DAMIETTA, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that cylindrical mud-brick sarcophagi dating to the Roman period have been discovered at Tel Al-Deir in the Nile Delta. Secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said that some of the sarcophagi had been painted red and engraved with lines and geometric figures, and cartonnage placed on the linen-wrapped mummies inside the sarcophagi had been decorated to resemble the deceased. Pottery, five gold rings adorned with grapes and dolphins, and some 700 amulets, including representations of the deities Isis, Horus, and Tawusert, were also recovered. To read about another recent discovery in Egypt, go to "Mummy Workshop."
BEIT SHE’AN, ISRAEL—The AFP reports that two Roman-era limestone carvings were discovered by a woman hiking outside the grounds of Beit She’an National Park, which is located in northern Israel. The life-size busts are thought to have been exposed by recent heavy rainfall. Eitan Klein of the Israel Antiquities Authority said both statues represent men, one of whom was bearded. Such statutes were usually placed near a burial cave, he added, and may have been intended to represent the deceased. To read about another recent discovery in Israel dating to the Roman era, go to "Sun and Moon."
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—According to a report in The Scotsman, a stone ball has been unearthed at a construction site near Edinburgh Castle. City council archaeologist John Lawson suggests the piece of carved stone may have been fired at the castle with a trebuchet during a three-day siege by English forces in 1296. “We always knew this area could shed light on this era of Edinbugh’s history and here we are with the discovery of a medieval weapon,” Lawson said. The English took the castle and held it for 18 years. To read in-depth about the Scottish defeat at the 1650 Battle of Dunbar, go to "After the Battle."
ATHENS, GREECE—According to The Greek Reporter, an ancient inscribed stone tablet that has been missing for the past 100 years has been found on the Greek island of Amorgos by archaeology student Stelios Perakis, German archaeologist N.N. Fischer, and local residents. The stone bears a copy of the Resolution of Nikouria, a document dating to the third century B.C. The text describes the islanders’ decision to participate in a feast and games organized by Ptolemy II in Alexandria, in honor of his father, Ptolemy I. The tablet was first discovered in 1893, in a church on the islet of Nikouria. It was transferred to a stable in 1908, but was eventually lost. The researchers discovered the stone had belonged to a shepherd from Nikouria before it was recently incorporated into an outer wall of a house in the village of Tholaria on the island of Amorgos. Plans are being made to remove the tablet from the house and display it in the Amorgos archaeological collection. To read in-depth about about a massive ancient Greek inscription, go to "In Search of the Philosopher's Stone."
The ARCE SPHINX PROJECT (1979-1983) aimed to produce scale drawings (plans and elevations) of the Great Sphinx of Giza, where no scale drawings of this unique monument had been produced before, to map the greater Sphinx site, including three ancient Egyptian temples situated east of the statue, and the larger quarry forming the Sphinx "amphitheater." Objectives included elevations, profiles, and a detailed master plan of the Sphinx, detailed section and profile drawings showing the masonry restorations added to the statue, topographical maps of the Sphinx ditch and larger quarry, and maps of the structural geology of the site, showing stratification and faults.
The idea was that we could achieve a better understanding of the origin of the Sphinx and how the 4th Dynasty Egyptians created the Sphinx from careful, recorded observations of its structure and geology, and that a good part of the history of the Sphinx could be read from detailed survey and mapping of the stratified masonry on the Sphinx, and from the condition of the bedrock core under the earliest masonry, as well as from analysis of tool marks and mortar bonding the different phases.
Dr. James Allen, then Assistant Director of the American Research Center (now Charles Edwin Wilbour Professor of Egyptology at Brown University) applied as Project Director to the Egyptian Antiquities Organization to survey and map the Sphinx. Mark Lehner served as Field Director. Ulrich Kapp (German Archaeological Institute in Cairo) carried out the photogrammetric survey and plotted the master profiles and elevations of the Sphinx. Team members included Christiane Zivie-Coche (Director, Centre Wladimir Golenischeff, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Egyptology), Attila Vass (survey), Susan Allen (now, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, survey), Peter Lacovara (then Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, now The Ancient Egyptian Egyptian Heritage and Archaeology Fund, survey) and Cynthia Schartzer (archaeology, survey), K. Lal Gauri (University of Louisville, geology), and Thomas Aigner (University of Tübingen, geology).
The ARCE SPHINX PROJECT ARCHIVE includes written, drawn, and color slide photographs and black and white photographs. Drawings include:
Master elevations of the front and sides of the Sphinx, scale 1:50.
Master plan of the Sphinx, scale 1:50
Detailed maps of the 4th Dynasty Khafre Valley Temple, the Sphinx Temple, and the 18th Dynasty Amenhotep II Temple, scale 1:100
Topographical and geological maps of the wider Sphinx “amphitheater,” scale 1:200
1:1,000 map of the Sphinx and modern installations to the East as of 1979
Detailed architectural sections and elevations of the stratified ancient masonry layers applied to the Sphinx bedrock core body, scale 1:20 and 1:10
2,716 black and white photographs
Profile of the Sphinx area with water table measurements taken during 1981-82.
The print versions of the Oriental Institute Annual Report are available for members as one of the privileges of membership. They are not for sale to the general public. They contain yearly summaries of the activities of the Institute’s faculty, staff, and research projects, as well as descriptions of special events and other Institute functions.
What are the costs of attending our big annual conference each year? Whether it is for a job interview, presenting your current research, networking, or keeping up with the state of the fields of archaeology and Classics, the AIA/SCS is an annual tradition but can be a logistical and financial challenge for many. This survey is meant to gauge the financial costs of attending the AIA/SCS in January 2019 and who foots the bill. A rough estimate for each category is fine. Please provide amounts in your applicable currency ($, CAD, €, £, etc.). All results will remain anonymous, but feel free to contact me (Jacquelyn Clements) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. The survey will remain open until January 31, 2019.
Happy New Year! Is this the end of a decade, given that most consider it to have started in 2000? Or does it only feel like the end of a decade at the end of this year, when we move to the “20s”? It will be nice a year from now to have a decade […]
The biggest archaeological news of December 2018 was the return of the stolen fragments of the famous "Gypsy Girl" mosaic from Zeugma. The missing pieces were brought back from the USA. On the more depressing tone, the columns of ancient Perge still seek sponsorship, vandals damaged the monuments of the Phrygian Valley, and a Roman-era mosaic has been sitting under a dumpster since its discovery two years ago in Iznik, the ancient Nicaea.
It’s January 1, the first day of a brand new year, and that means you’re probably inundated with businesses and organizations and every website you’ve ever visited delivering messages of new beginnings. Well, here at the CAMWS Grad Student Issues Committee blog, we’re no different, but our new beginning is perhaps more literal.
With the exception of one post presaging the revitalization of this blog, CAMWSgrads has been silent for more than a year. In our archives is some good content, though, designed to engage with different important aspects of a graduate student’s experience: presenting at conferences, publishing, teaching, work/life balance, Halloween, etc. But these long form posts are years old now and covered with a layer of digital dust. So we’re starting over, beginning anew.
This year, GSIC has made it a goal to focus on our online presence, including our social media and this blog. We want to provide a platform and a voice for graduate students in CAMWS and classics more generally, and we can’t do that if our platforms are silent. To that end, it’s a brand new beginning for the GSIC blog. Our old content is still there, but we’ve revamped the format to make it a little easier to access cross-platform. More importantly, we’ll be generating new content more frequently and opening up the blog to other graduate students in classics to share their research, advice, and frustrations. We’ll be taking the time to introduce our committee—both its members and its raison d’être—and our programming at the CAMWS annual conference so that you can learn a little more about us and what we do. We’ll present opportunities for grad students within CAMWS and the annual meeting, as well as advice for travelling and presenting as a graduate student. But we’ll also be sharing graduate student research and tales from the “outside” — spouses of classical studies grad students, undergrads interested in applying, reflections from those who have left grad school.
So why do this? There’s plenty of classical studies blogs and online magazines out there already, why add another to the mix? Well, we want to help contribute to the broader community of graduate students in classical studies specifically by providing a platform and a voice not only for scholarship but also for the other things that impact our lives on a daily basis. The CAMWSgrads blog is designed to be a place for graduate students and by graduate students to showcase what we do and to help each other through.
Our new beginning, then: same organization, same URL (for now), new engagement. We hope that you’ll join us here to create a digital community of classics grad students and help us reshape the content and scope of this blog. Our contributions and our community are important, and CAMWS GSIC will do what we can to support both.
Have an idea you’d like to contribute? Pitch me at email@example.com.
Happy New Year to everyone who reads this blog! May it be a prosperous and successful year for us all!
We stand on the first step of the year. There are 364 more steps until we get to this place again! So… it’s the time to decide just what we want to do with the year.
Last year I was busy working, so I didn’t really make any plans, and certainly didn’t put them into execution. So my year passed mainly in working, looking for work, and sleeping! Ouch! That’s what happens to us, unless we make plans.
Long ago my family lived in Cyprus for two years. I’d like to go back. If I’m not working in February, as may well be the case, then I might go out and spend a week there. I owe my interest in antiquity to that stay. I was only a boy, but I remember Roman cities and crusader castles in the hills. I remember camping in the ruins of the city of Salamis. Nothing gives a sense of the reality of the ancient world like swimming in the blue water over huge blocks of worked stone lying on the sandy sea-bed, a few feet below. Doubtless the coast is more built-up, but it would be interesting to see it again!
It’s always a good motto to “grab a chance, and you won’t be sorry for a might-have-been”. I’m glad that I visited Libya in 2006 and 2007. We can’t do that now! I’m glad that I saved my pennies and booked a flight on Concorde, just for the experience of flying at Mach 2.2. Again, we can’t do that now. I regret the injury that prevented me going to Syria in 2010 and looking at the then intact temples and colonnades of Palmyra. Carpe diem: seize the day.
I’d like to go to Sudan. But it looks as if a civil war is in progress at the moment. Oh well…
I think I will go to Bath, this year, and see the remains of Aqua Sulis there. Apparently the hot spring-fed Roman baths are unsafe to bathe in, however – a recent bather caught meningitis! This is a pity.