Digital Palmyra: Resources for Researching the Ancient City

Yesterday on the Forbes blog, I discussed recent attempts to reconstruct the ancient busts of Palmyra damaged by ISIS and repatriate them back to Syria. As I suggested in the post, such efforts highlight the import of digital methodologies such as 3D printing and photogrammetry, but also underscore art as an umbilical cord that allows usContinue reading “Digital Palmyra: Resources for Researching the Ancient City”

To The Black Sea And Back: The Late Antique Dura-Europos ‘Shield’ Map

  Dura-Europos is an ancient site on the Euphrates river in modern-day Syria. The objects excavated at the site by Yale University (later famously led by Mikhail Rostovtzeff), and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters during the 1920s and 1930s provide some of the most vivid wall paintings, mosaics, and material culture from the ancient worldContinue reading “To The Black Sea And Back: The Late Antique Dura-Europos ‘Shield’ Map”

The Argument Made By The Absence: On Whiteness, Polychromy, And Diversity In Classics

It has been a few days since I published a piece on my Forbes blog regarding the perception of whiteness and statues in antiquity. I knew when I started taking notes on the subject of polychromy many months ago that this column would likely cause a stir within the field, among colleagues, and online. I hadContinue reading “The Argument Made By The Absence: On Whiteness, Polychromy, And Diversity In Classics”

Numbering The Stars: Remembering the Contributions of Medieval Muslim Astronomers And Catalogers

This week over at the Forbes blog, I discuss the International Astronomical Union (IAU)‘s publication of an official catalog of 227 star names. The list was published this week in order to further standardize how we reference stars and constellations, since each one has had numerous monikers in Greek, Roman, Chinese, Arabic and many other languages over the many millenia thatContinue reading “Numbering The Stars: Remembering the Contributions of Medieval Muslim Astronomers And Catalogers”

Roma Aeterna: Open-Access Resources for Mapping the City of Rome

I travel a lot in order to do Pleiades workshops and discuss the role of mapping in both research and pedagogy. The #1 question I am asked is: How can I map the city of Rome? This morning, I thought I would give a bit of a run-down on how you can begin to interact withContinue reading “Roma Aeterna: Open-Access Resources for Mapping the City of Rome”

The Midas Touch: Alchemy in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras

It has been a splendid week doing talks and research in southern California (you can see all my slides for the talks here). One of the highlights of this trip was a special visit to the Getty in L.A. to see two adjacent exhibits (one at the Getty Museum and the other at the GettyContinue reading “The Midas Touch: Alchemy in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras”

Picturing the Patriarch: Resources for Finding Illustrated Papyri and the Case for Image Licensing

Ancient and medieval papyri not only transmitted text, some even held illustrations. Mathematical, scientific, and magical papyri often had accompanying images meant to enhance the understanding of a text or perhaps to depict someone being cursed. Some historical and literary papyri (e.g., those of Homer) had illustrations as well. I was reminded of this fact this morning,Continue reading “Picturing the Patriarch: Resources for Finding Illustrated Papyri and the Case for Image Licensing”

‘Bind His Hands’: Curse Tablets and Charioteer Magic in Ancient Sports

Over on the Forbes blog this week, I wrote a bit about how social anxiety can be viewed through magic. In the case of curse tablets involving charioteers, we see an incredible amount of energy invested in sports. The culture of athletic competition and rivalry in chariot racing is not all that different from theContinue reading “‘Bind His Hands’: Curse Tablets and Charioteer Magic in Ancient Sports”

Does NYC’s New 3D Printed Palmyra Arch Celebrate Syria Or Just Engage In ‘Digital Colonialism’?

Over on the Forbes Blog, I discuss the ethics of 3D printing antiquities and the developing practice of “digital colonialism.” These issues have come up yet again with the unveiling of the 3D replica of the Palmyra Arch newly erected in New York City. The problem is with the signage, the lack of methodological transparency, and absenceContinue reading “Does NYC’s New 3D Printed Palmyra Arch Celebrate Syria Or Just Engage In ‘Digital Colonialism’?”