Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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October 04, 2015

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

"Nazi War Diggers" too bad for even Polish TV?

The retitled "Nazi War Diggers" made by Clearstory TV was to be shown on Polish TV from 13th September, with the episodes broadcast on Thursday evening, repeated on Sunday afternoon. First to go was the Thursday slot, it got replaced last week by some real forensic conflict archaeology (Treblinka) and I've just turned on the TV, camera at the ready to capture those elusive subtitles, to find the promise fifth episode replaced by a historical programme with not a single metal detectorist in sight. It looks like after four pretty near identical, barely entertaining and totally uninformative episodes, even Polish TV's given up on this channel-flick-bait rubbish. I must say if I'd heard  solemnly repeated again the same text about the Mauser K98 being "a bolt action rifle chambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge that was adopted as the standard service rifle by the German Wehrmacht" (actually a text more or less straight out of Wikipedia) every time the sweaty, camo-clad MD boyz found a spent cartridge, I'd probably have started foaming at the mouth. Anyway, I never got to see the episode where they get involved with a mass grave in Poland and that letter to the State Prosecutor asking for an investigation which I drafted will sit in the 'to do' folder until that episode gets shown in England. Well, thank goodness I do not have to sit through any more of the puerile and clumsy format of this junk TV with its non-developing storyline built around boyish delight at imaging themselves in the heat and action of battle, finding "things that go bang" and misplaced bravado mixed with guesswork, a wild imagination and mock pathos when they find some human remains. Good riddance. Perhaps I'll write up the episodes I saw in more detail to forewarn colleagues in the UK what's coming if they stoop to broadcasting it there, but there's a "Nazi-War-Digger' free October afternoon out there and the weather is great.

Garbled stories of London Antiquity Sale

 According to Nevine El-Aref ("Egypt recovers Stolen relief of King Seti I from London''  Al-Ahram Sunday 4 Oct 2015), a limestone block,  43 cm × 67 cm bearing a sunken New Kingdom limestone relief was recovered on Sunday from an unnamed auction house in London.
The relief is engraved with a scene depicting the 19th dynasty King Seti I before goddess Hathor and god Web Wawat. It also bears hieroglyphic text and the names of several ancient Egyptian deities of Assiut governorate in Upper Egypt.
It was spotted on sale two weeks ago by Marcel Mary, curator at the British Museum, who sent a photograph of the piece to the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt. A report was then filed at Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities police and a similar one was sent to Interpol in order to stop the sale of the relief, as a result the relief was then confiscated by the British police. It was established that the relief came from illegal excavations of a previously unknown temple of king Seti I in Assiu't in Middle Egypt.

A slightly different version appears in the Cairo Post (Egypt’s embassy in London restores smuggled pharaonic stele' Oct. 03, 2015):
The Egyptian embassy in the U.K. has restored an ancient Egyptian stele dates back to the New Kingdom’s 19th dynasty (1291B.C. – 1278B.C,) the state news agency MENA reported Saturday. A British citizen sent the embassy the limestone stele after he recognized that it has been smuggled from Egypt to U.K. He has purchased the smuggled artifact from an antiquities merchant. The stele measures 43*67 centimeters. It depicts colorful inscriptions of The Egyptian god Anubis, goddess Hathor, and pharaoh Seti I. The artifact was smuggled from a temple in Asyut during excavation works before 1970'[...].
Ít is difficult to work out what the story is behind this. Anyway the photo does not show a stele. So was the antiquity on sale or sold? Who knows?

Ancient Peoples

Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a CatEarly 12th DynastyMiddle...

Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Cat

Early 12th Dynasty

Middle Kingdom

The cat first appears in painting and relief at the end of the Old Kingdom, and this cosmetic jar is the earliest-known three-dimensional representation of the animal in Egyptian art. The sculptor demonstrates a keen understanding of the creature’s physical traits, giving the animal the alert, tense look of a hunter rather than the elegant aloofness seen in later representations. The rock-crystal eyes, lined with copper, enhance the impression of readiness.

(Source: The Met Museum)

ArcheoNet BE

Erfgoedconsulent bouwkundig erfgoed gezocht in West-Vlaanderen

OEHet agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed is op zoek naar een erfgoedconsulent bouwkundig erfgoed (m/v) voor de provincie West-Vlaanderen (standplaats Brugge). De consulent staat in voor advisering en behandeling van dossiers met betrekking tot het beheer en de herwaardering van het bouwkundig erfgoed. Hij/zij analyseert en verwerkt onder meer aanvragen in verband met beheersprocedures (premies, adviezen en vergunningen) en begeleidt de opmaak van beheersplannen. Het gaat om een voltijds contract van bepaalde duur (tot 30 oktober 2016). Solliciteren voor deze functie kan nog tot en met 18 oktober. Je vindt de volledige vacature op

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

Mummification in Bronze Age Britain

Ancient Britons may have intentionally mummified some of their dead during the Bronze Age, according to archaeologists at the University of Sheffield.

A skeleton found in Britain that was mummified during the Bronze Age. Credit: Geoff Morley

A skeleton found in Britain that was mummified during the Bronze Age. Credit: Geoff Morley

The study is the first to provide indications that mummification may have been a wide-spread funerary practise in Britain.

Working with colleagues from the University of Manchester and University College London, Dr Tom Booth analysed skeletons at several Bronze Age burial sites across the UK. The team from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology found that the remains of some ancient Britons are consistent with a prehistoric mummy from northern Yemen and a partially mummified body recovered from a sphagnum peat bog in County Roscommon, Ireland.

Building on a previous study conducted at a single Bronze Age burial site in the Outer Hebrides, Dr Booth used microscopic analysis to compare the bacterial bioerosion of skeletons from various sites across the UK with the bones of the mummified bodies from Yemen and Ireland.

Archaeologists widely agree that the damp British climate is not favourable to organic materials and all prehistoric mummified bodies that may be located in the UK will have lost their preserved tissue if buried outside of a preservative environment such as a bog.

Dr Booth, who is now based at the Department of Earth Sciences at London’s Natural History Museum, said: “The problem archaeologists face is finding a consistent method of identifying skeletons that were mummified in the past – especially when they discover a skeleton that is buried outside of a protective environment.

“To help address this, our team has found that by using microscopic bone analysis archaeologists can determine whether a skeleton has been previously mummified even when it is buried in an environment that isn’t favourable to mummified remains.

“We know from previous research that bones from bodies that have decomposed naturally are usually severely degraded by putrefactive bacteria, whereas mummified bones demonstrate immaculate levels of histological preservation and are not affected by putrefactive bioerosion.”

Earlier investigations have shown that mummified bones found in the Outer Hebrides were not entirely consistent with mummified remains found elsewhere because there wasn’t a complete absence of bacterial bioerosion.

However, armed with a new technique, the team were able to re-visit the remains from the Outer Hebrides and use microscopic analysis to test the relationship between bone bioerosion and the extent of soft tissue preservation in bone samples from the Yemeni and Irish mummies.

Their examinations revealed that both the Yemeni and Irish mummies showed limited levels of bacterial bioerosion within the bone and therefore established that the skeletons found in the Outer Hebrides as well as other sites across Britain display levels of preservation that are consistent with mummification.

The research team also found that the preservation of Bronze Age skeletons at various sites throughout the UK is different to the preservation of bones dating to all other prehistoric and historic periods, which are generally consistent with natural decomposition. Furthermore, the Sheffield-led researchers also found that Bronze Age Britons may have used a variety of techniques to mummify their dead.

Dr Booth added, “Our research shows that smoking over a fire and purposeful burial within a peat bog are among some of the techniques ancient Britons may have used to mummify their dead. Other techniques could have included evisceration, in which organs were removed shortly after death.

“The idea that British and potentially European Bronze Age communities invested resources in mummifying and curating a proportion of their dead fundamentally alters our perceptions of funerary ritual and belief in this period.”

The research also demonstrates that funerary rituals that we may now regard as exotic, novel and even bizarre were practised commonly for hundreds of years by our predecessors.

Also, this method of using microscopic bone analysis to identify formerly-mummified skeletons means that archaeologists can continue searching for Bronze Age mummies throughout Europe.

“It’s possible that our method may allow us to identify further ancient civilisations that mummified their dead,” Dr Booth concluded.

The post Mummification in Bronze Age Britain appeared first on History of the Ancient World.

The Egyptiana Emporium

NEWS: Parts of King Nectanebo I’s shrine uncovered in Cairo

Basalt blocks of King Nectanebo I’s shrine were unearthed today in Matariya area in Ain Shams, Cairo (Source: Ahram Online).

“Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the mission also uncovered small limestone blocks of a number of columns and the ceiling of the temple of 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo I. The ceiling is decorated with stars.

Parts of Kings Meneptah and Nectanebo I statues were also found along with a collection of mud bricks used in the fence that once surrounded Oun.
Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egypt Department at the antiquities ministry, explained that the sizes of the newly discovered blocks of the shrine range between 75cm and 1.25 cm, carved in Basalt and engraved with the different names of Egypt’s regions at that time.
Other blocks are decorated with scenes depicting the god Hapi holding offerings. Further excavation is now in full swing in an attempt to unearth more of the shrine’s blocks, in order to restore it to its original form.
Oun is one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome. Today, it is mostly destroyed, its temples and other buildings used for the construction of medieval Cairo” – via Ahram Online.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Parts of King Nakhtanebu I's shrine uncovered in Cairo

Blocks of King Nakhtanebu I’s shrine were unearthed during excavation works carried out by an...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Radiocarbon

[First posted in AWOL  2 August 2010, updated 4 October 2015]

ISSN: 0033-8222
Radiocarbon is the main international journal of record for research articles and date lists relevant to 14C and other radioisotopes and techniques used in archaeological, geophysical, oceanographic, and related dating. It is published quarterly. We also publish conference proceedings and monographs on topics related to our fields of interest.
Three year moving wall

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Egypt recovers Stolen relief of King Seti I from London

A limestone relief dating back to the New Kingdom period, between the 16th and 11th centuries BC,...

Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

Iron Age settlement revealed in Devon

Experts believe they have unearthed one of Britain's biggest and best-preserved prehistoric settlements near Plymouth (Devon, England). Evidence of several families living and working on the land more than 3,000...

Mesolithic artifact discovered on Skye

A piece of bone possibly handcrafted into a shape for use as a toggle or bead has been uncovered during an archaeological dig on Skye (Inner Hebrides, Scotland.). Archaeologists hope...

Bronze Age Britons mummified their dead

Ancient Britons may have intentionally mummified some of their dead during the Bronze Age (c. 2500 - 800 BCE), according to archaeologists at the University of Sheffield. The study is...

Archaeological News on Tumblr

2,400-year-old rock tombs being used as storage by locals

The Amintas Rock Tombs to the southwest of modern Fethiye are among of the few surviving relics of...

Ancient Peoples

You're an Egyptologist? That's so cool! What's the best/coolest/weirdest thing you've learned about ancient Egypt so far?

I’m not the only Egyptologist mod/admin we have here!
I have to summarise 8 years of studying into one point? Erm…

Butt plug mummification

If you were not wealthy enough to afford the full evisceration treatment, then there was a cheaper option to preserve the body during Ptolemaic times. This would involve the priests pouring warm oil into the anus of the deceased, and then plugging it up. Other holes in the body were also plugged up to avoid leakage. After the predetermined amount of time, the plug was removed from the anus, and the insides of the body would come whooshing out. This was because the oil had liquefied the organs inside, thus allowing for clean removal. The body was then dried in natron, wrapped, and then presented to the family for burial.  

This type of mummification is recorded in Herodotus, who is not always a great resource of information on Egypt, but his writings on mummification are pretty accurate. 

I hope no one was eating while reading this…

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Rare ancient tomb found in North China

TAIYUAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) – Archeologists in North China’s Shanxi Province have excavated...

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

2 Timothy 3:16

In my Sunday school class, we recently talked about this famous verse, which is cited with incredible frequency in discussions of the Bible's inspiration and authority.

And yet very rarely are the details of what that verse actually says noticed.

I've already mentioned before that the text does not use the existing word that it could have for “inspired,” and that the depiction of scriptures as “God-breathed” may have the Adam story in view, with God taking what would otherwise be lifeless matter or lifeless texts and giving them life through his breath.

In this post I want to highlight other elements – that the focus is entirely on behavior. Scriptures are not said to impart right doctrine, but to be useful in training people in living a particular way.

Also note that the emphasis is on their usefulness and their beneficial character. Perhaps we ought to start there. Rather than first defining a particular collection of texts as scripture (something 2 Timothy does not do, nor does any other work in the Bible), and then assuming they must be useful and beneficial, perhaps we ought to start with texts that are useful and beneficial, and treat those as not just “scriptures” (which simply means “writings”) but as special, even sacred.

This should lead us to ask whether hate-filled texts are useful or beneficial, and if not, what that means for their status as “scripture.”


Lawrence H. Schiffman

Rediscovering Ir David

Ir David City of DavidNew Finds Revealed in Ancient City

The exciting results of archaeological excavations of ancient Yerushalayim have been coming to light steadily since the reunification of the city during the 1967 Six Day War. More recently, the area of Ir David, the City of David, to the south of Har Habayis (Temple Mount), has been yielding amazing discoveries.

Click here to read the rest of this article, published by Ami Magazine.


The post Rediscovering Ir David appeared first on Prof. Lawrence H. Schiffman.

Compitum - événements (tous types)

Marginalità e integrazione delle correnti esoteriche nella spiritualità filosofica tardoantica

Titre: Marginalità e integrazione delle correnti esoteriche nella spiritualità filosofica tardoantica
Lieu: Villa Vigoni / Loveno di Menaggio
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 08.10.2015 - 11.10.2015
Heure: 17.30 h - 19.30 h

Information signalée par Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete

Il Lato Oscuro della Tarda Antichità.

Marginalità e integrazione delle correnti esoteriche nella spiritualità filosofica tardoantica

Testi, rituali, esperienze spirituali


Programme disponible à l'adresse :

Lieu de la manifestation : Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Italie
Organisation : Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete (Universität Bonn - Alexander von Humboldt Foundation); Chiara Ombretta Tommasi Moreschini (Università di Pisa) et Helmut Seng (Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main)
Contact :

Testi greci e latini in frammenti: metodi e prospettive

Titre: Testi greci e latini in frammenti: metodi e prospettive
Lieu: Università degli Studi di Trento / Trente
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 13.10.2015 - 14.10.2015
Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

Information signalée par Caterina Mordeglia

Testi greci e latini in frammenti: metodi e prospettive


Martedì 13 ottobre

Coordina: Margherita Rubino (Università di Genova)

ore 15: Saluti delle Autorità

Giorgio Ieranò (Università di Trento), Introduzione ai lavori

15.15 Andreas Bagordo (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i.Br.), Interpretazioni e congetture sui frammenti incertae fabulae di Aristofane
15.45 Anne de Crémoux (Université Lille 3), Ateneo, la cucina e la commedia di mezzo: periodizzazione e problemi di metodo e d'interpretazione
16.15 Annamaria Belardinelli (Sapienza, Università di Roma), Frammenti della commedia nuova

16.45 Discussione e coffee break

17.15 Gianna Petrone (Università di Palermo), Il frammento riscritto. Su alcune citazioni tragiche ciceroniane
17.45 Costas Panayotakis (University of Glasgow), The fragments of Atreus and Agamemnon Subpositus attributed to the playwright Pomponius

18.15 Discussione e chiusura dei lavori della prima giornata

Mercoledì 14 ottobre

Coordina: Caterina Mordeglia (Università di Trento)

9.30 Gabriella Moretti (Università di Trento), Collezione di frammenti e metamorfosi del genere: l'Apologia di Apuleio fra oratoria, antologia ed enciclopedia
10.00 Luigi Munzi (Università Orientale di Napoli), Sulle orme di Virgilio Marone grammatico: la singolare ‘Ars Sergilii'

10.30 Discussione e coffee break

11.00 Donatella Frioli (Università di Trento), Colligere fragmenta ne pereant: l'esperienza trentina
11.30 Roberto Gamberini (SISMEL – Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino, Firenze), Frammenti oxoniensi di poesia mediolatina

12.00 Discussione e conclusione dei lavori

Responsabili scientifici:
Giorgio Ieranò e Caterina Mordeglia

Per info:
Staff di Dipartimento

Lieu de la manifestation : Università degli Studi di Trento, Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia
Organisation : Caterina Mordeglia, Giorgio Ieranò
Contact : Caterina Mordeglia

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Worlingworth, Wilby and Alien Komnenids in Britain

So, this interesting Komnenid coin (said to have been) "found in Suffolk" being sold in the UK, ("excessively rare and possibly the only specimen of this Byzantine Emperor in silver available to the private collector"), what do we know about its actual findspot? Why all the secrecy? Why eight months on, was the PAS record for it still unavailable (Unavailable record: SF-3175A4 yet already included in the PAS "finds recorded today" tally) until I queried it with the FLO ? It is now visible here, SF-3175A4. I tried to send a comment, let's see what answer it gets from LavaPAS:
This coin is said by the seller ( to be "excessively rare and possibly the only specimen of this Byzantine Emperor in silver available to the private collector" and its presence in southern England well outside the area of circulation and distribution of Komnenid silver makes it a bit of an outlier.

I am curious, what is an FLO to do in such circumstances when there clearly is potential for the PAS to be used to 'launder' finds made elsewhere, presenting them as British finds? There have already been some cases of this sort of thing, I understand.

Without casting any aspersions on the anonymous finder of this object or the landowner, can you tell us, what concrete evidence is it that the coin was actually found where the seller says it was? When you recorded (handled) it, did you have a release document for that specific find signed by the landowner as assurance of licit origins? If not, do you not think you should have to avoid the possibility of handling illicit material? After all, we are all becoming increasingly aware of the problem of illicit material on the collectors' market and the possibilities of it contaminating the archaeological record by poor dude diligence by recorders obviously needs to be guarded against.

How do you account for that odd corrosion product (not described in your record)?

Thanks Paul Barford
Ah, very droll. Is it just comments sent from Poland that the PAS database is set up to reject, or do audiences in Britain have the same problems with this public database?

 It seems to me that "3022" is the right answer. But this gives you:

"The two given tokens do not match".

Well, yes, they jolly well do, as did all the other previous attempts. What really good practice from the BM's department of "Learning, Volunteers and Audiences'. They cannot even set up a proper comments facility for their public record. This is a recurring problem. Once again, it seems that 'appearances' is what this is all about, quantity rather than quality of information. This is the story of the PAS.

The FLO's record of this "excessively rare" object is extremely superficial, with not a mention of the odd corrosion product on one face which results from the context (context, Mr Brown) in which it was originally buried. Nothing whatsoever is said on any of the records the FLO made that day which suggests that the recorder for a moment considered the veracity of the reported findspot of any of the finds handed to him for recording. The Lockdales photo is properly-lit and shows the coin has been badly scratched up by the finder. The PAS photo is 'soapy' and hides that fact. The PAS 'record' is not a full and objective record of that object, and nor does it address the issues it raises.

Lenborough Fiasco, Attempted Damage Control Hoiker Style

No archaeological report has emerged from the Lenborough Hoard Fiasco, but the artefact hunters are still writing about it, as on John Winter's blog. He decides to attempt (The Lenborough Hoard Part 1, 4 October 2015) a bit of damage control - "It’s what detectorists do".

According to this new text, the finder drove all the way up from distant Southampton. He did this because he had some "sixth sense", the article says, because he "had time to do a little research and could see that some of the site was ‘new’ to the club and hadn’t been disturbed too much". So not "hammered" (emptied) like much of the British archaeological record is by collectors skimming off archaeological material to collect for personal entertainment and profit. In fact the search area included a known preserved earthwork site in the HER, i.e., the sort of site responsible artefact hunters should be keeping well away from. The finder was able to use that Southamptonian "sixth sense" again because the dig organizers had on display "details of the area, including large aerial map [of the earthworks preserved in pasture] for all detectorists to study" - but do not think that it is there so responsible artefact hunters could keep away from the areas of the farm with sensitive archaeology. Oh no. As Winter puts it:
"Paul told me that with experience you develop a kind of sixth sense, recognition of the signs in a field, and a kind of intuition that draws you to the best place to look".
Like where the earthworks are.
It’s a good feeling!” [Thumbing your nose at the interests of the rest of society.]
Just "one coin" was all
he found in the bottom of this
hole before he called the FLO
over and enlarged it, he now says
It is interesting to note that the account of the initial discovery has now been modified. The more immediate report (2nd Jan 2015) "then I lifted a larger piece of lead and saw row upon row of coins stacked neatly" has been replaced nine months later with a fable of how after finding just one coin the finder claims:
"I didn’t touch it again and contacted the organiser Peter Welch and Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) Rosalind Tyrrell, who was on the site. She said that I had done the right thing and immediately taped off the area, declared it an archaeological site and directed proceedings.
What we see in the "feroxchaser" video posted on You Tube on 23rd December 2014 her "directing" is a grabbing of loose coins out of a narrow keyhole scoop deep into the archaeological stratigraphy of a preserved earthwork site while it is recognized that the hoard itself runs into the edge of the hoik hole. This is not "directing" anything, it is an utter shambles. Winter reports:
Each item was recorded, photographed in situ and excavated thoroughly and carefully. If you viewed the video made on YouTube of the removal it looks as though we spent about two minutes on the task,” said Ros. “That wasn’t the case. [...] The excavation had taken most of the day.”
Well, then her museum will be making the full documentation available showing that to be the case, won't they? Where is that documentation now? Nobody is saying that the grubbing up of this hoard should be criticised because it took "two minutes". Nobody says that the hole digging took "two minutes". What real (not imaginary) people who know what digging holes in archaeological stratigraphy on preserved earthwork sites involves are saying is that a hoard like this cannot be properly excavated and recorded between early morning and dusk in mid-December. Period. Any archaeologist will know that. The archaeologist quite clearly should have secured the site and organized a methodical recording and retrieval. She did not.

What was the significance of the "row upon row of coins stacked neatly" which the person actually digging the coins out reports? We will not know until we see the careful documentation of the position of "each item" Ms Tyrrell claims she made before she (in the light of her own account) inexplicably threw each of those individually documented coins into a big bag which was later that day tipped out loose on the farmer's kitchen table, irretrievably mixing any recorded coin groups which might have revealed how it was put together. Winter says:
"As yet nothing much is known about the hoard or what these coins were doing hidden in a Buckinghamshire field. It’ll be interesting to see what explanations the specialists come up with".
The specialists (and the rest of us to whom that heritage belongs) would have a better chance of getting to an informed interpretation if the coins and the associated material had been recovered in a way which would allow the internal structure of the group and its stratigraphic and other associations to be properly recorded. Obviously, hoiking them out loose into a carrier back "just before it got dark" reduces the information to a pile of loose coins and it's anyone's guess how they got there.

Seamus von Hanrahan, author of the popular "Numismatic Evidence of Alien Visitations" has already suggested one explanation. Because the archaeological excavation found no trace of a pit in which the find lay, the lead-wrapped parcel (which he says is in a form which bears a striking resemblance to the 'Volusian star cruiser' depicted in the Nazca lines) must have been deposited deep underground by a powerful teleportation beam. He uses this as evidence supporting his hypothesis that the victorious Alfred the Great was a shape-shifting lizard man from a distant planet who owed his victories to secret access to higher technology. Indeed, I doubt there is anything in Ros Tyrell's documentation which would refute that hypothesis in the 'Anything Goes Archaeology' currently being practised in Britain.

Jim Davila (

Review of Quinn and Vella (eds.), The Punic Mediterranean

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More on the carbonized Leviticus scroll

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New chambers in Tut's tomb?

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CFP for digital editions conference

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Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Worlingworth - Deleted Comments

Metal detectorists like to think that I select comments which they send for publication, they allege that when they send something which challenges what I say, I will not publish it. That is their excuse. As we can see, most of the merry men with metal detectors are distinguished from the rest of society by the fact that they cannot write three consecutive coherent sentences in English to save their lives. As a result, very few of them actually do try to articulate their thoughts about where I am "wrong" about their exploitive hobby. When they do, I generally post up the ones that follow the guidelines I have for commenters here. It's mostly a sorry collection of stereotypical thinking, straw man arguments, special pleading and downright ignorance. But that is what anyone - like the PAS - who wants to "educate" that lot and use the material they produce as some kind of archaeological evidence are up against.

A few weeks ago I wrote a fairly routine vanilla post on a "local history group" that has again organized a commercial artefact hunting grabfest in a Suffolk village. All was quiet there until a couple of days ago when a "Rob" and a "Bob" decided they would join forces to give me some aggro, with the help of a "Bill". Have a look at the way these "ambassadors of the hobby" go about it, and what that too says about the sort of people that take part in metal detecting in the commuter shadow of the Capital no less. What is interesting is that one of them ("Bob") decided he was going to have a go at another post of mine where I questioned a rather unusual coin which the coin dealer selling it claims had been found in Suffolk. Interestingly, the sender after contacting the FLO decided to delete the short text he had earlier decided to post in the public domain. However, in the Internet, nothing is lost and the text can be retrieved from the cache. Here's what he said and now wishes he had not:
bob has left a new comment on your post "Worlingworth Local History Wreckers" (1 October 2015 at 10:57):
Mr Barford I understand you are a archaeologist and have vast knowledge on the subject but you unsavoury comments regarding the byzantine coin found in Suffolk are unfounded and not correct . Firstly the finder had full permission to detect the land and full permission to sell it as it was found on land owned by his partner .I can independently confirm that it did come from land in Suffolk I saw it come out ! Further more all the necessary steps were taken with regards to reporting it it was handed in to the f.l.o. at Ipswich detecting club a record of the location was recorded and the coin was taken to be identified at bury St edmonds by p.a.s team who returned it to him with the relevant information . The next issue I want to bring to your attention is the yet again Unfair and unnecessary comments you made about the rally held in my home village of Worlingworth . You are correct the organisers didn't ask about insurance but I can say with the upmost confidence that all the people that attended belong to a club in Suffolk for which you must have insurance .I no not all detectorist are honest but on the whole we all enjoy history and like to show our finds via a museum or a forum so please don't insinuate that we are all artifact theives .
Now, you can take a guess why he might now have deleted that post. Is it because he found out that not "everyone" had insurance? Hmmm.

Rob O'Brian too had second thoughts about one of his comments sent there, he deleted the flow-of-consciousness comment he posted on 1 October 2015 at 13:14:
I agree with with my learned friend Bob If you check the finds database for worlingworth I have no doubt I'm personally responsible for at least 50 % of the finds on there I always get my finds recorded I have donated finds of local interest to local museums and history groups and recently found a small Bronze Age hoard that is now in the process with the FLO , now most of my land is farm land that gets ploughed up every year so I'm not messing with any untouched soil mound you may want to scratch at a millimetre per day or similar I think Paul you may have had some bad experience with rouge detectorists but please don't tar us all with that brush , and if as I suspect you are just against detectorists full stop then please carry on with your blog if that's what u call it Thanks and to all good defectorists out there Happy Hunting] 1 October 2015 at 13:16
Again, you can guess why he decided to delete that, maybe he had second thoughts about calling somebody who thinks "utmost" is spelt with a "p" learned is a bit much before in his own mis-punctuated  re-iteration of the "we are not all nighthawks" argument mistaking the word "rogues" for a cosmetic. 

"Museum Can't Afford to Buy Them, Oo's Sabina then?"

The finder of the hacksilver hoard which he reckons the TVC "undervalued" found another hoard recently, 26  Flavian silver coins, the first in nightime 'tecting on grassland:

but (justinbell » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:43 pm
just received a new letter today regarding the coins. The local museum have decided they do not wish to acquire them any more. Seems a bit strange as they are a roman musuem... anyway... the British museum want one coin (the vespasian with sow and piglets) but the other 29 are being returned to us!
Member Greggowrex is so surprised he forgot how to write English (Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:46 am):
is this normal , I would. of thought they would of wanted them [question emoticopn]
justinbell (Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:56 pm) adds:
[...] we would never sell the coins, so they would always be in our collections. At least they were recorded and fully identified by the BM. I like to think that we have done our bit to contribute to the history books. It would have been nice to have been able to see them displayed in a museum but on the other hand, it will be nice to have them back. I cant wait to get them back!
They could always have a word with the landowner and donate them to the museum, couldn't they? That's what would have happened if they'd been found in an archaeological excavation. Now there is just the little matter of paying the landowner off for his half of the value of the items they are enriching their collection with.

As for the idea that these heritage grabbers are "lerning 'istry" by pulling this stuff out of the ground - duh [after being pointed to Wikipedia]:
Wow! Never thought about looking at the family tree and how it relates to our hoard. It makes a bit more sense now. Thats great cd, thankyou!

Jim Davila (

Krasnowolska and Rusek-Kowalska (eds.), Studies on the Iranian World I. Before Islam

<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

How to "Recover History"from a battlefield?

Cały program wygląda jak to szlachetni
poszukiwacze z zachodu Europy przybywają
na dziki złodziejski wschód i wspaniale ratują
przed miejscowymi złodziejami skarby.
A płacz jednego
z przybyszów [g]dy odnalazł kości Niemca całkowicie mnie rozbroił.
Jakoś nie zadał sobie pytania skąd ten on się na tym polu znalazł.
[...] Sorry ale dla mnie to jedna wielka porażka".

Following up on his earlier post on the revival of the Nazi War Diggers series, Andy Brockman publishes in full a statement from a PR company in the name of TV production company "Clearstory" ('Clearstory Productions Issue Statement on "Nazi War Diggers", Sorry "Battlefield Recovery" thePipeLine October 2, 2015). Oh this is a laugh. Once again, the programme's critics are accused of being "misinformed" by what they see in the film already released. The statement says:
First and foremost it is important to reiterate that ClearStory, the cast and the local organisations, with whom we worked very closely, made these films for an entirely positive purpose – to recover artefacts, hand over excavated items to authorities for safe keeping, and bury the dead with honour.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of loose artefacts from the Second World War above ground and in collections the length and breadth of Europe, anywhere where the War was fought (the film shows a shedful). Why does a TV company think we need more? In my opinion as an archaeologist who has worked on burial sites, they may be burying some bits of some of the dead "with honour" but they are certainly not shown exhuming them with the proper respect, or methodology to ensure that all the remains are collected for above-mentioned burial. That is one of the points made in the earlier critique of the pre-released film clips. When we watch the full programme, we see nothing different.
every episode of the series features a repeated editorial line that warns against unlicensed battlefield looting.
As we have all seem "We are not night'awks" is a common UK justification for the hobby - totally missing the point that what is in question is best practice and responsible work. Clearstory miss that point too. As I say, I am not the only one who wants to see THEIR licences, can they show them please? Why are they so coy about this paperwork?
 We have produced a series that attempts to recover and explain history to a wider audience.
No you have not (and I have seen it). What do you understand by "explaining history"? The programme about the systematic examination of Treblinka which replaced your cancelled episode three explains not only history but "how we know", Nazi War Diggers showed/shows four fly-by-night amateurs with no local knowledge or background guessing before going off and having their "Call of Duty Moment" gleefully shooting off in a field a burst of rounds from another model of gun. Polish metal detectorists think this is an atrocious imposition - they do a lot more work on the records than your four numpties. You should have made the programme with the Polish searchers if you wanted to see how history can be (really) studied by metal detector users with access to the archives and the willingness to stick at it.
 a fair assessment can be made on the overall content and purpose of the programmes. 
My assessment, from watching it, is that overall content differs in no way at all from hundreds of gung-ho You Tube videos made by artefact hunters and masquerading as one thing or another. The purpose of the programme seems to me to quite clearly be to exploit historical battlefields to produce undemanding lowbrow entertainment to make money.

Andy Brockman's commentary on the statement he seems to have been asked to publish is well worth a read, touching as it does on a number of wider issues concerning our (archaeology/academia's) relationship with the media and public opinion.


Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: October 3

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

HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem quintum Nonas Octobres.

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


3-WORD MOTTOES: Today's 3-word motto is Docete omnes gentes (English: Teach all the peoples).

3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word proverb is Sola pecunia regnat (English: Money alone rules).

RHYMING PROVERBS: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Nil cito delebis, nisi iam meliora videbis (English: You should delete nothing in haste, unless you see better things already).

VULGATE VERSES: Today's verse is Colligite fragmenta ne pereant (John 6:12). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

ELIZABETHAN PROVERBS: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Munerum animus optimus: The minde of giftes is best, that is to say. In the giftes or presentes of friendes the price or value of the thing that is sente is not to be considered, but the minde rather of the sender, as that renowned King Xerxes received thankfully of an uplandish man and handfull of water. And Christ also preferred the widowes two farthinges, afore all the riche mens offerings.

BREVISSIMA: The distich poster for today is Spes Proxima. Click here for a full-sized view.

And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

Ultra aspicio.
I look beyond.

In oculis animus habitat.
The soul dwells in the eyes.


MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Pavo et Grus , a story about beauty and loftiness of spirit.

FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Leo Iratus et Puteus, the wonderful story of the lion who was his own worst enemy (this fable has a vocabulary list).

Leo et Puteus

Latin Sundials. Below you will find an image of a sundial, and for detailed information about the Latin motto see this blog post: Umbra Transit, Lux Manet.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Doctor Who: Under the Lake

Tonight’s episode of Doctor Who upped the ante for cliffhangers, with something that I don’t think we’ve ever seen before in all the show’s more than 50 years of history. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Under the Lake Doctor cue cardsThe episode begins with some classics of Doctor Who: A crashed alien spacecraft at the bottom of a body of water on Earth. Mysterious writing. Ghosts. Humans in peril. A base under siege. Figuring out what is really going on. Even the Doctor’s approach to the situation hearkens back to the show’s earliest days, when the Doctor’s curiosity made him willing not only to take risks but to push others to do so as well.

And so how do you make this fresh and exciting? In one sense, Doctor Who has managed to do slight variations on these themes while still being enjoyable.

The Doctor works out that the ghosts are a result of some mechanism to turn humans into transmitters, relaying coordinates through the repeated phrase, “The dark. The sword. The forsaken. The temple.” The latter apparently refers to a church on the former army base which, now flooded, is the location of the episode. Churches have been a focal point at many points in the past, often with the symbolism having some significance.

What was genuinely new was the cliffhanger, ending with the Doctor having gone back in time, and this resulting in one more ghost being around that wasn’t before, presumably because someone had died on the trip back – and then we see what looks like the ghost of the Doctor! While we’ve seen the Doctor apparently dead as a cliffhanger more than once, am I right that this is the first time we’ve seen him as a ghost? I hope that the resolution to this is at least a bit more satisfying than the way Missy and Clara survived “maximum extermination” last week.

I liked the comforting cue cards that Clara had apparently had the Doctor prepare in order to at least appear more empathetic towards humans in terrifying circumstances.

The Doctor’s excitement at encountering entities that challenge his view of the universe is a wonderful testament to what serious scientific and/or spiritual exploration ought to look like. Reality is greater than what any one of us has perceived. When we are asked what is going on and must respond with “I haven’t a clue” if we are to be honest, then hopefully we can learn to respond as the Doctor did, by adding “Isn’t it exciting?”

What did you think of this episode?


October 03, 2015

Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

In praise of . . . the British School at Rome


I have now officially started on my Leverhulme 'Twelve Caesars' research leave, and I have begun to plan where I am going to need to visit, to run to ground some of the more material that I will need, both in the shape of primary images and research libraries. I have already got a trip in my head to a number of local French art galleries, and I know that I need to understand the German and Austrian material better than I currently do. But it's also obvious that I shall need to go back to Italy and especially to Rome.

In recent years, for various research projects, I have had wonderful hospitality both from the American Academy in Rome and from the British School in Rome. But I fell to reflecting, as I was planning ahead, that the BSR was really where I started my research career. That is to say that, when I was a PhD student in Cambridge almost 40 years ago now, it was during four months residence in Rome that I actually discovered what research directly on Roman material in Rome was like, and how best to do it. In a way it launched my career.


The BSR is an extraordinary institution, lodged in a Lutyens building, modelled on St Pauls, that was the British pavilion in the 1911 World Exhibition in Rome (that's what's in the picture). Behind the front door it's far less formal than the portico would suggest. It's home to a group of postgraduate researchers from the UK and the Commonwealth, working in any aspect of Italian studies, from prehistory to modern art or anthropology, many on scholarships to visit; there are also a group of fine artists and architects, who have purpose-built studios. There's an amazing library for many aspects of Italian studies (no better place in the world for research on the topography of Rome), an archaeological laboratory, lecture theatre -- and a programme of events to match, from summer schools for undergraduatess to lectures and conferences and workshops. (Above is Martin Creed's light sculpture across its pediment, photo by Hugo Glendinning. I know I have used this photo before, but it is an especial favourite.)

When I went there as a raw graduate student, the whole place was an absolute eye-opener. For a start being an academic working in a community with practising artists was usefully 'destabilising', and it was one of those places where people really wanted to share expertise. When I was there the late great Martin Frederiksen was also working there, and he hoiked the little group of classicists off to lectures all over the city, and introduced to any number of senior scholars, Italian and otherwise, that we would never have dared approach ourselves. It was an amazing privilege.

I can see from the outside if you dont know the place (or any of the other British Schools in other countries), it might all seem like a strange colonial hangover. In fact many nations host research institutes in Rome, often on a more lavish scale than the British (the French live in two veritable palazzi, the American Academy is huge by comparison, the Germans likewise; but then there are also the more modest Dutch and the Belgians, the Swedes and the Danes and so on). And they host them for simple reasons. They are not only excellent places of European cultural interchange, but they really support research in a way that's needed. OK one could go and hire a room in a pensione, but even in a digital age you still need a library, preferably available 24/7 and you need academic support.

Anyway for me there seems a nice career symmetry to be contemplating going back there at the end (I hope not, but you know what I mean) of my career too. And it's nice to think of the young generation of researchers in the family using the British Schools as well. The daughter has stayed at the BSR when working on an Italian archive relevant to South Sudan, and in Nairobi I think her work would not be possible without the BSR's sister, the British Institute in East Africa.

 Great and precious institutions. Long may they thrive.

Ancient Peoples

The distinction between food gathering and food production and the impact this had on human development

Did you want an answer to this anon? Because this seems like an essay question I would have had to answer at UG, or even write an entire Doctoral thesis on. We can no longer take suggestions for content due to our own time restrictions and other commitments. (Though we do still take suggestions for cultures people would like to see objects from)

Unfortunately, I’m an Egyptologist, with little to no knowledge of the effect the transition between hunter gatherer societies to agricultural methods had on human development overall. The Neolithic Revolution or Neolithic Demographic Transition, affected different cultures at different times, so I couldn’t give you any one answer. 

I would suggest googling the Neolithic Revolution, or looking on sites like JSTOR which would open up a world of academic literature on the subject. Failing that, I’m sure our followers will reblog this and add some resources for you.

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

book chats, october 7 & 22: the secret history: a novel of empress theodora by stephanie thornton

9780451417787The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora
by Stephanie Thornton
also as eBook

Author chat: Thursday, October 22

9:30 to 11:00 p.m. US ET (UTC/GMT -04)

Please note change of date, the author chat with Stephanie Thornton will be on Thursday, October 22.

New members are welcome! Chat room instructions

Background: Procopius: The Secret History

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

Bones - Season 11, Episode 1 (Review)

Here I am, back for another season (even though I seem to swear off writing more of these each June).  But actually, the reviews are not back here.  I've moved them to my Forbes blog, with the hope of getting more traffic (and therefore more $$ incentive to spend time writing them when I could be, oh, I dunno, working on a book manuscript instead). The splash screen may be annoying, but please click through if you're interested in what I thought of the season première!

(And seriously, the guy who writes Game of Thrones reviews at Forbes has like hundreds of thousands of hits on each of his.  Man, that would be nice.  Tell your friends about mine, pretty please?)

If you want to read past reviews, this link should get you to them in reverse chronological order.

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.

2015 Reading Schedule

9780451417787October 7 & 22 (please note date)
The Secret History:
A Novel of Empress Theodora
by Stephanie Thornton
author chat: Thursday, October 22
also as eBook

_----9780563539162November 4 & 18
Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History
by Terry Jones & Alan Ereira

Join us!
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Shop at Barnes & Noble and make some money for our local historical society.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Reason for Metal Detectorist Under-Recording, Money too Small

Childish treasure hunters
Four out of five archaeological finds taken from the archaeological record go unrecorded. Over on a metal detecting forum near you, a reason is given by a detectorist for this under-recording,"We dont do it for the money but lets be honest, there is no wonder so many finds go unrecorded [by] the FLO". This refers to moaning that the valuation of a Viking hoard found by treasure hunters Justin Bell and Daniel Boakes (apparently known as the ‘Garrett Lads’) was 'too low' for the liking of the finders. As Nigel Swift points out,
the treasure rewards and Ebay earnings that detectorists get are the only part of the heritage sector that hasn’t suffered massive cuts. So actually, detectorists are uniquely privileged. Anyone think being ungrateful and graceless is the best reaction to that reality?

We remember that just the other day another ("we ain't in it fer the munny") detectorist indicates he'll sell if the "price is right".

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies

 [First posted in AWOL 31 December 2010. Updated 3 October 2015 (All links now are to the Wayback Machine]]

Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies
The Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies (EJMS) is a revival of the Journal of Mithraic Studies edited by Dr. Richard Gordon. It is a place where researchers on Roman Mithraism can publish the product of their research and make it freely available for other interested people. The journal concerns all aspects of the mysteries of Mithras, including history, archaeology, theology, sociology, others. Its span includes related religions and cults such as Persian Zoroastrianism and other cults in the Roman Empire. The EJMS is based at the University of Huelva, Spain, and is managed by an Editorial Board composed of scholars of Mithraism and Roman Religion with international projection. A more complete description is included in our formal baseline document.

The material published in the EJMS includes papers and archaeological reports. Accepted languages are English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch and Flemish. The EJMS follows an "open yearly volumes" approach suitable for Internet publication which consists on gradually building its volumes during the year, while keeping currently collected material accessible all the time. The EJMS has now opened Volume I for the year 2000 and asks for your participation.

Submitted material is subject to referee by the Editorial Board or external reviewers appointed by th Editorial Board. Electronic submission can be performed by sending the documents as email attachments to The first page of the document should include the title of the work, complete name of the authors, their affiliation, name of contact author and respective email address. Submitted papers should preferably be Word 97 or compatible documents conforming to the parameters defined in the EJMS stylesheet.


- Schütz (M.), "Hipparchs Deutung der Präzession - Bemerkungen zu David Ulansey" (Once again Hipparchus and the Discovery of the Precession, Response to David Ulansey, Volume IV, 2004 (German, Word 97, 82.5 KB)
-Gordon (R.), "Interpreting Mithras in the Late Renaissance, 1: the 'monument of Ottaviano Zeno' (V. 335) in Antonio Lafreri's Speculum Romanae magnificentiaev (1564)", Volume IV, 2004 (English, Word 2000, 4630 KB)
-Volken(M.), "The development of the cult of Mithras in the western Roman Empire: a socio-archaeological perspective", Volume IV, 2004 (English, Word 2000, 125.5 KB)
- Ulansey (D.), "Once Again Hipparchus and the Discovery of the Precession: Response to Michael Schütz", Volume III, 2003 (English, Word 2000)
- Schütz (M.), "Hipparch und die Entdeckung der Präzession", Volume I, 2000 (German, Word 97)
- Griffith (A.), "Mithraism in private and public lives of the 4th-c. senators in Rome", Volume I, 2000 (English, Word 97)
Arch Reports
    - Gordon, Richard: "Archaeological Notes 2003", EJMS, Volume III, 2003 (English, Zipped Word 2000)
    - Gordon, Richard: "The mithraeum at Mundelsheim, Lkr. Ludwigsburg (Baden-Württemberg)", EJMS, Volume II, 2001 (English, Zipped Word 2000)
    - Gordon, Richard: "A new Mithraic relief in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem", a summary of A. de Jong, "A new Syrian Mithraic Tauroctony", Bulletin of the Asia Institute n.s. 11 (1997) [2000], 53-63, EJMS, Volume II, 2001 (English, Zipped Word 2000)
    - Griffith, Alison B. : "A New Mithraeum in Hawarti, Syria", EJMS, Volume I, 2000 (English, Zipped Word 97)
    - Gordon, Richard: "Mithraeum in Güglingen, Landkreis Heilbronn (Baden-Württemberg), Germany", EJMS, Volume I, 2000 (English, Zipped Word97)
    - Gordon, Richard: "Mithraeum in the vicus of Wiesloch, Lkr. Rhein-Neckar (Baden-Württemberg), Germany", EJMS, Volume I, 2000 (English, Zipped Word97)

      CIMRM Supplement

      This page presents selected articles from out-of-print or difficult to find publications, not protected by copyright law.

      Journal of Mithraic Studies (JMS)

      Volume III (1980)

      (Coming soon)

      Volume II, Number 2 (1978)

      Table of Contents (Zipped JPEG, 64 KB)
      Roger Beck: Interpreting the Ponza Zodiac II (Zipped JPEG, 6.1MB )
      Richard Gordon: The date and significance of CIMRM 593 (Zipped JPEG, 2.5MB)
      Archaeological reports (Zipped JPEG, 4.9MB)
      Reviews (Zipped JPEG, 1.5MB)
      Colloque: Rome, 28-31 March 1978 (Zipped JPEG, 143KB)

      Volume I, Number 2 (1976)

      Table of Contents (JPEG, 38 KB)
      Richard Gordon: The sacred geography of a mithraeum: the example of Sette Sfere (Zipped JPEG, 5.5MB)
      Richard Gordon: A new Mithraic relief from Rome (Zipped JPEG, 2.8MB)
      Archaeological reports (Zipped JPEG, 1.7MB)
      Roger Beck: A note on the scorpion in the tauroctony (Zipped JPEG, 246KB)
      Richard Gordon: A note on the 'mithraeum' at Cyrene (Zipped JPEG, 1.49MB)
      Henri Lavagne: Eléments nouveaux au dossier iconographique du mithraeum de Bourg-Saint-Andéol (Ardèche) (Zipped JPEG, 302KB)

      Volume I, Number 1 (1976)

      Editorial Information and Table of Contents (Zipped JPEG, 112KB)
      Plates (Zipped JPEG, 996 KB)
      Roger Beck: Interpreting the Ponza Zodiac (Zipped JPEG, 3.21MB )
      A.D. H. Bivar: Mithraic symbols on a medallion of Buyid Iran? (Zipped JPEG, 996KB)
      John R. Hinnells: The iconography of Cautes and Cautopates: I: the data (Zipped JPEG, 3.28MB)
      Robert Turcan: The date of the Mauls relief (Zipped JPEG, 1.38MB)
      Roger Beck: The seat of Mithras at the equinoxes: Porphyry, De Antro Nympharum 24 (Zipped JPEG, 604KB)


      The Excavations at Dura-Europos (1939)

      Preface, Contents and List of Abreviations
      The Mithaeum

      The Excavations in the Mithraeum of Santa Prisca in Rome (Leiden, 1965)

      Description and interpretation of the upper layer of paintings
      Description and interpretation of the lower layer of paintings
      The inscriptions of the upper layer of paintings and the names on both layers
      The inscriptions of the lower layer of paintings


      Tesserae: A flexible and robust web interface for exploring intertextual parallels

       First posted in AWOL 21 December 2012, Updated 3 October 2015]

      The Tesserae project aims to provide a flexible and robust web interface for exploring intertextual parallels. Select two poems below to see a list of lines sharing two or more words (regardless of inflectional changes). For advanced search options, select a language from the menu above.

      Tesserae is a collaborative project of the University at Buffalo's Department of Classics and Department of Linguistics,

      and the VAST Lab of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. This project is funded by the Office of Digital Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities 
      and by the Digital Humanities Initiative at Buffalo .

      Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

      Why I am worried about AAMD's new "safe haven" protocols

      Brian Daniels, whom I greatly respect for the important work he and his colleagues are doing to try to monitor and help Syrians safeguard archaeological sites and artifacts, is happy about the AAMD's announcement of safe haven protocols for antiquities from conflict zones. Here's Brian's facebook post, which many other fellow heritage protection advocates are retweeting approvingly:
      "Quite possibly one of the most important developments in the field of cultural heritage policy in recent years. Not only does the AAMD declare its support for the 1954 Hague Convention, but it will treat objects in AAMD member museum safe havens as loans--not permanent acquisitions. (As such, a U.S. museum would need to follow U.S. law for an international museum loan to participate). The guidance outlined here is what framers of the 1954 Hague Convention had in mind for museums following World War II."
      I cannot share this enthusiasm. Framers of the 1954 Hague Convention did not have in mind, objects dug up from archaeological sites by private parties, smuggled out of Syria to Turkey or Dubai and then bought up by dealers or collectors. There was nothing like the global market for illicitly excavated antiquities in 1954 that there is now. And the AAMD protocols, I worry, include provisions that will encourage more looting and smuggling of artifacts.

      Here's the relevant section of the AAMD protocols, with the problematic language italicized:

      II. The Source of Works In Need of Safe HavensIn the event of a terrorism occurrence or during an armed conflict or natural disaster, works may be brought for safe haven in the United States, Canada or Mexico from any depositor, assuming of course compliance with applicable law (see below).  Predetermining who may request such assistance in the abstract is not always possible, but may include the legal owner of a work, the agent for the owner, the bailee of a work, the custodian of a work, and a person or entity who comes into possession of the work and the owner is unknown, unavailable or legally constrained [sic] (collectively, a “depositor”).  Examples of a depositor are:
      • Museums in the affected area that hold works;
      • Governmental entities of or within the affected areas;
      • U.S. government authorities who have seized works on entry to or in the United States; or
      • Private individuals, companies or organizations who own or come into possession of works, whether in the affected area or after removal from the area.
      Member museums should exercise caution to assure that accepting the request for safe haven will not violate the rights of lawful owners, subject the museum to a claim for return, reflect negatively on the reputation of the museum or cause the museum to be involved in any illegal or unethical activity.  Requests for safe haven and agreements to accept such requests should be documented where possible prior to movement of works to be transferred.
      The garbled syntax in the first italicized phrase is a tell, indicating that this is an issue the AAMD must have been wrangling. With good reason. The last quoted paragraph above notwithstanding, the protocols give a green light to museums to accept as loans artifacts purchased from the networks that are paying looters to continue to dig, networks that in some cases are run by or beholden to ISIS. Those who purchase such blood antiquities will now be able to loan them to a museum, which will provide the buyers with a patina of legitimacy and museum approval that will increase the value of the artifact when it is returned to them. 

      Taking as loans artifacts from museums, government entities, or seizures is an excellent idea. Taking as loans artifacts bought from the illicit market is a terrible idea.

      , seeing it as marking a welcome albeit belated move that 

      Ancient Peoples

      Cowrie Shell Girdle of Sithathoryunet12th DynastyMiddle...

      Cowrie Shell Girdle of Sithathoryunet

      12th Dynasty

      Middle Kingdom

      c.1887-1813 BC

      (Source: The Met Museum)

      Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

      Prehistoric 'sauna house' unearthed in Orkney

      Archaeologists in Orkney (Scotland) have uncovered the remains of over 30 buildings dating from around 4000 BCE to 1000 BCE, together with field systems, middens and cemeteries. The find includes...

      Bronze Age burial site discovered in Omsk

      Two graves dating back 2,700 years believed to date from the Bronze Age have been discovered in Omsk (southwestern Siberia, Russia) and could be part of an ancient necropolis still...

      Another sign of Neanderthal intelligence and resourcefulness

      It has long been thought that Neanderthals did not possess either the intelligence or the equipment to catch and kill large, fast flying birds. Recent findings, some going back to...

      BiblePlaces Blog

      Weekend Roundup

      A church mosaic floor dating to AD 500 and depicting a map of Egypt has been discovered in Kiryat Gat.

      There’s a growing consensus among archaeologists that the tomb of King Tut has two previously undiscovered rooms, one of which could hold the remains of Nefertiti.

      A site in Gush Etzion inhabited during the Bar-Kochba era has been destroyed by vandals.

      Some Arab scholars are claiming that a Jewish mafia is behind the destruction of antiquities in Palmyra and elsewhere in the Middle East.

      Wayne Stiles shares some footage from his helicopter ride over Israel.

      Thomas L. Thompson claims that Israel Finkelstein and William Dever are more similar to William F. Albright than they think.

      Excavations at Tel Tayinat in southern Turkey suggest that the site was an ancient Philistine capital.

      Leon Mauldin takes a look at the high place of Dan.

      The California Museum of Ancient Art is hosting a four-part lecture series on Ancient Shipwrecks and Harbors: Great Discoveries in Underwater Archaeology.

      The Biblical Archaeology Society has posted a video clip of a lecture by Robert Deutsch entitled “To Publish or Not to Publish.” Aren Maeir’s segment looks at “Archaeology During Times of Trouble.”

      The November/December issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Cana, Hippos, and manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible not quite as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

      Please consider participating in this Survey on Field Safety.

      A student shares his experience in volunteering at the Palestine Exploration Fund this summer.

      This week on The Land and the Book, Charlie Dyer covers “everything you want to know about the Temple Mount.”

      HT: Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Agade, G. M. Grena, Jared Clark, Paleojudaica


      Mosaic in Kiryat Gat
      Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Ipswich Metal Detecting and 'The Right Price'

      "Bob" from Worlingworth in Suffolk decides to play the part of ambassador for the hobby today. He has this to say about his fellows in the Ipswich Metal Detecting Club (FLO, please note):
      me and the good gentle men I detect with make a very comfortable living from dreaming of finding the good stuff and I would sell to Osama bin Laden if the price was right
      Nice folk metal detectorists, "only in it for the history" they say....

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      Ewoks Share Their Faith


      Based on Return of the Jedi, shouldn’t they be asking, “do you have time to become part of a feast in honor of our lord and savior C-3P0?”


      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Selling off the Heritage One Piece at a Time: UK Like Syria

      "I was on a rally two weeks ago where a guy openly said he was selling Saxon Brooches on the black market and splitting the proceeds with the landowner. He had photos of them on his phone so he wasn't making it up". ( Taxino8 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:44 am )
      Just like Syrian artefacts on the Turkish border. And Taxino8 said and did nothing.

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Lost 'Epic of Gilgamesh' Verse Depicts Cacophonous Abode of Gods

      A serendipitous deal between a history museum and a smuggler has provided new insight into one of...

      Blogging Pompeii

      New book: 'Pompei, Italia'

      Image result for erbani pompei

      For those who missed its publication over the summer: one of Italy's leading journalists - Francesco Erbani - in the culture sector has just written a book called: 'Pompei, Italia', which attempts to look behind the headlines of recent years to understand the problems related to Pompeii's management and conservation. In doing so, Erbani describes Pompeii within the larger context of Italy's public administration and problems on a national scale - Pompeii becomes a symbol of Italy's cultural heritage in general and the state of the nation.
      See a short video where the author describes his book:

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      The Speck in the Eye of Islam

      Jesse Dooley paraphrased a famous saying of Jesus, writing:

      Why do you see the speck in the eye of Islam when you have such glaring beams in your own? First rid yourself of your own logs so you can see clearly enough to help your Muslim brothers and sisters.

      I’m grateful to Dănuț Mănăstireanu for making sure I noticed this!

      Peanuts who will tell who is good and bad

      ArcheoNet BE

      Romeinen in LEGO in Wervik

      Wie vandaag of morgen naar Wervik afzakt voor het Gallo-Romeins weekend, kan in het Erfgoedhuis Defrancq ook de tentoonstelling ‘Romeinen in LEGO’ bezoeken. Archeologe Kathy Sas maakte, samen met haar echtgenoot en zoon, onder meer een Romeins fort, een tempel, galeien, en een Romeinse patrouille in LEGO. Je ontdekt ook de ‘Romeinse’ collectie van Playmobil en het gloednieuwe Gallo-Romeinse hoekje in het erfgoedhuis. De gratis tentoonstelling is tot 15 november te bezoeken, op woensdag en donderdag (14u-18u) en op zaterdag en zondag (10u-12u en 13u-17u).

      Jim Davila (

      Review of Bradley, Smell and the Ancient Senses

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      Domenica 4 ottobre ricca di eventi: Famu e musei gratis!

      Famu, Famiglie al museo, quest’anno alla sua terza edizione, nasce dall’esperienza del portale internet, vetrina delle proposte legate alla didattica museale e alla conoscenza dei beni culturali che strutture museali o associazioni private propongono alle famiglie con bambini.
      In un momento storico in cui la cultura in Italia soffre particolarmente, esistono nel contesto italiano moltissime realta’ che stanno portando avanti un programma di offerta culturale per le famiglie con bambini di altissimo livello; sull’esempio degli altri paesi europei, molti dei quali all’avanguardia in questo settore, i Musei si stanno organizzando per rendere accessibile alle famiglie, ‘family friendly’ le loro proposte.
      Alcuni Musei hanno dei servizi educativi leader nel settore, offrendo delle proposte invidiabili dai piu’ importanti Musei del Mondo. Altri Musei hanno cominiciato solo da pochi anni ma con un team di personale qualificato e competente che compensa spesso con l’entusiasmo la mancanza di fondi, piuttosto comune in questo momento. Nei Musei minori, spesso sono gruppi di volontari che si occupano di valorizzare i beni conservati anche con proposte dedicate ad un giovane pubblico.

      “Genitori, dovete portare i Bambini al Museo;
      Musei dovete essere accoglienti con le Famiglie e farvi conoscere anche dal giovane pubblico.
      La Giornata Nazionale delle Famiglie @l Museo del 4 di ottobre 2015 vuole essere uno strumento per favorire questo incontro; un’occasione per mostrare come un Museo possa essere accogliente e come i bambini con le Famiglie possano essere ottimi ‘fruitori di cultura’.”

      Per info sul programma offerto dai vari enti:


      L’iniziativa ministeriale #DomenicalMuseo, prevede la gratuità di tutti i musei e le aree archeologiche nella prima domenica del mese.
      E’ l’applicazione della norma del decreto Franceschini, in vigore dal primo luglio 2014, che stabilisce che ogni prima domenica del mese non si paga il biglietto per visitare monumenti, musei, gallerie, scavi archeologici, parchi e giardini monumentali.

      Per info:

      L'articolo Domenica 4 ottobre ricca di eventi: Famu e musei gratis! sembra essere il primo su ArcheoBlog.

      Jim Davila (

      RevQ 105/27 (2015)

      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      Thompson on "Biblical Archaeology"

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      He has a wife you know

      At the launch party for My Costume Drama which is raising money...

      At the launch party for My Costume Drama which is raising money and awareness for Mind Out, a mental health charity for the LGBTQ community . Aaron’s wearing fancy dress each day for a year - quite a feat!

      Never had the chance to wear roman kit in a pub, was quite comfortable, though perhaps that was the beer talking. A professional photographer was in attendance so I imagine more pics to follow…

      Jim Davila (


      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      The Mt Zion excavation

      <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

      Per Lineam Valli

      Podcastellum 8: Milecastles

      For years (well, at least since 2013) I have been promising to interview Dr Matt Symonds on the subject of milecastles. Not only is Matt the editor of Current Archaeology, but he is also a leading specialist on Roman fortlets and that special sub-type of those diminutive fortifications: Hadrian’s Wall milecastles.

      Finally, whilst attending the 2015 Limes Congress in Bavaria, and sitting outside an extremely congenial reception held for us in the Kelten Römer Museum at Manching, we had a chance to chat about fortlets, milecastles, and Hadrian’s Wall.

      Site of Milecastle 30

      The site of Milecastle 30 at Limestone Corner

      The podcast is available as an MP3 file. Right click to download. A bit torrent link is also available. Finally, if you prefer, you can stream it directly from the web page.

      With a fair wind and a measure of good fortune, you can subscribe to the podcast series using this link.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      PAS sees another 'milestone'

      The PAS is celebrating yet again, Daniel Pett‏@DEJPett 29.09.2015
      The recorders have broken 700,000 record barrier on @findsorguk. Pleased with the performance!
      Not so long ago they were trumpeting "a million finds" and I was pointing out that by lumping thousand-coin (Treasure) hoards into the record alongside non-Treasure finds they were artificially creating a false impression of how many records they have achieved. Let's see how long it takes them to get a million "records" and then take a look at the Artefact Erosion Counter to see a suggestion of what the shortfall ("take" versus "recorded") actually is.

      Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

      No specialist prosecutors for antiquities/terrorism cases: a major stumbling block

      Those who have been applauding ICE's ceremonies returning seized artifacts should instead be booing. They don't understand that every such public relations event that doesn't also include announcements of arrests and indictments is a lost opportunity and a symptom that the Obama administration has failed to devote the resources needed to really tackle the black market in antiquities.

      This is made clear in a very informative blogpost from cultural heritage lawyer Rick St.-Hilaire laying out in very damning detail the failure of the Obama administration's Justice Department to follow through on an antiquities smuggling case in 2011 that involved suspected money laundering tied to terrorism.  Instead, the artifacts were returned in a DC photo-op ceremony.

      As St.-Hilaire notes,
      A specially assigned heritage trafficking prosecutor based at the Department of Justice in Washington probably could have facilitated this search warrant request by coordinating with the appropriate right U.S. Attorney's office. But no such specialist prosecutor exists.
      Maybe I just missed it -- and if so, will one of the readers of this blog please ease my mind -- but I don't recall hearing from ICE or the Department of Justice during last week's various policy events. The announcement of a reward for information leading to the disruption of terrorist-related antiquities-smuggling networks might indicate some movement in the direction of a heritage trafficking prosecution. But a dedicated prosecutor is long overdue. The Department of Homeland Security's budget is only $55 billion though, so perhaps they cannot afford one.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      Intellectual Curiosity and Out-of-Place Artefacts

      I queried an out-of-place artefact in the PAS records with the FLO responsible for putting it there. I think there are good reason for questioning whether it was even originally found in the UK. I even gave him a link to where I had written about it and the several reasons why this item aroused my suspicions. Pretty dismissively I got back a reply within an hour:
      "At present we have no reason to believe that this is not an ancient loss".
      Nobody of course is questioning whether the object is ancient, but its reported findspot. It was however a surprise to find from the tracking software that the link I gave to what I had drawn attention to was not followed. The FLO dismisses a fellow archaeologist's arguments without even reading them. Yet it is clear that he himself knows so little about the class of foreign object that he reports on that he's waiting (eight months now) for the record to be checked by "national Finds Advisors and relevant specialists". He'd find more of them in Bulgaria than Bloomsbury. This is the sort of intellectual curiosity and source questioning which lies behind that FLO's "no reason to believe" - probably its contexts of deposition and finding were not even superficially questioned. The FLO also refused to answer my question of whether he'd seen a finds release document from the UK landowner referring specifically to this object - so much for the recommendations of the Nighthawk report.

      If you look at the PAS database with an informed eye, you can see a disturbingly high number of items recorded in it which are similarly out-of-place. I was looking at the corpus of Alexandrian issues a few months ago in connection with ACCG lobbying, many seem modern loses or 'plants' (see here too), raising issues of contamination of the PAS database. David Williams' brooches drew my attention  to a lot of other material of probably and potential Balkan/Danubian origins found in the fields of England. This could be interpreted as an indication that a lot of seeding of club sites has been going on with stuff bought as bulk lots on eBay and the redeposited material recorded as bona fide components of the British archaeological record by FLOs happy to boost record numbers and probably largely ignoring the question of how many of the objects got there.

      If however the PAS does not carry out quality control of its 'data' (and now with the advent of lightly-'trained' karaoke recorder volunteers), those 'data' are worth very little as evidence of anything except the habits of contemporary metal detectorists and collectors.

      Note that these questions were being raised on this blog quite along time ago, and do you think there has been a single reaction to any of it from the FLOs and PAS? Absolutely not, the FLOs you see, do not read blogs where what they do and the archaeological effects are discussed.  Hence a FLO to whom I wrote would not dream of actually opening the link to see whether he's or she's potentially been made a fool of by a 'finder'. What's the point if in fact many of them probably frequently are and we all suffer the consequences?



      Justin Walsh on Museums and Illicit Antiquities

      Justin Walsh, associate professor of art history and archaeology at Chapman University, writes in Hyperallergic (October 2 2015) on why he thinks 'Marion True Does Not Deserve Our Sympathy' for her role in the Getty's illicit antiquities scandal. He points out the problems involved with buying illicit antiquities:
      First, the destruction of archaeological sites and the knowledge that could be provided by careful, professional excavation. Without excavation records the objects can serve only as evidence of their own existence, unable to tell us how they were used, in what context, and by whom. “Pressing for the return” of objects thus comes far too late. Second, this looting of sites, being illegal, is frequently carried out by gangs associated with existing criminal networks, making buyers of these objects supporters of criminal enterprises that exploit impoverished and powerless local citizens. This complicity even extends to the indirect financial support of dictatorial and genocidal regimes such as the Khmer Rouge (and now likely ISIS as well — the US State Department announced on September 29 that it had direct evidence of ISIS profiting from the trade in illicit antiquities).
      While the trade and their lobbyists try desperately to play down these elements of the discussion (note the incessant quibbling over the "numbers" rather than the fact), it quite clearly is happening and we must react:
      In the end, Marion True has become only the most obvious symptom of an illness that has afflicted the art world more generally. For the problems extend beyond American institutions to Europe, Japan, the Middle East, and Australia, and they involve artworks from places other than the classical Mediterranean, such as India, Thailand, West Africa, and the Americas. Yet to my knowledge, no museum official at any level — including True — has been fired from his or her job or been officially reprimanded for acquiring illicit objects. What Marion True’s return to the public eye ought to do is spur governments and art-world organizations to finally get serious about identifying and punishing those who participate in the trade of looted antiquities.

      Metal Detecting Above Reputed "Nazi Gold Train" Site

      The only thing Polish army specialists found metal detecting at the "Nazi Gold Train" site were six bullets for a Mauser rifle, though they only checked 1m deep. I doubt though that any of them reacted like the puerile "Nazi Gold Diggers" who went bananas every time they found one that was live. If they'd talked to those who wander central European fields, they'd know they are everywhere.

      Waste of public money
       Meanwhile, nothing much has happened on the 'XYZ Spółka Cywilna Piotr Koper i Andreas Richter' website belonging to the two men who claim they found this alleged 'train'. They say "Ze zrozumiałych względów nie możemy wam jeszcze pokazać więcej dowodów na potwierdzenie naszego znaleziska" [For understandable (sic) reasons, we cannot yet show more (sic) proof confirming our find]. Well, actually the only reason I can think of is they have none. "More proof"? They've not shown ANY. Since the site is now known because it in full view of the road and has been cleared by the army who are working there and keeping the public out, there really is no reason at all not to show any "proof" they have that this is more than a crass publicity stunt.

      October 02, 2015

      Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East

      Flight 20151001 - And we’re off the ground

      After a very busy and engaging four days taking part in the Protecting the Past Conference at The Jordan Museum, on the first of the month we finally got air borne.

      The 'Mafraq-Zerbini' formation. APAAME_20151001_RHB-0240.
      There were a few “firsts” on this flight – Andrea Zerbini’s first trip in the Huey helicopter over Jordan, which he survived well and it was very useful to have his knowledge of the sites in this region. After 18 years this was the first time that we discovered (with the useful intervention of the ground crew at Mafraq) that the so-called ‘donkey seat’, which normally faces forward, could be turned through 90 degrees and join the rest of us on the bench. We’ll now refer to this as the “Mafraq-Zerbini’ formation.

      The Irbid Bypass in construction. APAAME_20151001_MND-0126.
      True to the theme of the Conference “Archaeology, conservation and tourism in the north of Jordan”, our first flight was to the north in the vicinity of Irbid. There is a large bypass being constructed around the west of the city, a concentration of limestone quarries to the south-west, as well as a few sites we had not seen for quite some time – so we thought we would have a look at how the archaeology of the region was faring.

      The remaining half of Tell esh-Sheqaq (JADIS:2221018, MEGA-J:11494). APAAME_20151001_REB-0210.
      As much as we hate to be a stick in the mud, there is evidence that this region’s archaeology and heritage is under pressure. Many of the small tell sites to the west of Irbid showed evidence of damage from quarrying or the removal of earth for what we presume is agricultural purposes. There were numerous examples of cemeteries having been found and systematically looted. Some of this damage appears to have taken place well in the past, but some was indeed fresh. Our camera also captured exposed excavations, sites in the vicinity of, or being cut by, the new bypass, and many sites precariously close to the edges of limestone quarries.

      Samad (JADIS:2220050, MEGA-J:11471). Quarrying can be seen in the distance. APAAME_20151001_REB-0399.
      That said, there are so many and diverse sites in this region that there was no shortage of ones that appear not to have changed in the time we have been monitoring them, and they are testimony to the depth of time and culture in this region. It was a great start to this season’s flying and we are grateful to the Royal Jordanian Air Force for their professionalism, skill and hospitality.

      Rebecca Banks & Bob Bewley

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

      From my diary

      I’m trying to push forward a couple of projects.  I’ve written to the translator for the Encomium on St Nicholas of Myra by Andrew of Crete, to see if the sample is available yet.

      I have also changed my plans slightly for the translation of Methodius from Old Slavonic.  The lady who was to do the Greek fragments is overcommitted elsewhere, with the result that nothing ever appeared of the Severian translation that I set as a sample.  So I will ask Andrew Eastbourne to handle that side of the work.  Indeed I had always intended to use him in some capacity if I could, because of his vast philological knowledge.

      In some ways this simplifies the grant application process, since I now know who I am dealing with.  I can also upload the Methodius De Lepra translation as part of the application, as evidence that I know what I am about.  But I need to replan.  Some kind correspondents have been supplying me with parallels and sources, which may well be useful.

      Most of the grant bodies will only give around 50% of a project; so I shall try to find another source of funding for translations.  I suspect, rightly or wrongly, that this is merely bureaucrats trying to cover their own backsides.  After all, if it isn’t just them who gave the grant, then how can they be blamed?  But it is tiresome.  I also realise that I need to understand what the unstated rules of the game are.  So I need to telephone and talk to someone.

      It all reminds me why I just pay for translations out of my own pocket.  There seems to be a whole industry that has grown up, merely to get funding.  It is a quite daunting process to the amateur.

      I have been adding a few more photos to the Mithras site.  Most of these I encountered on Twitter, and wondered to what they related.  I’ve just seen one of a Vatican tauroctony, photographed by Carole Raddato, that is really quite good.  This is no small praise; the location of the monument in the museum makes photography almost impossible.  I’ve seen it myself, tried to get useful pictures, and failed!

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      GitClassics: Collaborate to Edit, Translate, and Publish New Latin Texts

      GitClassics: Collaborate to Edit, Translate, and Publish New Latin Texts

      Salve! Welcome to GitClassics!

      GitClassics is a collaborative effort to edit, translate, and publish new Latin texts using GitHub.

      Even if you have no knowledge of Latin, you can help bring these forgotten texts back to life with a pull request.

      List of GitClassics Texts

      • Pugna Porcorum (1530) by Publius Porcius Poeta (Johannes Leo Placentius)
      • More Soon---Stay Tuned!

      What's this all about?

      In short, there's a lot of weird, cool Latin out there, and we should read more of it.
      On account of projects like Google Books and the Internet Archive, there are literally tens of thousands of new Latin texts available on the Internet. Many well-known texts from antiquity are available at The Perseus Project, and even some medieval and early modern texts are available at The Latin Library, but there is still an enormous amount of Latin literature that is available only as scanned images, not as plaintext. To get an idea of the amount of material out there, take a look at the collection of Latin language texts available at HathiTrust.
      GitClassics aims to make some of these obscure Latin texts more readily available by editing, translating, and publishing them on GitHub.

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

      Books lost, books retained

      This evening I was chagrined to discover that I cannot find anywhere my copy of Blanchard’s translation of Eznik of Kolb, On God.  I have relatively few translations in paper form, but I certainly had that.  I remember a small green hardback.  It was quite useless to me, frankly, although finely made, and it just occupied space, and I never thought that I would need it again.  But I have a faint memory of taking it to Oxfam, or somewhere like that.  Now I could use it; and it is not here.

      Perhaps tomorrow I shall go to the shop where I might – must – have donated it, and see if I can buy it back!!  It cannot have found many customers.

      I am a fortunate man, tho.  This is only the third book that I have disposed of, and regretted later.

      One of the others was the copy of The Four Loves by C.S.Lewis that I had at college.  I got rid of it, in favour of a newer copy, because it was not uniform with my other Lewisiana.  But memory is a funny thing, and I can still see the cover of the original in my mind.

      The other book that I lost was a first edition of G.K. Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse, in the green cloth with gilt inlay.  It was probably a first impression, as I once saw a similar edition, but rather thinner.  I still have a smaller, later reprint; but I first read the work in the first edition and again, I miss the physical pages.  Why I got rid of it I do not know.

      I have got rid of many books in my time, and we must all do this.  If you do not have a process to get rid of books, then you will find yourself living in a book warehouse, surrounded by books which you have no intention of ever reading again.  Meanwhile your few favourites are hard to find, lost somewhere amidst all the dreck.

      Books can be disposed of for many reasons.  I get rid of books that I know that I will never read or use again.  Why store them?  These form the overwhelming majority, mostly novels.  I also get rid of books that I buy and then find that I dislike – more of a peril in these days of Amazon than it once was.  Finally I get rid of books that seem to me unwholesome, obscene, or otherwise liable to influence my mind in ways that are not positive, pure, or likely to make me happy.  It’s easy enough to get muck in your head; the difficulty is to get it out again.

      Even with all this, I have more books than my bookshelves will comfortably hold.

      And what do we do with “dead books”; books that once were the light of our lives, and which we read and reread?  Books that helped make us who were are; but which we have read too many times, and are now “dead” to us.  I’m thinking of overfamiliar works, perhaps childhood favourites, or books that we are attached to for what they once meant.  They all take up space, and only a fool would cut them off.  To lose them is to lose part of who you are and have been.  I have quite a number of these, and no answer.

      Books … a blessed company and a curse when they become too numerous!

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      The Rosetta Stone online: A project in cooperation of the Excellence Cluster Topoi and the Institut für Archäologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

      The Rosetta Stone online: A project in cooperation of the Excellence Cluster Topoi and the Institut für Archäologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

      The Rosetta Stone Online project

      This homepage is the outcome of a hands-on university seminar on the online presentation of the Rosetta Stone. It is a cooperation of the German Excellence Cluster Topoi and the Department of Archaeology of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. For this project, the project leaders and the seminar participants combined their expertise in Egyptology, Ancient Greek Linguistics, General Linguistics, and Computer Sciences. A kernel part of the homepage is a full linguistic analysis of the trilingual text on the Rosetta Stone. However, it also seeks to present interesting information for a non-academic reader. The homepage is still under development.

      The Rosetta Stone

      On the Rosetta Stone, an Ancient Egyptian decree from 196 BCE was inscribed in three versions, in three language varieties and scripts:
      This type of artefact is called a trilingual. The Rosetta Stone played a crucial role in the famous decipherment of the hieroglyphic script by Jean-François Champollion (see the BBC documentary The Mystery of the Rosetta Stone).

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      "They've Got Our Backs"

      I've just had a comment posted to another text from Andy Baines with a request. I am sure he will not mind me posting it here too:
      Hi again Paul, I have created a little video to try to raise awareness for the PAS plea to raise money through donations for their funds. I know a lot of detectorists read your blog to see what your writing and you reach a far bigger audience than I can. Would it be possible for you to link a post to my video? I don't even mind if you write it taking the p*** out of my video just as long as it drives detectorist traffic to it and raises some money. Its about time we put something back in the pot. Regards Andy Baines
      Now, as if I'd take the michael... Moi? What I will say about the video is nice beginning, but the format was a bit too "Deep Digger Dan-ish" (I'd advise getting rid of the "Let's get started" and the talking head on a sofa).  Andy gave 5 quid. If sixteen thousand UK metal detectorists each gave a fiver, that'd be 80,000 quid. If they gave a fiver a month (so the equivalent of a few Roman grots added to the value of their growing collection), that'd be 960,000 pounds a year, not far short of what the taxpayer gives the PAS. I've plugged the video, now it's up to artefact hunters to do their bit to help keep their "partner" in the black.

      Archaeology Magazine

      HAINES, ALASKA—A delivery of dirt for constructing new aviaries at the American Bald Eagle Foundation contained part of a human skull, according to a report from Alaska Public Media. At first, the volunteers who discovered the bone did not recognize what they had found. “Everyone was pretty much just in shock—eyes wide, jaws dropped. This doesn’t happen to real people, this is something that you’d only see in a movie or something,” said raptor curator Chloe Goodson. Haines police responded to the call, and brought in anthropologist Anastasia Wiley, who determined that the remains are those of a Native American woman who was at least 40 years old at the time of death, most likely sometime before 1700. “If it’s truly an antiquity, and we believe it is based on our limited knowledge of it, then the medical examiner will simply turn it back over to us to release to the family and in this case the family would be the descendants, which in this case would be the local Native organizations,” explained Interim Police Chief Robert Griffiths. The site where the dirt originated will also be examined. To read more about archaeology in Alaska, go to "Cultural Revival."

      Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

      Been Driving Refugees

      In the past couple of months Sweden has started to receive large numbers of refugees from Syria, Iraq and a few other war-torn Middle-eastern countries. The ones who claim the right of political asylum are adequately cared for by the immigration authorities. But many don’t claim that right. They may have more or less accurate information about other countries that offer better chances, so when they get off the train at Stockholm Central Station, they’re basically tourists in the eyes of the law. And the municipality hasn’t been able to care for them. Instead a major volunteer movement has sprouted, working to offer transit refugees food, housing, clothes, medical care and legal advice. To give an idea of how big this is, the main Facebook group for these volunteers has 16,400 members.

      I don’t read much news and I’m not much of an activist. So I’ve joined the volunteer ranks late, being motivated particularly by the realisation that for several weeks the biggest housing establishment for transit refugees has been in my home municipality, right across the street from the County Museum and the community arts centre. It looks like a refugee camp in a hangar-like techno club. Because that’s what it is.

      I know of course in abstract that Sweden receives a healthy number of refugees per capita et annum. And I live in a cosmopolitan suburb where many of my neighbours must have come here once as refugees. But wealthy conservative-governed Nacka municipality is hardly involved at all in the initial care of them as they arrive. So seeing tired and confused people with big bags and nowhere to go is big news to me. It’s as if world history has suddenly showed up in my back yard after half a lifetime of political complacency. It’s been over 200 years since the Kingdom of Sweden was in a state of war. And I find that volunteering at a refugee centre beats the hell out of spending your evenings reading a humdrum e-book.

      For the past few days I’ve mainly served as a driver, making good use of what years of geocaching around Stockholm has taught me about finding my way around. And I’ve rediscovered the joy of working together with new acquaintances for a common project, like we used to for much more playful purposes in the Tolkien Society.

      So many new impressions.

      • The refugees are mostly young or middle-aged men.
      • They travel in small groups which do not like to get separated.
      • They’re in good physical shape and seem relieved to have reached Sweden.
      • Young Swedified second-generation immigrants of both genders form a major part of the volunteer effort.
      • The big Sunnite mosque in central Stockholm is also housing lots of people.
      • The little Shiite mosque in Alby offered to help and was asked to cook dinner for 200 people. They delivered dinner for 350. One young guy explained to me, “We’re Shiites, this is our thing: we like to cook lots of food for pilgrims several times a year.”
      • Most have no clear idea about where to go. Many follow an apparently outdated rumour that says Finland has accommodating laws, but they aren’t allowed on the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. So they take the train all the way to Haparanda at the far end of the Gulf of Botnia and walk across the Torne river bridge to Finland.
      • One guy asked me about the relative merits of Sweden and Ireland (!?) as countries of asylum. One volunteer told me his twelve-year-old nephew had been asked for similar advice by a refugee.
      • One guy had spent seven years making pizza in Berlin and spoke way better German than I do.
      • And though my own input into the relief effort has been quite modest, I am very proud of how my fellow stockholmers are responding. They’re donating time, money and goods, and they’re making a big impression on the refugees. I’ve lost count of the recent arrivals who have told me in broken English that they think Sweden is a great country.
      • But don’t donate flavoured teabags. Syrians and Iraqis are sensible people who recognise that tea is one plant and that it should not be adulterated with feckin’ flower petals.

      Here’s good advice on how people in Stockholm can help.

      Ancient Peoples

      Terminal, possibly for a sceptre18th DynastyReign of...

      Terminal, possibly for a sceptre

      18th Dynasty

      Reign of Akhenaten

      This small gold object is inscribed for the princess Meketaten, second daughter of Akhenaten. It has recently been pointed out that the object, historically termed a situla (a bucket-shaped ritual vessel), is more likely an end piece from another element, perhaps a scepter or some other insignia.

      The princess died before her father and was buried in a chamber of his tomb at Amarna. This object is likely to have originated there.

      (Source: The Met Museum)

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      The Big Ancient Mediterranean: Terra Biblica: The Gospel of Luke

      Terra Biblica: The Gospel of Luke
      The first test text for Terra Biblica is the Gospel of Luke. Our material on the Gospel of Luke makes use of a dataset on the literary character networks in that Gospel compiled by University of Iowa graduate student Cory Taylor for his dissertation.  The pairs of characters you see represent what we call a co-appearance network: that is, these two characters are inferred to appear together in a given scene, based on the narrative progression of the text.  This human entered information is a vast improvement on the alternative of automated network extraction based on Named Entity Recognition.  Cory is compiling similar data for all the Gospels, and is also studying other kinds of literary character networks, including dialogue networks.

      Archaeology Magazine

      Scotland Cramond burialEDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—The remains of nine people unearthed in 1975 in Cramond, Scotland, during the excavation of a Roman bath house and fort have been re-examined with modern scientific techniques. It had been thought that the dead were victims of a medieval bubonic plague, but the new test results show that the bones belong to more than one generation of a single family and date to the sixth century A.D. Two of the men had multiple healed wounds and may have been warriors, and one of the women died from violent blows to the head. Researchers now think that the family may lived in a royal stronghold at Cramond Fort. “The study has provided important evidence of life during this time of political turmoil and has helped us answer questions about the Dark Ages, but it has also opened up a whole new world of questions. Why did these people migrate to Cramond? What was so special about this area during the Dark Ages? Why were some of them murdered but given a special burial?” John Lawson, the City of Edinburgh Council archaeologist, asked in a press release. To read more about the Dark Ages in Britain, go to "The Kings of Kent."

      Scotland underground saunaORKNEY, SCOTLAND—A rare, almost complete underground building dating to the Bronze Age has been discovered on the periphery of the prehistoric Links of Noltland, an archaeological site on the island of Westray. The building may have been used as a sweat house or sauna and for ritual activities. It may also have served as a place where women could give birth, and the sick and elderly could come to die. “We know this was a large building, with a complex network of cells attached to it and a sizeable tank of water in the central structure which would likely have been used to produce boiling water and steam—which could have been used to create a sauna effect,” Rod McCullagh of Historic Scotland said in a press release. Heated stones would have been placed in the tank to heat the water. “What this would have been used for we don’t know exactly but the large scale, elaborate architecture and sophistication of the structure all suggest that it was used for more than just cooking,” McCullagh explained. To read more about archaeology on Orkney, go to "Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart."

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Open Access Journal: Göttinger Forum für Altertumswissenschaft

      [First posted in AWOL 22 December 2013, updated 2 October 2015]

      Göttinger Forum für Altertumswissenschaft
      ISSN: 1437-9074
      Das Göttinger Forum für Altertumswissenschaft (GFA) macht es sich zur Aufgabe, neueste Forschungsergebnisse auf schnellstem Wege der wissenschaftlichen Öffentlichkeit vorzustellen. Es publiziert Aufsätze und Rezensionen zu Themen aus dem gesamten Bereich der griechisch-römischen Antike und ihren Randgebieten. Es ist insbesondere den Gegenständen der Klassischen Philologie, der Alten Geschichte und der Archäologie gewidmet. Publikationen von fachübergreifendem Interesse sind sehr willkommen.

      Roberto Lérida (Aragón Romano)

      I Jornadas Ibero-romanas de María de Huerva

      El Ayuntamiento de María de Hueva organiza para hoy y este fin de semana sus primeras Jornadas Íbero-Romanas.  Podéis seguir la noticia en Aragón Digital, pinchando este enlace; no obstante, os dejamos el programa a continuación:

      20.00 horas en la 1ª Planta de la Casa de Cultura.
      Charla: Romanización en el Huerva y yacimientos de María. Impartida por el arqueólogo D. José Ignacio Lorenzo Lizalde.
      de 11.00 a 14.00 horas y de 18.00 a 20.00 horas en la Plaza de España
      Campamento Íbero con Talleres demostrativos de panadería, alfarería, tejidos, herrería y cocina durante toda la jornada a cargo del Grupo Ositanos.
      Campamento Romano:
      12.00 horas Charla explicativa sobre la historia de la sociedad y el ejército Romano a cargo del Grupo Athenea Promakos.
      13.00 horas Desfile de gladiadores con exhibición de boxeo griego a cargo del Grupo Ludus Augustus.
      18.30 horas Combate de gladiadores con explicación de su evolución en la historia a cargo del Grupo Ludus Augustus.
      19.30 horas Charla explicativa sobre la historia de la sociedad y el ejército Romano a cargo del Grupo Athenea Promakos.
      de 11.00 a 14.00 horas en la Plaza de España
      Campamento Íbero con talleres demostrativos de panadería, alfarería, tejidos, herrería y cocina durante toda la jornada a cargo del Grupo Ositanos.
      Campamento Romano:
      11.30 horas Combate de gladiadores y explicación de su evolución en la historia a cargo del Grupo Ludus Augustus.
      13.00 horas Charla explicativa sobre la historia de la sociedad y el ejército Romano a cargo del Grupo Athenea Promakos.
      Os dejamos aquí la noticia de Aragón Digital, con título "Íberos y romanos se instalan en María de Huerva para mostrar su modo de vida" y entradilla "María de Huerva acoge este fin de semana las Primeras Jornadas Íbero Romanas, una cita que nace con el objetivo de poner en valor los vestigios de la época y contribuir a difundir la historia de la localidad y su entorno. Talleres de artesanía o recreaciones de diversas escenas forman parte de las propuestas de esta iniciativa":
      "María de Huerva celebra este fin de semana sus Primeras Jornadas Íbero Romanas, una cita con la que la localidad zaragozana pretende dar a conocer sus vestigios de la época así como difundir su historia entre todos sus habitantes y visitantes.
      Organizadas por el Ayuntamiento en colaboración con la Asociación Cultural Almarya, durante dos días el municipio viajará en el tiempo para mostrar el modo de vida de los primeros pobladores de la zona. Aunque la mayor parte de los actos se desarrollarán aprovechando el fin de semana, este jueves se iniciará la actividad con una charla en la que el antropólogo y arqueólogo José Ignacio Lorenzo explicará, a modo de introducción de las jornadas, cómo fue el proceso de romanización en el Huerva y las peculiaridades de los yacimientos de María.
      La conferencia tendrá lugar a las 20.00 horas en la Casa de Cultura. Ya el sábado se instalarán en la plaza de España sendos campamentos íbero y romano. En el primero se realizarán durante toda la jornada talleres demostrativos de panadería, alfarería, tejidos, herrería y cocina a cargo del Grupo Ositanos. En ellos se podrán aprender los procesos para fabricar piezas de cerámica, preparar tortas de pan de ácimo con especias y miel o escribir con caracteres íberos.
       Mientras, en el otro campamento se podrá conocer más sobre la historia de la sociedad y el ejército romano gracias a Athenea Promakos, grupo dedicado a los pueblos de la antigüedad clásica del entorno Mediterráneo que representará diversas escenas; y el grupo Ludus Augustus, que recreará desfiles y combates de gladiadores, así como una exhibición de boxeo griego.
       Ambos campamentos se instalarán el sábado en horario de 11.00 a 14.00 horas, y de 18.00 a 20.00 por la tarde, y el domingo solo en horario de mañana, de 11.00 a 14.00 horas.
       Desde el Ayuntamiento destacan el valor de una iniciativa que es fruto de la colaboración del propio Consistorio y de “las asociaciones que trabajan en aquellos proyectos que con generosidad redundan en beneficio de todos y que refuerzan nuestra historia y nuestra convivencia.":

      Visitas guiadas el acueducto de Gea-Albarracín en el puente del Pilar

      El Centro de Visitantes del Acueducto Romano de Cella-Albarrcín organiza durante el próximo puente festivo del Pilar, para los días 9 a 12 de octubre, regresan las VISITAS GUIADAS POR EL ACUEDUCTO ROMANO en ‪ ‎Gea de Albarracin‬. Todos los días a las 11:00, 13:00 y 17:00 (el lunes solamente por la mañana), desde el Centro de Interpretación. Para información 620 863 078.

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      New Open Access Journal: Furnace: The Postgraduate Journal of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham

      Furnace: The Postgraduate Journal of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham
      ISSN: 2057-519X
      The Postgraduate Journal of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham

      This is a CFP for contributions to a new, open access, postgraduate/ graduate journal called furnace that is edited by young scholars in the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH) at the University of Birmingham. furnace hopes to be a facilitator for sparking debates and discussions surrounding the expanding and diversifying disciplinary field of cultural heritage.

      The journal’s title references the Institute’s close association with the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site while suggesting the exciting percolations of new ideas that come together in intellectual crucibles – in this case, cultural heritage centres. This third issue of the journal is edited in collaboration with our partners at CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

      Since the establishment of their collaboration in 2012 both IIICH and CHAMP have sought to generate a series of research questions which examine Old World and New World perspectives on cultural heritage. Each side of the Atlantic – North and South – has unique geography, culture and history that is expressed through their individual heritage. Every day, however, people, objects and ideas flow backward and forward across the Atlantic, each shaping the heritage of the other for better or worse and each shaping the meanings and values that heritage conveys. Where, and in what ways are these Trans-Atlantic heritages connected? Where, and in what ways are they not? What can we learn from reflecting on the different contexts and cultures as they produce, consume, absorb, resist, and experience the heritage of the other?

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Archaeologists ousted by ISIS return to ancient Iraqi cave

      Shanidar Cave, in northern Iraq’s mountainous Kurdistan region, is a one-of-a-kind window into...

      Trafficking Culture

      Give and Take: US Museums’ Attitudes and Ethics Toward the Acquisition and Repatriation of West African Cultural Artefacts

      This dissertation explores how a small number of United States museum professionals conceptualize and approach the risks and rights involved in the acquisition and return of traditional West African art. Because no similar sociological or criminological studies exist on the museum community’s response to issues of illicit acquisition and repatriation of cultural objects, this research presents an introductory set of questions and findings in an attempt to initiate wider empirical investigation. Interviews were conducted with seven US museum professionals and subsequently analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The findings of this study indicate that museum professionals within the African art field, while not personally subject to the sensitive issues surrounding the illicit antiquities in the last few decades, have been personally and professionally affected by these events, and that individual museum approaches to these issues are more dependent upon the beliefs and actions of individual curators than upon pre-existing institutional, national, and international policies. Additionally, despite the museum community’s recent emphasis on transparency, there was a notable discomfort and acknowledged sensitivity in discussing these issues.

      AIA Fieldnotes

      A Sicilian Greek Agora

      Event Type (you may select more than one): 
      Start Date: 
      Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 6:00pm

      This lecture has been re-scheduled from last season. Read more »


      AIA Society: 
      Joanne Murphy
      Call for Papers: 

      The Archaeology News Network

      Iron Age settlement revealed near Plymouth

      Experts believe they have unearthed one of Britain's biggest and best-preserved pre-historic settlements near Plymouth. An archaeologist at work on the extensive Iron Age site at Sherford,  near Plymouth [Credit: Guy Channing/Formedia]Evidence of several families living and working on the land more than 3,000 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists in preparation for major building work on the site. The excavation is one...

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

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      True Everywhere, Dealers Profit

      "our existing system...does little to protect heritage sites in situ or to break up criminal trafficking networks" (Donna Yates, 'Reality and Practicality: Challenges to Effective Cultural Property Policy on the Ground in Latin America' International Journal of Cultural Property, Volume 22, Issue2-3, August 2015, pp 337-356 Abstract

      Blogging Pompeii

      News: Pompei: nuovo scavo restituisce le Terme Repubblicane

      From ECampania:
      Pompei: nuovo scavo restituisce le Terme Repubblicane
      Progetto Università Berlino, Oxford University e Soprintendente
      Gli Scavi di Pompei non smettono mai di stupire. L’area archeologica alle falde del Vesuvio restituisce un’altra straordinaria testimonianza della città che fu. Un nuovo scavo, infatti, restituisce le Terme Repubblicane, il quinto dei complessi termali identificati all'interno del sito archeologico e presumibilmente il più antico.
      Read the full article here.

      Byzantine News

      Free Course from Notre Dame University: Introduction to the Quran, the Scripture of the Islam

      About this course

      According to Islamic tradition, the Quran is not simply an inspired scripture. It is a divine book brought down from heaven by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad, and its message is the key to heaven. Join us for an exploration of the scripture that is the word of God to over a billion people.This course will introduce you to various aspects of the Quran, including its basic message, the historical context in which it originated, the diverse ways in which Muslims have interpreted it, and its surprisingly intimate relationship with the Bible. By the end of the course, you will gain an appreciation for the perspectives of Muslim believers and academic scholars alike on the origins and the meaning of the Islamic scripture. No background in Islam or Arabic is necessary for this course.
      Click here for more

      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Le nuove frontiere della creatività: ologrammi e stampe 3D

      Giovedì 15 ottobre 2015 alle ore 17.30 presso il Laboratorio Formentini per l’editoria, in Via Formentini 10 a Milano si terrà un incontro dal titolo "Le nuove frontiere della creatività: ologrammi e stampe 3D" dedicato alle tecnologie basate sulla campionatura in alta definizione per la proiezione olografica e stampa 3D. Lo spunto per discuterne è fornito dall’esperienza maturata da CINECA nella realizzazione del progetto sul rilievo 3D e valorizzazione multimediale del Sarcofago degli Sposi del Museo di Villa Giulia a Roma.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      ISIL Antiquities Trade "Smoking Gun"?


      I have hinted earlier that I am less than convinced of the authenticity of the documents which the US authorities assert were among those seized in their illegal raid on Abu Sayyaf's house and "prove'' the approved story that ISIL are making lots of money from sale of looted antiquities. Only a selection of documents have been presented to the public, and the same photos are depicted in several places, a convenient place to look at them all with a commentary and the background for those not following the story is Christopher Jones' Gates of Nineveh blog.

      Here, I want to concentrate on the 'smoking gun' receipts which aroused my suspicions. We are shown three of them, consecutively numbered 101-103, dated 6th, 11th and 15th December 2014 - six months before Abu Sayyef's killing. All three were issued personally by Abu Sayyaf al-'Iraqi as 'Head of Antiquities Diwan of natural Resources', a  position to which other documents in the collection say he was appointed before (recte Jones who says 'on') November 21, 2014. [There is an excavation permit in the collection issued by him dated 16th October 2014]. He was given the job due to being “very knowledgeable in this field” and because “people in the Levant who work in the field of antiquities are weak of faith and Abu Sayyaf has experience in dealing with them”. He certainly was not "knowledgeable" enough to spot the fakes in (what I persist in seeing as) his own private cache of antiquities also seized by the Americans from his house.

      Note that there is no hint in earlier reports that, even though they knew enough about the guy to know where to find him and plan (no doubt meticulously) a mission to capture him, that they thought/knew he was involved in antiquities. The story was then that he was involved in illicit oil and was wanted in connection with a US hostage issue. The finding of antiquities in Abu Sayyef''s compound seems to have come as a surprise, the people collecting the 'evidence' on the ground do not seem to have been prepared for this beforehand, and thus collected up all sorts of extraneous material (such as that crucible and the Nefertiti).

      The first question I have is where these documents are now. Are they in Iraq together with the antiquities seized in the illegal US raid in Syria?  Were the translations supplied by the Iraqis and if so were they verified against the originals by US scholars? Or are the documents themselves in the US? On what legal basis?

      How many documents like this were found? Where were they in relation to the antiquities, fake antiquities and the crucible seized? In what way were they ordered /stored in Abu Sayyaf's house? As with a archaeological finds, documenting context of discovery is important in interpreting this evidence - indeed establishing that it really was in the place where it is said to have come from. Why were the several specific documents presented selected for showing and what has not been shown yet?

      Why have all the names been redacted out? When the US authorities are announcing a five million dollar reward for information which will allow them to disrupt the illegal antiquities market, why do they hide the evidence of who they say is involved in it? To whom was the letter reminding of Abu Sayyaf's appointment sent? Are the three consecutive receipts we are shown issued to the same "brother" or three different ones? The latter in particular is important evidence of the scope and scale of the circulation of antiquities.

      What the receipts are for is "1/5th of the value of the antiquities sold in Al Khayr governorate". The Al Khayr governorate (wilayah) is more or less the renamed Deir ez-Zor governorate (33,060 km2).  The city itself remains in Syrian government hands (these documents were issued at the time of the Deir ez-Zor offensive) and a few months after the massacre of members of the Shaitat tribe in the region. The "receipts" were allegedly found in Abu Sayyef's house, which was in Al Amr  just to the SE of Deir Ez-Zor in this wilayah. 

      But is the wording not rather strange? Imagine a tax receipt to me:
      I the undersigned head of taxation of the Republic of Poland received from Paul Barford the sum of xxx PLN [being] 18% of earnings in the Institute of Archaeology [signed by recipient and submitter]
      What's missing? Quite clearly is missing the information linking that document with any means of calculating how much I earned (for example a tax return) and for what period this tax is paid. 

      This text looks almost as if written to order to prove an assertion that ISIL is selling antiquities to get the taxes and not as a working document intended to protect the 'brother' dealing in antiquities that he's not paid the state its dues on them all (here continuity of receipts stretching over a stated period of time is needed).

      Why would the receipt be telling me that income tax in Poland (for my pay bracket) is 18%? I know that and do not need that information on a receipt confirming I've paid that sum to the Treasury.

      But this weird phrasing of an alleged administrative document has the appearance of being specifically written to confirm the story (originating from just one US hearsay source)  of the khums tax which ISIL are alleged to be taking on all antiquity sales.

      Why also would I be paying taxes directly to the national head of taxation, rather than in my local tax office? This is especially odd in that the documents presented by the US authorities indicate that under the head of antiquities are two regional offices, for eastern and western governorates. Why are these not the offices to which the three tax-paying 'brothers' would go? 

      The next question concerns the phrase "the value of the antiquities sold in Al-Khayr province". Which 'brothers' are selling antiquities for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the middle of ISIL land and to whom? Were the antiquities sold in Al Khayr governorate to other local dealers/middlemen, or are we talking here about sales to foreign dealers/middlemen coming into ISIL-land to do business? Who established the value of those sales (and where is this documented) and on what basis?

      One possibility cannot be checked until we know the names blacked-out. Are the three recipients of the receipt over ten days, not individual dealers, but the same man?  If so, that would suggest that the person passing the money to Abu Sayyef was the head of the provincial antiquities office who'd collected the payments locally from individual operators and passed them higher up the hierarchy. If that was the case, note the turnover every three or four days. But we cannot check that until an unredacted version of the 'evidence' is released.

      In the meanwhile, let's look at the values (1 Syrian Pound today reportedly equals 0.0053 US Dollar/ 1 USD = 188.7818 SYP):
      101: 6th Dec 2014: one fifth of the total sum sold is 2,960,000 SYP (= $15679)
      102: 11th Dec 2014: one fifth of total sales is  2,152,000 (= $ 11399)
      103: 15th Dec 2014: one fifth of total sales is 191,560 SYP (= $ 1015)
      So in a space of ten days, ISIL raised the equivalent of 28,093 USD in tax from the sale of antiquities in one governorate, and that is one fifth of the total value of sales. The value of the sales therefore declared in just those ten days by whoever it is declaring them totalled something like 140,465 USD. Here it is a problem that we do not know how long a period these tax dues are supposed to have accumulated. (I do not see how Christopher Jones comes to the conclusion on the basis of these three receipts "Totaling all the receipts indicates ISIS has made at least $1.25 million from antiquities smuggling").

      "We have proof"
      But are these documents not "too convenient" to accept without question? Where are the originals, what proof is there that they are authentic material and not some mystification?  There are problems with the documents as presented, their form is strange as administrative documents, but fits perfectly the bill as something that can be used as "proof" of something US authorities have been claiming for a long time but unable to come up with evidence of.  Remember WMD in 2003, they "had documentation" then too, and on that basis took the rest of us to War in the Middle East which, as everyone can see, is why we are now in the mess we are. 

      All very odd. This material deserves more than a "gottcha" slide show at a conference produced like a conjuror pulling a rabbit from a hat. It needs presentation in a proper and full report. Are the US authorities who want to use this information capable of doing that? We will see.

      Dealer Swope Puts the World to Rights

      Mari looting - Swope says the international antiquities trade
      is in no way connected with these holes. Tell us how.

      Tom Swope, ACDAEA "Dealer of Ancient art from around the world" Hudson, NY, United States has a gallery: and he has a blog. The ACDAEA is promoting his latest blog post: "Civilization Under Attack, what can we do?" Monday, September 28, 2015. It is another example of the cardboard cutout thinking that defies rationality. He is disappointed that the reaction to the looting is meetings "bashing the antiquities trade, as if the dealers were responsible for the destruction of the archaeological sites in the Near East" ummm, duh!   The problem is this numpty sees statue/monument smashing and museum trashing as the only form of destruction, and simply shuts his eyes to the  burrowing into the stratigraphy of sites to produce the artefacts like the ones he has in his own gallery (which obviously fell from the skies) as in any way a destructive activity. This is the problem with antiquity dealers (the ACDAEA in particular - a notably underinformed group of people). His blog post also presents the market as entirely a 'high end' affair. "Rich people are not stupid" he says, but not only rich people buy antiquities, and looking at what some of them do, indeed, buy, yes, there are obviously very many completely stupid, ignorant, people out there buying antiquities (or crappy fakes and misdescribed objects masquerading as antiquities). Then he plays the victim. They all do that. Instead of postulating and putting into action steps to clean up the antiquities market, dealers present themselves as helpless victims of an unfair academia who expects more of them. He sees dealers and collectors as saviours of "civilisation":
      However the situation is different now, we are dealing with a new force of evil beyond our comprehension. We need a different approach. I would suggest that in this situation where objects and sites are being actively destroyed that perhaps the moral and right position to take is to purchase everything we can, and hope to encourage looting. There is little doubt in my mind that what is left in the Middle East will not be preserved, rather it is all at risk of destruction. [...] The great museums and collections we have are the repository for our common human history.
      Mr Swope, there are many kinds of evil in the world, and different concepts of what evil is, but two wrongs do not make a right. I'll wager that paying armed militant groups to loot sites so you can have the pleasure of supplying your rich customers with goodies is not exactly high on most peoples' personal list of good deeds. The fact that much of the destruction which he decries was actually facilitated by the artefacts concerned being concentrated in museums escapes him (unless we assume that by "great museums" he means those of the United States of America).

      Note the special pleading in his argument. 
      The destruction of Nimrud was complete, ISIS used high explosives which sent shock waves through the ground, and would have destroyed everything both above ground and underneath. The archaeological site has been effectively and utterly destroyed with nothing left for future generations to discover.  Now the only remnants are what was taken out by the West and currently in our great museums. 
      First of all, just one complex of buildings (formerly a popular tourist site) was destroyed. Secondly, no "high explosives" were used, it was an IED of ammonium nitrate fertiliser used here. The short sequence at the end of the ISIL snuff video showed a site where the top had been blown off, but my own personal opinion is that there was not much (corrugated tin roofing on a light wooden framework) to deflect the force of the explosion down, and that contained in the excavation, it mostly went up and we will find the base of those walls intact - the archaeology of bombed sites in London after the 'Blitz' was still there to be excavated by Grimes and others after the War. Here Mr Swope is heading off the argument that what is not looted is safer in the ground than it would be in a museum. But then ISIL is not blanket bombing very single archaeological site in Iraq and Syria, but dozens of them are being riddled with holes to feed a voracious "ancient art" market one of the motors of which is now idiot texts like that of Mr "purchase everything we can, and hope to encourage looting" Swope. Can we put a stop to this nonsense from dealers and their supporters and have some proper discussions about stopping the illicit trade in smuggled and looted artefacts. I note that not a single one of the antiquities which I looked at in Mr Swope's gallery has a stated collecting history.

      Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

      Friday Varia and Quick Hits

      Fall has sprung this week in North Dakotaland with cool nights and mild days. It’s a lovely time to sell a car, struggle through a late summer cold, hurt one’s back, or even contemplate the enormity of the universe. It was also a good week for writing and preparing a list quick hits and varia.

      Oh, it’s been quite a week for my good friend Dimitri Nakassis who finally became a MacArthur Fellow. Dimitri is one of the really good people in archaeology, and I this prestigious award could not have gone to a better person. Congratulations!  

      MilosWorldIt’s Milo’s world, and we are just allowed to play in it.

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)


      Palmyran funerary sculpture is the largest corpus of portrait sculpture in the Roman world outside Rome, which makes this group of material extremely significant both in relation to issues of identity in the Roman provinces as well as in comparison to core-Roman portraiture studies. Both are facts which have been completely ignored in scholarship until now. There are more than 1500 pieces scattered through various museums and private collections across the world. These have never been collected, catalogued and treated as a single corpus. The aims of this project are therefore threefold: to compile a corpus of all known palmyran funerary portraits, to digitalise the H. Ingholt-archive and to produce text volumes to accompany the corpus as well as a number of publications on various aspects of palmyran sculpture. The corpus and the archive will be made available online. To achieve these goals effectively this project must be undertaken by a group of researchers at various stages in their careers.

      Compitum - événements (tous types)

      Lettres et conflits dans l'Occident tardo-antique et médiéval

      Titre: Lettres et conflits dans l'Occident tardo-antique et médiéval
      Lieu: Universidad de Granada / Granada
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 15.10.2015 - 17.10.2015
      Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

      Information signalée par Nathanaël Nimmegeers

      Lettres et conflits dans l'Occident tardo-antique et médiéval



      9h : Accueil

      9h30 : Bruno Dumézil (Université Paris-Ouest, IUF) et Thomas Deswarte (Université d'Angers), Introduction

      Session 1 : Antiquité tardive et haut Moyen Âge

      10h : Lionel Mary (Université Paris-Ouest) : « Lettres de guerre : la correspondance de Constance II et Shahpur II en 357-358 chez Ammien Marcellin »

      10h 30 : Franz Dolveck (École Française de Rome) : « L'interprétation des dernières lettres entre Ausone et Paulin de Nole, ou comment un conflit peut en cacher un autre »

      11h : Discussion
      11h15 : Pause

      11h30 : Maxime Emion (Université de Rouen), « Les lettres dans la Guerre des Goths de Procope : motif littéraire et réalités militaires »

      12h : Nicolas Drocourt (Université de Nantes), « Une correspondance officielle pour faire la guerre ? De la lettre polémique à la lettre manipulée entre l'Occident latin et Byzance (VIIIe-XIe s.) »

      12h30 : Giulia Cò (Università di Trento), « Lettres pendant le schisme de Photius : Anastase le Bibliothécaire et les byzantins falsificateurs »

      13h : Nathanael Nimmegeers (CIHAM-UMR 5648), « La géographie ecclésiastique, une source de conflits épistolaires au haut Moyen Âge »

      13h30 : Discussion
      14H00 : Repas

      15h30 : Florence Close (Université de Liège) et Christiane Veyrard-Cosme (Université Sorbonne nouvelle-Paris 3), « Blesser par mots au nom du Verbe dans la controverse adoptianiste : étude historique et littéraire des échanges épistolaires entre Alcuin, Félix et Elipand »

      16h : Michael I. Allen (University of Chicago), « Combats fonciers et conflits juridiques chez Loup de Ferrières »

      16h30 : Klaus Herbers (Friedrich Alexander Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg), « A propos d'un conflit religieux : la lettre d'Euloge de Cordoue à Wilisind de Pampelune »

      17h : Discussion.
      17h30 : Pause

      Session 2 : Le Moyen Age central

      18h : Martin Aurell (Université de Poitiers), « La correspondance de guerre de Brian fitz comte (c. 1090-c. 1149) »

      18h30 : Bruno Lemesle (Université de Bourgogne), « Les lettres papales et les conflits électoraux dans l'Église au cours de la seconde moitié du XIIe siècle »

      19h : Discussion


      9h30 : Amélie Rigollet (Université de Poitiers), « Conciliation épistolaire suite à la pendaison de Guillaume de Briouze en 1230 »

      10h : Roland Zingg (Universität Zürich), « Ein Kampf um die Deutungshoheit: Briefe alsWaffenim Becket-Streit »

      10h30 : Discussion

      10h45 : Pause

      Session 3 : Conflits et défis du Moyen Âge tardif

      11h : Néstor Vigil Montes (Universidade de Évora), « Correspondencia para la negociación de la paz luso-castellana tras la batalla de Aljubarrota (1385-1415) »

      11h 30 : Lydwine Scordia (Université de Rouen), « ‘Je veulx savoir incontinent que c'est'. L'information des conflits dans les lettres de Louis XI »

      12h : Sebastian Kubon (Universität Hamburg), « Die Korrespondenz des Deutschordenslandes Preußen in den außenpolitischen Konfliktenum 1400 : ‚Schwert‘ oder ‚Schild‘? Briefe als Instrumente zur Eskalation, Abwehr oder Beilegung von Konflikten »

      12h30 : Discussion.
      13h : Repas.


      9h30 : Rafael Peinado et Juan Manuel Martín García (Universidad de Granada), « El conde de Tendilla, primer alcaide de la Alhambra, en la correspondencia de su protegido Pedro Mártir de Anglería »

      10 h : Luciano Piffanelli (Università La Sapienza, Roma), « ‘Chonsiderati ‘e tempi in che ci truoviamo…' La correspondance politique des commissaires florentins au XVe siècle entre gestion des conflits et enjeux diplomatiques »

      10h30 : Discussion
      10h45 : Pause

      11h : Valérie Toureille (Université de Cergy-Pontoise), « Légitimité de la guerre et usage des lettres de défi en Lorraine au XVe siècle »

      11h 30 : Laurent Vissière (Université Paris IV, IUF), « Dialogue épistolaire, défi, insultes. Les lettres ouvertes du duc d'Orléans et d'Henri IV d'Angleterre

      12h : Sára Vybíralová (EHESS), « Le rôle du motif de la trahison dans les lettres de défi en Bohême du XVe siècle »

      12h30 : Discussion

      12h45 : Daniel Baloup (Université Toulouse 2), Conclusions

      Lieu de la manifestation : Grenade
      Organisation : Thomas Deswarte, Bruno Dumézil, Laurent Vissière
      Contact : Nathanaël Nimmegeers (

      Présence de Théocrite

      Titre: Présence de Théocrite
      Lieu: ENS Lyon / Lyon
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 14.10.2015 - 17.10.2015
      Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

      Information signalée par Ch. Kossaifi

      Présence de Théocrite


      Mercredi 14 octobre (ENS Lyon)

      9h30 : Accueil
      10 h : Introduction ; discours d'accueil
      Session 1 : Modalités du discours poétique
      10h30 : M. Fantuzzi : « Happy Love Actually »
      11h : M. Briand : « L'éloge et le blâme dans les Idylles de Théocrite : pragmatique des genres et des discours »
      11h30 : Ch. Kossaifi : « La houlette de Mnémosyne. Recueillir et transmettre le chant poétique dans les Idylles de Théocrite »

      12 h : repas

      Session 2 : Images, contexte et trivialisation
      14h : M. Papadopoulou : « Poems from the world of wool: Dress and identity in Theocritus' Idylls »
      14h 30 : E. Prioux : « Théocrite et la fabrique des images »
      15 h : L. Bouly de Lesdain : « Le quotidien héroïque d'Héraclès (Théocrite, Idylle XXIV) »

      15h30 : Pause

      Session 3 : Magie et savoir
      16 h : A. Köhnken: « Love-magic, Lover's grief and lover's complaint in Idyll 2 and 14 »
      16h 30 : V. Pace : « Magic, Genre and Gender in Theocritus' Idylls 2 and 15 »
      17h 00 : C. Longobardi : « La presenza di Teocrito nei commentari scolastici della tarda antichità »

      Jeudi 15 octobre (ENS Lyon)

      Session 4 : Poésie et philosophie
      9h00 : A. Testut-Prouha : « Théocrite, lecteur du Phèdre de Platon »
      9h30 : A. Billault : « Les Idylles de Théocrite et le Phèdre de Platon »

      10 h : Pause

      Session 5 : Théocrite et ses devanciers
      10h 30 : E. Pezzani : « Nature et poésie: images poétologiques de Hésiode à Théocrite »
      11 h 00 : B. Daniel-Muller : « Les Argonautiques : un hypotexte méconnu de l'Idylle II de Théocrite »

      12 h : repas

      Session 6 : Virgile et Théocrite
      14 h : M. Giuseppetti : « I rimedi dell'amore: dal Ciclope teocriteo al Gallo virgiliano »
      14h 30 : A. Kolde : « Le bétail bucolique, de Théocrite à Virgile »

      [Départ en car pour Clermont-Ferrand]
      Vendredi 16 octobre (Clermont-Ferrand)

      Session 7 : Présences féminines
      9h00 : F. Manakidou : « Women and politics in Theocritus »
      9h30 : C. Cusset : « Les voix féminines dans les Idylles de Théocrite : une question de genre ? »
      10h : A. Fountoulakis : « Sexual Jealousy in Theocritus and Lucian : Rethinking Gender Roles and Generic Identities »

      10 h 30 : Pause

      Session 8 : Autour de quelques discours amoureux
      11h : F. Cairns: « Theocritus' Idyll 3 »
      11h 30 : J. Pilipovic : « Phármakon des Piérides. L'aspect érotologique de l'Idylle 11 de Théocrite »

      12h 00 : Repas

      Session 9 : Les poètes augustéens et Théocrite
      14h : F. Daspet : « Les lieux de chant dans les Idylles pastorales de Théocrite et dans les Bucoliques de Virgile »
      14h30 : A. Remillard : « Virgile, Egl. 6 et la tradition bucolique grecque »
      15h : F. Collin : « L'Arcadie de Théocrite et de Virgile »
      15h30 : H. Vial : « Théocrite id. XI et Ovide, Mét., XIII »

      16h : Pause

      Session 10 : Postérité de Théocrite
      16h 30 : D. Driscoll : « Parting with Pastoral: Theocritus in literary imperial symposia »
      17h : J. Bastick : « Présences de Théocrite dans le roman byzantin de Nicétas Eugénianos »
      17h 30 : C. Chauvin : « Un écho de Théocrite : la renaissance de la poésie pastorale »

      Samedi 17 octobre (Clermont-Ferrand)

      Session 11 : Postérité de Théocrite
      9h00 : C. Laime-Couturier : « Théocrite à Ferrare, 1553 »
      9h30 : T. Ragno : « The sorceress' song. Theocritus' text on the operatic stage: the case of Antonio Cipollini's Simeta(1889) »
      10h00 : R. Poignault : « Marguerite Yourcenar et Théocrite »
      10h30 : Pause

      Session 12 : Des idées et des mots
      11h : M. Borea : « L'emploi de la langue et du mètre éoliens chez Théocrite (Idylles XXVIII-XXX) : interactions rythmico-accentuelles et jeux phoniques »
      11h30 : H. Richer : « L'emploi des diminutifs dans les idylles des trois bucolici graeci (Théocrite, Moschos et Bion) »
      12h : R. Nauta : « Metalepsis in Bucolic Poetry: Theocritus and his Successors »

      Lieu de la manifestation : Lyon et Clermont-Ferrand
      Organisation : Christine Kossaifi, Rémy Poignault, Christophe Cusset
      Contact :

      Formes linguistiques et genres de textes en grec ancien et en latin

      Titre: Formes linguistiques et genres de textes en grec ancien et en latin
      Lieu: Université de Liège / Liège
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 15.10.2015 - 16.10.2015
      Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

      Information signalée par Emmanuel Dupraz

      Formes linguistiques et genres de textes en grec ancien et en latin


      Formes linguistiques et genres de textes en grec ancien et en latin

      15 et 16 octobre 2015

      Université de Liège
      Place du XX-Août 7, 4000 Liège

      Journées d'études organisées par le LASLA - Laboratoire d'Analyse Statistique des Langues Anciennes (Université de Liège) en collaboration avec les laboratoires
      Philixte - Études littéraires, philologiques et textuelles (Université Libre de Bruxelles) et Archéologie et Sciences de l'Antiquité (Université Paris-Ouest)

      Jeudi 15 octobre – Salle des Professeurs
      14h00-14h30 : Emmanuel Dupraz (ULB), Les substantifs abstraits en -tudo chez Cicéron
      14h45-15h15 : Suzanne Adema et Lidewij van Gils (Universiteit van Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Epistularum genera multa, A linguistic approach and didactic use of text types in the epistolary genre (Cicero and Pliny)
      15h30-16h00 : Pause
      16h00-16h30 : Fabienne Fatello (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand II et ULB), Les visées communicatives de QVANDO liées au genre littéraire
      16h45-17h15 : Dominique Longrée (ULg et U.Saint-Louis, Bruxelles), Données des bases latines du LASLA et classification générique

      Vendredi 16 octobre – Salle de l'Horloge
      09h00-09h30 : Olga Spevak (Université de Toulouse), Apport des textes épigraphiques préclassiques à la syntaxe latine
      09h45-10h15 : Amina Kropp (Université de Mannheim), „Wenn Worte töten können ...“: Der Beitrag der defixiones für die Sprechakt-Theorie
      10h30-11h : Pause
      11h-11h30 : Audrey Mathys (Fondation Thiers), Constructions dites «personnelles» et genres littéraires en grec ancien
      11h45-12h15 : Camille Denizot (Université Paris-Ouest), L'invocation divine comme marqueur générique

      Renseignements : Dominique Longrée (, Emmanuel Dupraz (, Camille Denizot (

      Comité organisateur :
      Camille Denizot, Université de Paris-Ouest
      Emmanuel Dupraz, Université Libre de Bruxelles
      Dominique Longrée, Université de Liège et U.Saint-Louis, Bruxelles

      Comité scientifique :
      Colette Bodelot, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand II
      Marie-Dominique Joffre, Université de Poitiers
      Federico Panchón Cabañeros, Université de Salamanca
      Bruno Rochette, Université de Liège

      Lieu de la manifestation : Université de Liège, Place du XX-Août 7, 4000 Liège
      Organisation : Camille Denizot, Emmanuel Dupraz et Dominique Longrée
      Contact :,,

      Le théâtre néo-latin en France (1500-1630)

      Titre: Le théâtre néo-latin en France (1500-1630)
      Lieu: Université de Bourgogne / Dijon
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 22.10.2015 - 24.10.2015
      Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

      Information signalée par Pascale Paré-Rey

      Le théâtre néo-latin en France (1500-1630)


      Jeudi 22 octobre MSH, Université de Bourgogne

      14h00 Accueil des participants

      14h30 Introduction du colloque

      Session 1, sous la présidence de FLORIAN SCHAFFENRATH (directeur du Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Neulateinische Studien, Innsbruck)

      15h PERRINE GALAND (EPHE), « Le Palamedes (Paris, 1512) de Remacle d'Ardennes »

      15h30 ARNAUD LAIMÉ (u. Paris VIII – Vincennes Saint-Denis), « Les tragédies religieuses de Quinziano Stoa, Theoandrothanatos et Theocrisis (Christiana opera, Paris, Jean Petit, 1514) »

      16h Discussion et pause

      16h30 ESTELLE DOUDET (u. de Grenoble, IUF), « Moralités et théâtre vernaculaire en latin. Autour de Ravisius Textor »

      17h JELLE KOOPMANS (u. d'Amsterdam, Académie royale des Pays-Bas), « La scène latine comme lieu de débat et lieu de combat ».

      17h30 discussion


      Vendredi 23 octobre MSH, Université de Bourgogne

      Session 2, sous la présidence de MONIQUE MUND-DOPCHIE (université de Louvain-laNeuve, Académie royale de Belgique)

      9h30 NATHAËL ISTASSE (Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique), « La réception européenne des Dialogi de J. Ravisius Textor »

      10h JAN BLOEMENDAL (Huygens Instituut, Académie royale des Pays-Bas), « A Dutch playwright in France and in Poland : An annotated edition of the Acolastus by Guilielmus Gnapheus (Gabriel Prateolus/Dupréau, Paris, 1554). »

      10h30 Discussion et pause

      11h MATHIEU FERRAND (u. de Louvain-la-Neuve) : « La comédie néo-latine des collèges parisiens (1533-1554) »

      11h30 VIRGINIE LEROUX (u. de Reims), « Tragique, admiration et eschatologie : le modèle du Julius Caesar de Marc-Antoine Muret »

      12h Discussion

      Session 3, sous la présidence de JAN BLOEMENDAL (Huygens Instituut, Académie royale des Pays-Bas)

      14h30 CARINE FERRADOU (u. d'Aix-Marseille) et NATHALIE CATELLANI (u. de Picardie), « Buchanan, modèle du théâtre humaniste français »

      15h EMMANUEL BURON (u. de Rennes), « Le triomphe et le sacrifice. La tragédie comme rituel de mort chez Buchanan, Bèze, Muret et Jodelle »

      15h30 Discussion et pause

      16h JOHN NASSICHUK (u. of Western Ontario), « Un théâtre, mais de la conversion : le heurt des civilisations chez Claude Roillet, poète tragique »

      16h30 NINA HUGOT (u. de Lyon III – Jean Moulin), « La Philanire (1556) de Claude Roillet »

      17h Discussion

      18h Spectacle « Qui veut la peau de Pragmatique Sanction ? » par les étudiants de l'université de Bourgogne (d'après le Dialogus super abolitione pragmaticae sanctionis – texte établi et traduit par M. Ferrand). Salle de l'Atheneum


      Samedi 24 octobre salle de l'Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon

      Session 4, sous la présidence de JELLE KOOPMANS (université d'Amsterdam, Académie royale des Pays-Bas)

      9h30 ERIC SYSSAU (Archives départementales de l'Isère), « La tragédie au collège de Navarre (1557-1558) »

      10h SYLVIE LAIGNEAU-FONTAINE (u. de Bourgogne) et CATHERINE PÉZERET (CESR), « Susanna, une tragi-comédie de Charles Godran (Dijon, 1571) »

      10h30 Discussion et pause

      11h MONIQUE MUND-DOPCHIE (u. de Louvain-la-Neuve, Académie royale de Belgique), « Le Parabata vinctus (1595) de Jacques-Auguste de Thou »

      11h30 PATRICIA EHL (u. de Lorraine), « Jean Portier (1589 ?- 1660), “très docte et excellent poète” ou “rimailleur latin” ? La tragédie d'Athamas (1621) »

      12h Discussion

      12h20 Conclusion

      Avec le soutien de
      l'Université de Bourgogne, E.A. « Centre Pluridisciplinaire Textes et Cultures » (CPTC)
      l'École pratique des Hautes Études, E.A. « Savoirs et Pratiques du Moyen Âge au XIXe siècle » (SAPRAT)
      l'Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon
      L'ATHENEUM centre culturel de l'Université de Bourgogne

      Lieu de la manifestation : Dijon, Université de Bourgogne
      Organisation : Sylvie Laigneau-Fontaine, Perrine Galand, Mathieu Ferrand
      Contact :

      La Collection des douze Pères de Florus de Lyon, un carrefour des traditions patristiques au IXe s.

      Titre: La Collection des douze Pères de Florus de Lyon, un carrefour des traditions patristiques au IXe s.
      Lieu: École Française de Rome / Rome
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 26.10.2015 - 27.10.2015
      Heure: 09.45 h - 16.00 h

      Information signalée par Camille Gerzaguet

      La « Collection des douze Pères » de Florus de Lyon,

      un carrefour des traditions patristiques au IXe siècle


      Lundi 26 octobre, 9h30-12h15 ; moderatore : Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk
      9h30 Accueil des participants (Stéphane BOURDIN)

      Introduction (Anne-Marie TURCAN-VERKERK)

      9h45 Pierre CHAMBERT-PROTAT, École Pratique des Hautes Études : «Un thrésor abbrégé de tout ce que les Saincts Pères ont écrit sur les Epistres de Saint Paul.» Nouveaux faits, réflexions et questions sur le grand œuvre de Florus.

      10h30 Laetitia CICCOLINI, Université Paris IV – Sorbonne : Florus témoin du texte de Cyprien de Carthage : questions de méthode, études de cas.

      11h30 Marc MILHAU, Université de Poitiers : Les citations d'Hilaire de Poitiers dans la « Collection des douze Pères » de Florus de Lyon : présentation générale ; étude d'un cas particulier : le témoignage des folios 9r à 16v du manuscrit Paris, BnF lat. 152.

      Lundi 26 octobre, 14h30-16h ; moderatore : Antonio Manfredi, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

      14h30 Camille GERZAGUET, Fondation Thiers – EFR : L' Ambroise de Florus

      15h15 Emanuela COLOMBI, Università di Udine : Les Pères grecs dans la Collectio de Florus

      Mardi 27 octobre, 9h30-13h00 ; moderatore : Paul Mattei, Université Lumière Lyon 2

      9h30 Jérémy DELMULLE, KU Leuven-BnF : L'autre expositio augustinienne de Florus de Lyon : les Sententiae a beato Fulgentio expositae de la « Collection des douze Pères »

      10h15 Franz DOLVECK, École française de Rome : Paulin de Nole, Florus et les manuscrits des Douze Pères

      11h15 Shari BOODTS, KU Leuven : Les sermons d' Augustin dans la bibliothèque de Florus. Perspectives comparatistes avec la Collectio ex dictis XII Patrum

      12h Table-ronde et bilan

      Lieu de la manifestation : Rome, École française de Rome, 62, piazza Navona
      Organisation : Pierre Chambert-Protat, Franz Dolveck, Camille Gerzaguet
      Contact : Giulia Cirenei :

      Grammaire latine tardo-antique

      Titre: Grammaire latine tardo-antique
      Lieu: Université Paris Diderot - Paris VII / Paris
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 03.10.2015

      Information signalée par Cécile Conduché

      Séance scientifique : « Grammaire latine tardo-antique »

      Deux questions de mise en ordre du lexique


      10h-10h15. Cécile Conduché (Fondation Thiers, HTL)
      Introduction à la séance.

      10h15-11h15. Javier Uría (Université de Saragosse, membre associé à HTL)
      « Homonimia y las partes orationis en los gramáticos latinos ».

      11h15-11h30. Pause.

      11h30-12h30. Cécile Conduché (Fondation Thiers, HTL)
      « Le De verbo d'Eutychès : un état de l'analyse morphologique à la fin de l'Antiquité ».

      Lieu de la manifestation : Paris, Université Paris Diderot – Campus des Grands Moulins Halle aux Farines – Salle 165 E, 1er étage Entrée E : 9, Esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet ou 10, rue Françoise Dolto, 75013 – Paris
      Organisation : Laboratoire d'histoire des théories linguistiques (UMR 7597)

      Le discours féminin chez Tacite

      Titre: Le discours féminin chez Tacite
      Lieu: Université Lyon II - Louis Lumière / Lyon
      Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
      Date: 10.11.2015
      Heure: 09.45 h - 16.00 h

      Information signalée par Pauline Duchêne

      Historiographies antiques

      séminaire de recherche en historiographie antique


      Samedi 17 octobre 2015
      ENS Ulm, salle Weil (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Mathilde Mahé (ENS Ulm), « Les aspects littéraires dans le livre X de Tite-Live ».
      Répondant : Marine Miquel, doctorante (« Le récit de la conquête romaine chez Tite-Live : espace et imperium dans l'Ab Urbe condita », sous la direction de C. Guittard, Paris 10).

      Mardi 10 novembre 2015
      Lyon 2, Bât. Déméter, salle D205 (16h-18h)
      Intervenant : Isabelle Cogitore (Grenoble 3), « Le discours féminin chez Tacite » (sous réserve de changement).
      avec Louis Autin (doctorant Grenoble 3, sous la direction d'I. Cogitore, « Bruit de la foule chez Tacite »).
      Répondant : Antoine Jayat, doctorant (« Edition, traduction et commentaire de Cassius Dion, Histoire romaine, livres 43 et 44 », sous la direction de V. Fromentin et d'E. Bertrand, Bordeaux 3).

      Samedi 5 décembre 2015
      ENS Ulm, salle F (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Georges Vassiliadès (Paris-Sorbonne, doctorant, « La res publica et sa décadence : de Salluste à Tite-Live », sous la direction de M. Ducos) : « Écrire sous les triumvirs : Salluste et sa position politique ».
      Répondant : Raphaëlle Laignoux, MCF (Paris 1), spécialiste de la fin de la République romaine et des débuts du Principat.

      Mardi 19 janvier 2016
      Lyon 2, salle à déterminer (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Clément Chillet (EFR), « Le Mécène de Sénèque ou la déconstruction d'un exemplum philosophique ».
      Répondant : Aliénor Cartoux, doctorante (« Auguste, la religion et l'idéologie du pouvoir au miroir des poètes augustéens », sous la direction de M. Ledentu, Lyon 3).

      Samedi 6 février 2016
      ENS Ulm, salle F (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Mario Baumann (Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen), « Arabia revisited : narrative frequency and the function of repetitions in Diodorus' Bibliotheke ».
      Répondant :  Aurélien Pulice, doctorant (« La réception de Thucydide : étude des Scholies », sous la direction de V. Fromentin, Bordeaux 3).

      Mardi 29 mars 2016
      Lyon 2, salle à déterminer (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Marie Ledentu (Lyon 3) : « Quand l'histoire s'écrit en vers : l'exemple des poètes augustéens ».
      Répondant : Florian Barrière, MCF (Grenoble 3), spécialiste de Lucain.

      Samedi 30 avril 2016
      ENS Ulm, salle F (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Estelle Oudot (Université de Bourgogne) : « Biaios didaskalos : les heures noires de l'Athènes en guerre dans la rhétorique grecque de l'époque impériale ».
      Répondant : Guillemette Mérot, doctorante (« L'usage des poètes. Formes et fonctions des références poétiques dans la théorie et la pratique oratoires romaines de l'époque flavienne », sous la direction de S. Franchet d'Esperey, Paris Sorbonne).

      Mai 2016, Lyon 2
      Appel à communication.

      Les mises à jour de ce programme, ainsi que le texte de chaque communication, seront publiés sur le blog du séminaire, à l'adresse :

      Lieu de la manifestation : École normale supérieure de Paris ; Université Lumière Lyon 2
      Organisation : P. Duchêne ; M. Bellissime ; V. Hollard
      Contact :

      Les aspects littéraires dans le livre X de Tite-Live

      Titre: Les aspects littéraires dans le livre X de Tite-Live
      Lieu: ENS Ulm / Paris
      Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
      Date: 17.10.2015
      Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

      Information signalée par Pauline Duchêne

      Historiographies antiques

      séminaire de recherche en historiographie antique


      Samedi 17 octobre 2015
      ENS Ulm, salle Weil (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Mathilde Mahé (ENS Ulm), « Les aspects littéraires dans le livre X de Tite-Live ».
      Répondant : Marine Miquel, doctorante (« Le récit de la conquête romaine chez Tite-Live : espace et imperium dans l'Ab Urbe condita », sous la direction de C. Guittard, Paris 10).

      Mardi 10 novembre 2015
      Lyon 2, Bât. Déméter, salle D205 (16h-18h)
      Intervenant : Isabelle Cogitore (Grenoble 3), « Le discours féminin chez Tacite » (sous réserve de changement).
      avec Louis Autin (doctorant Grenoble 3, sous la direction d'I. Cogitore, « Bruit de la foule chez Tacite »).
      Répondant : Antoine Jayat, doctorant (« Edition, traduction et commentaire de Cassius Dion, Histoire romaine, livres 43 et 44 », sous la direction de V. Fromentin et d'E. Bertrand, Bordeaux 3).

      Samedi 5 décembre 2015
      ENS Ulm, salle F (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Georges Vassiliadès (Paris-Sorbonne, doctorant, « La res publica et sa décadence : de Salluste à Tite-Live », sous la direction de M. Ducos) : « Écrire sous les triumvirs : Salluste et sa position politique ».
      Répondant : Raphaëlle Laignoux, MCF (Paris 1), spécialiste de la fin de la République romaine et des débuts du Principat.

      Mardi 19 janvier 2016
      Lyon 2, salle à déterminer (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Clément Chillet (EFR), « Le Mécène de Sénèque ou la déconstruction d'un exemplum philosophique ».
      Répondant : Aliénor Cartoux, doctorante (« Auguste, la religion et l'idéologie du pouvoir au miroir des poètes augustéens », sous la direction de M. Ledentu, Lyon 3).

      Samedi 6 février 2016
      ENS Ulm, salle F (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Mario Baumann (Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen), « Arabia revisited : narrative frequency and the function of repetitions in Diodorus' Bibliotheke ».
      Répondant :  Aurélien Pulice, doctorant (« La réception de Thucydide : étude des Scholies », sous la direction de V. Fromentin, Bordeaux 3).

      Mardi 29 mars 2016
      Lyon 2, salle à déterminer (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Marie Ledentu (Lyon 3) : « Quand l'histoire s'écrit en vers : l'exemple des poètes augustéens ».
      Répondant : Florian Barrière, MCF (Grenoble 3), spécialiste de Lucain.

      Samedi 30 avril 2016
      ENS Ulm, salle F (14h-16h)
      Intervenant : Estelle Oudot (Université de Bourgogne) : « Biaios didaskalos : les heures noires de l'Athènes en guerre dans la rhétorique grecque de l'époque impériale ».
      Répondant : Guillemette Mérot, doctorante (« L'usage des poètes. Formes et fonctions des références poétiques dans la théorie et la pratique oratoires romaines de l'époque flavienne », sous la direction de S. Franchet d'Esperey, Paris Sorbonne).

      Mai 2016, Lyon 2
      Appel à communication.

      Les mises à jour de ce programme, ainsi que le texte de chaque communication, seront publiés sur le blog du séminaire, à l'adresse :

      Lieu de la manifestation : École normale supérieure de Paris ; Université Lumière Lyon 2
      Organisation : P. Duchêne ; M. Bellissime ; V. Hollard
      Contact :

      Alter et ipse

      Titre: Alter et ipse
      Lieu: Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III / Montpellier
      Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
      Date: 19.10.2015
      Heure: 09.00 h - 17.30 h

      Information signalée par Jérôme LAGOUANERE

      Alter et ipse

      Date de début : Lundi 19 octobre 2015

      Séminaire 5 : Les médiations de soi et de l'autre : le masque et le corps (resp. I. David) :

      Lundi 19 octobre 2015, 16h30-18h30, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, site Rue de Mende, Bâtiment H, salle 108A.

      Guillaume Navaud (CRLC, Paris IV Sorbonne) : « Identité personnelle et pluralité des rôles : la polytropie de l'acteur, du sophiste et du sage (d'Ulysse à Richard II) ».

      Agnès Lafont (Université Paul Valéry, IRCL), « Quelques réflexions sur le masque et le corps du 'boy actor' dans le théâtre élisabéthain: le cas de la tragédie de Christopher Marlowe, "Didon Reine de Carthage" (1584) ».

      Lieu de la manifestation : Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, site rue de Mende, 341199 MONTPELLIER Cedex 5, Bâtiment H, salle 108A
      Organisation : Jérôme LAGOUANERE, Isabelle DAVID
      Contact :

      Les Pères de l'Eglise à l'écoute du peuple

      Titre: Les Pères de l'Eglise à l'écoute du peuple
      Lieu: Université de La Rochelle / La Rochelle
      Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
      Date: 09.10.2015 - 11.10.2015
      Heure: 17.30 h - 19.30 h

      Information signalée par Marie-Laure Chaieb et Michel Cozic

      Les Pères de l'Eglise à l'écoute du peuple.

      Sensus fidelium et discours autorisés durant l'antiquité tardive


      La 7ème édition du colloque de patristique et d'histoire ancienne de la Rochelle aura pour thème "les Pères de l'Eglise à l'écoute du peuple - Sensus fidelium et discours autorisés durant l'antiquité tardive. Le colloque scientifique, animé par une vingtaine d'intervenants, universitaires français et étrangers, se veut interdisciplinaire : la question sera donc étudiée par des historiens, littéraires, théologiens et juristes.


      Vendredi 9 octobre
      Aux origines du sensus fidelium
      Président de séance : Ph. Blaudeau
      9h accueil et mot du doyen de la faculté de Droit

      9h30 Michel-Yves Perrin, EPHE
      Conférence inaugurale

      10h15 Marie-Laure Chaieb, UMR 8167 Antiquité classique et tardive, UCO Angers
      Aux origines du Sensus fidelium, la « règle de vérité » d'Irénée de Lyon.

      10h45 discussion

      11h pause

      11h15 Marcel Metzger, Université de Strasbourg
      L'avis de la communauté dans l'Antiquité chrétienne (admission des catéchumènes au baptême, admission des pénitents).

      11h45 Davide Dainese, Università di Bologna
      Sensum fidei et appartenance à l'Église après la Grande Persécution de Dioclétien (313)

      12h15 discussion

      12h30 déjeuner

      Peuples et pasteurs dans les débats en langue grecque (IVès.)
      Présidente de séance : F. Thélamon

      14h 15 Xavier Batllo, Abbaye St Pierre de Solesmes
      Le sensus fidei d'Eusèbe de Césarée devant la doctrine de Marcel d'Ancyre

      14h45 Michel Cozic,Université de Poitiers
      Basile le Grand, un pasteur à l'écoute des fidèles et de tous au IVè s. d'après sa correspondance

      15h15 discussion

      15h30 pause

      15h45 Charbel Maalouf , Institut catholique de Paris
      Entre la foi spontanée et la foi réfléchie : quelle attitude adopte Grégoire de Nysse dans son discours théologique ?

      16h15 Pablo Argarate, Université de Graz
      La foi au St Esprit dans les débats pneumatomaques (les adversaires du St Esprit) aux IV-Vèmes s.

      16h45 Pascal-G Delage, Caritaspatrum
      Constantinople 403 : le peuple contre les moines ou comment Dieu peut-il reconnaître les siens ?

      17h15 discussion

      Samedi 10 octobre
      Sensus fidelium en espace latin
      Présidente de séance : ML Chaieb

      9h Thomas Deswarte, Université d'Angers
      Les laïcs dans les conciles wisigothiques

      9h30 Françoise Thelamon, Normandie Université- Rouen, Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Rouen
      Discernement et simplicitas fidei de fidèles anonymes, agents de l'histoire du salut.

      10h Augustin Pic , Faculté de théologie , UCO- Angers
      Le sensus fidelium selon Augustin : la figure de Monique.

      10h30 discussion

      10h45 pause

      11h Benoît Jeanjean, Université de Brest
      Pourquoi le sensus fidelium est-il étranger à la pensée de saint Jérome?

      11h30 Jean Guyon , Centre Camille –Jullian CNRS, Université Aix-Marseille
      À propos de quelques documents provençaux : l'archéologie, un possible témoin du sensus fidelium et des pratiques et discours autorisés dans les Églises de l'Antiquité tardive ?

      12h discussion puis déjeuner

      A l'écoute du peuple durant l'Antiquité tardive ?
      Président de séance Pascal Delage

      14h Thibault Joubert , Institut catholique de Paris
      Les élections épiscopales des origines au Ve siècle : une ecclesio-genèse ?

      14h30 Hervé-Elie Bokobsa
      Définir la norme du peuple d'Israël à partir de l'époque de l'ère talmudique et dans la littérature rabbinique plus tardive.

      15h discussion

      15h15 pause

      15h30 Philippe Blaudeau, IUF, Université d'Angers
      Discernement ou confusion? Les préférences christologiques du peuple d'Alexandrie (Ve-VIe s.) d'après le Breviarium causae nestorianorum et eutychianorum de Liberatus de Carthage

      16h Dominique Gonnet
      Le sensus fidelium chez les Pères syriaques

      16h30 discussion

      16h45 Paul Mattei, Université Lyon II


      Dimanche 11 octobre

      A l'écoute du peuple dans les Eglises chrétiennes aujourd'hui.
      Accueil présidence de séance par Mgr Housset

      9h30 M. Stavrou, Institut Saint-Serge, chercheur associé au Centre d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance (UMR 8167, CNRS).
      La redécouverte du sensus fidei - sensus fidelium dans la théologie orthodoxe contemporaine.

      10h10 E. Boone, Centre théologique de Poitiers
      La synodalité comme mise en valeur du sensus fidei dans l'enseignement du deuxième concile du Vatican.

      10h50 pause

      11h W. Steuernagel, Pasteur de l'Eglise Protestante Unie de France, Consistoire de Charente-Maritime
      Confiants d'être guidés par l'Esprit – les protestants, entre communauté et foi individuelle, mais à l'écoute de la volonté de Dieu

      11h40 A. Wellens , Caritaspatrum
      Le peuple dans les marges de l'art religieux médiéval

      12h10 discussion et fin.

      Lieu de la manifestation : Faculté de Droit , 45 rue François de Vaux-de-Foletier, La Rochelle
      Organisation : Caritaspatrum, UCO Angers
      Contact :

      Lecture et critique des manuscrits latins

      Titre: Lecture et critique des manuscrits latins
      Lieu: ENS Ulm / Paris
      Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
      Date: 06.10.2015
      Heure: 17.30 h - 19.30 h

      Information signalée par Cécile Lanéry

      Lecture et critique des manuscrits latins

      Date de début : mardi 6 octobre 2015
      Date de fin : fin mai 2016

      Tous les mardis, de 17h30 à 19h30, salle de séminaire du Centre d'études anciennes à l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris.
      Début des cours : 6 octobre 2015. Accès libre.

      Le cours est ouvert à tous ceux qui, sachant du latin, ont la curiosité (ou la nécessité) de se reporter aux témoins antiques, médiévaux ou modernes qui nous ont transmis les œuvres de l'Antiquité, païenne ou chrétienne, et du Moyen Âge. Il ne suppose aucune connaissance préalable, si ce n'est une certaine familiarité avec la langue latine. Il amène les participants à lire (en les comprenant !) une grande variété de textes, et à réfléchir aux méthodes d'édition qu'il convient de leur appliquer. Outre la formation de base nécessaire à l'édition des textes anciens (paléographie, codicologie, histoire des textes, ecdotique), le séminaire inclura des visites de bibliothèques et des conférences faites par des intervenants extérieurs.

      Lieu de la manifestation : Ecole Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris
      Organisation : Cécile Lanéry (CNRS)
      Contact :

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      Christian Meteorology

      Westboro Baptist National Weather Service

      I had been meaning to blog about “Christian meteorology” again well before Westboro Baptist Church announced their plan to picket the National Weather Service. While the Bible contains not a single reference to picketing, it is clear that God controls the weather. And so if one is going to object to the practice and the teaching of “secular science,” it would be natural to focus on meteorology – which explains weather in terms of high and low pressure, humidity, warm and cold fronts, and a range of other things without ever mentioning God. Evolution is less obviously at odds with the Bible than secular weather reporting is.

      On this topic, see Neil Carter’s post on Christian meteorology and his follow-up on whether Christianity and evolution are incompatible. And Chaplain Mike wrote:

      All of life is sacred, but that does not mean we must talk about all of life in sacred, special language. We can talk about mathematics in mathematical terms, the sciences in scientific terms, history in terms of people and events in the context of natural human and societal processes, human relationships in terms of the actual physical, emotional, down to earth things we experience in life.

      As people of faith, we are certainly free to talk about how we think God is involved in anymatter — that is a legitimate topic of inquiry. And it is always appropriate to be thankful to God and cognizant of God’s presence. But we don’t have to automatically bring God-language into every conversation or consciously try to speak of God’s participation in every matter we discuss.

      In fact, to do so is to act in a way that is contrary to the way God made the world. He has hidden himself, by and large, and left it to humans to discover this world and this life and give our own language to our experiences.



      Jim Davila (

      Dead Sea Scrolls workshop report

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      Satlow on Ben Sira

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      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Makars: prima Scuola in Italia di Fabbricazione Digitale per i Beni Culturali

      Nasce a Roma "Makars", la prima Scuola in Italia di Fabbricazione Digitale per i Beni Culturali, grazie alla collaborazione tra 3D ArcheoLab e SPQwoRk Factory e con il sostegno di professionisti e importanti aziende del settore.

      Jim Davila (

      Research fellowship at the John Rylands Library

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      Fulton, Reconsidering Nehemiah's Judah

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      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Make/Florence: Creativi in gara per ideare innovativi Souvenir da Firenze

      Dal 17 al 20 novembre si svolgerà a Firenze una gara molto particolare, aperta ad artigiani, designer, maker, esperti di comunicazione e appassionati di nuove tecnologie.

      Jim Davila (


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      Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

      Pesci-robot proteggere Venezia dall'acqua alta

      Si chiama Venus Swarm ed è uno sciame di droni sottomarini che imitano il comportamento dei pesci per il controllo dei fondali. Presentata il 1 Ottobre a EXPO Venice, la tecnologia è stata messa a punto da ENEA e dall'Università di Roma Tor Vergata per controllare il MOSE, l'insieme di paratie per difendere la Laguna veneta dall'alta marea.

      Liz Gloyn (Classically Inclined)

      Gamifying Intermediate Latin – the first year

      Following on from my noodlings here about whether I should submit my gamification of intermediate Latin for a College Excellence Teaching Prize, I managed to put the paperwork in before the small boy appeared – and I’m delighted to say that I won one of the awards! The prize was awarded for “an innovative and creative project, which engages students from diverse backgrounds in motivational extracurricular learning”, which is rather nice as that was what I was after. As those of you reading who teach intermediate language classes will know, it’s probably the most diverse set of student experiences you find in a college classroom, and thus presents some really interesting challenges.

      For those of you coming to this fresh – gamification is a strategy that tries to use the human enjoyment of games to enhance the learning experience within the classes. Last year, I reworked how I teach intermediate Latin to make the formative work I’d assumed students would do out of the goodness of their hearts into a tangible system of game-based activities. This would make the previously unspoken assumptions about the workload in the class clear and visible, and hopefully also give students the motivation to keep on top of the work required. The introduction of short-term rewards in a game format functioned through an insignia or badge system, where each activity had its own specific sticker type to collect. Students competed to collect the most insignia over the course of the term, with a ‘top three’ scoreboard updated regularly on Moodle. I wrote about how I thought things were going after one term here.

      When I came to write up the prize submission, I was pleasingly gratified to discover how much of the literature I’d pre-empted or intuited in constructing my approach, although again that probably rests on the laurels of colleagues whose models I was inspired by (shout-out to Tim Phin and Ted Gellar-Goad here). However, another thing that became very clear was how much the existing literature focuses on the technology of gamification, the ability to use these virtual learning environments we’ve all now got to build increasingly elaborate assignments and virtual worlds. Now, this is all fine and groovy for delivering an on-line course, but teaching intermediate Latin is intensive enough without loading your shoulders with that extra technological burden – and, to be honest, I’m not sure that it would help that much to put language exercises exclusively on-line. My colleague Nick Lowe is a great fan of technology as an aid for vocabulary learning, and I see the point of that, but why move sentence translation onto a screen when the ability to scribble on a sentence is such a valuable learning tool? Also, one shouldn’t underestimate the motivational power of stickers.

      So, having won an award for the gamification project (gosh, it feels good to type that), how did last year turn out? Well, the results of the final exam showed much less of a tail than the previous year, suggesting that the weaker students were helped along through the system, which was the overall goal. But equally, parts of the project failed completely – the English-into-Latin project which I’d created the first year I taught the course and then incorporated into the insignia vanished without a trace, for instance. When I last updated I wondered if it was because I hadn’t been explicit enough about expectations, but on reflection, I decided that the gamification model revealed just how much work needed to be done for the activities I was already setting; the extra activity in the first year had been picked up by students who weren’t handing in homework that last year’s students were.

      So, what am I doing differently this year? Not a huge number, if I’m honest, not least because coming back from maternity leave to teaching means I’m not particularly keen on making more work for myself than necessary. I’ve also got more students enrolled on the course than for the past two years, which is great, but will mean an extra workload in and of itself. So I’ve made two major changes. I’ve cut down the kind of insignia that I set students – I wanted to have a hundred to match the US systems I was modelling (where 100% would be the top A grade), but in a non-compulsory system that doesn’t work, and students weren’t progressing up the ‘ranks’ particularly quickly (thus, presumably, meaning that the motivational function of assigning ranks wasn’t really in play as intended). So I’ve accepted that the insignia don’t have to add up to a hundred, and have cut out the ones that didn’t get much or any take-up last year. I’ve also changed the way I test vocabulary learning through the insignia process, from an individual verbal test to a written test taken in class by everyone. It’s more traditional, but it’s more likely that everyone will participate and actually learn their vocabulary (she types hopefully). I got students to complete evaluation questionnaires last year, partly for the award submission and partly for my own interest in how gamification had gone, and the vocabulary element was something several of them picked up on as a less successful part of the course.

      Overall, however, last year’s students all seemed to be on the whole pleased with the gamification experience, and I think it went well for a first run. There will always be a few tweaks and improvements to be made to any new system, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it runs this year with light modifications. The principle is clearly sound – now it’s time to get the fine tuning right.

      Dorothy King (PhDiva)

      Today in 1666: The Great Fire of London Started

      This is a reconstruction of what London looked like before the fire.

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      "New Documents Prove ISIS Heavily Involved in Antiquities Trafficking"

      Although I myself do not believe these 'documents' are real: Christopher Jones , 'New Documents Prove ISIS Heavily Involved in Antiquities Trafficking' Gates of Nineveh September 30, 2015. His conclusion has serious implications for dealers and collectors:

      The documents captured during this raid appear to have galvanized a number of government agencies into action. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program, typically used to pay large sums of money to informants who turned in men such as Ramzi Youssef and Uday and Qusay Hussein, will now be offering $5 million rewards for anyone who provides information that leads to significant disruption of ISIS efforts to smuggle oil or antiquities.
      Lev Kubiak, the Assistant Director of International Operations at Homeland Security Investigations, hopes to set up working groups to gain scholar’s input to help government agents better track artifacts. FBI section chief Maxwell Marker and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard W. Downing threatened to use a wide variety of laws to prosecute both buyers and sellers of conflict antiquities, including laws against possessing stolen property and providing material support to terrorist organizations. Maxwell further emphasized “please, do not not purchase objects believed to have been looted from Syria and Iraq” and asked people to report solicitations to the authorities.
      The theme repeated for most of the panel was demand. Keller’s own slideshow ended with large letters: Demand Drives Trafficking. If ISIS is making money off antiquities someone is buying, and moves are going to be made to tamp down on demand in the West.
      The evidence produced last night was damning and shows this is a national security issue as well as a cultural property issue. Purchasing antiquities looted from Syria does not save them from destruction by ISIS. Instead, it both funds their genocidal ambitions and encourages more looting. Given the current situation, more drastic measures limiting the sale of Middle Eastern artifacts may be required. What is for sure is that no one can now deny the link between archaeological looting and funding ISIS.
      Or indeed any armed group involved in the Syrian conflict. Let us look beyond the US obsession with ISIL at the wider issues.

      Speak Up Peter

      Bearded, he almost looks
      like he could be an archaeologist
      Chasing Aphrodite ‏at the "Conflict Antiquities" conference tweeted
      Dying to read retort to today's evidence from skeptics like coin dealer lobbyist Peter Tompa 
      I must admit to being curious too, but the paid lobbyist with friends in metaldetectory places is remaining stubbornly silent. Perhaps he has problems in dealing with real arguments instead of just sniping. Peter Tompa seems to me less a sceptic than a snidely sniping stirrer. I envisage a 'two wrongs' argument or a conspiracy theory (with dealers and collectors the innocent victims) coming up. IAPN members' money well spent?

      True to form, sniping at paper tigers,, no discussion - and it's a conspiracy victimising dealers. Tompa accuses distortion of facts "in order to help justify proposed legislation in Germany and the US that would create intrusive new bureaucracies to regulate the longstanding trade in cultural goods".

      Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

      'Bones' Season 11, Episode 1 Review: The Loyalty In The Lie

      A biological anthropologist reviews Season 11 of FOX's 'Bones,' summarizing the episodes and looking for errors.

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL)

      Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL)
      05072015 New AWDL example 
      The Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL) is an initiative of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University . AWDL will identify, collect, curate, and provide access to the broadest possible range of scholarly materials relevant to the study of the ancient world. AWDL has two primary tracks:

      1. In partnership with the NYU Digital Libraries Program AWDL is developing mechanisms to host and preserve existing and newly contributed content without respect to digital condition, or state of enrichment of its contents: our overriding objective is to make available to researchers as large a part of the scholarly heritage of the relevant fields as possible. Towards this end we are soliciting the participation of publishers, scholarly societies, organizations, and individuals who hold the rights to scholarly content.
      2. AWDL will identify, collect, curate and provide bibliographical access to the growing corpus of scholarly materials produced and served elsewhere. This will continue, within the context of the AWDL, the work Charles Jones has undertaken via Abzu and AWOL for more than a decade and a half.

      AWDL is collaborating with NYU Digital Library Technology Services (DLTS) in the development of the book viewer. Within the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, AWDL is a collaboration between the Library and Digital Programs. Additional information on AWDL and other Digital Initiatives of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is available on the ISAW website

      ISAW relaunched the AWDL portal in May 2015. In addition to a more attractive design and new features, the new portal also includes new content. AWDL's mission is enhance access to curated digital scholarly content related to the ancient world. The original AWDL Book Viewer will remain active until all of its content is migrated to the new portal. In addition to page images of many (211) digitized volumes, AWDL currently hosts an online version of Roger Bagnall and Giovanni Ruffini. (2012) Amheida I. Ostraka from Trimithis, Volume 1: Texts from the 2004–2007 Seasons, as well as:

      Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

      Exploring relationships between ancient scientific traditions and local Jewish enterprises.
      Edited by Jonathan Ben-Dov and Seth Sanders
      NYU Press, 2014. ISBN13: 9781479823048.
      more: publisherfull-text | review
      At left: Figure 1 from Chapter 2, "Enoch and the Beginnings of Jewish Interest in Natural Science."

      Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa

      Breaking new ground in the history of late antique North East Africa
      George Hatke
      NYU Press, 2013. ISBN13: 9780814760666.
      more: publisherworldcat | full-text | review

      For feature and content updates, see the ISAW Library Blog.
      The most recent addition to AWDL:

      October 01, 2015

      Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

      'They Can't Touch you for it Legit'

      ARCA blog: October 1, 2015  'Christie's Withdraws Suspect Antiquities from Auction'.
      Christie's has withdrawn the suspect antiquities identified by Greek forensic archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis, on September 29, 2015 that had previously been set for auction today at Christie’s in London.  
      This is a recurring pattern isn't it? A load of antiquities are posted up for sale with collection histories of varying completeness. Some of them are identified as potentially dodgy by outsiders, those are taken down. the ones that had not bee identified before the sale are auctioned. In what way was the due diligence done by the seller before the auction different for those groups of objects (Christie's)? Or can we just say that the ones that make it to the auction block are just 'they can't touch you for it ligit'?

      Anyone reading this now, go and see the live auction, the auctioneer is a scream.  Brilliant. Who is he? Unlike certain of their competitors, I think most of the objects sold by Christie's are what they say they are. One or two items today looked to me (in my personal opinion) a little of dubious authenticity and it was noticeable that bidding on them was either slow or failed to reach the reserve (with one exception which had 'cuteness value').  Those rich people are not stupid, and those industrialists either have a good and informed eye, or advisors who see things the same way as I do Unlike last year, the bidding of the Roman glass was disappointingly sluggish.

      "New York private collection" is no legitimating collection history

      ChasingAphrodite, vexed by a dealer's questions from the floor at the Conflict Antiquities meeting  tweeted:
      Check out provenance on Syrian object sold by skeptical antiquities dealer: "New York private collection"
      [a Syro-Hittite Terracotta Ram with a plasticine foot]. See my text on his incantation bowls. Founder member of ACDAEA.

      US Department of State Engage in, or Caught out by, Misinformation?

      I am a bit bogged down with work at the moment, so for the moment will not be sharing my thoughts on the bulk of the Twitter and video takeaways from the session yesterday at New York's Metropolitan Museum on "Conflict Antiquities". It was obviously an interesting session which produced some nice quotable quotes but, more importantly,  fudged a whole lot of issues. It looks as if the whole thing was another attempt by the US authorities to whip up public opinion against ISIL as the sole culture-smashing barbarians and play down all the rest - a fact not lost on some of the tweeting audience which maintained some healthy scepticism to what they were being told. More of that later.

       Charles Jones has summarised some of the main points here: " Roundup: Conflict Antiquities: Forging a Public/Private Response to Save Iraq and Syria's Endangered Cultural Heritage" with links to Morag Kersel's storify of the twitter stream on the conference, and to documents mentioned.

      I want to put on record however my own opinion at the moment - for which I will give the reasons later - about the documents produced by Deputy Assistant Secretary Andrew Kelly which in the    words of one observer "pretty much settles any debate over whether ISIS is making money off looting". This was the verdict of the CBN news report ISIS' records show millions raised by antiquities smugglingSeptember 29, 2015 (with again its nonsensical link of mosaics dug up in Apamea as supporting ISIL funding - Apamea is not and has not yet been in ISIL hands). I am wholly sceptical, I think there are good reasons to believe that these documents have been faked. When analysing documents as evidence, the historian looks at what the author wants us to know. These documents serve well to "show us that ISIL is getting tax from antiquity sales", but as actual "working" tax receipts they fail dismally to convince me.  More later.

      Where are the original documents? In the US (why?) or in Iraq (why?). If the latter, was that translation perhaps provided to the Americans by the Iraqi intelligence service, who have been caught out before giving out information about ISIL antiquities dealings of doubtful (and doubted) veracity? Can we see high resolution and unredacted scans of the originals please? And all of them, with a proper report describing the origins, associations and interpretation of these documents as evidence (you can use some of that "5 million dollars reward" to create it).

      "Stolen antiquities on the Daily Show"

      "Along with other buyers, US art collectors
      provide ISIS with 100 million dollars a year" 

      "It's a steal"
      The Daily Show September 29, 2015 - "President Obama and Vladimir Putin meet for an uncomfortable dinner, ISIS fills the black market with ancient relics". I have mixed feelings about this, and it is not just because this is on a topic I feel strongly about. I thought many of the standup acts of Trevor Noah we saw before he took over TDS from John Stewart were good. Here he is rubbish. The audience is not much better (03:03). The sketch at the end with Desi Lydik posing as the Daily Show "senior antiquities correspondent" is unfathomably puerile. Metal detectorist level. Are they using different writers, or what?

      Clearstory Statement on "Nazi War Diggers"

      Screenshot: Metal detectorist getting
      in the role, donning ground dug
      Nazi hlmet
      This is an undated statement by the production company of "Nazi War Diggers" now apparently retitled "Battlefield Recovery" (Hat tip Andy Brockman for the link):
      Battlefield Recovery is a 4 x 1hr history series that throws light on less well-known and well-documented battlefields of World War Two’s bloody Eastern Front.Unfortunately, following the marketing launch of the series by the commissioning network, misinformed speculation was spread about the series on the web. The production team, cast and the local organizations they worked with made these films for a positive purpose – to recover battlefield artifacts, hand over excavated items to authorities for safe keeping and bury the dead with honour. The series contains a strong editorial line AGAINST unlicensed battlefield looting and gives the fallen of World War Two proper and due respect. The series was signed off by the original network’s Standards and Practices and the network has stated that it is not aware of any shortcomings in the production’s performance or compliance. The network has apologized to the production team and cast for what happened. We hope you enjoy the series when it is eventually broadcast.
      There was no "uniformed speculation", the comments that were made were on the basis of fragments of the filmed material that were released as trailers, and the content of the promotional website - both of which were withdrawn within days of the comments made referring to them. They depicted the diggers as doing quite the opposite of 'showing proper and due respect' to the remains hoiked from their burial site. In addition material on collectors forums submitted by members of the 'cast' suggested that artefacts were brought home, like a ground dug helmet from Latvia. One of the cast members falsely accuses me of making death threats to him ('"Nazi war Digger": Statement').

      I have been watching the broadcast of episodes of this series which have been dubbed into Polish and put out here under the title "Searchers for Treasures (sic) of the War" and will be sharing my views on what I see just as soon as they get to the episode filmed in Poland. Basically what I see changes nothing at all in my assessment of the programme, indeed, it is worse than I expected.  It also has attracted some derision of these 'Angols' on their forums from Polish artefact hunters. There are added subtitles claiming that what the films show is not what in fact happened, which rather begs the question why it was filmed in a way which (negatively) distorts reality - and suggests that the 'purpose' of the programme is not to depict the responsible recovery of battlefield evidence and locate any remains so they could be 'buried with honour' but to make television and nothing else. It is a shame it was made in that format, and a great pity that it was broadcast with only a few cosmetic changes (the sequence with waving the bone around which we saw in the first trailer was edited slightly - but not enough).

      UPDATE 1st October 2015
       I see that Andy Brockman has a sharply-worded post on the topic of a possible British broadcast of this dreadful stuff with its damaging depiction of irresponsible battlefield artefact hunting:  "Nazi War Diggers" in Zombie Resurrection', The pipeline October 1, 2015. The production company and people connected with this project need to address the questions he raises.

      He's found a few clips in a promotional film on You Tube, including metal detectorist Kris Rodgers guffawing as he shoots a Maschinenpistole 40 (where?), another Steve Taylor wearing an M1942 Nazi helmet with boys' toy explosive trophy display and big bangs interspersed with wildlife clips and British 'Peasant TV'. That's the level of entertainment the programme exhibits.

      Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

      Forging a Public/Private Response to Save Endangered Patrimony of Iraq and Syria

      CPO appreciates being invited to this event.  A few observations.

      It was nice to see a recognition that it is important to work with collectors and dealers on these issues. CPO supports efforts to encourage more due diligence, but the level of it must depend on the value  of the object and what information about it is likely available.  The presumption should never be that an artifact is "illicit" merely because of where it was made thousands of years ago.

      After hearing Michael Danti speak twice now, CPO has come to the conclusion that Danti is reporting the facts as accurately as he can, but then they are "spun" by others to achieve another purpose.  For example, Danti said point blank that all sides are involved in looting and that Apamea has always been in Assad's hands.  The problem is what Danti says is selectively reported so it makes it sound like ISIS is the only problem in the region.  So, over and over again we have that same picture of all those holes at Apamea which are then by implication attributed to ISIS rather than the Assad regime.

      CPO is now even more dubious that looted antiquities are a major ISIS funding source.  Assistant Secretary Keller of the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs said that ISIS has probably netted several million dollars from antiquities sales, but he also put all ISIS income at over $1 billion.

      This again begs the question whether the value of "conflict antiquities" from Syria really justifies major changes in the law both here and in Germany or whether it's all being purposefully overblown in the effort to justify the creation of intrusive new government bureaucracies in both countries.

      The Egyptiana Emporium

      NEWS: Tutankhamun’s treasures may have originally belonged to his stepmother


      The iconic bust of Nefertiti (Source: Ahram Online).

      “Reeves announces in a press conference held today that Tutankhamun’s gold funerary mask originally belonged to Queen Nefertiti.
      During the press conference held Thursday at the State Information Authority in Heliopolis, archaeologist Nicholas Reeves announced that the gold funerary mask belonging to the boy king was originally made for his stepmother Nefertiti.

      Reeves, who believes that Nefertiti’s final resting place hides behind Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, cited this as a piece of evidence proving his theory.

      Reeves explained to Ahram Online that the gold mask was remounted years ago at the museum, allowing him to examine the back. He then realised that the face was made independently of the opposite side.
      “I thought that it was very strange and may just be a technical feature.” However, he also noticed that the type of gold used for the face is different than that used on the back of the mask as well as the inlays. The eyes are in lapis while other blue portions of the mask are made from glass.
      “It is very unusual,” Reeves said, adding that he then started to look at other features of the mask. 
      When the mask was uncovered, Reeves said, the earholes and the ears themselves “were covered with little disks of gold foil which I did not understand at first.”
      With more studies, Reeves learned that ancient Egyptian kings never wore earrings. “There is no image of any ancient Egyptian king wearing earrings,” he asserted, adding that Tutankhamun did not have pierced ears but a depression that shows he wore earrings only as a child.
      “But the funerary mask has holes to hang earrings,” he pointed out.
      “Looking at the mask again I can see that the inscription on the cartouch has been changed, meaning that all these treasures found in Tutankhamun’s tomb were originally made for Nefertiti as a co-regent to her husband king Akhenaten, and not for Tutankhamun as previously thought.
      “I believe that Nefertiti never used these treasured items since she obviously had a better collection because, according to other evidence, she became a king,” Reeves pointed out.
      He continued, saying that 80 per cent of Tutankhamun’s collection was made for Nefertiti, especially the canopic jars.
      For now, we have to wait until the end of November to confirm the existence of a hidden chamber. At that time, radar and thermal imaging will be used to scan the tomb, differentiating between bedrock and artificial walls. 
      “Even if he finds a hidden passageway, that doesn’t mean that digging will begin immediately,” Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty said.
      Eldamaty said that before starting any work to reveal such a tomb, we must find a way to protect the tomb of Tutankhamun.
      “Does that mean we will dig from above, below or from the side? We don’t know yet,” he explained.
      Despite the note of caution in his voice, Eldamaty appears to be as excited as Reeves at the prospect of solving this ancient mystery.
      “When we find Nefertiti, I think it will be more important than the discovery of King Tutankhamun himself,” Eldamaty told Ahram Online.
      He added that he hopes the hidden chamber belongs to Nefertiti, but he doubts it does. Eldamaty added that King Tutankhamun had many women in his life, and if a new tomb is discovered, it could easily belong to one of them. 
      “It could belong to one of his sisters, or his mother Kiya, or Merit-Atun, the wife of King Smenkare, whose mummy was unearthed in tomb number KV55, located in front of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Let us wait for the end results,” Eldamaty told Ahram Online” – via Ahram Online.

      Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

      Email to CBS News

      Margaret Brennan's report on documents seized from a terrorist financier in Syria contains some serious errors. (see 

      First, the report states that documents seized from Abu Sayyaf prove that ISIS has made $100's of millions of dollars from stolen antiquities. However, the documents themselves only support a far lower number, $1.25 million. (See 

      Second, the story again suggests that Apamea  has been looted by ISIS.  In fact, the city has been in the hands of the Assad government since the beginning of the conflict. (See 

      These errors would be more forgivable if it were not that a CBS producer was on a panel at the MET event where these issues were discussed.

      Michael Danti of the State Department/ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative spoke about Apamea being in Assad's hands at the conference.  In addition, several speakers put far lower values on stolen antiquities. (See

      All this begs the question whether facts are being distorted in order to help justify proposed legislation in Germany and the US that would create intrusive new bureaucracies to regulate the longstanding trade in cultural goods.

      Peter Tompa

      L’Association Française pour l’étude de l’âge du Fer (Le Blog de l'AFEAF)

      Conférences autour de l’exposition Astérix à Alésia

      L’exposition “Astérix à Alésia” propose un véritable dialogue entre les aventures d’Astérix, créées par René Goscinny et Albert Uderzo, et la réalité archéologique. À partir des planches de la bande dessinée d’Astérix, et de ses personnages les plus illustres, le MuséoParc Alésia démêle le vrai du faux. Comment ? En...

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      Syrian Digital Library of Cuneiform: Building Lines of Communication to Ancient Syria

      [First posted in AWOL 3 May 2010. Updates 1 October 2015]

      Syrian Digital Library of Cuneiform: Building Lines of Communication to Ancient Syria
      The Syrian Digital Library of Cuneiform (SDLC) project represents the collaborative efforts of a Syrian and international team of researchers to prepare an interactive Arabic / English / French presentation of a rich and indigenous cuneiform tradition dating back five millennia.

      The cuneiform tablets collections, kept mainly in the museums of Damascus, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa, and Idlib, originate from close to 40 different archaeological sites. Based on an integrated catalogue, those texts which have already been published will be the subject of an electronic edition, consisting of digital images and transliterations, presented via the web-pages of the SDLC. This presentation will be directly linked to the international project CDLI, making the texts part of an ever growing corpus of cuneiform texts freely available online, and benefitting from the powerful search tools of that project.

      The SDLC website will facilitate the establishment of new line of communication among members of an international community that is growing increasingly aware of the contributions of ancient Syria to modern culture.

      Partners institutions:
      - DGAMS (Direction générale des Antiquités et musées de Syrie), Damascus
      - CDLI (Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative), Los Angeles (UCLA)
      - CNRS (Centre national de la Recherche scientifique), Paris
      - MPIWG (Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte), Berlin
      - IFPO (Institut français du Proche-Orient), Damascus
      - BISI (British Institute for the Study of Irak), London

      • Investigators: Bertrand Lafont (CNRS Paris), Wissam Habib (DGAMS), Imad Samir (Damascus University), Jacob Dahl (University of Oxford)
      • Partners: Antoine Suleyman (DGAMS), Myasar Yabroudi (National Museum, Damascus), Robert K. Englund (CDLI/UCLA), Christina Tsouparopoulou (MPIWG)
      • Staff: Matthew Ong (UCLA), Amjad al-Qadi (Damascus), Maciej M. Wencel (Oxford)

      Archaeology Magazine

      Amphipolis tomb exteriorTHESSALONIKI, GREECE—Archaeologist Katerina Peristeri claimed in a press conference yesterday that the vaulted tomb excavated last year in Amphipolis “was a funerary monument for Hephaestion,” Alexander the Great’s closest friend and general. At least five skeletons were found in the tomb, which featured twin statues of sphinxes and young women, a painted frieze, and a mosaic floor. Peristeri said that fragments of Hephaestion’s monogram have also been found inscribed in the tomb. According to a report by the Associated Press, Peristeri explained that there is no evidence that Hephaestion was buried at the site, but that it might be one of a series of monuments Alexander erected to his memory in 324 B.C. Panayiotis Faklaris of the University of Thessaloniki disagrees. “There is no historic or scientific basis,” for the claims he said. “Hephaestion had no connection with Amphipolis.” To read more about the Amphipolis tomb, one of last year's Top 10 Discoveries, go to "Greece's Biggest Tomb."

      James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

      September 2015 Biblical Studies Carnival

      The latest Biblical Studies Carnival has been posted on Will Hart Brown’s blog. I am happy to see that the blogroll I maintain was useful in identifying places to look for interesting posts from the past month.

      As always, Phillip Long is eager to hear from volunteers who are willing to host a future carnival.

      Elena Cano (Γνωθι τους αλλους)

      Gilgamesh en el mercado negro

      La tablilla con las líneas inéditas de la epopeya de Gilgamesh (foto  © Osama S.M. Amin)

      Los caminos del señor son inescrutables y las razones de nuestro arrugado mundo para estar eternamente agradecidos a los aguerridos kurdos innumerables. Resulta que gracias a la creativa política de protección y recuperación del patrimonio del Museo de Solimania  los lectores actuales de  la epopeya de Gilgamesh pueden disfrutar de veinte líneas más de la obra.

      En medio del escandaloso expolio de las antigûedades iraquíes que sucedió a la invasión de Iraq por las tropas occidentales durante la guerra del Golfo, los responsables de este museo del Kurdistán iraquí decidieron poner en marcha un original plan para frenarlo. Se pusieron de acuerdo con los contrabandistas de la zona para que interceptaran la salida de piezas arqueológicas del país. Cuando alguien contactaba con los contrabandistas para que les ayudaran a sacar la piezas ilegalmente  del país, estos avisarían al museo, el cual les pagaría un precio por la pieza sin hacer preguntas acerca de su procedencia o vendedor. Entre las piezas recuperadas por este procedimiento está la colección de tablillas babilonias entre las que se encontró la de la fotografía que ilustra esta entrada. El precio pagado por la tablilla en cuestión fue 800 dólares, un precio que contentó al vendedor porque, a la hora de negociar, sólo tenía en cuenta el tamaño de la tablilla y no tenía idea del especial valor del contenido de la misma.

      La tablilla  mide 11cm. de largo por 9'5 de ancho y 7 de grueso. Según la información con la que se expone en el museo, pertenece al período Babilonio antiguo ( 2003-1595a.C) o, según los profesores especialistas Faruk Al-Rawi y Andrew R. George, al Neo-babilonio ( 626-539 a.C.). Su contenido añade veinte líneas a las que ya se conocían del poema babilonio de Gilgamesh, antecedente de la Odisea de Homero.  En estas líneas se continúa la descripción del bosque de cedros que Gilgamesh taló cuando se internó en él con su compañero Enkidu para matar a Umbaba. El fragmento habla del ruido provocado por los monos, las cigarrras y las numerosas y variadas aves que rodean a Umbaba.

      Fuente: ANCIENT HISTORY et cetera

      Archaeology Magazine

      Scotland Mesolithic BoneSTAFFIN, SKYE—A fragment of burned and worked bone and several hundred flints were discovered near Staffin Bay by a team of archaeologists and volunteers from the University of Highlands and Islands, the Staffin Community Trust, and local primary schools. The piece of 8,000-year-old bone, which appears to have been shaped at one end and perhaps drilled on the other, may have been used as a toggle to fasten clothing or bead in a necklace. The team also uncovered the remains of a circular building. “Although the structure did not turn out to be prehistoric, it has protected significant evidence for Mesolithic activity below it,” outreach archaeologist Dan Lee of the University of Highlands and Islands said in a Staffin Community Trust press release. “Hopefully we have enough material for radiocarbon dates and further excavation would be useful to better define the extent of the site,” he added. To read about a prehistoric musical instrument found on the Isle of Skye, go to "A Little Scottish Ditty."

      The Archaeology News Network

      Bronze Age settlement discovered in NW Greece

      The Ammotopos area, located at the boundaries of the Municipality of Artaion, has been known for its ancient settlement or Orraon, a typical acropolis-township of the 4th c. BC. Building remains unearthed at Ammotopos  [Credit: Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta]The ancient acropolis is built on the Kastri hill, between the villages of Ammotopos (Arta) and Gymnotopos (Preveza) in northwestern Greece. It is organized in building...

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      Byzantine News

      Humans of Byzantium: Michael Psellos (11th c)

      "I had many students and came to court when I was still young. I got involved in Byzantine politics and became the emperor's most trusted man. He also trusted me. Had to show everyone that I had knowledge and abilities to rule. People said that I was the best philosopher and the most talented historian. Maybe they were right (or maybe not)." (Michael Psellos, consul of philosophers, 11th c)

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

      Cybele’s castration clamps – medical apparatus of the Magna Mater

      A couple of years ago I mentioned the eunuch priests of Cybele here, together with a couple of illustrations of a set of ornate castration clamps, found in the River Thames in the 1840’s, and now, supposedly, in the British Museum.

      This week I came across a 1926 article discussing how the items were used.[1]  The details are somewhat eye-watering, but the key point is that the clamps were used to prevent blood loss, and the actual cutting was done by a knife.

      The item is rather ornate.  The heads protruding are those of the deities presiding over the eight days of the Roman week, four on either side, followed by the head of a bull, and ending in a lion head; the heads at the top are perhaps Cybele and Attis, each on the head of a horse.

      The item is perhaps 2-3rd century, and probably made in Rome or Italy.  One of the arms was broken and mended in antiquity, indicating hard usage.  Here are a number of images from the internet, none especially good.

      Roman castration clamps

      Roman castration clamps

      Roman castration clamps. Cult of Cybele / Attis.

      Roman castration clamps. Cult of Cybele / Attis.

      Roman castration clamps - detail

      Francis prints a restoration of the clamp, with hinge and screw:


      And, interestingly, he is aware of another example, of a rather cruder kind, preserved in Switzerland, and gives this illustration:


      The items were originally identified as “forceps”.  It would be interesting to know whether other examples, perhaps mislabelled, are preserved in the museums of the West?

      It is a commonplace of our day that “all religions are the same”, an opinion more frequently met with than examined.  We may be grateful that this particular ancient practice is no longer present in the modern world.

      1. [1] Alred G. Francis, “On a Romano-British Castration Clamp used in the Rites of Cybele”, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 19 (Sect Hist Med),  1926: 95–110.  Online here.

      Archaeology Magazine

      Machu Picchu DNAWASHINGTON, D.C.—Machu Picchu was built in the Andes Mountains some 8,000 feet above sea level by the Inca in the fifteenth century, and abandoned in the early sixteenth century. “There is a longstanding debate about what the function of Machu Picchu was because it is so unique and unusual as an Inca site. It is too big to be a local settlement. And it’s too small and not the right structure to have been an administrative center for the Inca Empire,” Brenda Bradley of the George Washington University said in GW Today. Many think Machu Picchu served as a royal retreat and diplomatic space for Emperor Pachacuti. Now, Bradley and a team of researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Yale University will analyze nuclear, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosome DNA samples obtained from the skeletal remains of more than 170 individuals unearthed at Machu Picchu in the early twentieth century to learn about the population. “They were probably very skilled people who came from far and wide to play very specific roles. That’s what we predict,” Bradley said. To read about Machu Picchu's amazing hydraulic systems, go to "Machu Picchu's Stairway of Fountains."

      Britain bone mummiesSHEFFIELD, ENGLAND—While at the University of Sheffield, Tom Booth and colleagues from the University of Manchester and University College London conducted a microscopic analysis of skeletons from Bronze Age burial sites across the United Kingdom. “We know from previous research that bones from bodies that have decomposed naturally are usually severely degraded by putrefactive bacteria, whereas mummified bones demonstrate immaculate levels of histological preservation and are not affected by putrefactive bioerosion,” he said in a press release. The researchers then compared the results to a mummy found in northern Yemen and a bog body from Ireland. Both of these bodies showed limited levels of bacterial bioerosion within the bone. Some of the Bronze Age skeletons from Britain show similar low levels of bioerosion, unlike the badly damaged skeletons from other prehistoric and historic periods. “The idea that British and potentially European Bronze Age communities invested resources in mummifying and curating a proportion of their dead fundamentally alters our perceptions of funerary ritual and belief in this period,” he said. To read about the earliest known evidence of intentional mummification in Egypt, one of last year's Top 10 Discoveries, go to "Mummification Before the Pharaohs."

      The Archaeology News Network

      Using ancient DNA, researchers unravel the mystery of Machu Picchu

      Dramatically perched on an Andes mountain ridge some 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru, Machu Picchu is a visual wonder and a technical masterpiece. Machu Picchu is set high in the Andes in Peru. It was built in the 15th century  and later abandoned [Credit: WikiCommons]“It is breathtaking,” said Brenda Bradley, an associate professor of anthropology at the George Washington University. The Inca built the site’s 15th-century...

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      Elena Cano (Γνωθι τους αλλους)


      Gracias al boletín de etimología A word a day, al que estoy suscrita hace tiempo, me enteré de que en Estados Unidos se celebra en esta última semana de Septiembre desde el año 1982 la Banned Books week (semana de los libros prohibidos). La semana tiene por objeto celebrar el derecho a la libertad de lectura y denunciar la censura y los ataques que en nuestros días afectan a algunos libros y autores.
      La ALA (Asociación Americana de Bibliotecarios), que promueve y apoya esta iniciativa, explica así su principal razón de ser:

      "La libertad intelectual, la libertad de acceder a la información y expresar las ideas, aun cuando la información y las ideas se puedan considerar heterodoxas o impopulares, está en la base de la Semana de los Libros Censurados. Esta semana pone de relieve la importancia de asegurar la disponibilidad de puntos de vista impopulares o poco ortodoxos a todo el que quiera leerlos o acceder a ellos."

      Parece ser que, en muchos casos, el simple hecho de que un padre cuestione alguna de las lecturas que los profesores o el currículo han establecido para su hijo provoca la retirada de ese libro de la lista de lecturas del colegio.

      En ediciones anteriores  podías encontrar clásicos como"El guardián entre el centeno" de Salinger o "Las aventuras de Huckleberry Finn" de Twain entre los diez títulos más cuestionados por su contenido.

      Este año, los títulos  que más me llaman la atención en la lista de los más censurados para los lectores jóvenes son los de dos autores de origen oriental: el cómic Persépolis de la iraní Marjan Satrapi y Cometas en el cielo del escritor de ascendencia afgana Khaled Hosseini. Amba ibras fueron llevadas al cine y las películas resultantes fueron nominadas para los Oscars de Holliwood.
         Leer las razones para impedir que la obra fuera leida por los alumnos más jóvenes p en el interesante estudio del caso Persépolis que la propia  página de la semana publica es no sólo ilustrativo de la situación sino bastante inquietante:
      Un padre del centro de Illinois consideró que la recomendación de lectura de una obra sobre musulmanes en el aniversario del 11 de Septiembre era algo muy cuestionable . Afortunadamente el resto de los padres no apoyaron su postura y la recomendación se mantuvo.
      En Chicago, cuando se preguntó a la autoridad educativa competente por su decisión de pedir a los directores de los centros de Secundaria que no se permitiera la lectura de la obra en las clases, la respuesta fue que contenía "lenguaje gráfico e imágenes no apropiadas para el uso generalizado". A esto los propios alumnos contestaron que las pocas imágenes que muestran las torturas del régimen iraní no son peores que las que ilustran los capítulos de sus libros de historia sobre el Holocausto o la esclavitud y  que muchos de ellos conviven con la violencia cotidiana en sus barrios. Como resultado de la polémica, los profesores de los grados 7 y 8 que quieran leer la obra con sus alumnos ¡deberán seguir previamente una formación suplementaria! 

      Me pregunto si esto puede llegar a ocurrir en un país con un índice de lectura tan bajo como el nuestro, donde lo raro es que los padres lean los libros que los profesores recomiendan a sus hijos.

      Against Banned Books (Please Spread This Pic & The Text)
      foto de Florian_b en Flickr

      Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

      New Open Access Journal: Exegetical Tools Quarterly

      Exegetical Tools Quarterly
      ISSN: 2378-4849

      In contrast to other journals, our Exegetical Tools Quarterly is strictly resource-driven. Each issue will contain all of Exegetical Tools’ posts for the last three months. This includes our categories of book reviews, featured resources, new books, research resources, and will also include our posts on current issues. The result is a convenient and extensive collection of reviews and write-ups on all the latest resources that will equip you for exegesis, languages, theology, ministry, and more. 

      Our Table of Contents is fully clickable. Find a title you’re interested in and click it. You will be taken directly to that post. In the top right of every page is a “Back to Table of Contents” link to take you right back to the Table of Contents to find more titles that interest you. Links in each post will take you directly to Amazon or the WTS Bookstore (depending on the book) to browse, preview, or buy any of the resources 


      Elena Cano (Γνωθι τους αλλους)


      Si todavía no sabéis qué hacer con vuestras vacaciones u os apetece dedicar un fin de semana a la cultura clásica, os recomiendo daros una vuelta por Irún  para asistir a la nueva celebración del festival DIES OIASSONIS, que se está celebrando esta semana. Yo la disfruté hace algunos veranos y como resultado de la experiencia incluso escribí una entrada aquí.

      Entre las actividades que se realizan durante la celebración se incluyen talleres de cultura romana, recreaciones históricas, la procesión del Navigium Isidis, espectáculos teatrales y musicales. Como no podía ser menos tratándose del País Vasco, tampoco falta la gastronomía, que este año añade a la ruta de pinchos romanos, una cata de vinos romanos y una cena romana.

      Además de disfrutar del interesante programa que trata de revivir por unos días el pasado romano de la localidad vasca, Irún tiene muchos otros atractivos que invitan a visitarla, siendo el paisaje de la bahía del Bidasoa y la posiblidad de cruzar la frontera de Francia en un pispas, los más recomendables.

      Os podéis descargar el completísimo programa aquí.

      Bidasoa-Txingudi 14
      Trainera en la bahía del Bidasoa  (foto de Luis Irisarri)

      Archaeological News on Tumblr

      Archaeologists unearth ancient Mataram Hindu temple

      A National archaeology team has been excavating a Hindu temple believed to be from the Ancient...