Category Archives: Science and Technology

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Hurricane Party

tropical storm trackIt may seem crazy to most people, but when true Floridians see a tropical storm or hurricane coming, they break out the chips and dip and throw a Hurricane Party! Of course, you don’t have to live in Florida to throw a good old fashioned Hurricane Party and we’re going to help you put an ancient spin on it. First, read our post about ancient storms and then check out the Recipes With a Past below to create your first Hurricane Party With a Past!

It’s Christmas in July! Free Gifts for Everyone from AntiquityNOW

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Are you yearning for carols? Are you longing for tinsel and ornaments? Is there not enough cheer in your life? We’ve got the cure for the July blues. It’s Christmas time!

First, learn about the history of Christmas in July by reading this insightful and fun-filled post from last year: Happy Christmas in July!

Next, check out all of the free gifts we have to offer: Continue reading

Throwback Thursday! Ancient Ways to Cool Off

summer sun blue skyIt’s hot out there, folks! In the northern hemisphere, we’re all searching for the best way to cool down. We turn to all of our modern techniques: air conditioning, electric fans, cooled swimming pools, ice packs and more. But did you know that the ancients had their own ways of cooling off? From fans to fountains and even the first air conditioner, antiquity never ceases to surprise and amaze. Check out our post, It’s Hot, Hot, Hot! Ancient Methods of Keeping It Cool,  for more fascinating info on the history of chilling out. Continue reading

Celebrate Earth Day!

The photo was taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on their way to the Moon. Antarctica, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, and part of Asia are visible.

The photo was taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on their way to the Moon. Antarctica, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, and part of Asia are visible.

Today is Earth Day. It’s a time to celebrate the glorious bounty of this planet, which despite hurtling through a hostile and unforgiving universe, has nonetheless fostered an abundance of life for millions of years. Quite an accomplishment. Continue reading

Fact or Fiction? Soap

Fact or Fiction curly and roundValentine’s Day is soon upon us, and with that in mind, AntiquityNOW is testing your knowledge of ways to keep the romance fresh.

Today we are awash in all varieties of soap. Products for the hair and body can be all-natural, fruit or flower fragranced, organic, infused with lanolin, honey, aloe…the list goes on and on. There is also laundry soap and its variations on the themes of squeaky clean and fresh scents. Disinfectants, anti-bacterial cleansers and scrubbing agents of all kinds prove that there is no end to our obsession with cleanliness. As we’ve learned through centuries of dirt, sickness and plain old yuck, hygiene as we have come to understand and practice it has saved our noses from stench and our bodies from disease.

But soap is a relatively new product in the history of human sanitation, being discovered and perfected only 500 years ago in a small town in what is now Eastern Hungary. It was here that soap took form as a cleansing agent. It was quite the discovery, for now rather than dousing one’s self in perfume and wiping down haphazardly, one could actually wash the dirt and ripeness of smell away.

Fact or Fiction?

Scroll down for the answer!

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arrow-310629_640 copy

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FICTION! Soap has ancient roots, which proves that humankind from early on realized that the nose can only bear so much. Look at these facts:

  • 2800 BCE: Babylonians combined fat and ashes to make some of the earliest soaps.[1]
  • 1500 BCE: Egyptians manipulated animal and vegetable fat to create a soap-like substance.[2]
  • 600 BCE : Phoenicians used goat tallow and wood ashes for cleansing.[3]
  • 175 – 150 BCE: Germans and Gauls rubbed their hair with a combination of ashes and animal fats.[4]
  • CE 130 – 210: The Greek physician Galen recommended soap for medicinal purposes.[5]
  • CE 600: Soap guilds formed in Naples, Italy and fragranced bar soaps resembling what we know of today were invented.[6]

[1] Eastman, Peter, “The Dish on Soap”, Slideshare, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/PEastman/history-of-soap-8439499.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] H B Walters, ‘Athena Hygieia’, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 19 (1899:165-168), p167. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/hygeia.aspx.

[6] Ibid.

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 14, “Youth Diving on Shipwrecks” and “Saving Cyprus Frescoes”

StrataImage-webNext up in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, is a segment on a group of young people learning the ins and outs of marine archaeology, and a report on the wonders revealed by restorers of a Renaissance fresco in Cyprus.

The first video shows how Biscayne National Park and the NPS Submerged Resources Center partnered with Youth Diving With a Purpose for a project on shipwreck archaeology.  Biscayne Bay offers a challenging and intriguing introduction for these young people into the mysteries of the deep and the role of marine archaeology in preserving the past.  The second video reveals how restorers are peeling back the layers of time to decipher a painting representing a tragic study in faith. For 500 years, an exquisite Renaissance fresco, the “Forty Martyrs of Sebaste,” has remained hidden, forgotten and neglected in a 14th Century church in Famagusta, Cyprus.  The video charts the painstaking work of rescuing the fresco from obscurity and ruin, a pioneering project that puts heritage above politics.  After decades of neglect, saving Famagusta’s forgotten frescoes begins. Continue reading

The Slavery Project: Bringing the Past Alive With 3D Printing

The Slavery Project

Bernard Means

Bernard Means

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

Chronicling Antiquity in the Digital Age: An Interview With the Founders of Ancient History Encyclopedia

AHE logoAncient 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.”[1] 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

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 13, “Syracuse 3D Reborn”

StrataImage-webThe latest entry in the video news-magazine series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, offers a feast for the eyes. It captures in astonishing dimension and detail the glorious city of Syracuse, in its time the epitome of Greek enterprise, art and culture. Continue reading

For the Sake of Us All: Rescuing Our Cultural Legacies

AN Forum

AntiquityNOW along with many cultural heritage organizations looks with dismay and horror at how some of the world’s most ancient and history-laden sites are being destroyed by ideology, corrupt politics, fragile economies and human deprivation. There is no one answer on how to stem the tide of destruction, but the Global Heritage Fund’s Executive Director Stefaan Poortman has some insightful and intriguing observations on the current state of affairs. Continue reading