The Ludovisi sarcophagus
|Ancient artifacts are routinely discovered beneath the streets of Rome during construction and maintenance work. In 2015, a routine operation to repair gas pipes beneath a street in the capital revealed the remains of a 2,000-year-old villa, complete with frescoed walls.|
This spring a priceless Roman sarcopagus was identified at Blenheim Palace
Thursday, 31 August 2017
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
|Archaeologists at the Heraclea Sintica site near Petrich in Bulgaria have found an extremely well-preserved gold necklace, possibly dating from the fourth century CE. A Hellenistic and later Roman city, Heraclea Sintica, about 180km south of Sofia, was founded in the fourth century BCE and lasted about 800 years when it was destroyed by an earthquake. Earlier, the city was the site of a settlement by the Thracian tribe the Sintians.|
|Over the centuries, Heraclea Sintica experienced several strong earthquakes, eventually triggering the decline of the city.|
Necklaces of the kind found at Heraclea Sintica were in fashion from the second to the fifth centuries. They were made in specialist workshops and were a typical Roman product, called Istmion. The necklace is 48cm long including the fasteners and weighs 50 grams.
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
|In Greek mythology, a Gorgon is a female creature. The name derives from the ancient Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful". The term commonly refers to any of three sisters who had hair made of living, venomous snakes. They turned those who beheld them to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal, Stheno and Euryale, their sister Medusa was not, and she was slain by Perseus.|
Gorgons were a popular image in Greek mythology, images of the Gorgons were put upon objects and buildings for protection.
|The concept of the Gorgon is at least as old in classical Greek mythology as Perseus and Zeus. One of the earliest representations is on an electrum stater from Parium. Other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns. Going even further back, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, dating to the fifteenth century BC.|
Sunday, 27 August 2017
|All eyes are on the sealed 'vault B' of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, one of the richest shrines in the world, with a Supreme Court-appointed amicus curie to hasten the process of opening it. The 16th century temple shot to fame six years ago when one of its six vaults ('A') was found to contain ancient valuables estimated at Rs 1 lakh crore. ($20 billion)|
Saturday, 26 August 2017
|“Portrait of Seuthes III” (about 310-300 B.C.), Greek. Bronze, copper, calcite, alabaster, and glass. Seuthes III was a ruler of the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace from 331 BC to ca. 300 BC. This bronze was found in his tomb.|
“The Medici Riccardi Horse” About 350 B.C. Italian Bronze and gold.
|The bronze "Chimera of Arezzo" is one of the best known examples of the art of the Etruscans. It was found in Arezzo, an ancient Etruscan and Roman city in Tuscany, in 1553. |
Inscribed on its right foreleg is an inscription, TINSCVIL, showing that the bronze was a votive object dedicated to the supreme Etruscan god of day, Tin or Tinia. The statue is estimated to have been created around 400 BC.
|The over-lifesize "Dancing Satyr" of Mazara del Vallo is a Greek bronze statue recovered from the sea floor at a depth of 500m (1600 ft.) off the southwestern coast of Sicily in 1998.|
The satyr is depicted in mid-leap, head thrown back ecstatically and back arched, his hair swinging with the movement of his head. The figure is highly refined; the whites of his eyes are inlays of white alabaster.
|Artemis and the Stag is an early Roman Imperial or Hellenistic bronze sculpture of the ancient Greek goddess Artemis. In June 2007 the statue fetched $28.6 million at auction, the highest sale price of any sculpture at the time.|
The statue depicts Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting and wild animals. She stands in a pose that suggests she has just released an arrow from her bow. At some point in its history, the bow was separated from the sculpture and was lost.
|Alexander the Great on Horseback, 100-1 B.C., bronze and silver.|
Victorious Athlete, "The Getty Bronze" 300-100 B.C.
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
|The edimmu were envisioned in Sumerian religion as the ghosts of those who were not buried properly. They were considered vengeful toward the living and might possess people if they did not respect certain taboos. They were thought to cause disease in the living. The edimmu were also thought to be "wind" spirits that sucked the life out of the susceptible and the sleeping.|
|An ekimmu is an angry undead spirit that hates humans, demihumans and humanoids, and seeks vengeance against the living.|
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
|The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico following a progressive development in Soconusco. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.|
The Olmec flourished from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE, Early Olmec culture had emerged, centered on the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracruz. They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed. The aspect of the Olmecs most familiar now is their artwork, particularly "colossal heads".
|The Olmec constructed permanent city-temple complexes at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, Tres Zapotes, and Laguna de los Cerros. In this region the first Mesoamerican civilization emerged and reigned from c. 1400–400 BCE.|
What is today called Olmec first appeared fully within the city of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, where distinctive Olmec features occurred around 1400 BCE.
|San Lorenzo was all but abandoned around 900 BCE and La Venta became the most prominent Olmec center, lasting from 900 BCE until it was abandoned around 400 BCE. La Venta sustained the Olmec cultural traditions with spectacular displays of power and wealth. The Great Pyramid was the largest Mesoamerican structure of its time. |
Between 400 and 350 BCE, the population in the Olmec heartland dropped, and the area was sparsely inhabited until the 19th century. Whatever the cause, within a few hundred years of the abandonment of the last Olmec cities, successor cultures became firmly established.
"Olmec-style" face mask in jade
|The Olmec culture was first defined as an art style, and this continues to be the hallmark of the culture.|