27 October 2021 The Future is the Product of the Past

A new study reveals more than one person was buried in a tomb where the famous Nestor’s Cup was found

The Tomb of Nestor’s Cup, a burial that contained one of the oldest known Greek inscriptions, was more crowded than expected, scientists discovered.

The Tomb of Nestor’s Cup is regarded as one of the most interesting finds in Mediterranean pre-classic archaeology. This tomb, officially known as Cremation 168, dates from the 8th century BCE and is one of the hundreds discovered in the Italian town of Pithekoussai. The burial contained a rich set of grave goods, including a silver brooch and two dozen fragmented pottery vessels. But what captured the attention of the archaeologists was a small ceramic wine cup dated to the second half of the eighth century B.C.E.

The clay vessel, known as Nestor’s Cup, carries a three-line boast, concluding with a guarantee that whoever drank from the cup will be struck with longing for Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love.

The cup, which was decorated with simple black geometric motifs, had been brought from the Greek island of Rhodes. Someone wrote the following words on it at some time after it was made: “I am Nestor’s cup, good to drink from. Whoever drinks this cup empty, straightaway desire for beautiful-crowned Aphrodite will seize him.”

Three lines of text in the Greek alphabet are thought to be an allusion to Homer’s poetry.

Drawing of the inscription on "Nestor's Cup", Cumae alphabet, 8th century BCE. Photo: ללא קרדיט
Drawing of the inscription on “Nestor’s Cup”, Cumae alphabet, 8th century BCE. Photo: ללא קרדיט

The tomb was thought to hold a single occupant — a child — but a new analysis of the tomb’s bones revealed that it instead held the remains of at least three adults.

The results of the new study were published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on October 6, 2021, by Melania Gigante of the University of Padua in Italy.

The human bone fragments found in the Tomb of Nestor's Cup
The human bone fragments were found in the Tomb of Nestor’s Cup. Photo: Plos One

Gigante and colleagues conducted thorough examinations on the shape (morphology) and tissues (histology and histomorphometry) of the 195 burned bone pieces in the tomb for this study. Only around 130 of these fragments are human, with at least 45 belonging to animals such as goats and maybe dogs. The researchers discovered bone tissue from distinct life stages among the human bones, indicating at least three individuals of different ages. This is the first evidence of multiple individuals (and non-humans) among the remains in the Tomb of Nestor’s Cup.

The bone fragments could be grouped into three distinct age groups, the researchers found, meaning that at least three individuals were buried in the tomb. While heat damage from the cremation made it impossible to determine their ages with precision, none of the bones belonged to a child, Gigante and colleagues conclude.

Further research might help to solve the mysteries surrounding the creation of this tomb and its famed cup.

Banner
Related Post

Sumatran fishing crews may have found the legendary Gold Island in the Mud of the Indonesian River

24 October 2021

24 October 2021

The site of the Srivijaya kingdom, known in ancient times as the Island of Gold, may have been found by...

Mustatil Structures in Arabia May Be 7,000-Year-Old Stone Remnants of Cattle Cult

1 May 2021

1 May 2021

Archaeologists examining the mustatil stone remains in the northwest of Arabia think that these stone remains may have been used...

‘Miniature Pompeii’ found beneath Astra cinema in Verona

15 June 2021

15 June 2021

Archaeologists have uncovered a “miniature Pompeii” in the shape of a well-preserved ancient edifice near Verona, Italy. An old Roman...

700-Year-Old Church Becomes a Museum

31 January 2021

31 January 2021

It was learned that the 7-century-old church in Akçaabat, Trabzon will serve as a museum from now on. St. The...

10,000-year-old Settlement Discovered in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa

25 June 2021

25 June 2021

A Neolithic settlement was discovered in the garden of a house in the Sayburç Neighborhood of Şanlıurfa’s Karaköprü district. News...

Falaj al Misfah: Working for a thousand years

26 September 2021

26 September 2021

The village of Al Misfah Abriyeen is known for its lush oasis, magnificent orchards, and year-round water source, the ‘aflaj.’...

Gladiators’ ancient hygiene tools on exhibit in Izmir

22 July 2021

22 July 2021

Turkey’s Izmir Archaeological Museum is hosting a different exhibition this month. A bronze strigil is the museum’s guest this month...

Assyrian Art at Getty Villa

22 June 2021

22 June 2021

The Getty Villa in Malibu, California’s arts complex is showcasing superbly-restored gypsum reliefs from the Assyrian Empire’s palaces for its...

7,000-year-old discovery in Umm Jirsan Cave

28 June 2021

28 June 2021

Archaeologists have made new discoveries in the Umm Jirsan cave in the Harrat Khaybar lava field in northern Saudi Arabia....

Sheikh Sultan Opened ‘Tales from the East’ Exhibition

28 April 2021

28 April 2021

The opening of the ‘Tales from the East’ exhibition organized by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) was held with the...

The 1,000-year-old Church found under a cornfield in Germany

2 July 2021

2 July 2021

The foundation walls of the large church of the rediscovered Royal Palace of Helfta in Eisleben in the German state...

How Knossos Palace Looked in Its Glorious Days

9 May 2021

9 May 2021

Knossos Palace is a famous architectural structure of ancient Knossos, which was the capital of the Minoan Civilization. Archaeologist Arthur...

A New Late Ancient Necropolis Discovered on Hvar Island

10 June 2021

10 June 2021

The protective investigation in the garden of the Radoevi Palace in the town of Hvar on the Croatian island of...

Beer remains that are 9,000 years old have been discovered in China’s unique Hu pots

3 September 2021

3 September 2021

Archaeologists in southeast China have discovered evidence of beer consumption in ceramic vessels at the burial site called Qiaotou. The...

Salvage Excavations Started in Giresun Island on Turkey’s Black Sea Coast

18 May 2021

18 May 2021

Rescue excavations are starting again on Giresun Island, where the first examples of human settlement in the Black Sea Region...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *