Tag: Archaeology (page 1 of 5)

The Atlas of Ancient Rome is a new standard work

Dear archaeologists, dear colleagues, take a year off work and lock yourself into your house. We have a new standard work to read and it is called: The Atlas of Ancient Rome.

As soon as this book came into the store, I was practically drooling over it. Hundreds of pages, with essays, with information, filled with pictures, with detailed drawings, and with seemingly endless maps. Twenty years of work, that’s how long it took to build an atlas that focused on one city. A city of which most has been wiped from the face of the earth and yet, thanks to continuous efforts and new computer software, we know a great deal more then you would expect.

During many excavations, the remains of several ancient buildings that were once part of the ancient city of Rome were found and documented. This resulted in some semi-concrete ideas on what the city might have looked at, but nothing has ever been set in stone. In the last 20 years, professor and archeologist Andrea Carandini has set it upon himself to change that. This resulted in the existence of The Atlas of Ancient Rome, in which the expert has collected essays, drawings, pictures, and computer generated of all things Roman in the city. And with this, he created a monumental book for a monumental city.

Walk around in ancient Rome, by following detailed maps and watching elaborate pictures and drawings. From residential neighborhoods and gardens, to walls, roads, aqueducts, and sewers, all the way back to social infrastructure in a city that was once the centre of the world. This book tells all to everyone, the archaeologist as well as the amateur, the professor and the curious mind. Everyone who has ever been interested in the Romans, will enjoy this new standard work. The only thing is that you practically need a seperate bookshelf to store it on.

The Atlas of Ancient Rome
The Atlas of Ancient Rome provides a comprehensive archaeological survey of the city of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period. Lavishly illustrated throughout with full-color maps, drawings, photos, and 3D reconstructions, this magnificent two-volume slipcased edition features the latest discoveries and scholarship, with new descriptions of more than 500 monuments, including the Sanctuary of Vesta, the domus Augusti, and the Mausoleum of Augustus. It is destined to become the standard reference for scholars, students, and anyone interested in the history of the city of Rome.

Andrea Carandini. The Atlas of Ancient Rome / Princeton University Press/ 9780691163475 

Trix in Nicaragua

Trix’ Travels was created with full cooperation of Trix the cat. She has been perfectly safe and lazy during the entire process that will now be posted every other Saturday. This weeks stop: Nicaragua.

We have traveled half the world by now, which is a bit of a confusing thought. I always thought the world was bigger, a lot bigger, and traveling it would take years. But because of modern transport it is only taking us several months, which is a rather odd idea.

As we are traveling the entire world, meeting new people, seeing different cultures, and eating a lot of strange (but often yummy) food, I started wondering about the people who lived in these countries in the past. Were they different from modern humans? I know that the ancient people of Egypt, where we were not too long ago, used to honour cats but they don’t do that anymore. And I also know that they used to build castles in Europe, but those aren’t made anymore either. So humans must have changed over time. Normally I wouldn’t even bother to think about such things, but now they are starting to fascinate me although I am not quite sure why.
But because I was wondering about the ancient peoples of the world, I wondered if we could go to even more museums like when we went to the huge building where lions used to fight in Rome, or that really old buidling in Istanbul, or even live in the ancient style of the people as we did while traveling by dog sled in Canada.

I think the human is getting better at understanding me, because she took me to a site where a lot of people were digging in the dirt. At first I thought she misunderstood me, that she thought I had to go to the bathroom, but then she explained to me that these people were archaeologists that were connected to the same university as where she studied. And that they were trying to dig up remains of the ancient peoples of this land. It sounded really cool and fascinating and I wanted to help, but I also don’t really like to get my paws dirty. So in the end I just acted as their new mascot, but that is okay. Dogs are made for working, cats are made for looking good and being worshipped.

Trix wants to help study the past. Background: Universiteit Leiden

The archaeologist in the proper clothes


The morning fog has not lifted yet, keeping the black earth in its grasp just a bit longer while I stare at my feet. The dirt I’m standing on is blotchy from different kinds of soil mixed together by an earlier force. Possibly a shovel, or bigger machinery when the road was built. While I crack my brain about whether or not it was machinery, meaning the dirt came from elsewhere than this area, cars are speeding past me. The result is a low buzzing sound that tries to get my attention but I’m still too sleepy to notice.

The first thing to do is throwing cans and other garbage out of our trenches. During the past night, multiple of these things have found their ways out of passing cars and into our excavation. When working next to the highway, there is a high possibility that trash will come flying at you while working. The drivers on the road can barely see us. We’re located a little below the road, with large piles of dug up earth between us and the actual asphalt.
I stretch my back and observe the walls of my ditch. I’m not even able to look over them because of my limited height! As this results in a limited view, I decide to look at the sky. It is clear weather and the blue sky promises a nice warm day.
Working next to the highway also forces us to wear safety helmets, which are not unnecessary when garbage comes flying at you at non-specific times, and bright orange workclothes. I pick up my shovel and start to scrape up centimeters of dirt at the time. I feel like humming, and wish I had some chain-gang-songs to keep myself into a rythm. Working 6 to 8 would work as well. But my ditch does not have any wifi, so there is no Youtube to listen to.

While the clothes are made to protect us, the only thing they do right now is keep us warm. A bit too warm. Suddenly I hear a thunk. An empty can of Cola falls into my ditch, the last drops of the sugary drink spills on my clothes. It reminds me again why proper clothing is absolutely necessary.

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