Etruscan food offering tray. It is decorated with different kinds of animals. 18.1cm by 33.7cm ( 7 1/8 x 13 1/4 inch.)
Etruscan, Archaic Period, ca. 550 BC.
Source: Metropolitan Museum
Greek Gold Ring with a Siren, Sphinx and Hippocamp, 6th Century BC
In Greek mythology Sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, portrayed as femmes fatales who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.
A sphinx was a female monster with the body of a lion, the breast and head of a woman, eagle’s wings and sometimes a serpent-headed tail. She was sent by the gods to plague the town of Thebes as punishment for some ancient crime. There she preyed on the youths of the land, devouring all those who failed to solve her riddle.
Hippocampoi were the horses of the sea. They were depicted with the head and fore-parts of a horse and the serpentine tail of a fish. The ancients believed they were the adult-form of the fish we call the seahorse. Hippocampoi were the steeds of Nereid nymphs and sea-gods. Poseidon drove a chariot drawn by two or four of the creatures.
Shikhandi and Other Stories They Don’t Tell You
Patriarchy asserts men are superior to women, Feminism clarifies women and men are equal, Queerness questions what constitutes male and female.
In his latest book, “Shikhandi and Other Tales They Don’t Tell You”, mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik explores the various stories revolving around queer topics that were a part of ancient Indian history but are seemingly and conveniently forgotten in the current society.
Contrasting the popular belief in present day Indian society, that queerness and the LGBT+ community should be condemned and denounced as they go against the culture, traditions and history of India and are nothing but a Western corruption, Devdutt Pattanaik draws upon various Hindu oral myths as well as sacred texts which narrate tales of homosexual relationships, trans and intersex identities and other MOGII groups amongst not only humans, demigods and spirits but also Gods and Goddesses who constantly challenge the normative stances on gender roles and identities.
A stag-shaped Parthian drinking horn. 1 of about 4 similar horns currently on view at the Getty, I believe.
Made of silver, gold, glass, and garnet, this stunning drinking vessel dates from 50 BC- AD 50.
The forepart of a stag emerges from the curving body of this gilt silver rhyton. The stag is very naturalistic and highly detailed, down to the rendering of veins in the snout. The wide inlaid eyes and the outstretched legs heighten the realism as the stag seemingly bolts in flight. The term rhyton comes from the Greek verb meaning “to run through,” and depictions of rhyta on Greek vases show that they were used to aerate wine. Wine poured into the top of the vessel came out of a spout between the animal’s legs. The spout on this example is now missing, but the hole remains visible.
Stylistic features suggest that this rhyton was made in northwest Iran in the period from 50 B.C. to A.D. 50. This region had been part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire until Alexander the Great’s conquest. After his death in 323 B.C., the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty, whose kingdom stretched from Turkey to Afghanistan, ruled this area. As Seleucid authority began to weaken In the later 200s B.C., a group of semi-nomadic people called the Parthians, from the steppes of south central Asia, challenged the dynasty and by the mid-100s B.C. had firm control of this area of Iran. This complicated political history left its legacy in the art of the area. Rhyta of this form had a long history in earlier art of Iran, but the floral motifs were drawn from Seleucid art. (getty)
By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | September 17, 2014
More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest.
She was not mummified, her body simply being wrapped in a mat. When archaeologists uncovered her remains they found she wore “a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head,” writes Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist working on the Amarna Project, in an article recently published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.
Researchers don’t know her name, age or occupation, but she is one of hundreds of people, including many others whose hairstyles are still intact, who were buried in a cemetery near an ancient city now called Amarna.
This city was constructed as a new capital of Egypt by Akhenaten (reign ca. 1353-1335 B.C.), a pharaoh who unleashed a religious revolution that saw the Aten, a deity shaped as a sun disk, assume supremacy in Egyptian religion. Akhenaten ordered that Amarna be constructed in the desert and that images of some of Egypt’s other gods be destroyed. Amarna was abandoned shortly after Akhenaten’s death, and today archaeologists supported by the Amarna Trust are investigating all aspects of the ancient city, including the hairstyles its people wore.
Bos is leading the hairstyle research, and the woman with 70 extensions leaves her puzzled.
"Whether or not the woman had her hair styled like this for her burial only is one of our main research questions," said Bos in an email to Live Science. "The hair was most likely styled after death, before a person was buried. It is also likely, however, that these hairstyles were used in everyday life as well and that the people in Amarna used hair extensions in their daily life."
Many of the other skulls Bos analyzed also had hair extensions. One skull had extensions made of gray and dark black hair suggesting multiple people donated their hair to create extensions.
As Bos analyzed a selection of 100 recently excavated skulls (of which 28 still had hair) from the Armana cemetery, she noticed the people who lived in the ancient city had a wide variety of hair types. They range “from very curly black hair, to middle brown straight,” she noted in the journal article, something “that might reflect a degree of ethnic variation.”
Those skulls with brown hair often had rings or coils around their ears, a style that was popular at Amarna, she found. Why people in this city liked it is unknown. “We still have no idea. This is of course one of the answers we are still trying to find from the record,” said Bos in the email.
People in the city also seemed to be fond of braids. “All braids found in the coiffures were simple and of three strands, mostly 1 cm [0.4 inches] wide, with strands of approximately 0.5 cm [0.2 inches] when tightly braided,” Bos writes in the journal article.
People at Amarna also liked to keep their hair short. “Braids were often not more than 20 cm [7.9 inches] long, leaving the hair at shoulder length approximately,” Bos added. “The longest hair that was found consisted of multilayered extensions to a length of approximately 30 cm [11.8 inches].”
Fat was used to help create all the hairstyles Bos found, something that would have helped keep the hair in one piece after death. More research is needed to determine whether the fat was from animals. A textile found on each of the skulls may have been used to cover part of the head.
Hide the gray?
In one case a woman has an orange-red color on her graying hair. It appears that that she dyed her hair, possibly with henna (a flowering plant).
"We are still not completely sure if and what kind of hair coloring was used on this hair, it only seems that way macroscopically," said Bos in the email. "At present we are analyzing the hairs in order to find out whether or not some kind of coloring was used. On other sites dyed hair was found from ancient Egypt."
This woman, among other ancient Egyptians, may have dyed her hair “for the same reason as why people dye their hair today, in order not to show the gray color,” Bos said.