Ancient history news

Hannibal and his elephants

I make no comment on this inclusion, sent in by Gary Gilligan, a link to a piece that asks if Hannibal really crossed the Alps with an army - and some elephants. The gist of the piece is a bit of grist, and that is that historians accept he did but when it comes to events in the Bible such as the Exodus they cast doubt on the authenticity of such things. See http://anebooks.blogspot.com/2007/05/hannibal-and-alps.html. One aspect missing is that most of the Roman period was warm - warmer than today.

Egyptian statuary

At http://popular-archaeology/com/issue/september-2011/article/royal-statua... (if link does not work go to http://popular-archaeology.com and scroll down for the article) ... is a nice subject that illustrates the differences in culture in Egypt between the 3rd and 2nd millenniums BC. There are noticeable changing trends and fashion in statuary - and in the underlying religion and view of kingship. It was evolving. One major trend was the development of portraiture - and naturalism in art.

'The Troy Deception'

In the book, 'The Troy Deception, volume One: Finding the Plain of Troy', John Crowe has mustered some 300 pages of text that are easy to read and understand what he has to say. He is not saying he has found the city of Troy - it is Homer's 'theatre of war', the plain of Troy, that he considers he has identified. It lies in the region known once as Mysia, around Teuthrona and Pergamon. This is where the Achaean Greeks first fought on Asian soil - before going on to Troy.

Minoans in Canaan

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/april-2011/article/archaeologists-u... - this is a subject that reads like something right out of Ages in Chaos, and various SIS articles on similarities between Late Bronze Canaanite culture, literature, and language, and the Aegean world. Excavations at a huge Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace complex near ancient Acco, at Tell Kabri, has been found to have origins as far back as Middle Bronze I.

Early Christian writings find - updated two days later

At BBC News (see www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12888421 ) there is a story on early Christian writings found in a Jordanian cave which it is hoped will provide some clues on how Christianity developed from Judaism. Some 70 books of between 5 and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings was discovered in a remote valley in northern Jordan a few years ago - exposed by a flash flood that washed inside the cave. A fight over possession of the manuscripts has developed between Israel and Jordan.

Asherah

It seems Discovery News is catching up with the rest of the world as they have an article, 'God's Wife edited out of the Bible - almost' at http://news.discovery.com/history/god-wife-yahweh-asherah-110318.html?pr... This is really an old story dressed up as something new by a young TV presenter but it seems the Old Testament editors have omitted any mention of Asherah, as such - but residual traces remain.

Dakhla and Beyond

More on the tale of Egyptian MK expeditions into the western desert (see www.unreportedheritagenews.com/2011/03/ancient-egyptians-made-arduous-trek-to-Chad-new-research-suggests/ ... The Dakhla Oasis lies 300km west of the Nile Valley and is usually thought to be Egypt's furthest outpost in the western desert.

Horus

Gary Gilligan's web site www.gks.uk.com/Horus-falcon-god/ has an update on the Egyptian god Horus - and he disassociates it from the Sun. Horus is generally depicted in the shape of a hawk, a sky god that presumably swooped downwards, and was attached to the idea of divine kingship - protector of the reigning pharaoh. He was apparently an  omnipresent sky god - but was sun-like rather than being the Sun. Even as the winged disk Horus was not the Sun, or Horus in the dual form of Re-Horakhty (Horus of the Horizon).

Cities out of Marshes, Bamiyan Buddha

At www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-ancient-cities-spring-marshes.html is a new theory on the Sumerian cities - presumably on the basis they did not originally require an irrigation system but that was a development that came about after environmental downturns. It seems that early cities did not spring up along the banks of rivers but spread across the delta zone within and along the margins of the marshlands. So says a press release from the University of South Carolina.

The Book of the Dead

BBC News November 1st (see www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11669904 ) has a video of the Egyptian Book of the Dead - a sequence of pages of papyri that appear to open one after the other. In reality the papyri are very fragile and one of them is 37 metres in length - so this is a succession of images. Still, very useful and well worth looking at.