Egyptian Vessel with Galloping Horses

Egyptian Vessel with Galloping Horses

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Meaning of gallop in English:

1 The fastest pace of a horse or other quadruped, with all the feet off the ground together in each stride.

  • &lsquoa mounted police charge at full gallop&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe booted Sal in the ribs and the horse leaped into a full gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAt the foot of a slope our horses were urged into a full gallop, jumping over rocks until we got to the cattle.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe instant the reins were passed, the horse bolted to a full gallop flying down the dirt road.&rsquo
  • &lsquoShe kicked her horse into a full gallop and broke away from them, who, after only a moment's hesitation, turned and fled in the opposite direction.&rsquo
  • &lsquoShe urged the horse into a full gallop, wanting to get there as quickly as possible.&rsquo
  • &lsquoRegular practice makes them so skilful that they can control their horses at a full gallop, even on a steep slope.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHis approach was as a cavalry charge - from walk to canter to full gallop, yelling out arrest commands in English.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe large horse was full of energy as he charged down the dirt road at a full gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe rode his horse at a full gallop across the countryside, taking in the fresh, cold air.&rsquo
  • &lsquoOne need only watch a rodeo or horse race to see how quickly a horse can go from standing still to a full gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHis gun bellowed in his hand and the horses jumped to a gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoWith new resolve, Katherine started the horse to the right, and was about to urge it into a full gallop when something caught her eye.&rsquo
  • &lsquoLooking over my shoulder I could see him coming at a full gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe will, however, appreciate tomorrow's return to a distance just short of eight furlongs and will surely get a furious gallop, which seems to suit him.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe mare at once sprang into the devouring gallop of a horse giving it her all.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSome of the men broke ranks in a furious gallop to the river where they gulped water in joyous abandon.&rsquo
  • &lsquoShe manages to turn the horse in the direction of the house, then spurs it into a full gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoKnights ride their horses at full gallop and are almost all successful at driving a spear through a 3-inch ring.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAlexander wondered how it was even possible to strike a target from the back of a horse at full gallop while wielding the crossbow with one hand.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe kept making him go faster until we were at a full gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoBut when I was invited to go for a gallop in the forest my nerves gave out again.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe third afternoon, when he had watched for her in a fury of disappointment, he ordered his horse and went for a gallop down the sunken road to the mill.&rsquo
  • &lsquoWest Ham began at the gallop&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe men now began a hurried gallop down the streets, on the way to the judicial building.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe stood the pace better and eight minutes after the break Will snapped up a loose ball and outpaced the defence with a length of the field gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHis run turned into a frenzied gallop, his face thrust out to the fans.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThey frustrated the home support with incisive counter-attacking football, allowing a new on-loan recruit a couple of gallops at central defensive pairing Mark and Stephen.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSome of the men broke ranks in a furious gallop to the river where they gulped water in joyous abandon.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe took victory in the Chesterfield Spire Midsummer Road Race from an eight-man gallop on the hilly Baslow course in the Peak District.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe built a sand gallop on the 20 acres, and a field on the far side of the local GAA pitch was turned into a grass gallop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThere have been several other fatalities away from the track on training gallops.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSpeaking from the gallops at Manor Farm yesterday, he was happy to report that all the preparations are going well.&rsquo
  • &lsquoA high-class three-year-old two seasons ago, he was slightly below-par last term, but his form on the gallops this spring, and since being gelded, has been nothing short of impressive.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe is not the quickest horse at home but those who catch pigeons on the gallops don't catch anything on the racecourse.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThis horse has been beaten at home on the gallops, and holds less entries than the others, but I will go home and think about the Derby.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAnd the Forestry Commission has opened a free, all-weather sand gallop at Horrocks Fold on Scout Road which is proving popular with many riders.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThursday has been a long and typical day, supervising the horses on the gallops during the morning, followed by two winners at Thurles while the boss spent the afternoon working with the other 150 horses in the yard.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAll-weather gallops have ensured horse training can take place all-year round and he wants ‘to make the place neater and tidier and better’.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe would have been the prefect buyer for his country cottage, with a 5½-acre facility, 42 boxes, an automatic horse walker and all-weather gallops.&rsquo
  • &lsquoDerby winner North Light will run at Longchamp after pleasing connections in a gallops workout on Sunday.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe missed out on his bid for a historic fourth title after bursting a blood vessel on the gallops eight days before the big race.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThey are trained around a section of the gallops which is modelled on Tattenham Corner, so none of them should be surprised when they meet the real thing.&rsquo
  • &lsquoO'Brien, who won the Juvenile last year with undefeated champion Johannesburg, said he was pleased with the gallops and was optimistic the three colts would run well on the dirt.&rsquo
  • &lsquoIt wasn't so long ago that I was riding out alongside the youngster on the gallops at Ayr racecourse, his father having sent the boy to her yard in his school holidays to learn the rudiments of riding racehorses.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe new owners will be able to visit trainers' yards and to watch the horses work on the gallops.&rsquo
  • &lsquoEarly arrives saw the horses working on the gallops next to the racecourses at 9am.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHis winner, who was expected to go novice chasing, suffered two hairline fractures of the cannon bone on the gallops and it appeared as if he would miss the entire season.&rsquo
  • &lsquoI'll still be working in the office and riding the horses on the gallops.&rsquo
  • &lsquoI rode him in a racecourse gallop at Bangor last week and I am very hopeful.&rsquo

Verb gallops, galloping, galloped

1 no object, with adverbial of direction (of a horse) go at the pace of a gallop.

  • &lsquoThe horses galloped at an astonishing pace, racing for the edge of the forest, through the Hollow Mists of Leba, desperate to escape.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe horse gallops at a consistent pace and John increases the speed as he sees Isabelle hovering by the stable door.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe had a great liking for horses and he could often be observed on a summer's evening, watching his beautiful mares and foals gallop along the Banks.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe clopping of hooves could be heard faintly over the wind as a band of riders on black stallions came galloping along side of us.&rsquo
  • &lsquoBefore I knew it, my horse was galloping in the sand.&rsquo
  • &lsquoI did have a great experience earlier on the Isle of Skye, stopped to feed a horse on the way back to where I was staying and ended up running up and down the road with the horse galloping alongside me, keeping pace.&rsquo
  • &lsquoFrom the valley comes a drumbeat of hooves as a tall horse gallops through the dusk shadows, bare but for a slim, young boy.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe horse gallops along, seemingly oblivious to its slipping rider.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHer horse galloped up to the shore of the pool and along the grove of trees.&rsquo
  • &lsquoA horse swiftly galloped past the small slim girl gathering fruits along the path.&rsquo
  • &lsquoIf a horse is galloping at speed, totally out of control and not responding to the rider's commands, the situation can be life threatening.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSuddenly a brown haired stallion came galloping out of the brush.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe saw a great expanse of lush green meadow, where wild ponies galloped free and careless in its serenity.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThen, with a shake of the reins, the horse galloped ahead and disappeared into the mist.&rsquo
  • &lsquoCole looks at her as his horse gallops past, but does not stop.&rsquo
  • &lsquoWith 35 horses galloping in a straight line over nine furlongs this famous cavalry charge is a thrilling race, made even more exciting by the hope of backing the winner.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe best adrenaline rush I've ever had was when I went on a two-day trek through Belize in Central America and my horse went galloping out of control in the jungle.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe could hear the horse galloping off before even the bang of the door slam faded out.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe train was moving relatively slowly, and the horses were soon galloping on our side.&rsquo
  • &lsquoA herd of wild horses galloped across the pampas, tossing their heads in a display of wild exuberance, against a backdrop of snow covered mountains.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSaumell, who is in his 70s, rode his last winner in 1978 and still galloped horses until three years ago.&rsquo
  • &lsquoOne of my friends, Henry, who gallops horses at Laurel took me to the backside.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe also spent five years galloping horses for Racing Hall of Fame trainers.&rsquo
  • &lsquoO'Brien was galloping his horses up a really steep hill at his brother's farm when the master trainers in England had theirs out for a stroll.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe galloped horses Tuesday at Calder Race Course and on Wednesday was at Belmont Park to breeze horses for trainers.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe has been a trainer for 53 years and occasionally still gallops the horses in his care.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe game continued at an enthusiastic pace with the men throwing themselves wholeheartedly into competition with as much spirit as they showed for galloping their horses.&rsquo
  • &lsquoDuring Cowboy Mounted Shooting, cowboys and cowgirls galloping horses shoot balloons with blanks.&rsquo
  • &lsquoIt caught on fire and we galloped our horses to the woods, and then heard a huge explosion, followed by the sight of orange flames.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe galloped his horse to the north, followed by his henchmen and Wong's group.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe'd never known him to gallop his horse, then leave it standing without cooling him down gently first.&rsquo
  • &lsquoTo gallop the horse now would be stupid because they were both cold and tired and stiff from their injuries.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe girl - who didn't wear a pair of shoes until she was eight - would rise at dawn and gallop her horse over the misty hills at the very start of the day.&rsquo
  • &lsquoA minute later, two braves rode off, galloping their horses to the west.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAlas, the wish list also contains somewhat less thrilling aspirations such as - I kid you not - riding a roller-coaster, galloping a horse across a beach and wondering at a waterfall.&rsquo
  • &lsquo‘Then don't misuse it,’ she said, and turned and galloped the horse back towards the army.&rsquo
  • &lsquoI had to gallop a white Spanish horse across the battlefield toward New Zealand's white snow-capped mountains.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe win was the first of the year for the trainer, who owns and trains the three horses in his stable and, at 71, also gallops them.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe walks and feeds him, and even gallops him.&rsquo
  • &lsquoI do a lot of jogging with him for three or four days after he breezes and then start galloping him because he does work so fast.&rsquo
  • &lsquoFearing he had lost too much time, the lad galloped as fast as he could to the palace.&rsquo
  • &lsquoIn short order another 30-yard drive, this time by Fitzgerald, was not too far away, and the game was very much alive as Murphy galloped through only to shoot wide.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAlmost a quarter-of-an-hour in, and it was his cross which he headed just wide, the Liverpool man galloping in from his berth of the left of midfield to meet the ball.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAt lunch and tea we took over the outfield, using the long-empty lemonade bottle as our bat, piled carrier bags as the stumps and chased the rubber ball over the turf on which our heroes had galloped.&rsquo
  • &lsquoNo sooner had we pulled up outside a low wall and started walking a dirt road to the gate than Ben literally galloped out of the house and threw his arms around Papa.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAs the Westmeath forward forced his way through for a last goal chance, he galloped up to his shoulder.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSoon thereafter a man gallops wildly into the station.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe came galloping down the hill right away, and the three of them had their first practice right there in the woodland glen, and I was lucky enough to be the first mortal man to witness their music.&rsquo
  • &lsquoAs soon as I undid the latch, he was galloping past me.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe advice conjures up all sorts of funny images of welly-clad officials galloping away from stick-wielding farmers at marts around the country.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe officer went galloping out of the room, and immediately returned with a Bible and put it on my lap with great respect.&rsquo
  • &lsquoShe frowned and squinted when she spied a figure galloping across the lush, green hills.&rsquo
  • &lsquoTen minutes later he came galloping down the stairs to the foyer where they were already waiting.&rsquo
  • &lsquoInstantly the four girls galloped to the broken fence.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe was patiently waiting for her at the top of the hill, so she quickly galloped up the slope to catch up with him.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHawkins, gaining in confidence as the game progressed, galloped down the left and looped in a pinpoint cross for him to attack from point blank range.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe was breathing heavily from galloping at a rapid speed.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThey then created day light when he appeared on the wing to gallop 30 yards to the corner.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThen a dangerous passing movement was stopped by a smart interception by Storey, who galloped in under the posts.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe galloped towards the goal, shook off the challenge of John and shot high and right past him.&rsquo

2 no object, with adverbial of direction Proceed at great speed.

  • &lsquoThree utterly madcap men in tights and sneakers take the theatre by storm as they gallop through the tragedies, histories and comedies at a speed that will leave you gasping.&rsquo
  • &lsquoFew people are likely to read his census, but anyone who appreciates the printed word will gallop through his new account of how it came to be.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe approach pays dividends in lending the film a sprightly air and making it accessible to all as it gallops through events.&rsquo
  • &lsquoSeveral years ago, while teaching one of those history surveys that gallops across great events as if they were pebbles at Belmont, I asked my students to name a revolutionary.&rsquo
  • &lsquoI am galloping through a couple of books a week at the moment.&rsquo
  • &lsquoIn the later scenes, it grows more formulaic, galloping towards a happy ending with unseemly haste, burdening the actors with unconvincing old age make-up and testing the audience with corny platitudes.&rsquo
  • &lsquoTo the fate felt in the blood and acknowledged by the intelligence is added concern for his partner as the disease gallops towards consummation.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHe was one of the few economists willing to predict early in 2000 that the Irish inflation rate was threatening to gallop toward 6 per cent or higher.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe other is a modern magus, galloping towards his fiftieth birthday with a lifetime of grand work behind him, and so much more still to do.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe rate of inflation in Bangladesh has galloped forward from under 2 in 2001 to above 6 in the recent year.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe mint escaped the beds and started galloping toward the house, with the snow in summer in hot pursuit.&rsquo
  • &lsquoHis performance is superb and the change in his face as he gallops towards psychological collapse is remarkable to watch.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe honeymoon has truly ended, and the relationship galloping towards divorce.&rsquo
  • &lsquoIt has not exactly galloped, raced, or even trotted through the House, having had its first reading in June 2001-nearly 2 years ago.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThe pace gallops along, the plot is difficult to predict, if not well nigh impossible, and the narrative draws you inside the covers so that every intrusion which makes you put the book down is resented.&rsquo
  • &lsquoFor a society that still relies very clearly on the privatised, domestic role played by the family, the extent to which women's relative equality to men has galloped ahead raises some wider questions.&rsquo
  • &lsquoPerhaps inevitably, the sheer quantity of material leaves one gasping for breath at times - he gallops from one work to the next, allowing each only the briefest of examination.&rsquo
  • &lsquoThey also created a ‘revolving door’ syndrome in the sector, with sought-after staff galloping from one company to the next, on the scent of yet another lucrative pay rise.&rsquo
  • &lsquoA sudden collapse of the pound could lead to equal and opposite problems, such as galloping inflation.&rsquo


Early 16th century from Old French galop (noun), galoper, variants of Old Northern French walop, waloper (see wallop).

Egyptian Vessel with Galloping Horses - History

Ancient Egypt : Military History
Weapons, Warfare , and Wars

Ancient Egypt: Solar Ships and Funerary Boats Mythology, Funerary Boats and Religious Ceremonies

Queen Hatshepsut's Trading Vessel A seagoing ship of the Empire Period. One of a fleet of five ships represented in a scene in the temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri (ca 1500 B.C.), this vessel shows clearly the hogging truss that seems to have been characteristic of Egyptian seagoing craft. The stem-post at the bow reflects the foreign origin of the prototype, whereas the stern-post has been Egyptianized in the form of the head of a papyrus plant. Although referred to in the accompanying inscriptions as "Byblos-ships", the five vessels were in fact part of an expedition sailing the Red Sea to Punt, the modern Somaliland. The rig differs in no way from the standard form in use in Nile ships of the day.

Siege Warfare in Ancient Egypt It is clear that the Egyptians did posses the means to conduct siege warfare, though in reality, like other powers in the region such as the Assyrian, they tried to avoid this type of battle where possible. They preferred, rather, to force a military decision on the battlefield. However, with the large number of fortified cities throughout Israel and Canaan, they were forced to employ siege warfare at times, though they were probably less adapt at this form of battle then some of their neighbors. [General Ancient War Links]

The Ancient Egyptian Navy Predynastic through Middle Kingdom. The use of river vessels and ships in Egyptian warfare is as old as conflict in Egypt itself, though probably at first there was little capability for sea travel. The Nile was always the principal means of transport in Egypt, and the sailing and construction of boats can be traced back to the papyrus rafts of the Predynastic Period. Boats (see also Bargues, Barges and Byblos Boats) were commonly depicted in red paint on the buff colored pottery of the Naqada II Period.

The Armed Forces of Ancient Egypt Until the takeover of Lower Egypt by the Hyksos, most conflicts the Egyptians had fought had been civil wars, where mainly armies of conscripted peasants and artisans led by noblemen opposed each other, or relatively short campaigns south into Nubia extending the southern borders of the realm, or east and west into the desert regions.

The Egypian Army In History The most prominent development added to the ancient Egyptian army was the use of the war wheels, the weapon that was taken from "Heksos" but highly developed and used by Egyptians to the extent that they started to breed horses, an animal that was not very common in Egypt, and modified the designs of the war wheels. It was mentioned, that the Egyptian army under the command of "Tohotmos the third" captured 24 war wheels and 2238 horses in the well-known battle of "Magedo".

The Evolution of Warfare Egypt was considered to be the most peaceful country in the ancient world. Its natural boundaries (the First Cataract on the Nile at Aswan, the deserts east and west of the Nile Valley, and the Mediterranean coast to the north) provided plenty of protection from outsiders, and Egyptians themselves were not a society of invaders or conquerors. Therefore, the country didn't consider the need for a professional army "" until the invasion of the Hyksos during the 15th Dynasty in the Second Intermediate Period.

The Horses that Leap Out of the Grave!

The most remarkable thing about the chariot burial was the position of the two horses. It was typical that horses were buried with the chariot and there are many examples of this throughout Eurasia. However the way they were placed into this grave in Yorkshire is unique and has led to the find as being hailed as an ‘unparalleled discovery’ by the archaeologists who unearthed it, reports the Inquisitr.

The two horses were placed as if they "were leaping upwards out of the grave,” positioned with their back legs bent and their hooves raised, as if they were galloping. This gives the impression that the horses were emerging from the earth. This was all part of an effort to portray the chariot and its dead driver as leaping into the afterlife or the realm of the dead.

The horses had been buried upright - their heads were removed skulls were removed centuries ago. (Alex Wood / Yorkshire Post )

Is the Quest for the Holy Grail Over?

In their newly published book “Los Reyes del Grial” (“The Kings of the Grail”), medieval history lecturer Margarita Torres and art historian José Miguel Ortega del Rio claim the Holy Grail rests inside the Basilica of San Isidoro in the northern Spanish city of León. The historians say that a three-year investigation led to their conclusion that the hallowed cup that Jesus Christ supposedly drank from at the Last Supper and that was used to collect his precious blood is a jewel-encrusted goblet that has long been known as the chalice of the Infanta Do༚ Urraca in honor of the daughter of King Ferdinand I, ruler of León and Castile from 1037 to 1065.

The researchers had been investigating Islamic remains in the Basilica of San Isidoro when they came across medieval Egyptian parchments that mentioned that the holy chalice had been taken from Jerusalem to Cairo and then given to an emir who ruled an Islamic kingdom on Spain’s Mediterranean coast in return for the help he gave to famine-stricken Egypt. The emir then gifted the chalice as a peace offering to the Christian King Ferdinand. The goblet has been in the basilica’s possession since the 11th century and in plain sight in the church’s basement museum since the 1950s.

The chalice, made of gold and onyx and sprinkled with precious stones, is actually two goblets fused together, one turned up, the other down. Torres and del Rio say the upper half is made of agate and missing a fragment, exactly as described in the Egyptian parchments. The co-authors report that scientific dating has placed the origin of the cup between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D. As the Irish Times reports, the co-authors concede they cannot definitively prove that the chalice actually touched Jesus’s lips, only that it is the vessel that early Christians revered as the one used at the Last Supper. “The only chalice that could be considered the chalice of Christ is that which made the journey to Cairo and then from Cairo to León𠅊nd that is this chalice,” Torres told the newspaper. Since the book’s publication last week, the basilica has been inundated with visitors, forcing curators to remove the relic from display until they can find a larger exhibition space to accommodate the crowds.

This, of course, is not the first time that the Holy Grail has been 𠇏ound.” For while the Holy Grail has proven elusive, it is also strangely ubiquitous. From Latvia to Scotland, more than 200 goblets in Europe alone have been posited as being the holy relic. Some claim the cup rests in the sewers of Jerusalem while others believe that the medieval Knights Templar took the goblet from Jerusalem during the Crusades and eventually secreted it away in New World locations ranging from Minnesota to Maryland to Nova Scotia. Some theorize it is even hidden inside Fort Knox.

Numerous times in the past century, newspaper headlines similar to the ones today declared the quest for the Holy Grail over. In the early 1900s, it was supposedly discovered near England’s Glastonbury Abbey. A few years later, a battered silver goblet with elaborate ornamentation unearthed in the ancient city of Antioch was put forward as the Holy Grail. The Antioch Chalice, now in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, toured museums such as the Louvre in Paris and even went on display in the 1933-1934 World’s Fair in Chicago before it was dated to the early sixth century. In 1927, a chalice with Greek inscriptions in possession of the Toledo Museum of Art even led one newspaper to declare, “Toledo Has Claims to Holy Grail.”

Many historians are skeptical of the latest claim of the Holy Grail’s discovery, and there’s no evidence that the Holy Grail even exists. The cup received only a passing mention in the Bible, and its religious significance didn’t arise until medieval legends entwined ancient Celtic myths with the Christian tradition of the Holy Chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper. “The Grail legend is a literary invention of the 12th century with no historical basis,” Carlos de Ayala, a medieval historian at a Madrid university, told the AFP news agency. “You cannot search for something that does not exist.”

Early Photography: Niépce, Talbot and Muybridge

By modern standards, nineteenth-century photography can appear rather primitive. While the stark black and white landscapes and unsmiling people have their own austere beauty, these images also challenge our notions of what defines a work of art.

Photography is a controversial fine art medium, simply because it is difficult to classify—is it an art or a science? Nineteenth century photographers struggled with this distinction, trying to reconcile aesthetics with improvements in technology.

The birth of photography

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, View from the Window at Gras (1826)

Although the principle of the camera was known in antiquity, the actual chemistry needed to register an image was not available until the nineteenth century.

Artists from the Renaissance onwards used a camera obscura (Latin for dark chamber), or a small hole in the wall of a darkened box that would pass light through the hole and project an upside down image of whatever was outside the box. However, it was not until the invention of a light sensitive surface by Frenchman Joseph Nicéphore Niépce that the basic principle of photography was born.

From this point the development of photography largely related to technological improvements in three areas, speed, resolution and permanence. The first photographs, such as Niépce’s famous View from the Window at Gras (1826) required a very slow speed (a long exposure period), in this case about 8 hours, obviously making many subjects difficult, if not impossible, to photograph. Taken using a camera obscura to expose a copper plate coated in silver and pewter, Niépce’s image looks out of an upstairs window, and part of the blurry quality is due to changing conditions during the long exposure time, causing the resolution, or clarity of the image, to be grainy and hard to read. An additional challenge was the issue of permanence, or how to successfully stop any further reaction of the light sensitive surface once the desired exposure had been achieved. Many of Niépce’s early images simply turned black over time due to continued exposure to light. This problem was largely solved in 1839 by the invention of hypo, a chemical that reversed the light sensitivity of paper.

Louis Daguerre, The Artist’s Studio, 1837, daguerreotype

Technological improvements

Photographers after Niépce experimented with a variety of techniques. Louis Daguerre invented a new process he dubbed a daguerreotype in 1839, which significantly reduced exposure time and created a lasting result, but only produced a single image.

William Henry Fox Talbot, The Open Door, 1844, salted paper print from paper negative

At the same time, Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot was experimenting with his what would eventually become his calotype method, patented in February 1841. Talbot’s innovations included the creation of a paper negative, and new technology that involved the transformation of the negative to a positive image, allowing for more that one copy of the picture. The remarkable detail of Talbot’s method can be seen in his famous photograph, The Open Door (1844) which captures the view through a medieval-looking entrance. The texture of the rough stones surrounding the door, the vines growing up the walls and the rustic broom that leans in the doorway demonstrate the minute details captured by Talbot’s photographic improvements.

Honoré Daumier, Nadar élevant la Photographie à la hauteur de l’Art (Nadar elevating Photography to Art), lithograph from Le Boulevard, May 25, 1863

The collodion method was introduced in 1851. This process involved fixing a substance known as gun cotton onto a glass plate, allowing for an even shorter exposure time (3-5 minutes), as well as a clearer image.

The big disadvantage of the collodion process was that it needed to be exposed and developed while the chemical coating was still wet, meaning that photographers had to carry portable darkrooms to develop images immediately after exposure. Both the difficulties of the method and uncertain but growing status of photography were lampooned by Honoré Daumier in his Nadar Elevating Photography to the Height of Art (1862). Nadar, one of the most prominent photographers in Paris at the time, was known for capturing the first aerial photographs from the basket of a hot air balloon. Obviously, the difficulties in developing a glass negative under these circumstances must have been considerable.

Further advances in technology continued to make photography less labor intensive. By 1867 a dry glass plate was invented, reducing the inconvenience of the wet collodion method.

Eadweard Muybridge, The Horse in Motion (“Sallie Gardner,” owned by Leland Stanford running at a 1:40 gait over the Palo Alto track, 19th June 1878), 1878

Prepared glass plates could be purchased, eliminating the need to fool with chemicals. In 1878, new advances decreased the exposure time to 1/25th of a second, allowing moving objects to be photographed and lessening the need for a tripod. This new development is celebrated in Eadweard Muybridge’s sequence of photographs called Galloping Horse (1878). Designed to settle the question of whether or not a horse ever takes all four legs completely off the ground during a gallop, the series of photographs also demonstrated the new photographic methods that were capable of nearly instantaneous exposure.

Finally in 1888 George Eastman developed the dry gelatin roll film, making it easier for film to be carried. Eastman also produced the first small inexpensive cameras, allowing more people access to the technology.

Photographers in the 19th century were pioneers in a new artistic endeavor, blurring the lines between art and technology. Frequently using traditional methods of composition and marrying these with innovative techniques, photographers created a new vision of the material world. Despite the struggles early photographers must have had with the limitations of their technology, their artistry is also obvious.

6 Near East Horses Came Second

Today, horses get all the glory. It is even assumed that people across the world rode them first.

However, a skeleton found in 2008 suggested that the first saddle in the Near East went to donkeys. When the skeleton was discovered, its importance became apparent because the donkey&rsquos molars had the same type of damage as those of horses that wear bits.

However, no further investigation was conducted into the possibility that this might be the earliest evidence of donkey ridership in the region. Instead, the archaeologists focused on the animal&rsquos journey and death.

Apparently, the young animal was part of an Egyptian caravan en route to the ancient city-state of Tell es-Safi. Upon arrival, the donkey was sacrificed to bless the durability of a mudbrick house erected atop it. [5]

In 2018, tests dated the donkey to around 2700 BC. This proved that people rode donkeys in the Near East for almost 1,000 years before horses arrived in the area.

Sculpture in the Greek Orientalizing Period

Sculpture produced during the Orientalizing period shares stylistic attributes with sculpture produced in Egypt and the Near East.

Learning Objectives

Discuss Greek sculpture during the Orientalizing period

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Sculpture during this time was influenced by Egyptian and Near Eastern artistic conventions. Rigid, plank-like bodies, as well as its reliance on pattern to depict texture , characterized Greek sculpture in the Orientalizing period.
  • The Daedalic style , named for the mythical inventor Daedalus, refers the use of patterning and geometric shapes (reminiscent of the Geometric period ) during the seventh century BCE.
  • The differences between the Lady of Auxerre and the Mantiklos Apollo demonstrate the early establishment of traditional social expectations of the sexes in ancient Greek culture .

Key Terms

  • kore: A sculpture of a young woman from pre-Classical Greece.
  • Daedalic: A style of sculpture during the Greek Orientalizing period noted for its use of patterns to create texture, as well as its reliance on geometric shapes and stiff, rigid bodily postures.

The Orientalizing Period lasted for about a century, from 700 to 600 BCE. This period was distinguished by international influences, from the Ancient Near East, Egypt, and Asia Minor, each of which contributed a distinctive Eastern style to Greek art. The close contact between cultures developed from increasing trade and even colonization.

Styles were borrowed from other cultures by the Greeks who transformed them into a unique Greek-Eastern mix of style and motifs . Male and female sculptures produced during this time share interesting similarities, but also bear differences that inform the viewer about society’s expectations of men and women.

The Lady of Auxerre

A small limestone statue of a kore (maiden), known as the Lady of Auxerre (650–625 BCE), from Crete demonstrates the style of early Greek figural sculptures. This style is known as Daedalic sculpture, named for the mythical creator of King Minos’s labyrinth , Daedalus. The style combines Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian motifs.

The Lady of Auxerre, circa 650–625 BCE: This small limestone statue is possibly from Crete.

The Lady of Auxerre is stocky and plank-like. Her waist is narrow and cinched, like the waists seen in Minoan art. She is disproportionate, with long rigid legs and a short torso. A dress encompasses nearly her entire body—it tethers her legs together and restricts her potential for movement. The rigidity of the body recalls pharaonic portraiture from Ancient Egypt .

Her head is distinguished with large facial features, a low brow, and stylized hair. The hair appears to be braided, and falls down in rigid rows divided by horizontal bands. This style recalls a Near Eastern use of patterns to depict texture and decoration.

Her face and hair are reminiscent of the Geometric period. The face forms an inverted triangle wedged between the triangles formed be the hair that frames her face. Traces of paint tell us that this statue would have originally be painted with black hair and a dress of red and blue with a yellow belt.

Lady of Auxerre reconstruction: A reconstruction of the original Orientalizing sculpture. Cambridge University.

The Mantiklos Apollo

There are no inscriptions on sculpture before the appearance of the bronze Mantiklos Apollo (early seventh century BCE) found in Thebes. The figure, named for the individual who left it as an offering , is that of a standing man with a rigid and somewhat Daedalic form.

His legs bear the inscription, “Mantiklos offered me as a tithe to Apollo of the silver bow do you, Phoibos [Apollo], give some pleasing favor in return.” The inscription is a declaration of the statuette to Apollo, followed by a request for favors in return.

Apart from the novelty of recording its own purpose, this sculpture adapts the formulae of later Orientalized sculptures, as seen in the shorter more triangular face and slightly advancing left leg. This is sometimes seen as anticipating the greater expressive freedom of the later seventh century BCE. As such, the Mantiklos figure is referred to in some quarters as proto-Daedalic.

Mantiklos Apollo: Bronze Early 7th century BCE. Thebes. The side view shows the separation of the figure’s arm from his chest and his slightly advancing left leg.

Similarities of the Statues

Despite the separation of several decades and over 200 miles, the Mantiklos Apollo and the Lady of Auxerre share interesting similarities, including their long plaited hair, cinched waist, stylized smile, and hand raised to the chest—all of which recall ancient Egyptian sculpture. Although the right arm of the Mantiklos Apollo is missing, the position of its shoulder implies a possible position similar to that of the left arm of the Lady of Auxerre, straight at its side.

However, we can already see striking differences that will remain the standard in Greek art for centuries. The male body, as a public entity entitled to citizenship, is depicted nude and free to move. This freedom of movement is seen not only in the legs of the Apollo figure but also in the separation of his hand from his chest.

On the other hand, the female body, as a private entity without individual rights, is clothed and denied movement. While the Mantiklos Apollo holds his hand parallel to his chest, the Lady of Auxerre places her hand directly on hers, maintaining the closed form expected of a respectable woman.

Building Pharaoh's Chariot

A team uncovers the advanced engineering behind an ancient Egyptian war machine.

3,600-year-old reliefs in Egyptian tombs and temples depict pharaohs and warriors proudly riding into battle on horse-drawn chariots. Some historians claim that the chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution, and was the secret weapon behind Egypt's greatest era of conquest known as the New Kingdom. But was the Egyptian chariot really a revolutionary design? How decisive a role did it play in the bloody battles of the ancient world? In "Building Pharaoh's Chariot," a team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers, and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. They discover astonishingly advanced features, including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, and even a convex-shaped rear mirror, leading one of them to compare the level of design to the engineering standards of 1930's-era Buicks! By driving our pair of replicas to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA's experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history. (Premiered February 6, 2013)

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Building Pharaoh's Chariot

PBS Airdate: February 6, 2013

NARRATOR: Egypt: one of the great civilizations of antiquity. It was here that one of the world's first writing systems was developed and where vast monuments in stone were built. Then, a thousand years after the pyramids, another technological revolution took place, a revolution in warfare. The chariot arrived.

Over the next few hundred years, the pharaohs of ancient Egypt pushed back their borders and built a mighty empire.

STEVEN HARVEY (Egyptologist): Egypt's New Kingdom empire was the greatest empire that the world had seen. It really was on a massive scale.

NARRATOR: Was the chariot the Egyptian's secret weapon, giving them a crucial lead in the arms race? Were there innovations built into the Egyptian chariot that gave them an edge.

BELA SANDOR (University of Wisconsin): If you gave this to a modern designer, they could not do any better.

NARRATOR: Now, a team of experts will work from 3,000-year-old clues to rebuild a replica of an Egyptian chariot and test it in simulated battle.

MIKE LOADES (Military Historian): Imagine a thousand chariots. It would be like Armageddon coming to you.

NARRATOR: Recreating the pharaoh's chariot, we'll test the claim that this was the weapon, which built an empire. Building Pharaoh's Chariot, right now, on NOVA.

In about 1550 B.C.E., more than a thousand years after the building of the pyramids, a new age dawned in Egypt. This was a golden age of Egyptian power and wealth, known to historians as the New Kingdom. Over the next 300 years, the Egyptians built the largest empire the world had ever seen.

It's a period known for the astonishing treasure of Tutankhamun, a time when the ancient Egyptians constructed many of the mighty temples which can still be seen today, three-and-a-half-thousand years later.

But at the dawn of this golden age, Egypt was a country beset by enemies. When a new young king, the Pharaoh Ahmose came to power, northern Egypt was occupied by a foreign people from the East, known as the Hyksos. What happened next is recorded in a tomb, cut into a rocky hillside in a settlement called El Kab. This tomb contains an account written by a soldier who fought in the pharaoh's army.

STEVEN HARVEY: Here, this man is telling the story of his military career and his life.

NARRATOR: These hieroglyphs tell how the young soldier followed his pharaoh, as he drove the Hyksos out of Egypt. The account also highlights a remarkable fact: the Egyptians now had a new and devastating weapon, the chariot.

STEVEN HARVEY: And the exciting thing in this text, he's actually describing how he fought alongside the king's own chariot. And we see the sign of the chariot here, one of the earliest images we have of the chariot in Egyptian writing.

NARRATOR: In the years that followed, chariots appear everywhere on tomb and temple walls. And inscriptions alongside the chariots relate how Ahmose and other New Kingdom pharaohs went on to build the most powerful empire the world had ever seen. As they overcame Kushites, Nubians, Canaanites and others, their empire stretched from Sudan up into what is now Turkey.

So was the chariot the key to the Egyptians' military success.

In Old Cairo, a team of experts has come together, hoping to uncover the chariot's secrets. Drawing on the skills of expert craftsmen, they plan to assemble and test what may be the first accurate, working Egyptian chariot to have been built in thousands of years.

Carriage maker Robert Hurford, who has built Roman and Assyrian chariots in the past, will be in charge of construction.

ROBERT HURFORD (Carriage Maker): It's a very complicated structure. The wheels are very odd the yoke is very difficult, first to make and secondly to make work.

NARRATOR: Robert has teamed up with equine expert Kathy Hansen, who thinks the harness for the horses was a vital component of the chariot.

KATHRYN M. HANSEN (Horse and Chariot Expert): I've done a lot of studying, and I think we know how they built their harness, and I think I know how they trained their horses. So now, we have an opportunity to put that to the test.

NARRATOR: For military expert Mike Loades, this is an opportunity to explore the chariot as a weapons system.

MIKE LOADES: We know chariots were used in battle, but we don't exactly know how. So we need to test it. We need to drive it, shoot the bow from it. So that's what's exciting. This is undiscovered territory.

NARRATOR: The team's first task is to find local craftsmen who can help them build the chariot. It's made of wood, so their priority is a skilled carpenter.

Abdou Mohammed is said to be one of the best in Cairo.

ROBERT HURFORD: I've got this model that we've made.

NARRATOR: Robert has brought with him a model, to demonstrate what he is trying to achieve.

ROBERT HURFORD: This is quarter scale so you multiply everything by four, and you've got the real thing.

NARRATOR: Many of the parts are curved, and Robert will have to find another workshop where the wood can be bent into shape, but this is where most of the chariot will be built and assembled.

Abdou has never tackled anything like this before.

MOHAMED ABD ELSALAM: (Translating for Carpenter Abdou Mohammed) It's a new idea, and he will try to prove that he is a good student.

ROBERT HURFORD: Abdou, I look forward to working with you.

NARRATOR: The team has only eight weeks to complete the chariot, before Mike returns to test it. Their goal is not just to build a chariot, but to understand what might have given the Egyptians a military advantage.

This new war machine was not invented in Egypt. These engravings reveal that chariots could be found hundreds of years earlier in nearby lands. The Egyptians, meanwhile, were fighting on foot, using sleds to pull heavy loads, and then, as now, relied on donkeys for personal transport. Horses appear to have been unknown for much of Egyptian history.

STEVEN HARVEY: Round about 4,000 B.C., we know that people were probably domesticating horses and creating the first chariots in places as far away as Southern Russia. And, over time, that moves west into Syria, Lebanon and up into Turkey. And the Egyptians felt they had to get a hold of it, in order to compete on the world stage.

NARRATOR: When Egypt first obtained the chariot, it was probably quite basic, with a body that could carry two people, supported on an axle, with two wheels and a central pole. And there was a harness, which allowed the chariot to be pulled by two horses. But, however basic, for the Egyptians, the chariot was a revolution in warfare. And building it required ancient skills, which are hard to find today.

In a Cairo suburb, Robert and local organizer Magdy Rashidy, track down one of the few steam benders in the country. The owner, Mohamed Elsalam, and his son, Walid, show Robert around their workshop, where they make chairs, bending the wood by saturating it with steam, to make it supple.

Robert demonstrates again what he's trying to achieve, using his model, and shows them the parts, which need bending.

ROBERT HURFORD: So that's a piece and that's a piece.

NARRATOR: Shaping the pieces won't be easy, but Mohamed seems confident he can adapt his equipment. He'll need to work fast to meet their schedule.

ROBERT HURFORD: They seem enthusiastic, anxious to get it done.

NARRATOR: Robert based his model on published descriptions, but to understand how the Egyptians transformed the chariot, he'll seek advice from a man who has been investigating them for many years. Here from the University of Wisconsin, engineer Bela Sandor has been studying some of the chariots found among the treasures of Tutankhamun's tomb, now in the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo.

They were found in 1922, by archaeologist Howard Carter, who carefully reassembled and restored them. Sandor has been looking closely at their design, trying to work out how the Egyptians improved their new war machine.

BELA SANDOR: The first time I saw these chariots, I just walked through like most of the tourists, barely looking at them. Two years later, I came back, and I started realizing that there was more to these than just primitive structures.

NARRATOR: After years of careful analysis, Sandor has concluded that the Egyptians transformed a machine that was slow and cumbersome into one that was fast, and maneuverable. His calculations have convinced him that this is the world's first high-performance vehicle, with high-tech wheels, parts which function as springs and shock absorbers, even a device to stop it from rolling over.

He now believes that the chariot was the pinnacle of ancient Egyptian engineering.

BELA SANDOR: If you gave this to a modern designer with computers and formulas, they could not do any better.

NARRATOR: Kathy Hansen believes that the technology of the harness was also a vital part of the chariot's success. She's in the Cairo Museum, looking for clues to how it was put together, like this ancient bronze horse bit. Mostly she has to rely on depictions of the harness in action. No one knows exactly how this system of straps worked to pull the chariot. She will have to depend on her own expertise to puzzle it out.

KATHY HANSEN: It looks, theoretically, like the Egyptians did all of the things necessary to create a functional harness. The proof will be in when we actually design the harness, hitch it to horses and drive it.

NARRATOR: Robert now wants to select the woods he'll use for the chariot. The ancient chariot builders used a range of imported woods, including ash and elm, but visiting local timber yards he sees no sign of these. He looks, instead, at some of the local woods.

Although much of Egypt is desert, in the fertile areas of the Nile Delta there are plenty of trees to be found. Robert thinks that a local wood, like mulberry, might be good for building the bent parts of the wheel. It's a good substitute for ash.

ROBERT HURFORD: Mulberry is quite springy, which is nice, it's what we want.

NARRATOR: But for the pole and the body, he settles on an imported wood, beech. It's a reliable close-grained hardwood, suitable for bending and similar to elm, used by the ancient builders.

Before Robert starts building, he's now arranged to meet up with engineer Bela Sandor, who has identified some remarkable design features. One of them is the joint above the axle, which the main pole fits into. Sandor believes this apparently simple socket was probably one of the ancient Egyptians' most brilliant ideas.

BELA SANDOR: We are looking at a fantastic marvel of ancient engineering, because it has more than one function.

NARRATOR: Sandor maintains the joint was deliberately left loose, allowing the pole to move back and forth. This makes the floor frame flex and act as a shock absorber, giving a more comfortable ride. But the design has a second important function.

BELA SANDOR: To prevent rollovers of the axle.

NARRATOR: Sandor thinks the pole was made flat at the end so it could engage firmly with the socket, like a screwdriver. Now the pole resists any tendency of the axle to rotate and tip on uneven ground, helping to keep the chariot stable.

This simple-looking joint is a key detail for the chariot Robert is building.

Robert has now learned enough to instruct the carpenters on how they can make a start. Abdou's first job: to make the floor frame.

Robert takes particular care to explain the importance of the socket.

ROBERT HURFORD: …not in the corner. We want that corner. Yeah, that's the idea. Yeah, that's good.

NARRATOR: They can also start to fashion the wheel hubs and shape the axle. The task of building the chariot is now underway.

KATHY HANSEN: That one's too tall. I need short ones.

NARRATOR: Kathy is now looking for horses and has also enlisted some local help.

KATHY HANSEN: …fourteen hands, 140 centimeters.

NARRATOR: She has teamed up with Sayed Maksoud, an expert horseman. Together they travel round some nearby horse farms. She's looking for small horses, like the ancient Egyptians used, and they must run well together.

She finds a mixed pair—one brown, one black—that she thinks will work well as a team.

KATHY HANSEN: Trot, trot, trot. Oh, yes.

NARRATOR: As a precaution, Kathy and Sayed also choose a reserve pair, two very similar grey stallions. All four horses are brought to the Saqqara Country Club, on the outskirts of Cairo, where they need to be trained in just one month.

The greys are put into the same coral to get to know each other. Stallions can be aggressive, and two powerful horses could quickly smash the chariot to pieces. The early signs are not promising, but Sayed believes they will settle down.

SAYED MAKSOUD: Two or three days like that, they'll become used to each other. I think it is okay. They'll become more friendly.

NARRATOR: Although work is well underway, Kathy and Robert still have much to learn about the design of these ancient chariots.

KATHY HANSEN: The Valley of the Kings is just behind the ridge.

NARRATOR: They travel down to Luxor, Egypt's capital city on the Nile, 3,000 years ago, to see what secrets they can glean. On a hilly ridge, on the west bank of the river, are the tombs of ancient nobles and officials. Each tomb is richly decorated with scenes of life from thousands of years ago.

KATHY HANSEN: Oh, Robert, look.

ROBERT HURFORD: I think this thing's amazing. That's a beautifully drawn chariot.

KATHY HANSEN: Look, you can see your thong through your lynch pin. It's just…

ROBERT HURFORD: Incredible details. They're going to be so helpful to us.

KATHY HANSEN: Yeah, yeah.

NARRATOR: For Robert and Kathy, the paintings and reliefs are like blueprints. They provide a wealth of detail, which gives them a real insight into the chariot's construction. It's clear to them both they have a challenge ahead, if they're to bring the chariot back to life. The paintings also show chariot-building, with craftsmen shaping the woo.

ROBERT HURFORD: The area in the middle, where you've got spokes, wheel, and there's the pole up the top there and the yoke. Those are the steam-bent parts of this chariot. It's almost a manual of how to do it.

NARRATOR: And this is one of the few places where Kathy can study the harness.

KATHY HANSEN: Here is where your holdback strap comes down and your breastplate, and here are the rounded pads that were early, and there's your top of your neck fork, and you can clearly see the nosepiece.

NARRATOR: The information gathered from images in the tombs and the Cairo Museum is invaluable, and Kathy is now ready to take her design to one of Cairo's harness makers.

She has drawn a plan and made a model of how it should work. The Egyptian harness is unlike any modern harness. It uses a pair of neck forks, combined with breast straps, to create a form of collar, which the horse then pulls from its shoulders. She thinks the horses were attached to the chariot by binding their neck forks to a yoke, which was lashed to the chariot pole.

The harness also includes a bridle, designed, she believes, to keep the horses' heads down, and their weight back, making the chariot more maneuverable.

That's the theory, but will it work? The first step for the harness makers is to cut out the leather, following Kathy's design.

Back in the Luxor tombs, Robert and Kathy are still hunting for clues about the chariot, itself. The paintings reveal how the chariot evolved as the Egyptians perfected their new war machine.

The first major change is in the position of the axle and the wheels. They start centrally, under the floor, but gradually they move, until, eventually, they are right at the back. This shift reveals great mechanical insight, and Bela Sandor thinks he's worked out its advantage.

BELA SANDOR: If the axle is somewhere in the middle of the platform, it creates for a harsh ride, because the driver is standing directly on a stiff, bouncing axle.

NARRATOR: Moving the axle back has a dramatic impact on the suspension system. It shifts the driver's weight forward onto the pole. The wooden pole now flexes up and down and begins to act like a leaf spring on a modern vehicle, which softens the ride.

In the tombs, Kathy and Robert spot another key development. At first, all the wheels had just four spokes, and all the early Egyptian chariots were the same. But that began to change. Soon they were building chariots with eight spokes. So why did they abandon the four-spoke wheel.

BELA SANDOR: In this position, all of the weight is borne by this single spoke. But as soon as the wheel rolls, that same weight will deform the unsupported arc length of the rim. And then it comes back up again, so the axle is moving up and down and up and down. The human body cannot tolerate this.

NARRATOR: The Ancient Egyptians solution to this problem was to stiffen the rim by increasing the number of spokes to eight. But this also made the chariot heavier, reducing acceleration. So they tried six spokes, and this apparently worked so well they stopped experimenting.

But the most unusual thing about the wheel is the way the spokes were constructed. Each spoke is actually made up from two V-shaped pieces of wood. To make the wheel, these V-spokes are glued together and glued around the central hub.

BELA SANDOR: The V-apex makes it stronger and more durable.

NARRATOR: Robert is eager to put his newfound knowledge to the test. He's never made a wheel like this before, and bending the V-shaped spokes to the correct angle could be tricky.

The steam benders have adapted their machines, but they soon discover that making the spokes is more of a challenge than theyɽ realized. Their machines can't cope the bend is just not tight enough.

ROBERT HURFORD: The problem is that they haven't thought this out before they did it. They need to get the arms of the bender up at a different angle.

NARRATOR: They try again, adding wooden blocks to make the bend tighter….

ROBERT HURFORD: So you can't do it.

NARRATOR: …without success.

After a complete rethink, they come up with a way of bending the spokes manually, just like their ancestors used to do.

ROBERT HURFORD: I think that's good. This is just the right shape, and at last, at last, we got there. Well done.

NARRATOR: After the spokes, they tackle the rims of the wheels. They're getting into the swing of doing it all manually now, although it's not as easy as it looks on the tomb walls. But they've lost a lot of time.

Next day, the steam-bent parts for the wheels arrive at the carpenter's. Robert can start to assemble the wheel with the carpenter, Abdou.

They lay out the newly bent spokes.

ROBERT HURFORD: We've got several things to worry about. One of them is that the spokes run in line.

NARRATOR: After clamping the spokes together, the next step is to shape and fit the hub. It's a complicated process and completely different from making a normal wheel. There are no joints between the V-shaped spokes and the hub, just pressure and glue.

ROBERT HURFORD: I don't know how strong these wheels will be at the end they must have been strong enough for the old Egyptians to use them. They made them for hundreds and hundreds of years in this way.

NARRATOR: Back in Luxor at the Temple of Karnak, Robert and Kathy are meeting Egyptologist Steven Harvey, to find out about a special chariot that was built around 1450 B.C.E., for one of Egypt's greatest warrior kings, Tuthmosis III.

The story of his military campaigns is inscribed on the walls of the temple. Although some of this may be propaganda, few would dispute that he conquered many surrounding territories. A major victory was at Megiddo, in the north of modern-day Israel, where Tuthmosis was fighting an alliance of Syrian rulers. The battle is recorded in great detail here. And the pharaoh, we're told, led his army in a chariot of shining electrum, an alloy of silver and gold.

STEVEN HARVEY: You can see here, we have a representation of the chariot, and it just says there, "a chariot worked in electrum." Electrum, silver, gold, these materials would all be used to express the wealth and power and the symbolic value of the chariot.

NARRATOR: This shining chariot was the war machine used when the Egyptians were carving out their empire. Kathy and Robert agree that this would be the ideal chariot on which to base their replica, the chariot they plan to build and test in simulated battle.

ROBERT HURFORD: I think it's quite inspiring that we should try to make one along the lines of the biggest and the most aggressive pharaoh of those days. Why don't we make one that could have been Tuthmosis III's.

NARRATOR: They go to the Cairo Museum to look for clues to what the electrum chariot might have been like.

This chariot body was found in the tomb of Tuthmosis III's grandson, Tuthmosis IV. The front panel is built from layers of wood, linen and gesso, a mixture of gypsum and glue, and was originally decorated in silver. It would have looked stunning, and they want to model the electrum chariot on this.

But while at the museum, they learn of an amazing find, which could provide vital new information. In the endless attics and cupboards of the Cairo Museum, the leather parts of a New Kingdom chariot were recently rediscovered. The leather is now being restored by a team led by Andre Veldmeijer and Salima Ikram. This is the only harness that anyone, including Kathy, has seen, from ancient Egypt.

ANDRE VELDMEIJER: We have two of those, and they both have the same decoration.

KATHY HANSEN: Are they offset, so, like, one could go on one horse on the outside and one go…? Oh, yeah.

SALIMA IKRAM: Yeah, that's what we think.

NARRATOR: This chariot had a front panel made of leather, and Robert is particularly interested in the way the panel was attached. A drawstring, threaded through the leather, would have kept it in place and allowed them to easily remove it.

ANDRE VELDMEIJER: Here's a drawstring. That piece, for example, was used to tie it tightly to the framework.

ROBERT HURFORD: Do you know…it's so interesting. If it's got a drawstring through it, it means it's removable, doesn't it.

SALIMA IKRAM: Yes, you can change it.

NARRATOR: Robert is so intrigued by the removable leather panel that he decides to make two chariots instead of one. He will make the Pharaoh's chariot as planned, with an electrum panel, and another with just a lightweight leather panel.

In the carpenter's shop, Robert and Abdou have now assembled several wheels. Bela Sandor takes a look. He believes this design is inherently stronger than a wheel with normal spokes.

Robert is worried that with nothing but glue connecting the spokes to the hub, the wheel could break apart in tight turns.

ROBERT HURFORD: I hope we've left enough, because of course it's all untried.

NARRATOR: At the Saqqara Country Club, Bela and Robert decide to put the wheels to the test. Their idea is to check their strength by towing a complete axle assembly behind a Jeep.

ROBERT HURFORD: We're doing no more than 30 kilometers an hour, but perhaps not absolutely flat out on the sharpest of the turns.

NARRATOR: Robert wants to make tight turns of the kind they expect the chariot to do. If the hubs have a weakness, this should reveal it. Three barrels of sand strapped to the axle simulate the weight of a driver and an archer. The wheels and the hubs seem to stand up well to the test.

ROBERT HURFORD: It's only a stone it's only a stone. That's not actually what we're worrying about, is it.

BELA SANDOR: I think he has a couple of beautifully built wheels. They were very, very good tests, for a short period of time, over reasonably rough ground.

ROBERT HURFORD: I feel a lot more satisfied now that we're going to get away with using it as hard as we intend to.

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, the steam-benders face their biggest challenge, so far. They have to bend the main pole of the chariot, which, at eight feet, is longer than anything they have ever bent before. Its size requires a new and bigger steam chest and a new jig to bend it. What makes this really tricky is the complicated S-shape that it must be bent into.

After four hours, the beech pole is removed from the steam chest. They have just a few seconds before the wood becomes less pliable.

The first attempt does not go well. There is a severe fracture in the bend of the pole. Thirty-five-hundred years ago, the Egyptians were turning these out by the thousands. These modern craftsmen will be happy with just two.

They'll have to keep trying.

MOHAMED ABD ELSALAM: (Translated) We've had to make new equipment, and now we have to adjust it. That's the problem.

NARRATOR: Next morning, the best of the poles they've produced and some body sections are delivered to the carpenter's shop. But there are still some cracks.

ROBERT HURFORD: We've got a small one here and a severe one there, which is halfway through. We've had a lot of trouble with all this steam-bent stuff, and we're…now really are up against it.

NARRATOR: Most of the other parts are now almost ready, but they cannot be assembled without a usable pole. Robert, who now has two chariots to produce in a week's time, is under enormous pressure. While he waits for the steam-benders to try again, he decides to see if it's possible to repair the damaged pole.

Kathy is also up against it. The harness that she has designed has been finished, but the first fitting reveals some problems.

KATHY HANSEN: Iɽ asked him for 10 centimeters here, and he gave me 11. I'm worried about this point of the shoulder. If we drop them this low, it's going to hit the point of the shoulder here.

NARRATOR: The harness is too big. It will have to go back for adjustments. But she's happier about the bridle. It includes a bit she's had specially cast, based on the ancient bit in the museum. It's an integral part of the bridle and is fixed to a low noseband. Kathy believes this keeps the horses' heads down and their weight on their back legs, making them more maneuverable.

KATHY HANSEN: This is based really a lot on their artwork. We have nothing in modern terms that is even close to this, and it looks to me like it's going to work.

NARRATOR: By now, Robert has successfully repaired the damaged pole, and it can be planed and shaped. The finished pole fits perfectly in the box joint. If the theory is right, this should improve the ride of the chariot.

All the parts for the first leather chariot are finally ready and can be lashed together with rawhide, uncured cow skin.

ROBERT HURFORD: This, in fact, is your Bronze Age substitute for nuts and bolts, so it wants to be tight.

NARRATOR: Robert also weaves rawhide strips to make the floor. Then there is a crucial drying period while the rawhide shrinks, tightening the whole structure. There is no time to lose. He has just two days before testing is scheduled to begin.

Next day is a big moment for Robert and Abdou at the carpenter's shop: the first chariot is finally ready.

Just 24 hours before they are due to start testing the chariot as a weapons platform, it is taken by truck to the Saqqara Country Club. For the first time, horses and chariot will be brought together.

But, almost immediately, there's a problem. Kathy is unhappy with the lashing of the yoke, which she feels is too rigid.

KATHY HANSEN: I can't do that to the horses. I just can't do that to the horses.

ROBERT HURFORD: There are degrees of freedom in that.

KATHY HANSEN: I yanked on that. There is no rotation front to back. What I've got to have for the horses is this—we've already talked about this—because if one of them goes forward, he's going to hit his shoulders.

ROBERT HURFORD: But, if you've got a certain degree…I know, and I can tell you for a certainty, that, if we let that lashing be loose at any point in this, the pin will break, and the lashing will work looser and looser and looser.

KATHY HANSEN: If it's not loose, you get rebellion in horses.

ROBERT HURFORD: So how did they solve it.

NARRATOR: Robert and Kathy have reached an impasse and can only agree to disagree.

ROBERT HURFORD: We're not so much at loggerheads over this as anxious that our own particular aspects of it should work properly.

KATHY HANSEN: To me, the yoke and the neck forks are part of the harness. To Robert, they're part of the chariot, so you slash them down hard, so nothing wiggles. It's just a difference of viewpoint.

NARRATOR: Before testing begins, Robert fixes the new leather panel to the chariot. He's based it on the one he saw in the museum, and he's worked out how to attach it with drawstrings.

Then it's time to see how the harness and chariot work.

Kathy agrees to try it Robert's way, with the yoke firmly lashed to the pole.

KATHY HANSEN: Nobody's ever really done this before. It will be interesting to see if it actually works.

ROBERT HURFORD: Kathy, I was expecting more padding underneath these forks.

KATHY HANSEN: I was expecting more padding underneath these forks as well. It will come, inshallah.

NARRATOR: Despite Robert's concerns about the padding under the neck forks, they go ahead. They use the smaller and less powerful grey horses.

It soon becomes clear that the neck forks are sliding back.

KATHY HANSEN: I don't like where that neck fork is now.

NARRATOR: The horses seem uncomfortable, and one kicks out at the chariot.

Robert believes it's because the harness is not tight enough to hold the neck forks in position. Kathy thinks that's not the function of the harness.

KATHY HANSEN: The harness doesn't hold anything.

ROBERT HURFORD: Well, what's it for.

KATHY HANSEN: The harness is to provide draft. So when they're in draft, hopefully it will hold them there. But, at the walk, it's very little draft.

ROBERT HURFORD: But I mean, well, it's because the neck forks aren't fixed in the harness.

NARRATOR: The second pair of horses is harnessed and they too become unsettled.

Robert is becoming fearful for his chariot.

ROBERT HURFORD: If we pull the chariot to pieces because we've only half finished the harness, it's wasting an awful lot of time. So, I'm a bit troubled at the moment.

NARRATOR: Although the leather chariot is now ready, Robert still has another one to complete.

For weeks, the steam-benders have been struggling to make the pole. They are steaming the wood for six hours now, and they finally produce a pole with a near perfect bend.

As soon as it arrives at the carpenter's shop, Robert and Abdou can finish building the electrum chariot. It is now at an advanced stage, and it only remains for the wooden panel to be shaped and fitted and for all the parts to be assembled. When it's completed, the chariot will be taken to a specialist team that is standing by to decorate it.

Next day, the time has come for the planned tests, with weapons expert, Mike Loades. They take the leather chariot to Dashur, a short way from Cairo. Dashur has a reeded lakebed on the edge of the desert, in the shadow of the Bent Pyramid and the Black Pyramid.

MIKE LOADES: I could support that with one hand, I mean two men could carry this couldn't they.

NARRATOR: Because the chariot is so light, the team is hoping it will work on the range of surfaces found here, even on soft sand. Mike, an experienced charioteer, is the first to try it out. But the harness is still causing problems. As before, the yoke forks are not staying in the right position, and the horses are in obvious discomfort. Again, they kick out at the chariot.

MIKE LOADES: Ah, come on.

NARRATOR: Mike is becoming increasingly frustrated.

MIKE LOADES: And you see, this is the problem that we get, as soon as one horse jibs a bit and it digs in and then that yokes come off. You need three or four people to come in and lift the yoke up and put them back in. You cannot have that on the battlefield. This is not a military setup. We are already putting in extra bits of strapping, and it's now looking like a lash up.

NARRATOR: Kathy agrees to tighten the neck forks to the harness, as Robert had urged.

MIKE LOADES: Good lads, good lads.

NARRATOR: Almost immediately, there's an improvement.

MIKE LOADES: They're going much better.

NARRATOR: Tightening the neck forks seems to be working, and Mike is getting a much better response from the horses. Only by building a chariot and testing it could they have found this out.

MIKE LOADES: So, we're on a learning curve it's going fairly well, and we just move on.

NARRATOR: There must be mountainous terrain, where a chariot would be of limited use, but the team now try it successfully on compacted rocky sand, on soft sand, uneven hilly ground. They even take it into the lake itself.

SAYED MAKSOUD: I think it's coming better and better for sure.

NARRATOR: The team is even able to put the chariot through a maneuverability test to assess how well it can perform the tight turns that they think are critical to its success as a war machine.

It's clear the ancient Egyptians succeeded in designing a fast, agile machine. Although the harness still needs some adjustment, the experiment is yielding real, concrete results.

BELA SANDOR: I'm very impressed, I'm very impressed. It's a bit of ancient history coming to life.

NARRATOR: Next day, the team is keen to find out just how fast the chariot can go. To help keep the harness and neck forks securely in place, the grooms add more padding. Now they're confident they can take the horses up to a gallop and measure the speed in miles per hour.

MAGDY RASHIDY: That's 21, 22, 23 and 24. It's 24 now.

KATHY HANSEN: Horses gallop full out, with a jockey, about 26. So, they did really well.

NARRATOR: And then the key test: how stable is it as a platform for archers. Mike wants to find out how difficult it is to hit a target from a moving chariot.

He approaches a simulated line of infantry.

MIKE LOADES: The first thing we're trying to find out is, "How easy is it?" That chariot is superbly made, superbly designed. The suspension is terrific.

NARRATOR: Just as everything seems to be going so well, a problem: one of the greys has kicked out again, managing to get its leg on the wrong side of the pole, tripping and snapping the pole in half.

MIKE LOADES: Just as we were making the turn, this horse got its hind leg over the pole and got stuck and straddled and was just panicking. And it just snapped the pole. We're done with that for the day.

NARRATOR: Now, the second chariot needs to be finished, urgently. Mike is already planning the next day's tests.

MIKE LOADES: I don't think it makes a great deal of military sense to run along a line of men like that. I think it would be suicide. I think what makes more military sense is what I would call a wheeling charge. I think the chariots would come up this line, and about here—probably about 30 yards out from the enemy—they would start raining their arrows in, as they went round here at the gallop, so they're exposing themselves for a limited amount of time. I would like to try that theory tomorrow, if we can get a working chariot.

NARRATOR: Fortunately, back in Cairo, the electrum chariot is nearing completion. A team of experts has added a layer of gesso, calcium carbonate, glue and water, to the wooden panel, which has cutouts to reduce the weight, like most Egyptian chariots.

They are now sculpting intricate patterns onto the panel, like this vulture, a deity whose wings offer protection to the king. They are also applying gold leaf and electrum to the body and the wheels.

Most of the chariot needs decorating in much the same way, and it will be a big task to finish it for the morning. They'll be working through the night.

Early the next day, the chariot is delivered to the test site. As it's carried out of the truck, the team can see, for the first time, how the full battle chariot of Tuthmosis III might well have looked, resplendent in gold and electrum.

As it stands gleaming in the desert, it proclaims the name of Tuthmosis III in the form of a cartouche. And on its pole, the chariot carries the gilded figure of the falcon-god Horus, with the sun disk, symbol of the pharaoh's god-like status.

Sayed hitches the horses and, slowly at first, puts the chariot through its paces. But Mike is eager to test the chariot as it might have been used in battle.

MIKE LOADES: I get an upgrade, today. I have now got the wonderful electrum chariot. This is very exciting.

NARRATOR: Mike's testing the idea that the Egyptians developed new tactics to take advantage of their improved chariot: riding hard at the enemy, and turning swiftly away while firing their arrows. The demonstration is convincing. The speed and agility of the chariot allow it to perform the tight turns that would have given the Egyptians a crucial military advantage.

KATHY HANSEN: You've got a grin from ear to ear.

MIKE LOADES: Well, that was super fun! It's working as it should. We're making thundering charges, bearing down on the enemy, tight turns and away. That was the Egyptian battle chariot in anger. I found the use of the cut out to anchor my knee in really made sense of the shape of these cut outs. The platform was an organic balance center. It became part of my body, working with my knees and hips. It just felt like an extension of the body.

NARRATOR: This war machine that the team has managed to build is the weapon, which spearheaded Egyptian advances for centuries, from the time of Tuthmosis III.

Two hundred years later, chariots like these were still in use. They took part in what might be the biggest chariot battle in history, when Ramesses II battled against the Hittites at Kadesh, in western Syria.

The Hittites were the new rising power, based around modern Turkey, and the story of the battle is recorded on the walls of Luxor Temple, recounting that thousands of chariots were involved. But, by now, the Hittites had developed an advanced three-man chariot of their own.

Both sides claimed victory, and many military experts have concluded it probably ended in a draw.

Perhaps, in the chariot arms race, the Hittites had caught up, and their chariots were now a match for the Egyptians', bringing Egypt's military dominance to an end. But seeing the chariot in use has left the team in no doubt of its role in the Egyptians' earlier success.

BELA SANDOR: The sight of it: the speed, the dust, the thunderous noise. It would be like the gods attacking them.

MIKE LOADES: We did find out things. As well as being an immensely practical hit-and-run weapon, it was also a very powerful psychological weapon: the splendor, the noise, the dust clouds—terrifying.

STEVEN HARVEY: The chariot represents a huge turning point in military history, and the Egyptian chariot is really key among these ancient technologies.

NARRATOR: Over the last three months, the team has succeeded in their aim of revealing secrets of the Egyptian chariot: how it was built and how it was used in war. They've established a wealth of new information.

KATHY HANSEN: This is like an alpha test. We just have to see what works and what doesn't work and try to rediscover how the ancient Egyptians used those systems and equipment.

ROBERT HURFORD: We knew at the beginning that this was very, very, very complicated. And I think what we've got is more or less the right thing.

STEVEN HARVEY: Tests like this are hugely valuable. It's only through replicating them and testing them under various conditions that we can really understand what exactly it was that the ancient people achieved and how they did it.

Egyptian Vessel with Galloping Horses - History

The Art of the Ancient East

In the fourth and third millennia bc, the first civilizations took shape on the vast swathes of land surrounding the great rivers of India and China. These civilizations consisted of highly developed and independent cultures, which, over the centuries, would produce important works of art and technological innovations quite distinct from those of more Western civilizations.

The Indus Valley Cities

The ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro (now in Pakistan), were the main centres of the urban civilization that developed along the Indus river, which flows from the Himalayas through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Formality and rationality governed the development of these cities in their early stages, the major sites being made up of individual rectangular areas measuring some 200 x 400 metres (650 x 1,300 feet). Straight thoroughfares ran from north to south and from east to west, with smaller streets branching off to the
sides, and a walled acropolis overlooking the cities. Wealth and power were expressed in the overall structure and appearance of the city itself rather than in individual buildings. In fact, there is no archaeological evidence of the temples, grand palaces, or royal tombs that are so characteristic of Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations. There were, however, private houses made of baked brick and wood based on a central courtyard giving access to rooms, baths, and other areas. Sensible use of the land and a constant struggle against the implacable force of the rivers, so vital to life, enabled the civilization of the Indus valley to develop over a long period (third-second millennium bc). With the help of an effective
irrigation system, farmers harvested wheat and cotton and raised livestock. Improved hydraulic techniques made it possible to create drains, pipes for drinking water, dykes, and brick wells that were shared by groups of houses. The quality of life, materially, culturally, and intellectually, was unusually advanced for its time. There was cultural and ideological unity, with unified systems of measurement and writing, and a centralized structure of political organization.

Ceramic sculpture of a small cart with vases and tools pulled by oxen,
from Mohenjo-daro

Excavations of Indus jewellery reveal a high level of craftsmanship in their working of precious metals and stones. These small ornaments may be of seemingly little importance when compared with the wealth of treasures piled up in Egyptian and Mesopotamian tombs however, they possess intrinsic value because of the sophisticated technology required to produce them. As well as gold, semiprecious stones, such as jasper, serpentine, alabaster, and steatite, were frequently used. A deep interest in artistic creation is revealed in the manipulation of raw materials through the use of chemical processes. Thus, agate was heated to obtain carnelian, and an elaborate production system was developed in order to obtain the desired form of stoneware.
Valuable objects such as jewels were undoubtedly handed down through generations, but they have rarely been found in funerary furnishings. In fact, very few personal ornaments have been recovered, which indicates an attitude towards death that was quite different from those of other ancient urban cultures.

Evidence of the artistic output of the Indus valley reveals great skill. Pottery worked on the wheel was of an exceptionally high standard. The rounded vases were decorated mainly in black on a red background or in polychrome on a lighter background. Geometrical motifs, rows of parallel lines, and chequered, circular, and spiral designs were joined with naturalistic subjects stylized plants and animal or human figures were often combined to fill available space.
Typical of the Indus culture were seals moulded in steatite. Square in shape and with a raised surface, their subjects were repetitive in pattern and based exclusively on the animal kingdom. Elephants, bison, rhinoceros, antelopes, zebras, and unicorns are the most frequent images. These animals are depicted standing before particular objects, the functions of which are sometimes unclear. Above them is a short inscription of four or five signs. The unicorn, a fantastical creature with an equine body, is always shown opposite a vessel consisting of a stem, a bowl, and another vertical piece. There are also a few specimens of bronzes, statuettes, and stone carvings. The latter are best exemplified by a splendidly expressive votive portrait of a priest from Mohenjo-daro, with its detailed rendering of the beard, delicate moulding of the face, and slight incline of the head. The Indus civilization collapsed in the 16th century bc. and the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were abandoned for rural villages. However, the Harappan style of pottery was to live on.

Fragmentary vase with ibex decoration, from Mohenjo-Daro.
National Museum. Karachi

Although the Neolithic culture of China dates from the seventh millennium bc. according to ancient written tradition it was not until the 21st century bc that the Hsia (Xia) founded the first of the Chinese dynasties. While little is known of the art of the Hsia, art found its most perfect expression in ritual bronzes under the rule of the Shang dynasty (1700- 1025bc). Designed for the presentation of offerings and sacred libations, there was a variety of different vessel types. The decoration consisted of idealized animal forms that may have had a totemic function: the t'ao-t'ie (mask of the glutton seeking to devour man), the dragon, the phoenix, birds, and fantastic monsters often stand out in relief from a background of ornamental motifs, such as meanders, intermingled triangles and parallel lines, clouds, and spirals. The imprisonment of the animal effigy or totemic creature in a ritual object may have been to harness its power and transfer its control to the shaman. The link between political and religious power, and the exercise of both by a priestly class, meant that the sovereign was responsible for the rites of worship and relations with the supernatural. They believed that earthly order needed to be reflected in heavenly order, and that control of the world of magic and the harmony of cosmic forces were essential for good government. When the Chou (Zhou) 1025-221bc)succeeded the Shang. the social and political conditions of the state underwent considerable change, and philosophical and religious systems, such as Confucianism, appeared. Ait objects of jade, bone, and ivorv, and anthropomorphic earthenware statuettes full of vivacity and movement were created to accompany the dead to the next world. Bronzes gradually lost their function of transmitting magical and divine forces, and their decoration became more abstract in style. The metal surfaces were covered with long inscriptions, perhaps to celebrate an event exalting a family or clan or to honour ancestors. A new ornamental element that comprised interlacing dragons became widespread in the "Spring and Autumn" period (c.770-476BC). during which the state took on an increasingly feudal character, and nobles often rebelled against the central power. Civil wars led to a crisis in Chou authority and brought the subsequent restoration of order in the Ch'in (Qin) dynasty (c.221-206bc). followed by the Han dynasty (206BC-ad220).

There were notable achievements in science, agriculture, and craftsmanship, and commerce was revived thanks to Chinese control of the Silk Route. Small bronzes were produced in the form of fully rounded figures of animals. Their physical features are barely sketched but reveal an acute sense of observation in their lively poses and expressions. The same characteristics were evident in many terracotta pieces - statuettes of animals or people continued the tradition of the small funerary images that characterized the Chou period. Among the most notable are the hollow brick slabs of the tombs featuring relief decoration of hunting scenes. An exceptional find from one tomb was the funeral garment of the prince Liu Sheng. made of 2.498 pieces of jade held together by 1.1kg (2,5 lb) of gold thread. The corpse was wrapped in the jade, a material that is both precious and enduring, to ensure that the body and spirit should be preserved for all eternity.

Terracotta tile with bulls pulling plough,
Han dynasty.


Among the most original products of the Indus civilization are the lively and exuberant terracotta statuettes. The subjects most often represented, on seals of steatite in particular, include animals such us tigers, buffalo, and oxen, which are shown either alone or yoked to small carts. Moulded with great realism, it is possible that these articles may have been used as toys. Small, everyday scenes - for example, a bird escaping a snare or a mother suckling her baby — were also captured with refreshing naturalism. The heads of female figurines are characterized bv their richly elaborate and varied hairstyles. Typically wrapped only in a short skirt, their bodies are adorned with necklaces. It is believed these figures were intended to portray the Mother Goddess. Mastery of three-dimensional modelling and a shrewd observation of anatomy are features of all Indus sculpture. These skills can be seen to great effect in the artists' application of pieces of clay to depict the fine details of the face and body.

Rhinoceros in bronze from the King of Zhongshan's tomb,
late third century bc. Museum of Chinese History. Peking.

Terracotta soldier in armour.
Museum of Chinese History, Peking

The artistic impulses of the Ch'in era are best revealed in the terracotta statues of soldiers that were discovered in 1974 on the site of the mausoleum of Ch'in Shih-huang-ti (Qin Shihnangdi) at Lintong in Shaanxi province. The 10.000 warriors, which have individual faces, represent even- rank in the army and numerous different racial types. The army is equipped with complete military outfits: archers, infantrymen, charioteers, and horsemen cany sharp-bladed weapons of the finest material. The height of each figure varies from 1.75 to 1.9" metres (6 to 6,5 feet), and the foot soldiers are flanked by more than 130 wooden chariots and 500 horsemen. The various bodily parts of the figures, produced in series, are of different colours. The terracotta army represents the power of the great Ch'in dynasty, whose founder. King Cheng, created the first centralized and multinational empire. In celebration of this accomplishment, he adopted the name Ch'in Shih-huang-ti, the First Emperor. He also initiated the building of the great monument of Chinese unity", the Great Wall, which extends 2.000 km (1,240 miles) from the China Sea to the northwest border of the country.

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Watch the video: Every Treasure Tells a Story: Galloping Bronze Horse (July 2022).


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