News from the CSNTM

Here.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement and unforeseen opportunities for me. To say that I was anticipating going on the most recent CSNTM expedition to Greece would be a lie. Approximately thirty-six hours before the team was scheduled to leave, I found out I was going because of a medical emergency with one of the other team members. I really do not remember much of what happened between then and arriving at the airport, but it was some combination of sleep deprivation, laundry, packing, making work arrangements, notifying professors, and euphoria. The euphoria may have partially just been the sleep deprivation. Either way, by Friday morning I was packed and at the airport anxiously awaiting my second experience traveling and photographing New Testament manuscripts with a team from CSNTM.

And more, which do read.

An Italian Archaeologist Discovers the ‘Gates of Hell’

From ABC.

The entrance to the Underworld, the River Styx and Hades are among the darkest and most memorable archetypes in all of ancient mythology. Now Italian archaeologists say they’ve found the physical place celebrated by the ancients as that door to hell or Pluto’s Gate at ruins in south-western Turkey.  … Professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento, Francesco D’Andria says they discovered the cave’s lethal properties during the excavation when several birds that were trying to get to the warm underground vent succumbed to the carbon dioxide fumes. The team were reconstructing the route of a thermal spring and found ruins of a shrine inscribed with a dedication to the god of the underworld – Pluto.

No reason to doubt that such a site could have served as the provocation for the development of tales of the underworld in Greek myth.  And no reason to believe, either, that this particular site is the source and fount of such myths.  They found a stinky cave.  Well done.  And Pluto was worshiped there.  Not surprising.

In sum- this will turn out to be much ado about nothing.  It isn’t the literal portal to hell.

Lament the Ignorance of Many Americans

 28% of voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.  36% of Romney voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, 41% do not.

 13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters.

14% of voters say the CIA was instrumental in creating the crack cocaine epidemic in America’s inner cities in the 1980’s.

And much more.  Happy Thursday…..