Museum Secrets: National Archaeological Museum at Athens

Greece may be in its deepest crisis since the military Junta (1967-1974), museums may be closing down, the security of archaeological sites may be rudimentary. And yet, culture and a love for the ancient world remains a strong focus for people in Greece and abroad. The new series of Museum Secrets should be seen as part of the exciting journey towards historical re-discovery of our world. The series takes us to several museums, especially in Europe, and guides us through their most important col... »

New discovery of ancient temple?

How many times have you found yourself walking without noticing anything around you. It looks like it happened to me countless times. Last week, when I stopped and looked, I realised I may have been on top of an ancient (classical or Hellenistic?) temple. I will not disclose the exact area because the architectural elements I found have not been catalogued. Suffice to say it is on the eastern coast of Attica. I also could use some help from expert archaeologists to explain what I am looking at. ... »

Redundancies at the Foundation of the Hellenic World

Something is rotten in the State of Greece. This time the stench comes from the Foundation of the Hellenic World, which used to promote research on Greek civilisation outside the strict borders of the modern Greek state. This private Foundation (though heavily subsidised by the government) reached its peak a decade ago, when I received my postdoctoral fellowship from them. They funded my research on the Economy of Roman Asia Minor under the guidance of Prof. Stephen Mitchell at the University of... »

Online Library of Old Manuscripts

I had the chance to cruise through a new and most useful website. It is a virtual exhibition on Ancient World, available at the Exhibition Virtual Space of the Library of the University of Seville.  The exhibition consists of nine thematic “rooms”, showing 179 printed and manuscripts books, from 15th to 19th centuries. Beside the records, there are links to the digitalized books and commentaries. The themes include archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, philosophy, literature and other... »

Archaeologists in Greece are fired

The debt crisis is wreaking havoc in the Archaeological Service in Greece, According to reports, a large number of senior archaeologists will be forced to retire this year. The consequences will be dire for many ongoing projects. On the whole 95 archaeologists are being removed, thus reducing the total number to 890. This action happened on top of the cancellation of all six-month contracts of junior archaeologists. Among them is Lilian Acheilara, the director of the Sixteenth Ephorate of Classi... »

The tomb of St Philip

Italian archaeologists who have been digging at Pamukkale in northwestern Turkey announced that they found the grave of St Philip, one of Christ’s apostles. Responsible for the excavations is the Italian archaeologist Francesco d’ Adria. He explained that the tomb was found close to a church in ancient Hierapolis, where Philip died while he was preaching in Roman Asia Minor. The archaeologists have not yet opened the grave. Therefore we should just sit and wait until they present evi... »

The Syrian closed currency system in the Roman empire

“Most researchers believe that Egypt was the only closed currency system in the Roman world, e.g. a system in which the fluctuation of currency is restricted due to strict governmental control. In actual fact, there is another well developed closed currency system in the east, the provinces of wider Syria. The local silver coinage, the tetradrachm, was used exclusively in the markets of the Syrian cities. Their complete absence from excavations in neighbouring Asia Minor and Cyprus is prom... »

Roman Baths at Carsulae (Italy): Field School

“The field school at the Roman baths at Carsulae will commence its seventh season this summer, and applications for students and volunteers are still being accepted. The Roman city of Carsulae was founded along the via Flaminia, when that road was cut through Umbria in the late third century BC. Located near the town of San Gemini, the area has been associated with healing waters since Umbrian times. The Roman baths, which lie at the threshold of southern entrance to the city, were excavat... »

Do not take Archaeology too seriously!

Archaeology provides tangible proof of past actions, civilizations, cultures. It is an essential tool for the writing of ancient history. And yet, its results can be abused, falsified or distorted. In the hands of an archaeologist the following pictures are nothing more than an amusing hoax. In the hands of others, though, it could turn into an undoubted proof that giants existed in Biblical times, in accordance with the teachings of the Old Testament. »

Greek Archaeology in Crisis

For the past few months the Greeks have been the target of many demeaning jokes across the European Union. The near-bankruptcy of Greece caused the indignation of our European ‘Allies’, because of the fear that they will have to pay for my country’s alleged bailout. We have been called many things: disorganized, irresponsible, crooks, swindlers, fraudsters, cheaters. The image they forged for us hurts! My new identity as a fraudster is impossible to swallow or accept without protest. I have been... »

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