Category Archives: Blog

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Peach Almond Cake

peach cakeSun-kissed a blushing gold, peaches are a deliciously succulent marvel. Fuzzy or smooth, they tickle the palate and are versatility personified when gracing entrees, salads and desserts.

As much as we enjoy peaches today, you may be surprised to learn that they have quite an ancient—make that very ancient—history.

In 2010 a road crew near the North Terminal Bus Station in Kunming, central Yunnan Province, southwestern China, unearthed a strange find in the strata of a rock outcrop from the late Pliocene Ciying Formation. A team of paleontologists led by Dr. Tao Su of Xishuangbanna Tropical Garden and the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology identified the objects as eight fossilized peach endocarps or pits. They realized the discovery as a new species of the genus Prunus and named the pits P. kunmingensis. The endocarps were dated back 2.5 million years. Continue reading

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 17, “Church of St. George at Akrefnio”

StrataImage-webThis month in the Strata series we are looking at the making of a legend—or myth, or epic or saga. Cultures throughout time have used storytelling to record and dramatize their histories. “The Church of St. George at Akrefnio” depicts how the creative spark begins.

March the 15th, 1311. On a plain in central Greece, two armies are facing each other. On one side, Frankish knights from the Duchy of Athens. On the other side, their Catalan mercenaries of the Catalan Company demanding more benefits. The Frankish knights lose the battle and perish almost to the last. One of the few surviving knights, Anthony le Flamenc, prays to St. George for holy assistance in battle. In gratitude for his salvation, the knight orders a church built, dedicated to St. George, in Akrefnio, Boeotia. This is his story. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! National Noodle Month

zucchini noodlesDid you know that March is National Noodle Month? Neither did we! We almost missed out on celebrating this ancient and fantastic food! In our humble opinion, noodles may be one of the world’s most perfect foods. They are the base for recipes from China to Italy and can be savory, sweet, salty and more. Today you can find noodles to suit every taste and inclination. There are zucchini noodles, gluten free noodles, cellophane noodles, flat noodles, thin noodles, long noodles, short noodles, so many noodles! Read our Ancient Noodle post below to learn about the noodle’s fascinating history and scroll down for a yummy zucchini noodle recipe. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Roman Eggs for Easter

easter-eggsEaster is this Sunday and if you’ve already had enough of brightly-colored hardboiled eggs, we’ve got you covered. Just in time for Easter breakfast we’re reposting an ancient Roman egg recipe that had the Romans begging for seconds. Click here for all of the scrumptious details about Ancient Roman Eggs in Pine Nut Sauce or jump right to the recipe below! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate Cherry Blossom Season

cherry_blossom_by_jennyxlove59-d4uraa9The cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom beginning this Friday, so there is no better time to celebrate this beautiful flower and the delicious fruit associated with it. Of course, the cherry blossoms we know so well aren’t actually responsible for the juicy red fruits we love, but you can learn all about that, the ancient roots of the cherry and more tempting facts by clicking on the links below. And of course, we’re bringing you a brand new cherry recipe! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Flan

FlanHave you ever slid your spoon into a smooth, creamy serving of flan and wondered, “What genius came up with this heavenly creation?” Well, we can’t give you a name, but we can give you the ancient history behind the delectable concoction we call flan.

As with so many of our modern recipes, flan has its origins in Rome. Those crafty Romans developed flan originally as a savory dish, but quickly decided to expand its use. And while they did create a sweet honey-flavored flan, they also indulged in the less appetizing eel flan with pepper.[1] Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Stir Fry

stir frySimple, delicious and ancient. It’s not difficult to understand why stir fry has endured the test of time. It’s healthy, easy-to-prepare and there are so many variations! Today we’re bringing you a recipe for traditional Chinese stir fry, but first, let’s take a quick look at its history.

There is evidence that the stir frying technique was first practiced during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 221 AD). Inscriptions of the Chinese character “chao” (炒), which means “stir fry”, on bronze vessels point to stir-frying being used in parching grain, and archaeological evidence of woks, along with thinly cut strips of meat, suggest it was also employed as a cooking method.[1] By the time of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE), stir fry was being used regularly. Remarkably, we have 12 surviving stir fry-related recipes from this time period.[2] Continue reading

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 16, “Islands of Darkness” and “Louisiana Plantation Site”

StrataImage-webWe have two offerings this month in the Strata series that look into how culture evolves. In “Islands of Darkness” we see that Vanuatu has unusually high cultural diversity compared to other Pacific islands outside of New Guinea. As proof, we witness dancing on Ambrym Island, ruins on Malekula Island and a violent volcanic eruption on Tanna Island. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! National Chocolate Lovers Month

6138-close-up-of-melted-chocolate-pvMiss a chance to celebrate chocolate? Not at AntiquityNOW! It’s National Chocolate Lovers Month and we’re bringing you all of our chocolatey content in one decadent post. Humans have been chocoholics for thousands of years. Even our ancestors knew that sometimes all you need after a tough day is the taste of the velvety concoction. Click on the links below to learn about the ancient history of chocolate and to enjoy recipes inspired by chocolate’s unique and delicious past. Scroll down to find an adventurous and unexpected recipe for Chocolate Chicken. With all of these fantastic recipes, you can observe this holiday by serving chocolate for every meal! Continue reading

Mapping Cultural Heritage in Danger

St. Elijah's Monastery in Iraq. The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, recently destroyed by ISIS.

St. Elijah’s Monastery in Iraq. The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, recently destroyed by ISIS.

In our post series “Maps: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future,” we discuss how important maps can be in helping us to visualize and understand where we’ve been and where we’re going. Today, maps are helping us to keep track of our vanishing past. Sadly, every day we are losing pieces of our history. Specifically, the cradle of civilization is being systematically destroyed. The Antiquities Coalition has taken action and created the Culture Under Threat Map, “which tracks instances of deliberate targeting of cultural heritage for destruction in the Middle East and North Africa.”

According to the Antiquities Coalition website: Continue reading