TWH – Now that the season has turned and we are nearing the end of the 2017, we look back, one last time, to review this historic year. What happened? What didn’t happen? What events shaped our thoughts and guided our actions? In our collective worlds, both big and small, what were the major discussions?
NEW YORK –A replica statue of a goddess sometimes equated with Athena, destroyed in Palmyra in 2015, is the centerpiece of an exhibit on display at the United Nations headquarters. While the destruction of that historic Syrian city by members of Daesh led to near-universal outrage, the display of this and other reproductions is not without controversy of its own. When Daesh troops occupied Palmyra, they set about on a systematic destruction of all traces of that city’s Pagan history. They accomplished this with brutal efficiency, using hammers and explosives to accomplish the task, which was carried out in August 2015. Violence was also part of formula; Khaled al-Asaad, head of antiquities there, hid many valuables and died rather than disclose where they were.
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.