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.