Saturday, December 18, 2010

This and That -- From the Archaeologists Themselves

Cynical Boardgame About Archaeology
From Dr. Martin Rundkvist's blog.  He's intelligent, cogent, and succinct, and has a great sense of irony.  He's an archaeologist, too!  This post has a few choice things to say - you've got to read it for yourself :)

From archaeologist Judith Weingarten's always excellent blog Zenobia: Empress of the East, a two-part post on the extraordinary tomb portraits of Palmyra and the intriguing array of finger-pointings (no pun intended) in which the deceased held their hands and fingers in a variety of ways.  Was it a secret language?
The Secret Language of Palmyra (Part 1) November 14, 2010
The Secret Language of Palmyra (Part 2) December 15, 2010
The brief discussion about the nephesh and where it may have "resided" is also fascinating.  Despite the "accepted" orthodoxy of various religions today about what happens to one's soul when one dies, this is something I expect is very much on the minds of people under particular circumstances, because no one has yet come back from the dead to let us know what really is beyond "the veil"...  It is still very much a matter of faith, and faith these days in particular, seems in scarce supply.

One of the Lewis chess queens,
British Museum.
 Many years ago Ricardo Calvo wrote an article about the pointing finger portraits of the Knights Templar and other figures depicted in King Alphonso XII's "Book of Games" - I've got it stashed somewhere on the hard-drive of my old desktop - and how there was a "code" in the various hand/finger positions.  I never did work my way through the article or, if I did, I don't remember it.  I was trying to render it into comprehensible English from a bad Google Spanish-to-English translation for eventual publication at Goddesschess.  It was after that, in the early 2000's, that it seemed everywhere I looked I saw a portrait of someone or other pointing!  Kings and Queens most particularly, because they were the ones who were most-often painted in the earliest days whose portraits still survive, but also in such interesting pieces as the Lewis chessmen.  I have an entire gallery of various queens and goddesses from various civilizations and from all ages, all with pointing hands/fingers, saved in my images archive on that computer, intending to do something with them - someday.  I continue to add to the collection!

Could there possibly be a connection, or is it coincidence?  It seems astounding that there could be any connection between the ancient Palmyran hand/finger gestures and -- well, stranger things have happened.

From Heritage Key - don't know how I missed this interview, but I did:
archaeologist Sarah Milledge Nelson
The Shaman Queens of Ancient Korea
Submitted by owenjarus on Tue, 09/29/2009 - 11:19

...if you look at the genealogy, through the time period, the kings are all married to the daughter of queens, which sounds like female succession if you think of it the other way around.   ...The queen is queen and the daughter become queen and her daughter becomes queen, and they all have husbands from different places. It’s not going father to son, its going mother to daughter. ...
She's not an archaeologist, she's an historian:
The great-grandmother of Jesus was a woman named Ismeria, according to Florentine medieval manuscripts analyzed by a historian
(From Discovery Online, December 9, 2010)

Article published in Journal of Medieval History, by Catherine Lawless, a lecturer in history at the University of Limerick.

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