Those interested in news in the world of antique arts will want to know about a recent discovery that was uncovered at the ancient city of Myra, near present-day Demre, on the coast of Turkey . The discovery, made six meters below ground level, is the remains of a Byzantine church that is said to date back to the 12th century. Unfortunately, the church’s dome has been somewhat damaged over the centuries, but what is quite amazing is that its roof and tiles and the actual structure of the church remain intact.
In recent news around the world, the AP reports that four clay coffins estimated to be 2000 years old were unearthed in Cyprus. The coffins, untouched by grave robbers, were said to date from the Hellenistic to early Roman period, from between 300 B.C. to 100 A.D. In addition, other items found at the site included human skeletal remains, terra cotta urns and more. All of these were discovered while workers were fixing a sidewalk in a resort location.
Certainly, if you are interested in collecting antiques, or if you are already an antique collector, you have many choices. There are many antique dealers today who offer outstanding products and exceptional quality. One such dealer is Phoenix Ancient Art. They are a second generation Ancient Art company, originally founded in the mid 1960s by the late S. Aboutaam.
Having taken up his passion, Mr. Aboutaam’s sons are, today, the owners of the company. Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam run and manage both the Geneva gallery and the New York gallery (pictured here). Phoenix Ancient Art offers treasures from a large range of locations and time periods. Its scope includes Mesopotamia, the Near East, Egypt, Europe, the Balkans, Eurasia, Byzantium, the Steppes, Greece and the Roman Empire.
One of the more recent arrivals at Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, is the Egyptian Amulet of the Goddess Bastet. This amulet is in an excellent state of preservation and is from the 3rd Intermediary Period, around the 8th-7th century B.C. The amulet is complete and has retained its original intense blue color.
The goddess’s throne was made in a technique that was very popular at the end of the New Kingdom and in the beginning of the first millennium B.C. The faience was first cast and the openwork was then created by cutting away unwanted elements with a knife. While this amulet is quite small in size, the work’s quality is excellent and a number of the anatomical details have been rendered with great precision.
The goddess Bastet was quite popular at the end of the Bronze Age and, as was quite common in Egyptian art, the figure has the body of a human and the head of an animal. She is considered a mild mannered, sweeter version of the dangerous goddess Sekhmet. She is the patron of the priestly doctors of Sekhmet and she is the rpotector of women in childbirth and children.