A little news round-up today as my holidays have started and when this is posted, I will be in a car heading to Germany.

Mycenaean ‘Battle Krater’ on public display for the first time
The largest bronze artefact of the Mycenaean era known as the ‘Battle krater’ will be on public display for the first time in 140 years at Athens National Archaeological Museum in the framework of the ‘Unseen Museum’ programme. This reports Protothema.


The large silver vessel was discovered in the tomb of a prince during excavations carried out by Heinrich and Sophie Schliemann in Mycenae, in 1876. The find was made in the royal tombs within Grave Circle A, where both objects and funeral rites dating back to the 16th century B.C. and previously entirely unknown to archaeologists were discovered.

The largest surviving bronze artefact was eventually reconstructed and the battle depicting two rival hoplite groups fighting over a fallen warrior was restored.

The krater will be on display at the Hall of the Altar until September 25. Culture and Sports Minister Aristidis Baltas, who was shown around the storerooms, was present during the transfer of the find o the museum. On August 7 and 28 and on September 16 and 25, museum archaeologists will be greet visitors and talk about the artefact itself, as well as the rich variety of other grave goods interred alongside it, with that same early Mycenaean-era prince.

Athenian visitors ‘travel’ back to 5th century BC in a trireme
Also from Protothema: The Greek Navy invited some lucky visitors to journey back in time, as they took the oars of the Olympias trireme, a replica of the original vessel, at the Faliron gulf.

The trireme was a fast attack, light displacement vessel. It was rowed by 170 oarsmen, three rows per side, who were either poor citizens or dolos--slaves. A trireme would try to sink an enemy ship by ramming it from the side with its bronze nose. Alternative, they would sail past and allow the soldiers to throw spears at their enemy. Sometimes, however, they threw pots filled with burning liquids, or even poisonous snakes.

In 1985–1987 a shipbuilder in Piraeus, financed by Frank Welsh (an author, Suffolk banker, writer and trireme enthusiast), advised by historian J. S. Morrison and naval architect John F. Coates (who with Welsh founded the Trireme Trust that initiated and managed the project), and informed by evidence from underwater archaeology, built a reconstructed Athenian trireme, 'Olympias'. Crewed by 170 volunteer oarsmen, Olympias in 1988 achieved 9 knots (17 km/h or 10.5 mph). Additional sea trials took place in 1987, 1990, 1992 and 1994. In 2004 Olympias was used ceremonially to transport the Olympic Flame from the port of Keratsini to the main port of Piraeus as the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay entered its final stages in the run-up to the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Due to high maintenance costs, was subsequently put in dry dock at the Naval Tradition Park in Faliro, Athens, on November 25, 2005, where it has remained ever since.

The next voyage is planned by the Greek navy for August 28.