World Civ. I
Art and Science Project
April 11, 2014 Art and Science Project
Paleolithic era- 500 B.C.
Olmec white ware "hollow baby" figurine
The most recognized aspect of the Olmec civilization are the enormous helmeted heads. Once theorized to be ballplayers, it is now generally accepted that these heads are portraits of rulers, perhaps dressed as ballplayers.
The heads were carved from single blocks or boulders of volcanic basalt, found in the Tuxtlas Mountains. Some of the heads, and many other monuments, have been variously mutilated, buried and disinterred, reset in new locations and/or reburied. Some monuments, and at least two heads, were recycled or re-carved, but it is not known whether this was simply due to the scarcity of stone or whether these actions had ritual or other connotations. Scholars believe that some mutilation had significance beyond mere destruction, but some scholars still do not rule out internal conflicts or, less likely, invasion as a factor.
Many small carts made of clay have been found at Indus Valley sites. Archaeologists believe that they were probably toys for children. Since no full-sized carts have ever been found, these small toys give us an idea of what real carts might have looked like in an Indus Valley town. This is a wheel from a toy cart found at Mohenjo-daro. The wheel allowed for better trade and transport as we had discussed in class, and this could open up a whole new world for this civilization. Since this wheel was so significant, I decided to pick this for my science part for this project.
Gold Rhyton from Achaemenid Dynasty
A rhyton is a container from which fluids were poured into or used to drink from, especially wines. This particular art piece is called a Gold Rhyton, as the name implies, made out of gold, with a lion head and wings attached to it. Rhytons have been in existence even before the Achaemenid dynasty but it has been refined during this dynasty by the use of gold, silver, and other exotic materials.
There is a significance in greek mythology for the Rhyton. The Rhyton is considered to be a “container of the substance of life”, which I thought was interesting since the Achaemenid dynasty in heavily influenced by Greece. The connection between this Greek mythology and this art piece and the concept of the Rhyton interested me, which is why I picked this art piece from this Dynasty.
Eudoxus Of Cnidus
Eudoxus was the most known astronomer and mathematician of his day. In astronomy he devised an ingenious planetary system based on spheres. He came up with a few conclusions: The spherical earth is at rest at the center.
Around this center, 27 concentric spheres rotate.
The exterior one carries the fixed stars.
The others account for the sun, moon, and five planets.
Each planet requires four spheres, the sun and moon, three each.
Eudoxus 's contributions to mathematics include:
A theory of proportion; this allowed the study of irrationals (incommensurables).
The concept of magnitude, as not a number but stood for such as line segments, angles, areas, etc, and which could vary continuously. Magnitudes were opposed to numbers, which could change discontinuously. This avoided giving numerical values to lengths, areas, etc. Consequently great advances in geometry were made.
The method of exhaustion.
Establishing rigorous methods for finding areas and volumes of curvilinear figures (e.g. cones and spheres).
A profound influence in the establishment of deductive organization of proof on the basis of explicit axioms.
T’ang horse from T’ang Dynasty (618-906)
This art piece is from China from the T’ang Dynasty (618-906) which was the second of the four great dynasties. This dynasty combined aggressive military and economic expansion with political instability and creative achievement. This art piece really impressed me because it reestablishes what this dynasty