Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carthaginian Youth Resurrected in Tunis

I see Elisabeth Daynes is back in the news again with her handsome reconstruction of the remains of a Carthaginian youth from the sacred hill of Byrsa in Carthage, Tunis.


When a Tunisian farmer stumbled upon a 6th-century BC grave in 1994, he probably never thought that he would one day be able to lock eyes with the 2,500-year-old man whose skeleton he had discovered. Now, however, thanks to the collaborative work of archaeologists and a Parisian artist, Ariche — as the ancient Carthaginian is called — can be seen in the simulacral flesh, standing upright at five feet and six inches tall and wearing a maroon-trimmed white tunic, sandals, and a beaded pendant modeled on the one found in his grave. And, ladies, he's a catch. The "desired man" (as Ariche means) was discovered on Carthage's sacred hill of Byrsa, a site overlooking the Gulf of Tunis.  - More: Art Info
 This young man, apparently from a family with some wealth as indicated by the jewelry found in his grave, may have known one of the founding members of the Barcid clan, Mago, one of the ancestors of the famous general Hannibal.
 
By the subjugation of the Libyan tribes and by the annexation of older Phoenician colonies, Carthage in the 6th century BC controlled the entire North African coast from the Atlantic Ocean to the western border of Egypt, as well as Sardinia, Malta, the Balearic Islands, and part of Sicily. A Carthaginian admiral, Hanno, made a voyage along the Atlantic coast of North Africa. The maritime power of the Carthaginians enabled them to extend their settlements and conquests, forming a scattered empire devoted to commerce. Among the commercial enterprises were the mining of silver and lead; the manufacture of beds and bedding; a lumber industry in the Atlas Mountains; the production of simple, cheap pottery, jewelry, and glassware for trade; and the export of wild animals from African jungles, of fruits and nuts, and of ivory and gold. - Carthage by Dr. Galen Frysinger (Dr. Frysinger's website includes a wonderful assortment of images)

Carthage: A Journey Back in Time (Lost Treasures of the Ancient World)   Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization   Global Treasures TUNIS Tunisia
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