21 June 2009

Final push

I think I've reached the end of my rope. It's been a hell of a week here at Team Foster, but that which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger right? With that in mind, I bring you my final bulletpoint news edition because frankly, I am sick of all these emails in my inbox and feel it is time to off load. This will be quick and painless, I assure you. The news is interesting though, so if a headline catches your eye, feel free to ditch this blog and read on!

-The Changing Face of Jesus. Apparently the way we depict Christ over the centuries says more about us than him (as all my anthro friends give a collection "DUH!")

-This is waaaay overdue, but sure to get my Dad in a tissy: a Skeptic's Guide to Passover

-Buyers beware: forgeries of antiquities on Ebay run rampant (serves you right!)

-Who's buried in Cleopatra's tomb? Is this a trick question, like Grant's tomb?

-The State of the Artifacts: an audio interview with archaeologist Brian Rose on training American army personnel about the antiquities of Iraq

-Language of ancient Indus civilization discovered? Controversial, to say the least, for example this follow-up article, oh and this blog entry too are claiming BS.

-"Dark Age" temple at Tell Tayinat, Turkey has archaeologists all giddy. Seriously.

-Pearls: beautiful but deadly

-Should 'history' and 'archaeology' join forces? Sounds like a good idea, but we are working in two very different time frames!

-Get a taste of Syria's 'dead cities' (perhaps I will visit come November?) or the low-down on real underwater archaeology (not those treasure hunter projects)

-FINALLY, in the most recent news, Athens opened it's new Acropolis Museum this weekend (see pic below), prompting many to speculate: is it finally time for the Marbles to return home? Mom..Dad..I'm ready to debate! So is Nikos Konstrandaras from the NY Times apparently. You'll be surprised with this Greek writer's response.

14 June 2009

Look death in the face and smile

This just in:

-Oded Golan, purported antiquities dealer and creator of the controversial "brother of Jesus ossuary," denies he ever faked antiquities, according to the Jerusalem Post

-The Virtual Museum of Iraq is now online! Be sure to check out the fun intro video and here is a news article about it.

-Has the plant behind Homer's "sardonic grin" been found on Sardinia (see pic to give you an idea)? Most likely based on this National Geographic report, with hemlock water-dropwort giving the dead smiles since at least the 8th century BCE.

-Archaeologists are finally looking outside the palaces at Persepolis (in Iran) to see how everyone else lived at the city during the 4th century BCE.

-Can/should Alexandria's lighthouse, one of the (original) 7 Wonders of the Ancient World be restored? This interesting Al-Ahram article discusses the history of the lighthouse and the implications of rebuilding.

-A fresco panel (shown here) stolen from Pompeii 12 years ago has been seized from a Mahatten auction house.

And as my job search continues (like everyone else), a position for an Archaeological Program Director just opening up! Bad news: it's in Erbil, Iraq. A worthwhile cause to be sure, but when the job description says "Expertise in developing and/or implementing emergency preparedness plans" it gives me pause...

02 June 2009

Still playing catch-up

The catching up on news continues. This time I am digging real deep with some stories that came out, oh, a month (or two) ago. Hold onto your butts, because I have a lot here:

-NPR reported that the continuation of droughts in Iraq (and across the Middle East for that matter) are resulting in lower water levels, especially in dam reservoirs along the Euphrates near the border with Syria. This means that sites that were unable to be excavated before Saddam flooded the area in the 1980s are briefly available to archaeologists. Good for scholars, but of course the receeding waters 
are disasterous for fisherman and farmers...

-The end of the printed monograph is in sight, but not for the reason you think. Save the environment? Nah, it costs too much to print these days. But will publishers switch to Creative Commons licenses? Ahh that revolution has yet to take place.

-Rocks don't need to be "backed up." Indeed. But who the hell can afford a stone carver these days?? Though it is sad to think that the only way we will be truly remember for millennia is by what is written on our tombstones. What do you want on your tombstone? I'd like some pepperoni, sausage and bell peppers..yum!

-The ancient site of Ur in southern Iraq (pictured left), the birthplace of Abraham (yes, that Abraham) will be opened up to tourists and protected by local Iraqi authorities as reported by AFP.

-Your Akkadian typing tool is here! No reed stylus required!

-New research on the Neolithic Period shows our human past was violent, bloody and short. Life's a bitch, then you die?

-The Easter Story of the Christian (Greek) Bible is taken from the Mesopotamian version of the "Descent of Ishtar/Inanna." So claims Dr. Nugent of Seattle University in the Huffington Post.

Ok I am tired, so that is all for tonight.

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