Here are some posts I enjoyed this week:
I reported a great find of a statue of Kybele in Turkey this year. Now blasting at a mine nearby threatens to smash the statue and the castle that is the main feature of the site. The area was declared off limits to the mine work, but the mine has mysteriously (fill in the blanks as necessary) gotten that status reversed and are blasting away. Kybele is a mother goddess whose presence in Turkey spans millennia, this being a fairly late statue of maybe somewhere around 100 BC but a very lovely one. Actually some of the earlier versions of Kybele are downright bizarre. I suspect an art historian could make the case for the influence on the representations of Christian Mary later on from this gracious style of Kybele. But it will be rubble soon. As if there weren’t enough destruction of antiquities that we can’t stop. Click here for Archaeology News Network “Goddess statue, 2,100 year old castle threatened by dynamite in Turkey’s north”
I’ve described pyres and the funeral rites around them in my fiction (although some of those scenes ended up cut in the final versions, geeze, writing is complicated). Homer describes vividly the pyre and funeral of Patroclus in the Iliad. Now an experimental archaeologist has studied ancient pyres in Denmark and his findings give context and depth to their purpose. They were meant to be seen from a long way and they were at the center of extended funeral activities. That matches the Mycenaean version. Click here for Archaeology News Network “High flames gave status to ancient funeral pyres”
Back in the 18th dynasty of Egypt Amenhotep III (about 1350 BCE) guarded his tomb with lion-headed statues of the goddess of war Sekhmet. His guardians have been excavated and they are quite impressive works of art as well as divine protectors. Click here for Archaeology News Network “Trove of statues of lion headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor”
In 900 words, the tale of 2000 years of settlement story (Middle Bronze Age thru Roman) in Kamid el-Loz (now in Lebanon), 3 urban cities rise and fall, the whys and whos of one piece of this truly essential crossroads of civilization area. A great post for people who like to see what archaeology can tell us about the past—all in quick readily accessible form.