Don't Push This Button: Phoenician Sarcophagi, Atomic Priesthoods and Nuclear Waste

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


The article discusses the impact of historical sciences, classical philology and religious studies on the field of “Nuclear Semiotics”, the scholarly discussion concerning communicating information about nuclear waste disposal into the far future. The author uses examples such as a Phoenician funerary inscription, the Antikythera Mechanism, ancient water power, and the reconstruction of mythology to shed light on problems inherent in such communication, especially in schemes such as Thomas Sebeok’s idea of a pseudo-religious “Atomic Priesthood” that would perpetuate the tradition about stored nuclear waste. The article also aims at pointing out some ways in which the “nuclear waste question” can make historians view their own field in new ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVetenskapssocieteten i Lund. Årsbok 2015
EditorsHenrik Rahm
Place of PublicationLund
PublisherVetenskapssocieteten i Lund
ISBN (Print)978-91-980551-4-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

PublisherVetenskapssocieteten i Lund
ISSN (Print)0349-053X

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Religious Studies

Free keywords

  • Nuclear semiotics
  • nuclear waste
  • Phoenician
  • Eshmunazar
  • Eshmunazor
  • Thomas Sebeok
  • atomic priesthood
  • Indo-European
  • Hebrew Bible
  • Old Testament
  • Unleavened bread
  • horse sacrifice
  • dragons


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