Friday, December 10, 2010

In Celebration of Coptic Art

Published during week of December 9-15, 2010 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Nevine El-Aref | Excerpt:
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said Coptic Art Revealed was the first locally- curated exhibition on Coptic art. It focuses on the splendours of the Coptic era and highlights the Copts' outstanding contribution to Egypt's diverse and rich heritage. The exhibition includes several painted icons by renowned artists as well as beautiful textiles; illuminated manuscripts; an excerpt from the famous Nagaa Hammadi scrolls; stone and wooden friezes with intricate Coptic designs and splendid objects for daily use.

Rare Find by Polish Archaeologists in Egypt

Originally published December 9, 2010 | New from Poland | Congratulations to the Polish team! "Polish archaeologists working in Egypt have discovered the burial places of some 400 people dating back to1 BC or even earlier."

What Explains a Peaceful Greek Trade City in Ancient Egypt?

Originally published December 10, 2010 | Kansas City infoZine | by Jeannine Chatterton-Papineau | Excerpt:

Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology is delving deeper into this unique piece of ancient history to come up with a new explanation for how Naukrtis developed, and how its inhabitants managed to operate on foreign soil and create a new sense of common identity.

The Greeks that inhabited Naukrtis, explains Dr. Fantalkin, may have come from warring city states at home, but they formed a trade settlement in Egypt under the protection of powerful Eastern empires. This link not only brought them together as a culture, but explains how they were allowed to operate in the midst of Egyptian territory. Dr. Fantalkin's theory was recently presented at the Cultural Contexts in Antiquity conference in Innsbruck, Austria, and will soon be published in the proceedings of the conference.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Math Puzzles’ Oldest Ancestors Took Form on Egyptian Papyrus

Originally published: December 6, 2010 | the New York Times | by Pam Belluck | In ancient Egypt, math had a practical purpose. I doubt any scribe worth his hekat would question the reason he was solving any of these 85 problems, as modern students in the lower grades tend to do. I would say that it's not so surprising that most of the solutions to the problems in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus are accurate. Ahmes' estimation of the value for Pi is almost spot-on. Therefore, it's no surprise that this culture built pyramids, the construction of which we moderns still can't fathom pursuing with tools that were known to have been used back them. For lack of a better defense: They were very clever.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Egyptian Bones Could Help Solve Canine Conundrum

Originally published November 29, 2010 | Spiegel Online International | Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan | Perhaps the secret to the mammalian evolution of canis lupus into the 400 breeds of dogs today, from dachshunds to Great Danes, can be found at Hamunaptra (Well, not per se; rather, the Temple of Anubis at Saqqara...but it's a romantic thought, no?). The article also features an array of beautiful art depicting the domesticated dog in ancient Egypt. On a side note, this gives me an idea for another historical fiction novel. I'll save it for the third in the series I'm currently working on, as I'm already working on an outline for the second.