I think a lot of you might find this article interesting: Does This Rock Explain Why Egyptians Are Biblical Villains? – The Daily Beast
“Archaeologists have uncovered the most intact Bronze Age wheel ever found in the UK, at a site dubbed ‘Britain’s Pompeii’. ‘This remarkable but fragile wooden wheel is the earliest complete example ever found in Britain,’ said Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England.”
“The extraordinary exhibition ‘The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great’ shows the extent to which the immensely privileged eased themselves into the afterlife with much of the booty that had cushioned their time on earth. It seems they aimed at taking along enough symbols of power and wealth to get whatever passes for honor in the underworld.” If you’re in a position to see this magnificent collection I’m jealous! It will be at the Field Museum in Chicago through April 10, and in May will be at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.
“The Magdala Stone, found in Israel, is forcing scholars to revisit ideas about synagogues and their relationship to the Second Temple around the dawn of Christianity.” Very interesting find!
A bit of a bright spot on the monuments front: “A team of scientists employ technology to document archaeological sites before ISIS destroys them.”
“Despite an attempt to eradicate the cultural heritage of the Middle East, ISIS has inspired new ways for it to spread. By stimulating IDA’s plans for creative collaborations taking place on a global scale, ISIS has opened up a dialogue between those it most desperately wanted to silence.”
Mike Giglio and Munzer al-Awad give us an in-depth view of the antiquities trade in Syria at BuzzFeed. The sell off of the precious cache of ancient antiquities in Syria took off after the war began four years ago. It’s hard to read. The Syrians are losing their lives, their livelihoods, and their heritage.
And it is not just ISIS that is engaged in selling off these historical treasures, many Syrians have been forced by circumstances to participate in the illegal trade. As one of the Syrians admitted, “We feel bad because we are stealing our history and selling it for a cheap price…But we have become homeless and jobless, so we don’t care.” They’re just trying to survive and this lucrative trade is one of the few options open to them. The only thing that will stop this trade is the return of peace and a robust economy that doesn’t put Syrians in the position of selling off their history in order to survive.
Read the entire article here: This Is How Syrian Antiquities Are Being Smuggled And Sold – BuzzFeed News.
Sowing a path of death and destruction, ISIS has taken another ancient city. The world looks on helplessly as they continue to slaughter all who do not meet their ideological standards, including women and children. And it is not enough for them to destroy the present, they feel that they must destroy the past as well. While there is no evidence of damage yet, it is likely that the magnificent ancient city of Palmyra will meet the same fate as Nimrud and Hatra.
In contemplating this possibility, G.W. Bowersock acknowledges the extensive archeological excavations of the site, but argues that “it would be folly to believe that the survival of archaeological reports and photographs could in any way compensate for the destruction or looting of the ancient remains. The preservation of buildings and objects that managed to survive for two thousand years of Palmyra’s history has to be a priority wherever civilization is cherished. The Arabs at Palmyra today, and undoubtedly many Arabs everywhere, know that the city belongs to them and their past.” Read his summary of the history of this splendid ancient city here:
How awesome is this? An Italian was searching for his sewage pipe, he found instead “a subterranean world tracing back before the birth of Jesus: a Messapian tomb, a Roman granary, a Franciscan chapel and even etchings from the Knights Templar.” Read the entire story here: