Archive for March, 2008


March 25, 2008

*The location and geographical features of Masada – “As a historic site away from an urban center, its cultural integrity has been preserved. The site is well-maintained, and the signage is adequate. It offers vistas of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley rock formations of unprecedented beauty.

*An overview of Roman Rule in Judaea and the organisation of a province – The Romans had come to create their empire and looked to take over the known world at that time. The Jews were the next target,  the Romans had once been deafeted by the Jews and werent going to settle for another defeat. The Romans had started to seige the city, Jotapata where Josephus had been staying. The Romans broke into the city before dawn and quietly slaughtered the Jews. Joesephus was captured by the Romans, but soon betrayed the Jews and went to live in Rome.    

*The cause of conflict between Jews and Romans – Personally I beleive that the cause of conflict  between the Jews and the Romans were the need for an Empire by the Romans and for the Jews, not wanting to be ruled by their enemy. But here are some military engagements between the two nations.   

There have been several military engagements between the Jews and the Romans:

  • the Roman general Pompey subdued Judaea in 63 BCE (after which it became a client kingdom)
  • in 6 CE, the emperor Augustus deposed king Archelaus, and his governor of Syria, Quirinius, established the province of Judaea (which became a prefecture)
  • in 66, a serious rebellion started, which led to the destruction of the Temple (September 70); this war was described by Flavius Josephus in his Jewish War
  • a little later, the Romans took the fortress Masada (in 74)
  • in 115, the Levantine Jews revolted against emperor Trajan
  • when the emperor Hadrian forbade circumcision, Simon bar Kochba started a Messianic war, which lasted until 136. It meant the end of the multiform Judaism of the first century.

*Who and what were the Sicarii (Jewish Rebels)? – The Sicarii were originally assassins of Jedua. They would go into great festivals and huge gatherings (mainly religious) and they would knife their target in the back and quikly escape before detection. The people who were normally knifed were Romans, Roman followers and the rich and corrupt Jews, or people they don’t like.

 *The occupation of Masada – The occupation of Masada was the Sicarii or as they were known amoung the Jews as the Zealots. This fortress was built by Herod as a Fortress and was said to be impossible to seige, because of the geological and placment of this fortress.  

*Josephus and his Jewish War – Josephus was once the leader of a rebelion against the romans who had invaded Judea. Josephus was captured by Vipsannius and lukily survived. Josephus had told Vipsannius that he would one day become emperor. Josephus soon after became a roman citizen and started his historic accounts on the Jewish Wars.

*The archaeological evidence on the site of Masada and the work of Yigael Yadin – Yigael Yadin supervised the excavation at Masada in 1963. The biggest and the greatest archeaological artefact found is the Roman made ramp and also the city.

*The military campaign (strategy and tactics) and the role of Flavius Silva (Roman commander). – The Commander Flavius Silva marched and ran a campagin to the seige and destruction of the city Masada. He led the march of the tenth legion to the city of masada. The tenth legion built camps around the city and began attacks. Many failed, but the last attack was the attack that marched the romans to victory. The romans built a huge ramp which was supported by the land scape of that side of masada and managed to move a 25 tonne seige tower up this ramp which by the way was a very steep ramp. When they had accomplished this they catured the city with ease as the residents had probably committed mass suicide. 

*Evidence for the organisation of the Roman army and the arcaheological evidence found in the Roman camp  – The evidence found at the site of masada was of the Roman army which was the outline of the camp sites and also the peices of wood found to hold the ramp and to support the seige tower.  The weapons the Romans used such as catapults and arrows and swords were all artefacts.


March 13, 2008

Using all resources at your disposal, discuss what factors affect the preservation and destruction of evidence.

The preservation and the destruction of Archaeological sites are usually because of the following things:1.      The destruction of sites·        Warfare·        Tourism·        Modern development·        Pollution2.      The Preservation of sites·        Climate·        Geological Conditions ·        The Actions of People The worst case of the destruction of a site is warfare. Warfare can contribute to the destruction of a site because of aspects like looting, bombing, etc. One Example of this is the war between the Ottoman Empire and Venice which saw the damage to the Parthenon Temple to Athena.  Tourism is another cause to the destruction of ancient sites, the visitors touch, breath, photograph, and take souvenirs. Over time this can slowly discolour the walls, paintings etc. this can also slowly deteriorate in time from taking souvenirs and from touching. One example is the Valley of Queens in Egypt; it was closed down to the public because of the damage that was beginning to appear. Modern development can be one of the major threats to historical sites. Historical sites near building sites can be damaged from anything from dust, to plant vehicles being used around the sites. One example of this is the excavation work that was taking place around the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.Pollution can almost deteriorate anything at a slow rate. Acid rain in Europe effects many ancient city remains in Italy. Pollution from transport can slowly wear down anything from stone to metal. One example of this is the Egyptian Sphinx in Cairo, the pollution from the city has worn down the nose and the face of the mighty Sphinx. Although there are many factors that can cause the destruction of a site, there is always a will and a way to preserve them and save them from destruction. Some Climates are perfect for the natural preservations of different historical objects, whether it be human remains to huge ships and statues. Dry climates are the best at preserving historical objects; this is because dry climates usually tend to suck up all the water from the object. If the object is buried in a sandy desert there’s a good chance of the object surviving for many years. Cold climates are also very good for preserving things such as bodies. It is good for preservation because it freezes the tissue and freezes the fluids in the body which slows down the rotting process of the human body. One example is the Iceman Oetzi, who was discovered in the Alps between Austria and Italy in 1991. He was found baring all his equipment including weapons and clothing. Geological conditions of where a historical artefact is found can determine whether it will stay preserved or be destroyed. The Tar Pits of California is known to be one of the best forms of preservation by the geological condition. When anything falls into the tar pits, the tar immediately sticks to the skin, which blocks out any oxygen so that decomposition is stopped. One example of this is the prehistoric animals that have been thrown out of the pits. Another type of geological preservation is under water objects. If metal the water will react with the metal either making it rust or making it preserves itself. One example of this would be the Titanic.The actions of people can be of importance when preserving a site. The Ancient peoples sometimes would have hidden burial places; this protects them from destruction, deterioration, and ending up in the black market. This may have been because grave robbers weren’t able to find them. This would give the Archaeologists the chance to find record and study these places. One example of this is the Tomb of Tutankhamen. In conclusion when there is a way to destroy something, there is always another way to preserve it. Many sites have been destroyed or damaged, but without the use of preservation methods the majority of sites could not have been saved or repaired.           

March 12, 2008


Lesson for Wednesday 5th March

March 8, 2008

What factors affect the objectivity of authors of written sources? There are four main factors that effect the objectivity of authors of written sources, these are:

  • Fact and Opinion – Historians and archaelolgists have to determine whether a written source is fact or opinion. One way they do this is by looking at different sources of the same event.
  • Bias – Historians and archaelolgists have to determine whether a written source is bias or not by looking at what is said. In the case of a war/battle they would look at factors like who wrote the source, what nationality was he etc.
  • Gender Bias – it is hard not to look at any sources that are not gender bias because woman were not really raised to be anything but house wives.
  • One Sided Accounts – Historians and archaelolgists have to determine whether a written source is one-sided because the text could be about something like the battle of Thermopalyae, where only Greeks have written about this battle, there havent been any discoveris of persian texts of the battle of Thermopalyae. 

What is gender bias? Gender bias in History is simply looking at usually written sources, written by men of that time. This only gives us a male perspective on the events that were written about in the Ancient period.

How has it manifested itself in the reporting of history over the millenia? (sorry sir i dont understand this question)

Give three examples of gender bias?

  1. Dio Cassius – Roman history – Boudicca of Britain
  2. Sir Alan Gardiner – Egypt of the Pharaohs – Hatshepsut
  3. Josephus – Jewish History – No women used for acounts.

Is it still a problem today in historiography? This is still a problem for historiography because no-one knows what a women saw in the Ancient period, a single women could have known why the senetors killed Ceaser or why Nero hated the Christians so much.

March 4, 2008
Parthenon Marbles Battle


1)                 The Parthenon was built in hounor of which ancient Greek goddess? the Greek Goddess is Athena of Athens.


2)                 Where on the Parthenon is the marble frieze located? The Marbel friezes where located on the top of the collums.


3)                 When and how did the Parthenon come to lay in ruins? In 1687 there was a war between Venice and the Ottoman Empire. The war caused alot of damage to the ancient temple but lukily it survived till today.

     4)                 Who was Lord Elgin and what did he do with sections of the frieze? Lord Elgin was the British Embassador to the Ottoman Empire (which was controlling Greece). Lord Elgin took the sections of marbel friezes home to England.         5)                 Why do some claim Elgin was the “vandal”? They call him a vandal because he cut up the freizes into small sections so they could be easily transported to England.

     6)                 Why does the British Museum (BM) claim legal title to the frieze? The British museum says that you can’t lend or give something back to someone who dosen’t recognises your ownership to the item.                             7)                 How much of the original frieze still stands in Athens? There is only half of the friezes in Athens to what the British Museum has.      8)                 What is the opinion of Greek archaeologists on the matter? They believe that they should be seen togther because when they are toghter they hav a narrative to tell.     9)                 How does the BM suggest they could resolve the ‘complicated’ situation? The greeks will make replicas of the marbel freizes that they have in the British museum in England.           10)              What is your stance on returning the frieze to Athens?  Do you agree that it should remain permanently in the BM except for loan periods? I personally think that The Greeks should have them returned to Athens. The reason for this is, the marbel friezes were made and created by the Greeks and should have 100% ownershipto them.

March 4, 2008
Parthenon Marbles Battle 

  1. Where is Machu Picchu? Machu Picchu is located in Peru’.
  2. The site was left to ruin in the 16th century until 1911
  3. Who discovered the site and when? Hiram Bingham discovered the site in 1911.
  4. For which university was he working? He was working For Yale.
  5. What did he find? Hiram Bingham found many artefacts like silver statues, jewllery and human remains.
  6. In which museum are the finds located? The Museum they were located in was the Peruvian museum and maybe the British museum.
  7. What is the debate surrounding these finds?The debate that was surounding these finds were that the Peruvian government had only given the artefacts to Bingham for 2 years on the agreement that they would be returned. Bingham wrote this in a letter which was found by Terry Garcia.
  8. Why the legal action?In my point of view the legal action was taken to ensure the return of the artefacts, and also to make sure that this process without legal action wouldn’t take to long.  
  9. According to the spokesman from the Museum, why can there be problems if artifacts are returned too quickly? The artefacts can never be returned quickly because there could be a claim by another musem or even another person. Also the museum would not be hounouring the duty to preserve and protect.
  10. What has been the resolution of this ‘treasure war’ and why does this mean so much to the people of Peru? Yale agreed to return most of the artefacts only after they had completed a travelling expedition. This meant a lot to the Peruvian people because it meant that they were getting their heratige back.