Thumbnail image shows an ruins of an ancient temple with 6 tiers

A PreColumbian Portfolio: An Archive of Photographs

Each database record includes a caption, a brief (about 20-word) description, and information on the culture associated with the artifact, such as Maya, Olmec, or Zapotec.
A woman kneels and holds a piece of stone at an archeological site

Analyzing Material Objects


The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. This module developed by historian Daniel Waugh explores how historians interpret material objects to better understand the past. Examples of objects include Turkish water jugs and Byzantine coins among others. Waugh introduces the kinds of questions... Read More »

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Ancient Greek Adolescent Girls at Play


This small (5.5 inches high) terracotta sculpture was made in Greek southern Italy in the late fourth century BCE. It depicts two adolescent girls playing the game of "knucklebones" (astragaloi in Greek). The game was usually played like the modern game of "jacks": one threw the knucklebones in the air and attempted to catch as many as possible. They were also used like modern "dice." Each of... Read More »

Ancient Greek Girl Athlete


This unusual bronze figurine of a female runner was possibly made in or near Sparta, Greece, between 520-500 BCE. Ancient Sparta was the only Greek city-state that provided girls with public schooling including physical education. Girls were praised for their swiftness and likened to prized racehorses in choral songs (called partheneia) sung by girls' choruses in Sparta and elsewhere. Spartan... Read More »

Thumbnail image of a Korean painting from MIA's Art of Asia website

Art of Asia

This site, an integrated, interactive media program, introduces users to the various arts of Asia. The site focuses on MIA’s extensive collections of Asian art, focusing on Chinese and Japanese art.
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Biography of Empress Deng


This biography details the childhood of Empress Deng of the Later Han dynasty. Here she is noted for her precocious intelligence, beauty, and filial piety. She was named empress to Emperor He in 102 CE. The emperor died four years later and Empress Deng served as virtual regent for one infant emperor who died in 106 CE. She dominated the government through the reign of another boy who came to... Read More »

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Buffalo on Wheels Toy


This object made from terracotta was most likely a child's pull toy. Approximately 11 centimeters high and 16.5 centimeters long (4.3 x 6.5 inches), it features functional wheels and a hole at the mouth for a string. The buffalo shows traces of stripes in red paint, and has markings that represent its curly forelock. The object is dated to the Archaic Age (ca. 750-500 BCE) in Magna Graecia ("... Read More »

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Child's Sock


Archaeologist W. M. Flinders Petrie found this child's sock, dated to the 2nd century C.E., in a cemetery at Oxyrhyncus, a Greek monastic centre on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. The sock is made of wool yarn in a technique called "sprang," or loop knitting, in which short pieces of yarn were looped in a circular pattern using a needle. The sock features a separate section for the large toe... Read More »

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Children's Tunics


These two children's tunics, found in Egypt by archaeologist Wm. Flinders Petrie, date to the Islamic period, 9th or 10th century. The blue tunic measures 45.5 cm long and 51 cm wide (18 x 20 inches). The tunic is made of three different fabrics cut from an adult garment into 11 separate pieces, with sleeves and side gores. Red and white zigzag patterned bands decorate the neck and sleeves,... Read More »

Child’s Life Course


Death is part of every society, but the rituals and objects surrounding death have varied across centuries and continents. They can often reveal many things about the role of children and families within a culture, from the nature of grieving to representations of childhood, from artistic preferences to child rearing norms. Dating from the first half of the 2nd century, CE, this Roman marble... Read More »