Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

8 hours 53 min ago << Archaeology Magazine

Israel Neolithic IrrigationHAIFA, 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."

8 hours 53 min ago << Archaeology Magazine

Mummy skull reconstructionMELBOURNE, 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."

10 hours 58 sec ago << The Heroic Age
Grey-zone Saints in Late Antiquity and early Middle Ages
The Cult of Saints is a major five-year research project, based at the University of Oxford, which is investigating the origins and development of the cult of saints in all cultural zones of ancient Christianity up to around AD 700. At the forthcoming Medieval Congress in Leeds (3-6 July 2017) the project-team is organising a strand on grey-zone, or marginal, saints in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. A limited number of Christian heroes, mostly New Testament figures and martyrs, were renowned across Christendom. Many more struggled hard to gain a wider prominence, or even local recognition, and often remained saints only in the eyes of single partisans or restricted groups. Their sainthood was suggested but not fully accepted, or promoted but contested; their cults almost succeeded, but finally failed. Sometimes their very existence was put into question. Those interested in presenting papers on such saints and their cults, particularly if focused on the period before c.900, are requested to send title and short abstract (c. 100 words) to Bryan Ward-Perkins ( or Robert Wiśniewski ( by 20 September. Please, note that, sadly, the project is unable to fund speakers’ expenses.

Clerical Income and Property in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages
At the forthcoming Medieval Congress in Leeds (3-6 July 2017) the team of the ‘Presbyters in the Late Antique West’ Project, based at the University of Warsaw, organises a strand on the income and property of clergy. In most literary and normative sources we usally see clerics entirely dependent on diverse types of subsidies related to their ecclesiastical office. But some casual remarks and documentary evidence show that the reality was more complicated. The actual sources of income of clerics were diverse. This session will seek to answer the following questions:
·      How much did the clerics rely on church property and revenues?
·      What were other sources of their income, either those linked with the religious expertise or unconnected with ecclesiastical activity?
·      How the frontiers were fixed between the private property and revenues of clerics and those of the church, but also between the resources of diverse groups of clerics?
Those interested in presenting papers on such topics, particularly if focused on the period before c. 900, are requested to send the title and a short abstract (c. 100 words) to Robert Wiśniewski ( by 20 September. Please, note that unfortunately the project is unable to fund speakers’ expenses.
10 hours 1 min ago << The Heroic Age
'Living the Law in the Early Medieval World: The Contribution of Canon Law to European Culture'
Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 3-6 July 2017

At the 2017 Leeds International Medieval Congress, the 'Living the Law' network aims to organise one or several sessions, co-sponsored by Iuris canonici medii aevi consociatio (ICMAC) and the Church, Law and Society in the Middle Ages Network (CLASMA). We would like to open a call for proposals for 20-minute papers to be given at the conference, preferably in English; pre-organised three-paper sessions with a coherent theme will also be considered for sponsorship.

Proposals are welcome on any area or period of medieval canon law from Late Antiquity to the High Middle Ages. Scholars are especially invited to propose papers that explore the many ways in which the history of canon law sheds light on the cultural developments in western Europe after Antiquity. The papers may tackle research questions concerning the role of canon law in crucial developments that shaped western culture, such as christianisation, (ethnic) identity formation, political and patronage relationships between church and kings, appropriation of the biblical and antique past, communication across borders and cultures, the proliferation of literacy, and the production and dissemination of manuscripts. As the theme for the 2017 Leeds Congress is ‘Otherness’, proposals will also be welcome for papers concerned with the idea of canon law and ‘othering’ in any of its incarnations. 
Prospective participants are requested to send a title and short abstract (no more than 200 words, but long enough to give a good sense of the proposed topic), along with contact details, to Sven Meeder ( before 4 September 2016.

10 hours 8 min ago << The Heroic Age
ARCHITECTURAL REPRESENTATION IN THE MIDDLE AGES: A two-day conference at University College, Oxford 7th–8th APRIL, 2017

The architectural remnants of the Middle Ages—from castles and cathedrals to village churches—provide many people’s first point of contact with the medieval period and its culture. Such concrete survivals provide a direct link to the material experience of medieval people. At the same time, exploring the ways in which architecture was conceptualized and depicted can contribute to our understanding of the ideological and imaginative worldview of the period. This two-day conference is intended to facilitate discussion and collaboration on all aspects of architectural representation, understood broadly to encompass actual, symbolic, or imaginary architectural features, whether still standing today, observable in the archaeological record, or surviving only through depiction in literature or art. The conference is interdisciplinary in outlook, and we hope to welcome papers from across the spectrum of academic disciplines, including literature, history, art, theology, and archaeology.

We invite proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes in length focusing upon the signification, purpose, and impact of architectural representation throughout the European Middle Ages. Please submit a title and a 200-word abstract to by the 7th January 2017. Possible topics for investigation include, but are not limited to:
·        Architectural metaphors and imagery
·        The social and symbolic value of buildings or building programmes
·        Visual representation of architecture in manuscripts, metalwork, or sculpture
·        Architectural representations of other worlds and/or the heaven and hell
·        Architecture and the liturgy
·        Placed deposits
·        Imaginary and mnemonic architecture
·        The lifecycle(s) of buildings and other architectural features
·        Literary depictions of architecture of architectural spaces
·        Decorative schemes, architectural styles and techniques
·        Architecture and narrative
·        Architecture in the landscape

Keynote speakers:
Professor Robert Bork, University of Iowa
Dr Christiania Whitehead, University of Warwick

We expect that the conference will lead to a published volume of essays intended to stimulate further work in this area. A number of bursaries for graduates and early career academics will be available, details of which will be announced on the conference website.
10 hours 32 min ago Lucy The Australopithecine's Death: Skyfall Or Tall Tale? << Kristina Killgrove (Forbes) These palaeoanthropologists think news of Lucy the australopithecine's cause of death is a tall tale short on evidence.
10 hours 39 min ago Lost Medieval castle discovered at House of Dun << Archaeological News on Tumblr Archaeological excavations at the House of Dun have uncovered the remains of what is thought to be a...
11 hours 13 min ago 5,000 year-old logboat found at Welsh building site << Archaeological News on Tumblr Fragments believed to be from a 5,000 year old logboat have been discovered on a Welsh building...
11 hours 40 min ago Prehistoric settlement unearthed on Scottish island << Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews) Archaeologists have uncovered traces of buildings from about 2500 years ago on the small Hebridean island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, including the remains of a two-metre...
11 hours 41 min ago Astronomy shown to be set in ancient stone monuments << Paola Arosio and Diego Meozzi (Stone Pages' Archaeonews) Research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain were oriented with the Sun and Moon. The study details the use of innovative...
11 hours 42 min ago Graven onder de Waaslandhaven: ontdek het op Open Monumentendag << ArcheoNet BE

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 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.

12 hours 23 min ago Seven Sisters secrets to be uncovered before cliffs tumble into the sea << Archaeological News on Tumblr The secrets of the cliffs at Seven Sisters are set to be uncovered by archaeologists who believe the...
12 hours 58 min ago Statistical study offers evidence of warning signs before Neolithic community collapse << Archaeological News on Tumblr A trio of researchers, two with the University of Maryland and the other with University College...
13 hours 30 min ago The Kenchreai Archaeological Archive << Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online) The Kenchreai Archaeological Archive
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.

Linked To:

Historical Chronology
The Kenchreai Cemetery Project
The Chicago/Indiana/Vanderbilt Excavations sponsored by the American School
The Archaeological Site of Kenchreai in Greece
Kenchreai in Pleiades
13 hours 38 min ago Building Futures, Saving Pasts-How Thriving Communities can Preserve their Heritage << AIA Fieldnotes
Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
Sponsored by Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
Event Type (you may select more than one): 
Start Date: 
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 -
5:30pm to 6:30pm

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.  


Geralyn Ducady
Call for Papers: 
13 hours 55 min ago Europese Commissie stelt voor 2018 uit te roepen tot ‘Europees Jaar van het cultureel erfgoed’ << ArcheoNet BE

europesecommissieDe 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.”

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14 hours 42 min ago 7,000-year-old pits found in northern Israel suggest sophisticated ancient irrigation << Archaeological News on Tumblr 7,000-year-old pits found in northern Israel’s Tel Beit She’an Valley, ancient residents ate wheat,...
14 hours 54 min ago Entrepreneurial Humanities << Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

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 journaldeveloping 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?

15 hours 17 min ago Egyptian Mummy's Face Recreated with 3D Printing << Archaeological News on Tumblr An Egyptian mummy’s head and face have been reconstructed with forensic science and 3D...
15 hours 41 min ago Help Ben Study Medieval Scabbard Chapes << Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

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.

equestrian equestrian2 mounted warrior reconstruction Copulating-fighting beast Medieval English scabbard chape with fighting deer L shaped scabbard dragon winged horse dragon-large mouth fleur-des-lys U shaped
15 hours 51 min ago Ice Age Fire Pits in Alaska Reveal Earliest Evidence of Salmon Cooking << Archaeological News on Tumblr More than 15 ancient cooking hearths unearthed in Alaska are turning up surprising new clues about...
16 hours 26 min ago Ancient coins discovered in Jalilabad << Archaeological News on Tumblr Ancient coins have been discovered during excavations near Uzuntepe village of the Jalilabad region,...
16 hours 31 min ago Reader Survey: Favorite Church in the Holy Lands << BiblePlaces Blog Some tour groups visit every church as part of their pilgrimage to the Holy Land, while others visit only those they can’t avoid. Whatever your persuasion, it’s hard to deny that there are some beautiful buildings that have been constructed at or near biblical sites. You might choose one because of its architectural symmetry, because of the significance of the event it commemorates, or because of a special experience you enjoyed there.

The boundaries here are very broad. By “church” we include everything from a cathedral to a chapel and it can be anywhere in the biblical lands, from Israel to Rome.

Thanks for joining in! You can look for a reporting of the results on Thursday.

16 hours 46 min ago The Mishnah on the Lex Talionis (Law of Retaliation) << Jim Davila ( <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
16 hours 58 min ago The Lex Talionis (Law of Retaliation) in the Talmud << Jim Davila ( <img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>