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Modern crimes against ancient gods (and 2/3rd gods)

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Sealing from the Adda seal, Sippar, Akkadian period, ca. 2300 BCE.
Image © British Museum Trustees.
If you are aware of this blog then you are probably aware that this is a sequel to the post Modern crimes against ancient goddesses from early April.  In that post I vented about the wilful misuse of modern interpreations of ancient artefacts on internet sites like Pinterest, Wikipedia and various pop history pages.  And at that time, I mentioned that one artwork, of the Mesopotamian goddess Ninhursag, came from a set of modern woodcuts that were published fifty or so years ago in a book on ancient Sumer by the scholar Samuel Noah Kramer.
Today’s post is the sequel to the earlier post, and is aimed at introducing those other woodcuts and a few other modern objects that are legion on the internet as real ancient artefacts.  These artworks are quite often variously mislabelled and abused by individuals with agendas and minimal discriminatory skills.
Again, I reiterate that my post is not ai…

Modern marine parks masquerading as ancient Egyptian archaeology

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Every so often internet pages devoted to the ancient world will have a run on posts about the recently excavated marine archaeology sites from Alexandria, Heracleion and Canopus in northern Egypt.   And it is understandable to a degree, as it is possible to slip in related words like “Cleopatra” and “mysterious sunken treasure” into your clickbait headlines and from this get very productive results from your audience.
But, just to be clear, this is a fabulous and interesting topic, and the excavator of these sites, Franck Goddio, has a very good web page with some equally good images, that have also been taken out of context and used indiscriminately on the web, but at least these are legit images, with interesting information at the source. You can find them here: http://www.franckgoddio.org/projects/sunken-civilizations/introduction.html
The problem is that a group of photographs from unrelated modern marine parks have become hallmarks of these posts on web pages, and these false pho…

Bullshit memes #2: The UFO landing on the Sphinx

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This is another Facebook perennial that I am going to explain for those who are interested in clear answers and good old fashioned evidence, but are not necessarily versed in Near Eastern iconography, in this case ancient Egyptian symbolism.
Those who love a good fantasy story over evidence and don’t mind clickbait pseudo sites, may leave this blog post ASAP, as there is, realistically, nothing here that you want to see.
So, back to topic … There is an image that does the rounds on the fringe archaeology groups that claims an ancient Egyptian papyrus shows evidence of a UFO landing on the Sphinx.  It is all over the web on sites like Ancient Code, Not from Earth org, Today’s Alternative News and probably every other ramped up clickbait news source touting conspiracy theories and Bigfoot stories. 
Screenshot of meme.
As usual for these outfits, they all seem to be providing watered down versions of a claim by a gentleman going by the name of Wayne Herschel who has published a book on this…

The Hierakonpolis painting and the Gebel el Arak knife by the blog Sumerian Shakespeare.

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Watercolour from Tomb 100 at Hierakonpolis. Image source Quibell and Green 1902.
The following serves as an illustration of the pitfalls of writing beyond your knowledge base and also for talking to people who are experts in another area if you can’t be bothered doing the required amount of study yourself.  And incidentally, that free access to books online is pretty much useless when this only provides outdated research.
It is possibly also a recommendation not to write and drink at the same time.  But this is more of a guideline.
For some reason the amateur history blog Sumerian Shakespeare who writes up ancient Mesopotamian topics took it upon themselves to critique objects from Predynastic Egypt in two of their posts.  In the past I had assumed this blog was an adequate if unimaginative introduction to Mesopotamian culture for keen learners, but with the added bonus of nice pictures that are credited.  I have since altered this stance.
Now I find their blog shallowly researched, …

Modern crimes against ancient goddesses

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Before I begin I want to get something clear: I am an archaeologist who specialises in Near Eastern/Egyptian iconography, BUT, I have also been a professional artist for my entire adult life, so I am an enormous fan of modern reception of the ancient Near East.I even run a fb group for this and make reception pieces myself, it is fun.

What I am not a fan of, is the proliferation of modern reception being used as examples of the real thing on Pinterest, Wiki, and a multitude of Christian and neo-pagan blogs and websites (plus some pseudo-history pages that purport to educate the masses).
This post will look at some viral ‘fake’ artefacts on the interweebs.They are not really originally fakes, btw… I assume the artists will have probably made them as freestanding artworks and as homage.
Other people have turned the copies into fakes by taking the image out of context.However, most of these images are so prolific that their original artist is long forgotten.Basically, because the individ…