HoodedHawk

Archaeology


Alexander the Great. Silver Drachm. ~324-323 B.C. Lifetime issue.

Alexander the Great.  Lifetime issue silver drachm.

Alexander the Great. Lifetime issue (~324-323 B.C.) silver drachm.

Alexander the Great.  Lifetime issue silver drachm.

Alexander the Great. Lifetime issue (~324-323 B.C.) silver drachm. Reverse

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C. Silver hemidrachm. VF. superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, 2.886g, 16.3 mm, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370-340 B.C. Head of Athena right, wearing pendant earring and crested Altic helmet with raised cheek flaps, adorned with scrolls, hair out from under the neck guard. T (the master engraver Telephantos) over IIL (his apprentice?) behind neck. Reverse: Horse’s head and neck right, concave field.

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C.  Silver hemidrachm.  VF.  superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, 2.886g, 16.3 mm, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370-340 B.C.  Head of Athena right, wearing pendant earring and crested Altic helmet with raised cheek flaps, adorned with scrolls, hair out from under the neck guard. T (the master engraver Telephantos) over IIL (his apprentice?) behind neck.

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C. Silver hemidrachm.

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C.  Silver hemidrachm.  VF.  superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, 2.886g, 16.3 mm, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370-340 B.C.  Reverse:  Horses head and neck right, concave field

Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370-340 B.C. Silver hemidrachm. Reverse.

On Saturday I attended Prof. Bob Brier’s talk at the Smithsonian Ripley Center ( A Smithsonian Resident Associates talk):

Temples, Monuments, and Tombs: Exploring Egypt’s Ancient Treasures

egypt-treasuresThis was a great day of archaeology lectures!

I had planned to take the Metro into Washington, D.C., but was running late (shocker!), so drove in. No spots on Jefferson Ave in front of the S. Dillon Ripley Center (sometimes I get lucky), so I parked at a meter at the end of the Mall (on 7th). That was actually convenient, as you can use an app on your phone to pay the meter, so I just renewed my spot every 2 hours on my phone without having to go back to feed the meter. Nice.

I arrived just a few minutes after it started. I assumed walking in that I would have a crappy seat (it was a sold out event), but there were some free chairs along the side of the upper balcony in the auditorium – unobstructed view, and no one crowding. Nice! I had been to a previous lecture of Prof. Brier’s, about 6 years ago, for the release of his book, “The Secrets of the Great Pyramid”, so I knew I would like the presentation. He is a great lecturer; dynamic speaker and he keeps your interest.

In anticipation of this seminar I have also started watching his Great Courses series, The History of Ancient Egypt. Wow. Wonderful course. I’m going to have Preston watch a lecture or two with me; I think he will enjoy this.

Normally in these day-long Smithsonian symposiums you get a break for lunch and have to fend for yourself. This time, however, they included a catered, box lunch. I chose the smoked turkey sandwich (lettuce and bacon too!). Quite yummy, with a nice side of rustic red potato salad and also fresh fruit cup. I saved the brownie. I hope this box lunch is a new trend – much better than having to run around and find lunch. I found an empty classroom and had a relaxing lunch and read a few articles in the latest Nature.

After the symposium, it was only a little after 4 and I had time on the meter – so I went to the National Gallery of Art (West) for an hour. Heck, I had parked almost right in front of it! That was a nice little tour. Wish I had more time, but they close at 5. My iPhone takes some surprisingly good pictures of the artwork; lots of new wallpaper for my phone now. :)

Not much traffic on way home, so just a great day. Would have been perfect if it hadn’t been 23 degrees out. Dusting of snow made it look nice, though. :)

Anyway, below is the syllabus from the website. He followed this pretty closely.


All-Day Program
Saturday, January 7, 2017 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Ancient Egypt was a major Mediterranean civilization, existing for almost 30 centuries. Its culture was one of architectural innovation and artistic beauty, governed by rich religious traditions. Egyptologist Bob Brier, an expert in pyramids, tombs, and mummies, explores its timeless heritage in a day-long examination of Egypt’s spectacular historic sites, from the Giza Plateau to the Philae Temple.

9:30–10:45 a.m. Pyramids

Among the largest structures on earth, pyramids served as royal funerary structures filled with riches for the afterlife. Examine the Great Pyramid and those in Cairo, the Giza plateau, and locations in Saqqara and Dahshur.

11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. From Karnak to the Ramesseum

Karnak is the world’s second-largest religious site with more than 30 pharaohs contributing to its complex of temples. The Luxor Temples are known as the site where kings might have been crowned. Mortuary temples on the west bank include those of Hatshepsut (Deir el Bahri), Ramses the Great (the Ramesseum), and Ramses III (Medinet Habu).

12:15­­–1:15 p.m. Lunch (box lunch provided)

1:15–2:30 p.m. The West Bank of the Nile

The Valley of the Kings is the mortuary area where many pharaohs, their families, and powerful nobles are buried. The most famous is Tutankhamen’s tomb, and a recent theory suggesting that Queen Nefertiti is buried behind one of its walls sparked new searches for secret chambers.

2:45–4 p.m. The Jewel of the Nile and Abu Simbel

Philae Temple, known as the “Jewel of the Nile” was built by Greek rulers of Egypt. Abu Simbel, the massive temple of Ramses II carved into a mountain, was an inspiration for Mount Rushmore.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit


I have to admit that from an engineering standpoint I have been interested in finding out how toilets worked in ancient Rome. However, not so interested that I actually did any research past a quick search on google.

Then I received an email from the American Journal of Archaeology, and took a look at the online book reviews. This one stood out:

Roman Toilets: Their Archaeology and Cultural History
Gemma C.M. Jansen, Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, and Eric M. Moormann, eds.
Reviewed by Eric Poehler

…What emerges from a full reading of Roman Toilets is the clearest and most detailed picture to date of the Roman experience of urinating and defecating in both public and private contexts. First, as objects of archaeological and architectural interest, the individual toilet (latrina) and multiseat latrine (forica) are described in exhaustive (and sometimes exquisite) detail…

The book (Roman Toilets: Their Archaeology and Cultural History) is a steal at $98.00 and is available on Amazon.com. I put it on my wishlist. :)

Jaguar - from adobe mural at Huaca Partida, Nepeña Valley, Peru.
Last Saturday I attended a very interesting all-day seminar in Washington, DC. The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC has an annual symposium at the U.S. Navy Memorial’s Naval Heritage Center. At right is the design on the symposium T-shirt. It is a feline character (I’m going to assume a jaguar) from an adobe mural at Huaca Partida, Nepeña Valley, Peru (something like > 1500 years ago). Neat.

This location is very convenient; right at the Archives Metro stop on the Green line. This year’s topic was “The Dawn of the Andean Civilization. The link above goes to the symposium website; here is a synopsis:

Chavín de Huántar, the massive ceremonial center constructed more than 3,000 years ago high in the Peruvian Andes, attests to the great antiquity of Andean civilization, but the roots of this florescence occurred at least two and possibly three millennia earlier. During this one-day symposium some of the world’s most renowned Andean scholars will present new research that challenges current notions about the genesis of Andean society. Did a singular, linear progression emanating from one early center lead to the magnificence of Chavín de Huántar and, later, the splendor of the Moche kings and the majesty of Tiwanaku? Or did the many pinnacles of achievement that make up the rich tapestry of ancient Andean culture emanate from multiple centers? Did different traditions emerge along the coast and in the highlands? In the north and in the south? Did these developments occur everywhere at the same time? This symposium will examine these and other questions, revealing a dynamic period that witnessed the first large-scale monumental architecture, large permanent settlements, intensive food production, social stratification, and widespread distribution of shared art forms and religious practices. So please join us for a day of new insights into the dawn of Andean civilization.

I really enjoyed the seminar; I have visited Peru (on my honeymoon) but that was basically to see Machu Picchu (Incan, ca. 1500 AD). This seminar focused on the northern coast of Peru (north of Machu Picchu), from about 1200 BC to 600 AD – much earlier. Prior to this series of talks, I had almost no knowledge of the Pre- Moche civilizations of the Andes so this was a very enlightening day.

Plenty of breaks, and for lunch I visited Teaism (right across the street) for a delicious “chicken curry” dish and an IPA. Then back for more talks. I’ll post a synopsis of the talks from my notes at a later time…

PROGRAM
8:15 a.m. — REGISTRATION, Morning Refreshments
9:00 a.m. — WELCOME AND OPENING ANNOUNCEMENTS
9:15 a.m. — Playing in the Dark: Archaeological Analysis and Evidence at the Dawn of Andean Civilization *Tom Dillehay
10:15 a.m. — BREAK
10:45 a.m. — Household Archaeology and the Emergence of Social Complexity at Peru’s North Central Coast: New Perspectives from the Late Preceramic Site of Bandurria, Huacho Alejandro Chu
11:35 a.m. — The Role of the Casma Valley in the Development of Early Andean Civilization Tom and Shelia Pozorski
12:25 p.m. — LUNCH
1:45 p.m. — The Settling of the Landscape: What This Meant to Formative People in the Titicaca Basin, Bolivia Christine Hastorf
2:35 p.m. — Changing Views on the Andean Formative Period: The Perspective from Chavín de Huántar John Rick
3:25 p.m. — BREAK
3:50 p.m. — The Dawn of Andean Civilization as Viewed from the Shores of Peru’s Central Coast Richard Burger and Lucy Salazar
4:40 p.m. — BOOK DRAWING BREAK
4:50 p.m. — Panel Discussion All Speakers (Moderated by Dr. Dillehay)

2012 Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya (showing glyph date on left)

2012 Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya (showing glyph date on left)

2012 Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya Last Saturday I went to an all-day symposium, “Under Cover of Darkness: The Meaning of Night in Ancient Mesoamerica” sponsored by the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. While there, Professor Mark Van Stone was signing copies of his book, “2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya. What was really neat is that he signed my copy by writing the current date in Maya glyphs. Really neat!


maya date glyphs

maya date glyphs


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