Home News Science 3,500-year-old sculpture could rewrite the history of art

3,500-year-old sculpture could rewrite the history of art

In 2015, researchers at the University of Cincinnati unearthed a Bronze Age tomb in Pylos, southwest Greece. It would have been that of the Griffin Warrior and would date back to around 3,500 years ago. Inside, real treasures including this agate stone, seemingly harmless...

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Ancient-Greece

It took more than a year of restoration to reveal its true form. As the details appeared, the researchers knew that they had in their hands a true masterpiece. This agate stone was actually a seal, used as a buffer on clay or wax. The seal, named “Pylos Combat Agate” depicts a duel between two warriors, with a third lying on the ground. The scene was carved on 3.6 cm, some details not measuring more than half a millimeter.

Pylos-Combat-Agate

The fascinating thing is that the representation of the human body is at a level of detail and musculature that is not found before the period classical Greek art 1,000 years later. It’s a spectacular discovery.”

This seal could rewrite our modern understanding of the history of art and the development of Greek art. How the inhabitants of this time could accomplish such sculptures without the modern tools remains a mystery to the researchers: ” This seal should be included in all the new texts of the history of art, and it will change the way the ‘prehistoric art is perceived ,’ said Shari Stocker, one of the researchers at the University of Cincinnati.

Research continues in the tomb of the Griffin Warrior. More than 3,000 objects have already been discovered, some with precious stones. “There are still many surprises to come, that are for sure, “said Jack Davis.

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