Weekly Roundup of Archaeology and History October 14-20

In the not so good news department, I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, an entirely treatable sort, but the treatment will take a lot of time and energy for the next couple months if all goes well, longer if it doesn’t, so if you’re one of those friends who looks for this post each week, know that I may not get around to it with quite my usual regularity. But I’ll be fine in the long run.

Here are some posts I enjoyed this week:

Telemachos & Mentor, illustration by John Flaxman

Telemachos & Mentor, illustration by John Flaxman

A discussion with Gregory Nagy about the model of mentorship presented in the Odyssey and its relevance for today. Nagy’s writings on Homer and the heroic ideal are among the most insightful, in my opinion. This interview in the Atlantic Magazine is a pretty short dive, not much room left for the kind of depth Nagy usually goes for, but its worth thinking about—mentorship as a moral compass and a connection to ancestors and a mental strengthening. Click here for The Atlantic Magazine “The Odyssey’s Millennia-Old Model of Mentorship”

The Jebel Qurma desert of Jordan, now pretty much uninhabitable, turns out to have been a thriving place in the Early Bronze Age. They built tower tombs out of 600 lb blocks of stone. The towers were 16 feet high and 5 feet in diameter, placed on hilltops for visibility. The settlements occurred in secluded areas. Hide the living and advertise the dead. There’s an interesting viewpoint. What can we try to infer from that about these people? Click here for Archaeology Magazine “Desert Life”

A toy chariot, “The oldest toy car in the world,” was excavated in southeast Turkey dating back 5,000 years ago to the Bronze Age at the site of ancient Sogmatar. It’s kind of a chair on wheels, very cute, and I’m guessing a replica of what a noble little boy might have ridden in when he was first learning to drive a chariot. The equivalent of training wheels on a bike. I will have to give some fictional little boy this toy down the road, although I currently cutting words, not adding cool stuff… Click here for the Daily Mail “Is this the world’s oldest toy car? 5,000-year-old earthenware chariot is found among a treasure trove of relics in a child’s grave in Turkey”


Weekly Roundup of Archaeology and History October 14-20 — 4 Comments

  1. So sorry to hear about the breast cancer analysis but impressed that you are being so positive. (I was diagnosed with very early blood cancer recently so I know the mix of emotions.) Stay strong and I look forward every weekend to your roundup. Many thanks.

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