Previous First Next
SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
yellowish, which is owing to the presence of oxide of iron. It is often found lining agate geodes, in trap rocks, and sometimes stratified, various tints alternating. It is semi-transparent, translucent (to nearly opaque), and as hard as. quartz, but much less fragile, being very tough, and breaking with an even fracture, exhibiting little or no lustre. It is found in flints. From its hardness and toughness, this stone is well adapted for engraving, and has been used for this purpose from the most ancient period.1 That the chalcedony was esteemed by the ancients to be one of the most precious stonesis sufficiently shown by St. John the Divine, who, in his account of the foundations of "that great city, the holy Jerusalem",writes: "And2 the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The firstfoundation was jasper; the second sapphire; the third, a chalcedony." Fig. 171 represents a small chalcedony vase found in a tomb at SALAMIS a in 1867. The vase is of late Egyptian style, and of the shape of the Egyptian situla or bucket. Around the upper part of this small vase is an ornament like a Phœnician inscription, but the letters are so indistinct, that it is impossible to conjecture the signification of the writing. Inside, suspended by a gold wire from two small handles on the top of the vase, is a little amulet of uncertain shape. The accompanying figure (172) represents an amulet, or
1 H. Emanuel, Diamonds and Precious Stoms, 18G7. 2 Rev. xxi, 19.
toy, carved in form of the cuttle fish, or sepia. The shield-shaped hody is adorned with an inscription in Phœnician letters, but they are unfortunately so indistinct from age, and so nearly obliterated, that it would be rash to hazard a conjecture as to their meaning. An inscribed roundle, or plaque, perhaps an amulet or inlaying piece (fig. 173), which I found in the ground at Salamis has upon it an. eagle or other bird displayed, surrounded by an illegible and nearly obliterated inscription in characters which may be Phœnician or old Greek. Among the more interesting objects belonging to this class, Plate xvi, fig. 1 represents a toy-duck, fitted with a movable head, and a lid of the back and wings, now wanting. This is formed of bluish-white chalcedony. There are two necklaces or bracelets in the collection,1 composed of bugles of ovoid, cylindrical shapes, alternating with carved or striated spherical beads, some of which are painted with circles or amulets of blue, pink, and yellow colours. Each of these bracelets has a pendant, illustrating the worship of the phallus, one of which shews traces of gilding, and is painted with bands of red, and other colour; and it is so formed as to represent that object as the emblem of the classical god of gardens. Of chalcedony, I found also a handsomely-shaped bowl or drinking-cup of a yellowish tinge,2 with fluted body, and wide swelling lip; the whole in some respect resembling the bowl of a modern goblet. In the same plate, I have figured an enamelled female head of great beauty.3 Plate xvi, fig. 6, represents an Egyptian amulet in form of Anepu, or Anubis, the jackal-headed god, who, according to Greek legends, was the son of the goddess Nebta, or, according to other and, perhaps, more orthodox traditions, the son of Osiris and Isis. The jackal, a common Egyptian annual, was exclusively the emblem of Anubis, who is almost always represented—as, indeed, in the present specimen—with the
1 PI. xvi, figs. 2, 3. 2 Fig. 4. 3 Fig. 5.
head of the jackal instead of the human head. In the system of the Egyptian Pantheon, Anubis was the divinity who presided over the processes of embalmment and sanctification of the dead, and guarded the "Roads of the South and North of Heaven and Earth". In this example, he is walking, with the left foot advanced in the Egyptian manner, wearing the head dress, called namms, and the tunic, called silenti, around the loins. The next object represented in the same plate is an amulet, or toy, perhaps a doll, of light blue colour, almost white. It appears to be a rude and uncompleted figure of a female.1 A kneeling figure of uncertain period and style is placed next in order.2 A symbolic eye, called uta by the Egyptians, to whose workmanship this little amulet must be assigned,3 is of "interest, coming, as it does, from Cypriote tombs. These symbolic eyes are attributed to the "Sun and Moon"; or they maybe taken as the
Previous First Next