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History: Ancient


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Ancient History Defined

"The study of ancient civilization is concerned with the earliest segments of the much broader subject called ancient history. The span of ancient history began with the invention of writing in about 3100 BC and lasted for more than 35 centuries. Mankind existed long before the written word, but writing made the keeping of a historical record possible." 
"Ancient Civilization." Britannica Student Encyclopedia. 2004.  Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 17 Mar. 2004.

Ancient history also draws from related fields such as archaeology and the classics.  This guide identifies indexes for searching historical literature, journals and magazines that focus on ancient history and related fields, and reference works dealing with ancient history.


Did Jesus Exist?  By Lawrence Mykytiuk.  Biblical Archeaology Review.  Jan. Feb. 2015, v 41, no 1, pp 45-51.
Searching for evidence beyond the Bible

"Eves" of Everyday Israel.  Carol L. Meyers. Biblilical Archaeology Review  Nov.-Dec. 2014, v. 40 no. 6, pp 50-54.
"Women are vastly underrepresented in the Hebrew Bible. Named men outnumber women by about ten to one. And the women who do appear are mostly exceptional or elite women, not the majority who were farm women.  Not only are women underrepresented, but they are depicted by writers who were mostly elite urban males; built-in Biblical biases often preclude a balanced perspective. Complicating matters still further, many Biblical texts were written down generations if not centuries after what they purport to describe. What was life like for ordinary women in ancient Israel?"

Your Move, Octavius. Elizabeth Quill. Smithsonian July August 2014, v 45, no 4, p 22.
New research documents an ancient obsession.  Two thousand years before the invention of Monopoly, the people of Ephesus, Turkey were crazy about board games.

Cheat Sheet. Elizabeth Quill. Smithsonian July August 2014, v 45, no 4, p 25.
New analysis of an ancient document reveals classical roots of fake wrestling.  The smackdown was sef or a day in the fourtneeth year of the Roman emperor Gallienus in the city of Antinoopolis, on the Nile.

Was Herod's Tomb Really Found? Herschel Shanks Biblilical Archaeology Review  May-June 2014, v. 40 no. 3, pp 41-48.

At the Heart of Ancient Thrace. Geographical. Jan. 2014 v. 86, no. 11. p 15-16.
Recently discovered archaeological finds in Bulgaria have uncovered links with one of the earliest civilisations of the ancient world.

Seeing the Parthenon through ancient eyes. February 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM EST
A new book, “The Parthenon Enigma,” tells the story of the people who built it and how it’s been understood, rightly and wrongly, to our own day. Author Joan Breton Connelly is a classical archaeologist and professor at New York University.

Cult Prostitution in Ancient Israel? Edward LipiƄski, Biblical Archaeology. v 40, no 1 Jan.-Feb. 2014. According to popular belief, cult prostitution was common throughout the ancient world, particularly associated with the fertility rites of the Canaanites and Phoenicians. While some scholars argue that temple prostitution was practiced in ancient Israel, too, perhaps linked with the goddess Asherah, in fact, neither the Bible nor archaeology provides any clear evidence that Israelite religion incorporated the sexual rites of Canaanite goddesses.

Cyber-Archaeology in the Holy Land — The Future of the Past
In this free eBook, pioneering researchers at the University of California, San Diego’s Calit2 laboratory showcase cutting-edge archaeological methods that are helping create a new and objective future of the past.

Top 10 Discoveries of 2012
"Any discussion of archaeology in the year 2012 would be incomplete without mention of the much-talked-about end of the Maya Long Count calendar and the apocalyptic prophecies it has engendered. With that in mind, as 2013 approaches, the year’s biggest discovery may actually be that we’re all still here—at least that’s what the editors of Archaeology continue to bet on.
However, you won’t find that story on our Top 10 list. We steered clear of speculation and focused, instead, on singular finds—the stuff, if you will—the material that comes out of the earth and changes what we thought we knew about the past. Here you’ll see discoveries that range from a work of Europe’s earliest wall art to the revelation that Neanderthals, our closest relatives, selectively picked and ate medicinal plants, and from the unexpected discovery of a 20-foot Egyptian ceremonial boat to the excavation of stunning masks that decorate a Maya temple and tell us of a civilization’s relation to the cosmos."

Alice E. Kober, 43; Lost to History No More, Margalit Fox.  New York Times. May 11, 2013
"The mystery centered on a long-lost script from Aegean antiquity known as Linear B. Inscribed on clay tablets around 1450 B.C., Linear B was unearthed in 1900 on Crete, amid the ruins of a lavish Bronze Age palace. The script, which teemed with pictograms in the shape of arrows, chariots and horses’ heads, resembled no writing ever seen. No one knew what language it recorded, much less what it said...It is now clear that without Dr. Kober’s work, Mr. Ventris could never have deciphered Linear B when he did, if ever. Yet because history is always written by the victors — and the story of Linear B has long been a British masculine triumphal narrative — the contributions of this brilliant American woman have been all but lost to time."

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2024 2:55 PM