Category Archives: Art

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

Part 2, Tricks of the Trade: From Ancient Symbols to Modern Sensibilities—Imagination and the Power of Belonging

In ancient Rome, the fasces, symbolized strength through unity.

In ancient Rome, the fasces, symbolized strength through unity.

In Part 1, “Tricks of the Trade: From Ancient Symbols to a $70 Billion Brand” we looked at how symbols and branding have been around for millennia. Indeed, humankind has an innate need to belong, and to embrace that belonging with some outward expression of attachment. Whether it be the demonstration of national identity with flags and blood-stirring national anthems, team spirit with the sporting of football colors, ladies with attitude in purple and red hats or political candidates in party lockstep with precision soundbites, we join, cleave to, pledge allegiance to and meld into the single identity that gives meager individuals a sense of purpose and being. Continue reading

Part 1, Tricks of the Trade: From Ancient Symbols to a $70 Billion Brand (That’s You, Coca-Cola!)

coca colaThe human mind is complex, elegantly fashioned and constantly surprising us as to its capacity. A recent study by a team of MIT neuroscientists has found that the brain can process images that are seen by the human eye for as little as 13 milliseconds, evidence of the extraordinary processing speed of the mind. Mary Potter, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences and senior author of the study, observes: “The fact that you can do that at these high speeds indicates to us that what vision does is find concepts. That’s what the brain is doing all day long — trying to understand what we’re looking at.”[1] Continue reading

AntiquityNOW Month: Make Something Monday! Ancient Pictographs and Hand Stencil Activity

hand stencil activityIt’s AntiquityNOW Month! Pictograms and pictographs have been telling stories for thousands of years. Read more here.  Click here to visit a website with instructions on how to create your very own hand stencil.

Happy Arbor Day! Trees Glorious Trees

treewith-leaves-remixTrees have always been awe-inspiring, even to our earliest ancestors. Trees can hold a poetic beauty as they sway in the breeze, musical tones fluttering from their leaves, colors riotously changing with the season. They are hallmarks of our holidays. They are the chroniclers of time, capturing in a ringed litany the ebb and wane of the world in which they are rooted. Trees protect, offer food, preserve the soil and provide resources. Indeed, one of their earliest representations illustrates the importance of trees to cultures through the ages: Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 6, “The Somerset Levels and Moors” and “Euskal Jaiak”

StrataImage-webEpisode 6 of the documentary series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, comprises two films that explore the forces that bind us as a people in a particular society. Continue reading

How Advertising Helped Write History, Part 1

Times SquareImagine standing in the dead center of Times Square. Aggressive flashing lights, pulses, and neon words play tug-o-war for your attention. Inviting music oozes from the glare of what seems like a thousand restaurants as errant street vendors grapple to be heard above the din. Everywhere you turn, someone or something begs you to do this, eat that or buy a product. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 5, “Archaeology in 12 Minutes” and “Photographing the Invisible”

StrataImage-webEpisode 5 of the new documentary series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, is a two-part episode 1) illustrating the history of archaeology and 2) demonstrating one of the technologies used today to recover the amazing artistry of our ancestors. Continue reading

From Ancient Graffiti to Modern Street Art: Our Need for Self Expression Through Time

Maeshowe chambered cairn.

Maeshowe chambered cairn.

Update! This post was originally published on December 12, 2012. The post below explores humanity’s fascinating obsession with leaving our mark. Graffiti has been with us since before recorded history. It provides an incredible wealth of information about who we are as historical beings and where we’ve been. These ancient markings also cause us to reflect on the sweep of human endeavor and wonder what will remain of the 21st century that may intrigue, appall or inspire, much as ancient graffiti does today. Continue reading

ISIS, Syria and the Eradication of Culture: As the Ancient World Falls, Efforts Mount to Save World Heritage

AN Forum

ISIS has reportedly bulldozed the ancient city of Nimrud.

ISIS has reportedly bulldozed the ancient city of Nimrud.

You’ve probably seen the reports of destruction coming out of the Middle East. You’ve certainly heard of ISIS and its reign of terror. The loss of life and the horrifying atrocities being committed against innocent people are splashed across every news network. But ISIS is doing more than taking individual lives. The group is bent on annihilating ancient culture and what it represents. This part of the news story may not have caught everyone’s eye, but it is a desperately important part of that story. Continue reading