The Skull Mosaic And Akhenaten And Death

1140 Words 5 Pages
Identity and celebration of life were very important in the ancient world. In some civilizations, a person’s identity is the most important part of death, as their identity serves as a key to the afterlife. In other civilizations, identity is also important, but they focus more on how the person lived their life because, in the end, death comes to everyone. I will be discussing two pieces: The Skull Mosaic and Akhenaten and Family. While these two pieces may seem like an odd comparison, I believe these pieces show how important or how unimportant identity can be, and how a person’s fortune may affect the way we view the art. The first piece that I am going to talk about is the Skull Mosaic. This piece is from the first century CE and was found at the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii, Italy. Like its name, this mosaic features a skull in the center, and the skull is hanging from a lever and resting on a butterfly and balancing on a wheel. On each side of the skull are different objects (Lecture Notes, Week 9). This piece is highly symbolic. Starting with the level on top, the level holds the skull in place. Skulls represent death, so one way to look at this piece is to say that death hangs over …show more content…
While the artist is unknown, the time period ranges from 1352-1336 BCE and was found in Amarna, Egypt. In the Egyptian civilization, the name of the individual is often seen as the most important feature of personhood. Without a name or form of identification, the person would blink out of existence in both the physical world as well as the afterlife. In Egypt, it is very common for the person’s name to be written on the tomb multiple times, and it’s common to find their name on grave goods. When the person’s name and identity are erased, it is known for that person to be in damnation. This term is also used in the Roman civilization and is also called damnatio memoriae (Lecture Notes, Week

Related Documents