Greece

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Travel: a mid-Byzantine mystery on Kefalonia

Sami Redux …I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium. W B Yeats, ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ (1928) The arrival of a parcel from Amazon awakens memories of magical summer days last year. Inside is Brian and Eileen Anderson’s Walk and Eat Kefaloniá, an evocative pocket guide to this Ionian island. […]

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Object lesson: the Pylos Combat Agate

What is it? This masterpiece in miniature is an engraved agate sealstone, measuring only 3.6cm in length. Carved with exceptional skill onto its hardstone surface is a combat scene with such fine details (some barely visible through the veining of the agate) that they can only be seen properly with photomicroscopy or a close-up camera […]

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Richard Hodges travels to the Peloponnese

Seeking a Byzantine rebirth All Greece is absorbing and rewarding. There is hardly a rock or stream without a battle or a myth, a miracle or a peasant anecdote or a superstition; and talk and incident, nearly all of it odd or memorable, thicken round the traveller’s path at every step. Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani, […]

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Review: An Archaeological Guide to Nicopolis

An Archaeological Guide to Nicopolis: rambling through the historical, sacred, and civic landscape Konstantinos L Zachos Ministry of Culture & Sports ISBN 978-6188222502 Reviewed by: Oliver Gilkes On 2 September 31 BC, a young man stepped from his tent in northern Greece to meet a wet and blustery day. From his vantage point on a […]

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Object Lesson: The Phaistos Disc

What is it? This enigmatic fired-clay disc, dating to around 1700-1600 BC, was discovered in the palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete. It is 16.5cm in diameter, 2.1cm thick, and its two faces bear 45 different pictographic signs – a total of 241 symbols – spiralling from the edge to the centre […]

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Travel: Thasos

With guidebook in hand, Martin Davies explores the untrammelled heritage of an idyllic Greek island. I first came across Thasos as a schoolboy reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: it was one of those exotic, magical names that sprinkle the Bard’s works and stir the imagination. Lying just off the coast of Macedonia in the Aegean, the island of […]

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CWA 82

At Pylos in Greece, archaeologists have uncovered that increasingly rare phenomenon: an untouched Bronze Age burial, replete with rich grave goods. But this Mycenaean princely tomb, discovered next to the Palace of Nestor, is causing a stir for another reason: many of the beautiful high-status burial gifts reflect the Minoan culture of the island of […]

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Travel: Pyramids of the Peloponnese, Greece

Eric Cauchi investigates mysterious ancient remains that have puzzled travellers and scholars for millennia. Greece, birthplace of the Olympics and mythical home of the gods, is known for its spectacular temples, its exquisite Classical statues, and its jewel-like islands with sandy beaches. But pyramids? That’s Egypt, surely. Think again. In the eastern Peloponnese of southern […]

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CWA 80

Crossing the Caucasus, Europe’s highest mountain range, is not for the faint-hearted, and nowhere is so bleak and so inhospitable as Dariali Gorge. It is here, legend tells, that Prometheus endured his cyclical punishment for stealing fire from the gods. And through here the Huns forced their way south to plunder the riches of the […]

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‘Throne of Agamemnon’ found

Archaeologists working in Mycenae, seat of the mythical King Agamemnon, have discovered what they believe to be the site’s only known royal throne. The international team, led by president of the Mycenaean Foundation, Prof. Christofilis Maggidis of Dickinson College, USA, made the find in June 2014. Erik DeMarche and Dan Fallu were taking palaeo-hydrological measurements […]

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CWA 77

Cambodia’s stupendous temple of Angkor Wat, and the dense forest in which it sits, are currently the focus of a major cutting-edge project, led by an international team of researchers. In addition to traditional archaeological methods, the team has used high-tech LiDAR aerial laser-scanning to ‘see’ what lies beneath the temple grounds, and through the surrounding jungle. This revolutionary work […]

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CWA 76

The 6th century BC temple on the Greek island Despotiko is not what you might expect: the shrine boasts an enormous dining facility, and is surrounded by a large number of statues. Excavation on this idyllic little uninhabited island has also revealed evidence of an earlier temple – and a rather unnerving statuette of a […]

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