The Theodosian Code and the Flight of the Curiales

The great literary works of antiquity are famous for their influence on the modern world – even our everyday speech is littered with idiomatic fragments of Homer, Virgil, the Bible – but there is a little-known work that has had a far greater influence on our society and institutions: the Theodosian Code. This was a... Continue Reading →

Ancient Beauty, Toxic Cosmetics

The timeless phrase, “beauty is pain” is one impressed into young mindsets at the earliest concept of self. However, what happens when the product we use to make ourselves beautiful has the opposite effect? Using modern cosmetics, we have all experienced this phenomenon. For example, when you try to cover a pimple with concealer only... Continue Reading →

The Body Modification Segment – The knife-handed mercenary: successful amputation and a functional prosthesis in the 6th century AD

This month’s blog post concerns a Medieval Longobard warrior, excavated between 1985 and 1993 from the necropolis of Povegliano Veronese (fig.1), and recently published in the Journal of Anthropological Sciences (Micarelli et al., 2018). Only a very small number of amputations are known from the archaeological record, and even fewer prosthetics. This fascinating case study provides... Continue Reading →

Landscapes and Memories

We have all heard of mnemonic devices in archaeology, objects that help recall memory. Over the years, however, there has been an increase in analysing landscapes themselves as mnemonic devices. I for one can vouch for this. I am not from Britain, and moving to a new city whose layout is something of a maze... Continue Reading →

National Park Service – African Burial Ground

Among all the history that occupies lower Manhattan, including Wall Street, Trinity Church, and the 9/11 Memorial, only one site has been designated as a National Monument: the African Burial Ground. This 0.35 acre memorial and museum marks the resting place of over 10,000 Africans and African Americans. Originally occupying over 6 acres, the cemetery... Continue Reading →

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