Archive for August, 2006

Double Donkey

August 26, 2006

This week I received my copy of the latest issue of BAR magazine (vol. 32 #5). I spent this morning penning a lengthy Letter-to-the-Editor in response to one of the featured articles, “Royal Palace, Royal Portrait?:  The Tantalizing Possibilities of Ramat Rahel” … but that’s not the subject of this particular blog entry.

Page 8 of the current issue includes a letter I submitted way back on April 30th (the 3rd of a dozen I’ve written over the past 4 years; .250’s a good batting average), & I think that some of you may find the original version even more interesting than the edited one in print. The version I sent is bold. The edited/published version is italic.

[Preface: Hershel Shanks began his commentary I responded to here by chastising Aren Maeir for not providing a drawing of an important artifact, & concluded with “Yet I know that my argument will fall on deaf ears. I grow old. I am like a donkey braying in the night.” Also, please be aware that when I originally sent this letter, I carbon-copied Aren Maeir & Ron Tappy.]

Letter to the Braying Editor from a Braying Reader

Kudos to the Donkey & Others

Dear Mr. Donkey, in response to your “Archaeology as Peep Show” (p. 4 of the current [May/Jun] issue):

Dear Mr. Donkey (in response to your “Archaeology as Peep Show,” May/June 2006):

Prof. Aren Maeir merits praise for his work & for his timely publication of Safi/Gath data. Your unjust/unfair remarks left me stunned.

[omitted completely]

However, if Prof. Ron Tappy ever grants you permission to publish a photo of the Zayit Stone’s inscription, count your blessings! Even his very own Zeitah website lacks a photo! I’ve found half-a-dozen shots of it on various other sites (representing half of its inscriptions), & had the good fortune of seeing detailed images at a public lecture given by Prof. Bruce Zuckerman last December (including many important details not shown at the annual ASOR meeting).

If Professor Ron Tappy ever grants you permission to publish a photo of the Zayit Stone’s inscription, count your blessings! Even his own Web site lacks a photo! I’ve found a half dozen shots of it on various other sites (representing half of its inscriptions).

In 2003 Tappy (upholding his institution’s policy?) did not allow me to take any photos of their artifacts (excavated by his predecessors) for my own private use, even though (fuzzy, lo-res) photos of them had already been published decades earlier. (My research compares hi-res photos of lesser-known artifacts.)

In 2003 Tappy did not allow me to take any photos of their artifacts (excavated by his predecessors) for my own private use, even though fuzzy, low resolution photos of them had already been published decades earlier.

But he, of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s Kelso Bible Lands Museum, was the only curator to ban my camera; kudos to the following who do not treat their treasures like peep shows:

Bade Institute

Haverford College

McCormick Theological Seminary

Trinity Southwest Univ.

Univ. of Penn. Museum of Archaeology

(not to mention several others who either provided photos or invited me to visit & take as many as I’d like)

He, of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s Kelso Bible Lands Museum, was the only curator to ban my camera. Kudos to the following who do not treat their treasures like peep shows: Bade Institute, Haverford College, McCormick Theological Seminary, Trinity Southwest University, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & others who either provided photos or invited me to visit & take as many pictures as I like.

I had even offered to pay him/PTS to take my own photos for my own private use! (See transcript below, though if you were to print this letter, you’d have to get permission from him to reproduce it. GOOD LUCK!!!)

[omitted completely]

Note to Prof. Tappy: “Doth the donkey bray when he hath grass?”–Job 6:5

Note to Professor Tappy: “Doth the donkey bray when he hath grass?” (Job 6:5)

G.M. Grena Redondo Beach, CA

G.M. Grena Redondo Beach, CA

P.S. I posted my reaction regarding Prof. Aren Maeir on his blog.

P.P.S. Excerpt of E-mail conversation between me & Prof. Ron Tappy on February 3, 2003 ***NOT*** to be published without his consent:

Grena: “I’m wondering how much I would have to pay to be allowed to photograph your LMLK handles.”

Tappy:

Surely you don’t think I’d violate the sanctity of Prof. Tappy’s private response here in this very-public blog, do you?

Song of the week … actually, 2 songs from recent blogs seem appropriate for today’s: “Lawyers, Guns, & Money” by Warren Zevon (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 26-second sample; 324kb) & “How Much Is Enough?” by The Fixx (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 27-second sample; 335kb).

G.M. Grena