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Education

An Educational Web Portal for Cypriot UNESCO Monuments

REUSING CULTURAL HERITAGE DIGITAL DATA TO DEVELOP AN EDUCATIONAL WEB PORTAL FOR CYPRIOT UNESCO MONUMENTS

Digital Heritage Research Lab, Cyprus University of Technology[1]

At the beginning of the 21st century, technology had reached a point where the digitization of Cultural Heritage (CH) and massive storage of CH data was economically efficient and, on the other hand, due to human thread and massive environmental destruction there was a need for massive CH digitization. This fact has led to the formation of a high interest in turning the material into digital, for the information to be easily detected and retrieved and the knowledge to be widely and equally accessible. At the same time the Digital Agenda for Europe, promotes the creation, production and distribution of digital content and services for a creative, vibrant single market. [1] Reuse of Digital CH content is taking place now in Europe, characterized by the Europeana projects (Europeana Creative, E-Space, Europeana Food & Drink etc.), where experimental business models, innovative approaches and services are developed using Europe’s biggest -in digital items- library. [2] The concept of “use and reuse” of Digital CH Data has been established, while at the same time a demand developed for the further evolution of the technology in order to facilitate the exponential growth of the created content (big data) and their preservation.

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Travel

Destinations Rich in History and Culture

The world contains numerous cultures, traditions, cuisines and languages that make excellent destinations for any history buff.  The featured countries’ rich history and heritage evoke images of the days gone by and lure hundreds of tourists to taste their interesting cultures.

Get a Taste of Italian Culture

Italy. Image © Federico Baccari.

Known for its rich art and architecture, Italy has inspired the architecture of many Western nations. Be it Michelangelo’s statue of David or Leonardo da Vinci’s eternal portrait of the Mona Lisa, these artworks are beyond excellence and people from across the world still stand in large queues to glimpse these masterpieces. Some of the world’s famous structures like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Colosseum and Sistine Chapel call Italy their home.

It’s not just the art and architecture that attracts thousands of tourists to this beautiful country — it’s also a love for traditional Italian music and dance. Hordes of music lovers, singers, and musicians gather from different corners of the world to be part of country’s rich heritage. You will be amazed to know that today’s world-famous opera has its roots in Italy.

Italians are also famous for their fashion sense. Some of the world’s famous luxury fashion brands such as Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Gucci, and Versace were born in Italy. Italian cuisine has also today made its mark on the menus of world’s top notch restaurants.

If you are on an exploration trip of world’s history and culture, Italy should be top on your exploration list.

Walk Through Lanes of Greece Lost in History

Parthenon, culture
The Parthenon . Photo © Andrew Griffith.

Greece has always been on the radar of historians, archaeologists, and curious travelers. Since ancient times, Greece has left its mark in various domains, be it art, music, philosophy, literature, or politics. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are considered to be the Fathers of philosophy who brought about change in the common man’s thinking and those works were a step towards development in science, astronomy, physics and mathematics.

Greece also has many different styles of designs and architectural forms that greatly influenced Roman architecture. They were the first to build based on geometric calculations. The Temple of Athena and Theatre of Epidaurus are a testimony to Greece’s excellent architectural work.

The culture of Greece has evolved over years and today Greeks take pride in having successfully overcome their turbulent past. A trip to Greece is surely an eye opener for many tourists and history buffs alike.

Discover Peru’s Archaeological and Cultural Treasures

Machu Picchu. Photo © Dan Merino.

Art has always been an integral part of Peru culture, even though the styles have gone through significant changes over different ages. Besides its art, Peru is also home to some of the world’s richest heritages and archaeological gems – Machu Picchu is one of them that needs no introduction. The country’s plethora of sites dating back to the pre-Incan civilization lures thousands of curious tourists, history buffs, scientists and archaeologists; the enigmatic Nazca Lines still remain a mystery today.

Explore India’s diversities

Taj Mahal, culture
Taj Mahal. Photo © Dennis Jarvis.

India’s history dates back 5,000 years. The country has been ruled by several dynasties, each one leaving its mark with its architectural masterpieces. From Mughal monuments in Agra and Delhi to magnificent forts and palaces in Rajasthan to Dravidian temples in Kerala and Karnataka to rock cut cave temples, there is no end to India’s architectural marvels.

Architecture, music, dances, and festivities have always been an inseparable part of India’s rich culture and traditions. With each state specializing in its own folk music and dances, it would take a lifetime to gather an insight in all these cultural extravaganzas.

A trip to India is a must for those seeking a paramount exposure to varied traditions, customs and cultures of the world’s greatest diversified society.

Go off the Beaten Track in Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Photo © Dennis Jarvis.

The culture of Cambodia has been strongly influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. The Angkor period lasting between the 9th and 14th century CE marked a golden age for the country during which it saw great advancement in its art, architecture, and music. Architects and sculptors of the Angkor era created many unmatched pieces of artwork that drew strong inspiration from mythical creatures of Hindu and Buddhist cultures – the Angkor Wat Temple is a great example of this era.

The country still holds an old-fashioned charm and the warm and hospitable people of Cambodia are its true treasure. A visit to this South-Asian country is sure to touch your heart.

Uncover the Mysteries of Buddhism in Bhutan

Bhuntan
Bhutan. Photo © Jean-Marie Hullot.

The world’s last remaining Buddhist kingdom, Bhutan, is known for its ancient Buddhist culture and traditions that have been successfully preserved to this day. Buddhism spread its roots in Bhutan during the 7th century CE, when many monasteries and Buddhist temples came into existence. For an ardent explorer, a trip to Bhutan is a must to get an insight in the country’s mystic cultures and customs. Artwork and paintings based on themes and legends related to life of Buddha give you a deep understanding of Bhutanese rich traditions. Uniquely shaped monasteries, temples and Dzongs with elaborate motifs, carvings and wall paintings boast of Bhutan’s exclusive architecture.

Festivities are an integral part of Bhutanese culture. Chaam dances, colorful costumes, and elaborate spread of traditional food and wine during these festivals display rich cultural heritage of this Himalayan country.

While Bhutan still maintains its ancient Buddhist traditions, it has whole-heartedly embraced modern development and advancement. Where other countries measure their progress through GDP, Bhutan measures it through ‘Gross National Happiness’ – no wonder why it is called the land of mysteries!

Learn about Pharaonic History in Egypt

Pyramids of Giza. Photo © Dungodung.

Egypt is known to be one of the earliest civilizations in the world with its history dating back 6,000 years or more. The country’s ancient treasures such as the Pyramids of Giza and temples of Luxor, Karnak, and Abu-Simbel, built during the time of the pharaohs, have drawn many tourists and history buffs. One of the biggest fascinations about Egypt is its legacy of mummies which can still be seen today in Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

Besides architecture, literature has also been an important part of Egypt’s culture. Symbolic writings can be seen on temple, tombs and pyramids walls.

Those with a keen interest in ancient civilizations will also find Egypt to be a paradise.

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Exhibitions Interviews

The Art of Ancient Dion

Enjoying a privileged and bucolic position on the eastern slopes of Mount Olympus, the ancient Greek city of Dion prospered for thousands of years as a sacred center for the cult of Zeus and as the gateway to Macedonia. Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus, now on show at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York, N.Y., examines the development and trajectory of Dion, from a small rural settlement to a thriving Roman colony, through the presentation of remarkable archaeological artifacts not seen outside of Greece.

ZeusHypsistos_7815
Cult Statue of Zeus Hypsistos 2nd century AD. Marble. H. 33.7 in; W. 18.1 in; D. 25 in (H. 85.5 cm; W. 46 cm; D. 63.5 cm). From Dion. Sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos, Cella. Archaeological Museum of Dion. Photo © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria, and the Dion Excavations. Courtesy Onassis Cultural Center NY.

In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. Dimitrios Pandermalis about this exhibition and Dion’s importance in the wider Greco-Roman world.

Categories
Photos Travel

Our Ancient Cyprus Travel Guide

Lying at the crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus has long been a meeting point for many of the world’s great civilizations. Situated where Europe, Asia and Africa meet, its location shaped its history of bringing civilizations together. Many powers conquered the island, and Cyprus was ruled in turn by the Hittites, the Egyptians, the Persians and the Greeks until it was absorbed by the Romans. Cyprus is also known as the “Island of Love”. According to mythology Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, was born from the foam of the sea on the south-western coast of Cyprus.

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Photos

Ancient Greek Temples of the Mediterranean

Here is another image post for you all to enjoy, today’s topic is the Greek temples!

Greek temples (naos – meaning dwelling place in reference to the belief that the god dwelt in that place, or at least temporarily visited during rituals) were places of formal worship. Each Greek community had its own sacred sites and temples which were looked after by priests.

The temple of Zeus at Nemea was constructed in c. 330 BCE and replaced an earlier temple which had stood from the 6th to 5th century BCE. Inside was a cult statue of the god. The temple was composed of an exterior Doric peristyle (6x12 unusually tall and slim columns) with an interior Corinthian colonade, topped by a second story of the Ionic order. There were no sculpted decorations on the exterior. It is regarded as the last of the great Doric temples of the Classical tradition. The temple measures a little over 20x42m, the material used is locally quaried limestone. Three of the now standing columns have stood since original construction (slighty darker colour), the others have been repositioned in the early 2000's CE using the orginal, fallen drums. Photo © Mark Cartwright.
The temple of Zeus at Nemea was constructed in c. 330 BCE and replaced an earlier temple which had stood from the 6th to 5th century BCE. Inside was a cult statue of the god. The temple was composed of an exterior Doric peristyle (6×12 unusually tall and slim columns) with an interior Corinthian colonnade, topped by a second story of the Ionic order. There were no sculpted decorations on the exterior. It is regarded as the last of the great Doric temples of the Classical tradition. The temple measures a little over 20×42 m, the material used is locally quarried limestone. Three of the now standing columns have stood since original construction (slightly darker colour), the others have been repositioned in the early 2000’s CE using the original, fallen drums. Photo © Mark Cartwright.
Categories
Education Interviews Photos

The Ancient Minoans of Crete

dolphins
A detail of the dolphin fresco, the Minoan palace of Knossos, Crete, (c. 1700-1450 BCE). Photograph taken by Mark Cartwright for Ancient History Encyclopedia. Uploaded by Mark Cartwright, published on 26 April 2012 under the following license: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

The Minoan civilization flourished on the Mediterranean island of Crete during the height of the Bronze Age (c. 2000-c. 1500 BCE). By virtue of their unique art and architecture, the ancient Minoans made significant contributions to the subsequent development of Western civilization. However, we still know less about the Minoans than the civilizations of Egypt or Mesopotamia. Professor Louise Hitchcock, an archaeologist specializing in Aegean archaeology at Melbourne University, introduces us to the world of the ancient Minoans and the importance of Aegean archaeology in this exclusive interview with James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE).

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Photos

Best Views of the Erechtheion in Athens

The Erechtheion temple of the Athenian acropolis was constructed between 421 and 406 BCE under the supervision of the architect Philocles. The temple was built to house the ancient cult wooden statue of Athena and as a shrine to other local gods such as the early Athenian kings Erechtheus and Kekrops, and Boutes and Pandrosos. Poseidon and Zeus also had sacred precincts within the building. The south porch has the iconic Caryatids which make the building one of the most distinctive surviving structures of antiquity.

The Erechtheion, named after the demi-god Erechtheus, the mythical Athenian king, was built using local Pentelic marble. The largest inner chamber housed the diiepetes, the olivewood statue of Athena Polias (of the city-state), clothed in the specially woven robe which was carried in the Panathenaic procession, held in the city every four years. In front of the statue stood a gold lamp designed by Kallimachos which had a bronze palm-shaped chimney and an asbestos wick which burned continuously. The sacred serpent (oikouros ophis), which was believed to be an incarnation of Erechtheus, dwelt in one of the western chambers and acted as guardian to the city. Well looked after, it was regularly fed with honey cakes.

The front facade of the Erechtheion.
The front facade of the Erechtheion.
Categories
Photos

8 Ancient Greek Temples

The temple in the ancient Greek world was perhaps the most recognisable building in the urban landscape. Typically constructed in an eye-catching location using the finest of marble, they were the focus of Greek religious practices and could house magnificent treasures and monumental stautes of the Greek gods on the inside and display some of the greatest of Greek sculpture on the outside. Built wherever the Greeks colonized across the Mediterranean world, they would go on to influence the Romans and, even today, their architectural features can be seen across the world in all manner of public buildings. To read more on temples see Ancient History Encyclopedia’s definition, Temples in the Ancient World.

Temple of Apollo, Naxos

The remains of the foundations, crepidoma and doorway leading from the prodromos to the cella of the 6th century BCE temple of Apollo on Naxos in the Cyclades. The doorway is 6m high and 3.5 m wide. The temple itself, as indicated by its surviving foundations, measured some 59 by 28 metres.
The remains of the foundations, crepidoma and doorway leading from the prodromos to the cella of the 6th century BCE temple of Apollo on Naxos in the Cyclades. The doorway is 6m high and 3.5 m wide. The temple itself, as indicated by its surviving foundations, measured some 59 by 28 metres.