Saturday, March 31, 2012

Administrative Note

AWOL has been experiencing some difficulties with its feed since Wednesday.  I'm working on it. Apologies for any inconvenience.


Update 30 March 2012.  The feed worked on Friday, and was delivered to subscribers via Feedburner.  Those interested to see what they may have missed in the last few days can go directly to AWOL and scroll back through this week's additions.

Codex Bezae Online

Codex Bezae
Part of the Treasures of the Library Collection.
There are half-a-dozen ancient manuscripts which are the foundation of our understanding of the text of the New Testament writings. Among these stands the copy known since the sixteenth century as Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis. Any manuscript which has survived from antiquity is a marvel for this reason alone, and as we explore its pages, we have a rare opportunity to explore a little of the written culture of late antique Christianity. Although in the past century some remarkable papyrus manuscripts have been recovered from the sands of Egypt, their discovery has in general served more to highlight the significance of the parchment manuscripts than to diminish it.

Among this group, Codex Bezae occupies a unique place for several reasons. In the first place, as a bilingual manuscript, with a Greek text and a Latin version on facing pages, it provides a valuable insight into the reception of the Gospels and Acts in the western Christian tradition. The Latin version it contains is one of the small handful of manuscripts which are the most important witnesses to the development of a Latin version before Jerome's famous Vulgate of 382. Secondly, it provides a strikingly different form of text to that preserved in almost every other manuscript, and to the printed Greek text and the translations derived from it. These differences consist in the Gospels in frequent harmonisation of the text and in Acts in a free restyling of the text found best represented by Codex Vaticanus and reproduced in English translations...

Physical location: Cambridge University Library

Classmark: MS Nn.2.41
Subject: Bible. N.T.
Language(s): Greek and Latin
Uniform title: Bible. N.T.
Alternative title(s): Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis
Origin place: Possibly Beirut
Extent: 510 ff.
Support: Parchment
Ownership: Donated by Theodore Beza, 1581.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Open Access Journal: Republics of Letters

[First posted in AWOL 18 December 2009. Updated 29 March 2012]

Republics of Letters
ISSN 2159-1873
Republics of Letters is a peer-reviewed, digital journal dedicated to the study of knowledge, politics, and the arts, from Antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the early modern period. Articles are organized by forum, each of which, unlike special issues in print journals, will continue to accept new material over time. All articles are freely accessible. The journal is sponsored by the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL) of Stanford University.


March 09, 2015
October 01, 2014
April 29, 2014
January 14, 2014
September 04, 2012
March 11, 2011
December 01, 2010
February 24, 2010
December 19, 2008

News from the CDLI: Mellon-funded digitization of the Turin cuneiform collection

Mellon-funded digitization of the Turin cuneiform collection

We are pleased to announce the first results of a digitization collaboration between the Museo di Antichità di Torino (MAT, Superintendance of Archaeology in Turin) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-supported research project "Creating a Sustainable Digital Cuneiform Library (CSDCL)," under the general direction of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI - Los Angeles/Berlin).

Continuing the international collaboration dedicated to the digital capture, persistent archiving and web dissemination of major cuneiform collections in Europe and the Middle East, Laura Hawkins (Oxford University) and Bertrand Lafont (CNRS-Paris) were given access to the full cuneiform collection that is now kept in the MAT, consisting of approximately 800 tablets. With the generous support of the director of the Museo di Antichità, Gabriella Pantò and with the kind assistance of the staff, Hawkins and Lafont proceeded in September and October 2011 to scan the entire collection, including an existing archive of quite professionally done analogue photos; following post-capture processing of the raw images in Los Angeles, new image files have been posted to the CDLI website, and can be viewed directly through the project's search page or, with introductory text in English and Italian, at the MAT page. The initial phase of file postings included a set of images of obverse and reverse surfaces of nearly all objects that were created by the former Senior Curator of the collection, Giovanni Bergamini, listed in CDLI's MAT pages as detail shots; a second posting phase makes available the full CDLI fatcross renditions of text artifacts created in raw format by Hawkins and Lafont in Turin.

We hope that the MAT/CDLI web content will assist cuneiform specialists in the collation of existing publications (above all Archi-Pomponio, TCND [1990]; Archi-Pomponio-Bergamini, TCNU [1995]; and Archi-Pomponio-Stol, TCVC [1999]), and we are convinced that at the same time general access to images of all text-artifacts in curatorial and scholarly care, in conjunction with collated transliterations, will establish the broadest possible foundation for integrative research on all cuneiform inscriptions by the scholarly community.

For the Superintendance of Archaeology in Turin (Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Piemonte e del Museo Antichità Egizie):
Gabriella Pantò, Direttore del Museo di Antichità
Matilde Borla, Archeologo direttore coordinatore specialista in egittologia
Giovanni Bergamini, Museum’s scientific consultant, Formerly Senior Curator

For the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative:
Bertrand Lafont, Co-Principal Investigator
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

Open Access Journal: Bulletin de la Société préhistorique français

[First posted in AWOL 9 March 2011. Updated 29 March 2012]

Bulletin de la Société préhistorique français
eISSN - 1760-7361
Publié sans interruption depuis 1904, le Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française est la plus importante revue de Préhistoire française. Il publie des articles originaux de Préhistoire, depuis le Paléolithique jusqu’au premier Âge du Fer.

Available periods  :

1904-1963 - Bulletin de la Société préhistorique de France

1964-1977 - Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française. Comptes rendus des séances mensuelles

1964-1977 - Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française. Études et travaux

1978-2007 - Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française








Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Temples of the Bosporan Kingdom (In Russin)


Проект ориентирован на информационное обеспечение археологических исследований
с применением новых информационных технологий.
Работы проводятся при поддержке гранта РГНФ 
Мультимедийная информационная система: «Античные храмы  и святилища на территории Восточного Крыма и Таманского полуострова» 

News from the Database of Neo-Sumerian Texts (BDTNS)

The Database of Neo-Sumerian Texts (BDTNS) was listed in AWOL 19 January 2012.  It has recently been updated as indicated below [and see: See new texts since former update (July 2010)]:
The Database of Neo-Sumerian Texts (BDTNS) website has been renewed
( Some of the most relevant modifications

- The look of the website has changed, and some bugs have been fixed.
- 3708 new texts have been added to the catalogue, 653 of them in
- Thousands of transliterations have been revised.
- 150,000 bibliographical references have been checked. The kind of
edition is now specified, indicating whether it provides handcopy (H),
transliteration (T), translation (Ts), or pictures (P) of the text.
- A list of abbreviations has been added to the bibliography section.
- Transliterations, revision of transliterations, handcopies and
photos are always credited.
- A tool for sending suggestions or corrections has been added.

Texts from most recent publications (CUSAS 6, Fs. Hrushka) will be
added very soon.

All this work has been made with the collaboration of Palmiro Notizia
and Jonatan Ortiz Salas (programmer).

Manuel Molina
Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales
C/ Albasanz 26-28
28037 Madrid

Open Access Series: Trabalhos de Arqueologia

Trabalhos de Arqueologia: Série de estudos arqueológicos, de âmbito monográfico ou temático

These volumes are apparently no longer online in open access. If you find a new link, please pass it along in the comments.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Herculaneum Conservation Project

[First posted in AWOL 14 April 2011.  Updated 27 March 2012 - see the new video on the project]

Herculaneum Conservation Project
The Herculaneum Conservation Project was set up by David W. Packard, president of the Packard Humanities Institute (a philanthropic foundation), with the aim of supporting the Italian State, through the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei (the local heritage authority), in preserving this uniquely valuable, but at the same time fragile, archaeological site.
Herculaneum was overwhelmed by the same volcanic eruption of Vesuvius as its neighbouring city of Pompeii in AD 79. Exploration of the ancient city started under the Bourbon kings of Naples in 1738, later open-air excavations were carried out at various times until the end of the twentieth century. Much smaller than Pompeii, Herculaneum is less of a household name today but the particular circumstances of the town’s burial mean that many features of Herculaneum bring the past to life more vividly even than Pompeii.  While Pompeii was covered in a blanket of ash and pumice pebbles (lapilli) only some 10 metres deep, Herculaneum was encased in compacted layers of volcanic material that consolidated into rock, at some points to a depth of up to 25 metres. For this reason many organic features, including wooden beams and furniture, are well preserved at Herculaneum, unlike most archaeological sites in the world, and in many houses it is possible to see upper floors. At the same time, such upper floors and delicate wooden material are particularly fragile, and this unique site stands in constant danger of disintegration unless sustained efforts are made for its conservation.
Since 2001 the Herculaneum Conservation Project, a collaboration between the Packard Humanities Institute and the Soprintendenza, supported by the British School at Rome, has sought to address some of the most pressing threats to the survival of the site. The focus has been on infrastructural problems – roofing and drains. It has also sought by scientific experiment to analyse the critical conservation risks and to develop better approaches to solving or reducing them. It has stressed the importance of regular maintenance with the development of sustainable programmes for the future. In the course of work, it has made many new archaeological discoveries, and cast new light on the history of the site. It tries to involve the local community closely in its activities, has undertaken joint projects with the town council, and helped set up the Herculaneum Centre.
The Herculaneum Conservation Project is undertaken by a large interdisciplinary team of specialists, most of whom are Italian. It is overseen by a Scientific Committee involving Italian and international experts in archaeology and conservation. It is directed by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, formerly Director of the British School at Rome, and currently Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.  Operations on site are overseen by the Project Manager, Jane Thompson and by the Director of the archaeological site, Maria Paola Guidobaldi.
The project provides access to a variety of useful resources, including:

The Herculaneum Conservation Project periodically reports to its Scientific Committee at meetings where recommendations are made for future strategy. Before these meetings the team write reports that summarise and illustrate the work carried out over the previous year. Here below you can download the last two annual reports:

Rapporto annuale 2008-2009

Annual report 2009-2010

No conservation interventions can be properly carried out and no archaeological research taken forward without understanding the body of work that has been left by previous practitioners and researchers. The Herculaneum Conservation Project has been gathering relevant bibliographic material and recording it in an archive. The list that can be downloaded here is the result of ongoing research related to site conservation.
Academic researchers should also consult:
McIlwaine, I.C. (2009) Herculaneum: a guide to the printed sources. Bibliopolis.
Garcia y Garcia Laurentino (1998) Nova Bibliotheca Pompeiana. 250 anni di bibliografia archeologica. Rome, Bardi.

To download the Herculaneum Conservation Project’s bibliography, click here.
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites (2007)

Forma Urbis (2005)
  • What Lies Beneath – Raising the Roof (2010; Domenico Camardo, Mario Notomista, Sarah Court in Current World Archaeology)
  • Saving Herculaneum (2009; Sarah Court in the DK Eyewitness publication ‘Ancient Rome Expert Files’, a guide to ancient Rome for children)
  • Learning Together: Sharing Conservation Decisions with the Herculaneum Conservation Project (2007; Jane Thompson, Sarah  Court)
and more