More on Corinthian Colonization in Apollonia

In this new article in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, B. Kyle, L. A. Schepartz, and C. S. Larsen compare skeletal materials from Corinth and Apollonia in Albania to assess the impact of Corinthian colonization on the local Illyrian population as evident in human skeletal remains. Their conclusion: colonization led to greater stress on the local population. The article sounds speculative, and I would like to read the fine print (why are Neolithic burials part of the comparative group for colonization of the archaic era?), but this sort of comparative study of populations is always fascinating. Here’s the full reference:

Kyle, B., L. A. Schepartz, and C. S. Larsen. “Mother City and Colony: Bioarchaeological Evidence of Stress and Impacts of Corinthian Colonization at Apollonia, Albania.” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, January 1, 2016, n/a – n/a. doi:10.1002/oa.2519.

IMG_1727

Two of the authors on this paper published another article on the subject two years ago:

And the abstract:

 

This study uses bioarchaeological methods and interpretive frameworks, in conjunction with archaeological and textual evidence, to document and interpret the record of Greek colonial interactions between Corinth and local populations at Apollonia, Albania, in the region known as Illyria (modern Albania). A series of Illyrian human remains (n = 304; Early Iron Age – Hellenistic periods) and Corinthian human remains (n = 72; Neolithic – Hellenistic periods) were examined for evidence of physiological stress in order to characterize the impact of colonization. Statistical comparisons of pre- and post-colonial skeletal remains indicate that stress increased at Apollonia following colonization. This change may have resulted from impoverishment following Corinth’s extraction of local Illyrian resources and changes in sanitation and disease transmission associated with urbanism. Conversely, the record suggests a decrease in stress, although not to a significant extent, in Corinth. We speculate that decline in physiological stress in the Corinthian setting may reflect improved dietary quality and increased food availability

 

Hellenistic Sanctuaries between Greece and Rome (Melfi and Bobou)

I’m slowly making my way through a backlog of new Corinthian scholarship this morning as the first east coast snowstorm of 2016 threatens to envelop central Pennsylvania (and I’m not sure whether my six year old or I am more excited about a foot of snow).

Discovered this little gem. A brand new collection of essays on Hellenistic sanctuaries due for publication in March with Oxford University Press.  According to the publisher website, the book

  • HellenisticSanctuariesExamines the complex relationship between ancient Hellenistic and Republican sanctuaries and cities, rulers, and worshippers through surviving archaeological material
  • Represents a significant contribution to the existing bibliography on ancient Greek religion, history, and archaeology
  • Provides new ways of thinking about politics, rituals, and sanctuary spaces in Greece
  • Features an international, interdisciplinary range of contributors

 

 

The abstract suggests wide-ranging essays on sanctuaries within various political, spatial, and social contexts.

Sanctuaries were at the heart of Greek religious, social, political, and cultural life; however, we have a limited understanding of how sanctuary spaces, politics, and rituals intersected in the Greek cities of the Hellenistic and Republican periods. This edited collection focuses on the archaeological material of this era and how it can elucidate the complex relationship between the various forces operating on, and changing the physical space of, sanctuaries. Material such as archaeological remains, sculptures, and inscriptions provides us with concrete evidence of how sanctuaries functioned as locations of memory in a social environment dominated by the written word, and gives us insight into political choices and decisions. It also reveals changes unrecorded in surviving local or political histories. Each case study explored by this volume’s contributors employs archaeology as the primary means of investigation: from art-historical approaches, to surveys and fieldwork, to re-evaluation of archival material. Hellenistic Sanctuaries represents a significant contribution to the existing bibliography on ancient Greek religion, history, and archaeology, and provides new ways of thinking about politics, rituals, and sanctuary spaces in Greece.

And Google Books, which recently won a major legal battle with the Author’s Guild over its practice of scanning books, has made available sections of the book online. The work includes a number of articles on sanctuaries in Greece and the Peloponnese. Of particular interest to Corinthiaphiles is Milena Melfi’s essay, “The Making of a Colonial Pantheon in the Colonies of Caesar in Greece: The Case of Corinth,” pp. 228–53. In it, she examines three preexisting sanctuaries in Corinth (Asklepios, Aphrodite on Acrocorinth, and Demeter & Kore on the lower slopes of Acrocorinth) that survived the transition to Roman colonization both because they met the community’s basic needs and they represented the colonists’ social backgrounds. Here is a taste:

“Recent archaeological and historical research has demonstrated how few sites conformed to the stereotypical notion that all colonies needed to have capitolia at their centres before the Imperial period. Therefore, rather than looking at what the Romans brought about in Corinth, I will make use of the archaeological and documentary evidence attesting continuity and possibily change in cult places and cultic activities (230) ….The cults practiced in Corinth at the time of the foundation of the Roman colony seem to have been all Greek cults. No elements of the public religion postulated on the basis of the charter of Urso can be detected in these early years. The Greek origin of most of the early colonists was certainly one of the factors contributing to the development of these specific cults over others (250).

 

The Socio-Environmental History of the Peloponnese during the Holocene

Those who like their history long should be interested in this new article in Quarternary Science Reviews on environmental and human change in the Peloponnese over the last 9,000 years. Co-authored by fifteen historians, archaeologists, geographers, and geologists, the article aims to relate a range of climatic data with archaeological data to discern the relationship between environment and human settlement  during the Holocene.

  • Weiberg, Erika, Ingmar Unkel, Katerina Kouli, Karin Holmgren, Pavlos Avramidis, Anton Bonnier, Flint Dibble, et al. “The Socio-Environmental History of the Peloponnese during the Holocene: Towards an Integrated Understanding of the Past.” Quaternary Science Reviews. Accessed January 12, 2016.

 
The comparison  of data over many regions and long stretches of times means that the environmental records do not neatly match up with the archaeological data. The authors identify social and political factors as most significant than economic factors, and reject the notion that better climate always meant greater settlement. The article, while inconclusive, is nuanced and cautious, and devotes discussion to the challenges of doing such coarse comparisons, especially in respect to regional variation and chronology. Here’s the abstract:

Published archaeological, palaeoenvironmental, and palaeoclimatic data from the Peloponnese in Greece are compiled, discussed and evaluated in order to analyse the interactions between humans and the environment over the last 9000 years. Our study indicates that the number of human settlements found scattered over the peninsula have quadrupled from the prehistoric to historical periods and that this evolution occurred over periods of climate change and seismo–tectonic activity. We show that societal development occurs both during periods of harsh as well as favourable climatic conditions. At some times, some settlements develop while others decline. Well-known climate events such as the 4.2 ka and 3.2 ka events are recognizable in some of the palaeoclimatic records and a regional decline in the number and sizes of settlements occurs roughly at the same time, but their precise chronological fit with the archaeological record remains uncertain. Local socio-political processes were probably always the key drivers behind the diverse strategies that human societies took in times of changing climate. The study thus reveals considerable chronological parallels between societal development and palaeoenvironmental records, but also demonstrates the ambiguities in these correspondences and, in doing so, highlights some of the challenges that will face future interdisciplinary projects. We suggest that there can be no general association made between societal expansion phases and periods of advantageous climate. We also propose that the relevance of climatic and environmental regionality, as well as any potential impacts of seismo-tectonics on societal development, need to be part of the interpretative frameworks.

 

On the New Investigations at Lechaion

The Lechaion Harbour Project made global news again in late December following the press release of their recent season conducting underwater investigations at Corinth’s northern harbor. We briefly covered the new work of the LHP last year at Corinthian Matters, and now we can happily report on the first fruits of their work there. As the press release from the University of Copenhagen notes, the most unexpected discovery was a series of wooden caissons of fifth century AD date, which were submerged to construct the mole (read the full press release here):

The research team has initiated full-scale excavations and a digital and geophysical survey of the seaward side of the harbour using various innovative technologies, including a newly-developed 3D parametric sub-bottom profiler. To date they have uncovered two monumental moles constructed of ashlar blocks, along with a smaller mole, two areas of wooden caissons, a breakwater, and an entrance canal that leads into Lechaion’s three inner harbour basins.

The 2015 excavations focused on two areas. The first is a unique, early Byzantine mole constructed of six well-preserved wooden caissons together stretching 57 meters in length. The second is the stone-lined entrance canal to the little-explored Inner Harbour of Lechaion….

The discovery of well-preserved wooden caissons, however, caught everyone off guard. The wooden caissons acted as single-mission barges, built for the express purpose of being sunk together with their concrete cargoes, all of which were designed to form a solid foundation to hold back the force of the sea along this highly exposed stretch of coast .

The press release includes video footage of the team investigating a mole. The project has also released a series of short videos of their work via their Facebook page.

caissons

These findings are most welcome, although we must await the preliminary publication to learn more about the nature and quantity of the radiocarbon samples. Still it’s pretty exciting that the mole is fifth century AD in date, as its discovery adds yet another piece of support to the conclusions of archaeologists and historians of the last three decades that the fifth to early seventh centuries were one of the most vibrant eras of building activity and new investment in the history of the region (see, for the rural view, my summary of the “busy countryside” of Late Roman Corinth). Gone are the days when scholars could dismiss the late antique centuries as uneventful or declining. Rather, these centuries saw the Corinthia develop into an important borderland between eastern and western halves of the Roman empire, which increasingly had different trajectories in the fifth and sixth centuries. The enormous Christian basilica at Lechaion, for example, was, as Bill Caraher has argued, an important statement of Constantinoplitan authority and power in an area traditionally administered and claimed by Roman ecclesiastical authorities. And as I’ve argued in my forthcoming book on the Isthmus, the region’s prominence in this period reflects its important place at the boundary of east and west.

More generally, it is great that the harbor facilities at Lechaion are finally being subject to a systematic treatment. Only two decades ago, Richard Rothaus published his useful preliminary summary of the archaeological and textual evidence for Lechaion in Oxford Journal of Archaeology , which highlighted how little we know about the date of construction and development of the harbor, the date of the origins of the internal basins, the relationship between the archaic and classical harbor and its present form, the developmental relationship between internal basin and external harbor, and the final uses of the harbor in antiquity. In an article published in 1996, S. Stiros and collaborators suggested an archaic or classical construction date for the stone-lined channel connecting the exterior harbor to the inner one based on radiocarbon dates of marine shells attached tot he blocks. Yet, more than one Corinthian archaeologist has suspected later construction. Scholars have sometimes linked the construction of the internal basins to the time of foundation of the Roman colony (44 BC); C.K. Williams II suggested (in “Roman Corinth as a Commercial Center”) a date in the reign of Claudius (mid-first centry AD); and David Romano has proposed major construction during the reigns of Nero or Vespasian when the entire landscape was subject to new division and the emperors were interested in maritime development.

But what we have lacked is some kind of systematic excavation that could inform our knowledge of the development of the harbor. Excavation has been limited to the massive early Christian Lechaion basilica (dug by Dimitrios Pallas in the 1950s and 60s and published, mostly in Greek, in a series of preliminary reports), and Greek Archaeological Service excavations that have occasionally revealed Roman baths, the base of a statue or light house, late Roman private residences, and stoas of Hellenistic to Roman date in the vicinity.

Don’t expect the LHP to answer all of our questions about the harbor anytime soon. Archaeological investigation is slow and tedious, underwater archaeology seemingly more so, and publication takes years. Robert Scranton and his University of Chicago team expected to cover much more ground in their excavations at Kenchreai but were side-tracked and bogged down by their remarkable discovery of opus sectile glass panels of fourth century AD date (now housed at the Isthmia museum). Nonetheless, if future seasons of the LHP can reveal additional surprises like those found in the 2015 season, it should greatly improve our knowledge of the site. For the time, let’s hope for some efficient publication of these preliminary results, a broad systematic study of the underwater remains that can piece together the different parts, and some more happy discoveries.

An Invitation to Improve Corinthian Articles in Wikipedia

We all know that Wikipedia, with its 5 million+ articles, is a first stop for students, the general public, and researchers looking for quick answers to factual questions about the ancient world. In an important article published a decade ago in The Journal of American History, the late Roy Rosenzweig found that this global encyclopedia was less inaccurate than an historian might initially assume for biographies of famous American individuals and in comparison with online encyclopedias such as (then functioning) Encarta and Encyclopedia BritannicaRosenzweig noted that while Wikipedia was often missing vital scholarly perspectives, interpretation, bibliography, and the full picture, it had all the same become an important source of information and facts for students, teachers, and the broader public. He urged professional historians to enter the game and help make this resource a better one:

Should those who write history for a living join such popular history makers in writing history in Wikipedia? My own tentative answer is yes.63 If Wikipedia is becoming the family encyclopedia for the twenty-first century, historians probably have a professional obligation to make it as good as possible. And if every member of the Organization of American Historians devoted just one day to improving the entries in her or his areas of expertise, it would not only significantly raise the quality of Wikipedia, it would also enhance popular historical literacy. Historians could similarly play a role by participating in the populist peer review process that certifies contributions as featured articles.

Those of us whose research intersects with Corinthian studies have probably seen the problems, holes, and mistakes in many of the articles associated with ancient Corinth and its region. It is a little surprising to me that given the large number of scholars who work on Corinth, the Wikipedia articles on Corinthian studies are in such bad shape. Visit the following articles and tell me that you don’t see room for improvement either in the content, references, or external sites.

WikiCorinth
 

 

Visit the following articles and tell me that you don’t see room for improvement either in the content, references, or external sites.

But wait, thre’s an opportunity for you to help. I just received an invitation from Phoebe Acheson via the Classics Library Forum listserve to make ancient world Wiki articles better. Acheson writes:

I’m writing to solicit your help by participating in and/or publicizing the Wikipedia Library’s #1Lib1Ref campaign which is scheduled form Jan. 15-23 2016. As described here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/The_Wikipedia_Library/1Lib1Ref  the Wikipedia Library wants to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Wikipedia (!!) and improve the sourcing of articles. They’re asking librarians to help.

I thought this was a great idea (I am not in any way associated with Wikipedia Library) and will be encouraging my blog and twitter followers to participate – even those who are not librarians – by helping to improve the sourcing of articles with classics topics.  Will you join me?

You can:

  • Make an edit to Wikipedia yourself (it is easy) adding a footnote with reference to a scholarly article, a link to a Worldcat record for a book under the “suggested reading,” or a link to a scholarly web project (i.e. an excavation web site, digital humanities project report, etc.)
  • Encourage the classicists you serve to do the same – maybe suggest that teachers pass the idea along to their students, or even devise an assignment or in-class exercise?
  • Encourage your librarian colleagues to do the same.

This link (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/The_Wikipedia_Library/1Lib1Ref/Help ) has good and short directions for how to edit Wikipedia for those who have not done so.

At one point, a couple of years ago, the understaffed Wikipedia was unable to accommodate new members and changes (there were delays in signing up). Those glitches seem to be fixed. I just registered and was able to begin editing instantly.

Between January 15 and 23, 2016, join me in updating the references, links, or content to a Corinthian subject that is near and dear to your heart.

The (Almost) Abandoned Village of Lakka Skoutara

Last Friday, the Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology in Greece Interest Group co-sponsored a colloquium in two sessions at the Archaeological Institute of America on the theme of “Deserted Villages.” The first session was devoted to the subject of villages before abandonment and included papers on “The ‘Dead Villages’ of Northern Syria” (Anna M. Sitz), “Village Desertion and Settlement Patterns in the Early Medieval Fayum, Egypt” (Brendan Haug), “Abandoned ‘Palaiomaniatika’ from Ottoman Defters, Aerial Survey, and Field Reconnaissance” (Rebecca M. Seifried), “The Deserted Village of Anavatos on the Island of Chios, Greece” (Olga Vassi), and “Routes and Abandoned Villages in the Western Argolid” (Dimitri Nakassis, William Caraher, Sarah James, and Scott Gallimore). The second session was devoted to villages during and after abandonment, and included papers

As Deb Brown’s and Kostis Kourelis’ abstract for the second session describes,

Each paper thoughtfully considers abandonment and post-abandonment histories traced through years of documentation and investigation of structures and settlements that were abandoned or partially abandoned in the 19th and 20th centuries. Each case study includes evidence from historical documents, photographs, and oral histories to offer a more nuanced understanding of the reasons for abandonment, behaviors associated with deserted villages and rural structures, and significance of deserted villages in cultural landscapes. The combined papers contribute new material for understanding protracted abandonment and postabandonment processes and have significant implications for archaeologists’ interpretation of landscapes, settlements, buildings, and assemblages.

I wasn’t able to attend but heard from friends that the colloquium was successful, and that the double session was audio recorded and will be released soon via the internet. I myself co-wrote a paper with friend and colleague Bill Caraher on Lakka Skoutara, an almost deserted (almost) village of the southern Corinthia. Bill and I have visited the little valley of LS about six different summers over the last fifteen years, together with collaborators Tim Gregory and Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory. A few years ago, we presented a paper about LS at the Modern Greek Studies Association biennial conference, and we’ve put together a substantial draft of an article to submit somewhere sometime soon. In Friday’s paper, we tried to show some good pictures of the slow abandonment of this settlement that began, arguably in the 1960s (!), and continues to this day. There are as many signs of life in this abandoned valley as there are signs of death.

Some images from our paper Friday. If you’re interested in seeing more, Bill has posted 620 photos via the archival platform Omeka. Here are some of images from Friday.

Below, Mr. Perras and donkey pose in front of Perras’ long house, still standing last we checked. Mr. Perras commutes frequently to visit the country house from the nearby village of Sophiko. Note the storage of an older set of tiles (provisional discard) in front of the house.

Slide9

The valley of Lakka Skoutara is just east of Sophiko and north of Korphos in the southeast Corinthia.

Slide2

 

We have counted 18 houses, house foundations, or storage buildings in the valley, plus a little church. There are numerous little agricultural valleys in the Corinthia and Argolid, which attracted seasonal or permanent habitation in the 19th and 20th century. LS was mostly seasonally inhabited except during the hard times such as World War II when settlement was more permanent.

Slide3

The table below shows that most of the houses correspond to the Balkan-style “long house” type.

Slide10

 

 

Many of the buildings today (or at least in 2012, when we were last there) look like this. They have lost their roofs and are quickly collapsing. When the former owner saw his house like this in 2005, he was moved to tears (he had not visited the house in years). This house also shows the mixed style of the later 20th century, which included traditional fieldstone construction combined with concrete cinderblocks. The feature in front of the house is a large cistern.

Slide12

Another image of collapse. Archaeological site in formation.

Slide17

The interior of another house which still stands and functions for seasonal work reveals a basin and provisional discard (tiles).

Slide23

 

The next three images show how quickly these abandoned houses can change. The first one shows a house with a full set of tiles in 2004, and the second and third show the house robbed of tiles by 2005. Very few of the houses had significant artifact assemblages associated with them. Most were depleted of material during or after abandonment.

Slide24
Slide25

Slide26

Another good sequence of collapse. The still standing building was being reused as an animal pen the first time we visited the valley. It then began to collapse.
Slide27

Collapse continued and worsened by 2009.
Slide28

But today, it’s still in use by an area shephered, who makes use of the well associated with the house.
Slide29

If the audio for these sessions should go up in the next month or so, I’ll post a link.

 

 

Corinthian Matters at the Archaeological Institute of America 2016

AIA2016I was not able to physically attend the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies late last week in San Francisco, but I did get to co-author with Bill Caraher a paper on the abandoned village of Lakka Skoutara for a colloquium on abandoned villages (more on that tomorrow). Bill has offered a short review /reflection on the conference at his blog this morning. The final program of the AIA, still available in PDF form, suggests a robust selection of Corinthian studies and the archaeology of the northeast Peloponnese. Here are some of those I noticed.

Session: The Archaeology of Greece in Late Antiquity

  • CHAIR: William Caraher, University of North Dakota
  • “House Size and Elite Inequality in Roman Greece” (Kilian P. Mallon, Stanford University)
  • “Keeping an Even Temper in Times of Trouble: Continuity and the Maintenance of Ceramic Traditions in Late Roman Corinth” (Mark D. Hammond, AIA Member at Large, and Heather Graybehl, AIA Member at Large )
  • “Local Prosperity and Regional Economy in Roman to Early Byzantine Greece: The American Excavations at Kenchreai, 2014–2015” (Joseph L. Rife, Vanderbilt University, Jorge J. Bravo III, University of Maryland, College Park, and Sebastian Heath, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)
  • “Market Access in Late Antique Thrace: The Ceramic Perspective from Molyvoti” (Alistair Mowat, University of Manitoba, Nicholas Hudson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Thomas F. Tartaron, University of Pennsylvania)
  • “Excavation in the Late Antique City at Golemo Gradište, Konjuh, 2014–2015” (Carolyn S. Snively, Gettysburg College, and Goran Sanev, Archaeological Museum, Skopje)

 

Session: The Northeast Peloponessos

  • CHAIR: Joseph L. Rife, Vanderbilt University
  • “Sikyon Excavations: 2013 and 2014 Seasons” (Yannis Lolos, University of Thessaly, Scott Gallimore, Wilfrid Laurier University, Sarah James, University of Colorado, Boulder, Nicola Nenci, University of Edinburgh, Matthew Maher, University of Winnipeg, Susan-Marie Price, University of British Columbia, and Martin Wells, Austin College)
  • “Trading and Transporting Timber in the Peloponnese: The Special Roles of Sikyon and Corinth” (Morgan T. Condell, University of Pennsylvania)
  • “Athena at Corinth: Revisiting the Attribution of the Temple of Apollo” (Angela Ziskowski, Coe College)
  • “Outreach in Ancient Corinth: Educational Enrichment in the United States and Greece” (Katherine Petrole, Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens)
  • “The Antonine Julian Basilica in Corinth” (Paul D. Scotton, California State University, Long Beach)

Colloquium: Deserted Villages (Double session sponsored by the Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group. ORGANIZERS: Deborah E. Brown Stewart, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and Kostis Kourelis, Franklin & Marshall College. These are the papers relevant to the Corinthia and Peloponnese)

  • “Life in an Abandoned Village: The Case of Lakka Skoutara” (William Caraher, University of North Dakota, and David Pettegrew, Messiah College)
  • “An Abandoned Mudbrick Hamlet at Penteskouphi near Corinth: Its Condition, Educational Potential, and Natural Environment” (Guy D. R. Sanders, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Isabel E. M. Sanders, Independent Scholar, and Miyon Yoo, Independent Scholar)
  • “Drones and Stones: Mapping Deserted Villages in Lidoriki, Greece” (Todd Brenningmeyer, Maryville University, Miltos Katsaros, National Polytechnic University of Athens, and Kostis Kourelis, Franklin & Marshall College)
  • “Abandoned Settlements in a Historically Abandoned Environment: The Example of Kythera” (Lita Tzortozopoulou-Gregory, The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, and Timothy E. Gregory, Ohio State University
  • “Roads, Routes and Abandoned Villages in the Western Argolid” (Dimitri Nakassis, University of Toronto, William Caraher, University of North Dakota, Sarah James, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Scott Gallimore, Wilfrid Laurier University)

Individual Papers:

  • “The Archaic Reservoir at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia: A Study of Depositional Processes” (Martha K. Risser, Trinity College, Connecticut )
  • “Finding Their Way: Late Classical Votive Reliefs at Ancient Corinth” (Aileen Ajootian, University of Mississippi)
  • “Korakou, the Port City of Mycenaean Corinth” (Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, American School of Classical Studies at Athens)
  • “Sauroctonos Corinthius” (Jenifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University)
  • “Little Gifts: Dedications at the Sacred Spring in Corinth” (Theodora Kopestonsky, University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

The Irregular Train

I received an appreciative email earlier this week from a resident of a Corinthian village who had just discovered Corinthian Matters and was keen to learn more about the place where he resides (he even offered real-time information and photographs). His email and others like it always encourage me to continue sifting through the chaff of Corinthian ephemera day after day to find the occasional nugget of interesting news and scholarship. I consider this site mainly a service for those interested in Corinthian studies that runs like an irregular train. Corinthian Matters is not my top priority in life or work, but it ranks in the top ten things I feel I should be doing in the time I devote to scholarship.

This image below showing my 2015 Posting Patterns says it all. The site bursts to life during breaks and abruptly halts once the academic semester and the teaching season starts, and pressing publication deadlines or grant applications or archaeology projects crowd in. Still, I’m happy to see that the site has generated a constant 30,000 visits or views over the last few year despite the irregular activities. This is small potatoes, I know, but the site gets more attention than my long-labored articles.CMPostingPatterns

The good news is that I have a significantly lighter schedule this semester and a backlog of interesting material to push out. I’ll see if I can get this train running a little more frequently (no promises).

As always, I’m looking for new books, articles, blogs, and stories. If you have them, send my way. And if you’re interested in being an occasional or regular contributor, I’d be glad to hear it.