I’ve found more translations based on the press release I sent out about Delphi. In addition to English, you can now read it in Greek («Διάβασαν» το μυστικό της Πυθίας), Italian, (Segreto Di Delfi In Un Antico Testo) and, amazingly, in Hungarian (A csillagok jelezték Delphoi szertartásait).
I’ve been asked for a third version for the WAC volume on the Heavens Above session. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. There’s enough new material for the second paper for the journal Archaeoastronomy, but I don’t want to recycle old material as new for the WAC volume. What I’d like to offer is a paper looking at how seriously you can test the claims made. I think there are problems, but not all of them are as bad as they seem. Efrosyni, who I’ve been co-authoring with isn’t keen on this as the problems I want to discuss are fairly basic.
I have been getting sick of it. I’ve been lacking inspiration and a little overworked, so writing something for Archaeoastronomy that doesn’t sound like it’s going through the motions is difficult. The Antiquity version had at least 30 drafts. I say at least, as for a month there were several drafts all marked draft 10. It was supposed to be a minor and quick paper, but it’s taking out time I could be working on my PhD with.
However, seeing it picked up and translated is a big ego-stroke. So now, I suppose, is the time to tackle DIAGv1.07.a.
There’s about 30 photos of interest in the St Alban’s Photo Set. Mainly of the theatre and mosaic.
I’m away with the 1st years today practicing my yoof look. In the meantime Troels Myrup has a post Archaeologists at Auctions?, which gives serious thought to the relationship between archaeology and collecting. My own opinion is that I know there is a difference between a bonafide antiquity sale and a clearing house for money-laundering by organised crime — but I don’t have the skills to tell which is which.
On the subject of crime: A rape law time-warp: back to the Sixties is horrific. Unless you feel the role of law is to protect the strong. I think getting yourself paralytic is a stupid thing to do, but I cannot see how it could possibly justify rape. It’s also flatly contradicted by legal precendent, I can’t recall the exact case, but if this law stands then date-rape drugs become effectively legal in the UK.
Finally Now the Silence Is Absolute marks the end of the First World War Christmas Armistice.
There are people here like Jan Zalasiewicz who can write on evolution like this:
One should therefore proceed nervously, aware that an incautious simile here, a misplaced analogy there, could precipitate a chain of events that might in future years enforce us all, by some Educational Decree or other, to give equal weighting to the theory that dinosaurs were Intelligently Designed (though, in the case of the duck-billed dinosaurs, perhaps Humorously Designed) and that the devil’s toenail is no less than divinely encoiled.
You can see all his columns here.
Engaging Anthropology looks like it will be a fascinating book to read. There’s a post about it on antrologi.info. One of my favourite books is Popularizing Anthropology by McClancy and McDonaugh which makes a strong argument that if anthropology (and science) is publically funded then there is an obligation to make your results accessible to the public. They also make the argument that popular does not automatically mean unscholarly. On a connected note Snail’s Tales marks the 146 anniversary of the publishing of On the Origin of Species.
Both posts have plenty for links to follow up.
Do you think Roy Wood is proud of what he has acheived? It’s been Christmas since late September at least and I’m getting sick of it.
Helena-Reet transformed into Cleopatra. Photo by mnadi.
I attended the fifth Dorothy Buchan Lecture last night at Leicester. Dorothy Buchan was a retired headmistress of a school in Leicester with an interest in Graeco-Roman Egypt and the study of women in antiquity. When she passed away a fund was formed and an annual lecture series started. It’s the school’s only major regular event, and so far they’ve generally been stunning. This year it was Dorothy Thompson “Queens and Commoners in Ptolemaic Egypt”.
Like the previous years I learned something new. Dorothy Thompson demolished the myth of Cleopatra as femme fatale. More interestingly, from my point of view, she showed how Egyptian women in comparison to their Greek and Macedonian counterparts had much more legal power. The eventual Hellenisation of Egypt seemed to be a real blow for the independence of women. Under Greek law they always had to be represented by a male, either husband or father.
She also astounded me with the importance of text in Ptolemaic Egypt. One transaction was accompanied with sixty pieces of paper establishing rights of ownership and genealogies of ownership to various goods. I tend to view the classical world as literate in parts, which is perhaps a dated opinion. You don’t have to understand text to venerate its power. In fact in terms of venerating it, it may even be an advantage to not understand it. But I think the sheer scale of the use of text in Egypt shows that you can’t simply dismiss it as a tool of the élite.
Like the previous years it was a strong show, and next year’s also looks like it will be excellent as Helen King of Reading will be giving it. All in all I think its an apt memorial for an educator.
Internet Archaeology is celebrating 10 years on the web by having a prize draw. Everyone who enters gets 10% off their next subscription fee. Though why anyone would want to pay £35 for one volume of Internet Archaeology is beyond me, though clearly some people do.
Anyway enter a name and address and finish the sentence “In the next ten years, I would like to see Internet Archaeology publish…” in a snappy way. I went for using some form of Open Access licence because, until it does, work is more accessible if it’s published via some horrendously expensive and obscure Elsevier journal. At least the library can order a photocopy of an article published in a journal like that. Looking at what does get published in IA, that’s a shame.
Sometimes ideas just hit me. I hadn’t got a clue what to say about the Best Writing Award. I wasn’t sure how it differed from the Best Blog or Best Post awards. I suppose I could have asked, but information is the enemy of wild speculation. The answer came to me when I looked at the previous nominees. They’re all academic to some degree or other. One of the strengths of what I refuse to call the blogosphere is that there’s interaction between academics of all levels and people who are interested in the subject. There’s more to history than pinning it to pages like some parchment-winged butterfly. Really there should be recognition of the variety of writing.
I’ve received an email from William Kilbride at the AHDS.
Kathryn Knowles and Prof David Peacock at the University of Southampton are delighted to announce the launch of a new online reference collection: Stones in Archaeology
Building on the large pre-existing collection of archaeologically relevant comparative rock samples held at Southampton, the project has created a searchable online database to allow rapid identification and comparison of samples of geological materials used in antiquity across England. This database is accessible both to beginners and those with geological experience and allows the identification of stone samples by searching on the distinctive physical properties of a stone. The database is supported by an extensive archive of macroscopic and thin-section photomicrographs, with additional geological notes. Likely Quarry Sites and Usage Examples are also included.
The Stones in Archaeology data set was funded through a ‘Resource Enhancement’ grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board.