The Fantabulous Nanomorphique Adventure of M Hardoon Rotman
[Last Week Plot Review]
Dr. Catherine Denver, the resident Archaeologist of Pellimet museum in Paris, brought her daughter, Cassandra to see the exhibition on the opening night. They moved around following the crowd's flow through each exhibition case, examining various Chinese Jades.
But Cassandra raised her head up several times, checking the domed ceiling 5 stories high above.
Catherine asked her what she saw there.
Catherine knew her daughter, even at very young age, had shown "telepathic" abilities.
So she also looked up at the coffered ceiling, checking for any strange signs.
But this would not be the first and only strange thing she had encountered, ever since the museum accepted these jade artifacts donated by Mr. Alphonso de Baux, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a Casanova from Marseille, France.
[ Illustration - Mapping Amethyst ]
A Troublesome Amethyst Piece
ONE – The little girl looked up again and again
The uncertainty of many of the artifacts and the lack of time for further study increased the difficulties for Catherine to post introduction notes by the displaying cases. She had no choice but to use question marks wherever she was unable to confirm!
The entire collection contained more than 30 pieces. After the preliminary examination, Catherine discovered that it would take years to verify and authenticate all the Chinese artifacts, because they were from several major ancient cultural sites, as well as historical periods in China; and yet Alphonso de Baux insisted that his collection be opened to Parisians one month after the donation.
Catherine and the museum's Chief Curator, Dr. Jacques Tertois, after some serious discussions, made several decisions; they decided on actual number of pieces to be displayed, guidelines to provide accountable information for each piece, etc.
Dr. Tertois even compiled extensive training materials, to prepare newly recruited exhibition guides for their temporary job.
He gave this exhibition an innovative title: "Discover the Ancient Secretes and New Technologies of the Chinese Jade."
He explained that these small pieces of ancient Chinese jade, resembled very much the bolts and nuts of a modern machine; some were round beads, some flat ones with teethed edge; other discs had eccentric circles carved on the surface, some were small rectangular rods with round hole in the middle. Of course, many other pieces for sure had ceremonial and religious purposes.
The word "discover" in the title came directly from Alphonso de Baux's company name: "Société de Technologie de Découverte."
Using these words, Dr. Tertois meant to encourage Dr. Denver to further her study and research into these precious artifacts.
With or without encouragement, it was Catherine's duty to get to the bottom of all the anomalies. By first glance, it was quite easy for Catherine to pick out several pieces which were clearly not Chinese but belonged to Mesoamerica Mayan civilization!
The symbolic meaning and importance of Mayan jade to the ancient Mayan people might have been parallel to that of the Chinese jade regarded by the ancient Chinese. Yet, the design details were rather distinctively different from each other.
Then there were two pieces; one from each group, rendered her study in limbo!
The first was a Chinese Jade Cong 琮, a religious and ceremonial piece, its standard shape was a rectangular rod, in the size of a pinky, but with a round hole in the center. The discrepancy was, it was a hexagon, and it had no round central cut out.
The second was even more puzzling. It was a free-shaped, palm-sized crystal rock, purple in color, it should be an “Amethyst,” but Catherine had never seen an amethyst like this, neither could she figure out what the real material was.
Her instinct told her that these two pieces must be related to the mysterious Mayan Crystals, but without any chance for further investigation, she might need to consult a mineralogist for help.
[To Be Continue - Next Week]