Category Archives: Arqueología

Umayyad Caliphate art. Madinat al-Zahra replicas

Caliphic art is one of the stages of development of Islamic art in Al-Andalus, and passes between the 8th and 10th centuries, (beginning of the Taifa Kingdoms).

Andalusí Muslim art developed according to religious canons and oriental influences, adapting many times to pre-Muslim architectural and decorative techniques or motifs.

In Cordoba, capital of the caliphate created by Abderramán III in 929, there are some of the most representative buildings of this stage. The Mezquita and Medina Azahara. (Madinat al-Zahra).

Madinat al-Zahra was a city created on the outskirts of Cordoba (about 8 km in the direction of Sierra Morena), which stood out for the luxury with which it was built although it had a brief existence.

The archaeological site of Medina Azahara has been declared monument of cultural interest since 1923. On January 27, 2015, Madinat al-Zahra was inscribed on the Indicative List of Spain of the World Heritage Site, category of cultural property (No. ref 5978).

On January 12, 2017, the final document of the candidacy was registered to be part of the World Heritage List.

As part of the items on sale in his museum, we have made reproductions of two elements representative of the art (and craftsmanship) of the site.

 

“Ataurique. House of Ya’far.”

 

Imagen facilitada por la tienda del museo para su estudio y reproducción.

 

Detail of a board with decoration of ataurique – decorative vegetal motif, typical of Islamic art, created from the stylization of leaves and fruits – located in the span of the facade of the house of Ya’far, prime minister of al-Hakam II from the year 350 (AD 961)

Reproduction made in aged resin, on velvet and frame to hang.

Ataurique reproduction. Ya’far house.
Ataurique reproduction. Ya’far house.
Ataurique reproduction. Ya’far house.
Portada de la vivienda de Ya’far. De Sombradeparra – http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/cultura/museos/CAMA/

 

This wall rises on the eastern side of the patio that precedes the official or working area of the dwelling, constituting the monumental facade of it.

 

 

 

 

 

“Casket of Princess Wallada”

 

Replica of the casket of Princess Wallada which is preserved in the museum.

This ivory chest includes a dedication to a member of the Umayyad family, the main recipient of these luxury objects destined for high dignitaries and foreign ambassadors. Held in Caliph’s workshops, this chest dedicated to Wallada, sister of al-Hakam II, is one of only two pieces in whose inscription it is said that they were made in Madinat al-Zahra:

 

“In the name of God, blessing of God, rejoicing, happiness and joy for Sister Wallada for what was done in Madinat al-Zahra in 355 AD 966”

The box that is currently exhibited in the museum is a careful replica, since the original belongs to the Foundation Institute Valencia Don Juan.

Our reproduction is built in a smaller size, since it is conceived to be sold as souvenir in the museums store, although conserving the essence of the original one. Made in resin with marble load.

Both pieces are on sale in the museum’s physical store in the Madinat Al-Zahra Archaeological site.

More information:

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arte_emiral_y_califal

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina_Azahara

https://www.tiendasculturalesdeandalucia.es/cultura/tiendas-culturales/web/guest/home/-/articulo/tienda/TMZ

The Nebra Disk

The Nebra Sky Disk is, to date, the oldest known depiction of the sky and astronomical phenomena. It is an archaeological find discovered in 1999 on Mount Mittelberg, near Nebra (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany). It is a bronze plaque with gold decorations, almost round, weighing about 2 kg and has a diameter of approximately 32 cm. It belongs to a culture of 3,600 years ago, whose skills were native.

Wikipedia

Digital StillCamera
© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt (Foto: Juraj Lipták)

Some claim that it was an astronomical instrument, in which are represented the sun, the moon, and 32 points that can represent stars (the Pleiades and other constellations) and two opposing arcs coinciding with the position of the “portion” of horizon East and West on which the sun rises and sets throughout the year.

There is also a representation of an arc, which some call “solar boat” or “ship”, about whose meaning there is no definitive agreement.

Others consider is as a simple abstract representation of the sky, with some decorative or ritual value , it may be part of the decoration of a shield (was found with two swords).

Dating is complicated, because although it has been determined that the burial dates from around 1600 BC, it is difficult for scientists to verify the date of construction, which may have been much earlier.

The disk as we see it now has a different aspect of the original, which has gone through various stages:

Estados del disco a lo largo del tiempo. Foto:  LDA Sachsen-Anhalt
Estados del disco a lo largo del tiempo. Foto: LDA Sachsen-Anhalt

First: Representation of the sun, moon and 32 stars.
Second: Embedding two arcs on the horizon, (east-west).
Third: Overlay the “boat”.
Fourth: Drilling at the edges.

When it was buried, has missed one of the two horizon arcs.

Here you have the page of the museum where it is currently located:

http://www.himmelsscheibe-erleben.de/

And more:

http://www.lda-lsa.de/en/nebra_sky_disc/

http://allgriffs.blogspot.com.es/2012/06/nebra-sky-disc.html

Despite the lack of agreement and the many interpretations of its origin and function, it certainly is a valuable finding that has been included in the “Memory of the World” by Unesco.

Since we saw it a while ago we thought it was an object that had to decorate our house, and here is our interpretation.

nebra8 (Large)
nebra2 (Large)

Made carved and painted by hand on an aluminum plate, a half scale. Has a diameter of 15 cm and is provided in a frame and protected with a front glass.

nebra1 (Large)

nebra9 (Large)

References:

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_celeste_de_Nebra
http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-technology/secrets-nebra-sky-disc-001526