Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Smiley Around Year 0

Saturday I went with my youngest daughter C to Amsterdam. It was a warm and sunny day. After a walk of twenty minutes we arrived at the Allard Pierson Museum. Only a handful of people inside.

Lovely exhibition 'The Crimea - Gold and secrets of the Black Sea'. C liked the dolphin - made of rock crystal and gold - very much too. (I wrote on this before: here.) Did you know that back then the Black Sea was full of fish? Including dolphins?

I was surprised by the golden eyes- and mouth plates. Found in graves at the exact site of the eyes and mouth of the deceased.  Smileys around year 0 BC/ AD. Those plates are identified as "ritual" plates. A word that hides more than it clarifies. What ritual(s)? For what purpose(s)? How do we know?

What surprised me most was the international and various gifts in grave 620 in Oest'-Al'ma from the first century AD. (I guess at a site near the river Alma.) In this grave of a woman, next to a lot of gold, gifts from Egypt (scarab) and China (Han Dynasty lacquerware). Including an iron tuber and two fossils. She must have liked old and distant. Or did she just like expensive? Did she know that those fossils were many of million years old? Did she know that the lacquerware came from China and travelled a distance of 5,000 kilometres? Did she know that the Egyptians believed that the scarab renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon?

No comments:

Post a Comment