New Data on the Silver Objects from the House of Eupolemos (Morgantina, Sicily)

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review


Due to their intrinsic value, ancient silver objects have often arrived at museums throughout the world with provenance other than that of regular excavations, and therefore much data regarding the context and the production process in the workshops of origin, as well as the circulation of such objects, is missing. The discovery of silver objects, in fact, is derived from what one may define as non-productive hoarding – archaeological collections created through the formal burial or the furtive hiding in a moment of danger of objects that were never recovered – circumstances that limit the possibility of knowing the primary use of the object in antiquity, in the manner that we can determine much more easily for other classes of materials. The high artistic level of Macedonian silver objects has led scholars to believe that similar objects of the same period (fourth-third centuries B.C.) found elsewhere came from Macedonian workshops, as well, but it is likely that there once were workshops specialized in this craft not only in Macedonia, but also in Thrace, where the production of silver vessels begins in the fifth century B.C., at Pergamon, in Syria and in southern Italy and Sicily. The existence of silver production at Syracuse is suggested by several ancient literary sources that refer to the period of Hieron II, but unfortunately very little remains of this output, to which we may attribute only two hoards, which nonetheless are of great importance: the silver from Paterno’ and the silver from Morgantina. In view of the upcoming loan of the silver vessel from Morgantina to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a campaign of indirect materials analysis was conducted on these objects at the Museo Archeologico di Aidone (Regione Siciliana), and a database in three dimensions with file resolution up to 0.1 millimeters was created for each. Non-invasive 3D scanning techniques of diagnostic investigation, including radiography, ultraviolet fluorescence, and ultra-sound have yielded information that is extremely useful for an in-depth understanding of the technology of production and the establishment a unique compositional profile for each object examined. We used a 3D portable scanning system with structured light flash bulb (Artec Spider) in order to create the digital models. These investigations constitute a kind of reverse engineering that helps us to evaluate the state of material preservation of the external and internal portions of the object and permit, each time the collection is moved to a new location, the registration of anomalies and stresses to the object through a systematic program of monitoring.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015


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