Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘carving’

Photo: CNRS / MADAJ / R. Schwerdtner
Mysterious 2,000-year-old camel carvings found in Saudi Arabian desert.

The lure of space travel notwithstanding, there’s still a lot to discover and puzzle out on Planet Earth. In this story, archaeological adventurers ask why life-size camels might have been carved 2,000 years ago in a Saudi Arabian desert.

Ruth Schuster explores the mystery at Haaretz. “About a dozen life-sized stone sculptures and reliefs of camels have been found in a markedly inhospitable site in northern Saudi Arabia. While camelid art has existed in the region going back millennia, nothing quite like this has been found before.

“The somewhat eroded statues are tentatively dated at around 2,000 years old, give or take a century or more, according to a collaboration between the French National Center for Scientific Research and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage reported [in] the Cambridge journal of Antiquity. …

“No associated artifacts were found at Camel Site that could give clues about origin – no hammers, picks or anything.  …

“For all the art, Camel Site seems not to have been inhabited. As the authors write, it ‘does not seem propitious for permanent human settlement.’ However, they point out, the fact that ‘this isolated and seemingly uninhabitable site attracted highly skilled rock-carvers is striking testimony to its importance for surrounding populations.’

“For instance, it might have been a place of veneration going back generations. … Or the site could have been a boundary marker. Or a rest stop for caravans. …

“The camels were carved in proportion. Muscles and heads, particularly the muzzles and eyes, and the thickness of the legs were individual. These were lovingly depicted camels.”

More about the work to uncover the story of the carved camels may be found here. I was surprised to learn camels actually emerged first in North America.

By the way, I once rode a camel briefly. I was five months pregnant with John. I think I pretty much just got on and then got off.

Read Full Post »

discussing-finances

I’m not much of a world traveler although I always enjoy new places once I get there. I feel sufficiently challenged, though, just trying to see what is in front of me and delving into meanings.

I overheard two men who were walking in a shade-dappled lane this morning. They were discussing “operations” and the “lowest cost per month” and were consulting a smartphone. I’m not sure they saw much in front of them.

Not to be superior, I miss things, too. How many times have I come up out of the Porter Square subway station to cross the street and not noticed the bollards with the mysterious carvings? I’ve pasted three samples below.

A few more photos. Two sides of an especially nice paint job on the Painted Rock. A whole family brought their beach chairs and drinks to watch the artists among them paint the sunset, boats, and sea creatures and then photograph the art before someone painted over it with new messages. Which happened in a couple hours and involved much less style. But that’s OK — the rock is the billboard of pure democracy.

On another rock, one I had never noticed until early Saturday, please note directions to China.

Circling back to the “lowest cost” guys, when I got to the bend in the lane, they were gone. I was walking so much slower than they were.

mysterious-carving-3

mysterious-carving-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mysterious-carving-1

direction-to-china

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rock-with-octopus

rock-with-sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RI-summer-lane

Read Full Post »

Lisa W. Foderaro writes in today‘s NY Times (here) about several elaborate carved-pumpkin events in and around New York City. Her article caught my eye because yesterday Suzanne and Erik took their baby dragon and Erik’s mother, sister, niece, nephews (in costume), yours truly and my husband to something pretty dramatic along those lines. In Providence.

As I was reading Foderaro and feeling competitive with New York, this bit in the story jumped out:

“Two carvers, Ray Villafane and Andy Bergholtz, who developed a national following on the Food Network’s ‘Halloween Wars’ show, were at the [New York Botanical] Garden in mid-October, using six-inch rinds of Atlantic Giant pumpkins to sculpture the zombie, whose organs and intestines poke through his cracked ribs. Their assistants were busy harvesting chunks of pumpkin with handsaws and, for the zombie’s jeans, steaming pumpkin rinds.

“Mr. Villafane, a commercial sculptor who has made a year-round business out of carving pumpkins, said … his one disappointment this year was that the official ‘all-time biggest pumpkin,’ the first to weigh more than a ton, did not make it to the Bronx, as was planned. The 2,009-pound specimen, grown by Ron Wallace in Coventry, R.I., ran into trouble.

“ ‘It sprang a leak and rotted on the way,’ Mr. Villafane said. ‘We wanted to carve the world-record holder, so that was sad.’ ”

Well, excu-use me! A Rhode Island monster pumpkin should have gone to the Roger Williams Zoo’s Spectacular, which was way better than anything the Times described. I’m afraid that Mr. Villafone tempted fate. Clearly a curse struck that giant pumpkin when it crossed the border.

The Roger Williams Zoo Spectacular lasts the whole month of October, involves 25 carvers carving 25,000 pumpkins (replaced as they decay), and many fun themes (with piped-in music). We wandered from “Star Wars” to Beatles to “Gone with the Wind” to “The Wizard of Oz” and on and on. I was as amazed as the relatives visiting  from Sweden.

The idea of 25 people carving pumpkins for a month is in itself amazing to ponder. How much do pumpkin carvers get paid? What work do they have during the other 11 months? Are any from Rhode Island School of Design?

The Spectacular would have been a bit scary for the youngest among us, I think, but he was jet-lagged and zonked out in the stroller. A buffet before the walk around the lake was super and got us in early, in front of incredibly long lines. Read more about it all here.

Photograph by Suzanne, Luna & Stella

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: