Scholarly Online Bibliographies for the Study of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

One word for this site: wow.

The above link leads to a gateway site for online bibliographies related to the study of the ancient Near East. It’s an amazing resource.

You’re welcome!

BBC’s Head-in-the-Sand Report on “New” Pyramid Building Theory

Ah, the archeo-pundit media. To quote Time Bandits, one of my favorite college-years movies, “You are so mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence.”

A BBC reporter published this clueless piece today: “Newport Man’s Theory Turns Pyramid Building on its Head.” The big idea? The pyramid was built from the inside out.

Yes, you read that correctly. This is only news if (like the BBC) you’ve never heard of Jean-Pierre Houdin, or never watched the National Geographic special on this now famous French architect’s internal ramp theory about how the Great Pyramid was built, or never sat through my Egyptology class. Honestly, National Geographic wrote about this nearly seven years ago, as did Archaeology magazine.

So no, this guy from Newport isn’t on to anything ground-breaking. He’s behind the curve. But at least his restoration work is lending (more) support to Houdin’s earlier theory.

For information on Houdin and his theory, see the links and books below.

YouTube index (a few videos on the idea)

The Em-Hotep blog has written a great deal on Houdin and the internal ramp theory

Books and Videos:

The Secret of the Great Pyramid: How One Man’s Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt’s Greatest Mystery

Khufu: The Secrets Behind the Building of the Great Pyramid

(DVD) Unlocking the Great Pyramid

Just in Time for Christmas: David C. Brown’s Catalogue for Books in Egyptology and Other Ancient Near Eastern Studies

David C. Brown / Oxbow Books is perhaps the “go to” site and catalog for finding books related to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamian, Israel, and other civilizations of the ancient Near East. They have hundreds of titles in each area — lots of stuff you won’t find anywhere else, including used books and back issues of journals in these areas.

In a word, it’s an awesome site and resource. Enjoy!

Update on Second Talpiot Tomb

This is about Talpiot B, the tomb with the alleged “Jonah and the fish” symbol on one of the ossuaries. Most people don’t think this is a coherent identification. I don’t (“Jonah” still looks like a ball of string to me). I’ve posted before about what the image probably is (here and here). Other scholars have accused the principle folks behind it of Photoshopping evidence. At any rate, here’s a recent update of the image — the work of Dr. Wim G. Meijer, via Duke professor Mark Goodacre’s NT blog.

Zecharia Sitchin’s Planet X PaleoBabble

Astronomer Stuart Robbins has made a considerable effort in his PseudoAstronomy podcast to tell the truth about how real astronomy does not jive with the astronomical quackery of Zecharia Sitchin. I was recently interviewed by Stuart for his podcast (those episodes have not been posted yet), but asĀ  a prelude to those, I thought I’d post links to his series on Sitchin’s astronomical claims and their refutation. I’d posted some of Stuart’s work over at UFO Religions, but posting the episode series in which mine will be a part seems like a good lead-up to when my interviews go online in early January.

PaleoBabble Logic: A Fun Non Sequitur Illustration

A non sequitur is a conclusion that does not follow from the data considered. PaleoBabble research is riddled with them. One of the more frequent flaws in thinking that produce non sequiturs is the confusion of correlation and causation: just because two things “relate” doesn’t mean one is the cause of the other, or produced the other, or even “leads to” the other.

Here’s a fun illustration of this flawed thinking process, ubiquitous in PaleoBabble pablum, written up by biblical scholar Pete Enns. It’s about how baseball proves evolution. Enjoy!

Mythical Canon Fodder on Bible Secrets Revealed

Hope you caught the pun.

Except for football, I don’t watch TV, so I sadly (!) missed this latest round of Bible secrets nonsense. I let others suffer in my place, like the author of “Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 3).” The author is a New Testament scholar (PhD University of Edinburgh). Honestly, “Bible Secrets Revealed” ought to be titled “Bible Secrets Contrived.” Same old uninformed claptrap about the canon, Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. It’s like the researchers they put on the show to spout the conspiratorial nonsense have never read any of the primary source material and scholarship on anything they comment on.

Did I just stumble onto their method … ?

Actually, that’s only part of it. Dr. Kruger already outline what these shows do to mislead their audience.

More PaleoBabble Coming Soon

I’m nearly home from being away for two weeks at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion. AAR had an entire afternoon session on “astro-theology” (how would ET life impact religion – specifically, Christianity). I’ll be saying a few things about that session and more soon. It was fascinating to run into other folks who read this blog or just like chatting (and chuckling) about the PaleoBabble that’s out there.