Ancient History et cetera

The Rock Relief of Harir (Hareer), Iraqi Kurdistan

by Osama S. M. Amin December 28, 2015 Education 0 Comments

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I was attending a neurology symposium in Erbil (Hawler), the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. ِAfterwards, I headed to one of my relatives’ to pay him a visit; my family was with me. My relatives insisted we should stay in their home and spend a couple of days with them. And I thought, why not! At night, I surfed the net about rock reliefs in Iraqi Kurdistan and found one result that told of a relief in the village of Hareer called Rock Relief of Harir (Arabic: منحوتة حرير; Kurdish: نه خشي هه رير). I wondered what it was. I tried desperately to find any additional useful information about this relief, but I was unsuccessful!

Friday, September 26, 2014

My relative, Dana Hiwa and I drove my car to the village of Hareer (or Harir; Arabic حرير; Kurdish هه رير). It was north to the city of Hawler about an hour and a half by car (36°33’48.47″N; 44°20’53.52″E). As there were no clues, I was not able to find the precise location of the relief. I asked many local villagers about it; they were somewhat suspicious and I received no answer. Finally, around 1:00 PM I called my dear friend, Mr. Hashim Hama Abdullah (director of the Sulaymaniyah Museum). He replied positively and told me that an archaeologist who lived nearby could help me out; Mr. Hashim phoned him. After five minutes the archaeologist, Mr. Hemin Rashid called me and asked where I was. He arrived in 15 minutes.

The village of Hareer (Harir), Erbil Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan. Shooting from Mountain Hareer.

The village of Hareer, Erbil Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan. Shooting from Mountain Harir. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin

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My Top 10 Favourite Posts from AHetc Contributors

Hi everyone, I am Jade Koekoe, blog editor of AHetc. As an end of year treat I thought I would share with everyone my 10 favourite blog posts of 2015.

10 Hidden Ancient Treasures in Caria

The Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos at Labraunda overlooking the plain of Milas, Caria, Turkey. Photo © Carole Raddato.

The Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos at Labraunda overlooking the plain of Milas, Caria, Turkey. Photo © Carole Raddato.

I love learning from people who have visited a place before me, this is why Carole Raddato‘s 10 Hidden Ancient Treasure in Caria, is top on my list. Carole provides a brief history of each place on her list and details the site’s significance today. This article is a truly wonderful guide for people wanting to travel to Caria in future. Carole has also written a similar post for AHE about Provence, France.

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Happy Holidays & 2015 Summary

by Jan van der Crabben Behind the Scenes 0 Comments

Happy Holidays Wide

Dear Readers!

Once again, it’s that time of year. Most of our readers are ready for the festivities of Christmas, gathering with their families, and enjoying a festive moment. Most of our team will do the same, and we wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

2015 in Review

It’s time to look at what we’ve achieved in 2015… Quite a lot, in fact! It’s been a very good year for Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Let’s have a look at some numbers, with comparisons to last year:

Reach

  • We’re now the #1 ancient history website and the #4 general history website in the world
  • Surpassed 1,000,000 monthly unique readers, currently 1.7 million
  • Served a grand total of 12,184,308 unique readers on Ancient History Encyclopedia, helping them learn about ancient history (+82%)
  • Served a grand total of 65,442 unique readers on Ancient History et cetera, sharing our love of history (+216%)
  • Grew our newsletter to 5,100 subscribers (+200%)
  • Our content has been widely and repeatedly cited by publications such as:
    – National Geographic
    – BBC
    – New York Times
    – Time
    – CNN
    – Huffington Post
    – Guardian
    – American Spectator
    – Vox.com
    – IFL Science

Content

Organisation

  • We have five new team members, more than in any other year
    – Dominique Chapman – Photo Editor
    – Fiona Richards – Advertising Sales
    – Ibolya Horvath – Editor
    – Jade Koekoe – Blog Editor
    – Milad Alshomary – Programmer
  • More than doubled our monthly revenue

Social Media

  • 30,000 followers on Twitter (+500%)
  • 19,200 followers on Flipboard (+380%)
  • 13,000 followers on Tumblr (from zero)
  • 10,000 followers on Instagram (from zero)
  • 6,000 followers on Google+ (+140%)

Now we’re eagerly looking forward to 2016, as we’ve already got exciting plans for the next year, focussing on more, better, and more diverse content!

Thank you for following and supporting Ancient History Encyclopedia!

Happy Holidays!

Kind regards,

Jan van der Crabben
CEO & Founder
Ancient History Encyclopedia

Art and Sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of Hypnos

This week’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of Hypnos, the Greek god of Sleep.

Marble head of Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep, 117-138 AD, Hadrian’s Villa, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome

Hypnos is represented as a young man with wings attached to his temples (now lost). The head must have been part of a full length statue showing Hypnos running forwards, holding in his hands poppies and a vessel from which he presumably poured a sleeping potion. One of the most complete representations of Hypnos is a bronze statuette from the collection of the Roman Museum in Augst (see an image here).

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Viking Age Food and Cuisine

VikingdrinkingAlenogphoto_LovisaOlsson

A Viking reenactor drinking ale. (Photo by Lovisa Olsson.)

An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook & Culinary Odyssey by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg introduces readers to Viking Age food and cuisine from early medieval Scandinavia. Thoroughly based on archaeological finds, historical cooking methods, and current research, the book is a must-read for those interested in Old Norse culture and food history. Within its pages, the authors dispel many of the prevalent myths that persist about Viking Age food and cookery, share reconstructed recipes, and impart new information drawn from years of experimental research in the field.

In this exclusive 2015 holiday season interview, Daniel Serra discusses Viking Age food and Old Norse culture with James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE).

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Art and Sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The Lansdowne Antinous

This week’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of Antinous depicted as the god Dionysos, the closest Greek equivalent to the Egyptian god Osiris. It was  unearthed in 1769 during excavations undertook by the art dealer and archaeologist Gavin Hamilton who secured it for Lord Lansdowne. The latter was an avid collector of antiquities and owned a fine collection of classical sculpture until most of it was sold and dispersed in 1930 (including the Lansdowne Amazon and the Lansdowne Hercules). Today the Lansdowne Antinous graces the “Greece and Rome” room of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England.

Marble bust of Antinous portrayed here as the reborn god Dionysus, known as Lansdowne Antinous, found at Hadrian’s Villa in 1769, c. 130 – 138 AD, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (UK)

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Ancient Hairstyles of the Greco-Roman World

Tetradrachm with Apollo from Leontini, 435-430 BCE. The American Numismatic Society (1997.9.121). This silver coin together with coin no.19 span part of the ancient Greek-speaking world, from Leontini in Sicily to Alabanda in Asia Minor (modern western Turkey). The head of Apollo in profile on the obverse, or front, of marks the wide popularity of this perpetually youthful Olympian god. Greek adult men would ritually cut their hair and grow a beard, but Apollo, whose long hair is often described as golden, defines the ultimate appearance of an ephebe, a beardless adolescent. Apollo wears a wreath of leaves from a laurel, a tree associated with the god’s oracle and cult at Delphi. According to Greek myth, its origins lie in the story of the beautiful nymph Daphne (the Greek word for laurel), who was transformed by Zeus into a laurel tree in order to avoid Apollo’s ardent and unwanted advances. Her long tresses became the tree’s branches. The story was recounted, among others, by the ancient Roman poet Ovid in the Metamorphoses.

Tetradrachm with Apollo from Leontini, 435-430 BCE. The American Numismatic Society (1997.9.121). Greek adult men would ritually cut their hair and grow a beard, but Apollo, whose long hair is often described as golden, defines the ultimate appearance of an ephebe, a beardless adolescent. Apollo wears a wreath of leaves from a laurel, a tree associated with the god’s oracle at Delphi.

From the dawn of civilization to the present day, human hair has seldom been worn in its natural state. Whether cut, shorn, curled, straightened, braided, beaded, worn in an upsweep or down to the knees, adorned with pins, combs, bows, garlands, extensions, and other accoutrements, hairstyles had the power to reflect societal norms. In antiquity, ancient hairstyles and their depictions did not only delineate wealth and social status, or divine and mythological iconography; they were also tied to rites of passage and religious rituals. Hair in the Classical World, now on view at the Bellarmine Museum of Art (BMA) in Fairfield CT, is the first exhibition of its kind in the United States to present some 33 objects pertaining to hair from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity (1500 BCE-600 CE). The exhibition takes the visitor on a rich cultural journey through ancient Greece, Cyprus, and Rome, in an examination of ancient hairstyles through three thematic lenses: “Arrangement and Adornment”; “Rituals and Rites of Passage”; and “Divine and Royal Iconography.”

In this exclusive 2015 holiday season interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to Dr. Katherine Schwab and Dr. Marice Rose, art history professors in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University, who teamed up to co-curate this unprecedented exhibition.

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Reading Ancient History: Reference Books

In today’s blog post we’ll be looking at Ancient History Reference books particularly five excellent ones which will help any reader to understand the ancient world around the Mediterranean.

The Oxford Classical Dictionary

Oxford

First published in 1996.

If there was ever a book that covered just about everything there was to know about Roman and Greek cultures, this is it. This is the 4th edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary and it contains around 75 new additions. Though a weighty tome each student studying the classics should have this as a reference book for their studies!

Buy it here through AHE’s bookstore.

 

 

 

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Exploring Verulamium, the Roman City of St Albans (UK)

Anyone with an interest in Roman Britain should have St Albans on top of their list of places to visit. I myself visited St Albans twice and enjoyed it on both occasions. A short train ride north of London, St Albans is a must-see site. There are a few remains of the Roman town still visible (Verulamium), such as parts of the city walls, a hypocaust in situ under a mosaic floor, but the most spectacular are the remains of the Roman theatre.

In its heyday Verulamium was the third largest city in Roman Britain. The city was founded on the ancient Celtic site of Verlamion (meaning ‘settlement above the marsh’), a late Iron Age settlement and major center of the Catuvellauni tribe. After the Roman invasion of 43 AD, the city was renamed Verulamium and became one of the largest and most prosperous towns in the province of Britannia. In around AD 50, Verulamium was granted the rank of municipium, meaning its citizens had “Latin Rights”. It grew to a significant town, and as such was a prime target during the revolt of Boudicca in 61 AD. Verulamium was sacked and burnt to the ground on her orders but the Romans crushed the revolt and Verulamium recovered quickly.

Verulamium about 300 AD showing large town houses surrounded by gardens (Artist impression of Verulamium by John Pearson)

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Gold Artifacts from the Ancient Philippines

Vessel in the form of a kinnari. Surigao Treasure, Surigao del Sur province. Ca. 10th–13th century. Gold. H. 4 ¾ x W. 2 15/16 in. (12 x 7.5 cm). Ayala Museum, 81.5189. Photography by Neal Oshima; Image courtesy of Ayala Museum. An object uncovered by Berto Morales in 1981.

Vessel in the form of a Hindu kinnari. Surigao Treasure, Surigao del Sur province. Ca. 10th–13th century. Gold. H. 4 ¾ x W. 2 15/16 in. (12 x 7.5 cm). Ayala Museum, 81.5189. Photography by Neal Oshima; Image courtesy of Ayala Museum. An object uncovered by Edilberto Morales in 1981.

The kingdoms of the ancient Philippines were populated by advanced societies with superior metallurgical technology long before the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan and Spanish explorers in 1521 CE. This fall, New York City’s Asia Society Museum presents an exhibition of spectacular works of gold — including exquisite regalia, jewelry, functional and ritualistic objects, ceremonial weapons, and funerary masks — from collections in the Philippines and United States: Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. Adriana Proser, Senior Curator at Asian Society Museum, about the ways in which this exhibition underscores the place and importance of ancient Philippine craftsmanship and metallurgy.

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