Monday, July 04, 2005

The Knight of Karnak

Before the publication of Description de l’Egypte after Napoleon’s ‘great scientific and military expedition’ of 1798, only a handful of bold, religious men traveled to Egypt in search of ancient Coptic manuscripts. Few scholars or pilgrims passing through Egypt stopped to look at ruins on their way to and from the Holy Land. Apart from mummies, which were at a premium in Europe, they showed little enthusiasm for Pharaonic artifacts.

The publication of Description de l’Egypte’s 23 massive volumes over nearly 20 years directed the world’s attention to ancient Egypt and helped spark the modern study of the nation’s ancient history. Muhammad Ali’s ‘open door policy’ quickly put Pharaonic heritage to the fore.

Nice long article.

Offer ends 6/30/3999 BC 6000-year-old clay coupons discovered in southern Iran

A team of archaeologists recently discovered 6000-year-old clay coupons during excavations at Rahmatabad Tepe in the Marvdasht region of Fars Province, the director of the team said on Saturday.

“The archaeologists have unearthed 12 square-shaped coupons, indicating that the people of the region had economic and commercial ties with neighboring regions in the fourth and fifth millenniums BC. The artifacts will definitely provide useful information on the economic, commercial, and social status of the people living in the region during the time,” Hassan Fazeli Nashli added.

We don't know either Search for Roman river crossing

Hidden Roman buildings could be unearthed as a week-long dig begins in Herefordshire on Saturday.

Archaeologists are looking for a Roman bridge, road and settlement at the River Wye close to Hereford.

County archaeologist Dr Keith Ray said his team would also be looking for evidence of a river crossing and a port for the nearby town of Kenchester.

The dodecahedron in question:

Apparently, this is a geometric solid defined as "a Platonic solid composed of twelve pentagonal faces, with three meeting at each vertex. It has twenty vertices and thirty edges."

In abstract terms:

Joke thieves! BSI: Bog Scene Investigation

Working with the preserved bodies found in bogs throughout Europe has led to a branch of forensic research that could be on a TV show.

"It's like 'B.S.I.,' really: Bog Scene Investigation," says archaeologist Sandra Olsen, making a parallel reference to the popular crime show, "C.S.I.," that deals with crime scene investigations.

The curator of the section of anthropology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History will give two talks during the exhibit of "The Mysterious Bog People."

Well, not really. Ours is way more clever.

Real power of the Internet, Part 856: Ancient Greek Writings Inscribed In Stone, Digitized By Case Classicist

Finding information about ancient Greek inscriptions used to take years of research and countless hours tracking down answers in the library. Through contributions by Case classicist Paul Iversen's work with the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Greek Epigraphy Project, classics scholars now can access and search more than 150,000 inscriptions through a comprehensive digitized database in a matter of minutes.

nformation is currently available in CD-ROM form, but the project will shortly launch a Web site that can be updated regularly as new research surfaces. "Once the web site is available to the public, the search for information on inscriptions will be as short as a blink of the eye," says Iversen, an assistant professor in the Department of Classics.

Mohr from Mehr Archaeologists studying Sassanid city in Ilam Province

A team of Iranian archaeologists recently began studying a Sassanid era city in the Gamgam region of Iran’s western province of Ilam, the director of the Ilam Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department said on Sunday.

“The archaeologists found some clay items, shards, and ruins in their initial studies, indicating that the city is as old as Sassanid cities in Darehshahr and Seymareh (two other cities located in Ilam Province). The studies also show that the city dates back to pre-Sassanid eras in the lower strata,” Fereidun Mohammadi added.

“The ruins are in their natural undamaged state because the surrounding mountains make the paths inaccessible. This condition allows the team easy access to the information,” he noted.

It certainly does suck Scholars catalog ancient manuscripts to preserve 4,000-year history of India

"Do you have any ancient handwritten manuscripts here?" Dilipkumar Rana, the scholar, asks in a whisper. The stunned temple manager nods. "The government is doing a survey of old manuscripts," Rana says.

"But I have very few left now," temple manager Jaipal Jain says. "I threw many old manuscripts into the river last year."

"Why?" Rana asks anxiously.

"I had put them in the attic. Last year during the monsoon, the ceiling leaked. And the water destroyed many of the manuscripts," Jain says, sighing. "White ants attacked some others."

Any rich people out there, please donate some scanners, computers, etc. and get the damn things digitized. See above.

Gold! Thracian Gold Found at Tatul Temple

Archeologists have found a piece of 23-carat Thracian gold in south Bulgaria.

The team was examining the Tatul sanctuary near Kardzhali when they picked the precious find. It was discovered in a layer from the Late Bronze Age.

Experts believe that the piece was a part of a gold-trimmed stone mask.