Category Archives: Antiquities

Fire devastates museum in Brazil

Guardian graphic. Image: Google Earth. Source: Museu Nacional

A fire has completely destroyed the 200-year old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Once the home of Brazil’s monarch, the palace became the largest history museum in Latin America. Its collections included art and artifacts of indigenous peoples, as well as Egyptian and Greco-Roman works, fossils, and so much more.

 

Ancient mosaics from a synagogue

Mosaics dating to the late Roman period have been found in a synagogue in modern Israel “challenge current notions of ancient Jewish aesthetics and the art of depicting scripture.”

Sarah E. Bond, “Discovery of Jewish Mosaics in Israel Bring Color to Biblical Accounts,” Hyperallergic, 7/20/18.

Fish swallowing Pharoah’s soldier in the Parting of the Red Sea

Conservators at the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii

(Pasquale Sorrentino)
The stunning frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries include one room with a painted frieze widely considered to depict an initiation rite into the cult of Dionysus, the god of wine, pictured at the center of this panel.

“Saving the Villa of the Mysteries: Beneath the surface of Pompeii’s most famous house,” By JARRETT A. LOBELL, Monday, February 10, 2014

Archaeology, A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America 

Destruction of Nimrud

“Islamic State is driven from ancient Nimrud, where destruction is ‘worse than we thought’ “

November 16 at 5:26 PM, The Washington Post, November 17, 2016

Read the article here.

The discovery of treasures in Nimrud's royal tombs in the late 1980s was one of the 20th century's most significant archaeological finds. (Hussein Malla/AP)

The discovery of treasures in Nimrud’s royal tombs in the late 1980s was one of the 20th century’s most significant archaeological finds. (Hussein Malla/AP)

New ideas on ancient Egypt

This evocative image of Amenemhat III depicts the son of Senwosret II in a similar style and with a similar emphasis on what seems to modern viewers as personality or soulfulness. It would have originally been painted. Anna-Marie Kellen/Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen)

This evocative image of Amenemhat III depicts the son of Senwosret II in a similar style and with a similar emphasis on what seems to modern viewers as personality or soulfulness. It would have originally been painted. Anna-Marie Kellen/Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen)

Here is a review of “Ancient Egypt Transformed,” by Philip Kennicott from The Washington Post, January 8, 2016.

This gold-covered fish pendant was probably worn as a hair ornament. It is about an inch-and-a-half long, yet detailed enough that the species can be identified: Synodontis batensoda. Anna-Marie Kellen/Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland)

This gold-covered fish pendant was probably worn as a hair ornament. It is about an inch-and-a-half long, yet detailed enough that the species can be identified: Synodontis batensoda. Anna-Marie Kellen/Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland)

Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II, an 11th Dynasty king, is credited with reunifying Egypt and establishing the Middle Kingdom. This statue, in a deliberately archaic style, is actually pieced together from two similar works that once stood at the king’s temple at Deir el-Bahri. Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II, an 11th Dynasty king, is credited with reunifying Egypt and establishing the Middle Kingdom. This statue, in a deliberately archaic style, is actually pieced together from two similar works that once stood at the king’s temple at Deir el-Bahri. Metropolitan Museum of Art)

By the middle of the 12th Dynasty, Egyptian kings such as Senwosret III were being depicted with strongly individual features, including marks of age and care. It was a remarkable development within a tradition that previously presented idealized images of the ruler, young, and often with a gentle or enigmatic smile. Anna-Marie Kellen/Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

By the middle of the 12th Dynasty, Egyptian kings such as Senwosret III were being depicted with strongly individual features, including marks of age and care. It was a remarkable development within a tradition that previously presented idealized images of the ruler, young, and often with a gentle or enigmatic smile. Anna-Marie Kellen/Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

Excavations in the desert

This archaeological site in Israel is near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Archaeologists and volunteers are at work here now because the site has been looted and continues to be in danger.

It’s interesting to read about the great things found, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls; but archaeologists are also interested in the little things that people own and keep with them. “The thieves took all the main things that they knew to be valuable, but we are looking and finding interesting things, too,” said Uri Davidovich, a research fellow from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University who is leading the dig. … “One special thing that we found were hairbrushes. We found four of them, not all complete, but I can feel the person who was behind it.”
“Israeli archaeologists rush to dig at Cave of Skulls before looters take everything”
By William Booth and Ruth Eglash

Washington Post, June 8, 2016

Volunteers working alongside Israeli archaeologists sift the dirt in the Cave of Skulls in the Judaean wilderness. (William Booth/The Washington Post)

Volunteers working alongside Israeli archaeologists sift the dirt in the Cave of Skulls in the Judaean wilderness. (William Booth/The Washington Post)