Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Replica of Bergama Altar to be Erected

Perhaps this may be a viable alternative to repatriation. Recently, I attended the current traveling King Tut exhibit and saw a chest from Tut's tomb that had been replicated. The replica is on display at the King Tut exhibit at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. If they had been placed side by side, I, as knowledgable but a non-expert, would not be able to detect the difference.

ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER : "The Turkish Culture Ministry will erect a replica of the Bergama (ancient Pergamum or Pergamon) Zeus Altar, which is now on display in the Berlin Pergamon Museum, and attach a sign indicating the original is held in Berlin.

Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Atilla Koc told The New Anatolian that he is deeply saddened about the artifacts lost by being smuggled out of Turkey and that their return must not be compromised.

Koc informed Turkey signed a related international agreement, but does not work retroactively. 'There is no chance of having the altar returned from Germany, because we have no legal right. But now we have a new project. The exact copies (replicas) of those historical artifacts will be built on the original sites. We will erect signs that read for example, 'The original of this replica is now in the Berlin Museum.'

Koc said they will meet with foreign authorities and suggest similar signs attached to the original artifacts in their museums; for the Bergama Altar a notice for example, it should read, 'This altar was brought here from Bergama, Turkey.'"

Sarcophagus Painted With Homeric Scenes Unearthed on Cyprus

FOXNews.com : " A 2,500-year-old sarcophagus with vivid color illustrations from Homer's epics has been discovered in western Cyprus, archaeologists said Monday.

Construction workers found the limestone sarcophagus last week in a tomb near the village of Kouklia, in the coastal Paphos area. The tomb, which probably belonged to an ancient warrior, had been looted during antiquity.

'The style of the decoration is unique, not so much from an artistic point of view, but for the subject and the colors used,' said Pavlos Flourentzos, director of the island's antiquities department.

Only two similar sarcophagi have ever been discovered in Cyprus before. One is housed in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other in the British Museum in London, but their colors are more faded, Flourentzos said.

Flourentzos said the coffin ? painted in red, black and blue on a white background ? dated to 500 B.C., when Greek cultural influence was gaining a firm hold on the eastern Mediterranean island. Pottery discovered in the tomb is expected to provide a precise date.

Experts believe the ornate decoration features the hero Ulysses, or Odysseus in Greek, in scenes from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey ? both hugely popular throughout the ancient Greek world."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Were ancient Minoans centuries ahead of their time??-?Unprecedented mathematical knowledge found in Bronze Age wall paintings.


news @ nature.com: "A geometrical figure commonly attributed to Archimedes in 300 BC has been identified in Minoan wall paintings dated to over 1,000 years earlier.

The mathematical features of the paintings suggest that the Minoans of the Late Bronze Age, around 1650 BC, had a much more advanced working knowledge of geometry than has previously been recognized, says computer scientist Constantin Papaodysseus of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and his colleagues.

The paintings appear in a building that is still being excavated and restored in the ancient Minoan town of Akrotiri on the island of Thera. A catastrophic eruption of the volcano on Thera, now known as Santorini, around 1650 BC, is thought to have dealt a fatal blow to the Minoan culture. The blast covered Akrotiri, on the island's southern coast, in a thick layer of ash that preserved many buildings and artefacts.

Ten or so buildings have been excavated in Akrotiri so far, including a large one known as Xeste 3, which stands close to the ancient quay. Judging from its large size and extensive wall decorations, Xeste 3 appears to have been some kind of public building, such as a temple or a place for ritual ceremonies.

The wall paintings don't in themselves prove that the Therans knew enough geometry to bisect angles. But it certainly looks that way, says Papaodysseus."