A stag-shaped Parthian drinking horn. 1 of about 4 similar horns currently on view at the Getty, I believe.
Made of silver, gold, glass, and garnet, this stunning drinking vessel dates from 50 BC- AD 50.
The forepart of a stag emerges from the curving body of this gilt silver rhyton. The stag is very naturalistic and highly detailed, down to the rendering of veins in the snout. The wide inlaid eyes and the outstretched legs heighten the realism as the stag seemingly bolts in flight. The term rhyton comes from the Greek verb meaning “to run through,” and depictions of rhyta on Greek vases show that they were used to aerate wine. Wine poured into the top of the vessel came out of a spout between the animal’s legs. The spout on this example is now missing, but the hole remains visible.
Stylistic features suggest that this rhyton was made in northwest Iran in the period from 50 B.C. to A.D. 50. This region had been part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire until Alexander the Great’s conquest. After his death in 323 B.C., the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty, whose kingdom stretched from Turkey to Afghanistan, ruled this area. As Seleucid authority began to weaken In the later 200s B.C., a group of semi-nomadic people called the Parthians, from the steppes of south central Asia, challenged the dynasty and by the mid-100s B.C. had firm control of this area of Iran. This complicated political history left its legacy in the art of the area. Rhyta of this form had a long history in earlier art of Iran, but the floral motifs were drawn from Seleucid art. (getty)
Courtesy of & currently located at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. Via their online collections: 86.AM.753.
An interesting find from Wessex Archaeology.
This Saxon gilt button-brooch appears to have a stylized human face (?) in the centre. Similar brooches have been found in other locations across southern England, this particular one was excavated at the Ham Hill Iron Age hillfort.
Courtesy of Wessex Archaeology. Also, here is their write-up of Ham Hill, for those interested in learning more about the context of this find.
Left is Monument 6, one of 8 colossal heads found at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. To the right we can see Monument 52, which is a seated Olmec were-jaguar sculpture from San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz.
Artefacts courtesy of & currently located at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico. Photo taken by Xuan Che.
The British Museum is documenting African rock art through a collection of digital photographs.
Speaking of African rock art
An Egyptian snake coffin.
Made of bronze, dates to 664-30 B.C.E..
Egyptian religion frequently adopted a mulitplicity of approaches to explain or represent different aspects of a single divine concept. The sun god, for instance, had a morning aspect called Khepri, commonly depicted as a scarab beetle pushing the sun disk across the heavens much as a beetle rolls a ball of dung across the desert floor. The noontime sun was Re or Re-Horakhty, often shown as a falcon or falcon-headed man with a sun disk on his head. Atum, who personified the sun that set over the western horizon to travel through the underworld, could be represented in many guises, including those of a human-headed cobra, a ram-headed man, or a weary old man.
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum, via their online collections: 36.624.