Weekend Reading: Shipwrecks, Scrolls and Skeletons

A run down of the week’s ‘hot’ stories in the media which relate to Classical Studies & the Ancient World – Posted on https://classicalstudies.support by Dr Cora Beth Knowles! Check it out now!

Classical Studies Support


This week there have been so many interesting news stories about ancient evidence that I’ve been having a terrible time focusing on my huge pile of marking! So here are the top three stories which have caught my eye this week. For anyone about to write an essay on the value of particular types of evidence, the importance of new techniques of analysis or the reporting of ancient-world news, there are some great case studies here!

  1. The Museum of the Bible Forgeries

This story – with forged scrolls, fraud and skulduggery – is a fascinating one. It’s caused a lot of controversy, both because of how the story has been spun by the Museum and because of how the press has reported it. Here’s a sample of the mainstream media coverage of the ‘fake’ Dead Sea Scrolls, the press release by the Museum, and a critical article identifying what some…

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Magic in the Graeco-Roman World

The clocks have been turned back by one hour and the dark nights are drawing in, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and its feeling very autumnal in my home village. It’s that time of year and it seems that everyone is gearing up for Halloween later this week. It does however … Continue reading Magic in the Graeco-Roman World

An Archaeological Mystery Solved

Is it just me or has there been an upsurge in Classics and Ancient History related stories featured in the media of late? Seriously though, over the past couple of months barely a day goes by without me checking my social media accounts and finding yet another interesting story! In the past couple of weeks … Continue reading An Archaeological Mystery Solved

Phenomenology & Archaeology: What are Beings???*

Here’s some interesting thoughts on the phenomenological approach to archaeology by a fellow OU Classics Student, Leigh Cobley… Enjoy.

Le Temps Revient

If you could ask yourself just one question in this life, what would it be? In a series of lectures at the University of Freiburg, Heidegger defined the “leading question of philosophy” as something posed by Aristotle in his Metaphysics:

“This question of philosophy asks what beings are, just in respect of the fact that they are beings. From here the leading question asks more concisely: what are beings as such? To inquire into a being as such means to inquire into it hoc ens qua tale, as precisely this being. The linguistic expression ‘as such’ is specifically philosophical. It indicates that what is spoken of is intended in the specific respect of its essence. τί τὸ ὄν ᾗ ὄν. The question concerning beings as such does not just inquire into this or that. The question concerns not just some beings as such (animal, man) but all beings as such…

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Weekend Reading: Volcanic Eruptions

Nothing from me personally this week, but please do take the time to have a read of this great article by Dr Cora Beth Knowles on the recent debates surrounding the dating of the eruption of Vesuvius!


Agree or disagree this is certainly a hot topic at the moment and many people have waded into the discussion particularly on social media.

What do you think? As always, comments and opinions are more than welcome.


Classical Studies Support

I hate to be predictable – but this week’s news has been dominated by Pompeii and classical controversy, and I just can’t resist jumping in! For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past week, here’s a round-up of what’s been going on.

The discovery

A discovery was made in Pompeii of a charcoal graffito which mentioned a date of 17th October, and it was posted on Instagram earlier this week. It’s a lovely little graffito which commemorates someone’s special binge-eating day – but that’s not what has drawn attention. No, we’re all fixated on the date: what are the implications, how much does it matter and can we agree to disagree?

GraffitoImage: Parco Archeologico di Pompei

What are the implications?

Pliny, our source for the dramatic story of the eruption of Vesuvius, tells us that the eruption took place on the 24th of August…

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Beyond Sight: Applying Sensory Studies to The Classical World.

Some really interesting thoughts from Leigh on the application of Sensory Studies to the Classical World.

Le Temps Revient

What was it like to live in ancient times? Can ancient texts really help us feel what life was like? Does archaeology bring to life the fragments of buildings which it reconstructs? Are there other methodologies we can use to add further to our understanding of bygone eras? Sensory studies is an emerging academic discipline that hopes to show us how by involving our full range of perceptions we can have a more direct connection with the peoples of other times.

Our culture is very much a visually focused one. Nobody directly perceives the world in a naive sense “as it is” but does so through their senses and those perceptions will depend on various factors, one of which is how far we have developed our sense organs. Artists are trained to hone their visual perceptions and will be able to distinguish between many shades and tones of what may…

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Weekend Reading: Classical Lego

Thoughts on an impending LEGO revolution in academia by Dr Cora Beth Knowles! A great article & well worth a read.

Classical Studies Support

This week I would like to talk about my ongoing study of an important academic tool. Yes, that’s right – Lego.

My little boy developed a sudden Lego fixation last week. As a result we have bits of Lego Hogwarts lying around the house, and we’ve all taken to wearing slippers with sturdy soles. So of course I couldn’t resist delving into the murky world of Classical Lego – purely for research purposes, you understand. After a great deal of serious and scholarly collaborative research (also known as ‘Googling with a six-year-old’), I will now present my findings and draw some conclusions, before making some earnest recommendations for future research and development.

Literature Review

For Latinists there is the wonderful Legonium, with its Twitter outlet @tutubuslatinus. The site’s creator talked about its role in teaching in an interview earlier this year. Legonium has some fantastic videos, stories and…

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