It’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
Category Archives: Recreation
In 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
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
Celebrating National Coffee Day: A Jittery Goat, Political Plots, Slave Labor, Grounds for Divorce—The Coffee Bean Brews Up a Tumultuous World History
The inimitable coffee bean. Lusciously colored, smooth, glistening, fragrant. It’s a devilish addiction shared by millions of people throughout history. But aside from its robust flavor and energized boost, the bean has given us a history that is eye-opening and colorful, just like the bean itself. Let’s take a step back in time and review a few facts drawn from the nefarious and splendiferous legacy of this enduring brew.
Saturday, June 21st, marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and that means the first day of summer! For many, it’s time for barbecues, pool parties, camping trips and vacations at the beach, but for some, the solstice is a much more spiritual day steeped in ancient traditions. How did our ancestors celebrate this first day of the warm season? Continue reading
In our previous post, The Disneyfication of Pocahontas and the True Story of Uleleh, we explored the origins of the Disney film Pocahontas and discovered that it has a deeper, more complex history than we thought. In today’s post, we delve into another Disney film, Frozen, which is said to be based on the fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Interestingly, there are speculations that Andersen’s fairy tales were actually inspired by Norse mythology, so we decided to examine The Snow Queen for these literary remnants. Join us as we peel back the layers of history to see how an ancient culture eventually gave rise to a 21st-century Oscar-winning animated film. Continue reading
For thousands of years humans have had a complex relationship with animals. Food, protection, companionship–animals have been an inextricable component of society from its earliest formations.
We’ve been celebrating AntiquityNOW Month in May. But we are proud to share this special time with National Pet Month. What better way to celebrate how antiquity lives today than to show the importance of our animal companions through time?
This month we are premiering AntiquityNOW’s Science Fiction section. The horror story is a close relative of science fiction with today’s audiences, whether those tales of horror take place in outer space or a country churchyard. With a nod to the enduring appeal of both genres, this tale by Paul Hodge conjures up ancient folklore (going back to Mesopotamia and ancient Greece and Rome) and a sense that death is sometimes not all that it appears to be.
Paul Hodge left London and came to reside in Hampshire armed with the collected works of MR James, Kate Bush and Nigel Kneale. He now trawls the dusky corners of the country seeking stories to entertain (and scare). These form part of his own collected works and blog, Freaky Folk Tales. Hodge will also be contributing his imaginative stories to Today’s Muse, AntiquityNOW’s creative section.
Enjoy his tale The Churchyard Horror below. Continue reading
Marking this day, AntiquityNOW is launching a Science Fiction section on antiquitynow.org to explore how ancient motifs have influenced this popular genre.
Today is International Star Wars Day. May the Force (that’s right, it’s a spin on May 4th) be with you. What is the enduring power of these movies? Is it the storytelling, the intergalactic characters or perhaps the dazzling visuals? Yes to all. But there is more at play. George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars series, has spoken frequently of how his personal interest in the metaphysical has informed his movie-making. Having been a long-time friend of the late American mythologist Joseph Campbell, Lucas found a mystical purpose in the magic of film. “I’m telling an old myth in a new way,” he said in a 1999 interview about Star Wars with PBS TV’s Bill Moyers. He describes this telling as a “kind of immaculate realism in a totally unreal and fantasy world.” Many have suggested that his films are embedded with a religious undercurrent. But Lucas professes the most ecumenical embrace of spiritual ideals and dismisses any ties with a particular religion. For example, the Force was never intended to represent a specific religion, but rather a catalyzing idea that could awaken young people to the possibilities of a spiritual life. He wanted them to question and seek their own perspectives of the unseen world.Yet his dialog can seem profoundly religious and even vaguely familiar to those who are among the faithful. As the powerful Jedi master Yoda said: Continue reading
May is AntiquityNOW Month. Throughout the next four weeks we will bring you stories about the surprising ways that antiquity lives today. And to get in the mood, here’s a take on the beer-swilling antecedents that have united us through the millennia. (Click here for suggestions for teachers and everyone else on ways to celebrate AntiquityNOW Month.)
Cheers! National Homebrew Day in the United States is this Saturday, but before you sip, take a good look at that golden liquid and know that if it weren’t for women, the bubbly elixir would likely be nothing but a musty pile of grain. The beer industry today is dominated by men. Women account for only 10 percent of professional brewers, and represent just a sliver of all homebrewers. But ancient history reveals that, as far back as 4,000 years ago (and probably further), brewing was done primarily by women. Continue reading