A series of ten articles at the BBC News Magazine by Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf tracing the stories of ten antiquities and cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria: (1) The Winged Bull of Nineveh; (2) The Temple of Bel; (3) Tell of Qarqur; (4) Aleppo’s minaret; (5) The Lion of al-Lat; (6) Mar Elian Monastery; (7) Al-Ma’arri: the unacceptable poet; (8) The Genie of Nimrud; (9) The Armenian Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Deir al-Zour; and (10) Looted Sumerian Seal, Baghdad. [more inside]
Five years ago, if archaeologists digging up pharaonic ruins in Egypt found any human bones, they would usually throw them away. “Most Egyptian archaeological missions looked at human remains as garbage,” said Afaf Wahba, a young official at Egypt’s antiquities ministry. Now, however, a new generation of Egyptian archaeologists, including Wahba, are pushing to reform the ossified ministry for antiquities. [more inside]
The British Museum has published on its frequently informative blog a call for citizen archaeologists to help digitize its Bronze Age Index via a crowd-sourcing site called MicroPasts, which uses the open source PyBossa crowd-sourcing framework that also powers Crowdcrafting. The results will eventually be integrated with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (previously), which features a gigantic image database of finds categorized by period (e.g. Bronze Age or Medieval) and object type (e.g. coins or brooches).
The Works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi: high-resolution scans of all of Piranesi’s etchings. Also, the plates from Les Ruines De Pompei by François Mazois (1812-38), and, the complete 9-volume Le Antichità di Ercolano Esposte (The Antiquities discovered in Herculaneum) published in Naples from 1755-62. Also, at the same site (UT-PICURE: the Center for Research on Pictorial Cultural Resources, at The University of Tokyo), images from the Stibbert Collection of Japanese costume.
Vitrum: Glass Between Art and Science in the Roman World, an exhibition hosted by the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, describes the use of glass in different areas of Roman life: technology, daily life, architecture, and science. Each of the items in the themed galleries is linked to a large, high-resolution image; some beautiful examples of 2000-year-old glass include: a decorative glass hexagon, a blue glass cup from pompeii, and a striped mosaic glass cup.
Pyramids as old as the ones in Egypt found in Peru. Actually, they're more like ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia but hell anyway they're just as old as their Middle Eastern counterparts. Here's a bit more on the Americas' oldest city.
"The marbles belong to the British Museum ... which does not intend to return any part of the collection to its country of origin," PM Tony Blair ruling out the return to Greece of the so-called "Elgin" marbles, the stone carvings that were unceremoniously hacked off the Parthenon by the Earl of Elgin and carted back to Britain. Nearly 200 years later and despite years of Greek protest, the British Museum is not budging and has maintained thoughout that it has been protecting these antiquities from almost certain destruction (although their own record in this regard has not been great). Should museums today be returning treasures that have were obtained though such looting?