Pictures

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1. Cnossos—aerial view of site
A succession of palaces were built during the 2nd millennium BCE, the source of the earliest Greek-language texts, datable c.1375

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2. Bull-tamer gold cup from Vapheio, Laconia
2 such gold cups, of the early 15th c. BCE, were excavated in a princely tholos (beehive) tomb not far south of Sparta

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3. Mycenae—The ‘Lion Gate’
The main entrance to the citadel of Late Bronze Age Mycenae, constructed c.1300 BCE

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4. Mycenae—Gold mask of ‘Agamemnon’
Death-mask excavated by Schliemann in a 16th-century BCE shaft-grave, at least 200 years too early for Homer’s hero-king

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5. (above left) Argos—suit of armour
An exceptionally rich late 8th-century BCE grave contained this pre-hoplite helmet and hoplite breastplate

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6. (above right) Argos—Doryphorus of Polyclitus
Roman-era copy of an original 5th-century BCE bronze statue, called both Doryphorus (‘Spear-Bearer’) and ‘Canon’ (‘Standard’)

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7. Miletus—massive bronze knucklebone originally from Didyma
Solid bronze weight, originally dedicated to Apollo at Didyma, removed as war-booty to the Persian capital Susa

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8. Massalia—Vix Krater
Huge (1.64 m. high) Greek (Spartan-made?) bronze mixing-bowl buried in the luxurious late 6th-century grave of a Celtic princess

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9. Sparta—Arcesilas vase
Spartan-made clay goblet, c.560 BCE, from an Etruscan grave at Vulci; the Greek ruler of Cyrene, Arcesilas III, is labelled

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10. Athens—Erechtheum, Caryatid Porch
The Erechtheum (410s-400s), like the Parthenon (completed 432 BCE), was dedicated to Athena on the Acropolis

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11. Athens—Ostraca
Ostracism (from ostraka ‘potsherds’—here bearing the names of Aristides, Themistocles, Cimon and Pericles) was a democratic practice

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12. Athens—Silver tetradrachm, 440-430 BCE
Athenian ‘owls’ were struck from local silver; the ‘four-drachma’ weight shown here was standard

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13. Syracuse—Silver decadrachm, c.395-380
Exceptionally, Greek cities struck huge, 10-drachma weight, coins (a drachma could quite easily feed a family of four for a day)

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14. Aitna (Catane)—Silver tetradrachm
Another show-off rarity, struck by tyrant Hieron of Syracuse

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15. Thebes—Lion of Chaeronea
Grave-memorial probably erected in 338 to commemorate an especially heroic body of 300 Theban warriors

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16. Alexandria—Azara Herm of Alexander the Great
Much later stone replica of the original official statue portraits in bronze created by Alexander’s official sculptor Lysippus

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17. Alexander Mosaic, Pompeii
Floor mosaic from Pompeii (destroyed CE 79) depicting probably the battle Alexander the Great won at Issus in Asia Minor in 333

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18. Tazza Farnese
Sardonyx dish possibly commissioned by Cleopatra celebrates three of fertile Egypt’s chief gods: Isis, Horus and Osiris-Sarapis

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19. Byzantion, Hippodrome—Serpent column
The bronze victory-monument the Greeks erected at Delphi in 479 was removed eight centuries later by Emperor Constantine

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20. Byzantion—Marble relief, Mistra
This image of a double-headed (royal, imperial) eagle adorned the Cathedral of St Demetrius at Mistra near Sparta

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21. Olympia—Helmet of Miltiades
Hoplite-style bronze helmet, inscribed ‘Miltiades’, dedicated to Olympian Zeus as a thanks offering for victory at Marathon

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22. Olympia—Nike statue of Paeonius, c.421
Marble sculpture of the goddess Victory dedicated by the Messenians for successes against their ‘enemies’ (Sparta)

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23. Delphi—Apollo Temple
Apollo’s original 6th-century BCE temple at the earth’s ‘navel’ burned down and was replaced by this 4th-century version

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24. Delphi—Charioteer
Part of the original bronze monument of the 460s, celebrating chariot and horse-race victories won by tyrant Polyzalus of Gela

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