The Woman with Lapis Lazuli in Her Teeth: Exploring the Female Scribes of Medieval Europe

Written by: Tristan Craig. A 2014 analysis of the remains of a woman, exhumed from the burial site adjacent to a former medieval monastery in Dalheim, Germany, found brilliant blue particles embedded in her dental calculus. Raman spectroscopic analysis revealed these pigments to be lapis lazuli: an immensely valuable commodity in the Middle Ages and used only by the most skilled artists in works of the highest order. What made this discovery all the more spectacular is that she dates from around the eleventh to early twelfth century where examples of the expensive mineral, mined only in one region of Afghanistan, are exceptionally rare. Continue reading The Woman with Lapis Lazuli in Her Teeth: Exploring the Female Scribes of Medieval Europe

Magnificent Manipulation: How the Medici Politicised Public Art

Written by: Joshua Al-Najar. In Renaissance Florence, public spaces served as the physical manifestation of the government’s agenda. Often this took the form of art, as regimes sought to disseminate a set of ideals via public works. This communicative discourse could be wrought with problems, as the creation of artworks did not necessarily translate to control over the response. As the Medici galvanised their grip of Florence, their artistic patronage became a key tool in cultivating public support. Continue reading Magnificent Manipulation: How the Medici Politicised Public Art

Shadow Wars: Cold War Foreign Policy in Africa

Written by: Jack Bennett. The international political, economic and military landscape was chilled by the ongoing tensions between the USA and USSR during the Cold War. These hostilities contributed to the flaring of ‘hot conflicts’ through ‘proxy wars’ across Africa following the process of decolonisation during the latter half of the twentieth century. Continue reading Shadow Wars: Cold War Foreign Policy in Africa

The Lost Cimabue: Reflections on a Medieval Master

Written by: Tristan Craig. Christ Mocked, one of only eleven known wood panel paintings attributed to the artist, was found hung inconspicuously above the stove of the anonymous woman’s home. There remains a great deal of mystery surrounding this discovery – especially how it came to be hung on the wall of a kitchen in Compiegne. Continue reading The Lost Cimabue: Reflections on a Medieval Master

‘Deutschland’ by Rammstein: A Look at Cultural Memory in Germany

Written by: Lewis Twiby. In March 2019, German heavy metal band Rammstein released their new, and controversial, song ‘Deutschland’. The lyrics and music video to this song gives us an insight into memories of German history, the politics of national identity, and the controversies which accompany it. Continue reading ‘Deutschland’ by Rammstein: A Look at Cultural Memory in Germany