Editorial – Journal Edition 6

We prefer to publish both together but Journal articles tend to take a lot of editorial time.  When you read the acknowledgements for David Smith’s article you will realise that many, many people beyond Andrea and I have contributed time to help finalise the research.  We are very grateful for their assistance.

Our first article is the second part of David Smith’s paper about eclipses, which is the culmination of nearly a decade of study.  It is a paper which I expect to be cited regularly by future authors because it sets a platform upon which an absolute chronology for the New Kingdom might be based. We have worked very carefully with the author to understate, rather than overstate, the conclusions.  However, if we set aside the excruciatingly demanding threshold for mathematical proof and take a pragmatic approach consistent with normal practice in Egyptology, then the paper would at least given anchor dates to which an New Kingdom chronology might be attached, assuming of course that the standard chronologies are roughly correct and not out by decades which might mean new correlations need to be tested.

We are delighted that our two other papers are on subjects which will be familiar to many readers in a modern context, but not in that of Ancient Egypt.

New on Egyptological, Anthony Cagle investigates both the idea of public health in ancient Egypt and how it was experienced. Using a strong theoretical and analytical approach, Anthony considers how sanitation, hygiene and diet combined in Egyptian health in the face of various communicable diseases and locally endemic parasites.  His research into a field that is rarely covered by mainstream texts provides a valuable insight into the daily challenges of life in ancient Egypt and explores how public health may be explored and discussed. If you think that you have little interest in these subjects then do please read the article anyway.  Anthony’s ability as a writer brings the subject to life.

And last, but by no means least, another author new to Egyptological, Barbara Boczar shares her research on colour in Egyptian painted works from the Old Kingdom through to the New Kingdom.  My late father Terry Phizackerley (PT Phiz) was an artist and from a young age he instilled in me that in order to understand art you have to understand the pigments within paints.  I was taught that some pigments are much more expensive than others so, when an artist uses them, he is signalling a work that really matters, and Barbara maps the common pigments for us.  She has also scoured the latest research on the degradation of colours to explain how the colours we see today are false.  Above all, she considers the lexicon of Egyptian colours: how many colours did the Egyptians recognise and what were they?  (By publication date, expected image permissions had not arrived.  A temporary image has been included for one, but the quality is low.  We have been unable to source an image for the third.  Locating images is an ongoing issue for us.)

As mentioned above, on this occasion we are publishing the Magazine and Journal asynchronously so there are no Magazine articles published today.  The next edition of the Magazine is likely to be in November.  It is not too late to submit an article.  In keeping with the theme of broad content, we have also published a photo album of Meroe.  Our thanks to Jac Strijbos for sharing pictures of an important site that relatively few readers have visited.

We also continue to incrementally develop Egyptological.  For this edition, we have new styling for block quotes and for tables.  We are also aware that some people have problems printing, with their browser missing a line at the top and/or bottom of pages.  We do have a possible solution but Andrea and I need to discuss some of the ramifications of using it before we decide to adopt it.  If we don’t, we will search for an alternative.