Saturday, January 27, 2007

Friday Archaeology Blogging
Ripped from the headlines edition...

Zeus devotees worship in Athens
By Malcolm Brabant
BBC News, Athens

Worshippers who believe in the 12 gods of ancient Greece have held a ceremony at the Temple of Zeus in Athens.

Well, I confess to mixed feelings about this. Understand, I have absolutely nothing against the concept of people worshipping the ancient Greek gods, so long as they do it correctly. In fact, I think it's a rather nice idea, and I fully commend the Greek courts for recognizing the religion officially, despite the grumpiness of the Greek Orthodox Church on the subject:

The president of the Association of Greek Clergymen, Father Efstathios Kollas, has described the followers of the Olympic gods as a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past.

That's a very silly attitude, if you ask me. Anyway, what I do have a bit of a problem with is the concept of holding ceremonies at the actual Temple of Zeus in Athens.

The aforementioned temple - click to enlarge

My worry is that there is significant potential for damage to the site, if people aren't careful. That building is 2500 or so years old, and has not been maintained in the meantime, at least not until recently. Such structures do not, generally, respond well to being put back into use, as the curators of Stonehenge can testify. Anyway, hopefully the Greek Ministry of Culture is keeping a close eye on this.

And now, skipping lightly across most of a sea, an ocean, and a millenium or two, we have this interesting discovery from the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick:

600-year-old canoe found
January 25, 2007

SAINT JOHN, N.B. —Storms usually sink boats, not bring them back to life.

But it took a tempest to release a link to Canada’s pre-European past from its prison beneath a salt marsh on New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula.

Ella and Jean-Claude Robichaud of Val-Comeau, N.B. were walking on the beach in the summer of 2003 when they discovered a dugout canoe that experts have determined was carved by aboriginals 600 years ago.

Not much to say about this yet, but I will post pictures of the boat if and when I can find any!

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