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The Government of Afghanistan recently sent two missions to India, where they were warmly welcomed and made many friends. In September 1946, the Government of India sent in return a small mission to Afghanistan to establish contact between the respective archaeological and historical activities of the two countries, with a view if possible to securing closer cultural collaboration. The Indian mission consisted of the Director General of Archaeology in India and his wife ; the Honourable Mr Justice N. G. A. Edgely, President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal—the oldest learned society in Asia; and Mr M. A. Shakur, Curator of the Pesh#x0101;war Museum, sent by the Government of the North-West Frontier Province as the immediate neighbour of Afghanistan. The mission travelled in two ex-U.S.A. Army vehicles, a six-wheeled personnel-carrier and a jeep, with two Indian drivers and two Indian attendants.
Ever since the beginning of recorded history, Ancient Egypt was dependent upon the goodwill of the Phoenician overlords of the mountain land of the Lebanon for supplies of timber in the long running lengths required for the construction of large ships, especially those intended for use on long voyages by sea ; fine timber was also in considerable demand for the making of the elaborate wooden sarcophagi of nobles and of members of the royal family as well as for furniture of superior quality. This lack of suitable native timber made the Egyptians late comers in sea-trading ; indeed, it restricted progress so seriously that their water-borne commerce was limited to traffic with Nubia and the South by way of the Nile waterway, to occasional expeditions down the Red Sea to Southern Arabia and to Somaliland (Punt) and to short coasting trips to Phoenicia to buy timber logs and to the coasts of the Sinai Peninsula in search of copper.
A Century has just elapsed since the now famous Regolini-Galassi tomb at Caere (Cerveteri) was opened by the Archpriest and General whose names A it bears. The beautiful proportions of the silver vessels, the delicate goldwork, and the impressive design of the bronzes, which together formed the sepulchral furniture befitting an Etruscan nobleman of the middle 7th century B.C. came as a coup d’éclut to the academic world, and can still be considered the most splendid ornament of the Museo Etrusco Gregoriano at the Vatican. But the most obvious significance, today, of this centenary is to recall the early history of field-archaeology in Etruria and the problems that have been inherited from it, of which one of the most essential still remains to be dispatched; namely, the preparation of accurate plans of the cemeteries. The difficulties inherent in this are very clearly illustrated by the circumstances (1) of the Kegolini-Galassi discovery and by its consequences. It immediately stimulated extensive excavations for collectors’ trophies at Caere, where the necropolis until then had largely escaped the attentions of early antiquarians and treasure-hunters; activities that at Tarquinia have been characterized as ‘tumultuosi’ by Prof. Nogara, and whose story has been summed up by Prof. Pallottino as ‘singolare e dolorosa insieme’.
Archaeologists have long been aware that whales were extensively utilized by dwellers on the Atlantic sea-board of prehistoric Europe (1). The frequent discovery of cetacean bones in ancient middens and, in regions such as the extreme north of Scotland and the Orkneys, of implements and other objects fabricated from them prompts one to inquire into the source of the whales. Were some of them hunted, or did prehistoric man confine himself to stranded specimens? Again, it is interesting to speculate on the various ways in which whales, whether hunted or stranded, contributed to the economy of early man.