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Guest Blog: Lara Croft: The Muse for Every Strong Fictional Female Character Since 1996

This guest blog is the third in our Tomb Raider Inspirations series, in which fans of the Tomb Raider series share their thoughts on the franchise and its leading lady and explain how their personal and/or professional lives have been influenced by one of the most successful video game series to date. Today’s guest blog is from the author of Sometimes Inspiration Strikes, who explains how her love of the Tomb Raider franchise was rekindled and why she believes Lara has been the muse for ... [Continue Reading]

August 4, 2013 // 5 Comments

Jean-Yves Empereur: A Career in Ruins

“All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.” How often have we seen these words appear on the big screen, on TV, or in print? But oddly enough, there was one occasion where the resemblance to a fictional character in a Tomb Raider game was perhaps a little too close for comfort. Does the name Jean Yves ring any bells? In 2001, the Alexandria-based Egyptologist and archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur ... [Continue Reading]

August 2, 2013 // 6 Comments

The Hunt for Himiko: Will Archaeologists Ever Excavate the Hashihaka Tomb?

In Tomb Raider 2013, Lara and the rest of the Endurance crew set out to look for the lost kingdom of Yamatai and its mysterious queen, Himiko, but, in reality, Japanese archaeologists have known the possible location of Himiko’s tomb for a few years now. Long-time readers of this blog may recall that a group of researchers were allowed access to the Hashihaka kofun burial mound earlier this year in the hope that they’d be able to confirm whether the tomb in Sakurai, Nara ... [Continue Reading]

July 30, 2013 // 12 Comments

Guest Blog: She May Only Consist of Polygons But She’ll Always Be My Hero

This guest blog is the second in our Tomb Raider Inspirations blog series, in which fans of the Tomb Raider series are invited to share their thoughts on the franchise and its leading lady and explain how their personal and/or professional lives have been influenced by one of the most successful video game series to date. Today’s guest blog is from Rhys, who explains how Lara became (and still is) his first role model and hero. One could say it’s odd that you could label a video ... [Continue Reading]

July 23, 2013 // 1 Comment

Guest Blog: Lara Croft – Why I Love Her

This guest blog is the first in our Tomb Raider Inspirations blog series, in which fans of the Tomb Raider series are invited to share their thoughts on the franchise and its leading lady and explain how their personal and/or professional lives have been influenced by one of the most successful video game series to date. Today’s guest blog is from Chloë, who explains why she is a die-hard fan of Lara Croft and how this famous fictional “archaeologist” inspired her to study ... [Continue Reading]

July 18, 2013 // 6 Comments

Arte-Factual: Kansu Burial Urn (Tomb Raider 2013)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another edition of Arte-Factual! Last time, we looked at the killer whale bottle from Tomb Raider: Anniversary and learnt a little about the Nasca, their beliefs, and their art. This time we’ll be taking a close look at one of the many collectable items found in Tomb Raider 2013: the Kansu burial urn. The “Kansu burial urn” bears a striking resemblance to a ceramic jar in the Asia Society’s collection, a Banshan type storage ... [Continue Reading]

July 10, 2013 // 11 Comments

Arte-Factual: Killer Whale Bottle (Tomb Raider: Anniversary)

In the last edition of Arte-Factual, we looked at the Golden Mask of Tornarsuk and learnt a little about Inuit culture and mythology. In this edition, we will be turning our attention to one of the collectable relics found in Tomb Raider: Anniversary: the Killer Whale Bottle. Like many of the artefacts and relics that have appeared in the last few Tomb Raider games, the Killer Whale Bottle is modelled after a real-life artefact. In this case, a Nasca polychrome ceramic effigy vessel which is ... [Continue Reading]

June 25, 2013 // 14 Comments

Article: TrowelBlazers: In Search of the Female Indiana Jones

Dr. Victoria Herridge, one of the co-founders of the amazing TrowelBlazers Tumblr blog, wrote an article for CNN’s Leading Women feature in which she talked about the blog and its mission to celebrate the lives and careers of the remarkable (and often overlooked) women who have made valuable contributions to the fields of palaeontology, geology, and archaeology over the past couple of centuries. I was bombarded with more examples of pioneering women archaeologists: Dorothy ... [Continue Reading]

June 22, 2013 // 10 Comments

Lara’s Travels: Tomb of Semerkhet

In this edition of Lara’s Travels, we’ll be exploring the Tomb of Semerkhet, one of the many Egypt-based levels in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. One of the things that long-time fans of the Tomb Raider series may have noticed is the series’ quirky blend of historical fact and archaeological fantasy. The Last Revelation is no exception. Does the Tomb of Semerkhet really exist? The answer is yes….and no. In The Last Revelation, Semerkhet is said to be a High Priest ... [Continue Reading]

June 8, 2013 // 12 Comments

Book Review: Ladies of the Field by Amanda Adams

Amanda Adams’ book, Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure (which you can buy on Amazon/Amazon UK), delves into the extraordinary lives of seven female archaeologists who, like Lara, threw convention to the wind to travel to faraway lands in pursuit of knowledge and adventure. Some were mothers, some never married, some were devoted wives who worked alongside their husbands, but all were inspirational, courageous and determined women who made ... [Continue Reading]

May 31, 2013 // 15 Comments

Article: Heroes, Mummies & Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies

Dr. Kevin McGeough’s article Heroes, Mummies & Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies examines the portrayal of Near Eastern archaeology in the movies and addresses the general public’s romantic view of archaeology as an adventurous – and often dangerous – occupation. He argues that archaeologists can better understand the public’s perception of archaeology and communicate archaeological knowledge more effectively if they confront these inaccurate, ... [Continue Reading]

May 26, 2013 // 6 Comments

Arte-Factual: Mask of Tornarsuk (Tomb Raider 2: Golden Mask)

In this edition of Arte-Factual, we turn our attention to the Golden Mask of Tornarsuk, an artefact that makes an appearance in Tomb Raider II: The Golden Mask, a five-level mini-adventure that was created for the 1999 “Gold” edition re-release of Tomb Raider II. According to Inuit mythology, Tornarsuk (also known as Torngarsuk) is a god, or supernatural being, who is usually depicted in either polar bear or human form and is the leader of the tornat (or tuurngait), nature ... [Continue Reading]

May 24, 2013 // 8 Comments

Arte-Factual: Gunbai War Fan (Tomb Raider 2013)

In the last edition of Arte-Factual, we looked at the history and context of the Ban Chiang vase, one of the many collectable relics Lara stumbles upon in Tomb Raider 2013. This time, we will look at one of the relics Lara finds in the Mountain Temple: a Gunbai war fan. Gunbai fans, also known as gunbai uchiwa (軍配団扇) in Japanese, were once part of a samurai military commander’s standard command equipment and were used to direct troops in battle as well as offer the commander ... [Continue Reading]

May 3, 2013 // 7 Comments

World Heritage Day

18th April is World Heritage Day or, as it’s officially known, the International Day for Monuments and Sites. To celebrate it, I’ve compiled a list of all the UNESCO World Heritage sites that Lara Croft has visited during her travels. I had originally planned to write a paragraph or two about each of these places but, due to time constraints, I’ve inserted links to their official UNESCO pages instead. Here are some of the awe-inspiring World Heritage sites that Lara has ... [Continue Reading]

April 18, 2013 // 2 Comments

Arte-Factual: Ban Chiang Pottery (Tomb Raider 2013)

The last two editions of Arte-Factual dealt with the art and archaeology of the very first Tomb Raider game. In this latest edition, I’ll be writing about one of the many collectable relics Lara comes across in the 2013 reboot: a Ban Chiang vase. We don’t really know how this ancient vase ended up on the island but Lara correctly identifies it as being from Thailand. Perhaps she had seen a similar vase in a museum or had visited the Ban Chiang archaeological site in ... [Continue Reading]

April 15, 2013 // 8 Comments

What’s It Like to Study… Egyptology

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to study Egyptology at university? If so, check out Gemma Smith’s article about her experiences as a student of Egyptology at Swansea University! This article was originally published on the Independent’s website as part of its 2012 Fresher’s Guide and is full of practical advice for budding Egyptologists. A short excerpt can be found below: “If you had asked me on A Level results day “Where do you see yourself in ten ... [Continue Reading]

March 21, 2013 // 1 Comment

Article: Romancing the Stones: Archaeology in Popular Cinema

In his article Romancing the Stones: Archaeology in Popular Cinema, historian Mark A. Hall looks at how archaeology and archaeologists are depicted in popular cinema and considers how the recurring themes of cultural appropriation, cultural imperialism, and emphasis on “treasured objects” create a somewhat skewed and negative view of the profession. Among the films examined are the original Indiana Jones trilogy, the Mummy film series, and, of course, the two Tomb Raider films. Ms ... [Continue Reading]

March 16, 2013 // 6 Comments