HAIFA, ISRAEL—The Jerusalem Post reports that archaeologists led by researchers from the University of Haifa and the German Archaeological Institute have recovered a large number of 7,000-year-old olive pits in northern Israel. The early famers in the Tel Beit She’an Valley also grew wheat, barley, buckwheat, lentils, and peas, and they raised goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs. But the olive trees may have required an artificial irrigation system. “The existence of an ancient agricultural system that relies on artificial irrigation will require a significant change in how we perceive their agricultural sophistication,” said project leader Daniel Rosenberg. To read more about the period, go to "The Neolithic Toolkit."
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—Live Science reports that a team of researchers, including an imaging specialist, a forensic Egyptologist, and a sculptor, reconstructed the face of an Egyptian mummy whose head was discovered in the collections of the University of Melbourne. The wrappings and style of embalming suggest that the person lived at least 2,000 years ago. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the embalmed head revealed that the mummy’s skull was intact, and that the individual suffered from two tooth abscesses. The scans also allowed the scientists to measure the skull. Its size suggests it belonged to a woman who was probably not more than 25 years old when she died. “We noticed that the top of her skull is very thin. It is extremely porous,” added biological anthropologist Varsha Pilbrow of the University of Melbourne. This condition may have been brought on by malaria or a flatworm infection. The researchers think the mummy’s head came to the university in the early twentieth century among the collections of archaeologist Frederic Wood Jones. To read about a recently discovered tomb containing a mummy, go to "Tomb of the Chantress."
Naar aanleiding van de ontwikkeling van een nieuw logistiek park in Verrebroek (Beveren) door Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever, werd vorige zomer gestart met de grootste steentijdopgraving in Vlaanderen. Tijdens Open Monumentendag, op zondag 11 september, wordt deze archeologische site voor het eerst opengesteld voor het grote publiek. Kom dus mee ontdekken hoe een opgraving in zijn werk gaat en kijk mee naar sporen uit de steentijd onder begeleiding van echte archeologen.
De gratis rondleidingen vinden plaats om 10u30, 13u en 15u. Inschrijving op voorhand is verplicht om teleurstelling te voorkomen. Reserveren kan tot 7 september via firstname.lastname@example.org of via 03/766.41.89.
Waar? Logistiek Park Waasland fase West, Verrebroekstraat, 9120 Beveren-Waas. Park-and-ride in de Schoorstraat, tegenover de archeologische site.
The Kenchreai Archaeological Archive (KAA) is an archival resource that assembles and provides access to written, visual and digital records produced by fieldwork at the ancient port of Kenchreai near Corinth in Greece. KAA is a project of the American Excavation at Kenchreai, which operates with a permit from the Greek Ministry of Culture and under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Kenchreai in Pleiades
Historical Chronology The Kenchreai Cemetery Project The Chicago/Indiana/Vanderbilt Excavations sponsored by the American School The Archaeological Site of Kenchreai in Greece
Presented by Larry Coben, founder of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative and an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Archaeological sites are disappearing at a rapidly accelerating rate. While destruction by ISIS gets all the press, the primary causes of cultural heritage loss are economic: commercial and residential development and encroachment, mining, energy, agriculture and looting to name a few. If the source of the problem is economic, so must the solutions be.
De Europese Commissie heeft vandaag een voorstel ingediend om 2018 uit te roepen tot ‘Europees Jaar van het cultureel erfgoed’. Zo wil men de rol die erfgoed speelt bij de bevordering van een gedeeld historisch en identiteitsgevoel, in de kijker zetten. “Ons erfgoed is meer dan de herinnering aan ons verleden; het is onze sleutel voor de toekomst,” aldus Europees commissaris Tibor Navracsics. “Het Europees Jaar vormt een kans om mensen bewust te maken van het sociale en economische belang van cultureel erfgoed en om de leidende rol van Europa op dit gebied te ondersteunen. Ik roep het Europees Parlement en de Raad op ons voorstel te steunen en ik nodig alle belanghebbenden uit van het Europees jaar een succes te maken.”
Lees meer op ec.europa.eu.
Every now and then I get an idea that percolates through my head on a run or a walk on a sunny fall afternoon. Usually these ideas dissipate with my growing exhaustion or once I return to the distraction of daily work. Mostly they’re just bad ideas.
Anyway, I’ve been turning over in my head an idea to connect entrepreneurial practice to the humanities in an explicit way. I suspect this came from reading an endless series of books on the crisis of the humanities. These books are as disheartening as they are facile, but they can – if taken in the right doses (almost homeopathically) – stimulate thought.
So here’s my idea:
There is pretty good evidence that humanities majors make more money in the long run than students with professional and pre-professional degrees (although the results are complex) and are competitive in the long run with folks with various STEM degrees. Because the humanities do not provide a neatly defined set of skills that transfer directly to professional context, they have suffered particularly at state universities where short-term student debt, local economic pressures, and the political agendas of various stakeholders encourage the immediate value of professional disciplines often trumps the more complicated and politically risky, long-game of the humanities.
Most professional humanists will concede that the larger project of the humanities has little to do with income, earnings, or professional training. At the same time, most of us exist in a world where certain aspect of market capitalism holds sway. We get paid to do our jobs, leverage our accomplishments for various forms of advancement, and even hold professional degrees (the Ph.D.) as a defining credential. As a result, we become deft navigators of the world of capital, learn to develop our ideas, and balance the demands of an increasingly neoliberal academy while recognizing our privileged positions, our responsibilities, and the limits of the system in which we work.
These challenges have not discouraged people in the humanities for being entrepreneurs in both a conventional sense and within academia. In fact, projects like organizing a national writers conference, producing a regular radio show on public philosophy, publishing a struggling literary journal, developing a digital press, or conducting collaborative research projects all involve entrepreneurial skills and real world challenges all mediated by a persistent commitment to humanistic practices and inquiry.
My idea would be a monthly, TED-style presentation from a humanities entrepreneur. The presentation would be brief, talk about challenges, risks, and decision making and followed by a question-and-answer session that’s either moderated or free form.
The goals of this program would be three:
1. To demonstrate in a real world context how advanced training the humanities prepares people for the challenges, risks, and opportunities of entrepreneurial enterprise.
2. To make clear that being a entrepreneur involves understanding neoliberal practices in the academy and the society, but not necessarily accepting them or advancing them. Being an entrepreneur can be subversive.
3. To share basic entrepreneurial skills and strategies developed in the context of humanities project with the larger community.
Finally, this is a low-investment program designed to demonstrate, broadly, how humanities education can prepare students and faculty not only to survive in the current economic climate, but to change it for the better. As the program expands we could invite similarly trained entrepreneurs from the community to participate, develop an online video archive, and even coordinate social events that bring together like-minded people from the community to meet and share ideas.
What do you think?
Here’s a guest entry by my correspondent Ben Bishop who’s doing a project on Medieval scabbard mounts using data from the Portable Antiquites Scheme (PAS).
I am researching medieval English scabbard chapes formed of folded copper alloy. They date from the period c. AD 1050–1300. The overwhelming majority are fragmentary when found and recognisable by the most decorative elements (shield for the mounted warrior, dragon head for the winged dragon). They are spread across England, including the Isle of Wight. The counties that are richest in these objects are Wiltshire (particularly L shaped chapes), Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, with a fair number from Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.
My project is a voluntary research paper based on my university dissertation. It is a classification of this material that may one day form a PAS datasheet accessible to the public. I have liaised with several metal detectorists and Finds Liason Officers from the PAS. I am analysing the iconography, manufacture and relationship of these chapes to other medieval dress accessories and scabbard fittings. They are fascinating and many show scenes that have no comparisons in medieval metalwork or sculpture.
Most are slender, measuring 20-60 mm in height and 20-40 mm in width. This object type follows a defined pattern, but examples are unique and contain individual decoration. They are L, J, V or U shaped, formed from one piece of copper alloy folded along the seam and riveted through the arm terminal and the plate. They are open and closed work mounts, some similar in appearance to strap ends.
They are a unique group, with many unique elements, like terminals or attachment arms. Several are themselves decorative creatures, open mouthed Viking beasts or fists. They contain a diverse range of scenes that range from simple geometric shapes or curvilinear lines to zoomorphic imagery. The most decorative are birds, horses with reins, copulating wolves, winged horses, dragons, mounted warriors and riders grappling stag like creatures. Later variations are U shaped, with incised scallops on the face or fleurs-de-lis. These generally have a cross engraved or etched into the reverse which is often crude and may be a maker’s mark.
Although they contain elements of the Ringrike, Urnes and Romanesque styles they do not adhere to the stereotypical art styles of the Late Viking Period. They are separate from the formulaic chapes of the high medieval era. European connections are unknown, but comparable examples to those found on the 2010 ‘Four knife sheath chapes’ blog entry here have been discovered.
As mentioned, most of these objects are fragmentary and only analysis of multiple examples can provide reliable information. Over 200 folded bifacial scabbard or sheath chapes have been recovered. Over 95% were recovered by metal detectorists and recorded through the support of groups like the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Many new types are emerging through this cooperation, but little has been published and most analysis is based on assessment of a singular find.
I have accessed all relatively accessible published examples on the PAS and in literature, I have searched metal detector forums for examples but I would appreciate any help you can give me.
If you know of any published, unpublished, found or excavated examples or have any suggestions all feedback would be gratefully received. If you have discovered any yourself, or similar items it would be fascinating to have your input. If you would like any more information on the project or any particular aspects please let me know at ben.bishop27 at gmail dot com.