Greek ancient golden ring is not a fake, experts say

Theseus ringAFP reports:

Theseus ring is not fake, say Greek experts

August 03 2006

Athens – An ancient piece of jewellery known as the Theseus ring and dating from the 15th century BC, has been certified as authentic by Greece’s top archaeological council (KAS), the Greek Ministry of Culture said on Wednesday.

Experts at the Democritus Institute had spent more than six months analysing the ring made with 20 grams of gold, which was found in debris at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens.

An archaeologist specialising in ancient Crete, Yannis Sakellarakis, and a member of KAS had argued that it could be a fake.

The KAS, however, backed the opinion of most of the experts and decided to pay €75 000, half the estimated value of the ring, to the ring’s owner so it can be put on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The signet ring, from the Mycenaean era on Crete, bears a seal engraved with a bull-leaping scene, recalling the Greek myth of Theseus and the minotaur.

According to the owner, the ring was found by her father-in law during expansion work in the 1950s of the museum at the ancient Acropolis site, but he kept it hidden in a chicken run at his country home.

After her father-in-law’s death, she declared it to the authorities in order to get an estimate of its value and to sell it to the state.

Mycenaean armour: here.

Ancient Greece: Thera volcanic eruption: here.

From the ModBlog Google cache:

Crete: early Greek writing unearthed Comments: 4

Date: 11/14/05 at 2:00PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: Paperback writer, by The Beatles

Linear B

From Greek daily Kathimerini:

Archaeologists in Crete have found an important trove of archaeological treasures containing some of the earliest known examples of Greek writing, the Culture Ministry said Saturday.

It said the finds were excavated at a long-abandoned site on a hill overlooking the port of Hania in western Crete, which has been identified with the Minoan city of Kydonia.

Among the discoveries was an amphora containing an intact text written in Linear B, the language of the court at Mycenae where the legendary Agamemnon ruled.

Also found were two terracotta tablets containing texts in Linear A, an even older alphabet — used around 1,700 years before the common era — which has not yet been deciphered.

The ministry said the archaeologists found evidence of a violent fire believed to have destroyed a town on the site around 1450 BC. (AFP)

By the way, Linear B (and, very probably, Linear A) is not a language, or an alphabet of letters.

It is syllabic script.

An isolated community near the Black Sea coast in a remote part of north-eastern Turkey has been found to speak a Greek dialect that is remarkably close to the extinct language of ancient Greece. As few as 5,000 people speak the dialect but linguists believe that it is the closest, living language to ancient Greek and could provide an unprecedented insight into the language of Socrates and Plato and how it evolved: here.


11 thoughts on “Greek ancient golden ring is not a fake, experts say

    Crete: early Greek writing unearthed
    Posted by:

    Date: 11/14/05 at 2:22 PM
    very interesting, and reminiscent of the nordic runes

    i also see the egyptian ankh listed as ‘za’… tells me there was ancient interaction

    RE: Crete: early Greek writing unearthed
    Posted by:

    Date: 11/14/05 at 3:02 PM (2w6d ago)
    Runes are alphabetic, not syllabic; and much later.

    I don’t know whether the Egyptian ankh like-sign is really derived from the Egyptian ankh. If so, one might even think of “za” “zi” “zo” syllabs in Greek connected to “life” maybe.

    There was trade between ancient Crete and Egypt.

    RE: Crete: early Greek writing unearthed
    Posted by:
    Why Not Think About It

    Date: 11/15/05 at 12:49 AM
    The “sa” looks like the bull with the horns and ears but that in Egyptian is very different.

    RE: Crete: early Greek writing unearthed
    Posted by:

    Date: 11/15/05 at 1:09 AM (2w5d ago)
    Hi, thanks for commenting, OldManLincoln! Indeed it is not identical to the Egyptian ankh sign.

    But aren’t we confusing the “sa” and “za” signs here?


  2. Hi andrew: the name “Julie” is derived from “Julia” in Latin, so did not exist in ancient Greek. There was an ancient Greek name Andreas from which today’s “Andrew” is derived. Linear B is syllabary script, so you cannot express entirely the same with it as in an alphabet.

    An approximation for “Julie” in Linear B would be, first the Linear B sign 1000E (see for how those signs look here; scroll down). Then, Linear B sign 1002A (there is no “L” in Linear B; the whole word would sound somewhat like Ju-ri).

    For Andrew: first, 10000. Then, 1001A. Then, 10006. Then 10029. Finally, 10038 [the word would look somewhat like A-ne-de-re-we; it is suspected that in original Linear B the “e” part of the syllabs might also not always have been pronounced].

    I hope this helps you a bit. You might also ask a real Linear B specialist, which I am not, though I know a little about it. And very best wishes for you and Julie!


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