In ancient hands (part I)

During my recent visits to museums in Berlin and Paris, I was struck by the variety of hand gestures displayed on ancient reliefs and sculptures – particularly from Mesopotamia. I thought of making a compilation of some of the reliefs that struck me the most. Here is the first part featuring some reliefs that I…

The God King Naram-Sin

More than 4,000 years ago, when humanity was still testing the waters of civilisation as we know it, when settlements and villages were beginning to coalesce into cities, kingdoms and for the first time ever an Empire, a man called Naram-Sin ruled as king of Akkad in Mesopotamia. Actually he proclaimed himself “King of Akkad,…

Epistles from Roman times

Thinking about some of the ancient letters and documents from Roman times found at Vindolanda including link to latest research.

Some thoughts on reading

So I have a confession to make. My reading has slowed down drastically. After scorching up 50 books in the first six months of the year, I have only added a grand total of four more books to that number in the last two months. There’s been a number of reasons for this. First, I…

Conspicuous Commensuality

I was reading a book on Ancient Mesapotamia yesterday when for the first time in my life I came across the term ‘Conspicuous Commesuality’ in the context of exquisite pottery remains from the Chalcolithic age being found during excavations. Almost as if expecting some bafflement, the author explains that it is a “precursor to ‘conspicuous…

A storm is coming

If you are like me, the words ‘a storm is coming’ would have immediately transported you to Howard Shore’s brilliant opening track for the Return of the King (the third installment of the Lord of the Rings). Anybody who went ‘Game of Thrones’ can please get their coats and leave. However, my title today had…

2772 years ago

Legend has it that Rome was founded on 21 April 753 BCE. It is a legend. Nobody knows for sure when someone put a hut up on the Palatine Hill but we need a date to mark the anniversary of the Eternal city and 21st April it is. The four images below which I captured…

The Roman Theatre of Merida

The Roman theatre of Merida was built during the reign of Augustus. There is an inscription in the theatre which reads M. Agrippa L.F. cos III. trib. pot. III Roughly meaning that Marcus Agrippa, Son of Lucius, three times consul, in the third year of his tribunician powers (built this). With this information, historians have…