Ancient Greece

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:45 pm    Post subject: Ancient Greece Reply with quote

Ancient Apollo statue found in Gaza
Bronze Apollo found by fisherman and valued at tens of millions of dollars, dating from 1,800-2,500 years ago, is being held incognito somewhere in Strip.
Feb. 9, 2014

In an Interior Ministry office somewhere in Gaza stands an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo, discovered last August by a local fisherman and valued at $20 million to $40 million or more, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. The discovery is credited to Gazan fisherman Jouda Ghurab, 26. However, Ghurab's claim to have come upon it in the waters off the Gazan shore is disputed by foreign archeologists who've seen photos and videos of the statue; they say there would have been sea encrustations and water damage if it had lain in the sea for centuries.

At first Ghurab and his family tried to sell the statue, which is estimated to be 1,800 to 2,500 years old. At one point it turned up on Ebay at an opening price of $500,000. But the Gaza Strip's isolation and the difficulty of transferring the statue to a buyer made the idea of selling it unworkable, so Ghurab turned it over to Hamas authorities – with the understanding that he would receive a reward. The Louvre has expressed interest in preserving the statue. An unnamed American museum has also been in touch with the Strip's Islamist authorities about caring for the find.

"We are keeping the door open to cooperation with any government," said Muhammad Ismael Khillah, assistant undersecretary of Gaza's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. He said a public exhibition in the Strip was also a possibility – even though Apollo's uncovered genitals would violate the Hamas regime's modesty regulations. "We will have to cover it in certain places," Khillah said.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomb Raiders Likely Plundered Ancient Greek Site
Rossella Lorenzi
Aug 26, 2014

Archaeologists on Monday entered the antechamber of Greece’s mystery tomb in Amphipolis — only to find another wall blocking the tomb’s interior as well as worrying evidence of looting in the form of a suspicious opening. Before entering the vestibule, or antechamber, the archaeologists had to remove dozens of massive stones which sealed the entrance of the huge burial complex. “Now the front of the monument has been revealed almost entirely,” the culture ministry said in a statement.

The tomb’s arched entrance featured a highly original composition for this type of Macedonian tomb, dating from the last quarter of the 4th century B.C. It was guarded by two headless and wingless seated sphinxes, while the facade boasted fresco imitating the marble of the side walls. Since the maximum spacing between the columns that form the door frame is 5.4 feet, the archaeologists believe it is very likely that “the door opening was free, with no door panels.”

As the team led by Katerina Peristeri removed debris from the antechamber’s interior, an inlaid composition of marble plaques appeared under the Ionic architrave, fully covering the side walls. A pebbled floor was also unearthed in the center and front of the entrance. It consisted of rectangulars and squares, surrounded by black and white diamond shaped pieces. Most importantly, the archaeologists unearthed the upper part of a marble blocking wall.

Topped with an architrave decorated with eight-leaved embossed rosettes, the blocking wall showed a suspicious opening on its top left. The wall, standing about 19 feet from the entrance, would conceal one or more inner chambers, the culture minister said. The official statement doesn’t explain much about the hole on the top left, which is seen by many as a strong evidence for tomb raiders plundering the tomb. Measuring 1.6 square feet, the passage is large enough to let a small man pass through it.

According to reports in Greek media, the archaeologists looked through the window in the blocking wall and saw a second chamber and a wall in the distance, suggesting another door might lead to the tomb’s interior. At 1,935 feet wide, the mound is the largest tomb ever discovered in Greece. Archaeologists began excavating it in 2012 and concluded the mound was once crowned by the impressive 16-foot-tall marble lion statue which now stands on a pedestal three miles from the excavation site.

Indeed, the sphinxes and the lion were crafted in the same workshop from marble brought from the island of Thasso. Dating between 325 B.C. — two years after the death of warrior king Alexander the Great — and 300 B.C., the tomb lies in the ancient city of Amphipolis, in Greece’s northeastern Macedonia region about 65 miles from the country’s second-biggest city, Thessaloniki. The city, an Athenian colony, was conquered by Philip II of Macedon, Alexander’s father, in 357 B.C.

Prominent generals and admirals of Alexander had links with Amphipolis. It’s here that Alexander’s wife Roxana and his son Alexander IV were killed in 311 BC on the orders of his successor, King Cassander. The burial complex site was possibly built by Dinocrates, a close friend of Alexander best known for building Alexandria in Egypt. It’s 10 times larger than the lavishly furnished tomb of Alexander’s father, Philip II, which was discovered, untouched, in Vergina, central Macedonia, in the 1970s.

As the excavation continues, speculation abounds on who is buried in the mound. Putting aside the wild hypothesis that Alexander himself rests there — his tomb has never been found, but all historical records indicate he was buried in Alexandria — theories are now pointing to Alexander’s admiral Nearchos, as well as Roxana, his son Alexander IV and his sister Cleopatra.

“More than likely we will be surprised and find the unexpected,” University of Bristol Nicholas Saunders, author of “Alexander’s Tomb,” told the Greek newspaper Ethnos.
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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Treasures of Ancient Greece
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