A Big Head

On Saturday I made a trip to Chemnitz to visit a museum. I asked colleagues at work if there was anything else I should see while I was there. They all told me that I should see the Nischel.

Nischel, Karl Marx, Chemnitz, Socialism, Big Bust, Head

Nischel is a nickname derived from a German word meaning head or skull.

Here you can see my first view of the Nischel.

Nischel, Karl Marx, Chemnitz, Socialism, Big Bust, Head

Here is a closer view of the big head and you should be able to tell that it is the head of Karl Marx.

I was wondering why there was a monument to Karl Marx in Chemnitz, as I knew that he was from Trier which is in the west part of Germany.

I found out that Chemnitz was renamed in 1953 to Karl-Marx-Stadt due to the large amount of industry there.

The people who live here do not look back, but look forward to a new and better future. They look at socialism. They look with love and devotion to the founder of the socialist doctrine, the greatest son of the German people, to Karl Marx. I hereby fulfill the government’s decision. I carry out the solemn act of renaming the city and declare: From now on, this city bears the proud and mandatory name Karl-Marx-Stadt.

GDR Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl

Nischel, Karl Marx, Chemnitz, Socialism, Big Bust, Head

On the wall behind the big head is a plaque with the phrase ‘Working Men of All Countries Unite!’ in four languages.

Nischel, Karl Marx, Chemnitz, Socialism, Big Bust, Head

The Karl Marx monument was created by Lev Kerbel a Soviet sculptor. The monument was dedicated in 1971. The head is a bit taller than 23 feet and with the pedestal has an overall height of about 42 feet.  Overall the monument weighs over 40 tons. Definitely a big head.

Nischel, Karl Marx, Chemnitz, Socialism, Big Bust, Head

As I was heading back toward the train station I walked by the monument again. The setting sun bathed the building in light and it made for an interesting picture. You can definitely see how large the head is.

In 1990 the city was renamed back to Chemnitz. There have been discussions as to the fate of the Karl Marx monument, but for now it remains as a reminder of the cultural history of the city.


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Life at the Dead Sea

Today I took the train from Jena to Chemnitz to visit a special exhibit at a museum.

State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz, Germany, Museum

The museum is known as smac or staatliches museum für archäologie chemnitz.

I had a really hard time not capitalizing the words.

I think that you can figure out that this is the State Museum of Archaeology in Chemnitz, Germany.

leben am toten meer, life at the dead sea, SMAC, Chemnitz

The special exhibition is Leben am Toten Meer: Archäologie aus dem Heiligen Land.

You can see here in the sign that the exhibition is in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority and several museums including the Israel Museum and the British Museum.

leben am toten meer, life at the dead sea, SMAC, Chemnitz

The title of the special exhibition in English is Life at the Dead Sea – Archaeology from the Holy Land.

You can see in the picture above the different thematic trails of the exhibit. I was most interested in the Research trail, but the others were also very interesting.

Qumran, Ein Gedi, Garstang, Jericho, Masada, Dead Sea

This section of the exhibit was about archaeological digs and research that has been done in the Dead Sea area. There were displays on the different sites in the area and also some of the notable archaeologists who had worked them.

The little kiosk in the front center is what I was looking for. The kiosk has a presentation of some of the current archaeological research that is being done in the area.

Earlier this year a staff member at smac contacted me and asked if they could use a couple of my pictures in the presentation.

Masada dig, current digs, smac, exhibition

Below is a Google translation of the text with the pictures. The picture above is of the rectangular structure that is mentioned.

LATEST RESEARCH NEWS FROM ISRAEL Since 2017, a team from Tel Aviv University (TAU) led by Guy Stiebel is investigating areas of the terrain that have not yet been excavated at the rock fortress Masada in Israel. On an aerial photograph of 1924, he noticed a rectangular structure in the ground right next to the Byzantine church, which turned out to be two cisterns. The excavators also focus on the Roman camp, the homes of the Jewish rebels of 74 AD and the garden of Herod, the builder of the fortress. An unexplored cave, with only an inscription known, and other areas around the fortress are currently being excavated.

Roman camps, dead sea, masada

This picture is taken from the top of Masada and in it you can see some of the Roman Camps that they have been investigating.

In the bottom left of the two pictures you can see that I am credited.

It was really cool to see my pictures being used in a museum exhibit.

After visiting the special exhibit I then went through the rest of the museum. The museum is really good and covers the archaeology of the area in a very comprehensive way. I would definitely recommend this museum as their collection is displayed in a very nice way.

If you plan on being in Germany before the end of March next year, you should definitely visit this special exhibition on Life at the Dead Sea. You will not find a more comprehensive exhibition on the Dead Sea anywhere else.


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