Author: Connor Carraway

Egyptian Mortuary Temple reconstruction

 

imageedit_10_6457030866Reconstruction of a Mastaba

           By Connor Carraway

The ancient Egyptians were one of the most architecturally gifted people of the ancient world. Their most noticeable contributions being the care they put into building their tombs. From the greatest of pyramids in Giza, to the humble mastaba were worked on by expert builders so they could serve one purpose, to withstand the harsh ravages of the sands of time. The Egyptians believed that the body must be intact for the deceased’s soul may live in the afterlife, and these tombs in addition to being created in the memory of the deceased, also serves as a protection for the deceased’s body. imageedit_3_8726632542

The exterior to this tomb is guarded by two statues depicting the ancient Egyptian god of embalming, Anubis. Behind the statues is a row of Obelisks that lead up into the doorway, and into the dark halls of the tomb.

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The inside of the tomb is nearly pitch black, and that darkness is amplified upon entering from the sunlit outside, emulating a portal from the world of the living, and into the world of the dead. It is through here that the family and friends of the deceased would traverse in order to pay respects, and tributes for the ka.

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The dark halls open up to a small mortuary chapel, where a totem, or serdab is placed. A serdab is a statue or totem that depicts the image of the deceased which is meant to house the ka, the deceased’s link to the world of the living. The ka needs to be able to live in the world of the living so the spirit can exist in the afterlife, and it serves as an image for the family so they can feel like the deceased is there and accepting their tributes.

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It is believed that there were treasure chambers full of equipment that had would’ve been used by the spirit in the afterlife. These treasures could range anywhere from the practical including foods and incense, and the ornate including statues, and benches. Unfortunately many treasures have been lost to the likes of grave robbers over the millennia, creating the need to come up with plans to prevent robbing, and most importantly, a way to protect the body.

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The tomb architects decided not to place the sarcophagus under the main chamber, as that would prove an easy target for the grave robbers. Instead they would place the burial chamber in a different section of the mastaba, and to confuse the would be thieves even further, they would build false chambers that would lead into a dead end.

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Meanwhile the sarcophagus would rest in an isolated chamber, and there it was there that the earthly remains of the deceased could rest in and their spirit could proceed into the afterlife and live there in peace for all of eternity.

 

 

 

 

1. ” The Mastaba (Tomb) of Idu At Giza in Egypt” Accessed April 21 2015. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/idut.htm

2. “Serdab” Accessed April 21 2015. http://www.saqqara.nl/context/glossary/serdab

3. “Mastaba” Last modified July 15 2014. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/368650/mastaba

4. ” Anubis” Last modified April 16 2014 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/29015/Anubis

The Elgin Marbles

Connor Carraway

Morris

2 April, 2015

ARH 351

Lord Elgin’s decision to take historic antiquities from the Parthenon back to England has been a source for controversy ever since the 19th century. Today Greece is still requesting for the U.K. to return the pieces of their cultural history, but the U.K. still refuses to send the Elgin Marbles back to their homeland. The U.K. has claimed that they can’t send the marbles back to Greece, because they don’t have a proper place to store them, but that has since been rectified by Greece after the construction of the Acropolis Museum, however the U.K. still claims that the marbles still belong to them.

I believe that the courts do have the power to make a ruling on this issue, and that the Greece does have claim over the marbles. If Greece was able to make a claim that the Elgin Marbles have a proper storage place, and that they are able to safely travel from the U.K. to Greece, then there shouldn’t be much of a problem by returning the marbles to their place of creation. Greece has the greater claim in this situation, for the marbles are relics of their culture’s history.

In the debate over moral rights vs. legal rights ownership, I believe that a legal right of ownership is the more poignant approach. The difference is that a court will be more likely to honor a legal right of ownership, however if a person has bought a stolen object from a thief, then even though they didn’t actually commit the crime, they will still have to return the stolen

property, and if the courts go with this, then moral law will have the upper hand. I don’t really think that a court should limit themselves to only one of these choices, but should consider both claims to the marbles, and then come up with their decision.

Modern courts do have the power to overturn past decisions that may not have accounted for modern beliefs at the time of their inception. A culture is always changing, and if the law isn’t updated to stay relevant to the society, then it can cause some serious problems by not considering new problems that didn’t exist at the creation of the laws.

Will the Elgin Marbles ever return to Greece? I believe that they will someday, but I also doubt that the U.K. will just gladly give them up either. Greece has a battle ahead of them, but one day the marbles will sit in the Acropolis museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Romancing the Stones”, Newsweek, accessed April 2 2015. http://www.newsweek.com/who-owns-elgin-marbles-80661

Athena: Goddess of Wisdom

l_pl1_54766_fnt_tr_t91iiiAthena (Minerva to the Romans) was the goddess of reason, wisdom, handicrafts, and war. She was also the guardian of Athens, of which was named after her. She was seen as a fierce, brave warrior, but would only fight in conflicts that would threaten her state, and was said to value peace. She is the daughter of the Greek chief god Zeus, and was said to be his favorite child. In one interpretation of her origin, she sprung to life from Zeus’s forehead, full grown, and without a mother. She was known as the Parthenos (the virgin). She was associated with birds, specifically owls. She is most commonly depicted wearing armor, and carrying a spear and shield matching her roll as a goddess of war, and as a guardian. As Minerva, her roles don’t change much from her Greek incarnation other than taking over the victory aspects of the Greek goddess Nike.

Athena in mythology is noted for inventing many different items that would become essential to the people’s lives. In the fields of agriculture she invented the bridle ,  the rake, and the plow. In transportation, she invented the ship, and the chariot, and in entertainment, she invented the trumpet, and the flute.  Athena is also noted for having a turbulent history with Poseidon, the god of the sea. Both Athena and Poseidon competed to be the patron god of what would be Athens, and Athena won the contest by giving the humans the olive tree. In one story, a beautiful woman named Medusa fell in love with Poseidon, and the two mated in Athena’s temple. This Angered Athena and she placed a curse on Medusa which caused her to turn into a monster so vile that a single glance at her would turn a person to pure stone. In Homer’s The Odyssey, the titular character, Odysseus, angers Poseidon by not crediting him for the siege of Troy, and the end of the Trojan war, and dooms Odysseus to never be able to return to his home in Ithaca. Athena intervenes in Poseidon’s plans, and guides/protects Odysseus from Poseidon on his journey home.

In this statue, Athena is depicted wearing an armored helmet and holding an owl, the emblem of her wisdom, in her right hand. Originally this statue held a spear in her left hand, but has since been lost. The statue’s lack of body armor and shield seems to indicate that this statue may have been created during a time of peace.  Her helmet is adorned with a miniature sphinx, which in addition to fitting her guardian traits, it could possibly be a nod to the mental battle the sphinx engages Oedipus, and the “Riddle of the Sphinx” which would coincide with the wisdom aspects of Athena’s character.

– Connor Carraway

Works Cited

1. About.com. “Medusa With Snaky Hair.” Accessed March 11, 2015http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/monsters/ss/Monsters_4.htm

2. About.com. “Myths about Athena.” Accessed March 11, 2015. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/athenaminervamyth/qt/052509BulfinchAthena.htm

3. Encyclopedia Britannica.”Athena.” Accessed March 11, 2015. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40681/Athena

4. Encyclopedia Britannica.“Minerva.” Accessed March11, 2015. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/383802/Minerva

5. Encyclopedia Britannica.“Sphinx.”  Accessed March 11, 2015.  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/559722/sphinx

6. Greek Mythology.com. “Athena.” Accessed March 11, 2015. http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Athena/athena.html

7. Greek Myths & Greek Mythology. “Goddess Athena.” Accessed March 11, 2015. http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/goddess-athena/