Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by savitale, Nov 17, 2019.
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And now I'll go stand in the corner.
Another 'green' driveby, without the weapon......
Here's one without beads:
I think the reason it may seem foreign to you is that the neck below the helmet is often off the flan:
The beads were there but the die got worn/damaged...
Now here's one with beads on the forehead and on the neck, suggesting that it is hair. From Heritage via acsearch.
And here's one showing lines on the forehead and dots on the back of the neck. From NAC via acsearch.
To me, this last one doesn't look like well-defined beads, but instead are lines to which the engraver attempted (crudely) to give some texture. Perhaps this evolved into well defined beads?
Well, it is indeed hair and we know this because it is very easily seen in other types of artwork, not just on coins. The look may have been achieved in a number of ways, braided, beaded, tied, maybe even 'dread locks'. Here are a few examples which should make it easier to accept:
True, but I have not found any examples of Athena wearing her hair in braids, or any cases at all of the braids curving back up. In all examples of sculpture or pottery I have found where you can see Athena's hair it is free flowing below her helmet. The "hair" on the coins doesn't look much like the hair on these kouroi and kore.
So why did this "official" portrait of Athena suddenly get an up-do?
Likewise, the Athena from the Temple of Aphaea, circa 500 BC:
The swept back and then turned up hair is known on other coins. Imagine Arethusa's hair under a Corinthian helmet:
Image from CNG's archives
I don't know why Athena's hair is straight (or unbraided) at her forehead and apparently braided further down. Could the area in question be a decorated leather flap? The shape seems right but I don't recall seeing such decorations depicted on leather caps of statues and busts.
I don't think so. Such flaps were on Corinthian-style helmets, not Attic-style helmets. Look at a New-Style tetradrachm for guidance. It shows a similar image and helmet type (though with triple crest), in a more "modern" rendering. No flap visible there.
Interesting. Maybe whoever made the design for the Athenian Tetradrachm (I hope he signed a royalty agreement) was inspired by this type.
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