The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          

 


SYRIAN ANTIQUITIES OF THE GREEK, ROMAN
AND BYZANTINE PERIODS

Section Four

Wing of Antiquities of Hauran and of Jabal al-Arab: includes as fine collection of basalt sculptures.

Since the beginning of the second century of the Christian era, Hauran and Jabal al-Arab had become important centres of artistic creation. They have left us masterpieces which have made their contribution to civilization. The sculpture of this region is in basalt which is too hard to cut. The artist, however, was able to use this stone and to manipulate it to the form which he desired so as to make ageless masterpieces out of it. His victory over this material was the compensation of his patience to achieve the artistic shape which he had conceived and dreamed to incarnate in the world of matter. His works were characterized by originality and reflected the social life of the age. They were, therefore, marked by a local artistic colour and a quality signifying universal product. A number of these sculptures have been exhibited in this wing .We shall explain them after seeing the glass pieces displayed In this hall and with the other antiquities discovered at Tell Um Hauran near the village of Nawa.

Glorifications of the Earth :

Important mosaic pavement representing a vast allegorical scene surrounded with a frame ornamented with geometrical designs. Its theme is related to glorifications of the earth. In the centre a woman appears amidst her children, symbol of the earth and its fruits. On the left, we see a person holding a wheel in his right hand, symbol of the Time, behind him appears four young girls incarnating the four seasons. To their left appears the goddess of vegetation contemplating the earth and its fruits. On the right appears an artist modeling a statue with the clay of the earth and drawing his inspiration from the beauty of the spirit. In the upper part of the tablet we sec heads of children blowing what incarnate the four winds. L. 332 cm. H. 272.5 cm.

 

Mosaic pavement representing the Orontes :
On this mosaic, the Orontes appears in a human form. He holds the horn of abundance in his left hand. On his right, three children are approaching him. On his left, we see two other children. The children symbolize the lands which are in need of irrigation. The scene is surrounded with three frames consisting of stone, mosaic cubes. These pieces have been discovered by the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums in a floor of a bath at the village of Ghalline, Latakia.
 

 

 

 

The Marble Coffin (Troy):

Found at Al-Rastan inside a cemetery, in 8 / 4 / 1977 , from Shamsigram the Arabian family era, that ruled Al-Rastan and Homs. Made from white marble , manufactured by an artistic school Attica province and her centre is Athens in Greece .

 Engraved on his cover a man with his wife in situation of harmony, they wear transparent garments; sit on embroidered couch and scenes from the naval banquet. The coffin drilled from single block of marbles, his three sides is decorated by scenes from Iliad and Odyssey between tow bands of Greek decorations.

In the three scenes, the front and the tow sides, we can see three Greek ships carrying Agamemnon king of Sparta with his soldiers and they clashed with their opponents, some of them fallen and swords penetrated the chests the others .And Helen, which was abducted by Paris, appeared here or maybe she is the victory goddess. These scenes symbolize that life is a battle and the death is a victory.

In the fourth side (the back), tow Phoenixes (Gorgons) was carved analogous between tow trees, between them there is a round altar with fruits above him.
Phoenix was put in cemeteries for dismissal evil spirits.

 

Basalt high relief depicting Hercules in combat with a lion. Hercules appears nude with strong muscles, lie catches hold of the lion neck. The lion stands on its hind quarters and reclines his front quarters on the leg of the hero whose face reflects no signs of effort. Found at Sweida.
 H. 85 cm.
 

Basalt statue depicting Victory standing on globe. She inclines forward as if she were about to fly. Her long dress has clasp on the left shoulder. The dress reveals the shoulder and the right breast. There is a Greek inscription on the lower part of the globe read "Asmathos, son of Solymos, has made this statue at his own expense". a Found at Sweida.
 H. 108 cm.
 

Basalt statue depicting Minerva. The goddess is standing on a rectangular base. Her left foot is inclining a little forward. She wears a long pleated robe with two clasps on the two shoulders. The breast is protected by armor decorated with a Gorgon. The features express seriousness. Her cur wavy hair hangs down over the back of her neck, and it is topped by a high helmet. She holds an oval shield in her left hand. She raised her right hand as if she were carrying a lance. Found at Sweida. H. 150 cm

 
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