Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Hanukkah!

Shocking Reminder

Conde Nast, Blogging and Photoshopping Anorexia

This is Myla Dalbesio in an advert for Calvin Klein. As with most magazines and adverts, her image has probably been slightly Photoshopped, as I would guess were the other models used in this Calvin Klein promotion.

I say 'model' not 'plus size model' because Calvin Klein presented her looking fabulous, and with no comment on her shape or size.

Elle Magazine editors, supposedly from a publication supporting women, were the ones who blundered in and declared her to be "plus size" ... and a furore ensued, with most women rightly outraged at this description of her. "Plus size" and assorted other euphemism normally mean fat, women who are medically obese, and cannot fit into the sizes stocked in high street clothing stores. As much as 'body positivity' is to be encouraged, and I genuinely would prefer real 'plus size' women to be comfortable with themselves rather than starving to fit silly societal 'ideals' ... to call Myla Dalbesio 'plus sized' shows how far up their own arses magazine editors are, and says more about their own obsessions with their bodies.

Myla is tall (5'11") and a US size 10 (which is a UK 12 or 14 depending on the brand). Her stats are on her model card here, although as so often with these there might be a little creativity? Her body is in proportion to her height, and she's slim with a few curves. I'm tempted to say she's a 'normal sized' woman, but really it would be more accurate to say she's a slim woman with curves, and has the sort of body most women would be thrilled to have.

Myla has the sort of body (based on other less Photoshopped images) that I sort of have on a 'good' not bloated not PMS day ... I used to be skinny when I was younger, but even then 'friends' would suggest diets, or worse diet pills, and make comments about my "fat" ... yup, women can be bitches. I'm 5'9" and so my waist measures a tiny bit smaller than hers, but I'm 'in proportion' - this is my "fat" body type as a 41 year old woman who enjoys food and refuses to diet. I'm happy with it.

Incidentally, I just weighed myself for the first time in months out of curiosity, and I'd like to point out that if I weighed 12 pounds less I'd be at the weight I was when I checked myself into a retreat to be treated for PTSD. Yes, it was so much easier to dress at the lower weight, and everything looked better because fashion designers prefer to cut for coat hangers not curves, but ... I was medically underweight to the point that my doctor was concerned, and we came up with an eating plan for me to gain weight.

I loose weight when I'm stressed. Increasingly young women seem to be developing eating disorders, and it has to be related to the images they're constantly surrounded by. In the old days, when I was growing up, there were gorgeous women in movies and magazines, and they might have been something to aspire to, but they were not everywhere. Re-touching photos was common, but Photoshop has made it ubiquitous to the point of absurdity.

Many magazines, including those owned by Conde Nast, have been called out for Photoshopping over the years, and I would hope that women subconsciously take that into account when looking at images in them, whether editorial photographs or adverts.

In many ways the desire of women to see clothes worn on more realistically sized women in 'real' life led to the rise of fashion bloggers. My friends used to look at the party pages in Vogue, less to see the 'names' but how they were wearing the clothes in 'real' life. (Okay, I know Vogue is not 'real' life to most people, but it was to me, and whilst I used to give most photographers at parties a fake name, I was always rather chuffed when Vogue snapped me). Tired of seeing clothes on the same increasingly skinny models in magazines, women increasingly turned to personal style blogs.

In turn these fashion blogs (I don't use the word 'style' as most are now about selling products and promoting consumerism rather than elegance, but that will be another post) became more professional, slicker and ... whilst there are many niches blogs, most of the big ones now replicate the fashion magazine formula of skinny white girls. Not slim, skinny - because it is far easier to make clothes look good on a coat hanger than to learn to work with a shape and what works best on that. And if they're not naturally skinny? We'll get to that in a moment.

This is Danielle Bernstein. She's slim, she's very pretty, and I like the casual way she has styled some good solid basics. She has the same body type as Myla, me, lots of women who are not skinny rakes. She's a fashion blogger, and during one of my 'the others are watching TV so I'll browse the internet' moments I looked up her blog, as I thought it would be interesting to see how a more realistically proportioned woman styled clothes to show her assets and conceal her flaw.

That's when I realised that this Danielle Bernstein does not have a fashion blog, but another Danielle Bernstein who is heavily Photoshopped to look a good twenty or thirty pounds lighter has a blog named We Wore What. (Maybe We Wore Photoshop would be more appropriate?)

In photos taken by party photographers she mostly looks like a slim, well-dressed young woman. Incidentally, I do know that for a fee one New York party photographer will 'improve' party images as an added service for a fee, (just as they'll photograph private parties for a fee), but I'd guess these photos have not been altered - the photographer probably, as we all do, simply selected the better or two or three snaps and posted it.

Again, to be clear, I am not criticising Bernstein's looks - in these photos she has a very good figure, and she is elegantly dressed in a simple youth-appropriate way. No-one on earth would ever think she was fat.

When we get to her own photographs, in the sense of the ones she chooses to post on the internet, the issues start. The central photo below is the one she posted, the two framing it ones others posted (party snap by professional photographer to the left; unflattering photo by a fan on the right):

The central photo isn't that different, and I just thought it was a more flattering angle, which is the photo most women would choose to post.

Here the differences could just be different styling of dungarees (a style that flatters few women), and some fluctuation in weight at different times of the month.

But these two photos were taken the same day. The professional photo on the left is Bernstein looking slim, chic and like the sort of woman whose fashion blog I'd look at. The photo on the right is the one she uploaded, and I'd be extremely dubious of any 'flattering angle' that makes her loose that much weight ... I know it's going to start sounding as if I'm obsessing about this one particular blogger and picking on her, but the reasons I've focused on her are simple: she has a great body without Photoshopping, so I feel it is sad that she feels she has to create this fake persona on the internet when her real body looks better than her fake one, she Photoshops herself far more than is normal for most image-obsessed fashion bloggers, she's 'famous' enough for her to be photographed by real photographers so people can see the difference and ... she's a Conde Nast blogger.

Yup, although Vogue and countless other magazines have repeatedly pledged to stop using very young models, to stop using dangerously skinny models who look as if they've stepped out of a concentration camp, who've claimed to ease up on Photoshopping ... this woman who Photoshops herself into a skeletal bag of bones is a Conde Nast-approved blogger, one of those they chose for their big push into blogging:

We all know Vogue Photoshops, but if they did this much Photoshopping there would be outrage. The girl on the right could have chosen an outfit that works better on her, but the solution is simple: wear shorts two inches longer, don't take ten inches off your thighs as in the photo on the left!

I assume that Conde Nast with their strict vetting actually met Bernstein, and are aware that in real life she has a very good body, but looks nothing like the photographs she posts on the internet. So why the hell do they consider this sort of fakery and body dimorphism not only acceptable, but worthy of their seal of approval?

I can't wait for Conde Nast to feature this shot in one of their beauty features!?!? Yes, it's a photo of a woman just out of Auschwitz. Yes, to most people it screams horror, torture, genocide, but apparently the starvation look is now Conde Nast approved. (I chose Auschwitz not Ethiopian famine victims because most of the big fashion bloggers are white, and ... I lost family in the Holocaust, and maybe that's why as a Jew it horrifies me when women choose to try to recreate this 'look' willingly).

Again, Bernstein in her photograph in the centre, others' photos framing it. Again, she has a great figure without the Photoshopping, and if she posted real photographs of herself I'd be more interested - and based on the success of TV make-over shows, if she explained "I'm wearing this as x is more flattering than y on my figure" ... then I bet more women would also be interested.

Ooh look, add hair extensions, filler in the upper lip, false lashes and fake tan, and this woman just out of Auschwitz has the 'killer cheekbones' and 'eyes that pop' (both signs of severe starvation, incidentally) that Victoria's Secret seems to seek for its "Angels"!

One last photograph of a woman at death's door at Auschwitz (I added the stars, as I know otherwise people will claim I'm posting porn).

Yes it is extreme, yes it is horrific, and no reasonable woman would want to aspire to this 'look' ...

... except that teenage girls are not always reasonable, nor are woman with eating disorders, and I found all these photographs of starving tortured women at Auschwitz on a pro-anorexia forum where participants try to outdo themselves in starving their bodies into not just a pee-pubescent shape but into a skeletal shape. This is the sort of photograph they post as 'inspiration' and as something they want to imitate.

So what has that got to do with the blogger who Photoshops her great figure into a twig? She too - or rather the fake figure she presents - is 'thinspiration' to them too. Her fans leave countless messages along these lines:

Bernstein is the dangerous role model of countless girls aspiring to be anorexic, and she is a role model approved by Conde Nast.

A little light re-touching we pretty much expect these days, but why does Conde Nast think a slim woman should Photoshop herself to look as if she's a famine victim?

Obviously I'd rather bloggers used Photoshop than actually starved themselves, but in an ideal world ... WTF makes Conde Nast think this woman, whom they must know looks very different from her photos, is someone to endorse?

For more photos to show how ridiculous this has become, I recommend taking a look at this Instagram account:

Reconstruction of the Second Temple

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Hanukkah!

Mackenzie Crook Likes Coincraft!

It is my father's business, and he's normally super discrete about clients, but when one praises Coincraft ... ;-)

'I am the curator of an exhibition no one visits' | Life and style | The Guardian:

I now have hundreds. I don’t buy on eBay – it would be too easy. Plus you don’t see what you’re getting, and there are a lot of fakes out there. Part of the fun of it for me is going to coin dealers. The best place in London – possibly the country – is Coincraft on Great Russell Street. It’s a great little Dickensian shop, very small and dark. They know absolutely everything there is to know.
Coincraft closes tomorrow evening for the holidays (so no last minute gift shopping next week ...), but Mackenzie Crook's charming comedy series Detectorists [DVD] is available instead.


The Temple Mound During the Second Temple

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sarah Bond: Drawing Lines: Torture in Roman Law

Torture was a regularized part of the criminal justice system in Roman antiquity, but its use and abuse changed over time. Our most extensive knowledge regarding the reasons for and application of state-sanctioned torture comes from the jurist Ulpian. The Syrian’s straightforward writings were highly influential from the late second and early third century CE, when he lived and wrote, into the period of Late Antiquity. His opinions make up about a third of the Digest of the emperor Justinian (533 CE).  In fact, the jurist got pride of place within the Digest by having an excerpt of his Institutes introduce the first book:

est autem a iustitia appellatum: nam, ut eleganter celsus definit, ius est ars boni et aequi.’

However, (the law) obtains its name from justice; for, as Celsus elegantly defines it, law is the art of knowing what is good and just (Ulp. Dig. 1.1.1pr.)

Ulpian’s philosophy of law certainly appears profound, but what exactly did ‘boni et aequi’ mean? Without a clear, immutable definition, these words could be up to interpretation, as was the case with torture. 

Fast forward to book 48 of the Digest, and we arrive at Ulpian’s opinions on the use of torture. The jurist notes that torture was customary within Roman law, but rather unreliable (48.18.1pr). 

Plaster copy of a panel from Trajan's Column. Dacian women inflict torture.
(Image Via Wikimedia)
There were a number of laws concerning the torture of slaves. Unlike citizens in the Republic and early empire, slaves had particularly vulnerable bodies that could be tortured under certain circumstances. Foreigners were also vulnerable, but as you moved up the social ladder to freedmen, protections of the body increased. For instance, a freedman could not be tortured when his patron was being tried for a capital crime (Ulp. Dig. In this section, caveats regarding the use of torture come up again:

nam plerique patientia sive duritia tormentorum ita tormenta contemnunt, ut exprimi eis veritas nullo modo possit: alii tanta sunt impatientia, ut quodvis mentiri quam pati tormenta velint: ita fit, ut etiam vario modo fateantur, ut non tantum se, verum etiam alios criminentur.

…for most persons, either through forbearance or through the harshness of the tortures, so hate the torture that the truth is in no way able be extracted from them. Others are so intolerant that they wish to lie rather than to endure the tortures, and thus it happens that they confess in a variant manner, so that they not only impeach themselves, but others as well (Ulp. Dig.

Clearly, there were many rules about when and how torture could be used, but there was originally a firm belief that citizens should be largely immune to it. The lex Porcia of the 190s BCE and later the lex Iulia de vi (c. 17 BCE) had a priori exempted citizens from torture (Robinson 2007:107). These corporal protections began to shift into the Antonine period. By the time of Marcus Aurelius, it appears that lower class citizens serving as witnesses could be tortured (CJ 9.41.11). Increasingly, only the upper orders of Roman society remained protected.

With the constitutio Antoniniana (212 CE), citizenship privileges were extended to most living within the empire, and thus the boundaries between citizen and foreigner eroded, to be replaced by status differentiations. Increasingly, only the very upper orders of Roman society remained protected, while humiliores became more available to torture tactics and corporal punishment such as flogging. Constantine expanded and in many ways even encouraged this growth in the use of torture and physical pain during the fourth century, which would permeate even the elite classes (e.g., decurions) into Late Antiquity. 

I do not have the space or the time to write as extensively as I would like on the subject of torture. I have written at length on the topic here, but I wanted to take a moment to think about the growth of such tactics in Roman antiquity and to ask whether we can learn from it. In my opinion, the use of torture and corporal punishment is insidious and spreads like a disease within any legal system. In short? As the CIA learned, torture is a largely ineffective approach to gathering information. Moreover, its use may often seem manageable and relegated to only the few within a society, but in reality, often spreads to the many. 

Obscure Roman Emperors: Quintillus

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc

Today In AD 37: Nero Born

Although in popular culture Nero is blamed for killing Christians in the arena, to Jews he was a good friend.

The Talmud in tractate Gittin 56a-b records that Nero believed that God wanted the Temple destroyed, but would wreck his vengeance on whoever did actually destroy it:  "He desires to lay waste His House and to lay the blame on me."

Nero's visit to Jerusalem is not recorded in non-Jewish sources,  but may be linked to the outrage recorded when he tried to erect a statue in the Temple?

His second wife Poppaea was well attested as friendly to Jews, and can probably be described as having been amongst theosebeis or 'God fearers'.

In Christian tradition Nero became the Anti-Christ, partly for his actions, partly because his death was roughly contemporary with the death of Jesus. Amongst the many descriptions of him in this way, see here:
The Christian poet Commodian (fl AD 260) also writes of the Antichrist, when Nero will return from hell.
"Then, doubtless, the world shall be finished when he shall appear. He himself shall divide the globe into three ruling powers, when, moreover, Nero shall be raised up from hell, Elias shall first come to seal the beloved ones; at which things the region of Africa and the northern nation, the whole earth on all sides, for seven years shall tremble. But Elias shall occupy the half of the time, Nero shall occupy half. Then the whore Babylon, being reduced to ashes, its embers shall thence advance to Jerusalem; and the Latin conqueror shall then say, I am Christ, whom ye always pray to; and, indeed, the original ones who were deceived combine to praise him. He does many wonders, since his is the false prophet" (Instructiones, XLI).

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beth Ann Judas, M.A., Ph.D: How Many Hekats of Barley are These Worth: Some Considerations on the AIA-St. Louis Society's Sale of Egyptian Artifacts

During the past several months, the Egyptological community has been rocked by sales of ancient Egyptian artifacts. My Facebook page seems to be an almost constant stream of  "I can't believe this!" in regards to the angry/sad/frustrated discussions regarding the sales of ancient artifacts (and, since I'm friends with both Old and New World archaeologists, there is a lot of this); and my Twitter feed is sometimes so overwhelming with items on looting and sales of artifacts that I have to turn to the Buzzfeed quizzes on "What Kind of Harry Potter Wizard Are You?" to mentally regroup. I'm going to be brutally honest. The following discussion is difficult. It's a subject fraught with contradictions and "feels," and all archaeologists, ancient historians, and ancient art historians have different views. I personally have no interest in purchasing any ancient objects, legal or otherwise, and I am, obviously, dead set against the sale of any illegally imported/exported objects. I'm not here to discuss individuals legally purchasing legally imported artifacts, but I am here to throw in my two cents regarding the AIA-St. Louis Society's sales of Egyptian objects as a trained archaeologist who works in both Egypt and Greece.

On or about September 10, 2014, the Egyptological community found out that the AIA-St. Louis Society (to visit their website: planned to auction a tomb group that was excavated during the 1913-1914 season by Englebach and Brunton at Harageh, Egypt.  The AIA-St. Louis Society received the Harageh tomb group from the excavators and the Egyptian government in 1914-1915. It was gifted to them, as a permanent loan, to thank the society for their monetary support of the excavation.  The expectation, by both the excavators and the Egyptian government, was that the Society would not only care for the items, but that they would also make them available for study by scholars and for viewing by the public.  The additional assumption was that the St. Louis Society would hand them over to a museum, university, or research institute, if they no longer wanted the responsibility of caring for the objects, so that the artifacts could remain in a safe environment and be available to the public and the academic community.

Tomb Group from Harageh, Egypt (Bonhams Lot 160): Sold to the MMA (NYC)
An Egyptian alabaster headrest from Harageh Sold to a Private Buyer (Bonhams Lot 162)

The St. Louis Society chose to ignore these expectations, which had been expressed one hundred years ago, and put the tomb group up for auction at Bonhams.  I'm sure that I was not alone in my reaction to that news.  After I over-reacted a bit and eventually calmed down a little, I managed to send a level-headed message to the Archaeological Institute of America via Facebook.  I received a message acknowledging my concern and assuring me that they were preparing an official statement. From both the private message I received and the public statement posted on their webpage [please see the links at the bottom of the page], it seems that they were just as surprised as the rest of us by the actions of their renegade Society.  

While the sale by the St. Louis Society was perfectly legal, it was disappointing. I’m baffled at how they could have thought this was in any way a good idea for an organization that is supposed to support, protect, and educate the public regarding ancient cultures, archaeology, and the protection of sites and artifacts. After the AIA contacted them and questioned their actions, the local society still seemed to believe their actions were (and are) appropriate.  Not only did they sell two sets of Egyptian artifacts this autumn, they continued to sell various other objects through Bonhams. The Society, especially as a representative of the AIA, should know better. They are not a private individual, family, or even a private, for-profit corporation. They are the public face of archaeology for the St. Louis community, and are expected to set an example for students, professionals and interested lay-people of archaeology and the ancient world.

If they felt that they could no longer keep the objects and needed guidance on the proper way to dispose of the artifacts they should have-at the least- contacted the AIA Governing Board or the Petrie Museum of the University College London (as the British School of Archaeology in Egypt (BSAE) is now defunct) to see if either organization had good suggestions. The Society is not without proper resources.  As part of a larger organization, they have access to archaeologists, both Old and New World.  Additionally, the high profile case of the sale of the Northampton Sekhemka statue, which generated outrage among the Egyptological community earlier this year, should have sent a signal to the Society to find an alternate solution.  They cannot, in any way, claim ignorance.  As an outsider to the AI- St. Louis Society, it seems that they acted in a willfully ignorant manner by not approaching the proper channels-perhaps because they knew that they would be told they should not follow through on their auction sales.

They felt no compunction in selling off items that were placed into their care by the excavators and the Egyptian government.  This action knowingly and explicitly betrayed the expectations of the original excavators and the Egyptian government.  The society has been defiantly quiet on the reason behind the sale, aside from stating that it was too expensive to store the items.  They've attempted to justify the sale of the objects by stating that they will use the money for community outreach education, which, in my opinion, is highly ironic.

The Egyptological community breathed a sigh of relief that the Harageh items (Bohams Lot 160) were withdrawn from the Bonhams auction on October 2. The tomb group was sold privately; and, fortunately, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased it.  This means that the objects will be put on display and be made available to researchers to study.  This was the best-case scenario. But what would have happened if the objects hadn't been purchased by a museum? The chance that they would have been bought by a private collector who had no interest in making the objects available for study was great. There is a great chance that the headrest (Bonhams Lot 162), which was the second lot that was auctioned, will be squirreled away in a private collection, not to be seen again for at least a generation or two-if we are lucky.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the AIA have both made statements. The Met addressed their legal purchase of the objects, while the AIA is currently addressing the situation regarding their wayward society. Initially, the AIA chastised the St. Louis Society and reminded both them and the public of the roles of the AIA societies: their duty to properly curate ancient artifacts placed in their care.  The AIA also addressed the issue at their Governing Board meeting on October 25, 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island. The Board recommended that the AIA either suspend the Society or disband it. (Or perhaps they will only remove the current governing board of the Society and bar them from future participation on the St Louis board of officers since the Society's officers seem to be making habitually poor decisions.)  The final decision will be made by the Council of the Institute at the general AIA meeting in January 2015 in New Orleans, LA. The AIA-St. Louis Society officers obviously lack any type of learning curve as they also sold Mesoamerican vessels via Bonhams while the AIA Governing Board was discussing their actions.  The saga, I suspect, is far from over at this point, and we shall probably have to wait until after the 2015 AIA Annual Meeting for a conclusion regarding the St. Louis Society’s status. I’m dreading to see what else will appear at Bonhams between now and the 2015 AIA Annual Meeting.

Sales, such as these, by museums and local governments send signals to private individuals that it is okay to engage in the blanket trade of ancient objects.  Additionally, they cause disappointment when they fail to act as appropriate caretakers, eroding the public's perception (and trust!) of the institutions as legitimate representatives. The sticky part is that the sale and purchase of legally exported/imported items is okay, yet, it is difficult to weed out the bona-fide legally purchased items from the objects that have questionable or fake provenances and sale histories.  Illegally exported/imported artifacts, which have travelled through black market contacts and have been looted or stolen from sites and museums, are exceptionally difficult to track.  Since there are a finite number of legal objects, there is a high demand for objects by private collectors.  This demand is often satisfied by probable illegal objects, which have questionable backgrounds.  The argument is that sales by high-profile institutions, such as the Northampton Council and the AIA-St. Louis Society, provide non-verbal approvals on antiquity sales, which may, more often than not, include illegally imported objects.  This is especially true in times of conflict where looting and the black market sale of artifacts may run rampant as they fund private individuals and organizations, such as IS. Archaeological societies and museums have a duty to not encourage the sale of these questionable and illegal antiquities, and they cannot act as if they are private individuals whose actions have no long-term consequences. This is why the actions of the AIA- St. Louis Society are so disappointing.

*Update: The AIA-St. Louis Society put two more lots up for auction on November 12; this time they were Mesoamerican artifacts. At this point, I feel like the AIA-St. Louis Society is attempting to get as much money from their antiquities before the AIA yanks their charter. Donna Yates has written two passionate blog posts regarding the Mesoamerican items. I know almost nothing about Mesoamerican archaeology, so I will leave it to her to discuss the below items much more eloquently than I ever could.

Zapotec Seated Figural Urn, Monte Alban IIIB, Late Classic, ca A.D. 550-950 (est £1,900-£3,100)
Mayan vase from Quiriqua in Honduras (est £3,800-£5,000)

Links to various articles:

Archaeological Institute of American (AIA) (September 11, 2014) "AIA Statement on Recent Auction Activity"

Naunton, C and A. Stevenson. (September 29, 2014) "Joint Statement from the Egypt Exploration Society and the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology on The Loss of Antiquities from Public Collections by the Egypt Exploration Society's Director, Dr. Chris Naunton and Dr. Alice Stevenson, UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology "

Shaw, G. (October 1, 2014) “St Louis archaeological society puts its Egyptian treasure up for auction” The Art Newspaper

Bonhams (October 2, 2014) "Treasure of Harageh: An Important Egyptian Tomb Group from Harageh Lot 160"

Bonhams (October 2, 2014) "An Egyptian Alabaster-Travertine Headrest Lot 162"
*Note: This object was not purchased by the Metropolitan Musem of Art.

(October 6, 2014) "Bonhams sells 4,000 year old Egyptian 'Treasure of Harageh' to the Metropolitan Museum"

AIA  (October 8, 2014) "AIA Statement on the Recent Sale of Artifacts by the St. Louis Society"

Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 8, 2014) Metropolitan Museum Acquires Important Group of Egyptian Vessels and Ornaments Excavated in 1913-14 at Haraga

AIA (October 27, 2014 ) "AIA Governance Board Statement"

Links to discussions regarding the MesoAmerican artifacts sold by AIA- St. Louis:

Yates, D. (October 27, 2014) “Archaeological Institute of America St. Louis Society selling Meosamerican antiquities at auction” (Anonymous Swiss Collector)

(October 28, 2014) “Archaeological Society in St. Louis Places Ancient Artifacts on the Auction Block” Popular Archaeology

Barford, P. (October 28, 2014) "US Archaeologists Selling Finds: AIA in St. Louis Places MORE Ancient Artefacts on the Auction Block "

Shaw,G. (November 6, 2014) “St Louis society attempts second sale of antiquities” The Art Newspaper

Yates, D. (November 13, 2014) “Ethically questionable AIA St Louis Maya vessel sells for well over 2x estimate at Bonhams”

Northampton Sekhemka Statue information: There is a surfeit of information on the Sekhemka Statue. These are just a few of the articles that demonstrate the distress that this sale caused in the Egyptological community.

Bailey, M.  (October 30, 2014 ) “English council pays price for controversial sale of museum object” The Art Newspaper

Select BBC news stories regarding the Sekhmka statue and the Northampton Council:

(July 8, 2014) "Egyptian bid to stop Northampton's ancient statue sale"

(July 10, 2014) "Egyptian statue Sekhemka sells for nearly £16m"  

(September 12, 2012) "Northampton council backs £2m Egyptian statue sale"

(October 1, 2014) "Sekhemka statue sale: Northampton Council 'violated trust'"

(November 4, 2014) "Sekhemka statue: HLF rejects Northampton Council grant bid"

About Me:

Beth Ann received her B.A. in Anthropology (with a concentration in Archaeology) and a secondary focus in Classical Studies at Ripon College, and her M.A. in Classical Archaeology at Florida State University. She holds her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her focus at UPENN was on Egypt (Middle and New Kingdoms) and Bronze Age Greece. Beth Ann’s main focus lies in the study of interconnections between Middle and New Kingdom Egypt and the Bronze Age Aegean which resulted in her dissertation, “Late Bronze Age Aegean Ceramics in the Nile Valley: An Analysis of Idea and Practice in the Archaeological Record."  She is currently researching the Keftiu (Bronze Age Aegeans) in New Kingdom Egypt.

Her fate was sealed as an archaeologist after her first excavation in Atacama Desert, Chile, and an almost nose-to-nose meeting with a wild guanaco (who was just as shocked as she was). She also excavated at FSU's Cetamura del Chianti in Tuscany, Italy. Beth Ann has several seasons of field experience in Egypt and eastern Crete. More recently, she was a member of the Cornell Halai and East Lokris Project (CHELP) in Greece, for which she was the registrar and storeroom manager. She has taught several classes on the history, archaeology, and art of ancient Egypt and Greece, Greco-Roman mythology, and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. She serves in a leadership role in a local archaeological society, whose opinions may not reflect the those of the writer. She can be found at twitter as @keftiugal