very old; existing or occurring in times long past
professional, artistic, or technical skill; craftsmanship
The Ancient Art Blog started out as just a page on Facebook we created for fun in order to share weird and wonderful art from (primarily) Mediterranean antiquity, especially objects that are not famous. The page was mostly for ourselves and our friends and anyone else who might be interested. Since then, the page's audience has expanded well beyond what we had intended, so we asked ourselves if we should be doing more with this.
From many years of lecturing in university classrooms and for public audiences, it's become clear just how difficult it is for students and enthusiasts to find quality, insightful, and interesting information about ancient art online. Sure, objects are out there; more and more museums and institutions are making their collections digitally accessible, but you really have to know what you're looking for in order to make best use of these databases, and often times there is very little accompanying commentary. Ultimately, there is still a large gulf between academic research into ancient art and dissemination of that knowledge, research, and expertise into the broader public.
And so, we decided to make the Facebook/Instagram material more substantive in order to help fill the gap a little. We've created this website to complement the FB/Insta accounts, although for now, due to time constraints, Facebook and Instagram is getting more of our attention.
Scope & Aims:
The focus overall is to provide a curated exploration of the visual culture of the ancient Mediterranean world, broadly defined (Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia). Although we would love to present material from the amazing art, architecture, and craft found in the rest of the world, that is well outside of our collective expertise for the time being. As for timeframe, our focus is on material from the Neolithic up to the Middle Ages, but we like to keep things flexible. Our target audience is students, beginners, and enthusiasts.
The Ancient Art Blog is a side project, and very much in beta mode, but our aim across all the platforms is to provide:
short posts about individual or specific objects and buildings, especially ones that are not famous or found in textbooks in order to demonstrate the breadth and variety of materials, themes, techniques, and styles of visual and material culture from antiquity
links to quality free online resources related to specific topics of ancient art and the ancient world generally
recent news from around the web
At the moment the topics for posts are rather random—they are inspired by our current research and teaching, things we come across online or in person during travel, and recent discoveries/publications.
But *who* are we?
The Ancient Art Blog is edited and maintained primarily by Jessica Nitschke, Research Fellow in the Dept of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch University. She has a PhD in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology from UC Berkeley and was recently a scholar in residence at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles.
She is supported by numerous colleagues who provide ideas, images, and links; chief among them are Becky Martin, Assoc. Professor of History of Art & Architecture and Archaeology at Boston University; Sam Masters, Senior Lecturer in Classical Cultures at Stellenbosch University; and Kate McLachlan, Honorary Research Fellow at University of Cape Town.
Have a tip, request for a post topic, or a recommendation? If you are on facebook, the best way is via our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theancientartblog/. Otherwise, contact us using the form below.