Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Byzantine Capital from Olympia

A Byzantine capital was stolen from the ancient site of Olympia this week. For a thorough discussion of Olympia's Early Christian basilica (the so-called Phidias workshop), see Bill Caraher's The Mysterious Theft of a Column Capital from Olympia. Make sure to click on Caraher's handout that he prepared as professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. It is the best teaching aid available. When leading the American School through its Olympia field trip (Oct 17, 2007), Caraher photographed the infamous Slavic pottery discovered during the construction of the new Olympia museum. They offer some physical evidence of the (Second) Dark Age. Along with some pottery from Argos, isolated burials in Corinth, and some domestic architecture in Messene they make up the little we know about this period. Tivadar Vidar and Thomas Völling have recently rethought (and redated) the abandonment of the ancient site (connected to the flooding of the Alpheios).

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States