Aerial view of Rio das Pedras shantytown (favela), next to Barra da Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 28, 2014
Picture: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
Source: The Atlantic In Focus
Mamluk Knife with Decorated Scabbard
- Dated: 14th - 16th century
- Measurements: overall length 21.5 cm; blade length 11 cm
The blade is made of watered steel decorated with three embedded coral beads and the inscription "The time of the reign of Sultan Malik Zahir". On the reverse of the blade reads, "Fly high, bird of distress and revenge, your rigor and fairness affirm human fate".
The knife has a square tapered handle of blue glass. The ivory scabbard is richly inlaid with mother of pearl, brass and stones, representing the heavens, with gilt silver fittings with garnets and turquoise.
Gladiator figurine of bone or ivory
Roman Britain, 1st-2nd century AD
From Lexden, Colchester
This figurine depicts a gladiator of the heavily-armedmurmillo class. Naked, but for a loin cloth and reinforced belt, he is armed with a large visored helmet, a short sword, a curved rectangular shield, metal greaves to protect his legs, and a heavy guard on his sword arm. Appropriately, a scene of gladiatorial combat is carved on the shield.
These gladiators were often matched with the retiariuswho carried only a net and trident. A pairing like this was intended to produce an entertaining contest between the lightly-armed, but highly manouevrable retiarius and the heavily-armed but less mobile secutor.
Source: British Museum