Posts Tagged ‘archaeology’

Three Items about the Dead

Whose Bones Are Those? The Halloween news rush brought item about a new unit established at an Oxford college to perform cross-disciplinary investigations of religious relics In what is thought to be the first research body of its type in the world, the unit, based in Keble College, will bring together experts in radiocarbon dating, […]

On Not Finding What You Were Looking For in Foreign Places

If you are the kind of traveler looking for history, you do not always find the history that you were looking for. I learned that lesson years ago when M. and I went on a month-long honeymoon in Ireland. Newly Celtophile, I was all excited about seeing Neolithic monuments and Celtic Ogham stones and all […]

Pagan Superheroes Cut Down Forest, Regret It Later

A newly discovered piece of the epic of Gilgamesh includes a sort of ecological theme. It’s in a museum in Kurdish territory—another reason why they need their own country. The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest narratives in the world, got a surprise update last month when the Sulaymaniyah Museum in the Kurdistan region […]

New Paintings Found in Petra

Some exceptional paintings from the Hellenistic era have been found at the ancient city of Petra. Virtually no Hellenistic paintings survive today, and fragments only hint at antiquity’s lost masterpieces, while revealing little about their colours and composition, so the revelation of these wall paintings in Jordan is all the more significant. They were created […]

Responding to Attacks on Pagan Shrines

On the 20th of August, I posted about “Khalid al-Asaad and the War on Pagan Idolatry.” He was the Syrian archaeologist beheaded by the Muslim fanatics of the Islamic State, their reward for his devoting his professional life to preserving and studying the ancient (and Pagan) city of Palmyra. On the first of September, the […]

“Trace What It Means To Be Celtic”

In their book Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music, Donna Weston and Andy Bennett use the term “cardiac Celts . . . people who feel in their heart that they are Celtic.” They are not the only ones who use it — but I wonder if this new British Museum exhibit will name-check Marion Bowman, […]

New Grange Before It Was “Restored”

Before excavation and restoration (think “concrete wall”) began in the 1960s, the famous Irish Neolithic temple of New Grange  (older than the Pyramids!) looked quite different. The Irish Archaeology site offers sketches and photos from the 18th century forward.

Khalid al-Asaad and the War on Pagan Idolatry

Wouter Hanegraaff, professsor of Western esotericism at the University of Amsterdam, has written a moving blog post on larger implications of the death of Khalid al-Asaad, the Syrian archaeologist recently beheaded by the Muslim fighters of the so-called Islamic State. (He was a Muslim too, of course.) We are told that Khaled Asaad was murdered […]

A Viking is Nothing without his Oar

The Nydam ship was found in southern Jutland in 1863. It has recently been dated via dendrochronology to 310–320 CE, and the deposition in the bog where it was found is likely to have taken place 340–350 CE. The picture shows a German replica of the ship, built in 1935.1)Harald Åkerlund, Nydamskeppen: En studiei tidig […]

She’s Dead, She’s Female, She Must Be the Witch!

There is a well-known set of standing stones in England called the Rollright Stones — actually, a dolmen plus a “circle” plus a larger standing stone, believed to have been erected at different times in the long Neolithic period. So they have had at least four thousand years to accrue folklore, not to mention for […]