Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mediterranean Ceramics Reference Stability Report, Number 4

The MCRSR first appeared in October, 2007. For the fourth installment, I am making only one addition, no. 15, a Hellenistic lamp from Assos, Turkey now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts. The URL for this entry is long and I have commented on this situation in a previous post. As a postscript to those observations, I'll briefly mention that I contacted Christine Kondoleon at the MFA and she kindly passed along my e-mail to the relevant department, which in turn seemed open to the ideas I had expressed in the post. So I now include an MFA URL as a way of tracking what happens on its website. In terms of the specific object, the lamp is interesting in part for coming from a well-recorded, at least for its day, excavation. The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) began work at Assos in 1880 and in 1884 donated many of the resulting finds to the MFA. It is encouraging that information about these well provenanced objects is now available to all comers via the Museum's searchable collections database.

There are no changes to report for the other 14 URLs in the list below. There is, however, a hint of gathering instability. Some readers may have noticed that the AIA will cease to make PDFs of the American Journal of Archaeology's articles available for free download. Articles will be available via the commercial service Atypon. The change was announced in this letter from Naomi Norman, the AJA Editor-in-Chief. It should come as no surprise that I am disappointed by this decision. As an AIA Academic Trustee, I feel it is incumbent upon me to continue to work within the framework of the AIA's governing structure so I will not comment on ongoing discussions as the Institute faces the important issues surrounding the dissemination of scholarship in a digital age. I do encourage interested parties to read Dr. Norman's letter. It is a public document that captures a moment in time as learned societies negotiate this new territory. In terms of the MCRSR, the decision, which is in the process of being put into effect, may lead to a change in the URL for no. 4, K. Greene's article in AJA 111 (2007).

1. Walters' Catalogue of the Roman Pottery in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum from Google Books:

2. Robinson's Agora V from JSTOR:

3. Lattara 6:

4. K. Greene's AJA article on Early Roman lead glazed pottery:

5. Heath and Tekkök, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Pottery at Ilion (Troia):

6. Vessel from Çatalhoyuk (via Flickr):

7. A Late Minoan III Pyxis from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

8. An undocumented ARS Hayes 70 bowl from the dealer Classical Numismatics Group:

9. Fifteenth Century Mosque Lamp from Jerusalem now in the British Museum:

10. The Perseus Project Vase Catalog:

11. Wikimedia Commons Image of a Greek Geometric Skyphos in the Louvre:

12. Sagalassos from Pleiades:

13. Inscribed pot from Aphrodisias (HTML):

14. Inscribed pot from Aphrodisias (XML):

15. Hellenistic lamp from Assos, Turkey at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:


Francis Deblauwe said...

Re the AJA decision. What a disingenuous editorial letter: presenting as progress making electronic access to articles subscription only! What world does Ms. Norman live in? This only further adds to the reasons why I dropped my AIA membership last year. The leadership of the organization is too elitist and has trouble seeing beyond the interests of institutions and institution-affiliated people and their wealthy donors.

Sebastian Heath said...

I responded to this comment here.