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Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider Sequel Has Been Confirmed

Good news, Tomb Raider fans! There *will* be a sequel to this year’s Tomb Raider game. A sequel had been hinted at when Dark Horse Comics announced a new Tomb Raider comic series was in the works but Phil Rogers, CEO for Square Enix Europe, put all the rumours to rest on his blog earlier today. “Square Enix is in production with a number of next generation projects, including Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, which were announced at this year’s E3, and Thief coming in ... [Continue Reading]

August 1, 2013 // 8 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

The Day of Archaeology: Thoughts of an Aspiring Archaeologist

Today’s the Day of Archaeology and, despite my busy schedule, I couldn’t help getting involved in this exciting community blogging event. Here’s the short piece I wrote for the 2013 event: “I often feel like I missed my true calling as an archaeologist. Despite being attracted to archaeology and ancient civilisations from an early age, I was dissuaded from a career in archaeology by teachers who warned me that there was no future in studying the past. It’s too late to ... [Continue Reading]

July 26, 2013 // 8 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

New Tomb Raider Comic Series Coming in Spring 2014

Fans of the Tomb Raider reboot will be happy to know that not only has a sequel been confirmed, there will also be a comic series which will pick up where the game left off and pave the way for Lara’s next video game adventure. Dark Horse Comics will be launching the new comic series in February 2014 and fans will be able to follow Lara as she travels the world, raiding more tombs and possibly even solving a few more ancient mysteries along the way. Gail Simone, who has enjoyed enormous ... [Continue Reading]

July 21, 2013 // 10 Comments

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

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

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

Who Should Be Cast in the New Tomb Raider Film?

As many of you may already know, GK Films and MGM have hired Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer and co-producer Marti Noxon to work on the script for their upcoming Tomb Raider reboot film. It’s not yet clear whether the film will be a big-screen adaptation of Tomb Raider 2013 or an all-new adventure set after Ms Croft’s ordeal on Yamatai but fans will no doubt be looking forward to finding out who will be cast as our beloved female “archaeologist”. So, folks, who do ... [Continue Reading]

June 16, 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

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

Arte-Factual: Chimú Bird Carving (Tomb Raider 1)

In the last edition of Arte-Factual, I looked at the Toltec Atlantes pillars that could be found in and around Qualopec’s tomb in the original Tomb Raider. In this edition, I will re-visit Qualopec’s tomb and examine another Pre-Columbian motif that can be seen on the walls of the fictional Atlantean king’s tomb: a Chimú bird carving. When the first Tomb Raider came out, I was studying Peruvian pottery and iconography as part of a GCSE art project, so I got some pleasure ... [Continue Reading]

April 11, 2013 // 13 Comments

Arte-Factual: Toltec Warriors (Tomb Raider 1)

Sharp-eyed gamers may have noticed that the same colossal sculptures appear repeatedly throughout the Peruvian levels of the original Tomb Raider (1996), most notably in the Tomb of Qualopec. These sculptures are, in fact, based on the real-life Atlantes, or Atlantean pillars, found at Tula, a Postclassic archaeological site in the Mexican state of Hidalgo.** The four Atlantes of Tula are basalt pillars carved in the form of Toltec warriors and are thought to have once supported the roof of ... [Continue Reading]

April 3, 2013 // 10 Comments

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

Which Tomb Raider Location Would You Love to Explore in Real Life?

Which Tomb Raider location would you visit if you had the money and means to explore any of the places featured in the games, films, or comics? Would you visit the stunning temples of Angkor, explore the frozen expanses of Antarctica, wander through the urban wildernesses of London and Tokyo, or do a spot of mountain climbing in Peru? Feel free to let us know what is on your Tomb Raidertravel wishlist by leaving your comments below! You can learn more about the places Lara Croft has visited ... [Continue Reading]

March 14, 2013 // 20 Comments

10 Fantastic Free Resources for Learning Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Have you ever had the urge to follow in Lara’s footsteps and learn to read Egyptian hieroglyphs? If so, you may be interested to know that there are a number of useful, free online resources at your disposal. These, if used in combination with a good textbook such as James P. Allen’s Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (Buy it on Amazon/Amazon UK) or Mark Collier and Bill Manley’s How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs (Buy it on ... [Continue Reading]

March 11, 2013 // 25 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