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 in Japan as the figures seem to reflect the influence of the nearby Izumo region (presently the Shimane Prefecture), which had close relations with the Korean peninsula in ancient times. Please click here to read more about this discovery from Press TV.
The free-to-play browsergame Remanum has launched in English. In this massively multiplayer game the player takes the role of a Roman merchant who accumulates wealth and power, with the goal of becoming Roman Emperor. The game features a simulation of supply and demand in 20 historically important cities around the Mediterranean. Jan van der Crabben (the founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia) was lead designer on this game, so please give this free game a try!
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 culture thousands of years before the Voyages of Discovery. In October 2011, the Smithsonian Magazine contained an article with the latest research and theories about these mysterious and captivating people. Please click here to learn more and access the article.
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 canal systems; terraced farming; and advanced forms of land reclamation characterized Incan agriculture. Archaeologists and scientists are now drawing from Incan expertise to combat a variety of global climate problems. Please click here to this thought-provoking article.
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 CE), this show features rare and exquisite items belonging to the fabled Shahs of old Iran. Highlighted pieces include gilded plates and masterful bronze work. Please click here to read and learn more about this exhibition.
The New York Times has published an article about recent discoveries on the cultures of ancient nomads in the Eurasian steppes. The recent findings show that nomadic societies were no less developed than their sedentary counterparts, and that they simply developed a different und no less successful strategy for survival. Also, there is an exhibition on this subject titled Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, on loan from Kazakhstan’s four national museums.
The British Museum (London) is hosting the lecture Anglo-Saxon Art: Tradition and Transformation by Leslie Webster on Fri 20 Apr 2012 at 18:30. The lecture will trace this fascinating era of art and its recurring ideas and themes, as it changed from 5th-century metalwork to the magnificient illuminated manuscripts, ivories and sculpure of the 7th to 11th centuries. Admission price is £5 (£3 for members and concessions).
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.
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 also warriors and queens in their own right. Scholars like Cynthia Robin, a professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, agree with Patel’s findings and encourages further study. Please click here to read to this compelling article from Medill Reports Chicago: A Publication of the Medill School of Northwestern University.