The Younger Memnon is an Ancient Egyptian statue, one of two colossal granite heads from the Ramesseum mortuary temple in Thebes, Upper Egypt. It depicts the Nineteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II wearing the Nemes head-dress with a diadem on top. The damaged statue has since lost its body and lower legs and it is one of a pair that originally flanked the Ramesseums doorway. The head of the statue is still found at the temple. The Younger Memon is 2.7 m high by 2 meters wide and it weighs 7.25 tons and was cut from a single block of two-coloured granite. There is a variation of normal conventions in that the eyes look down slightly more than usual. Napoleons men tried but failed to dig and remove it to France during his 1798 expedition there, during which he did acquire and it was during this attempt that the hole on the right of the torso is said to have been made. Using his hydraulics and engineering skills, it was pulled on wooden rollers by ropes to the bank of the Nile opposite Luxor by hundreds of workmen.
However, no boat was yet available to take it up to Alexandria and so Belzoni carried out an expedition to Nubia, returning by October. With French collectors in the area looking to acquire the statue, he sent workmen to Esna to gain a suitable boat. He finally loaded the products of these digs, plus the Memnon, onto this boat, there he received and obeyed orders from Salt to unload all but the Memnon, which was sent on to Alexandria and London without him. Anticipated by Shelleys poem Ozymandias, the arrived in 1818 on Weymouth in Deptford. In London it acquired its name The Younger Memnon, after the Memnonianum and it was acquired from Salt in 1821 by the British Museum and was at first displayed in the old Townley Galleries for several years, installed in 1834 in the new Egyptian Sculpture Gallery. The soldiers were commanded by a Waterloo veteran, Major Charles Cornwallis Dansey, lame from a wound sustained there, who therefore sat whilst commanding them. On its arrival there, it could be said to be the first piece of Egyptian sculpture to be recognized as a work of art rather than a curiosity low down in the chain of art and it is museum number EA19.
In February 2010 the statue was featured as object 20 in A History of the World in 100 Objects, a BBC Radio 4 programme by British Museum director Neil MacGregor. Spencer, The British Museum book of ancient Egypt, pp. 126–7 Albert M. Lythgoe, Statues of the Goddess Sekhmet, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin Vol.14, the object reference is EA19
Queen Elizabeth II Great Court
It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. It is the largest covered square in Europe, some of the stone in the court is from France, rather than being Portland Stone from southern England as agreed in the original contract with the masons. Within the Great Court, there are shops and a café, the court acts as a central linking point for the museum, somewhat like I. M. Peis Louvre Pyramid in Paris. The central courtyard of the British Museum was occupied by the British Library until 1997 when it moved to St Pancras, at that time the entire courtyard was filled with bookshelves, three stories high. To get from one side of the museum to the visitors had to go round. Once the Library had moved out, the bookstacks were cleared, a new ground level was created, a storey higher than the original courtyard, with the space below used to accommodate the Clore Education Centre and the African galleries. The South Portico was largely rebuilt, with two new lifts incorporated for disabled access to the levels of the museum. A new gridshell glass roof was provided over the courtyard to create a covered space at the centre of the museum.
The British Library Reading Room at the centre of the courtyard was retained and refurbished for use as the Museum library and information centre. North of the Reading Room there is a block with a shop at ground level, a gallery for temporary exhibitions above. The Clore Education Centre is housed in the level of the Great Court. He supported the Museums global role, diagrid Thin-shell structure List of thin shell structures Great Court, British Museum including 360° panorama Sounds and video of the Great Court
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain.
The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
The Benin Bronzes are a group of more than a thousand commemorative metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Benin Kingdom in modern-day Nigeria. In 1897, most of the plaques and other objects were removed by the British during an expedition to the area as imperial control was being consolidated in Southern Nigeria. Two hundred of the pieces were taken to the British Museum, today, a large number are held by the British Museum. Other notable collections are in Germany and the United States, the Benin Bronzes led to a greater appreciation in Europe of African culture and art. Initially and naively, it appeared incredible to the discoverers that people supposedly so primitive, some even concluded that Benin knowledge of metallurgy came from the Portuguese traders who were in contact with Benin in the early modern period. Today, it is clear that the bronzes were made in Benin from an indigenous culture, many of these dramatic sculptures date to the thirteenth century, centuries before contact with Portuguese traders, and a large part of the collection dates to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
It is believed that two golden ages in Benin metal workmanship occurred during the reigns of Esigie and of Eresoyen, while the collection is known as the Benin Bronzes, like most West African bronzes the pieces are mostly made of brass of variable composition. There are made of mixtures of bronze and brass, of wood, of ceramic. The metal pieces were made using lost-wax casting and are considered among the best sculptures made using this technique and ivory objects had a variety of functions in the ritual and courtly life of the Kingdom of Benin. They were used principally to decorate the palace, which contained many bronze works. They were hung on the pillars of the palace by nails punched directly through them, as a courtly art, their principal objective was to glorify the Oba—the divine king—and the history of his imperial power or to honor the queen mother. Art in the Kingdom of Benin took many forms, of bronze and brass reliefs. In tropical Africa of the center, the technique of lost-wax casting was developed early.
When a king died, his successor would order that a head be made of his predecessor. Approximately 170 of these sculptures exist, and the oldest date from the twelfth century, the Oba, or king, monopolized the materials that were most difficult to obtain, such as gold, elephant tusks, and bronze. These kings made possible the creation of the splendid Benin bronzes, thus, in 1939, heads very similar to those of the Benin Empire were discovered in Ife, the holy city of the Yoruba, which dated to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This discovery supported an earlier tradition holding that it was artists from Ife who had taught Benin the techniques of bronze metalworking, recognition of the antiquity of the technology in Benin advanced when these sculptures were dated definitively to that era. Few examples of African art had been collected by Europeans in the eighteenth century and this attitude changed after the Benin Expedition of 1897
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery houses the historical and art collections of the city of Peterborough in the United Kingdom. It is part of the Greater Fens Museum Partnership, in 1968, the museum was presented to the city by the Peterborough Museum Society. Since 2010, it has been managed on behalf of the city council by Vivacity, an independent not-for-profit organisation with charitable status, which runs the Key Theatre. The museum is reported to be haunted by a number of spirits, including a servant who fell to her death on one of the staircases, and an Australian soldier who died during World War One. These prisoners were kept at Norman Cross on the outskirts of Peterborough from 1797 to 1814, the art collection contains a variety of paintings and drawings dating from the 17th century to the present day. Flag Fen Official website Peterborough Civic Society
The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele, found in 1799, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and Demotic script, respectively, as the decree is the same in all three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. The stone, carved in black granodiorite during the Hellenistic period, is believed to have originally been displayed within a temple, possibly at nearby Sais. It was probably moved during the early Christian or medieval period and it was rediscovered there in July 1799 by a French soldier named Pierre-François Bouchard during the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt. Lithographic copies and plaster casts began circulating among European museums and scholars, British troops defeated the French in Egypt in 1801, and the original stone came into British possession under the Capitulation of Alexandria and was transported to London.
It has been on display at the British Museum almost continuously since 1802. It is the object in the British Museum. Study of the decree was already under way when the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803, the Rosetta Stone is, therefore, no longer unique, but it was the essential key to modern understanding of Ancient Egyptian literature and civilisation. The term Rosetta Stone is now used in contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge. The Rosetta Stone is listed as a stone of black granite, found at Rosetta in a contemporary catalogue of the artefacts discovered by the French expedition and surrendered to British troops in 1801. This gave a dark colour to the stone that led to its identification as black basalt. The Rosetta Stone is 1,123 millimetres high at its highest point,757 mm wide and it bears three inscriptions, the top register in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the second in the Egyptian Demotic script, and the third in Ancient Greek.
The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of a larger stele, no additional fragments were found in searches of the Rosetta site. Owing to its state, none of the three texts is absolutely complete. The top register, composed of Egyptian hieroglyphs, suffered the most damage, only the last 14 lines of the hieroglyphic text can be seen, all of them are broken on the right side, and 12 of them on the left. The following register of demotic text has survived best, it has 32 lines, the final register of Greek text contains 54 lines, of which the first 27 survive in full, the rest are increasingly fragmentary due to a diagonal break at the bottom right of the stone. The stele was erected after the coronation of King Ptolemy V and was inscribed with a decree established the divine cult of the new ruler. The decree was issued by a congress of priests who gathered at Memphis, the date is given as 4 Xandicus in the Macedonian calendar and 18 Meshir in the Egyptian calendar, which corresponds to March 27,196 BC
The Bimaran casket or Bimaran reliquary is a small gold reliquary for Buddhist relics that was found inside the stupa no.2 at Bimaran, near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. The most recent research however attributes the coins to Indo-Scythian king Kharahostes or his son Mujatria, the Bimaran reliquary is sometimes dated, based on coinage analysis, to 0-15 CE, more generally to 50-60 CE, and sometimes much later, based on artistic assumptions only. It is currently in the collections of the British Museum, the casket is a small container reminiscent of the Pyxis of the Classical world. It was found without its lid, there is a lotus decorating the bottom. The casket features hellenistic representations of the Buddha, surrounded by the Indian deities Brahma and Śakra, there are altogether eight figures in high-relief and two rows of rubies from Badakhshan. Owing to their necklace and armbands, and halo and they hold their hands together in a prayerful gesture of reverence, Añjali Mudrā. The casket is made in gold-repoussé and is small, with a height of 7 cm.
It is considered as a masterpiece of the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, the Buddha seems to walk sideways. His right forearm goes across his chest to form the Abhaya mudra and his left fist is clenched on his hip. The gown of the Shakyamuni Buddha is quite light compared to that of the other representations of the standing Buddha, tending to follow the outline of the body. Also, his gown is folded over the right and left arm and he has an abundant topknot covering the ushnisha, and a simple halo surrounds his head. The posture itself is known in the art of Gandhara in sculptures of the Buddha as a Bodhisattva, but in these cases, he wears the Indian princely dhoti. The Bimaran casket was kept in a box, with inscriptions stating that it contained some relics of the Buddha. When opened in the 19th century, the box did not contain identifiable relics, but instead some burnt pearls, bead of precious and semi-precious stones, Azes II would have employed some Indo-Greek artists in the territories recently conquered, and made the dedication to a stupa.
The coins are not very worn, and would therefore have been dedicated soon after their minting, indo-Scythians are indeed known for their association with Buddhism, as in the Mathura lion capital. The latest studies, made in 2015 by Joe Cribb, consider that the coins are issues of Kharahostes, or his son Mujatria. Many characteristics of the coins of the Bimaran reliquary are consistent with the coinage of Kharahostes, a successor to Azes II, the four coins in the Bimaran casket are of the same type, tetradrachms of debased silver in the name of Azes, in near-new condition. On the obverse they show a king on a horse to the right right hand extended, with a three-pellet dynastic mark
Hoa Hakananaia is a moai housed in the British Museum in London. It was taken from ‘Orongo, Rapa Nui in November 1868 by the crew of the British ship HMS Topaze, and arrived in England in August 1869. Though relatively small, it is considered to be typical of the island’s statue form and it has been described as a masterpiece, without a doubt, the finest example of Easter Island sculpture. The statue was identified as Hoa Hakananaia by islanders at the time it was removed, when recorded in 1868, Hoa Hakananaia was standing erect, part buried inside a freestone ceremonial house in the ‘Orongo village at the south-western tip of the island. It faced towards an extinct volcanic crater known as Rano Kau and it may have been made for this location, or first erected elsewhere before being moved to where it was found. Most statues on Rapa Nui are of a reddish tuff, though commonly described as basalt, quarried near to where the statue was found, there is no record of petrological analysis to confirm this.
It stands 2.42 metres high, is 96 cm across, the base of the statue, now concealed in a modern plinth, may originally have been flat, and subsequently narrowed, or was rough and tapering from the start. A line around the base of the neck is interpreted as representing the clavicles, there is a semi-circular hollow for the suprasternal notch. In its original form, the back is thought to have plain, apart from a maro, a belt or girdle. Near the base are slight indications of buttocks, the top of the head is smooth and flat, and could originally have supported a pukao, a cylindrical stone hat. A flat round stone found near the site of the statue may have such a hat, or, if the base was flat. No Easter Island statues have been dated, but statue making in general is said to have begun by at least 1000 CE. Manufacture is said to have ended by 1600 CE, when began to topple them. Episode 70 of the 2010 BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects describes the statue as being from 1000-1200 CE, the Y on the chin and the clavicles are rare on Easter Island statues, and said to be late innovations.
The back of the statue, between the maro and the top of the head, is covered with relief carvings added at a time after the statue was made. They are similar in style to petroglyphs on the rock around the ‘Orongo village. Either side and above the ring on the maro are two facing birdmen, stylised human figures with beaked heads said to represent frigate birds, above these, in the centre of the statue’s head, is a smaller bird said to be a sooty tern. Either side of this is a ceremonial dance paddle, a symbol of male power and prestige
The Hunters Palette or Lion Hunt Palette is a circa 3100 BCE cosmetic palette from the Naqada III period of late prehistoric Egypt. The palette is broken, part is held by the British Museum, the Hunters Palette shows a complex iconography of lion hunting as well as the hunt of other animals such as birds, desert hares, and gazelle types, one gazelle is being contained by a rope. The weapons used in the hunt are the bow and arrow, throwing sticks. Two icongraphic conjoined bull-forefronts adorn the right alongside a hieroglyphic-like symbol similar to the shrine hieroglyph. Cosmetic palette British Museum page on the Palette Photo of Hunters Palette Predynastic palette corpus the Louvre fragment
The acanthus is one of the most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration. The motif is found in decoration in nearly every medium, the relationship between acanthus ornament and the acanthus plant has been the subject of a long-standing controversy. Alois Riegl argued in his Stilfragen that acanthus ornament originated as a version of the palmette. In Ancient Greek architecture acanthus ornament appears extensively in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders, the oldest known example of a Corinthian column is in the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae in Arcadia, c. 450–420 BC, but the order was used sparingly in Greece before the Roman period, Acanthus decoration continued in popularity in Byzantine and Gothic architecture. It saw a revival in the Renaissance, and still is used today. A few of her toys were in it, and a tile had been placed over the basket. An acanthus plant had grown through the basket, mixing its spiny. After centuries without decorated capitals, they were revived enthusiastically in Romanesque architecture, often using foliage designs, curling acanthus-type leaves occur frequently in the borders and ornamented initial letters of illuminated manuscripts, and are commonly found in combination with palmettes in woven silk textiles.
In the Renaissance classical models were followed closely, and the acanthus becomes clearly recognisable again in large-scale architectural examples. The term is found describing more stylized and abstracted foliage motifs. Palmette Arabesque Media related to Acanthus ornaments at Wikimedia Commons
Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from AD43 to 410. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 and 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesars enemies. He received tribute, installed a king over the Trinovantes. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34,27, in AD40, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel, only to have them gather seashells. Three years later, Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain, the Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, and organized their conquests as the Province of Britain. By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way, control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudicas uprising, but the Romans expanded steadily northward. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces, Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior, during the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains.
A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the 4th century, for much of the period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and often came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders. The final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410, the kingdoms are considered to have formed Sub-Roman Britain after that. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, after the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor, over the centuries Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire, such as Italy, Spain and Algeria. Britain was known to the Classical world, the Greeks and Carthaginians traded for Cornish tin in the 4th century BC, the Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or tin islands, and placed them near the west coast of Europe.
The Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC, however, it was regarded as a place of mystery, with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all. The first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The second invasion involved a larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute. A friendly local king, was installed, and his rival, hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients, Augustus planned invasions in 34,27 and 25 BC, but circumstances were never favourable, and the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustuss reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in annual revenue than any conquest could
Basilica of San Vitale
The Basilica of San Vitale is a church in Ravenna and one of the most important examples of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture in Europe. It is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the final cost amounted to 26,000 solidi. The central vault used a technique of hollow tubes inserted into each other, rather than bricks. The ambulatory and gallery were vaulted only in the Middle Ages, the Baroque fresco on the dome was made between 1778 and 1782 by S. Barozzi, U. The church has an octagonal plan, the building combines Roman elements, the dome, shape of doorways, and stepped towers, with Byzantine elements, polygonal apse, narrow bricks, and an early example of flying buttresses. The church is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive virtually intact to the present day. Furthermore, it is thought to reflect the design of the Byzantine Imperial Palace Audience Chamber, the belltower has four bells, the tenor one dates to the 16th century.
According to legends, the church was erected on the site of the martyrdom of Saint Vitalis, the central section is surrounded by two superposed ambulatories. The upper one, the matrimoneum, was reserved for married women, a pair of angels, holding a medallion with a cross, crowns each lunette. On the side walls the corners, next to the windows, have mosaics of the Four Evangelists, under their symbols. Especially the portrayal of the lion is remarkable in its ferocity, the cross-ribbed vault in the presbytery is richly ornamented with mosaic festoons of leaves and flowers, converging on a crown encircling the Lamb of God. The crown is supported by four angels, and every surface is covered with a profusion of flowers, stars and animals, above the arch, on both sides, two angels hold a disc and beside them a representation of the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. All these mosaics are executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition and imaginative, with colors and a certain perspective. They were finished when Ravenna was still under Gothic rule, the apse is flanked by two chapels, the prothesis and the diaconicon, typical for Byzantine architecture.
The theophany was begun in 525 under bishop Ecclesius and it has a great gold fascia with twining flowers and horns of plenty. Jesus Christ appears, seated on a globe in the summit of the vault, robed in purple. On the left, Bishop Ecclesius offers a model of the church, at the foot of the apse side walls are two famous mosaic panels, executed in 547. On the right is a mosaic depicting the East Roman Emperor Justinian I, clad in Tyrian purple with a halo, standing next to court officials, Bishop Maximian, palatinae guards