Periodically, I review in this blog publications which I find compelling,
Thus, I start with the National Geographic Magazine, December 2014. In a small article, the gilded chariots of Pharaoh Tutankhamun are finally being given the attention and study which they deserve. Of particular interest is the fact that the golden panels which adorned the chariots have unusual designs, which may have come from Syria. Christian Eckman, the metal expert of the team said of the image of a dog and a mythical winged-creature hunting an ibex, which might be on the cover of a quiver: “This is not a motif which is familiar in Egypt.”
Archaeology in the January/February 2105 issue reports of the finding of a wooden toilet seat at Vindolanda. This is a very unique find, because in the past only marble or stone seats have been found. This wooden seat clearly was greatly used as it is worn. Researchers commented that the seat, however, is very comfortable.
Ancient Warfare in Vol. VII, Issue 3, covers the early Roman Republic with a multitude of excellent articles. While the entire magazine is worth reading, of greatest importance is the article entitled: Fetiales and the Law of Nations: How the Romans Justified their Wars. The author, Mark McCaffrey, demonstrates a complete knowledge of understanding of his subject. Another very worthy article is The Battle of Lake Regilus, Rome Confirms the Republic.
The most important article of the year, however, is in the January/February 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review and is written by Lawrence Mykytiuk. Professor Mykytiuk is an associate professor at Purdue University and holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew and Semitic Studies. In his article, Dr. Mykytiuk explores the question of the historicity of Jesus. He reviews in depth the literary documents from a number of sources, including Josephus and Tacitus, which were reviewed by me earlier in this blog, as well as Lucan. Dr. Mykytiuk disregards the ossuaries which have been found to date as not yet having been verified. He notes that the names Jesus and James are very common in the era and thus even if they are authentic; the inscriptions may not refer to Jesus the Christ. Having said, he concludes that Jesus was a real person and that there is really no evidence to deny the existence of Jesus. I will review this article in depth in a future blog. Needless to say, Dr. Mykytiuk has written a must read article. While I am writing usually about the Roman Empire and Early Christianity, I do not exclusively limit this blog to these topics.