Gary finds The Horse!

I went to the British Museum today, with the express purpose of absorbing every item in there dated between 480B.C. and 440B.C. in the Greek section.

Why the tight restriction? Because my first novel of detective Nicolaos in Classical Athens opens in 460B.C.

You'd think that'd narrow the scope to a managable level, wouldn't you? But I left with only 223 photos because I couldn't fit more in the camera at high resolution, and there are still things I haven't seen properly.

After I gave up trying to squeeze more bits into the camera, I wandered through the nearby section on the Hellenistic Period, which can't help my stories but is fun. That's a time from about 320B.C. onwards, long after the fall of the Athenian Empire, when greek culture had spread everywhere. The Hellenistic Period is all very interesting, but by then my characters have been shades in Hades for at least eighty years.

So there I am wandering about, when I come to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world (as you do). I pass by most of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus until I stop dead at the sight of The Horse.

Only the forepart has survived, but this thing is huge. I'm 6' 3", and I wouldn't make it halfway up the neck. The statue is about four times larger than a real horse.

What got me so excited is that a super-sized marble statue of a horse plays a prominent part in one of my scenes, and this beastie is precisely like the one I imagined for the book. Even the size is right for what I wanted.

Now the question I'm asking myself is, did I invent my horse statue from whole cloth, or did I subconsciously insert this one from my memory? I've been through the BM plenty of times before. I know I've seen this statue before, but I don't remember it!

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