Ancient History News Archive January 2012

January 2012

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Conservation of Ancient Heritage in Afghanistan

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published on 28 January 2012
The Wall Street Journal Magazine has a very timely article on the conversation of historical sites across war-torn Afghanistan. A new sense of urgency has arisen as operations commence in valuable copper mines around the country. Please click here to read this article.
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Prehistoric Lake Dwellings in Switzerland

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published on 27 January 2012
Swissinfo--a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation--published this curious article about ancient lake settlements in November 2011. It was in 1854 when the first Swiss "lake-dweller" village was discovered outside Zurich, and since then over fifty more have been uncovered. Dating from roughly 5.000 to 500 BCE, these villages provide archaeologists... [continue reading]
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Fortuitous Discoveries in Istanbul, Turkey

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published on 25 January 2012
Many of readers might be aware that Turkey has suffered a devastating drought this year. Turkey's bad weather has, however, made an archaeologist's dream. Recently, a long forgotten sea wall has been revealed just outside of Istanbul, in Bathonea. Once a port, complimenting the great nexus of Constantinople, Bathonea's treasures are quickly being uncovered, surprising... [continue reading]
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Ancient Sites--For Rent in Greece

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published on 23 January 2012
France24 has recently reported that the Greek government has decided to allow many of its famed archaeological sites--like the Parthenon--to be made available for "commercial" use by companies, private institutions, and other organizations. The decision, made by the Greek Ministry of Cultural Affairs, has been met with disgust and confusion by scholars and archaeologists... [continue reading]
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Ancient "Modernism" in Greco-Roman Egypt

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published on 21 January 2012
In the February 2012 edition of Smithsonian Magazine, there is an excellent article on the beautiful "Fayum portraits," dating from the Greco-Roman period of Egyptian history (c. 332 BCE--642 CE). Discovered between 1887 and 1889 CE, by the British archaeologist W. M. Flinders Petrie, these portraits are arguably some of the most exquisite portraits in the history... [continue reading]
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Popcorn is older than we thought....

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published on 20 January 2012
While corn was first domesticated in the valleys of central Mexico thousands of years ago, scientists and archaeologists now believe that popcorn originated from ancient Peru. According to a recent report from National Geographic, popcorn is over two thousand years old! Please click here to read the article in full.
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Did the Sumerians brew beer or not?

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published on 20 January 2012
Our history books inform us that the ancient Sumerians from the Fertile Crescent were the first to brew alcoholic beverages. Is this true though? Or did the Sumerians merely brew a very "low-alcoholic" drink?  The writers at Deutsche Welle review the evidence and make a judgment. Please click here to read this report.
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Analyzing Caesar’s Motivations and Emotions on the Banks the Rubicon By Michael Sweet Published Online, 2006 Introduction: Gaius Julius Caesar is among the most famous men in human history. His cognomen... [continue reading]
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From War Elephants to Circus Elephants: Humanity’s Abuse of  Elephants By Mike Jaynes Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1 (2009) Abstract: This paper examines the historical human... [continue reading]
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Anglo-Saxon Gold

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published on 13 January 2012
As the Romans retreated from Britain at the dawn of the fifth century CE, various Germanic tribes invaded and subdued the Romanized Celtic inhabitants. Following conquest, they left behind impressive barrows in addition to hoards of gold, silver, and other precious metals. Recently, National Geographic Magazine featured an article on the spectacular discovery... [continue reading]
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Wet-nursing in the Roman Empire: Indifference, efficiency and affection By Anna Sparreboom Thesis M-phil., VU University, Amsterdam (2009) Introduction: The introduction of artificial baby food in the western world... [continue reading]
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The Mystery of the "Fulacht Fiadh"

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published on 13 January 2012
Why does the same, bizarre Bronze Age structure appear across Ireland and the United Kingdom? Was it something purely ceremonial or something with more practical purposes? In this article, freelance writer Erin Mullally investigates the importance of these structures to historians and anthropologists alike, uncovering clues along the way. Please click here... [continue reading]
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Hygienic conditions in ancient Rome and modern London By Lord Amulree Medical History, Vol.17:3 (1973) Introduction: Edwin Chadwick, acting on first principles only, outlined a programme for the improvement in the health... [continue reading]
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Gordon Doherty, a Scottish writer of historical fiction, about his book Legionary (set in the Migration Age Byzantine Empire) and his latest book Strategos (set in the Medieval Byzantine Empire). In this interview, he talks about his interpretation of Byzantium and why it's a great setting for historical fiction. Click... [continue reading]
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Infrastructure Protection in the Ancient World

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published on 12 January 2012
Infrastructure Protection in the Ancient World By Michael J. Assante Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2009) Abstract: This paper provides lessons learned from ancient Roman attempts... [continue reading]
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They got married, had children, made beer. Although they lived 3,500 years ago in Nippur, Babylonia, in many ways they seem like us. Whether they were also slaves is a hotly contested question which Jonathan Tenney, assistant professor of ancient Near Eastern... [continue reading]
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Ancient Jewish "kosher stamp" Uncovered

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published on 11 January 2012
Excavations just east of the Israeli city of Akko have unearthed a rare ceramic stamp more than 1.500 years old. The stamp, it is believed, was used by a Jewish baker named "Launtius," to certify his goods as kosher to potential customers. The stamp is engraved with an image of the iconic seven branched menorah and also contains lettering in Hebrew and Greek... [continue reading]
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2,000-year-old Roman helmet unveiled in England

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published on 11 January 2012
A magnificent 2,000 year-old silver-gilt Roman helmet of outstanding quality and international importance was unveiled today in England. Archaeologists who made the original discovery at Hallaton in Leicestershire, used to finding more glamorous gold... [continue reading]
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Season 2 of Museum Secrets Premieres this week!

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published on 10 January 2012
Season 2 of Museum Secrets Premieres this week! Museum Secrets, the Canadian television show that explores museums from around the world returns for a second season on History Television, beginning January 12th, 2012... [continue reading]
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Ancient African Sculptures

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published on 09 January 2012
I hope this this post finds all of our readers well and beginning a great start to 2012! If you are interested in ancient art--especially ancient African art--you should check out this news article from NewScientist. Drs. Nicole Rupp and Peter Breunig of the Goethe University Frankfurt have uncovered startling "terracotta heads" in Central Nigeria. Over 2.000... [continue reading]
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Tracing the Origins of the Ancient Egyptian Cattle Cult By Michael Brass A Delta Man in Yebu, ed. Eyma, A.K. and Bennett, C.J. (Universal-Publishers, 2003) Introduction: Studies of ancient Egyptian religion have examined texts... [continue reading]
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The Intellectual History of Catacomb Archaeology

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published on 08 January 2012
The Intellectual History of Catacomb Archaeology By Amy K. Hirschfeld Paper given at Commemorating the Dead: Texts and Artifacts in Context: The Shohet Conference on Roman, Jewish and Christian Burials (University of Chicago, 2005) Abstract: Since... [continue reading]
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A world record was set at an auction earlier this week, when an ancient Greek coin was bought for more than $3.25 million (US). The entire collection of 642 ancient coins was sold off for approximately $25 million through New York-based A. H. Baldwin and Sons auction house on Wednesday. Known... [continue reading]
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Roman brothel token discovered in London

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published on 07 January 2012
The first known Roman brothel token to have been discovered in London and most likely Britain, is on temporary display at the Museum of London. The token or spintria, depicts a man and a woman having sex on one face, and has the Roman numerals XIIII (14... [continue reading]
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Romans and Goths in late antique Gaul: asepcts of political and cultural assimilation in the Fifth Century AD RUCKERT, JULIA, MARGARETA, MARIA Masters thesis, Durham University (2011) Abstract... [continue reading]
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In search of Xerxes: images of the Persian king

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published on 05 January 2012
In search of Xerxes: images of the Persian king Clough, Emma Elizabeth Doctoral thesis, Durham University (2004) Abstract The figure of Xerxes, the Persian king who invaded Greece in 480 BC, is known to us primarily through Greek sources... [continue reading]
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The Early Dynastic Through Old Kingdom Stratification at Tell Er-Rub’a, Mendes Adams,  Matthew Doctor of Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, December (2007) Abstract This project... [continue reading]
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The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

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published on 04 January 2012
The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt Skocilic, Jasmina (University of Zagreb, Croatia) Expanding Horizons: Travel and Exchanging Ideas through the Ages, Journal of the XIIIth annual ISHA conference (Nijmegen, 2002)  Abstract Western man places religion... [continue reading]
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The influence of Hannibal of Carthage on the art of war and how his legacy has been interpreted Messer, Rick Jay Master of Arts Thesis, Kansas State University (2009) Abstract This paper... [continue reading]
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The deification of imperial women: second-century contexts By Karin S. Tate Master’s Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 2011 Abstract: In the early second century AD four extraordinary imperial deifications are recorded... [continue reading]
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Culture Contact, Cultural Integration and Difference: A Case From Northern Mesopotamia By Sevil Baltali Stanford Journal of Archaeology, Vol.5 (2007) Introduction: In this article, I revisit one of... [continue reading]

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