Typology and Semantics of Cryptograms and Acrolexa in the Orthodox East in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Period

Moutafov- EmmanuelBy: Emmanuel Moutafov, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow 

For some scholars, the letter abbreviations with encoded meaning on cryptograms and acrolexa are the creation of a monachus ludnes (a monk having fun), who has been instructed to hide his identity or his personal message in an acrostic or in visual poetry, writes his signature through cryptographs, laughs at monastery moralizing anecdotes and does not want his identity to be revealed in the vanity of mundane life. This monk is perhaps of the greatest schema, due to which the so-called cryptograms will be written on his hood, in order to protect him from evil demons, impious thoughts, misfortunes, and encroachments. Continue reading

A Quadcopter over Tel Dan

By: Thomas Beyl, 2012 Heritage Fellow

This past summer I had the great honor of receiving an ASOR Heritage Fellowship, which allowed me to pursue my dream of using a remote controlled aircraft to do aerial photography on an excavation. In the fall of 2011 I was invited by Dr. David Ilan to return to Tel Dan as an area supervisor for the 2012 dig season. Unlike previous years, there were no funds available to cover housing or food expenses, which also meant I could not afford to do aerial photography. For the past six years I have flown and built several different RC aircraft but had yet to complete an aircraft that could be easily transported and used on excavations. So I applied for an ASOR Heritage Fellowship, and was initially informed that I was not chosen as an awardee. Continue reading