Check out Robert Cargill’s post on the misuse of archaeology for evangelistic purposes.
The Megiddo blog has been very active this summer. Check it out: digmegiddo2010.wordpress.com
Tim Harrison on CTV: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100429/noahs-ark-found-100429/20100429?hub=CanadaAMV2
Eric Cline on Fox News:Â http://video.foxnews.com/v/4171840/wheres-the-actual-site
Eric Cline in Time Magazine:Â http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1985830,00.html
Robert Cargill at RobertCargill:Â http://robertcargill.com/2010/04/28/no-you-didnt-find-noahs-ark/
Eric Cline comments on the latest claims that Noah’s Ark has been discovered. His interview begins at about 1:50.
ASOR is pleased to announce that NEA 72.4 (December 2009) has now been posted online at Atypon Link.
The issue focuses on the Hittite world and contains articles by J. David Hawkins, Timothy P. Harrison, Kay Kohlmeyer, and David Schloen and Amir Fink.
You may access the table of contents here:
As a reminder, the last 3+ years of ASOR journals are available to ASOR members on Atypon Link. For details, please see the following URL:
Posted byÂ Kelley Bazydlo
We are happy to announce that the UPDATEDÂ Call for Papers for ASOR’s 2010 Annual Meeting is now onÂ ASORâ€™s web site and includes new Member-Organized Sessions that have just been approved by the Program Committee. This year’s meeting will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia from November 17-20, and you can find full information about registration, travel, and accommodations onÂ ASORâ€™s web site. We encourage you to register for the meeting and to book your rooms today!
The Program Committee has worked hard to develop a diverse offering of sessions. For those who would like to present papers, make sure to review the â€œList of Sessions for 2010â€ and begin submitting your abstracts for review and inclusion in the 2010 Annual Meeting.Â We are also happy to announce that we are launching a new online system for Abstract/Participation Submissions.Â You can access this new online system byÂ clicking here.Â The deadline for submission of abstracts isÂ February 15, 2010.
On behalf of Elise A. Friedland and Andrew M. Smith II, Program Committee Co-Chairs, I thank you for considering becoming a part of the academic program. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or comments. I look forward to seeing you this November in Atlanta.
Posted by T. Barako
For over 4000 years, the Great Sphinx at Giza has puzzled all who have laid eyes on it. What is this crouching lion, human-headed creature? Who built it and why? To unlock its secrets, two teams of archaeologists and sculptors must immerse themselves in the world of ancient Egyptâ€”a land of pharaohs and pyramids, animal gods and human sacrifice, and sun worship and solar alignments.
Watch Providence Picturesâ€™ “Riddles of the Sphinx” on Tuesday, January 19 at 8:00 pm ET on PBS/NOVA (check local listings).
And visit www.providencepictures.com for bonus scenes not available anywhere else and to sign up for future announcements.
When my family and I moved to New Orleans about a decade ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find so many great activities for children. Here are some activities that my wife and I would recommend:
- TheÂ Audubon Zoo makes for a nice day. You can get there via the St Charles streetcar, or a taxi. They even have a great archaeology section in the South America exhibit where your children can excavate ruins in the sand. Nearby Audubon Park has nice playground equipment, and Tulane and Loyola Universities are nearby as well (6500 Magazine Street, 504-581-4629).
- The Audubon Aquarium is also fun and within easy walking distance from our hotel. Though I’ve never been, I’ve heard mixed reviews about the newly opened Insectarium. The Aquarium has an imax theater, but the best bet would be the penguins. Therese says “the aquarium has eye candy for young and old alike, and it is stroller friendly” (Canal Street at the River, 504-581-4629).
- TheÂ Louisiana Children’s Museum is also within walking distance and is fun for younger children. Therese says it’s pretty much like every other children’s museum though. It’s a good option if it’s raining (420 Julia Street, 504-523-1357).
- If you take the Canal Street Streetcar (City Park Line) you can visit theÂ New Orleans Museum of Art and the Sculpture Garden. Plus, there are paddle boat rides where you can chase geese and great walking trails in City Park. There are some great playgrounds also for younger children.
- Cafe du Monde is a must stop for beignets and cafe au lait (1039 Decatur Street, 504-525-4544). Nearby you can watch boats on the river, and see street performers around Jackson Square. Get a muffaletta from Central Grocery (923 Decatur St, 504-523-1620) or even better, the Italian grocery next door, and bring it back to Jackson Square for a picnic.
- We’ve found that cemeteries are interesting to the old and young alike. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is on the N. side of Basin Street, and within walking distance of the hotel. Be sure to visit the grave of Marie Lavau, the voodoo queen. Check with Save Our Cemeteries for organized tours and visit their visitor’s center (501 Basin Street, 504-525-3377).
- There are free boat rides on the Mississippi River with the Canal Street Ferry.Â The round-trip ferry ride across the Mighty Mississipp is a pretty exciting adventure the first 100 or soÂ times, and feeling the power of Old Man River early in a New Orleans vacationÂ might help younger visitors understandÂ why our city exists where is does and has been rebuilt and reclaimedÂ after wars,Â fires, and floods.
- Therese recommends Mr. B’s Bistro as being kid friendly with great prices for lunch (201 Royal Street, 504-523-2078). Others recommend Arnaud’s Remoulade Restaurant as having authentic New Orleans cuisine at great prices and being kid friendly (309 Bourbon Street, 504-523-0377). I’d recommend the boudin appetizers.
- Do a walking tour, or a stroller pushing tour as the case might be.Â Some of the best walking tours of the French Quarter are done by the National Park rangers. They have pdf files to download with maps and mp3 files with tour information. TheÂ HNOC (Historic New Orleans Collection) has a pamphlet of self-guided tours; plus some pretty cool exhibits.
- Young and old alike would love a visit to Mardi Gras World (1380 Port of New Orleans Place, Â 1-800-362-8213).
- Finally, be sure to take your kids to Preservation Hall to hear some authentic New Orleans music. Check out the early show at 8 PM (726 St Peter Street, 504-522-2841).
Here’s a cartoon to get you and your children fired up:
New Orleans is the birthplace of the cocktail, and ASOR members know much about hepastocapy. So when you need a break from meetings and papers, here are a few famous places within walking distance to kill a few brain cells.
- Get a sazerac at the newly reopenedÂ Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel (123 Baronne Street, 504-648-1200).
- Get a Pimm’s cup at the Napoleon House (500 Chartres Street, 504-524-9752).
- Take a spin with a Vieux Carre cocktail at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleon (214 Rue Royale, 866-338-4684).
- Try a rum based drink at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in America. Then come back to the meeting and talk like a pirate (941 Bourbon Street, 504-522-9377).
- Get a a mint julep, or better yet, a Davenportini, while listening to Jeremy Davenport at the Ritz-Carlton on Thursday from 5:30-9PM or Friday/Saturday from 9PM on (921 Canal Street, 504-524-1331)
- Get an absinthe frappe at Tujagues’s saloon (823 Decatur, 504-525-8676).
- Conjure the ghosts of Frank Sinatra, Jean Lafitte, and Mark Twain with a ramos gin fizz at the Old Absinthe House (240 Bourbon Street, 504-523-3181).
- They have over 100 types of martinis at the Bombay Club (830 Conti Street, 504-586-0972).
- Join the other tourists by the fire fountain for a hurricane at Pat O’Briens (718 St Peter).
- There are several cocktail walking tours. The Original Cocktail Tour is a good one. So is the Southern Comfort Walking Cocktail Tour. The Museum of the American Cocktail is at the Riverwalk Mall which is also near out hotel (504-569-0405).
In Dora’s Big Dig by Alison Inches (Simon Spotlight, 2006), Dora digs up a turquoise stone and tells her monkey friend that she should take the stone to her mami, because “My mami is an archeologist. That means she digs for ancient treasure!”
The misinformation starts at a young age.
Eric Cline talks about archaeology, including examples from his own career to date, dispenses some advice for would-be archaeologists/students, and provides some suggestions on writing and research for colleagues in this interesting video (click on previous words or either picture for link).
On Saturday, November 21st, from 6-8 PM, the American Schools of Oriental Research will close out its annual meeting in New Orleans with an outreach session entitled “Voodoo Dolls of the Ancient Near East.” It’s free and open to the public, including our friends in town for the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. The session will be somewhere inside the Astor Crown hotel at the corner of Canal and Bourbon. Here’s the lineup:
Sacred Vodou Flagsâ€ (20 min.)
Ghazal Statues and Plastered Skullsâ€ (20 min.)
Updateâ€ (20 min.)
Figurines Defy Human Destinyâ€ (20 min.)
Mother-Goddesses?â€ (20 min.)
the Feminine Formâ€ (20 min.)
For more information, please email Michael Homan.
The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research mailed number 355 yesterday. The Table of Contents can be seen here.
Posted by Michael Homan
On Wednesday, November 18th, from 9:00 AM â€“ 2:00 PM, members of the American Schools of Oriental Research will be volunteering at Holt Cemetery in Mid-City New Orleans.
Unlike other cemeteries in New Orleans where the dead are housed in above ground vaults, the remains of the deceased at Holt Cemetery are buried below ground. The graves are often marked with simple markers, such as writing on bricks or pieces of wood.
This “potter’s field” cemetery was established in 1879 as a place of interment for the city’s impoverished, and it is named after Dr. Joseph Holt, who was a member of the New Orleans board of health.
Thus far 14 members of ASOR have signed up, and if you are interested in joining us please email Kelley Bazydlo. (Note: you do not need to be a member of ASOR to volunteer).
You can see more photographs of Holt Cemetery taken today in this Flickr set. Also, if your hotel is already booked for check in on November 18th, ASOR members who are interested in volunteering are more than welcome to stay at my house the night of November 17th. I’m located within walking distance from Holt Cemetery and the street car line which will take you to the Astor Crowne hotel in plenty of time for the opening session. Write to me here.
Robert Cargill posts “On the Aquisition of Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments by Azusa Pacific University.”
Jim West writes about the responsibility facing archaeologists in his article Stalemate: Archaeological Research, The Public, and Our Responsibility at bibleinterp.
Posted by Eric H. Cline, George Washington University
Gather ye round, my friends and colleagues, and let me point you to a wondrous tale â€” the story of an arson investigator from Oklahoma named Jimmy Barfield; a man with no training in archaeology or philology, yet who claims to have â€œcracked the codeâ€ of the Copper Scroll; a man who, by his own admission, cannot read Hebrew and is not an archaeologist, bible scholar, or ancient historian, and yet claims to have located nearly all of the treasures listed in the Copper Scroll. Gather round, I say, and hear a whopper of a tale, which advocates a cause, pays little attention to the investigative process, ignores contrary evidence, and advertises a high moral purpose. Sound familiar? Junk science, anyone? Ah, the stuff of summer â€” more tales of miraculous discoveries by pseudo-scientists who are able to â€œthink and reason without a PhD.â€ The fun just never stops, does it? And yet it must. It is up to us, as the group of professionals most affected by such nonsensical claims, to stand up and protest immediately when stories like this are hawked on the Internet and in the popular media to an unsuspecting and gullible public. And we have; Bob Cargill, a member of ASORâ€™s fledgling Archaeology and the Media Committee, is a first responder; his essay rebutting Barfieldâ€™s claims can be found on the Bible and Interpretation website at http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/cargill2_08261.shtml. I urge everyone to read it and to move forward from there. If we do not say anything and do not begin to protect our â€œbrand,â€ as Microsoft, Coke, IBM, and other entities do with a vengeance, then we shall continue to see such pseudo-archaeology practiced and our field continually sullied.
The following post contains mp3 files of papers presented at Duke University on April 23th and 24th, 2009. Thanks to the conference organizers, sponsors, and presenters for permission to post the audio.
For notes on the papers and the conference, see Robert Cargill’s blog (day 1 & day 2). Also note that some of these papers are available from Duke’s itunes.
Eric Meyers, Introduction
Michael Schoenfeld, Welcome
Byron McCane, Scholars Behaving Badly: Sensationalism and Archaeology in the Media
Milton Moreland, Forged by a Genius: Scholarly Responses to History Channel Meets CSI
Christopher Rollston, An Ancient Medium in the Modern Media: Stages of Semitic Inscriptions
Jonathan Reed, The Lure of Proof and the Legacy of Biblical Archaeology: Scholars and the Media
Question and Answer Period
Eric Cline, Fabulous Finds and Fantastic Forgeries: The Distortion of Archaeology by the Media Pseudoarchaeology
Joe Zias, Response
Morag Kersel, The Power of the Press Release and Popular Magazines on the Antiquities Trade
Annabel Wharton, Response
Nina Burleigh, Inside the Collector’s Lair and Other Tales from the Biblical Antiquities Trade in Israel and the USA
Mark Pinsky,Â The Holy Land Experience
Tony Cartledge, Walk about Jerusalem: Protestant Pilgrims in the Holy Land
Bert de Vries, Umm el-Jimal
S. Thomas Parker, Response
Eric Meyers, The Quest for the Temple Mount: The Settler Movement and National Parks in Israel
Rebecca Stein, Response
Ethan Bronner, Archaeology, Politics and the Media: A View from Jerusalem
Ray Bruce, Observations
Moira Bucciarelli, Observations
Eric Powell, Observations
Andy Vaughn, Summary of the Conference
Posted by Morag Kersel on behalf of the World Archaeological Conference
True to its foundational principles, the World Archaeological Congress will hold its first “Middle East” meeting to focus on the powerful relationship between archaeology, heritage and politics. The archaeology of the West Bank and its surrounding region is enormously significant as the location where the three monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam — all trace their origins. Yet the archaeological and cultural heritage of this region suffers constant and extensive damage from political and ideological struggles to control the region.
Today as Palestine moves closer to official statehood, WAC decries the often destructive politics that define Israeli-Palestinian relationships. WAC notes the on-going damage to the archaeological record but also the potential of a shared cultural heritage to build towards peace. WAC calls for participation in this strategic InterCongress to demonstrate how archaeology can serve political ends for the greater good.
The focus of this InterCongress is on structural violence: the insidious structures and the stark inequalities that perpetuate conflicts. Structural violence is built into western countries’ relations with much of the rest of the world, preventing most non-western countries from becoming economically and culturally ‘equal’ to the West. Often structural violence is hidden and works without overt physical infringement, making it all the more effective.
As anthropologists, archaeologists, cultural heritage professionals, and concerned local community members, WAC asks what role archaeological and cultural heritage research has in overcoming these ‘in-built’ obstacles? Must we engage against structural violence outside of archaeological practice, or can archaeological practice confront and impact the ravages of structural violence?
Sessions and panels will be held on August 9th and 10th. August 11th and 12th are reserved for workshops, “hands on” experiences and tours of the region by regional cultural heritage non-government organizations. Closing sessions and consideration of InterCongress resolutions will take place on August 13th.
Participants are encouraged to propose creative formats to facilitate critical consideration and discussion of the topics at hand. Proposals for sessions of various forms: read papers, panels, poster sessions, roundtable discussions, or other formats, should be sent to the Program Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the deadlines indicated below. Sessions may be proposed by individuals or by groups. All sessions, regardless of format, will be provided a 2-hour block of time to meet. Session abstracts of 400 words should include the contact information for the organizer(s). Paper abstracts of 200 words may be sent to either the session organizers or to the Program Committee (email@example.com).
A Selection of Sessions:
- Marginalia and Structural Violence in Past Societies
- Looting, Landscape and Law
- Structures of Dominance in the Levantine Late Iron Age
- The Bones of Our Ancestors: The Treatment of Human Remains as a Mechanism for Tolerance or for Intolerance
- Beyond Causality: Tensions of Time and the Relationships between Instances of Violence and Institutionalized Violence
- The Future of Palestinian Cultural Heritage
Sessions & Panels - Friday, May 15th 2009
Papers - Friday, June 12th 2009
Early Bird registration deadline: May 30, 2009
For further information see:
Duke University is sponsoring a symposium on the relationship between archaeology and the media and its impact on politics. The conference will be April 23-24. Update: Check out Bob Cargill’s post about the conference (link).
Symposium Flyer & CJS Link.