Thessaloniki and Pella excavations – wow!

Thanks to Explorator for this link to The Mail On Sunday

As David Meadows says, this has photos galore, so I just give the link and the opening:

It would be more than 100 years at least until Alexander the Great
led the forces of Macedonia to conquer the Hellenistic world.

But, even in its early days, the Greek kingdom’s warriors were already an imposing sight on the battlefield.

dig in an ancient burial ground in Alexander’s birthplace of Pella,
northern Greece, has unearthed the graves of 20 warriors in battle
dress, a find which archaeologists say sheds fresh light on the
development of Macedonian culture.

Read the rest and see the pics

Virtual Herculaneum – BBC report

From BBC News

See the video

A look around Italy’s museum where hi-tech has replaced the exhibits

Technology is often employed to bring exhibitions to life, but as
David Reid found out, one museum has gone one step further by using it
to replace all its displays.

The Virtual Museum of Archaeology (or MAV), which opened this
summer, is based on the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum and is sited
100 metres from the ruins of the former settlement.

The creators of MAV aim to digitally reconstruct the destroyed town and recreate what life there was like.

Animation of old Herculaneum

MAV museum used modern tech to Herculaneum to life

The town was destroyed in 79 AD when the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
encased it in scalding ash, killing those trying to flee, and
preserving under 25m of debris some of the finest examples of private
Roman villas.

“It is incredible coming to Herculaneum in the dark because
your imagination fills in the gaps. Now a local museum is using digital
technology to do just that,” said Walter Ferrara, the MAV’s head

Although MAV is near the actual site of Herculaneum it attempts to show it how it was not how it is now.

“You can see only stones and some buildings,” said Mr Ferrara.
“You cannot see them how they were… these reconstructions you can see
here are immersive and have a lot of appeal.”

The Romans are a well-suited subject for a digital museum, as
they were great proponents of the pixel, and were technologically

Walter Ferrara, the head curator at MAV

The museum’s head curator says its animations have much appeal

However, the developers have been careful not to let the museum’s message become too eclipsed by 21st century technology.

Gaetano Capasso, concept developer for MAV, says: “Technology has to prompt curiosity, but remain discrete.”

The MAV is unique among archaeological museums in exhibiting no ancient artefacts such as Roman busts or original murals.

There are also no alarms, no security guards and no signs saying
“Do Not Touch”. But it prides itself in being unapologetically

While Vesuvius has gone back to sleep, the main threat to
Herculaneum now that much of it has been excavated, could be from
visitors plodding around the ruins.

Museum visitor

A museum visitor tries one of the museum’s many interactive screens

If these visitors can be persuaded to go to the virtual museum
rather than trek around around the ruins then it might go some way
towards preserving those crumbling stones.

“This is also the best way to make these towns live in the
future, because otherwise I think they will be destroyed again and not
by Vesuvius, but by people,” says archaeologist Caterina Cozzalino.

With a shrinking government budget to protect a rich cultural
heritage, this virtual museum could become a model to preserve Italy’s
fragile archaeological sites in the future.

Caroline Lawrence reports on the BM Roman Day

Flavia’s Blog

You will enjoy reading the author of the Roman Mysteries series on her time at the BM yesterday.

Petition to save Medieval Latin at Heidelberg

There’s a petition here to save the Medieval and Modern Latin department in Heidelberg University.