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explorator 6.20

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  • David Meadows
    ================================================================ explorator 6.20 September 14, 2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14 5:16 AM
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      ================================================================
      explorator 6.20 September 14, 2003
      ================================================================
      Editor's note: Most urls should be active for at least eight
      hours from the time of publication.

      For your computer's protection, Explorator is sent in plain text
      and NEVER has attachments. Be suspicious of any Explorator which
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      ================================================================
      ================================================================

      Thanks to Arthur Shippee, Bill Kennedy, Jenny Clifton,
      Donna Hurst, Emily Smyth, Greg Dow,Hernan Astudillo, Gene Barkley,
      Joan Griffith, John Hall, John Hill, John McMahon,
      John McChesney-Young, Joseph Lauer, Karl Wittwer, Kristina Killgrove,
      Maurice O'Sullivan, Michael Oberndorf, Mike Ruggeri, Tony Jackson,
      W. Richard Frahm, and Yonatan Nadelman for headses upses this week
      (as always hoping I have left no one out).

      Have you visited our blog yet?

      http://www.atrium-media.com/rogueclassicism/
      ================================================================
      ================================================================
      AFRICA, EUROPE, AND ASIA
      ================================================================
      Archaeologists are so clumsy that they even stumble underwater,
      this time finding evidence of a sunken Mesolithic settlement off
      the northeast coast of England:

      http://tinyurl.com/naux (Reuters)
      http://tinyurl.com/nav3 (Independent)
      http://famulus.msnbc.com/famulusintl/ap09-12-110441.asp
      http://tinyurl.com/nauh (Yahoo)
      http://tinyurl.com/naxm (Telegraph)

      Plenty of coverage of Zahi Hawass and crew's plans to dispel the
      tales of the 'curse of the pharaoh' by examining tombs for
      toxins and the like:

      http://www.msnbc.com/news/965766.asp
      http://tinyurl.com/naue (Yahoo)
      http://tinyurl.com/nav6 (La Tercera - Spanish)

      There's a fair bit of coverage of this one -- archaeologists
      have dated the so-called "Hezekiah's Tunnel" to a time that
      matches up with Hezekiah:

      http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-09/huoj-dok090903.php
      http://tinyurl.com/nasy (New York Times)
      http://www.msnbc.com/news/964464.asp
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3098018.stm
      http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/09/10/tunnel_biblical030910
      http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20030908/bibletunnel.html

      Burials found during construction of various projects in Israel
      have received various responses (this is a series from
      Ha'aretz):

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/338105.html
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/338104.html
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/338103.html

      Interest in how many antiquities are missing from Iraq seems to
      have waned of late ... a recent Department of Defense briefing,
      however, will bring us up to speed (it's rather lengthy):

      http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030910-0660.html

      Approximately 150 graves, including an ornate family enclosure,
      have been found in Hellenikon:

      http://tinyurl.com/nayq (AthensNews)

      AthensNews has a nice overview piece on the site of Helike:

      http://tinyurl.com/nayv

      An 'amateur chemist' (isn't that like an amateur pharmacist?)
      has worked out how the murex mollusks were processed to make
      the purple worn by Roman emperors:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3103354.stm

      Here's a bit more info on that dig to find remains of Caligula's
      palace in the forum:

      http://tinyurl.com/nb0o (Stanford Report)

      A dugout canoe of unknown antiquity (1000 - 2000 b.p.) has been
      found in a lake in Norway:

      http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/964000.asp
      http://tinyurl.com/naw4

      Another Dark Age boat has been found near the mouth of
      Portsmouth Harbour:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3096846.stm

      Floods have damaged many of the buildings of ancient Timbuktu:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3093660.stm

      More archaeologists are being sent to Ayodhya:

      http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/sep12/n6.asp

      Medieval gunpowder apparently packed the same punch as its
      modern counterpart:

      http://famulus.msnbc.com/famulusgen/reuters09-10-072017.asp

      Not sure how to deal with this one, but it is a translation of
      an article which appeared in a Chinese newspaper *Wen Hui Bao*
      (August 26, 2003) and was sent to me for wider dissemination:

      > SURPRISING DISCOVERY OF A NORTHERN ZHOU TOMB IN XI'AN
      >
      > In the tomb were discovered a painted stone outer coffin (i.e., a
      stone
      > sarcophagus) and a set of engraved stone wall reliefs, plus the finds
      > also include the first uneathing of textual materials relating to
      > Sogdians from the Western Regions
      >
      > Filed by Han Hong, our reporter in Shaanxi
      > Transmitted telegraphically from Xi'an on Aug. 25
      >
      > A rare large-scale tomb dating to the Northern Zhou period 1,400
      > years ago was recently quite unexpectedly discovered at a construction
      > site (see photograph at the right) in the northern suburbs of Xi'an by
      > specialists from the Xi'an City Office for Archeology and the
      > Preservation of Cultural Relics who have now explored and excavated
      it.
      > Discovered in the tomb was a stone GUO decorated with colorful
      > paintings. (A GUO [sarcophagus] is a large "coffin" outside the
      coffin
      > that indicates the stature and position of the tomb occupant.) On the
      > sarcophagus were discovered writing that describes Sogdian culture and
      > circumstances concerning cultural exchange with the Central Plains.
      > This is a unique instance in excavations within China. It is said
      that
      > this is the oldest stone sarcophagus discovered to date in Shaanxi
      > Province.
      >
      > This newly discovered tomb is located in Jingshangcun (Upper Well
      > Village) in the northern suburbs of Xi'an 3.5 km west of the site of
      Han
      > Dynasty Chang'an.
      >
      > At the site, this reporter observed that the pit of the large tomb has
      > the shape of an inverted cone with the "bottom pointing skyward" and
      > opening out toward the top. Standing at the upper edge of the pit and
      > looking down toward the bottom immediately makes one feel dizzy. On
      the
      > floor of the 13 meter deep pit lined with bricks quietly rests the
      stone
      > sarcophagus which is securely covered with a plastic tarpaulin. Sun
      > Fuxi, the Director of the Xi'an Office for Archeology and the
      > Preservation of Cultural Relics which organized the dig, explained
      that
      > the seat of the tomb is situated in the north and faces south. The
      tomb
      > chamber and the ceiling well, passageway compartments, and entrance
      path
      > all together are 48 meters in length. There are five ceiling wells
      and
      > five passageway compartments. The stone sarcophagus at the bottom of
      > the pit is 2.46 meters long, 1.56 meters wide, and 1.7-8 meters high.
      > At present, a portion of it is still buried in the soil. This large
      > stone sarcophagus employs an imitation wood construction in the form
      of
      > a hip and gable roof. Since the inside of the sarcophagus is still
      > completely filled with accumulated earth, it is still not known what
      is
      > inside of it, but the surface of the stone sarcophagus is everywhere
      > covered with pictures engraved in medium relief. Most of the reliefs
      > have been painted, and there are portions with gilding. The coloring
      is
      > very rich. Most of the designs have to do with entertainers. There
      are
      > also pictures with a considerable number of beasts with human heads,
      > human bodies with the heads of beasts, and birds with human heads. In
      > addition, a small amount of human bones has been found in the tomb.
      > Wall paintings have been found on the left and right sides of the
      > entrances to the five passageway chambers. However, because the
      > paintings were done on a surface of lime that had been applied
      directly
      > to the mud wall, only traces of the paintings remained after
      excavation.
      >
      > Sun Fuxi explained that, according to preliminary excavation findings,
      > the tomb belongs to the Northern Zhou period and the tomb occupant was
      a
      > leader of Zoroastrianism (also called "Fire Worshipping Religion") who
      > belonged to the kingdom of Shi of the Nine Kingdoms of Zhaowu (a
      special
      > Chinese term in antiquity for the minority people living in the area
      of
      > modern Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). His grandfather and father had
      both
      > served as __sabao__ for the kingdom of Shi (__sabao__ were the leaders
      > responsible for supervising merchants and commerce, and were also
      > chieftains of tribal confederations combining governmental and
      religious
      > duties in one person). During the Northern Zhou period, the tomb
      > occupant himself had been appointed as Panshi (Supervisor) of
      Liangzhou
      > (the area from Wuwei to Pingliang in modern Gansu) in charge of the
      > affairs of all those national minorities from Sogdiana, Central Asia,
      > and Western Asia who entered Chinese territory. Sun Fuxi noted that
      > Liangzhou was an important "transfer station" for Sogdians passing
      from
      > West Asia and Central Asia to China in those times.
      >
      > This Northern Zhou tomb is rich in typical cultural features of the
      > Western Regions, and for the first time offers excavated written
      > materials relating to Sogdians of the Western Regions. The
      > archeological workers explained that, aside from a portion of the
      > written materials that can be read, there is still a portion that
      cannot
      > be identified. Whether it is old Arabic [VHM: this seems highly
      > unlikely to me], or old Persian, or Persian-Parthian [VHM: the
      reporter
      > writes Boxi Botuowen; it is very difficult to figure out what he means
      > by this] requires additional research to determine.
      >
      >
      > translated by VHMair
      >
      > +++++
      >
      > The report is accompanied by a box on "Baihuojiao [Fire-worshipping
      > Religion, i.e., Zoroastrianism]." I translate it herewith for you:
      >
      > +++++
      >
      > The Fire-worshipping Religion was born in ancient Persia (modern Iran)
      > and is one of the oldest religions in the world. In the land of its
      > birth, it is referred to as "the Teaching / Doctrine of Zoroaster"
      > (Zoroaster being its founder). Because of increasing contacts between
      > China and the Sassanian kingdom, the Fire-worshipping Religion was
      > transmitted into [what is now] the Chinese [region of] Xinjiang. At
      the
      > very latest, this religion had entered China by the beginning of the
      > Northern Dynasties. Sogdians, Turks, and others from the Western
      > Regions all believed in the Fire-worshipping religion [VHM: as
      stated,
      > this is not entirely correct, since many turks, Sogdians, and other
      > Central Asians believed in Buddhism, Christianity, Manicheism, and
      other
      > religions], especially the Sogdians. "Sogdia" is a Central Asian
      place
      > name, and the Sogdian people themselves belonged to the Iranian
      language
      > group. [VHM: the logic of this sentence is faulty, but it is clear
      > enough that the reporter means that the Sogdians spoke an Iranian
      > language]. From the beginning to the end, they all believed in the
      > Fire-worshipping Religion [VHM: see my note above on this subject].
      >
      > In order to manage the affairs of foreigners, the Northern Zhou, Sui,
      > and Tang governments all established the position of __sabao__ at the
      > center and in various localities to be in charge of Fire-worshipping
      > sacrifices. By the period of the Tang Dynasty, the Tang people
      referred
      > to the Fire-worshipping Religion as __xianjiao__ (__xian__ is the
      spirit
      > of heaven). The Tang government established a __sabao fu__ (Superior
      > Prefecture) and also established the official ranks of __sabao__,
      __xian
      > zhu__ (Zoroastrianism Supplicant), __xianzheng__ (Zorastrian
      Director),
      > and so forth for the purpose of worshipping the __xian__ divinity and
      to
      > carry out sacrifices. It was previously due to the support of the
      > northern dynasties, especially Northern Zhou and Northern Qi, that the
      > Fire-worshipping Religion developed into one of the three major
      foreign
      > religions of the Tang period.
      >
      >
      > translated by VHMair

      ================================================================
      THE AMERICAS
      ================================================================
      The 'who got to the Americas when' thing is in the news again:

      http://tinyurl.com/nazx

      The latest in the Kennewick Man saga is a debate over the
      definition of 'Native American':

      http://www.msnbc.com/news/965113.asp
      http://tinyurl.com/navy (Yahoo)
      http://www.tribnet.com/news/government/story/3893902p-3917111c.html

      A late palaeoindian site has been found in Vermont:

      http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-09/uov-afp091003.php
      http://tinyurl.com/n1qm (AScribe)

      An archaeologist has found evidence of a major flood of the
      Sacramento River ca. 980 A.D./C.E.:

      http://www.chicoer.com/Stories/0,1413,135~25088~1618090,00.html

      Archaeologists are excavating a number of 'Caste War' sites in
      Bacalar, Mexico:

      http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/6721331.htm

      Underwater archaeologists are investigating a shipwreck off the
      coast of North Carolina which may be associated with either
      Blackbeard or the Civil War:

      http://tinyurl.com/naup
      ================================================================
      ALSO OF INTEREST
      ================================================================
      The British Museum says it will not return the Rosetta Stone to
      Egypt:

      http://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/article.asp?idart=11313

      Also on the British Museum front, in anticipation of its
      upcoming 250th anniversary, the Royal Mail has come up with some
      rather nice commemorative stamps:

      http://www.norvic-philatelics.co.uk/museum.htm

      A possibly fake bust of Sesostris III is causing an eminent
      collector's reputation to be called into question (so, of
      course, there's a legal battle going on):

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1039688,00.html

      Science News has a brief item on dating petroglyphs in Borneo:

      http://www.sciencenews.org/20030906/fob2.asp

      The Max Planck Institute for Computer Science has come up with
      a much more efficient method for putting a face on a skull:

      http://tinyurl.com/nax4 (Technology Research News)

      A new study is afoot to figure out when and how the human mind
      evolved:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3095018.stm

      A September 11 reflection article in the New York Times uses that
      event as a point of departure for talking about 'globalisation'
      in ancient times and responses to it:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/11/opinion/11WRIG.html

      The New York Times has a piece on the Morrill collection of
      ancient/antique Chinese porcelain:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/12/arts/12ANTI.html

      Scientists are questioning whether the Yersina bacterium did,
      in fact, cause the 'Black Plague':

      http://tinyurl.com/naw1 (Yahoo)

      The use of 'denglish' is causing concern among language purists
      in Germany:

      http://tinyurl.com/mqbl (Guardian)
      ================================================================
      MAGAZINES AND JOURNALS
      ================================================================
      Antiquity 77 (September 2003)

      http://antiquity.ac.uk/CurrentIssue/currentindex.html (TOCS,
      some reviews and 'Project Gallery' available online)

      Biblical Archaeology Review (September/October 2003):

      http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.html

      Archaeology Odyssey (September/October 2003):

      http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_AO/indexAO.html
      ================================================================
      ON THE WEB
      ================================================================
      The Frank Coffyn Collection has recently hit the web and
      comprises an interactive exhibit of early photos documenting the
      history of flight in the U.S.:

      http://www.centennialofflight.gov/coffyn/
      ================================================================
      NEW ONLINE BOOKS
      ================================================================
      William Smith, *A Smaller History of Greece*:

      http://tinyurl.com/nb20 (About.com)
      ================================================================
      CRIME BEAT
      ================================================================
      A museum-led organization is setting up a central registry in
      order to identify and recover art items looted by the Nazis:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/08/arts/08PORT.html

      A third-century B.C./B.C.E. alabaster plaque depicting a fertility
      goddess which had been stolen from Yemen back in 1994 has
      turned up in a Sotheby's auction:

      http://tinyurl.com/nau7

      American museums admit they have played a role in the looting of
      Native American sites:

      http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~11676~1605219,00.html

      Speaking of which ... looting of Native American sites is on
      the increase:

      http://tinyurl.com/naxb (VOA)

      The U.S. is working on legislation which would ban the import of
      Iraqi objects without requisite documentation:

      http://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/article.asp?idart=11294
      ================================================================
      BOOK REVIEWS
      ================================================================
      Caroline Alexander, *The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny
      on the Bounty*:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/14/books/review/14KLINKET.html

      Michael F. Brown, *Who Owns Native Culture?*:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/14/books/review/14SCHWEDT.html

      Sally Denton, *American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain
      Meadows, September 1857* (link to first chapter on page as well):

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/07/books/review/07BAINLT.html

      Michael Wood, *The Road to Delphi: The Life and Afterlife of
      Oracles*:

      http://tinyurl.com/naye (Washington Post)

      V.D. Hanson, *Battles that Changed the World*:

      http://tinyurl.com/nb10 (CSM)
      ================================================================
      EXHIBITIONS
      ================================================================
      12 Black Classicists:

      http://tinyurl.com/nb19
      http://www.detnews.com/2003/entertainment/0309/06/d01-263595.htm

      Coming of Age in Ancient Greece:

      http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2003-07/fragments.html
      http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20030908/classictoys.html
      (includes nice slideshow)

      The Responsive Eye: Ralph T. Coe and the Collecting of American
      Indian Art (Met):

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/12/arts/design/12SMIT.html
      ================================================================
      CLASSICIST'S CORNER
      ================================================================
      Niall Slater has become president of Phi Beta Kappa:

      http://tinyurl.com/nb0u

      Peter Jones in the Spectator:

      http://tinyurl.com/nb1v

      Rogueclassicism:
      http://www.atrium-media.com/rogueclassicism/

      Akropolis News in Classical Greek:
      http://www.akwn.net/

      Radio Finland's Nuntii Latini
      http://www.yle.fi/fbc/latini/trans.html

      Radio Bremen's Der Monatsr├╝ckblick - auf Latein
      http://www.radiobremen.de/online/latein/

      U.S. Weather in Latin:
      http://latin.wunderground.com/
      ================================================================
      REPEATS
      ================================================================
      Senua (Celtic/Roman divinity):

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1033318,00.html
      ================================================================
      OTHER SOURCES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS
      ================================================================
      About.com Ancient History (blog):
      http://ancienthistory.about.com/

      About.com Archaeology (blog):
      http://archaeology.about.com/mbody.htm

      Archaeologica:
      http://www.archaeologica.org/NewsPage.htm

      Archaeology Magazine's Newsbriefs:
      http://www.archaeology.org/magazine.php?page=0305/newsbriefs/index

      Bible and Interpretation Breaking News:
      http://www.bibleinterp.com/news.htm

      CBA Newsfeed:
      http://www.britarch.ac.uk/newsfeed/index.html

      CBA Archaeoblog:
      http://www.britarch.ac.uk/archaeoblog/

      Classics in Contemporary Culture (blog):
      http://www.people.memphis.edu/~mhooker/ccc.html

      Cronaca (blog):
      http://www.cronaca.com/

      Francis Deblauwe's 'Iraq War and Archaeology' site:
      http://cctr.umkc.edu/user/fdeblauwe/iraq.html

      Maritime Underwater Archaeological News:
      http://www.munarchaeology.com/munarchaeology/news/main.htm

      Megalithic Portal
      http://www.megalithic.co.uk

      Michael Ruggeri's Ancient America and Mesoamerica News:
      http://community-2.webtv.net/@HH!35!F6!26C030D734B7/Topiltzin-2091/Ancie
      ntAmericaand/

      Mirabilis.ca (blog):
      http://www.mirabilis.ca

      Paleojudaica (blog):
      http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com

      Phluzein (blog):
      http://www.binref.com/phluzein/

      Stone Pages Archaeo News:
      http://www.stonepages.com/news/

      Texas A&M Anthropology News Site:
      http://www.tamu.edu/anthropology/news.html

      ================================================================
      EXPLORATOR is a weekly newsletter representing the fruits of
      the labours of 'media research division' of The Atrium. Various
      on-line news and magazine sources are scoured for news of the
      ancient world (broadly construed: practically anything relating
      to archaeology or history prior to about 1700 or so is fair
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      Explorator is Copyright (c) 2003 David Meadows. Feel free to
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      ================================================================
      ===============================================================
      David Meadows dmeadows-AT-idirectdotcom
      ===============================================================
      Rogueclassicism ... updated at sunrise and sunset.
      http://www.atrium-media.com/rogueclassicism
      ===============================================================
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