Acanthus (ornament) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Remains of the capital of a Corinthian column....Image via WikipediaAcanthus (ornament) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Roman writer Vitruvius (c. 75 BCE — c. 15 BCE) related that the Corinthian order had been invented by Callimachus, a Greek architect and sculptor who was inspired by the sight of a votive basket that had been left on the grave of a young girl. A few of her toys were in it, and a square tile had been placed over the basket, to protect them from the weather. An acanthus plant had grown through the woven basket, mixing its spiny, deeply cut leaves with the weave of the basket."

I did not know this story, as my knowledge of Classical Antiquity is spotty at best, but I find it very touching, somehow, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Then again part of why mortuary archaeology is so interesting to me is that it's such an immediate contact with people - not just the person interred, but with whomever took the time to carry out the steps of a proper funeral.  It's often a last act of compassion for a fellow being and there is a certain deliberate care to do it as right or properly as possible.  And there is often an ongoing element of interaction between the living and the dead.

No comments: