Here are some posts I enjoyed from around the web this week:
A dainty, delightful Aphrodite statue in Hellenistic style was found off the coast of Italy. There will be more exploration of the underwater area. The nude goddess of love is leaning on a now missing pillar to remove her sandal. Her other hand is curled around what was either an apple (see famous Trojan tale) or a ball of makeup (see enormous vanity of said goddess). How fun and graceful. Good thing these days.
I guess Aphrodite really did rise from the sea! Click here for “Ancient Greek Statue Of Aphrodite Found Off South Italian Coast” in Archaeology News Network.
Archaeology Magazine’s top 10 Discoveries of 2016. My two personal favorites are the skeletons in Athens that are probably from a regime change and the world’s oldest dress. Click here for Archaeology Magazine “Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016”
A cartoon that feels painfully on point. It sure summed it all up for me, these days. Via Janet Rudolph. Click here for Mystery Fanfare “Cartoon of the Day”
Interesting post on the ASOR blog discussing the recent plethora of finds in Israel of ritual baths (mikva’ot) and chalkstone dishes and storage containers (stone being the substance that you don’t ever have to purify to reuse, roughly speaking). In this case archaeology reflects the written record found in Torah, New Testament, Josephus, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc. which all show an intense concern with ritual purity in daily Jewish practice at the time of the 2nd Temple, 1st C BCE to 70 CE—and the schisms that disagreements about the proper interpretations caused. I do remember years ago climbing around the archaeological park near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and going in and out of two or three stone and mosaic lined ritual baths with my kids. For whatever reason, I think the site as a public open place was a new thing, there was no one there, including guards, and no signage etc. But we had a fascinating crawl through tunnels and below ground spaces and viewed many exposed mosaics. It helped that we knew something about what we were looking at and how to be respectful of it all. Click here for the ASOR blog “Jewish Purity Practices in Roman Judea: The Evidence of Archaeology”