Art & Archaeology

Video: Fiberglass ducks make a splash in Pennsylvania borough

By Lisa McDonald / January 5, 2022

Ducks are the unofficial mascot of small-town Yardley, Pa. A local nonprofit recently launched a new project involving fiberglass ducks to promote the town.

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Deep learning method aids restoration of damaged Persian pottery

By Lisa McDonald / December 17, 2021

Advancement of machine learning techniques has significantly improved the performance of automatic image understanding. Two researchers in Iran developed a deep learning method to help restore motifs on ancient Persian pottery.

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Video: History of vintage ceramic Christmas trees

By Lisa McDonald / December 8, 2021

Looking for ways to spruce up your holiday decorations? Learn the history behind the vintage ceramic Christmas trees of the mid-20th century and things to consider when purchasing one of your own.

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Extracting proteins from pottery: Researchers advance proteomic profiling of ceramic artifacts

By Lisa McDonald / September 28, 2021

There are relatively few examples of successful recovery and identification of archeological protein residues from ceramic artifacts. Researchers led by the University of Catania in Italy looked to advance the application of proteomics to ancient ceramics by investigating prehistoric pottery from the Maltese Bronze/Iron Age site of il-Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija.

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Restoration of porcelain artifacts: Opportunities and challenges for ceramic additive manufacturing

By Lisa McDonald / August 24, 2021

Plastics used to restore porcelain artifacts can become yellowish or differ in color from the ceramic base material over time. Researchers in Germany explored the potential of using ceramic additive manufacturing technologies and subtractive post-processing steps to restore porcelain artifacts instead.

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Reverse engineering complements stylistic and iconographic analyses of ceramic figurines in southwest Colombia

By Lisa McDonald / May 14, 2021

Figurines created by people of the Tumaco-La Tolita culture give insight into their ancient society and ideology. Researchers in Colombia and the United Kingdom investigated use of a reverse engineering framework to complement conventional stylistic and iconographic analyses of these figurines.

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3D-printed material offers elephant-friendly alternative for restoring ivory artifacts

By Lisa McDonald / April 30, 2021

Substitute materials are often used for restoring ivory artifacts because of the ethical implications surrounding the use of ivory. Researchers led by Vienna University of Technology and 3D printing company Cubicure GmbH developed a new material using stereolithography that they say can serve as an aesthetically and mechanically high-quality ivory substitute.

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Video: Ghanaians turn waste into art

By Lisa McDonald / March 31, 2021

Some countries that are significant importers of global waste do not have strong waste management infrastructures, which makes handling the waste difficult. In the absence of government programs, entrepreneurs have started their own initiatives to aid local communities in managing waste. Learn about two individuals in Ghana combating e-waste and glass waste, respectively.

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Determining function of historical artifacts: New evidence for blowpipes in Mayapán, Mexico

By Lisa McDonald / March 9, 2021

Determining the function of a historical artifact can be difficult and may require archeologists to search for external clues. An international research team spanning North America describes how they identified an ancient ceramic piece located in the ancient Maya site of Mayapán as a blowpipe tip.

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Exploring characteristics of bronze-casting molds: Novel FTIR-based approach estimates ceramic firing temperatures

By Lisa McDonald / February 12, 2021

Ceramic molds used to cast bronze pieces during the Bronze Age offer one way to understand diachronic change and regional variation in metallurgical industries during that period. Researchers developed a novel FTIR-based approach for estimating the firing temperatures of these molds.

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