Ancient Art

July 30, 2022

Discover the History Behind the Obelisk, the Ancient Precursor to the Skyscraper

Before there was the skyscraper, ancient builders created the original tall, imposing structure: the obelisk. With origins in ancient Egypt, these four-sided structures were typically erected in commemoration of the rulers and spread in popularity across the ancient world— including ancient Rome and Assyria. Even after the end of these civilizations, the obelisk continued to be a popular monument for its striking yet simple design.

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May 20, 2022

The Mysterious History of the Marble ‘Venus de Milo’ Statue

As one of art history's most significant sculptures, the Venus de Milo continues to captivate audiences today. Located in the Louvre Museum, the marble masterpiece is celebrated for its Hellenistic artistry, renowned for its beauty, and famous for its absent arms. Like many other treasured antiquities, the story behind the statue was entirely unknown when it was unearthed in the 19th century.

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March 7, 2022

Longstanding Mystery Surrounding the Origins of a 30,000-Year-Old Figurine Is Solved

New information is shedding light on the origins of a 30,000-year-old sculpture. The Venus of Willendorf, a 4.4-inch-tall carving crafted between 30,000 and 25,000 BCE, is named for its discovery in Willendorf, Austria. However, the stone it is made from could not be found anywhere in the area—a fact that shrouded the object in mystery for years. Now, researchers believe they have an answer to the statue's history, pinpointing the unique rock to northern Italy.

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February 6, 2022

What Is the Lascaux Cave? Learn About the Site of Amazing Paleolithic Paintings

Ancient art gives us a glimpse into cultures that existed thousands of years ago. In Spain, the Altamira cave is a well-preserved example of paintings made in the Stone Age. However, it is not the only exhibit of prehistoric art. Just outside of a small village in southwestern France is the site of some of the most well-known examples of Paleolithic painting: the Lascaux cave.

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