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Native American Antecedents of Two Proprietary Board Games

Philip M. Winkelman

Abstract

The ways new games typically develop might be viewed as a continuum ranging from very gradual “evolution” based on mutations introduced to a single progenitor during play or recall, to sudden “intelligent design” based on a purposeful and original combination — or even invention — of ludemes independent of any particular lines of transmission.

This paper argues that two proprietary 20th-century games, C.A. Neves’s Fang den Hut! and Lizzie Magie’s The Landlord’s Game, were developed in a different way, a bit outside the typical continuum. It analyzes the games’ general typologies, and specific ludemes, concluding that both games are modern adaptations of traditional Native American games encountered, not through play or even contact with players, but through the seminal ethnographic publications of Stewart Culin. Specifically, Fang den Hut! derives from Boolik via Games of the North American Indians, and The Landlord’s Game derives from Zohn Ahl via Chess and Playing-Cards.

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Dagmar Pospíšilová, Michal Pech and Michael Kotyk

Abstract

The article presents a methodical survey of standard non-destructive analytical methods applied recently to metal objects in the museum. These methods have helped to classify and describe particular pieces in the museum’s collection of metal objects in a more complex ethnological, historical and museological context.

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Julie Tomsová and Zuzana Schierová

Abstract

The Egyptological collection of the Hrdlička Museum of Man, part of the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, contains next to some ancient Egyptian artefacts mainly anthropological material, namely skeletal and mummified human remains. The article focuses on the skeletal material from the archeological site of Deir el-Medina. The paper discusses the genesis of the collection, its documentation and anthropological examinations in the 1930s and 1970s and most recently since 2012 to the present days. The paper also presents a complete catalogue of the skeletal material from Deir el-Medina in the Egyptological collection of the Hrdlička Museum of Man and provides a comprehensive bibliography on the topic.

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Pavel Onderka

Abstract

A shabti of Tasheretenese, mother of King Amasis of the late Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, was recently identified in the collections of the National Museum - Náprstek Museum, Prague. The shabti belongs to the class of larger shabtis of the Late Period inscribed with the Chapter Six of the Book of the Dead. The text on the shabti provides the name of Tasheretenese’s father, Iretheriru.

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Jiřina Todorovová

Abstract

The way in which the Czech public in the late 19th and early 20th centuries learned about exotic lands was primarily dependent on travellers’ abilities to present their findings in literature or to mediate their experiences directly, by means of lectures. From the 1890s onwards, lectures were accompanied by slideshows. The Náprstek Museum contains an extensive collection of glass slides from the estate of Enrique Stanko Vráz (1860-1932), and an analysis of this collection forms the basis of this contribution. The slides with which Vráz accompanied his lectures can be divided into three types: slides produced from Vráz’s own negatives, slides created from other sources and slides from educational series, manufactured and sold by professional companies.

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Pavel Onderka, Vlastimil Vrtal and Alexander Gatzsche

Abstract

The tenth excavation season of the Archaeological Expedition to Wad Ben Naga focused on the rescue excavations around the rail track intersecting the archaeological site, in the course of which the kom H (of Frederic Cailliaud) was explored. Another task of the season was the partial re-excavation of the Eastern Temple (WBN 500) focused on the earliest occupation of the location. Furthermore, another part of the cemetery WBN C200 was explored.

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Jindřich Mleziva

Abstract

The article focuses on imitations of Asian craftsmanship, manufactured during the 19th century and found in the West Bohemian Museum in Pilsen collection. The collection was created at the end of the 19th century. During that period the museum acquired both original Asian products and products manufactured in Europe under the influence of Asian art. In some cases, however, it happened that objects acquired for the collection a hundred years previously were later thought to be Asian originals. The Pilsen ewer is described in accounts records as a teapot made according to a Persian model. Although in the past it was confused with original work, today objects like this are an indication of the influence that Ottoman ceramics had not only on ceramics production in the second half of the 19th century Europe, and a reflection of the interest in and considerable popularity of Middle Eastern and Oriental arts and crafts in Europe.

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Helena Heroldová

Abstract

The first part of the study is devoted to the history of scholarly description of the Tibetan and Mongolian Collection in the Naprstek Museum, namely to the work of Lumir Jisl (1921-1969). The second part focuses on the iconography of Tantric couples on small votive Buddhist paintings from Mongolia.

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Eric Spindler

Abstract

The crown of the divine child was one of the headdresses that transferred from Egypt to the Meroitic Kingdom. It was integrated in the Egyptian decoration program in the early Ptolemaic time. The first king of Meroe to use this crown in the decoration of the Lion Temple in Musawwarat es-Sufra was Arnekhamani (235-218 BCE). It also appeared later in the sanctuaries of his successors Arkamani II (218-200 BCE) and Adikhalamani (ca. 200-190 BCE) in Dakka and Debod. The Egyptians presented it as the headdress of child gods or the king. In the Kingdom of Meroe the crown was more like a tool to depict the fully legitimised king before he faced the main deity of the sanctuary. To show this the Meroitic artists changed its iconography in such a way that the primarily Egyptian focus on the aspects of youth and rebirth withdrew into the background so that the elements of cosmic, royal and divine legitimacy became the centre of attention. Even if the usage and parts of the iconography were different, the overall meaning remained the same. It was a headdress that combined all elements of the cosmos as well as of royal and divine power.