Monday, December 15, 2014

News: Persepolis Relief Fragment in Montreal Stolen

It has been recovered. An odd story reporting its recovery in Edmonton (From FEBRUARY 25, 2014)

News is emerging today (15 February 2012) of the theft in October 2011, from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, of two pieces, one of them a "Persian low relief of the head of a guard, dating from the fifth century BC. It is made of sandstone, and estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars".  According to the Montreal Gazette: "The Persian piece – donated to the MMFA by Cleveland Morgan in 1950..."

Two valuable artifacts stolen from Montreal museum
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Achaemenid dynasty (558-330 B.C.) Head of a Guard (Fragment of a low relief 5th c. B.C. Sandstone 21 x 20.5 x 3 cm - Achaemenid dynasty (558-330 B.C.) Head of a Guard (Fragment of a low relief 5th c. B.C. Sandstone 21 x 20.5 x 3 cm

 Video of a suspect has been released

Uploaded by on Feb 14, 2012
Surveillance video of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from Oct. 26, 2011 shows a suspect in the museum that police and the museum believe may have stolen two archaeological sculptures, a Persian bas relief and a Roman head of a man that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. British-based AXA Art, which is insuring the objects, hopes the public will recognize the individual and call police. The company is offering substantial rewards for the return of the objects and for the arrest of the suspect.

The insurance company, misidentifying the object as "Assyrian" is offering a reward

AXA ART joins the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts  and international authorities in appealing to the public for help

Assyrian low relief Sandstone


Theft at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


An Assyrian low relief and a marble head dating from the Roman Empire, both rare and valuable, have been mysteriously stolen from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).  AXA ART is offering a substantial reward, subject to specific conditions, for information leading to the safe recovery of the items, which were stolen in October.  Additional rewards are also offered of up to CAN$10,000 for anyone able to identify either of the two individuals caught on CCTV.  Please see below for the full press release and detailed images.

Persepolis in Pleiades

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Archaeologies of Text: Archaeology, Technology, and Ethics

Archaeologies of Text: Archaeology, Technology, and Ethics [Paperback]

Matthew T. Rutz (Editor); Morag Kersel (Editors)


Scholars working in a number of disciplines – archaeologists, classicists, epigraphers, papyrologists, Assyriologists, Egyptologists, Mayanists, philologists, and ancient historians of all stripes – routinely engage with ancient textual sources that are either material remains from the archaeological record or historical products of other connections between the ancient world and our own.

Examining the archaeology-text nexus from multiple perspectives, contributors to this volume discuss current theoretical and practical problems that have grown out of their work at the boundary of the division between archaeology and the study of early inscriptions. In 12 representative case-studies drawn from research in Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, and Mesoamerica, scholars use various lenses to critically examine the interface between archaeology and the study of ancient texts, rethink the fragmentation of their various specialized disciplines, and illustrate the best in current approaches to contextual analysis.

The collection of essays also highlights recent trends in the development of documentation and dissemination technologies, engages with the ethical and intellectual quandaries presented by ancient inscriptions that lack archaeological context, and sets out to find profitable future directions for interdisciplinary research.

Table of Contents

1. Morag M. Kersel and Matthew T. Rutz / Introduction

2. Matthew W. Stolper / Case in Point: The Persepolis Fortification Archive

3. Nicholas P. Carter / Space, Time, and Texts: A Landscape Approach to the Classic Maya Hieroglyphic Record

4. Scott Bucking / Now You See it, Now You Don’t: The Dynamics of Archaeological and Epigraphic Landscapes from Coptic Egypt

5. Timothy P. Harrison / Articulating Neo-Assyrian Imperialism at Tell Tayinat

6. Matthew T. Rutz / The Archaeology of Mesopotamian Extispicy: Modeling Divination in the Old Babylonian Period

7. Adam Smith / The Ernest K. Smith Collection of Shang Divination Inscriptions at Columbia University and the Evidence for Scribal Training at Anyang

8. Eleanor Robson / Tracing Networks of Cuneiform Scholarship with Oracc, GKAB, and Google Earth

9. Lisa Anderson and Heidi Wendt / Ancient Relationships, Modern Intellectual Horizons: The Practical Challenges and Possibilities of Encoding Greek and Latin Inscriptions

10. Christopher A. Rollston / Forging History: From Antiquity to the Modern Period

11. Neil J. Brodie and Morag M. Kersel / WikiLeaks, Texts, and Archaeology: The Case of the Schøyen Incantation Bowls

12. Patty Gerstenblith / Do Restrictions on Publication of Undocumented Texts Promote Legitimacy?

13. John F. Cherry / Publishing Undocumented Texts: Editorial Perspectives

Wednesday, December 03, 2014