All-time prehistoric (a.k.a What is a nautilus doing in Sparta?)

This is a forum for off topic discussions, including testing if you are unsure how to post.

Moderator: pothos moderators

Post Reply
system1988
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:20 am
Location: Athens, Greece

All-time prehistoric (a.k.a What is a nautilus doing in Sparta?)

Post by system1988 »

This summer has seen the end of the excavations at the Sparta plain that began back in 2009.

In particular a Mycenean palace has come to light and the temple of Amikleos Appollo has been more clearly defined at its borders. The palace was 35 acres and dates back to 14th BC. Among the findings many Mycenean II inscriptions were found clay bull stattuetes as well as signet rings, 21 bronze swords etc.

The signet that is depicted here is shaped to look like a Nautilus sea creature
original2.jpg
original2.jpg (63.77 KiB) Viewed 2071 times
It is a little weird but it raises the question of where did the creator of the signet ring foudn such an animal (maybe a fossil as ancient sea levels may have once reached what would be land areas in 14th BC) or was it found in the nets of a fisherman at the time and was brought to the user of the signet as a a gift and later on used as symbol for him? (my hypothesies at least)

Here is a link to live today members of the species

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIRCI0G19Uw

Here is the second photo
original.jpg
original.jpg (42.81 KiB) Viewed 2071 times
It is a ritual vase's part is the shape of a bull's head. I really like the ears.

Finally here is the link to the entire article and findings of the excavation. I was unable to find a translation

http://www.huffingtonpost.gr/2015/08/25 ... 37996.html
Πάντες άνθρωποι του ειδέναι ορέγονται φύσει
hiphys
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:59 am

Re: All-time prehistoric (a.k.a What is a nautilus doing in Sparta?)

Post by hiphys »

Really, really interesting post! I knew there were excavations on the place of Sparta from few lines I read on a newspaper, but I didn't know they found so many beautiful objects, and, above all, many tablets (leaf- and page-tablets) with Linear B inscriptions! As for the nautilus, I remember to have seen a majolica nautilus in the Knossos Museum. As soon as I'll have time to research the photo on my catalogue, I'll tell you the number of cataloguing: anyway it is by no means weird, on the contrary it is well placed on the Minoan art tradition!
system1988
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:20 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: All-time prehistoric (a.k.a What is a nautilus doing in Sparta?)

Post by system1988 »

hiphys wrote:Really, really interesting post! I knew there were excavations on the place of Sparta from few lines I read on a newspaper, but I didn't know they found so many beautiful objects, and, above all, many tablets (leaf- and page-tablets) with Linear B inscriptions! As for the nautilus, I remember to have seen a majolica nautilus in the Knossos Museum. As soon as I'll have time to research the photo on my catalogue, I'll tell you the number of cataloguing: anyway it is by no means weird, on the contrary it is well placed on the Minoan art tradition!
The minoan art of engraving seals is older and much more frequent (in Crete there are more signets than the mycenean continental Greece combined). However the mycenean signets also used animals as their decorative symbols. Who knows, maybe the signet in question might have been something imported from Crete since it has a sea creature as its symbol. Nevertheless I am of the impression that the nautilus animal is a rare finding even in the case of Crete.

Thank you for your comment!
Πάντες άνθρωποι του ειδέναι ορέγονται φύσει
hiphys
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:59 am

Re: All-time prehistoric (a.k.a What is a nautilus doing in Sparta?)

Post by hiphys »

In my catalogue of the Herakleion Museum, by J.A.Sakellarakis, I found a faience rhyton in the shape of an argonaut (Case 117, no. 311, p.78: yes I know nautilus and argonaut aren't precisely the same animal, but it is possible to call paper nautilus this particular shape). In the same book there is a photo of a jug decorated with argonauts 'almost real-looking' (Case 113, without number, p.73-74).
Perhaps nautilus/ argonaut isn't a major decoration in Minoan art, but it is preserved almost in two different objects till now. Certainly the gorgeous Greek sea provided many items to artists!
Post Reply