The Unintended Consequences of UNESCO World Heritage Listing

UNESCO-listed heritage site Machu Picchu attracts around 1,000 tourists a day. Rodrigo Argenton/Wikipedia, Creative Commons Is UNESCO’s prestigious lists of tangible and intangible heritage damaging the very existence of the sites on them? By Dr. Chloé Maurel / 01.11.2017 French Historian Chercheuse associée à l’Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine (CNRS/Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université Paris 1) et à l’IRIS Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) The principle of world heritage promoted[…]

While Elgin Marbles Debate Still Rages, a Market for Looted Antiquities Remains

Detail, Phidias(?), Parthenon Frieze, c. 438-32 B.C.E., pentelic marble (420 linear feet of the 525 that complete the frieze are in the British Museum) (photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA) The international art market that deals in ancient cultural objects casts a destructive shadow. By Dr. Simon Mackenzie / 02.14.2014 Professor of Criminology, Law and Society University[…]

Guide to the Classics: Sappho, a Poet in Fragments

Fresco showing a woman called Sappho holding writing implements from Pompeii Naples National Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons Sappho sang of desire, passion and love – mostly directed towards women. As new fragments of her work are found, a fuller picture of her is emerging, but she remains themost mysterious of ancient poets. By Dr. Marguerite Johnson / 03.29.2017 Associate Professor of Ancient History and Classical Languages University[…]

Using Physics to Read Scrolls from Herculaneum

Teeming with secrets… edella/Shutterstock European scientists had pioneered a technique for reading papyrus scrolls from Herculaneum without unrolling them. By Dr. Joanna Paul / 01.29.2015 Lecturer in Classical Studies The Open University The [2014] announcement that European scientists had pioneered a technique for reading papyrus scrolls from Herculaneum without unrolling them attracted widespread attention. At first glance, this[…]

Humans May Have Transformed the Sahara from Lush Paradise to Barren Desert

The world’s biggest desert used to be green, lush and full of hippos. A new theory suggests humans could have tipped the environment over the edge. By Dr. David K. Wright / 03.16.2017 Associate Professor, Department of Archaeology and Art History Seoul National University Once upon a time, the Sahara was green. There were vast lakes. Hippos and giraffe lived there, and large human populations of fishers foraged for food alongside the lakeshores.[…]