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Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children

Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children March 2019

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Budding archaeologists are off to new adventures at archaeological sites around the world, where they look over the shoulders of professional archaeologists working in the field to unearth important finds. DIG also brings readers right into working laboratories and museums to learn about cutting-edge conservation techniques. Interviews with onsite archaeologists give children a well-rounded view what archaeology is really all about. Grades 5-9

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.

in this issue

2 min.
a monumental task

DIG Into History has a great Advisory Board — you can see their names on page 46. Some have written articles for DIG; some have introduced me to scholars, institutions, and organizations that have proved invaluable to presenting issues with the most up-to-date information on topics; others have guided me into areas about which I knew very little and helped me to see their relevance to the worlds of history and archaeology; many have sent suggestions for themes. For all this and more, I cannot thank each and every one enough! So it was as I reviewed the list of suggested themes, with an arrow pointing to each one that had been suggested several times but not yet covered, that I thought, “Yes, it’s time to cover the Byzantine Empire.” I…

1 min.
about the cover

What artistic beauty and elegance in this fragment of a Byzantine mosaic! The woman — with earrings, necklaces, and beads in her hair — is Ktisis, a figure who represents the act of giving generously. Beside her is a male figure with a cornucopia, symbolic of abundance and having all you need. Above his head is a Greek inscription that translates “good.” So with this great image, let us begin our journey to an Empire that is long gone but still influencing our world. NOTE: In this issue on the Byzantine Empire, we are using the abbreviations B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) and not B.C. and a.d. B.C.E. and C.E. are used presently worldwide and have no religious affiliation.…

3 min.
the what, when, & where

The phrase “Byzantine Empire” refers to the eastern half of the Roman Empire, In fact, this eastern section survived for 1,000 years after the western half fell to barbarian invasion and settlement. “Byzantine,” however, is not the name the inhabitants themselves used. Rather, it was a term imposed upon them. They simply called themselves Romans, and theirs was the Roman Empire. A New Name From the beginning of the fourth century C.E., the Roman Empire was divided into an eastern section and a western section. The west fell in 476 C.E., when the emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed and replaced by a general named Odoacer (see illustration opposite). Odoacer, in turn, became the first king of Italy. The Empire in the east lived on much as it had. Eventually, its organization and…

3 min.

When Diocletian became emperor in 284 C.E., he soon recognized the chaos that threatened to destroy his empire. Determined to address the problem, he decided to divide the lands he controlled into more manageable administrative districts and to share power with co-rulers. ‘The Tetrarchy’ Diocletian’s new system of governance had two senior and two junior partners. It was called "The Tetrachy," from the Greek tetra ("four") and arkhein ("to rule"). The senior partners, Diocletian and Maximian, were joint emperors and shared the title of Augustus (Latin for "honored"). The junior partners were called Caesars and were seen as the successors to the senior rulers. In addition to the administrative and military advantages this system offered, it was meant to provide for an orderly succession of rulers and to avoid civil war. Such…

1 min.
what’s in a name?

Byzantium was said to have been founded in the seventh century B.C.E. by a man named Byzas, the leader of colonists from Megara and other Greek cities. According to legend, the gods had ordered the Megarans to build a city “opposite the land of the blind.” This blindness referred to the inhabitants of Chalcedon to the east of the Bosporus and the fact that they, when searching for a new site to form a colony, had failed to see the advantages of land on the western shore — that is, the land Byzas chose as a new home for his people.…

1 min.
byzantine time line (all dates c.e.)

330 Emperor Constantine I dedicates Constantinople as the new capital of Roman Empire. 380 Emperor Theodosius I declares Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. 395 Roman Empire divided into Eastern Roman Empire and Western Roman Empire. 527 Justinian I becomes emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. 754 Emperor Constantine V bans the making of religious images (Iconoclasm). 843 Iconophiles are given the right to worship religious images, ending Iconoclasm. 1054 The Great Schism between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches takes place. 1204 The Fourth Crusade — crusaders occupy Constantinople and divide the Byzantine Empire 1261 The emperor Michael VIII Palaiologis reclaims the Byzantine throne. 1453 Constantinople falls to Ottoman sultan Mehmed II.…