Category Archives: Recreation

Ancient Olympic Games: Celebrating Rio 2016!

Rio_2016_logo.svgTonight, the world will watch as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad open in Rio. In the opening ceremony, we will enjoy stunning displays of modern technology and in the games that follow we’ll witness fascinating feats of modern sport. It is incredible to see how far we’ve come in our athletic pursuits, but it is important to remember when all of this began. Check out our posts below on the history of the Olympics and get ready to watch the world unite in Rio!

Throwback Thursday! Ancient Games and Toys

Roman_dice_IMG_4367It is the season of toys! Parents are scouring store shelves for the most popular gadgets and games to wrap up for the holiday season. Today’s most prized playthings may take more batteries than those of the ancients, but our ancestors still knew how to have a good time. Consider the recent findings at a 1,900 year old Roman settlement in Germany. Archaeologists uncovered a board game piece and a die, proving the soldiers who lived there weren’t all work, no play. Read the complete article here.

Further evidence of ancient playtime was discovered in a  2,300-year-old tomb near Qingzhou City in China. The heavily looted site still holds valuable treasures, including pieces from a mysterious board game. “Archaeologists found a 14-face die made of animal tooth, 21 rectangular game pieces with numbers painted on them and a broken tile which was once part of a game board.”[1] They believe these pieces were used to play a game called “Bo” that hasn’t been played in 1,500 years. Click here to read more about this fascinating find.

To learn more about how our ancient ancestors amused themselves, check out our Kids’ Blog, Ancient Toys, Wii and You!

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

AntiquityNOW Wishes You a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

fourth fireworksPlanning on enjoying fireworks? Read our blog post, “The History of Fireworks: Celebrating Life’s Moments in Color, Light and Sound,” to learn more about the history of fireworks!

Or, if you have kids or students, check out our annotated Kids’ Blog, “Boom! Pow! Whizzz!: The History of Fireworks,” packed with fun facts and great activities!

The Rose in History: Power, Beauty and the Sweet Smell of Success

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

Nature, Ecotherapy and a Peek into the Past Through National Parks

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

UPDATE! This post was originally published on September 9, 2014. In several countries around the world,
students are gearing up for summer break, an exciting time of fun, sun and long-awaited vacations. If
you live in the United States, your family may be planning a trip to one of the many national parks. There
are a wide variety of places to visit, packed with rich cultural heritage, fascinating pieces of history, grand
architecture, breathtaking natural vistas and heart-pounding encounters with wildlife. Before you go, take a minute to read our post below to learn about the ancient history of natural settings and how our park system came to be. Also, if you want a truly memorable experience, check out this article in The New York Times on how to get the most out of your national park visit.

*****************************************

When you first enter Crater Lake National Park, it’s easy to imagine you’ve stepped thousands of years into the past. Crater Lake in Oregon was created when Mount Mazama erupted close to 8,000 years ago, and ignoring the RVs visiting the park today, it’s easy to imagine it has not changed much from what it must have looked like after the ash settled. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Celtic Woodruff Spiced Wine

woodruffMay Day was last Friday, but it’s not too late to celebrate the fresh and breezy month of May and the ushering in of a warm and beautiful spring! The Celts loved the change in seasons and they celebrated with the Beltane festival. There was plenty of food and drink, of course.  But like other ancient cultures, the seasonal festival reflected the Celts’ deep spiritual intertwining with the natural world around them. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 6, “The Somerset Levels and Moors” and “Euskal Jaiak”

StrataImage-webEpisode 6 of the documentary series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, comprises two films that explore the forces that bind us as a people in a particular society. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Cherry Clafoutis for Cherry Blossom Season!

cherry blossomIt’s the season for one of nature’s most beautiful blooms, the cherry blossom. In Washington D.C. from March 20th-April 12th, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing, and in Japan in March and April, festivals take place throughout the country. So this week we’ve decided to feature a delicious recipe for Cherry Clafoutis along with the cherry’s long and juicy history. Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Roman Ostrich Ragoût

ostrich meatIn our exploration of ancient foods and recipes, we’ve often found that ancient people not only ate extremely healthy foods, they also ate some things that seem very unusual to us today. We’ve learned that ancient Britons ate nettles, the Greeks and Romans ate fish sauce doughnuts and in ancient Japan they fried maple leaves! Today we’re bringing you another unusual but delicious recipe straight out of an ancient Roman cookbook. Although you may never have considered eating ostrich, it is actually a highly nutritious form of protein. The accompanying sauce in the recipe, which is quite savory, is adaptable for other meats as well. (You can substitute turkey or beef steak for the ostrich.) Continue reading