NEA ‘Zone’

Among assorted recipients of NEA grants for translation projects is Charlotte Mandell … here’s her project:

To support the translation from French of the novel Zone by Mathias Énard. Written in a single sentence and based on the structure of The Iliad, Zone is more than 500 pages long, and was a critical success in France when published in 2008. The narrative unfolds during a train journey from Milan to Rome, and interweaves the narrator’s experiences in the war in Yugoslavia with other stories of war — from the Trojan War to World War II to present-day clashes. Winner of the Prix Décembre 2008, Zone is Énard’s fourth novel, and the first that will be translated into English. This translation will be published by Open Letter Books in mid-2010. Born in 1972, Énard studied Persian and Arabic and lived for long periods of time in the Middle East. He currently resides in Barcelona.

Looks interesting …

Roman-era Thracian Tomb from Krushare

Some interesting finds from a Roman-era Thracian tomb … the first report (August 16) from Novinite:

Bulgarian archeologists have found a unique golden wreath in an unnamed mound near the South-East village of Krushare, Sliven District.

This has been announced Sunday by the archeologist Diana Dimitrova, who was wife of the late great Bulgarian archeologist, Georgi Kitov.

Until that moment, numerous objects have been found in the mound – a bronze candlestick, a glass rhyton, a huge bronze amphora, a golden bracelet, other golden objects, and glass vessels with some kind of liquid in them.

The excavations continue and more find are expected to come up.

Dimitrova’s team is taking part in the excavations Archeology Summer “Sliven 2009”, which began on June 9.

In the initial plans of the team, there were 3-4 mounds marked. In is the third year in a row that the Sliven Municipality financially supports the “TEMP” expedition. This was Georgi Kitov’s expedition.

His goal was to prove that the Valley of the Thracian Kings lies to the big branch of the Tundzha river next to the city of Sliven.

A couple of days later, another report added (inter alia) that a leather purse containing some coins had been found. Here’s an image of the bronze candlestick in situ:


Samian Ware from Impington

From the BBC:

Archaeological excavations at the site of a former plant nursery, set to be developed for housing, have found evidence of Iron Age and Roman use.

The dig at the former Unwins Nursery at Impington, Cambridgeshire, found occupation dating from about 100BC with evidence of an Iron Age roundhouse.

The site was developed in Roman times with a series of ditches and pottery found is from the 2nd and 3rd Century.

The finds include high status Samian pottery imported from Gaul.

Some of the Samian pottery has the potter’s stamp still visible, enabling archaeologists to find the actual individual who made the vessel about 1,800 years ago in France.

‘Unexpected finds’

Also a deposit of more than 40 oyster shells intermingled with pottery has been recorded in a pit close to the existing road.

This may represent a ritual or votive offering to the gods or ancestors.

Site director with Oxford Archaeology East Chris Thatcher said: “We did not expect to find such important Iron Age and Roman remains here at Impington.

“We can now see the origins of the village going back over 2,000 years.”

The planned redevelopment of the site will see the building of 35 houses.

Temple of Apollo on Geronisos

Brief item from Bloomberg:

Archaeologists in Cyprus found evidence that an island off the Mediterranean country’s south- west coast was the site of a temple for worshiping Apollo, the ancient Greek god of light, prophecy, music and healing.

Excavations led by New York University on Geronisos unearthed fragments of pithoi, or storage vessels probably used to hold olive oil, that could be repaired to stand to a height of 1.20 meters, among the largest storage containers ever found on Cyprus, according to a statement today on the Web site of the Cypriot Interior Ministry’s Public Information Office.

The vessel fragments, which date from the 1st century B.C., were found in what appears to be a storeroom or pantry facility, probably servicing a complex of previously found dining rooms, the statement said.

The digs also unearthed a sculptured lion’s head that “would have been plastered and painted as a fitting adornment for a monumental structure, possibly a temple,” according to the statement.

Previous digs on the island showed that Geronisos was an ancient religious tourist center for worshiping Apollo, son of the king of the Greek gods, Zeus, and the nymph, Leto.

“The discovery of this storage facility represents an important breakthrough in our understanding of the experience of ancient pilgrims on Geronisos,” the Cyprus Department of Antiquities said in the statement, “and the ritual dining that seems to have taken place within the complex of rooms in the central south sector of the island.”

NYU has been digging at Geronisos for a while … some previous results are on the web from 2004 and 2006.

Lusitanian Pottery

Tacked on to the end of a semi (very semi)-related piece in Portugal News:

Meanwhile, in related news, another archeological team has confirmed that remnants of artifacts unearthed in the furnaces of Morraçal da Ajuda, Peniche, are in fact the first examples of Lusitanian pottery and are believed to have been used for storing fish and fish derivatives that were consumed during the time of the Roman Empire.

Fragments of amphoras were first discovered in 1998 but only now have experts been able to confirm their actual use.