Atlantis Online

Arts & Literature => Art History => Topic started by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:03:36 am

Title: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:03:36 am
This topic shall explore ths history of art and literature and their development throughout history. It is through our culture that we comprise our civilization, and art and literature define our culture.

By art, I mean:


And, by literature, I mean:

oral poetry

These things tell the story of human history. Uncovering their secrets tell us all we need to know about ourselves.

I would like to get into the great movements of art and all the masters - Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, Van Gogh, and my personal favorites, the Pre-Raphaelites. I would also like us to study all the great authors and poets and who and whatever else comes to mind. All thoughts are welcome, and feel free to trear the subject as seriously or with whatever humor you like.



Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:04:39 am
First we should get into ancent art (we had to crawl before we could walk). From Wikipedia:


The earliest figurine the Venus of Tan-Tan discovered to date originated somewhere between 500,000 and 300,000 BC, during the Middle Acheulean period. Discovered in Morocco, it is about 6 centimeters long. Evidence suggests that this Moroccan piece may have been created by natural geological processes with a minimum of human tool-work, but the piece bears evidence of having been painted; "a greasy substance" on the stone's surface has been shown to contain iron and manganese and indicates that it was decorated by someone and used as a figurine, regardless of how it may have been formed. [1]

The oldest sculpture was found in Morocco, which borders the Atlantic. Proof that culture began in that area? Perhaps.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:05:59 am
Next we have Japan:

The Jomon period (縄文時代, Jōmon-jidai?) is the time in Japanese pre-history from about 10,000 BC to 300 BC.

Most scholars agree that by around 40,000 BC glaciation had connected the Japanese islands with the Asian mainland. Based on archaeological evidence, between 35,000 BC and 30,000 BC Homo sapiens had migrated to the islands from eastern and southeastern Asia and had well-established patterns of hunting and gathering and stone toolmaking. Stone tools, inhabitation sites, and human fossils from this period have been found throughout all the islands of Japan. Additionally, a 1988 genetic study points to an East Asian base for the Japanese peoples. [1]

The term "Jomon" is a translation into Japanese of the English term "cord-marked". This refers to the markings made on clay vessels and figures using sticks with cords wrapped around them.

Incipient and Initial Jomon (10000 - 4000 BC)
More stable living patterns gave rise by around 10,000 BC to a Mesolithic or, as some scholars argue, Neolithic culture. Possibly distant ancestors of the Ainu aboriginal people of modern Japan, members of the heterogeneous Jomon culture (c. 10,000-300 BC) left the clearest archeological record. The culture was roughly contemporaneous with civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Nile, and the Indus Valley.

Early pottery

Incipient Jomon pottery (10,000-8,000 BC) Tokyo National Museum, Japan.According to archaeological evidence, the Jomon people may have created the first known pottery vessels in the world, dated to the 11th millennium BC [2] , as well as the earliest ground stone tools. The antiquity of this pottery was first identified after the Second World War, through radiocarbon dating methods [3]. However, some Japanese scholars also believe that pottery production technology was first invented on the mainland because of sites in China and Russia that have produced pottery "which may be as old, if not older, than ***ui Cave pottery" [4]. The Jomon people were making clay figures and vessels decorated with patterns of a growing sophistication made by impressing the wet clay with braided or unbraided cord and sticks.

Neolithic traits

The manufacture of pottery typically implies some form of sedentary life, since pottery is highly breakable and thus is useless to hunter-gatherers who are constantly on the move. Therefore, the Jomon were probably some of the earliest sedentary or at least semi-sedentary people in the world. They used chipped stone tools, ground stone tools, traps, and bows, and were probably semi-sedentary hunters-gatherers and skillful coastal and deep-water fishermen. They practised a rudimentary form of agriculture and lived in caves and later in groups of either temporary shallow pit dwellings or above-ground houses, leaving rich kitchen middens for modern anthropological study. Because of this, the earliest forms of farming are sometimes attributed to Japan (Ingpen & Wilkinson) in 10,000 BC, two thousand years before their widespread appearance in the Middle East. However, some archaeological evidence also suggests early experiments with agriculture in the hills and valleys of the Fertile Crescent in modern Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq around 11,000 BC. [5].

Population expansion

This semi-sedentary culture led to important population increases, so that the Jomon exhibit some of the highest densities known for foraging populations [6]. Genetic mapping studies by Cavalli-Sforza have shown a pattern of genetic expansion from the area of the Sea of Japan towards the rest of eastern Asia. This appears as the third most important genetic movement in Eastern Asia (after the "Great expansion" from the African continent, and a second expansion from the area of Northern Siberia), which suggests geographical expansion during the early Jomon period [7]. These studies also suggest that the Jomon demographic expansion may have reached America along a path following the Pacific coast [8].

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:07:21 am
And next, all these other cultures, the cradles of early civilization:

Persia (Iran)

One of the ancient countries which developed art in it self was Iran. One of the most important things in art is Music which was very important in Persia. There are two statues which had been excavated from Susawas guitar. Also Persia had a lot of palaces in its capitals Susa, Persepolis, Ecbatana and Estakhr. All of them reveal the rich Persian art which are very beautiful.

After 2500 years, the ruins of Persepolis still inspire visitors from far and near.Also after Islam Persians used Arab art and they combined it with their art and they made a new technique to paint and write build things.

Arts of Ancient Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq), is often considered the "cradle of civilization." Within its boundaries, some of the most ancient civilizations known to man first developed writing and agriculture. Many civilizations flourished there, leaving behind a rich legacy of ancient art.


Sumerian goddess from 2120BCSumeria was once considered to be the first civilization. Archaeological evidence attests to their existence during the 5th millennium BC. The Sumerians decorated their pottery with cedar oil paints. The Sumerians also developed jewellery.

One of the most remarkable artifact remaining from the Sumerian civilization is known as the Standard of Ur. Dated to approximately 2500 B.C., the Standard is a wooden box inlaid with shells and lapis lazuli. It depicts soldiers presenting their king with prisoners on one side and peasants presenting him with gifts on the other - stunning evidence attesting to the vibrancy of art in this ancient culture.


The conquest of Sumeria and Akkad by Babylon marks a turning point in the artistic as well as political history of the region.

The Babylonians took advantage of the abundance of clay in Mesopotamia to create bricks. The use of brick led to the early development of the pilaster and column, as well as of frescoes and enamelled tiles. The walls were brilliantly coloured, and sometimes plated with bronze or gold as well as with tiles. Painted terra-cotta cones were also embedded in the plaster.

The Babylonians were also great metal-workers, creating functional and beautiful tools with copper. It is possible that Babylonia was the original home of copper-working, which spread westward with the civilization to which it belonged. In addition, the want of stone in Babylonia made every pebble precious and led to a high perfection in the art of gem-cutting. The arts of Babylon also included tapestries, and Babylonian civilization was from an early date famous for its embroideries and rugs.


Assyrian statueLike all other kingdoms, the Babylonian kingdom did not last forever. When Babylon fell into decline it was eventually conquered by Assyria, one of its former colonies, Assyria inherited its arts as well as its empire.

At first, Assyrian architects and artists copied Babylonian styles and materials, but as time went by, however, the later Assyrians began to shake themselves free of Babylonian influences. The walls of the Assyrian palaces were lined with slabs of stone instead of brick, and were colored instead of painted as in Chaldea. In place of the bas relief we have scuplted figures, the earliest examples being the statues from Telloh which are realistic but somewhat clumsy.

No remarkable specimens of metallurgic art from early Assyria have been found, but at a later epoch great excellence was attained in the manufacture of such jewellery as ear-rings and bracelets of gold. Copper was also worked with skill.

The forms of Assyrian pottery were graceful; the porcelain, like the glass discovered in the palaces of Nineveh, was derived from Egyptian originals. Transparent glass seems to have been first introduced in the reign of Sargon II. Stone as well as clay and glass were employed in the manufacture of vases. Vases of hard stone have been disinterred at Tello similar to those of the early dynastic period of Egypt.

Ashurbanipal had promoted art and culture and had a vast library of cuneiform tablets at Nineveh.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:08:18 am
Next to ancient Egypt:

Ancient Egyptian art is five thousand years old. It emerged and took shape in ancient Egypt, the civilization of the Nile Valley. Expressed in paintings and sculptures, it was highly symbolic and fascinating — this art form revolves round the past and was intended to keep history alive.

In a narrow sense, Ancient Egyptian art refers to the canonical 2D and 3D art developed in Egypt from 3000 BC and used until the 3rd century. It is to be noted that most elements of Egyptian art remained remarkably stable over the 3000 year period that represents the ancient civilization without strong outside influence. The same basic conventions and quality of observation started at a high level and remained near that level over the period.

Egyptian papyrusFaience that was produced in ancient Egyptian antiquity as early as 3500 BC was in fact superior to the tin-glazed earthenware of the European 15th century ([2]; also see Faience). Ancient Egyptian faience was not made of clay but instead actually of a ceramic composed primarily of quartz. Approximately two hundred of these "masterpieces of faience" are the subject of the on-line article posted at [3].

Because of the highly religious nature of Ancient Egyptian civilization, many of the great works of Ancient Egypt depict gods, goddesses, and Pharaohs, who were also considered divine. Ancient Egyptian art is characterized by the idea of order. Clear and simple lines combined with simple shapes and flat areas of color helped to create a sense of order and balance in the art of ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian artists used vertical and horizontal reference lines in order to maintain the correct proportions in their work. Political and religious, as well as artistic order, was also maintained in Egyptian art. In order to clearly define the social hierarchy of a situation, figures were drawn to sizes based not on their distance from the painter's point of view but on relative importance. For instance, the Pharaoh would be drawn as the largest figure in a painting no matter where he was situated, and a greater God would be drawn larger than a lesser god. Symbolism also played an important role in establishing a sense of order. Symbolism, ranging from the Pharaoh's regalia (symbolizing his power to maintain order) to the individual symbols of Egyptian gods and goddesses, was omnipresent in Egyptian art . Animals were usually also highly symbolic figures in Egyptian art. Color, as well, had extended meaning— Blue and green represented the Nile and life; yellow stood for the sun god; and red represented power and vitality. The colors in Egyptian artifacts have survived extremely well over the centuries because of Egypt's dry climate. Despite the stilted form caused by a lack of perspective, ancient Egyptian art is often highly realistic. Ancient Egyptian artists often show a sophisticated knowledge of anatomy and a close attention to detail, especially in their renderings of animals. During the 18th Dynasty of Egypt a Pharaoh by the name of Akhenaton took the throne and abolished the traditional polytheism. He formed a monotheistic religion based on the worship of Aten, a sun god. Artistic change followed political upheaval. A new style of art was introduced that was more naturalistic than the stylized frieze favored in Egyptian art for the previous 1700 years. After Akhenaton's death, however, Egyptian artists reverted to their old styles.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:09:18 am
And next, to across the Atlantic:

Olmec art

An Olmec stone headSee [4] for photographs of an ancient Olmec "Bird Vessel" and bowl, both ceramic and dating to circa 1000 BC. Other ancient artifacts are listed (no photographs) at [5]. Ceramics are produced in kilns capable of exceeding approximately 900° C (see pottery). The only other prehistoric culture known to have achieved such high temperatures is that of Ancient Egypt ([6]; also see faience).

Much Olmec art is highly stylized and uses an iconography reflective of the religious meaning of the artworks. Some Olmec art, however, is surprisingly naturalistic, displaying an accuracy of depiction of human anatomy perhaps equaled in the Pre-Columbian New World only by the best Maya Classic era art. Olmec art-forms emphasize monumental statuary and small jade carvings. A common theme is to be found in representations of a divine jaguar. Olmec figurines were also found abundantly through their period.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:10:07 am
Arts of the Ancient Aegean

The Minoan Civilization

The greatest civilization of the Bronze Age was that of the Minoans, a mercantalist people who built a trading empire from their homeland of Crete and from other Aegean islands. Minoan civilization was known for its beautiful ceramics, but also for its frescos, landscapes, and stone carvings. In the early Minoan period ceramics were characterised by linear patterns of spirals, triangles, curved lines, crosses, fishbone motives and such. In the middle Minoan period naturalistic designs such fish, squids, birds and lilies were common. In the late Minoan period flowers and animals were still the most characteristic, but variability had increased. The 'palace style' of the region around Knossos is characterised by strong geometric simplification of naturalistic shapes and monochromatic painting. The Palace at Knossos was decorated with frescoes showing aspects of everyday life, including court ritual and entertainment such as bull-leaping and boxing. The Minoans were also skilled goldsmiths, creating beautiful pendants and masks in the prescious metal.

The Mycenaen Civilization

The Mask of AgamemnonMycenaen art is close to the Minoan and includes many splendid finds from the royal graves, most famously the Mask of Agamemnon, a gold funeral mask. As may be seen from this item, the Mycenaens specialized in gold-working. Their artworks are known for a plethora of decorative motives employed therein.

Greek art

Kouros of the Archaic period, Thebes Archaeological MuseumAncient Greek art includes much pottery, sculpture as well as architecture. Greek sculpture is known for the contrapposto standing of the figures. The art of Ancient Greece is usually divided stylistically into three periods: the Archaic, the Classical and the Hellenistic. The history of Ancient Greek pottery is divided stylistically into periods: the Protogeometric, the Geometric, the Late Geometric or Archaic, the Black Figure and the Red Figure. Ancient Greek art has survived most successfully in the forms of sculpture and architecture, as well as in such minor arts as coin design, pottery and gem engraving.

Greek painters worked mainly on wooden panels, and these perished rapidly after the 4th century AD, when they were no longer actively protected. Today nothing survives of Greek painting, except some examples of painted terra cotta and a few paintings on the walls of tombs, mostly in Macedonia and Italy. Of the masterpieces of Greek painting we have only a few copies from Roman times, and most are of inferior quality. Painting on pottery, of which a great deal survives, gives some sense of the aesthetics of Greek painting. The techniques involved, however, were very different from those used in large-format painting.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:11:39 am
Scythian art

By far the greatest collection of Scythian gold is preserved at the Hermitage Museum. It includes one of the most famous of all Scythian finds: the golden comb, featuring a battle scene, from the 4th century Solokha royal burial mound.Scythian art is art, primarily decorative objects, such as jewelry produced by the nomadic tribes in the area ranging from inner Mongolia to European Russia known classically as Scythia. This art is also known as steppes art and was produced in a period from 7th-3rd century BC to the period when the Scythians were gradually displaced by the Sarmatians in a lengthy process lasting from 4th century BC to 2nd century BC. As the Scythians came in contact with the Greeks, their artwork became influenced by Hellenic civilisation but their artwork primarily reflects their nomadic culture. Scythian art especially Scythian gold jewelry is highly valued by museums and many of the most valuable artefacts are in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In recent years, archaeologists have made valuable finds in Pazyryk, Siberia, Ukraine and as far west as Hungary.


The Scythians worked in a wide variety of materials such as gold, wood, leather, bone, bronze, iron, silver and electrum. As nomads, the Scythians worked in decorative materials for use on their horses, tents and wagons and many of the pieces are small so as to be portable.
As the Scythians prospered through trade with the Greeks, they settled down and started farming. They also established permanent settlements such as a site in Belsk, Ukraine believed to the Scythian capital Gelonus with craft workshops and Greek pottery prominent in the ruins. Felt appliqué wall hangings have been found at the tombs at Pazryzk displaying the Great Goddess or anthromorphic beasts. Other of these decorations show geometric or animal motifs. Archaeologists have also uncovered felt rugs as well as well crafted tools and domestic utensils. Clothing uncovered by archaelogists has also been well made many trimmed by embroidery and appliqué designs. Wealthy people wore clothes covered by gold embossed plaques.
Scythian art became well known to the west through the Scythian gold exhibition from Ukrainian museums which toured North America in 2000. This exhibition highlighted the impressive gold jewellery made by Scythian craftsman. Scythian jewellery features animals featuring stags, cats, birds, horses, bears, wolves and mythical beasts.
The gold figures of stags in a semirecumbent position are particularly impressive approximately 30.5 centimetres long. These were often the central ornaments for shields carried by fighters. In the most notable of these figures, stags are displayed with legs tucked beneath its body, head upright and muscles tight to give the impression of speed. The most notable of these figures include:
• an example from the burial site of Kostromskaya Stanitsa in the Kuban dating from the 6th century BC;
• an example from Tápiószentmárton in Hungary dating from the 5th century BC; and
• an example from Kul Oba in the Crimea dating from the 4th century BC.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:12:28 am
And, lastly the greatest arworks of the ancient world:

Seven Wonder of the World - Ancient Times

The task of compiling the seven wonders of the world for people would have been really a tough one. There were so many marvels to choose from. The task of compiling the list of seven wonders of the world was originally started by around 5th century BC.

We all know the difficulties of old days to travel around places. People had quite tough times in travel and collecting data like these. Imaging traveling by walk or on camels or horses for 100s of miles without a proper place to rest. Of course our generation is blessed to have a large number of hotels and lodges wherever we go. We have aero places, trains, buses, cars, bikes and what not.

In spite of all such difficulties in travel, People like Herodotus, Callimachus and some others did a good level of research and documentation. They traveled a lot, collected a lot of books, facts and proofs to produce such documentation. But all of them were destroyed when a fire broke out in Alexandria Library. The final list was compiled in the Medieval ages. Alas! such a big loss. What we are left with is only some little maps/atlas and some basic documents from them.

Pyramid of Giza

Egypt is a place any one would like to go for a vacation. Tourism is such a great money earner for Egypt. And when somebody travels, one of the most preferred place to visit would be the Cairo and the Giza city.
This is one of the largest pyramids in the world and considered to be one of the great among the seven wonders of the world. There are actually 3 Pyramids located in this place along with a Sphinx. The biggest of all is The Great Pyramid of Khufu and this is the only one among the seven wonders of the world. These architectural marvels are found in Giza City which is located at the northern edge of the Giza Plateau, about 10 miles west of present day Cairo. Read on..

Temple of Artemis

This is located on the west coast of modern Turkey, south of Selcuk county about 50 km south of Smyrna. This place was called as Ephesus during ancient times. This temple was destroyed and rebuilt over several hundred years. From the descriptions of those times, this temple should have been a great place for travel and tourism. Tourists would have loved to visit such places.

This was first built during 800 BC near the river at Ephesus. The God Artemis in Ephesus is a goddess of fertility. In some instances Artemis is linked closely to the Roman and Italian goddess, Diana. She also is goddess of night, fruitfulness, childbirth, beasts, bull and is an eternal virgin. This got its rightful recognition as one among the seven wonders of the world. Read on..

Colossus of Rhodes

If this wonder were remaining, this would have been one of the tallest artifacts in the world and also one the tallest among the seven wonders of the world. This wonder was erected to commemorate the victory of Rhodians against the Antagonids. This statue was located in the Harbor of the Mediterranean island Rhodes in Greece. The Island of Rhodes is located at the Southwestern tip of the Asia Minor, where the Aegean sea meets the Mediterranean.

If this was still available, this would have caught attention of the travelers more than any such taller statues. Read on..

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:13:43 am
If this wonder were remaining, this would have been one of the tallest artifacts in the world. This wonder of the world was erected to commemorate the victory of Rhodians against the Antagonids.


This statue was located in the Harbor of the Mediterranean island Rhodes in Greece. The Island of Rhodes is located at the Southwestern tip of the Asia Minor, where the Aegean sea meets the Mediterranean.


This is a statue of the Sun god, Helios. On the Island of Rhodes 3 cities Ialysos, Kamiros and Lindos formed a unified city with their capital as Rhodes. During the period around 408 BC they had strong economic and commercial alliance with Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt.
In 357 B.C. this island was captured by Mausolus of Halicarnassus. It was then captured by Persians in 340 B.C. Then it fell into the hands of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. After Alexander's death, 3 of his generals succeeded in dividing the kingdom for themselves. They are Ptolemy, Seleucus and Antigous. After this Rhodians supported Ptolemy which angered Antigous.
Antagonids in 305 BC, wanted to break their alliance and tried invading Rhodes and found this city to be impenetrable. Antagonids were fighting for almost one full year. By this time the support for Rhodes have started coming in from Egypt. So Antagonids started withdrawing their forces and fled, leaving behind lots of their arms and ammunitions, which lead to the construction of one of the seven wonders of world.
Rhodians sold some of those equipments and to celebrate their victory, erected a statue for their Sun God, Helios. Lot of the metals used in this construction came from the left off belongings of Antagonids. This is the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of world.
The construction took 12 years and the stature was erected in 282 BC. During the earthquake at about 226 BC, this Colossus of Rhodes (statue) was damaged and fell down. When they planned to rebuild it, the idea was dropped because some Oracle said the city will face misfortune if this statue is rebuilt. That was the final chapter to the story of this wonder of the world.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:14:30 am
Seven Wonders of the World - Hanging Gardens of Babylon

This is one of the most venerated marvels among the seven wonders of world.

This wonder of the world was located in the east bank of Euphrates, South of Baghdad in Iraq.

The King Hammurabi is the most famous king of the Babylonian kingdom. The whole kingdom flourished under his rule. His son Nebuchadnezzar is the one who built the Hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven wonders of world.
Nebuchadnezzar ruled the country for 43 years from 605 BC. He constructed impressive array of temples, palaces and streets. It is being told that he built this garden to please his wife, Amyitis. Amyitis, daughter of the king Medes seems to have had a passion for mountainous surroundings. There are some other accounts which say that this wonder of the world was actually built by the Assyrian Queen Semiramis.
The ancient accounts of this hanging gardens (one of the seven wonders of the world) describes the structure to be a stairs like one. The Greek geographer Strabo, describes it as , "the garden consists of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt."
The irrigation system was supposedly the complex part built on this gardens. This region had very scarce rains. Slaves were used to push the water upwards using some ancient method of irrigation. Of course there must be some exploitation of slave labor to maintain one among the seven wonders of the world. The gardens did not really hang on the roof using cables or ropes. But this name from the sense that it was built on the roof top. Some accounts state that the gardens are 400 by 400 feet and 80 feet high.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:15:20 am
Seven Wonders of the World - Statue of Zeus

This is one of the interesting stories to know about. This statue is associated with our favorite Olympic games which is being a widely watched event all over the world. The only sporting marvel among all the seven wonders of world

Olympia the ancient Greek city.

In ancient times the Greek city states used to play games every 4 years. This is what is now called as Olympic games. During those times truce is declared and wars are stopped. Players and athletes from all over the places traveled to a place in Greece called Peloponnesus. These Olympic games were started during 776 BC. Incidentally this is the period when Green calendar starts. These Olympic games were held in honour of their King of gods, Zeus. He is also known as God of Jupiter.
During the 5th century, they decided to have a temple for their king of gods and Libon was assigned the task of completing the work. Libon designed the temple and Pheidias was asked to build a big statue for Zeus. Pheidias had good techniques with him to build big statues. He used wooden frame to make the outer casings for the statues in gold. His workshop still remains and incidentally its size can accommodate building of such big statues. He built a statue of approximately 40 ft height.
The statue was so high that, even while sitting the head of the god Zeus was near the roof of the temple. This is what amazed the historians and poets of those times. This simply illustrates that the god Zeus is so big that even if he stands, the whole roof would come off its place. Zeus was seated on a throne, draped in gold robe. Zeus had a wreath around his head and held a figure of his messenger in his right hand.
The statue, one among the seven wonders of world was occasionally presented with gifts from rulers. The most notable one was the woolen curtain dedicated by the Syrian king.
In the I century AD, Roman emperor Caligula tried to take the statue to Rome but failed. But before 5th century AD, wealthy Greeks have moved it to Constantinople which saved the statue for some more years. After that a severe fire has destroyed the statue. Even before this the temple site was ravaged by floods, landslides and earthquakes to the extent that the structure was badly damaged. Now the remnants of this statue, one among the seven wonders of world have gone without even a small trace except for the reproduction in some of the medieval coins.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:16:39 am
Temple of Artemis

This was supposed to be one of the most beautiful structures on the Earth. No wonder it got recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world.

This is located on the west coast of modern Turkey, south of Selcuk county about 50 km south of Smyrna. This place was called as Ephesus during ancient times.


This temple was destroyed and rebuilt over several hundred years. This was first built during 800 BC near the river at Ephesus. The God Artemis in Ephesus is a goddess of fertility. In some instances Artemis is linked closely to the Roman and Italian goddess, Diana. She also is goddess of night, fruitfulness, childbirth, beasts, bull and is an eternal virgin.
This earliest temple supposedly contained a sacred stone, probably fallen from Jupiter. By 600 BC, a Greek architect named Chersiphron (and his son, Metagenes) was engaged and the temple was built. The temple was decorated with beautiful bronze statues sculpted by artists Pheidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas and Phradmon. This was destroyed by the Lydian king Croesus when he conquered Ephesus. He later built a large temple at the same place with the help of Theodorus.
This temple was both a market place and a place of worship. For years this place was visited by lots of merchants, tourists, artisans, kings to pay their homage and share their profits with the Artemis goddess. Lots of scholars venerated to the extent that this came to be recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world.
On July 21, 356 BC, a man named HeroStratus burned the temple. He did this in order to gain a big name in the history. For an inquisitive info, Alexander was also born the same night. The reconstruction was commenced very shortly with an architect called Scopas of Paros. He was the best architect of those times. When Alexander conquered Asia Minor, he offered to rebuild the temple. The reconstruction was in progress when he reached this place. Even then, it was restored only after his death. When he came into this place in 333 BC, the temple was still being rebuilt.
This Temple was the last of the Great Goddess Temples to remain open and was the site of Goddess worship well into the Christian era. When St. Paul visited Ephesus to preach Christianity, he was not at all accepted by the local Artemisians. But after the temple was destroyed by Goths in AD 262, most of the people had got themselves converted to Christianity. In AD 401 St. John Chrysostom torn the whole structure down. That was the end to this wonder of the world. This site got excavated only in 19th century.
This one of the seven wonders of world supposed to have contained 106 columns and each of them believed to be from 40 to 60 ft height. foundation was approximately 200 feet by 400 feet.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:34:41 am
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

This is such an elegant piece of architectural wonder that, it found a place in the list of ancient wonders among the great seven wonders of the world, like pyramids.

This Wonder of the World, is located in the city of Bodrum, on the Aegan sea, in south-west Turkey. This is actually closer to the ancient Temple of Artemis.

This Mausoleum was built in memory and as a burial tomb for the King Mausolus. King Mausolus was married to his sister Artemisia in his family. In those times, Caria rulers had a custom to marry their own sisters. When the king died, Artemisia decided to build this monument in his memory, which later found a place among the seven wonders of the world.
Mausolus was the son of Hecatomnus. Hecatomnus ruled the Mediterranean coast of Asia minor with a small kingdom. He took control of several of his neighboring regions, during his reign. After Hecatomnus' death, Mausolus also extended the kingdom.
Mausolus ruled this kingdom with the capital as Halicarnassus for 24 years. There was nothing worth mentioning as his achievement during his tenure except for this monument with its exceptional beauty later to be called as one of the seven wonders of the world.
This Mausoleum was built around 353 BC. This lasted strong for 16 centuries till an earthquake damaged the roof and the colonnade of this structure. In the early 15th century AD Knights of John of Malta, used the stone blocks in this structure to construct a castle. That was the end to the story of this Mausoleum, one among the seven wonders of the world in ancient times.
This Mausoleum had a lot of beautiful statues sculpted by the best sculptors like Bryaxis, Leochares, Scopas, and Timotheus. Some of the artifacts are still kept in London.
Soon after the construction of this wonder of the world, Mausoleum Artemisia found herself in a crisis. Before death, Mausolus used to control the small neighboring regions like Rhodes island and others. When the Rhodes island king came to know that Mausolus has died, he sent a number of ships to capture the city of Halicarnassus. But Artemisia beat them cleverly by hiding her ships and then attacking her enemies.
Then she successfully sent her troops to the Rhodes island on the enemy ships and captured Rhodes Island. The Rhodes Island soldiers thought that it is their people who are coming back with victory. They did not put up any defense. So they were easily conquered.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: Dawn Moline on January 21, 2007, 02:36:15 am
Light House of Alexandria

This light house of Alexandria was one of the useful wonders among all the seven wonders of the world (for the sailors to return to the Great Harbor). This is a small point that differentiates it from the rest of the wonders of the world. The mirror which was mounted on this lighthouse could reflect the light more than 35 miles off-shore. Of the 6 ancient destroyed wonders, this was the last to be destroyed around 1480 AD.

On the ancient island of Pharos, now a promontory on the harbor of the city of Alexandria in Egypt.

This lighthouse was built around 280 BC and was around 134 m in height. This was built in the city of Alexandria.
The light house had a good mirror which can reflect the sun light to a very long distance. Mythical stories used to say that this mirror was used to burn the enemy ships.
The Macedonian conqueror, Alexander during his successful reign, had tried establishing approximately 17 cities in the name of Alexandria. The only one survived long was the one in Egypt. That too even this city was not completely built by Alexander. The completion of the construction of this city was achieved by his commander Ptolemy I Soter.
Ptolemy connected Alexandria to the Pharos island by a bridge. It was realized that the sailing in this coastal region is very dangerous. That is why he decided to build a light house. This project was initiated during Ptolemy's reign in 290 BC and completed after his death by his son Ptolemy Philadelphus. Sostratus who lived in the same time as Euclid, was the architect. This used to remain in the harbor for centuries. This wonder of the world also depicted in the Roman coins that time.
The writings of the Arab conquerors are very good source of information about this lighthouse. The new rulers moved the capital to the Cairo. So this place had lost its importance. Three earthquakes stuck in various periods (around AD 956, AD 1303 and AD 1323 ) have damaged the lighthouse significantly. The during AD 1480 the Egyptian Mamelouk Sultan, has built a medieval fort at the same place. That was the end to the story of the light house.
There are some more tales to the light house. Sostratus after he completed the lighthouse wanted his name to be carved on the light house. This was not allowed by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Ptolemy II wanted his name to be carved on the structure. But what Sostratus did is he first carved his name underneath, put plasters on it and then carved Ptolemy II's name. After some years, the plasters worn out and his name has come out to be known to all.
The design of the lighthouse was unlike the modern slim lighthouse towers. This was built in 3 stages, each built on top of the lower.
This lighthouse was so popular that the word Pharos came into French, Spanish and Italian to mean lighthouse.

Title: Re: Art & Literature Throughout the Ages
Post by: erin on June 03, 2007, 05:55:05 am
Some pottery parallels

T.S. Subramanian

Spread of material culture from south to Deccan? 


— Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
POINTERS: T. Satyamurthy presenting a pot with a long neck and flared rim excavated at Adichanallur by the Archaeological Survey of India in 2003 and 2004, with some urns in the background. At left are pottery lids with white dots in linear design, also from Adichanallur.

CHENNAI: Several pieces of ancient pottery excavated at Adichanallur near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu in 2003 and 2004 have a remarkable and surprising similarity to pottery found at Jorwe in Maharashtra in the 1950s, and later at Hallur and Tekkalakota in Karnataka, and T. Kallupatti near Madurai, archaeologists have determined. These findings point to the possible spread of material culture from the south to the Deccan, an expert has proposed.

The Adichanallur pottery, which look like those from the Deccan, include a big pot with a high neck and a flared rim, pot lids with white dots in linear design, thin beakers, and thin walled black and red pots.

Adichanallur is an Iron Age site. Iron Age in south India is dated from 1,000 to 300 B.C. Alexander Rea, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, excavated in Adichanallur between 1889 and 1905 and found artefacts including bronze figurines, gold diadems and pottery.

In Jorwe, in Ahmadnagar district in the Deccan, H.D. Sankalia, Professor of Proto-Indian and Ancient Indian History, Deccan College Research Institute, Pune, undertook excavations in the 1950s and found pottery including thin-walled pots, pots with spouts, and flat bronze axes.



The ASI, Chennai Circle, took up excavation again at Adichanallur in 2003 and 2004 when T. Satyamurthy was Superintending Archaeologist. The exercise yielded a spectacular range of pottery and artefacts including big urns carrying skeletons, black and red ware, pots, vases, thin-walled beakers, bowls, pot lids with white dots in linear design, black ware, pots with spouts, miniature pottery, copper bangles, iron knives, beads and so on. Thousands of potsherds were found at Adichanallur. Among these was one that had stunning motifs of a woman in a knee-length dress, a deer with big horns, crocodiles, standing paddy and a crane.

A pot stands out

The ASI also found for the first time at Adichanallur black and red urns — black inside and red outside. What stood out was a pot with a long neck, flared rim, bulging belly at a 60-degrees angle and truncated bottom.

Dr. Satyamurthy said the long-necked, flared-rim pot was typical Jorwe-ware. Pot lids with white dots in linear design had been found up to the Deccan. Thin-walled pots occurred not only at Adichanallur but Jorwe, Hallur, Tekkalalota and other sites.

So Dr. Satyamurthy, who was the director of excavation at Adichanallur, has proposed that material culture must have travelled from Adichanallur to the Deccan. Hitherto, archaeologists believed that the spread occurred from the Deccan to south India.

Dr. Satyamurthy said: "When we first excavated this pot, we suspected the influence of Jorwe on Adichanallur. But when I analysed the Adichanallur pottery discovered by Rea, which are in the Government Museum, Chennai, and the recently excavated pottery at Adichanallur, I found that about 25 per cent of the pottery, especially those with white dots, had travelled from Adichanallur to other sites. Since... anthropological studies also show that different kinds of races lived in Adichanallur, we are tempted to conclude that the movement of culture took place from Adichanallur to the Deccan."

The people of Adichanallur had good technical knowledge of pottery-making, he said. They made black and red ware of thin fabric. They could impart plasticity to clay.

While other sites yielded miniature black and red ware, Adichanallur had big-size black and red urns. So the possibility of material culture having spread from Adichanallur to the Deccan could not be ruled out, he said.