Category Archives: Computer Technology

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.

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Modern Technology Brings the Dead Sea Scrolls to Life

800px-The_Great_Isaiah_Scroll_MS_A_(1QIsa)_-_Google_Art_Project-x4-y0The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is undisputedly one of the most important archaeological moments of the last several centuries. In 1947 hundreds of ancient scrolls, including the oldest copy of the Hebrew Bible were found in a remote Judean Desert cave giving us an unprecedented insight into the society, religion and language during the Second Temple Period. To gaze upon and study these scrolls is an incredible opportunity that few have had up to this point. However, thanks to a collaboration between Google and the Israeli Antiquity Authority, anyone with an internet connection is now able to view these stunning pieces of history in high definition. Using the most advanced and innovative imaging technology, the IAA has imaged and uploaded the scrolls to a public online digital library and they’ve recently revamped their website to make the experience even more user-friendly. Technology is once again giving us the ability to understand and appreciate our past. Continue reading

It’s a 3D Life: Using Minecraft to Recreate Antiquity

minecraft_wallpaper_by_woopwoopwoop11-d475steIt’s a strange world of 3D cubes that comprise environments both hauntingly beautiful and brutally harsh.  Rivers flow through peaceful meadows, deserts and jungles teem with hidden dangers and mountains loom in awe-inspiring splendor.  For the high school students in Peter Albert’s class at The Hun School, a private academy in Princeton, NJ, Minecraft is a fantasy computer game with considerably high stakes and a provocative underlying premise.  In this 3D virtual habitat, students confront a primal question:  Do you have what it takes to survive? Continue reading

Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday: 1,800 Years of Buddhist Art Preserved by 21st Century Virtual Reality

Chinese Buddha caves

The digital reconstruction of the south cave of Xiangtangshan with the missing fragments shown in yellow and reproduced in their original location. Image courtesy of BBC News.

Many people around the world are celebrating the birth of Gautama Buddha today. Across the globe revelers are gathering to honor the sage and his teachings that are the foundation of Buddhism. However, not everyone celebrates the milestone on this day. In fact, there are several different recognized days that differ according to the country and even the particular branch of Buddhism. Regardless of the day chosen, it is a time of joy, reflection and community. Continue reading