Snake Goddess Mysteries Bronze Age Minoan Crete Knossos Minos Palace Forgeries?

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller ancientgifts (4,777) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122488938824 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, Desire, and The Forging of History by Kenneth Lapatin. . 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: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 274 pages. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company; (2002). The “Snake Goddess”, exquisitely crafted out of ivory and gold, with her withdrawn eyes and pouting face, stares deeply out from a distant past. Serpents encircle her outstretched arms. Her arresting posture and tiered costume radiate a modern-day sensuality. For decades archaeologists have lavishly praised this small but breathtaking statuette, giving it pride of place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as the pinnacle of Minoan art. Or is she? As Kenneth Lapatin reveals in this astonishing book, the origins of the Snake Goddess and her many counterparts aren’t as straightforward as we once believed. By delving into the worlds of the archaeologists, adventurers, and artisans that converged in Crete at the turn of the twentieth century, Lapatin raises essential questions about a period of history we thought we knew. Exploring eccentric characters such as the legendary excavator of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans; and Swiss painter Emile Gillieron, Lapatin shows how their concepts of Minoan life were largely products of their own imagination. “Mysteries of the Snake Goddess” reads like a mystery, but it is also a major work of intellectual discovery, bringing to light the ways in which we shape the past to suit our own tastes. CONDITION: NEW. New hardcover w/dustjacket. Houghton Mifflin (2002) 274 pages. Unblemished except for very faint (virtually indiscernable) shelfwear to dustjacket. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. 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! PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: A fascinating tale of archaeological detective work reveals that some of the most prized relics of Bronze Age Crete are in fact modern forgeries. Not only is one of the most famous pieces of ancient Greek art, the celebrated gold and ivory statuette of the Snake Goddess almost certainly modern, but Minoan civilization as it has been popularly imagined is largely an invention of the early twentieth century. This is Kenneth Lapatin's startling conclusion in “Mysteries of the Snake Goddess”, a brilliant investigation into the true origins of the celebrated Bronze Age artifact, and into the fascinating world of archaeologists, adventurers, and artisans that converged in Crete at the turn of the twentieth century. Including characters from Sir Arthur Evans, legendary excavator of the Palace of Minos at Knossos, who was driven to discover a sophisticated early European civilization to rival that of the Orient, to his principal restorer Swiss painter Emil Gillieron, who out of handfuls of fragments fashioned a picture of Minoan life that conformed to contemporary taste, this is a riveting tale of archeological discovery. Author Kenneth Lapatin studied Greek art and archaeology at the University of California, Berkley; at Oxford; and in Athens as a Fulbright Scholar. He is currently Assistant Curator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum Malibu, California. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Archeologist and art historian Lapatin (president of the Boston Society of the Archaeological Institute of America) looks into the history of one of the most celebrated archeological finds of the 20th century and declares the work a modern forgery. A prized possession of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts since 1914, the six-inch ivory-and-gold statue known as the Snake Goddess was of doubtful provenance from the start. Supposedly excavated from the palace of Knossos in Crete, it was presented to the museum by Henrietta Fitz, a wealthy Boston Brahmin who had heard of the statue's discovery from the museum's director, Arthur Fairbanks, and provided the funds needed to acquire it. But precisely how Fairbanks obtained the statue is far from clear. The museum maintained it had been brought to America in fragments by a Greek peasant who immigrated to the U.S. in 1913, but the account sounds intentionally vague and with good reason, says Lapatin. The great mania for Greek antiquities that swept through Europe and America in the 19th century spawned a brisk trade throughout the Aegean and led to severe laws restricting the export of antiquities from Greece. This, in turn, created choice opportunities for smuggling, bribery and forgery. Lapatin presents both historical and artistic evidence to call the statue's authenticity into question, but he admits that a definite verdict will probably never be possible. He spends as much time examining the prevailing assumptions of antiquarians and archeologists of the period and speculates that the reconstructions of the ancient world by such figures as Schliemann and Sir Arthur Evans owed as much to the contemporary imagination as to the science of archeology. Although somewhat minutely detailed, this study will interest any reader with a taste for antiquities or classical history. REVIEW: In “Mysteries of the Snake Goddess”, Kenneth Lapatin traces the murky origins (and seriously debunks the authenticity of) "the most refined and precious" surviving object of Minoan art. The gold-and-ivory figure, now residing in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, was discovered in the early 20th century by renowned archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Other, related figures (of equally dubious origin) retain pride of place in several North American and European museums. They are almost certainly forgeries, according to Lapatin, or at best, "neither entirely genuine nor fully fake”. This is not a crime story but rather a tale of well-meaning over-extrapolation. Evans, and others, took kernels of evidence to bake a large loaf of an idealized, matriarchal Cretan civilization. In short, Evans's desire to believe clouded his scientific caution. As well, Lapatin gently points out that very often our re-creations of the past are influenced by the ideas, mores, and, even, inadequacies of our present. His book is one of calm, inviting erudition that, mercifully, avoids the mean wrangling so common in academia. REVIEW: An astonishing intellectual detective story. Lapatin is to be commended for his research and knowledge of a subject he feels passionate about. Lapatin argues and most persuasively. REVIEW: Riveting! Fascinating and in-depth, Lapatin writes persuasively and evenly, in a tone of thoughtfulness rather than overbearing opinionating. REVIEW: For those who enjoy stories of fakes, forgeries, and questionable historical restorations, Arthur Evans, creator of ancient Minoan civilization, is here revealed to be as imaginative in his ambition as Heinrich Schliemann, creator of ancient Troy. Lapatin (a retired archaeologist) expands on Evans' recreation of the mythical King Minos and his court in ancient Crete to build a case that Evans invented wholesale the famous snake goddess figurines long identified as "Minoan”. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: For over eighty years, within the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, pride of place has been given to the Snake Goddess, a statue that is sixteen centimeters tall. She is a spectacular sculpture, long regarded as the pinnacle of Minoan art from the sixteenth century B.C. She is of delicately carved ivory decorated with gold, a sensuous figure in a wide skirt of multiple tiers, a narrow, belt-encircled waist, and a bodice cut so low that her ample breasts are visible. She holds snakes in her outstretched arms. She pouts. She is one of the most famous pieces of ancient art in the world, a superb example of Cretan Bronze Age sculpture. Except she isn't. Kenneth Lapatin, President of the Boston Society of the Archeological Institute of America, has been studying her for a decade, and casting doubts on her authenticity. Now he has published a book-length explanation, “Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, Desire, and the Forging of History”, of how the experts of art and archeology have been fooled, and with the book's exhaustive notes and appendices, this account is devastating. It also tells plenty about how archeology is done, what sort of characters do it, how we view the ancient past, and how wishful thinking, perhaps even more than greed, has perpetrated the forgery. The details of the origin of the statue are still unclear, and probably always will be. But Lapatin has dug into as much as can be known of its shadowy past, and has provided an expert's details. He can write, for instance, "eyes with drilled pupils and canthi have no parallel in Aegean sculpture and do not appear in ancient statuary before the second century A.D." He gives an excellent section on why science can provide only limited evidence in this case (although none of it points to the statue's authenticity). Lapatin does more than just debunk, for in his fascinating and original book, he shows how the Goddess is still important. She isn't the find Sir John Evans, the excavator of Knossos, and others thought she was. However, "she has provided a canvas on which archeologists and curators, looters and smugglers, dealers and forgers, art patrons and museum-goers, feminists and spiritualists, have painted their preconceptions, desires, and preoccupations for an idealized past." We may have to admit we know less about Minoan culture, but we can always learn more about human nature. REVIEW: Snake Goddess, Fake Goddess? Readable, concise, and an absorbing account of the way archaeological interpretation and the manufacture of forgeries is influenced by current trends and fashions. Sheds light on the extent to which Minoan discoveries were 'tailored' to fit their discoverers' expectations. Very important reading for anyone who is interested in 'interpreting' the art and artifacts of Knossos and Minoan culture. Otherwise, one would never know that many of the now-accepted images of Minoan culture were highly 'edited' and even created by Arthur Evans and his employees at Knossos. If anything the book is too concise and focused on the Snake Goddess. I'd like to have seen a bit more on Evans' background and life. I'd stop short of calling it an “expose’”, but it certainly shows how archaeologists, especially the gentleman adventurers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century were able to play fast and loose with the “facts” to their own advantage. In fairness to Evans, he comes off as a well-meaning, if egotistical; more guilty of self-deception than guile. But his complicity in the illicit trade in relics is documented. REVIEW: Lapatin does a good job in sleuthing through the surviving letters and other documentary evidence. He reaches the conclusion, mirrored by the lab report contained in an appendix to the book that the "Boston Snake Goddess" is almost certainly a twentieth century forgery. He reveals that it is impossible to carbon-date the ivory of the figurine itself, because of the techniques used to restore it. Ivory fragments associated with the find but not used in the reconstruction date back about four hundred years. The chemical composition of the gold in the find does not match ancient gold. The facial expression is unlike genuine examples of Minoan art, lacking either the archaic smile or the manga-style eyes of genuine artifacts. His verdict is stated with caution, but the evidence seems to weigh against the authenticity of the Goddess. He also catalogues a number of similar statues, some of which are definite forgeries, and others have similarly dubious histories. These images nevertheless reappear over and over again, not only in historical, but also in popular literature. They were adopted into popular culture, in fantasy novels, and as feminist symbols. They even became the keystone of enthusiasts' attempts to revive the worship of this apparently invented deity. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). 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+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. 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 sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. 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 return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: New. See detailed condition description below., Material: Paper, Provenance: Ancient Minoan Crete

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