User: jbw288

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Yoga is practiced daily by millions worldwide, but few are cognizant of its origins and relative importance to Indian culture and identity. Although its history is long and complex, yoga reflects the rich philosophical and cultural currents that traversed the Indian subcontinent over thousands of years. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener... [continue reading]
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For hundreds of years, the Shahnameh has been revered in the Near and Middle East as the epic of the Persian-speaking peoples. Written over a thousand years ago by the famed poet Ferdowsi of Tous, the Shahnameh shares tales of adventure, romance, conflict, and betrayal. Although its stories and characters have inspired generations of artists and poets... [continue reading]
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The life of St. Helena -- Roman empress, Christian saint, and mother to the celebrated Constantine the Great -- remains shrouded in mystery, controversy, and intrigue. To commence the start of the holiday season, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. María Lara Martínez -- a talented Spanish historian and writer -- about her... [continue reading]
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1 Million Mark Surpassed!

by James Blake Wiener
published on 05 November 2013
We are pleased to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia regularly receives over one million page views per month! This is truly a momentous occasion and we are eager to see what awaits us as we come closer to 2014. At this time, AHE's staff would like to extend a warm message of thanks to our financial donors, volunteer contributors, virtual visitors... [continue reading]
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The ancient Picts of northern and eastern Scotland were as enigmatic to their contemporaneous neighbors as they are to modern-day scholars. Nevertheless, despite the shadowy and wild stereotypes that still abound in popular imagination, recent archaeological excavations across Scotland have revealed astonishing works of art, impressive fortifications, and evidence... [continue reading]
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A chance opportunity took Dr. Bruno Werz to South Africa as the country's first marine archeologist in 1988. For over twenty years now, Dr. Werz has undertaken numerous projects of immense scope, including the excavation of sub-Saharan Africa's oldest shipwreck. He is also responsible for the discovery of the oldest human artifacts ever found beneath the ocean's... [continue reading]
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It gives us great pleasure to welcome Ms. Susan Abernethy, manager of The Freelance History Writer, to the Ancient History Encyclopedia as our first guest blogger. AHE's "AHEtc. blog" will function as a place where ideas and experiences can be shared casually by those interested in all things "ancient." We hope you enjoy it! Scota: Mother of the Scottish People... [continue reading]
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We are excited to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia has been listed as one of 105 Indispensable Resources for Online Research by OnlinePhDProgram.org. Academic research is at the heart of any masters or doctoral program of study. While in-depth research was once confined to reference libraries and organizations with access to copies of academic... [continue reading]
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It gives us great pleasure to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) was recently profiled and recommended by the prominent Dutch fine arts magazine, Tijdschrift Origine (Nummer 3 2012, Jaargang 21). Based in Haarlem, Tijdschrift Origine provides independent, expert analyses on the international art sector, covering antiques, design, art history... [continue reading]
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Three successive civilizations -- Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian -- flourished along the "Fertile Crescent" in ancient Mesopotamia for thousands of years. Renown for their creativity, dynamism, and complexity, these cultures also provide the earliest models of civilization in the West. This fall, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, Canada is celebrating... [continue reading]
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The reconstruction of ancient recipes challenges experimental archaeologists and chefs alike, while concurrently offering unique glimpses into the culinary tastes of diverse ethnic groups. Ms. Laura Kelley, author and founder of The Silk Road Gourmet blog, analyzes the links between recipes, civilizations, and trade across great distances and over long periods... [continue reading]
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Last call for the British Museum's outstanding exhibition: "Life and Death, Pompeii and Herculaneum," running until September 29, 2013. Exhibition review provided by AHE contributor, Mr. James Lloyd: Home to the Rosetta Stone, the controversial Parthenon Marbles, and countless other wonders of the ancient world, the British Museum needs little introduction... [continue reading]
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Support AHE through Reading!

by James Blake Wiener
published on 06 September 2013
If you love reading AHE's definitions, articles, and special features, you should know that you can order books on ancient history and support us directly! Books on multiple subjects can be bought through AHE's book section via Amazon (US/UK) or Book Depository (which offers free international delivery). With every book order, AHE receives a small commission... [continue reading]
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At the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico (1519-1521 CE), two empires dominated the political and cultural landscape of Mesoamerica: the Aztec Empire and the relatively unknown Tarascan State. The Tarascans were the archenemies of the Aztecs, carving an empire of their own in the contemporary Mexican states of Michoacán, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Querétaro... [continue reading]
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A symbol of fertility, immortality, and divinity, wine was the favored drink of choice across the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Wine is mentioned frequently in biblical scriptures, and was used for everyday purposes in cooking and medicine. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Mr. Joel Butler, co-author... [continue reading]
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Shrouded in mystery and lure, the Khmer city of Angkor is one of the most mesmerizing places in the world. Founded around the year 800 CE by Jayavarman II (c. 770-850 CE), Angkor was the center of the powerful Khmer kingdom, which dominated much of what is present-day Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam until the 15th century CE. At its height, Angkor... [continue reading]
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Sicily evokes the fiery majesty Mt. Etna, the wine-dark hues of the surrounding sea, and the delicious flavors of arancini and limoncello. Situated at a pivotal intersection between Greece, Italy, and North Africa, Sicily is not only the largest island in the Mediterranean, but the site of over 5,000 years of human history. Few are aware, however, that Sicily experienced... [continue reading]
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Like the Central Valley of Mexico and the Andes of South America, Central America has been home to dynamic and sophisticated civilizations for thousands of years. A series of distinct cultures left behind remarkable ceramic objects, which attest to considerable wealth, intricate belief systems, and singular artistic achievements. Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central... [continue reading]
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From the first century BCE until the seventh century CE, the Korean peninsula experienced an unprecedented era of immense wealth, political power, and cultural efflorescence. Although the kingdoms of ancient Korea are not familiar to many researchers in Anglophone countries, the fields of early Korean history and archaeology are active and pertinent components... [continue reading]
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The Ancient History Encyclopedia is pleased to announce that we are officially listed and registered on Open Education Resources (OER). The creation and use of OER represents a shift in education that facilitates shared teacher expertise and peer-based learning. Free and open content is not only a new economic model for schools and students, but also a primary... [continue reading]
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Mythologized and circumscribed for over 1500 years, the Merovingians were a powerful Frankish dynasty, which exercised control much of modern-day France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Low Countries. During the Early Middle Ages, the Merovingian kingdoms were arguably the most powerful and most important polities to emerge after the collapse of the Western... [continue reading]
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While relatively unknown today, Mithradates VI of Pontus inspired fear, romance, courage, and intrigue across the Near East during the first century BCE. Claiming descent from Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia, Mithradates challenged the might of late Republican Rome, creating an empire that stretched from the northern reaches of the Black Sea to Syria... [continue reading]
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Few places on earth have captivated humanity as much as the ethereal city of Petra, which is located in present-day Jordan. Constructed by the Nabataeans--ancient traders who dominated the export of frankincense, myrrh, balsam, and spices from Arabia to the Greco-Roman world--Petra was a beautiful desert metropolis of theaters, temples, palaces, and immense... [continue reading]
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"Of all the art forms, sculpture was the first to give a comprehensive and coherent voice to the new formal Renaissance idiom, the roots of which went back to the classical world. But it was the coherence of the Renaissance visual language that made the difference... These were major works of art, yet when they were cited, it was as fragments, without... [continue reading]
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The Ancient History Encyclopedia is pleased to announce that it has joined forces with the Kunstpedia Foundation to bring increased public attention to the fine and applied arts. Kunstpedia is a Dutch non-profit organization established by enthusiasts of art history and the visual arts in 2008. Today, it is recognized by the Dutch Tax Office as an Institution... [continue reading]
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Danish archaeologists made an unprecedented discovery in the municipality of Ishøj, located just 18 km (11 mi) outside of Copenhagen, in October 2007: an intact grave of a high-ranking man or "prince" from the Roman Iron Age (c. 1-400 CE). Hailed as one of the most important discoveries in recent memory, the grave provided a unique glimpse into the material... [continue reading]
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AHE Joins PELAGIOS Project

by James Blake Wiener
published on 08 April 2013
It gives us great pleasure to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia is joining the PELAGIOS Project. PELAGIOS stands for "Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems," and its aim is to help introduce Linked Open Data into online resources that refer to places in the ancient world. This approach permits new modes of discovery and visualization for... [continue reading]
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Deciphering Ancient Cham Art

by James Blake Wiener
published on 03 April 2013
The Cham people of central and south Vietnam have impressive artistic and architectural traditions, dating back more than 1700 years. Migrating from the island of Borneo to present-day Vietnam in second century CE, the Cham maintained a series of coastal kingdoms from c. 192-1832 CE. Champa--located at the crossroads of India, Java, and China--was the grand emporium... [continue reading]
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Fascinating Lebanon: Sixty Centuries of Religious History, Art, and Archaeology (French: Fascination du Liban: Soixante siècles d'historie de religions, d'art et d'archéologie) is the exhibition catalogue of the eponymous show at the Musée Rath (associated with the Musées d'Art et d'Histoire de Genève) in Geneva, Switzerland. This publication is edited... [continue reading]
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Princesses of the Mediterannean in the Dawn of History is the companion exhibition catalogue of a major retrospective on show at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, Greece. Edited by Drs. Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis and Mimika Giannopoulou, and translated by Ms. Maria Xanthopoulou, the catalogue presents the personal belongings 24 "princesses" or elite women... [continue reading]
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For several decades, scholars have been searching for tangible evidence of Pre-Columbian contacts between the Old and New Worlds. Whether based on cross-cultural comparisons, historical records, studies of linguistics, or anthropological inquiry, these claims have stimulated heated debates and controversy in various fields. In recent times however, there appears... [continue reading]
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With over 25,000 Iron Age graveyards and burial mounds, 1,140 megalithic structures of all sizes, and about 2,500 large rune stones, Sweden is an archaeologist's paradise. While recognized predominantly for its colorful Viking past and picturesque medieval towns, Sweden has a history that extends far beyond the the Middle Ages. In this exclusive interview... [continue reading]
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For many the "Silk Road" conjures images of exotic goods, verdant desert oases, and the bustling markets of ancient China. However, the Silk Road was also a conduit of ideas, technologies, diseases, the arts, and even fashion. Spread across nearly 6,500 km (4,000 mi), the Silk Road affected the course of history, molding civilizations in Europe, Arabia, Persia... [continue reading]
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For centuries, Wang Xizhi (c. 303-361 CE) has been revered as the "Sage of Calligraphy" across East Asia. Born in the town of Linyi, in Shangdong, China, during the tumultuous years of the Jin dynasty (265-420 CE), Wang revolutionized and reinvigorated this traditional art through his mastery of all forms of Chinese calligraphy, including the notoriously difficult... [continue reading]
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Peru is one of six "cradles of civilization," from which a series of advanced societies emerged. Characterized by remarkable artistic expression and technological innovation, successive Andean cultures thrived among the peaks and valleys of the Andes until the armies of Francisco Pizarro vanquished the Inca in 1532 CE. Nevertheless, primordial, symbolic imagery--mythical... [continue reading]
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Unique among the countries of the Middle East, Lebanon is a mélange of diverse peoples, cultures, and religious creeds. For centuries, it lay at the crossroads of civilizations with a history marked by the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, European Crusaders, Mamluks, and the Ottomans. With over 60 centuries of human history, Lebanon's... [continue reading]
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The civilization of ancient Egypt is at once timeless and ethereal with remarkable cultural continuity and towering monuments. From the time of the semi-mythological Menes to the Roman Diocletian, it was also a civilization was guided by the rule of the legendary pharaohs. A king, priest, judge, and warrior, all in one, the pharaohs played a defining role... [continue reading]
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In 2008, archae­ol­o­gists unearthed an extremely rare and impres­sive mar­ble mau­soleum, along a sec­tion of ancient road, in Rome, Italy. The largest and most ornate tomb was commissioned by a famous Roman general, Marcus Nonius Macrinus (fl. 161 CE), who had loyally served the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (r. 161-180 CE). Macrinus' life and exploits provided... [continue reading]
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During the Celtic Iron Age (c. 800-15 BCE), the Celts dominated large swaths of the European continent including what is present-day Germany, Switzerland, and France. The World of the Celts: Centres of Power - Treasures of Art (Die Welt der Kelten: Zentren der Macht - Kostbarkeiten der Kunst), displays this forgotten era of European history with astonishing... [continue reading]
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Queen Salome Alexandra (r. 76-67 BCE) was arguably the most powerful and successful member of the Hasmonean dynasty, which governed an independent but strife-torn Judea. As the wife of King Alexander Jannaeus (r. 103-76 BCE) and then queen-regent in her own right, Salome Alexandra exercised wise judgment and remarkable personal conviction as a stateswoman... [continue reading]
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The "Digital Revolution" of the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way in which we interpret, study, access, and share knowledge. Without a doubt, technology has affected our lives and how we organize information, in some ways, for the better. In this interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Mr. Robert Consoli, the Founder... [continue reading]
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We are pleased to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia's homepage has now been visited by over a million internet visitors in 2012! This is truly a momentous occasion and we are eager to see what awaits us in 2013. At this time, the staff of the Ancient History Encyclopedia would like to extend a warm message of thanks to our volunteer contributors... [continue reading]
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This fall the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada, dazzles visitors with the sparkle and brilliance of Peruvian silver. Luminescence: The Silver of Perú, on display until December 16, 2012, explores the impact of this precious metal across the centuries, underscoring its impact on art, culture... [continue reading]
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Shadowed in mystery and the object of fascination for centuries, the ancient Arab palace of Qusier 'Amra is truly a gem of Late Antiquity. A royal palace, fortress, and retreat, Quiser 'Amra is an artistic and cultural "microcosm" of the the Middle East during an era of unprecedented transition. In this exclusive interview with James Blake Wiener... [continue reading]
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The change of seasons offers a rich cultural bounty to be partaken by those enthused with ancient history. Four times a year, the Ancient History Encyclopedia likes to present a selection of phenomenal exhibitions that we believe our users and readers would enjoy. For the fall 2012 season, Andean Peru, Greece, China, Mesoamerica, Central Asia, and Arabia... [continue reading]
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This past spring, the Ancient History Encyclopedia had the immense pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jacqueline Cahill-Wilson, the Chief Investigator for the LIARI ("Late Iron Age Roman Ireland") Project. This unique and advanced archaeological endeavor is overseen and supported by The Discovery Programme. As distinct from the other public bodies that deal with... [continue reading]
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Caroline Ludovici has had a passion for history, archaeology, and adventure from an early age. Originally from London, Caroline has traveled extensively throughout the world, soaking in different cultures wherever she has ventured. Her experiences and her keen interest in history and archeology gave her the agency to become a novelist. As an author, she... [continue reading]
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The American Desert Southwest has some of the most impressive prehistoric ruins and artifacts in the world. Thousands of archaeological sites, spread about across the American states of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, testify to the presence of a advanced civilization: the "Anasazi" or the Ancestral/Ancient Puebloan peoples. Long revered and venerated... [continue reading]
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The Zamani Project attempts to record the "spatial" domain of African patrimony by recording its physical, architectural, and natural dimensions. The documentation project was initiated to increase international awareness of African heritage and provide material for research while, concurrently, creating a permanent and accurate record of important sites... [continue reading]
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Central Asia can be thought of as the "core region" of the Eurasian continent, stretching from the Caspian Sea to western China, the rugged mountains of Pakistan to the extensive steppes of southern Russia. Misunderstood, understudied, and oftentimes a front line between empires and geopolitical rivals, ancient Central Asia rarely receives the attention afforded... [continue reading]
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Although we focus on "ancient history," we love all history! One resource we enjoy a great deal is Medieval Histories. It is managed by a renown historian and ethnologist in Denmark. It is an invaluable resource with interesting articles, a stream of news reports, exhibition highlights, and a beautiful seasonal e-magazine. Be sure to check it out! We promise you will not regret it!
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How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians is the latest publication by Professor Philip Freeman, the Orlando W. Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa. In 64 BCE, Marcus Cicero (106-43 BCE) ran for consul and faced the challenge of a lifetime: winning the highest office in the Republic. Fortunately... [continue reading]
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Our own Joshua Mark has just published an article about the mysterious Clava Cairns structures in Scotland. Please read his article at The Celtic Guide Magazine. Here's an brief excerpt: "Over 4,000 years ago our ancestors raised huge megaliths and positioned them in the earth with care. Sites such as The Ring of Brodgar in Stenness, Orkney, or the famous Stonehenge... [continue reading]
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The Ancient History Encyclopedia likes to keep our readers, followers, and friends up to date with the latest “ancient themed” exhibitions at museums all over the world. Take a look at these exhibitions and see if they arose your curiosity! The Dawn of Egyptian Art (New York, USA) brings together some 175 objects gathered from the Metropolitan and... [continue reading]
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The Celtic Guide Magazine

by James Blake Wiener
published on 03 July 2012
We wanted to alert our readers and followers that there is an excellent new e-publication dedicated solely to Celtic history, mythology, art, folklore, and culture: The Celtic Guide. All the editions are free and can be easily downloaded or printed. Many of their contributors are renown experts in their field of interest while others are university educated... [continue reading]
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As a young girl growing up in New York City, Madeline Miller felt a strong attachment to the literature and culture of Greco-Roman civilization. Mesmerized by the heroic exploits of Hercules, Achilles, and Aeneas, Miller pursued her passion at Brown University, where she received a BA and MA in Latin and Ancient Greek. Miller also studied in the Dramaturgy department... [continue reading]
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Summer Exhibition Update 2012 We wanted to share with our regular readers, visitors, and contributors an update as to forthcoming summer exhibitions that might be of interest. Egypt and India are well represented! Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt will be on show through the month of December 2012 at the California Science Center in... [continue reading]
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The Discovery Programme is an Irish public institution for advanced research in Irish archaeology. Its sole activity is to engage in full-time archaeological and related research, in order to enhance our understanding of Ireland's complex past. Recently, the Discovery Programme has initiated a project of geophysical investigations as part of the Late Iron... [continue reading]
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We wanted to inform our readers and users that Ancient Planet was recently launched by Mr. Ioannis Georgopoulos who manages The Archaeology News Network (TANN). We hope that you will check out  the wealth of information on the website and also take a look at the new e-journal. A variety of articles, reviews, and interviews are featured in the journal, and there's... [continue reading]
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The Global Heritage Fund has just listed ten sites across Asia, which are in serious danger and need of immediate protection. At the Ancient History Encyclopedia, we take cultural preservation and protection very seriously. Please click here to learn more about the sites from Pakistan's Express Tribune. Awareness is essential in preserving our diverse cultural treasures.
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Canada's Globe and Mail recently published a review of an unusual book entitled, "Hannibal and Me," by Andreas Kluth (a journalist for The Economist). Narrating the history of Hannibal's exploits vis-a-vis the struggles and triumphs of other talented individuals like Steve Jobs, Da Vinci, and Einstein, Kluth ponders the meaning of success across time and space... [continue reading]
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The Hohokam ruins of Mesa Grande, located near Mesa, Arizona, will be reopened to the public in the fall of 2012 according to Arizona's East Valley Tribune. The Hohokam were one of the four major prehistoric peoples living in what is today the American Southwest, flourishing in the  Sonoran Desert from c. 1-1450 CE. Well-known for their beautiful ceramics... [continue reading]
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For those of you interested in all that which is "Mesoamerican," please check out the Los Angeles Times' recent review of "Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico." This exhibition is currently on show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until July 1, 2012 and showcases some of the rarest and finest works by ancient craftsmen... [continue reading]
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Ancient Peruvian Tombs & DNA

by James Blake Wiener
published on 23 April 2012
MSNBC is reporting that ancient Peruvian tombs are revealing fascinating genetic and cultural secrets. Throughout the centuries, many Andean peoples in Peru buried their dead in vertical tombs called "chullpas." Researchers from the University of Warsaw have traced genomic sequences of dozens of individuals, buried in the chullpas, encountering some surprising discoveries... [continue reading]
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Ancient Bulgarian Vase

by James Blake Wiener
published on 23 April 2012
Bulgarian journalists are reporting that an unusual erotic vase has been discovered in the city of Sozopol, which sits directly next to the Black Sea. Dating from the 6th or 7th century BCE, the vase appears to have been crafted in Greece and later traded to what is present-day Bulgaria sometime later. Please click here to read more from UPI.com.
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Archaeologists working near the Peruvian city of Chiclayo have just uncovered the mysterious remains of a woman believed to be a priestess of the Sican or Lambayeque people. Dating from the thirteenth century CE, the remains might provide some much needed insight into the final centuries of the coastal Sican civilization. Please click here to read more about... [continue reading]
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The Sasanians of Iran have long played a historical "second fiddle" to their Romano-Byzantine, Indian, and Chinese neighbors. The last of the ancient Persian dynasties and perhaps the most culturally sophisticated of all Persian polities, the Sasanians were a dynamic and commanding force in the world of Late Antiquity. In this interview, James Wiener of... [continue reading]
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The Queensland Museum, located in Brisbane, Australia, is the newest venue of Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb. This unprecedented exhibition will be shown in Queensland from April 19 until August 19, 2012. With a mix of diverse artifacts and 3D technological presentations, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb promises to be an unusual and captivating take on the splendors... [continue reading]
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LiveScience is reporting that a statue displayed in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, in Hamburg, Germany, might be that of a female gladiator. Topless and of unknown origins, the statue is nearly 2.000 years old but in very good condition. Contrary to popular belief, female gladiators did exist in the Roman Empire although they were quite rare. Emperor Septimius... [continue reading]
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Google Art Project

by James Blake Wiener
published on 16 April 2012
If you're interested in ancient art, be sure to check out the Google Art Project. With access to high-resolution images of works of art from over forty museums from around the world, this is a fantastic free resource. Recently, the Google Art Project has been incorporating works of ancient African art and sculpture to their online library: allAfrica.com reports... [continue reading]
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Late Spring 2012 Exhibitions

by James Blake Wiener
published on 15 April 2012
At the Ancient History Encyclopedia, we like providing you with the latest information pertaining to exhibitions of interest to the scholar and enthusiast alike. Here are some new exhibitions to make note of: Mummies of the World: The Exhibition makes its Florida debut at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), in Tampa, Florida USA, on Friday, April... [continue reading]
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The Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace), also called the "Ara Pacis," is a famous Roman monument housed in the Museo dell'Ara Pacis, in Rome, Italy. Built between 13-9 BCE, it is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful of all Roman monuments. Here, you can view high-resolution beautiful images and access 3-D models of what the Ara Pacis looked... [continue reading]
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2012 BC: Cornwall and the Sea

by James Blake Wiener
published on 12 April 2012
We wanted to inform our contributors and visitors from the UK that an exciting exhibition has just opened at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, UK.  2012 BC: Cornwall and the Sea in the Bronze Age is a special exhibition which traces Cornish mining, trading, and maritime exchange with Bronze Age Europe. Among the highlights are the lovely Nebra... [continue reading]
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Ruins Found on Welsh Island

by James Blake Wiener
published on 12 April 2012
The BBC is reporting that a team of archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of several prehistoric structures on the remote Skmore Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. Better known for its diverse flora and fauna, Skmore Island is now believed to have been inhabited around 5.000 years ago. Please click here to read the article in its entirety.
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Ancient Chinese Music

by James Blake Wiener
published on 11 April 2012
The New York Times ran an article on the ancient Chinese ziqi today. The instrument is making something of a comeback in contemporary China and dates from the Waring States Period (c. 600 BCE). Please click here to learn more about its revival in relation to renewed interest in traditional Chinese culture.
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Archaeology Southwest

by James Blake Wiener
published on 10 April 2012
At the Ancient History Encyclopedia, we like to introduce our users and contributors to other organizations and institutions which provide assistance in the study and preservation of the ancient past. One such organization is Archaeology Southwest. This is a private nonprofit which aims to increase public awareness in the rich past of the ancient cultures... [continue reading]
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Teachers or instructors might be interested in accessing images of the ancient world from the New York Public Library's Picture Collection. With over 1.700 images covering a range of subjects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and other cultures around the Mediterranean, this is a great resource for the classroom. All the images were rendered or conceived... [continue reading]
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For several decades, scholars and archaeologists have debated what caused the decline and collapse of the Classical Maya (c. 250-900 CE). Most content that it was a combination of agricultural mismanagement and environmental changes, which doomed the city-states of the formidable Maya. MSNBC published this article last month, which suggested that changes... [continue reading]
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Understanding Rock Art

by James Blake Wiener
published on 04 April 2012
Rock art is both ubiquitous and mysterious: it exists on every continent except Antarctica, yet remains largely enigmatic. With advances in neuroscience and with the aid of medical imaging technology, scholars are now beginning to unravel the mysterious of rock art design and purpose. What has been uncovered is likely to both shock and surprise you. Click... [continue reading]
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Ancient Suez Canals

by James Blake Wiener
published on 04 April 2012
Many are unaware that it was possible to sail from the Mediterranean Sea to Red Sea before the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 CE. Nile-to-Suez canals existed more than two thousand years ago, providing a steady flow of trade and traffic between East and West. In the March/April 2012 edition of Saudi Aramco World Magazine, John Cooper introduces us... [continue reading]
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The Economist magazine has posted this video review of "Nomads & Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan" at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York City. Please click here to access the video. We promise that you won't regret doing so! The objects are beautiful and most have never been seen by the public until now.
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Exciting News from China

by James Blake Wiener
published on 03 April 2012
Channel News Asia is reporting that the remains of a Stone Age man has been unearthed off the southern Chinese coast in Fujian Province. Archaeologists from Taiwan believe that the 8.000 year old skeleton might be an ancestor to Taiwan's aboriginal peoples. The man was believed to be around thirty-five years of age around the time of his death and the bones... [continue reading]
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More Spring Exhibitions

by James Blake Wiener
published on 02 April 2012
Here's a listing of more spring exhibitions which might of be of interest to many of you: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), in Los Angeles, California USA, will be exhibiting Children of the Plumed Serpent: the Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico until July 1, 2012. With over 200 objects ranging from manuscripts and textiles to gilded plates... [continue reading]
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The New York Times has just reviewed the Metropolitan Museum of Art's newest exhibition, "Byzantium and Islam: An Age of Transition." Please click here to read the favorable review.
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SAFE (Saving Antiquities for Everyone) is an organization dedicated to raising public awareness about the irreversible damage to the study of history and culture that results from looting, smuggling, and trading illicit antiques. Advocating cultural preservation and educational outreach, SAFE is on the vanguard of delineating the necessity of ethical practices... [continue reading]
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Follow AHE on LinkedIn!

by James Blake Wiener
published on 30 March 2012
We just wanted to invite (and reiterate) to all of our contributors and users that we are on LinkedIn! Follow us and keep up to date with the latest news and events regarding our growing community. Also, please be sure to join or visit the Ancient History Group. Here you can network, read more articles, and interact with other ancient history enthusiasts... [continue reading]
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An Ancient Roman Celebrity

by James Blake Wiener
published on 30 March 2012
The name "Lucius Septimius Flavianus Flavillianus," probably does not mean anything to you but it certainly did to the inhabitants of Oinoanda, a Roman city located in present-day southwest Turkey, around the year 200 CE. A recent translation from Greek reveals that he was something of a superstar in the world of sports; apparently, Flavillianus excelled... [continue reading]
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The Ancient Greeks in Spain

by James Blake Wiener
published on 30 March 2012
The Greek Reporter has published an interesting article about the town of "Empúries" (in Catalan) or "Emporion" (in Ancient Greek). For those of you that know Spain well, please be aware that the town had also been called "Ampurias" (in Castilian Spanish) until recent times. Established by Greek fisherman, merchants, and settlers from Phocaea in c. 575... [continue reading]
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If you should find yourself in Prague, Czech Republic, later this year, you might be interested in attending a planned exhibition on ancient Thrace. Although the details have been kept to a minimum, you can find more information by reading this article from the Prague Daily Monitor. When we have more details, we promise to pass them along to you.
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We wanted to alert our readers and users in the United States about a very interesting documentary: "Quest for the Lost Maya." It aired on PBS last night (in most locations) and is available online as a streaming video. This documentary follows three archaeologists--George Bey, Bill Ringle, and Tomás Gallareta Negrón--exploring the remains of a forgotten... [continue reading]
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For those of you who visit our site from Scandinavia, please be aware that the gilded treasures of Tutankhamen are heading your way this fall. From September 15, 2012 to January 1, 2013, the "Tutankhamun" exhibition will be on view at the Malmö Expo Center, in Malmö, Sweden. This international show has already delighted crowds in Oceania, Europe, Asia, and... [continue reading]
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Partying Like an Ancient Celt

by James Blake Wiener
published on 26 March 2012
The ancient Celts were known for their fierce warriors, their druids, and their art. They were also quite fashionable--in some sense--and keen on parties. Science Daily recently featured an article on recent excavations in Germany, which have revealed the "partying" culture of the Pre-Roman Celts. To read more, please click here to access the article.
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How did the ancient Hawaiians catch their fish? Better question: how many did they catch on average? Blessed with natural resources, it might be assumed that the ancient inhabitants of the Hawaiian islands would have over-fished the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean. This article, recently published in the New York Times, challenges that assessment. Please click here to access and read it.
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While Teotihuacán, Tikal, Chaco Canyon, and Machu Picchu are the cities most commonly conjured in the minds of millions when the phrase "Pre-Columbian metropolis" is uttered, one ought to be aware of the grandeur and importance of Cahokia, located near the present-day city of St. Louis, MO in the Midwestern United States. Cahokia: Ancient America's Great... [continue reading]
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Ancient Egyptian Women

by James Blake Wiener
published on 26 March 2012
A British scholar, Barbara Watterson, has just written a book on the varied experiences of women in ancient Egypt: Women in Ancient Egypt, published by Amberley Press, traces the experiences of women from the very high (Nefertiti and Nefertari) to the very low (peasants and prostitutes). Along the way, Watterson peppers her work with little known facts and portraits... [continue reading]
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Maclean's of Canada has just published a review of a new book by Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley--Tutankhamen: The search for an Egyptian King, traces the life and modern reception of this most ancient of celebrities. Looming larger in death than he ever did in life, Tyldesley's work attempts to analyze the boy-king from an entirely new perspective. Please click here to access the review.
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The Ancient History Encyclopedia wishes to share resources which contribute to a better understanding and appreciation for the ancient world to user, visitor, and researcher alike. With that being said, we wanted to alert you to another great documentary film website where you can watch select titles for free. In the past, we informed you of the usefulness... [continue reading]
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UNESCO Courier Magazine

by James Blake Wiener
published on 21 March 2012
We wanted to alert our readers and contributors to a phenomenal resource filled with unique articles and research from a variety of perspectives. UNESCO Courier Magazine is the bimonthly publication of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). By accessing the archive section, you can find articles and research on just... [continue reading]
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Archaeologists Return to Iraq

by James Blake Wiener
published on 20 March 2012
USAToday is reporting that archaeologists are an increasingly common presence in Iraq. After nearly thirty years of war, rebellion, and governmental transition, archaeologists from the United States and Europe are returning to Iraq in droves. Now with new technologies and scientific advances at their disposal, archaeologists expect a great wave of new discoveries... [continue reading]
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Massive Mayan Metropolis

by James Blake Wiener
published on 18 March 2012
For centuries, the forests of Guatemala have hidden an impressive Mayan city until recently: "El Mirador." In its day, it was the rival of the famous city of Tikal and one of the most powerful Mayan-city states in the Yucatan. Dating back more than 2.500 years, it is also one of the oldest Mayan cities ever found. Now, scholars and archaeologists are just beginning... [continue reading]
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Le Musée d'Arles, in Arles, France, is the site of an unprecedented exhibition, exploring the submerged wonders of Roman antiquity from beneath the Rhône River. From March 9 to June 25, 2012, Le Musée d'Arles will bring Roman Arles ("Arelate") alive through the presentation of reconstructed models, artifacts, bronzes and silvers, and architectural pieces... [continue reading]
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Ancient Theatre of Delos

by James Blake Wiener
published on 16 March 2012
While ancient sites around Greece have suffered because of the protracted economic crisis, ANSAmed reports that one major site has recently been given funds for restoration and protection. Yesterday, the Central Archaeological Council of Greece approved a measure to restore the famed theatre of ancient Delos. Built originally of marble and completed... [continue reading]
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Australia has more than 100.000 rock art sites with more being discovered every year. Not surprisingly, Australia has the most rock art in the world. Academics and archaeologists face the daunting task of preserving and recording these ancient treasures--some of which date back more than 9.000 years! The Australian recently ran this article about a new initiative... [continue reading]
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Japanese archaeologists have uncovered more than six terracotta figures dating from c. 400 CE in city of Matsue in Chogoku region of Japan. The figures include warriors, sumo wrestlers, and finely crafted horses. The clay figures or "haniwa," in Japanese, were used for burial rites and as funerary pieces. This particular discovery has caused quite a stir... [continue reading]
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The Taíno were the first people in the Americas to greet Christopher Columbus and yet, within only two generations, they all but disappeared from Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Or did they? New evidence has emerged suggesting that the Taíno survived the Spanish conquest and maintained a sophisticated and self-sufficient... [continue reading]
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Were Incan Farmers the Best?

by James Blake Wiener
published on 14 March 2012
Last Fall, Smithsonian Magazine featured this article on the Incan civilization of Pre-Columbian South America. Although the Incas inhabited one of the harshest and most unpredictable climes in the world, they proved to be not only masterful architects--their roads and cities still exist--but exceptionally adroit in matters pertaining to agriculture: complicated... [continue reading]
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Persian Splendor & Beauty

by James Blake Wiener
published on 14 March 2012
Should you find yourself in Washington D.C., in the United States, be sure not to miss "Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran," at the Smithsonian's Freer-Sackler Museum of Asian Art. Exhibiting the wealth and splendor of ancient Persian metalworking from the Achaemenid period (550-330 BCE) to the Islamic conquests of the Iranian plateau (633-644... [continue reading]
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Fancy a trip to Rome c. 320 CE? In 3D? Scientists and scholars from Rome Reborn enable you to just do that. Please click here to read an article from thestar.com about the project and be sure to check out the accompanying video. We promise that you won't regret it!
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An ancient Greek road has just been uncovered outside the city of Thessaloniki, in northeast Greece. Archaeologists and scholars date the marble road--"Via Egnatia"--from c. 300 BCE. Curiously, Roman tombs, containing jewels and tablets were also uncovered very close to the road. Please click here to read about this surprising "double discovery" from the South African Independent Online.
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Shankari Patel, an anthropology graduate student at the University of California--Riverside, is causing quite a stir amongst her fellow Mayanists. In a recent, provocative paper, Patel claims to show that ancient Mayan women held multifaceted and important roles within Mayan civilization. Women, Patel contends, were not only wives and domestic workers, but... [continue reading]
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Traveling with the Apostles

by James Blake Wiener
published on 07 March 2012
The feature article in National Geographic Magazine, this month, is on the travels and lives of the Christian Apostles. Written by Andrew Todhunter, the article takes you from the mountains of northern Italy  to the seaside ports of western India, imparting fresh perspectives on the ancient Mediterranean and early Christianity along the way. Please click here to read this  article.
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Archaeology Magazine just posted this link about Rome's lost Aqua Traiana aqueduct. Two filmmakers and two archeologists try to ascertain in this ancient Roman wonder was dissembled and reused elsewhere in the city. The results are surprising! Please click here to watch this brief video.
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Last week, the Israeli daily Haaretz printed this article about the remains of Aelia Capitolina--the Roman city built directly on top of the ruins of Jerusalem after the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in 70 CE. In order to uncover some surprising secrets, please click here to read the article.
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Ancient Greek Helmet Discovered

by James Blake Wiener
published on 29 February 2012
LiveScience is reporting that an ancient Greek helmet has been found at the bottom of Haifa Bay in Israel. The helmet dates from c. 600 BCE and belonged to a Greek mercenary warrior who likely served Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt (r. 610-595 BCE). This unique artifact has since been cleaned and is now on display at the National Maritime Museum in Haifa, Israel... [continue reading]
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Ireland & The Romans--A Project

by James Blake Wiener
published on 24 February 2012
So did the Romans have much of anything to do with the "Emerald Island"? The Irish Times is reporting that a new academic project has commenced, exploring the links between Roman Europe and Celtic Ireland. Entitled "Late Iron Age and Roman Ireland (Liari)," the project has already caused quite a stir! Please click here to read about this fantastic initiative.
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Archaeologists have made perhaps one of the most exciting Pre-Columbian finds in recent decades! In the vicinity of El Caño, Panama, excavations have unearthed fantastic tombs filled exquisite golden items. Since 2010, dozens of artifacts have been recovered and now scholars are peeling back the layers of time in order to solve the mysteries of this long forgotten... [continue reading]
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The New York Times ran an article last month, detailing the importance of geoglyphs found deep within the Amazon rainforest in northwestern Brazil. Although they have been known to scientists and archaeologists since the 1970s, these "land carvings" are receiving increasing attention from the international community. Characterized by remarkable "geometric precision"... [continue reading]
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The Wall Street Journal had a great review of Aelian's "On the Nature of Animals," in a of a new translation, by Gregory McNamee. Born c. 170 CE, Aelian is perhaps the world's first "naturalist." Please click here to read this review.
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We have the unfortunate news of reporting a robbery of precious items from the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games, in Olympia, Greece. The BBC is reporting that around seventy items were stolen and that the museum has been significantly damaged. The news prompted the resignation of Greece's Minister of Cultural Affairs, Pavlos Geroulanos, but did... [continue reading]
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ABC News is reporting that a joint team of Japanese and Egyptians scientists is in the process of restoring a 4.000 year old boat, which originally belonged to the famous Pharaoh Kufu. Khufu--also known as "Cheops"--ordered the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Egyptologists and scientists have already restored another similar boat with much success. Please click here to read more.
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The Walters Museum, in Baltimore, MD USA, is the current venue of a fantastic exhibition not to be missed: Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection will be on view until May 20, 2012. Featuring over 135 exquisite objects from South and Central America, this exhibition covers nearly 3,000 years of art history. Among the highlights... [continue reading]
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Edinburgh Egyptians in the News

by James Blake Wiener
published on 15 February 2012
Last week, we mentioned the opening of an exciting new exhibit of ancient Egyptian objects and artifacts in Edinburgh, Scotland. The BBC has just covered the opening of this exhibition with a news report that can be viewed by clicking here.
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Hellenism and Its Impact

by James Blake Wiener
published on 12 February 2012
In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, Dr. James Romm of Bard University has written an excellent review for "A Culture of Freedom," by Christian Meier. Just published, this work focuses on Hellenism and its impact in the Near East as well as in Europe and North Africa. Please click here to read this review.
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Fascinating Mummies opens today at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. On show until May 27, 2012, this exhibition presents a special collection of objects and treasures from the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, based in Leiden, Netherlands. Highlights include detailed cat scans of various mummies, from all over Egypt, as well as rare sarcophagi. Please... [continue reading]
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In this fun and engaging article, freelance writer Elisabeth Eaves journeys into the Yucatan peninsula's remotest region in order to visit the mysterious Mayan city of Calakmul. Flourishing around the year c. 600 CE, Calakmul was a wealthy and influential city, rivaling the fêted city of Tikal for power and prestige. Three times as large as the better-known Chichen... [continue reading]
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Bulgarian Roman Ruins Revealed

by James Blake Wiener
published on 09 February 2012
While our readers and visitors from Europe have been suffering through frigid weather for the past week or so, winter's wrath has proven itself as a blessing in at least one part of the old continent. An ancient building from Roman times, as well as pottery shards and the foundation of an ancient sewer system, has been revealed in the port city of Bourgas, Bulgaria... [continue reading]
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Two archeologists from Belgium, Fabienne Pigière and Denis Henrotay, make a very interesting argument in the latest edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science: the bedrock of Roman power depended upon the camel. They posit that camels connected the various parts of the empire and were the favored animals for long distance trade. Furthermore, they also... [continue reading]
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2012 is likely to be a year of great political importance for the United States and for the European Union, if not for the entire world. Recently on NPR (National Public Radio), Professor Philip Freeman of Luther University spoke about his new book, "How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians." Freeman's work is a translation of a text written... [continue reading]
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Last week, we noted the opening of "Roads of Arabia" at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Now, you can access several pictures and a brief review of the exhibition from Der Spiegel, by clicking here. This is the first time that such rare and exquisite artifacts have been displayed in Germany. The exhibition has already won rave reviews from museum-goers... [continue reading]
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Forthcoming Spring Exhibitions

by James Blake Wiener
published on 02 February 2012
Although it is only February, museums and galleries across the world are preparing to showcase ancient treasures and objects to the delight of museum-goers. Be sure to check out some of these exhibitions this coming spring season! Byzantium and ancient Egypt seem to be en vogue this season: Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures From the Kingdom of Saudi... [continue reading]
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The Wall Street Journal Magazine has a very timely article on the conversation of historical sites across war-torn Afghanistan. A new sense of urgency has arisen as operations commence in valuable copper mines around the country. Please click here to read this article.
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Swissinfo--a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation--published this curious article about ancient lake settlements in November 2011. It was in 1854 when the first Swiss "lake-dweller" village was discovered outside Zurich, and since then over fifty more have been uncovered. Dating from roughly 5.000 to 500 BCE, these villages provide archaeologists... [continue reading]
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Many of readers might be aware that Turkey has suffered a devastating drought this year. Turkey's bad weather has, however, made an archaeologist's dream. Recently, a long forgotten sea wall has been revealed just outside of Istanbul, in Bathonea. Once a port, complimenting the great nexus of Constantinople, Bathonea's treasures are quickly being uncovered, surprising... [continue reading]
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France24 has recently reported that the Greek government has decided to allow many of its famed archaeological sites--like the Parthenon--to be made available for "commercial" use by companies, private institutions, and other organizations. The decision, made by the Greek Ministry of Cultural Affairs, has been met with disgust and confusion by scholars and archaeologists... [continue reading]
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In the February 2012 edition of Smithsonian Magazine, there is an excellent article on the beautiful "Fayum portraits," dating from the Greco-Roman period of Egyptian history (c. 332 BCE--642 CE). Discovered between 1887 and 1889 CE, by the British archaeologist W. M. Flinders Petrie, these portraits are arguably some of the most exquisite portraits in the history... [continue reading]
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While corn was first domesticated in the valleys of central Mexico thousands of years ago, scientists and archaeologists now believe that popcorn originated from ancient Peru. According to a recent report from National Geographic, popcorn is over two thousand years old! Please click here to read the article in full.
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Our history books inform us that the ancient Sumerians from the Fertile Crescent were the first to brew alcoholic beverages. Is this true though? Or did the Sumerians merely brew a very "low-alcoholic" drink?  The writers at Deutsche Welle review the evidence and make a judgment. Please click here to read this report.
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Anglo-Saxon Gold

by James Blake Wiener
published on 13 January 2012
As the Romans retreated from Britain at the dawn of the fifth century CE, various Germanic tribes invaded and subdued the Romanized Celtic inhabitants. Following conquest, they left behind impressive barrows in addition to hoards of gold, silver, and other precious metals. Recently, National Geographic Magazine featured an article on the spectacular discovery... [continue reading]
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Why does the same, bizarre Bronze Age structure appear across Ireland and the United Kingdom? Was it something purely ceremonial or something with more practical purposes? In this article, freelance writer Erin Mullally investigates the importance of these structures to historians and anthropologists alike, uncovering clues along the way. Please click here... [continue reading]
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Excavations just east of the Israeli city of Akko have unearthed a rare ceramic stamp more than 1.500 years old. The stamp, it is believed, was used by a Jewish baker named "Launtius," to certify his goods as kosher to potential customers. The stamp is engraved with an image of the iconic seven branched menorah and also contains lettering in Hebrew and Greek... [continue reading]
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Ancient African Sculptures

by James Blake Wiener
published on 09 January 2012
I hope this this post finds all of our readers well and beginning a great start to 2012! If you are interested in ancient art--especially ancient African art--you should check out this news article from NewScientist. Drs. Nicole Rupp and Peter Breunig of the Goethe University Frankfurt have uncovered startling "terracotta heads" in Central Nigeria. Over... [continue reading]
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For those of you that find yourselves in La Belle France this holiday season, be sure not to miss "Pompei: Un Art de Vivre," a special exhibition at the Musée Maillol, in Paris, until February 12, 2012. This exhibition features beautiful artifacts from the luxurious homes-- the celebrated "domus pompeiana"--of Pompeii's elite. Furnished with over two hundred... [continue reading]
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A Roman Holiday...

by James Blake Wiener
published on 12 December 2011
As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to take the time to inform our readers and contributors in the United States of an exciting exhibition in Chicago, IL. The Field Museum is the current venue for "Natural Wonders: Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel." Uncovered only in 1996, this Roman floor mosaic is arguably the world's best preserved and largest... [continue reading]
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To our readers in the United States--specifically those of you in the Midwest--please be aware that a new museum is scheduled to open in Chicago, Illinois. The National Hellenic Museum is opening to the public on December 10, 2011, in Chicago's Greektown district. The new, four-story complex of 40,000 square feet will include several museum exhibitions on ancient... [continue reading]
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Ancient Mayans come to Canada

by James Blake Wiener
published on 24 November 2011
We wanted to let our readers and contributors in Canada know that a new Mayan exhibition has just opened at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World will run until April 9, 2012 and travel thereafter to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in Ottawa, from May 18, 2012 until October 28, 2012. This exhibition showcases recent archaeological... [continue reading]
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Recently discovered Roman coins, found near the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem, cast doubt on the exact date of the completion of the second Jewish Temple. Did the infamous King Herod oversee the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount? Could it have been someone else? Please read this interesting piece from the Washington Post by clicking here.
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For our readers in the United States--specifically those of you located along the Mid-Atlantic--we wanted to inform you of an exciting, new exhibition, which just opened at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb features over a hundred objects, on lease, from the permanent collection of the British Museum. The exhibition... [continue reading]
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For our readers in Germany, please note that beginning on November 17, 2011, Frankfurt am Main will be hosting "A Festival of Egyptian Culture." In addition to various cultural lectures, concerts, and readings, there will be a life-size and detailed replica of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun on display. This traveling replica has already been seen by over... [continue reading]
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Daily Archaeological News--AIA

by James Blake Wiener
published on 07 November 2011
Every weekday, the latest archaeological news is posted by the Archaeological Institute of America. Although the range of articles and new stories is vast--everything from ancient Libya to sunken warships from the Second World War--many of them are sure to delight and interest you. Please click here to access the site and be sure to check often as it is continuously updated.
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Rise and Fall of an Empire

by James Blake Wiener
published on 01 November 2011
At long last, a scholarly book in English has been published exclusively on Sasanians of ancient Persia. Dr. Touraj Daryaee, the Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran and the Persianate World and the Associate Director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine, discusses his... [continue reading]
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Rome Echoes Across The Time

by James Blake Wiener
published on 31 October 2011
Rome means different things to different people. Some associate Rome with its ancient civilization and massive empire; to others, it's the center of the Roman Catholic Church and the vibrant capital of modern Italy. For many though, it's the "eternal city," a metropolis which exemplifies magnificence, art, and culture. Robert Hughes, the acclaimed Australian art-critic... [continue reading]
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For those of you who are interested in the Hellenistic era or late Republican Rome, please be sure to read this National Geographic Magazine article on the infamous Queen Cleopatra VII, published in their July 2011 issue. Click here to access the article.
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This week, exciting news has emerged from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. An article in the Times of India has reported that Roman pottery remains have been discovered in the village of Naduvirapattu, located outside the city of Tambaram. In ancient times, Tamil Nadu lay at the nexus of overseas trade between East and West. Please read this article by clicking here.
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The Panorama of Ancient Pergamon

by James Blake Wiener
published on 19 October 2011
If you are based in Germany or are near the vicinity of Berlin, be sure to visit a special show entitled "Pergamon: Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis," at Berlin's Pergamon Museum. The show, which opened earlier this month, includes a spectacular panoramic recreation of the city during the second century CE. Please read more about this exciting museum show... [continue reading]
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For those of you interested in urban archaeology and the painstaking process of uncovering the past beneath our cities, please check out this recent article in France Today. It's a gem! Also, for those of you interested in the Romans, be aware that there is a new biography on the infamous Caligula by the Swiss historian, Alyos Winterling. Please read the... [continue reading]
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More Fall Exhibitions

by James Blake Wiener
published on 23 September 2011
Here is further listing of exhibitions in the United States and Europe: Before the Pyramids: The Origins of Egyptian Civilization. This exhibition explores ancient Egypt's Pre-Dynastic and Early Dynastic material culture and shows how these objects inform on our understanding of Egyptian culture and civilization. The most fundamental aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization--architecture... [continue reading]
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Great Autumn Exhibitions

by James Blake Wiener
published on 19 September 2011
As the temperatures slide on our thermometers and the leaves assume a fiery hue, we wanted to keep you up to date with the news that some fabulous exhibitions will be on show this autumn in Europe and the United States. Please be sure to check these out: Mummies of the World. Mummies of the World presents 150 human and animal mummies and related artifacts... [continue reading]
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Roman Coins & Palmyrene Style

by James Blake Wiener
published on 29 August 2011
This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal had two articles which might be of interest to our readers. In one, Christian C. Sahner, a doctoral candidate of history at Princeton University, analyzes the style, usage, and history of the Temple of Bel located the fabled city of Palmyra. In the other, Ellen Gamerman demonstrates just how valuable Roman coins... [continue reading]
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Taking a slightly modern turn, this article appeared last month in Newsweek, detailing how Italy's wealthy are stepping up to save crumbling and endangered ancient monuments. This financial assistance cannot come soon enough--neglect and staggering cuts to the Italian budget have endangered even the most preserved sites like Pompeii.
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If you find yourself in Paris in the near future and are interested in Mayan civilization, you must head to the Quai Branly. Maya: From Dawn to Dusk presents and features the most tantalizing objects unearthed in Guatemala--many of which are exquisitely detailed in gold. In Europe for the first time, this exhibition of over 160 items traces the spectacular... [continue reading]
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Excavations in Catalonia

by James Blake Wiener
published on 24 August 2011
The Cathedral of Tarragona is a microcosm of the Spain's turbulent but colorful past--Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Jews, and Catalans have all called the area home. However, recent excavations reveal that long before the conversion of Spain to Christianity, there was a shrine of tremendous size dedicated to the Emperor Augustus (63 BCE - 14 CE) and in use until... [continue reading]
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Clothes make the man, and they made the man "Roman" as well. In this provocative article by Der Spiegel, textile researchers and archaeologists are discovering that many of our preconceived notions of "Roman fashion" are incorrect or simply unsubstantiated. From fabric production, to color and design, new discoveries and research demonstrate that the Romans... [continue reading]
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Der Spiegel reports that scholars and archaeologists are puzzled but fascinated by a recent discovery near the German city of Weimar. Roughly 3,800 years old, a primitive palace compound has been unearthed revealing the wealth of an ancient prince. Archaeologists believe that the building might have been the largest in prehistoric Germany. Among the various... [continue reading]
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Was another Greek city destroyed by a tsunami sometime in Antiquity? Olympia? To read more, please access the link here.
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The German Newspaper, Der Spiegel, recently ran a controversial article about the origins of modern Britons and the restructuring of British society as a result of the Anglo-Saxon invasions. It makes for interesting reading! Click here to learn more.
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Researchers in Egypt have recently suggested that Ancient Egyptians lived with air pollution just as we do in the modern day. Apparently, this research and its findings have been controversial. Read this provocative article by clicking here.
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There is exciting news from Bulgaria! A team of Bulgarian scientists and archaeologists are excavating an ancient Thracian palace, which dates from the reign of King Teres I (r. 351-341 BCE). The site is located near the village of Starosel vin Hisarya and was at the crossroads of Greek and Thracian influence in Antiquity. Please read more about expedition by clicking here.
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If you find yourself in Italy in the near future, you might want to check out "Portraits: The Many Faces of Power," at the Capitoline Museums (Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome). This exhibition is one of five annual shows in Rome which trace the trajectory of Roman art through the centuries and through various media. The exhibition, running until September 25, showcases over one hundred fifty busts.
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I just wanted to alert our users that a great resource is available to you for free! If you enjoy watching documentaries--especially those on ancient history--you must check out Top Documentary Films. The website includes free, streaming, online documentary films, and movies on a variety of topics. It's a fantastic tool for the scholar, educator, and casual viewer alike!
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South of the bustling Lebanese capital--the alluring Beirut--is the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre. In its heyday it was a major center of international trade and commerce. From Tyre, Phoenician merchants and sailors  sailed to present day Spain, Greece, and Tunisia. The ruins of the old city are remarkably intact and bear witness to centuries of invasions... [continue reading]
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With over a hundred objects from the Brooklyn Museum's fine collection of Ancient Egyptian art, "To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum" is a spellbinding, traveling exhibition in the United States. The exhibition focuses, not surprisingly, on the religious beliefs of the Egyptians. Specific attention is given to the practical and economic... [continue reading]
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A Roman ship was been uncovered just outside of Rome, between Ostia and Fiumicino International Airport, while repair work was being conducted on a local bridge. Ostia ("Ostia Antica") was once one of the richest cities in Rome as it lay near the mouth of the Tiber River. The ship discovered is the largest ever excavated near the city and could provide new information... [continue reading]
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Stunning and beautiful tunics from the Andes Mountains are currently display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY. For thousands of years, talented weavers in the Andes have been the creators of some of the world's finest tunics, coats, and blankets. Fortunately for us, the dry climate of the Andes has helped preserve many of them for posterity... [continue reading]
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For our readers "Down Under," please note that a fantastic exhibition is in your country for the very first time. The Melbourne Museum and National Geographic are sponsoring "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" in Melbourne, Australia. This has already drawn over seven million visitors in the United States and Europe in the past five years... [continue reading]
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Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa, an exhibition at New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, takes the visitor deep into the heart of one of Africa's most mysterious and fascinating ancient kingdoms. Showcasing over a hundred objects and works of craftsmanship, this is the first major Nubian exhibition in the United States in recent... [continue reading]
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Roads of Arabia

by James Blake Wiener
published on 11 April 2011
Roads of Arabia is the first major exhibition of ancient objects, jewelery, art, and goods from the Arabia Peninsula --specifically, Saudi Arabia. It will be on international tour until 2013, visiting Paris, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Chicago along the way. Writing in the Parisian daily Le Figaro, Eric Biétry-Rivierre marveled at the discovery... [continue reading]
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