13th century bc

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Top 10 Cruel Monarchs (or with Black legend)

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Greek Bronze and Gold Short Sword and Dagger, C. 1450-1300 BC

The daggers and early swords of the Aegean Bronze Age represent some of the most striking artifacts of the period in terms of their opulence, craftsmanship and display of technical virtuosity. Whilst some were used solely for ceremonial use, many were functional instruments of war, attested by the clear developments in form, according to fighting preferences and practices. The short sword, which developed from the dagger, is one of the most interesting innovations of the Bronze Age, often signifying social status in societies in which hierarchy and one-on-one combat were primary concerns. The present dagger and short sword probably originate from Crete, in the locality of the great palaces at Knossos, or from Mycenae. The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were renowned for their wealth, richness of culture, technical sophistication, and strong influence across the Greek world for centuries to come. These are the weapons of the fabled heroes of Troy, the great treasures of powerful kings like Agamemnon, who ruled over the kingdom of Mycenae.

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Archaeological Museum of Thebes

Offering gifts to the goddess

Main element of the Mycenaean religious ritual was the procession of female worshippers towards the shrine, the temple, or the altar of the seated, sometimes enthroned goddess.The depiction of processions on murals, and gold seal-rings was particularly frequent.

The preserved part of a large mural composition from the palace of Thebes (14th/13th century BC) shows a procession of female adorants in traditional Minoan dress. They advance majestically holding their offerings: lilies, wild roses, a casket with jewellery, a necklace, and a luxury vase perhaps filled with aromatic oil. They move in two opposite directions, perhaps towards a central female deity who receives their offerings.

I think I have finally solved the flounced skirt mystery. In my opinion it’s a large rectangle piece of textile, straight from the loom, perhaps decorated at the top and bottom border with added woven bands. The textile is draped around the hips, then tied with the top toppling down. Multiple layers can be worn, toppling down and giving the look of the flounced skirt. Similarly the vest, could be a tunic, again rectangle pieces of textile can be used, with decorative woven bands binding them together at the seams. 

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How to Move an Ancient Egyptian Temple — The Relocation of the Abu Simbel Temples.

In the 13th century BC the mighty pharaoh Ramses II ordered the construction of two large temples in southern Egypt to commemorate the Battle of Kadesh, to honor his queen Nefertari, and to impress his Nubian enemies to the south.  Carved directly into the sandstone hillsides, the large facade of the temples feature four colossus statues of Ramses himself, each standing 67 feet in height.  The facade itself stands an incredible 100 feet high and 119 feet wide.  Inside of the temples are a network of rooms and hallways with many priceless hieroglyphic carvings detailing Egyptian history, religion, and folklore.

By the 1960’s the Abu Simbel Temples were a national treasure for the new Egyptian nation.  However, Egypt’s industrial modernization would threaten the temples in a way that no pharaoh could have ever predicted.  Near Abu Simbel was the construction of a 364 foot hydroelectric dam known as the Aswan dam.  A key objective of the Egyptian government, the dam would provide electricity for the developing nation and kick start a new agricultural plan which would create a massive irrigation project.  However, Abu Simbel was literally in deep trouble, for construction of the damn would leave the ancient temples submerged at the bottom of the Lake Nasser Reservoir.

To save Abu Simbel, a team of archeologists, historians, engineers, architects, and construction workers were recruited by UNESCO to conduct one of the most ambitious rescue operations of an ancient structure.  The plan was to relocate the ancient temples above the flood plain of Lake Nasser.  Incredibly, the team cut the temple facade and structure into individual blocks weighing 20-30 tons.  Each block was numbered then recorded to keep track of where they would go when reassembled.  The blocks were lifted out of their original foundation using massive cranes, then transported to another site where they could be catalogued and stored for later.  From 1964-1965 over 10,000 stone blocks were cut, lifted, and transported away from the site. 

The new home for the temples was located 200 meters inland and at a height  65 meters higher than the original Abu Simbel site.  To recreate the look of a temple carved from a sandstone hill, artificial hills were created using concrete which simulated sandstone.  Once the new Abu Simbel site was ready, each block was meticulously fitted back into position, reconstructing the ancient temples anew.  In fact the reconstruction is so precise that it would impress ancient Egyptian engineers, on the façade of the temples there are no visible seams where the blocks meet.  Only a few joins can be found from within the temple complex.  The project was completed in 1968 and cost $40 million, over $250 million dollars today.  The cost was well worth it as the Abu Simbel complex is considered one of the great treasures of Egypt and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Over 500,000 tourists visit the temples every year.

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Ancient Worlds - BBC Two 

Episode 2 “The Age of Iron”

Megiddo was an important city-state in northern Israel, overlooking the fertile Jezreel Valley from the west. It is thought that the greek word Armageddon is derived from Megiddo (the term Armageddon is used in a generic sense to refer to any end of the world, an apocalyptic scenario).

Megiddo has been identified as one of the most important cities of biblical times. Its strategic location gave the city a great importance. It controlled a commonly used pass on the trading route between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and it also stood along the route that connected the Phoenician cities with Jerusalem and the Jordan River valley.

The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 BC. It is a tell, a hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot. Following massive construction, the city reached its largest size under King Solomon, king of Israel, in the 10th century BC.

Megiddo is mentioned many times in Egyptian royal inscriptions (15th to 13th centuries BC). They attest to the city’s importance as the center of Egyptian administration in Canaan and as a logistical base on the road north. The armies of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition led by the rulers of Megiddo fought at the Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC). The city was conquered after a seven month siege. Megiddo has been the site of several historical battles in ancient and modern times.

Excavations have unearthed almost 30 layers of ruins, confirming a very long period of settlement. Finds include monumental temples -an Early Bronze Age sacrificial altar, from the Canaanite period, 3rd millennium BC-, luxurious palaces, a collection of jewelry pieces and ivories, fortifications and remarkably engineered water systems.

The city was abandoned during the Persian rule, in the 5th century BC

Tel Megiddo, Israel

Necrophilia, also called thanatophilia, is a sexual attraction or sexual act involving corpses. The attraction is classified as a paraphilia by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association. The term was coined by the Belgian alienist Joseph Guislain, who first used it in a lecture in 1850. It derives from the Greek words νεκρός (nekros; “dead”) and φιλία (philia; “love”).

Rosman and Resnick (1989) reviewed information from 34 cases of necrophilia describing the individuals’ motivations for their behaviors: these individuals reported the desire to possess a non-resisting and non-rejecting partner (68%), reunions with a romantic partner (21%), sexual attraction to corpses (15%), comfort or overcoming feelings of isolation (15%), or seeking self-esteem by expressing power over a homicide victim (12%).

Singular accounts of necrophilia in history are sporadic, though written records suggest the practice was present within Ancient Egypt. Herodotus writes in The Histories that, to discourage intercourse with a corpse, ancient Egyptians left deceased beautiful women to decay for “three or four days” before giving them to the embalmers. Herodotus also alluded to suggestions that Greek tyrant Periander had defiled the corpse of his wife, employing a metaphor: “Periander baked his bread in a cold oven.”[6] Acts of necrophilia are depicted on ceramics from the Moche culture, which reigned in northern Peru from the first to eighth century CE. A common theme in these artifacts is the masturbation of a male skeleton by a living woman. Hittite law from the 16th century BC through to the 13th century BC explicitly permitted sex with the dead.

Around 1850, Belgian physician Joseph Guislain coined the word nécrophiles in a lecture about mental illness, with reference to infamous contemporary necrophile François Bertrand. The term was popularized about a decade later by psychiatrist Bénédict Morel, who also discussed Bertrand.[1] Richard von Krafft-Ebing included necrophilia in his 1886 Psychopathia Sexualis. Krafft-Ebing based his conclusions on the cases of Bertrand and Victor Ardisson, and suggested that Bertrand’s necrophilia was caused by congenital feeble-mindedness and early masturbation.

In a modern example, Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who suffered from necrophilia. In order to be aroused, he had to murder his victims before performing sexual intercourse with them. Dahmer stated that he only killed his victims because they wanted to leave after having sex, and would be angry with him for drugging them.British serial killer Dennis Nilsen is also considered to have been a necrophiliac.

“During intercourse the cold, the aura of Death, the funeral decorations and the smell of death helped her.”

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Ancient Worlds - BBC Two

Episode 1 “Come Together”

Boars’ tusk helmet from Mycenae.

The ivory helmets were made through the use of slivers of boar tusks which were attached to a leather base, padded with felt, in rows

Several boar’s tusk helmets have been found in Mycenaean-era graves. Although they would not provide as good protection as a metal helmet, they may have been worn by some leaders as a status symbol, or a means of identification.

A description of this type of helmet can be found in Homer’s Iliad. Homer says that the prized object was an heirloom, passed down through the generations.

Pictures: 14th-13th century BC helmet, with cheek guards and double bone hook on top. Mycenae, chamber Tomb 515 

Picture n 5: mycenaean warrior wearing a boar’s tusk helmet

National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece

Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, 1550-1295 BC

Finely carved, wearing a tripartite wig, with straight nose and small mouth, the large almond-shaped eyes inlaid with stone and obsidian, the long finely-arched eyebrows recessed once for inlay, a socket under the chin once for attachment of the false beard, traces of bitumen remaining,  22in high.

The fact that the eyes are separately made and inlaid into the wood indicates that the deceased was a person of fairly high status. This is possibly from Saqqara, Abydos or Thebes. It’s from the Collection of Lady Jane Franklin (04 December 1791 – 18 July 1875) the Tasmanian traveler and wife of polar explorer Sir John Franklin.

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Assyrian Foundation Plaque, reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, c.1243-1207 BC

On gypsum alabaster in cuneiform. The text says:

Tukulti-Ninurta, king of the universe, strong king, king of Assyria, king of kings, lord of lords, rulers of rulers, prince, lord of all, conqueror of the rebellious – those who do not submit (to him and) who are hostile to Ashur –, defeater of the prince of the Qutu as far as the land Mehru, disperser of the forces of the land of the Shubaru and the remote lands Nairi as far as the border of Makan, strong king, capable in battle, the one who shepherds the four quarters at the heels of the god Shamash, I; son of Shalmaneser (I), king of the universe, king of Assyria; son of Adad-narari (I) (who was) also king of the universe and king of Assyria: At that time the temple of the Assyrian Ishtar, my mistress, which Ilu-Shumma, my forefather, the prince, had previously built – that temple had become dilapidated and I cleared away its debris. I changed its site. I founded (it) in another place. I made it more outstanding than ever before. As an addition I built the room of the Shahuru and lofty towers. I completed that temple from top to bottom. I built within a lofty dais (and) an awesome sanctuary for the abode of the goddess Ishtar, my mistress, and I deposited my monumental inscription. May a later prince restore it (and) return my inscribed name to its place. (Then) the goddess Ishtar will listen to his prayers. As for the one who removes my inscription and my name: May the goddess Ishtar, my mistress, extinguish his sovereignty, break his weapon, cause his manhood to dwindle away, (and) hand him over to his enemies.

Tukulti-Ninurta I was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire. He succeeded Shalmaneser I, his father, as king and won a major victory against the Hittite Empire at the Battle of Nihriya in the first half of his reign, appropriating Hittite territory in Asia Minor and the Levant. He retained Assyrian control of Urartu, and later defeated Kashtiliash IV, the Kassite king of Babylonia and captured the rival city of Babylon to ensure full Assyrian supremacy over Mesopotamia. Tukilti-Ninurta I set himself up as king of Babylon, thus becoming the first native Mesopotamian to rule there, its previous kings having all been non native Amorites or Kassites. He took on the ancient title “King of Sumer and Akkad” first used by Sargon of Akkad.

Kassite Green Agate Cylinder Seal - Circa 1400-1100 BC


Depicting a seated god holding a trident sceptre, with three locusts above, with an eight line Sumerian partly intelligible inscription reading ’(Oh god) Amurru …, pre-eminent of the …, the hero of … Adad-… for Kurigalzu the prince who reveres you, bestow on him a happy reign.’

The Kassites were an ancient Near Eastern people who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire in 1531 BC until around 1155 BC. The Kassites gained control of Babylonia after the Hittite sack of the city in 1595 BC and established a dynasty based in Dur-Kurigalzu named after Kurigalzu I, who reigned some time in the 14th century BC.

Assyrian Jewelry Chain (Grave Goods), from Ashur, Middle Assyrian Period, c. 14th-13th Century BC

Currently located in the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin.

The ancient site of Ashur, dating to the 3rd millennium BC, is located on the Tigris River in northern Mesopotamia. It was the first capital of the Assyrian Empire and remained so from the 14th to the 9th century BC until the reign of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC), who moved the capital to Kalhu (modern Nimrud). The city survived the fall of the Assyrian empire in the 7th century BC, and it flourished again in the Hellenistic and Parthian periods until the 2nd century AD.

Ashur also served as the religious capital of the Assyrians, named after Ashur, the head of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion. He was the Mesopotamian equivalent of the Babylonian god Marduk.

A map & more about Ashur…