Tag Archives: ancient art

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

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

Tattoos and the Body as Canvas: Erasing the Past With Modern Tattoos

basma-hameed-before-after-cosmetic-tattooWe’ve written before about tattoos in our post Tattoos and the Body as Canvas. How from ancient times people have etched into flesh the story of their lives.  From designs that heighten beauty, signify status, show affiliation or even scourge a social outcast, tattoos have always been about designations. Indeed, our body as canvas is at once both intimate and public. For some, tattoos depict their innermost beings for the world to see.  For others, particularly when used to announce a person’s outlier status in society, tattoos are meant to be felt as a visceral destruction of self. Continue reading

Ancient Egyptian Blue: How the World’s First Synthetic Pigment Is Producing Tomorrow’s Brave—and Colorful–New World

color paletteHave you ever noticed that the AntiquityNOW website has splashes of a particular set of vibrant colors? Perhaps you’ve even found the Our Colors section on our site that reveals the ancient history behind our beauteous array. One color, specifically the deep blue, is particularly intriguing with its 4,500-year-old past, its surprising relevance for today’s scientific inquiry and its future promise for such fields as medicine and communications technology. Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Seeing Ancient Invisible Ink Through Modern Eyes

Image by Noel Hidalgo Tan, Antiquity Publications.

Image by Noel Hidalgo Tan, Antiquity Publications.

Invisible ink, such a simple and yet crafty way to keep secrets. You may know that it was used in wars such as the American Civil War, the American Revolutionary War and both World Wars, but did you know it was being used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations? In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History, an early encyclopedia, about how the milk of the tithymallus plant could be adapted as an invisible ink. Ovid spoke about secret ink in his Art of Love. Ahmed Qalqashandi, a medieval Egyptian writer and mathematician, described several types of invisible ink.[1] And recently an article published in LiveScience explored a startling new discovery at Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple regarding invisible ink.[2] Ancient invisible ink didn’t always start out as invisible and in this case the ancient artists probably had no idea that their stunning works would one day be hidden to the naked eye. Continue reading

Celebrating Chinese New Year: The Dragon Re-Interpreted

003 The dragon has a long and esteemed history in Chinese lore.  In honor of Chinese New Year, AntiquityNOW’s Artist-in-Residence Dan Fenelon has recast this legendary figure into phantasmagorical creations that fuse the ancient and the modern with a whimsical turn—a Fenelon trademark. Continue reading

Today’s Muse Welcomes Art by Ashkal

Musical Sensation AshkalsWhen Ashkal, who lives in Pakistan, sent us the above artwork for our critique, we immediately requested his consent to post it on Today’s Muse, AntiquityNOW’s creative section. Ashkal says that his art grows out of his love of learning about the world, its people and diverse cultures. Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Today’s Art Inspired by the Ancient Maya and Aztec Civilizations

Monster Mash by Dan Fenelon

Monster Mash by Dan Fenelon

Dan Fenelon, AntiquityNOW’s Virtual Artist in Residence, looks to the past to feed his boundless imagination.  He reaches in to antiquity and plucks inspiration from many ancient cultures to create a new art that is both modern and timeless.  Two of the civilizations that inspire him are the Mayas and the Aztecs.  Both flourished for thousands of years and created some of the most beautiful and recognizable works of art and architecture. Continue reading