Category Archives: Crime

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.

Khaled al-Asaad and the Price of Memory

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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

The Slavery Project Part 3: In the Eye of the Beholder

La_Rochelle_slave_ship_Le_Saphir_1741As we discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of In the Eye of the Beholder, The Slavery Project (TSP) is an ongoing, interactive series of modules that incorporates lesson plans along select historical plot lines 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

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

The Slavery Project Part 1: In the Eye of the Beholder

Roman collared slaves. Marble relief, from Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey), 200 CE. Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England.

Roman collared slaves. Marble relief, from Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey), 200 CE.
Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England.

Slavery has been part of the human condition for centuries.  Although largely outlawed in modern times, human bondage still exists today in various forms, including sexual trafficking, domestic servitude and illegal work conditions. Why has slavery been an accepted part of numerous civilizations through time? Why does slavery continue to exist today in various forms around the world? Continue reading

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

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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

Tattoos and the Body as Canvas: Erasing the Past With Modern Tattoos

basma-hameed-before-after-cosmetic-tattooWe’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

The Colorful Past of Halloween Treats

tricktreat_Web

Lads, look at yourselves. Why are you, boy, wearing that Skull face? And you, boy, carrying a scythe, and you, lad, made up like a Witch? And you, you, you!” He thrust his bony finger at each mask. “You don’t know, do you? You just put on those faces and old mothball clothes and jump out, but you don’t really know, do you? – Ray Bradbury (The Halloween Tree)

Remember the sweet satisfaction of a pillowcase, paper bag or plastic pumpkin-head swelling with the weight of Halloween candy? Think of the candy bars, lollipops and bubble gum mingling together in the monstrous payload you’ve been waiting all year to collect and consume in one riotous night of excitement. It’s so exciting in fact, that you may never pause to ponder why on earth you do it. What happy trick of fate empowered you to don a disguise and march up to strange doorways demanding treats? Continue reading

A Brief History of the Timeless Dilemma of Censorship and America’s Response

Image courtesy of Tyler Menezes on Flickr.

Image courtesy of Tyler Menezes on Flickr.

The life of Socrates is in the hands of 500 reticent jurors. He stands trial for poisoning the minds of Athenian youth and inspiring rebellion with anti-democratic teachings. Silently, the jurors cast their ballots into one of two urns that represent guilt or innocence…

Socrates was found guilty and sentenced to death. Shielding the public from dangerous ideas outweighed one man’s right to free expression on the scales of Athenian justice. Throughout history, society’s weighing of public good against individual rights has shaped the history of censorship. It’s a dilemma both ancient and familiar. Continue reading