Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vargas Llosa teaches seminar on Borges

A dream course: one famous writer teaches the work of another, and then wins the Nobel Prize during the semester. Caveats: you have to go to Princeton and you have to be able to follow his lectures in Spanish.
(When I was an undergraduate, Borges was still alive--barely--and he came to Austin for a brief visit. A Spanish grad student in my French class got to serve him tea at a reception. I was not invited.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Giant Mosaic in Jericho (that you can't see)

An 8th-century CE Islamic palace in Jericho had a bath house with a mosaic floor that measured over 9000 square feet. This floor was uncovered by archaeologists in the 1930s, but has been covered up again for most of the years since then, to protect it. No one can come up with the $2 million it would cost to put a roof over it to make a proper display. A part of it was recently uncovered and put on display for one week, as part of a celebration of Jericho's supposed (and kind of arbitrary) 10,000th anniversary.
In this article, you can see a pretty good closeup picture of the mosaic:
In this one, from an Israeli source, you can learn about the problem of displaying it:
And in this one, from the BBC, you can see a video of the site:

Friday, October 29, 2010

12 Archaeological Sites in Danger of Disappearing

Some of these are in danger because they are, well, off the beaten track (e.g., the one in Armenia). Most of these are spectacular sites; it is good to get a look at them. The list has been made by the Global Heritage Fund ( National Geographic has posted pictures of the sites:

Archaeologist dies of injuries

Ehud Netzer has died of injuries he suffered after a fall at Herodion, the site he excavated. He also worked at Masada. This is an obituary for him:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mount Garbage threatens Mount Vesuvius

Apparently Berlusconi is even worse at collecting the garbage than the Mafia used to be. Now the giant new dump he opened near Boscoreale is encroaching on the supposed park around the volcano.

Archaeologist injured in fall at Herodion in Israel

This is sad. Ehud Netzer, who discovered King Herod's tomb, fell at his own dig the other day and hit his head.


Hello! I have decided to start this blog so that I can post articles I want to share. I am interested in articles about language, education, archaeology, literature, and, well, some other stuff. I will think of what else as I go. I am not doing this so I can bore everyone with my day-to-day movements and comings-and-goings. I was going to write, "I promise to keep the Latin to a minimum," but I don't.