Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shameless Copper-washing in San Francisco

"Masters of Fire",  an exhibition organized by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and the Israel Antiquities Authority in collaboration with The Israel Museum  is now at the San Francisco Legion Of Honor.

Expect Jewish Voice to Peace to stomp up and down in a snit, accusing the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco of "copper-washing" Israeli war crimes.

In 1961, a hoard of hundreds of objects were discovered in a cave , 820 feet above the canyon floor, by  Israeli archaeologist Pessah Bar-Adon. The extraordinary discoveries in the Cave of the Treasure at Nahal Mishmar  included 432 copper, bronze, ivory and stone decorated objects; 240 mace heads,  100 scepters, 5 crowns, tools and weapons. Aside from the beautiful craftsmanship, the items show a clear picture of the emerging social stratification of the Chalcolithic era.

From the Legion of Honor Website:

Masters of Fire is the first exhibition in the United States devoted to the art of this formative period and features oddly shaped zoomorphic ossuaries, basalt stands with human faces, hoards of copper ritual objects, linen and wool textiles, carved ivory human figures, and other hauntingly beautiful objects that illustrate how the technical, social, and aesthetic developments of this period laid the groundwork for later cultural expansion. The exhibition examines four distinct regions, each with its own set of independent traditions: the Golan plateau, the north-central plain, the Beersheba Valley/northern Negev, and the Jordan Valley. Together, their collective production reveals the lives of the people who inhabited the ancient Near East in its early stages of cultural formation.

The exhibit, "Masters of Fire: The Copper Age in the Holy Land" runs from June 28, 2014-January 4, 2105.  There is also a virtual tour of the exhibit here

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