The Zodiac of Dendera decorated the ceiling of a chapel in the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, where the mysteries of the resurrection of the god Osiris were celebrated.
The vault of heaven is represented by a disc, held up by four women assisted by falcon-headed spirits. Thirty-six spirits or “decans" around the circumference symbolize the 360 days of the Egyptian year.
The constellations shown inside the circle include the signs of the zodiac, most of which are represented almost as they are today. Aries, Taurus, Scorpio, and Capricorn, for example, are easily recognizable, whereas others correspond to a more Egyptian iconography: Aquarius is represented as Hapy, the god of the Nile flood, pouring water from two vases.
The constellations of the northern sky, featured in the center, include the Great Bear (Ursa Major) in the form of a bull’s foreleg. A hippopotamus goddess, opposite Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, represents the constellation of the Dragon.
Chinese New Year! 新年快乐 (that’s ‘sshin-nyen kwhy-luh’). It’s
the Year of the Rooster (雞), number 10 out of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.
delicately decorated rooster-themed vase was made in Jingdezhen, the ‘Porcelain Capital’ of
China, between 1730-1780.
About 500km East from the ‘Porcelain Capital’ were the Yue Kiln Sites in Zhejiang Province where this charming Greenware jar and ewer were made.
Green-glazed ceramics were first made in east China more than 3,000 years ago, and later wares were made for daily use and for burial in tombs. Many burial wares were ceramic models that showed aspects of daily life, such as cooking stoves or domestic animals.
From about AD 300 onwards, the Yue
kilns began producing inkstones and waterdroppers for calligraphers. In the
Tang dynasty (AD 618-906) the wares were used for tea-drinking. They were much
admired and praised by poets.
'In the breezes and mists of autumn the Yue kilns are opened
to reveal the brilliant greens of a thousand mountains.’