Dissecting the True Age of Old Tom Parr

William Harvey dissecting the body of Thomas Parr. Oil painting, ca. 1900. / Wellcome Images (Wellcome Trust) via Wikimedia Commons By Dolly Stolze / 01.02.2018 On August 4, 1997, newspapers around the world announced the death of Jeanne Louise Calment, who died her home in Arles, France.  She was not a political leader, a scientist, or a[…]

Physiognomy, the Beautiful Pseudoscience

Untitled (Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, The Vexed Man, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA), 2008, Ken Gonzales-Day. Chromogenic print. Ken Gonzales-Day and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. © Ken Gonzales-Day How the dubious science of deducing mental character from physical appearance influenced European art and culture in the 17th and 18th centuries. By Sarah Waldorf /[…]

The Mayflower had a Sister Ship and Rival Puritan Colony

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882) / Pilgrim Hall Museum via Wikimedia Commons By Tom Feiling / 03.25.2018 In two years’ time, Americans will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. This is where the creation myth of the United States begins: with a band of plucky English puritans whose hard work,[…]

Conservation vs. Restoration: The Palace of Knossos

The archaeological site at Knossos, with restored rooms in the background, Crete (photo: Jebulon, public domain) By Dr. Senta German / 03.24.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford Restoration versus conservation What happens to an archaeological site after the archaeologist’s work is completed? Should the site (or parts of it)[…]