Cambridge and British-American Concordia

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 of Pre-Christian Monuments in Mexico

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 […]

Dovecotes, Tradition and National Identity in Egypt

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 […]

Pompeii in the Popular Imagination

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 […]

An Egyptian Encounter in Denmark

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 […]