Throwback Thursday! Perfectly Preserved Petroglyphs

Siberian petroglyphs. Image taken by Sergei Alkin.

Siberian petroglyphs. Image taken by Sergei Alkin.

It is said “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but some pictures are worth much more than that. Some ancient pictures are worth a thousand years of history and knowledge. These images tell stories about our ancestors and they help us to understand our past.

Recently, a fascinating find in Siberia was revealed for the first time and it provides a 4,000-year-old window into the ancient past. When scientists were alerted to its presence three years ago, they decided to keep it a secret in order to protect the site while they studied and cataloged its treasures. Now, for the first time, its location has been made public and our eager eyes can feast upon the perfectly preserved art. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Irish Butter

buttered toastWhat would you do if you were just going about your business, doing your job and suddenly you discovered a piece of history? Recently, a man in Ireland was faced with that very situation. As he was cutting turf from a bog, to be burned for warmth, he happened upon a 22-pound chunk of bog butter that is estimated to be over 2,000 years old! Of course, if he had read our blog post about ancient butter, he would have known that finding ancient “bog butter” really isn’t that unusual. This 22-pounder joins other finds, including 3,000-year-old and even 5,000-year-old samples.[1] Click here to read the entire article. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! A Healthy and Ancient Ramadan

Ramadan mealRamadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a month of prayer and fasting, began last week and ends on July 5th. If you are observing Ramadan, you know that planning the Iftar and Suhur meals is key. While Ramadan has ancient roots, today many households are mixing their modern habits into the month. Health is a top priority for many families. Perhaps this year you’re trying to be a bit healthier in your observance and plan meals that are delicious and nutritious. It is important for these meals to provide all of the nutrition you need for the long days of fasting. For a list of healthy ideas, check out Nestle Family’s Healthy Ramadan Recipes.

And for a history of Ramadan as well as some ancient ingredients and recipes, look no further than our AntiquityNOW Ramadan posts below. Don’t miss the bonus post about the ways in which professional athletes observe Ramadan.

 

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Honeydew Melon

honeydew melonIn the northern hemisphere, the first day of summer is rapidly approaching as the mercury climbs up the thermometer. The search is on for the most refreshing summer recipes to tickle your taste buds at cookouts, pool parties and sunny brunches. One fruit that is sure to put you in the summer spirit is honeydew melon. Bursting with flavor, this melon is versatile, delicious and ancient. Today we’re bringing you some juicy facts about the honeydew, along with a recipe that utilizes another of our favorite ancient ingredients, kefir (Don’t miss our post about ancient kefir). Melon-Kefir Ice Pops will satisfy your sweet summer cravings. But first, let’s check out some ancient facts about this yummy melon. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Strange Recipes With a Past

Fish and vegetables hanging up in a cupboard, still-life. Mosaic, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. From a villa at Tor Marancia, near the Catacombs of Domitilla.

Fish and vegetables hanging up in a cupboard, still-life. Mosaic, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. From a villa at Tor Marancia, near the Catacombs of Domitilla.

Humans are culinary explorers, gastronomical adventurers, seekers of the perfect palate-pleasing feast. However, throughout our long and storied history, we have occasionally strayed down paths that some may say we never should have reconnoitered. A recent Mental Floss article delves into our more interesting foodie moments, some of which will not necessarily make you want to run straight to the kitchen. But before you check out the less-than-appetizing side of our dietary past, try a few of AntiquityNOWs wackier Recipes With a Past listed below. They are sure to please your sense of taste AND your thirst for adventure! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! National Salad Month

salad-164685_640It’s National Salad Month! Time to break out those salad spinners, dicers, choppers, mincers and shredders and fix up a delicious ancient salad. With all of the focus on health and nutrition these days, you might assume that salads are a fairly modern creation, but you would be so wrong. Those wild and crazy ancient Romans were noshing on this chilled dish long ago. And so many of today’s delicious and nutritious salads are built on ancient ingredients. So, check out our compilation of ancient salads below, beginning with the granddaddy of them all, Columella, created in the first century CE!

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate AntiquityNOW Month with Crepes Suzette

crepes suzetteAh, Paris in spring. What could be more glorious? Strolling the boulevards abloom with horse chestnut trees. Taking a boat ride down the Seine. Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower or gazing rapturously at the Mona …. Wait a minute. What’s that delectable aroma? What are those people consuming with such gusto? Yes! Regard the street vendor deftly creating that culinary perfection. Lo and behold, it’s the inimitable crepe! Continue reading

May Is AntiquityNOW Month!

AN News Grey

May is a month of celebration for us at AntiquityNOW. This is the time we commemorate how the past is not as distant as we may think.

AN Month bigHere’s how we’ve previously described why we take a month each year to give special attention to the past:

During May we celebrate all things ancient, with a modern twist. From 2,000 year old nanotechnology to today’s supercomputers, from earliest chanted rituals to electronic bloviations, the arc of human history has been, shall we say, complicated. As sentient beings, we have constructed marvels in word and deed. We have also destroyed and obliterated that which we don’t understand and those we choose not to recognize. We strut, preen, cogitate, ruminate—we make an altogether spectacular tragicomedy as we shuffle along this mortal coil. Humans are a confounding lot who often are doomed to repeat the very histories we disregard. Here lies the fascination with looking to the past as it reflects our very modern sense of self.

Continue reading

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 18, “Historic Norwegian Farm” and “Mariana Islands Latte Stones, Episode 1”

StrataImage-webThis episode of Strata returns to a familiar theme:  what does legacy mean for a people, and how can it be preserved?

In the first video of this episode, we are introduced to the stream at the historic farm of Havrå that connects the mountain, the field and the fjord.  Havrå, whose history stretches back to the Bronze Age, is protected by the Norwegian government.  On the farm, the field and the old sharing of the cultivated land are still intact.  And though many of the ancient ways have changed, a deep sense of heritage and community remain. Our second offering looks at the megalithic ruins known as latte that symbolize the ancient culture of the Chamorro people of the Mariana Islands. Latte are stone pillars and capitals that supported houses in complex village systems until the late 1600s prior to massive societal change under Spanish rule.  In this video we explore how the Chamorro legacy was built, and how clues to the past have uncovered new mysteries yet to be solved. Part 1 of 2. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month With Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese

grilled cheeseApril is a time to fete one of the most popular of dishes, the inimitable grilled cheese sandwich. Last year in our commemoration we explored the very ancient history of cheese and how a mutant gene 7,500 years ago bestowed upon us “lactase persistence,” enabling our species to digest dairy. This year we want to include in our culinary honors the pear, a fruit whose delectability has been enjoyed through the ages and whose pairing with cheese makes this grilled sandwich close to perfection. But first, let’s look at some interesting (or outlandish) anecdotes about the pear. Continue reading