Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For inspiration: Archaeology magazine

The most recent issue of Archaeology magazine, November/December 2013, has four pieces I found inspirational.

An Imperial Underworld details the network of roads that cavers have been uncovering underneath Hadrian's Villa, 15 miles east of Rome. There was an upstairs/downstairs dynamic in play here, where upstairs was a world of palaces, libraries, baths, and gardens, while downstairs was a network of tunnels that kept things running smoothly and silently. The cavers recently found underground roads 19 feet wide, wide enough for ox-carts traveling both ways. I'm planning to use these ideas in Axis somewhere and I loved the hint of interplay between the enthusiastic cavers and the stuffier people running the site.

Later there's an examination of how at least one ancient Roman glass workshop mastered a type of nanoartistry, suspending gold particles in glass so that an apparently opaque cup changes color based on what light or liquid is in or behind it. Then there's a Bronze Age Mystery in which perfectly useful boats (and a couple old ones) are sunk in boggy East England rivers. Along with a few other excellent articles there's a look at ten ancient tattooing traditions. And finally, on the last page, a wonderful look at what appears to be a ceremonial shield from the Moche culture of Peru, constructed like warriors' shields but made of reeds and yellow feathers!

Definitely an issue worth looking at . . . . unless you lack the willpower to resist the magazine's bizarre medley of golden oldie and odd collectible advertisements, highlighted this month by "The only Cuckoo Clock inspired by the Wonders of Ancient Egypt."

No comments:

Post a Comment