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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs -

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    Review of Hasan Malay, Georg Petzl, New religious texts from Lydia. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse, 497; Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris, 28. Vienna: 2017. Pp. 236; Map. €85,00. ISBN 9783700180487.

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    Review of Lucia Cecchet, Anna Busetto, Citizens in the Graeco-Roman World: Aspects of Citizenship from the Archaic Period to AD 212. Mnemosyne Supplements, 407. Leiden; Boston: 2017. Pp. xi, 341. $133.00. ISBN 9789004346680.

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    Review of Zoe Stamatopoulou, Hesiod and Classical Greek Poetry: Reception and Transformation in the Fifth Century BCE. Cambridge; New York: 2017. Pp. x, 270. $99.99. ISBN 9781107162990.

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    The joint session with the SBL Digital Humanities program unit was in many ways the highlight of this year’s activities by Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity. The presentations covered a range of projects with outputs as diverse as 3D printed replicas of cuneiform cones and cylinders, to photography, transcription, and collation of manuscripts from Ethiopia. […]

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  • 12/08/18--05:39: Weekend Roundup, Part 1
  • In Caesarea, a remarkable Crusader-era cache of 24 gold coins and an earring was found in a small bronze pot, hidden between two stones in the side of a well.

    The NY Times has a summary of the Pilate ring discovery. Robert Cargill prefers the theory that the ring belonged to one of Pilate’s papyrus-pushing administrators. Ferrell Jenkins shares a number of related photos.

    Archaeologists working at Timna Park opened their excavation to volunteers from the public for three days during Hanukkah.

    The second in a series of 12 objects from the Temple Mount Sifting Project is an arrowhead from the 10th century BC.

    Jim Davila tries to unravel the latest with the Qumran caves with potential Dead Sea Scroll material (with a follow-up here).

    Matthew Adams gives an update on the Jezreel Valley Regional Project on The Book and the Spade.

    Israel is on pace to hit a new annual record of 4 million tourists this year.

    Episode 1 in Wayne Stiles’s excellent “The Promised That Changed the World” is now available. You can sign up to get free access to all three episodes.

    HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer

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    Jinbaotun Cemetery In 2016 two large tombs (designated M1 and M2) were excavated at the Jinbaotun cemetery 金宝屯墓地 in Kailu County in eastern Inner Mongolia. The excavation has been reported online in various places, for example: 内蒙古通辽市开鲁县发现辽代琉璃砖皇族墓葬 (September 2016) 内蒙古开鲁发现辽代琉璃砖皇族墓葬 (September 2016) Royal tomb constructed by glazed-bricks from Liao Dynasty found in Kailu, Inner Mongolia (

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    A gentleman wrote to me enquiring if I knew anybody who could use someone with knowledge of ancient Greek or Latin, primarily patristic.  He’s a PhD student who is already doing some work as a volunteer.

    Now I’ve not seen his work, and at the moment I can’t offer him some work myself. But if you would like to offer him some paid translation work, drop me a line and I will put you in contact.

    I’d recommend that any such work starts with a  page or two, and see how that goes, before committing to a large project.  I generally find that I have to guide my translators a bit in matters of style!

    Here are some excerpts (with his permission) from his letter.  I certainly will get him doing some Ephraem Graecus once things settle down here!

     I am very happy to see that you have turned your attention to Ephraem Graecus, since translating, producing critical editions of, and ascertaining the authenticity, authorship, dating, and doctrinal content of these works is a career goal of mine (an overwhelming task, I know).

    In October 2017… I was asked by a philosophy professor at Christendom to deliver the first ever extracurricular, academic student lecture in the college’s history, which I did on the topic of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces in the previously untranslated hymns of Ephraem Graecus (the last time a major study was conducted on that topic was by J.M. Bover in 1926!).

    Moreover, in May 2018, my college awarded me the William H. Marshner Award for Outstanding Senior Thesis, in exchange for my 146-page thesis on the cult of Mary and the saints, which included 295 citations from the Fathers which I personally translated from the Latin and Greek. A large amount of the research was in the area of Ephraem Graecus (42 citations of the 295).

    …I am a volunteer Greek translator for Oxford University’s Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity Project. … I’d like to find a paid job in the area of Patristic translation/research.  … Would you happen to know of any scholars/professors in need of a translator or assistant?

    I would add that … I am fluent in both Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin. Accordingly, the “ad” should probably say “Greek and/or Latin Patristics.” In fact, I am more than comfortable doing translations of any Latin texts from any time period – I have experience translating Classical, Patristic, Medieval, and Early Modern works -, though Christian texts would be preferable to me.

    Contact him via my form here.

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    [First posted in AWOL 12 September 2015, updated 8 December 2018]

    Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization (SAOC)
    ISSN: 0081-7554

    For an up to date list of all Oriental Institute publications available online see:

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    [First posted in AWOL 21 June 2010. Updated 8 December 2018 (new host)]

    El Futuro del Pasado. Revista electrónica de Historia
    ISSN: 1989-9289
    El Futuro del Pasado. Revista electrónica de Historia pretende ser un espacio abierto para el diálogo y el debate entre investigadores de diferentes áreas de conocimiento que tienen como objeto de estudio el pasado en sus diferentes vertientes. Se trata de una herramienta para la investigación, la divulgación y la crítica, ajena a cualquier tipo de partidismo ideológico o clientelismo de cualquier signo.
    El Futuro del Pasado busca ayudar a superar los muros que separan a los historiadores, tratando de romper barreras entre las diferentes áreas afines de conocimiento y estableciendo lazos para la colaboración en un mundo en el que se da cada vez más importancia a la competencia.
    Las nuevas tecnologías permiten, a quienes saben hacer de ellas un aliado, superar las barreras económicas y difundir gratuitamente la cultura por todo el territorio nacional y más allá de nuestras fronteras. Se muestra como una evidencia que cada vez es más importante la generación y comunicación académica del conocimiento científico a través de la Red. El Futuro del Pasado pretende contribuir a esta transmisión libre y gratuita del conocimiento científico.
    «El Futuro del Pasado» ha sido aceptada para su indexación en el Emerging Sources Citation Index, la nueva edición de Web of Science. Los contenidos de este índice están siendo evaluados por Thomson Reuters para su inclusión en Science Citation Index Expanded™, Social Sciences Citation Index®, y  Arts & Humanities Citation Index®. Web of Science se diferencia de otras bases de datos por la calidad y solidez del contenido que proporciona a los investigadores, autores, editores e instituciones. La inclusión de «El Futuro del Pasado» en el Emerging Sources Citation Index pone de manifiesto la dedicación que estamos llevando a cabo para proporcionar a nuestra comunidad científica los contenidos disponibles más importantes e influyentes.


    Vol. 9 (2018): Historias en la Música y Músicas en la Historia

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 9 (2018)
    enero-diciembre 2018
    Coord. Judith Helvia García Martín


    Vol. 8 (2017): Desigualdad

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 8 (2017)
    enero-diciembre 2017
    Coord. David Carvajal de la Vega


    Vol. 7 (2016): Mitologías en la cultura popular actual

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 7 (2016)
    enero-diciembre 2016
    Coord. Sara Molpeceres Arnáiz


    Vol. 6 (2015): Religión, Deporte y Espectáculo

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 6 (2015)
    enero-diciembre 2015
    Coord. Juan Ramón Carbó García


    Vol. 5 (2014): Cine e Historia: revisiones metodológicas y críticas

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 5 (2014)
    enero-diciembre 2014
    Coord. Beatriz Leal Riesco


    Vol. 4 (2013): La Infancia: Historia y Representación

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 4 (2013)
    enero-diciembre 2013
    Coord. Laura Sánchez Blanco


    Vol. 3 (2012): Historia y Género: Nuevas perspectivas

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 3 (2012)
    enero-diciembre 2012
    Coord. Iván Pérez Miranda


    Vol. 2 (2011): Razón, Utopía y Sociedad

    El Futuro del Pasado, n.º 2 (2011)
    enero-diciembre 2011


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  • 12/08/18--14:51: --none--

  • In सरलसंस्कृतशिक्षणम् website, the volunteers are committed to promote Sanskrit as a communication language संस्कृतभाषायाः व्यावहारिकीकरणम् एव महदुद्देश्यमस्ति with “वाणीयं जनवाणी संस्कृतवाणी” as a motto! They have posted Videos at YouTube video channel of

    The main categories include दैनिकवाक्यानि, व्याकरणम्, हास्यकणिका, रसमञ्जरी, चित्रपदकोशः, विचाराः, चलचित्रावली, परीक्षासज्जा, and ई-पत्रिका. In chitrapadakoShaH, there are several lists of categorized Sanskrit words with corresponding well drawn sketches/pictures with Hindi and English meanings. मनुष्य-पशु-वनस्पति-स्वर्ग-भूमि-वारि-धी-काल-शब्द-दिक्-व्योम-वनौषधादिवर्गL) सचित्रं पदपरिचयं | For example, lists of शब्दसंग्रहः (Vocabulary), अङ्गानां नामानि (Body Names in Sanskrit), संवेगाः (Emotions Name in Sanskrit), पशुवर्गः (Animals Name in Sanskrit), शाकवर्गः (Vegetables Name in Sanskrit), पुष्पवर्गः (Flowers Name in Sanskrit), पक्षिवर्गः (Birds Name in Sanskrit), फलवर्गः (Fruits Name in Sanskrit).
    There is also a list of ka-kArAH kiM किम् , kutra कुत्र , kati कति , kadA कदा , kutaH कुतः , katham कथम् , kimartham किमर्थम् . Please use the drop-down menu to explore the wealth of information arranged in several categories and sections. Thanks to Vinod Kumar, Ganesh Hegde, and other volunteers to prepare quality presentations and videos.

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    We're welcoming Old School Script into the fold.

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    Two days ago, there was a lot of Internet traffic about a reported major new discovery with regards to antiquities trafficking in Syria. These reports came from the leaders and media of the Syrian opposition, and they stated that a government raid had discovered 'two metric tons of antiquities' in a house in the Mezzeh 86 neighborhood of Damascus belonging to Brigadier General Suhail al-Hassan, the commander of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Force unit. Several archaeobloggers helped disseminate this information, but I decided not to (despite the claims of those this blog discomforts and who have no other arguments, I do not deliberately peddle "fake news"). I held off because this news was unconfirmed and aroused my suspicions. Now it seems that I was correct to do so. Christopher Jones (Department of History - Columbia University NY) considers on his "Gates of Nineveh" blog  (8th December 2018) this "Great Great Damascus Antiquities Bust?" and concludes that the reports were a propaganda gambit. In his text he details the role of militias in today's Syria and says that 'the story remains interesting for what it can reveal about the inner workings of the Syrian regime and the role played by archaeological artifacts in the war in Syria'. He sees this report as an attempt to discredit Suhail al-Hassan by his rivals
    Due to his popularity, in order to take him down, his rivals must first take down his reputation. Allegations of criminal activity are a good way to do that. Allegations that he is profiting from the destruction of the ancient past while Bashar al-Assad has presented himself as fighting to preserve civilization against the forces of barbarism are even better. The fact that many members of the regime are likely profiting from the same sorts of enterprises is irrelevant – those who survive will cover it up while those for whom the knives are out will have their misdeeds exposed.
    Jones states the fact of which we are all aware, that it is 'entirely likely that senior members of the Assad regime are trafficking in antiquities as well as weapons and oil'.
    Many sites in regime-held territory, most famously the site of Apamea, have been looted. A great deal of antiquities trafficking takes place through Lebanon, which almost entirely borders territory held by Assad loyalists for most of the war.
    He points out that even though the civil war in Syria is becoming less newsworthy as it reduces in scope and intensity, the militias remain a problem and a cause of conflict between the old and new guard in Syrian society as individual militia leaders struggle to retain influence 
    The trafficking in antiquities and other looted property may well be one part of these power struggles. Financially, the impact of antiquities will be small, but as a propaganda weapon it may have an effect many times greater.
    I think though that the 'small' financial impact of any antiquities smmuggled out of Syria today may have, they are still conflict antiquities and should not be being bought by any 'responsible collectors'.

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    Kenneth Royce Moore (dir.), Brill's Companion to the Reception of Alexander the Great, Leyde-Boston, 2018.

    Éditeur : Brill
    Collection : Brill's Companions to Classical Reception
    xxiii, 856 pages
    ISBN : 978-90-04-35993-2
    189 €


    Brill's Companion to the Reception of Alexander the Great offers a considerable range of topics, of interest to students and academics alike, in the long tradition of this subject's significant impact, across a sometimes surprising and comprehensive variety of areas. Arguably no other historical figure has cast such a long shadow for so long a time. Every civilisation touched by the Macedonian Conqueror, along with many more that he never imagined, has scrambled to “own” some part of his legacy. This volume canvasses a comprehensive array of these receptions, beginning from Alexander's own era and journeying up to the present, in order to come to grips with the impact left by this influential but elusive figure.

    Lire la suite...

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    Trier Virtus coin of Eugenius (Wildwinds)
    A PAS FLO deems it fit to fob off his public audience with tales of celebrity life in distant Vienne 1090 km to the southeast in his show-and-tell of an archaeological find from a charming place called Skeeby in Yorkshire. I think what the aim of (real) archaeology is instead to tell about the lives of the people in the past community living in that region, around the bloke that carried that coin around on his person at the time the emperors were battling each other and (if we are to believe the tales), the elements on the river Frigidus,* ten years after the earlier bid for power of Magnus Maximus.

    We all know the book history, the FLO can use his scissors and paste to put the coin in the context of kings and battles histories. But the objects dug out of the archaeological record are far more than trophy items that can be used to illustrate an external history. They tell their own story, through the material evidence that derivs from their presence, use, reuse and deposition as part of cultural processes. It is the task of archaeological methodology to read that evidence to interpret the material correlates of those past behaviours. That is what archaeology is. 'Artefact hunting' cannot do that.

    The world of the man who had that coin in the 390s was not the book-history that the FLO sees. Whever he was, he may have no knowledge of who currently was emperor in Vienne, or Milan, Rome or anywhere else.  He probably had no concept of where the Frigidus river was, even if somebody had told him that 'his' emperor had lost a battle there and was soon to be replaced by a ten-year old boy who'd nominally be in charge of Britain and its interests for a while. But then, did he know that, did he feel the need to know that? The Daily Mail 'celebrity interest' and a feeling of wider-than-local identity are features of our own times. At some stage that coin crossed the La Manche channel and arrived in northern England. How long did it circulate there and how, before it was dropped? At some stage that coin was clipped, somewhere. Who had done that and what did they do with the silver clippings? It was worn and clipped, but nobody was much bothered by the fact they could not read the inscription. When the coin was finally lost in northern Britannia, how had the lives of the Skeeby community changed since the times when it was minted? What was happening there, precisely there in this formative period?

    Archaeology - when properly done - could tell us.

    Metal detecting cannot, it only destroys the archaeological assemblages that are our only source of information. Why does the PAS FLO not tell that side of the story?

    * the Vipava Valley in Slovenia, a pass between the Friulian lowland and central Slovenia.

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    The PAS dumbdown of archaeological outreach continues on the British social media. Several FLOs seem to feel that Brits really need to know the biographies, family relationships and Daily Mail style showbiz tidbits about those fascinating Roman emperors in far-off PASt-celebrity land. There is no end to this superficial show-and-tell using ancient coins to illustrate their gossippy potted histories. Here is one of them from up North:
    "A rather haunting portrait of Western usurper Emperor Eugenius on this silver siliqua He ruled for just 2 years, AD392-4, until defeat in battle and execution led to his decapitated head being displayed in the camp of victorius Eastern Emperor Theodosius I" PAS record: DUR-4D6A9E
    Yup, just the gory bits folks. Of course the FLO will claim that Twitter character limitations did not allow him to mention the more important features of his reign, as he and the Battle of the Frigidus were not without significance in the wider picture of things. But that is not what the FLO dumbdown version gives you - not even a wikipedia link. Just the 'bloody severed head on a stick' version of the history of Theodosian times.

    The first question is why? Why does Joe Bloggs the Twitterer need a picture of 'the head-not-yet-on-a-stick on this coin I've got' to make a tweet to say, 'hey there was this emperor, right and he's really cool, but in the end he got his head cut off and there was blood everywhere'? Why is the coin there? Is it just so you can see what he 'looked like'? Why is this portrait said by the archaeologist to be "haunting"? Is the FLO Twitterer doing this because "I've got a computer full of pictures of other people's artefacts, what can I say about them? I know, a silver coin, the proles will like that", is that it? What is this actually about?

    But to come back to that PAS record, here's a thing:
    A clipped and worn silver siliqua of Eugenius AD 392-394, Reece period 21. The obverse shows a diademed and draped bust of Eugenius facing right. [DN EVGENI]VS P[F AVG] The reverse shows Roma seated on a cuirass, facing left, holding Victory on a globe and a reversed spear. [VIRTVS RO]MA[NORVM]. RIC IX, 106d: RSC 14b possibly from the Trier mint. Thickness: 1.11mm Weight: 0.7g Diameter: 13.04mm
    Then further down we get a duplication of much of the same information, labelled 'coin data (numismatics)' [sic - the reason for that qualifier is unclear] - except there the place of minting becomes 'probably' Trier (not possibly), we get the information that the spear (if we could only see that since both ends are missing on the discssed object) is 'reversed', the issue is stylistically a regular issue (though that's a bit of an odd term in the case of a usurper), the die axis is 12 o'clock and the 'Degree of wear' is 'worn: fine'. And in the section 'Coin references', the reader is told ' No coin references available'. Translated that means, 'I cannot be bothered to explain to you proles why instead of writing in longhand in a public database so you understand, I use the abbreviations above "RIC IX, 106d: RSC 14b", and if you don't know what that means, it means you are unworthy to know, hoi polloi, eff off'. That's how it reads to me (even though I know what those abbreviations mean).

     I'd like to go back to this description of an archaeological find, and look at it as such. Look at the photo. Where do you see a cuirass? Despite what the description says, the guy on the coin in front of us has a neck, but no cuirass. His bust (which we cannot see) is 'draped'. What an odd description of what we see on that coin. What's he 'draped' with? an old curtain, a towel, bedsheet, or flowers? Or is he draped over an imaginary chaise-longue in his imaginary cuirass? An odd verb to use in any context (I presume its supposed to refer to a military cloak or regal stole but these are worn, not draped) - but especially so as no 'drapes' are visible on the object being described. What we have here is a description, not of the object in front of the recorder but an imagined idealised type. This is a coin catalogue entry (in fact the missing parts of the inscription are probably copied from one) rather that an objective record of what the observer can actually see - this is not preservation of that object by record. So what is the point?

    The issue becomes more annoying when it comes to the one place in that record where the actual object in hand differs from the idealised iconographic 'coin-as-it-should be' that the recorder has written about. One word, in the description. 'Clipped'. From the photo one can see this, there seem from face-on to have been six cuts, five straight and one smoothly curved. That's what it looks like, but only the recorder who had the coin in his hand can confirm, and document, that. The corners between the straight cuts are rounded. Is this due to wear, or were they filed down, or both? The 'wear' the recorder notes in passing, did it happen all before, both before and after or all after the clipping of the coin? We cannot tell from his photos, but a careful examination of the edges of this coin would probably have revealed this, which is again important information. Again, the recorder should be looking at the tool marks and recording the full biography of this, specific, object - the one in their hand. That's what a description of an archaeological object is, an actual description not an imagined idealistic picture like Inigo Jones' rectangular Stonhenge, becase 'everybody knows' Roman temples were not (generlly) circular.

    Numismatists, not karaoke ones, have been discussing this clipping, how when and why this was done. Here is one piece in the puzzle, where an archaeologist had the coin in their hands, and failed to properly observe and record this phenomenon. This means that this object fails to supply the information about this aspect of its use - but this is not because that evidence is missing, but because the recorder did not look, observe, and document it. This coin is now in some unknown private collection - divorced from the fact that it was found (somewhere) in assocition with material that we will never know about in Richmondshire in North Yorkshire. Heap-of-coins-on-a-table numismatics, based on the myriad decontextualised items they use for their tabletop studies, might say something about clipping of Theodosian siliquae but without recording of items like this in their geographical and archaeological context, no progress will be made in knowing the contexts of this activity. A wasted opportunity by the Durham FLO and his team to make a contribution to the knowledge of this phenomenon. This is by no means an isolated case, the PAS database is full of skimpy descriptions where the opportunity was not taken to look at an object more carefully before handing it over to private collectors.

    And in the PAS dstabase, can anyone show me the kind of tool that was used to make those cut marks? Nah, or course not because collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record is about kings and battles, named groups, and rusty old iron tools are just not collectable. Do a search for Roman Iron Tool on the PAS database and see how many search results you get out of nearly a million and a half collected artefacts. About as many as you'll find offered by most antiquities dealers. That's what trying to 'do archaeology' through the medium of harvesting information from Collectio-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record gets you. Nothing.

    I queried the dumbdown presentation of this coin (its often coins, archaeologists in the PAS seem to spend a lot of time fondling coins) writing:
    But volunteer"PAS5970ADF70017BD's"description is a copied and pasted version of the cataloge entry for the type, not actually a detailed description of the current form of that particular object you (plural) are 'recording' before it disappears again into private hands. 'Draped'?
    I got the reply
    It's a standard coin record. This is how those coin people like them. You'll find most will be similar.
    but of course the PAS records are not made only for use by one class of people, an elite that dictates what the rest of us cn have and not have. They are supposed to be a public medium for archaeological outreach and archaeological data gathering, not yet another resource for coin fondlers like Wildwinds, OCRE, Coinproject and all the rest. Coins are archaeologicl artefacts and should be treated by an archaeological organization like PAS as such. The fact that other FLOs are doing the same as we see here is really no comfort. There are 660,948 coins on the PAS database (about half the database!) . If it is true as the FLO says that 'most' are the same kind of description of an idealised imaginary 'type' ('how those coin people like them'), rather than a truthful objective description of the actual piece of metal in front of the observer, that means that potentilly a large part of teh PAS database contains imaginary 'data'. That's food for thought. Rather more than what happened to Eugenius's head.

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