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Clarity needed on the ad for headless lions

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I enjoyed Hugh Pearman's article on Quentin Newark (AJ 25.10.01), particularly the bit where he says he is noted for his painstaking research. A small comment on his 'learned digression into the late 19th-century archaeological discovery of the treasury at Mycenae':

The Lion Gate at Mycenae is the main entrance to the whole acropolis, and dates from about 1250BC. According to the Greek ministry of culture, K Pittakis cleared the Lion Gate in 1841 - hardly late 19th century (note - 'cleared' not discovered). Furthermore, the lion(esses) did have heads, so the headless lion can hardly be said to be an emblem of Mycenae. This takes five minutes to research. In view of this, I would be very interested to see some examples of the 'short-lived fad for headless lion crests' among RIBA members in the late 19th century, to which Newark refers. If they exist.

Interest in Greek antiquity really got going in the early 19th century. Lord Byron died in Greece in 1824, and this generated a lot of popular interest in al things Greek. I suggest that the Lion Gate at Mycenae would have been well known in the 1830s to educated people with an interest in architecture.

Marcus Beale, by e-mail

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