Had you asked me last week if the number of known pyramids in the world was likely to substantially increase anytime soon, I might have said no; how wrong I would have been. LiveScience recently reported that in the last three years "at least 35" petite pyramids have been uncovered for the first time in millennia at a single site in Sudan.
Simcha Jacobovici, the Canadian documentary director who claimed in 2011 to have found two of the nails used to crucify Jesus, is suing archaeologist Joe Zias for libel. There are few things more enjoyable than fights between academics, particularly when one of the academics is being accused of pandering and sensationalism. The blog posts fly thick and fast, the Change.org petitions sing with wounded intellectual pride ("we the undersigned simply and collegially request that Mr. Jacobovici abandon his lawsuit"), and everyone gets a chance to play.
There is no form of intrigue more delicious than archaeological intrigue, and this story is just riddled with it: royal exhumations, parking lots, anonymous sources, whiffs of conspiracy and official denials. Select your finest knife and heftiest fork; draw a damask napkin over your lap, and prepare to tuck in.
This brutal, heartbreaking love letter was found in 1998, lying on the mummified body of Eung-Tae Lee, a 30-year-old Korean man who'd died in 1586, some four hundred years before. Lee was tall and bearded — "The dark mustache made me feel that he must have had a charming appearance," says the former director of the Andong National University Museum — and left behind him a pregnant wife, the letter's author. Here it is, via Letters of Note: