Watch the first day’s webcast (May 1) Watch the second day’s webcast (May 2) This workshop is the second leg of the annual Engaged Scholarship Workshops organized by Brown University’s Middle East Studies, under the broader initiative entitled “Knowledge Production, Ethics, Solidarity: Stories from the field.” These two-day workshops take place in the spring of every academic year. …
Zeta Xekalaki's insight:
Is it worth fighting for heritage in places where human life itself seems to cost nothing?
Οι αρχαιότητες χτίζουν ιστορία προς όφελος της κοινωνίας και των πολιτών
Zeta Xekalaki's insight:
The fate of important antiquities found while digging out to construct the underground of Thessaloniki has been a major issue for everybody involved in this major work: archaeologists, city authorities and constructors. While the Central Archaeological Council has decided to move the finds elsewhere in order for the works to proceed, the local Archaeological Ephorate for Byzantine Antiquities is still fighting to keep the monuments in situ as part of the tube stop under construction - and possibly as a future attraction for passengers and tourists alike.
Antiquities are "building" history on behalf of people and society, says Dr. Despoina Macropoulou, director of the Ephorate. Her opinion is shared also by the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. Giannis Boutaris and the Dean of the University of Thessaloniki Prof. Giannis Mylopoulos.
The Daily News Egypt (70 percent of books destroyed in fire, says Dar Al-Kotob head http://t.co/pVafnOGS #AncientEgypt #Egyptology #Archaeology #Egypt...)..." but volunteers go on to restore the historical Library
The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden)
2311 EW Leiden 2301 EC Leiden
30 September 2011 - 19 February 2012
Photographs by Sue Lezon and Yarko Kobylecky
"Sites in the City presents photographs of streets and buildings in the Egyptian city of Luxor and the nearby village of Qurna. They show that the cultural heritage of recent centuries has had to make way for pharaonic heritage and new tourist facilities. The photographers Sue Lezon and Yarko Kobylecky captured as many Coptic churches, mosques, old mansions, and other buildings as possible on film before they disappeared forever.
All over the world, our modern way of life places ancient monuments at risk. A case in point is Luxor, a southern Egyptian city with more than 400,000 inhabitants. Luxor was built on top of one of the highest concentrations of archaeological material in the world: the remains of Thebes, the ancient Egyptian capital.
Climate change, population growth, and rising numbers of tourists pose a serious threat to Egypt's cultural heritage. Local authorities have responded with a plan to redevelop the ancient landscape around Luxor, transforming it into one enormous open-air museum. Their objective is to protect the heritage of pharaonic times and open it up to large-scale tourism."
On January 2, 2012, local communities in the Thulokhola watershed in Nuwakot gave the SLPS project research team a heartfelt traditional welcome with garlands and red powder, as well as flowers, fruits, coconuts and water ...
Florida archaeologist spearheads a unique event in Merritt Island.
Zeta Xekalaki's insight:
Tom Penders, an archaeologist and father to an autistic-blind 15 year old girl, came up with a unique plan that combined archaeology and his daughter! He created a vehicle that he hopes will make some difference in the quality of the lives of children and families who struggle with autism. Called 'Archaeologists for Autism' (AFA), he hopes to bring children with autism and their families together in one place, where they can experience archaeology and paleontology in a fun, low stress environment.
....And she is not alone. Kudos also to archaeologists /heritage specialists such as Yasmin el-Shazly, Yasmin el-Dorghamy and Nicole Hansen as well as archaeologist-tourguides such as Neri Sami and Enji Rashwan, who communicate to the world what is happening to Egypt through their photographic lens.
Some of the bronze and pottery pieces dated from the ninth century B.C. and were protected by a single guard at the Archaeological Museum of the history of the Ancient Olympic Games. Still, the Culture ...
New Dams on the Nile and Atbara and their effects on human rights, environment, and heritage.
The last dam built on the Nile, at the Fourth Cataract, was completed in 2008, displacing more than 60,000 people and flooding 170 kilometers of the river valley and adjacent land. The entire non-desert habitat was lost along with a human heritage that included vast numbers of archaeological sites. This followed on the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960's that displaced 150,000, with even greater damage to the environment and heritage.
Now, eight or more dams are planned and two are under contract, at Kajbar at the Third Cataract and Shereik at the Fifth. The region of Mahas in the Third Cataract is especially populated, with a long and rich history is now directly threatened with destruction. The area upstream of Shereik is less populated, but very poorly known. It is a crisis that will be discussed at a brief conference at the British Museum on May 15, 2012.
This forum is intended to disseminate news and ideas about the dams crises in Sudan and Egypt, past and present, to help develop means to mitigate and possibly even avert some of the worst consequences.
Grab a Pen Mr. Gingrich, it’s Time for your History Lesson Written by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat
Friday, 16 December 2011 21:37 -
Being an expert on solutions for winning the future , Gingrich didn't waste much time and decided to not only do the utmost but also the impossible for Israel's sake by calling the Palestinians an “ invented ” people who could have voluntarily evacuated their homeland and chose to live elsewhere. While I could conceal my annoyance over Gingrich's outrageous and deceitful statement, which lacks both the minimum historical awareness and political wisdom I find myself unable to hide my disgust of his disgraceful conduct. Mr. Gingrich as a presidential hopeful and a longtime politician is supposed to be, in a way,
representing the mainstream American diplomacy when he speaks to the foreign media- unless the Jewish channel is not considered that. And if he as a person was not embarrassed to openly brownnose Israel in that unprecedented and degrading manner, then he should have uttered those nonsense comments in a less public session, like at his country club and amongst his circle of Zionist financiers of his campaign who certainly would have been ecstatic to hear him ranting that way. But for him to publicize this hate speech in a televised interview and furthermore repeat it durin g the presidential debates is an affront to the whole American diplomacy and a dangerous indication for a paradigm shift of that diplomacy in the Middle East. Who allowed this plumpy Gingrich to act as Israel's advocate while ironically running for the presidency of the United States? Who told him that he can put on his racist mask, erase decades of peace brokering, albeit not entirely successful, and start messing up the politics of one of the most volatile places on earth while hallucinating about its documented ancient history? The Arabs and the Palestinians, whom he likes to see invented and therefore movable or even invisible, will not take his statement as a twisted attitude of some republican candidate but another proof of the American flagrant biased policy in the Middle East.
Grab a Pen Mr. Gingrich, it’s Time for your History Lesson Written by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat Friday, 16 December 2011 21:37 - The last thing the United States needs right now as its troops are pulling out of the Iraqi swamp and being kicked out of the Afghan-Pakistan Death Valley is another (needless)stir of the anti-American sentiments in that part of the world. Only Mr. Gingrich doesn't think so. Appearing in his debates foolishly standing by his offensive remarks and apparently drunk with the encouraging feedback he gets from his Israeli friends, this former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives irresponsibly insists on sketching the landscape for the most dreadful political forecast in the Middle East. It is ironic to see the millions of patriotic Americans rallying on the streets and literally occupying the country in protest over what they called the corporate greed and at the same time we find candidates like Gingrich so sick and blinded with greed they can't feel the danger nor the shame in sleeping in the same bed with the real enemy. How did America end up in that humiliating situation, where its presidential frontrunners are but a bunch of clowns who are always willing to dance to Israel's favorite tune? I take a look at all the 2012 presidential hopefuls and I fail to find any hope in them as they frantically compete with each other to suck up to Israel as if the American presidential polls will be held in Tel Aviv. Mr. Gingrich has every right to brownnose, kiss ass and suck up to whomever he likes, he has the right to relinquish his national identity and pride ... but he has no right to strip the Palestinians of that pride and identity while doing so. Obviously, for someone that historically ignorant, Mr. Gingrich must have been tipped by one of his aides that what really troubled Israel recently is the release of Shlomo Sand's bestseller book “The invention of the Jewish people” Let's talk history, history will tell who was invented.
In that book, Prof. Sand attempts to prove that the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the land of the philistines in the late Bronze Age. Prof. Sand is saying that the nowadays Jews who have been immigrating since over a century now to the land of Palestine are but varied peoples that converted to Judaism during the course of history in different corners of Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and the adjacent regions like in Yemen and Iraq. According to Sand, the description of the Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles, who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland is nothing but “national mythology.” And therefore the Jewish people, historically speaking and as Mr. Gingrich likes to call it, is invented. But since Mr. Gingrich likes to see his ranting about the Palestinians as factually correct history ...then maybe we should do it his way and talk history...only this time let's do it right, but first I would like to introduce Professor Ze'ev Herzog to Mr. Gingrich. Prof. Ze'ev Herzog teaches in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. He took part in the excavations of Hazor and Megiddo with Yigael Yadin and in the digs at Tel Arad and Tel Be'er Sheva with Yohanan Aharoni. He has conducted digs at Tel Michal and Tel Gerisa and has recently begun digging at Tel Yaffo. He is the author of books on the city gate in Palestine and its neighbors and on two excavations, and has written a book summing up the archaeology of the ancient city. Prof. Herzog belongs to the modern generation of Israeli academic archeologists who have been digging, in a truly scientific approach, all over the land of Palestine ever since the establishment of the state of Israel but more extensively after 1967, in an attempt to reach some sort of a historical proof that would legitimatize the ancient Israelite story and therefore could back up and maybe make sense of the current Zionist land grab of Palestine. After decades of extensive and arduous archeological excavations and search, Prof. Herzog and many other Israeli archeologists such as Prof. Israel Finkelstein et al reached a robust
Conclusion that somehow resembled Prof. Sand's thesis of the invention of the Jewish people. only in addition, they concluded that the greatest chunk of the Israelite story according to the Bible is a mere myth – the interesting parts of it copied out from both the Mesopotamian and the Egyptian mythologies and the remaining tedious details are just tribal narrative invented by the minds of the Hebrew scribes of the old testament. Archeology and history of Palestine “Right or Albright” Apart from the Bible, the first mention in history of the Philistines dates back to the late Bronze Age 1150-1200 BCE. They are unmistakably mentioned in Egyptian texts as detailed on the wall inscriptions of “ Medinet Habu “, the majestic temple of king Ramses III that documented the war with the Sea Peoples , the philistines is one of them, who inhabited the coastal land from Phoenicia down to Egypt. And the philistines appear once again in the work of the Greek historian Herodotus in the middle of the 5th century BCE. The archaeology of Palestine developed as a science at a relatively late date, in the late 19th and early 20th century. The main push behind archaeological research in Palestine was the country's relationship with the Holy Scriptures. The first excavators in Palestine were biblical researchers who were looking for the remains of the cities cited in the Bible. Archaeology assumed momentum with the activity of William Foxwell Albright , who was convinced that if the ancient remains of Palestine were uncovered, they would furnish unequivocal proof of the historical truth of the events relating to the Jewish people in its land. But it didn't take long before “the spade and the Bible ” school of Albright proved not right. The biblical archaeology that developed following Albright and his pupils brought about a series of extensive digs at the important biblical tells: Megiddo, Lachish, Gezer, Shechem (Nablus), Jericho, Jerusalem, Ai, Giveon, Beit She'an, Beit Shemesh, Hazor, Ta'anach and others. The way was supposed to be straight and clear: every new finding should contribute to the building of a harmonious picture of the past.
Slowly, cracks began to appear in the picture. Paradoxically, a situation was created in which the glut of findings began to undermine the historical credibility of the biblical descriptions instead of reinforcing them. The explanations became ponderous and the picture inelegant as the pieces didn't fit together smoothly. Here is a summary by Prof. Herzog, from his famous article “deconstructing the walls of Jericho” published in Ha'aretz Magazine, Friday, October 29, 1999 that explains why the harmonious picture of the historicity of the Promised Land collapsed Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn't want to hear about it This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal territory. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai. Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people—and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story—now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people's emergence are radically different from what that story tells.
Palestinian family from Ramalla 1900-1910 In other words, the Israelite history is invented and therefore the Zionists could have settled somewhere else than Palestine, Uganda for example, as Herzl had proposed at the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basel on August 26, 1903. Indeed Mr. Gingrich, The British Uganda would have been a wiser choice and a better place to accommodate the influx of Jewish immigrants ... it would have saved the Palestinians the unnecessary massacres and the ongoing ethnic cleansing, but most importantly it would have saved us the aggravation of listening to your pathetic tampering with the history of Palestine.
The American University in Cairo Press, 2011, 532 p.
"A historical–anthropological study of the people who lived in the antiquities precinct of Luxor’s West Bank Until their recent demolition, the colorful mud-brick hamlets of al-Qurna village, situated among the Noble Tombs of the Theban Necropolis on the Luxor West Bank, were home to a vibrant community. Inhabiting a place of intensive Egyptological research for over two centuries, it was inevitable that Qurnawis should become part of the history of Egyptology and the development of archaeological practice in the Theban Necropolis. But they have mostly been regarded as laborers for the excavation teams or dealers in the illicit antiquities trade. The modern people inhabiting the ancient burial grounds have themselves rarely been considered. By demonstrating the multiplicity of economic activities that are carried out in al-Qurna, this study counters the villagers’ stereotypical representation as tomb robbers, and restores an understanding of who they are as people living their lives in the shadow of valued cultural heritage." (présentation de l'éditeur)
The Hawass rule at the SCA went together with targeting western audiences (alienating the Egyptian ones) and population relocations to give way to antiquities. Will archaeology be more community-orientated? Is there a middle road?
Activists warn against CSIS intimidation tacticsCTV.caAn umbrella organization representing activist groups is launching a public campaign against Canada's security agency, accusing it of harassing and threatening its members.