Category Archives: War and Violence

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 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

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

Zombie Apocalypse, Part 1: The Lamentable History of Zombies

zombieWhat is it about zombies that is so fascinating? The Walking Dead, a TV program now in its sixth season and the “world’s #1 show”[1], delivers a dystopic picture of a society beset by a virus that turns people into zombies. Its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, was a ratings winner upon its debut in summer 2015. Putting a new spin on an age-old plague story, these two shows build upon the premise that everyone somehow became infected, and that the virus lies dormant until death, when the corpse is reanimated unless a catastrophic brain injury is sustained. Drawing from this concept, the writers have crafted some intriguing twists and turns. Both shows have strong storylines and character development. Fans are rabid about the plot unfoldings, even when they diverge from the original comic books. Marketers have had a great run with all things zombie and rumor is some people are even reading again. So maybe it’s a lot of comic books but a range of zombie tomes has also joined the enviable list of beloved vampire and werewolf tales. 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

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 9, “Hunting Mountain Picassos” and “Sub Rosa: Tyntesfield”

StrataImage-web“Hunting Mountain Picassos” and “Sub Rosa: Tyntesfield” are the next episodes in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute.

People have been chronicling their existence in pictorial designs for millennia. “Hunting the Mountain Picassos” captures the unique art of Basque shepherds over the last century who have created arborglyphs—pictures carved into the barks of aspen trees in Nevada. For more than half-a-century, Jean and Phillip Earl of Reno, Nevada, have used clues from old maps, letters and books to hunt for and document these remarkable pictures. In “Sub Rosa: Tyntesfield,” UK archaeology student Rebecca Kellawan journeys to uncover the use of a crumbling, abandoned US World War II base located on the grounds of a beautiful Victorian estate.  What is uncovered leads to even more intriguing questions of racial and national tensions in the era and recasts the look of patriotism. Continue reading

The Slavery Project Part 2: In the Eye of the Beholder

JMW Turner's

J.M.W. Turner’s “The Slave Ship”

As we discussed in Part I: In the Eye of the Beholder, The Slavery Project (TSP) is an ongoing, interactive series of modules that incorporates lesson plans along select historical plotlines detailing slavery in a particular society during a specific period.  TSP is designed to provide students an immersive experience where a culture is explored according to the social, cultural, political and economic conditions of the time. Continue reading

“Is it Time to Rethink Our Ideas About Preserving World Heritage?” A Provocative Question in Dire Times

AN Forum

The Financial Times’ recent article, “Is It Time to Rethink Our Ideas About Preserving World Heritage?” by Jonathan Foyle, explores whether in the face of the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage from natural disasters and “human aggression, theft and errors of judgment,” new ways of preserving our heritage should be sought. Continue reading

Qin Shi Huang’s China: The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor Remains an Unopened Treasure

A kneeling crossbowman from the Terracotta Army assembled for the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huang (r. 221–210 BC)

A kneeling crossbowman from the Terracotta Army assembled for the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huang (r. 221–210 BC)

The history of China can be likened to a majestic tapestry threaded with innovative technologies and embellished with the exquisite artifacts of a prolific culture. Intertwined in this more than 4,000-year-old history are the wars and periods of peace that have lent definition to the complex evolution of this most populous modern nation. Continue reading

How Advertising Helped Write History, Part 2

Uncle Sam

Don’t miss Part 1 of this fascinating series! And now, on to Part 2…

Winning wars

During the World Wars in the twentieth century, often a simple poster with a powerful message was enough to persuade people to do their patriotic and moral duty. Here are a few key advertisements that made history and could have tipped the scales towards victory. Continue reading