Shirley Jane Temple Black, actress and US Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, has passed away, aged 85.
Master Builder Uncovers Striking Similarities In Indian and Incan / Mayan Sacred Structures:- It is Sthapati's theory that Mayan, the creator of Indian architecture, originated from the Mayan people of Central America. In Indian history, Mayan appears several times, most significantly as the author of Mayamatam, "Concept of Mayan" which is a Vastu Shastra, a text on art, architecture and town planning. The traditional date for this work is 8,000bce. Mayan appears in the Ramayana (2000bce) and again in the Mahabharata (1400bce) - in the latter he designs a magnificent palace for the Pandava brothers. Mayan is also mentioned in Silappathikaram, an ancient Tamil scripture, and is author of Surya Siddhanta, one of the most ancient Hindu treatises on astronomy. (Original ca. 1995) [more inside]
"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces (SLNatGeo)
HappeningRightNow-Filter: New York's Wordless Music Orchestra is premiering an orchestral arrangement of William Basinki's Disintegration Loops live from The Temple Of Dendur. Stream here.
A court-mandated opening of some secret chambers at the Sree Padmanabhaswami temple in Kerala - family temple of the ruling royals of the former Kingdom of Travancore - has led to the discovery of a treasure estimated to be worth billions of dollars.
The Jungle. Made in 1967 and awarded a Documentary Film Award at the Festival de Popoli, Italy, The Jungle is a short film made in Philly by Harold Haskins and the 12 & Oxford Film Corp. Re-discovered a few years back through Temple University’s Urban Archives.
Digital Karnak documents and digitally reconstructs "one of the largest temple complexes in the world." The site includes digital models, photographs, a "time map" (allowing you to see alterations to the site under different pharoahs), and video. For projects devoted to more specific areas of the temple complex, see the Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project (University of Memphis) and the Mut Precinct (Brooklyn Museum).
When you think of Hinduism, you probably don't think of suburban Lilburn, Georgia, yet it is home to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, at over 30,000 square feet the largest Hindu temple in the world outside of India. The beautiful temple was assembled from 34,000 pieces of Turkish limestone, Indian pink sandstone, and Italian Carrara marble hand-carved by some 1500 craftsmen in India, then shipped to Georgia, where about 900 volunteers put in over a million man-hours to bring the architects' vision to fruition (YT), at a cost of about US$19m. [more inside]
Herod's Temple, originally an expansion on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Now a retired farmer has spent 30 years building a scale model of it
Chanukkah is the story of a group of warriors (the Maccabees, later the Hasmoneans, led by Mattathias) who rose up against the Greeks (the Seleucids), united the Jews, reclaimed the Temple (Beit HaMikdash), and then lit one day's supply of oil which miraculously lasted for eight days, started a brand new holiday called Chanukkah, and brought Jewish sovereignty and peace to the land of Israel. Except that almost every part of that story is either wrong or completely misleading. [more inside]
浄閑寺—Jokanji, the "Throw Away" Temple "From the street, it looks like many other Tokyo temples, but behind the new main building is an old cemetery that has one particular point of interest, a crypt and monument to twenty-five thousand prostitutes interred there."
Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? "Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization."
Those familiar with the plaintive falsetto of Delta blues great Skip James will surely hear Skip's influence in the much lesser-known Johnny Temple's Evil Devil Blues, recorded in 1935, which features some delightfully unexpected melodic twists. And though Johnny Temple "never achieved stardom", he does have a Wikipedia page. [more inside]
The Temples of Damanhur. Behold the Eighth Wonder of the World (according to the Italian government). [Via Boing Boing.] [more inside]
Sales of all sacraments will cease during the Sabbath from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday evening.
Temple 420 is in trouble. Founded by Craig X. Rubin, (marijuana technical consultant for HBO's "Weeds"), the church gives marijuana to members (in exchange for a suggested donation). Memberships are available for $100 per year. After a poisoning investigation last fall, the LAPD investigated and subsequently raided the church. A judge has ruled that Rubin is not protected under federal law, since he faces state charges.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a masterpiece of exotic design and workmanship that rises above the grey commuterland of north-west London. Made out of 5,000 tonnes of Italian marble and Bulgarian limestone and hand-carved, Europe's first traditional Hindu temple represents the ancient Indian traditions, arts and philosophies. It may not be the largest traditional temple outside India, but it certainly is the most beautiful. Deities and motifs spring from the walls, ceilings and windows, representing the faith and beliefs of a people that date back over 8,500 years.
14-century old Japanese business folds. How often does one get to type that?
Roman Cosmetics Found at Temple Dig: Stunningly well preservered, the cream still bears the fingerprints of whoever used it last, almost 2,000 years ago.
Greek Temple Architecture: They were houses--houses for cult statues, storehouses of treasures given to the gods--they were not churches. Worship consisted, by and large, of sacrificial ritual--animal sacrifice: killing animals and eating them, for the most part--and, hence, it was done out of doors. The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook's Accounts of Hellenic Religious Beliefs and Accounts of Personal Religion give additional flavor and context. Greek religious architecture evolved from wooden structures and was tradition bound--they built in stone as they had in wood according to variations on a traditional canon called the orders, first and foremost, the Doric Order , the Ionic Order and the Corinthian Order. Here are some restorations. I love restorations, on paper or models rather than at the actual sites. The first in a series.
Khajuraho. History and extensive galleries on the Indian temple site (built in the tenth century) famous for its erotic sculptures. (Not suitable for work, and the front page contains a warning that it is not suitable for under-21's). (more inside)
The new Mormon Temple in Snowflake Arizona is temporarily open to the public before its dedication next month, however the Masonic-like rituals that take place inside are still top secret. Shhh, don't tell.
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona is a breathtaking masterpiece. Most of the pictures are worth clicking to see the full view. (And the virtual tour with IPIX is pretty cool. Make sure you pan around.)
Whew! It's okay folks, no evidence found of desecration of Jewish remains at the Temple Mount. "It wasn't the Muslims who destroyed the Temple,'' [Archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov] noted acerbically. "It was Titus.''
Gives a whole new poignancy to the term 'hosed'. Hearing about this sort of destruction always makes me feel like time is running out to see the world's wonders before they're gone.