The THEOI Project

This looks like a useful, growing, resource.

THEOI means “gods” in Greek. According to the site, it’s purpose is:

. . . exploring Greek mythology and the gods in classical literature and art. The aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive, free reference guide to the gods (theoi), spirits (daimones), fabulous creatures (theres) and heroes of ancient Greek mythology and religion.

Check it out!

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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!

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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!

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More Free Online Resources for Ancient Research

As is my custom, every once in a while I have to post something that veers away from exposing paleobabble toward real research. I’ve posted in the past about the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and its posting of various volumes related to Assyriology. Here are some other goodies (courtesy of the Ancient World Online blog):

The Claremont Colleges Digital Library offers several open access resources relating to antiquity:

The Bulletin of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity is published periodically under the auspices of the Society for Antiquity and Christianity for the general information of persons interested in the research programs of the Institute.
The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (CCE) will initially include approximately 2800 articles published in The Coptic Encyclopedia (Aziz S. Atiya, ed. NY: Macmillan, 1991).
The Nag Hammadi codices, thirteen ancient manuscripts containing over fifty religious and philosophical texts written in Coptic and hidden in an earthenware jar for 1,600 years, were accidentally discovered in upper Egypt in the year 1945.


This site contains over 25,000 links to Greek and Latin authors online. The links include detailed lists of events and sources for the history of the Hellenistic world and the Roman republic. It includes links to online translations of many of the sources, as well as new translations of some works which have not previously been easily available in English.

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Critical Edition of the Gilgamesh Epic Available Online

This is a steal, folks – especially if you can work in Akkadian. But even if not, Andrew George’s magisterial work on the Gilgamesh Epic is a must. It’s the most current scholarship on the original cuneiform text. The file features tablet transcriptions, transliteration, translation, and critical commentary on all that.

If you look this up on Amazon it’s $450. Here it is free.

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Aerial Archaeology, Anatolia, and Ancient Persia

I recently came across some open-access resources that some readers might find interesting and useful.1 Here are the links:

APAAME – The Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East

ANADOLU – Open Access scholarly journal for the study of Anatolia (what’s now Turkey)

Online Encyclopædia Iranica


  1. My apologies to ancient astronaut believers who might be confused by real research.

E. A. Wallis Budge Resources

Many readers will be familiar with E. A. Wallis Budge, perhaps mostly with respect to his books on Egyptology. Much of Budge’s work in Egyptian language is today very outdated, as is his other work in Egyptology. Nevertheless, there is still good material to be found in his works, most of which are available at this University of Pennsylvania site for free. The collection is heavily stilted toward Egyptology and Coptic.

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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

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The Cosmos in the Antikythera Mechanism: ET Flunked Astronomy

That’s the title of a new, freely accessible scholarly paper on the Antikythera mechanism you can find here. Here’s the abstract:

The Antikythera Mechanism is a fragmentarily preserved Hellenistic astronomical machine with bronze gearwheels, made about the second century B.C. In 2005, new data were gathered leading to considerably enhanced knowledge of its functions and the inscriptions on its exterior. However, much of the front of the instrument has remained uncertain due to loss of evidence. We report progress in reading a passage of one inscription that appears to describe the front of the Mechanism as a representation of a Greek geocentric cosmology, portraying the stars, Sun, Moon, and all five planets known in antiquity. Complementing this, we propose a new mechanical reconstruction of planetary gearwork in the Mechanism, incorporating an economical design closely analogous to the previously identified lunar anomaly mechanism, and accounting for much unresolved physical evidence.

For all those ancient aliens enthusiasts out there, please note the line about the five planets known in antiquity. The Gadarene rush among some in of that ilk to label the mechanism as proof of high (read: alien) technology in the ancient world would of course be proven wrong by this analysis. We’d have another case (just like Sumerian and Babylonian astrolabes and astronomical texts, contra Zecharia Sitchin) where the “aliens” presumably behind this technology only knew about five planets in our solar system.

Amazing how consistent that is. Why? Because we’re talking about human naked eye astronomy, not alien knowledge.

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