Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

10 hours 27 min ago Is German Antiquities Legislation "Socialist" (sic), "National Socialist" (sic) or Neither? << Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

A California shopkeeper ('New German Cultural Heritage Protection Legislation' Friday, June 24, 2016) does not like the new German antiquities law:
such legislation clearly reflects a Socialist perspective that "cultural property" is to a significant extent the property of the State in which it is located
while a commentator on the same page contrarily suggests
There seems to be the whiff of: Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer in the air. Perhaps it's me being over sensitive? Now it's easy to see why the UK ditched the unelected Eurocrats - who dream-up the EU's laws - for a return to democracy. .
Whether the legislation concerned claims state ownership of all cultural property has yet to be demonstrated by the shopkeeper. As for seeing Germany as a country of a single ethnicity under a dictatorship, one wonders what xenophobic newspapers this 'sensitive' Brexiter reads. Another claquer of Brexit in the collecting community (though ironically, himself - to judge by the name - from an eastern European immigrant family) agrees that the new law:
brings back bad memories of Germany's totalitarian past.
Though is coy about saying whether he means that of 1933-45 or 1949-1990.Instead of all this empty sniping, it would be good io see teh antiquities dealing and collecting lobbies discussing the actual text, rather than making puerile "looks like" comparisons.

Can we see that?
13 hours 43 min ago Rice in Madagascar point to Southeast Asian origin << Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog) A new paper in PNAS describes the first tangible evidence that Madagascar was colonised by Southeast Asians who probably spoke an Austronesian language. Charred rice and mung beans found in Madagascar are slightly older than their first appearance in East Africa. Ancient crops provide first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1522714113 … Continue reading "Rice in Madagascar point to Southeast Asian origin"
14 hours 6 min ago Khmer ruins emerge from pond in hot season << Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog) Falling reservoir waters caused by the hot season periodically causes ruins to emerge from the ground. One recent example is Tapieng Roun (Khmer – Trapeang?) in Surin province. Khmer ruins revealed as reservoir dries out Bangkok Post, 24 May 2016 The ruins of an ancient Khmer temple have been revealed by the receding water in … Continue reading "Khmer ruins emerge from pond in hot season"
14 hours 50 min ago The Four Corner Tragedy Ends - Five years Later << The Archaeological Review

Perhaps 52 year old Utah antiques dealer Ted Gardiner felt the end justified the means and hey a couple hundred thousand dollars in Ted's pocket all sounded sweet so Ted and his F.B.I. buddies began their two year sting. The sting was meant to stop the destruction of archaeological sites and the illegal trade in native American artifacts particularly in the four corners area of the western United states.

So Ted sets up the video and recording devices and the marks rolled in, over a period of 2 years the F.B.I watched as Ted participated in criminal acts including robberies of Native American graves earning his $7500 a month plus expenses that the Feds were paying him. In 2009 the jig was up with the F.B.I rounding up 26 people charging them with felony indictments and removing truck loads of suspected artifacts from their properties.

People who knew Ted were aware of his love of archaeology and native American culture though one wonders if they noticed the extra money on him? The day after the indictments went down it all began to fall apart when defendant physician James Redd killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning with defendant Steven Shrader killing himself shortly after that.

When one looks at the list of those indicted we see not only people as old as to be in their sixties or even seventies but also that they are mostly locals.  Locals whose families complained of heavy handedness by the police, and Ted became a traitor and an outcast among his associates.

The suicides left Ted with guilt over his actions for the part he played, and the next suicide would be Ted himself leaving the prosecution without their star witness. The F.B.I.'s case was weakened but with the recordings was strong enough to convict the defendants/survivors.

Now all the court cases have been settled with the roughly 10 000 artifacts to be returned to native tribes in the area. A case which started with heavy handed police followed by the tragic suicides and none of the surviving defendants will face jail time all received probation.


Photo: (BLM)
15 hours 43 min ago “A Story Of Us” Podcast <<

Frances Sutton, a graduate student, from the Anthropology Department at OSU, emailed me today to let me know of an interesting project that I’d like to relay to you.


“A Story Of Us” Podcast from the Department of Anthropology at Ohio State University

She and her colleagues have creatged a new podcast called, “A Story of Us,” where they discuss current topics in anthropology as well as OSU’s Anthropology Department research. They hope to bring anthropology to both anthropologists and non-anthropologists. Like this website,, their goal is to ultimately increase public understanding of anthropology. This season will be focused on Migration.

Their podcase can be found on the following sources.

I’ll be subscribing and I hope you do as well!

Filed under: Blog, Organizations, Podcast
16 hours 53 min ago That old bull again! – the recent international conference on Mithras in Italy << Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

vulci_csaba_1I must have missed the announcement, but Csaba Szabo kindly drew my attention to his report on an international conference on Mithraic studies in Italy.  About 50 people attended.  Sadly the long-exploded Cumont theory was in evidence in some papers.  But it sounds as if it was an interesting event.

The main impression that I gained from Dr S.’s report, was that the sub-discipline is in limbo.  The field is too small to support as regular journal, as the ill-fated Journal of Mithraic Studies discovered.  Likewise those studying Mithras are invariably drawn to look at related cults.  It is troubling that at such a conference there was limited discussion of recent archaeology; for it is from archaeology that progress in understanding will be made.

vulci_csaba_13Dr S. also put on his blog some nice photos of the Mithraeum of Vulci.  I am deeply envious – it is impossible to get hold of any printed material about this place – all in Italian – and even a google search on the booklet he mentions, Vulci e i misteri di Mitra: Culti orientali in Etruria, will quickly reveal … no hits!  Oh well.  It’s good to see some interesting pots, tho.  It also clarified that the tauroctony in place in the Mithraeum is clearly a restored copy.  Pity they got the head wrong – Mithras always looks back over his shoulder!

Plaster copy and restoration of the tauroctony.  The head is wrong, tho.

Plaster copy and restoration of the tauroctony. The head is wrong, tho.

17 hours 7 min ago Biblical Faith and Natural Theology, by James Barr << Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online) Biblical Faith and Natural Theology
University of Edinburgh
In Biblical Faith and Natural Theology, based on his 1991 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, James Barr argues that the Bible not only endorses elements of natural theology, but also is heavily dependent on natural theology both in its composition and for its responsible interpretation. Interacting throughout with the influential views of Karl Barth, Barr thus offers a devastating critique of the notion that natural theology is at odds with biblical theology.

17 hours 19 min ago Het archeologisch onderzoek in Mechelen 2014-2015 << ArcheoNet BE

De afgelopen jaren hebben archeologen weer heel wat Mechelse grond verzet. De stedelijke dienst Archeologie maakte een overzicht van de belangrijkste resultaten van het onderzoek uit 2014-2015 in een nieuwsbrief, die je hieronder kunt lezen.

17 hours 48 min ago Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim and Ur << Penn Museum Blog

Ur Project Blog Post June 2016

Last month I wrote about the workers of Ur, and continuing in this theme, this post will focus on the foreman, Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim. “In the handling of the men, he [Sir Leonard Woolley] enjoyed the support of Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim whom he had trained for the task of foreman from 1912 onwards at Carchemish” [Syria] (Mallowan, Memoires of Ur:3). Max Mallowan recounts a story where T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was working at Carchemish and became very ill with typhoid. Hamoudi nursed him back to health with a diet of sour milk. Lawrence credits Hamoudi with teaching him Arabic and initiating him into the ways of Arab life (Mallowan, Memories of Ur:3). In the foreword to the 2013 version of Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Kerry Bolton writes, “When told of the death of Lawrence, Hamoudi exclaimed: ‘It is as if I had lost a son. Tell them in England what I say. Of manhood, the man: in freedom free: a mind without equal: I can see no flaw in him.’”

In 1912, Woolley took over the excavations at Carchemish and worked with both Lawrence and Hamoudi. Excavations were interrupted by World War I, and resumed in 1919. When Woolley started excavations at Ur in 1922, he insisted that Hamoudi be his foreman. Every season Woolley brought Hamoudi from Syria to Ur to help manage the workers. The first four seasons Hamoudi was helped by another foreman, Khalil ibn Jadur, also from Syria, and beginning in season five, Hamoudi was assisted by his sons, beginning with Yahia (seasons 2-12), Ibrahim (seasons 5-10), and Alawi (seasons 8-12). “His three sons, Yahya, Ibrahim, and Alawi, as they grew up came to work for the expedition at Ur; each of them learned their father’s craft and the four together formed a team perfectly coordinated for the job” (Mallowan, Memories of Ur:3). Sadly, right before season 11 was to start, Ibrahim passed away from unknown circumstances, possibly some kind of disease. Woolley also had much to say about Hamoudi and his sons:

“During the whole time, too, Hamoudi—more formally known as Mohammed ibn Sheikh Ibrahim, my foreman at Carchemish in pre-War days, was foreman in charge of the cemetery work; of his skill in excavation, his energy, and his tact in managing men too much could not be said. He was assisted by his sons Yahia, Ibrahim, and later Alawi, all of them admirable foremen; Yahia also acted as photographer, and nearly all the field photographs reproduced in this volume were taken by him” (Woolley, Ur Excavations vol. 2 The Royal Cemetery:8).

RS16253_PA-PH-B17-F01-009a-LP38Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim 1926. (Leon Legrain Photo Archives)

Hamoudi and his sons were at Ur days before the rest of the expedition arrived, digging the house out from underneath the windblown sand and organizing the workers so the expedition could start excavations the day after arriving at Ur.

Hamoudi and Woolley on site 1931-2. (Woolley Field Photos 191953)Hamoudi and Woolley on site 1931-2. (Woolley Field Photos 191953)

Mallowan says of Hamoudi:

“The men knew two things about him: that he was of good family, and that he was incorruptible; he himself taught me that in order to command it was necessary both to be loved and to be feared. He had a dynamic personality which could transmit energy to others; but he was sensitive, and when the men were tired never pushed them beyond endurance. He knew every man and his foibles; could hold up the truculent to ridicule; could humble the proud and elevate the lowly; he had no favourites. As he was a splendid mimic he could make the men laugh at will, or when necessary induce a sense of shame. With his mixture of sarcasm, invective and flattery no man could recline in peace. Hamoudi knew the value of song and for that purpose invoked a tall, lean boatman who used to make the movements of a punt-pole with his spade as he led the chorus for a chant in which our Arabs felt themselves gliding in a light skiff through the marshes by night. It was his forceful character that kept the men going from sunrise to sunset throughout the long day. Between him and Woolley there was a rare understanding, a devotion best described in Hamoudi’s words: ‘We have broken much bread together.’ ”(Mallowan, Memories of Ur:3)

As our project is wrapping up, it seems only right to make the last post about Hamoudi and how he helped Woolley to excavate the site of Ur. Without this help Woolley would not have been able to complete his work at Ur. To learn more about the people who worked at Ur, check out our site.

18 hours 3 min ago Antiquities Dealer Arrested in Athens, Greece << Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Have you bought anything from this man? '' Ekathimerini 21.06.2016
18 hours 48 min ago We interrupt your usual broadcast to bring you the following announcement…Latin! We will be... << Ancient Peoples

We interrupt your usual broadcast to bring you the following announcement…Latin!

We will be posting a series of Latin quotes from both the Satires of Persius and Juvenal over the coming days. Some of the quotes have been taken out of their original context simply because they are beautiful examples of Latin, however, if you wish to know the original context of a specific quote, or about the translations themselves, do not hesitate to ask.

We now return you to your usual broadcast stream of the 24 hour meme network.

18 hours 57 min ago Paperless antiquities and that hoary old "from a Swiss family collection" excuse << Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Supposing you are offered a marble Roman head which you are told was from a Swiss family collection,” whinges Günter Puhze, a Freiburg-based dealer in antiquities. “How could you get an export licence from the country of origin without knowing exactly where it was dug up, maybe decades ago? Would you have to go to all the states that were once part of the Roman Empire?”

“Supposing you are offered a marble Roman head which has the documentation you need to demonstrate it has a verifiable collecting history which shows it  was licitly acquired and exported from the source country". Well, obviously the responsible dealer guarding his reputation would buy the one, and not give the other shelf space in his stockroom. Maybe Gunter Puhtze will buy the paperless one. He certainly seems to be indicating here that this is the case. Swiss collectors get your paperwork in order before trying to cash in on Granddaddy's art stash. After all, it could also be Holocaust art, couldn't it? 

19 hours 4 min ago Open Access Journal: Hispania Epigraphica << Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online) [First posted in AWOL 17 September 2009. Updated 28 June  2016]

Hispania Epigraphica
ISSN 1132-6875
ISSN-e 1988-2424
Es un revista crítica de actualización y bibliografía en Epigrafía, relativa a la Península Ibérica en la Antigüedad, hasta la época visigoda inclusive. Destinada a especialistas, investigadores y público interesado tanto en aspectos relacionados con la Epigrafía, como en la Historia, Arqueología, Filología y cuantas ciencias puedan verse implicadas en el estudio sobre textos antiguos en soporte epigráfico.
The inscriptions in Hispania Epigraphica are accessible also in Hispania Epigraphica Online, with full data and pictures.



Vol 20 (2014): HEp 2011


Vol 19 (2013): HEp 2010


19 hours 23 min ago << Archaeology Magazine

Siberia Medieval FurnacesIRKUTSK, RUSSIA—Beneath a road used by tourists traveling to the popular destination of Lake Baikal, archaeologists have discovered a medieval forge dating to about A.D. 1000. Led by Irkutsk National Research Technical University's Artur Kharinsky, members of the team first noticed the site when they spotted slag on the surface of the road. The Siberian Times reports that remote sensing at the spot showed the presence of two underground structures, which after excavation were found to be stone furnaces that would have been used to smelt iron ore for knives and arrowheads. "Judging by the amount of iron, which can be produced with such forges, the locals managed not only to meet the needs of their own territory, but also to export production to neighboring areas," says Kharinsky. It's likely the forge was used by the medieval Turkic-speaking Kurykan people, who were know for their blacksmithing abilities. To read more about medieval-era archaeology in Siberia, go to “Fortress of Solitude.”

19 hours 23 min ago << Archaeology Magazine

Hippos Sanctuary Gateway


HAIFA, ISRAEL—LiveScience reports that recent excavations at the Greco-Roman city of Hippos near the Sea of Galilee may shed light on the discovery last year of a remarkable bronze mask depicting the half-man half-goat god Pan. University of Haifa archaeologist Michael Eisenberg led a team that unearthed a six-foot-tall Roman gate near a stone building where the mask was found, leading him to speculate that the gate might have led to a sanctuary dedicated to Pan. "The mask, and now the gate in which it was embedded, are continuing to fire our imaginations," Eisenberg says. "The worship of Pan sometimes included ceremonies involving drinking, sacrifices and ecstatic rituals, including nudity and sex. This worship usually took place outside the city walls, in caves and other natural settings." The possible sanctuary was located near the city gates and was constructed sometime during the reign of Hadrian, who was emperor from A.D. 117 to A.D. 138. To read more about Roman cults, go to "Saving the Villa of the Mysteries."

19 hours 23 min ago << Archaeology Magazine

Israel-Medieval-LampASHEKELON, ISRAEL—Lifeguard Meir Amsik was out for his regular run on a beach at Tel Ashkelon National Park when he discovered a clay oil lamp eroding out of a costal cliff. After showing it to a colleague, the two decided to contact the Israel Antiquities Authority and alert specialists to the find. Archaeologist Sa’ar Ganor then examined the artifact and dated it to the twelfth century A.D., the Crusader Period. “Finding such a treasure is very exciting,” Amsick told the Jerusalem Post. “Just to feel like a part of history fulfills a sense of appreciation for what was here before me, and makes me feels like a link in the chain.” To read about the discovery of coins in Israel dating to the time of the Bar-Kokhba rebellion, go to “Artifact: Roman Coins in Israel.”

19 hours 24 min ago Medieval weapon-making foundry discovered on shore of Lake Baikal << Archaeological News on Tumblr Archaeologists walking to a beauty spot on Lake Baikal chanced across the ‘unique’...
20 hours 23 min ago James T. Kirk vs. Jesus: Smackdown << James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix) Jim Davila drew attention to an article in The Times of Israel, highlighting some fascinating details in the new book The Fifty-Year Mission: The First Twenty-Five Years. The part of the article that really grabbed me begins with a quote from Richard Colla: “By the time they got into the alien’s presence, it manifested itself and said, ‘Do [Read More...]
20 hours 30 min ago "ut nemo in sese temptat descendere, nemo." << Ancient Peoples “ut nemo in sese temptat descendere, nemo.”


“No one tries to descend into themselves, no one.”

Persius (34 - 62 AD) Satire 4.23

20 hours 56 min ago How Castration And Opera Changed The Skeleton Of 19th Century Singer Pacchierotti << Kristina Killgrove (Forbes) Researchers studying the skeletal remains of famous opera singer Gaspare Pacchierotti have discovered several changes to his bones as a result of both castration and his singing technique.
22 hours 12 min ago AIA TOURS’ “In the Wake of the Vikings” cruise, Glasgow to Copenhagen, June 2016 << Archaeological Institute of America blogs

We passed through some stunning landscapes during the AIA-sponsored “In the Wake of the Vikings” voyage, and Shetland certainly ranked high on the list. This year, the sun was shining and the views were tremendous as we visited one of the most well-known multi-period archaeological sites in the UK: Jarlshof.

22 hours 12 min ago Indo-European warriors in the Hindu Kush << Farrago 'It is commonly admitted that the parent language possessed an adjectival suffix *-es- which served to create compound adjectives from neuter s-stem nouns. The type is usually illustrated by pointing to equations like δυσμενής = Skt. (not RV) durmanas-, Gatha-Av. dužmanah-, Late Av. dušmanah 'having an evil mind' from which a nom. sg. *dus-menēs is reconstructable.'

T. Meissner. S-stem nouns and adjectives in Greek and Proto-Indo-European: a diachronic study in word formation. (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2006): 161.

An Internet forum featured a discussion of the origins, spread, and modern use of this word in Hindi, Urdu, and beyond, especially on as spoken by a correspondent's grand-mother (!). More at Wiktionary, s.v.

The adjective is familiar from Greek poetry, but also appears in non-literary inscriptions (late 6th c. BC Arcadian; mid 5th c. Cretan  (a) (b)).

In this video, the eponymous faction of the Hezb-e-Islami is seen with its leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan, at some time probably in the 1980s.

Listen to the word they sing over and over.

There's more from or about Hekmatyar elsewhere on Youtube.

The adjective δυσμενής appears in some Argive inscriptions (Colvin 2007, no. 38 = Buck, no. 85 = Schwyzer, no. 83a) and, according to Colvin (2007: 142), is 'found also in Crete, Gortyn Law Code'.

Colvin's reference must be VI 46 (near the end of that column: see above), where Schwyzer, DGE 179 has αἰ κ ἐδδυσμενίανς πε|ρα[θε͂ι κ]ἐˉκς ἀλλοπολίας (cf. SEG XXIII 567): 'if one is sold into hostile hands,... (Buck 1955: 327).

This section is damaged, particularly at this point in this line, as the close-up below shows:

Line 46 is the middle of the three lines in the close-up.

More recent editions have (ll. 46-50): vac. αἰ κ’ ἐδδυσ̣[άμενον] πέ|ραν[νδε] ἐκς ἀλλοπολίας ὐπ’ ἀν|άνκας ἐκόμενος κελομένοˉ τι|ς λύσεται, ἐπὶ το͂ι ἀλλυσαμέν|οˉι ἔˉμεˉν πρίν κ’ ἀποδο͂ι τὸ ἐπιβά|λλον.
'If someone liberates another on account of an obligation towards him from some city because he was found out of the boarder ...' (the translation from a locally-obtained guidebook). Better, Willetts (1967: 44): 'If anyone, bound by necessity (ὑπ ἀνάγκης ἐχόμενος), should get a man gone away to a strange place set free from a foreign city at his own request,...'.

We should not conclude too much about the attestation and distribution of a compound adjective from a gap on the stone (and on its casts).
22 hours 13 min ago Gezocht: medewerker voor archeologische inventaris Brussel << ArcheoNet BE

De Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis zijn momenteel op zoek naar een wetenschappelijk medewerker (m/v) die zal instaanvoor de inventaris van de archeologische sites in het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest. Kandidaten hebben een masterdiploma archeologie of geografie en beschikken over twee jaar aantoonbare ervaring op het vlak van historisch GIS en oude cartografie. Solliciteren voor deze voltijdse functie (1 jaar) kan nog tot 11 juli.

Je vindt de volledige vacature op

22 hours 18 min ago Roman mosaic unearthed in wheat field in Turkey's Kırıkkale << Archaeological News on Tumblr A Roman-era mosaic, estimated to date back to the 2nd century, has been unearthed in the Central...
22 hours 31 min ago "est aliquid quo tendis et in quod derigis arcum? an passim sequeris corvos testaque lutoque, securus..." << Ancient Peoples “est aliquid quo tendis et in quod derigis arcum? an passim sequeris corvos testaque lutoque, securus quo pes ferat, atque ex tempore vivis?”


“Is there something you are heading for, a target for your bow? Or are you indiscriminately chasing crows with bricks and clods of mud, not caring where your feet take you? Is your life an improvisation?”

Persius (34 - 62 AD) Satire 3.60-62