Peter Hessler's book Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, reveals a rapidly modernizing China that still has roots in its ancient past. Drawing on experiences during his four years as an English teacher and freelance writer based in Beijing, Hessler tells the story of his friends and students--the lower- and middle-class people who are buffeted by the shifting political and economic currents as China rises to global prominence. Hessler uses ancient artifacts, particularly the Shang Dynasty turtle shells that bear the oldest examples of Chinese writing, as a device to provide a deeper context for China's dramatic social changes.
The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, Ohio, will be displaying objects that date back to the common roots of Judaism and Christianity. Highlights of the exhibit, titled "Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land," include the Temple Scroll, a Dead Sea Scroll that calls for a new legal interpretation of the Torah, and a full-scale replica of the altar from a Byzantine church. The exhibit will run from April 1 to October 22, 2006.
John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin, Madison brings his sense of humor and expertise to the field of paleoanthopology in his weblog, www.johnhawks.net. Commenting on everything from depictions of archaeology in popular media to scientific debates on population genetics, Hawks expresses ideas that experts will find insightful, and does it in language accessible to the layperson. The site also includes resources such as a catalog of hominid fossils and collections of his posts by topic.
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