Showing posts tagged ancient history

Black-figured plate, attributed to the painter Psiax

Greek

c.520-500 BC
Made in Athens, Greece; from Vulci in Etruria (now in Lazio, Italy)

An archer blowing a trumpet

The archer on this plate wears a flapped and pointed cap, patterned trousers and a long-sleeved top. His costume is unusual, and is mostly Scythian in origin, as is the combined bow-case and quiver hanging from his waist. Scythian archers were employed as mercenaries in Athens from the mid-sixth century until 514 BC, when the Persian conquest of Thrace cut lines of communication and recruitment with Scythia. After this, Greek archers start to appear on vase paintings: they retain many elements of Scythian dress, but unlike the generally bearded Scythians, they are shown clean-shaven, as here. The trumpet this figure blows is thesalpinx, blown in battle.

This plate was painted by Psiax, who worked in both the conventional black-figure and the new red-figure techniques. The design, with the single black figure set on a plain clay background, looks like a translation into black-figure of a contemporary red-figure decorative scheme. Comparing it with a red-figure plate by the painter Epiktetos, which also shows a single archer, the opportunities offered by the newer technique are clear. The red-figure archer stands out more boldly against his black background; more varied and intricate patterns can be achieved because the details of his costume are painted rather than incised.

Source: British Museum

Faience amulet of a frog

Hellenistic Period, maybe Egyptian 

3rd - 1st century BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Small statuette of the god zeus serapius

2.9cm high (1 1/8 inch.)

Roman, from Egypt, Mid-Imperial Period, 2nd century AD. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Limestone column capital of the god Bes

39.5cm high and 52cm wide (15 9/16 x 20 1/2 inch.) 

Egyptian, Ptolemaic Period, 332 - 30 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Limestone ostracon with a sketch of a pharaoh spearing a lion

14cm high and 12.5 cm wide (5.5 x 4 15/16 inch.)

Egyptian, New Kingdom, Ramesside Period, dynasty 20, 1186 - 1070 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Gold necklace with beads in shape of lotus flowers and leaves

Cypriot Period, unknown.

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Ivory horse frontlet 

Decorated with a nude goddess holding lions and lotus flowers

Mesopotamian, Assyrian Period, Neo-Assyrian, 9th - 8th century BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Heart Scarab of Hatnefer 

Made from serpentine and gold, this necklace was made for Hatnefer. 

Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th dynasty, reign of Thutmosis II,  1492 - 1473 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Gilded silver belt plaque 

12.7cm cm and 2 cm wide (5 x 2 inch.) 

Chinese,3rd century BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

Letter written on papyrus in hieratic script 

Hieratic was the fast version of hieroglyphs. It was used to write secular letters. 17.5cm long and 4.5cm wide (6 7/8 x 1 3/4 inch.) 

Egyptian, New Kingdom, dynasty 18, period of Hatsepsut, 1479 -  1458 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

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