The association of the Essenes with the site of Qumran, and the specific instructions regarding latrine placement and etiquette in the Temple and War Scrolls, combine to make the toilet practices of the Qumran community an issue with a direct relation to the study of the site and of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The texts most often associated with toilet practices at Qumran present accounts and instructions which are incompatible with each other, while the presence of a cesspit toilet in Locus 51 of Qumran contradicts each of these texts. Further, the difficulties presented by this toilet’s presence are increased by its being taken out of use at the end of Period Ib of the site (31 BC), after which it appears not to have been replaced – a development which suggests either a significant change in Qumranites’ beliefs after 31 BC, or a change in the makeup of the community’s inhabitants themselves.
The end of the Hittite Empire and the destruction and abandonment of Alalakh represents a cultural break between the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in the ‘Amuq Valley. In the Iron I, a population with clear ties to the greater Aegean world, perhaps related to the Philistines of southern Canaan, established an agro–pastoral settlement at Tell Ta‘yinat and the surrounding area. This occupation, marked by Field Phases 6–3 at Ta‘yinat, was both materially and chronologically ephemeral, and should be viewed as a cultural outlier sandwiched between the Hittite–controlled LBA and later Iron I. This intrusive population lived alongside the indigenous inhabitants of the Amuq, bequeathing to the region a toponym – Palistin – that would far outlast their own relevance and archaeological visibility. By the First Building Period at Tell Ta‘yinat, which immediately followed the Aegean–related phases, the site was home to a dynasty overseeing a typical Neo–Hittite state, with its toponym all that remained of the ‘Sea Peoples’ presence that occupied it at the beginning of the Iron Age.
When Shelley Wachsmann began his analysis of the small ship model excavated by assistants of famed Egyptologist W. M. F. Petrie in Gurob, Egypt, in 1920, he expected to produce a brief monograph that would shed light on the model and the ship type that it represented. Instead, Wachsmann discovered that the model held clues to the identities and cultures of the enigmatic Sea Peoples, to the religious practices of ancient Egypt and Greece, and to the oared ships used by the Bronze Age Mycenaean Greeks.
Although found in Egypt, the prototype of the Gurob model was clearly an Aegean-style galley of a type used by both the Mycenaeans and the Sea Peoples. The model is the most detailed representation presently known of this vessel type, which played a major role in changing the course of world history. Contemporaneous textual evidence for Sherden—one of the Sea Peoples—settled in the region suggests that the model may be patterned after a galley of that culture. Bearing a typical Helladic bird-head decoration topping the stempost, with holes along the sheer strakes confirming the use of stanchions, the model was found with four wheels and other evidence for a wagon-like support structure, connecting it with European cultic prototypes.
The online resources that accompany the book illustrate Wachsmann’s research and analysis. They include 3D interactive models that allow readers to examine the Gurob model on their computers as if held in the hand, both in its present state and in two hypothetical reconstructions. The online component also contains high-resolution color photos of the model, maps and satellite photos of the site, and other related materials. Offering a wide range of insights and evidence for linkages among ancient Mediterranean peoples and traditions, The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context presents an invaluable asset for anyone interested in the complexities of cultural change in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age.
How can digital archives be made more open and accessible, both within and across institutions? Can new ways of accessing digitized objects truly improve the ways these objects and their physical counterparts are used in teaching, learning, and research? And how has the new emphasis on open online learning driven the way these questions are approached? This paper provides a case study in the use of digital material in scholarship and pedagogy, with particular focus on Mirador, an open-source (https://github.com/IIIF/mirador), scalable, high-resolution tool with annotation capability that makes use of an open API standard (specifically the International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF) to support simultaneous interaction with digitized objects from multiple repositories worldwide. Beyond being developed as a next-generation tool for interaction with digitized library and museum objects, Mirador also serves a key role in Humanities instruction online, with its first public release coming in 2015 in the service of an interdisciplinary Massive Open Online Course focusing on the history of the Book (HUM 1x, offered via edX). This presentation will include a demonstration of Mirador, with particular emphasis on its role in fostering intimate, user-directed interaction with digitized objects in museums, libraries, and other repositories, both as a research tool and as an interoperable (LTI) resource for teaching and learning in the online environment.
How can new technologies improve our interaction with digitized library and museum objects? Can new ways of accessing digitized objects truly improve the ways these objects and their physical counterparts are used in teaching, learning, and research? And how can digital archives be made more open and accessible, both within and across institutions? This paper provides a case study in the use of digital material in scholarship and pedagogy, with particular focus on the use of an open API standard (specifically the International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF) to support simultaneous, high-definition interaction with digitized objects from multiple repositories, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the British Museum, ARTstor, and two dozen others. Included in this presentation is a demonstration of Mirador, an open-source (https://github.com/IIIF/mirador), scalable, high-resolution tool with annotation capability, jointly developed by Harvard and Stanford Universities over the last year, that is designed to foster intimate, user-directed interaction with digitized objects in museum, library, and other repositories.
The recent expansion of online access to higher education has driven the development of new academic technologies specifically designed to improve the student experience and increase learning. This paper provides a case study in this area by focusing on one such technology: a scalable, high-resolution, annotatable tool for intimate, user-directed interaction with digitized objects in museum, library, and other repositories. The tool, collaboratively developed by Harvard and Stanford Universities, was first made available to learners as an integral part of "The Book: Histories Across Time and Space," a modular, interdisciplinary MOOC produced by HarvardX and delivered in 2015 on the edX learning platform. Specific examples of media delivered to learners will be presented here, along with detailed analytics of user interaction and behavior will be presented, These will be accompanied by preliminary conclusions about the role of this tool in visual learning, as well as recommended avenues for further use and research.
The multidirectional flow of communication and culture around the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean is clearly reflected in the iconographic, literary, and material records. While the participation of states in these exchanges of ideas and objects is clearly recorded in records like the Amarna letters, the role of non-state actors, both within established networks and “below the radar” on the periphery of formal lines of communication, is a subject that has garnered increasing interest in recent years. This paper approaches the role of peripheral actors – alternatively known as entrepreneurs or pirates, depending on time, setting, and context – in the development and diffusion of technology by focusing on the development and spread of the Helladic Oared Galley and the Loose–Footed, Brailed Sail around the Eastern Mediterranean during the last years of the Late Bronze Age and the Late Bronze–Early Iron transition. These technological developments represented a break from prior ship design, which revolutionized seafaring in the eastern Mediterranean. While the Galley, a vessel well-suited for raiding and warfare, seems to have its origin in the Helladic world (as its name suggests), the brailed sailing rig appears in multiple locations within the Eastern Mediterranean world within a small temporal window, with its most famous representation being the naval battle scene at Medinet Habu, wherein both Egyptian and ‘Sea Peoples’ ships are portrayed as employing this new rig in identical fashion. This study explores the circumstances and connections which caused these opposing forces to draw on new and identical implements, as well as the role (and travels) of non-state maritime actors in driving the development and distribution of this revolutionary technology.
Keywords:Galley, Maritime Technology, Sea Peoples, Shipbuilding, World Systems
While the World Wide Web has provided the public with heretofore-unimagined access to information, the democratization of online content creation has also provided an unprecedented opportunity for the spread of misinformation and misinterpretation. Archaeology is no exception, as developments like the exposing of museum collections, the ability to conduct armchair “surveys,” and unfettered access to uncontextualized images via simple Web search have combined to confront a new generation of avocational and aspiring archaeologists with myriad explanations and interpretations of artifacts, archaeological data, and history writ large. The rise of MOOCs (both as “massive open online courses” and as repositories for massively-accessible online content) may help combat this by providing a structured mechanism for practitioners to reach, interact with, educate, and learn from an ever-growing online audience. This is of particular importance for archaeology, a field in which standards of conduct and interpretation are keys to sound and ethical practice.
Keywords:Massive, MOOC, Online Applications, Pedagogy, Communities of Practice
In 2013-14, Harvard University piloted the use of MOOCs as tools for blended learning in select undergraduate and graduate residential and online courses. One of these courses, The Ancient Greek Hero, combined the for–credit (Harvard College and Harvard Extension School) and open online (HarvardX) groups into a single online unit, marking the first time the same instance of an existing or in–production MOOC was used simultaneously by both tuition–paying, credit–seeking students and non–paying, non–credit students enrolled exclusively online. In this paper, we analyze and compare the online behavior of students and participants in the three groups that simultaneously participated in The Ancient Greek Hero via the edX platform. We find that, in similar fashion to a traditional learning setting, students enrolled in all three versions of the course engaged the online content in a transactional way, spending their time and effort on activities and exercises in ways that would optimize their desired outcomes. While user behavior was diverse, HarvardX participants generally trended toward one end of the participation spectrum or the other, while College and Extension School students displayed relatively homogenous patterns of participation, viewing most of the content but interacting mostly with that which affected their overall course grades. Ultimately, we conclude that educators who intend to utilize MOOC content in an effort to apply blended learning techniques to their classrooms should carefully consider how best to incorporate each online element into their overall pedagogical strategy, including how interaction with those elements is to be incentivized. Further, or MOOCs to have maximum impact, they must address multiple learner motivations and provide participants with multiple modes of interaction with the content and with their peers.
The tumultuous transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age in the Eastern Mediterranean was marked by a change in the iconography of warriors and warfare, particularly in Egypt and in the Aegean world. It is also at this time that the Helladic oared galley makes its first appearance, where it is used as an instrument of naval warfare in the first true sea battles in recorded history. This paper investigates these earliest representations of naval combat, with a special emphasis on the appearance and employment of new maritime technology and its effect on maritime operations and naval warfare. Also considered are what modes of fighting were utilized in, and what changes had to be made to adapt to, this earliest form of ship-based combat.