Bulgarian Coin Hoard

From Novinite … sounds like one we’ll be hearing more about (hopefully):

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists has found a coin treasure from the 3rd century BC near the southeastern-most Bulgarian Black Sea village of Sinemorets.

The coin treasure was discovered by the team of Prof. Daniela Agre excavating archaeological sites in the region in a ceramic vessel.

“We are now working, cleaning around the vessel. Once we lift it, we will be able to say how many are there. This is a treasure consisting of silver coins, a large one,” she told the Focus news agency.

Prof. Agre explained the vessel containing the coins was found buried next to a tower of the fortified home of an Ancient Thracian ruler that has been known to the Bulgarian archaeologists since 2006.

The archaeologist pointed out that there are only a few cases in which coin treasures of such scope have been found during excavations in Bulgaria.

She believes the coins in question were most likely minted by Alexander the Great or his officer and successor Lysimachus. Agre promised to provide more information later.

… if you’re keeping score of who finds what in Bulgaria, Dr Agre is the archaeologist who found that chariot burial a couple of years ago (Chariot Burial (and more) from Borissovo)

Turkey Wants Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Items Back

From Hurriyet comes news of  Turkey’s latest repatriation efforts:

Some pieces from Bodrum’s famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus are on display at the British Museum, and work continues to bring them back to Turkey. Lawyer Remzi Kazmaz recently spoke about the mausoleum at a press conference
Some pieces of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world, are on display at the British Museum but work continues to bring them back to where they belong in Bodrum. Lawyer Remzi Kazmaz works on a film project about the mausoleum and also for return of the pieces. AA photo

Work continues to get parts of Bodrum’s Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which are currently kept at the British Museum in London, returned to Turkey.

Two of the seven wonders of the ancient world were located in Anatolia; one of which was the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, and the other the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in what is now Bodrum, in the Aegean province of Muğla, lawyer and film producer Remzi Kazmaz said. Kazmaz spoke at a press conference held in Bodrum last week to launch his film, “Aşkın Mabedi Mausoleum” (Mausoleum: the Temple of Love), which is based on Kazmaz’s book of the same title.

Some pieces of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum were sent to the British Museum in Ottoman times, Kazmaz said. “These pieces belong to us. They belong to Anatolian history and culture, but they are at the British Museum. The people of Bodrum want these pieces back.”

Non-governmental organizations have collected 118,000 signatures on a petition requesting that those artifacts smuggled abroad be returned to the country legally, and have presented them to the Culture Ministry, Kazmaz said. “These artifacts do not have any meaning when they are abroad, away from their original location. They can only be restored and have value here.”

Two methods

There are two methods that could be used to bring the artwork back to Turkey, Chamber of Shipping (DTO) Bodrum branch member Arif Yılmaz said, speaking at the press conference. “First of all, we will ask to have the artwork in order to display it. In this way, the world will see where the pieces look more beautiful. The second method would be — if [the British Museum] claims [Turkey] gave these artifacts to them as a gift — we will file a suit against the sultan who gifted the artifacts, because he did not have right to give government property as a gift. They defend themselves by saying, ‘These were given to us as a gift; we did not steal or smuggle them. That is why we cannot return them.’ We will work to get the artifacts displayed in Bodrum.”

Osman Demirci, an actor who appears in the film “Aşkın Mabedi Mausoleum,” said he had visited Britain some time ago and saw the pieces from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in the back rooms of the museum. “These pieces of art are not being displayed in a frequently visited section of the museum.”

… three years ago we were hearing of plans to ‘rebuild’ the Mausoleum (Rebuilding the Mausoleum?) … not sure if anything ever came of that.

Exeter Classics and Ancient History Research Events, Term 1 2012-13

Seen on the Classicists list:


Time: Thursday 5-7 pm. Venue: Amory 105.

Research Seminars are followed by drinks in the Leventis Room (Amory 271) and, in the case of outside speakers, by dinner in a local restaurant.

All are welcome to attend the seminars, and the drinks and dinner afterwards. If coming from outside Exeter, please contact one of the seminar

organisers or the Classics Dept office to check the seminar/lecture is being held as advertised.

Seminars associated with the Leventis-funded research programme on the impact of Greek on non-Greek culture are indicated by IGC below.

Seminar Organisers: Boris Chrubasik (b.chrubasik AT exeter.ac.uk), Daniel King (D.King AT exeter.ac.uk). Classics Administrator: Charlotte Rushforth, c.rushforth AT exeter.ac.uk.


Week 1, September 27:

Professor Flora Manakidou (Democritus University of Thrace), ‘Callimachus’ Iambi: Modes of Travelling and Politics’. (IGC)

Week 1, September 27-8:

Cultural F(r)ictions in Hellenistic Literature Conference. Amory Building. (Please contact Dr. Karen Ni-Mheallaigh for further details (K.Ni-Mheallaigh AT exeter.ac.uk).

Week 2, October 4:

Professor Robert Parker (New College, Oxford): ‘Religion in Greco-Roman Anatolia: Myth, Ritual, Structures’.

Week 3, October 11:

Dr. Matthew Wright (Exeter): ‘Greek Tragedy and Quotation Culture’.

Week 4, October 18:

Dr. Adrian Goldsworthy: “Snatched from fire and sword’ – Cicero, Catiline and Political Violence in the Late Republic’ (CA Lecture). Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Queens Building.

Week 5, October 25:

Dr. Joshua Billings (Yale): ‘The Bacchae as Palinode’. (IGC)

Week 6, November 1:

Stuart Thomson (Corpus Christi College, Oxford): ‘Clement of Alexandria and Greek Paideia’. (IGC)

Week 7, November 8:

Dr. Martin Pitts (Exeter): ‘Alien cities: consumption and the origins of urbanism in Roman Britain’.

Week, 8, November 15:

Professor Barbara Borg (Exeter): TBC (CA Lecture). Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Queens Building.

Week 9, November 22:

Professor Tony Woodman (Virginia), ‘Tacitus and Germanicus’.

Week 10, November 29:

Dr. Cressida Ryan (Merton College, Oxford), ‘Playing Games with Longinus: Burke’s Classical Heritage’. (IGC).

Week 11, December 6:

Dr. Charles B. Watson (Appleton WI), TBC.

Clearly A Slow News Day …

From the Local comes a somewhat bizarre sorta Classical sorta not item:

A mayor from southern Sweden has been slammed for paying an artist friend 600,000 kronor ($91,584) in public funds to paint a depiction of the mayor dressed as a Roman legionary as part of a mural in the local council’s building.

“I have met the artist on many different occasions and we had discussed a painting. I thought it sounded very interesting. He then sent in a proposal that was presented to the Hörby industrial property board,” mayor Lars Ahlkvist of the Moderate Party told local paper Skånska Dagbladet.

According to the paper, the painting was never put out to tender but was commissioned during a number of meetings between Hörby municipality’s top brass and the artist in question.

The costs of the 600,000 kronor fee are supposed to be shared between the municipality and the industrial property company.

The painting, depicting Ahlkvist dressed as a Roman legionary, is to be part of a larger mural in the council building.

In addition to the Roman-style mayor, the painting also features a local financier depicted as Sweden’s King Karl XI and his partner as a noble lady of the same time.

Speaking with the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, Ahlkvist explained that Hörby has a “rich tradition of adornment”.

While he admitted that the only connection between Hörby and the Roman empire was “through the church”, Ahlkvist explained the mural was meant to connect the past with the present.

“In the painting, Jesus is escorted by a modern police officer,” he told SvD.

“We’ve got the Arab Spring, as well as a team of snapphane from Hörby,” he added, referring to 17th century pro-Danish guerrillas that fought against the Swedes.

Despite the controversy surrounding how the painting was funded, Ahlkvist emphasized that art should “prompt debate” and that the ensuing publicity could benefit the town.

“Clearly, Hörby has gotten a lot of attention and that is never a bad thing,” he said in reference to the mural-inspired media debate.

The city manager for Hörby, Arne Bertilsson, is satisfied that the commissioning of the painting was done above board.

He contends the city didn’t have to put the assignment out to tender since it required specialist skills – that of “monumental art”.

“That’s why we decided to use the existing exceptions to the rules in the procurement laws which gave us the right to contact and chose one artist only,” he wrote on the municipality website.

According to Skånskan, the law states that those commissioning such a special piece of art should have adequate expertise, something Ahlkvist is adamant he has:

“I feel that I am familiar with art. I come from a family of artists and have spent a lot of time on it,” he told Skånskan.

via: Mayor painted as Roman soldier with public funds (Local)

Non Sequitur? Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Latest

This one is starting to get silly … yesterday we had — from a reliable source, apparently — word that Harvard Theological Review was declining to publish Dr. King’s paper on some fragment of papyrus that’s been in the news of late. Later in the day, however, we were told that that wasn’t true, again from a reliable source:

Despite that being the only real development yesterday, you can see if you scroll down through the Blogosphere posts for this a.m.that more Biblioblogger types are commenting either on the fragment or the publicity thereof … for my part, I think I’m going to leave this one to them until we hear of the papyrus itself being tested. That, and (he said, Cato-like) when someone explains to me how a page from a codex can have such nice dark letters on one side, and be barely legible on the other

Classical Words of the Day: