Ancient Ephemera: An Introduction

The history of Ancient Ephemera seems created to set anyone’s imagination on fire. The Ephemereans were a people residing in the heart of the Mediterranean world for thousands of years, managing to have no contact with the great Bronze Age civilizations just off their shores. As a result of their limited materials, they developed great skill in their ceramic arts. Then with the sudden introduction of copper and a new aesthetic, the Ephemereans, without losing their archaic sensibilities, blossomed into the Bronze Age by simple melding the two aesthetics, creating a unique form—ceramic vessels embellished with copper. Almost immediately they disappeared from the archeological record. There are many theories, and as yet, too little is known to help us answer the mysteries of Ancient Ephemera. As Dr. David Zimmerman put it so wryly, “all we really know is that some artifacts have been found.”
Yet in just the 75 years since the first ancient site was located, we are beginning to learn the true story of Bronze Age Ephemera. It spanned only 45 years, making Ancient Ephemera the shortest Bronze Age culture known to archeology.
With remarkable speed the Ephemereans abandoned their pastoral ways of life (which had been unchanged for some 2000 years) and created a culture based on trade and commerce with the greater Mediterranean World. All for just one import—copper. They left us with a remarkable material record of artifacts and architecture that was truly unique to their time. It is easy to imagine that Ancient Ephemera was well on its way to becoming one of the great kingdoms of the Eastern Mediterranean World. It is ironic that the eruption of Mount Ephemerous (which ended the world of Ephemera) is also the vehicle by which we come to know these unique people.

I hope that you come to love them as I have.

Noah James Saunders
Ephemerean Cultural Antiquities Liaison

December 5th 2010, World Premier Exhibition