ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
Egyptian hieroglyphs at Mnamon: Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean: A critical guide to electronic resources

Ancient Egypt for kids - Egyptian Crowns and Headdresses of Gods

A Very Remote Period Indeed: A blog reviewing recent archaeological publications having to do with Paleolithic archaeology, paleoanthropology, lithic technology, hunter-gatherers and archaeological theory.

Untangling an Accounting Tool and an Ancient Incan Mystery (NYT, 2 January 2016)

Diodorus Siculus describes the Assyrian king Sardanapallus (perhaps Ashurbanipal) as a transvestite / transgender bisexual and blames him for the destruction of the Assyrian Empire - although the Greek historian's account mostly sounds like a pretty ordinary war.

Ancient Egyptian herbal wines (Patrick E. McGovern, PNAS 106(18), 5 May 2009) | Archaeological team prepares 4,000-year-old Hittite meals (Slate, 8 September 2016)

Ancient 'Mad Libs' Papyri Contain Evil Spells of Sex and Subjugation (LiveScience, 20 May 2016)

Scientist debunks nomadic Aboriginal 'myth' (GA, 9 October 2007) | Waking our sleeping Indigenous languages: 'we're in the midst of a resurgence' (GA, 31 August 2016) | Indigenous Australians most ancient civilisation on Earth, DNA study confirms (GA, 21 September 2016) | World-first genome study reveals rich history of Aboriginal Australians (ABC, 22 September 2016) | Indigenous Australians know we're the oldest living culture – it's in our Dreamtime (GA, 22 September 2016)

A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity (NYT, 30 November 2009). Review of the exhibition The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.

How human sacrifice helped to enforce social inequality (Aeon, 8 June 2016)

The Exotic Animal Traffickers of Ancient Rome (The Atlantic, 30 March 2016)

Female King Ruled in Canaan, Carving Suggests (National Geographic, 10 April 2009)

Scientists use 'virtual unwrapping' to read ancient biblical scroll reduced to 'lump of charcoal' (GA, 21 September 2016)

Unearthing the origins of East Africa's lost civilization (CNN, 19 October 2015)
ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
Alexander Pruss' chapter "The Use of Nude Female Figurines" discusses terracotta figures from Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine, including those weird-looking ones with all the holes in the head for attaching hair and earrings, and the later, more naturalistic ones which sort of wave their boobs at you. These and similar objects have long been interpreted as "fertility figurines". Pruss argues that "any link to childbirth and motherhood is completely lacking with these figurines". None are pregnant; none hold a child; the hands are not pressing milk from the breasts, but supporting them, presenting them.

"Generally, there is no reason to believe that the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia and Syria could not separate the fields of eroticism and human procreation," writes Pruss. In fact, in the ANE, fertility was more closely linked with male deities, such as Dumuzi. By contrast, the patroness of sexual desire, Inanna/Ishtar, was childless ("except for some ephemeral traditions").

That said, questions remain about who used these sexually aggressive little figures, and exactly what for (household rituals? votive offerings?).

__
Pruss, Alexander. "The Use of Nude Female Figurines". in S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting (eds). Sex and gender in the ancient Near East: proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2-6, 2001. Helsinki : Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002. pp 537-545.
ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
Ancient customer-feedback technology lasts millennia (New Scientist, 2 March 2015). Nanni wants a refund from Ea-nasir for these rubbish copper ingots.

The Newly Discovered Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh (Ancient History etc blog, 24 September 2015). It revealed more details of Gilgamesh and Enkidu's battle with Humbaba in the Cedar Forest.

Summer Solstice – Season of Passion and Social Justice (Summer's Path blog, 6 July 2015). Sekhmet, the Ancestral Outraged Mother, and fighting for racial and sexual equality.

Grave of ‘Griffin Warrior’ at Pylos Could Be a Gateway to Civilizations (NYT, 26 October 2015)

Farmers Have Been Enjoying The Fruits Of Bee Labor For 9,000 Years (NPR, 11 November 2015)

Remains Of Captive Carnivores Discovered At Mexican Pyramid (iflscience.com, 19 December 2015)

3,200-Year-Old Papyrus Contains Astrophysical Information about Variable Star Algol (scinews.com, 23 Decembe 2015): "Ancient Egyptians wrote Calendars of Lucky and Unlucky Days... The best preserved... is the Cairo Calendar dated to 1244 – 1163 BC (Ramesside Period). According to scientists at the University of Helsinki, this papyrus is the oldest preserved historical document of naked eye observations of a variable star, the eclipsing binary star Algol."

Early Egyptian Queen Revealed in 5,000-Year-Old Hieroglyphs (Live Science, 19 January 2016) "... one inscription the researchers found tells of a queen named Neith-Hotep who ruled Egypt 5,000 years ago as regent to a young pharaoh named Djer."

Discovery Of Ancient Massacre Suggests War Predated Settlements (NPR, 21 January 2016)

Ancient Babylonian astronomers used calculus to find Jupiter 1,400 years before Europeans (ABC, 29 January 2016)

Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? (Smithsonian, November 2008)

Rise of human civilization tied to belief in punitive gods (Science News, 10 February 2016)

Lost art of Aboriginal dendroglyphs revived by modern artist (The World Today, 19 February 2016)

Is the Moon seen as a crescent (and not a "boat") all over the world? (Ask an Astronomer) Had to include this because of Inanna's "crescent-shaped barge of heaven". :)

ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
'Witchcraft' Island [Blå Jungfrun, an island off the east coast of Sweden] Reveals Evidence of Stone Age Rituals (livescience.com, 22 September 2015)

Paleo People Were Making Flour 32,000 Years Ago (NPR, 14 September 2015)

Breakthrough in world's oldest undeciphered writing [Proto-Elamite] (BBC, 25 October 2012)

Nail Polish History Dates Back to 3200 B.C. (Nails Magazine, 1 January 1995) Not exactly an academic source, but interesting stuff if it's accurate.

Were the First Artists Mostly Women? (National Geographic, 9 October 2013) "Three-quarters of handprints in ancient cave art were left by women, study finds."

Alan F. Dixson and Barnaby J. Dixson. Venus Figurines of the European Paleolithic: Symbols of Fertility or Attractiveness? Journal of Anthropology, Volume 2011 (2011)

Oldest-known dentistry found in 14,000-year-old tooth (ABC, 17 July 2015)

Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History (Smithsonian.com, 1 January 2007)

A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity (New York Times, 30 November 2009) Review of the exhibition The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000 - 3500 BC.

Last of millennium of temple marriages made in heaven (SMH, 30 April 2015): "Sashimani Devi, who has died aged 92, was the last Mahari devadasi (ritual dancer) of the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa; her death brings to an end a tradition which has lasted nearly a millennium."

 
ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
New Evidence That Grandmothers Were Crucial for Human Evolution (Smithsonian.com, 2012)

A misdiagnosis of trauma in Ancient Babylon (mindhacks.com, 2015)

Police uncover 36 Egyptian artefacts in Valencia (Olive Press, February 2015) - including part of a statue of Sekhmet.

Busts of the lioness goddess unearthed in Luxor (ahramonline.com, February 2015): "Two black granite busts of the ancient Egyptian lioness goddess Sekhmet un-earthed in Luxor".

6-foot Sekhmet statue unearthed in Mut temple (Luxor Times, 2013)
ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
  • J. Gwyn Griffiths. [review of] Elkab I. Les monuments religieux a I'entrie de l'ouady Hellal by Phillipe Derchain. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 59 (Aug., 1973), pp. 257-259. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3856146

    "In this region the desert landscape confronts huge formations of rock, and Derchain believes that a ritual attested in reliefs and inscriptions is that of welcome to the goddess who returns from Nubia in the manner of Hathor-Tefnut. Thus the central scene in the Ramesside chapel (pl. 33), fragmentary though it is, shows an object (now missing) being offered to Re-Harakhty; it is being presented by Nekhbet, who is followed by Onuris and Thoth. Derchain... argues that the missing object is a wedjat-eye... he suggests also that the scene is unique in representing the return of the 'distant goddess' who is here embodied in Nekhbet." Griffiths agrees that the object is a wedjat-eye, but thinks it, and not Nekhbet, represents the stray Eye of Re.

    "Derchain's notes are always instructive, and among the points of mythological interest are the assimilation of Nephthys and Tefnut (p. 38), an association of Nephthys and Thoth (p. 41), the designation of Cleopatra III as 'strong bull, female Horus' (p. 49) [...] On p. 63 Derchain seems intrigued by a mention of Sothis in a context where Nesert, the uraeus, is identified with Bastet. There is a good deal of evidence for an association of Sothis and Bastet and the eye of Re".

    [See the first comment about that "association between Nephthys and Thoth".]


  • Cauville, Sylvie. Le panthéon d'Edfou à Dendera. BIFAO 88 (1988), p. 7-23

    This includes an illustration of a snake-headed Nephthys and a lion-headed Isis, winged and brandishing ostrich feathers. The inscription calls her "Isis who protects her son with her wings".

    Wish I could get a higher-quality picture than this:

    leontocephale isis


  • Kákosy, László and Ahmed M. Moussa. A Horus Stela with Meret Goddesses. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Bd. 25 (1998), pp. 143-159. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25152758

    This is about a stela from Thebes, from the first half of the first millennium BCE, held in the Museum of Seized Antiquities in Cairo. Unusually, even though it's got Horus on the crocodiles, it's got a prayer to Amun, traditional enemy of crocs, with some great lines: "Amun is the triumph. The name of Amun is more powerful than millions. More forceful is Amun-Re(?) than every amulet and your own eye." But of course what attracted my attention was this part of the spell: "Your mouths are sealed by Re, your gullets are blocked by Sakhmet. A voice of lamentation (is heard) from the temple of Neith, a loud wailing from the mouth of the Cat. The gods (say): 'what is it, what is it' ... Re, did you not hear the loud sound in the night on that bank of Nedit and the long silence among all the gods and all the goddesses... There is a voice of lamentation in the temple of Neith, a wailing, a wailing (in) the mouth of the Cat because of those (things) which Mag has committed." Mag or Mega is a crocodile, the son of Seth, often the target of spells like this. But who is the Cat?


    ETA: Links!

    I'm reverse-engineering Mesopotamian hit songs

    Maya Blue Paint Recipe Deciphered

    Scholars Race to Recover a Lost Kingdom on the Nile (Kush; June 19, 2007)

    6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered (Trypillian culture)

    Ancient 'Egyptian blue' pigment points to new telecommunications, security ink technology

    Unmasking the gods (28 February 2002; "the remains of a ritual costume worn by an Egyptian priest some 2,500 years ago")

    Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History

    Massive 5,000-Year-Old Stone Monument Revealed in Israel

    Mysterious 'Spellbook' From Ancient Egypt Decoded

     
  • ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
    Presumptive "ocular prosthesis" found in the Burnt City - Tumblr discussion, including artist's impression. :)

    Evolution of Angels: From Disembodied Minds to Winged Guardians

    Africans in Roman York?

    Oldest Perfumes Found on "Aphrodite's Island"

    Peking Man Was a Fashion Plate

    Papyri Point to Practice of Voluntary Temple Slavery in Ancient Egypt

    Study shows 'gene flow' from India to Australia 4000 years ago

    Stirling Castle's Amazon warrior revealed

    Sekhmet's bits: Forgotten statue uncovered

    Temple find shows sway of ancient Egyptian religion

    War was central to Europe's first civilisation - contrary to popular belief

    Ancient "Egyptian blue" pigment points to new telecommunications, security ink technology

    DNA sleuth hunts wine roots in Anatolia

    Robot Finds Mysterious Spheres in Ancient Temple (Best headline ever. The temple's in Teotihuacan.)

    Uncovered: Ritual public drunkenness and sex in ancient Egypt

    Linguists identify words that have changed little in 15,000 years

    Classic gags discovered in ancient Roman joke book

    Cosmic find unearthed using Aboriginal Dreaming story

    Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site (Indonesia's Gunung Padang)

    Folk magic found in old Brisbane basement

    The earliest iron artifact ever found was made from a meteorite

    Evidence of 3,000-Year-Old Cinnamon Trade Found in Israel

    Cheese first made at least 7,500 years ago

    How Egyptian god Bes gave the Christian Devil his looks

    Ancient Magician's Curse Tablet Discovered in Jerusalem

    Egyptian goddess statue unveiled in İzmir’s Red Basilica (It's a nine-metre tall Sekhmet. Wow!)

    Finds in Israel add weight to theory God “had wife”

    ETA:

    Evidence of fire-raining comet discovered on Earth: "The sea of silica was a well-known area of study as its glass was found in highly valuable jewelry, including a brooch of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun."

    Untangling the Mystery of the Inca (khipu)

    ETA (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] alryssa!):

    "Lost City" of Tanis Found, but Often Forgotten

    Photos from the submerged ancient city of Heracleion
    ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
    "First Skyscraper" Built to Fight Solstice Shadow? - the Tower of Jericho

    Ancient Tablets Decoded; Shed Light on Assyrian Empire

    Prehistoric Americans Traded Chocolate for Turquoise?

    Ancient Tablet Found: Oldest Readable Writing in Europe - Linear B

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/pictures/110415-egyptian-mummies-ct-scans-heart-disease-science-pictures/ | http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/110415-ancient-egypt-mummies-princess-heart-disease-health-science/ | http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/110531-africa-mummies-parasites-schistosomiasis-science/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/111013-oldest-art-studio-early-humans-science-archaeology/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/11/111208-oldest-mattress-africa-archaeology-science/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/01/120119-national-popcorn-day-corn-peru-archaeology-food-science/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/02/pictures/120207-egypt-bird-mummies-snails-fed-science-ibis-ancient/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/07/120717-palmyra-roman-city-syria-science-farming-world-ancient/

    Seventy Egyptian artefacts found in illegal possession are authenticated (including Late Period Sekhmet amulets)

    Ancient Clay Tablets Recovered from 9/11 Attack Restored and Translated

    Black Magic Revealed in Two Ancient Curses: "Both curses feature a depiction of a deity, possibly the Greek goddess Hekate, with serpents coming out of her hair, possibly meant to strike at the victims."

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/cave-women-in-a-different-light-20120515-1yp30.html (personally, I think it looks like a horseshoe crab)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/may/10/mayan-astronomical-charts-guatemalan-jungle

    Concealed shoes: Australian settlers and an old superstition

    Ancient language controls crime rings. This sounds more esoteric and odd than it actually is: Nahuatl, a language about as old as English, is a living tongue with one and a half million speakers.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21792-thank-grandmothers-for-lower-incidence-of-cancer.html

    Africans in Roman York?
    ikhet_sekhmet: (whole lotta woman)
    "In order to survive amid scarce resources and harsh conditions, our ancestors developed complex social structures... Nature began selecting for imaginative children because they were better suited to navigating complex social relationships as adults. Their imaginary friends carried over into adulthood in the form of gods and spirits who watched over them and participated in social interactions."
    - New Scientist Reviewer Amanda Gefter summarising part of Matt Rossano's argument in Supernatural Selection: how religion evolved.

    Links

    Oct. 19th, 2010 07:17 pm
    ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
    Via [livejournal.com profile] ratmmjess: The Hohlenstein-Stadel Lion Man, "the oldest imaginary being in the world".

    On Flicker, a lion-headed Horus at Edfu.

    Photographer Joan Lansberry's site includes great snaps from the Brooklyn Museum, the Sekhmet head that hypnotised me during my own visit, and the Predynastic birdlike lady nicknamed "the Nile Goddess". Plus more Sekhmets at the Met and a whole page of Set.

    Striking gods from the Beltane Fire Society's Samhuinn 2009 celebration.

    BBC: Oldest evidence of arrows found
    ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
    Putting aside all this dusty, arcane research for a moment... rummaging about in my stuff, I found a small collection of articles about the modern Goddess movement, which I have devoured this afternoon. They're full of questions and stimulatin' ideas:


    • The vagueness and overgeneralisation in both popular and academic accounts, ranging from basic terms to more complicated stuff (how was the ancient matriarchy organised, then?). (This is also true for opponents of the movement, who are often confused about which ones are witches and which ones are pagans, etc.)
    • The binary hierarchy of Greek thinking: city, male, mind, reason, abstract, Greek, good; nature, female, body, emotion, concrete, foreign, bad. (I thought of how topos theory implies that, instead of one perfect and unchangeable abstract world of pure logic and maths, there might be multiple possible mathematics and logics - and we may need to use them to crack the Theory of Everything.)
    • The danger of replacing hierarchical patriarchal religion with the same thing only with the genders swapped ("the often demonstrated capacity of western culture to construct supposed alternatives which reproduce in subtle forms the old dynamics of power" - Plumwood), eg by installing an all-powerful Goddess who must be obeyed. (Personally I prefer messy, goofy polytheism, in which the gods are not only not omnipotent or omniscient, they're often in conflict and frequently silly. Makes much more sense of the world as we see it!)
    • The danger of reproducing ambiguous patriarchal attitudes towards motherhood with a Mother Goddess (that's how the idea got started, after all)
    • The trickling down of creation from some higher, less physical and lumpen plane, to our concrete reality - from the world of the Forms (and perhaps the Aztec's divine reality behind the Painted Book of the ordinary world?) or downwards from God in the Kabbalah, with the hierarchy of the Victorian chain of life or the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, versus bottom-up forms of creation - the big bang, evolution, (emergence?), and the takeover from inert gods in the primal ocean by more vigorous, younger gods.
    • A similarity between the primeval ocean and Cynthia Eller's characterisation of spiritual feminism: "The Goddess belongs to nature, to timelessness, to the matriarchal eternities that stand at the beginning and end of history".
    • Nature as the "taken for granted substratum of human existence, always present, always functioning, always forgiving. We do not really need to consider its needs" - unless those needs "threaten the satisfaction of our own" - like "the mother... who provides without cease; whose own needs... always come second; whose value is determined by the child she produces; whose work is both expected, devalued and invisible... and defined into nature." (Plumwood) But ought we to take account of Nature's needs because it should be "respected for its own sake", or because we are utterly dependent on her and she could crush us like bugs? Or perhaps both at once?
    • The "conventional rationalist false choice between rationality and myth" (Plumwood). Ooooh!
    • The collision and overlap between popular and academic discourse on the subject (similar to Egyptology, I would imagine)
    I'm going to have to crack some of the books I have on the subject (and not before time, as you can see from the dates on the cites below, lol).
    __
    Eller, Cynthia. Relativizing the Patriarchy: the Sacred History of the Feminist Spirituality Movement. History of Religions 30(3) February 1991 pp 279-295
    Plumwood, Val. Gaia, Good for Women? Refractory Girl 41, December 1991, pp 11-16.
    Talalay, Lauren E. Cultural Biographies of the Great Goddess. American Journal of Archaeology 104, 2000, pp 789-92.

    Links

    Jul. 10th, 2010 10:01 pm
    ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
    The Coffin of The She-Cat of Crown Prince Thutmose ("Thutmose V"). She's wearing a little scarf! Squee!

    Computer program deciphers a dead language that mystified linguists: "The lost language of Ugaritic was last spoken 3,500 years ago. It survives on just a few tablets, and linguists could only translate it with years of hard work and plenty of luck. A computer deciphered it in hours." | "Lost" Languages to Be Resurrected by Computers?

    Unearthed: Matching figurines from unconnected prehistoric regions: "A collection of tiny, broken ceramic feet, ornate goggle-eyed statues and the famed 'Grimes Grave Goddess' are among 100 prehistoric figurines going on show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts next week to enable a comparison between a matching (but totally unconnected) tradition of human model making in Japan and Europe thousands of years ago."

    And finally, the Web comic XKCD pinpoints my eccentric research method. :)

    Links

    May. 19th, 2010 07:14 pm
    ikhet_sekhmet: (lunar eclipse)
    The EEF Guide to Internet Resources for Ancient Egyptian Texts

    Paleolithic Notation Bibliography: "...over 400 academic articles, books, dissertations, and related publications (excluding book reviews and non-academic material) that discuss or evaluate the theory that some Paleolithic (primarily European Upper Paleolithic) artifacts contain non-representational graphic marks that served as tallies, calendars, astronomical notations, numerals, or other mnemonic devices."

    The Brooklyn Museum's Mut Precinct stuff - reports, photos, dig diary, etc.

    Mexican Saints (including La Santa Muerte), National Geographic May 2010

    Sigmund Freud's collection of antiquities includes a ripping Syrian Ishtar.

    Finally, here's Sekhmet being a supportive Mrs Ptah. Aw.

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