Thursday, September 30, 2010

Skeleton Wrapped in Gold Foil Discovered on Crete

This tomb in Crete dates roughly from the time of Kings Manasseh and Josiah.  From the AP:

ATHENS, Greece — Greek archaeologists have found an ancient skeleton covered with gold foil in a grave on the island of Crete, officials said Tuesday.

Excavator Nicholas Stampolidis said his team discovered more than 3,000 pieces of gold foil in the 7th-century B.C. twin grave near the ancient town of Eleutherna.

Cemeteries there have produced a wealth of outstanding artifacts in recent years.

The tiny gold ornaments, from 1 to 4 centimetres (0.4 to 1.5 inches) long, had been sewn onto a lavish robe or shroud that initially wrapped the body of a woman and has almost completely rotted away but for a few off-white threads.

"The whole length of the (grave) was covered with small pieces of gold foil — square, circular and lozenge-shaped," Stampolidis told The Associated Press. "We were literally digging up gold interspersed with earth, not earth with some gold in it."

The full story is here.  I have not seen any photos yet.

The archaeologists have produced a few videos of the excavation before this latest discovery:

The ruins are on the north slopes of Mount Ida, the mythical birthplace of the god Zeus.

Mount Ida from Phaistos, tb041204676Mount Ida from Phaistos, Crete 

HT: Joe Lauer

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