Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

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

September 04, 2015

Archaeology Magazine

Scribes Magna CartaSTANFORD, CALIFORNIA—Handwriting analysis has led to new thoughts about how government documents were produced and distributed in medieval England. Literary scholar Elaine Treharne of Stanford University noticed that the handwriting that produced the Register of St. Osmund, a document produced at Salisbury Cathedral and held in its archive, resembled one of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, which was issued by King John in 1215. She examined the letters, punctuation, abbreviations, the angle of the pen, and the number of strokes taken to produce each character in the two documents. She concluded that the cathedral scribe that wrote the Register of St. Osmund also produced the Salisbury Magna Carta. “It makes us look again at the role of the church in relationship to the king. They become much more partners, really, in the production of texts,” Treharne said in a press release. She thinks that versions of the Magna Carta “were written in the regions and then taken to the court for sealing by the king’s Great Seal.” It had been thought that copies of the Magna Carta had been produced in the central court and then distributed to satellite locations. To read more about medieval England, go to "Vengeance on the Vikings." 

ArcheoNet BE

Vondsten uit de dorpskern van Moorslede

De dorpskernvernieuwing van Moorslede (West-Vlaanderen) werd het voorbije anderhalf jaar archeologisch opgevolgd door RADAR. Zowel de Markt als de omliggende straten leverden zo interessante ontdekkingen op: ooit lag er een poel of gracht op de Markt, de Sint-Martinuskerk is op het puin van haar voorgangers gebouwd, de zuidelijke buitenmuur van de voormalige pastorij is gevonden en WO I heeft de nodige sporen nagelaten. Een groot deel van de vondsten is momenteel te bewonderen in het gemeentehuis (openingsuren). De twee kijkkasten geven een bondig overzicht van de archeologische resultaten en de eerste conclusies. In het najaar verhuist de tentoonstelling ook nog naar de bibliotheek van Moorslede.

Blogging Pompeii

Conference: Flavian Campania (2015)

Flavian Campania (2015)

September 16-18, 2015 (Naples and Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Italy)

Organizers: Antony Augoustakis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Claudio Buongiovanni (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Joy Littlewood (Independent Scholar, Oxford), and Arianna Sacerdoti (Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli)

PROGRAMME (click here for pdf)

WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
(Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Aula Piovani)

2.00 pm Registration

2.30-3.30 pm Plenary Session

Welcome Address by the University

G. P. Rosati (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa): Mito e laudes Campaniae in Stazio

3.30 -5.00 pm The Landscape of Campania

Arianna Sacerdoti (Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli): Semirutos … de pulvere vultus (Silv. 5.3.104): Statius, Vesuvius, and “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”

Darcy Krasne (University of Missouri, Columbia): The Fires of Campania: Typhoeus and the Theomachic Tradition

Nikoletta Manioti (University of St. Andrews): Inarime: The Literary Fate of a Place Name

5.00-5.30 pm Break

5.30-7.00 pm Campania in its Historical Context

Victoria Pagàn (University of Florida): Campania in the Year 69

Lauren Ginsberg (University of Cincinnati): From Bauli to Baiae: Agrippina’s Death in the Flavian Poetic Imagination

Paola Carfora (Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli): Pauper sulci cerealis: Archaeological Data from Abella (Roccarainola) in the Flavian Period

THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER
(S. Maria Capua Vetere, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Dipartimento di Lettere e Beni Culturali, Aula E)

9.00-10.00 am Plenary Session

Alison Keith (University of Toronto): Silius’ Cumae and its Augustan Models

10.00-10.30 am Break

10.30 am-12.30 pm Capua in Silius Italicus’ Punica

Claire Stocks (Radboud University Nijmegen): In a Land of Gods and Monsters: Images of Heaven and Hell in Silius’ Capua

Elina Pyy (University of Helsinki): Nec luxus ullus mersaeque libidine vitae / Campanis modus: Capua as altera Roma

Raymond Marks (University of Missouri, Columbia): Hannibal’s Ovidian Sojourn: Capua in Punica 11

Michiel van der Keur (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): The Two Faces of Capua

12.30-2.30 pm Break

2.30 pm – 3.30 pm Campania in Silius Italicus’ Punica

Marco Fucecchi (Univesità degli Studi di Udine): Images of Campania in Punica 8

Thomas Biggs (University of Georgia, Athens): Campania at War in Silius

3.30-5.00 pm Martial in Campania

Margot Neger (Universität Salzburg): Quid gaudiorum est Martialis et Baiae! Martial’s Epigrammatic Campania

Étienne Wolff (Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Dèfense): Martial and Campania

Rosaria Luzzi (Università telematica Internazionale UniNettuno): Hoc mihi sunt vestrae divitiae: Campania in Martial’s epigrams

FRIDAY 18 SEPTEMBER
(Napoli, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Aula Piovani)

9.00-10.00 am Plenary Session

Carole Newlands (University of Colorado, Boulder): Flavian Campania

10.00 -11.00 am Statius’ Silvae (1)

Federica Bessone (Università degli Studi di Torino): Cultural Fusion, Ethical Temper and Poetic Blend in Statius’ Ideal Campania

Cody Houseman (Emory University): Campania as a Crossroad: Allusion and Ambiguity in Statius’ Silvae 1.1 and 4. 3.

11.00 – 11.30 am Break

11.30 am – 12.30 pm

Alessandra De Cristofaro (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II): How to Write an Encomiastic Poem on the Emperor Domitian Through Roads and Marbles? (Silv. 1.1 and 4.3)

Ana Maria Lóio (University of Lisbon): Through the Past to the Future of Naples: Text and History in Silv. 4.8

12.30-2.30 pm Break

2.30–3.30 pm Statius’ Silvae (2)

Paolo Esposito (Università degli Studi di Salerno): Features of the Presence of Campania in Statius’ Silvae

Cecilia Criado (University of Santiago de Compostela): The pax secura of Naples (Silv. 3.5.85)

3.30-4.00 pm Break

4.00- 6.00 pm The Lure of Naples

Claudio Buongiovanni (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II): Rappresentazioni letterarie di Napoli in età flavia

Christopher Parrot (Providence College): Being Neapolitan in the Silvae

Anna Basile (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II): The Neapolitanus secessus in the Silvae

Ian Fielding (Exeter College, Oxford University): Statius and his Renaissance Readers: The Rediscovery of a poeta Neapolitanus

6.00-6.30 pm Conclusions

Antony Augoustakis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Joy Littlewood (Independent Scholar, Oxford)

Archaeological News on Tumblr

What Archaeologists Really Think About Ancient Aliens, Lost Colonies, And Fingerprints Of The Gods

It’s no secret that far more people watch TV shows like the History Channel’s ‘Ancient Aliens’ than...

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Armenian love-verse from a sixteenth-century catholicos

I’ve been reading lately through Michael E. Stone, Adam and Eve in the Armenian Traditions, Fifth through Seventeenth Centuries, Early Judaism and its Literature 38 (Atlanta, 2013), a thick volume that collects, in Armenian and English, references to Adam & Eve, the serpent, the Garden of Eden, etc., from over a millennium of Armenian literature. There are, of course, very many interesting passages that students of the history of biblical interpretation, patristics, and Armenian will appreciate. Especially for the last named group, students of Armenian, here are a few lines of a love poem by Grigoris Ałt’amarc’i (1480-1544), kat’ołikos from 1510 (see Stone, p. 688). Stone (p. 636) publishes the lines from Mayis Avdalbegyab, Գրիգորիս Աղթամարցի, XVI դ. Ուսումնասիրություն, քննական բնագրեր եւ ծանոթություններ (Grigoris Ałt’amarc’i: Study, Critical Texts, and Commentary) (Erevan, 1963), which I do not have access to. These are apparently lines 215-218 from the poem. These lines rhyme in -ին.

Թէ տեսանեմ ըզքեզ կրկին,

Լուսաւորի միտքս իմ մթին,

Եւ տամ համբոյր շրթանց քոյին,

Նա վերանամ ես ի յԱդին։

Vocabulary:

  • տեսանեմ, տեսի to see
  • կրկին doubly, again
  • լուսաւոեմ, -եցի to illuminate, brighten
  • միտք, մտաց, մտօք mind
  • մթին gloomy, dark
  • տամ, ետու to give
  • համբոյր, -բուրից kiss (cf. Geo. ამბორი)
  • շուրթն, շրթան, շրթունք, -թանց lip
  • քոյին a longer form of քո
  • վերանամ, -ացայ to rise, ascend, leave

Here is Stone’s translation:

If I see you again,

My dark mind is illuminated,

And I give a kiss to your lips,

Indeed I ascend to Eden.

 


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum, Egitto): Missioni Archeologiche, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna

Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum, Egitto): Missioni Archeologiche, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna
http://www.storia-culture-civilta.unibo.it/it/logo

Il sito di Kom Umm el-Atl/Bakchias si trova a Nord-Est del Fayyum, nel deserto che lambisce i campi coltivati, circa 90 km a Sud-Ovest del Cairo. Bakchias è il nome attribuito all'insediamento al momento della sua fondazione, avvenuta nel III secolo a.C. nell'ambito della bonifica posta in atto da Tolemeo II nel nomo Arsinoite (oggi El-Fayyum). L’abitato, principale sito amministrativo e culturale del Fayyum nord-orientale, ebbe una significativa fioritura in epoca romana (I e II d.C.) e presenta importanti resti della fase copta e islamica, quando si ebbe un regresso dell’area occupata verso l’area coltivata a sud
Le immagini

Le immagini dell'archivio delle campagne di scavo
Archivio delle Campagne di scavo
Campagna XIII (2005)
Il ThesaurosLa Missione Archeologica dell’Università di Bologna, diretta da Sergio Pernigotti, ha svolto la Tredicesima Campagna di scavo a Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum), l’antica Bakchias, dal 28 gennaio al 3 marzo 2005 
Campagna XVI (2007)
La Missione Archeologica del Dipartimento di Archeologia dell’Università di Bologna in collaborazione con il Dipartimento di Studi Storico-Religiosi dell’Università di Roma "La Sapienza" ha svolto la sedicesima Campagna di Scavo a Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum), l’antica Bakchias, dal 30 ottobre al 28 novembre 2007 
Campagna XVII (2008)
Planimetria delle aree di scavo 2008 (BSO 313, BS 500)La Missione Archeologica del Dipartimento di Archeologia dell’Università di Bologna, in collaborazione con il Dipartimento di Studi Storico-Religiosi dell’Università di Roma "La Sapienza", ha svolto la diciassettesima Campagna di Scavo a Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum), l’antica Bakchias, dal 1 al 27 novembre 2008 
Campagna XVIII (2009)
Uno dei capitelli rinvenuti nella chiesa BS 500La Missione Archeologica del Dipartimento di Archeologia dell’Università di Bologna, in collaborazione con il Dipartimento di Studi Storico-Religiosi dell’Università di Roma "La Sapienza" e il Centro Papirologico "Medea Norsa" dell’Università di Trieste, ha svolto la diciottesima Campagna di Scavo a Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum), l’antica Bakchias, dal 2 al 25 novembre 2009 
Campagna XIX (2010)
Localizzazione dell’area del complesso produttivoLa Missione Archeologica del Dipartimento di Archeologia dell’Università di Bologna, in collaborazione con il Dipartimento di Studi Storico-Religiosi dell’Università di Roma "La Sapienza" e il Centro Papirologico "Medea Norsa" dell’Università di Trieste, ha svolto la diciannovesima Campagna di Scavo a Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum), l’antica Bakchias, dal 17 ottobre al 3 novembre 2010. Quest’anno, inoltre, la missione si è nuovamente avvalsa della collaborazione del Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile Ambiantale e dei Materiali (DICAM già DISTART), dell’Università di Bologna 
Campaign XX (2012) - English
The new building BSE 231The Archaeological Mission of Bologna University – in collaboration with “Sapienza” University of Rome – carried out its 20th campaign in Bakchias/Kom Umm el-Atl (Fayyum), from 22 to 27 October 2012 

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

Notes on Andrew of Crete’s Encomium on St Nicholas of Myra

In all the Methodius stuff, I have not forgotten that there are many untranslated hagiographical texts about St Nicholas of Myra, or Santa Claus, which are still on my hit list.  A correspondent has written to offer help with translating Greek texts, and I recalled that the Encomium by Andrew of Crete (BHG 1362, CPG 8187) might be a possible starting point.  The work dates to the beginning of the 8th century, so might be a little early for that translator.  But we will see.

Since I have to look this up, here’s some bibliography.

Greek text:

G. Anrich, Hagios Nikolaos, der Heilige Nikolaos in der Griechischen Kirche; Texte und Untersuchungen, 2 vols, Leipzig: Teubner, 1913-17. Volume 1, p.419-428.

Patrologia Graeca 97, col. 1192-1205, where the work is given as “oration 18” of Andrew of Crete.  With Latin translation.

Translations:

German translation:  L. Heiser, “Die Festrede des Andreas von Kreta,”  in idem, Nikolaos von Myra. Heiliger der ungeteilten Christenheit, Trier, 1978, p.80-89.  I do have a copy of this, it turns out.

Partial English translation: I find by looking online that someone has made an English translation of a slab of it here, although who and from what is not clear.  There is a link at the end to the PG text, so presumably that was used, or the Latin of it.

Let’s see what comes of this.

UPDATE: I came across a useful article on Andrew of Crete this morning, which gives us a little more information.[1]

The best study of Andrew and his work is apparently S. Valhé, “Saint André de Crete“, Echos d’Orient 5 (1902), 378-87.  There are some modern articles in Greek also.  Also M.-F. Auzépy, “La carriere de André de Crete”, BZ 88 (1995) 1-12.

The Encomium may not, in fact, be by Andrew of Crete.  It seems that Anrich expressed doubts on this (154-60, 339-56) which were endorsed by N. Sevcenko in The Life of St Nicholas in Byzantine Art, Turin, 1983, p.26.  Apparently Auzépy fails to mention this question, tho.

  1. [1] Mary B. Cunningham, “Andrew of Crete: a high-style preacher of the eighth century”, in: M. Cunningham and P. Allen, Preacher and His Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics, 1998, 267-294.

BiblePlaces Blog

List of Sites ISIS Has Destroyed or Damaged

Andrew Curry at National Geographic has posted a review of sites in Syria and Iraq that have been attacked with bulldozers, explosives, sledgehammers, or is being extensively looted. The list includes:

Syria: Palmyra, Mar Elian Monastery, Apamea, Dura-Europos, and Mari

Iraq: Hatra, Nineveh, Mosul Museum and Libraries, Nimrud, Khorsabad, Mar Benham Monastery, Mosque of the Prophet Yunus, and Imam Dur Mausoleum

The article includes details about the significance of each site and its destruction along with several photos and a map.

HT: Agade

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Classical Text Editor

Classical Text Editor
for Windows / Wine on Macintosh and Linux
An initiative of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the CSEL
http://cte.oeaw.ac.at/img/en15edsm.gif
The Classical Text Editor was designed to enable scholars working on a critical edition or on a text with commentary or translation to prepare a camera-ready copy or electronic publication without bothering much about making up and page proofs. Its features, formed in continuous discussion with editors using the program, meet the practical needs of the scholar concerning text constitution, entries to different apparatus and updating them when the text has been changed, as well as creating and redefining sigla. The possibility to search for and visualise manuscript constellations may be of considerable help in detecting affiliations between sources. It is the primary purpose of the Classical Text Editor to do the automatable work which consumes so much time and energy, and let the scholar concentrate on scientific issues. 
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Blogging Pompeii

News: Dopo 2000 anni riapre mercato romano Pozzuoli

If you are in the Naples area, grab this chance to visit the Roman market of Pozzuoli!

From Sotteranei di Roma:
Dopo 2000 anni riapre mercato romano Pozzuoli
Dal 4 al 15 settembre si terrà la X edizione di Malazè, l’evento ArcheoEnoGastronomico dei Campi Flegrei. La manifestazione – nata per promuovere le bellezze e le molte proposte turistico-culturali dei Campi Flegrei – si sviluppa nei comuni di Pozzuoli, Bacoli, Monte di Procida, Quarto, Isola di Procida e una parte della città di Napoli. Rosario Mattera, ideatore e organizzatore spiega: “Quest’anno, accogliamo nel nostro progetto un altro importante partner, “Ravello Creative Lab”, che ha contribuito a far nascere e crescere il Festival di Ravello. Uniamo le nostre forze, così come sempre si dovrebbe fare nel nostro Sud. Malazè diventa: #tipicamenteflegreo – gusta l’arte. Agli oltre 100 eventi di altissima qualità che faranno scoprire gli angoli più belli del nostro territorio, si aggiungeranno anche le manifestazioni proposte da Ravello Creative Lab: performance artistiche, e non solo, di altissimo profilo che si svolgeranno nei siti più importanti dei Campi Flegrei e che contribuiranno a fare di questa X edizione di Malazè un punto di partenza per un nuovo e affascinante percorso. Il 5 settembre sarà possibile visitare il Tempio di Serapide a Pozzuoli, l’antico mercato Romano, il 7 il grande Giorgio Albertazzi reciterà le Memorie di Adriano allo Stadio di Antonino Pio, il a Monte di Procida concerto di Pietra Montecorvino e il 15 al Castello di Baia Peppe Lanzetta narrerà la leggenda di Miseno”. Il programma in dettaglio Venerdì 4 settembre (alle ore 19,30) la Comunità di Malazè si incontra al Grancafè Cannavacciuolo di Pozzuoli per festeggiare i primi dieci anni di attività. 
Read more here.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Longtime researcher of Palmyra on the current situation of the ancient city

Over nearly 60 years of presence in Palmyra, Polish archaeologists discovered a Roman military camp,...

Penn Museum Blog

In One End, Out the Other: Evidence for Camel at Gordion, Turkey

Naomi F. Miller, Consulting Scholar, Near East Section and Janine van Noorden, Leiden University and Groningen Institute of Archaeology

The Penn Museum’s Gordion project has been going on for more than half a century. Is there anything else to learn? Sometimes, new, high-tech approaches give a fresh perspective: for example, last year and ongoing, Lucas Stevens (AAMW graduate student) has been using a quadcopter to survey the site. But sometimes a relatively new approach (archaeobiology) using very low-tech visual inspection works, too:

One of us (NFM) was asked to examine a mysterious item that came out of a medieval layer at the Gordion Citadel mound. The fragment was pretty smooth on the surface, but had a glassy ‘vesicular’ (with small cavities) inner texture. We considered some type of ceramic slag, but that wasn’t quite right. As an archaeobotanist familiar with animal dung, NFM’s next thought was something fecal, but larger than sheep or goat pellets. The surface structure compared well with that of a conveniently available goat pellet, and the large diameter suggested bigger animal: camel.

piece-&-dung

a) Mystery item; b) Goat dung pellet; c) Cross-section and whole camel dung pellet (Photos by Tessa De Alacorn for modern camel dung and Janine van Noorden for ancient material) 

Perhaps the inner texture was a result of some vitrification of grass stems (see picture of modern camel dung). This plausible identification of an animal presence previously unattested at Gordion remained tentative…until, a few days later, JvN, the zooarchaeologist, was called on site to investigate a pit that yielded several animal bones of unidentified species: four skull fragments of a large animal that was clearly neither cow nor horse, an articulated lower front leg, big canines, and several bone fragments of smaller animals. These unusual remains were found together with those of sheep, goat, and pig. It was discovered that all the skull fragments and the lower front leg were of a camel! Making the find even more exciting, the big canines were identified as being from a big (wild) cat, whose teeth were probably used to adorn the camel. The articulated lower leg of a camel shows clear butchery marks. In that time and to this day in some parts of the world, camels may be eaten, and this pit shows the evidence of it.

Mystery item and camel skull pieces

Mystery item and camel skull pieces, (Photo credit: Janine van Noorden)

Nowadays, you don’t see camels in this part of Turkey, but as transport animals, they evoke the medieval Silk Road trade across Eurasia. The two camel finds—possible dung and definite bones—suggest that a camel lived at Gordion. With or without the dung, at least one most certainly died there!

Archaeological News on Tumblr

3D printing revives bronze-age music

Billy Ó Foghlú, from The Australian National University (ANU), has found evidence that the artifact...

James Hamrick (The Ancient Bookshelf)

Ancient Labor Laws

In honor of the American holiday of Labor Day, here are just two examples of ancient labor laws from the Hebrew Bible:


Sabbath (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)
Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to theLord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you.15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.

Many are more familiar with the sabbath rationale given in the Exodus 20 version of the ten commandments and the famous seven day creation story in Genesis 1.  But Deuteronomy gives a different reason for observing the sabbath: because the Israelites knew what it was like to be exploited laborers.  Notice that sabbath is to be observed by the whole household, including slaves and animals.



Pay Up! (Leviticus 19:13 and Deuteronomy 24:14-15)
". . . you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning."

"You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns.You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt."

BiblePlaces Blog

More Free Lectures in the Chicago Area

In addition to the free lectures that we mentioned last week, here are two more for this month.

On Saturday, September 12, at 5:00 pm, Khadiga Adam and JJ Shirley will be speaking on "ARCE Conservation Field Schools and Theban Tomb 110" at the Chicago Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt. The lecture will take place at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, LaSalle Banks Room (on the lower level). More information can be found here.
Of the more than 900 non-royal tombs located in what is today called the “Theban Necropolis” on the west side of the Nile in Luxor, few are as intriguing as “Theban Tomb 110.” Tomb 110 belonged to a man named Djehuty, who served as a royal butler and herald for two 18th Dynasty kings: the powerful queen-turned-king Hatshepsut, and her stepson and successor Thutmose III. Djehuty’s tomb was discovered and superficially published in the 1930s by one of the great early Egyptologists, Sir Norman de Garis Davies. But, the tomb was lived in during modern times, and completely blackened by fires, so Davies could not discern many of the inscriptions and scenes. Since 2012 the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) has run field schools to excavate and conserve this tomb, making it possible to conduct a new and more thorough study of the tomb by re-recording its tomb scenes and inscriptions, a process known as “epigraphy.”
          This talk will present the results of the current epigraphy project in Theban Tomb 110, funded by ARCE through an AEF grant and run as field school to train Egyptian Inspectors in this specialized skill. The students’ work has already brought to light new information about the tomb’s construction, the tomb owner, and the kings whom he served.
          Khadiga Adam will open the evening with an overview of the trainees' progress during the ARCE conservation programs that started in 2007 and have trained over 300 Ministry of Antiquities conservators and technicians from Upper Egypt. The resulting impact will be illustrated by past and present projects, including the current work of ARCE Luxor archaeologists.
          JJ Shirley will discuss the ARCE's Conservation Field School at Theban Tomb 110 (TT110) that started in February 2013. The badly damaged tomb gives the trainees a wonderful opportunity to learn about the treatment and conservation of the many types of decay and damage that they will encounter during their careers. To date, ARCE has trained 24 Ministry of Antiquities (MOA) supervisors, conservators and technicians in this tomb. Each season, ARCE introduces new advanced techniques in a step by step learning process with special emphasis on building the MOA's knowledge and use of conservation methods and materials.

On Thursday, September 24, 7:00-9:00 pm, Jeffrey H. Tigay (U. Pennsylvania) will speak on the topic “Jewish Interpretation of Deuteronomy’s Command to Annihilate the Canaanites.” The lecture will take place at Barrows Auditorium, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College. The lecture is free and open to the public.


Current Epigraphy

Épigraphie antique et médiévale en Europe: pratiques et méthodes de jeunes chercheurs

https://cescm.hypotheses.org/4103

Lors de la seconde quinzaine d’août 2011, 2012 et 2013, des épigraphistes poitevins réunis par Bertrand Goffaux ont organisé trois sessions d’une école d’été. Financée par l’agence Erasmus, cette European Summer School in Epigraphy – Poitiers (ESSEP) a suscité la rencontre de plus d’une centaine d’étudiants et d’une vingtaine d’enseignants-chercheurs, issus de neuf pays et de douze universités différentes.

Telle est l’expérience intellectuelle et humaine que les épigraphistes du Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CESCM) et de l’équipe Hellénisation et romanisation dans les mondes antiques (HeRMA) entendent prolonger, par le biais d’un colloque de jeunes chercheurs. Cette manifestation réunira des doctorants ou jeunes docteurs ayant participé à ESSEP, sans pour autant s’en tenir à une simple présentation de recherches en cours. Son intérêt devra résider dans une réflexion méthodologique et véritablement collective sur l’apport de la documentation épigraphique à l’histoire, à l’archéologie, à la philologie et à la linguistique antiques ou médiévales, sous toutes leurs formes.

Jeudi 1er octobre

9h – Nicolas Tran (Poitiers) Présentation et introduction

Session 1. Entre texte et matière, variété des approches épigraphiques        

Modérateurs : Adam Łajtar (Varsovie), Irene Berti (Heidelberg), Alexandre Vincent (Poitiers).

9h15 – Eleanna Karvagiotou (Athènes), Ancient Greek and Byzantine Epigraphy: A comparative study.

10h15. Anna Kordas (Varsovie/Lyon), La complémentarité des sources épigraphiques, archéologiques et littéraires de l’histoire économique du monde grec : l’exemple des instruments de vente.

11h15. Pause.

11h30. Eva Caramello (Poitiers), Annick Gagné (Poitiers/Québec), Savoir décrire pour analyser : des outils pour l’étude de l’esthétique des inscriptions à partir de l’exemple d’Avignon au Moyen Âge.

12h30. Discussions.

13h. Déjeuner.

Session 2. Éditer et interpréter les inscriptions

Modérateurs : Araceli Striano (Madrid), Franco Luciani (Venise), Delphine Ackermann (Poitiers).

14h. Aliki Theochari (Athènes), Antonios Kaponis (Athènes), Reading, Reconstructing and Interpretating Inscriptions: The Case of Several Unpublished Inscriptions from Cyclades.

15h. Felix Schulte (Heidelberg), Les décrets municipaux de l’Italie romaine.

16h. Pause

16h15. Laura Aho (Helsinki/Rome), Tracing ”the Why” in Sacred Dedications – Methods and Problems.

17h15. Pawel Nowakowski (Oxford/Varsovie), The Epigraphic Evidence for the Cult of Saints in Late Antique Asia Minor: Remarks on Creating a Catalogue of Previously Published Inscriptions.

18h15. Discussions.

Vendredi 2 octobre

Session 3. L’étude des inscriptions : linguistique et onomastique

Modérateurs : Bjørn Paarman (Fribourg), Nicolas Tran (Poitiers), Estelle Ingrand-Varenne (Poitiers).

9h. Sandra Cruz (Madrid), Violeta Gomis (Madrid), The relationship between Greek linguistics and epigraphy: some examples from Paros and Pompeii.

10h. Paloma Guijarro (Madrid), Silvia Tantimonaco (Venise/Barcelone), L’apport de l’épigraphie à l’étude des dialectes grecs et du latin des provinces.

11h. Pause.

11h15. Urpo Kantola (Helsinki), Tuomo Nuorluoto (Uppsala/Helsinki), Name and Context: A Survey on Roman Name Types as Represented in Late Republican and Early Imperial Epigraphic Sources.

12h15. Discussions.

12h45. Déjeuner.

Session 4. L’étude des inscriptions : histoire, institutions, mentalités

Modérateurs : Olli Salomies (Helsinki), Anna Heller (Tours), Vincent Debiais (Poitiers).

14h – Charalampos Chrysafis (Athènes), Epigraphy and the Antigonid Garrisons in Mainland Greece and the Aegean.

15h – Georgios Valsamakis (Athènes), The Installation of Veterans in the Provinces of Achaia and Macedonia through the Epigraphic Evidence (1st c. B.C. – 3rd c. A.D.).

16h – Pause.

16h15 – Sara Borrello (Venise), Clara Stevanato (Venise), Pauline Maouchi (Poitiers), Commémorer les membres de la domus : méthodologie de l’étude des inscriptions funéraires dédiées aux femmes, aux enfants, et aux animaux familiers.

17h15 – Discussions et table-ronde conclusive animée par Yves Lafond (Poitiers) et Cécile Treffort (Poitiers).

Lieu : CESCM –  Hôtel Berthelot, salle Crozet

24 rue de la chaine – 86000 POITIERS

 

 

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

After a sweltering week, I’m looking forward to a cooler and rainier weekend here in North Dakotaland. More than that, this is the start of college footballing season, the NASCAR boys are at Darlington, and the Formula 1 show is at Monza. Kicking the weekend off right was the Australia victory over England in the first ODI of that series

Before the list of quick hits and varia, be sure to check out the newest book published by The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, the first English translation of K.J. Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux translated by Melissa Gjellstad and Danielle Skjelver with new introductory material from Richard Rothaus and Dakota Goodhouse. It’s a good read and it’s free (or $12 on Amazon).

And now onto the quick hits and varia:

IMG 3756IMG 3754IMG 3753The Frog Days of Summer


Archaeological News on Tumblr

Clues from ancient Maya reveal lasting impact on environment

AUSTIN, Texas – Evidence from the tropical lowlands of Central America reveals how Maya...

Pottery brings to life the path of early Pacific people

A 3000-year-old fragment of pottery has solved a mystery behind the movement of an ancient people of...

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Palmyra's Tower Tombs Destroyed



No surprise there, ISIL militants have now blown up three of the characteristic tower tombs in Palmyra according to a Syrian antiquities official.
The three tombs are Jamblique, built in 83 A.D. and well preserved; the Elhbel, built in 103 A.D. and consisted of a bottom floor and top four floors, also well preserved; and Kithot built in 44 A.D. The detonation took place 10 days ago, before the IS terrorists blew up the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, according to Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus.
 I guess that definitively means that this so-called "state" does not recognize cultural tourism as a potential source of future revenue.

UPDATE
Chuck Jones says that "ASOR CHI published a report yesterday that satellite imagery suggests that not 3 but 7 tower tombs have been destroyed".

Roberta Mazza (Faces & Voices)

Greek Papyrus 6: The Nicene Creed

Roberta Mazza:

Some Christian Rylands papyri will be on display at the British Museum for the exhibit Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs. Read what our conservation department has done in view of the event.

Originally posted on John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog:

Tim Higson, Collection Care team leader writes:

The Collection Care Department have been preparing a number of items being loaned to the British Museum as part of their Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs exhibition, which opens in October 2015.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/faith_after_the_pharaohs.aspx

CNZ4YBvWwAAE5Wh

One of the items to be loaned is Greek Papyrus 6, a Christian theological text, which is considered to be the oldest copy in existence of the Nicene Creed.

The papyrus fragment, which measures 124mm x 125mm, was housed within a glass frame along with another fragment of Greek papyrus (Greek P 7).

papyrus6 Greek P 6 recto

The decision was taken to re-mount the two items individually.

When Greek P 6 was carefully removed from its glass frame, a salt deposit, on the inner surface of the glass was evident, which had been partially obscuring the view of the fragment and text.

Salt deposit visible where the document was mounted Salt deposit visible where the document was originally mounted

View original 178 more words


Archaeological News on Tumblr

Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed

Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria continue their war on the region’s cultural heritage, attacking...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

ASOR Syrian Heritage Special Reports

ASOR Syrian Heritage Special Reports
Update on the Situation in Palmyra | Read the Report
Since its capture by ISIL militants in May 2015, the region around the ancient city of Palmyra (modern Tadmor) has been in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, which has escalated dramatically in recent weeks. This report will provide a summary of the current situation in Palmyra and the effects of the conflict on its people and cultural heritage. Atrocities include attacks on civilians and mass abductions. Intentional damage to the cultural materials of the local populations is widespread, including the destruction of Islamic and Christian religious sites, as well as severe damage to the architectural remains within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra. Confirmed damage at this archaeological site includes the destruction of the Baalshamin Temple, the Temple of Bel, and at least seven tower tombs within the Valley of the Tombs.


Palmyra: Heritage Adrift | Read the Report
This special report by Cheikhmous Ali (Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology) provides a detailed account of damage done to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra between February 2012 and June 2015.


Special Report on the Importance of Palmyra | Read the Report
The ancient city of Palmyra stands out as one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Syria and, indeed, the world. Following the takeover of the site and the adjacent town of Tadmor by ISIL, Palmyra has been in the news daily. The purpose of this report is to provide a concise introduction to the site and its importance so that the international community can better understand why it should be saved.


Report on the Destruction of the NW Palace at Nimrud | Read the Report
A video released by ISIL on April 11, 2015, provided vivid and shocking documentation of the deliberate destruction of relief sculpture and standing architecture at the famous archaeological site of Nimrud, located in northern Iraq near the city of Mosul. The video documents ISIL militants vandalizing, smashing, and piling up relief slabs using hand tools, power tools, and vehicles; it then shows the detonation of the relief slabs and large parts of the Northwest Palace using a series of barrel bombs. This report provides a brief introduction to the site of Nimrud and summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding the destruction of the Northwest Palace.

Building Tabernae

The marginalized shops of Terracina

Terracina is famous for the sanctuary of Iuppiter Anxur on the hill above the city and, to a lesser extent, for the remarkably well-preserved pavement of its forum, which still is the actual pavement of the city’s Piazza del Duomo, including a stretch of the Via Appia. We also know the theatre, the city’s two major temples, and an arch. What came as a surprise when I visited the place in 2014 was that they also had excavated a small fraction of the local road network – namely the road that ran behind the Capitolium parallel to the Via Appia. It was an irregularly shaped road, unfit for wheeled traffic as it narrows towards the north, and it has only been excavated for a length of 25 meters, but it sheds interesting light on the urban landscape of Roman Terracina.

Terracina, shopsThe road behind the temple. Left the temple, to the right the two shops.

First of all, the irregular shape suggests that it antedates the Capitolium and that there used to be a normal road before the temple was constructed. This development, in which the monumentalization of the urban core creates urbanistic problems at the back would be a nice parallel for the development of the forum at Pompeii, where the district east of the forum is cut off from the main square as monumentalization progresses. Here, it has been suggested that the street belonged to the Volscan city and that it got marginalized when the Romans built the forum and the capitolium in the mid first century BC.

Secondly, as is clearly visible, the excavators also found two shops on the opposite side of the street. It is unclear to what kind of building they belonged: we have only one corner of it, but the building cannot have continued much further underneath the modern city because the theater is just a few meters to the southeast: it is unlikely that it was a big, Pompeian-style urban mansion. Significantly, however the façade of the two shops consisted of blocks of tufa, placed directly upon each other without mortar. This suggests a republican date, and quite possibly, a date before the construction of the temple. If true, these shops faced a dramatic change of fate – just like some of the shops east of the forum at Pompeii: constructed in an attractive location in the centre of the town, they suddenly found themselves invisible, in a virtual dead-end road, away from passers-by that spontaneously could walk in to do business. This will have affected the way these tabernae were used and the types of businesses for which they were attractive. Maybe, they ended up as workshops, where craftsmen made goods that subsequently were sold elsewhere.

An interesting indication for the changed fate of this tiny road is the brick wall directly to the northwest of the two shops: this was the outer wall of a different building, and one that must be dated – to judge from the building materials – in the imperial period. Again, we do not know the nature of the building, but it is relevant that the wall is almost entirely closed: there only is what seems to be a back door, and there are no tabernae at all. This made complete sense: after the construction of the Capitolium, the location had completely lost its commercial value.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Cornell archaeologist says 'Sabotage ISIS media campaign'


Big red wrestling
with the truth
Cardboard cutout time in Cornell... Lori Khatchadourian, Cornell assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies joins the ranks of those who reckon we should not discuss in social media the destruction of heritage by groups (ISIL is mentioned explicitly and exclusively). Prof Khatchadourian says that such destruction "is motivated by the desire for media attention – and the best offense is to deny such media".
“ISIS’s perverse campaign of carnage is a carefully staged performance designed precisely to draw media attention, shock our sensibilities, and attract adherents. To shine a spotlight on this stage is thus to cater directly to the Islamic State’s interests. [...] “It is time for a strong offense, a representational counter-assault centered on the success of heritage preservation the world over. Archaeologists around the world are working daily to research, preserve and teach the human past. Let us highlight discoveries in the Middle East and beyond that defy, undercut and sabotage the Islamic State’s media war. Let us leave the essential task of documenting the destruction to organizations in the business of heritage. “As things now stand, the media is covering the wrong success stories.”
Three points here. First of all, where on earth does she get this division between "archaeologists" and "organizations in the business of heritage" from? That's a nonsense. There is no division, either of obligations or interests here. Secondly, the public (stakeholders in the heritage) have a right to know (a) what is going on and (b) what archaeologist (the ones that ARE "in the business of heritage") think about it. Who does Prof  Khatchadourian think she is saying we should deny them this information because it fits "our" (her) propaganda needs to trumpet other successes? I am all for making the information feely available and discussing it openly, frankly and with engagement. Not burying our heads in the sand and making out that - like "metal detecting" - it is somebody else's problem. I cannot think why anyone in academia (as opposed to the lot-to-hide-antiquities-trade) would be against such a notion.

Thirdly, I do not think Lori Khatchadourian has spent much time with real ISIL propaganda. About the roads and the schools, getting the electricity up and running, getting the regime off the backs of Syrians and all the rest. I guess the US media do not really point readers to this, and it takes a few mouse clicks to find what the Other is saying, more head-in-sand burying.

The truth is the bruhaha about the heritage is not ISIL propaganda, but "our" own. It is primarily the USA which is guilty of cranking up emotions over the ruins and museums, the looting, the destruction. What was the speech John Kerry gave as the bombs were being loaded in the bomb bays for the first US strike against Syria in September 2014 - just one year ago? It suits the US narrative to have this black propaganda representing the enemy as culturally backward and ignorant vandals. That has been the staple of propaganda from at least since the scurrilous 'Che cosa hanno fatto gli inglesi in Cirenaica' (1941). It makes them "alien", an "Other" just as much as the shock-horror Daily Mail-esque stories about child brides and all the other staple of the spin put on the US phony war with ISIL. It's a far safer public justification for what the US is "doing" than made-up stories about WMD. 

Source:
Kathleen Mary Corcoran, 'Cornell archaeologist says sabotage ISIS media campaign' Cornell University Media Relations Office September 1, 2015.

The Stoa Consortium

Call for Participation: Text reuse workshop at DH Estonia 2015

Text Reuse Workshop at DH Estonia 2015
21 October 2015

Hosted by the Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, Estonia.
Organised by: Dr. Marco Büchler, Emily Franzini, Greta Franzini and Maria Moritz (eTRAP Early Career Research Group).

The Conference on translingual and transcultural digital humanities [http://www.folklore.ee/dh/en/events/dh_conference_estonia_2015/] is hosting a one-day Text Reuse Workshop for participants interested in learning more about semi-automatic detection of text reuse in digital textual corpora. The workshop builds on eTRAP’s research activities, some of which deploy Marco Büchler’s TRACER tool. TRACER is a suite of algorithms aimed at investigating text reuse in multifarious corpora, be those prose, poetry, in Arabic or Estonian. TRACER provides researchers with statistical information about the texts under investigation and its integrated reuse visualiser, the TRACER Debugger, displays occurrences of text reuse in a more readable format for further study.
This workshop seeks to teach participants to independently understand, use and run the TRACER tool on their own data-sets.

Eligibility & requirements
If you’re interested in exploring text reuse between two or multiple texts (in the same language) and would like to learn how to do it semi-automatically, this workshop is for you.
In order to provide everyone with adequate (technical) assistance, the workshop can only accommodate 10 participants.
To apply to the workshop, please send your CV and motivation letter to etrap-applications(at)gcdh(dot)de by September 2015.

For more information, please visit: http://etrap.gcdh.de/?p=1152

ArcheoNet BE

Nieuws uit de Groote Oorlog

Meer dan 360.000 pagina’s Belgisch persmateriaal uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog zijn vanaf nu online toegankelijk op nieuwsvandegrooteoorlog.be. Verspreid over een 1000-tal unieke titels en 52.000 verschillende edities, bestaat deze uitgebreide collectie enerzijds uit ‘legale’ publicaties (uitgegeven met toestemming en onder censuur van de bezettende Duitse overheid) en anderzijds uit frontblaadjes en ‘illegale’ publicaties (kranten, week- en maandbladen, pamfletten en vlugschriften).

Naar aanleiding van de herdenking van honderd jaar Groote Oorlog is er een hernieuwde belangstelling voor pers uit ’14-’18. Historische kranten vormen een belangrijke bron voor de geschiedenis van het leven tijdens WO I. Zo bieden de frontblaadjes bijvoorbeeld een unieke kijk op het zielenleven van ‘Jan Soldaat’. Ondanks de onvermijdelijke (zelf)censuur, de hoogst subjectieve inhoud en het vaak heel lokale lezerspubliek weerspiegelen ze de gemoedstoestand in de loopgraven en de kampen. Tegelijk hadden de bladen door hun humor en dankzij nieuws van het thuisfront en van kameraden duidelijk een invloed op het moreel van de troepen.

Vlaams minister-president Geert Bourgeois: “De media zijn vandaag heel bepalend en dat was vroeger niet anders. Zeker in tijden van oorlog speelden de kranten een belangrijke rol en waren zij het communicatiemiddel bij uitstek. Dankzij de digitalisering van die verslaggeving door het VIAA blijven de feiten toegankelijk voor de vele generaties na ons. Zo kan er een blijvend inzicht geboden worden in de ontwikkeling en beleving van de Groote Oorlog tot op gemeentelijk niveau.”

Externe link: nieuwsvandegrooteoorlog.be

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

À travers le fleuve Tanaïs

Korenjako, V. A. et A. L. Bojko, éd. (2015) : TANAIN ΔЕ IIOTAMON ΔIABANTI. За рекой Танаисом: Сборник памяти В.Е. Максименко (1939 – 2014) / TANAIN ΔE ΠOTAMON ΔIABANTI. Za rekoj Tanaisom: Sbornik pamjati V.E. Maksimenko (1939 – 2014), Rostov-sur le-Don [TANAIN … Lire la suite

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

The Myth of a Mythical Jesus

To make Jesus a myth you have to invent the myth of a Jesus myth Dooley quote

I appreciated this way that Tim Dooley expressed a major problem with Jesus mythicism on Facebook, and so asked for permission to turn it into a meme. Mythicism tries, on the one hand, to turn the writings of early Christians who thought Jesus had lived into history into evidence of something else, while on the other hand, it concocts belief in Jesus as a purely celestial figure for which the evidence is there own implausible interpretations of texts which appear to mean something else. To think that mythicism has strong evidence and arguments in its favor, you must be seriously deluding yourself.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Syrian Refugees


Number of Syrian refugees taken in:

Figures for Israel and Iran not known, not thought to be large numbers. Didn't several of our nations  go to war to free Kuwait once? I'd be interested to know how many conflict antiquities are bought ("saved"?) by those countries with big round zeros against their names.


Heritage Financing Conflict


Lords' Questions:
Preventing stolen items of religious and cultural heritage from Iraq and Syria being illegally imported into the UK and then used to finance terrorist activities – Baroness Berridge
Hmm, except by the time they get to the UK they've already done that. 

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Il progetto TERRA: prospettive di ricerca e collaborazione mediterranea

Il Centro Interistituzionale Euromediterraneo del Dipartimento Scienza Nuova dell'Università Suor Orsola di Napoli ha organizzato, d'intesa con il Comume di Procida e con il Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell'Ambiente e delle Risorse (DiSTAR) dell'Università Federico II, una giornata dedicata alle progettualità e alle prospettive di collaborazione nel settore dei Beni Culturali collegati con il Mediterraneo e gli ambienti marini costieri.

Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

Are the laws protecting antiquities strong? What would real strength look like?



The Conversation suggests that "the international laws that protect antiquities and cultural treasures are actually fairly strong, at least on paper":
The problem doesn’t lie with inadequate laws, but rather with compliance and enforcement.
Certainly compliance and enforcement are problematic, but that is not in spite of the law being strong on paper but because the apparent strength of the law is belied by the small print in which its enforcement mechanisms are established and its purview defined. Of course, no enforcement mechanism save an invasion force could expect to deter a group that deliberately commits war crimes for TV cameras for the sake of showing contempt for the law. The idea of parachuting the carabinieri into Syria to secure sites against ISIS' iconoclasm is ludicrous, as is the notion that looting and trafficking of antiquities can be brought under control if only we have the will to enforce the laws we have now. Having the will and having the way are not the same thing. The 1970 UNESCO Convention has had very little effect in stemming archaeological looting even in states that are functioning and trying to fight the black market, because the Convention is badly designed as law and because protecting sites and policing a powerful black market is enormously expensive. 

Nonetheless, sites must be secured and the black market must be policed. To do that, three things are needed. First, better regulations (for instance, transparency requirements for antiquities sales) that make it easier to identify looting networks and for police to work together internationally. Second, changes in museum policies to take the steam out of the illicit antiquities market by setting up antiquities loan programs; instead of paying $100,000 for a looted artifact and incentivizing further looting, the same collector would pay, say, the British Museum $100,000 for the privilege of borrowing for a time an artifact from the storeroom. The revenue generated could be used in turn to help finance more and better policing (the potential of new technologies in this area is enormous). Much more revenue, however, could be generated by a third legal-regulatory change: a tax on high-end antiquities purchases. The key point here is that we need to think much more creatively not just about what we would do if only there were more money to do it, but about how to raise that money and how to make it less costly to do what needs to be done.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Paestum Digital Storytelling School

Quante storie sono nascoste fra i silenziosi resti di un sito archeologico o fra le vetrine mute di un museo? Gli strumenti di comunicazione tradizionali - pannelli, didascalie e prodotti multimediali - ci aiutano a ricostruire il passato e a capirlo, ma questo spesso non basta: il passato bisogna imparare a raccontarlo. Bisogna ricreare vicende passate che sappiano presentare ambienti, situazioni, oggetti antichi e il loro uso. E se queste storie non sono fatte di sole parole, ma mescolano parole, immagini e video, diventano ancora più coinvolgenti. Fanno divertire e imparare di più.

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Podcast on Maggie Anton

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/ABNx/~4/4iWJL36615M" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

McGrath on Carrier's mythicism

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/ABNx/~4/p3FOyLQpN5A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Zenobia weighs in, plus more Palmyra photos

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/ABNx/~4/XjB1xfQvouk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Shanks on the James Ossuary

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/ABNx/~4/LQrBMryjY48" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Sheinfeld dissertation

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/ABNx/~4/nhDxwDqe5kI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Un cortometraggio in 3D per raccontare storie e leggende della Sardegna

Alba delle Janas è un cortometraggio realizzato da Grazia Serci e Mariangela Corda, due giovani sarde, che hanno deciso di raccontare la Sardegna, la sua storia, le leggende e le tradizioni mediante un cartoon in 3D, scrivendo e sceneggiando una trilogia e finanziando l’associazione Muvis.

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

Que nous apprend l’Antiquité : leçons et usages des empires antiques à travers l’histoire

Lors des Rendez-Vous de l’Histoire à Blois (8-11 octobre 2015), dans le cadre de la « Carte Blance » à la Société des Professeurs d’Histoire Ancienne de l’Université (SOPHAU), Laetitia Graslin participera à une table ronde en présence de Laurent Capdetray (maître de conférences à l’Université de Poitiers), Johann Chapoutot (professeur à l’Université de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, membre de l’Institut Universitaire de France), Antonio Gonzales (professeur à l’Université de France-Comté) et Gilles Keppel (politologue, professeur à l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, membre de l’Institut Universitaire de France).

La table ronde se déroulera le jeudi 8 octobre de 14h30 à 16h. dans la salle des conférences du Château Royal de Blois.

Quand on parle d’Empire, l’exemple de Rome s’impose. Ce modèle fondateur résume-t-il à lui tout seul la notion d’Empire ? Aux empires antiques répondent d’autres expériences historiques. La vision « impérialiste », qui s’est longtemps imposée — récupérée par les idéologies totalitaires — doit être révisée. C’est une lecture critique du monde, en rapport avec le temps contemporain, que l’Antiquité propose.

Voir le programme.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2015.09.06: Embracing the Immigrant: The Participation of Metics in Athenian Polis Religion (5th-4th century BC). Historia - Einzelschriften, Bd 233

Review of Sara M. Wijma, Embracing the Immigrant: The Participation of Metics in Athenian Polis Religion (5th-4th century BC). Historia - Einzelschriften, Bd 233. Stuttgart: 2014. Pp. 197. €53.00. ISBN 9783515106429.

2015.09.05: Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, Volume XXVI

Review of David T. Runia, Gregory E. Sterling, Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, Volume XXVI. Atlanta: 2014. Pp. ix, 274. $51.95. ISBN 9781628370195.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Another Public Donation to the PAS Fund


There has been another donation to the PAS 'give me' fund: £20.00 bringing the total up to £215.00, just over 2.5p from each public-spirited detectorist. Enough to record about fifteen finds removed from the archaeological record into a detectorist's pocket. Thought-provoking.


Illicit Antiquities Spidergram


  Jens Notroff:

Christos Tsirogiannis' illustration of illicit antiquities trade's network structure at #EAAGla #AM19. This *is* an organized crime!

ANS Open Access Numismatic Research


The American Numismatic Society is creating a portal for sharing doctoral research under a CC license, gathering numismatic research together in one place. Numismatists can help the ANS provide Open Access numismatics scholarship by emailing a PDF or DOC of their PhD thesis to A. Reinhard at . Here's an opportunity for all those professional numismatists to get their research out there and visible.

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Support the Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness Project!

Gua Tambun is the largest rock art site in Peninsular Malaysia, and one that I studied for my MA years ago. So I am mighty pleased to urged your support for the Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness Project, run by my colleague Dr Goh Hsiao Mei. (Disclaimer: I am not personally involved with project, but I support it 100%!)

Gua Tambun rock art

Gua Tambun rock art

Dr Goh is currently building a public archaeology and outreach programme to help raise awareness and appreciation for the Gua Tambun site in Ipoh, and to empower the people living near the site to help manage it from both a conservation and visitor management standpoint.

She is currently raising funds to develop and conduct school programmes and community workshops and at the time of writing she has met a third of the RM4,300 (about US 1,000) that she needs. You can contribute to her cause on her crowdfunding website, the Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness Project.

September 03, 2015

Mary Harrsch (Roman Times)

Review: Master and God by Lindsey Davis

A history resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2015

The very first book written by Lindsey Davis I ever read  was The Course of Honour about the relationship between the Roman emperor Vespasian and his mistress, the freedwoman Antonia Caenis, set against the backdrop of Vespasian's rise to power in the years leading up to the Year of the Four Emperors.  It has remained one of my favorites.  I recently finished "Master and God" and found it too a very compelling tale of the relationship between a wounded and psychologically damaged Praetorian Guard  and a freedwoman serving as a hairdresser in the imperial palace of Vespasian's son, Domitian.  The characters were placed so the reader could gain insight into the life of this controversial Roman emperor across the fifteen years of his reign and observe his effect on members of his court, his legions and other members of the aristocracy.

We first meet the male hero of the novel when he is serving as an officer of the vigiles, Rome's combination force of firemen and night watchmen.  We learn that Gaius Vinnius Claudianus was raised by a gaggle of loving aunts and two older brothers after the death of his mother.  He grew up strong and handsome and joined the military, like his late father, who served as a Praetorian Guard at the end of his military career.  We learn that Vinnius (he goes by this name until he joins the guard) has received the Civic Crown for valor defending a tribune in a ferocious battle with spear wielding barbarians.  His personal sacrifice, however, includes the loss of his left eye and disfigurement of the left side of his handsome face.

Fragmentary Marble head of a Helmeted Soldier Roman
Early Imperial Flavian period 69-79 CE.  Photographed
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Mary Harrsch
© 2007 
Vinnius is self conscious about his appearance and has his desk turned so his undamaged right profile is seen by visitors entering his office.  We also learn he is intelligent and observant and enjoys the procedural tasks involved in crime investigations.

We then meet the female protagonist, Flavia Lucilla.   A pretty fifteen-year-old, Lucilla has come to the vigiles to report a theft of her mother's jewelry.  She explains that the jewelry was given to her mother, an imperial hairdresser, by her boy friend.  As Vinnius gently questions the girl, he begins to suspect her mother simply hid the items so she could play upon her boyfriend's sympathy and get more.  As his questions become more probing the reality that Lucilla may have been misled by her mother begins to dawn on the young girl as well.  But she refuses to retract her complaint, indignantly referring to Vinnius as "pretty boy".  He simply smiles and turns toward her saying that condition has long passed.  Although she is startled for a brief moment by his appearance, she is not repulsed by him.

Bust of a Roman man found in Ostia between the
theatre and Vigiles barracks 110-120 CE.
Photographed at the Terme di Diocleziano venue of
the National Museum of Rome in Rome, Italy by
Mary Harrsch © 2009
Vinnius promises to investigate the case just as his adjutant rushes in to report a massive conflagration.  The fire of 80 CE, the second major fire to gut the heart of Rome in less than 20 years, has begun and would rage for the next three days.

Most people are generally aware of the so-called "Great Fire" of 64 CE during the emperor Nero's reign and that some of the ancient sources notoriously claim Nero played the lyre and sang while Rome burned.  The conflagration has also been immortalized through subsequent religious teachings as the reason for the first major persecution of the early Christians.

Nero Watching Rome Burning by Alphonse Mucha (1887)
However, widespread destructive fires have been recorded throughout Rome's history.  In the Republican period the rapid and haphazard construction needed to house Rome's burgeoning population resulted in a number of catastrophic blazes (and I doubt a particular individual or even a group was blamed for them).

In his journal article "Conflagrations in Ancient Rome" published in 1932, H.V. Carter points out that dating back to to the Gallic invasion of 390 BCE, there had been no fewer than 15 documented fires, of which seven were widespread conflagrations and seven others involved the loss of at least one important public building.

"Remembering that our sources are limited, particularly for the early part of the period, and that ancient writers almost invariably confine their accounts of fire to those involving only the more important structures, we may safely conclude that the figures given fall well below the actual occurence of fires which were considerable in extent and of serious consequences." - H.V. Carter, "Conflagrations in Ancient Rome"

Brennus and his share of the spoils by Paul Jamin (1893).
Fires became an even more common occurence in the Imperial Period.

"...we can say that in the imperial period destructive fires in Rome were far more numerous than in that of the Republic.  This was due to the fact that a greatly increased population, larger supplies of food and clothing necessary for its maintenance, and an inevitable increase in homes, tenements, shops and warehouses necessary for domestic and business life, produced still greater congestion in certain already overpopulated quarters, a condition which, as affecting fire risk, was not adequately offset by improved building, either in plans or materials used, or by facilities sufficient for checking and extinguishing fires." - H.V. Carter, "Conflagrations in Ancient Rome"

Carter says there were at least nine fires recorded during the reign of Augustus, the most destructive being the fire of 6 CE that destroyed so much of the city Augustus immediately reorganized the vigiles to make the unit more effective.

The Roman emperor Augustus as Pontifex Maximus
photographed at the Palazzo Massimo in Rome, Italy by
Mary Harrsch © 2009

Five major fires were recorded during the reign of Tiberius.  The fire of 36 CE burned the long side of the Circus Maximus facing the Aventine then spread to the Aventine itself.  It caused so much destruction that Tiberius, sometimes criticized as "stingy" by contemporaries and possibly even some scholars, donated over 100 million sesterces to its victims to rebuild their homes.

A bronze statue of the Roman emperor Tiberius (not Augustus) with head veiled (capite velato)
preparing to perform a religious rite found in Herculaneum 37 CE.  Photographed at the
Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, California by Mary Harrsch © 2014
The emperor Claudius was not spared either.

"In 54 [CE] the Aemiliana district (in the southern part of the Campus Martius) was leveled by a stubborn fire which lasted for at least a day and two nights.  The emperor, when the regular firemen augmented by a body of his own slaves were unable to cope with the flames, summoned the common people from all parts of the city to assist the fire fighters, and paid on the spot each helper so enlisted a suitable remuneration for his service.  In this same conflagration was burned (and apparently never rebuilt) the temple of Felicitas, in or near the Forum Boarium.  It was in front of this temple, embellished with statues of the Muses by Praxiteles and by other works of art, that Julius Caesar had the misfortune to break the axle of his chariot when celebrating his triumph in 46 BCE. -  H.V. Carter, "Conflagrations in Ancient Rome"
Posthumous portrait head of the Roman Emperor Claudius
from the reign of Nero 54-68 CE .  Photographed at the
Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington by
Mary Harrsch  © 2015
Nero's "Great Fire" lasting six days and seven nights was probably the largest conflagration to ever strike the Eternal City but the fire of 80 CE was second only to it.

"In the year 80 [CE] flames raged for three days and nights, burned a large section of the Campus Martius, and, moving thence in a southeasterly direction, devastated the Capitoline hill.  Dio Cassius (LXVI, 24), after naming eleven structures that were consumed (including the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus with its surrounding temples), adds: "Anyone can estimate from the list of buildings that I have given how many others must have been destroyed."  it is probably that at least five additional important public buildings were in whole or part destroyed by this same fire.  Naturally, too, a large number of public and private buildings of secondary importance wedged in among the principal ones were swept away at this time." -  H.V. Carter, "Conflagrations in Ancient Rome"

Carter points out that fire was responsible for the destruction, wholly or partially, of the Temple of Vesta five times, the Regia and Theater of Pompey at least four times, the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, the Basilica Julia and the Basilica Aemilia three times and the Theater of Marcellus, the Pantheon and the Colosseum twice.

Remains of the Temple of Vesta in the Forum Romanum
in Rome, Italy.  Over the course of Rome's history the
Temple of Vesta was destroyed five times by fire.
Photographed by Mary Harrsch © 2005
In the novel Davis mentions the destruction of the Pantheon and I was startled by this.  Although I knew Hadrian had "refashioned" the Pantheon, I assumed at least part of it was the original structure built by Marcus Agrippa, like a lot of other people, because of the inscription on its front facade.  I guess I should have read up on it before I visited the structure for the first time in 2005.  In fact, the Augustan Pantheon was totally destroyed by the fire in 80 CE. Domitian subsequently rebuilt the Pantheon which was destroyed again in 110 CE.

A spectacular vertirama of the interior of the Pantheon by Christopher Chan © 2010. Reproduced with permission via
CC by-nc-nd 2.0
But, it is the destruction of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus that is the site of our hero's next courageous act and the deed that will bring him to the personal attention of the young Flavian princeling, Domitian.  This time his bravery will win him an appointment to the Praetorian Guard and give him the opportunity to personally serve the man that will become emperor in less than a year.

Meanwhile, Flavia Lucilla learns to craft the huge crescents of curls that will become a hallmark of feminine style during the Flavian period and increasingly spends more and more time at the palace herself.

Portrait of a woman of the Flavian period, marble possibly
a  portrait bust of Julia, daughter of Titus Marble, 80-90 CE
Photographed at the Capitoline Museum by Mary Harrsch
© 2005
As in the relationship between Vespasian and Caenus in "Course of Honour", the on-again off-again nature of Vinnius and Lucilla's relationship creates an underlying thread of sexual tension that helps to drive the story forward.  Just when you think they are finally going to get together, Vinnius' brothers saddle him with a newly widowed mate and Lucilla eventually ends up married to some stodgy poet who wears socks!!

The couple finally recognize their feelings for each other but Domitian has named himself censor for life and reinstituted the old Augustan morality laws so an affair could be literally fatal.  Then Decebalus, the king of Dacia, begins raiding Roman outposts along the Danube and Domitian announces he will handle the problem himself, taking the Praetorian guard and our hero along with him.

Bronze portrait of an ancient Dacian photographed at the
National Military Museum, Buchareșt, Romania by
Cristian Peter Marinescu-Ivan © 2009
Reproduced with permission via CC by-sa 2.0

I knew Decebalus had been defeated two decades later by Trajan, hence the carving of Trajan's Column to commemorate the event.  But I didn't realize as a young leader, Decebalus (then called Diurpaneus) had given Domitian trouble in Moesia back in 85 - 86 CE, surprising the Roman governor, Oppius Sabinus and annihilating a legion, probably the V Alaudae, which disappears from the military records at this time.  Domitian and his Praetorian Prefect Cornelius Fuscus arrive and the ever-micromanaging Domitian reorganizes the province into two separate provinces, Moesia Inferior and Moesia Superior.  Then Domitian orders the IIII Flavia from Dalmatia, and the I and II Adiutrix to the region to replace the lost legion and prepare for an attack on Dacia.

Scholars are divided by what happened next.  Some say Domitian handed the command over to Fuscus and returned to Rome.  Other scholars think Domitian personally led a successful operation against the Dacians and returned to Rome where, it is recorded, he celebrated a double triumph.  In any event, a contingent of the Praetorian Guard remain with Fuscus and in 87 CE Fuscus crosses the Danube where his army (that includes our hero Vinnius) like that of Oppius Sabinus, is ambushed and destroyed at a mountain pass the Romans called Tapae (widely known as the Iron Gates along what is now the modern Romania-Serbia border).  The battle becomes known as the First Battle of Tapae.

Scene of the Second Battle of Tapae with Jupiter Optimus Maximus overlooking Roman troops depicted on Trajan's Column in Rome, Italy.  Photographed by Mary Harrsch © 2009.
Although Davis does not describe the battle in as much visceral detail as Harry Sidebottom or Douglas Jackson would, she provides enough context and suspense to leave the reader breathless.

So how will our female protagonist carry on with the worst years of Domitian's tyranny still ahead? You'll need to read the novel to find out but I assure you Davis will keep you guessing about the ultimate fate of her protagonists until the last paragraph!

Because Domitian is not one of the main characters of the narrative, Davis has to get very inventive to provide background information about this controversial emperor.  In one chapter she does so by introducing a non-human character named Mosca - a house fly.  Suetonius tells us that at the beginning of his reign Domitian would spend hours alone every day catching flies and stabbing them with his needle-sharp stylus.

"Once, on being asked whether anyone was closeted with the Emperor, "Vivius Crispus answered wittily: 'No, not even a fly!'." - Suetonius, Domitian, The Twelve Caesars

Mosca makes all kinds of observations about the solitary human inhabitant of her environment as she prepares to annoy him, oblivious to the corpses of her relatives splayed beneath Domitian's stylus.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Master and God" and have elevated it to one of my favorite Lindsey Davis novels.

To learn more about Domitian and the other Roman emperors mentioned in this post I recommend The Great Courses series Emperors of Rome by Professor Garrett G. Fagan of Pennsylvania State University.

Calenda: Histoire romaine

L’iconographie des esclaves et des affranchis dans l’art romain

L’objectif de l’atelier est prendre en considération un large spectre de représentations des esclaves et affranchis des provinces romaines.

ASOR Syrian Heritage Initiative

Special Report: Update on the Situation in Palmyra

ASOR CULTURAL HERITAGE INITIATIVES

Allison Cuneo, Susan Penacho, and LeeAnn Barnes Gordon

With contributions by Michael Danti, Kyra Kaercher, Cheikhmous Ali, Kathryn Franklin, Tate Paulette, David Elitzer, and Erin van Gessel
September 3, 2015

Download the Report


Since its capture by ISIL militants in May 2015, the region around the ancient city of Palmyra (modern Tadmor) has been in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, which has escalated dramatically in recent weeks. This report will provide a summary of the current situation in Palmyra and the effects of the conflict on its people and cultural heritage. Atrocities include attacks on civilians and mass abductions. Intentional damage to the cultural materials of the local populations is widespread, including the destruction of Islamic and Christian religious sites, as well as severe damage to the architectural remains within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra. Confirmed damage at this archaeological site includes the destruction of the Baalshamin Temple, the Temple of Bel, and at least seven tower tombs within the Valley of the Tombs. For more detailed information on the heritage and history of the ancient city, please review the ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative’s Special Report on the Significance of Palmyra.

Figure 1: DigitalGlobe satellite imagery depicting multiple destroyed Islamic tombs and ancient architectural features in the Tadmor and Palmyra areas (Digital Globe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 1: DigitalGlobe satellite imagery depicting multiple destroyed Islamic tombs and ancient architectural
features in the Tadmor and Palmyra areas (Digital Globe; September 2, 2015)

Attacks on Civilian Populations

ISIL began its invasion of Palmyra on May 12, 2015, quickly gaining control of the area in a few days and taking over entirely by May 21. This region is seen as strategically important for multiple reasons, namely for its access to the highway connecting the city of Deir ez-Zor to the cities of Homs and Damascus, as well as its proximity to numerous oil fields and an important military base.[1] The notorious Tadmor Prison, reopened in 2011 to detain and interrogate anti-government protesters,[2] was also located in this area.[3]

Throughout the conflict, both ISIL militants and regime forces suffered heavy casualties. More disturbing, however, has been the targeting of civilian populations by ISIL militants. Dozens of regime supporters and civilians have been kidnapped and executed in the Palmyra region,[4] and housing complexes without military advantage have been attacked by both ISIL and regime forces.[5] Civilians are especially vulnerable given Tadmor’s high resident population and its internally displaced population, which has markedly increased in recent years as Syrians have fled to its relative safety to escape violence elsewhere.[6]

Within days after seizing the area, reports emerged that ISIL militants had executed regime forces and allied militiamen in the Roman theater located within the boundaries of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  On July 4, 2015 ISIL-affiliated social media accounts released a video showing 25 men in military uniforms being executed in the Roman theater of the archaeological site of Palmyra.  The public execution was conducted by young boys dressed in military fatigues standing in front of an ISIL flag before a crowd of civilian men and children. This execution occurred May 27, 2015, and the video was released weeks later.[7]

The use of a well known heritage site as the backdrop for this horrific act has numerous ramifications regarding ISIL’s use of heritage in propaganda and the future perceptions of this heritage site and its intangible associations. The use of a cultural heritage site as a stage for the execution of military prisoners in front of civilians is a violation of numerous international humanitarian laws and the laws of war. Out of respect for the victims and their families, ASOR CHI will not republish images of the execution in this report.  On August 18, 2015 Khaled al-Asa’ad (82), former Director of Palmyra Antiquities, was publically executed in Tadmor by ISIL militants.[8] Al-Asa’ad was famous for his life-long study of Palmyra (Tadmor) and service to the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM).

Trafficking of Antiquities

The trafficking and sale of illicit cultural property, especially antiquities, have affected all of Syria and are a byproduct of the civil unrest stemming from the ongoing armed conflict. Museum staff in Palmyra have worked tirelessly to protect artifacts housed at the site,[9] but many of the architectural features around the ancient site have been looted, and stolen Palmyrene objects have appeared in other parts of the country and abroad.[10] On July 2, 2015 ISIL militants in the northern town of Manbij, located in Aleppo governorate, intercepted an individual or multiple individuals transporting Palmyrene funerary sculptures. These fragments were most likely removed from tombs at the archaeological site and/or possibly taken from the collections of the Tadmor Museum.

Figure 2: Destruction of Palmyrene statuary in Manbij, Aleppo governorate (ISIL social media; July 3, 2015)

Figure 2: Destruction of Palmyrene statuary in Manbij, Aleppo governorate (ISIL social media; July 3, 2015)

ISIL social media accounts released photographs depicting militants destroying funerary busts from the archaeological site of Palmyra (Figure 2). Militants are shown displaying the statues to a crowd gathered in the central town square and then breaking the statues with sledgehammers. ISIL later released a video of these acts on social media sites.[11] Some sources allege that the statues were being smuggled by an antiquities trafficker, who was caught by ISIL militants.[12] Other sources suggest that it was an activist smuggling the busts to safety.[13] Both accounts state that the person caught possessing the statues received a public lashing as punishment.[14] Allegedly an “archaeological administration” was established by ISIL in the town of Manbij, located near the Turkish border, to manage the trafficking and sale of artifacts.[15]

Combat Damage

Militarization and incidental combat damage have significantly affected the ancient site of Palmyra throughout the conflict.  The site of Palmyra and, specifically, defensive positions such as the Bel Temple, were fortified by SARG in efforts to defend this area and its transport hub.[16] Ground conflict and air strikes have encroached onto the site, causing impact damage to many of the ancient monuments, including the Baalshamin Temple and the Temple of Bel, as well as the Palmyra Museum, which also suffered numerous episodes of combat damage.[17] For a thorough documentation of the collateral damage to the cultural heritage in and around Palmyra, please see Palmyra: Heritage Adrift A Special Report from the Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology (APSA) by ASOR CHI Co-Investigator Cheikhmous Ali.[18]

Intentional Destructions

Throughout the conflict, attacks on civilian populations are often conducted in conjunction with, or followed by, the intentional destruction of tangible cultural heritage of significance to the vulnerable population. The situation in Palmyra is no different — ISIL has repeatedly targeted  Islamic and Christian places of worship, as well as ancient sites.

Map of damaged and destroyed sites around the Palmyra area, including the Tower Tomb of Elahbel, the Tower Tomb of Atenaten, the Tower Tomb of Iamliku, and four other tower tombs, as well as the Baalshamin Temple and the Temple of Bel.

Figure 3: Map of damaged and destroyed sites around the Palmyra area, including the Tower Tomb of Elahbel, the Tower Tomb of Atenaten, the Tower Tomb of Iamliku, and four other tower tombs, as well as the Baalshamin Temple and the Temple of Bel.

Figure 4: Graves in historic Palmyra being destroyed (ISIL social media; June 15, 2015)

Figure 4: Graves in historic Palmyra being destroyed (ISIL social media; June 15, 2015)

On June 15, 2015 Twitter accounts associated with ISIL published images showing the destruction of a relatively modern Islamic cemetery.[19] The images currently circulating include photos of men breaking gravestones in the historical city of Palmyra (Figure 4).

On June 22, 2015 ISIL published photos depicting the destruction of Islamic shrines near the settlement of Tadmor.[20] The Shiite Shrine of Sheikh Mohammad ibn ‘Ali was demolished between March 1, 2015 and May 22, 2015 based on observations of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery (Figures 5 and 7). ISIL destroyed the Sufi Tomb of Shagaf/Nizar Abu Behaeddine between June 15, 2015 and June 26, 2015 based on DigitalGlobe satellite imagery (Figures 6 and 8).[21]

Figure 5: Shrine of Sheikh Mohammad b. ‘Ali (ISIL social media; June 22, 2015)

Figure 5: Shrine of Sheikh Mohammad b. ‘Ali (ISIL social media; June 22, 2015)

Figure 6: Sufi shrine and tomb of Shagaf/Nizar Abu Behaeddine (ISIL social media; June 22, 2015)

Figure 6: Sufi shrine and tomb of Shagaf/Nizar Abu Behaeddine (ISIL social media; June 22, 2015)

Figure 7: Satellite imagery showing Shrine of Sheikh Mohammad b. ‘Ali. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; March 1, 2015), Center: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; May 28, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015)

Figure 7: Satellite imagery showing Shrine of Sheikh Mohammad b. ‘Ali. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; March 1, 2015), Center: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; May 28, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015)

Figure 8: Satellite imagery showing Shagaf/Nizar Abu Behaeddine. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 16, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015)

Figure 8: Satellite imagery showing Shagaf/Nizar Abu Behaeddine. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 16, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015)

Additionally, seven tower tombs located just outside the ancient city of Palmyra have been damaged and destroyed since the end of June (Figures 9–12). DigitalGlobe satellite imagery acquired by ASOR CHI shows this damage took place in two phases. Between June 26, 2015 and August 27, 2015 the Tomb of Iamliku was destroyed and the unnamed tomb directly to its east was badly damaged. In addition the Tomb of Atenaten in the northwestern part of the site was destroyed. Within a second phase of destruction, between August 27, 2015 and September 2, 2015, more tower tombs were destroyed. This included the Tomb of Elahbel, an unnamed tomb in the northern part of the necropolis, and two additional unnamed tombs near the Tomb of Iamliku. Collectively, the damage to these tombs is not confined to a single area within the Valley of the Tombs, but instead it is distributed throughout various locations, leaving some towers destroyed and others still standing. The reasoning for this differentiation is unknown. Further investigation will be published in the upcoming Weekly Report 57–58.

Figure 9: Satellite imagery of tower tombs in Tadmor. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Center: Visible damage to the Tomb of Iamliku and a neighboring tomb (DigitalGlobe; August 27, 2015), Right: Visible damage to two additional unnamed tombs (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 9: Satellite imagery of tower tombs in Tadmor. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Center: Visible damage to the Tomb of Iamliku and a neighboring tomb (DigitalGlobe; August 27, 2015), Right: Visible damage to two additional unnamed tombs (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 10: Satellite imagery of unnamed tower tombs in Tadmor. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 10: Satellite imagery of unnamed tower tombs in Tadmor. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 11: Satellite imagery of the Tower Tomb of Atenatan. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; August 27, 2015)

Figure 11: Satellite imagery of the Tower Tomb of Atenatan. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; August 27, 2015)

Figure 12: Satellite imagery of the Tower Tomb of Elahbel. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Center: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; August 27, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 12: Satellite imagery of the Tower Tomb of Elahbel. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Center: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; August 27, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

In late July 2015, ISIL militants took control of al-Qaryatain, a neighboring village of Palmyra, from the Syrian government. On August 7, 2015, militants abducted hundreds of local Christians from the village and demolished its ancient monastery of Mar Elian (Figure 14), which was constructed during the Byzantine period and continued to be used as a Christian place of worship in the area.[22] DigitalGlobe satellite imagery of this site corresponding to the time of destruction was not available at the time of this report.

Figure 13: Mar Elian being prepared for destruction (ISIL social media; August 21, 2015)

Figure 13: Mar Elian being prepared for destruction (ISIL social media; August 21, 2015)

Until recently the conflict had only inflicted minor damage to Palmyra’s Greco-Roman monuments, but within a span of seven days both the Baalshamin Temple and the Temple of Bel were intentionally destroyed by ISIL.

Since May, ISIL militants have repeatedly posted photographs of the Baalshamin Temple and the Temple of Bel.[23] At the end of June 2015, reports emerged that ISIL militants placed explosive devices within the ancient site of Palmyra, although it was unclear at the time if the mines were laid in order to destroy the ruins or as a deterrent to regime encroachment into the ancient site.[24] As of June 23, 2015 ASOR CHI sources in Palmyra confirmed that local people had seen members of ISIL place “large mines/bombs in the ruins of many buildings in Palmyra” and told residents of their intent to destroy the ruins.

Figure 14: Baalshamin Temple (Michael Danti; 2010)

Figure 14: Baalshamin Temple (Michael Danti; 2010)

Figure 15: Destruction of the Baalshamin Temple (ISIL social media; August 24, 2015)

Figure 15: Destruction of the Baalshamin Temple (ISIL social media; August 24, 2015)

On August 23, 2015 reports surfaced concerning the destruction of the Baalshamin Temple.[25] Baalshamin was the Lord of the Heavens in the pre-Islamic Semitic pantheon. According to Ross Burns, the earliest architectural remains date to 17 CE, though the majority of the structure dates to the early 2nd century CE. The Egyptian motifs that characterize the style of the small temple make it unique in Roman Syria.[26] Following the destruction, photographs released by ISIL depicted the inner and outer walls of the temple lined with bottles and barrels of explosives, which were subsequently detonated.[27]  DigitalGlobe satellite imagery taken on August 27, 2015 acquired by ASOR CHI has confirmed this destruction (Figure 16).

Figure 16: Satellite imagery of the Baalshamin Temple. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe: August 27, 2015)

Figure 16: Satellite imagery of the Baalshamin Temple. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe: August 27, 2015)

Figure 17: Temple of Bel (Michael Danti; 2010)

Figure 17: Temple of Bel (Michael Danti; 2010)

On August 30, 2015 it was reported that ISIL destroyed parts of the Temple of Bel with allegedly 30 tons of explosives.[28] DigitalGlobe satellite imagery confirms severe damage to the temple with only the front gateway of the inner cella left standing (Figure 18). Additionally, the temple colonnades, main entrance, and surrounding wall appear to be intact.

Figure 18: Satellite imagery of the Temple of Bel. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; taken June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Figure 18: Satellite imagery of the Temple of Bel. Left: No visible damage (DigitalGlobe; taken June 26, 2015), Right: Visible damage (DigitalGlobe; September 2, 2015)

Conclusion

Given its rich and diverse cultural heritage, ASOR CHI is monitoring the condition of the Tadmor region and condemns in the strongest terms the murder of academics such as Khalid al-Asaad and other innocent civilians.

For further details about the site of Palmyra and the loss of cultural heritage at the site during the conflict, see the following ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives Weekly Reports and Special Reports:

Weekly Report 41 (pp. 8, 29–37)
Weekly Report 42–43 (pp. 18–37)
Weekly Report 44 (pp. 1–5)
Weekly Report 45 (pp. 23–25)
Weekly Report 46 (pp. 1–2, 63–75
Weekly Report 47–48  (pp. 14–25)
Weekly Report 50 (pp. 6–30)
Special Report on the Importance of Palmyra
Palmyra: Heritage Adrift A Special Report from APSA



 

Footnotes


[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32772894 ; http://news.yahoo.com/rockets-kill-five-syrias-palmyra-104729402.html

[2] http://www.intelligencequarterly.com/2011/07/syria-mukhabarat-and-the-desert-prison/

[3] http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/30/us-mideast-crisis-syria-prison-idUSKBN0OF0SD20150530

[4] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/syria-isis-ousted-palmyra-unesco-world-heritage/ ; http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/25/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-idUSKBN0O908J20150525 ; http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/16/mideast-crisis-syria-idUSL5N0Y705U20150516 ; http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/05/22/world/middleeast/ap-ml-islamic-state.html ; http://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2015/08/07/dans-al-qaryatayn-fraichement-conquise-l-ei-cible-les chretiens-et-les-sunnites_4715758_3210.html

[5] http://news.yahoo.com/rockets-kill-five-syrias-palmyra-104729402.html ; http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33216305 ; http://www.syriadeeply.org/articles/2015/07/7741/bombs-beheadings-palmyra-isis-takeover/

[6] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32820857http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/08/06/islamic-state-group-seizes-central-syrian-town

[7] http://www.syriahr.com/en/2015/05/for-the-first-time-the-the-roman-archaeological-theater-witnesses-executions-carried-out-by-is-against-20-members-of-the-regime-forces-and-allied-militiamen/

[8] http://www.dgam.gov.sy/index.php?d=314&id=1773

[9] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150710-palmyra-syria-isis-looting-museum-archaeology/

[10] http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/special-report-on-the-importance-of-palmyra/ ; http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/palmyra-heritage-adrift/

[11] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/world/middleeast/isis-destroys-artifacts-palmyra-syria-iraq.html ; http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-islamic-militants-smash-palmyra-statues-20150703-column.html  http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/02/world/isis-syrian-artifacts/

[12] http://apsa2011.com/apsanew/palmyra-arrest-of-a-dealer-of-archaeological-objects-from-palmyra-and-acts-of-vandalism-by-isis-in-minbej/ ; http://www.shrc.org/en/?p=25317

[13] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3147298/ISIS-sledgehammer-civilization-Islamist-group-capture-activists-trying-smuggle-ancient-statues-safety-force-destroy-lashing-baying-crowd.html#ixzz3elSvVCUC

[14] http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/02/world/isis-syrian-artifacts/ ; http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/world/middleeast/isis-destroys-artifacts-palmyra-syria-iraq.html

[15] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-28/isis-has-new-cash-cow-art-loot-it-s-peddling-on-ebay-facebook

[16] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-_N1LssEEA

[17] http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/special-report-on-the-importance-of-palmyra/ ; http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/palmyra-heritage-adrift/

[18] http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/palmyra-heritage-adrift/

[19] http://www.ibtimes.co.in/palmyra-isis-fighters-destroy-tombs-Tadmor-photos-635923

[20] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33234648 ; http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/world/middleeast/islamic-state-isis-destroys-palmyra-tombs.html ; http://www.dgam.gov.sy/index.php?d=314&id=1727

[21] http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/syrian-heritage-initiative-weekly-report-46-june-23-2015/

[22] http://www.dgam.gov.sy/?d=314&id=1777 ; http://apsa2011.com/apsanew/homs-countryside-isis-destroy-5th-century-mar-ellian-monastery/  ; http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34016809 ; https://uk.news.yahoo.com/isis-syria-1-500-old-073858453.html#c1MEX5B

[23] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHCAcFD0pOY ; http://apsa2011.com/apsanew/palmyra-pictures-of-the-citadel-posted-by-isis-on-15-07-2015/

[24] http://www.syriahr.com/en/2015/06/islamic-state-mines-the-ancient-city-of-palmyra/http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/21/uk-syria-crisis-palmyra-idUKKBN0P10FU20150621http://www.dgam.gov.sy/?d=314&id=1725 ; http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/isil-plants-mines-ancient-syrian-city-palmyra-150622025527317.html

[25] http://dgam.gov.sy/?d=314&id=1783

[26] Burns, Ross (2010) The Monuments of Syria: A Guide. I.B. Tauris: London.

[27] http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-islamic-state-syria-ancient-ruins-palmyra-20150824-story.html

[28] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34107395 ; http://dgam.gov.sy/index.php?d=314&id=1792 ; http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/isil-blows-part-bel-temple-syria-palmyra-150830195420900.html


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James Hamrick (The Ancient Bookshelf)

Medieval Interpretations of Genesis

Eerdword, the Eerdman's blog just posted something by Joy Schroeder on her book The Book of Genesis, a new volume in The Bible in Medieval Tradition series.  Schroeder has translated major excerpts from seven different medieval Christian commentators on the Book of Genesis, many (most?) of which have not been published in English translation before.

Be sure to check out her post by clicking here, and consider buying the book!  It appears to be available in Kindle edition now and paperback at the end of the month.  



As someone who studies the interpretation of Genesis in ancient Judaism, I am very excited to take a look at this resource and get a better sense of how the book was interpreted by medieval Christians.  The history of interpretation is fascinating in its own right, but it also gives us important and often revealing insights into our own modern assumptions about text, meaning, and interpretation.
Some other works that also take us into the world of the historical interpretation of Genesis:

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Archaeology Magazine

New Guinea SherdCANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—A piece of red, glossy pottery found in the rugged highlands of Papua New Guinea has been shown to be the oldest-known pottery in New Guinea. Tim Denham of Australian National University, working with researchers from Otago University, obtained precise dates for the pottery as part of a study to learn more about how the technology spread throughout the Pacific. People who lived on the coast of Papua New Guinea would have had contact with seafaring, pottery-making cultures such as the Lapita people. “It’s an example of how technology spread among cultures. Some pottery must have soon found its way into the highlands, which inspired the highlanders to try making it themselves,” Denham said in a press release. “And it shows human history is not always a smooth progression—later on pottery making was abandoned across most of the highlands of New Guinea. No one knows when or why,” he said. To read about smoked mummies in Papua New Guinea, go to the current issue's "World Roundup."

Israel Ashkelon sarcophagusASHKELON, ISRAEL—Construction workers in southern Israel have damaged a rare Roman sarcophagus, according to a statement made by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). IAA inspectors found the sarcophagus beneath a stack of sheet metal and boards. They also saw that concrete had been poured over the site where the artifact was unearthed in an attempt to conceal it. The eight-foot-long sarcophagus has a life-sized image of a person carved on the lid. “He is wearing a short-sleeved shirt decorated with embroidery on the front. A tunic is wrapped around his waist. The figure’s eyes were apparently inlaid with precious stones that have disappeared and the hair is arranged in curls, in a typical Roman hairstyle,” archaeologist Gaby Mazor told Discovery News. The sarcophagus also bears carvings of wreaths, bulls’ heads, cupids, and an image of Medusa. “In this case, the building contractors chose to hide the rare artifact and their action has caused painful damage to history. Legal proceedings will now be taken against those involved, thereby leading to a delay in construction and related expenditures,” Amir Ganor, head of the Inspection Department at the IAA, said in a statement. To read more about the period, go to "Artifact: Roman Coins in Israel."

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

A trove at Herculaneum

A tantalizing buried library at Herculaneum could hold some lost works of Sophocles, Aristotle and more. The painstaking methods - old and new - used by archaeologists to bring some of the charred ancient scrolls to a point of legibility are remarkable:
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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient Egyptians bred and force-fed kestrels as religious offerings to the gods

Ancient Egyptians bred birds of prey for religious offerings to the gods, scientists have...

He has a wife you know

1800 year old ancient Egyptian letter reveals hopes and fears of young soldier

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Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

The Good Market Myth


Christos Tsirogiannis' important point :
There are no 'two antiquities markets' - a white and a black one. There is just one grey market
Which one do spokesmen for the trade represent? Oh, wait.....

He has a wife you know

First ancient genome recovered from the Mediterranean area

archaeologicalnews:

An international team of researchers has sequenced the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer, which is also the first ancient genome from the entire Mediterranean area. This new genome allows to know the distinctive genetic changes of Neolithic migration in Southern Europe which led to the abandonment of the hunter-gatherer way of life. The study is led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain), in collaboration with the Centre for GeoGenetics in Denmark. The results are published in the Molecular Biology and Evolution journal.

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Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Photo Archive of the Syrian-Norwegian research project Palmyrena: City, Hinterland and Caravan Trade between Orient and Occident

Palmyra: The Photo Archive of the Syrian-Norwegian research project Palmyrena: City, Hinterland and Caravan Trade between Orient and Occident
http://www.org.uib.no/palmyrena/images/top1.jpg 
Palmyra:OverviewsTemple of BelHouses E of BelE colonnaded streetTemple of NeboDiocletian's bathsNymphaeum ETetrapylonS of tetrapylonArea around theatreTheatreBanquet hall (theatre)SenateAgoraBanquet hall (Agora)Tariff courtTax LawS colonnaded streetPalmyra:CaesareumW colonnaded streetNymphaeum W Temple of AllatDiocletian's campOval ForumSW quarterNW housesHouses N quarterPeristyle housesBaal-Shamin templeStreetsHouses S quarterSpringsAin Efqa SpringHonorary columnNE quarterDiocletian wallPalmyra: Constantine basilicaByzantine basilicasHouses S Constan. basil.Houses E Constan. basil. Houses W Byzan. basil. S gateSW wallSW gate and outer wallInner W wallOuter W wallE wall and gateUmayyad mosqueUmayyad suuqOasisxxxxxAqueduct (Fogara) W of cityW aqueductLate watersystemPalmyra: Necropolis NWNecropolis W Necropolis SENecropolis SWTomb of the three brothers"Funery temple"Tomb A204Tomb A203Marona tombAdilani/Zebida tombxxxxx xxxxxQalaat Ibn MaanQuarries NE of PalmyraQuarries N of Palmyra

Museums

North of Palmyra:Maps Wadi al-DiwaMapsWadi AbyadAkaremAwtaytMajoufMapsWadi TakaraFort Wadi Takara SWall Wadi Takaraal-KoullahFort Wadi Takara N N of Palmyra:Jebel Abyadal-MazraahKshebarTahoun al-MasekShalalah (Ouéchel)al-MatnaBir al-ArfaSite 026. TombsMapsJazal Oasis MapsShanaehFort 098 Wadi Shanaeh N of Palmyra:Jebel ChaarVillage 539, Jebel ChaarKheurbet SemrineFort Rasm ech ChaarMaps Villages - Jebel Merah. MapJebel MerahSurvey around Jebel Merah 2011MapsKhabarMapsKhaleed al-AliFasidaMaps N of Palmyra:Acadama (Qdeum)AmsareddiAl-HarbaqaHirbet al-BeydaHirbet al-Beyda. Kite.Isriye (Seriana)xxxxx
Jebel Abu Rigmenxxxxx
Pistacia Atlantica treexxxxx
Prehistoric period, Survey 2009Prehistoric period, Survey 2011

West of Palmyra:Map Baal-Shamin AltersRoman road to the WEarly Islamic bath MiscellaneousNorthwest of Palmyra:MapJazal WestBir Djahar (Centum Putea) Abu HayayaHwesys N of Palmyra:Khan al-Fayer Wadi al-HaswMiscellaneousJebel Bil'asAl-Qastel

South of Palmyra:MapAl-Bazuriyeh East 1Al-Bazuriyeh East 2Al-Bazuriyeh WestAl-BakhraQasr al-SukkariSalt LakeSouthwest of Palmyra:MapPalmyra mountain rangeKhan al-Hallabat (Veriaca)Khan al-QattarKhan al-BasiriHarbaqa damQasr al-Heir al-GharbiKhan Aneybeh (Oneuatha)Khan al-ManqouraEast of Palmyra:MapBir ArakAs SuknehOriza (Al-Tayyibeh)Qasr al-Heir al-SharqiAl-KowmSoutheast of Palmyra:MapJufahBurial MoundsLandscape




Archaeology Magazine

egypt mummy kestrelCAIRO, EGYPT—Ancient Egyptians bred birds of prey and force-fed them before offering them to the gods, according to a study conducted by a team from the American University in Cairo, Stellenbosch University, and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. “The idea of birds of prey being bred to the extent of being kept and force-fed is new. Until now, the sheer number of raptor mummies had been a mystery—did they catch or trap them and kill them, raid nests, or find them dead? Our results explain why they had so many: we now think it was because of active breeding,” Salima Ikram told The International Business Times. A 3-D image of a mummified kestrel known as SACHM 2575 showed that it had the remains of a mouse and a small sparrow in its stomach, and had choked to death on a young house mouse. Ikram notes that this species of bird has a tendency to cache surplus food, so it is unlikely that the bird would have overeaten on its own. “Thus SACHM 2575 provides the first real evidence for keeping raptors in captivity…It also broaches the possibility that breeding programs for these animals were instituted, as was the case for other animal offerings, such as ibises, dogs, and cats,” she said. For more on ancient animal mummies, go to "Messengers to the Gods."

Oldest case leukemia2FRANKFURT, GERMANY—Scientists from the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment and the University of Tübingen have examined the 7,000-year-old skeleton of a woman who died between the ages of 30 and 40 and determined that she suffered from leukemia. “We examined several bones of the skeleton with our high-resolution computed tomography system, and we found an unusual loosening of the interior bone tissue—the cancellous bone—in the upper right humerus and the sternum,” Heike Scherf of the Senckenberg Center said in a press release. Blood-forming stem cells are located at the ends of these bones, and at the ends of the vertebrae, ribs, skull, and pelvis, and so blood cancer can occur at these locations. Other diseases, including osteoporosis and hyperparathyroidism, which cause similar bone damage, were ruled out. None of the other ten individuals in the study, all buried in the Neolithic graveyard of Stuttgart-Mühlhausen, showed signs of this cancer. “However, we cannot determine whether the woman actually died from the disease,” Scherf added. For more, go to "Ancient Oncology."

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Archiv für Orientforschung Online Supplementary Materials

Archiv für Orientforschung Online Supplementary Materials
AfO 52
 
Tabelle I  zu N. Wassermann, The Distant Voice of Gilgameš ... AfO 52 (2011), p. 2 finden Sie hier als PDF.
 
Die Antwort von J.A. Halloran auf die Rezension von G. Zólyomi (AfO 52) zu J.A. Halloran, Sumerian Lexicon. A Dictionary Guide to the Ancient Sumerian Language, Logogram Publishing, Los Angeles 2006, finden Sie hier als PDF

Gesamtabkürzungsverzeichnis, Liste 1 und Liste 2, für Register Assyrologie (Stand:XII 2012) 

AfO 50
 
Die Rezension zu J. Tropper, Ugaritische Grammatik (AOAT 273), Ugarit-Verlag, Münster 2000 von D. Pardee (AfO 50) finden Sie hier als PDF.

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 65 (from the Song of Moses)

Amid the multi-versioned and oft performed corpus of American folk songs is “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” which has in the refrain,

Pharaoh’s army got drownded,

O Mary, don’t weep!

This heilsgeschichtliche intertextuality bridges together — to name only two points in the song’s potential panorama — events in the experience of Mary, Lazarus’ brother (John 11), and a high point at the beginning of the Exodus, the passage through the Red Sea. (See the song, with only two verses, in Sandburg’s American Songbag here.) The imagery of the Red Sea, of course, has often been picked up by the religious who knew the story. Here’s an example from a ps.-Ephremian collection of prayers in Armenian:

Ըկղմեա՛ Տէր՝ զթշնամին իմ որպէս զզօրութիւն փարաւոնի…

Drown, O Lord, my enemy, [as you did] the army of Pharaoh…

Mathews, The Armenian Prayers (Աղօթք) attributed to Ephrem the Syrian, TeCLA 36 (Gorgias, 2014), I.63, pp. 42-43

So for today’s OGPS, here — and the idea to do these verses really did originate in my recollection of the song — are verses 1, 4-5 from Exodus 15, with the song celebrating the event put into the mouth of Moses and the Israelites. These verses are not in the Oshki text, but I give them below (with LXX) from the Jerusalem lectionary:

  • JL = Jerusalem lectionary (Paris ms), ed. K. Danelia, S. Č’xenkeli, B. Šavišvili

In addition, I’m including the text from the first Ode (Ex 15) that appears at the end of the Psalter according to the following editions:

  • A = Rec. A, ed. Mzek’ala Šaniże
  • G= Graz ms, ed. V. Imnaišvili

(Electronic forms of these editions are all available at TITUS.) There are only minor differences between the three texts.

Exodus 15:1

1 Τότε ᾖσεν Μωυσῆς καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τὴν ᾠδὴν ταύτην τῷ θεῷ καὶ εἶπαν λέγοντες ῎Αισωμεν τῷ κυρίῳ, ἐνδόξως γὰρ δεδόξασται· ἵππον καὶ ἀναβάτην ἔρριψεν εἰς θάλασσαν.

JL1 მას ჟამსა უგალობდეს ძენი ისრაჱლისანი გალობითა ამით: ჴმითა: უგალობდეთ უფალსა, [რამეთუ] დიდებით დი[დებულ არს], ცხენები და მჴედრები შთასთხია ზღუასა.

  • უ-გალობ-დ-ეს impf 3pl გალობა to sing
  • გალობაჲ song
  • ჴმაჲ voice
  • უ-გალობ-დ-ე-თ 1pl pres impv (or 1pl pres conj) გალობაჲ to sing
  • დიდებული praised, to be praised
  • ცხენი horse
  • მჴედარი rider, soldier
  • შთა-ს-თხი-ა aor 3sg O3 შთათხევა to throw, cast (NB the pl objects here are both in -ებ, so there is no N-pl marker in the verb; see the Excursus below for some other occurrences of the verb)
  • ზღუაჲ sea

G1 […] უგალობდეთ უფალსა, რამეთუ დიდებით დიდებულ არს; ცხენები და მჴედრები შთათხია ზღუასა.

A1 […] უგალობდეთ უფალსა, რამეთუ დიდებით დიდებულ არს; ცხენები და მჴედრები შთასთხია ზღუასა.

Exodus 15:4

4 ἅρματα Φαραω καὶ τὴν δύναμιν αὐτοῦ ἔρριψεν εἰς θάλασσαν, ἐπιλέκτους ἀναβάτας τριστάτας κατεπόντισεν ἐν ἐρυθρᾷ θαλάσσῃ.

JL4 ეტლები ფარაოისი და ყოველი ერი მისი შთასთხია ზღუასა, რჩეული მჴედარი მთავართაჲ მათ დაანთქა ზღუასა მას მეწამულსა.

  • ეტლი wagon, chariot
  • რჩეული choice, chosen (i.e. of high quality)
  • და-ა-ნთქ-ა aor 3sg და(ნ)თქმა to sink (here causative with -ა-)
  • მეწამული red

G4 ეტლები ფარაოჲსი და ყოველი ერი მისი შთათხია ზღუასა, რჩეული მჴედრები მთავართაჲ მათ დაათქა ზღუასა მას მეწამულსა;

A4 ეტლები ფარაოჲსი და ყოველი ერი მისი შთასთხია ზღუასა, რჩეული მჴედრები მთავართაჲ მათ დაათქა ზღუასა მას მეწამულსა;

Exodus 15:5

5 πόντῳ ἐκάλυψεν αὐτούς, κατέδυσαν εἰς βυθὸν ὡσεὶ λίθος.

JL ზღუამან დაფარნა იგინი, დაჴდეს და დაერინეს იგინი სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა, ვითარცა ლოდნი.

  • და-ფარ-ნ-ა aor 3sg N დაფარვა to cover
  • და-ჴდ-ეს aor 3pl დაჴდომა to go down
  • და-ე-რი-ნ-ეს aor pass 3pl დარევა to conquer, overpower, subdue (aor pass 3sg დაერია)
  • სიღრმეჲ the deep
  • უფსკრული abyss, bottomless
  • ლოდნი stone

G5 ზღუამან დაფარნა იგინი, დაჴდეს და დაიძირნეს სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა ვითარცა ლოდნი.

  • და-ი-ძირ-ნ-ეს aor pass 3pl დაძირვა to send to the bottom

A5 ზღუამან დაჰფარნა იგინი, დაჴდეს და დაიძირნეს სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა ვითარცა ლოდნი.

Note that for the first verb the agent in Greek is apparently God, but in Georgian it’s the sea. Also notable is that there are two doublets in the second part of the verse: we have two verbs in Georgian where Greek has only κατέδυσαν, and for εἰς βυθὸν there are two related nouns in სიღრმესა მას უფსკრულთასა.

We have another Georgian translation of part of these verses. Verse 4 with the beginning of 5 also appears, slightly differing, in the Georgian version of the Chronicle of George the Monk, § 8, p. 255.1-3:

ეტლები ფარაოჲსი და ყოველი ძალი მისი შთასთხია ზღუასა. რჩეული მჴედრები სამმდგომთაჲ მათ დაანთქა ზღუასა მეწამულსა. ღრმამან დაფარნა იგინი

This agrees with the Mc’xet’a Bible. Here we have ძალი “strength, power, might; army” instead of ერი, სამმდგომთაჲ “officer” (vel sim.) instead of მთავართაჲ, and instead of ზღუამან in verse 5 ღრმამან “deep, the deep” (ღრმაჲ; cf. სიღრმეჲ above).

Excursus on შთათხევა to throw, cast

For a fuller grasp of this verb, here are a few more biblical occurrences. I include the Greek for each quoted Georgian part, but, as you will see, there are places where the two texts are divergent. Here we see a Series I impv and a few more examples of Series II forms to compare with the aor form that appears above.

Ex 1:22

εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν ῥίψατε

Oshki მდინარესა შთასთხევდით

  • შთა-ს-თხევ-დი-თ pres impv 2pl O3

Jer 41:7

(48:7) καὶ ἐγένετο εἰσελθόντων αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ μέσον τῆς πόλεως ἔσφαξεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ φρέαρ.

Oshki და იყო რაჟამს შევიდეს იგინი შოვა ქალაქსა, მოწყჳდნა იგინი ისმაელ, და შთასთხინა იგინი ჯურღმულსა მან და კაცთა მათ მისთანათა.

  • შთა-ს-თხი-ნ-ა aor 3sg O3 N

(ჯურღმული “well, pit” occurs in other places below)

Dan 6:24

OG (25) καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν ἐρρίφησαν τοῖς λέουσι

Th (25) καὶ εἰς τὸν λάκκον τῶν λεόντων ἐνεβλήθησαν αὐτοὶ καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτῶν καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν

Oshki და შთასთხინეს ჯურღმულსა მას ლომთასა იგინი და ძენი მათნი და ცოლნი მათნი

  • შთა-ს-თხი-ნ-ეს aor 3pl O3 N (the Greek is passive, but the Georgian active)

Bel 42

OG καὶ τοὺς αἰτίους τῆς ἀπωλείας αὐτοῦ ἐνέβαλεν εἰς τὸν λάκκον

Th καὶ ἀνέσπασεν αὐτόν τοὺς δὲ αἰτίους τῆς ἀπωλείας αὐτοῦ ἐνέβαλεν εἰς τὸν λάκκον

Oshki ხოლო ბრალეულნი იგი წარწყმედისა მისისანი შთასთხინა მეფემან ჯურღმულსა მას

  • შთა-ს-თხი-ნ-ა (as above)

Mt 13:50

καὶ βαλοῦσιν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν κάμινον τοῦ πυρός· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων

Adishi და შთასთხინენ იგინი საჴუმილსა მას ცეცხლისასა. მუნ იყოს ტირილი და ღრჭენაჲ კბილთაჲ.

JerLect: და შთასთხინენ იგინი შორის საჴუმილსა მას ცეცხლისასა. მუნ იყოს ტირილი თუალთაჲ და ღრჭენაჲ კბილთაჲ.

  • შთა-ს-თხი-ნ-ენ aor conj 3pl O3 N

Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

What Archaeologists Really Think About Ancient Aliens, Lost Colonies, And Fingerprints Of The Gods

A bunch of archaeologists read books on pseudoarchaeology and share what they learned about logic, racism, and public outreach.

AIA Fieldnotes

International Archaeology Day 2015

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by New Jersey State Museum
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
education
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 11:00am

Activities for the day will include sandbox archaelogy, a scavenger hunt, pottery reconstruction, other hands on activities and a film: Raritan Landing- "A Road to the Past" Read more »

Location

Name: 
Karen Flinn
Telephone: 
609-341-5063
Call for Papers: 
no

BiblePlaces Blog

Large Roman-era Sarcophagus Unearthed in Ashkelon

Building contractors unearthed and then concealed a unique sarcophagus dating to the Roman period in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. From a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority:

A unique and extremely impressive stone sarcophagus, about 1,800 years old, was exposed at a building site in the new neighborhood of villas currently going up in Ashkelon. This occurred during an operation carried out on Tuesday night (September 1) by inspectors of the IAA's Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery and patrol officers and detectives from the Ashkelon police station.

This is one of the rarest sarcophagi ever discovered in Israel. The coffin, which is made of hard limestone, weighing about 2 tons and 2.5 meters long, is sculpted on all sides. A life-size figure of a person is carved on the sarcophagus' lid. The sarcophagus was repeatedly struck by a tractor in different places, scarring the stone and damaging the decorations sculpted by an artist on its sides.

Dr. Gabi Mazor, a retired IAA archaeologist and an expert on classical periods, described the scene on the sarcophagus: "One side of the sarcophagus lid is adorned with the carved image of a man leaning on his left arm. He is wearing a short-sleeved shirt decorated with embroidery on the front. A tunic is wrapped around his waist. The figure's eyes were apparently inlaid with precious stones that have disappeared and the hair is arranged in curls, in a typical Roman hairstyle. On the other side of the lid is a carved relief of a metal amphora (a vessel used for transporting liquids such as wine) from which there are intertwining tendrils bearing grape clusters and grape leaves.

The sarcophagus itself, which was more severely damaged by the tractor, is decorated with, among other things, wreaths and images of bulls' heads, naked Cupids, and the head of the monstrous female figure Medusa which includes remains of hair together with snakes, part of a commonly held belief in the Roman period that she protects the deceased." According to Mazor, "Such sarcophagi were usually placed in or next to a family mausoleum. The high level of decoration attested to the family's affluence, which judging by the depicted motifs was probably not Jewish."

The press release continues to describe the culpability of the construction workers. The Jerusalem Post has a 2-minute video showing the artifacts. The Times of Israel article includes several photographs.

The sarcophagus and lid during the initial cleaning

Sarcophagus lid
Photo by Yoli Shwartz, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Aswan-Kom Ombo (Egitto): Missioni Archeologiche, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna

Aswan-Kom Ombo (Egitto): Missioni Archeologiche, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna
http://www.storia-culture-civilta.unibo.it/it/logo
L’Aswan – Kom Ombo Archaeological Project (AKAP) si pone l’obiettivo di studiare le dinamiche di interazione tra la cultura egiziana e nubiana intercorse sin dal periodo preistorico nel loro territorio di "confine"
Direzione scientifica: Antonio Curci (DiSCi) - Maria Carmela Gatto (Istituto di Egittologia – Yale University)
Scavi di salvataggio a Nag el-Qarmila

Ricognizione archeologica

Ricognizione geoarcheologica

Ricognizione e studio delle evidenze epigrafiche

Documentazione dell'arte rupestre
Le immagini

Report missioni AKAP

Report 2005
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Dimensione: 1169 KB
Report 2006
Aggiornato il 15/04/2013
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Dimensione: 1609 KB
Report 2007
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Report 2008
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Report 2009
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Report 2010
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Report 2011
Aggiornato il 15/04/2013
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Dimensione: 2478 KB

Blogging Pompeii

Blog post: Losing My Religion

By Virginia Campbell at Pompeian Connections:

Losing My Religion
I recently completed an article I was invited to write for a special issue of Leidschrift that focuses entirely on Pompeii and Herculaneum. My contribution looks specifically at the connections that exist between politics and religion. In doing so however, I noticed something that rather surprised me: it is difficult to reconcile the architectural and epigraphic evidence in regards to religious activity. There is a disconnect between which gods had temples dedicated in their honour, and which had active worshipers according to written records. 
Read the full post here.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Tecnologie innovative complementari rivelano un dipinto nascosto in un'opera di Rembrandt

Dalla fine degli anni '60 gli storici dell'arte sanno che al di sotto del famoso "Vecchio uomo in costume militare" di Rembrandt (dipinto all'incirca tra il 1630 e il 1631), è presente un altro dipinto, uno studio del carattere del viso; il dipinto è uno più amati dipinti olandesi del J.Paul Getty Museum di Los Angeles.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

American Dealers and the Cultural Property of Waziristan


"Let Us Not Forget" says the paid lobbyist of the International Association of Professional Dugupists that:
The Waziri Military Dictatorship's jailing of some Al Jazeera journalists once again underscores what too often is overlooked in the press.  Cultural heritage bureaucracies of dictatorships like Waziristan and sectarian Iraq are part and parcel of abusive governments that also institute confiscatory laws relating to cultural artifacts.  No wonder even without disruption due to civil conflict (largely of their own making) things are such a mess. As a consequence of their un-Americanness, we may steal their artefacts, rape their women, corrupt their children and send our drones to assassinate their leaders. There is no limit to what we can do.  But we will still supply them with arms.
The rest of us feel that there is no excuse for people from so-called civilised nations acting against the interests of other world citizens just because they believe they have a superior system of government. Shame on the dealers' lobbyists. Fancy them thinking that civil conflict can be instigated from outside!

Vignette: The view of General Aladeen of Waziristan.

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Bagan-era temple proposed as heritage site

The Myanmar department of archaeology has propose the 1,000-year-old Tamote Shin Pin Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda to be recognised as a national heritage site.

Tamote Shin Pin Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda. Source: Myanmar Times 20150902

Tamote Shin Pin Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda. Source: Myanmar Times 20150902

Bagan-era pagoda in line for listing
Myanmar Times, 01 September 2015

Bagan style pagoda to join heritage list
TTR Weekly, 03 September 2015

For centuries, Kyaukse township’s Tamote Shin Pin Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda lay hidden beneath a layer of rubble. Now, just a few years after its discovery and excavation, it is in line for belated recognition, with the Ministry of Culture proposing its listing as an ancient heritage site.

U Nyo Myint Htun, director of Mandalay’s Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, said the nomination was waiting approval from the Union Attorney General’s Office in Nay Pyi Taw.

He said listing would require the consent of other government ministries but would have significant tourism benefits.

“Surrounding businesses will benefit from more tourists and our country will be more dignified with another heritage site,” U Nyo Myint Htun said.

Full story here and here.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

ISIL blows up the Bel temple in Palmyra


Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have reportedly blown up most of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra. [UPDATE Sept 1st 2015: Ben Quinn and agencies, 'Satellite images reveal Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel', Guardian, Tuesday 1 September 2015].

Vignette: Simulation

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Proof Young-Earth Creationists Don’t Care What the Bible Says

icr-christ-references-quote

The Institute for Creation Research recently shared the above image on Facebook, claiming that Jesus quotes from Genesis more often than any other book in the Old Testament. That claim is verifiably false.

This is a clear example of them (1) assuming that what is central to them simply must have been important to Jesus, (2) not bothering to actually check, (3) asserting as truth what they have not in fact investigated, and (4) not knowing the Bible well enough to have avoided making this mistake in the first place. This sums up the characteristics of young-earth creationism as a whole very well.

Joel Duff blogged about this recently. RJS also has a nice post on the Jesus Creed blog which discusses this in more detail. It included this nice list of the quotations and allusions to the Jewish Scriptures found on the lips of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

The Biblia blog also has a top 4 list.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

UK "Detectorists not in it for the Money"


Missed it, a reader kindly sent me this letter from an auctioneer (Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd, Etwall, Derbyshire), to the Solent Metal Detecting Club back in the middle of February:
Dear All I am writing further to our inaugural metal detector find auction – the auction, entitled ‘What Lies Beneath, A Treasure Hunting Sale’, to be held at our Auction Centre in front of an audience, will also be open to live bidding via our internet host, www.the-saleroom.com. We are currently looking for entries, and would like to offer you and your fellow detecting enthusiasts the opportunity to be involved by consigning finds.  [....]  I have been fortunate to be involved with several BBC television programmes, Bargain Hunt, Flog It and Antiques Roadtrip, enabling my company to reach a wide audience, which in turn means we can educate the public on such an intriguing and fruitful subject. [flogging off artefacts presumably - PMB] With such public interest in the recently discovered hauls, I feel now is the time, across the rich fertile soils of Britain, to hold a sale specialising in such items, and I hope such an opportunity of sale may be of interest to you and your fellow members and subscribers. Do please get in touch...
readers can find the man's contact details in the original letter. Why not give him a ring?

Following the link he gave we find it leads to an auction aggregator, where we spot a lot of detecting finds a "box [sic - looks like a bucket to me. PMB] of metal detecting finds" est 5-10 quid. No doubt the documentation assigning ownership from each farmer and detailing the findspots and PAS record numbers - if any - is included, just he forgot to say. Or there's "Lot 1821 - Shillings to cut Halfpennies detector finds (36) Edward I to Charles I, includes some holed, damaged". Then maybe somebody would like "Lot 1716: Detector Finds a collection in a small album (60) English hammered (56) Edward I to Charles I and World (4) in mixed grades to NVF some clipped   but there's no pictures (!) est: 500 - 1,000 GBP. More coins here: Lot 71: Medieval – mixed lots of hammered coins: John, Edward 1, Edward 111, etc. [7 coins in the lot] [some holed, chipped or broken] detector finds, unresearched. Or Lot 70 - Medieval - Henry 111, etc. 16 x cut halfpennies, 2 x cut farthings and one full halfpenny.

Corinthian Matters

The Best Pictures of Ancient Corinth

I will be experimenting this fall with a new series highlighting images of Corinth, the Corinthia, and the idea of Corinth in the ancient and modern period. The series will actually continue and develop an idea explored through previous posts (categorized Corinth in the Mind) that offered images of Corinth and Corinthian-inspired places and things.

This week’s comes from the company /website Look and Learn History Picture Library, which sells prints of original artwork produced by children’s illustrators. Three great images of ancient Corinth in its landscapeLookandlearn1Lookandlearn2.


Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Remains of watercraft reported from Kedah archaeological site

Archaeologists in Malaysia working at the Sungei Batu archaeological site have reportedly discovered the remains of several shipwrecks, but funds are lacking to investigate further. The finds are consistent with previous work at the site which has uncovered the presence of jetties and the former river in the area.

Sungei Batu Archaeological Site

Sungei Batu Archaeological Site

Ancient Ships Discovered At Sungai Batu Archaeological Site
Bernama, 31 August 2015

Ancient shipwrecks find may force a rewrite of SEA history
The Star, 02 September 2015

Using ground penetrating radar, archaelogists have discovered outlines of more than five ships between 5m and 10m underground at the Sungai Batu Archaelogical Site, near Semeling, about 20km from here.

“This was once an ancient river with a width of about 100m and a depth of 30m. Now it is a swampy wetland,” said archaelogical team member Azman Abdullah.

Signs of the first shipwreck was unearthed in 2011 not far from the ruins of a jetty made of flattish square bricks.

“We dug until we found a 2m-long mast head lying horizontally. The wood had softened but it was still miraculously well preserved.

“We were excited and dug through the wet mud every day,” said Azman, 54. To the team’s horror, the excavation pit collapsed in 2012 after they reached a depth of 5m.

Fulls stories here and here.

Katy Meyers (Bones Don't Lie)

Living on the Edge: Bioarchaeology of Medieval Iceland

It is the first week of school here at Michigan State University, and not surprisingly, we’ve got super high temperatures and crazy humidity. It feels like you’re entering a steam […]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Rare 1,800-year-old sarcophagus discovered in Ashkelon

A rare 1,800-year-old stone sarcophagus found by construction workers at a building site in the...

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Singapore-Cambodia Koh Ker Field School

Applications are open for the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School in Koh Ker, scheduled for December.

Koh Ker, Prasat Thom

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Archaeological Field School 2015
02-22 Dec 2015

Applications are being sought from students interested in pursuing a three week intensive program focused on culture, heritage and archaeology in Cambodia. The Field School will begin in Phnom Penh and conclude in Singapore. Students will participate in lectures, field training (survey, excavations, local respondent interviews), analysis, and site visits. Students will produce a final report and group presentation. Partial lodging and travel subsidies will be provided for 10 applicants (subject to change).

Applicants for the Field School should be enrolled in a postgraduate program or be in their final year of undergraduate study. Preferred fields of specialization include: archaeology, anthropology, heritage and culture, history, art history, and museum studies. Applicants should be citizens of East Asia Summit (EAS) countries. The 18 East Asia Summit countries are: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam. Language of instruction: English.

Full details here.

photo by:

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

Special Feature: Syria Destruction Update

News accounts and propaganda videos continue to report ISIL’s destruction of archaeological sites in Syria, and the ongoing devastation caused by the civil war. ANE Today is sad to present a series of the most recent links discussing these situations. [...]

The post Special Feature: Syria Destruction Update appeared first on The ASOR Blog.

Turkish Archaeological News

Kerkenes

The archaeological site of Kerkenes can be identified with the city of Pteria, a capital of the Medes, mentioned by Herodotus (Histories, I,76) whose testimony is worth quoting in full:

Kerkenes

Archaeological News on Tumblr

First ancient genome recovered from the Mediterranean area

An international team of researchers has sequenced the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer,...

Antiquity Now

Fact or Fiction? PIE

PIE is a Scottish rock group that takes ancient sounds and turns them into heavy syncopation in a cross between rock and American ragtime. Fact or Fiction? HOVER YOUR CURSOR HERE TO SEE THE ANSWER Click here to read more about … Continue reading

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

The War with the Sioux: The Book

It’s a good day! The English translation of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux is finally published. Go here for the links to download the book.

WwSCover2FINALCover08272015 Front

The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is excited to announce the publication of the first English translation of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux: Norwegians against Indians 1862-1863. Associate Professor of Norwegian Melissa Gjellstad and UND alumna Danielle Mead Skjelver translated the text and Dr. Richard Rothaus and Dakota Goodhouse provided new introductory material.

Skjelver noted that “”I first encountered Skarstein’s riveting narrative on the US-Dakota War in 2007. I had never read anything like it. Translating this work was fascinating and rewarding because of the book’s unique focus on a specific immigrant population, and because Skarstein admirably attempts to get at the action and emotion of the many sides of this conflict.”

Skarstein’s narrative focuses on the Dakota War of 1862-1864 which stands as one of the most overlooked conflicts in American History. Contemporary with the American Civil War, the Dakota War featured significant fighting, tactical brilliance, and strategic savvy set in the open landscape of the Northern Plains in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Karl Jakob Starstein’s The War with the Sioux tells the story of the Norwegian immigrants, American soldiers, and Lakota and Dakota Indians as they sought to protect their ways of life. Skarstein drew upon largely untapped Norwegian-language sources for life on the Northern Plains during these tumultuous years.

Prof. Gjellstad remarked “The American experience of Norwegian immigrants has been a red thread that has woven through my scholarship and teaching in Scandinavian studies. It began early in my childhood, growing up in rural North Dakota, and has spun into rich, new connections thanks to the collaborations of fellow scholars from the Northern Plains as we worked to bring Skarstein’s volume to an American audience.”

The translation of the book was funded by the Norwegian government’s NORLA: Norwegian Literature Abroad program and is available as a free download or as a paper book on Amazon.

The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is a creative reimagining of the traditional university press. It publishes innovative and timely works in archaeology and on topics intersecting with life in North Dakota and the Northern Plains.

To get the book go here.


Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

BNTC 2015

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/ABNx/~4/mgsnPHL2rkc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Mesolithic site on Skye to be investigated

Excavations of a Mesolithic site on Skye could give new insights into the lives of some of the...

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Birmingham Quran manuscript


Aaron W. Hughes, ' The Birmingham Quran and the Palimpsest of History', MRBlog September 2, 2015

There has been some media attention concerning the leaves of an early Quranic manuscript discovered among the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts in the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Research Library.
Believed to date somewhere between 568 and 645, we are told that it is among the oldest Quran manuscripts in our possession. The story made the rounds in all the national media, including the BBC and CNN, and even made the front page of The New York Times. David Thomas, the University of Birmingham’s expert on Islam, was quoted in the BBC proclaiming: The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad. He would have seen him probably, he would maybe have heard him preach. He may have known him personally — and that really is quite a thought to conjure with.
So a parallel to what all those Green Scholars and their US mummy-mask dissolving hangers-on want from their papyrus trophies - to get back to a document as close to the time of writing of the Scriptures to confirm ... well, something or other.

Now the story is breaking that this manuscript is (allegedly) so old that the text predates Mohammed. This however is based on nothing more than a total ignorance of the people propounding it of what radiocarbon dating results can be and cannot be used do (what they say and what they do not say). These folk should leave the interpretation of such data to those who do understand its workings. The sad thing is these pseudo-historical interpretations (for that is what we are getting) are being misquoted as 'authorities' to undermine Islam. And that results from the sort of ideological intolerance that we so deplore when it is manifest in certain areas of militant Islam and other religions.

Blogging Pompeii

News: Ercolano non è Pompei. Anche un Museo archeologico per il progetto Packard

From Il Giornale delle Fondazioni:nale delle Fondazioni Il Giornale delle Fondazioni Il Giornale delle Fondazioni
Ercolano non è Pompei. Anche un Museo archeologico per il progetto Packard
C’è una foto scattata da Amedeo Maiuri nel 1960 al solaio e all’ambiente sottostante al Collegio degli Augustali, nell’area degli scavi di Ercolano. Ci sono le immagini precedenti aperte su settori più ampi dell’area archeologica. Nella seconda metà dell’Ottocento ci sono gli oli su tela del ritrattista Eugenio Tano. Ovunque si rileva quel senso di provvisorietà, di incertezza, che nessuna relazione ha con il procedere delle indagini. E’ qualcosa di più profondo, quasi connaturato, non solo a quella città antica.
Read the full article here.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Collectors, Dealers and the Truth


There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to accept what is true. 
Soren Kierkegaard

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

Methodius of Olympus, On the Leech – now online in English

The third of the short works by Methodius of Olympus, On the leech (De sanguisuaga) is now available online, thanks once again to Ralph Cleminson who has translated it from Old Slavonic for us all.  It’s an explanation of a couple of passages from the Old Testament.

Here are the files:

I have also uploaded them to Archive.org here.

As usual, I make these files and their contents public domain.  Use them in any way you like!

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

"Preserving the past" UK Detectorist Style


There are a number of eyebrow-raising and hair-raising posts in the "Cleaning Finds" section of a metal detecting site near you. These people clearly have no idea about how to handle ground-dug metal objects. Here's one ungrammatically-named thread which is fairly symptomatic of the problem ("Restoring the patina on an over cleaned bronze coin?").
Ollie-C from Suffolk (Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:07 pm): I found my best bronze coin 4 months into the hobby but I didn't realise it at the time and stupidly over cleaned it stripping off all of the original patina, I have learnt my lesson! [emoticon, emoticon] Is there anyway [sic] I can restore the look of the original patina without purchasing any funky chemicals etc? I'd like to achieve a black/brown finish ideally, similar to how it came out of the ground. I currently have it in olive oil, but I'm not sure that will work? [sic] Pics of said coin (Celtic unit) are below.
Hmm, and it is "in olive oil" for what purpose? Let's see how many respondents start with saying he needs to degrease it and get the organic acids out from the porous structure visible in the photo before doing anything else. Basically nothing on earth can ever "restore the patina" on the ruinously pitted and stripped coin shown in the photo. Nevertheless his metal detecting comrades are optimistic:

Allectus: "The tannin in tea is a powerful dye".

Ollie-C: "As evident inside a colleagues tea cup! [emoticon] So, make a nice black brew and let it soak for a bit? Cheers"

Fusion "You could try the 'put it in the oven' method, as described in this thread".
Ten pence! "You can buy a product called Brass Black which is used in the gun trade for er... turning brass or copper black or alternatively you can get some household ammonia which is relatively inexpensive and either mix some with some sawdust to dampen it then seal it in a container for a day or so, or suspend the coin by wire in a glass with a small amount of ammonia in the bottom, (the fumes turn copper green)and seal the top with cling film. Although in truth it's very hard to replicate what you've strip off".
Especially as the coin shown has been electrochemically stripped to a pitted raw metal core. It's what we call in the profession "totally buggered".

Danzigman: gives a link to a metal detecting website.

Davybfast: adds ungrammatically and unhelpfully: "just washed my cup or I would have took a pic of the inside. lol".

Ravenrook is already confused: "Sounds like a complete minefield to me!! Be very careful you don't make it worse! I'd speak to a pro in a jewelers if I were you".  Yeah, they do fings wiv metill don't they? Yeah.

Glenfiddich: "simple way would be to just stick it back in the ground for the next 50 - 100 years and see if that'll do anything [emoticon] sorry mate but seriously......I've no idea  [emoticon] and as you already said that you've learned your lesson  [emoticon] :( cheer up mate 50 - 100 years will fly in before you even know it, lol  [emoticon] ". The damage OllieC has done to this archaeological object is totally irreversible. He basically has destroyed a large part of it.

bbuster88 "Hi Ollie, found myself asking the same when I was over cleaning [emoticon] tried: liver of soulful witch to be honest just stunk my kitchen out  [emoticon] didn't go down to well, then danzigman recommend JAX PETINA SOLUTION, I'll put the link for you [Noble Roman coins], anyway works brilliantly, there's no smell and if you go for the 4 then you have the choice green/black/brown.... Works in around 20/30 seconds  [emoticon]". That "soulful witch" who lost her liver in this guy's kitchen worried me, until I realised the semi-literate meant "liver of sulphur".... hmmm.

Cobs [OMG!]: "You could try reverse-electrolosis, im sure that would darken the metal instead but have a read up on that first, been a while since i used electrolosis, failing that you could seal it with black boot polish". I think boot polish is preferable to metal plating by a half brain. But then since the artefact is totally gone... go on Ollie finish the job, and post a video of it.

Ollie-C is grateful: "Thanks for all the advice, lots of different ways of potentially doing it then! I've currently got it soaking in tea. I'll report back with my findings [emoticon] I haven't got the patience to stick it back in the ground for 50-100 years [emoticon]

 Ulvir (I knew this one was coming): "Put it in a dung heap for a while - works a treat.. "

Ten pence! forgets he gave his "ammonia in a glass" idea, so repeats it. ("put the coin/relic in the cup and bury it in the sawdust").

bbuster88 tries to sell something: "I have the jax 4-pack for sale from us, without doubt the best for touching up or completely re-patination products and save a coin, link at bottom, [emoticon] Without sounding a di@k just wash your coins with a bit of washing up liquid END OFF [sic] ! Really I've learnt my lesson [emoticon]  pm me if interested buddy [emoticon] [Noble Roman coins link again]

targets returns to the organic gardening method: "poke it in a cow pat and leave for 3 months in the garden".

Note that not a single one of them  pointed Ollie to something called a "book", or indeed the PAS webpage with advice on handling ground-dug metal artefacts.

Vignette: Now wash your hands, you don't know where that coin has been.

Swiss Return Ancient Octadrachm Coin to Greece


The coin according to GcRap; The high-denomination octadrachm -- or eight-drachma -- coin was struck by a little-known Thracian ruler named Mosses around 480 B.C., the time of the second failed Persian invasion of Greece.Thessaloniki University professor of archaeology Michalis Tiverios said examples of Mosses' currency are very rare."There are very few coins struck in his name," Tiverios said. "Octadrachms were heavy coins used for transactions abroad, usually for mercenaries' wages, which is why they are very rarely found in Greece."

It is being reported on Twitter by "GcRap ‏@The_Georgios" that "Switzerland returns to Greece this silver oktadrachmo of the 5th century BC" and a photo of the coin in question. This seems to be the same item as one extensively reported three years ago: "Swiss to return ancient octadrachm coin to Greece" (Associated Press Friday, January 13, 2012). Does this mean the Swiss authorities have only now got around to it? Here's part of the original report:
A Swiss court has ordered the confiscation of a very rare ancient silver coin that was allegedly illegally excavated in northern Greece and sold at auction in Switzerland, Greek and Swiss officials say.The lawyer representing Greece in the case said Thursday that the ruling in October opens the way for the early 5th century B.C. coin's return to Greece. The debt-crippled country's rich cultural heritage has long suffered depredations from antiquities smugglers supplying a lucrative international market. [...] Greek authorities have pressed charges of antiquities theft in the case, but no suspects have yet been named.
And it would seem no suspect now will ever be named, let alone a conviction achieved in this case.  Which Swiss auction house accepted this items for sale and with what paperwork? Who put it up for sale and how did they demonstrate title to such a remarkable object? Three years on, the answers to these questions are apparently not in the public domain. A precious ancient object surfaces, is seized, the authorities tell us (stakeholders) that they are investigating. Now can they be accountable and show us what they have done and why the case was not taken any further than merely sending the coin home?

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

There Are No Scriptural Literalists

Literalists are not literal about scripture Daniel McClellan quote

A quote from Dan McClellan, which I mentioned in another recent post, and have now turned into a meme.

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Sarcophagus at Ashkelon

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Hughes on the Birmingham Qur'an fragments

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Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

The Future of Their Profession

One of the last sessions from the CIfA Conference-

The Future of Their Profession

Receiving a Royal Charter is a very significant recognition of the Institute and its work. It acknowledges the professionalism of CIfA members, and allows us all to seek or assert parity of esteem with fellow professionals in other chartered institutes. So how do we capitalise on this opportunity? How does our position with compare with that of other professions and professional associations? What we can learn from what they have done, how they see the future, and how they are facing up to it?

 

The future generation of architects

Robert Firth, Council member RIBA, Vice President Royal Society of Architects in Wales

Future generations – Gen Y and Gen Z – are bringing different skill sets, attitudes and priorities into the profession. Architecture is a vocation which can fulfill many of the key drivers for the new generations – digital technologies, altruism through design, creative thought processes and a fast paced environment to work in. Conversely the new generations will also change the profession of architecture to suit their preferred ways of working and designing. We anticipate virtual practices, a portfolio of careers, numerous semi-architectural spin off roles and a major change to the working environment and site operations. The architectural profession and the whole construction industry could be very different in the near future.

Robert Firth has served on RIBA Council member 2000-2006 and 2014-2017, was President of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales President 1999-2001 (about to be elected for a second time (2015-2017)), has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Welsh School of Architecture for 16 years and is a Past Chair of the Construction Industry Council in Wales. In his career he has been Principal Architect at Swansea City Council 1992-1995, Partner at Austin-Smith:Lord 1995-2005, Head of Architecture at Capita Architecture 2005-2010 and Managing Principal at HOK International 2010-2013.

Post-Charter depression and how to avoid it

Alastair McCapra, Chief Executive, CIPR

The number of royal charters granted to professional bodies and learned societies has never been higher – making those who don’t have one feel ever more pressured. Working towards achieving chartered status can take years of planning and preparation, and involve some nasty internal feuds. Yet is quite common for organisations which have achieved chartered status to experience a ‘hangover’ and perhaps to wonder why they ever bothered becoming chartered in the first place. The journey to chartership is often buoyed up with mirages, the passage leaves you feeling seasick, and the attractions of the new port are often disappointing.

Alastair McCapra will talk about some of the issues faced by other organisations in obtaining their chartered status. He will also suggest ways that these problems can be overcome to ensure that the newly-chartered professional body is able to deliver on the promise that chartership originally offered.

Alastair is Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and was previously Chief Executive of the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Conservation. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a board member of Wikimedia UK, the charity that promotes the sharing of knowledge on Wikipedia and its sister projects.

Presented by Alison Richmond, Kate Kendall and Alex Llewellyn at the 2015 CIfA Conference, Cardiff.

Twenty-first century challenges for professionals and professional institutes

Professor Andy Friedman, University of Bristol and CEO of PARN

The 21st century is already proving to be particularly challenging for professionals and professional institutes. Competition is rising from many sources, new professions are developing and old ones are widening their jurisdictions, invading each other’s space. In particular competition is growing exponentially from information freely available on the Internet which, in the past, would only have been available through professionals. In addition automation of tasks and the appearance of new instruments to carry out tasks still in the remit of professionals seem to be speeding up.

Challenges of new media are greater than these direct effects. The availability of information about examples of professional incompetence or misconduct is much greater with the Internet and, more recently, social media. Trust in most social institutions has been declining. In addition a new broad concern with authenticity has been arising over the last few years (this may be a consequence of reality TV shows). Together there is an imperative for professionals not only to maintain their competence, but to be seen to do so. Not only an imperative for professional institutes to come down on instances of incompetence and misconduct, but to be seen to do so. In addition there is a need to identify efforts towards maintaining (and raising) competence of professionals and raising the reputation of the profession and, as far as possible, to measure them.

Important moves to raise the trustworthiness of professionals and their perceived trustworthiness are being undertaken by professional institutes. However this may be viewed as just so much window-dressing by many. The challenge will be to demonstrate the effectiveness of these policies, for professional institutes and professionals to demonstrate authentic trustworthiness.


Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Palmyra photos and al-Asaad obituary

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Il restauro del Mammuthus Meridionalis “Vestinus”

Le tappe del restauro dello scheletro del Mammuthus Meridionalis "Vestinus", rinvenuto nel 1954 in località Madonna della Strada nel comune di Scoppito, a circa 15 chilometri da L’Aquila, oggi conservato nel bastione Est del Forte Spagnolo.

Datato a circa un milione e trecentomila anni fa (Pleistocene inferiore), rappresenta uno fra gli esemplari più completi rinvenuti in Europa. Le sue caratteristiche, come in una carta d’identità, sono di seguito elencate.

Progetto della Direzione Regionale per i beni culturali e paesaggistici dell'Abruzzo. Info su www.mammuthusmuseo.com

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Bogdanos on ISIS and antiquities

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Iraqi Jewish archive in L.A.

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Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Un centro museale multimediale all'interno della Cittadella di Sarzana

Il giorno 2 settembre 2015 il Comune di Sarzana ha consegnato ufficialmente a ETT Spa, la società genovese esperta in allestimenti museali interattivi, i lavori per la realizzazione del progetto del centro museale multimedialeLe due fortezze” che, come noto, verrà allestito all'interno della Cittadella dove il visitatore verrà accompagnato in un percorso interattivo che si snoderà lungo 24 sale, raccontando storia e caratteristiche della Lunigiana attraverso il cambiamento e la costruzione delle strutture fortificate del territorio. Un allestimento empatico ed emozionale, complice l’utilizzo delle tecnologie multimediali, che svelerà, attraverso la ricostruzione di ambienti e di architetture, le vicissitudini della città di Sarzana in epoca medievale. Tecnologia touch, proiezioni olografiche, animazioni in 3D per parlare quindi della Lunigiana e delle sue fortificazioni, degli usi e costumi dell’epoca, inserendoli nel loro contesto abitativo – borgo o castello - e, soprattutto, storico.

La nascita del museo multimediale alla Fortezza Firmafede - spiegano il sindaco Alessio Cavarrra e l'assessore alla cultura Sara Accorsi - potenzia in maniera importante l'offerta culturale e turistica del nostro territorio. E lo fa proponendo uno spazio espositivo originale e unico in Liguria che, per la prima volta, ricomprende un'intera epoca e ricompone un territorio, la Lunigiana storica, oggi suddiviso in tre regioni. Una proposta culturale importante che non sfuggirà ai turisti che amano il nostro territorio come testimoniano i 22mila biglietti staccati per visitare le fortezze sarzanesi da quando queste ultime sono state aperte quotidianamente al pubblico, oltre ai 4600 visitatori che hanno visitato le mostre”.

La realizzazione dell’allestimento multimediale presso la fortezza Firmafede di Sarzana è un’altra importante tappa nel percorso di crescita delle attività new media di ETT che sempre più si sta affermando in Italia e all’estero quale Industria Digitale e Creativa di riferimento - sottolinea Giovanni Verreschi, presidente e amministratore delegato di ETT. Siamo felici di poter contribuire alla crescita dell’attrattività turistica della nostra regione e, grazie alle nostre tecnologie e alla nostra esperienza, di poter amplificare il messaggio storico culturale, sottolineando l’unicità del Sistema Fortificato della Lunigiana”. Per l'assessore ai lavori pubblici e all'urbanistica Massimo Baudone “grazie ai 600mila euro di finanziamento regionale e agli oltre 200mila euro messi a disposizione dalla Provincia siamo riusciti a fare un importante intervento di valorizzazione del patrimonio storico munumentale della città che metterà in rete le due fortezze”.

I tempi per la realizzazione del museo “Le due fortezze” sono molto stretti dato che dovranno essere collaudati entro la fine del 2015.
Alla conferenza stampa era presente il responsabile del progetto per conto del Comune architetto Stefano Mugnaini ha seguito l'attuazione del progetto in collaborazione con il settore cultura diretto dalla dottoressa Patrizia Rossi e con il direttore dei lavori Giorgio Rossini, ex soprintendente ai beni culturali della Liguria.

 

Fonte: Comune di Sarzana

 

Zenobia: Empress of the East (Judith Weingarten)

Happier Days in Palmyra

      This post is dedicated to the memory of Dr Khaled al-Assad, a good and gentle man

The Beauty of Palmyra

When the Danish archaeologist Harald Ingholt was just beginning his third season of digging at Palmyra in 1928, someone offered to sell him this stunning portrait of a woman - and, in accordance with the practices of the time, he bought it on the spot. The bust - or more correctly, half figure - was shipped to Copenhagen where it still graces the New Carlsberg Glyptotek, one of the sponsors of his excavation. 

The most beautiful female bust I have seen thus far, Ingholt said, and, short of a beauty context between at least six of my favourite female contenders, that probably still remains true. 

The portrait shows a woman who was both wealthy and fashionable: look at the gold-coloured paint which enriches her exuberant jewellery -- imitating golden jewels she must have owned in reality --  and the deep red embroidered sleeves and ruddy dangling beads, red lips, and rouged cheeks (the reds, alas, more visible when she was found than now). An altogether elegant woman. More the pity that there was no provenance: no one knew where the bust was found, nor when the woman had lived....

Until now!

Harald Ingholt's unpublished diary held the secret, only recently teased out thanks to the Palmyra Portrait Project.  One of the goals of the PPP (headed by Rubina Raja of Aarhus University and Andreas J.M. Kropp at Nottingham University) is the transcription, translation and digitalization of all of Ingholt's archives, including his excavation diaries. Thanks to their careful work, we now can place the Beauty in her proper tomb: she comes from the underground house-tomb known as Qasr Abjad, 'White Castle', in the Western necropolis. Sculptural finds from this relatively modest sepulchre date to the late 2nd century CE so the woman whose portrait is our Beauty probably ended her life in the years between 190 and 210 CE.

All this and more in Aarhus (Denmark)

The Museum of Ancient Art at the University of Aarhus is highlighting Harold Ingholt's work in its thought-provoking show, Harold Ingholt and Palmyra (until 13 September). The exhibition is based on research carried out within the framework of the Palmyra Portrait Project: their scrutiny of Ingholt's dig diaries has brought to light previously unknown locations of tomb sculpture and new information on his excavations in the city. With his descriptions, sketches and reports, for example, it has been possible to identify some graves whose plans have never been published.

Ingholt carried out three major excavations at Palmyra in the 1920s, finding more than 50 tombs of which 24 could be entered, while the rest had collapsed. Although many of the graves had been robbed long before he got there, he still found a wealth of well-preserved sculptures, sarcophagi, inscriptions and smaller objects. In the mid-1930's, he returned for a brief season to excavate the collapsed tomb of Malkû son of Malkû, son of Nûrbel the doctor, for himself and his sons and their sons. This tomb, in the Southwest Necropolis, founded in 116 CE by the first named Malkû, was used for burials at least until 267 CE according to the last of its 14 inscriptions. This means that Malkû's descendants were probably still being buried in their own family tomb even as the city fought off the Romans and then fell in 272/273 CE.

Adding a Niche

Another long-lived tomb that Ingholt excavated is the subterranean communal tomb of Atenatan also in the Southwest Necropolis.  Atenatan built it in 98 CE, one of the earliest underground house tombs at Palmyra, and it was used for well over a century; and then, in 229 CE, a side niche was built into it by a man named Julius Aurelius Maqqai -- who paid for it, as he boasts, with his own money.  Maqqai had the ceiling of the niche painted and, at some point, three sarcophagi were installed along its walls (left).  Relief figures on the sarcophagi depict Maqqai and his children, wife, and servants.  Ingholt's drawings illustrate the many traces of red and blue colour that could be seen on their decorative reliefs when he excavated the tomb -- something never previously pictured.


As with the 'Beauty of Palmyra', it is now possible to get a good impression of how the sculptures were painted and installed in a tomb in combination with painted ceilings. 

And that's the sort of new insights you'll get if you are lucky enough to visit Aarhus before 13 September.  For those of us who can't get to Denmark, the Museum has published a 68-page illustrated booklet of the exhibition and generously makes it available as a free download.  Click here for Harald Ingholt and Palmyra . There is a huge amount we have still to learn.

In the next post, I'll look at the ambitious Palmyra Portrait Project itself in much more detail.  Their major goal is to build a corpus of every known Palmyran portrait, so that we'll be able to see and compare what is now scattered in museums and private collections around the globe.  The PPP files already record details of over 2,600 portraits -- far more than anyone ever knew existed! In fact, it is now clear that the portraits from Palmyra form the largest Roman-era group of portrait sculpture outside of Rome. As the site itself is now looted and being destroyed, only our knowledge will keep the light of Palmyra alive.

The PPP could hardly be more timely.




Illustrations

Top left: The Beauty of Palmyra, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

All other photographs from the Museum of Ancient Art at the University of Aarhus publication Harald Ingholt and Palmyra

















The Egyptiana Emporium

Thursday Photo

 

Colossal red granite statue of a Ptolemaic queen, 4.9 m high and weighing 4 tons, found close to the great temple of sunken Heracleion.

 This week’s photograph is courtesy of Franck Goddio Underwater Archaeologist.


Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2015.09.04: Scribonio Largo: Ricette mediche. Traduzione e commento

Review of Loredana Mantovanelli, Scribonio Largo: Ricette mediche. Traduzione e commento. Padova: 2012. Pp. cxxix, 256. €50.00 (pb). ISBN 9788895672274.

2015.09.03: The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino: Understanding the Roman Games. Witness to ancient history

Review of Jerry Toner, The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino: Understanding the Roman Games. Witness to ancient history. Baltimore: 2014. Pp. 136. $19.95 (pb). ISBN 9781421415864.

2015.09.02: Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Review of Jens M. Daehner, Kenneth Lapatin, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World. Los Angeles: 2015. Pp. 368. $65.00. ISBN 9781606064399.

2015.09.01: Books Received August 2015

, Books Received August 2015.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Pearlstein Talks the Talk


It is interesting to see some speaking for the antiquities market admitting that yes, yes buying antiquities needs full due diligence and disclosure, while others hold out for the nineteenth century way of doing things. In light of the entirely logical chain of reasoning which leads to the first position the latter come over as stubbornly unreflexive retards. Like the ones in the USA who stubbornly pretend  they  cannot understand that the issue is about illicit antiquities and not "repatriation" - morons.

Anyway, atavistic dullards aside, we may consider how to build on the apparent desire of the representatives of the trade to foster a truly responsible and accountable antiquities trade, and turn fine words into action. William Pearlstein appears to speak for these folk in an interview on New York Public Radio on Sep 1, 2015 (listen here).
William Pearlstein, a partner at the firm Pearlstein and McCullough who specializes in helping collectors avoid buying stolen art, told WNYC that potential buyers shouldn't buy any art without proof of its origin. He said buyers should err on the side of caution and demand documents, like proof of U.S. import. Pearlstein said the majority of "high-end auction houses" and museums obey the law, but that "there's a sector of the market that willfully ignores the existence of legal restrictions and requirements and I think there's a segment that is reckless and actively irresponsible and acts badly and illegally."
I am a bit puzzled by the lawyer's juxtaposition of "proof of origin" and "obey the law". There is no such "law" and dealers staying merely within the law (and employing legal firms "who specialize in helping collectors avoid buying stolen art") to make sure they are) are the problem. We don't dealers who merely stay on the "they can't touch you for it" right side of the lax laws, we need dealers who offer watertight cases for the artefacts they handle being not only "legal on paper" but truly licit.

Pearlstein thinks about those who've unwisely invested money in antiquities under the principle "don't ask questions, get told no lies" and he reckons a register of antiquities "Already passed through the market" will do the trick. Obviously in order that fresh stuff cannot be added to this register, allowing it to be used to 'launder' increasing amounts of freshly looted material,, it has to have a cutoff date. Perhaps 31st December 2015 would be an appropriate one? Certainly, if this is what it takes to get the market cleaned up, the time to do it is now rather than talking and talking about it (I proposed the idea five years ago, David Knell tried to get a discussion going among collectors - guess what?). Pearlstein says:
"Ultimately, the only way to separate good material from bad and create order in the market" he said, "will be to create a web-based system on which listed objects would either be considered free and clear or be subject to a fair dispute resolution process. In other words, transparency would be traded for repose. This would require various stakeholders to rethink their current position, but in the end transparency is better than secrecy."
That is a good start: "transparency in the antiquities market is better than secrecy" - discuss.

And here is the dugup antiquities dealers association's lobbyist reporting it - note the 'R' word, and what Peter Tompa deliberately AVOIDS saying about Pearlstein's appearance.

Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

Animating Watling Street

In a previous post I shared with you the first stab at using Brian Foo’s ‘Two Trains’. That experiment was mostly so that I understood what the code was doing. In the version I’m sharing below, I’ve got better data: counts of inscriptions at points mentioned in the second antonine itinerary, ie, watling street-ish, and counts of inscriptions for the surrounding county as a whole (from romaninscriptionsofbritain.org). The difference in those two numbers is the fodder for Foo’s algorithmn for selecting instruments, pitch, tempo, etc.

I will write more eventually about what these choices do for the sonification, and what they imply as a means of ‘visualizing’ Roman Britain. (Right now, I’m working with instruments that Foo selected for his piece, albeit more of the percussion instruments and a few of the woodwinds; up to now all recreations of Roman instruments I’ve found are gawdawful. So, by selecting these few instruments, at least I’ve got a bit of sound that might’ve made sense to a Roman. Fodder for reflection on this point.)

Foo also provides a processing script that grabs the latitude and longitude for each stop along the way, scaling appropriately to match the changes in the music. It’s quite clever – procedurally generated music matched by a procedurally generated visualization. I also like that this movement along a line is much closer to Roman conceptions of space – a sequence of what comes next, ie, an itinerary – rather than a top-down birds-eye view. Now, Foo also provides code to generate that kind of view, too, and I’ll probably play with that, just to see. But I don’t think it’ll make it into the final version of this project.


AIA Fieldnotes

Sound and Experience in a Roman City: Listening to Pompeii

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Archaeological Institute of America; Dept of Art History; Dept of Classical Studies; Reves Center at William and Mary
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
lecture
Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 4:30pm

150 Millington Hall
  Read more »

AIA Society: 
Name: 
Molly Swetnam-Burland
Call for Papers: 
no

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

Bronze Age Sailors in the Libyan Sea: Reconsidering the Capacity for Northward Voyages between Crete and North Africa

Bronze Age Sailors in the Libyan Sea: Reconsidering the Capacity for Northward Voyages between Crete and North Africa

By Michelle Creisher

Master’s Thesis, Brandeis University, 2015

Map of the Mediterranean Sea from 1450

Abstract: This thesis re-examines the factors which would have allowed for the possibility of a direct northward trade route between the North African coastal ports and Crete during the Bronze Age. The subject has been the topic of much scholarly debate over the years with various features being hailed as sticking points for any model of a two-way trade system in the Libyan Sea in the second millennium B.C. This paper offers a systematic discussion of each of the three major factors which have been purported by scholars as prohibiting northward voyages: the patterns and characteristics of the winds in the Mediterranean Sea, Bronze Age ship technology and the sailing techniques and practices of the time and finally, the physical evidence, both literary and archaeological, which supports a bi-directional theory.

Through the discussion laid out in this paper, one can see that in fact, the ship technology would have allowed for sailing northward from the North African coast to Crete both with the aid of an opportune southern wind and without. There are written records of such voyages having taken place, as well as a small amount of archaeological evidence which supports the model of two-way trade between Egypt and Crete. Especially during the Late Bronze Age, it is clear that certain ships would have opted for the shorter, more direct route of sailing northward in the Libyan Sea towards Crete rather than taking the longer route up along the Levantine coast towards Syria-Palestine and around.

For centuries it has been the accepted view that maritime trade in the ancient world was carried out in a counterclockwise direction around the coast of the eastern Mediterranean. According to the common views on the trade routes, sailors would set out from their home port and sail along the Mediterranean coastline in a counterclockwise direction and eventually, due to the circular nature of the eastern portion of the sea, arrive back at their home port; e.g. from the Aegean, ships would sail southward to Crete, down along the coast of North Africa to Egypt, then up along the Syrian coast, through the Cyclades, and ultimately back to Greek ports. Thus, for the most part, maritime trade routes in the Bronze Age Mediterranean are thought to resemble a modern traffic rotary. This view is supported, to a large extent, by archaeological material from both coastal sites and ancient shipwrecks around the Mediterranean. While it is well known that the Egyptians and Cretans maintained strong communications during these times and even earlier, as witnessed by the quantity of Minoan artifacts found in Egypt, the many references made to the Keftiu in Egyptian records, and the iconographic evidence of Minoan/Egyptian contact seen in the Theban tomb paintings, most of the evidence has seemed to point towards one-directional (southward) communications. Recent excavations, however, at the site of Kommos in southern Crete have unearthed numerous Near Eastern, specifically Egyptian, pottery fragments which, by their sheer numbers, would seem to suggest possible two-directional trade between the two regions in the Late Bronze Age. Thus, it appears as though the small section of the trade rotary known as the Libyan Sea might actually have been an area of twoway, rather than one-way, traffic.

Click here to read this thesis from Brandeis University

The post Bronze Age Sailors in the Libyan Sea: Reconsidering the Capacity for Northward Voyages between Crete and North Africa appeared first on History of the Ancient World.

September 02, 2015

AIA Fieldnotes

Kids Dig It!

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Archaeological Society of Grand Valley State University; AIA West Michigan
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad

Join us for family-friendly activities designed for kids of all ages!  

 

Time and location TBA. Read more »

Name: 
morisonm@gvsu.edu
Call for Papers: 
no

Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

More churchyard creeping -- and a great place to visit in Rome

IMG_5416

I am working out of the country at the moment, and this morning had a few hours off in Rome. It wasnt exactly 'off' because it meant another little bit of delving into my Roman epitaphs' project.

That is to say I was paying my first visit for about twenty years to the non-Catholic cemetery (popularly known as the "Protestant Cemetery", but there's way more than Protestants in the ground there, hence the proper title). I was primarily looking for nineteeth-century replicas of the third-century BCE sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus, and there was a rich haul of those --as you can see from just this one (out of 9 or possibly, with the wind behind you, 10).

IMG_5435

And this 'fashion' is one of the things that I am hoping to look at in my lectures in Bard in a few weeks. But that aside, the cemetery is a wondeful place, exactly where I would want to be buried -- after the rather more convenient St Giles' churchyard opposite my house.

IMG_5474

The most famous burial is probably that of John Keats (above), though he probably vies in fame with Antonio Gramsci. But what is wonderful about it are the visual links with the vast pyramid tomb of a junior member of the ancient Roman aristocracy just next door: 'the pyramid of Cestius'.

IMG_5451

But there is a wonderful glimpse of the range of people, especially (but not only) in the nineteenth century, who died --as non-Catholics --in Rome. There's Shelley and the young Goethe, as well as Karl Bruilov (who painted the vast 'Last Day of Pompeii') and the sculptor John Gibson (he of the 'tinted Venus'). And it is wonderfully kept up by a maintenance team, busy at work while I was there, and volunteers and a band of money raisers.

I often suggest that when people go to Rome they visit the Centrale Montemartini museum. This is about 20 minutes walk away. They make a great pair, and the cemetery is well worth supporting.

 

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Ancient Graffiti Project: Developing a search engine for studying the graffiti of Herculaneum and Pompeii

 [First posted in AWOL 22 November 2013, updated 2 September 2015]

The Ancient Graffiti Project: Developing a search engine for studying the graffiti of Herculaneum and Pompeii
http://ancientgraffiti.academic.wlu.edu/files/2013/05/cropped-DCP_0238.jpg
Welcome to The Ancient Graffiti Project, a website that provides a search engine for locating and studying graffiti of the early Roman empire from the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Ancient graffiti, inscriptions that have been incised or scratched into wall-plaster, comprise a special branch of epigraphy. They differ from inscriptions on stone in several respects. An inscription on stone may be commemorative, dedicatory, sacred (to name just a few classes of inscription), but in almost all cases forethought has gone into the preparation of the text and the inscribed monument. Graffiti, by contrast, are more often the result of spontaneous composition and are the handwritten creation of the “man on the street.” Since graffiti are scratched into friable wall-plaster, they are more easily perishable, but when they do survive they are almost always found in-situ, unlike many stone inscriptions that have survived to the present day through re-use.

Our search engine allows three different types of searches.
  • You can search for graffiti by location, selecting either the pull-down menu, or by clicking on the map, or
  • You can search specifically for graffiti drawings by choosing the class of drawing that interests you, or
  • You can search for a specific word or phrase and find where it occurs within the ancient city.
At present, the search engine and database are under construction, so searches are limited to Regio I, Insula 8 in the city of Pompeii. More will be available as the project progresses.


      Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

      Pearlstein on Due Dilligence and the Wisdom of Repatriation to Failed States and War Zones

      Art lawyer William Pearlstein speaks common sense that is all too often lacking from most media discussions about the subject of how best to address the looting problem in the Middle East.   Due diligence is necessary, but let's be realistic about it.  And, of course, there is the larger policy question -- if cultural heritage preservation truly is the goal -- whether repatriation to failed states in war zones is really the right thing to do.

      ArcheoNet BE

      Conflict in Contact III: call for papers

      Na het succes van de eerste edities van ‘Conflict in Contact’ kon een vervolg niet uitblijven. De initiatiefnemers plannen in december 2015 een derde editie van deze contactdag over conflictarcheologie, waarop onderzoekers de mogelijkheid krijgen om hun resultaten te delen met alle geïnteresseerden. Wie een lezing wil geven op deze dag, wordt verzocht om dit voor 15 oktober te laten weten aan de organisatoren. De juiste datum en de plaats (in de provincie Antwerpen) worden later meegedeeld.

      ‘Conflict in contact’ spiegelt zich aan gelijkaardige evenementen zoals Archaeologia Mediaevalis, Romeinendag, Lunula… De contactdag wordt gevuld met korte lezingen en de voorstelling van doorwrochte opgravingsverslagen, studies of syntheses. In de kroniek krijgt iedereen de kans om zijn onderzoeksresultaten voor te stellen.

      Het colloquium richt zich tot archeologen en archeologiestudenten, maar ook tot historici, antropologen, amateurs van allerlei strekking en alle geïnteresseerden in deze materie. Conflictarcheologie wordt ook breder gezien dan enkel de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Diverse slagvelden in een verder verleden in en in de directe omgeving van Vlaanderen en uiteraard ook de Tweede Wereldoorlog kunnen aan bod komen.

      Wie een lezing wil geven, kan dit – met inhoudelijke argumentatie – tot 15 oktober meedelen. Teksten voor de kroniek kunnen nog tot 13 november ingestuurd worden. Teksten en voorstellen tot lezingen mail je naar conflictincontact@gmail.com. Gelieve bij de teksten ook een archeologisch grondplan te voorzien.

      De bijdrage wordt opgesteld in een Word-document getiteld ‘uw naam.doc’:
      – Naam: Times New Roman. Hoofdletters, tekengrootte 12
      – Titel (gevolgd door de afkorting van de provincie tussen haakjes): Times New Roman, vet, tekengrootte 12
      – Tekst: Times New Roman, tekengrootte 12, uitgelijnd, maximum 8000 tekens (inclusief spaties), geen voet- of eindnoten.
      – Figuren: Maximum 5 figuren in TIFF of JPEG formaat en een grondplan. De figuren worden niet in de tekst geïntegreerd. Ze worden genummerd (‘uw naam _figXX.jpeg’ of ‘uw naam_figXX.tiff’) en in een apart dossier opgestuurd.
      – Legendes: De legendes worden in een tweede Word-document opgestuurd, getiteld ‘uw naam_legendes.doc’.

      Penn Museum Blog

      Ur Project: August 2015

      Researcher Notes and Intern Work
      Spotlight on Legrain note cards (and the interns who helped with them)
      Including a special look at model brick(?) U.7587 (Museum Object Number: B17216)

      Near the end of the old Ur excavations, Father León Legrain (Penn Museum Babylonian Section Curator at the time) began writing two volumes for the Ur Excavation series. One would cover the seals and their impressions, and the other would cover the figurines and other small objects made of clay. The seals volume was eventually published (in 1951) as Ur Excavations volume 10. The figurine volume never appeared, though some of its information was used in other volumes. One of the reasons for not publishing the full complement of figurines as a separate book was lack of funding caused by the Great Depression and then the Second World War.

      Though the figurine book did not appear, the Penn Museum Archives has more than 1,700 note cards that Father Legrain created covering these artifacts as well as a largely complete mock-up of the catalogue for the volume. These have rarely been seen and it is part of the Ur Digitization Project’s goal to make such information available to everyone. For this reason we have scanned the cards and the mock-up. The catalogue with its brief analysis is available on Ur-Online as a pdf and we are in the process of attaching individual note cards to their respective artifacts in the database.

      Connections between images and artifacts must be made through tags (like the field number and Museum number) and keywords or transcriptions (so that they are digitally searchable). Once the original note cards are connected with their artifacts, researchers will be able to refine older work and go beyond it rather than begin from scratch and potentially recreate what has already been done. Thus, we began an experiment in tagging and transcribing the cards. In this experiment we were assisted by two excellent interns, Mali Fenning (Science Leadership Academy) and Julian Hirsch (Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy). They came to us through the Penn Museum Learning Program’s new Teen Summer Internship program and we couldn’t have been happier with their involvement. Their weeks with us went very well indeed, achieving more than double the progress we had anticipated.

      Sample note card from Legrain's research. The category for the figurine is in blue pencil at bottom.

      Sample note card from Legrain’s research. The category for the figurine is in blue pencil at bottom.

      Julian and Mali digitized hundreds of cards and thought a good deal about Legrain’s work and why some figurines are more common than others. Sometimes the cards had drawings of the object, other times they had photographs, and still other times they had no image at all. We found that the descriptions were often taken directly from Woolley’s field card, in which case they aren’t overly helpful, but in other cases they have additional information that we hope will aid researchers. In particular the categorization that Legrain followed is of interest. He grouped figurines, models, and miscellaneous clay objects by subject or artistic content. In other words, there were many figurines that he labeled ‘seated female goddess,’ ‘standing bearded god,’ ‘standing quadruped’ (sometimes more specific such as pig or ram), or any of many other examples. We might not always agree with his categorization, but we can at least examine those objects as a group to see what kind of criteria he was using and whether we would use a similar categorization today.

      Legrain note card with photo attached. This object is particularly perplexing.

      Legrain note card with photo attached. This object is particularly perplexing.

      Our sharp-eyed interns also uncovered some rather unusual objects in Legrain’s research. The above card shows a particularly bizarre piece of unbaked, roughly square clay with dents pushed into it at different depths. The two dents at the side have small shells in them. Woolley referred to this artifact as possibly being an owl figurine because the two shells at the side resemble eyes and he thought the area between them had been pinched into a small beak. But the area between seems only to be a natural result of the close proximity of the two depressions and the overall resemblance to an owl is slight. What it is actually meant to represent is not certain. Legrain called it a “votive mud brick w. thumb-mark… head of an owl?”

      Modern photo of the artifact in the Legrain card. Penn Museum No. B17216

      Modern photo of the artifact in the Legrain card. Museum Object Number: B17216

      Perhaps it is a model brick or even a model door socket with the depression in the top representing the place where a door post would have pivoted. But why would shells be pushed into one side of it? The shells do look a bit like eyes and must surely be symbolic. Perhaps the object represents an offering table or altar? The depression in the top could be a place for offerings and the eyes might represent the watchful eyes of departed ancestors? It’s impossible to know exactly what the people who made the artifact were thinking, but it is interesting to ponder the possibilities and the ways we might attempt to learn more about them. Accepting that this artifact is meant to represent an owl is not really an option. Looking for more such objects and analyzing their contexts and potential uses is the best approach. It would make an interesting research project and many such potential projects exist within the data we are presenting.

      The potential contained in the figurines and small clay artifacts as well as in Legrain’s analysis of them is pretty clear, but let’s hear it from one of his contemporaries. Here’s an excerpt of a 1933 letter from Elizabeth Douglas Van Buren (author of the 1930 book, Clay Figurines of Babylonia and Assyria) to Father Leon Legrain:

      During the short time that I worked in that Museum [Iraq National Museum in Baghdad] it seemed to me absolutely essential that they should have works like your catalogues of seals and of clay figurines, because when new material is pouring in all the time such books are invaluable for comparison, for showing a range of types, and for aids in dating the material. It is really most generous of the Museum Authorities to promise such a fine gift, and of you to have laid the case before them in such a persuasive manner.

      Even in 1933 Legrain was cataloging all of the seals and figurines. The works promised to the Iraq Museum were versions of his preliminary catalogues while he was preparing a more official publication. Today we can disseminate information much more quickly and yet we often still await publications that are made on earlier models taking years to produce. We hope that the data currently contained in and still being added at www.Ur-Online.org will help researchers to accomplish their work much more quickly from anywhere in the world.

      Teens and Treks: Cultural Heritage Education at Gordion, Turkey

      By Elspeth Dusinberre, Department of Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder

      This post is part of a series reporting on the Gordion Cultural Heritage Education Project (CHEP), conceptualized and led by Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann, Deputy Director of the Gordion Project. Naomi F. Miller, consulting scholar at the Penn Museum, and Janelle Sadarananda, graduate student in AAMW, provided additional adult supervision in 2015.


      On Sunday July 26, I had the good fortune to join the group on their trip into the lands of the Hittites, to visit Alaca Höyük and Boğazkale for the first time in 20 years. I’m a professor at the University of Colorado; I teach this material from time to time, so it was a great opportunity to see three different experts helping the Turkish students learn about their cultural heritage. It was also really fun to spend time with the students.

      Dusinberre--1

      It’s a long way from Polatlı to Boğazkale, the great Hittite capital….
      Photo Credit: Google Maps

      We left the village of Yassıhöyük at around 8:15 am. Several of us from the Gordion team went to Polatlı to pick up the students. Then we hightailed it to Ankara to pick up Halil Demirdelen, Vice Director at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara[http://www.anadolumedeniyetlerimuzesi.gov.tr], and his intern. Halil had brought breakfast: fresh poğaças, with flaky light bread around savory cheese, soft sesame-coated simits, and fruit juice for all. It was such a typical and generous gesture—and it made me think about how sharing food with people creates community. Everyone was in high spirits and full of noisy enthusiasm as we made our way east, heading first for the ancient city of Alaca Höyük.

      Dusinberre--2

      Simit…
      Photo credit: http://startupistanbul.com/Images/foods/simit.jpg

      Dusinberre--3

      …and poğaça, yum!
      Photo Credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/AAfiuteuBYA/maxresdefault.jpg

      En route, Ayşe and Halil pointed out the different landscapes and how they are used now and explained specific places of historical significance. They are an amazing duo, with overlapping but different things to say, expressed in quite different ways. As a teacher, I loved listening to this: it meant that whatever their learning style, the students would be able to learn from these two experts.

      Having spent years studying the Persian Empire (ca. 550–330 BCE)—the one that Alexander the Great conquered—I was thrilled to cross the Kızılırmak (‘Red River’), known to the ancient Greeks as the Halys. The river features in a famous cautionary tale: In about 550 BCE, soon after the upstart king Cyrus ascended the Persian throne, the Lydian king Croesus asked the oracle of Apollo at Delphi if he should invade Persia by crossing the River Halys, which marked its border. Delphi responded, “If Croesus crosses the River Halys, he will destroy a mighty empire.” Croesus thought to himself, “SWEET!” and made tracks east, only to learn that it was his own empire that would fall. The first time I saw the Halys I was moved to tears. Here’s what it looks like now:

      Dusinberre--4

      Crossing the Kızılırmak near Kırıkkale
      Photo Credit: http://www.livius.org/site/assets/files/1356/halys_kirikkale.jpg

      We had an early lunch at a roadside restaurant. The food was delicious, and the setting delightful: a glassed-in porch that opened onto a small green oasis of grass and trees, with a little creek running down below and the fresh scent of moisture on the air. I was happy watching our group relax and soak in a sense of well-being. I had my first bonding experience with the girl students here, too: a surprising sense of connection developed as we exchanged smiles in the mirrors above the sinks. A highlight of the lunch stop was the wedding party in the parking lot! Young men and women danced traditional village wedding dances in concentric circles—men on the inside, women on the outside—with a drum beating a repetitive rhythm “Bom bom BOOM! Bom bom BOOM!” and the special reeded flute that sounds a little like a cross between an oboe and a vuvuzela skirling headily around the drumbeats. Just before we departed, the newlyweds left in a black limo, bride and car both decked out with red veils and gauze. Halil explained that the traditional drumbeat is meant to bestow good fortune on the couple. Ayşe commented on the mix of traditional elements such as the dancing and the color red with modern ones such as the bride’s white dress.

      "Ne mutlu Türküm diyene"—Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Halil Demirdelen agrees—"How happy I am to be a Turk."

      “Ne mutlu Türküm diyene”—Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Halil Demirdelen agrees—”How happy I am to be a Turk.”
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Alaca Höyük was first excavated in 1907. In the 1930s Turkish archaeologists resumed excavations there at the personal request and with the personal financing of Atatürk himself! Before I heard Halil explaining this to the Turkish students I had never thought about the relationship of archaeological research to Turkish national identity. Addressing primarily the students, Halil emphasized how the ancient past is directly connected to the Turkish present; to have such an important site excavated by Turkish archaeologists matters; and it matters that modern Turks should know and care about their cultural heritage, too. Much food for thought.

      Alaca is not an easy site to understand, but Ayşe and Halil treated us to an expert site tour. The students paid close attention the entire time thanks to the terrific work of our leaders. Alaca Höyük preserves archaeological sequences from the Neolithic [DATES?] through the modern period, with good evidence for the Chalcolithic [DATES?], when copper tools begin to be used alongside stone and some remarkable Bronze Age [DATES?] material. Alaca has thirteen Early Bronze Age “royal grave” shaft graves, from which came the famous “standards,” and Hittite reliefs and stone sphinxes, all of which are now in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

      The roles and responsibilities of kingship....

      The roles and responsibilities of kingship….
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Long-lived symbols of power

      Long-lived symbols of power
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      The visit brought me a wholly new experience, too. In Naomi’s absence, I took on the role of translator for Janelle. How do you have one language come in one ear and another one emerge from your mouth? How do you listen to what people are saying, store it in your head as you say something else in another language, and draw it up again a few seconds later to repeat? How do you make clear, if Halil and Ayşe are speaking back and forth, who says what—change your tone of voice? Add a cue such as “Halil says”? Deliver a smooth, simple monologue? Poor Janelle was very nice about my efforts. I must say I had a blast.

      From here we went to Boğazkale, site of the great imperial Hittite capital, Hattuša. The landscape is high and craggy, with huge knuckles of rock thrusting towards the descending blue of the sky. The grass, golden at this time of year, whispers a backdrop to the sound of sheep bells. Hills and cliffs soar and gorges plummet—it is so wild and open and free! You feel like a hawk on the wing just being there. And the air has that clean tang, with a powdering of pine trees and flowers, that you find only at higher altitudes.

      There is no way to convey the full glory and beauty and varied terrain of Boğazkale

      There is no way to convey the full glory and beauty and varied terrain of Boğazkale.
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      We had the extraordinary honor of being given a guided tour of the museum by the Director of the German Archaeological Institute’s excavations at Boğazkale/Hattuša, Dr. Andreas Schachner. He thoroughly explained the history of the site and the area, and helped us understand the significance of each artifact. His Turkish is outstanding and it was riveting to hear him speak about these things he knows so well and brings to life so vividly.

      The great sphinxes from the southern gate to the city: now returned from Berlin and Istanbul

      The great sphinxes from the southern gate to the city: now returned from Berlin and Istanbul
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Cuneiform texts tell us TONS about Hittite ideas and practices! By the end of this year, all of the thousands of texts excavated at Boğazkale will have been read and transliterated for further study. (that is me whispering a translation in Janelle's ear, not the tender moment it appears)

      Cuneiform texts tell us TONS about Hittite ideas and practices! By the end of this year, all of the thousands of texts excavated at Boğazkale will have been read and transliterated for further study. (That is me whispering a translation in Janelle’s ear, not the tender moment it appears.)
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      The students were full of questions and ideas and thoughts for the whole of a very intensive tour. The museum itself is super, I thought: not an enormous quantity of material, but beautifully displayed and with terrific information about the historical and social contexts of manufacture and use.

      Dusinberre-11

      Plan of Hattuša
      Photo Credit: http://www.hattuscha.de/plan-fuehrer2002.jpg

      From here we drove up into the site. Hattuša was the imperial Hittite capital and of particular importance in the 14th–12th centuries BCE; at its largest size it was almost two square kilometers with varied and sudden changes of the landscape):

      Although some residences have been excavated, mostly it is the temples and the royal palaces that have drawn attention. And the waterworks. And the grain storage systems. Oh, and the fortification walls and gates, too…. It is a most spectacular site! Hittite texts speak about the “thousand gods of the Hatti-lands,” and many of which turn up in inscriptions and carved reliefs of the many temples and palaces at Hattuša. The two primary deities were the storm god (Tarqunt or Tarhun) and the sun goddess. It was therefore with excitement that we trooped off the bus to see what we could as the afternoon was drawing on. We started in the Great Temple (Temple 1 on the plan). Our guides, Ayşe and Halil, were on fire! They sparkled with ideas and information without overwhelming the students. They focused on what we could see and what the students could learn from the evidence before them. Everyone seemed to be having a great time as well as paying close attention—and this after a two-hour-long museum tour at what would usually be the end of a full day! But it felt like we were just beginning, and indeed we spent over two more hours exploring the great Hittite site.

      Site overview, delivered as a duet

      Site overview, delivered as a duet
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Hittite masonry techniques learned on the spot

      Hittite masonry techniques learned on the spot
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Group photo op at the famous strange green rock

      Group photo op at the famous strange green rock
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      From here we drove up the great sweeping hill of the site, stopping at two of the primary gates (the Lion Gate and Yerkapı at the south, where once the sphinxes stood). With the sun setting and colors deepening all about us, we still had time to learn about Hittite sculpting techniques, the fortification system of Hattuša, and something about the ideas and values that permeated the society responsible for creating these unforgettable monuments.

      Lion gate

      Lion gate
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Yerkapı

      Yerkapı
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      It felt anguishing to clamber back into the bus and leave the site before exploring it fully. The good news was, we were headed for Yazılıkaya! This is an awe-inspiring outdoor shrine of the Hittites, formed of natural and enhanced clefts in the rocks that have been turned into sculpted galleries with reliefs of deities and kings lining the walls. Halil outdid himself with a detailed explanation of the reliefs and their significance, and a peroration on the importance of caring about cultural heritage and the need for Turks to invest themselves in Turkish history and culture.

      The storm god and the sun goddess of Arinna, the thousand gods of the Hatti...

      The storm god and the sun goddess of Arinna, the thousand gods of the Hatti…
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      The group, with the Hittite Great King Tuthaliyas IV

      The group, with the Hittite Great King Tuthaliyas IV
      Photo Credit: Dr. Gebhard Bieg

      Despite the long drive home, the mood in the bus was exceptionally cheerful: music cards were handed back and forth to be plugged into the stereo system; animated “spot the license plate” games were played; what food we had was shared around; people chatted (or slept); the nighttime landscape and nighttime drivers caused comment. After dropping off all the students and arriving back home, it was drawing nigh to midnight. As we crunched across the courtyard gravel and crept to bed, I felt I could touch the stars in the crystalline sky. For days afterwards my heart remained in the land of the Hittites.

      AIA Fieldnotes

      Short Lives and Forgotten Deaths: Infant Skeletons from the “Baby Well” in the Athenian Agora

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Archaeological Institute of America
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      lecture
      Start Date: 
      Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 7:30pm
      Lecturer: 
      AIA Society: 

      Location

      Name: 
      Kevin Fisher
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Penn Museum Blog

      Survey and Excavation in the Caucasus – Petra Creamer

      Every year, the Penn Museum provides support to Penn undergraduates and graduate students as they deepen their understanding of the human experience outside the Museum’s walls. Follow these blog posts from our intrepid young scholars as they report on the sights and sites that they encounter throughout their travels in the field.


      In my last post, I talked about the site of Oğlanqala and its importance to archaeology in the Caucasus. Our survey focused on continuing the work of past seasons in order to link up Oğlanqala with surrounding fortresses and occupation sites. We also visited areas which had a good chance of producing evidence for previous occupation (these ranged from Chalcolithic sites all the way up to the Medieval era!) in hopes of expanding our knowledge of settlement patterns in the region. Several of these survey days revolved around hiking up to qalas or fortresses. Qalas were located at higher elevations (often on top of mountains) in order to provide a wide view of the surrounding countryside and for better protection against attacks.

      Surveying the area had us climbing to the tops of mountains!  Pictured is Dr. Emily Hammer smiling for the camera after we scrambled our way to the top.

      Surveying the area had us climbing to the tops of mountains! Pictured is Dr. Emily Hammer smiling for the camera after we scrambled our way to the top.

      Climbing was tough, but fun – here’s me taking a bit of a break before continuing on.

      Climbing was tough, but fun – here’s me taking a bit of a break before continuing on.

      Several of the qalas we looked at were surrounded by large stone walls. To see if we could figure out a date of construction for these walls, the survey team opened up several small trenches alongside them with the intent of reaching their base. Some were successful in finding bits of charcoal which we can use for carbon dating, so hopefully once they are sent to a lab, we’ll know more about the date of these impressive walls!

      One of the small trenches we dug next to some of the still-standing walls of a qala.  Unfortunately, we hit bedrock before finding anything.

      One of the small trenches we dug next to some of the still-standing walls of a qala. Unfortunately, we hit bedrock before finding anything.

      Petra 4

      Not all walls were as well preserved as those in the first picture. More often than not, the walls we were recording looked more like this.

      After the three-week long survey season, I stayed on to join the excavations at Qizqala. Qizqala is another fortress, located a little over a kilometer away from Oglanqala and likely occupied contemporaneously. Since I joined after the survey was over, excavations were well under way in several areas of the settlement and its surroundings. As I arrived, we began to open new trenches over graves situated in a valley on the other side of Qizqala. These graves are called kurgans, and are distinguishable by a ring of hewn stones commonly between 4 and 15 meters in diameter. (However, some of the larger ones have been over 90 meters!)

      Petra 5

      It was about a 15 minute hike up the valley every morning to where we were excavating the kurgans. The nearest mountain in this picture is where Qizqala’s fortress was situated.

      At first, we thought that we were only excavating one kurgan. Once we removed the topsoil, however, it was clear that at least three more surrounded it! After expanding the trench to encompass two more, we found out that they were only marked by half-circles of stone – which had not been encountered before in kurgan types. Three weeks of excavation were dedicated to carefully excavating these graves and removing beautiful Bronze Age ceramics, arrowheads, beads, and, of course, skeletons.

      Petra 6

      After removing the topsoil, we found not one, not two, not even three…but four (or more) kurgans!

      Petra 7

      After expanding the trench to encompass two of the surrounding kurgans, everyone was working hard to figure out how they were related to one another.

      Petra 8

      The first pots of the season!

      Petra 9

      Don’t worry, there were plenty more where those came from. From all of the kurgans came these beautiful painted black-on-red pots.

      In the last week of excavation, I left the kurgans to take over a trench in the domestic area of Qizqala’s settlement. We were interested in further exposing a large, curving wall which had been found in the trench right next to mine. For the last week of the excavation period, we managed to uncover not only the continuation of that wall, but three other walls as well, all very different from each other. Although more excavations in this area will take place next season, right now we are wondering if these walls belonged to stables, bounded areas used for storage, or were simply walls to an oddly-built tower!

      Petra 10

      With one week to go, I moved to a trench much closer to the base of Qizqala. Here’s the large wall, mostly uncovered on our last day of excavations.

      I’m back home in Philly now, but the experience I gained this summer is sure to help add perspective to my studies of the ancient Near East. I don’t know what next summer will hold, but I’d love to rejoin the Naxcivan team in order to try and answer the many questions which this season, quite literally, turned up!

      Petra 11

      The road to Qizqala was rough and bumpy every morning, but excavating there was a great experience and I’m excited and hopeful to return next year!

      Photo Credits: Author

      AIA Fieldnotes

      International Archaeology Day

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Presidio Trust
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      Start Date: 
      Saturday, October 17, 2015

      Have you ever wondered what an archaeologist actually does? Did you know that there are archaeologists working and studying right here in San Francisco? To find out more, come join the archaeologists at the Presidio of San Francisco for International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 17th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Read more »

      Location

      Name: 
      Presidio Archaeology Lab
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Marine Archaeology on the First Coast

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by AIA Gainesville in association with the Florida Museum of Natural History and the First Light Maritime Society (St. Augustine Lighthouse)
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      exhibition
      Start Date: 
      Saturday, October 17, 2015

      Location

      AIA Society: 
      Name: 
      Phyllis Saarinen
      Telephone: 
      3523592128
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

      Recipe for tasty antiquities trade: Mix together false provenance, customs misdeclarations. Store for several years. Serve to antiquities collectors.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/archaeology/11837886/Ancient-Greek-relic-looted-from-Libya-to-be-returned.html

      Discovered after sitting in a warehouse for two years.

      Country of origin misdeclared as Turkish rather than Libyan.

      Price misdeclared as $110,000 rather than $2 million.

      False provenance claim made that sculpture belonged to family collection since 1977 

      Blogging Pompeii

      Jackie and Bob are now back in the UK

      Jackie and Bob are now back in the UK 


      We have returned permanently from Australia and are now living in Norfolk UK.
      Being near to Stansted airport will allow us to make regular trips to Italy.
      Our first trip will be at the end of September when we hope to be able to photograph the improvements in Pompeii and to also visit some of the villas in Oplontis, Stabia and surroundings. These photographs will be on the web site after we return.

      The Jashemski photographs are now all on pompeiiinpictures


      We have now finished incorporating 11,500 Jashemski photos onto the web site.
      Our thanks to Clopper Almon for thinking of our site and who said that Wilhelmina would be so pleased that Stanley's photos are now available to so many people across the world.

      We have also added 900 photographs of houses, shops and workshops courtesy of Nicolas Monteix.
      While we lived in Australia, and were unable to visit Pompeii, we were kept supplied with photographs by many enthusiasts, including Michael Binns, Buzz Ferebee, Rick Bauer, Drew Baker and many others. Our thanks to all.

      1430 properties in total have been updated on the web site this month.

      One last offering of Jashemski photos for comparison.

      Sometimes plaster falling from a wall may not be such a bad thing, as otherwise this inscription, which had been covered over in antiquity, would never have been seen.


      
      II.4.10. 1964. Exterior west wall (without showing the graffiti underneath), and entrance doorway

      Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski. J64f0971

      Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

      II.4.10. May 2011.
      Exterior west wall on north side of doorway, showing multiple layers of graffiti or painted plaster.
      L. Ceium Secundum aed… can be clearly read.
      Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.



      II.4.10. December 2006. West wall with visible graffiti.


      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Military Supplies Leaving Turkey for ISIL Land


      Turkish paper reveals CCTV footage of military aid delivered to ISIL in Tel Abyad for 2 months through Akcakale. In other words, the same route as journalists have found antiquities going out of Syria to Turkey. 'Coincidence' say the foreign dealers. 

      Coin Dealers: Harken Ye to the ACCG


      Wayne G. Sayles ('FBI Warns Dealers and Collectors' FBI seeks cooperation of trade ACCG August 29, 2015) refers to the recent warning on the FBI web site alerting art collectors and dealers to be especially careful in the trading of antiquities from the Near East. He notes that the Bureau is asking U.S. art and antiquities market leaders to spread the word that "preventing illegally obtained artifacts from reaching the market helps stem the transfer of funds to terrorists". He says:
      Concerns about looting in areas of strife are not unusual nor unfounded and the Civil War raging in parts of Syria and Iraq has rekindled those concerns. Some have argued that the sale of looted antiquities is a primary funding vehicle for terrorist activity. While that point is debatable, and certainly not true in the case of coins and other portable antiquities, the general point is well taken.
      What I want to know is how anyone can admit that saying where the stuff dealers sell (including WG Sayles who cites very few collecting histories for the loose objects he sells) can actually say - apparently in all seriousness - where it does not come from. That's just bonkers. Sayles continus defensively:
      No responsible dealer nor collector would intentionally or knowingly sell nor purchase objects that are likely to have emerged from the strife in Syria and Iraq.
      There's that weasel word there again, "knowingly". But, hark, do we hear the penny dropping - however insincerely?
      The only defense against unwittingly doing that is to determine to the best of one's ability where ancient and medieval objects originating in these countries have been in recent years. Due diligence would include the avoidance of purchasing groups of suspect coins from unverifiable sources. Although provenance is not typically available for average collector coins, the ACCG encourages dealers in ancient and medieval coins originating from these countries to, whenever possible, indicate in item descriptions the basis for a belief that the item being offered is not a product of the current conflict nor related looting. In other words, descriptions could include a good-faith effort to provide the nearest thing possible to provenance for at least the most recent transactions. This might include a citation to a known collection, previous offering in the trade, recent source or venue or any other pertinent information that aids seller and buyer diligence in following applicable laws.
      Let's hear it for the ACCG.

      Global Internet Usage Based on Time of Day


      An oldie, but still fascinating. Look at Russia: 'Global Internet Usage Based on Time of Day'
      https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/CN2I2NqVEAAfjKR.mp4

      AIA Fieldnotes

      Archaeology Day / From the Ground Up

      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      Start Date: 
      Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 11:00am to 4:00pm

      Archaeology Day will begin on the main floor of the Desmarais building with lots of activities geared towards kids such as mini excavations, toga tying, and make your own mosaics. Algonquin College, Carleton University, and University of Ottawa representatives will be on site to discuss archaeological/historical programs at their respective schools. Read more »

      Location

      AIA Society: 
      Name: 
      Heather Loube
      Telephone: 
      613-256-2991
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      International Archaeology Day celebration

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Beaches Museum and History Park of Jacksonville Beach, Florida
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      lecture
      fair
      Start Date: 
      Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 10:00am

      The archaeology fair will begin at 10 a.m. and go until 2 p.m. and will consist of displays showing how the indigenous peoples used their environment to meet their needs. There will also be a simulated dig to give individuals a hands on experience with excavation. Other history and archaeology organizations will also have displays of artifacts and processes. At noon in the historic 1887 chapel archaeologist Brent Handley will present a lecture titled "Digging into the Business of Archaeology."  Mr. Handley is the Vice President and Senior Manager of Environmental Services, Inc. Read more »

      Location

      AIA Society: 
      Name: 
      Melva Price
      Telephone: 
      (904)241-9411
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Digging the ROM: Amazing Archaeology (Big Weekend)

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Royal Ontario Museum
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      Start Date: 
      Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 11:00am to Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 4:00pm

      Have you ever wondered what we could learn about history just from an ancient artifact? Or from an entire excavation site? 

      It's time to get down and dirty at the ROM this Big Weekend as we celebrate International Archaeology Day. Share in the thrill of discovery and challenges of ongoing research in Pompeii and other places fom long ago as ROM archaeologists pull back the curtain on our collective past.

      Can you dig?  Read more »

      Location

      AIA Society: 
      Name: 
      Zoe McQuinn
      Telephone: 
      416-586-5807
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      The Omen Series Šumma Alu, Tablets 41-53

      Shumma Alu Vol. 3
      Sally Freedman
      I started working on the Šumma Alu omens as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. My dissertation was a general overview of the series, and I completed text editions of Tablets 1-40 in If a City Is Set on a Height: The Akkadian Omen Series Šumma Alu ina Mele Šakin, volumes 1 and 2, published by the University of Pennsylvania Museum (1998 and 2006).
      It is uncertain whether further volumes will appear in a conventional book format. However, I am posting text editions of the reconstructed Tablets on academia.edu, so that the work I’ve done on the remaining Alu Tablets will be available for anyone who is interested. Images of almost all the original texts are online, either on the British Museum website or in the database CDLI (Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative).









      AIA Fieldnotes

      Friday Night Live: Dig It!

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Royal Ontario Museum
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      Start Date: 
      Friday, October 16, 2015 - 7:00pm

      Location

      Name: 
      Zoe McQuinn
      Telephone: 
      416-586-5807
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Ancient Greek relic looted from Libya to be returned


      Statue held in BM

      An ancient Greek sculpture - which experts believe dates to the third or fourth centuries BC - that was smuggled to Britain from war-torn Libya in 2011 is to be returned after a judge ruled in Westminster Magistrates' Court in London that it had been "unlawfully excavated". It was dug up in the ancient Greek colony of Cyrene and is believed to be worth on the antiquities market £1.5 million.
       It was discovered in a west London warehouse by customs officials two years later and handed to the British Museum pending a court's decision over its ownership. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs HMRC said the statue was "misdeclared" on arrival to the UK after UK border officials were told it was from Turkey and worth $110,000 (£72,000). But Jordanian national Riad Al Qassas claimed the sculpture [...] belonged to him. District Judge John Zani today ruled that the sculpture was owned by "the state of Libya" and should be forfeited, as HMRC said it would take steps to return the statue to its "rightful owners". [...]  Judge Zani said claims by Hassan Fazeli, a Dubai businessman who said the sculpture has belonged to his family collection since 1977, were also "false". [...] Al Qassas was not in court for the ruling, nor was he represented by lawyers, where he was ordered to pay £50,000 costs. 
       Source:
       'Ancient Greek relic looted from Libya to be returned' Telegraph, 01 Sep 2015

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      TerraWatchers: Crowd Sourced Satellite Image Analysis

      TerraWatchers: Crowd Sourced Satellite Image Analysis
      http://terrawatchers.org/images/banner3.png

      Who We Are

      TerraWatchers is dedicated to providing web-based, crowdsourced satellite image monitoring and overwatch tools for critical missions related to current events. We use interactive Google Maps© interfaces to display the latest freely available, high-resolution satellite imagery in our mission footprints.

      Get Involved!

      The public can participate in our citizen science efforts, and get involved in our missions by registering on the form to the right. Registered users can view and annotate satellite images with markers specific to our various missions. We provide training images for our missions, so you can see what we're looking for, and how to annotate our images.
      Only registered users can annotate the satellite images with observations, so please remember to Register first, using the form in the upper right corner. If you are registering, press the "Register Here" button; it will open a small form, where we collect your name, email address, a password, and a password reminder. That's all the personal information we need, and we don't share it with others. Once you've registered, you can log in with your email address and password.

      TerraWatchers.org Results Report as of September 2, 2015, 11:47 am (Arizona)

      TerraWatchers.org currently has 162 registered users.

      Currently, 63 users have contributed to
      "The Impact of Military Activity and Looting on Archaeological Sites in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq"

      98.380% of the seedpoints in the mission have been visited at least once.
      There have been 9,574 visits to 2,551 of 2,593 seedpoints, an average of 3.753 visits per seedpoint.
      Users have made 2,264 observations on 1,250 seedpoints (49.000% of visited seedpoints), an average of 1.811 observations per seedpoint.

      Observations:

      • 34 users observed 521 instances of "Looting" on/near 243 seedpoints (9.526%).
      • 19 users observed 84 instances of "Air Defense" on/near 56 seedpoints (2.195%).
      • 36 users observed 343 instances of "Revetment/Berm" on/near 189 seedpoints (7.409%).
      • 20 users observed 88 instances of "Military Hardware" on/near 63 seedpoints (2.470%).
      • 23 users observed 88 instances of "Trench" on/near 67 seedpoints (2.626%).
      • 19 users observed 85 instances of "Bunker/Shelter" on/near 58 seedpoints (2.274%).
      • 17 users observed 46 instances of "Other Structure" on/near 39 seedpoints (1.529%).
      • 24 users observed 89 instances of "Impact Crater" on/near 66 seedpoints (2.587%).
      • 9 users observed 50 instances of "Other" on/near 36 seedpoints (1.411%).
      • 1 users observed 513 instances of "Confirmed" on/near 190 seedpoints (7.448%).
      • 2 users observed 357 instances of "Correction" on/near 110 seedpoints (4.312%).

      Archaeology Magazine

      Cyprus Neolithic PitPAPHOS, CYPRUS—Live Science reports that University of Edinburgh archaeologists working at the site of Prastio Mesorotsos have built and tested a replica of a 9,000-year-old Neolithic pit oven. Over the course of three years, the team excavated a large stone-lined pit at the site measuring eight feet across and three feet deep that they believed could be an ancient oven. But its size led excavation director Andrew McCarthy to suspect cooking would not be feasible in it. As a test, before they began excavating this summer they dug a pit with similar dimensions near a local restaurant and lined it with the same type of stones used in the Neolithic pit. In a painstaking process, the team managed to cook a feast of goat and pig meat for nearly 200 guests. To read about a similar experiment testing ancient Irish brewing, go to “Mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh.” 

      horn mouthpieceCANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—The Iron Age artifact discovered in Ireland was originally thought to have been a spear-butt. However, Billy Ó Foghlú, a PhD student at the Australian National University, thought that it might have been part of a musical instrument, so he created a replica based on the object’s exact measurements using a 3D printer. When Ó Foghlú used the object as a horn mouthpiece, he found that it produced a rich, velvety tone. “These horns were not just hunting horns or noisemakers,” said Ó Foghlú in a press release. “They were very carefully constructed and repaired, they were played for hours. Music clearly had a very significant role in the culture.” Horns dating to the Bronze and Iron Ages have been discovered throughout Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, though according to Ó Foghlú no other mouthpieces are known to have been found in Ireland. To read about sculptures of musicians found in Peru, go to "Artifact."

      durham scotland battle of dunbar mass graveDURHAM, UK—Construction work for a new café uncovered the jumbled skeletons of between 17 and 28 male individuals which research now shows are the remains of Scottish soldiers taken prisoner after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, according to a press release from Durham University. The battle, one of the bloodiest battles of the English Civil War, resulted in perhaps as many as 1,700 prisoners of war dying of malnutrition, disease, and cold on the 100-mile-march from southeastern Scotland to Durham in northeast England. Until now, it hasn’t been known what happened to the bodies of the victims of this forced march, but the new research shows that at least some—and perhaps many more—were buried on the grounds of Durham Castle. “It is quite possible that there are more mass graves under what are now University buildings that would have been open ground in the early to mid-seventeenth century,” says Richard Annis, a senior archaeologists at Archaeological Services Durham University. To read about a mass grave of Viking-Age soldiers, go to “The First Vikings.”

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      The Gospel of Grondin’s Interlinear (The Papyrus Formerly Known as the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”)

      It may be time to redesignate the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” as the “Gospel of Grondin’s Interlinear.” A new development that it has taken me a couple of days to blog about, but which is still in time for the upcoming York Christian Apocrypha Symposium focused on “Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions: Writing Ancient and Modern Christian Apocrypha.”

      Mark Goodacre has two guest posts by Andrew Bernhard, and there is also a post by Christian Askeland on the ETC blog. The gist is that the “translation” of the text matches Mike Grondin’s online interlinear of the Gospel of Thomas, even where the Coptic text does not fit those English words, providing strong evidence that the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife was forged by someone who used that online resource.

      What do others think? Shall we call it “The Gospel according to Mike Grondin’s Interlinear” from now on, rather than “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”?

      GJW Andrew Bernhard Grondin analysis

       

       

       

       

      The Archaeology News Network

      Excavations begin anew at Antiocheia Ad Cragnum

      Once a hub for pirate activity, the ancient city of Antiocheia Ad Cragnum in Antalya’s Gazipasa district on Turkey's southern coast is now undergoing renewed excavations that are shedding new light on the history of the area. Excavation work at Antiocheia Ad Cragnum [Credit: AA]“In the excavations, we have uncovered a 600-meter-long mosaic, some remains of a bath and a parliament building so far,” said Dr. Birol Can, the excavation...

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

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      More than 3,000 artefacts seized in Istanbul raid


      'More than 3,000 artifacts seized in Istanbul raid', Daily Sabah 2nd Sept 2015
      Customs officials confiscated 3,300 historical artifacts discovered in a truck at Istanbul's Pendik port. The truck was en route to the Netherlands when officials checked it in a customs area. The artifacts found in six packages include arrowheads, crosses, rings and coins. According to the initial examination by archaeologists, items include artifacts from Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Artifacts were sent to the Archaeology Museum of Istanbul while the truck driver was detained.

      Artifact smuggling in Turkey is on the rise according to recent figures although the authorities stepped up measures especially in the wake of a conflict in neighboring Syria, where a state of lawlessness facilitates the smuggling of artifacts. The number of historical artifacts seized by Turkish authorities rose tenfold last year compared to 2013, as revealed by latest figures. A total of 1,042 artifacts were confiscated at the Turkish border en route to the country, possibly to be sold to Turkish buyers or buyers from other countries.
       US dealers applaud, this sort of thing keeps prices up.


      Archaeology Magazine

      New Zealand Prehistoric Birds HuntedOTAGO, NEW ZEALAND—Researchers using a range of techniques, including radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA analysis, have modeled the population histories of ancient seabirds in New Zealand and found that human hunting had a profound impact on them. According to a University of Otago press release, the study shows that populations of shag seabirds on Stewart Island, New Zealand’s third largest island, had a stable population history, while their counterparts on the two other major islands suffered a massive decline in numbers. "There was a loss of more than ninety-nine percent of their population size within 100 years of human arrival,” says University of Otago geneticist Nic Rawlence. “These once heavily-hunted mainland populations now occupy only a fraction of their prehistoric range, having never really recovered.” The human population on Stewart Island dwindled around 1500 A.D., which might help explain why wildlife populations there did not go into decline. While some scholars believe climatic changes were responsible for the die off, the researchers point out that Stewart Island shared the same climate history as New Zealand’s two major islands, and believe the new findings show prehistoric humans shoulder most of the blame. To read about hunting technology among Australia's Aborigines, go to "What's the Point?"

      The Archaeology News Network

      First ancient genome recovered from the Mediterranean area

      An international team of researchers has sequenced the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer, which is also the first ancient genome from the entire Mediterranean area. This new genome allows to know the distinctive genetic changes of Neolithic migration in Southern Europe which led to the abandonment of the hunter-gatherer way of life. The study is led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, a joint center of the Spanish...

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

      ArcheoNet BE

      Restauratie kapittelvleugel Ter Kamerenabdij afgerond

      De restauratiewerken aan de kapittelvleugel de Ter Kamerenabdij in Elsene (Brussel) zijn afgerond. De archeologische studies van het gebouw, die gelijktijdig met de restauratie van de gevels zijn uitgevoerd, leidden tot de belangrijke ontdekking van een puntgevel uit de 13de eeuw, de periode waarin de eerste abdij werd opgericht.

      Het resultaat van de restauratie werd vandaag voorgesteld in aanwezigheid van Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort. “De Ter Kamerenabdij is vanuit meerdere opzichten uniek,” aldus Vervoort. “Van de 46 kloostergemeenschappen die zich tussen de 11de en de 17de eeuw op het Brussels gewestelijk grondgebied hebben gevestigd, is de Ter Kamerenabdij de enige die haar oorspronkelijke bestemming heeft behouden. Ze herbergt namelijk nog steeds een broederschap in de kapittelvleugel.”

      De werken zijn tussen 2013 en 2015 uitgevoerd door het bureau Arter. Het Brussels Gewest financierde 80 procent van de kosten, zo’n 1,4 miljoen euro.

      Foto: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest

      Roberta Mazza (Faces & Voices)

      ‘Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed’ – Press Release

      Roberta Mazza:

      Opening soon at the Manchester Museum. Come and visit!

      Originally posted on Egypt at the Manchester Museum:

      Wooden cat coffin, acc. no. 9303. From Saqqara. Wooden cat coffin, acc. no. 9303. From Saqqara.

      Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed

      8 October 2015-17 April 2016, Manchester Museum

      Free Entry

      This myth-busting exhibition will present and explore ancient Egyptian animal mummies, prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. Gifts for the Gods will explain the background behind this religious practice in the context of life in ancient Egypt and the environment in which the animals lived. It will explore the British fascination with Egypt, the discovery of animal mummies by British excavators, and how the mummies ended up in the UK, as well as taking a look at the history and future of their scientific study in Manchester. The display will combine mummified specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds with cultural artefacts such as stone sculpture and bronze statuettes, alongside 19th Century works of art and never-seen-before archives.

      The exhibition…

      View original 651 more words


      The Archaeology News Network

      Ancient New Guinea pot makers surprising innovation

      Archaeologists have unearthed the oldest known pottery from Papua New Guinea in a surprisingly remote location in the rugged highlands. Pottery fragments from New Guinea, top sherd is the earliest  [Credit: Dylan Gaffney, Glenn Summerhayes,  Anne Ford, Sue Bulmer]The piece of red glossy pottery with designs cut into it is 3,000 years old, several hundred years older than the previous oldest known pottery in New Guinea. It...

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

      AIA Fieldnotes

      Tunneling with Technology: Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Site of El Zotz, Guatemala

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by AIA-Los Angeles County Society
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      nad
      lecture
      Start Date: 
      Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 2:00pm

      AIA Lecture, Los Angeles County Society

      Dr. Thomas Garrison (Dept. of Anthropology, University of Southern California)

      “Tunneling with Technology: Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Site of El Zotz, Guatemala”

      Sunday October 18, 2015 at 4 pm: Grace Ford Salvatori 106, USC: http://web-app.usc.edu/maps/ Read more »

      AIA Society: 

      Location

      Name: 
      Sarah Morris
      Telephone: 
      Right Header: 
      Call for Papers: 
      no
      Right Content: 

      Ares' Dedication to Timagoras: The Curious Case of an Inscription, Powerful Poetics and Naval Victory

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Western Illinois Society, Illinois Classical Conference and Monmouth College
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      lecture
      Start Date: 
      Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 3:00pm

      Kristian L. Lorenzo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Monmouth College                                                   (kristianllorenzo@gmail.com) Read more »

      Location

      AIA Society: 
      Name: 
      Tom Sienkewicz
      Telephone: 
      3094572371
      Call for Papers: 
      no

      The Road Less Traveled By? History, Archaeology, and Landscape in Southern Greece

      Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
      Sponsored by Western Illinois Society and Monmouth College
      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      lecture
      Start Date: 
      Monday, September 28, 2015 - 7:30pm

      Dimitri Nakassis,  Associate Professor, University of Toronto (nakassis@gmail.com) Read more »

      Location

      AIA Society: 
      Name: 
      Tom Sienkewicz
      Telephone: 
      3094572371
      Call for Papers: 
      no