The CDLI wiki is a terrific website for Assyriology. By way of examples, you can find helpful content and reference material links, such as “Recent Publications in Assyriology“; “Bibliography of Sumerian Literature“; and “writing systems.” Check it out — it’s better than reading Sitchin!
Hat tip to AWOL for this.
Here’s a link to the LACMA Collections Database online. The database contains nearly 20,000 images of artworks believed to be in the public domain.
Enjoy this resource and break from the unrelenting nonsense we have to deal with here.
For all those interested in ancient Mesopotamian religion, I recommend the Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses Project website. It’s being produced by one of my alma maters, the University of Pennsylvania.
The project describes itself as a “website [that] offers information about the fifty most important gods and goddesses and provides starting points for further research.”
Here’s the link to the Anunna/Anunnaki page. Nicely done with bibliography links. (Sorry, Sitchin didn’t make the cut – this is real primary text research, not fantasy land).
Readers know I have no axe to grind against the idea of a creator. I know two many scientists with PhDs teaching at research universities to think that the idea of a creator is impossible for a modern scientist to embrace. And I’ve read enough good evolutionary theory to know that evolutionists needlessly caricature creationism as an idea, painting it with a broad brush as the sort of hackneyed creationism discussed below. Creationists promoting this sort of thing should be ashamed — both of their intent and their inept science, whichever applies.
Paleobabble readers will enjoy the recent lengthy and meticulous exposure of pseudo-paleontology: the case of this “dragon” skeleton. As the item at the link notes, a “dragon” skeleton (cast as a “late living pterosaur” to promote the idea of recent creation) displayed in Rome is nothing of the sort. It’s a good read, but the real pummeling is to be found in the electronic paleontology journal that published the expose.
[Addendum 1/26/2013: Kate Phizackerley of the KV64 blog would like readers to know that she is uncertain as to the identity or political affiliation of those who have hacked her site. She writes: "There seem to be suggestions that Andrea and I know the affiliation of those who hacked us . . . We don’t and by policy I haven’t speculated. Part of the reason for my reticence is that some, although not all, of the hackers have been polite to us. In particular, at no point did the hackers claim association with any religion." This blog has been one of those who have speculated on this. Since Kate elsewhere noted that The hackers see her site and other Egypt-related sites as “representing a form of political threat,” and since the recent political events involve militant elements such as the Muslim Brotherhood, I don't think the math unclear. I know of no other groups among those engaged in the political struggle in Egypt who would have a problem with free speech in principle. I should also add that the issue in my view isn't religious affiliation per se. Egypt was predominantly Muslim before the upheaval and KV-64 and other blogs operated just fine, so that isn't the problem. The problem is militancy and opposition to democracy. But Kate is certainly correct that she has not offered any such opinion. - MSH]
The KV64 blog (focus on Egyptology) produced so capably by Kate Phizackerley has shut down. I’ll certainly miss it. Kate writes:
Following on from the problems at Egyptological I have taken the reluctant decision to close this blog as well for the foreseeable future. Many thanks for your support over the years.
As her words indicate, Kate was also one of the forces behind the online journal Egyptological, which was recently discontinued due to hacking efforts on the part of radicalized Islamic elements in Egypt. Apparently the KV64 blog was also incompatible with those elements. Another loss for free speech in Egypt.
Readers should be aware of the very useful Encyclopedia Mythica, “the award-winning internet encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and religion.” Over 7,000 essays of mythological information!
CNN’s religion blog recently posted that testing of the Coptic fragment that includes Jesus referring to his wife has delayed publication of an article by Karen King on the fragment in the Harvard Theological Review. The short piece is a useful one, as it asks some needed questions about the fragment in a concise way for readers.
I’m not sure what the hubbub is about testing the actual fragment. I expect the material itself is very old, but that proves nothing about the authenticity of the text, since all one would need to do to create such a forgery is access to the same material and the “recipe” for ancient ink. Irving Wallace showed us how to do that decades ago in his novel, The Word. But maybe other scholars don’t read novels. Additionally, genuine physical material won’t answer the syntactical irregularities and borrowed vocabulary in the text that led scholars to think it a fraud in the first place (see here and here).
PaleoBabble readers have likely heard about Dr. Robert Schoch’s theory of water erosion and the Sphinx. It’s been used by alternative researchers to argue for an advanced Egyptian civilization back to 10,500 BC, far earlier than the beginning of dynastic Egypt. Schoch is a geologist, and so his work has garnered serious attention. Dr. Colin Reader is also a geologist, and he isn’t buying what Schoch is selling. I’d invite readers to check out this recent essay by Chris White on the Reader-Schoch debate to get up to speed.
Colin Reader’s views on the Sphinx have been around for some time, as this lengthy 1997/1999 piece posted on Ian Lawton’s website indicates. Reader postulates an early dynastic origin for the monument that we know as the Sphinx (it underwent an evolution in appearance by human hands up to and including the reign of Khafre). This idea pre-dates an Old Kingdom (Khafre) origin, but is nowhere near the chronologically distant past where Schoch has it. He writes (see the Ian Lawton link):
The origins of the Sphinx as an icon are unclear. On the basis of the sequence of development that I propose, I consider that the concept of the man-headed lion was an evolutionary one, originating in the Early Dynastic association of the lion with solar worship and culminating in the Fourth Dynasty association of the Pharaoh with the sun-god – an association made manifest by re-carving the head of the Great Sphinx in the form of the divine king, perhaps during the reign of Khafre.
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).
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).