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News: Epigraphy
Euboean skyphos, ca 700 BC, from Methone in Pieria.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

A curse on an Euboean skyphos (ca 700 BC)

So far unprecedented for Macedonia are the pots and potsherds unearthed in ancient Methoni, in Pieria

Recent excavations, ongoing since 2003-2004, have begun to bring to light ancient Methone in Pieria, ca 35 kilometers south of Thessaloniki. According to the ancient sources, testified by the archaeological finds, Methone was established by colonists from Eretria in Euboea around 733 BCE.

Unique and so far unprecedented for Macedonia are the pots and potsherds unearthed from a rectangular pit, apparently used as an apothetes. The greatest majority of these sherds dates to ca 700 BCE, and 191 of them, recently pieced together, bear inscriptions, graffiti, and (trade)marks inscribed, incised, scratched and rarely painted, which are published by Matthaios Bessios, Yannis Tzifopoulos, and Antonis Kotsonas (http://ancdialects.greeklanguage.gr).

Among these, an Euboean skyphos is by far the most impressive find. Incised on it, a curse addresses the potential thief. “I am Akesandros’ glass”, it declares, “(and whoever takes me) will lose his sight (or his money)”. According to Prof. Tzifopoulos, this epigram’s iambic trimeter seems to be the predecessor of another inscription, of an iambic rhythm as well, coming from Cymi, in Southern Italy, and dated between 675-650 BCE. “I am Tataies lekythos”, the text reads. “Whoever steals me (or steals it from me) will go blind”.