[meteorite-list] Skull carved in Gibeon (not still published: strange!)
From: PAOLO CONTE <progetto.andromeda_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 23:16:33 +0200
Dear John, dear Listers,
I did not imagine my mail would have opened such a passionate debate. I
confess: I would have been much happier if there were so many answers to my
questions - which have never received an answer - (1) if all the condrules
are attracted by the magnets or not and (2) if their magnetic
susceptibility depends on (2a) the iron grains of the matrix attached to
the surfaces of the chondrules or, instead, (2b) ob the iron-nickel content
present inside the condrules. If someone will answer me, I will be grateful.
Skull: there were so many answers among the Lister, very different from
each other, regarding my disapproval for this sculpture. There some listers
who agree with me and others listers who say that this is art.
Someone says that there is no difference between sculpting a piece of
meteorite to make a skull and cut a meteorite into slices or into cubes or
spheres. I do not agree. Slicing a meteorite allows scientists to study its
interior, allows museums to expose a piece to their visitors, allows
collectors to own a piece of the sample and contributes, in this way, to
the growth and dissemination of knowledge of these stones as well
fascinating. What are we doing with a skull? Anything! Just a piece to show
the night of Halloween.
In my lessons I always explain to my students that meteorites are not like
minerals and fossils of collecting interest (and not commercial). It would
be a shame to cut them: the crystals would be unnecessarily damaged and the
fossil remains would be difficult to recognize. On the contrary, slicing
meteorites helps to obtain several samples of pieces often unique available
for several people (scientist, collectors, and so on).
Some of you rightly remembered that the meteorites in the past were cut to
make knives or jewels or objects of ceremonial use. Correct! These stones
were believed to be of divine origin and therefore the objects obtained
from them were equally important. Many peoples knew iron thanks to the iron
meteorites long before the Iron Age. The adjective "sidereal", which
concerns the things of heaven, derives from the ancient Greek "sideros" (),
which means iron. Therefore I am not offended that many people cut the
meterorites to make knives or jewels, because this helps to spread the
knowledge of meteorites and this type of use of meteorites in prehistory,
in protohistory and in the ancient world.
But what does a skull represent? The death. Nothing else. And was it
necessary to ruin a piece of Gibeon to create such a horror? The artist
(artist?) could have used marble, wood, porphyry, granite, and many other
materials much more abundant than a ferrous meteorite. In short, just a
waste to create a trivial and horrible object like a skull.
Obviously everyone is free to consider it also art. Not me. And then I
would like to ask a question to those who consider this object a work of
art. If you had a natural piece of Gibeon, would you permit it was sculpted
by a person just because he's an artist? I do not think so.
That's my opinion. Thank you for your kind attention and sorry for my bad
IMCA #6037 - Met. Soc. #6262
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Received on Tue 18 Sep 2018 05:16:33 PM PDT