Year: 2012

The Mysterious Ancient Puebloan Peoples (Anasazi)

The American Desert Southwest has some of the most impressive prehistoric ruins and artifacts in the world. Thousands of archaeological sites, spread about across the American states of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, testify to the presence of a advanced civilization: the “Anasazi” or the Ancestral/Ancient Puebloan peoples. Long revered and venerated as the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni, and other Puebloan dwellers, this remarkable civilization, characterized by its impressive architecture, sophisticated systems of irrigation, and understanding astronomical phenomena, flourished from c. 600-1300 CE before mysterious vanishing. In wake of their “rediscovery” by archaeologists over 100 years ago, many questions still remain as to how they were able to create a civilization in such a harsh climate and why their decline was so sudden. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia took the time to speak with Dr. David E. Stuart, a renown expert on the Ancient Puebloans and Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, and two of his research assistants, Ms. Jenny Lund and Ms. Christine …

INTERVIEW: The Zamani Project and Dr. Heinz Rüther

The Zamani Project attempts to record the “spatial” domain of African patrimony by recording its physical, architectural, and natural dimensions. The documentation project was initiated to increase international awareness of African heritage and provide material for research while, concurrently, creating a permanent and accurate record of important sites for restoration and conservation purposes. The spatial data acquired by The Zamani Project is made available worldwide and augmented with contextual non-spatial data by ALUKA. The Zamani Project was an initiative of the Geomatics Division of the University of Cape Town and is currently supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The endeavor, founded as “The African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes Project,” developed out of years of heritage documentation activities by the project‘s Principal Investigator, Professor Heinz Rüther. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks with Professor Heinz Rüther about the project, ancient Africa, and the need for the conservation of Africa’s patrimony.

Interview: From Bactria to Taxila–New e-Resource on Ancient Central Asia

Central Asia can be thought of as the “core region” of the Eurasian continent, stretching from the Caspian Sea to western China, the rugged mountains of Pakistan to the extensive steppes of southern Russia. Misunderstood, understudied, and oftentimes a front line between empires and geopolitical rivals, ancient Central Asia rarely receives the attention afforded to neighboring India, China, and Persia. Sensing the need for a composite resource focused solely on this compelling part of the world, Antoine Simonin, a long time contributor to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, built From Bactria to Taxila to fill this glaring void on the web. In this interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia, speaks to Antoine about the launch of his new e-resource webpage and why Central Asia is “off the radar” for most ancient historians and specialists.

Maya 3D Interview

We just had the pleasure of interviewing Mathias Kohlschmidt and Martin Gruhn, the founders of Maya3D. Together with their team of programmers, 3D artists, and historians they have recreated several ancient Maya cities in 3D and turned this into a series of interactive iOS TimeTours apps. These apps are meant to serve as both an educational instrument and an on-site travel guide at the same time. We believe that initiatives like this show us a glimpse of how the future of history education might look like.

“Medieval Histories”: A Wonderful Resource

Although we focus on “ancient history,” we love all history! One resource we enjoy a great deal is Medieval Histories. It is managed by a renown historian and ethnologist in Denmark. It is an invaluable resource with interesting articles, a stream of news reports, exhibition highlights, and a beautiful seasonal e-magazine. Be sure to check it out! We promise you will not regret it!

Campaigning Across the Ages: An Interview with Professor Philip Freeman

How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians is the latest publication by Professor Philip Freeman, the Orlando W. Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa. In 64 BCE, Marcus Cicero (106-43 BCE) ran for consul and faced the challenge of a lifetime: winning the highest office in the Republic. Fortunately, his younger brother, Quintus Cicero (102 – 43 BCE), was able to impart advice on managing a successful political campaign: The Commentariolum Petitionis. Although the Cicero brothers lived an age in which politics was localized and intensely personal, Quintus’ short maxims to his brother delineate many political truths still valid in modern times. Accessible and entertaining, Freeman translates an “unashamedly pragmatic primer.”

Clava Cairns Article by Joshua Mark

Our own Joshua Mark has just published an article about the mysterious Clava Cairns structures in Scotland. Please read his article at The Celtic Guide Magazine. Here’s an brief excerpt: “Over 4,000 years ago our ancestors raised huge megaliths and positioned them in the earth with care. Sites such as The Ring of Brodgar in Stenness, Orkney, or the famous Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, mystify and enchant visitors from around the world today. There are many other more modest sites, however, which reward a visitor’s time and effort just as much as these more famous places and, perhaps, more so. Five miles east of the city of Inverness, Scotland, just down from Culloden Moor, rests one such site: the Balnuaran of Clava – popularly known as Clava Cairns….”