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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs -

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    Le laboratoire « Histoire et sources des mondes antiques » (HiSoMA) vient d’obtenir du CNRS la possibilité de recruter en mobilité interne un(e) ingénieur(e) de recherche en analyses des sources historiques et culturelles Son profil est centré sur la coordination et le pilotage de la gestion des corpus de sources et de données de la recherche, à la fois physiques et numériques, des programmes épigraphiques d’HiSoMA. Il s'agit d'appliquer l'ensemble des standards actuels qui permettent d'optimiser l'identification, la modélisation et l'encodage de la documentation scientifique en vue de son exploitation, de sa valorisation et de son partage.

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    England Roman lampBRISTOL, ENGLAND—Bristol Live reports that part of a Roman villa and a burial site dating to the second and third centuries A.D. have been unearthed at a construction site in southwestern England by a team from Cotswold Archaeology. One of the burials consisted of human cremains held in a pottery vessel. A bronze hanging lamp thought to have been manufactured in the first century A.D. was also recovered. It features a human figure wearing a tunic and sitting cross-legged. For more on Roman England, go to “Off with Their Heads.”

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    Download Hebrew Manuscripts for free, in partnership with BL Labs

    We are delighted to announce that five more downloadable datasets containing a total of 139 digitised Hebrew Manuscripts have just been published online here, bringing the total number of Hebrew datasets to 22, and 723 manuscripts. These manuscripts were digitised as part of The Polonsky Foundation Catalogue of Digitised Hebrew Manuscripts (2013-2016), and we are able to provide them to download and reuse as part of the British Library Labs project (BL Labs).
    1_harley_ms_5686_f028rFestival Prayer Book, Italy, 1427-11499. Harley MS 5686, ff. 28r: miniature on the top shows a congregation praying in a synagogue, and the miniature on the bottom depicts the allegorical ‘Shabbat Bride’ under a wedding canopy. The manuscript can be found in dataset Heb19
    Formed in 2013, BL Labs is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded project which supports and inspires the use of the British Library’s digital collections and data in exciting and innovative ways, through competitions, events and collaborative projects around the world. The team provides a digital research support service (you may apply for up to 5 days’ support service using this form)and promotes engagement with the Library’s digital collections and data through a series of events and workshops around the UK.
    Each autumn, the British Library Labs Awards recognises exceptional projects that have used the Library’s digital collections and data in four awards categories: Research, Artistic, Commercial, and Teaching/Learning (If you know of someone who has done outstanding work using British Library digital collections and data, please encourage them to apply).

    What’s in the datasets?
    The digitised manuscripts are provided as 300ppi JPEGs, divided into small datasets of around 50GB each, sorted alphabetically by shelfmark (20 to 30 manuscripts per dataset). They contain a huge variety of Hebrew manuscripts, including Kabbalistic works, linguistic works, prayer books, biblical texts and commentaries, marriage certificates, charters and scrolls. The manuscripts also contain texts in many different languages, including Latin, Greek, Yiddish, Persian, Italian, Arabic and Syriac. The catalogue records for all of these manuscripts can be found in dataset Heb1 (TEI XML files).
    All of the manuscripts are Public Domain, but we would appreciate it if users could read our Ethical terms of use guide before reusing the Hebrew manuscripts datasets.
    Below is an overview of each of the new datasets, and a full list of all of the manuscripts included in the datasets can be seen here. We'd love to hear what you've done or made with the manuscript images and/or metadata, so please email us at
    Heb18. This dataset includes 22 manuscripts ranging from Add MS 27141 to Arundel Or 50. It includes commentaries on the Talmud and Midrash, Kabbalistic works, two German prayer books (Add MS 27208 and Add MS 27556) and a collection of medical prescriptions ‘Sefer Refu’ot’ from the 15th century, Germany (Add MS 27170). The miscellany Arundel OR 50 (1400-1799) includes a Hebrew Grammar in Latin, with a translation of the Lord's Prayer and the Christian confession of faith.
    This dataset also includes ‘The Polyglot Bible’ (Add MS 5242), created in England in 1665. As well as having beautifully detailed illustrations, this manuscript, will be of great interest to linguists. It contains excerpts from the Old and New Testament and liturgical pieces translated into many different languages: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Arabic, Persian, Coptic, Spanish, Italian, French and German.
    3_add_ms_5242_f007v3_add_ms_5242_f007vThe Polyglot Bible, England, 1665 Add MS 5242, ff. 7v-8r: the commandment of keeping the Sabbath 

    The Polyglot Bible, England, 16, Add MS 5242, ff. 14v-15r: Canticum B Virginis
    Heb19. This dataset includes 20 manuscripts from Harley MS 1743 to Or 12983. It contains many manuscripts looking at language and translation, including several Hebrew-Latin dictionaries and grammars, a 17 – 18th-century copy of the Psalms with Greek and Latin translations (Harley MS 2427), and Harley MS 7637, an 18th-century gospel of St Matthew in Hebrew translation. It also contains the 18 – 19th-century German manuscript ‘Perek Shirah’ (Or 12983), a midrashic commentary with a Yiddish translation.
    6_or_12983_f001rPerek Shirah, Germany, 1750 – 1899, Or 12983, f. 1r: a depiction of the world God created at the beginning of Chapter 1 of ‘Perek Shirah’: “The Heavens are saying: ‘The Heavens speak of God’s glory, and the skies tell of His handiwork.’ (Ps. 19:2)” 
    The dataset also includes two early copies of parts of the Talmud – one of the central texts in Judaism. Harley MS 5794* (this manuscript has since been renamed in the British Library catalogue as Harley MS 5794A) contains sections of the Mishnah of Tractates Avot and Zeva’im, and was written in Spain in the 12th century. The manuscript Harley MS 5508 contains eight tractates of Seder Mo’ed from the Babylonian Talmud, and it was written in Spain in the 12th or 13th-century.
    Heb20. This dataset includes 32 manuscripts from Or 2486 to Or 2508. It includes many different biblical commentaries and Midrashim (biblical exegesis) in Persian, Arabic, and Judeo-Arabic. Some of these range from as early as the 13th century (such as Or 2494 – Or 2497).
    The dataset also includes the Torah scroll Or 13027. This 30 metre, 18-19th century scroll was digitised alongside its silk mantle, which was extensively restored by the British Library’s textile conservator Liz Rose. An article discussing her work can be seen here. As part of the Hebrew Manuscript Digitisation Project’s digital scholarship activities, this Torah mantle was 3D modelled by Dr Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert. You can read more about 3D imaging within the British Library here, and the 3D image of the Torah Mantle can be viewed, annotated and downloaded from Sketchfab.
    7_or_13027_fs001rPentateuch Scroll, Or 13027, unknown, 1750–1899. Silk brocade mantle after conservation 
    Heb21. This dataset includes 33 manuscripts from Or 2518 to Or 5834. It includes many Arabic and Judeo-Arabic commentaries ranging in age from the 10th to the 16th centuries, such as on the Psalms and other biblical books from the Prophets and the Hagiographa. The earliest of these (Or 2552) is a collection of commentaries on Ecclesiastes and Lamentations, and Japheth ben Ali's Arabic commentary on Job. Japheth ben Ali is considered to be the foremost Karaite commentator on the bible, and he lived during the ‘Golden Age of Karaism’ in the 10th century. He died sometime in the second half of the 10th century, and so this manuscript, dated between the 10th and 11th century, could feasibly have been copied during his lifetime, or by someone who knew him directly.
    9_or_2672_f067r 9_or_2672_f067rSefer ha-Peli’ah, unknown, 1562. Or 2672, ff. 31r and 67r: two folios from ‘Sefer ha-Peli’ah’ (The Book of Wonder), a Kabbalistic biblical commentary
    Heb22. This dataset contains 32 manuscripts from Or 6236 to Stowe Ch 297. As well as several commentaries, a magic spell, and the Revelation of St John in Hebrew translation (Sloane MS 237), this dataset includes six different Jewish marriage certificates (Ketubot) dating from between 1711 and 1835, and a discussion on marriage law from the 15th century (Or 6358).
    Stowe Ch 297 is part of the British Library’s fascinating collection of English charters dating to before the expulsion of the Jews in 1290. It is a French quitclaim with a Hebrew docket dating from 1266, in which Beatriz of Rattlesden, the prioress and the convent of Flixton is released from any obligation on the lands she and her convent acquired from Oliver Buscel.
    Or 6360 is a 17-18th-century collection of astrological, kabbalistic and magical fragments. It includes ‘Sefer ha-Levanah’, an astrological book about the stages of the moon’s orbit, and ‘Mafteah Shelomoh’, a Hebrew translation of part one of the 14th or 15th-century grimoire ‘Key of Solomon’, one of only two versions that exist in Hebrew (part two, in Or 14759, is in the process of being digitised as part of Phase 2 of the Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation Project). The text is attributed to King Solomon, and it would have been written originally in Latin or Italian. It includes invocations to summon the dead or demons, and compel them to do the reader’s will. It also includes curses and spells such as for finding stolen items, invisibility, and love.
    Collection of Astrological, Kabbalistic and Magical Fragments, unknown, 1600–1700. Or 6360, f. 1r:the first page of ‘Sefer ha-Levanah’, with an Astrologer

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    London ice house

    LONDON, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that a late eighteenth-century commercial ice-storage facility has been found in central London, in what was a well to-do neighborhood near Regent’s Park. The egg-shaped structure, which was backfilled with rubble when a later stucco terrace on the site was destroyed during World War II, measures approximately 31 feet deep and 25 feet wide. Most ice wells in the city were much smaller than this one, according to David Sorapure of the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA). “What this one does and why it is significant is it bridges the gap between [the time when] ice was only for the very wealthy, to a kind of mass availability of ice,” he explained. By the early nineteenth century, the ice house was filled with ice imported from Norway by an entrepreneur, who had it transported to the site on the newly constructed Regent’s canal. MOLA archaeologist Danny Harrison said workers would chip off blocks of ice for sale to restaurants, private homes, and perhaps even neighborhood dentists and doctors who used ice to numb their patients. For more on life in nineteenth-century London, go to “Haunt of the Resurrection Men.”

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    Francesco Borghesi (éd.), Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Lettere, Florence, 2018.

    Éditeur : Leo S. Olschki
    Collection : Studi pichiani
    xii, 190 pages
    ISBN : 9788822265746
    26 €

    Questo studio presenta la prima edizione critica delle lettere di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) costituita a partire dalla silloge curata dal nipote Giovan Francesco Pico della Mirandola e stampata a Bologna nel 1496. Tale edizione intende proporre il corpus epistolare del Conte di Concordia e Mirandola in modo filologicamente corretto e sulla base di un'esaustiva recensione di manoscritti e edizioni a stampa quattrocentesche e cinquecentesche contenenti materiali epistolari.


    Source : Leo S. Olschki

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    Excavations near the village of Turan in southeastern Albania have revealed one of the biggest ancient cemeteries in Albania - about 1,000 layered burials, several richly furnished - and under...

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    The oldest human remains discovered in Poland are about 115,000 years old. They are finger bones of a Neanderthal child which were digested by a large bird, and found in...

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    The discovery in the Konkan region of Maharashtra of thousands of rock carvings may hold clues to a previously unknown civilisation. Etched on flat rocky hilltops, most remained unnoticed for...

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    Significant new discoveries have been made during ongoing excavations at Akrotiri, on the Aegean island of Santorini, about 120 kilometres north of Crete and 230 kilometres southeast of Athens, Greece....

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    Cave paintings in remote mountains in Borneo have been dated to at least 40,000 years ago, and include a painting of what seems to be a local species of wild...

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  • 12/29/18--02:28: Revisiting the Trinity
  • You may have gathered that my post about Jesus’ exaltation as the early Christian gospel, with lots of links related to Christology, started out as an engagement with a particular post, then a series of posts on that blog, and then became a dump for links related to the theme of the blog post, which […]

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  • 12/29/18--02:52: Top ETC Blog posts of 2018
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    For the well to-do residents of Georgian London, serving chilled drinks at a festive party was a...

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    My analysis of the archaeological objects returned to Italy has appeared in the latest number of the International Journal of Cultural Property. The article includes a catalogue of the returned material. There is reference to the 3,500 fragments derived from Francavilla Marittima and returned to Italy.

    Museums considered:

    • Boston, Museum of Fine Arts
    • Cleveland Museum of Art
    • Dallas Museum of Art
    • Fordham University
    • Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum
    • Minneapolis Institute of Art
    • New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Princeton University Art Museum
    • Toledo Museum of Art
    • University of Virginia Art Museum in Charlottesville
    Objects from private collections, galleries and auction houses are also discussed.

    'Returning archaeological objects to Italy’, International Journal of Cultural Property 25, 3 (2018), 283–321. [DOI]

    It has been more than 20 years since the raids on the premises at the Geneva Freeport were linked to Giacomo Medici. The seizure of photographic records led to a major investigation of acquisitions by museums and private collectors. This was expanded following the confiscation of archives from Robin Symes and Gianfranco Becchina. Over 350 items have been returned to Italy from North American public and private collections as well as auction houses and galleries. This article reviews the returns and identifies some of the major themes. It also notes some of the unresolved cases both in North America and in Europe and Japan.

    Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

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    [First posted in AWOL 29 April 2015, updated 29 December 2018]

    ANCIENT ROME LIVE:A new way to learn about Rome's past

    Ancient Rome Live
    Rome’s enduring contribution to world civilization can, and should, be communicated in a way that combines the hard facts, solid reasoning, and new discoveries of university research with the excitement and immediacy of on-location filming in Rome. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.

    Ancient Rome Live (ARL) is an immersive journey that provides new perspectives about the ancient city. A multi-platform learning experience, ARL first and foremost presents original content:

    • a clickable map of ancient Rome
    • a library of videos arranged according to topic
    • live streaming from sites in Rome and her empire.
    ARL provides an interactive platform to engage the many layers of Rome: monuments, people, places, and events.  Ancient Rome Live  is a valuable resource for teachers- and a lot of fun for anyone interested in history.

    Later in 2015 ARL will release an ebook, app, and free online course.   WIth all of these new, coordinated formats, ARL will change the way ancient Rome is studied.

    Darius Arya, Archaeologist and TV host, Founder, director, producer

    Albert Prieto, Archaeologist, Chief film and editing
    Mark Brewer, Zagara Films, Film and editing
    AndreaTroiani, Animator
    Darbouze & Daughters, Digital Creative

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  • 12/29/18--06:16: Weekend Roundup
  • A 2,000-year-old bronze ring with a solitaire gemstone was uncovered in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.

    Ceramic jars and cooking pots suggest the Persian Empire used Tel Keisan, near the city of Akko in Northern Israel, as a base camp in their effort to conquer Egypt (Haaretz premium).

    Police caught antiquities thieves in the act of excavating Huqoq for ancient coins.

    The petrified remains of a harnessed horse has been uncovered in Pompeii.

    Emma Maayan-Fanar writes about her recent study at Shivta which revealed a painting of Jesus.

    Longer, hotter summers and drier winters are a threat to the remaining cedar trees in Lebanon.

    The NY Times reports on the only tourist boat operation on the Dead Sea.

    ”By analysing the architecture and historical documentation, it is possible to reconstruct a detailed history of the Karak Castle during the Crusader period.”

    Several people are dead and a dozen injured after a bomb blast struck a tourist bus near the Egyptian pyramids in Giza.

    “Finds Gone Astray” is a new exhibit opening on Monday at the Bible Lands Museum. The Times of Israel provides some of the background for these artifacts that have been recovered from thieves and smugglers in the West Bank since 1967.

    Carl Rasmussen asks: Herod or Jesus: Which “King” Has Had the Most Lasting Influence?

    What is the Samaritan Torah? David Moster has created a 10-minute video to answer that question.

    National Geographic has produced a 4-minute animated video on The History of the Bible.

    Gary Knoppersdied last week.

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

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