Archive for the 'Archeology' Category

Raiders of the Lost Archive: Don’t return the rescued written treasures of Iraqi Jews to Baghdad

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

By Sara Y. Aharon

In 2003, a team of 16 American soldiers in Baghdad stumbled upon a lost treasure trove of thousands of documents belonging to Iraq’s Jewish community.

These rare materials, thought to have been stored originally in synagogues and private Jewish homes, were sitting in a moldy, flooded basement of the muhkabarat, Saddam Hussein’s feared secret police.

The collection, now referred to as the “Iraqi Jewish archive,” contains “2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents in Hebrew, Arabic, Judeo-Arabic and English, dating from 1540 to the 1970s,” including a 1568 Bible and several Torah scrolls, according to the National Archives in Washington.

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Are we willing to die to save the past?

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

by Alexander H. Joffe*

Preserving the past has costs. Much of the world shares the belief that the past has intrinsic value, which is encoded into laws and regulations that imperfectly protect, preserve and study historical and archaeological remains.

Contributions, admission fees and taxes pay for the upkeep of monuments from the Parthenon to the Liberty Bell. When highways are constructed they are diverted around historical landmarks, or the landmarks are moved. Archaeological excavations slow construction everywhere. But are we willing to kill or die for the past?

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Huffington Post, MSM Facilitate Destruction of Egypt’s Pyramids

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Because the article “Calls to Destroy Egypt’s Great Pyramids Begin” went viral on the Internet—read nearly 400,000 times on FrontPage Magazine alone where it first appeared—as expected, the infamous “hoax” charge has been made to lull the West back to sleep.

According to Daily News Egypt’s “Another hoax: cleric calls on President Morsy to destroy Giza Pyramids,” the calls from the Bahraini cleric I cited “urging President Mohamed Morsy to destroy the Giza Pyramids were issued from a parody Twitter account online, the Daily News Egypt has learned.”

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Calls to Destroy Egypt’s Great Pyramids Begin

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids—or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi’i, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax. Most recently, Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs” and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what Amr bin al-As could not.”

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Islam vs. History

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

The Islamist destruction underway in Timbuktu (including the tomb of Sidi Mahmoudou, d. 955, and the doors of the Sidi Yahya Mosque, ca. 1400) raises a question: What is it about Islam that so often turns its adherents against their own patrimony? Consider some examples:

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The Rhetoric of Nonsense: Fabricating Palestinian History

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

by Alexander H. Joffe*

For nearly two decades the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been denying Israel’s right to exist, and a recent “Nakba Day” was no exception. In a Gaza speech on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, his personal representative made the following statement:

National reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah] is required in order to face Israel and Netanyahu. We say to him [Netanyahu], when he claims that they [Jews] have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E.—we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history B.C.E. This is the truth, which must be understood, and we have to note it, in order to say: “Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history.”[1]

This remarkable assertion has been almost completely ignored by the Western media. Yet it bears a thorough examination: not only as an indication of unwavering Palestinian rejection of Israel’s right to exist but as an insightful glimpse into the psyche of their willfully duped Western champions.

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The world WILL end in 2012 if YOU want it to…

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Sir Isaac Newton — no slouch, inventor of calculus, discoverer of the basic principles of planetary orbital motion, a father of optics, who elucidated gravity — predicted the world will end in 2060. Correspondingly, consider the list of “10 Failed Doomsday Predictions.” Now consider that evidence has surfaced showing that the much-over-hyped Mayan “prediction” of the end of the world in 2012 may be off-target:

… A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.) …

Hmmm… I’m still not convinced that the Maya “predicted” anything for 2012. Rather, their civilization collapsed, their astronomers lost their jobs, and probably stopped calculating calendric events (maybe just simple dates) when they reached 2012.

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Exclusive Scoop: A Shocking Example: How NY Times Coverage Buries Middle East Reality; Find the Four Gigantic Errors

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

In my entire life I have rarely read an article which simultaneously showed the need to be well-informed before reading a newspaper and the shocking shortcomings of mass media coverage of the Middle East than this minor piece about the reopening of the Cairo synagogue. I’ve never said this before but will now: If you want to understand the Middle East’s reality and how it is distorted in the media, read the following analysis.

Have a little patience and I think you will see precisely what I mean.

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More Evidence Legitimizes Israel’s Existence

Monday, July 6th, 2009

By Andrew L. Jaffee

An alliance — if one can call it that — of Arabs, Muslims, leftists, and fascists — has spent years trying to delegitimize Israel’s existence and deny the rights of Jews to live in their ancestral homeland. Yet any cursory look at these delegitimizers’ “proof” shows them to be ignorant, racist people — especially uninformed about archaeology. Yet more evidence has been found showing an ancient Jewish presence in the Holy Land:

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient quarry where they believe King Herod extracted stones for the construction of the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday. The archaeologists believe the 1,000-square-foot (100-square-meter) quarry was part of a much larger network of quarries used by Herod in the city. …

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Middle East Studies in Fiction

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

by Cinnamon Stillwell*

It isn’t often that characters based on the field of Middle East studies show up in current fiction, but the novels of author Daniel Silva are an exception. The last three novels of his series featuring Israeli secret agent/art restorer Gabriel Allon explore the intersection of Middle East studies and international intrigue.

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Nehemiah: Biblical and Historical Convergence

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

More evidence has been found corroborating Biblical texts:

A wall mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Nehemiah and long sought by archaeologists apparently has been found, an Israeli archaeologist says. …

The findings suggest that the structure was actually part of the same city wall the Bible says Nehemiah rebuilt, Mazar said. The Book of Nehemiah gives a detailed description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by the Babylonians. …

See also: Jeremiah: Biblical and Historical Convergence

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The Rise and Fall of… We Ourselves?

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Those who forget the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them… Did the great Maya — masters of astronomy, architecture, poetry, hydrology, engineering, mathematics, art, written language, agriculture, road building, politics, pageantry, propaganda, weaponry — see the end coming? Were they so different from us? Millions now sit back indulging in perversions masquerading as “entertainment,” like Saw, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Beginning, Xtreme Fighting, Grand Theft Auto, and Top (Dead) Model’s beautiful corpses. Are we so different from them? Look at this Classic Age fresco, from National Geographic, most assuredly a piece of mainstream Mayan propaganda and/or art (below).

Are we at the edge now? Not yet. Is the precipice in sight? I would say that prime time porn and violence is a bad sign. Don’t remember the Mayan ball game? How about the Colosseum or Circus Maximus? It hasn’t been that long since Andy Griffith was considered mainstream. Look where we are now. Why repeat the mistakes of the past when they are enumerated in text books?

Mayan horror...
In a terrifying expression of royal power, a stucco mural at Toniná shows a turtle-footed skeleton grabbing the hair of a severed head—with portrait-like features, perhaps of a real person—and a mythical rodent holding another head in a ritual bundle. These characters were the wayob, the affliction-spewing alter egos of kings that were used to curse enemies. They work here amid a scaffold bearing the heads of human sacrifices.

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Jeremiah: Biblical and Historical Convergence

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Regardless of the “larger debate between scholars known as biblical ‘minimalists’ and ‘maximalists’,” this little clay tablet proves that the Babylonians knew about Jews and Israel in 595 B.C. Sorry to the historical revisionists: you cannot erase Jewish history. From Time Magazine:

This tablet contains details about the life of the Biblical character Jeremiah.

… The tablet itself is certainly genuine. On July 10 the [British] Museum announced that a Viennese expert working his way through thousands of similar clay documents in its possession translated one dating from 595 B.C that described a gift of 1.7 lbs. of gold to a Babylonian temple by a “chief eunuch” named Nabu-sharrussu-ukin.

A museum official called it “a world-class find.” What makes the ancient but seemingly mundane receipt significant is that the book of Jeremiah in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) mentions the exact same official — though under a different transliteration, Nebo-Sarsekim, and a different title, chief officer, as accompanying the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar when he marched against Jerusalem in 587.

According to some experts, that proves that whoever wrote Jeremiah wasn’t making it up. …

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Mesoamerican “Scholar” Goes Apocalypto on Mel

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

The violent history of the Maya has been sanitized as nonviolent, proving that having a “Ph.D.” after your name doesn’t really prove anything. Case in point: Alicia Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American studies at California State University, Northridge, Thursday night accused Mel Gibson “of misrepresenting the Mayan culture in the movie” Apocalypto. Estrada, in a superior display of historic ignorance, argued “that representations in the movie that the Mayans engaged in sacrificial ceremonies and had bloodthirsty tendencies were both wrong and racist.”

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Whitewashing (Aztec) Terrorism

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

I don’t know how many of you are fans of archeology, let alone that of Meso-America, but there are certainly those of you interested in the politically-correct whitewashing of terrorism. How are the two subjects related? Let me explain. The justification of current-day terrorism is advocated by the same ilk, those who would rewrite the modern-day cause of terrorist atrocities (e.g., “Palestinians are driven by desperation”), as well as those who would edit, for example, the pre-Columbian history of Mexico. Recent archeological evidence shows that the Aztecs were indeed as despicable as reported by Spanish Conquistadors, defying politically-correct rationalizations for the tribe’s thirst for human sacrifice.

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The Aztec CalendarThe Mayan Calendar
The Aztec and Mayan calendars.

I recently watched a History Channel “documentary” which either 1) rationalized the Aztec tribe’s insatiable appetite for human sacrifice on the grounds that they were “deeply religious” people, afraid that, if not enough ritual blood was spilled, the sun wouldn’t rise the next day; or 2) the Spanish Conquistadors, led by Hernando Cortez, made up their accounts of mass Aztec human sacrifice rituals as a form of propaganda.

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