Today's Archaeological Misc .... (Rants)

The British Museum has or had asbestos. At least one person there has died of asbestos related carcinoma - Tony in the Egyptology department (he was paid a token amount of compensation). None of the staff I've spoken to have heard about the issue, so I smell a cover up. I'm going to put in another Freedom of Information request, but I'm sure the reply will be the usual nonsense. Asbestos is serious, and dying is ... cultural property disputes can seem important, but this is a much more serious issue.

Cleopatra was white not black, and that it's not racist to say so any more than it's racist to say that President Obama is black - it's just true. The Macedonians were white, although this blonde from a Macedonian tomb is particularly blonde (source). Also, she probably wasn't beautiful. Her appeal may have included her brain, but it was largely that she had a country and lots of gold to fund Caesar's and Marc Anthony's civil wars. I get some angry emails every time she's in the news lately, and someone links to my old What Did Cleopatra Look Like? post on a blog or forum. Also, no her sister Arsinoe was not part African, or at least there is no proof of that despite the documentary - the tomb in Ephesus may or may not have contained Arsinoe (there is no proof either way), and her skull has in any case been missing for a long time, and the reconstruction 'proof' is based on a really old photo. If that's what you call solid evidence then I'm ...

Speaking of which, another story that sometimes makes the rounds is someone claiming to have proof of who the real model for Indiana Jones or Lara Croft is (it varies regularly, and is as often an over-enthusiastic PR as a fan). I don't know about Indiana Jones, but I am not, no matter how many similarities people find, in any way connected to or an inspiration for the Lara Croft movies. I can go one further and tell you that no-one was - I know one of the producers, and he told me that they just sat down and came up with her story themselves. There may be a model for Indie, but not for Lara Croft.

I appreciate people writing to suggest an innovative new explanation for the elongated skulls of the Eighteenth Dynasty in Egypt and the Huns - here. Whilst suggesting that they are alien is an interesting theory, I don't feel that I can submit the theory to a peer-refereed journal without further proof. I'm also not sure how to footnote it ...

I am so upset with Amazon UK. The company itself is fine, but they use the most useless courier in the world - Citi Link. Citi Link repeatedly failed to deliver several parcels I ordered last summer, claiming no-one was there to sign for them - I pointed out to Amazon UK that it was a hospital staffed 24/7 ... They also apparently under the terms of business are allowed to leave parcels up to six doors away. That might be fine in the suburbs, but imagine how frustrating it is when they leave it with someone up to six buildings full of apartments away - and don't bother to tell you with whom! Apparently Amazon think I should waste hours contacting every single neighbour, they told me.
If anyone can suggest an alternative, I'll be happy to boycott them.  Although meantime my Hannakah / Christmas Wish List is here, LOL, but if anyone wants to send me anything, please send Xanax by regular post first, as I cannot cope with Citi Link leaving a failed delivery card without ringing the doorbell again ... and please note that based on my experience of the company, Citi Link has failed to easily deliver 50 % of the deliveries I know of, so goodness knows what happens to the ones I don't know of. Amazon has pretty much cornered the market for academic books, there are very few small specialist bookshops left - and now we're stuck with them.

Today's cute puppy video is here (Ellie still does this when she sleeps). The archaeology connection is that last month's Archaeology Magazine had a feature story on dogs.

1 comment:

  1. It is now 4 1/2 years since this blog was posted, but I just now found it. My question is about the illustration: what does this illustration have to do with Cleopatra? The illustration is of Kore (or Persephone) from Macedonia. If one visits the many archaeological museums in Greek Macedonia, one finds that all of them display many of these figures, mostly as small sculptures. However, the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum displays a sarcophagus with a painted Kore figure on the inside. It seems that ancient Macedonian women had to have a representation of Kore in their graves, probably to give them credibility with the queen of the Kingdom of Hades when they came face-to-face with her.


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