Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

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

November 21, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

Organisé par Alice Mouton et Jean-François Pérouse

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

- Consulter le programme

October 16, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

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

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

Consulter le programme du colloque

avec le soutien du Labex RESMED

October 15, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Les religions et l'argent

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

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

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

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

Avec le soutien de la Délégation CNRS Paris A

October 09, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

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

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

- Consulter le programme

October 04, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

La guerre et la Grèce

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

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

- Télécharger le programme

- Télécharger le bulletin d'inscription

- Pour en savoir plus

September 17, 2014

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Les moines autour de la Méditerranée. Mobilités et contacts à l'échelle locale et régionale

Le programme de recherche Les moines autour de la Méditerranée. Contacts, échanges, influences entre Orient et Occident, de l'Antiquité tardive au Moyen Âge (IFAO, EFR, EFA, Labex RESMED, UMR 8584 et 8167) se propose d'analyser la paradoxale mobilité du monde monastique, notamment méditerranéen, que des normes diverses paraissent contraindre à la stabilitas, mais qui connaît pourtant d'intenses et continus mouvements de circulation, d'échanges et d'influences, sur un long Moyen-Âge (du IVe au XVe siècle)

- Consulter le programme

Colloque organisé avec le soutien de :
L'École française de Rome
L'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale
Le Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée (UMR 8167)
Le Centre Européen de Recherchesur les Congrégations et les Ordres Religieux - Laboratoire d'Études sur les Monothéismes (CERCOR-LEM UMR 8584)
Le Labex RESMED

September 02, 2014

AIA Fieldnotes

Dirt Detectives

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Historic New England
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
workshop
education
Start Date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Science and History unite in this exciting archaeology program.  Students become archaeologists as they search for artifacts and excavate a mock “pit” with the tools and techniques used in archaeology.  Students collaborate as they piece together reproduction artifacts in a field laboratory.  Inside the museum, students explore archaeology via trap doors that reveal 300 years of history!  Sessions are two hours in duration.

Admission: $6 per person

Weekdays throughout October, 9am-3pm

  Read more »

Location

Name: 
Events and Programs
Telephone: 
978-462-2634
Call for Papers: 
no

American Philological Association

CONF: The Star of Bethlehem: Historical and Astronomical Perspectives

A Multi-Disciplinary Colloquium, University of Groningen, October 23rd-24th, 2014

Interdisciplinary Reconsideration of "the star of Bethlehem", bringing together astronomers, classicists, biblical scholars and historians of antiquity in a unique collaboration at the University of Groningen, October 23rd-24th, 2014 on the occasion of the university's 4th centenary. Registration possible till September 15th. Programme details and further information on the Conference’s website at http://www.astro.rug.nl/~khan/bethlehem/.

Philip Harland (Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean)

GRA II: North Coast of the Black Sea, Asia Minor — Book now out!

GRA II photoNice to finally have a copy of my new book in hand now.  This one took more than 10 years (off and on)

Philip A. Harland, Greco-Roman Associations Texts, Translations, and Commentary, Volume II: North Coast of the Black Sea, Asia Minor  (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 204; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 565 pages, € 99.95 / $140.00 (De Gruyter order page).

Table of Contents:

Download (PDF, 909KB)

Podcast 8.10: Jealous Satan, the Image of God, and the Serpent in the Life of Adam and Eve

Here I discuss the expanded story of Adam and Eve that emerged around the turn of the common era as a way of explaining the motivations of Satan (primarily jealousy) in connection with both the creation of humans in the image of God and the serpent in the garden.

Podcast 8.10: Jealous Satan, the Image of God, and the Serpent in the Life of Adam and Eve (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

Download audio file (Podcast%208.10%20Jealous%20Satan%20and%20the%20Serpent%20in%20the%20Life%20of%20Adam%20and%20Eve.mp3)

You may also subscribe to this and subsequent episodes through iTunes or another podcatcher.

American Philological Association

NYTimes Reviews Ancient World Apps

The book review section of the New York Times reviewed a number of apps for students of the ancient world.  The article begins with an enthusiastic description of the new app containing the Society's Barrington Atlas of the Ancient World

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeologists hoping to scrape their way to Moncreiffe Hill’s ancient secrets

Painstaking excavations of one of Tayside’s greatest iron age seats of power have been carried out on Moncreiffe Hill.

Chieftains once controlled the land for miles around from its summit, which was home to two giant hill forts.

Thick stone walls, perhaps as much as 12 feet high and topped by a log palisade, crowned the hill from where its ruler had a commanding view of his surroundings.

Despite its obvious importance, there has been almost no archaeological study of Moredun Top — nor of the smaller fort on a lower site on the hill. Read more.

The Stoa Consortium

Digital Classicist New England seminar 2015 CFP

[original link]

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the third series of the Digital Classicist New England (Boston?). This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organized in association with the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University. It will run during the spring term of the academic year 2014/15.

We invite submissions on any kind of research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We encourage contributions not only from students of Greco-Roman but also from other areas of the pre-modern world, such as Egypt and the Near East, Ancient China and India.

Themes may include digital editions, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, linked data and the semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can facilitate the crossing of disciplinary boundaries and answering new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as to information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Anonymised abstracts [1] of 500 words max. (bibliographic references excluded) should be uploaded by midnight (CET) on 01 November 2014 using the special submission form. When submitting the same proposal for consideration to multiple venues, please do let us know via the submission form (to be posted later).

Seminars will run from mid-January through April 2015 and will be hosted at Brandeis, Holy Cross, Northeastern and Tufts. The full programme, including the venue of each seminar, will be finalised and announced in December. In order to facilitate real-time participation from California to Europe, seminars will take place in the early afternoon and will be accessible online as Google Hangouts.

As with the previous series, the video recordings of the presentations will be published online and we endeavour to provide accommodation for the speakers and contribute towards their travel expenses. There are plans to publish papers selected from the first series of the seminar as a special issue in an appropriate open access journal.

[1] The anonymized abstract should have all author names, institutions and references to the authors work removed. This may lead to some references having to be replaced by “Reference to authors’ work”. The abstract title and author names with affiliations are entered into the submission system in separate fields.

Organizing committee:

Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Tufts University
Gregory Crane, Tufts and Leipzig
Stella Dee, University of Leipzig
Leonard Muellner, Brandeis University
Maxim Romanov, Tufts University
David A. Smith, Northeastern University
David Neel Smith, College of the Holy Cross

Reading, Writing, Romans: The Ashmolean Latin Inscription Project (AshLI)

The Roman soldier who went to Newcastle and punched Hercules

Test your decipherment skills on a bronze plaque from Roman Britain

The Rome Gallery, Ashmolean Museum

The Rome Gallery, Ashmolean Museum

On a shelf in the Ashmolean’s Rome Gallery, eagle-eyed visitors might spot a tiny bronze plaque, with a rectangular body and triangular handles (a shape called a tabula ansata). At only 5cm tall, a dark greeny-brown and covered with dots, the plaque isn’t much to look at. But on close inspection (squinting helps), these dots form the letters of a Latin inscription. See how many you can make out before scrolling down:

2001-1

 

 

 

2001-1

 

Dot-to-dot decoding

The dots were made by a hitting a round-tipped punch with a hammer, and have left the back of the plaque covered in tiny bumps. The punched letters are a bit wonky, don’t quite fit onto the plaque (the middle line spreads out onto the handles), and, worst of all, someone wrote ‘HERCULL’ instead of ‘HERCULI’ (even the Romans made spelling mistakes). But there has also been some care taken to centre the text, to make sure that words are not split up over line-breaks, and even to include little serifs which imitate fancier stone-carved letters. A serif (from the Dutch ‘screef’) is the small mark that can be added to the end of letter-stroke, giving a neat finish to the lines and, on stone, making it easier for the stonemason to compare the height of each letter. On our little tablet, smaller dots have been added, making little stems on the letters to make them look smarter. You can see these very clearly on the first letter of each line.

 

By Hercules!

As in the majority of Latin inscriptions, some of the words have been abbreviated to save space, effort and material. On our tablet, the abbreviations have saved 11 letters, and lots of punched dots. In full, it says:

Deo / Herculi/ Marus tribunus / legionis XX fecit

‘For the god Hercules, Marus, tribune of the 20th legion, made this.’

It’s a short inscription which tells us that the plaque was nailed up as an offering to Hercules by a Roman army officer stationed in Britain. Offerings like these were a way of asking or thanking the gods for support. It’s no surprise that Hercules, famous for his strength and courage, was the god of choice for Marus, the military man.

Since he tells us that he was a tribune, Marus was probably of equestrian rank, but the relatively modest scale of the bronze plaque suggests that he was one of the mid-ranking officers. Although the 20th legion spent much of its time stationed at Chester (Roman Deva), in north-west of England, near the border with Wales, the plaque was supposedly discovered on the opposite side of the county, at Benwell, near Newcastle and the Roman fort at Condercum. It’s possible that Marus set up this offering to Hercules while the legion was on active service near Hadrian’s Wall.

 

XX, VV, ??

In either AD 61 or AD 8, the 20th legion (or ‘LEG XX’ as Marus puts it) was rewarded for its bravery with the special honorific title Valeria Victrix. To keep things short, the 20th Legion Valeria Victrix often appeared in inscriptions as ‘LEG XX VV’. This was precisely the abbreviation we found in April 2014 when the AshLI team used special imaging software to read a disappearing inscription on an altar in the Ashmolean’s Ark to Ashmolean Gallery (link to previous blog here).

If Marus didn’t bother to include ‘VV’ on the plaque, it might mean that it was made before the legion was awarded the title, and could give us some clue to its date. But the letters might also just have been left out to save space. After all, Marus didn’t even have enough room to include his full name. The famous clay antefix on display in the British Museum,was made long after the legion got its new name, but still only has the basic ‘LEG XX’. Because our bronze plaque made its way onto the antiquities market without a proper archaeological record of where it was found, we may never really know exactly when it was that a Roman soldier went to Newcastle and punched Hercules…

 

c. 1st-2nd centuries AD (?). Ashmolean Museum AN2001.1. H. 0.49, W. 0.71, D. 0.1. On display in the Rome Gallery of the Ashmolean Museum.

 

A more detailed discussion of the plaque, with full bibliographic references, will appear in the new catalogue of the Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions, which will be freely available online before 2016.

 

AIA Fieldnotes

Uncovering the 1676 Battle of Nipsachuck

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
nad
lecture
Start Date: 
Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 5:30pm

Join Dr. Kevin McBride, Director of Research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, as he discusses the King Philip’s War Nipsachuck battlefield survey focused on identifying and documenting the location and boundaries of the movements, sites and actions associated with Second Battle of Nipsachuck. Read more »

Location

Name: 
Geralyn Ducady
Telephone: 
401-863-5700
Call for Papers: 
no

Current Epigraphy

Women in Deccan as gleaned through inscriptions: 200 BCE-1200 CE

Guest post from Rupali Mokashi.

My stint with ancient Indian epigraphy started seventeen years ago when I commenced my Doctoral Research on ‘The Position of Women in Deccan as gleaned through inscriptions: 200 BCE-1200 AD.’

The inscriptions were always a realm of the epigraphists. Though the epigraphic data was scientifically analyzed and developed steadily it was not adequately used to understand the women in ancient India. Both epigraphy and gender studies followed their independent courses.

Inscriptions preserved valuable data about women that is well stacked in the milieu of time and space. Mostly votive, administrative and eulogistic in nature they held diverse information not only on the contemporary society, polity but also on the prevalent religious observances and the active involvement of women therein. The votive epigraphs constituted a significantly tangible source for reconstructing the history of women in India. This research work has taken into consideration the contributions of more than ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED WOMEN referred in the inscriptions but lesser known to the world of scholars and laymen.

As the Recipient of the Justice K. T. Telang Research Fellowship awarded by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for the research project on “Rekindling the History of Shilaharas of North Kokan as gleaned through the recent Epigraphical Revelations” (2013-2014).

The Shilaharas of North Kokan originated as a feudal clan of the Rashtrakutas during the reign of King Govinda III. Forty two donative Copper Plates and Rock edicts that were issued by various Śilāhāras Kings spanning a period from 843 AD – 1260 AD have been instrumental in understanding history of this dynasty. I have deciphered, compiled and analyzed the following recently discovered copper plates and rock edicts of this dynasty.

  1. Kalyan Copper Plates of King Chhittaraja (1019 AD)
  2. Panvel Copper Plate of King Chhittaraja (1025 AD)
  3. Thane Copper Plates of Mahakumara Keshideva (1120 AD)
  4. Panhale Copper Plate of King Mallikarjuna (1151 AD)
  5. Kiravalī Rock Edict of King Anantdeva III (1248 AD)

Further details and bibliography at Dr Mokashi’s blog.

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

Call for Papers: Singles and the Single Life in the Roman and Later Roman World Academia Belgica, Rome, 28–30 June 2015


Call for Papers:
Singles and the Single Life in the Roman and Later Roman World
Academia Belgica, Rome, 28–30 June 2015

Organizers:
Prof. Dr. Christian Laes, University of Antwerp, Free University of Brussels
Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner, Universität Basel, Switzerland
Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2014
Singleness is not only a new and rapidly increasing lifestyle of the present day. It has also become a fashionable field of research in social history. During a series of sessions at the European Social Science History Conference (Glasgow, 2012), questions were raised about the structural and cultural particularities of ‘single life’ in cities. A conference at the University of Antwerp (Singles in the Cities of North-West Europe, c. 1000–2000) in March 2013 further expanded upon the insights from the Glasgow conference.
In this new field of research the silence of ancient historians is striking. This may be partly explained by the lack of demographical data: there are virtually no statistics or censuses to indicate how many men or women were single in the towns and villages of the Roman Empire. But far more problematic is the definition of singleness. In a society which did not yet know the Christian concept of marriage, in an environment where both the contracting of a marriage and divorce were quick and easy, the lines between married and unmarried were somewhat vague. This may explain why there is no proper or much-used Latin or ancient Greek word to denote the status of a bachelor or spinster. We might even raise the question whether singleness for the ancient period could possible be defined as being unmarried. But even without the criterion of marriage, other approaches towards singleness in antiquity are possible.
Since this is the first ever conference on the theme, and with the aim of publishing a volume which will set the course for further research, we are inviting papers from a wide chronological and thematic range, incorporating the methods and questions historians of other periods use, to consider these questions:
(1) The possibility of some demographic insight into singleness and the way it was distributed (widows, unmarried, divorced, orphan).
(2) The difference between the urban and rural environment.
(3) Gendered aspects of the issue.
(4) Social and economic drawbacks or incentives for single persons.
(5) Social networks and the possibility of a subculture of singles.
(6) Juridical consequences of singleness.
(7) Funerary commemoration and representation of singleness.
(8) The impact of Christianity.
Confirmed speakers include (apart from the organizers Laes and Huebner) Anna Boozer (New York), Ville Vuolanto (Tampere/Oslo), Kyle Harper (Oklahoma), Judith Evans Grubbs (Emory), and Hanne Sigismund Nielsen (Calgary).
The conference organizers welcome abstracts of about 300 words on ‘Singles and the Single Life in the Roman and Later Roman World’ based on analysis of literary, documentary, archaeological, and iconographic evidence. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, with 10 minutes of discussion time allowed after each individual paper, and should be read in English. We encourage junior researchers and recent PhD holders to apply as well.
Please submit your abstract by email to Prof. Dr. Christian Laes (christian.laes@uantwerpen.be) or Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner (sabine.huebner@unibas.ch). Please include the full title of your abstract and a short biographical note on your affiliation and previous research. The deadline for proposals is 15 October 2014.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

The Myth of Mythicism’s Newness

The year before his book on the subject was published, Shirley Jackson Case wrote an article on the question of the historicity of Jesus. I suspect that few modern mythicists have read either. But the article is now available for free online, courtesy of JSTOR. Take a look at it, see how many mythicists there were a century ago, and then let me know if you think that recent claims of a mythicist “resurgence” are justified in our time, as opposed to in 1911, when the ideas were not new but had seen a growth in the attention they were getting from scholars.

S. J. Case’s book on the topic is also online, thanks to the Internet Archive.

 

Shirley Case Jackson

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Some Quick Notes on Intensive Survey Method in the Argolid

This weekend I finally got around to putting together my various notes from database and GIS crunching and field observation on the Western Argolid Regional Project. Since we’re still working to analyze finds from this season, our main body of data derives from artifact densities. That being said, we have been able to spend a little time figuring out what variables had the greatest influence on artifact recovery throughout the survey area.

FEET

Visibility. The overall visibility in the survey area was right around 50%. Surface visibility did not correspond with artifact densities in a linear way, as survey archaeologists have come to expect. The highest artifact densities peaked first in units with 50% visibility and then in units with 70%—90% densities before dropping off in units with 100% artifact densities. In fact, units with 100% visibility produced fewer artifacts per ha then the average for all units. This serves as a useful reminder that visibility and artifact densities are independent variables even if the drop in density at 100% visibility hints that something strange must occur to artifact recovery rates in fields which have been finely plowed and cleared of all vegetation.

Surface Clast Size. We also recorded surface clast size for each field. Most of our fields consisted of 19-75 mm coarse gravel and these fields along with those with cobble sized (>75 mm) surface clast produced the highest densities. The average visibility in these fields falls between 41% and 53% respectively. Cobbles tended to produce more artifacts per ha than average visibility alone might suggest, but not by a vast margin (1040 artifacts per ha rather than the 913 artifact per ha that units with 50% visibility tend to produce). Units with coarse gravel were consistent with visibilities. Interestingly, units with fine gravel or sandy soil produced fewer artifacts than their average visibilities would suggest. Sandy soils, although relatively rare, had 41% visibility but produced only 390 artifacts per ha. It’s tempting to see sandy soils as recently deposited riverine sediments, but they don’t necessarily pattern that way across the survey area.

Background Disturbance. Recently, survey archaeologists have begun to think about background disturbance as a major influence on artifact recovery. This term describes the amount of objects in the soil matrix that distract the eye from the ceramic and man-made lithic objects we are supposed to be identifying.  We recorded background disturbance as either light, moderate, or heavy (or none). Our data showed that units with moderate and light background disturbance performed more or less consistently with their visibility. Units with heavy, background disturbance, however, had much higher than average visibilities (70%) and much lower than predicted artifact densities than this visibility alone would predict. This suggests that high background disturbance might influence recovery rates in a substantial way.

Dominant Vegetation Height. For each unit we recorded the dominant vegetation height. This correlated strongly with surface visibility – as one might expect – with densely overgrown units with vegetation head high or higher (!) having average visibility in the teens (18% and 17% respectively), and waist high vegetation averaged a paltry 33% visibility. Interestingly, head high or higher vegetation produced lower artifact densities than suggested by visibility alone, but we’ve long reckoned that our visibility scale runs to imprecise with very low visibility fields. Units with vegetation at knee height coincided produced densities that coincided with expected visibility, but units with ankle height vegetation produced more artifacts than one might expect from visibility alone.

These short studies demonstrate that artifact recovery rates are influenced by a range of variables present in the landscape. Using visibility and artifact density as a baseline for understanding artifact recovery allowed us to recognize the influence of a range of variables that impacted field walker performance. The highest recovery rates appear to come from units with cobble or coarse gravel, ankle high vegetation, plowed, loose soils, and light or moderate background disturbance producing visibilities of between 70% and 90%.


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

"Ancient Last Supper charm found in John Rylands Library"


BBC

A 1,500-year-old papyrus charm thought to be "the first ever found to refer to the Last Supper and use magic in the Christian context" has been discovered in the vaults of a Manchester library.

The fragment was found at the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library by researcher Dr Roberta Mazza.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Erga-Logoi: Rivista di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità

Erga-Logoi: Rivista di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità
Online ISSN: 2282-3212
Print ISSN: 2280-9678
http://www.ledonline.it/Erga-Logoi/immagini/Erga-Logoi-title.jpg
Erga-Logoi è una rivista, soggetta a peer-review, di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità; un concetto, quest'ultimo, da intendere in senso ampio sul piano dell'estensione geografica e cronologica. Il titolo è stato scelto per sottolineare, evocando il proemio metodologico di Tucidide - benché la contrapposizione abbia ovviamente, in quel contesto, valore diverso -, l'intento di guardare al mondo antico prestando attenzione sia al "fatto" (gli eventi storici, la produzione artistica, la cultura materiale), sia al "detto" (il discorso poetico, letterario, storico, normativo nella sua forma orale e scritta). 

Di conseguenza, la Rivista propone con convinzione un approccio unitario al mondo antico, respingendo prospettive settoriali in favore di un'impostazione fortemente interdisciplinare: l'unica che può consentire un'adeguata comprensione della civiltà complessa e articolata, sul piano cronologico, geografico e soprattutto contenutistico, che il mondo antico ha espresso.
La Rivista, che esce con cadenza semestrale, è dunque aperta a contributi di carattere storico, filologico, letterario, archeologico, artistico, giuridico; ha carattere multilingue e intende con ciò contribuire allo sviluppo di un dibattito internazionale sul mondo antico e sulla sua eredità.

Erga-Logoi is a peer-reviewed journal of ancient history, literature, law and culture, as broadly conceived in geographical and chronological terms. Evoking Thucydides' methodological exordium (although in that context the opposition obviously has a different value), the name of the Journal was chosen to reflect its intention of looking at the ancient world paying attention to both “facts” (historical events, artistic production, material culture) and “words” (literary, historical, legal production in its oral and written forms).
On these bases, the Journal embraces a unified approach to the ancient world, rejecting sectional perspectives for an interdisciplinary focus, reflecting these complex articulated civilizations. 

The Journal, published every six months, is open to contributions of a historical, philological, literary, archaeological, artistic, and legal nature. It is multilingual, thereby aiming to foster the development of international debate on the ancient world and its legacy.

Vol 2, No 1 (2014)

Table of Contents

Fine dell'impero romano ed escatologia PDF
Giuseppe Zecchini 7-19
«Attica in Syria». Persian War Reenactments and Reassessments of the Greek-Asian Relationship: a Literary Point of View PDF
Silvia Barbantani 21-91
Una clausola maniliana in Prudenzio (C. Symm. I 279) PDF
Silvia Arrigoni 93-102
Villae e bolli inediti su lateres nel comprensorio del Lago di Bracciano PDF
Giuseppe Cordiano, Antonietta Barricelli, Elena Insolera, Alessandra Lazzeretti, Stefania Russo, Diletta Tesei 103-154
Cadmo di Mileto, primo storico dell’Occidente: i dati biografici PDF
Federica Fontana 155-180

Vol 1, No 2 (2013)

Table of Contents

Des eunuques dans la tragédie grecque. L’orientalisme antique à l’épreuve des textes PDF
Dominique Lenfant 7-30
Le ambiguità di un reliquiario. Il «braccio di s. Ermolao» nella pieve di Calci (Pisa) PDF
Francesco D'Aiuto 31-72
L’octroi de la citoyenneté romaine aux Latins: un anachronisme de Cassius Dion PDF
Gianpaolo Urso 73-83
Sondaggi sulla presenza di Pitagora negli scritti ciceroniani: le sezioni frammentarie del “de re publica” e il “de legibus” PDF
Andrea Balbo 85-103
I Greci e l'aborto fra teoria politica e prassi medica. Per una rilettura di Platone, Aristotele e Ippocrate PDF
Rita Laura Loddo

Vol 1, No 1 (2013)

Table of Contents

Sophokles’ Lucky Day: Antigone PDF
Robert Wallace 7-22
Zonaras abréviateur de Cassius Dion. À la recherche de la préface perdue de l’Histoire romaine PDF
Valérie Fromentin 23-39
Persio e il suicidio di Catone. Sulle tracce di un esercizio scolastico antico (Pers. III 44-47) PDF
Luigi Pirovano 41-60
Démosthène, Sur la couronne, 296 et le vocabulaire grec de la mutilation corporelle PDF
Yannick Muller 61-86
La strutturazione del potere seleucidico in Anatolia: il caso di Acheo il Vecchio e Alessandro di Sardi PDF
Monica D'Agostini 87-106

Excellence: Tyrtaeus’ own View. A Literary Analysis of Fragment 9 PDF
Carmen Sánchez-Mañas

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Helen to Paris: Appraising the goods

The oldest known surviving carpet in the world belonged to a Scythian prince, and dates back to the 5th century BC.

Pazyryk carpet 
Hundreds of years earlier, another weaver was at work:

125

[Iris] found Helen in the hall, where she was weaving a great purple double-folded warp, sprinkling thereon many contests of the horse-taming Trojans and the bronze-clad Achaeans which they suffered for her sake under the hands of Ares. (Iliad 3.125-29)
The Helen painted by Homer is a mature, regal presence who remains mostly distant and unknowable. In Heroides 17 Ovid gives us a younger Helen, already a queen, at the moment she confronts the ardor of the most dashing prince in the world with remarkable clarity and shrewd appraisal.

Helen's letter to Paris offers yet another example of how much fun Ovid could have responding to the imaginative possibilities of a luminous cast of Greek men and women. Her unabashed riposte (H. 16) gamely serves up a rich stew of protest-too-much indignation, acute moral reasoning, and wily sophistication. If we wished to find the roots of the vital, dignified and witty women of Shakespeare, the characters of Ovid's Heroides provide a good a place to begin.

It's also worth invoking the allegorical interpretation of the Judgment of Paris that gained currency in the ancient world and remained commonplace in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. According to that tradition (invoked later by Hannah Arendt), the young man is facing a choice among three kinds of lives, or vitae: activa, contemplativa, and voluptuaria. 


Judgment of Paris, Cranach



To be continued

Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

Shades of Dr. Jones

Lives_in_Ruins_Cover_low-res_2-210I’ve read Marilyn Johnson’s forthcoming book Lives in Ruins. Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble. It’s a collection of lively and enthusiastic portraits of contemporary archaeologists in their professional environment. Some may find the tone a bit too enthusiastic, pantingly so in parts, but that’s a matter of taste. Archaeologists should arguably be thankful to have a friend like Marilyn Johnson.

Still, she’s an outside observer of our tribe, and she approaches us from a very particular direction. Take her introductory statement that “Field school … usually takes place in a desert or jungle … charging tuition, quite a lot of it, usually thousands of dollars” (p. 15). This certainly isn’t true in Europe, and to my knowledge not in the US either. Most professional archaeologists worldwide have never paid to attend extramural field school and have never worked in jungles or deserts. In fact, field school is usually simply a module on undergraduate courses and is organised locally by lecturers at an archaeology department.

This misrepresentation is characteristic of Johnson’s overall approach to archaeology. It wouldn’t be fair to say that she romanticises the discipline. She’s very open about the dirty and strenuous nature of fieldwork, and about the abysmal career prospects. But she definitely makes archaeology out to be far more exciting and adventurous than most of it really is. The rubble we study generally offers very little in the way of the subtitle’s “seductive lure”. But Johnson will have the reader believe that archaeology is “the exotic, gutsy, authentic alternative to the tamed and packaged life” (p. 130).

I should pause here to note that my own strange career in archaeology does kind of fit the Marilyn Johnson model. Living with very little financial security, I do lead expeditions to exciting sites that will never be touched by land development. The words of maritime archaeologist Kathy Abbass quoted on p. 117-118 mirror my own life choices: “So who is in worse shape – the one who mostly followed passion and knows how to live on a shoestring, or the one who continued in a drudge job for elusive economic security and is probably deep in debt, too?” But my point is that you would learn very little about what the Swedish archaeological profession is like by studying my modus operandi. I am an oddity. And so are most of Johnson’s interviewees.

She keeps coming back to those jungles and deserts. Johnson tells us she looked for “a place with an exotic background to learn the basics of fieldwork” (p. 20) as if this demands no explanation. Most of her selected interviewees excavate in far-off corners of the world, but Johnson never tells the reader that this is a minority behaviour within the profession. In fact, the typical archaeologist is found working on a humdrum site threatened by a highway project within 25 km of a major Western city. To the extent that she ever sees jungles or deserts, it’s on her vacation, and she goes there to take time off from archaeology.

Johnson covers such full-time contract archaeologists only briefly and they show up two thirds through the book. Contract archaeology is where all the jobs are, but this book describes it as the last resort of the desperate! “When she was twenty years old, a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr … Moran had been so determined to work as an archaeologist that she took a job on a field crew for a [Cultural Resource Management] firm” (p. 183).

I received a pre-print copy of the book for review, apparently because Aard is either a “Men’s Interest Site” (!) or a “Book Blog” according to the illuminating and surprising back-cover box about the marketing campaign. My copy has the unfortunate front cover shown above that I hope the publisher will change in the final print edition. But it’s actually kind of apt for the book.

It’s a photo montage of three objects, all to different scales, and none of which is used or found by archaeologists. There’s an odd slender hammer that looks like it might belong to a shoemaker. This probably refers obliquely to a geologist’s hammer, which is of no concern to archaeologists. There’s a cleanly defleshed undamaged rodent cranium with its lower jaw in place: clearly a specimen from a modern zoological collection which has never been underground. Finally there’s a plumb bob, rarely used these days thanks to digital measuring gear.

This cover imagery, no doubt put together by a non-archaeologist in HarperCollins’s publicity department, inadvertently shows quite well what the book is about: enthusiastically reproducing popular misconceptions about what archaeology is like. Like the Indiana Jones movies that Johnson salutes, Lives in Ruins is fun, engaging and not particularly realistic.

Marilyn Johnson. 2014. Lives in Ruins. Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble. New York: HarperCollins. 257 pp. ISBN 978-0-06-212718.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Beothuk homes, fireplace unearthed on Exploits River

An archeological dig on an island in the middle of Newfoundland’s Exploits River is shedding light on how the Beothuk people cooked, lived and socialized.

A team of researchers have spent the last six years unearthing what is thought to be a communal fireplace once used by the Beothuk, in a location that is being described as a “last bastion” before they became extinct.

"So you might’ve had a communal activity [here]," said archeologist Laurie McLean.

"A group of people, a number of families sharing a meal, having an annual get-together, something like that — a ceremonial feast," he added. Read more.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Treasure Act, UK's Resources Crisis


Sarah Philp, head of programmes at the Art Fund says ('Museums must be more than repositories of Treasure' Museums Journal 114/09, p15, 01.09.2014).
The [effects] of the Treasure Act and PAS has meant that the number of Treasure acquisition cases supported by the Art Fund has increased from fewer than one grant a year before 1997 to almost 10 every year since. Finds are often acquired by a museum close to where the objects were discovered, and they might not always have the resources to make the most of them. But the Art Fund’s job is to support new acquisitions so that they can be seen and enjoyed. We designed Treasure Plus to bridge the gap between acquisition and audience, and help museums across the UK do more than act merely as an archaeological repository.[...] [It is] increasingly important to support the needs of the museums that acquire these objects, and want to do more with them [...] 
What about full publication? How many of those 900-odd Treasure cases will be fully published in a decade's time? Coin hoards with adequate photos so die link studies can be supported for example.  £500,000 was needed for just 64 projects, how much would 900 (annually) cost? Oh to be a fly on the wall here:
 We will also be hosting a symposium which, as well as featuring case studies and ideas about what to do with Treasure, will address the question of how as a sector we continue to find the support, and funding, to do it.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Thailand reclaims smuggled artefacts from California museum

A museum in California has returned 557 bronze-age pots to Thailand after an investigation found they were smuggled out of the South-East Asian country, a news report said on Tuesday.

The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California sent them back after signing a non-prosecution agreement with the US district attorney, Thairath reported.

US authorities found that the pots were smuggled from a UNESCO heritage archaeological site in Udon Thani, around 600 kilometres north-east of Bangkok.

The small, earthenware pots, in a variety of conditions, had arrived back in the country and were undergoing inspection for authenticity, the report said. (source)

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

A Hole in a 'Diligently' Researched Collecting History?


David Gill tweets:
"Interesting development over Egyptian mummy mask presently @STLArtMuseum ... Details shortly"
How intriguing. Could there be some new fact about the collecting history of this object after all that due diligence of SLAM at the time of purchase and then in 1999 when they discovered where it had actually come from and then when Hawass pointed out where it had been well after its "1952" surfacing in Europe (which prompted their rudely imperious reply)? We will all watch Looting Matters to see.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Mummies of Anatolia

The mummification technique, which is used to preserve the body after death, has been used by several different civilizations throughout history, including the mummies of Anatolia.

During antiquity and the Middle Ages (5th-15th Century), mummification was a common technique used by the Pharaohs, Incas, Aztecs and Chinchorros of northern Chile, so the dead could survive and live on in the afterlife.

Today, mummies remind us of Egypt and the pharaohs, but Anatolian mummies have a significant potential to attract tourism. The Anatolian mummies are mysterious in terms of the era they lived as well as their preservation methods. Read more.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Journal des Savants

 [First posted in AWOL 23 February 2011. Updated 2 September 2014]

Journal des Savants
eISSN: 1775-383X
Couverture de la revue 
431 Issues
4598 Articles
Le Journal des Savants est le plus ancien journal littéraire d'Europe. Fondé en 1665 par Denis de Sallo, conseiller au Parlement de Paris, sous le regard bienveillant de Colbert, il bénéficia du patronage royal en 1701. Supprimé en 1792, il fut rétabli et réorganisé en 1816 : jusqu’en 1900, il fut édité aux frais de l’État par un bureau présidé par le Garde des Sceaux, puis le ministre de l’Instruction publique et réserva ses colonnes aux membres de l’Institut. Voué de nouveau à disparaître pour des raisons de restrictions budgétaires, c’est tout naturellement que l'Institut de France, qui avait pris à sa charge les frais d’impression pour les années 1901 et 1902, se substitua à l’État. Néanmoins, ne pouvant consacrer de manière continue des fonds nécessaires à la publication du Journal des Savants, l’Institut de France proposa à l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres d’en accepter la charge, qu’elle assura à partir de 1909 grâce à des crédits prélevés sur la Fondation Dourlans. A la charge exclusive de l’Académie depuis cette période, le Journal des Savants accueille des articles originaux marquant des avancées significatives dans les disciplines relevant de sa compétence, tant en raison de leurs résultats que pour l’aspect nouveau de leur méthode.

Available periods  :

1940-1949

1950-1959

1980-1989

1990-1999

2000-2009

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Byzantium and the West: Perception and Reality (12th-15th c.)

"Byzantium and the West: Perception and Reality (12th-15th c.)" will take place at the University of Athens, on September 5-6, 2014.

The post Byzantium and the West: Perception and Reality (12th-15th c.) appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Spain returns Colombian treasure seized from drug gangs

Spain has returned to Colombia 691 indigenous artefacts seized in a police operation 11 years ago.

Most of the ceramic items are of huge cultural and archaeological value, and date back to 1400 BC.

They had been smuggled out of South America by a man linked to the drug gangs, the embassy in Madrid said.

Following a court order in Spain in June, the items have now been handed over to the Colombian authorities and taken back to Bogota.

They were placed in the Museum of America in Madrid while the long legal battle proceeded.

Some of the items, including ceramic sculptures, funeral urns and musical instruments, went on display at the museum in June. Read more.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Twelve million historical images posted to Flickr

An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historical copyright-free images, according to BBC.

The post Twelve million historical images posted to Flickr appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Red Sea port studied by Polish archaeologists

Archaeologists studied two-thousand-year-old port infrastructure and a large animal cemetery in Berenice on the Red Sea in Egypt.

The post Red Sea port studied by Polish archaeologists appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Compitum - événements (tous types)

Les Gaulois, de la manipulation historique à l'archétype : nouvelle enquête historiographique

Titre: Les Gaulois, de la manipulation historique à l'archétype : nouvelle enquête historiographique
Lieu: Maison des Sciences de l Homme / Clermont-Ferrand
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 18.09.2014 - 19.09.2014
Heure: 14.00 h - 16.00 h
Description:

Information signalée par Oriane Hébert

Quand l'usage fait l'image.

Les Gaulois, de la manipulation historique à l'archétype : nouvelle enquête historiographique

 

Jeudi 18 septembre

8h 30 Accueil des participants
9 h Ouverture du colloque par Ludivine Péchoux et Oriane Hébert
9 h 15 Introduction par Jean-Paul Demoule

Thème 1 :
La construction des archétypes : art, histoire et roman national
Présidence de séance : Pierre Vaisse

9 h 30 Saskia Hanselaar (université de Picardie)
Malvina ou la première bardesse celtique

10 h Christophe Vendries (université de Rennes)
La musique des Gaulois dans l'art et l'imagerie française (XVIIIe-XXe siècles). Un parcours historiographique entre romantisme et nationalisme

Pause café

Présidence de séance : Christian Amalvi

11 h Hélène Jagot (musée de La-Roche-sur-Yon)
La réception critique des œuvres à sujets gaulois au Salon, du Second Empire à la IIIe République. Brève histoire d'un chassé-croisé idéologique, entre nécessité de la conquête romaine et défense de la patrie gauloise

11 h 30 Julien Bouchet (université de Clermont-Ferrand)
Les noces gauloises de Marianne : l'inauguration du monument de Vercingétorix en 1903 à Clermont-Ferrand

Pause déjeuner

Présidence de séance : Brigitte Morand
(université de Clermont-Ferrand)

14 h Christian Amalvi (université Montpellier 3)
L'imaginaire gaulois véhiculé
par les manuels de l'école primaire, de la IIIe à la Ve République

14 h 30 Germain Collombet (université Lyon 2)
Enseigner la Gaule : le film fixe et la pédagogie de l'instituteur après 1916

Thème 2 :
Vus d'ailleurs : Gaulois ou Germains ?

Présidence de séance : Michel Reddé

15 h Andrea Binsfeld (université du Luxembourg)
Les Trévires vus par le jésuite luxem- bourgeois Alexandre Wiltheim (1604-1684)

15 h 30 Eugène Warmenbol (université de Bruxelles)
Les Gaulois dans la culture populaire en Belgique : d'Ambiorix à Lambiorix

VENDREDI 19 SEPTEMBRE

9 h Accueil des participants

Thème 3 :
À la croisée des disciplines : historiens et archéologues face au(x) mythe(s)

Présidence de séance : Olivier Buchsenschutz

9 h 30 Laurent Lamoine (université de Clermont-Ferrand)
L'indiscipline des Gaulois

10 h Alexandre Page (université de Clermont-Ferrand)
Le sacrifice humain chez les Gaulois : perception, réception et usages idéologiques au XIXe siècle

Pause café

Présidence de séance : Jean-Paul Demoule
11 h Laurent Olivier (musée d'Archéologie nationale), Lionel Pernet (site archéologique Lattara – musée Henri Prades)
Les emprunts iconographiques du cavalier gaulois d'Emmanuel Frémiet : une image de l'archéologie gauloise au début des années 1860

11 h 30 Serge Lewuillon (université de Picardie)
Le roman du carnyx. Comment l'image fait le mythe

Pause déjeuner

Présidence de séance : Frédéric Trément

14 h Sylvia Nieto-Pelletier (CNRS - université d'Orléans)
Construction et déconstruction de l'« empire arverne » : la numismatique face à un concept

14 h 30 Sarah Rey (université de Valenciennes)
Voies de communication et circulation de l'information dans l'espace gaulois. Historiographie et archéologie. XIXe-XXIe siècles

Pause café

15 h 30 Olivier Buchsenschutz
Les Gaulois, l'hexagone et le kaléidoscope

Lieu de la manifestation : Clermont-Ferrand, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 4, rue Ledru, Clermont-Ferrand
Organisation : Ludivine Péchoux, Oriane Hébert
Contact : colloque@tumulte-gaulois.fr

Mythes en crise. La crise du mythe

Titre: Mythes en crise. La crise du mythe
Lieu: Universidad Complutense de Madrid / Madrid
Catégorie: Colloques, journées d'études
Date: 21.10.2014 - 24.10.2014
Heure: 09.00 h - 18.15 h
Description:

Information signalée par Françoise LECOCQ

Mythes en crise. La crise du mythe

 

Is it true that myth, as a product of human beings, is born, grows, reproduces, and dies?

We could study any one of these stages of development. Myths are undoubtedly born, grow, and reproduce. But they also decline. Various circumstances explain how myths enter into a crisis. Occasionally, a socio-cultural environment changes until it demands an adjustment in the overall context of its myths (angels have lost their Christian meaning to their aesthetic dimension).

Myths can also enter into a crisis caused by a substantial change in their historical situation, as the Commendatore in Don Juan shows. Beyond the issue of myths in crisis, there is another: the crisis of myth. This is particularly noteworthy in the 20th and 21st centuries, when myths no longer provide the primary motives for the plot, as in the Classical period, nor their notional equivalents, as in Romanticism.

In this conference, we seek to analyze whether — in our age (the 20th and 21st centuries) — myths die or get adapted. In other words, we want to define the conditions of adapting myths and of their evolution, and to discern whether their crises could bring about their resurgence, or death.

Programme : http://mythcriticism.wix.com/congres2014#!page3/cee5

Lieu de la manifestation : MADRID, Universidad Complutense
Organisation : Jose Manuel LOSADA GOYA et Antonella LIPSCOMB
Contact : conference@asteria-association.org

Colleen Morgan (Middle Savagery)

Origins of Doha Re-Photography Featured on CNN

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.14.34 AM

I was happy to see that a mash-up that did a while ago for the Origins of Doha project was featured on the special Qatar Foundation section of CNN. The photo is near the Souq Waqif, and we located and re-shot the photograph using one of the few landmarks left in that area, a small minaret visible above and to the left of the men walking toward the camera. The black and white photograph comes from the Bibby and Glob expedition to Doha.

I posted some of my initial attempts here:

http://middlesavagery.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/rephotography-in-doha/
http://middlesavagery.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/take-two-rephotography-in-doha/

You can see the full feature about the Origins of Doha Project, as linked from the project webpage HERE, and includes the print versions of the article in Arabic and English.


Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

JSP 23.3-4

THE JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF THE PSEUDEPIGRAPHA has published a couple issues in 2014. The TOC of 23.3 is as follows:
Ralph Lee
The Ethiopic ‘Andəmta’ Commentary on Ethiopic Enoch 2 (1 Enoch 6–9)
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha March 2014 23: 179-200, doi:10.1177/0951820714528628

Ariel Feldman
Moses’ Farewell Address according to 1QWords of Moses (1Q22)
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha March 2014 23: 201-214, doi:10.1177/0951820714528629

Arye Edrei and
Doron Mendels
Preliminary Thoughts on Structures of ‘Sovereignty’ and the Deepening Gap between Judaism and Christianity in the First Centuries CE
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha March 2014 23: 215-238, doi:10.1177/0951820714528630

Shifra Sznol
Traces of the Targum Sources in Greek Bible Translations in the Hebrew Alphabet
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha March 2014 23: 239-256, doi:10.1177/0951820714528632
The TOC of 23.4 is as follows:
Ilaria L.E. Ramelli
A Pseudepigraphon Inside a Pseudepigraphon? The Seneca–Paul Correspondence and the Letters Added Afterwards
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha June 2014 23: 259-289, doi:10.1177/0951820714536495

Christfried Böttrich
Apocalyptic Tradition and Mystical Prayer in the Ladder of Jacob
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha June 2014 23: 290-306, doi:10.1177/0951820714536497

Chris H. Knights
The Rechabites Revisited: The History of the Rechabites Twenty-Five Years On
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha June 2014 23: 307-320, doi:10.1177/0951820714536499
The abstract for the last, by Knights, reads:
In this article the author revisits the ‘History of the Rechabites’, chs. 8–10 of the Story of Zosimus, a text he first studied in the 1980s, in the light of the work done on the text more recently by Nikolsky and Davila. He looks more closely at the reasons why the text may or may not be Jewish and concludes that, despite his earlier published views, it is more likely to be a Christian composition than a Jewish one.
Dr Knights kindly sent me an offprint of this one. My work on the Story of Zosimus from 2003 is online here and here.

Antiquity Now

Kids’ Blog! Chinese Kites Soar Throughout History

Did you know that kites were invented 2,300 years ago?  A Chinese philosopher, Mo Di, who lived from 468-376 BCE, designed the very first kite in the shape of an eagle.[1]  It was not made out of paper, because paper … Continue reading

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Teaching women’s history

A website developed by postgraduate students from the University of York aims to encourage the integrated teaching of women’s history in UK's school curriculum.

The post Teaching women’s history appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Carlisle Floyd on Susannah

APOCRYPHA WATCH: Carlisle Floyd discusses the narrative dimension of opera
(Stephen Smoliar, The Examiner).
Yesterday evening San Francisco Opera (SFO) presented the first Insight Panel of the its 2014–15 season. The Panel was hosted by Jon Finck, Director of Communications and Public Affairs; and the topic was the company premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s 1955 opera Susannah. What made this a particularly special occasion was that Floyd himself, who turned 88 last June, was on hand to participate, along with SFO General Director David Gockley, soprano Patricia Racette (who will be singing the title role), stage director Michael Cavanagh, and conductor Karen Kamensek.
[...]

As I have previously observed, Floyd wrote his own libretto for Susannah and did the same for all of his later operas. While the story is loosely based on an episode in the Biblical apocrypha originally associated with the Book of Daniel, Floyd was actually inspired by a Renaissance painting of that portion of the story in which the elders are spying on Susannah while she was bathing. Floyd’s libretto “Americanized” the tale, setting it in the mountain town of New Hope Valley, Tennessee.

[...]
Susannah will be playing in San Francisco starting Saturday. Past performances are noted here and links.

Biblical Studies Carnival

THE BIBLICAL STUDIES CARNIVAL FOR AUGUST 2014 has been posted at the Biblical Studies Blog.

Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews)

Neolithic site discovered in central China

Archaeologists in central China's Henan province have excavated a large neolithic settlement complete with moats and a cemetery. The Shanggangyang Site covers an area of 120,000 square metres, beside a...

Genetic prehistory of the New World Arctic peoples

Many studies and discoveries focus on searching for the first Americans. Less popular but equally important has been research into how and when the Arctic was settled - the last...

Finds from Avebury's West Kennet Avenue

Archaeology students mostly from Southampton and Leicester universities have re-opened one trench from last year's dig, plus another major area of investigation, moving tons of turf and soil to reach...

Liz Gloyn (Classically Inclined)

Classics on television: Plebs

I wrote this post last year and then forgot to post it… as the second season has been announced, I thought now was as good a time as any to post it. Enjoy!

I’m sure most of you picked up on the ITV2 show Plebs that finished its first season recently. I’m not planning to say a great deal about individual episodes – Juliette Harrison has done that much more eloquently and systematically already – but I did want to make a few observations, not least because this is the first Roman-based television series to be done for a while in UK television. It’s playing with a couple of traditions of British comedy – when the series was first announced, parallels were drawn with Chelmsford 123, while in execution it definitely acknowledges its debt to a particular form of British awkward comedy serials like Gavin and Stacey and The IT Crowd. So, how successful was it?

plebs-itvTime to invoke the first rule of classical reception – this is not about accuracy and whether the slum hovel that the boys rent is an accurate representation of slum hovels in ancient Rome. Plebs made no secret of the fact that it saw itself as primarily being about what would happen if you took modern people and stuck them in Rome – it’s not interested in doing the sort of thing that even Spartacus: Blood and Sand does in exploring the life of a gladiator, sex, brutality and all (and also far fewer intentional laughs, but I digress). It’s not particularly interested in getting historical accuracy – but it does capture some very Roman attitudes, and once the series gets going it starts to engage with some elements of historical fact in interesting ways.

That ‘once the series gets going’ is quite important, to me at least – I found that I enjoyed the series a lot more once the pace had settled down and the writers had got the bodily function stuff out of the way. Humour is one of those very personal things, I know, and I don’t mean to seem prudish, but scatological jokes have always been a negative for me, and I did get perilously close to not finishing the series after That Scene With The Togas. However, it seems as if the writers were having a bit of an insecurity moment, and once they’d got past that phase, the jokes started to feel funnier.

One of the benefits of the ‘sod it, we’re never going to win the authenticity battle so let’s not even bother trying’ approach was that the series does tell us an awful lot about what people think Rome looks like now and what it stands for. For instance, despite the fact the series is set very explicitly in 27 B.C.,  Rome is apparently governed by an emperor. An unnamed mad emperor who imports a shedload of cats to get rid of the rodent infestation, followed by a shedload of dogs to get rid of the shedload of cats. Also, Rome is mainly the forum, quite a lot of columns, some parchment, and tunics. Oh, and orgies. That the first episode decides to engage with this well-worn trope of Roman life is somewhat of a territory-staking move – here we are, look how Very Roman and Decadent we’re being – but in such a way that takes those tropes and does something a bit new with them. Because the protagonists seeking to go to an orgy have no idea what one actually involves, so all the audience shares their total ignorance of what actually happens as well as their feverish imaginations about what might happen.

This builds on the choice to make none of the protagonists insiders. Marcus, his slave Grumio and his mate Stylax have only been in the city six weeks when they meet Cynthia and her slave Metella, fresh from Britain. So we get to see a group of lads terribly keen on getting the most out of urban life in an exciting capital city where they don’t quite know the rules, working in menial office jobs, thinking they know it all and actually just not, and trying to get together with girls just as clueless as them. Well, a girl as clueless as them. Metella is a pretty tough cookie. That the lads aren’t as suave as they’re trying to be is a constant trope – Stylax gets Cynthia’s gladiator boyfriend killed by shouting at the wrong time, Marcus tries to give Cynthia and Metella a tour around the city but has no idea what anything is, the plot of the final episode is driven by the lads not wanting to miss the big Saturnalia Gong for their first Roman new year. That writing choice means that the characters are always a bit wrong-footed by life in Rome, in a way that’s very similar to the audience themselves.

I do think that the final two episodes were the best and funniest, not to mention the most thematically coherent. The fifth episode dealt with the boys’ landlord subletting the apartment to a couple of Thracians, leading to the pun ‘what, are you being Thracist?’, and may well lead to exam answers that claim that the Romans imported bananas and pineapples from Thrace (here’s a clue – they didn’t). The whole episode thought a bit about what it would be like to live in a city where the conquering of new bits of territory meant a steady stream of people from strange and interesting countries, and how being part of an empire would affect the day to day lives of regular citizens, in an interesting and fun way that worked really well. Similarly, the sixth episode basically went ‘so, Roman religion, then’, and pulled in the Saturnalia, what happens to animal sacrifices, and the cult of Cybele. I never thought I would find myself typing ‘wow, that cult of Cybele joke was hilarious’, but yes, it was.

PlebsSo, where does all this leave us? Plebs clearly isn’t aiming for accuracy, and in part can jettison the sort of accuracy of things like Rome and Gladiator: Blood and Sand because it’s trying to do comedy, not high ‘quality’ drama. It’s settled down into its rhythm, and has characters who allow the unfamiliarity of the city (however unauthentic) to become the foil for the laughs. But most importantly – it has Flavia. The settled-in, competent office manager who makes the lives of Marcus and Stylax – well, not a living hell, but certainly rather more interesting than they would otherwise be. She is probably my favourite character of the lot, and is everything that the boys wish they were – worldly-wise, imbued with the decadence of Rome, wealthy, successful, a real Roman insider. It’s the fact that she is as exaggerated as she is that makes her so much fun, almost as if she’s wandered off the set of Quo Vadis as an guest at Nero’s banquet to get back to the day job. Of course, in strict Roman class terms, she probably isn’t as elevated as she’s coming across – no mention has been made of senatorial background yet, and we all know that to operate in trade was utterly infra dig. But she might well be somebody’s somebody for doing business without getting their hands dirty, and thence the connection and the status. I know it’s rather rich for me to end a review I started with a warning about historical accuracy with a bit of a possible reconstruction of a character’s place in the actual Roman class structure, but humour me. She’s an absolute gem of a character, and now that the writers have settled down into their stride, I hope we get to see more of her and the rest of the gang in a second series.

 


Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

4th Symposium Arch_RNT

This symposium focuses on the use of New Technologies (Archaeometry, Computing Technology, Conservation and Restoration) in the Archaeological Research.

The post 4th Symposium Arch_RNT appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Roberta Mazza (Faces & Voices)

Unravelling the John Rylands papyrus collection

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 15.10.01This week the John Rylands Library hosts an international conference on the Rylands papyri: From Egypt to Manchester: unravelling the John Rylands papyrus collection. I am happy to have a number of colleagues and friends coming to a (so far!) sunny Manchester. You can download the program from here: Conference.

I will be tweeting from my account, so follow @papyrologyatman for live updating from Thursday afternoon through Saturday.


Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

MuseumNext conference 2015

The MuseumNext conference will take place between April 19-21 2015.

The post MuseumNext conference 2015 appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

All Mesopotamia

adokal: Female head with diadem, Neo-Assyrian, ca 8th c. BCE,...



adokal:

Female head with diadem, Neo-Assyrian, ca 8th c. BCE, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), Iraq. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York, USA.

source

Beautiful.

massarrah: Old Babylonian “Spreadsheets” Tabular book-keeping...





massarrah:

Old Babylonian “Spreadsheets”

Tabular book-keeping made its debut early in Mesopotamian history during the third millennium BCE. The earliest known table that displays headings and a horizontal axis of calculations comes from the Early Dynastic Period (Robson: p. 117). Tables were used to organise and store both quantitative and qualitative information, and provided an important tool for book-keeping. Both of the examples pictured above are Old Babylonian administrative tablets from Larsa that show tabular accounts (Sources 1, 2).

Source: E. Robson, “Accounting For Change: The Development of Tabular Book-keeping in Early Mesopotamia”

Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University. Both photos from CDLI.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Pointing out Propagandist Fallacy 'Negativity', or the Only Realistic Basis for Discussing an Issue?


Time is Running Out
There are two types of material about artefact hunting and antiquities collecting on the Internet:
1)  There is a large number of websites and blogs presenting the hobbies and commerce in the best light possible. Dealers deny that anything they are doing is in any way damaging at all, indeed beneficial, any restrictions which anyone my ever think of placing on the free no-questions-asked trade is ill-advised, likely to be ineffective and downright unconstitutional. In the UK metal detectorists are the same on their forums there are names not-to-be-mentioned, things not-to-be-discussed, topics which must-be-presented-in-a-certain way and so on. They may deny it goes on, but we all see it. We see the evidence of the whitewash.
2) So, there are other websites and blogs which aim to fill in the gaps left by the whitewash and spin and furthermore alert people to it. This blog is just one of a number of resources which aims to do precisely that. This second type of blog is an expression of concern that the 'spin' is not enough to get the full picture, and like anything else only a wider view of the problem than that presented by the spin-doctors can be a basis for discussion and decision-making.

One of the spin-doctors, intent on promoting a certain image of artefact hunting in the UK is John Winter. For detectorists in general it seems that the concept of intellectual honesty is a foreign notion. Detectorist John Winter does not want to discuss certain issues (see here too, and here), does not want people to learn about the existence of other opinions about what he and his mates are doing, thinks metal detectorists superior to professional archaeologists, says he's less 'gullible' than those who respect professionals, he suggests all archaeologists are stupid to boot, does not believe artefact hunters [taking thousands of non-Treasure archaeological items for their personal collections] owe the rest of us any kind of explanation, believes in blocking free access to information for all about metal detecting, and topped it all off by writing of preservationist concerns in a text entitled "the Amazing Talking A**hole" full of insult and four-letter words. Mr Winter has the gall to accuse others of 'negativity'.

After presenting a biogram of a Framlingham, Suffolk, metal detectorist ('John Brassey : Author and Metal Detectorist', 1 September 2014) and mentioning that he'd just published a novel (available here on Amazon, check out the information on the author and his blog) John Winter, a propos of nothing,  has this to say to his readers:
In some circles [...] all metal detectorists are viewed as ignorant, rough and bad-mannered louts. Like many others of our ilk, John disproves that erroneous perception. I wonder if the most vociferous amongst them can put a negative spin on this blog post?
What I presume he means by that is, place the information he presents in some sort of a context. The existence of one, a dozen, John Brasseys in a community of maybe 16000 "disproves" nothing about the majority.

Look for yourselves. All along, I have been urging my readers to join a few UK metal detecting forums and read some blogs to see what UK metal detectorists think and say. Let's list a random few of them (the figures for 'a=' 'activity' refer to the 'most users online at the same time' statistic):
UK and European MD Forum [open access] (6412 members, a=1844)
Detecting Scotland [open access] (1305 members, a=385)
Central Searchers Metal Detecting Forum [restricted access] (939 members a=234)
UK Detecting Network Forum [restricted access] ( 6958 members, a=171)
Detecting Wales [open access] (2688 members, a=146)
Detectorist.co.uk [restricted access] (3487 members, a=125)
UKDFD Forum [restricted access] (3099 members, a=102)
Toddy's Detecting forum [open access] (1122 members, a=58)
British Metal Detecting [restricted access] (1997 members, a=50)
NCMD Forum [restricted access] (429 members, a=42)
Tony Robinson's Pants, (UK metal detectorist's blog)
Malamute Saloon (UK detectorist's blog)
Andy's Metal Detecting blog (UK detectorist's blog)
Janner's Metal Detecting blog (UK detectorist's blog)
Antiquities and Heritage Issues (UK metal detectorist's blog)
Detecting England [open access] (135 members, a=17)
Rally UK Forum (vanished, archived posts in Google).
Minelab Owners Forum
[open access] (not exclusively UK), (11049 [12,763?] members, activity ??)
If you have not done so, pick a few at random, and browse through them. Almost every UK code of practice tells artefact hunters that they are "ambassadors to the hobby". That's what you see them doing on their forums and blogs. That is the way reader can judge what they see on the forums. Most of them have moderators who remove stuff which they don't want outsiders to see or discuss (note how many have restricted access anyway).

Assuming that the majority of UK metal detectorists are well-read, articulate, ex-grammar school ex-banker types, living in the stockbroker belt is to miss the point entirely. To judge from the forums (and I urge the reader to do so and then consider the consequences) we cannot expect a "one size fits all"approach to apply to all engaged in artefact hunting. It was David Lammy (he of the "unsung heroes of Heritage" claim) who pointed out that most of the users of the PAS came from social groups C2 and D and were "challenged by formal education". Those were his words.

The problem is that we are asked to believe that the PAS is recording information which can be used as "data" for increasing knowledge about the past, for archaeological research and management of the historical resource. That is the whole justification of spending millions of pounds on the PAS (which today enters its eighteenth year of operation). Yet the quality of any archaeological data depends on how it is observed in the contexts of deposition and discovery. That's why archaeologists spend years training themselves/getting trained to make such observations and record them. 

It is easy to show that in UK metal detecting there are poster-boy detectorists capable of doing things 'by the book', the PAS shows them off regularly. Dave Crisp was one, another (an ex-pastor) has done an archaeology degree at Bristol, Steve Broom was another. The problem is there are a large number of detectorists ill-equipped to do anything by the book for the simple reason that they do not really understand what the words mean, why they are there, and why they should even have to bother about what they say. Yeas as somebody pointed out in the Guardian yesterday:
yes there is a Portable Antiquities Scheme that records finds on private and public property, but how is this helpful to archaeologists if whatever is extracted from the ground is not properly documented in its precise context?
Who is going to do that precise documentation, why and how if the aim is just to hoik goodies out for collection or turning into cash? The intellectual level of the majority of the people doing the artefact hunting, the extraction of archaeological data from the ground is an important factor (PACHI, 13 June 2014, 'The Intellect of Detector Users and its Implications for "Partnership"...'). It has a direct relevance to assessing the value of that information. It is rather disturbing that only now, more than a decade and a half into the PAS are we beginning to see some proper studies of the reliability, meaning, and limitations of the PAS 'data' (Walton, Brindle, Robbins).  Simply presenting a view that all metal detector users are the intellectual equals of the PAS poster-boys is missing the point, and avoiding discussion of a very serious issue in UK policies of "outreach" and data collection.

Now, I am sure that those whose interest is in avoiding any kind of discussion of the realia of artefact hunting and collecting in the UK will regard that as "negativism". That really is of no concern of mine., My concern is that we get people to see these phenomena for what they are, not how a destructive and erosive hobby's propagandists would like them to be. Take a look at the metal detecting forums listed above - and any other you may care to find and make your own minds up.


Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: September 2

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): ante diem quartum Nonas Septembres.

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


TODAY'S MOTTOES and PROVERBS:

TINY MOTTOES: Today's tiny motto is: Amico Hercule (English: With Hercules as my friend).

3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Sapientia gubernator navis (English: Wisdom is the pilot of the ship)

AUDIO PROVERBS: Today's audio Latin proverb is Caesar non supra grammaticos (English: Caesar is not superior to the grammarians). 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: Satis est superare inimicum, nimium est perdere (English: It's enough to conquer your enemy; to destroy him is too much).

ERASMUS' ANIMALS: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Furemque fur cognoscit, et lupum lupus (English: Thief knows thief, wolf knows wolf; from Adagia 2.3.63).

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


And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:



TODAY'S FABLES:

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Simius et Speculum, a fable about self-awareness.

FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Ursus, Leo, et Vulpes, a fable in which the spoils go to the sly fox, of course (this fable has a vocabulary list).

Leo, Ursus et Vulpes

GreekLOLz - and Latin and English, too. Below is one of my GreekLOLz; for the individual Greek, Latin and English versions of the graphic, see the blog post: Ἁ δὲ χεὶρ την χεῖρα νίζει. Manus manum lavat. One hand washes the other.

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Gunungmegang Statue; Man and Elephant

Harry Octavianus Sofian

Harry Octavianus Sofian
Balai Arkeologi Palembang – Departemen Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia
Gunungmegang statue is one of the site from Pasemah Megalithic Culture, located at the foot of the Mountain Dempo, Lahat Distric, South Sumatera Province – Indonesia. Pasemah megalithic culture is very unic, because the representation from the statue not stiff, but show dynamic activity,like Gunungmegang statue, show man holding the trunk of the elephant. This statue show us how the ancient people do domestication of wild elephants?

Mary Harrsch (Passionate About History)

Sheer ruthlessness: a hallmark of American capitalism and "The Men Who Built America" (DVD Review)

A history resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2014

I watched an absolutely fascinating series on the History Channel (now available on DVD) entitled "The Men Who Built America".  It traces the careers of some of the most powerful men in American history including Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford.  It is one of the first series I have ever seen that does not white wash the rise to power of these so-called 20th century "titans" of industry.

Probably the thing I found most disturbing in the series was the apparent viewpoint of these men that they were somehow above the subhuman worker populations they employed. They were willing to acquire wealth through any means possible and their net worth, regardless of how it was acquired, represented to them their superior worth as a human being.

Each of these men had personal ambition that knew no bounds and a ruthlessness that drove them to exploit every opportunity in an industrial landscape that had little regulation to prevent insider trading, overt market manipulation and outright intimidation or protect the rights of workers.

Andrew Carnegie was treated a little more gently than the others mainly because he handed off the day to day operations of Carnegie Steel to a totally ruthless chairman named Henry Frick so Carnegie could ostensibly sail off to Scotland to enjoy the fruits of his labors.
Andrew Carnegie portrait at the National
Portrait Gallery.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Today, we associate Andrew Carnegie with education and the arts because of his philanthropic contributions to Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University and thousands of libraries around the world.  But, in truth, Carnegie was the ultimate decision maker in the operation of his steel empire during a tumultuous period of violence and even death. He was certainly aware of the decisions implemented by his chairman and did nothing to intervene in plant operations until nine workers at his flagship Homestead Steel Works were gunned down by the Pinkertons under Frick's orders in 1892.

The steel workers had been ground down by increasingly longer hours - 12 hours a day six days a week by the time of the massacre - under absolutely hellish conditions, while wages were whittled away by Frick to increase profits.

When I researched the life of Andrew Carnegie further to write this review I read that Carnegie claimed he was a disciple of Herbert Spencer whose economic theory of evolution is best characterized as economic survival of the fittest.  Spencer declared that any provisions made to assist the weak, unskilled, poor and distressed to be an imprudent disservice to evolution and that "severe fate" was the natural process to single out the weak, debauched and disabled.

I noticed, however, that even Spencer was appalled when he visited one of Carnegie's steel works and remarked, "Six months' residence here would justify suicide."

The program pointed out that 1 in 11 steel workers at the time were suffering horrendous injuries or death.  Yet labor unions had only been formed to bargain for wages and working conditions for just the skilled workers, less than 1/4 of the workforce.  Even so, Frick complained about the labor union that represented the skilled workers at the Homestead Steel Works in a letter to Carnegie stating "The mills have never been able to turn out the product they should, owing to being held back by the Amagamated men."  Although Carnegie had publicly claimed to be in favor of labor unions, privately he agreed with Frick and gave his approval to Frick's efforts to break the union at Homestead.

Carnegie's carefully cultivated public personae as a responsible industrialist and generous philanthropist was often used as a smoke screen to obscure his less noble activities.  For example, Carnegie publicly advocated less government while aggressively lobbying for protective trade tariffs that resulted in millions of dollars a year in extra revenue for his companies.

In this documentary, the producers pointed out that the development of Carnegie's benevolent personae was a direct result of the public relations nightmare generated by the Johnstown flood that killed 2,209 people in 1889.

Henry Frick, sometimes called the worst
CEO in American history.  Image courtesy
of Wikipedia.
Carnegie's chairman, Henry Frick, and a group of speculators, developed  an exclusive club for leading business tycoons of Western Pennsylvania, most connected through business dealings to Carnegie Steel.  The club was located  along the shore of Lake Conemaugh behind the South Fork Dam above the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The area had been prone to flooding since its founding by Joseph Johns at the confluence of the Stoney Creek and Little Conemaugh rivers in 1800.  The steep hills of the narrow Conemaugh Valley and the Allegheny Mountains range to the east produced large amounts of runoff from annual rain and snowfall.  This vulnerability was further compounded as the community grew and became the site of Cambria Iron Works who dumped slag from its iron furnaces along the river to create more land for building, but further narrowed the riverbed.

To make matters worse, Frick and his development speculators then lowered the dam,  so the top of the dam could be used as a roadway for Frick and his fellow wealthy clubmembers' carriages. They also built a fish screen in the spillway, the only remaining water control mechanism. A previous owner had already removed and sold for scrap the three cast iron discharge pipes that had been originally used to control the release of water.

A Johnstown house skewered by a tree.
Amazingly, all six people in the house
survived .  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Then the worst downpour ever recorded in the area, 6 - 10 inches of rain in just 24 hours, struck.  Following a night of unrelenting rain, at 3:10 p.m. on May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam collapsed sending a 60 foot wall of water and debris down upon the residents of Johnstown.  The death toll was the largest loss of civilian life in American history until the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.  Wikipedia states the 1900 Galveston hurricane claimed more lives but the program producers must not have agreed.

As is usually the case when the uber rich are involved, the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club was never held legally responsible for the disaster.  The court ruled the disaster an "act of God" and denied the survivors any legal compensation.  But the club members, including Carnegie, were vilified in the national press.  (The court ruling was considered so irresponsible a number of states adopted Rylands v. Fletcher, a British common-law precedent establishing the liability of a landowner with a reservoir for flood damage if the reservoir is not properly maintained.)

Anyway, since then, Carnegie had worked very hard to restore his reputation.

So back to the Homestead Strike of 1892 - just before the confrontation, the union had requested a wage increase in their collective bargaining agreement that was due to expire on June 30, 1892.  Frick countered with a 22% wage decrease and proposed the elimination of a number of positions and that the steel works would become non-union after the expiration of the current contract.  Pointing out that the union only represented the skilled workers at the plant, Carnegie exclaimed the union was "an elitist discriminatory organization that was not worthy of the Republic!"

Frick eventually relented a little and offered a slightly better wage agreement. But the union refused the offer so Frick shuttered the mill the night before the contract expired and built a barricade around the mill to keep workers from returning.  The workers took possession of the mill anyway, determined to prevent operation by strikebreakers imported by Frick.  So Frick called in the Pinkertons to route the workers from the mill using any means necessary.

I had no idea that the Pinkertons at this point in history actually had more firepower than the entire United States military.  When the program explained this and I reacted with incredulity my husband pointed out "Where do you think Blackwater came from?!!"

The Homestead riot / drawn by W.P. Snyder after a
photograph by Dabbs, Pittsburg. Image courtesy of
Wikipedia.


When I further researched this statement, I found it to be absolutely true.  Apparently the Pinkertons by the 1890s had more agents than there were soldiers in the U.S. Army and were often hired by late 19th and early 20th century businessmen to infiltrate unions, block strikers, keep unionists out of factories and even recruit "goon" squads to intimidate workers.  It sounds more like the mob than a reputable security agency!
Anyway, 300 Pinkerton agents armed with Winchester rifles fired on the striking workers at Carnegie's Homestead Steel Works, killing  nine of the men and wounding 23 others.  Seven Pinkerton agents were also killed.

As the program recounted these turbulent events I was totally riveted.  The production was punctuated by short reenactments by professional actors playing the different industrialists in crucial scenes of their careers.  These cut scenes were just enough to draw you into their world and make the program seem more of a drama rather than a documentary.

I would highly recommend this series as a way to understand not only the history of the individuals portrayed but the evolution of industry in the United States and how it impacts our lives today.  I would especially encourage any American history teachers out there to incorporate this series into their curiculum to provide their students with an unvarnished look at the foundations of American capitalism.

Ancient Art

Etruscan strainers at the MET. All the shown examples date to...













Etruscan strainers at the MET.

All the shown examples date to the 6th-5th centuries BCE and are made of bronze. Strainers were were used at symposiums (drinking parties) to strain the wine or additives mixed into it.

The strainer shown in the first image is one of the most elaborate, and best-preserved, Etruscan strainer handles found to date. The MET provides the following description of this artefact:

The artist has skillfully presented a complex subject on a very small scale in the openwork square just below the handle’s attachment point. Two nude boxers appear to have just finished a bout in which one man has been knocked to his knees. Their trainer or referee holds his arms up to indicate the end of the round. On the underside of the attachment point is a delicately modeled doe lying on a wave-crest border. The handle’s base depicts a bearded male figure with fish-like legs that terminate in bearded snake heads. The strange legs form a perfect circular opening that allowed the patera to be hung when not in use. The sea monster, almost like a merman, may have been intended to ward off evil.

Courtesy of & currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via their online collections12.160.834.11.814.105.365.11.122.139.1711.212.2.

September 01, 2014

Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

Islamic State massacre and urbicide of Yezidis

The precise nature of the horrors suffered by the Yezidis of Jidalê is unclear, but there is photographic evidence of killings of civilians and destruction of civilian property, which reaffirms the evidence that the Islamic State is an urbicidal, genocidal state. The elimination of Jidale On the 24th of August, the Islamic State advanced on […]

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

‘Pompeii of the North’ threatened by land sale

A major Roman archaeological site in northern England could be threatened by development, as the Church of England plans to sell off the land it sits on.

Pompeii of the North

The Binchester Roman Fort in County Durham has been billed the ‘Pompeii of the North’ after a five-year archaeological dig uncovered some of the most well preserved remnants of the Roman Empire dating back some 1800 years ago, including one of the earliest pieces of evidence for Christianity in Roman Britain in the shape of a silver ring.

The archaeologists also discovered a bath house with seven-foot high walls, which were once covered with brightly covered painted designs, as well as an altar dedicated to the Roman Goddess of Fortune.

However the land where the 1800-year old Roman settlement is located being sold off as part of 10 plots around Bishop Auckland. The sale is being carried out by the Church Commissioners, which manages properties for the Church of England.

The announcement has prompted fears that the potential new owners could restrict public access to the site, limit archaeological digs, or even build close a house or hotel close to the site.

The Auckland Castle Trust has made a £2 million bid for the two plots of land that the Binchester Roman Fort sits on, and is leading the calls for the site to be protected. Trust Chairman Jonathan Ruffer told media that “Binchester must be secured by someone who has a heart for Bishop Auckland and a deep understanding of the site’s importance in a national and international context.”

The Trust has even launched an online petition that has already garnered over 630 supporters. Click here to see the online petition.

Silver ring with Christian symbols discovered at the Binchester Roman Fort. Photo courtesy Durham University

Silver ring with Christian symbols discovered at the Binchester Roman Fort. Photo courtesy Durham University

The Church Commissioners are disputing the concerns raised by the Auckland Castle Trust. Their spokesman told the Northern Echo: “We are disappointed that such an excellent body as the Auckland Castle Trust do not recognise the statutory protections in operation for Binchester Roman Fort. The statement issued by the trust seems to be creating a scare story in order to further its own objectives to become a preferential purchaser in the sale of land. The process for the sale is transparent and leaves no room for undue influence by any interested party. All offers will be considered without prejudice or preference.”

“Throughout the marketing of this estate the commissioners have been consistent in their dealings with all parties not least existing tenants. We have informed parties that offers should be submitted by September 18 and that no offers prior to that date would be considered. It is disappointing that through their actions Auckland Castle Trust seem to be seeking to manipulate an open and transparent process through the launch of campaign which would result in them being the only potential purchasers of the site.”

Dr David Petts, lecturer in archaeology at Durham University and the leader of the archaeological project at the Binchester Roman Fort, has said that “the most unique feature of these remains is the sheer scale of their preservation. It is possible to walk through a series of Roman rooms with walls all above head height; this is pretty exceptional for Roman Britain.”

You can read his report of the 2012 excavation here.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

LEGO Social Mobility

Click here to view the embedded video.

Inequality and social mobility (or lack thereof) in the United States, illustrated with LEGO. HT IO9.

ArcheoNet BE

Leuvense egyptologen ontmaskeren prof

Als ze niet bezig zijn met het ontcijferen van hiërogliefen, steken egyptologen vaak ook praktisch de handen uit de mouwen. Dat moet toch blijken uit het nieuwe filmpje ‘Leuvense egyptologen ontmaskeren prof’, waarin getoond wordt hoe de egyptologen van de KU Leuven een onderzoeksvraag op experimentele wijze beantwoorden. Niemand minder dan professor Harco Willems diende zich aan als vrijwilliger om een experiment rond Egyptische dodenmaskers tot een goed einde te brengen. In het belang van de wetenschap was hij zelfs bereid om zijn baard af te scheren…

Meer weten over Egyptologie aan de KU Leuven? Surf dan naar arts.kuleuven.be/ono/egypte.

Samuel Fee (Arranged Delerium)

Design Salaries

A new academic year starts today at W&J. In addition to just learning for the sake of becoming a better human being, so folks are more pragmatic in their thinking and considering what kinds of jobs they might get with their degrees from CIS. Of… Continue reading

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #528

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

Notice of the death of Robert Blackader, Archbishop of Glasgow, during a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in the year 1508.
http://bit.ly/10BrvhR

RECONSTRUCTING MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGICAL ORGANISATION AT THE QIJIA JUE EARRING WORKSHOP IN WESTERN ZHOU (1046-771 BC) CHINA
http://bit.ly/17J6ztP

Excavations at the Catstane, Midlothian 1977
http://bit.ly/1aMvMIy

Archaeological Research of the Medieval Settlement on the Position of Rudičevo in Torčec near Koprivnica
http://bit.ly/1bI2mZs

Archaeological Excavations at the Old Town (Stari grad) Site in Ivanec
http://bit.ly/Y5pjUB

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

Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

$7100 for a Archaeology Book! The Economics of Archaeology Publishing

In the last few months I have fielded some questions from Tracy at Archaeology in Tennessee and Maria at Sprache der Dinge about publishing in archaeology. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did their questions justice with my short emails. So I am going to spend this week’s blog posts on publishing in archaeology, including DIY publishing digital books. First up the $7200 book.

How Book Publishing Works

While I would love to include journals in this series that is just going to be too much to cover and will have to wait for another series. I am going to discuss monographs a.k.a books. So how do we get the $7200 book. Well for one it is an Encyclopedia with 8015 pages, 2619 illustrations (1828 illus. in color) is 11 volumes and the print version is “only” $5700, $7100 comes with digital access (still high but not as title catching, sorry about the slight deception). Still that is $1-.70 a page. Imagine if you paid $1 per page for the last book you read. How much would that have cost? $150? $220?

Print Costs Pennies

It seems outrageous and then you find out that  the printing costs for books is only a tiny percentage of the total costs. Depending on the quality of the paper and size the cost of printing it is probably only a $1 or $2. Even a single print on demand book, 200 pages long, can be had for about $4-5. (Though if you use quality paper, leather bound, etc. the price can quickly climb) Even when you take into account things like shipping, people to stock shelves, and the overhead of a physical location of a bookstore those costs only account for 30% or less of the total costs. A minimum wage worker only adds pennies to the price of a book in a bookstore.

I took a look at print on demand for the $7100 book- about $200-300 to print a book that size (well, that many volumes and split into smaller 350 page books) depending the quality of paper and cover, 5% of the cost. Making it nicer (glossy paper, hardback, etc.) could push the price much higher, around $1000 but that is still only 18% of the price.

Other things that add pennies not dollars to the price:

  • Hardback vs. softback. Hardbacks cost only marginally more expensive than softback books. It costs on average about $3.50 to print most hardbacks. It is 100% a marketing ploy to charge 20-50% more for a hardback and then releasing a “cheaper” softback a few years later.
  • Color vs. black and white. It is amazing how much the big publishers Springer, Evilsevier (Elsevier), etc. will  charge to print figures in color in an Open Access publication. Color images can drive up prices in that they require higher quality paper but overall it is pennies the difference in costs for color printing. When I say pennies even if color costs 100% more, B&W is only $.01 per page so it would be $.02 per page. The cost of 100 page book goes from $1 to $2 if it was 100% color images. It will still retail for $20-30.

Now you might really be questioning how come archaeology books cost so much when it costs $3.50 (about £2.20 in the UK) to print a 150-200 page hardback?

Pitchforks or Dollar Signs

I have run into only two reactions from archaeologists when they find this information out- ‘those greedy bastards’ or ‘my god, I need to publish a book to make money’ (Actually, a third reaction is ‘meh’). The problem is that the picture is much more complicated. For one, most of the costs come from paying the people involved in making the book and the second is that the economic models of publishing are brutal:

The Economics of Mass Media Publishing

The economics of each are very different for each type of publication. There are mass media publications. These are your Jared Diamond type books but I also include fiction works as well. There are quite a few archaeologists who write fiction work.

The most common misconception is that all of publishing works like mass media publishing, it doesn’t. Mass media publishing tends to pay an author an upfront fee and a small percentage of the profits. There are so many different publishers out there that give so many different deals that I can’t possibly list them all (upfront payment-no percentage, percentage after the publisher makes so much, the deals are endless) . However, the standard is fee upfront and percentage (small) of the profits.

The most important fact to remember is that most mass media books lose money. It is hard to get stats on this and it would vary from publisher to publisher but roughly 1 out 20 books makes money (some claim it is 1 out 100). It is a long tail model. Essentially, about 17-18 books will lose money (very little but still not really make money). 1-2 will break even/make a little, but one will pay for all the rest. That one is the Harry Potters of the world but also the Of Mice and Mens too. Think about how many “classics” of literature you have read in school throughout your lifetime. Those classics can sell thousands of copies a year for decades.

However, publishers are always chasing those breakouts and having to take a hit on all the other books they published and didn’t make money from. Moreover, those classics and blockbusters are probably 1 in 5000 or 10,000 books published, if not more. A success is a book that can sell in the low 10s of thousands. 100s of thousands are your blockbusters. This model is built on the idea of selling tens of thousands of copies to individuals for relatively cheap prices 10-20 $/£.

The Economics of Scholarly Publishing

Scholarly publishing makes up the vast majority of archaeology publishing and works on a very different model. These are you PhD thesis turned into a book, lifes work on pottery of small-area-vill, large excavations, and edited books. Edited books being a bunch of different authors contribute a chapter each, usually they come out of a conference or session in a conference. They are very narrow in their subject and focus.

Authors almost never get paid upfront or at all. Contributing to an edited volume means you get paid nothing. Usually, putting together an edited volume pays nothing. Though sometimes you might get a small percentage of the profits (5%, 10% or 15%) or a stipend. These stipends are usually very small and as you will see does not make up for the time spent. Another key difference is that instead of individual people buying these books the vast majority of them are bought by libraries.

The most important fact to remember about scholarly publishing is that the average print run is now around 200-300 books (Gardiner & Musto 2004; Greco &. Wharton 2008; Thompson 2005). Yes, it is very unlikely that more than a few hundred of these books will ever be printed, let alone sold. This has of course changed in the last few decades. In the 1970s print runs use to be into the several thousands but because journals have squeezed library budgets they can no longer afford to buy these books. It is also way you see prices like $7200 for a book. They are banking on probably only selling a few dozen of them (if that) and may not make money on it.  That is a bit extreme but explains how now all new archaeology books are in the 50-100 £/$ range. They are not aimed at individuals, they are aimed at a handful of libraries.  It is the exact reversal of the ‘Mass Media’ publishing which aims for lots of books at a low price.

The second most important fact to remember is that even with those prices some publishers can’t make money off of scholarly books. Many of these books are published by Scholarly societies and small University Presses, not ones like Oxford Press. Most of them just break even or lose money. Most Universities and Scholarly Societies have presses because of the scholarly duty to disseminate knowledge, not to make money.

Economics of Textbooks and How-to Guides

These sort of books fall in between these two extremes. A good textbook that is bought by hundreds if not thousands of students each year for decades is like a mass media publication. However, a how-to guide aimed at a few thousand archaeologists will be closer to scholarly publishing. There is no one model that fits these in between type books.

Why Authors and Publishers Lose Money

The real cost of books is not in their physical or digital production but in people’s time. You can do the math yourself. Let’s say you can write 500 good words an hour. For a six thousand word book that is 120 hours of work. How let’s say you got a stipend to write the book of a $1000 because you are writing a scholarly book. Not counting editing, time spent marketing your book (most author’s end up doing that themselves) , and a whole host of other work accounted for it you are making a whopping $8.30 and hour. When you take into account all the other work involved you might be down to $2 an hour. Now imagine the cost of an editor getting paid a real wage. A book might cost $3.50 to print but $20 to edit.

Percentages are not better. With a miraculously $25 profit on a $100 book but only selling 250 of them you end up with  $125 at 2% profit share and at 20% you make $1,250. Less than minimum wage if you send 120 hours working on it.

DIY Won’t Help

I have heard a lot of people say they will cut out the middle man and publish the book themselves. Well Amazon gives you 70% of the royalties for digital kindle books, minus some downloading costs. The catch is that it is for books between $2.99 and $9.99. Any more or less and you only get 30% royalties. So to get make minimum wage for 200 hours of work (120 writing first draft, 70 hours self editing, 10 hours marketing) you would have to sell 290 digital only books, actually around 300-325 because there are hidden fees. Also, that does not take into account all the other work you do for the book.

There is No Mass Market for Scholarly Archaeology

300 doesn’t seems like a lot and if you are aiming for mass media it is achievable. However, for scholarly work it is probably not obtainable. Think of everyone who has published on the topic of your book. Now cut that in half and cut that number in half again. That is probably the number of individuals that will buy your book. Is it more than 300?

You won’t have access to the libraries. Publishers may not do a lot for you in some cases (edited volumes tend to be put together and edited by others) but they have invested in marketing and access infrastructure. Many librarians won’t entertain self-published work as an option to buy. Also, publishers can make some money by selling books are parts of bundles, you can’t.  The 200-300 sales publishers i.e. university presses and societies, rely on are not available to you. It is a completely different economic model.

Edit- Matt, who works in publishing made this interesting comment-

“A couple of points you have to remember are that, in scholarly publishing, libraries now make up a smaller and smaller share of the sales – meaning that print runs are either being reduced, or the publishers are trying to sell more copies via the traditional retail outlets. These outlets are increasingly using centralised buying systems, getting their stock direct from wholesale warehouses rather than direct from the publisher. It makes a great deal of sense for them to do so, as the wholesaler can supply items in 48 hours (as opposed to the publishers 14 days). These wholesale warehouses ‘demand’ a very high discount from publishers – anywhere up to %60-%70 of cover price – which means that any publishers profit has to be found in the other %30-%40. When you take in to account print costs (actually usually a ‘bit’ higher than those examples you cite – but not much), the editorial costs, layout, design and marketing – then there really isn’t much of that %30-%40 left over. Given that the average print run for a scholarly work is now far less than the 300 you mention (that was a decade ago) things in academic publishing are, to be blunt, a bit tight. In recent years I have seen hardback print runs of 90 and 120.”

I should add when I quote lower print costs but if you want quality paper, a good binding etc. That $1 or 2$ extra can eat away at that 30-40% that publishers have to work in.

Beer Money

I have talked to several archaeologists who have self-published or get a percentage of the profits from their books with publishers. Basically, they end up with beer money. There are a few notable exceptions for some academics who have written textbooks that get bought by hundreds of undergrads each year. Even then when you take into account the time they spent on the book almost none of them have made close to minimum wage, some lose money.

That even counts for people who already did most of the writing for other projects e.g. PhD, CRM project. Yes, you did a lot of the work but you will still put in 40? 80? 100? more hours of work to sell only 100 books.

It not about the money, money

There are a million reasons to publish that is not about the money. People like to share what they know. If you are looking for a career in academia then you need to publish. You could be doing it to get your name out there. People love to hire the person who ‘wrote the book’ on (insert topic).

In no way do I want to discourage people from publishing by talking about the economics but I did want to clear up some misconceptions. I have had way too many conversations with people saying they want to become a professor, publish books, and live off of the royalties of the books….

Consider Open Access

A final thought to leave you with. People won’t read a book that costs $9.99 but will read a free one. Our book, on Blogging and Archaeology, has had at least 1000 downloads in 5 months between just Chris and I’s websites. It was published all over the place and we don’t have the full stats. One of my wife’s coworkers read it after someone in Australia sent it to her. It might have been read by 2-3k so far, but at least 1000 times. If you goal is to disseminate knowledge, get your name known, or make money through other means then consider Open Access. If you are DIY publishing it makes very little sense to charge $9.99 for a book so you can make $2 an hour for your work. If you got a single CRM contract or academic grant because you wrote a book someone read (because it was open access) it will pay 100X the little beer money you would get from 100 people buying your book. Just a thought.

Refs

Gardiner Eileen & Ronald G. Musto. 2004. Electronic Publication: The State of the Question, A paper presented at the 2004 American Philological Association Meeting.

Greco, A.N. and Wharton, R.M. 2008. Should university presses adopt an open access (electronic publishing) business model for all of their scholarly books?. In ELPUB. Open Scholarship: Authority, Community, and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 ñ Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing. L. Chan and S. Mornati, eds, Toronto.

Gardiner Eileen & Ronald G. Musto. 2004. Electronic Publication: The State of the Question, A paper presented at the 2004 American Philological Association Meeting.

Greco, A.N. and Wharton, R.M. 2008. Should university presses adopt an open access (electronic publishing) business model for all of their scholarly books?. In ELPUB. Open Scholarship: Authority, Community, and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 ñ Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing. L. Chan and S. Mornati, eds, Toronto.


Ancient Peoples

Harness Ornament with Raptors and Carnivores 5th-4th Century...



Harness Ornament with Raptors and Carnivores

5th-4th Century BC

Thracian

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Myth of the Gaps

Mythicism doesn’t account for gaps in what Paul writes better than mainstream scholarship does.

It just fills those gaps with something different, something which is at odds with what Paul does explicitly say in places.

People who did not previously know about a historical Jesus would be left with  questions after reading one of Paul’s letters. And people who did not previously know about a celestial Jesus would be left with the same kinds of questions after reading one of Paul’s letters.

People want information about other people. And when they believe in gods and celestial beings, they want information about those too.

And so the claim that somehow mythicism makes better sense of the gaps in Paul’s letters is not just bogus, but completely bogus.

And that anyone finds the claim persuasive, suggests to me that they have not given sufficient thought to the matter.

A good biography cannot include every detail, but it must provide enough. And a good myth may not include every detail, but it must provide enough.

And so surely the best explanation for the lack of historical and/or mythicial details in Paul’s letters must be the genre, and not the fact that he thought of Jesus in historical terms, mythical terms, or both.

And while one can certainly read mythicism into the gaps in Paul’s letters, there is nothing in those letters that requires one to do that, and some things Paul says make it much harder to do that. It is most straightforward to fill in missing information that fits with Jesus having been a Jewish person believed to be the messiah who was crucified, as Paul explicitly states, not to mention that this fits with the slightly later Gospels and all other relevant sources as well.

360px-Jesus_in_the_Sky

Dorothy King (PhDiva)

Le Fluff et Le Puff ... Bikinis

I've blogged several times about ancient 'bikinis' - the tag is here for posts - so we're not going to be going over that old ground.

But I've been wishing I was lounging in the sunshine in Morocco, not in rainy England, and ... one of the things women seem to complain about is the incompatibility of boobs and beachwear, so this is my little attempt at help.

I can't turn you in a Greek goddess, but I can suggest some good brands of bikinis. The only breasts that look good in those tiny little string triangles are silicone ones, otherwise it's a case of buying from a companies that make bra-sized swimwear.


Hoola is a British company that makes pretty, simple designs that start at a 28 band and go up to a GG cup. They are also having an end of summer sale at the moment - here.

I love their Honey Frill Poppy Red Top, although I prefer the other bottoms they did. It offers good support without looking as if it's the Forth Bridge (which so many cupped bikinis do ... eek).
 
I also have their Shimmer Twilight Blue Bandeau Halter in navy and in white ...
The bottoms shown in the photo are fabulously flattering - that's the difference between a high street and a designer bikini: the good brands will make your arse look better from behind.

I wish I'd bought the retro style ruched shorts / pants that go with them ...

Anyway, this is a fabulous brand, and I can't recommend their bikinis enough.

Hoola is also available at ASOS.


Miss Mandalay is another fabulous bikini brand. I have lots of their bikinis but none of the ones currently on their web site here. I have those designs and can vouch for them, but in different patterns or colours, and again they are stocked at ASOS (where they are currently on sale). They go from a 30 band and to a G cup, but the bands tend to be tighter than high street 30s.

Hoola bikinis offer better support than most Miss Mandalay bikinis, except this one - the Sail A Way Bikini Top is a miracle of engineering. It's available with retro or regular bottoms.

I bought this bikini from Fusspot Lingerie which is a simply amazing little shop on the internet that I've purchased from regularly and cannot recommend enough - she posts immediately, and is super lovely.


Pour Moi is a high street brand I've had good luck with some bikinis with ... others were a mixed bag (ie navy that looked black in the flesh ... eek ... my 'pet peeve' is black swimwear which is not slimming and makes white flesh look whiter ... incidentally, 'string' or tie-side bottoms are much more slimming than the big ones women too often try to hide behind). Pour Moi bikinis are available at ASOS and Figleaves.

N.B. - For Americans who say "what?!?! a G cup?!?" ... that's because we measure and size bras differently in the UK from the US. We measure first under the breasts to give the band size - so 29 inches would be rounded up to a 30 band - and then around the breasts for the cup (it's roughly an inch a cup size). In bikinis I tend to go up a band size so that it doesn't dig in, but not down in the cup (bikini cups tend to be smaller than bras, and I'm not a stripper).

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Study claims cave art made by Neanderthals

A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought.

The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because it indicates that modern humans and their extinct cousins shared the capacity for abstract expression.

The study, released Monday by the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined grooves in a rock that had been covered with sediment. Archaeologists had previously found artifacts associated with Neanderthal culture in the overlying layer, suggesting that the engravings must be older, said Clive Finlayson, one of the study’s authors. Read more.

ArcheoNet BE

Provinciale landschapsdag: Zennegat-Battenbroek

Op dinsdag 30 september organiseert de provincie Antwerpen haar vijfde provinciale landschapsdag. De landschapsdag vindt dit jaar plaats in Heffen (Mechelen), en zet het waterlandschap rond Zennegat-Battenbroek in de kijker. Hoe gaat de mens om met de rivieren en de getijden? Wat doet dit met het landschap en de natuur? De link tussen de geschiedenis en het landschap dat tot stand is gekomen, wordt toegelicht op de landschapsdag.

Verschillende sprekers zullen in de voormiddag de geschiedenis en het bijhorende landschap bespreken vanuit hun specialiteit. De evolutie van het Zennegat-Battenbroek wordt uitgebreid toegelicht vanaf de prehistorie tot het Sigmaplan. Je krijgt ook zicht op het gebruik en het beheer vn het landschap. Tijdens de namiddag wordt in verschillende excursies dieper ingegaan op onderwerpen uit de presentaties.

Praktisch: de provinciale landschapsdag vindt plaats op dinsdag 30 september in zal De Kettinghe in Heffen. De studiedag is gratis. Het volledige programma, alle praktische informatie en een inschrijvingsformulier vind je op www.provincieantwerpen.be. Inschrijven is mogelijk tot 20 september.

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 33 (A scribal note by Iovane Zosime)

For students of the languages, literature, and history of Christianity, the horde of manuscripts written or preserved at Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai is among the most valuable collections. Manuscripts there were microfilmed several decades ago, and we can be very grateful that scans of those microfilms have been made accessible through E-corpus. While the images are bitonal, and thus not everything is as readable as we might like, in general the writing is clear (at least in black ink, others less so).

Below is an image from Sin. Geo. 62 (Garitte, Catalogue, pp. 197-209), a hagiographic manuscript of the late tenth century written by Iovane Zosime, from whose pen several manuscripts survive. Here is a note at the end a text where he requests prayer.

Sin. Geo. 62, f. 138vb

Sin. Geo. 62, f. 138vb

With abbreviations resolved, it reads in nusxuri (and an asomtavruli initial):

Ⴜ(ⴋⴈⴃⴀ)ⴌⴍ ⴋⴍⴜⴀⴋⴄⴌⴍ ⴋⴍⴋⴈⴤⴑⴄⴌⴄⴇ ⴜ(ⴈⴌⴀⴘ)ⴄ ⴖ(ⴋⴐ)ⴇⴈⴑⴀ ⴋⴄⴍⴞⴄⴁⴈ

ⴇⴀ ⴇⴕ(ⴍⴣⴄ)ⴌⴈⴇⴀ ⴈⴍⴅⴀⴌⴄ ⴔ(ⴐⴈⴀ)ⴃ ⴚⴍ<ⴃ>ⴅⴈⴊⴈ : ⴊ(ⴍ)ⴚⴅⴀⴗ(ⴀⴅ)ⴊ

In mxedruli:

წ(მიდა)ნო მოწამენო მომიჴსენეთ წ(ინაშ)ე ღ(მრ)თისა მეოხებითა თქ(უე)ნითა იოვანე ფ(რია)დ ცო<დ>ვილი ლ(ო)ც(ვა)-ყ(ავ)თ

The missing ⴃ in ⴚⴍ<ⴃ>ⴅⴈⴊⴈ may be due to an abbreviation, but there is no abbreviation-mark, so I have considered it an accidental omission. (It be must be stated, though, that every single abbreviation is not always so marked.)

Vocabulary and grammatical remarks:

  • მოწამეჲ martyr
  • მო-მ-ი-ჴსენ-ეთ aor impv 2pl O1 მოჴსენება to remember
  • მეოხებაჲ intercession, help
  • ცოდვილი sinner
  • ლოცვა-ყავ-თ aor impv 2pl ლოცვის-ყოფა to pray (< to make a prayer)

Garitte’s LT (209):

Sancti martyres mementote mei coram Deo intercessione vestra, Iohannis valde peccatoris; orate.

My ET:

Holy martyrs, remember me before God, John, the great sinner, through your intercession! Pray!


Archaeological News on Tumblr

Supermarket built over ancient city of Myrleia in Bursa despite court cases

A supermarket has been built on top of the ancient city of Myrleia, dating back to 700 BC, in the western province of Bursa, despite ongoing court cases related to the protection of the area.

Bursa Municipality had granted tourism and trading construction permits for a 60,000-square meter area above the ancient city, after which a branch of the supermarket chain store Kipa was built. Parts of the ancient site are now being held in the basement of the supermarket.

Uludağ University’s Archaeology Department discovered pieces of ancient ceramics on the surface near the area in 2010, after which they requested the Bursa Culture and Natural Heritage Preservation Board to declare the area a 1st degree conservation site. After assessing the land, the Preservation Board declared the area to be a 3rd degree archaeological site, meaning fewer restrictions in the use of land than initially requested. Read more.

Ancient Peoples

Silver Gilt Cup (One of a pair) 4th-3rd Century BC Late...



Silver Gilt Cup (One of a pair)

4th-3rd Century BC

Late Classical or Hellenistic

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Iron Age CSI finds gold thieves died in the act

IN 1958, archaeologist Robert Dyson was excavating the long-buried citadel of Hasanlu in Iran when he came across this beautiful gold bowl (pictured). But after a moment in the international headlines, the bowl and citadel were largely forgotten.

And so the unique circumstances under which the precious vessel fell to the bottom of a refuse shaft 2,800 years ago are only now coming to light, as Dyson’s former student Michael Danti of Boston University revisits the excavation notes.

Today, Hasanlu looks like a large dirt mound that rises 25 metres out of the Solduz valley in north-west Iran, but beneath the earth are the remains of a settlement that was occupied nearly continuously for millennia, from 6000 BC. Read more.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: I know, Let's...


In a comment on Dave Crisp's The joy of metal detecting – it’s not just about the treasure (29 August 2014, Guardian Opinion is Free), the editor of Culture Crime News comments:
Thoughts from a metal detectorist in the UK. Worth reading in that it is clear that this person has either not considered or not been given the opportunity to explore his interest in the past via real archaeology. How can we get these people to make a contribution, not just cause destruction?
I know, let us set up a government-funded Scheme to outreach to "these people" (and anyone else)  and give them a chance to explore their interest in the past through real archaeology! I mean, it could do things like, umm, "advance knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales by the systematic recording of archaeological objects found by the public". It could "raise awareness amongst the public of the educational value of archaeological finds and facilitate research in them". Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could actually "increase opportunities for active public engagement in archaeology and strengthen links between metal detector users and archaeologists"? And it should "encourage all those who find archaeological objects to make them available for recording and to promote archaeological best practice by finders".  I mean it could, couldn'tit?  It could be called something like the "Moveable Artefacts Project" (MAP). Trouble is, where could we find such a Scheme?


BiblePlaces Blog

Conference on Khirbet Qeiyafa

The Swiss Society for Near Eastern Studies (Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Orientalische Altertumswissenschaft) is holding its autumn conference this Saturday in Bern, Switzerland. The conference is devoted to a single site in Israel and is organized by the Institute of Biblical Studies.

KHIRBET QEIYAFA IN THE SHEPHELA

Venue: University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, 2nd Floor, Room 205

09.30–09.45: Prof. Dr. Silvia Schroer, University of Bern: Welcome and Introduction

09.45–11.00: Prof. Dr. Yosef Garfinkel, Hebrew University, Jerusalem: Khirbet Qeiyafa and the Kingdom of Judah

11.00–11.45: Prof. Dr. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan: Khirbet Qeiyafa in Its Regional Context: A View from Philistine Gath

11.45–12.45: Response 1 & 2: Archaeological and Historical Aspects - Prof. Dr. Thomas Römer, University of Lausanne / Collège de France & Dr. Stefan Münger, University of Bern

14.00–14.30: Plenary Discussion - Discussion Moderator: Prof. Dr. Thomas Römer

14.30–15.15: Prof. Dr. Silvia Schroer, University of Bern: Iconographic Finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa

15.15–16.00: Prof. Dr. Benjamin Sass, Tel Aviv University: The Epigraphic Finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa in Context

16.00–16.30: Response 3: Prof. Dr. Axel Knauf, University of Bern

16.30–17.15: Panel Discussion

The conference flyer has all of the details including abstracts of the presentations.

HT: Agade

Khirbet Qeiyafa west gate, tb010412815

West gate of Khirbet Qeiyafa, looking towards Azekah 
Photo from Judah and the Dead Sea

Geoff Carter (Theoretical Structural Archaeology)

Roundhouse Psychosis

In the previous post I explained why the large Wessex style “roundhouse” as illustrated and rebuilt is a fiction which is not supported by the evidence.  To be fair to all concerned, it never was a “peer reviewed” idea, but like the artists reconstruction that decorate the front of some archaeological texts, it has a far greater impact on our collective perception of the past than any sterile rendition of the evidence. 
The problem is that Roundhouses are more than just infotainment, a bit of harmless hokum for Joe Public, they are taken seriously, not only by those who commission and build them, but also by academics, and even fellow archaeologists who are obliged to shape their reports around this simplistic construct.  While dumbing down the academic system lightens everybody’s load, it is not good for the long term mental health of the profession, who have responsibility with ‘doing’ the day to day archaeology.  We like to think what we do is meaningful, making a contribution, and that we are collectively getting somewhere, it is about the only reward you will get.
As a field archaeologist, writing up sites, I had realised that the simplistic roundhouse only made sense if ignored a lot of the actual evidence from these structures, and, the majority of the structural features from elsewhere on the site.  Furthermore, those aspects of the evidence that reflected the archaeology of other published sites [roundhouses] were deemed particularly significant, reinforcing the cycle of belief.  Thus, apart from square four post granaries, circles are generally the only acceptable shape for a prehistoric buildings; both excavation and post-excavation were approached with same expectation, and to some extent purpose, of finding roundhouses.
Roundhouses; a coping strategy
In general, the actual work of excavation and report writing is done by people like me, judged too stupid to teach archaeology, while those who stay on at university to instruct the next generation, can avoid any practical involvement in the process.  Since the merit is reading reports, not in writing them, there is a danger that what universities teach is what they know - how to teach and read archaeology. 
How to do archaeology – write a report about the unique piece of cultural heritage that you have just destroyed – is something you’ll probably pick up along the way, or so you hope as you hack your way through the topsoil with a JCB....  
In the end, roundhouses are just one of those stories we tell ourselves, a myth to ward off the chaos, and tame complexity that confronts us; it is an article of faith on which we have become dependent, a candle lit against the darkness of the past.
 How real and imagined roundhouses simplify interpretation; Springfield Lyon's Essex  [Bronze Age] A: All period features. B: Roundhouses and rampart. C: Reconstruction [1]
Nb. Nice picture, but it's a mirror image of the actual archaeology, and only one building is a real roundhouse.  There is considerably more soil in the rampart than could have come from the ditch, and it is piled at an unstable angle. The artist did not understand how a box rampart works, and has created a composite structure incorporating features of various styles of defence. 
  
Guilty secrets; Mea Culpa
For all practical purposes, identifying the roundhouses is job done for the structural evidence, and while this might leave the majority of the postholes un-interpreted, since they are not roundhouses, they can add nothing to the collective narrative.
Given the time and expense invested in excavation, the process is under pressure to produce, and since “roundhouses” are the only relevant transferable currency, many reports contain join the dot roundhouses, in which a selection of disparate features, or perhaps those forming an arc, are converted by a dotted line into a circle and significantly enhancing roundhouse yield.
It is always difficult to draw attention to shortcomings in archaeological reports, while it is the only way to make progress, it’s not the way the friends or influence people; I tend to pick sites I have some vague connection with, and luckily, my own work at Orsett exhibited most of the main symptoms of roundhouse mania  [2].
Drip Gullies;  Magical thinking
The “drip gully“ more than any other concept, illustrates the psychosis of roundhouse, it is usually self-contained curving or even penannular feature in the subsoil, often up 2’ / 60 cm deep, apparently formed by either;
  • Water dripping off the roof of a roundhouse – magically dissolving the soil away to form a feature, or
  • Builders deliberately digging a trench to fill with water from the roof – an anti-drain.
The idea of encouraging water to soak into the ground next to the building instead of taking it away using gravity [a drain] is a truly senseless, especially on impermeable soils, where it only serves to collect water.
However, by far the most important thing about “drip gullies” is that they often represent the only evidence for a building; we have now reached the point where roundhouses themselves are invisible, and only the impression – deep into the subsoil - left by water dripping off the roof has survived.
A "roundhouse" I saw excavated at Blyth Northumberland was defined by a "drip gully", polygonal feature cut into impermeable boulder clay, with traces of the timber footing clearly visible in the section. This was understood  a "drip gully" caused by water dripping off the roof of building supported on an invisible wall.  [3]

Naturally, this is not really supported by the evidence, however, it is a point of connection with other reports, and importantly, any relatively short curving feature can be extrapolated create yet another roundhouse.

Inappropriate relationships; exotic fantasies
Realistically, postholes are only really perceived as significant if they form in a circle, but since the majority don't,  from this point onwards archaeology is effectively broken as a serious study . The identification of structures with no real geometric or structural integrity, simply on the basis of apparent circularity, only compounds the error.
Circularity, real or imagined may be the lowest common denominator, imparting both meaning and significance to otherwise uniform features, distinguishing them from others in data set. At a global level it provides connectivity with circularity in other data sets, allowing for cross-cultural comparisons; while igloos are round, they are made from different materialsfor a different environment by a different culture, which is why equatorial African huts are used as a basis for reconstructions [!]; although tents and yurts of nomadic pastoralists deserve a dishonourable mention. 
While, because of the termites, there is no tradition of timber framed building in Africa,  they do have round huts and  apparently that’s more than enough evidence to assume their buildings were the same as ours.

Meanwhile, back in the reality of the predominantly temperate heavily wooded, mountainous and marshy environment of post glacial north-west Europe, agriculture required a lot of fixed plant and is predicated on a complex built environment.  Many activities that might be accomplished in the open further south like threshing, milking, over wintering stock for example may have to done indoors as agriculture moved north.  
It is just how it works here, what people do in Africa or New Guinea is not relevant, and remember - it's a long way to come by canoe .

Ink Blot Test; Joining the dots.
Archaeology has developed my making connections between things, principally by looking for similarities, in things such as pottery.  Most of the structures identified as a “roundhouse” tend to be unique, with a rough approximation of circularity being the only common factor; however, due to some impaired reasoning this opens the way to make simplistic and inappropriate connections between unrelated phenomena on the basis of this superficial similarity.
Above/ left[4]
  • Can you see the pattern? 
  • Does it look familiar?
  • What do you think it is?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Are you sure?
Let’s look again at some of the important the symptoms of roundhouse psychosis:
  • Looking for exclusively for this phenomena
  • Imposing this pattern of expectation on the evidence
  • Ignoring evidence that does not conform with expectation
  • Seeing this pattern in unrelated or inappropriate data
  • Inferring their presence from the absence of evidence
Architectural “thinking” in British Prehistory is dominated by this unhealthy concentration on a dysfunctional and delusory construct, which has led to an imaginary world devoid of functional buildings, cleaned of all irrelevant structures, leaving a pristine landscape of no practical value to anyone with the misfortune to have to live there.  Quite how any sort of complex agricultural society could have been run from these rustic gazebos has never been fully explained; the problem is that people actually lived and worked in the Iron Age, they weren’t just camping.

The Acrophobic Roundhouse; Fear of Heights
Truth has become an abstract concept in archaeology, especially if it conflicts with the images in people’s minds; you may have a mental picture of roundhouse, you may also have one of Jesus; neither is real, but both can influence the way you think.  
If I tell you that most of the substantial surviving Iron Age buildings were multi-storey, you may find the statement troubling, but it happens to be true; think about it.  ?
For many people the idea of multi-storey roundhouses cannot be true because of the fumes from the fire would choke everyone upstairs; the belief in the model is so absolute that the central hearth can be presumed without the need for evidence. This central hearth may be a fiction, but it is sustained by belief which makes evidence unnecessary, such is the nature of this psychosis.
   
Health warning 
While the assertions I have made about roundhouses may be evidentially true; there was no big open space with central hearth in the buildings I have discussed; archaeology is a faith based study, and what people believe is what matters.  Articles of faith, rituals, and superstitions, may be irrational or unfounded, but they are important coping strategies. So, regardless of  their debilitating effect on other more rational cognitive processes, these dependencies are unlikely to be given up voluntarily.  Bizarrely, roundhouses seem to be one of the few things most people seem comfortable with, and apart from stones and mounds, it is about the only substantive thing British Prehistory has to sell to people. 
Obviously, there are no poor universities, courses or lecturers, only poor students, so if you are a student, it would be most unwise to draw anyone’s attention to the evidence. While this is how we got here in the first place, the best way to personal progress in a subject like archaeology is by confirming and reinforcing existing prejudice.   My advice is to read and repeat.  If you can think, best keep it to yourself, it disturbs and unsettles those who can't, but it may come in useful if you do badly in your exams – you might end up being an archaeologist and having to write reports. 
I doubt any student has deep enough pockets or a long enough tongue to successfully dislodge a faith based concept like roundhouses.  It might be disappointing to discover that this bit is all just make believe, after all you paid a real money for it, but trust me, what is important in archaeology is having a job.
Meanwhile, here on the internet, this is the only place to find a mature post-university level narrative about timber engineering; but be warned, Prehistoric buildings were built by adults, so this is for grownups, it is quite complicated, because you can only dumb a subject so down far before it is really only credible to its proponents and children.

Note: If you are effected by any of the issues raised in this post then please feel free to comment.  

More detail on this topic here...


Sources and further reading
[1] D. G. Buckley and J. D. Hedges (1987), The Bronze Age and Saxon settlements at Springfield Lyons, Essex. Essex County Council, Occasional Paper No.5.
[2] G. A. Carter, 1998: Excavations at the Orsett ‘Cock’ enclosure, Essex, 1976. East Anglian Archaeology Report No 86.
[3] TWM Archaeology. Unpublished [?] Grey Literature.
[4] Woodhenge Post Ring F;
Cunnington, M. E. (1929) Woodhenge. Devizes
Also, 
G. Bersu: 1940: Excavations at Little Woodbury, Wiltshire. Part 1, the settlement revealed by excavation. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 6, 30 -111


Stephen Chrisomalis (Glossographia)

Anthro X: An anti-seminar in culture and cognition

As mentioned in my previous post, this term I’m running a special course on the topic of culture and cognition, for six of the students in my Culture, Language and Cognition course from last term, all of whom were highly successful and, because I’m advising them in one way or another, are highly motivated to do some more work in this field.    I’m running this as a joint directed study – it looks like a seminar, and acts like a seminar, but keeping it ‘directed’ allows me to schedule it and manage enrollment more effectively.   I’m calling it ‘Anthro X’ as a conscious homage to the late physicist Richard Feynman, and his ‘Physics X’ informal seminars at Caltech. 

Last term’s course was skewed a little towards ‘cognitive anthropology’ construed narrowly, within the American tradition outlined by Roy D’Andrade in his The development of cognitive anthropology (1995).  This sort of work is obviously important, but hardly scratches the surface of the broader subject of ‘culture and cognition’ (across anthropological subfields and related disciplines).  It’s that broader field where I position my own work on number and numeracy, and thus, where I decided to go in this new course.  I chose recent book-length works, all from the past ten years, and a heavy skew towards the past two years. Partly that’s because these particular students already have a broad reading background in the older material, so are more than ready for contemporary stuff.  Partly it’s because they’ll be writing book reviews, which they’ll be posting here in the weeks to come.  Partly it’s because I haven’t read half this stuff myself, and assigning it to students provides me a good incentive to do so. 

Anyway, here’s the planned reading list – comments and questions are welcome!

Bloch, Maurice. 2012. Anthropology and the cognitive challenge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cerulo, Karen A. 2006. Never saw it coming: cultural challenges to envisioning the worst. University of Chicago Press.

Cohen, Emma. 2007. The mind possessed: the cognition of spirit possession in an Afro-Brazilian religious tradition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ingold, Tim. 2007. Lines: a brief history. New York: Routledge.

Kockelman, Paul. 2010. Language, culture, and mind: natural constructions and social kinds. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lende, Daniel H., and Downey, Greg, eds. 2012. The encultured brain: an introduction to neuroanthropology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Lloyd, G. E. R. 2007. Cognitive variations: reflections on the unity and diversity of the human mind. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press.

Malafouris, Lambros. 2013. How things shape the mind: a theory of material engagement. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Saxe, Geoffrey. 2012. Cultural development of mathematical ideas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Suchman, Lucille Alice. 2007. Human-machine reconfigurations: plans and situated actions (2nd edition). Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tomasello, Michael. 2014. A natural history of human thinking. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wengrow, David. 2013. The Origins of Monsters: Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 2013. Imprisoned in English: The Hazards of English as a Default Language. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wynn, Thomas, and Frederick Coolidge. 2012. How to think like a Neandertal. New York: Oxford University Press.


Filed under: Anthropology

The Archaeology News Network

Late medieval farmstead excavated in Scotland

A recent excavation by GUARD Archaeology, which was carried out as a condition of planning permission for the development of a new electricity substation near Kintore in Aberdeenshire, has uncovered medieval archaeological remains of national significance. Archaeologists carrying out a dig as part of a new electricity substation development  in Aberdeenshire say the discovery of a 14th or 15th century rural farmstead...

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Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

Something else Yezidi has been destroyed. It may have been the shrine of Sheikh Sin.

The Êzidî Press (@EzidiPress) has released another video of a ruined religious site. ‘Yezidi holy place/sacred site Quba Sheikhsin destroyed by IS terrorists. [Von IS-Terroristen zerstörte êzîdîsche Heiligenstätte Quba Sheikhsin.]‘ Caution As for the shrine of Sheikh Mikhfiya, so for the shrine of Sheikh Sin: I can’t find it on ArchNet, Flickr, Google Maps, Panoramio, […]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient footprints discovered in Bursa

Footprints dating back to the Neolithic period (6,400 B.C.) have been discovered during excavations in Barçın tumulus in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Yenişehir district.

Koç University academic, Rana Özbal, said works had been continuing in Barçın tumulus since 2007 under the coordination of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Dutch Research Institute.

She said the oldest settlement in the region dated back to 8,600 B.C., adding, “The houses in tumulus are semidetached. In one of the houses, we have found a pair of footprints and now we are searching for how they appeared.” Read more.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Doubt and Conspiracy

A couple of posts struck me as insightful and quotable, and related to the same theme, so I will share links to and quotes from them together. First, Carson T. Clark wrote about doubt as a Christian virtue:

Many Christians see doubt as the opposite of faith. This I find rather bizarre because I see doubt as the opposite of certainty. With that understanding, I would suggest that doubt is a reality of life. Experience tells me that all people have doubt. It’s only a matter of whether you’re intellectually honest and emotionally secure enough to acknowledge it. The question, then, is not whether you have doubt, but what you do with it. That is, how do you channel your doubt? Do you push it down deep, doing everything in your power to pretend it’s not there? Do you militarize it, advocating that anyone who believes anything is an idiot? Do you simply ignore it, embracing a lifestyle of cognitive dissonance in which doubt is a constant irritant? Do you wallow in it, passively accepting a kind of default skepticism? Or do you acknowledge its presence and assertively address it, utilizing doubt’s life-altering and life-giving potential? To my mind it’s a natural, cyclical progression. Curiosity leads to doubt. Doubt leads to questioning. Questioning leads to truth. Truth leads to maturation. Maturation leads to healing. Healing leads to worship. And worship leads back to curiosity. Unless you’re willing to turn off that basic human trait of curiosity, doubt is an inevitability. Too often we presume doubt is a vice, failing to understand its potential as a virtue when it’s synthesized with honesty, security, humility, and grace.

Then Fred Clark had a lot to say about conspiracy theory thinking, and why belief in Biblical inerrancy is an example of it. Here is a short but insightful sample:

Conspiracy theories don’t arise from facts. They arise, rather, from an epistemologicalchoice that prescribes which facts will be accepted and how those facts will be interpreted.

Next, Jim Spinti shared a quote from Zoltan Schwab’s book, Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs:

The opposite of trust in God in Proverbs is not so much ‘doubt’ in God (which is seldom mentioned if at all, at least not explicitly) but trust in oneself (cf. 3:5 vs 3:7; 28:25-26.) No wonder the reader of Proverbs is so often reminded about the dangers of pride.

So often, those who insist that doubt is a sin have precisely the sort of self-confidence in their own understanding and interpretation that Proverbs and the rest of the Bible warns about. Rarely do they see the irony.

Carlos Bovell writes about inerrancy in a guest post on Pete Enns’ blog:

Post-inerrantists are not trying to sever the relationship between God and scripture but rather to establish it by critically investigating scripture and conceptually clarifying it. It is not “perverse” or “unproductive” when a believer suspends judgment on inerrancy, takes a searchingly fresh look at the Bible, and concludes that inerrancy simply does not do justice to what the Bible is and how the Bible behaves.

See also Brandon Withrow on finding GOD in an eggplant, and believing and seeing. And let me recommend a book that seems never to have gotten the attention it deserves, Robert Davidson’s The Courage to Doubt: Exploring an Old Testament Theme.

The opposite of faith is not doubt

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Polish archaeologists in on the Red Sea port

Archaeologists studied two thousand years old port infrastructure and a large animal cemetery in Berenice on the Red Sea in Egypt.

"This time during excavations we got lucky. Undoubtedly, this year’s most interesting find is a frame - wooden part of a ship hull from the early Roman period" - told PAP Iwona Zych from the Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, who leads the research project in cooperation with Prof. Steven E. Sidebotham of the University of Delaware in the United States.

This is the first fully preserved and documented frame from the hull of the ship from this period in Egypt. The find and the place of its discovery leads researchers to believe that the ship was dismantled and its parts stored in the warehouse in the port bay. Read more.

The Archaeology News Network

Ancient Berenice studied by Polish archaeologists

Archaeologists studied 2,000 years old port infrastructure and a large animal cemetery in Berenice on the Red Sea in Egypt. Cemetery of small animals, archaeologists at documentation work, right to left: Marta Osypińska, Piotr Osypiński, Kamila Braulińska [Credit: S. E. Sidebotham/Berenike Project, PCMA UW]"This time during excavations we got lucky. Undoubtedly, this year's most interesting find is a frame - wooden part of a ship hull...

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Archaeological News on Tumblr

Wax Tablets Reveal Secrets of Ancient Illyria

A new study of five wax tablets from the Second Century, found in the Albanian city of Durres, offers fascinating insights into the role of women in ancient Illyrian culture.

When Albanian archeologist Fatos Tartari excavated the ancient necropolis of Durres in 1979, he came across a staggering find.

In the Roman concrete basement of the monumental tomb lay buried a glass urn filled with a black liquid resembling wine, containing two styluses, an ebony comb and five wax tablets used for writing, which were in good condition.

“The monumental complex was a rare find, starting from the fact that the wine had not evaporated for nearly two millennia,” explained Eduard Shehi, an archeologist at Albania’s Institute of Archeology, in the city of Durres. Read more.

Elginism

Can a museum be too big?

An interesting perspective her, advocates breaking up the largest museums, to allow visitors to enjoy a better experience there, without such high levels of crowding. Institutions such as the British Museum regularly crow about the number of people who visit (with the implication of the statements being that they all see the Parthenon Marbles), but the reality is that this tells nothing about the quality of the experience.

The idea of splitting museums into more manageable chunks is nothing new – London’s Natural History Museum, the British Library & the now sadly defunct Museum of Mankind, once all fell under the auspices of the British Museum.

Some in the industry talk in horror about any event that might lead to a reduction in the collections of the encyclopaedic museums, but the reality is that if current trends continue, such breaking up of collections might become a necessity. As such, once this happens, surely restitution requests would not be seen in quite the same light as they are now, as breaking apart the integrity of a collection that had been amassed over the centuries.

Crowds at the Metropolitan Museum in New York

Crowds at the Metropolitan Museum in New York

From:
Al Jazeera

Break up the major museums to save them
August institutions should build more outposts rather than cloister themselves in big cities
August 31, 2014 6:00AM ET

The Louvre in Paris recently told The Art Newspaper that it expects its visitor numbers to rise by a third over the next decade, putting the world’s busiest art museum on track to welcome 12 million visitors annually by 2025. It’s a staggering figure that points to a growing reality facing art lovers and museumgoers: How can you expect to see and enjoy art through the chaotic crowds that are increasingly defining major museums?

In the last few years, many of the largest and most popular museums, including the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, have been experiencing significant issues with crowding. The head of visitor services at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg recently admitted to The New York Times, “Such a colossal number of simultaneous viewers isn’t good for the art, and it can be uncomfortable and overwhelming for those who come to see the art.” In the same article, an art historian disparaged the situation at the Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the most famous masterpieces of the Renaissance, saying, “It seems like a tropical greenhouse. You can’t breathe.”

Lest you think museum professionals are the only ones concerned, the voices of visitors are starting to echo on social media and websites such as TripAdvisor, where one review of the Vatican Museums encapsulates the anxiety perfectly: “Seriously, it would only take one person to trip or to cause some kind of mild panic or corridor rage … it doesn’t bear thinking of.” Another visitor, this one to the Louvre, wrote, “There was absolutely no way that myself and my family members could enjoy the museum. There are so many people that all you have time to do is make sure you aren’t trampled by the mass coming at you from every direction.”

The tension has been building, and not only among tourists and museum professionals. In 2011 one London critic coined the term “gallery rage” to describe the anger he felt when visiting the Tate Modern’s very popular Paul Gauguin show. It’s a feeling most of us can relate to. If museums in our imaginations are places of contemplation, in real life many are no longer the tranquil havens we wish them to be.

Some museums are responding to gallery rage. In 2011 the National Gallery in London limited the number of visitors to its Leonardo da Vinci exhibition even though it meant the museum would lose $14,850 a day. But few institutions can afford to turn away that kind of money. There must be another solution.

There is. We need to break up the major museums. That may sound radical to some, but it’s an idea whose time has come. I’m suggesting not that museums sell off their collections but that more museums consider aggressively building outposts or prioritizing longer-term partnerships with smaller or newer institutions that could benefit from such relationships.

Decentralization

It’s not as radical a proposition as you might think. The National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Museums in Washington are perfect examples of national institutions with encyclopedic collections that are well suited for this idea. While the National Gallery of Art regularly lends works to regional museums across the country, maintains an extensive free online archive of 45,000 images and offers free admission to visitors, there’s no reason all of its collection should be in D.C., particularly when the majority of it never leaves the storeroom. The same is true of the British Museum in London and the Uffizi in Florence, which both have large, historic collections of art. Though it should be mentioned that the Smithsonian has two outposts in New York: the Cooper-Hewitt design museum and the National Museum of the American Indian, both of which specialize in one field. The Cooper Hewitt does a particularly good job of curating historic and contemporary design in a city that is a global hub for the field.

Roughly 10 years ago, Greece embarked on an ambitious plan to disperse the treasures that were traditionally housed in one museum in Athens to locations across the country. This decentralization — a term they used for the process — of art helped place artifacts in their geographic context while spreading tourist dollars to remote areas. The same process has been undertaken in Cyprus. Even in countries where overcrowding is not a problem, such as Mali, decentralizing the national museum has had benefits, improving local accessibility and encouraging public participation (PDF) in defining the programs and exhibits.

Decentralizing the Smithsonian could allow works to live closer to their native settings, whether that means putting American Indian artifacts closer to their geographic origins or presenting Chicano art in communities with large Mexican-American populations such as San Diego and Chicago. New contexts would help animate objects and art while instilling pride in local communities. It could also expose parts of the country that don’t have the benefit of strong history or art museums to a global heritage and offer them a window to a world they would otherwise have to plan a trip to see.

France has already started to decentralize its museums, realizing the potential benefits of tourists venturing beyond the capital. When the French government opened the Louvre-Lens in 2012, the vision was not to create a branch or an annex of the main museum — even though many of the objects on display are long-term loans from the more famous institution — but to create something new. “It’s a new Louvre with the same collection seen differently,” said its director last year in The New York Times. “With all the encyclopedic museums, you have a tectonic way of looking at art. We insist on what’s common and similar instead of what’s different.”

Ideally the decentralization would be rooted in a community’s needs and ambitions. This type of responsive planning would augment what we already know about the effects of museums on communities. An Australian study (PDF) published in 2003 found that the public perceived museums as making important contributions to communities by building social networks, attracting tourism and contributing to social awareness about the world — all qualities vital to healthy 21st century societies.
Bigger isn’t always better

Some museums are trying to remedy the overcrowding issue by building larger buildings. But museums are not factories; we cannot keep making them bigger without losing something.

Recently, The New York Times’ architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, disparaged the Frick Museum’s planned expansion, calling it “the latest front in a larger battle to prevent nonprofit outposts of civilization from falling prey to the bigger-is-better paradigm.”

That is true. We need to fight the idea that museums must keep growing to stay relevant or survive. Museums in D.C., New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles — and say, Kansas City, Missouri, and New Haven, Connecticut — should be able to better share centrally located cultural resources with their far-flung neighborhoods and, in some cases, with the rest of the country. What if, for instance, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which recently announced plans for a vast redesign that would allow more of its collection to be displayed, instead opened an outpost in East L.A.? Los Angeles is a decentralized city and its institutions should reflect its geographic and cultural realities. Maybe museums should fashion themselves after public libraries rather than sports stadiums.

In an era when the wealth gap is growing, museums increasingly reflect that same asymmetry. We must rethink museums so that all can share in their cultural riches, not just an elite few. The rise in attendance and the problems of overcrowding at many museums is a sign that the public is hungry for art. We’re faced with the challenge of how we’re going to respond without sacrificing the qualities that make museums uniquely suited to ignite the public’s imagination and consider the world through a constantly changing lens.

Hrag Vartanian is the editor-in-chief and a co-founder of the arts blog Hyperallergic.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America’s editorial policy.

The post Can a museum be too big? appeared first on Elginism.

The Archaeology News Network

Supermarket built over ancient city of Myrleia

A supermarket has been built on top of the ancient city of Myrleia, dating back to 700 BC, in the western Turkish province of Bursa, despite ongoing court cases related to the protection of the area. A supermarket construction site atop the ruins of the ancient city of Myrelia, dating back  to the seventh century B.C., in Bursa province [Credit: DHA]Bursa Municipality had granted tourism and trading construction permits for a...

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David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

Thinking Out Loud About the Amphipolis Tomb ~ The Rogueclassicist Speculates

School starts tomorrow so I don’t know whether I’ll have time to flesh this out today, but I want to put this suggestion out there. It actually builds on assorted things proposed by plenty of folks but adds something original, I think. Here’s my speculation on the tomb based on recent things:

1. It is  not implausible that it was intended for Alexander and would have been started while he was still alive

2. Of course, Alexander ended up getting buried in Alexandria

3. So Amphipolis ends up with this big tomb and no one to put in it; but putting ANYONE other than the intended occupant in that tomb would be making a political statement

4. The latest news from the site suggests there were great efforts made to seal the tomb in an unprecedented way (I’ll be posting on this later today or tomorrow) … so:

5. Rogueclassicist goes out on a limb to suggest the Amphipolis tomb will turn out to be EMPTY (wall decorations might be there); not looted but intentionally not used.

6. The tomb/mound was transformed into a memorial monument of sorts (everyone knew it was there), with the lion put on top as a sort of generic marker of sorts. The ‘sphinxes’ were beheaded when everything was sealed up because they weren’t guarding anything. Perhaps a symbolic ‘deterrent’ for folks who might have been thinking about using the tomb for themselves.

… I’m hoping I’ll be proven wrong in the next few weeks and we’ll have a magnificent, occupied, Macedonian tomb but this is going to be my working hypothesis for the next few days.


Archaeological News on Tumblr

Archaeologists say "special" longhouse could reveal life during Scottish Middle Ages

Archaeologists carrying out a dig as part of a new electricity substation development in Aberdeenshire say the discovery of a 14th or 15th century rural farmstead is unprecedented in the region and of national significance.

Maureen Kilpatrick, who led the Guard Archaeology team at the site near Kintore, predicted that post-excavation analysis of the finds could reveal “fascinating insights” into the lives of Scottish residents during the Middle Ages.

“This late medieval discovery is something quite special,” she said.

“We have uncovered a large enclosure with floor deposits and pottery. Read more.

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Saving Syriac inscriptions

SYRIAC WATCH: While ISIS destroys, Hamilton man battles to preserve historic texts. Team conserving photos of ancient inscriptions, buildings that now no longer exist (Kelly Bennett, CBC News).
A group of librarians led by a Hamilton man is racing against time to preserve inscriptions of centuries-old artifacts and documents currently threatened by ISIS’s destruction across much of Iraq and Syria.

[...]

Some of the photographs and rubbings in the collections the centre is processing could be the last remaining evidence of some of the inscriptions and, in some cases, the buildings that housed them. Some of the inscriptions date back to the 7th century.

[Colin] Clarke, [founder and director of the Canadian Centre for Epigraphic Documents at the University of Toronto,] works with a team of library scientists, language experts and academics, all of who volunteer for the centre's work. The centre started four years ago to catalogue and conserve the largest collection of Ancient Greek inscriptions in Canada.

Last year, the centre began working on a collection of Syriac documents. Syriac is an international language that was once used throughout much of the eastern world, being transported along the Silk Road. The dialect is related to Aramaic, the language Jesus reportedly spoke.

Many inscriptions convey Christian thoughts and poems. One key collection of Syriac documents comes from a University of Toronto professor and Mosul native Amir Harrak, an expert in Iraqi Syriac inscriptions.

[...]
Background on the situation in Iraq is here and links. By the way, Syriac is not "related to" Aramaic, it is a dialect of Aramaic.

Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

August Pieces Of My Mind #2

  • 14 August marked 200 years of unbroken peace for Sweden. Eight generations. Most of us don’t even remember the name of the latest ancestor of ours who survived a war.
  • Other people get moments of déjà vu. I get moments of dissociation, when Martin Rundkvist seems not to be me.
  • Neat serendipitous combination of podcasts. I listened to Norm Sherman’s excellent reading of Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out Of Space” on the Drabblecast. It’s about a family killed slowly and horrifically by emanations from a meteorite that hits the ground near their farm. Then Planetary Radio came on with the words “The search for extraterrestrial polluters?”
  • I flip through a 2010 book and find an entire page devoted to criticising stuff I published in 2003. The guy hasn’t told me. I won’t respond, because I haven’t been active in that particular field of study for the past five years. His critique looks like it’s at least partly quite warranted.
  • Is there a way for EU citizens to take part actively somehow in ESA’s work? Not just watch it? Is there any space science advocacy going on to influence the European Parliament?
  • Since I work for the Linnaeus University, I was unhappy to learn that a lecturer there has been found guilty of gross plagiarism, having copied at least 15% of a paper he published verbatim from a book. The news outlets haven’t disclosed his name, but this seems to be the guy. He’s at the Dept of Social Work, not the Dept of Cultural Sciences where archaeology is taught.
  • Annoyance / OCD rage: finding three opened jars of lingonberry jam in the fridge. Bliss: combining their contents in one jar.
  • Ashtanga yoga, from English, “ass tango”.
  • Oh. Those three lectures I gave last September without really having any script? There are eight of them this year.
  • Greg Bear’s 1987 scifi novel Forge of God is set in 1996. In chapter 7 a journalist spends 22 hours in his hotel room combing “specialist bulletin boards” for news about visiting aliens. He uses his laptop and modem, and it costs him $300, or in 2014 currency, $455.
  • Greg Bear! Quit telling me again and again that every character in the novel is wearing slacks!
  • Pat Boone used to have big hits with Little Richard covers. O_o
  • The proofing errors in this e-book of an 80s novel show that the text has been scanned from a paper copy and OCRed. E.g. hp for lip.
  • E-books are great. Forgot who that minor character is? Search for his name. Wonder what that unfamiliar thing mentioned looks like? Google it on your reader.
  • My dad’s neighbour, with whom he’s been feuding for years over building permits, is taking pictures of the preparations for my daughter’s outdoor birthday party.
  • Yes! For a year now I’ve been running Linux Mint on my laptop, and it’s interacted really poorly with the wifi hardware and the trackpad. I’ve had to stick extremely close to any wifi router in order to get a connection. With three months of teaching and travelling at hand, I finally installed the latest Ubuntu Linux instead, and the glitches are gone!
  • Local paper asks 22-y-o what party they will vote for, then why that particular party. “My parents and everybody I know vote for that party, so it’s an obvious choice”. *facepalm*
  • Portishead, “It could be sweet like a long-forgotten dream” makes no sense. Please re-record the song and sing “It could be sweet like a well-remembered dream which was very sweet”. Or ”non-forgotten dream”.
  • Jrette is mainly familiar with music cassettes as iPhone shells.
  • Been called to my 2nd UK job interview and test lecture ever. This time it’s over Skype. I suppose this is mainly to check whether I speak any English.
  • I’m writing a disco tune about railway gauges. It’s called “Yessir, I Can Bogie”.
  • Hardcore work efficiency: do not leave house, wear only bathrobe.
  • This coconut sherbet tastes like suntan lotion with oatmeal.
  • Wife: Hmm, I wonder where I should put my camellia. Me: I wonder where I should plant my proud massive fir-tree. Wife: *sigh*
  • There’s a place near Växjö called Rudebro. It’s not at all as nice as the nearby village of Dudebro.
  • Whuh!? Gary Gygax was a Jehova’s Witness! No joke!
  • Suddenly remembered Yalu, this 70s wargame that my old buddy bought used at a gaming convention when we were boys. We never played it. Now I find that Boardgamegeek’s users judge that there are about one thousand wargames and four thousand other tabletop games that are better than Yalu. So I guess I didn’t miss much.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Royal bronze chariot found after 3,000 years

A bronze chariot made during the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC) has been found in Qishan county, Shaanxi province - and archaeologists believe it may be a ceremonial vehicle used by princes.

"We found the chariot, which was buried 1.2 meters underground, in farmland at the village of Hejia," Zhang Yawei, director of the county’s Zhouyuan Museum, told China Daily on Saturday. "We were surprised that it is large with a high bronze content."

Experts from the School of Archaeology at Peking University, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Zhouyuan Museum found the chariot on Aug 18 after investigating the site for 10 days. Read more.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

A Guide to Industrial Tourism in the Bakken

During my free moments, I continue to work on my tour guide of the Bakken. I have an idea that I’ll publish in Tom Isern’s Center for Heritage Renewal Circular Series at North Dakota State or failing that at the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. 

Williston Type2

I posted a rough version of the introduction here. Today, I’ll include the first part of the first which runs from Minot, ND to Tioga, ND and introduces the intrepid traveler to the Bakken oil patch. I apologize in advance for the roughness of this draft!

The main point of entry into the Bakken is the city of Minot (pop. approx. 41,000). Minot is the county seat of Ward county and sometimes referred to as the “Gateway to the Bakken” Minot is served by Delta airlines, has an Amtrak station, and sits astride Route 2. Route 2 serves as one of the major arteries for the oil patch. It is the northernmost east-west highway in the U.S. and follows the route of the Great Northern Railroad and it sometimes shares with railroad the term “The Highline.” The route runs from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Everett Washington and the stretch from Minot to Williston, North Dakota is among the most scenic drives in North Dakota.

Proceeding west along this route takes you through heart of both workforce housing and the productive activities of the oil boom. The transformation of this corridor is historically striking. The traffic along Route 2 picks up noticeable west of Minot, and the number of fleet pick-up trucks with corporate names stenciled on their flanks will become more common as will tractor trailers carrying equipment west into the oil patch. The border between Ward and Mountrail Counties is pocked with “prairie potholes” or small lakes amidst rolling hills.

Upon entering Mountrail County, the evidence for both the economic opportunities and social and environmental challenges of natural resource extraction becomes more and more visible among the communities in this region. These communities had only limited experience with the potential and pitfalls of dramatic growth in population as well as day-to-day industrial activity and had generally settled into quiet obscurity. They had generally experienced steady decline in population from their heights in the 1950s brought about by a combination of agricultural prosperity and an earlier oil boom which was felt especially further west in Williams County. A slightly interruption in the region’s population decrease occurred during a short oil boom in the the 1980s, but this did little to interrupt the overall pattern for the region. The first places on this itinerary to show evidence for recent transformation are the small towns of Blaisdell (unincorporated) Palermo (ca. 82 in 2013), Stanley (pop. 1,458 in 2010), and Ross (ca. 109) in Mountrail County (ca. 9,376 in 2013) in Mountrail County and Tioga (ca. 1565 in 2013) in Williams County have received the brunt of the most dramatic changes. The strange contrast between the historical lack of development, investment, or visible change and the recent boom has drawn travelers, journalists, tourists, and scholars, to the area. The bustle of the road east from Minot offers just a preview of the activity of the oil patch, and the traveler might succumb to feeling like they’re heading up the river into a Heart of Darkness.

The first distinct evidence for the economic challenges of the area comes in the area of housing which appears before any oil activity. Within 3 miles of county line modular workforce housing appears. On a low rise to the north of the Route 2 approximately 2.5 miles west of the county line, in a township called Egan (pop. 64), is a group of approximately 15 “stackable” mobile housing units. The units stand 150 m to the north of the main road and are called Egan Crest reminiscent of some affluent suburb. Each unit is based on the dimension of standard “high-cube” shipping containers (40 ft or 12.19 m long and 8 ft or 2.44 m wide) with 9.6 ft (2.86 m) tall roofs. These mobile, modular apartments have been stacked two high and feature housing for 2 workers un each 20 ft crate. In the region, they’re know as “stackables” and are seen as a welcome upgrade from life in RVs or or larger more formal workforce housing deeper in the patch. The “stackables” do not have security around them are and apparently are well-insulated and comfortable. Their isolated and scenic position surrounded by rugged farmland gives them a both serenity and vulnerability.

Some 2 mile further west and immediately to the south of Route 2 is Blaisdell RV Park. This park is the first of the informal and scrappy RV parks that make up so much workforce housing in the Bakken. The leveled area of tan gravel is situated some 100 m south of Route 2 and entered at its northeastern corner. Passing a somewhat forlorn play area, there is parking in front of a administrative building with some common area. The park itself is comprised of nearly 100 small units about half of which are small mobile homes and the other half are RVs. In 2014, two large residences carved out of semi-trailers stood at the south end of the rows introducing some of the innovative architectural approaches to life in the Bakken. The units along the west side of the park are rented like hotel rooms whereas the eastern side of the park offer lots available for rent. To the south of the park is Blaisdell Rodeo which convenes each year in early August. The town of Blaisdell is north of Route 2 and is worth a short visit to see the school house and a wood-framed prairie church.

Continuing west along Route 2, past the turn off to Palermo …


James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

A Bible Misused

A Bible used as a weapon against other people quote 2

A Bible used as a weapon against other human beings, is always a Bible misused.

A recent post by Kristen Rosser ended with a phrase that was so quotable, that I made it into two meme images. Please feel free to circulate either or both!

A Bible used as a weapon against other people quote 1

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Figurines provide clue to Olmec trading links in Mexico

Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico, have identified eight new sites where figurines, greenstone axes, jadeite, white ceramic bowls and gourds have been found. These sites are located in the Grande and Chica districts of the Guerrero coast (southwestern Mexico), and confirm an Olmec influence in that region.

There is ongoing debate as to whether the earliest peoples in this area were actual Olmec who had migrated, or an indigenous group who were heavily influenced by that culture, especially in the Mexcala River area. Olmec influence can certainly be seen in their cave paintings such as those found in Juxtlahuaca as well as stone tools and jade jewellery. Read more.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Scientists conclude sun-powered boat trip to find Europe’s oldest village

An archeological mission in Greece has found traces of what could be the site where the first European Lives. The mission took place on PlanetSolar, the world’s biggest solar boat.

The post Scientists conclude sun-powered boat trip to find Europe’s oldest village appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Perseus Digital Library Updates

Digital Classicist Seminar New England — Spring 2015: Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the third series of the Digital Classicist New England (Boston?). This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organized in association with the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University. It will run during the spring term of the academic year 2014/15.

We invite submissions on any kind of research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We encourage contributions not only from students of Greco-Roman but also from other areas of the pre-modern world, such as Egypt and the Near East, Ancient China and India.

Themes may include digital editions, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, linked data and the semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can facilitate the crossing of disciplinary boundaries and answering new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as to information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Anonymised abstracts [1] of 500 words max. (bibliographic references excluded) should be uploaded by midnight (CET) on 01 November 2014 using the special submission form. When submitting the same proposal for consideration to multiple venues, please do let us know via the submission form (to be posted later).

Seminars will run from mid-January through April 2015 and will be hosted at Brandeis, Holy Cross, Northeastern and Tufts. The full programme, including the venue of each seminar, will be finalised and announced in December. In order to facilitate real-time participation from California to Europe, seminars will take place in the early afternoon and will be accessible online as Google Hangouts.

As with the previous series, the video recordings of the presentations will be published online and we endeavour to provide accommodation for the speakers and contribute towards their travel expenses. There are plans to publish papers selected from the first series of the seminar as a special issue in an appropriate open access journal.

[1] The anonymized abstract should have all author names, institutions and references to the authors work removed. This may lead to some references having to be replaced by “Reference to authors’ work”. The abstract title and author names with affiliations are entered into the submission system in separate fields.

Organizing committee

Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Tufts University
Gregory Crane, Tufts and Leipzig
Stella Dee, University of Leipzig
Leonard Muellner, Brandeis University
Maxim Romanov, Tufts University
David A. Smith, Northeastern University
David Neel Smith, College of the Holy Cross

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Quinto Convegno Piccoli Musei: focus su Musei accoglienti

musei-accoglienti-convegnoL’Associazione Nazionale Piccoli Musei organizza il 26 e 27 settembre 2014 a Viterbo il Quinto Convegno dell'Associazione dal titolo "Musei accoglienti: una nuova cultura gestionale per i piccoli musei". L'evento è realizzato in collaborazione con la Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell’Etruria Meridionale e con l’Incubatore Culturale Icult-BIC Lazio con il patrocinio del Comune di Viterbo e della Provincia di Viterbo.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Hellenomania

International colloquium, in Athens, on modern responses to Greek material culture in various cultural practices.

The post Hellenomania appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

Finding Common Ground: Roman- Parthian Embassies in the Julio-Claudian Period

At the 2013 ASOR Annual Meeting, Jason Schlude (Duquesne University) and Benjamin Rubin (Williams College) presented their paper, “Finding Common Ground: Roman- Parthian Embassies in the Julio-Claudian Period.” Abstract from the Program Book Diplomatic embassies between Parthia and Rome were a relatively frequent occurrence during the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E. Scholars have traditionally characterized […]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Stonehenge: ghostly outlines of missing stones appear

It is a mystery which has intrigued archaeologists for centuries: did the huge Neolithic stones which make up Stonehenge form a complete circle?

Now the puzzle has been answered after the dry summer revealed the faint outline of the missing megaliths.

Usually the ground is watered by stewards, to keep the earth moist and the grass healthy.

But this year, the hose they used was too short to reach the whole site. By chance, the incomplete section of the inner stone circle was left to dry out.

When archaeological features have been buried in the ground for a long time, they affect the rate that grass grows above them, even long after they have disappeared. Read more.

Experts seek to save Haiti's archaeological sites

The canons have been stolen from the 18th-century seaside fort in the city where Haiti declared its independence and the stones imported from France are commonly targeted by thieves.

But Haitian authorities and international experts hope to reverse the loss of such cultural heritage from the ruins of Fort Liberte and elsewhere, which they blame on lax supervision and weak laws to prosecute those pillaging Haiti’s historic sites.

"They are very significant sites. It tells a very deep history not only of Haiti but the entire Caribbean," said Dan Rogers, an archaeology curator with the Smithsonian Institution who spoke Sunday by phone as he traveled to Fort Liberte. Read more.

Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

Something Yezidi has been destroyed. It may have been the Shrine of Sheikh Mikhfiya and its cemetery.

The Êzidî Press (@EzidiPress) has released a video of a ruined religious site (which others have shared). ‘Yezidi pilgrimage site destroyed by IS terrorists. Even the cemetery found behind it was largely destroyed. At the shrine, which is in Cegara village, is located the holy place/sacred site of Sheikh Mikhfiya. [Von den IS-Terroristen zerstörte êzîdîsche […]

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Ancient Metal Workers Were Not Slaves But Highly Regarded Craftsmen

Iron Age copper smelters were respected leaders with sophisticated skills, say Tel Aviv University archaeologists.

The post Ancient Metal Workers Were Not Slaves But Highly Regarded Craftsmen appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Current Epigraphy

‘Women as Classical Scholars’ Wikipedia editathon

23 September 2014

 This editathon is to create and/or improve the Wikipedia pages of women classical scholars. Training in Wikipedia editing will be provided by Wikimedia.

If you would like to come, but the time or location is inconvenient, why not attend via Skype? There are parallel sessions integrated into the event, and a dedicated trainer for people attending via Skype.

Cost: free (includes lunch)

Location: Room 243 of the Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London

Programme:

10.00  - Welcome to those attending at Senate House

10.30  - Wikipedia presentation and training. Welcome to those joining on Skype

11.00  - Editing session for all participants

13.00  - Lunch

14.00  - Afternoon session start. Welcome to those newly joining on Skype

14.10  - Dr Rosie Wyles, Lecturer in Greek History and Literature, University of Kent: ‘Madame Dacier:    17th-century champion for access’

14.40  - Editing session.  Training for those newly arrived on Skype

18.00  - Close

For more information – and to sign up – please visit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetups/UK/Institute_of_Classical_Studies_Sep_2014

ArcheoNet BE

Aalst en Halle zoeken diensthoofd erfgoed

Zowel de stad Aalst als de stad Halle zijn momenteel op zoek naar een nieuw diensthoofd erfgoed (m/v). Wie in Aalst diensthoofd toerisme en erfgoed wil worden, moet er snel bij zijn: solliciteren voor deze functie kan nog tot en met woensdag 3 september. Wie aan de slag wil als diensthoofd ‘museum, erfgoed, toerisme en archiefwerking’ in Halle, heeft nog tot 25 september de tijd om zich kandidaat te stellen. Het gaat telkens om een voltijdse functie op A-niveau. Kandidaten dienen te beschikken over een masterdiploma (of gelijkwaardig diploma).

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

L’uso dei Sistemi WEB - GIS per una moderna documentazione del Patrimonio Archeologico e Culturale

gis-patrimonio-culturale-ass-minervaL'Associazione Culturale Minerva organizza a settembre un Laboratorio per gli studenti della Scuola di Lettere e Beni Culturali di Ravenna e per ogni persona interessata all’uso delle tecnologie GIS applicate alla documentazione, gestione e fruizione del Patrimonio Archeologico.
I partecipanti al corso lavoreranno attivamente sulla documentazione di scavo acquisita dalla Missione Italiana a Shahr-i Soktha (Iran), elaborando una piattaforma Web GIS della necropoli di questo scavo straordinario.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Kouklia-Palaepaphos: Excavations completed

Archaeologists located an impressive citadel wall of the Classical period on the plateau of Hadjiabdoulla.

The post Kouklia-Palaepaphos: Excavations completed appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

PAS Begins its Eighteenth Year


The histories of the PAS all begin with pilot schemes that commenced "in September 1997", but no firm date is quoted, so 1st September is a conventional one. The online PAS database contains no records of finds at all for those early months and years (the earliest records accessible seem to be from 3rd August 1999).

How much is this all costing the public to get a modicum of information about some of their heritage artefact collectors are taking from them, day by day, week by week, year after year?   Kate Clark's reviw of the Scheme (2010, p. 11) tabulates the expenditure up to 2008/9:


Firm figures after that are hard to come by. The PAS for some reason do not seem to consider it a fact they should be highlighting in their annual reports (the reports which say where that money went). In  2009-10 there was an allocation of £1.3 million, which reportedly rose to over £1.4 million in 2010-11. Funding seems to have been maintained at about £1.3 million each year (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) making an additional £5,200,000. The manner of funding the Scheme changed after the Review, but the role of 'local partners' remained important. Let's say they contributed the same amount each year, 60 000 p.a. That adds another £240,000 to the pot. That is a total of £15,005,000.

The Welsh PAS following the phased withdrawal of the British Museum funding passes to AC-NMW, Cadw and CyMAL will fund it from 2015-16 when the British Museum funding ends.

Archaeology and Arts: Αρχαιολογία Online

Αnavatos on the island of Chios

A survey aiming at the revival of Anavatos, by placing emphasis on the human factor and the natural environment and also by respecting the history of the entire complex of buildings.

The post Αnavatos on the island of Chios appeared first on Αρχαιολογία Online.

American School of Classical Studies in Athens: Events

Ιστορίες Μαγείας από το Βυζάντιο στην Ευρώπη

January 13, 2015 - 12:22 PM - Διάλεξη Αλέξανδρος Αλεξάκης, Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων

Χαρτογραφία και Ιατρική “στον απόηχο του χρόνου και του χώρου”. Διδάγματα από την Ιστορία

October 14, 2014 - 12:07 PM - Διάλεξη Δρ. Παναγιώτης Ν. Σουκάκος, Καθηγητής Ορθοπαιδικής, Ιατρική Σχολή Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών

Το Τραγούδι της Γης

September 29, 2014 - 11:52 AM - Θεατρική Παράσταση

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

R. Hillel meets the t-shirt

"IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" H&M sells popular t-shirt with Hillel quote (European Jewish Press).

More from Diesel on Hannibal

PUNIC WATCH: Vin Diesel Shows Off Hannibal Title Treatment During Crazy Helicopter Video. Diesel is reportedly "haunted" by the fact that he has not yet completed the Hannibal movies. As well he should be.

Background here and links.

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

One Archaeologist Stands up.


Hollingbury Head (photo by 'Gray')
I assure you that I am not writing comments on the Guardian under a pseudonym. What a pleasant surprise it was to find that, while others avoid the topic, one lady archaeologist wrote the truth about UK policies on metal detecting (ChelseaSweeney, 31 August 2014 10:25pm). Chelsea is vexed by Dave Crisp's article sensationalizing artefact hunting:
Here's my beef: yes there is a Portable Antiquities Scheme that records finds on private and public property, but how is this helpful to archaeologists if whatever is extracted from the ground is not properly documented in its precise context? Or goes unreported and finds its way to Ebay/black market? In my view, metal detecting, should be regulated and all finds reported to the PAS. [...] We need responsible metal detectorists. I would advise those interested in this pasttime to join an archaeological society like the B[rifhton and] H[ove] A[rchaeological] S[ociety] and aid archaeologists rather than take a stab at "treasure hunting."
I'd modify that from "aid archaeologists' to "become an archaeologist" instead of hoiking artefact accumulators. Chelsea is afraid that loose encouragement of "metal detecting" is only going to lead to a new 'surge' of people, ignorant of the law, to engage in scouring protected sites ("like what happened at Hollingbury Hill Fort in June" - this story seems not to have hit the news). She says that we need to reduce knowledge theft through heritage crime.

Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Colloque : Villes en Méditerranée au Moyen-Âge et à l'Époque moderne

Comité d'organisation
Gilbert BUTI (AMU-CNRS TELEMME - UMR 7303)
Brigitte MARIN (AMU-CNRS TELEMME - UMR 7303)
Élisabeth MALAMUT (AMU-CNRS LA3M - UMR 7298)
Paolo ODORICO (EHESS-CNRS CRH-UMR 8558)
Mohamed OUERFELLI (AMU-CNRS LA3M - UMR 7298)

Programme et détails : http://la3m.cnrs.fr/pages/manifesta...

Colloque : Les Fatimides et la Méditerranée centrale

Trop souvent considérée comme ce qui n'est ni la Méditerranée orientale, ni la Méditerranée occidentale ou bien comme la périphérie de ces deux aires, la Méditerranée centrale (Adriatique, Grèce, Italie, Sardaigne, Sicile, Libye, Maghreb central et Ifriqiya) a joué un rôle certain dans la construction du dar al-islam médiéval et dans l'émergence d'un califat installé au centre du monde islamique (du moins si l'on se situe par rapport aux deux autres capitales califales). Si les Fatimides eux-mêmes sont le plus souvent envisagés avant tout en relation avec l'Égypte, l'Orient et la mer Rouge, dimensions essentielles du califat, bien entendu, mais non exclusives, cela n'a pas toujours été le cas et une série d'études synthétiques parues il y a quelques décennies sont encore considérées comme des références quasi indépassables. Or, dans le domaine textuel comme dans le domaine archéologique et artistique, des sources nouvelles apparaissent sans cesse, dont les apports peinent à être pris en compte, surtout pour ce qui concerne la culture matérielle. Ce colloque de propose donc de jeter une lumière nouvelle sur l'histoire de cet espace entre le Xe et le XIIe siècle.

Comité scientifique
Patrice Cressier (CIHAM-UMR 5648, CNRS, Lyon)
Annliese Nef (Université Paris 1, UMR 8167 / IUF)

Programme

Jeudi 11 septembre
9.30
Catherine Virlouvet (EFR) Accueil
Annliese Nef (Université Paris 1 - IUF) et Patrice Cressier (CIHAM-UMR 5648, CNRS, Lyon)
Introduction

HISTOIRE DE LA DYNASTIE ET CONSTRUCTION POLITIQUE
Yossef Rapoport (Queen Mary–University of London)
Mahdiya and Sicily in the Fatimid Book of Curiosities : textual and visual representation

Annliese Nef (Université Paris 1)
Les Fatimides et la délégation de pouvoir : comparaison entre les Kalbides de Sicile et les Zirides d'Ifriqiya

Pause

Lotfi Abdeljaouad (INP, Kairouan)
L'Ifriqiya fatimide au regard des documents épigraphiques

Discussion

COMMERCE, DIPLOMATIE, POLITIQUE MEDITERRANEENNE
Marina Rustow (John Hopkins University, Baltimore)
Les nouveaux apports de la Geniza

14h30
David Bramoullé (Université de Toulouse) L'ordre fatimide en Méditerranée centrale (Xe-XIIe s.), moyens, acteurs, enjeux

Christophe Picard (Université Paris 1) Les stratégies maritimes des Fatimides d'Ifriqiya : un enjeu jihadiste et impérialiste ?

Dominique Valérian (Université Lumière-Lyon 2) Les ports de Méditerranée centrale et les stratégies maghrébines des califes fatimides

Pause

Allaoua Amara (Université Émir Abdelkader–Constantine)
Les Fatimides et le Maghreb central : littoralisation de la dynastie et modes de contrôle des territoires

Discussion

Vendredi 12 septembre
9.30
ARCHITECTURE ET CULTURE MATERIELLE
Umberto Bongianino (University of Oxford) The Fatimid palace at Ajdabiya (Cyrenaica) : New data and perspectives

Rosi Di Liberto (Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali e Musei. Provincia Regionale di Palermo) Il pavimento della Cappella Palatina di Palermo. Decorazione e tradizione fatimida nell'architettura normanna

Soundes Gragueb (INP, Kairouan) La céramique fatimo-ziride de l'Ifriqiya et les bacini des monuments religieux d'Italie : étude comparative

Pause

Lucia Arcifa (Università di Catania), Alessandra Bagnera (Ricercatore indipendente in archeologia e storia dell'arte islamica, Roma)
Produzioni ceramiche e dinamiche culturali nella Sicilia fatimide

Fabiola Ardizzone (Università di Palermo), Elena Pezzini (Museo archeologico Nazionale di Palermo), Viva Sacco (doctorante Université Paris Sorbonne–Università di Messina) Il ruolo di Palermo nel Mediterraneo centrale tra X e XI secolo visto attraverso alcuni contesti inediti della chiesa della Gancia

Discussion

14h30
Silvia Armando (Swarzenski Senior Fellow, The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York)
Ivoires fatimides entre données historiques et mythes historiographiques
Miriam Ali de Unzaga (Institute of Ismaili Studies) Rethinking Fatimid textiles. A Case Study of the Central Mediterranean

Pause

Mariam Rosser-Owen (Victoria and Albert Museum)
Between Córdoba and Cairo : the Andalusiyyin minbar and Fatimid/Umayyad competition

Antonio Vallejo Triano (Museo de Bellas Artes, Cordoue), Patrice Cressier (CIHAM-UMR 5648, CNRS, Lyon)
Madinat al-Zahra' y Sabra al-Mansuriyya, dos capitales califales contemporáneas

Discussion et Table ronde conclusive

PDF - 688.9 ko

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Comment


My comment replying to the sock-puppet "Diggerdoc's" remarks on the Guardian (Re the Crisp text). It could have been phrased more fluidly, but these are not Daily Mail readers:
"Diggerdoc" how is collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record as exhorted here by Mr Crisp "doing a worthwhile job"? They are simply collectors, some people make personal collections of stamps and pottery figurines, these people collect artefacts abstracted from archaeological assemblages. 

Is collection-driven exploitation of archaeological sites not "doing a worthwhile job" in other places, Egypt  (El Hibeh etc.), Syria (Apamea, Dura Europos etc), Cambodia, Guatemala, France, Germany, Nigeria and Utah, only because these countries do not have a fifteen million pound Portable Antiquities Scheme there and looters there don't fill in their holes? 

Would UK bird egg collectors be "doing a worthwhile job" if there was a government scheme set up to "record" their depletion of a finite and fragile resource too?

For "even more" UK artefact hunters to report "even more" of their finds for professional recording (like the estimated eleven million found by metal detectorists since 1975, and the 134700 found just this year  of which there is still absolutely no record) the PAS annually would cost not today's 1.3 million pounds annually. The taxpayer would have to pay annually about 3,06 million pounds annually and in perpetuity. For "archaeology as whole to spend time on working with them" also costs money on top of that. How do you propose raising this money to save all the information from that "worthwhile job" of artefact hunters and collectors simply going missing, as it is today?
The ball-park figures for PAS full operation come from taking the values for number of objects the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter estimates as not recorded this year (1st Jan to 30th August 2014: 134695 items) and the number of objects (93075) recorded by the PAS in the same period and then multiplying the average daily rate by 365.

The costs in fact would be greater as the HAAERC is based on there being 8000 active detectorists in the England and (for the moment) Wales catchment area of the PAS. Although the Counter has not been adjusted for the change in numbers of detectorists brought about by misguided propaganda, including from the fold of the PAS, that figure has now, I think, risen some 60%. I would say if we had the proper figures from an official survey, we'd probably be looking now at a significantly higher rate of depletion which should be measured at 12800 detectorists. That would come out as 4,89 million pounds annually to get coverage of even the basic bare-bones (findspot and what-it-is) information being lost through metal detecting. If these figures are right, a minority and erosive hobby would cost the British public five million pounds a year to support. These are costs no other country has, over most of the rest of the world the ripping up of a finite and fragile resource such as the archaeological record for personal entertainment and profit is regulated by environmental protection laws.

If these figures are right, there is a shortfall of 3.6 million pounds each year on the amount England and Wales are currently willing to spend pretending they are "dealing with the metal detecting issue".  Three million, six hundred thousand pounds worth of knowledge-taking each year remains unmitigated. And PAS-partner Mr Crisp says we need more unmitigateable taking - because he's got a book to promote.

 UPDATE 1st September 2014
"Diggerdoc"  of course never cam back to reply. Another example of happy-slapping nuisance posting from the tekkies.

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Fake Coins Turning up in English Fields



(Museum Reproductions Ltd)
UKDFD 45779 is a coin found by "Hidden" (always hiding, those metal detecto
rists) in a field in Ongar region, Essex (parish also "hidden data"). This looks like a coin of Coenwulf of Mercia, tribrach type, Canterbury mint ('Spink 914; North 342') it is recorded as being of silver. The trouble is, it is a fake based on Museum Reproductions Ltd's No. 587.

With so much collecting activity going on in the UK, it is not surprising that the archaeological record is being contaminated by numerous visibly out-of-place artefacts. This one is visible, other out-of-place items may blend in to the background and not be spotted and find their way into databases like that of the PAS. This coin could have been one of a number of finds dropped in a field to be found by foreign metal detectorists paying as part of a detecting holiday, seeding 'club land' or rally site for the same reason, carried by somebody as a pocket-piece and accidentally dropped, a scattered and unwanted coin or artefact collection. Other possibilities exist, the potential for contamination is increasing.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

III Scuola di Spettroscopia Infrarossa per i Beni Culturali

Il Centro Conservazione e Restauro "La Venaria Reale" organizza la terza edizione della Scuola di Spettroscopia Infrarossa applicata alla diagnostica dei Beni Culturali. Quest'anno la scuola si svolgerà dal 27 al 30 ottobre 2014 mediante lezioni teoriche e dimostrazioni pratiche.

Trafficking Culture

Jessica Dietzler at the 42nd Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control

Trafficking Culture’s PhD student Jessica Dietzler will participate in the 42nd Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, organised in Liverpool from 3rd – 6th September, 2014. The theme of the conference will be: ‘Resisting the Demonisation of ‘the Other’: State, Nationalism and Social Control in a Time of Crisis’.

Jessica’s talk will be on Saturday, 6 September in the ‘Policing Art and Antiquities’ session located in Room G01 (11:45-13:15). The title of Jessica’s talk is: A critical inquiry into multi-stakeholder governance in the transnational criminal antiquities market: contrasting realities and policies of practice (initial findings).

 

The conference programme can be found here.

He has a wife you know

soverylittlehoneybee: An attempt to reconstruct the apperance...





















soverylittlehoneybee:

An attempt to reconstruct the apperance of a high-status mycenaean woman.

It’s possible that mycenaean women of high social status, noblewomen and priestesses, painted their faces for ceremonial occasions, using white lead. Such make-up would give their face mask-like appearance, letting temporarily remove the individual behind said mask and play a certain role instead.

The Ancient Worlds with Bettany Hughes: Helen of Troy

archaicwonder: Roman Legionary Tile with Canine Imprint, Roman...



archaicwonder:

Roman Legionary Tile with Canine Imprint, Roman Province of Pannonia, c.  2nd-4th century AD

A Roman legionary building tile (baked orange clay brick) with the imprint of a dog’s footprint, likely the pet of a legionary soldier or local camp dog who stepped on it while it was drying prior to baking. The tile 6 x 7 x 1.25 inches, the print 2 x 3 inches. The print quite clear with excellent detail including the claw marks. Some ancient calcified deposits in the impressions attesting authenticity. Quite rare.

Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Man Bac, Vietnam

Damien Huffer

Damien Huffer
Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute and Dept. of Physical Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History
Man Bac excavation in the landscape, 2007 season, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam

The “Splatt” Theory

Ardeth Anderson

Ardeth Anderson
Institute for Southeast Asian Archaeology
The “Splatt” Theory: an artist’s conception of how the archaeological site of Ban Chiang, Thailand, was formed. Gouache painting by Ardeth Anderson, 1995

The SEAArch Photo Festival begins today!

Thanks everybody for your photo submissions, I am pleased to kick off the first Southeast Asian Archaeology Photo Festival today! The festival will run for two weeks, and a new photo will be up twice a day (in the morning and the afternoon in Singapore time), Monday to Friday. I received 22 submissions, and the variety is just wonderful.

The photos are grouped into four themes: Site photos and People (this week), and next week the photos of artefacts and fieldwork go up. Each photo comes with a name and a caption, and I especially encourage you leaving a comment for photos you particularly enjoy, and also that you reach out to the photographers if you have questions about the sites and research portrayed in them.

Coming up, the site photos!

Ancient Art

Battle scenes shown at the gallery of bas-reliefs, Angkor Wat,...





Battle scenes shown at the gallery of bas-reliefs, Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Photos taken by Jason Eppink.

August 31, 2014

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

Famous Last Words from Antiquity

Having created a list of Famous Last Words from the Middle Ages, we decided not to leave the ancient world out! Here are fifteen famous last words from the ancient Greek and Roman worlds:

This list is from the book Last Words: A Dictionary of Deathbed Quotations, by C. Bernard Ruffin (1995).

See also:

20 Great Quotes from Ancient Greece

Top 10 Best Insults from Ancient Rome

Top 10 Strangest Deaths of Roman Emperors

Morte di Giulio Cesare ("Death of Julius Caesar", 1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini

Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag)

Hellenic statues in Iraq National Museum are idols "best to be destroyed", according to Iraq's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities

The "reopening" (and immediate reclosing) of the Hellenic gallery at the Iraq National Museum on August 21, 2014, in the midst of the ISIS onslaught has been covered as a rare bit of good news, in tones promoting it as a show of civilized spirit defying the barbarians at the gate.  Lost in the coverage, or at least what I have seen of it, are the following shocking comments made by Liwa Sumeisim, Iraq's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, on his Facebook page after he viewed the exhibit:
"Have you seen Allat and al-`Uzza and the other one, the third one, Manat" (Qur'an 53: 19).  These are the three idols on exhibit in the Iraqi Museum--the Hatra Exhibit. 
Allat and al-`Uzza are idols that should not be placed in the museum because they represent gods worshiped instead of [or in addition to] Allah.  It is best to be destroyed. True heritage includes that which has endured over time such as pottery and metallic objects . . . but to place on exhibit statues [or statuary-type representation] such as the idols does not in my opinion represent Islam or the Muslim... 
How are we to venerate anything that was worshipped instead of Allah and to place it in the museum [to be viewed by] people come to visit Iraq in order to celebrate its heritage and for knowledge -- when this is not out heritage, but rather that of Saudi Arabia?  I am against its existence.  The Messenger [Muhammad] fought against it before.  Place [on exhibit] anything but idols.  For verification on [the propriety of] what they are doing,  I will send a request for a fatwa to the authoritative religious scholars on the matter, who are in Najaf and include Muqtada al-Sadr.
Al-Sadr, it should be noted, issued a fatwa during the period of rampant looting of archaeological sites in Iraq, permitting such looting if the proceeds of selling artifacts were used to help resist the occupation, but to my knowledge he never promoted iconoclasm. And it is to be hoped that Ayatollah Sistani's fatwa from that same period ruling that there is no difference between Islamic and non-Islamic civilizations, that all are part of Iraq's heritage and all should be respected and protected, still holds. 

But it is troubling, to put it mildly, to hear the head of the ministry charged with protecting one of the great storehouses of Iraq's and the world's cultural heritage citing the Koran in support of idol-smashing.

Calenda: Histoire grecque

De l’entretien quotidien des édifices à la conservation du patrimoine bâti aux époques antique et médiévale

La conservation et la restauration des édifices anciens sont devenues des priorités nationales depuis la création de l’inspection puis de la Commission des monuments historiques dans les années 1830 et ces interventions font aujourd’hui l’objet de normes précises. Tous ces monuments nous sont également parvenus grâce à un entretien plus ou moins régulier au cours des siècles passés, bien antérieur à cet ensemble de législations. Aujourd’hui, entretien et restauration se distinguent clairement par leur périodicité et leur ampleur. L’objectif de cette journée d’études est de discuter la pertinence de cette distinction aux époques antique et médiévale en s’intéressant en particulier à la nature et aux modalités de cet entretien par une approche interdisciplinaire alliant l’archéologie et l’étude du bâti aux sources écrites. Les thématiques abordées pour guider cette réflexion concerneront à la fois les aspects juridiques de cette gestion du patrimoine bâti, les enjeux techniques et pratiques de ces activités ainsi que leur dimension idéologique.

Open Access Archaeology

Open Access Archaeology Digest #527

Get your Open Access (free to read) archaeology fix:

Notes on a Stone Circle in Wigtownshire.
http://bit.ly/12sdZSK

Note on the Proclamation for Disarming of the Highlands in 1746.
http://bit.ly/Z95Zm8

The San Diego Archaeological Center and the Future of Curation
http://bit.ly/1ajqtwd

Further work at Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire
http://bit.ly/15kLVMx

A morphological study of some old and new Pleistocene discoveries from Java
http://bit.ly/1qSI9Fw

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

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: From Folkstone Beach to Apamea



The reaction of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to Dave Crisp's exhortation to 'take up yer metal detector and loot' (and show the stuff to the PAS) was swift. Based on previous experience of discussing the issues with members of the public, they produced a page showing the benefits to our knowledge and stewardship of knowledge of the past through site preservation instead of greedy, self-centred acquisitive destruction of evidence through collection-driven exploitation (CDE). They put Britain's curio anti-protection laws in their global context of the measures taken all over the world to prevent damage to sites through them being 'mined' for collectables for personal entertainment and profit. They give a link to one of my blog posts about CDE going on at Apamea, Syria, showing the damage caused by collection driven exploitation over a wide area of this important town. They point out that a difference is that the "Code" of UK detectorists enjoins them to fill the holes in after they've finished hoiking.

The information page explaining the issues which was produced by this professional outreach scheme run at taxpayers' expense can be seen here.

Well, actually no it cannot. The PAS would not in a hundred years actually produce any piece of public outreach like that. They'd have another 'recording strike' on their hands the moment they did that, from the people that have the PAS over a barrel, their artefact hunting "partners".  You might well ask why.



Archaeology Matters

Mesolakia (Amphipolis) Tumba Kasta: Photos of the Monument









Entrance with sphinxes











Decoration of second protective wall




Second protective wall (behind entrance)
 
Mosaic floor of entrance













Sources:
Proto Thema, 31.08.2014; here

ArcheoNet BE

Gentse bibliotheek zet stadsarcheologie in de kijker

Van 3 tot 30 september zet de stedelijke openbare bibliotheek in Gent ’40 jaar stadsarcheologie’ in de kijker. Het overzicht in de inkomhal van de bibliotheek verbindt twee benaderingen. De archeologen kozen als uitgangspunt voor enkele bijzondere vondsten die speciale verhalen over het Gentse verleden vertellen. De bibliotheek legt de klemtoon op boeken met archeologische inhoud of hoe het publiek met de bevindingen van archeologen kan kennismaken buiten het volgen van opgravingen in de stad.

Op 23 november 1973 startten de opgravingen in de oostelijke buitentuin van de Sint-Pietersabdij onder leiding van archeoloog Joan Vandenhoute (1951-1981). Dit onderzoek leidde tot de oprichting van een gemeentelijke archeologische dienst die al vier decennia instaat voor coördinatie, onderzoek en kennisopbouw aan de hand van de bronnen die bij opgravingen en andere archeologische interventies worden gedocumenteerd.

Het overzicht van 40 jaar Gentse stadsarcheologie onder de titel ‘Honderdsteboven’ is gratis toegankelijk tijdens de openingsuren van de stedelijke bibliotheek (Graaf van Vlaanderenplein, Gent). Er worden ook enkele bijzondere activiteiten georganiseerd:

Curieuzeneuzen Vraagstaarten Kabinet: De archeoloog
Nieuwsgierige kinderen gaan samen met de stadsarcheoloog op zoek naar antwoorden op al hun vragen.
Wanneer: za 6 sept. van 10.30u tot 12u (gratis, reserveren via bibliotheek@gent.be of 09 266 70 04)
Waar: Bibliotheek Zuid, jeugdafdeling (gelijkvloers)

Gentse archeologische verhalen. De keuze van Marie Christine Laleman (directeur De Zwarte Doos)
‘Uit de kast’, de keuze van een interessante gast uit de grootste gemeenschappelijke boekenkast van Gent.
Wanneer: di 16 sept van 12.30u tot 13.30u (gratis, deuren open om 12u, dicht om 12.30u)
Waar: Bibliotheek Zuid, Achilles Musschezaal (2de verdieping)

Ancient Peoples

Glass amphoriskos (perfume bottle) 1st Century BC Late...



Glass amphoriskos (perfume bottle)

1st Century BC

Late Hellenistic

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

St Stephen's College, Delhi

IMG_4039

The place I was hiding out last week was actually New Delhi. I know the Brits get knocked for turning up in foreign places and never stepping outside the hotel compound, but simply sitting by the pool. Well I guess we were the academic equivalent of that. It was the monsoon season (see above) and we spent most of the time in our room, just writing -- and it was heaven, honestly.

But we did venture out, to see St Stephens College, part of the University of Delhi -- designed by one of the husband's imperial architects, W S George.

IMG_4045

It was built in the very late 1930s and early 40s, and the husband was interested in the architectural style, part Indian, part Byzantine, part Arts and Crafts. I was more interested in the social architecture, if you can put it that way.

IMG_4048

First, I started thinking about where George got his model for an Indian university from. It looked to me (not that I know so much about them, to be honest) is that he had in mind not so much Oxbridge (no staircases for exanple), but a "second ranking" English public school. It was full of quads etc, but all very Spartan and a bit well scrubbed. 

But, as we peeked around, I got more entranced by the apparently pristine 1930s state of so much of it. The library lockers were still just as they ever were.

IMG_4052

Wouldn't you die for those? And the wonderful glass covered notice boards still decorated as those in my childhood with such headings as "Games".

IMG_4055

We went away with a slightly old-fashioned, even quaint view of the place (it was a Saturday morning and we watched late comers creeping into lectures and apologising as they did so). 

But, of course, you do always need a bit of local knowledge. Later we met our friend Giles Tillotson (though I say it myself his book on the Taj Mahal is brilliant, and he has recently curated an exhibition at the National Museum in Delhi on a major Indian collector; more details here).He was able to dispel a bit of that quaintness, and explain that things were all a bit edgier (reminiscent, we thought, of Oxbridge back home). Just how elitist was St Stephens? Just how exclusive? And he pointed us to the big local story about the university, namely that a student who was a college gardener's son, and Hindi rather than English speaker, had just been elected president of the students' union. 

The elite institution was becoming more open was the line -- and a good reminder that you need more than a tourist's eye.

 

Archaeological News on Tumblr

18th century brewery remains found at Va. college

College students have always had a taste for beer, and archaeologists have uncovered new evidence at the College of William and Mary to prove it.

The remains of what is likely an 18th century on-campus brewery were discovered just outside of the nation’s oldest college building when campus officials were looking to widen a sidewalk.

School officials say the discovery near the Wren Building will allow them to tell a broader story about campus life in the Colonial era that involved the interaction of slaves, Native Americans, faculty and students.

Major excavation of the site wrapped up on Friday, and archaeologists now plan to perform a detailed lab analysis on some of what they’ve found. That includes searching for pollen in hopes that would’ve been used to make beer. (source)

Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities)

Are ‘unheard of numbers’ of cultural goods from Syria and Iraq making their way into auction houses in the UK?

Buzzfeed journalist Sheera Frenkel has extended the continuing analysis of How ISIS Became the Richest Terrorist Group in the World. I’m concerned that some unevidenced claims are becoming received wisdom, and that Frenkel’s informants are contributing to that. ‘Unheard of numbers’ of illicit antiquities and unevidenced claims First, good news for the British archaeological labour […]

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

ASOR Syrian Heritage Initiative

ASOR Syrian Heritage Initiative
http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SHI-logo-8.jpg
The Department of State and the American Schools of Oriental Research have established a 12-month, multipronged program — the Syrian Heritage Initiative (SHI) — to plan and implement cultural property protection and preservation projects in Syria in the short- and long-term to address the ongoing crisis and to prepare for the inevitable reconstruction process. SHI consists of three major units: cultural heritage communications, satellite remote sensing and mapping, and preservation planning. SHI remotely monitors and evaluates risks, evaluates damage, and ultimately seeks to increase risk preparedness, mitigate adverse impacts, and preserve vital human resources and infrastructure for the future. SHI develops durative institutional collaborations and broad coalitions of CPP experts and other stakeholders to achieve results. ASOR represents the ideal umbrella organization for SHI given its long record of successful scientific cooperation with Syria, its international outreach capacity, and its impressive institutional infrastructure.

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient settlement of South Caucasus discovered in west of Azerbaijan

An ancient settlement of the South Caucasus, referring to the Neolithic period, was discovered in Azerbaijani Tovuz region, Turkel TV regional channel reported Aug. 30.

The settlement, discovered during excavations in the Haji Alemkhanli village, dates from the end of the seventh millennium BC. The excavations are conducted by Azerbaijani and Japanese archaeologists.

The radiocarbon analysis of the found samples of the material culture of the Neolithic period show that the oldest settlement in the region was in this area. Read more.

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Lost Armenian monastery

EVERY PHILOLOGIST DREAMS OF THIS HAPPENING: Ani ruins reveal hidden secrets from below. New underground structures have come to light in Ani, one of Turkey’s most breathtaking ancient sites. History researcher Sezai Yazıcı says the ancient city’s structures should be promoted (Hurriyet Daily News).
“In 2011 while working on a United Nations project in order to promote Kars and to reveal its historical and cultural heritage, I came across some pretty interesting information. One of the most important names of the first half of the 20th century, George Ivanovic Gurdjieff, who spent most of his childhood and youth in Kars, had chosen [to stay in] an isolated place in Ani along with his friend Pogosyan where they worked for some time together in the 1880s. One day, while digging at one of the underground tunnels in Ani, Gurdjieff and his friend saw that the soil became different. They continued digging and discovered a narrow tunnel. But the end of the tunnel was closed off with stones. They cleaned the stones and found a room. They saw decayed furniture, broken pots and pans in the room. They also found a scrap of parchment in a niche. Although Gurdjieff spoke Armenian very well, he failed to read Armenian writing in the parchment. Apparently, it was very old Armenian. After a while, they learned that the parchments were letters written by a monk to another monk,” Yazıcı said, speaking about how he became interested in the underground structures.

“Finally, [Gurdjieff and his friend] succeeded in understanding the letters. Gurdjieff discovered that there was a famous Mesopotamian esoteric school in the place where they found the letters. The famous school was active between the sixth and seventh centuries A.D. and there was a monastery there,” he added.
HT Cornelia Horn on Facebook.

Some past posts on ancient Armenian are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. And this story deserves a nod to The Rule of Four.

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

Whose Greek God/Goddess child would you be?

Let’s think for a minute you are either a Demi-God or a Titan, now which Greek God or Goddess would be your father/mother?

Want More Ancient Greece?

Do You Actually Know All About Greek Gods and Goddesses?

Which Greek God Are You?

What Greek Mythology Creature Are You?

greek gods

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Doctor Who: Into The Dalek

I found the Doctor Who episode “Into The Dalek” felt rushed - they could have easily made this a two-parter and taken the time necessary to introduce characters and explore details. But the concept and the themes explored are fascinating, and give viewers much food for thought. Spoilers ahead!

The episode introduces the question of whether there can be a good Dalek. Clara’s comment when the Doctor says there’s no such thing gives an insight into how things will unfold. She says that the Doctor sounds unusually inflexible, indeed prejudiced. The Doctor has experienced damage, and the Doctor makes a quip about “morality as malfunction.”

The plan is for the Doctor to “get inside its head” – and not metaphorically. And so we get to see the classic science fiction scenario of people miniaturized and entering into another – a scenario which I think that Doctor Who never included in all its 50 years, so it was long overdue for this trope to be used!

Into the Dalek 2The Doctor asks the Dalek what changed it. The Dalek says it saw beauty. It uses the phrase made famous by the Cybermen and then later the Borg on Star Trek: “resistance is futile.” But in this case, the Dalek had seen a star born, even though Daleks have destroyed millions of stars, and had realized that “life returns; life prevails.”

As an aside, a saying very similar to this – “life is victorious” – is repeated throughout Mandaean literature, most commonly as an ending of chapters in the Book of John and other works.

The Doctor heals the Dalek’s radiation leak, and it quickly returns to its instinct to exterminate. The Doctor says that this proves that there is no such thing as a good Dalek – “no miracle,” just radiation affecting its brain chemistry. Meanwhile, as the Dalek goes on its killing rampage, one of the soldiers says “God save us all.”

But Clara sees something the Doctor doesn’t. What they have learned is that a good Dalek is possible. The Doctor then sets about trying to reawaken the memories that had helped the Dalek learn good in the first place. The Doctor says hopefully that if he can turn one Dalek, he can turn them all, and save the future. The Doctor tells the Dalek (whom he has nicknamed “Rusty”) that he is going to save its soul – to which the Dalek responds that it doesn’t have one. The Doctor performs a sort of “mind meld” and lets the Dalek see inside his own soul, to see the universe as he sees it. And there, the Dalek sees the beauty of the universe – “endless divine perfection” and “divinity” – but also the Doctor’s hatred of the Daleks.

“Rusty” turns on its Dalek comrades and saves the humans on the spaceship (“Aristotle”). The Doctor is unhappy – earlier he had asked Clara whether he was a good man, and she said she didn’t know, to which he replied that neither did he. But a Dalek had looked into his soul and had seen hatred, and for the Doctor, “That’s not victory.”

But Clara has insight to offer once again, at the end of the episode. She said that she didn’t know if he was a good man, but he tries, and maybe that is the point. The Doctor makes an observation about her skills as a teacher.

The Doctor seems a bit callous at times, as well as being punny and sarcastic. But while some may perceive this as a significant change of direction, I would suggest that that perception is wrong, and perhaps due to the new attack eyebrows. If you go back and imagine Matt Smith saying the same lines, I trust that you will see that it is not only possible, but fairly easy to do.

The episode is really about the possibility of redemption – not just for the Dalek, but for the Doctor, and for soldiers present and future. There is an interesting suggestion that, for all the genetic manipulation that makes Daleks evil, there is a need for something more evil still – a computerized supplement to the Dalek’s brain that takes that evil tendency and supplements and enhances it. And so there is some suggestion that even a Dalek may not be beyond redemption. And if so, that has a hopeful message for human beings, and a challenging one for those who view other humans who are their enemies as being pure evil, with no hope of redemption or possibility of change.

When we see darkness rather than beauty, when we see other people as soulless and beyond redemption, we are not fighting the Daleks, we have become them.

What did you make of the episode “Into the Dalek”?

Into the Dalek