Atlantis Online
November 24, 2020, 12:25:36 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Were seafarers living here 16,000 years ago?
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=34805893-6a53-46f5-a864-a96d53991051&k=39922
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

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


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Ash Altar Of Zeus Offers Insights Into Greece's Most Powerful God - UPDATES  (Read 707 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: February 02, 2009, 06:33:36 pm »



Left, Dan Diffendale, research assistant, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, in the ash altar of Zeus trench, at the discovery of a group of Mycenaean kylikes, circa 13th century BCE. Summer 2008. Right, a small bronze hand of Zeus holding a silver lightning bolt (approximately 2 cm), circa 500 BCE, excavated at the ash altar of Zeus, Mt. Lykaion, Summer 2008.

(Credit:
Image courtesy of
University of Pennsylvania)








                   New Evidence From Excavations In Arcadia, Greece, Supports Theory Of 'Birth Of Zeus'







ScienceDaily
(Feb. 2, 2009)

— In the third century BCE, the Greek poet Callimachus wrote a 'Hymn to Zeus' asking the ancient, and most powerful, Greek god whether he was born in Arcadia on Mt. Lykaion or in Crete on Mt. Ida.

A Greek and American team of archaeologists working on the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project believe they have at least a partial answer to the poet’s query. New excavation evidence indicates that Zeus' worship was established on Mt. Lykaion as early as the Late Helladic period, if not before, more than 3,200 years ago. According to Dr. David Gilman Romano, Senior Research Scientist, Mediterranean Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum, and one of the project’s co-directors, it is likely that a memory of the cult's great antiquity survived there, leading to the claim that Zeus was born in Arcadia.

New evidence to support the ancient myth that Zeus was born on Mt. Lykaion in Arcadia has come from a small trench from the southern peak of the mountain, known from the historical period as the ash altar of Zeus Lykaios. Over fifty Mycenaean drinking vessels, or kylikes, were found on the bedrock at the bottom of the trench along with fragments of human and animal figurines and a miniature double headed axe. Also found were burned animal bones, mostly of goats and sheep, another indication consistent with Mycenaean cult activity.

“This new evidence strongly suggests that there were drinking (and perhaps feasting) parties taking place on the top of the mountain in the Late Helladic period, around 3,300 or 3,400 years ago,” said Dr. Romano.

In mainland Greece there are very few if any Mycenaean mountain-top altars or shrines. This time period — 14th-13th centuries BC — is approximately the same time that documents inscribed with a syllabic script called Linear B (an archaic form of the Greek language) first mention Zeus as a deity receiving votive offerings. Linear B also provides a word for an 'open fire altar' that might describe this altar on Mt. Lykaion as well as a word for a sacred area, temenos, a term known from later historical sources. The shrine on Mt. Lykaion is characterized by simple arrangements: an open air altar and a nearby sacred area, or temenos, which appears to have had no temple or other architectural feature at any time at this site.

Evidence from subsequent periods in the same trench indicate that cult activity at the altar seems to have continued uninterrupted from the Mycenaean period down through the Hellenistic period (4th – 2nd centuries BCE), something that has been documented at very few sites in the Greek world. Miniature bronze tripods, silver coins, and other dedications to Zeus including a bronze hand of Zeus holding a silver lightning bolt, have been found in later levels in the same trench. Zeus as the god of thunder and lightning is often depicted with a lightning bolt in his hand.

Also found in the altar trench was a sample of fulgurite or petrified lightning. This is a glass-like substance formed when lightning strikes sandy soil. It is not clear if the fulgurite was formed on the mountain-top or if it was brought to the site as a dedication to Zeus. Evidence for earlier activity at the site of the altar, from the Final Neolithic and the Early and Middle Helladic periods, continues to be found.

The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project is a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, the University of Arizona, and the Greek Archaeological Service in Tripolis, Greece. Project directors are Dr. Romano, Dr. Mary Voyatzis of the University of Arizona, and Dr. Michalis Petropoulos, Ephor of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquties of the Greek Archaeological Service in Tripolis. The project is under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Investigations at the Sanctuary of Zeus also include excavations and survey of a number of buildings and monuments from the lower sanctuary where athletic contests were held as a part of the festival for Zeus in the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. These include a hippodrome, stadium, stoa, bath, xenon (hotel building) and fountain house. The Project, which began in 2004, will continue in the summer 2009.

Support for the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project comes from a number of foundations including the Karabots Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the 1984 Foundation, the Niarchos Program for the Promotion of the Hellenic Heritage at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as from numerous individual donors.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by University of Pennsylvania.
Email or share this story:   
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA University of Pennsylvania (2009, February 2). New Evidence From Excavations In Arcadia, Greece, Supports Theory Of 'Birth Of Zeus'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 2, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090202175200.htm
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 06:37:59 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy