Saturday, November 30, 2002

I saw a program on PBS Nova's Secrets of The Dead about the Great Fire of Rome. I was quite intrigued by the scholars who think Nero may have been given a bad rap by Tacitus. An ancient Egyptian prophesy embraced by Christians at the time foretold the destruction of the "whore of cities" on the day that the dog star, Sirius, rises. In 64 A.D. it rose on July 19, the day of the great fire. German scholar, Professor Gerhard Baudy of the University of Konstanz in Germany, thinks militant Christians ", maltreated and embittered, may have started the fire -- or perhaps lit additional fires, adding fuel to the larger conflagration -- in hopes of realizing their prophesies." Nero's response, burning Christians alive, was the prescribed penalty in Rome for arson.

Tacitus had maintained that it was unnatural that the fire spread from the cheaply built insulae to the stone houses of the Senators around the Forum but the program included a recreation of the fire with the assistance of Peter Townsend, a London fire investigator, that clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of the upscale Roman villas. Further evidence of a firestorm has been unearthed by archeologist Clementina Panella who discovered the remains of nails that had fallen off roofs and melted. She also found a charred gate and part of its surrounding masonry that had collapsed from the force of the fire.

To read more about this program: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/case_rome/index.html

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

One of the members of my ancient discussion group mentioned that William Shatner starred as Alexander the Great in a failed TV pilot in the 60s. I found this very intriguing so I asked him for more information and he suggested I search for Shatner Alexander Great in Google. I did and found a wealth of links about this film. I even found a source for the video http://www.robertsvideos.com/product.php3?invid=18092&ref=/browse.php3) although I'm a little dubious about its origin and quality. William Shatner had a lot of intensity as an actor in the 60s and probably would have made a pretty decent Alexander. I would love to see his version of the "Fire From Heaven". In a recent interview Shatner was asked about the pilot and he remembers that it required the cast to ride fast horses without saddles, challenging to even an accomplished horseman like him.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I saw a note today about Edgar Allen Poe's poem about the Colosseum published in the Baltimore Sun in 1833. Some of my favorite snippets:

"Here, where a hero fell, a column falls:
Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat:
Here, where the dames of Rome their yellow hair
Wav'd to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle:
Here, where on ivory couch the Caesar sat,
On bed of moss lies gloating the foul adder:"

"...These stones, alas! - these grey stones — are they all;
All of the great and the colossal left
By the corrosive hours to Fate and me?"

"Not all," — the echoes answer me; "not all:
Prophetic sounds, and loud, arise forever
From us, and from all ruin, unto the wise,
As in old days from Memnon to the sun.
We rule the hearts of mightiest men: — we rule
With a despotic sway all giant minds.
We are not desolate — we pallid stones;
Not all our power is gone; not all our Fame;
Not all the magic of our high renown;
Not all the wonder that encircles us;
Not all the mysteries that in us lie;
Not all the memories that hang upon,
And cling around about us now and ever,
And clothe us in a robe of more than glory."

For the complete poem: http://archaeology.about.com/library/weekly/aa111702a.htm
A great website providing strategies for designing web pages for accessiblity: http://www.webaim.org/

Monday, November 25, 2002

So ended my latest Las Vegas excursion. Once again I was able to find some cultural activities I could enjoy which often surprises people. I did notice that the struggling economy appears to have had an impact on Las Vegas. The reduction in visitors since 9/11 seems to have stimulated a return to more traditional Las Vegas entertainment. Even the Excalibur Hotel which is one of the most G-rated facilities on the strip was offering the "Thunder From Down Under" show - a sort of Chippendale male strip act. The Paris Hotel was promoting its "La Femme" nude show as a celebration of the beauty of the female form. Most of the other resorts had their versions of risque entertainment as well.

As it turns out I didn't make it all the way home on Thursday after all. Eugene was fogged in so my plane was rerouted back to Seattle and I had to spend the night there. I finally got home Friday about noon. I have spent the last couple of days recuperating although it looks like its going to take a while before my sinuses clear up.

I found an interesting web page about the archaeological findings so far at the assumed location of Troy. ( http://devlab.dartmouth.edu/history/bronze_age/lessons/27.html ) It mentions that one of the most significant finds by Korfmann in the 1990s was a " lentoid bronze seal inscribed on both sides in the Hieroglyphic Hittite script with the name of a male scribe on one side and with the name of a female, presumably his wife, on the other. The first securely identifiable example of writing yet to have been unearthed in a prehistoric level at Troy." This finding is thought to tie the Hittites more closely to the population of Troy than previously thought. Also, it has been argued by Deger-Jalkotzy that pottery termed "Coarse Ware" found in layers considered to be from a period immediately following the Trojan War, was derived ultimately from ceramic traditions at home in the Middle Danube area of central Europe. Therefore, he speculates that the sackers of Troy could have been a population group who crossed the Hellespont at the end of their journey from the Middle Danube through Rumania to Turkish Thrace, not Mycenean Greeks after all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Since I have no other Comdex vendors to meet, I have rearranged my flight schedule so I can fly home tomorrow instead of Friday. The smoke from all the smokers here has irritated my allergies and my eyes are so watery it makes it hard to read. My sinuses are inflamed as well. Of course, I could have also picked up a bug in my wanderings too. There is a major construction project in progress between the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace that has probably stirred up the air as well.

Although I always request nonsmoking seating, all hotels manage to route everyone through their casinos to get anywhere so those of us that are sensitive to air impurities usually suffer the consequences. However, I must point out that the Aladdin's accomodations have been quite comfortable and the service staff have been very friendly and helpful. Their buffet is quite delicious too - I had a wonderful Shrimp Scampi there as well as a nice variety of salads. It appears to include dishes from most of the major cuisines of the world.

I walked down to Caesar's Palace this morning to photograph the gardens. I also wanted to check out the lobby and see if they had beautiful Roman murals like the beautiful Egyptian murals behind the registration desk of the Luxor but they didn't. So I walked through the Forum Shops stopping for a bite of roast chicken at Planet Hollywood then walked across the skybridge over to the Venetian. I wanted to explore their new Guggenheim Heritage Museum. I wasn't allowed to photograph any of the works so I had to be content with just examining them closely.

My favorite painting, of course, was Titian's "Lucretia and Her Husband" or should I say a man that is assumed to be her husband. It could actually be the Tarquin prince that raped her but the look on her face does not appear to be fear so scholars assume the man is her husband. Supposely Lucretia asked her husband to revenge her before she took her own life and a dagger is poised in her hand. The exhibition featured Sir Joshua Reynolds' "Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus (1788) and noted that his Venus resembles the artist's favorite portrait subject Emma, Lady Hamilton. The only Peter Paul Rubens in the exhibit was his self portrait. I would have preferred one of his historical pieces. Paulus Potter's "The Wolf Hound" was interesting and provided variety to the exhibit. Nicholas Poussin's "The Victory of Joshua Over the Armalekites" depicts a writhing mass of humanity engaged in mortal combat. But, like many Renaissance painters, his costuming was anachronistic. One of the warriors on horseback was wearing a Greek-style tunic and helmet with white crest - a trademark of Alexander the Great. Other combatants did not appear to be nomadic tribesmen either. The audio narrator said Poussin was said to have included images he observed in Rome for this early work. Apparently, historical accuracy was not considered important. Why he didn't just paint a scene like the Battle of Issus or something is a mystery. The exhibit also included more recent works by such artists as Chagall, Picasso, and even Jackson Pollack. I much prefer the more traditional styles and historical subjects of the Renaissance masters, however. I didn't bother to go to the Guggenheim Las Vegas display since it featured only a display of motorcycles and the Venetian charges separately for each exhibit so I didn't see any point in spending another $15.

Walking back to the front entrance, I spotted a little bakery offering creme brulee - my favorite dessert - so I rested a little and enjoyed this unexpected treat. It was not in a ceramic ramiken, only a foil pie tin, so I was a little dubious. But, it was quite tasty. As I was walking back to my hotel along Las Vegas Boulevard, a college student struck up a conversation with me. I must have looked like a fellow academic walking along with my museum brochure. It's funny that he asked if I had seen any bookstores. I had just been thinking about it while I was at Caesar's Forum Shops that I thought it was odd not to see any Barnes and Noble or B. Dalton's in any of the shopping complexes I had explored. He said I must have missed the one at Virgin's. I told him I thought Virgin's was only a CD and movie shop but he said they had books upstairs. I wish I would have known that since most of the stores only feature expensive apparel and jewelry that are of no interest to me. In fact, whenever I visit Caesar's Palace and walk past Cartier's or Tiffany's I instictively avert my eyes as if a mere glance at these baubels intended for the rich and famous would earn me an escort to the nearest exit.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Today Comdex was a bust as well. I walked down to the MGM Grand to the second venue hoping to see some software application vendors and the only vendors were Biosecurity-related developers. Not just fingerprint recognition types but developers of heavy duty, terrorist prevention systems. The technical bookstore was filled with mostly terrorism histories and there was a definite prevalence of military types walking around - a real GW crowd. Needless to say, I quietly extricated myself from what looked to be a convention of the far right. I am disturbed that a conference that should focus on the creative and innovative aspects of our industry should place so much emphasis on the dark side of humanity. I was not encouraged when I read Bill Gates' keynote address either. He seemed to be content hyping gadgets that he dramatically claims are the realm of the future. I think we need to focus more on application solutions that help us manage multi-point information more intelligently. I felt like screaming at these gadget hawkers - "You don't get it do you? It's the content, STUPID! I feel our industry is suffering from the same disorder that currently plagues Hollywood. Too many people are interested in the special effects and not spending enough time on providing truly innovative developments that the vast majority of individuals would find actually useful.

Based on my experience this year and the knowledge that Comdex organizers face a bankruptcy petition in a few weeks, I doubt that I will ask to return next year even if Comdex somehow survives. So, I decided to make my last visit to the Luxor and walk through the Tut Museum one last time. As I was walking over to the Luxor I passed through the Excalibur and enjoyed a free musical presentation by a young man on a bass and a woman on what I was told was an electronic violin. The violin had such an exotic shape I thought at first it was some kind of electrified medieval instrument. But I asked about it and was told it was an electronic violin. It had the capability to sound like more than one violin being played simultaneously. The music was very beautiful and I lingered a while just to listen. I finally turned toward the Luxor and headed off again. When I got over there I discovered that Star Wars II: The Attack Of The Clones was playing on the IMAX screen. So, even though I had heard the acting was poor, I thought it worthwhile to see the visuals on an 8-story screen. It was quite an interesting visual experience. I know my grandson, a new generation Star Wars fan, would have been totally enthralled. I have seen IMAX presentations before but never a feature film in this format. I wonder how they transferred the film to the large format. It was decidely less clear than a typical conventional presentation although I had heard the digital process used in the film did not produce a particularly vivid result for the traditional theater screen either. However, the aerial panoramas were quite impressive and it felt like you were truly looking hundreds of feet down into the cities and landscapes below. Ian McGregor did a much better job as Obi-Wan this time and Jar-Jar Binks screen time was mercifully short. Of course the thin dialogue between Anakin and "Senator" Amidala was as pitiful as I had heard but Yoda's light saber duel was also as good as I had heard. And best of all, there was no interminably long (and boring) pod race sequences either.

I enjoyed my visit to the Tut Museum again. Even though I had been there twice before I did notice some small details I had missed on previous visits. I had not recognized the god of childbirth, Bes, carved on the headboard of the queen's bed or the carved antelope on the sides of the chair Tut used as a child. I also smiled to myself when I read the history timeline starting with Narmer uniting upper and lower Egypt. The Luxor needs to correct this timeline to take into account the recent findings of an earlier "Scorpion" king and his apparent conquests of neighboring tribes. I walked out through the front entrance so I could gaze up at the Sphinx's formidable edifice one more time then caught the tram back to the Excalibur and hiked across the walkway to the MGM again. Before catching the monorail back to the Bally (as close as I could get to the Aladdin where I am staying), I decided to have a sandwich and cup of chowder at the Rainforest Restaurant. The chowder was delicious and I enjoy watching the animatronic animals hanging in the trees around the restaurant's interior. I ate near a cheetah who twitched his tail and roared periodically. When the storm sequence was initiated all of the animals became suitably agitated. The elephants would flap their ears, the cheetah would roar, and monkeys screech. The Rainforest makes a fantastic key lime pie but I haven't been very hungry on this trip so I did not order it this time.

The monorail deposited me at the Bally Resort, just two blocks from the Aladdin. I walked through the Bally and the Paris Hotel and emerged onto Las Vegas Boulevard just in time to see the fountain display in front of the Bellagio right across the street. With Frank Sinatra's smooth voice amplified to the point of almost obscuring the din of traffic, it is a moment that I would say typifies the Las Vegas experience.
Well, my first day at Comdex was rather anticlimactic. The exhibit was dominated by components manufacturers and items that sell on the floor of a trade show. Since I don't build systems I was not interested in any of the components exhibits and I wasn't seriously interested in leopard patterned tower cases, glowing neon tubes to adorn our systems, glowing cell phones, mice, or see-through keyboards. I also didn't need a back, neck, or foot massage or any other body part attended to either.

I hoped to see some new Palm or Pocket PC applications but relatively few were displayed. I stopped by the booth of a vendor of Pocket PC application development software called App Forge. I was surprised, however, that you have to pay licensing fees to each type of device your software is compatible with after you develop your product. Filemaker Pro developer includes the ability to sell your runtime solutions without further cost.

The wireless displays were also disappointing - mostly hubs which I am not in charge of selecting and ethernet cards (yawn).

The Biometric area was sparse as well - mostly fingerprint detection devices. Nothing particularly earth-shattering. A company called Biometric Security Card, Inc. has developed a new compression algorithm that produces a biometric data footprint of only 64 bytes instead of the usual 350 bytes. This should dramatically reduce the storage requirements of biometric data and improve the efficiency of its transmission.

I also stopped by a display by e-Synergy - a knowledge management application that runs on BackOffice and appears to be similar in function to Lotus Notes, centralizing the management of financials, logistics, project, CRM, HRM, forms routing, and document sharing. However, not only would the University not want to replace its extensive Oracle systems but at $1,000 per seat, the cost of the product is prohibitive for a public-funded institution.

I didn't even see many LCD screen vendors this year. I did notice a LCD television system but didn't think the resolution was a sharp as my traditional 60-inch Mitsubishi that I have at home. Of course my traditional big screen isn't 4 inches thick either!

Microsoft displayed its tablet PC but I doubt that our group would have much use for it. Our field researchers are used to a keyboard and I'm still rather skeptical about the accuracy of hand writing recognition systems despite Microsoft's claims.

The shuttles were also messed up this year. I spent an hour hunting around looking for the shuttle to take me over to the other venue at the MGM and asking officials that appeared to be clueless. Finally I got fed up with it and hailed a cab.

After I got back to my hotel, I decided to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful 72 degree weather here. I wandered over to the Bellagio to visit the "Faberge: Treasures From The Kremlin" exhibit at the Fine Arts Museum. It was not nearly as extensive as the "Treasures From Russia" exhibit I visited at the Rio three years ago but included some very interesting pieces. I especially liked a filigreed silver Kovsh, a ladle for beverages and communal drinking. It was adorned with a delicate portrait of Peter the Great leading his troops astride a magnificent white stallion. I also admired a covered punch bowl adorned with the silver bust of an early warrior with flowing hair and beard. He wore a simple rounded helmet topped with a spike. He looked almost Viking-like. There was also a small silver lighter in the shape of an intricately detailed monkey. The audio narrator mentioned that many Faberge silver pieces were melted down for currency after the revolution. What a loss!

As an admirer of historical costume, I carefully studied the coronation jacket of Nicholas II and a beautiful lace wedding gown of silk, velvet, and muslin. The display also included a lovely silk ball cape adorned with swan feathers and a stunning black lace gown made from silk braid.

Of course the highlight of any Faberge exhibit are the imperial Easter eggs. This exhibit boasted three of them. The Trans-Siberian Railway egg was decorated with a finely detailed map etched in silver and contained a gold and platinum replica of the train. The Kremlin egg depicted Moscow's Uspensky Cathedral surrounded with the towers of the Kremlin. The interior of the cathedral was reproduced down to the carpets and miniature paintings that were visible through one of the windows. The clocks in the towers chimed and the egg contained a music box that played one of the tsar's favorite Easter hymns. Of course the most touching egg was the Alexandrovsky Palace egg. This egg was a beautiful emerald color decorated with gold laurels and delicate portraits of the tsar's children. It contained a tiny miniature of the tsar and tsarina's favorite palace home just outside of St. Petersburg.

Well, I'm off to breakfast then a hike over to part two of the convention over at the MGM Grand. Hopefully there will be more software applications there.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Well, I arrived safely in Las Vegas yesterday to attend Comdex. Yesterday was my first flight since 9/11 and everything went reasonably well. I was advised to arrive at least 2 hours before the flight but passed through security without any problems so had to nap for a couple of hours before the flight finally showed up. The connecting plane in Portland was also late so had to nap some more. Alaska Airlines did serve a sandwich and cookie for lunch so the rumors about no more food service are apparently false. Of course you don't have to use any utensils with a sandwich. Maybe that is the consession to security.

The Aladdin Hotel is nicely appointed and I was able to get a ticket to the final performance of the Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast" last night. It was held right here in the Aladdin's own Theater for the Performing Arts. The play was good but I thought all of the musical numbers by the enchanted household utensils sort of overwhelmed the production. I would have preferred more scenes between Beauty and the Beast. Gaston, of course, was wonderfully outrageous. I wish the play didn't include so much "punching" between Gaston and his comic relief sidekick though. The Beast was very good too but didn't seem to be able to project his singing as well as long as he was in the Beast makeup. Once he transformed into the prince I could hear him better. Of course Belle was not only pretty to look at but had a beautiful voice as well.

I was also pleased to note that a branch of the Guggenheim Museum has opened in The Venetian so I hope to take it in while I am here. There is also an exhibit of Faberge items from Russia across the street at the Bellagio's Museum of Art that I hope to see as well. People usually look at me skeptically when I tell them I have attended Comdex in Las Vegas four times and have always found interesting things to do without gambling.

I was disappointed that Sony will not have an exhibit this year as their booth always included some cutting edge technology works in progress. They say Comdex is about half its usual size and they are making an effort to make it less chaotic. We shall see!

Saturday, November 16, 2002

I just finished an audio course on The Aeneid and Professor VanDiver said that the ending of the Aeneid with Aeneas apparently giving in to revenge and killing a supplicating Turnus has caused a lot of controversy among scholars. Apparently some scholars think Vergil intended the scene to demonstrate that Aeneas had rejected "pietas" (please forgive my spelling if it is not correct - a small disadvantage when you listen to a lecture instead of read it). Other scholars think it was meant as a morality example for Augustus, Vergil's patron. I was thinking a little more simply. Vergil emulated much of the Illiad and Odyssey in The Aeneid. Would it be logical to consider the cultural admiration for Achilles as a reason to make sure Aeneas did not surpass Achilles in personal values? Achilles could not overcome his "furor" after the death of Patroklos. If Aeneas had demonstrated restraint after the death of Palace, would this not have elevated Aeneas above the legendary Achilles?

Friday, November 15, 2002

On an entertainment note, last night I purchased a double expansion pack for Zoo Tycoon that includes both the Marine Animals add-in as well as the Dinosaur Digs add-in. I haven't even had a chance to play Zoo Tycoon yet but look forward to having time to evaluate it over the Christmas break. I became a fan of strategy/simulation games a number of years ago when I purchased a game called "Eco-East Africa" published in 1995. This game let you manage all aspects of an African game preserve including writing letters to obtain additional government funding, trying to attract tourists, trying to encourage research, hunting down poachers, assisting local villagers with their economy and food supply so they didn't turn to poaching, etc. The AI was logical and very life-like which is the reason I was attracted to the game. I hate pointless "puzzles" that do nothing but delay game progress. The game used only 2-D graphics overlaid with animal animations produced from video clips of real animals in the wild (similar to Deer Hunter) but the graphics were quite effective in combination with appropriate background sounds and the "sunlight" manipulation to change the scene from daylight to evening to dark and back.
My colleague, Terry Kneen, downloaded the beta of a new product from Macromedia called "Contribute". We experimented with it and became quite excited about its potential. The product allows you to log in to an ftp server (which you save in your settings) and browse html documents. If you need to make a correction to text or graphics you simply select "Edit document", the document is displayed in an edit window, and you can change or add text, or change a graphic or edit an alt-tag, like you would in a simple word processor. You can then click "Publish" and you're done. I see great potential for this tool to use in combination with Dreamweaver templates to enable "non-html" staff to make quick text edits to a website without knowing a bit of HTML. Here, the communications director opted to hire a Cold Fusion programmer to develop a complex template driven site that involves a vast amount of proprietary code. "Contribute" allows you to manage user access to specific documents and even portions of documents in a very simple, easy to maintain system and would be ideal for informational websites that do not require database aspects such as management of inventory and sales. Now, Macromedia, if you would make the product available through a user account on the web like Blogger, edits could be made anywhere, anytime without having a machine with the client software installed!

Thursday, November 14, 2002

A colleague, Terry Kneen, found this great quote from Harry Truman "The responsibility of great states is to serve and not to dominate the world." I wish GW would remember his history!

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

One of my friends on the Imperial Rome Discussion List was surprised when I mentioned the height of Roman insulaes (apartment buildings) were at least 8 stories. The program mentioned the height of 8 stories because it quoted an ancient source (I can't remember who they said) that gave directions to their apartment on the 8th floor of a building. They might have been even higher. I find this truly amazing. The highest building we have here on campus is Prince Lucien Campbell Hall at ten stories. I can hardly imagine a building that size of plain brick.

Another interesting point in the program was the description of how the Romans helped Pergamum obtain a plentiful water supply by building an inverted siphon from a mountain 16 miles away to the city. Surprisingly, this plumbing website describes it quite nicely: http://www.masterplumbers.com/plumbviews/1999/turkey.asp
Recently, I ordered a CD-Rom entitled "The Archaeological Detective" for evaluation for possible inclusion in our methods classes. I haven't had time to look at it yet but it supposedly "lets you try your hand at archaeological detective work, uncovering information about a skeleton found under the old stones of Montreal." The student is challenged to determine the sex, age, size, religion and even the name of the person by examing historical documents, plans and maps, and consulting with experts.

A while back I experimented with building a web page for students to explore that would provide the capability to virtually dig up images of artifacts and learn about a particular period in history. I developed a technique with animated gifs and Photoshop's erase to background tool that enabled a student to gradually uncover images of artifact reproductions I had photographed at the King Tut Museum down at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. My main problem was the multilayerd gifs were rather hefty for efficient download. I was advised to do the animation with Flash but I haven't had time to experiment with it yet.

Monday, November 11, 2002

I am presently studying the Aeneid by Vergil. I am listening to a Teaching Company audio course by Professor Elizabeth VanDiver who is an outstanding lecturer. I found the story of Aeneas' love affair with the Carthaginian queen Dido very moving. An excellent website about this portion of the Aeneid is: http://www.barca.fsnet.co.uk/carthage-dido-aeneas.htm I also found a picture of a beautiful tapestry depicting Aeneas and a meeting with his mother Venus. I added this to my searchable database of images of the ancient world at: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~mharrsch/historydatabases/AncientImagesdatabase.html

I developed my database of images of the ancient world because most image databases ignore the fact that images from a history perspective have the attributes of time and space. I have yet to find another database that will let you search for images by time period or geographic location of subject. Most databases are only searchable by keyword, artist, and artist dates. I hope my database will be a valuable resource for students and educators of history.

Friday, November 08, 2002

I saw a program last night about ancient inventions of the city. It mentioned that some Roman insulae (apartment buildings) were at least 8 stories high. I thought they were only about 4 stories high so I find that very amazing. I also was surprised to learn that Minoans, not the Romans, invented aqueducts. I find it strange that aqueducts are not mentioned in discussions of ancient Greece since the Myceneans eventually absorbed the Minoan culture. I will need to research this further. The narrator also mentioned that Augustus formed the first state-operated fire departments. However, some of the fire departments apparently got into the "protection" racket and started fires then extorted money from the property owner to extinguish the blaze.
I'm planning to make web pages about collecting historical dolls and have individual pages about particular historical characters. So far, my Elizabethan page will feature a hand-made knitted Henry VIII doll made for me by an artist in Alaska along with portrait dolls of Henry and his wives, Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, etc. from Peggy Nisbet, Rexard, Regal Elegance, Clothtique and a couple of unknown manufacturers. I'll have a Spanish discovery page featuring different dolls of Columbus, King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella, and a conquistador (I wish I could find a Montezuma doll). I'll have a Napoleonic page with dolls of Napoleon, Josephine, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Madame Pompadour, King Phillipe, Musketeers and Lord Nelson. My Egyptian page will include different Cleopatra dolls, Nefertiti, the Prince of Egypt doll series, a Gene daughter of the Nile, a Barbie Princess of the Nile, different Marc Antonys, and a knitted Egyptian priest doll. My medieval page will have King Arthur, Knights, Guinevere (eventually), Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and other ladies in period dress. My Greco-Roman page is a bit sparse so far - mostly Greek goddesses and Roman Xena. I hope to get a 12" Legionary or Greek Hoplite figure for Christmas.