Factory for Romans’ favorite funky fish sauce discovered near Ashkelon


Work in the Ashkelon excavation (Anat Rasiuk, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Although a staple of the Roman Empire, very few garum production sites or cetariae have been found in the Eastern Mediterranean

A small 1st century factory that produced fermented fish sauce — arguably the most desirable foodstuff of the Roman era — was recently uncovered during excavations near the southern coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon. It is one of the only identified industrial sites for production of the ubiquitous odorous sauce that has been found in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We have something really unusual here,” Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini told The Times of Israel on Monday when the find was announced.

While the idea of fermented fish sauce or garum may not spark salivation in modern palates, the slimy stuff was considered one of the most delicious flavors of the Roman Empire. According to…

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Posted by on January 17, 2020 in Uncategorized


‘Palaeography, administration, and scribal training’ now available online

An extremely interesting post for those of you interested in the Linear B scribes.

It's All Greek To Me

I’m pleased to say that a paper I published a couple of years ago, ‘Palaeography, administration, and scribal training: a case-study’ is now freely available to read – you can download a copy via the Cambridge University open access repository (no account or academic affiliation required). In this paper, I presented some of the results from the part of my PhD in which I explored ways of using palaeography – the analysis of different writers’ handwriting – to understand more about the people who wrote the Linear B administrative documents in the Mycenaean Greek palaces of 1400-1200 BCE. I looked at the variation seen in a group of Linear B signs’ forms in texts by writers working in different areas of these palaces and/or on different administrative topics to see if there was any evidence for the widespread assumption that fully-trained writers would have gone on to work alongside…

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Posted by on January 16, 2020 in Uncategorized


How the pharaohs were fed


Topic: Grain Egypt’s wealth

Egypt’s best-known excavations usually focus on the glittering mummies and grand monuments of the pharaohs, but for something completely different, travel up the Nile to Tell Edfu: The archaeologists digging there have uncovered ruins that shed light on the administrative and agricultural foundations of ancient Egypt’s riches.

The Tell Edfu site is significant because it preserves about 3,000 years’ worth of history in a single mound – and because the ancient settlement served as a key link in the chain connecting Egypt’s agricultural society with the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

“The problem has been that my colleagues deal with temples and monumental architecture, and settlements haven’t been something that has attracted that level of interest,” the dig’s director, University of Chicago archaeologist Nadine Moeller, told me. “But they’re actually really important for understanding the ancient Egyptian civilization.”

Many of ancient Egypt’s urban sites have gone by the wayside…

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Posted by on January 8, 2020 in Uncategorized


Dr Paul Mason – An Info Packed Podcast

low carb for life

I usually make a point of reading, watching or listening to everything from Dr Paul Mason as he has an enviable knack of explaining metabolism in a way that non – experts can understand. However, I had avoided this podcast for a while as it has been unfortunately labelled as an ‘ultimate carnivore’ podcast, which for me, is a little too extreme as a dietary approach. I certainly won’t judge a book by its cover or podcast by its title in future as this interview is packed with really useful information including: understanding blood test results, what an elevated ALT means, why HBA1c is a perfect measure of metabolic health, what LDL to look for, osteoporosis and calcium, vegan diets, animal welfare…the list goes on and on for an info packed hour and twenty four minutes with only a tiny reference to the carnivore diet.

I would much rather watch…

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Posted by on January 2, 2020 in Uncategorized


Biggest ever Roman shipwreck found in the eastern Med


The amphorae are in excellent condition.
Ionian Aquarium, Kefalonia

By Julia Buckley,

Two thousand years ago, this ship was crossing the Mediterranean Sea full of its cargo of amphorae — large terracotta pots that were used in the Roman Empire for transporting wine and olive oil.

For some reason, it never made it to its destination.

But having languished at the bottom of the sea for around two millennia, it has now been rediscovered by archeologists, along with its cargo, and dated to between 100 BCE and 100 CE. And it has already been judged to be the largest classical shipwreck found in the eastern Mediterranean.

The wreck of the 110-foot (35-meter) ship, along with its cargo of 6,000 amphorae, was discovered at a depth of around 60m (197 feet) during a sonar-equipped survey of the seabed off the coast of Kefalonia — one of the Ionian islands…

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Posted by on December 30, 2019 in Uncategorized


Food In England by Dorothy Hartley

low carb for life

With so much nutrition science evolving virtually every day, I am constantly disturbed by the fact that when it comes to what we put in our mouths, we have clearly lost our way. The work of the Weston A Price Foundation, dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet and the Paleo or hunter/gatherer way of eating which focuses on eating foods that were  available to humans during the Paleolithic era, have highlighted the detrimental effects on health of a nutrient poor processed food diet which now dominates many societies including our own here in the UK.

Dorothy Hartley’s book Food in England has been in print for 58 years, a compendium of cooking from medieval times to the modern day. She lived on the Welsh-English border in a workman’s cottage studying the history of tradtional foods and cooking techniques as far back as the 14th century, not quite Paleo but…

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Posted by on December 21, 2019 in Uncategorized


via NEWSFLASH! UC Archaeologists Find Gold-Lined Tombs of Mycenaean Era in Pylos, Greece

NEWSFLASH! UC Archaeologists Find Gold-Lined Tombs of Mycenaean Era in Pylos, Greece

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Posted by on December 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

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