Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Archaeologists to reopen Persepolis sewage system

Archaeologists plan to remove the sediment in the sewage system beneath the Persepolis complex, a member of the archaeological team said on Sunday.

Archaeologists from the Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation are determined to continue the work they began two years ago, Ali Asadi added.

The sewage system constructed beneath the palace of the ancient capital of the Achaemenid dynasty had a very systematic structure. About two kilometers of the sewer line were discovered during previous excavations. The ducts vary from 60cm in width and 80cm in height to 160cm in width and 8 meters in height.

Ancient Americans update Ancient 'footprints' found in Mexico (may or may not be free access)

Researchers think they may have found footprints in southern Mexico that mark the oldest evidence for the presence of humans in the Americas.

The impressions, preserved in volcanic ash outside the city of Puebla, have been dated to about 40,000 years ago, beating the oldest accepted evidence of humans in the Americas by some 25,000 years. If proven, the prints would lend support to controversial theories that people reached this land much earlier than previously thought.

Doesn't look particularly promising. The key issue seems to be whether they are, in fact, human footprints:

EEF news from last week

Press report: "Tales from the crypt"
Interview with Dr Colin Hope, a senior lecturer at Monash University, who has helped co-ordinate the exhibition "Mummies: Ancient Egypt and the Afterlife" in Melbourne.

Press report: "Old flax mill could be the temple of boom. £180m 'cultural retail centre' plan to regenerate Egyptian-style building"
"Temple Works is a Grade I listed former flax mill built between 1836 and 1840. It was based on the Temple of Horus at Edfu, reflecting a craze for ancient Egypt which swept Europe in the first half of the 19th century. (..) The estimated cost of restoring the building could reach £20m."

* The Pyramid Texts
-- Short bibliography

a) Collection of pyramid texts
-- Typeset hieroglyphic text and French translation by: Gaston Maspero, Les inscriptions des pyramides de Saqqarah, Paris, 1894. 458 p., pls. First translation of the pyramid texts (Ounas, Teti, Pepi I, MirinrĂ® I, Pepi II)
-- English translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer, The Pyramid Texts, vol. I,
New York / London / Toronto, 1952. 320 pp.
"The famous Pyramid Texts herein translated for the first time in English ... are those of the kings Unis of the Fifth Dynasty, and Teti, Pepi I, Merenre' and Pepi II of the Sixth Dynasty. To this translation has been added that of recently discovered additional texts, parallel and complementary, in the pyramids of Oudjebten, Neit, and Apouit, queens of
Pepi II, and of Ibi, a king of the Seventh Dynasty ..."

International Association of Egyptologists, Newsletter, October, 2004 - 10 pp., pdf-file: 180 KB

The New Scientist of 2 July 2005 has the following article:
"Why the pharaohs never smiled" by Stephanie Pain Info:
The whole article (on AE dentistry) is only available at a fee.

Online version of: Robert C. Allen, Agriculture and the Origins of the State in Ancient Egypt, in: Explorations in Economic History, vol. 34, pp. 135-154 (1997) - pdf-file: 80 KB
"This paper argues that successful states in the ancient world depended on the ability of elites to extract a surplus from farmers and other producers. This ability was greatest when the population was immobile ... Farmers could flee tax or rent collectors only along the river. The population control problem was, thus, simpler than elsewhere and was the reason a unified state was created and lasted for millenia."

Online version of: G.M. El-Qady, F.A. Monteiro Santos, A.Gh. Hassaneen, L. Trindade, 3-D inversion of VES data from Saqqara archaeological area, Egypt: a case study, paper submitted to Near Surface Geophysics (2005) - 22 pp., pdf-file: 940 KB
"Saqqara is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt. The monuments of this area are suffering from the effects of urbanization and temporal and spatial variations in groundwater level. In an attempt to understand better the problems associated with the groundwater, a geoelectrical DC resistivity survey comprising of 47 vertical electrical
soundings using Schlumberger array has been conducted ... The new model allows a more integrated image and interpretation of the complex hydrogeological conditions."

The first chapter of J. G. Manning's book "Land and Power in Ptolemaic Egypt: The Structure of Land Tenure" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) is available online (240k, in PDF):

Online book review of Dr. Okasha El Daly's "Egyptology: The Missing Millennium. Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic Writings" (UCL Press, 2005), by yours truly, available at the EEF website:

"International Directory of Egyptology (IDE)"
"The International Directory of Egyptology comprises data for universities, research institutes and museums as well as their scientific staff ... Now the time has come to use the new possibilities offered by the internet technology and to provide an easy online access to this most useful working instrument for the international egyptological community."

End of EEF news