Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

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

November 25, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

Pour en savoir plus sur ce séminaire

November 21, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

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

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

- Consulter le programme

Contact

October 16, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

L'argent des dieux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consulter le programme du colloque

avec le soutien du Labex RESMED

October 15, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Les religions et l'argent

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

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

Participeront à ce débat :
Julie Masquelier Loorius, épigraphiste à Orient et Méditerranée
Jean-Marie Salamito, historien à Orient et Méditerranée
Jonathan Cornillon, historien
Lionel Obadia, anthropologue à l'université Lumière Lyon2 (sous réserve)

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

Avec le soutien de la Délégation CNRS Paris A

October 09, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

- Consulter le programme

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

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

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

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

October 04, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

La guerre et la Grèce

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

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

- Télécharger le programme

- Télécharger le bulletin d'inscription

- Pour en savoir plus

September 25, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

L'apport des Assomptionnistes français aux études byzantines : une approche critique / The Legacy of French Assumptionists for Byzantine Studies : A Critical Approach.

JPEG - 11.7 ko
La bibliothèque de Cadi-Keuï. Extrait de : Missions des Augustins de l'Assomption, N. S. n° 274, janvier-février 1925, p.70

Colloque organisé par l'Université de Bucarest et l'UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée Organisateurs :
- Marie-Hélène Blanchet
- Alexandru Tudorie

Téléchargez le programme et les résumés

Pour en savoir plus

September 23, 2014

Archaeology Magazine

Emperor Augustus’ Frescoes Restored in Rome

livia house palatine rome augustusROME, ITALY—A limited number of visitors to the Palatine Hill will now be able to view the restored frescoes in the homes of the Roman Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia. The 2.5 million euro project refreshed the well-preserved frescoes, which depict garlands of flowers on Pompeian red backgrounds, temples, and landscapes. “We had to tackle a host of problems which were all connected, from underground grottos to sewers—and I’m talking about a sewer system stretching over 35 hectares (86 acres),” Mariarosaria Barbera, Rome’s archaeological superintendent, told the AFP. By limiting the number of visitors, conservators will be able to control the amount of dust and humidity at the site. “Looking at the houses, the buildings he had built, we understand he was a man of power, of great strength, who knew what went into making a political man at the head of such a big empire,” said Cinzia Conti, head restorer. To read about the restoration of the frescoes of the famous Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, see ARCHAEOLOGY's "Saving the Villa of the Mysteries."

Emperor Augustus’ Frescoes Restored in Rome

livia house palatine rome augustusROME, ITALY—A limited number of visitors to the Palatine Hill will now be able to view the restored frescoes in the homes of the Roman Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia. The 2.5 million euro project refreshed the well-preserved frescoes, which depict garlands of flowers on Pompeian red backgrounds, temples, and landscapes. “We had to tackle a host of problems which were all connected, from underground grottos to sewers—and I’m talking about a sewer system stretching over 35 hectares (86 acres),” Mariarosaria Barbera, Rome’s archaeological superintendent, told the AFP. By limiting the number of visitors, conservators will be able to control the amount of dust and humidity at the site. “Looking at the houses, the buildings he had built, we understand he was a man of power, of great strength, who knew what went into making a political man at the head of such a big empire,” said Cinzia Conti, head restorer. To read about the restoration of the frescoes of the famous Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, see ARCHAEOLOGY'S "Saving the Villa of the Mysteries."

Scientists Examine Kazakhstan’s Geoglyphs

 

ISTANBUL, TURKEY—Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin of Kostanay University and colleagues from Vilnius University presented the initial results of their research into the more than 50 geoglyphs that cross northern Kazakhstan at the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. They have conducted archaeological investigations and ground-penetrating radar surveys, and they have taken aerial photographs of the geometric structures, which were initially spotted with satellite images. The earthen squares, rings, and crosses may have been used to mark ownership of land. One of the structures is the ancient swastika design fashioned from timber. Hearths and structures at the geoglyphs suggest that they could have been used in ritual activity. “As of today, we can say only one thing—the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,” Shevnina and Logvin told Live Science

 

Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

Kerry Speaks at Met on Looting and Iconoclasm by ISIS

Wanted to put this up quickly, and will have more to say after I get a chance to read it more carefully. But I did want to flag three things that pop out:

First, it is wonderful that ASOR and others have succeeded in getting the administration to pay attention to the cultural disaster.

Second, the conflation of looting with iconoclasm is troubling, because the two phenomena are driven by different motives and therefore require different policy responses.

Third, and related to the conflation of looting with iconoclasm, there is no mention of any policy response beyond supporting documentation and conservation efforts -- both of these being laudable and useful things to do, but quite distinct from imposing international bans on antiquities trade, or beefing up INTERPOL and customs enforcement around the world to help enforce bans already in place, or calling on countries we know are conduits or important end-markets for these antiquities to tighten up, etc. etc. 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Pacific settlers developed gardens to survive

Analysis of ancient human bones supports the idea that the first inhabitants of Vanuatu developed horticulture as they ran out of wild resources.

Around 2500 years ago there was a shift in the Lapita people towards a greater reliance on cultivated plants such as yam, taro and banana, according to an isotopic analysis of bones reported in a recent issue of PLOS ONE.

"It contributes to a debate that’s been going on for generations," says co-author Dr Stuart Bedford, an archaeologist from the Australian National University.

The Lapita were the first group of people to venture into remote Oceania, east of the Solomon Islands. Read more.

Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

ESHE 2014 abstracts

The abstracts for the European Society for the study of Human Evolution meeting that just took place are available in this PDF.


Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

As the Archaeological Blogosphere Celebrates the Latest Repatriation, Serious Questions Are Being Raised About Government Tactics

As the archaeological blogosphere is celebrating the latest repatriation to Italy, the Los Angeles Times has raised serious questions about the government's hardball tactics used to crack down on collecting Native American artifacts from federal land.

Moreover, John Yoder and Brad Cates, two former chiefs of the Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture office, have concluded the whole civil asset forfeiture program is so prone to abuse that it should be scrapped.

They conclude:

Civil asset forfeiture and money-laundering laws are gross perversions of the status of government amid a free citizenry. The individual is the font of sovereignty in our constitutional republic, and it is unacceptable that a citizen should have to “prove” anything to the government. If the government has probable cause of a violation of law, then let a warrant be issued. And if the government has proof beyond a reasonable doubt of guilt, let that guilt be proclaimed by 12 peers.

While Yoder and Cates do not address civil and criminal forfeitures relating to so-called "cultural property," CPO submits the opportunities for abuse arising from the application of confiscatory foreign patrimony laws as the basis for a National Stolen Property Act violation, may, if anything, be considerably worse.

It's long past time for far greater public scrutiny of government action in this area.  But, who in the media will dig beyond the easy "morality tale" derived from a government press release for the real story?

Archaeology Magazine

43,500-Year-Old Aurignacian Tools Found at Willendorf

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—Stone tools recovered from the site where the 30,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf was discovered in 1908 have been dated to 43,500 years ago, making them the oldest-known artifacts made by modern humans in Europe. Soil analysis at Willendorf indicates that these early inhabitants lived in a cool, steppe-like environment with conifer trees distributed along river valleys. “The remarkably early date of the finds shows that modern humans and Neanderthals overlapped for much longer than we thought and that modern humans coped well with a variety of climates,” announced Philip Nigst of the University of Cambridge. He adds that the changes in the material culture of the last surviving Neanderthals took place at the same time that modern humans were present at Willendorf. “The timing of these events cannot be a coincidence,” he said. 

ArcheoNet BE

Intellectueel uit de veren in het Jubelparkmuseum

Op zondag 28 september start een nieuwe lezingenreeks in de Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis in Brussel. De lezingen sluiten meestal aan bij de verzamelingen of bij een tijdelijke tentoonstelling in het museum. Uiteraard komen ook archeologie en cultuurhistorie ruim aan bod: zo zijn er onder meer lezingen over de opgravingen in Mleiha, keizer Nero, en polychromie in Egyptische hiërogliefen. Onder het motto ‘Intellectueel uit de veren’ vinden deze lezingen plaats op zondagvoormiddag.

28 september: Belgische opgravingen te Mleiha, een karavaanstad in ZO-Arabië (Bruno Overlaet)
Mleiha is een oase in ZO-Arabië op de route tussen de Perzische Golf en de Golf van Oman. De site kende een bloei tussen de 3de eeuw voor en de 3de eeuw na Chr. Importmateriaal uit de mediterrane wereld, India, Iran en Mesopotamië wijst op betrokkenheid in de trans-Arabische handel. De Belgische opgravingen richten zich op een necropool waar een Ground Penetrating Radar onderzoek clusters van torenvormige graven tussen eenvoudige putgraven heeft aangetoond.

5 oktober: The Silk Road: Border Crossing (Henri-Paul Francfort & Corinne Debaine-Francfort)
Que connaissons-nous des Scythes et comment peuvent-ils être liés avec ce qui est maintenant la Chine? Cette session mettra en évidence la culture matérielle de l’époque scythe sur base de différents sites qui nous sont plus ou moins bien connus en Asie intérieure, comme le kourgane gelé No. 11 de Berel’ dans l’Altaï kazakhstanais et des sites dans la région autonome ouïghoure du Xinjiang (R.P. Chine).

12 oktober: Nero: drie gezichten van een beruchte keizer (Sam Van Overmeire)
Nero, de laatste keizer van de Julisch-Claudische dynastie, is berucht als een krankzinnige tiran. Zo doodde hij zijn stiefvader, stiefbroer en moeder, en zou hij verantwoordelijk zijn voor de grote brand van Rome in 64 n.Chr.. Wat blijft echter overeind van deze verhalen over zijn ‘wandaden’ bij een kritische lectuur van de bronnen? Bestudeerd vanuit biografisch perspectief, met aandacht voor zijn heerschappij en politieke realisaties, komt veel meer aan het licht over deze fascinerende figuur en het keizerrijk waar hij de plak zwaaide.

16 november: Shades of meaning: the use of polychromy in hieroglyphic inscriptions (David Nunn)
Hiëroglifische inscripties bevatten soms polychrome beeldtekens. De kleuren zelf dragen ook betekenis, hetzij met betrekking tot het uitgebeelde object (vb. lichaamsdelen), hetzij in abstractere zin (vb. gevaar/vruchtbaarheid). De kleurkeuze gebeurde opvallend consequent in de faraonische periode. David Nunn licht enkele inscripties toe, die een frisse inkijk geven in de Oud-Egyptische denkwereld. Hoe kleuren geïnterpreteerd worden, alsook de specifieke methodes om polychromie te bestuderen en de uitdagingen hieraan verbonden komen aan bod.

30 november: ‘Pride of Niagara. Best Winter Wheat’. Textiele getuigen van Wereldoorlog I in de KMKG (Guy Delmarcel)
Tijdens WO I werd de hongerlijdende bevolking in ons land geholpen door de “Commission for Relief in Belgium”, die scheepsvrachten met meel en andere waren uit de USA liet overbrengen. De KMKG bewaren een zestigtal van deze Amerikaanse meelzakken, elk met een eigen gedrukt opschrift en logo. De lezing brengt enige toelichting over deze Amerikaanse graanmolens, over het verder artistiek gebruik van die zakken, en over Isabella Errera, schenkster van deze zakken en grondlegster van de textielcollectie van het museum.

14 december: The Silk Road: Border Crossing (Karel Innemée & Susan Whitfield)
Convergences between the early monastic traditions of Christianity and Buddhism have been noted previously and possible links between them discussed, if never proven. Although contacts between the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia are evident from before the Christian Era, no indications for a Buddhist root of Christian monasticism seems to exist. Did archaeologists overlook something or do we simply have a case of independent developments? This session will juxtapose caves, hermitages, and monastic complexes of early Christian Egypt with Buddhist stupas, temples and cave temples of the Taklamakan desert in present-day western China.

Praktisch: de lezingen vinden plaats in het auditorium van het Jubelparkmuseum en starten om 10u30. Inkom: € 8 / € 6 / gratis voor leden van VED en Per Musea. Meer info en reserveren: ecd@kmkg.be of 02/741.72.14
Externe link: kmkg.be

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #550

Open Access (free to read) articles:

[CERAMICS AND OBSIDIAN IN ISLAND SOUTHEAST ASIA AND OCEANIA] Mid-sequence isolation in Fiji 2500-1000 BP
http://bit.ly/1wKETRo

[FORAGERS AND FARMERS IN THE JAPANESE ISLANDS] Jomon subsistence-settlement systems at the Sannai Maruyama site
http://bit.ly/1wKEU7V

The Architectural History of Bothwell Castle.
http://bit.ly/15zQaId

On the probable Identity of the Gloucestershire Chapelry of St. Briavel’s, recognised as Lidneia Parva in the twelfth century, with the Ledenei of the Saxon Hundred of Ledenei, named in Domesday
http://bit.ly/Y2jQaB

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

Archaeology Magazine

Did Fireside Tales Aid Social and Cultural Evolution?

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Polly Wiessner of the University of Utah used notes and recordings of conversations collected in the 1970s to examine the content of daytime and nighttime conversations among the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in northeast Namibia and northwest Botswana. She found that the daytime conversations focused mainly on complaints and criticisms about social relationships, economic concerns, jokes, and included a small percentage of stories. Evening conversations around campfires, however, centered on storytelling. “At night, people really let go, mellow out and seek entertainment. If there have been conflicts in the day, they overcome those and bond. Night conversation has more to do with stories, talking about the characteristics of people who are not present and who are in your broader networks, and thoughts about the spirit world and how it influences the human world. You have singing and dancing, too, which bonds groups,” she told Science Daily. Wiessner suggests that imaginative firelight activities spurred the cultural and social evolution of human ancestors. “We can’t tell about the past from the Bushmen. But these people live from hunting and gathering. For 99 percent of our evolution, this is how our ancestors lived. What transpires during the fire-lit night hours by hunter-gatherers? It helps answer the question of what fire-lit space contributes to human life.” 

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Life Can Be ... Too Fluffy?

I realise that my life might seem strange to people. I read in papers and blogs that people complain that models "don't look like real women" but ... they do look like the women in my neighbourhood, because so many of them are or were models. Yes, it can make the rest of us feel a bit insecure at times, but c'est la vie ...

It's also home to some of the best dressed women in the world, so when glancing through this article ...

Things you only ever see women wearing at fashion week - Telegraph

... I thought "they do here" ... and worse not only can I name the designers of most of the items ...

... I've been admiring the bag top left for a while at the Box Boutique on Draycott Place.

Caroline bicycle basket bag black
 

AIA Fieldnotes

"The Artful Silk Road, Past and Present"

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Archaeological Associates of Greenwich (the AAG). It's not on the day but we are mentioning it in our AAG Newsletter as its two days before. Speaker: Yale Professor Karen Polinger Foster. It is being held at 8 p.m. at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, on Thursday, Oct. 16.
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
lecture
Start Date: 
Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 8:00pm

Location

Name: 
Nancy S. Bernard
Telephone: 
203 661-4654
Call for Papers: 
no

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Don't Drink And Drive

Very cute reminder from Budweiser


Ancient Peoples

Seated deity  Agni a deified king, he became the god of...



Seated deity 

Agni a deified king, he became the god of fire. 

36.8cm high and 16.7cm wide ( 14 1/2 x 6 9/16 inch.) 

Indian, Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh, ca, 3rd century AD. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

Italy's Culture Cops Cash in on Looted Art

Remember those high minded claims that Italy would voluntarily share its cultural wealth with American museum-goers in return for a MOU that would drastically limit the ability of American citizens to legally import art sourced to that country?

That was 2001.  Fast forward to 2014.  Now, educational "long term museum loans" have instead been replaced with an ostentatious display entitled, "Treasures and Tales of Italy's Guardia di Finanzia Art Recovery Team." 

According to promos,

Priceless antiquities. Ruthless grave robbers. High-tech counterfeits. International smuggling routes that run from the necropolises of Tarquinia, Italy to the posh auction houses of London, England, from the seedy underbelly of the black market to world-renown museums.
Ripped from the case files of the Guardia di Finanza, stories like these will be told during “Treasures and Tales of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza Art Recovery Team,” a groundbreaking exhibition of priceless works of Etruscan and Greco-Roman art and craftsmanship, on display at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware from Oct. 3-Dec. 21.

Each ancient ceramic, mosaic and statue tells a story, not just of the time of its creation, but also of its theft and recovery by the indefatigable agents of the Gruppo Tutela Patrimonio Archeologico, the art recovery team inside the Guardia di Finanza.
 
These artifacts may be "priceless," but they may nonetheless be seen for $15, the cost of admission. 


AIA Fieldnotes

Millis MA Historic Open House

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Millis MA Historical Commission
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
education
other
Start Date: 
Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 12:00pm

Millis MA Historic Open House Read more »

Location

Name: 
Meg Watters
Call for Papers: 
no

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Remains of Britain's first human to return to Torquay

The fragment of human jawbone that represents the earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in North West Europe will be returned to Torquay Museum from The Natural History Museum in London.

The jawbone which rarely leaves the Museum has been on display as part of the exhibition Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story which brought together, for the first time, all of the most important archaeological finds that tell the story of human origins in Britain.

The exhibition was seen by more than 90,000 visitors to The Natural History Museum giving tremendous exposure to this hugely important scientific specimen and the rich variety of finds from the caves of South Devon. Read more.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Remarks at 'threats to Cultural Heritage in Iraq and Syria' Event


Remarks of John Kerry Secretary of State at 'threats to cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria' Event at the opening of the exhibition “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age” at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 22, 2014. Full text and video at http://m.state.gov/md231992.htm
We gather in the midst of one of the most tragic and one of the most outrageous assaults on our shared heritage that perhaps any of us have seen in a lifetime. Ancient treasures in Iraq and in Syria have now become the casualties of continuing warfare and looting. And no one group has done more to put our shared cultural heritage in the gun sights than ISIL. ISIL is not only beheading individuals; it is tearing at the fabric of whole civilizations. It has no respect for life. It has no respect for religion. And it has no respect for culture, which for millions is actually the foundation of life. Far from hiding their destruction of churches and mosques, they broadcast these, purposefully and with pride, for all the world to see their act of depravity and for all of us to be intimidated and to perhaps back off from our values. For the proud people of Iraq and Syria – ancient civilizations, civilizations of great beauty, great accomplishment, of extraordinary history and intellectual achievement – the destruction of their heritage is a purposeful final insult, and another example of ISIL’s implacable evil. ISIL is stealing lives, yes, but it’s also stealing the soul of millions. How shocking and historically shameful it would be if we did nothing while the forces of chaos rob the very cradle of our civilization. So many different traditions trace their roots back to this part of the world, as we all know. This is the first thing many of us learned in school. The looting of Apamea and Dura Europos, the devastation caused by fighting in the ancient UNESCO heritage city of Aleppo, the destruction of the Tomb of Jonah – these appalling acts aren’t just a tragedy for the Syrian and the Iraqi people. These acts of vandalism are a tragedy for all civilized people, and the civilized world must take a stand.
It is rather disturbing to see how the rhetoric of cultural preservation is being used here.

He has a wife you know

archaicwonder: Greek Bee Fibula, 4th century BC The bee, found...



archaicwonder:

Greek Bee Fibula, 4th century BC

The bee, found in the artifacts of Ancient Near East and Aegean cultures, was believed to be the sacred insect that bridged the natural world to the underworld.

Potnia, the Minoan-Mycenaean “mistress” goddess,  was referred to as “The Pure Mother Bee”. Her priestesses received the name of “Melissa” (“bee”). It is interesting to note that Mycenaean tholos tombs were shaped like beehives.

In another myth, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo acknowledges that Apollo’s gift of prophecy first came to him from three bee maidens, usually identified with the Thriae. The Thriae was a trinity of pre-Hellenic Aegean bee goddesses.

AIA Fieldnotes

Who Was Here First? Exploring the Peopling of the Americas

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
lecture
Start Date: 
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 7:00pm

For most of the twentieth century, scientists were sure they knew how and when the Americas were first colonized. We thought that the first people entered the New World during the last Ice Age (around 14,000 years ago) using the Bering Land Bridge that connected Asia to Alaska. They then followed mammoths and other big game into North America through an “ice-free corridor” between the enormous glaciers that covered most of Canada. Once they emerged south of the glaciers, they rapidly spread south and east to cover the entire continent by 13,000 years ago.

Location

Name: 
Bonnie Jancik
Telephone: 
608-785-6473
Call for Papers: 
no

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Did tales told over fires aid our social and cultural evolution?

After human ancestors controlled fire 400,000 to 1 million years ago, flames not only let them cook food and fend off predators, but also extended their day.

A University of Utah study of Africa’s Kalahari Bushmen suggests that stories told over firelight helped human culture and thought evolve by reinforcing social traditions, promoting harmony and equality, and sparking the imagination to envision a broad sense of community, both with distant people and the spirit world.

Researchers previously studied how cooking affected diets and anatomy, but “little is known about how important the extended day was for igniting the embers of culture and society,” anthropology professor Polly Wiessner writes in a study published online today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

The Bloomsbury Anti-Countdown


Bloomsbury is a funny place, the Portable Antiquities Scheme kids everyone that  they are on the way to getting their millionth object but the runaway counter on their very own webpage shows they are racing away from that number ('Milliongate: PAS Gone Numbers -Crazy'). And you know what? Nobody is paying the slightest bit of attention to their posing and playing about with the numbers as though they've all simply lost trust in them and no longer care.

Over on the PAS public database today, here on the front page, we read 1,024,184 objects within 633,705 records. A million was 2343 records ago.

And as HERs and the people that run them go to the wall, the PAS in their 'outreach' tells people to use THEIR facility to find out about local metal detector finds around their home instead of encouraging an awareness of the local HER. 
 

Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

Ösztöndíjak Isztambulba

Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations
RCAC Fellowships for the academic year 2015-2016

The Center aims to develop and facilitate research projects that are dedicated to the history, art, architecture and archaeology of civilizations in Turkey and to take a leading role in investigating and preserving Turkey's cultural heritage by supporting the work of outstanding senior scholars and promising junior scholars and by bringing together persons working in a range of disciplines dealing with the cultural heritage of Turkey. Fellowships, which include accomodation, travel, and stipend are as follows:

1) RCAC Residential and Non-Residential Fellowships (10 Ph.D candidates and 10 scholars with Ph.D to spend the 2015-2016 academic year in Istanbul at RCAC)

(...)

3) BIAA - RCAC Fellowship in Cultural Heritage Management (1 junior fellowship or 1 senior fellowship)

4) KHI - RCAC Fellowship (1 junior fellowship or 1 senior fellowship)

Located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations is near to the libraries of the French, German, Swedish, and Dutch Institutes and other scholarly facilities in Istanbul. RCAC fellows are expected to devote themselves full time to their research projects and must be proficient in English, which is the language of instruction at Koç University. Applications from scholars of all nationalities are encouraged.

Online application: https://rcacapp.ku.edu.tr

For more information please visit:

http://rcac.ku.edu.tr
http://rcac.ku.edu.tr/fellowships

Dickinson College Commentaries

Multimedia Annotation of Classical Texts: What Do We Need?

The imminent creation of the Digital Latin Library under the auspices of the SCS and other institutions and based at the University of Oklahoma raises two of the key problems of digital annotation: selection and visual design. With theoretically limitless space, what resources should scholars provide for readers, and how are they to be presented? Many innovative approaches are currently being tried, from treebanking, to hyper-linked vocabulary, automatic grammatical analysis tools, video read-throughs, crowd-sourced commentary, and text visualization. I would like to argue for the importance of two specific elements that have so far not been the focus either of established projects like Perseus Digital Library, or of other emerging modes of digital edition of classical texts: author-specific lexica, and direct linking by humans to grammatical reference works. These are elements of traditional Latin school editions that can be usefully re-imagined in a digital environment, and will in some ways work better there than they do in books.

Author-specific lexica have the advantage of giving the reader a spectrum of definitions that are known to apply to the passages he or she is reading, and much reduce the frustration and errors caused by the over-richness of a large dictionary, and the poverty of an short definition that does not contain the contextually appropriate meaning.  For commonly taught school-authors there is an abundance of such material available in most modern European languages, waiting to be properly digitized. By editing existing definition data and marrying it with fully parsed texts such as those produced by the Laboratoire d’Analyse Statistique des Langues Anciennes (LASLA), we could have the further advantage creating author-specific lexica that accurately tabulate word frequencies, and help readers prioritize vocabulary acquisition. But even without that, accurate running lists can be created that would substantially ease the reading process.

Online grammars of Latin and Greek exist, but are often difficult to search and to read. One of the key things that intermediate and even advanced readers of a Latin or Greek texts need to know, when confronted with an unusual construction, is what rule or principle the passage in question exemplifies. The authors of print textbooks will frequently give a specific reference to a chapter in a grammar book, both to elucidate the passage and to stimulate the student to learn the relevant rule. If we had truly attractive and navigable grammars of Greek and Latin (ideally several of each), they could be linked directly to problematic passages quite unobtrusively, but with the advantage of immediate consultation via a single click. This kind of simple annotation, with a bare letter abbreviating the name of the grammar and the chapter number, would make the process of annotation simper than it can usually be in books, since the annotator would often be freed of the need to re-explain the principle involved. This kind of work obviously cannot be done by machine, but treebanking and other forms of syntactical tagging could speed the process.

A database re-edited author-specific dictionaries, and a series of attractively presented Latin and Greek grammars: these are not impossible dreams, because a great deal of such material exists in the public domain. The challenge will be to extract it accurately from often poor optical character recognition that lies behind the deceptively smooth surface of a pdf., and then to provide it in a pleasing interface, like that of Logeion, in the case of lexical resources. The best visual design of grammars in a digital environment is a problem still to be worked out.

Ancient Peoples

Glass portrait of a woman  19.1cm high (7 1/2...



Glass portrait of a woman 

19.1cm high (7 1/2 inch.) 

Roman, Imperial Period, 1st - 2nd century AD. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

All Are Welcome Here

Westside PC All Welcome Sign 1

Westside PC All Welcome Sign 2

A friend shared these photos of the sign outside his church on Facebook. He was inspired by a sign I shared on this blog!

 

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Durham Hoard Hoikers Criticisised: by a Lone Detectorist


Over on the lowbrow detectorists blogs up north, there are now copycat posts being made congratulating the Durham Hoard Hoikers and extolling, in an object-centred way, the virtues of rough hoard hoiking. Within minutes of me pointing out the report of what had happened, it was deleted from the metal detecting forum where it had appeared, but the bloggers just cannot resist trying to stir it up. First was Bainsey, now his parrot-mate Jenner:
How they can call it the destruction of our heritage is beyond me, this find has added to our heritage. If these detectorists never found this hoard it would still be buried in the ground oblivious (sic) to all.
But then something absolutely unusual happened. A detectorist who does know the difference between right and wrong appeared out of nowhere. Just so people cannot say I only post bad things about artefact hoikers and collectors, here's what "Jordan" said (23 September 2014 07:01):
I didnt get the chance to see the find on the metal detecting forum, so I cant really comment too much. Whilst I do agree its a great find and well done to the finders for that. I cant imagine too many archaeologists being over the moon with the "excavation". The pot containing the coins may well have been removed complete, but any other information regarding why, how and when its was buried is sadly lost. I think deep down inside you know this was not excavated with any degree of profesionalism, which is why you were not too surprised when the article was taken off the forum, this probably suggest that the people running the forum knew this as well. I'm no fan of certain archaeological bloggers, but if we do keep giving him the amunition then what can we expect? As for the farmer deep ploughing and destroying the evidence. The fact is he didnt and the evidnce was there to be recorded etc. As it stands It may as well have been deep ploughed now. There really would be little point in archaeologists trying to gain information from what was left as the area excavated around the pot was way way too small, judging by the photo there is back fill in an around the spade already so any context is now lost. I am aware as someone who has never found a hoard its easy for me to sit here and say "oh they should have done this, or not done that." The guide lines are there for a reason mate, and as much as it kills me to say it they were not followed on this occasion. Dont mean to moan Janner, but this really was a great find that the finder managed to turn into a disaster
Thank you Jordan, and thank you PAS for getting ONE artefact hunter to understand what you should and should not do with a spade.  And what do we think of the censorship of the forums that treats its members as children, and does not give them the possibility to look and make up their own minds and discuss the issue of the responsible detecting they all want (they say) to embrace? 

American Philological Association

CFP: Modern Greek Studies Association

The Program Committee is now accepting abstracts for 20-minute individual papers or panels and special sessions (of up to four 20-minute papers) on Greek Studies, Greece and Cyprus in modern times.  Approaches from all disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts and from interdisciplinary fields are welcome; comparative perspectives are encouraged.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

The Amphipolis Caryatid ...

I rather like her new name ... ;-)


AIA Fieldnotes

Archaeology

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Cleveland Museum of Natural History/Cleveland Archaeological Society
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
fair
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 10:03am

Booth at National Archaeology Day event at the Natural History Museum with hands-on activities, copies of Arch magazine and free pins Read more »

AIA Society: 

Location

Name: 
Phil Wanyerka
Call for Papers: 
no

José María Ciordia (Pompilo: diario esporádico de un profesor de griego)

Cinco poemas para Ángel González

Escribí este librito hace veinte años. Fue el fruto de un desamor. De hecho éste del desamor es el único subgénero poético que cultivo, ya que uso la poesía con finalidad terapéutica, como un remedio que me ayuda a transitar las noches de dolor. Entre eso y el paso del tiempo, al final siempre me curo.

Escribí estos poemas por desamor de mi nunca del todo olvidada P., pero decidí reunirlos y titularlos en honor del poeta Ángel González, si no el mejor del siglo XX, el más cercano a mi sensibilidad de aquellos años. Edité el librito en una edición artesanal de 12 ejemplares numerados y firmados que fui regalando. Cuelgo aquí su versión electrónica en formato pdf, prácticamente un facsimile de la edición en papel.

Portada del librito Cinco poemas para Ángel González

Recuerdo perfectamente el proceso de diseño. Desde que tuve la ocurrencia de crearlo, fui decidiendo exclusivamente in mente, durante un par de semanas, los tipos de letra, la clase de papel, el colofón, el nombre de la supuesta editorial… Y sólo cuando todos los detalles estaban decididos, encendí el ordenador y convertí lo que era una imagen mental en un objeto impreso. Imprimí la portada en papel de estraza, basto pero cotidiano como la poesía de mi modelo poético Á. G., nada parnasiana, y la mía misma. Incluí una fotografía mía pegada en las páginas iniciales, como había visto que se hacía en una preciosa edición encuadernada en tela de La casa solitaria de Robert L. Stevenson. E inventé un recurso editorial que no vi nunca antes ni he visto después en libro alguno: desglosé una cita de Francisco Umbral (“Puedo escribirlo todo, pero la literatura es la distancia definitiva que perpetuamos entre nosotros y las cosas”) en cada una de sus palabras, y las hice acompañar a la numeración al pie de cada página. Así, la única manera de desentrañar la adivinanza y leer la cita completa, consistía en pasar una a una todas las páginas del libro leyendo en cada una sólo una palabra. ¿Cómo coincidió el número de páginas con el número de palabras de la cita? Una casualidad afortunada.

Retrato del poeta español Ángel González
Ángel González. Fuente: ?

Envié un ejemplar del librito al propio Ángel González, junto con una carta muy osada, a la genérica dirección postal de “Real Academia Española de la Lengua, Madrid” —o algo así— porque recientemente había sido nombrado académico, aunque faltaba tiempo para que tomara posesión de su sillón. Me olvidé de todo y meses después, para mi sorpresa, recibí en casa un pequeño paquete remitido por el propio Ángel González (a través de su secretario/a personal, imagino) que incluía un ejemplar de su discurso de ingreso en la Real Academia con una amable dedicatoria personal. Hoy este libro es uno de los pocos y modestos tesoros de mi biblioteca.

Hace un tiempo pensé en rescatar el librito del olvido y publicarlo aquí, pero me detuvo el sentido del ridículo. Contiene pasajes que ahora me parecen irremediablemente cursis, por el uso del diminutivo mayormente, aunque sé que esta apreciación depende completamente de la mirada del observador. Sin embargo hoy lo contemplo con la piedad de un arqueólogo: aquél ya no soy yo.

Del lado contrario, cuando me pregunto cuáles son sus mayores logros, si los hay, pienso en el planteamiento de “Armario con cadáveres”, anterior en varios años a la película El sexto sentido. Me dijeron que el amigo de una amiga lloró leyéndolo. Imagino que reaccionó así, más que a la fuerza expresiva de los versos, porque se reencontró en ellos con un episodio doloroso de su biografía; pero acaso toda la gracia de la literatura consiste precisamente en eso, en encontrarnos a nosotros en ella.

También recuerdo especialmente estos versos de tema amatorio, que aún a veces aún recito de memoria para mí mismo:

…achicará tus ojos la ternura
y abrirás, en sólo un gesto,
los brazos y las piernas
para anegarme en ti.

Y yo —anegado—
chuparé tus ojos, tus labios,
tu barbilla,
hundiré mi lengua
en el pozo de tu boca,
y chocaremos, como brutos,
mi vientre contra tu vientre
chorreando amor.
Hasta agotarnos.

Y no me soltarás,
ni querré yo soltarme de tu abrazo.
Y dormiré anegado en ti,
y tú anegada en tu misterio.

Quien haya intentado incluir el sexo explícito en un poema sabe lo imposible que resulta manejar un registro léxico que, inevitablemente, cae unas veces del lado de la crudeza ginecológica (“vagina”) y otras del lado del exabrupto (“polla”).

Ángel González murió hace unos pocos años, en 2008; todos los testimonios que he leído coinciden en decir que era un buen hombre, con un gran corazón (¡cantaba boleros acompañándose con la guitarra, por Dios!) y sentido del humor. Respecto a P., la aludida en estos poemas, poco puedo decir, salvo que de vez en cuando aún la recuerdo riendo en el esplendor de sus veintipocos años. Y que si la vida me concede el, no sé si llamarlo privilegio, de un final anunciado, estoy seguro de que el suyo será uno de los recuerdos que me acompañarán en esos últimos momentos o días, y los dulcificarán recordándome que vivir valió la pena.

Para acabar, dedico este post al renacer de mi adorada A., a quien nunca había visto hablar y reír tan feliz como la vi la otra noche. Muchos besos (algunos incluso con lengua).

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

The Trojan Exodus: The Initiation of a Nation

Aeneas and His Family Fleeing Troy - by Peter Paul Rubens

Aeneas and His Family Fleeing Troy – by Peter Paul Rubens

The Trojan Exodus: The Initiation of a Nation

Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides

Iris: Volume 19, 1-49 (2006)

Abstract

The second book of the Aeneid , a familiar and favourite reading of a number of Latin students, focuses on the drama that unfolded during the last night of Troy. Aeneas, grateful to the Carthaginian Queen for her hospitality and flattered by her admiration, cannot but agree to her request to hear, detail by detail, the events of the fatal day that saw the utter destruction of his city. Aeneas’ narration has almost cinematographic qualities; however, despite his majestic descriptions of palaces and private buildings yielding to the flames and annihilation (real and metaphorical), the dramatic emphasis falls on the misfortunes of the people, relived in short episodes throughout the night, so terrible and so numerous that the audience is almost exhausted by the relentless repetition of deaths and devastation. Troy, in common with the tragic fates of renowned ancient capitals, resembles a paradise utterly lost and reduced to a flaming hell in the hands of its irreverent conquerors. The cause of all this is a gigantic wooden horse (instar montis, Aen. 2.15), a crafted ‘trap’ (insidias, 36), set in action by the ‘deceptions’ (doli, 152) of treacherous Sinon.

This paper is divided in two parts. The first part focuses on the role of the wooden horse in the destruction of Troy. I shall demonstrate that the currently suggested interpretations which by and large associate the wooden horse with sympathetic magic are not fully satisfactory. I shall also revise the argument that Troy was consumed by a magical fire and that the city was a symbol of a magical maze. In the second part, I shall suggest that the elements of Aeneas’ narration that have been interpreted as magical could be more appropriately read as initiatory. A close reading of the second book of the Aeneid could reveal that Vergil describes the destruction of Troy in terms that recall initiation into ancient mystery cults, including the Eleus- inian and the Bacchic/Orphic mysteries. This interpretation is in line with the longstanding recognition that Vergil employs mystery motifs in his epic, although book two was not previously suspected of bearing initiatory elements.

Click here to read this article from Iris

ArcheoNet BE

Tweede Metaaltijdendag: het definitieve programma

Op vrijdag 17 oktober vindt de tweede Metaaltijdendag plaats in Amersfoort (Nederland), met als centraal thema ‘Van Begin en Eind: Productie en Depositie in de Metaaltijden’. Deze dag, een initiatief van de Stichting Metaaltijdenonderzoek Nederland, wil een platform bieden voor archeologen geïnteresseerd in de archeologie van de metaaltijden van Nederland. Deze week werd het definitieve programma van deze dag bekendgemaakt. Je vindt het programma en alle praktische informatie op de website metaaltijden.nl. Inschrijven kan via dit formulier.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Music chamber found in ancient city of Isos

A music chamber has been discovered in a 5,000 year-old ancient city in the eastern province of Hatay’s Erzin neighborhood. It is thought that the chamber, which dates back to the Roman era and which was built with rare “odeon” architecture, was once used for treatment.

Excavations have been continuing for eight years in the ancient city of Isos (Epiphane), which was a significant settlement in 545 B.C. The battle between the Macedonian king Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius took place in this region.

Isos is mentioned in history books as a trade city and was a multicultural city where the Roman, Byzantine, late Hittite, Persian and Ottoman empires all settled. Read more.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Library Acquisitions Lists

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Library Acquisitions Lists
http://isaw.nyu.edu/logo.png
The ISAW Library publishes lists of its recent acquisitions throughout the academic year.  Please see the links below for bibliographic information of our new holdings by month, available in static HTML and a Zotero library.

May 2014

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Sandbag wall protects 18th Century dock

A sandbag wall has been built to protect an 18th Century dock discovered during an archaeological dig to unearth one of the world’s oldest yachts.

In April a UK team of archaeologists excavated the Castletown cellar where the vessel ‘Peggy’ had been stored for 120 years in the Isle of Man.

According to Manx National Heritage, it was built for politician and bank owner George Quayle between 1789 and 1793.

Alison Fox of MNH said the sandbags will protect “venerable timbers”.

During the excavations more than 50 tonnes of 19th Century landfill were removed from under Mr Quayle’s former Castletown home. Read more.

Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered

More than 50 geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, have been discovered across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia, say archaeologists.

These sprawling structures, mostly earthen mounds, create the type of landscape art most famously seen in the Nazca region of Peru.

Discovered using Google Earth, the geoglyphs are designed in a variety of geometric shapes, including squares, rings, crosses and swastikas (the swastika is a design that was used in ancient times). Ranging from 90 to 400 meters (295 to 1,312 feet) in diameter, some of them are longer than a modern-day aircraft carrier. Read more.

The Archaeology News Network

Byzantine church treasure found in Bulgaria

An archaeological expedition uncovered a church treasure of more than 1200 early Byzantine coins near the Dobrich village of Debrene, said the director of the Dobirch history museum Kostadin Kostadinov. According to the head of the expedition Boyan Totev, this is the first such discovery in Bulgaria. He said the small amphora full of bronze Byzantine coins from the sixth century AD was most likely church mite, buried in the ground...

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

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

Christians against Christians: The Anti-heretical Activities of the Roman Church in the Second Century

'Faithful Unto Death', by Herbert Schmalz - Early Christian martyrs

‘Faithful Unto Death’, by Herbert Schmalz – Early Christian martyrs

Christians against Christians: The Anti-heretical Activities of the Roman Church in the Second Century

Dimitris J. Kyrtatas (University of Thessaly)

Historein:  Volume 6 (2006)

Abstract

The church of Rome was actively involved in the disputes and conflicts that challenged the Christian movement throughout the Roman Empire from a very early period. Its interference in the affairs of other com- munities is most evident in the anti-heretical campaigns launched by its leaders as well as in the efforts those leaders made to found a universal church. This article shall restrict itself to the second century and as much as possible to the middle of that century. This period has not been investigated much due to the lack of reliable evidence. But as it seems to have been crucial for later developments, it is worth some close scrutiny. Most of what I will present in this article is not highly original – and what is original is not always very solid. My debt to previous studies will be clear enough and my own conjectures underlined. But I hope that a fresh examination of the scant evidence may stimulate discussion that could lead to a slightly new evaluation of the situation.

I shall argue that the leaders of the Christian community of Rome started developing, from a very early stage, an ambitious plan that they consciously pursued in a most persistent manner. To facilitate discussion, my arguments are grouped under four headings. I deal firstly with examples of what may be called clear cases of direct intervention; secondly, with the means employed and the weapons used in such interventions; thirdly, with the reasons behind Rome’s intervention; and fourthly, with the strategy and the aims of the intervention as well as with an estimate of the results, successes and failures of the endeavour.

Click here to read this article from Historein

BiblePlaces Blog

Rooms of Emperor Augustus Now Open to Public

At the time when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Emperor Augustus was enjoying a luxurious life on the Palatine Hill in Rome. Restorations of some of his rooms have been completed and are now being opened to the public. From ArtDaily:

Lavishly frescoed rooms in the houses of the Roman Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia are opening for the first time to the public Thursday, after years of painstaking restoration.

The houses on Rome's Palatine hill where the emperor lived with his family are re-opening after a 2.5 million euro ($3.22 million) restoration to mark the 2,000 anniversary of Augustus's death -- with previously off-limit chambers on show for the first time.

From garlands of flowers on Pompeian red backgrounds to majestic temples and scenes of rural bliss, the rooms are adorned with vividly coloured frescoes, many in an exceptional condition.

[...]

The complex was intended to symbolise not only his power but that of his wife and advisor Livia, who is said to have wielded great influence over him and went on to play an important role in Roman politics after his death.

"Looking at the houses, the buildings he had built, we understand he was a man of power, of great strength, who knew what went into making a political man at the head of such a big empire," Conti said.

The frescoes in Livia's house in particular are one of the most important examples of the period's style, according to Barbera.

The full story is here.

HT: Ted Weis

Palatine Hill from northeast, tb012001701

Palatine Hill in Rome

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeologists Uncover Church Treasure Near Dobrich

An archaeological expedition uncovered a church treasure of more than 1200 early Byzantine coins near the Dobrich village of Debrene, said the director of the Dobirch history museum Kostadin Kostadinov.

According to the head of the expedition Boyan Totev, this is the first such discovery in Bulgaria. He said the small amphora full of bronze Byzantine coins from the VI c. A.D. was most likely church mite, buried in the ground during an invasion of Slavs or Avars.

The discovery was made on the territory of a small fortress, most likely built in late antiquity around a basilica to protect it. The church itself was built during the late Roman empire and existed till the end of VI c. A.D. (source)

Katy Meyers (Bones Don't Lie)

Disarticulated Remains: Evidence of Ritual or Scavenging?

There is a joke among archaeologists about the use of the term ‘ritual’. Basically, it seems to be a common thing that when an archaeologist can’t understand a site, when […]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Modern humans may have migrated into Austria 43,500 years ago

A multinational team analysed stone tools recovered during a recent re-excavation of the find site of the Venus of Willendorf in Austria. The authors identified the stone tools as belonging to the Aurignacian culture, generally accepted as indicative of modern human presence. Chronostratigraphic information suggests the tools date to around 43,500 years ago, pre-dating other known Aurignacian artifacts. Based on the type of soil and its mollusk assemblage, climatic conditions during that time were likely cool, with a steppe-like environment and some conifer trees along river valleys.

The date of the artifacts represents the oldest well-documented occurrence of behaviorally modern humans in Europe and suggests contemporaneity with Neanderthals in other parts of Europe, showing that behaviorally modern humans and Neanderthals shared this region longer than previously thought. Read more.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Conclusa la prima fase del restauro dell'Adorazione dei Magi di Leonardo

adorazione-magi-restauro-visSono stati presentati nella mattina di martedì 23 settembre, presso l’Opificio delle Pietre Dure e i Laboratori di restauro della Fortezza da Basso di Firenze, i risultati della prima fase di restauro in atto da novembre 2011 sulla tavola dell'Adorazione dei Magi di Leonardo da Vinci. 

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Book Blurbs: Pyla-Koutsopetria and Punk Archaeology

As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I’m not much of a book writing person. Most of my ideas can be most profitably explored at about 10,000 words. Every now and then, I figure out some idea or concept or gimmick that deserves more words, and over the next month or so, two of those ideas will appear in book forms. Of course, none of this would be even remotely possible without the collaboration of coauthors, editors, and colleagues. 

One of the most fun parts about getting a book together (you know, more fun than page proofs or sorting out that one last figure that requires attention!) is writing and receiving little blurbs that are used for marketing new books. 

My coauthors and I wrote the little blurb for Pyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coastal Town. American Schools of Oriental Research Archaeological Report Series Number 21:

Pyla-Koutsopetria I presents the results of an intensive pedestrian survey documenting the diachronic history of a 100 ha microregion along the southern coast of Cyprus. Located around 10 km from the ancient city of Kition, the ancient coastal settlements of the Koutsopetria mircoregion featured an Iron Age sanctuary, a Classical settlement, a Hellenistic fortification, a Late Roman town, and a Venetian-Ottoman coastal battery situated adjacent to a now infilled, natural harbor on Larnaka Bay. This publication integrates a comprehensive treatment of methods with a discussion of artifact distribution, a thorough catalogue of finds, and a diachronic history to shed light on one of the few undeveloped stretches of the Cypriot coast.

I’m also on the verge of releasing my first book as publisher: Punk Archaeology.  

Punk Archaeology Cover

The process has been a bit slower than expected, but I invited some sympathetic voices to provide some short perspectives on the book.

The first is from Brett Ommen, hobo academic:

The <Punk> of Punk Archeology exists as acipher, an empty signifier. The value of this volume lies in its commitment to variously loading <punk> with meaning based on the epistemic uncertainties that mark human civilization and its study. This volume traverses the supposed rules of theory and praxis, of art and science, of conservation and change, of information and meaning by way of the unruly <punk>. <punk> helps these authors locate their work and our world, not because it functions as a particular concept but instead because it refuses any particular mode of divination. As such, Punk Archaeology offers all academic fields a lesson for utilizing the anarchy of the cipher to negotiate the perils of disciplinary rigidity.

The second is from photographer, geek, and author Kyle Cassidy:

Archaeologists are at home in the dirt. They start the season respectably enough, in khaki’s and sensible shoes, but after four weeks of living in a tent and sifting rocks for bits of bone all day they’ve stopped shaving (if they ever did to begin with), possibly eschewed grooming altogether and no longer resemble anything you’d expect to see in the front of a classroom. When an archaeologist needs to get a wheelbarrow of backfill across a trench, they build a bridge out of whatever’s lying around; they do it this way because they’re in the middle of nowhere and they know the swiftest way between point A and point B is to do it yourself; because the coyotes aren’t going to do it for you and the board of trustees isn’t going to do it for you. This DIY attitude is how they manage to transport & house two faculty members and five grad students in Syria for three months for less than one lab in the med school’s spent on glassware during the same time period.

Archaeologists rely on themselves because they have to. They are the cassette tapes of academics; played through one speaker, loudly, and full of passion, blasting a song that so many people can’t understand the words to, but are moved by experiencing. Punk Archaeology is filled with this music: In Richard Rothaus’ “Punk Archaeoseismology”, scientists try to understand the destruction of a town 1,600 years ago by racing to  Güllük, Turkey the day that it sinks into the sea, killing every single inhabitant, during a terrible earthquake. It is as personal and visceral as any Xeroxed Zine because it is ultimately about science poured from the crucible of very personal chaos. Colleen Morgan’s account of continually explaining her tattoos to workers is an explanation for everyone in the sacrifices we all make to identify our tribe. Kostis Kourelis’ singling out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s unheralded place in the creation of Punk and New Wave reminds us of Philadelphia, Turkey and it’s likewise mostly forgotten place in Byzantine history — archaeologists know better than most anyone else that kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall and the small things that are meaningful to us now won’t even be footnotes in eighteen hundred years unless someone tracks them down.

This book is about archaeology, and more than that, it’s about music, but when you peel back all the power chords, the distorted guitars, the sweat, the frenetic drums, Ramone’s stickers and the cheap beer, most of all, this book is about trying to fit broken pieces together to make sense of a world in which you are constantly reminded that everybody dies in the end, because you’re looking at veritable mountains made up of their triumphs, their failures, and their very bones.


Archaeological News on Tumblr

The Han Dynasty to reign at Paris museum

The winds of Han are expected to blow French viewers away.

The largest exhibition of Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) artifacts outside China will run in Paris in celebration of the 50 years of Sino-French diplomatic ties.

Art Exhibitions China, which is in charge of Chinese relics’ overseas displays, signed an agreement with Paris-based Guimet Museum last week to organize the show.

Splendors of Han, Flying of the Heavenly Empire (Splendeurs des Han, Essor de l’Empire Celeste) will exhibit 456 pieces from 27 Chinese museums from Oct 21 to March 1, 2015. Displays will include silk and gold pieces, and records written on wooden slips, Art Exhibitions China deputy director Yao An says. Read more.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

The Jesus Birther Movement

I recently had my attention drawn to a rather bizarre web page, connected with the “Jesus Birther Movement.” They oddly dismiss sources like Josephus because they were written somewhat later than Jesus’ time, as though that is uncommon, or normally means that an author writing slightly after a person’s own time is unlikely to be able to figure out whether a person existed. More telling, however, is that they also skip over Paul, who had met Jesus’ brother, and was alive at the time of Jesus. Although we have no evidence that Paul had ever met Jesus, there’s no particularly good reason to think he had never caught a glimpse of him. But be that as it may, Paul isn’t even mentioned, even though he was a contemporary source, well poised to know whether or not Jesus existed. Even if he only wrote about Jesus after Jesus had died, we may point out once again that that is not at all uncommon.

Perhaps Paul is ignored because he is a Christian – mythicists regularly dismiss Christian sources, as though people who followed an individual are not typically the best witnesses to that figure’s existence. People connected with a particular religion, region, nation, or anything else are precisely the ones that are most likely to give us first-hand evidence. We definitely should expect Americans to be biased about the character of their own country and its politicians. We do not therefore distrust them about the existence of their country or its politicians.

And so here’s my comment on this, summed up in an image:

Dismissing Christian testimony to Jesus’ historicity

Of related interest, a classic study “proving” that Napoleon never existed, as a way of exposing the problems with mythicist methods, is available online for free via Project Gutenberg. HT Jonathan Bernier.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Amphipolis ... Tomb or Heroon?

There are countless references in ancient sources to the Heroon of Mausolus, which was also a tomb and from which the term Mausoleum derives (first used for Augustus' tomb, although a recent find suggests it might have been used earlier).

The Lion at Chaeronea was a cenotaph not a tomb.

We keep using the word 'tomb' for Amphipolis - first the Lion Tomb, now the Kastra Tomb ... - but one interesting feature is the lack of a door. It may have been removed when the structure was sealed, but the lack of a door so far suggests the lack of a burial, and in conjunction with the steep steps this to me suggests increasingly that it was not a tomb but possibly a cenotaph or more likely a heroon.

Obviously it is too early to know for certain, but I am putting the suggestion out there.

As Shakespeare said:
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet ....
I've maintained for quite some time that the colossal size of the structure suggests it was very unlikely to have been built for anyone other than Alexander the Great. Although the Mausoleum of Augustus was round, and seems to have copied it, there is a dearth of round Greek tombs; the shape was previously restricted for very important structures, many of which had cult purposes ... and the prime example was the tholos built by Philip II at Olympia and filled with family portraits.

The Philippeion had a diameter of 15.24 m or was roughly one tenth that of Amphipolis' 158.4 m diameter.

It was filled with portraits by Leochares, who had previously worked on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and created portraits for his successors Idrieus and Ada of Caria.

The round shape of the Amphipolis structure, the lack of a door and the sources which all say Alexander was buried in Egypt, to me all suggest that it was more likely to have been a heroon or cult of Alexander the Great with or without his ancestors and relatives, whatever it started life as.


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Clara Rhodos. Studi e materiali pubblicati a cura dell' Istituto Storico-Archeologico di Rodi

Clara Rhodos. Studi e materiali pubblicati a cura dell' Istituto Storico-Archeologico di Rodi
Στη σειρά Clara Rhodos, που αποτελείται από δέκα τόμους και εκδόθηκε από το 1928 έως το 1941, παρουσιάζονται οι έρευνες και οι ανασκαφές στα Δωδεκάνησα, κυρίως στη Ρόδο, την Κω, τη Χάλκη και τη Νίσυρο, κατά τη διάρκεια της Ιταλοκρατίας. Η σειρά αποτελεί έκδοση του ινστιτούτου FERT, που συστήθηκε από τους Ιταλούς αρχαιολόγους το 1927. Μετά την ενσωμάτωση της Δωδεκανήσου στην Ελλάδα το 1948, οι δικαιοδοσίες του FERT μεταβιβάστηκαν στην Ελληνική Αρχαιολογική Υπηρεσία, και συγκεκριμένα στο Αρχαιολογικό και Ιστορικό Ίδρυμα Ρόδου, το οποίο το 2003 μετονομάστηκε σε Αρχαιολογικό Ινστιτούτο Αιγαιακών Σπουδών.

Εκδόσεις:
Clara Rhodos I: A. Maiuri – G. Jacopich, Rapporto generale sul servizio archeologico a Rodi e nelle isole dipendenti dall’anno 1912 all’anno 1927, Bergamo 1928
Clara Rhodos II: A. Maiuri, Monumenti di scultura del Museo archeologico di Rodi I, Bergamo 1932
Clara Rhodos III: G. Jacopi, Scavi nella necropoli di Jalisso, 1924-1928, Bergamo 1929
Clara Rhodos IV: G. Jacopi, Esplorazione archeologica di Camiro I, Bergamo 1931
Clara Rhodos IX: 1. L. Laurenzi, Monumenti di scultura del Museo Archeologico di Rodi – IV; e dell’ Antiquarium di Coo - II. 2. E. Paribeni, Due vasi del Museo Archeologico di Rodi. 3. G. Levi Della Vida, Una bilingue Greco-Nabatea a Coo. 4. M Segre, La legge ateniese sull’ unificazione della Moneta. 5. M Segre, Iscrizioni di Licia. 6. S. Accame, Un nuovo decreto di Lindo del V Sec. A.C., Bergamo 1938.
Clara Rhodos V. 1: G. Jacopi, Monumenti di scultura del Museo archeologico di Rodi II, Bergamo 1931
Clara Rhodos V. 2: G. Jacopi, Monumenti di scultura del Museo archeologico di Rodi III, Bergamo 1932
Clara Rhodos VIII: 1. L. Laurenzi, Necropoli ialisie (Scavi dell’ anno 1934). 2. P. E. Arias, “Pelike” con amazzonomachia dell’ “Antiquarium” di Coo. 3. M Segre, Dedica votiva dell’ equipaggio di una nave rodia. 4. P. Lojacono, La chiesa conventuale di S. Giovanni dei Cavalieri in Rodi. 5. P. Lojacono, Il Palazzo del Gran Maestro in Rodi , Bergamo 1936.
Clara Rhodos VI-VII: G. Jacopi, Esplorazione archeologica di Camiro II, Necropoli, Acropoli, Bergamo 1932-3
Clara Rhodos X: 1. L. Laurenzi, Ritratto di un principe ellenistico. 2. L. Laurenzi, Statuetta acefala di Cleobulo Lindio. 3. L. Laurenzi, Iscrizioni dell’ Asclepieo di Coo. 4. G Monaco, Scavi nella zona micenea di Jaliso (1935-1936). 5. M. C. De Azevedo, Una oinochoe della necropoli di Jaliso. 6. A. Degrassi, Iscrizioni latine inedite di Coo, Bergamo 1941.



Open Access Journal: Classics Convivium Newsletter

 [First posted in AWOL 2 January 2011. Updated 22 September 2014 (new URLS]

Classics Convivium Newsletter
Internationally renowned for its scholarly excellence and its graduate programs, the Department {of Classics, University of Michigan] is also deeply committed to the education of undergraduates at the University. Faculty and students work closely with the Kelsey Museum and its collection of antiquities and the Papyrus Collection in the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.
Fall 2013
In this issue:
  • Gabii Update
  • Stamboulidis Fund for Exploring Classical Arts and Culture
  • 2013 Jerome Lecture Series
  • Kate Bosher will be Missed
  • Roman Error Conference
  • Bruce Frier "Retires"
  • Rebecca Sears, ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Carrie Arbour Study Abroad 2013 Scholarships
Spring 2012                      
In this issue:
  • Teaching Medical Terminology
  • Latin for Everybody
  • Platsis Review
  • Francis W. Kelsey
  • First Year Writing Seminar
  • Inter Versiculos
  • CFC Translation
  • Honors Thesis Writers
  • 2012 Else Lecture
Spring 2011
In this issue:
  • Chair’s Letter
  • 2010 Platsis Review
  • Elizabeth Kovach Fund
  • Research
  • Domestic Space in Classical Antiquity
  • P. Asso, E. Heiden & S. Hutchings Senior Honors theses
Spring 2010
In this issue:
  • Constantine Cavafy
  • Letter from the Chair
  • Archaeology Conference
  • Fiat/Chrysler Scholars
  • Gabii Project
  • Greeks and Barbarians
  • Lecture Series


Winter 2009
  • Anatomy Lesson
  • Chair's Letter
  • Platsis Symposium
  • Jerome Lecture
  • The Argument
  • Gabii Project
  • Roma Viva
  • Grad Student Conference
Fall 2008
  • Chicks wi th Bricks–Warrior Women
  • Colchis
  • Latin Teaching
  • Phi lomel
  • Facult y & Graduate Student News
Winter 2008
  • From the Chair 
  • Indo European Language and Culture 
  • Platsis Symposium
  • Tapinocyba cameroni 
  • Students at Large


Open Access Journal: Noua Tellus: Anuario del Centro de Estudios Clásicos

Noua Tellus: Anuario del Centro de Estudios Clásicos
ISSN: 0185-3058

http://www.iifilologicas.unam.mx/nouatellus/uploads/unam/imgs/encabezadob.jpg
Noua Tellus publica artículos y notas de investigación de carácter filológico referentes a las lenguas y literaturas griega, latina y sánscrita clásicas, además de a su tradición, así como documentos, reseñas y noticias relativas a dichos campos de estudio.
El Anuario del Centro de Estudios Clásicos Noua Tellus ofrece a sus lectores una útil guía de consulta, da crédito y reconocimiento a sus colaboradores, quienes la han distinguido con la generosidad de sus conocimientos, desde 1993 hasta el primer semestre de 2013.


 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Amazon Warriors' Names Revealed Amid "Gibberish" on Ancient Greek Vases

Ancient Greek vases with inscriptions that were once thought to be nonsense turn out to include the names of legendary Amazons, the famed warrior women.

In a forthcoming study of pottery dating to 500 B.C., study lead author Adrienne Mayor and J. Paul Getty Museum assistant curator David Saunders translated Greek inscriptions into their phonetic sounds for 12 ancient vases from Athens dated from 550 B.C. to 450 B.C. The inscriptions appear next to scenes of Amazons fighting, swimming, or shooting arrows.

They next submitted just the phonetic transcriptions without explanation to linguist John Colarusso of Canada’s McMaster University in Hamilton, who is an expert on rare languages of the Caucasus. He translated the inscriptions into names—such as Princess, Don’t Fail, and Hot Flanks—without knowing the details of the pictures of Amazons. Read more.

Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city

Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city. Hidden for centuries, new archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets - including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.

In April 1858 a young French explorer, Henri Mouhot, sailed from London to south-east Asia. For the next three years he travelled widely, discovering exotic jungle insects that still bear his name.

Today he would be all but forgotten were it not for his journal, published in 1863, two years after he died of fever in Laos, aged just 35.

Mouhot’s account captured the public imagination, but not because of the beetles and spiders he found. Read more.

David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

Classical Query: Trees Are Alphabets??

Please help Matthew McGowan, who writes in with a query:

I received a note from a poet friend about the Roland Barthes quotation from his “Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes” book (1977, p. 41):

“According to the Greeks, trees are alphabets.”

I assumed it might be from Aristotle or Theophrastus, but have not been able to find anything. Have you come across the idea of “alphabets as trees” in Greek literature before? Is Barthes simply making it up? Can you share it with the RogueClassicism community to see what others have to say?

Replies as comments welcome!


David Gill (Looting Matters)

Roman Sarcophagus due to be returned to Italy

Source: ICE
Ric St Hilaire has written about the likely return of the Roman sarcophagus lid to Italy ("Stipulation Puts a Lid on Litigation Over Roman Sarcophagus Cover Featured in the Becchina Archive", September 22, 2014). The sarcophagus was recognised from the Becchina archive. The sarcophagus has been handled by Noryioshi Horiuchi.

Horiuchi has been at the centre of the the Italian Operation Andromeda. Some 20000 antiquities have already been seized from the dealer.

If the sarcophagus is indeed returned to Italy it will increase the pressure on the Miho Museum in Japan to resolve Italian claims on a number of objects that have also featured in the seized photographic archives.

But where are the antiquities that Horiuchi has handled over time? Who purchased them? Which other dealers are linked?

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

"Why not Turn a Blind Eye, Like all the Rest"?


In an addendum to the post 'Farmer Brown has something to tell the Portable Antiquities Scheme!', Heritage Action highlight the sort of things artefact hunters are saying on their blogs and forums about the weekend hoard hoiking event discussed here. One gem is typical:
As predicted, they’ve done it again. “Stop digging” isn’t very complicated. These are not clever people. Just how un-clever is illustrated by the same person who made the silly comments above: “It is said that we should not dig below the plough level because we are digging into undisturbed soil but this is down to personal choice and what you decide is responsible and ethical in your approach to metal detecting". So… they can help themselves to Society’s history and destroy Society’s knowledge as a personal choice based on what they decide is responsible and ethical and then come to Society with their hands out for a massive reward! Hey PAS, EH and CBA, any comment?
No comment from the 'turn-a-blind-eyes' at PAS, EH or CBA of course. I really do not see the decision for totally untrained individuals trashing archaeological deposits as any kind of "responsible" behaviour. Responsible is defined in the 'Code for Responsible metal detecting in England and Wales' which is quite clear about that. This has nothing to do with free choice, one takes a decision to do something in a responsible way or not, beyond that, there is no "responsible alternatively". This is where the intelligence of the majority of people doing metal detecting takes on a significance. in order to be 'partners' and provide archaeologically viable information, they have to understand the way that information is observed, recorded and interpreted (or perhaps that's the other way round). Anyone unable to articulate relatively simple concepts such as 'this is right', 'this is wrong', are not likely to be able to cope with anything more complex such as understanding subtle changes in soil colour and texture in horizontal or vertical section. As an indicator of the cognitive barriers 'partnership' faces in constructing a dialogue, the same detectorist writes disapprovingly of the fact I commented on what we see in those photos on a metal detecting forum, and put it under the title "Shock horror, metal detectorists find hoard!". Another tekkie struggling to find meaning in the concerns raised rationalises it thus
Your (sic) a complete and utter disgrace to human society [...], I believe you are very much in the frame (sic) of jealously as you cannot and did not get your dirty hands on this find and claim to fame for your personal gain.
Neither of these folk sees that the problem which I raised does not concern the 'finding' of the deposit, but the way it was treated by "responsible' detectorists expecting to get rewarded for this. How many other UK detectorists are as confused about what the issue (down in black and white) is?


Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeology and photography at ancient Alalakh

Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) in Istanbul is hosting an exhibition titled “The Forgotten Kingdom, Archaeology and Photography at Ancient Alalakh.”

An ancient city-state, Alalakh was a late Bronze Age capital in the Amuq River valley of the eastern province of Hatay. It was occupied even before 2,000 B.C., when the first palace was built, and likely destroyed in the 12th century B.C., after which it was never reoccupied. The city contained palaces, temples, private houses and fortifications. Contemporary Antakya developed near the site.

Curated by Murat Akar and Hélène Maloigne, the exhibition consists of photographs from the area’s first excavation by British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s, alongside photographs from this century by Akar. Read more.

ArcheoNet BE

Studiedag ‘Archeologie en onderwaterlandschap’

Op 24 november vindt in Brugge een studiedag plaats over archeologie en onderwaterlandschap. De Noordzee herbergt tal van sporen die een boeiend verhaal vertellen en iets toevoegen aan de kennis van ons eigen rijke verleden. Vanuit het IWT-project SeArch werken wetenschappers en andere zeegebruikers nu actief samen om deze kennis optimaal te ontsluiten. Tijdens de studiedag in Brugge krijg je in een notendop de huidige kennis van zaken, zowel in het Belgisch deel van de Noordzee als in onze buurlanden. Meer informatie over deze dag vind je op www.sea-arch.be.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Dolce Did Matadors

Manet painted Victorine Meurent as a matador in 1862 (Metropolitan Museum), and it the look has regularly come in and out of fashion ever since (ten plus years back I had a dress by John Galliano for Dior with a heavily beaded shoulder and arm a la Matador ...). 

Dolce e Gabbana just presented their Spring 2015 collection. I had been thinking of popping over to Madrid to see a bull fight before the season ended, but now I might wait ... last time I wore a Las Meninas inspired Alaia and this time I had thought to bring an ancient Yves Saint Laurent ... Incidentally, the arena for bullfights works the same way the Colosseum did, with people flowing in and out, men renting out cushions for the seats - and anyone interested in ancient Rome should really go.


 

All photos of the catwalk presentation are from Style.com, and more can be browsed here.

This is the most wearable of the matador-inspired looks, and black is always easiest to incorporate into an existing wardrobe ...

Cropped boxy jackets may be more authentic, but the bolero is not good for most figures ... a long jacket is much more flattering.

Waists are back with a vengeance! As it the wide belt to accentuate them. This can be a tricky look for those of us without boyish figures, but belts with skirts or rather dresses have been in since the ancient Greeks for a reason ... they flatter curves.

The short-cut to the Spanish look is always red roses in the hair, tucked behind the ear. (see various 19th century paintings, Frida Kahlo, etc).


As always they presented the classic little black dresses that make them so popular (Although people often say Dolce e Gabbana design for curves, they cut for hips not boobs - I have a very similar dress from Beulah who does cut for boobs).

T-straps shoes are also back with a vengeance, and sex-up an otherwise demure suit whose jacket is inspired by Dior's New Look.

I'm finishing with this photo to make the point that fashion is cyclical. Post-flood I found an old Dolce skirt from years back in this print ... it was a pencil skirt lined in orange raw silk (their black items tend to be lined in leopard print) but ... plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose










For those that can't wait for the catwalk looks to hit the shops, Moda Operandi have developed a very clever model where one can pre-order looks to guarantee getting them.

Luis via Roma, an amazing shop in Florence just north of the ancient Forum, always have the best selection of Dolce e Gabbana online, and take pre-orders closer to the launch dates.






Blog Housekeeping

Ministry of Culture press releases about Amphipolis can be found on their web site here. I'm happy to try to continue answering questions about them when I can, but could I please ask people to post the questions in the comments if they can, as I can't answer emails individually.

I'm normally vaguely willing to talk to journalists, ideally off the record, but I do not feel comfortable doing so about Amphipolis or active Loot Busters case - sorry. And as I often have to explain, if I knew about baddies doing x or y in a country, I'd tell the local ministry of culture or the police rather than a journalist. I am quite happy to go on the record about how bloody awful eBay is or how the Green Bible Museum is dodgy.

I'm always delighted to receive books from PRs, and either pass them on (usually to libraries) or keep them after a review. I'm a little confused about some of the other things some PRs have offered to send me, as I would never praise chia seeds or weight loss pills, but ... yes I have a lot of readers here and through Culture Concierge, and I'm always happy to try out new things and mention them if I like them.

I currently only use Amazon Affiliate links. I might add more, or I might not. It does not cost readers anything extra, and it makes it easier for me to add links - every once in a while I get a tiny percentage if people click through, and I buy myself a new book with the credit. If it bothers you, just buy the items elsewhere!

I love independent book shops, and I make a point of buying books that I would not have found otherwise through them. I am aware that some people are currently boycotting Amazon, but I'm mostly okay with the company. For those in London I highly recommend this (free) App for finding more amazing independent book shops ... and I'll be blogging about some of the ones I love soon.

The way Amazon Associates works is that if I recommend something, and you click through and buy it, I get a % of the price. For example I love and have Amazon Prime. If you click through these links below - Amazon UK or Amazon US - and try the 30 day free trial of Prime ... you get next day delivery in the UK or two-day delivery in the US, and streaming of some TV and movies (it's not as good as Netflix) ... I might  get $3 ... but my advice is to mark 29 days ahead when you start the trial, so that you remember to cancel it before you're billed. (For students in the US, this seems to be a better deal: Join Amazon Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students ).

I only recommend books I've read and loved on the blog and in the newsletter; I sometimes tweet links to free or cheap books, not all of which I've read, because I tend to share the bargain when I find one ...

I didn't want to start a separate blog, so posts for my friends and 1% neighbours are marked "Le Fluff et Le Puff" and continue after a break (it's tongue in cheek).

I'm going to be blogging more regularly about London, food and travel, and incorporating places I feature in the Culture Concierge newsletters - renamed Culture Cut - with this blog in the form of more detailed blog posts.

I have no current travel plans, although I am trying to build a US trip in March around a conference. I tend to go to Marrakesh at the start of the year for some sun, and love Morocco (it is very safe for women on their own). I also normally go to Athens at the start of the year, but that might be rescheduled as my friends seem to be digging elsewhere. So Istanbul might be on the cards instead ... Oh, and Paris. And anywhere else that appeals ... Anyway, there will be a lot more travel posts about hotels, restaurants and places I love in those cities.

I don't track page views or locations or anything else at LootBusters - the site is deliberately low tech as I want people to be able to look at material without worrying about tracking.

Most of the threats and hate mail I receive seems to originate at Cambridge for some reason, but I only pass on serious threats ... to be honest I ignore most of them.

I've set my Twitter account to not private, and it seems to be working rather well (one idiot blocked, nothing else unpleasant); @DorothyKing

I use DorothyLobelKing for Tumblr - My Little Tumblr - and Instagram, although I use neither terribly often. There are Culture Concierge and LootBusters Facebook pages, which I largely ignore, and I have very few 'friends' on Facebook that I'm not related to.

I don't 'pin' or FourSquare or use many other sites ... and whilst a woman in America has very 'kindly' signed me up to various other sites such as Over 60s Dating and Obese Dating and Adulterers R Us, obviously those are not my accounts - but I'm happy to provide people with her email if they'd like to contact her directly ...


Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Hoard Hoiking: A Word from the Archaeologists


Heritage action made a comment about professional reticence in addressing artefact hunters' bad practice under one of yesterday's posts which I think worth highlighting:
Well, all those professionals may have stayed silent but notional octogenarian Farmer Silas Brown said it for them back in March after the Kent scandal, pleading with PAS over their inadequate advice...
"can you please make the changes without any further delay – before another spade-happy hero digs up what he shouldn’t and comes asking the poor taxpayer for even more money and saying the state financed advice bureau hadn’t told him what he should have done? As a taxpayer I’m not sure who annoys me most, him or you, but I think probably you as you know I’m right."
We have professionals who know what's right and we have amateurs who are too thick to work it out for themselves and the former won't explain it properly to the latter. That IS a scandal, there's no other word for it.
Meanwhile I am told by somebody who looks like one of the participants:
If fellow British archeologists are happy with how this was conducted then it shouldn't concern you. Our heritage. Our museums.
My reply:
Are they? Your FLO refuses to answer my letter about it. You get the FLO to send me a statement that they are "happy" with the level of recording here and I'll gladly publish it.
Very gladly. Trouble is, the FLO maintains a silence, could it be they do not want to engage in any discussion for a reason? I thought though that this is the job of the FLOs, liaison.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Le Fluff et Le Puff ... Anya Hindmarch

I'm a big fan of Anya Hindmarch - both the woman and the brand - and have been picking up her bags since her first collection way back when she was on Walton Street ...

From her current collection, my favourites are this: Ship Imperial clutch | Anya Hindmarch




(also available as a little silk square)

Although perhaps this one might be more suited to some of the newer residents of Belgravia ... ?

Ariel Georgiana Clutch | Anya Hindmarch

(the white one is currently sold out, but the red version can be pre-ordered at Luisa via Roma).
And if you think her fashion show last week was a bit of a circus, you clearly have not seen Ellie with a balloon in one of her shops ... We walk past the Anya Hindmarch Bespoke shop on Pont Street so often, and pop in to order gifts ... that Ellie now just trots up to the door and raises her paw to ask for the door to be opened.

(And yes Ellie is hoping Anya one day reconsiders her request for a leash and collar).

I've been in England too long as I rather want this one too ...

Custard Cream | Anya Hindmarch


And if you think academics should be above such things, you should have seen how fascinated people were at a Society of Antiquaries dinner when I popped open my old Maud lined with a Kama Sutra print ...

The good designs sell out quite quickly, but Moda Operandi is currently running an Anya Hindmarch trunk show where they can be pre-ordered: for example, this one.

Her washbags and boxes are fabulous for fitting into gaps in suitcases when packing, although I admit the ones I use were all from British Airways ...

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Hurried Hoard Hoiking and Tekkie Reaction


It is quite instructive to look at the comments made on a metal detecting forum near you under the post about the weekend's hurried hoard-hoik. They were made by a series of people who obviously think smileys are punctuation marks and have a totally unreflexive approach to what they and their fellows are doing. Only one person asked (apparently because he'd not read the post and simply looked at the pictures) whether "professionals' had been involved (and whether the finders would be reporting a Treasure find). The rest of the comments are excited and congratulatory airheads praising the finders for hoiking the object rather than allowing archaeologists to investigate its context of deposition as the Code of Practice recommends. Let's take a look at how the milieu reacted in the metal detecting forum thread Roman hoard found on our dig today:

Now that's cool B-) well done. ::g ::g

Fantastic. Great pics too. Thanks for sharing ::g

Bloody Hell! x; What a result!! ::g ::g ::g  Cheers Tomo A ;)

Blimey, brilliant, fantastic find.

Brilliant find ::g

Great result ::g  Hope the bottom layers are gold and the middle silver ::g

WOW! What a find! Good work on the recovery. ::g

Even if it's not your find mate, how lucky you are to witness that. It's something most of us will never see in our lifetimes.

Fantastic thing and almost intact...  I bet the archi's will be short stroking over that one ::g

That image is amazing, and knowing 2000 yrs ago a roman knelt in that spot and buried it for what ever reason, cd ::g

lord lovell » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:47 pm "nice find hope it was done by a professional and gets reported to flo ::g" [answer: "Flo was contacted straight away and they will be dealing with it ::g" - this was on a Sunday when the FLO was at home]

I think we all dream of finding something like that ::g

Fantastic find Tomo, very well done to the finder and excavators .. :D :D :D  Keep us informed ::g

 E Trac strikes again what a fantastic find well done and a complete pot 98;

 Absolutely Amazing!!!!! Thank you for sharing.

 [that] was funny ::g . Remarkable find

 what an amazing find thanks for sharing, ::g

 Amazing ::g ::g

Excellent find ::g. I wonder how many of us would have given up on that signal thinking it was deep iron. Well done to the finder for his perseverance.

 I had a sound like a coke can, but it was a coke can. Thanks for sharing that.

 Absolutely fantastically brilliant ::g What a find ::g  Top marks on successful recovery ::g  Ace :) 
Great stuff tomo well done to finder ::g
So far, there is not a word there, straight from the horse's mouth, as it were, that there is the slightest inkling of what "responsible detecting" or "best practice" actually would consist of in a case like this. I say "would consist of" because in reality it is almost totally a myth. That's despite all those years outreach and seventeen million pounds thrown in the mud after somebody's "wouldn't it be nice" dream.  Let us look at the realities of artefact hunting in the UK today and think of a better way of dealing with the problems it causes.

As a short term measure, I suggest anyone irresponsibly going against the Treasure Act Code of Practice should forfeiting 90% of the discretionary "reward" money. What are we rewarding this sort of behaviour for? We should be rewarding responsible behaviour, not irresponsible behaviour, and the difference is set down in a document that has been in the public domain for almost as long as the treasure Act itself. There is no excuse for this. 

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

The Hebrew Calendar

IN HONOR OF ROSH HASHANAH (TOMORROW): The Hebrew Calendar: A marvel of ancient astronomy and math. The biggest marvel is how Iron Age Jews managed to adjust the lunar calendar to the solar one. (Elon Gilad, Haaretz).
Israel's official calendar is the Hebrew one. According to Jewish counting,
this Wednesday we will be starting Year 5775, that is - the supposed 5775th year since the world was created on Saturday night, October 6, 3761 BCE.

This reckoning was instituted by Maimonides in the 12th century, in the stead of the previous system Jews had used before, which counted from the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

Moving onto today: Israel's official calendar is the Hebrew one. Under law, official Israeli documents must have the Hebrew date on them. Moreover, holidays in Israel are determined according to the Jewish calendar, not the Gregorian one. Thus a given fest – say, Rosh Hashanah – will happen on the same date each year according to Jewish reckoning, but on a different day each year according to the Gregorian calendar. That is because the Gregorian and Jewish calendars don't coincide.

[...]
Read it fast, before it vanishes behind the paywall!

There's lots of historical information here, including a discussion of the Gezer Calendar. But, surprisingly, there is no reference to the solar calendar used by the Qumran sectarians, the book of 1 Enoch and the book of Jubilees, on which more here and links.

Also, Philologos had a column some time ago on Jewish calendars. The link has rotted, but the excerpt gives an overview.

And, tangentially related, a while ago my colleague Grant Macaskill sent me this article from 2005, which tells how a physicist seems to have unwittingly reinvented the Enochic solar calendar, or at least something pretty close to it, and was trying to persuade people to adopt it: Novel calendar system creates regular dates (Maggie McKee, New Scientist).
A US physicist is lobbying for people to adopt his novel calendar in which every date falls on the same day of the week each year.

The current calendar, which runs for 365 days, was instituted by Pope Gregory in 1582 to bring the length of the year in line with the seasons. But because the Earth actually orbits the Sun every 365.24 days, a 366-day "leap year" must be added every four years to account for the extra fraction of a day. In this Gregorian system, a given date (such as New Year's Day) falls on different days of the week in different years because 365 is not evenly divisible by seven.

That means new calendars must be printed every year, and the dates for recurring events constantly recalculated. "For many years, I've had to make up a new schedule to tell my class when homework is due," says Dick Henry, a physicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, US. "Here I am putting all this totally unnecessary work in and I decided I better do something about it."

So Henry designed a calendar that uses 364 days, which breaks down evenly into 52 weeks. In his so called "Calendar-and-Time" (C&T) plan, each month contains 30 or 31 days. He decided on each month's length by forbidding the new calendar to differ from the old one by more than five days and by setting Christmas Day, 25 December, to always fall on a Sunday.

[...]
Dr. Henry adds an intercalated week ("Newton Week") every five or six years. It isn't clear exactly how the Enochic Jews and Qumran sectarians dealt with the slight discrepancy between the 364-day solar calendar and the actual 365-and-a-quarter-day solar year. Like the Enochic calendar, his calendar has the advantage of keeping all the holidays on the same day of the week every year. This was more important for the Jewish calendar, since if holidays did not have a stable spot in the week (as they don't in the modern Jewish calendar), when a major holiday falls on the sabbath it can cause halakhic complications.


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Monograph Series: Ur Excavations

Publications of the Joint Expedition of the British Museum and of the University Museum,University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia to Mesopotamia: Ur Excavations


Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Not the oldest Jewish prayer book after all?

SKEPTICISM: World's oldest siddur or overpriced patchwork? Jerusalem's Bible Lands Museum unveils what they suggest is the world's oldest siddur. But is it really? (I24News). Excerpt:
"I believe the Green Foundation acted in good faith based on the information they received when they purchased the book," Matthew Morgenstern, a professor of Hebrew at Tel Aviv University, told i24news.

Nevertheless, there are many questions as to the book's provenance.

"No one is casting doubt that the actual pages in the book are authentic," says Morgenstern.

"But the book was written by a number of different scribes, many of the texts are incomplete and the pages are of slightly different sizes. Is what we're seeing actually a book that was bound in the Middle Ages?"

Morgenstern says it is not impossible that the ancient fragments, while genuine, could have been bound together in modern times by an antiquities dealer looking to fetch a higher price.
Also, Dr. Ben Outhwaite, head of the Cambridge Genizah Research Unit, thinks it looks later than the ninth century and wants more information on how the C-14 tests were carried out. And they are not alone with their concerns. Officials from the National Library in Israel are also expressing some doubts to the AP: 'Oldest Jewish Prayer Book' Donated To Jerusalem's Bible Lands Museum. Haggai Ben Shammai, academic director of the National Library, thinks that another siddur in Germany could be the oldest, and Aviad Stollman, curator of the Judaica collection, is, like Morgenstern, skeptical both of the date and that the siddur is even a single document.

Background here and links.

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Colloque international "L'argent des dieux"

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

Colloque scientifique international sur les liens entre économie et religions en Méditerranée, depuis l'Égypte pharaonique jusqu'à la fin de l'époque médiévale. Les religions étudiées sont les différents polythéismes antiques, le judaïsme, le christianisme et l'islam.

Organisé par Julie Masquelier-Loorius, Jonathan Cornillon et Jean-Marie Salamito (au Collège de France les 16 et 17 octobre, en Sorbonne le 18 octobre 2014).

argentdesdieux@gmail.com
http://argentdesdieux.sciencesconf.org/

PDF - 260.1 ko
programme

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Le Fluff et Le Puff ... Cult Beauty

Cult Beauty is one of my favourite sources for lotions and potions because they gather up products they like from around the world, and they edit their choices, picking only products they like within the ranges. As with Space NK they regularly run 'gift with purchase' promotions once in a while, so I stock up when they do.

I tend to be wary of bath products which can mess with our bits, but I love this one. A little sprinkle in the bath and it smells of roses and transports one back to Cleopatra ...

Therapie | Joie Bath Infusion | Cult Beauty

I'd be delighted to receive this for Christmakkah!



Again, 'relaxing' candles often smell of eucalyptus (which I associated with trying to cover the stink in a Hammam) or lavender (which I associate with old ladies and moth-prevention) ... so candles can be an 'eek' gift.

Laboratory Perfumes | Gorse Candle | Cult Beauty

Laboratory Perfumes | Amber Candle | Cult Beauty

These two both smell divine and are not over-powering - again, I would be delighted to receive either!
I love the smell of monoi in the morning, afternoon and evening ... it takes me back to tropical islands. People can be vary of using oil, but I pour a little in the bath so that it coats the skin as you get out, and can skip the body lotion.

Elemis | Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 100ml | Cult  *

I love this balm as I have very dry, sensitive skin, and many other balms use a product to create a small allergic reaction that leads to 'puffy' lips, but this one doesn't! It is also matt, so you don't get that awful 'wet look' to your lips.

Nuxe | Reve de Miel Lip Balm | Cult Beauty







Again with creams, I'm a sucker for a pretty tub, but generally stay away from anything fancy or anything that says anti-X (anti-ageing, anti-oxidant) and stick to getting lots of moisture. This one works well on dry skin.

Embyolisse | Lait-Creme Concentre | Cult Beauty


I tend to be suspicious of products that promise x or y, but I tried a sample of this and was hooked - it really does make skin smoother than a baby's bottom! 

Resultime by Collin | Smoothing Resurfacing Mask | Cult Beauty
For those wanting to go organic, this is an amazing thick night cream (I tend to avoid SPFs as I have psoriasis and a little sun was recommended by the dermatologist, but SPF if currently recommended for day).

Dr. Alkaitis | Organic Night Cream | Cult Beauty

When I do go in the sun, for example Morocco, I make sure to use lots of good suncreams. Honestly the Boots own brand sunblocks are very good for the body, but when it comes to my face I want a little more and since I love the Eight Hour Cream range, I went for this (it doesn't have that strange smell of the original Eight Hour potion).

Elizabeth Arden | Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF50 | Cult Beauty

I don't 'get' the buzz about the Eve Lom balm cleanser, but I do like her cleansing mask - again, it is mild, and perfect for dry sensitive skin ... whilst most other masks make my psoriasis flare up, this one is gentle.

Eve Lom | Rescue Mask | Cult Beauty

I have very thick but very fine hair, which has a natural tendency towards looking like a haystack without a blow-dry ... and this is the only product I have ever found that works on the dry vaguely frizzy bits (I won't use those silicone-heavy products). I spritz a bit on towel-dried hair, and sometimes on dry hair, and suddenly am transformed into Princess Shiny Locks.

Sachajuan | Leave In Conditioner | Cult Beauty

I'm slowly working my way through the other products from the range. Don't like their shine serum. Quite like their scalp shampoo - the anti-dandruff shampoos are the worst thing for psoriasis, but this one isn't bad.

Sachajuan | Scalp Shampoo | Cult Beauty

And their intensive conditioner is amazing - I sometimes use it as a mask (slick on, brush through, forget for half an hour then rinse).

Sachajuan | Intensive Repair Conditioner | Cult Beauty

Other items I recommend are the Lipstick Queen lipsticks, although these are classic colours, colour can be subjective: Medieval is a great everyday lipstick, and Sinner in Wine is a classic deep burgundy.

Lipstick Queen | Lipstick in Medieval (Sheer Tint) | Cult Beauty

Lipstick Queen | Sinner Lipstick | Cult Beauty




Also ....

I love Korres products, and tend to stop off at their shop in Athens airport most trips. Cult Beauty have a limited range but: Shop Korres Skin Care | Cult Beauty

Also, kits are useful for travel sizes and trying out new products: Regimens and Kits - Skin Care | Cult Beauty



----------------

* = I fell in love with the Elemis products on Mustique, and they always remind me of the place ...
If you order them from the Elemis we site they often include samples or have offers such as Promotion:Spend £55 and get Tranquil Touch Body Polish 20ml & Gentle Rose Exfoliator 15ml free or Promotion: Spend £70 and get Tranquil Touch Body Polish 20ml, Gentle Rose Exfoliator 15ml, Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash 100ml & Hydra-Nourish Night Cream 20ml free
(I used affiliate links for Elemis).

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Battir security fence update

HAARETZ: Cabinet postpones decision on controversial route of West Bank barrier. Ancient terraces in Battir were designated Unesco World Heritage Site in bid to change route of Israeli wall. (Nir Hasson).
Israel’s cabinet on Sunday put off making a decision on the route of the West Bank separation barrier in the area of the Palestinian village of Battir while it discusses the issue further and examines alternatives.

The cabinet had been widely expected to approve a route for the barrier that was opposed by villagers, preservationists, environmentalists, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and even residents of Jewish settlements in the Etzion Bloc.

[...]
The story is also covered in the Jerusalem Post: West Bank Battir barrier off the table for now (Tovah Lazaroff).

Background on the controversy surrounding Battir (Betar) and its recent naming by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site is here and links.

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Journée d'étude égyptologique

Journée d'étude égyptologique organisée par les équipes de l'UFR d'histoire de l'art et d'archéologie de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne /« Mondes pharaoniques » de l'UMR 8167 / Société française d'égyptologie

mercredi 15 octobre, à 17h
auditorium de l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA)
6 rue des Petits-Champs
75002 Paris (métro Pyramides)

Communications :

  • Mme Mélanie FLOSSMANN-SCHÜTZE, de l'Institut d'égyptologie et de coptologie de Munich, directrice de la mission germano-égyptienne de Touna el-Gebel :
    « 40 ans de recherches menées par l'Institut d'égyptologie de Munich à Touna el-Gebel : la nécropole animale et son association religieuse ».
    Le site archéologique de Touna el-Gebel abrite l'une des plus grandes nécropoles animales de l'Égypte ancienne. Le projet s'est donné comme objectif d'explorer le développement de « l'ibiotapheion » ainsi que tous les complexes et édifices reliés cultuellement et administrativement à celui-ci. Depuis quelques années, les recherches se concentrent sur le cimetière et le village d'une association religieuse responsable de cette nécropole animale.
  • Mme Patrizia PIACENTINI, professeur d'égyptologie à l'université de Milan et responsable scientifique de la Bibliothèque et des Archives d'égyptologie de l'université :
    « Theodor Kofler et les premières photographies aériennes des monuments égyptiens ».
    Un album contenant 21 photographies aériennes de sites égyptiens – de Giza à Louqsor, de Karnak à la rive occidentale thébaine – était conservé dans la bibliothèque d'Alexandre Varille, donnée par un mécène à l'université de Milan en 2001. Elles étaient signées « Kofler, Cairo » et datées de 1914. Une recherche décennale, menée en divers pays d'Europe et d'Afrique, a permis de reconstruire l'histoire de ces photos et de ce photographe, très connu en Égypte dans la première moitié du XXe siècle, mais oublié par la suite.
    L'exposition Egypt from the sky, 1914. The rediscovery of the photographer Theodor Kofler, pionieer, prisoner, professional ouvrira au public le 12 novembre à l'Università degli Studi di Milano, et sera accompagnée d'un volume consacré à ce personnage hors du commun : Patrizia Piacentini le fera connaître en avant-première au public de la SFE.

Antiquity Now

It’s Fall in the North, But It’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere! How the Ancient Australian Aborigines Tracked the Equinox

It’s officially fall! Today is the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, so it’s time to break out the cozy sweaters, aromatic firewood and pumpkin-flavored everything. However, in the southern hemisphere, today marks the first official day of spring. So … Continue reading

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2014.09.45: Epigraphical Approaches to the Postclassical Polis: Fourth Century BC to Second Century AD. Oxford studies in ancient documents

Review of Paraskevi Martzavou, Nikolaos Papazarkadas, Epigraphical Approaches to the Postclassical Polis: Fourth Century BC to Second Century AD. Oxford studies in ancient documents. Oxford; New York: 2013. Pp. xx, 370. $160.00. ISBN 9780199652143.

2014.09.44: Lire Platon. (Second edition; first published 2006). Quadrige Manuels

Review of Luc Brisson, Francesco Fronterotta, Lire Platon. (Second edition; first published 2006). Quadrige Manuels. Paris: 2014. Pp. vii, 279. €16.00 (pb.). ISBN 9782130630265.

2014.09.43: Divination in the Ancient World: Religious Options and the Individual. Potsdamer Altertumswissenschaftliche Beiträge, 46

Review of Veit Rosenberger, Divination in the Ancient World: Religious Options and the Individual. Potsdamer Altertumswissenschaftliche Beiträge, 46. Stuttgart: 2013. Pp. 177. €48.00 (pb). ISBN 9783515106290.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Today in 63 BC: Gaius Octavius Thurinus Was Born

He was adopted by Julius Caesar in his will and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in 44 BC, although we tend to know him better as Augustus, a titular name he received much later. His various names are discussed by Adrian Goldsworthy in his brilliant new biography of Augustus, who refer to him for part of the text as Caesar, as he would have been called by the Romans until 27 BC -  yes it is slightly disconcerting at first, but it is more 'authentic' and this is what makes Goldsworthy's book so interesting.

Because the month of Sextilius was renamed Augustus or August in honour of Augustus, just as Quintilis had been renamed Julius or July in honour of his father Julius Caesar, people sometimes assume that that was when he was born. In fact, the month was chosen according to Macrobius, (Saturnalia 1.12.35) because that was the month in which many of his victories too place.

Adrian Goldsworthy on the birth of Augustus:
Birthdays were important in Roman culture, and were celebrated throughout an individual’s life. September was the seventh of the ten named months in Rome’s lunar calendar, for in archaic times the year began in March, the month of the war god Mars, when the legions used to set out on campaign. September 23 was for the Romans the ninth day before the Kalends of October, for they used a system based on days before or after three monthly festivals, the Kalends on the 1st, the Nones on the 7th, and the Ides on either the 13th or the 15th depending on the month. Lacking the number zero, the Kalends itself counted as one, and 23 September itself was included, hence the total of nine days. For the Romans the year was the six-hundred-and-ninety-first year since the foundation of the City (ab urbe condita) by Romulus.
The consuls took precedence on alternate months, and so it was Cicero who presided over a meeting of the Senate on 23 September. Suetonius claims that Caius Octavius arrived late because of the birth of his son, although since this provides the setting for another story where the birth of the ‘ruler of the globe’ is predicted, we need to be cautious. Perhaps the incident is wholly invented, although there is nothing inherently improbable in Caius Octavius’ late arrival [...]
In the meantime normal life continued, and on the night of 30 September Caius Octavius and Atia held a night-time vigil in their house. Rituals were performed, culminating in sacrifi ces and a formal purification ceremony or lustratio on the next day, the Kalends of October and nine days after their son’s birth. The purpose was to rid the baby of any malign spirits or other supernatural influences that might have entered him during the birth process. He was given a charm or bulla, usually of gold and worn around the neck, until he formally became a man. Afterwards, the flight of birds was observed by one of the priestly college known as augurs to gain some sense of the child’s future. Probably the parents were told that the signs were good. 
Only now was the boy formally named, and in due course registered in the list of citizens.
 
Hatchards in London has signed copies.
Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor - hardcover at Amazon UK
Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor - Kindle at Amazon UK
Yale hardcover at Amazon US - Augustus: First Emperor of Rome

The catalogue of the recent exhibition at the Grand Palais by Eugenio delle Rocca is also worth picking up; not only is it well written and illustrated, but French catalogues tend to be printed in short runs that sell out and soon become exorbitantly priced.

French Amazon still has 14 copies as I type: Auguste


Augustus' Palatine house recently reopened to the public after lengthy restoration: Emperor's frescoed rooms unveiled for first time in Rome - Channel NewsAsia



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

Hervé Huntzinger (Antiquitas)

« La théocratie dans l’Antiquité. Les dieux et le pouvoir » (16 et 17 octobre 2014 – Metz)

Colloque organisé par Christian-Georges Schwentzel à Metz les 16 et 17 octobre 2014 au cloître des Récollets (1, rue des Récollets, 57000 Metz).

L’emploi du terme « théocratie » en histoire ancienne ne va pas de soi, contrairement à l’usage qu’en font les médiévistes. Il paraît néanmoins justifié à plusieurs titres. Tout d’abord, parce que la théocratie médiévale repose sur des legs de l’Antiquité, notamment l’affirmation de Paul qu’« il n’y a d’autorité que par Dieu » (Épître aux Romains XIII, 1-4). Mais surtout, parce que c’est un historien antique, Flavius Josèphe, qui forgea le terme théokratia et l’utilisa pour la première fois au Ier siècle apr. J.-C. (Contre Apion II, 165). Le colloque s’organisera autour de trois grands axes. Il s’agira tout d’abord de distinguer les diverses formes prises par ce type d’idéologie et de régime politique, dans le but, chaque fois, d’évaluer la pertinence de l’emploi du terme. On se demandera ensuite comment réagirent les peuples destinataires des discours théocratiques. On cherchera enfin à mettre en évidence des filiations idéologiques de la théocratie entre l’Antiquité et le Moyen Âge.

Télécharger le programme

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Youlab Pistoia, primo makerspace all’interno di una biblioteca italiana

youlab-pistoiaE' la Biblioteca San Giorgio di Pistoia a dotarsi del primo makerspace all’interno di una biblioteca italiana. Si chiama YouLab: An American Corner e verrà presentato da Maria Stella Rasetti, direttrice della biblioteca e coordinatrice el Laboratorio, a due anni della sua apertura durante al seconda edizione di Maker Faire in programma a Roma dal 3 al 5 ottobre.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

For Sale: Prehistoric Woolly Mammoth Skeleton


Sky News; 'For Sale: Prehistoric Woolly Mammoth Skeleton', 23 September 2014
A rare woolly mammoth skeleton is being offered for sale in what could be the first auction of its kind in Britain. The specimen is expected to attract interest from museums and private collectors around the world because it is almost fully intact.[...] Rupert van Der Werff, director of Summers Place Auctions, who are selling the Mammoth, said: "The buyer could be a private individual or a museum. Nearly complete skeletons are pretty rare. This is a fabulous skeleton in pretty good condition. "All sorts of people are collectors. The most famous ones are John Travolta and Leonardo Dicaprio. It's something to really show off about." [...] It formed part of an old Eastern European collection
and was sold to a private British collector.
So, it will have an export licence then. Can we see it? "Eastern Europe" is quite a big area and many mammoth bones have come from loess and alluvial deposits, including in war-torn Ukraine. Where were these bones excavated, by whom? If they really were in an old collection, why were they not mounted before? Where have we heard "from an anonymous old east European collection" before?

ISAW News Blog

News: ISAW Library Adds New Online Features

The ISAW Library is redesigning its online presence and offerings over the course of the 2014-2015 academic year. The aim of the overhaul is to build a more engaging website and to offer more dynamic online content so as to make the Library's holdings and projects more visible to the scholarly community. This week the ISAW Library is introducing two elements of its new online outreach program.

The first is the ISAW Library Blog, which is written by the ISAW Library team and devoted to reporting on a range of news related to the Library, from its collections, staff, research, digital projects and events, to matters of more general interest touching on libraries and research in ancient studies.

The second feature is a monthly list of recent acquisitions. Each month the ISAW Library will publish a list of items it has accessioned the previous month in both a static HTML page on the ISAW website and in a Zotero library. The aim is to give patrons and the wider scholarly community real-time insight into ISAW's collections activity and strategy. By also providing the list in Zotero, the Library seeks to make the bibliographic information associated with these items, some of which are rare or poorly catalogued, widely available and easily accessible. The first month, May 2014, is now online, and other months will follow in quick succession until the bibliography is current.

Other new online initiatives of the ISAW Library will be announced on the ISAW Library Blog.

Ancient Art

Details from the carved reliefs of Borobudur, Indonesia. 8th-9th...







Details from the carved reliefs of Borobudur, Indonesia. 8th-9th centuries.

Photos taken by Fumi Yamazaki. 

September 22, 2014

Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

Digital Engagement in Archaeology Conference Videos

A while ago I filmed the presentations from the Digital Engagement in Archaeology Conference and put them online. I have recently re-edited the videos, like I did with the CAA UK and Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference videos. Basically, re-edited the videos, improving the audio, and for these videos I also improved the video quality. They are now in 1080 HD. Hope you enjoy them…..

A Case Study in Social Media, New Audiences and Local Museums

As a small museum, with few resources, social media is a great way of getting messages to new audiences. Without a budget, our messages are now seen by upward of 2,000 people. But the real value has proved to be unexpected …

David Dawson,
Director
Wiltshire Heritage Museum

Digital Audiences — A Few Lessons from Arts Council Research 

The digital research programme was a three-year investigation to understand the impact of digital technology on how the public perceive, understand and engage with the arts. The research was part of the wider digital opportunities programme — a programme of policy development to understand how digital media technologies affect the creation, distribution and consumption of the arts, and what this means for the Arts Council and the artists and organisations we support. The research performed three key functions: generating in-depth knowledge of the way digital technology is changing the context in which artists, arts organisations and the Arts Council are operating; providing a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges that this changing context creates for artists, arts organisations and the public; and identifying where the Arts Council could intervene in order to create most public value. This paper will summarise the findings of the research and highlight relevant conclusions to consider when thinking about how to reach a digital audience for archaeology.

James Doeser
Senior Officer, Research and Knowledge
Arts Council England

Let’s Get Digital, Digital!  Adopt-a-Monument and Digital Engagement

Adopt-a-Monument is a five year scheme which encourages communities to take a lead role in conserving and promoting their local heritage. We help with a variety of tasks and activities, which includes project planning and fundraising, site survey and recording, as well as guidance on interpretation and dissemination of results. As part of the new phase of Adopt-a-Monument (2011-2016), we have been keen to promote the use of new digital technologies, such as onsite digital interpretation and utilisation of existing online resources, as well as provide training opportunities in digital recording practices. We see digital engagement not only as a useful way for participants to develop key transferable skills, but also as a great way to engage with new audiences. This paper aims to present examples of our projects which utilise digital technology, and discuss the successes and pitfalls of our digital engagement so far.

Cara Jones
Adopt-a-Monument Project Officer
Archaeology Scotland

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: DigVentures and Flag Fen Lives

In July 2012, DigVentures hosted Europe’s first-ever crowdfunded and crowdsourced excavation at the internationally significant Bronze Age site at Flag Fen (www.digventures.com). Adopting and adapting the crowdfunding model from the creative industries helped Flag Fen Lives achieve traction in the marketplace; however the crowdsourcing aspect of our model also called for a robust and flexible digital platform as a focal point of our business. Our digital strategy focused on building an offer that would attract an audience beyond our first and second circle contacts. We committed to matching the style of our message with the style of our audience, instantly turning monologues into dialogues via web and social networks. Our engagement loop was a spectrum, built through virtual as well as physical experiences, with digital strategy evolving to match the pace and narrative of our excavation broadcasting. DigVentures is situated within the emerging trend for social commerce and positioned at the forefront of culture, technology and innovation. This paper will assess the breadth, and depth of our on and off-line participation, evaluating current success and potential for growth.

Lisa Westcott Wilkins
Managing Director
DigVentures Ltd

 We’re Tweeting But is Anyone Really Listening?  Evaluating the Impact of Organisational Tweeting

Since joining Twitter in March 2010, the @EHArchaeology Twitter feed has grown to nearly 5000 followers. Providing links and information about our projects and interesting archaeology it is hoped that we are engaging with a wide audience. But what does having 5000 followers really mean? Is this any measure of impact or engagement? Rather than continue to assume that more and more followers is a result, these followers will be used to determine the impact of this engagement. By looking at the feeds activity and the links that followers actually use, a clearer picture of what types of content the audience wants will be created. A survey results will be presented that will focus the followers, who they are, what they do, their level of interest in archaeology and the type of content they find interesting. It is hoped by exploring these issues it will be possible to better understand value of Twitter and how effective it is at engaging with the public.

Hugh Corley
Archaeological Information Systems Manager
English Heritage

An Emerging Research Framework for Studying Public Engagement with Digital Archaeology Resources

As a young field, Public Engagement with Archaeology (PEA) — both digital and physical — has largely been practised by subject matter specialists and guided by practice informed by personal experience and observation of what “does and does not work” with its publics. Research (basic or applied) remains underdeveloped and very sketchy.

This paper aims to justify the need for collecting and using research evidence to better understand and improve practice in the PEA field and to guide future research efforts. It will first discuss what meaningful engagement with digital archaeology resources may look like and, based on evidence from various other disciplines, it will then propose a framework for understanding and researching PEA, with an emphasis on the digital domain. The framework consists of two main areas that PEA touches on: the interface between institutional agendas (i.e. how digital resources are developed and what their affordances are) and the agendas of individuals or groups of users (i.e. how people use and make sense of these recourses). Key elements of the framework include that research needs:

To be collaborative, cross-disciplinary, theory-driven and culturally responsive. It should be a co-learning experience, in true Public Engagement fashion.

To be widely shared with researchers, developers and practitioners in different formats and platforms in order to help the field move forward

To be an iterative process where the emphasis is on developing digital resources that are “for somebody” rather than “about something”. Research needs to be based on an understanding of different groups of users and how PEA fits in the ecology of the resources and organisations users have access to.

Theano Moussouri
Lecturer, UCL Institute of Archaeology

A Preview of the Ur Project

Impact of the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) A Study and Methods for Enhancing Sustainability

The paper will discuss the progress of an ongoing ADS project which is engaged in analysing perceptions of the value of the ADS to the whole archaeological sector including the economic value of its resources and its economic value to depositors as a repository service. As part of this work, we are assessing and quantify the economic impact of collections with the ultimate objective of improving their prospects for sustainability. We are exploring a range of methods including stakeholder survey and usage analysis investigating data from 1996-2012. This analysis covers both the growth of collections and users at ADS and how return on investment grows with the volume of the collection and its longevity.
Although a number of studies have looked at methods of determining cost benefit and broad indicators of value, there remain significant challenges in establishing baseline data for measuring this in any quantitative way and there are still only a relatively small number of socio-economic studies focussing specifically on the impact of data services or research data infrastructure. Funded by JISC the project is a collaboration between the ADS, Neil Beagrie of Charles Beagrie Ltd. and Professor John Houghton of the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) at Victoria University in Australia.

Catherine Hardman
Deputy Director (Collections)
Archaeology Data Service

Making it Simpler- Access, Archives and Archaeology

The focus of this paper will be on changes to HLF’s policies and practice, announced in HLF new strategic framework, A Lasting difference for heritage and people, launched in July 2012. It will cover HLF’s digital policy with particular reference to developing digital activities to help people engage with heritage. The paper will explore ways of identifying and motivating new audiences, including digital engagement projects in archaeology which have worked well.

Robert Bewley
Director of Operations
Heritage Lottery Fund

Aretha George
Policy Advisor – Participation and Learning
Heritage Lottery Fund

 From Khipu Knots to Instant Tweets, Transition to the New Media Platforms in Archaeology

Just as 15th century Andean culture underwent a dramatic shift when forced to switch from khipu binary coding system to alphabetical writing, the field of archaeology is currently experiencing the introduction of a new medium of knowledge storage and distribution: electronic publishing. Among the archaeological and anthropological community, a heated debate over open access raises questions about how internet tools should affect publishing options, procedures, and requirements. The article explores the dilemma of sharing the archaeological data with general public and the influence of such sharing of information on the restricted-access academic publishing. The paper conducts a case study of Khipu Database Project, the database which contains the information that was previously reserved to a limited number of museums and scholars.

The research discusses the results of this unprecedented sharing of knowledge that has been active for the past 7 years and has been repetitively supported and funded by National Science Foundation. Additionally, the paper discusses how new media such as Twitter and Facebook facilitate communication between archaeologists, educate the general public about scientific research, and attract non-academic audiences to participate in dialogue around the discipline of archaeology. The popularization and accessibility of archaeological research creates a scientific dilemma over how to maintain quality of published material and simultaneously engage the public in archaeology. Just like the khipu keepers of the 15th century, archaeologists today are faced with the challenge of adapting to the new channels of communication without compromising the precision of their record-keeping.

Anastasiya Travina
Texas State University-San Marcos

The Archaeology of Digital Abandonment

After fifteen years of hosting millions of user-built webpages, in April 2009 Yahoo announced that they would be shutting down their United States Geocities webpages. Geocities was once the most common hosting service for low-cost personal webpages, including hundreds of public outreach sites about archaeology. Were the webpages moved to another hosting site, archived, or abandoned? We tracked and recorded the fate of 89 of these webpages, eventually sending a survey to the webmasters asking them a range of questions. While we received relatively few responses, the answers to our questions were illuminating. Much of the current digital outreach performed all over the world relies on “free” services such as Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, Google Pages, or Facebook to host their content. What can the fate of archaeological content on Geocities pages tell us about the benefits and risks of using commercial infrastructure for archaeological outreach? In a conference dedicated to understanding digital public engagement, we sort through the digital wreckage of past outreach efforts to evaluate the fate of online archaeological presence.

Matt Law
PhD Candidate
Cardiff University

Colleen Morgan
PhD Candidate
University of California, Berkeley

The Portable Antiquities Scheme and its impact on the public

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) began in 1997 and encourages the voluntary recording of archaeological objects discovered by members of the public in England and Wales. The PAS has had a digital presence of some form for over 13 years and this paper will discuss the impact that the digital arm of the project has had on a national and international audience. Over 820,000 objects have been recorded on the PAS database and these are made available for all to view, comment and reuse within their own research, on their websites or elsewhere and this liberal outlook has seen over ½ million visits for 2011 and this figure is rising steadily for 2012. This paper will show how the PAS website impacts on the public with specific reference to stories of international interest — such as the Crosby Garrett helmet and the Staffordshire Hoard. It will also discuss how these successes have been reached on a minimal digital budget via the use of open source technology and through the buy in of its audience.

Daniel Pett
ICT Advisor
British Museum

Publishing in Archaeology: Open Access and the Reward Project

Publishing in archaeology is evolving along with trends in open access, open data and the semantic web. The open access publishing model has proven highly successful for smaller archaeology journals. New initiatives will be presented that enable and reward the publication of archaeological data and software. The second half of the presentation will focus on the JISC-funded REWARD project, which ran at UCL from 2011-2012. REWARD looked at ways to encourage archaeologists to share data through data management planning, publishing data papers, and use of the UCL institutional repository.

Tom Pollard
Ubiquity Press

Victoria Yorke-Edwards
Editor
Journal of Archaeological Data

Not All Archaeology is Equal, Barriers to Participation in Archaeology Online

Within Public Archaeology in the UK, there has been a critical cultural shift towards awareness of the benefit of public engagement through the Internet. Recent developments have seen these media used for contributions of publicly-provided archaeological content; to foster online community identity, situated around the topic of archaeology and wider heritage issues; to crowd-source knowledge, and elicit financial support. Although the democratisation of online communication and production have stretched the boundaries of belonging through the use of participatory media, the Internet remains an exclusive enclave for those that can use it.

Critical observation of the extent and use of these technologies in the archaeological sector has been lacking. Issues of access to broadband, equipment and ICT skills exist; organisational commitment to online communications are patchy; policy, strategy and evaluation of participatory technologies in archaeology need careful consideration – inequalities propagated by the use of Internet technologies are nuanced and easily overlooked. Based on the results of my PhD research, this paper will examine the existing barriers to the use of the Internet in Public Archaeology. It will discuss how and why archaeology online is affected by the transference of advantage from respected institutions and elites in ‘real-life’, and discuss how issues of the digital divide, “socio-technical capital”, and archaeological authority impact access and production in ‘Public’ Archaeology online.

Lorna Richardson
PhD Candidate
UCL Centre for Digital Humanities

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Archaeological Apps as Interpretation Tools: A Case Study Concerning the Streetmuseum Londinium App

While museums have been utilizing user-owned smartphones as interpretation devices for several years, archaeological sites are just starting to utilize smartphones in a similar manner. Though the audience for such interpretation is growing along with smartphone ownership, developing apps and mobile websites can be a costly endeavour; thus, it is important for current attempts at smartphone interpretation to undergo summative evaluations so that those responsible for site interpretation can make informed decisions.

The Streetmuseum Londinium App is one of the first archaeological apps designed as an “in situ” archaeological interpretation tool. As it gives the user considerable control and utilizes multiple forms of media and augmented reality, it is an excellent case study for evaluating the initial interpretative capabilities of smartphones. Using an evaluative approach that includes an online survey, in-depth interviews with recruited participants, and audience research done at the Museum, I am currently investigating both subject specific and affective knowledge outcomes that can result from using the App. While my research is still in its early stages and my methodology has significant limitations due to lack of time and funding, it suggests that smartphone interpretation may have a unique ability to help users construct experiential and spatial understandings of places.

Elizabeth Wells-Thulin
MA Candidate in Cultural Heritage Studies
UCL Institute of Archaeology

Digital Artifact Ecosystems: The “Internet of Things” in Archaeology

The information value inherent in archaeological material conventionally serves the needs of research, and only secondarily cultural heritage values beyond archaeology. But facilitating a broader, public engagement with and access to the ancient past is critical to conveying a relevancy to archaeology that serves more than the archaeologist’s intellectual curiosity. Static displays of ‘things’ organized by obscure classificatory terminologies and explainable only through an archaeologist’s sensibilities limits the ability of the public to engage with these objects as their cultural heritage, and fails to meet the ever increasing expectation in society of instant information and interactivity. Concepts such as Digital Ecosystems and “The Internet of Things” can bring artifacts to life.

Sustainable Archaeology at the University of Western Ontario and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology is developing a sustainable Artifact Ecosystem by digitizing mass volumes of archaeological material. More importantly the SA is creating context through real-time interactivity, 3D simulations and Internet enabled artifact reproductions.

This paper will outline the goals of Sustainable Archaeology, the digitization process and the techniques used to create platforms for public engagement. We will also evaluate the effectiveness of each, while charting a way forward.

Namir Ahmed
MA Candidate, Western University
Field Archaeologist, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Prof. Michael Carter
PhD Candidate, Western University
Program Coordinator, Digital Specialization Program, Ryerson University

Dr. Neal Ferris
Lawson Chair Canadian Archaeology
Western University, Museum of Ontario Archaeology

Integrating Technology into the Trench: The Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology Project at Roman Silchester

Increasingly more work is being done to integrate information technology into archaeological systems. In this paper we will explore how change management may be applied when implementing a digital recording system for an archaeological dig, focussing on the work done at Roman Silchester as part of the Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology project (http://vera.rdg.ac.uk/). How can such virtual environments change how scholars and the general public can engage with archaeological evidence – and what can we do to ensure their successful design, uptake, and implementation?

This paper will reflect on the work that was carried out in Roman Silchester between 2007 and 2010, to integrate digital technology into the trench to increase the speed in which finds could be entered into the project database, and shared between interested parties. The aims, successes, and issues raised in the project will be presented, as well as the implications this type of technology can have for the archaeological process.

Melissa Terras
Co-Director
UCL Centre for Digital Humanities

Vote for Me – Interactive Ways to Digitally Engage Audiences with Archaeology

The Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive & Research Centre (LAARC) is the largest of its kind in the world, storing records for over 8,500 excavations and over five million artefacts. As an ambassador for London’s archaeology, it has increasingly turned to digital media to engage new audiences. This paper will case study the development of its interactive ‘object of the month’ initiative and the offshoots of this scheme being explored by the Museum of London’s Department of Archaeological Collections & Archive

Adam Corsini
Archaeology Collections Manager (Engagement)
Museum of London

The Next Generation of Archaeology Public Engagement: When a Website, Facebook Group, Twitter Account, etc. No Longer Performs

The 1990s saw the rise of the internet which was followed by every project, academic department and company having its own webpage. This was followed by the Facebook crazy when everyone had a Facebook page for their project, academic department or company. The Facebook craze came on the heels of the explosion of blogs. Then it was Twitter and everyone must be tweeting what they are doing. Now it is Pininterest, Tumblr, etc. Archaeologists are now faced with a wide range of digital tools to choose from but with so many choices most are at a loss as to which one is the best. This paper investigates which digital tool is the right tool for public engagement. More importantly it looks at what criteria one should evaluate when making a decision about which tools to use, an aspect that is usually overlooked.

Doug Rocks-Macqueen
University of Edinburgh

When digital engagement costs you nothing: making websites in minutes

In 2010, the BBC reported that it cost the UK Government £105 million over three years to create and run one of its websites, businesslink.gov.uk. Most archaeologists, regardless of affiliation, academia, charity, commercial and even government, do not have £105 million available to them for digital engagement. It is safe to assume that no archaeology project has ever spent £105 million on a website. So how do we, as archaeologists, provide digital engagement to the public and each other on shoe string budgets? This paper looks at some of the success stories of archaeologists creating websites on shoe string budgets. It also examines some the increasingly complex capabilities that these budget websites can provide.

Doug Rocks-Macqueen
University of Edinburgh


Archaeology Magazine

Caryatids Fully Revealed in Amphipolis

AMPHIPOLIS, GREECE—The Greek Ministry of Culture announced that the caryatids flanking the second doorway at the Kasta Hill tomb site have been completely uncovered. Standing more than seven feet tall, their well-preserved feet wear kothornoi, or thick-soled shoes, that bear traces of red and yellow paint. According to a report in Live Science, parts of the statues’ broken hands and arms were recovered from the surrounding soil. The tomb is estimated to be 2,300 years old, and is thought to have been designed by Dinocrates, chief architect to Alexander the Great. It may contain the remains of someone from his inner circle. 

AIA Fieldnotes

UVa Archaeology Fair

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by University of Virginia and Archaeological Institute of America
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
fair
exhibition
education
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 11:00am to 5:00pm

University of Virginia Archaeology Fair
 
October 11, 11am-5pm
 at UVa Main Grounds
 Join us for a day of family fun celebrating and learning about archaeology! Meet and greet with local field archaeologists, simulated dig, artifact making, scavenger hunt, face-painting, gallery tours, interactive computer visualizations, story-telling by Peter Jones (Tell us a Tale, WTJU 91.1 FM) and more! Free and open to the public, free parking. archaeologyfair.info
  Read more »

AIA Society: 

Location

Name: 
Anastasia Dakouri-Hild
Call for Papers: 
no

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Ka Nefer Nefer Mask: some clarification

I am very grateful to officials at SLAM for clarifying some of the collecting history of the Ka Nefer Nefer mask. It has now been confirmed that a SLAM conservator was informed by a European Egyptologist in February 1999 that the mask was the one excavated at Saqqara by Goneim (and subsequently published by him). It is not clear if curators at SLAM contacted the SCA immediately or if they waited seven years until they received a letter from Zahi Hawass in February 2006.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

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

october/november book chats: 'livia: first lady of imperial rome' by anthony barrett

B0017UEUCQOctober 1 & 15, November 5:

Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome by Anthony Barrett 
(used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere)
Also as eBook at Amazon and iTunes.

The book has 222 pages of narrative text and 107 pages of appendices.

The breakdown - sans appendices which may be read anytime - will be as follows:

  • October 1: Preface, Part I (THE LIFE OF LIVIA), 1 - 4.
  • October 15: through Part I (THE LIFE OF LIVIA), 5 ; Part II, (LIVIAN THEMES), 6 & 7.
  • November 5: through the end of the narrative text.

Archaeology Magazine

Teutonic Axes Discovered in Northern Poland

WARMIA AND MAZURY, POLAND—Engineers searching the Forest District Wipsowo with metal detectors for World War II artillery shells discovered three Teutonic battle axes dating to the late Middle Ages. The iron ax heads were found together among some tree roots. “It can be assumed that this is a deposit that someone left for better times. Perhaps the person hid the weapons, fled, and never returned to this place,” archaeologist Agata Trzop-Szczypiorska told Science & Scholarship in Poland. The engineers also recovered thousands of unexploded shells. “Probably when the Germans retreated before the Red Army in 1945, they blew up their ammunition storage. The force of the explosion threw the shells around,” head engineer Meciej Gorczyca explained.

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

online book chats

Exlibris logo, click for website This blog is an adjunct to The Roman History Reading Group which meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month except August in our chat room from 9:30 to 11:00 p.m. US EST (UTC/GMT -04).  This means that in Asia and Australia/Pacific, it's daytime. Here is a world time clock as a general assistance for non-USAns.

Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM.

2014 Reading Schedule

B0017UEUCQOctober 1 & 15, November 5
Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome
by Anthony Barrett 
(used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere)
Also as eBook at Amazon and iTunes.

B00GU35JN4November 19
The Legate's Daughter: A Novel
by Wallace Breem
(used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere)
Also as eBook at Amazon.

Join us!
Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Shipping on eligible orders over $25 - Shop today at Barnesandnoble.com!
Proceeds from any book sales benefit our local historical society, a non-profit corporation. Change of links from Amazon.com to B&N are in the process of being made.

Archaeology Magazine

Genetic Suggests Today’s Iberian Pig Resembles Its Ancestors

BARCELONA, SPAIN—A genetic sample obtained from early sixteenth-century pig remains suggests that today’s Iberian pig is closely related to Spain’s ancient pigs. “Although it is a very fragmented sample, the gene sequence offers very interesting information,” Miguel Perez-Enciso of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona told Science Daily. He and his team of researchers from Pompeu Fabra University and the National Center for Genome Analysis found that the ancient pig was not a white pig, but it did carry a series of markers typical of domesticated pigs, so it may have resembled the black or reddish pigs depicted in artwork from the sixteenth century. This coincides with historic records of pig breeding kept at the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, where the bones were unearthed. There is also genetic evidence suggesting occasional crossbreeding between wild boars and ancient pigs. “This close relation between the Iberian pig, the European boar, and the ancient pig confirms, as stated in previous studies, that crossbreeding between the Asian pig and modern Iberian pigs did not exist or was insignificant,” Perez-Enciso concluded.

Study Suggests Today’s Iberian Pig Resembles Its Ancestors

 

BARCELONA, SPAIN—A genetic sample obtained from early sixteenth-century pig remains suggests that today’s Iberian pig is closely related to Spain’s ancient pigs. “Although it is a very fragmented sample, the gene sequence offers very interesting information,” Miguel Perez-Enciso of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona told Science Daily. He and his team of researchers from Pompeu Fabra University and the National Center for Genome Analysis found that the ancient pig was not a white pig, but it did carry a series of markers typical of domesticated pigs, so it may have resembled the black or reddish pigs depicted in artwork from the sixteenth century. This coincides with historic records of pig breeding kept at the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, where the bones were unearthed. There is also genetic evidence suggesting occasional crossbreeding between wild boars and ancient pigs. “This close relation between the Iberian pig, the European boar, and the ancient pig confirms, as stated in previous studies, that crossbreeding between the Asian pig and modern Iberian pigs did not exist or was insignificant,” Perez-Enciso concluded.

 

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Myrmidons ...

As so often, the story involves a woman scorned. Hera ... Or rather, a woman fed up with her husband's philandering who goes far too far in terms of reprisals. She sent a plague to wipe out the inhabitants of Aegina in retaliation for Zeus' affair with the eponymous nymph, he in turn turned the island's inhabitants into men.

But whilst the Myrmidons in Ovid replaced the men killed in a plague, this work by Rafael Gómezbarros speaks more of the plagues of violence besetting the world. Just as poppies were once the symbol of forgetting but now are a reminder of our dead, meanings change with the centuries.

Casa Tomada, 2013
at the Saatchi Gallery until 2nd November (to the left of the entrance).




I wish I'd been able to see it when it covered the National Congress in Colombia:

"Ants being usually associated with hard labour and a complex social organization are turned into phantasms of the disappeared, ghost like figures that have acquired the capacity to take over national monuments." (more here)

Green: Style Over Substance

Both in terms of Green's planned Bible Museum and the Washington Post's journalsim.

So, just how em do you design a Bible museum? - The Washington Post

The footer clarifies that:
Michelle Boorstein is the Post’s religion reporter, where she reports on the busy marketplace of American religion.
I realise that the comment about the marketplace is meant to be witty. But when did ethics cease to be of importance in religion in America? Isn't there a Commandment against stealing? After all that is in effect what one does when one acquires papyri looted from another country ...

See PhDiva: I come to bury Green, not to praise him on how dodgy the acquisition of some of the Green artifacts were.

Amphipolis: Your Questions, My Answers ... Part Deux

Who's buried at Amphipolis?

Yes, this was the first question not surprisingly ...

I don't know, nor do the archaeologists working there. Based on the evidence they have excavated and research in libraries, they currently believe - and on this I fully agree with them - that it was possibly started immediately before the death of Alexander, that the majority of the construction was complete within roughly a decade after his death, but final touches could have been added up to the last years of the 4th century BC.

The obvious answer is that it was most likely to have been built for Alexander, and either left empty when he was buried in Alexandria, or re-used for another Macedonian monarch - eg it could have became the tomb of Antigonus I Monophthalmus and the mausoleum of the Antigonids, for example.

I am wary of ruling anybody out, but Olympias is unlikely as she was buried near Pydna according to inscriptions, which is where she died. The fact that she was not mooted as a suggestion by the excavators is significant! She was unpopular in Macedonia, so her burial was probably arranged by her Epiriot family. These later inscriptions are discussed in a Hesperia article by Charles Edson, The Tomb of Olympias, available as a PDF here:


I would be delighted if it turned out to be a heroon-tomb of Hephaestion as that would also re-write history.

Roxanne was a leading candidate a few years ago, but the excavators no longer consider her likely.

The various admirals and other figures suggested are less likely but not impossible.

Nearchus was a candidate when it was simply thought to be a Lion Tomb without the colossal mound, but the huge size of the tomb now makes that extremely unlikely. Also, despite claims on the internet, Neartchus was born on Crete not at Amphipolis; we also have no idea when let alone where he died, as he is last attested to my knowledge in 312 BC at Gaza fighting Ptolemy.

The brothers Laomedon and Erigyius were also not important enough for such a huge tomb, and they are describes in sources as from Mytilene, where their father certainly originated. Laomedon features little during the campaigns of Alexander, but after his death according to Appian [Syrian Wars, 52]:
The first satrap of Syria was Laomedon of Mitylene, who derived his authority from Perdiccas and from Antipater, who succeeded the latter as regent. To this Laomedon, Ptolemy, the satrap of Egypt, came with a fleet and offered him a large sum of money if he would hand over Syria to him, because it was well situated for defending Egypt and for attacking Cyprus. When Laomedon refused Ptolemy seized him. Laomedon bribed his guards and escaped to Alcetas in Caria. Thus Ptolemy ruled Syria for a while, left a garrison there, and returned to Egypt.
We don't know what became of his after the coup of  Antipater. Erigyius probably died in Sogdiana, now northern Afghanistan, in 328/327 BC.

Cassander married Thessaloniki, Alexander's half-sister, and is possible but so are many others.

Philip III Arridaeus and Adea Eurydice II died / were forced to commit suicide by Olympias in 317  (see here), and they were later buried by Cassander with her mother Cynane at Vergina. See Diodorus (xix. 52) and Athenaeus (iv. 41):
And Diyllus the Athenian says, in the ninth book of his Histories, that Cassander, when returning from Boeotia after he had buried the king and queen at Aegae, and with them Cynna the mother of Eurydice, and had paid them all the other honours to which they were entitled, celebrated also a show of single combats, and four of the soldiers entered the arena on that occasion.
Cleopatra the full-sister of Alexander was given a beautiful funeral by Antigonus - who had probably been behind her murder, but since that took place at Sardes, it is likely her tomb was there too.

Leonnatus, a relative of Alexander's who had planned to marry Cleopatra in order to reinforce his claim to the throne of Macedon is possible but unlikely - although the Lion would have made a nice pun on his name.

Several of the leading candidates can be excluded, but who the body was is not yet certain.

What we learn from the caryatids regarding dating of the tomb?

Nothing that goes against the date already suggested by the excavators. As I pointed out in the last post, they in no way indicate an Augustan date. Also since there are many copies and variants of the Tralles-Cherchel caryatid type from the Hellenistic period onwards, one can argue that they copied a famous lost original, and Amphipolis is the best candidate for having been that original.

Could you please provide your timeline of events regarding: Construction of the tomb, it being used or re-used, its backfilling and the construction of the sealing walls. Not so much in terms of accurate dating, but more in terms of sequence of events: is the backfilling contemporary to the construction? Is the sealing wall contemporary to the back-filling etc. ?

This is my current working theory, but please not that both the ideas of the archaeologists at Amphipolis and mine have changed as new evidence is excavated:

It was started before or soon after the death of Alexander in 323 BC, probably as his tomb, possibly as his deified friend Hephaestion.

It was left empty when Ptolemy took his body to Egypt, possibly in the hope that they would bring him "home" to be buried there.

It was probably finished by the death of Antigonus I Monophthalmus in 301 BC.

It may have been left empty and served as a cult centre, or it may have been used by a successor once it became clear that Alexander's body was not coming back - for example once his new tomb the Sema or Soma was built in Alexandria, probably by Ptolemy II Philadelphus; see PhDiva: Alexander's Tomb(s) in Egypt


The soil back-fill and the walls that sealed each chamber were almost certainly contemporary; soil was probably used instead of concrete as it meant the tomb could be sealed and the roof supported, but not necessarily lost as would be the case with Roman concrete. The walls would have been necessary to hold in the soil, to stop it pouring out. I assume that there are small finds within the soil which will help date this - bits of pottery, dropped coins, etc - but I am not aware of them.

My guess is that the architecture was not strong enough to support the mound, and that after an earthquake it began to cave in, so the soil was used to support the structure.

The destruction of the superstructure was initially thought to be Byzantine iconoclasm, then coins were found in this destruction layer which were presented at the conference, and which I am pretty sure put this in the early 3rd century AD. So the possibility was discussed that the superstructure was used to dredge swamp land by the river to combat malaria, but this was also set aside.

I am asking because through informal statements made by Ms. Peristeri it has been implied that the back-filling and the sealing walls were protective measures against the looting of the tomb (and therefore contemporary to its construction?)

I do not think Prof Peristeri was trying to suggest that the sealing was contemporary to the construction. She is under a lot of pressure, and perhaps her words were misinterpreted?

It is possible that the tomb was filled to stop it collapsing further. And that soon after the superstructure was removed in order to lessen the weight bearing down on it, and that the plan had been to re-open it but if so this plan was abandoned.

I would like to draw a parallel to one early suggestion on how to construct a dome over the cathedral in Florence. The art of building domes had been forgotten, and someone suggested filling the whole building with soil, and building the dome over that. He thought that if one buried cheese in the soil, the mice would then moved all the earth out for them ... it didn't work out!

soil and diaphragm walls are later from the grave?, from the construction of the grave not seem to be place from the basic architect 

Yes, see above.

Please note that just as so many Richard Rogers buildings today seem to have the odd engineering issue, so did ancient ones ...

Vitruvius [II.2.8] discusses open air temples:
8. The HYPÆTHROS is decastylos, in the pronaos and posticum. In other respects it is similar to the dipteros, except that in the inside it has two stories of columns all round, at some distance from the walls, after the manner of the peristylia of porticos. The middle of the interior part of the temple is open to the sky, and it is entered by two doors, one in front and the other in the rear. Of this sort there is no example at Rome, there is, however, an octastyle specimen of it at Athens, the temple of Jupiter Olympius.
 ... fails to mention that the Olympieion in Athens was unroofed because it was never finished!

Also, there is a Roman engineer in Algeria who tried to build a tunnel through a mountain by starting at both ends and meeting in the middle. The plan didn't quite works out ... (see Roman builder ... whoops).

Hi, is it the case much more work went into the circular wall than the tomb itself? I mean, it's a wall of huge radius with tons of marble

That's a very interesting question, and I don't know the answer. We have enough ancient building accounts preserved to know that sometimes the long wooden beams needed for the roof could cost more than marble, as they needed to be imported from the Levant. At Delphi, we know that it cost more to bring the marble from the port to the sanctuary by road than it cost to bring the marble by ship to the port. For more on this I highly recommend looking up the work of Alison Burford, which are quite old but very good.

Yes it is harder to cut a circular edge on a block than a straight one. More than that, I cannot say.

Obviously limits to sensible speculation until it's been fully excavated, but are there parallels from elsewhere, whether Macedonia itself or the wider Hellenistic world, for the steps down and then the two (?) antechambers which require backfilling to deny access?

The steep steps down I find very unusual and don't know of parallels, and the only thing that springs to mind - other than Egyptian tombs - is the similarity of descending to, for example Hades, in Mystery Cults, the two not being mutually exclusive.

Macedonian tombs, for example at Vergina Tomb II, were covered over soon after the burial. This one does not seem to have been, and was stone rather than stucco, making it very unusual. The back-filling as I discussed in the last post, is probably later.

I have read on the web that one commentator is convinced that the tomb is Alexander's. He says that it took two years to complete it and then the body was brought from the East. He says that the body in Alexandra was just a mummy that Ptolemy grabbed. Basically he says the ancient accounts aren't true and are full of 'tales'. How should we regard the ancient texts that we rely on that relate to Alexander's burial site? I suppose we shall soon find out if this tomb changes history. If it is Alexander's that would create a huge public sensation. That would be GREAT to get the public - and kids - talking about history and archaeology.

I think anything that interests people in archaeology and history is wonderful but ... the overwhelming majority of ancient sources agree that Alexander's body remained in Alexandria through into the Byzantine period.

There was still a great deal of interest in Alexander during the Byzantine period - for example this late 5th century AD head was excavated at Ostia (and stolen from the museum, so if you find it, let me know) - but if his body was moved from Alexandria before the Arab conquest, it is very unlikely to have been put into the tomb at Amphipolis, and would probably have been taken to Constantinople.


Also, thank you so much for your wonderful blog - it's a great resource and a wonderful gift to us amateurs and enthusiasts.

You're welcome! But don't forget that the archaeologists at Amphipolis are the ones doing all the hard work!

One last question - do you expect the caryatids to be fully painted?

The Tralles-Cherchel figure from Tralles and now in Istanbul still has traces of paint, so they probably were painted originally. The Greeks tended to paint sculpture and architecture, although it became less fashionable to do so in the Roman period.

The Svestari tomb caryatids also still have a lot of paint, as the tomb was sealed but not filled with soil.



My question is about the caryatid’s face. The nose and nostrils seem to be uncommonly broad compared to those in Hellenistic sculpture. I have looked at many hellenistic statues, noses are narrow at the base. Also the caryatid’s eyes have a stretch and the mouth looks fuller. Is there a foreign influence here?

That's a very interesting question. Only one caryatid preserves the face, but she is missing her nose, so that all that's left is the 'shadow' ... and where the noise joins the face is always wider than the tip.

But looking at other Caryatids of this type - and this is the head of the Tralles-Cherchel type from Hadrianic Athens - I don't find the nose unusually wide. Ancient Greek women did not have access to American plastic surgeons, so they didn't have those tiny little button noses!

If you're asking if she could be African, I am wary of making statements about race based on a damaged sculpture ...

But I discussed the portrait of Septimius Severus, an emperor who was born in Roman north Africa here - he may be shown darker than his wife because his skin was darker, or because it was the convention to depict men as darker than women.








I'll answer more questions tomorrow ...

Books: Michael Scott's Delphi

In case you guys are getting bored of Amphipolis and Augustus, I can highly recommend Michael Scott's Delphi, which I will get around to writing more about soon.

Meanwhile, don't forget that the poor serpent column ended up in the Hippodrome at Constantinople, and was chopped up there too and ... For photos of it and Ottoman images when it was still more or less 'whole' see: The Hippodrome in Constantinople.

Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World - Amazon UK
Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World - Amazon US

Amphipolis: Who Has Questions?

I'm going to do a post today about Amphipolis, to try to answer some of the questions people have asked and make a few other observations, but ... first the supermarket and laundry and ...

... and I will continue to try to answer questions asked in each post's comments, but if anyone has any other questions, please do continue to post them and I will do my best to answer them if I can!


Amphipolis: Please Post More Questions Here ...

I really hugely appreciate the enthusiasm so many are expressing about Amphipolis, and the kind words so many of you have said about my little explanations.

But ... as much as I would like to answer everyone's emails and tweets individually, they are getting a just a little out of hand. I still have a huge back-log of emails on other subjects to answer ...

In order to keep the questions more manageable, could I possibly ask people to post them in the comments of this thread? I'll answer them as soon as I can!


Today's Amphipolis Q&As

I'll start off by answering some of the various questions people have asked and discussing some of the theories about Amphipolis, then go back to regular blogging later today or tomorrow ...


I'm not sure where the question about huge tombs for soldiers came from, but yes there are some - eg the Chaeronea Lion might be either a tomb or more likely a cenotaph built by Philip II for those whose fell in that battle; ditto the later Macedonian Veria monument. War monuments are nothing new, and are well attested in Greek culture ... but I think it is very unlikely that the Lion Tomb at Amphipolis was a communal tomb for dead soldiers. As always, I may be wrong - the tomb has already re-written the text books about that type of Caryatid supporting the architrave with their hands, and who know what else we'll learn!

Again, I still don't know who was buried in the tomb at Amphipolis, and if the archaeologists do know, they're not saying yet. I am afraid that yes I've been to blame for over a year now for the theory that it could have been built for Alexander the Great - and yes, he still seems for a whole variety of reasons, some of which hopefully will become clear, to me to be the best candidate for whom the monument was constructed. He was not buried there as Ptolemy hijacked the body and took it to Egypt, but the tomb and an associated cult could well have continued under the Antigonids at Amphipolis, and various early Diadochs are likely to have wanted, hoped and perhaps even attempted to bring Alexander's body back to Macedonia to emphasise their claim to be his heir. Then someone may have been buried in it - an Antigonid or Lysimachus or a dozen others - or it could have been symbolically left empty as a cenotaph or a reminder ...


No, not 'probably' - the lion was almost certainly visible from the bridge, the town ... everywhere in Amphipolis. It was designed to be seen, hence the huge mound and large base that supported it. The key question to ask is was the tomb inside the boundaries of the town or outside it? Only founders of cities, such at Theseus at Athens - or refounders of cities such as Mausolus at Halicarnassus - could be buried within the city walls.

Although there are other tombs with lions, the lion hunt in an enclosed royal game park was associated with royal iconography under the Persians (eg see the sculptures from the tomb of the Hecatomind Satrap Mausolus) and from at least Phillip II onwards in Macedonian art (see the exterior painted frieze of Vergina Tomb II).

The seated Lion at Chaeronea is linked to the battle Phillip II fought there. The Cnidos lion is reclining and different, but not yet linked to anyone specific. 

The Ecbatana Lion is sometimes linked to the death of Hephaestion (left), and again he is a possible contended for the tomb, if Alexander's wishes were fulfilled. But the Ecbatana lion is very different, and we know from the later Arabic name of its site that it was the "Gate of the Lions" and one of a pair, oh, and Hephaestion died at Babylon not Ecbatana (see here).


Could there be more chambers, not just three? Very easily. Also the hole in the wall to the third chamber may well have been structural - Hellenistic architects sometimes put windows into the pediments of very large temples, which may have been partly for cult reasons, but also served to relieve the weight.



As the Greek Ministry of Culture has stated, there are severe structural issues with the third chamber. I pointed out that there were structural issues which led to a crack in the architrave above the caryatids (photo above), and that is one face cracked and fell off (it was found in the back-fill).

There was no tomb quite like this one at Amphipolis, and so the architect may have been more ambitious than ... I currently think that the back-filling of the tomb was to stop it collapsing and to 'preserve' it (ancient Macedonian tombs were not meant to be seen and visited inside anyway) ... and that the back-fill pre-dates the destruction of the super-structure. As always things change in archaeology, and there wouldn't be any point digging if new information didn't either refine our ideas or make us change our minds!


Speaking of changing our minds: the evidence suggests all previous reconstructions were wrong, and the Caryatids did not supported the architrave with one raised arm. They were architectural supports, as the cracks show, and but possibly hand their arms outstretched to each other - their touching hands could symbolise the joining of Europe and Asia by a certain Greek commander? I'll do a proper long post about the Caryatids - and another about the Ionic doorway and third chamber - soon, but yes they look vaguely like Archaic kore, but that's a long art historical explanation which is why the style is called archaising.

For now, see how the lowered arm holding out the drapery ...


better seem in the pair here:


This Hellenistic figure from Miletus now in Izmir copies the roll of fabric diagonally across the body:



[... well, first the drapery becomes an acanthus leaf in this ca. 280 BC Thracian tomb ...]


... is also to be seen in the statue of Tralles-Cherchel type from Cherchel:


... and the Tralles-Cherchel type from Tralles:


... but that in some more classicising variants, such as this one from a pair in Mantua, the hand is made to hold a mask - presumably one of the pair had Comedy, the other Tragedy?



I've been positing for a few years now that there are so many copies and variants of this type that it must copy a famous lost original pair ... but it seems the original may have been found!

Interestingly the raised forearms of this figure type do not survive anywhere except Amphipolis, so whilst we always assumed it went straight up ... clearly the new evidence shows that it did not!

I highly recommend this article to anyone interested in the earlier excavations of the Amphipolis Lion, which was found thrown into the river some way from the Kastra Hill - The Pride of Amphipolis | From the Archivist's Notebook:
Betsey Robinson Betsey A. Robinson, Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University, here contributes to The Archivist’s Notebook an essay about the history of the reconstruction of the Lion of Amphipolis in the 1930s and the people who spearheaded it; she also reminds us of recent work by the American School in the area in 1970.
Εἰπέ, λέον, φθιμένοιο τίνος τάφον ἀμφιβέβηκας, βουφάγε; τίς τᾶς σᾶς ἄξιος ἦν ἀρετᾶς;
Tell, lion, whose tomb do you guard, you slayer of cattle? And who was worthy of your valour?
Anthologia Palatina 7.426.1-2 (Trans. M. Fantuzzi & R. Hunter)
The lines above, by Hellenistic poet Antipater of Sidon, are as much of a tease today as they were when Oscar Broneer quoted them in The Lion Monument at Amphipolis in 1941.
And the date of the tomb ...


Yes, I am aware of this, and I am aware of her subsequent claim that the tomb must post-date 40 BC because there were no Greek Caryatids before then. I disagree about Caryatids, obviously, but it's good to have debate and if we all agreed we'd make less progress! Another Greek archaeologist who had not seen the excavations made claims about modern looting, and I disagree with him too. I'm afraid that the Greek archaeologist with whom I agree with re the early Hellenistic date are the ones that found the tomb and that have been digging it for years and actually seen the evidence.

And finally the Memphis sphinxes ...



Yes, I am aware of them, but chose to focus on other ones that I thought to be more relevant, but thank you all for sending them to me. Yes, they are linked to the Serapeion, which is in turn founded after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, but again please guys, hold your horses! or sphinxes! The Serapeion continued to be added to for centuries, and some of the philosophers found near these sphinxes were earlish Hellenistic, but others were 2nd century AD. Also they were excavated by Auguste Mariette who died in 1881, and archaeological techniques were very different in those days ... so the very simple answer is that these are dated largely on stylistic grounds, and this date is very debatable.


Quick Answers About Amphipolis ...

Thank you all for your many interesting questions about Amphipolis, and for the information people have been kind enough to email me. I am thrilled people around the world, not just in Greece, are so excited and enthusiastic about the Lion Tomb at Amphipolis, and I'll start with some of the images people have created - please do add credits in the comments, as I don't have them for all the images, partly as I am sticking to the official press releases.

For some questions I have to paraphrase my fictional colleague Lara Croft, and answer "I cold tell you, but then I'd have to kill you ..."

Just as the Luna Temple built off Santorini by Alexander the Great is fictional ... so, I'm afraid, are all claims Alexander was buried at Amphipolis.

Based on what I know, I think it could well have been started by him and finished by the Antigonids; they could well have left it empty, assuming that they would 'soon' bring his body back from Alexandria ... but they never did. Then it would have been either re-used for a subsequent ruler's burial or possibly kept as a cenotaph / heroon to his cult, possibly jointly with Hephaestion, as they were sometimes honoured jointly as dioscouroi. 


Are there more chambers? These diagrams are very useful for showing that the three chambers so far identified don't go very far into the mound, suggesting that there were. It is very unlikely that there was a chamber at the centre of the mound, since that was the support weight for the lion, but since the architect made some structural mistakes, anything is possible.

If there are only three chambers, since these are close to the edge of the mound, the weight they carry is lighter and so they should not have the structural issues we are seeing. I suspect that there are more chambers, in worse condition, and that there is a sort of domino effect, with the badly damaged inner chambers pushing outwards onto the third and second ones ...

People have asked about earthquakes. This damage could have been caused by an earthquake, but the removal of the superstructure was deliberate - we know that as the parts of the lion and the base were found some distance away, by the river, and the reason they were not originally associated with the mound was because of this.

A good example of archaeologists identifying earthquake damage was in the original excavations of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus - one side of the building went splat in an earthquake, and by identifying where on the ground the sculptures were found, Geoffrey Waywell was able to project backwards and identify where on the building they would originally have been.

These are based on the official reconstruction by the archaeologists presented at the Thessaloniki conference - see photo below (the snap was taken at an angle, so the lion was not leaning to the right!).


Again this not Ministry of Culture diagram shows how little under the mound the chambers found go.







The very steep steps down are highly unusual, and I am surprised they have not attracted more comment as there are few parallels.

The gap between the spinx gate and the steps was rather narrow, and then we have to remember that there was a later wall added.




The floor actually looks like this, and has a pattern that echoes the masonry lining the walls:


Again, this is the official reconstruction by the archaeologists:


Yes the tomb is huge, as several people have pointed out. The measurements people keep using for the Mausoleum of Hadrian are of it as it survives as the Castel Sant'Angelo; the original complex was slightly bigger, and closer in size to the Mausoleum of Augustus ... but still tiny compared to Amphipolis!

Although there are almost a dozen earlier more-or-less round buildings, the perfect circle is associated with Dinocrates by the archaeologists working there.

I can't discuss any geo-phys surveys, but I am not expecting gold and treasure. We hopefully will find some things left behind, but the fact that finds have not been announced from the back-fill suggests that they were probably removed when the tomb became structurally unsafe.

Below is a plan of the mound over Tomb II at Vergina. There are a variety of interpretations of who was buried there, but in my opinion Philip II is the best candidate. You can see the plan of a small shrine or naiskos to the right, which may have been a cult shrine.

Vergina was sacked by the troops of Pyrrhus in one of the many wars fought by the successors of Alexander, and the mound seems to post-date this sack since it encompasses several tombs, unlike Amphipolis where the mound is part of the original structure. Various finds in the mound at Vergina come from the funerary pyre, suggesting that there had been a smaller mound before.


This is the Lion as it was reconstructed, using blocks found by the river. The archaeologists have now identified more blocks, to fill in the reconstructed gaps.

The destruction of the Lion and superstructure was not in an earthquake, nor does it seem to be Christian iconoclasm as previously thought. The archaeologists shifted the date downwards into the Roman period, based on small finds such as dated coins found in this destruction layer.

Why someone with a great deal of power would put so much effort into destroying and concealing the tomb is very puzzling. It seems to have been an officially sanctioned project, since although mobs could destroy buildings it is very unlikely that a mob moved the blocks such a great distance.

The destruction could be key to identifying who was buried at Amphipolis. If it was someone like Hephaestion, then it may have been because an emperor did not approve of him? Or it could be linked to a megalomaniac such as Caracalla - perhaps he wanted the only tomb linked to his beloved Alexander to be in Alexandria? There are as many possible answers to that one as there are theories!

Yes, the way the margins are drafted on the masonry in the entrance is quite unusual, but not without parallels - and the whole point of exceptional and important buildings is that they often have unusual architectural features ... that's what makes them special. For example the carved column drums at Ephesus (and I hope no one is planning to re-date that to the Roman period).


There are rosettes carved at Amphipolis, but these are not, to the best of my knowledge, a specifically royal symbol, and they can be found on the funerary stele of ordinary ancient Greeks.


As I've pointed out before, one could see structural issues starting with the Caryatids - the cracks in the lintel above, the face which sheered off and was found in the back-fill.

As I've said before, the archaeologists working at Amphipolis are very good. I've also pointed out that any semi-competent archaeologist could make the observations I'm making. I am competent, but unfortunately not all archaeologists are.

One has re-dated the tomb to Augustus' day on the basis that Caryatids are an Augustan symbol ... as you can all see in this photo of the Caryatids he used in the Forum of Augustus, Augustus liked copies of the Erechtheion Caryatids which were of a completely different type from those found at Amphipolis ...

And even if Amphipolis had had Caryatids that copied the columns carved as Korai from the Erechtheion - which it does not - this would not be grounds for re-dating it to the Roman period. The Heroon of Pericles of Limyra, a local dynast dated to the 4th century BC, also had strange slightly archaising copies of the Erechtheion Korai ... For more on Limyra, see here.

The Ionic door frame on the exterior of the third chamber is unusual, but then so is so much of the Amphipolis tomb. It slightly echoes Egyptian Mastaba Doors, although I am wary of seeing too much into that, or seeing it as the influence of Alexander's conquest of Egypt let alone any other links.

The interior lintel of the third chamber is badly cracked, and shows how precarious the structure of the tomb is. This makes it very dangerous for archaeologists, and is why they are waiting for engineers to shore it up.

The Ionic pilaster capitals from the front entrance are interesting. As on many other buildings, they were painted. I am wary of making too many claims, but the exterior (left) seems more weathered than the interior face (below), suggesting that this part of the tomb was exposed to the elements, and that wind and rain faded some of the paintwork.


The red paint on the walls of the third chamber is interesting. I will simply for now point out that Tyrian Purple, the colour associated with royalty, is also sometimes called Tyrian Red as the colour produced by the Murex is quite a reddish-purple ...

I have to go walk the dog and run errands, but I'll try to do another post later today answering the many other good questions people have asked. Meanwhile I highly recommend looking at the inter-active floor plan of the excavations at The Amphipolis Tomb web site here.

Archaeology Magazine

London’s Paddington Station in the Victorian Era

LONDON, ENGLAND—Excavations ahead of the construction of a new underground station, garage, and cement factory near Paddington Station have uncovered Victorian railway foundations laid by civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Brunel is remembered for his Great Western Railway, which ran its first steam trains in 1838 on broad-gauge train tracks. In 1846, Parliament regulated the size of railroad tracks, requiring a switch to the narrower standard gauge tracks throughout the Great Western Railway. This change is reflected in a wrought iron turning circle found within the brick foundations of the site. Dating to 1881-82, it could accommodate both broad and standard gauge engines so that they could enter the 1850s engine shed, whose foundations were also found. “Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway is the most complete early mainline railway in the world. Whenever we expose parts of the original infrastructure it is vital to record these for posterity and the history of rail in this country. Using the latest 3-D scan technology provides a permanent and accurate model of Brunel’s distinctive architectural legacy,” Jay Carver, lead archaeologist for Crossrail, told The Telegraph.

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Alexander’s Armour | The Second Achilles

Alexander’s Armour | The Second Achilles



A very interesting post about Alexander the Great's armour.



I think Caracalla allegedly ended up with Alexander's armour?

Amphipolis: More Questions, More Answers ...

Hopefully this will answer the last of the current batch of questions, but the Ministry of Culture issued a new press release: here.

First the Elgin Marbles / Parthenon sculptures

This came up in the comments to my last Amphipolis Q&A. Back in 2003 I was critical of some Greek archaeologists. They're still not all perfect, but I have been far more critical of the British Museum (see here and here for example). In January 2013 I gave a talk at the Wallace Collection about the history of the Parthenon sculptures where I explained why I am in favour of a long-term loan to Greece, and how I thought this could be arranged. Just as Amphipolis is legally Greek but belongs to the world's heritage and is universal, so are the Parthenon sculptures. I'll go into greater detail in another post in the future, but the person who convinced me was Michaelis Lefantzis - the architect at the Acropolis, as well as the discoverer of the Amphipolis tomb (someone should give the guy a medal!). As the situation changed, my views evolved - the Parthenon sculptures may be carved in stone, but intelligent people's views should not always be.

you should talk about the caryatids in more detail and how they help on dating

To which I tweeted back "architectural sculpture tends to be lower quality than portraits and gods, so stylistic dating is risky & the architecture dates" - very little architectural sculpture was by leading sculptors, although the Parthenon and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus are notable exceptions. The Amphipolis sculptures are of very good quality, and I will discuss them more, but I am always wary of dating architectural sculpture purely stylistically. It should be dated in conjunction with the architecture for which it was created. Architectural sculpture is usually linked to cult buildings, whether temples or theatres, and religious structures such as tombs, so it is often slightly archaising or old-fashioned to emphasise the antiquity of the cult or the dynasty.


As I said yesterday, there are traces of paint on the Caryatids. Also I am wary of overly proscriptive rules when it comes to dating. An American scholar years ago wrote a book about Greek sandals and dating; by her arguments these sorts of raised sandals would be Hellenistic, but they are also known from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus which pre-dates Amphipolis!


This is the new diagram of the tomb the Ministry have released, and the Ministry spokeswoman has also confirmed the likelyhood of a fourth room. And denied that gold coins of Alexander were found!

a) What are the different dating methods one may use for sites like Amphipolis, or for the tombs like the ones at Aegae, and how accurate or uncertain they are?

Small finds such as broken pieces of pottery found in the foundations are the most usual method of dating, as obvious the building on top of them has to post-date them. Also coins are sometimes found in layers, and ideally one has literary sources and inscriptions too! Honestly dating in archaeology can be as much an art as a science, so this is why people publish conflicting articles.  

b) Do we have examples of large scale archaeological monuments which we only found out about after these have been excavated, as there was no historical reference (direct or indirect) to them?

I'm still caffeinating, so can't think of a Greek one off the top of my head, but we lost far more ancient sources than are preserved, so yes! And the best example is a whole ancient Chinese kingdom, about which we know nothing but amazing archaeological finds have been made in recent times.


c) There are many theories out there about the occupant of the Amphipolis tomb, some talk about Alexander despite the numerous references for his burial at Alexandria. Do we have examples in archaeology were historical references proved to be misleading?


Yes! The ancients were just as fallible as us! Vitruvius clearly made a mistake in his 'lesson' about Caryatids, and Pausanias often just repeated the mistakes Roman tour guides told him. BUT I tend to be suspicious of scholars who claim the ancient source was wrong but they are right ... and I tend to by default give the ancient source the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong. 

d) There was a nice article few weeks ago about "tales of tomb looting" (here in greek: http://www.thetoc.gr/politismos/article/istories-tumbwruxias-me-aformi-tin-amfipoli). In that article, Angeliki Kottaridi describes how the tomb of Phillip escaped looting, saying that after the plundering of many other royal tombs by the Gauls, Antigonus Gonatas reinforced the great tumulus. Is that based on a historical reference or is it an assumption (because I can't find a reference). What I found is that Pyrrhus became extremely unpopular among Macedonias for letting the Gauls do what they did (plus for leaving them unpunished, afterwards). Was that maybe a motivation for sealing at least the important Macedonian tombs, like the one of Amphipolis, and could this explain the assumed later date of the filling (compared to the date of its construction)? 

Yes, there are sources of Pyrrhus sacking Vergina, and archaeological evidence for the tumulus built there after the sack. Pyrrhus was a rival of the ruler of Macedonia, and since history tends to be written by the victor ...

I will reiterate what I've been saying all along about looting. Yes there has been looting at Amphipolis over the century, and yes I am aware that a Greek 'expert' has been claiming he knew the Lion Tomb had been recently looted. If he had evidence, he should have gone to the Ministry so they could do something. In fact, the site has been very well guarded for two years. The 'expert' has an agenda in promoting looting - which is a bad problem, but not at this tomb - in order to raise funds so that he can fly around the world talking about it at conferences. I prefer to do something more practical to combat looting, such as getting items sent back.

I think the back-filling at Amphipolis was more likely to be later, and due to structural issues with the tomb about to collapse than to prevent looting. 

e) Here are photos that came up recently after the Amphipolis excavation became front page news: http://prntscr.com/4o7nq0
These are supposed to be soldiers from WW1 period at the north of Greece, near Amphipolis, having some... fun with archaeological sites and skulls. In one of the photos we see an Amphipolis type on tomb entrace, which is walled up, like at Amphipolis (no idea which site is actually that). But walling up seems to have some common elements as the one we saw in front of the sphinxes at Amphipolis. Was that a common practice for Macedonian monuments?


That photo was taken in 1916 and is at the Imperial War Museum. Incidentally, a British officer working to free Greece from the Nazis during WW2 spent a lot of time in Macedonia and used his spare time to identify ancient sites, for example Vergina - he's better known as the archaeologist Nicholas Hammond. Not all British are bad!

Yes, most Macedonian tombs were sealed and buried, but the back-filling is very unusual. 

Do You think that this very tomb is much bigger than the three discovered chambers and that there could be another door in the last- wall, regarding to the size of the tumulus which is huge?

Hopefully I explained this one in yesterday's posts, but yes it probably had more chambers.

Aren't there scientific methods that could be used to absolutely date the find? I understand that carbon dating needs organic material to be applied, but there are other methods as well (according to wilipedia), such as "optically stimulated luminescence" (OSL) whicha can be used to date sediments (or the sand inside the tomb), if I understand correctly. Could something like this work and why hasn't this been done already? 

Carbon dating is very good, but one needs organic material for it to work ... not stone! There's one that works on terracotta, and which I assume is being used on the pottery - although it is distinctive enough and easy for experts to date the sherds, I would guess that the Ministry is making sure everything is double-checked. There are some issues with Carbon Dating at some periods, and it is not perfect, but if they find wood, it will probably be used.

a) there is a house in Amphipolis dated in the 2nd century BC, the painted walls of which remind a lot the structure of blocks forming the circular wall of the tomb. A photo is here:
http://files.spercheios.webnode.gr/200000273-f18fcf2899/amfipolis-ellinistiki-2.jpg




Thank you! I'd been looking for photos from Olynthus just because it was destroyed by Phillip in 348 BC, so the finds are dated to well before the tomb. Domestic architecture often imitated monumental architecture in stucco or paint. The best examples come from Delos.

b) Strabo mentions nothing about the tomb in his passage for Amphipolis. Is that enough to assume that the tomb was in a bad condition or possibly unrecognisable by the time he visited ( sometime between 27 BC - AD 14)? 

Possibly, but also his sections on Macedonia are highly fragmentary and not fully preserved.

c) the block sequence in the fortification wall of Amphipolis, which I assume is much older than the hellenistic house above, also reminds (a bit) the circular wall of the tomb. Photo here: http://www.losttrails.com/media/Greece/Amphipolis/amphipolis_MG_3240b.jpg

The idea of alternating courses of thick and thin blocks is not unusual, and was a popular decorative feature.

Should the danger of collapse not be avoided at any cost?

Yes.

How can technology help to assess the situation?

I can't discuss the work not released by the ministry.

What would be plan B?

B!?!?!? I think we might already be on Plan D or E ...

Why not try to enter digging down from the top?
Because going through the entrance is normal, except for Father Christmas and burglars? And we want to preserve the ceilings!


-------------------

I think that covers the vast majority of the questions?

To add to my comments about paint fading when exposed to the elements, this is the reconstruction of the facade of the Great Tomb at Lefkadia. It was a Macedonian tomb whose facade was buried soon after the funeral but ...


Whilst the architectural elements were bright, as were the guardians painted between the columns ... the metopes copy those of the much earlier Parthenon, and so are shown 'faded' as they would have been by this time.

ArcheoNet BE

Leuvense opleiding Oude Nabije Oosten bedreigd?

Een negatieve evaluatie zorgt voor onrust binnen de opleiding Oude Nabije Oosten aan de KU Leuven. Dat meldt het Leuvense studentenweekblad Veto vandaag. Twee van de drie afstudeerrichtingen, Syro-Palestina en Syro-Mesopotamië, werden negatief beoordeeld door een externe visitatiecommissie. Daardoor dreigt de opleiding haar accreditatie te verliezen, en kan ze geen geldige diploma’s meer uitreiken. Met een herstelplan hoopt de faculteit Letteren de opleiding alsnog te redden.

De studenten benadrukken het belang van de opleiding Oude Nabije Oosten, ondanks het geringe aantal studenten. “Het is een ongelooflijk interessante opleiding, maar ze is niet populair. Het meest jammerlijke is dat we een uniek werkveld in Vlaanderen dreigen te verliezen, wanneer het herstelplan faalt,” zegt studentenvertegenwoordiger Charlotte De Wilde.

“Er is altijd een terechte vraag naar het opleidingsaanbod,” reageert vicedecaan Johan Verberckmoes van de faculteit Letteren. “Waarom bieden we bepaalde opleidingen aan? Louter numeriek is het waanzin om zulke gespecialiseerde opleidingen aan te bieden. De vraag is welk criterium doorweegt. Het is heel duidelijk dat deze vakgebieden uniek zijn in Vlaanderen. Zo heeft de Gentse universiteit vorig jaar Hebreeuws geschrapt uit haar aanbod.”

Lees meer: Donkere wolken boven Oude Nabije Oosten (Veto – 22 september 204)

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Amphipolis: The Measurements

The big excitement yesterday was Michaelis Lefantzis' measurements:



I've been aware of the ratios - I think they were presented at the conference - but clearly his new fans were not from the response ... and that's why I welcome questions, because sometimes I forget to tell people things, and ... Amphipolis, as Katerina Peristeri has emphasised, is universal and of interest to everyone.

So yes, the Lion's height was in proportion to the diameter of the round wall.

And if the walls of ancient Alexandria were 15,840 m then these would have been 100 times the circumferance of the walls of the tomb at Amphipolis ...

Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great, and his chief architect was Deinocrates; Deinocrates was responsible for the plan of Alexandria, presumably including the walls (Vitruvius II Praef), as well as the funeral pyre for Hephaestion.

Much of Alexandria was destroyed by an earthquake, and the city was continuously inhabited for centuries, so little of the city has been found. Alexandria became one of the largest cities in the world, so the assumption is that as the population increased, so did the walls - this need not be the case, as Rome's walls were not rebuilt between the reigns of Augustus and Aurelian.

In the mid 1st century BC Diodorus Siculus (17.52) wrote:
Alexander also laid out the walls so that they were at once exceedingly large and marvelously strong. Lying between a great marsh and the sea, it affords by land only two approaches, both narrow and very easily blocked. 
In shape, it is similar to a chlamys, and it is approximately bisected by an avenue remarkable for its size and beauty. From gate to gate it runs a distance of forty furlongs; it is a plethron in width, and is bordered throughout its length with rich façades of houses and temples.
His contemporary Strabo (17.1.7‑10):
The shape of the area of the city is like a chlamys; the long sides of it are those that are washed by the two waters, having a diameter of about thirty stadia, and the short sides are the isthmuses, each being seven or eight stadia wide and pinched in on one side by the sea and on the other by the lake.
There are many later sources, but whilst they differ slightly I'm going to ask people to trust that Michaelis has done his research!

One modern furlong is 201.16800 metres, and this is probably a translation issue but I don't have time to pop to the library ...* A stadion was 600 feet according to Herodotus, but the length of a foot varied from state to state, and so did stadia as a result. The Attic stadion of 185 m was adopted by Alexandria and became the standard.




-----------------

* = my books are still in storage, and those that are not are hiding post flood ... yes, H wouldn't let me move them in, and that's why I'm not going to be Mrs H ... ;-)

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Hoard Hoikers Identified?


From the identity of one of the commentators, it looks like the weekend hoard hoikers came from the Dunelme Metal Detecting Club  http://www.ncmd.co.uk/northeast.htm

AIA Fieldnotes

Quenching Our Thirst

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Historical Society of Cheshire County
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
exhibition
Start Date: 
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 5:30pm to Friday, November 7, 2014 - 4:00pm

The Historical Society of Cheshire County (246 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431) is hosting an opening reception of the exhibition, Quenching our Thirst, on Wednesday, October 8th from 5:30-7:30pm.  This exhibition, which runs from October 8th to November 8th, is the outcome of two seasons of archaeological field schools at the historic Wyman Tavern in Keene, led by Martha Pinello in 2013 and 2014.  The exhibition focuses on the experiences of a middle school and a high school student who participated in the 2014 excavations. Read more »

Location

Name: 
Jennifer Carroll
Telephone: 
6033521895
Call for Papers: 
no

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #549

Open Access (free to read) articles:

Patterns of interaction in Southern Cook Island prehistory
http://bit.ly/1rs592J

Silchester Roman Town Insula IX: The Development of an Urban Property c. AD 40-50 - c. AD 250
http://bit.ly/1rs58fg

Notes on Specimens of Wrought Gold, forming a portion of the Ashanti Indemnity
http://bit.ly/122WxAx

A late 14th-century coin hoard from Tranent, East Lothian
http://bit.ly/11SiEuf

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

Brice C. Jones

Name that NT Manuscript (#2)

This NT manuscript is interesting for a variety of reason, one of which is the cursive note at the bottom. This is not a continuation of the NT text above, nor has it been deciphered given its ungrammatical characteristics. So, which NT manuscript is this? And does anyone want to take a stab at the meaning and function of the scribbled note?
Picture
Click to Enlarge

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Reminder: Space NK Gift With Purchase Today

I blogged details and the products I highly recommend here: Dorothy King's PhDiva: Le Fluff et Le Puff ... Lotions and Potions at Space NK

The offer is available online too, on the 17th and 18th September.

Le Fluff et Le Puff … Le Kilt

Tartan 2

I’ve discussed the ‘first’ tartans before here: Ancient fabrics, press folds, checks and not tartans ... As with so many things, the Chinese claim to have invented it first, and the Germans have a good claim, but this is the Falkirk Tartan Textile Fragment which is a proto-tartan that dates to the 3rd century AD and is 100% Scottish.

Today Scotland votes and the people will decide whether or not to stay in the Union. I have no strong feelings either way, and no vote so my views wouldn’t matter anyway. I’ll continue to visit Scotland, and my long love affair with cashmere and the kilt will continue. Tartan and kilts have been associated with Scottish nationalism for so long that the English at one point introduced the Dress Act 1746 to ban it.

I’ve been trying to find a kilt for a year or more, and my main issue has been that they’ve all seemed far too frumpy; or worse too tacky “sexy schoolgirl” (and made of 100% polyester – eek).
Then I found this little gem made by Le Kilt, and similar to the Black Watch kilt I wore all through uni way back in the last century.

Screenshot_8Screenshot_6

Post university and into this century, I moved on to an Alexander McQueen version (which I styled a little more plainly than Mrs Beckham). It was lady-like but with a fun ‘kick’ of pleats to one side almost like a small train.

jpgimages

Now it’s described as the “Iconic & rare Alexander McQueen tartan skirt. High boned waist item fully silk lined, zips off center back.” and for sale at 1stDibs … No, I don’t still have mine, which is fine as I’m not the size I was then (I’ve embraced putting on a few pounds as I age, and refuse to starve myself or take drugs to achieve the slenderness of youth).

But I am tempted by Le Kilt’s offering in a similar tartan – I think it’s Clan Wallace rather than Clan McQueen, but age might also be affecting my eyesight …

Screenshot_7Screenshot_9

Of course I’d wear it with matt opaque tights, loafers, and a black cashmere jumper – my default styling of most outfits.

Le Kilt is available in London at Dover Street Market.
Samantha McCoach founded Le Kilt in 2014 with a vision of adding a dash of modernity to her family’s kilt-making heritage.
Samantha's grandmother has been a traditional kilt maker in Scotland for over 40 years and through Samantha's teenage years she would observe her grandmother expertly tailoring Kilts, trousers and other traditional staples from fine Scottish tartan.  Samantha has continued the tradition and re-appropriated the style into her modern wardrobe.
This love of tartan inspired the creation of Samantha’s brand Le Kilt.  The name being both a playful homage to the legendary Soho club of the 80’s and a wink towards the untapped, chic potential of the kilt.
Central to the Le Kilt philosophy is a preservation of traditional techniques, underscored with modernity.  Le Kilt plans to complement its ‘kiltie’ core with key garments and accessories in the coming season, all with nod and a wink to Samantha's, wistfully nostalgic Scots background. 


Heels: Bionda Castana

At the start of last year the FT ran a piece about the best shoe designers - Best feet forward - FT.com - and I should probably be ashamed to admit I have heels from rather too many of them. But the most comfortable 10 mm ones I own? The ones I managed to keep up in with a woman insisting on power-walking well over 2 km at an increasingly competitive pace? The pair from Bionda Castana, and for that reason although I initially scoffed at the description of 'comfortable and wearable' ... I've slowly built up a little collection from them.

And the shoe I'd snap up if it came in leather not suede? Their Lana. It's the most chicest shoe.

Lots of companies give good service, but very few managed to do a good job of sorting out a mess not of their creation - that's why I recommend buying them from the fabulous Young British Designers.

Plus it's good to support British design and a small company ... and they charge £385 for the heels (sign up for the newsletter as they regularly send codes):

Lana Black Suede Ankle Tie Pumps by Bionda Castana / Shoes | Young British Designers

... they're £485 at the Bionda Castana site, although they have more sizes:

Lana – Bionda Castana Online Store

The Beatrix is also very elegant for evening (yes, I know toe cleavage is 'out' this season, but it'll be back by Christmas ...):

Beatrix – Bionda Castana Online Store

Beatrix suede and mesh pumps - NET-A-PORTER.COM

Archaeological Institute of America blogs

Welcoming Our Newest IAD 2014 Collaborators!

Description: 

Join our newest collborators at IAD!

With International Archaeology Day coming up in less than a month, we're very excited to include even more collaborating organizations into our program! We have joining us this year the Western Science Center in California, the Museum of Art and Archaeology at MU and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. 

International Archaeology Day 2014 is Saturday, October 18th. Read more »

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Milliongate: PAS Gone Numbers -Crazy


Over on the PAS public database, here on the front page, we read 1,023,953 objects within 633,481 records (that should be 633,481 records, mentioning 1,023,953 objects).


Or according to the 'overall statistics' search today:
It is bad enough that two sources of information about the PAS both available from the same page do not correlate with each other. There is no surprise in that for those of us who've been trying to follow the progress of outreach through PAS "statistics", they tend to be very mutable. Yet there is now an even more puzzling development: the PAS spin doctors are now telling the public that pays for all their number games:
Stay tuned for the millionth object this week!
What new trickery is this? So, if they are ignoring the "22000" Treasure items Dr Drost entered on the database on 8th September, why not all the other Treasure items, which brings their total down considerably? Why are the PAS so insistent on representing their figures as something other than what they are? The database says one thing, the PAS says those figures are not correct and are trying to promote other ones. What is going on? How can anyone take the PAS at all seriously when it engages in these games?

* * *

For the record, the search of results from 9th September to the evening of 22nd September reads
The total up to 9th September 2014 minus the estimated 22000 from the unnamed hoard is (on 9th September there were 167 records of 179 objects added):
Adding the two we get:
1,001,674 objects....
which shows that even with Dr Drost's hoard cut out, but not the other extraneous data, the PAS have already over a "million objects" on the database. So what are they playing about at trying to convince us that with a flourish and fanfare they are later going to produce a pre-selected "millionth find" ("but in the meanwhile here are some of our FLOs' favourite objects"). This is very redolent of the apparent rigging of the dumbass competition of "viewers' finds" on "Britain's Secret treasures" that tweets and the weather reports of the day concerned showed had been  filmed prior to the pretended date of selection. 

Let me guess the reputed "millionth find" is going to be something at first sight nondescript, which their narrativisation turns into something more significant. My money is on a "Roman grot" which they've been trying to get their "partners" to report for years.

Maybe instead of these pointless and embarrassing attempts at media manipulation, we can at last see some real transparency, detail and openness from the PAS. Seventeen million quid of public money deserve no less. 



Archaeological News on Tumblr

Oman culture and heritage: Rediscovering Adam’s antiquity and culture

Adam: The old and famous “neighbourhood” in the wilayat of Adam, which comprises houses that have remained intact despite the passage of time, are undergoing a comprehensive overhaul by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

The Ministry of Heritage and Culture aims to turn the neighbourhood into an open museum that shows the patterns of daily life, architectural styles, traditions and the related customs.

Adam is one of the wilayats of the governorate of Al Dakhiliyah and its main entrance to the south.
It is believed that Adam is derived from ‘Adim’ which means the cover of the surface of the Earth or the ‘dirt’. There is another meaning for Adam, which means the fertile ground located in the middle of the desert that people call ‘Al Sakbiya’, referring to its fertility throughout the year. It is an open plain situated in the middle of the desert. Read more.

Ancient Peoples

Faience parts of a broad collar  There are palm leaves(green),...



Faience parts of a broad collar 

There are palm leaves(green), lotus flowers(white), dates, bunches of grapes(green, blue and red), cornflowers(green, blue and white). persea fruit(yellow) and dôm-palm fruit(red). The top is a lotus flower upsidedown. These elements were excavated in the town of Tell el- Amarna, the capital of king Akhenaten. The elements suggest that they have to be interlocked, they have eyes on top and on the bottom. 

Egyptian, New Kingdom, late 18th dynasty, reign of Akhenaten, 1353-1336 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan museum

Conor Whately (Byzantine OED)

Military Bulletins in Late Antiquity

Two of the major projects that I'm working on at the moment are on Procopius.  One of them, as alluded to in an earlier post, will present some sort of evaluation of Procopius as a military historian.  Or maybe as a source for war is better (2 works aren't histories).  In this project more than the other Procopius one (culture and combat in the Wars), I'll be delving into his sources, so pseudo-oldschool Quellenkritik and the like.

What were Procopius' sources?  Well, in good Thucydidean and Polybian fashion, he had the benefit of experience, and had even seen firsthand much of the military material that he described.  While it's true that firsthand and eye-witness shouldn't be equated with the reliability of his material, it certainly helps.  So, Procopius had his own experiences and reports (in whatever form they took) to work with.  Being there, and getting to know the officers, and hypothetically even some of the men (though would a man like Procopius with, perhaps, great expectations want to mingle with the regular soldiers?), meant that he and the opportunity both then and afterwards to interview these participants. It's likely he used them too.

As scholars have long recognized, however, he also had to deal with those conflicts and military things for which he had no firsthand experience or account.  What did he use in those instances?  Well, perhaps the military dispatch/report/bulletin, that have been discussed for other authors (Malalas, Menander ProtectorTheophylact and the Chronicon Paschale) and periods (middle Byzantine).  Could he have used these?  Perhaps.  The frustrating thing with respect to these official reports, though with any of the evidence that he used, is that there is no virtually no way of proving unequivocally what he used.  Classicizing historians tend not to name their sources, and Procopius is no different.  On the other hand, for a number of reasons he seems likely to have used something.  So what about these dispatches?

Greatrex suggested that these might have been housed in facilities not only in Constantinople but also in Antioch at the HQ for the Comes Orientis.  Procopius could easily have accessed them, particularly those in Constantinople, especially if we are right to think Procopius spent the last bit (however long that might have been) of his life in the capital.  However his life might have panned out, it seems likely he could have found a way to access these if need be.

What form would these bulletins take?  Guess that depends, in part, on what the government might have wanted to make a record of and, indeed, some of the entries in late antique and early medieval chronicles are suggestive.  Essentially the basics: the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and maybe less likely the hows and whys of a campaigns.  The whys might, more often than not, be left for the historians to discuss, or the inquiries launched when things go wrong.  Would they have kept them for each and every campaign?  Would it depend on the particular emperor or even his staff?  We have hints at some possible examples of these:  Heraclius' letter from Azerbaijan reporting on military matters in 628.  Caesar's Gallic Wars might also evoke (or be indicative of?) these sorts of things - though in the latter case they would seem to be quite detailed.

More to come...

Anthropology.net

Lions, and Tigers, and Mushrooms?

In a new article from the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology, researchers in Chihuahua, Mexico discuss the selective use of mushrooms in Sierra Madre. The municipalities of Bocoyna and Urique are the only areas in Northern Mexico where residents pick mushrooms, but even then only five of over 20 edible species make the list. Attitudes toward our fungi prey vary across cultures, beckoning a reexamination of that seemingly ubiquitous fear.

I was born in Russia, a land of mycrophiles, before moving to America, the land of mycrophobes. My mother once found a cornucopia of Boletus mushrooms at the village playground in the suburbs of New York. She was dumbfounded. This would have been an unprecedented sight in Russia, where any mushroom that managed to poke its head into a public playground, would instantly be picked, fried, and eaten with sour cream. In America we leave the mushroom collecting to the supermarkets, and stay far away from the forest. My American husband has always kept wild mushrooms at arm’s length ever since his mom told him that mushrooms killed Euell Gibbons. As it turns out Gibbons died of an aneurysm, but the tale remained the pivot of a lifelong mistrust.

Of course the fear is not completely irrational. There are those capped persons that cause severe stomachache, diarrhea, and sometimes death. Our less-cautious ancestors suffered these consequences to provide the warning lists in mushroom field guides. With the availability of other food it makes sense to steer clear of potential toxins. But in Chihuahua efforts have been made to teach children how to identify edible species. Especially in low-income areas, mushrooms provide free, nutritious food options. In northern Mexico residents eat only what they know with certainty, only those species that they never learned to fear. There are many delicious species that have no poisonous look-alikes, and yet differences in preference persist across ethnic groups within the same region. For example, in Sierra Madre, Raramuris avoid those Boletus mushrooms that mestizos eagerly consume. What molds a mushroom culture, its loves and its fears?

I am currently doing anthropological research in northern Finland, where mushrooms the size of dinner plates dot the forest. When I arrived the American mushroom fear was my hiking companion. But eventually the fairy-tale forest won me over, and I ran to the nearest nature center to ask for help with identification. The young woman was amused: “Just don’t eat the red ones…It’s not that hard.” Since then I have been taking the days mushroom by mushroom, only picking when certain, relearning the knowledge of millennia past.


Filed under: Blog

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Victorian railway infrastructure discovered by archaeologists near London tube station

Artefacts from a Victorian-era transport infrastructure, built by engineering forefather Isambard Kingdom Brunel for his broad-gauge Great Western steam railway nearly 200 years ago, are being laser scanned after archaeologists discovered them near Paddington as part of an extensive search for ancient rail remnants.

A 200-metre long engine shed, workshop and train turntables were found on a construction site known as Paddington New Yard, to the east of Westbourne Park Tube Station, in a glimpse of the industrial past and Brunel’s designs for a track first used in 1838. Read more.

James Clackson et al. (Greek in Italy)

Calabria and Sicily

As those of you who follow us on Twitter will know, the project has been in Italy this last week. Not because we fancied a holiday just before term starts again (although the weather was very nice indeed, and we did manage to have lunch on the beach at Nicotera Marina), but because part of the point of our project is to see the inscriptions we rely on for our work for ourselves. Even when an inscription is fully published, with good pictures and information about provenance, context and problems in the reading, it’s astounding what a difference it can make to see the object itself. All of a sudden you can discover that an apparently obvious stroke is caused by accidental damage rather than an intentional chisel, or that if you turn the object to catch the light differently an otherwise invisible indentation appears.

Messina. At work 5

On the other hand, it’s easy to get carried away when you see an inscription ‘in the flesh’. Here’s a picture of the team hard at work over an exciting new Oscan inscription. Shortly afterwards we realised we had it upside down and it was really Greek. On this trip we were predominantly looking at Oscan inscriptions, as both mine and Katherine’s books on Oscan are in the final stages. We found some pretty exciting new readings, which we’ll have to take account of (watch this space). Among the museums we visited were the Musei Nazionali Archeologici of Crotone, Vibo Valentia and Reggio Calabria in Calabria, and the Museo Regionale Interdisciplinare in Messina, Sicily. We were overwhelmed by – and very grateful for – the helpfulness of the staff at all the museums, especially in finding things that we didn’t have inventory numbers for, letting us into the museum deposits, and giving up their time to help us out. Our limited edition project keyrings were but little recompense for their kindness. Planning for the next trip starts soon!

 

 


Building Tabernae

Forma Urbis: Costruire Tabernae

In a letter to Atticus dated 18 april 44 BC, Cicero writes his friend that two of his shops in Puteoli had collapsed, and that he is planning to rebuild the property in a way that allows him to make even more money out of it. It is one of the very few references to a phenomenon that is likely to have been widespread in the cities of Roman Italy: investment in, and ownership of commercial facilities by the elite.

Commercial space was a defining element of the landscape of Roman cities, and the quintessential commercial facility in the Roman world was the taberna – a large room with a wide opening onto the street to maximize opportunities for interaction between inside and outside. Never an independent building itself, the taberna features only marginally in studies of Roman architecture and urbanism, and few scholars have studied the taberna as a socioeconomic phenomenon.

There are, however, good reasons to take a closer look at the taberna. Rather than a constant, unchanging element of Roman urban space, the taberna had a history of its own, and this history is extremely important for our understanding of the history of cities in Roman Italy. This is especially true if we focus on the construction of tabernae: building tabernae was a form of economic investment that, as in Cicero’s case, served to earn proprietors a profit, and the decision to build (or not to build) tabernae was based on at least some understanding of the local market situation.

Tabernae were constructed in a variety of contexts, both public and private, and can be found throughout cities, though they are especially dominant along through-roads, which were commercially attractive because of the many people passing by. The density of the commercial landscape depended on the size and structure of the local market. For example, while there were uninterrupted rows of tabernae along the major streets of Pompeii in 79AD, they seem to have been much fewer in number in cities like Paestum and Norba, even along major roads. Within Pompeii, where we can to some extent understand the chronological development of the urban landscape, there also seems to have been a general increase in the number of tabernae from the second century BC to the first century AD, and a slight change in the commercial emphasis of the city away from the forum and the old town centre immediately east of it.

Starting from well-known sites like Pompeii and Ostia, the NWO-funded project ‘Building Tabernae’ (Leiden University) aims to understand the historical development of commercial landscapes in the cities of Roman Italy. Besides looking at the number of tabernae and their spread over the urban area, the project specifically investigates the contexts in which tabernae were built: the emergence of new forms of investment is of course as relevant for our understanding of the taberna phenomenon as the quantity and location of tabernae in cities, and even in cities that too fragmentarily known to fully understand their commercial landscape, it is often possible to understand the context in which tabernae were being constructed: focusing on the context of investment makes it possible to compare developments in Pompeii, Ostia and Rome to what is happening elsewhere.

House with two tabernae around the entrancePompeii: House with two tabernae around the entrance

Originally, in the republican period, tabernae mainly seem to have been constructed in two contexts: privately, as part of atrium houses – surrounding the fauces – and publicly, along the sides of the forum. Atrium houses with tabernae can be found throughout Italy, while evidence for republican period taberna rows around the forum has been found in, for example, Pompeii and Paestum. Both forms of investment continued to exist throughout the imperial period – as is e.g. attested by the second century AD forum at Herdoniae, and by Domus Fulminata at Ostia.

Forum with shops at HerdoniaForum with shops at Herdonia

However, there also were developments. In the first place, while most atrium houses with shops initially only had one or two, the emergence, in the late republic, of wealthy urban elites who built large residences with long façades, led to houses with much larger numbers of shops; at the same time, people building on plots in the corner of insulae increasingly began to explore the long sides of the plot, building tabernae not only around the entrance, but also around the corner. Both developments are clearly visible at Pompeii, and partially also elsewhere.

Pompeii - Tabernae along the Via degli AugustaliPompeii – Tabernae along the Via degli Augustali

Yet new forms of investment also emerged. At Pompeii, the second century BC seems a turning point in that respect: public buildings, such as baths and markets, began to be surrounded by rows of shops, a development that can later also be seen at Ostia and in Rome. In Ostia, the two major imperial bath complexes even had shops directly around the palaestra. The Baths of Caracalla were built with a long row of more than forty shops along the Via Nova. Moreover, there also is an emergence of purpose-built commercial buildings consisting of long rows of tabernae. In Pompeii, these can be found along the Via degli Augustali, and outside the Porta Ercolano. In Ostia, they can be found along the western decumanus, and between the forum and the Tiber. The third century Forma Urbis Romae suggests similar buildings existed also in Rome. In Rome and Ostia, the insula was another new context in which tabernae were constructed in large quantities, together with apartments to be rented out on the market.

Ostia, western DecumanusOstia, western decumanus: tabernae along the north side

One of the key questions to be addressed by the project is to which extent these new forms of investment became normal throughout Roman Italy, and to which extent they remained restricted to the Roman metropolis and its ports, and the wealthy bay of Naples region. The first impression is that commercial investment in large parts of Roman Italy remained largely traditional; building projects did not often reach the scale that can be seen at Ostia and Pompeii, though at the same time, tabernae seem to have been abundant in most cities. This, in itself, tells an important story about the urban history of Roman Italy, and particularly about the relative position of Pompeii in the urban spectrum: rather than a small, provincial town, Pompeii seems a highly commercialized urban centre, which can easily be explained from its location in the Bay of Naples.
The coming years, work on Pompeii, Ostia, Rome and the cities of the Apennines will enable the project to corroborate this picture, and to get a more complete view on urban commercial investment in Roman Italy.

This is the English version of the article ‘Costruire Tabernae. l’investimento commerciale nelle città dell’Italia romana‘, as it appeared in Forma Urbis XIX, 9 (L’Archeologia Olandese in Italia - Settembre 2014), p. 42-44.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Researchers debate true location of Fort Caroline

On Saturday, September 20, two groups of scholars presented evidence for the true location of Fort Caroline, the first permanent settlement by Europeans in what would later become the United States. First settled 450 years ago, the location of the actual fort has been lost to the ravages of time. Tradition holds that Fort Caroline was located on the St. Johns River in modern-day Jacksonville, Florida.

Yet in February two scholars announced that they believed Fort Caroline was not in Florida at all but instead was on the Altamaha River in modern-day Darien, Georgia. Controversy ensued and thus the Jacksonville chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America decided to hold a debate on Saturday at the University of North Florida to let both sides put forward their evidence for where they believed the fort was located. Read more.

Ink with meaning: What we can learn from the tattoos of our ancestors

Eight thousand years ago, a pencil mustache was tattooed onto the upper lip of a young Peruvian man. His mummified body has since become the oldest existing example of tattoo art on the planet.

Today’s world is, of course, almost unrecognizable by comparison. But according to Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University — author of a new book about body art — the tattoo has made a powerful comeback.

"There has been an extraordinary, epochal change in the last 25 years," he says. "When I was a child in the 1960s, we didn’t see tattoos everywhere. But there has been an explosion in popularity, and this tells us a lot about who we are, both culturally and as individuals." Read more.

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Two witnesses to the Apocalypse of Paul in Syriac from Tehran

The Apocalypse of Paul (BHG 1460, CANT 325) is one of the more well known New Testament apocrypha in Syriac, with an edition and with translations into Latin, German, and English available (see bibliography below). The collection of Syriac manuscripts at the Chaldean Church of St. Joseph in Tehran, which I recently mentioned in another post, has two witnesses to the Apocalypse of Paul, one of which has been known, but the other, as far as I know, has escaped the notice of scholars who might be interested in the text.

The known copy is in manuscript № 8, a manuscript to which Alain Desreumaux (1995) has devoted an article with a detailed catalog of the texts in the manuscript. In this manuscript, the preface to the Apocalypse of Paul is on ff. 136r-140r, and the Apocalypse itself on ff. 140r-171v. (The foliation given here, based on the file names of the photographs, differs slightly from Desreumaux’s. The manuscript is not physically foliated.)  Here is a folio spread from this copy (ff. 162-163r).

Tehran, St. Jos., 8, ff. 162-163r

Tehran, St. Jos., 8, ff. 162-163r

…a servant from among the angels, and he had in his hand a pitch-fork that had three tines, and [with it] he was pulling the old man’s guts out through his mouth. … (f. 162v, lines 1-3)

The other witness, manuscript № 17, is fragmentary, consisting only of two loose and torn folios, but they are contiguous. The page numbers were marked out of order and should be read as follows: 2, 1, 4, 3. This fragment corresponds to parts of §§ 32-34 (pp. 132, 134) in the edition of Ricciotti (cf. Perkins, pp. 203-204 / Zingerle pp. 164-165 / ≈ Tischendorf pp. 57-58). In this order, then, here are the images:

p. 2 corr. to Ricciotti 132.2-132.10

tehr_st_jos_17_p2

p. 1 corr. to Ricciotti 132.10-132.18

tehr_st_jos_17_p1

p. 4 corr. to Ricciotti 132.18-132.25

tehr_st_jos_17_p4

p. 3 corr. to Ricciotti 132.26-29, 134.1-6

tehr_st_jos_17_p3

A cursory comparison with Ricciotti’s text reveals very few differences between them.

Bibliography

(see further the Comprehensive Bib. on Syriac Christianity here)

Desreumaux, Alain. “Des symboles à la réalite: la préface à l’Apocalypse de Paul dans la tradition syriaque.” Apocrypha 4 (1993): 65-82.

Desreumaux, Alain. “Un manuscrit syriaque de Téhéran contenant des apocryphes.” Apocrypha 5 (1994): 137-164.

Desreumaux, Alain. “Le prologue apologétique de l’Apocalypse de Paul syriaque: un débat théologique chez les Syriaques orientaux.” Pages 125-134 in Entrer en matière. Les prologues. Edited by Dubois, Jean-Daniel and Roussel, Bernard. Patrimoines: Religions du Livre. Paris: Cerf, 1998.

Desreumaux, Alain. “L’environnement de l’Apocalypse de Paul. À propos d’un nouveau manuscrit syriaque de la Caverne des trésors.” Pages 185-192 in Pensée grecque et sagesse d’Orient. Hommage à Michel Tardieu. Edited by Amir-Moezzi, Mohammed-Ali and Dubois, Jean-Daniel and Jullien, Christelle and Jullien, Florence. Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études, Sciences religieuses 142. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010.

Perkins, Justin. “The Revelation of the Blessed Apostle Paul Translated from an Ancient Syriac Manuscript.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 8 (1866): 183-212. (available here)

Ricciotti, Giuseppe. “Apocalypsis Pauli syriace.” Orientalia NS 2 (1933): 1-25, 120-149. [ed. of Vat. Syr. 180 and Vat. Borg. Syr. 39, with facing LT]

Zingerle, Pius. “Die Apocalypse des Apostels Paulus, aus einer syrischen Handschrift des Vaticans übersetzt.” Vierteljahrsschrift für deutsch- und englisch-theologische Forschung und Kritik 4 (1871): 139-183. [tr. on the basis of Vat. Syr. 180] (available here)


Carole Raddato (Following Hadrian)

Looking for Roman bridges in Provence, France

“Pontem perpetui mansurum in saecula mundi” (I have built a bridge which will last forever) – Caius Julius Lacer, builder of the Alcántara Bridge

Ancient Roman bridges represent one of the greatest wonders of the Ancient World. They are an exceptional feat of Roman construction and I hold a certain fascination for these impressive ancient structures. Naturally I always look for traces of Roman bridges while travelling. It was in Portugal that I really got excited about these engineering marvels. The country is indeed filled with perfectly preserved Roman bridges (see post here).

Last Summer I travelled to Provence in France and was asked by Ancient History Encyclopedia to write a piece on the 10 must-see ancient sites in Provence. Here I want to talk about the Roman bridges in this southern region of France where many have survived the centuries. Some are still in use today, some 2,000 years after they were built.

≈ The Pont Flavien

The Pont Flavien, with its surviving triumphal arches at each end, is one of the most beautiful surviving Roman bridges outside Italy.

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas © Carole Raddato

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas
© Carole Raddato

The Pont Flavien stands near the modern town of Saint-Chamas and consists of a single arch spanning the Toulourde River on the Via Julia Augusta. The name “Flavien” refers to a local Roman-Gaul aristocrat called Lucius Donnius Flavius, and an inscription on the bridge itself states that it was built at his instigation. In translation, it means:

Lucius Donnius, son of Caius, Flavos, flamen [priest] of Rome and Augustus, has ordained in his will that [this monument] be built under the direction of Cauis Donnius Vena and Caius Attius Rufius.

As the inscription indicates, the bridge was constructed at Flavos’ instigation following his death. It was completed around 12 BC. The bridge measured 21.4 metres long by 6.2 metres while the arches are at either end each stood 7 metres high.

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas © Carole Raddato

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas
© Carole Raddato

Following excavations, one can see the remnants of the Roman road with ruts worn by chariots and carts. The bridge was heavily used until fairly recently but it is now reserved for pedestrian use only.

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas © Carole Raddato

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas
© Carole Raddato

The Pont Flavien has been subjected to repetitive damages. In the 18th century, the western arch collapsed destroying the Roman lions on top of the pediment (the only surviving original lion is on the right-hand side of the eastern arch). Then the same arch was damaged by a German tank during the Second World War and finally collapsed when it was hit by an American truck. It was rebuilt in 1949 and some years later.

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas © Carole Raddato

The Pont Flavien, Saint-Chamas
© Carole Raddato

≈ The Pont Julien

The Pont Julien, owning its name to the nearby city of Julia Apta (modern-day Apt), whose territory it was built upon, is a beautiful three-arched bridge spanning the Calavon River. Today, it is close to the town of Bonnieux.

The Pont Julien, Bonnieux © Carole Raddato

The Pont Julien, Bonnieux
© Carole Raddato

It was originally built in 3 BC on the Via Domitia, an important Roman road that connected Italy and Spain through the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. (Gallia Narbonensis encompassed Roussillon, Languedoc, and Provence in southern France). The stone bridge replaced an older bridge built of wood and stone. It was probably destroyed by the torrential  waters of the river. Only a few blocks at the base at the based of the piles remain from that period as well as some gashes in the rock.

The Pont Julien, Bonnieux © Carole Raddato

The Pont Julien, Bonnieux
© Carole Raddato

With its three large arches (16.2 metres for the central arch, one of the biggest preserved from Gaul) its piles with holes and its roadway higher above the water, the new bridge provided a better drainage and a safer passage. The Pont Julien is perfectly preserved and remained in use until a neighboring bridge was built in 2005. However, it is now reserved for pedestrians and cyclists only.

The Pont Julien, Bonnieux © Carole Raddato

The Pont Julien, Bonnieux
© Carole Raddato

≈ The Pont romain de Viviers

The Pont romain de Viviers crosses the Escoutay River on the right bank of the Rhône near the town of Viviers in Ardèche. It was built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD on the road that linked the ancient city of Vivarium to Alba Helviorum (modern-day Alba-la-Romaine). The city of Viviers takes its name from its Latin name “vivarium”, meaning “fishpond”. This name was given to the Roman town because of the abundance of fish cruising the waterways around it.

Pont romain de Viviers © Carole Raddato

Pont romain de Viviers
© Carole Raddato

With its eleven spans, the Viviers bridge is approximately 108 meters long and 4.50 meters wide. Deeply damaged by severe flooding it has been repeatedly repaired or partly rebuilt. Repairs are attested from the 16th century to the 20th century.

Pont romain de Viviers © Carole Raddato

Pont romain de Viviers
© Carole Raddato

≈ The Pont Tibère

The Pont Tibère (Tiberius Bridge) is a Roman bridge crossing the Vidourle river in Sommières in the Gard department. It was built under the reign of Tiberius on the Via Luteva linking Nemausus (Nîmes) to Tolosa (Toulouse).

The Pont Tibère, Sommières © Carole Raddato

The Pont Tibère, Sommières
© Carole Raddato

It initially consisted of 17 arches, of which only 7 are now visible. It had a total length of 190 meters. During the Middle Ages, numerous arches were absorbed into the city’s structure. Today they serve as cellars.

The Pont Tibère, Sommières © Carole Raddato

The Pont Tibère, Sommières
© Carole Raddato

≈ The Pont Ambroix

The Pont Ambroix or Pont d’Ambrussum was a 1st-century BC Roman bridge which was part of the Via Domitia. The Ambroix Bridge is unquestionably the most spectacular ruin of Ambrussum, a Gallo-Roman archaeological site which has revealed an exceptional collection of buildings from the Gallic and Roman periods.

The Pont Ambroix, Ambrussum
© Carole Raddato

The Pont Ambroix is an impressive work of engineering, which allowed the Via Domitia to cross the Vidourle River. It is thought to have had 11 arches and to have been over 175 meters in length. Unfortunately, the ravages of time and the numerous floods took out all but one arch. Two had stood as recently as 81 years ago — which are reflected in Gustave Courbet’s famous 1857 painting of the bridge — but a violent flood in 1933 left only one arch standing.

The Pont Ambroix, Ambrussum © Carole Raddato

The Pont Ambroix, Ambrussum
© Carole Raddato

≈ The Pont romain de Vaison-la-Romaine

One of the best examples of Roman bridge-building skill is still standing to this day in Vaison-la-Romaine. The Roman bridge — built in the first century BC — spans the Ouvèze River, linking the lower part of the city to the upper medieval part of town. The bridge is unique due to its semicircular 17 meters arch. The bridge has been in continuous use since it was built and has already survived a direct bomb hit in World War II, as well as an attempt by the Germans to blow it up. It has also survived a devastating flood, which caused great damage on September 22, 1992.

Roman bridge of Vasio Vocontiorum, Vaison-la-Romaine © Carole Raddato

Roman bridge of Vasio Vocontiorum, Vaison-la-Romaine
© Carole Raddato

Related posts:

10 Must-See Ancient Sites in Provence, France (written for Ancient History Encyclopedia)

Looking for Roman bridges in Lusitania (Portugal)


Filed under: Archaeology Travel, France, Photography, Roman Bridges, Roman engineering Tagged: Archaeology, Bridge, France, Provence, Roman bridge

The Archaeology News Network

Ancient theatre of Larissa comes to life

Saturday, September 20 was a dramatic day for the city of Larissa in central Greece. After 2,500 years of inactivity, its ancient Greek theatre was once again opened to spectators. In honour of the archaeologist Athanasios Tziafalias, chorals from the “Electra” of Euripides were presented under the directorship of Kostas Tsianos, in collaboration with the Lyceum Club of Greek Women of Larissa and the choir of the Municipal...

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Ancient Peoples

Gold spiral with a griffin  Most likely this spiral was used as...



Gold spiral with a griffin 

Most likely this spiral was used as hair decoration. 3.8cm long (1 1/2 inch)

Cyprus, Classical Period, 400 - 350 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Focus on UK metal detecting: Two Codes.


We may all welcome it as absolutely brilliant that Shepway Council bans artefact hunting on its land, "because removal of an archaeological object from its context, unless carried out by a professional archaeologist can cause loss of valuable information". Quite right, as we saw in the weekend hoard hoiking and the A20 Medway Anglo-saxon grave trashing and many other cases.  Let us hope other councils follow. It is however scandalous that in their policy statement they refer to the NCMD code of Conduct and not the PAS/CBA one. This is obviously yet another segment of the public that has obviously not heard about it from local archaeological outreach organizations.

AIA Fieldnotes

International Archaeology Day

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Central Missouri Society and the Museum of Art and Archaeology at MU
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
education
Start Date: 
Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
AIA Society: 

Location

Name: 
Kathleen Slane
Call for Papers: 
no

The Plaster Masks of Pompeii

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by The Atlantic Tour of the Classical Association of Canada, and the Department of Classics & Ancient History, UNB
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
lecture
Start Date: 
Friday, September 26, 2014 - 7:30pm

Dr. Toph Marshall, Professor of Classics at the University of British Columbia, play director and actor, will present a set of fifteen plaster masks excavated from the site of Pompeii (destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79). These masks point to a theatrical tradition completely separate from the Greco-Roman tradition employed in all our surviving play-scripts. He presents the objects, classifies them, and explores the nature of the performances for which the masks were intended. An entertaining presentation you will not want to miss!

Reception will follow lecture Read more »

AIA Society: 

Location

Name: 
Maria Papaioannou
Call for Papers: 
no

Archaic terracotta figurines from the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore on Acrocorinth

Event Type (you may select more than one): 
lecture
Start Date: 
Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 5:30pm

A lecture by Susan Langdon. Reception beforehand at 5 pm. Read more »

Location

AIA Society: 
Name: 
Kathleen Slane
Call for Papers: 
no

The Archaeology News Network

Rich archaeological finds in Poland's Burdąg

Archaeologists discovered nearly 100 cremation graves on the surface of just 100 square meters. during excavations in Burdąg (Warmia and Mazury) - told PAP Dr. Mirosław Rudnicki from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Łódź. Documenting finds on site [Credit: R. Hejnowski]The large number of finds surprised the scientists. They included bronze and silver ornaments, costume pieces, such as fibulas, pendants, rings, beads,...

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AIA Fieldnotes

Excavating the Cohors II Galatarum: the Roman fort of Arieldela at 'Ayn Gharandal, Jordan

Event Type (you may select more than one): 
lecture
Start Date: 
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 5:30pm

A lecture by Carrie, Duncan, MU. Reception beforehand at 5 pm. Read more »

Location

AIA Society: 
Name: 
Kathleen Slane
Call for Papers: 
no

Cattle DNA: What It Reveals About Human History

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Central Missouri Society
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
lecture
Start Date: 
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 5:30pm

A lecture by Jerry Taylor. Read more »

AIA Society: 

Location

Name: 
Kathleen Slane
Call for Papers: 
no

Archaeological News on Tumblr

‘Exceptional’ gold medallion goes on display at Israel Museum

A huge gold medallion and a trove of gold pieces went on display at the Israel Museum for the first time since their discovery last year at the base of the Temple Mount, the museum announced Monday.

The find, made last year by a Hebrew University team led by Professor Eilat Mazar near the Temple Mount’s Southern Wall, was dated to the early 7th century CE, in all likelihood the time of the brief Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 CE. It includes 36 gold Byzantine coins, gold bracelets, earrings, a silver ingot, a gold-plated hexagonal prism and the large golden medallion embossed with Jewish motifs. Read more.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Scriptures: Platform for the development of open scriptural linked data and its applications

Open Scriptures: Platform for the development of open scriptural linked data and its applications
http://openscriptures.org/logo.png

Open Scriptures seeks to be a comprehensive open-source Web repository for integrated scriptural data and a general application framework for building internationalized social applications of scripture. An abundance of scriptural resources are now available online—manuscripts, translations, and annotations are all being made available by students and scholars alike at an ever-increasing rate. These diverse scriptural resources, however, are isolated from each other and fragmented across the Internet. Thus mashing up the available data into new scriptural applications is not currently possible for the community at large because the resources’ interrelationships are not systematically documented. Open Scriptures aims to establish a scriptural database for interlinked textual resources such as merged manuscripts, the differences among them, and the links between their semantic units and the semantic units of their translations. With such a foundation in place, derived scriptural data like cross-references may be stored in a translation-neutral and internationalized manner so as to be accessible to the community no matter what language they speak or version they prefer.

Open Scriptures is all about Linked Data for scripture. Please watch Tim Berners-Lee‘s TED talk on “The next Web of open, linked data.” As Zack Hubert said at the BibleTech:2008, “It’s a community effort. Any time anything good happens, is because a real cool team of people have come together around an idea.” Open Scriptures seeks to be such a community effort.

The Ancient Saar Project: London-Bahrain Archaeological Expedition

The Ancient Saar Project: London-Bahrain Archaeological Expedition
Robert C Killick, 2007
The excavations at Saar, Bahrain, took place between 1990 and 1999. The work was undertaken by the London-Bahrain Archaeological Expedition which was formed specifically for the purpose. The UK academic supporter of the project was the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London. In Bahrain, the Expedition received the patronage of the Amir, the late Shaikh Isa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa. The project was funded mainly by the business community in Bahrain, as well as by the British Academy and other academic funding bodies (for a full list, see Appendix 1 in Saar Volume 3). The directors were Robert Killick, Jane Moon, and Harriet Crawford (for the period 1990-5).

The site of Saar had been previously excavated by a Jordanian expedition (results unpublished) and it was clear from that work that the settlement was inhabited for part of the Early Dilmun period (late third and early second millennia BC) and then abandoned. This corresponds to the period of Bahrain's involvement in Arabian Gulf trade when commodities were shipped through Bahrain, from Oman and the Indus, on their way to the cities of southern Babylonia, and vice versa. A procedure documented, if patchily, in the cuneiform records of the time.

Nearly all previous archaeological work on this period prior to the excavation of Saar has focused on the extensive burial mounds and on isolated temples. The importance of Saar, therefore, resides in the fact that it is the first (and currently only) Early Dilmun settlement to have been investigated in any detail. This importance has been recognised by the Government of Bahrain which has placed the 'Saar Heritage Park' on the Tentative World Heritage List.

The Saar Settlement

The settlement itself is located on a small but prominent eastern outcrop of a limestone ridge which provides about the only natural elevation in the northern part of Bahrain. Immediately west of the settlement, and on the highest part of the ridge, is the Saar burial field, while to the south there are two cemetery complexes of interconnected graves. The settlement is spread over an estimated area of between 15,000 and 23,000 sq m, of which 7,500 sq m was excavated by the end of the project. Saar is a well laid out settlement with a main street running up from the southeastern outskirts; a temple in the centre at the crossroads of the settlement; and two- and three-roomed buildings, constructed in rows (e.g. Block A) with standard room plans and suites of domestic installations. Over 80 buildings, mainly houses, were investigated by the Expedition, as well as a well and a gypsum kiln. All these are described in detail in Saar Report 3. On the basis of pottery comparisons, the duration of the settlement is currently estimated to be about 250 years, from 2100 to 1850 BC approximately. 

Reports:

Saar Excavation Report 2 Saar Excavation Report 2
Early Dilmun Seals from Saar, fragments of art and administration
by Harriet Crawford
    Full Report PDF 6 Mb
Saar Excavation Report 3 Saar Excavation Report 3
The Early Dilmun Settlement at Saar  
by Robert Killick and Jane Moon
    Full Report PDF 45 Mb

Database Documentation:

Database Documentation PDF 54 Kb
Entity Relationship Diagram JPG 48 Kb

Database Tables:

SECTIONS CSV 20 Kb
Installation codes CSV 1 Kb
Bldg codes CSV 1 Kb
FINDS CSV 2.08 Mb
Pottery periods CSV 2 Kb
GRAVES CSV 4 Kb
ARCHITECTS PLANS CSV 12 Kb
CONTEXTS CSV 730 Kb
SAMPLING CSV 53 Kb
DRAWINGS CSV 27 Kb
Room types CSV 1 Kb
Block levels CSV 6 Kb
PHOTOGRAPHS CSV 520 Kb
Bldg measurements CSV 4 Kb
SITE SUPERVISORS PLANS CSV 45 Kb
Site period CSV 1 Kb
FILE LIST CSV 5 Kb
Pot versus strat CSV 5 Kb

JPG Images:

Thumbnail of Bahrain map Bahrain map
Early Dilmun sites in Bahrain
JPG 53 Kb
Thumbnail of Cemeteries Cemeteries
The Northern Burial Complex
JPG 266 Kb
Thumbnail of Double chamber burials Double chamber burials
Two-tier Early Dilmun burials along the southwestern edge of the Saar mound-field
JPG 267 Kb
Thumbnail of Honeycomb cemetery Honeycomb cemetery
Part of the Southern Burial Complex
JPG 313 Kb
Thumbnail of Middle East map Middle East map
Southwestern Asia
JPG 153 Kb
Thumbnail of Saar area map Saar area map
Archaeological remains in the Saar area
JPG 155 Kb
Thumbnail of Settlement limits Settlement limits
Location and extent of the Saar settlement
JPG 118 Kb
Thumbnail of Site aerial Site aerial
The Early Dilmun settlement at Saar from the air, taken in 1993 (S)
JPG 272 Kb
Thumbnail of Site and eastwards Site and eastwards
The plain to the east of the settlement (E)
JPG 350 Kb

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Syrian Archaeology, ‘Scale of the Scandal’.

"After more than three years of civil war,
we have reached a point that can be classed
as catastrophic as regards the current state of Syrian 
 archaeological heritage".

This is a pretty depressing article: Michel Al-Maqdissi, 'Syrian Archaeology, ‘Scale of the Scandal’...',ASOR blog.
The Syrian crisis has recently become noticeably more serious, and has turned into one of the most alarming situations in the Near East since the end of the Iraq War. The consequences to archaeology will be seen in the short and long term. In the short term, damage is occurring due to the increasing number of thefts of antiquities, illegal excavations, paralysed and wrecked museums and a halt to fieldwork. In the long term it will be affected by the massive exodus of trained archaeologists at the Direction Générale des Antiquités et des Musées (DGAM) and at the Musée National. Their absence will generate dramatic problems when archaeology in Syria returns to normal.
He suggests that foreign observers are not always aware of the constraints under which the DGAM is operating, in particular its inability to act on the ground in order to assess the damage that has already been done.
The organization’s archaeologists receive no support, and have to be satisfied with diverse sources of information in order to write their reports. Second, the absence of guards at the archaeological sites exposes them to vandalism and trafficking of antiquities, carried out by quasi-organised bands, formed by both by poor individuals and professionals who systematically export the objects outside the country. It should be made clear that certain groups are linked to international centres in Europe, the United States, even Arab countries and Israel. In this way, Syria has become an important source of increasing illegal trade, about which indirect information is beginning to amount. This matter is completely out of the control of the archaeological authorities and the DGAM does even not possess the means to access the lists of the collections that are hidden in the country or in foreign deposits. It should be added that, as often occurs in this type of situation, the traffickers keep well ahead of the responsible institutions.

ArcheoNet BE

Oproep kandidaten Vlaamse Commissie Onroerend Erfgoed

In het Belgisch Staatsblad verscheen vandaag een oproep tot kandidaatstelling voor de Vlaamse Commissie Onroerend Erfgoed (VCOE). De VCOE treedt vanaf 1 januari 2015 in werking, als opvolger van de Koninklijke Commissie voor Monumenten en Landschappen (KCML) en de Expertencommissie Onroerend Erfgoed op. De nieuwe commissie zal advies verlenen over diverse aspecten van het onroerenderfgoedbeleid zoals het vaststellen van inventarissen, het beschermen van onroerend erfgoed en het wijzigen, omzetten of opheffen van beschermingsbesluiten.

De VCOE zal bestaan uit 21 leden. Daarbij wordt gezocht naar 14 leden met expertise in minstens één van de disciplines van onroerend erfgoed (monumenten/bouwkundig erfgoed, landschappen of archeologie) en 7 leden uit het maatschappelijk middenveld met expertise inzake onroerend erfgoed.

Kandidaat-leden kunnen tot en met 22 oktober 2014 hun motivatiebrief en curriculum vitae bezorgen via saro@vlaanderen.be. Kandidaten worden uiterlijk op 30 november 2014 van de beslissing op de hoogte gebracht.

Je vindt de volledige oproep op de website van de SARO. Ook voor de Vlaamse Commissie Varend Erfgoed worden momenteel kandidaten gezocht.

The Archaeology News Network

Putting London's Temple of Mithras back together

Sixty years ago, a Roman God was uncovered at a London building site. The excavations for the Temple of Mithras moved around but are now going back to the original site - how do you reconstruct a Roman temple, asks Tom de Castella. A relief sculpture of the god Mithras [Credit: Museum of London]The muddy find in September 1954 provoked urgent debate. Winston Churchill's cabinet discussed it three times. A huge new office block - for...

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