October 2018 Newsletter

There's always something happening at NMC, missed out?
Here is a snapshot of what went on this month and what's to come

CALL FOR PAPERS! The 23rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium will be held on March 4th and 5th, 2019 at Koffler House. Please send your 250 word abstract and 100 word biography to by January 11th, 2019. Click here for more information.

Archaeology at the ROM

Archaeologists from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations had a busy month working at a number of events at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). PhD candidates Dominique Langis-Barsetti and Aleksandra Ksiezak recently showcased projects related to their doctoral dissertations to interested patrons at the ROM Friday Night Live event. Dominique discussed the Kerkenes Project in Central Anatolia while Aleksandra described her research from the Tell el-Maskhuta/Wadi Tumilat Project in the Eastern Egyptian Delta. Stanley Klassen (NMC Archaeology Lab Collections Manager/Lab Technician) also highlighted three NMC projects: the Gezer Gate Project at Tel Gezer, Israel, the Tall Madaba Archaeological Project in Jordan, and the Tell Tayinat Archaeological Project in Turkey.

Dominque, Aleksandra, and Stanley also represented CRANE (Computational Research on the Ancient Near East) at a recent event held at the ROM. CRANE is a SSHRC funded international collaborative project lead by Dr. Timothy Harrison. The event took place during International Archaeology Day hosted by the ROM’s Family Fun Day which was well attended by enthusiastic budding archaeologists. The CRANE team, along with volunteer Bram Stynen, highlighted some of the Project’s recent work using 3D graphics, climate and artifact modelling, as well as recent archaeological discoveries from Tell Tayinat. GRAPE (The Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Excavations), NMC’s own Archaeological Field School directed by Dr. Stephen Batiuk, was represented by team members Arno Glasser and Natalia Handziuk, both doctoral students from the Department of Anthropology. GRAPE displayed obsidian tool replicas of finds from their excavations, as well as images of their ongoing excavations highlighting their discovery of the earliest known wine production in the world

NMC Ph.D. candidate Émilie Pagé-Perron recently visited California and Nevada for a tour of events related to her ongoing research. She attended the Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit at Google Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA representing the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) as administrator and mentor. Through a series of lightning talks and unconferences, she learned about open source best practices.

She also attended the Digital Library Federation 2018 Forum in Las Vegas where she presented a talk titled “Strategies for Sustainability and Preservation: the case of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI)” where she discussed the special case of service oriented digital libraries.

Émilie’s final stop was at the CDLI lab at UCLA where she got to kickstart the Fall 2018 quarter with the research and development team she directs in the context of the NEH funded CDLI Framework Update project and the Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages (MTAAC) directed by Dr. Heather Baker, coordinated by Émilie, and funded by SSHRC, NEH and DFG.

UofT Working To Establish Research Centre in Turkey

Archaeologists at the University of Toronto are in advanced negotiations with Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism to establish an archaeological park at Tell Tayinat, a site in southeastern Turkey, to deepen awareness and understanding of the Iron Age kingdom that ruled the region several millennia ago.

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New Book Now Available

NMC Professor James Reilly's new book entitled "Fragile Nation, Shattered Land: The Modern History of Syria" is now available for purchase. More information about the book as well as where you can order your copy is available here.

Thank You For 35 Years!

NMC Professor Ron Leprohon was honoured at the Long Service Awards ceremony for his 35 years of service at the University of Toronto. Congratulations Ron!

NMC Staff Launches Donation Drive

NMC Communications Assistant Ahmad Khawaja has launched a donation campaign in support of the Bosnian boys and girls under 14 hockey program in Sarajevo. He is collecting lightly used children's equipment with the hopes that the medium of sport can help to mitigate some of the trauma that many of the participants in the program experience. You can find out more about the initiative and make a contribution here.

NMC @UofT Open House

The NMC Department recently participated in U of T’s Open House, an event organized by the University of Toronto where high school students are exposed to the various Programs and Degrees offered by the University. NMC’s booth was situated in the Great Hall at Hart House and was very active this year. Prospective students were assisted by two friendly and knowledgeable NMC undergraduates, Jason Silvestri and Oswa Shafei. NMC staff member Stanley Klassen was also on hand helping explain to students and parents what undergraduate courses and programs are offered by NMC, as well as the many other exciting opportunities the Department has to offer.

Upcoming Events

There's always something happening at NMC, keep up to date with our upcoming events here.

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