In the news, the assassins blew up a Roman era temple in Palmyra too, along with assassinating the archaeologist, and assassinating captured opponents in the outdoor Roman theater. I'd been meaning to look up Palmyra, insomuch as since taking along the little paperback account of archaeology in Israel to the laundry, I've become curious to read web accounts of ancient towns.
For a long time now, I put in the search box, 'news' on google, and it opens a list of news providers like Fox, Yahoo, BBC, and without a television hook up, that's how I've been keeping track of current things. But I've just been seeing headline things, until of late I've been doing searches by entering a subject followed by the word 'news'. Example: 'Greek news'. That search method brings up some very good stories!
“This is the end,” he says. “This is the worst. There is no life anymore.”
The fisherman’s lament is as old as the seas. And Greeks have earned a living from fish for eons. It is the country’s second-largest agricultural export, behind fruit and nuts but ahead of olive oil and cheese. Six years of economic crisis, however, have left this way of life in a shambles.
The Fisherman's Lament
A Way of Life Drowned by Greece's Crisis
After reading that story, which I liked very much as it had me daydreaming of living in a Greek seaside village with my sailboat out fishing with Maya aboard!, I read this one:
Of all the aspects of Monday’s bailout deal that Greeks found humiliating, nothing drilled into their sense of pride quite like their government’s promise to sell off “valuable Greek assets” to the tune of 50 billion euros. The seven-page agreement, which European leaders thrashed out over the weekend, made no mention of where Greece is supposed to find that much property to sell. But as they scrambled for options, officials in Athens saw no way around the blood-curdling prospect of auctioning off Greek islands, nature preserves or even ancient ruins.
Greece May Have to Sell Islands and Ruins Under Its Bailout Deal
There is a grim possibility in this for America...that some governmental breakdown, the federal, or a state government, going bankrupt, and the banks providing a bailout in return for assets, and the privatization by bank approved mangers of things like National Parks. Something Republicans can't wait for!
I had that thought, and moved on, trying out this new search with 'archaeology news', and that's keeping me current with things being found. A more refined search is to add 'today' to the string.
But back to Palmyra... I learn that the blown up temple was a Phoenecian temple to the god Baal. I had just come away from reading some from the Bible book Jeremiah...
They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
I forget just how it happened, but...oh...it was Babylon and search of the Tower of Babylon, which too was a temple to Baal, and in reading about the archaeology of Babylon I happened on the Ubaid culture, which not much is known about, as the floods from the Tigris and Euphrates over the centuries have covered with mud their towns. But some have been found, and in one some small clay figurines, which one can find by doing a search: 'ubaid lizard people', which I of course did, being curious about lizard people! These small clay figures have almond eyes and snake like noses, and are of course taken up in ufo lore! To get a good look at them, I opened google's image menu, and in the midst of all these statues' images was a Greek statue of a young man. Why it was intermixed, I don't know. (he's slaying a lizard I now see) Today, looking for it there again, I find it gone, but when it was there, I clicked on it, and that took me to its story.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has bought what it thinks is an ancient bronze sculpture of Apollo the Lizard Slayer by the classical Greek sculptor Praxiteles. If it is authentic, it will be one of the most important ancient bronzes in an American museum.
Ohio Museum Attributes a Purchase to Praxitales
By Carol Vogel
Searching out Praxiteles, I found many things, one being the story of the Lacoon statue.
The group has been "the prototypical icon of human agony" in Western art, and unlike the agony often depicted in Christian art showing the Passion of Jesus and martyrs, this suffering has no redemptive power or reward. The suffering is shown through the contorted expressions of the faces (Charles Darwin pointed out that Laocoön's bulging eyebrows are physiologically impossible), which are matched by the struggling bodies, especially that of Laocoön himself, with every part of his body straining.
On reading that, and looking at the statue, I said to myself, 'Oh, that's the head I drew on 911! ' That morning, while preparing to go to Palomar College for my art classes, I turned the tv on, and watched, with my sister, the tragedy unfolding in New York. Not knowing if there would be class or not, I left off and went to Palomar. School was in session, and the few in attendance at my life drawing class were given the task of drawing a bust of some old Greek set up in the middle of the room. It was Lacoon's head, I now realize! Lacoon was tortured and tormented by the gods because he tried to forewarn the Trojans of the dangers of the Trojan Horse. Not unlike Jeremiah, who was reviled for his dire warnings.
Virgil gives Laocoön the famous line "Equō nē crēdite, Teucrī / Quidquid id est, timeō Danaōs et dōna ferentēs", or "Do not trust the Horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts." This line is the source of the saying: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."
A landowner improving his property found the Lacoon statue, And as it happened, Michelangelo was present when it was dug up...
The first time I was in Rome when I was very young, the pope was told about the discovery of some very beautiful statues in a vineyard near Santa Maria Maggiore. The pope ordered one of his officers to run and tell Giuliano da Sangallo to go and see them. So he set off immediately. Since Michelangelo Buonarroti was always to be found at our house, my father having summoned him and having assigned him the commission of the pope’s tomb, my father wanted him to come along, too. I joined up with my father and off we went. I climbed down to where the statues were when immediately my father said, "That is the Laocoön, which Pliny mentions". Then they dug the hole wider so that they could pull the statue out. As soon as it was visible everyone started to draw [or "started to have lunch"], all the while discoursing on ancient things, chatting as well about the ones in Florence.
same wiki page...
But back to Praxiteles...he made many statues, (all lost, and only known from descriptions and copies), and one is called the Aphrodite of Cnidus...
The statue became a tourist attraction in spite of being a cult image, and a patron of the Knidians. Nicomedes I of Bithynia offered to pay off the enormous debts of the city of Knidos in exchange for the statue, but the Knidians rejected his offer.
next: the Phoenicians and their alphabet...