The Perils of Texting, Circa 1906

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Buzzfeed dug up this Punch cartoon from 1906, on the perils of telegraphy and tickers. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” [Read more...]

Ancient Temple Shows Signs of Conflict, Desecration

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Excavations at an 11th century temple complex outside of Jerusalem show evidence of the tensions among the Israelites, Canaanites and Philistines. On the floor of the temple… … excavators found shards of painted chalices and goblets — not the type of containers that would have been used for daily household activities. They also found animal [Read More...]

Truesound: Trying to Recreate the Original Baroque Organ Sound

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Europe has some 10,000 medieval and baroque organs. These monuments to the organ-makers’ art reflect the liturgical needs that gave rise to the organ. In order to be worthy for use in the liturgy, an instrument needed to be created which would use pipes and reeds to accompany and mimic the human voice. They’re also [Read More...]

The Oxyrhynchus Project: Desktop Papyrology

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el-Bahnasa is a sand-blasted village about 100 miles south of Cairo. Once known as Oxyrhynchus (“City of the Sharp-Nose Fish”), it prospered under the Greeks, and became largely Christian under the Romans and Byzantines. It had a gradual decline until about the 7th century, when Arab invasions finished it off. Its structures–including a number of churches and monasteries–were [Read More...]

Seal Depicting Samson Discovered (Or Maybe Not)

It’s hard to know what to make of this story at this point, so I’m just going to put it out there as reported. Excavations at Tel Beit Shmesh have turned up an interesting stone seal at a level dating to about the 11th century BC. This is the seal:   It’s about 1.5 cm [Read More...]

Are These the Faces of the Children of Antony and Cleopatra?

I’m not wholly convinced, but Giuseppina Capriotti, an Egyptologist at Italy’s National Research Council, thinks she can make the case based on style, dating, and iconography. Cleopatra’s twin babies now have a face. An Italian Egyptologist has rediscovered a sculpture of Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, the offspring of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII, at the Egyptian [Read More...]

Vampire Grave Unearthed!

Well, let’s take a look at this week’s archaeological blotter and see if anyone has discovered some nice old pottery or … … holy cow …. Vampire Grave Discovered in Bulgaria Bulgarian archaeologists have found a 700 year old grave of a man buried with an “iron stick” in his chest. The Sofia News Agency reports [Read More...]

The Great Crusade

June 6, 1944. D-Day. 68 years ago. My dad was a B-26 mechanic who also flew on 14 missions as a waist gunner in the European theater. I asked him about D-day, and he said he remembers the sky being black with airplanes. He’s never said much else. Here’s what Ike had to say to these men [Read More...]


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