inter alia: HUGE Archaeology “news”

Gaza fisherman hooks statue of ancient Greek god Apollo

By Nic Robertson and Talal Abu Rahma , CNN
updated 7:14 AM EST, Sat February 15, 2014

Gaza (CNN) — When Jwdat Abu Ghrb spotted a dark shape last summer in the waters off Gaza, where he was diving for fish, he initially thought it was a corpse.

“I was afraid,” he told CNN. “I put on my goggles, dove underneath and still couldn’t tell what it was. I resurfaced and got some help from other people and family members and came back, and after full four hours of trying we managed to get it out of the water and I was shocked by what I found.”

It was a life-size bronze statue, believed to be a 2,500-year-old depiction of the ancient Greek god Apollo.

He described the half-ton object as “treasure pulled out of the sea.”

Gaza "Apollo" Rear View Source

Gaza “Apollo” Rear View

“I thought it was made of gold; I was going to be rich,” Ghrb said. “So I took it home to hide it.” 
But then others got involved. A local armed brigade took control of the statue, and someone listed it for sale on the online auction site eBay, with a starting price of about $500,000, according to authorities.

The posting raised suspicions among officials in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Interior Ministry in Gaza, which is governed by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

The antiquities authority and the Interior Ministry opened an investigation into what they said they suspected was an illegal attempt to sell the work of art.

“It is against the law to sell an artifact found in the Palestinian territories and Gaza in an illegal manner,” Ahmad Al-Burch, head of the antiquities department at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza, told CNN.

He said the case was being handled by the Ministry of the Interior, while the antiquities authority looks after the statue.

Authorities there asked that the statue, as a historical artifact found in Gaza, be handed over; they have hidden it from public view.

But in a Gaza gold store, a man who displayed video of the statue told CNN that he has custody of it and that it is in safe hands, but — if someone wants to buy it — that would be possible.

Government officials promise that the statue will not be sold and that they will start restoration and display it after an investigation into its discovery is completed.

“We are not denying that the statue was found in the sea — as a matter of fact, that is a very authentic and real story,” Al-Burch said.

A green spot — a sign of decay — has formed on the leg of the statue, which is exposed to the air.

“We are trying to preserve the statue to show it for the public in the near future.”

He said the antiquities authority was working on a plan for the statue to be displayed in world-class museums around the world.

Museum authorities in Geneva, Switzerland, have offered to help repair and preserve the statue, and plan for its eventual display in Gaza, he said.

For Ghrb and his family, the discovery seems unlikely to land them the financial security they had hoped for with a sale. They are instead hoping to net a reward for the find, which has excited archaeologists around the world.

CNN’s Kareem Khadder in Jerusalem and Laura Smith-Spark in London contributed to this report.

Something seems oddly familiar about this statue’s face….

What was today's date again?

What was today’s date again?

My little April Fool’s Day effort 🙂  (I had nothing to do with the  Smurf sheet he’s laying on…that is 100% part of the original photo.)

36 comments on “inter alia: HUGE Archaeology “news”


  2. Servetus says:

    Wow, if only that was what people were digging out in every excavation, nothing would remain unearthed … I fear I have fallen victim again to the rear view reblogging 🙂

    • obscura says:

      LOL….only ancient rear view this time – and an oxidized one at that 🙂

      No kidding…amateur archaeologists and antiquities theft would skyrocket among a certain demographic!

  3. fedoralady says:

    LOL! Oh you people are having fun with the April Fools Day posts. 😀 I have long called RA the thinking woman’s Greek God-like DIY Geek. 😉

    • obscura says:

      An illustration for you appellation – look out poets! I couldn’t get his face quite the right greenish blueish hue though…I’m still tinkering with my photo editing skills!

  4. jazzbaby1 says:

    OMG, hilarious!

  5. guylty says:

    LOL – could’ve fooled me.
    BTW, what’s the classical take on ponytails?

    • Servetus says:

      OMG, YES! Armitage fans want to know.

      • obscura says:

        As it happens, if you look up at rear view, you’ll see a roll at the back of the head. Instead of a ponytail, the longer hair was rolled up and secured around a head band of sorts…

      • guylty says:

        I mean, really, Oscura, get to the *really* important bits now. Pronto.

        • obscura says:

          I love all the details…that hair roll bit is actually beautifully preserved…maintaining the natural color of the bronze. That bit is compelling evidence supporting the argument of some that there is no way that this piece was in the sea for any length of time since there is no evidence of any accumulation of sea “stuff.”

  6. Suzanna Lynn says:

    This was great 😛 Love it! Though I think Richard’s thighs are much larger and muscled than the statues 🙂

    • obscura says:

      Thanks! Yeah…this one is probably classical or later with is slimmer physique. I have to do a post on the kouroi of the Archaic where there was a more focus on powerful thighs 🙂

  7. Perry says:

    I gotta say, that ass is familiar looking.

    • obscura says:

      It is isn’t it? If only there were more hard data for comprehensive comparison…. 😉

      • Servetus says:

        I don’t know that the data have to be hard, but it would be great if they were firm.

      • Perry says:

        It’s definitely not fitted with the perky round buns we see on others.

        • obscura says:

          Overall, this piece is really slender…I’m not an expert, but I’d lean toward the fourth century BC when this more sinuous look was common, but there is something about the style of the head that doesn’t fit that…I really hope someone resolves this so he can be cleaned, conserved and studied….there are only a handful of surviving original Greek bronzes, so he’s really fantastic.

  8. Joanna says:

    LOL! Thanks for the laugh,Obscura 🙂
    ( wonder if Guylty could *ooof*s one of those? 😉 )

  9. This was hilarious XD
    Thanks for the laugh 😀

  10. linnetmoss says:

    Fantastic!! I did not know about this, so I’m thrilled. And even more thrilled that he has such a striking resemblance to Mr. Armitage… now let’s see, did they show the front view below the waist?

  11. katie70 says:

    This is great. Way better than the one I like to do to the boys, it snowing and there is a lot out there. Not funny this year and well it was mother natures April Fools on us. It was snowing, raining and sleeting yesterday and cold. At school we told some of the students it was Liver and Onions for lunch.

    • Servetus says:


      • katie70 says:

        The snow or the Liver and Onions?

        • Servetus says:

          well, originally the Liver and Onions, but I just saw pix of the cities from my cousin who lives in Minneapolis, so now the snow, too 😦

          • katie70 says:

            I would rather have the snow on April 4th than like last year on May 1st. Just had our 7th snow day today. The snow starts to melt then we get more and we have the same as before. We have so much on the deck and right in front of it that we can’t see the road in front of the house. I did get my homework done early today. SIL and BIL where thinking of going to Chicago for there daughters 21st birthday today, don’t know if they did or not. Band at school also had a trip to Chicago and I guess they where going no matter what.

            As for Liver and Onions only the cat would eat them at our house and only if he was in the mood.

    • obscura says:

      Yuck – did they buy it?

      • katie70 says:

        No I don’t think so, but as I told there teacher I would be gone and so would one of my co-workers, she is a vegatrarian. It reminds me the time we where at Old Country Buffet and son1 thought there was steak till he ate it. He tried to give it to us, Mr. 70 told him he took it so he should eat it. The stuff is never at my house, no one likes it.

        It is snowing pretty good here and who knows how much or how long, they keep changing it.

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