A man of 34 was arrested on Tuesday November 26 in Messenia, Greece, by police officers from the Department of Cultural Heritage and Antiquities of the Security Directorate of Attica for the illegal possession of a highly valuable ancient movable monument with intention to sell.

A criminal case has been filed against him for infringement of the provisions of the Law on the Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in general.

Specifically, while investigating a case of illegal possession of a very valuable ancient statue by a person seeking buyers for the sum of € 350,000, a team of police officers located the man and while searching his home, found and confiscated part of a marble statue.

The confiscated antiquity was then shown to an expert archaeologist from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Messenia, who pronounced it to be subject to the provisions of the Protection of Antiquities Act and Cultural Heritage in general and an object of great value, originating from an ancient provincial workshop. It is part of a marble statue of the Archaic period (6th century BC) with high relief details, 60cm high and 33cm wide, depicting a nude youth.

The ancient artefact will be handed over to the Archaeological Museum of Kalamata for safekeeping and a final evaluation.
I am short on time today, so have a video about the ancient wonders of ancient Hellas! It's an older one but quite enjoyable.

"Greece, a land of breathtaking beauty and light. A land where science, art and inspiration from the gods combined to produce some of the world's greatest marvels of architecture and design. The ancient Greeks used buildings and structures to reflect the variety of life at the core of their civilisation - they built the first theatres, staged the first sports events and worshipped in some of the most spectacular temples ever built.

From prehistoric palaces to bold symbols of victory, this programme explores the Seven Ancient Wonders of Greece - the Theatre of Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi, the Colossus of Rhodes, Santorini, The Palace of Knossos and the greatest masterpiece of them all - The Parthenon. Revealing the true icons of this incredible civilisation, we explore how and why the seven wonders of Ancient Greece still retain the power to amaze the world today. By recounting the stories behind the people who designed and oversaw their construction and unravelling the tales and myths of those who lived within them, we unearth the secrets behind The Seven Wonders of Ancient Greece."

Professor Alexander Cambitoglou, the first person of Greek background to become a university professor in Australia in 1963, has passed away at the age of 97. Cambitoglou spent more than five decades tirelessly championing Australian research in Greece as well as his lifelong passions of classical archaeology and attic vase painting. He was also a world authority on the subject of red-figure vase painting of the Greek colonies of southern Italy.

Born in Thessaloniki in 1922 to parents hailing from Veria and Thessaloniki he was a bright and studious child in what was then an interesting, cosmopolitan centre, receiving private tuition in Ancient Greek, Latin, French, German, English, and piano in addition to his formal high school education. He proceeded to obtain a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Thessaloniki as well as Doctorates at the Universities of London and Oxford, eventually becoming a Classical Archaeologist.

In 1980 he had the insight to create the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) promoting and enabling Australian research in Greece and leaving a legacy for future Australian scholars, and at 96 years old he was still working at his office at the University of Sydney on a daily basis. Professor Cambitoglou told Greek City Times in an interview in 2018:

"The most important achievement for me is the creation of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, through which Australia joined another 18 foreign schools or institutes in the Greek capital. My love for Australia and Greece led me to create the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens."

The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens announced that Professor Cambitoglou’s passed away on Friday the 29th of November. Dr. Stavros Paspalas, Acting Director, spoke of Cambitoglou:

"The long list of Professor Cambitoglou’s achievements is truly awe-inspiring. His dedicated efforts have established Classical Archaeology, and more widely Greek studies, in Australia on a very firm footing. His vision has inspired generations of students, and will continue to do so, while his dedication to his field has set a benchmark for many of his colleagues. Alexander will be greatly missed, both here in Australia and in Greece, as well as more generally internationally as he is widely recognised as one of the great classical archaeologists of his generation. His multi-faceted legacy, well characterised by the AAIA, is his lasting gift to Australia and for this, and much more, I am certain that we are all grateful to him."
The deme of Erkhia has many sacrifices, and Elaion has pretty much adopted them all. One of these sacrifices--or actually two of them--are on Poseideon 16. Both are to Zeus. The first to Zeus without epithet, the other to Zeus Horios: 'of the boundary stones'. Will you join us for this combined sacrifice on December 13th at 10 am, EST?

Zeus Horios is responsible for the preservation of boundary stones. In order to mark their territories (especially between public and private), the ancient Hellenes relied on boundary markers, called 'horoi'. A horos (χορός) was usually a stele of marble or limestone, no larger than a meter high, rectangular and roughly hewn except for the upper front face, which was dressed smooth for inscribed letters. It was usually inscribed, sometimes with just the word 'horos', or sometimes specifying the territory (e.g., 'horos of the sanctuary'), or even the name of a deity. Some horoi were inscribed in the first person; a famous horos stone found by the ancient Athenia agora reads 'I am the horos of the Agora'. Specificity and clarity were crucial; passersby needed to know what sort of land they were entering because a boundary marker's message was enforced with a legal enforceable meaning.

The Arkhian calendar describes the sacrifices as such:

"[...] on the sixteenth [of Poseideon], for Zeus, on the rock or rocky place at Erkhia, a sheep, no taking away. For Zeus Horios, at Erkhia, a piglet, no taking away."

'No taking away' in this case means to consume the sacrifice on the spot. No part of it can be carried away from the site. So the skins and bones, as well as some of the meat are to be burned and the rest of the meat eaten, not sold or stored. Some scientists and archaeologists have come to call this type of sacrifice 'Ou phora', after Scott Scullion's definition.

In Sullivan's definition of 'Olympian' and 'Khthonian', 'Khthonian' was extended to include not only sacrifices in which the victim was destroyed, but also all sacrifices from which the meat could not be carried away and had to be consumed on the spot. He connects ou phora sacrifices to Khthonian deities or heroes, but this theory has been widely debated because it simply does not seem to resonate with other knowledge we have of these divinities and Their cults.

Poseideon was ruled by Poseidon, Zeus and Dionysos. Poseideon is the first true winter month; the first harvest was over, seafaring had ceased and thus war had come to an end. The focus was on the home and preparation for true, deep winter: the weather turned and the crops needed protecting. Because of this, it was also a month of threat; if the crops failed, if the seas became too rough when a daring fisherman was out on it, or if a river went out of bounds and flooded a well populated area there would be death. Zeus Horios watches over the boundaries of the home and was thus vital in this divine protection.

In current times we might not have most of these fears, but we still want trespassers to stay off our property (burglars, anyone?), and we want our personal, emotional, boundaries to be observed as well by the people we meet. Zeus Horios still influences our lives. So will you join us in honoring Zeus and Zeus Horios come December 13th at 10 am, EST?

The community for the event can be found here and the ritual for the event can be found here.
Workers installing cables under a road in the Sicilian town of Gela have uncovered part of an ancient Hellenic burial site.

Residents of Via Di Bartolo, in Gela, Sicily, had expected disrruption from roadworks this month as workers installed fibre optic cables under the street. But instead they've ended up with an archaeological dig taking place outside their front doors, after the Open Fiber cable company uncovered part of an ancient necropolis dating back to the 7th century BC.

Finds so far along the small strip of road include a ceramic water jug which contained the bones of a newborn baby, and parts of a large animal skeleton, according to local authorities.

The finds were reportedly made by Open Fiber's in-house archaeologist, Gianluca Cala, who had been on call during the installation work in case of such discoveries, which are not that unusual in Sicily.

A sarcophagus containing an intact skeleton thought to be from the same period was discovered earlier this month in Gela."Two weeks after the last important discovery, in what is certainly a Greek necropolis, Gela gives us other extraordinary testimonies of the past” the Sicilian regional government stated in a press release.

The area where the discoveries were made is believed to be part of a necropolis first excavated at the beginning of the twentieth century by Paolo Orsi, according to the La Sicilia newspaper. President of the Sicilian Region, Nello Musumeci, said:

"Once again Gela is confirmed to be a part of Sicily that can tell us an important part of our ancient history. Two important archaeological finds, a short distance from each other, show that great attention is paid to the Gela area, which I believe to be a precious treasure chest."

Open Fiber said it would be willing to enlarge the excavation area to help historians and archaeologists uncover more ancient finds in Gela, La Sicilia wrote.

Gela is believed to be the site of one of the earliest settlements of Greeks, from Rhodes and Crete.

"The newly-uncovered graves are seen as particularly important by historians, as they're thought to hold the remains of the first settlers along with examples of the fine ceramics they brought with them."
Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilisation. It is located in a prominent position on Kefala Hill, 6 km. southeast of Herakleion, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary King Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros. The site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times. Most people believe that Knossos was discovered by Sir Arthur Evans in 1900. In fact, the first excavation took place in 1878, by the Cretan merchant and antiquarian Minos Kalokairinos, but his contribution has been largely overshadowed by that of Evans.

Minos Kalokairinos was born in 1843. His father was a rich landowner, who owned the site of the palace of Knossos. As Dr Katerina Kopaka notes, “Kalokairinos tried to combine his responsibilities as an homme d’ affaires with his vision of a man of letters”. He obtained secondary education on the isle of Syros, then enrolled at the law faculty of the University of Athens where he only studied a year, as he was forced to abandon his studies after his father fell seriously ill and died. He then took over, together with his brother Lysimachus, the family-owned business until 1871.

Kalokairinos later went into soap manufacturing, winning awards at world exhibitions. Unfortunately, however, his business enterprises were not destined to be successful to the end; in 1895, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and was thus deprived of the right to engage in commerce. In 1903 he decided to resume his legal studies at the university, and was later awarded a degree. In 1878 his passion for archaeology and classical studies led him to attempt the first systematic excavations at Knossos. He bought the site where he wanted to conduct excavations from Zekiris Bey, Ibrahim Efentakis and according to Turkish archaeological law he would be entitled to 1/3 of the findings. The main excavation lasted three weeks and covered different parts of the Royal Palace complex, focusing on its west and south wings.

In 1879, the Christian General Commander of Crete, Fotiadis Pasha, visited Knossos to see the progress of the excavations. With the agreement of the city’s scholars, he decided to stop the excavations in order to protect the findings, because he was afraid that they would be transferred to Istanbul, as Crete was still under Turkish occupation.

Kalokairinos, who wanted to make Knossos broadly known, escorted archaeologists, diplomats, newspaper correspondents and other VIPs at the site and showed them his private collection.

In 1886 he was visited by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who was famous for the discovery of Troy. Kalokairinos showed him his findings, but he also failed to obtain permission to continue the excavations.

In 1894 it was Evans’ turn to visit Crete and to be informed about the excavations. Sir Arthur Evans was impressed and bought ¼ of the Kephala Hill for 6,000 drachmas. On 23 March, 1900, excavations began. Evans’ most important colleagues were the archaeologist D. Mackenzie, known for his excavation in Melos, who undertook to keep the excavation journal, and the architects C. Doll, F.G. Newton and Piet de Jong.

First came to light the “throne room” and within two years Evans and his team managed to dig Knossos out of the ashes and lava. Kalokairinos had already retired, on account of the dramatic events he’d experienced: during the slaughter of civilians by the Turks on August 25th 1898, his brother Lysimachus was beheaded, his niece had disappeared and his son was murdered. His home was set on fire and the collection of findings from Knossos, destined for the Archaeological Museum of Athens, was destroyed.

In 1903, a new mansion was built by Kalokairinos’ nephew, son of Lysimachus. Today this mansion houses the Historical Museum of Herakleion. Shortly before Minos Kalokairinos’ death, he published the journal “Cretan Archaeological Ephemeris”, much of which was devoted to Knossos.

Kalokairinos had a strong disposition towards ancient Hellenic literature, especially Homer, Plato, Strabo, Pausanias and their accounts of Cretan antiquity. As he confesses in his book Prolegomena 1893, his strong desire to draw upon these works in order to elucidate the ancient history of Crete, led him to the undertaking of the excavations.

Minos Kalokairinos had found a large collection of objects during his excavations. The findings that survived after the violent events of 25 August, 1898, mostly amphorae found in the western wing of the palace, were donated to museums of Greece, Paris and London in order to promote public interest in Knossos.

Cretan archeology owes a great debt to Kalokairinos for this early exploration of Knossos which highlighted the islands prehistoric past and opened the path for discoveries that surpassed all expectations.

Source: Greek News Agenda
The Διονύσια κατ᾽ ἀγρούς, or μικρά, the rural or lesser Dionysia, a vintage festival, was celebrated in the various demes of Attica in the month of Poseideon. It was celebrated with a large procession in which men carried a phallus and cakes. Revelers and singers were also a part of the procession. A representation of the God was included to represent His coming. The festival also included stage comedies and the playing of lighthearted games. Generally, it was a joyful festival, shared by all, even the serfs. Will you join us for it on December 7th at 10 am EST?

The Dionysia was originally a rural festival in Eleutherae, Attica, probably celebrating the cultivation of vines. It was probably a very ancient festival, perhaps not originally associated with Dionysus. This 'rural Dionysia' was held during the winter, in the month of Poseideon. The central event was the pompe (πομπή), the procession, in which phalloi (φαλλοί) were carried by phallophoroi (φαλλοφόροι). Also participating in the pompe were kanephoroi (κανηφόροι – young girls carrying baskets), obeliaphoroi (ὀβελιαφόροι – who carried long loaves of bread), skaphephoroi (σκαφηφόροι – who carried other offerings), hydriaphoroi (ὑδριαφόροι – who carried jars of water), and askophoroi (ἀσκοφόροι – who carried jars of wine).

After the pompe procession was completed, there were contests of dancing and singing, and choruses (led by a choregos) would perform dithyrambs. Some festivals may have included dramatic performances, possibly of the tragedies and comedies that had been produced at the City Dionysia the previous year. This was more common in the larger towns, such as Piraeus and Eleusis.

Because the various towns in Attica held their festivals on different days, it was possible for spectators to visit more than one festival per season. It was also an opportunity for Athenian citizens to travel outside the city if they did not have the opportunity to do so during the rest of the year. This also allowed travelling companies of actors to perform in more than one town during the period of the festival.

The community for the event can be found here and the ritual here.