Ransacking The Archives


L. Rhodes

Testing out a slightly new format…


Archive tourism: Over at his Mastodon instance, Friend Camp, Darius Kazemi recently recommended visting library archives when traveling. Those archives are an opportunity to dig into the lesser known histories that don't always show up in museums. He has since turned that recommendation into a post at his blog, complete with some general advice and instructions on how to make appointments to view library archives. Tiny Subversions


Ancient shields: Upending perceptions about how ancient Celts fought, British archaeologists have discovered a shield made of bark, which would have allowed much swifter and more mobile combat than the more commonly found wooden or metal counterparts. "Bark is more resilient than metal or wood — so sword blows (and arrows) tend to fully or partially rebound off them." That's accomplished by rubberizing the bark using techniques that anthropologists know primarily from Aboriginal Australians. The Independent


Jahiliyyah revised: Recent translations of ancient carvings are challenging the traditional supposition that the advent of Islam initiated a hard break with the Arabic culture that preceded it. New Yorker


Dancehall and the dead: Erin MacLeod paints a vivid picture of Jamaica's dancehall culture with its crews rolling up in trucks laden with speakers, its carefully cultivated libraries of dubplates, and its special relationship to the dead. NYRB


Hate classics: Classical scholars are pushing back against the appropriation by modern hate groups of Greek and Roman reference points. As an illustration of just how complex the intersection between humanities and digital life has become, one of the scholars who spoke to on the subject is Donna Zuckerberg, the founder of the "Silicon Valley-based" classics journal Eidolon and sister of (in)famous Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Undark