institute of archaeology


The Ruins of Palmyra, Captured in Vintage Photographs

An album of 47 photographs offers a glimpse at how Palmyra, Syria, looked 150 years ago. It includes views of Palmyra’s 3,000-foot-long colonnade, the tombs bordering the city, and the Temple of Bel and the Temple Baal Shamin, both of which have been reportedly destroyed during the Syrian war.

The negatives were made by Louis Vignes, a French naval officer who was trained by famed photographer Charles Nègre, and the prints by Nègre himself.

The album recently joined the collections of the Getty Research Institute.

Stunning mosaics shed light on enigmatic past of Roman city in southern France

Archaeologists have unearthed part of an ancient Roman city in southern France, known as Ucetia. To date, the settlement had only be known by name, and this is the first time that some of its impressive features have come to light.

The excavations began in October 2016 at the request of the French state, after local authorities bought land near the modern-day city of Uzes (near Nimes) to build a boarding school and a canteen. A team led by Philippe Cayn from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) excavated the 4,000m sq site, to make sure construction works wouldn’t destroy any major artefacts. In the process, the researchers shed a light on the mysterious past of the Roman city of Ucetia.

“Prior to our work, we knew that there had been a Roman city called Ucetia only because its name was mentioned on stela in Nimes, alongside 11 other names of Roman towns in the area. Read more.

Zheng Zhenxiang (b.1929) is one of China’s first female archaeologists. She is a leading expert on the Shang Dynasty of China (1600-1046 BCE).    

She is best known for her excavations at Yinxu, where she discovered the tomb of Lady Fu Hao, the wife and military general of King Wu Ding. Lady Fu Hao’s tomb is still to this day the only Shang royal tomb excavated by archaeologists that was intact and undisturbed.

 Zheng’s work at Yinxu not only confirmed the historicity of Fu Hao (whose existence was previously only known through the Oracle Bones), but provided valuable insight into the material culture of Shang Dynasty China. It is this reason that she has been referred to as the “First Lady of Chinese Archaeology.”

Zheng Zhenxiang is affiliated with the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 

Ancient sanctuary from obscure religion that competed with Christianity unearthed in Corsica

A sanctuary dedicated to the god of an ancient and mysterious religion known as Mithraism has been discovered on the French island of Corsica for the first time. The structure was erected in the Roman city of Mariana, created around 100 BCE.

The local authorities were planning roadworks in the vicinity of this major site, so they called the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) to conduct excavations and make sure that no significant archaeological remains would be standing in the way.

A team, led by archaeologist Philippe Chapon, started working in Mariana in November 2016. It is thought that this little Roman town was at its peak in the third and fourth century and that it derived its strength from its commercial harbour, a point of contact for maritime exchanges with the whole Mediterranean.

After months of work at the site, the archaeologists can now reveal that they have identified a worship room and its antechamber. They appear to have been part of a religious sanctuary dedicated the Indo-Iranian deity Mithra. Read more.

Fic: Infodere Ch 1

I started a new story. It was supposed to be a one shot. Its not. I don’t know what will happen. It might wind up in the next Chapter, I might still be writing this when DG finally gets round to finishing Bees. Who knows.

Its another AU. Jamie and Claire are archaeologists who meet on a dig in Mexico. Adventure ensues (eventually!)

As always let me know what you think and my other work can be found here


Claire hacked her way through the vegetation. After 12 months based in the university teaching she’d forgotten just how physically demanding field work could be. She’d travelled as far as she could by truck and then by horse but the site lay another 6 hours by road. The jungle track, although more challenging would have her there in less than three, giving her time to set up her tent before all her equipment arrived with the supply trucks.  She felt  a familiar excitement in the pit of her stomach. She loved her sojourns to the university, sharing her knowledge and practice with the next generation, but field archaeology had always been her first love. She’d started young, only 6 years old, following the death of her parents and a brief and highly unsuccessful stint in a boarding school. Her Uncle Lamb, an esteemed antiquarian and archaeologist of some note, her only living relative, had taken her in and this meant a life of roaming around archaeological digs and universities. She’s never considered another career. She knew she would never find one to match the excitement, the adventure of her calling.

And this dig. Claire licked her lips as she thought of the possibilities. She and her team had been given rare and unusual access to an ancient site, thought to be Zaptoec in origin. Some digs had already been done at Monte Alban, but it was thought that this new site may date back even further and give new insight to the life of this pre-Columbian civilisation. A pre dig unit had been there for about three weeks already, doing surveying work and creating access to the site for their equipment. She had never met the lead archaeologist in this team and knew him only by reputation having read his recent article on Mayan iconography in a journal. He was based out of the University of Edinburgh, a institution with fine School of Archaeological Sciences and was confident the site had been left in good hands.

Finally, hot and sweaty Claire and her guide broke through the tree line and out into the clearing. The ruins of a pyramid dominated her skyline and below it all was activity. Graduate students ran to and fro marking out sectors and recording the topography. Equipment specialists tested equipment and tents were being hastily erected to act as sleeping quarters, a dining hall, medical station and several classification and examination tents, equipped with bright lights. She strode purposefully towards the biggest tent.

“I’m Dr Claire Beauchamp. I’m looking for Dr Fraser.”

A slight looking grad student with a gaunt face and a loping gait, led her into the tent. Following she looked around approvingly. Everything seemed to be set up just so. In fact she would have likely not selected any different configuration.  The student came to a halt at a tarpaulin which separated the main classification area from the specialist examination area. Whilst the majority of digging, general sorting and labelling would be done by less experienced archaeologists and students, the more serious work would be undertaken by the two senior archaeologists, Claire herself, a specialist in mesoamerican artefacts and Dr Fraser a specialist in Ancient iconography and architecture. They also had a funerary archaeology on hand should any human remains be uncovered which was always a possibility when excavating formerly inhabited areas. The student coughed nervously in an attempt to catch the attention of the person on the other side of the tarp. Claire rolled her eyes slightly, wondering how this nervous little man would cope with both the physical and psychological rigours of eight weeks on a remote dig. The student coughed again, slightly louder this time. A voice from the other side of the tarp rang out.

“For crying out loud, Geordie. Just call my name when you need me. Dinna hang around outside hacking away like a victorian consumptive” The tarp was suddenly pushed to the side and out strode a tall broad figure. So large him seemed to fill the space. He came to a halt in front of Claire who had to rock back slightly in order to look at him, so tall was he. She smirked slightly at his Indiana Jones style hat, before holding out her hand to greet him.

“Dr Fraser I presume.” She said with a smile. He reached out and took her hand to shake it and she couldn’t help but think how warm and soft it was.

“And ye’ll be Dr Beauchamp then, aye? Your reputation precedes you. My colleague Dr Gowan was mad wi’ jealousy that I would be working with a archaeologist of such renown.”

“Oh you know old Ned?” She asked laughing. “I worked with him on one of my first professional digs. It was out at Skara Brae in Orkney. The weather was a bit different to here.” She fanned herself slightly with her hat. She had spent many years in various tropical climes in the course of both her own and Uncle Lamb’s work, but the first few days were always and adjustment, especially when leaving the British Winter behind. Much as she loved her work in Durham University she was never sorry to say goodbye in the winter months.

Fraser laughed. “C’mon then. Let me show you the site and where you’ll be sleeping. No doubt you’ll want to get it all set up so that when we’re all exhausted at the end of the day ye can just fall into bed.” Her stomach tipped slightly when he said the word bed and she caught herself in alarm. “What the fuck Beauchamp?” It was true though, there was something about this tall stranger that had provoked a physical reaction in her. Maybe it was his height or his deep scottish brogue. Or, as she reminded herself sharply, simply the fact that she and Frank had broken up last year and she had not had a man in her life or in her bed since. “Pull yourself together.” She murmured. “Pardon?” Fraser turned around hearing her. “Oh nothing, nothing just talking to myself.” He smiled at her and continued walking. He wasn’t just tall, she decided he was also  beautifully built. You could make out his powerful planes of his muscles down through his back and his forearms were strong and slightly freckled where his shirt sleeves were rolled up. Claire shook her head to clear her thoughts. After her time with Frank, whom she had met on a dig several years earlier when he came to examine some Jacobite artefacts that had been uncovered buried in the woods near Inverness, she had vowed not to get involved with anyone again. Her job as a field archaeologist took her away often and for long lengths of time and Frank had grown resentful of her career, especially when it looked set to eclipse his own. She had returned to Oxford from a dig in the Etla Valley, set to turn down a teaching post at Durham. She had arrived a day early to surprise Frank. She had ultimately been the one to be surprised though, when she had found him in bed with a bottle of brandy and the History department secretary. She had left that day, accepting the post at Durham and never looked back. But she had been hurt by the betrayal and convinced that her career was incompatible with a shared life. Afterall, Uncle lamb had never married and maybe that was why.  Still, she was only human and Dr Fraser was very attractive. He had removed his hat revealing the most beautiful mop of red hair and his blue eyes were warm and friendly.

“Here ye go, Dr Beauchamp” Fraser came to halt outside a row of tents. “This one here is yours, you get one to yourself as befits our esteemed leader” She glanced at him sharply looking for signs of mocking in his face at that statement but she found none. “Once you’ve got straight I’ll take ye to the canteen for some lunch and then we’ll get started, aye?”

He’d been at the site for three weeks now doing set up and surveying the area. Thankfully the students and junior archaeologists he’d been assigned this time were better than the last dig he’d been on. Within a week they’d had the site mapped out and were able to start putting up the site buildings. Once that had been done work began surveying and laying out the grid. He’d been apprehensive about meeting Dr Beauchamp, she had a wonderful reputation and he’s read much of her work, having broadly overlapping specialisms, but digs were stressful places. Time was a constant factor even in on partially privately funded digs like this, the push to get as much out of the ground as they could before the money ran out. The thought of working with an unknown colleague was always daunting.

Now she was here, some of his apprehension dissipated. She had trekked through the jungle rather than opting to travel in the relative comfort of the truck convoy and didn’t seem in anyway daunted by the remoteness of the site. But then she’d been on sites like this since she was a wee girl if Ned had told him correctly, the niece of the late, great Quentin Lambert Beauchamp. But there was something else about her too. Something about the way her whiskey coloured eyes appraised everything, something about the way the set of her jaw, her confidence and self possession. He found himself wanting to know more about her.

They sat down to lunch. The canteen tent was almost empty, with just a few people on their staggered breaks, eating snacks and drinking coffee scattered around. It was cool in the tent, or at least compared to outside and large fans kept the air moving and the insects at bay.

“So, what got you into archaeology?” She asked between bites of her pasta.

“Oh, I did a year out before uni and ended up on a dig at Ephesus. It was just supposed to be a laugh, but it turned out it was what I really wanted to do.”

“And a specialist in mesoamerican iconography and architecture? Seems an odd choice for a boy from the Highlands” She asked with a smile. He tilted his head in acknowledgement of the recognition of his accent before continuing.

“Well actually, that would be the influence of one Dr Beauchamp” He smiled slightly at her surprise at this. “I was lucky enough to do a dig in Belize during my undergraduate studies. He was the lead on it. I never saw a man with such passion for his work. He inspired me.”

Dr Beauchamp smiled and he felt his heart flutter a little. She really was lovely with that hair and that soft creamy skin. But smart too, and funny.

“Well then” she laughed. “I guess that makes two of us, Dr Fraser.”

“Jamie.”he said impulsively “You can call me Jamie”

For a moment she looked slightly taken aback at the sudden familiarity and he cringed a little at his own unprofessionalism. He was about to apologise when he golden eyes softened again. She tilted her head a little as she looked him and he once again felt a slight flutter in the depths of his stomach.

“Claire.” she replied.

Echoing Souls.  CaptainSwan BigBang 2017

Hey shipmates, here is my contribution to the CaptainSwan BigBang 2017

Summary: Young Professor Swan leads a quiet but hectic life as the newest member of the Anthropology Department at University of Maine at Storybrooke, as well as being head curator for the University’s brand new museum. Killian Jones is a hardened detective who forms one half of the best homicide team in the small city of Storybrooke. When tragedy strikes, Emma and Killian find themselves thrust together, each feeling an inexplicable and frustrating attraction to the other. As the young couple works to find answers to the mystery that will take them on a journey together, they will also explore their undeniable chemistry and connection. Sometimes the universe has plans wherein the past, present, and future converge to assure that destiny is reached in every life.

Rating: Explicit 

Content Warning: minor character death 

First off, special thanks to @ilovemesomekillianjones for supporting me through this adventure and for always having the right words when I have struggled.

Secondly, a huge thanks to @swanemma and @jenswans for their collaboration with artwork. Each chapter that links to their work will be credited and tagged.  

For Chapter one we have the wonderfully talented @swanemma

Will also be posted on FFN and AO3

Also tagging some readers who may be interested. @ultraluckycatnd @katie-dub @its-like-a-story-of-love @lenfaz @cat-sophia @xhookswenchx @mayquita

if there are other out here who want a heads up please let me know. 

Chapter 1: Beware the Dark

Emma Swan rounded the corner of the hall, taking the short flight of stairs down into the converted basement offices. Even the addition of new lighting and carpeting couldn’t disguise that it was still a basement. Someday, maybe she would graduate to an upstairs office with a window, but right now the basement office was the place to be.

Stopping on her way to her office at the end of the hall, she opened the TA’s lounge to see if her personal assistant was anywhere in sight. Seeing the small brunette sitting at a table with a few other graduate students, Emma entered the room and poured herself a cup of the worst coffee that Storybrooke had to offer.

“Belle, did the shipment arrive yet?” Emma tried not to notice how a few of the students jumped up when she entered and started grabbing their books. This University wasn’t a happy one. The departments were fragmented and at war, and the Department Head was a first-class jerk.

“Oh no, not yet, Emma…um…Professor Swan!” Emma smiled at Belle’s lapse in using her name and then calling her professor. It really didn’t matter to her, but ‘The Powers That Be’ had sent out another memo last week reminding all Department Heads that a certain amount of professional decorum needed to be maintained at all times between faculty, staff, the underpaid student workers, and the students themselves.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Do I have to become an academic to be an anthropologist in the US? Specifically archaeology? Arch is seen more as an earth science where I'm from rather than anth so I don't fully understand the US 4-field system in terms of career choices.

We consider anthropologists and archaeologists to be separate in terms of job titles and fields, even though within university institutions we see archaeology as a sub-category of anthropology (rather than the other way around which is how they do in countries like Turkey). 

To be an archaeologist in the US you do not need to be an academic. There are a lot of entry-level sorts of archaeology jobs and careers within both private and public sectors. To be ostensibly what I’d call maybe a “professional” archaeologist who publishes reports and sits in the ivory tower (while, yes, still doing on-the-ground fieldwork), that’s some PhD stuff. 

Any archaeology followers please comment! I’m a simple anthropologist 

Ancient Chinese sword unearthed after 2,300 years by archaeologists is still shiny

A Chinese sword removed from its scabbard for the first time in more than 2,000 years was so well-preserved it was still shiny.

Archaeologists discovered the ancient weapon, believed to be around 2,300 years old, in a tomb among the ruins of Chengyang City in central China.

When they unsheathed the large blade from its muddied cover, they found it had not oxidised but was still sharp, shiny and in near-perfect condition.

The team from Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology posted pictures and a video of the sword on Chinese social network Weibo.

The artefact is believed to be from China’s Warring States period, from around 475 to 221 BC, when the Zhou Dynasty region was divided between eight states which often saw fierce fighting. Read more.


Ancient Chinese artifacts in California

Situated on the edge of the Gobi desert, the Dunhuang caves features six miles of art many centuries old. Now an American audience will get a taste of it, as the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles has brought the Cave Temples of Dunhuang to the museum.

Junior Year thangsssss

soooo sofar I have been accepted to the Paideia Institutes Living Latin in Paris program, the Institute for Field Research Ethiopia-Shire field school and their Ferrycarring Ireland Field School, the Southwest Archaeology Field School in portugal, unfortunately due to my lack of $$$$ and time I will only hopefully be able to participate in the Portugal excavation. It means the world to me that these people looked at my application and saw my passion and expertise since I’m so used to being rejected. 


The Acropolis 200 years ago, as seen by chroniclers Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi. The monument has changed dramatically, as both structure and symbol, since this time.

“The event…that most directly accounts for the way the Acropolis looks today was its excavation and destruction by archaeologists during the 19th century. The decision was made to erase essentially all material remains from the present back to the fifth century B.C. The medieval and Ottoman buildings that [artist Edward] Dodwell depicted in his artwork were completely destroyed, and thousands of tons of material, including all the topsoil, were dumped over the side of the Acropolis. In other words, approximately 2,000 years of human history were erased in the name of “restoring” the Acropolis to what it looked like during the classical period. When the archaeologists had finished, for the first time in its history the Acropolis was no longer an organic part of the city of Athens.”

What Does the Acropolis Mean? A Conversation with Historian Thomas Gallant

Gallant speaks at the Getty Villa on January 21 as part of the programming for the exhibition Greece’s Enchanting Landscape: Watercolors by Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi, which features the views shown here and many more. All images: The Packard Humanities Institute.


Places and sites of ancient South Arabia

Yemen was home to six major kingdoms in antiquity and these formed the heart of the region we call ancient South Arabia. These kingdoms were Saba, Ma’in, Qataban, Hadramawt, Awsan and Himyar. There are many ancient sites across the entire region, including towns, villages, temples, cemeteries and impressive waterworks. The most famous of these is the site of Marib, former capital of the Sabaean kingdom, where a huge temple – known today as the Mahram Bilqis – and the remains of a monumental dam still stand. Other important sites are at Sirwah and Zabid. Sadly, even these great monuments have been damaged in the recent conflict.

yellowmoya  asked:

Could you recommend some good Egypt history books? Especially about your favourite ladies?


For an Overview of Ancient Egypt

Baines, John and Jaromir Malek. Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Manley, Bill. The Penguin Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Hammondsworth, 1996.

Nicholson, Paul and Ian Shaw. The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Press, 2008.

Schulz, R and M Seidel. Egypt, World of the Pharaohs. Cologne, 1998.

Wilkinson, Richard H. Egyptology Today. New York, 2008.


Dodson, Aidan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010.

Kemp, Barry. Ancient Egypt Anatomy of a Civilisation. 2nd Edition. New York, 2006.

Kemp, Barry. The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Cairo: American University Press, 2012.

Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Literature/Ancient Texts

Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature. 3 vols. Berkley, 1975-1980.

Simpson, William Kelly. The Litertaure of Ancient Egypt. Yale, 2003.


Assmann, Jan. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Trans. D Lorton. London: Ithica, 2001.

Hart, George. The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Grajetzki, Wolfram. Burrial Customs in Ancient Egypt. London, 2003.

Hornung, Eric. Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt. The One and the Many. Trans. J Baines. New York: Ithica, 1996.

Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt. New York, 2000.

Material Culture

Ikram, Salima and Aidan Dodson. The Tomb in Ancient Egypt. Royal and Private Sepulchres from the Early Dynastic Period to the Romans. London: Thames & Hudson, 2005.

Nicholson, Paul and Ian Shaw. Ancient Materials and Technologies. Cambridge, 2005.

Shaw, Ian. Ancient Egyptian Technology and Innovation. Transformations in Pharonic Material Culture. London, 2012.

Art and Architecture

Dieter, Arnold. The Encycopedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture. English Edition. New York, 2003.

Robins, Gay. The Art of Ancient Egypt. 2nd Edition. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Lehner, Mark. The Complete Pyramids. London, 1997.

Schafer, Heinrich. Principles of Egyptian Art. Trans. J Baines. Revised English Edition. Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1986.


Renfew, Colin and Paul Bahn. Archaeology. Theories, Methods and Practise. 6th Edition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2012.

Wendrich, Willeke. Egyptian Archaeology. Oxford, 2010.

Women in Egypt

L. Minniche, Royal Family, in Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001

A. R. Schulman, Diplomatic Marriage in the New Kingdom, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jul., 1979), 177-193.

Robins, Gay. Women in Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Press, 1993.

G. Robins, Queens, in Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001

Tydesley, Joyce.  Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. London: Penguin. 2001

Tyldesley, Joyce. Daughters of Isis. London: Penguin. 1995.

Tyldesley has also has a book on Nefertiti and Hatshepsut I do believe, but I haven’t read them.

There unfortunately aren’t a lot of volumes specifically dedicated to Queens, however there are definitely sections on them in the biographies of their Pharaoh Husbands.

Hope I was of some help.

These Are The World's Oldest Pants

Two men whose remains were recently excavated from tombs in western China put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us. But these nomadic herders did so between 3,300 and 3,000 years ago, making their trousers the oldest known examples of this innovative apparel, a new study finds.

With straight-fitting legs and a wide crotch, the ancient wool trousers resemble modern riding pants, says a team led by archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. The discoveries, uncovered in the Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin, support previous work suggesting that nomadic herders in Central Asia invented pants to provide bodily protection and freedom of movement for horseback journeys and mounted warfare, the scientists report May 22 in Quaternary International. Read more.