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Thorsten Opper

Greek bronze statue of the early 5th century bc from the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi (h. 1.8 m; Delphi, Archaeol. Mus.; see fig.). The Charioteer was discovered in 1896 together with bronze fragments of a horse team and chariot, the arm of a further, smaller figure (an outrider or groom) and an inscribed base block of Pentelic marble, all of which seem to have belonged to the same monument. A young man, the charioteer is clad in a ...

Article

Timothy Taylor

Silver vessel of the 2nd–1st centuries bc, found in 1891 in a peat bog at Gundestrup, Jutland, Denmark. The Gundestrup Cauldron (Copenhagen, Nmus.) is arguably the finest and most fascinating example of toreutic (chased or repoussé) silverwork in the Thracian and Dacian art tradition. A large, partly gilded silver vessel measuring 400 mm high×690 mm in diameter, the cauldron comprises a hemispherical bowl with vertical sides constructed from 13 plates covered with detailed figural scenes executed in the Thracian ‘Animal style’, its surfaces densely packed with representations of elephants, lions, dolphins, stags, snakes, griffins, hunters and deities. There are five long rectangular inner plates with inward-facing scenes and seven squarer outer plates; these do not enclose the entire circumference, and a missing eighth plate is presumed. A circular plate generally known as the base plate was probably once part of a lid....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Treasure hoard consisting of more than 15,000 coins (both gold and silver), gold jewellery, and silver tableware, mainly from the 4th century AD, found in 1992 at Hoxne (pronounced ‘Hoxon’), in Suffolk, and now in the British Museum, London. The latest datable coins in the hoard were minted in ...

Article

Eric de Waele

Region of Iran, near the border with Iraq, which has given its name to a remarkable series of ancient bronze objects, especially those produced between c. 1200 and 600 bc .

Luristan is situated in the central part of the Zagros mountain range, which runs north-west to south-east along Iran’s frontier with Iraq. The region can be divided into two parts: to the west is the Pusht-i Kuh (‘behind the mountain’), which descends towards the plains of Mesopotamia and Susiana, while to the east, at a higher altitude, lies the Pish-i Kuh (‘before the mountain’). Nomadic Lurs inhabit its high, fertile valleys....

Article

Bent Nielsen

County in Hunan Province, China, west of the city of Changsha. Several remarkable bronze vessels and bells of the late Shang Anyang phase (c. 1300–c. 1050 bc; see China, People’s Republic of, §VII, 3, (ii)) were at various times discovered in the ground or in watercourses in the vicinity of the town of Huangcai in Ningxiang County. Although the site is of the Anyang phase chronologically, the bronzes found there differ stylistically from Anyang bronzes....

Article

Elizabeth B. Smith

Italian Benedictine abbey in the Abruzzo region. Founded in the 9th century by Emperor Louis the Pious (reg 814–40) and dedicated to St Clement I, whose relics it claimed, the abbey flourished under Abbot Leonate (reg 1155–82), a member of the papal curia. Leonate began an ambitious rebuilding project starting with a new façade, complete with rose window, and a portico for the church, both of which were decorated with monumental stone sculpture carved by masters who were probably not local but rather of French or north Italian origin, perhaps on their way to or from the Holy Land. An elaborately carved pulpit and paschal candelabrum also date to the time of Leonate, as does the ...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....