Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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

November 27, 2014

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Selungorami and the Hidden Hobby

Heritage Action, referring to my post about the tenth century 'York Area' hoard the finder "just had to" flog off, remarks "surely there’s a better way for a First World country to deal with heritage blackmail?" A new term is proposed for a certain category of artefact hunter well illustrated by many of those commenting in the thread:  
(Short for Selfish Undeserving Ignorami)
And, oh dear, follow the link in yesterday's article and you find ..."The requested topic does not exist"  and I guess Britain's Treasure Hunters want my readers all to come to the conclusion that the topic "never existed" and I made it all up. Wouldn't it be nice if that was true and that the archaeological heritage is not being treated like potatoes by greedy selungorami with metal detectors? Wouldn't it be nice if the only way we could find anything to criticise in Britain's multi-million pound stopgap way to deal with artefact hunting and collecting was to make up scandalous stories? I invite my readers to register with a few 'closed door' forums and have a look at what they say and do there, and decide for yourself whether the bulk of the forum is inhabited by "citizen archaeologists" (as the PAS would have it) or Selungorami. Go on, take a look. By censoring, hiding or moving threads that show the real face of detecting when attention is drawn to them, artefact hunters are trying to block you from seeing the full picture. They only want you to see the part they (and the PAS) want you to see. Now have a look at what they are hiding.

Alert - Fake ICOM certificates

Alert - Fake ICOM certificates
There are fraudulent websites which imitate ICOM institutional website. These websites  are not operated by or authorised by ICOM.  In return for a fee, some websites claim to provide certificates of authenticity permitting the unrestricted import and export of African cultural heritage. The certificate supposedly releases the bearer from requiring any other documents such as the title deed, export certificate and license, certificate of expertise, certificate of authenticity, etc. ICOM does not provide certificates of expertise, origin or authenticity. These certificates must be obtained from the relevant national Government authorities. Many people have already fallen victim to the scam, particularly concerning Cameroon and Central Africa. Please exercise vigilance when taking part in transactions involving cultural heritage property over the Internet.  Contact

Antiquity Now

Happy Thanksgiving from AntiquityNOW!

In between feasting and football, check out our previous posts on Thanksgiving and the foods we enjoy on this holiday! Bon Appetit Wednesday! Seaweed for Thanksgiving? Bon Appetit Wednesday! Roasted Leeks and Apples: A Thanksgiving Savory and Sweet Bon Appetit Wednesday! Why … Continue reading

Faculty of Classics, Cambridge

W H D Rouse Junior Research Fellowship - Christ's College, Cambridge

W H D Rouse Junior Research Fellowship - Christ's College, Cambridge

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

The Scale of Cultural Property Exports from the UK

Gareth Harris writes of "Eight culturally significant objects prevented from export" (Museums Journal 26th Nov 2014), but also "more than 32,600 items [...] were issued with export licences after expert advisers decided they were not of sufficient national importance". Note the discrepancy with the "further 23,307 items" which were "issued with export licences because they had been imported into the UK within the past 50 years". So that's 23000 pieces of cultural property brought in, but 56000 taken out, and only eight retained in the UK. This year, last year, year after year. And that's not counting the many many oiks who just pack a few metal detected finds in an envelope and send them to a foreign eBayer or dealer, rubbing their hands with glee. What is the scale of that? Of course, there is this magick cave under the Wrekin from which a constant flow of antiques and antiquities comes flowing forth every full moon - so there is no reason to worry that at such a rate, we'll be running out of artefacts.

Jim Davila (

Hollander on Josephus

WILLIAM DEN HOLLANDER: Josephus Reconsidered (The ASOR Blog). There's been a lot of useful reconsidering of Josephus in recent years. This post summarizes the argument in Dr. Hollander's book, Josephus, the Emperors, and the City of Rome (Brill, 2014), noted earlier here and (review) here.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Sappho, a Leaf Taken out of an Old Book?

Roberta Mazza ('Provenance issues: Information with thoughts to follow', Faces and Voices November 26, 2014) has some interesting information on the acquisition history of the newly-surfaced fragment of a Sappho manuscript
Full information on the acquisition history of the new Sappho fragments will be given by Dirk Obbink in a forthcoming article in ZPE. An entire session at the American Philological Association/Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in New Orleans (Session 5, 9th January 2015) will be devoted to the new Sappho poems: the first paper by Obbink will address, among others, issues of provenance, as you can read from the program.  The fragments do not come from mummy cartonnage, as previously written by Obbink in his TLS article, but from book binding cartonnage; their provenance is documented, and proofs that they were out of Egypt before 1972. The book binding was dismounted before the papyri were studied and then published respectively by Dirk Obbink (P.Sapph. Obbink) and by S. Burris, D. Obbink, and J. Fish (P.GC. 105).
This new information, if confirmed, is pretty astounding. Obbink had actually used the origin from within a cartonnage panel as proof of the papyrus' authenticity and it was the object from which the papyrus had been extracted that had - according to the scholar - documented legal origins ("The authenticity of the ancient mummy cartonnage panel, from which the papyrus was extracted, having been recycled in antiquity to accompany a burial, has been established through its documented legal provenance"). So, now instead of a legally exported mummy cartonnage with documents - personally verified no doubt by the scholar before he wrote about it, it turns out he'd been mistaken. It was not an anthropoid form piece of papyrus and plaster coffin he'd been looking at but the flat cover of a codex. Why could he not tell the difference, as Justin Walsh asks "Is it normal to mistake book binding cartonnage for mummy cartonnage"? Above I reproduce the didactic aid we had in my '101 recognizing artefacts' class back at the University when I was a student. I well recall the old professor sternly lecturing us to note the difference in colour and shape of the objects and take care not to muddle them in future. Some students were naturally gifted and managed to do it (I passed the "telling mummy cases from other objects" class test first go), others were slower to learn, they mostly found their avocation in numismatists (no problem there in recognizing what a coin looks like - round and flat).

Books are not normally bound in cartonnage, and this new information is just as shocking as the "callously dissolving mummy masks" scenario. Preserved ancient (Ptolemaic/Roman?) book covers are not two-a-penny. In what circumstances was a rare survival dismembered and the broken pieces then getting into the hands of private collectors? Which dealer did this to maximise profits? [see 'Dismembering History: The Shady Online Trade in Ancient Texts', PACHI Sunday, 23 November 2014]. Where did this book come from, from which library? Where did the book go from which this ripped-apart cover came? Can we see documentation of the dismemberment of the book, showing this fragment in position and in relationship to the other pieces removed from the same binding - where are they now?

Why is there this sudden change in the story? From a "definitely legal old collection" mummy cartonnage fragment to a "definitely legal old library" bookbinding? The explanation is, I feel, going to have to be a really good one. We await it with anticipation.


Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2014.11.42: A Cultural History of Gardens in Antiquity. Bloomsbury Cultural History of Gardens, vol. 1

Review of Kathryn Gleason, A Cultural History of Gardens in Antiquity. Bloomsbury Cultural History of Gardens, vol. 1. London; New Delhi; New York; Sydney:Pp. xiii, 287. ISBN 9780857850294.

2014.11.41: Giovanni Pontano, 'Aegidius, Dialogo'. RR inedita, Saggi 56

Review of Francesco Tateo, Giovanni Pontano, 'Aegidius, Dialogo'. RR inedita, Saggi 56. Roma: 2013. Pp. 131. €25.00. ISBN 9788885913806.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

OCOVA: tecnologie per la valorizzazione dell'area Alpi-Mediterraneo

ocova-logoOCOVA AlpMedNet (Oggetti COmunicanti e VAlorizzazione ALPi-MEDiterraneo NETwork) è un progetto europeo innovativo per l’area Alpi-Mediterraneo: Hautes-Alpes, Piemonte e Liguria.

Javier Andreu (Oppida Imperii Romani)


Quien sigue este blog sabe que quien lo alimenta -cierto que con grandes altibajos últimamente en razón de nuestra intensa actividad profesional, docente e investigadora- se dedica, desde hace algunos años -y entre otras cuestiones- a la investigación respecto de los antiguos Vascones, una etnia citada -cierto que nunca de modo suficiente- por las fuentes clásicas (ver el balance que nosotros mismos publicamos sobre esas alusiones en Lucentum, 26, 2007 o el que, de la pluma de Jª Mª Blázquez, se recoge en Trabajos de Arqueología Navarra, 20, 2007-2008, recomendables para quienes estén menos versados en la cuestión) y que, seguramente por considerarse -no sin problemas, como habitualmente se ha señalado (esclarecedor como planteamiento de partida puede resultar este trabajo de F. Wulff en Historia Actual Online, 6, 2005)- antecesora del actual pueblo vasco ha despertado una notable fascinación en los studia Antiquitatis de nuestro país. Además, en los últimos dos años, Oppida Imperii Romani ha incorporado una sección de reseñas bibliográficas en las que se valoran y presentan trabajos de colegas que se consideran de interés o que guardan cierta relación con el asunto social y urbano hispanorromano que da sentido a esta plataforma. Agrupadas en la etiqueta Volumina, estas reseñas han presentado ya algunos trabajos de interés sobre cuestiones de administración romana, Epigrafía Latina, arqueoturismo y gestión del patrimonio, ciencias instrumentales, etcétera...

Pues bien, en este útimo mes -que suele ser extraordinariamente productivo en materia editorial tras el trabajo investigador de todo el año- se han producido dos interesantes novedades editoriales sobre la cuestión vascónica (dos scripta Vasconica, como los hemos denominado en el título de este post) que, si bien tal vez no merecen una reseña completa y a fondo -en parte por el carácter marcadamente heterogéneo de los trabajos recogidos en una de esas novedades- sí nos parece que merecen la atención de este blog. En el primer caso como simple recordatorio de la digitalización y acceso en red -ya cumplido el periodo de embargo- de la última miscelánea sobre cuestiones vascónicas que coordinamos hace ahora ya un año y que vio la luz a comienzos de 2014 -aunque con fecha de 2013- y, en segundo lugar, por la recentísima edición de un volumen -también ya totalmente disponible en red (¡y eso que fue presentado hace apenas quince días en su versión en papel!, algo que es sólo posible gracias al buen hacer de la Sección de Publicaciones de la Institución Fernando el Católico)- que reúne trabajos de colegas que han mostrado siempre interés por el "asunto vascón" y que comparten ahora órgano editorial para homenajear a alguien que, a nuestro juicio, ha firmado algunas de las más sagaces aportaciones respecto de los antiguos Vascones, Guillermo Fatás, y que, aunque lo hizo hace ya algunos años, éstas siguen siendo, a nuestro juicio, de referencia. Nos referimos, al menos, a sus imprescindibles trabajos "Notas sobre el territorio vascón en la Edad Antigua", Veleia, 2-3, 1985-1986, pp. 383-398 (aunque algunos de los presupuestos planteados allí estén hoy superados resultó un trabajo pionero y de referencia); "Los Vascones y su territorio", en MONTENEGRO, Á. (ed.): Historia de España. 2. Colonizaciones y formación de los pueblos prerromanos (1200-218 a. C.), Madrid, 1986, pp. 376-400 (extraordinariamente sagaz y de validez más que introductoria); y "El Ebro Medio, trifinio paleohispánico", en RODRÍGUEZ NEILA, J. F., y NAVARRO, F. J. (eds.): Los pueblos prerromanos del Norte Peninsular: una transición cultural como debate histórico, Pamplona, 1998, pp. 29-50 (sencillamente, inexcusable respecto de la paleoetnografía del Ebro Medio).

Los dos trabajos que siguen ([1] y [2]) son los que justifican este nuevo post de Oppida Imperii Romani:

[1] ANDREU, J. (ed.): Entre Vascones y Romanos. Sobre las tierras de Navarra en la Antigüedad [Cuadernos de Arqueología de la Universidad de Navarra 21, 2013], Pamplona, Universidad de Navarra 2013. Ya hace casi un año, en uno de los primeros posts de 2014 en este blog (pincha aquí) dábamos noticia de la publicación, en el número 21 de la revista Cuadernos de Arqueología de la Universidad de Navarra, del Departamento de Historia de dicho centro universitario, de las actas de un nuevo coloquio sobre Navarra en la Antigüedad que tuvo lugar en 2013 en la UNED de Tudela. Y lo hacíamos convencidos de que el volumen iba a tener una gran difusión. De hecho así ha sido y se ha agotado la tirada en papel de la revista que lo acogió especialmente por el éxito que tuvo su presentación en la UNED de Tudela en la primavera de este mismo año (pincha aquí para ver la magistral lección que impartió ese día el Prof. F. Wuilff, del que más arriba hablábamos). Por eso -y también porque ésa es la política habitual del Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra- apenas transcurridos unos meses de la presentación del volumen, éste está disponible ya en la red con todas las separatas digitales accesibles para cualquier lector. Heredero del volumen Los Vascones de las fuentes antiguas: en torno a una etnia de la Antigüedad Peninsular, Barcelona, 2009, ya en el post al que antes aludíamos hacíamos una valoración de cuáles eran, a nuestro juicio, los trabajos básicos de este Entre Vascones y Romanos, valoración a la que remitimos para una visión más global de los atractivos del trabajo. Tal vez ahora sea momento apropiado para quedarnos, fundamentalmente con tres como hacemos también -ahí por una razón estrictamente temática- en el volumen del que damos noticia más abajo. Así, del número 21, correspondiente a 2013 de la revista Cuadernos de Arqueología de la Universidad de Navarra -el 22, correspondiente a 2014 ve la luz en los próximos días- destacaríamos el estudio que J. L. Ramírez Sádaba y J. Gorrochategui hacen de la religiosidad vascónica ahondando en el estudio no sólo de la dimensión local de la misma -la documentada en el territorio atribuido, en la Península Ibérica, a los Vascones- sino conectándola con la que sus vecinos aquitanos exhiben en la documentación epigráfica (pp. 113-151); las novedades que, tras años de trabajo, aportan sobre Pompelo, M. García-Barberena y M. Unzu, del Gabinete Trama (pp. 219-256, por cierto, en formato "periodístico", si te interesa esta cuestión puedes ver esta nota de una reciente charla de la propia M. García-Barberena en la Universidad de Navarra: pincha aquí) y, por último, la que F. Beltrán Lloris y J. Velaza firman sobre el límite más occidental del conuentus de Caesar Augusta (pp. 51-73), distrito tan bien representado en este blog (pincha aquí) y que coincidiría con el límite de los Vascones a ese lado de la actual Comunidad Foral de Navarra.

[2] DUPLÁ, A., ESCRIBANO, Mª V., SANCHO, L., y VILLACAMPA, Mª A. (eds.): Miscelánea de estudios en homenaje a Guillermo Fatás Cabeza, Zaragoza, Institución Fernando el Católico, 2014. Que G. Fatás contribuyó a firmar algunas de las -en buena medida- más sagaces aportaciones a la Historia Vasconiae y a sus res controuersae -como las llamó con acierto J. J. Sayas en una contribución al I Coloquio de Historia de Navarra, que ahora está (pp. 89 y ss.) disponible en la red (pincha aquí)- que se hayan escrito en este siglo es algo que nadie discutirá. Tal vez por ello, un volumen con colaboraciones de colegas destinado a rendirle homenaje por su jubilación estaba claro que iba a ser una excelente ocasión para seguir "pulsando" como avanza la investigación sobre este apasionante y complejo asunto. Además de estudios firmados por prestigiosos investigadores que se han dedicado con generosidad u ocasionalmente al asunto vascónico, aunque, en el presente volumen, traten otras cuestiones (Mª J. PeréxF. Beltrán Lloris, J. Navarro, E. Moreno, F. Marco, F. Pina...) las páginas de este voluminoso -pero utilísimo- trabajo destilan algunas aportaciones que han de ser consideradas y que son bienvenidas en el marco de los estudios sobre el ámbito vascónico en particular y sobre el asunto de las etnias prerromanas en general. Así, C. Castillo plantea la posibilidad de conectar la Sosinesta aun ilocalizada de la tabula Contrebiensis (CIL I, 2951a) con Sos del Rey Católico, municipio zaragozano cuyas evidencias arqueológicas, epigráficas y toponímicas de raigambre antigua glosa con acierto (pp. 195-196). La Comarca de las Cinco Villas de Aragón -núcleo neurálgico del antiguo poblamiento vascónico a juzgar por las evidencias onomásticas- es también protagonista de una deseadísima publicación, la que, finalmente, estudia un pondus staterae en bronce con figura de Attis que se conserva en una colección particular en la localidad zaragozana de Sofuentes, firmada por R. Erice (pp. 257-263, pronto se publicará un trabajo nuestro sobre esta pieza, casi paralelo al de esta solvente investigadora). Por último, J. Santos valora, en un sucinto pero muy jugoso trabajo, el papel que determinados documentos -y en particular la propia tabula Contrebiensis- han tenido en la caracterización étnica del auténtico trifinium cultural -como el propio homenajeado, el Prof. Fatás, lo calificó hace algunos años, como veíamos más arriba- que constituyó el Valle Medio del Ebro en la Antigüedad (pp. 623-625).

Muy muy recomendables los tres trabajos, sin duda, y motivo de gozo para quienes nos dedicamos a ahondar en la Historia Antigua del Valle del Ebro y en su complejo y sugerente panorama etnográfico y cultural en los tiempos antiguos. Ojalá sean también útiles para los lectores de Oppida Imperii Romani... ¡Así lo esperamos!

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Design & Cultural Heritage, il patrimonio storico nell’era digitale


Design-Cultural-HeritageSabato 29 novembre 2014 nella sala Conferenze del Museo del Novecento di Milano si terrà il Convegno Design & Cultural Heritage dedicato alla conservazione e valorizzazione del patrimonio storico nell’era digitale.

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: November 27

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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


TINY PROVERBS: Today's tiny proverb is: Scripta manent (English: Things that are written remain).

3-WORD MOTTOES: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Ratione, non vi (English: By reason, not force).

ANIMAL PROVERBS: Today's animal proverb is Simia quicquid agit, simia semper erit (English: Whatever a monkey does, a monkey she'll always be).

POLYDORUS: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Lux in tenebris lucet (English: A light shines in the darkness).

PROPER NAME PROVERBS: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Dathus bonorum (English: A Dathus of good things; from Adagia 1.3.33 - Dathus was a proverbially prosperous colony, abounding in gold, on the shores of the Strymon river).

GREEK PROVERBS: Today's proverb is Ἰχθὺς ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὄζειν ἄρχεται (English: A fish begins to stink from the head... a metaphor for the body politic!).

BREVISSIMA: The distich poem for today is Munera Grata. Give thanks on Thanksgiving, and always!

And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

Si vis, potes.
If you want (it), you can (do it).

Nihil dulcius veritatis luce.
Nothing is sweeter than the light of truth.


FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Canes Duo et Os, a story of two foolish dogs and a third who is more wise (this fable has a vocabulary list).

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Leo Amatorius et Silvanus, the sad story of the lion in love.

Leo Amatorius

Latin Fables Read by Justin Slocum Bailey. Here is today's audio fable: Leo Rex et Regia Eius, with links to the audio and to the blog post.

Leo Rex

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

San Diego Misunderstanding

A propos nothing, one Geoffrey Smith appended a most curious comment to Jason Felch's text "Danti's Inference" on the Chasing Aphrodite Blog (November 26, 2014 at 10:43 am) under a comment by Wayne Sayles (as if he'd know anything about it):
What has happened to the artifact erosion center?
I presume he means the Artefact (note the spelling) Erosion Counter.  Basically, it has continued to tick away registering selfish hoikery day after day while the snide comments pile up. I cannot for the life of me think why it is of interest to a collector in San Diego, can you?

This is the same "Dr Geoffrey A Smith, Trustee, Museum of Man, San Diego, California" who commented earlier on Professor Danti (
He chooses to be a political activist … Academic with an agenda… And Is a poor excuse for a instructor. With his loss of credibility his effectiveness as a teacher is gone.
Nice, eh? Smith was a particularly irritating trumpeter for the antiqui-dealers on the yahoo Ancient Artefacts scrum. Probably still is.

Mixantik and his 'Connections' with Christies

Roberta Mazza ('Provenance issues: Information with thoughts to follow', Faces and Voices November 26, 2014) has some interesting information on the acquisition history of the newly-surfaced (5th-6th century AD?) papyrus fragment (GC.MS.000462) from a codex page containing lines from Galatians 2 in Sahidic Coptic. The story of the collecting history is almost as much of a cracker as the Sappho-from-a-book story.
The Galatians 2 Coptic fragment (GC.MS.000462) was purchased in 2013 by Steven Green from a trusted dealer; the Museum of the Bible/Green Collection archives do have files attesting that the papyrus was part of the David Robinson papyrus lot sold at a Christie’s auction in London in November 2011. The files do not explain what happened to the manuscript between November 2011 and October 2012, when it was on sale on eBay. The only person who would be able to explain how a papyrus legally acquired at a Christie’s auction in London went on sale on an eBay account located in Turkey at this point would be the above mentioned trusted dealer, whose identity remains undisclosed.
This same fragment was being sold (he wanted $14,000) by 'Mixantik' on eBay in 2012: Brice Jones, ' A Coptic New Testament Papyrus Fragment (Galatians 2) For Sale on eBay', Quartarion Monday, October 29, 2012. Note here that in the seller's description, it is specifically noted that these are dugup artefacts, not the selling of an old collection bought by the Istanbul seller through a major London auction house. See also Dorothy King's ' The Tale of the Very Dodgy Papyri ... ' PhDiva blog Friday, December 14, 2012. The notion that 'Mixantik' in involved in the resale of material obtained in high-end auction houses looks a little absurd if seen in the context of all the other material (range, quality and presentation) he has dealt with over the same period. The assemblage as a whole gives an entirely different picture - which is why several bloggers (and, if we are to believe it, the Turkish authorities) have taken an interest in him.

Here's just a selection of recent texts where you can find out more on the seller MixAntik and what he's offering:
' Mixantik Papyri Online Again (Would You Buy Kiswa From this Man?)' PACHI Friday, 14 December 2012
'Introducing: Mr MixAntik' PhDiva Tuesday, February 5, 2013,
'RIP MixAntik aka ebuyerrrrr?' Sunday, February 24, 2013   
at the moment he's selling two ancient Egyptian wooden falcons (that's what he says they are, look like sparrows to me) - no mention there of them recently being through a prestigious London auction house.

What 'documentation' links papyri from this November 2011 sale with 'Mixantik'? I bet Christie's would like to see it too.

The London sale 28 November 2011 conveniently lists "59 packets of papyri fragments, approximately 20 x 45mm to 300 x 100mm, the majority in Greek, from various manuscripts containing texts in a variety of hands and including documentary, petitionary and literary excerpts, receipts, contracts and accounts". If Mixantik bought the whole lot of 59 packets  for £7,500, then 13 months later asking for $14,000 for one fragment from one packet represents the makings of a nice profit.

More to the point, if 'Mixantik' had bought some papyri with secure and documented 1960s provenance from London, he would have had no problem obtaining a Turkish export licence for them when they were re-exported. Can we see Mr Green's copy of that export licence?

Vignette: Screenshot from eBay sale (Brice Jones).

The Oriental Institute: Fragments for a History of an Institution

I. J. Gelb, Introduction, The Assyrian Dictionary, Volume 1: A, Part 1, pp. vii-xxi

[This article constitutes the Introduction to the first volume (A - 1964) of The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD). That volume is available for purchase from Oxbow Books and David Brown Book Company, and is also available online free of charge from the Oriental Institute. For further information on the history of the CAD see here. The complete CAD is available online free of charge. And also see An Adventure of Great Dimension: The Launching of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, By Erica Reiner]

The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD)

Martha T. Roth
Editorial Board:
Robert D. Biggs, John A. Brinkman, Miguel Civil, Walter Farber, Erica Reiner, Martha T. Roth, Matthew W. Stolper.

Volume Pagination Date ISBN Price
Volume 1, A, part 1 xxxvi + 392 1964 0-918986-06-0 $60.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 1, A, part 2 xx + 531 1968 0-918986-07-9 $80.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 2, B xviii + 366 1965 0-918986-08-7 $60.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 3, D xiv + 203 1959 0-918986-09-5 $50.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 4, E xiv + 435 1958 0-918986-10-9 $70.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 5, G xii + 158 1956 0-918986-11-7 $45.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 6, H [Het] xiii + 266 1956 0-918986-12-5 $50.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 7, I/J xv + 331 1960 0-918986-13-3 $60.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 8, K xix + 617 1971 0-918986-14-1 $80.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 9, L xx + 259 1973 0-918986-15-X $55.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 10, M, part 1 xxiv + 441 1977 0-918986-16-8 $130.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 10, M, part 2 xx + 324 1977 0-918986-16-8 Download Terms of Use
Volume 11, N, part 1 xxiii + 382 1980 0-918986-17-6 $130.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 11, N, part 2 xxi + 357 1980 0-918986-17-6 Download Terms of Use
Volume 12, P xxx + 559 2005 1-885923-35-X $130.00 PurchaseDownload Terms of Use
Volume 13, Q xxiv + 332 1982 0-918986-24-9 $70.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 14, R xxx + 441 1999 1-885923-14-7 $95.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 15, S xxiv + 428 1984 0-918986-40-0 $80.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 16, S [Tsade] xv + 262 1962 0-918986-18-4 $65.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 17, S [Shin], part 1 xxviii + 492 1989 0-918986-55-9 $75.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 17, S [Shin], part 2 xxviii + 453 1992 0-918986-78-8 $70.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 17, S [Shin], part 3 xxxiv + 420 1992 0-918986-79-6 $95.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 18, T xxx + 500 2006 1-885923-42-2 $145.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 19, T [Tet] xxxii + 167 2006 1-885923-43-0 $105.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume 20, U/W xxxi + 411 2010 1-885923-78-3 $150.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
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I. J. Gelb

Forty-three years after the inauguration of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project and eight years after the publication of the first volume, H, the Dictionary has been brought to the stage of preparing the A volume for publication, with the ensuing necessity for a general introduction to the whole project.

The first purpose of this introduction is to acquaint scholars with the past history of the Chicago project, its conception and its progress, its present state and plans for the future. The second purpose, equally important, is to acknowledge the help of and to give credit to all the scholars, both resident and non-resident, who have worked on the Assyrian Dictionary in these years, thus making possible the realization of the project in the form of publication.

A few words are necessary to justify the use of the term "Assyrian" in the title of the project and of the published Dictionary. In the early years of Assyriology the term "Assyrian" was commonly used for the main Semitic language of Mesopotamia, for the well-known reason that most of the cuneiform documents then available had been recovered from sites situated in what was once ancient Assyria. With the recovery of Babylonian sites in the following years, many more tablets came to light, showing not only that the two dialects used in Assyria and Babylonia, respectively, were closely related, but also that their users called their language neither "Assyrian" nor "Babylonian," but "Akkadian," after the Akkadians who had established the first great Semitic empire in the middle of the third millennium B.C. under their renowned leader, Sargon of Akkad. As some of these facts became known, the term "Akkadian" ("Accadian") began to crowd out the term "Assyrian" in good Assyriological usage. However, the term "Assyrian" for the Assyro-Babylonian language continues to be used-though on a much more limited and mainly popular basis-in parallel to such firmly established terms as "Assyriology" and "Assyriologist." The aversion toward the term "Akkadian" ("Accadian") in the popular American circles may be partially conditioned by the existence of the name "Acadian" ("Cajun") for the French Canadians of Nova Scotia (and later, Louisiana).

The term "Assyrian" has been used in the official designation of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project since its inception in 1921. While I used the term "Akkadian" in discussing the Chicago project in the two reports on the Dictionary published in Orientalia n.s. XVIII and XXI, respectively, the Chicago group, in general, preferred to continue with the term "Assyrian" and this is the term which appears in the title of the published Chicago dictionary.

In this Introduction I use the symbol CAD for the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, but the term "Akkadian" when it denotes the language often called "Assyrian" or "Assyro-Babylonian" by others.

The CAD is the fulfillment of the dream of James H. Breasted, Egyptologist and ancient historian, the first Director of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and the man who initiated the CAD project in 1921 and was its guiding spirit until his death in 1935.

The extent to which Breasted was responsible for the organization of the CAD project can be seen from the two preliminary reports on the CAD which he wrote as part of the over-all program of the Oriental Institute, namely, "The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago-a Beginning and a Program," chapter III, "The Assyrian-Babylonian Dictionary," American Journal of Semitic Languages VIII (1921-1922) 288-305 (= Oriental Institute Communications No. 1 [1922] pp. 56-73) and The Oriental Institute (Chicago, 1933), chapter XVII, "The Assyrian Dictionary," pp. 378-400.

The extent to which Breasted was responsible for the supervision of the CAD, both in his capacity as the Director of the Oriental Institute and as its guide and counselor, can now be gathered only from reading the letters and the memoranda in the archives of the Oriental Institute. Time and again it was he who pointed out to the successive editors of the CAD the central aims of the Dictionary and the dangers of being distracted from them. When Luckenbill was proposing grandiose plans for publishing cuneiform sources, when Chiera was anxious to lead archeological expeditions to Iraq, and when Poebel was involving himself and his assistants in extensive grammatical investigations, it was Breasted who never wavered and who induced the editors to pursue the central goal, namely the work on the Dictionary.

As sources of information for the history of the CAD I have used the two Breasted reports, just mentioned, as well as the correspondence files of the Director of the Oriental Institute and my own files. It should be noted that while I have good first-hand knowledge of the history of the CAD for the years since 1929, when I joined the staff of the Oriental Institute, my information for the years 1921-1929 is second-hand and rather fragmentary.

The CAD project is in every sense a joint undertaking of all the scholars who contributed their time and labor to the collection of the materials and to the publication of the Dictionary over a period of more than forty years. It is also a truly international undertaking, involving, as it does, the cooperation of scholars of many different national backgrounds.

The CAD undertaking from the beginning to the present has been financed almost exclusively by the University of Chicago. It is a pleasure, however, to record here that as a result of the internationalization of the CAD in 1951 (see p. xvii) certain institutions under the sponsorship of the Union Academique Internationale provided funds in support of the Dictionary, namely Academie Royale de Belgique, American Council of Learned Societies, The British Academy, Humanities Research Council of Canada, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie, Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie, and Sociedt Suisse des Sciences Morales. The sums provided may have been small in terms of money, but they were large in terms of spirit and international cooperation .


The first report of a new, hitherto unknown, writing found in the ruins of Persepolis, was brought to Europe in 1621 by the renowned Italian explorer Pietro della Valle. A sample of this writing published in della Valle's travel accounts evoked no interest in the scholarly world until 1674, when Jean Chardin of France made public another, and better preserved, inscription from Persepolis. Now it was possible to recognize clearly that the Persepolis writing consisted of signs made up of strokes in the form of wedges. As a consequence, the new writing began to be called "cuneiform." More and better-copied inscriptions from Persepolis were published in 1788 by Carsten Niebuhr, a Danish explorer.

The study of the published Persepolis inscriptions soon led to the discovery that they were written in three different varieties of cuneiform script, of which the first one was called "Persian." At that time nothing certain was known about the identity and character of the second and third varieties. It was not until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the rediscovery of the ancient sites of Nineveh in Assyria and of Babylon in Babylonia by the English travelers C. J. Rich (1811), J. S. Buckingham (1816), and R. Ker Porter (1818) brought to light a number of Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions, that it became apparent that the third variety of the cuneiform script at Persepolis closely resembled the writing of the Mesopotamian inscriptions.

Of the three varieties of the Persepolis writings, the first one, namely the Persian, was the simplest, as it consisted of only forty-two signs. It was on the decipherment of this Persian writing that the efforts of scholars were first concentrated. The basic decipherment of the Persian writing was achieved independently by a German, Georg Friedrich Grotefend (1802), and an Englishman, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1835).

The decipherment of the second cuneiform variety, spurred greatly by the work of Edwin Norris in 1853, led gradually to the discovery that it was used for writing the Elamite language, spoken mainly in the area of Susa. The decipherment of the third cuneiform variety, the most complicated of the three, is due mainly to the work of Edward Hincks, who in 1846 proved conclusively the syllabic and logographic character of the writing. This is the writing in which the great literature of the Assyrians and Babylonians was produced.

With the successful decipherment of cuneiform writing and the subsequent recovery of the many languages written in cuneiform, such as Old Persian, Elamite, Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian), Sumerian, and others, the need arose for a comprehensive dictionary for each of these languages. The need was felt most in the case of Akkadian, the richest and by far the best represented language in the cuneiform script.

The earliest attempts in Akkadian lexicography were rather limited in scope. F. de Saulcy, "Lexique de l'inscription assyrienne de Behistoun," Journal asiatique 1855 pp. 109-197, was concerned only with the lexicon of the Behistfun inscription, while Edwin Norris, "Specimen of an Assyrian Dictionary," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1868 pp. 1-64 and 1870 pp. 1-80, and H. F. Talbot, "Contributions Towards a Glossary of the Assyrian Language," op. cit. 1868 pp. 1-64 and 1870 pp. 1-80, dealt with words selected from a small number of inscriptions then available. The greatest achievement in Akkadian lexicography of the early period from the point of view of size is Norris, Assyrian Dictionary, published in three parts (1068 pages; London, 1868-1872), which reached the root NST and remained unfinished. The lexicographical production of the early period can be rounded out with E. de Chossat, Repertoire assyrien (traduction et lecture) (184 pages; Lyon, 1879) and the much bulkier J. N. Strassmaier, Alphabetisches Verzeichnis der assyrischen und akkadischen Worter der Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia Vol. II, sowie anderer meist unverofentlichter Inschriften (1184+ 66 pages; Leipzig, 1882-1886).

Several characteristics of the early Akkadian dictionaries, or rather glossaries, can be pointed out. They were usually based on cuneiform writing; either the order of the main entries followed the form of the signs, or the main entries were transliterated in Latin characters but the occurrences were cited in cuneiform. The glossaries were limited largely to late Assyrian sources, and within them mainly to the class of royal inscriptions. The works represented not real dictionaries but glossaries of occurrences, and they included not only words of the language but also different classes of proper names.

Soon after the publication of Strassmaier's Verzeichnis, a much more ambitious work began to appear in Germany. This is Friedrich Delitzsch, Assyrisches Worterbuch zur gesamten bisher veroffentlichten Keilschriftliteratur, unter Berucksichtigung zahlreicher unveroffentlichter Texte (488 pages; Leipzig, 1887-1890). As originally planned, the work was to be issued piecemeal in autographed form in about ten fascicles of 160 pages each, altogether about 1600 pages. As actually published, the three fascicles which appeared in three years contained 488 pages and exhausted not much more than one half of aleph, the first letter of the Semitic alphabet. When the impractical and costly nature of the publication was pointed out by numerous Assyriologists in their reviews, Delitzsch gave up his unrealistic undertaking and decided instead to publish a smaller and much more useful dictionary, namely Assyrisches Handw6rterbuch (728 pages; Leipzig, 1896). The new work by Delitzsch was a masterpiece of its kind and remained a basic tool of Assyriology for over half a century.

Based largely on collections of Paul Haupt, then professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a pupil of his, W. Muss-Arnolt, brought out over several years A Concise Dictionary of the Assyrian Language (1202 pages; Berlin, 1894-1905), with many additions from sources overlooked by or not available to Delitzsch. The forte of Muss-Arnolt's dictionary, compared with Delitzsch's, lies in copious bibliographical references to word discussions in Assyriological literature. Additions to both Delitzsch and the earlier fascicles of Muss-Arnolt were provided by Bruno Meissner, Supplement zu den assyrischen W6rterbitchern (106 +32 pages; Leiden, 1898).

The sources utilized in both Delitzsch's and Muss-Arnolt's dictionaries were still largely restricted to late materials from Assyria and, to a much lesser degree, from Babylonia. In the meantime, the recovery and publication of a tremendous body of new materials from the middle and older periods of Mesopotamian history greatly limited the usefulness of the older dictionaries. To satisfy the arising needs, Carl Bezold initiated a new dictionary project in 1912 under the sponsorship of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. The new project differed in two main respects from its predecessors. First, the collection of materials was done mechanically, imitating the process employed by the Egyptian dictionary undertaking in Berlin. This process involved the typing on a card of a section of an inscription containing about thirty words, reproducing the card in about thirty copies, and writing each of the thirty words on a separate copy. The second characteristic of the project was its planned total coverage of sources, approximating in scope a full thesaurus rather than a selective dictionary. An idea of both the process of collecting materials and the extent of its coverage can be obtained from two preliminary articles published by Bezold in Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philos.-hist. Klasse 1915, 8 Abh., and 1920, 16. Abh. In the second article the entry alaku and its derivatives cover 54 pages of text plus 14 pages of indices. The size of the undertaking and Bezold's advanced age forced him to give up the thesaurus idea altogether and to prepare instead a brief glossary based on his copious collections. The manuscript of the glossary, completed by Bezold just before his death in 1922, was edited by a student of his, Albrecht Gotze (Goetze), and published as Babylonisch-assyrisches Glossar (343 pages; Heidelberg, 1926). Though without references and bibliographical discussions, the Glossar has served for many years as a useful tool for students.

Based on second-hand materials is Lexique assyrien-frangais (361 pages; Paris, 1928) written by a certain A. Saubin, an unknown in Assyriology. A. Deimel, Akkadisch-gumerisches Glossar (= Sumerisches Lexikon III/2; 480 pages; Rom, 1937) contains a cross index to the Akkadian words occuring in his Sumerisches Lexikon II plus supplementary entries excerpted from Bezold's Glossar.

About thirty years after the appearance of Delitzsch's Handworterbuch, Bruno Meissner began to collect lexicographical materials for a new Handworterbuch, under the sponsorship of the Prussian Academy of Sciences; cf. the initial report in Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philos.-hist. Klasse 1933 pp. liif., and several reports in the subsequent years of the Sitzungsberichte. By the time Meissner died in 1947, the work of preparing the materials for publication was progressing satisfactorily with the assistance of E. Ebeling, G. Meier, and E. F. Weidner. In 1949 all of Meissner's lexicographical materials were transferred to W. von Soden for publication. They included the dictionary material proper, as well as the manuscript of an unpublished supplement to Akkadian dictionaries compiled by Delitzsch, and Meissner's annotated copies of Delitzsch's and Muss-Arnolt's dictionaries and of other books. Ten years later the first fascicle of the new publication edited by von Soden appeared under the title Akkadisches Handworterbuch, Unter Benutzung des lexikalischen Nachlasses von Bruno Meissner, bearbeitet von Wolfram von Soden. To date (1964) five fascicles have been issued, containing vocabulary entries from a to katamum on 464 pages altogether. For preliminary reports on the technical side of the production and on some theoretical points of lexicography, cf. the preface to the first fascicle and von Soden's article entitled "Das akkadische Handworterbuch, Probleme und Schwierigkeiten," Orientalia n.s. XXVIII (1959) 26-33.

Side by side with the publication of the more or less exhaustive dictionaries of the Akkadian language, Akkadian lexicographical work has progressed steadily through the years on a more limited level. Since the aim of this presentation is to give an account of the history of Akkadian dictionaries, not of Akkadian lexicography in general, only the salient achievements of the latter can be summarized here.

First, we should note certain topical, temporal, and local glossaries, either published independently or found at the end of monographs dedicated to a comprehensive treatment of certain groups of cuneiform texts. Such are glossaries of hymns and prayers (Cecil J. Mullo Weir), laws (G. R. Driver and J. C. Miles), flora (R. C. Thompson), chemistry (R. C. Thompson), astronomy (0. Neugebauer), mathematics (0. Neugebauer and A. Sachs, F. Thureau-Dangin), material culture (A. Salonen); glossaries of Old Akkadian (I. J. Gelb), Old Babylonian (A. Ungnad, M. Schorr, P. Kraus), Middle Babylonian (J. Aro), and New Babylonian (E. Ebeling, [M. San Nicolo and] A. Ungnad); glossaries of Akkadian at Mari (J. BottBro and H. Finet), Bogazkoy (R. Labat), Nuzi (C. Gordon) and El-Amarna ([J. A. Knudtzon and] E. Ebeling).

Much lexicographical material is contained in logographic sign lists (R. E. Briinnow, B. Meissner, C. Fossey, G. Howardy, A. Deimel, B. Landsberger), as well as in collections of names, such as personal (K. Tallqvist, H. Ranke, F. J. Stephens, A. T. Clay, B. Gemser, J. J. Stamm, I. J. Gelb, et al.), divine (A. Deimel, N. Schneider), geographical (F. Delitzsch, F. Hommel, R. P. Boudou), and months (S. Langdon). Among the scholars who have devoted their efforts to the clarification of the meanings of individual lexical items in recent years many could be mentioned, but above all B. Meissner, B. Landsberger, and W. von Soden.


The plans of the Oriental Institute for the compilation of a comprehensive Akkadian dictionary were based especially on experience gained in the writing of The Oxford English Dictionary and the Berlin Egyptian Dictionary. At the time these plans were developed, it was evident that the work performed single-handedly by certain devoted scholars, which had led to the production of the Akkadian dictionaries of the past, had to be expanded and carried on by a permanent resident staff, assisted by a group of outside collaborators. The need for adequate mechanical equipment, especially for the manifolding of cards, which would reduce the clerical and manual work to a minimum, was also recognized.

One of the important decisions in the planning of the CAD was based on the realization that, in order to do justice to the meaning of a word, all its occurrences must be collected, and that they must be collected not simply as words, but as words with as much accompanying text as would be needed to determine the meaning of the word within one particular context or usage. Thus the collection of "quotations" would lead to the accumulation and, ultimately, to the publication of a full "thesaurus." The second important decision was that a dictionary must be based on historical principles. Since the meanings of words change from one period to another, it is the duty of the lexicographer to study and to present the development of each word in a certain chronological order.

The work on the CAD began October 1, 1921 in the basement of the old Haskell Oriental Museum of the University of Chicago, under the direction of Daniel D. Luckenbill, then professor of Assyriology at the University of Chicago, with John H. Maynard serving as the secretary of the Assyrian Dictionary Staff. To assist them there were two graduate students in the Department of Oriental Languages and a stenographer, making a resident staff of five people. As non-resident collaborators the Oriental Institute secured the co-operation of Leroy Waterman of the University of Michigan, S.A.B. Mercer, then of Western Theological Seminary, and T. J. Meek, then of Meadville Theological Seminary. All through the years Breasted was proud of pointing out that, with the exception of Mercer, all of the first members of the Dictionary staff were Ph. D.'s or students of the Department of Oriental Languages of the University of Chicago.

Later changes in the composition of the CAD staff in this period were the appointment of F. W. Geers, a former student of the University of Chicago, as the Secretary of the CAD in 1923, replacing Maynard when he left Chicago, and the addition of Raymond P. Dougherty, Ira M. Price, and Mrs. Maude A. Stuneck as part-time non-resident collaborators.

The mechanical process of collecting dictionary materials was described in full in the two Breasted reports mentioned earlier. Briefly this was the process:

Each cuneiform document, which might be as short as three lines or as long as several hundred lines, was provided with a transliteration and translation and divided into a series of sections containing up to about fifty words apiece. Student members of the staff received the subdivided text and transferred it by typewriter to a master card especially prepared for manifolding purposes. Special type shuttles were cut by the Hammond Typewriter Company providing all the signs and diacritically marked letters needed for the full transliteration of the cuneiform. The cuneiform transliteration was typed on the left side of the card and the corresponding translation on the right. The copyists then handed over their typed cards to a resident Assyriologist for careful proofreading in order to avoid clerical errors in copying. After this proofreading, each master card was reproduced about fifty times on a duplicator.

At this point the process of collecting materials was transferred to Assyriological workers for parsing. The parser took each section, now available in about fifty copies, and underscored the first word in the section on the first card, the second word on the second card, and so on to the end of the section. At the same time the word underscored was entered by hand in the blank space in the upper left corner of the card. This key word insured the filing of the card in its proper place in the alphabetical files. Finally the parser checked off the proper space on a grammatical diagram at the bottom of each card, indicating the morphological classification of the word. The process of filing cards in Dictionary files was normally performed by student help.

The process of collecting materials for the Dictionary went ahead full speed in the first half of the period under the direction of Luckenbill. His report of June 28, 1923, lists 270,000 cards in the Dictionary files, including not only the individual word entries, but also all the various proper names. The work on the Dictionary slowed down considerably in the second half of the period owing mainly to Luckenbill's other responsibilities, such as the publication of his books and articles and the Acting Directorship of the Oriental Institute which he was asked to assume during Breasted's frequent absences from Chicago on trips to the Near East. Luckenbill died suddenly on June 25, 1927.


In 1927 Edward Chiera was called to Chicago as professor of Assyriology and editor of the CAD, and by 1929/1930 work on the Dictionary again began to progress.

First, the staff was enlarged to include, in addition to Chiera and Geers, the following persons: Arno Poebel, who was brought to Chicago in 1930 as professor of Sumerology; T. Jacobsen, I. J. Gelb, and Arnold Walther, who became assistants on the Dictionary in 1928, 1929, and 1930, respectively; and Richard T. Hallock, a student at the University of Chicago, who began work as a part-time assistant in 1930. From the end of 1931 on, the supervision of the Dictionary was divided between Chiera, who held the official title of "Managing and Scientific Editor," and Poebel, who held the title of "Scientific Editor."

At the same time a step was taken to expand the production of the Dictionary by inviting non-resident, mainly foreign, Assyriologists to participate in the work. This became necessary when it was found that the task of preparing manuscripts for typing and manifolding considerably distracted the resident staff from its main task, namely the production of Dictionary cards. Producing manuscripts for typing might have been relatively easy with good text editions, as in the case of old Babylonian letters or El-Amarna texts; it was difficult and time-consuming with texts which first had to be put together from sources scattered in different text editions, and then retranslated and annotated, as in the case of epics and legends and most of the so-called "religious" texts.

To ease the situation, Chiera conceived a plan whereby production of manuscripts was to be assigned to non-resident scholars, limiting the production of Dictionary cards to the resident Dictionary staff. With the help of F. W. Geers and T. Jacobsen, all the cuneiform sources which by 1929 had not yet been taken in by the Dictionary were broken up into categories, and a list of scholars all over the world who could provide the CAD with manuscripts containing transliterations, translations, and notes for certain categories of texts was made. An honorarium was established in payment for the manuscripts, with variations dependent on the size of the assignment and the difficulties attending the preparation of the manuscripts for certain categories of texts. The outside time limit for the completion of the assignments was set at two years. The scholars preparing the manuscripts retained full rights of publication in whatever place and form they might choose, and the CAD obligated itself to give credit for the completed work in its final publication. This obligation is now fulfilled on the following pages.

Chiera's plan was put into effect immediately, and some forty Assyriologists were approached with the request that they take over individual assignments for the CAD. Those who accepted the assignments and completed them at least partially were Martin David, Josef Denner, Raymond P. Dougherty, Erich Ebeling, Cyril J. Gadd, Benno Landsberger, Stephen Langdon, Julius Lewy, John A. Maynard, Bruno Meissner, Ellen W. Moore, Otto E. Ravn, Joseph Schawe, Albert Schott, Maude A. Stuneck, and Franz Steinmetzer. Those who accepted the assignment, but were not able to fulfill it were Peter Jensen, Oluf Kriickmann, Otto Neugebauer, and E. A. Speiser. Scholars who were asked to take over an assignment, but who found it impossible, for one reason or another, to accept were Hans Bauer, Viktor Christian, Edouard Dhorme, Hans Ehelolf, Bedich Hrozn:y, F. Notscher, Moses Schorr, Sidney Smith, R. C. Thompson, F. Thureau-Dangin, Arthur Ungnad, Charles Virolleaud, E. F. Weidner, Maurus Witzel, and Heinrich Zimmern. In later years the following scholars accepted and fully or partially fulfilled their Dictionary assignments: Georges Dossin, Wilhelm Eilers, Rudolf Scholtz, and Wolfram von Soden.

With so many foreign scholars collaborating with the Chicago staff, the CAD undertaking acquired for the first time a truly international character.

For a list of non-resident scholars collaborating on the CAD, their assignments, and the relative degree of fulfillment of their assignments, see below .

In 1930 the CAD moved from the Haskell Oriental Museum to spacious quarters on the third floor of the new Oriental Institute, later known as the James H. Breasted Hall in memory of the first director of the Oriental Institute. At the same time the old hectograph was replaced by a much more efficient mimeograph machine for duplicating Dictionary cards.

In 1932 the staff of the CAD was increased considerably by the addition of Waldo H. Dubberstein, S. I. Feigin, Alexander Heidel, S. N. Kramer, Ernest R. Lacheman, and Robert L. Sage. Besides these more or less full-time workers, the Dictionary employed the part-time services of George C. Cameron, Arthur Piepkorn, Ira M. Price, and Alfred Schmitz. During this period the secretarial and clerical staff was supervised by Mrs. Mary S. Rodriguez and Mrs. Erna S. Hallock.

The process of collecting materials was the same as in the previous years; every occurrence of a word, no matter how common, was collected and filed. Some changes were made in the Dictionary cards; the designations on the grammatical diagram at the bottom of the card were omitted, and also, occasionally, was the translation of the text.

Edward Chiera died on June 21, 1933, and the editorship of the Dictionary passed to Arno Poebel. The process of collecting materials went on as before, but under Poebel's leadership a much greater emphasis was placed on grammatical investigations, often only very indirectly connected with the main Dictionary work.

In the second half of the thirties some important changes took place in the composition of the resident staff. Thorkild Jacobsen came back from the field expeditions in Iraq in 1936 and A. Sachs was added to the staff in 1939. On the other hand, the staff sustained serious losses when some members left Chicago to accept positions elsewhere, and others, while staying in Chicago, transferred their interests to areas outside the Dictionary.

This retrenchment of the Chicago staff, caused partly by financial conditions, and the fact that a number of outside collaborators had not fulfilled their assignments to the CAD, were the two main reasons for the slowing down of the progress of the CAD.

The progress in collecting materials for the Dictionary in the thirties can be summarized by the following figures: 477,000 cards collected by June 4, 1930, 634,000 cards by March 2, 1932, 762,000 cards by October 25, 1933, and 1,060,000 cards by June 1, 1936.

The outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent call of several members of the staff to military service brought the work on the Dictionary to a virtual standstill.


In the course of 1945, soon after the end of hostilities in Europe, John A. Wilson, then the Director of the Oriental Institute, and Thorkild Jacobsen took the initiative in reviving the CAD project. Jacobsen went to Europe, visited a number of European dictionary projects, then talked to several leading Assyriologists, there and in this country, and upon his return to Chicago presented his views on the future of the CAD in a lengthy memorandum full of constructive ideas.

In 1946 I. J. Gelb, after his return from military service, presented another memorandum entitled "The Future of the Assyrian Dictionary," worked out in consultation with Thorkild Jacobsen, F. W. Geers, and A. Heidel.

Gelb's memorandum was accepted as the basic plan for the Dictionary and, after having served one year as acting Editor, he was appointed Editor-in-Charge of the CAD project. The task of implementing the plan began in 1947. Its success depended on a number of factors, chief among them the availability of staff to do the Dictionary work, and strict adherence to the time schedules.

The new plan was reported by Gelb in a short note entitled "Reorganization of the Chicago Akkadian Dictionary" and published in Orientalia n.s. XVIII (1949) 376f. Here are its main points:

"The basic requirement in the planning was that the Dictionary be completed and ready for publication within a ten-year period. The task was to be started in October 1947, when it was planned to have the staff completely gathered at Chicago, and it was to be finished by the end of 1957. The planning of the work involved the division of all the materials which should be included in the final Dictionary into two groups: a) the 'musts' and b) the 'others.' The 'musts' include such important groups of materials as the lexical texts and Old Akkadian texts, which have to be utilized completely. These are the texts in which every word is parsed individually. The group of 'others' includes such materials as the mathematical and astrological texts, in which only the important technical terms are gathered for the Dictionary. "The ten-year period is subdivided into three smaller periods: a) First period of four years: Collecting of materials, including completion of the Dictionary files, etymologies of all Akkadian words, and digest of discussions of Akkadian words in the Assyriological literature. b) Second period of one year: Cleaning up and organization of the Dictionary files in preparation for the c) Third period of five years: Writing of articles. Tentatively we visualize the completed article to include the following: Guide word with etymology and digest of discussions; selected occurrences with translations and references; notes with discussions of semantic development, technical terminology, etc.; signature of the author of the article."

The progress of the Dictionary up to 1952 was reported by Gelb in a note "Present State of the Akkadian Dictionary," which appeared in Orientalia n.s. XXI (1952) 358f.

By 1947 the only full-time members of the pre-war Dictionary staff remaining at Chicago were F. W. Geers, I. J. Gelb, A. Heidel, and R. T. Hallock. In addition, two Chicago scholars, namely Thorkild Jacobsen and S. I. Feigin, were able to devote part of their time to the work on the CAD. The former, occupied with duties connected with his position as Director of the Institute, helped in matters of Sumerian, and the latter, occupant of a chair for Judaic studies, helped in matters of Hebrew. Within two years, the CAD was fortunate in securing the services of the following outside scholars: B. Landsberger, of the Universities of Leipzig and Ankara successively, A. Leo Oppenheim of the Iranian Institute in New York, A. Salonen of the University of Helsinki, and J. Laessoe, a graduate student, of the University of Copenhagen.

During the next two years Salonen and Laessoe left Chicago, and in their places came J.-R. Kupper from Belgium, for two years, and Jussi Aro, a graduate student of the University of Helsinki, for one year. We were also able to avail ourselves of the part-time services of Professor Hans G. Giterbock and of two graduate students at the University of Chicago, Mrs. Rivkah Harris and William H. Hallo. Professor S. I. Feigin died in 1952.

In the years 1952 and 1953 the following persons joined the Chicago Dictionary staff on a full-time basis: Miss Erica Reiner from France, and Michael B. Rowton from England. In addition, two scholars contributed part of their time to the work on the Dictionary: Kemal Balkan from Turkey, for two years, and Giorgio Castellino from Italy, for one year. In 1950 Geers retired from the University, but continued to offer his valuable services to the CAD on a part-time basis, and from 1952 on Heidel was completely occupied with a task outside the Dictionary.

The secretarial and clerical work in this period was under the supervision of Miss Loretta Miller (Davidson) and Miss Arletta Lambert (Smith), successively.

In contrast to the early thirties, only a few non-resident scholars were requested to provide the CAD with manuscripts of certain categories of texts in the post World War II years. Among those who helped with their assignments were E. Ebeling, A. Falkenstein, and A. Leo Oppenheim.

The last count of the cards in the Dictionary files was taken on June 1, 1948, when we reached the total of 1,249,000 cards, each card representing one occurrence, following the process of parsing Dictionary materials described above. After that date an innovation in collecting materials by the process of excerpting materials, rather than of parsing, made an exact count of dictionary cards impossible. While for certain groups of texts the old process of parsing continued, it was found more expedient to excerpt other groups of texts directly from scattered text publications or, whenever possible, from publications containing a comprehensive treatment of certain groups of texts. Even the process of excerpting materials varied from one group of texts to another. Certain groups of texts, such as Old Akkadian, were excerpted so carefully that practically every occurrence was entered on cards. Other groups, such as the more recent Nuzi volumes, were excerpted on a rather eclectic basis. For still other groups of texts, such as the mathematical texts, only the glossaries published in the respective works (by Thureau-Dangin, and Neugebauer and Sachs) were cut up and filed under the individual entries. As a result of mixed procedures in collecting materials, either by parsing or by excerpting, and of excerpting one or as many as ten (and even more) entries on one card, it is impossible to evaluate the present number of entries in the Dictionary files which could be added to the 1,249,000 cards counted on June 1, 1948. If I were to allow myself a rough estimate, I should judge that there are between 1,500,000 and 1,750,000 entries in the files.

In October 1949 a complete inventory of all the materials which remained to be excerpted was made and it was found that the task would require 143 work units. A work unit represented the number of cards one full-time worker could produce in one month. Counting five workers devoting themselves fully to the work, the job of collecting materials could have been completed in less than three years from 1949, that is by 1952. With four full-time workers we thought that the task could have been completed by about 1953. By 1952 a new estimate revealed that we had a little more than over nine-tenths of all the materials in our files. Thus in spite of our strenuous efforts, we found that the realities did not correspond with our planning.

Simultaneously with the task of collecting occurrences of words, the CAD went ahead with the task of collecting auxiliary materials. The digest of discussions of words scattered in Assyriological literature, begun in earlier years by several scholars, including Gelb and Price, was brought to a conclusion by Salonen, Laessoe, and Miss Reiner. In dozens of cases, instead of excerpting discussions, sections containing individual discussions of words were cut out from books bought for the purpose, then pasted on cards, and filed under the appropriate entries. The work on Semitic etymologies, begun by Sachs, was concluded by Salonen. The bibliography of cuneiform sources was from the very beginning the concern of Gelb. This bibliography, containing some 20,000 cards, is divided into two parts. One part lists all the Assyriological publications, books and periodicals, with reference to the topic classifications, such as Royal, Old Akkadian, Sargon, and the other part lists all the cuneiform texts by topic classification with reference to the publications.

Beginning in October, 1947, and all through the period under discussion here, regular meetings of the Dictionary staff were held once a week on Friday afternoon, although under the pressure of time these meetings were sometimes reduced to two a month. The meetings were devoted first to the organization of work and then to the discussion of specific Assyriological or general lexical and grammatical topics.

Following the decision of the senior members of the Oriental Institute, approved by the central administration of the University of Chicago, Gelb was sent to Europe in the summer of 1950 to discuss with European scholars the question of the Akkadian dictionaries, specifically the relationship between the Chicago undertaking and the old Meissner Akkadian dictionary project, which was being revived by the West German academies after World War II under the direction of A. Falkenstein and W. von Soden. At the meeting in Marburg with these two and other German scholars it was agreed that the American and German dictionary projects should be linked together in one international undertaking, the results of which should be published in about seven years in the form of one large dictionary in several volumes prepared by the Chicago staff and a one-volume handy dictionary written by the German scholars. During the period of preparation of the manuscripts, it was planned to exchange materials with the aim of achieving integration to the fullest extent: Chicago was to have the privilege of incorporating the results attained by German Assyriologists, and the German group was to have the right to make full use of the Chicago files and materials.

The proposal to coordinate the American and German Akkadian dictionary undertakings was submitted and approved by the Union Academique Internationale (UAI) at a meeting in Brussels on June 22, 1951; (cf. Union Academique Internationale, Compte rendu de la vingt-cinquieme session annuelle du Comite du 19 et 23 juin 1951 (Brussels, 1951) p. 40, and Gelb in Orientalia XXI (1952) 358f. While the "Marburg Agreement" was given up in October, 1954, as being impractical of execution, the official affiliation of the CAD with the UAI is continuing through the intermediary of the American Council of Learned Societies in New York.

Side by side with the work on the Dictionary proper two auxiliary undertakings were being realized in the form of publication of two series called Materialien zum sumerischen Lexikon (MSL) and Materials for the Assyrian Dictionary (MAD). The former, initiated in 1937 and revived in 1951 with volume II, is directed by B. Landsberger under the sponsorship of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome with the financial support of UNESCO. The latter, published since 1952, is written and edited by I. J. Gelb. Until now (1964) eight volumes of MSL and three of MAD have been published, but many more volumes in both series are planned.

In 1952 for the first time the serious work of planning articles and the publication of the Dictionary began. Questions of dictionary-making were explored from purely scientific and theoretical as well as from practical points of view, in the light of previous experience with Akkadian and Semitic dictionaries, as well as from the point of view of general lexicography. The first articles which were written were those on awlu (incomplete) and Jatiru. As the basis for transliteration and transcription of Akkadian, two pamphlets by Gelb were accepted, namely Memorandum on Transliteration and Transcription of Cuneiform, submitted to the 21st International Congress of Orientalists, Paris (27 pages, mimeographed; Chicago, 1948) and Second Memorandum on Transliteration and Transcription of Cuneiform, submitted to the 161st Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Philadelphia (4 pages, mimeographed; Chicago, 1951).

In working on the sample Dictionary articles, it was soon found that in checking the full context, discussions, etymologies, and references, the original publications had to be consulted. In order to make them easily available to the workers, all the important publications of cuneiform texts, Semitic dictionaries, and Assyriological periodicals were moved from the Oriental Institute Library to the main Dictionary room.

While the planning and the supervision of the work on the CAD was done from the beginning of this period by I. J. Gelb in consultation with the senior members of the Dictionary staff, namely T. Jacobsen, B. Landsberger, and A. L. Oppenheim, as well as with Carl H. Kraeling, the Director of the Oriental Institute, the whole arrangement was legalized in July, 1952, by the creation of the Editorial Board composed of three Associate Editors (Jacobsen, Landsberger, Oppenheim) and one Editor-in-Charge (Gelb).

In 1953 and 1954 the Dictionary work was concentrated on two goals, the writing of articles on Akkadian words beginning with the letter H and the preparation by I. J. Gelb of the preliminary Standard Operating Procedure for the Assyrian Dictionary (SOP). The choice of the letter H for the first volume to be published was based on the consideration that this letter represented roughly the average in its number of Dictionary cards in our files (in contrast to, e.g., the very large A and very small T) as well as the belief that it contained words (or roots) which were thought to offer a relatively small number of phonological problems. The SOP, completed in April, 1954, was sent out to other Assyriologists with a request for comments and criticisms. The discussion of the Dictionary plans took place at two meetings of the International Congress of Orientalists in Cambridge, England, in the summer of 1954.

Toward the end of 1954, the Dictionary was ready to enter its final phase, that of publication. Several basic assumptions had been involved in Gelb's planning of the work of writing articles: that the articles be written by the junior members of the staff, supervised by the senior members; that the junior members be trained in linguistic analysis and strive for a presentation of data on an objective and descriptive basis, rather than through what has variously been called here, in Chicago, the "depth approach," "the high semantic approach," and the "Maximalitat;" and, finally, that the number of resident junior workers be increased considerably with the help of international bodies, Union Academique Internationale and UNESCO, both of which had already been approached on the matter and had offered full support to the plan.

On all these points there were strong disagreements among the senior members of the Chicago staff. Tired of the administrative work and of the dissension, Gelb resigned as Editor-in-Charge of the Dictionary at the end of 1954.


After the resignation of Gelb as Editor-in-Charge, a new Editorial Board was formed with four editors, Gelb, Jacobsen, Landsberger, and Oppenheim, the last placed in charge of administering the project. The original plan called for the selection of one senior member as editor of each volume from year to year.

The staff available in 1955 for Dictionary work consisted of the three senior members, Jacobsen, Landsberger, and Oppenheim, and three junior members, Miss Reiner and Messrs. Hallock and Rowton. Gelb went on a leave of absence for one year, which was prolonged indefinitely due to his inability or unwillingness to adjust to the new spirit prevailing in the Dictionary.

On January 29, 1955, Professor F. W. Geers died at the age of seventy after a long and faithful service of more than thirty years to the cause of the Dictionary. What the Dictionary owes him cannot be gathered from the published preliminary reports, nor from the title pages of the Dictionary volumes. He was a quiet and unassuming scholar, ever helpful to students and professors alike, never seeking credit or recognition. His great contributions lie in the thousands and thousands of cards in the files of the Dictionary.

Several changes in the senior staff have taken place in the years since 1955. Mr. Hallock was editorial secretary of the Dictionary volumes in the years 1955-1957; Miss Reiner was co-opted as associate editor of individual volumes from 1957 on. In 1959 Thorkild Jacobsen resigned from the Editorial Board and from the Dictionary because of disagreements with the policies of the Editorial Board. In 1962 he moved to Harvard University. Miss Reiner was appointed to the Editorial Board in 1962.

In the years from 1956 to the present a number of younger scholars, both American and foreign, worked on the Dictionary, either full time or part time. Listed in approximately chronological order, they are: Mrs. Rivkah Harris, Father W. L. Moran, Ronald Sweet (England), Mrs. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, Burkhart Kienast (Germany), Hans Hirsch (Austria), Erle V. Leichty, A. Kirk Grayson (Canada), John A. Brinkman, Robert D. Biggs, and Aaron Shaffer (Canada). The editorial and clerical work was first under the supervision of Miss Elizabeth Bowman, who was responsible in large measure for establishing the style and the typographical layout of the articles. She was succeeded in later years by Mrs. Marie-Anne Honeywell, and Mrs. Jane Rosenthal.

The work on the Dictionary consisted of two main parts, the collection of materials and the publication of the Dictionary. The collection of materials, especially of the newly published sources, went on as before, but on a much more reduced scale than in any previous period. The main effort of the CAD was concentrated on the publication of the volumes.

Already in the first planning stage of the publication of the Dictionary (1953-1954), it had become clear that with the limited staff available to the Dictionary it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to write the whole Dictionary at one and the same time and to make it ready for publication in one big effort at a certain time in the not-too-distant future. This realization was supported by the experience of other great dictionary undertakings, such as the Latin Thesaurus and the Egyptian dictionary, all of which had been published piecemeal. As a consequence, it was decided to publish the Dictionary volume by volume, one each year, rather than the whole Dictionary at one certain time in the faraway and indefinite future. The present plan is to publish the Dictionary in twenty volumes, each containing words beginning with a certain letter. The seven volumes published to 1963 are: IH (1956), G (1956), E (1958), D (1959), I/J (1960), Z (1961), and S (1962). The reasons for beginning with the letter H were stated previously. The original plan called for the continuation with the letters G, E, D, B, and A, and thereafter to follow the sequence of the alphabet beginning with the letter I (cf. CAD H p. v). However, several factors of expediency, etc., have caused deviations from that plan.

The procedure used in preparing the manuscripts of the individual volumes, although varying in detail from volume to volume, generally followed a certain sequence. The first step entailed the writing of articles by the junior members and the editor assigned to a particular volume. Normally the junior members prepared most of the articles, while the editor of a volume wrote the more difficult or the longer articles. The next step was for the editor to collect all the articles, rewrite and re-edit the individual articles according to need, and prepare a complete manuscript. In these two stages both the junior members and the editor prepared their articles and manuscripts in continuous consultation with the senior Assyriologists at Chicago. According to the official policy established by the Editorial Board, the manuscript of a volume, once completed, was to be submitted to the Board for approval. The members of the Board individually were supposed to read the whole manuscript and to note their criticisms, corrections, and improvements. If accepted as ready to be printed by the vote of the majority of the Board, the manuscript would go back to the editor of a volume, who would then revise the manuscript in accordance with the suggestions and corrections of the Board, and send the revised manuscript to the printers.

In actual practice, the responsibility placed upon the individual members of the Editorial Board to read and to evaluate the manuscripts submitted to them by the editors of volumes was fulfilled in a manner varying greatly from person to person and volume to volume. The manuscripts of some earlier volumes were studied carefully by some members of the Board. In other cases, only parts of the manuscript were read carefully. With later volumes, the efforts of the Board in fulfilling their obligations became less and less.

It is rather difficult to evaluate the respective contributions of the staff, both junior and senior, in the process of preparation of the articles and manuscripts. The first drafts of the articles were composed by several junior members, including Miss Erica Reiner, Michael B. Rowton, Mrs. Rivkah Harris, Father William L. Moran, Burkhart Kienast, Ronald Sweet, Hans Hirsch, A. Kirk Grayson, and Erle V. Leichty. While the original plan called for alternating editors of individual volumes, from the very beginning of the publication period A. L. Oppenheim has acted as the editor of the volumes, assisted since 1957 by Miss Reiner in her capacity as the associate editor of the volumes. On the editors of the volumes fell the main burden of the preparation of the manuscript and the responsibility for its quality. Richard T. Hallock served as editorial secretary of the first two volumes. The helpful assistance of W. G. Lambert, Hans Hirsch, and Ake Sjoberg, in reading the manuscript, of J. Aro, F. Kocher, W. G. Lambert, A. Sachs, and E. F. Weidner in providing corrections and additions, and of Ronald Sweet, Erle Leichty, Richard Caplice, and J. A. Brinkman in checking the references is acknowledged in the prefaces to the published volumes.

The contributions of the members of the Editorial Board consisted mainly of their being available at all times for consultation on difficult problems, and of their reading of the manuscripts. B. Landsberger contributed freely from his great store of knowledge on all kinds of lexical questions, as well as on matters of comparative Semitic, mainly semantic in character. T. Jacobsen was the main guide on all Sumerian matters and helped greatly in smoothing out details of English translations. I. J. Gelb helped mainly with grammatical problems.

The lemmata (entries) have been listed in the published Dictionary strictly by words, not by roots, and in the order of the Latin, not (West) Semitic alphabet, thus reverting to the arrangement of the CAD as conceived in the early twenties. The original files of the Dictionary listed words in the order of the Latin alphabet. Then, in the late thirties, the files were reorganized by A. Walther, under instructions from A. Poebel, so that that words were listed by roots and in the order of the Semitic alphabet. In 1948-1949 the Dictionary files were again reorganized, this time by A. Salonen and J. Laessoe, following the order favored by I. J. Gelb. The order of the roots was changed to conform with the order of the Latin alphabet, but the arrangement of the words under each root was alphabetical, the only exception being that the prefixed forms were always listed at the end of each root. At the same time, copies of lists of words provided with provisional translations, 630 pages each, were typed and distributed to the members of the resident staff to serve as a convenient index to the collections of the CAD files, or as a glossary based on the texts incorporated in these files. Beginning with 1955, the CAD files were partly reorganized to conform to the order followed in the published volumes of the Dictionary. The original plan to publish supplements containing additions and corrections (cf. CAD H p. v), carried out only in CAD G pp. 149-158, was given up in the following volumes.

For the treatment of the lemmata and for the form and style of presentation, see my comments to be published separately. For the time being, see my article, "Lexicography, Lexicology, and the Akkadian Dictionary," published in Misceldnea Homenaje a Andre Martinet, Estructuralismo e Historia II (Tenerife, 1958) pp. 70ff.

One more important point remains to be discussed here and that is the matter of the byproducts of the CAD. Since the main aim of the undertaking has been the publication of the Dictionary, naturally its principal effort through the years has been concentrated on the collection of materials to be used in the published product, namely lexicographical data gathered in the main Dictionary files. But side by side with this main collection of data a tremendous amount of material has been gathered which could be and is being used for purposes other than the Dictionary proper.

Here is a list of the various files in the CAD collections: Main Dictionary entries; Akkadian entries in the ancient lexical texts; Sumerian entries in the ancient lexical texts; Akkadian entries in the Old Akkadian period; Sumerian entries in the Old Akkadian period; Sumerian entries in the Old Babylonian economic texts; Akkadian pronominal suffixes; Old Assyrian (Cappadocian) file; Susa file; Nuzi file; personal names; geographical names; divine names; names of months; names of temples and gates; cuneiform numbers; digest of discussions and etymologies; additions to Deimel, Sumerisches Lexikon; museum numbers of cuneiform texts; sets of transliterations and translations of texts; bibliography of cuneiform sources; and additions to the published volumes of the CAD.


Resident Staff

Aro, Jussi: Part-time Assistant, 1951-1952.
Balkan, Kemal: Part-time Assistant, 1952-1954.
Biggs, Robert D.: Assistant, 1963 to present.
Brinkman, John A.: Assistant, 1963 to present.
Cameron, George C.: Part-time Collaborator, 1931-1948.
Castellino, Giorgio: Part-time Assistant, 1953-1954.
Chiera, Edward: Editor, 1927-1931; Managing and Scientific Editor, 1931-1933. Died: June 21, 1933.
Civil, Miguel: Part-time Collaborator, 1963 to present.
Dubberstein, Waldo H.: Assistant and part-time Collaborator, 1932-1942.
Feigin, Samuel I.: Assistant and part-time Collaborator, 1932-1950. Died: January 3, 1950.
Geers, Frederick W.: Secretary, 1923-1950; Emeritus, 1950; Collaborator, 1951-1952. Died: January 29, 1955.
Gelb, Ignace J.: Assistant, 1929-1944 (Leave of absence, 1944-1945); Acting Editor, 1946; Editor-in-Charge, 1947-1955; Editor, 1955 to present.
Grayson, A. Kirk: Assistant, 1962-1963.
Guterbock, Hans G.: Part-time Collaborator, 1950 to present.
Hallo, William W.: Part-time Assistant, 1955-1956.
Hallock, Richard T.: Assistant, 1930 to 1941 (Leave of absence, 1941-1947); Assistant, 1947-1955; Editorial Secretary, 1955-1957.
Harris, Rivkah: Part-time Assistant, 1957, 1959, 1961.
Heidel, Alexander: Assistant and part-time Collaborator, 1932-1955. Died: June 19, 1955.
Hirsch, Hans: Assistant, 1960-1961; Collaborator, 1962.
Jacobsen, Thorkild: Assistant, 1928-1929 and 1936-1946; Associate, 1946-1952; Associate Editor, 1952-1955; Editor, 1955-1959.
Kienast, Burkhart: Assistant, 1958-1960.
Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn: Part-time Assistant, 1957-1963.
Kramer, Samuel N.: Assistant and part-time Collaborator, 1932-1942.
Kupper, Jean-Robert: Assistant, 1949-1951.
Lacheman, Ernest R.: Assistant, 1932-1935.
Laessoe, Jorgen: Assistant, 1948-1951.
Landsberger, Benno: Collaborator, 1932-1937; Consultant, 1948-1952; Associate Editor, 1952-1955; Emeritus, 1955; Editor, 1955 to present.
Leichty, Erle V.: Assistant, 1960-1963.
Luckenbill, Daniel D.: Editor, 1921-1927. Died: June 25, 1927.
Maynard, John A.: Secretary, 1921-1923; Assistant, 1928; Collaborator, 1927, 1929-1935.
Moran, William L.: Assistant, 1956-1957.
Oppenheim, A. Leo: Associate, 1947-1952; Associate Editor, 1952-1955; Editor-in-Charge, 1955 to present.
Piepkorn, Arthur: Part-time Collaborator, 1932.
Poebel, Arno: Collaborator, 1930; Scientific Editor, 1931-1933; Editor, 1933-1946; Retired: March 30, 1946. Died: March 3, 1958.
Price, Ira M.: Part-time Collaborator, 1932. Died: 1939.
Reiner, Erica: Assistant, 1952-1957; Associate Editor of volumes, 1957-1962; Editor, 1962 to present.
Rowton, Michael B.: Assistant, 1952 to present.
Sachs, Abraham: Assistant, 1939-1941. Sage, Robert L.: Assistant, 1932-1936.
Salonen, Armas I.: Assistant, 1947-1949.
Schmitz, Alfred: Part-time Assistant, 1931-1932. Shaffer, Aaron: Assistant, 1963-1964.
Sjoberg, Ake: Part-time Collaborator, 1963 to present.
Stuneck, Maude A.: Assistant, 1927-1929, 1932; Collaborator, 1929, 1930, 1932-1935.
Sweet, Ronald F. G.: Assistant, 1956-1959.
Walther, Arnold: Editorial Assistant, 1930-1938; Died: May 18, 1938.
Wilson, James V. Kinnier: Assistant, 1951-1952.

Non-Resident Collaborators and their Dictionary assignments

David, Martin: Middle and New Assyrian economic and legal texts (KAJ 1-156; Johns, ADD 1-805; misc.). Denner, Josef: Liver omens.
Dossin, Georges: Akkadian economic and legal texts from Susa.
Dougherty, Raymond P.: New Babylonian economic and legal texts (BIN I, II; BRM I; YOS VII).
Ebeling, Erich: Bilingual religious texts; medical texts; New Babylonian letters (BIN I; TCL IX; YOS III); Uruanna.
Eilers, Wilhelm: Middle and New Assyrian economic and legal texts (KAV; TCL IX; VAS I;
Falkenstein, Adam: Bilingual religious texts (Lugale and Angim).
Gadd, C. J.: New Babylonian letters (CT XXII).
Landsberger, Benno: Lexical texts. Langdon, S.: Hemerologies; wisdom texts.
Lewy, Julius: Cappadocian texts (about 800 economic and legal texts).
Maynard, John A.: Work assignment unknown.
Meek, T. J.: Work assignment unknown.
Meissner, Bruno: The Shurpu series; King, BMS.
Mercer, S.A.B.: El Amarna letters.
Moore, Ellen W.: New Babylonian economic and legal texts (BRM II; TCL XII, XIII; VAS III, IV, V, VI).
Oppenheim, A. Leo: Old Babylonian economic and legal texts.
Ravn, O.: General omens.
Shawe, Joseph: Kassite letters.
Scholtz, Rudolf: Rituals (very few texts delivered).
Schott, Albert: Astronomical and astrological texts (very few texts delivered).
von Soden, Wolfram: Literary texts (scattered materials).
Steinmetzer, Franz: Kudurrus.
Stuneck, Maude A.: New Babylonian economic and legal texts (Strassmaier).
Waterman, Leroy: New Assyrian letters.


James H. Breasted, "The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago-a Beginning and a Program," Chapter III, "The Assyrian-Babylonian Dictionary," American Journal of Semitic Languages, VIII (1921-1922) 288-305 = Oriental Institute Communications No. 1 (1922) pp. 56-73.

Breasted, The Oriental Institute (Chicago, 1933), Chapter XVII, "The Assyrian Dictionary," pp. 378-400.
I. J. Gelb, "Reorganization of the Chicago Akkadian Dictionary," Orientalia, n.s. XVIII (1949) 376f.
Gelb, "Present State of the Akkadian Dictionary," Orientalia, n.s. XXI (1952) 358f.

Gelb, Standard Operating Procedure for the Assyrian Dictionary (Chicago, 1954; 129 pages, mimeographed).

Gelb, "Lexicography, Lexicology, and the Akkadian Dictionary," Misceldnea Homenaje a Andre Martinet, Estructuralismo e Historia II (Tenerife, 1958) pp. 63-75.

[This article constitutes the Introduction to the first volume (A 1 - 1964) of The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD). That volume is available for purchase from Oxbow Books and David Brown Book Company, and is also available online free of charge from the Oriental Institute. For further information on the history of the CAD see here.]

Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog

The Great Harbor at Carthage

What is a Cothon?

A cothon is a man-made harbor found in the ports of ancient Phoenicia. In actuality, cothon refers to a man-made island at the center of a harbor, but because this island was typically included in the harbor design, its name eventually became the general term for the type of harbor. The great harbor of Carthage is the most well-known example, although others existed in Cyprus and Sicily.

The relationship between Carthage and Phoenicia is much deeper, of course, than the mere copying of a harbor design. Carthage, circa 814 B.C, began as a Phoenician colony at the start of the first millennium B.C. later to become independent of its mother country. The name Carthage is Phoenician for “New City”. As the Carthaginians moved forward to build their own nation, they used the Phoenician model of building an economy based on trade. After the Greek settlements in the Italian peninsula caused the Phoenicians to retreat to the eastern Mediterranean, Carthage was in position to dominate the western Mediterranean, which she accomplished by 650 B.C. Carthage remained a maritime power until she was crushed by the Romans at the end of the third Punic War in 146 B.C.

We don’t know when the great harbor was built because the history is lacking. The best information about it comes from Appian, far removed from the events he writes about. Polybius would have been a great source because he was eyewitness to the Roman attack on Carthage at the end of the third Punic War, but his writings are lost.

Here is what Appian had to say:

The harbors had communication with each other, and a common entrance from the sea twenty meters wide, which could be closed with iron chains. The first port was for merchant vessels, and here were collected all kinds of ships' tackle. Within the second port was an island which, together with the port itself, was enclosed by high embankments. These embankments were full of shipyards which had capacity for 220 vessels. Above them were magazines for their tackle and furniture. Two Ionic columns stood in front of each dock, giving the appearance of a continuous portico to both the harbor and the island. On the island was built the admiral's house, from which the trumpeter gave signals, the herald delivered orders, and the admiral himself overlooked everything. The island lay near the entrance to the harbor and rose to a considerable height, so that the admiral could observe what was going on at sea, while those who were approaching by water could not get any clear view of what took place within. Not even the incoming merchants could see the docks, for a double wall enclosed them, and there were gates by which merchant ships could pass from the first port to the city without traversing the dockyards.

Above is a drawing of the harbors of Carthage.

The architecture of the military harbor was stunning as you can see from the drawing below by RadoJavor, copyright 2012-2014.

The photograph below shows the harbors today.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Pompeii: The First Navigation Map

Pompeii: The First Navigation Map
The PBMP’s first full map for navigation is now online. You can start to explore Pompeii in the map embedded below, or go to the full site for more space and options. If you want to customize the map or make a presentation from it, sign in to / sign up for your ArcGIS Online account and save a copy to your own webspace. The link is at the upper right of the embedded map page. [Coming: Click here if you want to download the files as a map package (with minor improvements from online version) ]. Below the map is additional information about the files, the information they contain, and their display.

Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

Text Analysis of the Grand Jury Documents

a topic in the grand jury documents, #ferguson

a topic in the grand jury documents, #ferguson

I watched Twitter and the CBC while the prosecutor was reading his statement. I watched the live feeds from Ferguson, and other cities around the US. Back in August, when this all first began, I was glued to my computer, several feeds going at once.

A spectator.

Yesterday, Mitch Fraas put the grand jury documents (transcripts of the statements, the proceedings) into Voyant Tools:

These ultimately came from here:

So today, I began, in a small way, to try to make sense of it all, the only way that I can. Text analysis.

Here’s the Voyant Tools corpus

Not having read the full corpus closely (this is, of course, a *distant* tool), it certainly looks as if the focus was on working out what Brown was doing, rather than Wilson…

I started topic modeling, using R & MALLET.

and I put everything up on github

but then I felt that I could improve the analysis; I created one concatenated file, then broke it into 1000 line chunks. The latest inputs, outputs, and scripts, are all on my github page.

The most haunting…

And all 100 topics…

None of this counts as analysis. But – by putting it altogether, my hope is that more people will grab the text files, grab the R script, explore the Voyant corpus, and really put this all under the microscope. I was tremendously effected by Bethany’s latest blog post, ‘All at once‘, which discusses her own reaction to recent news in both Ferguson and UVa, and elsewhere. It was this bit at the end that really resonated:

[…]we need analytical and interpretive platforms, too, that help us embrace our own subjective positioning in the systems in which we labor–which means, inevitably, to embrace our own complicity and culpability in them. And we need these, at the same time, to help us see beyond: to see patterns and trends, to read close and distantly all at once, to know how to act and what to do next. We need platforms that help us understand the workings of the cogs, of which we are one.

So here’s my small contribution. Maybe this can be a platform for someone to do a deeper analysis, to get started with text analysis, to read distantly and closely, to see beyond, and to understand what happened during the Grand Jury.

BiblePlaces Blog

Artifacts of the Month: Nebuchadnezzar II

(Posted by Michael J. Caba)

The ceramic brick to the left is inscribed in cuneiform with the name of Nebuchadnezzar II. Ancient kings often used inscribed bricks in their building projects. This one was originally made in c. 604-562 BC and was found in the ruins of ancient Babylon during excavations in 1927. It reads, "Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, Guardian of the temples of Esagila and Ezida, Firstborn son of Nabopolasser, king of Babylon." It is shown here in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York while on loan from Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin.

The cylinder to the 
right reads, in part, "Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the restorer of the temples: Esogil and Ezida, the first-born of Nabopolasser, King of Babylon, am I."  It was inscribed using cuneiform lettering in 604 BC and was discovered in a temple wall in Babylonia at the location of its original burial. It is made of terracotta and is currently located in the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose, CA.

The photo to the left shows the Ishtar gate as it now sits in the Museum of the Ancient Near East, Pergamum Museum, Berlin. Originally constructed in ancient Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, it is covered with colorful glazed titles that depict bulls and dragons. It was uncovered by German archaeologists, along with other spectacular finds, during a 14-year period beginning in 1899. The reconstructed gate is approximately 48 feet in height and 51 feet in width. 

For those interested in Biblical Studies, Nebuchadnezzar II is mentioned some 90 times in the Bible in a variety of different contexts (e.g., Ezra 1:7).

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

(Photos: Michael J. Caba and Significant resources for further study: The Context of Scripture, volume 2, page 308-10; Lost Treasures of the Bible, by Fant and Reddish, pages 199-205.)

ἐν ἐφέσῳ: Thoughts and Meditations

SBL 2014 in San Diego

This year’s SBL annual meeting was a huge success for me: plenty of meaningful conversation with friends both old and new together with several important discussions about future and ongoing projects in Greek grammar.

And because this is probably the rare occasion where my photography interfaces with what I do on this website, I can linking to my SBL 2014 flickr album here.

Filed under: Other

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

Papyrology at the SBL: Issues of Provenance

Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 204 A (Level 2 (Indigo)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Theme: Issues of Provenance 
This session will consist of a panel of speakers addressing the ethical and scholarly issues concerning the presentation and publication of unprovenanced artifacts.
Christine Thomas, University of California-Santa Barbara, Presiding (10 min)

Daniel Schowalter, Carthage College, Presiding (10 min)

Timothy Potts, The J. Paul Getty Museum
 Publishing and Provenance: Museums, Collectors, and Scholars (30 min)
This presentation addresses the evolution during the past twenty years of U.S. museum practice and policy regarding the collecting of antiquities, and the parallel debate over the ethics of publishing “unprovenanced” (or “poorly provenanced”) artefacts and inscriptions. Central to these discussions has been the question of a nexus between acquiring (whether by museums or individuals) and publishing such material on the one hand, and the ongoing looting of sites in crisis regions like Iraq and Syria on the other; and whether, assuming such a nexus can be demonstrated, it outweighs the scholarly responsibility to record and make accessible important new data.

Roberta Mazza, University of Manchester 
Papyri, Collections, and the Antiquities Market: A Survey and Some Questions (30 min)
In recent years the publication and in some cases public exhibition of papyri, originally from Egypt, transmitting glamorous lost ancient texts, have stirred polemics on their provenance and acquisition circumstances. The Artemidorus papyrus, the Gospel of Judas codex, the so-called Jesus wife papyrus, and more recently the London Sappho papyrus and the Green collection papyri have been presented in the media as surrounded by an allure of mystery, which has intrigued the wider audience, but in fact has more to do with the scarcity or quality of information given on their purchase. The aim of this paper is to provide a wider context for these famous cases. I will survey post-1951 (the year of the issue of the Egyptian law n. 215 on the protection of antiquities) acquisitions of papyri by both private collectors and public institutions in order to discuss questions and problems relating in particular to three areas: public access to data on the acquisition of papyri, publication and professional association policies, and academics’ communication with the media.

Michael Peppard, Fordham University
, Mosaics from a Fifth-Century Syrian Church (30 min)
In late 2013 Fordham University (New York) acquired through donation group of nine mosaics from the heir of a private collector. Under the curatorship of Jennifer Udell and the directorship of Gregory Waldrop, the mosaics are to be installed in the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art. On this panel, I will explain the provenance work that I did during the summer and fall of 2013 on behalf of our museum, prior to acceptance of the donation, which led to more detailed understanding of the ancient and modern histories of these mosaics. To the extent permitted by my university’s legal counsel, I will summarize the legal due diligence performed by our lawyers, through independent expert counsel, and my own correspondence with senior colleagues abroad. Finally, I will describe lessons learned about the publicization of new acquisitions and the interacting roles of “new” and “old” media in the process.

Douglas Boin, Saint Louis University, Respondent (15 min)

David Trobisch, The Museum of the Bible (Green Collection), Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)

R. Mazza reports on The Provenance of the London Sappho

from Robert Mazza's, Faces & Voices 

"Full information on the acquisition history of the new Sappho fragments will be given by Dirk Obbink in a forthcoming article in ZPE. An entire session at the American Philological Association/Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in New Orleans (Session 5, 9th January 2015) will be devoted to the new Sappho poems: the first paper by Obbink will address, among others, issues of provenance, as you can read from the program.The fragments do not come from mummy cartonnage, as previously written by Obbink in his TLS article, but from book binding cartonnage; their provenance is documented, and proofs that they were out of Egypt before 1972. The book binding was dismounted before the papyri were studied and then published respectively by Dirk Obbink (P.Sapph. Obbink) and by S. Burris, D. Obbink, and J. Fish (P.GC. 105)"

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Gold artefacts from Oc Eo recognised in Vietnam Book of Records

The gold artefacts from southern Vietnam has been recognised as the largest hoard of its kind in the country.

Oc Eo Gold. Source: Viet Nam News 20141125

Oc Eo Gold. Source: Viet Nam News 20141125

Gold antiques of Oc Eo culture get recognition
Viet Nam News, 25 November 2014

The Viet Nam Book of Records has recognised a collection of gold objects belonging to the Oc Eo – Go Thap culture as the largest of its kind in the country.

The collection comprises 49 gold objects discovered during excavations in the 1984-2013 period at the Go Thap archaeological site, Thap Muoi District, in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Dong Thap.

The antique objects date between the third century and the seventh century. Many of them represent the Hindu God Vishnu and flowers such as the lotus and water lily, as well as sacred animals such as the Nandin cow, Vahara pig and Shesha snake, besides the Kurma tortoise and Sankha snail.

The rest of the collection, which includes jewellery such as rings, earrings and necklaces, also demonstrates the skills of goldsmiths of the ancient civilisation.

Full story here.

November 26, 2014

Roberta Mazza (Faces & Voices)

Provenance issues: Information with thoughts to follow

The Galatians 2 Coptic fragment when advertised on eBay, screen shot from  Quaternion blog post

The Galatians 2 Coptic fragment when advertised on eBay in 2012, screen shot from The Quaternion blog post

As many of my readers already know, there was an entire session devoted to issues of provenance at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in San Diego. Three papers were presented, followed by respondents, and then we had a lively general discussion. I have enjoyed the session, and what has been said has made me re-thinking about many of the issues at stake. But before I’ll write at length about this, I feel necessary to give important updates on the acquisition history of the Sappho papyrus fragments and the Coptic Galatians 2 papyrus on which I have written in the past. I was given the details which follow right before the SBL session, they were swiftly included in my paper, and I think it is my duty now to report them in the blog.

Full information on the acquisition history of the new Sappho fragments will be given by Dirk Obbink in a forthcoming article in ZPE. An entire session at the American Philological Association/Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in New Orleans (Session 5, 9th January 2015) will be devoted to the new Sappho poems: the first paper by Obbink will address, among others, issues of provenance, as you can read from the program.
The fragments do not come from mummy cartonnage, as previously written by Obbink in his TLS article, but from book binding cartonnage; their provenance is documented, and proofs that they were out of Egypt before 1972. The book binding was dismounted before the papyri were studied and then published respectively by Dirk Obbink (P.Sapph. Obbink) and by S. Burris, D. Obbink, and J. Fish (P.GC. 105).

The Galatians 2 Coptic fragment (GC.MS.000462) was purchased in 2013 by Steven Green from a trusted dealer; the Museum of the Bible/Green Collection archives do have files attesting that the papyrus was part of the David Robinson papyrus lot sold at a Christie’s auction in London in November 2011. The files do not explain what happened to the manuscript between November 2011 and October 2012, when it was on sale on eBay, and how it went from eBay to the dealer who sold it to Green. The only person who would be able to explain how a papyrus legally acquired at a Christie’s auction in London went on sale on an eBay account located in Turkey at this point would be the above mentioned trusted dealer, whose identity remains undisclosed.

I am confident that some form of public access to the acquisition data and hopefully documents of the objects belonging to the Green Collection/Museum of the Bible will be provided in the near future.

CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

Abstract–Poetic Authority and the Utility of Reproduction in the Theogony and Works and Days

This paper examines the rhetorical function of reproduction in the Theogony and the Works and Days. It is grounded in the dual observation that, while there is a great deal of overlap in the poems’ dominant attitudes about women and childbirth, 1) both poems engage with strains of a far more complicated discourse about the nature of reproduction and its role in shaping men’s lives, and 2) both selectively activate or suppress elements of this discourse in order to create a worldview in which the poet may maximize his poetic authority.  By presenting the full range of problems, solutions, and benefits of reproduction among the gods while excising it almost entirely from the human realm, the poet of the Theogony widens the gap between men and gods so that he may bridge that gap and intensify the impact of his poetry. The Works and Days, on the other hand, begins […] more

Archaeology Magazine

Lost Village Discovered in England

Lost-Village-EnglandIRONBRIDGE GORGE, ENGLAND—In Shropshire, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of six cottages buried by a slow-moving landslide in 1952. "People were just literally able to see their houses being ripped apart, and there was nothing they could do about it," archaeologist Shane Kelleher of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust told the BBC. Inside one of the homes archaeologists found an ornate mosaic floor, and other cottages are decorated with high-quality tiles, which the area was once famous for producing. The team will rebury the structures after recording them. To read about another recent excavation in England, see "The Scientist's Garden."

Neolithic Handax Discovered in Denmark

Denmark-Neolithic-AxCOPENHAGEN, DENMARK—A Neolithic ax still attached to its wooden handle has been discovered on the Danish island of Lolland. Archaeologists working ahead of the construction of a tunnel unearthed the artifact, which seems to have been ritually deposited on the seabed about 5,500 years ago. "Finding a hafted [handle-bearing] ax as well preserved as this one is quite amazing," Museum of Lolland-Falster archaeologist Soren Anker Sorensen told the BBC. Earlier this year, archaeologists on the project discovered footprints dating to the same period. To read about that discovery, see “Tunnel Reveals Stone Age Footprints.”

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

If Museums Would Cut Back Spending, They Could Afford Bigger Treasure Ransoms

On a metal detecting forum near you, in the thread about the "forced selling" of a tenth century hoard, member "Stratman" (Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:38 pm) knows what the problem is with the museums which detectorists 'partner'. Museums should not be complaining that they have no funds to pay year after year increasing numbers of Treasure Ransoms to greedy hoard hoikers, says "Stratman" in a text reeking of entitlement:
They could trim the huge salaries and over generous pensions of their CEO and officers and make sure their departments don't "spend up" their budgets just to ensure a continued level of funding. It sounds to me that York are spoilt and have made no effort at all
Maybe it is not the museums that are spoilt.

American Philological Association

SCS Office Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

The SCS Office will be closed on on November 27 and 28 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Raqqa Museum, Syria present state

Ar-Raqqah Museum, Syria is a casualty in the ongoing war against ISIL . Syrian government and US-led coalition aircraft frequently bomb Raqqa, which IS has made into a stronghold. Activists say most of the casualties from the recent raids however have not been ISIL personnel, but civilians. The Syrian Observatory said Tuesday's air raids had targeted a popular market near Raqqa's museum as well as the industrial area where two explosions caused most of the casualties. A bomb was dropped near the museum resulting in damage to the building (present state). The museum is sited in a historical building built in 1861 as a Seray Building (government building) and was founded as a museum in 1981, this museum curated large collections of items from the Ar-Raqqah province.

The US and its Arab allies have been conducting air strikes on IS positions in Raqqa and elsewhere in northern and eastern Syria since September.

'Syria conflict: Raqqa air strikes 'kill dozens'...', BBC website  25 November 2014

 'Damage to Ar-Raqqah Museum as a Result of Bombing' DGAM Syria 25/11/2014

 L. Albertson, 'Ar-Raqqah Museum in Syria continues to Suffer', ARCA blog, November 26, 2014.

Is there a future for the traditional museum?

'Is there a future for the traditional museum?' asks Christopher Beanland Independent Saturday 15 November 2014:
[...] Museums represent the last gasp of high culture in an age where showiness and novelty and thinness – even in the arts themselves – threatens to overwhelm us. [...] Museums are a bulwark against dumbing down and against the commercialisation of everything. Art and education, not money and the stuff we can buy with it, are the things that lift us from being working people to being civilised people. Museums and galleries democratise this idea. [...]
But then things like the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme do not actually manage to be that 'bulwark against dumbing down' with its karaoke recording and partnering of artefact hunting as ersatz archaeological enquiry. I think the question is worth asking, what if this high culture no longer suits future societies? Justifying building 'encyclopaedic museums' at the expense of looted and smuggled stuff is rather a hollow endeavour if in the long term such museums cease to have any meaning for the societies they are intended to serve. If the study of the past teaches us anything, it is how mutable societies and their tastes and needs are.

Ancient Peoples

"Nihil est miserius neque gulosius Santra. Rectam vocatus cum cucurrit ad cenam, Quam tot diebus..."

“Nihil est miserius neque gulosius Santra.
Rectam vocatus cum cucurrit ad cenam,
Quam tot diebus noctibusque captavit,
Ter poscit apri glandulas, quater lumbum,
Et utramque coxam leporis et duos armos,
Nec erubescit peierare de turdo
Et ostreorum rapere lividos cirros.
Buccis placentae sordidam linit mappam;
Illic et uvae collocantur ollares
Et Punicorum pauca grana malorum
Et excavatae pellis indecens vulvae
Et lippa ficus debilisque boletus.
Sed mappa cum iam mille rumpitur furtis,
Rosos tepenti spondylos sinu condit
Et devorato capite turturem truncum.
Colligere longa turpe nec putat dextra,
Analecta quidquid et canes reliquerunt.
Nec esculenta sufficit gulae praeda,
Mixto lagonam replet ad pedes vino.
Haec per ducentas cum domum tulit scalas
Seque obserata clusit anxius cella
Gulosus ille, postero die vendit.”


"Nothing is more wretched or more gluttonous than Santra. When called, he sprints to a formal dinner, which he has sought out for so many days and nights; he demands a third serving of boar’s neck, a fourth serving of loin, and both the hips and two shoulders of the hare; and he is neither embarrassed to lie for the sake of getting a thrush, nor to steal the blue beards of oysters. He smears his napkin with mouthfuls of sweet cake causing it to become filthy; and in there also are placed potted grapes, a few pomegranate seeds, the unseemly skin of a hollowed out sow’s udder, blear-eyed figs, and damaged mushrooms. But now, when his napkin is filled to bursting with a thousand thefts, he hides in the warm folds of his toga gnawed on vertebrae and a mutilated turtle-dove with the head having been devoured. Nor does he think it shameful to collect with his right hand stretched out at full length whatever the slave who collects the crumbs or the dogs have left behind. Nor does edible plunder alone satisfy his gluttony: he fills the glass at his feet with wine from multiple glasses. These things he carries when heading home up two-hundered steps, and he anxiously shuts himself up having bolted the doors to his poor man’s apartment; That gluttonous man, on the following day he sells everything."

– Martial 7.20

American Philological Association

CFP: Philosopher Kings and Tragic Heroes

This interdisciplinary symposium on the Hellenic heritage of Southern Italy will take place in Syracuse, Sicily, on May 21-23, 2015.  The official languages of the conference will be English, Italian, and Greek.  Proposals for individual paper presentations, panel discussions, and creative presentations related to any aspect of the cultural heritage of Greater Greece are welcome.  Abstracts for papers should be 150-300 words in length and prepared for blind review.  Proposals for panel discussions or creative presentations should include contact information for all participants and detail any special facilities (i.e. digital projector) needed.  Presentation times will range from 20 minutes for individual papers to 90 minutes for panel discussions.  The deadline for initial consideration will be February 15, 2105.  Additional abstracts and proposals may be accepted after that date as long as space permits.  Digital publication of the proceedings is planned.

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #614

A nice batch of Open Access (free to read) articles:

The supply of Rhenish stoneware to London, 1350-1600

Archaeological evidence for the waterfront of Middle Saxon London

Excavation of a kerbed funerary monument at Stoneyfield, Raigmore, Inverness, Highland, 1972-3.

Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at:

American Philological Association

Greek and Latin Summer School, University College Cork, Ireland

For the 16th year running, the Department of Classics at University College Cork in Ireland offers an intensive 8-week summer school for beginners with parallel courses in Latin and Ancient Greek. The courses will run from June 22 through August 13 and are primarily aimed at postgraduate students in diverse disciplines who need to acquire a knowledge of either of the languages for further study and research, and at teachers whose schools would like to reintroduce Latin and Greek into their curriculum. Undergraduate students are more than welcome to apply as well.  The basic grammar will be covered in the first 6 weeks and a further 2 weeks will be spent reading original texts.

For further information and an application form see our website: or contact the Director of the Summer School: Ms.Vicky Janssens, Department of Classics, University College Cork, Ireland, tel.: +353 21 4903618/2359, fax: +353 21 4903277, email:

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Post-medieval Polish buried as potential 'vampires' were likely local

Potential ‘vampires’ buried in northwestern Poland with sickles and rocks across their...

American Philological Association

CFP: Aristotelian Solutions to Contemporary Philosophical Problems

This conference will take place on April 25-26, 2015, at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Aristotelian concepts persist in the works of later philosophers, from the Ancients, through the Medievals, the Moderns, and today. The goal of this workshop will be to make explicit the Aristotelian concepts preserved in contemporary philosophy, by providing Aristotelian responses to contemporary philosophical issues. This includes but is not limited to his foundational work on logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and ethics.

Abstracts should be 300-500 words, prepared for blind review. Please submit abstracts and current CV to Charlene Elsby at by January 15th. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out February 15th.

New Issues of Mouseion on Project Muse

Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada
Volume 11, Number 3, 2011, LV—Series III

Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada
Volume 11, Number 2, 2011, LV—Series

Mouseion aims to be a distinctively comprehensive Canadian journal of Classical Studies, publishing articles and reviews in both French and English. One issue annually is normally devoted to archaeological topics, including field reports, finds analysis, and the history of art in antiquity. The other two issues focus on all other areas of Greek and Roman antiquity, including literature, history, philosophy, religion, and reception studies.


David Gill (Looting Matters)

Christie's and "transparency"

Sardinian figure from Medici Dossier
Source: Tsirogiannis / ARCA
Back in November 2009 (i.e. 5 years ago) some objects that passed through Christie's were seized and subsequently returned to Italy. When I contacted the press office at Christie's I was informed "the transparency of the public auction system combined with the efforts from the U.S. ICE and foreign governments, in this matter, led to the identification of two stolen artifacts". The Attic pelike and the Apulian situla have now been returned to Italy.

Five years later, a Sardinian figure due to be auctioned at Christie's appears to have been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis from Polaroids in the Medici Dossier.  The posting of the catalogue ('the transparency of the public auction system')  has prompted the identification.

If the pelike and situla can be described as "stolen" by Christie's because they appeared in the Becchina archive, how does the same auction house describe the Sardinian figure?

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

American Philological Association

CFP: Third Annual Penn Ancient Workshop: Anaxagoras

The Penn Ancient Workshop (PAW) invites abstracts for presentations that engage with the work of the pre-Platonic philosopher, Anaxagoras of Clazomenae. The workshop will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.  We welcome papers that deal explicitly with the fragments of Anaxagoras as well as papers that study his fragments in relation to other thinkers. This could include the influence of Milesian and Eleatic thought on Anaxagoras’ philosophy, Anaxagoras’ responses to his predecessors, or Anaxagoras’ influence on later philosophical and scientific thought.

Experts Sought by Film Company

Wild Dream Films seeks presenters and experts in the areas of science, ancient history, and archaeology. It seeks individuals able to take viewers into interesting worlds, get hands on, and ultimately have a strong point of view on a topic.  Please contact the company at and state specifically how you were bitten by the science/history/archaeology bug, what kind of work you may have done around it, and why it continues to be a driving force in your life and/or work. Feel free to attach any relevant pictures of you and/or your work in the field.

Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

Prejudgment and Fraud?

Egyptian sources are reporting that  a MOU will be signed in early 2015 authorizing import restrictions on Egyptian cultural artifacts.   Troublingly, once again Egyptian authorities have suggested the whole matter was a "done deal"even before the Cultural Property Advisory Committee met on June 2, 2014.

According to the report,

"This step comes eight months (March to November) after a memorandum of understanding between Egypt and the United States, in order to protect Egyptian antiquities and combat smuggling of artefacts."

Yet more evidence, if any is needed, that MOUs are prejudged and that proceedings before CPAC are little more than a farce?

Egypt is now ruled by a military dictatorship which just ran a sham election that anointed General Sissi as Egyptian president.  So, it should be no surprise that these kinds of shenanigans are standard operating procedure in that unhappy country.

However, we can and should expect far more from our own State Department and its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Cultural Heritage Center.  Instead of sinking to the level of the Egyptian military dictatorship and its nationalistic cultural bureaucracy, our State Department-- which is so fond of lecturing others about the merits of  "Democracy" --should be providing our Egyptian friends with an example of what the rule of law actually means.

There is a well-founded perception in the collecting community and among the small businesses of the numismatic and antiquities trade that the Cultural Heritage Center is little more than a bureaucratic dictatorship in the service of the archaeological lobby and its crusade against collecting.   This latest revelation as well as news that a State Department Cultural Heritage Center contractor faked the claim that stolen antiquities are ISIS' most important funding source after "hot oil" will only add to this perception as will news that the archaeological lobby is asking Congress to give the State Department unlimited authority to enrich itself through a permanent grant program.  No wonder trust in government is at an all time low.

There is no doubt some in the archaeological community who are uncomfortable with the view that the ends justifies the means.  Hopefully, they too will raise concerns about how the State Department's Cultural Heritage Center operates.  Public confidence and the long-term viability of the State Department program may well depend upon it.

Giving Assad a Pass?

CPO is struck by the fact that the archaeological lobby appears to be seeking to de-emphasize the part the Assad regime has played in the ongoing destruction of Syria's cultural heritage.

Just this week, we've learned that a museum in Ar-Raqqha has been badly damaged by bombing and that more sculptures have been hacked out of and stolen from Palmyra, a site great historical importance.

Yet, one would be hard pressed to find any mention whatsoever of the fact that the only party to the conflict with aircraft capable of bombing is the Assad regime and that Palmyra is under the control of the Assad regime and its military.

What gives?  Is it possible the archaeological lobby is giving the Assad regime a pass in hopes of ensuring a return to "business as usual" (i.e. excavation permits and other "collaboration") in the event the government ultimately prevails in the ongoing civil war?

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Arrogance and Ignorance are an Unpleasant Combination

Click here to view the embedded video.

HT Pharyngula and Crocoduck, and also Hemant Mehta, who has a practical way you can oppose Megan Fox’s crusade for ignorance. The video is incredibly disturbing, an illustration of the willingness of an individual who doesn’t even know how to pronounce words or their meaning to nonetheless make confident assertions about them, which is simply dishonest.

Ancient Peoples

Terracotta group of people making flour c.600-480...

Terracotta group of people making flour

c.600-480 BC

Cypro-Archaic II

The figure at the right is grinding grain in a quern with an elliptical stone. Her companion stands over a sieve that is probably set on a low wicker tray or basket. At the left end is a large shallow scoop. Vignettes of daily life, particularly the preparation of bread, are common among Cypriot terracottas of the Archaic period. They have come to light mainly in tombs.

(Source: The Met Museum)

Archaeological News on Tumblr

French Citizen Returns Ancient Greek Amphora

Greek Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas publicly thanked a 90-year-old French citizen for returning...

US State Department agrees to impose restrictions on smuggling Egyptian antiquities

Eight months after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Egypt and the United States...

New evidence of ancient rock art across Southeast Asia

Latest research on the oldest surviving rock art of Southeast Asia shows that the region’s...

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

When God Became the Devil

I thought I should share what Richard Beck wrote about the penal substitution theory of the atonement, which is very popular today, particularly among conservative Evangelicals:

Prior to Anselm, the main atonement theory used by the church was Christus Victor. Specifically, humanity was being held captive by the Devil and Christ died to free us from this slavery. The Harrowing of Hell icons in the Orthodox church, which are their Easter icons, depict this. In the Harrowing of Hell icons you see the gates of hell broken down and Satan being bound while Christ reaches out to a captive humanity with Adam and Eve first in line.

The thing to be noted here is that the evil, violent and diabolical aspect of salvation history was external to God. The problem was the Devil. Humanity was being rescued from an evil that was external to God’s character and nature. 

But with Anselm a change happened, a theological twist still alive today. Worried as he was about the role of the Devil in Christus Victor schemes Anselm shifted the problem away from the Devil and toward the character of God. The drama of salvation was no longer an external conflict between God and the Devil but an internal conflict within God’s own heart, a conflict between God’s wrath and God’s love.

In short, the problem to be overcome in the atonement was no longer external to God’s character. The problem–the evil, violent and diabolical forces arrayed against us–had been internalized, absorbed into God’s character. The Devil was no longer the problem to be overcome in the drama of salvation. Having absorbed and internalized the diabolical aspects of the drama the problem became God’s newly conflicted character.

We are no longer saved from the Devil. We are saved from God.

With penal substitutionary atonement God had become the Devil.

Beck’s post was inspired by Adam Kotsko’s book, The Politics of Redemption: The Social Logic of Salvation.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Some Thoughts on Punkademia

Over the last few weeks I’ve been slowly making my way through Zack Furness’s edited volume Punkademics (2012), which brings together a wide range of academic voices on the influences of punk rock on the “ivory tower.” As a colleague of mine quipped, I like that this book exists. In fact, I wish I had known about while putting together Punk Archaeology; Furness would have been a great contribution to our work.

The book consists of a wide range of essays that, generally, interweave the history of punk with the personal stories from professional and academic life. The contributions are generally readable and a pair of interviews with Alan O’Connor, who studied the punk scene in Toronto, and Milo Aukerman, a research biologist with DuPont who is a member of the Descendents, added to the immediacy of the volume. 

I won’t do a full review, but I do have a few quick, day-before-Thanksgiving, observations:

1. Politics over Aesthetics. One of the key points of this volume is that the punk movement was more than just aesthetic posturing by bored, image-conscious youth (as postulated by, say, Dick Hebdige’s 1979 classic, Subculture: The Meaning of Style), but a legitimate form of political expression. Furness and company paid particular attention to the late 1970s punk scene in the U.K. where bands like Crass brought together left-wing, anarchist sensibilities in their lyrics and approach to performance and the music industry. The devoted less attention to, say, the American version of punk rock which developed in close connection with the New York art scene of the late 1960s and had close ties to, say, Andy Warhol’s Factory. American punk particularly as it developed in New York City had a much greater focus on aesthetic challenges to the increasingly banal world of American consumer culture. This was a critique of consumer culture, suburbia, or even the absurdity of everyday life, but it was less overtly political. 

2. Gender, Race, Orientation, and Community. Furness’s contributors considered the tensions that existed between the attitudes within the punk scene toward women, minorities, and gay and queer participants. These attitudes vacillated between the open and accommodating to the overtly hostile. Even a casual listener to the punk rock music can appreciate the misogynistic sentiments expressed in punk lyrics and the use of insensitive (at best) and intolerant language in the sometimes tense relations between groups and bands. While in some ways, the anarchic and left-leaning politics of punk created a safe place for minorities of all kinds, the aggressive tone of the music and adversarial posturing could sometimes create a hostile environment as extreme political and social rhetoric masked puerile oppositional showboating. 

I was particularly struck by the critique of gender in punk, and it made me very aware that the first, published iteration Punk Archaeology was very much a boys’ club (with the exception of Colleen Morgan, the Patti Smith of the Punk Archaeology movement, Kris Groberg, and Heather Gruber). This was all the more troubling because Mediterranean Archaeology has tended to be an (old) boys’ club in many ways and remains almost exclusively the domain of white folks.

3. Punk Pedagogy. Several authors dealt explicitly with the influence of punk on their classrooms, and it was fun to see some of my approaches to teaching considered to be punk pedagogy. Two particular things stand out. First, I share with punk pedagogy a willingness to cede power to my students, within limits, and to attempt to create a space for radical creativity in my classroom. I think that some of Furness’s authors would see the punk in my experiments in the Scale-Up classroom which drew heavily on the thinking of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Moreover, I was happy to see that punk teachers shared my deep skepticism of the industrialized academy, but none appeared interested in exploring what a return of a craft approach to higher education might look like (at least in those terms). 

4. DIY. The essays advocate do-it-yourself practices that sought to intentionally undermine our dependence on mass produced consumer goods and practices. Of course, this has become increasingly difficult in an academic setting as the creeping spread of regulations, standards, assessment practices, and corporatized expectations has encroached upon our ability to operate outside of institutionally controlled practices. It was interesting to me that few of the articles spoke to any resistance to DIY practices from institutional concerns. For example, there was considerable outcry surrounding the development of a DIY book scanner, and the increasingly stringent copyright laws which we’re told protect our “intellectual property” often make it more difficult to produce meaningful scholarship or to circulate our works. DIY practices offer a way to subvert, endrun, and defy these policies and practices, but also carry increasing risk as our intellectual and creative autonomy is seen as a threat to those who want to monetize it.

(Some day, I will write about my efforts to start a press at the University of North Dakota.)

5. Punk as Failure. One of the most redeeming things about this book is author’s openness regarding the successes and failures of their efforts to … (continued below)


Ok. I really want to continue this post, but when we woke up this morning our dog looked like this:

IMG 2374

His eyes usually look like this:

IMG 2367

So now I’m going to take him to the vet. I’ll finish this post when I get back.


… integrate a punk ethos into their academic lives. The stories of failed efforts to create a punk infused classroom or to integrate their intellectual and political commitments to the shrill rhetoric of punk performance. The willingness to the contributors to admit and scrutinize the failures of punk to accommodate the academic life and professional world was heartening to me as I look back on my own struggles to bring my most ambitious and personal projects to satisfactory completion. The process of punk is perhaps more important than the product. Or, as my colleague quipped: I’m like that this book exists. 

Have a very punk rock Thanksgiving.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Textbooks and Language Primers

[Most recently updated 26 November 2014]

Open Access Textbooks and Language Primers relating to the ancient world
Additional resources of thus type are accessible through the  Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) Project pages at the University of Minnesota.

And see also Lexicity
And see also  Smarthistory, a "multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook"

Textkit has a huge library of Greek and Latin textbooks

Learn Ancient Greek

Listed below is Textkit’s entire collection of Ancient Greek textbooks. All books are made available for full and free download in PDF format.

Greek Answer Keys

First Greek Book Key, John Williams White
First Greek Writer Key, Arthur Sidgwick
Greek Prose Composition Key, North and Hillard

Greek Composition Textbooks

First Greek Writer, Arthur Sidgwick
Greek Prose Composition, North and Hillard
Selections from the Septuagint, Conybeare and Stock

Greek Lexicon/Dictionary

Greek Reading Text

Greek Reference Grammars

Greek Grammar, William W. Goodwin
Greek Grammar, Herbert Weir Smyth

Greek Textbooks

A First Greek Course, Sir William Smith
First Greek Book, John Williams White
First Greek Grammar Accidence, W. Gunion Rutherford
First Greek Grammar Syntax, W. Gunion Rutherford

Learn Latin

Listed below is Textkit’s entire collection of Latin textbooks. All books are made available for full and free download in PDF format.

Latin Answer Keys

Latin for Beginner’s Key, Benjamin L. D’Ooge

Latin Prose Composition Key, North and Hillard

Latin Composition Textbooks

A New Latin Prose Composition, Charles E. Bennett

Latin Prose Composition, North and Hillard

Latin Reading Text

Caesar’s Civil War in Latin, Charles E. Moberly

Cicero Select Orations, Benjamin L. D’Ooge

Selections From Ovid, Allen & Greenough

The Phormio of Terence in Latin, Fairclough and Richardson

Latin Reference Grammars

A Latin Grammar, Charles E. Bennett

New Latin Grammar, Allen & Greenough

Latin Textbooks

Beginner’s Latin Book, Collar and Daniell

Latin For Beginners, Benjamin L. D’Ooge

    Do you know of others? Do you use any of these in your teaching? Are you developing open access textbooks in any area of ancient world studies? Please respond by clicking the Comments button.

    CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

    Abstract–Silence and Rumor as Rhetorical Strategies in Basil’s Letters

    In this project we have analyzed the use of two non-technical communication strategies—rumor and silence—in the epistles of Basil of Caeserea. We have approached silence as Basil’s method to manage his self-image and his engagement with the theological landscape of the fourth century, and rumor as narrative strategy to alter the reputation of an enemy or to manipulate it for their own benefit. In effect, our study shows that rumor and silence held a symbiotic relationship that resulted in a dynamic cycle of retreat and retaliation in a forensic atmosphere. We have come to understand the corpus comprised of the letters concerning the Eustathius affair as an Apologia Basilii. more

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Monograph Series: Archäologische Berichte

    Archäologische Berichte
    Die Archäologischen Berichte (Arch. Ber.) sind die Monografien der DGUF. Sie erscheinen seit 1987 mit etwa einem Band pro Jahr. Ziel der DGUF bei der Gründung der Reihe war es, unseren Autoren eine Möglichkeit zu bieten, mit hoher Reichweite und wissenschaftsüblicher Qualitätssicherung preiswert und schnell publizieren zu können. Um dieses Ziel noch wirksamer erreichen zu können, erscheinen die Monografien seit Band 25 (2014) hybrid: in einer Druckausgabe und – in Kooperation mit der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg – zusätzlich online im Open Access. Wie unsere Zeitschrift Archäologische Informationen nehmen auch die Monografien seit Band 25 bei Bedarf ergänzende Materialien und Open Data auf.

    In einigen Bänden der Reihe wurden Arbeiten publiziert, die in der DGUF selbst entstanden sind, wie etwa die zweibändige Gedenkschrift für Wolfgang Taute (Arch. Ber. 14, 2001) oder die Literaturempfehlungen des DGUF-Arbeitskreises "Archäologie in Schule und Bildung" (Arch. Ber. 21, 2006). Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Bände entsteht jedoch aus guten Examensarbeiten und Dissertationen, die wir hier – kostengünstig für Autoren wie Leser – zeitnah zum Druck bringen. Die Werke erscheinen mit weltweiter Reichweite, gedruckt und im Open Access, samt Verlag und ISBN-Nummer in einer etablierten Reihe: Ein erheblicher Mehrwert gegenüber einer Publikation in Eigenregie, für Autoren wie für Leser.

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    France to Return 239 Archaeological Artifacts to Egypt

    France will return to Egypt 239 archaeological artifacts which were illegally smuggled out of the country, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al Damati said. Al Damati said in a statement that experts from the Louvre Museum had confirmed the authenticity of 239 of the 302 archaeological pieces illegally taken from Egypt to France. The Egyptian authorities have requested the return of the remaining 63 pieces for examination. [...]   the recovered pieces [...]  include wooden painted statuettes of sailors which were part of a funerary boat and a piece of limestone with drawings showing offerings to the god Osiris and the goddess Isis [...]  a number of amulets, pots made of stone and ceramic and a set of coins of the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras. 
    If this report is taken at face value, it is interesting to note that even a group of objects apparently straight from the smugglers already contains an admixture of 20% fakes before it even reaches any dodgy dealer. The circumstances of the seizure are not given, nor is anything said about the fate of the person n whose possession they were found. I hope he or she is handed over to the Egyptians too, that'll teach them. Interestingly, while there may be legal grounds to seize smuggled ancient artefacts and give them back to Egypt, those laws will not apply to artefacts deemed fake. In most countries it is not illegal to export or import fakes - I am afraid if the Egyptian experts want to see if the Louvre experts know their stuff, they'll have to organize a weekend in Paris.

    Luxor Times Blog 'Egypt will retrieve 239 artefacts from France in the next few days' November 25th 2014
    'France to Return 239 Archaeological Artifacts to Egypt' Latin America Herald Tribune November 26, 2014

    The Scattering of the "York Area" Hoard: ACCG to the Rescue of Treasure Hunters' Reputation?

    Treasure hunter "Elmtree" ("Regnalds Hoard Update" Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:40 pm ) is "forced" to cash in on the hoard he found in an unploughed meadow. When he offered the local museums the chance to pay the Treasure ransom, he found they really had not the money. So he had to take them along to ACCG-coin-stunt supplier Spink's:
    The museum's have had there (sic) chance ! i wanted them to go to york, but im not in a position to donate them. Spink's have them now....[...] There (sic) going to get sold in march !
    I think even the biggest fluffbrain detectorist can see that splitting this hoard up is not good either for the archaeological information it contains, nor the image of Treasure hunting in the UK. Danzigman (Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:55 pm) has an idea, somebody else should pick up the bill for the Treasure Ransom ...
    Would be great if the big Metaldetector producing companies would donate a procentage to "solve situations" like this.. Guess the hole world of museums have funding problems.. The mulitinational players could have a fund to apply to..
    But there is such a fund, isn't there (ACCG to Assist Museums in England and Wales)? Why not apply to collectors' rights activists ACCG?

    Vignette: Copy of Aethelred II coin.

    Hoiked Tenth Century Hoard Soon on Market

    Treasure hunter "Elmtree" is jubilant ("Regnalds Hoard Update" Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:40 pm ) [emoticons omitted]
    After two and a half years, just been told there isn't a museum that can aford the coins..... so im picking them up on Saturday. Happy days    
    This is the hoard here, listed in the PAS database "to be known as: York Area". Note: "some of the coins have a surface appearance consistent with harsh cleaning, while some of the fragmentation also appears to be recent". But members of a metal detecting forum near you are livid that the public was not forced to buy back its heritage from this Treasure hunter, who did not get his reward.
    redwulf500 wrote: hi nice finds its a pity that they have messed you about for 2 1/2 years, but it will all turn out for the best......
    Stargazer likewise:
    It all doesn't look to be 'turning out for the best' for this lad . He did the right thing by reporting it, and has now been left with a major dilemma. He stood to gain a 'windfall' as did the landowner. I am sure the landowner won't be best pleased.
    Targets (Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:40) pm adds helpfully:
    DNW will auction them if u want ,they auction plenty of hoards
    Elmtree (Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:24 pm) - when asked "which museum are you thinking of donating them to?" triumphantly replies:
    The museum's have had there (sic) chance ! i wanted them to go to york, but im not in a position to donate them. Spink's have them now....[...] There (sic) going to get sold in march !
    "Had their chance" means he basically said, "come up with the cash or I'll flog them". But, he certainly is  "in a position to donate them". See below.

    Additional information (elmtree » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:50 pm ):  i am the land owner and have chose to buy one at the sale, as mike my detecting mate is going to do. [...]  they were found in a field that's never been ploughed

    Rosy-glassed research students may well think that we should describe such cases with "respect" and patting these people on the heads. I disagree with her. This sort of thing needs to be highlighted, and if the PAS are not going to do it (let me repeat that, if the PAS are not going to do it - look at their report) we should be letting the public know what we think of this sort of behaviour. Hoiking archaeological artefacts in context (read the PAS report)  from a depth of ten inches or more from fields that have never been ploughed is bad enough. Instead of getting the archaeologists in they carried on hoiking till they found another one. Then they cleaned both groups before reporting them - harsh cleaning and modern fragmentation are noted in the PAS report. This is NOT what the Treasure Act Code of Practice says, not a bit of it. Then the finder is moaning because the public refuses to pay a ransom for them adds to the scandal. The fact that this is a rare case when the finder and the landowner are the same person too.  This is not "history enthusiasts", "citizen archaeologists" this is looting undisturbed archaeological deposits for personal profit, pure and simple. Its citizen archaeology trashers who turn out to be moral midgets when cash is in the offing - and they don't care who they get it from.

    Vignette: Copy of Aethelred II coin.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Journal: London Archaeologist

    London Archaeologist
    For anyone interested in the history, heritage or archaeology of the capital, London Archaeologist is essential reading. Published by the London Archaeologist Association since 1968, it is a periodical of record for the London area, covering major archaeological discoveries, events and issues.

    Content includes excavation reports, historical articles, artefact and finds studies, environmental archaeology reports, exhibition reports, book reviews, news and commentary. It has recently been redesigned and expanded to cover interviews, profiles of local societies and museums, previews of forthcoming monographs and other features.

    The archive includes digitised articles, along with some indexes, from 1968-2010 (volumes 1-12). More recent volumes (13 onwards) can be obtained from the London Archaeologist website. 

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    "Somewhere in the 'York Area' - we were told".

    One wonders whether the reluctance of the York Museums to pay a Treasure ransom for the group of coins coyly known as the "York Area" Hoard  ("Regnalds Hoard Update" Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:40 pm ) is in fact due to doubts among the museum professionals involved that this "found it in my garden" group of objects might not actually be from the reported findspot? This would not be the first time such doubts have been voiced in the case of a metal detected find of considerable value, and the reasons for potential misreported findspots are many and various. It seems that there was no control on this find, which was reportedly recovered over an interval of a few days, yet no archaeological presence confirms the finding or the findspot.

    In general, what controls can the PAS reporting process offer that the objects incorporated in their database were actually found where the finder says?

    1) The PAS record contains the field: "Object type certainty: ...". Why does it not contain one: "Object findspot certainty: ..." (with the options of verified/ unverified ad a text saying how that information was verified)? Surely this is a pretty vital part of the record, no?

    2) In the same way has the finder title to the loose artefacts they bring along to the PAS for recording, or were they removed from the property without the landowner's knowledge? Why are PAS not documenting in their database that they have ascertained the legality of possession of the "finds returned to finder"?

    The consistent failure to document these two things seems a fundamental oversight on the part of the PAS both from the point of view of data hygiene and reliability as well as the legality of the organization's own actions.

    Vignette: Copy of Aethelred II coin.

    CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

    Abstract–The Control of Emotion: Rhetorical Education and Civic Oratory in the Greco-Roman East

    This paper focuses on the early stages of ancient rhetorical education, as a foundation for exploring the emotions involved in the composition and reception of ancient speeches in the Greek East of the Roman Empire in the early centuries AD. It concentrates on the progymnasmata, preliminary exercises in rhetorical composition, as evidenced by manuals, sample ‘fair copies’ of such exercises and school exercises on papyrus from Egypt. These sources are read as fragments of what was once a living, interpersonal process of oral education. The paper reflects on the many ways in which these sources imply that ancient rhetorical education oscillated between the opposing poles of emotional intensity and emotional control. more

    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    Apa e Ati al Museo di Villa Giulia visita alla mostra e proiezione film in 3D

    apa-etrusco-28novembreVenerdì 28 novembre il Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia organizza una serata di apertura straordinaria - dalle ore 20.00 alle ore 22.00 - dedicata al progetto Apa l’etrusco sbarca a Roma, ideato dal Museo di Roma e da Genus Bononiae - Musei nella Città di Bologna, con un contributo scientifico e tecnologico di CINECA e con il sostegno di Fondazione Bracco.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Domestic cereals in evidence 7,000 years ago in Sudan

    Humans in Africa already exploited domestic cereals 7,000 years ago and thus several centuries...

    Blogging Pompeii

    Pompeii: The First Navigation Map

    Check out the Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project website. They have just made available their first full map for navigation. You can read more about it here. It's looking great - congratulations to Eric and team!

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Abdelkarim: "Contents of Syrian museums are in good condition"

    The Director of the Archaeology and Museums General Directorate Mamoun Abdelkarim said that the Directorate had managed to protect around 99% of the contents of Syria’s museums throughout the past four years, employing swift and effective steps to carry that out. He said said that militant organizations have done much damage to Syria’s cultural and historical heritage, carrying out acts of looting and vandalism of archaeological sites.
    Regarding archaeological sites, which number over 10,000 across Syria, Abdelkarim said that steps were taken to ensure their protection in cooperation with local communities, but despite that several sites sustained considerable damage in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Hasaka, Hama, and Daraa. He said that there are hundreds of mercenaries working with organized crime networks that are operating in Syria and attempting to steal archeological artifacts, calling on the international community to act to prevent the smuggling of Syrian antiquities and track down stolen artifacts. As for museums, Abdelkarim said that they are in good condition barring some damage to the buildings, as most of the museums’ contents are perfectly secured and preserved, except for some instances in Raqqa and in Deir Attiye, praising the role played by local communities in preserving heritage sites from theft and vandalism.
    Source: Syrian Radio and TV: 'Abdelkarim: Contents of Syrian museums are in good condition'.

    Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

    Ásatási hírek

    A III. Thotmesz templomának feltárásán dolgozó spanyol misszió a templom alatt két középbirodalmi sírt talált. Az egyikben ráadásul egy épen megmaradt koporsó is volt, benne épen megmaradt múmiával, akin ráadásul még ezüst és arany ékszerek is voltak. 
    Angol nyelvű híradás itt, spanyol nyelvű (képekkel és videókkal) itt és itt.

    AIA Fieldnotes

    BANEA 2015 Conference at University College London

    Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
    Sponsored by British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology (BANEA)
    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 9:00am to Friday, January 9, 2015 - 6:00pm

    BANEA 2015 Conference Read more »


    BANEA Organisational Committee
    Call for Papers: 
    CFP Deadline: 
    November 15, 2014

    Jim Davila (

    Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism

    John J. Collins
    Scriptures and Sectarianism

    Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls

    The Dead Sea Scrolls include many texts that were produced by a sectarian movement (and also many that were not). The movement had its origin in disputes about the interpretation of the Scriptures, especially the Torah, not in disputes about the priesthood as had earlier been assumed. The definitive break with the rest of Judean society should be dated to the first century BCE rather than to the second. While the Scrolls include few texts that are explicitly historical, they remain a valuable resource for historical reconstruction. John J. Collins illustrates how the worldview of the sect involved a heightened sense of involvement in the heavenly, angelic world, and the hope for an afterlife in communion with the angels. While the ideology of the sect known from the Scrolls is very different from that of early Christianity, the two movements drew on common traditions, especially those found in the Hebrew Scriptures.
    Follow the link for TOC and ordering information.

    Antiquity Now

    Bon Appetit Wednesday! Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

    Why don’t we eat hot dogs on Thanksgiving? Or a seafood feast? Whether it’s roasted, smoked or fried, with cranberry sauce or smothered in gravy, turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving in the United States and has even infiltrated various other … Continue reading

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Half-Hour Deliverance

    Starting about now is the annual PAS conference. This year's ("Finds in the Landscape: How portable antiquities contribute to our understanding of past landscapes") has been organized by Katie Robbins, Post-Doc researcher as one of the "deliverables" of the Leverhulme project "The Portable Antiquities Scheme database as a tool for archaeological research'. ("An academic conference in 2014 will include papers from experts analysing and discussing data supplied by the PAS on a range of periods, artefact types and geographical areas" - so basically totally different from what they've done at any conference before....)
    10:00 Registration­­­
    10:25 Welcome by Dr Roger Bland
    10:30 Dr Katherine Robbins (The British Museum)  The Portable Antiquities Scheme as a tool for archaeological research
    11:00 Dr Claire Harris (The British Museum)  Mapping Palaeolithic Britain: Place, Space and Time
    12.00 Dr Anwen Cooper and Dr Chris Green (University of Oxford) Finding the Landscape: PAS data and the English Landscape and Identities Project
    12.30 Dr Julia Farley (The British Museum) When is a torc not a torc? A new approach to Iron Age and Romano British precious metal assemblages
    14:00 Dr Adrian Chadwick and Dr Eleanor Ghey (University of Leicester and British Museum) Landscapes, Lucre and Lightning Seeds: Coin hoards in context in Iron Age and Roman Britain
    14:30 Dr Tom Brindle (University of Reading) Roman Rural Settlement Project, title tbc
    15:30 Adam Daubney (Finds Liaison Officer, Lincolnshire) Portable Antiquities and Persistent Places in Lincolnshire
    16:00 Prof Julian Richards (University of York) The Viking Camp at Torksey, AD 872-3
    16:30 Half-hour 'Discussion' and back-slapping.
    17:00 Finish
    Seeing as the whole Leverhulme project that's apparently funding this is about the use of the PAS database as a research tool, is it not a bit odd that only a quick half-hour summary is all that it actually involves?

    What the PAS database records is a landscape largely of collecting activities by artefact hunters  but also accidental finds and information from miscellaneous sources, all with their inbuilt biases. It is rather odd then that these methodological issues are are not discussed in favour of the usual "wotta-lotta-stuff-we-got" material aspects and the de rigeur dot-distribution maps. PAS- Siedlungsarchäologie once again (Daubney discussing the 'Ahnenerbe' too).

    Vignette: Not dots but coloured blobs on this map - same idea though

    Palmyra and the Antiquities Trade

    I thought I'd make a list of past posts about Palmyra, in fact arranging them in chronological order shows an interesting evolution of views (and, following the links, the way the news is reported):
    Sunday, 6 May 2012:'Syria's Cultural Treasures Fall Victim in Uprising'
    Friday, 3 August 2012: 'Looting at Palmyra Indicated by Soldier’s Video?
    Monday, 18 February 2013: 'Cultural Property Again in the Propaganda War in Syria'
    Monday, 6 May 2013: "Syrians Loot Roman Treasures to Buy Guns"
    Thursday, 16 May 2013: 'On their Way: Smuggled Syrian antiquities recovered in Lebanon'
    aturday 18th May 2013: 'Smugglers Arrested in Lebanon'
    Tuesday, 29 April 2014: 'Syrian smugglers enjoy a free-for-all among ancient ruins'

    Sunday, 8 June 2014: 'Syrian Authorities Seize Eight Looted Antiquities'

    Thursday, 14 August 2014: 'ISIS “Khums” Tax on Archaeological Loot Fuels the Conflicts in Syria and Iraq'
    Monday, 27 October 2014: 'How the West buys ‘conflict antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria (and funds terror)'
    Tuesday, 18 November 2014: 'The Dugup Artefact Market Needs a New Mentality'
    Sunday, 23 November 2014: 'Palmyra Portableising Funerary Sculptures'
    Sunday, 23 November 2014: 'Syria Looting: Could Collectors Care Less?'Sunday, 23 November 2014: 'More on the Taibul tomb'

    'Dugups' an "Offensive" term?

    A graduate student whose fieldwork is in Cyprus and who was probably not even born when I began investigating the antiquities trade and collecting decided last night to tweet me to accuse me of lack of professionalism and give me some hints about how I should write what I think. Then a California classicist decided to join in berating me. Perhaps they were trying to be helpful, but 140 characters is not the way to have a proper conversation - and it would surely not too much to ask that they could present their remarks as comments under the text to which they refer.

    They both seemed concerned that I was not writing with enough 'respect' about people I see (and want my readers to see) as unconcerned despoilers of the finite and fragile record of the past, that is no-questions asking dealers and collectors. I admit that this is indeed a criticism that can be levelled at my writing. I do not, because respect is not something I feel for those who have ivory doorknobs and shoot tigers for fun either. Collectors and dealers bend over backwards to present a harmless façade - one which is accepted by many of our colleagues who have not the inclination to look at the uncomfortable facts which hide behind it. These unreflexive and deluded researchers are precisely who the artefact hunters and collectors want to see,  they lend authority to the picture they want to paint (see the Kampmann invitation to Felch). For this reason, this is why academic, institutional and journalistic superficiality and apathy are so dangerous to open debate of issues. They help reproduce and magnify the superficiality of the picture that is presented to the public.

    My polemecist queries my use of the term 'dugups' (as in dugup dealer). I find this triply incomprehensible. First on a semantic level, it is calling a spade a spade. I really see nothing wrong with that - indeed I think it vital in any discussion to be clear what it is one is discussing. This blog is not about paintings taken from the wall of a country house, or from a gallery owned by 1930s Jewish family, so not "cultural property" per se. This blog concentrates on those elements of collecting and the antiquities trade which impact archaeology and the archaeological record. That might include bits knocked- off or wrenched out from a standing monument, it might involve a theft from a museum case, but the focus of my concern is Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record embodied in sites and surface assemblages.

    The second reason I do not understand where the student has a problem is that I actually took the term from a coin dealer's website - where he was offering what he called 'dugups' to potential clients, making it wholly clear what they were being offered. As I recall this was the group of coins from England that appear on the pages of this blog because they came out of the ground, and straight into the dealer's cupboard without going through the PAS - even though at the time coin dealers were praising the PAS as a means by which once could have a cake and eat it and insisting other countries "ought to" (on American demand) adopt a parallel system.

    The third reason is the most important to me because it cuts to the core of what I think is a fundamental issue in the heritage debate. Again, the issue is defining what it is we are discussing. Many collectors and dealers define the object of the trade as "ancient art". See, for example, the name of the recently formed ACDAEA; the name "trafficking culture" falls into the same trap. The adoption and promotion of this type of terminology immediately has two effects. It focuses attention on the 'object' (so then we get rhetoric on looting of site to 'save the object/art') and allows the collector to be portrayed as an altruistic philanthropist/ benefactor and the conservationist as a "zealot" merely on an ideological crusade against 'art collectors'. Making the point that the issue is not about the objects that are collected (but where they come from and what is destroyed and discarded in the process of producing the commodity) is surely fundamental to cutting through the deflective spin with which dealers and collectors attempt to highjack the heritage debate and present it wholly in their own terms.

    In short, I do not see why using the term  'dugups' for artefacts which are dug up, and the people that deal in them 'dugup dealers' should be offensive to the academic, any more than the word 'offcuts' for pieces of leather which are cut off, or 'printout' for something read on paper and not a computer screen. The fact that it is two archaeologists of US origin working on classical sites who here seem to be treating it as such says more about the attitudes of that group of scholars in general, to ('dirt') archaeology and artefacts made available for their study (when addressed sources) by the trade, than it does about the accuracy of my language used by me on my own blog.
    I started this blog with a post about using the term 'artefact hunters', once considered an offensive term (when used to replace "metal detectorists"), but it seems now to be not-so-shyly creeping into archaeological parlance more often (PACHI Saturday, 12 July 2008, 'The Name of the Game: is "artefact hunter" an offensive label?').

    UPDATE 25.11.2014
    I go to a meeting, come home and find a whole series of tweets which I do not understand which seem to be related to this post. Apparently the author of those tweets sees what I wrote as "harassment".  He is quite welcome to come here and explain why he wrote that. Weird.

    Vignette: There is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. In fact there is often good reason to use more precise terminology.  

    Museum Resurrects a Crushed Mummy Mask

    Now, what you do, you take this mask [chuckles]…
    Scholars die when they hear it, but we own them
    so you can do it
    [...] I was so scared the first time I did it…
    'What if you tear it?' They say, 'Well you tear it. Since we own it, it’s OK.'”

    Some collectors destroy the artefacts they own to get smaller pieces of other artefacts from them, and they think that's great fun. In a museum environment similar artefacts are restored -  Resurrecting a “Pretty Lady”Inside The Conservator's Art (A behind-the-scenes look at conserving Egyptian artifacts at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology), 8th December 2011. And their accession is usually better documented than the anonymous items floating around the antiquities market.

    Jessica Dietzler Says Dealer Sayles is Right

    In reply to my comments on Wayne Sayles recent blog post complaining about being the victim of a 'conspiracy' Jessica Dietzler announces on Twitter:
    I read the snippet you referenced in your post and he's right that evidence is lacking. He's also right to question things.
    Well, Jessica Dietzler may think "evidence is lacking" for ISIL raising funds through antiquity sales. I suggest she get in touch with her US colleagues who have reached another conclusion nd explain to them why they've got it all wrong and she knows better. I also suggest that it might be nice if her own Glasgow project might step into the "trafficking culture" debate that is on everybody's lips at the moment. We note that nobody there voiced any objections when in June this year journalist Heather Pringle gave some Glasgow work on 1970s looting in Cambodia some publicity by linking it with "terrorism" (in fact a precursor of the current discussion as it happens, and when I started taking a more sceptical interest in the glibness of such arguments).

    As for Mr Sayles, the reason why he's "questioning things" has nothing whatsoever to do with intellectual enquiry, but defence of the "traditional rights" of the antiquities market in full defiance of what I thought the Glasgow Trafficking project was set up to deal with.

    The young researcher then comes out with a 'what if?' which suggests she has apparently not been following the forums where this has already been attempted:
    Why not just reach out and have a civilised dialogue [with dealers] that affords each other respect?
    Yep, fluffy bunnies and all. Why not? ("Just" reach out?) First of all, perhaps she'd like to see what artefact collectors of the ACCG ilk consider a "civilised dialogue". Yahoo's ancient artefact scrum group might be a good place to start. I also suggest she take a little look at Mr Sayles' literary output over the past decade and see what he and his ACCG mates write about archaeology and archaeologists before having too high hopes about any kind of 'respect' from that quarter. So if Ms Dietzler thinks there is no reason why we should not ("just") have a civilised and respectful dialogue with dugup antiquities dealers, perhaps she'll show us how she thinks it should be done.

    Vignette: Fluffy bunny approach advocated by Glasgow researcher.

    Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

    Konferencia-felhívás fiatal kutatóknak

    “Disasters & Catastrophes: Navigating Periods of Crisis and Transition in Anatolia, the Mediterranean and the Near East”

    Koç University Archaeology & History of Art Graduate Research Symposium

    Koç University’s department of Archaeology and History of Art (ARHA) is pleased to announce “Disasters & Catastrophes: Navigating Periods of Crisis and Transition in Anatolia, the Mediterranean and Near East,” its third annual Graduate Student Research Symposium, on April 25, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey.

    As archaeologists, historians, and cultural heritage scholars, we look to historical moments of catastrophe as signifiers of radical change, with periods of transition marking the complicated and intersecting evolution of cultural, political, religious and environmental influence over time.  Such events shape current topographies, mould collective memories and in some cases inform regional and national identities. In these pivotal periods of instability, exigency, and crisis followed by aftermath and recovery, we can learn much about the dynamics of societies and the range of historical factors underpinning them.

    This symposium seeks to encourage a diverse range of perspectives and disciplines concerned with a span of subjects, areas and periods of research as they relate to the topic of disaster and crisis, both natural and human-instigated. 

    Students of archaeology, art history, history, cultural heritage, and museum studies may present research related to Anatolia and its neighboring regions, including the Mediterranean, Aegean, the Levant and the Ancient Near East, from the earliest prehistory through Bronze and Iron Ages, Classical, Byzantine, Ottoman periods and into the contemporary. 

    Subjects could include (but are not limited to): climate change, civilization collapse, war, drought/famine, natural disasters like earthquakes & volcano eruptions, fire, urban crises or transformations, political upheaval, civil unrest, disaster preparedness in heritage, etc., as well as periods of transition and recovery. 

    All graduate students are encouraged to apply, including:
    Masters students
    PhD students at any stage

    Applicants should submit a 250-word abstract by January 23rd, 2015 to

    For other questions contact or visit

    “Felaketler ve Yıkımlar: Anadolu, Akdeniz ve Yakın Doğu’da Kriz ve Geçiş Dönemleri”

    Koç Üniversitesi Arkeoloji ve Sanat Tarihi Lisansüstü Araştırma Sempozyumu
    25 Nisan 2015, İstanbul, Türkiye

    Tüm lisansüstü öğrencileri başvuruya davetlidir. Adaylar 23 Ocak 2015 tarihine kadar 250 kelimelik özeti adresine göndermelidirler.

    Sorularınız için Facebook sayfamızı ziyaret edebilirsiniz:

    Arkeoloji, sanat tarihi, tarih, kültürel miras, ve müze çalışmaları öğrencileri, Anadolu ve komşu bölgeleri Akdeniz, Ege, Doğu Akdeniz ve Yakın Doğu ile ilişkili çalışmalarını sunabileceklerdir. Sempozyum antik dönemden günümüze kadar geniş bir dönemi kapsayacaktır.

    Aşağıdakilerle sınırlı olmamak üzere örnek bazı konular: İklim değişiklikleri, medeniyetlerin yıkılışı, savaş, kıtlık/açlık, deprem ya da yanardağ patlaması gibi doğal felaketler, yangın, kentsel krizler ya da dönüşümler, politik devrimler, sivil ayaklanmalar, kültürel miras alanında felaketlere hazırlık ve daha fazlası… Ayrıca geçiş ve toparlanma dönemleri de konular içerisinde yer alabilir.

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


    On recherche des protohistoriens ...

    pour participer à une table-ronde du projet

    Le rôle de l’artisanat dans la genèse et la structuration des agglomérations

    dans le cadre du PROJET COLLECTIF 3 – Construire l’espace « Analyse chrono-spatiale des logiques territoriales »


    ArScAn - équipe GAMA - Archéologie de la Gaule et du Monde Antique

    Raphaël Clotuche

    Gaspard Pagès 

    Vous trouverez dans ce document agglo_artisanat_2oct (1) les objectifs du projet de recherche et le programme de la première table ronde qui a lieu le 2 octobre 2014. Si cela vous intéresse vous pouvez contacter directement un des deux porteurs du projet.

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

    François Kirbihler : « Ein Kult der Dea Roma und des Divus Julius in Ephesos unter dem Triumvirat »

    Le mercredi 26 novembre 2014, François Kirbihler donnera une conférence à l'Institut für Alte Geschichte de Vienne en Autriche (17h.-18h.) sur le sujet « Ein Kult der Dea Roma und des Divus Julius in Ephesos unter dem Triumvirat ».

    L'objet de la conférence est de démontrer qu'à Éphèse le culte de Rome et de César a été créé dès le triumvirat en 39/38 et non en 29 avant J.-C., comme cela est communément admis par la tradition.

    Insula: Le blog de la Bibliothèque des Sciences de l'Antiquité (Lille 3)

    Les bibliothèques d’UER de l’université Lille 3 en 1974

    À l’automne 1974, la plupart des services et des enseignements de l’université Lille 3 sont déménagés de Lille et installés dans les nouveaux bâtiments de Villeneuve d’Ascq. Lille 3 accueille alors un grand nombre de bibliothèques dans ses murs. Cette histoire des bibliothèques de composantes à l’université Lille 3 est le reflet d’une réalité de l’université française, parfois encore vivace, malgré les incitations à résorber la dispersion documentaire des campus.


    40ansEn 1974, les universités Lille 2 et Lille 3 situées dans le centre de la ville de Lille déménagent et prennent leurs quartiers sur le campus « Pont-de-Bois » (encore appelé « Flers » dans le Guide des études 1974-1975) à Villeneuve d’Ascq. Le domaine universitaire littéraire et juridique regroupe alors, dans deux ailes distinctes, l’université de droit (Lille 2) et l’université de Sciences humaines, lettres et arts (Lille 3). La bibliothèque interuniversitaire, quant à elle, déménage dans un bâtiment séparé, au centre du campus.

    Outre la Bibliothèque interuniversitaire, l’université Lille 3 transfère de Lille à Villeneuve d’Ascq ses bibliothèques d’unités d’enseignement et de recherche (UER)1. Le Guide des études 1974-1975 recense une dizaine de bibliothèques réparties aux divers étages de l’université.

    Recensement et localisation des bibliothèques en 1974

    Les premières pages du Guide des études 1974-1975 donnent la localisation des principaux services présents dans les bâtiments de Lille 3, en particulier les bibliothèques. Pour permettre aux usagers et visiteurs de Lille 3 de se repérer dans les divers ailes du bâtiment conçu par Pierre Vago, des couleurs sont attribuées aux couloirs, appelés « bâtiments ».

    Dans le « bâtiment » vert, se trouvent :

    • Bibliothèque d’archéologie et d’histoire de l’art (RdeC) ;
    • Bibliothèque des Mathématiques, Sciences économiques et Sociales (RdeC) ;
    • Bibliothèque de langues anciennes (1er étage) ;
    • Bibliothèque d’histoire (1er étage) ;
    • Bibliothèque d’Italien, de Russe et langues slaves (1er étage).

    Dans le « bâtiment » bleu, se trouvent :

    • Bibliothèque Angellier (anglais, RdeC) ;
    • Bibliothèque Albert-Marie Schmidt (Lettres modernes, RdeC) ;
    • Bibliothèque d’allemand (RdeC).

    Dans le « bâtiment » jaune, se trouvent :

    • Bibliothèque d’espagnol (1er étage) ;
    • Bibliothèque Polonais (1er étage) ;
    • Bibliothèque d’hébreu (1er étage) ;
    • Bibliothèque de philosophie (2e étage).

    Le Guide mentionne également, sans localisation, une Bibliothèque de psychologie.

    Dans un entretien qu’il nous a accordé, Gérard Losfeld, qui fut professeur de grec, rapporte que la Bibliothèque de Langues anciennes est le premier service à avoir déménagé sur le nouveau campus de Lille 3. Une entreprise spécialisée dans les déménagements de bureau s’occupant et de la mise en carton et du transfert des ouvrages. L’UER de Langues anciennes se situe alors à l’entrée immédiate de la porte principale de l’université, au niveau du forum (1er étage sur les plans), dans le « bâtiment » vert.

    Couverture du Guide des études de Lille 3 année 1974/75Couverture du Guide des études de Lille 3 année 1974/75

    La liste déjà longue des bibliothèques qui apparait dans les premières pages du Guide des études 1974-1975 est cependant incomplète, ne recensant que les structures les plus importantes des UER implantées sur le nouveau campus. Certaines composantes détaillent plus précisément leur offre documentaire.

    Au chapitre consacré à la linguistique française et les sciences des littératures (UER alors couramment appelé « Lettres modernes »), il est ainsi fait mention de la Bibliothèque Albert-Marie Schmidt, du nom du spécialiste du XVIe siècle et de la Renaissance de la Faculté de Lille, décédé accidentellement en 1966, mais également de deux autres bibliothèques :

    La bibliothèque porte le nom de Bibliothèque Albert-Marie Schmidt. Une petite bibliothèque annexe est à la disposition des étudiants du 1er Cycle. Une bibliothèque spécialisée existe pour la Littérature comparée et l’Histoire littéraire générale.

    En langues anciennes, il faut également compter avec la bibliothèque du Centre de recherches philologiques de Jean Bollack. Faute de place dans la Faculté des lettres de Lille, la bibliothèque du Centre se trouvait dans les bâtiments de l’ancienne école de chimie voisine2. Avec le déménagement, le Centre de recherche philologique obtient un véritable espace avec un secrétariat, des bureaux et une bibliothèque distincte de celle de l’UER de langues anciennes3.

    La situation de ce morcellement des fonds documentaires pour une même discipline existait déjà dans les locaux lillois4. L’université ayant plus d’espaces suite au déménagement à Villeneuve d’Ascq, ce morcellement s’est parfois accentué. Ainsi, le fonds d’égyptologie, d’abord associé à celui d’histoire ancienne rue Angellier, est-il ensuite transféré dans une bibliothèque indépendante d’égyptologie née de l’apport important du fonds de Jacques Vandier5. La bibliothèque d’égyptologie demeure rue Angellier à Lille, avant de déménager sur le campus Pont-de-Bois à la fin de l’année 19826. Lors du déménagement à Villeneuve d’Ascq, une bibliothèque gérée par le Goethe Institut est créée à côté de la bibliothèque d’études germaniques7.

    Le déménagement n’a donc pas remis en cause l’existence de bibliothèques « de proximité » — bien au contraire — et ne semble pas avoir créé de grands bouleversements dans la structuration des bibliothèques d’UER. Notons qu’une Bibliothèque de géographie mentionnée dans le bâtiment de l’ancienne Faculté des Lettres de Lille disparait dans les nouveaux bâtiments de l’université Lille 3 à Villeneuve d’Ascq. La géographie est en effet désormais enseignée à l’université Lille 1. La Bibliothèque d’italien, qui est encore distincte rue Angellier à Lille8, est regroupée avec la Bibliothèque de russe et langues slaves à Villeneuve d’Ascq, au moins dans l’intitulé de cette dernière : une bibliothèque de section d’italien est en effet toujours mentionnée indépendamment dans les guides ultérieurs et ne rejoint effectivement la Bibliothèque d’études romanes, slaves et orientales que huit ans plus tard, en 19829.

    Description des bibliothèques d’UER

    Le Guide des études 1974-1975 est avare de renseignements sur les bibliothèques des UER. Il faut attendre les Guides suivants pour obtenir quelques détails, d’ailleurs très disparates, sur le fonctionnement de certaines d’entre-elles.

    Un espace de travail

    La Bibliothèque de l'UER de Langues anciennes : Guide des études 1978/79La Bibliothèque de l’UER de Langues anciennes : Guide des études 1978/79

    Le déménagement vers Villeneuve d’Ascq permet à certaines bibliothèques de s’équiper. Gérard Losfeld se souvient que « le déménagement a profité de crédits spécifiques, de matériel surtout. (…) La bibliothèque fut installée avec son nouveau matériel (étagères, tables etc…) ». À cette occasion, les étagères métalliques viennent remplacer les armoires en bois dans la bibliothèque de langues anciennes.

    On comprend à la lecture des Guides des années 70 que l’accès à la bibliothèques est parfois réservé aux enseignants et étudiants de l’UER dont elle dépend. Mais il est vrai que, même quand elles sont ouvertes à tous les étudiants de l’université, les étudiants s’aventurent alors rarement dans les bibliothèques des autres UER que la leur. Gérard Losfeld et François Hinard en font le constat, pour le regretter, dans leur Introduction bibliographique pour l’étude de l’Antiquité publiée par l’UER de Langues anciennes de Lille 3 en 1976 :

    « Nous avons eu l’occasion de constater que la circulation des étudiants entre les différentes bibliothèques d’UER était pratiquement nulle ce qui revient à dire qu’il n’existe, pour un étudiant, que deux possibilités de se procurer ou de consulter un ouvrage :
    la bibliothèque de l’UER à laquelle il est rattaché
    la Bibliothèque Universitaire. »

    Le catalogue commun aidera, vingt ans plus tard, à identifier les fonds de chaque bibliothèque de composante et de favoriser ainsi leur connaissance au-delà du périmètre de l’UFR.

    Les bibliothèques sont considérées autant − sinon plus − comme des espaces de travail que comme des lieux offrant de la documentation. Alain Deremetz, professeur de latin, se souvient que la bibliothèque de langues anciennes de la rue Angellier est très fréquentée : « c’était notre seul lieu de travail individuel et collectif » rappelle t-il. Philippe Rousseau, professeur de grec, préfère lui aussi la bibliothèque à son bureau comme espace de travail.

    Situées à proximité des salles de cours et des bureaux des enseignants, les bibliothèques sont considérées comme des lieux de sociabilité de l’UER, des espaces à taille plus familière et moins impersonnels que ceux de la BU, où toutes les années d’étudiants et les enseignants d’une même discipline peuvent cohabiter, ce qui est encore une réalité aujourd’hui dans certaines bibliothèques10.

    La bibliothèque de l’UER Angellier (Langue, littérature et civilisation des pays anglophones) est décrite comme comportant une salle de travail libre. La bibliothèque de l’UER d’études germaniques « offre à tous les étudiants de l’UER qui le désirent son local pour travailler et ses livres ». La Bibliothèque Albert-Marie Schmidt (lettres modernes) « offre à tous les étudiants de l’UER un service de prêt gratuit et un local de travail ».

    Certaines bibliothèques ne possèdent pas de locaux proprement-dits. Jean Celeyrette se souvient qu’il n’existe pas de bibliothèque pour l’UER de « Mathématiques, sciences économiques et sociales » mais que les livres sont entreposés dans son bureau de directeur de l’UER.

    Les horaires sont rarement renseignés dans les Guides. L’affichage sur la porte de la bibliothèque est encore le meilleur moyen pour l’usager de les connaître.

    Le Guide des études 1974-1975 signale que la bibliothèque de Philosophie est ouverte « selon  un horaire affiché en début d’année universitaire ». Dans les Guides suivants on apprend que la bibliothèque de l’UER Angellier est ouverte de 9h à 17h sans interruption. L’UER d’études romanes, sémitiques, slaves et hongroises fait état de l’existence d’une bibliothèque d’hébreu « ouverte tous les après-midis ». La Bibliothèque Albert-Marie Schmidt est ouverte du lundi au jeudi, de 9h à 18h et le vendredi de 9h à 13h.

    Les fonds documentaires

    Estampille de la Bibliothèque de l'UER de Langues anciennesEstampille de la Bibliothèque de l’UER de Langues anciennes

    En 1976, Gérard Losfeld et François Hinard peuvent écrire en préface de leur Introduction bibliographique pour l’étude de l’Antiquité publiée par l’UER de Langues anciennes de Lille 3 :

    « Mises côte à côte, les bibliothèques de nos UER constituent un véritable trésor bibliographique qu’il faut savoir utiliser ».

    Les bibliothèques n’ont cependant pas encore toutes, dans les années 70, de fonds documentaires importants. Un témoin de l’époque nous a ainsi rapporté que la bibliothèque d’histoire de l’art et archéologie ne contenait que quelques usuels. La très jeune UER de mathématiques n’a encore que peu de livres en informatique et mathématiques à proposer11. On y trouve généralement les usuels et les manuels de base liés aux disciplines enseignées, mais certaines bibliothèques sont déjà décrites comme « riches », ou « assez riches », voire destinées à la recherche…

    L’UER Angellier (Langue, littérature et civilisation des pays anglophones) précise que le fonds de la bibliothèque n’est pas en libre accès et que l’on peut y consulter « des ouvrages de référence ». Au chapitre concernant l’UER des Arts, il est noté que « la Bibliothèque A.M. Schmidt propose de nombreux ouvrages sur le cinéma et la télévision. On peut y consulter des revues ; c’est aussi le cas de la Bibliothèque Universitaire ». La bibliothèque d’hébreu est « assez riche » et offre la consultation d’un fichier qui « indique les livres existant dans les différentes bibliothèques de Lille, sur la Bible, l’Histoire juive et la Langue Hébraïque ». Distincte de la bibliothèque d’études germaniques se trouve une bibliothèque-salle de lecture du Goethe Institut de Lille, « où tout étudiant qui le désire peut consulter tout ouvrage sur l’Allemagne contemporaine ainsi qu’un grand nombre de quotidiens et périodiques de langue allemande ». La Bibliothèque Georges Lefebvre du Centre d’histoire de la région du Nord est décrite comme « surtout destinée à la Recherche, (…) riche en ouvrages sur la Région du Nord, possède les revues et les mémoires de maîtrise soutenus en Histoire ».

    Pour les langues anciennes, Philippe Rousseau signale que le fonds s’est développé après 1968 pour donner aux étudiants les manuels utiles à leur étude, mais que la politique d’achats s’est orientée également vers la recherche pour permettre aux étudiants d’accéder aux outils importants, au-delà des seuls « Budés ». C’est ainsi que la bibliothèque achète de nombreux ouvrages étrangers et c’est dans ce cadre que Pierre Reboul, doyen de la Faculté de 1959 à 1969, accorde une aide substantielle pour permettre l’acquisition de la Pauly-Wissowa et du Roscher. Par ailleurs (autre temps, autres mœurs), certains ouvrages non disponibles à l’achat sont photocopiés par la bibliothécaire et viennent compléter les collections pour être mis à la disposition des lecteurs12.

    En mai 1974, à l’occasion des vingt-cinq ans de la Section de néerlandais à l’université de Lille, Walther Thys, Maître de conférences associé à Lille, ne manque pas de signaler la bibliothèque de néerlandais, telle qu’elle est alors rue Angellier13 :

    « On ne saurait organiser une manifestation pour fêter le 25e anniversaire de la section de néerlandais à l’université de Lille en oubliant la bibliothèque qui forme la base de cet enseignement. (…) La bibliothèque de néerlandais, au 4e étage de ce bâtiment, comporte quelque 4000 livres, une collection variée de revues, de disques et de cours sur bande magnétique. C’est pour une grande partie le résultat de subventions régulières de l’université. Mais la section de néerlandais est aussi fortement soutenue par les gouvernements néerlandais et belge ».14

    Le Guide 78/79 mentionne également la constitution d’une bibliothèque pour l’Institut de papyrologie et d’égyptologie, alors dirigé par Jean Vercoutter :

    « Classement, cataloguage [sic] et rangement d’une bibliothèque d’environ 6000 volumes concernant essentiellement l’égyptologie et la papyrologie, ainsi que l’art, léguée à l’Institut par l’égyptologue Jacques Vandier, ex-conservateur en chef du Département des Antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Louvre. Cette bibliothèque, une fois rendue utilisable, ne pourra qu’entraîner une recrudescence de la recherche égyptologique à Lille et le développement de l’Institut. »

    Gestion des bibliothèques d’UER

    Pour s’occuper des bibliothèques, on trouve trois acteurs : les enseignants, les bibliothécaires et les moniteurs étudiants.

    Les enseignants responsables

    Introduction bibliographique pour l'étude de l'Antiquité réalisé par l'UER de Langues anciennes de Lille 3Introduction bibliographique pour l’étude de l’Antiquité réalisé par l’UER de Langues anciennes de Lille3

    Le fonctionnement des bibliothèques d’UER est souvent lié à des enseignants. Il vaut qu’on s’y arrête car cette relation ténue est sans doute la force des bibliothèques « de composantes », à l’origine de la richesse et de l’adéquation de leurs fonds avec les enseignements proposés par l’UER, ainsi que de leur pérennité au sein du Service commun de la documentation de Lille 3.

    La place des enseignants-chercheurs dans la gestion des bibliothèques se fait généralement par le choix et la commande des livres, surtout quand il n’y a pas de personnel attitré pour les bibliothèques, comme c’est le cas avec l’UER de mathématiques15, ou que ces dernières sont gérées par des bibliothécaires non spécialistes des disciplines de leurs fonds. Philippe Rousseau se souvient d’avoir dépouillé de nombreux catalogues pour établir les commandes de livres, qu’il propose alors à la Bibliothèque universitaire, à la bibliothèque de langues anciennes et à celle du Centre de recherches philologiques, selon les politiques d’achats de chacune. Ce sont également des enseignants-chercheurs qui établissent parfois les premiers plans de cotation des ouvrages, voire réalisent les cotes à la plume Sergent-Major16 ou, comme pour l’UER de Langues anciennes, rédigent un guide bibliographique pour aider les étudiants à s’y retrouver avec la documentation disponible.

    Hélène Catalan, qui est devenue responsable de la bibliothèque d’espagnol en 1975, rappelle ainsi le rôle majeur tenu par Monique Joly, enseignante d’espagnol, dans la création de la bibliothèque après 1968. En 1974, deux enseignants sont responsables de la bibliothèque de philosophie : MM. Almaleh et Kirscher. En histoire, ils sont quatre : MM Delmaire et Guignet, MM Segond et Reboul. M. Pierre Coustillas, directeur-adjoint de l’UER Angellier, a la bibliothèque dans ses attributions. En Langues anciennes, ce sont Gérard Losfeld et René Leclercq qui sont les enseignants référents de la Bibliothèque (Guide 1974-75), puis Gérard Losfeld et François Hinard (Guide 1976/77)17.

    Gérard Losfeld résume ainsi le rôle des enseignants dans la bibliothèque de l’UER de Langues anciennes :

    « François Hinard pour le latin et moi pour le grec avions une décharge horaire d’une heure pour nous occuper de la gestion de cette bibliothèque. Compte tenu du manque de compétence en langues anciennes des bibliothécaires, notre rôle consistait à déterminer les achats à effectuer, à signaler les libraires à contacter, à indiquer les cotes de catalogage. La gestion strictement financière ainsi que la réception des livres se faisant au niveau des Services centraux.
    À vrai dire notre rôle fut parfois important car, dans cette décennie, il y eut de graves défaillances du côté de la BU, qui n’avait pas assez de crédits pour effectuer les achats indispensables. L’Université y pourvoyait en abondant de « crédits bibliothèques » importants : ceci était d’ailleurs une politique largement voulue par l’UFr de Langues anciennes. Notre politique d’achat, que nous avons assez vite coordonné avec la bibliothèque d’histoire ancienne — alors indépendante — et, dès que la situation fut redevenue normale, avec la BU, favorisait l’acquisition de textes et commentaires et des ouvrages généraux considérés comme indispensables, la Pauly-Wissowa par exemple. À cet égard, la rédaction de notre « Guide bibliographique », fut le moyen de penser le choix des livres à acquérir. (…) Je dois préciser que les diverses étapes de la constitution de cette bibliothèque ont été marquées par l’engagement intellectuel et même physique (lors de réaménagements de rayons par exemple) de plusieurs de nos collègues. »

    La situation lilloise est largement partagée en France. Le rapport Miquel sur les bibliothèques universitaires, réalisé en 1989 et rendu au ministre de l’Éducation nationale, Lionel Jospin, souligne que si les enseignants-chercheurs entretiennent des relations privilégiées avec les bibliothèques de composantes, les liens entre les enseignants-chercheurs et la Bibliothèque universitaire centrale sont souvent distendus, ce qui fait la faiblesse de cette dernière. « Sur le plan symbolique, et politique, les bibliothèques « de recherche » symbolisent également le pouvoir des enseignants-chercheurs sur leur discipline, là où la bibliothèque universitaire est davantage perçue comme un lieu dévolu aux étudiants et confié à des professionnels, les bibliothécaires, avec lesquels la communication est parfois difficile » analyse Romain Le Nezet dans son mémoire de conservateur18.

    Les bibliothécaires

    En 1974, toutes les bibliothèques d’UER − même parmi les plus « importantes » − n’ont pas de bibliothécaires. L’UER de Langues anciennes est la seule à prendre soin de mentionner sa bibliothécaire dans le Guide des études 1974-1975. Il s’agit de Madame Uhin. Les Guides suivants − en particulier le Guide des études 1977-1978 et celui de l’année 1978-1979 − sont plus loquaces concernant les personnels des bibliothèques, les présentant parfois par des photographies.

    En histoire il n’est pas mentionné de responsable pour la Bibliothèque Michelet mais une photographie représente Françoise Preux, bibliothécaire. Il n’est pas fait mention de responsable pour la Bibliothèque d’histoire de l’art et archéologie mais une collaboratrice technique : Mlle Rousseau. La Bibliothèque Georges Lefebvre du Centre de recherche a pour responsable Nadine Grain, avec pour bibliothécaire adjointe Martine Aubry. Pour les études anglophones, la Bibliothèque Angellier mentionne une collaboratrice technique, documentaliste, en la personne de Melle Deboulonne (Guide 1975/76) puis de Nicole Gabet (Guide 1977/78). Pour la Bibliothèque d’études germaniques sont mentionnées Mlle J. Loock et E. Delbart (Guide 1975/76) puis Annick Carlier et Edwige Delbart (Guide 1977/78). L’UER d’études romanes, sémitiques, slaves et orientales possède six bibliothèques (arabe, espagnol, hébreu, italien, polonais, russe et langues slaves). S’il n’est pas mentionné de responsable de bibliothèque pour cette UER, le guide est illustré du portrait d’Hélène Catalan, bibliothécaire. La bibliothèque de langues anciennes est tenue successivement par Mlle Uhin (Guide 1974/75), Mlle Ducornet (Guide 1975/76) puis par Ghislaine Menart (Guide 1977/78). La Bibliothèque Albert-Marie Schmidt de l’UER de Lettres modernes a Marie-Dominique Boucher comme responsable, dès le Guide 1975-76. La Bibliothèque de philosophie n’a pas de responsable mentionné. La bibliothèque de psychologie ne mentionne pas de responsable mais une photographie présente Pascal Sockeel comme bibliothécaire. Enfin, d’autres bibliothèques sont restées rue Angellier à Lille.

    Peu à peu, au cours des années 70, les principales Bibliothèques d’UER ont des bibliothécaires. Si, en 1975, la bibliothèque d’études germaniques a deux bibliothécaires, une bibliothécaire et une « sous-bibliothécaire »19, la bibliothèque de philosophie fonctionne sans bibliothécaire jusqu’en 198520. Les bibliothécaires des bibliothèques d’UER sont souvent d’anciens étudiants de l’université, qui se forment au métier sur le tas ou obtiennent le Certificat d’aptitude aux fonctions de bibliothécaire. Le Cafb, créé en 1951, est réformé en 1960 pour sanctionner « la formation professionnelle des candidats qui se destinent à la gestion des bibliothèques de moyenne importance, et en particulier des bibliothèques municipales non classées, des bibliothèques d’instituts et de laboratoires, des bibliothèques d’établissements d’enseignement et des services de lecture publique » (arrêté du 26 juillet 1960).

    En l’absence de bibliothécaire, ou pour les assister, l’UER finance l’emploi de moniteurs étudiants, en particulier pour assurer l’accueil de la bibliothèque.

    Les moniteurs étudiants

    Le Guide des études 1974-1975 précise pour la bibliothèque de l’UER de Philosophie que le service de prêts et de consultation des ouvrages de la bibliothèque est assuré par des moniteurs selon un horaire affiché en début d’année universitaire.

    « Les étudiants désirant assurer la fonction de moniteur (rétribuée environ 2.500 F par an)21 sont priés de faire acte de candidature pour le 15 octobre auprès du Directeur de l’UER de philosophie » (Guide des études 1974-1975)

    Gérard Losfeld se souvient que la bibliothèque de l’UER de langues anciennes a disposé au départ d’un gros contingent de moniteurs, au nombre de seize lui semble-t-il, « ce qui permettait d’ouvrir la bibliothèque en continu ». Outre les activités de prêts et retours, les étudiants peuvent avoir d’autres responsabilités dans la bibliothèque (commandes, équipement, enregistrement), comme c’est le cas pour celle du Centre de recherches philologiques qui emploie des vacataires22. Les moniteurs peuvent avoir également un rôle de tuteur dans la bibliothèque. Annick Béague, qui a été étudiante et monitrice à la bibliothèque des langues anciennes rue Angellier à Lille avant d’enseigner le latin à Lille 3, rapporte :

    « Des moniteurs de bibliothèque, dont je fus, assuraient quelques heures de présence et avec le recul, j’ai le sentiment que nous pratiquions sans le savoir, ce que l’on appellera plus tard le tutorat des nouveaux étudiants par les anciens : je me souviens d’avoir fait réviser leurs déclinaisons aux « jeunes », de les avoir aidés à faire leur préparation en leur faisant découvrir les ressources des livres de la bibliothèque ; c’était de la véritable intégration au milieu des livres… »

    En conclusion

    L’histoire des bibliothèques de proximité (d’Instituts, de sections, d’UER, d’UFR, de Centres) est ancienne à Lille 3, comme l’a rappelé un autre billet d’Insula23. Ces bibliothèques contribuent à la richesse documentaire de l’université et au million d’ouvrages que possède aujourd’hui le Service commun de la documentation de Lille 3.

    La création des bibliothèques est presque consubstantielle à l’existence des Unités de formation et de recherche de l’université. Cette longue histoire commune a installé les bibliothèques au cœur des habitudes et des usages des UFR, au grand dam sans doute des esprits centralisateurs, comme en témoignent encore récemment les préconisations de l’ADBU-EPRIST :

    « En près de 30 ans, et malgré les incitations, encore renforcées en 2011, des textes réglementaires, il n’a pas été possible de résorber de façon significative la dispersion documentaire des campus (bibliothèques universitaires intégrées au SCD, BU des UFR, bibliothèques de laboratoire) »24.

    Quarante ans après le déménagement de l’université Lille 3 sur le campus de Villeneuve d’Ascq, les témoins de cette période font aujourd’hui valoir leurs droits à la retraite, en particulier quatre collègues de bibliothèques cités ici. Ce billet sur les bibliothèques de l’université Lille 3 en 1974 est écrit pour que leurs successeurs et les usagers aient la curiosité d’en savoir plus sur ces bibliothèques « de composantes » qui ont contribué à la formation et à la recherche de générations d’étudiants et de chercheurs.

    Marie-Dominique Boucher, bibliothécaire à Albert-Marie Schmidt : Guide des études 1978/79Marie-Dominique Boucher, bibliothécaire à Albert-Marie Schmidt : Guide des études 1978/79

    Ce billet brosse à grands traits l’existence des bibliothèques d’UER. Nous avons le projet de rédiger d’autres billets plus spécifiques. Je remercie les personnes qui ont bien voulu me donner leur témoignage pour la réalisation de ce billet, en particulier : Annick Béague, Annick Carlier, Hélène Catalan, Jean Celeyrette, Alain Deremetz, Gérard Losfeld, Marie-Claude Moreau, Philippe Rousseau, Florence Thill.

    Notes du texte

    1. Les actuelles UFR ont remplacé les UER suite à la loi du 26 janvier 1984 dite « loi Savary »
    2. Philippe Rousseau, professeur de grec, se  souvient d’une grande salle entourée de placards vitrés où étaient rangés les livres.
    3. Témoignage de Philippe Rousseau le 25 novembre 2014.
    4. En 1973-1974, pour ne prendre qu’un exemple, l’UER d’Histoire mentionne pour la rue Angellier à Lille une bibliothèque consacrée à l’histoire médiévale, moderne et contemporaine, une bibliothèque consacrée à l’histoire ancienne et l’archéologie, une autre consacrée à l’histoire de l’art, une autre consacrée à la paléographie médiévale, ainsi que la Bibliothèque du Centre régional d’études historiques. Enfin, une bibliothèque d’histoire est située à Annappes pour les étudiants de 1er Cycle. En effet, entre le déménagement de la rue Angellier à Lille et le nouveau campus de « Pont-de-Bois », des bibliothèques ont eu une antenne délocalisée au Centre universitaire scientifique de Lille-Annappes, où se tiennent certains cours, faute d’un nombre de places suffisant dans les locaux de Lille.
    5. Témoignage de Florence Thill le 5 novembre 2014.
    6. Idem.
    7. Témoignage d’Annick Carlier, responsable de la bibliothèque d’études germaniques à Lille 3 de 1975 à 2014, le 20 novembre 2014.
    8. Guide des études 1973-1974 p. 7.
    9. Témoignage d’Hélène Catalan, responsable de bibliothèque à Lille 3 de 1975 à 2014.
    10. Même si, comme nous l’a confié une ancienne étudiante de langues anciennes, la bibliothèque de l’UER pouvait intimider les premières années qui estimaient qu’elle était plus destinée aux étudiants avancés et aux enseignants. Témoignage de Marie-Claude Moreau.
    11. L’UER est née de la création de l’université Lille 3 en 1968. Jean Celeyrette se souvient que l’UER est née avec un seul enseignant, lui-même, et un informaticien en 1970.
    12. Marie-Dominique Boucher était alors responsable de la bibliothèque des langues anciennes avant de prendre la responsabilité de celle de lettres modernes. Témoignage de Philippe Rousseau le 25 novembre 2014.
    13. L’existence d’une bibliothèque de néerlandais à Villeneuve d’Ascq est attestée dans le Guide des études 76/77.
    14. 25 ans d’études néerlandaises à Lille : actes des Journées du néerlandais 7-8-9 mai 1974, Université Lille 3, 1974, p. 21.
    15. Témoignage de Jean Celeyrette, Directeur de cette UER en 1974.
    16. Témoignage de Philippe Rousseau concernant la cotation du centre de recherches philologiques.
    17. À noter que les Langues anciennes se distinguent à l’orée des années 80 en associant une étudiante de l’UER à l’équipe enseignante chargée de la responsabilité de la bibliothèque.
    18. Le rapport Miquel : étude et bilan d’une politique de redressement des bibliothèques universitaires. Diplôme de conservateur de bibliothèque, enssib, 2009.
    19. Témoignage d’Annick Carlier le 20 novembre 2014.
    20. Témoignage de Florence Thill, première bibliothécaire à la bibliothèque de philosophie.
    21. D’après l’INSEE, et compte tenu de l’érosion monétaire due à l’inflation, le pouvoir d’achat de 2500 francs en 1974 est le même que celui de 1901,04 euros en 2013.
    22. Témoignage de Philippe Rousseau le 25 novembre 2014.
    23. Isabelle Westeel, « Les bibliothèques d’instituts et de laboratoires de l’université de Lille », Insula [En ligne], mis en ligne le 9 décembre 2013. URL :
    24. Journée ADBU 2014, le 3 septembre 2014. « Politiques de sites et IST : les préconisations ADBU – EPRIST ». URL : Consulté le 27 octobre 2014.

    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Richesse et monnaie: le cas de la Syrie hellénistique

    December 01, 2014 - 10:09 AM - Rencontres numismatiques F. Duyrat - Cabinet des médailles-BNF

    Richesse et monnaie: le cas de la Syrie hellénistique

    December 01, 2014 - 10:09 AM - Rencontres numismatiques F. Duyrat - Cabinet des médailles-BNF

    Χαράξεις κτιρίων των οθωμανικών χρόνων στην Ελλάδα

    December 04, 2014 - 10:05 AM - LECTURE Γιάννης Κίζης, Καθηγητής ΕΜΠ

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    US to impose restrictions on smuggling Egyptian antiquities

    The United States has agreed to impose restrictions on the import of smuggled Egyptian artefacts into the country. Reuters news agency quoted the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Al-Damati as saying that the US State Department has responded to a request by Egypt to be vigilant and restrict the import of smuggled cultural property and antiquities into the United States. The minister confirmed the agreement will be signed in early 2015.
    It is nice to see it clarified that it is to curb smuggling that we have these measures. What responsible dealer could oppose that?

    Now it is time to watch the unedifying spectacle of the lobbyists for the dugup dealers associations (disappointed that the request did not get bogged-down in Washingtonian bureaucratic foot-dragging  and a decision was taken quickly)  falling over themselves to 'dig up the dirt' and propose evidence of another "conspiracy against collectors". Yap-yap-yap

    Tahrir News Network, 'US to impose restrictions on smuggling Egyptian antiquities', 25th November 2014.

    Palmyra Loot on its Way

    Looted funerary reliefs, from Palmyra. (Photo: AP / SANA)
    Thieves stole these funerary reliefs in the ancient oasis city of Palmyra. The Syrian police caught the perpetrators not in time to prevent the damage, but they were arrested before they could smuggle their haul out of the countr. See Lynda Albertson ('Do you think art collectors might be tempted to buy Syrian antiquities (looted or otherwise?). We say resoundingly, yes' ARCA Blog November 23, 2014) for what happens perfectly openly at the other end of the chain of criminal activity. Palmyra is not at present in ISIL hands, is that any reason to be complacent about this?

    Müller-Karpe on Amending the 2007 Cultural Heritage Protection Act

    Museum archaeologist Müller-Karpe talks to M. Doering about the proposed amendment of the 2007 Cultural Heritage Protection Act and the influence of the art dealer lobby.
    Deutschland ist zu einem Umschlagplatz für internationale Schmuggler antiker Kunst geworden. Dazu hat das 2007 verabschiedete Kulturgüterschutzgesetz beigetragen. Die Änderung des Gesetzes ist überfällig, sagt der Archäologe Michael Müller-Karpe. Terroristen wie der Islamische Staat profitieren von der Antiken-Hehlerei. [...] Was Kulturstaatsministerin Monika Grütters in einem Interview dazu sagte, lässt mich hoffen, dass wir endlich auf einem guten Weg sein könnten. Bei der Gesetzesnovelle ist offenbar vorgesehen, dass künftig Antiken nur noch gehandelt werden dürfen, wenn eine legale Herkunft nachgewiesen wird, zum Beispiel durch eine gültige Exportlizenz des Herkunftsstaates. [...] Eine solche Regelung trägt der Tatsache Rechnung, dass der Handel mit Antiken zweifelhafter Herkunft finanzieller Anreiz und Motor für Raubgrabungen ist und damit verantwortlich für die von den Plünderern angerichteten Zerstörungen.
    he explains why the current phrasing of the 22007 legislation is problematic to sorting out the dodgy antiquities on the market and explains why German dealers will be opposing these moves. No doubt aided and abetted by their transatlantic colleagues who will be aware what this means for them.

    Frau Grütters wird sich auf kräftigen Gegenwind einstellen müssen: Diejenigen, die weiterhin aus Plünderungen Gewinn ziehen wollen, werden versuchen, die vorgesehenen Bestimmungen zu verwässern. Denn wenn die Strafverfolgungsbehörden Legalitätsnachweise einfordern, kann der etablierte Antikenhandel seine Pforten schließen.
    Muller-Karpe sees the problem which could be posed for dealers by tightening up the law as due to what seems to him to be the nature of most of the items currently on the market:
    Archäologische Funde nachweislich legaler Herkunft sind am Markt so gut wie nicht verfügbar. Funde aus legalen Grabungen kommen bekanntlich ins Museum, nicht in den Handel. Was dort angeboten wird, kann im Grunde nur aus illegaler Quelle, vor allem aus Raubgrabungen stammen. [...] Schauen Sie sich Auktionskataloge an: Sie können mit der vagen Herkunftsangabe „Privatsammlung“ hierzulande alles verkaufen, was Sie sich an Antiken nur wünschen. Im Grunde ist diese Angabe aber ein Offenbarungseid: Damit bestätigt der Händler indirekt die illegale Herkunft des Objekts, denn wenn es den Nachweis einer legalen Herkunft gäbe, würde der genannt. Damit ließe sich ein viel höherer Preis erzielen.

    Raubgrabungsfunde können auf keiner Liste stehen“ Berliner Zeitung 20 Nov 2014.

    ISIL Funding: the View from Glasgow and Liverpool

    Yesterday, Jessica Dietler of Glasgow University claimed that there was a 'lack of evidence' for ISIL raising funds through the trafficking of ancient artefacts. Today that is echoed by somebody calling themselves 'Lestak de Lioncourt IV' from Liverpool John Moores University, who considers "archaeology inherently (neo)colonialist, in denial of its own criminogenic creations and, therefore, eventually and essentially state-corporate crime enhancing". He accuses me and others of "sustaining convenient (yet false) truths on heritage-funded terrorism". Perhaps the time is right for the two of them to present their evidence for their point of view. Can we please now learn what you have got?

    UPDATE 26th November 2014
    Ms Dietzler  clearly imagines herself in the role of my old English teacher and is still insistent that we discuss my prose style, accusing me: "You deflected my original point by dragging me into a debate about ISIL/antiquities", not really seeing the irony of what she is saying about discussion of a post called 'The Dealer's Response to the Syrian Conflict Antiquity Crisis' on a blog called "Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues".

    If, however, one follows the thread back, she was referring to a post where I expressed my own opinion on what a dealer had written about the ongoing trade in Syrian antiquities - and then proceeded to say she agreed with the dealer. Her point was that my criticisms were off-mark because "he's right that evidence is lacking". Since Ms Dietzler and I both agree that it is "right to question things", and leaving aside the side issue of her acrimonious statements about my prose style, I think we all want now to hear the Glasgow academic's considered reasons for publishing such a dismissive statement about an issue that is of such concern to many. Can we please now learn what they are?

    Vignette: Jessica Dietzler (from the Trafficking Culture website)


    Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

    Angkoran canal destroyed

    A Cambodian archaeologist is raising the alert that an ancient Angkoran canal is being destroyed – in some cases being dismantled in order to be converted into kilns.

    Angkoran canal at risk. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141124

    Angkoran canal at risk. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141124

    Expert urges gov’t to save site
    Phnom Penh Post, 24 November 2014

    An archaeologist is pleading the government to save an Angkorian-era canal before the work of brick makers completely erases the site.

    Built nearly 1,000 years ago, the 120-kilometre stone channel was used to transport building materials from a quarry to Angkor Wat, according to archaeologist Thuy Chanthourn, deputy director of the Institute of Culture and Fine Arts.

    Chanthourn submitted a six-page report about the destruction to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, the director of the Apsara Authority and the director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts last week.

    “It is unacceptable destruction. I am so sorry since this ancient canal, which remains from our ancestors, should be taken care of instead of being ruined,” Chanthourn said.

    Full story here.

    The looting of antiquities in Southeast Asia

    Last week Unesco organised a symposium on the illicit trafficking of antiquities (which I will write a little bit more about in a later post), here is a news writeup on it, although it doesn’t actually mention the symposium itself, it quotes a number of speakers there.

    SE Asian artefacts under threat from looters: UN
    Channel NewsAsia, 21 November 2014

    The ancient heritage of Southeast Asia is under threat from the illicit underground trading of stolen cultural artefacts, according to the United Nations.

    Looters have been plundering historical sites for years, and selling the artefacts on overseas black markets. It has prompted a call to governments for action in the region.

    The artefacts from Ban Chiang – an ancient civilisation in northeastern Thailand – date back more than 3,000 years. In 2008, more than 500 of the antiquities were found in several museums in California illegally. Now, the US government is returning them to their rightful home.

    “Bringing back the ancient artefacts to the country is a priority for us. Thailand, like many Southeast Asian countries, has to deal with the problems of illegal artefacts being smuggled out of the country,” said Thai Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat.

    Full story here.

    Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East

    Flight 20141019 - The Via Nova Traiana in Central Jordan

    The great Roman highway ran from Syria down the length of the Emperor Trajan’s new province of Arabia to Aila (Aqaba) on the Red Sea. Nineteenth century western travellers and explorers ‘east of Jordan’ regularly reported following it for mile after mile and noting many of the hundreds of milestones still to be seen. In the twentieth century it suffered badly with great stretches disappearing beneath modern roads or ploughed away by farmers and developers; milestones have been smashed or bulldozed aside. Happily there are still places one can see stretches surviving, usually in the more remote parts of modern Jordan.
    Bulldozing damage to Rujm el-Faridiyyeh. © APAAME_20141019_DLK-0180
    Our flight yesterday (Sunday) included Rujm el-Faridiyyeh, a Roman road-station on the Via Nova just south of the Wadi el-Hasa. It was the subject of a striking RAF aerial photograph of 1937 and was drawn in the course of Burton MacDonald’s Wadi el-Hasa Survey (1988) 30 years ago (Kennedy and Riley, Rome’s Desert Frontier, 1990: 86-9). Sadly we found that even on this fairly isolated stretch of the plateau, a bulldozer has (again) been at work – for no apparent reason as there is no development at that point.
    Milestation along the VNT. © APAAME_20141019_DLK-0203.
    On the other hand, the road appears today almost intact and showing far more strikingly as a classic Roman road than even the old RAF photo had suggested. Our experience in Jordan over the course of several attempts since we began in 1997, is that Roman roads are often quite difficult to re-discover from the air unless well-preserved. Not so this time. From the air we could clearly trace the road running for at least 5 kilometres (about 3 Roman miles) and with intermittent stretches thereafter. As MacDonald could describe from his ground visit in the 1980s, you can still see the side kerbs and the central spine of the substructure (which is what survives). Particularly interesting was the cluster of milestones at one Milestation, some still standing after some 1800 years.
    VNT and Tower. © APAAME_20141019_DLK-0189.
    There is a need to re-visit on the ground this superb stretch of road which is coming under increased threat from agriculture and some building nearby. Even more important is to trace it beyond the remains of the bridge across the stream of the Wadi el-Hasa and up the steep slope to the northern plateau. Hints of the line reported over a century ago are still visible from the air. More striking are the collapsed towers in its vicinity and – best of all, an apparently newly discovered fort. As it lies on a promontory overlong the Roman road it may be Nabataean and/ or Roman.

    Aina Fort 1. © APAAME_20141019_DDB-0137.
    - David Kennedy

    Edit November 26, 2014: Aina Fort 1 is Kh. al-Medeineh (on the Wadi al-Hasa) - Glueck's site 222 in Explorations of Eastern Palestine II (1935): 104-5. Thank you to Dr. Haim Ben David for the info.

    November 25, 2014

    Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

    Fresh evidence points to destruction of Yazidi temples by Islamic State

    Hyperallergic have published my analysis and confirmation of new video regarding the destruction of Yezidi temples in Babila. Contact Transterra Media to buy it. I’ve included more frames from the relevant videos here, for comparison. To confirm the sites, I used TTM’s video, which Êzidî Press showed me, alongside the Êzidî Press videos that originally […]

    David Gill (Looting Matters)

    Press coverage of Steinhardt Sardinian Figure Growing

    There seems to be growing coverage in the Sardinian and Italian press of the story that the figure identified by Dr Christios Tsirogiannis appears in the Medici Dossier.

    Discussion has started to include the figure returned from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

    Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

    Coverage of Steinhardt Sardinian Figure

    Source: Tsirogannis / ARCA
    The coverage of the story about the Sardinian figure due to be auctioned at Christie's in December  is growing. There is now a feature on Sardinian TV.

    Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

    Archaeology Magazine

    19th-Century Homes of Feuding Families Investigated

    HARDY, KENTUCKY—A team led by Kim McBride of the University of Kentucky has been excavating the site of the home of Randal McCoy, head of the McCoys of Kentucky. The home of the head of the Hatfield family, “Devil Anse” Hatfield of Saran Ann, West Virginia, is also under investigation. “I’m very pleased to say that something has been recovered at each of the locations,” Tony Tackett of Pike County Tourism told the Williamson Daily News. At the McCoy cabin, McBride has recovered parts of the cabin’s foundation, primitive glass, bullets, stained glass, nails, and fragments of tools. To read about another historical discovery in Kentucky, see "Sequoyah Was Here." 

    ArcheoNet BE

    Dag van het Gentse historische onderzoek

    De Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent (MGOG) en het STAM organiseren op zaterdag 6 december de derde editie van de ‘Dag van het Gentse historische Onderzoek’. Iedereen die zich graag vierdiept in de geschiedenis van Gent is welkom op deze dag. Tijdens de verschillende lezingen wordt er gefocust op het Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (1815-1830). Voor het eerst zal op deze dag ook de ‘Prijs van het Gentse historische onderzoek’ uitgereikt worden. Je vindt het volledige programma van deze dag en alle praktische informatie op

    David Gill (Looting Matters)

    The Steinhardt Sardinian Figure: Social Media

    Comments on social media are applying pressure on the vendor of a Sardinian figure due to be sold at Christie's in December.

    Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

    Diplomatic pressure and the Steinhardt Sardinian Figure

    Sardinian figure identified from the Medici Dossier
    Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis / ARCA
    It appears that officials in Sardinia have asked US Ambassador Phillips (in Rome) that the Sardinian figure due to be auctioned at Christie's in December should be returned to Italy ("Pili: Bloccate l'asta della Dea Madre. E' refurtiva, deve tornare in Sardegna", Sassari Notizie November 25, 2014). The figure has been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis from a Polaroid that formed part of the Medici Dossier.

    “Bloccate immediatamente la vendita della Dea Madre. E’ refurtiva, va restituita alla Sardegna. Il governo italiano deve intervenire immediatamente sull’amministrazione americana per bloccare l’asta dell’11 dicembre prossimo a New York. Non si tratta di un pezzo pregiato da vendere, ma è refurtiva. Rubata alla Sardegna e ai sardi. Un governo autorevole e serio deve intervenire con tutti i poteri a sua disposizione per bloccare questa vergognosa vendita che offende la storia della Sardegna e dei Sardi."
    Christie's needs to respond to these claims as a matter of urgency now that a fuller collecting history has emerged.

    Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

    CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

    Abstract–Minoan Communities and Commemorative Practices: the late Prepalatial to Protopalatial Tholos Tomb A at Apesokari/Crete

    The presentation examines the communal Tholos Tomb A at Apesokari in south-central Crete as the diachronic locus of the commemorative practices employed by one of the kinship groups of the community inhabiting the nearby habitation site on Vigla hill. The commemorative practices are reconstructed through the layout tomb and the burial assemblage as a continuum of multi-staged mortuary rituals; these extend from the inhumation of the corpse to the secondary manipulation of the disarticulated remains after decomposition, as well as to private and collective rites reflecting the incorporation of the deceased into the world of the group ancestors.   more

    Archaeology Magazine

    Army Assists With Study of Anglo-Saxon Sword

    ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND—Archaeologists have enlisted the help of the army to X-ray a sword unearthed at the cemetery at Barrow Clump. “The sword was too large for our in-house X-ray facilities,” Laura Joyner of Wessex Archaeology told Culture 24. The X-ray showed that the corroded sixth-century sword, hidden by its wood and leather scabbard, had been made by a process called pattern welding, where several bands of metal are beaten together to create a single, strengthened blade. “In this case, three twisted rods of wrought iron with steel surfaces were used, showing as a distinctive pattern on the X-ray image. The blade itself was also edged in steel. This is probably because steel can be sharpened to a much finer edge than iron. It is possible to tell the difference between metals on an X-ray image as they corrode in different ways,” Joyner explained. Other grave goods recovered from the cemetery were also X-rayed. They included a spearhead that had been produced from a single piece of iron, and a shield boss with decorative studs to attach it to a wooden shield. To read more about Anglo-Saxons, see "The Kings of Kent." 

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Army hospital x-rays reveal intricacies of Anglo-Saxon sword, shield, spear and grave goods

    Archaeologists have used an army field hospital’s x-ray machine to examine a corroded steel sword,...

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Making it up as they go Along

    A few weeks ago John Hooker, the man who seems to consider himself the world’s greatest living numismatist, 'identified' using a popular handbook a photoshop picture of a coin as an issue of a central European bishop who never issued coins. Now, through another piece of numismaniacal spot-the-difference picture-matching  he has publicly queried the collecting history of a coin currently being offered by CNG (Triton XVIII, Lot: 817. Estimate $2000). He says (" Pedigreed [sic] "Abrincatui" stater on Triton sale" the object stated by the seller to have been found in the Le Catillon (Jersey) hoard is illustrated in an 1890s book, which he says shows that the CNG collecting history is false. But perhaps we should check the facts, as in the case of any assertion about the dugup antiquities trade. Compare  the two coins. Here's the CNG one, and here from a handy numismatic library is the other:

    Henri de la Tour, Atlas de monnaies gauloises, 1892, J5.
    I’m puzzled as to why thinks that the coin he illustrates from the CNG sale is ‘the same specimen’ as the other one, take a look at the 'lyre' symbol and the annulets/floriate symbols adjacent to it and what happens above the horse's rear quarters if nothing else.  It seems to me he’s doing all this simply to waste our time… I think Hooker owes CNG and the rest of us an apology for misleading everyone.

    Cue comments - John Howland and Peter Tompa: "yap yap yap...

    UPDATE 25th November 2014
    Oh look, he's deleted his 'identification'. Then he owes CNG an apology and me thanks for checking his numismatic facts for him, and a metal detectorist for drawing his attention to where fuller information may be found.

    Archaeology Magazine

    Archaeologists Are Examining Amphipolis Tomb Paintings

    AMPHIPOLIS, GREECE—The Greek Ministry of Culture announced that painted figures have been found on the door frames of the second chamber of the 2,300-year-old tomb under excavation in Amphipolis. Pictures of the figures have not yet been released. “We are not hiding anything. New findings are revealed slowly as the restoration process continues,” Culture Minister Kostas Tassoulas told Discovery News. The paintings, which are being examined with lasers, may help archaeologists determine who had been buried in the lavish tomb. In the second phase of the excavation, a team from the University of Thessaloniki will use 3-D tomographic imagery to search the burial mound for additional chambers. 

    American Philological Association

    Additional Annual Meeting Updates

    1.  We have posted a draft of the annual meeting Program pages for paper sessions.  We have also posted the schedule of meetings for the SCS Board and its committees.  The schedule of affiliated group events will be posted next week.

    2.  The headquarters hotel, the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, no longer has sleeping rooms available at the convention rate of $159.  That rate, however, is available directly across the street at the New Orleans Marriott where the majority of SCS placement interviews will take place along with some committee/interest group meetings and special events.  Read about annual meeting hotels here, and make reservations by December 15, 2014, to ensure the availability of the convention rate.

    Ancient Peoples

    Gold serpentine fibula (safety pin) with animals in...

    Gold serpentine fibula (safety pin) with animals in granulation

    7th Century BC

    Etruscan (Geometric)

    (Source: The Met Museum)

    Open Access Archaeology

    Open Access Archaeology Digest #613

    Get some Open Access (free to read) Archaeology articles here:

    A Runic Fragment at Leek

    Carved Oak Panels formerly at Greenlaw, Kirkcudbright

    Description of the Interior of a Chamber in a Castle

    Il castellum aquae di Porta Romana ad Ostia.

    Notices of St Palladius’ Chapel, and of a Coffin-Slab, at Fordoun.

    Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at:

    ArcheoNet BE

    Beschermde architectenwoning Marc Dessauvage te koop

    Op 1 december wordt de beschermde architectenwoning van Marc Dessauvage in Loppem (Zedelgem) openbaar verkocht. De woning werd ontworpen in 1972, maar pas gerealiseerd tussen 1978 en 1980. Het is een typisch voorbeeld van de ‘Palladiaanse’ woningen van Dessauvage. De woning wordt gekenmerkt door een strakke geometrie, met vierkante modules rond een centraal trappenhuis. Het pand verkeert momenteel in verwaarloosde toestand, maar biedt mits de nodige renovatie heel wat potentieel.

    Architect Marc Dessauvage (1931-1984) is vooral bekend voor zijn ontwerpen van religieuze gebouwen vanaf het eind van de jaren 1950, zoals de Sint-Aldegondiskerk van Ezemaal of het Monasterium Magnificat van Westmalle. Ook het Erasmusgebouw van de Leuvense Letterenfaculteit is van zijn hand. Hij realiseerde ook verschillende privé-woningen. Daarin is een duidelijke stijlevolutie merkbaar: in zijn eerste ontwerpen realiseerde hij ‘tuinwoningen’, als het ware organisch gegroeide woningen met een duidelijke verbondenheid met de natuur, onder andere daar het dak te bekleden met gras. Vanaf ca. 1965 ontwerpt Dessauvage zgn. Palladiaanse woningen die gekenmerkt worden door een strakke geometrie.

    Omwille van de drassige ondergrond staat het gebouw op vier steunpunten; mede door de aanwezigheid van water onder het huis lijkt het te zweven. Het huis is in kruisvorm gebouwd met ruwe, onbewerkte betonnen bouwstenen. In feite gaat het om vijf repetitieve vierkante modules bestaande uit een centraal vierkant en vier armen die de funderingszones vormen. De ramen bevinden zich op de hoeken, zodat het huis zowel massiviteit uitstraalt door de gesloten muren als transparantie en lichtheid door de glaspartijen. Het interieur met zijn beperkte woonruimte heeft een uitgesproken open structuur, ook omdat er geen enkele deur aanwezig is. De ruimtes zelf zijn gelijkwaardig en hebben geen vaste woonfunctie, zodat ze in feite naderhand kunnen gewijzigd worden. De leefruimtes bevinden zich in het zuidelijke gedeelte, het sanitair in het noordelijke gedeelte. Het centrale gedeelte kenmerkt zich door openheid omdat er geen verdieping is. In dit deel bevindt zich wel het ronde trappenhuis dat naar de verdieping boven de vier armen leidt. De gesloten, massieve betonnen muren en de intense, uitgespaarde lichtinval doen denken aan een Romaans bouwwerk. De vierkante vorm is ook doorgetrokken in de tuinaanleg.

    Meer info: de openbare verkoop vindt plaats op maandag 1 december om 16u in het Notarishuis in Brugge (Spanjaardstraat 9). Meer info in deze bijlage (pdf).

    UNESCO erkent beiaardcultuur in België

    UNESCO heeft de Belgische beiaardcultuur toegevoegd aan het ‘Register of Best Safeguarding Practices’, een belangrijke internationale erkenning voor de Belgische beiaardiers en al wie zich voor onze beiaardcultuur inzet. De beslissing werd vandaag genomen door het ‘Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’. Het comité sprak zijn waardering uit voor de jarenlange ervaringen en acties in België voor het doorgeven en vieren van de beiaardcultuur.

    De beiaard ontstond rond 1500 in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden en is het oudste muzikale massamedium uit de geschiedenis. Vandaag is het het grootste muziekinstrument ter wereld. De voorbije 100 jaar hebben beiaardiers en vele anderen die zich voor de beiaardcultuur inspannen, dit unieke muzikale erfgoed steeds weten te vernieuwen. Dankzij hen kleurt beiaardmuziek nog steeds de atmosfeer van tientallen Belgische steden en gemeenten en is er zelfs een groeiende belangstelling bij het grote publiek.

    De Belgische beiaardcultuur, die wordt gedragen door de Vlaamse Beiaardvereniging en de Association Campanaire Wallonne, valt op door haar streven naar een evenwicht tussen vernieuwende initiatieven en respect voor de historische rol van de beiaard. Daarbij staat het creëren van een breed draagvlak steeds voorop: vanuit de lokale beiaardwerking worden ervaringen uitgewisseld met de nationale organisaties en de Wereldbeiaardfederatie.

    DigiPal Blog

    Paid Internship in Manuscripts at the British Library

    I have just seen the following advertisement for what looks like an intersting opportunity at the British Library for a recently-finished PhD student. The e-mail that I received describes the post as follows:

    The British Library is pleased to be able to offer a paid internship in the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts section of the Western Heritage Department for a doctoral or post-doctoral student in History, History of Art or other relevant subject.

    The intern will be involved in all aspects of the work of the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts section, including responding to enquiries, providing talks for students and patrons, selecting and presenting manuscripts for display in our exhibition gallery, and cataloguing, thereby gaining insight into various curatorial duties and aspects of collection care.  During the internship at the Library, the intern will enjoy privileged access to printed and manuscript research material, and will work alongside specialists with wide-ranging and varied expertise.

    The primary focus of the internship will be to enhance the online Digitised Manuscripts,, website by creating and supplementing catalogue entries for medieval manuscripts and accompanying images, and assisting with the Library’s Magna Carta exhibition, working under the supervision of the Lead Curator, Illuminated Manuscripts.

    The internship is designed to provide an opportunity for the student to develop research skills and expertise in medieval and Renaissance art and history, and in presenting manuscripts to a range of audiences.


    The programme is only open to students who are engaged actively in research towards, or have recently completed a PhD in a subject area relevant to the study of pre-1600 manuscripts who have a right to work in the UK.

    Hours of Work/Contract Duration:

    • 36 hours [per week] over normal business hours, full time for nine months.
    • The internship will start on 2nd February 2015 or as soon as relevant security checks have been completed.

    Applications are available on the British Library’s website,

    Closing Date: 18th December 1014

    Interview Date: 7th January 2015

    The selection process may include questions about the date, origin, and decoration of a particular manuscript to be shown at the interview.

    This post has no connection whatsoever to DigiPal or anyone working on the DigiPal project, so please contact the British Library for any questions or further details.

    Ancient Peoples

    Game of Hounds and Jackals 12th Dynasty, Middle...

    Game of Hounds and Jackals

    12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom

    c.1814-1805 BC

    The board rests on four bulls’ legs; one is completely restored and another only partially. There is a drawer with a bolt to store the playing pieces: five pins with hounds’ heads and five with jackals’ heads. The board is shaped like an axe-blade, and there are 58 holes in the upper surface with an incised palm tree topped by a shen sign in the center. Howard Carter and the Earl of Carnarvon reconstructed the game as follows in their publication of the find (Five Years of Explorations at Thebes, A Record of Work Done 1907-1911, London, Oxford, New York, 1912, p. 58): “Presuming the ‘Shen’ sign … to be the goal, we find on either side twenty-nine holes, or including the goal, thirty aside. Among these holes, on either side, two are marked ..nefer, ‘good;’ and four others are linked together by curved lines.. Assuming that the holes marked ‘good’ incur a gain, it would appear that the others, connected by lines, incur a loss.. Now the moves themselves could easily have been denoted by the chance cast of knuckle-bones or dice….and if so we have before us a simple, but exciting, game of chance.” 
    Egyptians likened the intricate voyage through the underworld to a game. This made gaming boards and gaming pieces appropriate objects to deposit in tombs.

    (Source: The Met Museum)

    ἐν ἐφέσῳ: Thoughts and Meditations

    Olga Spevak, The Noun Phrase in Classical Latin Prose

    I know that this volume is not strictly about Greek. Nevertheless, it’s a worthwhile volume to examine.

    And Bryn Mawr Classical Review just published a review of the work: Olga Spevak, The Noun Phrase in Classical Latin Prose

    Unfortunately, as always, you probably can’t afford this Brill volume anyway…

    Amazon: The Noun Phrase in Classical Latin Prose

    Filed under: Historical Linguistics, Language, Latin, Linguistics, Semantics, Syntax

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Scenes from #SBLAAR14

    A few people took photos of me at the conference, and so I thought I would share them. I have already shared my papers. I felt that all the sessions I was involved in went well. The discussion of Bart Ehrman’s book on Saturday was great. I thought that the mix of people who agreed and disagreed with him, as well as one another, was pretty near perfect. Gabriele Boccacini made the suggestion that there should be more conversations between scholars working in the field of second-temple Judaism and scholars working on early Christian Christology.

    SBL 2014 Ehrman panel Bird speaking

    The first session of the new AAR program unit “Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity” was excellent, I thought, with interesting interaction across focuses on Mandaeism, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity in that time and place, and interesting intersections on topics like magic bowls. One presented indicating that the session provided a natural forum for her scholarship which was not found in any other program unit, which was encouraging, since that was precisely what we hoped for and why we created the new program unit. It wasn’t just because “East LA” is a cool nickname for it.

    The Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship session focused on academic freedom, and it was particularly interesting to hear Christopher Rollston share his own experience in greater detail than he had done previously.

    Metacriticism SBL 2014 Metacriticism SBL 2014 Christopher Rollston speaking

    The Blogger session was up against Jimmy Carter speaking, and so in view of that, I was pleased that we had a decent turnout. The papers were interesting, with the very different perspectives of a scholar at a religiously affiliated school interested in using blogging as a bridge between academy and church, and an atheist scholar at a secular state university focusing on the way blogging by scholars intersects with and blurs into blogging by non-scholars and ultimately blogging by “@%!#! Loonies.” We then had an open panel discussion, which interacted with the audience as well as one another, on topics like comment moderation, the impact of blogging on the prospect of future employment, the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife and the more recent claims that Joseph and Aseneth is a “lost Gospel.”

    At the end, Ben Corey, fellow Patheos blogger, said hello and took a photo of us:

    Ben Corey SBL 2014


    I also enjoyed meeting with a large number of friends and colleagues within and outside the context of the conference and its formal sessions.


    Al West (West's Meditations)

    'Remarkable Plants' by Bynum & Bynum, 'The History of Central Asia' by Baumer

    It was my birthday last week, so I've got some new books to read, including volume two of Christoph Baumer's The History of Central Asia (I B Tauris), dealing with the first millennium CE, and a book about important and useful plants by the medical historians Helen and William Bynum, Remarkable Plants that Shape our World (Thames & Hudson). They're both lovely to look at - Baumer's photographs are excellent, and the illustrations used in the Bynum & Bynum book, drawn from eighteenth and nineteenth century publications in the Kew Gardens collection, function perfectly as enhancers of the text.
    Read more »

    Turkish Archaeological News


    Trajan's Cenotaph

    After the creation of the new airport, located east of Alanya, many people have heard the name Gazipaşa for the first time. Currently, it is a small town, which has so far been spared by the tourist boom. However, this part of the Mediterranean coast was inhabited from time immemorial, and the ancient city of Selinus has been commemorated in history as the place of death of the Roman Emperor Trajan.

    AIA Fieldnotes

    Archaeology and Critical Thinking in Your History/Social Studies Classroom

    Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
    Sponsored by Archaeological Institute of America
    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 8:30am to 10:30am

    Special Workshop, Saturday, January 10, 2015 from 8:30 to 10:30 AM

    Register now! (please note that this workshop is part of a larger conference, to just attend the workshop select "Two-Hour Workshop for LOCAL Teachers and Educators")! Read more »


    Ben Thomas
    Call for Papers: 

    Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

    E-M81 in Morocco

    Hum Biol. 2014 May;86(2):105-12.

    Phylogeography of e1b1b1b-m81 haplogroup and analysis of its subclades in morocco.

    Reguig A, Harich N, Barakat A, Rouba H.


    In this study we analyzed 295 unrelated Berber-speaking men from northern, central, and southern Morocco to characterize frequency of the E1b1b1b-M81 haplogroup and to refine the phylogeny of its subclades: E1b1b1b1-M107, E1b1b1b2-M183, and E1b1b1b2a-M165. For this purpose, we typed four biallelic polymorphisms: M81, M107, M183, and M165. A large majority of the Berber-speaking male lineages belonged to the Y-chromosomal E1b1b1b-M81 haplogroup. The frequency ranged from 79.1% to 98.5% in all localities sampled. E1b1b1b2-M183 was the most dominant subclade in our samples, ranging from 65.1% to 83.1%. In contrast, the E1b1b1b1-M107 and E1b1b1b2a-M165 subclades were not found in our samples. Our results suggest a predominance of the E1b1b1b-M81 haplogroup among Moroccan Berber-speaking males with a decreasing gradient from south to north. The most prevalent subclade in this haplogroup was E1b1b1b2-M183, for which diffferences among these three groups were statistically significant between central and southern groups.


    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    RINAP: The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period

    [First posted in AWOL 16 July 2011. Most recently updated 25 November 2014] 

    The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period
    Esarhaddon Text 98

    Numerous royally commissioned texts were composed between 744 BC and 669 BC, a period during which Assyria became the dominant power in southwestern Asia. Six hundred to six hundred and fifty such inscriptions are known today. The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) Project, under the direction of Professor Grant Frame of the University of Pennsylvania, will publish in print and online all of the known royal inscriptions that were composed during the reigns of the Assyrian kings Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC), Shalmaneser V (726-722 BC), Sargon II (721-705 BC), Sennacherib (704-681 BC), and Esarhaddon (680-669 BC), rulers whose deeds were also recorded in the Bible and in some classical sources. The individual texts range from short one-line labels to lengthy, detailed inscriptions with over 500 lines (2500 words) of text.

    These Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions (744-669 BC) represent only a small, but important part of the vast Neo-Assyrian text corpus. They are written in the Standard Babylonian dialect of Akkadian and provide valuable insight into royal exploits, both on the battlefield and at home, royal ideology, and Assyrian religion. Most of our understanding of the political history of Assyria, and to some extent of Babylonia, comes from these sources. Because this large corpus of texts has not previously been published in one place, the RINAP Project will provide up-to-date editions (with English translations) of Assyrian royal inscriptions from the reign of Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC) to the reign of Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) in five print volumes and online, in a fully lemmatized and indexed format. The aim of the project is to make this vast text corpus easily accessible to scholars, students, and the general public. RINAP Online will allow those interested in Assyrian culture, history, language, religion, and texts to efficiently search Akkadian and Sumerian words appearing in the inscriptions and English words used in the translations. Project data will be fully integrated into the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) and the Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (Oracc).

    The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the RINAP Project research grants in 2008 and in 2010 to help carry out its work. The publications of the RINAP Project are modeled on those of the now-defunct Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia (RIM) Project and carry on where its Assyrian Periods sub-series (RIMA) ended.

        Liz Gloyn (Classically Inclined)

        Book review: The Ancient Curse – Valerio Massimo Manfredi

        I understand Manfredi has written a number of classically-inspired works; this is the first I have read. It roams a little outside the usual realm of these things, because it decides to play not with the Romans but with the Etruscans, the civilization which preceded the Romans to the north of their city. The Etruscans are notoriously tricky to get a handle on, not least because reading Etruscan is a nightmare (helped mainly by texts written in parallel with Latin versions), and very little of it has survived. Manfredi builds his story on an actual bit of Etruscan culture, a thing called a Phersu which appears most famously in a tomb painting from the so-called Tomb of the Augurs. (If you’re interested, there’s a recent article about the state of Phersu research freely available here, and some reasonable photos of the frescos here.) Manfredi does not restrict himself to the scholarly consensus (or whatever its condition was in 2001 when the book first appeared); instead, he takes the nuggets of scholarly work and builds up a story that suits himself – one which he can then use to build up a plot that mixes supernatural terror with a police procedural murder whodunit. The Ombra Della Sera statue also plays a significant role in unravelling the mystery of what happened centuries ago and how it is connected to a modern case of tomb robbery.

        I will freely admit that the Etruscans are not my home turf and so I can’t really comment on Manfredi’s manipulation of the ancient sources. However, a couple of things stand out. The first is the way Manfredi makes the fragmentary knowledge of the Etruscans a feature rather than a bug – part of the problem faced by his investigators is that they know so little of Etruscan culture, heritage and language that they are often groping in the dark for hypotheses. Yet at the same time, Manfredi’s authorial voice allows him to claim knowledge of what Etruscan life was really like, particularly in a flash-back at the end of the novel to the events which ended in the tomb around which the plot revolves. There’s an interesting interplay between the supposed ‘lost’ world of the Etruscans, the contemporary characters’ lack of knowledge about it, and the author’s imaginative reconstruction of what fills in the gaps. It’s actually a really nice illustration of why fiction can help us think about academic subjects with a freedom that we don’t have in rigorously formal academic writing (although obviously the usefulness of that depends on how much attention is paid to the things that academics think can’t be ignored, but that’s by the by).

        The second interesting thing is how the two parallel plots – solving both the ancient and the modern murders – brings out various aspects of modern Italy’s relationship to the past. For instance, technology plays a significant role in solving the mystery – some nifty computer reconstruction helps identify the animal bones discovered in one of the tomb’s sarcophagi, plus there’s a fairly plausible-sounding scene of translating an inscription using multiple screens and clever technological tricks. People photograph things and e-mail them, and the whole process of working out what’s going on involves a wide-spread network of scholars who can be contacted electronically. Made me think of academic Twitter. There’s also some explanation of tomb robbing and its relationship to local economies – it is only through tomb robbing that the tomb in question comes to light, and the victims of the ‘orrible killings are all tomb robbers or connected with the theft. Just deserts? At any rate, the choice of them as victims reflects a certain attitude towards heritage crime, at least on Manfredi’s part, that might be worth exploring more – I don’t think I’ve read any fiction that’s engaged with the modern phenomenon in this way, so it would be interesting to see whether this portrait is consistent across Italian novelists.

        One less positive thing I observed was Manfredi’s attitude to gender. I’m fairly sure that being a feminist doesn’t preclude one from also wearing nice undergarments, which is the observation Fabrizio, his chief male protagonist, makes about his chief female protagonist before he’s managed to get her into bed. In fact, the novel is irritatingly preoccupied with this romantic subplot, which ends with an inevitable consummation and suggestion of a long-term settled relationship resulting in progeny. There are other women in the novel, but one’s coded as the Bad Woman from the start, and the female tech-wizard who does the reconstruction stuff is also vocally interested in shagging one of the other characters. Oh, and it would have been nice if there hadn’t been quite so much emphasis on the importance of finding a wife and settling down for the male characters, who are clearly miserable precisely because that hasn’t happened. Fabrizio has even arrived in the right place to investigate the newly-discovered tomb in part because his previous relationship has just broken up. Good thing that a grisly set of murders happened to bring him closer to the girl of his dreams, really.


        I am indebted to Claudia Caia Julia Fratini, whose conference paper earlier this year brought this book to my attention.


        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal: Syria. Archéologie, Art et histoire

         [First posted in AWOL 26 August 2009. Updated 25 November 2014]

        Syria. Archéologie, Art et histoire
        ISSN format papier: 0039-7946
        eISSN: 2076-8435
        Syria, an annual journal, has been published uninterruptedly since 1920 by the French Institute of the Near East (Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Aleppo). The review is dedicated to the history and archaelogy of the Semitic Near East (Cyprus included) from Prehistory to the Islamic conquest. It publishes articles in all the disciplines related to this field of research, archaology, epigraphy, philology, history, art history ; these articles are sometimes gathered together in thematic issues, but usually each issue of Syria tries to give - by means of 12 to 18 articles -, a varied overview of research on the Ancient Near East. The languages in use are French, English, German, Italian, and Spanish. From time to time, the review also publishes topical notes, and normaly devotes in each issue an extensive section to reading notes on books published on the Ancient Near East.
        Syria, qui paraît depuis 1920 sans interruption, est publiée par l’Institut Français du Proche-Orient, en une seule livraison annuelle. La revue se consacre à l’histoire et l’archéologie du Proche-Orient sémitique (y compris Chypre) de la préhistoire à la conquête islamique. Elle publie des articles dans toutes les disciplines de ce champ de recherche, archéologie, épigraphie, philologie, histoire, histoire de l’art ; ces articles peuvent être quelquefois regroupés en dossiers thématiques, mais le plus souvent chaque volume tente de donner, à travers 12 à 18 articles, un panorama varié de la recherche au Proche-Orient ancien. Les langues employées sont le français, l’anglais, l’allemand, l’italien et l’espagnol. Tous les articles sont précédés d’un résumé en français, en anglais et en arabe. La revue publie aussi à l’occasion de courtes notes d’actualité, et consacre dans chaque numéro un épais cahier aux recensions d’ouvrages parus sur le Proche-Orient ancien.

        Available periods  :



        Kate Cooper (kateantiquity)

        A Bride of Christ and a Beheading: Saint Catherine of Alexandria

        Saint Catherine of Alexandria is my name-saint, so I always remember to say a prayer to her on her Feast Day, the 25th of November, even though sadly I don’t come from the kind of family where you celebrate your name-saint’s feast with honey-cakes and sparklers. But this year, I am seeing things in Catherine’s story that I never thought to notice before – disturbing things, though I don’t think they are there by accident.

        Catherine Wheel - Art Institute of Chicago

        The miracle of Saint Catherine’s Wheel (Northern Spanish, ca. 1375/1400;

        If you are in the small part of the human population that knows the difference between the different Saint Catherines  – the principal contenders being the great Italian mystics Catherine of Siena (died 1380: feast-day 29 April) and Catherine of Genoa (died 1510; feast 15 September), you will know that Catherine was a philosopher-virgin of fourth-century Alexandria, and that her symbol is the ‘Catherine Wheel’. You may even know the story from the Roman breviary, that when blades were lashed to a wheel in order to cut her to pieces. But when she prayed, the wheel itself fell in to pieces and was no use against the power of her prayer. The Catherine Wheel is a familiar symbol, but in a way it has become over-familiar. Most English-speakers, when they think of a Catherine Wheel, think of a popular type of fireworks display, in which sparks fly off from a spinning point in the air.

        Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Engraving by A.F. Girard after G.F. Reverdin.

        Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Engraving by A.F. Girard after G.F. Reverdin (

        What is less well-remembered is that in the end, Catherine was beheaded. A disturbing image from the Wellcome Collections in London offers an artist’s anatomical analysis of the saint extending her neck on the executioner’s block. A beheadings is a deeply shocking thing, an act of complete and perfect violence. This fact has has become distressingly vivid in acts of religious violence around the world in recent months.

        In fact, the earliest version of Catherine’s life, the Menologion of Emperor Basil II (d. 886) gives only the story of the beheading.

         “The martyr Aikaterina was the daughter of a rich and noble prince of Alexandria. She was very beautiful, and being at the same time highly talented, she devoted herself to Greek literature as well as to the study of the languages of all nations, and so she became wise and learned. And it happened that the Greeks held a festival in honor of their idols; and seeing the slaughter of animals, she was so greatly moved that she went to the King Maximinus and expostulated with him in these words: ‘Why hast thou left the living God to worship lifeless idols?’ But the Emperor caused her to be thrown into prison, and to be punished severely. He then ordered fifty orators to be brought, and bade them to reason with Aikaterina, and confute her, threatening to burn them all if they should fail to overpower her. The orators, however, when they saw themselves vanquished, received baptism, and were burnt forthwith, while she was beheaded.” (translation by Paul Carus; his 1907 study of the early traditions surrounding Catherine is still worth reading.) 

        Though there is no certain evidence to prove that Catherine is a real historical figure,it is highly significant that her death is remembered as having happened at a time of civil war.

        Her persecutor, Maximinus Daia (d. 313), was a Roman general who staged a military coup and ruled over a kingdom in what is now Turkey, until he was defeated and killed by the emperor Licinius. (Licinius, in turn, was defeated and killed by the Christian Emperor Constantine, but that is another story.) In our own time, it has become increasingly obvious that in a situation of civil war individuals are often singled out for especially brutal treatment, as a way of intimidating others. 

        That Catherine was a public teacher of Christianity is not implausible at all. In fact, the most famous case of religiously inspired violence recorded in ancient Alexandira was against a female teacher, Hypatia of Alexandria (d. 415).

        One aspect to the tradition that grew up around Catherine is especially illuminating. The medieval versions of her story suggest that Catherine’s mother was already a Christian before her, and that it was at the time when the family was arranging a marriage for her that Catherine found herself in trouble with the authorities.Refusing the human groom offered to her, Catherine declared that she had received a visit from a Queen, who had made her a far better offer: her son, the most beautiful and powerful king the world had ever seen. The Queen, of course, was the Virgin Mary, and Jesus was the Bride-groom.

        Many of the ancient martyr narratives involve a child-bride who refuses an arranged marriage – the case of Thecla is the most obvious example, but there are dozens of others.

        If you look at that fact in light of recent events, you start to notice that the individuals singled out as victims of religious persecution are frequently either individuals who marry across religious lines, or the children of these marriages.

        The recent case of Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag  is a case in point; Mariam’s mother was an Ethiopian Christian divorced from Mariam’s  Muslim father; when the daughter Mariam married a Christian, she was charged with apostasy from Islam, although she had in fact been brought up in her mother’s faith. Considering how the ancient cases shed light on the modern ones, and vice versa, is not a straightforward business, but it is well worth the trouble.

        Another modern case illustrates how it is often practical tensions in communities that gives occasion to these explosions of self-righteous violence. As I write, the Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi is awaiting the verdict for her appeal against a sentence of hanging. Her crime, allegedly, was to make an unflattering comparison of Muhammad to Jesus of Nazareth. (One wonders whether her accuser was aware that Jesus himself is recognised as a prophet of Islam, or that the Qur’an explicitly advises Muslims to refrain from conflict with Christians, since the protagonists of ‘religious’ conflict sometimes know very little about the tradition they claim to defend.)

        Both sides agree that whatever she said was a response to being attacked by a Muslim co-worker while harvesting berries together; the claim was that she had polluted a well by drinking from it. Bibi’s defenders suggest that the real conflict was a previous dispute over an unrelated incident of property damage. The case then escalated to the point where two government ministers were assassinated, reputedly in order to silence their support for the defendant. We see the same shape in ancient documents. Neighbourhoods and workplaces are often troubled by bullying or other long-term  conflicts, but once the conflict has been ‘re-packaged’ as a religious conflict it is often possible to bring in large numbers of supporters who have no stake in the original dispute. Curiously, these ‘newcomers’ are often the most violent.

        It is deeply disturbing to recognise that the kind of horrors described by the ancient martyr accounts probably gave an accurate impression of the kinds of brutality faced by men and women in the ancient world. And it is even more distressing to recognise that equally inhuman treatment is still doled out to minorities all over the world today. It makes perfect sense that when the early Christians thought about these things, they did their best to remind each other that young women, when faced with impossible circumstances, can be capable of extraordinary acts of courage.

        * * *

        Related Article: The Bride of Christ, the “Male Woman’, and the Female Reader in Late Antiquity

        Archaeological News on Tumblr

        Ancient house with floor heating unearthed in southern Turkey

        A Roman-era house that has been unearthed in the ancient city of Pisidia in the southern province...

        Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

        Paternal lineages and languages in the Caucasus

        An interesting new study on Y chromosome and languages in the Caucasus. The distribution of haplogroups is on the left. The authors make some associations of haplogroups with language families:

        • R1b: Indo-European
        • R1a: Scytho-Sarmatian
        • J2: Hurro-Urartian
        • G2: Kartvelian

        Hum Biol. 2014 May;86(2):113-30.

        Human paternal lineages, languages, and environment in the caucasus.

        Tarkhnishvili D1, Gavashelishvili A1, Murtskhvaladze M1, Gabelaia M1, Tevzadze G2.


        Publications that describe the composition of the human Y-DNA haplogroup in diffferent ethnic or linguistic groups and geographic regions provide no explicit explanation of the distribution of human paternal lineages in relation to specific ecological conditions. Our research attempts to address this topic for the Caucasus, a geographic region that encompasses a relatively small area but harbors high linguistic, ethnic, and Y-DNA haplogroup diversity. We genotyped 224 men that identified themselves as ethnic Georgian for 23 Y-chromosome short tandem-repeat markers and assigned them to their geographic places of origin. The genotyped data were supplemented with published data on haplogroup composition and location of other ethnic groups of the Caucasus. We used multivariate statistical methods to see if linguistics, climate, and landscape accounted for geographical diffferences in frequencies of the Y-DNA haplogroups G2, R1a, R1b, J1, and J2. The analysis showed significant associations of (1) G2 with wellforested mountains, (2) J2 with warm areas or poorly forested mountains, and (3) J1 with poorly forested mountains. R1b showed no association with environment. Haplogroups J1 and R1a were significantly associated with Daghestanian and Kipchak speakers, respectively, but the other haplogroups showed no such simple associations with languages. Climate and landscape in the context of competition over productive areas among diffferent paternal lineages, arriving in the Caucasus in diffferent times, have played an important role in shaping the present-day spatial distribution of patrilineages in the Caucasus. This spatial pattern had formed before linguistic subdivisions were finally shaped, probably in the Neolithic to Bronze Age. Later historical turmoil had little influence on the patrilineage composition and spatial distribution. Based on our results, the scenario of postglacial expansions of humans and their languages to the Caucasus from the Middle East, western Eurasia, and the East European Plain is plausible.

        Link (pdf)

        CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

        Abstract–Atticist lexica and the pronunciation of Greek

        It can be proven that Atticist lexica contain information on a special pronunciation of Greek, which the Atticists aimed at achieving as part of their training. The paper illustrates the ways in which the lexica point their readers to this pronunciation, and examines some glosses that witness ‘hyperatticising pronunciations’, some of which may even have been inadvertently adopted by the lexicographers themselves. more

        Elena Cano (Γνωθι τους αλλους)

        Desde el otro lado del Atlántico

        Mientras mis alumnos se quejan porque creen que se les exige demasiado y se consideran unos desgraciados por auténticas niñerías, esto es lo que preocupa a los estudiantes mejicanos:


        A half-Greek community speaking Greek among the Parthians

        Plutarch, Life of Crassus 31.1:

        Οὐ μὴν ἔμειναν οἱ περὶ τὸν Ὀκτάβιον, ἀλλὰ συγκατέβαινον ἀπὸ τοῦ λόφου· τοὺς δὲ ῥαβδούχους ἑπομένους ὁ Κράσσος ἀπήλλασσε. πρῶτοι δὲ τῶν βαρβάρων ἀπήντησαν αὐτοῖς δύο μειξέλληνες, οἳ καὶ προσεκύνησαν τὸν Κράσσον, ἀπὸ τῶν ἵππων ἁλάμενοι, καὶ προσαγορεύσαντες ἑλλάδι φωνῇ παρεκάλουν προπέμψαι τινάς, οἷς ἐπιδείξεται Σουρήνας ἑαυτὸν καὶ τοὺς περὶ αὑτὸν ἀνόπλους καὶ ἀσιδήρους προσερχομένους.

        The Loeb translation reads: "Octavius, however, and those about him, did not remain, but went down from the hill with Crassus; the lictors, who were following him, Crassus drove back. The first of the Barbarians to meet him were two half-breed Greeks,who leaped from their horses and made obeisance to him; then addressing him in the Greek tongue, they urged him to send a party forward to assure themselves that Surena and those about him were advancing to the conference without armour and without weapons."

        Thayer notes simply, 'Descendants no doubt of Alexander's army, which had briefly held the region in the 4c: these Asian Greeks are known to have maintained their identity for many generations'.

        James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

        If the Flood was Global, the Mormons are Right!

        I had an interesting thought when a commenter shared how they respond to the claim that the entire globe must have been covered by the flood spoken of in Genesis. He points out that Acts 2:5 says that “there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven” in Jerusalem, which means the known world and not the entire globe.

        It struck me that, in order to press that to really mean every nation under the sky, one would have to say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is correct, that Israelites reached the Americas.

        I wonder how many Protestant fundamentalists are willing to follow their “logic” to that logical conclusion.



        Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

        Le statue di Mont’e Prama in 3D al museo Pigorini di Roma

        monte-prama-3dDal 29 novembre fino al 21 marzo 2015, le Statue di Mont’e Prama saranno presenti in 3D al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini” di Roma (Salone delle Scienze, Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 14), all’interno della mostra: “L’isola delle torri. Giovanni Lilliu e la Sardegna nuragica”.

        CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

        Abstract–A stroll along the sea: The processional way in Ephesus and the littoral

        Port cities played an essential role in the history of the ancient Mediterranean. Due to their location they were the transition point for traffic between land and sea. However, we are far away from understanding the spatial, functional, economic as well as social and cultural relevance of ancient port cities. With this paper concentrated on the city of Ephesus – located on the western shore of Asia Minor – I want to take a closer look at one of the key elements of the civic life of this thriving port city: the procession of the Ephesian Artemis. As rituals and processions were constitutive parts of both the urban space and the urban society, my key question is how this festival was related towards the littoral and maritime respectively to the harbor and the sea. Regarding the course, organization and participants of the processions for the Ephesian Artemis, only a few […] more

        Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

        An Introduction to Slow

        I have a few days this week to get work done before the holidays and decided to start work on my part of the introduction to our volume of North Dakota Quarterly dedicated to the Slow Movement. While we’re still putting the final touches on the contributions, the volume obviously requires a few words introducing the topic.

        In particular, I was struck by how most of our contributors fell short of considering the global context for the Slow Movement, and its role in the peculiar narrative of Western progress.  A call for society to slow down and resist the pressures of fast capitalism and late modernity works best for communities who have the political, economic, and social power and freedom to question the dominant narrative. As my introduction suggests, communities who remain enmeshed in the colonial rhetoric of development, progress, and efficiency.

        So, here’s the first draft: 

        Slow: An Introduction

        The Slow Movement began in Italy in 1986 led by Carlo Petrini’s efforts to block the opening of a McDonalds in near the famed Spanish Steps in Rome. He argued that McDonalds’ global brand of fast food was inferior both in terms of taste, but also owing to the social and economic relationships necessary to bring this inferior product to market. In place of fast food, Petrini began a movement that celebrated the intentional pace of a traditional Mediterranean meal as the antithesis to the transnational hurry embodied by processed meals. Simultaneously evoking the twin evils of globalization and the accelerated pace of capitalism, the Slow Food movement that developed around Petrini’s writing championed local cuisine, local ingredients, and the ethical obligations to enjoy the conscientious preparation and consumption of food. Since that time, Slow Foods movement has become a global phenomena and embraced a range of causes centered on local foods, seasonal delicacies, deliberate preparation, and the understanding of meals as places for social interaction.

        The impact of the Slow Foods movement spread far beyond its Italian origins and focus on food. Looking back over its first two decades, Carl Honoré summarized the diverse takes on the idea of “slow” and the benefits of this deliberate approach to life by writing in Praise of Slowness (2004). Honoré saw technology, our increasing fixation on efficiency, and even the rapid pace of our modern “culture” as eroding our ability to savor life and be happy. He urged his readers to slow down, disconnect, and declutter their lives in an effort to regain control over their own experiences.

        The Slow Movement intersects with academic critiques of late-20th century capitalism. For example, Ben Agger’s critique of “fast capitalism” (Agger 1989; 2004) and David Harvey’s “time-space compression” both locate the increased pace of daily life in the dynamics of late capitalism with its endless drive toward efficiency in the movement and production of global capital (Harvey 1989). Contemporary capitalism privileges the ability to adapt, grow, and produce quickly, and this has contributed to a fascination with speed in our society today. In this context, uniformity becomes the norm and locates human experience against a banal reality of non-places (Augé 1995).

        This celebration of slowness, of course, has not provided an escape from capitalism, but has been incorporated into that totalizing system. Today, calls to embrace the slow lifestyle are as likely to come from a luxury car maker as a global coffee company, restaurant chain, or footwear manufacture. By coopting the rhetoric of slow, companies have recognized the appeal of a superficial and popular approach to “slow consumption.” In this context, slow often becomes little more than deliberately driving a Subaru to a Whole Foods store in a suburban strip mall or cruising the Pacific Coast Highway in a Mercedes SUV. The lavishly prepared meal prepared with local foods and filled with animated conversation reflects a distant social reality from the working class who feast on fast food between shifts or survive on the meager, prepackaged offerings at urban, discount grocery stores. It is hardly necessary to observe that subsistence farmers in the global south have different attitudes toward “local” food and the pressures of constant connection has a different meaning to poor and isolated communities that are using mobile devices to access the world of micro-finance, to participate in local and national politics, and to engage with the wider world. In short, the Slow Movement represents an opportunity for affluent Westerners to escape a trap of their own making while still enjoying the fruits of a world that cannot afford to slow down.

        David Gill (Looting Matters)

        The Steinhardt Sardinian figure and "the transparency of our operations"

        Sardinian figure from the Medici Dossier
        Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis / ARCA
        Readers of LM will know that Max Bernheimer of Christie's made a public statement in 2010 about the 'transparency of [Chriet's] operations". He specifically said:
        Provenance has always been important, and in light of recent repatriation issues, it has become paramount.
        By provenance he means "collecting history".

        So is the verification of the "collecting history" for the Steinhardt Sardinian figure now "paramount" for Christie's? It appears that Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has identified the figure in a polaroid from the Medici Dossier.

        We can assume that Bernheimer has been in touch with the Italian authorities and sought clarification.

        But while he is about it, could he confirm when and how 'Harmon Fine Arts' obtained the figure? And why not use the name of the collector behind HFA?

        And what does "with the Merrin Gallery" mean anything other than HFA made a loan of the figure for an exhibition?

        Potential purchasers of the figure will want to know that they will not have the Italian authorities pressing for the figure's return. After all, you would not want to spend over $1 million on a figure that could be reclaimed shortly after the auction.

        Is it time for Christie's to make a public statement about the sale of the figure?

        Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

        Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

        Thailand’s stolen past returns home

        The Nation’s story about the recently-repatriated Ban Chiang artefacts from the US.

        An expert from the Fine Arts Department inspects the returned artefacts. Source: The Nation 20141124

        An expert from the Fine Arts Department inspects the returned artefacts. Source: The Nation 20141124

        Heritage comes home
        The Nation, 24 November 2014

        More than 500 looted artefacts from prehistoric archaeological sites around Thailand are returned by the US Government

        For years, more than 500 artefacts including pottery, bronze tools, sandstone moulds and glass ornaments, have been offering a visual but illegal treat to visitors at the Bowers Museum in Santa Anna, California.

        Now these items, almost all of them looted from Ban Chiang, an archaeological site in Thailand’s Northeast, have been returned to their rightful home.

        The 554 artefacts, some of which date back 5,000 years, were handed over to Thailand by the US government last Wednesday following almost a decade of investigation.

        Full story here.

        Archaeological News on Tumblr

        Chicken domestication traced to 10,000 years ago in northern China

        WASHINGTON — Northern China may have served as an early center of chicken domestication,...

        David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

        This Day in Ancient History ~ ante diem vii kalendas decembres

        ante diem vii kalendas decembres

        • 2348 B.C. — the Great Flood begins (according to someone’s reckoning!)
        • 250 A.D. — martyrdom of Mercurius
        • 251 A.D. — martyrdom of Moses of Rome


        RepiTitiationes ~ 11/24/14

        Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

        Is a Cambodian inscription the earliest record of the number zero?

        A blurb for an upcoming book, Finding Zero, about the origins of the numeral ‘0’. It seems that the oldest inscriptional evidence thus far comes from a Khmer stele K127.

        K127. Source: Smithsonian 201411

        K127. Source: Smithsonian 201411

        The Origin of the Number Zero
        Smithsonian Magazine, December 2014

        Found on a stone stele, it was documented in 1931 by a French scholar named George Coedès. Assigned the identifying label K-127, the inscription reads like a bill of sale and includes references to slaves, five pairs of oxen and sacks of white rice. Though some of the writing wasn’t deciphered, the inscription clearly bore the date 605 in an ancient calendar that began in the year A.D. 78. Its date was thus A.D. 683. Two centuries older than the one at Gwalior, it predated wide-ranging Arab trade. But K-127 disappeared during the Khmer Rouge’s rule of terror, when more than 10,000 artifacts were deliberately destroyed.

        Read more:
        Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12!
        Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

        Full story here.

        Shipwrecks reveal ancient trade routes

        A feature on the underwater archaeology of Quang Ngai province, where the Binh Chau district is particularly rich with underwater remains. There are aspirations to developing eco-tourism incorporating the maritime archaeology of the area, but the salvaging and sale of artefacts remain a problem

        Shipwrecks at Quang Ngai Province. Source: Viet Nam Net 20141123

        Shipwrecks at Quang Ngai Province. Source: Viet Nam Net 20141123

        Shipwrecks reveal ancient trade routes
        Viet Nam Net, 23 November 2014

        Two ancient shipwrecks near tiny Chau Thuan Bien Village on the coast in central Quang Ngai Province have attracted hundreds of researchers and archaeologists in recent years.

        The village, in Binh Chau Commune, is believed to be the resting place for many wrecks dating from the eighth to 18th century.

        The seas off the coast are being closely explored for more shipwrecks so that the locality can apply for National Special Heritage listing.

        If this happens, the area will be listed as the first museum of vintage shipwrecks for eco-tours and water archaeology in Viet Nam.

        Full story here

        Archaeological News on Tumblr

        Oxford team shed light on ancient Egyptian obelisk

        History was made this month as the robotic Philae lander completed the first controlled touchdown...

        Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

        Preserving heritage builds community

        Grassroots efforts to help preserve, maintain and promote the archaeology of Trowulan and the Majapahit Empire has led to real benefits to the community, including economic activity.

        Trowulan Source: 20141122

        Trowulan Source: 20141122

        Pelestarian Majapahit Tingkatkan Ekonomi Warga, 22 November 2014
        Article is in Bahasa Indonesia

        Pelestarian situs prasejarah yang menjadi cagar budaya memiliki efek yang sangat baik bagi masyarakat. Selain menjaga dan melestarikan benda-benda pusaka (heritage) dalam kepunahan akibat ketidak tahuan dan ketidakpedulian, pelestarian cagar budaya juga dapat meningkatkan perekonomian masyarakat sekitar.

        Bahkan kini tengah dirancang pendirian pabrik baja PT Manunggal Sentral Baja, persis di kawasan situs Majapahit di Jalan Raya Mojokerto–Jombang, Trowulan. Kondisi situs Trowulan membuat Badan Pelestarian Pusaka Indonesia (BPPI), berusaha keras melindungi dan melestarikan peninggalan sejarah itu.

        Full story here.

        Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

        Open Access Journal: NEWSLETTER des Münchner Zentrums für Antike Welten und der Graduate School Distant Worlds

        NEWSLETTER des Münchner Zentrums für Antike Welten und der Graduate School Distant Worlds
        Das Münchner Zentrum für Antike Welten (MZAW) ist eine Arbeitsgemeinschaft von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern aus den mit antiken Kulturen befassten Fächern aus sieben Fakultäten der LMU München. Die Arbeitsgemeinschaft fördert die interdisziplinäre Kooperation seiner Mitglieder in Forschung und Lehre. Zu den Aufgaben gehören das Bündeln bestehender und das Initiieren, Planen und Organisieren neuer Arbeitsgruppen und Forschungsprojekte, die Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses, die Organisation gemeinsamer Veranstaltungen sowie die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Fächern und Forschungsverbünden der LMU, außeruniversitären Institutionen (Museen, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut) und vergleichbaren Einrichtungen des In- und Auslandes.

        Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

        Asia Society to exhibit Buddhist Art from Myanmar

        The Asia Society in New York will be hosting a special exhibition next year on the Buddhist art of Myanmar.

        Seated Buddha from Bagan. Source: New York Observer 20141121

        Seated Buddha from Bagan. Source: New York Observer 20141121

        Asia Society to Show Buddhist Art from Myanmar Never Before Seen in the U.S.
        New York Observer, 21 November 2014

        In February Asia Society will mount “Buddhist Art of Myanmar,” a major loan exhibition comprised of nearly 70 works from the Southeast Asian nation never before seen in the U.S.

        The show is organized by guest curators Sylvia Fraser-Lu and Donald M. Stadtner along with Adriana Proser and John H. Foster. Focusing specifically on different visual styles in regional art, it will be split into three sections: “Images of the Buddha,” Lives of the Buddha, and “Devotion and Ritual.” Between stone, bronze, lacquered wood sculptures, textiles, paintings, and ritual objects in the show, some not-to-miss highlights include an 18th century wooden sculpture of a seated Buddha atop three elephants and a 12th century sandstone panel from the Kubyauknge Temple that shows Buddha’s death. Since many pieces were originally created for worship, the museum will be creating special displays to give visitors a sense of their original uses and context.

        Full story here.

        Archaeological News on Tumblr

        Stolen artefacts seized from lawyer in Rome

        Rome, November 25 - Police on Tuesday seized stolen archaeological and cultural artefacts of...

        Roberta Mazza (Faces & Voices)

        Mark strikes back: Mummy cartonnage and Christian apologetics, again…

        Slide commented by C. Evans, screen shot from YouTube video

        Slide commented by C. Evans, screen shot from YouTube video

        I am just back from the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting and planning to report about the interesting discussion we had on issues of provenance. But before that I should report on the resurfacing of the sadly famous papyrus fragment of the Gospel of Mark from mummy mask cartonnage.

        In a YouTube video published on 24 July 2014 (below), Craig Evans, professor of New Testament at the Divinity School of Acadia University, reports on a fragment of Mark, allegedly dating to the 80s of the first century AD and in course of publication, retrieved from a mummy mask. In the PowerPoint slide he is commenting on, you can see a mummy mask, although we are not told if the above mentioned papyrus comes from that specific one; any other useful information on the papyrus location and the owner (a private collector?) are as well lacking.

        This seems to be the same fragment mentioned in the past by Daniel B. Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, although we cannot be 100% sure because nobody answers questions with any clarity. (Sometimes I feel I am talking to members of a gnostic sect rather than Protestant scholars…). In February 2012 the fragment was called into question during a debate between Wallace and Bart Ehrmann; one month later, Wallace posted information on the papyrus as to be published by Brill in his blog. I wrote emails to Wallace in order to know the name of the collection holding the fragment; Brill is the publisher of the Green papyri, but so far I have not been able to understand if this papyrus is in that collection or another one. Dan Wallace has always kindly answered to my emails, but without adding details because, he says, “ I have signed a nondisclosure agreement about the Mark fragment”.

        Craig Evans’ talk took place at the 2014 Apologetics Canada Conference (7-8 March, Vancouver). It is clear that papyri have officially entered into the rhetoric of apologists as the means through which they sell the idea that we can recover the original texts of the Gospels. These people are not doing any good service to the public and to our cultural heritage patrimony. The audience who attend their talks are told fantasy stories on the retrieval of papyrus fragments and their date, and on the quest for Christian original texts; apologists’ speeches are not only misinformed, but can even encourage more people to buy mummy masks on the antiquities market and dissolve them in Palmolive soap – a method suggested publicly by one of them, Josh McDowell, close friend of the ex-director of the Green Collection, Scott Carroll.

        All this said, I must confess this pseudo-scholarship is procuring me endless, astonished entertainment…

        UPDATE 26 November: Professor Evans has kindly informed me via email that this is the same fragment mentioned by Daniel Wallace and it is his understanding that the fragment will be published by Brill in 2015. He cannot answer other questions I posed on the dismounting of the mask “because of various confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements”.

        Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

        Tunesia Challenges Drouot Artefact Auctions

        Last week, as the Quotidien de l'art reports, Tunisia's Culture Ministry intervened to prevent the sale of several artefacts (including a Roman headstone and El Aouja ceramics) at Paris auction house Drouot.

        Coline Milliard,'Tunisia's Culture Ministry Blocks Auction of Looted Antiquities' Artnet News

        Compitum - publications

        L'exil au miroir de la Correspondance de Cicéron

        Interférences 8, 2015 : L'exil au miroir de la Correspondance de Cicéron


        Notes de la rédaction
        Les articles publiés ici devaient paraître dans le numéro de juin 2015 de notre revue, mais, en raison de la présence de Cicéron au programme des Agrégations de Lettres classiques et de Grammaire, nous anticipons cette publication pour permettre aux étudiants préparant ces concours de bénéficier de ce numéro.

        Marie Ledentu
        Éditorial [Texte intégral]
        Michèle Ducos
        De l'exil à la domus : les problèmes de droit liés à l'exil de Cicéron [Texte intégral]
        François Guillaumont
        Vie publique et vie privée dans les lettres de Cicéron à Terentia (Ad Familiares 14, 1-4) [Texte intégral]
        Jean-Pierre De Giorgio
        Absence et présence dans les lettres d'exil de Cicéron [Texte intégral]
        Gérard Salamon
        Lettres et discours de Cicéron : regards croisés sur les années 58-56 [Texte intégral]
        Jacques-Emmanuel Bernard
        Amitié et officium épistolaire : les lettres de Cicéron à P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther [Texte intégral]
        Charles Guérin
        Délibération, conseil et prise de décision dans les lettres d'exil de Cicéron [Texte intégral]


        Source : Site de la revue électronique

        Current Epigraphy

        Call for Papers: International Conference Instrumenta inscripta VI

        International Conference Instrumenta inscripta VI
        The inscriptions with didascalic-explicative function. Commissioner, recipient, content and description of the object in the instrumentum inscriptum.
        Aquileia – Italy, March 26th to 28th, 2015.

        The conference will organized by:
        – Friuli Venezia Giulia Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage
        – Department of History and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage at the Udine University
        – Friulian Society of Archaeology

        Further information

        Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

        Experiment to build a partial replica of Stonehenge

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        Possible Paleolithic site in Northeastern China

        Chinese archeologists have recently discovered an ancient human occupation site in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province. Animal skeletons were first discovered at a quarry in Luotuoshan Mountain last December, by...

        Stone Age board game found in India

        Thavasimuthu, and Indian archaeologists, is claiming that a series of holes carved in a rock at Pannamparai village could be the prehistoric version of a traditional 'mancala' board game known...

        Double infant burial discovered in Alaska

        A decorated grave discovered in Alaska holds the remains of two infants dating back 11,500 years, the youngest Ice Age humans yet found in the Western Hemisphere, archaeologists say. Interred...