The practice of burying wooden boats alongside the tombs of Egyptian royals began in the Early Dynastic Period, just after the reunification of upper and lower Egypt around 3100 B.C. Egyptologists still debate the exact significance of the boat burials. Some believe the vessels were intended as barges to carry the deceased ruler down the mighty Nile River to the afterlife. Alternatively, the boats could have been intended to provide transportation through the unknown waters of the underworld. In any case, they clearly played a crucial role in the elaborate rituals surrounding royal funerals in ancient Egypt. Some pharaohs during the Old Kingdom (Third to Sixth Dynasties) even had several boats buried alongside them as part of their pyramid complexes.
In most cases, unfortunately, not much has survived of these wooden funerary boats. Either they were dismantled back in ancient times, and the pits where they were buried were found empty, or they disintegrated, leaving the pits full of brown dust. One notable exception was found back in 1954 in the Great Pyramid built for the Fourth-Dynasty pharaoh Khufu in Giza. That vessel, which had been buried in pieces, was painstakingly reconstructed and put on display in all of its 144-foot-long glory.
Now, another funerary boat discovered buried in the sand near the Abusir necropolis is giving archaeologists hope that more such vessels may lie waiting to be found. During an excavation in 2015, a team from the Czech Institute of Egyptology uncovered the boat some 12 meters (39 feet) south of a large mastaba built of mud bricks. Despite the distance, they clearly linked the boat to the tomb due to the boat’s orientation and the pottery found inside it. Both date to around 2550 B.C., at the very end of the Third or the beginning of Fourth Dynasty.
Measuring some 62 feet long and made of wooden planks, the boat remains in surprisingly good condition after spending several millennia buried in sand. The wooden pegs holding the planks together can still be seen in their original positions, and even the battens covering the planking seams (made of plant fibers) survive, along with some of the ropes holding the boat together.
The funerary boat, and the tomb itself, does not appear to be linked to a pharaoh or other member of a royal family, as they were not buried close enough to a royal pyramid. Still, the tomb’s impressive size suggests the person buried within was a member of Egypt’s elite, with a significant connection to the reigning pharaoh. Though a stone bowl found in the tomb bears the name of King Huni, of the Third Dynasty, the identity of the tomb’s occupant remains unknown, due to the badly preserved state of the chapel area. (Interestingly, the oldest Egyptian funerary boat known to survive—a 20-foot-long vessel discovered at Abu Rawash cemetery back in 2012 and dating to around 2950 B.C.—also housed a non-royal, a high-ranking official during the First Dynasty.)
As Dr. Miroslav Barta, director of the Abusir expedition, notes in a press release: “[T]his is a highly unusual discovery since boats of such a size and construction were, during this period, reserved solely for top members of the society, who usually belonged to the royal family. This suggests the potential for additional discoveries during the next spring season.” The relatively well-preserved condition of the funerary boat found near Abusir also makes the find a particularly valuable one for Egyptologists, who will be able to see at close range how such boats were constructed. In 2016, the Czech team will join experts from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) at Texas A&M University in studying the techniques used to build the boat’s hull. -History.com
Nautical Archeology Notes- The Royal Ship of Khufu
Wikipedia- Khufu Ship
PBS- Building Pharoah's Ship
harvard.eduDigital Giza- Khufu Boat Pits
The village of Wurttemberg, located in Germany was the idle home for the Kepler family. Johannes Kepler's achievement, his ability to discover that the movement of the planets in elliptical orbits was almost as shocking as the intimate knowledge that his mother was a witch.
Tried for witchcraft in 1615, Katharina Kepler horrified her family and scandalized her sons achievement.
The story is beautifully told by Dr. Ulinka Rublack, a professor of early modern history at University of Cambridge.
For Kepler, the achievement of overthrowing Aristotle's belief in circular movements and a geo-centric universe was not easily for many to accept. A Heliocentric universe for a Lutheran wasn't any easier, it only lent credence to the image of his mother as a craven, unmoored individual.
Katharina's first accuser was her own son, Heinrich, a mercenary held in financial bondage throughout Europe. Having been arrested, she was thrown into prison and shown the tools of torture. She was released and returned home.
Dr. Rublack has unearthed a fascinating study of the social mores of early modern Europe during difficult social, geopolitical times. With her book, we are introduced to thinking of those that spent most of their time working at night, on rooftops with arcane maps and zodiacs.
University of Cambridge http://www.joh.cam.ac.uk/professor-ulinka-rublack
The Siege of Jaffa was fought from 3 to 7 March 1799 between France and the Ottoman Empire. The French were led by Napoleon Bonaparte, and they captured the city. Jaffa was surrounded by high walls, flanked by towers. Ahmed al-Jazzar entrusted its defence to his elite troops, including 1,200 artillerymen. Napoleon had to win Jaffa before he could advance any further, and the whole expedition's success depended on its capture—the town was one of Syria's main mercantile centres, and had a harbour which would provide vital shelter for his fleet. All the exterior works could be besieged and a breach was feasible; when Bonaparte sent a Turk to the city's commander to order its surrender, the commander decapitated the Turk and ordered a sortie. He was pushed back and as early as the evening of the same day; the weight of the besiegers caused one of the towers to collapse and so, despite courageous resistance by its defenders, Jaffa was taken.
According to some sources, the French messengers who brusquely told the city of Napoleon's ultimatum had been arrested, tortured, castrated and decapitated, and their heads impaled on the city walls. This harsh treatment led Napoleon, when the city fell, to allow his soldiers two days and nights of slaughter and rape. He also executed the Turkish governor Abdallah Bey. Bonaparte no longer wished to honour the promises of his adopted son Eugène de Beauharnais that prisoners' lives would be spared and ordered that a large part of the Ottoman prisoners (according to some sources around 2,440, according to others 4,100), many of them Albanians, be shot or stabbed to death with bayonets. Napoleon's eulogists later wrote of this decision: "For, to keep in submission so considerable a number of prisoners, it would have been necessary to detach guards for them, which would have severely diminished his army's numbers; and if he had allowed them to leave free men, it was reasonable to fear that they might swell the ranks of Ahmed al-Jazzar's troops."
Napoleon also allowed hundreds of Egyptians to leave, hoping that the news they would carry of Jaffa's fall would intimidate the defenders of the other cities in Syria. This backfired, since their news instead made these defenders fight all the more fiercely. Meanwhile, a plague epidemic caused by poor hygiene in the French headquarters in Ramla decimated the local population and the French army alike. As he had also suggested during the siege of Acre, on the eve of the retreat from Syria-Palestine Napoleon suggested to his army doctors (led by Desgenettes), that the seriously ill troops who could not be evacuated should be given a fatal dose of laudanum, but they forced him to give up the idea. Overcome in the north of the country by the Turks, Napoleon abandoned Palestine. After his departure the British, allied to the Turks and commanded by William Sidney Smith, rebuilt Jaffa's city walls. In the years 1800 to 1814, after a new nine-month siege, Jaffa was again taken over by Napoleon's former opponent, Ahmed al-Jazzar, Acre's governor, a Bosnian.- YouTube
Indiana Hoenlein & the Lost Napoleon battle of Jaffa. @elalusa Report w/Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres. @thadmccotter
On March 3, the French army reached the fortified hilltop city of Jaffa. The Ottoman fortress with its 1.3-meter thick walls constituted a formidable challenge.
French military buttons found in Jaffa from Napoleon conquest Moshe Hartal, Israel Antiquities Authority.
As the French and Turks struggled, the Turks collected the heads of fallen French infantry soldiers, and placed the severed heads on poles above the walls. On March 7, Bonaparte sent an officer bearing a flag of truce to negotiate Jaffa's surrender. The Turks opened the city gates and let the officer through. Minutes later his head was raised on a pole.
A Napoleon coin, minted in 1858, found in debris taken from Temple Mount, Jerusalem Olivier Fitoussi.
The furious Napoleon ordered a general assault. He remained outside the city, where he was told that 3,000 Ottoman soldiers were willing to surrender if their lives would be spared.
But further outraging the emperor, among the captives were soldiers who had been caught in Al Arish, Gaza and Ramla, and who had promised never to take up arms against the French again.
Again, the French were having difficulty provisioning their own troops, let alone prisoners of war. Also, Napoleon didn't want to stretch his already outnumbered soldiers by making them guard the captives. But he didn't want them rejoining the enemy ranks.
Years later, exiled on the island of Saint Helena, Napoleon wrote: "to have acted otherwise than as I did, would probably have caused the destruction of my whole army…I therefore… ordered that the prisoners taken at El Arish, who in defiance of their capitulation, had been found bearing arms against me, should be selected out and shot. The rest, amounting to a considerable number, were spared."
We do not know if Napoleon slaughtered all 3,000 Turkish prisoners at Jaffa or only men who resumed fighting him after their release, as he tells us. There is no archaeological evidence to support the mass slaughter described in the memoirs of Napoleon´s secretary, Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, who never missed an opportunity to stain the Corsican's reputation.
The booty the French found in Jaffa included small vessels anchored in its harbor, and also cannons, that would shortly prove useful.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.790107
History of Jaffa
On the Road to Jerusalem: Ali Baba's Cave & solved mysteries of the time of Jesus and Pilate. Gideon Avni, Israel Antiquities Authority. Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres.
Dr. Gideon Avni (PhD – 1997) is the Head of the Archaeological Division in the Israel Antiquities Authority and a lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University. In 1989 – 2000 he was the IAA Jerusalem District Archaeologist.
His academic interests focus on various aspects of Classical, Late Antique and Early Islamic archaeology, the cultural and religious transformation of the Near East from Byzantine to Islamic rule, and the archaeology of desert societies in the Levant. During the last 30 years he has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Negev Desert (1979-1988; 2005-2011), Beth Govrin (1983-1992), Jerusalem (1984-2003) and Ramla (2002-2004). In 1996-2002 he headed a comprehensive survey and excavations project at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
In 2004-2007 he co-directed a research team supported by the Israel Science foundation on the urban centers of Palestine in the Early Islamic period. He was a fellow at Institute of Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2008-2009). He is currently a member of a research group of the Hebrew University and the Israel Academy of Sciences on the formation of Islamic society in Palestine, and a co-director of an interdisciplinary study on the ancient agriculture of the Negev during Byzantine and Early Islamic times.
IN ISRAEL, 'ALI BABA CAVE' OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO JESUS'S LIFE AND DEATH- Newsweek
In an Israeli warehouse, clues about Jesus’ life and death- Times of Israel
One of the most famous queens of ancient Israel is Jezebel, the daughter of the Phoenician king Ethbaal, wife of Israelite King Ahab (872–851 B.C.E.) and archetype of the wicked woman. I believe that she had a seal and that it has been recovered, although until now not confidently identified.
Jezebel, though a woman, plays a major role— but backstage. Her influence on her husband, King Ahab, was enormous. As the Biblical text puts it: “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited” (1 Kings 21:25). She never gave up her Phoenician religion, nor her devotion to Baal. Ahab sinned not only by taking a worshiper of Baal for his wife, but, at her urging he, too worshiped Baal (1 Kings 16:31). No doubt this strong Biblical criticism is colored by later Deuteronomistic theology, but it stands to reason that Jezebel did deserve her reputation somehow.
Jezebel went even further. She began killing off the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:4). Apparently a hundred were saved when they were hidden in two caves by Obadiah. At that point the prophet Elijah confronts the king, who responds to Elijah with the famous line “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17).
Elijah then sets up a contest on Mount Carmel: 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah who sup at Jezebel’s table (1 Kings 18:19) face Elijah alone. A bull is placed on Baal’s altar, but try as they may, even gashing themselves with knives, the prophets of Baal can produce no fire. Then Elijah orders water to be poured on his meal offering to the Lord. Elijah beseeches the Lord and fire descends from heaven consuming the meal offering and even the water (1 Kings 18:23–38).
Fit for a Queen: Jezebel's Royal Seal- Biblical Archeology Society
Eight stone courses of the Western Wall that had been buried under an 8-meter layer of earth were recently uncovered in excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem. These stone courses, completely preserved, are built of massive stones and are outstanding in the quality of their construction.
Furthermore, after the removal of this layer of soil, the archaeologists were surprised to discover that it covered the remnants of an extraordinary theater-like structure from the Roman period confirming historical writings that describe a theater near the Temple Mount. These exciting findings will be presented to the public during a conference titled New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Environs, which will take place at the Hebrew University. This year’s conference will mark 50 years of archaeology since the unification of the city.
At a press conference this morning (Monday) beneath Wilson’s Arch in the Western Wall Tunnels, the stone courses and the amazing remnants of the theater were presented. Apparently, a great deal was invested in the construction of the theater which contained approximately 200 seats. The press conference was conducted with the participation of the Western Wall rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Israel Antiquities Authority director, Israel Hasson, Western Wall Heritage Foundation director, Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, Israel Antiquities Authority district archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch, and the excavation directors.
From the very beginning of archaeological research in Jerusalem over 150 years ago, scholars have been seeking the public buildings mentioned in the historical sources. Particularly prominent among them, theaters or theater-like structures are mentioned. These descriptions are found in written sources from the Second Temple period (such as Josephus Flavius), and in sources from the period following the destruction of the Second Temple, when Jerusalem became the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina. Many theories were advanced as to the location of these complexes, but they were without archaeological foundation. That is, until this latest discovery.
Wilson’s Arch is in fact the only intact, visible structure remaining from the Temple Mount compound of the Second Temple period. The arch, built of enormous stones, is the last of a series of such arches that once constituted a gigantic bridge leading to the Temple Mount from the west. The arch stands high above the foundations of the Western Wall, and it served, among other purposes, as a passageway for people entering the Temple Mount compound and the Temple. A huge aqueduct also passed over the arch.
According to site excavators Dr. Joe Uziel, Tehillah Lieberman and Dr. Avi Solomon: “From a research perspective, this is a sensational find. The discovery was a real surprise. When we started excavating, our goal was to date Wilson’s Arch. We did not imagine that a window would open for us onto the mystery of Jerusalem’s lost theater. Like much of archaeological research, the expectation is that a certain thing will be found, but at the end of the process other findings, surprising and thought-provoking, are unearthed. There is no doubt that the exposure of the courses of the Western Wall and the components of Wilson’s Arch are thrilling discoveries that contribute to our understanding of Jerusalem. But the discovery of the theater-like structure is the real drama.”
The excavators note: “This is a relatively small structure compared to known Roman theaters (such as at Caesarea, Bet She’an and Bet Guvrin). This fact, in addition to its location under a roofed space – in this case under Wilson’s Arch – leads us to suggest that this is a theater-like structure of the type known in the Roman world as an odeon. In most cases, such structures were used for acoustic performances. Alternatively, this may have been a structure known as a bouleuterion – the building where the city council met, in this case the council of the roman colony of Aelia Capitolina – Roman Jerusalem.”
Interestingly, the archaeologists believe the theater was never used. A number of findings at the site indicate this – among them a staircase that was never completely hewn. It is clear that great effort was invested in the building’s construction but oddly, it was abandoned before it was put to use. The reasons for this are unknown, but they may have been connected to a significant historical event, perhaps the Bar Kokhba Revolt; construction of the building may have been started, but abandoned when the revolt broke out. Additional evidence of unfinished buildings from this period has been uncovered in the past in the excavations of the Eastern Cardo in the Western Wall Plaza.- YouTube
The Western Wall- Jerusalem 101
The Times of Israel- Western Wall Uncovers 'Sensational' Ancient Roman Theater
Image: A cover of the audiobook using one of Curtis’s spectacular photos.
Image: Salish Men Near Tipis (1903 Flathead Reservation, MT). Public domain.
Image: Acoma massacre. Original lithograph for report of J.W. Abert of "His Examination of New Mexico in the Years 1846-47" to the Secretary of War. Public domain.
Image: Havasu Falls near Supai, Arizona. The water is blue/green due to high concentrations of dissolved lime picked up as the water runs through the sedimentary rock of Havasu Canyon and the Grand Canyon. Permissions*: see (User:Moondigger)
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Audible Audiobook – Unabridged, Timothy Egan (Author), David Drummond (Narrator), Dreamscape Media, LLC (Publisher)
How a lone man's epic obsession led to one of America's greatest cultural treasures: Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history -- and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.
An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance - ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.
His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. He completed his masterwork in 1930, when he published the last of the twenty volumes. A nation in the grips of the Depression ignored it. But today rare Curtis photogravures bring high prices at auction, and he is hailed as a visionary. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.
Every year a general meeting occurs for experts devoted to exploring the latest technological findings devoted to 'Mummies'. Its called 'The Mummy Congress'.
Heather Pringle is a journalist devoting her life to examining how technological achievements help advance our understanding of ancient civilizations. Her famous book, 'The Mummy Congress' was written to exemplify the achievements of those who devote their time and effort to reclaiming sound understanding of archaic civilizations.
Mummies fascinate us. As we peer at their withered flesh, we are glimpsing a type of immortality. Heather Pringle tells the stories of some of these "frail elders"--and the scientists who study them--in The Mummy Congress.Pringle details the tension between the preservationists, who want to protect the ancient dead and refuse to unwrap them, and the dissectionists, who see mummies as a repository of scientific data waiting to be studied. She also introduces the reader to the preserved dead from around the world--from the bog bodies of northern Europe to the mysterious Caucasian-looking mummies from China's Tarim Basin, from Egyptians in linen shrouds to incorruptible Christian saints, and from Lenin in his Moscow mausoleum to Incan children found on Andean mountaintops.
Peppered with fascinating snippets of information--for example, for centuries artists were sold on a pigment called "mummy," a transparent brown made from ground-up mummies--The Mummy Congress makes for lively, if somewhat ghoulish reading. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney
From Publishers Weekly
Pringle's mummy experts are livelier than a crypt full of stacked corpses. This is high praise given how successfully the author animates the dead in this delightfully macabre piece of mortuary globe-trotting. The trip begins at the World Congress on Mummy Studies, held last in arid Arica, Chile. Arica's climate makes it the ideal place to bring your mummy as eccentric scholars do, by the busload. From South America, Pringle, a frequent contributor to magazines like Discover and Islands, departs for the global ateliers of this weird profession, from the makeshift morgue of Art Aufderheide in Egypt, where plastic bags full of brittle corpses are piled by the dozens; to the Peruvian mountaintops, where an American adventurer's discovery of a beautiful Inca girl named "Juanita," an ancient and flawless sacrifice to the gods, ignites a media frenzy; to the subterranean caverns beneath Red Square, where a team of mausoleumists tended to Lenin's lifelike remains, and freelanced their skills out to fellow communists wanting to see their own dead leaders under glass. Pringle's gifts as a writer and a journalist are evident on every page. In brisk, vivid prose she delivers the secrets of the mummy trade: mummies as medicine; the self-preservation techniques of Japanese monks; and the Vatican's modern-day practitioners of the temple priest's art. Pringle's mummies and the men and women who love them make for fascinating and lively reading; this book is sure to have, as they say, a very long shelf life. Agent, Anne McDermida. (June)Forecast: A five-city author museum tour and undoubtedly many positive reviews will help the book reach its potentially wide audience, way beyond the usual gallery of science fans.
CSI meets Jurassic Park in a fascinating, revelatory look at dinosaurs and their world through the million-year-old clues they left behind.
What if we woke up one morning all of the dinosaur bones in the world were gone? How would we know these iconic animals had a 165-million year history on earth, and had adapted to all land-based environments from pole to pole? What clues would be left to discern not only their presence, but also to learn about their sex lives, raising of young, social lives, combat, and who ate who? What would it take for us to know how fast dinosaurs moved, whether they lived underground, climbed trees, or went for a swim?
Welcome to the world of ichnology, the study of traces and trace fossils―such as tracks, trails, burrows, nests, toothmarks, and other vestiges of behavior―and how through these remarkable clues, we can explore and intuit the rich and complicated lives of dinosaurs. With a unique, detective-like approach, interpreting the forensic clues of these long-extinct animals that leave a much richer legacy than bones, Martin brings the wild world of the Mesozoic (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous) to life for the twenty-first century reader.
Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
The Mesozoic Era- The Australian Museum