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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs -

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    Following several international exhibitions, the belongings of the most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun, are to roam six European countries in 2019, after they are displayed in France in March. The exhibition, named King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, will find a new temporary home in Paris, after it has been resting in Los Angeles, California, from March 2018. The France exhibition will kick off from 23 March to 15 September 2019.

    Subsequently, it is planned to journey to six other countries, including Japan, the UK, Australia, and South Korea, where they are to be revealed in 10 cities. The temporary exhibition witnessed a huge success in the United Stated. Local media reported that it attracted more than 500 million visitors since it opened in March.

    The exhibit will open its doors in the Grande Halle at La Villette, in cooperation with the Grand Exhibition Museum, which will hold its soft opening this year.

    King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh will display: ‘150 fascinating original objects found in 1922 in the tomb of the most famous pharaohs, the majority of which have never left Egypt before,’ according to the Paris official website of the convention and visitors bureau. The ministry of antiquities previously stated that the exhibitions includes 166 relics belonging to King Tutankhamun, yet some of them are redundant.

    Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anany had formerly said the value of insurance coverage for the 166 pieces of King Tutankhamun’s belongings which will be exhibited abroad is estimated at $862m.

    King Tutankhamun’s showcased belongings were originally transferred from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. The relics include alabaster pots, wooden boxes, and statues of the pharaoh.

    The increase in the temporary exhibitions abroad is an effort on the part of the Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany to revive tourism in Egypt, and create a source of income for the ministry.

    Local media reported that the ministry’s income from the past LA exhibition reached $5m, with four dollars going to the ministry for every ticket sold.

    Anany explained the reason behind choosing Tutankhamen’s belongings to journey across Europe is that people have a love story with the young king pharaoh.

    Before the museum opened its doors to the public in March, all 3,500 tickets of the exhibition were sold out, which led the museum to extend its opening time for three additional hours after the official working period, as regulations forbid hosting over 100 persons inside the museum at a time.

    The first exhibition showcasing Egyptian artifacts in a foreign country, as part of the minster’s new policy, kicked off in Toronto, Canada, last year, and displayed the heritage and monuments of the Egyptian Fatimid era, while another demonstrated the artifacts of the cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, which were accidentally discovered under water after being lost for 1,000 years, whereas a third exhibition will soon be inaugurated for jewelry from ancient Egyptian eras.

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    “It’s really the history of our species that’s at risk in a lot of ways,” says Meghan Howey. She’s an archaeologist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Humans have lived near the coast for thousands of years. In that time, they created and left behind many cultural sites that hold pieces of the past. These are famous places such as Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the central Pacific Ocean and the canal city of Venice in Italy. But they also include many smaller and lesser known sites. They range from Native American villages to early colonial settlements. If rising seas destroy these sites, “we’re going to lose [those people’s] stories too,” Howey says.

    A rise of one meter (39 inches) in sea level threatens more than 13,000 U.S. archaeological sites in the Southeast alone, according to one 2017 report. David Anderson is an archaeologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “If you want to learn about what people did in the past, archaeology is the best way to do that,” he says.

    Anderson and other researchers recently used online data sets to look at the dangers posed by rising seas to cultural sites in the southeastern United States. A one-meter (39-inch) rise in sea level could destroy more than 13,000 of those places, they found. These include some well-known historical sites found in Jamestown in Virginia, St. Augustine in Florida, and Charleston, S.C. Many Native American sites also are at risk. That study looked at just one region. But elsewhere around the world, countless other sites also face risks from climate’s impact on sea level.

    Howey did a similar count in New Hampshire. Up to 14 percent of the state’s heritage sites could be lost to sea level rise, she found. Studies have also found similar risks — in the range of 15 to 20 percent — globally, she notes. “And that’s only what we know about,” she adds.

    Climate change is underway. So now is the time to start thinking about sea-level rise, Anderson says. “How are we going to protect the important places in the landscape? We need to know what’s out there and what’s threatened.” Otherwise, it may become too late to save at least some of these sites.

    Efforts to limit the worst impacts from climate change, including sea level rise, will require cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, for example. And maybe taking steps to limit flooding in important areas. Another approach might be to move cultural treasures. But projects like that are often costly. It’s unlikely that funds to do that will be available for every site. And some treasures simply can’t be moved.

    But high-tech tools might help preserve knowledge of those treasures before physical sites are lost, says Mark McCoy. He’s an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He recently suggested how this might be done at many sites in Polynesia. That’s an area composed of many Pacific low-lying islands.

    Rising seas endanger many of those islands — and their cultural treasures. If researchers used only traditional methods to map those places, “most would be gone before you got to them,” he says. Satellites with cameras and other remote-sensing tools, however, can more quickly and easily find and map many of these sites, he says. Those data can also help researchers assess the risks to particular spots.

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    Op vrijdag 18 januari organiseert het Geschied- en Oudheidkundig Genootschap Riemst (GOGRI) een lezing over het archeologisch onderzoek in de O.L.V.-basiliek van Tongeren. Archeoloog Alain Vanderhoeven reconstrueert tijdens zijn lezing 2000 jaar bouw- en bewoningsgeschiedenis. De lezing vindt plaats om 19u in De Boekerij (Paenhuisstraat 13, Riemst). Meer informatie op

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    Public engagement with archaeology in northern Israel
    Glasgow archaeologist Alison Douglas:
    "[Collection-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record] as a means of public engagement has had an incredibly positive effect".
    Wow. There are however many that would say the overall effects of both the artefact hunting and the object-centric public outreach to the artefact hunters are fundamentally negative.

    Public engagement, Ms Douglas
    In response to me saying that, Dr Douglas calls upon authority "Really? I bet @DrTashaFerguson would beg to differ." Very probably, but Dr Ferguson (one of the Ixelles Six) is not very good at arguing her stated position. Well over two years ago when I (once) challenged one of her glib statements on the issue of the 'benefits' of artefact hunting she immediately blocked me on social media and blocked my emails. So she seems rather sensitive about avoiding proper debate, at least with me - perhaps is is in some way 'beneath her'. Certainly, none of the Ixelles Six/Helsinki Gang has expanded on the issues raised about their attempted demolition job of Hardy's research on precisely those negative effects of policies of appeasement on artefact hunting as "public engagement".

    Dr Douglas says that in suggesting that a fluffy survey needs a closer definition of what they mean by 'participation in archaeology' when they introduce the idea of 'metal detecting' as one of its forms (which is what this came from), that this is 'irrelevant': "By irrelevant, I mean, you are clearly of the theoretical positioning that metal detecting = BAD. Not all of us look at metal detecting this way". That they do not in no way makes me wrong. This is interesting coming from Glasgow where just a few blocks away from the School of Humanities we have the Trafficking Culture research consortium that takes a more nuanced view of Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record . When I ask her whether she'd see all forms of Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record as 'participation in archaeology' (giving the examples of the Ortiz collection and Ali and Hicham Aboutaam) she says 'parallels' are 'extreme in the least', but that they are participation and that 'metal detecting' has an 'incredibly positive effect' . My response was
    They are not "parallels" they are part of the same phenomenon. You cannot hedge off one little insular part of a wider phenomenon and say these (our) guys are OK [having a positive effect], the rest are damaging the record. Can you?
    Her response was pretty odd:
    Well yes I can. Legislation is not perfect I agree, but exists nevertheless. This legislation is there to protect liberal freedoms whilst protecting the archaeological record. Who do you think owns the archaeological heritage of this country? A private collector perhaps?
    But thousands, probably now tens of thousands are pocketing (without any record or mitigation of information loss), random bits of the British archaeological heritage as if it did, to them personally, six million bits of it if some estimates are not mistaken. I do not see how anyone reflecting upon the situation could represent that as in any way 'an incredibly positive effect'. I really do not.

    Her 'yes I can' answer suggests that Ms Douglas sees artefact hunting as an 'us' and 'them' situation. The white guys in Britain are exercising their liberal freedoms to 'participate in archaeology in an incredible positive way', while the grubby foreign subsistence diggers (with metal detectors) have no such higher aims, they merely 'need to feed families etc...

    Furthermore  in the UK system (or does she mean Scotland only?) 'legislation is there to protect liberal freedoms whilst protecting the archaeological record'. Quite obviously in neither England/wales or Scotland do the laws that exist actually protect the archaeological record from Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record, nor information loss that accrues if the 'liberal hoiker at liberty' who's pocketing stuff but refuses to participate enough to even communicate that fact to anyone. That goes for Scotland too where what the TTU sees annually is a derisory fraction of what artefact hunters with detectors are in fact probably finding and pocketing (again see Hardy for some pointers - as yet unfalsified by the Izxelles Six or anyone else).

     Dr Douglas, it seems, has a bit of a 'history of picking fights on social media.

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    January 14, 2019 19.00 - BOOK LAUNCH Αθανάσιος Θέμος, Προϊστάμενος του Επιγραφικού Μουσείου -Αντώνης Τάντουλος, Ιατρός - Ερευνητής -Παρασκευάς Ματάλας, Ιστορικός -Γεώργιος Ζάβρας, ιατρός.

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    January 14, 2019 17.30 -

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    Sam Hardy's paper ('Quantitative Analysis of Open Source Data on Metal Detecting for Cultural Property', Cogent Social Sciences 3, 2017)) whether or not one agrees with everything he writes, raises some important issues connected with current policies on Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record. Instead of a discussion of those issues, its publication was accompanied by the rapid appearance of the criticisms of the Ixelles Six/Helsinki Gang (Deckers et al 2018), a separate paper by Raimund Karl (2018) and the reaction of treasure-hunter John Howland (2018). Yet it has been so far more or less ignored by 'mainstream scholarship' in the UK (and Europe generally). It is gratifying therefore to see a comment by Neil Brodiewho wrote:
    I personally think the tone of the criticism of this paper has been highly unprofessional. Makes me think it must be on to something.
    As indeed it is. Though I rather think that an argument could also be made for the suggestion that in the case of Bangor and Bournemouth the overproduction of bile might be due to a medical condition, but in the case of some of the Ixelles/Helsinki Gang there is too much grant money reliant on supporting the 'PAS-Proposition' to allow it to be challenged. 

    Deckers, PS, Dobat, A, Ferguson, N, Heeren, S, Lewis, M and Thomas, S 2018, 'The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice.: A Response to Samuel Hardy, ‘Quantitative Analysis of Open-Source Data on Metal Detecting for Cultural Property’ (Cogent Social Sciences 3, 2017)' Open Archaeology, bind 2018, nr. 4.).
    Raimund Karl, 'Estimating' numbers?A response to a paper by Samuel A. Hardy', Archäologische Denkmalpflege Mittwoch, 14. März 2018.
    John Howland,  There are two ways of lying. One, by not telling the truth and the other, making up statistics, detecting and collecting blog 1st July 2018
    Vignette: No use shutting your eyes, the issues will not go away.

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    Metal detecting hole

    Having just read a Bangor professor's account of traces of Collection-driven artefact hunting on published Austrian sites, and knowing (as he has admitted), he does not take part in it himself, he and his readers might benefit from an account of how it is generally done and its effects on the archaeological record. There are basically seven types of hole dug in this process

    Dangerous digging
    Hoik hole type A (otherwise known as the 'effingbighole method'), huge hole of varying shapes and sizes, generally big enough to stand in, dug blindly down into the invisible archaeological record and the loose upcast searched through for any collectable items (may involve metal detector use). In this process the upcast is spread about and mixed. Even after weathering and natural bioturbation, if filled in, this will likely register as a 'pit' in subsequent excavation (example, holes dug the hole dug in collection-driven extraction of non-metallic artefacts in UK, or in similar looting in S. America, MENA region and so on)

    Bellingham hoard hoik in progress (Facebook)
    Hoik hole type B (otherwise known as the 'nuvverbit over-ere' method), huge hole of varying shapes and sizes, dug blindly down into the invisible archaeological record with the use of a detecting device driving the expansion of the hole. Often in the heat of the search the upcast is spread about or heaped, in the process mixing it. Can be dug by hand (Holborough) or machine. Even when infilled, after weathering and natural bioturbation, this will likely register as a 'pit' in subsequent excavation (example, the hole dug to retrieve the Bellingham Hoard

    Lenborough chaos
    Hoik hole type C, fairly large and irregular vertical-sided hole, dug blindly down deep  into the invisible archaeological record on either grassland or into firmer layers below the ploughsoil where directed by a metal detector signal. Upcast scattered around and mixed. Even after weathering and natural bioturbation, infilled, will likely register as a 'pit' in subsequent excavation (example, the hole dug to retrieve the Lenborough Hoard). Often employed where Treasure hunters have strong signal from archaeological layers under the ploughsoil.

    Type C hoik hole, Lenborough

    Scattered 'axe hoard' hole (5:52)
    Hoik hole type D, moderate size and  relatively shallow, dug into loose soil (such as ploughsoil, garden soil) due to which the hole is amorphous. Dug blindly down into and often through a patterned artefact scatter contained in the upper layers of a site (in other words the archaeological record  - see also here and hereon the ploughsoil evidence destroyed by artefact hunting). This is usually done on detecting a hidden buried metal artefact with a metal detector. Dug with various types of spade. The depth of the hole is determined by the depth of penetration of the metal detector used and teh characteristics of the (generally small) target item. After the find has been found in the upcast or sides of the hole the loose upcast is shoved back in the hole. Unless there are other, detailed records, and the hole has not penetrated the subsoil, the disturbance to the site (and the patterned artefact scatter that is one of its manifestations) will be undetectable in any subsequent investigation.  
    Scene from Series 3 of 'Detectorists'
    Hoik hole type E, moderate size and fairly regular, dug blindly down into the invisible archaeological record on detecting a hidden buried metal artefact with a metal detector by using a digging tool to cut a large (spade size) 'plug'. Usually employed on pasture sites and permanent grassland. The size of the hole is determined by the ease of lifting the plug whole. After the find has been located with minimal disturbance of the plug by use of a pinpointer, the plug can be ire-inserted and stamped down. Depending on the type of soil and the way the plug is handled and reinserted, the traces in plan may be a few thin spadecuts that could largely disappear during weathering and natural bioturbation.

    Hoik hole type F, Small and fairly regular, dug blindly down into the invisible archaeological record on detecting a hidden buried metal artefact with a metal detector by using a digging tool like a small narrow trowel or posthole digging spade (sold by metal detector suppliers) to cut a small narrow plug. The size of the hole means that the earth of different deposits may not get mixed much (and often a dropcloth is used), so what goes into the hole is what came out. After the soil is replaced and stamped down the trace in plan may be a narrow zone of slightly discoloured soil that, could largely disappear during weathering and natural bioturbation.

    Leverage for dummies
    Hoik hole type G (aka the 'leverage method'), Here the hole dug and soil disturbance are minimal. having located the buried object a thin blade or probe is gently pushed blindly down into the invisible archaeological record and the object levered up through a narrow cut in the overlying material. The small size of the disturbance means that the traces in the soil of the site are barely visible and will largely disappear during weathering and natural bioturbation. (Here's a video of shallow usage and another one). Used where possible by treasure hunters who don't want people to know they've been there.

    Artefact Hunting type H, eyes only, no hole is dug, artefacts collected directly from surface exposures such as ploughed surfaces, pipeline wayleaves, or stream banks. 

    Despite a lot of 'liaison', it is unclear what proportion of the various methods of collectable-acquisition are used on British sites.  What can be said however is that given the depth of penetration of most metal detectors in the case of single items, hole digging of types A, B and C, generally associated with hoards, graves and other such concentrations of metal objects  would be in the minority. In England and Wales, when we have annually about 800-1000 Treasure items reported (many - but not all - of which came from such holes dug by the finder), the number of (reported and unreported) finds from shallower hoiking (types D, E, F and G as well as deeper holes) may reach as many as 800 000 items a year. Thus the traces of artefact hunting that are reflected in holes dug into the underlying archaeological layers recognised in subsequent excavation - even if the slight traces of some of these techniques are actually being looked for, is in no way a reflection of the scale, scope and type of  depletion and damage to the archaeological record of a region by Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record. 

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    January 14, 2019 19.00 - LECTURE Δρ. Ευγενία Γερούση, Διευθύντρια, Διεύθυνση Διαχείρισης Εθνικού Αρχείου Μνημείων, ΥΠΠΟΑ

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    Michel Reddé (dir.), Gallia rustica I. Les campagnes du nord-est de la Gaule, de la fin de l'âge du Fer à l'Antiquité tardive, Bordeaux, 2018.

    Éditeur : Ausonius Éditions
    Collection : Mémoires
    868 pages
    ISBN : 9782356132062
    60 €

    Cet ouvrage collectif est consacré aux campagnes du nord-est de la Gaule, de la Tène finale à l'Antiquité tardive, entre le bassin de la Seine et le limes de Germanie. Il constitue le premier tome de la publication finale d'un projet (acronyme “Rurland”) financé par l'European Research Council (ERC). L'objectif était d'intégrer des informations rarement étudiées ensemble et le plus souvent inédites : fouilles archéologiques, notamment celles qui sont issues de l'archéologie préventive la plus récente, restes botaniques, matériel osseux, nature et qualité des sols, photographies aériennes, données LIDAR, de manière à promouvoir une approche interdisciplinaire et multiscalaire de l'ensemble géographique considéré, depuis les sites proprement dits jusqu'aux territoires. Il s'agit, in fine, de comprendre les dynamiques spatiales et historiques du monde rural de cette époque ancienne ainsi que leur diversité régionale. Dans cette perspective ont été privilégiées des fenêtres d'études à des échelles différentes, en fonction de la qualité, l'abondance et la nature de l'information qu'elles fournissent.
    Deux volumes seront publiés successivement : celui-ci est consacré aux études régionales effectuées dans le cadre du programme Rurland ; la synthèse générale suivra dans un second temps.


    Source : Ausonius Editions

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    Il 15 gennaio 2019, ore 15.00 nell'Aula magna della Facoltà di Architettura si tiene Il Seminario Talk ‘Ambienti digitali per l’educazione all’arte e al patrimonio', organizzato dal Master McBE.C_Comunicazione dei Beni Culturali che, attivato dal Dipartimento di Storia, Disegno e Restauro dell’Architettura e dalla Facoltà di Architettura della Sapienza Università di Roma, da quest’anno è inserito nel Centro di eccellenza del Distretto tecnologico per i beni e le attività culturali del Lazio (DTC Lazio), centro di aggregazione e integrazione sinergica delle competenze multidisciplinari delle cinque università statali del Lazio e tre enti di ricerca, CNR, ENEA e INFN finanziato dalla Regione Lazio. 

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    Review of Marta Pedrina, La supplication sur les vases grecs. Mythes et images. Biblioteca di “Eidola” 2. Pisa; Roma: 2017. Pp. 390. €115,00 (pb). ISBN 9788862271868.

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    Review of Francesco Borghesi, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Lettere. Studi pichiani, 19. Firenze: 2018. Pp. xii, 190. €26,00. ISBN 9788822265746.

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    Review of Alden A. Mosshammer, The Prologues on Easter of Theophilus of Alexandria and [Cyril]. Oxford Early Christian texts. Oxford; New York: 2017. Pp. x, 194. $125.00. ISBN 9780198792574.

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    Review of Gabriele Flamigni, Presi per incantamento: teoria della persuasione socratica. Philosophica, 19. Pisa: 2017. Pp. xxi, 117. €14,00 (pb). ISBN 9788846750532.

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    Les Actes du colloque de Rennes sont parus. Cet ouvrage de référence est issu d’une masse considérable de données nouvelles et inédites provenant des fouilles préventives menées depuis une trentaine d’années en France et en Europe. Il se décline en cinq thèmes principaux : les architectures funéraires ou cultuelles, l’organisation...

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  • 01/14/19--02:31: Exodus trickery
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  • 01/14/19--02:37: "The Polymorphous Pesah"
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    I recently had a review I wrote of Kevin van Bladel’s book, From Sasanian Mandaeans to Ṣābians of the Marshes, published by the Enoch Seminar. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite: Unfortunately, as van Bladel seeks to situate Mandaean origins in a Sasanian context, he is prone both to overstate his case, and to […]

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