Archaeology rewrites history yet again, finding the world's first author, and a familiar face leads Disney | Creativity News 11/21/22
Monday Motion: Etruscans, Enheduanna, and Bob Iger
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Archaeology will not stop rewriting history
Archaeology is such a young field.
Yes, King Nabonidus, an ancient Babylonian ruler who collected the ruins of old Mesopotamian civilizations, is honored with the title of the “first archaeologist.”
But we didn’t see it come about yet.
You might also note.
You might also note the Roman interest in their various domains.
And though throughout the intellectual history of modern historic Europe there have been antiquarians fascinated with the ancient world, we first see the discipline during the Enlightenment.
We probably would say that archaeology would only truly arrive during the 19th century, but John Aubrey (1626–1697) went after Stonehenge.
In the 18th century, King Charles of Bourbon of Two Sicilies began the process of excavating Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Within the 19th century, Augustus Pitt Rivers, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, and Heinrich Schliemann began to develop the methods that are hallmarks of our present archaeology.
And now new statues show us that Etruscans worshipped with Romans at sacred springs during the rise of the Empire.
They were also in fantastic condition.
From the Dead Sea Scrolls rewriting history in the 1940s to a recent discovery that suggests new ideas about the relationship between the Etruscans and the Romans, archaeology lives to upset history.
Sure, as far as examples go, the Dead Sea Scrolls were markedly more seismic in how they impacted the history books.
But we continue to see dirt cleared off bits and pieces of a massive puzzle.
In archaeology we see science meet the humanities.
We see the geography, data, and evidence affect the broader picture of our world.
And it makes you stop to wonder… what’s next?
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Daughter of world’s first emperor is world’s first author
On theme of ancient curiosities, the New Yorker wrote this fantastic piece about the world’s first author.
Surely a title like that will be overturned by time, too, but for now, we’ll leave it be in spite of any incredulity.
Enheduanna was the daughter of Sargon of Akkad, who was sovereign of what is described as the world’s first empire.
He was also dubbed “King of the Universe,” which was a title passed around between gods and kings in the ancient region.
Enheduanna, then, was quite well set for a job in the humanities.
After all, it’s not that she was just from a well-to-do family that allowed her to pay the bills while writing.
She was the daughter of the King of the Universe.
That’s not something the rest of us authors can say usually.
This wasn’t her only job though — being appointed priestess of the moon god Nanna.
Here’s an excerpt from the New Yorker’s piece:
Some scholars believe that the priestess was also the world’s first recorded author. A clay tablet preserves the words of a long narrative poem: “I took up my place in the sanctuary dwelling, / I was high priestess, I, Enheduanna.” In Sumer, the ancient civilization of southern Mesopotamia where writing originated, texts were anonymous. If Enheduanna wrote those words, then she marks the beginning of authorship, the beginning of rhetoric, even the beginning of autobiography. To put her precedence in perspective, she lived fifteen hundred years before Homer, seventeen hundred years before Sappho, and two thousand years before Aristotle, who is traditionally credited as the father of the rhetorical tradition.
Furthering the archaeology theme, Ur was only excavated in 1922 after its discovery decades and decades earlier.
The article is wonderful stuff.
We are compelled to think about the deeply historic origins of our crafts.
Within our poetry, our literature, our style is a lineage and tradition.
And there’s an endless rabbit hole to go down.
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Bob Iger returns to Disney CEO role
Familiar leadership is returning to Disney to replace CEO Bob Chapek, as the announcement came late Sunday evening.
Bob Iger will be returning to the helm and working to pick a successor.
This an interesting time for Disney.
We have a cultural titan on our hands — an entertainment company responsible for much of American culture as we know it.
As everyone competes in the streaming wars, Disney competing will be a fascinating spectator sport.
So we shall watch and wait.