Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

0 sec ago L'hittitologie aujourd'hui : études sur l'Anatolie hittite et néo-hittite à l'occasion du centenaire de la naissance d'Emmanuel Laroche << Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Organisé par Alice Mouton et Jean-François Pérouse

Ces rencontres se tiendront à l'occasion du centenaire de la naissance d'Emmanuel Laroche

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0 sec ago L'argent des dieux. Religions et richesses en Méditerranée dans l'Antiquité et au Moyen Âge << Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Organisé par Julie Masquelier-Loorius, Jonathan Cornillon et Jean-Marie Salamito

Les rapports entre les religions et l'argent sont loin de se limiter aux discours que développent souvent les premières en matière de régulation éthique des activités lucratives et d'usage des richesses. Toute vie religieuse implique – à des échelles diverses, mais inévitablement – une dimension économique. Il faut des biens matériels pour les gestes du culte, l'offrande de sacrifices, la fabrication d'objets ou d'images, la construction et l'entretien de sanctuaires, la rétribution d'un clergé ou encore l'organisation de la solidarité communautaire. Quelles sont donc les pratiques des religions en matière d'économie ? Comment les communautés religieuses s'y prennent-elles pour créer, rassembler, gérer, utiliser et distribuer des richesses ? En quoi consiste l'impact concret de la vie religieuse sur la vie économique ? Comment les usages « religieux » de l'argent sont-ils justifiés ou critiqués à l'intérieur des différentes traditions ?

C'est à de telles questions que ce colloque répondra, en étudiant les religions qui ont marqué le monde méditerranéen depuis la plus haute Antiquité jusqu'à la fin du Moyen Âge : les divers polythéismes, le judaïsme, le christianisme, l'islam. La prise en compte d'une aire géographique cohérente permettra d'établir des comparaisons probantes entre des époques différentes et des confessions variées.

Consulter le programme du colloque

avec le soutien du Labex RESMED

0 sec ago Les religions et l'argent << Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

En parallèle du Colloque "L'argent des dieux " qui se tiendra du 16 au 18 octobre, un Café des sciences dont le thème sera : "les religions et l'argent" est organisé le 15 octobre à 18h30 à l'Espace Pierre Gilles de Gennes, 10 rue Vauquelin Paris 5e.

Les invités débattront dans un premier temps des relations établies entre les religions et l'argent de l'Antiquité jusqu'au Moyen-Âge.
Dans un deuxième temps sera abordé la place de l'économie religieuse dans les sociétés contemporaines.

Participeront à ce débat :
Julie Masquelier Loorius, épigraphiste à Orient et Méditerranée
Jean-Marie Salamito, historien à Orient et Méditerranée
Jonathan Cornillon, historien
Lionel Obadia, anthropologue à l'université Lumière Lyon2

Le débat sera filmé et diffusé en ligne ensuite sur ce site.

Avec le soutien de la Délégation CNRS Paris A

0 sec ago Corps, âmes et normes : approches cliniques, légales et religieuses du handicap << Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Organisé par :
Hedwige Rouillard-Bonraisin
Maria Grazzia Masssetti-Rouault
Jean-Michel Verdier (EPHE)
Christophe Lemardelé (EPHE)

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0 sec ago La guerre et la Grèce << Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Sous la présidence de Michel ZINK, Secrétaire perpétuel de l'AIBL, Professeur au Collège de France, Président de la Fondation Théodore Reinach, Jacques JOUANNA et Philippe CONTAMINE, membres de l'AIBL.

Messieurs Jacques Jouanna, Jean-Claude Cheynet, Olivier Picard, membres du laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée interviendront lors de ce colloque

- Télécharger le programme

- Télécharger le bulletin d'inscription

- Pour en savoir plus

0 sec ago Les moines autour de la Méditerranée. Mobilités et contacts à l'échelle locale et régionale << Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée

Le programme de recherche Les moines autour de la Méditerranée. Contacts, échanges, influences entre Orient et Occident, de l'Antiquité tardive au Moyen Âge (IFAO, EFR, EFA, Labex RESMED, UMR 8584 et 8167) se propose d'analyser la paradoxale mobilité du monde monastique, notamment méditerranéen, que des normes diverses paraissent contraindre à la stabilitas, mais qui connaît pourtant d'intenses et continus mouvements de circulation, d'échanges et d'influences, sur un long Moyen-Âge (du IVe au XVe siècle)

- Consulter le programme

Colloque organisé avec le soutien de :
L'École française de Rome
L'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale
Le Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée (UMR 8167)
Le Centre Européen de Recherchesur les Congrégations et les Ordres Religieux - Laboratoire d'Études sur les Monothéismes (CERCOR-LEM UMR 8584)
Le Labex RESMED

4 hours 29 min ago massarrah: Old Babylonian “Spreadsheets” Tabular book-keeping... << All Mesopotamia



massarrah:

Old Babylonian “Spreadsheets”

Tabular book-keeping made its debut early in Mesopotamian history during the third millennium BCE. The earliest known table that displays headings and a horizontal axis of calculations comes from the Early Dynastic Period (Robson: p. 117). Tables were used to organise and store both quantitative and qualitative information, and provided an important tool for book-keeping. Both of the examples pictured above are Old Babylonian administrative tablets from Larsa that show tabular accounts (Sources 1, 2).

Source: E. Robson, “Accounting For Change: The Development of Tabular Book-keeping in Early Mesopotamia”

Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University. Both photos from CDLI.

5 hours 7 min ago Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: September 2 << Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog) Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem quartum Nonas Septembres.

MYTHS and LEGENDS: The art image for today's legend shows Diana and Endymion; you can also see the legends for the current week listed together here.


TODAY'S MOTTOES and PROVERBS:

TINY MOTTOES: Today's tiny motto is: Amico Hercule (English: With Hercules as my friend).

3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Sapientia gubernator navis (English: Wisdom is the pilot of the ship)

AUDIO PROVERBS: Today's audio Latin proverb is Caesar non supra grammaticos (English: Caesar is not superior to the grammarians). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

PUBLILIUS SYRUS: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Satis est superare inimicum, nimium est perdere (English: It's enough to conquer your enemy; to destroy him is too much).

ERASMUS' ANIMALS: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Furemque fur cognoscit, et lupum lupus (English: Thief knows thief, wolf knows wolf; from Adagia 2.3.63).

BREVISSIMA: The distich poster for today is Iudicium Populi. Click here for a full-sized view.


And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:



TODAY'S FABLES:

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Simius et Speculum, a fable about self-awareness.

FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Ursus, Leo, et Vulpes, a fable in which the spoils go to the sly fox, of course (this fable has a vocabulary list).

Leo, Ursus et Vulpes

GreekLOLz - and Latin and English, too. Below is one of my GreekLOLz; for the individual Greek, Latin and English versions of the graphic, see the blog post: Ἁ δὲ χεὶρ την χεῖρα νίζει. Manus manum lavat. One hand washes the other.

8 hours 14 min ago Gunungmegang Statue; Man and Elephant << Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Harry Octavianus Sofian

Harry Octavianus Sofian
Balai Arkeologi Palembang – Departemen Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia
Gunungmegang statue is one of the site from Pasemah Megalithic Culture, located at the foot of the Mountain Dempo, Lahat Distric, South Sumatera Province – Indonesia. Pasemah megalithic culture is very unic, because the representation from the statue not stiff, but show dynamic activity,like Gunungmegang statue, show man holding the trunk of the elephant. This statue show us how the ancient people do domestication of wild elephants?

9 hours 6 min ago Sheer ruthlessness: a hallmark of American capitalism and "The Men Who Built America" (DVD Review) << Mary Harrsch (Passionate About History)
A history resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2014

I watched an absolutely fascinating series on the History Channel (now available on DVD) entitled "The Men Who Built America".  It traces the careers of some of the most powerful men in American history including Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford.  It is one of the first series I have ever seen that does not white wash the rise to power of these so-called 20th century "titans" of industry.

Probably the thing I found most disturbing in the series was the apparent viewpoint of these men that they were somehow above the subhuman worker populations they employed. They were willing to acquire wealth through any means possible and their net worth, regardless of how it was acquired, represented to them their superior worth as a human being.

Each of these men had personal ambition that knew no bounds and a ruthlessness that drove them to exploit every opportunity in an industrial landscape that had little regulation to prevent insider trading, overt market manipulation and outright intimidation or protect the rights of workers.

Andrew Carnegie was treated a little more gently than the others mainly because he handed off the day to day operations of Carnegie Steel to a totally ruthless chairman named Henry Frick so Carnegie could ostensibly sail off to Scotland to enjoy the fruits of his labors.
Andrew Carnegie portrait at the National
Portrait Gallery.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Today, we associate Andrew Carnegie with education and the arts because of his philanthropic contributions to Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University and thousands of libraries around the world.  But, in truth, Carnegie was the ultimate decision maker in the operation of his steel empire during a tumultuous period of violence and even death. He was certainly aware of the decisions implemented by his chairman and did nothing to intervene in plant operations until nine workers at his flagship Homestead Steel Works were gunned down by the Pinkertons under Frick's orders in 1892.

The steel workers had been ground down by increasingly longer hours - 12 hours a day six days a week by the time of the massacre - under absolutely hellish conditions, while wages were whittled away by Frick to increase profits.

When I researched the life of Andrew Carnegie further to write this review I read that Carnegie claimed he was a disciple of Herbert Spencer whose economic theory of evolution is best characterized as economic survival of the fittest.  Spencer declared that any provisions made to assist the weak, unskilled, poor and distressed to be an imprudent disservice to evolution and that "severe fate" was the natural process to single out the weak, debauched and disabled.

I noticed, however, that even Spencer was appalled when he visited one of Carnegie's steel works and remarked, "Six months' residence here would justify suicide."

The program pointed out that 1 in 11 steel workers at the time were suffering horrendous injuries or death.  Yet labor unions had only been formed to bargain for wages and working conditions for just the skilled workers, less than 1/4 of the workforce.  Even so, Frick complained about the labor union that represented the skilled workers at the Homestead Steel Works in a letter to Carnegie stating "The mills have never been able to turn out the product they should, owing to being held back by the Amagamated men."  Although Carnegie had publicly claimed to be in favor of labor unions, privately he agreed with Frick and gave his approval to Frick's efforts to break the union at Homestead.

Carnegie's carefully cultivated public personae as a responsible industrialist and generous philanthropist was often used as a smoke screen to obscure his less noble activities.  For example, Carnegie publicly advocated less government while aggressively lobbying for protective trade tariffs that resulted in millions of dollars a year in extra revenue for his companies.

In this documentary, the producers pointed out that the development of Carnegie's benevolent personae was a direct result of the public relations nightmare generated by the Johnstown flood that killed 2,209 people in 1889.

Henry Frick, sometimes called the worst
CEO in American history.  Image courtesy
of Wikipedia.
Carnegie's chairman, Henry Frick, and a group of speculators, developed  an exclusive club for leading business tycoons of Western Pennsylvania, most connected through business dealings to Carnegie Steel.  The club was located  along the shore of Lake Conemaugh behind the South Fork Dam above the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The area had been prone to flooding since its founding by Joseph Johns at the confluence of the Stoney Creek and Little Conemaugh rivers in 1800.  The steep hills of the narrow Conemaugh Valley and the Allegheny Mountains range to the east produced large amounts of runoff from annual rain and snowfall.  This vulnerability was further compounded as the community grew and became the site of Cambria Iron Works who dumped slag from its iron furnaces along the river to create more land for building, but further narrowed the riverbed.

To make matters worse, Frick and his development speculators then lowered the dam,  so the top of the dam could be used as a roadway for Frick and his fellow wealthy clubmembers' carriages. They also built a fish screen in the spillway, the only remaining water control mechanism. A previous owner had already removed and sold for scrap the three cast iron discharge pipes that had been originally used to control the release of water.

A Johnstown house skewered by a tree.
Amazingly, all six people in the house
survived .  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Then the worst downpour ever recorded in the area, 6 - 10 inches of rain in just 24 hours, struck.  Following a night of unrelenting rain, at 3:10 p.m. on May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam collapsed sending a 60 foot wall of water and debris down upon the residents of Johnstown.  The death toll was the largest loss of civilian life in American history until the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.  Wikipedia states the 1900 Galveston hurricane claimed more lives but the program producers must not have agreed.

As is usually the case when the uber rich are involved, the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club was never held legally responsible for the disaster.  The court ruled the disaster an "act of God" and denied the survivors any legal compensation.  But the club members, including Carnegie, were vilified in the national press.  (The court ruling was considered so irresponsible a number of states adopted Rylands v. Fletcher, a British common-law precedent establishing the liability of a landowner with a reservoir for flood damage if the reservoir is not properly maintained.)

Anyway, since then, Carnegie had worked very hard to restore his reputation.

So back to the Homestead Strike of 1892 - just before the confrontation, the union had requested a wage increase in their collective bargaining agreement that was due to expire on June 30, 1892.  Frick countered with a 22% wage decrease and proposed the elimination of a number of positions and that the steel works would become non-union after the expiration of the current contract.  Pointing out that the union only represented the skilled workers at the plant, Carnegie exclaimed the union was "an elitist discriminatory organization that was not worthy of the Republic!"

Frick eventually relented a little and offered a slightly better wage agreement. But the union refused the offer so Frick shuttered the mill the night before the contract expired and built a barricade around the mill to keep workers from returning.  The workers took possession of the mill anyway, determined to prevent operation by strikebreakers imported by Frick.  So Frick called in the Pinkertons to route the workers from the mill using any means necessary.

I had no idea that the Pinkertons at this point in history actually had more firepower than the entire United States military.  When the program explained this and I reacted with incredulity my husband pointed out "Where do you think Blackwater came from?!!"

The Homestead riot / drawn by W.P. Snyder after a
photograph by Dabbs, Pittsburg. Image courtesy of
Wikipedia.


When I further researched this statement, I found it to be absolutely true.  Apparently the Pinkertons by the 1890s had more agents than there were soldiers in the U.S. Army and were often hired by late 19th and early 20th century businessmen to infiltrate unions, block strikers, keep unionists out of factories and even recruit "goon" squads to intimidate workers.  It sounds more like the mob than a reputable security agency!
Anyway, 300 Pinkerton agents armed with Winchester rifles fired on the striking workers at Carnegie's Homestead Steel Works, killing  nine of the men and wounding 23 others.  Seven Pinkerton agents were also killed.

As the program recounted these turbulent events I was totally riveted.  The production was punctuated by short reenactments by professional actors playing the different industrialists in crucial scenes of their careers.  These cut scenes were just enough to draw you into their world and make the program seem more of a drama rather than a documentary.

I would highly recommend this series as a way to understand not only the history of the individuals portrayed but the evolution of industry in the United States and how it impacts our lives today.  I would especially encourage any American history teachers out there to incorporate this series into their curiculum to provide their students with an unvarnished look at the foundations of American capitalism.

9 hours 6 min ago Etruscan strainers at the MET. All the shown examples date to... << Ancient Art











Etruscan strainers at the MET.

All the shown examples date to the 6th-5th centuries BCE and are made of bronze. Strainers were were used at symposiums (drinking parties) to strain the wine or additives mixed into it.

The strainer shown in the first image is one of the most elaborate, and best-preserved, Etruscan strainer handles found to date. The MET provides the following description of this artefact:

The artist has skillfully presented a complex subject on a very small scale in the openwork square just below the handle’s attachment point. Two nude boxers appear to have just finished a bout in which one man has been knocked to his knees. Their trainer or referee holds his arms up to indicate the end of the round. On the underside of the attachment point is a delicately modeled doe lying on a wave-crest border. The handle’s base depicts a bearded male figure with fish-like legs that terminate in bearded snake heads. The strange legs form a perfect circular opening that allowed the patera to be hung when not in use. The sea monster, almost like a merman, may have been intended to ward off evil.

Courtesy of & currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via their online collections12.160.834.11.814.105.365.11.122.139.1711.212.2.

10 hours 18 min ago Islamic State massacre and urbicide of Yezidis << Samuel Hardy (Conflict Antiquities) The precise nature of the horrors suffered by the Yezidis of Jidalê is unclear, but there is photographic evidence of killings of civilians and destruction of civilian property, which reaffirms the evidence that the Islamic State is an urbicidal, genocidal state. The elimination of Jidale On the 24th of August, the Islamic State advanced on […]
10 hours 22 min ago ‘Pompeii of the North’ threatened by land sale << Peter Konieczny and Sandra Sadowski (History of the Ancient World)

A major Roman archaeological site in northern England could be threatened by development, as the Church of England plans to sell off the land it sits on.

Pompeii of the North

The Binchester Roman Fort in County Durham has been billed the ‘Pompeii of the North’ after a five-year archaeological dig uncovered some of the most well preserved remnants of the Roman Empire dating back some 1800 years ago, including one of the earliest pieces of evidence for Christianity in Roman Britain in the shape of a silver ring.

The archaeologists also discovered a bath house with seven-foot high walls, which were once covered with brightly covered painted designs, as well as an altar dedicated to the Roman Goddess of Fortune.

However the land where the 1800-year old Roman settlement is located being sold off as part of 10 plots around Bishop Auckland. The sale is being carried out by the Church Commissioners, which manages properties for the Church of England.

The announcement has prompted fears that the potential new owners could restrict public access to the site, limit archaeological digs, or even build close a house or hotel close to the site.

The Auckland Castle Trust has made a £2 million bid for the two plots of land that the Binchester Roman Fort sits on, and is leading the calls for the site to be protected. Trust Chairman Jonathan Ruffer told media that “Binchester must be secured by someone who has a heart for Bishop Auckland and a deep understanding of the site’s importance in a national and international context.”

The Trust has even launched an online petition that has already garnered over 630 supporters. Click here to see the online petition.

Silver ring with Christian symbols discovered at the Binchester Roman Fort. Photo courtesy Durham University

Silver ring with Christian symbols discovered at the Binchester Roman Fort. Photo courtesy Durham University

The Church Commissioners are disputing the concerns raised by the Auckland Castle Trust. Their spokesman told the Northern Echo: “We are disappointed that such an excellent body as the Auckland Castle Trust do not recognise the statutory protections in operation for Binchester Roman Fort. The statement issued by the trust seems to be creating a scare story in order to further its own objectives to become a preferential purchaser in the sale of land. The process for the sale is transparent and leaves no room for undue influence by any interested party. All offers will be considered without prejudice or preference.”

“Throughout the marketing of this estate the commissioners have been consistent in their dealings with all parties not least existing tenants. We have informed parties that offers should be submitted by September 18 and that no offers prior to that date would be considered. It is disappointing that through their actions Auckland Castle Trust seem to be seeking to manipulate an open and transparent process through the launch of campaign which would result in them being the only potential purchasers of the site.”

Dr David Petts, lecturer in archaeology at Durham University and the leader of the archaeological project at the Binchester Roman Fort, has said that “the most unique feature of these remains is the sheer scale of their preservation. It is possible to walk through a series of Roman rooms with walls all above head height; this is pretty exceptional for Roman Britain.”

You can read his report of the 2012 excavation here.

10 hours 32 min ago LEGO Social Mobility << James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Click here to view the embedded video.

Inequality and social mobility (or lack thereof) in the United States, illustrated with LEGO. HT IO9.

12 hours 5 min ago Leuvense egyptologen ontmaskeren prof << ArcheoNet BE

Als ze niet bezig zijn met het ontcijferen van hiërogliefen, steken egyptologen vaak ook praktisch de handen uit de mouwen. Dat moet toch blijken uit het nieuwe filmpje ‘Leuvense egyptologen ontmaskeren prof’, waarin getoond wordt hoe de egyptologen van de KU Leuven een onderzoeksvraag op experimentele wijze beantwoorden. Niemand minder dan professor Harco Willems diende zich aan als vrijwilliger om een experiment rond Egyptische dodenmaskers tot een goed einde te brengen. In het belang van de wetenschap was hij zelfs bereid om zijn baard af te scheren…

Meer weten over Egyptologie aan de KU Leuven? Surf dan naar arts.kuleuven.be/ono/egypte.

12 hours 38 min ago Design Salaries << Samuel Fee (Arranged Delerium)

A new academic year starts today at W&J. In addition to just learning for the sake of becoming a better human being, so folks are more pragmatic in their thinking and considering what kinds of jobs they might get with their degrees from CIS. Of… Continue reading

12 hours 49 min ago Open Access Archaeology Digest #528 << Open Access Archaeology A nice batch of Open Access (free to read) Archaeology articles:

Notice of the death of Robert Blackader, Archbishop of Glasgow, during a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in the year 1508.
http://bit.ly/10BrvhR

RECONSTRUCTING MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGICAL ORGANISATION AT THE QIJIA JUE EARRING WORKSHOP IN WESTERN ZHOU (1046-771 BC) CHINA
http://bit.ly/17J6ztP

Excavations at the Catstane, Midlothian 1977
http://bit.ly/1aMvMIy

Archaeological Research of the Medieval Settlement on the Position of Rudičevo in Torčec near Koprivnica
http://bit.ly/1bI2mZs

Archaeological Excavations at the Old Town (Stari grad) Site in Ivanec
http://bit.ly/Y5pjUB

Learn more about Open Access and Archaeology at: http://bit.ly/YHuyFK

13 hours 33 min ago $7100 for a Archaeology Book! The Economics of Archaeology Publishing << Doug's Archaeology: Investigating the Profession and Research

In the last few months I have fielded some questions from Tracy at Archaeology in Tennessee and Maria at Sprache der Dinge about publishing in archaeology. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did their questions justice with my short emails. So I am going to spend this week’s blog posts on publishing in archaeology, including DIY publishing digital books. First up the $7200 book.

How Book Publishing Works

While I would love to include journals in this series that is just going to be too much to cover and will have to wait for another series. I am going to discuss monographs a.k.a books. So how do we get the $7200 book. Well for one it is an Encyclopedia with 8015 pages, 2619 illustrations (1828 illus. in color) is 11 volumes and the print version is “only” $5700. Still that is $1-.70 a page. Imagine if you paid $1 per page for the last book you read. How much would that have cost? $150? $220?

Print Costs Pennies

It seems outrageous and then you find out that  the printing costs for books is only a tiny percentage of the total costs. Depending on the quality of the paper and size the cost of printing it is probably only a $1 or $2. Even a single print on demand book, 200 pages long, can be had for about $4-5. Even when you take into account things like shipping, people to stock shelves, and the overhead of a physical location of a bookstore those costs only account for 30% or less of the total costs. A minimum wage worker only adds pennies to the price of a book in a bookstore.

I took a look at print on demand for the $7100 book- about $200-300 to print a book that size (well, that many volumes and split into smaller 350 page books) depending the quality of paper and cover, 5% of the cost. Making it nicer (glossy paper, hardback, etc.) could push the price much higher, around $1000 but that is still only 18% of the price.

Other things that add pennies not dollars to the price:

  • Hardback vs. softback. Hardbacks cost only marginally more expensive than softback books. It costs on average about $3.50 to print most hardbacks. It is 100% a marketing ploy to charge 20-50% more for a hardback and then releasing a “cheaper” softback a few years later.
  • Color vs. black and white. It is amazing how much the big publishers Springer, Evilsevier (Elsevier), etc. will  charge to print figures in color in an Open Access publication. Color images can drive up prices in that they require higher quality paper but overall it is pennies the difference in costs for color printing. When I say pennies even if color costs 100% more, B&W is only $.01 per page so it would be $.02 per page. The cost of 100 page book goes from $1 to $2 if it was 100% color images. It will still retail for $20-30.

Now you might really be questioning how come archaeology books cost so much when it costs $3.50 (about £2.20 in the UK) to print a 150-200 page hardback?

Pitchforks or Dollar Signs

I have run into only two reactions from archaeologists when they find this information out- ‘those greedy bastards’ or ‘my god, I need to publish a book to make money’ (Actually, a third reaction is ‘meh’). The problem is that the picture is much more complicated. For one, most of the costs come from paying the people involved in making the book and the second is that the economic models of publishing are brutal:

The Economics of Mass Media Publishing

The economics of each are very different for each type of publication. There are mass media publications. These are your Jared Diamond type books but I also include fiction works as well. There are quite a few archaeologists who write fiction work.

The most common misconception is that all of publishing works like mass media publishing, it doesn’t. Mass media publishing tends to pay an author an upfront fee and a small percentage of the profits. There are so many different publishers out there that give so many different deals that I can’t possibly list them all. However, the standard is fee upfront and percentage (small) of the profits.

The most important fact to remember is that most books lose money. It is hard to get stats on this and it would vary from publisher to publisher but roughly 1 out 20 books makes money (some claim it is 1 out 100). It is a long tail model. Essentially, about 17-18 books will lose money. 1-2 will break even, but one will pay for all the rest. That one is the Harry Potters of the world but also the Of Mice and Mens too. Think about how many “classics” of literature you have read in school throughout your lifetime. Those classics can sell thousands of copies a year for decades.

However, publishers are always chasing those breakouts and having to take a hit on all the other books they published and didn’t make money from. Moreover, those classics and blockbusters are probably 1 in 5000 or 10,000 books published, if not more. A success is a book that can sell in the low 10s of thousands. 100s of thousands are your blockbusters. This model is built on the idea of selling tens of thousands of copies to individuals for relatively cheap prices 10-20 $/£.

The Economics of Scholarly Publishing

Scholarly publishing makes up the vast majority of archaeology publishing and works on a very different model. These are you PhD thesis turned into a book, lifes work on pottery of small-area-vill, large excavations, and edited books. Edited books being a bunch of different authors contribute a chapter each, usually they come out of a conference or session in a conference. They are very narrow in their subject and focus.

Authors almost never get paid upfront or at all. Contributing to an edited volume means you get paid nothing. Usually, putting together an edited volume pays nothing. Though sometimes you might get a small percentage of the profits (5%, 10% or 15%) or a stipend. These stipends are usually very small and as you will see does not make up for the time spent. Another key difference is that instead of individual people buying these books the vast majority of them are bought by libraries.

The most important fact to remember about scholarly publishing is that the average print run is now around 200-300 books (Gardiner & Musto 2004; Greco &. Wharton 2008; Thompson 2005). Yes, it is very unlikely that more than a few hundred of these books will ever be printed, let alone sold. This has of course changed in the last few decades. In the 1970s print runs use to be into the several thousands but because journals have squeezed library budgets they can no longer afford to buy these books. It is also way you see prices like $7200 for a book. They are banking on probably only selling a few dozen of them (if that) and may not make money on it.  That is a bit extreme but explains how now all new archaeology books are in the 50-100 £/$ range. They are not aimed at individuals, they are aimed at a handful of libraries.  It is the exact reversal of the ‘Mass Media’ publishing which aims for lots of books at a low price.

The second most important fact to remember is that even with those prices some publishers can’t make money off of scholarly books. Many of these books are published by Scholarly societies and small University Presses, not ones like Oxford Press. Most of them just break even or lose money. Most Universities and Scholarly Societies have presses because of the scholarly duty to disseminate knowledge, not to make money.

Economics of Textbooks and How-to Guides

These sort of books fall in between these two extremes. A good textbook that is bought by hundreds if not thousands of students each year for decades is like a mass media publication. However, a how-to guide aimed at a few thousand archaeologists will be closer to scholarly publishing. There is no one model that fits these in between type books.

Why Authors and Publishers Lose Money

The real cost of books is not in their physical or digital production but in people’s time. You can do the math yourself. Let’s say you can write 500 good words an hour. For a six thousand word book that is 120 hours of work. How let’s say you got a stipend to write the book of a $1000 because you are writing a scholarly book. Not counting editing, time spent marketing your book (most author’s end up doing that themselves) , and a whole host of other work accounted for it you are making a whopping $8.30 and hour. When you take into account all the other work involved you might be down to $2 an hour. Now imagine the cost of an editor getting paid a real wage. A book might cost $3.50 to print but $20 to edit.

Percentages are not better. With a miraculously $25 profit on a $100 book but only selling 250 of them you end up with  $125 at 2% profit share and at 20% you make $1,250. Less than minimum wage if you send 120 hours working on it.

DIY Won’t Help

I have heard a lot of people say they will cut out the middle man and publish the book themselves. Well Amazon gives you 70% of the royalties for digital kindle books, minus some downloading costs. The catch is that it is for books between $2.99 and $9.99. Any more or less and you only get 30% royalties. So to get make minimum wage for 200 hours of work (120 writing first draft, 70 hours self editing, 10 hours marketing) you would have to sell 290 digital only books, actually around 300-325 because there are hidden fees. Also, that does not take into account all the other work you do for the book.

There is No Mass Market for Scholarly Archaeology

300 doesn’t seems like a lot and if you are aiming for mass media it is achievable. However, for scholarly work it is probably not obtainable. Think of everyone who has published on the topic of your book. Now cut that in half and cut that number in half again. That is probably the number of individuals that will buy your book. Is it more than 300?

You won’t have access to the libraries. Publishers may not do a lot for you in some cases (edited volumes tend to be put together and edited by others) but they have invested in marketing and access infrastructure. Many librarians won’t entertain self-published work as an option to buy. Also, publishers can make some money by selling books are parts of bundles, you can’t.  The 200-300 sales publishers i.e. university presses and societies, rely on are not available to you. It is a completely different economic model.

Beer Money

I have talked to several archaeologists who have self-published or get a percentage of the profits from their books with publishers. Basically, they end up with beer money. There are a few notable exceptions for some academics who have written textbooks that get bought by hundreds of undergrads each year. Even then when you take into account the time they spent on the book almost none of them have made close to minimum wage, some lose money.

That even counts for people who already did most of the writing for other projects e.g. PhD, CRM project. Yes, you did a lot of the work but you will still put in 40? 80? 100? more hours of work to sell only 100 books.

It not about the money, money

There are a million reasons to publish that is not about the money. People like to share what they know. If you are looking for a career in academia then you need to publish. You could be doing it to get your name out there. People love to hire the person who ‘wrote the book’ on (insert topic).

In no way do I want to discourage people from publishing by talking about the economics but I did want to clear up some misconceptions. I have had way too many conversations with people saying they want to become a professor, publish books, and live off of the royalties of the books….

Consider Open Access

A final thought to leave you with. People won’t read a book that costs $9.99 but will read a free one. Our book, on Blogging and Archaeology, has had at least 1000 downloads in 5 months between just Chris and I’s websites. It was published all over the place and we don’t have the full stats. One of my wife’s coworkers read it after someone in Australia sent it to her. It might have been read by 2-3k so far, but at least 1000 times. If you goal is to disseminate knowledge, get your name known, or make money through other means then consider Open Access. If you are DIY publishing it makes very little sense to charge $9.99 for a book so you can make $2 an hour for your work. If you got a single CRM contract or academic grant because you wrote a book someone read (because it was open access) it will pay 100X the little beer money you would get from 100 people buying your book. Just a thought.

Refs

Gardiner Eileen & Ronald G. Musto. 2004. Electronic Publication: The State of the Question, A paper presented at the 2004 American Philological Association Meeting.

Greco, A.N. and Wharton, R.M. 2008. Should university presses adopt an open access (electronic publishing) business model for all of their scholarly books?. In ELPUB. Open Scholarship: Authority, Community, and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 ñ Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing. L. Chan and S. Mornati, eds, Toronto.

Gardiner Eileen & Ronald G. Musto. 2004. Electronic Publication: The State of the Question, A paper presented at the 2004 American Philological Association Meeting.

Greco, A.N. and Wharton, R.M. 2008. Should university presses adopt an open access (electronic publishing) business model for all of their scholarly books?. In ELPUB. Open Scholarship: Authority, Community, and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 ñ Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing. L. Chan and S. Mornati, eds, Toronto.


13 hours 46 min ago Harness Ornament with Raptors and Carnivores 5th-4th Century... << Ancient Peoples

Harness Ornament with Raptors and Carnivores

5th-4th Century BC

Thracian

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

14 hours 55 min ago Myth of the Gaps << James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Mythicism doesn’t account for gaps in what Paul writes better than mainstream scholarship does.

It just fills those gaps with something different, something which is at odds with what Paul does explicitly say in places.

People who did not previously know about a historical Jesus would be left with  questions after reading one of Paul’s letters. And people who did not previously know about a celestial Jesus would be left with the same kinds of questions after reading one of Paul’s letters.

People want information about other people. And when they believe in gods and celestial beings, they want information about those too.

And so the claim that somehow mythicism makes better sense of the gaps in Paul’s letters is not just bogus, but completely bogus.

And that anyone finds the claim persuasive, suggests to me that they have not given sufficient thought to the matter.

A good biography cannot include every detail, but it must provide enough. And a good myth may not include every detail, but it must provide enough.

And so surely the best explanation for the lack of historical and/or mythicial details in Paul’s letters must be the genre, and not the fact that he thought of Jesus in historical terms, mythical terms, or both.

And while one can certainly read mythicism into the gaps in Paul’s letters, there is nothing in those letters that requires one to do that, and some things Paul says make it much harder to do that. It is most straightforward to fill in missing information that fits with Jesus having been a Jewish person believed to be the messiah who was crucified, as Paul explicitly states, not to mention that this fits with the slightly later Gospels and all other relevant sources as well.

360px-Jesus_in_the_Sky

15 hours 14 min ago Le Fluff et Le Puff ... Bikinis << Dorothy King (PhDiva)
I've blogged several times about ancient 'bikinis' - the tag is here for posts - so we're not going to be going over that old ground.

But I've been wishing I was lounging in the sunshine in Morocco, not in rainy England, and ... one of the things women seem to complain about is the incompatibility of boobs and beachwear, so this is my little attempt at help.

I can't turn you in a Greek goddess, but I can suggest some good brands of bikinis. The only breasts that look good in those tiny little string triangles are silicone ones, otherwise it's a case of buying from a companies that make bra-sized swimwear.


Hoola is a British company that makes pretty, simple designs that start at a 28 band and go up to a GG cup. They are also having an end of summer sale at the moment - here.

I love their Honey Frill Poppy Red Top, although I prefer the other bottoms they did. It offers good support without looking as if it's the Forth Bridge (which so many cupped bikinis do ... eek).
 
I also have their Shimmer Twilight Blue Bandeau Halter in navy and in white ...
The bottoms shown in the photo are fabulously flattering - that's the difference between a high street and a designer bikini: the good brands will make your arse look better from behind.

I wish I'd bought the retro style ruched shorts / pants that go with them ...

Anyway, this is a fabulous brand, and I can't recommend their bikinis enough.

Hoola is also available at ASOS.


Miss Mandalay is another fabulous bikini brand. I have lots of their bikinis but none of the ones currently on their web site here. I have those designs and can vouch for them, but in different patterns or colours, and again they are stocked at ASOS (where they are currently on sale). They go from a 30 band and to a G cup, but the bands tend to be tighter than high street 30s.

Hoola bikinis offer better support than most Miss Mandalay bikinis, except this one - the Sail A Way Bikini Top is a miracle of engineering. It's available with retro or regular bottoms.

I bought this bikini from Fusspot Lingerie which is a simply amazing little shop on the internet that I've purchased from regularly and cannot recommend enough - she posts immediately, and is super lovely.


Pour Moi is a high street brand I've had good luck with some bikinis with ... others were a mixed bag (ie navy that looked black in the flesh ... eek ... my 'pet peeve' is black swimwear which is not slimming and makes white flesh look whiter ... incidentally, 'string' or tie-side bottoms are much more slimming than the big ones women too often try to hide behind). Pour Moi bikinis are available at ASOS and Figleaves.

N.B. - For Americans who say "what?!?! a G cup?!?" ... that's because we measure and size bras differently in the UK from the US. We measure first under the breasts to give the band size - so 29 inches would be rounded up to a 30 band - and then around the breasts for the cup (it's roughly an inch a cup size). In bikinis I tend to go up a band size so that it doesn't dig in, but not down in the cup (bikini cups tend to be smaller than bras, and I'm not a stripper).
15 hours 40 min ago Study claims cave art made by Neanderthals << Archaeological News on Tumblr

A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought.

The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because it indicates that modern humans and their extinct cousins shared the capacity for abstract expression.

The study, released Monday by the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined grooves in a rock that had been covered with sediment. Archaeologists had previously found artifacts associated with Neanderthal culture in the overlying layer, suggesting that the engravings must be older, said Clive Finlayson, one of the study’s authors. Read more.

15 hours 45 min ago Provinciale landschapsdag: Zennegat-Battenbroek << ArcheoNet BE

Op dinsdag 30 september organiseert de provincie Antwerpen haar vijfde provinciale landschapsdag. De landschapsdag vindt dit jaar plaats in Heffen (Mechelen), en zet het waterlandschap rond Zennegat-Battenbroek in de kijker. Hoe gaat de mens om met de rivieren en de getijden? Wat doet dit met het landschap en de natuur? De link tussen de geschiedenis en het landschap dat tot stand is gekomen, wordt toegelicht op de landschapsdag.

Verschillende sprekers zullen in de voormiddag de geschiedenis en het bijhorende landschap bespreken vanuit hun specialiteit. De evolutie van het Zennegat-Battenbroek wordt uitgebreid toegelicht vanaf de prehistorie tot het Sigmaplan. Je krijgt ook zicht op het gebruik en het beheer vn het landschap. Tijdens de namiddag wordt in verschillende excursies dieper ingegaan op onderwerpen uit de presentaties.

Praktisch: de provinciale landschapsdag vindt plaats op dinsdag 30 september in zal De Kettinghe in Heffen. De studiedag is gratis. Het volledige programma, alle praktische informatie en een inschrijvingsformulier vind je op www.provincieantwerpen.be. Inschrijven is mogelijk tot 20 september.

15 hours 56 min ago Old Georgian phrases and sentences 33 (A scribal note by Iovane Zosime) << Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

For students of the languages, literature, and history of Christianity, the horde of manuscripts written or preserved at Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai is among the most valuable collections. Manuscripts there were microfilmed several decades ago, and we can be very grateful that scans of those microfilms have been made accessible through E-corpus. While the images are bitonal, and thus not everything is as readable as we might like, in general the writing is clear (at least in black ink, others less so).

Below is an image from Sin. Geo. 62 (Garitte, Catalogue, pp. 197-209), a hagiographic manuscript of the late tenth century written by Iovane Zosime, from whose pen several manuscripts survive. Here is a note at the end a text where he requests prayer.

Sin. Geo. 62, f. 138vb

Sin. Geo. 62, f. 138vb

With abbreviations resolved, it reads in nusxuri (and an asomtavruli initial):

Ⴜ(ⴋⴈⴃⴀ)ⴌⴍ ⴋⴍⴜⴀⴋⴄⴌⴍ ⴋⴍⴋⴈⴤⴑⴄⴌⴄⴇ ⴜ(ⴈⴌⴀⴘ)ⴄ ⴖ(ⴋⴐ)ⴇⴈⴑⴀ ⴋⴄⴍⴞⴄⴁⴈ

ⴇⴀ ⴇⴕ(ⴍⴣⴄ)ⴌⴈⴇⴀ ⴈⴍⴅⴀⴌⴄ ⴔ(ⴐⴈⴀ)ⴃ ⴚⴍ<ⴃ>ⴅⴈⴊⴈ : ⴊ(ⴍ)ⴚⴅⴀⴗ(ⴀⴅ)ⴊ

In mxedruli:

წ(მიდა)ნო მოწამენო მომიჴსენეთ წ(ინაშ)ე ღ(მრ)თისა მეოხებითა თქ(უე)ნითა იოვანე ფ(რია)დ ცო<დ>ვილი ლ(ო)ც(ვა)-ყ(ავ)თ

The missing ⴃ in ⴚⴍ<ⴃ>ⴅⴈⴊⴈ may be due to an abbreviation, but there is no abbreviation-mark, so I have considered it an accidental omission. (It be must be stated, though, that every single abbreviation is not always so marked.)

Vocabulary and grammatical remarks:

  • მოწამეჲ martyr
  • მო-მ-ი-ჴსენ-ეთ aor impv 2pl O1 მოჴსენება to remember
  • მეოხებაჲ intercession, help
  • ცოდვილი sinner
  • ლოცვა-ყავ-თ aor impv 2pl ლოცვის-ყოფა to pray (< to make a prayer)

Garitte’s LT (209):

Sancti martyres mementote mei coram Deo intercessione vestra, Iohannis valde peccatoris; orate.

My ET:

Holy martyrs, remember me before God, John, the great sinner, through your intercession! Pray!