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First the link to this week's complete list as HTML and as PDF.
I have received and (mostly) read de Moor from Jan. 20's list. All the putative identifications or parallels of the Exodus events in Egyptian sources I've seen so far seem to conflate Joseph and Moses into the same person and lack the time depth for a stay of even two generations. Beya in de Moor's chapter 4.6 is no exception.
Most of this week's biblical articles are from his footnotes. From them it has become obvious that Beya can't have been Moses. Against Timm (Jan. 20) it seems that Tausret was not Beya's patron but that Tausret and Siptah/Beya may have constituted opposing factions. So perhaps Tausret did not die in Sethnakht's coup but did indeed flee with her (unattested) adopted son, explaining the vase fragment found in Transjordan and described by Yoyotte. I'm still trying to reconcile all that with Humphreys (list of 2013-07-27).
I totally fail to see the point of Zaidi et al. Sure, male and female faces differ to such a degree that neither clean shaving, makeup and hairdo nor fake beards will normally fool anyone. But I see no reason to assume that one face takes more effort and resources to generate than another (with the possible exception of a long and bushy beard) and I can think of no argument whatsoever how this can be seen as a case of costly signaling of genetic fitness. I don't see what disproving this implausible hypothesis can tell us.
I had already seen and read Luo et al. when the article first appeared in December, but considered it a rare peculiarity and irrelevant for practical purposes. After it has now been extensively commented on, I've added it to the collection.
As a rule I dislike luminescence dating and tend not to trust it much. But all the figures in Jacobs et al.'s supplementary material show high quality data clustering inside the supposed error band, very much more so than is typical for the genre.
One point though: They tell us that
“Disturbance by animal burrowing and other activities is mostly restricted to parts of the uppermost Pleistocene layers”. Burrowing animals are nothing new and deeper levels had a much longer time to reconsolidate. It seems more plausible to me, that disturbance has become invisible than that there never was any until quite recently. That said all the dates are in sequence with the stratigraphy so that major disturbance can rightly be discounted.
I’ve often warned against burning high quality
“climate friendly” oil and gas in large electricity plants and forcing chemical synthesis into the much less efficient and much higher polluting use of coal conversion. Zhang et al. demonstrate just this already to be the case in China and their
“chemicals” include coke and methanol.
With the imposed fluctuation of renewable sources Richter et al. very sensibly look at ways to enhance the load flexibility of coal-fired power plants and improve the primary control reserve. Interestingly the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports that research just at the time when they themselves are planning the imminent shut-down of all coal-fired plants. After the first batch of wide-spread longer-term blackouts the public will surely put an end to all that nonsense, but by all appearances not before.
Zangger offers the best and most convincing solution to the
“Sea Peoples” conundrum I have yet seen.
Perhaps it is because I just read this isolated finding and know next to nothing about the context, but I fail to understand Chen et al. at all.
Talmon & Fields offer a very lucid methodical guidance on how to extract the meaning from old and possibly corrupted texts in dead languages. Nothing new or revolutionary but well explained. Recommended teaching material.
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