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The Cabinetmaker’s Account: John Head’s Record of Craft and Commerce in Colonial Philadelphia, 1718-1753 (Memoir 271)
English joiner John Head (1688–1754) immigrated to Philadelphia in 1717 and became one of its most successful artisans and merchants. However, his prominence was lost to history until the discovery of his account book at the Library of the American Philosophical Society.
The Cuneiform Uranology Texts: Drawing the Constellations: Transactions, APS (Vol. 107, Part 2)
This book presents a newly recovered group of cuneiform texts from
first millennium Babylonia and Assyria that provide prose descriptions
of the drawing (eseru) of Mesopotamian constellations. The group
these constellations in terms of their parts: body parts for
constellations in human or animal form, parts of a wagon for “The Wagon”
and “The Wagon of Heaven” (the Big and Little Dipper), and so forth.
The descriptions also typically speak of the clothing
that constellations in human form wear, their beards if they are male,
and paraphernalia that they hold or carry. In the case of “The Crab” and
“The Wagon,” there is also reference to the Babylonian geometric shape
apsamakku, a four-sided figure. Illustrations.
The Tower of the Winds in Athens: Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims: Two Millennia of Continual Use: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 270)
The Tower of the Winds has stood in the shadow of the Acropolis in
Athens for more than 2,100 years. This tall octagonal building, one of
the best preserved monuments from the classical period, was built by the
architect-astronomer Andronikos of Kyrrhos
as a horologion for keeping time. Almost all its features have been
attributed to the period of construction by the Greeks or renovations
made by the Romans. The building, however, was in use almost
continuously for two millennia, which includes Byzantine
and Ottoman phases. Pamela Webb, a classical archaeologist, examines
the Tower throughout its entire functional existence. A series of
appendices helps to put the Tower in broader context for the
post-classical periods. Winner of the 2016 John Frederick Lewis
Speaking in Tongues: APS, Transactions (Vol. 106, Part 4) 2016
Raised in a Lebanese mountain village, Fedwa Malti-Douglas came to America at the age of 13. After a rich academic career, Professor Malti-Douglas turned her attention to other muses, publishing a novel (Hisland, SUNY Press) in 1998, and poetry (including a chapbook of visual poetry). Fedwa’s honors include the 1997 Kuwait Prize in Arts and letters, and the National Humanities Medal for 2014, presented in 2015 by President Barack Obama. This volume tells the story of a family torn apart by divorce, death, and exile, and reunited by an inherited form of muscular dystrophy. It has been praised as “a memoir of unpitying clarity,” “deeply moving and arresting,” which “crosses landscapes of sadness, of happiness, of pain and peace, of alienation and acceptance, toward a healing enlargement of the soul.” Color photos.
Citizenship and the American Revolution: A Resolute Tory’s Abiding Status APS (Vol. 106, Part 3)
When did a person living in one of the rebellious colonies cease to be the subject of George III and become a citizen of a newly constituted American state? Well into the 19th cent., uncertainty persisted regarding citizenship acquired (or lost) during the Revolution. Turning to original sources, Maxey brings into clear focus a family dispute over inheritance rights and the task the Supreme Court faced in determining the status of Daniel Coxe -- either as a citizen of New Jersey entitled to inherit, or as an alien barred from doing so. Having heard the arguments on two separate occasions, the Supreme Court announced its decision in 1808. Twenty years later, the Court measurably diverged from the rationale supporting that decision. Illus.
Edward Shaw of Boston: Antebellum Architect and Author -- An Introduction: Transactions, APS (Vol. 106, Part 2)
This is the first in-depth study of the career of an important antebellum American architect and author. It is a contribution to the history of architecture and the history of the book. In the quarter century after 1830, Edward Shaw designed dozens of town houses in Boston, including the landmark Adam Wallace Thaxer, Jr. house on Beacon Hill (1836). Shaw also published five influential books on architecture and structural materials, one of them reprinted in several editions to 1900. Research in Boston archives has unearthed building records and drawings for unbuilt Shaw designs. The book also describes the design and contents of Shaw’s published works, and traces their distribution across the country, from Maine to Oregon. Author James F. O’Gorman is Grace Slack McNeil Professor Emeritus, Wellesley College. Illus.
Earthworks: Selected Poems: Transactions, APS (Vol. 106, Part 1)
In this inspiring volume, Rosanna Warren chronologically arranges poems selected from her four published collections of poetry. She places the poetry “under the protection of two poetry saints: William Blake and Hart Crane,” and convincingly reminds us that “poems have work to do: to bear witness, to cry out, to lament, to praise. They should be psalms for their time.” Rosanna Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor at the Univ. of Chicago. She has received numerous awards, served as Chancellor of the Academy of Amer. Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the Amer. Academy of Arts and Letters, the Amer. Academy of Arts and Science, and the Amer. Philosophical Soc.
Petroglyphs of the Northern Ute Indian Reservation as Interpreted by Clifford Duncan (American Philosophical Society Transactions 105 Part 5)
People must be educated about the rock art. That’s how it will be protected. —Clifford Duncan
Clifford Duncan, a Northern Ute elder, believed in educating the public to know and understand the meaning of Ute petroglyphs. By doing this, he believed it would help to preserve and protect them. Over the course of eight years, Clifford and the author visited and revisited all of these sites, discussing what they might represent. Clifford’s father was an Uncompahgre Ute and wanted Clifford to know the traditional homelands of the Uncompahgres in western Colorado. Clifford made special trips all through the Uncompahgre Plateau (by car, on foot, and on horseback), seeking out any Ute petroglyphs and cultural sites. Later in his life, he and the author visited many of the petroglyphs on the Uintah–Ouray Reservation, along Hill Creek and Willow Creek. These petroglyphs were authored by the Uncompahgre and White River Utes.
The interpretations of the petroglyphs of western Colorado and the Uintah– Ouray Reservation are supplemented with cultural and political history to provide a background context to Clifford’s interpretations. In addition, ethnographic information from other scholars provides readers with a deep appreciation as to what makes Ute petroglyphs so unique and fascinating.
Anthropologist Carol Patterson was Adjunct Professor for Colorado Mesa University and Metropolitan State University, Colorado. She is principal investigator for Urraca Archaeology, Montrose, Colorado. Recent publications include Shavano Valley Petroglyph Guide (2015) and “Concepts of Spirt in Rock Art According to Clifford Duncan, Ute Spiritual Elder,” in Sacred Landscapes, One World Archaeology Series (2014). Dr. Patterson’s earlier publications include Petroglyphs and Pueblo Myths of the Rio Grande and On the Trail of Spiderwoman, Pictographs and Petroglyphs of the Southwest (1997).
Rothschilds and the Gold Rush: Benjamin Davidson and Heinrich Schliemann in California, 1851-52: Transactions, APS (Vol. 105, Part 4)
In this extraordinary monograph, Constable chronicles the month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter cash transactions and other business between the Rothschild ownership and their agents in Sacramento, Benjamin Davidson and Heinrich Schliemann. Presents a case study embracing both the macroeconomics of the California Gold Rush vis-a-vis international finance, and the microeconomics of the day-to-day issues of credit, cash exchange, wealth transference, insurance, and risk between 1851 and 1852. These kinds of records have disappeared in California, given the flooding and fire that destroyed Sacramento and San Francisco during this time. This rare treasure trove was found on the European side of the exchange. Illus.
Review of the Splendid Perches, Callanthias (Percoidei: Callanthiidae) APS Transaction (Vol. 105 #3
The family Callanthiidae contains two genera, Callanthias (with seven
species) and Grammatonotus (with six nominal species). Authors William
D. Anderson, Jr., G. David Johnson, and Carole C. Baldwin provide
characters that distinguish callanthiids from other percoids and that
distinguish Callanthias from Grammatonotus, descriptions of Callanthias
and its seven species, a key to the species of Callanthias, and comments
on other aspects of the biology of the species of the genus. The
authors’ initial interest in the splendid perches emanated not from
their spectacular coloration but from specific features of their
morphology and their bearing on possible relationships to other
perciform fishes. Color illustrations.
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