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Archaeology

Tomb Raider Christmas Gift Guide 2018

The holiday season is almost upon us once more and that means it’s time to raid your wallets and search for the ideal gift for the Tomb Raider fan in your life. From novels to action figures, from artbooks to cute little stocking fillers, you’ll find something here to suit any taste or budget. Here are Tomb Raider Horizons’ gift recommendations for Christmas 2018! Games Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) – The final installment in the reboot trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb ... [Continue Reading]

November 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

Mayanist of the Month – May 2018 – Tatiana Proskouriakoff

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft will be putting her knowledge of Maya mythology and archaeology to the test as she races against time to save the world from impending doom. To celebrate the game’s upcoming release, I will be paying tribute to some of the greatest female Mayanists in a new monthly series of articles, simply titled “Mayanist of the Month”. The study of Mesoamerica’s Maya civilisation has attracted scholars from a variety of social and academic ... [Continue Reading]

May 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

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

Official ‘Tomb Raider’ Site Teases Fans With Audio Clues About Lara Croft’s Next Adventure

Fans who visited the official Tomb Raider site throughout March and April will no doubt have tried their hand at solving the Maya-themed puzzles being used to promote Shadow of the Tomb Raider. And to reward their efforts, Square Enix was kind enough to share some tiny clues about Lara Croft’s upcoming adventure. One of these clues was this piece of promotional artwork, which depicts a Pre-Columbian (most likely Maya) site hidden away in a tropical rainforest. The audio clips released as ... [Continue Reading]

April 14, 2018 // 3 Comments

Maya Numerals for Beginners

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is coming our way later this year and while we don’t know much about the upcoming game at the time of writing, it’s no secret that the game will be touching on Maya civilisation and mythology. The first piece of official artwork features a Maya temple towering over dense jungle foliage and the official site used a series of Maya-themed puzzles throughout March and April to promote Lara’s next adventure. In a couple of these puzzles, numerical values ... [Continue Reading]

April 13, 2018 // 2 Comments

Fan Project: History and Geography in ‘Tomb Raider’

Do you like learning about ancient history and faraway lands? Well, if you’re a regular visitor to this site, I think it’s safe to assume that you do… so let me point you in the direction of CroftManor’s phenomenal documentary series, History and Geography in Tomb Raider! History and Geography in Tomb Raider is the brainchild of Simon Bucher, a 22-year-old Tomb Raider fan and student from Germany, and explores the real-life myths, archaeological sites, locations, and ... [Continue Reading]

February 4, 2018 // 1 Comment

Talking Treasure Hunting & ‘Tomb Raider’ in VALUE’s ‘Streaming the Past: Fortune & Glory’ Live-Stream

Mark your calendars! The Archaeology of Tomb Raider will be taking part in VALUE’s upcoming live-stream event, “Streaming the Past: Fortune & Glory”, which will delve into the topics of treasure hunting and the misrepresentation of archaeology in the Tomb Raider series. The VALUE team and I will be joined by archaeological ethics scholar Meghan Dennis (University of York) for this exciting event and we’re inviting all of you to tune into the live-stream on ... [Continue Reading]

January 19, 2017 // 2 Comments

Tomb Raider China Publishes 3-Part Article on the Wei Mirror

Those of you who have been following the latest story arc of Dark Horse’s Tomb Raider comic series will no doubt be familiar with the Wei Mirror – an ancient artefact dubbed the “Prison of Souls” – that Lara Croft is searching for in her bid to save her friend Sam’s soul from the clutches of the shaman queen Himiko. But did you know that this mirror is modelled after real-life bronze mirrors found at a number of ancient sites in Japan and China? In early ... [Continue Reading]

January 18, 2017 // 1 Comment

Free Archaeology & Ancient History Online Courses for 2017

If you’ve always wanted to study archaeology or ancient history but have had to set aside those dreams due to a lack of finances, time, or suitable classes in your area, web-based MOOCs, or massive open online courses, may be just the thing for you. MOOCs have helped transform education in recent years, making it easier (and cheaper) for people across the world to enroll on a wide range of academic or professional courses offered by some the world’s leading universities and ... [Continue Reading]

January 3, 2017 // 1 Comment

‘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

Society for American Archaeology Publishes Magazine on Video Games & Archaeology

If you’re interested in the up-and-coming academic discipline of “archaeogaming”, you should check out the Society for American Archaeology’s November 2016 magazine (which can be downloaded as a PDF here or read online). This special issue is devoted to the study of video games and archaeology (or “archaeogaming”) and features articles by some of the leading researchers in the field. Of particular interest to visitors to this site is L. Meghan ... [Continue Reading]

November 16, 2016 // 5 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

Arte-Factual: Mongolian Tug (Rise of the Tomb Raider)

Spoiler warning: This article does not contain any plot or location spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider. However, I leave it entirely up to the reader to decide whether they wish to continue scrolling down or not… In her quest to find Kitezh in the frozen hinterlands of Siberia, Lara Croft stumbles upon the remains of the ancient armies and intrepid explorers who have tried (and failed) to conquer this once-glorious and remote city. One of the artefacts Lara discovers throughout the ... [Continue Reading]

February 7, 2016 // 2 Comments

Free Archaeology & Ancient History Online Courses for 2016

How many times have you wished you could study archaeology or ancient history but have had to set aside those dreams due to a lack of finances or suitable classes in your area? Well, thanks to the magic of online learning, you needn’t let distance or budgetary concerns stop you from indulging your passion for the past. Web-based MOOCs (or massive open online courses) have helped transform education, making it easier (and cheaper) for people across the world to enroll on a wide range of ... [Continue Reading]

January 12, 2016 // 3 Comments

What Do Archaeologists Think of ‘Tomb Raider’?

It’s fair to say that many archaeologists have a love-hate relationship with their fictional counterparts and with the way their profession is portrayed in popular culture. On the one hand, films and other works of fiction help perpetuate the trope of the “adventurer-archaeologist”, those Indiana Jones-types who spend their lives sniffing out lost cities and ancient treasures with little (or no) regard for proper archaeological procedure. Not only do such tropes give the ... [Continue Reading]

October 26, 2015 // 3 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

Book Review: Samantha Sutton and the Temple of Traitors

Last November, archaeologist and author Jordan Jacobs approached me to see if I would be interested in reviewing the first two novels in his Samantha Sutton archaeology adventure series and very kindly sent me review copies shortly after our initial chat. While I don’t really fall under the series’ target demographic, I quickly became engrossed in its first two volumes, which, thankfully, managed to avoid most (if not all) of the classic “adventurer archaeologist” ... [Continue Reading]

August 19, 2015 // 3 Comments

Tombs Aplenty in the Gamescom Rise of the Tomb Raider Demo

This time last year, Tomb Raider fans were up in arms when Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a timed exclusive. It was a move that threatened to tear the Tomb Raider fan community to shreds as one of their beloved game series fell victim to the scourge of “console exclusivity”. Petitions were launched, angry tweets were tweeted, and updates on the official Tomb Raider Facebook page turned into “Console Wars” battlefields ... [Continue Reading]

August 5, 2015 // 6 Comments

Arte-Factual: Gilded Chinthe (Relic Run)

With Rise of the Tomb Raider still months away from release, the endless-runner mobile game Lara Croft: Relic Run has provided Tomb Raider fans with their much-needed fix of Crofty goodness. Relic Run has not only provided me with hours of entertaining gameplay and amusing ragdoll deaths; it’s also offered me a whole new selection of artefacts to feature on this blog. So let’s kick things off by looking at one of the 20 relics from the game’s Jungle Temple level, the ... [Continue Reading]

June 10, 2015 // 5 Comments

Arte-Factual: Griffin-Head Protome (Tomb Raider: Anniversary)

One of the two relics Lara discovers amongst the ruins of Midas’ Palace in Tomb Raider: Anniversary is the griffin-head protome, a bronze decorative piece that she correctly surmises was once fitted onto an Ancient Greek cauldron or drinking vessel. What Lara’s declaration doesn’t tell us, however, is where such an artefact would have been produced or what the use of a griffin motif tells us about Ancient Greece’s cultural links with its neighbours across the ... [Continue Reading]

April 21, 2015 // 10 Comments

The Archaeology of Tomb Raider 2nd Anniversary Q&A

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since I launched The Archaeology of Tomb Raider. It seemed like only yesterday that I posted the blog’s first article, a news item on the real-life search for Queen Himiko’s tomb, but here we are, some 260+ blog posts later. 🙂 I want to thank everyone who’s been following this blog and its related social media accounts for helping make The Archaeology of Tomb Raider the mini-success story it is. This fansite would be ... [Continue Reading]

March 10, 2015 // 4 Comments

Pillagers of the Past and an Interview with Author Jordan Jacobs

For decades, Hollywood and other entertainment outlets have depicted archaeologists as globe-trotting treasure hunters with a thirst for adventure, a taste for shiny trinkets, and a flagrant disregard for the integrity and safety of the ancient sites they’re trespassing on. Lost cities are a staple plot point of your average archaeological adventure and encounters with the mystical and/or paranormal are almost a certainty. Despite the best efforts of professional archaeologists and ... [Continue Reading]

January 27, 2015 // 9 Comments

Book Review: The Samantha Sutton Series by Jordan Jacobs

I had just turned 16 when the first Tomb Raider was released and I remember how I was instantly wowed by the game’s athletic, fiercely independent, and intelligent female protagonist. As a tomboyish bookworm, I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton novels, encyclopaedias, and any books on Ancient Egypt I could get my hands on at our small, under-stocked local library. And despite the countless hours I spent reading, I never seemed to come across any female characters I could truly identify ... [Continue Reading]

January 17, 2015 // 3 Comments

Review: Tomb Raider #8

UPDATE: Tomb Raider #8 is now available to purchase on Amazon or Amazon UK. Picking up where issue 7 left off, Tomb Raider #8 sees Lara continue on her quest to find Kaz, Alex’s sister, who is hiding out in the derelict (and radioactive) city of Pripyat, Ukraine. But it soon becomes clear that Lara is not alone in her quest and that there’s a mad killer closing in on her. Featuring some gorgeous artwork from Derlis Santacruz, this is the second comic to be co-written by Gail ... [Continue Reading]

October 23, 2014 // 5 Comments

Arte-Factual: Apsaras, the Celestial Dancers of Hindu Myth (Tomb Raider 3)

It recently came to my attention that, despite having launched this blog almost two years ago, I still hadn’t written any articles on the Core Design classic Tomb Raider 3. So it’s time to set that right. Introducing new vehicles and a less linear globe-trotting adventure, Tomb Raider 3 also featured some stunning artwork from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, such as the dancers motif seen in the screenshot below and throughout the game’s India levels. The ... [Continue Reading]

October 15, 2014 // 3 Comments