Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Petition re. Changes in CL Greek transliteration tables

The following message is being widely distributed:
Dear colleagues in Classical, Patristic, Byzantine, and modern Greek studies (with apologies for cross-posting),

As most of you know, U.S. libraries follow the transliteration standards for non-Latin scripts that are set by the American Library Association and the Library of Congress. In December 2009, without any communication to ALA or the Greek studies librarian community, LC approved significant changes to the transliteration tables of modern Greek, intended to reflect Greece's legislation in 1982 about monotonic Greek.

The consequences of this change are many, in large part, because the LC mandate means that libraries must eliminate the "h" (that represents the rough breathing) for all records where monotonic Greek should be represented and retain the "h" in all cases of polytonic Greek. Just to give you a sense of what that means: You will need to search for "historia" AND "istoria" unless you know that you are looking for something polytonic or monotonic. Furthermore, you will need to know whether the library in which you are searching was able to complete a complex and expensive retrospective version project to change old records created between 1982 and 2010 (much of the burden falls on libraries individually). This mandate significantly impacts everyone who uses books or journals published in Greece in an American library.

We have created an online petition to protest this change and insist that the LC mandate be tabled indefinitely, pending further discussion with the librarian and scholarly communities. If you are concerned, please sign it and distribute it to others who will also be affected (your Classics/Patristic/Byzantine/modern Greek colleagues and librarians at your home institutions).


Deborah Brown Stewart

Librarian, Byzantine Studies

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library

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NEH Awards for Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants (March 2010)

The NEH Awards for Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants (March 2010) were announced this week. Of the eighteen projects funded, five relate to the ancient world:

University of California, Berkeley -- Berkeley, CA
Berkeley Prosopography Services: Building Research Communities and Restoring Ancient Communities through Digital Tools
Niek Veldhuis, Project Director
Outright: $49,942
To support: Development of the Berkeley Prosopography Service (BPS), an open source digital toolkit that extracts prosopographic data from TEI encoded text and generates interactive visual representations of social networks.

University of California, Los Angeles -- Los Angeles, CA
Software Interface for Real‑time Exploration of Three‑Dimensional Computer Models of Historic Urban Environments
Lisa Snyder, Project Director
Outright: $50,000
To support: The prototype development for a generalized, extensible platform that will allow for real‑time exploration, annotation, and tours in 3D computer models, using the NEH‑funded Digital Karnak as the test case.

University of New Mexico -- Albuquerque, NM
Digital Documentation and Reconstruction of an Ancient Maya Temple and Prototype of Internet GIS Database of Maya Architecture
Jennifer von Schwerin, Project Director
Outright: $49,832
To support: This project brings together an international team of archeologists, technologists, and cultural heritage site managers to develop a test implementation of a new online platform for virtual environments of significant cultural sites, using the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Copan, Honduras as a testbed.

University of Virginia -- Charlottesville, VA
New Digital Tools for Restoring Polychromy to 3D Digital Models of Sculpture
Bernard Frischer, Project Director
Outright: $50,000
To support: The development of a set of tools that would allow for the accurate inclusion and display of color for Classical sculpture, using the "Augustus of Prima Porta" in the Vatican Museums as a case study.

University of Virginia -- Charlottesville, VA
Supercomputing for Digitized 3D Models of Cultural Heritage
David Koller, Project Director
Outright: $48,549
To support: The development of new algorithms and software to process large‑scale, data‑intensive 3D models of cultural heritage materials on supercompute

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Feedback requested for ZENON and the Archäologische Bibliographie

As noted on AWOL a couple of weeks ago, the Deutsche Archäologische Institut is seeking the help of users to improve ZENON and the Archäologische Bibliographie:

Das Deutsche Archäologische Institut ist dauernd bestrebt, seine Informationsangebote zu verbessern. Da wir die Wünsche der Nutzer bei der Umsetzung berücksichtigen wollen, bitten wir Sie, die folgenden Fragen zu beantworten. Die Umfrage ist anonym!

The German Archeological Institute (DAI) aims constantly at improving its offers of information. Since we want to bear in mind the wishes of our users we would like to ask you to answer the following questions concerning the bibliography of the DAI. Of course the poll is done anonymous!

Το Γερμανικό Αρχαιολογικό Ινστιτούτο προσπαθεί συνεχώς να βελτιώνει το εύρος των προσφερόμενων πληροφοριών του. Για αυτό το λόγο, επειδή οι επιθυμίες των χρηστών του στην αναδιοργάνωση του συστήματος μας είναι σημαντικές, σας παρακαλούμε να απαντήσετε στις ακόλουθες ερωτήσεις. Η δημοσκόπηση είναι ανώνυμη!

L’Istituto Archeologico Germanico desidera migliorare costantemente la propria offerta di informazioni. Vi preghiamo pertanto di rispondere al seguente questionario per poter tenere conto delle richieste dei nostri utenti. Il sondaggio è anonimo!
To help, go here.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

A call for contributions: Reviews of Online Resources

Digital Medievalist journal has issued a call for contributions for the next issue:
... As we all know, there are now many scholarly resources which have been published online as websites but which have never been reviewed as scholarly publications. This is a problem both for us as practitioners and for the discipline in general, not least because it can imply that these publications are somehow less scholarly. Furthermore, the career of academics and research departments often depends on having reviewed publications, as a result of which many online publications are inadmissible for tenure, research assessment and the like.

This problem is being addressed by bodies such as the MLA, but still there are relatively few reviews being written. To help encourage this process, the editors at DM have decided to take action and will include as many of these reviews as we can manage in our next issue (and thereafter). We therefore ask (a) for suggestions of resources that should be reviewed, and (b) offers from reviewers. Of course the ideal is to offer both a resource and a review.
As usual, reviews should be approximately 1,500 words and should consider the publication both from the ‘digital’ and ‘medieval/humanities’ standpoints. We are interested primarily in projects on medieval topics, but as always we are open to anything of interest to medievalists. See the journal’s Submission Guidelines for further details (

Please note also that we are thinking specifically of freely available online publications, not printed books, CD-ROM publications or subscription-only resources (although we will of course still consider reviews of these as usual). In particular, this means that we cannot promise reviewers copies of the publication being reviewed, or access to subscription-only sites...

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Friday, March 19, 2010


This is a version of a communication I just posted on IraqCrisis

As of this weekend the United States and the Coalition have been at war in Iraq for seven years.
Millions of people have been forced from their homes as refugees or internally displaced; hundreds of thousands have been killed and basic services remain unattainable for many. Hundreds of thousands of US soldiers have been sent to fight resulting in over 4,000 deaths and many more injured. In addition, the war has cost U.S. taxpayers at least $3 trillion that could have been spent on jobs, healthcare, and schools. There are no winners.

The Library of Congress has undertaken to archive web sites selected by subject specialists to represent web-based information on the Iraq War.

Scope: On March 20, 2003, the United States initiated offensive military action against Iraq for the stated purpose of deposing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and preventing his use of suspected nuclear weapons (weapons of mass destruction.) British, Australian, Polish, and Danish forces participated in the invasion. U.S. led forces took control of Baghdad on April 9, 2003. There was both support and opposition to the war.

The war continued with the United States coalition forces facing increased insurgency from Shiite militants, Sunni militants, and terrorists aligned with Al Queda. The United States has had more than 150,000 troops deployed at any one time in Iraq. The Library continued with two more phases of web capturing from December, 2003 to the present. These last two phases are not yet available but will be in the future.

Included in the web archive are U.S. government sites, foreign government sites, public policy and political advocacy groups, educational organizations, religious organizations, support groups for military personnel, anti-war groups, sites that target children, and news sources.

This collection is part of a continuing effort by the Library of Congress to evaluate, select, collect, catalog, provide access to, and preserve digital materials for future generations of researchers.

Collection Period: The Iraq War Web-capture has three phases of collection. The first phase, a weekly capture, began on March 13, 2003 with the commencement of the war and ended June 30, 2003.

Phase 1 has been processed and is available from this site.

Phase 2 is a weekly capture and covers December 2003 to December 2004. Phase 3, also a weekly capture, was begun in January 2005 and is ongoing as of January, 2008. Phases 2 and 3 are not yet processed.

Number of Sites: 231 constituting Phase 1.

The Iraq War Web Archive includes two websites under the subject heading "cultural property"

1. Iraq -- The cradle of civilization at risk: H-Museum Current Focus
linking to
linking to

Almost nothing else in the resource makes reference to archaeology, archaeological sites, museums, or libraries in Iraq. A search for the phrase "stuff happens" yields no results.

Fortunately two other sites remain online.

1. Francis Deblauwe's The Iraq War & Archaeology Blog
2. The IraqCrisis list Archive

I've asked that the Library of Congress include them in the next phases of the Iraq War Web Archive.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heroic football

The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has written a classicising poem in praise of England's wounded footballing star. Duffy was interviewed on BBC Radio 4: David Beckham "is almost a mythical figure himself, in popular culture".

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall

This evening the length of Hadrian's Wall will be illuminated by Beacons. For more about the project click here.
Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall aims to capture the imagination and highlight the immense scale and beauty of Hadrian’s Wall and the countryside, villages, towns and cities that it passes through. 2010 is also the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in AD410 – one of the greatest turning points in our history. So as well as celebrating a truly iconic piece of world heritage the line of light will help to mark this hugely significant anniversary.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Support Numismatics and the ANS Summer Seminar - An Appeal to ANS Seminar Alumni

The American Numismatic Society (ANS) annually hosts the Eric P. Newman Graduate Seminar in Numismatics. This year, the ANS hopes to admit nine or ten students, but the endowment has not been so productive in light of the current economic situation. The ANS is appealing to ANS seminar alumni for support:

The ANS has received an excellent crop of applications for the 2010 Seminar, including some outstanding Islamicists (which we encouraged this year). We will have Islamic numismatic scholars Stefan Heidemann, Jere Bachrach, and Michael Bates lecturing and advising the students, and Romanist Berhard Woytek of Vienna as our Visiting Scholar. It promises to be an outstanding Seminar, and we hope to admit nine or ten students, but due to our endowment performance we find we will only be able to underwrite four stipends ($4000 each). A number of the applicants have indicated that they are willing to attend even without financial support, but we would like to offer at least one additional stipend, and are therefore appealing to this group for assistance. If you can make even a small contribution to help underwrite a student it would be very much appreciated.
(via the Friends of Numismatics list)

I urge anyone who has benefited from the ANS Graduate Seminar to contribute to this most worthy cause. The contact persons for the seminar are the co-directors, Peter van Alfen ( and Rick Witschonke (r

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Monday, March 8, 2010

The "real" When on Google Earth 86!
Following the attempted usurpation of WOGE86, here is something REALLY old!

Here are the rules:

Q: What is When on Google Earth? A: It’s a game for archaeologists, or anybody else willing to have a go!

Q: How do you play it? A: Simple, you try to identify the site in the picture.

Q: Who wins? A: The first person to correctly identify the site, including its major period of occupation, wins the game.

Q: What does the winner get? A: The winner gets bragging rights and the chance to host the next When on Google Earth on his/her own blog!

Be the first to correctly identify the site below and its major period of occupation in the comments below and you can host your own!
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Media Training Courses with Past Preservers

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Working in the media is a demanding and competitive career choice. Confidence, knowledge and first class presentation skills are vital to success in this field. The best proven formula for success is through a professionally produced showreel. Past Preservers, having extensive media experience, has identified the need for professional training and production services aimed specifically at historians, anthropologists and archaeologists to enable them to get the best from their skills, knowledge and experience.

Past Preservers is pleased to announce that we will be offering regular training weekends, covering a range of professional training and development skills. The presenters will be known professionals with extensive experience in the media. The sessions will focus on your needs as a presenter, researcher and or media/heritage specialist.

The first of these will be held this spring at a venue in the beautiful Lake District. The instructors will include Fiona Armstrong, the well-known broadcaster and author, and Jim Mower, a producer of the extremely popular TV series 'Time Team'.

In addition to her work in television, Fiona is an experienced heritage professional who runs her own company, 'Border Heritage' and has been involved as a director and manager of heritage projects. Jim Mower has worked on numerous historical and archaeological documentaries for international broadcasters and is also an experienced field and research archaeologist. Now a senior producer on the Channel 4 series Time Team, Jim’s work includes programme development, production and directing.

Together, with other specialists, our instructors will provide a first class team to develop your skills as a professional presenter. At the end of the weekend, every attendee will have his or her own professionally produced showreel.

Places will be EXTREMELY limited and so we would suggest that if you would like to attend, please make a statement of interest as soon as possible. Please email

Best wishes, from the Past Preservers Team

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Audio of Antiquities Wars: A conversation about loot and legitimacy

Audio recordings of this meeting are now available online courtesy of The Cultural Property and Archaeology Law Blog:

Download Antiquities Wars Part I: ~80 minutes, ~70mb, .mp3 format.

Download Antiquities Wars Part II: ~20 minutes, ~20mb, .mp3 format.

The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU presents

Antiquities Wars

A conversation about loot and legitimacy

Wednesday, November 19th, 7 pm

NYU’s Hemmerdinger Hall
Silver Center for Arts and Science
100 Washington Square East


James Cuno
Director, The Art Institute of Chicago
Author, Who Owns Antiquity?

Sharon Waxman
Formerly of The New York Times
Author, Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

Kwame Anthony Appiah
Philosopher, Princeton University
Author, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers

Daniel Shapiro
International Cultural Property Society
President Emeritus

This event is free and open to the public.

“Shall we empty the great museums of the world because one source country after another seeks the return of treasures past? Are there solutions to this raging conflict? Sometimes it seems not. There is an ethical betrayal in displaying an artifact in a museum that has consorted with smugglers to possess it. But the viewing public loses when museums react out of fear of prosecution, or when donors cease lending their works to museums because of the risk of legal jeopardy. There may be justice in returning plundered pieces that are sought. On the other hand, there is no benefit to returning a priceless artifact to a country that is not prepared to care for it.”

With these words from the conclusion of her new book Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World, former New York Times correspondent Sharon Waxman summons just some of the issues that will form the basis for a spirited evening of conversation in one of the NY Institute for the Humanities’ most timely symposia yet.

The event, on Wednesday evening, November 19th, at 7:00 pm, at NYU’s Hemmerdinger Hall, 100 Washington Square East (just south of Waverly), will be free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the New York Institute for the Humanities at 212.998.2101 or

The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU was established in 1976 for promoting the exchange of ideas between academics, professionals, politicians, diplomats, writers, journalists, musicians, painters, and other artists in New York City—and between all of them and the city. It currently comprises 220 fellows. Throughout the year, the NYIH organizes numerous public events and symposia.

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