Category Archives: Computer Technology

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

Passage to India: Exploring 3D Printing at HNB Garhwal University

Bernard Means

Bernard Means

As you know from previous blogs, Bernard Means, PhD., who heads up the Virtual Curation Laboratory and is an Instructor of Anthropology and Advisor for the Virtual Archaeology Scanning Team (VAST) at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia is working with AntiquityNOW on The Slavery Project. He and Shirley K. Gazsi, president of AntiquityNOW, will be presenting the project at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in New Orleans, LA in November. 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. Lessons will include the use of Minecraft and 3D printing. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 5, “Archaeology in 12 Minutes” and “Photographing the Invisible”

StrataImage-webEpisode 5 of the new documentary series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, is a two-part episode 1) illustrating the history of archaeology and 2) demonstrating one of the technologies used today to recover the amazing artistry of our ancestors. Continue reading

The Fable of “The Sheep and the Horses”: Take a Listen to the 6,000-Year-Old Language of Our Ancestors

th21-630-istock-language-dictionary-learn-book-630wUPDATE! This post was originally published on February 25, 2014.  The post below reveals the amazing technology that is helping linguists rediscover languages from our past that were lost long ago. Specifically, it discusses the discovery of a Proto-Indo-European language that was spoken over 6,000 years ago. Today’s update is about saving a language before it becomes extinct. Some young people in Louisiana, United States, are fighting to preserve the language of their people, a little known Native American tribe called the Houma. Continue reading

Maps, Part 3: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future

"Gaia spacecraft" by ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

“Gaia spacecraft” by ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

In Parts 1 and 2 of Maps: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future, we explored how the ancients mapped the heavens and how modern space programs capture data today. Amazingly adept we humans have been at duality, both mythologizing and demystifying the worlds around us through time. As we calculate and calibrate and chronicle, we push the boundaries of our known existences and challenge ourselves to see where the impossible can become the possible. Take a look at the Gaia Probe that will map out the Milky Way using a billion pixel camera and two telescopes. The Milky Way was the stuff of dreams for millennia. Now the Milky Way will be rendered with a precision that boggles the mind and unlocks the mysteries that have intrigued the human imagination for centuries. Continue reading

Saving the Past With 3D Printing: An Interview with Dr. Bernard Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

Bernard Means

Click to view the video interview or scroll down to view it on this page.

In this June 2014 video interview AntiquityNOW spoke with Bernard Means, PhD., who heads up the Virtual Curation Laboratory and is an Instructor of Anthropology and Advisor for the Virtual Archaeology Scanning Team (VAST) at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He discusses what archaeologists are doing to document information and why 3D technology holds a unique place in preservation efforts. In this wide-ranging and lively interview you’ll learn how 3D printing can help preserve ancient sites in areas of conflict and the amazing possibilities afforded in bringing the past alive to teachers, students and those who treasure our global heritage. Continue reading

King Tut Controversy: The Controversial Portrait of a Boy King

AN ForumZahi HawassRecently Zahi Hawass, prominent Egyptian archaeologist, spoke out against a high profile television program called Tutankamun: The Truth Uncovered produced for the BBC and Smithsonian Channel, saying it “reveals lies, not the truth.”[1] He points out that the reconstruction of the boy king’s face is completely distorted and not based on scientific evidence and that the characterization of his hips as “feminine” is also incorrect and not based in fact. Continue reading

Science Fiction or Uncovered Truth: The Enigmatic Origins of Crystal Skulls

The crystal skull. Collection of the British Museum in London. Image courtesy of Rafał Chałgasiewicz

The crystal skull. Collection of the British Museum in London. Image courtesy of Rafał Chałgasiewicz

Another entry in AntiquityNOW’s new Science Fiction section is a story that has bedeviled skeptics and believers alike.  The origins and purpose of the crystal skulls have been debated for years, but Eric Vassalo, who submitted portions from his blog post on the subject to AntiquityNOW,  is a cynic regarding traditional inquiry.  He wanted to analyze for himself what these crystal skulls were all about.  As part of a group exploring sites containing these artifacts in Mexico, he mused:

Like a group of mutant X-men we all shared our fascinating and surreal stories of how we came to be in this place doing what so few dare to do, challenge our spoon-fed history and attempt to get at the truth.

Continue reading