Shumei Ancient Art Near East Central Asia Egyptian Roman China Islamic Persian

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,288) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 383907553039 Shumei Ancient Art Near East Central Asia Egyptian Roman China Islamic Persian. "Ancient Art from the Shumei Family Collection" by Dorothea Arnold, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title.DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket. Publisher: New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (1996). Pages: 210. Size: 12½ x 9¼ x 1¼ inches; 3¾ pounds. Summary: The magnificent collection of ancient art celebrated in this volume is a selection of the holdings of the Shumei Family, a religious organization based in Japan. The emphasis, in the works included here, is on antiquities that originated in different areas of the ancient world—namely, the Mediterranean, the Near East, and China. Although the objects are eclectic, and range from powerful to jewel-like in their delicacy, the quality of the works of art in the Shumei Family Collection shines through in every detail. Whether we focus on the silver and gold cult figure of a deity from thirteenth-century-B.C. Egypt; Achaemenid silver vessels from fifth-century-B.C. Iran; or gold, bronze, and iron garment hooks, inset with gems and semi-precious stones, from third-century-B.C. China, their exquisite beauty and refinement never fail to dazzle the eye.Before the Shumei Family's Miho Museum—designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei, and currently under construction in Shigaraki, a suburb of Kyoto—is inaugurated in the fall of 1997, and the works of art discussed here are permanently installed in their new home, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have welcomed the opportunity to introduce highlights of the collection to their respective publics. The credo of the founder of the Shinji Shumeikai centers around the belief that beautiful objects elevate the spirit and, therefore, that they were created to be shared. In keeping with this philosophy, both reader and museum visitor can take delight in the collection, savoring the treasures firsthand on exhibition and, concurrently, in the lavish color illustrations that grace these pages. The cogent texts represent the collaboration of a broad spectrum of curators, art historians, and conservators; more than twenty scholars examine the objects in detail and provide illuminating insights for the reader. An Appendix includes technical examinations of a number of the works as well as descriptions of their materials and methods of manufacture. A Selected Bibliography and an Index follow. CONDITION: LIKE NEW. Unread hardcover w/dustjacket. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (1996) 210 pages. Book is new and unread, but the spine head is ever-so-faintly bumped. Though there's no evidence of the bump to the spine head (either the covers or the dustjacket), if you examine the book very intently, you'll see that a handful of the pages within the book have a very small, faint bend mark at the inside top corner echoing that bump. Also the very slight "bend mark" may be observed by inspecting the top surface of the closed page edges (sometimes referred to as the "page block". While this blemish is very unlikely to be noticed unless attention is drawn to it, nonetheless, due diligence requires that we describe the blemish, regardless of how minute. Except for this, the outside of the book evidences only faint shelfwear. Inside the book is pristine; the pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, (otherwise) unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread (although of course it is always possible it was flipped through a few times while on a bookstore display). Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #9020b. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW.PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Dorothea Arnold is curator emerita, the Department of Egyptian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. REVIEW: Shumei believes in the pursuit of beauty through art, appreciation of nature and "natural agriculture", a method of food cultivation. They also practice johrei, a type of spiritual healing. Adherents of Shumei believe that, in building architectural masterpieces in remote locations, they are restoring the Earth's balance. Shinji Shūmeikai was founded by Mihoko Koyama in 1970. She founded the organization to spread the teachings of Mokichi Okada. The head organization is currently based near Shigaraki, Shiga, Japan. The Miho Museum was commissioned by Mihoko Koyama, who was an adherent of Okada. The architect I. M. Pei had earlier designed the bell tower at Misono, the international headquarters and spiritual center of the Shumei organisation. Mihoko Koyama and her daughter, Hiroko Koyama, again commissioned Pei to design the Miho Museum. The bell tower can be seen from the windows of the museum. Founders Hall was designed by Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Foreword by Hiroko Koyama. Directors' Foreword by Philippe de Montebello and Graham W.J.Beal. Contributors to the Catalogue. Egyptian Art. Ancient Near Eastern Art. Roman Art. Asian Art. Islamic Art. Appendix. Selected Bibliography. Index. Photograph Credits. REVIEW: The Miho Museum is located southeast of Kyoto, Japan, near the town of Shigaraki, in Shiga Prefecture. The museum was the dream of Mihoko Koyama (after whom it is named), founder of the religious organization Shinji Shumeika, which is now said to have some 300,000 members worldwide. Furthermore, in the 1990s Koyama commissioned the museum to be built close to the Shumei temple in the Shiga mountains.The Miho Museum houses Mihoko Koyama's private collection of Asian and Western antiques bought on the world market by the Shumei organisation in the years before the museum was opened in 1997. While Koyama began acquiring stoneware tea ceremony vessels as early as the 1950s, the bulk of the museum's acquisitions were made in the 1990s. There are over two thousand pieces in the permanent collection, of which approximately 250 are displayed at any one time.Among the objects in the collection are more than 1,200 objects that appear to have been produced in Achaemenid Central Asia. Some scholars have claimed these objects are part of the Oxus Treasure, lost shortly after its discovery in 1877 and rediscovered in Afghanistan in 1993. The presence of a unique findspot for both the Miho acquisitions and the British Museum's material, however, has been challenged.Many of the items in the collection were acquired in collaboration with the art dealer Noriyoshi Horiuchi over the course of just six years, and some have little or no known provenance. In 2001 the museum acknowledged that a sixth-century statue of a Boddhisatva in its collection was the same sculpture which been stolen from a public garden in Shandong province, China in 1994.Highlights of the collections have been featured in traveling exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996, as well as the Kunshistorisches Museum Wien in 1999.Mihoko Koyama and her daughter, Hiroko Koyama, commissioned the architect I. M. Pei to design the Miho Museum. I. M. Pei's design, which he came to call Shangri-La, is executed in a hilly and forested landscape. Approximately three-quarters of the 17,400 square meter building is situated underground, carved out of a rocky mountaintop. The roof is a large glass and steel construction, while the exterior and interior walls and floor are made of a warm beige-colored limestone from France – the same material used by Pei in the reception hall of the Louvre. The structural engineer for this project was Leslie E. Robertson Associates. Pei continued to make changes to the design of the galleries during construction as new pieces were acquired for the collection. Pei had earlier designed the bell tower at Misono, the international headquarters and spiritual center of the Shumei organization. The bell tower can be seen from the windows of the museum. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The Shumei Family, a religious organization based in Japan, believes that "Unless you make others happy, you can never be happy yourself." To this end they have collected art for the past 40 years. On the advice of I.M. Pei, the architect hired to design a museum for their holdings, they expanded their collection from primarily Japanese works to other areas of ancient art. This catalog presents the non-Japanese part of the collection, which is on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this year. With only two Egyptian and two Roman pieces, the bulk of the small, elegant collection is from central and eastern Asia. However, as Spencer Tracy once said of Katharine Hepburn, "What's there is cherce." The silver and gold Egyptian cult statue is unique, for example, and every item was very carefully selected to fit the collection in a manner reminiscent of ikebana flower arrangement. Technically, the color plates are sharp and beautiful, and the scholarship is impressive. Recommended for collections specializing in connoisseurship, Japanese studies, or ancient Asia. [Library Journal]. REVIEW: Published in conjunction with an exhibition held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during 1996 and scheduled to travel to Los Angeles during 1997. The works are selected from the holdings of the Shumei Family, a religious organization based in Japan which holds to the belief that beautiful objects elevate the spirit and, therefore, that they were created to be shared (the group is currently constructing a new museum in Japan to house the collection). The works included here antiquities from the Mediterranean, the Near East, and China are beautifully presented in color photos, with text by a broad spectrum of curators, art historians, and conservators. [Book News]. REVIEW: A Japanese Vision of the Ancient World. In 1991, after collecting objects for the Japanese tea ceremony for 40 years, Mihoko Koyama switched to buying ancient and medieval art for the world-class museum she envisioned building on a mountaintop in Japan. Frail and in a wheelchair, Mrs. Koyama, an heiress to a textile fortune, moved quietly but with tornado force through the ancient art market. Over the next six years she collected 300 works produced in China, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Greece, Rome and Egypt, buying several times a year at the galleries of prominent dealers in Europe and the United States. Many were masterpieces, like an Assyrian limestone relief, depicting a winged deity and a royal attendant, that she bought from a dealer in 1994 after it was auctioned at Christie's in London for $11.9 million, a record for ancient art. The antiquities and the tea ceremony artifacts are exhibited in the Miho Museum, a stone, steel, glass and concrete structure named after its creator and designed by I. M. Pei, in the town of Shigaraki, 20 miles east of Kyoto. (The cost of the land, art and building was about three-quarters of a billion dollars.) The site is near the headquarters of Shinji Shumeikai, or Shumei Family, the religious group that Mrs. Koyama, now 88, founded in 1970. Its 300,000 members believe that contemplating beauty in art and nature brings spiritual fulfillment. The change in Mrs. Koyama's art collecting came after a conversation with Mr. Pei. "I'm afraid I'm partly to blame for Mrs. Koyama's shift in collecting," he said. "I looked at the pieces she wanted in the museum and 90 percent were Japanese tea ceremony objects. Since many museums in Japan have such collections, I wondered why people would come a long way to see this museum. Mr. Pei said that Mrs. Koyama had seemed to understand and asked him for suggestions. "Why not turn your eyes to the West," he said, "not to the West of Van Gogh, but to the West which was a source for ancient Japanese art. Look West to Buddhism, to the Silk route, to ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt."Mrs. Koyama enlisted the help of Noriyoshi Horiuchi, a Tokyo dealer in ancient art who transformed her vision into a reality. He introduced Mrs. Koyama and her daughter, Hiroko, to dealers like Giuseppe Eskenazi and Robin Symes in London and James J. Lally and Edward Merrin in New York. Mr. Horiuchi preselected the works for Mrs. Koyama: Chinese bronzes, Sassanian silver vessels, Egyptian wood carvings, Roman mosaics and Persian lusterware. While confident in her choices, Mrs. Koyama, who speaks little English, relied on experts to confirm her judgment. "She didn't say much, a word or two, like 'beautiful,' 'wonderful,' 'excellent,'" Mr. Horiuchi said. "She didn't ask the history, the background or the price of the objects."When she admired a piece, said Mr. Eskenazi, the dealer, "she expressed her great excitement by her wonderful benign smile." It was a smile he was to see many times as Mrs. Koyama returned frequently to his gallery to buy at least 27 pieces, including Chinese stone sculpture, inlaid bronzes and a Tang tomb figure of a pottery court lady with a haunting smile.Choosing the objects was easy for Mrs. Koyama and her team. What was difficult was authenticating the works. The field of antiquities is plagued by forgeries and illegally excavated objects. But Mr. Horiuchi was well aware of these problems. "We bought only from major dealers," he said. "And we invited museum curators, scholars, collectors, restorers and dealers to look at the collection and urged everyone to tell us of any problems they saw." He also had all of the objects analyzed in museum laboratories, most of them by Pieter Meyers, the head of the Conservation Center of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Of the 300 pieces studied, 8 were not authenticated and were removed from the collection. In their travels, Mrs. Koyama and her daughter met with directors, curators and conservators from New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin and St. Petersburg to arrange future loans of art works from the collection.In 1996, an exhibition of 80 works, "Ancient Art from the Shumei Family Collection," opened at the Metropolitan Museum and later moved to the Los Angeles County Museum. Last November, the movers and shakers in ancient art gathered for the opening of the Miho. "Collecting art is an ancient tradition in Japan," Mr. Horiuchi said. "As early as the eighth century, the Japanese received gifts of Persian art from Chinese emperors and continued to collect. Then, and once again now, the Japanese are eager to import art and knowledge from China and Europe." [New York Times]. REVIEW: As a miscellany of arresting objects from the distant past, "Ancient Art From the Shumei Family Collection" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in a very high class. As a reasoned survey of a particular point of view, on the other hand, it makes very little sense. What are we to make of an anthology that has exactly two items from the whole of ancient Egypt, three from ancient Rome and no fewer than eight examples of the memorably luxurious "garment hooks" (or hat, coat and umbrella stands) that were made in China more than 2,000 years ago? Admittedly, each of these garment hooks is quite unlike any of the others. Even so, this seems a classic case of imbalance.Be that as it may, one of the two Egyptian objects is presented as the flagship of the show. And very arresting it is, too. A full-length seated figure, half man and half bird, from the 13th century B.C., it is made of solid-cast silver that was formerly almost entirely overlaid with sheet gold. The hair of the wig is overlaid with lapis lazuli, and the deep-set eyes are of rock crystal. Though only just over 16 inches high, it radiates authority. The human part of the sculpture is enviably lean, but when it comes to holding our attention it politely gives way to the really rather terrifying falcon head. Above all, the rock crystal gaze stares us down, all the more so, perhaps, because the left eye was restored in 1970, when the piece was being looked after in a museum in Stuttgart, Germany. The collection is the work of a Japanese religious organization called the Shinji Shumeikai, or the Shumei Family. As a collection, it appears to have no strictly devotional element. On the contrary, secular objects of art are its specialty. Of its overall purposes, all that we learn from the catalogue is that the collection was initiated around 40 years ago, on the belief that "unless you can make others happy, you will never be happy yourself." From this, few will dissent. "Works of art" -- here I quote from the same source -- "are not to be monopolized by the few, but shown for the delight of the many, that their spirits may be elevated." To give that elevation the best possible start, I. M. Pei was asked to design a museum in the mountains near Kyoto to house the collection. The museum, which is to open in the fall of 1997, will include the Japanese objects in the collection, none of which are on view at the Met.Meanwhile, very little is vouchsafed by any of the 22 contributors to the catalogue as to where, when and how the works were acquired. But there is at least one masterwork that has been known since the early 17th century: an enormous carpet (19 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches) that was woven in Iran in the late 16th or early 17th century. Known as the Sanguszko carpet, after one of its former owners, it is in amazingly good condition. And it needs to be, given the brilliance of its color and the multiplicity of heterogeneous incident that spills this way and that over every square inch of available space.This carpet is a bookman's paradise. Literary echoes are everywhere, as are elements lifted from Islamic book design. But you don't need to be a scholar to decipher the tumultuous activities in which men, women and angels mingle with dragon, phoenix and peacock, to name just a few of the storytellers' resources. They don't just sit around, either. The catalogue tells of scenes in which "dragons intertwine, while peacocks pair off and single animals and birds romp." It is the charm of this lopsided but consistently engrossing show that we never know what will come next. A recurrent ingredient is the truly monumental piece of jewelry, a specialty of the Achaemenid period in Iran. "If you have it, flaunt it" was the motto behind many of these pieces.A prize instance is the "bracelet with seated-duck terminals" from the sixth to fourth century B.C. The massive gold tubular body of the bracelet is impressive enough in itself. But when the two seated ducks were added, the piece took on another dimension.The ducks are minutely simulated in gold, with lapis lazuli, turquoise, onyx, rock crystal and blue and white vitreous paste. Here and there, time has brought substantial damage. But the flamboyance of the overall gesture is something to marvel at. In the Chinese section, which in terms of numbers amounts to half the exhibition, there are noble forms that have nothing to do with personal adornment. From the western Han period, for instance, or second to first century B.C., there are two weights in the form of coiled tigers. These were not objects of delectation, but indispensable adjuncts to the idea of purity and simplicity in household design. Without those tigers, mats would curl up at the corners or slide around the room.Among other pieces of gratuitous but worthwhile information, the show tells us about the changing status of the chariot in China during the western Han period. To be precise, the chariot lost much of its military importance and became simply something to boast about. And sure enough, that loss of soldierly status is reflected in the group of gilt bronze chariot fittings. What began as a tiger with its mouth wide open and jaws at the ready turned in time into a tiger that looks sedated and had its mouth shut tight. If there is such a thing as a companionable tiger, here he is.But it would be unfair to take leave of this wonderfully peculiar show on a note of sedation. Violence, implied or immediate, is always round the corner, nowhere more so than in the rhyton, or drinking horn, made by a master silversmith in Iran or Central Asia in the first century B.C. This is a piece that, when filled, would quench even a raging thirst. But its particular magic comes from the way in which the silversmith modulates from the plain curved surface to a minutely modeled terminal in which a caracal, or desert lynx, has its way with an unfortunate fowl. The eyes, the furry ears, the claws and the concentrated onslaught of the cat are wonderfully rendered. So is the plight of the fowl, with life already almost extinct and its feathers, comb and wattles in terminal disarray. "Ancient Art From the Shumei Family Collection" remains at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82d Street, through Sept. 1. The show then travels to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Nov. 17 to Feb. 9, 1997). [New York Times]. REVIEW: There's a significant piece of cultural news embedded in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's new exhibition "Ritual and Splendor: Ancient Treasures From the Shumei Family Collection." It's a breathtaking, rare example of a holding selected with superbly refined taste, but it's even more. The 155 works on view encompass not only China and West Asia but Bactria, Greece, Rome and Islamic Iran. It's a virtually unprecedented instance of a Japanese compendium that includes master art from primary civilizations outside the Far East. Japanese museums have been notably tardy in acquiring such art so this collection--assembled in recent years--marks a symbolic new opening to fundamental aspects of Western history and culture. A smaller selection of these works was seen earlier this year at New York's Metropolitan Museum. Its catalog serves the present presentation. After closing here the entire collection of some thousand objects will go on view late in 1997 in their permanent home, the new Miho Museum not far from Kyoto. The 83,000-square-foot structure was designed by the renowned architect I.M. Pei. The Shumei Family, not just incidentally, is not an ordinary domestic grouping. The name is a sobriquet for Shinji Shumeikai, which designates itself "a worldwide spiritual organization dedicated to the pursuit of truth, virtue and beauty." All this provides Los Angeles the opportunity to see a treasures extravaganza realized by applying Japanese culture's traditionally exquisite, understated aesthetic sensibility to the West. As an experience it's extraordinarily piquant and gratifying.How often in the West, for example, does one encounter an exhibition where the first piece is an 8-inch-tall 7th century Greek bronze of a "Griffin Protome" that causes us to realize this tiny thing is worthy of acting as the curtain raiser for a blockbuster show?Japanese art reveres refinement. Refinement, defined in the most material terms, occurs when an object is worked with painstaking care over a long period to get it exactly right. The natural result of such action is that the object gets smaller. The exhibition demonstrates repeatedly that smaller can be better. The Egyptian section opens with two 12th dynasty painted wood statues of a walking man. Stylistically they are almost identical except one is life-size, the other about 14 inches tall. The compacted form of the small one makes it more memorable. Its delicacy appeals to our sense of parental protectiveness. Its utter lack of intimidation is comforting.Speaking of intimidation, pieces in sections on Bactria and early Iran are clearly related to one of history's scariest arts, that of ancient Assyria. Its monumental reliefs of winged bulls and warriors in the Louvre make Big Brother seem downright cuddly. Here the same motifs are used on golden goblets, delicate as foil. They lose nothing in expressive clout, except a certain pomposity. Most ancient art grew from a mind-set radically different from that of today's just-a-regular-guy-who-wants-to-get-along demeanor. Much ancient art intended to openly demonstrate superiority in physical strength, authority and wealth.A couple of Iranian silver drinking horns end in miniature sculpted images, one of a snarling lynx, the other a caracal cat attacking a fowl. The animals are pointedly depicted as symbols of ferociously ruthless, raw power. In addition to being more up front about man's animal character, ancient art had absolutely no inclination to make silly distinctions between decorative, fine and applied arts. The Japanese have wisely followed this kind of aesthetic openness and applied it here with brilliant result. Virtually every piece, such as a particularly splendid Chinese wine vessel from the Shang Dynasty or a stunning big Iranian carpet, is simultaneously a ritual object-of-use and a work of high art. The selection also demonstrates an early multiethnic interpenetration of these old civilizations through trade along the silk route. Throughout one runs across, say, an Iranian silver vase whose nude dancing female figures recall Indian art or an Islamic ceramic whose painting style appears Japanese. For all this, the experience of "Ritual and Splendor" has a pleasant aura of clarity and simplicity. This is due, no doubt, to a combination of the selected objects and their deft installation by designer Bernard Kester.The impression is benignly misleading. The exhibition was some six years in the making and required the collaboration of LACMA's chief of conservation, Pieter Meyers, and three curators, Nancy Thomas, J. Keith Wilson and Linda Komaroff, among a small battalion of assistants. The larger lesson here is that anything can be art, and the only way to sort out what is is along the currently unfashionable lines of intrinsic quality. REVIEW: A handsome publication, with fine color plates of superb works of art. [Choice Reviews Online]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: A stunning visual feast of ancient art. Really unique, exquisite artifacts, not your usual museum fare. The photography is remarkable. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: A SAMPLING OF ANCIENT ART: Etruscan Art: The Etruscans flourished in central Italy between the 8th and 3rd century BC. Their art is renowned for its vitality and often vivid coloring. Wall paintings were especially vibrant and frequently capture scenes of Etruscans enjoying themselves at parties and banquets. Terracotta additions to buildings were another Etruscan specialty. They were also renowned for their carved bronze mirrors and fine figure sculpture in bronze and terracotta. Minor arts are perhaps best represented by intricate gold jewelry pieces. They were also talented potters. Their distinctive black pottery known as bucchero was crafted into shapes like the kantharos cup which would inspire Greek potters. The identification of what exactly is Etruscan art is made more complicated by the fact that Etruria was never a single unified state. This is a difficult enough question for any culture. But the Etruscans were a collection of independent city-states who formed both alliances and rivalries with one another over time. Although culturally very similar these cities nevertheless produced artworks according to their own particular tastes and proclivities. Another difficulty is presented by the influences consequence of the Etruscans not living in isolation from other Mediterranean cultures. Ideas and art objects from Greece, Phoenicia, and the Middle East reached Etruria via the long-established trade networks of the ancient Mediterranean. Greek artists also settled in Etruria from the 7th century BC onwards. Many “Etruscan” works of art are signed by artists with Greek names. Geography played a role too. Coastal cities like Cerveteri had much greater access to sea trade. As a result such cities were much more cosmopolitan in population and artistic outlook than were more inland cities like Chiusi. The Etruscans greatly appreciated foreign art and readily adopted ideas and influences in the art forms prevalent in other cultures. Then as now Greek art was highly esteemed by the Etruscans, especially work from Athens. However it is an error to imagine that Etruscan art was merely a poor copy of Greek art. It is true that Etruscan and Greek artists in Etruria may have sometimes lacked the finer techniques of vase-painting and sculpture in stone that their contemporaries in Greece, Ionia, and Magna Graecia possessed. Nonetheless at the same time other art forms such as gem-cutting, gold work, and terracotta sculpture demonstrate that the Etruscans had a greater technical knowledge in these areas. It is true that the Etruscans often tolerated works of a lower quality than would have been accepted in the Greek world. However that does not mean that the Etruscans were not capable of producing art which was the equal of that produced elsewhere. That the Etruscans greatly appreciated foreign art is evidenced by the fact that Etruscan tombs are full of imported pieces. Etruscans also readily adopted ideas and forms prevalent in the art of other cultures. However they also added their own twists to conventions. For example the Etruscans produced nude statues of female deities before the Greeks did. They also uniquely blended Eastern motifs and subjects with those from the Greek world. This was especially true with respects to mythological motifs and creatures never present in Etruria, such as lions. Etruria’s homegrown ideas can be traced back to the indigenous Villanovan culture of approximately 1000 to 750 BC. The Villanovan culture was the precursor of Etruscan culture proper. This perpetual synthesis of ideas is perhaps best seen in funerary sculpture. When one inspects each figure closely Terracotta coffin lids with a reclining couple in the round they may resemble Archaic Greek models. However the physical attitude of the couple when seen as a pair and the affection between them which the artist has captured are entirely Etruscan. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the Etruscans is their beautifully painted tombs found in many sites like Tarquinia, Cerveteri, Chiusi, and Vulci. The paintings depict lively and colorful scenes from Etruscan mythology and daily life. The depictions of daily life include in particular especially banquets, hunting, and sports. They typically also included heraldic figures, architectural features, and sometimes even the tomb's occupant themselves. Portions of the wall were often divided for specific types of decoration. Typically there was a dado at the bottom, a large central space for scenes, and a top cornice or entablature. The triangular space resulting was also reserved for painted scenes, reaching the ceiling like the pediment of a classical temple. The colors used by Etruscan artists were made from paints of organic materials. There is very little use of shading until influence from Greek artists via Magna Graecia. These used their new chiaroscuro method with its strong contrasts of light and dark in the 4th century BC. At Tarquinia the paintings are applied to a thin base layer of plaster wash. The artists first drew outlines using chalk or charcoal. In contrast many of the wall paintings at Cerveteri and Veii were applied directly to the stone walls without a plaster underlayment. Only 2% of tombs were painted. They are a supreme example of conspicuous consumption by the Etruscan elite. The late 4th century BC “Francois Tomb” at Vulci is an outstanding example of the art form. It contains a duel from Theban myth, a scene from the Iliad, and a battle scene between the city and local rivals. It even includes some warriors with Roman names. Another fine example is the misleadingly named Tomb of the Lionesses at Tarquinia. This tomb was built somewhere between 530 and 520 BC. It actually has two painted panthers. There is also a large drinking party scene. It is quite interesting as well for its unusual checkered pattern ceiling. The Tomb of the Monkey is also at Tarquinia and was constructed somewhere between 480 and 470 BC. The Tomb of the Monkey is noteworthy for its ceiling. The ceiling features an interesting single painted coffer which has four mythological sirens supporting a rosette with a four-leafed plant. The motif would reappear in later Roman and early Christian architecture but with angels instead of sirens. Etruria was fortunate to have abundant metal resources, particularly copper, iron, lead, and silver. The early Etruscans put these to good use. Bronze was used to manufacture a wide range of goods. But the Etruscans are particularly remembered in history for their sculpture. Bronze was hammered, cut, and cast using moulds or the lost-wax technique. It was also embossed, engraved, and riveted in a full range of techniques. Many Etruscan towns set up workshops specializing in the production of bronze works. To give an idea of the scale of production, the Romans were said to have looted more than 2,000 bronze statues when they attacked Volsinii (modern Orvieto) in 264 BC. The Romans melted down the art work to produce coinage. Often with a small stone base bronze figurines were a common form of votive offering at sanctuaries and other sacred sites. Some were originally covered in gold leaf, as with those found at the Fonte Veneziana of Arretium. Most figurines are women in long chiton robes, naked males like the Greek kouroi, armed warriors, and naked youths. Sometimes gods were presented, especially Hercules. A common pose of votive figurines is to have one arm raised, perhaps in appeal, and holding an object. The object being held was most commonly a pomegranate, flowers, or a circular item of food. The food object was most likely a cake or cheese. Fine examples of smaller bronze works include a 6th century BC figurine of a man making a votive offering. This came from the 'Tomb of the Bronze Statuette of the Offering Bearer' at Populonia. Volterra was noted for its production of distinctive bronze figurines which were of extremely tall and slim human figures with tiny heads. They are perhaps a relic of much earlier figures cut from sheet bronze or carved from wood. However the are curiously reminiscent of modern art sculpture. Celebrated larger works include the Chimera of Arezzo. This fire-breathing monster from Greek mythology dates to the 5th or 4th century BC. It was probably part of a larger composition of pieces. Typically it would have been in the company of the hero Bellerophon, who killed the monster. Bellerophon in turn would have been accompanied by his winged horse Pegasus. There is an inscription on one leg which reads tinscvil or 'gift to Tin'. This indicates that it was a votive offering to the god Tin (aka Tinia), head of the Etruscan pantheon. It is currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. Other famous works include the “Mars of Todi”. This is a very striking near life-size youth wearing a cuirass and who once held a lance. In the other hand he was probably pouring a libation. It is now in the Vatican Museums in Rome. Another famous sculpture is that of “The Minerva of Arezzo”. It is a representation of the Etruscan Goddess “Menerva”. Menerva was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Athena and Roman deity Minerva. Finally there is the striking figure “Portrait of a Bearded Man”. It is often known as “Brutus” after the first consul of Rome, but there is no evidence one way or another that it was indeed of Brutus. Most art historians agree that on stylistic grounds it is an Etruscan work of around 300 BC, centuries before the time of Brutus. It is now on display in the Capitoline Museums of Rome. The Etruscans were much criticized by their conquerors the Romans for being rather too effeminate and party-loving. The high number of bronze mirrors found in their tombs and elsewhere only fuelled this reputation as being the ancient Mediterranean's greatest narcissists. The mirrors were known to the Etruscans as “malena” or “malstria. They were first produced in quantity from the end of the 6th century BC right through to the end of Etruscan culture in the 2nd century BC. The mirrors were of course an object of practical daily use. However with their finely carved backs they were also a status symbol for aristocratic Etruscan women. They were even commonly given as part of a bride's dowry. The mirrors were designed to be held in the hand using a single handle. The reflective side of mirrors was made by highly polishing or silvering the surface. Some mirrors from the 4th century BC onwards were protected by a concave cover attached by a single hinge. The inside of the lid was often polished to reflect extra light onto the face of the user. The outside surface of the lid carried cut-out reliefs filled with a lead backing. Of the bronze mirrors produced about half were without decoration to the flat reverse side. However for the other half the flat reverse sides were an ideal canvas for engraved decoration, inscription, or even carved shallow relief. Some handles were painted or had carved relief scenes as well. The scenes and the people depicted on the decorative elements of the mirrors are often helpfully identified by accompanying inscriptions around the mirror edge. Popular subjects were wedding preparations, couples embracing, or a lady in the process of dressing. The most common subject for mirror decoration was mythology and scenes are often framed by a border of twisted ivy, vine, myrtle, or laurel leaves. The first indigenous pottery of Etruria was the impasto pottery of the Villanovan culture. These relatively primitive wares contained many impurities in the clay and were fired only at a low temperature. By the end of the 8th century BC potters had managed to improve the quality of their wares. Small model houses and biconical urns were popular forms. Biconical urns are those made of two vases with one smaller one acting as a lid for the other. They were frequently used to store cremated human remains. Chronologically the next pottery type was red on white wares. This type of pottery style originated in Phoenicia. The style was produced in Etruria from the end of the 8th century BC and into the 7th century BC. The style was most extensively produced at Cerveteri and Veii. The red-colored vessels were often covered with a white slip. They were then decorated with red geometric or floral designs. Alternatively white was often used to create designs on the unpainted red background. Large storage vases with small handled lids are common of this type. Kraters were also common and were frequently decorated with scenes such as sea battles and marching warriors. Bucchero wares largely replaced impasto wares from the 7th century BC onward. Bucchero ware was used for everyday purposes as well as for funerary and votive objects. Turned on a wheel this new type of pottery was characterized by more even firing and a distinctive glossy dark grey to black finish. Vessels were of all types were produced. They were mostly plain but they were often decorated with simple lines, spirals, and dotted fans incised onto the surface. Three-dimensional figures of humans and animals were also added on occasion. The Etruscans were Mediterranean-wide traders. Bucchero ware was exported beyond Italy to places as far afield as Iberia, the Levant, and the Black Sea area. By the early 5th century BC bucchero was replaced by finer Etruscan pottery such as black- and red-figure wares. These were influenced by imported Greek pottery of the period. One unusual field of pottery which became a particular Etruscan specialty was the creation of terracotta roof decorations. The idea went back to the Villanovan culture. However the Etruscans went one step further and produced life-size figure sculpture to decorate the roofs of their temples. The most impressive survivor from this field is the striding figure of Apollo from the Portonaccio Temple at Veii which is dated to about 510 BC. Private buildings also had terracotta decoration in the form of plants, palms, and figurines. Additionally terracotta plaques with scenes from mythology were often attached to outer walls of all types of buildings. The Etruscans cremated the remains of the dead. They were buried in funerary urns or decorated sarcophagi made of terracotta. Both urns and sarcophagi might feature a sculpted figure of the deceased on the lid. In the instance of sarcophagi they sometimes depicted a couple. The most famous example of this latter type is the “Sarcophagus of the Married Couple from Cerveteri”, now in the Villa Giulia in Rome. In the Hellenistic Period the funerary arts really took off. Figures depicted although rendered in similar poses to the 6th-century BC sarcophagi versions, become less idealized and rendered much more realistic portrayals of the dead. They usually portray only one individual and were originally painted in bright colors. The “Sarcophagus of Seianti Thanunia Tlesnasa from Chiusi” is an excellent example. The Etruscans were great collectors of foreign art but their own works were widely exported too. Bucchero wares have been found across the Mediterranean from Spain to Syria. The Etruscans also traded with central and northern European tribes. Thus their artworks reached the Celts across the Alps in modern Switzerland and Germany. The greatest influence of Etruscan art was on their immediate neighbors and cultural successors in general, the Romans. Rome conquered the Etruscan cities in the 3rd century BC. However these cities remained artistically independent centers of art production. However over time art works did reflect Roman tastes and culture however. Eventually at some point that Etruscan and Roman art often became indistinguishable. An excellent example of the proximity between the two is the bronze statue of an orator from Pila, near modern Perugia. Cast in 90 BC the figure, with his toga and raised right arm is as quintessentially Roman as a statue from the imperial period. The Etruscans played an obvious role as a cultural link between the Greek world and ancient Rome. However perhaps the most lasting legacy of Etruscan artists is the realism they oftentimes achieved in portraiture. Although still partially idealized the funerary portraits on Etruscan sarcophagi are honest enough to reveal the physical flaws of the individual. There is a clear attempt by artists to illustrate the unique personality of the individual. This was the same conceptual idealism that their Roman successors would also strive for. Roman artists were quite successful in capturing very often moving portraits of private Roman citizens brilliantly rendered in paint, metal, and stone. Much of the success Roman artists enjoyed is attributable to their Etruscan predecessors [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Greek Pottery: We know the names of some potters and painters of Greek vases because they signed their work. Generally a painter signed his name followed by some form of the verb 'painted', while a potter (or perhaps the painter writing for him) signed his name with 'made'. Sometimes the same person might both pot and paint: Exekias and Epiktetos, for example, sign as both potter and painter. At other times potter and painter were different people and one or both of them signed. However, not all painters or potters signed all their work. Some seem never to have signed their vases, unless by chance signed pieces by these craftsmen have not survived. Even in the case of unsigned vases, it is sometimes possible, through close examination of minute details of style, to recognize pieces by the same artist. The attribution of unsigned Athenian black- and red-figured vases to both named and anonymous painters was pioneered in the twentieth century by Sir John Davidson Beazley. Other scholars have developed similar systems for other groups of vases, most notably Professor A.D. Trendall for South Italian red-figured wares. For ease of reference Beazley and the others gave various nick-names to the anonymous painters whom they identified. Some are called after the known potters with whom they seem to have collaborated - the Brygos and Sotades Painters, for example, are named from the potters of those names. Other painters are named from the find-spot or current location of a key vase, such as the Lipari or Berlin Painters. A few, such as the Burgon Painter, take their names from former or current owners of key vases. Others are named from the subjects of key vases, such as the Niobid, Siren or Cyclops Painters, or else from peculiarities of style, such as The Affecter or Elbows Out Painters. [British Museum]. Ancient Greek Sculpture: Greek sculpture from 800 to 300 B.C. took early inspiration from Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental art, and over centuries evolved into a uniquely Greek vision of the art form. Greek artists would reach a peak of artistic excellence which captured the human form in a way never before seen and which was much copied. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealized perfection of the human body, and their figures in stone and bronze have become some of the most recognizable pieces of art ever produced by any civilization. From the 8th century B.C., Archaic Greece saw a rise in the production of small solid figures in clay, ivory, and bronze. No doubt, wood too was a commonly used medium but its susceptibility to erosion has meant few examples have survived. Bronze figures, human heads and, in particular, griffins were used as attachments to bronze vessels such as cauldrons. In style, the human figures resemble those in contemporary Geometric pottery designs, having elongated limbs and a triangular torso. Animal figures were also produced in large numbers, especially the horse, and many have been found across Greece at sanctuary sites such as Olympia and Delphi, indicating their common function as votive offerings. The oldest Greek stone sculptures (of limestone) date from the mid-7th century B.C. and were found at Thera. In this period, bronze free-standing figures with their own base became more common, and more ambitious subjects were attempted such as warriors, charioteers, and musicians. Marble sculpture appears from the early 6th century B.C. and the first monumental, life-size statues began to be produced. These had a commemorative function, either offered at sanctuaries in symbolic service to the gods or used as grave markers. The earliest large stone figures (kouroi - nude male youths and kore - clothed female figures) were rigid as in Egyptian monumental statues with the arms held straight at the sides, the feet are almost together and the eyes stare blankly ahead without any particular facial expression. These rather static figures slowly evolved though and with ever greater details added to hair and muscles, the figures began to come to life. Slowly, arms become slightly bent giving them muscular tension and one leg (usually the right) is placed slightly more forward, giving a sense of dynamic movement to the statue. Excellent examples of this style of figure are the kouroi of Argos, dedicated at Delphi (circa 580 B.C.). Around 480 B.C., the last kouroi become ever more life-like, the weight is carried on the left leg, the right hip is lower, the buttocks and shoulders more relaxed, the head is not quite so rigid, and there is a hint of a smile. Female kore followed a similar evolution, particularly in the sculpting of their clothes which were rendered in an ever-more realistic and complex way. A more natural proportion of the figure was also established where the head became 1:7 with the body, irrespective of the actual size of the statue. By 500 B.C. Greek sculptors were finally breaking away from the rigid rules of Archaic conceptual art and beginning to re-produce what they actually observed in real life. In the Classical period, Greek sculptors would break off the shackles of convention and achieve what no-one else had ever before attempted. They created life-size and life-like sculpture which glorified the human and especially nude male form. Even more was achieved than this though. Marble turned out to be a wonderful medium for rendering what all sculptors strive for: that is to make the piece seem carved from the inside rather than chiseled from the outside. Figures become sensuous and appear frozen in action; it seems that only a second ago they were actually alive. Faces are given more expression and whole figures strike a particular mood. Clothes too become more subtle in their rendering and cling to the contours of the body in what has been described as ‘wind-blown’ or the ‘wet-look’. Quite simply, the sculptures no longer seemed to be sculptures but were figures instilled with life and verve. To see how such realism was achieved we must return again to the beginning and examine more closely the materials and tools at the disposal of the artist and the techniques employed to transform raw materials into art. Early Greek sculpture was most often in bronze and porous limestone, but whilst bronze seems never to have gone out of fashion, the stone of choice would become marble. The best was from Naxos - close-grained and sparkling, Parian (from Paros) - with a rougher grain and more translucent, and Pentelic (near Athens) - more opaque and which turned a soft honey color with age (due to its iron content). However, stone was chosen for its workability rather than its decoration as the majority of Greek sculpture was not polished but painted, often rather garishly for modern tastes. Marble was quarried using bow drills and wooden wedges soaked in water to break away workable blocks. Generally, larger figures were not produced from a single piece of marble, but important additions such as arms were sculpted separately and fixed to the main body with dowels. Using iron tools, the sculptor would work the block from all directions (perhaps with an eye on a small-scale model to guide proportions), first using a pointed tool to remove more substantial pieces of marble. Next, a combination of a five-claw chisel, flat chisels of various sizes, and small hand drills were used to sculpt the fine details. The surface of the stone was then finished off with an abrasive powder (usually emery from Naxos) but rarely polished. The statue was then attached to a plinth using a lead fixture or sometimes placed on a single column (e.g. the Naxian sphinx at Delphi, circa 560 B.C.). The finishing touches to statues were added using paint. Skin, hair, eyebrows, lips, and patterns on clothing were added in bright colors. Eyes were often inlaid using bone, crystal, or glass. Finally, additions in bronze might be added such as spears, swords, helmets, jewelry, and diadems, and some statues even had a small bronze disc (meniskoi) suspended over the head to prevent birds from defacing the figure. The other favored material in Greek sculpture was bronze. Unfortunately, this material was always in demand for re-use in later periods, whereas broken marble is not much use to anyone, and so marble sculpture has better survived for posterity. Consequently, the quantity of surviving examples of bronze sculpture (no more than twelve) is not perhaps indicative of the fact that more bronze sculpture may well have been produced than in marble and the quality of the few surviving bronzes demonstrates the excellence we have lost. Very often at archaeological sites we may see rows of bare stone plinths, silent witnesses to art’s loss. The early solid bronze sculptures made way for larger pieces with a non-bronze core which was sometimes removed to leave a hollow figure. The most common production of bronze statues used the lost-wax technique. This involved making a core almost the size of the desired figure (or body part if not creating a whole figure) which was then coated in wax and the details sculpted. The whole was then covered in clay fixed to the core at certain points using rods. The wax was then melted out and molten bronze poured into the space once occupied by the wax. When set, the clay was removed and the surface finished off by scraping, fine engraving and polishing. Sometimes copper or silver additions were used for lips, nipples and teeth. Eyes were inlaid as in marble sculpture. Many statues are signed so that we know the names of the most successful artists who became famous in their own lifetimes. Naming a few, we may start with the most famous of all, Phidias, the artist who created the gigantic chryselephantine statues of Athena (circa 438 B.C.) and Zeus (circa 456 B.C.) which resided, respectively, in the Parthenon of Athens and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. The latter sculpture was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Polykleitos, who besides creating great sculpture such as the Doryphoros (Spearbearer), also wrote a treatise, the Kanon, on techniques of sculpture. Coryphoros emphasized the importance of correct proportion. Other important sculptors were Kresilas, who made the much copied portrait of Pericles (circa 425 B.C.), Praxiteles, whose Aphrodite (circa 340 B.C.) was the first full female nude, and Kallimachos, who is credited with creating the Corinthian capital and whose distinctive dancing figures were much copied in Roman times. Sculptors often found permanent employment in the great sanctuary sites and archaeology has revealed the workshop of Phidias at Olympia. Various broken clay moulds were found in the workshop and also the master’s own personal clay mug, inscribed ‘I belong to Phidias’. Another feature of sanctuary sites was the cleaners and polishers who maintained the shiny reddish-brass color of bronze figures as the Greeks did not appreciate the dark-green patina which occurs from weathering (and which surviving statues have gained). Greek sculpture is, however, not limited to standing figures. Portrait busts, relief panels, grave monuments, and objects in stone such as perirrhanteria (basins supported by three or four standing female figures) also tested the skills of the Greek sculptor. Another important branch of the art form was architectural sculpture, prevalent from the late 6th century B.C. on the pediments, friezes, and metopes of temples and treasury buildings. However, it is in figure sculpture that one may find some of the great masterpieces of Classical antiquity, and testimony to their class and popularity is that copies were very often made, particularly in the Roman period. Indeed, it is fortunate that the Romans loved Greek sculpture and copied it so widely because it is often these copies which survive rather than the Greek originals. The copies, however, present their own problems as they obviously lack the original master’s touch, may swap medium from bronze to marble, and even mix body parts, particularly heads. Although words will rarely ever do justice to the visual arts, we may list here a few examples of some of the most celebrated pieces of Greek sculpture. In bronze, three pieces stand out, all saved from the sea (a better custodian of fine bronzes than people have been): the Zeus or Poseidon of Artemesium and the two warriors of Riace (all three: 460-450 B.C.). The former could be Zeus (the posture is more common for that deity) or Poseidon and is a transitional piece between Archaic and Classical art as the figure is extremely life-like, but in fact the proportions are not exact (e.g. the limbs are extended). However, as Boardman eloquently describes, ‘(it) manages to be both vigorously threatening and static in its perfect balance’; the onlooker is left in no doubt at all that this is a great god. The Riace warriors are also magnificent with the added detail of finely sculpted hair and beards. More Classical in style, they are perfectly proportioned and their poise is rendered in such a way as to suggest that they may well step off of the plinth at any moment. In marble, two standout pieces are the Diskobolos or discus thrower attributed to Myron (circa 450 B.C.) and the Nike of Paionios at Olympia (circa 420 B.C.). The discus thrower is one of the most copied statues from antiquity and it suggests powerful muscular motion caught for a split second, as in a photo. The piece is also interesting because it is carved in such a way (in a single plain) as to be seen from one viewpoint (like a relief carving with its background removed). The Nike is an excellent example of the ‘wet-look’ where the light material of the clothing is pressed against the contours of the body, and the figure seems semi-suspended in the air and only just to have landed her toes on the plinth. Greek sculpture then, broke free from the artistic conventions which had held sway for centuries across many civilizations, and instead of reproducing figures according to a prescribed formula, they were free to pursue the idealized form of the human body. Hard, lifeless material was somehow magically transformed into such intangible qualities as poise, mood, and grace to create some of the great masterpieces of world art and inspire and influence the artists who were to follow in Hellenistic and Roman times who would go on to produce more masterpieces such as the Venus de Milo. Further, the perfection in proportions of the human body achieved by Greek sculptors continues to inspire artists even today. The great Greek works are even consulted by 3D artists to create accurate virtual images and by sporting governing bodies who have compared athletes bodies with Greek sculpture to check abnormal muscle development achieved through the use of banned substances such as steroids. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Celtic Art: Celtic art is generally used by art historians to refer to art of the La Tène period across Europe. The Early Medieval art of Britain and Ireland is referred to as “Insular” art in art history. The term Celtic art when used by the general public usually refers to the latter, Insular art. Both styles absorbed considerable influences from non-Celtic sources. Both retained a preference for geometrical decoration over figurative subjects. However when figurative subjects are depicted they are often extremely stylized when. Narrative scenes in Celtic art only appear under outside influence. Energetic circular forms, triskeles and spirals are quite characteristic. Much of the surviving material is in precious metal, which no doubt gives a very unrepresentative picture. However apart from Pictish stones and the Insular high crosses, large monumental sculpture is very rare. Possibly it was originally common in wood, even with decorative carving, but only survived in stone. Celts were also able to create developed musical instruments such as the carnyces. These famous war trumpets were used before battle to frighten the enemy. The best preserved archaeological specimens were found in Tintignac (Gaul) in 2004. They were decorated with a boar head or a snake head. The interlace patterns that are often regarded as typical of "Celtic art" were characteristic of the whole of the British Isles. The style is referred to as Hiberno-Saxon art. This artistic style incorporated elements of La Tène, Late Roman, and, most importantly, animal Style II of Germanic Migration Period art. The style was taken up with great skill and enthusiasm by Celtic artists in metalwork and illuminated manuscripts. The forms used for the finest Insular art were all adopted from the Roman world. Gospel books like the Book of Kells and Book of Lindisfarne, chalices like the Ardagh Chalice and Derrynaflan Chalice, and penannular brooches like the Tara Brooch, are all works from the period of peak achievement of Insular art. The period lasted from the 7th to the 9th centuries, prior to the Viking attacks which so sharply set back cultural life. In contrast the less well known but often spectacular art of the richest earlier Continental Celts often adopted elements of Roman, Greek and other "foreign" styles. This time frame was prior to the Roman conquest, and the Celts may have used imported craftsmen to decorate objects that were distinctively Celtic. Some Celtic elements remained in popular art after the Roman conquests. This was especially true with Ancient Roman pottery, of which Gaul was actually the largest producer. Most of that produced was in Italian styles. However work was also produced to local Celtic tastes. This included figurines of deities and wares painted with animals and other subjects in highly formalized styles. Roman Britain also took more interest in enamel than most of the Empire. The development of champlevé technique was probably important to the later Medieval art of the whole of Europe. The energy and freedom of Insular decoration was an important element therein. Viking Art: Art made by Scandinavians during the Viking Age (about 790-1100 AD) mostly encompassed the decoration of functional objects made of wood, metal, stone, textile and other materials. They were decorated with relief carvings, engravings of animal shapes and abstract patterns. The motif of the stylized animal known as ‘zoomorphic’ art was Viking Age art’s most popular motif. The style stems from a tradition that existed across north-western Europe from as early as the 4th century AD. However the art form did not develop into an established Scandinavia native style until the end of the 7th century. Often these animals twist and churn across the surface of any number of object surfaces. Interspersed with plants, they adorned decorated carts, engraved jewelry and weapons, wall-tapestries and memorial stones. Narrative art of the region that tells an actual story is found in only a few instances before the last stage of the Viking Age. There include the rare tapestries that have evaded being unraveled by the passage of time. There are also the picture stones found on the island of Gotland in present-day Sweden. Besides the many different carved surfaces, some instances of more properly 3D-art are also preserved. These are mostly in the form of animal heads that were used to adorn posts, carts or caskets. Several succeeding and sometimes overlapping styles have been identified within Viking Age decorative art. They are usually named after the finding place of a famous example of that style. These would include: ---Style E (late 8th century to late 9th century. Important finds from Broa (Gotland, Sweden) and the Oseberg ship burial (Norway). Long animal bodies; small heads in profile with bulging eyes. ‘Gripping-beasts’ with muscular bodies and claws gripping everything nearby. ---Borre Style (about 850 to late 10th century. Ribbon plait (‘ring-chain’, a symmetrical interlaced pattern). A single gripping-beast with triangular head and contorted body. The latter was most widespread of all the styles, found throughout Scandinavia and across the Viking colonies. ---The Jelling Style (just before 900 through the end of the 10th century). Beast with a ribbon-like body. The head depicted in profile; usually double-contoured body which is beaded. The style is closely related to and overlapping with the Borre style. ---The Mammen Style (about 950-1000 AD). Great fighting beasts with spiral-shaped shoulders and hips. They are often asymmetrical; vigorous and dynamic; with ribbon and plant elements. ---The Ringerike Style (about 990-1050 AD). Large animal in a dynamic pose. Often suggesting movement; powerful and elegant. Often with plant ornaments, popular in England and especially Ireland. ---The Urnes Style (about 1040 to at least 100 AD). Also named ‘runestone style’. Very elegant, asymmetrical motif of a great beast. Often with interweaving, looped snakes and tendrils. Very popular in Ireland. Rather than creating art for art’s sake, Viking Age Scandinavians almost exclusively made applied art. Everyday objects were embellished to make them more attractive. Although wood and textile must have been prime vehicles for Viking Age art, their often more expensive counterparts in metal and stone do better at surviving. This results in over-representation and bias in the archaeological record. The rarer pictorial art often seems to match known stories about Norse mythology. These might depict such scenes as a Valkyrie welcoming a warrior into Valhalla or Sigurd the Dragonslayer’s story. Religion permeated life in the Viking Age and was especially important in Viking art. Artists and craftsmen certainly would have been important people as art was generally created not for its own sake, Rather it was cr5eated as a mark of social prestige, often commissioned by the upper levels of society. Even though much of its meaning is lost to us, we can be confident of our interpretations at least in cases where myths known from Old Norse literature can be identified. Elements of Viking mythology are present in artistic ornamentation. Even if obscure today, that religious content would have been obvious to viewers at that time. Viking art was link both with the higher levels of society and with religion. This may explain why Viking Age art styles were for the most part common across Scandinavia throughout all levels of society. Copying was also standard-practice, which is not so odd considering the primarily decorative purpose for Viking art. Viking Age art’s favored materials were mostly substances that could be carved or engraved. These included wood, stone, metal, and also bone and amber. Textile, leather or cloth, in the shape of colorful wall tapestries adorned with pictorial scenes, were also commonly used. However along with wood these materials were rather poor at standing the test of time. Few remain extant. The bulk of the surviving material available for study thus consists mainly of decorated jewelry or metal utility goods. These artifacts would include horse equipment, as well as weapons and the lively, large memorial stones found in abundance principally across Sweden and the island of Gotland. The carved wooden art that has survived is spectacular. Surviving examples include such finds as the Oseberg ship burial (dated to 834 AD) which was richly furnished. Among other artifacts splendid examples include a beautifully carved wooden cart and three splendid sleighs. Also spectacular are five iconic three dimensional carved animal-head posts. These rare finds vividly demonstrate what we are missing out on. The techniques that were used in Viking Age art were mainly those of relief carving or engraving. They incorporated the use of contrasting materials and colors, with filigree and granulation techniques being popular. A piece of jewelry for instance could be made of gilded bronze but decorated with silver. Traces of paint have frequently been found on the larger wooden and stone objects. These indicate that the objects were once vibrantly colored with shades of black, white and red; although yellow, blue, green and brown were also used. The roots of Viking Age ornamentation mainly lie in a broader European Germanic tradition. This tradition which was utterly smitten with animal ornamentation and was popular through much of north-western Europe from the 4th century AD onwards. This tradition began with basic animal shapes and stretched through the Migration and Vendel periods (about 375 through 800 AD) during the time in which mass migrations took place throughout Europe. Scandinavia gradually embraced full-blown animal ornamentation, influenced by Scythic, Oriental, Celtic and Roman art. The motif of the stylized animal in profile remained a central motif in Scandinavian art throughout the Viking Age. In the early 20th century Swedish archaeologists divided pre-Viking Age Germanic ornamentation into three styles: styles I, II and III. Style I flourished in the 6th century AD in north-western Europe. The style was characterized by saw metal chip-carving embellished objects with separate animal-body parts mostly along the borders of central, abstract patterns. Style II was popular throughout Germanic cultures during the 7th century AD and focused on non-naturalistic animals forming interlacing patterns. These included otherwise rare predatory animals and oftentimes the aristocratic image of a horse and rider. By contrast, from the 7th century AD into the early Viking Age, Style III developed solely within Scandinavia itself, without external influence. Its basic motif often had two band-shaped animals seen in profile. They were characterized by openwork shoulders and hips and tendril-outgrowths, the bodies arranged in the form of a lyre. Although this style changed over course of the next few centuries, the motif of the stylized animal in profile remained a central motif in Scandinavian. It remained so until the Middle Ages, and even beyond, surviving in folk art genres although otherwise abandoned. Style E was the first of the properly Viking Age animal ornamentation styles. It is generally viewed as a sub-category of Style III. It was in vogue from the second half of the 8th century through to nearly the end of the 9th century. Although related to the broader Germanic tradition, this style is very much native Scandinavian. Animals were often set within a frame, and became more abstract than before. They displayed long, almost ribbon-shaped, curving bodies with intertwining limbs that develop into open loops and tendrils. Their heads are small and are shown in profile but have big, bulging eyes. Specific variants include a double-contoured creature with a nearly triangular body, a beaked head and forked feet. There was also a round-headed, more coherent animal with little claws and a flap. The last common variant, the standout, was the so-called gripping-beast style. A tiger-like beast appearing as if it were filled with energy consists of a thin ribbon-like body set off by large muscular shoulders and hips. Its legs ended in paws, which gripped tight to everything. “Everything” might be to the edge of the ornamentation border, to neighboring animals, or to its own body. Famous for high-quality finds from both the Oseberg ship burial and graves found at Broa on Gotland, Style E is sometimes referred to as the ‘Oseberg Style’ or the ‘Broa Style’. At Broa twenty-two gold gilt-bronze bridle-mounts were found in a grave. Clearly the wealthy owner’s horse would have been well-kitted out indeed. The decorations show animals with eyes so large not much space remains for the rest of their heads. Of course, these are standout items. More basic items such as the oval brooches used to fasten women’s clothing were widely decorated in this style. The decorated oval brooches demonstrate that the style permeated Scandinavian society in general. Around the mid-9th century the Borre style succeeded Style E and remained popular until at the latest the late 10th century. Still centered around the previously introduced gripping-beasts, the Borre style's main motif put the beast wholly in the limelight. It depicted a single, contorted gripping-beast, its body forming a sort of curved ribbon between its two hips. The face was face triangular, catlike or masked. Its claws gripped either the border or part of its own body, dominating the scene. A second variant depicts a semi-naturalistic animal seen from the side. The Borre style’s real giveaway is the introduction of the ribbon plait, known as the ‘ring-chain’. Imagine two interlaced ribbons, their intersections overlaid with interlacing circles covered with lozenges (diamond shapes) or other geometrical figures. Crossways nicks could be added for extra bling, and filigree and granulation were frequently-used techniques. The Borre style is named after the location of a ship burial in Borre, Vestfold, Norway, where gilt-bronze harness mounts displaying this style were found. The style was hugely popular not just across Scandinavia but throughout the Viking colonies, too. Viking expansion was at its maximum at this point in time. This means the Borre style appeared in more or less pure forms from the British Isles, including Wales and Scotland, to Russia and Eastern Europe, and even to Byzantium. No other Viking style was so widespread. With Scandinavia gradually converting to Christianity in the last stages of the 10th century the Borre style spans the last full period of paganism and its accompanying burial customs, perhaps explaining the large volume of Borre objects that are preserved. Probably first appearing just before 900 AD, the Jelling (or Jellinge) style flourished during the mid-10th century and then gradually developed into the succeeding Mammen style. The style was artistically close to and largely contemporary with the Borre style. The Jelling style is less common and seems to take inspiration from Style III from the pre-Viking Vendel period (about 550 to 800 AD) and Style E with its ribbon-shaped animals seen in profile. Its main motif is an s-shaped beast with a beaded or patterned body. The beast is usually double-contoured. Its head appears in profile and sports a round eye and tendrils sprouting out from its nose and neck. Intertwining ribbon interlace and foliage often accompany the animals. The Jelling style is rarely directly merged with the Borre style, but objects sometimes feature both styles used side by side. The Jelling style was named after a small silver cup decorated in this style, found in a royal burial place at Jelling, Denmark. Just like the Borre style, it was popular not just inside Scandinavia but also in Russia and the British Isles. The north of England even became home to a melting-pot Anglo-Scandinavian style which contained both clear Borre and Jelling elements. The Mammen style developed from the Jelling style from 950 AD onwards, prevailing for a few decades while gradually merging with the succeeding Ringerike style. The style lasted a brief 50 years before disappearing around 1000 AD. Its main motif really stands out. It’s a great four-legged beast, a griffin or a lion, with a double-contoured body and spiral-shaped hips and shoulders. It is depicted battling a snake. The Mammen motif is bold and dynamic. It is laid out in an asymmetrical style, unaligned with the surface’s axis. It is embellished with branching plant ornamentation such as acanthus-shaped crests. The acanthus-shapes betray a likely English influence. They greatly resemble the Anglo-Saxon Winchester style. The Winchester style probably crossed over to Danish carvers during the first half of the 10th century when the Danish presence in England was at its height. The lion or griffin was also not originally a Scandinavian motif. It suggests a Christian influence. It too may have reached Scandinavia via the same route, though it is a little harder tom trace. The style’s most famous example is a runestone found at Jelling in Denmark known as the Jelling Stone. The stone depicts the iconic twisting great beast entwined with a snake. Although not many Mammen objects are preserved the style is found throughout Europe from Ukraine through to Spain, the British Isles, as well as within Scandinavia itself. The Ringerike style developed from the Mammen style by around 990 AD and remained popular until around 1050 AD. The style was named after memorial stones from Ringerike, north of Oslo, Norway. This style strongly resembles its predecessor, especially where it concerns the large animal motifs. Curving snakes, lions, or ribbon animals which strike dynamic poses are the prominent feature. However where Mammen is more wavy and chaotic in its embellishment, the Ringerike designs are laid out on an axis. They demonstrate a more disciplined, basic asymmetry, with taut and evenly curved scrolls of plant motifs, tendrils and loops. These elements become even more important in the overall design and create a rich impression of elegant movement, even though there’s a large number of these tendrils and plants sprouting out of their bodies. However some of the tendrils are unattached to the animals. The Ringerike style dominates the runestones of south and middle Sweden as well as on Gotland. The style also appears in Denmark and in modified form in Norway. The style was also prominent in the metalwork of the era. Some splendid examples are preserved, such as two copper-gilt weather vanes found in Sweden. One was from Källunge, Gotland, and one was from Söderala, Hälsingland. Loops flow from an axis, taking the form of snakes from which symmetrically-placed tendrils sprout. Their heads both have a pear-shaped eye whose tip points towards the snout. This was a characteristic feature of the Ringerike style. Acanthus buds fill up two corners. Acanthus-bud motifs are a common stylist variation of the Ringerike style. It took is quite probably an English influence presumed to have been brought along to England by Cnut the Great, the early 10th century King of Denmark, England and Norway. The Ringerike style was both popular and influential across the British Isles. It was especially enthusiastically adopted in Ireland. It was so popular that it developed independently, even appearing on objects originating from native Irish contexts such as the Clonmacnois crozier. The last of the Scandinavian animal ornamentation-based art styles is the Urnes style. This was most prominent between about 1040 through 1100 AD. Because of its prevalence on the runestones of Uppland, Sweden, the term 'runestone style' is commonly used. Urnes designs are sophisticated, elegant and sleek, even decadent. They are often asymmetric and form an interweaving mass of sinuous, gently curving animals and snakes. There are no abrupt transitions or breaks in the lines. Its characteristic motif is that of a great four-legged beast often struggling with surrounding snakes, biting each other. The greyhound or deer-like animals have long necks and slim heads, with snake-like creatures coiling around the design in figure-eight loops. These snake-like creatures sometimes possess with one foreleg, sometimes just a tendril ending in a snake's head. The pointed, almond-shaped eyes fill almost the entire heads of the greyhound or deer-like animals, which are usually depicted in profile. Variation existed, too, which is most obviously visible in metalwork of the time. The style was named after the stave church that stands in Urnes, Sogn, western Norway. The church was rebuilt in the 12th century and recycled decorated wood of an earlier date which depicts this particular style. The Urnes style is often found in a Christian context. This highlights the fact that Viking Age art styles were not specifically 'pagan' per se but reflected the society at large. Outside of Scandinavia, it is sometimes found in England. Like the Ringerike style, it was especially well-liked in Ireland. In Ireland the Urnes style flourished from about 1090 AD through end of the 12th century and even beyond. The style was found not only in metalwork but also stonework and manuscript decoration. Although the use of animal ornamentation petered out around 1100 AD it did not disappear abruptly or entirely. It was actually used on some early 12th century ecclesiastical objects ((Scandinavia had been Christian since about 1000 AD). The Lisbjerg altar from Jutland, Denmark, for instance, combines the native Viking style with European Romanesque. Furthermore, animal art remained in use in peasant society for many centuries after the end of the Viking Age. This was a testament to its role and appeal in this culture [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Egyptian Art: The artworks of ancient Egypt have fascinated people for thousands of years. The early Greek and later Roman artists were influenced by Egyptian techniques and their art would inspire those of other cultures up to the present day. Many artists are known from later periods but those of Egypt are completely anonymous and for a very interesting reason: their art was functional and created for a practical purpose whereas later art was intended for aesthetic pleasure. Functional art is work-made-for-hire, belonging to the individual who commissioned it, while art created for pleasure - even if commissioned - allows for greater expression of the artist's vision and so recognition of an individual artist. A Greek artist like Phidias (circa 490-430 B.C.) certainly understood the practical purposes in creating a statue of Athena or Zeus but his primary aim would have been to make a visually pleasing piece, to make "art" as people understand that word today, not to create a practical and functional work. All Egyptian art served a practical purpose: a statue held the spirit of the god or the deceased; a tomb painting showed scenes from one's life on earth so one's spirit could remember it or scenes from the paradise one hoped to attain so one would know how to get there; charms and amulets protected one from harm; figurines warded off evil spirits and angry ghosts; hand mirrors, whip-handles, cosmetic cabinets all served practical purposes and ceramics were used for drinking, eating, and storage. Egyptologist Gay Robins notes: "As far as we know, the ancient Egyptians had no word that corresponded exactly to our abstract use of the word `art'. They had words for individual types of monuments that we today regard as examples of Egyptian art - 'statue', 'stela', 'tomb' -but there is no reason to believe that these words necessarily included an aesthetic dimension in their meaning. 'Art for art's sake' was unknown and further, would have probably been incomprehensible to an ancient Egyptian who understood art as functional above all else." Although Egyptian art is highly regarded today and continues to be a great draw for museums featuring exhibits, the ancient Egyptians themselves would never have thought of their work in this same way and certainly would find it strange to have these different types of works displayed out of context in a museum's hall. Statuary was created and placed for a specific reason and the same is true for any other kind of art. The concept of "art for art's sake" was unknown and, further, would have probably been incomprehensible to an ancient Egyptian who understood art as functional above all else. This is not to say the Egyptians had no sense of aesthetic beauty. Even Egyptian hieroglyphics were written with aesthetics in mind. A hieroglyphic sentence could be written left to right or right to left, up to down or down to up, depending entirely on how one's choice affected the beauty of the finished work. Simply put, any work needed to be beautiful but the motivation to create was focused on a practical goal: function. Even so, Egyptian art is consistently admired for its beauty and this is because of the value ancient Egyptians placed on symmetry. The perfect balance in Egyptian art reflects the cultural value of ma'at (harmony) which was central to the civilization. Ma'at was not only universal and social order but the very fabric of creation which came into being when the gods made the ordered universe out of undifferentiated chaos. The concept of unity, of oneness, was this "chaos" but the gods introduced duality - night and day, female and male, dark and light - and this duality was regulated by ma'at. It is for this reason that Egyptian temples, palaces, homes and gardens, statuary and paintings, signet rings and amulets were all created with balance in mind and all reflect the value of symmetry. The Egyptians believed their land had been made in the image of the world of the gods and, when someone died, they went to a paradise they would find quite familiar. When an obelisk was made it was always created and raised with an identical twin and these two obelisks were thought to have divine reflections, made at the same time, in the land of the gods. Temple courtyards were purposefully laid out to reflect creation, ma'at, heka (magic), and the afterlife with the same perfect symmetry the gods had initiated at creation. Art reflected the perfection of the gods while, at the same time, serving a practical purpose on a daily basis. The art of Egypt is the story of the elite, the ruling class. Throughout most of Egypt's historical periods those of more modest means could not afford the luxury of artworks to tell their story and it is largely through Egyptian art that the history of the civilization has come to be known. The tombs, tomb paintings, inscriptions, temples, even most of the literature, is concerned with the lives of the upper class and only by way of telling these stories are those of the lower classes revealed. This paradigm was already set prior to the written history of the culture. Egyptian art begins in the Pre-Dynastic Period (circa 6000-3150 B.C.) through rock drawings and ceramics but is fully realized by the Early Dynastic Period (circa 3150-2613 B.C.) in the famous Narmer Palette. The Narmer Palette (circa 3150 B.C.) is a two-sided ceremonial plate of siltstone intricately carved with scenes of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by King Narmer. The importance of symmetry is evident in the composition which features the heads of four bulls (a symbol of power) at the top of each side and balanced representation of the figures which tell the story. The work is considered a masterpiece of Early Dynastic Period art and shows how advanced Egyptian artists were at the time. The later work of the architect Imhotep (circa 2667-2600 B.C.) on the pyramid of King Djoser (circa 2670 B.C.) reflects how far artworks had advanced since the Narmer Palette. Djoser's pyramid complex is intricately designed with lotus flowers, papyrus plants, and djed symbols in high and low relief and the pyramid itself, of course, is evidence of the Egyptian skill in working in stone on monumental artworks. During the Old Kingdom (circa 2613-2181 B.C.) art became standardized by the elite and figures were produced uniformly to reflect the tastes of the capital at Memphis. Statuary of the late Early Dynastic and early Old Kingdom periods is remarkably similar although other art forms (painting and writing) show more sophistication in the Old Kingdom. The greatest artworks of the Old Kingdom are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza which still stand today but more modest monuments were created with the same precision and beauty. Old Kingdom art and architecture, in fact, was highly valued by Egyptians in later eras. Some rulers and nobles (such as Khaemweset, fourth son of Ramesses II) purposefully commissioned works in Old Kingdom style, even the eternal home of their tombs. In the First Intermediate Period (2181-2040 B.C.), following the collapse of the Old Kingdom, artists were able to express individual and regional visions more freely. The lack of a strong central government commissioning works meant that district governors could requisition pieces reflecting their home province. These different districts also found they had more disposable income since they were not sending as much to Memphis. More economic power locally inspired more artists to produce works in their own style. Mass production began during the First Intermediate Period also and this led to a uniformity in a given region's artwork which made it at once distinctive but of lesser quality than Old Kingdom work. This change can best be seen in the production of shabti dolls for grave goods which were formerly made by hand. Art would flourish during the Middle Kingdom (2040-1782 B.C.) which is generally considered the high point of Egyptian culture. Colossal statuary began during this period as well as the great temple of Karnak at Thebes. The idealism of Old Kingdom depictions in statuary and paintings was replaced by realistic representations and the lower classes are also found represented more often in art than previously. The Middle Kingdom gave way to the Second Intermediate Period (circa 1782-1570 B.C.) during which the Hyksos held large areas of the Delta region while the Nubians encroached from the south. Art from this period produced at Thebes retains the characteristics of the Middle Kingdom while that of the Nubians and Hyksos - both of whom admired and copied Egyptian art - differs in size, quality, and technique. The New Kingdom (circa 1570-1069 B.C.), which followed, is the best known period from Egypt's history and produced some of the finest and most famous works of art. The bust of Nefertiti and the golden death mask of Tutankhamun both come from this era. New Kingdom art is defined by a high quality in vision and technique due largely to Egypt's interaction with neighboring cultures. This was the era of Egypt's empire and the metal-working techniques of the Hittites - who were now considered allies, if not equals - greatly influenced the production of funerary artifacts, weaponry, and other artwork. Following the New Kingdom the Third Intermediate Period (circa 1069-525 B.C.) and Late Period (525-332 B.C.) attempted with more or less success to continue the high standard of New Kingdom art while also evoking Old Kingdom styles in an effort to recapture the declining stature of Egypt. Persian influence in the Late Period is replaced by Greek tastes in the Ptolemaic Period (323-30 B.C.) which also tries to suggest the Old Kingdom standards with New Kingdom technique and this paradigm persists into the Roman Period (30 B.C.-646 A.D.) and the end of Egyptian culture. Throughout all these eras, the types of art were as numerous as human need, the resources to make them, and the ability to pay for them. The wealthy of Egypt had ornate hand mirrors, cosmetic cases and jars, jewelry, decorated scabbards for knives and swords, intricate bows, sandals, furniture, chariots, gardens, and tombs. Every aspect of any of these creations had symbolic meaning. In the same way the bull motif on the Narmer Palette symbolized the power of the king, so every image, design, ornamentation, or detail meant something relating to its owner. Among the most obvious examples of this is the golden throne of Tutankhamun (circa 1336-1327 B.C.) which depicts the young king with his wife Ankhsenamun. The couple are represented in a quiet domestic moment as the queen is rubbing ointment onto her husband's arm as he sits in a chair. Their close relationship is established by the color of their skin, which is the same. Men are usually depicted with reddish skin because they spent more time outdoors while a lighter color was used for women's skin as they were more apt to stay out of the sun. This difference in the shade of skin tones did not represent equality or inequality but was simply an attempt at realism. In the case of Tutankhamun's throne, however, the technique is used to express an important aspect of the couple's relationship. Other inscriptions and art work make clear that they spent most of their time together and the artist expresses this through their shared skin tones; Ankhesenamun is just as sun-tanned as Tutankhamun. The red used in this composition also represents vitality and the energy of their relationship. The couple's hair is blue, symbolizing fertility, life, and re-birth while their clothing is white, representing purity. The background is gold, the color of the gods, and all of the intricate details, including the crowns the figures wear and their colors, all have their own specific meaning and go to tell the story of the featured couple. A sword or a cosmetic case was designed and created with this same goal in mind: story-telling. Even the garden of a house told a story: in the center was a pool surrounded by trees, plants, and flowers which, in turn, were surrounded by a wall and one entered the garden from the house through a portico of decorated columns. All of these would have been arranged carefully to tell a tale which was significant to the owner. Although Egyptian gardens are long gone, models made of them as grave goods have been found which show the great care which went into laying them out in narrative form. In the case of the noble Meket-Ra of the 11th Dynasty, the garden was designed to tell the story of the journey of life to paradise. The columns of the portico were shaped like lotus blossoms, symbolizing his home in Upper Egypt, the pool in the center represented Lily Lake which the soul would have to cross to reach paradise, and the far garden wall was decorated with scenes from the afterlife. Every time Meket-Ra would sit in his garden he would be reminded of the nature of life as an eternal journey and this would most likely lend him perspective on whatever circumstances might be troubling at the moment. The paintings on Meket-Ra's walls would have been done by artists mixing colors made from naturally occurring minerals. Black was made from carbon, red and yellow from iron oxides, blue and green from azurite and malachite, white from gypsum and so on. The minerals would be mixed with crushed organic material to different consistencies and then further mixed with an unknown substance (possibly egg whites) to make it sticky so it would adhere to a surface. Egyptian paint was so durable that many works, even those not protected in tombs, have remained vibrant after over 4,000 years. Although home, garden, and palace walls were usually decorated with flat two-dimensional paintings, tomb, temple, and monument walls employed reliefs. There were high reliefs (in which the figures stand out from the wall) and low reliefs (where the images are carved into the wall). To create these, the surface of the wall would be smoothed with plaster which was then sanded. An artist would create a work in miniature and then draw gridlines on it and this grid would then be drawn on the wall. Using the smaller work as a model, the artist would be able to replicate the image in the correct proportions on the wall. The scene would first be drawn and then outlined in red paint. Corrections to the work would be noted, possibly by another artist or supervisor, in black paint and once these were taken care of the scene was carved and painted. Paint was also used on statues which were made of wood, stone, or metal. Stone work first developed in the Early Dynastic Period and became more and more refined over the centuries. A sculptor would work from a single block of stone with a copper chisel, wooden mallet, and finer tools for details. The statue would then be smoothed with a rubbing cloth. The stone for a statue was selected, as with everything else in Egyptian art, to tell its own story. A statue of Osiris, for example, would be made of black schist to symbolize fertility and re-birth, both associated with this particular god. Metal statues were usually small and made of copper, bronze, silver, and gold. Gold was particularly popular for amulets and shrine figures of the gods since it was believed that the gods had golden skin. These figures were made by casting or sheet metal work over wood. Wooden statues were carved from different pieces of trees and then glued or pegged together. Statues of wood are rare but a number have been preserved and show tremendous skill. Cosmetic chests, coffins, model boats, and toys were made in this same way. Jewelry was commonly fashioned using the technique known as cloisonné in which thin strips of metal are inlaid on the surface of the work and then fired in a kiln to forge them together and create compartments which are then detailed with jewels or painted scenes. Among the best examples of cloisonné jewelry is the Middle Kingdom pendant given by Senusret II (circa 1897-1878 B.C.) to his daughter. This work is fashioned of thin gold wires attached to a solid gold backing inlaid with 372 semi-precious stones. Cloisonné was also used in making pectorals for the king, crowns, headdresses, swords, ceremonial daggers, and sarcophagi among other items. Although Egyptian art is famously admired it has come under criticism for being unrefined. Critics claim that the Egyptians never seem to have mastered perspective as there is no interplay of light and shadow in the compositions, they are always two dimensional, and the figures are emotionless. Statuary depicting couples, it is argued, show no emotion in the faces and the same holds true for battle scenes or statues of a king or queen. These criticisms fail to recognize the functionality of Egyptian art. The Egyptians understood that emotional states are transitory; one is not consistently happy, sad, angry, content throughout a given day much less eternally. Art works present people and deities formally without expression because it was thought the person's spirit would need that representation in order to live on in the afterlife. A person's name and image had to survive in some form on earth in order for the soul to continue its journey. This was the reason for mummification and the elaborate funerary rituals: the spirit needed a 'beacon' of sorts to return to when visiting earth for sustenance in the tomb. The spirit might not recognize a statue of an angry or jubilant version of themselves but would recognize their staid, complacent, features. The lack of emotion has to do with the eternal purpose of the work. Statues were made to be viewed from the front, usually with their backs against a wall, so that the soul would recognize their former selves easily and this was also true of gods and goddesses who were thought to live in their statues. Life was only a small part of an eternal journey to the ancient Egyptians and their art reflects this belief. A statue or a cosmetics case, a wall painting or amulet, whatever form the artwork took, it was made to last far beyond its owner's life and, more importantly, tell that person's story as well as reflecting Egyptian values and beliefs as a whole. Egyptian art has served this purpose well as it has continued to tell its tale now for thousands of years. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Art of Ancient Egypt: The art of ancient Egypt is helping unravel 6,000 years of complex ecological interactions in the Nile valley. Dartmouth biological anthropologist Nathaniel Dominy and his colleagues created a chronological catalogue of animals in the landscape on the basis of artistic depictions in tomb paintings and carved reliefs on temples and everyday objects. "The ancient Egyptians were keen natural historians, and artists paid close attention to specific anatomical details and proportions in their art. We can identify precisely which species of animal they were representing," says Dominy, an associate professor of anthropology and biological sciences. This robust artistic record presents a chronicle of animals present or absent in the landscape over time. On the human side, the Egyptians were regularly taking a census of their population for tax purposes. These records now serve to document population growth, which can be correlated with the structure and stability of the local animal community. Dominy, his former graduate student Justin Yeakel, and their collaborators have just published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA detailing their use of ancient art and other resources in constructing an ecological history of ancient Egypt. Yeakel, now a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, is first author on the paper. "We are excited by this paper because it is the first high-resolution record of an expanding human population coming into contact with essentially an intact Pleistocene community of large mammals," says Dominy. "We can watch those animals disappear from the artistic record, and, by inference, the landscape, one at a time." These include lions, spotted hyenas, warthogs, zebra, wildebeest, and water buffalo. As species keep disappearing from the environment, the whole ecological network collapses. While this may be a function of human population growth, there are also historical records of environmental changes happening at approximately the same time. During the 6,000-year period the paper covers, there were two strong "aridification pulses"—extremely dry periods the authors acknowledge may have impacted both humans and animals along the Nile. "They [aridification pulses] may have been a factor in the collapse of the Akkadian empire and the Indus valley civilization and, in some ways, may have catalyzed the new dynasties in Egypt," says Dominy. These climatic changes appeared to drive complex interactions between animals and humans. Dominy explains that as animal populations go down, humans cannot hunt as effectively. "Humans essentially double-down on agriculture and commit even more strongly to it as a subsistence strategy, which has the net effect of increasing population size, which then increases hunting pressure—a one-two punch," he says. [Dartmouth University]. Color in Ancient Egyptian Art: The ancient Egyptians had a great appreciation for life which is clearly depicted through their art. Images of people enjoying themselves - whether in this life or the next - are as plentiful as those most often seen of the gods or funerary rituals. The early Egyptologists who first encountered the culture focused their attention on the many examples of funerary art found in tombs and concluded that Egyptian culture was death-obsessed when, in reality, the ancient Egyptians were wholly absorbed in living life to its fullest. Egyptians decorated their homes, gardens, palaces, and tombs with impressive works of art which reflected their appreciation for all that the gods had given them and accented these depictions with vibrant colors. The palace of Amenhotep III (1386-1353 B.C.) at Malkata was brightly painted, the outer walls of white and the interiors of blue, yellow, and green, with murals and other ornamentation throughout. These colors were not chosen randomly but each had a very specific symbolism for the Egyptians and were used to convey that significance. Egyptologist Rosalie David comments on this: " Color was regarded as an integral element of all art representations, including wall-scenes, statuary, tomb goods, and jewelry, and the magical qualities of a specific color were believed to become an integral part of any object to which it was added. Each color had its own particular symbolism & was created from elements found in nature. Color in ancient Egypt was used not only in realistic representations of scenes from every life but to illustrate the heavenly realms of the gods, the afterlife, and the stories and histories of the deities of the Egyptian pantheon. Each color had its own particular symbolism and was created from elements found in nature. Egyptologist Margaret Bunson writes how "artisans began to observe the natural occurrence of colors in their surroundings and pulverized various oxides and other materials to develop the hues they desired". This process of Egyptian artists creating colors for their art dates to the Early Dynastic Period (circa 3150-2613 B.C.) but becomes more pronounced during the time of the Old Kingdom (circa 2613-2181 B.C.). From the Old Kingdom until the country was annexed by Rome after 30 B.C., color was an important component of every work of art fashioned by the Egyptians. Each color was created by mixing various naturally occurring elements and each became standardized in time in order to ensure a uniformity in art work. An Egyptian male, for example, was always depicted with a reddish-brown skin which was achieved by mixing a certain amount of the standard red paint recipe with standard brown. Variations in the mix would occur in different eras but, overall, remained more or less the same. This color for the male's skin was chosen for realism in the piece, in order to symbolize the outdoor life of most males, while Egyptian women were painted with lighter skin (using yellow and white mixes) since they spent more time indoors. The gods were typically represented with gold skin, reflecting the belief that gods did, in fact, have gold skin. An exception to this is the god Osiris who is almost always shown with green or black skin symbolizing fertility, regeneration, and the underworld. Osiris was murdered, returned to life by Isis, and then descended to rule over the land of the dead; the colors used in his depictions all symbolize aspects of his story. Whether a scene shows a man and his wife at dinner or the gods in the solar barge, each color used had to accurately represent the various themes of these events. The different colors below are listed with their Egyptian name following, the materials used in creating them, and what they symbolized. The definitions follow the work of Richard H. Wilkinson in his Symbolism & Magic in Egyptian Art and Margaret Bunson's Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, supplemented by other works. Red (desher) - made from oxidized iron and red ocher, used to create flesh tones and symbolizing life but also evil and destruction. Red was associated with both fire and blood and so symbolized vitality and energy but could also be used to accentuate a certain danger or define a destructive deity. The god Set, for example, who murdered Osiris and brought chaos to Egypt at the beginning of time, was always represented with a red face or red hair or completely in red. One also sees this pattern in written work where the color red is sometimes used to signify a dangerous character or aspect in a story. In wall paintings and tomb scenes red must be carefully interpreted within the context of the scene. Although it was frequently used for emphasis of danger or even evil, it is also as commonly seen symbolizing life or a higher being (as in depictions of the Eye of Ra) or elevated status as in the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. Blue (irtiu and khesbedj) - one of the most popular colors, commonly referred to as "Egyptian Blue", made from copper and iron oxides with silica and calcium, symbolizing fertility, birth, rebirth and life and usually used to depict water and the heavens. Wilkinson writes, "by the same token, blue could signify the river Nile and its associated crops, offerings, and fertility, and many of the so-called `fecundity' figures which represent the river's bounty are of this hue" (107). Statues and depictions of the god Thoth are routinely blue, blue-green, or have some aspect of blue in them linking the god of wisdom with the life-giving heavens. Blue also symbolized protection. Fertility amulets of the protector-god Bes were often blue as were the tattoos women would wear of Bes or diamond-shaped patterns on their lower abdomen, back, and thighs. It is thought these tattoos were worn as amulets to protect women during pregnancy and childbirth. Yellow (khenet and kenit) - made from ocher and oxides originally but, from the New Kingdom (circa 1570-1069 B.C.) was mixed from arsenic trisulphide and symbolizing the sun and eternity. Yellow was darkened for the golden flesh-color of the gods or lightened with white to suggest purity or some sacred aspect of a character or object. Isis, for example, is always depicted with gold skin in a white dress but, sometimes, her dress is a light yellow to emphasize her eternal aspect in a scene or story. It is thought that priests and priestesses of the gods of Egypt would sometimes dress as their deities and Wilkinson suggests that priests of the god Anubis would color their skins yellow on certain occasions to "become" the god for the event. Although Anubis was traditionally represented as black-skinned, there are a number of texts depicting him with the golden hue of the other gods. Green (wadj) - mixed from malachite, a copper mineral, and symbolizing goodness, growth, life, the afterlife, and resurrection. The Egyptian afterlife was known as The Field of Reeds and, in some eras, as The Field of Malachite and was always associated with the color green. Wilkinson writes how green was "naturally a symbol of growing things and of life itself" and goes on to point out how, in ancient Egypt, "to do `green things' was a euphemism for positive, life-producing, behavior in contrast to `red things' which symbolized evil" (108). Green is the color of the dying and reviving god Osiris and also of the Eye of Horus, one of the most sacred objects in Egyptian mythology. In early tomb paintings the spirit of the deceased is shown as white but, later, as green to associate the dead with the eternal Osiris. In keeping with the symbolism of resurrection, green is also often used to depict the goddess Hathor, Lady of the Sycamore. Hathor was closely associated with the Sycamore tree, with renewal, transformation, and rebirth. Mummies of tattooed women suggest the ink could have been green, blue, or black and tattoos have been linked with the worship of Hathor. White (hedj and shesep) - made from chalk mixed with gypsum, often employed as a lightener for other hues, and symbolizing purity, sacredness, cleanliness, and clarity. White was the color of Egyptian clothing and so associated with daily life but was frequently employed in artistic pieces to symbolize the transcendent nature of life as well. Priests always wore white and so did temple attendants and temple personnel taking part in a festival or ritual. The objects used in rituals (such as bowls, plates, altars, tables) were made of white alabaster. White, like the other colors, was used realistically in depicting clothing and objects of that color in real life but frequently is employed to highlight the importance of some aspect of a painting; in some cases, it did both these things. The White Crown of Upper Egypt, for example, is routinely referred to as white - and so is realistically depicted - but also symbolized the close connection to the gods enjoyed by the king - and so symbolically represents purity and the sacred. Black (kem) - made from carbon, ground charcoal, mixed with water and sometimes burnt animal bones, symbolized death, darkness, the underworld, as well as life, birth, and resurrection. Wilkinson writes, "the symbolic association of the color with life and fertility may well have originated in the fertile black silt deposited by the Nile in its annual flooding and Osiris - god of the Nile and of the underworld - was thus frequently depicted with black skin" (109). Black and green are often used interchangeably in Egyptian art, in fact, as symbols of life. Statues of the gods were frequently carved from black stone but, just as often, from green. Although black was associated with death it had no connotation of evil - which was represented by red - and, frequently appears along with green, or instead of green, in depictions of the afterlife. Anubis, the god who guides the dead to the hall of judgment and is present at the weighing of the soul's heart, is almost always depicted as a black figure as is Bastet, goddess of women, one of the most popular deities in all of Egypt. Tattoos of Bes were done in black ink and images of the afterlife frequently make use of a black background to not only accentuate the gold and white of the foreground but also symbolize the concept of rebirth. Black symbolized death, darkness, the underworld, as well as life, birth, & resurrection. These basic colors were often mixed, diluted, or otherwise combined to create colors such as purple, pink, teal, gold, silver, and other hues. Artists were not bound by the minerals they mixed their paints from but only by their imaginations and talent in creating the colors they needed to tell their stories. Aesthetic considerations were of great importance to the Egyptians. Art and architecture is characterized by symmetry and even their writing system, the hieroglyphics, were set down in accordance with visual beauty as an integral aspect of their function. In reading hieroglyphics, one understands the meaning by noting which direction the figures are facing; if they face left, then one reads to the left and, if up or down or right, in whichever of those directions. The direction of the figures provides the context of the message and so provides a means of understanding what it being said. In the same way, color in Egyptian art must be interpreted in context. In a certain painting, red might symbolize evil or destruction but the color should not always instantly be interpreted along those lines. Black is a color often misinterpreted in Egyptian art because of the modern-day association of black with evil. Images of Tutankhamun, found in his tomb, sometimes depict him with black skin and these were originally associated with death and grief by the early archaeologists interpreting the finds; although the association with death would be correct, and grief did accompany the loss of anyone in ancient Egypt as today, a proper interpretation would be the association of Tutankhamun in death with Osiris and the concept of rebirth and resurrection. White retains the same meaning in the present day that it had for the ancient Egyptians but, as noted, must also be interpreted in context. The white dress of Isis would signify purity and the sacred yet the white skirt of Set would simply be a representation of how a male Egyptian dressed. Recognizing the symbolism of Egyptian colors, however, and why they were most commonly used, allows one a greater appreciation of Egyptian art and a clearer understanding of the message the ancient artist was trying to convey. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Art of Ancient Cyprus: You don't want to miss "From Ishtar to Aphrodite: 3200 Years of Cypriot Hellenism". Treasures from the Cyprus Museum now at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York. An outstanding exhibition, "From Ishtar to Aphrodite" looks at the course Hellenism in Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean's crossroads of cultures and the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite. The 85 artifacts on display are exceptional in themselves and most have never been seen outside of Cyprus before, including a first-century marble torso of Aphrodite that is the exhibition's hallmark. Sophocles Hadjisavvas, director of the Department of Antiquities, summarizes the exhibition's theme in his introduction to the accompanying catalog: "The long journey of the bloodthirsty goddess of sexuality, Ishtar, from the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia) to the island of Cyprus can be traced through various stages of transformation. In Syria and Palestine she is known as Astarte, whereas in Cyprus she acquires all the attributes of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. ...The transformation of the goddess symbolizes an island society embraced and influenced by the great civilizations of the East as it evolved into the easternmost bastion of Hellenism." The artifacts displayed and accompanying information panels trace these developments over the centuries. The cosmopolitan nature of Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age is emphasized through rich burials of the fourteenth century B.C., the time of the first commercial expansion of Mycenaean Greeks to the island. The end of the fourteenth century saw the introduction of ashlar buildings, based on Syrian prototypes, to the island. Toward the end of the Bronze Age, in the eleventh century, Cyprus received an influx of Greeks from the Aegean, who Hadjisavvas describes as "people who fled from the collapsing Mycenaean world." In ninth century, new peoples arrived, Phoenician colonists from the east, bringing with them distinctive styles of pottery and terra-cotta figurines. The overlying and blending of various cultures with the Cypriot Greek based continued until Alexander's day, after which the island was more and more absorbed into the shared Hellenistic culture of the times. Complementing the displays is an excellent catalog. Jennifer Webb (La Trobe University, Melbourne) examines the link between Ishtar and Aphrodite, from the fusion of early Cypriot precursors of the goddess with Near Eastern goddesses worshiped by the Phoenicians, Assyrians, and Persians. Webb notes how the Greeks adopted the goddess, who returned to the island in fully Hellenic guise in the fourth century B.C. Other essays in the catalog look at Cyprus in the context of the eastern Mediterranean, monumental ashlar buildings of Syrian inspiration, and the island as ancient "melting pot" (Hadjisavvas); Late Bronze Age origins of Cypriot Hellenism (Maria Iacovou, University of Cyprus); Hellensim of Cypriot limestone sculpture (Antoine Hermary, Université de Provence); and Cyprus under the Ptolemaic Dynasty of later Egypt (Aristodemos Anastassides, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus). Especially welcome is a brief chapter on Tomb 11 at Kalavassos-Ayios Dimitrios by Alison South, who directed the excavation of the site. Although all the artifacts in this exhibition are impressive, 20 objects come from this single wealthy tomb dated to 1400-1375. They include gold jewelry, Cypriot pottery, five Mycenaean pots imported from mainland Greece, and an Egyptian miniature glass vessel. This suite of artifacts, which accompanied the burials of three young woman (one 19-20 years old, and two slightly earlier interments of women aged 21 to 24 and about 17 years), highlights the wide-ranging influences on Cypriot culture, as well as the culture's own achievements, in the middle of the Late Bronze Age. After closing in New York, "From Ishtar to Aphrodite" moves to Athens (2004), and then on to London. The exhibit follows several notable recent offerings of at the Onassis Cultural Center: "Silent Witnesses" (spring 2002) on the Early Bronze Age of the Cyclades, "Post-Byzantium: The Greek Renaissance" (fall 2002), and "The New Acropolis Museum" (spring 2003). Replacing From Ishtar to Aphrodite for the beginning of 2004 is "Coming of Age in Ancient Greece". Organized by Dartmouth's Hood Museum of Art, the exhibition will include a special section about the Olympics when it is at the Onassis Center. [Archaeological Institute of America[. Bronze Age Cycladic Sculpture: The Cycladic islands of the Aegean were first inhabited by voyagers from Asia Minor around 3000 B.C. and a certain prosperity was achieved thanks to the wealth of natural resources on the islands such as gold, silver, copper, obsidian and marble. This prosperity allowed for a flourishing of the arts and the uniqueness of Cycladic art is perhaps best illustrated by their clean-lined and minimalistic sculpture which is amongst the most distinctive art produced throughout the Bronze Age Aegean. These figurines were produced from 3000 B.C. until around 2000 B.C. when the islands became increasingly influenced by the Minoan civilization based on Crete. Small statuettes were sculpted from local coarse-grained marble and although different forms were produced, all share the same characteristics of being highly stylized with only the most general and prominent body features represented. The earliest examples were produced in the Neolithic period and were made until around 2500 B.C. Looking like violins they are in fact representations of a naked squatting woman. A later form, and perhaps influenced by contact with Asia, was the standing figure, most commonly female. Once again, these elegant figures are highly stylized with few details added and they continued to be produced until around 2000 B.C. They are naked, with arms folded across the chest (always with the right arm under the left) and the oval-shaped head tilted back with the only sculpted feature being the nose. Breasts, pubic area, fingers and toes are the only other features evidenced by simple inscribed lines. Over time the figures evolve slightly with a deeper line incised to demarcate the legs, the top of the head becomes more curved, knees are less bent, shoulders more angular and the arms are less fully crossed. The figures are most often around 30cm in height but miniature examples survive, as do life-size versions. The feet of the figures always point downwards and therefore they cannot stand upright on their own, leading to suggestions that they were either laid down or carried. Despite these general similarities it is, however, important to note that no two figurines are exactly alike, even when evidence suggests they come from the same workshop. Other figures include harp players seated on a throne or, more usually, a simple stool (of which there are fewer than a dozen surviving examples) and a standing pipe or aulos player from Keros circa 2500 B.C. In the same style as other Cycladic figures they are the first representations of musicians in sculpture from the Aegean. Most of the figures were sculpted from slim rectangular pieces of marble using an abrasive such as emery which is almost as hard as diamond and was available from the island of Naxos. Without doubt an extremely laborious process was involved but the end result was a piece with a finely polished sheen. There are on occasion surviving traces of color on some statues which was used to highlight details such as hair in red and black and facial features were also painted onto the sculpture such as eyes. Representations of the mouth, however, are very rare on Cycladic sculpture. A well-preserved figure now in the British Museum still has traces of eyes, a necklace and a diadem painted with small dots on the face and there are even some patterns over the body, hinting at a more colorful representation than most surviving figures suggest. Not only have figures been found all over the Cycladic islands but they were clearly also popular further afield on Crete, the Greek mainland and at Cnidus and Miletus in Anatolia. Both imported figurines and local copies have been discovered, some of the latter employing material not used by the original manufacturers such as ivory. The use of such a hard material and consequently the time needed to produce these pieces would suggest that they were of great significance in Cycladic culture (and not mere toys as some have suggested) but their exact purpose is unknown. Their most likely function is as some sort of religious idol and the predominance of female figures, sometimes pregnant, suggests a fertility deity. Supporting this view is the fact that figurines have been found outside of a burial context at settlements on Melos, Kea and Thera. Alternatively, precisely because the majority of figures have been found in graves, perhaps they were guardians to or representations of the deceased. Indeed, there have been some finds of painting materials along with figures in graves which would suggest that the painting process may have been a part of the burial ceremony. However, some of the larger figures are simply too large to fit into a grave and also puzzling is their variation in distribution. Although figurines are present across the Cycladic islands, some graves have contained as many as fourteen figures whilst on Syros for example, only six were found in 540 graves. Intriguingly, at the site of Dhaskalio Kavos on Keros there is evidence of a large quantity of figures deliberately broken. Were these smashed as part of a ritual or were they simply no longer seen as significant objects? Despite much scholarly endeavor then, there is still great mystery surrounding these statues and perhaps this is part of their appeal. One of the problems with Cycladic art is that it is very much a victim of its own success. Appreciated by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore in the 20th century A.D., a vogue for anything Cycladic arose which unfortunately resulted in the illegal traffic of looted goods from the Cyclades. The result is that many of the Cycladic art objects now in western museums have no provenance of any description, compounding the difficulties for scholars to ascertain their function in Cycladic culture. These objects are, nevertheless, part of the few tangible remains of a culture which no longer exists and without a form of writing the members of that culture are unable to explain for themselves the true significance of these objects and we are left to imagine the function and faces behind these enigmatic sculptures which continue to fascinate more than three millennia after their original manufacture. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. However this book is quite heavy, and it is too large to fit into a flat rate mailer. Therefore the shipping costs are somewhat higher than what is otherwise ordinary. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Eastern Europe and Central Asia several times a year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient/antique jewelry and gemstones, a reflection of our academic backgrounds. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia antique gemstones are commonly dismounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them originally crafted a century or more ago. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: LIKE NEW. New and unread but with slight shopwear (a lightly bumped spine head). See detailed condition description below., Format: HUGE hardcover with dustjacket, Length: 210 pages, Dimensions: 12½ x 9¼ x 1¼ inches; 3¾ pounds, Publisher: New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (1996)

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