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Ash Altar Of Zeus Offers Insights Into Greece's Most Powerful God - UPDATES


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Author Topic: Ash Altar Of Zeus Offers Insights Into Greece's Most Powerful God - UPDATES  (Read 710 times)
Bianca
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« on: January 28, 2009, 12:20:21 pm »





             









Other archaeologists familiar with the discovery tended to agree with Dr. Romano’s interpretation, though they said that continuing excavations this summer and next should reach a more definitive understanding of the altar’s possible pre-Greek use.

“Evidence uncovered certainly points to activity at the altar in prehistoric times,” said Jack Davis, director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, who visited the site several times. The project was conducted under the auspices of the American school, but he was not a participant.

“We certainly know that Zeus and a female version of Zeus were worshiped in prehistoric times,” Dr. Davis continued in an e-mail message. “The trick will be in defining the precise nature of the site itself before historical times.”

Ken Dowden, director of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham, in England, who was not involved in the research, said that it was not surprising to find the migrating Greeks adapting a sanctuary dedicated to gods of an earlier religion for the worship of their own gods. “Even Christians would on occasion reuse a pagan sanctuary in order to transfer allegiance from the preceding religion to Christianity,” he noted.

“You have some god being worshiped on a mountaintop, and the arriving Greeks have translated the god as ‘Zeus,’ their god of the sky, lightning, weather and so on,” Dr. Dowden said. “It’s going to be pretty close to what they found there, and given the site, it makes very good sense.”

The affinities of Roman gods and goddesses to earlier Greek ones are well known. Jupiter, for example, is a virtual stand-in for Zeus. In antiquity it was perhaps no heresy to have different names for the same deity. The place of Mount Lykaion in practices venerating Zeus is documented in literature and previous archaeological research.

The Greek traveler Pausanias, writing in the second century A.D., described the sanctuary of Zeus on the mountain, 4,500 feet above the rural countryside.

“On the highest point of the mountain is a mound of earth, forming an altar of Zeus Lykaios, and from it most of the Peloponnesus can be seen,” Pausanias wrote. “Before the altar on the east stand two pillars, on which there were once gilded eagles. On this altar they sacrifice in secret to Lykaion Zeus. I was reluctant to pry into the details of the sacrifice; let them be as they are and were from the beginning.”
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 12:35:32 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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