Year: 2013

Reconstructing Cuisines and Recipes from the Ancient World

The reconstruction of ancient recipes challenges experimental archaeologists and chefs alike, while concurrently offering unique glimpses into the culinary tastes of diverse ethnic groups. Ms. Laura Kelley, author and founder of The Silk Road Gourmet blog, analyzes the links between recipes, civilizations, and trade across great distances and over long periods of time. As a frequent traveler, Laura first noted the commonalities between recipes and cooking methods, which in turn provided the catalyst for her research as an independent scholar. In this interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Laura about her interest in cooking — past and present — as well as how she has been able to reconstruct recipes from ancient Central Asia, Mesopotamia, and Rome.

Ancient Mesopotamia: Inventing and Reinventing Our World

Three successive civilizations — Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian — flourished along the “Fertile Crescent” in ancient Mesopotamia for thousands of years. Renown for their creativity, dynamism, and complexity, these cultures also provide the earliest models of civilization in the West. This fall, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, Canada is celebrating the remarkable achievements and artistic sophistication of ancient Mesopotamia in a landmark exhibition: Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World. In this interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. Clemens Reichel, Associate Curator at the ROM, about the importance of these civilizations, and of how we can better assess and understand their legacy in modern times.

AHE Listed as an “Indispensable Resource” for Online Academic Research

We are excited to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia has been listed as one of 105 Indispensable Resources for Online Research by OnlinePhDProgram.org. Academic research is at the heart of any masters or doctoral program of study. While in-depth research was once confined to reference libraries and organizations with access to copies of academic journals, much of the work of original research can now be done virtually. Major repositories of academic research — like JSTOR and LexisNexis — can be searched comprehensively online, and even Google has an easy-to-use scholarly search engine. Online libraries, journals, databases, and academic search engines are great resources for graduate students, as well as people at any level of education who are conducing research projects. OnlinePhDProgram.org is dedicated to helping future doctoral candidates find the right program that meets their needs, desires, and goals. Their site offers helpful blog posts, articles, and a wealth of other information that can answer your questions about doctoral programs. We thank them for their inclusion of AHE in their list!

AHE Recommended by Tijdschrift Origine

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) was recently profiled and recommended by the prominent Dutch fine arts magazine, Tijdschrift Origine (Nummer 3 2012, Jaargang 21). Based in Haarlem, Tijdschrift Origine provides independent, expert analyses on the international art sector, covering antiques, design, art history, and the protection of cultural patrimony. We applaud and thank them for helping bring increased public attention to the fine and applied arts, worldwide. Here is part of the review in Dutch: “On the internet is a new virtual encyclopedia for old (art) history: the Ancient History Encyclopedia. The English language site is fully independent and relies primarily on volunteers and voluntary contributions. Within the site are many articles as well as encyclopedic entries about classical antiquity. AHE also provides historical maps on their site. [The Ancient History Encyclopedia’s] search engine provides several specific searches by topic, time period, architecture, wars and battles. In preparing this [précis], ORIGINE counted 381 articles and more than 2,000 images. Of course, that number is rapidly growing. Furthermore, there …

Meet the Tarascans: Fierce Foes of the Aztecs

At the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico (1519-1521 CE), two empires dominated the political and cultural landscape of Mesoamerica: the Aztec Empire and the relatively unknown Tarascan State. The Tarascans were the archenemies of the Aztecs, carving an empire of their own in the contemporary Mexican states of Michoacán, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Querétaro, Colima, and Jalisco. At the center of the Tarascan State was the splendid capital city of Tzintzuntzan–“the place of the hummingbirds”–located alongside Lake Pátzcuaro. From this religious and administrative center, the Tarascan cazonci or “king” ruled a multiethnic empire of 72,500 square kilometers (45,000 square miles), matching the Aztecs in might and power. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. Claudia Espejel Carbajal — professor of History at El Colegio de Michoacán (COLMICH) — an expert on Tarascan ethnohistory and archaeology.

Support AHE through Reading!

If you love reading AHE’s definitions, articles, and special features, you should know that you can order books on ancient history and support us directly! Books on multiple subjects can be bought through AHE’s book section via Amazon (US/UK) or Book Depository (which offers free international delivery). With every book order, AHE receives a small commission of around 5%, helping us provide you with the best, free ancient history content on the web. Take a look at our book search and compare prices to get the best deal. We provide the listing and link to Amazon or Book Depository, where you finalize your purchase(s). Thank you for your support and happy reading!