Classical Period
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    ISBN: 9788891311269

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  • Abstract

    The funerary field is particularly interesting and rich in stimuli allowing us knowledge of religious thought and art of ancient civilisations.
    Pre-Islamic South Arabia (8th century BC - 6th century AD) produced a large amount of objects related to this field and, among them, the funerary stelae are the most important for their large number, the variety of subjects and decorations represented on them.
    Starting from the rich British Museum collection, this study organizes and classifies material for the most part from the international antique trade. Often information regarding provenance and archaeological context is lacking here. However, the analysis of these stelae allows us to reconstruct a picture rich in regional styles, with reciprocal influences.
    From the archaic and more traditional stylized expressions - typical of the Minaean region - to the more recent complex and figurative representations of the Sabaean area, this book shows the originality and specificity of South Arabian art, paying particular attention to the contacts with foreign cultures, especially with the Hellenistic and Roman world.
    Such foreign influences are analysed in depth in the rich Appendix, edited by Fabio E. Betti, where specific topics in relation to the changes in ancient South Arabian art during the first centuries AD are studied. They were changes of 'fashion', evident especially in decorative motifs within the architecture and the daily life of the South Arabian élites, as shown by the clothes, hairstyles and jewellery of the women of that time.

  • Table of Contents

    Foreword

    Introduction
    The city of dead
    The memory' and representation of the dead
    The faith in the afterlife

    Criteria of stelae presentation

    Part 1 - Anthropomorphic Stelae

    Chapter 1- Stelae with human faces
    Stelae with eyes
    Stelae with stylized human face Stelae with human face in high relief

    Chapter 2 - Pillar stelae with niches and human heads
    Regional traditions
    Face plaques and human heads Three-dimensional heads

    Chapter 3 - Stelae with female figures
    Stelae with female bust
    Stelae with complete female figures
    Stela with two figures carved inside a niche

    Chapter 4 - Stelae with narrative' scenes

    Chapter 5 - Aniconic stelae
    The ?a?rami production

    Chapter 6 - Stelae with bull's head

    Chapter 7 - A nfs stela with decorated framework

    Catalogue of the British Museum Stelae Collection

    APPENDIX by Fabio Eugenio Betti

    Appendix 1 - Architectural Elements
    Fragment of pediment
    Arch fragment with eagle and snake Decorated capital

    Appendix 2 - South Arabian hairstyles: typologies, characteristics and influences
    Female hairstyles
    South Arabian types with Roman' inspired coiffures

    Appendix 3 - Fashion jewellery in South Arabia
    Materials and techniques Bracelets and chains Finger-rings

    Catalogue of the British Museum Objects Quoted in the Appendix

    Bibliography

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