Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021
In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime. Roman Catholic traditions of adoring statues of Mary with garlands of flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), & Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. On May 1, early cultures followed a pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. In early Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter & Summer were enacted at this time.
Fire is a common accompaniment to many May celebrations. Celebrants mark the holiday by lighting fires, dancing, feasting & often performing fertility rites. Many built a bonfire & then moved through it or danced clockwise around it. Livestock was driven around a Beltane fire or between 2 fires for purification & fertility blessings. In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places. In later times, Christian priests kindled their spring fires in fields near the church after peforming a Christian church service. Branches & twigs often were carried around these fire 3 times, then hung over hearths to bless homes. Risk-takers made a wish for good luck before jumping a bonfire or the flame of a candle. Beltane may refer to the “fires of Bel,” in honor of the Celtic sun god, Belenus. Some pagans believe fire has the power to cleanse, purify & increase fertility.
Some believed during May the veil between the human & supernatural worlds is at its thinnest, making them potent days for magic.
Saturday, April 10, 2021
In Pagan Rome, the celebration of Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Characteristics of Early and Middle Woodland Pottery from the Susquehanna and Delaware Valleys Origins
Archaeologists working in different parts of the world have found that major changes in ceramic technology occurred thousands of years ago and it appears that now the origin and early development of clay pots emerged in East Asia. In fact, the earliest pottery on record, radiocarbon dated around 18,000 – 20,000 years old, was found in two caves in China and excavations at other Asian and European habitation sites indicate that pottery making began much earlier than previously thought. Pottery was an independent invention in the New World and dates many thousands of years later. In fact, the earliest dates are from shell midden habitation sites that are 4000 years old along the coasts of northern South America and southeastern United States. More time passes before the concept is adopted by Middle Atlantic and North Eastern Native American cultures as fired clay vessels become the ideal alternative cooking method for prepare food.
|Steatite bowl (Loan from Dauphin County Historical Society)|
Artist illustration of pottery making using a cord-wrapped paddle (First Pennsylvanians, 2015)
Early Woodland vessel from Bare Island site(36LA0056)
Early Woodland vessel, Oscar Leibhart site(36YO0009), Private Collection
Middle Woodland vessel from Muddy Run (36LA0103)
Middle Woodland vessel, Marysville site
Late Middle Woodland, Three Mile Island (36DA0050) Private Collection
Early Woodland vessel, Byram site (28HU39)
Middle Woodland vessel, Zimmermann site (36PI0014)
March 30, 2021 - This Week in Pennsylvania Archaeology
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Monday, April 5, 2021
The Gospel of John 20:1-13 (NIV) contains a narrative of an empty garden tomb including the appearance of Jesus:
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb & saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter & the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, & said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, & we don't know where they have put him!"
So Peter & the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter & reached the tomb first. He bent over & looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived & went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw & believed.
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb & saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head & the other at the foot. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "& I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around & saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, & I will get him." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him & cried out, "Rabboni!" ("Teacher"). Jesus said, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, & say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, & your Father; & to my God, & your God."
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 - 1337). Resurrection Noli me tangere - on North wall of Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel, Padua. 1305-1306
This image includes formal gardens used as the background for a Biblical scene. These gardens are primarily from the Italian Renaisance. The trellis walkways & arbors were built to provide both shade & privacy. Planners raised beds to prevent plants becoming waterlogged. Gardens were used for recreation, relaxation, & sport. The garden consists of geometric beds of interlacing patterns designed to be seen from windows & hills above & is filled with herbs & favorite flowers. A fountain sits in the farthest parterre. Statues & symbolic ornaments are spread throughout the grounds.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
And the angel...said Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Matthew 28:5–6