Mummies and Other Dead Ancient Egyptians

As is my practice, I try to post things periodically that aren’t paleobabble. Sure, the archeo-bunk is fun and entertaining, but I need to do something useful now and again.

I recently came across two online resources for research on Egyptian mummies, courtesy of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Centre for Egyptological Studies (CESRAS; Moscow):

G. Elliot Smith, The Royal Mummies, Catalogue Général du Musée du Caire. 1912

  • This resource has an index where you can search for and find information on specific mummies (pharaohs and otherwise). For example, when we click on the index page for mummy # 61066 (Thutmose II) we are taken to the page(s) in Smith’s book discussing that mummy.
  • The same site also posted an update index here.

CESRAS also posted a brief online Directory of Ancient Egyptian Persons (mummy or not).

Enjoy!

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Pulpit PaleoBabble of 2009 Rises Again: Biblical Ignorance, President Obama, and the Antichrist

Another term, another round of biblical ignorance.

I was treated this morning to an email that asked my opinion of this link. Another pseudo-Bible “student” passing around the idea that the Bible names Barack Obama as the Antichrist. This monument to interpretive incoherence was the result of a viral YouTube video (and where else would we look for sound biblical scholarship than YouTube?) that first surfaced back in 2009. I blogged about it here on PaleoBabble. I’d invite new readers to have a look and then decide if they should laugh or cry.

Let me add one footnote to this tale of biblical illiteracy. Back in 2009 this “story” was birthed by World Net Daily (WND). Here is where that story lives. To their credit, WND published my rebuttal. However, that can only be found with Google or some other search engine. That is, WND buried it. Check out the original WND story link above — you won’t find my rebuttal linked on the story page (at least at the time of this post!), so WND readers would never know the whole idea is hermeneutical garbage. But there are plenty of other links surrounding the original article selling prophecy books of equal value. I’ve complained about the pseudo-archaeology pimps in the popular media on this blog plenty of times, but you all need to know that journalistic prostitution of the Bible for page views is alive and well, too.

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Modern Mythology of the Precession of the Equinoxes

I’d like to alert PaleoBabble readers to Jason Colavito’s series on the modern myth of precession.  Here are the first and second posts.

For those to whom the term “precession” is new, as Jason notes, it is the idea that our lives are controlled by the mechanical movements of the stars caused by the wobble in the earth’s axis and, further, that history is propelled by this cycle, the proof of which is recorded in human myth and religion, as all of that “records” precessional movement via the cycling of the constellations.

Confused? Understandable. Here’s a better and more detailed explanation of the astronomical phenomenon of precession and the idea that it contributed to ancient religions.

 

Ancient Astro-Nuttiness, Al-Maqrizi, and Giorgio Tsoukalos’ Pseudo-Research

Jason Colavito has called Giorgio Tsoukalos’ bluff — precisely what needs to be done to all ancient astronaut BSers. The research they produce is impressive only to non-specialists and those who never check their work. It’s pure paleobabble. Here’s the introductory paragraph of Jason’s post:

Ancient astronaut proponent Giorgio Tsoukalos claims that the fourteenth century Al-Khitat of Al-Maqrizi (1364-1442 CE) contains evidence that ancient astronauts assisted human beings in the construction of Egypt’s pyramids. This book, the most significant collection of medieval Arabian and Coptic pyramid lore ever assembled, has never been translated into English, so I have translated the passages dealing with pyramids to make this text accessible to interested readers. The following contains all of the significant references to the pyramids in the volume, though some minor allusions have been omitted. A fair review of the voluminous legends collected by Al-Maqrizi reveals no extraterrestrials, and no coherent story. In reading this material, I could come to no better conclusion that Al-Maqrizi himself: “There is no agreement on the time of their construction, the names of those who have raised them, or the cause of their erection. Many conflicting and unfounded legends have been told of them.”

Readers can click here to read the translations of these texts.

So it’s put up or shut up time for Giorgio and other purveyors of ancient astronaut paleobabble. Jason deserves thanks from all of us who care that the intellectual heritage of the ancient world isn’t raped and pillaged to put forth modern myths.

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Ancient Neolithic Tunnels: No Aliens Needed

You just have to check out this fascinating article: “Massive European network of Stone Age tunnels that weaves from Scotland to Turkey.” Really cool.

If you’ve ever visited underground caverns (or ridden a subway), you know that getting from Point A to Point B underground (hence, without the stars, sun, or landmarks for assistance) over any meaningful distance requires planning and intelligence. This is yet another telling find documenting the intelligence and applied aptitude of ancient humans. Sure, prehistoric people weren’t using electricity or computers, but they weren’t sitting on their duffs waiting for star visitors to solve their problems, either.

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New Book on Zeitgeist/Jesus Mythicist Nonsense

I’m currently in Chicago attending the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (along with satellite meetings by scholarly organizations like the American Schools of Oriental Research). These meetings are also attended by dozens of major academic publishers. Consequently, there are hundreds of books available here at “once a year only” discounts that help those of us who care about data and coherent thinking battle paleobabble. I came across what apparently looks to be an important one today, “Jesus: Evidence and Argument, or Mythicist Myths” by Maurice Casey (T & T Clark, 2013).

Yes, that’s 2013.

You won’t find the title in Amazon in any form. However, Professor Casey has published other items on Jesus as a historical figure. I’m guessing this work will be something of an update or perhaps fuller presentation. The book will be important because Casey is not what anyone in the academy would call an evangelical or “Bible believer” in the pop religion sense. He’s a high profile scholar of New Testament and Christian origins.

For those Zeitgeist fundamentalists out there, Casey’s work will likely take its place alongside that of atheist New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman (Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth), who also thinks the claims of Zeitgeist are nonsense.

 

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The “Wife of Jesus” Fragment Forgery: How It Was Done

Mark Goodacre has posted links to Andrew Bernhard’s research on the fragment in regard to how the fraud was accomplished. One is a complete analysis and is well worth a look.

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The Planet X Fraud

In case you haven’t heard of “Planet X,” it’s a notorious piece on Paleobabble that was derived from Zecharia Sitchin’s 12th planet Nibiru nonsense. However, Planet X has since taken on a (fake) life of its own, so that the idea cannot be equated with Sitchin’s ancient astronaut fairy tales. It’s since been married to the Mayan 2012 buffoonery and other conspiracy thinking about astronomy.

I’d encourage all readers to check out the Pseudo-Astronomy podcast for its series (now five parts) on “The Fake Story of Planet X.”  Good stuff.

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Update on the Lead Codices from Jordan

I’m guessing the of the lead codices is off the radar of most readers by now. Jim Davila posted this notice on his PaleoJudaica blog today that provides some updating and commentary. I’m with Davila; I think they are fakes for very good reasons (as he sketches here — and see the links he provides). The annual scholarly conferences are fast approaching (mid November) and so I’ll be keeping an eye and ear open for any items related to this piece of Paleobabble (and others for sure).

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