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ART AND CULTURE - January 2021

Jan 2021

Jun 20, 2021

A Mesopotamian War Memorial Found in Syria

  • In northern Syria, researchers have discovered a burial mound that may be the world's oldest war memorial, according to a new study. Known as the White Monument, or Tell Banat North, the 72-foot high mound dates to the third millennium B.C.E. and derives its name from the material that was used to build it: gypsum, which glistens in sunlight.
  • The White Monument was long thought to contain the bodies of dead enemies—a practice well documented in ancient Mesopotamia. The idea was to bury enemy corpses in a large mound after battle so that "their corpses reach the base of heaven" as a symbol of both punishment and victory, according to the study, which was led by Anne Porter, a professor at the University of Toronto.

Germans Returns Pre-Columbian Artifacts to Mexico

  • Mexico revealed that it had received 34 pre-Columbian artifacts that were owned by two German citizens. The two citizens, who were not identified but who live in western Germany, contacted the Mexican Embassy in Germany about returning the objects that had been owned by their families. The objects were handed over to the embassy.
  • The objects returned come from a vast spread of ancient cultures that once inhabited the lands of present-day Mexico, including ones based along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Central Highlands, Colima and southern Nayarit, and Mayan lands. Among the objects that were returned are bowls, vases, stamps, and various anthropomorphic sculptures. Those sculptures include a mask in metamorphic rock that most likely comes from the Olmec culture and dates to Mesoamerica's Preclassic Period (1200–600 B.C.E.) and two heads done in the Totonac style, dating to the Classic period (250–900 C.E.).

Jun 19, 2021

Farmer Discovers 2,600-year-old Stone Slab from Egyptian Pharaoh

  • A farmer in Egypt has uncovered a 2,600-year-old stela erected by pharaoh Apries, who ruled from about 589 B.C., to 570 B.C.
  • The stela is 91 inches (230 centimeters) long, 41 inches (103 cm) wide and 18 inches (45 cm) thick.
  • At the top of the stela is a carving of a winged sun disk (a disk that was sometimes associated with the sun god Ra) with a cartouche of pharaoh Apries, with 15 lines of hieroglyphic writing below that. Apries, also known as Wahibre Haaibre, reigned during the 26th dynasty of Egypt (688 B.C. to –525 B.C.), a time when Egypt was independent and its capital was often located at Sais in northern Egypt.

Jun 17, 2021

Museum Dedicated to India's Maritime History to Come up in Gujarat

  • A museum dedicated to the country's 5,000-year maritime history will be set up in Gujarat's Lothal by the Culture Ministry in collaboration with the shipping and port ministry.
  • The two ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat.
  • NMHC would be developed as an international tourist destination where the maritime heritage of India -- from ancient to modern times -- would be showcased and an edutainment approach using the latest technology would be adopted to spread awareness about the country's maritime heritage.

Jun 05, 2021

Three Caves Found in Buddhist Caves Complex, Nasik

  • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found three caves in Buddhist Caves Complex in Nasik, Maharashtra.
  • Newly discovered caves are being discovered about two centuries after the British military officer documented Tri-Rashmi Buddhist caves, which is also called as Pandav Leni, on a hill in Nashik.
  • Antiquity of these caves is yet to be established. They may have been dwellings of Buddhist monks.
  • Archaeologists believe, these caves could be older than Trirashmi caves.
  • These caves were discovered on opposite side of the current complex. They are about 70-80 feet above the existing complex and have been carved out of a steep hill. They look like monks' dwellings and older than the current complex. Two of the caves have shared dwellings while third was perhaps occupied by one monk. All these caves comprise of verandahs and characteristic square stone platform for monks. They have special arrangements for monks to meditate. Caves also have images of Buddha & Bodhisattvas and sculptures with designs of Indo-Greek architecture.
  • The Buddhist sculptures and caves are a significant example of "Indian rock-cut architecture" which represents Hinayana tradition of Buddhism.

Jun 04, 2021

Investor Protection: IEPFA's Six Modules of Short Film 'Hisaab Ki Baat' Launched

  • The Investor Education & Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) has come up with six modules of short films to highlight the importance of budget, saving, importance of Insurance schemes, various social security schemes of the government.
  • The modules — of 5 minutes duration each —also portray the consequences of a common man falling prey to the ponzu schemes and how they should protect themselves from such schemes.
  • The six modules of short films titled "Hisaab Ki Kitaab" was launched by Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur.
  • Hisaab ki kitab is a series of six short films, developed by CSC eGov as a part of their training tool. These short films will be used by IEPFA and its partnering organisation for Investor Awareness Programs across the country.
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