Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Digging into Dura

The Dura Europos meta project would not have been possible before the 2004 publication of Simon James catalog of the military objects from Dura Europos*. This extremely valuable volume is the most in-depth look at Roman army equipment from a period which has been almost completely ignored by scholars. In addition to listing all of the finds of military related items, James does a very good job putting them in the context of similar items from elsewhere in the Empire.

The other invaluable resource for this project has been the Yale University Art Gallery eCatalogue of artifacts from Dura Europos. At present, there are 10,917 Durene items in the database including all of the entries in James’ catalog identified as being in the Yale collection.

I have been delighted to find that much new archaeological research from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, in particular Croatia and Serbia, is being published in a bilingual format. I would especially call out the research of Dr. Ivan Radman, curator of the National Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. He published his recent analysis of the Aquae Iasae belt fittings in an excellent English/Croatian article**. 

Another organizational tool I have found quite useful is Pinterest, which has allowed me to gather images from across the web of items similar to those from Dura, as well as photographs of the objects themselves from the Yale eCatalogue. I highly recommend this resource.

*James, Simon. Excavations at Dura-Europos 1928-1937, Final Report VII, The Arms and Armour and other Military Equipment. London: British Museum Press, 2004.

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