Nik Pontasch / Dr. Sarah Jane Murray / French Art & Architecture / 31 January 2011
In learning about the port-city of Lattara (now Lattes), I was struck by its great similarity to Paris. Suspected to have been completely surrounded by water, the town location was a natural place of protection and abundance. The peoples living there could make use of fishing, agriculture and animal domestication, supplemented by an essentially limitless supply of fresh water with any number of royal streams and coastal rivers. But, most importantly for the future, the location was extremely valuable in terms of trade through the sea (as the website points out, in the times of Romanization, there were various statues erected to honor the gods; one such statue being Mercury – god of trade).
The town therefore transferred well from antiquity to later ages, its rampart and location all enviable and necessary parts to a successful city. As the website points out, with the development of other nearby cities (namely Marseilles) by the Greeks, the spread of culture was catching fire, and the obsoleteness of past ways of life (demonstrated well by our studies into Lascaux and Morbihan) subsequently vanished. The importance of Lattara is not solely dictated by its unique features then, but also by its partaking in the role of the spread of cultures (especially through trade which they clearly had great emphasis on as described by the aforementioned statue), and, most certainly along with it, the spread of art.
Since art is an offshoot of culture, experience, and interpretation, I anticipate for next class that in more closely inspecting the art of the region through time, significant changes and semblances of foreign art forms or motifs will become increasingly apparent. And, by analyzing this moment in the long chain of the development of art through the ages, I also hope that a clearer understanding of art as a timeless attribute of humanity will also follow.