Bust in Ancona

Brief item from MSN Italia about a criminal who apparently had a thing for weapons and archaeology:

Una vera e propria santabarbara, che comprendeva anche un proiettile anticarro della seconda guerra mondiale, e’ stata scoperta dai carabinieri a Sassoferrato (Ancona). Arrestato S.V., 37 anni, del luogo, un operaio con l’evidente passione per le armi e anche per l’archeologia. In casa sua, infatti, oltre alle armi (un fucile a canne mozze, una pistola, un grosso quantitativo di munizioni calibro 22, polvere da sparo) i militari hanno trovato ben 300 reperti archelogici, in gran parte di epoca romana.

via Armi e reperti archeologici in casa: arrestato operaio – MSN Italia.

Sicilia, i beni culturali finisco all’asta Traffico di reperti rubati su E-bay – Interni – ilGiornale.it del 12-03-2010

Seems the Carabinieri have to keep an eye on eBay again … the following article details the online auction site’s use by antiquities smuggler types in Sicily. This case had close to 600 ancient coins being offered:

E’ difficile vincere la guerra contro i “tombaroli” e, più in generale, contro chi trae profitto dalla vendita illegale di reperti storici e archelogici. Le forze dell’ordine sono impegnate attivamente sul campo e, periodicamente, si ha notizia di sequestri di opere d’arte, più o meno famose, che finiscono in un sotterraneo mercato illegale, in Italia ma anche all’estero. Ora questo traffico è ancor più robusto di un tempo, perché può giovarsi di uno strumento in più: il web. I moderni “tombaroli”, infatti, lavorano sul web. La denuncia arriva dalla Sicilia.

Traffico sgominato Un colossale traffico di compravendita su E-bay di reperti archeologici rubati – circa 600 pezzi, quasi tutti monete greche, romane, bizantine e arabo-normanne è stato sventato dai carabinieri del Nucleo tutela patrimonio culturale della Sicilia. Su internet, infatti, era possibile acquistare 576 monete antiche in bronzo e argento, la più pregiata delle quali, una moneta di epoca tardo-antica, costava attorno ai cento euro. I carabinieri hanno effettuato quattro perquisizioni domiciliari e quattro persone sono state denunciate per impossessamento illecito di beni culturali appartenenti allo Stato. Tutti i reperti recuperati saranno consegnati alla locale Soprintendenza.

Traffico sul web È solo l’ultimo di una serie ormai preoccupante di traffici illeciti di beni archeologici siciliani su E-bay, sventati anche grazie alla collaborazione degli stessi gestori del famoso sito di aste online. Nel 2005 fece scalpore il sequestro di oltre 9.000 reperti in vendita sul web, con la denuncia di 25 persone, che per la prima volta mise in luce un fenomeno dilagante. Non a caso, dopo l’ultimo episodio, a lanciare l’allarme è l’assessore ai Beni Culturali della Regione Gaetano Armao, che invoca “una vera e propria tolleranza zero contro i trafugamenti ed il commercio clandestino di reperti del nostro straordinario patrimonio culturale”.

Affari più facili In passato, ricorda Armao, “i tombaroli e i ladri di reperti dovevano andare oltreoceano per tentare di vendere la refurtiva a qualche collezionista privato, e spesso questi oggetti finivano poi ai grandi musei americani, come nel caso dell’Afrodite di Morgantina conservata per anni al Getty Museum e che siamo riusciti recentemente a riottenere. Ma oggi per i malviventi è più facile: basta mettere inserzioni su internet, e sperare di farla franca”.

Una norma più severa Per questo l’assessore annuncia: “Intendo riproporre alla giunta regionale la proposta che avevo già formulato qualche mese fa: ovvero estendere la norma, che già opera contro i mafiosi, sulla costituzione di parte civile obbligatoria nei processi contro ladri e trafficanti di reperti archeologici. Spesso infatti gli interessi dei trafficanti di opere d’arte si intrecciano con quelli della criminalità mafiosa”.

via Sicilia, i beni culturali finisco all’asta Traffico di reperti rubati su E-bay – Interni – ilGiornale.it del 12-03-2010.

See also:

Middle School Latin Program in Peril!

Seen on Latinteach (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to ask your help in saving our Latin program at the Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School in Bridgewater, NJ. Due to extreme budget cuts, our Board of Ed. is considering eliminating the 2 years of middle school Latin in our district at the end of this year. This will also eliminate one of our teacher positions. It will leave our current 7th graders with nowhere to go next year, & will probably also eliminate the possibility of students reaching the AP level, since they must now begin Latin in 9th grade. Our district is currently experiencing unprecedented cuts; currently over 116 staff have lost their jobs in the first round of cuts, & more are anticipated in a second round this week when Governor Christie announces cuts to municipal budgets.

We used to be a K-12 world language district, with 6 languages offered from the 6-12 grades. Now only Spanish survives at the lower levels & Latin would reduce down to only HS level. IF A THIRD ROUND OF CUTS BECOMES NECESSARY, IT IS MY FEAR THAT THE ENTIRE LATIN PROGRAM WILL BE ELIMINATED.

Therefore, would you please consider e-mailing your support of our Latin program to any of the Board members whose e-mails are located on the "BOE" link at:
http://www.brrsd.k12.nj.us

There is also a Superintendent’s link, where I believe you can e-mail him, as well. I am hoping that by the time of our next board meeting, your e-mails of support will have filled their in-boxes! Thank you so much.

Your grateful colleague,

Dr. Kimberle Gray
Latin teacher
Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Schools

CONF: Homer in the 21st century

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

4th Trends in Classics Conference

homer in the 21st century: orality, neoanalysis, interpretation

Thessaloniki, 28-30 may 2010 (Auditorium of the Archaeological Museum)

Friday, 28th May

8.45-9.15 Reception-Registration

9.15-9.30 A. Rengakos: Introduction

9.30-10.00 D. N. Maronitis (U of Thessaloniki) The Iliad: at point-blank range

10.00-10.30 Keynote Lecture: W. Kullmann (U of Freiburg) Neoanalysis between Orality and Literacy

10.30-11.00 M. Finkelberg (U of Tel-Aviv) Oral formulaic theory and the individual poet

11.00-11.30 P. Pucci (Cornell University) Iterative syntactical segments and their contextualization

12.00-12.30 G. Nagy (Harvard University) Signs of Hero Cult in Homeric Poetry

12.30-13.00 R. Martin (Stanford University) Homegerees: constructing Homer

15.00-15.30 M.L. West (Oxford University) Some pre-Iliadic poems

15.30-16.00 G. Danek (U of Vienna) Troilus and Lycaon

16.00-16.30 C. Due (U of Texas) Maneuvers in the dark of night: Iliad 10 in the twenty-first century

17.00-17.30 J. Marks (U of Florida) αρχους αυ νηων ερέω: Il. 2.493a

17.30-18.00 M. Alden (U of Belfast) The vagrant without status (Il. 9. 648 = 16. 59)

Saturday, 29th May

9.30-10.00 J. Latacz (U of Basel) Fragen an Homers Achilleus

10.00-10.30 A. Kelly (Oxford University) The Mourning of Thetis: ?Allusion’, the Future and the Iliad

10.30-11.00 M. Hirschberger (U of Dusseldorf) The fate of Achilles as told in the Iliad

11.00-11.30 L. Muellner (Brandeis University) Grieving Achilles

12.00-12.30 J. Burgess (U of Toronto) Belatedness in the Travels of Odysseus

12.30-13.00 O. Levaniouk (U of Washington at Seattle) ου χρώμεθα τοις ξενικοις ποιήμασι: Questions about the Evolution and Variability of the Odyssey

15.00-15.30 E. Bakker (Yale University) Paradigmatic Similes in the Odyssey

15.30-16.00 S. Said (Columbia University) Animal Similes: From the Iliad to the Odyssey

16.00-16.30 C.Tsagalis (AUTh) De-authorizing the Epic Cycle: Odysseus’ False Tale to Eumaeus (Od. 14.199-359)

16.30-17.00 J. Petropoulos (Democritus U of Thrace) The Telemachy and the Cyclic Nostoi

17.30-18.00 A.C. Cassio (U of Rome "La Sapienza") Kypris, Kythereia, and the Latest Phases of the Homeric Epics

18.00-18.30 R. Hunter (U of Cambridge)Testing time: Agamemnon’s peirai and Homeric criticism

18.30-19.00 E. Minchin (Australian National University) Memory and memories: personal memory, collective memory, and interpretation in the poems of Homer

Sunday, 30th May

9.30-10.00 J.M. Foley (U of Missouri)Similes in Homer and South Slavic Oral Epic

10.00-10.30 R. Scodel (U of Michigan) Works and Days and the Homeric/Cyclic Tradition

10.30-11.00 St. West (Oxford University) Some lessons from Alpamysh

11.30-12.00 J. Torres-Guerra (U of Navara) The writing down of the oral Thebais that ?Homer’ knew: In the Footsteps of Wolfgang Kullmann

12.00-12.30 A. Debiasi (U of Torino) Omero agonista a Calcide

12.30-13.00 B. Currie (Oxford University) The Iliad, Gilgamesh, and Neoanalysis

CFP: Poetry, music and contests in ancient Greece

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

UNIVERSITÀ del SALENTO
Dipartimento di Filologia classica e di Scienze filosofiche
Dipartimento dei Beni delle Arti e della Storia

CALL FOR PAPERS

International Conference: Poesia, musica e agoni nella Grecia antica / Poetry, music and contests in ancient Greece

IV Annual Meeting of MOISA: International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage

Lecce, Italy, 28-30 October 2010

The overall topic of the conference will be ancient Greek music; it will focus particularly on the musical contests, which have rarely been studied in detail. They took place, in various forms, in all parts of the Greek world and through all periods of its history, and interacted in complex ways with literary, political, cultural and religious phenomena.

The subject will be addressed from a wide variety of perspectives, with contributions from invited scholars in fields including philology, archaeology, iconography and epigraphy.

Scientific Committee:
Andrew Barker (University of Birmingham)
Bruno Gentili (University of Urbino)
Pietro Giannini (University of Salento – Lecce)
Daniela Castaldo (University of Salento – Lecce)
Alessandra Manieri (University of Salento – Lecce).

Members of MOISA who wish who wish to offer a short paper (15/20 mins) on any aspect related to the main topic are invited to send an abstract of max. 500 words, by 30 April 2010, to Daniela Castaldo (dcastaldo) and to Alessandra Manieri (alessandra.manieri).

We need to inform you that we will be able to cover only partially the fees for your accomodation during your stay in Lecce. More details will be available as soon as possible.

Anyone who wishes to offer a paper, but is not already a member of MOISA, can join the society by going to the MOISA website (address below) and following the appropriate links.

More detailed information on the conference will be published soon on the website of MOISA (http://www.moisasociety.org).

Roman Baths From Tarragona

I was hoping we’d get more info on this one from the Barcelona Reporter (a few days old already):

It seems the baths fell into disuse as the Roman city became busy and eventually became a habitat area, and a first dating points to the late start of V or VI century

Archaeological find Roman baths unearthed in Tarragona, but nothing yet

The earth works being carried out on Nau street, to replace the various public services, provided the new archaeological find, the Roman baths are located near Tarraco square Tarragona, reported local sources.

It seems the baths fell into disuse as the Roman city became busy and eventually became a habitat area, and a first dating points to the late start of V or VI century.

The remains are in good condition, and were just over one metre under the surface, it used hypocaust-heating with walls and pavement covered in opus signinum soil-mortar of lime and sand mixed with Small fragments of silicate rock.

The dating suggest something a bit outside of our purview, but we should note that we were previously aware of bath structures at Tarraco … see, e.g.,  The Tarraco Port Area Public Baths (the English translation of the conclusions follows the Spanish title page)

via Archaeological find Roman baths unearthed in Tarragona | Barcelona Reporter.

CFP: Etruscan Literacy in its Social Context

Seen on Rome-arch (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

Etruscan Literacy in its social context

Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 22-23 September 2010

The social impact of literacy in early societies is a topic which has been
the subject of much recent research. In the study of ancient Italy,
specifically, new discoveries and new analyses of Etruscan inscriptions have
flourished in recent years. However, many of these studies have focused
primarily on epigraphic and linguistic aspects. Although this conference
aims to contribute to these studies, its aim is to move away from issues of
linguistic and morphological analysis and concentrate instead specifically
on the social context of writing in the Etruscan world. We will examine the
social and cultural impact of the adoption of writing, and will address
themes such as how we can define literacy and assess how widespread it was;
what groups adopted literacy, and what the social purposes of reading and
writing were. The conference will examine these issues from a range of
perspectives, and in the context not only of Etruria itself, but of the
Etruscan world as a whole, within the general context of Italy in the first
millennium BC. Examples of questions we would like to address are:

Writers and readers among the Etruscans: Was literacy restricted by class,
gender, age or any other social parameter? Were the people who did the
inscribing (potters, metal-workers, stone-carvers etc) fully literate or
not? What was the relationship between those who composed or commissioned
texts and those who inscribed them? How was writing taught and transmitted?

The social purposes of Etruscan writing: Were inscriptions meant to be read
and, if so, by whom? Was writing used for single or multiple purposes,
practical or symbolic? Was it used to convey everyday messages and, if so,
between living people or between the living and the dead/divine? Were the
messages conveyed by the content of the writing, by the material employed,
by the use and location of the artefact or monument, or by combinations of
all of these?

Writing and identity formation: The creation and reinforcement of identities
at different levels – individual, kin group, community, supra-community – is
characteristic of state societies. How might Etruscan writing, and
particularly the practice of naming, have contributed to these processes?

The organisers, Kathryn Lomas, Ruth Whitehouse and John Wilkins, invite
papers that address any of these issues or related themes. We particularly
welcome contributions that trace changes in any of these aspects through
time or compare their development in different areas of the Etruscan world.
Abstracts (no more than 500 words) should be send to both Ruth Whitehouse
(R.Whitehouse AT ucl.ac.uk) and Kathryn Lomas (K.Lomas AT ucl.ac.uk) by April 30th
2010.

Dr Kathryn Lomas, FSA
Honorary Senior Research Associate
Institute of Archaeology
UCL

Cyrus I’s (maybe) Tomb Threatened

From CAIS:

Construction by local residents, ignored by the authority has imperiled an Achaemenid tomb, believed to be the tomb of Cyrus I, the Achaemenid king and son of Teispes and grandfather of Cyrus II the Great, near the village of Tang-e Eram in Bushehr Province.

Experts have demarcated a 100-meter perimeter for the site, which was registered on the National Heritage List in 1997, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Any construction done on this perimeter is illegal, however, construction of buildings has increased in the vicinity of the boundary.

The first breach of the site’s perimeter was done by the Islamic Republic regional electrical supplier when they installed a power line some 4 meters from the tomb a few years ago.

Known as Gur-Dokhtar (the burial of Daughter) by the local people, the site was discovered in 1960 by Belgian archaeologist Louis Vandenberg, who believed the tomb belonged to Cyrus I.

In addition, a number of experts have said that Mandane, mother of Cyrus the Great, is buried at the site, but other scholars believe that the tomb belongs to Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus the Great and the wife and Queen of Darius the Great.

Built of 24 pieces of stone, the structure is very similar in architecture to the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae in Fars Province. However, it is several times smaller than the Cyrus the Great mausoleum. The tomb is 4.5 meters in height and contains a small pool.

A team of Iranian experts led by Hassan Rahsaz conducted a series of restoration efforts on the structure in early 2000’s.

via Illegal Construction Threatening The Achaemenid Tomb in Bushehr | CAIS-SOAS.

Recent Thessaloniki Finds

I forgot they were building a new metro in Thessaloniki … I guess that explains why there seem to be so many antiquities smuggling cases there of late.  Anyhoo … from the ANA:

A large early Christian Basilica (1st to early 4th century AD) and an important late Byzantine period (1204-1430) building were unearthed at a same number of Thessaloniki metro construction sites over the recent period.

Part of a three-aisled, 50-metre-long basilica was unearthed during earthworks for the construction of the Sintrivani station and according to archaeologists it belongs to a cemetery.

An important building with centuries-long but undetermined use was discovered during construction works for the Venizelos station. The building was used from the late Byzantine Period until the 18th century and comprised two underground spaces accessed through a hatch. A coin dated back to the time of late Byzantine Emperor Ioannis V Paleologus (1332-1391) found inside the building is indicative of the period during which it was constructed. Its use during the Ottoman period can be associated with nearby Ottoman monuments of Bezesten and Hamza Bei Tzami (Alkazar).

The 9th ephorate of Byzantine antiquities, responsible for the excavations, has proceeded with the creation of an electronic database to record and process the movable findings discovered during the Thessaloniki Metro construction works. More than 12,000 findings have been recorded so far.

An e-book with all the findings unearthed will be published as soon as excavations are completed.

Meanwhile, 15 tombs, dating to the Hellenistic and late Roman Period, were unearthed at the New Railway Station construction site; 35 tombs were found in Sintrivani Station and 17 Roman-era tombs were found at the Fleming station site. A building of undetermined use was discovered during works for construction of the Panepistimio station.

via Thessaloniki metro works reveal archaeological finds | ANA.

Trying to Save Cybele

From Novinite:

A commission of archaeologists and architects is set on securing a National Monument status for the temple of Greek goddess Cybele in Bulgaria’s Balchik.

The absolutely unique Cybele temple was uncovered by accident in April 2007 at the construction site of a hotel owned by a local entrepreneur.

The special commission has been appointed by Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov in order to figure out how to preserve the temple.

The status of a National Monument is going to bring a total ban of any construction activities in the area of the Cybele temple.

Currently, the invaluable archaeological site lies in the open as it has not been properly conserved because of the dispute of the local authorities with the owner of the plot. The commission plans to build a temporary shelter over the temple.

“We agree to finance the conservation of the temple as long as the Ministry of Culture gives us the legal right to claim it. If we are delayed a bit more, next year there might be no temple to conserve,” the Balchik Mayor Nikolay Angelov has said.

In 2009, he came up with an initiative to expropriate the Cybele temple. However, the owner demanded EUR 1 000 per square meter, or a total of EUR 680 000. The construction of the hotel was halted, and the situation resulted in a stalemate as neither the Municipality, nor any private investor wanted to buy the plot.

The extremely rich temple of goddess Cybele is dated back to the 4th century AD. It is believed to have been shattered, though still well preserved, by an earthquake, or set on fire by barbarian invaders during the reign of Emperor Valens (364-378 AD).

Things are moving really slow on this one, it seems … back in the summer of 2008 they were (apparently) trying to do the same thing. This was after finding statues of the goddess (the year before that … and a bit earlier) …

via Bulgaria: Bulgaria Archaeologists, Architects Move to Save Cybele Temple | Novinite.