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CFP: The Afterlife of Roman Sculpture II 28 June 2010

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Conferences,Late Antiquity , add a comment


International Seminar
Department of Classical Archaeology, Aarhus University
Friday 25 March 2011

In 2008, Aarhus University hosted a seminar on “The Afterlife of Roman Sculpture: Late Antique Perceptions and Practices” that aimed to look at the variety of late antique perceptions of statuary, focusing on a few select regional case studies – from Alexandria in the east to Britain in the north – , and such diverse phenomena as collecting, deposition and destruction. This follow-up seminar is envisaged as providing an opportunity for both senior and junior scholars to arrive at a broader understanding of the fate of Graeco-Roman statuary during the period between the fourth and the seventh centuries AD. It is hoped that by integrating both textual and archaeological approaches, as well as empirical and theoretical methodologies, it is possible to provide a rich and multifaceted picture of the changes in the sculptural landscape of the Classical world.

The seminar will consist of three keynote papers by Prof. John Pollini (USC, Los Angeles), Prof. Franz Alto Bauer (LMU, Munich) and Prof. Ortwin Dally (DAI, Berlin), and five 30-minute papers. Abstracts for papers and short CVs are therefore invited for submission by 8 September 2010. Accepted speakers will be provided with full funding including travel costs and accommodation at Aarhus, thanks to the generous support of the Danish Research Council.

Please send proposals to Troels Myrup Kristensen (klatmk@hum.au.dk), Assistant Professor, PhD, Department of Classical Archaeology, Aarhus University

When on Google Earth 87 10 March 2010

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Carnival , 6 comments

I managed to identify Elephantine for When on Google Earth 86 over at AWBG. So without further ado, here’s the 87th edition of WOGE:

Here are the rules:

Q: What is When on Google Earth? A: It’s a game for archaeologists, or anybody else willing to have a go!

Q: How do you play it? A: Simple, you try to identify the site in the picture.

Q: Who wins? A: The first person to correctly identify the site, including its major period of occupation, wins the game.

Q: What does the winner get? A: The winner gets bragging rights and the chance to host the next When on Google Earth on his/her own blog!

Be the first to correctly identify the site below and its major period of occupation in the comments below and you can host your own!

The City Walls of Tarragona 13 January 2010

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Photography,Travel , add a comment

"Cyclopean" wall at Tarragona
City walls of Tarragona. Photo: TMK, December 2009.

Some shots of the city walls of Tarragona, including some of the “cyclopean” bits. More below the fold.

City wall of Tarragona
City walls of Tarragona: Masons’ marks. Photo: TMK, December 2009.

City wall of Tarragona
City walls of Tarragona. Photo: TMK, December 2009.


Aleppo Citadel 11 January 2010

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Quick Notes,Travel , add a comment

Aleppo Citadel
Main gate of the Aleppo citadel. Photo: TMK, October 2008.

Here’s a good little free guide to the Aleppo citadel, courtesy of the Aga Khan Trust (via AWOL). It has excellent illustrations to help visitors make sense of the multi-period monuments on the citadel. The Aga Khan Trust has similar guides to the Castle of Salah ah-Din and Masyaf Citadel where they also have been responsible for conservation works and site management.

Bathing Culture in the Near East 13 December 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Digital Classics,Quick Notes , add a comment

Hypocaust in the late 4th-early 5th century Western Bathhouse at Scythopolis (Baysan / Beit She’an), Israel. Photo: TMK, June 2009.

Here’s a pretty cool French blog on Near Eastern bathing culture from antiquity to today: Balneorient, run by a research project with the same title. Its latest post reports on the discovery of a 5th century AD bathhouse at Tell al-Kasra, 45 km north-west of Deir ez-Zor. See also this short notice from SANA (HT: Research News in Late Antiquity).

The Archaeology of the Hajj 6 December 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Making of the Archaeological Record,Photography , add a comment

The holy mosque at Mecca with high-rise pilgrim hotels and other construction massively re-shaping the cityscape. Photo copyright Khaled Desouki.

One of my future projects is to take a closer archaeological look at pilgrimage in a cross-cultural perspective. So it was fascinating to see this photo essay in the Danish newspaper Information on the Hajj and especially its archaeological footprint, the infrastructure that it generates (including both tent towns and high-rise hotels) and all of the debris left behind by the pilgrims during their time in Mecca.

Public PhD Defense 16 December 3 December 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Late Antiquity,Thesis Rant , 8 comments

Just a brief announcement that I will be defending my dissertation on 16 December, more here and here. The examiners at a PhD defense are in Denmark (and in Sweden and Norway as well, I think) called “opponents” which gives certain connotations to boxing matches or the like. We’ll see how it goes…

Troels Myrup Kristensen will defend his PhD dissertation “Archaeology of Response: Christian Destruction, Mutilation and Transformation of Pagan Sculpture in Late Antiquity” on Wednesday 16 December 1-4 pm.

The official opponents are:
Dr. Peter Stewart, Reader in Classical Art and its Heritage, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK.

Dr. Eric Varner, Associate Professor, Departments of Classics and Art History, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.

Mag. art. Birte Poulsen, Associate Professor, Institute of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics, Aarhus University (chair)

Aarhus University Conference Centre, Byg. 1421, Mødelokale 2

Neues Museum and Spolia 10 November 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Travel , 2 comments

I’m just back from a seminar on spolia in Berlin, organised by Topoi. In my paper, I discussed the re-use of sculpture in late antique contexts and the life histories of individual statues. I also had the opportunity to visit the recently re-opened Neues Museum, closed at the beginning of the war and then bombed in 1943. It now has been spectacularly restored in the fashion that manages to incorporate parts of the original building, including signage and the feel of ‘ruination’. Here are a couple of shots of some of the museum’s many treasures:

Relief fra Sethos I.'s grav
Relief from the tomb of Sethos I (KV 17) in the Neues Museum. Photo: TMK, November 2009.

Amarna relief in the Neues Museum
Amarna relief in the Neues Museum. Photo: TMK, November 2009.

Speaking of spolia, here’s an archaic statuette re-used in the Justinianic city wall at Miletus:

Archaic statuette from the City Wall of Miletus
Neues Museum, Berlin, inv. Sk 1625. Photo: TMK, November 2009.

Karnak Cachette Online 9 November 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Digital Classics,Quick Notes , add a comment

Painting of saint in the Festival Hall of Thutmose III, Karnak. Photo: TMK, May 2007.

The French institute in Cairo has just announced the first online version of their database of the Karnak cachette, a massive haul of sculpture unearthed at Karnak between 1903 and 1907:

L’IFAO a le plaisir de vous annoncer la sortie de la base de données‘Cachette de Karnak’, désormais accessible librement en ligne à l’adresse suivante : http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/cachette/.

Elle est le fruit d’une collaboration entre l’IFAO et le Conseil Suprême des Antiquités de l’Égypte et présente le premier essai d’inventaire général des objets (statues, stèles, etc.) de toutes époques découverts entre 1903 et 1907 par G. Legrain dans la « Cachette» de la cour du VIIe pylône de Karnak.

Ce travail s’est appuyé sur une documentation photographique très riche issue principalement du Corpus of Egyptian Sculpture du Brooklyn Museum, mais aussi de plusieurs milliers de photographies prises par l’IFAO en 2008-2009 au Musée égyptien du Caire. La collaboration avec les conservateurs du Musée du Caire et les promoteurs de l’Egyptian Museum Database a permis d’étudier de manière très approfondie les registres du Musée et de faire connaître pour la première fois certains objets conservés dans les réserves. L’inventaire s’est également fondé sur le réexamen des archives G. Legrain recensées par M. Azim et G. Réveillac (2004) mais aussi sur de nouveaux documents, par exemple les volumes du Catalogue Général préparés par G. Legrain et Ch. Kuentz et restés inédits ou les estampages conservés au CFEETK à Karnak.

La version 1 de la base, disponible actuellement, offre un inventaire aussi exhaustif que possible des objets (raisonnablement) attribuables à la Cachette, avec pour chacun une bibliographie hiérarchisée. Les quelques objets portant un numéro « K » de Legrain mais ne provenant pas de la Cachette ont également été inclus. Une version 2, comportant notamment un volet prosopographique plus détaillé, est en préparation.

Les données seront mises à jour régulièrement, notamment pour la bibliographie où l’exhaustivité n’a évidemment pu être atteinte. Les auteurs sont reconnaissants à tous les collègues qui voudront bien leur faire part de toute remarque, addition ou correction qui permettra d’améliorer cet outil de recherche.

Speaking of Egypt, my article “Embodied Images: Christian Response and Destruction in Late Antique Egypt” has just been published by Journal of Late Antiquity (online here).

“The Italians Have No Legal Title to Repatriation”: Another Glyptotek Update 18 October 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Ethics , add a comment

Reconstructed context: “Etruscan tomb” in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo: TMK, August 2006.

I have neglected to report on the on-going series of articles in the Danish newspaper Information on the negotiations between Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen and the Italian Cultural Ministry (previously discussed here, here, here, here, here, and here). The series resurfaced back in June but has since gone quiet, awaiting further developments in the case.

Here are links and some translations of the headlines:

16 June “Glyptotekets kunstskatte skaber kulturkamp” (“The treasures of the Glyptotek trigger a struggle for culture”) – with no comments from the Glyptotek, but including opposing views from Kjeld von Folsach, director of the David Collection, and Peter Watson, author of The Medici Conspiracy.

2 June “Glyptotekets forhandlinger med Italien om kunstskatte gået i stå” (“Glyptotek’s negotiations on art treasures with Italy have stalled”) – with comments from Erland Kolding Nielsen of the Royal Library who is chairing the negotiations with the Italians. He notes inter alia (my translation):

The Glyptotek should not accept the deal [the return of artefacts to Italy, such as an Etruscan chariot purchased from Robert Hecht in 1971, with no specified quid pro quo, TMK]. The demands of the Italians rest on the premise that the Glyptotek has acted illegally. But this is not the case – the Italians have no legal title to repatriation of the artefacts, neither from an international, EU nor Danish legal viewpoint.

It seems that the Glyptotek has a long way to go.