Greece

Aegae

Aegae: Capital of Macedonian Kings

In 1855, the young French archaeologist Léon Heuzey found the remains of a magnificent palace, concealed under a ruined chapel. The village nearby was called Palatitsia, a name that hints at its former regal glory. Could this be the palace of the ancient Macedonian kings? In issue #50 Andrew Selkirk told the story of how the tomb of Philip II of Macedon – father to Alexander the Great – was discovered here. Now, he returns to examine the rest of the site and shares its secrets with us.

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Knossos

Results of the excavations at Knossos surpassed all expectations. Evans revealed a vast palace complex of Middle Bronze Age date , 1300 rooms connected by a network of corridors…

Hydria and wreath, copyright Vergina Museum

Vergina: Discovering a king’s tomb

Taking a bulldozer to open an ancient monument is not usually recommended. But, in 1977, that is exactly what Manolis Andronikos did. After considerable debate, he had come to the conclusion that the Great Mound at Vergina was actually the site of Aegae, the religious capital of Macedonia where Philip II, father of Alexander the […]

Book review: Art and archaeology of the Greek world

In this beautifully illustrated new compendium of ancient Greek material culture, Richard Neer spans 2,350 years of art history from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. His clear chronological approach makes this stunningly comprehensive volume an invaluable reference tool, and along the way the reader is treated to fascinating insights on literature, language, politics, […]

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Crete: Olives

Olive trees thrive on poor soil where little else will grow, which means land that would otherwise be barren can produce food. This realisation triggered a true agricultural revolution – but when and where did it take place? Colin Renfrew and Evi Margaritis believe the clues were grown on Crete.

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Keros: island of broken figurines

Post excavation analysis of the finds from Professor Colin Renfrew’s excavations on the island of Keros are beginning to throw new light on the enigmatic rituals of the Aegean Bronze Age. The puzzle that Professor Renfrew and his colleagues on the Cambridge-Keros project have been seeing to resolve is not just why the island was […]

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Hidden Treasures

Crete is well-connected by ferry to a number of the islands that lie close by. So if you want to go somewhere really off the beaten track, here are a few suggestions: be prepared for very simple accommodation and a chance of adventure, however. If you take the Piraeus ferry north from Kisamos at the […]

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Aegean Odyssey

We live in a city-centric world. When we think of the scattered islands of the Aegean, we think of them as remote and peripheral, places of retreat where we can ‘get away from things’. To the Ancients it was not so. In the Bronze Age, the Islands and the sea-routes that linked them were the […]

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Blue Guide to the Aegean; McGilchrist’s Greek Islands

The Blue Guides have come under new ownership. Many readers of Current Archaeology will know and cherish the Blue Guides which have taken over from Baedeker as being the constant companion of the archaeology enthusiast. Originally they were an offshoot of the Hachette’s Guides Bleu, but then they were taken over by Benn under whom […]

Heroes Of Marathon

Greece: The battle of Marathon

Most people today probably think Marathon has something to do with the Ancient Greek Olympics. In fact, there was no marathon race at the Olympics. Nor is there any reliable ancient account for a run from Marathon to Athens (a distance of 26 miles) to bring news of the victory of 490 BC. What the […]

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Akrotiri

Akrotiri is an archaeological monument to the rich commerce, connections, and culture of the Middle Bronze Age Mediterranean

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First Sailors

  Crete has been an island for five million years – so the discovery of artefacts that are at least 130,000 years old on the island implies that pre-modern humans, such as Homo heidelbergensis, must have been long-distance seafarers. Thus reason the members of a team of archaeologists led by Professor Thomas Strasser, of the […]

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