This week there have been so many interesting news stories about ancient evidence that I’ve been having a terrible time focusing on my huge pile of marking! So here are the top three stories which have caught my eye this week. For anyone about to write an essay on the value of particular types of evidence, the importance of new techniques of analysis or the reporting of ancient-world news, there are some great case studies here!
- The Museum of the Bible Forgeries
This story – with forged scrolls, fraud and skulduggery – is a fascinating one. It’s caused a lot of controversy, both because of how the story has been spun by the Museum and because of how the press has reported it. Here’s a sample of the mainstream media coverage of the ‘fake’ Dead Sea Scrolls, the press release by the Museum, and a critical article identifying what some people see as the real issues.
Analysing the situation – Hyperallergic
- The Greek shipwreck
The recently dated Greek shipwreck has been making headlines this week around the world. Apart from the fact that it’s a remarkable discovery, it’s also fun to see how different publications emphasise different elements. The Telegraph floats the possibility of ‘treasure’. The Sun calls it the ‘Odysseus’ Vessel, and gives us some nice information on Sirens. The Daily Mail tells us, rather surprisingly, that ‘The ship, found 1.3 miles under the surface, could shed new light on the ancient Greek tale of Odysseus tying himself to a mast to avoid being tempted by sirens.’ Many publications offer infographics comparing the depth of the shipwreck to the Shard, the Empire State Building or both. I do like a snazzy infographic.
- The Skeletons of Pompeii
After last week’s excitement over the Pompeian graffito, this week another find has emerged; a number of skeletons found barricaded in a house. The skeletons have caught the imagination of the media, because of the insight into how real people responded to the eruption of Vesuvius – and much has been made of the evidence that their remains may once have been disturbed by looters. They’ve also captured the attention of scholars. Since so many of the skeletons of Pompeii were discovered decades or centuries ago, these new finds offer a lot of scope for new methods of analysis.
… and my favourite headline, from The Sun,
Skeletons of kids trying to shelter from Vesuvius eruption may unlock secrets of Pompeii
In Other News
Digital archaeology in Petra – Smithsonian
ABC News upsets Egyptian officials – Egypt Today
Reviewing Metamorphica – The Guardian
Solving the mystery of an unidentified object – The Daily Mail
Music in the Baths – Ansa
In Yorkshire and looking for a research project? – Yorkshire Museum
Fighting to keep a mosaic – Oxford Mail
Comment and opinion
Homer in Egypt – Eidolon
Homeric praise? – Classical Inquiries
Corpus of jars – It’s All Greek to Me
Talking about sensory studies – Sensory Studies in Antiquity
Sexuality and changing sex – Sententiae Antiquae
The Oracles of Dodona – The Historian’s Hut
On audience experience – Exeunt
Henry Wellcome’s collecting – The History Girls
Bad-ass babes – Ancient History School
Women and power in Egypt – Time
On creating a good sequel – Eidolon
The art of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Kotaku
Hell and damnation – The Conversation
Catullus in Russia – Brave New Classics
Medusa and strong women – Dancing Times
Celery at funerals – Atlas Obscura
Talking about phenomenology – Le Temps Revient
The joy of digging – Financial Times
Will you suffer for coming late in the alphabet? – Inside Higher Ed
On polis, demos and other political words – The Rolla
Making a statue colour correction – The New Yorker
… and more on colours – Hyperallergic
Thinking about democracy – LA Review of Books
Wheeling out Boudicca – The Conversation
Archaeology and nationalism – JSTOR Daily
Podcasts, video and other media
Postgraduate work-in-progress seminars – University of London
Halloween episode: ghost stories – The Endless Knot
Talking about Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – History Respawned
Myth and Assassin’s Creed – Game Fragger
Understanding the Romans through food – BBC World Service
Ancient vampires – Ancient History Fangirl
A huge photographic resource on sarcophagi – Carroll Scholars
4 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Shipwrecks, Scrolls and Skeletons”
There seems to be so many great stories in the media lately! I asked the question in my recent blog post. I don’t know if it’s actually a fact or if I’m just becoming more attuned to noticing them.
I mean in comparison to this time last year where I was digging for stories for A863, it seems students are spoilt for choice. They couldn’t have come at a better time.
I agree: we’re just getting the ball rolling with that activity now, and there’s lots to choose from! I think the publicity surrounding the recent Pompeii excavations has helped to raise a bit of a media buzz about the ancient world.
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Reblogged this on ClassicalFix and commented:
A run down of the week’s ‘hot’ stories in the media which relate to Classical Studies & the Ancient World – Posted on https://classicalstudies.support by Dr Cora Beth Knowles! Check it out now!