Welcome to my humble abode. Medieval doorway in the late antique “Arch of Janus”, Rome. Photo: TMK, April 2009.
I’m writing this from the Classics Faculty Library at Cambridge, where I’ve taken up residency for the next six months, thanks to the generous support of EliteForsk. My reason to write, however, was a recent piece in The Independent that revealed the design of Tony Blair’s congressional medal, awarded in 2003 but still not presented […]
The destruction and mutilation of pre-Christian monuments played an important and very tragic role in the Spanish conquest of the cultures of modern Mexico. Notoriously, the monuments and temples of Tenochtitlan were demolished in such a thorough fashion that very little of the once glorious city remained visible until the discovery of the Templo Mayor […]
Portrait of Mubarak, Abdine Palace Museum, Cairo. Photo: TMK, May 2008. Dovecotes are not only an omnipresent part of many Egyptian landscapes. They are also very much part of the national identity of modern Egypt, as seen for example in the above portrait of Mubarak in the Abdine Palace in Cairo. It shows a contemplative […]
With this photo of one of Diego Rivera’s magnificient murals from a recent visit to Mexico City, I wish my readers a happy New Year. In Rivera’s vision of the Communist utopia, religion has been abandoned and a headless idol features prominently. Detail of “Man, Controller of the Universe” in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, […]
A panorama from the Fry’s Electronics store in Fountain Valley: I especially enjoyed the paintings from the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii behind the check-out counter.
The casts of those who unsuccesfully tried to escape from Vesuvius‘ eruption in AD 79 are always of interest to visitors to Pompeii. They offer an opportunity to study voyeurism and the human fascination of horror (see also Jennifer Wallace on this topic). The ‘Casts Project’ intend to do just that by inviting anyone to […]
To celebrate the Christmas season, I thought I would share an act of iconoclasm that in a way is re-enacted in many corners of the world at this time of year. It is the story of how Saint Nicholas of Sion cuts down a ‘Christmas’ tree. Except that this tree is possessed by a demon […]
I’ve waited a little while after my Katyn post to write about a truly bizarre website I found through RC. Here is how Headless Historicals present their own project: Inspired by history, Headless Historicals™ dolls portray famous and not-so-famous men and women at both their very best and very worst. All of these dolls were […]
The current issue of Public Archaeology is a special issue, edited by Peter Ucko, on “Living Symbols of Ancient Egypt“. This is a field of research that has experienced a surge of interest recently, notably in the “Encounters with Ancient Egypt” series (also edited by Ucko), Lynn Meskell’s “Object Worlds in Ancient Egypt“, as well […]