Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

Tom Elliott (

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February 14, 2016

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

The Continuing Adventures of Space Jesus

Richard Carrier is clearly scraping the bottom of the apologetics barrel once again. In his most recent post, he starts off by insisting that I am badly wrong – for making a point that he himself agrees with, but which I made in words that he decides to interpret in an unnecessarily narrow and frankly uncharitable way. When I said in a blog post that rulers and nobles made inscriptions, and that there is no reason therefore that we ought to expect an inscription by or about Jesus from his own time, could anyone be in any doubt that my point was that inscriptions were typically made by the wealthy and powerful and not the poor and ordinary? Obviously if one includes graffiti and scratchings onto ossuaries in the category of “inscriptions” then people of a wide range of social classes made “inscriptions.” If I wanted to play Carrier’s childish game, I could say that he is wrong to suggest that poverty might explain why the earliest Christians did not leave us inscriptions. But if I were to engage in such behavior, I would sacrifice my credibility, at least in the eyes of those who know what rational discourse and academic decorum are supposed to look like. The truth is that we do not have inscriptions of any sort that we can confidently connect with the first generation of Christians. But we awe aware from texts that there was a first generation of Christians. And so debating inscriptions as though it were proof of Jesus’ historicity or ahistoricity is apologetics of a sort that wants to score points with those who do not actually care about doing justice to the evidence in a nuanced historical fashion.

When commenting on mythicism or creationism, one must accept the fact that promoters of fringe pseudoscholarship are likely to find ways of interpreting your words in an uncharitable manner, one that would never occur to someone who is not desperately reading your words precisely in the hope of finding cheap apologetics points to score, precisely because they are unable to mount a serious substantive case about the things that really matter. Of course, in the same post, Carrier calls such comparisons between mythicists and creationists a mere poisoning of the well. But it isn’t poisoning the well to make a comparison that is apt. And if it were, then surely all his comparisons, even assuming they were apt, would be at very thing. In the post in question, he shows that he failed to grasp the point of one of my remarks about something that some mythicists have in common with creationists. The latter often say that, since Paul compares Adam and Christ, if the former is deemed mythical, then what is stopping you from viewing the latter in the same way? I have had mythicists say the same thing, as though young-earth creationist logic were sound. Indeed, they often don’t care to stick with the question of the inner logic of Paul’s arguments, but are happy to say that if Batman can by fictional, why not Jesus? There is no “logic” whatsoever to that “argument,” since one could substitute absolutely any name instead of Jesus’ and doing so would not render the person in question ahistorical.

Carrier also gave an answer to a question I asked on my blog a while back about other references to a celestial human that might correspond to what mythicists think Paul meant. And if it had come from someone interested in serious discussion of the evidence, an interesting conversation might have ensued. Alas, Carrier’s typical bluster precludes all hope of that. Philo’s “heavenly man” is not purely celestial in the sense that the mythicist Jesus is supposed to have been. For Philo the first human of Genesis 1 is an ideal form, the pattern of which the material human made in Genesis 2 is a copy. And as such, he is incorruptable and not susceptible to death and decay. It would be great to have a serious conversation with mythicists about the clear differences between Paul’s heavenly man and Philo’s, a topic which scholars have written about for generations. But first I need to find a mythicist who is actually interested in serious conversation.

I should probably not even mention Carrier’s posts in the future, given their tone as well as their content, and that they offer nothing that requires or deserves a response. I am sure that anyone who reads this blog and who also read his post could have worked out for themselves all the points that I made in this post. It is always hard to know how to best respond to apologetics. As anyone who has dealt with antievolutionists and oher denialists will know all too well, it seems like a no-win situation. Say nothing, and you leave the internet to their voices. Respond, and it may make them look like they have said something worthy of a response by a professional expert. But then again, I don’t have to worry about that latter in the case of Carrier. Since he considers every professional scholar who agrees with him to be incompetent or insane if not both, my mentioning him can’t possibly enhance his credibility in the eyes of his readership.

But I will give Carrier this: he apparently knows how to make a good poster, as the image below demonstrates. But I do not expect his show The Amazing Adventures of Space Jesus to get renewed for another season. Despite what mythicists will tell you, their show is already a tired rerun whose ratings have not improved in the past century, at least among academics.

Poster for "The Amazing Adventures of Space Jesus"



Current Epigraphy

Call for Papers: Materiality of Communication

American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, Nov. 16-19, 2016

This new session is devoted to examining the ways in which the material of inscribed artifacts provides information regarding their use as objects of communication. We invite applications from scholars from all disciplines and periods who are interested in investigating the materiality of communication. The session will offer new perspective into the materiality of writing, by shifting the focus from traditional linguistic analysis to the means by which inscribed texts were created, shaped, and used as social tools in the different regions of the ancient Near East and Classical World. Priority will be give to papers that consider the art historical and metapragmatic aspects of writing and/or the ways in which the text-artifact was designed to enhance communication. In particular, we solicit papers that will offer new insight into the means by which aesthetic, form, placement, context, medium, or execution informed the communicative function of the text, both in linguistic and non-linguistic ways.

Chairs: Emily Cole ( and Alice Mandell ( (University of California, Los Angeles)

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is February 15, 2016.  The following links to ASOR’s Online Abstract Submission Site:

Membership in ASOR and registration for the Annual Meeting is required in advance for participants. For more information, please visit

February 13, 2016

Compitum - publications

M. J. Clark, The Making of the Historia scholastica, 1150–1200


Mark J. Clark, The Making of the Historia scholastica, 1150–1200, Turnhout, 2016.

Éditeur : Brepols
Collection : Studies and Texts, 198
XVI+322 pages
ISBN : 978-0-88844-198-0
75 €

"The Making of the Historia scholastica, 1150–1200 is without a doubt a seminal study of the first importance for the study of the history of medieval theology, and especially for the making in the mid-to-late twelfth century of one of the most influential books produced at that time. The Scholastic History of Peter Comestor is an encyclopaedic outline of the contents of the Bible presented from a historical point of view; it was destined to enjoy a phenomenal success for centuries to come. Mark Clark shows Comestor at work as a historian with a profound knowledge of previous scholarship, a masterful commentator on the literal sense of the stories found in Scripture, and a teacher in Paris whose colleagues included Peter Lombard and Stephen Langton.” (David Luscombe, The University of Sheffield)

Source : Brepols

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

'Poland plans to punish use of the phrase 'Polish death camps''


'Poland plans to punish use of the phrase 'Polish death camps'' The Guardian 13th February. Ziobro keen to show what an idiot he is. The phrase is used exclusively by the foreign press. Some Nazi camps today are in Polish territory and Poland is obliged to preserve the remains. The remains of those in other countries are today looked after by the authorities of those territories. I really think the new government of Poland really has more important issues to look after than loose phrasing in foreign language reports. 

I am not going to accept comments to this post,

Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime Questions and Answersd A

Donna Yates' Art Crime Q and A (Week 2 - Live Hangout - Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime) you can watch it on YouTube: … Rather stressful beginning, but gets better later on.

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

From my diary

The legends of St Nicholas of Myra, or Santa Claus, became known in the West through a Life composed by a certain John the Deacon, probably in the 9th century.  It was based on Greek models, especially – as it says in the prologue – on the letter of Methodius to Theodorus which has given translators so much pain lately.

A few days ago I wrote a post about the Latin text of John the Deacon.  I can find no sign of a modern edition of this text.  The text listed in the Bibliotheca Hagiographia Latina is the 18th century edition of Falconius.  But the BHL makes clear that Latin manuscripts contain any number of recensions and reworkings of this.

It seems to me that John the Deacon should exist in English.  Being medieval Latin, it should be possible for me to translate it.  In order to use my various electronic tools, I need an electronic Latin text; so today I have been at work, OCRing the 15 pages of Falconius.

I haven’t tried to OCR a Latin text for years.  It’s been a nostalgic experience, in a way.

It was always awful to OCR Latin, because none of the OCR programmes supported Latin.  So you ended up making corrections on every line.

This is no longer the case.  Abbyy Finereader 12 does support Latin.  It is making a very fair fist of the page images of Falconius.  These were downloaded from Google books and are by no means speckle free or perfect.

On the other hand, I am still correcting pretty much every line.  Why is this?

Well, Falconius is an 18th century writer.  This means that he uses the “long s”, which is a bit like “f” – “God ſave the king!” – and also that “ct” is ligatured.  Neither is recognised by Finereader.

This is rather disappointing.  Back in the early 2000’s, Abbyy was given quite a bit of German taxpayers’ money to develop OCR for “Fraktur”, the “gothic” typeface much used in Germany until Hitler banned it.  This also handled both of these features of older printed texts.  But … the resulting product was not added to Finereader!  Instead a separate product was created, unaffordable by normal people.  And so, even today, the public cannot do Fraktur OCR.  One can only wonder at the imbecility of German politicians in allowing this.

So … it’s back to manual correction.

All the same, it’s still far, far better than it ever was.  I would have killed for OCR of this quality in 1997!  On the other hand, I wish I had the eyesight that I did back then.

I also need to work out where I might find a dictionary of medieval Latin.

Benjamin Girard-Millereau et al. (PRISME: pratiques rituelles et symboliques en Méditerranée nord-occidentale protohistorique)

Présentation du catalogue de l’exposition : « Objets de cultes gaulois et romains entre Rhône et Alpes » (26/02/2016, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux)

Informations pratiques :

Place Castellane
Salle de l’Archidiacre

Vendredi 26 février 2016, 18h

Renseignements :
04 75 96 92 48


Source : newsletter du Musée d’Archéologie Tricastine

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

“Non licet esse vos” – a modern politician’s wife writes…

Sometimes you see something so outrageously false in the press that it becomes amusing, and so it was today.

Sarah Vine, better known as the wife of the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, wrote an article in the Daily Mail today: Why Islam is a feminist issue: Most Muslims lead decent lives. But, ignored by the PC brigade, mass migration and multi-culturalism have encouraged, among some, a deeply worrying contempt for women.  Much of this was a brave attempt to state some obvious facts unpalatable to those who control the state.

Unfortunately in such papers any criticism of Islam must be “balanced” by some “all religions are the same” jeer at Christianity.  So she felt obliged to add the following:

Of course Islam is not the only religion built on misogyny. Christianity, and in particular Catholicism, has historically had a warped attitude to women at its heart.

We venerate the Virgin as the only truly good woman who ever lived, a woman who conceived a male saviour in chastity to deliver us from the actions of Eve, that wicked, weak-willed temptress whose lust and betrayal brought misery upon the world.

When you think about it, that’s pretty anti-women.

But the key difference between the misogyny in the Bible and that in the Koran is that no one in their right mind would interpret the former word for word.

Those who do — Christian fundamentalists — are rightly seen as bonkers by the rest of the Christian community, a remnant of a bygone age.

It took hundreds of years for feminists — male and female — to extricate society from the clutches of the medieval Church.

The efforts of the Suffragettes and the work of 20th-century feminism was the culmination of that lengthy process, bringing about a permanent change in cultural, legal and social attitudes, and a shift in the balance between the sexes from one based on the innate superiority of men to the present uneasy state of equality.

Of course there are huge numbers of other errors in these words, and not merely the horrible old fallacy of the false equivalence.

For instance, we bible-believing literalist Christians are not exactly a tiny number.  I do quite believe that we are not found in whatever tiny circle of London socialites the author belongs; but perhaps she should get out more.

Likewise the statement of Catholic theology is horribly wrong; so why is it prefixed with “we”?  I did wonder, given that Mr Osborne was born “Gideon Osborne”, and there is no criticism of Judaism here.

But none of this struck me so forcibly as the blindness of the author to what all men know, and what she herself believes.

Because we do have a word for the medieval attitude to women.  It’s called chivalry.

And this is the weekend of a medieval literalistic bible-believing Christian festival.  It’s called “Saint Valentine’s Day”.

We poor, benighted, fundamentalists created the treatment of women that Sarah Vine would be outraged to be denied.

Who can doubt that, if Mr Osborne doesn’t take his wife out to dinner for that particular medieval ritual of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and show plenty of that medieval attitude of chivalry, then he will find himself in very hot water!

Let us wish Miss Vine / Mrs Osborne a happy Valentine’s Day, and a little more self-awareness.

Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

Numismaster on Italian MOU

Richard Giedroyc has written on the extension not expansion of the Italian MOU for Numismaster and World Coin News.  Meanwhile, the usual suspects in the archaeological blogosphere are once again disengenously claiming that opposition to the MOU means support for the trade in "looted and stolen coins."  Not at all.  As set forth in Mr. Giedroyc's article, the concern is that as applied by US Customs, restrictions ban import of coins lawfully on markets abroad, including within Italy itself.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

A Museum Closes

Bede's World museum is closing due to lack of funds. A tragic loss to the UK heritage sector
Probably not enough dumbdown and metal detecting. Join the campaign to save the museum: Join the  .

Dutch Expect Much of Ukrainians While Trampling Over Them

The Dutch are still moaning about the paintings they lost: Oekraïne doet niets om roofkunst Hoorn terug te krijgen' and Report: Ukraine “doing nothing” to recover stolen Dutch art.
You can imagine the conversation, can't you?
"Good afternoon Mr Brond - Officer Oleg Klimchiuk here from the Ukrainian CID. Mr Brond, a guard at the Dutch Embassy here in Kiev says you stole his Rolex watch last year and have it. You must give it back to him"
"Watch? How ridiculous, I do not know what you are talking about, I have not stolen anybody's watch"
"We've talked to some other anonymous sources and your name kept coming up, you must have the watch Mr Brond, you must surrender it to us"
"I have no watch I tell you, these are ridiculous lies"
"We have evidence"
"There is no evidence, I do not have the watch"
"Can I come in and search your home and outbuildings, car and office?"
"No, buzz off"
"But, just let us in"
"Get a search warrant"
"You know no judge will admit hearsay as a reason to issue a search warrant"
"Well then, buzz off and don't come back, you idiot!"
"If you don't give it back, we'll tell everyone what a dishonest man you are Mr Brond"
"Go ahead, sticks and stones. I've not got anybody's watch. Idiot".
The Dutch provincial museum and Dutch people apparently think the Ukrainians should be falling over themselves to help them get their stolen paintings and silver back. It is a "scandal" as far as they are concerned that the paintings are not back already, and they are determined to stir up as much bad feeling as possible until they are.

They seem oblivious to the way the 1970 UNESCO 'Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property' works and what it is for. UNESCO and its activities exist as part of the mission to "build peace in the minds of men". One group of people wandering off and stealing the heritage of another group is an act of aggression, and the 1970 Convention is there to resolve conflicts in this area. That is its main function (see its preamble). The problem is the Dutch have shown themselves to not really be all that interested in Ukraine, indeed they have shown themselves in the recent referendum to be utterly hostile towards the country (largely, one suspects prejudice because of MH 17 which someone unwisely flew over an active combat zone). Whether or not they deprive their own citizens of some art in a court of law and give it to the Dutch more likely than not will make no difference at all to Dutch attitudes. But actually who cares what the Dutch think?

What the Dutch need to take note of is Article 7:  of the Convention
The States Parties to this Convention undertake [...] (b) (i) to prohibit the import of cultural property stolen from a museum or a religious or secular public monument or similar institution in another State Party to this Convention after the entry into force of this Convention for the States concerned, provided that such property is documented as appertaining to the inventory of that institution;
Ukraine ratified the Convention 28/04/1988 while The Netherlands accepted it (only) 17/07/2009. The recent research which is suggesting that the paintings were stolen to order by a Ukrainian oligarch would mean the paintings and perhaps silver were in the country before July 2009. technically, Ukraine is not under any obligation because of the Convention to prosecute the Dutch case.  Especially as so much of it rests on hearsay 'evidence'. Furthermore, the Convention's Article 7 also stipulates:
 (ii) at the request of the State Party of origin, to take appropriate steps to recover and return any such cultural property imported after the entry into force of this Convention in both States concerned, provided, however, that the requesting State shall pay just compensation to an innocent purchaser or to a person who has valid title to that property. Requests for recovery and return shall be made through diplomatic offices. The requesting Party shall furnish, at its expense, the documentation and other evidence necessary to establish its claim for recovery and return.
The Dutch side however did not follow the prescribed procedure. Instead of notifying Ukrainian diplomats in Holland they sent somebody (who speaks no Ukrainian) to "negotiate" and offer a much lower sum (10%) in "compensation". They only involved the Ukrainian authorities when the trail being followed by their private investigator went cold, by which time it was arguably too late for the Ukrainians to do anything. No information is available about the disposition of any documentation and other evidence necessary to establish its claim for recovery and return. We do know that the Museum concerned did not possess the required photos of the painting Rebecca en Eliezer by Jan Linsen which was seen for sale on the internet in January 2014 (nota bene before the eruption of 'Euromajdan' on 18 February 2014 and the proclamation of the Luhansk People's Republic on 27 April 2014).
Instead of complaining about the unwillingness of the Ukrainians to get involved in a wild goose chase and then some expensive confiscation cases on the basis of the hearsay evidence, the Dutch should be admitting their own mistakes, colonial attitudes, procedural errors and incompetence.  But then, it is always easier to blame somebody else, isn't it?

Ancient Peoples

Portrait Bust of a Woman with a ScrollByzantine, late 4th–early...

Portrait Bust of a Woman with a Scroll

Byzantine, late 4th–early 5th century, made in Constantinople (marble, 20 inches high)

This sensitively carved portrait bust presents a mature woman with a thoughtful expression and piercing gaze; the scroll held in her right hand signals an appreciation for classical learning and marks her as a member of the elite. She wears a mantle, tunic, and head covering, typical dress for an aristocratic woman. Such head coverings did not come into fashion until the fourth century. The bust likely formed part of a commemorative display, perhaps documenting a public donation, or was used in a domestic setting.

Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

First Review of Touching the Face of the Cosmos

The first review of Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion has appeared, written by Robert A. Lee for National Space Society Review. Here is an excerpt:

Readers who wish to explore the implications of space travel on Christian and personal spirituality will find much in this anthology to contemplate…I had never considered the premise of one paper which calculates that, if God wished to provide a savior for each alien intelligent race, there would be over 400 versions of Christ in the universe simultaneously (I seemed to have missed that in the Drake equation!). But overall, the papers are informative and thought-provoking, and the science fiction stories unique and entertaining. Readers will find at least a few concepts that will stay with them long after the anthology’s conclusion.

Click through to read the rest of the review, which includes a brief summary of each chapter.

The Kindle version of the book can be purchased now. The print book can be pre-ordered now and is due for release by Fordham University Press next month.

Of related interest, Phil Plait blogged today about space travel in reality and in science fiction, as did David Brin on the topic of the milestones in space exploration that still lie ahead of us.


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

ICOM Egypt

ICOM Egypt

Welcome to the ICOM Egypt Website

ICOM Egypt is the Egyptian national committee of ICOM, which was founded to work with the local, regional and global museum community, in order to advocate museum standards of excellencemuseum ethics, promoting intangible heritage and the preservation of material heritage. Here you can find out more about who we are, what we do, how you would benefit from being a member of the Egyptian National committee. You will also find links to useful resources, including our various activates, details about upcoming awards, videos and photos from past conferences.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Artefact hunters sentenced in southern Oregon

Klamath Falls collectables
In yet another case of the association between artefact hunting and collecting and the trade in illicit narcotics in the US, in Oregon, two residents of Klamath Falls have been sentenced in connection to a 2015 case of unlawful possession and sale of Native American artefacts (Elizabeth Riecken, 'Two Klamath Falls residents sentenced in stolen Native American artifacts case',  KTVL, Feb 11th 2016).
Douglas Cotellese, 47, pleaded guilty to Abuse of Indian Graves and was sentenced to 20 days in jail, 24 months probation and 20 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $1020 fine. Jennifer Daniels, 42, pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine and was sentence to 30 days in jail and a 24 month probation. She was ordered to pay $2000 in fines. A search warrant was served on Cotellese's house in February 2015 resulted in the recovery of Native American artifacts, including funerary and sacred items, according to the press release. Troopers also found methamphetamine, scales, packaging materials and other drug paraphernalia. Police say he dug up artifacts from Lake River and Clear Lake in Oregon, and Crump Lake in Northern California. The Klamath County District Attorney says he tried to sell the artifacts at his home. 

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Bakken Boom Book by the Cover

We’re getting closer to publication.

Here’s a peak at the cover:

BakkenGoesBoomCover 01

Closer, closer.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

How Did Jesus Become God? Video of the Bart Ehrman and Michael Bird Debate

Click here to view the embedded video.

Deane Galbraith shared the above video of the recent debate between Bart Ehrman and Michael Bird about Christology in the New Testament.

I'm still planning to blog my way through the Christology of Mark's Gospel, but I haven't managed to do so yet. And so, in the meantime, here's a round-up of the blogging on that topic that has taken place since the last time I posted on this topic:

The Jesus Blog had several posts on the topic, including one on whether Markan Christology is “low, underdeveloped, or understated,” another on whether Christology is the best category to use in this discussion, and a question posed to James Crossley by a blog reader.

Mike Kok blogged about Mark's view of Jesus' identity, and the story of Jesus' power over the sea.

Matthew Montonini asked whether the divinity of Jesus in Mark is in the eye of the beholder rather than what the text explicitly says. And yet in another post today he argues that Mark depicts Jesus' pronouncement of forgiveness of sin to imply his divinity (ignoring the fact that the Gospel of Matthew, Mark's earliest interpreter, does not understand it that way).

And a reader of my blog began blogging his way through the Gospel of Mark and its Christology.

I hope the above will provide you with enough to tide you over until I get around to blogging my way through the Christology of the Gospel of Mark myself here on this blog!


Was Neanderthal Extinction Due To Human Cultural Superiority?

A couple of new papers about Neanderthals have come out in the prior two weeks that I found particularly interesting. One on the impact of culture with the disappearance of Neanderthals and another on how Neandertal genetic introgression can be attributed to addiction and depression.

By hairymuseummatt (original photo), DrMikeBaxter (derivative work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By hairymuseummatt (original photo), DrMikeBaxter (derivative work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The first documents a new paper in PNAS suggesting that Neanderthal extinction was due to the cultural superiority of modern humans. The disappearance of Neanderthals has been a conundrum, from diseases, mass murder, inability to adapt to climate change. In this new effort, the researchers report that a model they built suggests it was possible that Neanderthals went extinct because human cultural advantages were so great that it made survival for the less culturally advanced group impossible.

The researchers used a prior computer model that mimic interspecies competition. They then added elements that allowed for taking into consideration cultural and technical abilities. Human culture definitely displaced Neanderthal culture, and cultural advantages from modern humans lead to a positive feedback loop… The more advanced one group became the more dominant they became, and the more dominant they became the more their cultural advantage grew. The researchers suggest that cultural advancement goes hand-in-hand with technological innovation which would have allowed early humans to outcompete Neanderthal for natural resources.

The second paper identifies that propensity for nicotine addiction to multiple genes affecting depression introgressed from Neanderthals. The study, published in Science, concludes that over 135,000 genes are likely to have been inherited from Neanderthals. Additionally, these introgressed genes cause modern humans to be more prone to actinic keratosis, hypercoagulable states that lead to heart attacks, embolisms, or complications during pregnancy, because their blood has a tendency to coagulate easily.

Fig. 2. Neandertal SNPs associate with different phenotypes than matched non-Neandertal SNPs.

Fig. 2. Neandertal SNPs associate with different phenotypes than matched non-Neandertal SNPs. Each bar gives the difference between the number of replicated Neandertal SNP associations with a phenotype group (at a relaxed discovery threshold of P < 0.001) and the number expected from a PheWAS over five sets of non-Neandertal sites matched to the allele frequency of tested Neandertal SNPs. The phenotype distributions were significantly different (chi-squared test, P = 0.017), with more Neandertal SNPs associated with neurological and psychiatric phenotypes than expected and fewer digestive phenotypes. The enrichment and depletion were consistent across all five matched non-Neandertal sets (* indicates P < 0.05 for all five comparisons; binomial test) (11)

Filed under: Blog, Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology Tagged: genetics, human evolution, Neanderthal, paleoanthropology, Physical Anthropology

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Jupiter Ascending

The movie Jupiter Ascending by the Wachowski siblings was released on DVDa while back, and unfortunately I have allowed a long time to pass before getting around to blogging about it. It took me a little while, when I saw The Theory of Everything, to realize where else I knew Eddie Redmayne from. One was Jupiter Ascending, and the other was Les Miserables.

This is not a great movie by any means. But for those interested in the intersection of religion and science fiction, it is an interesting one.

The movie centers around aliens who are focused on longevity and on genes. It is one’s genes, ultimately, which make for immortality, and so it is not just one’s continuous self, but also the spontaneous emergence of the same genetic code anywhere, that is considered to be constitutive of a person’s identity. There is an entertaining scene in which a human who is the genetic duplicate of a deceased powerful extraterrestrial person, goes through alien bureaucratic layers trying to get her claim to the privileges that go with here genes.

But genetic existence isn’t the only kind of longevity the aliens are interested in, and it turns out that Earth is one of many places where beings such as humans are grown in order to eventually be harvested to make a serum that restores one’s youth.

The movie thus explores quite explicitly a number of aspects  of immortality, longevity, and the rights of sentient beings. And so whatever else might be said about it, it is a movie that deserves attention from those interested in the exploration of religious themes in science fiction.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

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

 [First posted in AWOL 26 August 2014, updated 13 February 2016]

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

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


S. Lamm, P. Marko
Side 2015
U. Lohner-Urban
A. Schmidt-Colinet
S. Tiefengraber
Fundort Wien
Wr. Stadtarchäoloige

AUSGABE 76/VI/2015
G. Schörner, D. Hagmann
B. Schrettle
U. Quatember
E. Trinkl

AUSGABE 75/VI/2015
150 Jahre

P. Scherrer, E. Trinkl
M. Christidis, C. Kargl, E. Steiner
St. Karl
W. Gurlitt
I. Koch
G. Koiner, M. Lehner
T. Lorenz


M. Christidis
I. Eichner, A. Pülz
M. Grebien
CVA platform
W. van de Put


K. Gostenčnik
Colophon 2014
U. Muss, V. Gassner, B. Grammer, M. Gretscher
Byz. Ephesos
A. Pülz
Villa Retznei
B. Schrettle
Fundort Wien
Wr. Stadtarchäologie

AUSGABE 72/IX/2014
Dorischer Eckkonflikt

U. Quatember
S. Zapf
S. Schlosser
K. Schrameyer
K. Sewing
S. Radojevic

AUSGABE 71/VI/2014

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

15. Archäologentag

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


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

AUSGABE 68/IX/2013


C. Lang-Auinger, E. Trinkl
E. Böhr

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

AUSGABE 67/VI/2013

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


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


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

AUSGABE 64/IX/2012

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

AUSGABE 63/VI/2012
14. Archäologentag

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


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


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

AUSGABE 60/IX/2011

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

AUSGABE 59/VI/2011

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

NÖ Landesausstellung

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


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

AUSGABE 56/IX/2010

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

AUSGABE 55/VI/2010
Archaeology in Confllict

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

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

13. Archäologentag

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


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

AUSGABE 52/IX/2009

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

AUSGABE 51/VI/2009

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

Ägäische Bronzezeit

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


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

AUSGABE 48/IX/2008

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

AUSGABE 47/VI/2008

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

12. Archäologentag

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


Initiative Österr.

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

AUSGABE 44/IX/2007
Hanghaus 2 von Ephesos

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

AUSGABE 43/VI/2007

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


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


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

AUSGABE 40/IX/2006

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

AUSGABE 39/VI/2006
11. Archäologentag

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

Österreichischer Archäologenverband


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


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

AUSGABE 36/IX/2005

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

AUSGABE 35/VI/2005
Neue Zeiten-Neue Sitten

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


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


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

AUSGABE 32/IX/2004

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

AUSGABE 31/VI/2004

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


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

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

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

AUSGABE 28/IX/2003

L.E. Vaag, V. Nørskov, J. Lund
A.M. Pülz
S. Karwiese

R. Gietl, M. Kronberger, M. Mosser

C. Sehnal

AUSGABE 27/VI/2003


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


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


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

AUSGABE 24/IX/2002

Erlebnis Altertum,
Science Week 2002

M. Holzner, M. Ladurner
Legionslager Vindobona,
Science Week 2002

M. Mosser
Griechen & Fremde,
Science Week 2002

S. Fürlinger
TS aus Cales
L. Pedroni, B. Tasser
J. Eitler
Koptische Ärmelborte
Ch. Pflegerl

AUSGABE 23/VI/2002

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


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


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

AUSGABE 20/IX/2001

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

AUSGABE 19/VI/2001

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


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


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

AUSGABE 16/IX/2000

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

AUSGABE 15/VI/2000

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

Altmodische Archäologie
Festschrift f. F. Brein

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


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


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


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


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


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

Ägäische Bronzezeit

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


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


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


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

Metropole Ephesos

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


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


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


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

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources at Logeion

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources
The project is delighted to announce that the text of the DMLBS has been made available under licence to the Logeion project hosted by the University of Chicago and is now accessible via the Logeion interface at

The Logeion interface, which does not require a subscription of any kind, allows searching of all its many dictionaries by headword. (More advanced forms of searching across the DMLBS text are available via the subscription-based platform.)

We very much hope that this new way of accessing the dictionary will be appreciated by medieval scholars across the world. We would, of course, encourage users nevertheless to buy a copy of the printed dictionary as well!

Like the online version of the DMLBS, the text has been provided to Logeion under licence from the British Academy and the DMLBS project is unable to offer technical or other assistance with these resources.

The DMLBS project would like to extend its thanks to Logeion and especially Helma Dik for making this interface to our dictionary available.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Bottle Top Rally Find a Mystery

Bit o'bottle
After a commercial artefact hunting rally, the finder said: "I thought I'd found a bottle top, put it in my pocket and didn't bother looking at it again until later." This is perhaps why it was not handed in until later and he did not do the Gold Dance to inform other rally-goers what he'd found.

This is of course exactly like the type of top of the bottles in which milk used to be delivered in the 1970s. They don't make them like that any more. Well spotted Barrie Placsom for eventually working out the difference.

BBC 'Anglo Saxon gold mount 'mystery' in Norfolk' 13th February 2016

BiblePlaces Blog

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

A recent study suggests that most of the terraces in the hill country of Judah were built in the last 400 years and none of them as early as the Iron Age. But that may not be the last word.

The plan to turn the archaeological site underneath Robinson’s Arch into a prayer site is facing opposition from many archaeologists, including Gabriel Barkay, Amihai Mazar, Dan Bahat, and Ronny Reich.

Hundreds of coins in museums in Jordan were replaced with fake ones. Apparently they were stolen years ago but only discovered recently.

Victor Sasson provides a contrary view on the Jehoash Inscription.

Eric M. Meyers shares the story of Yigael Yadin’s last night in America.

The Lod Mosaic, a 3rd century AD Roman work, is touring the United States and is currently in Florida.

Andrew George provides an interesting, behind-the-scenes take on how looting contributed to scholastic knowledge about the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The Caspari Center is offering a ten-day course in Israel in April on "Jesus the Jew."

Wayne Stiles shows how Jesus's conversation with his disciples at Tabgha can free you from the comparison trap.

Shmuel Browns shares some recent photographs he took while hiking in Nahal Og.

Time Scanners is a PBS series that uses technology to study ancient structures, including the Temple Mount and the Colosseum.

HT: Ted Weis, Steven Anderson, Paleojudaica

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Anglo Saxon gold mount 'mystery' in Norfolk

A “mystery” gold mount found in a Norfolk field has provided “another piece of the...

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Dutch Archaeologist Wants More Dots

"Dots, I see dots, lots of dots and call it archaeology" 

Nico Roymans (faculty member of the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Near Eastern studies in the VU University Amsterdam), specializes in the archaeology of  late prehistoric Celtic-Germanic societies and their integration into the Roman Empire. He has just received a €1.862 million award from the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) to make an online database of metal detecting finds from the Netherlands (press relerase Miljoenensubsidie voor tweelingonderzoek en archeologische vondsten Twee NWO-groot subsidies voor Dorret Boomsma en Nico Roymans). He's calling it: "PAN: Portable Antiquities of the Netherlands":
Private metal detector users collect portable antiquities (metal artefacts) from arable fields or construction works. Their finds are very valuable to professional archaeologists, but remain largely unknown. PAN will provide human resources and an online database for portable antiquities to make these available to scientists, heritage professionals and spatial planners. De NWO-bijdrage is 1.862.000 euro. .
Of course back in Bonkers Britain, partners and supporters of the artefact hunters and collectors are announcing this as a vindication of Bonkers British policies on the emptying of the archaeological record into collectors' pockets:

Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu)

Moesica et Christiana. Studies in honour of Professor Alexandru Barnea

Panaite, A., R. Cirjan et C. Capita, éd. (2016) : Moesica et Christiana. Studies in honour of Professor Alexandru Barnea, Braila, 2016. Cet ouvrage en hommage au grand archéologue A. Barnea regroupe des articles autour de deux grandes régions : la Dacie … Lire la suite

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Tintagel Arthurian Theme Park

Dumbdown hits English Heritage:  "Merlin's face revealed (sic) at Tintagel Castle". "Merlin's face" has been carved into the rock face of Tintagel island in Cornwall right next to the cave bearing his anme, as part of ongoing re-interpretation and investment at the site. "The new artwork is the first part of a project by English Heritage to re-imagine Tintagel's history and legends across the island site".

There was a time when interpretation of archaeological sites in Britain involved informing the public of the results of research done there and what it means. Here it means Disneyland. How was "Merlin's face" reseaerched? On what basis was his physical appearance determined? Why is he asleep with open eyes? Did Merlin actually exist (evidence please English Heritage)? This is appalling. Its not even an epoxy resin cast attached to the rock with four concealed stainless steel bolts, but a permanent alteration of the site. Cue for members of the public to take hammers and chisels to the rocks of sites around the country to add their own "interpretations" as public archaeology. 

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Blame Religion for Its Own Defeats

Heschel Blame Religion For Own Defeats Quote

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless.”- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

The quote was circulating on social media recently, and so I thought it should be turned into a meme. I made the one above and scheduled the post. Then yesterday I saw that Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented had made their own meme with (a truncated version of) the quote. And so I am including that one too, below. I am glad Heschel's words are getting this much attention just in time for Evolution Weekend, for which they seem especially appropriate.

See also Jim Kidder's post on the attempt of the Discovery Institute to do precisely what Heschel criticizes.



ArcheoNet BE

De zoektocht naar Gelbe 13

Vorig jaar groef een team archeologen en leden van de Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeology Team in Kalken (Laarne) de resten van het Duitse jachtvliegtuig ‘Gelbe 13’ op. De opgraving leverde niet alleen drie boordkanonnen en de BMW 801-motor op, maar ook tientallen persoonlijke documenten en voorwerpen van de piloot. Op woensdag 17 februari geeft projectleider Cynrik De Decker in Overmere (Berlare) een lezing over het onderzoek. De lezing vindt plaats om 20u in Vrije Basisschool Sint-Jozef (Schoolstraat 1, Overmere). Inkom: 5 euro.

Jim Davila (

Magical gems

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The vellum market is narrowing

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Yazidi Sun Ladies are coming for you, ISIS.

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Grabbe et al. (eds.), The Seleucid and Hasmonean Periods and the Apocalyptic Worldview

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The cast of "Kings and Prophets"

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Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2016.02.17: Tragic Views of the Human Condition: Cross-Cultural Comparisons between Views of Human Nature in Greek and Shakespearean Tragedy and the 'Mahābhārata' and 'Bhagavadgītā'

Review of Lourens Minnema, Tragic Views of the Human Condition: Cross-Cultural Comparisons between Views of Human Nature in Greek and Shakespearean Tragedy and the 'Mahābhārata' and 'Bhagavadgītā'. New York; London: 2013. Pp. 572. $40.00. ISBN 9781501305788.

2016.02.16: The Roman Forum: a Reconstruction and Architectural Guide

Review of Gilbert J. Gorski, James E. Packer, The Roman Forum: a Reconstruction and Architectural Guide. New York: 2015. Pp. xxii, 437. $250.00. ISBN 9780521192446.

2016.02.15: The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture

Review of Antoine Hermary, Joan R. Mertens, The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture. New York: 2014. Pp. 436. $175.00. (pb). ISBN 9780300206715.

He has a wife you know

Falling for you: The danger of unrequited love in Ancient Greece


With Valentine’s Day upon us I thought about writing a short piece, what better place to start than with Sappho? One thing led to another and before you knew it I was up to my proverbial neck in suicide, tombstoning and dressing as a bird. What could be more romantic?

Keep reading

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Annoying Artefact Photobombs: May "Captivate" but is it Archaeology?

Some people post an incessant series of kitty photos on their twitter account, others what they are having for lunch. The Learning, Volunteers and Audiences Portable Antiquities Scheme posts decontextualised artefacts hoiked mostly by metal detectorists. Several FLOs proudly take part in a weekly bragging "finds Friday" photobomb session. An example of the sort of objects found by others which they show off is this one, a "captivating mount" "found in Lincolnshire:.

But that's it. There is no information for the viewing public what is meant by that very-vague term, what this is a "mount" from (book, bridle, casket, armour, toilet door knob, whatever). There is no information on what it was found with, on what type of site. Neither is its disposition given, whether it is currently in private hands, on eBay or in a public collection. Neither at the time of tweeting does the object seem to be in the PAS database. What is the point of this PAS photobombing? If PAS have time to play the gatekeeper/entertainer like this, then they have the time to use social media like Twitter (only 140 characters a shot, two sips from a coffee mug less) for the sort of public outreach they are paid for:
  1. to advance knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales by systematically recording archaeological objects found by the public.
  2. to raise awareness among the public of the educational value of archaeological finds in their context and facilitate research in them.
  3. to increase opportunities for active public involvement in archaeology and strengthen links between metal-detector users and archaeologists.
  4. to encourage all those who find archaeological objects to make them available for recording and to promote best practice by finders.
  5. to define the nature and scope of a Scheme for recording Portable Antiquities in the longer term, to assess the likely costs and to identify resources to enable it to be put into practice.
Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the importance of the scheme's educational role and thus developing outreach work to those audiences. Posting loose ooo-ahhh finds like this is not any way at all to be doing this.

By the way, take a look at the identities of the people the PAS account follows. Does that reveal in any way a commitment to engaging with the heritage debate or the public at large on portable antiquity issues? That list of 56 accounts is composed mostly of their own employees, excluding the contribution of the "audience" for their work entirely.  

If they have time to titillate,  the PAS have time to reciprocate. 

Collector's Approach to "Understanding the ancient Celts and their art"

Antiquarian fellow and collector of decontextualised dugups John Hooker takes on the archaeologists. In a series of posts on his "Past Times and Present tensions" blog which began on 18th December 2015 and finished today he promises to help his readers "Understand the ancient Celts and their art". The starting point was a lecture by John Collis on the topic of 'Why is 'Celtic' Art 'Celtic'?' (available on You Tube here). Mr Hooker FSA, of course, unappreciated polymath that he is, with an intellect he apparently assesses as at least the size of a planet, knows much better than the invited lecturer:
As I watched the video the nature of the problem became apparent to me, but it was not anything that was covered in the talk. The talk, itself, was part of the problem and while a number of misunderstandings were corrected, a few were perpetuated. There were a few curious omissions, too. This series will use the video as a point of departure for a broader look at the ancient Celts and their art and each part will have commentary about what Collis says followed by examples of how I select and deal with the related material.
The fact that he is apparently self-taught in most of the areas he claims to use multi-disciplinarly ('pick and mix' some might call what he does) does not bother him, you see:
To do original research, however, it is best to treat what has come before with extreme caution and it works best, by far, if you give it only a cursory examination at best. A more thorough review of the literature should be close to the end of the research
That's probably why the wannabe karaoke historiographer never studied in an academic institution on the Continent.

True to this maxim (and in contrast to his stated aim), he then totally ignores what Collis had said in the lecture. Collis's lecture, befitting the venue, has a focus on the interaction between archaeology and neighbouring disciplines. Hooker does not understand archaeology and holds it in deep disregard, he instead attempts to interpret the visuals of the art he calls "celtic" in terms of the psychology (in which he relies mostly on "looks like" comparisons and a heavy reliance on a mixed bag of written sources of varied dates, functions and origins). Nowhere is the question addressed why that (retrospectively *reconstructed) "psychology" is "celtic psychology" and what such a term would mean (identity is a concept he also dismisses as a tool of "academic power building"). The archaeological method which is a central issue of Collis's talk is totally absent from Hooker's exposition, in which decontextualised archaeological artefacts - many from his own private collection in Canada - are used as illustrations to the text. As a result, the fundamental questions posed by Collis remain unanswered by the methodless, disorganized and derivative divigations of the collector. Neither is it terribly clear what alternative model Hooker is presenting except his own attempts at self-promotion.

The series is well worth a look to get some kind of an insight into why people collect and what they use the objects they own for - as trophies of a past they wish to 'tame' and for their own self-gratification primarily in the area of personal image (and indeed identity) formation.

It is also worth examining from the point of view of the constraints in the perception of the past available when objects are taken through the commercial market from their contexts of deposition and contexts of discovery, when they can only be 'interpreted' through extra-source knowledge - drawn from areas other than archaeological method. But it is precisely the lack of method which endows such free-style narrativisation and show-and-tell with the characteristics of a juvenile make-believe story. Furthermore the pick-and-mix derivation of snippets from other areas to fill out the object-centric picture is a parasitic process, adding nothing substantive to the other disciplines quarried as their source.

One might attempt a generalisation here, open to refutation, in terms of their relationship with and effect on the archaeological record and academic disciplines, portable antiquities collectors are parasites. 

US Sickos Support Smuggled Coins

4 godz.4 godziny temu
US once again bars the import of looted & stolen Italian coins; usual suspects pout about it
Nathan Elkins pointed out the slimy methods of numismatic "journalism" (Richard Giedrojć): "Notice also a article quoted out of context to make that article appear sympathetic. Typical..." which prompted me to send them a comment:
It is a shame, to avoid the impression of superficiality and manipulation, that you did not cite the full online abstract of the text from which you extracted a fragment:
"Although the ACCG has thus far been unsuccessful, it has not been pointed out that existing import restrictions on coins, in fact, have been written to include coins that tended to circulate locally and that are found primarily within the borders of the country with which the bilateral agreement is made.  The ACCG's argument is thus on shaky ground.  As the ACCG continues to press ahead with new litigation, it is worth drawing attention to realities and probabilities of ancient coin circulation as they pertain to protected coins". 
Realities? I wonder how many of your readers are more interested in realities than biased reporting intended to bolster the no-questions-asked antiquities market?
Actually, I do not. We are all aware of the bottomless depths of the gulf of self-deception employed by the entire coin collecting community to avoid the effort and pain of getting their minds around the issues being raised by those that want to see this trade carried out in a manner more befitting the twenty-first century. The function of publications like "World Coin News" is to provide soundbites to help maintain the illusions and self-delusions.

This is self-defeating, Dr Yates, one of the researchers currently writing the most about the antiquities market and thus influencing and informing public thought, has no illusions about the degree that one can expect from the dealers' lobby any fair and balanced assessment of the issues, let alone any rational discussion:

Same folks have done it to me too. Sigh.
By their continual and repetitive slimeball tactics and persistent denial and refusal to face issues, the dealers and their lobbyists are alienating themselves from the wider heritage debate and will end up becoming excluded from it and will just have to accept the consequences. 

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: February 12

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE (Roman Calendar): pridie Idus Februarias, and the Ides are on Saturday!

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


TINY MOTTOES: Today's tiny motto is: Cedo nulli (English: I yield to no one).

3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Iovis omnia plena (English: All things are full of god).

AUDIO PROVERBS: Today's audio Latin proverb is O Cupido, quantus es! (English: O Cupid, how great thou art!). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

PUBLILIUS SYRUS: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Beneficium qui nescit dare, iniuste petit (English: Someone who doesn't know how to do a favor shouldn't ask for one).

ERASMUS' ANIMALS: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Faenum habet in cornu; longe fuge (English: He's got hay on his horn; keep your distance; from Adagia 1.1.81).

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

And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

Diligite inimicos vestros.
Love your enemies.

Messe tenus propria vive.
Live within your harvest.


FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Serpens et Filius Eius, a story about snakes and dragons (this fable has a vocabulary list).

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Culex et Leo, a story about life's ups and downs.

Leo et Culex

Amy Burvall's History for Music Lovers. Here is today's video: The Odyssey ("Across the Universe" by the Beatles), which you can watch at YouTube also.

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

My new article, "All Roads Lead to Rome," and the media coverage of it

After more years than I care to admit, my last proper article based on my dissertation research is out (although there are a couple book chapters yet to come that include data from it as case studies).  This one, though, represents the meat of my dissertation.

Individual ET38 from Castellaccio Europarco
(1st-2nd c AD, Rome) was likely an immigrant.
Unsurprisingly enough, since Imperial Rome was ridiculously complex, it's taken a while to work through the data, and especially to take into account all the things that wonkify (yes, that's a real science term) the isotopes.  Whereas most bioarchaeologists who do isotope analysis can be pretty sure their local population was eating, drinking, and living locally, it's impossible to start from that assumption in Rome, what with the importing of grain, the aqueducts bringing in millions of gallons of water a day, and the moving around the Empire. So this article is not the last word on migration and skeletons -- in fact, in most ways, it's the first. And I hope that more studies are done (including my own ongoing work with DNA) to dig into the complexity rather than shy away from it.

I published this in PLOS ONE because it's open-access, and it's important to me to have these data and interpretations accessible to anthropologists and classicists alike.  That's also why much of the writing isn't heavy on the science jargon -- I frequently get comments on my peer-reviewed articles that mention their readability, and I can thank my blogging for that.  Finally, I have also opened up my entire database from this project, as it was funded by the NSF, Wenner-Gren, and UNC, and there's no sense in my sitting on the database any longer, even though there are unpublished data in there (e.g., dental pathologies).

But without further ado, below are a link to the PLOS article, a link to the original relational database, and a collection of news media coverage in at least half a dozen languages.

  • News Articles in Spanish
    • La Vanguardia - Identificados por primera vez inmigrantes en la antigua Roma
    • SINC - Hallados los primeros restos humanos de inmigrantes en la Roma Imperial
    • La Informacion and ABC Sociedad - Un estudio halla evidencia de migración humana a la Roma imperial en un cementerio de hace 2.000 años
    • Europa Press - Primeros restos de inmigrantes que vivieron en la Roma Imperial
    • Prensa Latina - Estudio analiza la migración en la Roma imperial
    • News Articles in Italian
      • ANSA - Primi identikit dei migranti nella Roma imperiale
      • Galileo Net - Gli scheletri che raccontano la storia delle migrazioni a Roma
      • Scienze Fanpage - Chi erano i migranti nell'antica Roma?
      • San Francesco - I migranti della Roma imperiale arrivavano da Nord Africa e Alpi
    • News Articles in French
    • News Articles in German
      • Science ORF - Isotope "erzählen" Migration im alten Rom
    • News Articles in Hungarian
      • Hirado - Fogaik alapján azonosítottak ókori római bevándorlókat
    • News Articles in Russian
      • Lenta - В Древнем Риме нашли мигрантов
      • RIA - Ученые выяснили, какие мигранты работали на "имперских" стройках Рима
      • UA Press - Всі дороги ведуть до Риму - знайдені останки переселенців з інших регіонів
      • Neva Info - На кладбищах Рима найдены останки первых в мире мигрантов
      • Volga Daily - Археологи доказали, что в Древнем Риме работали мигранты
    • News Articles in Polish
      • Wyborcza - Wszystkie drogi prowadzą do Rzymu. Nowe badania nad migracją

    February 12, 2016

    The Archaeological Review

    Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls

    Hershel  Shanks
    Random House
    New York
    ISBN 0-679-41448-7

         "On the west side of the Dead Sea, but out of range of the exhalations of the coast, is the solitary tribe of the Essenes, which is remarkable beyond all the other tribes in the whole world, as it has no women and has renounced all sexual desire, has no money, and has only palm-trees for company. Day by day the throng of refugees is recruited to an equal number by numerous accessions of persons tired of life and driven thither by the way of fortune to adopt their manners. Thus through thousands of ages  (incredible to relate) a race into which no one is born lives on forever, so prolific for their advantage is other men's weariness of life!*

                                                                                                                        Pliny the Elder

    In the opening of the book the editor gives a quick rundown of the contents of his book starting with the discovery of the scrolls in a series of eleven caves near the deserted Dead Sea community of Qumran. The  scrolls represent the earliest known documents of their type, and are important to the development of the early history of Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity. Since the discovery the scrolls, which are mainly fragmentary, have become coveted by the scholars who possessed shares of the find. This has had the effect that the scrolls for the most part suffered from handling and incorrect preservation causing some of the material to be destroyed. It has also resulted in slowing down the publication and distribution to other scholars of the documents.

    In chapter one by Harry Thomas Frank the discovery of the scrolls unfolds. The discovery of the first scrolls was by Bedouins climbing a hill to retrieve a goat when a cave was found. The Bedouin through a rock into the cave and heard the sound of pottery breaking. Once in the cave the Bedouin found tall clay jars with lids and inside the jars some seven scrolls in sound condition including a mostly intact Book of Isaiah, and the slightly less well preserved Manual of Discipline.

    In the second chapter Frank Moore Cross places the scrolls in the environment of the people who hid them, dating the documents paleography and historically. In the formative years of the last couple centuries of the Hellenistic world to the first century of the Roman empire differing sects of Judaism including the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducee lived in a time of the second temple in Jerusalem.

    The lives of some of these sects involved the idea that they were living in the end times in the period leading up to and beyond 70 A.D., and the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. Clearly this book is not for the young with the read being a complex composition suitably fascinating for anyone who loves archaeology and ancient texts. It must be noted that not all the scrolls are of religious nature, though every book of the Bible is represented except Esther.

    Part of what makes the book so fascinating is in the presentation with various scholars putting forward their arguments in dating the scrolls as well to the contents and the identification of the personalities who are identified in the texts with historical and biblical personages. Scholar Raphael Levy presents the earlier finds of documents related to the later find of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a storeroom known as a genizah in a Cairo synagogue.

    The genizah was a place to put old unwanted sacred texts and books until they could be buried in consecrated ground. In the Cairo genizah this had not been done in centuries leaving thousand year old texts to be discovered and taken to Cambridge University in the late 1890's. One of the most important documents found in the genizah is known today as the Damascus Document, the titles name referring to a flight to Damascus. Fifty years later when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found at Qumran a number of copies of the Damascus Document were found among them though a thousand years older.

    The late great archaeologist Yigael Yadin, excavator of the fortress at Masada and the important site of Hazor, writes about the Temple Scroll and his acquisition of it. At the time of Israel's victories in the Six-Day War of 1967 Mr. Yadin was working as a military adviser to the Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.

    In the war the Israeli military captured Jerusalem's Old City and Bethlehem allowing Mr. Yadin to visit the seller of the scroll and acquired the document for a little over $100 000. The chapter contains a number of nice black and white photos of the scroll including a view looking out of Cave 11 where the Temple Scroll was found. The Temple Scroll is the longest of the Dead Sea Scrolls with much of it concerning the temples layout.

         "You shall make a dry moat around the temple,... which will separate the holy temple from the city so that they may not come suddenly into my temple and desecrate it. They shall consecrate my temple and fear my people, for I dwell among them"    
                                                                                            Temple Scroll, (Column XLVI)

    The staggering size of the temple would have been almost as large as Jerusalem's old city. The temple being surrounded by three courtyards and an outer moat one hundred and sixty five feet wide ensuring the sanctity of the temple precincts. When Herod rebuilt the temple it was completed in just under a year and a half but it took some eighty years to complete the temples precincts, at which time eighteen thousand workers were laid off.

    The reader is presented with the various elements of Rabbinical books that have come to form the Hebrew Bible. These books have also acquired scribal errors through translation into different languages as well as shortening of some books and the removal of other texts that individual sects found undesirable. Scholar Frank Moore Cross also points out the many ancient documents found at a number of different sites south of the eleven caves that make up the find spot for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    In the books fifth section the scrolls are evaluated for the connections they make to Christianity. These connections include the identification of the characters found in the scrolls with early Christian leaders. A fragment of text found in Qumran cave 4 and known as 4Q246 has a parallel in the Gospel of Luke, with the fragment using the term "Son of God". This being the only time outside the bible that the phrase has been found.

         "[X] shall be great upon the earth. [O king, all (people) shall] make [peace], and all shall serve [him. He shall be called the son of] the [G]reat [God], and by his name shall he be hailed (as) the Son of God, and they shall call him Son of the Most High."

    Scholar Otto Betz puts forward the idea that John the Baptist was an Essene prophet who at one time lived among the Qumran community. At some point the baptist left the monastic life at Qumran to preach the salvation to the people including baptizing Jesus and denouncing Antipas' marriage to Herodias. There are a number of similarities between John and the Teacher of Righteousness found in the Dead Sea Scrolls which some may conclude that they are one and the same.

    Among the scrolls found in cave 3 was one completely different from all the others in content, linguistics, and even the material, the scroll being written on a sheet of copper. Unlike the other books the Copper Scroll contains a list of 64 locations where masses of treasure had been hidden. The masses of gold and silver hidden in these locations, if put together, would weigh in at between 58 and 174 tons. Many of the items included in the deposits belong to temple services and as a result the treasure likely belonged to the Second Temple. The treasure being deposited in the run up of the Roman invasion and destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D.

    Scroll scholar Hartmut Stegemann addresses the issue of the reconstruction of the scrolls from the tens of thousands of fragments into readable documents. To reconstruct the fragments a number of observations can be used from the handwriting of the individual scribes as well as the material the scroll was created from, and the varying thickness and shades of that particular medium. Even the type of damage can help identifying which pieces belong together whether insect, rodent or decomposition.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls have stirred up much controversy mostly due to the slow rate of publication and the fact that the material was possessed by a few scholars who coveted their portions. More controversy was raised by others who believed that the Catholic church was suppressing the publication of some of the scrolls that may run contrary to Christian teachings.

    Certainly the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was one of the most important archaeological events of the Twentieth Century, with the job of publication of the hundreds of scrolls found among the Qumran library a daunting task that took many years of some of the finest scholars work to put together and interpret. Hershel Shanks has here put together a volume that can only touch the surface of the knowledge to be gleaned but in this the reader will find an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to gain the knowledge of "Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls."

         "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 

                                                                                                                       John 8:12


    * James Vanderkam

    Further Information on the Scrolls:
    The Dorot Foundation Dead Sea Scrolls Information and Study Center

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Phoros: Sources for the Study of Athenian Tribute

    Phoros: Sources for the Study of Athenian Tribute


    The Phoros project is creating new editions of the Athenian Tribute Quota Lists from original photography.


    The Phoros project is a project of the Holy Cross Manuscripts, Inscriptions and Documents Club (HC MID), including:
    • Original digital photography in the National Epigraphic Museum in Athens by Tom Arralde '13, Christine Bannan '14, Christine Roughan '14, and Megan Whitacre '14.
    • Editorial work on the Tribute Reassessment Decree by Michael Roberts '13 and Anne Salloom '14.
    • Editorial work on the Tribute Quota Lists by Christine Bannan '14
    Neel Smith is the faculty advisor to HC MID.


    All material on this site is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.







    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Revealing the Buried Treasures of the Temple Mount

    Click here to view the embedded video.

    Another interesting archaeology video, this one courtesy of Israel Today. The temple mount is not a place where archaeological digs can legally take place. But there has been a project to sift through the dirt moved during an earlier illegal excavation, which has yielded interesting finds. Watch the video to learn more about it.

    Archaeology Magazine

    Portsmouth Harbor cannonHAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND—Dredging to widen and deepen Portsmouth Harbor for new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers has recovered an iron cannon. “Cannons are particularly exciting finds because they could indicate the presence of a previously unrecorded shipwreck,” Andrea Hamel of Wessex Archaeology told BBC News. The cannon will be examined at the Mary Rose Museum. “More investigation into the cannon will be needed to determine its significance, but hopefully ongoing research will provide a date range for the cannon and possible provenance,” Hamel added. It is also possible that the cannon may have been used for ballast before it was thrown overboard. To read about other finds in the same area, go to "As American as Sliced Bacon in a Can."

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Happy Darwin Day!

    Click here to view the embedded video.

    Happy Darwin Day! Thank you to Biologos for sharing the above video on the evidence for evolution.

    And don’t forget to celebrate Evolution Weekend in your religious community! If you need some inspiration, click through for a Darwin Day/Evolution Weekend reflection from Grace Unlimited, the Lutheran-Episcopal campus ministry organization at Butler University.


    The image above comes from Pliny the In-Between’s blog.

    Archaeology Magazine

    Hatshepsut miniature artifactsWINNIPEG, CANADA—University of Winnipeg alumnus Luther Sousa identified two objects from the 450 lamps, storage jars, dishware, stone tools, bone game pieces, shabtis, and Osiris figurines in the university’s Hetherington Collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. The first is a miniature wooden hoe, and the other is a set of miniature wooden rockers. Sousa suspects that the items, both marked with hieroglyphs, were found in a foundation deposit at Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri in the 1880s. “The glyphs strongly suggest that the objects belonged to Queen Hatshepsut from the 18th dynasty of ancient Egyptian kings. The writing includes her cartouche, as well as the name of the location of Hatshepsut’s temple,” Sousa said in a press release. At that time, the temple was being excavated by Henri Edouard Naville on behalf of the Egyptian Exploration Fund. The artifacts in the collection were received in two shipments—one in 1903, and the other after 1925. The shipments were likely through the Egyptian Exploration Society. For more, go to "Hatshepsut Found; Thutmose I Lost."

    Neanderthal influenced traitsNASHVILLE, TENNESSEE—Researchers from Vanderbilt University used a database of 28,000 anonymous individuals, whose DNA samples were linked to their electronic health records, to look for Neanderthal DNA variants and see if they could be connected to modern health problems. “Our main finding is that Neanderthal DNA does influence clinical traits in modern humans: We discovered associations between Neanderthal DNA and a wide range of traits, including immunological, dermatological, neurological, psychiatric, and reproductive diseases,” evolutionary geneticist John Capra said in a press release. But 40,000 years ago, Neanderthal DNA might have provided modern humans with adaptive advantages as they came into contact with different pathogens and levels of sun exposure in new environments. For example, a Neanderthal variant that increases blood coagulation may have sealed wounds more quickly and prevented infections. Today, people who carry this variant are at an increased risk of stroke, pulmonary embolism, and pregnancy complications. Neanderthal DNA can also increase the risk of nicotine addiction, and influence the risk for depression. “The brain is incredibly complex, so it’s reasonable to expect that introducing changes from a different evolutionary path might have negative consequences,” added graduate student Corinne Simonti. For more, go to "Decoding Neanderthal Genetics."

    Ancient Peoples

    Coin of KanishkaGandharan (modern Pakistan), ca. 130 ADDiameter...

    Coin of Kanishka

    Gandharan (modern Pakistan), ca. 130 AD

    Diameter 9/16 in (1.4 cm)

    The Great Kushan rulers minted these gold coins in the second and early third centuries. They follow a Roman weight standard, and the rulers present themselves in relation to a range of Near Eastern and South Asian deities, such as the Shiva on the reverse of Vasudeva’s coin.

    Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

    Phenotypic effects of Neandertal admixture

    Now that we know that Neandertal-introgressed DNA had (deleterious) functional consequences for modern humans, I think we also need a study on "useful stuff" conferred by Neandertal admixture. So far, the Neandertal genome has been used (mostly) as our closest relative, in order to identify novel gene variants shared by all modern humans but absent in Neandertals: the goal is to find things that "made us special". Pickings of this search have been slim.

    Doubtlessly, as we begin to better understand the genetics underlying positive human traits, some of these will end up having come from archaic humans. Neandertal admixture was a huge injection of "new stuff" into the Eurasian modern human gene pool, and there is every reason to think that even if the "bad stuff" outweighed the "good", there was still plenty of room for functionally beneficial variants to be acquired from them.

    Science 12 Feb 2016:
    Vol. 351, Issue 6274, pp. 737-741

    The phenotypic legacy of admixture between modern humans and Neandertals

    Corinne N. Simonti et al.

    Many modern human genomes retain DNA inherited from interbreeding with archaic hominins, such as Neandertals, yet the influence of this admixture on human traits is largely unknown. We analyzed the contribution of common Neandertal variants to over 1000 electronic health record (EHR)–derived phenotypes in ~28,000 adults of European ancestry. We discovered and replicated associations of Neandertal alleles with neurological, psychiatric, immunological, and dermatological phenotypes. Neandertal alleles together explained a significant fraction of the variation in risk for depression and skin lesions resulting from sun exposure (actinic keratosis), and individual Neandertal alleles were significantly associated with specific human phenotypes, including hypercoagulation and tobacco use. Our results establish that archaic admixture influences disease risk in modern humans, provide hypotheses about the effects of hundreds of Neandertal haplotypes, and demonstrate the utility of EHR data in evolutionary analyses.


    From Stone to Screen

    The Art of Replication: Fighting to Save Syria’s Heritage

    The Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan currently houses over seventy-nine thousand Syrian refugees who have fled their homeland. Over the past year, it has also become home to a few small-scale models of Syrian heritage sites and monuments that have been demolished by ISIS. Community leader Ahmad Hariri, from the…

    Continue reading

    The post The Art of Replication: Fighting to Save Syria’s Heritage appeared first on From Stone to Screen.

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Recreation of Rome in the Era of Constantine

    Click here to view the embedded video.

    Thanks to the Khan Academy for making the above video, and George Athas for sharing it. This is a recreation of what Rome looked like in the era of Constantine. I hope you enjoy your virtual visit to the ancient world!

    The Stoa Consortium

    Open Data Day event: Open Data as Open Educational Resources

    The Open Education SIG at University College London are holding their inaugural event: Open Data as Open Educational Resources.

    Open Data are freely licensed datasets produced by governments, international organisations and researchers that can be used as open educational resources to develop transversal, statistics and discipline related skills, encouraging collaborative and multidisciplinary work towards solving complex real life problems using the same raw materials scientists and policy makers use

    The event will feature

    Santiago Martín: University College London
    Mor Rubistein: Open Knowledge International
    Leo Havemann: Birkbeck, University of London
    Dr Carla Bonina: University of Surrey
    William Hammonds: Universities UK
    Dr Fabrizio Scrollini: Latin American Open Data Initiative
    Dr Tim Coughlan: Open University

    When: Friday, 4 March 2016 from 14:00 to 17:00

    Where: Medawar G01 Lankester Lecture Theatre: UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK

    To book: Eventbrite Open Data Day Event

    To learn more: Open Data as Open Educational Resources (PDF)

    Jim Davila (

    Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies

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    Joint Library of the Hellenic & Roman Societies / Institute of Classical Studies Library

    ICS Events this week: 15th-20th February 2016

    15th-17th February
    10:00 - 18:45 10th London Ancient Science Conference
    See conference programme here
    Senate House - Room G37

    Monday 15th February
    16:30 ICS Ancient Philosophy Seminar
    Lucretius' Reception of Plato's Metaphors for the Body and Soul
    Matthew Johncock (Wellington College)
    Senate House - Room 243 

    Wednesday 17th February
    15:30 ICS Mycenaean Series
    Digital Nestor: Aegean scripts in the 21st century
    Dimitri Nakassis (Toronto)
    Senate House - Room G22/26 

    Friday 19th February
    16:30 ICS Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar
    Denouncement, slander, imperial harangue and the decline of oratory in Roman Empire: Power, rhetoric and oratory in the work of Tacitus
    Juan Carlos Barrasús (Madrid)
    Senate House - Room 243 

    Saturday 20th February
    10:00 - 17:30 ICS Workshop
    Cognitive approaches to classical literature
    (booking is now closed for this event)
    Senate House - Room G35

    If the ICS Events page is unavailable, please see the SAS Events brochure (pdf).

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Newly Online at the CHS

    Now Available Online from the Hellenic Studies Series!
    We are very pleased to share the recent additions to our online publications from the Hellenic Studies Series.
    Theology of Arithmetics coverJoel KalvesmakiThe Theology of Arithmetic: Number Symbolism in Platonism and Early Christianity
    In the second century, Valentinians and other gnosticizing Christians used numerical structures and symbols to describe God, interpret the Bible, and frame the universe. In this study of the controversy that resulted, Joel Kalvesmaki shows how earlier neo-Pythagorean and Platonist number symbolism provided the impetus for this theology of arithmetic, and describes the ways in which gnosticizing groups attempted to engage both the Platonist and Christian traditions. He explores the rich variety of number symbolism then in use, among both gnosticizing groups and their orthodox critics, demonstrating how those critics developed an alternative approach to number symbolism that would set the pattern for centuries to come. Arguing that the early dispute influenced the very tradition that inspired it, Kalvesmaki explains how, in the late third and early fourth centuries, numbers became increasingly important to Platonists, who engaged in arithmological constructions and disputes that mirrored the earlier Christian ones.

    9780674023758Lesher, James, Debra Nails, and Frisbee Sheffield, editorsPlato’s Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception
    In his Symposium, Plato crafted a set of speeches in praise of love that has influenced writers and artists from antiquity to the present. Early Christian writers read the dialogue’s “ascent passage” as a vision of the soul’s journey to heaven. Ficino’s commentary on the Symposiuminspired poets and artists throughout Renaissance Europe and introduced “a Platonic love” into common speech. Themes or images from the dialogue have appeared in paintings or sketches by Rubens, David, Feuerbach, and La Farge, as well as in musical compositions by Satie and Bernstein.
    The dialogue’s view of love as “desire for eternal possession of the good” is still of enormous philosophical interest in its own right. Nevertheless, questions remain concerning the meaning of specific features, the significance of the dialogue as a whole, and the character of its influence. This volume brings together an international team of scholars to address such questions.

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    For Valentine’s Day

    For those who may have forgotten, a reminder that this coming Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Here are some Song of Solomon Valentines for you to share with your loved ones.

    Solomon Valentine 1 Solomon Valentine 2 Solomon Valentine 3 Solomon Valentine 4 Solomon Valentine 5 Solomon Valentine 6

    Solomon Valentine 7 Solomon Valentine 8

    Current Epigraphy

    Epigraphic training (École Française de Rome, September 2016)


    12-16 SETTEMBRE 2016
    École Française de Rome, Piazza Farnese 62 – Roma

    Sotto il patronato del Comité delle Rencontres franco-italiennes sur l’épigraphie du monde romain, l’École Française de Rome, Labex ARCHIMEDE e l’Università di Poitiers organizzano un laboratorio di formazione avanzata in epigrafia a Roma dal 12 al 16 settembre 2016. Questa iniziativa parte dalla constatazione della difficoltà di offrire corsi di livello avanzato nelle università francesi e italiane. Al di fuori di qualche sede privilegiata, l’offerta si limita a una iniziazione a questa disciplina, che pure è essenziale per la conoscenza dell’Antichità.

    Questo laboratorio è aperto agli studenti a partire dalla Laurea Magistrale e fino al dottorato (con tesi sostenuta da meno di 3 anni), di ogni nazionalità, iscritti in un’università francese o italiana. Si richiede la conoscenza di base del francese o dell’italiano. Le lezioni saranno in queste due lingue, con il supporto di un PPT in inglese.

    Il tema prescelto riguarda “Le carriere al servizio dell’Impero romano
    Le domande, che devono comprendere una lettera con le motivazioni, un CV, l’attestazione del superamento di un esame relativo a un corso introduttivo all’epigrafia latina e una lettera di presentazione di un docente o di uno studioso, dovranno pervenire entro il 16 febbraio ai seguenti indirizzi di posta elettronica:

    I candidati saranno informati dell’esito della loro domanda prima della fine di marzo.

    Jim Davila (

    Vampires in Jewish tradition?

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

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Mysterious Graves Discovered at Ancient European Cemetery

    One of the oldest cemeteries in Europe has recently been discovered, with graves dating back almost...

    Jim Davila (

    Kristianpoller, Traum und Traumdeutung im Talmud — Hebrew translation

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

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Friday Varia and Quick Hits

    Wind chill warnings in effect and snow tomorrow evening make this a perfect weekend for putting the finishing touches on a book and making some maps for the Tourist Guide to the Bakken. It’s also a nice weekend for watching some cricket from New Zealand and sitting by the fire while imagining a sun-drenched, late-summer day in Wellington.

    Yesterday, I blogged about the dust-up between Michael Smith and the archaeology folks at University of Colorado-Boulder (in a slightly self-congratulatory way). It looks like the little controversy is not over yet, with the Department of Anthropology weighing in with some pretty stern words. While I am still inclined to think of this as a tempest in a teacup, I was pleased to see that the comment from the chair of anthropology largely echoed some of my own sentiments, but then took it in a different, less sophisticated direction: “blogging on the internet evidently does not require understanding, a sense of professional courtesy or ethics, or much thought of any kind.”  

    To be sure, blogging (on the internet or otherwise) does not require those things, but it does provide a window into the dusty pre-professional quarters of our disciplines. While we might want to hide these thing, I worry that this kind of “black boxing” of the academic process (to borrow a term that might site nicely in Prof. Joyce’s talk) does little for understanding how our discipline functions. Prof. Smith’s response to the lecture, in my experience, is the kind of thing that academics say all the time after talks (and who hasn’t directed hyperbole at an ideal that we don’t quite understand). Blogging as a platform allows scholars to make these impressions and observations public and to expose the messy “sausage making” process of academic and intellectual work. As embarrassing as it is for me to admit, there are talks that I have called incomprehensible when it turns out that out they were significant and important.

    Folks like Prof. Smith can be blunt and honest on his blog. His reputation as curmudgeon with nearly dogmatic views is well-known and well-established. This persona takes a certain amount of confidence and courage because exposing the sausage making process through a blog entails risk. His apology, to my mind, did enough to clear the air as did his open conversation in the comments section of his blog. The response from the anthropology faculty at Colorado, in contrast, sought to reinforce professional and disciplinary standards which I’m not convinced that enforcing stilted standards of academic decorum on blogs makes academia a better place. But don’t believe me, this post didn’t require “much thought of any kind.”

    If you couldn’t care less, here’s little gaggle of quick hits and varia:

    IMG 4095Sometimes you wear the elephant, sometimes the elephant wears you.

    Corinthian Matters

    On the Road to Corinth

    EkklesakiA church on wheels. Photo by David Pettegrew, on the highway to Corinth, May 30, 2011.


    The Stoa Consortium

    BL Labs roadshow at King’s Digital Laboratory

    BL Labs Roadshow Event: Experimenting with British Library’s Digital Content and Data for your research

    King’s Digital Laboratory (KDL) is excited to announce we will be hosting a British Library Labs (BL Labs) roadshow event at King’s College London on 14 March, 2016. The roadshow is an opportunity for King’s staff and students to gain an overview of the British Library’s digital resources from the BL Labs team, and brainstorm ideas for research outputs and digital products. The workshop will showcase the British Library’s digital content and data, addressing some of the challenges and issues of working with it and how interesting and exciting projects from researchers, artists, and entrepreneurs have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards.

    No technical ability is required and staff and students from all disciplines are warmly encouraged to attend. Guest speakers and both KDL and BL Labs staff will be present to help you explore your ideas, and develop them into project ideas and funding proposals.

    When: Monday 14th March 2016, 1000-1630
    Where: River Room (King’s College London, Strand)


    10:00  Registration and Coffee
    10:30  Introduction and Overview of King’s Digital Lab (Dr. James Smithies, Director, King’s Digital Lab)
    11:00  Getting Medieval, Getting Palaeography: Using DigiPal to Study Medieval Script and Image (Dr. Stewart Brookes, Research Associate, DDH)
    11:30  Digital Research and Digitisation at the British Library (Rossitza Atanassova, Digital Curator at the British Library)
    12:00  British Library Labs (Mahendra Mahey, Project Manager of British Library Labs)
    12:20  Overview projects that have used British Library’s Digital Content and data (Ben O’Steen, Technical Lead of British Library Labs)
    13:00  Lunch
    14:00  News data at the British Library (Luke McKernan, Lead Curator News & Moving Image Collections, British Library)
    14:30  Examination of British Library data and previous Labs ideas
    14:45  Ideas Lab
    16:00  Pitching ideas to the panel
    16:30  Finish

    Please note that capacity is limited. For further information and registration please follow this link:

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    New Open Access Journal: Studia Gilsoniana: A Journal in Classical Philosophy

    Studia Gilsoniana: A Journal in Classical Philosophy
    ISSN 2300-0066
    Studia Gilsoniana – an international philosophical annual journal that is focused on the philosophical thought of Étienne Gilson and selected topics in classical philosophy. It has been published in internet and paper versions by the International Étienne Gilson Society since 2012. The journal accepts submissions in English, Spanish, and Polish languages. Mail address: KUL, Al. Raclawickie 14/GG-038, 20-950 L u b l i n, Poland. E-mailbox:
    Studia Gilsoniana – międzynarodowy rocznik filozoficzny poświęcony filozoficznej twórczości Etienne’a Gilsona oraz wybranym zagadnieniom z filozofii klasycznej. Jest wydawane w wersji internetowej i papierowej przez Międzynarodowe Stowarzyszenie Étienne’a Gilsona od 2012 r. Czasopismo publikuje prace w języku angielskim, hiszpańskim lub polskim. Adres redakcji: KUL, Al. Raclawickie 14/GG-038, 20-950 L u b l i n, e-mail:

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

    Espace pensé, territoires administrés : quelques réflexions sur la façon dont les Anciens ont pu se représenter l’espace anatolien

    lebreton-smallLe  jeudi 3 mars, Stéphane Lebreton, maître de conférences à l’Université d’Artois, présentera une conférence intitulée : « Espace pensé, territoires administrés : quelques réflexions sur la façon dont les Anciens ont pu se représenter l’espace anatolien ». La conférence se tiendra à Nancy, sur le Campus Lettres et Sciences Humaines, bâtiment A, salle A104 à 18h.

    Depuis 20 à 30 ans, les historiens ont porté leur attention sur la question des perceptions spatiales dans l’Antiquité. Leur approche a permis de changer la compréhension de la géographie. Au lieu de considérer que l’homme de ces périodes reculées pensait et restituait un espace sur le modèle des Modernes, ils ont plutôt réfléchi aux singularités en s’aidant des avancés de l’anthropologie. On peut d’ailleurs considérer que l’ouvrage Geography and ethnography. Perceptions of the World in Pre-Moderne Societies (K. A. Raaflaub & R. J. A. Talbert, éd., 2010), cherchant à comparer les conceptions spatiales de différentes sociétés éloignées dans le temps et dans l’espace est à la fois une illustration intéressante de cette démarche et peut-être un aboutissement.

    Dès la fin des années 1980 et le début des années 1990, des auteurs comme P. Janni, Fr. Prontera, Chr. 15th_century_map_of_Turkey_regionJacob ou P. Arnaud, par exemple, ont élargi le champ de la réflexion en s’interrogeant notamment sur l’utilité et la fréquence de la carte, sur la pensée hodologique, sur le développement et la diffusion de la culture géographique. Ils ont ainsi permis d’enrichir et de développer le sujet. Les études actuellement conduites par Kl. Geus et M. Thierieng affinent davantage encore la problématique en proposant de réfléchir non plus seulement sur la géographie érudite telle qu’elle apparaît le plus souvent dans la littérature, mais à la culture géographique populaire de l’homme de la rue (common sense geography).

    Parallèlement, les modalités de contrôle et d’administration d’un territoire ont donné lieu à nombre d’études, au moins pour les périodes hellénistique et romaine. De fait, il restait à étudier les relations entre les deux domaines de recherche. À partir de quels acquis intellectuels, de quelles connaissances géographiques, de quels apprentissages, de quels outils ou supports les personnes en charge de l’administration d’un territoire ont-il travaillé ? Certes, le sujet a pu être abordé par Cl. Nicolet dans L’inventaire du monde. Il était au cœur de sujet des deux volumes La invención de una geografía de la Península Ibérica (G. Cruz Andreotti, P. Le Roux & P. Moret, éd., 2006). N. Purcell a aussi pu proposer des analyses pertinentes. Il semble cependant que bien des interrogations demeurent, au moins aux échelles locale et régionale.

    C’est la question qui sera abordée lors de cette conférence en prenant l’exemple de la péninsule anatolienne sur le long terme, en partant du cadre général, avant de développer des cas particuliers.

    Télécharger l’affiche.

    Illustration : delta du Méandre / Carte de l’Anatolie (XVe s.).

    Les autres dates de la saisons 2015-2106

    Semestre 1

    Capture d’écran 2015-09-09 à 10.10.211 octobre 2015 – 18h. en salle A104 – François Kirbihler (Université de Lorraine) : « Un Italien à Ephèse : P. Vedius Pollio, Mission publique, activités économiques et postérité onomastique. »

    Capture d’écran 2015-09-09 à 10.19.0415 octobre 2015 – 18h. en salle A329b – Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse (Université de Paris 1) : « Société et sociabilité dans le Fayoum au IIIs. avant notre ère : le cas des pétitions de femmes. »

    Capture d’écran 2015-09-09 à 10.11.1412 novembre 2015 – 18h. en salle A104 – Ekaterina Nechaeva (Université de Genève) : « Les Romains comme étrangers. L’émigration individuelle dans l’Antiquité tardive. »

    Capture d’écran 2015-09-09 à 10.11.343 décembre 2015 – 18h. en salle A104 – Alain Chauvot (Université de Strasbourg) : « Les Goths en Thrace, 376-378 : confrontations et métamorphoses. »

    Télécharger la brochure (saison 2015-2016, semestre 1).

    Semestre 2 :

    Arietta-Papaconstantinou-id-web28 janvier 2016 – 18h. en salle A104 – Arietta Papaconstantinou (Université de Reading) : « Langues d’empire, langues étrangères ? Les chemins pas très parallèles du grec et de l’arabe en Égypte. »

    Julien Monerie11 février 2016 – 18h. – Julien Monerie (Université de Paris 1) : « Chronique d’une campagne avortée. Le projet d’invasion de l’Arabie par Alexandre (323 av. J.-C.). »

    lebreton-small3 mars 2016 – 18h. – Stéphane Lebreton (Université d’Artois) :  « Espace pensé, territoires administrés : quelques réflexions sur la façon dont les Anciens ont pu se représenter l’espace anatolien. »

    aurenhammer-small21 avril 2016 – Maria Aurenhammer (Österreichisches Archäologische Institut, Vienne) : « Les portraits des notables à Éphèse à l’époque impériale [Die Honoratiorenporträts des kaiserzeitlichen Ephesos]. »

    Télécharger le programme du semestre 2.

    Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

    Seminar explores the importance of ancient hillfort in Wales

    Heritage experts will examine the complex role of Old Oswestry's landscape through the ages at a forthcoming seminar dedicated to one of Britain's most spectacular and impressive early Iron Age...

    Out-of-Africa, the peopling of continents and islands

    Genetic relationships between human groups were first studied by comparing populations - an approach having problems of resolution and dating, but results were largely consistent with an African ancestry for...

    The Stone Age prehistory of Saudi Arabia

    In the Nefud Desert of northern Saudi Arabia, large sandstone outcrops diverted the flow of sand, allowing lakes and marshes to form several times in the past, and evidence has...

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Side Effects of Your Theology


    The above cartoon by David Hayward got me thinking about how theology is like a drug.

    Some drugs alter your state of mind. Some are designed primarily to do that. Others do that as a side effect, and it is worth tolerating that because of some other benefit that comes from taking the medication in question.

    And so I think it is more interesting to ask about the full range of effects that a particular theological system has. These are obviously going to be statistical rather than universal – not all Calvinists will be arrogant and dogmatic, but it may still be a common side effect. Or is that really a side effect at all? Perhaps that is the main function, and belief in predestination is the side effect. Have we studied theologies in the way we study drugs, in order to answer some of these questions? Should they carry warning labels, so that you can “Consult with your Doctor (of Theology) to find out if Deism is right for you?”

    What do readers think? Do all theologies (and all ideologies, including atheologies) distort reality to some degree? In the case of your own, is it a side effect, or is it what your theology is primarily designed to do?

    In the post that accompanies the cartoon, David writes:

    We often so want something to be true that we will suspend good reason, common sense, intelligence, rationality, doubt, skepticism, honesty, reality itself, in order to believe and possess it.

    I love theology. Like I love art! But I love theology, and art, when it is true and gets close to articulating what is.

    It took, and it takes, a great deal of courage, even anger and a strong sense of justice I suppose, for someone to finally call foul!

    Click through to read the rest.


    American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

    Ο Ποσειδώνας και το Ιερό του στην Καλαυρεία Πόρου

    February 17, 2016 - 12:36 PM - LECTURE Arto Penttinen (Διευθυντής) και Jenny Wallensten (Υποδιευθύντρια), Σουηδικό Ινστιτούτο Αθηνών

    ArcheoNet BE

    Unieke houten schaal uit de ijzertijd opgegraven in Bachte-Maria-Leerne

    De opgravingen in Bachte-Maria-Leerne (Deinze) leverden op de valreep nog een echte topvondst op. Op de laatste dag van het onderzoek werd een intacte houten schaal met fraai uitgewerkt handvat uit de ijzertijd aangetroffen. De archeologen van De Logi & Hoorne zijn enthousiast. Bekijk de reportage van AVS hieronder.

    Over de andere resultaten van het onderzoek lees je meer op

    Jim Davila (

    On the Karaites

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    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    Riapre il Castello dei Vicari di Lari: un museo dinamico da scoprire, esplorare, sperimentare

    Sabato 20 febbraio alle ore 16.30 è in programma la riapertura del Castello dei Vicari di Lari a Casciana Terme Lari in provincia di Pisa, con l’inaugurazione del museo dinamico allestito nelle sale dell’antica fortezza.

    Jim Davila (

    Yadin's last night in America

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

    Société Internationale des Amis de Cicéron (Tulliana News)

    SIAC Newsletter 101 (4/2016)

    Les noms des membres de la SIAC sont en gras. – I nomi dei membri della SIAC sono in grassetto. – Names of SIAC members are written with bold characters.



    – Gregor Vogt-Spira – Membre scientifique – Marburg – Deutschland


    – M. le prof. John Ramsey de Chicago vient de faire deux découvertes importantes sur la chronologie du I siècle av.J.C. et notamment sur les mois intercalaires des années 59-58 et 55-54. Cela touche aussi la chronologie cicéronienne et le collègue, qui utilise depuis longtemps les Ephemerides Tullianae en ligne (, a proposé à la fin de 2015 de partager ses découvertes avec la SIAC. Ses ajouts se trouvent maintenant dans le site et vous pouvez les lire ici: Nous remercions M. Ramsey pour son amitié et son intérêt envers la SIAC et les Ephemerides Tullianae



    Degl’Innocenti Pierini, Rita, «Confragosum hoc iter», la via accidentata: l’Epistola 107 di Seneca e la Consolatio ciceroniana, “Latinitas”, NS 3, 2, 2015, 33-54. LINK

    Fezzi, Luca, Il corrotto. Un’inchiesta di Marco Tullio Cicerone, Roma & Bari, Laterza, 2016. LINK


    Newcastle Classics and Ancient History Seminars, Newcastle, 9th March 2016. Katherine East (Newcastle), Cicero’s De Divinatione in Early Enlightenment England. LINK

    – Tredicesima Giornata di Studi Aspetti della Fortuna dell’Antico nella Cultura Europea, Sestri Levante, 11 marzo 2016. Paolo de Paolis (Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale – Presidente CUSL), Il ruolo di Cicerone nella formazione scolastica antica: una riflessione preliminare. LINK

    – The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 112th CAMWS Meeting, Williamsburg (VA), March 16-19, 2016. Sarah C. Keith (University of New Mexico), Conspiracy at the Door: Paraclausithyron in Cicero’s First Catilinarian; Joseph A. DiLuzio (Baylor University), The “First Triumvirate” at Home and Abroad in Cicero’s Pro Flacco 13-18; Aine McVey (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), The Power of Prayer Compels You: Cicero’s Rhetorical Use of Prayer in the Post Reditum ad Populum Speech; Andrew J. Buchheim (University of Missouri, Columbia), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Baths: Cicero’s Use of the Senian Baths in the Pro Caelio; Christopher Craig (University of Tennessee), Ex ipsis visceribus causae: The Exordium of Cicero’s De Provinciis Consularibus; Robert K. Morley (University of Iowa), Cicero Gubernator: The Ship of State in Cicero’s Letters; Jonathan Zarecki (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), Age Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Number Except When It Isn’t: Cicero and the Problem of Youth in the Philippics; Nathan M. Kish (University of California, Los Angeles), Cicero as Schoolmaster: Declamation and the Criticism of Oratory in the Second Philippic; Jane Crawford (University of Virginia), The Bobbio’s Scholiast’ Sources for his Commentary on Cicero’s Speeches; Ursula M. Poole (Columbia University), A Captive Temptress: Classical Rhetoric in the Early Christian Tradition; Spencer Cole (University of Minnesota), Mapping the Afterlife: The Reception of Cicero in Aeneid 6; Christopher B. Polt (Boston College), Ποιητὴς ὀλιγοποιός: Animal Song and Metapoetry in Cicero’s Prognostica; Caitlin Diddams (University at Buffalo), Echoes of Cicero: A Digital Approach to Augustine’s Presentation of Pauline Diction; Kara Kopchinski (Baylor University), Benevolentia vs. Patronage: Cicero’s Redefinition of Friendship in the De Amicitia; Dan Hanchey (Baylor University), Cicero, Lucretius, and the Divinity of Invention; Timothy A. Knoepke (Florida State University), The Legacy of Defeat: The Historical Reception of C. Flaminius, Cn Cornelius Scipio, and P. Cornelius Scipio in the Works of Cicero; Hannah Culik-Baird (University of Southern California), Stoicism in the Stars: Cicero’s Aratea in the De Natura Deorum; Kyle G. Grothoff (Indiana University), Astrologers avant la lettre: Cicero’s Use of astrologus. LINK

    – Symposium Oratory and Rhetoric from the ancient to the early modern world, London, 23 March 2016. Gesine Manuwald (UCL), ‘that talker, Cicero’: the orator Cicero as a figure in early modern drama. LINK

    Philologia philosophica Herbipolensis IV: “Romann Epicureans – Epicureanism and Romans”, Conference and seminar course, Würzburg, 21-25 March 2016. N. Gilbert, Atticus’ Epicureanism and Cicero (Lecture); N. Gilbert, Cicero’s philosophical jousting with Cassius (Seminar). LINK

    Festival Européen Latin Grec (10ème édition), Lyon, 24-26 mars 2016. Déclamation du Premier discours contre Catilina : cent jeunes latinistes prêtent leur voix à Cicéron. LIEN



    Casamento, Alfredo, Il padre che dovrei essere, il padre che vorrei. Dalle declamazioni di Seneca Padre alla tragedia senecana, in Rémy Poignault & Catherine Schneider (ed.), Présence de la déclamation antique (controverses et suasoires), Clermont-Ferrand, Le Centre de recherches André Piganiol – Présence de l’Antiquité, 2015. LIEN

    Ferrary, Jean-Louis & John Scheid (a cura di), Il princeps romano: autocrate o magistrato? Fattori giuridici e fattori sociali del potere imperiale da Augusto a Commodo, Pavia, Pavia University Press, 2015. LINK

    Malaspina, Ermanno, rec. di Alessandro Garcea (ed.), Caesar’s De analogia, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, “Rhetorica”, 33, 3, 2015, 324-327. LINK

    Moretti, Gabriella, Il sapere sullo stomaco e la dottrina rigettata. Avventure letterarie di un motivo satirico, “Maia”, 67, 3, 2015. LINK

    Rocca, Silvana, Il latino per l’educazione linguistica di domani: la certificazione linguistica CUSL, “Latinitas”, NS 3, 2, 2015, 121-128. LINK


    – Accademia Ambrosiana, Classe di Studi Greci e Latini, Dies Academicus 2016, Milano, 1 marzo 2016. Chiara Torre, Ovidio e le arti figurative: questioni metodologiche e appunti di lettura. LINK

    Xenia. Classici contro 2016, Mirano, 1 marzo 2016. Stefano Maso (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Filosofia antica della diversità e dell’ospitalità. LINK

    Postgraduate Research Seminar, Warwick, 16th March, 2016. Simone Mollea, Humanitas between Rome and Greece? LINK

    [Last updated on February 12th, 2016.]

    Filed under: Uncategorized

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Tourist Guide Maps

    I started to make the first round of maps for the Tourist Guide to the Bakken Oil Patch.

    Here’s the map for Route 1:

    TG Route1

    Here’s the map for Route 2:

    TG Route2

    As always comments and mockery are appreciated in equal measure!

    February 11, 2016

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Projekt/Project Naga

    Projekt/Project Naga

     Naga is the southernmost city of the Kingdom of Meroe, the neighbour and powerful rival of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. Situated northeast of Khartum, the capital of the Republic of the Sudan, in the steppe far from the banks of the Nile, Naga has remained untouched since its heyday from 200 BC to 250 AD. In other words, this site, sprawling over one square kilometre, provides ideal conditions for archaeological research. With financial backing by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (the German Research Association), the Egyptian Museum in Berlin excavated at Naga from 1995 to 2012; in 2013 they became a project of the Egyptian Museum in Munich.

    Naga ist die südlichste Stadt des Königreichs von Meroë, des Nachbarn und mächtigen Rivalen des ptolemäischen und römischen Ägypten. Nordöstlich von Khartum, der Hauptstadt der Republik Sudan, weitab vom Nil in der Steppe gelegen, ist Naga seit seiner Blütezeit von 200 v. Chr. bis 250 n. Chr. unberührt geblieben; damit bietet das einen Quadratkilometer große Ruinenareal optimale Bedingungen für archäologische Feldforschung. Die Grabungen in Naga wurden, von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft finanziert, 1995-2012 vom Ägyptischen Museum Berlin geleitet und sind seit 2013 ein Projekt des Ägyptischen Museums München.

    Compitum - publications

    A. Lohr (éd.), Opera de computo saeculi duodecimi

    Alfred Lohr (éd.), Opera de computo saeculi duodecimi. Reinheri Paderbornensis computus emendatus, Magistri Cunestabuli computus, Rogeri Herefordensis computus, Turnhout, 2015.


    Éditeur : Brepols
    Collection : Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis (CCCM 272)
    LXI+245 pages
    ISBN : 978-2-503-56094-6
    175 €

    Drei bedeutende komputistische Schriften des 12. Jahrhunderts, die sich mit der arabischen Astronomie und dem jüdischen Kalender auseinander­setzen.
    In den siebziger Jahren des 12. Jahrhunderts sind in schneller Folge und unabhängig voneinander drei komputistische Schriften erschienen, die Zeugnisse großer Veränderungen in der Kalenderrechnung sind. Während Gerland im 11. Jahrhundert einerseits noch ganz auf Beda und Helperich basierte, andererseits aber bereits einen natürlichen Computus beschrieb, bei dem alle Mondmonate gleich lang sind, und die Jahresrechnung von Dionysius zu korrigieren versuchte, stand den neuen, hier edierten Autoren umfangreiches neues Wissen zur Verfügung. Dieses Wissen stammte vor allem aus der arabischen Astronomie, die durch eine fleißige Übersetzertätigkeit in Europa bekannt wurde, dann aber auch vom im 12. Jahrhundert aufkommenden Interesse für den jüdischen Kalender. Die drei Autoren verwenden die neuen Erkenntnisse auf sehr unterschiedliche Weise. Reinher von Paderborn zeigt die Fehler des überlieferten Kalenders auf und schlägt vor, für die Bestimmung des Ostertermins die jüdische Berechnung der Mondmonate zu verwenden. Ihm war freilich bewusst, dass dieser Vorschlag in der damaligen Kirche nicht durchzusetzen sein würde. Magister Cunestabulus, der wohl im Umfeld von Canterbury zuhause war, benutzte seine umfangreiche Kenntnis der arabischen Astronomie für eine innerkirchliche Auseinandersetzung. Sein Ziel war es primär, den kirchlich tradierten Kalender zu verteidigen und vor allem die Neuerungen Gerlands zu widerlegen. Roger von Hereford schließlich veröffentlichte eine Übersicht über den damaligen Wissensstand. Dazu beschrieb er in drei Büchern den traditionellen Computus, stellte in einem vierten Buch den natürlichen Computus Gerlands und im fünften die Erkenntnisse der arabischen Astronomie dar. Eine Lösung für den offensichtlich fehlerhaften christlichen Kalender sah er in einer periodischen Anpassung der goldenen Zahl.

    Lire la suite...

    Archaeology Magazine

    megafauna fossils extinctionLARAMIE, WYOMING—Statistical analysis shows that more fossils, such as the remains of mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses, and ground sloths, have been lost in the continental United States and South America than in Alaska and areas near the Bering Strait. Todd Surovell and Spencer Pelton of the University of Wyoming compiled radiocarbon dates of bones from animals that died during the Pleistocene era and the rates at which sedimentary deposits were lost over time. “While bone preservation in Arctic regions is aided by cold temperatures and the presence of permafrost, considerably more bone has been lost over time in regions farther south—in fact, at a faster rate than the sediments in which they were deposited have eroded,” Surovell said in a press release. “That means that researchers must adjust for those differences as they estimate the numbers of these animals, many of which are now extinct, across the Americas,” he said. Estimates of populations of large mammals can be used to determine if their extinctions were caused by human hunters. To read about archaeology in the Arctic, go to "Saga of the Northwest Passage."

    Kristina Killgrove (Forbes)

    Meryl Streep's Two Anthropological Truths And One Lie

    Actress Meryl Streep recently came under fire for comments made at a film festival. I break down her two anthropological truths and one lie.

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Cumwhitton goes on Display

    "In 2004, a Cumbrian metal detecting enthusiast found a brooch on farmland just to the west of Cumwhitton, Cumbria....". 

    Archaeology Magazine

    horses human emotionsSUSSEX, ENGLAND—Domesticated horses are able to distinguish between angry and happy human facial expressions, according to a study conducted by Amy Smith and Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. When shown angry human faces, the horses looked more with the left eye, which allows the right brain hemisphere to process threatening stimuli. (Dogs have also been shown to have a tendency to use the left eye when viewing negative human facial expressions.) The horses’ heart rates also increased more quickly, and they exhibited more stress-related behaviors, when shown the angry human expressions. “In this context, recognizing angry faces may act as a warning system, allowing horses to anticipate negative human behavior such as rough handling,” Smith said in a press release. “There are several possible explanations for our findings,” added McComb. “Horses may have adapted an ancestral ability for reading emotional cues in other horses to respond appropriately to human facial expressions during their co-evolution. Alternatively, individual horses may have learned to interpret human expressions during their own lifetime,” she explained. For more, go to "The Story of the Horse."

    Ancient Peoples

    Terracotta zoomorphic askos (vessel) with antlersCypriot, ca....

    Terracotta zoomorphic askos (vessel) with antlers

    Cypriot, ca. 1725–1600 B.C. (Middle Cypriot III); 15cm high (5 ¾ in)

    The animal represented is likely a native species of deer; bones of wild deer have been found at prehistoric sites on the island of Cyprus.

    Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Archaeology Magazine

    Rome migrant skullPENSACOLA, FLORIDA—According to a press release, Kristina Killgrove of the University of West Florida and Janet Montgomery of Durham University analyzed isotope ratios in the teeth of 105 skeletons in an effort to determine what these individuals ate over the course of their lifetimes and where they had been born. The skeletons came from two Roman cemeteries dating to the first through third centuries A.D., and their burials suggest that they may have been poor or enslaved. The results of the study, published in PLOS ONE, indicate that as many as eight of these individuals, mostly men and children, may have come from North Africa and the Alps. They probably adapted to the local Roman diet of wheat, legumes, meat, and fish. Further isotope analysis and DNA studies could provide more information. For more, see "The Gladiator Diet."

    Sterkfontein Caves fossilsJOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA—A chamber in South Africa’s Sterkfontein Caves has yielded four early hominin fossils that can be associated with stone tools dating to more than two million years ago. Two of these fossils, a finger bone and a tooth, are new to scientists. The finger bone is large and curved, but lacks the strong muscle attachments expected for a hominin living in trees. “The finger is similar in shape to the partial specimen from Olduvai Gorge that has been called Homo habilis, but is much larger. Overall, this specimen is unique in the South African plio-pleistocene fossil hominin record and deserves more studies,” Dominic Stratford of the University of the Witwatersrand said in a press release. The tooth is a relatively small, adult first molar resembling the teeth of Homo habilis and perhaps Homo naledi, discovered in 2013 in Rising Star Cave. “The specimens are exciting not only because they are associated with early stone tools, but also because they possess a mixture of intriguing features that raise many more questions than they give answers,” Stratford said. For more on Homo naledi, go to "A New Human Relative."

    AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

    Coptic Scriptorium

    Coptic Scriptorium
    Coptic SCRIPTORIUM is a platform for interdisciplinary and computational research in texts in the Coptic language, particularly the Sahidic dialect.  As an open-source, open-access initiative, our technologies and corpus facilitate a collaborative environment for digital research for all scholars working in Coptic. We provide:
    • tools to process Coptic texts
    • a searchable, richly-annotated corpus of texts using the ANNIS search and visualization architecture
    • visualizations of Coptic texts
    • a collaborative platform for scholars to use and contribute to the project
    • research results generated from the tools and corpus
    Coptic SCRIPTORIUM is a collaborative, digital project created by Caroline T. Schroeder (University of the Pacific) and Amir Zeldes (Georgetown University). Our team is constantly growing.
    We hope Coptic SCRIPTORIUM will serve as a model for future digital humanities projects utilizing historical corpora or corpora in languages outside of the Indo-European and Semitic language families. Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the project, methodologies, and terminology.
    Latest news: [more]

    Classics in Arabic

    Classics in Arabic
    "The blog aggregates news about publications, activities, etc. related to Arabic scholarship in the field of classics and thus seeks to provide greater access to non-Arabic scholars. The news comes mainly from Egypt without excluding other Arabic countries. It aims also at directing the attention of my Egyptian/Arabic colleagues to relevant classics materials from an Arabic context, whether this is Graeco-Arabicum or Arabico-Latinum."

    The Heroic Age

    Conference: "Landscape and Myth in North-Western Europe"

    Institut für Nordische Philologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 6-8 April 2016
    Rooms D116/RiWa and D118/RiWa, Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Str. 10, München

    Day 1
    13.30 Matthias Egeler: Welcome address and introduction
    14.00 Session 1: Dindshenchas
    Grigory Bondarenko & Nina Zhivlova (Moscow): Codal and Ériu: Feeding the Land-Goddess
    Marie-Luise Theuerkauf (Dublin): The Road Less Travelled: Cú Chulainn's Journey to Matrimony and the Dindṡenchas of Tochmarc Emire
    15.00 Coffee
    15.30 Session 2: Landscape, Myth and History
    Jonas Wellendorf (Berkeley): Myth, Landscape and Legendary History
    Reinhard Hennig (Mid Sweden University): Natural Resources, Sustainability and Environmental Change in Medieval Icelandic Literature
    Natalia Petrovskaia (Marburg/Utrecht): Mapping Religion and History in Imago Mundi and Delw y Byd
    17.00 Coffee
    17.30 Keynote
    Terry Gunnell (Reykjavík): Spaces, Places and Liminality: Marking Out and Meeting the Dead and the Supernatural in Old Nordic Landscapes
    18.30 Drinks reception

    Day 2
    9.30 Session 1: Landscapes of Myth and Literature
    Vittorio Mattioli (St Andrews): The Worlds of Grímnismál: Perceptions of Space in Mythological Landscapes
    Lukas Rösli (Basel): The Myth of Útgarðr: A Toponym as a Basis for an Old Norse System of Values?
    Nicolas Meylan (Lausanne): King Sverrir’s Mythic Landscape
    11.00 Coffee
    11.30 Session 2: Landscape Mythology and Landnámabók
    Verena Höfig (Urbana-Champaign): The Legendary Topography of Ingólfr Arnarson’s ‘landnám’
    Matthias Egeler (Munich): Death and Immortality by the Arctic Ocean
    12.30 Lunch
    14.30 Session 3: Beyond the North-Western Middle Ages
    Jörg Füllgrabe (Frankfurt a.M.): The Localisation of ‘Dietrichs Ende’: A Geographical and Mythological Transfer from Late-Antique Italy to the Central-European and Northern Hemisphere
    Anna-Konstanze Schröder (Bern): Dragør, Kullen, Skagen from the Sea: Scandinavian Landmarks as Holy Places and Ritual Cues for Mecklenburgian Sailors in the 19th Century
    Jonathan Westaway (Preston): The Inuit ‘Discovery’ of Europe? Finnfolk, Preternatural Objects and the Abducted Autochthonous Body
    16.00 Coffee
    16.30 Keynote
    Stefan Brink (Aberdeen): Toponyms, Landscape and Myth in Early Scandinavia
    19.00 Conference dinner

    Day 3
    10.30 Session 1: Fiannaigheacht
    Elizabeth FitzPatrick (Galway): Wilderness in the Mythical Tales and Real-World Landscapes of Finn mac Cumaill
    Edyta Lehmann (Harvard): “If we settled in the forest…”: Irish Forest as a Place of Madness, Wisdom, Self-discovery and Healing
    Tiziana Soverino (Dublin): “Here, Finn… Take this and give him a lick of it”: Two Place-lore Stories about Fionn Mac Cumhaill in Medieval Irish Literature and Modern Oral Tradition
    12.00 Lunch
    14.00 Session 2: Combining Oral and Other Traditions
    Nela Scholma-Mason (York): A Norse View on Ancient Sites
    Gregory R. Darwin (Harvard): The Mélusine Legend in Written and Oral Tradition
    15.00 Coffee
    15.30 Keynote
    Gregory Toner (Belfast): Myth and the Creation of Landscape in Early Medieval Ireland
    16.30 Closing discussion

    Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

    Rethinking Antiquities: Restitution and Collecting in the Time of ISIS

    The Committee for Cultural Policy and the Cardozo School of Law are sponsoring a panel discussion entitled "Rethinking Antiquities:  Restitution and Collecting in the Time of ISIS" on March 1, 2016 @ 5-6:30 PM in New York City.  It should be nice to hear from the trade, collectors and museums on the subject.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    New Open Access Journal: FuturoClassico FCl

    FuturoClassico FCl
    ISSN: 2465-0951
    La rivista «FuturoClassico» è emanazione del Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca di ‘Studi sulla Tradizione’ (Università di Bari-Università della Repubblica di San Marino-Università di Padova), nato nel 2013, per promuovere l’aggregazione di studiosi dei più disparati ambiti delle Humanities intorno al tema della tradizione e della sopravvivenza, della fortuna e della ricezione della civiltà classica e tardoantica nelle età medievale, umanistico-rinascimentale, moderna e contemporanea.

    N° 1 (2015)



    Olimpia Imperio
    1 - 6

    Luciano Canfora
    7 - 11

    Claudio Schiano
    12 - 29

    Corrado Petrocelli
    30 - 35

    Federico Rampini
    36 - 41

    Andrea Giardina
    42 - 55

    ArcheoNet BE

    Jury Onroerenderfgoedprijs bekend

    Het agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed maakte vandaag de vijf juryleden van de eerste Onroerenderfgoedprijs bekend. Zij zullen zich in de komende maanden buigen over de deelnemende projecten. De juryleden zijn specialisten monumentenzorg, landschapszorg en archeologie, aangevuld met mensen met een bredere maatschappelijke kijk. Je vindt hun profiel op

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Ancient Footprints Discovered in Arizona

    The recent discovery of dozens of remarkably well-preserved footprints in the southern Arizona...

    South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves produce 2 new hominin fossils

    Two new hominin fossils have been found in a previously uninvestigated chamber in the Sterkfontein...

    AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

    Open Access Archive: American University in Cairo Board of Trustees Meetings Minutes

    "The American University in Cairo - Board of Trustees Meetings Minutes digital collection primarily includes meeting agendas and minutes, as well as additional documentation such as budgets, correspondence, reports, and memoranda. The collection includes minutes ranging from the first meeting of the Board of Trustees of Cairo Christian University on November 30, 1914 to the American University at Cairo’s meeting on December 19, 1959"

    Colleen Morgan (Middle Savagery)

    Most Read Public Archaeology Article in 2015


    I’m chuffed to bits that my article Archaeology and the Moving Image (Open Access in Public Archaeology!) made the “most read of 2015” list.

    It’s a fairly massive article derived from my thesis about movies made by archaeologists. It includes social media metrics, “punk video” and the panopticon. What’s not to like?

    Here’s the abstract:

    Archaeological filmmaking is a relatively under-examined subject in academic literature. As the technology for creating, editing, and distributing video becomes increasingly available, it is important to understand the broader context of archaeological filmmaking; from television documentaries to footage shot as an additional method of recording to the informal ‘home videos’ in archaeology. The history of filmmaking in archaeology follows innovations within archaeological practice as well as the availability and affordability of technology. While there have been extensive analyses of movies and television shows about archaeological subjects, the topic of archaeological film has been characterized by reactions to these outside perspectives, rather than examinations of footage created by archaeologists. This can be understood to fall within several filmic genres, including expository, direct testimonial, impressionistic, and phenomenological films, each with their own purpose and expressive qualities. Footage taken on site can also be perceived as a form of surveillance, and can modify behaviour as a form of panopticon. Consequently, there are considerations regarding audience, distribution, and methods for evaluation, as these films are increasingly available on social media platforms. This paper explores the broad context for archaeological filmmaking and considers potential futures for the moving image in archaeology.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Underwater archaeologists explore the wreck of the Erebus

    When Sir John Franklin and more than 100 sailors from the British Navy set sail in 1845 aboard the...

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Depicting Jesus and Buddha

    depicting deities

    Today’s Bizarro cartoon takes a look at how we depict important figures. What do you think about this topic when considered in a more serious way? How has the openness of Buddhists and Christians to depicting the key figures in their traditions impacted the way people think about them? Has the prohibition against depicting Muhammad helped safeguard his humanness as a historical figure, or simply led to a different sort of reverence?

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Dutch Art Theft Myth-making Still Hammering Away at Ukraine

    Provincial museum and
    its tinfoil helmet
    Dutch art investigator Arthur Brand cites and triumphantly announces:
    As our investigation already proved: secret service and politicians Ukrain involved in stolen paintings scandal 
    It must be said that in the Dutch "art investigation world", the notion of "proof" apparently has a totally different dimension than the rest of the world. The investigations of Mr Brand ('Stolen Paintings and Ukrainian Paramilitaries' PACHI Monday, 7 December 2015) used unverified gossip and ignored facts (the Russian email account) to come up with some wild and damaging accusations, but no proof of any of them.  (See 'Stolen Paintings: Dutch Silent Embarrassed Foot Shuffling' for later developments and links to previous posts on the topic.) Not surprisingly, the Russian language press is having a field day with these accusations, but in this case I would not consider that anything Mr Brand or  Mr Geerdink should feel proud of.  

    UPDATE 11th February 2016
    Geerdink and Brand accused the Ukrainian government and Security services of being behind the fencing of the stolen paintings because gossip placed them in the hands of a bent anti-corruption officer who somehow got his hands on them in a raid. Meanwhile a sensation-laden story from a Ukrainian news station (ЛЕТЮЧІ «ГОЛЛАНДЦІ»  links their presence there instead with a bent Dutch police officer with a Polish-sounding name. If we take the Dutch argument to its logical conclusion, he too "must have been working with the full knowledge of his superiors" - so, using the Dutch argument, the Dutch authorities would be mixed up in the whole affair. That would explain why they can do no more than "supply a list of names" to the Ukrainian authorities - hardly the basis for any serious investigation. The recent news item gives short shrift to Geerdink and art investigator Brand's accusation that Svoboda's Oleh Tyahnybok and Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, are involved. The story is now shifting to moaning that although the Dutch gave the Ukrainians a "list of names" and some conspiracy theories, the latter are unable to do anything. Hardly surprising, is it? 

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Archaeologists present findings of Chamorros migration

    Archaeologists say they have found evidence indicating that Guam’s ancient Chamorros came from...

    ASOR Syrian Heritage Initiative

    ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives Weekly Report 71–72 (December 9, 2015 – December 22, 2015)


    Michael D. Danti, Allison Cuneo, Amr al-Azm, Susan Penacho, Marina Gabriel, Kyra Kaercher, and John O’Neill

    Download Report 71–72

    Key points from this report:

    • Iraqi armed forces continue their efforts to retake the city of Ramadi from ISIL militants.
    • The Al Kabir Mosque in Hamima near Aleppo was damaged by airstrikes (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0158).
    • Sheikh Yassine Mosque in the village of Al Najiyeh in Idlib Governorate was damaged by airstrikes (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0159). The Day After Heritage Protection Initiative has produced a brief, illustrated report on the damage to the site.
    • An ISIL-affiliated suicide bomber attacked the Ahlu al-Baiyt Mosque in Baghdad (ASOR CHI Incident Report IHI 15-0100).
    • Airstrikes land near the Mosque Tekkiye al-Suleimaniye and National Museum of Damascus (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0161).
    • SARG airstrikes cause partial damage to the Bilal Mosque and Abi Thar Al Ghafari Mosque in Tadmor, Syria (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0160).
    • The DGAM reports on-going illegal excavations, construction, and vandalism in several Dead Cities (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0162).
    • The DGAM reports ongoing illegal excavation at sites in southern Quneitra, particularly at Majduliyah (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0163).
    • Airstrikes damage the Al Kabir Mosque and Al Zawyeh Mosque in Saraqib in Idlib Governorate (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0164). The Day After Heritage Protection Initiative has produced a brief, illustrated report on the damage to the Al Zawyeh Mosque in Saraqib.
    • The DGAM reports ongoing illegal excavation at sites in Jebel Wastani, in particular that of Kefert Aqab in Idlib Governorate (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0165).
    • The Bosra al-Sham Department of Antiquities reported that SARG forces dropped barrel bombs on the Ayyubid Citadel and Roman Theater in Bosra (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0166).
    • DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows ongoing military occupation of Tell Jifar near Apamea (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0167) in Hama Governorate and Tell Jindires in the Aleppo countryside (ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 15-0168).

    * This report is based on research conducted by the “Syria Preservation Initiative: Planning for Safeguarding Heritage Sites in Syria." Weekly reports reflect reporting from a variety of sources and may contain unverified material. As such, they should be treated as preliminary and subject to change.

    Join the conversation on Facebook & Twitter:


    Peter Tompa (Cultural Property Observer)

    Jordanian Authorities Disclose Coin Thefts 15 Years After the Fact

    Jordan's Prime Minister has disclosed that fakes were switched for genuine ancient coins at museums around the country back in 2001-2002.  This revelation follows another embarrassing discovery that more fakes were switched for real coins at the Citadel Museum in Amman.  Any relationship between the thefts is unclear as is the failure to take additional security precautions at other museums after the 2001-2002 thefts were discovered and referred to judicial authorities.

    Grandstanding is easy, but taking real care of one's cultural heritage is hard.  Hopefully, although it's very late in the day, Jordanian authorities will investigate what must be an inside job, publish pictures of  what was stolen so that the legitimate trade can possibly help recover the coins, and, of course, put security measures into place to help keep the same thing from happening again.

    Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

    Speed, Professionalism, and the New Media in Archaeology

    Michael Smith’s blog, Publishing Archaeology, is usually pretty good. He can be a bit curmudgeonly and particular in his views, but that’s largely what makes Publishing Archaeology a worthwhile read. 

    Over the past few days, he got himself in a bit of hot water by offering a frank and honest critique of a lecture he attended by Rosemary Joyce at the University of Colorado. The arguments that he advanced in his critique don’t interest me much, and, for the record, I don’t particularly agree with them. It is clear that the way in which he offered his critiques upset people and prompted a response. And this response led to a conversation, of sorts, an apology and some kind of resolution. What really interested me in this exchange is not really what they were saying to each other, but how it was said.

    1. Facebook and New Media. One of the things that surprised Smith was that a group of graduate students at Colorado took issue with his blog post on the Joyce lecture and issues a response, of sorts, on Facebook. Smith states, in his typical honesty: “I guess I just don’t understand the world of social media,” and he then invited the students to post their comment to his blog to initiate a conversation there.

    What excited me is this exactly the kind of de-centered debate that Andrew Reinhard and I noted in a recent article for Internet Archaeology where we note that Twitter and Facebook have started to replace the comment section on blogs as the key space for academic social interaction. In fact, many professional bloggers have disabled the comment feed all together in their blogs pushing conversation to social media. Interestingly, Michael Smith offered a thoughtful open, peer review of our article, and stated that he did feel much sense of community with other bloggers for technical reasons (the lack of trackbacks in Bloggers) as well as personal ones. Fair enough. We may have overstated the significance of the blogging community, but be clearly became aware that his blog post was creating a buzz through comments on Twitter. He may not regard his Twitter followers as a community in any real sense, but this is the kind of interaction through social media constituted the kind of digitally mediated relationships that we noted as significant to academic bloggers.

    2. The Personal and the Professional. Smith noted that he preferred not to engage in these conversations on Facebook because “he tried to avoid using Facebook for professional purposes.” The idea that some digital venues function best for professional conversations – say email or letters – while others are better reserved for personal life. Again, I’m not really interested in critiquing Michael Smith’s personal preferences here, but it is interesting to note that questions of the personal and professional resound throughout academia.

    Hardly a year goes by without someone posting on work/life balance or offering some sage advice for carving out personal time amid the growing number of academic and professional obligations. I tend to relate these conversations to the extended professionalization process in academia in which vocational craft has gradually given way to salaried work. The latter has offered democratized access to academic positions, but also to the ever expanding structure of audit culture, the assessocracy, contractual work, and compliance. In other words, the division of professional and personal space on the web requires us to recognize that professional space (activities, attitudes, conversations) exist outside of our personal identities. While a more articulated division between the personal and the professional has had certain advantages for academics, it is clear that in the digital and social media realm such divisions remained blurry. The case of Steven Salaita who saw a job offer from the University of Illinois rescinded after anti-semitic tweets is a useful reminder that the boundary between our professional life and personal life in social media is not entirely ours to determine. Smith’s reluctance in using Facebook for professional conversations might reflect a separation between the personal and professional that no longer exists.

    3. Speed, Media, and Openness. As readers of this blog know, I’m fascinated by the impact of speed on scholarly production and communication. Smith’s blog post appeared the day after the talk which it described and the response from Colorado graduate students appeared only two days later. The entire conversation has seemingly resolved itself less than a week after it began. 

    The willingness of Smith to engage in the conversation, the punctuality of his replies, and the general openness of the conversation is a remarkable feature of social and new media world. One might want, of course, for Smith to expand his challenge to Joyce’s views, and one might want the graduate students to engage Smith’s ideas in a more developed way, but this would take time, rob the conversation of some of its immediate context, and almost certainly obscure the visceral character of both Smith’s and the graduate student’s response behind an impersonal shield of academic prose. 

    The informality of this conversation can cause hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and confusion, but it reflects a part of the intellectual and academic process that we often hide. Traditional publishing – for all its strengths and value – tends to depersonalize academic conversations and adhere to professional standards that have little room for confessions that a theory seems “incomprehensible” much less “vacuous.”  We may quibble with Smith’s interpretation of Joyce’s materiality, but not with his honesty.  

    Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

    Europe's other Migrant Problem: UK History Snatchers

    Oh, I think there are quite a few people Mr Howard who'll be interested in what you plan to do. There are not very many of those frontier shifts in the former "Friedensgrenze" and you'll be easy to spot.

    "Mein Fuhrer", looking for Swassstykasssss are you?  What is the matter with you British detectorists that you cannot pass up any opportunity to dig up and pocket NAZI relics (Finding The Swastika In The Berlin Forest: "That is why we come to Germany")? That's what got your "Nazi War" digging pals Kris, Craig, Adrian and Steve into the limelight, now you apparently want to get in on the act.

    UPDATE 11th Feb 2016
    And there's more, Tom Stewart wants in:

     How many other British archaeologists want to join an artefact hunt?

    HE Heritage Crime Confuse the Issue

    HE feelgood heritage tweet of today:
    help us identify the minority using equipment to steal from our past
    If it is a "minority", when are we going to deal with the incomparably larger number of moral midget knowledge thieves who use metaldetecting equipment to steal knowledge about the past from the sites they trash in their unmitigated search for collectables for personal entertainment and profit? "Grey detectorists" cause greater damage than the so-called "black sheep". Why isn't HE spelling out that message?

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Dumplings served 1,700 years ago in Xinjiang

    URUMQI, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) – Dumplings, indispensable at lunar new year dinners in north China...

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Picturing Gravitational Waves

    NASA must have a significant announcement to make in the press conference they will be holding later this morning. As a Facebook friend pointed out, this is probably the first time that they have ever taken the step of replacing the Astronomy Picture of the Day with a text placeholder. I am including that placeholder image in this post below. The name of the image file is also significant – they called it “DrumRoll.jpg”!

    It is expected that the announcement will confirm the observation of gravitational waves. An exciting development!

    What do you think the Astronomy Picture of the Day will be that will appear on the APOD website after the press conference?


    Corinthian Matters

    Ancient Corinth in 1947: Triumph over Time

    Thanasis Dimakis, resident of Vrachati on the Corinthian Gulf, kindly sent me a link to his YouTube playlist of Corinthian-related videos that include videos of nature, overviews of the region, aerial imagery of the landscape, and a couple of historical overviews. I’ll go through these in the next few weeks and post those that seem broadly relevant for this blog.

    Canal1947A still shot from Triumph Over Time showing the destruction of WWII on the Canal.

    This 12 minute video segment showing the village of Ancient Corinth in 1947 and the work of the American School Excavations at Corinth, comes from the final third of the documentary Triumph Over Time (available in full video form here on YouTube), a film directed by Oscar Broneer, produced by Margaret Thompson, and created — as Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan has shown — to publicize and raise funds in North America for the work of the American School of Classical Studies. The section on Corinth is worth viewing for the moving images of the post-war excavations, archaeologists at work, the archaeological process, and the quaint and “timeless” idyllic footage of the village and its surrounding countryside.


    Plateia1947The plateia of ancient Corinth in 1947





    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Archaeologists find lamb bone and limpet offerings in coffin of Bronze Age woman

    Bronze Age mourners left lamb bones and limpet offerings in the coffin of a crippled prehistoric...

    Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

    February Pieces Of My Mind #1

    "That's lovely sweetie, but can't we just go to bed now and have a good fuck?" (Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm)

    “That’s lovely sweetie, but can’t we just go to bed now and have a good fuck?” (Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm)

    • I wonder what kind of event lead to entire 20-metre dinosaurs becoming fossilised as articulated skeletons.
    • There’s been a lot of psychological research into the mental differences between conservatives and lefties. Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain summarises it well up to 2012. And the refugee situation has really brought this out to me. I follow some conservatives here on Fb, and I happened to read an article in the Daily Torygraph yesterday. Many Conservatives truly believe that the arrival of large numbers of refugees in north-western Europe is an apocalyptic event. They really think it’s going to be Mad Max soon. The Torygraph speaks ominously of “the Great Migration”. These people are seriously, seriously scared.
    • Jeanette Winterson believes in psychic mediums and is in contact with the ghost of Ruth Rendell.
    • Having visited central Stockholm today, I’m pleased to be able to tell everyone that I saw no racist mobs, no sexual harassment and no police presence. Sweden’s societal structure shows no signs of failing.
    • Talking to a Fb buddy about the problematic Swedish national identification with Vikings, I just coined a phrase. “What happens in Lindisfarne stays in Lindisfarne.” *smug*
    • Anybody got access to advance articles in the European Journal of Archaeology? I’m really keen to read more than the first page of three in the third review of my latest book. The libraries I have logins for carry the journal but not advance articles.
    • Second reviewer of my recent book ignores the results, mainly complains that I haven’t used his favourite method. I just wrote him and said “You’re right, it would be great to see what someone using your method might come up with about my sites. I’ll be happy to provide you and your students with data.”
    • Bought fancy cocoa powder for the first time at the 100-y-o coffee & tea shop. It’s 7 times as expensive as standard grocery store stuff. But tastes way better!
    • Spate of teen boy on teen boy rapes among Afghan asylum seekers in Sweden. It’s like they’ve grown up in, I don’t know, fucking Afghanistan or something. /-:
    • I’m having tea and sandwiches for breakfast. It’s an act of Men’s Rights Activism. Tastes so good!
    • A fossil is not a bone any more. Fossilisation is a slow geological process. There are no Homo sapiens fossils yet. There are no stegosaur bones any more. I wonder which hominin species is the oldest non-fossil one. It’s important for DNA purposes.
    • Soap is made by treating fat with lye. The process also produces the alcohol glycerol, which softens the soap. During the use time of a large piece of soap, the glycerol gradually escapes and the soap goes hard. This is why the core of a once large soap is way less soapy than a new hotel soap of the same size. If you cut the core out of a new large piece of soap, it is just as soapy as a new hotel soap.
    • Conflicting emotions on posh Strandvägen yesterday. Met a young man in an extreme upper class outfit, quilted green jacket, greased comb-back hairdo and all. I felt intertribal enmity and distrust. But he was pushing his baby buggy. So I also felt brotherly love.
    • A reason to hate Google Docs: when you start it, it doesn’t pay attention to the keyboard queue. So when you hit CTRL-F to find something, you end up typing in your document instead of in a search box.
    • Movie: The Hateful Eight. Grotesquely violent stage play where a stellar cast of major older film stars end up dead. Grade: Pass.
    • It’s sooo painful when, in the middle of your usual stream of snark and obscure puns, some peripheral Fb contact posts a clichéd feelgood affirmation. And you can’t tell them they’re ridiculous because you don’t want to be mean.
    Pueblo figurines, early 20th c. (Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm)

    Pueblo figurines, early 20th c. (Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm)

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Mysterious Ancient ‘Padlock’ Found

    A mysterious ancient artifact which resembles a padlock but nonetheless continues to perplex the...

    Antiquity Now

    Don’t Miss Our Latest Recipes With a Past E-Cookbook!

    Are you having a difficult time deciding what to cook for the historian in your life? Do you have a dinner party coming up and you don’t know how to wow your guests? Do you want to spice up meal … Continue reading

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Golden Age of Midas exhibit in US

    An exhibition titled “The Golden Age of King Midas,” featuring ancient artifacts from the era of...

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Photographs taken by Pierre Loti in Iran

    Photographs taken by Pierre Loti in Iran (Collection Maison Pierre Loti, Ville de Rochefort) are now online at Achemenet
    Edmond Gueffier devant les ruines de Persépolis (titre factice)

    © Ville de Rochefort. Collection Maison Pierre Loti.
    Edmond Gueffier devant les ruines de Persépolis. Photo Pierre Loti.

    They join Achemenet's collection of images produced in the narratives of other travelers, including:

    The Stoa Consortium

    Harpokration Online

    Posted for Joshua Sosin:

    About eight months ago we announced a lightweight tool to support collaborative translation of Harpokration—we called it ‘Harpokration On Line.’ See: Well, we took our time (Mack finished a dissertation, John made serious progress on his, Josh did his first 24+ hour bike ride), and as of this afternoon there is at least one rough translation (in some cases more than one) for every entry.
    We had help from others; I mention especially Chris de Lisle, whom we have never met, but who invested considerable effort, for which all should be grateful! And many special thanks to Matthew Farmer (U Missouri) who signed on at the moment when our to-do pile contained mainly entries that we had back-burnered, while we chewed through the easier ones!
    So, we are done, but far from done. Now begins the process of correcting errors and infelicities, of which there will be many; adding new features to the tool (e.g. commentary, easy linking out to related digital resources such as Jacoby Online or Pleiades, enhanced encoding in the Greek and features built atop that, perhaps eventual reconciliation of text with Keaney as warranted). This is just a start really.
    For next year we (Sosin & Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing) plan a course at Duke in which the students will (1) start translating their way through Photios’ Lexicon in similar fashion and (2) working with Ryan Baumann and Hugh Cayless of the DC3 to help design and implement expanded features for the translation tool. We will welcome collaborators on that effort as well!
    So, here again, please feel free log in, fix, add, correct, disagree and so on. Please note that we do handle login via google; so, if that is a deal-breaker for you, we apologize. We have a rough workaround for that and would be happy to test it out with a few folks, if any should wish.
    Matthew C. Farmer (
    John P. Aldrup-MacDonald (
    Mackenzie Zalin (

    James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

    Christian Diversity and Love of Enemies

    Christianity has always been diverse

    “Christianity has always been diverse, and has long been plagued by a tendency toward reciprocal condemnation and exclusion of others who have different opinions than our own, as we have proved time and again to be unable to apply the demand of Jesus that we love our enemies to those who are ‘enemies’ only of our idea, but not necessarily of ourselves”

    The quote comes from p.xi of the forward of The Son of God: Three Views of the Identity of Jesus. A friend shared the quote on Facebook, and so I thought I would turn it into a meme.


    Jim Davila (

    Jost on the THEOT Project at SBL 2015

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

    Damage to Aleppo synagogue

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

    Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

    Scopri la stampa 3D professionale

    Selltek – Stampanti 3D organizza per giovedì 18 Febbraio 2016 un Workshop sulla stampa 3D al Parco scientifico tecnologico Kilometro Rosso di Bergamo. Durante l'evento verranno illustrate tutte le tecnologie di stampa 3D del gruppo 3D Systems, i materiali e le applicazioni possibili della stampa 3D in generale.

    Jim Davila (

    Video on buried treasures of the Temple Mount

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

    Jefferson and Judaism

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

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

    Nicholas of Myra – the story of the generals, and of the three innocents – now online

    David Miller has kindly made us a translation of another of the legends of St Nicholas, a.k.a. Santa Claus.  This one is the Praxis de stratelatis, which recounts how Nicholas dealt with three generals and also how the governor tried to execute three innocent men.  The narrative displays considerable knowledge of events of people of the reign of Constantine, so must be late antique.

    Here’s the translation:

    As ever this is public domain – do whatever you like with it!

    Jim Davila (

    Rubenstein on Talmudic stories

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

    Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    2016.02.14: Textile Trade and Distribution in Antiquity. Textilhandel und -distribution in der Antike. Philippika 73

    Review of Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, Textile Trade and Distribution in Antiquity. Textilhandel und -distribution in der Antike. Philippika 73. Wiesbaden: 2014. Pp. 228. €48,00. ISBN 9783447102209.

    2016.02.13: L’écriture de soi à Rome. Autour de la correspondence de Cicéron. Collection Latomus 347

    Review of Jean Pierre De Giorgio, L’écriture de soi à Rome. Autour de la correspondence de Cicéron. Collection Latomus 347. Bruxelles: 2015. Pp. 305. €51.00 (pb). ISBN 9789042932388.

    2016.02.12: Aristotle's Categories in the Early Roman Empire. Oxford classical monographs

    Review of Michael J. Griffin, Aristotle's Categories in the Early Roman Empire. Oxford classical monographs. Oxford; New York: 2015. Pp. xii, 283. $90.00. ISBN 9780198724735.

    2016.02.11: Performing Citizenship in Plato’s Laws. Cambridge Classical Studies

    Review of Lucia Prauscello, Performing Citizenship in Plato’s Laws. Cambridge Classical Studies. Cambridge: 2014. Pp. ix, 272. $95.00. ISBN 9781107072886.

    Katherine McDonald

    So where is Narnia?

    I’m still working away at my maps of the languages of ancient Italy. Going through all the examples of Greek inscriptions from Italy in the SEG, I found one from Narnia. I’d come across the ancient city of Narnia (modern-day Narni) when I was writing my book, and then kind of forgotten about it until this jogged my memory, but I always enjoy reminding people about it.

    As I said to Carly, it is real, and it gets better. Because Narnia turns up quite a few times in ancient sources, and so gives us the opportunity for some very funny sentences. For example, I always enjoy the fact that Narnia refuses to help Rome fund the war against Hannibal (Livy 27 9). And the emperor Nerva was born in Narnia in 30 AD.

    I can’t confirm whether CS Lewis got the name from ancient Italy or not, although people have speculated and the town does well on the tourist trade. In any case, Sophie Hay (@pompei79) tells me that there’s a great restaurant in Narnia called Gattamelata, if you ever happen to find yourself there.


    Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

    The happy man: Charles Martel

    A reasonable question to ask of Paradiso 8 is why Charles Martel is the focus of the first encounter after hearing Beatrice's account of the upraising of man through the sacrifice of god + man in Paradiso 7. 

    A second related question would be why at its outset, and then later in canto 8, does the poem perform an act of rational correction -- first noting the ancient world's error about the goddess Venus (1-10), later by translating Typhoeus into mere sulfur (70)?

    Working through the remarkable web woven in Paradiso 8 calls for more than even a lengthy blog post. I hope to be brief, but not cryptic.

    Giovanni Villani
    In the Nuova Cronica, Giovanni Villani depicts Martel coming to Florence to meet his father, King Charles II, who was returning from France after a complex diplomatic mission:
    Book 8.13: . . . come to meet him was Charles Martel . . . king of Hungary, with his company of 200 knights with golden spurs, French and Provençal and from the Kingdom, all young men, invested by the king with habits of scarlet and dark green, and all with saddles of one device, with their palfreys adorned with silver and gold, with arms quarterly, bearing golden lilies and surrounded by a bordure of red and silver, which are the arms of Hungary. And they appeared the noblest and richest company a young king had ever had with him. And in Florence he abode more than twenty days, awaiting his father, King Charles, and his brothers; and the Florentines did him great honour, and he showed great love to the Florentines, wherefore he was in high favour with them all. (Italian edition)
    It is this Martel, now one of the lumi divini -- moving faster than lightning in a dance begun by the alti Serafini -- who welcomes the pilgrim with joyous hospitality, as if he were the grand seigneur of the mansion of Venus.

    Martel warmly greets Dante with the first line of the poet's canzone:
    Voi che 'ntendendo il terzo ciel movete
    Curiously the line concerns the very sphere to which Dante has just arrived. The poet realizes that he has been recognized, but Martel is concealed, nested in the happiness that shines about him. He then discloses his identity, using the rivers that carve out the lands to which his royal bloodlines made him heir.

    Interestingly, Martel's name in Italian, Martello, means "hammer," and throughout the canto Charles speaks of moving forces that shape things. As the rivers shape the lands he seemed destined to rule, the streaming intelligences of the spheres shape the human natures that are found in abundance on earth, not grouped by bloodline. Once again, as has been the case consistently in the Paradiso, natural forces -- whether purely natural like rivers, or "super" natural like angelic intelligence, are depicted at work. Nature is a vast system and order, but not always genetic.

    This sense of powerful intelligences embodied in vast bodies is manifest when Martel says:
    Lo ben che tutto il regno che tu scandi
    volge e contenta, fa esser virtute
    sua provedenza in questi corpi grandi.
    The Good which all the realm thou art ascending
    Turns and contents, maketh its providence
    To be a power within these bodies vast;
    Martel is about to explain how it is that bitter fruit can come from sweet seed. That is, how natural filiation cannot explain large differences in nature between parent and child.

    The Good puts its providential power into this giant machine of heavenly forces, but strangely its provision -- literally, fore-seeing --  is not looking at specific individuals, nor is it guided by some preconceived plan.
    Revolving Nature, which a signet is
    To mortal wax, doth practise well her art,
    But not one inn distinguish from another; (8.127-29)
    It rays down dispositions, gifts, talents and abilities not according to DNA, nor due to some destiny, but abundantly so that those who are formed with such gifts are left entirely free to make what they will of them.

    Yet it's all foreseen:
    And not alone the natures are foreseen
    Within the mind that in itself is perfect,
    But they together with their preservation. 
    For whatsoever thing this bow shoots forth
    Falls foreordained unto an end foreseen,
    Even as a shaft directed to its mark.
    What we have here borders on antinomy - a strong description of provedenza aiming at and hitting a foreseen goal, yet coupled with a strong affirmation of free will on the part of the one who is nonetheless shaped by the rays of heavenly gifts. There is high tension between these two realms. The providenza that fore-sees somehow doesn't see the particular beneficiary. (It's as if a gear in the machine had slipped - can Providence be blind?)

    Perhaps the key to the puzzle is that these are gifts. If one is "gifted," one is usually happy to use one's gift. They are freely given, and carry no contractual commitment on the part of the recipient to reciprocate with service or work of equal value. The heavens are always sending these gifts with no specific end user, no price tag, no fine print. It is a vision of loving generosity so vast as to make anyone happy.

    Charles is certainly happy, as we've noted. Which is why it is singularly crucial to note that this Charles Martel lived but 24 years, and never sat on any throne to which he was legitimately entitled. His very name echoes the "real" Charles Martel, the multi-gifted 8th century ruler and administrator who laid the groundwork of the Carolingian empire, as Dante's infelicitous Charles Martel of Anjou did not.

    Charles's claim to the Hungarian throne was rejected by the land's nobles, and he died too soon -- in 1295 from plague -- to come into his own in Naples.  As we learn at the beginning of Paradiso 9, the succession of his own child to the kingdom of Naples, was pushed aside by his brother Robert. In USian parlance, Charles would be termed a "loser."

    He was gifted with the best qualities of a ruler, coupled with the legitimate expectation of earthly power, yet his life (vita) on earth was too brief for any of this giant promise -- clearly seen by Dante during Charles' splendid visit to Florence in 1294 -- to be realized. Martel is barely a footnote in the annals of the kings of Hungary, Provence, or Naples, (regardless of what sort of contenda he coulda been).

    In essence, Martel replicates in his own life the sharp antinomy he just described: the contradiction between the rational order of providence and the hit-or-miss errancy of Earth. With his hopes dashed and all promise of political creation and royal primogeniture lost, Charles certainly had all reason to stew in his bile beans. Dante no doubt saw an alternate version of his own vita in the young king's fate.

    But we find no eulogy, no elegy, no Virgilian threnody. Charles is the happiest man we've met so far, which might come as a shock -- in fact, it should. This is the strange tension of canto 8.

    Henry VII of Luxembourg
    Martel speaks of the shaping of lands and souls, and incarnates the utter dissolution of human and divine potential. He could be angry at his brother, he could curse God and die, he could "whinge," as our group surely expected him to be doing the other day. We can be fairly sure that Dante, learning of the death of his young friend, and, then in 1313, receiving news that Henry VII -- in whom he'd placed all his hopes for a renewed Empire -- had also perished, was sorely tempted to emit a few expletives.

    The spectacle of hopes dashed is powerfully seductive. Who can continue to place faith in Providence when so many good people fall?

    Let's remember how we first saw Charles -- he was compared to a spark in a flame, then to a note moving away from and back to a cantus firmus, then to a dancer moving at the speed of light, in a dance begun by the highest beings of creation -- then, when he speaks, he turns into a warm, friendly, luminous human being.

    Combine that with the canto's emphasis upon the power of Reason to strip myths that can rule our souls, which otherwise might worship mad eros, or fear angry Typhoeus. Reason opposes the mythic notion that we are driven by irrational powers. For Dante and Martel, Reason is built into the fabric of things, but earthly things are subject to all manner of contingency, freedom, and derangement.

    Martel sits -- one could say he is broken -- at the point at which the rational intelligences of the Good that turns and contents all things encounter the random, senseless, fallen sub-lunar world. The creature raised up by the Word of God as described in canto 7 has no easy time of it. Our best efforts often go to naught, despite the generosity and good will of the Good. It's enough to drive a good man to distraction.

    Charles Martel - Dore

    Many would say Charles Martel never really lived. How is it that he's swathed in happiness like a creature in its own silk?

    Charles offers us a clue, when he says (quoted in English above):
    La circular natura, ch'è suggello
    a la cera mortal, fa ben sua arte,
    ma non distingue l'un da l'altro ostello. (8.127-29)
    Nature is the seal, we are mortal wax -- cera mortal. At the end, the wax is no longer there -- we are literally sine-cera. To be sincere is to stand free from all mortal traces. The intelligences shaping the world through the gifts of the Good do not distinguish one transient hostel from another (ostello rhymes with martello). Charles is the gracious host wherever he resides.

    Martel is at a place where he might regret that his brother Robert isn't right for the role he's playing in Naples. But Charles lives at another ostello, one where nothing of his stunted earthly life can touch the contentment provided by the Good that turns the Kingdom. His words speak of joy; his alacrity, his voice, and his royal friendship embody the intelligent love of the third sphere -- love on a scale that could provide for nations and empires.

    Charles not only lived, but lives. That's affirmed by Dante in Paradiso 9, when Charles, as he turns toward the sun, is not ombra (shade), nor lume (light), nor anima (soul), but life -- vita:
    E già la vita di quel lume santo
    rivolta s'era al Sol che la rïempie,
    come quel ben ch'a ogne cosa è tanto. (9.7-9)
    And of that holy light the life already
    Had to the Sun which fills it turned again,
    As to that good which for each thing sufficeth.

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Open Access Journal: International Journal of the Platonic Tradition

    [First posted in AWOL 7 April 2012. Updated 10 February 2016]

    The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition
    ISSN 1872-5082
    Online ISSN: 1872-5473

    From 2012 this is a full Open Access journal, which means that all articles are freely available, ensuring maximum, worldwide dissemination of content, in exchange for an article processing fee. For more information, see our Open Access Policy page.  
    This journal is published under the auspices of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. The international editorial board is headed by Professor John Finamore of the University of Iowa. This exciting journal covers all facets of the Platonic tradition (from Thales through Thomas Taylor, and beyond) from all perspectives (including philosophical, historical, religious, etc.) and all corners of the world (Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, etc.).
    The journal is published in 2 issues per year.
    Open Access icon

    Volumes & issues:

    February 10, 2016

    Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

    Classics in Arabic

    Classics in Arabic
    The blog aggregates news about publications, activities, etc. related to Arabic scholarship in the field of classics and thus seeks to provide greater access to non-Arabic scholars. The news comes mainly from Egypt without excluding other Arabic countries. It aims also at directing the attention of my Egyptian/Arabic colleagues to relevant classics materials from an Arabic context, whether this is Graeco-Arabicum or Arabico-Latinum.

    Coptic Scriptorium

     [First posted in AWOL 6 December 2014, updated 10 February 2016]

    Coptic Scriptorium
    Coptic SCRIPTORIUM is a platform for interdisciplinary and computational research in texts in the Coptic language, particularly the Sahidic dialect.  As an open-source, open-access initiative, our technologies and corpus facilitate a collaborative environment for digital research for all scholars working in Coptic. We provide:
    • tools to process Coptic texts
    • a searchable, richly-annotated corpus of texts using the ANNIS search and visualization architecture
    • visualizations of Coptic texts
    • a collaborative platform for scholars to use and contribute to the project
    • research results generated from the tools and corpus
    Coptic SCRIPTORIUM is a collaborative, digital project created by Caroline T. Schroeder (University of the Pacific) and Amir Zeldes (Georgetown University). Our team is constantly growing.
    We hope Coptic SCRIPTORIUM will serve as a model for future digital humanities projects utilizing historical corpora or corpora in languages outside of the Indo-European and Semitic language families. Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the project, methodologies, and terminology.
    Latest news: [more]

    Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

    Women and history writing (and history selling)


    I put my pennyworth last week into a discussion in the Guardian about women and history writing, which was itself a follow up to an article a few weeks ago on a similar theme. The prompt was some recent statistics from the US and the UK on authorship of, and sales figures for, popular history writing, which showed not only how far the output was gender divided, but generally how many fewer books women historians sold than men. You can find some of the stats if you click on the earlier article. But an extra gloomy one was produced by the Bookseller, which tabulated the 50 top earning 'history and military' UK books since Nielsen Bookscan records began (about 20 years ago). 49 out of the top 50 were by men. The top 10 go like this:

    Schama, History of Britain vol 1; Beevor, Stalingrad; Ackroyd, London; MacGregor, 100 objects; Beevor, Berlin the downfall 1945; Ambrose, Band of Brothers, E company, 506th regiment; Beevor, D Day; Schama, History of Britain, 2, British Wars; Hastings, All Hell let loose, The world at War 1939-45.

    Excellent books, but you see what I mean.

    Now quite a number of commentators on the article, above and below the line, wanted to insist that there really were great women historians, popular and academic. But that seemed to me to miss the point rather. Of course it's true, there are some wonderful and eloquent female historians; but however wondeful and eloquent they are, their books are simply not selling as much. And it's worth asking why that might be.

    One answer worth considering is that women are writing history on less best-selling subjects. That is certainly one conclusion that you could draw from the US figures. Based on a sample from last year, in the sub-category of biography the majority of life stories were by men about men (with only 6% of the biographies of women being written by men). And the Bookseller chart, as its top ten titles suggest, is heavily weighted to political and military history, where fewer women make a name. Again, there are some excellent women writers dealing with military themes -- Margaret MacMillan and Joanna Bourke both come to mind -- but they are not selling in the massive quantities that rival the Beevors and the Hastings (the "big books by blokres about battles" as I rather unfairly called them).

    I am not convinced that subject matter is the only answer here, even though it must play a part. As I said in my contribution to the debate, when you get to this level of sales, you have to be selling to spec, rather than planned, purchasers -- people who go into a bookshop (real or online) wanting a present, but as yet unsure what, or simply having something catch their eye. This is where, my hunch is, that quite a lot of the gendering comes in: partly because, as with speech, there remains a sense that "authority" still lies with the male writer than the female, and partly because of a sense of the risk-free in present buying (how many people would buy their uncle a brilliant book on housemaids in the late nineteenth century... you might well think that uncle ought to read it and that it is a brilliant book, but I suspect most people play safe with "London" or "A History of Britain" vel sim).

     And publicity must have something to do with it too. A few people in the Guardian comments talked about the publisher and editor's support for the female writer. And of course that must be important. But I found myself wondering about the marketing and publicity department. I have been incredibly fortunate both with Profile and Liveright . Because, with very very few exceptions, even excellent books don't sell themselves (we shouldn't be so naive as to imagine that those books on the table at the front of the bookshop-chain are always there because the local branch staff happen to like them!). Maybe we need the stats on publicity spending to see what the correlation is.

    Predictably enough, someone below the line foresaw gloomily that we would be wanting 'quotas' for women historians soon. Not a bit of it. But I do think a touch of consciousness raising might be in order. And maybe we could all get into the spirit of that by being rather less stereotyped, rather less risk averse when we next buy a book as a present for a bloke.

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Vandals strike ancient archeological site near Tucson

    TUCSON, AZ - Investigators are seeking help from the public to find the vandals who have done what...

    AIA Fieldnotes

    Embodying the Goddess: Revealing the practice of tattooing in the ancient Egypt

    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Friday, May 20, 2016 - 8:00pm

    Raubitschek Memorial Lecture

    Lecturer: Dr. Anne Austin, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Egyptology, Stanford University.

    Reception to follow.

    AIA Society: 


    Patrick Hunt
    Call for Papers: 
    Right Header: 
    Right Content: 

    Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

    Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 36)

    This time on "Who needs an osteologist?" we find that our own umbrella organization, the American Anthropological Association, needs to learn what physicalbiological anthropologists do.

    In case you can't see the image, "Physical Anthropology + Studies animal origins and the biologically determined nature of humankind."

    The AAA has -- let's say -- a history of not really understanding where we bio folks fit in. So let's take this word by word...

    Physical -- Yes, this word is still preserved in our early-20th-century origins, such as the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.  But very few people in the field still use the term "physical" because of its racial and racist origins.  Just... look up the history, AAA.  We favor biological now to show our focus is on more than just the physical.

    Animal origins -- Yes, some biological anthropologists study the origins of non-human primates.  But people who study animal origins broadly are... zoologists? Biologists? Come on, really?

    Biologically-determined nature -- I said I wasn't going to swear in this post, but FFS.  We're anthropologists.  It's nature *and* nurture.  We don't ignore culture.  That would be insane and very late-19th-century of us. This one phrase reflects decades of incorrect value-judgments placed on our work.

    And a bonus -- You know that forensic anthropology is part of biological anthropology, right AAA?  Or, if you want to call it an applied field, that's fine too.  But then lumping bioarchaeology in with... well, it's not covered under your definitions of archaeo, bio anth, or forensics, so I guess we don't exist.

    So, AAA, let me fix that for you:

    "Biological Anthropology + Studies the origin, form, and differences in human and non-human bodies to answer questions about evolution and past societies."

    You're welcome.

    Update (2:19pm CST) - I got an email from Jeff Martin, the Communications and Public Affairs Director for the AAA.  The text follows:
    Hi Kristina, 
    Our most sincere apologies, and duly noted. We will use the following definition to correct other versions, including those on our website under World Anthropology Day, and promote from the present forward. 
    “Biological anthropologists study contemporary and past peoples; they look at how culture shapes our biology and vice versa, and also how different biological systems impact our health and well-being.” 
    Thanks so much for letting us know. 
    It sounds like others who expressed disappointment in the AAA got a similar email.  Of course, with the AAA's doing a complete 180 on the animal subjects, the primatologists (who are biological anthropologists) are out in the cold, along with geneticists and others.

    So, close but no cigar, AAA.

    AIA Fieldnotes

    The Expert Staff Archaeologist: How Volunteers Make Vital Contributions (at Binchester, in the Alps, at Etruscan Caere)

    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Friday, March 11, 2016 - 8:00pm

    Lecturer: Laura Rich, Stanford AIA Vice President & Stanford Alumna

    Reception to follow.

    AIA Society: 


    Patrick Hunt
    Call for Papers: 
    Right Header: 
    Right Content: 

    Genetics, History and Prehistory: What our Biological Selves Can Tell us about the Past

    Event Type (you may select more than one): 
    Start Date: 
    Friday, February 12, 2016 - 8:00pm

    Lecturer: Prof. Matthew Jobin of Santa Clara University.

    Reception to follow.

    AIA Society: 


    Patrick Hunt
    Call for Papers: 
    Right Header: 
    Right Content: 

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    Clues about human migration to Imperial Rome uncovered in 2,000-year-old cemetery

    Isotope analysis of 2000-year-old skeletons buried in Imperial Rome reveal some were migrants from...

    Archaeology Magazine

    Colchester Roman ArcadeCOLCHESTER, ENGLAND—Archaeologists have known about the arcade that had been built at the Temple of Claudius in Colchester for some 60 years, but the demolition of a modern office block has uncovered evidence that the covered walkway was the largest in Roman Britain. The arcade was built in the first or second century A.D., following the destruction of Colchester during Boudicca’s rebellion. “Its closest rival in terms of size stands in what was Gaul, in northern France, and shares some of the architecture we can see in Colchester today,” Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, told The Telegraph. “The original arcade and its grand columns are similar to those you see in Bath, at the Roman Baths. It really is an extraordinary find and confirms the grandeur and richness of its Roman culture,” he said. For more on the Roman period in England, go to "What’s in a Name?"

    Denmark medieval coinsFOULUM, DENMARK—Three members of the Central Jutland Detector Society discovered a cache of 700-year-old coins in a field near the excavation of an Iron Age building. The poor quality and low silver content of the coins are thought to reflect the civil war in Denmark at the time. “The treasure comes from an unstable period, and it is conceivable that the owner wanted to hide them away until better and more stable times. For some unknown reason, he never returned to collect his coins,” Viborg Museum curator Mikkel Kjeldsen told The Local, Denmark. The coins will be cleaned and displayed at Viborg Museum. For more on archaeology in Jutland, go to "Bronze Age Bride."

    Roman marble BaiaMADRID, SPAIN—Mónica Alvarez de Buergo of Madrid’s Geosciences Institute and scientists from the University of Calabria collected 50 samples of white marble from the now-submerged luxury villas in the Underwater Archaeological Park of Baia, located near Naples. The Roman emperors Augustus and Nero owned villas in the city, which thrived between the first century B.C. and the third century A.D. “First, thin layers of the collected marble were observed using a petrographic microscope. Then, the mineral composition of the marble was studied using X-ray diffraction and the manganese content was determined with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Scanning Electron Microscopy was then carried out and various isotopes were analyzed,” Alvarez de Buergo said in a press release. The team compared the test results with the chemical signatures of eight of the best marble quarries of the ancient world, and found matches for all but five of the samples. “The variety and quality of the marble identified highlight the importance held by this area in the past seeing as it yielded the best ornamental marble of that time period, and this helps to determine the trade routes that were used at that point in time during the Roman Empire,” she said. For more on marble in Ancient Rome, go to "A Spin through Augustan Rome."

    Archaeological News on Tumblr

    700-year-old Danish 'Civil War' coins uncovered

    A hoard of 700 year-old coins has been found by a group of metal detectors in a Jutland field being...

    Robert Consoli (Squinches)


    180 ‘..Et trovai un chemin a destre
    Parmi une forest espesse.’

    180 ‘..And I found a path to the right
    Into a thick forest.’

    Chrétien de Troyes, 12C


    The Yvainof Chrétien de Troyes was the subject of a justly famous essay by Erich Auerbach.[1]   Of these lines in particular he had this to say:

    “Calogrenant tells King Arthur’s Round Table that, seven years earlier, he had ridden away alone in quest of adventure, armed as befits a knight, and he had come upon a road leading to the right, straight through a dense forest.  Here we stop and wonder.  To the right?  That is a strange indication of locality when, as in this case, it is used absolutely.  In terms of terrestrial geography it makes sense only when used relatively.  Hence it must have an ethical significance.  Apparently it is ‘the right way’ which Calogrenant discovered.  And that is confirmed immediately, for the road is arduous, as right ways are wont to be…”[2]

    And I am reminded of these words whenever I encounter directions, such as these, which Mycenologists routinely supply:

    Directions: from the main square of (Kato) Psari, take the road on the right leading into the hills.  At  a junction with a signpost, take the middle route and follow the road until you reach the church of Ayia Anna. Hence follow a dirt track roughly south until you reach the tholos.”[3]

    Emphasis is mine.  

    Truly this is Auerbach's 'right way'.  'Take the road on the right'.  Go 'into the hills',  Find a mysterious sign but take the via media.  Proceed an unspecified distance until, through a revelation, you find a church named for the mother of the Virgin.  These could be directions to the Holy Grail. 

    These directions are actually intended to lead us to two well-known tholos tombs that sit on a high and airy ridge above Kato Psari, a pretty little town which nestles under the foothills that range along the northern border of the Soulima Valley in Messenia in Greece.  Its position is here:  37.328005 N, 21.886706 E.   Because of its location all of its roads lead into the hills and we are sorely tried to select the correct road that is ‘on the right’.  

    After much puzzled searching I located the junction with a signpost and which has ‘a middle route’.  I show it in the following illustration.  Its lat/lon pair is 37.327493, 21.888423.   We are told to take the middle route but it actually doesn't matter which one you take; they all converge on the church of Ayia Anna.

    The three-fold way at the edge of Psari, Messenia, Greece.

    Even so I found it impossible to locate the church or the tholoi until I literally stumbled across them by scanning, one at a time, all the ridges above Psari.  The tholoi turn out to be located here:  37.333092, 21.892140.   In a previous blog entry I posted a picture of what they look like in Google Earth.  In the next picture I show the church of Ayia Anna as I was able to locate it in Google Street View.

    The church of Ayia Anna above the town of Kato Psari.

    Why do Mycenologists give anecdotal directions instead of simple and unambiguous lat/lon pairs?  Anecdotal directions become useless almost as soon as they are set down.  Roads are re-routed.  Hills are bull-dozed for olives.  Signs fall down.  ‘Large trees’ are cut down or struck by lightning.  Towns expand, contract or simply pick up sticks and move.[4]  Even compass bearing lines tend to wander aimlessly across the landscape and are no more likely to come togetherthan so many members of the Anarchists Club.

    Why does it have to be this way?

    Pausanias.  Although not, probably, a good likeness.
    In the second century of our era the renowned traveler Pausanias journeyed to most parts of Greece and left us descriptions of all the things that he was interested in: remarkable buildings and temples, sculptures, etc.  His directions are given anecdotally; we are constantly being told how far things are from each other in stadia and how long it takes to travel from point A to point B.  By mule, presumably.[5]

    In the middle of the fifteenth century Cyriac of Ancona, a prosperous businessman who seems to have known everyone, lived out his professional life in the form of business and political travel all over Greece and the Near East.  He has left us invaluable descriptions of ruins from the classical period and, above all, he recorded many inscriptions (which he seems to have loved) including a number that are now lost.  He travelled by boat, on foot, on horseback and, again, left us anecdotal descriptions about how far one place was from another using estimated distances and several different modes of antique transportation.[6]

    James G. Frazer

    James G. Frazer, perhaps the greatest English-language Classicist, did the same in the early years of the twentieth century.  In his monumental commentary on Pausanias he had occasion to revisit much of Greece and he left copious anecdotal accounts of his travels, in which he recorded the times to traverse from one town to the next  - apparently on horseback.[7]

    Pausanias had no way of determining latitude and longitude and it wouldn't have occurred to him to try.  Cyriac of Ancona lived in a time when latitude could have been determined more or less accurately but not longitude and, again, it probably wouldn't have occurred to him to try.  Frazer has less excuse; he lived in a time when both could be determined accurately and he would have had access to good maps but he could not, apparently, imagine a world in which latitude and longitude could replace simple directions on land.  Our modern scholars have no excuse at all for omitting this vital information.

    So.  It’s simple.  Archaeologists leave anecdotal accounts featuring ‘bends in the road’, ‘large trees’, and ‘young olive groves’ along with very dodgy travel times and travel distances because they’ve always supplied static land directions to sites.[8]   They do not suppose themselves to be scientists but inheritors of the great traditions of travel and adventure upon which archaeology was founded.  This – even though they are constantly complaining that they cannot find burial mounds or tholoi which were perfectly well-known and even excavated thirty or forty years ago but which have now disappeared as is testified to by Boyd and every other researcher in this area.[9]

    In what other area of endeavor do we find such mismanagement of the inventory?  As Oscar Wilde might have said: 'To lose one tholos is unfortunate; to lose two begins to look like carelessness.'

    Boyd identifies 'modern farming' as the real problem.  It's not so much tomb robbers who are, I admit, a continuing concern but the wholesale destruction of the environment consequent to industrial olive farming which I described in my last post.[10]  Unless we nail down specifically where these old tholoi and mound tombs and habitation sites are located we're not going to know when they're threatened by bulldozers and we won't be able to take any preventative action.  

    Recently, on the island of Hawaii, a consortium led by the University of Hawaii wanted to build a new telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.  Local groups, activated by a kind of native conciousness and the stated goal of preserving ancient habitats, organized and successfully thwarted the University in its plans.  I don't agree with this particular result but we have to admit that these native groups were, at least, effective.  Organized effort of this kind with respect to Mycenaean  remains (and in more than just Messenia) is at least conceivable.  But it is inconceivable that you can preserve ancient sites if even specialists in the matter don't know exactly where they are.

    I cannot tell whether organized action to preserve Mycenaean sites is possible.  However it is time that Mycenology figured out exactly where its objects of study are actually located.  The time for anecdotal directions has passed.  I notice that even Michaela Zavadil, when describing the many mounds and tholoi around Koukounara (a very important investigative area for Mycenaean funeral practice), simply throws up her hands and repeats all the instructions for getting to various places from all the archaeologists she has consulted.[11]  In so doing she exposed, probably without intending it, a series of hilarious contradictions.  But even she does not do the simple and unambiguous thing.  She does not provide us with simple lat/lon pairs for the sites in question even though her dissertation was concluded in 2012.   

    Bear in mind that Google Earth can, at 37 degrees N latitude, distinguish between two positions which are as little as four inches apart.  And GPS receivers are ubiquitous.[12]  A sufficiently accurate device can probably be found in your camera.

    Armed with a lat/lon pair the student who wishes to visit these sites will know precisely where the goal is.  He or she is perfectly capable of planning what route to take in getting there no matter how many old-fashioned archaeologists – like grizzled old timers at some country store – want to load him or her down with capricious, contradictory, and out-dated route instructions.

    When equipped only with anecdotes the student quickly learns the truth of the old punchline which says: ‘You cain’t get there from here.’

    Next time I'm going to describe the beginnings of a solution.

    I have just received (12/30/15) a copy of Simpson [2014]. In it I find these words:

    "From now onward, it should be possible to record the coordinates of all (or almost all) of the sites by means of the Global Positioning System (GPS) by satellite."[13]  

    So far I have only been able to scan this work by Simpson; it is the definitive statement of a lifetime's work by, perhaps, our greatest living scholar of Mycenaean Messenia.  It is to be regretted that he was unable to include lat/lon pairs in his new gazetteer[14] and, by not doing so, he leaves us with the usual cloudy idea of exactly where many of these sites really are. (That phrase 'or almost all' speaks volumes.)  

    Dr. Simpson has taken much care with the beautiful  maps that grace this volume.  

    If only they were useful!   Of these maps he himself says:

    "The maps show only the approximate locations of the sites, and are themselves not entirely accurate.  Before Loy had completed a set of contour maps in 1966, it had not been possible to plot the positions of the sites definitively."[15]

    What does one say to this remarkable statement?  'It had not been possible' ??  Nonsense!  What could that possibly mean?  It sounds very much like Dr. Simpson is content to let the best be the enemy of the good.  Far better to have no knowledge at all rather than knowledge which is merely state of the art!

    And this:

     "Whenever possible, the locations of sites visited by UMME were indicated on the backs of the set of air photographs (taken by the Royal Hellenic Air Force in the 1950s), now located in the archives of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens."[16]

     Perhaps I would have an easier time locating some of these sites if I were to knock politely on the door of the ASCSA and ask to see the old air photos?  That's one way, I suppose, to find out what their Security is like.

    Mycenologists have to ask themselves a simple question.  'Is Mycenology a Science or is it an Arcanum?'

    I appreciate that Dr. Simpson's contributions to the field of Mycenology are of an extraordinary, almost superhuman, magnitude; one hopes however that his grad students are a little more technologically current.  Frankly no area of study can survive without being able to say precisely where its objects of study are located.

    In the meantime there is much that the determined scholar can do and I will begin to outline a new approach in the next post.  


    [1] Auerbach [2013], ‘The Knight Sets Forth’, 123 ff.

    [2] Ibid., 128-9.

    [3] The author, a good and learned Mycenologist, shall be nameless.

    [4] E.g., Soulinari is translated into Nea Soulinari, 2 1/2 km. distant.

    [5] For example, in his 'Corinth', xi.3: "The road to Titane is sixty stades long, and too narrow to be used by carriages drawn by a yoke. At a distance along it, in my opinion, of twenty stades, to the left on the other side of the Asopus, is a grove of holm oaks and a temple of the goddesses named by the Athenians 'The August'.."  I put 'The August' in single quotes, otherwise the translation is Jones [1918] 305.  Should we still be looking for that grove of holm oaks?   And note the distance 'twenty stades' which is simply guessed at; does that sound familiar?

    [6] As here, taken entirely at random, from Diary V (as arranged in Bodnar in Cyriac of Ancona [2003] pg. 321, par. 41), in which Cyriac visits the famous cave at the tip of the promontory of Tainaron: "And at the nearer hill of the same harbor, in a grove thick with slender holm oak saplings, at a remove of five stades from the shore, we found that huge cave from which, they say, the divine Hercules dragged Cerberus out of the lower world .."  There are those holm oaks again.

    [7] Here's a sample: In Frazer[1898] 301 he describes an itinerary from Heraea (Agios Ioannis) to Megalopolis.  Here is his account of the stretch between the modern Agios Ioannis (or Heraea/Irias, at 37.613395° N,21.864346° E) to Kakoureika (at 37.583979° N, 21.923355° E): 

    "We cross the beds of several streams that take their rise in the neighboring mountains, traverse a plateau planted with olives, and reach (in 38 minutes from Heraea) the village of Anaziri.  From this village the direct route to Karytaena runs south-eastward to the village of Kakouraika, distant about 1 1/4 hours from Anaziri."  

    It is six km. in a straight line from Agios Ioannis to Kakoureika.  I cannot find the towns of Anaziri or Karytaena.   At a minimum they have been renamed but, more likely, they no longer exist.  Given the travel times (about 19 minutes per straight-line kilometer over mostly smooth ground) as well as the date of publication (1898) I can only suppose that Frazer is either walking or on horseback.  So the times given are walking or riding-times but it's pointless to speculate.

    [8] McDonald and Simpson [1961] 235 in '32. Karatsadhes (Loutro)': "The site is .. in an olive grove with stony reddish alluvial soil."  Same directions simply repeated by Boyd in [1999] 311.  Simpson [1981] 129 in 'F118 Eva: Nekrotapheion': 'This site is on a very low spur, covered in olive trees, ..'
    Simpson [1981] in 'Platanos: Lambropoulou Piyi' on 117: 'On a slope about 800 m. east-southeast of Platanos is a very low mound.' Indeed.  

    Electrical wires and pylons often mark the spot.  In Boyd [1999] 405 we read that the famous tholos of Koryfasion is located 'at an intersection of three telegraph lines..'  In Simpson [1966] 123 we learn that an important EH settlement near classical Thouria is 'shown to have been the field marked by the electricity pylon which lies immediately to the south-west of the southern end of the Ellinika ridge..' There are a dozen pylons on this ridge; selecting the right one (assuming that they are in the same positions that they were fifty years ago) is a nice art.

    Directions can include bus-stops.  McDonald and Simpson [1961] 225, '3. Sodhiotissa (Ayios Ioannis)'.  'On the ridge ca. 150 m. north of the tiny monastery (one nun) of Panayia Sodhiotissa, which is built into a cliff immediately north of the Pyrgos-Katakolo highway at a point 800 m. west of the bus stop for Ayios Ioannis village.'  Nice detail about the nun.  I could (I think) find the nunnery but not the bus stop.

    And this in McDonald and Simpson [1961] 245, '69. Tourkokivouro (Mesopotamos)'.: 'A mound ca. 250 m. north of the Kalamata-Pylos highway .. 200 m. east of the bus-stop called Ekklisoula.'

    'Ekklisoula' is the name of the bus stop at 36.981246 N, 21.820816 E and I picture it below:

    The Bus Stop at Ekklisoula

    [9] A few examples among very many:  Boyd [1999] 808 "Moreover, the inability of later workers (myself included) to  relocate mounds on the basis of McDonald & Hope Simpson's sketch maps or other instructions has made their many identifications seem doubtful.  The action of modern farming has undoubtedly contributed to the loss of these sites."  This would be a disturbing criticism of the UMME enterprise, if true.  But it's unlikely to be true.  McDonald and Hope Simpson simply failed to leave adequate descriptions of where exactly these mounds were located.  When Dr. Boyd says 'myself included' he is alluding to the fact that he was one of the participants in PRAP's ground surveys.  Also Boyd [1999] 313, "The small tholos tomb Polla Dhendhra is not on Mr Koukis' land. From the large tree, walking approximately in a line perpendicular to the Potami, it is about 100m-200m, located in the ground at a field edge, unmarked and difficult to locate".  Emphasis is mine. This repeats an unfortunate and all too common pattern of referring to actual landowners who are now, in most cases, long dead and forgotten.

      With reference to the destroyed(?) tholos of Kopanaki (approximately here: 37.290518, 21.826234):  '(Valmin) reports a much destroyed tholos on the south slope but we could see no sign of it.' [McDonald and Simpson [1961] 233, '24. Stylari (Kopanaki)'].  Also: "N. Valmin fand 1927 südöstlich von Ano Kopanaki eine zerstörte Tholos am Südhang eines Hügels, auf dessen Kuppe sich das Dorf Stylari befindet. Das Grab konnte später nicht mehr nachgewiesen werden." from Zavadil [2012] 264, 'Ano Kopanaki/Stylari (Ep. Triphylias)'.

    And this: 'Note: In BullLund (1925/26) 89 Valmin mentions a probable tholos mound in an area called Feretze.  This periphereia is ca. 4 km. east of Kopanaki and 1 km. west of Dorion village on both sides of the highway.  We could not locate the mound and local inhabitants do not know it.' from McDonald and Simpson [1961] 233, '24. Stylari (Kopanaki)'.  These directions: 'four km. east of Kopanaki and 1 km west of Dorion village' are themselves absurd.  The two villages are only three km. distant from each other.

    [10] McDonald and Simpson have this to say with respect to the six funeral mounds at Kaldamou (Levki)  "All are being rapidly eroded by cultivation."  McDonald and Simpson [1961] 239, '43. Kaldamou (Levki)'.  And here: "Der NNW-Teil des Geländes wurde im Jahr 2000 für die Anlage eines Olivenhaines eingeebnet."  "The NNW part of the site was levelled in the year 2000 for an olive grove."  In Zavadil [2012] 485 referring to Marinatos' important Myceanean building discoveries at Katarrachaki, near Koukounara.

    Destruction through cultivation is not always inadvertent.  As Zangger, et al [1997] 571 say "After their first encounter with archaeologists, some landowners, possible fearing future restrictions and perhaps expropriation, appear to have intentionally damaged sites on their fields by extensively plowing the soft marl.  Such deliberate destruction by landowners, who balance the rise in land value with the increased cost caused by excavation on private property, has been observed elsewhere in Greece."

    [11] Zavadil [2013] 454-5.  Dr. Zavadil goes on to quote McDonald and Simpson [1969] 150, '65. Katarachi (Koukounara)' on this very topic:

    "The general area discussed by Professor Marinatos under Koukounara is so large and was so heavily occupied in prehistoric times that a brief and clear exposition  of  the  topography  is  very  difficult.  A  carefully  prepared  topographic map of the area with all archaeological discoveries clearly marked is  now  needed.“  

    She continues (454):

    "Diese  Sätze,  vor  etwa  dreißig  Jahren  von  W.  A.  McDonald und R. Hope Simpson in bezug auf einen der interessantesten Fundorte Messeniens formuliert,  haben bis zum heutigen Datum leider nichts von ihrer Berechtigung verloren. Es ist noch immer kein Plan der auf dem Hochplateau zwischen Pylos und dem messenischen Golf in der Umgebung des Dorfes Koukounara gelegenen bronzezeitlichen Relikte erschienen, obwohl die hier erforschten Grabanlagen mit Recht zu den wichtigsten Bauten dieser Gattung in Messenien, wenn nicht sogar der gesamten Peloponnes gezählt werden dürfen."

    [12] For a survey see this.

    [13] Simpson [2014] 19.

    [14] Ibid., '2.  Mycenaean Sites in Messenia', 15-43.

    [15] Simpson [2014] 19.

    [16] Idem.


    Auerbach [2013]: Auerbach, Erich.  Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature.  Translated by Willard Trask and with an introduction by Edward W. Said.  Princeton University Press, 2013.  Mimesiswas first published in Berne, Switzerland in 1946.

    Boyd [1999]: Boyd, Michael.  Middle Helladic and early Mycenaean Mortuary customs in the southern and western Peloponnese. Ph.D. Dissertation for The University of Edinburgh in 2 volumes.  Online here.

    Cyriac of Ancona [2003]: Cyriac of Ancona: Later Travels.  Edited and translated by Edward D. Bodnar with Clive Foss. I Tatti Library, x.  Harvard University Press.  2003

    Frazer [1898]: Frazer, James G., editor and translator, Pausanias's Description of Greece.  Volume IV.  MacMillan and Co., Ltd., New York. 1898.  Online here.

    Jones [1918]: PausaniasDescription of Greece, Volume I: Books 1-2 (Attica and Corinth). Translated by W. H. S. JonesLoeb Classical Library 93. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918.

    McDonald and Simpson [1961]:  McDonald, William A. and Richard Hope Simpson,  “Prehistoric Habitation in Southwestern Peloponnese”,  American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 65, No. 3  (Jul., 1961), pp. 221-260.  Online here.

    McDonald and Simpson [1969]: McDonald, William A. and Richard Hope Simpson, "Further Explorations in Southwestern Peloponnese: 1964-1968",  American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 73, No. 2 (Apr., 1969), pp. 123-177.  Online here.

    Simpson [1966]: Simpson, Richard Hope.  "The Seven Cities Offered by Agamemnon to Achilles", The Annual of the British School at Athens. Vol. 61 (1966), pp. 113-131

    Simpson [2014]: Simpson, Richard Hope.  Mycenaean Messenia and the Kingdom of Pylos, INSTAP.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  USA. 2014.  978-1931534758

    Zangger et al. [1997]:  Zangger, Eberhard, Michael E. Timpson, Sergei B. Yazvenko, Falko Kuhnke, and Jost Knauss.  “The Pylos Regional Archaeological Project: Part II: Landscape Evolution and Site Preservation”. Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 66 (4). 549–641. Online here.

    Zavadil [2012]: Zavadil, Michaela, Monumenta: Studien zu mittel- und späthelladischen Gräbern in Messenien.  Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.   Denkschriften, 450. Band.  Mykenische Studien, Band 33.  Wien, 2012.  Online here.

    Archaeology Magazine

    Greece silver miningGHENT, BELGIUM—A team of mining archaeologists has investigated a 5,000-year-old silver mine in Thorikos, Greece. The cramped mines were likely to have been worked by slaves, who endured the lack of light, fresh air, and temperatures that hovered around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. “The progress of the underground survey required a constant vigilance in this stuffy space where the rate of oxygen must be permanently watched,” Denis Morin of the University of Lorraine said in a press release. The team members have found tool marks on the walls of the subterranean galleries, graffiti, pottery, oil lamps, stone hammers, and crushing areas. By the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., silver was extracted on a large scale with a sophisticated system from shafts cut through the rock. For more on ancient silver mining, go to "The Environmental Cost of Empire."