Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

3 hours 31 min ago How to make stronger arguments << Michael E. Smith (Publishing Archaeology)
My paper "How can archaeologists make better arguments?" has recently been published in the SAA Archaeological Record. While this is just a short paper in a non-peer-reviewed newsletter, I think it is one of my more important publications. Many aspects of contemporary archaeology -- particularly the archaeology of complex societies -- annoy and depress me. I use this blog to blow off steam about issues of data, theory, empirical adequacy, quality control, and such. I have come to the realization much of my dissatisfaction with publishing today revolves around the low quality of the empirical arguments in much of the literature today. People draw conclusions that are not warranted by the data, and then those results become enshrined as facts for future research and publishing (they are published! by a well-known archaeologist! they must be true!). Yet they are not facts at all; they are speculations with little empirical content.

I did some sniffing around the internet for my graduate theory seminar last year. I found that the topic of making arguments, like other epistemological topics, was rarely covered in graduate theory classes in the U.S. This surprised me at first, but then it made sense. If graduate students weren't getting training in how to make a rigorous argument -- how to test models with data, how to use theory to construct causal arguments -- then this helps explain the sorry state of archaeological argument. The alternative to rigorous empirical epistemology is philosophical, abstract theory, without much empirical content.

It seemed to me that rather than just ranting and raving about theory and epistemology in this blog, I should write a clear and direct guide to empirical arguments in archaeology. Some of the intellectual background is provide in my 2011 urban theory paper, but the new article is short and direct. So, if you haven't seen it yet, please download the paper and read it. And then please follow the advice. I want you to have a clearer view of archaeological epistemology, and I want you to make better arguments. This is not altruism on my part; instead, this advice comes from my distress at the state of archaeological knowledge today. If everyone were to make better arguments, the whole field would be vastly improved and perhaps I could stop being embarrassed when I have to explain away sloppy archaeological papers to my colleagues in other disciplines.

Smith, Michael E.    2015    How can Archaeologists Make Better Arguments? The SAA Archaeological Record 15(4): 18-23.

Smith, Michael E.    2011    Empirical Urban Theory for Archaeologists. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 18:167-192.
5 hours 35 min ago Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: October 12 << 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. If you are a Pinterest user, you might enjoy following the Bestiaria Latina at Pinterest, and there is also a LatinLOLCat Board.

HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem quartum Idus Octobres.

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


TINY PROVERBS: Today's tiny proverb is: Teipsum inspice (English: Examine yourself).

3-WORD MOTTOES: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Dictis factisque simplex (English: In words and deeds, simple).

ANIMAL PROVERBS: Today's animal proverb is Noli irritare leonem (English: Do not irritate the lion).

POLYDORUS: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Iustitia in sese virtutes continet omnes (English: Justice contains in itself all the virtues).

PROPER NAME PROVERBS: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Naviget Anticyras (English: Let him go to Anticyrae; from Adagia 1.8.52 - You could find hellebore in Anticyrae, which was reputed to be a cure for madness).

GREEK PROVERBS: Today's proverb is Ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεὸς (English: The proverbial Deus ex machina; find out more at Wikipedia).

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

And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:

Vive tua sorte contentus.
Live and be content with your lot in life.

Coniugem ama.
Love your spouse.


MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Canis et Umbra, the famous story of the dog fooled by his own reflection.

FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Ursus et Apes, the story of a bear who is his own worst enemy (this fable has a vocabulary list).

Ursus et Apes

Amy Burvall's History for Music Lovers. Here is today's video: Illuminated Manuscripts ("Nowhere Man" by the Beatles), which you can watch at YouTube also.

6 hours 30 min ago Borobudur to be marketed as a Buddhist pilgrimage site << Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Am Indonesian Minister has said that he wants to turn the 7th century Javanese monument into a Buddhist pilgrimage site.

 Tempo 20151004

Borobudur. Source: Tempo 20151004

Borobudur Planned to be Mecca for Buddhists
Tempo, 04 October 2015

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli said that he would make the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to become the main tour destination for Buddhists from around the world.

“We want Borobudur to become the Mecca for Buddhists. Just like Muslims, they always want to go on hajj pilgrimage before they die,” Rizal said when opening an event called Tribute to Batik in Jakarta on Saturday, October 3, 2015.

Rizal, who was the former coordinating economic minister during President Abdurrahman Wahid’s era, claimed that the Borobudur temple was more beautiful than the Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Therefore, Rizal said that the Borobudur Temple must become a religious tour destination for Buddhists.

Full story here.

6 hours 31 min ago Job: A/Professor in Anthropology, University of Hawaii Hilo << Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

UH Hilo is looking for a new professor with a specialty in Pacific Paleobotany to start next August. Application details here.

Teach graduate and undergraduate courses in human-environment interactions with a preferred topical specialty in Pacific paleobotany, but other paleoenvironmental specializations will be considered; advise students; contribute to program development, including the establishment of a paleoenvironmental laboratory through grant funding; conduct research; contribute to curriculum and advising in UH Hilo’s Heritage Management M.A. degree program, serve on university committees, engage in scholarly activities and/or creative endeavors which contribute to the mission of the University. Perform service to the University and community.

6 hours 40 min ago Statues discovered near Banteay Srey << Noel Tan (The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog)

Two small statues dating to the 10th century were discovered in Banteay Srey last week during the excavation of a water channel.

 Phnom Penh Post 20151013

Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151013

Angkor worksite reveals 2 statues
Phnom Penh Post, 06 October 2015

Authorities at the Angkor Temple Complex in Siem Reap province yesterday announced the discovery of two statues dating from the 10th century, uncovered during the digging of a water channel.

In a statement released on its website, the Apsara Authority, which runs and manages the Unesco World Heritage site, said the two statues will be sent to archaeologists for research purposes.

“We found them while digging a small canal around the Banteay Srey temple,” said Apsara Authority spokesperson Chao Sun Kerya.

The canal is intended to hold rainwater runoff currently gathering in the temple.

Full story here.

8 hours 2 min ago Open Access Journal: NGSBA Archaeology (The Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology) << Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)  [First posted in AWOL 13 January 2914, updated 12 October 2015 [links changed; volume 3 added]

NGSBA Archaeology (The Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology)
ISSN 2227-9008
NGSBA Archaeology is our platform for presenting the results of our fieldwork. The contents consist mainly of reports on salvage archaeology projects conducted by Y.G. Archaeology under NGSBA oversight. But from time to time reports of our community archaeology and research projects will also be published. We will also accept field reports of projects executed by other organizations. The journal is peer reviewed, edited by David Ilan, the director of the NGSBA, and is overseen by a board of editors. It will appear more or less annually—depending on the quantity of material available for publication—in print and digital form. The digital version can be downloaded from our website for free. 

Volume 3 (2015)
Volume 2 (2013) 
Volume 1 (2012)

8 hours 11 min ago Pierre Vinclair, De l'épopée et du roman. Essai d'énergétique comparée << Compitum - publications


Pierre Vinclair, De l'épopée et du roman. Essai d'énergétique comparée, Rennes, 2015.

Éditeur :
390 pages
ISBN : 978-2-7535-4059-0
22 €

On considère habituellement que la multiplicité des genres littéraires ne renvoie qu'à des façons différentes de composer les oeuvres. Dans cette perspective, rien n'interdirait de produire, aujourd'hui encore, des épopées. Pourtant, depuis la Renaissance, l'échec relatif des tentatives épiques comme la remarquable prolifération formelle des romans semblent infirmer cette conception – au point que l'on serait tenté d'en conclure à la caducité définitive de l'épopée. Les enjeux d'un tel diagnostic dépassent le cadre de la seule histoire des formes littéraires: car avec l'avènement du roman, c'est aussi une manière de penser qui a pris le pas sur une autre. Dans notre imaginaire narratif, l'épreuve a laissé place à l'expérience, un logos collectif à la conscience, et la politique à l'éthique. Tout en se fondant sur la lecture précise d'épopées, occidentales (l'Odyssée, l'Énéide) comme orientales (Heike monogatari,Ramayana), et de romans, classiques (Le Rouge et le Noir, Madame Bovary) comme populaires (Shuihu zhuan, Les Mystères de Paris), cet essai développe une méthodologie originale. Au croisement de la philosophie, de l'anthropologie culturelle et de la narratologie, l'énergétique comparée se propose de reconstruire l'effort de chaque genre, c'est-à-dire le fonctionnement symbolique qui permet aux dispositifs narratifs de penser selon un certain mode. S'appuyant sur l'analyse du roman pour caractériser l'épopée et réciproquement, elle explique l'infortune des tentatives modernes d'épopée, et envisage les conditions d'une littérature, de nouveau, véritablement politique.

Source : LCDPU

8 hours 11 min ago E. Lavezzi et T. Picard , L'artifice dans les lettres et les arts << Compitum - publications


E. Lavezzi et T. Picard (dir.), L'artifice dans les lettres et les arts, Rennes, 2015.

Éditeur : Presses Universitaires de Rennes
Collection : Interférences
544 pages
ISBN : 978-2-7535-4145-0
26 €

Ce volume propose une analyse lexicologique, axiologique et généalogique de la notion d'artifice dans les lettres et les arts. Les études couvrent une longue période (de la Grèce antique à nos jours) et concernent divers genres littéraires (récit, théâtre, poésie, essai, portrait, mémoires, roman, critique d'art), de nombreux arts (peinture, opéra, danse, musique, photographie, cinéma) et des domaines variés (rhétorique, esthétique, technologie, tactique militaire, pornographie).

Source : Presses universitaires de Rennes

8 hours 46 min ago Remind you of someone? << Rob Cain (Ancient Rome Refocused)

maxresdefaultWhat British Actor, who played a key classical role in the glory days of Hollywood, does this person remind you of?   Name the classical personage, name the British Actor, name the real actor.

Is it just me?

9 hours 32 min ago Reminder: Archeologisch Forum 2015 << ArcheoNet BE

FVA_logo_grootGraag herinneren we nog even aan de negende contactdag van het Forum Vlaamse Archeologie, die nu zaterdag plaatsvindt in Kortrijk. Inschrijven voor het Archeologisch Forum 2015 kan nog tot en met woensdag 14 oktober. De contactdag draait dit jaar rond het centrale thema ‘Is de bodem bereikt? De mens achter de archeologie’. Het programma en meer info vind je op

9 hours 44 min ago Open Access Book: Writing Self, Writing Empire Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary << AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources
Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary.

Author: Kinra, Rajeev.
Published: California: University of California Press, 2015.
394 p.
ISBN: 9780520286467 (pbk. : alk. paper) 0520286464 (pbk. : alk. paper)

"Writing Self, Writing Empire examines the life, career, and writings of the Mughal state secretary, or Munshi, Chandar Bhan 'Brahman' (d. c.1670), one of the great Indo-Persian poets and prose stylists of early modern South Asia. Chandar Bhan's life spanned the reigns of four different emperors, Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-1627), Shah Jahan (1628-1658), and Aurangzeb 'Alamgir (1658-1707), the last of the 'Great Mughals' whose courts dominated the culture and politics of the subcontinent at the height of the empire's power, territorial reach, and global influence"
9 hours 50 min ago Which languages do you think should be taken to study along side Egyptology and is a language required at all? Thanks! << Ancient Peoples

Recommended languages for taking Egyptology? French, German, Italian, Polish, and occasionally Spanish. Mostly French and German though, as they have large fieldwork projects out in Egypt. A lot of research isn’t published in English, so it’s vital you get to some kind of fluency (even if it’s just being able to read the basics and understand the gist of an article) before you undertake a degree in Egyptology.

10 hours 6 min ago Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen zoekt projectmedewerker kerkinventarissen << ArcheoNet BE

roborst_kerkDe dienst Erfgoed van de provincie Oost-Vlaanderen is op zoek naar een tijdelijke projectmedewerker (3 maanden) voor de afwerking en het vervolledigen van alle nog niet geactualiseerde kerkinventarissen in Horebeke en Zwalm. In deze gemeenten zullen 11 kerken eind dit jaar de deuren sluiten. Voor een herbestemming is het cruciaal om een actueel overzicht te hebben van het roerend erfgoed.

Op dit moment staat in 5 van de 14 kerken in Zwalm en Horebeke de erfgoedinventaris van het roerend erfgoed op punt. Voor de overige 9 kerken werd nog maar een aanvang genomen met de digitalisering van oude kerkinventarissen op papier. Deze inventarissen zijn echter onvolledig, zijn niet voorzien van foto’s en beschrijvingen (waardoor het zeer moeilijk is om objecten te identificeren) en werden nog niet ter plaatse geactualiseerd.

Het provinciebestuur zoekt iemand die affiniteit heeft met roerend erfgoed in parochiekerken, bereid is om zich op korte termijn in te werken in de noodzakelijke terminologie en eventueel ervaring heeft met inventariseren. Kandidaten hebben een masterdiploma in het studiegebied ‘Archeologie, geschiedenis, kunstwetenschappen, taal- en letterkunde’ (cfr. de functiebeschrijving ‘beleidsmedewerker cultuur’ (pdf)).

Bij de selectie voor de invulling van deze functie doet de personeelsdienst van de provincie Oost-Vlaanderen een beroep op de pool van spontane sollicitanten. Het insturen van een spontane sollicitatie kan door het document onderaan deze pagina. in te vullen en voor maandag 19 oktober (12u) te bezorgen aan de personeelsdienst.

Voor meer informatie over de inhoudelijke aspecten van de functie kan je terecht bij Bert Van der Veken (09/267.72.18).

13 hours 10 min ago Stirrup-spout ceramic vessel with deer hunting scenesMoche... << Ancient Peoples

Stirrup-spout ceramic vessel with deer hunting scenes

Moche culture, Peru, ca. A.D. 450-550

The regional Moche, or Mochica, culture was dominant on the north coast of Peru from the 1st to the 8th century. At its peak, about A.D. 400, the Moche realm occupied an area about 370 miles long and encompassed ten contiguous river valleys. Moche art comprised enormous platform mounds constructed of adobe brick; sophisticated metallurgy in gold, silver, and bronze; and a prolific ceramic tradition that often made use of molds. Moche potters favored flat-bottomed vessels with stirrup spouts and restricted color to red-brown and cream. They excelled at modeling, which they used to produce portrait heads, plants, animals, and figural compositions, all of considerable naturalism, and they were adept at fine-line painting, through which they documented events of ritual significance.

This vessel combines the two approaches in treating an important Moche theme, the deer hunt. The modeled three-dimensional forms of hunter and deer complement the delicately painted scene that covers the vessel. Elaborate garments and headdresses suggest a ceremonial occasion and elite status for the three hunters, one of whom sits in a litter. Seen amid the lacy branches of acacia trees, the hunters have killed three deer trapped by the net that stretches across the top of the vessel, beneath the stirrup, and they have speared another that falls between them. Long-tailed spotted dogs in the painted scene seem to attack the modeled deer that leaps above them.

Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

13 hours 31 min ago Journal of Eastern MediterraneanArchaeology and Heritage Studies Forum: Investing in the Future of the Past: Alternative Careers for Mediterranean Archaeologists << Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online) Journal of Eastern MediterraneanArchaeology and Heritage Studies Forum: Investing in the Future of the Past: Alternative Careers for Mediterranean Archaeologists

This forum section of this issue of Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies will be available open access for three months
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies
Volume 3, Issue 3

Available online at:
contextualizing the late Minoan tombs of the western Siteia mountains
Andrew J. Koh and Miriam G. Clinton
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 167–206
heritage collection of traditional pottery in ayios demetrios, cyprus
Gloria A. London and Father Dometios
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 207–233

investing in the future of the past: alternative careers for Mediterranean archaeologists

Ann E. Killebrew and Sandra A. Scham
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 234–237

alternative academics: moving beyond the academy
Sabrina C. Higgins and Megan Daniels
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 238–246

ruminations on a lifetime spent in archaeological research
Robert S. Merrillees
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 246–250

an archaeologist in international development
Jeffrey Szuchman
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 250–254

changing course
Sarah Lepinski
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 254–258

considering careers in international nonprofit, nongovernmental, and related private sectors
Christopher A. Tuttle
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 258–262

Off Course? A Career in archaeology outside of the academy
Laurie W. Rush
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 262–270

an afterlife of sorts
David Tarler
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 270–276

the curator as scholar and public spokesperson
Peter J. Schertz
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 277–282

not set in amber—moving a career from the academy to the art museum
Faya Causey
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 282–286

“… or equivalent combination of experience and education”
Charles E. Jones
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 286–292

reflections on a road less traveled: alt-ac archaeology
Sarah Whitcher Kansa and Eric C. Kansa
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 293–298

alternative careers in archaeology: my version
Oren Gutfeld
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 298–302

scholarly publishing as an archaeological practice
Mitchell Allen
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 302–306

help wanted: choosing an alternative or mainstream archaeological career?
Neil Asher Silberman
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3 (3): 306–312
JEMAHS is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to traditional, anthropological, social, and applied
archaeologies of the eastern Mediterranean, encompassing both prehistoric and historic periods. The
journal’s geographic range spans three continents and brings together the archaeologies of Greece and
the Aegean, Anatolia, the Levant, Cyprus, Egypt, and North Africa. JEMAHS is co-edited by Dr. Ann E.
Killebrew ( and Dr. Sandra A. Scham (

To access and/or subscribe, go to: JSTORor Project MUSE

13 hours 50 min ago CHARLATANES << Elena Cano (Γνωθι τους αλλους)
asklepios votive dick
exvoto del santuario de Asclepio en Epidauro (foto de Damián Entwistle en FLICKR)

       A las varias y absurdas  manipulaciones  sugestivas se deben todos los cacareados portentos de los curanderos, hechiceras, echadores de cartas, saludadores y eiusdem farinae. Y los más eficaces sugestionadores, con fines curativos, son actualmente los periodistas, -¿quién lo diría?- con sus requisitorias o reportajes sensacionales y su no siempre excusable propósito de entretener a los lectores con sucesos sorprendentes. Por lo demás, los exvotos de los templos de Esculapio, en Grecia, y los ibéricos hallados en el Cerro de los Santos ( Albacete) demuestran que la superstición, ora a lo divino, ora a lo profano, tiene un abolengo milenario. 

         Charlas de café. Pensamientos, anécdotas y confidencias. Santiago Ramón y Cajal 
          (1ªed.Madrid 1920)

Museo Arqueológico de Albacete (España). Fotos Año 2012
exvotos del Cerro de los Santos (foto deRafael del Pino en FLICKR)
14 hours 3 min ago Trésors monétaires de la Chôra de Phanagoria << Thibaut Castelli (Spartokos a Lu) Abramzon, M.G. et V. D. Kuznecov (2015) : Монетные клады времени Митридата VI Евпатора с хоры Фанагории. фанагория. Результаты археологических исследований. Том 3 / Monetnye klady vremeni Mitridata VI Evpatora s hory Fanagorii,  Fanagorija. Rezul’taty arkheologicheskikh issledovanij. Tom 3, Moscou [Les trésors … Lire la suite
14 hours 12 min ago Corporal Obscenity in Antiquity (Conference, Edinburgh, Oct 23-4 2015) << Current Epigraphy

Call for Papers
The Classical Body Split Open: Corporal Obscenity in Antiquity
University of Edinburgh
23-24th October 2015

Alongside the well-known and reassuring image of the classical body as represented by its neoclassical reinterpretation, there stands a well-established classical tradition that portrays that very same body as distorted, disembowelled, obscene. Shoulder to shoulder with dios Odysseus comes deformed Thersites; alongside the sublimity of choral lyric are the bodily fluids of the Iambos; the same years that produce the Athenian ideology of kalokagathia also witness the obscenity of the comic genre. Obscenity looms large in the Latin world as well: not just in literary texts, but in inscriptions and artistic representations. Silver Latin literature famously turns the golden lines of the Aeneid into brutal Civil War and sees Trimalchio concocting a stew out of Pentheus.

In recent years, classical scholarship has focused on the topic from different viewpoints: linguistic obscenity (e.g. Worman 2008, Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens), Attic comedy (e.g. Henderson 1975, The Maculate Muse), humour (e.g. Halliwell 2008, Greek Laughter), visual representations (e.g. Richlin 1992, Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome), the influence of medical symptoms on the body-soul dualism (e.g. Holmes 2010, The Symptom and the Subject), and scholarly attitudes to obscenity in classical texts (Harrison – Stray 2012,Expurgating the Classics). Nonetheless, there has not been yet an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. The present conference aims at filling this gap by inviting papers on the subject of corporal obscenity in Antiquity (Literature, History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Art and Archaeology, Epigraphy and Ancient Medicine) which may attempt to answer the following and related questions: what happens when the classical body breaks open? What are its connections with popular culture, symbolism and collective rituals? How does ancient obscenity interact with the ethics, aesthetics, common sense and legislation in its own historical context? How are bodies which do not conform to the classical ideal marginalised?

  • Possible topics/approaches include, but are in no way limited to:
  • Symbolic and philosophical approaches to ancient obscenity;
  • Sociological and anthropological implications of corporal obscenity;
  • Obscenity and ideology;
  • Human and animal malformation, secretions and scatology;
  • Ancient medical and legal approaches to obscenity;
  • Sexual obscenity and perversions;
  • Epigraphic and artistic representations of obscenity;
  • Psychoanalytic readings of ancient obscenity;
  • Reception of ancient obscenity.

Abstract submission: Abstracts of ca. 300 words for 20 minute papers are to be sent no later than Friday, 25th September 2015. Acceptance of proposals will be communicated by Wednesday, 30th September 2015. We intend to assess abstracts anonymously. In order to do so, please send the abstracts as PDF files with no identifying information in the file content or file name. Please include name, degree currently under study, institution and the title of the talk in the body of the email. Papers will be considered for publication.

The conference rises from the collaboration between the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews. Thanks to the generosity of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, we are able to offer several student bursaries for the conference. In order to be considered for bursary, send an email to stating your contact details (Name, Affiliation, Title/Topic of doctoral thesis) and how the attendance of the conference will be helpful to your research. Informal enquiries can be sent to the same address.

Keynote speakers:

  • Amy Coker – University of Manchester
  • Ian Ruffell – University of Glasgow
  • Mark Bradley – University of Nottingham


  • Sebastiano Bertolini (PhD – University of Edinburgh)
  • Sarah May Wolstencroft (PhD – University of Glasgow)
  • Maria Giulia Franzoni (PhD – University of St Andrews)
14 hours 27 min ago Neanderthaler en Homo sapiens in de clinch langs Winge, Demer en Dijle? << ArcheoNet BE

hagok_prehistorieOp donderdag 15 oktober organiseert de Haachtse Geschied- en Oudheidkundige Kring (HAGOK) in Wakkerzeel een duo-lezing met als titel ‘Neanderthaler en Homo sapiens in de clinch langs Winge, Demer en Dijle?’. De sprekers op deze avond zijn prof. Philip Van Peer (KU Leuven) en dr. Veerle Lauwers (Winar).

In de driehoek Aarschot – Leuven – Mechelen kent de mens een rijke voorgeschiedenis. Al langer dan 250.000 jaar voor onze jaartelling duikt de nomadische mens hier op. Tussen 80.000 en 35.000 jaar geleden wordt zijn levensverhaal al wat duidelijker. Maar wie waren die mensen eigenlijk? Prof. Philip Van Peer vertelt hoe ook wij kunnen helpen om dit vraagstuk mee op te helderen.

Dr. Veerle Lauwers toont aan dat, na een schijnbaar lange onderbreking, de moderne mens hier iets minder dan 10.000 jaar geleden op tocht komt met zeer gespecialiseerde hyperkleine werktuigen. Pas in een latere periode – zo’n 6.500 jaar terug – tonen landbouwers zich hier geïnteresseerd om zich permanent te vestigen en hun leven op een vaste plek uit te bouwen.

Praktisch: de lezing vindt plaats om 20u in zaal De Tiendenschuur (Pastoriestraat 50, 3150 Wakkerzeel). Toegang: 5 euro.

15 hours 6 min ago ENORMOUS IRON AGE SETTLEMENT DISCOVERED IN DEVON, ENGLAND << Archaeology Briefs Experts believe they have unearthed one of Britain's biggest and best-preserved prehistoric settlements near Plymouth (Devon, England). Evidence of several families living and working on the land more than 3,000 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists in preparation for major building work on the site.

The excavation is one of the largest investigations of its type undertaken due to the sheer scale of the site. Andy Mayes, who is leading the project, said: "What's fantastic is we're looking at an unusually large area showing a whole prehistoric landscape. There hasn't been a great deal of disturbance on the site previously, and it's in pretty good condition under the surface, so it's a question of targeting those areas of significance.

Recent findings including Iron Age roundhouses, pottery and bone, potentially dating as far back as between 700 BCE - 43 CE and possibly earlier. Andy said: "We found three roundhouses which are likely to be Iron Age in date. We can see from geophysics alone that there were communities living and working on the site probably from the Bronze Age."

The team of archaeologists is expected to spend around ten weeks at the site and hope the results will provide a valuable insight into the lives of the people that lived and worked at Sherford in the later prehistoric and Romano British periods.

Edited from Western Morning News (2 October 2015)
[5 images]

15 hours 14 min ago HOW STONEHENGE CAME TO BE PART OF THE BRITISH NATION << Archaeology Briefs Amesbury in Wiltshire (England) is the oldest continuously inhabited site in the UK, dating back to approximately 8,800 BCE. In 1824 the Antrobus family bought the vast Amesbury Abbey Estate and administered it until October 1914 when the last remaining heir, Sir Edmund Antrobus, was killed in battle in Belgium in one of the first actions of World War I. There was no option but to put the whole estate up for sale. Part of the estate was the area surrounding and including Stonehenge.

Although this ancient site had been placed under the protection of the Ancient Monuments Act of 1883, it had not prevented one of the sarson stones from falling over or one of the lintels from breaking in two, so despite a fence being erected to protect it, there was still deep concern about its future.

On 21 September 1915 the entire Antrobus estate was put under the hammer at an auction at the New Theatre, Salisbury. Present at that auction was a local man, Cecil Chubb. He had been born in the nearby village of Shrewton and had, through his own efforts, risen from a lowly background to become a wealthy barrister. Legend has it that Cecil's wife Mary had sent her husband to the auction to buy some curtains. Instead he bid £6,600 (£680,000 in today's money, or around 923,000 euros) to purchase the stones, in his own words "on a whim".

Three years later, in October 1918, he gave the monument to the Nation as 'a deed of gift'. The rest, as they say, is history. Chubb's generosity was recognized by the then Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, and he was created Sir Cecil Chubb, First Baronet of Stonehenge.

Few people now remember Chubb and his generosity (although there is a plaque to his memory in his native village) one person who does is Heather Sebire, curator of Stonehenge. She believes that Chubb's impulse purchase and subsequent generous donation to the Nation is "as mysterious as Stonehenge itself".

Edited from The Guardian, BBC News (21 September 2015)
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As the co-author of Stonehenge with Caroline Malone in Cambridge U. Press' "Digging for the Past" Series, published in 2002, I wish we had known this amazing tale of how the British came to make this a national monument! Nancy Bernard
15 hours 41 min ago Notes on papyri: P.Oxy. III 531 << Farrago Grenfell & Hunt introduced this item as 'A letter from a father to his son, giving him good advice, and announcing the dispatch of clothes and money'.

The good advice in question is in lines 9-12:
ὅρα μηδε|νὶ ἀνθρώπων ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ προσκρο[ύ]σῃς, ἀλλὰ τοῖς | βιβλίοις σου αὐτὸ μόνον πρόσεχ[ε] φιλολογῶν | καὶ ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ὄνησιν ἕξεις. 
"Take care not to offend any of the persons at home, and give your undivided attention to your books, devoting yourself to learning, and then they will bring you profit."

An enlarged image can be obtained online.
16 hours 44 min ago Confronting Death at the Penn Museum << Penn Museum Blog
This is me, up-close and personal with our mummy Nespekashuti.

This is me, up-close and personal with our mummy Nespekashuti.

After three years of working on ancient Egyptian mummies In the Artifact Lab, I’ve gotten used to being around death every day.

And, in reality, all of us here at the Museum are surrounded by death – many artifacts in our collection were excavated from tombs and relate to funerary practices and provide intimate connections to the people who were buried at these sites. This word even shows up in the title of one of our current exhibitions: Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, and Gold in Ancient Panama. Even more tangible is our Physical Anthropology Section, which curates approximately 12,000 to 15,000 human and primate individuals and carries out extensive research on the collection.

Generally speaking, death is a sensitive and charged topic in our culture today, and so is the possession of human remains and funerary objects, and many museums have responded in recent years by being very selective about where and how to display human remains, or even avoiding the exhibition of this material altogether. While most of the human remains in our collection are in storage, we do have some on display in the galleries, including the Egyptian mummies and skeletal material from the Morton Collection in the Year of Proof: Making and Unmaking Race.

Due to the sensitivities around death, it is not a topic that we are necessarily inclined to discuss on a regular basis, even here at the Museum, and therefore it is often easier or more comfortable to separate ourselves from it. I am as guilty of this as anyone, but earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend Death Salon: Mutter Museum, and for two days, I was immersed in this topic, so I guess you can say that I have death on my mind.

Death Salon is an organization that was established to bring people together in the spirit of the eighteenth-century salon to encourage conversations on mortality and mourning and their effects on culture and history. Death Salon: Mutter Museum was their fifth event and it brought together academics, historians, writers, artists, musicians, death professionals, and enthusiasts to engage on these topics in meaningful ways. There were two full days of presentations and many other special programs including musical performances, behind-the-scenes tours of the Mutter Museum, and even Death Quizzo. I spoke on the first day about my work on our Egyptian mummies In the Artifact Lab, and I posted an overview of the conference on the Artifact Lab blog, where you can find more details about the speakers.

 Mutter Museum

Presenting on the conservation of Egyptian mummies at Death Salon: Mutter Museum

The Death Salon was fascinating and thought-provoking, and emotional at times. Because of the nature of my position at the Museum, I am often thinking about human remains, related public reactions and sensitivities, and museum stewardship of these collections, but I have never had the opportunity to be surrounded by conversations about death, mortality, and culture for such a concentrated period of time. And this has made me think a lot about how our Museum offers a unique space for visitors to explore these topics for themselves, through our collections and the opportunities we provide for people to interact with them.

I mentioned a couple special exhibitions that specifically address human remains, death, burial, and/or funerary practices, but all of the galleries contain artifacts which may encourage reflection on mortality. If you take a quick look at our events calendar you will see several upcoming events relating to this topic as well, including “The Voices of the Dead: A Global Perspective on the Archaeology of Death,” a half-day symposium being held on Friday, October 23, and the annual Day of the Dead celebration being held on Saturday, October 31. For many years now our Museum has organized a colorful, festive event in honor of this holiday, in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Center and the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia. In addition to music, dance, storytelling, and arts and crafts, our Day of the Dead event features a large traditional altar created by Mexican artists, along with many smaller altars, which provide spaces to leave offerings honoring those who have died.

Day of the Dead celebrations at the Penn Museum in 2014

Day of the Dead celebrations at the Penn Museum in 2014

Oh, and when you come to the Museum don’t forget to visit us In the Artifact Lab. We are currently finishing up the treatment of our mummy Nespekashuti, and we have many new objects in the lab – check out some of them here on our blog. If you visit we’ll be happy to tell you more about our deceased residents and what we are learning about them – in fact, we encourage this dialogue during our open window sessions which take place twice a day. Looking forward to seeing some of you In the Artifact Lab soon.

Photo credits: Penn Museum

17 hours 51 min ago A Matter of Class: 2,400-Year-Old Tombs Yield Ancient Aristocrats << Archaeological News on Tumblr A 2,400-year-old underground tomb complex, containing what appears to be an aristocratic family, has...
18 hours 13 min ago This Day in Ancient History ~ ante diem iv idus octobres << David Meadows (rogueclassicism)

ante diem iv idus octobres

Portrait of Lucius Verus, co-Emperor with Marc...

Portrait of Lucius Verus, co-Emperor with Marcus Aurelius (161-169 AD). Marble, between 180 and 183 AD, found at the villa of his wife Lucilla at Acqua Traversa, near Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)