Category Archives: Kids: Public Life

KIDS’ BLOG! Chinese Kites Soar Throughout History

Chinese Bird KiteDid you know that kites were invented 2,300 years ago?  A Chinese philosopher, Mo Di, who lived from 468-376 BCE, designed the very first kite in the shape of an eagle.[1]  It was not made out of paper, because paper had not been invented yet.  Instead, he used wood.  Imagine how hard it must have been to fly a wooden kite!  Amazingly, he did manage to keep it in the air for a whole day.  His student, Gongshu Ban, later nicknamed Lu Ban, learned how to build kites from Mo Di.  He even improved upon his mentor’s design, making a bamboo kite in the shape of a magpie, which is a bird common on the Eurasia continent.  Lu Ban was able to keep his kite in the air for up to three days.[2] Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Rain, Rain Go Away: Ancient Weather, Modern Predictions

hurricane

Update! This post was originally published on June 25, 2013. Hurricane season 2014 has been pretty quiet so far, but you never know when a tiny little storm system can gain momentum and become a full-fledged hurricane. Ancient civilizations had to face threats from weather just like we do today, but they didn’t have the amazing technology we have that can track and predict storms. Read our post and learn more about ancient weather and take advantage of our all new activities after the post! Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Seeing Ancient Invisible Ink Through Modern Eyes

Image by Noel Hidalgo Tan, Antiquity Publications.

Image by Noel Hidalgo Tan, Antiquity Publications.

Invisible ink, such a simple and yet crafty way to keep secrets. You may know that it was used in wars such as the American Civil War, the American Revolutionary War and both World Wars, but did you know it was being used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations? In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History, an early encyclopedia, about how the milk of the tithymallus plant could be adapted as an invisible ink. Ovid spoke about secret ink in his Art of Love. Ahmed Qalqashandi, a medieval Egyptian writer and mathematician, described several types of invisible ink.[1] And recently an article published in LiveScience explored a startling new discovery at Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple regarding invisible ink.[2] Ancient invisible ink didn’t always start out as invisible and in this case the ancient artists probably had no idea that their stunning works would one day be hidden to the naked eye. Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Ancient Puppy Puts Its “Stamp of Approval” on Roman Tile

Puppy paw print in a Roman tile. Credit: Adam Slater, Wardell Armstrong Archaeology

Puppy paw print in a Roman tile. Credit: Adam Slater, Wardell Armstrong Archaeology

Recently, archaeologists have discovered strange imprints on a Roman tile uncovered at a construction site in Leicester, England.  They decided that the impressions had to be a puppy’s paw prints.  Most of us forget that the Romans had pets, too.  Apparently, this puppy was so excited about finding out what everyone was working on that it trampled on a newly placed brick before it had hardened, leaving a permanent memory of the dog’s existence. Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Archimedes’ Ancient Screw Saves 21st Century Britain From Flooding

Spaans-BabcockWhat do you do when the rains keep coming and floods sweep across your country? As the waters rise and cover your fields and towns, what do you use to save your home? Do you write a fancy new computer program, download the newest anti-flooding app on your phone or design complicated modern robots to deal with it? Well, people in the United Kingdom are facing this very problem and you might be surprised to learn they aren’t turning to modern technology. Instead, they’re looking back to one of antiquity’s greatest scientists and inventors, Archimedes, and to his giant water screws.

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KIDS’ BLOG! Ancient Origins of the XXII Winter Olympics

sochi-2014-262145_640When the Greeks gathered in Olympia for the first Olympic Games in 776 BBC, I’m sure they never imagined that one day, far in the future, the Games would be held high in snow covered mountains or on playing fields made of ice. How could they know that their foot races would turn into races on blades (speed skating) and chariot races would become daring flights around a track made of pure ice (bobsled)? In 1924, the first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France featuring cold-weather sports.  Today we celebrate these Winter Games every four years. Did you know that just like the Olympic Games themselves, many of the winter sports have ancient and historical origins? Continue reading

Happy Year of the Horse!

year of the horseToday is the first day of the Year of the Horse (in China’s time zone) and the students at the Chinese American International School in San Francisco are celebrating by using their talents to create beautiful depictions of horses.  Scroll down to view a slideshow of the artwork that leapt out of their imaginations and trotted into the New Year. Continue reading

Students Celebrate Chinese New Year with Dragons and Dance

7See Below for Live Streaming

Chinese New Year is an exciting time of celebration, honoring the past and looking forward to the future.  One school in San Francisco is celebrating this year—the Year of the Horse—with art and song and dance.  AntiquityNOW invited the Chinese American International School (CAIS) to share the festivities with us and let us showcase the remarkable student artists in their midst.  One project involved having the students from different grades work together to create their own dragon mural in honor of the New Year.  The scales on this elaborate creature were made by the kindergarten and first grade classes and the head was painted by the second grade gold class.  As you can see, their dragon is colorful, imaginative and full of historical symbolism—a splendidly sinuous being that reminds everyone of the ancient heritage that still resonates today. Continue reading

Celebrating Chinese New Year: The Dragon Re-Interpreted

003 The dragon has a long and esteemed history in Chinese lore.  In honor of Chinese New Year, AntiquityNOW’s Artist-in-Residence Dan Fenelon has recast this legendary figure into phantasmagorical creations that fuse the ancient and the modern with a whimsical turn—a Fenelon trademark. Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Diwali, the Festival of Lights

Happy DiwaliFor five days this week, starting on Sunday, November 3, Hindus around the world will celebrate Diwali, or Deepavali, the Festival of Lights.  Diwali marks the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil.  Lamps are lit, colored lights dance against dark skies and fireworks explode in fiery celebration.  People exchange gifts, often of gold, dress up in new clothes, prepare special dishes and sweets, and with this celebration acknowledge the gods for giving humans health, wealth, peace and prosperity. Continue reading