Welcome, Members of Parliament

Welcome, Members of Parliament. This blog is designed to act as a student forum for anyone enrolled in my classes at a Dallas-area proprietary college, former students, and/or others who find our conversations interesting. The Parliament will be moderated to ensure civility and relevance. The directions we take, the paths we follow, and the concerns we address are all up to you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art and Archaeology in the News

This will be a regular feature of the Parliament, in hopes of furthering students' understanding of course topics--and perhaps fostering a bit of curiosity.

Archaeology Magazine this month offers a plethora of articles relevant to both my art history and humanities classes. The issue is available on the periodical shelves in the Library, and some of the information is available in online abstracts:

The Power of Chocolate traces the cultural distribution and importance of cacao in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest.

In class this week I mentioned the opening of the House of the Chaste Lovers in Pompeii. The well-preserved frescoes provide good examples of Roman painting, as well as a peek into the domestic lives of the upper crust in rural Rome.

New discoveries in Tuscany (Italy) are helping scholars better understand the Etruscans, and digs are turning up evidence about domestic life in Italy before the Romans, as well as examples of gold jewelry and other luxury goods. The photo that opens this post is an example of Etruscan artistry, although it's not one of the objects discussed in the article.

Since we’ll be covering daily life in ancient Italy in both History of Art and Design I and Intro to the Humanities during week 4, these last two articles will perhaps be of some interest. The Humanities class will be discussing the Maya during week 6, so the chocolate article will be useful to everyone –especially the culinary folks. But don’t we all love chocolate?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is featuring a Roman mosaic from Israel in a current exhibit. The link takes you to an overview of the work, and a short video. As I’ve pointed out in class, mosaics rely on the same optical principal as pixels. This one depicts all manner of critters, both from land and from sea, with rather remarkable detail. There’s also a link to the Met’s YouTube page, which includes over 300 short videos on just about every topic imaginable related to the history of art and design.

Image credit: 5th-4th century BCE Etruscan gold necklace, displayed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Photo by Mary Harrsch, via Wikimedia Commons.

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