Friday, October 15, 2004

Here's a few items. For some reason, we haven't received the weekly EEF news, but we'll post that whenever we get it.
Update: The official EEF computer has been down, hence no EEF news until probably early next week.

Missing muscles and average 'nads Michangelo's David Missing a Back Muscle

Michelangelo's David, the towering sculpture acclaimed for its depiction of male physical perfection, has a "hole" in the back, two anatomy professors announced at a recent conference in Florence.

Computer measurements of David's body taken by professors Massimo Gulisano and colleague Pietro Bernabei of Florence University show a hollow instead of a muscle on the right side of the back, between the spine and the shoulder blade.

. . .

Even David's genitals, which seem out of proportion to most viewers, are anatomically correct for a male body in a "pre-fight tension," the researchers said.

Males everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.

Ruins wreck building plans

Construction workers for the American firm Bechtel found neolithic ruins which are more than 6 000 years old while building a highway in Romania, archaeologists said on Thursday.

"It is a surprising discovery of great importance for the region," Ion Stanciu, who heads a team of archaeologists, told AFP.

He said the ruins consisted of a funeral stone, the remains of several houses from the bronze age, and pieces of pottery.

"We are going to suggest to officials from Bechtel to consider building a museum to house these exceptional discoveries," Stanciu said.

News from Egypt Both pagan and Christian

Why not move the Temple of Khnum to the edge of the desert, and re-erect it a short distance from the Monastery of the Three Thousand Six Hundred Martyrs (Deir Manaos wa Al-Shohadaa) that stands at the foot of the limestone plateau to the west of the city? Here not only would the temple be quite safe from further damage, but the juxtaposition of these two monuments, with their roots in the same period of Egyptian history, would also provide a vivid insight into an important historical reality -- the persecution of the Christians under the Roman emperors who are depicted in the temple's reliefs.

Antiquities Market update Stolen relics go home to Egypt

More than 600 Egyptian antiquities flew back to Egypt from the UK on Thursday, four years after they were stolen and smuggled out.

Wadia Hanna from Egypt's prosecutor-general's office said the items were stolen before being shipped to London via Switzerland.

They were seized by British authorities at Heathrow airport.

They include two pharaoh coffins inscribed with hieroglyphics and ceramics from the Greek era.

We're not sure what this picture has to do with the story, but we rather approve of it.

Cool preservation once again ROMAN REMAINS WERE PRESERVED IN CLAY

PRICELESS Roman artifacts were preserved in Carlisle for thousands of years because they were encased in one and a half metres of waterlogged clay.

The objects – clothes, leather chariot straps and coins – would normally rot.

John Zant, of Oxford Archaeology North, said scientists have used specialist techniques to prove the objects recovered were originally from a Roman Fort established in the winter of AD 73.

He said: “The sticky layers of natural clay at the site mean there has been an unusual degree of preservation.

“We have a preservation period spanning 100 years, and the number and quality of the objects is outstanding.

Burial controversy Fate of burial site stirs emotions

Portsmouth, N.H., attorney John P. McGee Jr. finds it abhorrent to drive over the spot where untold numbers of black people were buried several hundred years ago in unmarked graves. He wants the city of Portsmouth to honor the site, even if it means shutting down a city street.

''What is disturbing to me is that a decision was made in the 18th century to pave over those graves and, in my opinion, desecrate them," said McGee at a public meeting in Portsmouth on the issue this summer. ''I don't care if they're African-Americans or some other ethnic group or Yankees; the fact that they were paved over and that now cars go over them is extremely disturbing to me."

Looks like they're working something out, which is good.