Excavations at the Monastery of St Antony at the Red Sea

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Excavations at the Monastery of St Antony at the Red Sea By Jesper Blid, Fr Maximous El-Antony, Hugo Lundhaug, Jason Zaborowski, Meira Polliack, Mengistu Gobezie Worku & Samuel Rubenson Abstract This paper discusses the results from recent archaeological investigations at the Monastery of St Antony in Egypt, including the remains of a number of building phases predating the current church, locally produced pottery, and manuscript fragments written in Coptic, Arabic, Hebrew, and Ge’ez. Introduction St Antony is, according to tradition, the early 4th-century institutor of Christian monasticism, and his monastery, located some 30 km from the Red Sea coast and about 125 km south of Suez, is regarded as the oldest still-inhabited monastery. As for the chronology of the actual material formation of a monastery at the site, Antony must have settled here sometime before 337, if we are to believe the biography written by Athanasius of Alexandria shortly after his death. Several sources from the end of the 4th century mention the disciples of Antony staying at his desert retreat after his death in 356. Medieval sources refer…

People and Plants

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. People and plants. Piecing together archaeological and archaeobotanical data to reconstruct plant use and craft activities in Mycenaean Tiryns By Melissa Vetters, Ann Brysbaert, Maria Ntinou, Georgia Tsartsidou & Evi Margaritis Abstract Archaeobotanical data are often employed to reconstruct a site’s or a region’s palaeoecology, human use of plants such as agricultural regimes, and the interplay between vegetation and anthropogenic factors in the palaeoenvironment. This paper aims to show that a context-specific integration of such data helps to guide the focus beyond the macroscale and may thus add significantly to the reconstruction of microscale activity areas. New archaeobotanical data from four different find spots in the Lower Citadel of Tiryns, Greece, dating to the Mycenaean Palatial and Post-Palatial periods highlight the importance of combining the analysis of the fruit/seed macroremains with anthracological and phytolith studies and integrating these results in their archaeological contextual study. Based on the data from botanical non-wood macroremains, wood charcoal, and phytoliths, the paper discusses methodological issues such as differential preservation of archaeobotanical remains that only becomes evident if more than one analytical method is…

Home, refuse, and reuse during the Early Helladic III to the Middle Helladic I transitional period

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Home, refuse, and reuse during the Early Helladic III to the Middle Helladic I transitional period. A social zooarchaeological study of the Asine bothroi By Stella Macheridis Abstract The practice of digging, using, and filling large pits, cut into the ground and sometimes lined with clay, was extensive from the Early Helladic III to the Middle Helladic Period I (c. 2,200–1,900 BC) in large parts of the Aegean area. This particular type of feature is called bothros and has been reported since the early 20th century from many settlements, mainly from the Greek mainland. Although the bothroi are numerous in the archaeological record, few studies of them have been made. During the excavations at Asine, a prehistoric coastal settlement in the Argolid, a number of bothroi were identified. This paper is a contribution to the study of bothroi, and in particular of the faunal remains found within these features. I propose that the bothros was an important part of the domestic organization at Asine. Not only did it reflect spatial boundaries but it was also vital in the construction…

Divine commands, authority, and cult
Article , Content / 2016-12-02

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Divine commands, authority, and cult: Imperative dedications to the Egyptian gods By Eleni Fassa Abstract This article presents the dedications made to the Egyptian deities “in ac­cordance with divine command” in the eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The gods of Egypt exhorted and, if disobeyed, demanded from their adherents the performance of specific actions. As it is demonstrated by “imperative dedications” this communi­cation between gods and worshippers was disclosed in public. First, the article examines the imperative expressions in use, the syntax and style of dedicatory language, and proposes a typology of “imperative dedica­tions” in the framework of Isiac cults. Moreover, it is argued that impera­tives constituted a means for the promotion of Isiac cults; most often, the Egyptian gods requested the execution of ritual acts, which either improved and embellished already-founded Isiac cults, or advanced the introduction of Isiac divinities in the cities of the Graeco-Roman world. Finally, it is asserted that “imperative dedications” constitute an impor­tant testimony for Graeco-Roman attitudes regarding the Egyptian gods. They are indicative of a complex relationship between these gods…

The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition 2015

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition 2015. Excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke. Preliminary results By Peter M. Fischer & Teresa Bürge. With a contribution by Dominika Kofel Abstract In 2015 the sixth season of the renewed excavations at the Bronze Age city of Hala Sultan Tekke continued in the compound which was ex­posed in Area 6W in 2013–2014. Further evidence of textile process­ing was found. The results of another ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey in 2014 indicated a new city quarter west of the former. Exca­vations were initiated there in 2015 and parts of the remains of a large compound were exposed. Two occupational phases, Strata 1 and 2, could be determined, both of which were destroyed in a conflagration. Further excavations were carried out in Area A, 550 m to the east of Area 6W and close to the mosque of Hala Sultan Tekke. In 2014 more than 80 circular anomalies were indicated by our geomagnetic survey supported by GPR. Twelve of them were excavated in 2015. Most of them turned out to be backfilled wells of which the fills…

Later, laterculus, and testa
Article , Content / 2016-12-02

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Later, laterculus, and testa. New perspectives on Latin brick terminology By Henrik Gerding Abstract For centuries antiquarians and archaeologists have tried to reconcile the terminology of ancient writers on architecture, such as Vitruvius, with the perceived realities of the material record. One particular issue of debate concerns the interpretation of different words for “brick” in Latin. In this paper it is argued that earlier attempts to settle this question are unsatisfactory and leave several problems unresolved. A thorough examination of literary and epigraphic sources, combined with new insights in Hellenistic brick usage, suggests that primary distinctions in Latin brick terminology were based on shape and size, rather than on a mere division between fired and unfired bricks. Thus, it is argued that later basically signified a large moulded block, but normally was used to indicate mud bricks; that laterculus changed over time from being a diminutive (a small later) to becoming the standard term for the relatively thin fired bricks of the Roman Imperial period; and that tes­ta originally and primarily signified a fragment of a roof tile (or…

Terenz’ Hecyra
Article , Content / 2015-12-02

Opuscula 8 is now available for purchase and free download at Bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Terenz’ Hecyra—Spiel der Voreiligkeiten By Gregor Maurach Abstract Rashness was one of the most urgent themes and most poignant reproaches in Greek experience and reasoning from the 5th century BC onwards: Thucydides complained of rash actions during the Peloponnesian War that led to disaster; Sophocles showed Deianeira rashly sending the lethal garment to her husband on his return with Iole, and Plato made his Socrates expose the rashness of his interlocutors’ assertions again and again. Small wonder, then that Comedy, especially the New Comedy, seized upon this all-pervading deficiency, as can be seen for example in Menander’s Perikeiromene and Epitrepontes, where impulsive young men nearly destroy their lives by acting and judging precipitately. Roman Comedy naturally followed suit, for example Terence in Heautontimorumenos as well as in his Hecyra, where he followed Apollodorus: time and again his characters assert what they do not know for certain and time and again they act according to unwarranted assumptions, a pivotal theme that hitherto seems to have been underrated. Bibliographical information Gregor Maurach, ‘Terenz’ Hecyra—Spiel der Voreiligkeiten’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at…

The Swedish Jordan Expedition 2014

Opuscula 8 is now available for purchase and free download at Bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. The Swedish Jordan Expedition 2014 at Tall Abu al-Kharaz. Preliminary results from Areas 12 and 13 By Peter M. Fischer & Teresa Bürge Abstract In previous seasons excavations have concentrated on the periphery of the city of Tall Abu al-Kharaz, a multi-period tell in the Central Jordan Valley. Tall Abu al-Kharaz flourished from the Early Bronze to Islamic times, from roughly 3200 BC to the 10th century AD. The main object of the field work in 2014 was to investigate the area around the geographical centre of the city (Area 12). Preference was given to further investigation of the Iron Age sequence, i.e. the period from the 12th to the 7th centuries BC (local Phases IX–XV). Another task was to extend the excavations in the northern part of the city, Area 7, which produced essential information on the Iron Age, towards the south (Area 13) in order to generate a coherent picture of Iron Age occupation in the city’s northern half. Domestic structures and a system of fortified walls were uncovered. The rich find assemblage confirmed connections with the Cypriote and…

Loom weights in Archaic South Italy and Sicily
Article , Content / 2015-12-02

Opuscula 8 is now available for purchase and free download at Bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Loom weights in Archaic South Italy and Sicily: Five case studies By Hedvig Landenius Enegren Abstract Textiles are perishables in the archaeological record unless specific environmental conditions are met. Fortunately, the textile tools used in their manufacture can provide a wealth of information and via experimental archaeology make visible to an extent what has been lost. The article presents and discusses the results obtained in a research project focused on textile tool technologies and identities in the context of settler and indigenous peoples, at select archaeological sites in South Italy and Sicily in the Archaic and Early Classical periods, with an emphasis on loom weights. Despite a common functional tool technology, the examined loom weights reveal an intriguing inter-site specificity, which, it is argued, is the result of hybrid expressions embedded in local traditions. Experimental archaeology testing is applied in the interpretation of the functional qualities of this common artefact. Bibliographical information Hedvig Landenius Enegren, ‘Loom weights in Archaic South Italy and Sicily: Five case studies’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 8, Stockholm 2015, 123–155….

Cutting the Gordian knot
Article , Content / 2015-12-02

Opuscula 8 is now available for purchase and free download at Bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Cutting the Gordian knot. The iconography of Megaron 2 at Gordion By Susanne Berndt Abstract This article examines the incised drawings of Early Phrygian Gordion, and in particular those of Megaron 2. Aspects of their iconographic and archaeological contexts are taken in to consideration, as well as literary sources and especially the story of the Gordian knot. The focus of the study is a series of incised labyrinths, which have hitherto not been recognized as such, but which are of particular interest for the analysis of this building. The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in the labyrinth helps to throw light on both the images of Megaron 2 but also on the story of the Gordion knot, and how these are interlinked with each other. It is suggested that Ariadne’s ball of thread and the Gordian knot are two different expressions of a similar concept; both represent sovereignty provided by a Goddess. Megaron 2 seems to have been a building that was intimately connected with both the king and the Phrygian Mother Goddess. Bibliographical information Susanne Berndt, ‘Cutting the Gordian…

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