Monday, March 5, 2012

There is a Story There!

I read and article the other day about a recent discovery at the bottom of Haifa Bay, along the Israeli coast. During commercial dredging operations in the harbour, workers accidentally discovered a 2,600 year old Corinthian helmet. Archaeologists were at first baffled by this because there were no known Greek colonies along the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The helmet is a beautiful specimen, dated to circa 600 B.C.

The helmet itself is bronze, covered in gold leaf and decorated with snakes, lions and peacock’s tails (or palmettes). The article notes that researchers now believe it likely belonged to a wealthy Greek mercenary in the employ of the Egyptian pharaoh, Necho II, who waged war for about ten years, conquering Syria in the first campaign. But in the second campaign Necho II waged a losing war against the rising tide of Babylon led by King Nebuchadnezzar II. These wars are written about by Herodotus and figure largely in the Torah / Old Testament. To read the rest of this article click here:

This is why I so love history and archaeology, the stories that can arise out a single find and the subsequent questions around it. Whose helmet was this? Did he lose it or was it some sort of offering? Was his ship wrecked? Where was he from? and Who had he left behind? What were his experiences as part of the Egyptian army?

 History and archaeology are fertile ground for writers. Next time you have writer’s block or want to start something new, just flip through a book of archaeology or news on the most recent finds around the world. There is still a lot of uncharted, unwritten territory. 
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