Author: Jan van der Crabben

Palmyra in Photos: Ancient Gem of Syria

Palmyra (also known as Tadmor) is mentioned frequently in the news, as the so-called Islamic State is advancing on this ancient gem of a ruined city in Syria. The formerly prosperous metropolis of Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with good reason. From 44 BCE to 272 CE, the city became a wealthy trade centre at the crossroads between Roman, Greek, and Persian cultures. Located in an oasis in the Syrian desert along key trade routes across the ancient world, it was an important hub for trade, and many caravans passed through this city, increasing its wealth. Its architecture and arts reflects this mix of styles and economic wealth.

Help get Ancient History Magazine off the ground!

There is a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of launching a new ancient history magazine! We find that a worthy cause, so we’ll let the publishers speak for themselves: Ancient History Magazine is a new magazine from Karwansaray Publishers. Karwansaray is an independent publishing house in the Netherlands. We specialize in the publication of historical books and magazines for a large, interested and informed audience. Our most well-known publication is Ancient Warfare, a bimonthly magazine on the military history of the ancient world. Ancient Warfare is currently in its ninth year and we are edging toward publication of the fiftieth issue, later this year. Four years ago, Ancient Warfare got a little brother: Medieval Warfare, which covers warfare in the period between ca. AD 500 and 1500. At the same time we also took over publication of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, and turned it into a very successful wargaming magazine. Ancient History Magazine – or AHM for short – will be similar to Ancient Warfare, except that it will explore the whole of the ancient world …

Destruction in Syria & Iraq

Ancient History Encyclopedia is shocked, saddened, and deeply disturbed by the indiscriminate damage done to ancient artifacts at the Mosul Museum, Assyrian architecture at Nineveh and Nimrud, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hatra by the Islamic State / ISIS / ISIL. The protection and preservation of ancient artifacts and sites is one of AHE’s chief causes, and the destruction of these unique cultural items is a irretrievable loss to the entire world. AHE strongly condemns these senseless and brazen acts of extreme vandalism and denounces too the destruction of religious sites and places of worship in Iraq and Syria. The protection of the world’s shared cultural heritage is a most noble cause, and it is our hope that it becomes one of yours in light of recent events. AHE additionally condemns the crimes against humanity carried out by the Islamic State and the Assad Regime. The mass displacement of the Syrian people, the extreme persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, and the use of barrel bombs on civilian targets appal and horrify us. …

Looking for Youtube Channel Presenters

We are excited to announce that Ancient History Encyclopedia (http://www.ancient.eu) is teaming up with Past Preservers (http://pastpreservers.com) to create a Youtube channel of online history broadcasting, and we’re looking for presenters! Are you interested in becoming a presenter in the medium of the future? Do you have a passion for history and you want to inspire the digital generation to learn more about history? Then please get in touch! We’re looking for one male and one female presenter who are dynamic, passionate and excited about digital broadcasting. Our film crew is located on the US East Coast (NYC area), so geographical proximity is a must. Recent studies show that online broadcasting (not TV) is where tomorrow’s audience goes for information and entertainment. This is a unique opportunity to get involved in what could become the number one channel in the future of online historical broadcasting! If this sounds like something you would like to be part of, please email a copy of your CV (resume), two recent pictures and a short video clip telling us a little …

Senebkay, first Pharaoh to die in Battle

In collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities, a University of Pennsylvania team discovered new evidence on the life and death of pharaoh Senebkay, founder of the 16th Dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. The pharaoh’s skeleton’s forensic analysis performed by researchers directed by Dr. Josef Wegner indicated that the reason behind the death of this king was due to a number of wounds received during a fierce battle from multiple assailants or an ambush. The skeleton was found by the Pennsylvania mission in 2014 inside the King’s tomb in Abydos, Suhag Governorate, declared Dr. Eldamaty, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities.

Taposiris Magna Stele: Another Rosetta Stone

The SCA Archaeological Mission in collaboration with the Catholic University of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) working at the Taposiris Magna site succeeded in discovering a limestone stele inscribed with Hieroglyphic and Demotic inscriptions. The Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Eldamaty stated that the discovered stele contains 20 Hieroglyphic lines with royal cartouches of king “Ptolomy V” whom the stele was inscribed during the seventh year of his reign. Cartouches of Ptolomy’s wife and sister, Queen “Cleopatra I”, his father, King “Ptolomy IV” and his wife “Arsinoe III” also appear. The Demotic inscriptions that lie at the bottom of the stele consist of five lines of a text that seem to be a translation and a copy of the previous Hieroglyphic lines. Eldamaty added that the stele is a 105 cm. length, 65 cm. width and 18 cm. thick. A Significant Discovery The Antiquities Minister stressed that the importance of this discovery lies in the different scripts forming it, resembling the Rosetta Stone which was inscribed in the ninth year of king “Ptolomy V” ‘s reign which means two years …

Attila, the Scourge of God

The Creative Assembly has produced a short documentary on Attila the Hun to celebrate the launch of their latest historical computer game, Total War: ATTILA (also read our interview with the game’s lead designer). This seven minute film summarizes the life of Attila, his achievements, his cruel reputation, and his legacy. The documentary mixes narrative by Dr. Paul Harrison with 3D footage and historical reenactors.   Continue reading for more videos and background information on the game Total War: ATTILA.

Meet Apotheon

  Ancient history is becoming more and more popular in gaming, but you rarely find a game that truly tries to bring ancient history to the modern world. Enter Apotheon, an indie game developed by the small team at Alientrap games, which looks like an animated scene from ancient Greek Black Figure Pottery. The game not only looks ancient, but it also uses the correct ancient names for items (the hero’s sword is a xiphos), and there are quotes from ancient writers included in the game. As you might expect from a computer game set in ancient Greece, you save all of humanity by wrestling with gods on Mount Olympus… Epic, in short. It’s a nod to the side-scrolling games of the early 90s, along the lines of Commander Keen or Great Giana Sisters, and it would be fair to compare it to recent hits like Trine. Metacritic currently gives it a score of 82%, which is pretty decent for an indie game, but it’s not a huge hit either. We haven’t played it here at Ancient History et cetera yet, but we’re definitely interested! And we’ll try …

Survey for a new Magazine

Ancient Warfare magazine is looking into starting a new magazine about ancient history in general. They are running a survey to better understand what their audience wants, which will help them to decide on whether they should launch the magazine or not. This is, of course, right up our alley… so we thought you might like to give your input, too. Here’s what they have to say: For some time, we’ve had an idea here in the office about starting a new magazine, one devoted more generally to the ancient world. It would, therefore, be broader in scope than Ancient Warfare and cover topics such as ancient politics, society, economics, religion, and culture (art and architecture, and so on). The new magazine – which we’re tentatively calling Ancient History Magazine or AHM for short – will have a format similar to Ancient Warfare. This means that each issue will focus on a particular theme and will be richly illustrated throughout with full-colour photos and custom artwork. We are currently aiming for 60 pages for each …

Defining Beauty Exhibition

The British Museum in London has just announced an upcoming exhibition that’s right down our alley: Defining beauty – the body in ancient Greek art. The exhibition is on from 26 March to 5 July 2015. Tickets are priced rather heftily at £16.50 (children and museum members go free, discounted tickets are available). Pre-booking is already available, as these types of exhibitions often fill up quickly.