From the Editor
Welcome back to Digging Up The Past. This issue is a bit late but mainly because I decided to restructure it a bit. The monthly schedule was becoming too aggressive. Anyway, I will need to scale the content back a little bit and focus more on the website. You will likely find more news there and I will do my best to summarize in the newsletter.
Oh, also….while I make note of it below and just in case you missed it, I presented at the Human Origins Conference hosted by Ancient Origins two weeks ago. You will find more details on how to view the recording of the entire event with all the presenters below.
I just put together a page dedicated to reviews and more specifically, book reviews. Currently, the reviews are being hosted by Ancient Origins. As you can see, I enjoy reading and if I feel like it is a topic worth sharing, it will be listed on this page. Enjoy
In September I shared the news that I would be speaking on the Ancient Greek Creation Myths. It was an event hosted by Ancient Origins. Anyway, the event has come and gone on November 20-21, 2021 and it was a success! If you missed it, you can view the recording for a fee here.
In the News…
The Biblical Archaeology Society reported that:
Hebrew inscription on a jar unearthed at Tel Abel Beth Macaah may resolve a long-running dispute about the extent of Israelite territory in the 9th-century B.C.E. Written in Hebrew, the inscription reads Ibnayo: “belonging to Benaiyo.” Benaiyo was an Israelite name, suggesting–but not proving–that Abel Beth Macaah was an Israelite city at the time when Ahab was the Israelite King.
The Biblical Archaeology Society also reported that:
…an Assyriologist with the British Museum recently discovered what might be the world’s oldest depiction of a ghost. The image was found by Dr. Irving Finkel on a clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia estimated to be around 3,500 years old. One side of the tablet depicts a handcuffed ghost being led into the afterlife by his lover. According to Finkel, the depiction is “obviously a male ghost and he’s miserable.”
For related content, please refer to the Feature Publication, The First Ghosts, below.
Egyptian Archaeology Magazine recently announced that readers now have open access to back issues of its publication. That means: for free! You can read more details here.
Quote of the Month
Death may be the greatest of all human blessings. - Socrates
The First Ghosts: A rich history of ancient ghosts and ghost stories from the British Museum curator
By Irving Finkel
There are few things more in common across cultures than the belief in ghosts. Ghosts inhabit something of the very essence of what it is to be human. Whether we personally 'believe' or not, we are all aware of ghosts and the rich mythologies and rituals surrounding them. They have inspired, fascinated and frightened us for centuries - yet most of us are only familiar with the vengeful apparitions of Shakespeare, or the ghastly spectres haunting the pages of 19th century gothic literature. But their origins are much, much older...
The First Ghosts: Most Ancient of Legacies takes us back to the very beginning. A world-renowned authority on cuneiform, the form of writing on clay tablets which dates back to 3400BC, Irving Finkel has embarked upon an ancient ghost hunt, scouring these tablets to unlock the secrets of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians to breathe new life into the first ghost stories ever written. In The First Ghosts, he uncovers an extraordinarily rich seam of ancient spirit wisdom which has remained hidden for nearly 4000 years, covering practical details of how to live with ghosts, how to get rid of them and bring them back, and how to avoid becoming one, as well as exploring more philosophical questions: what are ghosts, why does the idea of them remain so powerful despite the lack of concrete evidence, and what do they tell us about being human?
Explore the wonders of the ancient Egyptian civilization including the enormous Karnak and Abu Simbel temples, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and much more! The Royal Tour offers private entrances to the entire Giza pyramid complex and the Luxor Temple outside of opening hours. Only with us will you stand between the paws of the Great Sphinx and gain exclusive access to the places closed to the public! Thanks to special permission granted by the Minister of Antiquities, you will see the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders in Giza, an active excavation site.
To view more details, visit the Archaeological Paths website.
Artifact of the Issue
Figurine of the Canaanite creator deity, El from Megiddo and dated to the Late Bronze Age Period (ca. 1400 - 1200 BCE). El was the father and leader of the entire pantheon of Canaanite gods.