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Archive for the ‘Anthropology’ Category

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New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) is engaged in a long-term archaeological research program to investigate the history of north Abydos, an area the ancient Egyptians viewed as having an extraordinary significance. The aim is to build a comprehensive understanding of the full range of ancient activity at the site, how this changed over time, how the meanings attached to the site were expressed and evolved, and how Abydos relates to the broader context of Egyptian history and culture.

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Artstor Digital Library and the American Museum of Natural History are collaborating to share approximately 400 images of objects from the Museum’s Division of Anthropology and approximately 880 historical photographs from the Research Library’s Photo Archive.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its foundation in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition.

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Joan Miró | Untitled | 1956 | Dickinson College: The Trout Gallery | © 2012 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Joan Miró | Untitled | 1956 | Dickinson College: The Trout Gallery | © 2012 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Artstor has collaborated with The Trout Gallery, the art museum at Dickinson College, to share more than 8,000 images of works in its permanent collection in the Digital Library.

The museum houses the college’s collection of art and anthropological artifacts, which spans ancient through contemporary periods. The collection comprises thousands of objects, with particular strengths in American and European prints from the 19th through 20th centuries, as well as photography, West African sculpture, Asian art, and Native American and Oceanic objects. (more…)

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Daniel Meader | Marionette Head and Torso | Image and data from Detroit Institute of Arts

Daniel Meader | Marionette Head and Torso | Image and data from Detroit Institute of Arts

By Mark Branner, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Nigerian | Puppet: Ekon Society | Seattle Art Museum; seattleartmuseum.org

Nigerian | Puppet: Ekon Society | Seattle Art Museum; seattleartmuseum.org

I have the great privilege of teaching an introductory college-level course on puppetry. Even though it is an introductory course, it is actually classified as an upper division course, which means that I generally have juniors and seniors straggling in, looking for an easy “basket-weaving” escape. There are even sniggers from some of the participants when I ask them why they are in the class. This is all pretty understandable. Just put the words together: “College. Puppets.” Already it feels like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. No, we’re not saving the world (or destroying it) through biomedical engineering. We’re not planning a manned mission to Venus. We’re studying puppets, for crying out loud. What’s the earthly value in that?

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artstor_logo_rgb2Georgetown University’s James J. O’Donnell is contributing 22 images of Deir Mar Musa, a monastic compound north of Damascus, to the Artstor Digital Library.

Deir Mar Musa began as a Byzantine watchtower, served as a medieval hermitage and modern monastery, fell into disrepair and neglect, and was then brought back to life a few years ago as a monastic community and place for Christian and Muslim Syrians to meet in mutual respect. O’Donnell’s photographs document the site and its murals, which date ca. 11th-13th centuries.

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Mochica | Vessel with sea lion and feline(?) |  A.D. 500-750 | Image © Princeton University Art Museum

Mochica | Vessel with sea lion and feline(?) | A.D. 500-750 | Image © Princeton University Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum and ARTstor are now sharing approximately 600 images from the museum’s encyclopedic collections in the Digital Library. This is the first release of an approximately 10,000 projected images.

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Lippo di Andrea | Scenes from the Life of Saint Cecilia; detail of Death of the Saint | Santa Maria del Carmine (Florence, Italy) | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; scalarchives.com; artres.com

Lippo di Andrea | Scenes from the Life of Saint Cecilia; detail of Death of the Saint | Santa Maria del Carmine (Florence, Italy) | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; scalarchives.com; artres.com

Anne C. Leader, Professor, SCAD-Atlanta

While the primary motivation for patrons of religious architecture and decoration was to gain or retain God’s grace, Florentine tomb monuments manifest a conflicting mix of piety and social calculation, reflecting tension between Christian humility and social recognition. Though some city churches still house many tombs, most of the thousands of original monuments have been moved, reused, or survive only in fragments. From the mid-thirteenth-century onward, Florence’s churches, both inside and out, were carpeted with floor slabs, coated with wall monuments, banners, and markers, and filled with stone caskets. Benefactors hoped to secure perpetual intercession for their souls, while preserving and promoting their family’s honor, with families typically installing tombs in multiple locations around the city. My research reconstructs the rich mosaic of tomb markers that once covered the floors, walls, and yards of the Florentine cityscape to bring us closer to how Florentines experienced the deaths and memories of their kin, friends, and competitors in the early modern city.

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Placido Costanzi |Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria; 1736-1737 | The Walters Art Museum

Placido Costanzi |Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria; 1736-1737 | The Walters Art Museum

Marlene Nakagawa, Undergraduate student at the University of Oregon

During his ongoing series of campaigns, Alexander the Great founded or renamed nearly twenty cities after himself. From Pakistan to Turkey, these cities stood as a representation (as if one was necessary) of his omnipresence in the ancient world. Over the centuries, most of the Alexandrian cities have been destroyed, renamed, or absorbed into other territories. However, west of the Nile Delta stands Alexander’s lasting triumph: Alexandria, Egypt’s largest seaport and a dynamic force in the country’s ancient and modern economy.

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Nina de Garis Davies | Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor, Tomb of Amenherkhepeshef | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nina de Garis Davies | Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor, Tomb of Amenherkhepeshef | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A mystery from nearly 3,200 years ago has been solved: Conspirators murdered Egyptian king Ramesses III by cutting his throat, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal. Furthermore, the investigation suggests that one of his sons was involved in the murder.

The fate of the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty was long the subject of debate among historians after the discovery of papyrus trial documents revealed that members of his harem had made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup in 1155 BC.

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Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive; mayavase.com

Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive; mayavase.com

As you’ve probably heard, people across the world have been worrying that the world will end on December 21, 2012, influenced by some recent interpretations of Popol Vuh, a 16th-century narrative about the origins, traditions, and history of the Maya nation. Thankfully, NASA scientists recently debunked this and other apocalyptic predictions.

But don’t let the fact that the world is not about to end damper your interest in Mayan artifacts! The ARTstor Digital Library features more  than 500 fascinating photographs of Pre-Columbian artifacts from Justin Kerr and Barbara Kerr that shouldn’t be missed. The collection consists of still and rollout photographs of vases, plates, and bowls from the various cultures of Mesoamerica. The rollouts—which show the entire surface of an object in a single frame—were made by photographer Justin Kerr with a camera he designed and built. The objects in the collection depict a variety of everyday Mayan activities and religious concepts, and stem from archaeological sites, museums, and collections throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the United States, Canada, and Europe. View the collection here.

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