ancientpeoples
ancientpeoples:

Faience feeding cup 
This cup was used to feed babies and infants. The decoration on the sides are the same as those on magical wands, used for the protection of the child. From left to right: the goddess Taweret, a griffin, a snake, a lion and a turtle. 
Found in Lisht, the Memphis area, found in the west corner of the pyramid cemetery 
Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty, 1850 - 1700 BC.
Source: Metropolitan Museum

ancientpeoples:

Faience feeding cup 

This cup was used to feed babies and infants. The decoration on the sides are the same as those on magical wands, used for the protection of the child. From left to right: the goddess Taweret, a griffin, a snake, a lion and a turtle. 

Found in Lisht, the Memphis area, found in the west corner of the pyramid cemetery 

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty, 1850 - 1700 BC.

Source: Metropolitan Museum

ancientart
ancientart:

The Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare, Ireland. Classified as a portal tomb, this structure dates to the Neolithic period, radiocarbon dates place its use between 3,800 - 3,600 BCE.
During excavations the skeletal remains of up to 22 prehistoric individual were found, which included both adults and children, as well as one newborn. Extensive specialist analysis has been done on these remains, offering us a rare insight into the lives of these Neolithic people. 

[…] A variety of artefacts, presumably representing grave goods, were also recovered from the burial chamber. These included a polished stone axe, two stone beads, a decorated bone pendant, a fragment of a mushroom-headed bone pin, two quartz crystals, several sherds of coarse pottery, three chert arrowheads and three chert/flint scrapers.
The burial evidence from Poulnabrone has given us rare glimpse into the lives of our early ancestors. It appears that they endured a relatively tough existence, that involved hard physical labour, childhood illnesses, occasional violent attacks and early deaths. Although only a small section of the community were deemed worthy of burial in the tomb, there is little evidence for gender or age discrimination, with both male and female remains present as well as young and old. Prior to interment their bones appear to have been stored elsewhere and this may indicate that they were venerated as ancestor relics. Why certain individuals were chosen to be buried in the seemingly exalted location of a megalithic tomb, however, remains a mystery. 
-Irish Archaeology

Photo courtesy of & taken by Nicolas Raymond.

ancientart:

The Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare, Ireland. Classified as a portal tomb, this structure dates to the Neolithic period, radiocarbon dates place its use between 3,800 - 3,600 BCE.

During excavations the skeletal remains of up to 22 prehistoric individual were found, which included both adults and children, as well as one newborn. Extensive specialist analysis has been done on these remains, offering us a rare insight into the lives of these Neolithic people. 

[…] A variety of artefacts, presumably representing grave goods, were also recovered from the burial chamber. These included a polished stone axe, two stone beads, a decorated bone pendant, a fragment of a mushroom-headed bone pin, two quartz crystals, several sherds of coarse pottery, three chert arrowheads and three chert/flint scrapers.

The burial evidence from Poulnabrone has given us rare glimpse into the lives of our early ancestors. It appears that they endured a relatively tough existence, that involved hard physical labour, childhood illnesses, occasional violent attacks and early deaths. Although only a small section of the community were deemed worthy of burial in the tomb, there is little evidence for gender or age discrimination, with both male and female remains present as well as young and old. Prior to interment their bones appear to have been stored elsewhere and this may indicate that they were venerated as ancestor relics. Why certain individuals were chosen to be buried in the seemingly exalted location of a megalithic tomb, however, remains a mystery. 

-Irish Archaeology

Photo courtesy of & taken by Nicolas Raymond.

ancientart

ancientart:

A quick look at: smiting scenes in ancient Egyptian art. Why are they significant?

Both of the shown examples above are of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. The first shows Ramesses smiting the enemies of Egypt before Amon-Re, who hands him a curved sword; the second image shows him smiting Canaanite enemies. 

The smiting scene is a traditional symbol of kingship in ancient Egypt, which is datable back to the Predynastic period, and is symbolic of a victorious king. These scenes include the king raising a weapon over the head of an enemy (or a large groups of them as shown in the first photo), ready to smite them. Their hair is often grabbed from above to hold them in place for their execution. These representations grew to also include lists of the conquered enemies, and reached their peak in the New Kingdom, where the inclusion of an anthropomorphic deity became standard (photo one). 

These scenes reinforced the king’s control over chaos, symbolically representing the bringing of justice (maat) to the defeated, chaotic enemy.

A few other examples:

  • One of the earliest examples, the ivory label of King Den, which was found in his tomb in Abydos, and dates to 3000 BCE. Den is shown to be striking down an Asiatic tribesman, with an inscription reading: ”The first occasion of smiting the East”. This artifact is currently at the British Museum.
  • Thutmose III at Karnak, presenting the Battle of Megiddo of the 15th century BCE. Here Thutmose III is shown to be smiting Canaanite enemies.

The first photo is courtesy of Kenzyb, and the second, arancidamoeba. S. Bar, D. Kahn & J.J. Shirley’s publication Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature: Proceedings of a Conference at the University of Haifa (2011) was of use when writing up this post.

aboutperu
aboutperu:

Tschudi Palace Pool, Chan Chan - Trujillo, Peru

One of the more surprising sights of Tschudi, given the desert surroundings, is a pool with a marsh reed at one end that was probably once a pleasure garden for Chimú royalty and a place for worshipping the moon. Unlike the Inca, the Chimú apparently valued the moon over the sun because it comes out during both day and night and controls the oceans. 

aboutperu:

Tschudi Palace Pool, Chan Chan - Trujillo, Peru

One of the more surprising sights of Tschudi, given the desert surroundings, is a pool with a marsh reed at one end that was probably once a pleasure garden for Chimú royalty and a place for worshipping the moon. Unlike the Inca, the Chimú apparently valued the moon over the sun because it comes out during both day and night and controls the oceans. 

ancientart

ancientart:

Cave 19 at the Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra, India.

Ajanta contains 30 excavated rock-cut caves which belong to two distinct phases of Buddhism: the Hinayana phase (2nd century BC-1st century AD) and the Mahayana phase (5th century AD-6th century AD). These caves are considered to be one the finest examples of early Buddhist architecture, cave-paintings, and sculpture.

The Archaeological Survey of India, Aurangabad Circle, speaks specifically of Cave 19:

The small chityagriha [prayer hall] is considered one of the most perfect specimens of Buddhist art in India. The exquisitely decorated facade and beautiful interior form a grand combination of richness of detail and graceful proportion. The inscription in Cave 17 records that a feudatory prince under Vakataka King Harisena was a munificent donor of this cave, datable to the 5th century AD. It consists of a small but elegant portico, verandah, a hall, and chapels. The apsidal hall is divided into a nave, an elaborate and elongated drum, and a globular dome which stands against the apse. 

The pillars and the stupa are intricately carved with the figures of Lord Buddha and other decorative motifs. The sidewalls are also adorned with countless figures of Buddha while the ceiling is filled with painted floral motifs in which animals, birds, and human figures are cleverly interwoven. The chapel contains the panel of Nagaraja with his consort known for its serenity and royal dignity.

The first and second photos were taken by Kirk Kittell, the third is by Arian Zwegers.

ancientpeoples
ancientpeoples:

Faience hippopotamus 
Hippopotami were feared by the Egyptians because these animals are very destructive and dangerous. By making these statues the Egyptian hoped to controle those dangers and keep them at bay. The lotusflowers painted on the animals are symbols of fertility and the marshes where hippo’s mostly stayed. The goddess Taweret is a pregnant hippo and was worshipped by pregnant women to protect their unborn child. 
Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty, 1960 - 1878 BC. 
Found in middle Egypt, Meir, Tomb of Senbi II
Source: Metropolitan Museum

ancientpeoples:

Faience hippopotamus 

Hippopotami were feared by the Egyptians because these animals are very destructive and dangerous. By making these statues the Egyptian hoped to controle those dangers and keep them at bay. The lotusflowers painted on the animals are symbols of fertility and the marshes where hippo’s mostly stayed. The goddess Taweret is a pregnant hippo and was worshipped by pregnant women to protect their unborn child. 

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty, 1960 - 1878 BC. 

Found in middle Egypt, Meir, Tomb of Senbi II

Source: Metropolitan Museum