When we considered a commemoration in 2013, we asked ourselves a question: Why have an AntiquityNOW month? The answer was in our mission: to show how antiquity’s legacy influences us today and for generations to come. So for the month of May, we will laud human endeavor through the ages and mark the importance of our world heritage.
What can we learn from the past? There are any number of things. That technology goes back thousands of years, such as in the first passive solar housing design in 400 BCE Greece or nanotechnology as used in 4th century Rome. That music and its spiritual imprecations have a striking similarity through time, as in American gospel music and the worship of the ancient Mesopotamians. That the foods that have nourished us from the beginnings of cultivating history still in some form find their way to our tables today. And that human behavior has been driven by neurology, emotion and social mores in ways that have echoed through time.
As a species we are cruel, loving, unpredictable and ingenious. What we learn from the past gives us our guideposts for the future—if we are looking. As well, humankind has a lot more in common than we may think. Peaceful co-existence is indeed possible—if we want it. Our legacies and our futures are so inextricably entwined. In AntiquityNOW Month we recognize the complexity and mystery of the human condition in the long sweep of history. As Shakespeare says in Hamlet “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties!” Yet, still he wonders what this “quintessence of dust” is. The story of humankind is a tale fraught with woe, genius, decadence and transcendence. Events and times simply reshape the stage. Our history is what lies ahead.
So let’s make plans to celebrate AntiquityNOW Month in May and give a shout out to humankind’s march through the millennia.
Here are some ideas to get you started in the festivities. As always, we want to know what you’re doing and we’ll feature your images, art, stories and other work on our AntiquityNOW Month page on our website. Fill out our submissions form and send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our partners who are participating in AntiquityNOW month.
Check out our Projects for Teachers and Projects for Individuals and Groups.