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Rijksmuseum aquires 1st photo illustrated book by 1st female photographer

The Rijksmuseum has acquired an extremely rare copy of the first photographically illustrated book, a compendium of British algae created and privately published by botanist Anna Atkins. The museum bought the book from a private collector for €450,000 ($500,000) with funding from the lottery and family foundations. These were contact prints, technically photograms rather than [...]

Ashmolean aquires unique Civil War painting

The Ashmolean Museum has acquired an exceptional group painting by Civil War-era court painter William Dobson. It was acquired through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which allows donation of nationally significant artworks and antiquities in place of payment of taxes owing, and allocated to the Ashmolean because of the painting’s unique relevance to Oxford during [...]

Nodosaur fossil so well-preserved it boggles minds

A dinosaur fossil that was discovered in a bitumen pit in Alberta, Canada, in 2011 is the best-preserved specimen of a nodosaur ever discovered, and it is truly a spectacle to behold. The herbivore died between 110 and 112 million years ago in a riverbed and was swept to sea where it was swiftly buried [...]

Back in Cyprus

So, after a lengthy travel day of Pittsburgh to Toronto to Athens to Larnaca, I arrived in Cyprus on Monday. I really did not do much other than check into a hotel and wait for Bill to arrive. Once he … Continue reading ?

Edward Hopper in Motion

It’s the 50th anniversary of Edward Hopper’s death today. To celebrate the realist painter’s oeuvre, Orbitz (yes, the discount travel site) has created animated versions of nine of his most recognizable and iconic works. I generally enjoy attempts to add dimension to stills or artworks, for instance the recent trend in documentaries to give a [...]

A Persian Slave - An Excerpt from "A Heroic King"

The Persian civilization in the 6 th and 5 th century BC was extremely sophisticated and produced wonderful works of art and literature. Persia was also an aggressive power and crushed the Ionian revolt brutally. In the following excerpt, the impact of that defeat is illustrated through the eyes of a youth. Show More Summary

National Museums Scotland gets Galloway Hoard for £1.98 million

The Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR) has allocated the Galloway Viking Hoard to the National Museums Scotland (NMS) on the condition that they make an ex gratia payment of £1.98 million ($2,550,000) to the finder Derek McLennan who discovered the hoard in 2014. NMS has until November of this year to raise the sum. [...]

Tomb with 17 mummies found in Minya, Egypt

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb containing at least 17 mummies near Minya, Upper Egypt. The tomb was found more than 25 feet under the village of Tuna al-Gabal where a number of necropolises have been unearthed containing the mummified remains of animals. This one contained some animal coffins (baboons) too, but the stand-out finds are [...]

Unknown Caxton leaf found in university archive

A two-sided page from a 15th century priest handbook printed by William Caxton has been discovered in archives of the University of Reading. Written in Medieval Latin, the leaf was part of a book called the Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye, a manual for priests on managing feast days for English saints during the ecclesiastical [...]

Ammonite’s epic final drag mark immortalized

Every once in a great while, a track or drag mark left by a long-dead animal is discovered in the fossil record. The most commonly found ones are known as mortichnia and are the traces of arthropods, bivalves, fish and other animals left just before their death. The longest mortichnial trackway recorded is 9.7 meters [...]

Girl found in coffin under San Francisco home identified

Last year, construction workers digging underneath a garage in San Francisco unearthed a child’s coffin. The bronze casket was three-and-a-half feet long and had two leaded glass windows, a popular design in the Victorian era for those who could afford it. Through the windows the well-preserved body of a little girl could be seen. She [...]

Mongoose on a leash identified in Middle Kingdom tomb

The Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) was one of the many animals in the Egyptian bestiary that figures in tomb decorations going back to the Old Kingdom. They were depicted mainly in hunting scenes, stalking their prey in the swampy riverlands, climbing a papyrus stalk to snatch hatchlings from a nest, feasting on a fish in [...]

Mode Persuasive Cartography collection digitized

Persuasive cartography is decidedly more the former than the latter. Its aim is to sell a product or influence opinion using the aesthetic allure and/or the impression of scientific rigour conveyed by maps. The actual science of mapmaking — accurate renditions of land masses, roads, structures, topographical features — isn’t the point except insofar as [...]

7,000 bodies from asylum may be buried under Mississippi campus

In 2013, workers building a new road on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson unearthed the remains of 66 individuals buried in pine coffins. These were remains of patients of the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, in operation between 1855 and 1935, who had been buried in an area of [...]

Rare 17th c. Dutch wall map of Australia emerges at auction

James Cook’s detailed exploration and mapping of New Zealand and eastern Australia during his first voyage (1766-1771) would overshadow the more limited Dutch efforts from more than a century earlier, but the first Europeans to sight and make landfall on the Australian continent and surrounding islands were the Dutch. The first European to step foot [...]

Preview Rome’s San Giovanni subway museum

After six years of delays caused by constant archeological discoveries, the first station of Rome’s new Metro C line is complete. The San Giovanni station near the Papal Archbasilica of St John in Lateran was unveiled to the press this week. The subway stop won’t be open to the public until the end of the [...]

First-ever funerary garden found in Luxor

Archaeologists from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have discovered the first-ever funerary garden at the entrance of a Middle Kingdom (1980-1790 B.C.) tomb on the Draa Abul Naga hill on Luxor’s west bank. Egyptologists have known about these gardens from iconographic depictions on tomb walls and at the entrances to tombs, but this is [...]

Restoration of Mausoleum of Augustus begins

Remember when I wrote that article on the history of the Mausoleum of Augustus, how it got to its current derelict condition and how the mayor of Rome planned to get a restoration started by the end of the year to coincide with the 2000th anniversary of Augustus’ death? That was 2014. The restoration did [...]

24 Bronze Age axes found in Norway

The first finds were made by metal detecting brothers Joakim and Jørgen Korstad on January 25th of this year. Scanning a field in the village of Hegra, about 25 miles east of Trondheim, Norway, they discovered nine socketed axes (known as Celts), a spearhead, a casting mould and a fragment that may be a piece [...]

Rodin’s unique Absolution on display for the first time

Absolution, a unique and mysterious work by Auguste Rodin, has gone on display at Paris’ Musée Rodin for the first time since its creation in around 1900. Very little is known about this sculpture. There is no documentation about it the artist’s archives, and he never made a marble, terracotta or bronze version of it. [...]

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