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Old April 18th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #1
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Νήμα Αρχαιολογίας | Archaeology Thread

Lets post here information and news about various excavations and discoveries having to do with Hellas (Greece) (all periods from prehestoric untill hellenistic-roman times)

Please be polite in your posts .
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Old April 18th, 2005, 01:08 PM   #2
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"Eureka" for Lost Tragedies
18 Apr 2005 10:36:00

By Vagelis Theodorou

Sources: Nea, Ethnos, The Independent

The road to discovering lost treasures of ancient Greek writing has been opened by scientists at Oxford University, who managed to read carbonized papyruses with verses by Sophocles, Euripides, Archilogue and Hesiod. These are the well-known papyruses of Oxford, which were discovered about a century ago and which have been read using a revolutionary photographic method. The scientists read excerpts from Sophocles’ tragedy "Epigone" (a work on the fate of the children of the "Seven of Thebes"), thirty verses from the "Elegies" by Archilochus from the 7th century BC, excerpts from a lost novel by Lucius from the second century, a mythological poem by Parthenius from the 1st century BC, and fragments of works by Hesiod from the 7th century BC. Another notable find is an ode by Pindarus and an excerpt of the Book of Revelations, where the Beast peaks. The first findings are expected to be published next month, with works following mainly by Ovid and Aeschylus.

The Chart of Knowledge Changes

The method used is based on infrared light. More specifically, by using rays, faded ink comes clearly into view, while at the same time, the texts are photographed, based on technology developed from satellite photography.

Over 400,000 pieces of faded papyrus, found in 1897 in the mud of the ancient town of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt, and kept in 800 containers at the University of Oxford, can now be read using this method.

As the scientists state, this discovery could lead to a 20% increase in readable material from ancient texts, bringing lost works to light and filling in many gaps. In fact, the researchers expect to use this method to read a total of 5,000,000 words.

It has been estimated that it will take about ten years to read and publish all the treasure of Oxyrhynchus, as the manuscripts are in fragments. Most of the papyruses are written in Greek, while there are also texts in Latin, Hebrew, Coptic, Syrian, Aramaic, Nubian and proto-Persian.

This is an enormous find, if we consider that of the works of Aeschylus and Sophocles only seven tragedies have been saved, of a total of dozens, while only 500 verses by Archilochus are known. At the same time, the researchers aim to read Roman works, as well as unknown Gospels, which have been lost for the past 2000 years.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #3
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I adore archeology man recentely they found a Roman city around a medieval village soround by walls call Obidos in Portugal, they find this city acording to some Estraban (a Roman historian man) scriptures, in my country many archeological places had been pillaged in the meadle hage to use the rock to construct houses, churches and castels of course Greece have much more material in this area.
Look this head find in the ruins of a city call Milrreu in Algarve:

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Old April 27th, 2005, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpels
I adore archeology man recentely they found a Roman city around a medieval village soround by walls call Obidos in Portugal, they find this city acording to some Estraban (a Roman historian man) scriptures, in my country many archeological places had been pillaged in the meadle hage to use the rock to construct houses, churches and castels of course Greece have much more material in this area.
Look this head find in the ruins of a city call Milrreu in Algarve:
Arpels i am glad you like archaeology and so you can enjoy this thread and participate also! You are welcome!
This head of woman is really nice!
By the way when you said the writer "estraban" you mean the famous geographer STRABO? (ΣΤΡΑΒΩΝ )
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Old April 27th, 2005, 01:30 PM   #5
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Ancient Helike

PREHISTORIC AND ANCIENT HELIKE ΑΡΧΑΙΑ ΕΛΙΚΗ

The lost cities....


For more information visit the site : www.helike.org









In 373 BC, a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami destroyed and submerged the ancient Greek city of Helike, on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth. The sunken city gradually silted over until it disappeared without a trace. Ancient writers ascribed the disaster to the wrath of Poseidon, god of earthquakes and the sea.

For many years Prof. Spyridon Marinatos, Director General of Antiquities for Greece and discoverer of the prehistoric town on Santorini, pursued the search for ancient Helike. He estimated that dozens of bronze and marble works of the Classical sculptors lay buried in the ruins of the lost city, and looked forward to "the discovery of a whole ancient town far more precious and interesting than Pompeii" which, he said, would be "almost surely the most spectacular archaeological discovery ever made."

In 2001, after twelve years of field work, the Helike Project brought to light the first traces of the lost Classical city, buried under deposits of an ancient lagoon. And, to their astonishment, the explorers also discovered nearby an entire Early Bronze Age town, dating from about 2400 BC, in an extraordinary state of preservation. An earthquake apparently caused the submergence of this Prehistoric town twenty centuries before a similar fate led to the disappearance of its Classical successor. The exploration and excavation of Prehistoric and Classical Helike will be the work of decades to come.


PRINCIPAL ANCIENT SOURCES ON HELIKE


The Greek geographer Strabo (8.7.2) wrote: “For the sea was raised by an earthquake and it submerged Helike and the temple of Helikonian Poseidon . . . And Eratosthenes says that he himself saw the place, and that the ferrymen were saying that a bronze Poseidon stood erect in the strait, holding in one hand a hippocamp, which was dangerous to those fishing with nets. And Herakleides says that the submersion took place by night in his time and, although the city was twelve stadia [2 km] distant from the sea, this whole district together with the city was hidden from sight; and two thousand men who were sent by the Achaeans were unable to recover the dead bodies.”

The Greek traveler Pausanias visited the site and wrote (7.24.5 ff.): “Forty stadia [7 km] from Aigion is a place on the sea called Helike . . . where the city of Helike stood . . . This was the type of earthquake that overturns the ground, and together with that, they say, another disaster happened to Helike in the winter: namely, the sea surged against a great part of the land and encircled the whole of Helike. And the flood so covered the grove of Poseidon that only the tops of the trees remained visible. Because when the god suddenly quaked, the sea advanced together with the earthquake, and the wave dragged down Helike with all its people. The ruins of Helike are also visible, but not so plainly now as they were once, because they are corroded by the salt water”

The Greek historian Diodoros of Sicily wrote (15.48): “Great earthquakes occurred in the Peloponnesos accompanied by floods which engulfed the open country and cities in a manner past belief . . . The blow came at night, so that . . . the majority who were caught in the ruined houses were annihilated, and when day came some dashed from the ruins and, when they thought they had escaped the danger, met with a greater and still more incredible disaster. For the sea and the wave rose to a vast height, and as a result all the inhabitants together with their land were inundated and disappeared. Two cities in Achaea bore the brunt of this disaster, Helike and Boura. Before the earthquake Helike was first among the cities of Achaea.”

According to the Roman writer Aelian (On Animals 11.19): “For five days before Helike disappeared, all the mice and martens and snakes and centipedes and beetles and every other creature of that kind in the city left in a body by the road that leads to Keryneia. And the people of Helike seeing this happening were filled with amazement, but were unable to guess the reason. But after these creatures had departed, an earthquake occurred in the night; the city subsided; an immense wave flooded and Helike disappeared, while ten Spartan vessels which happened to be at anchor were lost together with the city”.

The Roman poet Ovid wrote (Metamorphoses 1.263): “If you seek for Helike and Boura, once cities in Achaea, you will find them beneath the waves; and the sailors still show you the sloping cities with their buried walls.”

Approximate dates of sources:

* Herakleides..........390-322 BC
* Eratosthenes........276-194 BC
* Diodorus...............80-20 BC
* Strabo..................64 BC-23 AD
* Ovid.....................43 BC-17 AD
* Pausanias............143-176 AD
* Aelian..................170-235 AD





From BBC
Helike - The Real Atlantis
BBC Two 9.00pm Thursday 10 January 2002


Dora Katsonopoulou has unearthed a wall from the Greek city of Helike On a winter night in 373 BC, the classical Greek city of Helike was destroyed by a massive earthquake and tidal wave. The entire city and all its inhabitants were lost beneath the sea. What has bewitched archaeologists about Helike is that it was engulfed just when ancient Greece was reaching its height; when the philosophy and art that inspired the western world for thousands of years were invented.

Inspiring the myth

Its destruction was one of the most appalling tragedies of the classical world and most probably the reality behind the myth of Atlantis. But now, unlike Atlantis, a team of archaeologists may have found Helike - a lost city from the heyday of Greek civilisation. If it is as well preserved as everyone hopes, Helike could be a time capsule from this crucial time in human development.

For centuries there had been just no sign of it. All archaeologists had to guide them were obscure and often contradictory ancient texts. So, despite numerous expeditions trawling the waters off the coast of Greece and vast amounts of money and technology thrown at the problem, no one could find anything except two small coins, unearthed over a hundred years ago.

Not drowned but buried

Then, in 1988 Dora Katsonopoulou and Steven Soter took up the challenge. Dora had grown up with the legend from childhood and was determined to find the archaeological treasure on her doorstep. Together they went back to basics and re-examined the ancient texts. These said that Helike had sunk into a poros, which everyone had taken to mean Gulf of Corinthe. But Dora thought that a poros could also be an inland lagoon. If she was right, the lost city which had inspired Atlantis might not be under the sea, as everyone thought, but somewhere inland.

A landscape on the move

The landscape of the Gulf of Corinthe is seismically activeStudying the geology of the region, earthquake expert Iain Stewart argues that a large earthquake could well cause an inland lagoon. Small recent earthquakes in the region have caused ground liquefaction - a terrifying phenomenon where the ground literally turns to water beneath your feet. If the same had happened on a much larger scale then the whole city could have been plunged downwards, taking much of the city below sea level. But the earthquake in 373 BC could also have had a second more devastating effect. As well as liquifaction recent earthquakes have caused chunks of coastline to fall into the sea. If this happened on a large scale underwater landslides could cause a large wave, or tsunami. This would race across the Gulf of Corinthe, ricochet off the opposite bank and come charging back again, to crash over the sunken plain and fill in the lagoon.

Dora's theory makes sense, except for one thing. There is no lagoon in the region today. There is, though, a trail of clues that explains what could have happened. An ancient bridge that is strangely nowhere near water shows how river sediment coming down from the mountains changes the shape of the plain - over hundreds of years the lagoon would have silted up, hiding the lost city beneath solid ground. A host of boreholes drilled into the plain and a remote cave with the legend attached to it have helped pinpoint where the now underground city might lie.

Glimpses of Ancient Greece

The dig has finally found Greek period artefactsSlowly Dora and Steven have pieced it all together, but there have been several false starts along the way. The first lot of ruins they found were Roman - a settlement built hundreds of years after Helike's disappearance to honour the famous lost city. Next they found ruins that turned out to be prehistoric - an early bronze age settlement built 2,500 years before Helike. It wasn't until 2001 that Dora and Steven at last got their breakthrough.

Whilst Horizon was filming, the team uncovered ruins from classical Greece. Securely dated by coins and pottery, the team are convinced they have at last found the city they've been looking for. It will take years to uncover Helike's riches, but for the first time in thousands of years, we have glimpses of the lost city that inspired Atlantis.



Bronze coin of Classical Helike: obverse shows the head of Poseidon and inscription ELIK, reverse shows a trident flanked by dolphins. (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)


Hellenistic basins and workshop during excavation in 2004


Topographic map of the central search area, showing trial trenches, the Roman road, and bore hole locations.


Early Bronze Age walls of prehistoric Helike, in trench H22.


On a winter night in 373 BC, a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami destroyed and submerged Helike, the principal Greek city on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth. Helike had been founded in the Bronze Age and its pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Helikonian Poseidon was known through the Classical world (Katsonopoulou 1999, 2002). Helike led the twelve cities of the first Achaean League, and founded colonies, including Priene in Asia Minor and Sybaris in South Italy. The dramatic destruction of Helike was widely discussed by many Greek and Roman authors (Appendix A) and may have inspired Plato, then in his prime, to contrive the myth of Atlantis (Appendix B).

About 150 years after the disaster, Eratosthenes visited the site and reported that a standing bronze statue of Poseidon was submerged in a poros, where it posed a hazard to those who fished with nets. The term poros was generally translated as “strait”, but Katsonopoulou (1995) interpreted it as referring to an inland lagoon.

Around 174 AD, the traveler Pausanias visited a coastal site still called Helike, located 7 km southeast of Aigion (Fig. 1), and reported that the walls of the ancient city were still visible under water. Later all traces of Helike were lost. In 1861, German archaeologists visiting the area acquired a bronze coin of Helike, showing the head of Poseidon in fine Classical style (Fig. 2), perhaps modeled on the cult statue of the god at Helike.

The ancient accounts give the impression that the submerged ruins of Helike were removed from subsequent human interference, and so were never salvaged, quarried or looted. Archaeologists thus hoped that the site might provide a kind of “time capsule” from the Classical Era, resembling a shipwreck the size of a city. Spyridon Marinatos, late Director General of Antiquities and discoverer of the prehistoric town on Santorini, pursued the search for Helike over many years. He estimated (1960) that the site contains dozens of original bronze and marble works of the Classical sculptors. Marinatos (1964) looked forward to "the discovery of a whole ancient town far more precious and interesting than Pompeii" and said it would be "almost surely the most spectacular archaeological discovery ever made."

In 1988, we launched The Helike Project, to locate the site of the lost city. As a first step, we engaged Paul Kronfield to carry out a systematic sidescan and subbottom sonar survey of the seafloor southeast of Aigion (Fig. 1). The sonar images showed striking seismic disturbances (Soter 1999) but no evidence of a city on or below the seafloor. Accordingly, we shifted the search to the adjacent coastal plain. After the earthquake drowned Helike, the submerged delta became dry land again, due to the deposition of river sediments and local tectonic uplift (cf. Soter 1998).

Since 1991 we have drilled 99 bore holes on the coastal plain, within a survey area of 10 square kilometers. We found many ancient ceramic fragments in sediment cores from bore holes drilled in the upper part of the delta between the rivers Selinous and Kerynites (Fig. 3). The fragments were often found in layers, at depths ranging from near the surface down to 15 m. We dated some of these occupation horizons, which span the range from Byzantine, Roman, Hellenistic, Classical, Bronze Age and Neolithic times (Soter & Katsonopoulou 1999).

In 1994 in collaboration with the University of Patras, we carried out a magnetometer survey in the midplain of the delta, which revealed the outlines of a buried building. In 1995 we excavated this target (now known as the Klonis site, at K in Fig. 3) and brought to light a large Roman building with standing walls 2 m high (Fig. 4). The upper floors and walls had collapsed during an earthquake in the late 5th century AD. In addition to many Roman artifacts (pottery, coins, glass, marble), the deepest strata of the excavation yielded fragments of Classical, Protogeometric and Mycenaean pottery (Katsonopoulou 1998). Older occupation horizons evidently lay below the Roman one in this area.

Since 2000, we have excavated in the Helike delta each summer. Below is a brief summary of the principal discoveries in sequential order.

2000. Based on evidence from bore holes and ground penetrating radar, we opened trial trenches which brought to light a Byzantine building and cemetery, a massive Hellenistic wall, a paved road (all near H12 in Fig. 3), a Roman cemetery (H5), and a debris deposit full of late Classical/Early Hellenistic potsherds, roof tiles and a bronze coin of Sikyon (H9). We also uncovered (H7 near H21) foundations of walls of pre-Classical age buried in marine and lagoonal mud.

2001. We uncovered ruins of building destroyed by the earthquake of 373 BC (at H18/19). In two trenches (H21/22) we brought to light more pre-Classical walls, this time together with complete pottery vessels, which unambiguously dated the site to the Early Bronze Age (EBA). We discovered a rare drinking cup, known as a depas amphikypellon, in one of the Early Helladic buildings in H22. An extensive Roman industrial site was excavated at H14. In five trenches we found that the road uncovered in 2000 is of Roman age and extends at least 800 m across the plain (red line in Fig. 3).

2002. We excavated a late Classical/Early Hellenistic cemetery with well built tile-covered graves (H25). Another trench (near H22) revealed more EBA walls. We also excavated a Hellenistic hearth (H30). Abundant pottery of the Late Clasical/Early Hellenistic period came to light in H28 near H11.

2003. Excavations of two trenches southeast of H12 brought to light an extensive early Hellenistic industrial structure with pebble floors, plaster partitions, and a dozen bronze coins, mostly of Sikyon, dating from the third/second centuries BC. Excavation of a new trench in the Early Bronze Age site brought to light part of a large corridor house and showed that much of the prehistoric settlement is perfectly undisturbed and intact, containing dozens of pots of various types and sizes, some preserving traces of their organic contents, including seeds. We also ran a geophysical test of the seismic reflection method in the EBA site. The data produced an image of buried structures having the same depth and orientation as the walls uncovered in adjacent trenches.

2004 . Continued excavation at the EBA site in Rizomylos revealed additional Early Helladic buildings flanking the sides of a cobbled street (H43). The recovered pottery was rich and included a variety of vessels both in open and closed shapes. Decorated pottery includes pattern-painted Dark-on-Light, finger-impressed, rope and overlapping disk bands. We discovered bone and stone tools and terracota objects in the EBA rooms. Excavation of new trenches near H36-37 in Eliki revealed more of the complex of Hellenistic basins discovered in the previous year, together with an adjacent workshop area (Fig. 6). Recovered pottery was rich, and the finds included thirteen bronze coins and numerous metal objects. In the same area, we discovered more large Hellenistic buildings (H44) and a new segment of the Roman road (H42).

The following is an outline of the principal discoveries arranged in order of archaeological period.

ROMAN. The straight Roman road runs from NW to SE across the Helike plain, with an average width of 5-6 m. One trench shows wheel ruts. We excavated the road in seven trenches, extending over a distance of 820 m in the area between Eliki and Rizomylos. This was the main coastal road in Roman times, almost certainly the leoforos which Pausanias used in the 2nd century AD when he visited the area and reported (Appendix A) that the submerged walls of Classical Helike were still visible. We uncovered a large Roman building at the Klonis site (K), and a Roman cemetery with tile covered graves at H5 in Nikolaiika. A Roman industrial site was excavated in three trenches near H14.

HELLENISTIC. We found a large Hellenistic wall (dated by Wests Slope pottery) and alcoves (possibly from shops or a heroon) parallel to and below the Roman road in three trenches near H12. Nearby we discovered a large Hellenistic industrial complex of large basiins with pebble floors and plaster partitions, channels and deep tanks for liquid. We also excavated a Hellenistic hearth at H30.

CLASSICAL. Excavation of trenches in the mid-plain of Rizomylos (H18-19 in Fig. 3) brought to light significant architectural remains of Classical buildings at 3 m depth, buried under thick lagoonal deposits and destroyed by an earthquake. Numerous finds show that the buildings were rich. The assemblage includes an array of Classical potsherds, both fine and coarse ware, dated to the first quarter of the 4th century BC. We recovered terracotta figurines and a silver coin from Sikyon in mint condition. It bears a fine representation of Apollo wearing a laurel wreath, and the reverse shows a flying dove.

Analysis of microfauna in sediment samples suggests that a shallow inland lagoon covered the ruins of these Classical buildings. This was evidently the poros mentioned by Eratosthenes, as suggested by the interpretation of Katsonopoulou (1995). Thus the city did not sink into the depths of the Corinthian Gulf, as previously believed, but was submerged by an inland lagoon, which later silted over.

EARLY BRONZE AGE. A most significant and unexpected discovery was that of an extensive and remarkably well-preserved Early Helladic coastal settlement (EHII-IIIA, ca. 2600-2300 BC), the first ever found in Achaea. The site is in the Rizomylos area (HH21-22 in Fig. 3), about 1 kilometer from the present shore, at a depth of 3 to 5 meters below the surface. We uncovered the foundations of a corridor house and other rectilinear buildings flanking the sides of cobbled streets, together with abundant pottery.

The assemblage of vases includes open shapes (two-handled bowls, pedestal-footed and other cups, tankards and cooking pots) and closed shapes (narrow-necked jars and pithos jars). Of outstanding significance is a depas amphikypellon cup of Trojan type, the first one known from the northern Peloponnesos. The presence of luxury items, including small gold and silver ornaments, attests to the wealth of prehistoric Helike.

The sediments covering the Early Bronze Age horizon contain marine and lagoonal microfauna, showing that the ruins were submerged in seawater for some time. A long wall of one building is abruptly offset by what appears to be a seismic discontinuity (Fig. 5). This suggests that the EHII-IIIA settlement may have been destroyed and submerged by an earthquake, as happened to its Classical successor some two thousand years later.
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Old April 27th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #6
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thanks Skaros , yes is the same man, the famouse geographer STRABO, this man is a source of geographical information about historical setings in Mediterranean area including the area of the old Hispania, acording to ther scriptures archeologists find a lot of lost citys in my country, this head could be Hellenic or Have some Hellenic influences acording to some Historians because they found signals of Hellenic presence in the place ware they find it, the ruins of Milrreu in Algarve, in this city we have diferent details from wath we see in normal Roman structurs; part of the land around Helike desapeare under the water I presume? it seems that the land submerged the city, is amazing!!

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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpels
thanks Skaros , yes is the same man, the famouse geographer STRABO, this man is a source of geographical information about historical setings in Mediterranean area including the area of the old Hispania, acording to ther scriptures archeologists find a lot of lost citys in my country, this head could be Hellenic or Have some Hellenic influences acording to some Historians because they found signals of Hellenic presence in the place ware they find it, the ruins of Milrreu in Algarve, in this city we have diferent details from wath we see in normal Roman structurs; part of the land around Helike desapeare under the water I presume? it seems that the land submerged the city, is amazing!!
Thanks for the info about Milrreu Arpels!
As about Helike it is like that it dissapeared under the water , there is strong evidence that there are hunderds of well preserved statues,monuments, etc
But the excavations are very difficult as you understand!
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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #8
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ANCIENT (Mycenean) PYLOS - NESTOR PALACE
13th century BC Palace of homeric King Nestor

(info from www.culture.gr , www.pylos.net , www.perseus.tufts.edu (and other various sources)



The best preserved of the Mycenaean palaces. It's a complex of various buildings. It consists of 105 ground floor apartments. It has four main buildings (SW building, central building, NE building, wine store) and some smaller ones. The most important compartments of the palace are the big rectangural "throne room" with its circular hearth, the room with the clay bath tube and the stores with their numerous storage vessels. The walls of the palace were decorated with fine wall paintings.



The thousands of clay tablets in linear B' script found in the "Archive" illuminate the multiple functions and transactions which took place there. These texts proof that Linear B' is the earliest known Greek script, which was dechiphered by Michael Ventris.







The palace reached the peak of its prosperity in 13th century B.C. The early years of the 12th century B.C. the palace was destroyed by fire.



In 1939, K. Kourouniotis located the site of the Palace. Professor Carl Blegen of the University of Cincinnati excavated the area. After the declaration of Second World War, the excavations recommended.

The complex of the Palace is being roofed with dexion construction.

T he finds from the palace are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Chora, Messenia

Grave goods found in the tholos tomb at Peristeria: gold, jewellery (diadems) and other gold objects (cups) dated to the 16th-15th century BC.


Two impressive "palace style" jars from the tholos tomb at Rousti. Dated to the first half of the 15th century BC.


Frescoes from the palace of Nestor at Englianos. The subjects are impressively realistic and dramatic. Dated to the 13th century BC


A unique Mycenaean ritual three-footed vase bearing the heads of three animals and coloured decoration. It comes from the chamber tomb cemetery at Volimidia. Dated to the 14th-13th century BC.



circular hearth of the throne room



clay bath tube








Near the modern town of Pylos in Messenia in the southwestern Peloponnesus, a Mycenaean palace and town, taken to be the ancient Pylos of which Homer sang, were uncovered
Nestor, its aged king, fought in the Trojan War. Carl W. Blegen, the excavator of both Troy and Pylos, assigned absolute dates to a burned layer at the site of Hissarlik in Northwestern Turkey, which he assumed to represent the Greek destruction of King Priam’s Troy, and to the Palace of Nestor, also destroyed by fire. The absolute dates were furnished by Mycenaean pottery in and under both destructions. Blegen found Mycenaean pottery in the destruction layer of Pylos obviously representing “the ceramic shapes and styles that were in normal current use on the very day the palace was set afire and destroyed”.1 “The collection as a whole reflects chiefly the latest stage in the style of Mycenaean III B” but there were quite a few pieces belonging to the III C period.2 Arne Furumark set the transition from the one style to the other at ca. 1230 B.C., about the time of the death of Pharaoh Ramses II.3 Blegen revised this downward by about 30 years, setting the date of Pylos’ destruction at ca. 1200 B.C.4

In the debris of the palace he also found a great deal of pottery which was dated not by Egyptian criteria but on the internal evidence from Greece itself. This ware he ascribed to ca. 600 B.C.5 Blegen saw that after the fire ”the site was obviously abandoned and thenceforth left deserted.”6 To account for the mass of later pottery he acknowledged that ca. 600 B.C. “there was fairly widespread activity on the site”.7

This later pottery appeared in many rooms of the palace, often, in fact, in the same layer as the pottery dated 600 years older8 so that the earlier sherds must have percolated up. In one case the later sherds were found together with the earlier ones in a layer ”which rested on the stucco pavement of the court” and “unquestionably represents the latest phase of occupation of the palace.” Since, by the accepted chronology, they are six centuries too young to have been in use “on the very day the palace was set afire and destroyed” (see note 1 above), they “must somehow have penetrated from above”9 through however much dirt settled and vegetation grew over 600 years, then slipping through ”a compact layer of smallish stones closely packed in blackish earth”10 .15 - .25 m. thick, they finally forced their way into a .03 -.10 m. thick “clayey deposit” (see note 9 above), for how else could they have gotten there?

Two sets of pottery are involved here: a group dating to the 7th century on internal grounds, and a group dating to the 13th century on external grounds - the time of Ramses II of Egypt, with whose scarabs Mycenaean III B and C pottery is found.11 Though the two groups were found together in the same strata, because of the supposed passage of 600 years, the “late Geometric” pottery was branded part of “an intrusive deposit”12 and the Mycenaean was used as a dating criterion for the fire. Velikovsky has postulated that Ramses II reigned ca. 600 B.C., not in the 13th century B.C.13 This would solve a problem at Pylos. No pottery percolated. None “penetrated from above.” The two styles were contemporaneous. Both were used in the palace before the fire and buried by the debris.

Tholos tomb near ancient Pylos (www.unc.edu/awmc)






THE PALACE OF NESTOR AT PYLOS

by Ioannis Georganas

Citation: Georganas, I. (2000): "The Palace of Nestor at Pylos" Mediterranean Archaeology Resources [available: http://www.geocities.com/i_georganas/PYLOS.html]

ABOUT THE SITE

It was in May 1952 that C.W. Blegen brought to light the remains of a Mycenaean palace at Ano Englianos, Pylos. Ano Englianos is a ridge-like acropolis running from northeast to southwest, with a maximum length of 170m and a width of 90m at its broadest. The hill rises from the surrounding ground in steep scraps and is some 9km to the nearest point of the Navarino Bay (Blegen and Rawson 1966:30-31).

The palace is dated to the LH IIIB period and is the only one of its size, administrative character, and date that yet has been discovered in western Peloponnese.

The Throne Room (reconstruction)
Source: Hellenic Ministry of Culture

The acropolis had been occupied before the palace was built, as the ceramic evidence indicates, since the Middle Helladic period. Near to the acropolis many Mycenaean tombs have been found both tholoi and chamber tombs.

The palace itself cannot be considered as a single structure but comprises four separate buildings, two of residential and ceremonial use, one workshop and a wine magazine (Blegen and Rawson 1966:34). The general design of the megaron is quite similar to the plans of the megara at Mycene and Tiryns though the architecture represented at these three palaces shows considerable variety in details (i.e. in the number of columns, in the wall construction and so forth).



1) THE POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE PYLIAN KINGDOM

Given the nature of the Linear B tablets, the political geography of the kingdom is essentially embedded in the geographical information contained in the texts, since place-names of high status usually occur more frequently than those of lesser status (Bennet 1995:588).

Linear B tablet
Source: Hellenic Ministry of Culture

When we examine the Pylian tablets one thing becomes apparent; for administrative purposes the kingdom was divided into two provinces, which we now call the “Hither” and “Further” Provinces. The former appears in the tablets as de-we-ro-a-ko-ra-i-ja (this side of the Aigaleon) and the latter as pe-ra-ko-ra-i-ja (beyond Aigaleon) (Chadwick 1994:42-43, Bennet 1995:588). The feature that these two words refer to is the mountain Aigaleon. There are several tablets showing the Hither/Further province distinction such as Ng 319, Wa 948, Wa 114, and Pa 398.

Each province was subdivided into districts. The Hither seems to contained nine districts and the Further seven, though some documents give a total of eight in the latter, one district (e-re-i) being divided into two (Chadwick 1977:37). The nine districts of the Hither province are enumerated in at least three lists in a constant order which must be of geographical nature (Jn 829, Cn 608 and Vn 20). They run as follows, adapting the actual case endings used in different lists: pi-*82(swa?), me-ta-pa, pe-to-no, pa-ki-ja-ne, a-pu, a-ke-re-wa, e-ra-to/ro-u-so, ka-ra-do-ro, ri-jo. In addition, Jn 829 provides us with the seven districts of the Further province: ti-mi-to-a-ke-e, [ra]-wa-ra-ta, [sa]-ma-ra, a-si-ja-ti-ja, e-ra-te-re-wa-pi, za-ma-e-wi-ja, e-re-i.

According to this Hither/Further distinction, the nine districts lie in the western coastal strip and the seven (or eight) over the mountains in the Messenian valley (Palmer 1963:67). Chadwick (1994:43) has argued that the coastal strip helps us to reduce the two-dimensional distribution of the districts to the single dimension of a list, a list that runs along the line of the coast. A series of tablets, the well-known “o-ka tablets”, has helped scholars to suggest that the order of the lists runs from north to south, from the area north of the modern Kyparissia valley, around the Akritas peninsula, to the shore of the Messenian Gulf proper.

Another useful bit of information provided by the tablets is that as Pylos was the capital of the Hither province (and of course of the kingdom), there was a place called re-u-ko-to-ro (Leuktron) that may have been the capital of the Further province. Unfortunately we have no means of locating this site, though some candidates are the sites of Nichoria and Ellinica (Bennet 1995:592, note 15).



2) THE ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM

As we have already mentioned earlier, the Pylian kingdom was divided into sixteen (or seventeen) administrative districts. Each of these districts was controlled by a local governor called ko-re-te and a deputy called po-ro-ko-re-te. From Jn 829 we learn the ko-re-te and the po-ro-ko-re-te of each district were responsible for quite large contributions of bronze in order to provide raw materials for the manufacture of weapons. At the same tablet we have also the appearance of some other officials such as the du-ma-te and the mo-ro-qa. In addition, Jo 438 refers to contributions of gold, again made by the governors and their deputies. From this we can imply that these officials were of significant importance, responsible for the distribution of raw materials. As a result we can accept that each district had its own storage areas and some junior officials (such as the “key-bearers”) responsible for their operations (Ruiperez and Melena 1996:133). Although all these are indicative of an extensive control of the palace over the districts, one entity mentioned in the tablets comes and slightly alters the picture. That entity, which Hooker (1995:18) characterises as ‘non-palatial’ is the da-mo. According to the tablets a da-mo seems to be a local organ of organisation, a formal representation of the local community. We see it as a contributor of offerings to Poseidon (Un 718) and we also see it as owner of land (Ep 704). From the latter we can infer that the da-mo is indeed a non-palatial institution, strong enough to struggle for its own rights, especially over land.



3) THE ECONOMY

Looking at the archaeological evidence available to us, that is the actual remains of the palace and the Linear B tablets, one thing becomes clear; the economy of the Pylian kingdom was heavily centralised.

If we take a look at the palace itself we can see that they were specific areas used as storerooms such as the ‘Oil Magazine’ (rooms 23, 24, 32), the ‘North Oil Magazine’ (room 27), and the ‘Wine Magazines’ (rooms 104, 105). In room 23, among other things they were found 17 pithoi and 56 Linear B tablets and fragments of tablets, all dealing with various kinds of olive oil (Blegen and Rawson 1966:134-39). In room 24, 11 pithoi were recovered while room 32 contained at least a dozen of pithoi, certainly for oil storage, but as Blegen (supra:158) has argued must have been a special refined type, since the storage jars were distinctly smaller than those in the other oil magazines. Finally, another 16 pithoi were found in the ‘North Oil Magazine’ ranged around all four sides of the room. The two ‘Wine Magazines’ also contained large numbers of pithoi. Room 105 in particular, must have contained at least 35 of them. In addition, in the south corner of the room numerous clay sealings came to light which according to the excavator (supra:342-49) they were used in connection with wine, either the wine brought to the magazine or the wine already stored in the building.

All these storage areas clearly indicate that the palace was playing an active economic role, mainly that of a redistributor of agricultural products (Renfrew 1972:296). Many scholars have argued that the palaces were centres of massive redistributive operations for subsistence commodities (Renfrew 1972, Finley 1957). This view is strengthened by the tablets showing large amounts of agricultural products enter to and exit from the palaces.

But what were the main elements of the Pylian economy? Fist of all, agriculture was obviously the most important aspect of the economy. The tablets demonstrate that there were two principal food-grains; wheat and barley. These cereals were also used as the basis of the rations’ system as the Ab series of tablets indicates. Except these basic food grains the palace was also responsible for the more “industrial” products such as textiles, perfumed oil, and of course metals.

The textile industry of Pylos was very centralised, with the great majority of the workgroups concentrated at the two main centres Pylos and Leuktron (Killen 1984:55-58). Additionally, this concentration of labour in the two centres was accompanied by the concentration there of the more specialised activities within the industry such as decoration, headband making and so forth. All these clearly demonstrate that the palace at Pylos was in full control of the textile industry.

Another industry indicated by the tablets was that of the perfumed oil. The records refer to various stages of the industry such as the allocation of raw materials to perfumers (e.g. An 616, Un 249), stocktaking and distribution of the finished products (Fr series). According to Shelmerdine (1984:81) “this scribal attention shows that perfumery was an officially controlled activity, a palatial ‘business’ or ‘industry’”. Four perfumers are named in the tablets, with the three of them working for the palace. This is attested by the fact that they were paid by the palace and of course they get their raw materials from the palace (supra:83).

If we move to the metals industry, the tablets again demonstrate a very tight control of it by the palace. Most of the documents list the smiths at various places and the amounts of bronze allocated to them. Clearly the palace was anxious to maintain a tight control over the supplies of metals, and when bronze was issued to smiths a very careful record of the quantity was kept at the palace archives (Jn series). In each tablet of this series a place-name is given along with a list of the smiths and the amount of bronze allocated to each, and a total. Finally we have a list of smiths without an allocation. From these tablets we are able to estimate the number of the smiths in the Pylian kingdom, which was about 400 (Chadwick 1994:141). This notion of tight control is clearly demonstrated by Jn 829, where the palace requires (or probably demands) large amounts of bronze to be collected from each district.

All these aspects of the economy clearly demonstrate that the palace was a redistributive centre. But have we got any evidence indicating that it was also a manufacturer of any short of goods? The excavations of the sixth campaign in 1957 revealed a complex now known as the ‘Northeastern Workshop’. This complex is separated by the Main Building and comprises seven rooms and a roofed porch facing a court. The purpose of this building was almost immediately clear; it was a workshop (Blegen and Rawson 1966:35). Among the various objects there the most significant were 64 Linear B tablets and some 52 clay sealings, indicating that the building had a special status. From these tablets we learn that in this complex bronze was weighted, leather and metal objects were manufactured and/or repaired, harnesses were made and so forth (Tegyey 1984:65-79). For example, Room 100 has yielded 501 small barbed arrowheads and the other areas of the workshop yielded 13 more (Blegen and Rawson 1966). If we look at the other quarters of the palace we only find about 16 arrowheads. From this we can imply that the Northeastern Workshop was the main storeroom for arrowheads (Tegyey 1984:72) and probably also the main production area for them.



4) WEAPONS, CHARIOTS AND THE MILITARY ORGANISATION

In the Pylian archives, no tablets referring to weapons were found, except from a tablet which belongs with the inventory of vessels and furniture (Ta 716); it records two swords and the word used is the classical xiphos though the spelling is quite odd (Chadwick 1994:172). However, we have indirect information about weapons coming from the well-known tablet Jn 829, which refers to spears and javelins. Another series of documents (Sh) is characterised by the ideogram *163, which appears to be a schematic representation of a corslet with a helmet. The world used for corslets is to-ra-ke, and each of them is listed as having twenty large and ten small ‘accessories’ (Palmer 1963:329, Chadwick 1994:162).

As far as chariots are concerned, again we have no tablets listing any of them but we have a large series of documents (Sa) which records wheels. The fact that these wheels are usually listed as one pair per tablet certainly suggests a two-wheeled vehicle, which can hardly be anything but a chariot.

If we move to the military organisation of the Pylian kingdom, there is the An series which throws some light on this aspect. Some of the most important documents are the following.

An 1 is a list of 30 men who are drawn from five places and are going “as rowers to Pleuron”. A much larger list (An 610), unfortunately having its heading badly damaged, also refers to rowers (e-re-ta). A total of 569 men can be counted on the preserved part, with the figures of five entries missing. Finally there is An 724 which also seems to link with the previous two tablets. Palmer (1963:130) has suggested that 30 rowers might be the crew of one ship, so that this force mentioned would be enough to man almost 20 ships.

A better view of the Pylian military organisation can be given from the so-called “o-ka tablets” (An 657, 654, 519, 656, 661). These tablets have generally been regarded as records of military dispositions, that is to say the details of detachments of men who have been assigned to guard the coast. According to them, the whole Pylian coast is divided into 10 sectors. In each sector the name of the official responsible is given, followed by a few other names (presumably of subordinates). Then, groups of men follow, who are described in various ways, mainly by the name of their native towns. The total number of men comes to 800. In addition, we find in some cases an e-qe-ta (Follower) that accompanied them. Some scholars have suggested that the Followers were some kind of liaison officers, responsible for communicating with the palace. However, Chadwick (1994:176-77) has argued that the Followers were in fact the commanders of the various regiments of the Pylian army, ready to defend the kingdom’s territory.

CONCLUSION

During the LH IIIB period, the establishment on the hill of Ano Englianos was clearly a centre of a very hierarchical and centralised government. Authority was exercised over a huge area, divided into two provinces and subdivided into 16 smaller districts. Each district had its own governor followed by various junior officials, all responsible for the administration of the everyday operations. The palace seems to had a quite tight control over the economic activities that took place in its domain, playing mainly the role of redistributor of agricultural products. It was also heavily concerned with the defence of the kingdom’s territory and this is reflected in the development of coast-guard units and possibly of a fleet.

Wall paintings of Nestors Palace
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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:58 AM   #9
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Good work Skaros I appreciate your effort very much...
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Old May 11th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #10
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Mycenean frescoes are amazing, very realistic as you said do you have pics of the frescoes in the interior of clay bath tube?
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Old May 11th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #11
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Εύγε Skaro
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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:43 PM   #12
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Συγχαρητήρια, και κρίμα που δεν μπορώ να συμμετάσχω τώρα γιατι δεν έχω έτοιμο υλικό. Ποιός ξέρει όμως, σε λίγο καιρό μπορεί κάτι να κάνω και γι'α αυτό.

Anyway, wonderful thread. Deserves a research about the Pyramids in our country (like the one on the top of mount Taygetos). Too bad I am busy preparing something else!!!

But it's never too late is it? ...

Once again, Bravo!!!
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Old May 12th, 2005, 12:13 AM   #13
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The museum of BYZANTINE culture in THESSALONIKI : www.mbp.gr

wins the *

2005 Council of Europe's Museum Prize

The Museum of Byzantine Culture has been awarded the Council of Europe's Museum Prize for the year 2005. The official presentation ceremony took place on April 26th 2005 at the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg, during the Parliamentary Assembly's 2005 spring session. *

The decision was taken unanimously by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, on the basis of a recommendation by the European Museum Forum Jury. The jury appreciated "the excellence of the museum and the balance between conservation, restoration and presentation", noting in particular the virtual absence of show-cases and the illustration of restoration work. It described the museum as "visitor-friendly, with an educational emphasis on children".
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Old June 4th, 2005, 12:32 AM   #14
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Ευχαριστώ για τα καλά σας λόγια παιδιά. Μου δίνετε περισσότερη ενέργεια να συνεχίσω...
Δυστυχώς δεν είχα χρόνο το τελευταίο διάστημα για να συνεχίσω την παρουσίαση αλλά σύντομα θα επιστρέψω.
Για την ώρα μια πολύ συμαντική είδηση που "αλίευσα" σήμερα από την ιστοσελίδα της ΕΡΤ (www.ert.gr)

Their First Facilities Discovered
In Greek Marseilles

03 Jun 2005 18:34:00

By Annita Paschalinou

Sources: INRAP

A few metres from the old port of Marseilles, archaeologists have brought to light the first facilities of Ancient Greeks in France’s oldest city.

It is a settlement, which was mainly made up of houses on rock foundations with plinthite walls, dating back to 600-480BC. At around 550BC, an impressive building, approximately 120 sq m is size, was situated in the centre of the archaeological site and is believed to have been either a temple or the city walls. The facilities, as well as all the artefacts that were discovered in the port of Marseilles, are all in excellent condition. This, combined with the fact that the site takes up 400 sq m and is 3 m deep, has prompted the French archaeologists to speak of a great discovery.

A Place of Worship

An impressive building was constructed in the settlement at around 550BC.

The archaeologists are almost certain that it was either a public building or a military facility (walls).

The building is orthogonal and the walls are 1.20m thick. More facilities started being built around the main building later on.

As per the archaeologists, the whole settlement was probably a shrine for Greek merchants and sailors, where they worshipped their patron deities, Aphrodite, Hercules and the Dioscuri.

One of the most interesting finds was a Blue Egyptian veneer, which was considered a luxurious decoration at the time and is usually found in Greek trade centres in the Delta of the Nile, Egypt.

Greek Pots

Some of the pots discovered in the area are of Greek origin (Attican, Corinthian and Ionian).


Some of the Attican and Corinthian depict the well-known red and black figures, characteristic of the period.

They also discovered numerous Etruscan amphorae, as well as some from Corfu, Athens and the Aegean islands.

Numerous Finds

A team of archaeologists from the French National Institute for Research in Preventive Archaeology, led by Philippe Mellinand, made the discovery.

This is not the first time that an archaeological dig brings to light constructions of the Ancient Greek period. However, according to Philippe Mellinand, this is the first time ever that the buildings and artefacts are in such excellent condition and that the site is so vast.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 03:28 PM   #15
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Impressive amount of information!!!
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Visit this thread on my hometown (Kalamata, Greece) and this one, too.

The right decision
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Old June 6th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gm2263
Συγχαρητήρια, και κρίμα που δεν μπορώ να συμμετάσχω τώρα γιατι δεν έχω έτοιμο υλικό. Ποιός ξέρει όμως, σε λίγο καιρό μπορεί κάτι να κάνω και γι'α αυτό.

Anyway, wonderful thread. Deserves a research about the Pyramids in our country (like the one on the top of mount Taygetos). Too bad I am busy preparing something else!!!

But it's never too late is it? ...

Once again, Bravo!!!
pyramids?
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:04 PM   #17
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Yes, pyramids

Dont imagine something like the Giza piramide, not even close..
But still pyramids!
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:10 PM   #18
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I see do you have some pic please?
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpels
I see do you have some pic please?
Geia sou Arpels

An example is the ruins of the pyramide of Hellenikon in the region of Argolida (Peloponnese , near Epidaurus)



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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:46 PM   #20
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they are in fact diferent from Egyptian pyramids, seems the same style of a tomb in Greece o have 2 lyons in the door (I dont remember the name but I think is Mycenns?).
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