Google Blog: Explore the undeciphered writing of the Incas

Google Blog: Explore the undeciphered writing of the Incas. “‘Khipus,’ which means ‘knots’ in the Quechua language, are the colorful, intricate cords made by the Incas, who inhabited some parts of South America before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. These knotted strings are still an enigma waiting to be unraveled. What secrets are hidden in these colorful knots dating back centuries? What messages from the Incas echo in these intricate cords? Could the ancestral knowledge they hold inform us about our future?

Live Science: Book of the Dead fragments, half a world apart, are pieced together

Live Science: Book of the Dead fragments, half a world apart, are pieced together. “The two linen fragments were pieced together after a digital image of one segment was cataloged on an open-source online database by the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Historians at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles who saw the image quickly realized that the institute had a shroud fragment that, like a puzzle piece, fit together with the New Zealand segment.”

Ars Technica: Archaeologists recreated three common kinds of Paleolithic cave lighting

Ars Technica: Archaeologists recreated three common kinds of Paleolithic cave lighting. “Lighting sources could indeed hold vital clues to the different ways prehistoric peoples used caves, according to a new paper by a team of Spanish scientists, published in the journal PLOS ONE. They conducted in situ experiments with three different kinds of Paleolithic lighting sources in the hopes of shedding some light (pun intended) on what those various illumination methods might tell us about the emergence of ‘human symbolic and artistic behavior’ in the form of cave art.”

Shine (China): A Silk Road journey from antiquity to today

Shine (China): A Silk Road journey from antiquity to today. “The annual Silk Road Week will run from June 19 to 24 at the China National Silk Museum, offering professionals the opportunity to share their Silk Road stories and the latest research…. On June 18, the museum will launch the Silk Road Online Museum, a digital platform partnering with 40 museums from home and abroad. The digital museum will greatly expand the space for exhibits at the brick-and-mortar museum and build a bridge for sharing collections and hosting online exhibitions.”

University of Southern Queensland: Unexplored Aboriginal rock art to share secrets of the past

University of Southern Queensland: Unexplored Aboriginal rock art to share secrets of the past. “It’s one of the richest bodies of rock art in the world but parts of the Laura Sandstone Basin in Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula have been virtually unexplored by archaeologists – until now. As one of 11 specialists from around Australia, University of Southern Queensland Professor of Archaeology/Anthropology Bryce Barker is a Chief Investigator on a research project, that promises to have profound findings about Australia’s past through the recording of unique rock art.”

Mind Matters News: How A Searchable Database Is Helping Decipher A Lost Language

Mind Matters News: How A Searchable Database Is Helping Decipher A Lost Language. “There was once a flourishing civilization on the island of Crete called the Minoan culture (3000–11100 B.C.). Two languages are associated with it, Minoan A and, later, Minoan B. Minoan B was deciphered but Minoan A has remained a mystery that has ‘tormented linguists for many decades,’ as Patricia Klaus puts it. Deciphering it would give us a window back as far as 1800 BC.”

China .org: Digitization helps to build online library of historical tomes

China .org: Digitization helps to build online library of historical tomes. “For the 26th World Book and Copyright Day last week, 10 Chinese libraries jointly released the digitized editions of over 1,700 volumes of ancient Chinese books. This is the fourth expansion of the national database of ancient Chinese books since it went online in 2016. The database was launched by the National Center for Preservation and Conservation of Ancient Books, headquartered at the National Library of China in Beijing.”

ARTNews: U.S. Government Seeks Forfeiture of Roman Statue That Was Allegedly En Route to Kim Kardashian

ARTNews: U.S. Government Seeks Forfeiture of Roman Statue That Was Allegedly En Route to Kim Kardashian. “A newly filed lawsuit reveals that, in 2016, the U.S. government seized an ancient Roman statue that was allegedly being delivered to Kim Kardashian. In the suit, filed on April 30 in the United States District Court of Central California’s Western Division, the U.S. government called for the forfeiture of the ‘illegally imported’ statue, which resembles the lower half of a person draped in fabric. The lawsuit, filed in rem (or against the statue itself), was first reported on Twitter by Robert Snell, a writer for the Detroit News.”

The Vintage News: The Project That Could Turn Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphs into Emojis

The Vintage News: The Project That Could Turn Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphs into Emojis. “Writing on their website last year, Unicode announced a National Endowment for the Humanities grant enabling the Maya Hieroglyph Project. Its goal is to make historical communications ‘accessible to both expert and non-expert user communities through creating an annotated digital archive.’ Dr. Gabrielle Vail is in charge of the team, which focuses on the Classic period of 250–900 CE.”

NEW Online Exhibition: Rarely Exhibited Greek Pottery (University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology)

University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology: NEW Online Exhibition: Rarely Exhibited Greek Pottery. “This online exhibit, in two installments, illustrates examples from the Museum’s extensive collection of Greek pottery, most of which has not been exhibited in recent history. The first installment encompasses the Bronze Age to the Orientalizing period, ca. 2700–530 BCE.” The quote is from the PDF announcement.

Departures: New Virtual Experience Will Take You Back 2,000 Years to Visit Ancient Roman Ruins

Departures: New Virtual Experience Will Take You Back 2,000 Years to Visit Ancient Roman Ruins. “Virtual visitors can explore incredible landmarks like the 2,000-year-old Temple of Jupiter that’s perched on 3,000-ton stone blocks (it weighs more than the pillars of Stonehenge). The Temple of Bacchus—one of the best-preserved temples in the ancient world—is also on the Sanctuary tour. Those ruins are some of the most incredible examples of ancient architecture in the entire Roman empire. You’ll get to make a total of 35 stops along the virtual journey.”

Hyperallergic: Listen to the Sounds of an 18,000-year-old Conch

Hyperallergic: Listen to the Sounds of an 18,000-year-old Conch. “Music elites better table your ukuleles and unplug your theremins; science is bringing the noise with the newest in niche musical instruments. Or, more accurately, one of the oldest. A massive conch shell, unearthed by archaeologists in 1931 amid the remains of the Upper Paleolithic Marsoulas cave society, has been recently determined to be a musical instrument.”

San Antonio Report: Archaeologists have recorded 233 ancient art sites along Texas’ border with Mexico. Now they want to discover the meanings behind the murals

San Antonio Report: Archaeologists have recorded 233 ancient art sites along Texas’ border with Mexico. Now they want to discover the meanings behind the murals. “Shumla, a Comstock-based nonprofit focused on locating, studying and preserving the rock art of the lower Pecos River region, has created a virtual library to help researchers interpret the ancient art, much of it located in rough, inaccessible terrain or on private ranchlands. Launched in 2017, the Alexandria Project is a detailed digital archive of 233 rock art sites in the limestone canyonlands carved by the Pecos and Devils rivers and the Rio Grande.”

Getty: See the Faces of People Who Lived in Egypt under the Roman Empire

Getty: See the Faces of People Who Lived in Egypt under the Roman Empire. “In Egypt, it was customary to mummify the deceased and create a likeness of them, often in the form of a mummy mask or an anthropoid (human-form) coffin. From the first to third centuries AD, after Egypt had become a province of the Roman Empire, the traditional practice of mummification continued but a new trend also arose: some individuals chose to be represented in portraits painted on thin wooden panels or linen burial shrouds that were affixed to their mummy wrappings. These mummy portraits were part of ancient Egyptian traditions and their preparations for the afterlife…. Discover more about these mummy portraits and the stories they tell, in the new Google Arts & Culture exhibition: Faces of Roman Egypt.”