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Legion of Honor Museum Presents Works from Copper-Stone Age

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This Saturday, the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco is bringing the works from an era where it precedes the pyramids of Egypt and the introduction of writing in Mesopotamia.

The exhibition titled Masters of Fire: The Copper Age in the Holy Land, is the first in the United States to devote art from the Chalcolithic period (Copper-Stone Age, ca. 5500-3500 BC). Among the features include oddly shaped zoomorphic ossuaries, basalt stands with human faces, hoards of copper ritual objects, linen and wool textiles, carved ivory human figures, and other beautiful objects illustrating the technical, social and aesthetic developments of the period.

The exhibition is broken down into four regions, each of which displays its own set of independent traditions. They are the Golan plateau, the north-central plain, the Beersheba Valley/Northern Negev, and the Jordan Valley. Each region reveals the lives of the people, who inhabited the ancient Near East in the early stages of cultural formation.

In a little information about the Chalcolithic period, in addition to existing prior to the Egyptian pyramids and Mesopotamian writings, it was an era of great social and technological development. The lands of which is dwelled in stands today as Isreal, Jordan, and other surrounding areas, and were the first to create metallurgy, temples, elaborate textiles, cash crops for export, and stratified societies. They used sophisticated approaches to various methods including smelting, alloying and production of small copper objects, casted as ornaments and simple tools, and the people developed specialized skills in agriculture, ritual, and creation of remarkable objects from stone, terracotta, ivory and metals.

Masters of Fire is on view until January 4, 2015. Log on to for more information.


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