Wednesday, February 29, 2012

News from AMAR

Stony Brook University is delighted to announce that the Archive of Mesopotamian Site Reports (AMAR) has now gone live in its almost final form.  You can access it at  It contains digitized copies of nearly 600 archaeological site reports.  These focus on Mesopotamia, but include reports on the archaeology of Iran, the Gulf, Turkey, Syria, Armenia and Lebanon.  The books can all be downloaded without charge for personal use only.  This project was funded through the "Rebuild the Capabilities of Iraq's Museum, Heritage and Archaeology Organizations Project" funded by the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project with and the International Relief and Development and the implementing NGO.

There are a couple of tweaks still needed.  We will add instructions for use in Arabic and English, and one more book needs to be uploaded.

For those eager to begin working with the archive, if you want to download all or part of a volume, click on the arrow to the right of the box that says "document description" and you will find the tools that you need.

Elizabeth C. Stone
Department of Anthropology
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4364
Phone:  (631) 632-7627
Fax:  (631) 632-9165

New Open Access Journal: LCM Newsletter: Bulletin of the MA Program in Archaeomaterials at Tel Aviv University

LCM Newsletter: Bulletin of the MA Program in Archaeomaterials at Tel Aviv University
The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology and The Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures.

Year 1 No 1 (February 2012)

Open Access Journal: Praesentia: Revista Venezolana de Estudios Clásicos

[First posted in AWOL 6 November 2009. Updated 29 February 2012]

Praesentia: Revista Venezolana de Estudios Clásicos
ISSN: 1316-1857 
Convencidos del valor de la creación y divulgación del conocimiento como sostén de una actividad académica seria, nos animamos a fundar una publicación que pudiera convertirse en receptora y vínculo de los trabajos producidos sobre el mundo antiguo grecorromano.

Por ello, nuestra intención es constituirnos en un medio a través del cual se posibilite la difusión de aquellas investigaciones que, en nuestro país y en el extranjero, confirmen la constante y permanente renovación de los estudios sobre el mundo grecolatino clásico, helenístico e imperial, así como su influencia en nuestra cultura y pensamiento.

Le invitamos a conocer la versión electrónica de Praesentia, Revista Venezolana de Estudios Clásicos, que se genera desde el Grupo de Investigaciones de Lenguas y Literaturas Clásicas de la Universidad de los Andes, Mérida -Venezuela.
Nº 1
Texto completo
Nº 2-3
Texto completo.
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Nº 7
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Nº 8
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Live Stream Conference: 1st - 3rd of March CAMNES Sessions of the 16th SOMA (Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology)

1st - 3rd of March Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies Sessions of the 16th SOMA (Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology) 


CAMNES together with the University of Florence are organizing

the 16th SOMA - Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology
from the 1st to the 3rd of March 2012 in Florence (Italy)


The 16th SOMA is under the patronage of the City of Florence, the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, the Mediterranean Observatory and GAMA

This is the official web site:

The First Circular is On-Line!



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Open Access Journal: AKTC Afghanistan Newsletter

AKTC Afghanistan Newsletter
AKTC Afghanistan newsletters
Newsletters Documenting the Progress of Cultural Revitalisation Projects in Kabul and Herat
These newsletters document the progress of the revitalisation projects of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which began the rehabilitation of Bagh-e-Babur, a walled and terraced garden containing the tomb of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, in 2002. The programme has expanded to include the 19th-century mausoleum in central Kabul over the grave of Timur Shah and a great number of homes, mosques and other structures in the war-damaged quarters of Asheqan wa Arefan, Chindawol and Kuche Kharabat. In Herat, in western Afghanistan, a range of documentation, conservation and upgrading works has also been carried out since 2005 in surviving historic sections of the old city.

October 2011 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 528 KB

May 2011 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 368 KB

November / December 2010 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 519 KB

July / August 2010 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 531 KB

July / August 2010 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 573 KB

May / June 2010 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 499 KB

March / April 2010 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 502 KB

January / February 2010 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 511 KB

November / December 2009 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 437 KB

September / October 2009 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 452 KB

May / June 2009 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 616 KB

March / April 2009 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 728 KB

January / February 2009 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 519 KB

November / December 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 610 KB

September / October 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 611 KB

July / August 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 463 KB

May / June 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 663 KB

May / June 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 663 KB

March / April 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 622 KB

November 2007 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 739 KB

September/October 2007 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 568 KB

July 2007 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 749 KB

May 2007 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 672 KB

March 2007 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 569 KB

January 2007 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 348 KB

November / December 2006 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 573 KB

September / October 2006 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 496 KB

September / October 2006 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 496 KB

August 2006 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 435 KB

July 2006 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 337 KB

Project Brief on Afghanistan
Size: 593 KB

January / February 2008 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 471 KB

Urban Conservation and Area Development in Afghanistan
Size: 6 MB

August 2006 Afghanistan Newsletter
Size: 435 KB

Barbur's Garden Rehabilitation Framework
Size: 5.97 MB

Monday, February 27, 2012

Open Access Journal: Hélade

[First posted in AWOL  3 November 2009. Updated 27 February 2012]

ISSN 1518-2541
HÉLADE é uma publicação eletrônica semestral voltada para os estudos da Antigüidade Ocidental e Oriental, idealizada para difundir as pesquisas acadêmicas de especialistas em história, arqueologia, antropologia, filosofia e filologia. Nossa proposta é ampliar o diálogo, criando um espaço que reúna pesquisadores não só brasileiros como de qualquer parte do mundo, ultrapassando fronteiras, visando a construção do conhecimento. Mais do que divulgar novas pesquisas, desejamos buscar a integração de pesquisadores e interessados no estudo da Antigüidade nessas diversas áreas, fomentando novos debates. 

Assim, é que a HÉLADE se propõe a disponibilizar gratuitamente artigos em português, inglês, francês, espanhol e italiano produzidos por pesquisadores de diversas instituições brasileiras e internacionais.

A HÉLADE conta, ainda, com a publicação de uma série de suplementos – em sua maioria teses e dissertações em História Antiga – que poderão ser obtidos através do nosso e-mail

HÉLADE is a biannual electronic journal on Ancient Studies, whose main goal is to disseminate scholarly researches on History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Philosophy and Philology.  It is especially devoted to enlarge dialogue, bringing together researchers not only from Brazil, but also from every country of the world; transcending boundaries to raise new debates. 
Thus  HÉLADE has the purpose to make academic researches available for students, scholars and  anyone interested in Ancient Studies by publishing on-line and for free articles written in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Italian.
In addition, HÉLADE publishes a series of supplements – most of all are theses and dissertations in Ancient History, which can be ordered by e-mail.

Vol. 1 (1)/2000
Vol. 1 (2)/2000 Vol. 2 (1)/2001 Vol. 2 (2)/2001 Vol. 2 (NE)/2001 
Vol. 3 (1)/2002 Vol. 3 (2)/2002



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Online Catalogue of the Listed Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Greece

Ongoing Catalogue of the Listed Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Greece

The Ongoing Catalogue of the Listed Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Greece is compiled and published since 1993 by the Directorate of the National Archive of Monuments of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Part of the greater project for the creation of an all-inclusive National Inventory of Monuments, it is a codification of all the official acts by which archaeological sites and monuments of the country have been designated and listed as such in the Government Gazette since 1921. Only immoveable monuments, archaeological sites and historic places that required a specific legal act of designation, demarcation and protection are included, as the Greek Law (3028/2002 “On the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage in general”) places all monuments and sites dating before 1830 under the protective auspices of the State automatically and without further legislative procedures. From its original printed form (more than 120 volumes), the Ongoing Catalogue has now developed into a modern digital database updated regularly and accessible over the Internet at The database holds more than 10.000 entries related to over 18.000 sites and monuments designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Visitors of the Ongoing Catalogue’s web site can search (in Greek) specific acts of designation, monuments or sites by name, geographical location, and state of ownership or administrative authority. Free keyword search is also available. All content is intended merely for informational purposes; only the original statutes published in the corresponding Issues of the Government Gazette have legal value.
Διαρκής Κατάλογος

Open Access Journal: e-Sasanika: Original Articles

 [First posted 7/26/10, most recently updated 11 June 2013]

e-Sasanika: Original Articles

Should Sasanian Iran be Included in Late Antiquity?

Michael G. Morony, University of California, Los Angeles
Red-King-headWhen Peter Brown published The World of Late Antiquity, AD 150-750 in 1971 he included the Sasanians. That seems to have been the first time that happened in English, although Franz Altheim and Ruth Stiehl had entitled their study of Sasanian taxation Finanzgeschichte der Spätantike in 1957. However the latter was only about Sasanian Iran and not a general treatment of finance in Late Antiquity that included the Sasanians. ... READ MORE

The Romance of Artaban and Artašir in Agathangelos’ History

Gohar Muradyan, Matenadaran Institute, Yerevan; Aram Topchyan, Matenadaran Institute, Yerevan
defaultThe Armenian History by Agathangelos written in the mid‐5th century and nar‐rating about the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in the early fourth century was soon translated into Greek and other languages: Arabic, Old Russian, and Georgian. There also exist shorter re¬cen¬sions (known as The Life of St. Gregory) in Karshuni, Ethio‐pian, Coptic, Greek, Georgian, Latin, and Arabic. The Greek version of the History is extant in nine manuscripts dating from the 8th‐12th cc. Only one of them, kept in the Laurentian library of Florence, Plut. VII, cod. Gr. 25 (12th c.), contains nine initial para‐graphs absent from the Armenian original and from the other recensions. ... READ MORE

Sasanian Reflections in Armenian Sources

Tim Greenwood, University of St Andrews
defaultThe deep impression of Iran upon all aspects of early mediaeval Armenia has long been recognized. Although linguists may have taken the lead in tracing this influence, scholars in all disciplines, particularly historians and theologians, have unearthed multiple parallels and connections between the two cultures. The penetrating studies by Garsoïan and Russell over the past four decades have proved to be particularly influential, to the extent that no scholar today would seriously contemplate studying early mediaeval Armenia without acknowledging its Iranian heritage.1 Indeed such is the degree of unanimity over the level of Iranian influence upon all aspects of Armenian society and culture that the contention has begun to operate in the opposite direction. Armenian sources have been exploited to shed light upon Iranian, and specifically Sasanian, history. ... READ MORE

An Exceptional Gold Coin of Shapur I

Armine Zohrabyan, History Museum of Armenia
ShapurCoinRecently we have had a chance to see a unique gold coin of Shapur I. Unfortunately the location of this coin today is unknown to us. At first sight, the coin looks like the usual issues of Shapur I (particularly the iconography in obverse), but exploration of some details in reverse give us cause to suppose that it was minted for a certain occasion. Shapur I continued the regional policy of his predecessor, Artashir I, from the beginning of his reign. A series of victories against the Roman Empire opened the way to conquer Armenia, which was the main success of Sasanian Iran in the West. Shapur I represented his glorious victories against Roman Empire in rock sculpture and took a new title, king of kings Iran and non‐Iran, as a result of his successful policy. ... READ MORE

Like Father, Like Daughter: Late Sasanian Imperial Ideology & the Rise of Bōrān to Power

Haleh Emrani, University of California, Los Angeles
BoranGoldCoinI-smThe reign of Bōrān and, afterwards that of her sister Āzarmīgduxt, although short‐lived, were historically significant. No other woman ascended the Sasanian throne, in her own rights, before or after them. The significance is even greater in view of the social and cultural limitations placed on women in Sasanian Iran, as discussed in the studies presented by scholars such as Jamsheed K. Choksy, Albert De Jong, and Mansour Shaki. This paper investigates the factors that legitimized the rise of these women to the throne through the examination of the ideas of Iranian kingship in general and Sasanian imperial ideology in particular. ... READ MORE

Historical Geography of Fars during the Sasanian Period

Negin Miri, University of Sydney
Miri-map-smThere are few studies in existence which explore the Sasanian historical geography. The pioneering work of Marquart on the historical geography of the Sasanian Empire in the book of Ps.- Moses of Chorene is one of the earliest studies of its kind. Later discoveries of numismatic and sigillographic finds, as well as publications on and editions of literary and material evidence, relevant to the historical geography and administrative organization of the Sasanian Empire did not change things dramatically, but did help to complete and in some cases correct early impressions. During the last decades R. Gyselen and Ph. Gignoux have significantly contributed to the field of Sasanian historical and administrative geography through their publications and scrutiny of the sigillographic, numismatic and written sources. ... READ MORE

Spāhbed Bullae: The Barakat Collection

Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine; Keyvan Safdari, University of California, Irvine
esasanika-12-fimageThis article brings to light some ten Spāhbed bullae which are housed at the Barakat Gallery in London. Their provenance is unknown, but they are dominantly (seven) from the kust ī nēmrōz “Southeastern Quarter” of the Sasanian Empire. There is also a bulla from kust ī xwarōfrān “Southwestern Quarter,” another from the kust ī xwarāsān “Northeastern Quarter,” and a unique, mostly illegible and unpublished bulla among the collection as well. Before dealing with the Barakat collection it is important to provide a historiography of the study of the Spāhbed bullae and its significance for Sasanian history and civilization. ... READ MORE

The State of Research on Sasanian Painting

Matteo Compareti, Venice, Italy
Compareti-smDespite very recent discoveries – which are, however mainly fortuitous ones – the archaeology of pre-Islamic Iran is still badly known. This is particularly true for the Sasanian period (224-651), a kind of “golden age” for Persian art and culture that is remembered in later Islamic sources as the apogee of the Persian Empire. It is a well-known fact that written sources are practically absent in pre-Islamic Iran if one excludes official inscriptions in Pahlavi on rock reliefs and the coinage. For this reason, the archaeological investigation should have an important role in the reconstruction of the Sasanian past. ... READ MORE

Sasanian Law

Jany Janos, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary
defaultThe proper term for law is the Middle Persian dād although the meaning of dād is more complex than the Western concept of law. In fact, several texts attest to the dual meaning of dād as both law and religion, sometimes understood as a religious law, sometimes as a synonym of religion, sometimes as a secular law or the king’s command. It is only the context of the text which is helpful to decide which meaning was referred to. In the Pahlawi Riwāyat Accompanying the Dādestān ī Dēnīg dād has the dual meaning of religion and law: ’when someone goes over from the (religious) law to which he belongs to another law he is margarzān, because he is deserting the Good Religion, and he is taking up this bad law’. ... READ MORE

The Coins of 3rd Century Sasanian Iran and the Formation of Historical Criteria

Rika Gyselen, C.N.R.S. France
gyselen-smThis paper aims to show how a numismatist can isolate a coin type that provides evidence about a particular political situation, whose real nature has to be discovered by the historian. We show first how, from a corpus of more or less representative coinage (A), the numismatic scholar can identify a series of coinage (B). If the scholar believes that the series has a sufficient number of typological and stylistic characteristics that distinguish it from general coinage production, he/she will attribute it to a specific source, that is, to a specific mint (C1). ... READ MORE

A Strange Date on Sasanian Drachms of Kavad I

François Gurnet
Gurnet-coin-smThe reign of Kavad the first is probably the most interesting in Sasanian history. The chaos caused by Mazdakism during his reign lead to a restored, strong, monarchy under his son and successor. Kavad I had two reigns, 488 to 496 and 499 to 531 AD. He succeeded Valkash (484-488) but was soon deposed by his brother Zamasp (496-499). Three years in exile Kavad recovered his throne and was eventually succeeded by his son, one of the most remarkable Sasanian kings, Khusro I (531-579). Kavad had numerous coin types. The one that interests us here is his first type. It was used during his first reign, showing no date, and was then used during the first two years of his second reign, being known for years 11 and 12. A new type was introduced in year 13. ... READ MORE

Inscribed Sasanian Bullae at the National Museum of Iran

Daryoush Akbarzadeh, National Museum of Iran; Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine
Akbarzadeh-bulla-smSasanian bullae are important objects in understanding the economic and administrative history Ērānšahr. The bulla which is a seal impression onto clay was used as a signatory device for commodities and letters. Until now a large number of collections from both museums and private collectors have been published, and with each publication our knowledge of economic, social and administrative history of Ērānšahr deepens. The collection under study here provide further evidence to different localities, some known and others of unknown provenance. However, these collections provide a microcosm of economic history of several provinces of the Iranian Plateau. By studying these collections one is able to gather detailed information on the administrative function of the specific Zoroastrian priests, religious endowments, accountants and other personalities who were traders and businessmen. ... READ MORE

The Bactrian Collection: an Important Source for Sasanian Economic History

Khodadad Rezakhani, University of California, Los Angeles
esasanika-03-fimageThe recently discovered and published Bactrian documents are a series of 150 land-sale contracts, legal judgments, deeds of manumission, sales receipts, tax-lists, and letters regarding commercial matters. These have been found, since 1990, in various markets in northern Pakistan and have found their way into the collections of antique dealers in Europe. The vast majority of the documents are now in possession of Dr. David Naser Khalili of London, with a few pieces in the collection of antique dealers in Europe and the Middle East. With the exception of a few, the documents are written on leather, both tanned and un-tanned. ... READ MORE

The Northernmost Zoroastrian Fire-Temple in the World

Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine
AtashKadehThe Caucasus is a land of diverse population and beliefs. Today, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Yazidis live in cities and villages in the valleys and gorges of the region. One religion that had a strong impact on ancient Armenia, Georgia, and the Republic of Azerbijan was Zoroastrianism. While the sources and views of Zoroastrianism are mainly from its homeland, Iran, Zoroastrianism also flourished in the Caucasus in conjunction with the local, native religions of the region. Kartveli or Georgia was converted to Christianity in the fourth century CE. The traditional date given for this momentous event in the history of Georgia is 337 CE. According to Christian sources, King Mirian (Mihran) converted from “paganism,” but a closer look at the sources suggests that the king and the people of ancient Georgia were worshipers of Ohrmazd (Ahura Mazda). ... READ MORE

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Open Access Journal: Observatoire des Musées Syriens Notes Brèves et Utilitaires

Observatoire des Musées Syriens Notes Brèves et Utilitaires

Publications of the Maritime Archaeology Unit - Central Cultural Fund - Galle - Sri Lanka

Publications of the Maritime Archaeology Unit - Central Cultural Fund - Galle - Sri Lanka
The Maritime Archaeology Unit (MAU) was founded in 2001 under the aegis of the Mutual Heritage Centre. It is managed by the Central Cultural Fund and sponsored by the Netherlands Cultural Fund for specific projects. Following the early research and explorations connected with the Galle Harbour Project of 1992, the Central Cultural Fund (CCF) and the Department of Archaeology took the initiative to make maritime archaeologists and conservators out of the archaeology graduates from the relevant institutes and the universities. Our main intention is to develop the maritime archaeological field in Sri Lanka in order to protect our valuable underwater cultural heritage.
Sri Lanka is situated at a location where all shipping routes in the Indian Ocean meet. It has a very long coastline for an island which is so small. We also have a long recorded history during which we came into contact with all other seafaring people of the most countries who came here, mostly for trade. They referred to our country in glowing terms. They also made records of Sri Lankan visitors to foreign countries such as Rome and China.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Open Access Journal: Revista Vértices

Revista Vértices
ISSN: 2179-5894
Revista dos Pós-Graduandos da Área de Hebraico do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Estudos Judaicos e Estudos Árabes do Departamento de Letras Orientais da Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas da Universidade de São Paulo.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New from the Griffith Institute

Norman and Nina de Garis Davies Theban Tomb Tracings Project*
The Griffith Institute has now completed the project to identify and digitize over 1000 tracings made by Norman and Nina de Garis Davis in Theban tombs in the early twentieth century. These tracings were too fragile for consultation and therefore unavailable up until 10 years ago when the whole collection was rehoused and a systematic digitization programme initiated.
This important resource is now available for consultation on the Griffith Institute website
High resolution scans of all of the tracings are available, for further information please email:
We would like to thank everyone involved with this project, especially Ms Jenni Navratil and Dr Hana Navratilova for the long hours spent photographing the original tracings and subsequent digital editing, and Dr Jaromir Malek for his direction and patience.
Over 1000 tracings by Norman and Nina de Garis Davies of scenes in Theban tombs are now available on the Griffith Institute's website Consult the catalogue and tracings

New From Trismegistos: A New Survey of Greek, Coptic, Demotic and Latin Tabulae
K.A. Worp, A New Survey of Greek, Coptic, Demotic and Latin Tabulae preserved from Classical Antiquity. Version 1.0 February 2012, Leiden / Leuven 2012, 78 pp.

This freely downloadable publication provides a new survey of inscribed wooden boards from Egypt and the East. Excluded are mummy labels and related texts, various wooden objects carrying inscriptions, carved rather than inked texts, and Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew boards. It has an appendix on wooden tablets from the West (which we are currently integrating into Trismegistos as well). The order is alphabetical according to the modern toponyms of the collections in which the tabulae are preserved.

This is the second instalment in the TOP-series from someone who is not working directly for Trismegistos or one of its satellite projects (although Klaas Worp is one of the most active 'outsiders' sending us his most welcome corrections on a regular basis). Trismegistos Online Publications remains available to all as a peer-reviewed series aiming to provide freely downloadable pdf-documents with scholarly tools based upon or providing links to the Trismegistos database.
See all volumes available in open access in Trismegistos

Open Access Journal: Human Origins

Human Origins
Human Origins is a British-based peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal dedicated to human origins research and Palaeolithic archaeology. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we offer a broad and interdisciplinary emphasis on Palaeolithic archaeology as well as primatology, osteology, evolutionary psychology, ethnography, palaeo-climatology, geology, anthropology and genetics (phylogeography).

We are currently inviting submissions and welcome short interim reports from the
field (1000 words), medium-length discussions (3000 words), and longer research
contributions (6000 words).  If you are interested in submitting to Human Origins please read our submission guidelines.

Human Origins Volume 1 – 2012
papers from the British Academy Lucy to Language: Archaeology of the Social Brain Seminar Series on Palaeolithic Visual Display

edited by Dr. James Cole and Karen Ruebens

The Importance of Conveying Visual Information in Acheulean Society. The Background to the Visual Display Hypothesis
Pages 1-23
John McNabb

The Identity Model: A Theory to access Visual Display and Hominin Cognition within the Palaeolithic
Pages 24-40

James Cole

Hominin Tool Production, Neural Integration and the Social Brain
Pages 41-64
Derek Hodgson

Rethinking Phylogeny and Ontogeny in Hominin Brain Evolution
Pages 65-91

Fiona Coward and Matt Grove

The pdf of the journal is hyperlinked, blue hyperlinks will take you straight to the images and the red hyperlinks back to the original page you were reading.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cairo Genizah Collection of the Bodleian libraries

Genizah: Cairo Genizah Collection of the Bodleian libraries
The collection of Cairo Genizah fragments held at the Bodleian Libraries is one of major collections of its kind. Acquired over the years since 1890 it consists of about 4,000 fragments. Skilful selection ensured that the Bodleian Genizah holdings became one of the most important collections worldwide, featuring Bible, Early Rabbinic literature (Midrash, Mishnah and Talmud), numerous liturgical fragments (Piyyutim and Selichot), many legal documents and letters, both personal and commercial. Its significance lies particularly in the remarkable size of many of the documents. The 4000 fragments comprise about 25,000 pages, amounting to over six pages per fragment, an average unparalleled elsewhere. Some items consist of whole quires, thus deserving the designation manuscripts rather than fragments. Talmud fragments of ten pages or more are no exception in this collection: Tractate Berakhot is represented with a manuscript of 32 pages (Ms. Heb. c. 17/32); of tractate Sukkah 72 pages (Ms. Heb. e 51) are preserved and for tractate Sotah we have 160 pages (Ms. Heb. d. 20/2) at our disposal. An exceptionally exciting example are the twenty pages of Maimonides’s draft manuscript of his Mishneh Torah with corrections in 4 consecutive stages in his own hand (Ms. Heb. d 32, fols.47a-56b).

The online catalogue is based upon the printed catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (second volume) by Adolf Neubauer and Arthur Ernst Cowley (1906) and the typewritten catalogue of additional Genizah fragments by Arthur Ernst Cowley (ca 1929). 

The classification of the fragments by subject in the printed catalogue in line with the first volume of Neubauer’s catalogue of Hebrew manuscripts at the Bodleian library is - as mentioned in the introduction by Arthur Cowley - problematic. Fragments from the Cairo Genizah were collected by the Bodleian Library in successive acquisitions, which after arrival were bound up in volumes. As a consequence volumes often, despite a careful and focussed acquisition policy, contain under one heading fragments on different subjects. In the online catalogue all fragments of a volume can be searched by subject. The printed catalogue includes 166 volumes, containing in all about 2,675 fragments. The typewritten catalogue consists of 58 volumes with 1094 fragments. It is to be noticed, however, that the total number of 3769 fragments concerns those of which the Cairo Genizah provenance explicitly is stated. The digital access to the Bodleian Genizah collection will facilitate the identification of a considerable number of fragments, whose provenance were hitherto unknown, but which probably also found their way from Cairo to Oxford.
Catalogue Home | Browse | Search | About | Help

Open Journal Systems Enhancement

Many of the Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies are served from the Open Journal Systems platform.  The SURFfoundation, has just announced the development of two plug-ins permitting the enhancement OJS publications with related research data:

Enhanced Publications now possible with Open Journal Systems
Research results published within tried-and-tested system using plug-ins

The Internet makes it possible to present publications in combination with related research data, as Enhanced Publications. The Enhanced Journals…Made Easy project (EJME), which is funded by SURF, has designed a practical work process for publishers of Open Access journals so as to enhance academic journals with the associated data files. The project involved the development of two plug-ins for Open Journal Systems, a system for managing and publishing journals. Open Journal Systems (OJS) is the most frequently used open source package worldwide for academic journals.

Open Journal Systems
OJS is used internationally to promote and increase access to research results. It is used for more than 10,000 journals. The plug-ins developed during the EJME project add capabilities to OJS. The University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, DANS (Data Archiving and Network Services), and Amsterdam University Press have made use of a tried-and-tested system for creating enhanced publications so as to stick as close as possible to the publication process used by researchers. 

Publication process
Authors and editors who use OJS can now easily add data files to articles, including the associated metadata. The data files are then available – without any extra action being necessary – for everyone involved in the editorial process, including peer reviewers. When the article is published, there are references to the datasets, both on the webpage and in a machine-readable file. It is also important that the editorial team can make it possible for the data to be automatically submitted to a reliable data repository when the article is published.

According to Jeroen Sondervan (Amsterdam University Press), “This integration of research data and results on the one hand and publications on the other creates a completely new way of assessing, verifying, and publishing. The combination of OJS and the EJME plug-ins brings this a step closer.”

Practical testing
The EJME plug-ins link up with the work process followed by the editors of Open Journals: from the researcher’s intention to publish to the Open Access publication of the article. The plug-ins that have been developed have been tested in practice by two journals published by two different publishers:
• Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries (JALC), published by Amsterdam University Press (AUP)
• International Journal of the Commons (IJC), published by UBU/Igitur Publishing.

Public Knowledge Project
Staff of the international OJS are enthusiastic about the EJME plug-ins and have included them in their plug-in library. “We are very happy with what EJME has done. The plug-ins are extremely useful and robust, and the documentation is clear and well written," says Kevin Stranack of Public Knowledge Project (PKP), the organisation that manages and develops the OJS. PKP is negotiating with Utrecht University regarding collaboration to improve the functionality for depositing research data via OJS. 

More information
For editors of Open Journals: more about how to present enhanced publications via the available plug-ins.

Open Access Journal: Bulletin critique des Annales islamologiques

[First posted in AWOL 9 July 2009. Updated 21 February 2012]

Bulletin critique des Annales islamologiques

Le Bulletin critique des Annales islamologiques, fondé en 1984, est un supplément annuel à la revue Annales islamologiques, publiée par l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (Ifao) du Caire. Il vise à rendre compte de toute publication intéressant les études arabes et islamiques dans les divers domaines: langue et littérature arabes; islamologie, philosophie; histoire; histoire des sciences et des techniques; anthropologie et sciences sociales; arts et archéologie.

Le Bulletin critique des Annales islamologiques est publié avec le concours de l’UMR 80 84 « Islam médiéval. Espaces, réseaux et pratiques culturelles ».

Comité de Direction
Denise Aigle, Abd El-Hadi Ben Mansour, Pascal Buresi, Sylvie Denoix, Jean-Patrick Guillaume, Françoise Micheau, Houari Touati.

Conseil scientifique
Denise Aigle, Marianne Barrucand, Frédéric Bauden, Hocine Benkheira, Abd El-Hadi Ben Mansour, Pascal Buresi, Éric Chaumont, Sylvie Denoix, Jean-Patrick Guillaume, Claire Hardy-Guilbert, Frédéric Hitzel, Pierre Lory, Denis Matringe, Françoise Micheau, Christophe Picard, Christian Robin, Marie-Claude Simeone-Senelle, Heidi Toelle, Houari Touati, Gilles Veinstein, Katia Zakharia.

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These join:
Annales islamologiques
Volumes 1 (1954) - 30(1996) were launched in November 2006, volumes 31 (1997) - 35 (2001) [full text] and 32 (2002) - 42 (2008) [TOCs only] were launched in June 2009.

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Open Access Journal: Kerdomnel Khmer Magazine

Kerdomnel Khmer Magazine
KERDOMNEL KHMER (Khmer Heritage) is the first magazine in the Kingdom of Cambodia which focuses on arts, archaeology, history, epigraphy, ethnology, sociology,painting, cultural tourism, and so on. The magazine, of which a trial issue has now  been published, will also provide information to readers on exhibitions, meetings, workshops, and publications on the arts and archaeology in Southeast Asia and countries around the world. The people involved in founding and researching for KERDOMNEL KHMER Magazine are local and international professors and students, both within and outside  the country,  who are conducting projects on archaeology, architecture, history, sociology, cultural tourism, and publishing.

The magazine will be used to spread information and share news to readers, especially the younger generation and persons in regional areas. It is intended to educate people in the importance of cultural legacy and national heritage in order to promote conservation and protection. To facilitate understanding by a wide range of readers, the published articles will be simply written and will try to avoid unnecessary technical terms. All data and information related to our project will be hosted at

While the magazine has its own researchers to call on, we will also welcome any articles related to Khmer culture and civilization by researchers who wish to publish in our magazine, and we will also welcome any feedback from our reader through a “Letters to the Editor” section.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Forthcoming Open Access Journal: NEMO-Online Near-Eastern Musicology Online

NEMO-Online: Near-Eastern Musicology Online

ICONEA, CERMAA and PLM are research groups based in London ‎–‎ UK (ICONEA ), in Beirut ‎–‎ Lebanon (CERMAA ) and in Paris ‎–‎ France (PLM).
  • ICONEA (International Conference of Near-Eastern Archaeomusicology) specialises in Near and Middle-eastern archaeomusicology.
  • CERMAA (CEntre de Recherches sur les Musiques Arabes et Apparentées) is dedicated to research on maqām music and modality.
  • PLM (Patrimoines et Langages Musicaux) is a professional research group of musicologists, most of them being also musicians, working at Sorbonne Université in the realm of history of music, ethnomusicology, music analysis and/or theory of music.
In 2011, ICONEA and CERMAA merged and launched a new periodical of Near and Middle-Eastern music research, in the widest sense of the term, under the name of  NEMO-Online (Near-Eastern Musicology Online). PLM joined NEMO-Online as an associate research group in January 2012.

Current issue

Theme: ‘Questioning Modality’ – “La modalité en question”
The theme for the forthcoming issue of NEMO-Online (VOL. 1) is ”Questioning Modality’ or, “La modalité en question“. Contributions welcome in English, German, French and Arabic. Please email by end of November 2011 to Amine Beyhom.
Click here for guidelines
Please read the discussion below, in English or in French, as well as  recent postings (French), referencing guidelines. Please download the transliteration guidelines for the Arabic language prior to sending your paper.

Discussion (English) :

Winnington-Ingram’s definition (Mode in Ancient Greek Music, Cambridge University Press 1936) is a classic:
Mode is essentially a question of the internal relationships of notes within a scale, especially of the predominance of one of them over the others as a tonic, its predominance being established in any or all of a number of ways: e.g., frequent recurrence, its appearance in a prominent position as the first note or the last, the delaying of its expected occurrence by some kind of embellishment.
Other definitions, mostly influenced by Ancient Greek philosophy or by Indian music ragas, introduce the concept of ‘ethos’, or may emphasize  internal balance between the pitches of  the scale. There is also much confusion about the perception of “mode” and “maqām“, or with any other terms, for a particular culture, a melodic construction the characteristics of which being akin to Winnington-Ingram’s definition.
However, a series of disturbing questions are raised: does mode really exist (Harold Powers, ‘Is mode real? Pietro Aron, the octenary system, and polyphony,’ 1992) ? Is mode an intellectual construct of the West (Harold Powers, ‘Modality as a European cultural construct,’ 1992) similar to the construction of  ’Folk Music’ versus ‘Art Music”‘ (Matthew GELBART, The Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, Cambridge University Press, 2007) ? Can the term ‘mode’ have a single definition, from Ancient to Contemporary Music, from Scotland and Brittany to Iran, India and the Arabian Peninsula ? Is tonality related to modality, and how can they be defined ? And what is the role, if any, of formulation  in modal construction ?
Technical problems arise, such as mode versus pentatonism; defining its boundaries; where does it begin, where does it end, and does mode influence the music or reciprocally whenever they meet ? Is mode relevant to non octavial scales and to the construction of scales with genera ? Are modality and temperament compatible ?
Although modality is widely used in musical discussions, no definition is yet satisfactory.
This first issue will concentrate on non Western mediaeval or polyphonic modality, including papers dealing with the modality of Western Folk music.

Discussion (French) :

La définition du mode par Winnington-Ingram (Mode in Ancient Greek Music, Cambridge University Press 1936) est considérée comme un classique :
Mode is essentially a question of the internal relationships of notes within a scale, especially of the predominance of one of them over the others as a tonic, its predominance being established in any or all of a number of ways: e.g., frequent recurrence, its appearance in a prominent position as the first note or the last, the delaying of its expected occurrence by some kind of embellishment.
D’autres définitions, peut-être influencées par les descriptions de musiques de l’Inde ou encore par la philosophie grecque, intègrent le concept de l’”éthos” dans cette définition, ou peuvent insister sur un équilibre interne entre les degrés de l’échelle ; par ailleurs, certaines conceptions confondent “mode” avec “maqām” ou avec tout autre terme se rapportant à une musique dont les caractéristiques sont proches de celles décrites par Winnington-Ingram.
Ces définitions appellent plusieurs questionnements, dont ceux concernant l’existence même de la modalité (Harold Powers, “Is mode real? Pietro Aron, the octenary system, and polyphony,” 1992) et son introduction dans la réflexion sur la musique (Harold Powers, “Modality as a European cultural construct,” 1992), avec un parallélisme possible, sinon probable, entre cette construction et celle du concept de musique “folk”, en opposant celle-ci à la musique dite “d’art” (Matthew GELBART, The Invention of “Folk Music” and “Art Music”, Cambridge University Press, 2007).
D’autres questions peuvent être posées : peut-on se contenter d’une définition unique du mode, notamment pour des musiques s’échelonnant de l’Antiquité jusqu’à nos jours, et se déployant dans une aire géographique qui va de l’Écosse et de la Bretagne jusqu’à l’Iran, l’Inde et la Péninsule arabique ? La “tonalité” est-elle liée à la “modalité”, et comment ? La modalité influence-t-elle d’autres musiques, et est-elle influencée par elles, et comment ? Quel est le rôle de la formularité dans la modalité ? Des maqām supposés être pentatoniques, ou basés sur une structure pentatonique, peuvent-ils être des “modes” ? Peut-on toujours parler de modalité dans le cas de structures non-octaviantes, ou encore basées sur des constructions scalaires en genres ? Modalité et tempérament sont-ils compatibles ? etc.
Toutes ces questions montrent que les concepts de “mode” et de “modalité”, bien que largement répandus, sont encore à préciser.
Le premier numéro se concentrera sur la modalité hors Occident médiéval ou polyphonique, mais incluant les musiques traditionnelles européennes.