Scientific American: Geologists Measure Bullet Damage to Ancient Middle Eastern Settlements. “[Lisa] Mol, who specializes in rock art and rock deterioration, is now spearheading an initiative—the first of its kind—to quantify and catalogue the impacts of bullets in rock at a heritage site in the Middle East. The eventual goal is to inform efforts to conserve or repair such sites.”
The Keyword: Babylon and its treasures: preserving an ancient city. “Today, World Monuments Fund has joined forces with Google Arts & Culture to bring you Preserving Iraq’s Heritage, an online exhibit showcasing the unique stories of Iraq’s endangered heritage sites and the extraordinary efforts to preserve them. WMF has collected information about the sites, using never-before-seen 3D models, drone footage, interviews, and other media, and now, with today’s exhibit launch, anyone, anywhere, can experience these remarkable places, including sites previously known to only a few.”
CBC: Scientists call for protection of geological, historical sites on other planets. “A Canadian scientist is calling for action to protect significant geological and historical features on the moon, Mars, and other planets. Jack Matthews of Memorial University of Newfoundland says as nations and private companies increasingly explore and develop outer space, there’s a growing threat to extraterrestrial environments.”
Atlas Obscura: The Wit and Wisdom of Ancient Jewish Graffiti . “Starting some 3,000 years ago, Jews scratched walls at homes and public spaces with prayers, warnings, blessings on deceased relatives, and store advertisements. They even used graffiti to mark rows of theater seats that were reserved for Jewish groups. In the margins of the texts, they sketched outlines of ships, people, menorahs, and synagogue columns…. Dr. [Karen] Stern plans to create an online database of Jewish graffiti, which can be updated as more examples surface. ‘Sometimes it’s accidents that produce exciting finds,’ she says. People plowing fields or excavating basements still uncover ruins sometimes, where someone Jewish once engraved messages to grieve, scare away thieves, market local products or save seats for some cousins.”
The Verge: Google will help preserve endangered historical sites in virtual reality. “Google has partnered with 3D laser scanning nonprofit CyArk to help preserve historical sites around the world that are at risk of irreversible damage or total erasure due to human conflict and natural disasters. The joint effort, called the Open Heritage project, will use CyArk’s laser-scanning technology to capture all the relevant data at a historical site needed to re-create it virtually, so it can be preserved and explored online either on a computer, through a mobile device, or while wearing a virtual reality headset.”
Arab News: ‘Guardian of Nineveh’: Iraqi statue destroyed by Daesh recreated, showcased in the heart of London. “Daesh militants smashed the original to pieces in 2015, but it has now been recreated by Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz, using recycled cans that contained another treasure from Iraq — date syrup…. The sculpture was chosen from a shortlist of six and is part of a larger project by Rakowitz. The Chicago-based artist is gradually reconstructing the entire database of 7,000 works looted from the National Museum of Iraq in 2003 or destroyed at archaeological sites in the aftermath of the Iraq war.”
European Commission: Global digital archive provides accessible link to the past. “The ARIADNE project has created a registry of archaeological repositories and a portal to search and access them. At present, about 2 million records are retrievable. Users can filter their search by time period (e.g. the first century BC), place (e.g. Western Mediterranean), object (e.g. amphorae) and access a list of potentially relevant documents in several languages.” The link is via “Project website” at the very very bottom of the page.