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Photographs of some historical & archeological artifacts

Michael Faraday's chemical chest, 19th century.
The end of Darwin's walking stick.
Galileo’s original telescope.
Napoleon’s toothbrush, c 1795 (with engraved "N“ at bottom).
Carved Olive Pit, China (1737).
Throne of Charlemagne (790). Until 1531, it served as the coronation throne the Kings of Germany, being used at a total of thirty-one coronations.
Ishtar Gate, ca 575 BC. Built on the orders of Nebuchadnezzar II, it was a gate to the inner city of Babylon.
Tolkien's service weapon from WWI.
Breastplate, North Peru - A.D. 1000/1470. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Apr 27, 2014 - 33 comments

Western Digs: Dispatches from the Ancient American West

Western Digs is a source for "dispatches from the American ancient West." Posts are sorted into three main categories: Dinosaurs & Ancient Life (Paleontology, split into Dinosars, The Ice Age, Birds and All Fossils), Prehistoric Americans (Archaeology, split into Ancient Southwest and The Mississippians [Cahokia]), and Modern Artifacts (Historic Archaeology, including the subset The 20th Century). If you're not sure where to start reading, here are Western Digs’ Top 5 Paleontology Stories of 2013 and Western Digs’ Top 5 Archaeology Stories of 2013.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 30, 2014 - 5 comments

There’s a 1,200-year-old Phone in the Smithsonian Collections

There's a 1,200 year old string phone made out of gourds and twine, and it's the only one we have. It's from the Chimu, a culture in Peru that was later conquered by the Inca around 1470.
posted by shashashasha on Dec 8, 2013 - 29 comments

Do Iraqi-Jewish Treasures belong in Iraq or Elsewhere?

On Oct. 11, provided the government shutdown doesn’t interfere, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., will open an exhibit titled “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” On display will be some of the rarest of the materials that were salvaged from the flooded basement of the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence service. All told, the collection contains an estimated 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents that once belonged to the Jews of Baghdad, who, until they began to flee for Israel in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, constituted one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back more than 2,500 years. - In the chaos of the 2003 war, remnants of a once-thriving Jewish past were saved (or stolen?) by America. Where do they belong? [more inside]
posted by beisny on Oct 7, 2013 - 75 comments

When the snow melts

The BBC reports that 6000-year old clothing, bows and arrows have been found under melting snow in Norway. Earlier reports with different photos. Meanwhile, Archaeology has a longer article about "the race to to find, and save, ancient artifacts emerging from glaciers and ice patches in a warming world". And glacial archaeology is becoming so much of a thing that it's getting its own scholarly journal.
posted by Athanassiel on Aug 29, 2013 - 26 comments

To Secure, Contain and Protect

The SCP Wiki catalogues dangerous or anomalous objects, people and concepts. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Jul 22, 2013 - 145 comments

FEAR THE ARTICHOKE KING

The History Of New York In 50 Objects (NYT)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 5, 2012 - 29 comments

19th Century Prostitution

A Guide to Houses No Gentleman Would Frequent, and more artifacts of history and archaeology that shed some light on the largely-unwritten world of nineteenth-century prostitution in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, and Paris, among other locales. Lest it appear too amusingly salacious, the miserable side.
posted by Miko on Aug 13, 2012 - 5 comments

Bort's Sploopers by Arv Malbert

Always backed by the 12th Street Rag, Marv Albert has brought us "wild and wacky moments in the world of sports (compiled by his crack staff and producer Dave Katz)" for just under thirty years. [Caveats: Some dates are approximate. Some of the more famous clips appear multiple times. Hockey violence, boxing referees getting hit, borked slides into third, etc.] And we start with the early 80's — 1984: a b1985 — 1985-86: a b c1986 (in review) — 1987: a b c d1988 (in review) — 1989: a bReview of the 80'sEarly 1990's1997 — 1999's Wild and Wacky Millenium2008200920102011first half of the 2011 NFL seasona 30-minute compilationanother compilationbaseball compilation
posted by not_on_display on May 14, 2012 - 20 comments

It's Warhol, actually. It's "hole." As in "holes." Andy Warhol.

Did you know that there's an art museum on the moon? A tiny, tiny one. The Moon Museum features works by Forrest "Frosty" Myers (the instigator), Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, David Novros, and John Chamberlain, inscribed on a little chip of silicon and surreptitiously transported to the moon's surface on the Apollo 12 mission. But of course there's a mystery, in this big of a secret: who is John F., the engineer at least partially responsible for smuggling the chip onboard the lunar lander? Related: other stuff people have left on the Moon (!)
posted by fiercecupcake on Nov 22, 2010 - 19 comments

Australian history through objects

Objects Through Time tells the story of immigration and the changing ethnic diversity of New South Wales, Australia through "movable heritage" - that is, artifacts and objects with historical resonance. While almost ignoring 50,000 years of aboriginal occupation, the site does a nice job of both familiar topics through a fresh lens (e.g., Captain Cook's "secret instructions"), but also takes pains to look at those lesser known topics which may be more accessible through material culture than through texts. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Sep 14, 2010 - 7 comments

Malaysia Design Archive

The Malaysia Design Archive: Understanding Malaysian history through Graphic Design. "This project is an attempt to trace, map and document the development of graphic design in Malaysia. It is also a project to highlight the importance of archiving as a way to protect and preserve our own visual history. What is our design history? Do we have one?" Examine Malaysian movie posters; discover the visual detritus of an old jail; peruse political artifacts; explore the country's visual history from Colonialism, through Occupation, Emergency, and finally, Independence. [via DO]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 31, 2010 - 4 comments

Things To Be Found On The Moon

Things To Be Found On The Moon
posted by yegga on Sep 9, 2009 - 53 comments

Make mine Laudanum!

Steampunk is OK, but I prefer Victorian Lowbrow.
posted by JoanArkham on Aug 18, 2009 - 17 comments

A three-thousand-year-old ruin with its own web site

Archaeologists find a pottery fragment with the oldest known example of written Hebrew at the Elah Fortress(YT) in Israel - or maybe not [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Oct 31, 2008 - 8 comments

Libraries: delicious!

Libraries are neat. The New York Public Library has uploaded a collection of menus dating from 1851 to 1956 thanks largely to the efforts of collector Miss Frank E. Buttolph, a "mysterious and passionate figure whose mission in life was to collect menus" and whose unique collection aroused the interest of the NYT of her day (1, 2).
posted by prefpara on Jul 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Come, visit Rome as it once was.

In my quest to fulfill a jones for antiquity, I came across some Roman Numismatics. There are many great photos of Roman artifacts to be found here. Monetary, military, scroll down, click and scroll some more. It's almost as if ancient Rome has come back to life. (Some art is NSFW)
posted by snsranch on Jan 24, 2008 - 2 comments

Porcelain Shrine.

A Mountain of Broken Toilets (1250kb jpg). Brought to you by the relentless Recycle Guy (home of undiscovered literary gem The Brown Sheet. Previously
posted by squalor on Mar 20, 2007 - 21 comments

A strange and wonderful medley

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation The University of Oxford's Griffith Institute has put together a fantastic digital collection of records documenting Howard Carter's excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun, including ninety-three pages of photographs taken by Harry Burton during the excavation. You can also read Carter's diaries and eyewitness accounts of the excavation.
posted by LeeJay on Jun 6, 2006 - 11 comments

The Moche

The images on the ceramics were thought to be mythical narratives, imagery the priestly class used to underscore its coercive power. Without proper archaeological evidence, the representations were too horrific to take literally. They depicted gruesome scenes of torture: captives skinned alive, drained of blood (which was drunk by priests in front of them), throats slit, bodies decapitated and left to the vultures, bones meticulously defleshed and hung from ropes.

Unfortunately for the victims, these bloody rites actually happened. They took place in an otherwise vibrant and highly advanced culture, a culture renowned for its artists and builders. These were a people who developed advanced agricultural knowledge, extremely sophisticated metallurgy, and built the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure in the Americas. Because they had no written language, though, it is by their ceramics that we know them best.

The Moche.
posted by crumbly on Jan 25, 2006 - 27 comments

Ancient cities of Iraq

Iraq is full of fabled ancient ruins, many in bad shape, but which still fire the imagination. Some highlights: Ur, birthplace of Abraham, still contained many beautiful artifacts when it was last excavated in the 1920s. Then there is vanished Cunaxa, near Baghdad's airport, where the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries, fought their way back to Greece in a 1,000 mile, two-year-long retreat described by Xenophon in the Anabasis (and which served as the inspiration for cult films/games and bad science fiction alike). The ruins of the city of Nineveh were discovered in the 19th century just across the river from Mosul, containing art confirming elements of the Biblical account of the conquests of King Sennacherib. Most famously, the ruins of Babylon (not much to look at, the best bit being in Berlin) have seen much abuse, from Saddam's awful rebuilding of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar to reports of recent damage by coalition troops.
posted by blahblahblah on Jan 11, 2006 - 15 comments

Smithsonian Water Stains

Smithsonian's latest exhibit includes catastrophic leaks that are damaging priceless treasures. Many items have been destroyed beyond repair and the problem seems to be getting worse. Will certain history be wiped out for good because officials lacked foresight?
posted by Guerilla on Aug 25, 2005 - 17 comments

The Smash of Civilizations

'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.'
The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
The Smash of Civilizations
posted by y2karl on Jul 8, 2005 - 11 comments

A late 19th century chastity belt for a Welsh goat?

What is that thing?
posted by taz on Jun 27, 2004 - 18 comments

Archeology motherlode in Utah

Artifacts were lying on the ground untouched for more than 1,000 years.
For sixty years Waldo Wilcox, a rancher in Utah, kept people off his land about 130 miles South of Salt Lake City. The reason was a string of prehistoric indian settlements that stretch 12 miles. (more inside)
posted by wsg on Jun 25, 2004 - 13 comments

Looting Asia's antiquities

The trade in stolen Asian relics is booming. TIME reports on how cultural sites are being looted and precious artifacts smuggled overseas. Sometimes they're returned, but much of Asia's cultural heritage is being lost.
posted by homunculus on Oct 26, 2003 - 9 comments

Search portal for Nazi-stolen art

The Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal "...to provide a searchable registry of objects in U.S. museum collections that were created before 1946, and changed hands in Continental Europe during the Nazi era (1933-1945)." Families who had art confiscated by the Nazis can search US collections for it here.
posted by liam on Sep 8, 2003 - 2 comments

-

A dissappearing history. The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters.
posted by the fire you left me on Apr 12, 2003 - 58 comments

fetishes

Thogchags, Tsha tshas, Netsuke, or ???... What's your favorite fetish?
posted by pekar wood on Dec 12, 2002 - 14 comments

Cuneiform artifacts for cheap!

Cuneiform artifacts for cheap! "Iraq's economic collapse means the oldest writing in the world can be bought for a song on eBay -- and has scholars racing to digitize Sumerian artifacts before they become paperweights." I've always wanted an original Epic of Gilgamesh cuneiform tablet to decorate the mantel with.
posted by homunculus on May 12, 2002 - 4 comments

In search of the real Cleopatra:

In search of the real Cleopatra: an exhaustive collection of artifacts exploring the history and the myth of the Queen of the Nile is currently on display at the British Museum. It will run through August 26. (The exhibition will travel state side and be at the Field Museum in Chicago from October 20 through March 3, 2002.)
posted by tamim on Apr 13, 2001 - 5 comments

Archaeologists wonder where Afghanistan's antiquities have wound up, if they still exist.

Archaeologists wonder where Afghanistan's antiquities have wound up, if they still exist. There is not much left to see inside Kabul Museum these days. Once a priceless repository of ancient Buddhist, Persian and Greek artifacts, during the civil war the museum changed hands several times and in the process was looted of nearly everything in the collection. Not only did Afghanistan's war claim 1.5 million lives, it also swallowed up the country's history.
posted by lagado on Dec 30, 2000 - 0 comments

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