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'Hand of Hercules' belonged to 40ft statue

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Major Weatherly
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« on: November 11, 2015, 04:11:04 am »

'Hand of Hercules' belonged to 40ft statue
Posted on Monday, 9 November, 2015



All that remains of a once mighty statue. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Deror_avi
Archaeologists believe that a giant marble hand in Jordan once belonged to a gigantic statue of Hercules.
Located in the city of Amman, the Temple of Hercules, which was originally constructed between 162 and 166 AD during the Roman occupation, was an undeniably impressive building for its time.

While it was never entirely finished, what was there exceeded the size of any temple in Rome - a structure fit for the hero to whom it was dedicated. Measuring 100ft long and 85ft wide, the temple was surrounded by six 33-foot-tall columns and an outer sanctum over 400ft across.

While unfortunately most of the structure now lies in ruins, one of the most curious things still left at the site is a large marble hand which, having only three digits, seems suspiciously out of place.

Archaeologists now believe that this disembodied limb would have once belonged to a gigantic 40ft marble statue of Hercules that stood beside the temple.

Its size would have made it one of the largest marble statues ever to exist anywhere in the world.

With most of its remains now missing from the site however - no doubt having been used in antiquity as building materials - the statue's original appearance has since long been lost in the mists of time.

   
http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2015/11/05/jordan_s_hand_of_hercules_helped_identify_a_massive_half_finished_ancient.html
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Major Weatherly
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 04:11:44 am »

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Major Weatherly
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 04:12:24 am »

Jordan’s Hand of Hercules
By Sarah Brumble
handofhercules
The well-manicured fingers of Hercules.

Photo: Tarawneh/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world’s hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook and Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter.

Towering over Amman's modern skyline is the Temple of Hercules, located at the peak of a hillside in one of the ancient city's oldest quadrants.

Constructed between 162–166 A.D. during Marcus Aurelius' Roman occupation of Amman's Citadel, the great temple is larger than any in Rome itself. Its portico faces east and is surrounded by six 33-foot-tall columns. Measuring 100 feet long by 85 feet wide with an outer sanctum of 400 by 236 feet, the fact that the rest of the temple remained unadorned by columns suggests to scholars that the structure was never completed, for reasons history has yet to reveal.
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During the excavation process, few clues were left to help scholars unlock the mysteries of this massive half-finished, abandoned temple. But the ones that did exist were huge—albeit ambiguous. From just three gigantic fingers, one elbow, and a scattering of coins, archaeologists have agreed these marble body parts likely belonged to a massive statue of Hercules himself. Therefore, the theory goes, the temple also must have been dedicated to the half-god known for his feats of strength and far-ranging adventures.

Likely toppled during one of the area's periodic catastrophic earthquakes, the statue fell to bits, but unlike the temple, all except the hand and elbow disappeared. As one guide put it, "the rest of Hercules became Amman's countertops."

Experts' best guess is that, in its original state, the statue would have measured upwards of 40 feet high, which would have placed it among the largest known marble statues to have ever existed.

Back in the here and now, it makes for a pretty enjoyable time to walk up to a cluster of fat fingers, stare at their well-trimmed nails and cuticles, and walk away giggling that scholars have agreed: Hercules enjoyed a good manicure, just like modern-day demigods.

For more on the Hand of Hercules, visit Atlas Obscura!

More wonders to explore:

    A gothic 18th-century Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been converted into an eccentric temple of music and bacchanalia.
    The giant scales in this Netherlands museum were once used to weigh accused witches.
    This island hill is strewn with boulders carved by shipwreck victims from the age of sail.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2015/11/05/jordan_s_hand_of_hercules_helped_identify_a_massive_half_finished_ancient.html
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Heartmonger
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 12:57:13 am »

That sculptured remnant is impressive by itself.
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Heartmonger
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 12:57:32 am »

Too bad the main statue didn't survive.
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Mission Control
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 12:59:33 am »

It is a tragedy that the rest of the sculpture did not travel through the centuries intact for us to find. But how damn, that is one lovely work of art for us to marvel over none-the-less.
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Calibas
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 01:01:32 am »

It looks like a monster from a Harry Hausen picture.
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Eclipse of the Sun
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 01:03:23 am »

I had no idea marble could be sculpted into a 40-foot statue. I thought it was a relatively soft stone.
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Major Weatherly
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 01:05:12 am »

Large marble statues may have been carved in sections and placed together over some type of framework. The famed (7 wonders of the ancient world) statue of Zeus (also 40 feet) was erected over a framework. The Hercules statue may have been created in a similar manner.
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Gremlin
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 01:07:38 am »

I don't mean to start a conspiracy theory, but I think Samson destroyed it in a fit of jealous rage that a 40 foot tall statue wasn't built of him.
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Okane
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 01:09:12 am »

What might have been one of the largest sculptures ever, and all we have to remember it by is three fingers...
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Pax Unum
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 01:32:04 am »

Unfortunately religious nut cases has the habbit of destroying art and depictions that doesn't favor their "god". Especially christians and muslims has done this systematicly through history.
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2015, 01:37:27 am »

Would've been great to see the statue in one piece.. =)
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I Am a Fugitive from the Chain Gang
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2015, 01:45:08 am »

Me too... now we just have the 40ft boots to look at
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