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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.

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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

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

AntiquityNOW Launches The Slavery Project With an Exploration of the Triangular Trade

The Slavery Project

Sunday, December 6, was the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in the United States. This was a landmark ruling effectively changing forever the way in which the United States recognized and valued its people. For millions of former slaves, it was the difference between being seen as property and the recognition of personhood and all that it conferred.  The “peculiar institution”[1] had been a stain on the history of Great Britain and the United States in the early years of colonization. As abolition sentiments arose in the North and as the expansion west threatened the slave v. non-slave states calculus, slavery devolved into a sectional dispute. The South had built an economy based upon slave labor and abolition was vehemently opposed. The Civil War may have politically settled the question of slavery’s abolition, but the social and political fallout were profound. Inarguably, the currents of slavery have run deep in American life and its consequences are felt even today. Continue reading