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Archaeology

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 ... [Continue Reading]

10/06/2015 // 1 Comment

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 ... [Continue Reading]

21/04/2015 // 10 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 ... [Continue Reading]

27/01/2015 // 4 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 ... [Continue Reading]

17/01/2015 // 1 Comment

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 ... [Continue Reading]

15/10/2014 // 2 Comments

Lara’s Travels: The Aleutian Islands

Over the years, Lara Croft has visited some of the coldest and most remote places on the planet and the Aleutian Islands, which feature in the mini-adventure The Golden Mask, are no exception. In Golden Mask, Lara travels to Melnikov Island in search of the legendary Golden Mask of Tornarsuk and ends up infiltrating an old Soviet base in the process. While Melnikov Island is completely fictional, the Aleutian Islands themselves are very much ... [Continue Reading]

27/07/2014 // 3 Comments

Unearthed: 30th June-6th July

It’s time for another edition of Unearthed! Can you believe another week has just flown by? Where are the days going..? So, without further ado, here are some of the best articles, blog posts, and tweets of the past 7 days! Tomb Raider News & Views: There’s been a lot of speculation as to how the upcoming Tomb Raider novel will fit into the new timeline so Crystal Dynamics have responded and confirmed that the events in the novel ... [Continue Reading]

06/07/2014 // 0 Comments

5 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, you should put down your game controller and find out what the experts have to say about this exciting field of study. From the use of 3D laser scanning in site preservation to the ongoing search for the origins of our species, these five TED talks offer unique insights into how 21st century archaeology and ... [Continue Reading]

15/04/2014 // 3 Comments

The Hunt for Himiko Continues: Has Himiko’s Palace Been Found?

The search for the shaman queen Himiko and her kingdom Yamatai has long been one of the holy grails of Japanese archaeology but it seems that archaeologists are another step closer to pinpointing the exact location of her long-lost kingdom. Archaeologists working at the Makimuku archaeological site in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, one of the possible locations of Yamatai’s ancient capital, have uncovered the ruins of a building that may have ... [Continue Reading]

09/02/2014 // 5 Comments

Guest Blog: 6 Amazing Archaeological Sites That Lara Croft Hasn’t Visited (But Really Should)

Guest Blog by Lisa-Marie Shillito (@ArchaeologyLisa) 1) Pavlopetri - The City Beneath the Waves In the original Tomb Raider Lara finds herself in the fabled lost city of Atlantis, known only through the written accounts of Plato around 360 BC, where it is said to have vanished beneath the waves some 9000 years earlier. This would make Atlantis around 11,000 years old, pushing its occupation right back to the beginning of the Holocene, or ... [Continue Reading]

25/01/2014 // 1 Comment

The Best & Worst of The Archaeology of Tomb Raider

It’s January so that means we’re now into the third month of the Blogging Archaeology blog carnival. In November, we talked about our reasons for blogging and in December, we talked about the positive and negative aspects of blogging. This time around, Doug has asked us to reflect on what we consider our best (or worst) blog posts. He left this open to interpretation so each blogger has approached the topic from a different angle. ... [Continue Reading]

19/01/2014 // 11 Comments

Arte-Factual: The Mouth of Truth (Tomb Raider Chronicles)

Tomb Raider Chronicles was possibly my least favourite game of the Tomb Raider series. Sure, it had fewer glitches and better controls than its ill-received successor Angel of Darkness but it offered nothing new in terms of gameplay aside from a couple of new moves and its short, episodic nature made it feel more like an expansion pack than a standalone game. Having said that, Chronicles did have one major redeeming factor: the fact that three ... [Continue Reading]

12/01/2014 // 1 Comment

My Love-Hate Relationship With Blogging

We’re into the second month of the Blogging Archaeology blog carnival and what an amazing event it’s turning out to be. Over 60 bloggers took part in the last month’s session, in which we were all asked to explain why we blog about archaeology. The responses were as diverse as the authors themselves. Some started their blogs as a way to share their research with a wider audience while others, such as Graecomuse, simply wanted ... [Continue Reading]

15/12/2013 // 17 Comments

Photo Gallery: Jean Michel Thery’s Tomb Raider Models

If you’ve been visiting the Archaeology of Tomb Raider Facebook page recently, you may have seen some photos of an Ancient Egyptian-themed Tomb Raider model. This beautiful work of art was created by Jean Michel Thery and since he doesn’t have his own blog or website, I offered to share his photos on this blog. Jean Michel was born and raised in Lille, France, and now lives in Belgium. He retired a few years ago and devotes most of ... [Continue Reading]

13/12/2013 // 7 Comments

Photo Gallery: Trajan’s Market, Rome

Some of you may recall that I visited Rome, “The Eternal City”, in mid November. I’ve finally gotten round to sorting out my holiday photos so I thought I’d share some of the photos I took at Trajan’s Market. Tomb Raider fans will probably recognize the name as it was one of the places Lara Croft visits in the 2000 game Tomb Raider Chronicles. I plan to write about Trajan’s Market at greater length in an ... [Continue Reading]

08/12/2013 // 6 Comments

The Month in Review - November 2013

Normally I’d send out a newsletter to those of you who subscribed to my mailing list but, after some thought, I’ve decided to do away with the monthly newsletter for the foreseeable future. It was a nice idea but I guess it just makes more sense to post my monthly reviews on the blog instead. So without further ado, here are the highlights of the past month! Blog News: The Archaeology of Tomb Raider got its very own domain name ... [Continue Reading]

02/12/2013 // 2 Comments

Lara’s Travels: KV5

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the KV5 level of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation was rather dull and forgettable. There are no real tombs to explore, no noteworthy treasures to find and you spend most of your time driving a jeep through sand dunes, dodging grenades, and avoiding deadly spike pits. Perhaps the level designers just didn’t realize that the real KV5 would turn out to be the largest tomb ever found in the Valley of ... [Continue Reading]

10/11/2013 // 4 Comments

Why I Blog About Archaeology (and Tomb Raider)

Doug, author of the blog Doug’s Archaeology, will be hosting a blogging carnival on the subject of archaeology and blogging in the lead-up to next year’s Society for American Archaeology (SAA) conference. Each month, Doug will post a question on his blog and invite other bloggers to share their thoughts and opinions on certain issues. This sounded like a fantastic initiative to address the role of blogging in archaeology so I ... [Continue Reading]

06/11/2013 // 13 Comments

The First Lady of Chinese Archaeology

Trowelblazers recently published an article I wrote for them on the career of the Chinese archaeologist Zheng Zhenxiang and her discovery of the tomb of the Shang Dynasty female general and priestess Lady Fu Hao. Although this isn’t strictly Tomb Raider-related, I know that a lot of you are interested in archaeology and female archaeologists so here’s a short excerpt of my article for you to enjoy: Zheng Zhenxiang (born in 1929) was ... [Continue Reading]

06/11/2013 // 8 Comments

Arte-Factual: Anubis Shrine (The Times Exclusive)

In the last edition of Arte-Factual, I wrote about the Metal Inrō from Tomb Raider 2013 and explained how these cases were used in pre-modern Japan. This time around, I will be taking a look at a well-known Ancient Egyptian artefact that makes an appearance in The Times Exclusive Level, a stand-alone level that was released in December 1999 and developed in conjunction with The Times newspaper.** The artefact in question is the Anubis statue ... [Continue Reading]

04/09/2013 // 10 Comments

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