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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs -

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    I was pretty interested in the recent vote to fund the construction of a new Memorial Union on the campus of the University of North Dakota. By a fairly narrow margin, students agreed to fund a new union through a $14 per credit fee that increased 2% per year between 2020 and 2059. The new union, it’s been said, will cost about $80 million and the incentive to do this now is that the existing union, aside from being dated in style and design as well as increasingly inadequate as a center for student life, has about $40 million in “deferred maintenance.” Traditionally, students have carried part of the funding for the union and its maintenance through various fees and had a fair amount of control over how the union worked and funding priorities.

    The fee increase has to go through the state legislature and the state board of higher education, and there is some concern that a fee increase to fund the new union will make it more difficult to increase fees for other needs on campus should they arise over the next 40 years (gulp!!). As a result, some legislators with ties to UND have asked around a bit to get a sense whether this is a good priority for UND and whether it should see backing in the legislature.

    Because I’ve been thinking a bit about how university budgets work in the age of shifting priorities, I chimed in and my response to a social media post has been banging around in my head for a week or so now. So, I thought I would share a revised version of it here.

    First, the more that I thought about it, the more that I’ve come to think that the $40 million in deferred maintenance is a bit of a McGuffin. From what I understand, the formulas used to calculate deferred maintenance are not as simple as saying there are $40 million worth of things needing to be fixed in the existing union. These figures include depreciation and replacement costs that accumulate over time, and, generally, represent the amount of money that needs to be available to accommodate repair and replacement of the physical plant of the building. A new roof, for example, will start to generate deferred maintenance expenses from the moment it is installed as well an HVAC unit or a light bulb. Ideally, the university would start to save money to replace the roof from the moment that the roof is installed, but this is neither realistic or practical.

    Of course, if UND spent $40 million, it would reset the deferred maintenance “clock” to zero in the same way that replacing the oil in your car every morning would reset part of your car’s deferred maintenance bill. But this isn’t necessary a rational decision. One of the Wesley College buildings, Sayre Hall, still had the original wood-framed windows from the early 20th century. These would have been racking up deferred maintenances expenses for nearly a century (if we assume a window is designed to last 20 years), but they were never replaced. It stands to reason that, in general, larger, more complex, and more expensive buildings generate deferred maintenance costs more quickly than small ones. I also suspect that the rate of increased for deferred maintenance trails off as buildings get older. In other words, building a new union will only defer (heh heh) the rate of increase for deferred maintenance for a little while before it begins too accumulate again and every bit as quickly (and perhaps even MORE quickly in some nightmarish scenarios) as the old union does.

    More than that, if the issue is that the university doesn’t have sufficient saved funds to cover future maintenance on campus, then building a new building will neither make this better or worse. Eliminating deferred maintenance expenses on the two old Wesley College buildings didn’t “save” the university money, it just eliminated potential future expenses. But more to the point, he entire system of budgets on campus create deferred maintenance expenses because saved money is frequently seen by both administrators and the legislature as surplus capital that isn’t being used productively and an example of inefficiency at a public institution to be “punished” by austerity. In fact, the entire federal grant system now works along these lines with less and less money provided to pay for the maintenance and depreciation (indirect costs) of the original investment (direct costs).

    In other words, talking about deferred maintenance as a reason to build a building isn’t the language of fiscal responsibility, but the language of austerity. The language of deferred maintenance is meant to make the university look like an irresponsible institution (whether this is the case or not) and often results in funding cuts purported to enforce more efficient operation, but actually designed to penalize public institutions (and to case-build for privatization). For example, the legislature has proposed several times to make resources available but only if a significant part of the funds would go toward deferred maintenance. Covering deferred maintenance costs on campus isn’t always or eve often responsible thing to do. It hurts students.

    That being said, there are two compelling reasons – at least to me – for approving the students’ request for funding a new union. 

    First, there has been a good bit of talk about the union attracting new students as well as  vague statements that the union is the “heart” or the “core” of the campus. I don’t disagree with either of these things, but I wonder whether they’re overly narrow. To be clear, I’ll admit to finding NDSU’s union building very attractive and functional. I also have had the privilege of traveling to other campuses quite regularly over the past few years and, in comparison UND’s union, is both limited and outdated.

    As an aside, this one of my favorite hallways on campus (it’s not technically in the Union, but rather in Swanson Hall, but is more or less in the Union complex):

    IMG 3452

    Despite this hallway and the appeal of the union to prospective students and visitors, it isn’t really the best argument. What is more compelling to me is the growing awareness that campus buildings play an important role in the coherence of the campus community and this plays a role in academic performance and retention of students. Like many state schools, UND attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds. The presence of spaces on campus that encourage students to socialize and interact is particularly important at a school like ours not because our “posh” or privileged students expect it, but because having appealing and functional spaces on campus levels the playing filed for our diverse student body. This is part of the mission of public universities and something that a well designed campus should accomplish.

    We know, for example, that first generation students, minorities, and students from less advantaged backgrounds often struggle to integrate into the campus community and this has an impact on academic performance. They tend to study alone more, they tend to find campus to be an alienating place, and they tend to see their academic work as more separate from their “real life.” With the growth of private dormitories and the continued strength of fraternities and sororities, historically disadvantaged students also have fewer spaces to interact with other students outside the classroom. If they do look to the union as a common space, it’s dingy and spent vibe tends to reinforce these students’ position as marginal. Conversely, an updated and appealing union may well expand the impact of what faculty and students do in the classroom by creating inclusive spaces for informal interaction and to eliminate – for the time being, at least – a real dichotomy of opportunity across our diverse student body. In short, this is not a building that is being built instead of things that would improve academic life on campus is a false dichotomy.

    Second, voting “no” on the new union will continue a policy of austerity that involves the withholding of funds – or even support for policies – that do not adhere to a top down strategic vision implemented by legislators, administrators, alumni, and various other stakeholders on campus. This situation and initiative reminds the bosses that students ARE stakeholders, and they have every bit as much the right to shape campus in a respectful and deliberate way as the legislature, the administration, or the faculty. In fact, while I don’t necessarily agree with building of a new union per se, I’d go to the wall to protect students’ rights to raise the funds to build a union. If the state isn’t going to support the university system in a reasonable way, then they lose the right to tell students not to take matters into their own hands.

    In the spring of 2018, I taught a class on the UND budget and what was clear was that students DO have strong opinions about the current fiscal situation on campus and do have priorities that administrators, faculty, and legislatures doesn’t always recognize. More than that, they want a voice. This is their voice. And the argument that “only” 2400 students participated and “only” 1300 students wanted the union speaks more to a condescending attitude toward students than a legitimate concern. Over my time at UND, the last 15 years, far less representative groups have raised fees on students or made decisions that directly impact the quality of education and experience. The decision, for example, to eliminate music therapy was made by one administrator. When my class pressed senior administrators to explain the cuts to baseball and Women’s Hockey, their responses were evasive and guarded. It was clear that students were not only uninvolved in these decisions, but would not always be given access to the processes that produced these decisions. In general, student input on most matters of campus policy, curriculum, and administration is often limited to one or two students on committees, at best. That 1000+ plus students made their voices heard in a relatively transparent way through this vote is enough for me to support them.

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    Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (BIFAO), which has long been available in open access via the IFAO website in Egypt, is now also beginning to emerge at Open EditionVolume 1116 (2017) appeared there in early December 2018:

    Le Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (BIFAO) couvre l’ensemble des champs de l’égyptologie depuis sa première publication en 1901. Le BIFAO 117 regroupe 15 contributions dont l’aire chronologique s’étend de l’Ancien Empire jusqu’à l’époque byzantine et qui illustrent l’état des recherches actuelles dans les domaines de l’archéologie, l’épigraphie, la lexicographie, l’iconographie, la religion et la philologie.

    Notes de la rédaction

    Certains articles contiennent des hiéroglyphes qui ne s'affichent pas actuellement dans le format E-pub : Nouveaux textes littéraires du scribe Amennakhte (et autres ostraca relatifs au scribe de la Tombe), Consommation et proscription du miel en Égypte ancienne. Quand bj.t devient bw.t, The Votive Stela of the “Overseer of the Singers of the King” Nfr-rnpt (Egyptian Museum Cairo TR

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    Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in der westlichen Oberstadt von Ḫattuša I

    Titelbild für Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in der westlichen Oberstadt von Ḫattuša I
    Andreas Schachner
    Jürgen Seeher

    Über dieses Buch

    Die Oberstadt von Ḫattuša, die seit der zweiten Hälfte des 16. Jhs. v. Chr. die Siedlungsfläche der Stadt nahezu verdoppelt hat, ist durch öffentliche Bauten unterschiedlichster Funktionen geprägt. Neben dem zentralen Tempelviertel wurden große Wasserspeicher, Vorratseinrichtungen und verschiedene repräsentative Bauten untersucht.
    Um den urbanen Zusammenhang in seiner Gesamtheit zu erfassen, konzentrierten sich zwischen 2002 und 2009 Ausgrabungen, geophysikalische Surveys und architekturhistorische Untersuchungen auf die Talsenke westlich von Sarıkale und die diese umgebenden, bebauten Felsen in der westlichen Oberstadt. In der vorliegenden Publikation werden die Ergebnisse der Untersuchungen an der Felsenanlage von Yenicekale und zu den Tierknochenfunden der ältesten Bauschicht im Tal vor Sarıkale abschließend vorgelegt.


    • Teil 1: Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen an Yenicekale in der südwestlichen Oberstadt von Boğazköy-Ḫattuša (2006–2008)
      Andreas Schachner
    • Teil 2: The Faunal Remains from the Square Building Horizon in the Valley West of Sarıkale, Boğazköy-Ḫattuša, Turkey (16th/15th Century BC)
      Daria Hollenstein, Geraldine Middea


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    Scientists are painting the clearest picture yet of what life may have been like for Neanderthals living in Southern France some 250,000 years ago, and to do it, they're using an unlikely day-to-day record of what their environment was like—their teeth. Teeth may be an important new resource for understanding the lives of our extinct relatives, said Daniel Green, a postdoctoral fellow at the Forsyth Institute, an affiliate of Harvard...

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    A trio of researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada theorizes that ritualistic finger...

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    In het kader van de projectsubsidies voor archeologisch syntheseonderzoek zijn 9 projectvoorstellen geselecteerd, die in totaal 1 miljoen euro zullen ontvangen. “De gehonoreerde voorstellen vertonen een mooie mix op het vlak van indieners, chronologie van het onderzoeksthema en regionale spreiding,” aldus Bourgeois.

    Volgende onderzoeksprojecten ontvangen een subsidie:

    Archeo The Loop vzw: Vroegmiddeleeuws Maalte onder The Loop: Een nieuwe blik op het grootschalig archeologisch onderzoek van de 7de- tot 9de-eeuwse nederzetting in Sint-Denijs-Westrem (Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen).
    De indieners willen een synthese maken van de via archeologisch onderzoek bekomen informatie over de in de 10de-eeuw voor het eerst vermelde nederzetting ‘Maalte’. Dat doen ze door resultaten van meer dan 10 jaar archeologisch onderzoek gespreid over 7 verschillende archeologische onderzoekscampagnes samen te brengen en te synthetiseren. Deze synthese zal een belangrijke bouwsteen vormen voor het verdere onderzoek naar de relatie tussen geschreven en archeologische bronnen voor vroeg-middeleeuws Vlaanderen.

    Stad Gent: Pijpen voor Malta: Gentse Kleipijpjes uit de periode 1600-1900 in archeologisch en sociaal cultureel perspectief.
    Kleipijpen vormen sinds de introductie omstreeks 1600 een belangrijk onderdeel van de materiële cultuur. Hoewel dit soort artefacten heel vaak worden aangetroffen bij opgravingen, zijn ze ondergewaardeerd wat onderzoek betreft. Met dit onderzoek wordt een synthese beoogd rond de informatieve waarde van deze vondstencategorie gefocust op de Gentse regio. Dit onderzoek zal een referentiekader aanreiken voor gelijkaardig onderzoek in andere regio’s binnen Vlaanderen.

    Stad Antwerpen: Het DNA van stadswording: de vroeg-stedelijke nederzetting van Antwerpen, late 9de-11de eeuw.
    Het archeologisch onderzoek van de D-vormige burchtzone in Antwerpen heeft gedurende de laatste 10 jaar unieke informatie opgeleverd over de genese van een middeleeuwse stad. Het gaat om informatie rond productie en vakmanschap, import en handel, de inrichting van de ruimte en stedelijkheid in een bijzondere ‘burcht’-context. De onderzochte sites bieden op Europese schaal unieke data en dus kansen op inzichten in wat een stad en stedelijkheid zijn, voor ze hun gekende laatmiddeleeuwse vorm aannemen. Door middel van verder onderzoek en synthese willen de indieners de betekenis van deze sites internationaal op de kaart zetten en tegelijkertijd vertalen naar de stedelingen van vandaag.

    Intergemeentelijk samenwerkingsverband SOLVA: Door de bomen het bos zien. Een landschapsreconstructie van een microregio in de Zuid-Vlaamse leemstreek tussen de late ijzertijd en het begin van de late middeleeuwen.
    De indieners willen een eerste proeve tot microregionaal landschapsonderzoek realiseren voor een beperkte regio uit de Zuid-Vlaamse leemstreek. Het gaat meer bepaald om een landschapsreconstructie voor de Scheldevallei en de aan weerszijden flankerende heuvelzones in de Zuid-Vlaamse leemstreek in de periode late ijzertijd en het begin van de late middeleeuwen. Ze willen dit doen door de via opgravingen bekomen paleo-ecologische informatie te synthetiseren en in confrontatie te brengen met de andere archeologische bronnen.

    Vlaams Erfgoedcentrum bvba: Een artisanaal kwartier van een laat-Karolingisch tot volmiddeleeuws domein te Rotselaar-Wijngaard?
    Archeologische analyse en historisch-landschappelijk onderzoek. De indieners willen het onderzoek van een opgraving te Rotselaar-Wijngaard volledig uitwerken. Deze opgraving leverde een unieke vroeg- en volmiddeleeuwse site op: een georganiseerd ambachtelijk kwartier van een verder onbekende nederzetting. Parallellen met buitenlandse gevallen doen vermoeden dat dit een artisanaal kwartier van een vroegmiddeleeuws domein kan zijn. Vroegmiddeleeuwse domeinen zijn echter vooral gekend uit geschreven bronnen. Deze site laat een gedegen archeologische analyse toe waardoor deze in zijn breder kader kan gezet worden en een rol kan spelen in het bredere historische debat rond deze domeinen.

    Tracéolab, Universiteit Luik: Functioneel onderzoek van laat-paleolithische en vroeg-mesolithische sites in Vlaanderen.
    Met dit onderzoeksvoorstel wil men een beter inzicht verwerven in het effect van de gekozen opgravings- en verwerkingsprocedures op de mogelijkheden tot functionele analyse van steentijdartefacten, een evaluatie maken van het potentieel van Vlaamse steentijdsites voor residu-analyse en tot slot een inzicht verwerven in de functie van enkele laat-paleolithische en vroeg-mesolithische concentraties vuurstenen artefacten uit Vlaanderen.

    Vlaams Erfgoedcentrum bvba: Op zoek naar nieuw geluk? Een bijzonder grafveld bij de Beukenbergweg in de vroege jaren van de Romeinse stad Tongeren. Men wil een verdiepend onderzoek uitvoeren naar een bijzonder aspect van een grootschalige opgraving bij Tongeren-Beukenbergweg in 2013. De opgraving leverde voor Vlaanderen een bijzonder grafveld op, opvallend door zijn ligging, datering en verschijningsvorm. Het grafveld ligt binnen de grenzen van de nederzetting, gaat enkel om inhumaties en dateert uit het begin van onze jaartelling. Op basis van o.a. DNA- en isotopenonderzoek wil men de betekenis van deze bijzondere site verder ontrafelen.

    Triharch onderzoek & advies bvba: Archeologisch syntheseonderzoek 2018: Het Romeins wegennet in Vlaanderen.
    Met dit projectvoorstel wil de indiener een geactualiseerde synthese brengen over het Romeinse wegennet in Vlaanderen. De laatste echte synthese over dit onderwerp dateert van 60 jaar geleden. Sinds de introductie van de Malta-archeologie in Vlaanderen is er heel wat bijkomend onderzoek uitgevoerd op Romeinse wegen of delen ervan. Een nieuwe synthese is dan ook meer dan verantwoord.

    Universiteit Gent: Syntheseonderzoek archeologie: loopgraven uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog.
    Met dit onderzoek wil men een synthese maken van alle informatie over loopgraven uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog vanuit meer dan 150 archeologische onderzoeksprojecten. Het syntheseonderzoek zal een werkbare typologie opleveren van alle gekende types loopgraven, inzicht geven in de verspreiding van de verschillende types loopgraven en een bijdrage leveren tot een verfijning van de chronologie. Bijkomend wordt ook een methodische richtlijn over het opgraven van loopgraven opgeleverd.

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    How can we protect and preserve cultural heritage? Researchers from 16 Fraunhofer Institutes are collaborating on the executive board's cultural heritage project to develop the technologies needed for this undertaking. Researchers use a laser scanner to scan the frieze of the Pergamon Altar [Credit: Fraunhofer IGD]Whether it is visible in historical temples, ancient statues, or paintings by the great masters, cultural heritage must...

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    Is it in our nature to go to war? Should we just accept the fact that humans have this innate tendency and are hardwired to kill members of other groups? Rock paintings in Tadrart Acacus region of Libya dated from 12,000 BC to 100 AD [Credit: WikiCommons]No, says R. Brian Ferguson, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University-Newark. There is no scientific proof that we have an inherent propensity to take up arms and collectively...

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    The mission of the Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative (ISMI) is to make accessible information on all Islamic manuscripts in the exact sciences (astronomy, mathematics, optics, mathematical geography, music, mechanics, and related disciplines), whether in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or other languages.


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    Every year North Park Theological Seminary hosts a Symposium on Theological Interpretation of Scripture. In 2017 that symposium was on the topic of Participation in and with Christ, and the presentations were printed (as with each symposium) in Ex Auditu (vol 33). It was a great conference with voices from a variety of perspectives–biblical, historical, and contemporary.

    My piece extends some of my work on Paul and theosis by means of a conversation with Irenaeus (with my book Christosis) to include here a wider perspectives on the story of the Bible as a whole, particularly with a focus on glory as a biblical theme. Here is a list of all the essays.


    Introduction – Stephen J. Chester

    You Become What You Worship: Theosis and the Story of the Bible – Ben C. Blackwell
    Response to Blackwell – Cynthia Peters Anderson

    The Old Testament and Participation with God (and/in Christ?): (Re-)Reading the Life of Moses with Some Help from Gregory of Nyssa – Brent Strawn
    Response to Strawn – J. Nathan Clayton

    Cruciform or Resurrectiform? Paul’s Paradoxical Practice of Participation in Christ – Michael J. Gorman
    Response to Gorman – Markus Nikkanen

    Union(s) with Christ: Colossians 1:15–20 – Grant Macaskill
    Response to Macaskill – Constantine R. Campbell

    Why Bother with Participation? An Early Lutheran Perspective – Olli-Pekka Vainio
    Response to Vainio – Stephen J. Chester

    The Geography of Participation: In Christ is Location. Location, Location – Julie Canlis
    Response to Canlis – Mary Patton Baker

    Jews and Gentiles together in Christ? The Jerusalem Council on Racial Reconciliation – Ashish Varma
    Response to Varma – Hauna Ondrey

    Letting the Music Play (Matthew 22:34–40) – Cynthia Peters Anderson

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    Dr Cat Jarman
    1 godz.1 godzinę temu
    A metal detectorist may have found yet another Viking ship in Norway! He discovered a large number of iron nails in a field, of a type consistent with those from a large ship. The archaeologists plan to investigate with radar next year.
    It probably would never happen in England, most 'responsible' detectorists there filter out iron signals.  Among the 1,300,000 objects in the PAS database, there are only 228 nails in total, and 3 clench nails.So, how representative is that of the assemblages of all those 'productive' sites that are hoiked?

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    BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK—According to a New York Times report, the name “Pilate” has been found inscribed on a simple ring that was made of copper alloy some 2,000 years ago and unearthed at the ancient fortress and palace of Herodium in the 1960s. Pieces of glass and pottery, arrowheads, and coins were also recovered from the room where the ring was discovered. Herodium Expedition researchers detected the inscription, written in Greek letters set around an image of a wine vessel, on the piece of jewelry using advanced photographic techniques. Pontius Pilate, credited in the Christian New Testament with presiding over a trial of Jesus Christ, was governor of the province of Judea from A.D. 26 to 36. Archaeologist Roi Porat of the Hebrew University and his colleagues said that although the name Pilate was not a common one at the time, they think it is unlikely that such a high-ranking official would have worn such a simple seal ring. For more on excavations at Herodium, go to “Autumn of the Master Builder.”

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    London leather bootsLONDON, ENGLAND—CNNreports that a 500-year-old male skeleton still wearing a pair of thigh-high leather boots has been discovered in the mud of the River Thames in south London. The man is unlikely to have been buried in the river wearing such valuable footwear, according to Beth Richardson of MOLA Headland. She thinks he may have died while working as a fisherman, a sailor, or someone who scavenged for items of value in the river mud. Examination of the bones indicates he was under the age of 35 at the time of death. His teeth bear grooves worn from repetitive action, perhaps passing a rope between them, and his boots were equipped with layers of soles and stuffed with moss for protection in rough terrain. For more on archaeology in London, go to “Haunt of the Resurrection Men.”

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    Forschungen in Resafa – Sergiupolis

    Titelbild für Forschungen in Resafa – Sergiupolis
    Thilo Ulbert
    Michaela Konrad

    Über dieses Buch

    Zum Abschluß eines Teilprojekts der Forschungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts im syrischen Resafa-Sergiupolis, das der Dokumentation der noch aufrecht stehenden Großbauten der Stadt gewidmet war, werden hier zwei Monumente vorgestellt: der al-Mundir-Bau und die Basilika C.
    Der im Norden außerhalb der Stadtmauern gelegene Vierstützenbau wurde nach der in situ erhaltenen Stifterinschrift von dem ghassanidischen Phylarchen al-Mundir (569–581 n. C Zum Abschluß eines Teilprojekts der Forschungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts im syrischen Resafa-Sergiupolis, das der Dokumentation der noch aufrecht stehenden Großbauten der Stadt gewidmet war, werden hier zwei Monumente vorgestellt: der al-Mundir-Bau und die Basilika C.
    Der im Norden außerhalb der Stadtmauern gelegene Vierstützenbau wurde nach der in situ erhaltenen Stifterinschrift von dem ghassanidischen Phylarchen al-Mundir (569–581 n. C hr.) errichtet. Das gut erhaltene Gebäude wird anhand von photogrammetrischen Aufnahmen sowie Grabungsschnitten dokumentiert. Die Untersuchung der Baudekoration ergab den Einfluß nordmesopotamischer und nordsyrischer Elemente. Die Ausgrabungen in der umgebenden Nordnekropole erweitern unsere Kenntnis über Chronologie und Morphologie der Grabanlagen Resafas. Trotz der im Rahmen der Publikation durchgeführten vertiefenden Studien hinsichtlich Architektur, Baudekoration, Bestattungsformen und Fundmaterial bleiben Fragen nach
    der ursprünglichen Funktion des Gebäudes offen. Vieles spricht für ein Prätorium, das sich al-Mundir als Befehlshaber arabischer Bündnistruppen hier hatte errichten lassen. Auszuschließen wäre allerdings auch nicht, daß der Stifter sich hier sein Mausoleum schaffen wollte.
    Von der Bausubstanz der Basilika C , der viertgrößten Kirche der Stadt, ist vergleichsweise wenig erhalten. Es handelt sich um eine dreischiffige Säulenbasilika aus der ersten Hälfte des 6. Jhs. n. C hr. Aus den vorhandenen Befunden läßt sich ablesen, daß sie ursprünglich mit Wandmosaiken und verschiedenfarbigem Marmor kostbar ausgestattet war. Besonders interessante Hinweise auf die sich verändernden Abläufe der Liturgie während der Zeit ihrer Funktion als christlicher Kultbau lieferte die Auswertung der Lage von Priesterbank, Altar, Chorschranken und Ambo.


    • Teil 1: Al-Munḏir-Bau und Nekropole vor dem Nordtor
      Thilo Ulbert, Michaela Konrad
    • Teil 2: Basilika C
      Thilo Ulbert


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    Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative

    The mission of the Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative (ISMI) is to make accessible information on all Islamic manuscripts in the exact sciences (astronomy, mathematics, optics, mathematical geography, music, mechanics, and related disciplines), whether in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or other languages.

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    LONDON, ENGLAND—Excavation of an early nineteenth-century cemetery in southwest London has revealed evidence that the population endured disease, deformities, malnutrition, violence, dangerous working conditions, and pollution, according to a report in The Guardian. Osteoarchaeologist Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy of Wessex Archaeology said the people who were buried in the cemetery at the church of St. George the Martyr led “a life of drudgery and just-about surviving.” The bones of one of the women, she explained, showed that she suffered from congenital syphilis. Her shoulders and upper arms showed signs of strenuous work, her nose was broken, and a wound in her skull made with a thin blade is thought to have been fatal. A flattened nose, a depression in his left brow, and battered knuckles suggest that one man, who also suffered from syphilis, had “several violent altercations,” Dinwiddy said. Many of the graves in the cemetery contained the remains of children under the age of 12, she added. For more on discoveries in London dating to the nineteenth century, go to “A Cornucopia of Condiments.”

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    Getty Museum
    Italy's Court of Cassation rejects the J. Paul Getty Museum's appeal against the lower court ruling on the Getty Bronze. The statue, known as “Victorious Youth,” should be returned to that country by the Getty Villa (Gaia Pianigiani, 'Italian Court Rules Getty Museum Must Return a Prized Bronze', The New York Times, December 4, 2018)
    The bronze was retrieved from Adriatic waters by Italian fishermen in 1964. After a decade-long legal battle, Italy’s Court of Cassation ruled Monday that the statue should be confiscated and brought back to Italy, rejecting the Getty’s appeal. The decision had not been published Tuesday but a message from a court official describing it was provided to The New York Times. “It was a very, very long process, but we now hope that we will be able to have it in Italy as soon as possible,” said Lorenzo D’Ascia, a lawyer representing the Italian government. 
    Italian officials now plan to ask the United States Justice Department to enforce the ruling by seizing the statue. That would be likely to lead to another court battle in the United States. The statue is one of the finest original bronzes from the Classical era, probably fashioned in ancient Greece and lost at sea after being stolen by the Romans. The Getty, who acquired the bronze in 1977 for $3.95 million, has long argued that the statue was probably created outside Italy and was discovered in international waters after thousands of years, so it is not an Italian object subject to repatriation.
    In response to news of the ruling, Lisa Lapin, vice president for communications at the Getty Trust, said in a statement on Monday: “We will continue to defend our legal right to the statue. The law and facts in this case do not warrant restitution to the Italian government of a statue that has been on public display in Los Angeles for nearly a half-century.” She added, “We believe any forfeiture order is contrary to American and international law.”

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    A virtual journey through tunnels carved out by ISIL that revealed an ancient Assyrian Palace under a mosque in Mosul. The tunnels have been sealed now to avoid looting. But with the help of this resource you can 'explore' them Read the full article

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    vallus (m. pl. valli)

    A stake carried by a legionarius to fortify a rampart on the march (Cic., Tusc. 2.37; Livy 33.6.1). See also palus and sudis [Johnson 1983]

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    veles (m. pl. velites)

    A light infantryman and skirmisher belonging to the Middle Republican legio. Velites were equipped with a helmet, sword, javelins, and parma and were attached to all of the manipuli of hastati, principes, and triarii. They began a battle by forming in front of the heavier infantry, but once their skirmishing duties were no longer required, they would retreat through the hastati who would then close ranks behind them. Liv. 26 4.4; Polyb. 6.22. [Keppie 1984]

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