Uncovering the past: Zominthos, the Hyksos, ancient beer and more

As some Pagans and Heathens attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up that challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Zominthos at Crete
ZOMINTHOS, Crete — In the early 80s, archaeologists found a complex structure at Zominthos in Crete. The Archaeological Institute of American maintains an active website about this site with field notes from 2005 through 2018.

Unleash the Hounds (link roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Religious freedom in the courts

Colorado school district officials violated the Constitution when they openly supported a Christian mission trip to Guatamala, a court ruled. According to reports, the Douglas County School District produced fliers and information about the trip and sent them home to families, as well as hosting a fund drive for the trip during school hours. As reported by the Denver Post, “The case started in 2014 when a group of students from Highlands Ranch High School’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes decided to take a spring break mission trip to Guatemala.”

Column: The Dark Heart of Billy Graham

On the last day of February and the first day of March, the corpse of evangelical Christian minister Billy Graham was presented for public viewing in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. Graham was only the fourth private citizen whose body was honored in a ritual normally reserved for presidents, elected officials, and military officers. The only other exceptions to the rule have been civil rights icon Rosa Parks and two Capitol Police officers who died in the line of duty, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson. Graham is the first religious leader to be awarded this honor by the government of the United States of America. The first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Laying out a preacher’s dead body in the central building of the nation’s legislative branch does not establish his form of Christianity as an official federal religion, of course, but it is a bold break with 166 years of tradition at the Capitol, and it clearly gives an official stamp of approval to a man who made his living selling one branch of one faith.

Column: the Nuclear Ankh

In June of 1981, Israel bombed a not-quite-active nuclear power plant in the suburbs of Baghdad, Iraq. This was the second time in a year that the power plant faced attack from the air: Iran struck at the end of Sept., 1980, in a mission the name of which dripped with warrior-poet self-mythologizing: “Operation Scorch Sword.” That mission damaged the reactor, but the technicians were able to repair the damage. The Israeli strike, on the other hand — this one code-named “Operation Opera” — managed to disable the facility for good, though perhaps Iraq might have resurrected the project again were it not enmeshed in the Iraq-Iran War that dominated the country’s attention throughout the 1980s. At the time, Operation Opera drew nearly universal condemnation from the international community. The Iraqi nuclear reactor would not have been powerful enough to make materials for nuclear weapons, and the deal to provide the reactors, the fuel to power them, and much of the technical knowledge and workforce to install and operate them, had been brokered not by some infamous rogue power, but by France.

Uncovering the past: Alexander the Great, The Walking Dead, the Faroe Islands and more!

As some Pagans attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts, and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up which challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Alexander the Great in a synagogue? While uncovering a 5th century synagogue in Huqoq, Israel, archaeologists found something very unusual: a mosaic appearing to show Alexander the Great meeting with a Jewish high priest.