Thursday, July 28, 2005

New King Tut exhibit explores Tut's lineage

I visited the new King Tut exhibit while I was there. I read that the major artifacts from his tomb would not be there but I felt a little sorry for some of the visitors who expected to see the spectacular golden death mask that was, of course, only being used to promote the exhibit but not really in it. Much of the exhibit was not from Tut's tomb but were funerary objects from his grandmother, grandfather, etc. However, some of the pieces I did enjoy viewing closely was Queen Tiye's carved golden sarcophagus, one of Queen Tiye's beautifully carved chairs, Tut's exquisite ceremonial dagger that was wrapped with his mummy, and one of his beautifully inlaid diadems.

I was also gratified to note that the replicas of some of the artifacts I had seen in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel looked nearly identical to the real things - the double-handled alabaster lotus cup pictured at left, a tall alabaster unguent vase, and a cartouche-shaped storage chest among them.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade comes to the Smithsonian

Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade: "For over a thousand years, from around 800 B.C.E. to 600 C.E., the kingdoms of Qataban, Saba (biblical Sheba), and Himyar grew fabulously wealthy from their control over the caravan routes of the southern Arabian peninsula and, in particular, from the international trade in frankincense and myrrh. Excavations at the capitals of these ancient kingdoms have yielded spectacular examples of architecture, distinctive stone funerary sculpture, elaborate inscriptions on stone, bronze, and wood, and sophisticated metalwork.

For the first and only time in North America, Yemen's stunning artistic heritage will be examined in a major international exhibition organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Drawn from the collections of the Republic of Yemen, the American Foundation for the Study of Man, the British Museum, and Dumbarton Oaks, this exhibition of approximately 200 objects explores the unique cultural traditions of these ancient kingdoms. It gives special emphasis to the rich artistic interaction that resulted from overland and maritime contacts linking the southern Arabian peninsula with the eastern Mediterranean, northeastern Africa, and south and southwest Asia."

Ancient Greek Writings Inscribed In Stone Digitized By Case Classicist

Ancient Greek Writings Inscribed In Stone, Digitized By Case Classicist: "Finding information about ancient Greek inscriptions used to take years of research and countless hours tracking down answers in the library. Through contributions by Case classicist Paul Iversen's work with the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Greek Epigraphy Project, classics scholars now can access and search more than 150,000 inscriptions through a comprehensive digitized database in a matter of minutes.

Through contributions by Case classicist Paul Iversen's work with the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Greek Epigraphy Project, classics scholars now can access and search more than 150,000 inscriptions through a comprehensive digitized database in a matter of minutes.

Information is currently available in CD-ROM form, but the project will shortly launch a Web site that can be updated regularly as new research surfaces. "Once the web site is available to the public, the search for information on inscriptions will be as short as a blink of the eye," says Iversen, an assistant professor in the Department of Classics.

Archaic era Kouroi statues found on Antiparos | Archaeologists on the uninhabited...: "Archaeologists on the uninhabited islet of Despotiko near the Cycladic island of Antiparos have uncovered the remnants of ancient dwellings dating back to the Archaic era, which they described as ?exceptional.? The Culture Ministry said yesterday that fragments of kouroi statues (photo) and pillars, dating from 750 to 500 BC, have been found at the site"

Iranian archaeologists says cuneiform may predate Darius I

CHN - News: "All historians and experts in Iran, believe that the Persian Cuneiform was invented during Darius reign.

It is widely believed that the invention of this script was due to the order of Darius the great, the third king in line from the beginning of the Dynasty. Most of Achaemenid historical texts support the same hypothesis as well but just recently, Dr. Badr-ol-zaman Gharib, delivering her speech, titled Emergence and Changes in Ancient Persian Script in a forum on Achaemanid tablets, claimed that the Persian cuneiform predates Darius.

She said, ?I believe that this script predates Darius and improved in his reign. Persian cuneiform consists of 36 signs for three vowels and syllables which are consisted of a single consonant and a vowel, 8 ideograms for 4 concepts regarding king, land, country, and Ahoora Mazda (the great god of ancient Persians), 1 divider (a diagonal wedged-shape sign to separate words), and 22 figures for numbers. All of these items and especially the divider and the construction of syllable script prove that this script was much more ancient.?"

Statue of Orpheus unearthed

Guardian Unlimited: "A rare statue of the ancient Thracian hero Orpheus has been unearthed in Bulgaria, near a place archaeologists say might house the hero's tomb, the leader of excavations said.

The 9cm (3.5in) bronze statue, dating from the 1st or 2nd century AD, was found in the village of Tatul, 200 miles south-east of Sofia, an archaeologist, Nikolai Ovcharov, said."