The paper provides, in a series of anecdotal observations and accounts, an impression of the main political and cultural conditions under which archaeology is being conducted in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) in the early years of the 21st century. The author uses almost exclusively the experience of his own work in the region since 2009. The observations made over the best part of a dozen years suggest an amalgam of factors influencing the work of archaeologists there, ranging from post-Soviet national and ethnic ideologies voluntarily adopted by some native practitioners, to quite open and complete control and even suppression by the authorities in parts of the region. The status and behaviour of foreign archaeologists is often ambiguous, with a degree of compliance with ‘local conditions’ usually required in order to do any work at all. The attraction of the tremendously rich archaeology of Central Asia, as well as hopes of contributing to changes for the better, often appear to outweigh individual concerns about collaboration with the local powers that be.
The paper is dedicated to the “Rabbit Head” sign in Maya hieroglyphic writing. It is possible to establish its phonetic reading value pe thanks to two observations – the sign is optionally combined with the syllable ‘e in the name of La Mar kingdom and bears resemblance to Diego de Landa’s sign for the letter “p”. This syllabic value pe results in the reading of La Mar as pe[pe]’tuun and identification of two verbal roots: pek- “to summon, call up” and kop- “to roll up, coil”. The former one is used to describe convocation of the subjects before the king and invoke gods. The word ‘u-kope‘m “his rolled-up one” is a term for “bloodletting rope”, also used as part of a metaphorical “father’s child” parentage statement.
Although the history of Russian-Iranian relations remains seriously understudied, few would refute the oppressive imperialist role played by Imperial Russia in Iran during the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century. However, practically nothing has been written about the conceptual shifts which began to take place in Russia’s Persian policy immediately after the February Revolution of 1917. Little is known about the large-scale projects, through which Russia was to bring “its own democracy” to Iranian Azerbaijan and its other northern provinces, with further proliferation all over Iran. This was meant to facilitate Russia’s political and trade expansion down to the Persian Gulf, which had been the eventual goal for many decades. Drawing on unpublished documents from Russian, British and French archives, this paper studies the relevant correspondence between the Russian, British and French missions in Tehran and their central authorities, including the short-lived governments of Republican Russia, during the decade 1909-1919. In doing so, it analyses the local agency of the Russian diplomats in Iran, such as Vladimir Minorsky (1877-1966), in the emergence of these projects, and investigates the manifestation of symbolic capital and the productive interaction of power/knowledge relations.
The Greek colony of Chersonesos was founded in the 5th century BC on the coast of the Crimean Peninsula in the northern Black Sea region. Extensive archeological research has investigated the timing and mode of the Greek land seizure and the responses of the local Taurian tribes, focusing on a large necropolis dating to the earliest period of the colony, somewhere between the 5th and the 4th century BC. Relying on burial traditions as an indicator of the biogeographic origin of the deceased, it was hypothesized that individuals buried in flexed positions were Taurian whereas individuals buried in extended positions were Greek. Here, we test the hypothesis that individuals in flexed and extended burial positions are biologically different by directly analyzing the human skeletal remains. For this, we collected three different types of phenotypic data commonly used for biodistance analysis, namely, (1) cranial measurements, (2) dental measurements, and (3) dental nonmetric traits, recorded for 47 individuals. Using Gower distance coefficients, we combine the three data types in a single analysis and estimate biological relationships among a subset of well-preserved individuals with documented flexed (n = 8) and extended (n = 13) burial position. The estimated distances show a large amount of overlap between the two groups, with the exception of two individuals that are more divergent. To statistically corroborate this finding, we use distance-based permutational multivariate analyses of variance (PERMANOVA) and dispersion (PERMDISP). Both analyses reveal no statistically significant differences between the groups, neither in group centroids nor in group dispersions. Our results therefore contradict the idea that burial position was determined by ancestry of the deceased. This has implications for future archeological research at Chersonesos and other Greek colonies of the northern Black Sea region.
The chapter first provides a factual context drawing on primary and secondary material and, more importantly, on the first-hand evidence from “the boots on the ground”. It then offers a critical analysis of the state of international scholarship on the Islamic Republic of Iran in the early period that had a significant impact on state policies. The author then provides a detailed study of the USSR’s decision-making mechanism on Iran in the period 1979-1983 and the influence on it of the opinions of different groups of experts. The crackdown on the Iranian Communist Party of Tudeh in 1983 forced the USSR to largely reconsider the place of ideology in its policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran and to devise an extremely firm and pragmatic approach. The chapter draws on English-, French-, Persian-, and Russian-language research done in recent decades but mostly on first-hand evidence.
It is generally accepted that the subjects of the Byzantrine Emperor were living in the state of constant fear before him. UYetr, if we analyze how Byzantine authors describe the awe before the ruler, we will see that the weas enough room for irony, criticism and even derision
for the Byzantine policy-makers the stereotypes about the “barbarians” were more important than real facts. With such an approach it is impossible to maintain any kind of ‘Commonwealth’. Is this to say that no such phenomenon ever existed? Probably, not. Different countries in different periods engaged in very special relations with the Empire, some of them, by the way, were not mentioned by Obolensky: for instance, Armenia and Georgia in the 10th-11th centuries, the Norman kingdom of Sicily in the 12th, Bulgaria and Serbia in the 14th, Muscovite princedom in the 15th century. In each particular case those bonds had their own rules and durations, but they were not conceptualized by the Byzantines themselves as a unified and universal system.
The emerging and vibrant field of environmental humanities to date has not received considerable attention in Central Asia. In light of the Anthropocene crises, there is a real urgency for maturing this field and investigating the methodological and epistemological challenges that environmental topics demand, often working across disciplinary habits and time scales. This roundtable brings together Central Asianists from a range of backgrounds to discuss the sources and scales of their investigation, their challenges and potential. The contributors discuss how particular kinds of sources such as climate models, archival manuscripts, ethnographic fieldwork and media analyses have been used to understand environmental changes in the region. In what ways do the traditions of scholars’ disciplinary training guide the scale of analysis? Looking toward the future of environmental humanities in Central Asia, this roundtable suggests paths for developing this vital field of enquiry.
Several quotes from the Old Russian chronicles which are in fact translations from Greek are detected for the first time
This study looks at a much-neglected monumental inscription by a PSC in early fifth-century Constantinople as evidence for shifting frames of courtly power and their public representation through epigraphy in late antique cityscapes.
This article examines T'aengniji (1751) by Yi Chunghwan (1690–1756?) in three different historical periods: late Chosǒn, the beginning of the 1910s, and the 1970s. These three stages were selected to compare how changes in Korean politics were reflected in the understanding of the book and in the understanding of the idea of sojunghwa 小中華, or Korea as “Little China,” in particular. These stages also depict the popularization of T'aengniji from its completion by Yi Chunghwan in manuscript form to its printing by Ch'oe Namsǒn (1890–1957) in 1912 and the first translations into Korean during Pak Chǒnghŭi's presidency (1963–79). A comparison of different T'aengniji manuscripts with the printed version by Ch'oe Namsǒn shows that the devotion to the Ming dynasty emphasized by Yi Chunghwan vanished in the beginning of the twentieth century under the pressure of the strong influence of social Darwinist ideas. The version by Ch'oe Namsǒn was used for the first translations from hanmun (Literary Sinitic) into modern Korean, thus changing the original meaning of many phrases. On the other hand, a Korea-centered T'aengniji that emphasized the importance of Korean history, geography, and culture contributed to the building of modern Korean ethnicity. Analysis of the same description of Mount Paektu in Yi Chunghwan's T'aengniji and Ch'oe Namsǒn's T'aengniji shows how one piece of information was read differently by different readers. Depending on the historical period when the book was read and the dominant political course of the time, the Korean Peninsula depicted in T'aengniji was either Confucian and sadae compliant or prosperous, strong, and autonomous.
The criticism of the concept of a "Byzantine Commonwealth" as applied to the Old Rus'. Pracically all spheres where
a direct Byzantine influence on Rus' is implied we can detect a reluctance on both sides imposing of: the Byzantines fif not persevere in the imposition of theirt own norms and rules, and the Rus' did not show any signs of subservience in following them
With a certain delay due the – dramatically ongoing – political and social instability in Yemen, the present authors resume the publication of the results of their long-term lexicographic project dealing with previously unknown or unrecognized lexemes of the Modern South Arabian language Soqotri (island of Soqotra, Gulf of Aden, Yemen)
Two textual problems are discussed in the Latin Passio Anastasiae (BHL 410 + 1795 + 118 + 8093), now usually dated to the fifth century.
The paper presents a new reading of the inscriptions on two nominal notes found on the coast of Sims Bay in the Laptev Sea. It differs from the readings of paleographers and source historians published earlier, due to the fact that it was possible to give a correct reading of these inscriptions thanks to the use of the method of non-contact 3D modeling of epigraphic monuments developed by the RSSDA Laboratory and used in the Corpus Inscriptionum Rossicarum (CIR). A new reading of the inscriptions on the nominal knives made it possible to establish their belonging to Gury (baptismal name) – Akaky (prayer? name) Ivanov son Karzyaeva. Archaeological sites on the island of Thaddeus Northern and in coast of Sims Bay do not exclude the possi-bility of getting into them of various objects, which indicates at least two visits to these places by navigators. At the same time, the earliest traces of their stay in this place include knives with owner’s inscriptions, crosses No. 1–4 and Nu-remberg counting tokens. Although these artifacts have been in use since the second half, or even since the end of the 16th century, coins minted in 1615–1617 allow us to correlate them with a shipwreck that occurred in the late 10s – early 20s 17th century, which led to the death of sailors – and among them Gury-Akaky Ivanov son Korzyaeva, the owner of two signature knives.