[b-hebrew] comparative historical linguistics was Re:

Ethel Jean (Kowan) Saltz macnietspingal at airmail.net
Thu Nov 23 15:31:44 EST 2006

About "mother's knee'.  That stikes home when I took diction in the drama 
department for voice music.  I complained that my whole life everyone said I 
talk like a New Yorker, even stangers in grocery stores. I was born in 
Washington, D.C.  My mom came to D.C. at the age of 14 from East Bronx. It 
actually is used negatively. At American University as a Freshman the prof 
the second semester in "speech" gave me a B instead of an "A" because I 
didn't lose my Brooklyn accent. This caused me to lose my interest-fee loan 
from a Jewish organization.  1947.

Well in the 21st century the diction prof said simply "blame your mother". 
She said she has trained herself to use appropriate dialects but she prefers 
her original "mother's knee" one.

So the fact that Hebrew ceased to be used orally by Hebrew moms sure makes 
sense to me.  The Babylonian and the Greek Hebrews.  That really makes the 
evolution from picture language to script significant in getting the feel of 
ordinary communications in Mosaic times.  Such communications data not 
available to the Hebrews in Babylonia and Greece/Egypt but is available to 
us today.  That's because of that wonderful science called archeology.

I decided to see when archeology began.  I thought I would share for those 
list members who don't have time to look things up.  Chronology of 
scientific methods is important IMNSHO:)

Encyc Britannica DVD

History of archaeology
No doubt there have always been people who were interested in the material 
remains of the past, but archaeology as a discipline has its earliest 
origins in 15th- and 16th-century Europe, when the Renaissance Humanists 
looked back upon the glories of Greece and Rome. Popes, cardinals, and 
noblemen in Italy in the 16th century began to collect antiquities and to 
sponsor excavations to find more works of ancient art. These collectors were 
imitated by others in northern Europe who were similarly interested in 
antique culture. All this activity, however, was still not archaeology in 
the strict sense. It was more like what would be called art collecting 

The Mediterranean and the Middle East
Archaeology proper began with an interest in the Greeks and Romans and first 
developed in 18th-century Italy with the excavations of the Roman cities of 
Pompeii and Herculaneum. Classical archaeology was established on a more 
scientific basis by the work of Heinrich Schliemann, who investigated the 
origins of Greek civilization at Troy and Mycenae in the 1870s; of M.A. 
Biliotti at Rhodes in this same period; of the German Archaeological 
Institute under Ernst Curtius at Olympia from 1875 to 1881; and of Alexander 
Conze at Samothrace in 1873 and 1875. Conze was the first person to include 
photographs in the publication of his report. Schliemann had intended to dig 
in Crete but did not do so, and it was left to Arthur Evans to begin work at 
Knossos in 1900 and to discover the Minoan civilization, ancestor of 
classical Greece.

Egyptian archaeology began with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798. He 
brought with him scholars who set to work recording the archaeological 
remains of the country. The results of their work were published in the 
Description de l'Égypte (1808–25). As a result of discoveries made by this 
expedition, Jean-François Champollion was able to decipher ancient Egyptian 
writing for the first time in 1822. This decipherment, which enabled 
scholars to read the numerous writings left by the Egyptians, was the first 
great step forward in Egyptian archaeology. The demand for Egyptian 
antiquities led to organized tomb robbing by men such as Giovanni Battista 
Belzoni. A new era in systematic and controlled archaeological research 
began with the Frenchman Auguste Mariette, who also founded the Egyptian 
Museum at Cairo. The British archaeologist Flinders Petrie, who began work 
in Egypt in 1880, made great discoveries there and in Palestine during his 
long lifetime. Petrie developed a systematic method of excavation, the 
principles of which he summarized in Methods and Aims in Archaeology (1904). 
It was left to Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon to make the most spectacular 
discovery in Egyptian archaeology, that of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.

Mesopotamian archaeology also began with hectic digging into mounds in the 
hopes of finding treasure and works of art, but gradually these gave way in 
the 1840s to planned digs such as those of the Frenchman Paul-Émile Botta at 
Nineveh and Khorsabad, and the Englishman Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud, 
Kuyunjik, Nabi Yunus, and other sites. Layard's popular account of his 
excavations, Nineveh and Its Remains (1849), became the earliest and one of 
the most successful archaeological best-sellers. In 1846 Henry Creswicke 
Rawlinson became the first man to decipher the Mesopotamian cuneiform 
writing. Toward the end of the 19th century, systematic excavation revealed 
a previously unknown people, the Sumerians, who had lived in Mesopotamia 
before the Babylonians and Assyrians. The most impressive Sumerian 
excavation was that of the Royal Tombs at Ur by Leonard Woolley in 1926.

Ethel Jean (Kowan) Saltz   Beltsville MD 

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