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18-01-2021, 17:56   #1
Gruffalux
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Pictures of Archaeological Artefacts

I looked back over 10 pages and a couple of years and cannot see a thread just for pictures of lovely archaeological artefacts.

It is one of my favourite things to see - amazing pictures of artefacts that are really old and beautiful. The craftmanship of ancient times is astonishing.

If thread not appropriate, please delete.


A neo-Assyrian amethyst vase. 8th century BC. 7.9cm high.
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19-01-2021, 00:58   #2
slowburner
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Good idea
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19-01-2021, 10:02   #3
Gruffalux
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Awesome!

The Clay Bison of Tuc D'Audoubert. Hard to find an image that does justice to these more than 15000 years old beauties. Est 13500 BCE. Relief sculptures found in a cave in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Lots of other Paleolithic art found in the cave system. 2 foot long, 18 inches high, 3 - 4 inches depth.
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/preh...ubert-cave.htm

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20-01-2021, 18:13   #4
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The Knowth flint Macehead. Circa 3300 - 2800 BC. Carved on all 6 facets and with a perfect cylindrical ''mouth''. One of the finest pieces of Neolithic craftmanship in all of Europe. Amazing extraordinary object from 5000 years ago. 7.9 cm in length.

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21-01-2021, 00:33   #5
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I agree. Considering the available technology, it is an astounding and enigmatic artefact.
If the motifs had been incised, it would still be an impressive artefact but the fact that they are carved in relief makes it all the more enigmatic and stunning.
No research has yet definitively established how this object was made. Of course, there are theories. Most theories propose that sand was used as an abrasive.
That might be a satisfactory explanation for how the fields were taken down, but it does not explain the detail.
Nobody has yet explained the precision of the edges of the relief carvings. Bear in mind that flint is a very unpredictable material - at this scale.
If anyone knows of more up to date research on the Knowth mace head, please share here.
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21-01-2021, 09:31   #6
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The Guennol Lioness

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guennol_Lioness

A work of pure perfection. Stunning!!



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21-01-2021, 10:20   #7
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Wow! I never saw that one before. 5000 years old. 8.3 cm. Mesopotamia. It is beautiful.

Slowburner, re enigmatic...yes, indeed. Very. I see an article on research gate. Used Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) analysis. Shows some incision marks, direction of, etc.
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...m_RTI_Analysis
Also says the only comparable objects from the time would be the carved ball from Towie, Scotland, which is an ideal chance to post a picture of it. Amazing thing. Again about 5000 years old. 7.3 cm. Weighs half a kilo. Made from black stone.





Also compared in research article to Folkton Drums. Found in a child's grave. 2600BC approx. 8.7 cm. Made of chalk, though, which I don't think is comparable to working the hard flint. Nor is the craftmanship as stunning. But we will allow it

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21-01-2021, 19:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruffalux View Post
Awesome!

The Clay Bison of Tuc D'Audoubert.
One of the first artefacts I thought of.

Speaking of skills in flint working... Mayan eccentric deity flint



The level of skill involved in pressure flaking that is extremely high. What the pic doesn't show is how thin it is.
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21-01-2021, 20:37   #9
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That's unbelievable skill. Never saw one before. Imagine the tension - every little knap could spell disaster! Maybe they had the flint embedded/held in a substance (sand, soft mud, water?) to disperse the percussion shocks while working on it - that is just an idea I am having, so maybe crazy.


The earlier Lioness made me think of the Lion man of Hohlenstein-Stadel.
Carved out of mammoth ivory. The layer it was found in is dated to 35-40,000 years old. A foot tall.



Interesting video showing a person recreating the work with flint tools.
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21-01-2021, 22:04   #10
magicbastarder
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i have friends who were amazed to find out they live near the site where these were found; which is now a car park outside a dominos pizza IIRC!

https://twitter.com/irarchaeology/st...79019280973824

Last edited by magicbastarder; 21-01-2021 at 22:13.
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21-01-2021, 22:16   #11
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Originally Posted by slowburner View Post
If the motifs had been incised, it would still be an impressive artefact but the fact that they are carved in relief
i'm a great fan of the adage 'there's no such thing as a stupid question' - do you mean that the central channel is not merely cut into the material, but that either side of that, it's shaped to emphasise it?
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21-01-2021, 23:02   #12
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This is a really cool thread. Well done OP.
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21-01-2021, 23:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicbastarder View Post
i'm a great fan of the adage 'there's no such thing as a stupid question' - do you mean that the central channel is not merely cut into the material, but that either side of that, it's shaped to emphasise it?
Big fan of no stupid questions also..
So with my limited knowledge...

That's my understanding of relief carving, another term is bas relief. I think the difference being, the height of the raised part.

It would be a big step up in technical skill from carving a drawing or sculpture into an object, as you need to plan the raised parts in order to carve out the non-necessary/lower parts, so that the figure or shape carved is what you don't touch.

Edited to add, this is my new favourite thread on boards.. thanks OP and all contributors

Essentially, you are carving around it, in order for it to be raised (where the word relief comes from - relevo (to raise))
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21-01-2021, 23:18   #14
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Brilliant thread
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22-01-2021, 16:50   #15
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About what flint is laid on or held in for knapping, hide has been reasonably reliably suggested to me as a possibility..

And on the subject of beautifully knapped flint.. here is the Hindsgavl Dagger from Denmark. 29.5 cm long - so just a bit under a foot (for Neanderthals like me who visualise old measures better). 1 cm thick. 2400 to 1800 B.C is the ''Dagger period''. I think this one is 1900 BC. Apparently the red colour is from the bog's effect on translucent flint.





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