June is National Rose Month, so we thought we would pay homage to this lovely flower. Roses have a storied and ancient history. Their delicate petals, their splendiferous hues, their enticing fragrances and their visual presence has inspired civilizations from time immemorial. Roses have been around for some 35 million years and evidence of their past glories have been found in the far reaches of the ancient world. Let’s explore their history further as we take a walk through the beauteous Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, where the ancient and modern find common blooming rights. To make your stroll even more memorable, steep some rose hips tea, sit back and relax to the sumptuous tones of Enya’s China Roses. Continue reading
Posted in Art, Beauty, Blog, Culinary, Culture, Holidays, Public Life, Recreation, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient botany, ancient flowers, ancient rose, AntiquityNOW, flowers, National Rose Month, rose, tea roses
In Part 1 of our ancient hygiene post we discussed the psychology behind our need for hygiene, our long history of soap-making and even ancient cosmetics. Now, continue on this journey with us to discover more ancient efforts to fight the “yuck.” Continue reading
Posted in Anatomy and Physiology, Beauty, Biology, Blog, Culture, Fashion, Healing Arts, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient germs, ancient history, ancient hygiene, ancient makeup, ancient soap, AntiquityNOW, Hygeia, Roman baths
If you’re worried that modern society makes us all vain, have no fear. Truth is, we’ve been primping, prepping and peacocking for centuries.
Case in point: one particularly fussy Iron Age man found preserved in a peat bog. After all of that time underground, his hairstyle endured thanks to an early form of hair gel made from plant oil and pine resin. And our ancient ancestors cooked up more than hair gel. Since we can breeze into a store for a selection of health and beauty products, you’ll be impressed by what the ancients tenaciously concocted with their limited resources. Continue reading
Posted in Beauty, Blog, Culture, Healing Arts, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient health, ancient hygiene, ancient makeup, ancient soap, AntiquityNOW, history of makeup, history of soap
We’ve written before about tattoos in our post Tattoos and the Body as Canvas. How from ancient times people have etched into flesh the story of their lives. From designs that heighten beauty, signify status, show affiliation or even scourge a social outcast, tattoos have always been about designations. Indeed, our body as canvas is at once both intimate and public. For some, tattoos depict their innermost beings for the world to see. For others, particularly when used to announce a person’s outlier status in society, tattoos are meant to be felt as a visceral destruction of self. Continue reading
Posted in Beauty, Blog, Crime, Culture, Healing Arts, Human Rights, Public Life, War and Violence
Tagged ancient art, ancient history, ancient tattoos, AntiquityNOW, Basma Hameed, scar removal, tattoos over scars
1862 advertisement for Laird’s Bloom of Youth, claiming to preserve and beautify the complexion and skin. Source: Cosmetics and Skin.
UPDATE! This post was originally published on January 17, 2013. Skin care and that eternal search for youth are back in the news this month with a remedy that is both scandalous and ancient: blood. A new study has found that young blood does have powers of rejuvenation. The blood plasma from young mice was injected into old mice who then experienced improved learning and memory. It isn’t a far leap to imagine applying this research to skin care and the possibility that blood may impart youth to the physical appearance as well. This is certainly not a new thought. History has several examples of people who believed blood was perhaps a fountain of youth. Continue reading
An example of ancient Egyptian dentistry.
In Ancient Dentistry Part 1: Drills, Gemstones and Toothpaste!, we looked at how dentistry was practiced millennia ago in Pakistan, Slovenia, Algeria, France, North America and Egypt. Drilling, implants and tooth bling were some long ago procedures with fascinating modern day correlations. Ironically, despite having toothpaste and dental procedures, it seemed that the Egyptians suffered a great deal of tooth discomfort, which was apparent from the formulas for pain potions found recorded on papyrus and in the condition of the teeth of many mummies. Continue reading
Posted in Anatomy and Physiology, Beauty, Blog, Culture, Healing Arts, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient dentistry, ancient Egyptian dentistry, ancient history, AntiquityNOW, bioarchaeology, Egyptian Mummy Project, Egyptology, Hatshepsut, King Tut, mummies, Zahi Hawass
UPDATE! This post was originally published on March 14, 2013. One year later and ancient tattoos are back in the news due to a fascinating find and an exciting exhibit at the British Museum. Eight mummies from Egypt and Sudan have been subjected to CAT scanning, infra-red “reflectography” and carbon dating in an effort to develop a more complete picture of their ancient lives for the new exhibit called Ancient Lives: New Discoveries. The scanning has revealed previously unseen features from beneath their wrappings. One of the most interesting discoveries is a tattoo on the inner thigh of a 1,300 year old female mummy. The tattoo represents the symbol of the Archangel Michael and spells out in ancient Greek M-I-X-A-H-A (Michael). According to an article by Robert Mendick in The Telegraph, the woman was 20-35 years of age, died in about 700 CE and “lived in a Christian community on the banks of the Nile.” Continue reading
Red roses are synonymous with love, and have been for centuries. But there’s an interesting story behind the tales of starry-eyed lovers and their proclamations of everlasting romance. The red rose it seems, has as much to do with our eyes and nose as it has to do with affairs of the heart.
First, let’s take a look at the flower that started it all: the beauteous and aromatic rose. Roses can be traced back 35 million years according to fossil evidence. Roses were growing wild in many places as diverse as Persia and in what is now Colorado in the United States. As early as the 11th century BCE the Chinese were cultivating flowers of all sorts. In fact, China has incredible biodiversity and boasts 93 species and 144 varieties of roses that are native to its habitats. China became the dominant breeder and purveyor of roses until around 300 years ago, when Europe took the lead in cultivation and breeding. Continue reading
Posted in Anatomy and Physiology, Beauty, Biology, Blog, Culture, Holidays, Public Life, Recreation, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient history, AntiquityNOW, china, Isis, limbic system, Napoleon, red rose, romance, valentine's day
Image courtesy Krzysztof Grzymski
It is resolution time! Popular culture and media are booming with ideas for weight loss– Dr. Oz’s green shakes, CNN’s stories of inspiration, The Biggest Loser’s dedication to stopping childhood obesity and countless advertisements for gym memberships. According to the website Statistic Brain, resolutions to lose weight ranked number one on a list of top resolutions in 2012 and it is safe to assume 2013 will be no different. Continue reading
Posted in Beauty, Blog, Celebrities, Culture, Public Life
Tagged ancient history, AntiquityNOW, beauty, Candace, Egypt, Hatshepsut, history, Kush, Meroe, obesity