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Oxford Epigraphy Workshop, Michaelmas Term 2014
All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar Room, Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, except that of October 20 which will be in the Lecture Theatre, Ioannou Centre.
Monday, October 20: Peter Thonemann, ‘Croesus and the oracles: a new inscription from Thebes’
Monday, October 27: Juliane Zachhuber, 'A revised reading of a decree from Bargylia: three kings, sympolities and Carian concerns'
Monday, November 3: Charles Crowther, ‘Cilicia and the Commageneian dynasty’
Monday, November 10: Jonathan Prag, tba
Monday, November 24: Alan Bowman, Simon Hornblower, Charles Crowther, Rachel Mairs, Kyriakos Savvopoulos, ‘Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions from Egypt (CPI): some case studies’.
Monday, December 1: Susan Walker, ‘Dignitas amicorum: text on late Roman gold-glass.’
There will be a handling session in the Ashmolean after this talk: details later.
The Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents has recently become involved in an unexpectedly exciting cross-discipline enterprise. Combining two of the Centre’s current projects, the Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions (CPI), and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), the CSAD has recently begun preparation for the capture of RTI and 3D interactive images of the 6.7 meter tall obelisk from Philae in Egypt, now situated in the grounds of the Kingston Lacy estate in Dorset.
The CSAD’s three-year CPI project is currently creating a corpus of up-to-date editions of almost 500 Greek, bilingual and trilingual inscriptions on stone from Egypt during its rule by the Hellenistic dynasty founded by Ptolemy I in 323, and ending with the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC. The obelisk at Kingston Lacy is one of those important multi-lingual inscriptions, in which Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphic scripts exist alongside one other, and which in the 19th century provided clues to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics.
The CSAD's RTI project is focussed on the development and implementation of a photographic method that captures a subject’s surface shape and colour and enables the interactive re-lighting of the subject from any direction. A particular strength of RTI is that it can reveal surface information that cannot be seen with the naked eye. While the scripts on the Kingston Lacy obelisk are in a reasonably good state of preservation, and reading is still possible, the opportunity to improve the accuracy of the text, and to find and identify elements of pigment in the inscription, provide sufficient reason for re-examining the monument. There are also considerable conservation benefits to be gained for the National Trust, which now owns the Kingston Lacy estate, through the creation of a permanent, accurate, interactive virtual image of the obelisk as it is today, since gradual deterioration of the original over time is an inevitability.
But the biggest surprise did not come to light until after identification of the obelisk as being of particular epigraphical interest. Soon after discussions with the National Trust were begun, it was revealed that the obelisk is set to achieve considerably wider significance later this year: its name has been given to the robotic craft that in November 2014 will attempt a landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as part of a mission launched in 2004 by the European Space Agency. The main robotic spacecraft has been named Rosetta, after the famous Egyptian basalt slab, featuring a decree in three scripts, and the lander is named after the Nile island of Philae, where the Kingston Lacy obelisk was discovered. The European Space Agency hopes that, just as a comparison of the scripts on the Rosetta Stone and the obelisk led to a greater understanding of the Egyptian writing system, the Philae and Rosetta space mission will lead to a better understanding of comets and the early Solar System.
So it was decided that the CSAD work on the obelisk should become part of the multi-disciplinary focus on the obelisk, planned to culminate at the time of the comet landing. RTI and 3D imaging of the obelisk, together with another obelisk fragment and a sarcophagus nearby in the Kingston Lacy grounds, will be carried out over the summer and early autumn; time-lapse photography will record the process, from erection of the purpose-designed scaffolding, through the cleaning of the obelisk by the National Trust conservation department, to the RTI photography and 3D scanning; an exhibition, and the possibility of a short documentary film on the obelisk and its flamboyant history, and the CSAD’s part in recording it, are also being discussed, all to be ready to mark in style the landing of its namesake, Philae, on the comet in November.
Oxford Epigraphy Workshop, Trinity Term 2014
All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar room, Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles
Monday, May 5: J.- C. Decourt ‘Une nouvelle lex sacra dans la région de Larissa (Thessalie)’.
Monday, May 12: tba – offers welcome
Monday, May 19: Daniele Miano, ‘Portable salvation in the fourth century BC: on bronze strigils marked in Greek from central Italy and Tyrrhenian islands’
Monday, May 26: Chris Faraone, ‘Writing Greek amulets’.
Monday June 9, Pierre Fröhlich, ‘New Inscriptions from Euromos’.
Friday, June 13 (n.b. unusual day!): Massimo Nafissi, ‘The new Iasian momument for the Hecatomnid basileis and its dedicatory epigram’.
British Epigraphy Society
Practical Epigraphy Workshop
24- 26 June 2014
The British Epigraphy Society will hold its sixth Practical Epigraphy
Workshop this summer from 24 to 26 June at Corbridge, Northumberland.
The workshop is aimed primarily at graduates wishing to develop hands-on
skills in working with epigraphic material, though we also welcome
applications from those at any stage in their career who would like to
acquire a greater sensitivity to the gathering of epigraphic evidence.
With expert tuition, participants will gain direct experience of the practical
elements of how to record and study inscriptions. The programme will
include the making of squeezes; photographing and measuring inscribed
stones; and the production of transcriptions, translations and commentaries.
Participants may choose to work on Latin or Greek texts, and the workshop
will be open to those either with or without epigraphic training.
The course fee will be £90 for this three-day event.
Please direct enquiries about the workshop to Peter Haarer:
To apply for a place on the Workshop, please contact Maggy Sasanow
for an application form: email@example.com
Monday, Jan. 27: Susan Walker, ‘Dignitas amicorum: text on late Roman gold-glass.’
Susan Walker has kindly arranged an opportunity to see and handle some of the glass in question in the Ashmolean straight after the seminar, but places are limited to ten and she needs to know numbers in advance: if you’d like to take up this offer, please let Robert Parker know by Wednesday, January 22: first come, first served.
Monday, Feb. 3: Rachel Mairs, 'Greek and Demotic on the Stele of Moschion: The Interaction Between Languages and Scripts.'
Monday, Feb. 10: Robert Parker, ‘ A New Legal Soap – the territorial dispute between Messenia and Megalopolis (SEG LVIII 370).’
Monday, March 3: Greg Votruba, ‘Literacy, ethnicity and religious consciousness of ancient mariners: inscriptions and pictographs on Hellenistic and Early Roman anchors.’
Monday, March 10: Ilaria Bultrighini, ‘The history and development of the seven-day week in the Roman Empire and the Near East: some notes on the epigraphic evidence.’