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Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

Sloebewrries or Blackthorn Berries – Prunus spinosa (image public domain) By Patrick Hunt – Otzi the Iceman from the Alpine Tyrol, found at the Similaun-Tisjoch summit of the Otztal Alps in 1991, is now the most famous...

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Long Live Leonardo (at 500)

Leonardo’s Self-Portrait, ca. 1512, Royal Library, Turin  (Courtesy of University of Tübingen, University Museum) By Andrea M. Gáldy –  Leonardo is dead,...

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi: Pioneer Archaeologist and Engraver

G. B. Piranesi, 1758, Tempio Cibele (Hercules Victor) 2nd c BCE in Forum Boarium (Photo P. Hunt) By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) is well known as a Neoclassical engraver of Roman monuments...

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The Throne of Charlemagne: Carolingian Symbolism

Fig. 1 Charlemagne’s Throne , Aachen Cathedral, ca. 800 (Photo P. Hunt 2019) By Patrick Hunt – Aachen Cathedral (also known in German as the Kaiserdom) is one of the most important monuments in the Early Medieval World,...

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Naughty But Nice: The Renaissance Nude

1 Raphael, The Three Graces, c. 1517-18. Red chalk on paper, 20.3 x 25.8 cm. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019 By Andrea M. Gáldy – Thomas Kren with Jill Burke and Stephen J. Campbell (eds.), The...

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Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

By Patrick Hunt – Otzi the Iceman from the Alpine Tyrol, found at the Similaun-Tisjoch summit of the Otztal Alps in 1991, is now the most famous “mummy” of all time, eclipsing the mummy of Ramses II from New Kingdom Egypt (circa 1300 BCE) not only in what science can reveal from examining his preserved […]

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Long Live Leonardo (at 500)

By Andrea M. Gáldy –  Leonardo is dead, but he has never been as popular as now. Almost exactly 500 years ago, he died in France. By then, Leonardo had long left his native Vinci, had been apprenticed to Verrocchio in Florence and had spent time working in Rome, Milan and Venice as well as […]

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi: Pioneer Archaeologist and Engraver

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) is well known as a Neoclassical engraver of Roman monuments and shadowed architectural fantasies (such as invented or imaginary carcere or “prisons”). But his work as a pioneer in archaeology is not as familiar, although his work provides ample details about the state of Roman ruins […]

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The Throne of Charlemagne: Carolingian Symbolism

By Patrick Hunt – Aachen Cathedral (also known in German as the Kaiserdom) is one of the most important monuments in the Early Medieval World, begun circa. 796, and symbolically identified with the end of the Dark Ages when literacy was finally resurgent in the Carolingian Age. Charlemagne built Aachen’s palatine church and adjacent palace […]

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Naughty But Nice: The Renaissance Nude

By Andrea M. Gáldy – Thomas Kren with Jill Burke and Stephen J. Campbell (eds.), The Renaissance Nude, Getty Publications: Los Angeles 2018. The Renaissance Nude, The Royal Academy of the Arts, London, 3 March to 2 June 2019, organised by the J. Paul Getty Museum  and the Royal Academy of the Arts The current […]

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Schlosshotel Kronberg – Modern Classic Fairy Tale Castle

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – When you are first driven through the park gatehouse for the Schlosshotel Kronberg nestled in the lower forested slopes of the Taunus Mountains of Germany above Frankfurt and see its  grandeur of towers and steep roofs, it is fairly obvious it was originally a royal residence. Chauffeured in one of […]

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High Praise for the Better Cromwell: Review of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Thomas Cromwell

By Patrick Hunt – How many books do we read that fulfill three major vital requisites: open up realms of unexplored territory, correct long-held misapprehensions, and unearth and carefully document sources of some of what we take for granted? When Hilary Mantel [1] states Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Thomas Cromwell (Viking, 2018) is a book awaited four […]

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The Sea is a Path

By Andrea M. Gáldy – When Captain James Cook left for the first of his three expeditions to the Pacific in 1768, he stood in a long line of naval explorers looking for new routes and continents. His ship was appropriately named Endeavour and the task ahead was daunting. Cook was a talented surveyor, as […]

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Russian Lacquerware Gems

Russian Lacquerware Gems

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – The names Palekh and Kholuy, like Fedoskino and Mstera, may be only obscure villages in the Vladimir-Suzdal Ivanovo region of Russia to many people, but their rich legacy of lacquerware is anything but obscure. I first fell in love with Russian lacquerware when we lived in London off and on […]

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“Baghdad Battery” : Possible Beer Purification?

By Adrian Arima – How long have humans brewed beer? Patrick McGovern, the world’s foremost historian of ancient brews, hints in Ancient Brews (2017) that this activity has been around possibly at least for 11,000 years based on vessels from Gobekli Tepe in Anatolia (Turkey). How sophisticated was brewing in antiquity? Since the ancient artifact […]

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