This silver crown comes from the necropolis of Ballana situated south of Abu Simbel, the site is today submerged by the waters of Lake Nasser. The tomb in which the crown was found, without doubt, is that of a local potentate judging by the abundance and quality of the material uncovered in the 1930s by W.B. Emery. It falls within the category of culture called X-Group (or Ballana Culture) which developed after the breakup of the Empire of Meroë into small kingdoms or principalities. This period is between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 6th century AD.
The individual whose corpse was adorned with this crown was probably one of the kings of these small principalities who succeeded the domination of the kings of Meroë. It could be identified as Silko, dating back to the 5th century, who was proclaimed in a Greek inscription within the temple of Kalabsha, “King of Nobatae and all of Ethiopians”. The crown still includes a set of representations from a repertoire directly inspired from ancient Egyptian iconography; however, its symbol and its form are no longer Egyptian.
The crown is composed of two parts, a diadem and a crest. The diadem is decorated with a frieze of Horus falcons between two rows of small squares and circles….
The cuneiform inscription on this kudurru records the granting by Eanna-shum-iddina, the governor of the Sealand, of five gur of corn land in the district of Edina in south Babylonia to a man called Gula-eresh. The boundaries of the land are laid out; the surveyor is named as Amurru-bel-zeri and the transfer completed by two high officials who are also named.
Nine gods are invoked to protect the monument, along with seventeen divine symbols. The symbols of the important Mesopotamian gods are most prominent: the solar disc of the sun-god Shamash, the crescent of the moon-god Sin and the eight-pointed star of Ishtar, goddess of fertility and war. The square boxes beneath these signs represent altars supporting the symbols of gods, including horned headdresses, the triangular spade of Marduk, and the wedge-shaped stylus of Nabu, the god of writing.
A prominent snake is shown on many kudurru and may, like many of the symbols, be related to the constellations. The text ends with curses on anyone who removes, ignores or destroys the kudurru.
The Sealand was one of the wealthiest regions of Babylonia. A dynasty called ‘Sealand’ first appears in records dating to the middle of the second millennium BC. It controlled the coastline of the south of Iraq and thus the trade routes down the Gulf. The Sealand rulers were defeated by the Kassite kings of Babylon in the fifteenth century BC and governors like Eanna-shum-iddina were then appointed to administer the region.
Egyptian Bronze Triad (Osiris, Isis, Horus) c. Late Period, 664-30 BC
This triad represents the Osiris myth which is the most elaborate and influential story in ancient Egyptian mythology. It concerns the murder of the god Osiris, a primeval king of Egypt, and its consequences. Osiris’ murderer, his brother Set, usurps his throne. Meanwhile, Osiris’ wife Isis restores her husband’s body, allowing him to posthumously conceive a son with her. The remainder of the story focuses on Horus, the product of Isis and Osiris’ union, who is first a vulnerable child protected by his mother and then becomes Set’s rival for the throne. Their often violent conflict ends with Horus’ triumph, which restores order to Egypt after Set’s unrighteous reign and completes the process of Osiris’ resurrection. The myth, with its complex symbolism, is integral to the Egyptian conceptions of kingship and succession, conflict between order and disorder and, especially, death and the afterlife. It also expresses the essential character of each of the four deities at its center, and many elements of their worship in ancient Egyptian religion were derived from the myth.
The figure depicts Osiris, wearing the atef crown flanked by Horus the child, wearing the double crown with a sidelock and on the other side, Isis, surmounted by the sun disc with horns, shown standing on a hollow plinth, the front cast in relief with the child god squatting, flanked by Isis and Thoth in adoration, a panel on either side with falcon headed soul of Pe and jackal headed soul of Nekhen, the reverse of the plinth has panels with a lotus on stand and a human male figure, probably the deceased in jubilation posture, next to the square opening, an inscription giving the donor’s identity: ‘May Isis give life to Wedja-hor son of Pa-di-hor’, the short sides of the plinth with further souls of Pe and Nekhen.
This large bronze foot (one of two discovered) comes from Toprakkale (ancient Rusahinili) in Urartu, the site of a major temple of the god Haldi. It was probably fitted onto the leg of a table or a bed. The knuckles and claws would have been inlaid, as would the ornament on the front. This consists of two Anatolian sun symbols above an Urartian version of the Egyptian winged sun disc.
In antiquity furniture was primarily of wood. Costlier materials like bronze were used mainly for decoration. Representations of decorated furniture can be seen on Urartian engravings and also on contemporary Assyrian reliefs.The kingdom of Urartu was particularly known for fine metal-work, and Urartian bronzes were highly prized by the Assyrians, who list quantities of bronze objects amongst captured Urartian booty. This foot was made using the lost-wax casting method.
Urartu, centered on Lake Van, was the northern neighbour and rival of the Assyrian Empire from the ninth to the seventh centuries BC but it had disappeared before 600 BC. It was possibly destroyed by raids of horse-borne warriors, known to the Greeks as Scythians, associated with the Medes from western Iran. The name survives, however, in that of its highest mountain, Ararat.
Babylonian Gold Medallion, Late Old Babylonian Period, 17th-16th Century BC
Said to have been found at Dilbat, a modern town near Babylon, along with four cylinder seals and three granulated gold cylinder seal caps. The medallion’s rays emanating from a central boss representing Shamash, the sun god.
Phoenician Scarab in Gold Swivel Mount, 6th-4th Century BC
The Egyptianising form of art can be seen on this Phoenician scarab with the winged sun disc of the Egyptian god Ra-Horakhty being held aloft by two lion-headed men which may be related to the guardian deities known from Achaemenid art. A cicada is between the two lion-headed men. It’s made of dark green glass or jasper.
Classical Phoenician scarabs were made in Phoenicia in the period of the Achaemenid Empire, from the later sixth century to the mid-fourth century BC. Beside the Etruscan, they are the last major production of scarab seals of antiquity. They are made of green jasper, the color probably being of as much importance as their intaglios since it enhances their amuletic value. Most of the 1500 examples known have been found in the west Phoenician (Punic) cemeteries of Carthage in North Africa, as well as the islands of Sardinia and Ibiza, but there are many also from the east Mediterranean. It was long held that all were western products but it is more likely that they were made in the Phoenician homeland. They served as jewelry, as offerings in tombs and sanctuaries, and for their primary function of sealing. Many, such as this example, were given precious metal mounts. The subjects of the intaglios are the most eclectic of any medium of the period. They include Egyptianising (the common stock of Phoenicia for many years), Levantine (more Syrian in style and subject) and Hellenising (mainly following late archaic Greek subjects and styles, whence many have been called Greco-Phoenician).
Extremely Rare Assyrian Bronze Sword Hilt, 8th-7th Century BC
The pommel is decorated with plant motifs (large rosette surrounded by a wreath of palmettes) and four identical metopes; in each, the symbol of the winged solar disc is carved in relief. The use of this symbol was widespread in Assyrian monuments, including in the large reliefs that adorned the walls of the palaces, where it was most often associated with the figure of the king (fighting, ritual, initiation scenes, etc.). The meaning of the solar disc remains hypothetical, some scholars claim that the winged solar disc represents the god Assur, the patron deity of the city of Ashur, while others would rather relate it to the Mesopotamian sun god (Shamash/Utu).
The element for the wedging of the blade is decorated with two lion heads merging into each other at the level of the lower jaws; the blade thus appeared to emerge directly from the wide open mouths of the two big cats. In Near Eastern cultures, lions were a symbol of power and strength and were therefore used to characterize mostly warrior kings and deities associated with war.
The manufacturing technique and artistic quality of this object are excellent, equaling those of the best Assyrian productions. Perfectly preserved Assyrian swords are extremely rare and no close parallels can currently be suggested for this piece, which may nonetheless be compared to the weapons worn by the kings, dignitaries and warriors on the high reliefs of Assyrian palaces, often provided with very sophisticated hilts (see in particular the sword of the king or the prince on a relief from Nineveh, now in Berlin, depicting a lion hunt). Given its light weight and very careful execution, this hilt might have been part of a parade, ceremonial or ritual weapon, rather than of a sword used as a weapon of war.
Achaemenid Persian Cylinder Seal With Ahura-Mazda,
C. 538-331 BC
Found in Hillah, near Babylon, Iraq.
This grey-blue chalcedony seal shows the varied foreign influences on the art of the Achaemenid Persian empire. The Persians had, at first, no clearly defined art of their own, but they made use of foreign craftsmen and expertise and welded the disparate traditions of their immense empire into a coherent and distinctive style. Greek and Egyptian motifs were particularly popular.
The design on this seal shows a Persian king in a standardized way, with a winged disc above lion-griffins. The disc is probably a representation of the royal Persian god Ahura-Mazda in aniconic (non-figurative) form. A subsidiary scene shows the Egyptian god Bes and probably replaced an intended inscription, as the vertical frame-lines indicate.
By the mid-first millennium BC, alphabetic Aramaic was increasingly written on leather or papyrus and came to replace cuneiform written on clay tablets. Stamp seals were more suitable for making impressions on lumps of clay covering the knotted twine around rolled documents, so the cylinder seal gradually declined in popularity. However, under the Achaemenid Persians there was a brief revival in the use of the cylinder seal and they produced some of the finest surviving examples. This is probably to be associated with the political reorganization of the empire under Darius I (521-486 BC).
P3: Oh yes I need to thank you for the help with my luggage~ Also Looking Glass stop making that face, it’s going to freeze that way. -Antique Disc
Yes my love. -Glassmaker
P4: Skip you can put me down now, I’ve calmed down already -Kei
Oh, that’s right. Sorry .-Skipbeat
P5: *Groans* -Kei
( *Whew* Alrighty~ Now you guys know Mommy’s name~ It’s Antique Disc~ Glassmaker just puts love instead of Antique, she loves to go out and look for rare and old disc players or Discs, from the old times. That’s why she is always out and about leave Glassmaker alone at home or she takes him with her, but sometimes mostly at home cause of his job as well a Glass maker. Before I go into a whole story of Disc I better stop and tell you guys I’m getting close to the end so I might be going out of the letter to a friend and in to the answering a few Questions that are in my box. So you can look forward to that soon~ -Mod)
P3: When I got Downstairs to see what my dad was doing. He had Elder in a head lock which reminded me of when he had you in a headlock but I did tell him to let go of Elder it was so embarrassing.
Dad!! Let go of him!! -Vee
Oh Sweet song~ Don’t worry me your friend are just having fun~ -Glassmaker
P4-5: When my dad finally let him go Elder did say that it was ok, my dad asked him if he could beat him, he would give Elder his ok to go out with me. But I had a feeling my dad had other things in mind. -Vee
( Whew, finally got this up after work and soon Elder will get the answer he has been waiting for in the next update of Letter to a friend~ -Mod)