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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs - http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

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    New research reveals the extinction of plant or animal species from extreme environmental change increases the risk of an 'extinction domino effect' that could annihilate all life on Earth. Virtual earths modelling shows an 'extinction domino effect' risk ten times higher than forecast, indicating rising global temperatures due to climate change could wipeout entire species [Credit: Flinders University]This would be the worst-case...

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    Scientists are worried about the platypus, with a national risk assessment led by UNSW Professor Richard Kingsford suggesting declines of up to 30 percent. A UNSW-led project has raised concerns about the decline of platypus populations [Credit: Taronga Zoo: G Anderson]Mounting evidence that platypus populations are falling has concerned scientists who are nearing the end of a three-year national survey of the iconic species. The...

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    One of the most fundamental unexplained questions in modern science is how life began. Scientists generally believe that simple molecules present in early planetary environments were converted to more complex ones that could have helped jumpstart life by the input of energy from the environment. Starting from hydrogen cyanide, the one-pot synthesis of cyanamide and precursors to simple sugars in water -- using  gamma rays in the...

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    Rivaling the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs, one of the most extraordinary transformations in the history of life was the evolution of baleen--rows of flexible hair-like plates that blue whales, humpbacks and other marine mammals use to filter relatively tiny prey from gulps of ocean water. The unusual structure enables the world's largest creatures to consume several tons of food each day, without ever chewing or biting. Now,...

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    Some things you learn in school turn out not to be true, for example that there are just five senses or three states of matter. Now cutting-edge research has added to the list by proving the mitochondria (the power sources in our cells) comes from both our parents and not – as biology students are taught – just from our mothers. Mitochondria are tiny, free-floating organelles inside cells [Credit: Northwestern University]The...

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    About 56 million years ago, on an Earth so warm that palm trees graced the Arctic Circle, a mouse-sized primate known as Teilhardina first curled its fingers around a branch. Teilhardina brandti likely resembled a modern tarsier, a small primate native to Southeast Asia. A lower jaw  from a tarsier is pictured at top with a lower jaw from Teilhardina brandti for comparison  [Credit: Florida Museum/Kristen Grace]The...

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    Beginning more than 1.5 million years ago, early humans made stone handaxes in a style known as the Acheulean -- the longest lasting tool-making tradition in prehistory. New research led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has documented an Acheulean presence in the Arabian Peninsula dating to less than 190,000 years ago, revealing that the Arabian...

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    A research group from Russia and the United States analyzed samples of obsidian volcanic glass in Kabardino-Balkaria. It turned out that more than 70 thousand years ago, Neanderthals transferred this mineral to distances up to 250 kilometers and used it to manufacture tools. These findings help to understand how populations from different regions communicated in antiquity. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation and...

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    Archaeologists said the Lushanmao historic relics site in the Baota district of Yan'an city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, could be the country's prototype for early palaces. Aerial view of the Lushanmao site in the Baota district of Yan'an city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province [Credit: China Daily]Experts from the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology recently found a foundation of rammed earth, on which there could...

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    A 14th century stone inscription has been discovered at Hagalamane village in Bhadravati taluk, Karnataka state, by R. Shejeshwara, Assistant Director of the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums. The inscription in archaic Kannada speaks of the valour of a local warrior [Credit: Vaidya, via The Hindu]Mr. Shejeshwara discovered the inscription in an agricultural field on the outskirts of the village based on the information...

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    Researchers in Iran have discovered vestiges of an ancient structure in northeast Iran, which is attributed to Sassanid era (224 to 651 CE), and news reports suggest it could provide clues to regional architectural heritage of the famed Later Persian Empire. Excavations in progress at Bazeh Hoor, northeast Iran  [Credit: Tehran Times]Columns decorated with rare plasterwork that may belong to an architectural monument have been...

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    A brightly colored mural unearthed in Uzbekistan likely dates from the second to third centuries and sheds intriguing light on the spread of Buddhist art along the Silk Road, researchers say. Part of the mural unearthed at the Kara Tepe archaeological site in Uzbekistan in 2016 [Credit: Rissho University Uzbekistan Academic Research Group]It was discovered in 2016 during excavations at Kara Tepe, an archaeological site in suburban...

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    An ancient tomb containing belongings and remains, which dates back to the Roman era in the second century AD, was discovered in the area of Dogha in Tarhuna city, 65 kilometres (40 mi) to the southeast of Tripoli. Credit: Municipal Council of Tarhuna (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Credit: Municipal Council of Tarhuna (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Credit: Municipal Council of TarhunaThe...

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    Wall Maps Published in 2011 Now Re-Issued

    November 28, 2018 in Publication
    The seven large Wall Maps produced by the Center and published by Routledge in 2011 have gone out of print, and the rights have reverted to the Center. We are pleased to make all seven available digitally (Map 6 now incorporating small corrections). It is possible to print from these files. The series is openly licensed under Creative Commons by 4.0.
    • View all seven maps both from a distance and up close. • Designed for use, not by specialists, but by students new to antiquity and by their instructors in introductory courses. • Clear, uncluttered presentation of places and features most likely to be encountered at this entry level. • Familiar English forms for names are normally marked (except on Map 7). No accompanying text or gazetteer. • Locator outline shows the scope of each map in relation to others in the set, incorporating the boundaries and names (abbreviated) of the modern countries covered.
    Dimensions (in inches) are for the entire map, width x height. All maps are plotted on 300dpi satellite images in the public domain; landscape is returned to its ancient aspect. Inks/color palette: red, green, blue.
    1. (70 x 50) Egypt and the Near East, 3000 to 1200 BCE. Scale: 1:1,750,000. Available here.
    1 Near_East earlier.jpg
    2. (70 x 50) Egypt and the Near East, 1200 to 500 BCE. Scale: 1:1,750,000. Available here.
    2 Near_East later.jpg
    3. (66 x 48) Greece and the Aegean in the Fifth Century BCE. Scale: 1:750,000. Available here.
    3 Aegean World .jpg
    4. (65 x 35) Greece and Persia in the Time of Alexander the Great. Scale: 1:4,000,000. Available here.
    4 Alexander.jpg
    5. (70 x 58) Italy in the Mid-First Century CE. Scale: 1:775,000. Available here.
    5 Italy.jpg
    6. (65 x 50) The World of the New Testament and the Journeys of Paul. Scale: 1:1,750,000. Inset “New Testament Palestine” (Scale 1:350,000). Available here.
    6 New_Testament Corrected 2018.jpg
    7. (75 x 56) The Roman Empire around 200 CE. Scale: 1:3,000,000. Available here.
    Image result for routledge wall maps roman empire


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    A story today in Haaretz, here, has been repeated across the news outlets:

    Ring of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate Who Crucified Jesus Found in Herodion Site in West Bank

    The ring was found during a dig led by Professor Gideon Forster from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem 50 years ago, but only now has the inscription been deciphered

    Nir Hasson | Nov 29, 2018 8:12 AM

    A far better article by Amanda Borschel-Dan – timestamped 4:08pm – appears in the Times of Israelhere.  This references the actual scholarly publication.

    Views and cross-section of finger ring that may have belonged to Pontius Pilate (drawing: J. Rodman; photo: C. Amit, IAA Photographic Department, via Hebrew University)

    The ring was first found among hundreds of other artifacts in 1968–1969 excavations directed by archaeologist Gideon Foerster, at a section of Herod’s burial tomb and palace at Herodium that was used during the First Jewish Revolt (66–73 CE). Recently, current dig director Roi Porat asked that the engraved copper sealing ring be given a thorough laboratory cleaning and scholarly examination.

    The scientific analysis of the ring was published in the stalwart biannual Israel Exploration Journal last week, by the 104-year-old Israel Exploration Society. It was also popularly publicized — with slightly differing conclusions — on Thursday in Haaretz, under the headline “Ring of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate Who Crucified Jesus Found in Herodion Site in West Bank.” …

    The IEJ article is vol. 68 (2018), pp.208-220, although I don’t have access to it.  The abstract in the IEJ site reads:

    208.  SHUA AMORAI-STARK, MALKA HERSHKOVITZ, GIDEON FOERSTER, YAKOV KALMAN, RACHEL CHACHY and ROI PORAT: An Inscribed Copper-Alloy Finger Ring from Herodium Depicting a Krater

    ABSTRACT: A simple copper-alloy ring dated to the first century BCE–mid-first century CE was discovered in the hilltop palace at Herodium. It depicts a krater circled by a Greek inscription, reading: ‘of Pilatus’. The article deals with the typology of ancient representations of kraters in Second Temple Jewish art and with the possibility that this ring might have belonged to Pontius Pilatus, the prefect of the Roman province of Judaea or to a person in his administration, either a Jew or a pagan.

    The Times of Israel continues:

    The IEJ’s analysis, “An Inscribed Copper-Alloy Finger Ring from Herodium Depicting a Krater,” was written by a collective of scholars including Kaye Academic College’s Art & Aesthetics Department professor emeritus Shua Amorai-Stark, and several archaeologists and academics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Malka Hershkovitz, Foerster, who excavated the ring, Yakov Kalman, Rachel Chachy, and Porat. Epigrapher Leah DiSegni, also of the Hebrew University, is credited with deciphering the inscription.

    While it is unclear exactly when the ring was forged, it was discovered in an eastern garden built on a porch in a room constructed of secondary building materials. The room offered an archaeological layer which dates to no later than 71 CE, with “a wealth of finds,” including an array of glass, ostraca, pottery and decorated mud stoppers, and “an abundance” of metal artifacts, such as iron arrowheads, a large number of First Jewish Revolt coins, and one copper alloy sealing ring.

    At the center of the ring is an engraved krater, a large wine vessel, which is encircled by minute “partly deformed” Greek letters spelling out “of Pilatus.” Interestingly, according to DiSegni, the direction of writing for the two words is different, and one word is “disturbed by a defect” in the metal.

    According to the scholars, the bezeled ring, which has a narrow outer rim, was cast in one unit by a less-than-expert craftsman. There is evidence that the “mold for this ring was engraved quickly before pouring the melted metal or that the device was not prepared by a master smith,” they write.

    The design at the center of the ring, write the authors, was likewise not necessarily elite. They reference a still unpublished clay sealing bulla that was discovered in the Temple Mount Sifting Project and archaeologists have tentatively dated to the first century CE.

    The unpublished clay impression has at its center a single vessel, which is described in the IEJ article as “flanked by Greek letters placed in a manner similar to that of the letters on the ring bezel from Herodium. Like the inscription on the ring, the one on the bulla gives the name of a person (or his nickname or title).”

    Of note, a motif close to the handleless large wine vessel appeared on a bronze pruta coin, which dates to 67-68 CE, years two and three of the Jewish Revolt, and depicted a handled amphora. These coins date to the same archaeological layer in which the ring was found. …

    The authors, however, conclude that there is nothing in the ring’s design that makes it particularly either Roman or elite. They write that during the Second Temple period, the vessel “served as a meaningful Jewish symbol on sealing rings.”

    “We propose, therefore, that this ring was made in a local workshop, perhaps located in Jerusalem,” write the authors. …

    To the authors, the man described in historical texts such as Josephus, “Antiquities and Wars”; Tacitus, “Annals”; Philo, “De Legatione ad Gaium” and the New Testament would not have worn such a simple ring.

    “Simple all-metal rings like the Herodium ring were primarily the property of soldiers, Herodian and Roman officials, and middle-income folk of all trades and occupations,” they write. “It is therefore unlikely that Pontius Pilatus, the powerful and rich prefect of Judaea, would have worn a thin, all copper-alloy sealing ring.”

    As to whose ring it actually was, the authors offer a few suggestions, including other Early Roman period men called “Pilatus.” Likewise, the name may have referred to those under the historical Pilate’s command, a member of his family “or some of his freed slaves,” they write.

    “It is conceivable,” write the authors, “that this finger ring from a Jewish royal site might have belonged to a local individual, either a Jew, a Roman, or another pagan patron with the name Pilatus.”

    It did not, they conclude, belong to the Roman prefect himself.

    This is sober and sensible.  Good to see that the excellent and careful scholar Leah Di Segni is the transcriber.

    For those wondering, note that in the depiction of the ring that the inscription goes round with the letters “backwards” P I and then (left to right) O T A L.  To my ignorant eye this looks odd; but of course I know nothing about such items.

    It is really curious that the two items from Israel both referencing the famous Pilate should both be discovered by the same archaeologist, tho.

    Could this be fake?  It seems to have a provenance, but one might wonder just where it has been over the last 50 years.  People produce fakes to obtain fame or fortune, and anything like this would ordinarily be suspicious, precisely because its discoverer would be likely to obtain both.  It is reassuring to see a collective publication, therefore.  It is a great pity that no normal person can access it.

    It would not be particularly surprising to find a ring associated in some way with the household of Pilate at Herodium, of course.

    All the same, it is generally wise to be wary around spectacular finds.


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  • 11/29/18--14:15: Find A Dig
  • Find A Dig

    Bible History with Biblical Archaeology Review
    Participating on an archaeological excavation is a unique and exciting way to experience history firsthand. For almost two decades, BAS has been connecting volunteers with the opportunity to participate in some of the most exciting archaeological excavations in the Near East. A wide variety of people take part in our featured digs, and individuals of many different ages, backgrounds, and cultures have come together to share the thrill of discovery.
    Frequently, participants return with much more than just wonderful memories. Many of our volunteers have forged lifelong friendships—some have even met their future spouses while in the field!
    Dozens of archaeological digs throughout Europe and the Middle East are looking for volunteers this summer to help them excavate history. Whether you’re interested in the worlds of Kings David and Solomon, want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles, or search for the heroes of the Trojan War, we’ve got an archaeological dig for you. For each dig, we provide an in-depth description including location, historical and Biblical significance, and what the goals are for the season. You can also learn all about the dig directors and professors who will lead your summer adventure.

    CURRENT DIGS

    Israel

    Jordan

    Egypt

    Turkey

    Cyprus




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    Arabic Ontology الأنطولوجيا العربية
    http://ontology.birzeit.edu/

    The Arabic Ontology
    An Arabic Wordnet with ontologically-clean content.
    Classification of the meanings of the Arabic terms, based on state-of-art science, rather than on speakers' naïve knowledge.

    150 Dictionaries
    Multilingual dictionaries were digitized and integrated. Only the semantic features (definitions, synonyms, translations) are currently displayed, soon the morphological features.

    See also: https://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2018/11/an-online-arabic-dictionary-makes-its-debut/

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    November 30, 2018 19.00 - LECTURE Martine Petlund Breiby (Research Assistant, University of Oslo)

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    November 30, 2018 18.30 - LECTURE Thomas Strasser, Providence College

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    Have you filled up the SEAMMEO SPAFA Survey on Archaeology Education in Southeast Asia yet? If you've been putting it off, you have only a few days left to get your opinions in.

    The post SEAMEO SPAFA Archaeology Education Survey ends next week! appeared first on SEAArch - Southeast Asian Archaeology.


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