Friday, July 8, 2016

Not Quite Human

Artist Chad Rossouw brings us this intriguing skull bearing the traditional coin for entry into the underworld.


bea said...

Is the coin a Drachma by any chance?

Propnomicon said...

@ bea

Don't pay the ferryman,
Don't even fix a price,
Don't pay the ferryman,
Until he gets you to the other side.

God, I'm old. Heh.

CoastConFan said...

I believe the coin in the skull is a fairly recent (in the past decade) South African 5 Rand coin and bimetallic at that. But turned sideways and corroded, it does have a medieval look, doesn’t it? I have to wonder how early is the story about paying the ancient Greek ferryman Charon, as coins didn’t exist in the West as such until circa 650 BCE or very slightly before..

Propnomicon, you have to pay cash up front – you won’t “Getaway” with that because you’ll get a dunking in the Styx. Remember to have an obol because he don’t make change.

Anonymous said...

The real skulls of "cyclopses" are probably actually elephant skulls found on Krete and Cyprus.

CoastConFan said...

@ Anonymous -- Adrienne Mayor’s groundbreaking book The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times was a radical new idea back in 2000, but its gained wider acceptance over the years. It’s certainly a rational and logical look at Greek myths and how the ancients dealt with fitting in otherwise inexplicable remains into a prescientific culture. Had archeologists not viewed these remains, found in situ at digs, as simply eccentrics and discarded them as anomalous contamination, the idea might have been expounded many years earlier. I understand there’s a newer edition out.

The ancients were not completely dense, they knew fossils meant something and worked to fit them into their view of the world via their brand of natural philosophy. From a prop making and RPG scenario standpoint, this is fertile ground.