Mar 05 2017

4,000 Year Old Dolmen Found in Upper Galilee

(Photo credit: GONEN SHARON / TEL HAI COLLEGE)

(Photo credit: GONEN SHARON / TEL HAI COLLEGE)

An unusually large Bronze Age dolmen, or megalithic tomb, has been discovered by Dr. Gonen Sharon of Tel Hai College’s Galilee Studies Program. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, this dolmen is unique due to its size, its surrounding structure, and rock drawings engraved on its ceiling — the first art ever evidenced on a dolmen from the ancient Near East.

Dolmens are well evidenced globally, from the U.K. to Asia, including those with known or suspected astronomical alignments or markings. For example, dolmens have been found in North Korea decorated with cup marks corresponding to various constellations, with many such marks aligned toward the direction of the sunrise at winter solstice. (1) In the Middle East, thousands of dolmens have been found, including concentrated areas known as “dolmens fields”.

Archeologists from Tel Hai College, the Antiquities Authority, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem published a study on the find in the Upper Galilee last weekend in the scientific journal PLOS One.

At this point, there have been no specific archeoastronomical findings related to this dolmen. I will update if any new information is published.

To read the full Jerusalem Post article, please visit this link.

To view several other dolmens in the Middle East and beyond, please click here.

(1) Yang, Hong-Jin. 2014. “Astronomical Aspects of Korean Dolmens”. In Clive L. N. Ruggles, Ed. Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. Springer, pp. 2149-2156.


Dec 23 2016

Happy holidays!

Category: Announcementsalobel @ 3:38 pm

Wishing all my readers a happy holiday season, and a joyous new year!

 

happy

 


Oct 02 2016

A happy Jewish new year!

Category: Announcements,Special Postingsalobel @ 11:50 am

 

newyear

 

L’shanah tovah to all of my readers celebrating the Jewish new year.

May you be inscribed and sealed for a happy, sweet, healthy, and prosperous year!

 לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו

 


Sep 22 2016

Entrepreneurship for Academics: Online course begins January, 2017

Category: Announcements,Coursesalobel @ 10:08 am

entrepreneurshipcourse

For all PhDs and ABDs, including adjunct lecturers, who seek a supplemental income and have considered going into business for themselves, either while seeking full-time academic positions or permanently, this course may be right for you.

Entrepreneurship for Academics will cover the fundamentals of launching a home-based small business, including entrepreneurial skills such as:

  • Thinking and writing like an entrepreneur (for academics)
  • Evaluating existing skills and developing a business concept
  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • For-profit vs. not-for-profit structures
  • Developing a mission statement
  • Market research and competition analysis
  • Business registration, incorporation, legal, and potential funding resources in your community
  • Pricing
  • Web site content ideas
  • Advertising, promotion and social media strategies
  • Media relations
  • Basic bookkeeping
  • Open questions from students

Times and dates (five sessions):

Sundays, January 22, 29, and February 5, 12, and 19, 2017, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern time.

Location:

Online, via GoToMeeting

Tuition:

$299.00 Canadian (Students from all countries are welcome.)

Sign up at this link.

Contact Dr. Andrea D. Lobel at info@illumaeducation.com for more information.

And of course, please feel free to share this widely. Thank you!

 

 


Jun 28 2016

New publication: Divination as Science A Workshop on Conducted during the 60th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Warsaw, 2014. Jeanette C. Fincke, Ed.

divinationasscience

 

This new book on the scientific nature of divination in the ancient Near East was recently released (June, 2016) by Eisenbraun’s. Reviews and comments are very much welcome.

Bibliographic details:

Divination as Science
A Workshop on Conducted during the 60th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Warsaw, 2014
Edited by Jeanette C. Fincke
Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale – RAI 60W1
Eisenbrauns, 2016
Pp. xi + 172
ISBN: 1-57506-425-1
ISBN13: 978-1-57506-425-3
Your Price: $44.55

Description 

There is no doubt that Ancient Near Eastern divination is firmly rooted in religion, since all ominous signs were thought to have been sent by gods, and the invocation of omens was embedded in rituals. Nonetheless, the omen compendia display many aspects of a generally scientific nature. In their attempt to note all possible changes to the affected objects and to arrange their observations systematically for reference purposes, the scholars produced texts that resulted in a rather detailed description of the world, be it with respect to geography (the urban or rural environment on earth, or celestial and meteorological phenomena observed in the sky), biology (the outer appearance of the bodies of humans or animals, or the entrails of sheep), sociology (behavior of people) or others. Based on different divination methods and omen compendia, the question discussed during this workshop was whether the scholars had a scientific approach, presented as religion, or whether Ancient Near Eastern divination should be considered purely religious and that the term “science” is inappropriate in this context. The workshop attracted a large audience and lively discussion ensued. The papers presented in this volume reflect the focus of the sessions during the workshop and are likely to generate even more discussion, now that they are published.

Table of Contents for Divination as Science

Preface

Abbreviations

Bibliographical Abbreviations

Divination Between Religion and Science, JoAnn Scurlock

Bias in Observations of Natural Phenomena made for Divinatory Purposes, Ulla Susanne Koch

“Šamaš, great lord, whom I am asking, answer me with a reliable ‚Yes!”: The Influence of Divination on the Result of War, Krzysztof Ulanowski

Sheep Anatomical Terminology in the šumma immeru Omen Series and Additional Texts, Yoram Cohen

Some Remarks about the Old Babylonian Libanomancy Texts, Maria Stella Cingolo

The Oldest Mesopotamian Astronomical Treatise: enuma anu enlil, Jeanette C. Fincke

Divination and Religion as a Cultural System, Paul Delnero

Indexes

General index

Index of texts

For more information, or to order, please visit Eisenbrauns.


Jun 20 2016

Three upcoming events on ancient and early medieval Jewish medicine (Berlin)

Courtesy of Lennart Lehmhaus:

We would like to draw your attention to and cordially invite you to THREE upcoming events on the topic of ancient and early medieval Jewish medicine.

The Berlin based research project A03 on Talmudic and Byzantine medical knowledge, run by Markham J. Geller and Philip van der Eijk (AvH-professor, Humboldt University Berlin), will host Dr. Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim as a research fellow in June (20 – 29 June 2016).

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths, University of London) will present and discuss in various formats (workshops/lecture) her current research into the early history of a medical tradition in Hebrew (Book of Asaf/Sefer Refu’ot) and on the transfer of medical knowledge between East (China/Tibet/Central Asia) and West (Graeco-Roman/ Persian and Arabic traditions).

Tuesday, 21 June (ca. 15:00- 17:30, TOPOI library, ground floor) Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim will host a reading workshop (texts in translation) on the topic “The Hebrew Book of Asaf on Humours and Winds”.

LINK:
<https://www.academia.edu/26247041/Workshop_The_Hebrew_Book_of_Asaf_on_Humours_and_Winds_21_June_2016_FU_Berlin>

Thursday, 23 June (16:30-18:00, TOPOI library), Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim and Lennart Lehmhaus (A03-SFB 980, FU Berlin) will discuss the issue of “Bloodletting between the Talmudim and the Hebrew Book of Asaf” from a comparative perspective (as part of the course “Medizin im Talmud”, but open to all).

LINK:
<https://www.academia.edu/26247206/Reading_Session_Bloodletting_between_the_Talmudim_and_the_Hebrew_Book_of_Asaf_Thursday_23_June_2016_FU_Berlin>

Friday, 24 June (10-12), Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim will present a lecture within the framework of the SFB 980 Jour Fixe on “The Silk-Roads as a model for exploring Eurasian transmissions of medical knowledge”
(SFB-Villa, Schwendenerstr. 8, 14195 Berlin).

LINK:

https://www.academia.edu/26247428/SFB_980_Lecture_The_Silk-Roads_as_a_model_for_exploring_Eurasian_transmissions_of_medical_knowledge._Friday_24_June_2016_SFB_980_FU_Berlin

Everyone is welcome. Due to a limited number of seats,  please RSVP to: info@sfb-episteme.de

The fellowship is generously sponsored by the Collaborative Research Center/ SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period”)


Apr 21 2016

A happy Passover!

Category: Announcements,Judaismalobel @ 11:48 am

fullmoon

Wishing everyone who celebrates the holiday a happy, healthy, and kosher Passover!

We’re looking forward to spending it with our dear friends, who are like family to us. Weather-permitting, I can’t wait to do some astronomical observing.

From our home to yours, may you know joy and freedom this year and always!

To You alone we give thanks. Even if our mouths were filled with song as the sea, and our tongues with joyous singing like the multitudes of its waves, and our lips with praise like the vast expanse of the sky; and our eyes shining like the sun and the moon, and our hands spread out like the eagles of heaven, and our feet swift like deer, we would still be unable to thank You, oh God of our ancestors, and to bless Your Name, for even one of the thousands of millions, and myriads of myriads, of favours, miracles and wonders which You have done for us and for our ancestors before us.


Jan 06 2016

Egyptian Astronomy with Dr. Bernadette Brady on London Study Day, February 6, 2016

Egyptian Goddess Nut

If you’re in the vicinity of London, you’re invited to join Dr. Bernadette Brady as she teaches An Introduction to Egyptian Astronomy on London Study Day, Sophia Centre for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

During this session, participants will learn about the myth, religion, and civic roles of the sky in ancient Egypt from the time of the Old Kingdom through the Hellenistic period.

Study Day will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David London Campus, Winchester House, 11 Cranmer Rd, London SW9 6EJ.

For more information and/or to register, please visit the event web site.

 


Nov 05 2015

Special session: ‘Astronomy in the Ancient Near East’, November 10th at the SEAC conference, Rome

Courtesy of the Agade listserv and Dr. Lorenzo Verderame, the following special session on the ancient Near East will take place on November 10th, during the SEAC (Société européenne pour l’astronomie dans la culture / European Society for Astronomy in Culture) annual conference on Astronomy in Past and Present Cultures, to be be held in Rome, 9-13 November 2015.

More information available at http://www.brera.inaf.it/SEAC2015

———

Special session: ‘Astronomy in the Ancient Near East’, November 10, 2015

8:00-9:00 Posters Mounting

9:00 – 9:20 J. A. Belmonte, M. C. Pérez Die, L. Díaz-Iglesias Llanos Shrines of Ram-Headed Divinities and Canopus: Skyscaping at Herakleópolis Magna

9:20 – 9:40 A. C. González-GarcÌa, J. A. Belmonte, A. Polcaro A diachronic analysis of monument orientation in the Levant: the Jordanian paradigm

9:40 - 10:00 S. Gullberg The Babylonian Astronomical Diaries: A Graphical Analysis of their Implied Reference System

10:00 – 10:20 A. Jones Eclipses in Greco-Roman Egypt: Trends in Observation, Prediction, and Interpretation

10:20- 10:40 D. Nadali, A. Polcaro The sky from the high terrace: study on the orientation of the ziqqurat in ancient Mesopotamia

10:40 - 11:00 E. Orrelle Identifying transition in ritual power in the Neolithic of the Levant

• 11:00 Coffee break

11:15 – 11:35 S. Pizzimenti The Kudurrus and the Sky. Analysis and Interpretation of the Astral Symbols as Represented in Kassite Kudurrus Reliefs

11:35 - 11:55 E. Ratson Ideal Lunar Velocity

11:55 – 12:15 A. Rodríguez Antón, J. A. Belmonte, A. C. González-Garcìa Romans in Near East: Orientation of Roman towns and forts inmodern Jordan

12:15 - 12:35 S. Shinnar Rabbinic Standards for Accuracy in Lunar Observation: Regulating the Calendar in the Mishnah Rosh Hashanah

12:35 – 12:55 J. Steele Evidence for the Practice of Astronomy and Astrology in the “House of the ašipu’ in Uruk

12:55 – 13:15 L. Verderame Pleiades in ancient Mesopotamia

 

 


Oct 15 2015

Article: ‘Decoding the Star Charts of Ancient Egypt’

Nut (top), the Egyptian sky goddess Photograph by Ferit Kuyas; courtesy of the University of Tübingen Museum

Nut (top), the Egyptian sky goddess
Photograph by Ferit Kuyas; courtesy of the University of Tübingen Museum

Courtesy of the Agade listserv, this fascinating article in Scientific American Volume 313, Issue 4, available for purchase here.

Preview:

Decoding the Star Charts of Ancient Egypt
Mysterious tables of astronomical information have been found in 4,000-year-old coffins. What in the world was their purpose?

By Sarah Symons and Elizabeth Tasker

The Egyptian town of Mallawi is not on the main tourist beat, given its location 260 miles and a seven-hour train ride north of the temple complexes at Luxor. But one of us (Symons) traveled there in May 2013 with Robert Cockcroft, a postdoctoral researcher in her laboratory, hoping to see one of the oldest astronomical records in the world. The record, which had been described only vaguely, was indeed there, but to their astonishment, it was not the only one.

“I can see writing!” Cockcroft exclaimed. At that moment, he was crouched beside a display case that enclosed a coffin in the central room of the Mallawi Monuments Museum, craning his neck to peer at the underside of the propped-up wood lid. Symons flicked the beam of her flashlight to illuminate a thin batten-a cross piece-that held the flat panels of wood together. The batten’s surface was painted with graceful hieroglyphics representing star names, and Symons and Cockcroft immediately realized that the cross piece was part of yet another ancient astronomical record. Until that moment, no one had recognized the batten’s significance; it had been attached to this particular coffin by mistake [....]

[Click here for full purchasable full story, with charts].


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