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Glossary

A


Arete- Manly excellence

Attica- A region in mainland Greece. Athens is its main city.

 

B


Boeotia- A region just north of Attica on mainland Greece

 

C


Cooking- chemically altering marble in order to create the appearance of an aged surface

 

D


De-dolomitisation- the process of leeching out the natural magnesium in a block of dolomitic marble. Scientists in the 1980s conjectured that this process was impossible to recreate in a modern laboratory.

Dolomitic marble- A particular type of marble found on the island of Thasos in Greece. It has dolomitic crystals.

 

K


Kalokagathia- The union of goodness and beauty. This idea was commonly associated with the aristocracy. To be good was to be beatiful, and to be beautiful was to be good.

Kouros- A statue of a nude, male youth, striding forward with his left foot. Early kouroi may have been based on Egyptian prototypes.

 

O


Oxalic acid- A particular type of acid that can react with the surface of dolomitic marble to change its chemical composition. This type of acid may have been used on the Getty kouros.

 

P


Peloponnese- A region of mainland Greece located in the south.

Provenance- The written record of an artifact's existence and location. Ideally, a complete provenance would include records of every place the artifact was located from the moment it was excavated to present day.

 

S


Samos: A Greek island near the coast of Asia Minor. 

 

T


Thasos- An island in Greece containing dolomitic marble quarries. It is located off the coast of northern Greece, east of Thessaloniki.

 

V


Votive Offering- An object placed at a sacred site for some religious purpose. The ancient Greeks sometimes offered images at sanctuaries of themselves, the gods they were dedicating the images to, or even anonymous images meant merely to be beautiful and pleasing to the gods.