Best Archaeological Finds of the Week


The full mosaic. This has to be the top find. Press release here.

I won't be blogging any more about Amphipolis, or blogging much for a few weeks, as I'm busy writing a book. I will from now on happily discuss the finds being made at Amphipolis with any reputable journalist that gets in touch.

Since the posts I have written are all over the internet anyway, I've put them back up. I have already reported the man from the excavation and the man from the Ministry of Culture who have been leaking about the site. I can see that information is being leaked, and I can guess who might be leaking it, but I have nothing more to do with the excavation so I cannot be held responsible for problems the MC has. So that there are no misunderstandings, I have blocked anyone I know on the dig or whom I think is leaking on email, Facebook, etc.


Whilst there were many statues carved in wood in Antiquity, it is quite rare to find them, so this statuette found during excavations for the Athens metro extension is particularly exciting.

Press release here.


The second half of an inscription known since the 19th century will be presented Thursday. This is one of the rare official inscriptions from Hadrian's Jerusalem found, and I've blogged about the oter half before.

Preliminary press release here.


The press coverage - here - is a little garbled, and I suspect something was lost in translation. The stele was found in the Mausoleum precinct, which is where the vase Xerxes gave Artemisia I was also found. The inscription is a poem for a ruler, an eulogy naturally, written in “catalectic trochaic tetrameter” - this last details is interesting, as the Margites, a largely lost mock epic was also written in this meter. And the Margites was written by a poet named Pigres, who happened to be the brother of Artemisia I of Halicarnassus. The article gives a date for the stele of "was erected at the end of fourth century B.C. or at the beginning of the third century B.C.", and obviously it could well have been erected in honour of one of the many Diadochs in charge of the city, but if this detail is misreporting by the press, which also says the poem is Classical ... we probably have an important early stele linked to the Hecatomnid dynasty, or at least to the earlier dynasty they were trying to associate themselves with, and possibly a lost poem of Pigres?

UPDATE - this article is clearer and makes it clear that it is an ode to Hecatomnus himself!

And this photo (source) makes it clear that the block was used as a step - the 'shadow' of lines where the block above where can still be seen.