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5 More TED Talks on Archaeology & Cultural Heritage

The Tomb Raider games may have whet your appetite for all things ancient but if you really want to indulge your inner archaeologist, put down your game controller and find out what the real experts have to say about this exciting field of study. From the digital preservation of vulnerable heritage sites to the discovery of ancient sites through satellite imagery, these five TED talks offer unique insights into how 21st century archaeology and heritage preservation are being conducted. 1) ... [Continue Reading]

April 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

‘Star Wars’ Locations That Would Be Great Settings for a ‘Tomb Raider’ Game

The Tomb Raider video game series and films have done a tremendous job of showcasing some of the world’s historical sites and exotic locations, whether they’re well-known attractions such as the pyramids at Giza or Angkor Wat or the less commonly known Trajan’s Market and Jan Mayen island. And as one of the most successful and longest-running film franchises to date, the Star Wars films have often relied on real-world locations to serve as the backdrops of some of their ... [Continue Reading]

December 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

Tomb Raider Tidbit: The Time Lara Croft Almost Visited Mali

In the 2006 game Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara Croft travels across the globe in search of pieces of the mythical Excalibur, visiting such places as a military base in Kazakhstan, the ruins of Tiwanaku in Bolivia, an ancient temple in the Ghanaian rainforest, and an abandoned monastery in Nepal. But did you know that the West African nation of Mali was almost a stop on Lara’s grand tour? Perusing my archive of Legend concept art recently, I spotted two pieces of artwork that seemed to depict ... [Continue Reading]

August 25, 2016 // 2 Comments

A Pilgrimage to Himiko’s Tomb

It’s not every day you get the chance to visit Yamatai or take a leisurely stroll around Himiko’s tomb. But one hot (and thankfully not too humid) day in September, my husband and I got the chance to do just that when we took some time off from our regular sightseeing and boarded a train bound for Nara, a former capital city not far from Osaka that’s renowned for its ancient temples, giant Buddha statue, and free-roaming deer. Once there, we transferred onto a smaller ... [Continue Reading]

October 7, 2015 // 6 Comments

Would You Visit a Fake Tomb?

Egyptian authorities recently announced that a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb will be erected near the Luxor home of Howard Carter, where it will stay until the completion of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza in 2015. Although the real tomb (KV62) will remain open to the public for the time being, the officials hope that the replica will divert tourists away from the original and allow conservators to conduct much-needed repairs to the tomb’s crumbling walls. Work on the replica tomb ... [Continue Reading]

November 12, 2013 // 5 Comments

Photo: The Great Wall of China

This photo was taken along the Badaling (八达岭) section of the Great Wall during my third visit to the Wall in September 2010. Many choose to avoid this section of the Great Wall, deriding it as too touristy and overdeveloped, but if you’re short on time, Badaling is perhaps one of the easiest sections to get to, especially if you don’t have your own transportation. The Badaling section of the Great Wall was built in 1505 and has been restored on several occasions over the ... [Continue Reading]

July 1, 2013 // 4 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

The Rediscovery of Machu Picchu: Hiram Bingham and Modern-Day Explorers

On 24th July 1911, the Yale archaeologist and intrepid explorer Hiram Bingham III caught his first glimpse of the remote Inca citadel of Machu Picchu during an expedition to find the lost city of Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the beleaguered Inca Empire. Although it’s now thought that the site had been visited (and plundered) by others before him, Bingham is credited with bringing Machu Picchu to the world’s attention. Over the years that followed, however, thousands of artefacts ... [Continue Reading]

March 17, 2013 // 8 Comments

Have Archaeologists Discovered Himiko’s Tomb?

Queen Himiko (卑弥呼) and her kingdom, Yamatai (or  Yamatai-koku) (邪馬台国), play a central role in Tomb Raider 2013. But did you know that in February 2013, a group of researchers were granted access to a burial mound in Sakurai (桜井), Nara Prefecture, Japan, which may be the actual final resting place of this mysterious queen? The location of Yamatai-koku is a subject of intense debate within Japanese archaeological circles. Some believe that it was located as far south as Okinawa ... [Continue Reading]

March 11, 2013 // 7 Comments