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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 19, 2014
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Faculty of Arts

Faculty Research in the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies

Sep 23/10


John Triggs

John Triggs

First Nations Archaeology at Ruthven Park, N.H.S., Cayuga, Ontario

Dr. John Triggs, professor of historical archaeology, recently conducted a fourth field season of archaeological investigations at Ruthven Park National Historic Site. This spring, his team of 20 WLU students and 3 teaching assistants revealed a village occupied from the late 18th century to the 1830s. Historically, the site represents a small settlement of Delaware and Cayuga, people who settled along the Grand River Six Nations territory during the tumultuous period following the American Revolution when indigenous peoples were negotiating for their right to survive within the newly formed United States and the nascent British territory north of the Great Lakes. Placed within this larger historical theatre the small settlement at Ruthven Park provides material evidence, in the form of artifacts and structures, of a people who were struggling to retain their identity, territory and traditional lifeway at this critical juncture in their history.

Michele Daviau

A hoard of high-status objects and a limestone statue were the highlights of the 19th season of excavation and survey in the kingdom of Jordan by Prof. Michèle Daviau from Laurier's Department of Archeology and Classical Studies. Leading an international team of 50 scholars and students, 29 from Laurier, Dr. Daviau was astounded by the discovery in a large Iron Age house (600 BC) of three small black ware vessels, one with an incised design of triangles, two faience cosmetic containers, two faience bottles, one calcite cosmetic vessel, two alabaster vessels, one fine-grain basalt bowl and a steatite cosmetic mortar. These objects were in the same room as a statue of a naked male 40 cm in height (shoulders to feet) with red paint preserved on his left leg and his hands. Such finds have no parallels in known Jordan and may have come from Egypt or Phoenicia Twenty-seven Laurier students and 4 alumni participated in the international team of the Wadi ath-thamad Project excavating the site of Khirbat al-Mudayna in central Jordan.

Robert Kerr

Current Research and Writing

[1] Just published is my infamous article on whether it was feasible that the Qur'an could have been written in Arabia. The epigraphic evidence form Mecca-Medina vs. the epigraphic evidence from Syro-Palestine makes it quite clear that if the Qur'an had been written in south-central Arabia in the seventh century CE, one would expect it to be written in a different language (a South Semitic one) with a different script (the Sabaic alphabet). The conclusion is that the Qur'an must have been written in Syria.

['Von der aramäischen Lesekultur zur arabischen Schreibkultur. Kann die semitische Epigraphik etwas über die Entstehung des Korans erzählen?' in Markus Groß & K.-H. Ohlig (edd.), Die Entstehung einer Weltreligion I. Inârah Band 5 Berlin-Tübingen: Schiler Verlag 2010]

A second part, that looks at the dialect geography of Arabic in the Byzantine period gives linguistic support to the above. Will appear in December. Qur'anic Arabic is a collection of various dialects spoken in Syria. Some parts are older (1st cent CE) - it is impossible for the Qur'an to have been 'revealed' in the 7th century.

['Was muss man unter Arabisch verstehen?' n Markus Groß & K.-H. Ohlig (edd.), Die Entstehung einer Weltreligion II. Inârah Band 6 Berlin-Tübingen: Schiler Verlag 2010]

[2] Why, when and where did the Berbers become literate and start to write using their own alphabet. The conclusion is that it was probably 'invented' by Masinissa to be a national script when he united the Numidian tribes after the second Punic War. It was a reaction to and imitation of cotemporary Punic and Roman written culture.

[ 'Some thoughts on the origins of the Libyco-Berber Alphabet' in M. G. Kossmann and H. Stroomer et al. (edd.), Essais sur des variations dialectales et autres articles. Cologne: Köppe Verlag, pp. 41-68]

[3] My book on Latino-Punic appeared in a second revised and updated edition. Basically in this edition of all the relevant texts, I show that Punic survived some six hundred years longer than previously thought and that it remained the major language of Roman Tripolitania (i.e. not replaced by Latin) probably until the Arabic conquest of North Africa. []

[4] I continue to work on my book on child-sacrifice in the ancient Mediterranean world. Yes, children were really sacrificed. No, there is no god Moloch, in Israel child-sacrifices where given to YHWH (who apparently enjoyed them). It should be finished by Fall 2011.

Bonnie Glencross

[1] The book, Agarwal, S.C. and Glencross, B. 2010 (Nov/Dec) Social Bioarchaeology, Global Archaeology Series, Wiley-Blackwell Press. I have two chapters that I contribute, Agarwal, S.C. and Glencross, B. 2010 (Nov/Dec) “Building a Social Bioarchaeology” and Glencross, B. 2010 (Nov/Dec) “Skeletal Injury Across the Life Course: Towards Social Agency.”

[2] We also have a contribution coming out in another book: Agarwal, S.C. and Glencross, B. 2010 (Oct) “Examining Nutritional Aspects of Bone Loss and Fragility Across the Lifecourse in Bioarchaeology.” In, Human Diet & Nutrition in Biocultural Perspective: Past Meets Present, T. Moffat, T. Prowse, eds. NY: Berghahn Books.

[3] The conference is, the "American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) to be held in October 15-19 at the Toronto Covention Centre. I will be giving a poster presentation with my colleague Dr. Agarwal called, "Age-related Cortical Bone Loss and Fracture Patterns in the Neolithic Community of Çatalhöyük, Turkey."

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