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2,700-Year-Old Fabric Found in Greece
PhysOrg.com ^ | 05/09/2007 | Nicholas Paphitis

Posted on 05/10/2007 10:53:22 PM PDT by FreedomCalls

(AP) -- Archaeologists in Greece have discovered a rare 2,700-year-old piece of fabric inside a copper urn from a burial they speculated imitated the elaborate cremation of soldiers described in Homer's "Iliad."

The yellowed, brittle material was found in the urn during excavation in the southern town of Argos, a Culture Ministry announcement said Wednesday

"This is an extremely rare find, as fabric is an organic material which decomposes very easily," said archaeologist Alkistis Papadimitriou, who headed the dig. She said only a handful of such artifacts have been found in Greece.

The cylindrical urn also contained dried pomegranates - offerings linked with the ancient gods of the underworld - along with ashes and charred human bones from an early 7th century B.C. cremation.

Papadimitriou said the material was preserved for nearly 3,000 years by the corroding copper urn. "Copper oxides killed the microbes which normally destroy fabric," she told The Associated Press.

Conservation experts from Athens will work on the fragile find.

"Our first concern is to save it," Papadimitriou said. "Afterward, it will undergo laboratory tests to tell us about the precise fabric and weaving techniques."

The burial was the only cremation among a half-dozen closely grouped graves found on the plot, which was scheduled for development.

"Cremation was very unusual in Argos, and this too makes it a special find," Papadimitriou said. "In my opinion, an affluent citizen may have wanted to imitate a funerary custom described by Homer to stand out among his peers buried nearby - who were not cremated."

The poet's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" enjoyed huge popularity throughout Greece. Composed during the 8th century B.C, and thought to be inspired by a war four centuries earlier, the Iliad describes slain heroes being cremated in elaborate funerals, which fell out of fashion in later times.

Modern Argos in the northern Peloponnese, some 90 miles south of Athens, is built on top of one of the most famous cities of ancient Greece. Also named Argos, the ancient city was mentioned by Homer as the seat of a Mycenaean hero-king who fought with the Greek army in Troy. It flourished throughout antiquity.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ggg; godsgravesglyphs; greece; iliad; trojanwar
Cool.
1 posted on 05/10/2007 10:53:24 PM PDT by FreedomCalls
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG ping.


2 posted on 05/10/2007 10:53:55 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls

This sounds fabricated.


3 posted on 05/10/2007 10:55:47 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: FreedomCalls

Cool I want to wash the car this weekend anyway.


4 posted on 05/10/2007 11:04:36 PM PDT by napscoordinator (.)
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To: EveningStar

Made up of whole cloth?


5 posted on 05/10/2007 11:06:27 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: FreedomCalls
"Cremation was very unusual in Argos, and this too makes it a special find," Papadimitriou said. "In my opinion, an affluent citizen may have wanted to imitate a funerary custom described by Homer to stand out among his peers buried nearby - who were not cremated."

It was that costly in ancient times to burn a body?

6 posted on 05/10/2007 11:07:56 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: FreedomCalls

Joan Rivers first dress?


7 posted on 05/10/2007 11:09:05 PM PDT by kik5150
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To: EveningStar; HiTech RedNeck

A rolled up scroll with it said “Light starch. Pick up Wednesday after 5pm.”


8 posted on 05/10/2007 11:10:50 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: EveningStar

Heh. Is there any particular reason this fabric didn’t disintegrate over time like all the other fabrics did?


9 posted on 05/10/2007 11:24:19 PM PDT by Baladas
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To: EveningStar
What's a Grecian urn?

{Supply punchline.}

10 posted on 05/10/2007 11:25:49 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Greeky old joke.)
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To: FreedomCalls

Hey, they found my old underwear!


11 posted on 05/10/2007 11:30:55 PM PDT by R_Kangel ("Please insert witty tag-line here")
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To: Baladas
Heh. Is there any particular reason this fabric didn’t disintegrate over time like all the other fabrics did?

From the article: "Papadimitriou said the material was preserved for nearly 3,000 years by the corroding copper urn. 'Copper oxides killed the microbes which normally destroy fabric,' she told The Associated Press."

Sort of an accidental anti-bacterial agent.

12 posted on 05/11/2007 12:09:11 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls

Awesome, thanks for the info. Live and learn, eh? Archaeologists ought to check out each and every copper urn now.


13 posted on 05/11/2007 12:11:02 AM PDT by Baladas
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To: Charles Henrickson

So this great discovery is owed to a Grecian urn.


14 posted on 05/11/2007 2:51:55 AM PDT by Covenantor
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To: Baladas

Synthetics can have a very long shelf life if treated properly!


15 posted on 05/11/2007 3:39:45 AM PDT by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: Charles Henrickson
What's a Grecian urn? About twenty drachma a day.

Admin Mod, ban us before we kill again!

16 posted on 05/11/2007 3:41:26 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: Covenantor
owed to a Grecian urn.

Sigh. So much evil in the world. LOL

17 posted on 05/11/2007 3:42:29 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: FreedomCalls

18 posted on 05/11/2007 3:55:40 AM PDT by Daffynition (The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

19 posted on 05/11/2007 4:00:26 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: Charles Henrickson
What's a Grecian urn?

Depends. Is he on the duckway?

20 posted on 05/11/2007 4:27:09 AM PDT by Erasmus (This tagline on paid leave, pending the results of certain medical tests.)
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To: blam

ping!.....


21 posted on 05/11/2007 5:13:01 AM PDT by Red Badger (My gerund got caught in my diphthong, and now I have a dangling participle...............)
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To: FreedomCalls

Someone’s crusty pantsuit turned up just in time for the 2008 election?


22 posted on 05/11/2007 5:15:41 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
It was that costly in ancient times to burn a body?

No, but they didn't want to effect global warming.......

23 posted on 05/11/2007 5:16:13 AM PDT by Red Badger (My gerund got caught in my diphthong, and now I have a dangling participle...............)
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To: Larry Lucido

I would not handle “Yellow Fabric” that was from the clothing of a deceased person.


24 posted on 05/11/2007 5:19:33 AM PDT by Loud Mime ("It is not intellect which makes a great scientist; it is character." Einstein)
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To: Baladas

Not a big fan of reading posted articles?


25 posted on 05/11/2007 5:48:23 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: Red Badger

Grecian Polyester?


26 posted on 05/11/2007 5:52:51 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: LachlanMinnesota

Grecian Poly Esther.........


27 posted on 05/11/2007 5:53:58 AM PDT by Red Badger (My gerund got caught in my diphthong, and now I have a dangling participle...............)
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To: EveningStar

An odd burial for the time? The deceased was not laid to rest according to the Grecian formula?


28 posted on 05/11/2007 5:59:29 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: Red Badger
Thanks. Posted here too:

Greek Archaeologists Discover Rare Example Of 2,700-Year-Old Weaving

29 posted on 05/11/2007 7:19:07 AM PDT by blam
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A Weaver's View of the Catal Huyuk Controversy
by Marla Mallett
August/September 1990
In was enlightening to read Mellaart's excavation reports from the 1960s [2] as well as other early writings. Contradictions between those texts and the current work indicated more than a runaway kilim theory and an overly fertile imagination at work. Technical and stylistic problems now combined with incriminating disclosures to reveal what seemed to be careless, poorly conceived fabrications -- possibly a deliberate hoax... The current controversy is not the first instance in which James Mellaart has offered flimsy evidence as the sole "proof" of revolutionary archaeological findings. In the mysterious Dorak Affair... Mellaart claims to have uncovered a cache of spectacular royal treasures (c. 2500 B.C.?) in a young woman's Izmir home in 1958, along with archaeological notes and a textile sketch -- a drawing of an excavator's drawing of a carbonized rug which supposedly had disintegrated after it was unearthed. A few months later, Mellaart published drawings of the objects in a London newspaper. In the meantime, however, all of the artifacts and their owner vanished. As for the alleged textile, Mellaart tells us it had pattern and color "well enough preserved to be recorded" but was so decayed it might have been either a "kilim" or "coloured felt." He says, "I prefer the kilim interpretation." In fact, Mellaart's colored design, published by Seyton Lloyd, is too linear for tapestry. The relevant aspect of this episode is, of course, Mellaart's attempt to establish a milestone in textile history -- a 4,500-year-old kilim -- on the basis of nothing tangible. A sketch of a sketch is shaky evidence at best, if evidence at all. The parallels are obvious between this case and Mellaart's current efforts to establish an 8,000-year-old kilim-weaving tradition in Anatolia. It is amusing that a black and white line drawing representing the alleged carbonized Dorak textile in The Goddess from Anatolia (Vol. III, Fig. XXVII, No. 3, and at the left here), now a sketch-of-a-sketch-of-a-sketch, has its own new and bizarre problems. It actually shows as missing nearly all of the parts which are present in Mellaart's color drawing of the same object, and vice versa.

30 posted on 05/11/2007 9:29:40 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 10, 2007.)
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To: FreedomCalls
Thanks FreedomCalls.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

31 posted on 05/11/2007 9:33:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 10, 2007.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Might have thrown a hella’ of a party to go along with it!


32 posted on 05/11/2007 9:41:38 AM PDT by thebaron512
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