Wednesday, September 28

Where Israel could have ended up if it didnt end up where it did

in the mid 1940's, there was a big debate about where the Land for the Jews could be, specially after the Holocaust. Palestine had a problem because the British royally screwed it up as usual and you can see the problems till date.

the United Kingdom proposed Uganda which wasnt taken up but I came across this poster where other places around the world were recommended for the New Israel.

I wonder what the world would have been like if number 10 was used on top of India?

Tuesday, September 27

Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt: How and Why Did the Egyptians Protect Their Tombs?

When I was young, i wanted to be an Egyptologist..well, I still do..and may well do it once I grow up...

but in the interim, this paper was a fascinating overview of how the egyptian tomb security system evolved to safeguard their contents. Didnt quite work, did it? as with walls and computer security defences, its a never ending fight.

Protecting the dead from abuse is an ancient human instinct but Egypt raised this concern to levels never seen before or since. Tomb robbery is well attested in Egypt from the earliest times and it becomes obvious when looking at the architecture of the Egyptian tomb that physical measures were soon taken to prevent it. This begs several questions: Why did the Egyptians expend such effort in defending their tombs? How did they protect them? And what influence did this have on the design of the tomb?

Sunday, September 25

“Godnapping” in the Ancient Near East

this was so fascinating, kings would kidnap the God Statues of the countries and kingdoms they conquered and took them back...

now this is something that India should have done as well, instead of breaking the idols and temples and mosques, you take it away to your own kingdom, eh? much better idea, no?

See the article here.

I captured the cities of TarbaŠĻ£u and Yaballu. I carried off 30,000 people, together with their possessions, their property, their goods, and their gods. I destroyed those cities, together with cities in their environs, making them like the tells after the Deluge. – Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 BCE)
When Mesopotamian polities went to war, the successful party gained more than just territory. Triumphant kings boast in their inscriptions that they carried off royal family members, deportees, and precious goods and treasures. Often nested in these lists is a more unusual type of loot: the gods of the losing king or polity were also moved into the victorious king’s homeland. This particular removal of gods, called “godnapping” by modern scholars, is attested over a long period of Mesopotamian history, from the start of the 2nd millennium through the 5th century BCE. But how can a mortal carry off a divine being against its will?
Ancient Near Eastern gods were represented on earth by cult images. Often anthropomorphic, the images were made from a wooden core with precious metals and stones as decoration. These statues would have stood in temples, locations that were thought of as the houses of the gods, and received offerings there. Because of the perishable nature of the core material, none of the original cult images have survived until today, but there are texts that describe the creation of these statues and the rituals that imbued them with the divine spirit. Reliefs also depict these divine images, as seen in an example from the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III’s palace reliefs in Nimrud, which features Assyrian soldiers carrying off an enemy’s gods. Most of the evidence for godnapping, however, comes from texts, including royal inscriptions, chronicles, and letters.