Archive for the ‘teaching’ Category

Those of you who know me personally know I am a former professor of classical art and archaeology. Three years ago, personal circumstances as well as shenanigans at my institution forced me to leave higher education. I’ve since landed well as a high school history teacher. The short version of the post below is that being outside Academia has made me happier and healthier. It’s taken me time to lose the resentment and bitterness I felt after leaving my job at Fancy Southern Liberal Arts College. But experiences like the one I had last week reminded me how much I still love (parts of) my field as well as speaking publicly about the 21st-century relevance of the ancient world. In short, I continue to redefine my own success as an educator and a scholar of classical antiquity. My life is too short to be measured in citations of my work by other scholars. I measure it now in the teenagers who say “that’s so cool!” in a history lesson or the adults who tell me “I never knew that” or who help make other connections between the ancient past and today.

This post was originally “published” in a private forum on Facebook. I’m keeping in some of the blue language, as that is a crucial element of my authentic voice. #sorrynotsorry


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Students in my intermediate-level course on the Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt have been giving short, in-class presentations on examples of “junk archaeology,” “bad Egyptology,” and “pseudo-science.” At first some of them seemed skeptical about their abilities to locate this kind of material, but I assured them it was lurking in the not-too-dark corners of the Internet.

The assignment has three goals: First, to get the students comfortable speaking in front of the class before they do a more formal presentation at the end of the semester. Second, to discuss–generally speaking–the nature of the Internet as a “democratic” medium for the dissemination of scholarship. And third, to question why ancient Egypt seems to draw out the wildest and most unfounded theories. As a specialist in Roman archaeology (and to a much lesser extent, Greek), I note that there is far, far less “pseudo-science” around classical cultures.

Perhaps it is what Ian Shaw notes about ancient Egypt that makes it susceptible to this type of intellectual reaction: “..the attraction of ancient Egyptian culture is its combination of exotica and familiarity…” (Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction 2004, 9).

For what they are worth, here are some of the sites and articles my students presented as examples of “bad Egyptology”:

Egyptian pyramids were power plants, generating electricity

Michael Jackson and the Myth of Osiris

Pharaoh as wizard in Ancient Egypt

Aliens in Ancient Egypt

Mars Traded with Ancient Egypt (autoplay video!)

Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (movie from 1971)

Egyptian Colony in the Grand Canyon

Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt

New Pyramids found with Google Earth

Mystery of the Sphinx (assigns date to 10,000 BCE)

Star Wars Spacecraft in Ancient Egypt

The Saqqara Bird

I think this assignment was a tremendous success, if only because I became aware of this photo:

aliens in egypt

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This is not, of course, an exhaustive list of Web resources for the study of Egypt, but a list which I hope will prove helpful to students in my ART210 class (Art & Architecture of Ancient Egypt) at Rhodes College. Submissions welcome in comments!

Of local interest to residents of southwest Tennessee: Memphis to Memphis

General art & archaeology; starting places

Ancient Egypt Timeline

UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology

Kings and Queens of Egypt

The New Kingdom (with bibliography)

The Third Intermediate Period (with bibliography)

Roman Egypt

Ancient Egypt on Smarthistory

Egypt on NOVA

Egyptology Resources

Digital Egypt for Universities

The Pyramids of Egypt

Museum collections

University of Memphis Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology

The Brooklyn Museum

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Art of the Ancient World, includes Egypt & Nubia

Egyptian Museum, Berlin

The British Museum

Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum

The Global Egyptian Museum

British Museum Book of the Dead Exhibition

Official organizations

Supreme Council of Antiquities

Egypt Exploration Society

International Association of Egyptologists

The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford

The American Research Center in Egypt

Digital reconstructions, virtual tours

Digital Karnak

Virtual reconstruction of Seti I’s tomb

Osiris Net (for tombs)

Excavations and research projects

Giza Archives Project

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation, Database of Carter’s excavations

Theban Mapping Project

The Amarna Project

The Giza Project (in German)

Oxford Expedition to Egypt: Tomb-Scene Database

The Ancient Egypt Film Site

Personal Blogs, Twitter accounts & Facebook Pages

Petrie Museum

Friends of the Petrie Museum

Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, Canada

Talking Pyramids

Margaret Maitland: Egyptologist & museum curator in Scotland

Chris Naunton: Egyptologist & Director of the Egypt Exploration Society

Zahi Hawass: Handle with care!

Egyptian Texts

Valley of the Kings News

Collecting Egypt

Ancient Egypt on Facebook


Individual articles & blog posts of note

Who built the pyramids?

The woman who would be king: Hatshepsut

Review of History Channel show “Engineering an Empire: Egypt”

Repatriating the Bust of Nefertiti

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This is not, of course, an exhaustive list of Web resources for the study of Pompeii, but a list which I hope will prove helpful to students in my ART253 class (Art & Life at Pompeii) at Rhodes College. Submissions welcome in comments!

General/Starting points


Pompeii in Pictures: An amateur photographic guide to the city

A multi-lingual bibliography for Pompeii (up to 2004)


Official organizations

Archaeological Superintendency for Naples and Pompeii

Naples Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli)



Blogging Pompeii: Mostly in English, includes very up-to-date news on research projects, publications, museum exhibitions,and news items on the whole Bay of Naples area.

Roman News & Archaeology: Much more than Pompeii. NB: these are reposts of other, original content so be sure to track down the source if citing a post on this blog.


Research projects and excavations, museums

Porta Stabia Project: An excavation and research project from the University of Cincinnati

Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project

Herculaneum Conservation Project from the British School at Rome

The Oplontis Project

Vesuvius Volcano 79 Eruption

Friends of Herculaneum Society

Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation

Pompeii Food and Drink Project

18th-19th-century images of Pompeii

The Last Days of Pompeii: exhibition at the Getty Museum, LA

Video animation of Vesuvius eruption from the A Day in Pompeii exhibition currently touring the US.


Companion sites for books

The World of Pompeii

Mau & Kelsey, Pompeii: Its Life and Art (1907) e-book

Pompeian Households: Online companion for Penelope Allison’s book of the same title


Roman art topics

Roman Housing

Roman Painting

Theater & Amphitheater in the Roman World

Luxury arts of Rome

The Augustan Villa at Boscotrecase

Frescoes from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale

Polychromy of Roman Marble Sculpture

Roman cameo glass

Pompeii in Modern and Contemporary Art


Other resources on the Roman world, city of Rome, etc.

Timeline of rulers of the Roman Empire

Rome Reborn: A digital model of ancient Rome

Digital Roman Forum

Pompeii in Pop Culture: Blog post from Pop Classics

Mark Twain on Pompeii in The Innocents Abroad (1869)

Fasti Online: Database of archaeological excavations


Twitter accounts & Facebook pages

Blogging Pompeii: twitter and FB page

Pompeii, art, history, and archaeology (in Italian, but great photos)

Ancient Stabiae

RogueClassicist: Classics & ancient world news

tronchin: Prof. Tronchin’s feed; more than just Pompeii

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