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Posts Tagged ‘Archaeology’

Little Monks

This picture was taken in Bagan, Myanmar. Bagan isn’t a very large town, but it seems to have a fairly large population of Buddhist monks. Bagan is home to an array of architecturally stunning archaeological sites. The city itself is actually an archaeological zone, where you can visit over a thousand ancient pagodas. Personally, I have always found buddhist monks to be really interesting, there’s something about the affect that just makes them seem so serene. This even holds true for the kids that are training to become monks. Often in the mornings you see these children walking from building to building to receive alms. You have to get up pretty early to see this, but i’m not sure what the exact time is, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss it ask the front desk of wherever you are staying. I don’t know the specific rules for Myanmar (they may be different) but in Laos you are permitted to take pictures of the alms as long as you don’t break the line or use flash. This picture was taken with a telephoto lens from a car, so I know I wasn’t being disruptive. If you are going to take pictures, just make sure you are being respectful!

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Mummy Lady

This lovely lady is a 3,000 year old egyptian mummy on display at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California. This mummy is female, she was a priestess, and she was about 28 years old when she died, though cause of death is unknown. The Museum is built in an Egyptian style, and houses the largest collection of Egyptian Artifacts on the West coast of North America. This is one of four human mummies in their collection, which also includes a large number of animal mummies. The Museum is opened Wednesday through Sunday from 9am-5pm. It’s definitely an interesting museum, and worth a visit if you are in the area.

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This is the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. While it was in use it would have been able to hold up to 50,000 spectators who would have been watching the games that were held here. The colosseum is most well known for housing gladiator games, the flat space in the center of the Colosseum would have had a stage covered in sand. Now there is only a small section that has a stage, even without it though, you can totally picture what the Colosseo must have looked like when it was in use. It’s a little expensive to visit, (discounts are available, especially if you are a student from the EU, but you need proof of this with ID) but it’s totally worth it! It’s a really cool site and a fantastically preserved piece of the Roman Empire that really allows the visitor a glimpse of the past, and all of the history that has built up to the current city of Rome.

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This was taken in the National Archeological Museum in Athens, Greece. The museum has a lot of really cool artifacts, and is home to many really impressively carved pieces like this one. The museum is a really great place to spend a morning, or early afternoon when you’re in Athens. Its pretty easily accessible, we walked there from the hostel we stayed at. In the event that you’re looking for a hostel, the place is called Zorbas Hostel, and it’s pretty nice. They even had air conditioning, and its located right next to a metro, so you can get pretty much anywhere from there. The museum is really awesome, and it’s absolutely worth a visit.

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This is a picture from the Shipwreck exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, in Greece. This exhibit is absolutely amazing, not only is it really well set up, the content is just incredible. I’ve mentioned on here previously that i’m a total archaeology geek, and I have to say, I flipped out a little when I saw this exhibit. I was so impressed by the statues, and their ability to have, at least partially, withstood both time and nature. The craftsmanship is beautiful, but there is another sort of beauty that these statues display, you can really see the effects of the passage of time on them, and despite this they are still magnificent. I also learned a lot from this exhibit, i’m not particularly knowledgeable in the arena of underwater archaeology, so I really enjoyed the amount of information that was provided along with the statues. The exhibit also contains several other marble statues, a large, complete bronze statue of a man, an incomplete bronze statue, amphorae, glass vessels, and some other really cool smaller artifacts that were found along with these larger treasures. The rest of the museum is really great too, I was just particularly struck by the awesomeness of this exhibit.

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These pictures show the Basilica Cistern (the Turkish name is Yerebatan Sarayı) in Istanbul, Turkey. This beautiful underground structure was built by Justinian in 532 C.E., and it’s a really interesting place to visit. Not only is it pretty, but it’s really an amazing architectural feat when you think about how long it’s been standing and how good it looks despite its age. This is a great place to escape the heat on a summer day, and it’s just a really neat place to hang out for a little bit. Not pictured here (but i’ll put it up soon) are some very cool pillars with statues of Medusa’s head supporting them. This is one of the main attractions in Istanbul, and it’s within walking distance of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Just a heads up, it is a bit dark in here and it tends to be damp, so if you’re planning on visiting have appropriate footwear and be sure to watch your step.

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The Wrestler

This is a close up of a statue of an adolescent wrestler. The photo was take at the Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. Currently this museum is housing a shipwreck exhibit, which is VERY cool. The exhibit has a bunch of statues like this one; this statue was in the ocean for so long, but the parts of the statue that were buried in the sand remain virtually pristine. However, if you look at the face and the arm, you can see traces of erosion, places where the ocean had begun to eat away at the marble. The statue is absolutely beautiful, and the etching left by nature gives it a new kind of beauty; like a collaborative effort of both man and nature to create art. I found these statues to be particularly amazing, and, in a way, really moving. I’ve mentioned on here before that i’m into archaeology, and it never fails to impress me the way that people, even after death, live on through the things that they’ve left behind. I think that this exhibit does a particularly good job of displaying the memories that are left behind. I’d highly recommend it, it’s really an amazing exhibit to see.

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Eyes Wide Open

This photo was taken at the British Museum in London. There’s another post about the British Museum (and more to come) but if you haven’t seen it i’ll reiterate here: this museum is free. GO! It’s an incredible place with so much to offer from all over the world, and it is absolutely worth a look.

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Pottery in ATM

Taken in Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in Belize, unfortunately there was an accident where someone dropped their camera on an ancient skull in the cave, and as a result of this more conservation effort is being put into the site and cameras are no longer allowed. HOWEVER given the opportunity to go you absolutely should, i’ve been twice and I would gladly go many more times, it’s an amazing experience!

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Inside Sigiriya

This photo was taken inside Sigiriya Rock, also known as the Lion’s Rock, in Sri Lanka. This place is SERIOUSLY COOL, and absolutely worth the visit. It does, however, require a fair bit of walking and stair climbing, so just be prepared. Inside the rock there are these amazing paintings, which you can see on the sidewalls as tourist brush by taking pictures. It gets a little crowded in there, but really you are all there to see the same thing so for the most part people are really polite about letting you get your pictures. The rock is cool on the outside too, it has two massive lions paws carved out of it and in the center there is a stairway that you can ascend and from the top you have an absolutely magnificent view. Totally worth going to look at, I highly recommend it! (I have other pictures of it, I just really like this one because it shows the whole wall, and all the other travelers passing by)

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