Day By Day

Monday, July 07, 2008

Archaeology Update

Interesting news is breaking on the archaeology scene.

First, and most significantly, World Net Daily reports:

An unpublicized survey last month of eight of southern Iraq's most important archaeological sites by a team of international specialists found no evidence of looting since the invasion of the country in 2003 by the U.S. coalition, despite earlier, widespread claims of extensive damage.
Read it here.

To be sure the survey is incomplete, being restricted to only the most important of Iraq's archaeological sites, but so far it seems that one more of the major pillars upon which criticism of the Bush administration rests is weakening. As in the case of the Katrina disaster, the motives for war, the WMD controversy, and other major issues, systematic and hyperbolic mis-reporting in the MSM has enabled Bush bashers to establish widely-accepted narratives that, upon closer examination, are far less than is claimed.

And in a widely publicised case the NYT has a big article on the publication of a 2,000 year old text that purportedly describes a pre-Christian Jewish military leader as a messiah who rose from the dead after three days. The text appears to be authentic, but incomplete, and the published translation is based on inferences that may not be sustainable.

Read it here.

So we have two controversial, problematic and perhaps questionable claims from archaeologists -- one that challenges standard criticism of the Bush administration, and one that challenges the Christian faith. No surprise which one is being hyped by the New York Times.