ancientart:

Section from the Lachish relief: a stone panel from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib (no.10). Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, dates to about 700-681 BC.
This relief tells the story of the siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC.

Having been exiled from their city, the people of Lachish move through the countryside to be resettled elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire. Below them high officials and foreigners are being tortured and executed. 

It is likely that they are being flayed (skinned) alive.

The foreigners are possibly officers from Nubia. The Nubians were seen as sharing responsibility for the rebellion. Much of Egypt at this time was ruled by a line of kings from Nubia (the Twenty-fifth Dynasty) who were keen to interfere in the politics of the Levant, to contain the threat of Assyrian expansion. (BM)

Courtesy & currently located at the British Museum, London. Photo taken by Chris Phillips.

ancientart:

Section from the Lachish relief: a stone panel from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib (no.10). Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, dates to about 700-681 BC.

This relief tells the story of the siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC.

Having been exiled from their city, the people of Lachish move through the countryside to be resettled elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire. Below them high officials and foreigners are being tortured and executed. 

It is likely that they are being flayed (skinned) alive.

The foreigners are possibly officers from Nubia. The Nubians were seen as sharing responsibility for the rebellion. Much of Egypt at this time was ruled by a line of kings from Nubia (the Twenty-fifth Dynasty) who were keen to interfere in the politics of the Levant, to contain the threat of Assyrian expansion. (BM)

Courtesy & currently located at the British Museum, London. Photo taken by Chris Phillips.

aleyma:

Moche culture of Peru, Ornament in the form of a feline face, c.100-450 (source).

aleyma:

Moche culture of Peru, Ornament in the form of a feline face, c.100-450 (source).

(via ymutate)

anachoretique:

"Big" Shaman’s Headdress
Nvikh
The Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
"This headdress of a “big” Evenk shaman (avun) made of steel was part of a full ritual costume worn by a shaman for very important rites and rituals. The structure of this headdress reflects its symbolic meaning and contains an archaic image of the model of the Universe. The hoop embodies the concept of the closed space of the world of people and solid earth. Two crossing arcs symbolize the parts of the world and the seasons. The cosmic vertical that reflects the sacral center of the Universe is embodied in the horns of the mythical deer that stands for the sun in the mythical beliefs of the peoples of northern Asia. The deer was one of the main characters in the myth about the celestial hunt and embodied the archaic concepts of the day and night and the cosmic order. The horns also symbolized the sacred deer – the helper spirit of the shaman, his draft animal that he rode to travel to other worlds. Long cloth ribbons embody snakes and lizards, the shaman’s powerful helpers that accompany him in his “travels” to the lower world. They also symbolize the sacred birch – the totem tree of the shaman. It is also associated with the World Tree that symbolizes the Universe as a whole and Axis mundi – the cosmic axis connecting the spheres of the Universe. Such ritual headdresses were conditionally referred to as “crowns”."

anachoretique:

"Big" Shaman’s Headdress

Nvikh

The Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography

"This headdress of a “big” Evenk shaman (avun) made of steel was part of a full ritual costume worn by a shaman for very important rites and rituals. The structure of this headdress reflects its symbolic meaning and contains an archaic image of the model of the Universe. The hoop embodies the concept of the closed space of the world of people and solid earth. Two crossing arcs symbolize the parts of the world and the seasons. The cosmic vertical that reflects the sacral center of the Universe is embodied in the horns of the mythical deer that stands for the sun in the mythical beliefs of the peoples of northern Asia. The deer was one of the main characters in the myth about the celestial hunt and embodied the archaic concepts of the day and night and the cosmic order. The horns also symbolized the sacred deer – the helper spirit of the shaman, his draft animal that he rode to travel to other worlds. Long cloth ribbons embody snakes and lizards, the shaman’s powerful helpers that accompany him in his “travels” to the lower world. They also symbolize the sacred birch – the totem tree of the shaman. It is also associated with the World Tree that symbolizes the Universe as a whole and Axis mundi – the cosmic axis connecting the spheres of the Universe. Such ritual headdresses were conditionally referred to as “crowns”."

(via ymutate)

ancientart:

Egyptian ceremonial Saw in the Shape of a Ma’at-feather, ca. 1353-1336 B.C.E. 
What was Ma’at?
A difficult concept to summarize, but I would describe it as the Egyptian concept of balance, truth, law, order, justice, and morality; it was also personified as a goddess -identifiable by the feather she always wears on her head. 
Here are a few more examples of Ma’at being represented elsewhere in Egyptian art:
On The Papyrus of Ani showing the ”Weighing of the Heart.” Note the Ma’at feather on the right scale
Relief of Ma’at shown in the Temple of Edfu, Egypt.
Scarab with Script Sign Combination at the Walters Art Museum. 

It was the duty of all Egyptians to live in accordance with Ma’at. Only if they did so could they join the society of the dead when they died. In the final judgement that every Egyptian (even the king) had to pass through, the heart of the deceased was weighed against a feather to determine if his or her actions in life (symbolized by the heart) were in balance with Ma’at (the feather).
Unlike the final trail of Christian tradition, this was not a religious judgement but a social one: people who had been disruptive elements in the society of the living could hardly expect to be welcomed by members of the blessed society of the dead.
-James P. Allen, Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (2000).

The shape of the shown saw suggestions that it was used for ceremonial purposes, possibly preparing meat for sacrifice to a god. Artifact courtesy & currently located at the Brooklyn Museum, photo via their online collections. 

ancientart:

Egyptian ceremonial Saw in the Shape of a Ma’at-feather, ca. 1353-1336 B.C.E. 

What was Ma’at?

A difficult concept to summarize, but I would describe it as the Egyptian concept of balance, truth, law, order, justice, and morality; it was also personified as a goddess -identifiable by the feather she always wears on her head. 

Here are a few more examples of Ma’at being represented elsewhere in Egyptian art:

It was the duty of all Egyptians to live in accordance with Ma’at. Only if they did so could they join the society of the dead when they died. In the final judgement that every Egyptian (even the king) had to pass through, the heart of the deceased was weighed against a feather to determine if his or her actions in life (symbolized by the heart) were in balance with Ma’at (the feather).

Unlike the final trail of Christian tradition, this was not a religious judgement but a social one: people who had been disruptive elements in the society of the living could hardly expect to be welcomed by members of the blessed society of the dead.

-James P. Allen, Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (2000).

The shape of the shown saw suggestions that it was used for ceremonial purposes, possibly preparing meat for sacrifice to a god. Artifact courtesy & currently located at the Brooklyn Museum, photo via their online collections

ancientart:

The Palma Sola archaeological site in Acapulco, Mexico.
These petroglyphs date from 200 BC to AD 600, and are located deep within a forest above Acapulco. The Palma Sola archaeological site is one of the 12 known petroglyphs sites in the Acapulco area. Little is known about the site, or the people who created these drawings.
The shown section from the site is called Element 2. The sign near these petroglyphs reads:

For Pre-Hispanic societies myths held the keys to the endless repetition of cycles, and whoever had command of them was able to give guidance to the community in terms of issues as important as birth, puberty, adulthood and death, as well as of all the rituals that sealed the agreement with the deities.
This petroglyph shows in three different panels the involvement of people in community celebrations in order to procure the attention and aids of the gods. People are show dancing and praying. Individuals from various kinship groups are differentiated from one another by lines that represent the link to their forefathers.

From the same sign, here’s an illustration showing the details of the petroglyphs:

Photos courtesy & taken by Kim F.

ancientart:

The Palma Sola archaeological site in Acapulco, Mexico.

These petroglyphs date from 200 BC to AD 600, and are located deep within a forest above Acapulco. The Palma Sola archaeological site is one of the 12 known petroglyphs sites in the Acapulco area. Little is known about the site, or the people who created these drawings.

The shown section from the site is called Element 2. The sign near these petroglyphs reads:

For Pre-Hispanic societies myths held the keys to the endless repetition of cycles, and whoever had command of them was able to give guidance to the community in terms of issues as important as birth, puberty, adulthood and death, as well as of all the rituals that sealed the agreement with the deities.

This petroglyph shows in three different panels the involvement of people in community celebrations in order to procure the attention and aids of the gods. People are show dancing and praying. Individuals from various kinship groups are differentiated from one another by lines that represent the link to their forefathers.

From the same sign, here’s an illustration showing the details of the petroglyphs:

Photos courtesy & taken by Kim F.

ancientart:

Aztec artifacts relating to sacrifice found at Templo Mayor, Postclassic period.

The first image shows a Tecpatl sacrificial knife.

[2nd photo] The allusion to human sacrifice and death is evident in this pair of eccentrics carved in stone, in which the artist combines the blade of the knife with the silhouette of the human skull, whose nose can be seen as an additional sacrificial knife.

[3rd photo] The object primarily used in human sacrifice was the knife with a wooden handle and blade knapped from chert and was called tecpatl. In the wooden carved portion of this piece the depicted head is of an individual with a complex headdress that would be worn during a ritual.

-National Museum of Anthropology

Artifacts courtesy & currently located at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico. Photos taken by Travis S.

mini-girlz:

Seated Woman Figurine
Period:Late Naqada II
Date: ca. 3450–3300 B.C.
Geography:Country of Origin Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Possibly Naqada
Medium: Limestone, organic material, paint, malachite
Dimensions: D. 22.8 x H. 19.8 x W. 9.4 cm (9 x 7 13/16 x 3 11/16 in.)
This limestone figurine is the finest preserved of unusual group of Predynastic statuettes. These seated women display beak-like noses and missing or schematized arms. The hair, narrow waist and wide hips are clearly shown to emphasize female sexuality. The light colored surface created an ideal canvas for painted details, including jewelry and animal figures that scholars now believe are associated with a ritual activity. Her eyes were enhanced with green malachite and her elaborate coiffure was modeled separately using a mixture of plant matter and fats. She wears a series of necklaces in red and green beads and unusual beaded anklets.
via > metmuseum.org

mini-girlz:

Seated Woman Figurine

Period:Late Naqada II

Date: ca. 3450–3300 B.C.

Geography:Country of Origin Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Possibly Naqada

Medium: Limestone, organic material, paint, malachite

Dimensions: D. 22.8 x H. 19.8 x W. 9.4 cm (9 x 7 13/16 x 3 11/16 in.)

This limestone figurine is the finest preserved of unusual group of Predynastic statuettes. These seated women display beak-like noses and missing or schematized arms. The hair, narrow waist and wide hips are clearly shown to emphasize female sexuality. The light colored surface created an ideal canvas for painted details, including jewelry and animal figures that scholars now believe are associated with a ritual activity. Her eyes were enhanced with green malachite and her elaborate coiffure was modeled separately using a mixture of plant matter and fats. She wears a series of necklaces in red and green beads and unusual beaded anklets.

via > metmuseum.org

(via bibidebabideboo)

de-salva:

Bronze Leopard Head (Benin)
Photo by Herbert List

de-salva:

Bronze Leopard Head (Benin)

Photo by Herbert List

(via bibidebabideboo)

japaneseaesthetics:

Handle in the Form of an Animal Head, c. 1000–300 B.C.
Earthenware 12 cm high (5 in. high) Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; President’s Exhibition and Acquisition Fund, 2010.294.  Art Institute of Chicago.

Only a handful of animals are represented in Jomon-period art. This piece is in the shape of the head of an animal; it looks like a horse from one side and a sheep from the other. The walls of the indentations are carefully modeled, not simply pressed into the clay with a stick. Judging by the curved back surface, it seems likely that this head came off of a vessel and was perhaps a handle that sat on the rim (with the curved surface at the back forming part of the interior wall of a jar).

japaneseaesthetics:

Handle in the Form of an Animal Head, c. 1000–300 B.C.

Earthenware
12 cm high (5 in. high)

Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; President’s Exhibition and Acquisition Fund, 2010.294.  Art Institute of Chicago.

Only a handful of animals are represented in Jomon-period art. This piece is in the shape of the head of an animal; it looks like a horse from one side and a sheep from the other. The walls of the indentations are carefully modeled, not simply pressed into the clay with a stick. Judging by the curved back surface, it seems likely that this head came off of a vessel and was perhaps a handle that sat on the rim (with the curved surface at the back forming part of the interior wall of a jar).

ancientart:

Ancient Art Exclusive: behind the scenes at the Semitic Museum, Harvard University -Part 2.

You can also check out the rest of the photos taken at the Semitic Museum (including part 1 of the behind the scenes photos).

Photos taken by B. Kelly.