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Martin Soukup

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to analyze and interpret uses of human remains in traditional cultures of New Guinea. The author discusses four groups of artifacts: ancestor cult, war trophy, items of everyday needs, and body adornments. The author provides detailed information from selected cultures of New Guinea. It is shown that artifacts made from human remains were not an isolated phenomenon, but were an integral part of cultural customs and way of life in particular cultures.

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Pavel Onderka, Vlastimil Vrtal and Alexander Gatzsche

Abstract

The fourteenth excavation season of the Archaeological Expedition to Wad Ben Naga focused on archaeological exploration of the Typhonium (WBN 200) and its immediate surroundings, exploration of cemetery WBN C200 and on conservation of structures located in Central Wad Ben Naga.

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Hana Vymazalová and Mohamed Megahed

Abstract

During the documentation of Djedkare’s pyramid complex at south Saqqara, a block with an incised inscription was uncovered, containing the titles and names of two Old Kingdom officials. The date of the inscription is unknown, but the titles of the two individuals indicate that they may have been connected to the construction of royal monuments and their provision.

Open access

Thomas Bronder

Abstract

The second part in the 1284 Book of Games of Alfonso X. contains the description of twelve medieval games of dice. Certain information on the amount and timing of bets of the players are only very briefly displayed and are completely missing in several games. The exact course of such games is therefore unknown. What did the players know about their chances of rolling dice and how they could use them when playing the dice? In order to imagine the process of betting for gain, the characteristics of these games of dice are examined and compared with contemporary games of chance.

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Akane Okoshi and Alex de Voogt

Abstract

The American Museum of Natural History (amnh) has three mancala game boards in their collection that are connected with Suriname, formerly Dutch Guyana. One of these samples is exhibited in the amnh African Peoples Hall as part of a section on African Slavery and Diaspora. The games of Suriname were described by Melville J. Herskovits in an article dating to 1929, but the relation of these three boards with Herskovits has remained unclear. With the help of the Herskovits archives, the archival records of amnh and recent research on Surinamese Maroon communities, the history of these three boards is shown to be intimately linked with Herskovits’ broader intellectual project.

Open access

Romana Fousková, Jakub Pečený, Gabriela Jungová and Pavel Onderka

Open access

Helena Heroldová and Jiřina Todorovová

Abstract

The Czech traveller and photographer Enrique Stanko Vráz (1860–1932) spent three spring months in China during the Boxer Uprising in 1901. He was amongst the first travellers – photo-reporters. He preferred realistic photographs as the best proof of capturing the world around him. In Beijing, he took several hundred photographs including the Manchu aristocratic families. Among them, he photographed Prince Su (1866–1922), an important late Qing statesman, and his family. The study discusses Prince Su’s family photographs in relations to Vráz’s notes and travel books.

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Milena Secká

Abstract

Collections of the National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures include a set of 355 educational images printed on cloth and hand-coloured. They were published by the Working Men’s Educational Union based in London to accompany public lectures for British workers, and purchased by Vojta Náprstek in 1862 during his visit to the World Exposition in London for an industrial museum he had planned. Topics of the prints come from natural sciences (astronomy, anatomy, fauna, flora, physics, geology) as well as humanities (archaeology, ethnology, history, theology). A collection of this size has not been preserved anywhere else in the Czech lands.

Open access

Martin Šámal

Abstract

The study presents an edition of a previously unknown manuscript by Vojta Náprstek from 1847, the original of which is deposited in the Vienna University Archive. It is a detailed description of Náprstek’s arrest and stay in custody in the year 1847; during his second year studying law in Vienna. This is an authentic testimony of Vojta Náprstek that he wrote as a defence after the police had warned the university about the incident. The document represents one of a few pieces of proof of Náprstek’s first clashes with the Austrian police. At the same time it allows a new, more sober interpretation of this event, than the one that used to be presented especially in older litetarure.

Open access

Amit S. Deshmukh

Abstract

Playing of sedentary games with dice and playing board games have had a major role in the Indian culture since at least 3000 BCE. This is shown by archaeological sites and early literary references in the Rig-Veda, Mahabharata and other texts. Some of these games have survived in the form of boards, game pieces, dice and cards. Apart from actual sets, the traces of board games can also be found in Hindu rock cut temples. These sculptures and paintings appear across the medieval period. The list is exhaustive. The game play also finds its presence on numerous temple floorings, carved or inscribed. Why would somebody carve these board games on these spaces? Interestingly, throughout history, some board games have increased its popularity, and some have disappeared from artistic expressional record. How did one board game overtake the other in terms of its popularity in the later phases of history? What made these games socially acceptable and popular? Where were these games played? What was the space context? The paintings dominantly show royal houses, court rooms as spaces. Were there special pavilions used for game playing by Indian royals? In India board games were traditionally played at ground level. With growing European influence in the subcontinent in the 18th century, local elites adopted the western custom of elevated furniture for board games. Did this change the space context?

The paper thus tries to evolve parameters to analyze the impact of board games on spaces and would throw light on the “space context” with reference to Indian board games tracing it to the contemporary time.