The Ancient Web: Peru

The Ancient Web

Archaeologists working in Peru have uncovered the skeleton of a woman believed to have been a high priestess of a mysterious culture that existed around 1,200 years ago. The pre-Hispanic remains were found in late July in an impressive burial chamber located in the country’s northern Chepén province, according to the Agence France-Presse.

Conquering South America’s western edge, the Incas ruled three distinct geographic regions that Spanish soldier-chronicler Pedro Cieza de León termed uninhabitable : rainless coastal deserts, mountain ranges towering more than 22,000 feet, and steamy rain forests. On slopes rising four vertical miles, climates in the empires varied from tropical to polar. In scattered areas on this slopes, at both high and low elevation, the Incas terraced and irrigated the land and produced abundant food for the twelve million or more subjects. A 10,000-mile network of roads, some as wide as 24 feet, knitted together the Incas’ domain. Parallel trunk lines-connected by lateral roads tracing river valleys-followed coast and highlands. Four main highways entered Cuzco, the heart of the empire.

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Pitts River Museum

Gun-flint maker’s kit (1914.76.33)

 This kit belonged to a Shawia gun-flint maker and consists of finished and unfinished flints, flakes and a miniature pick.

The Shawia (Chaouia) are a nomadic Berber group living in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria. The ethnologist Melville Hilton-Simpson made studies of the Shawia before the First World War. In his book about them, he recalled meeting a native man who made a living from carving flints for flintlock muskets. He used a large stone to chip flakes from the core and a small pick (gedum) for trimming and screwing up the jaws on the lock. A single flint would last up to twenty shots. The flintlock had become obsolete in Europe by the mid-1800s but was used in parts of Asia and Africa until the 20th century.

Flissa (1884.24.121)

This flissa or flyssa is the distinctive weapon of the Kabyle Berber people of Algeria. Since they vary in length they are sometimes classed as swords, sometimes as knives. Unlike many North African swords which are fitted with European blades, the flissa blade is without exception of local manufacture.

Such weapons were used to break open chain mail, which was still worn in this part of the world until the 19th century. The blade is single-edged for cutting but also has a tapering point for stabbing. This typical example has an octagonal grip, animal head pommel and decoratively incised blade.

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Fighting Ring (1922.12.8)

The distribution o finger hooks and finger knives coincides closely with that of fighting bracelets. These are found among several Nilotic and Nilo-Hanitic peoples of the Sudan, northern Kenya and Uganda and among some West African peoples in, for example, northern Nigeria.

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Crossbow (1884.16.2)

This wooden crossbow was used by the Fang and Mpongwe peoples of Gabon in west-central Africa. It has a rare and archaic ‘split stock’ trigger mechanism and was used with either iron-headed or poisoned arrows. This crossbow played a central part in anthropologists’ understanding of the spread and development of crossbows. Its acquisition in the mid 19th century also featured, on a wider scale, in a study on hitherto relatively unknown region and peoples in equatorial Africa.

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Bakatwa (1905.45.1)

The bakatwa is a double-edged sword of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, used in religious ceremonies. This example dates to the 19th century. It has a distinctive blade, one half being recessed and painted a dark colour, a carved ebony scabbard and a hilt plaited and bound in brass wire.

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This Museum is amazing; the PittsRiver Museum goes into depth on armor/weaponry of Africa and much more. Checkout all the pieces:

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The Charles H Wright Museum

The Wright Museum

Educational Overview

The Wright Museum’s Education and Public Programs Department provides great aesthetic, interpretive and intellectual experiences, and learning opportunities that can inspire and serve diverse audiences for a lifetime. These experiences and opportunities include an array of impacting and enriching curricular and community educational programs, curatorial and library services, a contemporary artists program, volunteer opportunities, and online resources.


The Charles H. Wright Museum’s Education and Public Programs Department (EPP) mission is to provide great aesthetic, interpretive and intellectual experiences, and learning opportunities that can inspire and serve diverse audiences for a lifetime. These experiences and opportunities include an array of impacting and enriching curricular and community educational programs, curatorial and library services, a contemporary artists program, volunteer opportunities, and online resources.

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Department of Antiquities

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

The Egyptian collections of the Ashmolean are among the most extensive in Britain, and they represent every period of Egyptian civilization from prehistory to the 7th century AD. Predynastic Egypt is a notable strength. The first objects arrived in the Museum in 1683, the year of its foundation, but the major holdings come from British excavations in Egypt from the 1880s until the late 1930s. Oxford University excavations in Southern Egypt and Sudan from 1910 on added a representative collection of Nubian material. The Department also houses extensive collections of papyri, ostraca, wooden labels and writing boards, including the Bodleian Library’s ostraca collections.

Gold Trade and the Kingdom of Ancient Ghana


National Building Museum

Our mission is to advance the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution devoted to the history and impact of the built environment. We do this by telling the stories of architecture, engineering, and design. As one of the most family-friendly, awe-inspiring spots in Washington, D.C., we welcome visitors from around the world to our exhibitions, public programs, and festivals. Located just four blocks from the National Mall, the Museum occupies a magnificent building with a soaring Great Hall, colossal 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze.

Last year the architectural team of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup was chosen to design the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to be located on the National Mall. NMAAHC Director Lonnie G. Bunch III shares the vision for the new building, followed by a discussion with David Adjaye, RIBA, and Philip Freelon, FAIA, LEED AP from the winning design team.  Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 1.5 LU HSW (AIA)

401 F Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Black Splash Exhibit 

Of the many obstacles that Black swimming culture still faces, perhaps the most daunting, is the very notion that it does not exist: that a Black person enjoying the water is anomalous. Because, in fact, it has existed all along. Photo: Courtesy 12 Miles North

In the great and varied canon of American racial stereotypes, there is a highly detailed list of segregated sports.

Basketball, for instance, is a “Black” sport. Hockey, on the other hand, is for Whites. Surfing falls firmly into the category of “white sport,” somewhere between mountaineering and golf. It could be argued that there is no “whiter” sport in the world that was originally invented by non-whites. There are many ways to illustrate this, but let’s leave it here: It is the only sport since the 1936 summer Olympics in which the 2009 world champion, Mick Fanning, can say something overtly anti-Semitic to a reporter and the outlet that reports the statement will be blamed for bad taste.

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At their first encounter with sub-Sahara Africans in the 1400’s, Europeans explorers found a culturally aquatic people who learned to swim in the coastal and river villages of west Africa, both men and women, as soon as they could walk. For centuries, Africans were regarded as the world’s greatest swimmers and enslaved African swimmers and divers created enormous wealth for their masters by harvesting pearls, recovering sunken treasures a working in and around the water. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century racism excised this rich aquatic legacy from Black Culture with these tragic consequences. Today, as many as 80% of African Americans are not competent and comfortable swimmers, and African Americans are 3 to 4 times more likely to drown than whites. Celebrate Black History Month with the International Swimming Hall of Fame by learning about the rich history and inspirational stories of Black Swimmers of the past, present and future.

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The Blind African Slave or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace, As Told to Benjamin F. Prentiss, Esq.

2004, Edited and with an introduction by Kari J. Winter. University of Wisconsin Press

In 1810 in St. Albans, Vermont, a small town near the Canadian border, a narrative of slavery was published by an obscure printer. Entitled The Blind African Slave or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace, it was greeted with no fanfare, and it has remained for nearly two hundred years a faint spectre in our cultural memory.

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African Meeting House


The Black Heritage Trail is a walking tour that explores the history of Boston’s 19th century African American community.

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Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center

The history of African Americans in Minnesota is rich, varied and sometimes difficult. The future for African Americans in the region is bright and beautiful. The Minnesota African American Museum (MAAM) celebrates the contributions made by African Americans in Minnesota and the Midwest. MAAM educates and ensures that future generations will have the knowledge, skills and information they need to compete and succeed for many years to come.”

“MAAM partners with local schools to host field trips, educational workshops and performances. The historic building serves as community space in which diverse organizations can promote cross-cultural understanding. The museum is an interactive classroom, a first-class gathering space and a beacon of hope.



 Minnesota North Star Pioneers

Native peoples and individuals from the world over have come together to make Minnesota the wonderful patchwork quilt it is. The Minnesota North Star Pioneers exhibit chronicles the journey of African Americans to Minnesota and documents the African American contribution to the settlement and development of the Midwest.

Black Baseball

Did you know baseball had a long history of African American players before legend Jackie Robinson ever hit the field? Explore the story of “Negro League” baseball and Minnesota’s many surprising contributions to baseball’s rich history.

The British Museum: Lost Kingdom of South America

From the tropical Caribbean coast of Colombia to the frozen Andean peaks of Bolivia, the wet cloud forests of the Amazon to the dry deserts of the Atacama in Peru, explore four different pre-Incan cultures and the different pathways they took to social complexity through objects in the British Museum collection.

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