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.”
Each year the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) selects children’s and young adult books that best promote understanding of the Middle East. Shirley K. Gazsi, president of AntiquityNOW, serves on the selection committee. According to Gazsi, research is revealing how storytelling has an enormous effect on children’s world views and attitudes.
“Studies are continuing to show how reading fiction enables us to put ourselves in others’ shoes, and actually shapes the way we see individuals and the diversity of their cultures and times. This is particularly influential during childhood,” she said. “MEOC’s book selections are powerful tools in bringing the rich expanse of cultural heritage in the Middle East to children and young adults, and in seeding a commitment to multiculturalism for generations to come.” Continue reading →
Today’s technologies can bedazzle the mind and senses. One of the most amazing has been the development of 3D printing. For those of us intrigued with past lives, 3D printing allows us a unique intimacy with those who have gone before. Being able to hold the model of an artifact in hand, to realize how hundreds, even thousands of years ago, other hands similarly grasped this object, is profoundly moving. This is a vital component of The Slavery Project–to immerse ourselves in the past and to feel the humanity of those lost to enslavement. Not necessarily an experience easily had, but one of critical insight, especially for young people. And this is our hope for the legacy we hand the generations that follow. That through those painful memories of slavery can arise a global will, a new world of our collective creation, where human bondage is itself a thing of the past. Continue reading →
Sunday, December 6, was the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in the United States. This was a landmark ruling effectively changing forever the way in which the United States recognized and valued its people. For millions of former slaves, it was the difference between being seen as property and the recognition of personhood and all that it conferred. The “peculiar institution” had been a stain on the history of Great Britain and the United States in the early years of colonization. As abolition sentiments arose in the North and as the expansion west threatened the slave v. non-slave states calculus, slavery devolved into a sectional dispute. The South had built an economy based upon slave labor and abolition was vehemently opposed. The Civil War may have politically settled the question of slavery’s abolition, but the social and political fallout were profound. Inarguably, the currents of slavery have run deep in American life and its consequences are felt even today. Continue reading →
It’s not too late to get involved! Contact us if you need an extension.
Letter of Intent Deadline- December 11, 2015
Final Entry Submission Deadline- February 26, 2016
AntiquityNOW (AN) and Archaeological Legacy Institute (ALI) are announcing a call for entries for the 2016 LegacyQuest International Children’s Film and Video Festival. The Festival is open to young people between the ages of 12 and 15 (6th – 8th grades) in the United States and abroad. It will be held in conjunction with The Archaeology Channel (TAC) International Film and Video Festival, May 11-15, 2016, in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Films must be produced in 2015 and 2016. Continue reading →
Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) describes itself as a “small non-profit organization dedicated to giving highest-quality history content to the world’s history enthusiasts, teachers, and students for free.” Lofty ideals indeed. But in this world of constant distraction and mind-numbing overload, how many people really care about lives long past? Turns out quite a few. Since its founding in 2009, Ancient History Encyclopedia has become the global leader in ancient history content online, attracting more monthly traffic than the British Museum or the Louvre. It’s secret? Find out below in our exclusive interview with AHE Founder and CEO Jan van der Crabben and Co-founder and Communications Director James Blake Wiener. Continue reading →
The Big Easy is hosting the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual conference this week, and AntiquityNOW will be presenting The Slavery Project (TSP) at one of the sessions.
Shirley K. Gazsi, president of AntiquityNOW, and Bernard Means, PhD., director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, will be speaking about the series of curricula looking at the ancient and tragic history of slavery. Continue reading →
Final Entry Submission Deadline- February 26, 2016
Not sure how to get started with your LegacyQuest video submission? We’re here to help! First, check out our page called Tips for Making a Video for LegacyQuest. Next, think about what interest and excites you. Do you like art, science, cooking, video games, reading…? Whatever your passion, there’s a fascinating link to the past that you can explore. Feel free to contact us for help getting inspired to make the best video ever!
View our invitational video below and visit our webpage for details about the festival and how your students can get involved!
The lurid headlines grab our attention. Another brutal civil war. A wave of sickness claiming a country’s most vulnerable. Corrupt governments siphoning off a nation’s wealth and relegating its people to poverty and ignorance. Generations of tomorrow’s children doomed before they are born.
It sometimes seems so hopeless to think that anything can salvage humanity when for thousands of years we’ve done our best to destroy ourselves and the planet that we claim as home. But human beings are tenacious, and hope continues to weave its tendrils into our efforts, no matter how daunting the circumstance. This is why AntiquityNOW launched LegacyQuest. It is our own small way of seeking a better future by understanding and preserving the past. A past that through its archaeological and historical evidence both condemns and exalts the human condition. A past from which we can learn the foibles and frailties of human endeavor and always hope for a better, more harmonious, tolerant and free world. We dedicate LegacyQuest to that aspiration by giving young people a new way of looking at the world around them. And in that new vision, we at AntiquityNOW hope to inspire future generations to realize we are what our ancestors wrought, and that what we do today influences all the tomorrow to come.