Symbolic connotations of animals at early Middle Helladic Asine

Opuscula 10 (2017) is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Bokus.com, Adlibris.com, and Bokorder.se. Symbolic connotations of animals at early Middle Helladic Asine. A comparative study of the animal bones from the settlement and its graves By Stella Macheridis Abstract This paper is a contribution to the zooarchaeological research on animals or animal parts found in human graves during the Middle Bronze Age in Greece. The animal bones from the early Middle Helladic settlement (MH I-II, c. 2100–1800 BC) and contemporary burials at Asine are presented. The goal is to compare the animal bones from the settlement with those from the burials, in terms of species composition and body part distribution. Through this comparison, this paper aims to discuss any symbolic connotations of bone waste from everyday-life practices. The results show that the most common domesticates from settlement contexts, pig, sheep/goat and cattle, also appear to be the most abundant animals deposited in the early MH graves at Asine. This is consistent with mortuary data from other sites on the Peloponnese, especially Lerna. The pig was most abundant in both settlement and graves at Asine. The similarities between wild and domestic pigs might be important, and are discussed as a…

The stadion of Labraunda
Article , Content / 2017-12-02

Opuscula 10 (2017) is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Bokus.com, Adlibris.com, and Bokorder.se. The stadion of Labraunda By Paavo Roos Abstract The stadion of Labraunda is situated south-west of the sanctuary, above the Sacred Way down to Mylasa. As the terrain is not well suited for a stadion the ends had to be elongated by the addition of built-up ‘towers’; nevertheless the racecourse was rather short at 172 metres. It is situated on a slight slope, and in the middle of the northern side there are cuttings in the rock that may have been used for spectators; otherwise there are no provisions for such. There is a line of starting blocks at either end, more or less in their original place, although few of the blocks are exactly in situ and some of them are missing. They are large blocks and have one single continuous groove for the toes of the runner and square holes that separate the lanes. Evidently the number of lanes was 14, and each line was 1.38 m wide. There is nothing that can give an exact date of the establishment, but the outline of the wall structure as well as the historical evidence suggest…

Power and coinage
Article , Content / 2017-12-02

Opuscula 10 (2017) is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Bokus.com, Adlibris.com, and Bokorder.se. Power and coinage. The portrait tetradrachms of Eumenes II By Marie-Christine Marcellesi Abstract Among other innovations in coinage, the portrait tetradrachms of Eumenes II testify to the interest that the Attalid king showed in coinage. It is difficult to date these coins using purely numismatic criteria. The generally favoured late dating is based on the notion that this was a short-lived coinage, but it may well have been struck – possibly at intervals – over a relatively long period of Eumenes II’s reign. In this paper I defend an early dating for the starting point of this coinage, in the first half of the reign and even in the first years, before the Treaty of Apamea. The historical context of the rising power of Rome in the Eastern Mediterranean after the Second Macedonian War may explain the original features of this coinage and its iconography, which shows a will to affirm a personal power and also suggests a connection with Rome through the Pergamene cult of the Kabeiroi. Bibliographical information Marie-Christine Marcellesi, ‘Power and coinage. The portrait tetradrachms of Eumenes II’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish…

The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition 2016

Opuscula 10 (2017) is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Bokus.com, Adlibris.com, and Bokorder.se. The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition. Excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke (The Söderberg Expedition). Preliminary results By Peter M. Fischer & Teresa Bürge. With contributions by Laerke Recht, Dominika Kofel, David Kaniewski, Nick Marriner & Christophe Morhange Abstract In the seventh season at the Bronze Age city of Hala Sultan Tekke excavations continued in City Quarter 1 (CQ1) where georadar indicated stone structures to the south of the area excavated in 2010–2012. Massive domestic structures, which belong to three phases of occupation (Strata 1–3), were exposed. Both the most recent Stratum 1, and Stratum 2 were destroyed in a conflagration. The three phases are preliminarily dated to the 13th and 12th centuries BC. Excavations were also carried out in Area A, roughly 600 m to the south-east of CQ1. Seven circular anomalies indicated by our geomagnetic survey were excavated. Two were pits of modern date, and three were identified as Late Cypriot wells. Another anomaly turned out to represent a rich Late Cypriot offering pit with figurines and more than 60 ceramic vessels. Amongst the Mycenaean vessels are several “chariot kraters” and a large vessel with the…

Clay paste characterization and provenance determination

Opuscula 10 (2017) is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Bokus.com, Adlibris.com, and Bokorder.se. Clay paste characterization and provenance determination of Middle and Late Helladic vessels from Midea By Katie Demakopoulou, Nicoletta Divari-Valakou, Joseph Maran, Hans Mommsen, Susanne Prillwitz & Gisela Walberg Abstract Results of the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) of 61 pottery samples of Middle and Late Helladic date from recent excavations in Midea are presented. Chronologically, the sampled pieces fall into two groups, the first of Middle Helladic and Late Helladic I/II, the second of LH III date, with most samples dating to LH IIIB or IIIC. The analyses suggest an Argive/North-eastern Peloponnesian provenance for the majority of the sampled pottery, since 26 of the samples are assigned to the NAA group Mycenae-Berbati (MYBE) and 15 to the NAA group Tiryns (TIR), including their subgroups. In addition to the two main groups the analyses include three other categories: “non-Argive”, unlocated, and singles. The differentiation into a small number of distinct chemical patterns is much more evident in the second chronological group of sampled pottery than in the earlier one which comprises a variety of chemical patterns in a small number of samples. Evidently, during the Mycenaean Palatial period…

The rock-cut chamber tombs of Labraunda

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. The rock-cut chamber tombs of Labraunda By Paavo Roos Abstract The rock-cut chamber tombs form a very small percentage of the rock-cut tombs in Labraunda. The majority of these tombs, situated next to the sanctuary, were studied by Paul Åström in 1950 together with the sarcophagi; two improved from natural caves further from the sanctuary in both directions were found in a topographic survey conducted by Lars Karlsson in 2005, and finally one tomb at some distance away on the plain is also included in the article. The tombs are of various types and are probably to be dated to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. No finds have been recorded in them, either in 1950 or later. Bibliographical information Paavo Roos, ‘The rock-cut chamber tombs of Labraunda’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 9, Stockholm 2016, 271–284. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977798-8-3. http://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-09-10

Subsidies for the Roman West?
Article , Content / 2016-12-02

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Subsidies for the Roman West? The flow of Constantinopolitan solidi to the Western Empire and Barbaricum By Svante Fischer & Fernando López Sánchez Abstract This paper discusses the presence of solidi struck in Constantinople found in 5th and early to mid-6th century solidus hoards in the Western Empire, Italy in particular. Some 112 different solidus hoards in eleven regions are compared and evaluated. It is suggested that solidi from Constantinople in most of these hoards may be interpreted as the evidence of subsidies for the Western Empire. A possible cause for the uneven but lengthy supply of gold from Constantinople to the Western emperor could have been the fear of Western insolvency and ultimately a state bankruptcy. Bibliographical information Svante Fischer & Fernando López Sánchez, ‘Subsidies for the Roman West? The flow of Constantinopolitan solidi to the Western Empire and Barbaricum’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 9, Stockholm 2016, 249–269. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977798-8-3. http://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-09-09

Textile tools from the East Gate at Mycenaean Midea, Argolis, Greece

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Textile tools from the East Gate at Mycenaean Midea, Argolis, Greece By Serena Sabatini Abstract This contribution presents in the first place an analysis and interpretation of all implements and tools possibly related to textile production that were recovered in the East Gate area at Midea during the Greek-Swedish excavation campaigns between 2000 and 2009. Secondly, with the help of comparative evidence from other zones on the citadel of Midea and also from other Mycenaean sites, it is argued that at least one multifunctional unit, where textile manufacture was also carried out, might have existed in the East Gate area. It is also suggested that this textile production comprised fine quality products to a significant extent. Finally, referring to signalling theory it is proposed that the fabrics possibly manufactured in the citadel served as means for the local community or élite to partake in the socio-cultural and political competition which seems to characterize Mycenaean society in general. Bibliographical information Serena Sabatini, ‘Textile tools from the East Gate at Mycenaean Midea, Argolis, Greece’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at…

Excavations at the Monastery of St Antony at the Red Sea

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Excavations at the Monastery of St Antony at the Red Sea By Jesper Blid, Fr Maximous El-Antony, Hugo Lundhaug, Jason Zaborowski, Meira Polliack, Mengistu Gobezie Worku & Samuel Rubenson Abstract This paper discusses the results from recent archaeological investigations at the Monastery of St Antony in Egypt, including the remains of a number of building phases predating the current church, locally produced pottery, and manuscript fragments written in Coptic, Arabic, Hebrew, and Ge’ez. Introduction St Antony is, according to tradition, the early 4th-century institutor of Christian monasticism, and his monastery, located some 30 km from the Red Sea coast and about 125 km south of Suez, is regarded as the oldest still-inhabited monastery. As for the chronology of the actual material formation of a monastery at the site, Antony must have settled here sometime before 337, if we are to believe the biography written by Athanasius of Alexandria shortly after his death. Several sources from the end of the 4th century mention the disciples of Antony staying at his desert retreat after his death in 356. Medieval sources refer…

People and Plants

Opuscula 9 (2016) is now available for purchase and free download at bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. People and plants. Piecing together archaeological and archaeobotanical data to reconstruct plant use and craft activities in Mycenaean Tiryns By Melissa Vetters, Ann Brysbaert, Maria Ntinou, Georgia Tsartsidou & Evi Margaritis Abstract Archaeobotanical data are often employed to reconstruct a site’s or a region’s palaeoecology, human use of plants such as agricultural regimes, and the interplay between vegetation and anthropogenic factors in the palaeoenvironment. This paper aims to show that a context-specific integration of such data helps to guide the focus beyond the macroscale and may thus add significantly to the reconstruction of microscale activity areas. New archaeobotanical data from four different find spots in the Lower Citadel of Tiryns, Greece, dating to the Mycenaean Palatial and Post-Palatial periods highlight the importance of combining the analysis of the fruit/seed macroremains with anthracological and phytolith studies and integrating these results in their archaeological contextual study. Based on the data from botanical non-wood macroremains, wood charcoal, and phytoliths, the paper discusses methodological issues such as differential preservation of archaeobotanical remains that only becomes evident if more than one analytical method is…

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