Monday, November 01, 2004

Here, as promised, is the EEF news from last week and a new commentary on Hobbit Man.

Following news courtesy of the EEF.

Egypt "showed off some of the 619 ancient artifacts smuggled out of the country in the late 1990s and repatriated from London last week."
Slightly different reports:

New translation of Herodotus, Book 2 (on Egypt):

[Ed. Herodotus has been used as a source of information on Egypt for centuries. One of the few "firsthand" accounts of Egyptian life, and even that's not strictly firsthand, as it were. But still, it's an important work.]

Archaeology magazine (Nov/Dec 2004) has a newsbrief with good photo online of the Predymastic vase from the Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate, England, showing
a burial scene on a boat.

Heidi Hoffman and Patricia A. Hudgins, "Head and Skull Base Features of Nine Egyptian Mummies: Evaluation with High-Resolution CT and Reformation Techniques", American Journal of Radiology 178 (2002), pp. 1367-1376 (Might be subscription only)

Albert Zink, PhD, Udo Reischl, PhD, Hans Wolf, MD, PhD, and Andreas G. Nerlich, PhD, MD, "Molecular Evidence of Bacteremia by Gastrointestinal Pathogenic Bacteria in an Infant
Mummy From Ancient Egypt", Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine: Vol. 124, No. 11, pp. 1614-1618.

Online BMCR book reviews of
-- Karol Mysliwiec, Eros on the Nile. Translated from the Polish by Geoffrey L. Packer. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004. Pp. 180. ISBN 0-8014-4000-9. $28.95.

-- Uri Yiftach-Firanko, Marriage and Marital Arrangements. A History of the Greek Marriage Document in Egypt. 4th century BCE - 4th century CE. Münchener Beiträge zur Papyrusforschung und antiken Rechtsgeschichte, 93. München: 2003. Pp. 388; pls. 4. ?82.00. ISBN-406-51167-8.

-- William Adler, Paul Tuffin, The Chronography of George Synkellos: A Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Pp.
lxxxviii, 638. ISBN 0-19-924190-2. $135.00.
[Syncellus is a source of several dynastic lists - see Waddell's edition of Manetho]

Homo Hobbitus commentary 'What does it mean to be human?'

Anthropologist Desmond Morris suggested the discovery of a human "hobbit" on Flores would force many religions to examine their basic beliefs. The suggestion provoked quite a reaction.

"The existence of 'Mini-Man' should destroy religion", claims Desmond Morris.

I can't help thinking we've been here before. Indeed, Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, still cannot understand why religion survived Darwin.

Yet as science progresses, despite the decline of allegiance to traditional Christian churches in Western Europe, religion continues to grow world-wide in many different forms.

We see no real reason why this particular find should upset any apple carts. After all, it's not like proto-humans were a purely theoretical concept up until this point. The only salient feature of this find is its proximity in time, which, in effect, makes it little different from the controversies surrounding Neanderthals, with the exception that these seem to have rather more primitive features than Neanderthals.