yawns earned in yesterday’s debaucheries? Do you have any goals in life? Is there any point to your life?

~ Persius (34-62 AD): Stertis adhuc? Laxumque caput conpage soluta oscitat hesternum dissutis undique malis? Est alquid quo tendis, et in quod derigis arcum?

These translations come from How to Insult, Abuse and Insinuate in Classical Latin, by Michelle Lovric and Nikiforos Doxiadis Mardas. Click here to learn more about this book.

See also:

Top 10 Strangest Deaths of Roman Emperors

Top 5 Places to See Ancient Rome in London

20 Great Quotes from Ancient Greece

best insults ancient rome

Archaeology Briefs


Escargot is more than just a modern delicacy: Ancient humans who lived 30,000 years ago ate the mollusks too, a new archaeological excavation has revealed. Archaeologists recently uncovered evidence of a fireplace and snail shells with evidence of burning in a rock shelter in Spain. The find, which dates to 30,000 years ago, suggests humans ate snails during the Paleolithic period.

Hundreds of burnt snail shells were found near fireplaces along with tools and other animal remains in rock shelters along a cliff in Spain. The finding suggests Paleolithic people on the Iberian Peninsula ate snails more than 10,000 years earlier than those who lived in the neighboring Mediterranean region.

The snails probably didn't make up a calorically significant part of these Paleolithic people's diet, but may have provided key vitamins and nutrients, said study lead author Javier Fernández-López de Pablo, an archaeologist at the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social in Spain

Archaeology Matters

Mesolakia (Amphipolis) Tumba Kasta: Photos of the Monument

Entrance with sphinxes

Decoration of second protective wall

Second protective wall (behind entrance)
Mosaic floor of entrance

AIA Fieldnotes

Archaeology at Wildcat Manor

Archaeological Society of Delaware and Delaware State University
International Archaeology Day
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Russian Archaeologists Search for Remains of Ancient Civilization Under Lake Issyk Kul

MOSCOW - Russian archaeologists are conducting an underwater expedition in search of the remains of an ancient civilization at the bottom of the lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan, Nikolay Lukashov, the president of the Russian Confederation of Underwater Activities, told RIA Novosti Monday.

“During the expedition, which is led by Professor Vladimir Ploskikh from the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz and Russian scientists plan to explore underwater archaeological sites to test the hypothesis of the ancient, so-called Andronovo culture, located in the area that is now flooded by the waters of Issyk Kul,” Lukashov said. Read more.

Archaeologists Excavate Endangered Maya Site

Teams of archaeologists are researching a number of ancient Maya sites in Belize that could stand some help to stay intact as important cultural heritage sites.

One of those sites is called Nojol Nah. It is located on the east side of the Bajo Alacranes, which extends across Belize’s northwest corner and parts of Mexico and Guatemala. The Alacranes Bajo is a low-lying area that is very fertile and continues to be today. The Mexican portion has been surveyed in recent years, revealing several large Maya centers and a number of smaller centers. At the far south end of the bajo, in Guatemala, is the major center of Río Azul. Read more.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

10 Amazing Reasons to Buzzfeedify Your Syllabus

Beloit has released its annual mindset list, about the things that this year’s incoming freshmen take for granted (HT Inside Higher Ed). #2 (that’s “hashtag two” for you old-timers) is particularly interesting for educators: “Since they binge-watch their favorite TV shows, they might like to binge-watch the video portions of their courses too.” I’m giving students in one of my classes the means to do that this semester. There are others related to technology and habits, such as this one: ““Good feedback” means getting 30 likes on your last Facebook post in a single afternoon.”

How do we as educators appropriately adapt – and adopt relevant technology and vocabulary – so as to communicate effectively?

One thought that struck me was that it might be appropriate to “buzzfeedify” our syllabuses (don’t use “syllabi” - syllabus isn’t from Latin – and syllabodes is perhaps best avoided, since syllabus isn’t an authentic Greek word either). For some reason, the folks at Beloit haven’t figured out that they could call their mindset list “55 Reasons Professors Won’t Understand Today’s Freshmen.”

Buzzfeedification is already a widely-used word. I blogged last year about what a “Buzzfeed New Testament” might look like. Students are already familiar with headlines that grab their attention, and compared to that, a syllabus may just look like a mass of text with nothing that stands out.

Perhaps I should include subject headings that are more akin to what one finds on Buzzfeed – such as “Six Exciting Ways That Students Can Earn Points In This Class” and “This Group of Students Was Guaranteed to Fail the Course – Read On To Find Out Why.” And instead of “Provisional Class Schedule” I could go with “Can You Spot The Three Times Class Won’t Meet This Semester?”

Have any readers buzzfeedified a syllabus, or encountered a syllabus that was buzzfeedified? What do you think of the idea?

And of course, one can always follow the lead of their “If Movie Posters Were Honest” headline and write “If a Syllabus Were Honest” at the top of the syllabus…


The Archaeology News Network

6,500-year-old oven unearthed in Croatia

Prehistoric experts in Croatia claim to have found what they say is the world's oldest Aga. The 6,500-year-old oven was unearthed in a ancient home during an archeological dig at a Neolithic site in Bapska, a village in eastern Croatia, which experts say is one of the most important in Europe. The 6,500-year-old Aga unearthed during an archaeological dig at a Neolithic site in Bapska,  a village in eastern Croatia [Credit:...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient Arabian Stones Hint at How Humans Migrated Out of Africa

Ancient stone artifacts recently excavated from Saudi Arabia possess similarities to items of about the same age in Africa — a discovery that could provide clues to how humans dispersed out of Africa, researchers say.

Modern humans originated about 200,000 years ago in Africa. However, scientists have long debated when and how the modern human lineage spread out of Africa.

"Understanding how we originated and colonized the world remains one of the most fascinating and enduring questions, because it is our story as humans," said lead study author Eleanor Scerri, an archaeologist at the University of Bordeaux in France. Read more.

Ancient Peoples

Terracotta lamp  9.5cm long and 2.4cm high (3 3/4 x 15/16...

Terracotta lamp 

9.5cm long and 2.4cm high (3 3/4 x 15/16 inch.) 

Roman Period, from Cyprus region, 40 - 100 AD.

Source: Metropolitan Museum 

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

First Day of School

First day of school

Classes start at Butler tomorrow. If you are an educator, have classes started for you? Was this/will this be you?

AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

Open Access Manuscripts Library: St. Cyril and Methodius Digital Library

"The digitalization of valuable materials from the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library collections started in 2006. In autumn 2007 these digital images became accessible for users through the library’s website. By the beginning of 2014 have been digitalized and included in the Digital Library nearly 330 000 files - manuscripts, old printed books, unpublished documents from the Bulgarian Historical Archive and Oriental Department, portraits and photos, graphical and cartographical editions, Bulgarian newspapers and journals from 1844 to 1944 – images and their metadata. Users could search in the Electronic archive through the specialized system DocuWare. The digitalized originals are on free access for users.
 The Digital Library is structured in several collections according to the type and the chronological scope of the included documents. The different collections are subdivided in separate sections."

St. Cyril and Methodius Digital Library

The Archaeology News Network

Construction work damages ancient tombs in Istanbul

Two ancient sarcophagii covers, which were found during the rehabilitation of an underpass in Istanbul’s historical peninsula, have been delivered to Istanbul Archaeology Museum, but only after being damaged in the construction work. Istanbul Archaeology Museum officials denied that there were any archaeologists  present at the site during the work [Credit: Hurriyet]The tomb parts were discovered while a bulldozer was working to...

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Maarit-Johanna (History of the Ancient World)

Colosseum – Arkkitehtuuriltaan Täydellinen Rakennus Julmien Huvien Näyttämönä Osa. 1



Opiskellessani kulttuurihistoriaa Turun Yliopistossa valitsin erään tutkielmani aiheeksi Colosseumin, jonka aion nyt julkaista blogissani kaksiosaisena. Colosseum ja sen historia on kiehtonut minua aina. En unohda koskaan sitä hetkeä kun ensi kerran näin tämän jättiläismäisen, kuuluisan monumentin. Colosseumilla kävellessäni tunsin astuvani sisään muinaiseen antiikin maailmaan. Mieleeni nousi paljon kysymyksiä : miten Colosseum on rakennettu ja keitä sitä olivat rakentamassa? mistä kuljetettiin gladiaattorit ja mistä villieläimet? miten monituhatpäinen yleisö johdatettiin paikoilleen, ja mitä he ajattelivat näistä verisistä näytöksistä?. Miten areena puhdistettiin taistelujen jälkeen? missä keisarin aitio sijaitsi? jne. Colosseum on jotakin sellaista, mitä ei pysty ymmärtämään katselemalla dokumentteja televisiosta tai lukemalla kirjoja. Se pitää itse nähdä ja kokea ennen kuin pystyy täysin ymmärtämään sen mahtavuuden.Colosseum on raunioituneenakin erittäin vaikuttava rakennus.

Kun Colosseumin historiaa aletaan pohtimaan syvällisemmin, on lopputulos se, että Colosseumin maine on veren tahrima. Mutta se ei kuitenkaan riitä, että me tuomitsemme amfiteatterin. Me emme pysty myöskään ymmärtämään kansaa, joka halusi muuttaa ihmisuhrit koko kaupungin yhteiseksi huvitukseksi. Näissä tappajaisissa gladiaattorit olivat aseistettuja vain, jotta he voisivat tappaa toisiaan viihdyttääkseen roomalaisia. Kirjailija Plinius nuorempi on todennut vuoden 100 tienoilla, että gladiaattoritaistelut innoittivat miehiä altistamaan itsensä kunniakkaille haavoille ja halveksimaan kuolemaa, kun he näkivät gladiaattorin palavan voitonhalun.Ensimmäisellä vuosisadalla eKr. kansa oli päässyt näiden teurastusnäytäntöjen makuun siinä määrin, että virkoihin pyrkijät kalastelivat ääniä järjestämällä niitä kansalle. Colosseumin veriset näytökset vetivät massoittain yleisöä. Ne olivat “keisarin lahjoja kansalle”.Näytökset herättivät katsojissa tunteita, joiden moraalista laatua jälkipolvien on vaikeaa arvioida, koska aika ja kulttuuri johon kyseiset esitykset liittyvät poikkeavat niin paljon nykyisestä.

Gladiaattorit olivat usein sotavankeja ja rikollisia. Roomalaisten suhtautumistapa heihin oli kaksijakoinen. Toisaalta heitä halveksittiin, toisaalta ihailtiin. Käytännössä taistelijat olivat yhteiskunnan alinta kastia. Yleensä gladiaattorit olivat sotavankeja, rikollisia ja orjia, jotka gladiaattorikoulu oli ostanut, mutta heidän joukossaan oli myös vapaita kansalaisia, jotka olivat vapaaehtoisesti valinneet taistelijan ammatin. Tähän valintaan ovat saattaneet vaikuttaa esim. velkaantuminen tai yksinkertaisesti taistelunhalu.

Rooman valtakunnan historia on sotaisa. Keisari toisensa jälkeen laajensi määrätietoisesti imperiumiaan, mikä aiheutti levottomuuksia erityisesti rajaseudulla. Kun Colosseum otettiin käyttöön vuonna 80, Rooma oli jo vakiinnuttanut asemansa johtavana valtakuntana. Imperiumin ytimessä vallitsi rauha, jota tavallinen kansa oli ehkä alkanut pitää itsestään selvänä asiana. Gladiaattorit muistuttivat omalla tavallaan rahvasta siitä, että taistelutahtoa tarvittiin yhä, vaikka armeija koostuikin ammattisotilaista, jotka uhrasivat tarvittaessa henkensä yhteisen hyvän vuoksi.

Kartta Antiikin ajan Rooman keskustasta. Colosseum on kartan oikeassa yläkulmassa.

Kartta Antiikin ajan Rooman keskustasta. Colosseum on kartan oikeassa yläkulmassa.

Colosseumin rakennusmuoto

Nykyisessäkin kunnossaan Colosseum pystyy antamaan kuvan siitä, millainen oli roomalaisen amfiteatterin tyypillinen rakennusmuoto täydellisemmillään toteutettuna.

Colosseum on rakennettu kovista ja kiinteistä travertiinijärkäleistä, jotka olivat peräisin Tiburin, nykyisen Tivolin, lähellä sijainneesta Albulean louhoksesta. Ne kuljetettiin Roomaan tätä tarkoitusta varten raivattua kuuden metrin levyistä tietä pitkin. Colosseum on 188 metrin pituinen ja 156 metrin levyinen soikio, jonka ympärysmitta on 527 metriä. Sen nelikerroksinen seinämuuri on 57 metriä korkea. Kolmen ensimmäisen kerroksen mallit on luultavasti saatu Marcelluksen teatterista. Ne koostuvat kolmesta päällekäisestä holvikaarisarjasta, joissa oli alunperin koristeina kuvapatsaita ja joiden ainoana erona ovat niissä käytetyt pylväsjärjestelmät. Alhaalta päin lukien doorilainen, joonialainen ja korinttilainen. Neljännessä kerroksessa on umpimuuri. Pilasterit jakavat sen kenttiin, joissa antiikin aikana vuorottelivat ikkuna-aukot ja pronssikilvet. Jokaisen ikkunan yläpuolella on kolme konsolia, joiden kunkin kohdalla on kattolistassa reikä. Konsolit kannattelivat tankoja, joiden varaan joukko laivaston merisotilaita kiinnitti hellepäivinä suuren purjekankaan suojaamaan areenalla taistelevia gladiaattoreita ja katsomossa istuvaa yleisöä. Katsomo alkoi neljä metriä ylempää kuin areena. Siinä oli ensimmäisenä pronssiaitauksen suojaama tasanne, jossa ylimystön edustajat istuivat marmoriistuimillaan. Tasanteen takana kohosivat muun yleisön istumaportaat, jotka jakaantuivat kolmeen vyöhykkeeseen. Ensimmäisen ja toisen vyöhykkeen erotti kolmannesta matalien seinien reunustamat käytävätasanteet. Kustakin vyöhykkeestä johti alas joukko käytäviä, jotka purkivat katsojajoukot sisään ja ulos. Ensimmäisessä vyöhykkeessä oli kaksikymmentä porrasta, toisessa kuusitoista. Toisen ja kolmannen vyöhykkeen välissä oli viiden metrin korkuinen ikkunallinen ja ovellinen muuri. Kolmannessa vyöhykkeessä istuivat naiset ja sen takana olevalla, ulkomuuriin ulottuvalla terassilla seisoivat vierasmaalaiset ja orjat, joilla ei ollut oikeutta osallistua pääsymerkkien jakoon.

Marcelluksen teatteri.

Marcelluksen teatteri.

Rooman aluelutteloiden mukaan Colosseumissa oli 87 000 paikkaa. Siellä ei kuitenkaan voida arvioida olleen enempää kuin 45 000 istumapaikkaa ja 5000 seisomapaikkaa. Rakennuksen arkkitehtuurissa voidaan yhä nähdä ne nerokkaat ratkaisut, jotka helpottivat väkijoukon saapumista ja poistumista. Alakerroksessa oli sisääntuloaukkoina kahdeksankymmentä kaariporttia, joista neljä pääakselien kohdalla sijaitsevaa olivat yleisöltä kiellettyjä ja numeroimattomia. Muut olivat numeroituja I:stä LXXVI:een. Keisarin tai viranomaisten kutsumien katsojien tarvitsi saapuessaan vain hakeutua sille portille, jonka numero oli hänen pääsymerkissään ja mennä sitten siinä mainitulle vyöhykkeelle ja porrasaskelmalle. Katsomon ja ulkomuurin välissä oli kaksi samankeskistä muuria. Alakerroksessa ne muodostivat kaksinkertaisen pylväskäytävän ja ylempänä pylväikön. Näillä oli useampia tehtäviä. Ne kannattivat ja tukivat katsomoa sekä johtivat portaikkoihin, joista päästiin käytäviin ja lisäksi yleisö saattoi kuljeskella niissä ennen näytäntöä ja suojautua niihin väliajoilla jos oli kuuma auringonpaiste tai sade. Parhaita paikkoja olivat pitkien sivujen keskikohdalla tasanteen tasalla vastakkain sijaitsevat aitiot. Pohjoispuolella oli keisarin ja hänen perheensä aitio, eteläpuolella kaupunginprefektin ja viranomaisten aitio.

Areena oli 86 metrin mittainen ja 54 metrin levyinen, pinta-alaltaan 36 aarin suuruinen alue. Sitä ympäröi neljän metrin päässä tasanteesta metalliristikko, joka suojasi yleisöä areenalle päästettyjen villipetojen raivolta. Eläimet odottivat areenan alla olevaan kellarikerrokseen teljettyinä, kunnes gladiaattorit marssivat sisään rakennuksen pituusakselin päässä olevasta kaariportista. Kellarikerroksessa oli kanavajärjestelmä, jonka avulla areena voitiin hetkessä saada veden peittoon. Myöhemmin kellarikerrokseen muurattiin häkit, joissa eläimet odottivat areenalle pääsyä. Rakennettiin myös kokonainen liukupintojen ja nosturien järjestelmä, jonka avulla eläimet voitiin nopeasti ajaa tai nostaa areenalle.

Ei voi muuta kuin ihailla Flaviusten arkkitehtejä, jotka kykenivät pystyttämään jättiläismäisyydessään täydellisen rakennuksen. Sen yksityiskohdat ovat loistava näyte heidän teknisestä nerokkuudestaan. Colosseumin luja rakenne on uhmannut vuosisatoja. Se huokuu samaa ylevyyttä ja täydellisyyttä kuin Rooman Pietarin kirkko. Voidaksemme lumoutua Colosseumista meidän täytyy unohtaa se epäinhimillinen tarkoitus, johon tätä rakennusta käytettiin ja ne epäinhimillisen julmat näytännöt, joita varten keisarilliset arkkitehdit aikoinaan loivat tämän mestariteoksen. Aikana, jolloin ihmishenki ei ollut paljon arvoinen.

Areenan roomalaisaikaista kantta ei ole säilynyt, ja siitä johtuen roomalaisaikaisten rakenteiden alapuoliset eläinhäkit ja käytävät ovat nykyään nähtävissä.

Areenan roomalaisaikaista kantta ei ole säilynyt, ja siitä johtuen roomalaisaikaisten rakenteiden alapuoliset eläinhäkit ja käytävät ovat nykyään nähtävissä.

Filed under: Ancient Rome Tagged: Amfiteatteri, Antiikin historia, Antiikin Rooma, Colosseum, Colosseumin rakennusmuoto, Flaviusten arkkitehdit, Gladiaattorikoulut, Gladiaattorit, Gladiaattoritaistelut, Plinius nuorempi, Roomalainen yhteiskunta, Rooman keisarit, villieläimet

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

Amphipolis Tomb Possibly Looted in Antiquity? I am Officially Confused!

In my precaffeinated minutes this a.m. I was jarred awake by a typically hyperbolating Daily Mail headline proclaiming: Game over for Greece’s mystery grave: Tomb raiders plundered site in antiquity – dashing hopes of finding artefacts dating back to Alexander the Great’s reign. Inter alia, a number of times the mantra was repeated, but here’s one excerpt:

[...] Experts had partially investigated the antechamber of the tomb at the Kasta Tumulus site near ancient Amphipolis in Macedonia, Greece, and uncovered a marble wall concealing one or more inner chambers.

They said that a hole in the decorated wall and signs of forced entry indicate it was plundered, but excavations will continue for weeks to make sure. [...]

Now before I deal with the (actually reasonably good evidence) for the claim, I want to sort of ‘run through’ the course of the excavation (with photos from the Ministry of Culture, in the order they’ve appeared at their site), which led me to ask some questions about this tomb that I hope someone can answer. First, here’s an early image that made the rounds of various press agencies, which shows the first revelation of the “sphinxes”. I want folks to notice that the outer wall is ‘continuous’. We can also clearly see the archway with the “sphinxes” and a wall that was built in front of them.


The blocks in front were removed …

Ministry of Culture photo

Ministry of Culture photo

… and we were presented with a photo of the “sphinxes” … notice there is much dirt behind them. Some of us were idly speculating that there was  a hole of some sort behind the “sphinx” on the right, but in hindsight it struck me that there really wasn’t enough room for someone to get behind the “sphinx” to dig like that.

Ministry of Culture photo

Ministry of Culture photo

Next, they began clearing the ‘entrance’ to the tomb and we heard, inter alia, of a mosaic pavement, but alas, we never did see a photo of same. This would suggest that they had cleared right to the ‘floor’ of the entrance, but I’m not sure that is the case. The photos from the entrance clearing did reveal some nice (painted) details, however. Ecce the initial views (we posted these already):

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

And now:

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Then they were inside the vestibule:

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

This photo gives an idea of the soil filling the vestible (i.e. in the space behind the “sphinxes”. There clearly was a lot to be removed:

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

There’s a photo of the dirt having been cleared from behind the “sphinxes”:

Ministry of culture

Ministry of culture

Looking through that you can possible see a trace of the photo that’s causing “disappointment”:

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Culture

If you look in the upper left, you’ll see the small (40cm x 60cm, according to various reports) hole which possibly provided access to the inside. You can also see the level of the dirt inside and — I’m assuming, from the white shading there –the level the dirt was at. The hole (if it is a hole going all the way through) is large enough for a small person to get through. But how did they get in to dig that hole? The vestibule has a barrel-vaulted stone roof, it appears, so something horizontal from the front? It really doesn’t make sense to me. If it was plundered in antiquity, I doubt they went ‘through the front door’.

Then again, and this is why I have questions, why is this vestibule filled to the top with dirt?  Is this a typical Macedonian practice (I honestly don’t know).  Or was this done later in antiquity, perhaps around the time of the ‘beheading of the sphinxes’? Even then, however, why was it all blocked off with those massive blocks? Done at the time of burial or later in antiquity? If at the time of burial, wouldn’t they have used better dressed stones? And when/why did they fill the space between the blocks and the “sphinxes” with dirt? Was all this meant to be ‘hidden’ or was it once open for passers by to see?

Folks wondering about the ‘latest’ can turn to this a.m.’s Greek version of Kathimerini, where it is revealed that the next few days will be spent protecting the paint and shoring up walls and the like:

… and here are the Ministry Press Releases whence came the above photos (they have other titles, but the MoC’s website has things set up somewhat unconventionally and it’s an incredibly slow site to access):

Some of our previous coverage:

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Excerpts from the martydom tale of Goharine &c. in the Armenian synaxarion (with a talking decapitated head!)

As I’ve done before (see also here), here are a few sentences from the Armenian synaxarion together with Bayan’s French translation. I’ve made a few notices of the Armenian vocabulary, too, ad usum scholarum. The story here (for 24 Hrotic’/30 July) is the martyrdom of Goharine and her brothers (nothing in BHO; summary in English here), set, it seems, in the twelfth century. The PO text (21: 795-799) and FT is here.


հայրն իւրեանց Դաւիթ գերեալ ի Տաճկաց որ եւ դարձուցին զնա ի կրօնս իւրեանց, եւ զանդրանիկ որդի նորա։

  • գերեալ ptcp գերեմ, -եցի to take prisoner, capture
  • Տաճիկ, -ճկաց Arab; Turk
  • դարձուցանեմ, -ուցի to turn, convert
  • կրօն, -նից religion; custom; way of life; sect
  • անդրանիկ, -կաց oldest, first-born

Leur père David fut emmené captif par les Musulmans qui le convertirent à leur religion ainsi que son fils aîné.



Իսկ մայրն իւրեանց հաստատուն եկաց ի հաւատսն որ ի Քրիստոս, եւ բարեպաշտութեամբ սնոյց զորդիս իւր.

  • հաստատուն firm, solid, constant
  • եկաց 3s aor of կամ to stand (Meillet § 112)
  • հաւատ, -ոյ, -ք, -տոց faith, belief, creed
  • բարեպաշտութիւն piety, religion
  • սնոյց 3s aor of սնուցանեմ, -ցի, սնո՛ to nourish, instruct (see the end of the post for more on this verb)

Mais leur mère demeura ferme dans sa foi au Christ, et éleva pieusement ses enfants;


եւ վասն արիութեանն իւրեանց զինուորեցան բռնաւորին Տաճկաց Ալի Բասանայ, յազգէ Դանշմանացն որ տիրէր Սեբաստիոյ եւ կողմանցն Պոնտոսի,

  • արիութիւն bravery, courage (արի brave, courageous)
  • զինուորեցան 3pl aor mid/pas զինուորեմ, -եցի to enlist, maintain soldiers (so in the mid/pas, to be enlisted in the army)
  • բռնաւոր violent; tyrant
  • ազգ, -աց nation, people
  • տիրէր 3s impf տիրեմ, -եցի to rule, seize, conquer
  • կողմն, -մանաց quarter, country, region

ceux-ci à cause de leur courage s’enrôlèrent dans l’armée du tyran musulman Ali Bassan, de la race des Danishmends, qui régnait à Sébaste et sur les contrées du Pont;


այր գազանաբարոյ եւ արիւնախանձ մոլեալ ընդդէմ քրիստոնէից։

  • գազանաբարոյ fierce, savage (գազան beast)
  • արիւնախանձ bloodthirsty, cruel (արիւն, արեանց blood)
  • մոլեալ ptcp of մոլեմ, -եցի to drive made (so here, raging, furious)
  • ընդդէմ against

homme d’un naturel bestial, assoiffé de sang, et fou furieux contre les chrétiens.


Նոքա որդիք են տաճկի եւ թողեալ զօրէնս մեր կան քրիստոնէութեամբ, գարշին ի կերակրոց մերոց, եւ ոչ կան յաղօթս ընդ մեզ։

  • թողում, թողի to abandon, give up
  • օրէնք, օրինաց faith, religion
  • կան (2x) 3pl pres կամ, կացի to be, exist, live, remain, stand
  • գարշիմ, -եցայ to detest, hate, abhor
  • կերակուր, -կրոց food
  • աղօթք, -թից prayer

Ce sont les enfants d’un musulman, qui ont abandonné notre religion, vivent en chrétiens, répugnent à nos mets et ne prient point avec nous.



Ռատիոս գնաց ի վանքն եւ եղել կրօնաւոր։

  • գնաց 3s aor. ind. գնամ, գնացի to go
  • վանք convent, monastery
  • եղել 3s aor եղանիմ to become
  • կրօնաւոր monk (< կրօն, -ք, -նից religion, faith; religious order, monastic life)

Ratios se retira dans un couvent et se fit religieux.


…հրամայեաց փորել զերկիր եւ թաղել զԳոհարինէ մինչեւ ի մէջսն, եւ նետաձիգ լինել ի նա ամենայն բազմութիւնն։

  • հրամայեաց 3s aor հրամայեմ, -եցի to command
  • փորել inf փորեմ, -եցի to dig
  • թաղել inf թաղեմ, -եցի to bury
  • մէջ, միջոյ, -ով (pl.) middle > waist
  • նետաձիգ լինել to shoot an arrow (cf. նետ, -ից arrow, shaft, dart)
  • բազմութիւն crowd, multitude

…il ordonna de creuser la terre et d’y enterrer Gohariné jusqu’à la taille, et commanda à toute la foule de lui lancer dex flèches.



Եւ բարկացեալ անօրէնն հրամայեաց զԳոհարինէ հեղձամղձուկ առնել ի ջուրն հեղեղատին. եւ զՏունկիոս եւ զԾամիդէս ածել զառաջեաւ, եւ զՌատիոս պրկել փոկովք եւ հարկանել։

  • բարկացեալ angry, in a rage (cf. բարկանամ, -ացայ to be angry)
  • անօրէն unjust, wicked
  • հեղձամղձուկ suffocated, choked (adj.)
  • առնել inf առնեմ, արարի to make, cause (w/ prev. and foll. words: to drown)
  • ջուր, ջրոյ water
  • հեղեղատ, -աց torrent (cf. հեղեղ, -աց torrent, flood)
  • ածել inf ածեմ, ածի to fetch, carry, bring
  • զառաջեաւ before, in front (adv.)
  • պրկել inf պրկեմ, -եցի to bind
  • փոկ, -ոց/-աց leather thong, strap
  • հարկանել inf հարկանեմ, հարի to beat, strike

L’infidèle, irrité, ordonna de noyer Gohariné dans les eaux du torrent et d’introduire en sa présence Tounkios, Dsamidès, puis d’enserrer fortement Ratios dans des lanières et de le frapper.


եթէ թողուս մեզ կեալ քրիստինէութեամբ, եւ քեզ ծառայեսցուք միամտութեամբ, ապա թէ ոչ այլ իրք մի՛ հարցաներ ընդ մեզ. քրիստոնէայք եմք, զոր ինչ առնելոց ես արա՛։

  • թողուս 2s pres թողում, թողի to let, leave, allow
  • կեալ inf կեամ to live
  • ծառայեսցուք 1p aor ծառայեմ, -եցի to serve, wait upon
  • միամտութիւն sincerity, fidelity, simplicity
  • իր, -ի, -աց thing, affair
  • հարցաներ 2s imv հարցանեմ, -ցի to ask
  • եմք 1p pres եմ to be
  • առնելոց ptcp [NB -եալ > -ելV] առնեմ, արարի to do
  • ես 2s pres եմ to be
  • արա՛ 2s imv առնեմ, արարի to do

…si tu nous laisses vivre en chrétiens, nous te servirons fidèlement; dans le cas contraire, ne nous fais plus de questions: nous sommes chrétiens; fais ce que tu as à faire.



Եւ տարեալ ի տեղի կատարմանն հատին զգլուխ երանելոյն Ռատիոսի։ Եւ հատեալ գլուխն խօսէր եւ քաջալերէր զեղբարսն մի՛ երկնչել ի մահուանէ։

  • տարեալ ptcp տանիմ, տարայ to lead [NB -ն- in pres, -ր- in aor]
  • տեղի, -ղւոյ, -ղեաց place, spot, site
  • կատարումն end, death, completion (here; see Meillet § 56 for nouns in -մն)
  • հատին 3p aor հատանեմ, հատի to cut
  • գլուխ, գլխոց head
  • երանեալ blessed, happy [again NB -եալ > -ելV] (cf. in Ps 1:1, Երանեալ է այր որ ո՛չ գնաց ՛ի խորհուրդս ամպարշտաց, but the Beatitudes have a different, but related adjective: Երանի́ աղքատաց հոգւով, etc.)
  • հատեալ ptcp հատանեմ, հատի to cut
  • խօսէր 3s impf խօսիմ, -եցայ to speak
  • քաջալերէր 3s impf քաշալերեմ, -եցի to encourage, embolden
  • եղբայր, եղբաւր, եղբարց  brother (Meillet § 57b)
  • երկնչել inf  երկնչիմ, -կեայ, -կի՛ր to fear
  • մահ, մահու/մահուան death (Meillet § 59f)

Les ayant menés au lieu de l’exécution, ils tranchèrent la tête au bienheureux Ratios. Mais la tête tranchée parla à ses frères et les encouragea à ne point craindre la mort.


On the form սնոյց. The 3s aor ends in -ոյց, the 1s being -ուցի. For the alternation ոյ/ու (see Meillet, p. 18; Godel §2.222), cf. լոյս light, with gen/dat/abl լուսոյ; that is, -ոյ- in closed syllable, -ու- in open syllable.

Here are a few more occurrences of the form (also with the imper in Ex 2:9), with the Greek for the biblical texts:

Ex 2:9 եւ ասէ ցնա դուստրն փարաւոնի. ա́ռ զմանուկդ, եւ սնո́ ինձ զդա. եւ ես տաց քեզ զվարձս քո։ Եւ ա́ռ կինն զմանուկն՝ եւ սնոյց զնա։ εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὴν ἡ ϑυγάτηρ Φαραω Διατήρησόν μοι τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο καὶ ϑήλασόν μοι αὐτό, ἐγὼ δὲ δώσω σοι τὸν μισϑόν. ἔλαβεν δὲ ἡ γυνὴ τὸ παιδίον καὶ ἐϑήλαζεν αὐτό.

Dt 1:31 զի սնո́յց զքեզ տ(է)ր ա(ստուա)ծ քո, ո(ր)պ(էս) սնուցանիցէ ոք զորդի իւր ὡς ἐτροϕοϕόρησέν σε κύριος ὁ ϑεός σου, ὡς εἴ τις τροϕοϕορήσει ἄνϑρωπος τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ

1Sam 1:23 Եւ նստա́ւ կինն եւ սնո́յց զորդին իւր՝ մինչեւ հատոյց զնա ՛ի ստենէ։ καὶ ἐκάϑισεν ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἐϑήλασεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς, ἕως ἂν ἀπογαλακτίσῃ αὐτόν.

Ps 22:2 եւ առ ջուրս հանգստեան սնոյց զիս։ ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀναπαύσεως ἐξέϑρεψέν με

Acts 7:21 եւ յընկեցիկն առնել զնա՝ եբարձ զնա դուստրն փառաւոնի, եւ սնոյց զնա ի́ւր յորդեգիրս։ ἐκτεϑέντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀνείλατο αὐτὸν ἡ ϑυγάτηρ Φαραὼ καὶ ἀνεϑρέψατο αὐτὸν ἑαυτῇ εἰς υἱόν.

Agat. § 37 եւ մերձաւորեալ զնա սնոյց դայեկօք երկիւղիւն Քրիստոսի. Thomson, p. 53: “And he was brought up by his tutors [lit. he (i.e. an unnamed person), having adopted him, raised him with tutors (n. on p. 458)] in the fear of Christ.”

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Fouad Debbas Collection: assessment and digitisation of a precious private collection. Photographs from Maison Bonfils (1867-1910s), Beirut, Lebanon

The Fouad Debbas Collection: assessment and digitisation of a precious private collection. Photographs from Maison Bonfils (1867-1910s), Beirut, Lebanon
British Library Endangered Archives Programme
The aim of this project is to clean, list, index, catalogue and digitise a collection of 3,000 photographs produced in the Middle East by the Maison Bonfils, from 1867 to the 1910s.

The 3,000 items consist of albumen prints gathered in albums and portfolios, glass plates, stereos, cabinet cards and cartes de visite. They are part of the general Fouad Debbas Collection, which contains more than 40,000 photographs. The objective is to undertake a survey, and increase access to and visibility of this most valuable and endangered collection.

The Fouad Debbas Bonfils collection is the most extensive, varied and richest photographic collection produced in the Levant at the end of the Ottoman period. It is in fact one of the very few photographic collections produced in Beirut from the late Ottoman period which are still preserved.
Established in 1867 in Beirut, the Bonfils house set out the first photographic studio in Beirut and established photography as a business. As such Mr Bonfils, his wife Lydie, (apparently the first woman photographer of the whole area at that time) and children, all succeeded in capturing a region of immense physical beauty (the landscape photos of Beirut and Baalbeck), of varied ethnic composition (various portraits), and of rapid socio-economic change, at a crucial moment of the region’s history. The Bonfils Debbas collection is clearly an invaluable document registering the history of a region at a crucial crossroads in the wake of great historical upheaval which was about to sweep the region and bring about the Modern Middle East as we know it...
The catalogue is available here.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Alexander the Great-Era Tomb Will Soon Reveal Its Secrets

As archaeologists continue to clear dirt and stone slabs from the entrance of a huge tomb in Greece, excitement is building over what excavators may find inside.

The monumental burial complex — which dates back to the fourth century B.C., during the era of Alexander the Great — is enclosed by a marble wall that runs 1,600 feet (490 meters) around the perimeter. It has been quietly revealed over the last two years, during excavations at the Kasta Hill site in ancient Amphipolis in the Macedonian region of Greece.

Excavators recently unearthed the grand arched entrance to the tomb, guarded by two broken but intricately carved sphinxes. Read more.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Forum Archaeologiae - Zeitschrift für klassische Archäologie (FARCH)

Forum Archaeologiae - Zeitschrift für klassische Archäologie (FARCH)ISSN: 1605-4636
Das Forum Archaeologiae versteht sich als Plattform, die Archäologen sowie Vertretern verwandter Wissenschaftszweige ein Medium zur Publikation ihrer Arbeiten im Internet bieten will. Das Forum entstand im Jahre 1996 aus der privaten Initiative der Herausgeber und ist finanziell sowie institutionell unabhängig. Das Forum Archaeologiae will sowohl Autoren als auch Interessierten einen unbürokratischen, kostenlosen und direkten Zugang zu aktuellen Publikationen und den medialen Möglichkeiten des Internet bieten.

Seit der 20. Ausgabe hat das Forum Archaeologiae nunmehr eine - wie wir hoffen - endgültige Heimat im Internet gefunden. Es erhielt im September 2001 seine eigene Domain unter (oder


Mithras & Co
G. Kremer
Colophon 2013
U. Muss u.a.
Toçak Dağı (Lykien)
M. Seyer, H. Lotz, P. Brandstätter
R. Simon

15. Archäologentag

G. Grabherr, E. Kistler
K. Bernhardt
F. Blakolmer
A. Calabró
A. Drack
M. Grossmann
Christl. Lampen
St. Hofbauer
Bonda Tepe/Limyra
O. Hülden, S. Mayer, U. Schuh, B. Yener-Marksteiner
J. Köck
J. Kopf
G. Kremer
A. Conze
K.R. Krierer, I. Friedmann
H. Lehar
M. Lehner, S. Tausend, K. Tausend
U. Lohner-Urban
H. Maier
P. Marko
M. Mosser
K. Oberhofer
Castelinho dos Mouros
K. Oberhofer
Monte Iato
B. Öhlinger
T. Osada
Foce del Sele
D. Probst
U. Quatember
Hanghaus 2
E. Rathmayr
St. Pölten
R. Risy
V. Sossau
E. Tanaka
A. Waldner
J. Weilhartner
M. Zavadil


S. Jäger-Wersonig
Hannes Lehar
Fundort Wien
Stadtarchäologie Wien
Kathrin B. Zimmer

AUSGABE 68/IX/2013


C. Lang-Auinger, E. Trinkl
E. Böhr

I. Algrain
Ch. Avronidaki
St. Böhm
M. Chidiroglou
F. Díez Platas
Exotische Tiere
G.R. Dumke
B. Franke
Plastic Vases
J.R. Guy
A. Harden
Marine Life
K. E. Heuer
E. Hofstetter
M. Iozzo
Floral Motif
N. Kéi
Women & Animals
S. Klinger
J. Lang
N. Levin
A. Lezzi-Hafter
E. Manakidou
A. Mackay
V. Meirano
H. Mommsen
Sea Voyages
J. Neils
Schlange & Eule
N. Panteleon
A. Petrakova
Efeu & Rebe
L. Puritani
M. Recke
B. Reichardt
D. Rodríguez Pérez
Natur & Kultur
A. Schnapp
N. Sojc
M. Stark
D. Tonglet
C. Weiß
L. Winkler-Horaček
M. Wullschleger

AUSGABE 67/VI/2013

M. Mele
D. Modl
G. Kremer, A. Pülz
Brot & Wein
M.W. Pacher


3D Models
B. Breuckmann, St. Karl, E. Trinkl
Römische Steine
I. Egartner
Side 2012
U. Lohner-Urban
T. Neuhauser, O. Pink, S. Zenz


Defensive Armour
M. Mödlinger
Kolophon 2012
V. Gassner, U. Muss, E. Draganits
Hausham 2012
V. Gassner, R. Ployer
Fundort Wien
Stadtarchäologie Wien
E. Trinkl

AUSGABE 64/IX/2012

Velia 2012
V. Gassner, D. Svoboda
Soccer ball
J.W.A.M. Janssen
Römische Villen
S. Lamm
Römisches Leben
E. Rathmayr
K. Spathmann

AUSGABE 63/VI/2012
14. Archäologentag

P. Scherrer
T. Alusik, A.B. Sosnova
M. Auer
C.M. Behling
Min. Götter
F. Blakolmer
M. Bru Calderon
G. Fuchs
R. Fürhacker, A.-K. Klatz
K. Gostenčnik
M. Griebl, I. Hellerschmied
Th. Hagn
A.G. Heiss, R. Drescher-Schneider
D. Knauseder
J. Köck
G. Koiner, Ch. Zinko
J. Kopf
G. Kremer
S. Lamm
A. Landskron
F. Lang, R. Kastler, Th. Wilfing, W. Wohlmayr
C. Lang-Auinger
H. Lehar
Pheneos 2011
M. Lehner, K. Tausend
Side 2011
U. Lohner-Urban, E. Trinkl
T. Neuhauser, M. Ugarković
K. Oberhofer
Arch. Sizilien
B. Öhlinger
T. Osada
B. Petznek
M. Christidis, O. Pink
R. Ployer
G. Praher
U. Quatember, V. Scheibelreiter-Gail
Wohneinheit 7
E. Rathmayr
M. Seyer
St. Sitz, M. Auer
K. Strobel
A. Szilasi
B. Tober
J. Weilhartner
J. Wilding
A. Schober
G. Wlach


H. Schörner
T. Bezeczky
Velia 2011
V. Gassner
L. Pecchioli, P. Yule, F. Mohamed


B. Grammer
Grotte Chauvet
U. Simon
Fundort Wien 2011
Stadtarchäologie Wien

AUSGABE 60/IX/2011

In Memoriam F. Brein
B. Kratzmüller et al.
Domplatz/St. Pölten
R. Risy
M. Xagorari-Gleißner

AUSGABE 59/VI/2011

U. Quatember
Publikation Keryx
P. Scherrer
E. Holzer, O. Pink
E. Pieler

NÖ Landesausstellung

Zur Philosophie
E. Bruckmüller
Ch. Gugl et al.
F. Humer
F. Humer
M.W. Pacher
E. Bruckmüller
M. Pregesbauer et al.


Löwentor, Mykene
F. Blakolmer
K. Harter-Uibopuu, V. Scheibelreiter
R. Wedenig
Fundort Wien 2010
Stadtarchäologie Wien

AUSGABE 56/IX/2010

Amphitheater, Carnuntum
D. Boulasikis
Siedlungen, Attika
M.B. Cosmopoulos
Krieg, Israel
R. Feldbacher
M. Müller-Karpe
Chichen Itza
A. Guida Navarro
Statue, Delphi
A. Nordmeyer

AUSGABE 55/VI/2010
Archaeology in Confllict

F. Schipper
Setting the Agenda
F. Schipper,
M.T. Bernhardsson

"MY heritage"
L.E. Babits
Leipheim excavation
M. Bletzer
Illicit Traffic
K. Bogoeski
"Embedded" Archaeology
A. Cuneo
S. Di Paolo
A. Gach
Project ORCHID
P.R. Green
NGOs' Initiatives
S. Guner
NGO & Illicit Trade
S. Guner
Atatürk & Heritage
S. Guner, M. Yildizturan
Cypriot Antiquities
S. Hardy
Past - Future
V. Higgins
Legal Aspects
Military's Role
A. Kapornaki
Occupied Palestine
A. Keinan
H. Leijen
Student Perspective
D. McGill
C. Näser, C. Kleinitz
Scientific Organizations
B. Nelson
Cultural Intelligence
E. Nemeth
Missions to Babylon
A. Peruzzetto, J. Allen, G. Haney, G. Palumbo
Masada Myth
M. Pfaffl
Embedded Anthropologists
J. Price
M. Rak, J. Vladar
Ziggurat at Aqar Quf
B.A. Roberts
G. Barbosa Rodrigues
Turkish Museums
O. Sade-Mete
Next Generation Project
A. Sands, K. Butler
Heritage in Peru
D.D. Saucedo Segami
Liasion Officer
H. Speckner
Looting and Plundering
H. Szemethy
United Arab Emirates
J.J. Szuchman
First Aid/ICCROM
A. Tandon, S. Lambert
B. Thomassen
Turkish Law
S. Topal-Gökceli
T. Umrikhina
R. Welshman
C. Westrik, S. Neuerburg

13. Archäologentag

F. Felten, C. Reinholdt, W. Wohlmayr
T. Alusik
Villa urbana, Carnuntum
M. Behling
I. Benda
Frühägäische Götter
F. Blakolmer
Kapitell in Graz
M. Christidis-Poulkou
Oriental./Minoische Götter
V. Dubcová
K. Gostenčnik
Spätantike Textilien
K. Grömer
Chronologie SH IIa
F. Höflmayer
E. Kanitz
villa rustica/Brederis
J. Kopf
villa rustica/Neumarkt-Pfon
F. Lang et al.
Aula in Bruckneudorf
G. Kieweg-Vetters
S. Klemm
Fibeln in Iuvavum
D. Knauseder
A. Konecny
Kaiser als Pharao
G. Kremer
A. Landskron
Porträts im KHM
M. Laubenberger
H. Lehar
H. Maier
M. Mosser
Prospektion in Oberlienz
F.M. Müller
K. Oberhofer
T. Osada
M. Pacher
Villa rustica/Oberndorf
A. Picker
Blatt und Blüte
K. Pruckner
U. Quatember
S. Radbauer, B. Petznek
Apollo - Augustus
M. Stütz
E. Tanaka
Rotfig. Bauchlekythen
E. Trinkl
Tierlogogramme/Linear B
J. Weilhartner
N. Zimmermann


V. Gassner, K. Schaller
Tyrannen v. Ephesos
J. Fischer
C. Lang-Auinger
Spätantikes Ephesos
A. Pülz
Fundort Wien 2009

AUSGABE 52/IX/2009

Arch. Park Ephesos
M. Döring-Williams
St. Karl
Sant Ypoelten
R. Risy
Mausoleum Bartringen
G. Kremer

AUSGABE 51/VI/2009

Magnesisches Tor
A. Sokolicek
Judenplatz, Wien
K. Adler-Wölfl
Am Hof, Wien
M. Brzakovic, A. Kupka, K. Lappé
Datenbank "lupa"
F. Harl, O. Harl

Ägäische Bronzezeit

F. Blakolmer, C. Reinholdt, J. Weilhartner, G. Nightingale
Beziehungen Kretas
E. Alram
M. Aufschnaiter
L. Berger
F. Blakolmer
Ägäische Einflüsse
D. Doncheva
Unfreiheit u. Religion
J. Fischer
Ikonographie - Raum
U. Günkel-Maschek
P.W. Haider
Mann mit Lanze
S. Hiller
Kosmos als Kylix
S. Hiller
F. Höflmayer
B. Horejs
D. Leiner
G. Nightingale
Das Thronen
B. Otto
K. Pruckner
K. Schaller
N. Schlager
L. Soro
R. Steinhübl
E. Wacha
Myk. Figurinen
I. Weber-Hiden
A. Evans/Linear B
J. Weilhartner
Josef Höfler
M. Zavadil


Sog. Lukasgrab
A. Pülz
Velia 2008
V. Gassner
Palmyra 2008
A. Schmidt-Colinet
Wien 2008
Stadtarchäologie Wien
Magdalensberg 2008
E. Schindler Kaudelka

AUSGABE 48/IX/2008

P. Lochmann
Bassus Nymphaeum
E. Rathmayr
P. Ruggendorfer
Phaistos Disc
Ch. Henke

AUSGABE 47/VI/2008

M. Kronberger
M. Teichmann
A. Hassl
R. Karl

12. Archäologentag

M. Meyer, V. Gassner
Expedition 1902
T. Alušík, J. Kostenec, A. Zäh
Geschneidertes Gewand
I. Benda-Weber
D. Boulasikis
E. Christof
C.-M. Girisch
K. Gostenčnik, F. Lang
B. Hebert, E. Pochmarski, U. Steinklauber
E. Hölbling
E. Kanitz
D. Knauseder
G. Kremer
Heroon von Trysa
A. Landskron
C. Lang-Auinger
F.M. Müller
T. Osada
R. Ployer
U. Quatember
K. Schaller, Ch. Uhlir
N. Schlager
Kultplatz 1/Velia
D. Svoboda
Neue Medien
E. Trinkl
J. Weilhartner
Spiegel, KHM
K. Zhuber-Okrog
N. Zimmermann


Initiative Österr.
B. Kainrath
Inclusion Fluids
W. Prochaska, S.M. Grillo, P. Ruggendorfer
D. Boulasikis
Velia 2007
V. Gassner
Römische Villen
B. Schrettle
Stadtarchäologie Wien

AUSGABE 44/IX/2007
Hanghaus 2 von Ephesos

Hanghaus 2
H. Thür
E. Rathmayr
L. Rembart
Räume 14 + 19
G. Zluwa
Triklinium SR 24
A. Nordmeyer, A. Sommer
Raum 26
J. Reuckl
Marmorsaal I
S. Stökl
Marmorsaal II
S. Swientek
Raum 31b
M. Tschannerl
basilica privata
M. Gessl

AUSGABE 43/VI/2007

C. Lang-Auinger
Faschistisches Rom
U. Quatember
C. Praschniker
G. Wlach
E. Trinkl


Zum Geleit
H. Szemethy
M. Röder
Recht & Ordnung
S. Seitschek
S. Seitschek
A. Nordmeyer
L. Bäumel
Hippische Agone
M. Weisenhorn
M. Röder
K. Preindl
Berlin 1936
F. Mayr


Satyr, Greifswald
R. Attula
U. Lohner
Velia 2006
V. Gassner
F. Schachermeyr
M. Pesditschek
Fundort Wien
Stadtarchäologie Wien

AUSGABE 40/IX/2006

Ägina, Keramik
G. Klebinder-Gauß
Kyrene, Agora
A. Giudice
Kyrene, Gymnasium
A. Giudice
Ernst Sellin
F. Schipper

AUSGABE 39/VI/2006
11. Archäologentag

E. Walde
Prähist. Defensivarchitektur
T. Alušík
M. Auer
L. Berger
Mittelhell. Bildkunst
F. Blakolmer
Ferrum Noricum
B. Cech, H. Preßlinger, G. Walach
I. Dörfler
Lukaner in Velia?
V. Gassner
Übergangsriten, Herakleia
V. Gertl
Basis v. Sorrent
M. Grossmann
P.W. Haider
Steirische Archive
B. Hebert
Anton Roschmann
M. Huber
Schützengasse, Wien
S. Jaeger-Wersonig
Steindenkmäler, Carnuntum
G. Kremer
K.R. Krierer
Model, Ephesos
C. Lang-Auinger
Türme auf Kreta
E. Mlinar
Zivilstadt, Vindobona
M. Mosser
Daunische Siedlungsbefunde
F.M. Müller
Ostgiebel, Olympia
T. Osada
Werkstatt & Muster
G. Plattner
Akropolis, Ägina
E. Pollhammer
Straßenbrunnen, Ephesos
U. Quatember
Gräbertypologie, Daunien
J. Rückl
Kieselpflasterung, Daunien
E. Schemel
Nymphen - Mänaden
G. Schmidhuber
Tempel, Kalapodi
V. Sossau
Röm. Brixner Becken
A. Waldner
Aigina und Athen
J. Weilhartner
M. Weissl

Österreichischer Archäologenverband


Antikensammlung, KHM
K. Gschwantler
Bergbau, Montafon
R. Krause
A. Landskron
F. Brein


NASCA Ceramics
H. Mara, N. Hecht
Palmyra 2005
A. Schmidt-Colinet
Velia 2005
V. Gassner
Fundort Wien
Wr. Stadtarchäologie

AUSGABE 36/IX/2005

Kulturgüter im Irak
F. Deblauwe
Goldappliken, Artemision
A.M. Pülz
Goldappliken, Technologie
B. Bühler
Nymphäum von Apamea/Syrien
A. Schmidt-Colinet, U. Hess
B. Gessler-Löhr

AUSGABE 35/VI/2005
Neue Zeiten-Neue Sitten

Kolloquium Wien 2005
M. Meyer
Asinii Nicomachi
F. Chausson
A. Giuliani
F. Kirbihler
J. Poblome, Ph. Bes, V. Lauwers
Ti. Claudius Aristion
U. Quatember
Keramik 1.Jh. v.Chr.
Ch. Rogl
V. Scheibelreiter
M. Steskal
Imperial cult/Pisidia
P. Talloen
B. Weisser
N. Zimmermann


3D-Vision in Archaeology
H. Mara, R. Sablatnig
Velia 2004
V. Gassner
Aelium Cetium
R. Risy, P. Scherrer, E. Trinkl
Archäologie in Serbien
U. Brandl


Wandmalerei, Magdalensberg
K. Gostenčnik
Herakles i. Aguntum
St. Karwiese
M. Klein, M. Kronberger, M. Mosser
Wr. Stadtarchäologie

AUSGABE 32/IX/2004

Peter Cornelius
L. Krempel
Ch. Tschaikner
Ares Borghese, KHM
T. Friedl
K. Rieger

AUSGABE 31/VI/2004

Mark Aurel/Carnuntum
F. Humer
Partherdenkmal, KHM
W. Oberleitner
GIS / Marienkirche
Ch. Kurtze
A. Troll, J. Hald
N. Alber


C. Holtorf
Gewebte Erinnerungen
G. Rapp, H. Rapp
Velia 2003
V. Gassner, A. Sokolicek
Keramikchronologie/ Velia
M. Trapichler
W. Vetters
W. Vetters, H. Zabehlicky

10. Österr. Archäologentag Zum Geleit
G. Schwarz
T. Alušík
E. Christof
M. Doneus, Ch. Gugl, R. Jernej
Asyl von Ephesos
R. Fleischer
G. Fuchs
F. Glaser
Neuaufstellung KHM
K. Gschwantler
R. Hanslmayr
Ch. Hemmers, St. Traxler
Marmorgemagerte Keramik
S. Jäger-Wersonig
Agäer in Italien
R. Jung
Antikensammlung R. Knabl
St. Karl

K. Koller
A. Landskron
S. Laus
Brustschmuck d. Kybele
F.M. Müller
T. Osada
Pompeii, Regio VII
L. Pedroni, D. Feil, B. Tasser
Ost und West
G. Plattner
Grabbezirk v. Faschendorf
J. Polleres, W. Artner
Bärinnen in Brauron
M. Poulkou
Romanisierung im Comics
U. Quatember, K.R. Krierer
Lykische Schrift
M. Seyer
E. Trinkl
M. Weißl

AUSGABE 28/IX/2003

L.E. Vaag, V. Nørskov, J. Lund
A.M. Pülz
S. Karwiese
R. Gietl, M. Kronberger, M. Mosser
C. Sehnal

AUSGABE 27/VI/2003

G. Klebinder-Gauß
F. Harl, K. Schaller
A. Sokolicek
Archäologie in Oberösterreich
S. Lehner
Science Week 2003
M. Holzner, A. Vacek


Jupiter-Dolichenus Tafel, KHM
P. Pingitzer
Marmorrelief mit Säge
M. Büyükkolanci, E. Trinkl
A. Giuliani
'Toilet Room', Knossos
M. Aufschnaiter
Karthago - Spiegelgrund
Wr. Stadtarchäologie


Colonia Ulpia Traiana
U. Brandl, F. Diessenbacher
Velia 2002
V. Gassner, A. Sokolicek, M. Trapichler
P. Ruggendorfer
A. Pülz
M. Weißl
Boische Grabbauten
M. Mosser

AUSGABE 24/IX/2002

Erlebnis Altertum,
Science Week 2002
M. Holzner, M. Ladurner
Legionslager Vindobona,
Science Week 2002
M. Mosser
Griechen & Fremde,
Science Week 2002
S. Fürlinger
TS aus Cales
L. Pedroni, B. Tasser
J. Eitler
Koptische Ärmelborte
Ch. Pflegerl

AUSGABE 23/VI/2002

Inscriptions of Aphrodisias
G. Bodard, Ch. Roueché
Griechisches Knossos
E. Mlinar
Carnuntumausstellung, Brixen
E. Wierer
Spiegel-Corpus Schweiz
I. Jucker, Rez. F. Brein


Glasbecher, IKA
S. Jäger-Wersonig
K. Herold
A. Landskron
Spittelwiese, Linz
R. Ployer


Marmorkleinplastik in Aquileia
E. Christof
Frühchristliche Ampullen
S. Ladstätter, A. Pülz
Velia 2001
V. Gassner
Fundort Wien 4/2001
Wr. Stadtarchäologie

AUSGABE 20/IX/2001

K. Herold
B. Kratzmüller
B. Kratzmüller
B. Kratzmüller
E. Trinkl
Palmyra 2001
A. Schmidt-Colinet
Kopie & Fälschung
Ch. Gastgeber

AUSGABE 19/VI/2001

Grabbezirk von Faschendorf
J. Polleres
Von Virunum nach Iuvavum
Ch. Gugl
Hemmaberg / Kärnten
S. Ladstätter
Murale - Project
M. Kampel, R. Sablatnik
Ägypten in bunten Bildern
U. Quatember


Nemesis in Virunum
Ch. Gugl
Tafel- & Qualitätswein
H. Liko
Mantik in Mantineia
A. Hupfloher
Artemision / Ephesos
M. Weißl
Hellenist. Keramik / Ephesos
Ch. Rogl
Frühbyzantinische Münzen
M.A. Metlich
W. Hahn


R. Jernej
Geschichte des IKA
V. Gassner
Homer & Entenhausen
U. Quatember
Archäologie & Computer
W. Börner
Fundort Wien
Wr. Stadtarchäologie

AUSGABE 16/IX/2000

M. Büyükkolanci
Dach für Ephesos
F. Krinzinger
Theater v. Perge
A. Öztürk
Priester in Sparta
A. Hupfloher

AUSGABE 15/VI/2000

Nochmals Vota
St. Karwiese
Mesopotamiens Bootsgott
B. Stöcklhuber
Arge Arch
F. Schipper
Digitale Bilddokumentation
K. Koller
Torrenova, Sizilien
E. Kislinger
Ch. Stradal, C. Dworsky
M. Zach

Altmodische Archäologie
Festschrift f. F. Brein

Tabula Gratulatoria
F. Brein 1964-1999
Zusammenst. M. Bodzenta
Gewicht aus Ephesos
M. Aurenhammer
Schlüssel, Schloß & Knoten
H. Bannert
Min. "Zahnornament"
F. Blakolmer
L. Dollhofer, K. Schaller
Anheben d. Gewandsaumes
U. Eisenmenger
Keramik aus Eretria
R. Fenzl
Stele aus Grottaferrata
T. Friedl
"Da Hiib"
A. Gasser
Oinotrer in Elea?
V. Gassner
Flora & Fauna in Pleuron
W. Gerdenitsch, K. Mazzucco
Neues aus Rom
W. Greiner
Hermerot aus Ephesos
R. Hanslmayer
Zwei Wiener Ostraka
H. Harrauer
Feder & Tinte
S. Jilek
List - Hitler - Carnuntum
M. Kandler
Neokorie f. Macrinus
St. Karwiese
Buntgesteine in Ephesos
K. Koller
Auslosung im Sport
B. Kratzmüller
Kopfgefäß aus Ephesos
C. Lang-Auinger
Sphinx von Fischlham
M. Pippal
St. Martin / Raab
E. Pochmarski, M. Pochmarski-Nagele
Bronzelöwe aus Lousoi
Ch. Schauer
Eber - Heros
P. Scherrer
Kyklop. Bauten / Ostkreta
N. Schlager
Weinlese in Palmyra
A. Schmidt-Colinet
Römische Juristen
R. Seliger
Kranz - Krone - Korb
E. Specht
Datierung d. Propyläenkore
M. Steskal
FS O. Benndorf
H. Szemethy (Hrsg.)
Basileia in Ephesos?
H. Thür
Rocken & Spindel
E. Trinkl
Ägäische Gewandweihen
E. Trnka
Herakles / African Red Slip
P. Turnovsky
Deckenfresko in Enns
E. Walde
E. Weber
Ökonomie d. Archäologie
W. Weigel
Festung Elaos
M. Weißl
Graffiti / Bruckneudorf
H. Zabehlicky


Tell Arbid, Syria
G.J. Selz
Ephesische Laren
U. Quatember
Welser Gräberfeld
S. Jäger-Wersonig
Arthur Project
F. Niccolucci
Arch. Sammlung II
F. Brein (Hrsg.)


Warrior tomb, Egypt
I. Forstner-Müller
Akropolis, Athen
F. Ruppenstein, W. Gauß
Amymone auf Mosaiken
A. Kankeleit
Römische Mosaike
V. Scheibelreiter
Palmyra 1999
A. Schmidt-Colinet
Barbanera. Besprechung
S. Altekamp


Ausgabe 11/VI/99
8. Österr. Archäologentag
Zum Geleit
F. Blakolmer, H.D. Szemethy
F. Blakolmer
Stadtmauern von Velia
V. Gassner
Heiligtum in Byblos
P.W. Haider
Zeus in Ephesos
E. Trinkl
Partherdenkmal v. Ephesos
A. Landskron
Kleinasiat. Theaterfriese
H.S. Alanyali
Keramik aus Xanthos
B. Yener-Marksteiner
Peloponnesische Reliefbecher
Ch. Rogl
Lampen aus Aigeira
Th. Hagn
Lagertor v. Vindobona
M. Mosser
W. Müller, U. Zimmermann
Badegebäude in Altheim
K.A. Ebetshuber
Bad in Klosterneuburg
M. Philipp
Villa von Höflein
R. Kastler
Norische Grabbautypen
G. Kremer
Franz Miltner
K.R. Krierer
R. Selinger
H. Szemethy


Apasas - Ayasuluk
M. Büyükkolanci
Mythisches Ephesos
M. Steskal
Seleukeia Sidera
E. Lafli
Archäometrie in Velia/Italien
V. Gassner, R. Sauer
100 Jahre ÖAI
ÖAI (Hrsg.)


Zoomorphes Dekor
L. Dollhofer
Recycling misfired pottery
Poblome, Schlitz & Degryse
Die römische Palastvilla
H. Zabehlicky
Stadtarchäologie Wien
Wr. Stadtarchäologie
Ancient DNA
J. Kiesslich

Ägäische Bronzezeit

F. Blakolmer
Bulgarien & Nordgriechenl.
I. Schlor
Keramik aus Pheneos
G. Erath
Grazer Institutssammlung
M. Lehner
Halbrosetten / Federfächer
M. Weißl
B. Otto
Hogarth's Zakro Sealing No.130
N. Schlager
Die Larnax von Episkopi
F. Lang
B. Schlag
Ägyptische Quellen
P. W. Haider
Der Friedhof von Elateia
A. E. Bächle
Mykenische Perlen
G. Nightingale
Frauen- und Männertracht
E. Trnka
Die Akropolis von Athen
W. Gauß
ásty und pólis
J. Weilhartner
Farbe in der ägäischen Bildkunst
F. Blakolmer


Prähist. Ephesos
M. Büyükkolanci
Ephes. Kaiserpriester
H. Thür
Hadrians Innenpolitik
G. Plattner
Red Slip Ware
J. Poblome
Sigillatadepot / St. Pölten
Ch. Riegler
Fundort unbekannt
H.D. Szemethy


Ephesos 1997
St. Karwiese
Plataiai - Survey
A. Konecny
M.E. Großmann
G. Vetters
Keramik und Laser
M. Kampel & Ch. Liska


Ephesian Water System
D. Crouch & Ch. Ortloff
Digitaler Stadtplan
St. Klotz & Ch. Schirmer
Mautern - Favianis
St. Groh
Kirchberg / Kremsmünster
R. Risy
Emanuel Löwy
F. Brein (Hrsg.)

Metropole Ephesos

Resumée 1996
St. Karwiese et al.
Hist. Topographie
P. Scherrer
Artemision of Ephesus
A. Bammer
Der Hafen von Ephesos
H. Zabehlicky
Inschriften von Ephesos
D. Knibbe
Das Große Theater
I. Ataç
U. Outschar - H. Thür
E. Trinkl
Rouge et noir
S. Zabehlicky
Stand 1997
Bibliographie 1988-97
M. Bodzenta


H. S. Alanyali
Grabbauten Noricums
G. Kremer
Puer Ludens
W. Reiter
Bronzezeitl. Tätowierung
K. Schaller


Kyprische Vasen
F. Brein (Hrsg.)
E. Eberwein
Römische Landgüter
K. A. Heinzl
Geophys. Prospektion
W. Neubauer - P. Melichar
Frühbyz. Bauornamentik
A. Pülz


Archäolog. Sammlung
F. Brein
Täfelung des Serapeions
K. Koller
Synoris und Apene
B. Kratzmüller
Zeustempel zu Olympia
H. Nödl
Spindel, Spinnwirtel & Rocken
E. Trinkl

The Archaeology News Network

Inside the antechamber of the Amphipolis tomb

Archaeologists excavating the Kasta Tomb in Ancient Amphipolis on Monday entered the burial mound that has drawn international attention. The blocks were removed from the sealing wall, revealing the front of the funerary monument. Debris was removed to reach the prothalamos  [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]The facade is decorated in the same style as the side walls with a fresco imitating the broad marble retaining wall...

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Partially Open Access Journal: Eikasmos: Quaderni Bolognesi di Filologia Classica

[First posted in AWOL 30 October 2010, updates 26 August 2014]

Eikasmos: Quaderni Bolognesi di Filologia Classica
Fondata da Enzo Degani nel 1990, la rivista «Eikasmós. Quaderni Bolognesi di Filologia Classica» si è sempre caratterizzata per una vocazione squisitamente critico-testuale ed esegetica (la prima sezione di ogni numero è per l'appunto di «Esegesi e critica testuale»), per una rigorosa attenzione alla storia della filologia classica (cui è consacrata la seconda sezione di ogni volume) e per un costante impegno di aggiornamento e valutazione degli studi del settore (alle recensioni e alle segnalazioni bibliografiche sono riservate le ultime due sezioni della rivista).

Founded by Enzo Degani in 1990, the review «Eikasmós. Quaderni Bolognesi di Filologia Classica» is devoted to textual criticism and exegesis (the first section of each issue is dedicated to «Esegesi e critica testuale»), to the history of classical scholarship (the second section of each volume), and to a systematic and up-to-date survey of scholarly works in the fields of classical studies (the two last sections of each issue include reviews and a bibliographical supplement).

Collection «Eikasmós Online»
1. Claudio De Stefani, Galeni De differentiis febrium versio Arabica (Bologna 2004)

2. Barbara Zipser (ed.), Medical Books in the Byzantine World (Bologna 2013)

Data Bank «Eikasmós»

From this page it is possible to enter the data bank «Eikasmós», yearly updated with the complete tables of contents of the review, an abstract and the full text (as a searchable pdf file) of all the articles and reviews (except those published in the last two issues). It offers several ways of searching and consulting all these data.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient tombs damaged in construction in Istanbul’s historical peninsula

Two ancient tomb covers, which were found during the rehabilitation of an underpass in Istanbul’s historical peninsula, have been delivered to Istanbul Archaeology Museum, but only after being damaged in the construction work.

The tomb parts were discovered while a bulldozer was working to remove asphalt on the Vezneciler Underpass, next to the main door of Istanbul University, as part of a project which started Aug. 5. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum was informed when the tombs were found, albeit after they were damaged due by the heavy construction vehicle.

The area was defined as a “necropolis” in the ancient era of the city. Read more.

AIA Fieldnotes

Archaeology Day at Spiro Mounds

Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center
International Archaeology Day
Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 2:00pm

BiblePlaces Blog

Now Available in Canada: Satellite Bible Atlas

The Satellite Bible Atlas now has a Canadian distributor. Until now, shipping to Canada from the U.S. cost nearly as much as the book itself. The Family Christian Bookstore in Ontario now sells the atlas, and shipping charges are much more reasonable to Canadian addresses. The Bible Lands Satellite Map is also available.

Penn Museum Blog

A Glance into the Lives of the Roman Peasantry: Four Weeks of Excavation with the Roman Peasant Project

Ceramics from the Tombarelle site

Ceramics from the Tombarelle site

This summer, I had the pleasure of being accepted to be a part of the sixth and final season of the Roman Peasant Project. I excavated alongside a team of professional archaeologists, professors, and graduate, PhD, and undergraduate students in rural Tuscany in Cinigiano, a municipality in the Province of Grosseto. The site we excavated was called Tombarelle. The Roman Peasant Project, directed by Kim Bowes, Cam Grey, Emanuele Vaccaro, and Mari Ghisleni, is one of very few archaeological excavations that seeks to uncover and investigate the lifestyles of peasants in the Roman period. Since a great majority of the material culture of Roman antiquity represents persons of wealth and status, this project is very important for expanding the views gathered from these traditional sources. Being the final season of the project, I was very excited to learn of the accumulation of data over the years and the conclusions drawn from the evidence discovered across rural Tuscany.

Having had no previous experience in archaeology, with the exception of an introductory course taken during the first semester of my freshman year, I quickly learned the elementary concepts of rescue-style excavation. Unlike tradition excavation, this style of archaeology requires the digging and investigation of an area to occur at a brisk pace. The four trenches we excavated were first discovered through use of an archaeological survey. They were dug quickly and were some of the many areas of interest for excavation in Cinigiano.  Following the survey, an excavator was called to remove the first few layers of soil, and we began the excavation by troweling in order to clean the trenches. It was quite a funny thing for one to “clean” dirt, and I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of it.

Discovering artifacts and new methods of surveying was both a very entertaining and exciting endeavor. Within the first week, we began work with pick axes and shovels and discovered our first finds of the excavation, with many of them dating from the fifth century AD. When a found had been made, a series of happy squeals emanated from those of us new to the field of archaeology. By the end of the second week, I had not only worked on every area of the dig site, but also had also learned to take measurements with a dumpy level. This required me to look through a leveled instrument to read certain heights on a measurement stick, almost like peering through a telescope at a vertical ruler. After taking the level of a small find and a fixed point, a small amount of math was applied to find the height of the artifact in respect to the sea level. Whenever such a prominent small find was uncovered, like a piece of Roman glass, for example, a dumpy level and a total station would be the instruments used to document the location of said small find.

Trench 17000 of the Tombarelle site

Trench 17000 of the Tombarelle site

I worked primarily in two trenches during the duration of the excavation. For the first week and a half, I worked mainly on a structure thought to be a cistern. By the end of the dig, we discovered that it had, indeed, been used as a cistern during Roman times but had been reconditioned to serve as a basement of a medieval tower. It was in trench 17000, however, where I spent most of the hours and the remaining two and a half weeks of the excavation. During the third week of excavating trench 17000, we uncovered a tile floor, mostly flat. This floor was surrounded on two sides by what appeared to be walls. This building could very well have been a Roman house. In addition to learning the physical aspects of an archaeological excavation, I learned how to fill out context sheets for my trench and transcribe the written context sheets onto a computer database.

Our finds led us to question the complexity of what a Roman peasant truly was. The peasants we studied in Cinigiano lived in rural societies. It is unknown, however, if they were as poverty-stricken as traditional views would relay. It was interesting to discover that the evidence from the material culture we unearthed suggested that the Roman peasants of this area had a great knowledge of the world outside of their farms and agricultural societies. Throughout the course of the dig, we unearthed pottery sherds, including some pieces of Terra sigillata, animal bone fragments, and pieces of tile and imbrex. Many of the pottery sherds we found were from pots and amphora that were replicas of original pieces found elsewhere across the Roman Empire. Two particular potsherds that we found had leaf-like designs etched into the clay. The pottery specialists on the excavation confirmed that these particular pieces were, indeed, reproductions of the originals. In respect to the animal bones we found, which were the bones of both cows and pigs, some possessed gnaw marks while others did not. This could suggest that these animals, in addition to being raised for sustenance, were used for certain manufacturing purposes. The building we found, if not a house, could have been a tannery or a farm. It could have also served another industrial purpose. This suggests that these peasants were involved in the manufacturing of, importation, and exportation of goods for trade.

My experience with the Roman Peasant Project in Cinigiano was an amazing one. Not only did I learn about the field of archaeology as a whole, but also I met many outstanding friends and scholars. We spent many days laughing and singing in the trenches and many late nights talking after dinner about careers, the future, favorite television shows, and, of course, the ancient world that we were attempting to uncover. My first bout with archaeology may not have been quite so exhilarating as Indiana Jones might have found it, but, in all honesty, I probably had just as much fun as the good doctor.

The Corinth Excavations

The Temple of Apollo at Corinth.  This is the view I see each day as I walk from the excavation house to the Museum.

Fig. 1. The Temple of Apollo at Corinth. This is the view I see each day as I walk from the excavation house to the Museum.

I am writing from the site of Ancient Corinth, where excavations under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have been going on since the late 19th century.  The Corinth Excavations have been a training ground for generations of archaeologists, including me, and I thank the director, Guy Sanders, and assistant director, Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, for making Corinth such a wonderful place to work.  I’ve been working at Corinth for a long time, so I’m also indebted to the director emeritus, Charles Williams, and the assistant director emerita, Nancy Bookidis, for a scholarly lifetime of support, encouragement, and friendship.

At Corinth, I am working on late seventh and early sixth century BCE pottery from the area known as the Potters’ Quarter.   Up next to the city wall on the west side of the city, the Potters’ Quarter is one of the sites around the city where pottery was produced.   The Potters’ Quarter was excavated by Agnes Newhall Stillwell, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, for several years beginning in 1929, when she was a fellow at the American School.  No kilns where the pottery was fired have been discovered in the Potters’ Quarter, but the large quantities of damaged–misfired, cracked, misshapen–pottery as well as much material associated with pottery production, especially try-pieces, that are found in fills and deposits make clear that pottery was produced nearby.

Corinth C-31-46

Fig 2. Corinth C-31-46

I am working on the very large quantity of material from a well–Well 1929-1 in Corinth nomenclature–in the Potters’ Quarter.  The well was dug in the 7th century BCE and once it went dry, it was filled up with quantities of pottery, discarded no doubt from nearby potteries.  Some of the pottery from the well was published by Stillwell and J. L. Benson (Corinth XV:3:  The Potters Quarter: The Pottery.  Princeton 1984), but much remained unstudied and that is what I am working on.  I am particularly interested in the different painters whose work is represented in the well’s contents, and here I’ll focus on the painters of the shape known in Corinth as the kotyle.  It’s the same as a skyphos, a deep two-handled drinking cup, and the kotyle is very common in Corinthian pottery of the late seventh to mid-sixth centuries BCE.   Some Corinthian kotylai (the plural of kotyle) are very fine, but not the ones I’m working with.   An example, Corinth C-31-46, (fig. 2) from elsewhere at Corinth shows the shape–only one handle is visible here–and the decorative scheme, which includes a figural zone that here has an elongated panther and part of another animal.

Philadelphia 49-33-26

Fig. 3. Philadelphia 49-33-26

I have grown quite familiar with the style of these Corinthian kotyle painters, and one day, a few years ago, when I was looking a drawer of pottery sherds in the Mediterranean Section, I saw a small fragment by a painter well known to me from the kotylai of my Potters’ Quarter well.   The fragment, 49-33-26 (fig. 3), is part of a small study collection of Greek pottery, some of it from the Potters’ Quarter, which came to the Museum sixty-five years ago thanks to the generosity of the Greek government.  The Penn fragment is the work of an artist we call the Painter of KP- 248, whose name vase is from the Potters’ Quarter.  That fragment preserves the head of a panther, and you can see that same panther face in another little sherd, Corinth L-29-10-302, (fig. 4) also by the painter and also from the well.  And you see it again in the group of joining fragments, Corinth L-29-10-92, (fig. 6) which preserves about a third of the kotyle and has two elongated panthers (the head of the panther at the right is not preserved); these fragments are from the well and are the work of the Painter of KP-248.  The Painter of KP-248 was clearly painting his kotylai at a pretty rapid rate and usually stretches out his animals so that there’s only room for three in the picture zone.

Corinth L-29-10-302

Fig. 4. Corinth L-29-10-302

Corinth L-29-10-11 by the Painter of KP 14

Fig. 5. Corinth L-29-10-11 by the Painter of KP 14

To see how the style of the Painter of KP-248 is different from that of other Corinthian vase-painters, compare it to that of the kotyle Corinth C-31-36 above  (fig. 2), again from elsewhere at Corinth, and also to this other kotyle fragment, L-29-10-11, (fig. 5) from the well, by an artist also named for a complete kotyle in the well, the Painter of KP-14 (Yes, the painters have boring nicknames.   Of course, we don’t know the painters’ real names, so we give them nicknames, sometimes rather dull ones.).   You can see that the painters use the same idiom as they delineate their panther faces, with eyes flanking a prominent nose ridge, curved ears a little like leaves, and little lines to mark the muzzle or the whiskers.  But you can also see how alike the Painter of KP-248′s kotylai are and how different they are from the others, how different the details of the style of the Painter of KP-248 are from those of the other painters.

Corinth L-29-10-92

Fig. 6. Corinth L-29-10-92

The group of joining fragments, Corinth L-29-10-92 (fig. 6) by the Painter of KP 248, shows some variation in color because of problems with the firing.  You can see the animals and ornament are brownish instead of black, and there’s a reddish area on the top of the left panther’s head, on the right panther’s tail, and on the dots of fill ornament above the right panther’s back.  This reminds us of the extensive and important evidence that the material from the Potters’ Quarter provides for the study of the technology of pottery production.  And a new generation of scholars is discovering the significance of the Potters’ Quarter material, through new technical and scientific studies.  Amanda Reiterman (fig. 7), graduate student in Penn’s Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World program and Kolb Junior Fellow, and Bice Peruzzi, a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati, are doing new technical and scientific studies of the Potters’ Quarter material so that we may better understand pottery production and technology in the Corinth of the seventh and sixth centuries BCE.

Working on Potters' Quarter material Corinth with Amanda Reiterman, graduate student in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World program, last summer.

Fig. 7. Working on Potters’ Quarter material at Corinth with Amanda Reiterman, graduate student in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World program, last summer.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Maps for Teaching Paul

The site “Vox” shared a set of “40 Maps that Explain the Roman Empire.” A number of them are interesting for those who teach Biblical studies. Since I am teaching a class on Paul and the early church this semester, a couple seemed particularly relevant. For instance, this one seems like it might help students in the United States grasp the geographic extent of the Roman Empire:

Roman Empire over United States

And this one, showing distances in terms of travel time, is likewise of particular relevance in conveying what was involved in Paul’s travels:

Roman Empire travel_distances

I am less happy with this one, which seems to give an impression of complete Christianization by region, whereas it would be more accurate to say that this depicts regions where Christianity could be found in the periods indicated:


Among the assignments that students can submit in the class this semester, making maps of their own is an option. What maps do we not have readily available online, which would help explain something about Paul’s life and activity? My students might benefit from your suggestions.

Blogging Pompeii

Superintendent Osanna to speak in Munich

Of interest to our colleagues in the Munich area! — Steph

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen,
ich möchte Sie hiermit sehr herzlich zu einem öffentlichen Abendvortrag des Prof. Dr. Massimo Osanna, des Soprintendente von Pompeji, zum Thema "Pompeji zur Zeit des 'Grande Progetto Pompei' - laufende Arbeiten und Perspektiven" einladen.

Der Vortrag wird am Montag, den 15. September, am Lehrstuhl für Restaurierung, Kunsttechnologie und Konservierungswissenschaft der TU München stattfinden.

Alle notwendigen Informationen bezüglich des Vortrages finden Sie in der Einladung, die ich Ihnen im Anhang dieser Email sende.

Für Rückfragen stehe ich Ihnen natürlich jederzeit gerne zur Verfügung,

Anna Anguissola


Dr. Anna Anguissola
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Graduate School Distant Worlds
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
D-80539 München

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Le Fluff et Le Puff ... Or How I Love The Gap

Since I'm in bed with a temperature I'm going to do a quick clothes post ... It's intended for my dog-walking companions, as we're always asking each "where did you ...?"- the leopard sandals are Topshop years ago, and the Ikat shorts are last summer's Gap, ditto the linen shirts, and the nail varnish is Ciate's "Pocket Money" ... and I thought it would be easier to just post the links to other stuff that's still available.

But since I tend to wear the same gear at sites as I do walking Ellie ...

These PJs are from The Gap (here) and I wish I'd picked them up as after the flood I'm away and ... the red flower coulourway doesn't photograph well but is feminine without being girlie.

I highly recommend signing up for The Gap's mailing list as they often sent discount vouchers ....

The trousers I've been living in are the Broken-in straight linen pants from The Gap (here) in blue, and white ... and I miss last summer's green ones that are RIP.

(I can't find the perforate suede ballet pumps on the web site, but some stores still have them in the sale section).

The grey cotton jumper I've been living in is from ASOS (£15 here in the sale) - it's a bit oversize so I'd go down a size, and washes fine in the machine.

As the temperatures are dropping, I'll be moving into my trusty black Slim Cropped pants from The Gap (here). Ignore the awful styling on the web site, they are fabulous with flats or even heels.

I also picked up this olive Military Jacket from The Gap (here) - I wish they'd made them all an inch or two longer but it's great for dog walking, and has pockets for poop bags and treats and ...

I wish, I wish, I wish I'd managed to get this dress, but it's almost sold out in the UK, not on The Gap's web site any more, and only in the most miniscule of sizes in shops ... In the US of course it's on sale and available in every size (here). Grrr.

The Gap in the US also has these (here), which I'd have snapped up in a heartbeat and provided a loving home to ...

Instead I got these Juju Black Chelsea Jelly Ankle Boots which are far more practical - and far chicer than the overly ubiquitous Hunters. They're at Asos here; I wish I'd grabbed their biker boot wellies too ...

I also got this cotton striped jumper from ASOS (£14 in the sale here).

And hopefully The Gap will have more of their fabulous cosy cashmeres in soon ... 

About two-thirds of my tees are from The Gap - about half are the classic plain and simple Pure Body ones (here), the rest from various of their collections over the years.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Canterbury dig uncovers Britain's oldest road

Hundreds of people in Canterbury took to the city’s Westgate Parks, to take part in an archaeological dig that uncovered Roman artefacts, treasures, and Britain’s oldest road.

Over six hundred people stopped by the community dig over the three-day weekend, to see some of the amazing finds unearthed by more than seventy members of the community, volunteers from the Friends of Westgate Parks, and members of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

The dig unearthed a part of the Roman Watling Street, the ancient trackway between Canterbury and St Albans. Read more.

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

My Time with the Associates for Biblical Research at Khirbet el Maqatir in Israel

By: Matt Glassman, 3rd year Ph.D. Student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Yale University This May, I was able to join the Associates for Biblical Research for their excavation at Khirbet el Maqatir in Israel.  I am grateful for the excavation scholarship I received from ASOR, without which I may not have been able to […]

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Late Roman Economy and Formation Processes

I’ve spent some quality time with the most recent volume of Late Antique Archaeology this past month in preparation for writing a short contribution with David Pettegrew on connectivity in the Late Roman eastern Mediterranean. We plan to compare the Late Roman assemblages produced by two survey projects:  Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Project and Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeology Project. An important component of both assemblages is Late Roman amphoras: EKAS produced substantial quantities of Late Roman 2 Amphora probably produced in the Argolid; PKAP produced quantities of Late Roman 1 Amphora produced both on Cyprus and in southern Cilicia. We hope to discuss how the concentrations of these common transport vessels reflected and complicated how we understand economic patterns in the Late Antiquity.

Over the past half-century two basic models for the Late Roman economy have emerged. The earlier models saw the state as the primary engine for trade in antiquity. More recently, however, scholars have argued that the core feature of ancient trade is small-scale interaction between microregions across the Mediterranean basin. While there is undoubtedly some truth in both models, the latter has substantially more favor among scholars at present and the volume dedicated to connectivity focuses on the kind of small-scale interregional exchange that created a network of social, economic, and even cultural connections that defined the ancient Mediterranean world. The classic question introduced to complicate our view of ancient connectivity is: if the ancient Mediterranean is defined by these small-scale connections, then why did the political, economic, social, and even cultural unity of the communities tied to the Middle Sea collapse with the fall of Roman political organization in Late Antiquity?

Figure4 18

This is where David and I want to introduce the complicating matter of formation process archaeology. The substantial assemblages of Late Roman amphora represent the accumulation of discard from two “nodes” within the Late Antique economic network. These two nodes, however, are particularly visible because of the substantial concentration of a class of transport vessel.

These transport vessels most likely served to transport supplies to imperial troops either stationed in the Balkans or around the Black Sea, or in the case of the Eastern Korinthia, working to refortify the massive Hexamilion Wall that ran the width of the Isthmus of Corinth or stationed in its eastern fortress near the sanctuary of Isthmia. The visibility of these two areas depends upon a kind of artifact associated with a kind of exchange. As David has noted the surface treatments associated with LR2 amphora make them highly diagnostic in the surface record. LR1s, in turn, have highly diagnostic, twisted, handles that make them stand out from a surface assemblage dominated by relatively undifferentiated body sherds. In other words, these amphora assemblages represent a visible kind of economic activity.

The impact of this visible type of economic activity on our understanding of Late Roman connectivity is complex. On the one hand, the kind of persistent, low-level, economic connections associated with most models of connectivity are unlikely to leave much evidence on the surface. The diverse and relatively small group of very diverse amphoras, for example, found upon the coasting vessel at Fig Tree Bay on Cyprus would have been deposited at numerous small harbors along its route. Moreover, the fluidity of the networks that characterized connectivity would have made the routes of caboteurs irregular and contingent on various economic situations throughout the network of relationships. This variability and the small-scale of this activity is unlikely to have created an archaeologically visible assemblage at any one point on these routes. More than this, overland trade in wine or olive oil may not have used amphoras at all further impairing the archaeological visibility of the kind of low-level connectivity characteristic of Mediterranean exchange patterns. Between ephemeral containers and variable, low-density scatters, the regular pattern of archaeological exchange characterizing connectivity will never be especially visible in the landscape.

In contrast, imperial provisioning requirements, fueled for example by the quaestura exercitus, would present exceptionally visible assemblages of material. The interesting thing, to me, is that the amphoras visible on the surface in the Korinthia and at Koutsopetria  are not what is being exchanged, but the containers in which exchange occurs. The material exchanged, olive oil and wine, are almost entirely invisible in the archaeological records on their own. The visibility of these two places reflects the presence of outlets for a region’s produce. The produce itself, however, leaves very little trace, and we have to assume that networks that integrated microregions across the Mediterranean functioned to bring goods from across a wide area to a particular site for large-scale export.

The collapse of these sites of large-scale export during the tumultuous 7th and 8th centuries did not make trade between microregions end, but it made it more contingent and less visible, as I have argued for this period on Cyprus. The absence of large accumulations of highly diagnostic artifact types in one place represent a return to our ability to recognize normal patterns of Mediterranean exchange as much as the disruption of this exchange. The decline of these sites both deprived archaeologists of visible monuments of exchange and ancient communities of a brief moment of economic stability within longstanding contingent networks.

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

- Consulter le programme provisoire

AIA Fieldnotes

Foss State Park Archaeology Day

Foss State Park
International Archaeology Day
Friday, October 10, 2014

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Oldest European human footprints confirmed

In 1965 archaeologists discovered about 400 ancient human footprints in Ciur-Izbuc Cave in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. At that time, researchers interpreted the footprints to be those of a man, woman and child who entered the cave by an opening which is now blocked but which was usable in antiquity.

The original age of the footprints was given as 10–15,000 years old based partly on their association with cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) footprints and bones, and the belief that cave bears became extinct near the end of the last ice age.

However, since their discovery, the human and bear evidence and the cave itself have attracted cavers and other tourists, with the result that the ancient footprints were in danger of destruction by modern humans – leaving only 51 of the original discovery. Read more.

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vii kalendas septembres

ante diem vii kalendas septembres

  • 55 B.C. — Julius Caesar invades Britain, but doesn’t stick around very long
  • 1875 — Birth of John Buchan, 1st Baron of Tweedsmuir and Governor-General of Canada … and author of a decent biography of Augustus

Corinthian Matters

Major NEH Grant awarded for the Digitization of Excavation Records at Isthmia

It’s not every day that one sees friends and colleagues awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop open-source applications for uploading, organizing, and sharing archaeological data and records. I was delighted last month when I saw the announcement circulate on FB that Dr. Jon Frey of Michigan State University received a Digital Humanities Implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities on the order of $324,586—all to continue to develop and expand a tool called Archaeological Resource Cataloging System, or ARCS for short. These grants are incredibly competitive and award little more than 10% of applications, so congratulations to Dr. Frey and his colleague Ethan Watrall for developing a compelling archaeological tool that has earned the national recognition of a tough group of external reviewers.

I’ve invited Jon to contribute a post about the work of Michigan State University and Ohio State University at Isthmia over the last few years in digital affairs, and map out what he plans to do with the grant he’s been awarded. So, tomorrow’s post will come straight from Jon. In the meantime, here’s the press release from the NEH.

And the press release from Michigan State University:

“The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $1 million to Michigan State University as part of its Digital Humanities Implementation Grants program.

Marking the largest grant, Jon Frey, assistant professor of art history and visual culture, and Ethan Watrall, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and associate director of MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, received $324,586 for ARCS: Archaeological Resource Cataloguing System.

It will provide an open-source application in which users can upload, tag, sort and link digitized copies of photos, drawings and archaeological documents. The project builds upon the original case study of Ohio State University’s Isthmia excavations, for which Frey is field coordinator….”

The blog site for MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at MSU, provides a little more context:

“Originally funded by an NEH Digital Startup Grant and developed as a proof of concept by a small research group in the College of Arts and Letters (, ARCS is an open-source application designed to reintroduce many of the advantages of traditional archival research into its new electronic form. By means of an intuitive web-based interface, users can upload, visually scan, keyword, sort, and link together digitized copies of photographs, drawings, and (frequently handwritten) documents that together are the most faithful representation of the archaeological record. What is more, ARCS relies on a crowd-sourced approach to augment the information it contains. This not only provides a ready alternative to archaeological projects that lack a staff of dedicated archivists, but also encourages collaboration among scholars as well as public interest in a project’s ongoing research.

While the start-up phase of the project was very successful, the NEH Digital Implementation Grant will allow the project team to address several key software, design, and sustainability issues, including improved software architecture, interoperability, and community adoption and use.

As part of this new phase of the ARCS project, the project director’s have identified three archaeological projects that have already begun to digitize their primary documents and are interested in using the ARCS software in order to meet their research needs. Implementation at each of these projects will involve a further development of ARCS, which will in turn yield an even more flexible platform that can be customized to match each individual project’s unique system of archaeological documentation. Most importantly, because our implementation of the software involves multiple projects, we will be uniquely suited to develop a middle-ground solution that bridges the gap between the need to preserve the unique character of each project’s evidence and the larger goal of utilizing the evidence from several locations in research at a regional scale.”

Stay tuned for Jon’s fuller presentation of his work with ARCS and outline of where he plans to take it.

The Archaeology News Network

Utah’s famous Canyonlands rock art unexpectedly recent

A study by Utah State University scientists could shed new light on the ancient culture or cultures that created the haunting rock art known as the Barrier Canyon Style. Using luminescence dating techniques, USU researchers have determined the  pictographs at the Great Gallery in Canyonlands National Park's Horseshoe Canyon  are far younger, perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 years old, than previously believed  [Credit: Joel...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

The ancient origins of beer -- and straws

The exact origins of beer will forever be a mystery.

Our earliest relatives, back in the Paleolithic period, were hunters and gatherers. They foraged for food and scavenged or hunted meat. It wasn’t until the Neolithic period, some 10,000 or so years ago, that people began to realize they didn’t necessarily have to search for their food or even chase after it but instead could grow it themselves.

Their nomadic tribes became sedentary. They began farming and keeping livestock. They made pottery, built crude houses and organized themselves into more formalized groups in the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East. It was the birthplace of the civilization we know today. And soon there was beer. Read more.

Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

Militants have bombed the Shrine of Sufi Sheikh Taqi Baba, Mastung, Balochistan, Pakistan

This is just a note. Dawn journalist Syed Ali Shah has relayed police official Nazeer Ahmed’s information: unidentified militants have ‘planted explosives inside’ and ‘completely destroyed’ the Sufi Shrine of Sheikh Taqi Baba. So far, the guilty party is unknown Civil activist Sarim Anwer suspected that it was an act of Takfiri (Islamic State-style, law […]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ani ruins reveal hidden secrets from below

The underground secrets of the historic Ani Ruins, an ancient, 5,000-year-old Armenian city located on the Turkish-Armenian border in the eastern province of Kars, have been revealed.

While speaking at the recent “International Ani-Kars Symposium,” history researcher Sezai Yazıcı said secret water channels, undiscovered monk cells, meditation rooms, huge corridors, intricate tunnels, unbelievable traps and corners that make one lose their sense of direction were just some of the unknown underground structures located at the ancient site. Read more.

The Archaeology News Network

What can 14th century Venice teach us about Ebola?

The way in which the Italian city of Venice dealt with the outbreak of the plague in the fourteenth century holds lessons on how to even mitigate the consequences of today's emerging threats, like climate change, terrorism and highly infectious or drug-resistant diseases. So says Dr. Igor Linkov of the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and a visiting professor of the Ca Foscari University in Italy. Linkov led an article...

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James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

I Don’t Always Ignore Your E-Mails

I Don't Always Ignore Your E-mails

A “most interesting man in the world” meme for the start of the semester.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

PolygonTool, uno strumento open source per il processamento automatico dei dati geodetici

interreg kartitch_sexten_dosoledoDurante lo svolgimeto di un normale progetto archeologico, sia esso di scavo o disurvey, uno delle fasi più dispersive in termini di tempistica (e quindi a maggior incidenza sul budget a disposizione) è sicuramente quella del processamento dei dati geodetici grezzi, raccolti con RTK GPS o stazione totale.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Bibracte: where Julius Caesar completed his “Gallic Wars”

Polish archaeologists are exploring the remains of metallurgical workshops in Bibracte, a two thousand year old Celtic fortified settlement on the border of Yonne and Saône-et-Loire in Burgundy, France.

“In this oppidum, in the winter 52/51 BC Julius Caesar completed the famous Gallic Wars” explained Dr. Tomasz Bochnak of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Rzeszów, who coordinates the work of the Polish team.

The aim of the excavation is to identify the building layout north of the main road in the area adjacent to the principal gate of the oppidum. Read more.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Dear Journalists etc ... re Amphipolis

Look, I understand you're all special people, and I understand that you're all getting frustrated that the Greek Ministry of Culture is not giving you special access and secret information that your colleagues don't get about the tomb at Amphipolis.

I'm not sharing 'secret' information on Twitter, so you really don't have to ask to 'follow' me. Mostly I share photos of my Jack Russell, and sometimes I share silly photos of cats (see left). Usually my Tweets are so ridiculously mundane that only my closest family would be interested, because I go out of my way to lead a quiet life.

There is no conspiracy - I just am not a public figure, I have no desire to be in the press or be famous - and ... that's why I've been politely declining to make additional comments on the excavations of the Lion Tomb at Amphipolis, instead referring journalists to the Greek Ministry of Culture.

The information about the dig at Amphipolis is coming out in the press releases and I'm not going to tell you any more. I also have no idea what's been excavated recently, nor have I asked the excavators, nor do I plan to as I figure they're under enough pressure as it is.

The fact that the tomb was destroyed in the later Roman period was presented by the excavators at the big Thessalonike conference in March 2013. So no, no-one in any way associated with the dig has ever thought or claimed that the chambers would be excavated intact. I am aware of who's behind the claims that there has been recent looting, and ... oh look there's a unicorn ... The site has been secure for several years now, the locals have gone out of their way to protect it and they think so highly of the excavator that they bring them chance finds - there is no evidence to support wild speculation of recent looting.

More finds were presented this March at the same annual conference.

Everyone has different hopes of whose burial will be found, but for now no-one knows for sure.

If you're looking for an accessible summary to the various royals and dynasties that came after Alexander, I recommend: Daniel Ogden, Polygamy, Prostitutes and Death: The Hellenistic Dynasties, Cardiff 2010: available in libraries, Amazon UK, Amazon US etc.

I will say that the team of archaeologists working at Amphipolis are very talented, and that Michaelis Lefantzis in particular is one of the hardest working and most talented people working in the field.

It is not my place to 'reveal' others' finds before they chose to do so, and even more than a breach of archaeological etiquette it would be a serious breach of friendship.

I really love archaeology, and people who know me also know I ended up chatting about it to everyone from cab drivers to the postman ... so I will eventually get around to talking people through the finds in some blog posts.

For example this photo shows the round peribolos wall. Blue arrow = how parts of the wall were taken apart by the Romans destroying and hiding the tomb. Red arrow = the cornice carved as a trompe l'oeil roof, and indicating that this is the full height of the outer wall here. Green arrow = anathyrosis, showing that there were blocks originally there, possibly another low wall or a balustrade. Yellow arrow = the blocks are finely carved of marble, but the rough surface indicates that they were probably covered in stucco ....

But this is the sort of thing any halfway competent archaeologist should be able to explain based on this photo everyone has access to.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeologists Still Scrambling To Save Mes Aynak

Over a decade ago, the world was outraged when the Taliban destroyed two massive Buddha statues in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan valley in a vendetta against all Islamic art. Today, an even larger and older collection of artifacts is under threat, but this time the conflict has more to do with economics than religion.

Mes Aynak is a 9,800-acre archaeological site in Afghanistan’s Logar Province. It was once a major city on the ancient Silk road, and is home to structures dating back more than 2,600 years. Archaeologists say it’s a cultural goldmine, but others are more concerned with what lies beneath it — 5.5 million metric tons of high-grade copper ore. Read more.

Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference

I have updated these videos for Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference. I had originally posted this on November 14th, 2013 but has since gotten better software and more experience.  So I digitally remastered the videos (makes me sound like a movie studio). It should be a more enjoyable viewing experience.

As part of the conference there was an excellent mural created for the conference by Alex at the Royal Commission. It is used as the intro slide to the videos so do check it out.

Here are the talks (in HD) in the order they were given in:

Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

Konferenciák a héten

Ma kezdődik Koppenhágában a 31. CIPEG (és tart egészen 29-ig). A programot itt lehet megnézni. A hétvégén (aug. 29 - 31) Münchenben kerül megrendezésre a 10. Ägyptologische Tempeltagung: „Ägyptische Tempel zwischen Normierung und Individualität” címmel. (Program itt.) Würzburgban pedig aug. 31. és szept. 4 között rendezik meg a 12. Internationale Konferenz für demotische Studien c. találkozót (ezen a linken lehet további információhoz jutni).

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Taung Child's skull and brain not human-like in expansion

The Taung Child, South Africa’s premier hominin discovered 90 years ago by Wits University Professor Raymond Dart, never ceases to transform and evolve the search for our collective origins.

By subjecting the skull of the first australopith discovered to the latest technologies in the Wits University Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) facility, researchers are now casting doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers – in effect disproving current support for the idea that this early hominin shows infant brain development in the prefrontal region similar to that of modern humans.

The results have been published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Monday, 25 August 2014. Read more.

Compitum - publications

M. Heerink et G. Manuwald (éd.), Brill's Companion to Valerius Flaccus


Mark Heerink et Gesine Manuwald (éd.), Brill's Companion to Valerius Flaccus, Leyde-Boston, 2014.

Éditeur : Brill
Collection : Brill's Companions in Classical Studies
xiv-438 pages
ISBN : 9789004227415
149 €

Brill's Companion to Valerius Flaccus is the first English-language survey on all key aspects of this Flavian poet and his epic Argonautica (1st century CE). A team of international specialists offers both an account of the state of the art and new insights. Topics covered include textual transmission, language, poetic techniques, main themes, characters, relationship to intertexts and reception. This will be a standard point of departure for anyone interested in Valerius Flaccus or Flavian epic more generally.

Contributors are: Antony Augoustakis, Michael Barich, Neil Bernstein, Emma Buckley, Cristiano Castelletti, James Clauss, Robert Cowan, Peter Davis, Alain Deremetz, Attila Ferenczi, Marco Fucecchi, Randall Ganiban, Mark Heerink, Alison Keith, Helen Lovatt, Gesine Manuwald, Ruth Parkes, Tim Stover, Ruth Taylor-Briggs, and Andrew Zissos.

Source : Brill

Jim Davila (

Jew and Judean Forum

MARGINALIA: Jew and Judean: A Forum on Politics and Historiography in the Translation of Ancient Texts. Have scholars erased the Jews from Antiquity? As promised.

This is an important discussion. I don't have time to read all the entries right now, but I may have comments once I do.

Antiquity Now

Call for Entries for 2015 LegacyQuest International Film and Video Festival for Tweens

Letter of Intent Deadline- December 12, 2014 Final Entry Submission Deadline- February 27, 2015 View our invitational video below and scroll down for details about the festival and how your students can get involved! AntiquityNOW (AN) and Archaeological Legacy Institute … Continue reading

Jim Davila (

"Catharsis-vendors," cosmetics, and festivals in the Talmud

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: In the Days Between the Major Holidays, Little Clues to Jewish Ritual and Life. Talmudic rabbis debate professional eulogizers, trying to strike a balance between the holy and the mundane.
Tractate Moed Katan, which Daf Yomi readers continued to explore this week, is not one of the more glamorous parts of the Talmud. Where other tractates we have read in Seder Moed dealt with major holidays like Yom Kippur or Pesach, Moed Katan focuses on the middle days of the festivals, which are inherently less dramatic and important than the first and last days. The result, however, is that this tractate offers an unusually close look at the day-to-day life and work of Talmudic-era Jewish society. As the rabbis examine different occupations and activities, to decide whether or not they can be pursued on the intermediate days, they indirectly offer a kind of sociological overview, covering everything from burial rites to bed-making to beautification.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

More Christian Apocrypha updates

AT APOCRYPHYCITY Tony Burke has been posting some summaries of texts translated in his and Brent Landau's forthcoming volume of More Christian Apocrypha. There are five entries so far:
More Christian Apocrypha Updates 5: On the Priesthood of Jesus
More Christian Apocrypha Updates 4: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Syriac)
More Christian Apocrypha Updates 3: The Hospitality of Dysmas
More Christian Apocrypha Updates 2: Revelation of the Magi
More Christian Apocrypha Updates 1: Legend of Aphroditianus
Go and have a look.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Transformation of a Goddess

This book deals with the changing nature of the goddess Ishtar/Astarte/Aphrodite, who was widely revered in the ancient West Asia and the Mediterranean world.

The post Transformation of a Goddess appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.