Friday, June 27, 2008

Recollections of the Museum of Antiquities

I received a mailing from the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne today. The Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle University that holds key finds from Hadrian's Wall has finally closed its doors. The museum was opened in 1960 by Sir Ian Richmond and it is celebrated in a new collection of poems and photographs, Recollections.
This volume brings together the poetry of the museum’s poet-in-residence, Maureen Almond, and the photographs of the museum’s Audio-Visual Officer, Glyn Goodrick and explores the interconnections between the Romans and the modern museum visitor. Its elegant and stylish design make it an ideal souvenir of the museum and its collections.
And before you get too worried ... the holdings of the Museum of Antiquities will be moving to The Great North Museum. Gallery plans are now available, including the interactive model of Hadrian's Wall.

Review of User Requirements for Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies

In February 2008, Exeter University Library was awarded £34,900 by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of behalf of HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), to carry out a survey into User Requirements for Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies.

A team led by Paul Auchterlonie and Ahmed Abu Zayed worked on the project (named DigiIslam) between March and May, using a mixture of questionnaires, focus groups, telephone interviews and bibliometric analysis. The resulting report has now been sent to JISC.

JISC will study this report and will pass on any recommendations to HEFCE, who will be announcing their wider strategy for Islamic Studies in Higher Education later this summer.

The report is available at the DigiIslam Project website.

It is a long document, and worth reading. If you are pressed for time, there is a useful executive summary.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obituary: John Dore (1951-2008)

David Mattingly has written a warm tribute to John Dore (1951-2008) in The Independent.
  • Research Associate, Newcastle University 1974-83, 1986-8
  • Curator, Hadrian's Wall Museums, English Heritage 1983-8
  • Director, The Archaeological Practice, Newcastle University 1995-2002

Archaeological metablogging

Eric Kansa asks some interesting questions at Digging Digitally:

... Would blog links to “raw” archaeological data be useful? How many excavations maintain blogs, and if they do, would back and forth linking between a weblog and a archaeological data resource like Open Context help researchers interpret their observations?

I read "a lot" of excavation blogs, both official and not, in the Mediterranean and Near East / Egypt. Is anyone maintaining a list of these (some of which are annuals and other perennials)?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A new open access Egyptology journal

i-Medjat n°1, juin 2008
Papyrus électronique des Ankhou, Revue caribéenne pluridisciplinaire, éditée par l’Unité de Recherche-Action Guadeloupe (UNIRAG)

Monday, June 23, 2008

A New Resource for the Study of Applied Numismatics

The systematic and comprehensive study of coin finds from recorded material contexts can be (and has been) called by a myriad of names: "Fundnumismatik," "Coins in Context," "Contextual Numismatics," "Numismatic Archaeology/Archaeological Numismatics," "Applied Numismatics," etc. There are a relatively small, but growing, number of specialists in this field and most of them seem to be located in Britain and Germany. An important new resource for those specialists is certain to be the new the Applied Numismatics List. I received an announcement of the list today from a colleague. It has been organized by Kris Lockyear and some other numismatists to help bring various scholars working on related topics into closer contact. According the informal announcement I received, the purpose of the list will be to provide a forum "where we could swap information, reports, data, ask questions regarding databases, statistics and all that sort of thing." I urge anyone who has an active interest in the academic study of coin finds, economy, and other fields that make use of applied numismatics to join and contribute to this resource. Hopefully, it will serve as a important venue for the exchange of information, resources, and serve as a venue to discuss developing methodologies within the field.

Cross-posted from N.T. Elkins, "A New Resource for the Study of Applied Numismatics," Numismatics and Archaeology, 30 April 2008.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Two Reviews

I've recently written/published two reviews related to the ancient world, and in particular early Christianity:

Kenneth Bailey's Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes
Birger Pearson's Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Online Ancient Near East Monograph Series Established

New Online Ancient Near East Monograph Series Established

The Society of Biblical Literature, in partnership with the Centro de Estudios de Historia del Antiguo Oriente, Universidad Católica Argentina (CEHAO/UCA), announces the establishment of a new online, open-access monograph series. The focus of the series will be on the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel and its literature, from the early Neolithic to the early Hellenistic eras. Proposals and manuscripts may be submitted in either Spanish or English. Manuscripts are subject to blind peer review by two members of the series’ editorial board before acceptance. Published volumes will be held to the high scholarly standards of SBL and CEHAO/UCA.

A prestigious international group of scholars has agreed to serve on the editorial board:

Co-General Editors:

Ehud Ben Zvi, University of Alberta

Roxana Flammini, Universidad Católica Argentina

Editorial Board:

Marcelo Campagno, Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET

Michael Floyd, Centro de Estudios Teologico, Santo Domingo, Dominica Republic

José Galan, Director of the Spanish-Egyptian Mission at Dra Abu el-Naga, Luxor (Egypt)

Erhard Gerstenberger, Philipps Universität-Marburg

Steven Holloway, Saint Xavier University and the American Theological Library Association

Alan Lenzi, University of the Pacific

Santiago Rostom Maderna, Universidad Católica Argentina

Martti Nissinen, University of Helsinki

Juan Manuel Tebes, Universidad Católica Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires

The partnership between SBL and CEHAO/UCA was initiated under the auspices of SBL’s International Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and represents the type of international scholarly exchange that is the goal of ICI. Scholars from anywhere in the world are invited to submit proposals, and the online nature of the series will provide global access to the published scholarship.

Questions about the series or proposals for volumes should be directed to Ehud Ben Zvi, Roxana Flammini, or Billie Jean Collins.

Text Encoding Initiative survey of small- to medium-scale digitization projects

[Seen on a variety of mailing lists]

The Text Encoding Initiative is exploring the feasibility of a benefit of membership in the form of a negotiated vendor discount for producing machine-readable, xml-encoded text in small- to medium-scale digitization projects.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the link below in order to provide us with information that would help us negotiate with vendors on the basis of an accurate assessment of the nature and extent of demand for such a benefit.


Daniel Paul O'Donnell, PhD
Chair, Text Encoding Initiative

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3.0

I've been using Firefox 3.0 for a day now and it seems extremely solid. One wants a browser to not get in the way so there may not be too much to say about it: it's very fast and seems to work well with the standards I use to publish archaeological data (svg, xml, atom, various javascript libraries, etc.). I particularly appreciate the much improved native look-and-feel on Mac OS X.

All around, an excellent job by the Mozilla team.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lexicon of Greek Personal Names and classical web services (seminar London)

This is to announce the first seminar in this summer's Digital
Classicist/ICS Work in Progress series

Elaine Matthews and Sebastian Rahtz (Oxford)
'The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names and classical web services'

Time: Friday 6th June at 16:30
Place: room NG16, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Brief abstract:
The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names was established 35 years ago to collect and publish all ancient Greek personal names. Thorough maintenance of the IT infrastructure has enabled us to start making new uses of the data and enable inter-project exchange. We will describe the Lexicon data model, its relationship to semantic markup using TEI XML, web services which we can offer, and some of the novel investigations which can now be attempted.

*All are welcome.*

The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments after which everyone is also welcome to join us in entreating the speakers at a local venue.

best regards