The Byzness

The Byzness, 22 January 2012


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Replica of Byzantine ship to sail next year in Turkey
Courtesy of MyByzantine

Yenikapı 12, a replica of a ship built during the Middle Ages that was unearthed during metro project excavations, will be launched at sea next year within the scope of a project coordinated by Istanbul University.

One of 36 sunken ships found during archaeological excavations carried out as part of Istanbul’s metro project will be replicated, put on display and launched at sea as Yenikapı 12.

A replica of the 9.64-meter-long, 2.6-meter-wide boat that was built in the Middle Ages will be launched in 2013.


Tiled Floor and Ceramic and Glass Findings Unearthed in Tal Dahret al-Mintar in Hama
Courtesy of Syrian Arab News Agency

HAMA, (SANA)- The excavation works of the National Archaeological Expedition at Tal Dahret al-Mintar in Salamyieh area in Hama Province unearthed a group of metal nails and broken crockery and glass pieces in addition to an entrance of a facility and a floor of tiles dating back to the Byzantine period.

Head of Hama Antiquities Department Abdul Qader Farzat said that the expedition made two probes within the site to the west of Salamyieh watercourse as the first probe unveiled an entrance of a facility in addition to parts of its walls and a floor of tiles that was familiar in the Byzantine period.


Chair of Greek Revived at Glasgow
Courtesy of News.Scotsman.Com

WHEN the unassuming Professor Douglas MacDowell retired in 2001, the chair of Greek at Glasgow University he occupied fell victim to cost-cutting and was left unfilled.

Few at the university thought they would hear more about it. The professor seemed set for a modest retirement. He lived in a £100,000 flat in the city’s Byers Road and drove a hatchback valued at less than £1,300. His furniture and personal belongings were valued at just £2,767 when he died in 2010 aged 78. Now he has sprung a surprise, donating more than £2 million from a portfolio of stocks and shares to revive the chair of Greek.

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Networks and Knowledge in the Medieval Muslim-Christian-Jewish Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Seminar  <> announces the opening of applications for a four-week NEH Summer Institute to be held on in Barcelona, Spain, July 2-27, 2012.

This Institute, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with the collaboration of the the Mediterranean Seminar/UCMRP and the support of the Institute for Humanities Research at the University of California Santa Cruz, will bring together 24 college and university faculty and graduate students for an intensive 4-week course, directed by Sharon Kinoshita (Literature, UC Santa Cruz) and Brian A. Catlos (Religious Studies, University of Colorado Boulder/History, UC Santa Cruz).

The aim is to introduce college and university instructors to new approaches to the medieval Mediterranean (c. 1000-1500) and its role in the emergence of the modern world. As a region whose history of connectivity goes back two and a half millennia, the Mediterranean is currently the object of innovative scholarship in various disciplines. Where traditional accounts cast the Middle Ages as the lull between the loss of the culture of classical antiquity and its “rebirth” in the Renaissance, rethinking the Middle Ages through the optic of the medieval Mediterranean emphasizes questions of religious and ethnic pluralisms, cultural contact, transculturation, and the negotiation of identities.

This is the third program of this type organized by Kinoshita and Catlos, and follows up on the successes of their 2008 and 2010 NEH Summer

The 2012 Institute focuses on the medieval Mediterranean as a zone of cultural, scientific, and technological innovation. The facility with which ideas and technologies traversed the Mediterranean is testament to the commonalities underlying the apparent contrasts between ethnic and religious groups. The Institute’s distinguished multidisciplinary Guest Faculty examines the circulation of knowledge and shared practices through topics including:

“Mobility and Communications” (Peregrine Horden),
“Changing Christian Attitudes towards Muslim Food and Foodways” (Olivia
Remie Constable),
“The Topography of Translation” (Charles Burnett),
“Networks of Literary Transmission” (Karla Mallette),
“Medical Knowledge and Daily Life Experience” (Fernando Salmón),
“Medieval Mediterranean Knowledge and the European Renaissance” (George

Studying the circulation of medieval Mediterranean knowledge and practices, this project redefines  medieval inter-religious interaction so that “Holy War” is revealed not as the dominant mode of, but as only one pole of a spectrum that includes co-existence, accommodation, and cooperation. It reveals that many “modern” ideas and technologies (municipal republics, double-entry accounting, neo-Aristotelian logic, vernacular literature, paper, rice cultivation, universities, etc.) first crystallized in the medieval Mediterranean, thus calling into question established teleological meta-narratives, and geo-historical and cultural paradigms, in order to contribute to a revised understanding of the “rise” of the Modern West.

For general information and in order to apply, see the NEH website (

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“Byzantine Defences in the Dodecanese Islands; Planned or Improvised”

SPBS & The Friends of the British School at Athens present an illustrated lecture by MICHAEL HESLOP. It will be held at 6.00 pm Tuesday 20 March 2012, followed by an informal reception, at Room G22/26, Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
The nearest tube station is Russell Square.
Free entry for SPBS members but please confirm attendance to Michael Saxby


Byzantium/Modernism: Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Avant-Gardes
20-22 April 2012 (History of Art Department, Yale University)

What does modern art have to gain from Byzantium?  How can Byzantine philosophy enrich our understanding of the modern and contemporary image? The goal of this conference is twofold: First, to investigate the prolific interest in Byzantine art at the turn of the century and its effects on the historical Avant-Gardes in art, architecture, and visual culture to the present; second, to articulate how Byzantine art and image philosophy can contribute to modern and contemporary visual culture. The intention is to produce an intellectual history of art from the nineteenth century to the present that uses Byzantium/Modernism as a paradigmatic fissure for the co-identification of said terms.

**SPACE IS LIMITED: Please register on our website**

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VI International Academic Conference: «The Byzantine trace in the Pacific Rim art culture in space of a polylogue China-Japan-Korea-USA-Australia-Russia»
Far Eastern Federal University, Pushkin Theater, the cultural center of FEFU, May 27- June 3, 2012 Vladivostok

From May 27 until June 3, 2012 Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok) with support of International Association of Byzantine studies invites you to participate in international scientific conference. This interdisciplinary conference aims to study how the religion, painting, ethical, philosophical, museum, musical and other traces of Byzantine culture are shown in the modern Pacific Rim art culture.

Suggested topics:
• The Byzantine trace in culture and art of modern realities: Russia and the Pacific Rim countries
• The Ethical-philosophical basis of traditional cultures and arts of Russia and the Pacific Rim countries: to a question on the Byzantian and other influences
• Historical-comparative researches of development of arts in Pacific Rim
• Youth section «Bridges of art and culture of Pacific Russia»

The conference will include plenary lectures by guest speakers and thematic parallel sessions for registered delegates.

Confirmed Guest Speakers:
Peter Schreiner. Association Internationale des Etudes Byzantines. München.
Tatiana Baklanova, Moscow State Humanitarian University named after Mikhail Sholokhov, Moscow,
Sergey Karpov, Moscow State University named after M. Lomonosov, Moscow,
John Tuchkov, Moscow State University named after M. Lomonosov, Moscow.

Working languages: English and Russian.
We welcome: individual proposals for a 20-minute papers, joined proposals.

The edition of the collection of materials of a conference is planned.
Dead-line for proposal – 10 March 2012
Dead-line for article– 10 April 2012
Notification of acceptance –25 April 2012

Please include the following information with your proposal:
a)the full title of your paper,
b)abstract (ca.200 words per paper)
c)your name,
d)your institutional affiliation,
e)post address,
f)a short biographical note (ca. 100 words),
g)telephone, fax, e-mail.

Please, submit your abstract proposal by e-mail:

or by post: 690950, Vladivostok, Sukhanova street, 8, Far East Federal University. Organizing committee of a conference «The Byzantine trace in the Pacific Rim art culture in space of a polylogue China-Japan-Korea-USA-Russia»

All speakers are responsible for their own travel arrangements and accommodation; relevant information will be provider later.

Scientific Committee:
ALEXEEVA GALINA, Doctor Habilitatus Artium, professor,
Ph. +7-4232-43-34-98 (Culturology and Art criticism Department of FEFU), , KRYLOVSKAYA IZABEL, Ph.D., TCHERNOVA ANNA, Ph.D.


Taking Archaeology Digital: A Conference on the Use of New Technologies in Archaeology
University of Puget Sound, Oct. 25-28, 2012

Technology is changing our world in ways that previous centuries could not have imagined, and it is a constant struggle for us to keep up with these frequent changes and innovations. While archaeology is a very old practice, only in the later 20th century was it given serious methodological consideration, and now, in the 21st century, this explosion in the availability of technological tools offers the potential to transform the practice of
archaeology. But the mere existence of a new tool, no matter how fun and exciting it might seem, does not necessarily translate into good use of that tool. This is the theme we hope to address in the upcoming Redford Conference in Archaeology at the University of Puget Sound, October 25-28, 2012.
We invite proposals for papers and presentations that explore the question of how archaeologists can best make use of the vast range of possibilities that technology opens up. We are particularly interested in presentations from people who may have already had some experiences in trying to fit new technologies into archaeological practice. Often those who study the past have had difficulty adapting their practice to the existence of new tools, and one goal is to help us learn from the experiences of others.

Some issues we hope to address include:
· How do technological tools allow archaeologists not only to do their work differently, but better?
· What kinds of new questions do these tools allow us to ask, and why are those questions useful to a broader understanding of the ancient world?
· How is the processing of archaeological material after an excavation affected – from archiving data through to publication?
· How can we maximize the possibilities offered by the new digital technology?
While all areas relating to the question of how to make technology work best for archaeologists are open, we anticipate focusing our discussions on three areas and especially encourage submissions that relate directly to them:
· Fieldwork: How do traditional archaeological methods intersect with digital technologies? What problems can technology help us solve in the field? And just as important, perhaps, how might the limitations of these technologies hinder us or, at the very least, not help us in our fieldwork?
· Archiving: If technology increases the amount of information we gain from the field, how can this information be stored so that it can be efficiently accessed again in the future? How can we account for future changes in technology that might make current storage techniques obsolete? How can we avoid the loss of data when that happens, and mitigate any problems that the technological changeover might present?
· Publication: What possibilities for publication are opened up by digital technology? How can we make these new electronic publications more valuable, and increase the quality and not just the quantity of the published material? Is peer review still important, and how will it be connected to the new publication possibilities?
The conference will include both demonstrations of technological innovations as well as critical discussion of the value of such innovations.
Confirmed speakers include:
· Nick Eiteljorg II, Center for the Study of Architecture
· Sebastian Heath, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
· Norbert Zimmerman, Vienna Academy of Sciences

Proposals for papers should be sent to Eric Orlin at The deadline for receipt of proposals is April 1, 2012. Some subsidies may be available to help offset travel costs for speakers. For ongoing updates of Conference news, please check out the Redford Conference in Archaeology link at

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