Sunday, November 26, 2006


A huge cache of antiquities was uncovered by officials of the Drug Enforcement Cell of the Preventive Collectorate of the Pakistan Customs last week. The consignment included 625 (!!) antiquities hidden in 376 packages that were stored in 23 wooden boxes.

Once inspected by experts from archaeology and museum departments, the items were verified as coming from various eras including the pre-historic period, the Indus civilization, Gandhara civilization, Islamic era and even from British rule in the sub-continent. They are worth millions of dollars.


A well known professor, Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University, has suggested that the ancient monument of Stonehenge was a source and center for healing and not a place for the dead as most scholars have proposed. Rather than the summer solstice, he thinks the best time of the year at Stonehenge should be during the winter solstice when "our ancestors believed that the henge was 'occupied' by a prehistoric god, the equivalent of the Roman and Greek god of healing, Apollo - who 'chose' to reside in winter with hyborians, long believed to be the ancient Britons."

His evidence is that the Bluestones that came from Wales to build Stonehenge are associated with healing propertes because in the Preselis there are many sacred springs considered to have health giving qualities. Also, many of the burials around Stonehenge show that many of these ancient pople show signs of being "unwell." Some would have walked with a limp or had broken bones.

I'm skeptical! In my book, Oxford U. Press' Stonehenge with scholar Caroline Malone, we noted that a number of scholars think that the bluestones were left behind by glaciers (p. 23-24). And that bringing them from Wales was just too difficult to accomplish. Not only that, but building at Stonehenge was all finished at 1500 BC, long before Greeks and Romans were celebrating their gods. What do you think?

Sunday, November 12, 2006


If any of you have visited Jerusalem, you'll remember the extensive model of Herodian Jerusalem (AD 66) in the grounds of the Holyland Hotel. That extraordinary model has now been transfered to the Israel Museum.

However, when a building project began on the site, an ancient graveyard was discovered. Archeologists say that the graveyard was used during the Bronze Age from 2200 BCE until 1600 BCE. It is filled with amulets, weapons and work tools as well as complete pottery vessels of high quality. It will be interesting to see analyses of this amazing treasure trove. Stay tuned.