Posts tagged artifact
Posts tagged artifact
Elias Geyer - Hippocampus as a drinking vessel
Rare Beaker burial. The first photo is before conservation, and the second, after.
The excavations at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton revealed a rare and important Beaker burial. Such burials are found across a large part of Western Europe, and date from around 4,500 years ago. This distinctive pot, known as a Beaker vessel, was found on the individual’s torso.
Courtesy Wessex Archaeology.
Clay model of a sheep’s liver, Old Babylonian, about 1900-1600 BCE. Probably from Sippar, southern Iraq.
The Babylonians believed that the world was controlled by gods and that they could give indications of coming events. One of the most widespread means of prediction was the liver omen, in which a sheep was killed and its liver and lungs examined by a specialist priest, the baru. He would ask a particular question and the answer would be supplied by the interpretation of individual markings or overall shape of the liver and lungs. One could then take steps to avoid danger. On this model each box describes the implications of a blemish appearing at this position. Earlier model livers are known from the site of Mari on the Euphrates.
We know from ancient texts that the baru was one of the most important scholars in Mesopotamia. He had to be the descendant of a free man and healthy in body and mind. The baru played an important part in decision making at all levels but particularly where the king was concerned. No military campaign, building work, appointment of an official, or matters of the king’s health would be undertaken without consulting the baru. (x)
This is the 17th-century equivalent of our watch. Made out of ivory, most of these so-called diptych dials were produced in the German city of Nuremberg. This one is signed by its maker, the instrument maker Hans Truschel, who made it in 1603. The top image shows the instrument closed, in the lower image it is opened up. A small pin would be placed in the horizontal half of the instrument and from it a little string would lead to the vertical half (note the tiny red string in the lower image). When placed in the correct orientation the instrument would tell time, quite accurately, just like its better known bigger brother did, the sun dial found in gardens and attached to houses. Imagine taking this gadget out of your pocket in the 17th-century street to check what time it was. Cool.
Pic: Columbia, University Library, Smith Instrument 27-225. More on this instrument here.
Well isn’t this just the prettiest thing ever.
Runic inscription on ox bone, 11th cent. Norway. The inscription reads: “Kys mik” - “Kiss me”
Qajar Axe with Dragon Finials
- Dated: 19th century
- Place of Origin: Persia
- Inscriptions: “Qur’an, surah al-Fath” and “Surah al-Saff”
The blade of crescent form is carved animal motif and gold overlay vegetal designs. There are also inscriptions within a lobed cartouche that are studded with turquoise stones. The axe has elongated dragon finials and spikes, pattern-welded faceted steel haft incised at base and blade.
Source: Copyright © 2013 Islamic Arts
Thin embossed gold plaques of the now-disintigrated shoes from the Hochdorf Chieftain’s Grave, Germany. Celtic, dates to about 530 BCE.
The Hochdorf Chieftain’s Grave is a richly-furnished burial chamber. Regarded as the “Tutankamon of the Celts”, it was discovered in 1977 near Hochdorf an der Enz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
3,000 year-old Thai burial - open excavation
A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)
(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.
I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool. But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.
Inscribed Sword of Tipu Sultan
C. 1790 A.D.
Place of Origin: Srirangapattnam, Karnataka
One of the world’s rare artefacts this sword once belonged to the great national hero Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, now a segment of Karnataka. A dauntless warrior Tipu ruled this Deccani part around the closing years of the 18th century. The Delhishahi hilt with its circular disc pommel, oval grip, small knuckle-guard, short quillings and small langets, is damascened all over in gold in floral and creeper design. The fine steel blade, devoid of jauhar, is inscribed and bears the verses from the Holy Quran together with the name of Tipu Sultan and his capital Srirangapattnam. The wooden sheath is covered with maroon velvet.
National Museum, India.