I traveled across the world for the first time to Athens, Greece with my study abroad class. The day we arrived my eyes were opened as if I have been blind to the world my whole life. As I got off the metro, the initial element that caught my eye was the curbs that were paved with marble. Then, I saw more and more floors, buildings, and everyday uses composed out of marble. I couldn’t believe it.
As time went on, I learned that the common building material was marble and limestone, and without analyzing too well, I automatically assumed that everything was made of these two materials. I was proved wrong and enlightened when I visited the acropolis museum and I saw many structeres made out of other mediums.
Most statues and buildings were made with marble.
Yet some were composed out of other materials, such as bronze. Interesting enough, the ancient Greeks were actually known for their statuary in bronze. Bronze, which is 90% copper and 10% tin, has a lower melting point than pure copper and will stay liquid longer, allowing the artists to mold it at more ease. Copper came from Greece but tin had to be imported from other places, such as Turkey. Most bronze statues were melted down to reuse for other functions but marble copies were made in their place. This is why we have more marble statues than bronze statues.
Another interesting material used for statuary was this sandstone with chunks of seashells all throughout the material. It was eroded down harshly.
The museum had artifacts from other countries that the encient Greeks associiated themselves with. Here is a sphinx from ancient egypt sculpted out of granite. Through research I found many different sphinx that were carved out of granite as well, although limestone was most common.
As I walked throughout the museum I noticed that most vases and cups were made from clay.
I also found a clay bowl filled with shards of obsidian, a volcanic glass from rapid-cooling mafic magma.
To my amazement, I found a vase shaped from diorite, an intrusive ingneous rock from intermediate-categorized magma.
I found many cups, bowls, and vases molded from silver and gold. This added to widen the variety of materiald used to make every-day-objects.
I then found jewelry that was fabricated from gold as well. But how was this crafted with such detail?
Many gold jewelry was imprinted with stamps made from a gemstone called a “sealstone” (pictured) and other forms of molds.
Other necklaces and jewelry was created with agate. Agate was discovered by a Greek philosopher named Theophratus.
Lots of other decrotave materials were made from glass.