Category Archives: Architecture

Throwback Thursday! Rescuing Our Cultural Legacies

AN Forum

As news broke this week that Nimrud had been recaptured from ISIS, the world held its breath as the extent of the destruction began to be revealed. So much has been lost and though ISIS is being driven out of many of its strongholds, they continue to systematically destroy cultural heritage.

In this terrifying and heartbreaking time, we wanted to republish a previous blog post that highlights the good that is being done to protect the world’s cultural heritage every day. In the exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener, co-Founder and Communications Director at Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE), speaks to Global Heritage Fund’s Executive Director Stefaan Poortman about the importance of cultural heritage and what the Global Heritage Fund has done to save the world’s cultural treasures.

AHE is a resource partner for AntiquityNOW’s The Slavery Project (TSP), a series of curricula for high school students looking at the long and inglorious history of slavery. This interview with Global Heritage Fund was published on Ancient History Encyclopedia’s website in August 2015. It is reprinted with permission of both parties.

Click here to read the full post and interview.

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 18, “Historic Norwegian Farm” and “Mariana Islands Latte Stones, Episode 1”

StrataImage-webThis episode of Strata returns to a familiar theme:  what does legacy mean for a people, and how can it be preserved?

In the first video of this episode, we are introduced to the stream at the historic farm of Havrå that connects the mountain, the field and the fjord.  Havrå, whose history stretches back to the Bronze Age, is protected by the Norwegian government.  On the farm, the field and the old sharing of the cultivated land are still intact.  And though many of the ancient ways have changed, a deep sense of heritage and community remain. Our second offering looks at the megalithic ruins known as latte that symbolize the ancient culture of the Chamorro people of the Mariana Islands. Latte are stone pillars and capitals that supported houses in complex village systems until the late 1600s prior to massive societal change under Spanish rule.  In this video we explore how the Chamorro legacy was built, and how clues to the past have uncovered new mysteries yet to be solved. Part 1 of 2. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 13, “Syracuse 3D Reborn”

StrataImage-webThe latest entry in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, offers a feast for the eyes. It captures in astonishing dimension and detail the glorious city of Syracuse, in its time the epitome of Greek enterprise, art and culture. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 12, “Ruins of Nan Madol”

StrataImage-webThe latest offering in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, examines an elaborate structure of more than 90 small coral islands often called the “Venice of the Pacific.” Much of the construction and purpose of these islands is shrouded in mystery, but their unique beauty continues to inspire a reverence today for the impressive talents of ancient lives. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 11, “James Madison Slave Quarters,” “Iron Age Mirror” and “HMS Fowey Shipwreck”

StrataImage-webThree new features in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, examine how the past continues to inspire us today.

“James Madison Slave Quarters” looks at the reconstruction of the South Yard, the slave quarters at the fourth U.S. president’s mansion, which marks the beginning of a new chapter at Montpelier and the history that unfolds.  “Iron Age Mirror” depicts a beautiful mirror found by a metal detectorist in Oxfordshire, UK. It is a remarkable piece of craftmanship used more than 2,000 years ago.  “HMS Fowey Shipwreck” reveals the story of the British frigate that struck a coral reef and sank in 1748, coming to rest within the boundaries of Biscayne National Park.  The National Park Service conducted underwater excavations on the site. Continue reading

Khaled al-Asaad and the Price of Memory

AN Forum

The murder by ISIS of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, a renowned Syrian archaeologist and scholar, was a heinous act. His death is a blow to Syria and the world’s cultural heritage.

Tadmor, Syria: the scene of the theater of Palmyra

Tadmor, Syria: the scene of the theater of Palmyra

What possesses a person to cleave so to an ideal that he would give up his own life? As social media spread the details of Asaad’s death, there was sincere horror and disgust at the price of his refusal to disclose where Palmyra’s antiquities had been hidden. Asaad, with more than 50 years as head of antiquities in Palmyra, along with other officials, had spirited away many of the artifacts that undoubtedly would have ended up being sold on the black market, fetching the high prices that fuel ISIS’ activities. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 10, “In and Near Istanbul” and “The Mountain Wars of Fiji”

StrataImage-webTwo new features in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, examine the complex elements of a culture’s past that continue to influence modern times.

“In and near Istanbul” tours the region surrounding Turkey’s Sea of Marmara, including the storied capitol city Istanbul, which is renowned for its visible reminders of antiquity.  This is an archaeological and historical wonderland that draws visitors from all over the world.  “The Mountain Wars of Fiji” relates a horrifying piece of Fijian history. Across the islands of Fiji, hilltop fortresses tell a tale of a warfare and cannibalism going back a thousand years, when the war gods demanded tribute or revenge.  Yet people have been on these islands far longer and things have not always been the same. Continue reading

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot! Ancient Methods of Keeping It Cool

summer sunIt’s August, and that means the summer days are dwindling. Yet the soaring temperatures, hazy skies and dripping clothing tell another story. Summer still has us in its grip. Yes, it’s really sweltering out there. And if there’s one thing we modern folks love during these dog days of summer, it’s our air conditioning. Continue reading

Nature, Ecotherapy and a Peek into the Past Through National Parks

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

UPDATE! This post was originally published on September 9, 2014. In several countries around the world,
students are gearing up for summer break, an exciting time of fun, sun and long-awaited vacations. If
you live in the United States, your family may be planning a trip to one of the many national parks. There
are a wide variety of places to visit, packed with rich cultural heritage, fascinating pieces of history, grand
architecture, breathtaking natural vistas and heart-pounding encounters with wildlife. Before you go, take a minute to read our post below to learn about the ancient history of natural settings and how our park system came to be. Also, if you want a truly memorable experience, check out this article in The New York Times on how to get the most out of your national park visit.


When you first enter Crater Lake National Park, it’s easy to imagine you’ve stepped thousands of years into the past. Crater Lake in Oregon was created when Mount Mazama erupted close to 8,000 years ago, and ignoring the RVs visiting the park today, it’s easy to imagine it has not changed much from what it must have looked like after the ash settled. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 7, “Historical Archaeology in Downtown Boise” and “South Carolina Pottery Kiln Excavation”

StrataImage-webEpisode 7 of the new documentary series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, considers what we uncover about a society through the remnants of its existence. In this two-part episode we observe how discarded items become touchstones for past lives—relics that capture times, places, memories, social status, gender roles and cultural attributes. And we ponder how future generations will remember us when they come upon what we in the 21st century have left behind. Continue reading