Artifacts of Material History

Artifacts of Material History Controversies

Paleopathology and the Destruction of Sennacherib’s Army Besieging Jerusalem in II Chronicles 32, II Kings 19

By Patrick Hunt – Historians know disease often stalks armies in history. [1] The specter of invisible pathogens haunting ancient warfare may have at times seemed instead like a punitive deity taking sides. Sometimes it’s merely a much simpler question of contagion and the inability to protect against it. While […]

Art Artifacts of Material History

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 […]

Artifacts of Material History

Chinese Jade: The Stone of Eternity

Chinese Qing Dynasty Jade ca. 1730-95, “Philosopher’s Repose” Jade Mountain (image public domain, courtesy of the British Museum, London) By Patrick Hunt –  Jade is well known globally as a stone with innate translucent beauty, lustrous and vibrant in many shades of mostly green, although lavender and orange hues also […]

Artifacts of Material History

The Farnese Atlas

By Alice Devine Wilson –  Wander into the enormous Roman sculpture galleries of the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy and a strapping man carrying the weight of the world on his muscled shoulders may arrest your attention. In his crouched position on bended knee, his arms raised overhead to […]