Browsing All posts tagged under »history«

British, Roman, or African? On race, ethnicity, and nationality

January 26, 2011

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The past was not full of homogeneous towns. People in the past were not uniform in their cultures, their sexualities, or their subjective experiences. If I have one goal in my teaching– one goal in my writing– it would be to get that point across, so that finding difference in past populations would be expected, […]

Roman Sex, Online and Broadcast

January 18, 2011

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“We end with pepper, and we’re going to begin with porn.” Now, that’s an eye-catching sentence. Or really, since this is a broadcast made available by BBC Radio, an ear-catching sentence. In 2010, the BBC collaborated with the British Museum to produce a history of humanity– through descriptions of 100 objects. The series is fabulous […]

Classical junk

November 20, 2010

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(with apologies to the popular revolt against the TSA…) 348 articles, and counting. And that’s just the English language press… Google News reports at least 74 articles in Italian and another 50 in French. That’s how much news coverage Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has received for his decision to have a statue of Mars […]

Ötzi and his kin

August 28, 2010

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Science News and Discovery both have publicized a new theory about Ötzi, the famous “iceman” found in the Alps, published in Antiquity. Instead of dying alone after fleeing the person who shot an arrow in his shoulder, researchers now suggest that the body was found downhill from its original burial site, on a formal stone […]

Written in the bones: woman gladiator or upwardly mobile peasant?

July 4, 2010

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Or maybe not. The BBC headline blares Female ‘gladiator’ remains found in Herefordshire and the alarm in my head goes off. Are there weapons, are there any of the things specific to gladiators? well, no. So what’s the real story here? The lead: the archaeologists “have found the grave of a massive, muscular woman”. And […]

Egypt’s chief archaeologist: Tutankhamun “was actually well-developed”

July 1, 2010

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You have to think that Zahi Hawass will not want to be remembered for this quote, out of everything he has to say about Egyptian antiquities. But when the intersection between archaeology and sex becomes literally the intersection of archaeology and… sex, I am willing to bet that this is one thing Hawass says that […]

Are dead babies good evidence for a Roman brothel?

June 25, 2010

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That’s the question raised by a BBC story about analyses of materials from an almost century-old excavation at a Roman villa in the Thames Valley. The data: remains of 97 infants, all of whom died close to birth. The coincidence suggests deliberate killing of newborn babies. Archaeologist Dr Jill Eyers said: “The only explanation you […]

“Lady Di of the 10th century?”: Poor Eadgyth!

June 17, 2010

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“She was a beautiful English princess who married one of Europe’s most powerful monarchs and dazzled subjects with her charity and charm.” Thus did AP reporter Raphael G. Satter start a widely-reproduced story in January that the LA Daily News headline writer reduced to “Lady Di of the 10th Century“.  (The Huffington Post more soberly […]

Orkney Venus or Westray Wifie: The power of sexual archetypes

June 16, 2010

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The daily Scotsman reported on June 15 that “The Orkney Venus has been named in a shortlist of three for the Best Archaeological Discovery category in the 2010 biannual British Archaeological Awards”. The find is truly important: the object under consideration is almost unprecedented in Neolithic archaeology of Great Britain, and is visually striking, as […]

Gladiators, sex, and gender

June 8, 2010

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Every so often, an archaeological find helps clarify why it is critical that we ask questions about the differences among people of the same biological sex, and reminds us that an archaeology of sex and gender has to be as much concerned about men as women. The spectacular cemetery in York, England, that has been […]