Come on by @culturebrewingco this Friday night, April 3rd for “Artifacts”, my photo show with @kevinroche I will have my print of the Salton Sea Pool on exhibit and available for purchase. Kids, dogs and even adults are welcome. Culture Brewing Co will have their fine brews on tap and I am looking forward to the Triple IPA. From 5-9pm at 111 S. Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, 92075 Thanks to @chromedigital for their beautiful print quality and support #culturebrewingco #chromedigital #kevinroche #artifacts #saltonseapool #craftbeer #solanabeach #theskateboardmag @theskateboardmag #grantbrittain

A medieval manuscript that was peed on by a cat 

Scribe was forced to leave the rest of the page empty, drew a picture of a cat and cursed the creature with the following words:

“Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum istum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem ubi cattie venire possunt.”

[Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.]

Cologne, Historisches Archiv, G.B. quarto, 249, fol. 68r

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Imagine if you could see the pen Beethoven used to write his Symphony No. 5. Or the chisel Michelangelo used to sculpt his David. Art lovers find endless fascination in the materials of artists — a pen, a brush, even a rag can become sacred objects, humanizing a work of art.

And now, at Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, visitors can see some of the materials that impressionist Mary Cassatt once used — three well-loved, large wooden boxes of pastels from distinguished Paris art supply stores. Each box is filled with stubby pieces of pastels, some worn down to half an inch, others almost untouched.

Now That’s An Artifact: See Mary Cassatt’s Pastels At The National Gallery

Photo credit: National Gallery of Art

New IS video shows militants smashing ancient Iraq artifacts

The Islamic State group released a video on Thursday showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, describing the relics as idols that must be removed.

The destruction are part of a campaign by the IS extremists who have destroyed a number of shrines—including Muslim holy sites—in order to eliminate what they view as heresy. They are also believed to have sold ancient artifacts on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region.

The five-minute video shows a group of bearded men inside the Mosul Museum using hammers and drills to destroy several large statues, which are then shown chipped and in pieces. The video then shows a black-clad man at a nearby archaeological site inside Mosul, drilling through and destroying a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity that dates back to the 7th century B.C. Read more.


Personal objects found in mass graves in Bosnia, as photographed by Ziyah Gafić (see his TED Talk here)

Once all the missing persons are identified, only decaying bodies in their graves and these everyday items will remain. In all their simplicity, these items are the last testament to the identity of the victims, the last permanent reminder that these people ever existed.

Stolen Artifacts Returned to Iraq

U.S. authorities turned over more than 60 stolen artifacts to Iraq today (March 16), including gold-plated items from Saddam Hussein’s palace and a limestone head of the Assyrian king Sargon II from an ancient city that was recently wrecked by ISIS militants.

Back in June 2008, special agents with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in New York were working on “Operation Lost Treasure,” an effort to break up antiquities-trafficking networks. They got a tip from their international partners to look out for an Iraqi artifact to enter the United States. Two months later, special agents seized the limestone head of Sargon II after it was shipped from Dubai to New York. Read more.


The Egtved Girl

“The Egtved Girl is the name given to the extremely well-preserved burial of a Bronze age woman (ca. 1370 BC) located in south Jutland, Denmark. The level of preservation has provided a very close look at Bronze Age clothing and hairstyles. A 15-20 year old female was dressed in a string skirt, a short sleeved shirt with a woven belt and a bronze spiked belt disc. She was laid on a cow-hide and covered by a coarse woolen blanket. Flowering yarrow (indicating a summer burial) and a bucket of beer made of wheat, honey, bog-myrtle and cowberries were placed atop her coffin. She had bronze bracelets and a woolen belt with a large disc decorated with spirals and a spike. At her feet were the cremated remains of a child age 5–6. By her head there was a small birch bark box which contained an awl, bronze pins and a hair net. Egtved was the closest look at the clothing of a prehistoric person we had until the Bronze Age fellow named Otzi was found in the Austrian/Italian alps. While not precisely a bog body, the Egtved girl’s remains show evidence of ritual death and extremely excellent preservation normally associated with bog bodies. The reasons for the preservation are currently under investigation by the Lejre Experimental Centre in Denmark. The barrow was excavated in 1921, and an east-western aligned tree trunk coffin was found. It was transported in sealed condition to the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, where it was opened and the Egtved Girl discovered. Her distinctive outfit, which caused a sensation when it was unearthed in the 1920s, is the best preserved example of a style now known to be common in Northern Europe during the Bronze Age. The good preservation of Egtved girl is due to the acidic bog conditions of the soil, which is a common condition of this locale. The outfit she was wearing might indicate a ritual or dancer’s costume.”

Pompeii restored with help of artefact thieves

The ruins of Pompeii are being restored with the aid of a most unlikely source – thieves with a conscience who are returning fragments once stolen from the ancient Roman city.

In October a Canadian woman made headlines around the world when she returned a fragment she stole from Pompeii on her honeymoon 50 years ago.

Massimo Osanna, the director of one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, said this was not an isolated case and hundreds of archaeological artefacts had been sent back to the museum in recent years, often with a letter of apology.

“We have been receiving hundreds of packages with hundreds of fragments now for years,” Osanna told the Italian daily, Il Messaggero. Read more.