Art & Archaeology

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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Video: Glass reality show blows away the competition

By Lisa McDonald / February 10, 2021

Reality competition shows exist on almost every topic. In 2019, glassblowing entered the fold with “Blown Away,” a Canadian series available on Netflix. Learn more about the show and the Corning Museum of Glass, where winners take part in a weeklong guest residency.

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Video: Glass flowers bloom in nail art

By Lisa McDonald / January 27, 2021

Cosmetic nail treatments have existed for thousands of years, but the wild nail art designs seen today only really became popular in the past decade. We take a brief look at this history and highlight one nail artist whose designs are inspired by nature.

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Asking big questions of a microscopic particle: Scientists probe secrets of ancient mummy painting

By April Gocha / December 15, 2020

Ancient mummy portraits that were buried with mummies in Roman Egypt still hold many secrets about how and why they were created. A new study takes a deep dive into the materials secrets hiding in an ancient pigment particle and discovers some interesting insights into the people who created these unique works of art.

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Video: Another way to grieve—Oregon artist creates unique glass pieces from ash

By Lisa McDonald / November 4, 2020

In a year rocked by intense natural disasters and a pandemic, grieving for lost lives and property is difficult when many traditional ways of recognizing loss are not possible. Oregon-based glass artist Kelly Howard offers one alternative by turning ashes into unique glass pieces.

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From mechanical behaviors to coloring mechanisms, modeling illuminates properties of ancient ceramics

By Jonathon Foreman / September 22, 2020

Modeling offers a way to learn about ancient ceramics without damaging the priceless items. Two recent articles in International Journal of Ceramic Engineering & Science illustrate how modeling provides insights into myriad properties, including mechanical behaviors and coloring mechanisms.

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