Friday, July 20, 2007
QUEENS OF NUBIA
"Nubia was also called the Kingdom of Meroei.
Nubia, the hottest and most arid region of the world, has caused many civilizations to be totally dependent on the Nile for existence.
Historically Nubia has been a nucleus of diverse cultures. It has been the only occupied strip of land connecting the Mediterranean world with "tropical" Africa."
When I started the dig, I knew immediately that treasures awaited me. There was something about the smell of the earth, packed as hard as sandstone, Here a glint of gold, there a hint of shape, or was it a shadow.
For the next week, the trenches got deeper & more promising as we were cheered on by small but significant discoveries.
One, a result of the first glance of gold, had been carefully excavated, then even more meticulously extricated from it`s hold of stone.
It was a bag made of leather, from an unknown animal`s skin. It was tooled with intricate designs that looked like a sorceror`s mandala. The golden glimpse had been clasps & buckles.
I have not seen a similar piece as this since.
The tedious work, because of the fragility of the first find, became even more focused as I started to uncover facial features.
That the entombed artifacts, gave up their nature only as fast as they could be uncovered whole, did not asuage my optimism, so dig & brush & scrape I did.
The unbearable heat was forgotten, in the joy of removing, not one, but two of these beautiful cultural treasures.
At this point, I decided to get in my truck & head home for a break. I headed up the coast in Malibu, & went to Pizza Hut, for some takehome.
Tomorrow would be another day, on the remodel I had undertaken for a client whose home had been inundated with a mud flow, from Topanga Canyon. Now that the basemant was cleaned out, I was trying to figure out how to remove a 911 Porche from the position it was in, half in & half out of a wall near the two car garage. These are two masks I uncovered.
The leather bag I dug out, along with the masks in 1980, is still one of my favotite bags, & elicits curious remarks yet.