Still Waiting for that Kizilburun Column to be Delivered …

Interesting item from Hurriyet which is an update of sorts:

 

A 10-meter column, which was ordered 2,200 years ago for the construction of a temple in one of the three most important oracle centers in antiquity, Klaros, but went down when the cargo ship sank in Çeşme Kızılburun, will finally be delivered to its address. The column was discovered in 1993 by researcher and writer Cemal Pulak, and removed in 2007 by six archaeologists under the coordination of the U.S-based Underwater Archaeology Institute. Research revealed that the column was carried for the Apollo Temple in Klaros, in İzmir’s Menderes district.

The head of the excavations in the ancient center, Professor Nurdan Şahin, said that a team from the Texas A&M University had carried out works to determine the place of the column and found out that it was the sixth column of the Apollo Temple in Klaros Oracle Center.

“For the first time in the world, the address of a sunken ship was found. Following the cleaning process, the plan was to display the column in Çeşme Museum but we said that it would be more truthful to display it in its original place, Klaros,” she said.

We first heard about this column back in 2009: Kizilburun Shipwreck

The Ongoing NanoRomance with the Lycurgus Cup

To judge by my twitterfeed, facebook timeline, email, newsgroups, etc., there is much excitement about a brief item in the latest Smithsonian Magazine about the ‘nanotechnology’ used by the Romans in regards to the Lycurgus cup. Here’s the incipit:

The colorful secret of a 1,600-year-old Roman chalice at the British Museum is the key to a super­sensitive new technology that might help diagnose human disease or pinpoint biohazards at security checkpoints.

The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s. The mystery wasn’t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing—“an amazing feat,” says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.

The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer’s position. Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential. “The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art,” Liu says. “We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications.” [...]

I’m only including the incipit because — as diligent readers of rogueclassicism probably realize — this story actually came out last February (Them NanoRomans and the Lycurgus Cup). It’s still interesting, but it isn’t really ‘news’. If you’re not familiar with the Lycurgus Cup, the Ancient Art Podcast feature is worth a look: