Ancient Nanotechnology: Glass-Blowers from Space?

Just read this very interesting article – it’s about how ancient Roman glass makers ground up silver and gold to the size of 50 nano-meters in diameter (less than 1000th the size of a grain of table salt) to produce a goblet that appears green when lit from the front and red when lit from behind.

No word on which extraterrestrial race gave the Romans this technology. I’m sure the news will be appearing on a future Ancient Aliens episode. They just have to do more “research” to figure out the alien connection since humans just couldn’t do this sort of thing.

Stone Spheres of Costa Rica: No Aliens Needed

Stone_sphereMany PaleoBabble readers have no doubt heard of the stone spheres of Costa Rica. In addition to the debunking of the “Nuremberg UFO” engraving I posted about a few days ago, Frank Johnson of the Ancient Aliens Debunked blog also has a worthwhile piece on these stone spheres. Hope you’re sitting down: aliens didn’t make them.

As Johnson notes in his post, ancient alien theorists not only don’t have a firm grasp of the obvious (like hammer marks still visible on the stones – thanks for that advanced technology, ET), they’re just plain irritated that he would dare dispute amazing “proof” like this for ancient alien contact. I’m sure they’ll soon realize that’s a poor strategy. Why not just film another Ancient Aliens episode and make up different evidence? I’m just saying.

As is so often the case, mainstream scholars are not curled up in the fetal position, rendered dumbstruck by the shocking evidence for alien causation offered by the likes of Erich “I’m the reincarnation of P.T. Barnum” von Daniken. Johnson introduces readers to anthropology Professor John Hoopes. As Johnson notes, “Hoopes has not only examined the Costa Rican giant stone balls, he has a Website explaining them and the errors in many of the claims.”

At any rate, if you haven’t read a thoughtful treatment of the stones spheres, the post is recommended.

Acharya S and Bart Ehrman

I recently came this post on Ben Stanhope’s Remythologized blog: “Bart Ehrman Spanks Acharya S’ Christ Conspiracy.” It really does reflect the attitude of mainstream scholars toward the über skepticism of the Jesus-myther school (the wacky Zeitgeist conspiratorial hermeneutic). Ehrman of course describes himself as an near-atheist agnostic, so he’s no friend of conservative thinking about Jesus. But he knows nonsense when he reads it.

I’ve had the personal experience of being at academic conferences and dropping specific names of PaleoBabblers that multitudes out there on the internet presume know what they’re talking about only to have scholars laugh (literally). Real scholars are aware of the nonsense out on the web about Jesus being an amalgam of pagan gods, ancient astronauts, and [fill in the blank with some other point of nonsense]. They think it hilarious, not threatening. They don’t write about it because they consider it beneath them or a waste of the time they want to devote to publishing.

It’s just something you should know.


Free Book (PDF) on Temples and Temple Cosmology in Antiquity

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago recently posted a new volume in the Oriental Institute Seminars series: Heaven on Earth: Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World (Edited by Deena Ragavan). You can download the book as a PDF for free here (click on the down arrow next to “terms of use”).

Here is the Table of Contents – some good stuff here!

1. Heaven on Earth: Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World. Deena Ragavan

Part I: Architecture and Cosmology
2. Naturalizing Buddhist Cosmology in the Temple Architecture of China: The Case of the Yicihui Pillar. Tracy Miller
3. Hints at Temple Topography and Cosmic Geography from Hittite Sources. Susanne Görke
4. Images of the Cosmos: Sacred and Ritual Space in Jaina Temple Architecture in India. Julia A. B. Hegewald

Part II: Built Space and Natural Forms
5. The Classic Maya Temple: Centrality, Cosmology, and Sacred Geography in Ancient Mesoamerica. Karl Taube
6. Seeds and Mountains: The Cosmogony of Temples in South Asia. Michael W. Meister
7. Intrinsic and Constructed Sacred Space in Hittite Anatolia. Gary Beckman

Part III: Myth and Movement
8. On the Rocks: Greek Mountains and Sacred Conversations. Betsey A. Robinson
9. Entering Other Worlds: Gates, Rituals, and Cosmic Journeys in Sumerian Sources. Deena Ragavan

Part IV: Sacred Space and Ritual Practice
10. “We Are Going to the House in Prayer”: Theology, Cultic Topography, and Cosmology in the Emesal Prayers of Ancient Mesopotamia. Uri Gabbay
11. Temporary Ritual Structures and Their Cosmological Symbolism in Ancient
Mesopotamia. Claus Ambos
12. Sacred Space and Ritual Practice at the End of Prehistory in the Southern Levant. Yorke M. Rowan

Part V: Architecture, Power, and the State
13. Egyptian Temple Graffiti and the Gods: Appropriation and Ritualization in Karnak and Luxor. Elizabeth Frood
14. The Transformation of Sacred Space, Topography, and Royal Ritual in Persia and the Ancient Iranian World. Matthew P Canepa
15. The Cattlepen and the Sheepfold: Cities, Temples, and Pastoral Power in Ancient Mesopotamia. Omur Harmansah

Part VI: Images of Ritual
16. Sources of Egyptian Temple Cosmology: Divine Image, King, and Ritual Performer. John Baines
17. Mirror and Memory: Images of Ritual Actions in Greek Temple Decoration. Clemente Marconi

PART VII: Responses
18. Temples of the Depths, Pillars of the Heights, Gates in Between. Davíd Carrasco
19. Cosmos and Discipline. Richard Neer