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Ye. V. Zeymal’

[Aï Khanoum; Ay-Khanum]

Site of a Hellenistic town of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, located at the confluence of the Kokcha and Pyandzh rivers (tributaries of the Amu River), northern Afghanistan. The site was excavated by the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan under Paul Bernard, from 1965 until the outbreak of the Afghan civil war in 1978. The town was founded on the eastern border of the oikoumene (inhabited territory) in the late 4th century bc or early 3rd, after the conquest of this region by Alexander the Great and, Bernard suggested, was first called Alexandria Oxiana. The name was changed to Eukratidea (after the GrecoBactrian king Eukratides), c. 170–c. 150 bc, when an extensive programme of construction was carried out. After the town was attacked and destroyed c. 140 bc, it was abandoned by its inhabitants. Later, during the Yueh-chih and Kushana periods (c. 1st century bc–3rd century ad), the ruined buildings were occupied by ‘post-Greek’ peoples who did not undertake any significant repair work. Little has yet been published concerning this later period at the site. Finds from the site were placed in Kabul Museum, although they appear to have been looted after the museum was bombed in ...

Article

[Greco-Bactrians; Indo-Greeks]

A number of Hellenistic kingships that ruled portions of Afghanistan, Central Asia and India in the last three centuries bc. In ancient times the region of Bactria was bounded on the north by the Oxus and on the south-east by the Hindu Kush mountains. The western frontier remained ill-defined and in constant flux. Following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 bc, Bactria and adjoining Sogdiana were controlled by the Seleucids until c. 250 bc, when the governor Diodotus asserted independence. A large body of coins, Hellenistic in style and iconography and with Greek legends, was minted by the Greco-Bactrian rulers. This style of coinage, but with bilingual Greek and Kharoshthi legends, continued into the Kushana period (1st to 3rd century ad). With the exception of Ai Khanum, a Greek-style city, few remains of the Greeks in Bactria have yet been uncovered. Control of Sogdiana was lost to the local kings in the late ...

Article

J. H. Crouwel, Mary A. Littauer, Christopher Gravett, Tom Richardson, Walter Smith, William Lancaster and Fidelity Lancaster

From an early stage, horses were used both as mounts and for pulling chariots in warfare or hunting. Most evidence for forms of harness in the ancient world comes from depictions in art, the earliest figural evidence dating from before 2000 bc in the Near East, although in a few contexts actual harness elements have survived. Even for later periods, secondary sources tend to provide the best evidence for the perishable leather and cloth parts of horse harness and trappings. More durable equipment, such as the horse armour used in medieval Europe, sometimes survives intact.

Ancient chariot horses were attached to their yokes by means of neck or breast straps and backing straps or girths that ran under their bellies, just behind the forelegs. Mounts often wore saddle-cloths or, in later antiquity, primitive saddles held on by girths, breastbands and breechings or cruppers. Both chariot horses and mounts were controlled by bridles, consisting of headstalls and reins and, usually, bits. This equipment was often decorated in varying degrees....

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

(b Glasgow, Sept 10, 1890; d London, July 22, 1976).

English archaeologist . Educated at Bradford Grammar School and University College, London, he was made Director of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, in 1924, before moving to London as Keeper and Secretary of the London Museum (now the Museum of London) in 1926, where he also established the post-graduate Institute of Archaeology (1937) within the University of London. After active military service during World War II he reorganized archaeology in India as Director General of Archaeology (1944–8). On his return to London he began to reform and reshape the British Academy as Honorary Secretary. Meanwhile, he was a tireless excavator of some of the most notable sites in Britain, including the Roman temple complex at Lydney Park, Glos (1928–9; pubd 1933), the Roman city of Verulamium (now St Albans; 1930–33; pubd 1936), Maiden Castle (1934–6; pubd 1943) and Stanwick (pubd 1951–2...