Noble Villas in New Kingdom Egypt

There were distinct differences between city and village (country) life, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Although, with exceptions at Amarna, there are few surviving traces of noble villas from the New Kingdom, we have some idea of how they must have looked[…]

Fortified Cities in Ancient Egypt

The Lion Temple Walls do seem to be a defining feature of many Egyptian settlements throughout the dynastic period. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool The origin of urbanism in Egypt includes the emergence of heavily defended walled settlements as major political and economic centres. The policy of providing enclosing walls for[…]

The Persian Wars and the Maritime Supremacy of Ancient Athens

Figure 1: Greek Colonization of western Asia Minor / Image by Alexikoua, Wikimedia Commons The development of naval supremacy and of democracy became interdependent. In the period of about 600–480 BCE, Ionian colonists emigrated from Attica to the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey [1]. There they inhabited a narrow coastal strip from[…]

Preserving Ancient Mosaics in the Mediterranean

A restorer removes mortar on a mosaic in Tipasa, Algeria. Image courtesy the Conservation and Restoration Workshop of the Arles Antiquities Museum Flexibility in a funding initiative for mosaics conservators leads to a range of positive outcomes. By Dr. Joan Weinstein / 11.27.2018 Acting Director Getty Foundation Introduction Grant-making is rarely a linear process. It often involves twists and turns along the[…]

City and Regional Government in Ancient Egypt

Examining  the roles and duties of the court, temple and provincial officials as the backbone of ancient Egyptian administration. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction The administration of towns and cities in dynastic Egypt was part of a complex pattern of central and regional government whose functions, and officials, often overlapped.[…]

The Development of Leisure Sports in Ancient China and Its Contemporary Sports Culture Value

Ancient Chinese golf / Creative Commons The traditional culture not only influences the life of modern people, but also promotes the sports undertakings in China. By Dr. Jianqiang Guo and Dr. Rong Li / 10.12.2017 School of Physical Education Changzhou University Abstract The traditional culture not only influences the life of modern people, but also promotes[…]

Shamanism in Ancient Korea

Cheongung, or the main Shrine Hall of the Three Sages, on the grounds of Samseonggung. Samseonggung Shrine is dedicated to the traditional worship of the three mythical creators of Korea: Whanin, Whanung, and Dangun. Its influence on ancient Korean culture is most tangible in surviving art, architecture, literature, and music. By Mark Cartwright / 11.08.2016 Historian Introduction Bangsadaps,[…]

The City of Gilgamesh: Temple Rule in Ancient Babylon

Passing lion, brick panel from the Procession Way which ran from the Marduk temple to the Ishtar Gate and the Akitu Temple / Photo by Jastrow, Louvre Museum, Wikimedia Commons Gilgamesh, legendary ruler of Uruk, famous drinker, womanizer and battler against monsters, was a King Arthur of Mesopotamian antiquity. By Dr. Paul Kriwaczek British Historian Uruk[…]

Stone Tools at Arabian ‘Crossroads’ Present Mysteries of Ancient Human Migration

Hand axes from the site of Saffaqah, Saudi Arabia. (Palaeodeserts/Ian R. Cartwright) Hominins made stone tools in central Arabia 190,000 years ago, and the hand axe technology raises questions about just who they were. By Brian Handwerk / 11.29.2018 early 200,000 years ago, at the confluence of two long-vanished river systems in the heart of Arabia,[…]

Stone Tools Date Early Humans in North Africa to 2.4 Million Years Ago

Archaeological excavation at Ain Boucherit, Algeria. Mathieu Duval, Author provided Ancient stone tools found in what is now Algeria show early humans likely spread across Africa more rapidly than first thought.    By Dr. Mathieu Duval (left) and Dr. Mohamed Sahnouni (right) / 11.29.2018 Duval: ARC Future Fellow, Griffith University Sahnouni: Archéologue et professeur, National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) When did early humans first arrive in[…]

Ancient Trade Connections between West Africa and the Wider World

The archaeological evidence is clear, but the mechanisms of diffusion are still not entirely understood. By Dr. Sonja Magnavita Research Associate Commission for the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK), Bonn, Germany Abstract The long-standing, more mythical than fact-based assumptions about ancient trade contacts between West Africa and the wider world prior to the Arab conquest[…]

Trade in the Ancient Phoenician World

A Phoenician-Punic ship from a relief carving on a 2nd century CE sarcophagus / Photo by NMB, Wikimedia Commons The Phoenicians established themselves as one of the greatest trading powers in the ancient world. By Mark Cartwright / 04.01.2016 Historian Introduction The Phoenicians, based on a narrow coastal strip of the Levant, put their excellent seafaring skills to good[…]

The Rise and Fall of Ur in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ruins in the Town of Ur, Southern Iraq / Photo by M.Lubinski, Flickr, Creative Commons Ur was an established city by 3800 BCE continually inhabited until 450 BCE. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 04.28.2011 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction Ur was a city in the region of Sumer, southern Mesopotamia, in what is modern-day Iraq. According to biblical tradition, the[…]

The Fertile Crescent: The ‘Cradle of Civilization’

A map illustrating the various political states within the Fertile Crescent c. 1450 BCE / Image by Свифт/Svift, Wikimedia Commons Virtually every area of human knowledge was advanced by these people. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 03.28.2018 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction The Fertile Crescent, often called the “Cradle of Civilization”, is the region in the Middle East[…]

Anti-Commerce and Quietism in Ancient Rome

This painting by Roberto Bompiani captures a common 19th-century association of Roman dining and excess. A Roman Feast, late 1800s. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 72.PA.4 While Roman law was laying the foundation for a society of contract and exchange, Roman philosophers were listening to the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who said, “If you wish to make[…]

What the World Can Learn from Greece’s Passion for the Arts

Despite its economic crises, Greece did not falter in its mission to support arts and culture. Rhodes, pictured here, has become a role model when it comes to promoting a visionary cultural policy and supporting a vibrant arts and culture community. Serhat Beyazkaya/Unsplash The Greek model of supporting the arts is both old and ongoing; it embraces difference and internationalism[…]

The Power Struggle between Government Officials and Clergy in Ancient History

Fragment of an inscripted clay cone of Urukagina (or Uruinimgina), lugal (prince) of Lagash. The inscription reads: “He [Uruinimgina] dug (…) the canal to the town-of-NINA. At its beginning, he built the Eninnu-(E-ninnu or Temple-Ninnu); at its ending, he built the Esiraran”. / Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen, Louvre Museum, Wikimedia Commons When secular governors supported by the armies appeared[…]

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC) / BabelStone Sex was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, reflected even in their mythology. By Dr. Louise Pryke / 04.22.2018 Lecturer, Languages and Literature of Ancient Israel Macquarie University[…]

The Ancient Roman Cult of Mithras

The Tauroctony / Photo by CristianChirita, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Wikimedia Commons The Roman deity Mithras appears in the historical record in the late 1st century A.D., and disappears from it in the late 4th century A.D. By Dr. Roger Pearse Ancient Historian Introduction The Roman deity Mithras appears in the historical record in the late 1st century A.D., and disappears from it[…]

Hero Cults in Ancient Greece

Sacello Ipogeico (Heroon), Paestum, Italy / Photo by Berthold Werner, Wikimedia Commons Hero cults were one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.24.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Hero cults were one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. In Homeric Greek, “hero” (ἥρως, hḗrōs) refers to a man who[…]

Ancient Stone Tools in China: Local Inventions of Complex Technology

Several of the newly identified stone tools – unearthed from a museum collection. Hu Yue A fresh look at museum artifacts fills in a gap in the Asian archaeological record and refutes the idea that an advanced technique was imported from the West by early modern humans.      By (left-to-right): Dr. Ben Marwick, Dr. Bo Li, and Hu Yue /[…]

The Madness of Caligula and a Sister Who Brought Forth Nero

After the death of Tiberius, the problem of the succession presented to the senate was not an easy one. By Dr. Guglielmo Ferrero (1911) Early 20th-Century Historian After the death of Tiberius (37 A.D.), the problem of the succession presented to the senate was not an easy one. In his will, Tiberius had adopted, and thereby designated[…]

“La Parisienne” of Ancient Minoa: Mortal or Goddess?

Woman or goddess (“La Parisienne”) from the Camp-Stool fresco, c.1350 B.C.E., western wing of the palace at Knossos, buon fresco, 20 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion) Whatever her original meaning, La Parisienne is an enduring testament to the skill of Minoan fresco painters. By Dr. Senta German / 08.14.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation[…]

The Snake Goddess of Ancient Minoa, an Enticing Mystery

Snake Goddess from the palace at Knossos, c. 1600 B.C.E., faience, 29.5 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, photo: Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0) What she meant to the Minoans who made her is not very well understood. By Dr. Senta German / 08.15.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford An Enticing[…]