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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