|Assyrian King Shalmaneser III shaking hands with a Babylonian ruler.||The handshake goes back to the dawning of ancient history but the reason and origin of it are not known. One of the oldest depictions of the handshake is from a ninth-century B.C. relief. A handshake was a symbol of loyalty and friendship in ancient Rome and clasped hands are often found on coins.|
Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 2020
|Corinthian Helmet and Skull from the Battle of Marathon 490 BCE – Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army.|
A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet (with skull inside) belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.
The story of the man who ran back to Athens with the news of the victory became synonymous with the long distance running event in the Olympics.
Tuesday, 21 April 2020
|Studies over the last few decades have revealed that the treasure was gathered over a long period of time, from the late 7th to the late 8th century AD, and seem to confirm its links to the Avar culture.|
Monday, 20 April 2020
|The 1992 discovery brought the two men a finder’s fee of £1.75m.||When Peter Whatling lost his hammer near Hoxne, Suffolk, he asked a friend with a metal detector to help out. They found something. The Hoxne Hoard is the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, and the largest collection of gold and silver coins of the fourth and fifth centuries found anywhere within the Roman Empire. 14,780 gold and silver coins, along with 200 jewellery items,ornaments and tableware were found. ||The hoard was part of the accumulated wealth of the affluent Roman Aurelius Ursicinus.|
|The hoard is made up of gold and silver coins and jewellery, amounting to a total of 3.5 kilograms (7.7 lb) of gold and 23.75 kilograms (52.4 lb) of silver.|
Sunday, 19 April 2020
Gilt-silver mummy mask of Queen Malakaye (664–653 BC)
|An exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, titled 'Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia', provided insight into the meticulous craftsmanship of Ancient Nubia (located mostly in what’s now Sudan).|
The show included more than 100 treasures from the MFA’s collection of jewelry from Ancient Nubia. The MFA’s collection dates from 1700 BC to AD 300 and is considered the most comprehensive of any outside of Khartoum. Gold and the Gods showcases elaborate necklaces, amulets, stacked bracelets, and earrings discovered inside the tombs of Nubian kings and queens.
Ancient Nubia ruled the entire Nile Valley during the apex of its power in the eighth century BC. Nubian artisans turned out some of the most sophisticated, finely crafted jewelry of the ancient world.
|Hathor-headed crystal pendant (743–712 BC)|
|In addition to an array of gold objects, the exhibition shows jewelry made with lapis lazuli, blue chalcedony, amethystine quartz, and carnelian. Several pieces incorporate enamel and glass, rare and valuable materials at the time. Owners of these adornments valued them not only for their intrinsic beauty and as signs of wealth and status, but for magical powers that protected them in life and on their journey to the afterlife.|
|Nubian goldsmiths and jewelers employed methods that wouldn’t be reinvented in Europe for another thousand years.|
Saturday, 18 April 2020
|With more than 3,500 items, amounting to some 5kg of gold and 1.4kg of silver – plus thousands of garnets – the Staffordshire hoard is the largest cache of Anglo-Saxon metalwork ever found.|
|Archaeologists believe the treasures were captured over several large mid-seventh century battles. It's likely that they were seized by the English midlands kingdom of Mercia from the kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and possibly Wessex.|
|The items are almost exclusively military. The hoard was made up of fittings from up to 150 swords, gold and garnet elements of high status seax (fighting knifes), a gilded silver helmet, crosses, and a probable bishop’s headdress.|
Thursday, 16 April 2020
Octopus Frontlet, 300–600, Moche culture
|Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas, was on view at the Getty Center in 2018. It traced the development of gold working and other luxury arts in the ancient Americas from about 1000 BC to the arrival of Europeans in the early 16th century. The exhibit reveals the ways ancient Americans used not only metals, but also jade, shell, and feathers.|
Ear Ornament Depicting a Warrior, 640–680, Moche.
|It was a world where feathers were more valuable than gold. The rarest feathers, including the iridescent green feathers of the quetzal, were reserved for the Aztec emperor himself.|
The unprecedented exhibition featured 300 works from 53 lenders in 12 countries.
|The MET exhibition traced the development of gold-working in the Americas from its origins in the Andes, to its expansion northward into Central America, and finally to Mexico, where gold-working comes into its own only after 1000 AD.|
Jade plaque showing a seated king and palace attendant, 600–800 AD
Wednesday, 15 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 2020
|Offered in the 'Collection Vérité' on 21 November 2017 at Christie’s in Paris. |
Hawaiian figurative sculptures are incredibly rare. Kamehameha I associated himself with the war god Ku-ka’ili-moku — the ‘land snatcher’ or ‘island eater’. This example was made circa 1780-1820 from the Metrosideros, a tree found in the high mountains of Hawaii. The figures that are known are all in museums. The statue made a whooping $7.5m blowing well past it's $3.5m estimate.