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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.

Danish Research Council takes a stand on Open Access 7 January 2010

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

I seem to have slept on this, but the Danish Research Council has for at least a year now promoted open access to academic journals. As stated in their current guidelines, all journals that receive funding from the council must be made available freely online within one year of initial publication. This is good news and a step in the right direction.

Open access
Elektroniske tidsskrifter skal være gratis og frit tilgængelige på internettet. Papirtidsskrifter skal have en hjemmeside, hvorfra artiklerne er gratis og frit tilgængelige i elektronisk form senest et år efter udgivelsen af en årgang. I en overgangsperiode vil FKK kunne dispensere fra dette krav, såfremt der i ansøgningen angives en konkret plan for, hvornår tidsskriftet vil kunne opfylde kravet. Dette skal senest være opfyldt, inden bevillingsperioden udløber. Der vil ligeledes i en overgangsperiode kunne søges om ekstraordinære tilskud til at oprette en digital platform. Endelig kan der søges om særskilt støtte til retrodigitalisering af ældre numre, gerne i et samarbejde mellem tidsskrifter. I ansøgningen angives en konkret plan for oprettelse af digital platform og for retrodigitalisering.

In related news, AJA has just announced that all their book reviews from now on will be online only as well as freely accessible. Will this become a trend that more journals will follow?

Bathing Culture in the Near East 13 December 2009

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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).

Karnak Cachette Online 9 November 2009

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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 Politics of Street Signs 17 October 2009

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Street sign in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem
Street sign in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Photo: TMK, June 2009.

Just another small but potent reminder of the political nature of everyday spaces in the Old City of Jerusalem: In the Jewish Quarter, the vast majority of streets (always labelled in Hebrew, Arabic and English) have had their Arabic names vandalised. This is only partially an act of erasure, and just as much part of an on-going negotiation between regional politics and the local environment of the streets.

More on the contested spaces and archaeology of Jerusalem here.

Staying Behind 29 September 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Quick Notes , 1 comment so far

G.W.L. Harding (1901-1979)
The grave of G.L. Harding, Gerasa, Jordan. Photo: TMK, May 2009.

The archaeologist Gerald Lankester Harding is a name closely associated with Qumran as well as Jordanian and Palestinian archaeology in general. He is also one of the members of a small exclusive club of archaeologists that are buried on sites where they were active. The above photo shows his grave on the site of Jerash (Gerasa) in Jordan. I’m strangely fascinated by such cases, the ultimate manifestations of archaeologists that have gotten so attached to an archaeological site that they somehow never manage to leave. Another example is Kenan Erim who is buried at Aphrodisias. (more…)

Roman Portraits in Context 28 September 2009

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Jane Fejfer’s much anticipated book (and Habilitationsschrift) “Roman Portraits in Context” came out earlier this year.

The entire Hablitation defense, held on 29 May, is now available as a streaming webcast on the University of Copenhagen website. So bring your own popcorn and learn a thing or two about Roman portraits! The official “opponents” (as they are called in Denmark) were Professor Natalie Kampen, Columbia University, and Professor Karsten Friis-Nielsen, University of Copenhagen. A number of other scholars present questions ex auditorio as well.

A Break 25 June 2009

Posted by Troels in : General,Quick Notes,Thesis Rant , 1 comment so far

Caesarea Maritima
The “Byzantine Esplanade” at Caesarea Maritima, Israel, discussed in one of the articles below. Photo: TMK, June 2009.

Things have been slow on this blog, not only recently, but for a while. This will not change in the near future (although posts may randomly appear), due to a little thing called Dissertation. Instead, I will would like to point to the following forthcoming publications of mine that may be of interest to readers of this blog:

“Embodied Images: Christian Response and Destruction in Late Antique Egypt”, Journal of Late Antiquity 2 (2), autumn 2009.

“Religious Conflict in Late Antique Alexandria: Christian Responses to ’Pagan’ Statues in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries AD”, Alexandria – A Religious and Cultural Melting Pot, eds. G. Hinge & J. Krasilnikoff, pp. 158-176. Aarhus Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity vol. 9. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.

”The Display of Statues in the Late Antique Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean: Reflections on Memory, Meaning, and Aesthetics”, Debating Late Antique Urbanism: Within and Beyond the Walls, eds. G. Speed & D. Sami. Leicester Monographs in Archaeology. Leicester: School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Explanation Is Not Allowed 22 June 2009

Posted by Troels in : Archaeology,Quick Notes,Travel , 2 comments

Explanation Is Not Allowed
A message to interpretive archaeologists? Seen in the National Archaeological Museum, Amman. Photo: TMK, May 2009.

Conference Hat-Trick in Aarhus 6 May 2009

Posted by Troels in : Quick Notes , add a comment

Seven days, three conferences in Aarhus. Good thing I’m safely locked up in the Cambridge University Library…

14-16 May
Constructing Religious Identities: Space and Texts in the Pagan, Jewish and Early Christian Near East, AD 100-400

19 May
Grand Strategy? Defense in Depth? Desperation? City Walls and the Fortification of ‘Interior’ Provinces in the Later Roman West

20 May
Cultural interactions in Thrace and the cult of Cybele