Suakin old town, Red Sea, Sudan
سواكن القديمة، البحر الأحمر، السودان
I want to start by congratulate @friendly-neighborhood-study-pal on reaching the 100 followers milestone. Bravo! I’m thrilled for you!
What is your name?
Elisa, but people call me Vee 🐝
What year are you?
Second year university. I’ll start my third this October.
What are you studying?
After graduation, what’s next?
I will start a Master’s degree on Prehistory and Protohistory focusing particularly on the technological aspect of the discipline. Plus some classes that will allow me to teach, eventually.
Are you a morning or night person?
Night owl 🌕
Front/back/middle of class?
Middle of the class!
Best feedback from a teacher/professor?
“Your exposition is very brilliant. I can tell your knowledge on the discipline is deep.”
Best study tips?
Break down the workload in small tasks and distribute it regularly. This way I avoid burnouts and I have some more free time for other stuff (such as my social life).
3 fun facts:
1. I’m into Formula 1 since I was a little girl thanks to my mum, but please don’t ask me how the cars work 🏎️
2. I have been on the school’s student council for three consecutive years during high school 🎓
3. I’m afraid of pigeons 🐦
Thank you very much for tagging me! This was very fun to do.
Today’s Flickr photo with the most hits - the Riqqa pectoral. You can find this glorious ancient Egyptian artefact in the Manchester Museum.
Archaeological Museum of Patra:
Mosaic floor with a representation of the goddess Aphrodite in the centre.
From a room in a Roman villa, located at Psila Alonia Square in Patras. The marble threshold to the room has also been preserved and can be seen on one of the long sides (at the right).
The goddess Aphrodite is depicted in the centre of the mosaic floor. She is holding a mirror decorated with the head of Medusa on the outside, which she has taken from an open box on the table. A pair of doves, a symbol of love and fidelity, are depicted on a parapet above the table. At the feet of the goddess a cupid is bending over in order to serve her. Behind her, a curtain attached to a pillar can be seen blowing in the breeze.
The whole scene is surrounded by a wavy band, with a chain of lozenges along its two long sides. Geometrical patterns of overlapping circles above and below, as well as symetrically placed squares complete the decoration. An arbor can be seen on the right, while the whole floor is surrounded by guilloche pattern.
Aphrodite’s naked body was covered with a dress, after new work was carried out on the mosaic during early Christian times*.
It dates from the 2nd cent. A.D
* A lot of mosaics from Patra appear to have been reworked at some point, which indicates that a building was preserved for a long time in Patra, and that it could belong to multiple generations - Patra, like Athens is one of those cities with continuous human presence through history.
What fascinated me when I first saw this mosaic was its stylistic likeness to paintings from the School of Fontainebleau (16th century) - particularly scenes that evoke Venus at her Toilet, you can find several such mosaics from the Roman period of the Mediterranean.
The thing is we always knew that during the Renaissance, a new interest in the past and archaeology brought about secular painting, but not only did artists figuratively mine antiquity for its subjects. They did so literally, by observing scenes of ancient painting from newly discovered artifacts and burrowing their visual glossary.
At some point Venus became any beautiful woman, and the beautiful woman became the personified Vanity in the moralizing scenes of the 17th century and on. Three or four constants appear throughout the tranfiguration of the same scene: the nude woman, the mirror, the box, the stooping servant.
Some paintings from the School of Fontainebleau for reference:
Consider supporting this blog - for even more rad takes: https://ko-fi.com/isabia
Holy Ghost Panel, Part of the Great Gallery, Canyonlands National Park, UT
This July 4th I wanted to appreciate some rock art from the Desert Archaic culture, some TRUE Americans, thought to have lived in Utah between 8,000 BC to 500 AD. Not a very specific span of time, but rock art is notoriously hard to date, so let’s just acknowledge that this is some OLD art. This particular panel has been (mostly) narrowed down to about 2,000 BC to 0 AD (Getting closer!). What I’ve always found so striking about this panel is the depiction of shape and depth, notably in the large ‘ghost” figure. Its head looks to be turned at a slight angle, giving the figure a feel of dimensionality, something not commonly found in Barrier Canyon Style pictographs or rock art in general. I’d say this panel is my favorite of all the rock art I’ve seen, but they are ALL my favorites. This stuff is immensely meaningful and awe-inspiring, and much of my motivation to get out there and share the beauty of this wonderful country is due to rock art. I prefer to think of the First Americans on a day like today. We owe all Native Americans so much more than can ever be repaid.
A new study has detected a large, rectangular platform made of earth in southern Mexico with the use of lidar technology. (Lidar employs lasers to generate 3-D models of vegetation-covered terrain.) The structure, thought to have been built by the Maya between 1000 and 800 BCE, measures more than 4,500 feet long by 1,300 feet wide and up to 50 feet tall.
Because it is so wide, the structure seems like a natural part of the landscape to people on the ground. It was only from the air that the rectangular shape made it clear that this was, once upon a time, a structure. The remote-sensing survey also found nine causeways and reservoirs linked to the new find.
mixed media on linen,
65 x 50 cm
Tomb of Set I in the VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Impressions of cylinder seals from Kish from the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500-2350 BCE)
Now in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
Molded terracotta figurine of a bearded divinity in a tall headdress
Diqdiqqeh (Iraq), early second millennium BCE
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 33-35-24
The Stele of Ushumgal
Southern Mesopotamia (Iraq), probably Umma
Early Dynastic I-II, ca. 2900-2600 BCE
(photo 1) Ushumgal the pab-shesh priest of Shara
(photo 2) Shara-igizi-abzu, daughter of Ushumgal the ESH.A + IGI.RU.NUN the ESH.A, daughter of Mesi, the pab-shesh priest of the temple of Enun
(photo 3) Ag, chief of the assembly Nanna, foreman of the assembly X.KU.EN, chief herald
This miniature monument records a transaction between a Sumerian priest and his daughter, along with three further witnesses. The nature of the transaction is uncertain, but it involved three fields, houses, and livestock.
Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, MMA 58.29
Cylinder seal depicting a man driving a plow pulled by a bull; a stalk of grain is depicted in front of the bull, and seven dots (likely representing the Pleiades star cluster) are shown at the tip of the bull’s horn; an eight-pointed star (the planet Venus) and a crescent moon are in the upper part of the field.
Mesopotamia (Iraq), Neo-Assyrian period, ninth-eighth century BCE
Morgan Library, New York (Seal 653)
TUTANKHAMUN IN COLOUR (BBC Documentary 2020)
Aerial view of THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Blue Transfer Ware Sherds. 19th century pottery type common all over Britain, often highly decorated with its signature blue transfer print, meant to mimic Chinese porcelain.
The Extraordinary and Ancient Entrance Grave of Bant’s Carn The five inhabited islands of the Scilly Isles, an archipelago located off the south-west coast of England, is popular with visitors because of the warm climate and beautiful beaches. There are, however, a number of historic sites on the islands to entice those who love ancient history.
The Library of Celsus in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus
Archaeological Museum of Patra:
Mosaic floor with a scene of Triton
Mosaic floor from a Roman urban villa found in Patras. Part of the mosaic was destroyed by a twin grave of the Late Roman Times.
Triton, who is riding a seahorse is depicted in the centre. The scene is surrounded by guilloche pattern and black linear geometric decoration, which consists of a system of triangles and squares, forming octagons.
Dated to the 3rd cent. A.D
What always astounds me is the high level of craftmanship, in these rather average works of art. These representations exciting as they are for their use of color, pattern and scene, they are not masterpieces. They are not famous, or commemorated in surviving literary sources and they are pretty common and ample in well-off residences.
The more advanced works of mosaic include the use of tesserae (tiles) of varying sizes to better define areas of detail such as the features of a face, and flow within the work, not just by following the shape of the described object, but by creating vivid lines of expression that further enhance the pictorial aspect of the mosaic.
Another interesting side of them is the existence of a certain visual glossary. Like in this instance the horse and the fish tail of the Triton are colored in such a way that conveys a glistening, fish like texture. And even more interesting is how often volume is created by variation of color, rather than chiaroscuro shading.
Bonus: The original photo - as you can see the light is pretty dim.
The red coloration on white is usually a tinge from the soil, where the mosaic was buried under, but there is also some variation of light temperature from the different spotlights that light the exhibit - some of them are older, or have varying types of lightbulbs, which makes restoring the white balance a particularly painstaking process.
A lot of the mosaics in Patra seem also slightly faded, which might be damaged glaze at the top of the tile, and other time related damage. To restore some of the color I use as a guide better-preserved, and better-lighted mosaics exhibited in other museums such as these ones - which are also a favorite collection of mine.
So buy this photographer a drink: https://ko-fi.com/isabia
When you heat up old pottery, it actually emits a visible light that tells you how long it’s been since it was last heated! Archeologists use this to determine how long ago a ceramic artifact was created.