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First the link to this week's complete list as HTML and as PDF.
I fully agree with Westreich, although one need not move as far outside as she does. The boring tedium of everyday work is often just what it takes to take the stress out and make it enjoyable for me.
It seems that large parts of pre-exilic Israel need to be rewritten. What was a second operating temple doing right next to Jerusalem and its Salomonic one? So far Kisilevitz & Lipschits only ask the question but can provide none of the answers.
Liritzis is the first attempt at directly dating metal artifacts that I have ever seen. There are two caveats, though. Firstly radium dates the smelting of the metal from ore, not the casting, and thus not the artifact. On the other hand recycling old metal in a forgery would entail the destruction of a genuinely old artifact, a not very probable scenario. But more importantly, while Liritzis does mention testing the method on a recently smelted sample, he only lists peripheral and irrelevant measurements. What he does not report finding is a low radium activity compared to a higher thorium one. In fact while his samples do contain same uranium, there seems to be no thorium at all, which if true would totally invalidate the method. So let's wait and see.
Anderson touches on something that I try to fit in all my tutorials at some appropriate point: If we as archaeologists want to have jobs provided for us by the tax paying public, than it is up to us to give something back in return outside our inner elite circles. So what, if their taste differs from ours? That what getting paid for a job is all about.
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