Monday, May 31, 2010

Kourion and two gladiators

Kourion is a city on the south side of Cyprus. The ruins are impressive and they have some very fine mosaics, this being one of them. Here you see one, from the late second century AD (House of the Gladiators), depicting two gladiators during a fight: Μαργαρειτης vs Ελλενικος (Margareites vs Hellenikos.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A human motif

Humans can take very strange shapes in depictions, this is one of the strangest I've ever seen. The shape is called Oinochoe, here from the Cypro archaic period (i.e. 750-600 BC).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Roman Bird

I have posted several Roman glass vessels from Cyprus lately. Here's something a little bit different, a glass figurine in the shape of a bird. The piece is dated to 30 BC-330 AD.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Painting from the Stavrovouni Monastery

This is a painting from the church of all of Cyprus Saints, just below the Stavrovouni Monastery, a place where only men are allowed. I was, however, not able to get in, as the gates were closed between 12.00 and 15.00 hours.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Calf Bearer from Cyprus

I'm sure that you've heard about the very famous calf bearer from the Acropolis in Athens (if not, please google it) - here you have something very similar from Cyprus (archaic period ca 750-480 BC). Could there be some kind of connection, or is this just a coincident? It may be impossible to answer that question.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

White Slip II and dating

Talking about parallels and familiar shapes. I have already posted several White Slip II vessel (see here and here) and here's another one. The point is to show you how very standardized the antique pottery could be - something that makes dating very much easier.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A failed parallel

It is easy to see parallels everywhere once you've begun. Be warned however, this is dangerous, you might run into something that look like something else by pure chance. This is one such object, it's probably a Syrian product in origin, wheel made and dating to the 15th century BC - it would however be easy to draw the conclusion (if unaware of the dating) that this piece is related to cypro geometric pottery, a ware that was to produced almost a half millennia later (as seen in this post).

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Mycenaean deer

Some finds are to be expected, but they still surprise you when you actually see them. Here's a piece from a Mycenaean Krater (wine mixing bowl), the late Bronze Age, depicting a deer in flight.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Roman glass vessel

First of all, apologies for my irregular posting - the internet connection here is terrible.

Anyway, today's picture, yet another Roman glass vessel (30BC-330AD), as I want to give you an idea of how many different shapes and colours you might run into. You can compare it to the ones I posted a few days ago (one fish and one normal vessel)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roman glass

Here's another piece of Roman glass (30 BC-330 AD). You can actually recognize the ancient shape, even as the colour and material is unfamiliar.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another parallel

I see parallels to other cultures all the time nowadays. Here's another example that should be compared to these two, one from Cyprus and one from Etruria.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Roman Fish

Anyone following this blog must have noticed that I post pictures of Roman fish from time to time. Here's one, dated to 30 BC-330 AD from Cyprus - it looks so modern, I could have walked right by it at a flee market.

You might want to compare it to any of these: fauces mosaic, sea monster fauces mosaic, marine style vessel, fish and squid, an ugly fish from Ostia, marine fresco, fish mosaic from the baths of Caracalla, a dophin from Ostia, fish painting from the Peirene spring at Corinth, a mosaic (prophetic fish) from Monte Martini and a fish from Nemea.

Monday, May 17, 2010


These are some of the many circular buildings within the neolithic, aceramic (i.e. without the knowledge of how to produce pottery), settlement of Choirokoitia. The site date from the 9th millennia and onward, and the largest houses are about 9 meters in diameter. Another interesting feature is the huge wall, designed to protect the site from an unknown enemy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Horns of consecration

Horns of Consecration from Kition (limestone, 13th century BC)

This is something I did not expect to find at Cyprus, horns of consecration, a feature I, until not, thought unique to the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

White Slip II

A White Slip II vessel, dated to the late Bronze Age.

This is (if I am correct) a typical White Slip II vessel. It is easily recognizable by the decorations, the fact that it is not wheel made, the fine quality and the rather unique wish bone handle. You can also notice the shape, a bowl, that doesn't exist as White Slip I. For another example of the general type, look here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A strange vessel and sunrise over Hala Sultan Tekke

I have mentioned strangely shaped vessels more than once on this blog. Here is another one from the Bronze Age Cyprus. I must admit that I have no idea what so ever what this item was used for - I can only imagine that it was hanging somewhere, due to the handle.

This is the sunrise over Hala Sultan Tekke, I will make sure to visit the mosque as soon as possible, I am very excited to see it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A White Slip vessel

Apologies for not posting as frequently as I usually do, the internet at the hotel I'm staying on is down every second day. I'm trying my very best.

This is a White Slip vessel from Cyprus. The type was popular during the late bronze age and is very important for dating other finds - it is also rather easy to recognize. This is one of the many objects types we want to find at the excavations I'm participating in at the moment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A statue from Pergamos

I apologise for the very short posts lately, but I'm working at an excavation and I really don't have very much time to write anything.

Anyway this is a simply the head of a statue (perhaps a bust) with a wretch from Pergamos, dated to 550-500 BC. The style is what interests me here, as it's very much influenced by the near east- Cyprus is a mixed cultural sphere.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Bull from Cyprus

You might remember this Minoan bull-shaped Ryhton (Bronze Age) that I posted a while ago. Compare it to this one from Cyprus, or some of the finds that are to be found at the Cycladic museum at Athens - the bull shape is obviously popular in a larger are at this time.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Bronze Age warrior

I can unfortunately tell you very little about this piece - it's a Bronze Age vessel from Cyprus. The decoration was what caught my attention: a warrior, stabbing a man's shield with a spear and a sword, you could perhaps find a fitting quote from the Iliad? Too bad that I'm short on time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Pithos

You might remember that I talked about Eurystheus and how he used to hide in a huge storage vessel, called pithos (sing. pithoi) whenever Heracles would bring in a scary beast (as seen here). Here you see such a vessel, this one from Cyprus.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An ancient bath tub from Pyla

I must admit that I know almost nothing about per-historic bath tubs, but here is one from Pyla, dating to the 12th century BC. One thing is sure thou, people were very small back in the bronze age, or they simply enjoyed a very small tub - I could never fit into this thing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sacred Kition - Bamboula

This is the site where so called Sargon (II) Stele, dated to the late 8th century BC, was found during the mid 1840's (to be found in Berlin today). The find is important to us today as it record a list of seven kings on Cyprus that paid homage to the king of Nineveh.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Cayratid from Eleusis

Notice that I am going to Cyprus for an excavation later today, which mean that I might not be able to post anything for a while. Cross your fingers.

This is a Cyratid (ca 50-100 BC) from the lesser propylaia at Euleusis. You can find another cyratid for comparison here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Middle Helladic tombs at Marathon

Here you have two shots of two remaining middle helladic (2000-1600 BC) tombs at Marathon. Now, the tombs them self are, of course, fascinating, but the project to preserve is what sparks my interest. I very much doubt that this much money would have been spent anywhere else but here - then again, there's always Bassae.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Heracles Herm

I have posted several Herms earlier on(one in wood from Brauron, one headless from Sicyon and one from the Agora in Athens), but I thought that this one from Messene (The stadium, the walls and the odeon/ekklesiasterion) could be of interest as it depict Heracles. It was dedicated by Philiades, son of Neon, and date to the 3rd century BC.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


This statue, dated to 480-470 BC, is known as Leonidas and was found on the Spartan acropolis (sanctuary of Athena Chalkioikos, i.e. the copper house). Remember however that the name is a modern interpretation.

Odeon at Gortyn

This is the odeon at Gortyn. The type is well known and you can easily make out the basic Roman features; the brick pillars and the scaena (scene). It's actually even more obvious when you take a look at it in situ.