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Article

A. J. Parker

The potential richness of the sea for salvage or accidental finding of sunken valuables was recognized from earliest times, but the possibility of defining meaningful groups of wrecked material or of interpreting submerged sites scarcely predates the widespread adoption of underwater breathing-apparatus in the 20th cent. Standard apparatus, supplied with compressed air from the surface, as used by sponge divers, enabled the discovery and partial excavation of rich 1st-cent. bce cargoes at Antikythera (1900–1) and Mahdia (1908–13), but the unwieldy equipment, reliance on untrained working divers, and exclusion of archaeological direction from involvement under water remained serious limitations on progress. Self-contained breathing-apparatus (the aqualung) came into widespread use after 1945, and resulted in the growth of diving for sport and pleasure; many ancient wrecks were discovered, especially in southern France, and the importance of this resource was recognized by F. Benoit. However, he did not direct operations under water, and his main underwater project, the excavation at the islet of Le Grand Congloué (1952–7), has subsequently been shown to have confused two superimposed Roman wrecks.

Article

Lucia F. Nixon and Simon Price

A town on Crete. It flourished from the 9th to the 6th cent., to judge from the evidence of large numbers of tombs (protogeometric to orientalizing periods), but seems to have lost power in the 6th–5th cents. From the 4th cent. onwards it was again one of the principal cities of the island. Its main centre lay north-west of the *Minoan palace, but its buildings are poorly known; a shrine to *Demeter (protogeometric to 2nd cent. ce) lay just south of the palace. In the 4th–3rd cents. Cnossus frequently fought Lyttus, and then, after Lyttus’ destruction, *Gortyn. Cnossus, which resisted the Roman invasion, lost out to Gortyn, and in 36 bce suffered the attribution to *Capua of valuable territory (Vell. Pat. 2. 81. 2; Cass. Dio 49. 14. 5); after 27 bce it was turned into a colonia (Iulia Nobilis), perhaps receiving settlers from Capua. From the Roman period a basilica is known, and houses, including the ‘Villa Dionysus’. Despite a series of earthquakes, the city prospered until the 3rd cent. ce, extending by c.

Article

Ian Morris

Correct disposal of the dead was always a crucial element in easing the *soul of the deceased into the next world. However, the forms of burial varied enormously. Great significance was attached to the choice of inhumation, cremation, or some other rite (e.g. Herodotus 3. 38; Lucretius 3. 888–93), but there is rarely any reason to see a direct correlation between specific methods and specific racial, class, or religious groups.In prehistory there was enormous variation. An inhumation burial is known from mesolithic times in the Franchthi cave (Argolid), while in Thessaly cremation cemeteries go back to early neolithic. In the early bronze age rich grave goods were sometimes used, particularly in the multiple inhumation tombs of the *Cyclades and *Crete. In the late bronze age, there was for the first time considerable uniformity on the mainland, with multiple inhumations in rock-cut chamber-tombs being the norm. In early .

Article

gems  

Frederick Norman Pryce, David Edward Eichholz, and Michael Vickers

Precious stones were valued in antiquity as possessing magical and medicinal virtues, as ornaments, and as seals when engraved with a device. Such engravings (intaglios) in soft media like steatite or *ivory are found in early Minoan days; the use of hard stones dates from the middle Minoan age. Late Minoan and Mycenaean gems have a rich repertory of human and animal designs; the favoured shapes are the lenticular (round) and amygdaloid (sling-stone) (see minoan and mycenaean civilization). In sub-Mycenaean and geometric times the art of working hard stones was largely lost. A revival in the 7th cent. bce is usually associated with the island of *Melos, and the commencement of Classical gem-engraving in the 6th cent. is marked by the introduction of the scarab (beetle) form of seal from Egypt. This was soon abandoned in Greece for the scaraboid, which omits the beetle-back. The late 5th and 4th cents. mark the high point of Greek gem engraving. In Hellenistic times the choice of subjects grows restricted, but excellent work was done in portraiture. In Italy the Etruscans used the scarab until the 3rd cent.; gems of the later Roman republic show a wide range of subjects, combined with clumsiness of execution. With Augustus begins the large series of ‘Graeco-Roman’ gems. A period of indifferent work in the middle empire is succeeded by a revival under Constantine I.

Article

John Kinloch Anderson

In the funeral games for *Patroclus the chariot-race is the premier event (Hom.Il. 23. 262–538). The heroes drive two-horse chariots normally used in battle over an improvised cross-country course, round a distant mark and home again. Similar funeral games for other heroes are recorded; and heroes as well as gods were remembered at the Panhellenic festivals. Malicious ghosts (Taraxippoi, ‘horse-frighteners’) sometimes panicked the horses. But, despite the story of the race by which *Pelops won his bride and kingdom (see hippodamia), equestrian events were not the oldest in the historic Olympia festival (see olympian games). *Pausanias (5. 8. 7–8) records the introduction of four-horse chariots in the 25th Olympiad (680 bce); of ridden horses in the 33rd; and of other equestrian events at irregular intervals thereafter. Regular hippodromes were now used. No material remains survive; but literary evidence (e.g. Soph.

Article

Jan Stubbe Østergaard

The term “polychromy” has been in use since the early 19th century to denote the presence of any element of colour in Greek and Roman sculpture. The evidence for such polychromy is literary, epigraphical, archaeological, and archeometric; research on the subject therefore requires collaboration between the humanities, conservation science, and natural science. Such research should go hand in hand with the investigation of the polychromy of Greek and Roman architecture, since it is symbiotically related to sculpture, technically as well as visually.

Knowledge of Greek and Roman sculptural polychromy is still very uneven. Scholars have focused on stone sculpture, and most research has been directed towards the Archaic, Early Classical, Hellenistic, and Imperial Roman periods. For terracottas, the Hellenistic period has enjoyed the most research, while investigation of the polychromy of bronze sculpture has only recently begun.

The scientific research methodology applied concerns the materials and techniques employed. The main colouring agents are paints, metals, and coloured marbles. Pigments are based on inorganic and organic materials applied with proteins, wax, or plant gums as binding media. Metals used are bronze, copper, silver, and gold. A range of coloured marbles came into use in the Roman Imperial period, but in all periods, assorted materials such as semi-precious stones and metals were used for inlaid details and attached objects like jewelry and weapons.

Article

Frederick Norman Pryce, Mabel L. Lang, and David William John Gill

The balance (σταθμός, libra, bilanx) of two pans at equal distance from the point of suspension is an invention of the earliest times; in Mycenaean tablets (see mycenaean language) it is the symbol for the largest unit of weight, and Homer is familiar with its use, which persisted through antiquity. The steelyard, in which the rod is unequally divided, the object to be weighed being suspended from the short arm against a sliding counterweight on the longer, does not appear before Roman times (statera: originally statera campana, from an alleged Campanian origin; see campania); but from its greater convenience it became the most popular form of balance. There may be alternative positions for the fulcrum, and two different scales can be marked on the bar. Inscriptions can guarantee the standard. Trutina is a pan-balance for large masses; momentana and moneta are for small objects, or coins. Weighing instruments were only as accurate as the weights used, and it seems that some error was created by using worn items. See weights.