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Mysterious magic spells unearthed by archaeologists in Serbia

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Oracian
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« on: August 13, 2016, 06:13:08 pm »

 Mysterious magic spells unearthed by archaeologists in Serbia

Inscriptions etched on tiny rolls of gold and silver found alongside skeletons of people buried almost 2,000 years ago

Chief archaeologist Miomir Korać displays one of the gold rolls covered in symbols and writing. Photograph: Djordje Kojadinovic/Reuters

Reuters in Kostolac

Tuesday 9 August 2016 10.27 EDT
Last modified on Tuesday 9 August 2016 14.01 EDT

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Archaeologists in Serbia are trying to decipher magic spells etched on to tiny rolls of gold and silver that have been found alongside skeletons of humans buried almost 2,000 years ago.

“The alphabet is Greek, that much we know. The language is Aramaic – it’s a Middle Eastern mystery to us,” said Miomir Korać, the chief archaeologist at the site.

The skeletons were discovered at the foot of a massive coal-fired power station in Kostolac, north-eastern Serbia, where searches are being carried out before another unit of the electricity plant is built on the site of an ancient Roman city, Viminacium.
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Oracian
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 06:18:09 pm »



Two amulets have been discovered, containing rolls of silver and gold Photograph: Djordje Kojadinovic/Reuters

Last week, after carefully brushing away soil from the bones, Korać’s team found two amulets made of lead that, when opened, were each found to contain rolls of precious metal – silver and gold – covered in symbols and writing.

They believe the inscriptions are magic spells, taken to the grave to invoke divine powers to perform good or evil.

“We read the names of a few demons that are connected to the territory of modern-day Syria,” the archaeologist Ilija Danković said at the dig, as more skeletons from the fourth century AD were being uncovered.

The fragile gold and silver scrolls – which once unrolled look like rectangles of foil similar in size to a sweet wrapper – may never be fully understood.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2016, 06:19:17 pm »




Archaeologist Ilija Danković at the Viminacium site in north-eastern Serbia. Photograph: Djordje Kojadinovic/Reuters

They are the first such items discovered in Serbia but resemble amulets of “binding magic” found in other countries, Danković said.

“They were often love charms, ordering someone to fall in love, but there were also dark, malignant curses, to the tune of ‘May your body turn dead, as cold and heavy as this lead,’” he said.

Magic charms tended to be buried with people who had suffered a violent death, Danković said, because of a belief that “souls of such people took longer to find rest and had a better chance of finding demons and deities and pass the wishes to them so they could do their magic”.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 06:20:35 pm »

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/09/mysterious-magic-spells-unearthed-archaeologists-serbia
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2016, 06:21:28 pm »




The people of the time wrote spells to invoke divine powers. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Archaeologists have been trying to decipher magic spells inscribed on small rolls of gold and silver.
Dating back more than 2,000 years, the magical incantations were discovered alongside skeletons found buried next to a coal-fired power station in Kostolac - a town in north-eastern Serbia.

The spells were written on tiny rolls of precious metal hidden inside two lead amulets and were believed to have been interred with the remains in an effort to invoke divine powers.

"We read the names of a few demons that are connected to the territory of modern-day Syria," said archaeologist Ilija Danković.

    Mysterious magic spells unearthed by archaeologists in Serbia https://t.co/maLxLygdQP
    — The Guardian (@guardian) August 9, 2016


The spells are similar to 'binding magic' incantations discovered in other countries but are the first ever to be found at an archaeological dig in Serbia.

"They were often love charms, ordering someone to fall in love, but there were also dark, malignant curses, to the tune of ‘May your body turn dead, as cold and heavy as this lead,’" said Danković.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 06:23:00 pm »

On the one hand the chief archaeologist is seeming to guess that it's written in Greek and the language is Aramaic and that it is a mystery. And yet they know it's magic spells that were put in the amulets? My understanding on reading the article is that spell scrolls were buried with those that died a violent death to help their passage into the next life. These were made of gold and silver which hints at important people.  I agree with you that it would be nice if they knew what was written and how something from modern day Syria made its way to the Balkans.
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