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"Palace of Ajax" found in Greece

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  Quote Neoptolemos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Palace of Ajax" found in Greece
    Posted: 29-Mar-2006 at 02:23

Good news from archaeologists!

From BBC News International:

'Palace of Ajax' found in Greece

Ancient Mycenaean citadel found on Salamis
The site is thought to have been the stronghold of Ajax
Greek archaeologists say they have unearthed the remains of a 13th Century BC palace linked to the legendary warrior-king Ajax.

In Homer's classic tale The Iliad the Achaean hero Ajax the Great fought duels with Hector in the Trojan War.

The Mycenaean-era complex found on the small island of Salamis near Athens covers about 750 sq m (8,070 sq ft).

The chief archaeologist said it was a rare case where a palace could be attributed to a famous Homeric hero.

Yiannis Lolos said travellers and archaeologists had been looking for the site "from the early 19th Century".

The ancient complex on Salamis was built on four levels and had at least 33 rooms.

Artefacts of Cypriot and Anatolian origin found at the site testified to the ancient city's links with the eastern Mediterranean.

A bronze armour fragment found there was stamped with the royal mark of Pharaoh Ramses II of Egypt, who ruled in the 13th Century BC.

Salamis was also the site of a 480BC Greek naval victory over the Persians which spelled the end of their invasion of Greece.

In Homer's Iliad, Ajax was a great asset to King Agamemnon's army, with a reputation for strength and courage.

At one point Ajax fought off the Trojan warriors almost single-handed, in stark contrast to his cousin Achilles, who could not be induced to fight.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4853332.stm



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Leonidas View Drop Down
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  Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2006 at 06:56
Dam it!! Neoptolemos, you beat me in posting this, thats twice in a month ive been beaten

this story was too brief though,like how can they tell its Ajax's for certain?

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  Quote ulrich von hutten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2006 at 07:42

and to clean this ancient ruins use this..

sorry , i think i'm not serious enough, beg your pardon


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  Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2006 at 07:48
ulrich von hutten everything you do is somehow touch with a bit of greek
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  Quote Neoptolemos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2006 at 23:43

Originally posted by Leonidas

Dam it!! Neoptolemos, you beat me in posting this, thats twice in a month ive been beaten

this story was too brief though,like how can they tell its Ajax's for certain?

Sorry Leonidas 

Here is a more detailed article from The Times. Seems that the archaeologists have done a great job! Well, you can't expect less when the chief archaeologist is a professor at the University of Ioannina

Palace of Homer's hero rises out of the myths

ARCHAEOLOGISTS claim to have unearthed the remains of the 3,500-year-old palace of Ajax, the warrior-king who according to Homer's Iliad was one of the most revered fighters in the Trojan War.

Classicists hailed the discovery, made on a small Greek island, as evidence that the myths recounted by Homer in his epic poem were based on historical fact.

The ruins include a large palace, measuring about 750sq m (8,000sq ft), and believed to have been at least four storeys high with more than thirty rooms.

 
Yannos Lolos, the Greek archaeologist who made the discovery, said he was certain that he had come across the home of the Aiacid dynasty, a legendary line of kings mentioned in the Iliad and the Classical Greek tragedies. One of the kings, Ajax (or Aias), was described by Homer as a formidable fighter who, at one point in the Trojan campaign, held off the Trojans almost singlehandedly while his fellow Greek Achilles sulked in his tent because his slave-girl had been taken away from him.

The city of Troy is believed to have fallen about 1180BC -at about the same time, according to Mr Lolos, that the palace he has discovered was abandoned and left to crumble. Ajax, therefore, would have been the last king to have lived there before setting off on the ten-year Trojan expedition.

"This is one of the few cases in which a Mycenaean-era palace can be almost certainly attributed to a Homeric hero," Mr Lolos said.

Fellow archaeologists said that they believed that the ruins were indeed those of a Mycenaean palace. Curtis Runnels, Professor of Archaeology at Boston University, said: "Mr Lolos has really delivered the goods."

The Mycenaean ruins appear to be at the site where Homer records a fleet of ships setting out to take part in the war on Troy. The Iliad is believed to portray conditions at the close of the dominance of Mycenae, the prime Greek power of the second millennium BC.

The ruins have been excavated over the past five years at a site near the village of Kanakia on the island of Salamis, a few miles off the coast of Athens.

The palace was built in the style of those of the period, including the vast acropolis at Mycenae.

"The complex was found beneath a virgin tract of pine woods on two heights by the coast,” Mr Lolos said. “All the finds so far corroborate what we see in the Homeric epics."

Homer compares Ajax to a wall and describes him carrying a shield made of seven layers of thick oxhide. Unlike other heroes, he fights without the aid of deities or the supernatural. According to Sophocles, who wrote 800 years after the Trojan War, Ajax committed suicide after the fall of Troy without seeing his homeland again.

Several relics of oriental and Cypriot origin were found at the site at Kanakia, such as bronze armour strips stamped with the emblem of Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt, indicating trade or possible war in the 13th century BC.

Salamis became famous as the site of a sea battle in 480BC in which the Greek navies destroyed the invasion fleet of the Persian king Xerxes and put paid to the Persian threat.

The other main site where archaeologists claim to have discovered relics of places recounted in the Iliad is at the castle of Pylos in southeastern Greece, believed to be the home of King Nestor.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2106548,00.htm l

And another quote, from http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=588 &art_id=qw1143483300245G626

The city, named 'Kychreia' on an epigraph found on the Athens Acropolis that dates from the first century BC, is mentioned by the ancient geographer Strabo. Its geographical location also concurs with writings by ancient poets Hesiod and Sophocles, Lolos said.

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  Quote Neoptolemos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2006 at 00:03

Lolos believes that when Salamis faced an external threat part of the population emigrated to Cyprus.

The site flourished in the 13th century B.C. - at the same time as the major centers of Mycenae and Pylos in southern Greece - and was abandoned during widespread unrest about 100 years later.

Scholars have long suspected a core of historical truth in the story of Troy, and archaeological evidence from the Kanakia dig appears to agree.

Lolos also believes that, faced by an external threat, part of Salamis' population left for Cyprus, founding a new town named after their homeland.

"There is no other explanation for the creation on Cyprus of a city named Salamis," he said. "We established that there was a population exodus from Salamis, which was completely abandoned shortly after 1200 B.C. ... They must first have gone to Enkomi on Cyprus, which was already an established center."

Salamis was founded around 1100 B.C., when Enkomi - some 2.5 miles away - was abandoned. "It was probably the refugees' children that moved there," Lolos said.

The emigration theory would explain why almost no high-value artifacts were found at the Greek site, which bore no signs of destruction or enemy occupation.

"The emigrants, who would have been the city's ruling class, took a lot with them, including nearly all the valuables," Lolos said.

The rest of the population moved to a new settlement further inland that offered better protection from seaborne raids.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1501AP_Greece_Ajax_Pa lace.html 

EDIT: Can somebody tell me why I see my sig at the top of the thread? Did I do sth wrong or I am the only one who sees it? Thanks



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  Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2006 at 03:23
Thanks Neoptolemos

Edit: i can see that too


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  Quote Dark Age Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2006 at 12:26
I find it amazing that someone would just abandon such a large building before heading off to a ten-year war.  If there are more than 30 rooms, Ajax certainly didn't live there by himself (no matter how large he was ).  So where did everyone go?  And why would any palace be abandoned once the king heads off to war?

Several relics of oriental and Cypriot origin were found at the site at Kanakia, such as bronze armour strips stamped with the emblem of Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt, indicating trade or possible war in the 13th century BC.


This was after the Trojan war, right?  Maybe I just answered by own question...
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  Quote Neoptolemos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2006 at 01:05

Originally posted by Dark Age

I find it amazing that someone would just abandon such a large building before heading off to a ten-year war.  If there are more than 30 rooms, Ajax certainly didn't live there by himself (no matter how large he was ).  So where did everyone go?  And why would any palace be abandoned once the king heads off to war?

It's not that they abandoned it because the king went to war. After Ajax went for the Trojan war probably the people continued living there. But Ajax never returned home and at some point (just after the Trojan war?) people there faced an external threat and had to abandon the place. I guess the threat were the Sea Peoples or, much less likely, Dorians. Anyway, I'n not an expert on the subject. There is a discussion about Sea Peoples in this thread and on the Dorian invasion here if you are interested.


Originally posted by Dark Age

Several relics of oriental and Cypriot origin were found at the site at Kanakia, such as bronze armour strips stamped with the emblem of Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt, indicating trade or possible war in the 13th century BC.


This was after the Trojan war, right?  Maybe I just answered by own question...

No, this war before the Trojan war.

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  Quote Dark Age Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2006 at 00:38
Originally posted by Neoptolemos

Originally posted by Dark Age

Several relics of oriental and Cypriot origin were found at the site at Kanakia, such as bronze armour strips stamped with the emblem of Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt, indicating trade or possible war in the 13th century BC.


This was after the Trojan war, right?  Maybe I just answered by own question...

No, this war before the Trojan war.



Yep.  My mistake.  Thanks for the info. 
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