Archive for October, 2008

Akkadian and You

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Understanding about the cultures of ancient civilization will greatly increase your ability to appreciate antiquities and determine their quality. One area of great use and interest is the study of dead languages. Though it is a bit of a challenge to master ancient Akkadian and Ugaritic, it is quite reasonable to become comfortable in recognizing their cuneiform script. Likewise you can familiarize yourself with the look of Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets – and if you know modern Hebrew at all you can even understand some of the writing, since the alphabet has stayed the same though the shape and look of the characters are quite different. There are many resources on-line and in libraries for studying ancient languages. Before you know it you will be reading ancient bullae!

Provenance of Ancient Art

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

The most basic think you need to know about antiquities is understanding the primary role of provenance. Provenance means the history of ownership over a particular item. The ability to provide documented provenance is a prerequisite for any antiquities transaction. Because of the unfortunate rise in forgeries and stolen or illicitly procured antiquities any interested buyer must do his homework to verify the authenticity of the provenance. It is therefore critical that you deal with a reputable antiquities dealer, one that you can develop a personal relationship with.