The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce the publication of Hesperia 90.1. Topics in this issue include an overview of Mt. Lykaion and its environs in the Early Iron Age, a reconstruction of Gordion in the Middle Phrygian period, the presentation of a unique curse deposit from the Athenian Agora, and the publication of the Greek and Latin inscriptions from Corinth’s Temple Hill.
Subscribers can read the issue online at JSTOR, which now hosts all current issues of Hesperia as well as an archive of past volumes. Additionally, all issues of Hesperia from 2011 and earlier are available as Open Access on our website. The mailing of print issues has resumed but continued postal delays may be experienced.
Sanctuaries of Zeus: Mt. Lykaion and Olympia in the Early Iron Age, by David Gilman Romano and Mary E. Voyatzis, describes how the recent excavations at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion have revealed evidence for ritual activity at the ash altar of Zeus from the Mycenaean through the Hellenistic period. Indications of continuous activity at this cult place beginning in the Late Bronze Age invite consideration of possible connections between this site and others in the Peloponnese, including the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. Although altars composed of ash became fairly common in the Early Iron Age, the authors propose that the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia and its impressive ash altar may have been inspired by key aspects of the much older cult place at Mt. Lykaion, which it ultimately overshadowed in subsequent centuries.
Midas, Matar, and Homer at Gordion and Midas City, by C. Brian Rose, examines the architectural remains of the Phrygian site of Gordion and the so-called Midas Monument in Midas City to acquire a more nuanced understanding of both Midas and his capital city during the late 8th century B.C. The author provides a new reconstruction of Middle Phrygian Gordion while also suggesting how the inscriptions on the Midas Monument’s facade can be used to clarify the political and religious components of Midas’s kingship as well as his relationship to the goddess Matar. The concluding remarks consider how the public buildings of Gordion’s citadel might have functioned in the 8th century, along with what roles Troy and Homer may have played in elite feasting there.
The Curious Case of the Cursed Chicken: A New Binding Ritual from the Athenian Agora, by Jessica L. Lamont, discusses a ceramic pot from the excavations of the Athenian Agora. The exterior of the vessel was inscribed with over 30 names, many female and several new or previously unattested in Attica, and the pot contained the dismembered head and lower limbs of a young chicken. The vessel was pierced with a large nail and buried with a coin beneath the floor of the Agora’s Classical Commercial Building sometime around 300 B.C. The ritual assemblage belongs to the realm of Athenian binding curses and aimed to “bind” or inhibit the physical and cognitive faculties of the named individuals. This unique discovery offers new evidence for the practice of “magic” in the heart of ancient Athens.
Greek and Latin Inscriptions from Temple Hill, Corinth, by Paul A. Iversen and Donald Laing Jr., presents editions of 42 inscribed fragments belonging to 37 different Greek and Latin inscriptions unearthed between 1968 and 1978 on Temple Hill in ancient Corinth. The inscriptions date from the early 6th century B.C. to the 6th century A.D. and include a new fragment of a previously published sacrificial calendar on stone, a new fragmentary sacrificial calendar on lead, eight new decrees, and several new fragments that join to, or can be associated with, previously published decrees or other kinds of public documents.
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