Lamentations are well-recorded in Sumerian archives. Essays and poems bemoaning the looting of a city and the temple of its patron deity were etched onto tablets and kept for posterity. Many of them have survived (in most cases because the clay tablets got baked and hardened when the palace library went up in flames). Reading … Continue reading
Foundation nails were placed at the corners and other important marking spots when laying the foundations of Sumerian temples. These were either depictions of deities, asking them to protect their home (the temple), or of the prince/king paying for the temple, telling the gods to remember his name. Later versions carried inscriptions, giving the name … Continue reading
Sumerian seals were typically cylindrical, although simple square and cubical seals are also known. All a trader had to do was to run the seal across the clay sealing the merchandise while it was still wet and everyone would know its owner.
Such intricately carved examples of drinking horns, it is hard to believe that these are over a millennium old!
In an era of uncertainty and increasing poverty and hardship, gold got increasingly concentrated in the hands of the church, leading to such extravagant constructs as this reliquary, one of hundreds built during the latter half of the first millennium ACE and well into the second, to house the relics (bones, limbs, blood, ashes what … Continue reading
My posts haven’t been regular in coming in, and I have not posted pics in any chronological order. I wandered from one room to another, one section to another randomly; I marveled at all that I saw, and I felt like a time-traveler with a time machine whose buttons stuck at times, throwing me into … Continue reading
Flintlock pistols and muskets manufactured by Bertrand Piraube, France’s leading gun-maker in the 17th century. His works were sought after by Europe’s royalty and are today some of the most prized firearms among collectors and museums across the world. Seeing the quality of the product and the details, it is not hard to understand why … Continue reading
As a kid, reading the Three Musketeers and similar fiction, I used to wonder why they were called powder “horns”. Over time, I guess, I stopped thinking about it completely. Much later I found out that they were made of animal horns. These exquisite samples reminded me of childhood in an odd way. The carvings … Continue reading