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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 2361 times)
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« on: January 28, 2009, 12:23:49 pm »

LONG LOST Silver coin,
circa 430 B.C.,
found in the altar trench at Mount Lykaion in Arcadia.
It depicts Artemis or Despoina

Dr. Voyatzis said the potsherds were the most telling finds. Their undecorated style, gray color, the feel of the clay and the way it was fired, she said, were diagnostic of pottery 5,000 years ago.

“You wouldn’t establish a settlement in a stark, fearful place like this,” Dr. Voyatzis said in an interview while visiting Penn. So the pottery, she added, was presumably there as part of ceremonies at the altar.

Like Dr. Voyatzis, Gullog Nordquist of Uppsala University in Sweden was troubled by the jumbled nature of the potsherds in the trench. She said it “raises questions of exactly how it came to be there.”

In an e-mail message last week, Dr. Nordquist, who has visited the site but was not a team member, said that the potsherds “may have belonged to vessels found in graves by people in later times and given to the gods as offerings.” Or they could be remains from an early Bronze Age settlement, although she, too, said “it would be a very inconvenient place to live.”

Dr. Nordquist said that she preferred the explanation that the Lykaion site was indeed used as a cult sanctuary in the time before Zeus. Little is known of the pre-Greek inhabitants, but some scholars think they originated in what is now western Turkey.

“We do not yet know exactly how the altar was first used in this early period, 3000-2000 B.C., or whether it was used in connection with natural phenomena such as wind, rain, lightning or earthquakes, possibly to worship some kind of divinity, male or female, or a personification representing forces of nature,” Dr. Romano said. “But this is what we are thinking at this moment.”
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