Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Tomb of Cerberus Set To Be 2023 Gem

This year near the historic City of Naples, there came to the surface of an archaeological dig a fascinating tomb of ancient Greek proportions. Like many great finds in history, though, they were not looking for anything ancient, unless you count the outdated water system that the Municipality of Giugliano had to undertake when they stumbled across the spectacle. 

What's even more wonderful is that the tomb remained protected from vandals and grave robbers during its time hidden far underground, which means that all of its secrets, presumably, remain preserved, such as the beautiful artwork that still captures the human eyes, and several artifacts that were left on the wall shelves. 

Of course, there's nothing unusual about finding an ancient Greek tomb, but this one, perhaps as unique as the Tomb of Bellerophon in Asia Minor, possesses a notable depiction of Cerberus, the three headed dog of the Underworld, who keeps the dead in and the living out. He is the grandest guard that Haides has in the Kingdom of the Dead.

The artwork of the tomb as well displays Cerberus being flanked by Hermes and Herakles (Hermes being an Underworld Psychopomp and Herakles being the Hero who captured the ferocious hound during His 12 Labors). Two centaurs also stand facing opposite of one another on the back wall, all together a wonderful testament to the religious, spiritual and mythological diversity of the ancient world, and the lives of the people who lived, loved and died in that world every day.

The workers and archaeologists who brought it to light after 2,000 years were in a fanatic celebration, because not only do we now have an amazingly preserved ancient Greek tomb with wonderful artwork, but there might be an entire Necropolis (an ancient City Cemetery) surrounding it. It remains unknown, at this time, who occupies the tomb. But still, the amazing amount of history and information that could now be at our fingertips is invaluable.

The burial was far enough underground that no one was able to interfere with it, the people buried inside being forever at peace while Europe erupted in continuous chaos above their chambers. Their bodies were far removed from the upper world that would eventually hate them for their religious devotion, but today, perhaps it is fitting that widespread religious freedom and the restoration of ancient Hellas has made their return to the living world more likely and welcoming.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

And consider bookmarking my site by clicking on the star in the top right corner of the web bar.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Palace Of Odysseus FOUND At Last!

When the Greek Reporter released an article this week about modern Greeks having Mycenean DNA, it made me think about the elusive Odysseus and the search for Him that has been by far one of the hardest.

But a few years ago, I became fascinated by the quests of modern adventurers like the late Tim Severin who proved the voyage of Jason possible, and then I moved on to the geographical research into Homeric Ithaka. Like Severin, I refused to accept the analysis of "myth busters," mainly because they've been proven fools numerous times. I was not content with the conclusion that Homer's Odyssey describes an island civilization that didn't exist. Because the problem with this analysis is that Homer's world was not set in stone, but one forever in motion due to earthquakes. Even Troy was only accepted as factual when Schliemann dug it up from the earth and matched it to Homer's descriptions. And Schliemann, among others, also visited Ithaka during his time as an archaeologist and mythologist. Not only were coins discovered depicting Odysseus, but a sanctuary to Apollon from 1,400 BCE, before the Trojan War (the specific worship of Apollon on Ithaka is mentioned in Homer). But of course, evidence of life on the island goes all the way back to 3,000 BCE, with findings that prove Mycenean civilization was there at one time. So there is no debate whatsoever that Ithaka was notable during the Iliad Era. 

It was perhaps only a matter of time before we either found the location of Odysseus' home or declared it lost forever. Indeed, Greece has always been a very seismic region, especially on the islands. Sometimes earthquakes completely wiped out the town or village and sent part of it plunging into the sea. Some things from Homer may be unfindable simply because they were destroyed not only by the Christian church, but through natural movement and erosion. I suppose I've always been fascinated by Odysseus and Ithaka because The Odyssey was my first taste of ancient Greece when my English high school class watched the film. I was captivated at that point. I even dressed up like Odysseus during Hero Day, one of the days held during School Pride Week. In truth, I never doubted the story for a minute. I always believed it.

For a long time, Odysseus' palace remained the only Homeric royal residence that had not been located. But by 2018 and on into today, it has been declared found by archaeologists on Ithaka. The Greek government was so sure of this that the Prime Minister sent 120,000 Euros to continue funding the excavations. The large building found in Agios of Ithaka has been confirmed to be a Mycenean complex, which existed at the time of Odysseus' rule and fits perfectly with Homeric details. The archaeologists and professors responsible for the find are not leaving it to mere interpretation either. They believe it proves Odysseus was real. The final piece of the palace puzzle has now fallen into place. Homer is history. With so much discovery and truth of the ancient stories, and now one more added to the pile, one may wonder how long it will take before the Greeks realize where they truly come from.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.


Picture: Fresco of a Mycenean Woman, 1,300 BCE. Image is in the public domain in the United States because it is PD-Art and the copyright term therein has expired 100 years after the author's death.

Article 1 (Ithaka Archaeology)

Article 2 (Excavation of Odysseus' Palace)

Google (Palace Landmark and Visitation)