Tag Archives: cultural preservation

Mapping Cultural Heritage in Danger

St. Elijah's Monastery in Iraq. The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, recently destroyed by ISIS.

St. Elijah’s Monastery in Iraq. The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, recently destroyed by ISIS.

In our post series “Maps: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future,” we discuss how important maps can be in helping us to visualize and understand where we’ve been and where we’re going. Today, maps are helping us to keep track of our vanishing past. Sadly, every day we are losing pieces of our history. Specifically, the cradle of civilization is being systematically destroyed. The Antiquities Coalition has taken action and created the Culture Under Threat Map, “which tracks instances of deliberate targeting of cultural heritage for destruction in the Middle East and North Africa.”

According to the Antiquities Coalition website: Continue reading

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 15, “American Revolutionary War Fort”

StrataImage-webIn this episode of Strata, Dan Elliot of the LAMAR Institute set out to document Carr’s Fort, a fortified farmstead used during the American Revolutionary War. The fort originally was commanded by Captain Robert Carr and housed his 100 patriot troops.  In February of 1779, the woods of north Georgia were bristling with small skirmishes between the patriots and the British.  The battles helped determine the outcome of the Revolutionary War.  Carr’s Fort and its sister sites are part of the fabric of the history of America. 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

Call for Entries for 2016 LegacyQuest International Children’s Film and Video Festival

Letter of Intent Deadline- December 11, 2015

Final Entry Submission Deadline- February 26, 2016

View our invitational video below and scroll down for details about the festival and how your students can get involved!


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

Khaled al-Asaad and the Price of Memory

AN Forum

The murder by ISIS of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, a renowned Syrian archaeologist and scholar, was a heinous act. His death is a blow to Syria and the world’s cultural heritage.

Tadmor, Syria: the scene of the theater of Palmyra

Tadmor, Syria: the scene of the theater of Palmyra

What possesses a person to cleave so to an ideal that he would give up his own life? As social media spread the details of Asaad’s death, there was sincere horror and disgust at the price of his refusal to disclose where Palmyra’s antiquities had been hidden. Asaad, with more than 50 years as head of antiquities in Palmyra, along with other officials, had spirited away many of the artifacts that undoubtedly would have ended up being sold on the black market, fetching the high prices that fuel ISIS’ activities. Continue reading

Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 7, “Historical Archaeology in Downtown Boise” and “South Carolina Pottery Kiln Excavation”

StrataImage-webEpisode 7 of the new documentary series Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute, considers what we uncover about a society through the remnants of its existence. In this two-part episode we observe how discarded items become touchstones for past lives—relics that capture times, places, memories, social status, gender roles and cultural attributes. And we ponder how future generations will remember us when they come upon what we in the 21st century have left behind. Continue reading

It’s Almost That Time Again:  May Is AntiquityNOW Month!

AN News Grey

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. (See below quotes for variations on the themes above.) Continue reading

To Repatriate or Not to Repatriate, That is the Question….James Cuno’s Case Against Repatriating Museum Artifacts

AN Forum

The Elgin Marbles, one of the most famous cases in the debate over repatriation, are seen here in the British Museum.

The Elgin Marbles, one of the most famous cases in the debate over repatriation, are seen here in the British Museum.

The topic of repatriation of cultural artifacts is hotly contested, with intense opinions and emotions on both sides of the argument. Repatriation of cultural artifacts is a process by which an item is returned to its country of origin. Whether or not an item should be returned to its country of origin may seem like an easy question to answer. Of course a nation’s cultural history should rest with the nation itself. However, the issue is not so simple. Most people agree that when repatriation is requested because an item has been looted and illegally removed from its origin, it should be returned, but when the repatriation request is based solely upon a nation’s claim to their cultural heritage, the issue becomes extremely complicated. There are questions about a nation’s ability to safeguard the item, questions surrounding regions at war and embroiled in violent conflict, issues with humanity’s right to its shared cultural heritage and problems that arise when multiple nations claim a right to the artifact because the original home of the artifact no longer exists. In fact, the topic is so nuanced and is impacted by so many different forces, it is sometimes difficult to figure out which side you’re on. Continue reading