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Paris to Barcelona: 2010 July 31, 2010

Posted by schlanghole in History, Travel.
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My wife, sister in law, two friends and I are going to France. I wrote a 21 page word document which includes the historical background and detail for each region, town, museum, monument, etc. Below is the “short version” of our itinerary. I plan on tweeting and blogging each day of the trip once we are underway.

Day 1

Accommodations: Paris

Agenda: Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, Boat ride on the Seine

Day 2

Accommodations: Paris

Agenda: D’Orsay Museum, Ile de la Cité, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, Saint Chapelle, Pont Neuf, Eiffel Tower

Day 3

Accommodations: Paris

Agenda: Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Tuileries Gardens, Louvre

Day 4

Accommodations: Sarlat-la-Caneda

Agenda: Versailles Palace, Versailles Gardens, Sarlat-la-Caneda

Day 5

Accommodations: Sarlat-la-Caneda

Agenda: Canoe trip on Dordogne River, Domme, Château de Castelnaud, La Roque-Gageac, Beynac-et-Cazenac, Chateau de Beynac

Day 6

Accommodations: Sarlat-la-Caneda

Agenda: Sarlat Saturday market, wine trip to Saint-Émilion

Day 7

Accommodations: Sarlat-la-Caneda

Agenda: Montfort Castle, Fenelon Castle, cave drawings at Grotte de Font-de-Gaume and Grotte de Rouffignac

Day 8

Accommodations: Carcassone

Agenda: Rocamadour, Chapel of our Lady, Carcassone

Day 9

Accommodations: Arles

Agenda: Carcassone, Arles, Roman Amphitheatre, Roman Theatre, Alyscamps, Thermae of Constantine

Day 10

Accommodations: Arles

Agenda: Cassis, charter boat to the Calanques, Beaches

Day 11

Accommodations: Arles

Agenda: Sainte Berthe Vineyard, Les Baux

Day 12

Accommodations: Arles

Agenda: Nimes, Roman amphitheatre, Maison Carrée, Pont du Gard Aqueduct

Day 13

Accommodations: Barcelona

Agenda: Train from Montpelier to Barcelona, La Rambla, Gothic Quarter

Day 14

Accommodations: Barcelona

Agenda: La Seu, Plaça del Rei, Plaça de Sant Jaume, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell

Day 15

Accommodations: Barcelona

Agenda: Picasso Museum, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, Plaça Reial

Day 16

Fly home

Complete map with all stops: 1,467 miles // http://bit.ly/d8yXce


My Antiquity Collection July 18, 2010

Posted by schlanghole in History.
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I consider myself an amateur historian. I like to read and research all things history but focus mostly on ancient history. When I travel, it is almost exclusively to places with a past ancient civilization and history. Some examples of places we’ve been (so far) and their ancient peoples are:

Greece (Athenians, Macedonians, Dorians, Minoans, Spartans, Corinthians, Mycenaeans, Ionians, Roman)
Italy (Etruscan, Greek, Roman)
Germany (Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, Franks, Lombards, Celts, Roman)
Spain (Iberian, Celts, Lusitanians, Vascones, Basques, Romans)
Austria (Celts, Bavarians, Slavs, Avars, Francs, Romans)
Peru (Incans)
Mexico (Aztecs & Mayans)
Switzerland (Helevtians, Francs, Burgundians, Alamannens, Romans)
Czech Republic (Slavs, Bohemians, Moravians)
Hungary (Scythians, Huns, Avars, Magyars, Bulgars, Ottomans)
Egypt (Egyptians, Hyksos, Libyans, Assyrians, Kushites, Macedonians, Romans)
Turkey (Hittites, Byzantines, Greeks, Trojans, Persians, Eastern Roman empire, Turks, Ottomans).

It has only been the last couple years that I have started collecting antiquities and through my travels and research I’ve met many dealers of ancient antiquities. When acquiring antiquities, it is important to know you are working with reputable dealers. There are many ways to ensure you are acquiring both an authentic piece and one that can be legally bought and sold. Selling and buying of illegal pieces only encourages looting, desecration of ancient archeological sites, and steals the history and cultural identity from that country and their people. All of my pieces come with both lifetime certificates and provenance which guarantees their date of origin, archeological information, original acquisition date, and authenticity.

I am proud to present some pieces from my collection below.

Palestinian Jug

Origin: Northwest Isreal
Date: Early Bronze Age 2000-2400 B.C.
Acquired: Peter Negus Collection
Description: It was used to pour a variety of different liquids including water, olive oil, and wine. I acquired this from a museum which had the original collectors tag. Small chips to the rim, some inoffensive encrustation and minor wear to the decoration but otherwise in remarkable shape for being over 4000 years old.

Greek Oil Lamp

Origin: Greco-Punic, North Africa
Date: 300-400 B.C.
Acquired: Private UK Collection
Description: Oil lamps were used in antiquity to produce light continuously for a period of time. They were also widely used for funerary and votive purposes. This piece is a good example of a type of Greek lamp made in North Africa in the characteristic grey clay with beautiful meander pattern.

Indus Valley Jar

Origin: Nal phase, Mehrgarh culture, Indus Valley
Date: 3300-3000 B.C.
Acquired: BC Galleries
Description: The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the very oldest known civilizations and centered mostly in the western part of the Indian Subcontinent in what is now the border region of Pakistan and India around the Indus River basin. This is currently the oldest piece in my collection at 5000+ years old. Some of the dirt from the original dig is still visible on the jar with linear and cross-hatch designs in brown and reddish pigments.

Roman Glazed Pottery Bowl

Origin: Roman
Date: 100 A.D.
Acquired: Private Dutch Collection
Description: This is a red glazed pottery bowl with a really nice ring foot and a sharply profiled shoulder. This bowl is in nearly perfect condition with no chips or defects. Still evident are earth accretions from where it was found. Whenever I look at this small bowl, I think of how much we’ve become a “big-gulp” society with our over-indulgence and over-the-top consumption.

Kushan Spouted Vessel

Origin: North India
Date: 100-200 A.D.
Acquired: BC Galleries
Description: The Kushans established their empire in the first century A.D. in what is today Pakistan and northern India. Made of terracotta with pretty abstract designs, this little vessel was probably used to store perfume.

Nazca Trophy Head Pottery Bowl

Origin: Peru, Nazca culture
Date: 250 A.D.
Acquired: Wallis Gallery
Description: This is truly a wonderful example of ancient peruvian pottery. It’s probably the most colorful as well as “youngest” piece in my collection. It is also my only current South American piece.

Roman Ceramic Toy Horse

Origin: Italy
Date: 200-300 A.D.
Acquired: London Museum
Description: This is a ceramic model of a horse with harness and was probably used as a child’s toy. Its ears are missing as well as part of its tail. It was once exhibited at “Equus, Three Millennia of the Horse” at 181 Piccadilly, London from April-June 2003. We sometimes forget that in ancient times there were children and those children, just as today, played with toys.

Chinese Neolithic Painted Jar

Origin: China
Date: 2300-2000 B.C.
Acquired: Brian Page Antiques
Description: This twin-handled pottery jar was made over 4000 years ago during the Machang Phase of the Majiayao culture also known as the Gansu-Yangshao culture, from present day Gansu or Qinghai province. The outside of the jar and the inner rim have been decorated with geometric patterns painted onto the surface in a mineral-based pigment prior to firing in the Neolithic kin. My favorite feature is a painted “X” on the lower body which is possibly the mark of the potter.

Roman Egyptian Limestone Dice

Origin: Egypt
Date: 100-400 A.D.
Acquired: BC Galleries
Description: These dice were probably carried by a Roman soldier and was usually carried around in their mouth. Unlike todays dice, the opposite sides do not equal seven.

Roman Alabaster Dice

Origin: Italy
Date: 100 A.D.
Acquired: Ancient & Oriental Galleries
Description: Really excellent condition and some of the colored pigment is still evident.

Luristan Bronze Warrior's Cuffs

Origin: Modern Day Iran
Date: 1000 B.C.
Acquired: Wallis Gallery via Michael C. Carlos Museum collection at Emory University
Description: Luristan origins are obscure, but they seem to have been ancestral to the Medes and Persians. Their communities lived in and around the Zagros Mountains between Iran and Iraq in the late 2nd and early 1st millennia B.C. These are a fantastically well-preserved set of ancient Luristan bronze warrior’s gauntlets. These cuffs are decorated with repousse shapes including rhombi and symmetrical dots. Pierced running the edges for sewing onto a tunic or other armor. Interestingly, the interior of each cuff shows the pattern of human skin where the bronze was mineralizing while attached to the person with whom they were buried.

Cypriot Flask

Origin: Cyprus
Date: Middle Bronze Age, 1725-1650 B.C.
Acquired: Jorgen Jacobsen collection, Bornholm Denmark
Description: Cypriot pottery was very much coveted and traded extensively by the ancients and I can see why. This is one of the most beautiful pieces in my collection because of its superb proportions with its perfectly formed round body mounted with a slender flaring neck and a thin strap handle. The entire body was originally covered in a grey slip and painted with intricate red horizontal lines; although much of this has been lost it is easy to appreciate the quality of the original design.

Egyptian Terracotta Toy Horse

Origin: Egypt
Date: Ptolemaic Period, 300-200 B.C.
Acquired: Nomis Antiquities Inc.
Description: A hand-formed terracotta child’s toy depicting a horse with rider. Attractive features retaining most of the original brown and white pigments. It was pierced through the mouth for a snaffle bit, by which the child could drag the toy around.

Chinese Painted Pottery Cocoon Jar

Origin: China
Date: Han Dynasty, 206 B.C. – 220 A.D.
Acquired: Michael Goedhuis Gallery / Collection sold at Bonham’s, London
Description: This pottery “cocoon” jar was made some 2000 years ago during the Han Dynasty. The purpose of such jars was for the storage of grain for use in the afterlife. It is decorated in colored pigments with a design of cloud patterns with vertical bands.

Egyptian Faience Shabti

Origin: Egypt
Date: Late Period, 712 B.C. – 332 B.C.
Acquired: Wallis Gallery of Antiquities
Description: Shabtis were funerary figurines used in Ancient Egypt. They were placed in tombs among the grave goods and were intended to act as substitutes for the deceased, should he/she be called upon to do manual labor in the afterlife. My Late Period faience shabti was for Ptah-Hotep and comes inscribed with a T-Band of hieroglyphics. The hieroglyphics have been translated and the inscription reads: The illuminated Osiris, the Lord of the force, god’s servant Ptah-hotep, justified, born of Ta-weret, justified! The inscription is the classical order: 1) Osiris-Title 2) Title of the deceased: “Lord of the force, god’s servant” 3) Name of deceased: “Ptah-hotep” (Ptah is satisfied) 4) Further affiliation: born of Ta-weret (the great).