Anonymous asks:

hi u ok

Yes!  Uh, probably.  Still living in Athens; for a little bit I was on Delos where no one actually lives and the internet is crap, and in a few weeks I’ll be going to Corinth for a dig (or, I mean, people will be digging; I’ve been promised a chance to sit in the museum and play with the Roman window glass from previous excavation seasons, so… yay!).  Not super busy this month, so you should see some more stuff here for once!  Want to try and do Mudsdale this week, and another one the week after.  And I’ve been working on… another minor thing… Greece-related rather than Pokémon-related… that you may all be able to read in some form in the months to come (apologies for being mysterious but I don’t want to promise things before I know I can deliver them). Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Anonymous asks:

Something that’s been on my mind for a bit that your professional word may be able to help with. Would you happen to know how ethnically diverse the Greek and Roman empires were?


next question please

…what, you want more?  Oh, fine, but for the record this is not the sort of thing people just “happen to know.”

Okay so I’m assuming by “Greek empire” (remember, kids: there was never a politically autonomous and unified state called “Greece” or “Hellas” until 1822) you mean Alexander’s empire (320s BC) and the Hellenistic successor kingdoms (323 BC – 31 BC), and by “Roman empire” you mean Rome starting from the time it becomes a major interregional power (say, following the second Punic War, which ended in 201 BC) rather than just Rome in the time of the Emperors.  You could spend like most of a book on each of these just corralling the data that might let us answer this question, but whatevs. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Anonymous asks:

If Aerodactyl is from prehistoric times, then how do you think there’s a Mega Stone for the species when AZ’s ultimate weapon was fired only three thousand years ago? PS: I hope your PhD is going well!

crap I never thought of it like that


I suppose it’s possible that either the Aerodactylite results from some relict population of Aerodactyl (the anime seems to like having isolated populations of “fossil” Pokémon that turn out to be not quite extinct) or that the ancient Kalosian kingdom had some magical equivalent of the modern processes used to revive individuals of extinct Pokémon species.  But I’m kinda taking shots in the dark here.

PhD is actually kind of on hold at the moment, in favour of a year’s intensive study in Greece, with a bunch of other students at a similar point in their careers.  But yes, it is amazing.

Nakedviolentedpenguin asks:

What makes a society polytheistic or monotheistic? “When” is the point when a god is “created”? Does exist register of the specific starting of a cult to a god in a culture? Tradition has to begin at some point. Game freak is attempting to create a new generarion based in Greece. And they invite you to work in the plot/background/mythology as an expert. Would you leave your actual work to go with that (in case they are incompatible)? What things would you implement in that games? Game’s names?

1. I assume you’re not just looking for a definition of the words, but why some societies worship many gods and some worship one?  No idea.  I mean, the three major monotheistic world religions today (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) all come from the same place, so we don’t exactly have a large sample size.  Also, all of them do recognise multiple divine beings that are lesser than the supreme god, some of which can be the focus of worship – Mediaeval Christians basically worshipped saints and archangels as minor gods, and don’t even get me started on this asshole, who is either a Catholic saint, the Devil, or an ancient Maya god… possibly all three.  No one is quite sure. Continue reading “Nakedviolentedpenguin asks:”

Anonymous asks:

You need to post more you exist solely to provide entertainment.

Yeah, I probably should.

At the moment I’m sort of sitting the exams that decide whether I get to write a PhD thesis and become a career academic or have to go home to New Zealand and get a real job, so… y’know, no pressure there or anything.  And the truth is, even when that’s over it’s probably not going to get better because next year they’re actually putting me 100% honest-to-goodness in charge of a university lecture class for the first time in my life (I’m teaching Roman civilisation) so who even knows how that’s going to go, and then after that I might wind up spending a year in Athens, so I should probably try to fit learning modern Greek in there somewhere…

I think for a lot of people who write or make videos or draw comics or whatever on the internet, there’s sort of a distant but aspirational goal of one day making money off it so you can actually treat it as a job, but for me… well, even if that were an easy thing to do (which it isn’t), what I do in the real world is interesting and important to me, which sort of puts a cap on this blog ever being more than a hobby.  Having said that… well, everyone needs a hobby, and I happen to like this one.  So I guess what I’m saying is I’ll do my darnedest.

Godzillakiryu91 asks:

Welcome back! How was it?

Okay so

What you have to understand is that archaeology is pain.

You get up at 5:00 am, swing a pickaxe all morning in the Greek summer heat, have intense debates about whether the soil at one end of your trench is a slightly different shade of brown than the soil at the other end, spend an hour or so each day cleaning the dirt to make sure the dirt isn’t dirty, have lunch which is Greek salad every day for a month, wash bits of broken pottery all afternoon, label every last goddamn fragment, have Greek salad again for dinner, get about five and a half hours of sleep, and then do it all over again.

Then at the end you go home and tell everyone it was amazing and you can’t wait to do it again next year, and somehow that’s true.

We’re strange people.