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Photos

Art of Pompeii

Here is another image post for you all to enjoy, today’s topic is the Art of Pompeii!

Most people have heard of the city of Pompeii and the natural disaster that preserved it so well under a deep layer of ash. This city has provided an invaluable insight to the Roman world and many claim it to be the richest archaeological site in the world, because of the amount of raw data it has given scholars.

Mosaic, Pompeii
A mosaic from the Roman town of Pompeii, buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. Such fine mosaics were a common feature of floors in the villas of the town and depicted scenes from mythology, the owner’s business interests or, as here, animal scenes. (Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy). Photo © Mary Harrsch (Photographed at the Museo Archaeologico Nazionale di Napoli).
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Culture Education

Four Gold Hats: A Bronze Age Mystery

Berlin Gold Hat Detail. Image from Wikipedia

After viewing thousands of artifacts in multiple museums, sometimes it can be tempting to just keep walking. But then there are times when something just grabs you, stopping you in your tracks.That’s what happened to me when I was in the Speyer, Germany State Museum a few days after visiting Museum Island in Berlin. I saw something I had seen in Berlin: a gold hat. It’s not just any gold hat, but a near perfectly preserved hat with such intricate designs that they warranted advanced mathematical study. I was not looking for these gold hats, and I had never heard of them before. I didn’t find them as much as they found me.

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Uncategorized

Planet Knowledge Partnership

Planet Knowledge

The AHE team is excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Planet Knowledge, a company that you will certainly be interested in. They are a free to watch documentary video on demand channel, available on smartphones and tablets (iOS & Android), Samsung SmartTVs, and even FreeviewHD in the UK and Ireland.

They don’t just cover history, but also nature, culture, science & technology, travel, and children’s documentaries… and their selection is growing every month! Most videos are free and supported through advertising, but similarly to AHE, you can pay a small monthly fee to watch ad-free.

To start this partnership, we’ve published two full-length documentaries on Ancient History Encyclopedia:


The Lost Gods: The Maya

The Lost Gods: The Romans

 
Expect more to come in the future, and watch out for AHE content on Planet Knowledge in early 2016!

Categories
Education

The Ancient People of Palmyra, Syria

The recent developments in the Middle East have drawn the attention of the world to the magnificent ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra. Its impressive remains were brought to light by travellers, first in 1678, and by archaeologists in more recent times. Equally impressive are the numerous representations of the inhabitants of the city in the form of funerary sculptures in the distinctive Palmyrene style.

From the 1st century BC the city grew in both wealth and population with the name Palmyra (city of palms) coming to replace the older Tadmor. It flourished as a caravan oasis on the trade route linking the Mediterranean with the West and Central Asia (the Silk Road). It was incorporated into the Roman Empire in the early years of Tiberius’ reign and became a metropolis with “free” status (civitas libera) under Hadrian, who visited the city in 129 AD and renamed it “Hadriana Palmyra”. Caracalla declared Palmyra a Roman colony in 212 AD and exempted the city from paying taxes on luxury items.

Palmyra on Vici.org
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Photos

Mesopotamian Reliefs

This post is part of a series of image posts Ancient History et cetera will be putting together each month. Today’s post is all about ancient Mesopotamian Relief!

Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning ‘between two rivers’) was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean. Surrounded in the northeast by the Zagros Mountains and in the southeast by the Arabian Plateau. Ancient Mesopotamia  corresponds to today’s Iraq and parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. Mesopotamia was a collection of varied cultures whose only real bonds were their script, gods and attitude toward women.

A relief is a sculptural technique. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background material. Like many ancient cultures Mesopotamians also produced artistic relief’s featuring events, places and people of importance.

This bas-relief is part of a series of reliefs which depict the formation and transport of a colossal winged-bull (Lamassu) for the palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. In this relief, the king stands in a rickshaw (a royal chariot which pulled by two servants) and he watches the progress of the work. A servant fans the king and another one holds a sunshade over the king's head. From court VI, probably panel 60 of the South-West palace at Nineveh (modern Mosul Governorate, Iraq), northern Mesopotamia. Neo-Assyrian period, 700-692 BCE. (The British Museum, London).
This bas-relief is part of a series of reliefs which depict the formation and transport of a colossal winged-bull (Lamassu) for the palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. In this relief, the king stands in a rickshaw (a royal chariot which pulled by two servants) and he watches the progress of the work. A servant fans the king and another one holds a sunshade over the king’s head. From court VI, probably panel 60 of the South-West palace at Nineveh (modern Mosul Governorate, Iraq), northern Mesopotamia. Neo-Assyrian period, 700-692 BCE. (The British Museum, London). Photo © Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg)
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Education

Sources of History

The original and traditional source of historical knowledge is the written text. However, the concept of what a historical source is has undergone transformation and redefinition over the centuries. This has happened as new mediums of communication, record keeping, and non-textual data in the form of material remains have emerged. New disciplines have also developed that continually challenge historians to include these new sources in their analysis and explanation of the past.

The primary source of history is documents, or texts in various forms. Originally historians, limited to ancient manuscripts, used a wide number of sources to achieve an understanding of the past. These sources of history came from epic poetry, myths, fables, inscriptions left on buildings or objects, deeds of farms or land, proclamations, ancient letters, and any other form of writing. Before the 20th century, historians, without the benefit of archaeology, relied on evaluating the language used, the number of copies of a text and if there was agreement, and theories about transmission of those texts to develop a means to evaluate whether a source was reliable or unreliable. 

JERWAN, IRAQ: Cuneiform writing on the stones of the aqueduct at Jerwan in Iraqi Kurdistan. Constructed between 703 and 690 BC, by Sanherib (Sennecherib) of Assyria, the Jerwan Aqueduct (he oldest intact aqueduct in the world) delivered water in the Atrush Canal from the Khenis (Gomel) Gorge to the Khosr River above Nineveh. The canal used advanced techniques including sluice gates and the Jerwan aqueduct - a 275 m/900 ft limestone bridge, 9 m/30 ft high and 15 m/30 ft wide. Photo by Sebastian Meyer www.sebmeyer.com sebastian@sebmeyer.com +964 750 792 2163
Cuneiform writing on the Jerwan Aqueduct (703-690 BCE). King Sennacherib I of Assyria made sure that, thousands of years later, people would know that it was he who ordered the construction of this feat of Assyrian engineering. Photo © Sebastian Meyer.
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Education

The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus, Ionia (Turkey)

The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus is regarded one of the most famous monuments of the ancient city of Ephesus. It lies on the south side of Curates Street, one of Ephesus’ main arteries connecting the Gate of Hercules with the Library of Celsus.

The Temple of Hadrian on Curetes Street, Ephesus, Turkey
Categories
Travel

Curse Scrolls, Mystery Cults, and the Secret Roman History of Mainz

I want to tell you about Mainz, Germany. Not just Mainz, but the secret Roman history of Mainz. Like most cities I’ve traveled to in Europe, Mainz has many well-hidden secrets.  Although Mainz has a lot to offer for a day-trip, I wouldn’t consider it a touristy area. Most people go to see the Cathedral or the first Gutenberg Bible at the Gutenberg Museum. I have seen those things in 2008, when I first visited Mainz for a few hours. This time I spent the entire day exploring the city and found a few things that I missed the last time. This trip I found lead curse scrolls in the underground Sanctuary of Isis and Mater Magna, a house with four roofs, a Roman theater bisected by the railway, and a monument to a long-dead Roman General.

Theodor Heuss Bridge Mainz
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Culture

Games Based on History: Medieval 2 Total War

I fondly remember the first release of Medieval 2: Total War with its grand campaign leading the iron-fisted Holy Roman Empire, crushing the fortified Italian Nation-states of Milan and Venice whilst keeping the might of France, Denmark and Poland at bay. Few games have come close in scale and excitement to witnessing an army of Imperial Knights charging down a wavering foe. Nine years later, a plethora of patches, an expansion and a number of outstanding fan-made mods and conversions, the game manages to still capture my imagination. Released in 2006, Medieval 2 built on the success and game engine of Rome: Total War, but through the years it has continued to hold up as a solid and entertaining game in its own right.

Total War players
In game screenshot: Imperial Knights scale the walls of a French fortification
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Photos

The Nerva-Antonines in Florence

The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. In addition to Renaissance masterpieces including works from Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi houses one of the world’s most important collections of ancient Roman and Greek statues. The Medicis’ interest in ancient art started with the founder of the family Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574) and grew over nearly four decades. The antiquities were stored and displayed in several rooms in Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti where they could be admired by the visitors to the court. The antiquities were later transferred to the Uffizi.

Most of the ancient statues and busts are displayed on the u-shaped second floor of the museum. The wide corridors are filled with numerous portraits of the members of the different imperial dynasties including those of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty.

Nerva (ruled 96 – 98 A.D.)

Bust of Emperor Nerva in lorica military cloak and paludamentum, Greek marble, 96 – 98 AD. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence