On Monday, March 14, at 7 pm, Peter Machinist will present the second lecture of the new Trinity Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology Lecture series at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He will speak on “Achaemenid Persia as Spectacle.” This lecture is free and open to the public. See the announcement for details.

The website for the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum Lecture Series at the Institute of Archaeology, Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, TN) reports that John Monson will speak on the topic of “Solomon’s Temple: The Center of the Universe Then and Now,” on Wednesday, March 16, at 7 pm. This appears to be a change from our earlier report which had Bryant Wood speaking at this same date and time. The Lynn H. Wood Lectures are free and open to the public. See the website for more information.


Today, Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, reported that three objects which were thought to have been taken from the Cairo Museum have turned up on the museum grounds. Four days ago, Hawass issued a press release stating that 18 objects were missing from the museum in connection with a break-in which occurred on January 29 (previously mentioned here and here).

Now, only 15 objects remain missing.

The objects recovered are (1) the Heart Scarab of Yuya, (2) one of the eleven shabti statuettes of Yuya and Thuya, and (3) fragments of the gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun being carried by the goddess Menkaret and all of the fragments of Menkaret. The objects had been dislocated and Hawass believes they were dropped when the looters fled. A final inventory of the museum is still being conducted.

More details can be found on Hawass’s blog (with photos) or in the Ahram Online news report.

HT: Jack Sasson


National Geographic has photos of four of the eighteen objects that were reported missing from the Cairo Museum as a result of the break-in just over two weeks ago.

Sandstone head of an Amarna princess (Kenneth Garrett, National Geographic).

Last week, Claude Mariottini drew our attention to other National Geographic photos of damaged artifacts in the Cairo Museum.

CORRECTION: There are eighteen, not eight, objects which were reported missing. There were eight items listed, but one of the items was actually consisted of eleven shabti statuettes.


Princeton University Press has released a new, single-volume edition of The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, edited by James B. Pritchard. It is available in hardback ($81 at Amazon) or paperback ($26 at Amazon).

With more than 130 reading selections and 300 photographs of ancient art, architecture, and artifacts, this volume provides a stimulating introduction to some of the most significant and widely studied texts of the ancient Near East, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Creation Epic (Enuma elish), the Code of Hammurabi, and the Baal Cycle. For students of history, religion, the Bible, archaeology, and anthropology, this anthology provides a wealth of material for understanding the ancient Near East. (publisher’s website)

When we heard about this, we thought there might be a few questions.

Q: What’s the difference between this and ANET?

A: ANET is short for Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. It was also edited by J. Pritchard, but it is larger and contains more texts. The first edition of ANET was published in 1950, the second edition in 1955, and the third edition in 1969.

Pritchard also published a companion volume to ANET entitled The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament, commonly known as ANEP. The first edition of ANEP was published in 1954 and a second edition was published in 1969.

Pritchard subsequently edited two volumes of anthologies which are abridgments of ANET and ANEP. The first volume, The Ancient Near East, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, was published in 1958, and the second volume, The Ancient Near East, A New Anthology of Texts and Pictures, was published in 1975.

This new Princeton edition has combined and reformatted the material of these two abridged anthologies. From our perusal of chapter one in Amazon’s “Look Inside!” it appears almost nothing has changed, including even footnotes and cross-references to ANET and the Bible. The differences between this new volume and ANET are: (1) ANET and ANEP contain more translated texts and pictures, (2) they cost a lot more, and (3) the layout of this new anthology will make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Q: Where can I find more information about this?

A: The Princeton University Press page includes the table of contents and a pdf of chapter one, which is John Wilson’s translations of “Egyptian Myths and Tales.” You can also read portions at Amazon and at Google Books.

While we’re on the subject of anthologies of ancient text translations, Kevin Edgecomb a few years ago helpfully compiled a comparison chart listing the translations included in ANET and COS. The chart shows that ANET includes many texts that did not make it into COS. According to Edgecomb’s blog, ANET has 221 texts not included in COS, and COS has 525 texts not included in ANET.


Yesterday, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Affairs, Zahi Hawass, issued a press release reporting that several objects from the Cairo Museum were taken during the break-in. The items listed as missing are:

1. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess

2. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun harpooning. Only the torso and upper limbs of the king are missing

3. Limestone statue of Akhenaten holding an offering table

4. Statue of Nefertiti making offerings

5. Sandstone head of an Amarna princess

6. Stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna

7. Wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya (11 pieces)

8. Heart Scarab of Yuya

The press release also reports that an antiquities magazine was broken into yesterday at Dashur.

The press release is available in pdf format and at Zahi Hawass’ blog.