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Archive for the ‘Prehistoric & Ancient Art and Architecture’ Category

Neo-Babylonian | Ishtar Gate | 604-562 BCE | Berlin State Museum | Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz; bpkgate.picturemaxx.com/webgate_cms

Neo-Babylonian | Ishtar Gate | 604-562 BCE | Berlin State Museum | Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz; bpkgate.picturemaxx.com/webgate_cms

Travelers to ancient Babylon were met with an astonishing sight: a gate nearly 50 feet high and 100 feet wide made of jewel-like blue glazed bricks and adorned with bas-relief dragons and young bulls. Dedicated to Ishtar, goddess of fertility, love, and war, the main entrance to the city was constructed for King Nebuchadnezzar II circa 575 BCE.

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Abydos_screen4

New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) is engaged in a long-term archaeological research program to investigate the history of north Abydos, an area the ancient Egyptians viewed as having an extraordinary significance. The aim is to build a comprehensive understanding of the full range of ancient activity at the site, how this changed over time, how the meanings attached to the site were expressed and evolved, and how Abydos relates to the broader context of Egyptian history and culture.

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Built by Julius Frontinus, Proconsul of Asia | Domitian Gate / Frontinus Gate / The Roman Gate | Built 82-83 AD | Pamukkale (Hierapolis), Turkey | Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos; sites-and-photos.com

Built by Julius Frontinus, Proconsul of Asia | Domitian Gate / Frontinus Gate / The Roman Gate | Built 82-83 AD | Pamukkale (Hierapolis), Turkey | Image and original data provided by Shmuel Magal, Sites and Photos; sites-and-photos.com

Sites and Photos has contributed nearly 28,000 additional photos of ancient through medieval archaeological and architectural sites from countries including Spain, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey to the Artstor Digital Library. The images provide broad and in-depth documentation of the ancient world, including Classical, Megalithic, Islamic, Crusader, and Gothic archaeology and architecture, as well as Greek and Roman painting, sculpture, mosaics, and decorative arts.

Based in Israel, Sites and Photos specializes in the digital documentation of ancient archaeology, architecture, and art. Samuel Magal, Owner and Chief Photographer, is a trained archaeologist specializing in Classical and Marine archaeology. Since 1999, he has photographed hundreds of sites and museums throughout the Mediterranean. (more…)

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Caspar David Friedrich | Lone Tree (Solitary Tree; Village Landscape with Morning Lighting) | 1822 | Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Caspar David Friedrich | Lone Tree (Solitary Tree; Village Landscape with Morning Lighting) | 1822 | Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Image Archive (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz) and ARTstor have released more than 3,500 additional images of key works from the Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin). This release includes masterworks from such canonical artists as Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Hieronymus Bosch, Käthe Kollwitz, Lovis Corinth, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Matthias Grünewald, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt.

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Mochica | Vessel with sea lion and feline(?) |  A.D. 500-750 | Image © Princeton University Art Museum

Mochica | Vessel with sea lion and feline(?) | A.D. 500-750 | Image © Princeton University Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum and ARTstor are now sharing approximately 600 images from the museum’s encyclopedic collections in the Digital Library. This is the first release of an approximately 10,000 projected images.

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Egyptian | Priestly Decree inscribed in the Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphic Scripts, called the Rosetta Stone; Detail | 196 BCE | British Museum, United Kingdom | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Egyptian | Priestly Decree inscribed in the Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphic Scripts, called the Rosetta Stone; Detail | 196 BCE | British Museum, United Kingdom | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Egyptian | Priestly Decree inscribed in the Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphic Scripts, called the Rosetta Stone | 196 BCE | British Museum, United Kingdom | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Egyptian | Priestly Decree inscribed in the Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphic Scripts, called the Rosetta Stone | 196 BCE | British Museum, United Kingdom | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

On this day in 1799, during Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt, a French soldier discovered a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the Egyptian town of Rosetta (el-Rashid). The stone contained fragments of passages written in ancient Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Egyptian demotic. The section in Greek revealed that the three scripts shared the same content, which provided the key to understanding hieroglyphics, the knowledge of which had disappeared after the end of the fourth century AD.

The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of a larger stele, and none of the three texts is complete. But building upon the work of other scholars, French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion was able to crack the code and decipher the hieroglyphics in 1822, opening the doors to understanding the history and culture of ancient Egypt.

This image comes to us from the Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives collection. View the painting in the ARTstor Digital Library, and remember to zoom in to see the scripts in close detail.

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Nina de Garis Davies | Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor, Tomb of Amenherkhepeshef | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nina de Garis Davies | Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor, Tomb of Amenherkhepeshef | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A mystery from nearly 3,200 years ago has been solved: Conspirators murdered Egyptian king Ramesses III by cutting his throat, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal. Furthermore, the investigation suggests that one of his sons was involved in the murder.

The fate of the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty was long the subject of debate among historians after the discovery of papyrus trial documents revealed that members of his harem had made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup in 1155 BC.

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Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive; mayavase.com

Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive; mayavase.com

As you’ve probably heard, people across the world have been worrying that the world will end on December 21, 2012, influenced by some recent interpretations of Popol Vuh, a 16th-century narrative about the origins, traditions, and history of the Maya nation. Thankfully, NASA scientists recently debunked this and other apocalyptic predictions.

But don’t let the fact that the world is not about to end damper your interest in Mayan artifacts! The ARTstor Digital Library features more  than 500 fascinating photographs of Pre-Columbian artifacts from Justin Kerr and Barbara Kerr that shouldn’t be missed. The collection consists of still and rollout photographs of vases, plates, and bowls from the various cultures of Mesoamerica. The rollouts—which show the entire surface of an object in a single frame—were made by photographer Justin Kerr with a camera he designed and built. The objects in the collection depict a variety of everyday Mayan activities and religious concepts, and stem from archaeological sites, museums, and collections throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the United States, Canada, and Europe. View the collection here.

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Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Duke University Museum of Art | Kerr Archive

ARTstor has collaborated with Justin Kerr and Barbara Kerr to share more than 500 photographs of Pre-Columbian artifacts in the Digital Library. The collection consists of still and rollout photographs of vases, plates, and bowls from the various cultures of Mesoamerica. The rollouts—which show the entire surface of an object in a single frame—were made by photographer Justin Kerr with a camera he designed and built. The objects in the collection depict a variety of everyday Mayan activities and religious concepts, and stem from archaeological sites, museums, and collections throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the United States, Canada, and Europe. (more…)

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Navajo | Pin, round silver base set with 52 turquoise stones in 3 rows around a center stone | Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

ARTstor Digital Library has collaborated with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University to share nearly 25,000 additional images of Pre-Columbian, African, Native North American, and Oceanic objects. This brings the current available total to more than 28,000 of a projected 154,000 images from the Museum’s collection. (more…)

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