*bce

Graeco-Egyptian gold snake bracelet, dated to the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century CE during the Roman period. 

Laconian marble grave relief depicting two enthroned heroes receiving offerings from (far smaller) worshipers.  Artist unknown; ca. 550-530 BCE.  Found at Chrysapha, near Sparta; now in the Altes Museum, Berlin.

Soldier’s helmet from the Zhou Dynasty period in China (1047 BCE-221 BCE). The Zhou Dynasty slowly lost control of its territory and devolved into a period of “Warring States” in which the warfare was bloody and horrific, finally culminating the victory of the state of Qin in 221. 

Ancient Greek Phrygian helmet.

Ancient Greek architectural, clothing and coin designs are replete with single or interlinking swastika motifs. There are also gold plate fibulae from the 8th century BCE decorated with an engraved swastika. Related symbols in classical Western architecture include the cross, the three-legged triskele or triskelion and the rounded lauburu. The swastika symbol is also known in these contexts by a number of names, especially gammadion, or rather the tetra-gammadion. The name gammadion comes from its being seen as being made up of four Greek gamma (Γ) letters. Ancient Greek priestesses would tattoo the symbol, along with the tetraskelion, on their bodies. Ancient Greek architectural designs are replete with the interlinking symbol.

An Epitaph for Two Young Brothers

Anthologia Palatina 7.300 = Simonides

Here the earth conceals the shades of Pythonax and his brother,
Before they ever had a chance to see the full bloom of comely youth.
For them in death their father Megaristos erected this tomb,
Bestowing an immortal gift on his all too mortal sons.

Ἐνθάδε Πυθώνακτα κασίγνητόν τε κέκευθε
    γαῖ’, ἐρατῆς ἥβης πρὶν τέλος ἄκρον ἰδεῖν.
μνῆμα δ’ ἀποφθιμένοισι πατὴρ Μεγάριστος ἔθηκεν
    ἀθάνατον θνητοῖς παισὶ χαριζόμενος.

Attic marble grave stele depicting a family group.  Artist unknown; ca. 360 BCE.  Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

10

Temple  of Athena Nike

Athens’ Acropolis, Greece

420 BCE

Stylobate: 8.27 m x 5.64 m; height: ca. 4 m.

The Temple of Athena Nike was named after the Greek goddess, Athena Nike. The temple is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis. It was a prominent position on a steep bastion at the south west corner of the Acropolis to the right of the entrance, the Propylaea. In contrast to the Acropolis proper, a walled sanctuary entered through the Propylaea, the Victory Sanctuary was open, entered from the Propylaea’s southwest wing and from a narrow stair on the north. The sheer walls of its bastion were protected on the north, west, and south by the Nike Parapet, named for its frieze of Nikai celebrating victory and sacrificing to their patroness, Athena Nike.

Nike means victory in Greek, and Athena was worshipped in this form, as goddess of victory in war and wisdom. The citizens worshipped the goddess in hope of a successful outcome in the long Peloponnesian War fought on land and sea against the Spartans and their allies.

Celtic Gold Dagger excavated from Hallstatt dated about the 6th Century BCE on display at the Naturhistorisches Museum

The rare golden objects in the Hallstatt graves are rather small where as the gold objects found in barrow graves elsewhere from this period are significantly larger. Gold seems to have been reserved for the political elite and the lack of larger objects suggests richer lords resided elsewhere.

The entrance to Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, 1905
Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound has a retaining wall at the front and is ringed by ‘kerbstones’ engraved with artwork. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had religious significance – it is aligned with the rising sun and its light floods the chamber on the winter solstice. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange also shares many similarities with other Neolithic constructions in Western Europe, such as Maeshowe in Orkney, Scotland and the Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.

7

Temple of Zeus

Olympia

~457 BCE

20.7 m in height, 29 m in breadth, 70.1 m in length


The temple was of peripteral form, with a frontal pronaos (porch), mirrored by a similar arrangement at the back of the building, the opisthodomos. The building sat on a crepidoma (platform) of three unequal steps, the exterior columns were positioned in a six by thirteen arrangement, two rows of seven columns divided the cella (interior) into three aisles. Although it lies in ruins today, an echo of the temple’s original appearance can be seen in the Second Temple of Hera at Paestum, which closely followed its form. The temple featured carved metopes and triglyph friezes, topped by pediments filled with sculptures in the Severe Style, now attributed to the “Olympia Master” and his studio. According to Pausanias, the temple’s height up to the pediment was 68 feet (20.7 m), its breadth was 95 feet (29.0 m), and its length 230 feet (70.1 m).[4] It was approached by a ramp on the east side. The main structure of the building was of a local limestone that was unattractive and of poor quality, and so it was coated with a thin layer of stucco to give it an appearance of marble to match the sculptural decoration. It was roofed with Pentelic marble cut into the shape of tiles. The marble was cut thinly enough to be translucent, so that on a summer’s day, “light comparable to a conventional 20-watt bulb would have shone through each of the 1,000 tiles.