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    Christianity was not influenced by paganism A review and response to claims that Christianity was influenced by paganism and other religions. By Ray Konig About-Jesus. Christianity has been accused of borrowing from paganism virtually every important detail in the New Testament, including the virgin birth, the baptism, the Eucharist, the offer of salvation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. The implication is that Christianity does not come from God, but from a stew of pagan ideas and concepts.

    Many of the claims grew out of the 19th and 20th century works of Franz Cumont, James Frazer, and Kersey Graves, who continue to be influential among scholars and writers today who continue a tradition of: Using Christian terminology to describe pagan traditions, 2.

    Then remarking on the alleged similarities, 3. And then claiming that Christianity copied from paganism. With this as an approach, any ancient tradition involving water could be described as a "baptism," any pagan artwork depicting food and beverage could be characterized as a "Eucharist," any tradition involving an unusual birth of a pagan deity could be framed as a "miraculous birth" or as a "virgin birth," and any deity related to the agricultural cycle could be made into examples of "saviors" who "died" and were "resurrected.

    The most commonly cited examples involve the traditions of Adonis, Dionysus, Krishna, Mithras and Osiris, that these pre-Christian deities supposedly had much in common with Jesus Christ.

    This article will review some of these ancient traditions, showing that they have not influenced the theology of Christianity or the "creation" of Jesus. Adonis Adon Adonis is a good starting point for learning about the more common weaknesses in the claims that Christianity borrowed from pagan traditions.

    Adonis is one of the many pagan deities that some scholars and writers characterize as a pre-Christian god who, like Jesus, was born of a virgin, died and was resurrected.

    And because of these apparent similarities, some writers claim that he is a prototype on which the New Testament writers based their "creation" of Jesus. For a little background on Adonis, he is often summarized as an annual "life-death-rebirth" vegetation god, meaning that he was associated with the agricultural cycle, during which plants die in the winter and revive in the spring.

    The Adonis tradition is often said to have originated with the Babylonian myth of Tammuz, by way of Syria, before being imported into Greek mythology. It also is claimed that the Etruscan legend of Attunis and the German myth of Baldr were copied from the Adonis tradition.

    One of the earliest glimpses into the Adonis legend comes from a poem attributed to Sappho, a poet who lived during the 7th century BC, about years ago: Gentle Adonis is dying, O Cythera, what shall we do? Beat your breasts, O maidens, and rend your garments. Gentle Adonis wounded lies, dying, dying. What message, O Cythera, dost thou send? Beat, beat your white breasts, O ye weeping maidens, And in wild grief your mourning garments rend.

    Coming from heaven, clad in a purple mantle. Come rosy-armed Graces, virgin daughters of Zeus. But Ares said he would forcibly drag Hephaestus. Innumerable drinking cups thou drainest. But thou shalt ever lie dead nor shall there be any remembrance of thee then or ever, for thou hast none of the roses of Pieria; but thou shalt wander unnoticed, even in the houses of Hades, flitting among the shadowy dead.

    Forever shalt thou lie dead, nor shall there be any remembrance of thee now or hereafter, for never has thou had any of the roses of Pieria; but thou shalt wander, eternally unregarded in the houses of Hades, flitting among the insubstantial shades. Scholars disagree as to which verses truly belong to Sappho and which verses might have been added later from other sources. But, the poem as represented above indicates that there was a tradition that Adonis dies. There is, however, no mention in this pre-Christian poem of a resurrection.

    Another ancient text, this one an encyclopedia of Greek mythology called The Library, speaks of Adonis, and of his death, and of his parentage, but mentions nothing of a resurrection or virgin birth.

    The text is sometimes attributed to Apollodorus, who was a Greek writer born about BC, about years ago. As for the manner of Adonis' death: The earliest known record of a tradition involving a revived Adonis comes from Lucian of Samosata, the author of De Dea Syria.

    In that work, he wrote of an annual ceremony commemorating the death, or apparent death, of Adonis and that he was killed, or apparently killed, by a boar: And when the breast-beating and weeping is at end, first they make offerings to Adon as if to a dead person; and then, on the next day, they proclaim that he is alive and fetch him forth into the air, and shave their heads as the Egyptians do when Apis dies.

    The problem is that New Testament was written during the previous century, meaning that Christianity could not have been influenced by De Dea Syria.

    It should also be noted that the revivification of Adonis is very different than the resurrection of Jesus. Theocritus, a Greek poet during the third century AD, after the time of Jesus, indicates in his Psalm of Adonis that Adonis is revived for a single day each year and then is carried out to the sea.

    In contrast, the New Testament, which was written two centuries earlier, portrays Jesus as being resurrected once, and for eternity.

    In Christianity, Jesus is not only "revived," he is also resurrected. He returns to life, completely and permanently.

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    He defeats death, completely and permanently. And he promises a resurrection for anyone who has faith in him. In contrast, the mythical revivification of Adonis is temporary. He does not defeat death. In fact, he returns to death. His "death and revivification" mirrors that of plants, not people.

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    Plants die in the winter and are revived in the spring. But after the plants are revived, they die again - they return to death, as does the mythical Adonis. Resurrection and revivification are not the same. They are as different as people are from plants. Despite the historical record involving Adonis, and the nature of his revivification, and the actual meaning of the word resurrection, scholars and writers continue to incorrectly claim Adonis' tradition included a "resurrection.

    The online Encyclopedia Mythica, for example, portrays the conception of Adonis as something other than virginal: Her nurse helped her with this trickery to become pregnant, and when Theias discovered this he chased her with a knife.

    To avoid his wrath the gods turned her into a myrrh tree. The tree later burst open, allowing Adonis to emerge. Another version says that after she slept with her father she hid in a forest where Aphrodite changed her into a tree. Theias struck the tree with an arrow, causing the tree to open and Adonis to be born. Yet another version says a wild boar open the tree with its tusks and freed the child; this is considered to be a foreshadowing of his death.

    And, The Library also confirms this tradition, in gentler terms: But when he was aware of it, he drew his sword and pursued her, and being overtaken she prayed to the gods that she might be invisible; so the gods in compassion turned her into the tree which they call smyrna myrrh. Ten months afterwards the tree burst and Adonis, as he is called, was born The Adonis tradition provides an overview of common weaknesses of "copycat" claims - the claims that Christianity copied from other religions or traditions: The alleged similarities between Christianity and paganism often prove to be inconsequential, superficial, or non-existent.

    Both Adonis and Jesus die, but this much we all have in common. Adonis' annual one-day-only revivification, however, is substantially different in detail, nature and theology to the one-time-for-always resurrection of Jesus Christ. And the claim that Adonis was born of a virgin is flatly contradicted by pre-Christian texts that discuss his birth. While it is true that many pagan deities pre-date the time of Jesus, many of their so-called similarities to Christianity don't exist in literature or artwork until after the time of Christianity.

    In the case of the Adonis tradition, the literature alluding to his revivification is too recent to have influenced Christianity's resurrection. Pagan traditions were constantly adopting and adapting, changing and updating. We see this with Adonis in a very fundamental way, in that he was grafted into Greek mythology from a Syrian tradition, which had evolved from the Babylonian legend of Tammuz.

    So even if we have evidence that a pagan cult believed in a particular doctrine after the time of Christianity, we cannot conclude that it held that same belief prior to the time of Christianity. Dionysus also known as Bacchus The mythology of Dionysus has many striking similarities to Christianity, according to some scholars and writers, who claim that Dionysus had a miraculous birth, a mortal mother, a god for a father, as well as a death and resurrection.

    He is even said to have performed a miracle in which he changed water into wine - at a wedding. And, there is actual pre-Christian evidence that scholars and writers can use when attempting to support their claims involving Dionysus.


    One example of this pre-Christian evidence is a play called the The Bacchae, written about BC, about years ago, by a Greek writer named Euripides. In the context of this play, Dionysus disguises himself as a man and returns to the village where his mother died, to avenge her honor. The play makes it clear that Dionysus is a god, that his father is a god, and that his mother was mortal.

    In the mind of some scholars and writers, we have these and other "striking" similarities, neatly packaged in a well-known pre-Christian source. But, as is often the case, a closer look at the "similarities" often reveals striking differences. There are conflicting traditions within the Dionysus mythology as to who his mother is said to be.

    As claimed by Frazer in The Golden Bough, some traditions say that he was born of a deity, such as Persephone, the Greek mythical queen of the underworld, or Demeter, a Greek goddess of agriculture who is sometimes revered as the Mother Goddess. Neither of these traditions allow for any meaningful comparison to the birth of Jesus through a human mother.

    But, in another branch of the Dionysus myth, he is born of a mortal woman named Semele. Aside from his maternal lineage, Dionysus' father is usually said to be Zeus, who in Greek mythology is the king of gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, as well as the god of the sky and thunder. In Roman mythology, Zeus' name is often given as Jupiter. Many pagan deities were known by more than one name. But even the Semele branch of the Dionysus mythology poses problems for people attempting to make comparisons with Jesus.

    And there are differing versions as to how his remains were transferred. In this case, Semele doesn't actually conceive Dionysus, for he had already been conceived, and birthed, by Demeter or Persephone. And there also was a tradition that Semele never actually gives birth to Dionysus, as we learn from Ovid, a first century Roman poet who wrote Metamorphoses. Ovid informs us that Semele asks to see the god who impregnated her.

    The god presents himself as a storm. Although the god tries to restrain himself, he inadvertently kills Semele: The infant Bacchus, still unfinished, is torn from the mother's womb, and if it can be believed is sewn into his father's thigh to complete his full term. Even aside from the mythical traditions in which Semele neither conceives nor gives birth to Dionysus, there remains one more critical difference between her and Mary, the mother of Jesus.
    One path of wine history could follow the developments and science of grape growing and wine production; another might separately trace the spread of wine commerce through civilization, but there would be many crossovers and detours between them.

    However the time line is followed, clearly wine and history have greatly influenced one another. Fossil vines, million-years-old, are the earliest scientific evidence of grapes. The earliest written account of viniculture is in the Old Testament of the Bible which tells us that Noah planted a vineyard and made wine. As cultivated fermentable crops, honey and grain are older than grapes, although neither mead nor beer has had anywhere near the social impact of wine over recorded time.

    This Princess, having lost favor with the King, attempted to poison herself by eating some table grapes that had "spoiled" in a jar. She became intoxicated and giddy and fell asleep. When she awoke, she found the stresses that had made her life intolerable had dispersed. Returning to the source of her relief, her subsequent conduct changed so remarkably that she regained the King's favor.

    He shared his daughter's discovery with his court and decreed an increase in the production of "spoiled" grapes The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology has a web site covering the Origins and Ancient History of Wine with several very interesting and user-friendly articles about the discovery and science of wine's social origin and development. Certainly wine, as a natural phase of grape spoilage, was "discovered" by accident, unlike beer and bread, which are human inventions.

    It is established that wine drinking had started by about BC and possibly as early as BC. The first efforts at grape cultivation can be traced to the area that forms the "Fertile Crescent", around the Caspian Sea and in Mesopotamia, including portions of present-day Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey.

    Excavations from tombs in ancient Egypt prove that wine was in use there by BC. Priests and royalty enjoyed wine, while beer was drunk by the workers. The Egyptians recognized differences in wine quality and developed the first arbors and pruning methods.

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    Archeologists have uncovered many sites with sunken jars, so the effects of temperature on stored wine were probably known. Homer's Odyssey and Iliad both contain excellent and detailed descriptions of wine. Wine was an important article of Greek commerce and Greek doctors, including Hippocrates, were among the first to prescribe it. The Greeks also learned to add herbs and spices to mask spoilage. The foundation and strength of viniculture in Western Europe are primarily due, however, to the influence of the Romans.

    Starting about BC, the Romans made major contributions in classifying grape varieties and colors, observing and charting ripening characteristics, identifying diseases and recognizing soil-type preferences. They became skilled at pruning and increasing yields through irrigation and fertilization techniques. The bottle dates from approximately A.

    The greenish-yellow glass amphora has handles formed in the shape of dolphins. One of several bottles discovered, it is the only one with the contents still preserved.

    The ancient liquid has much silty sediment. About two-thirds of the contents are a thicker, hazy mixture. This is most probably olive oil, which the Romans commonly used to "float" atop wine to preserve it from oxidation. Cork closures, although known to exist at the time, were quite uncommon.

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    Their oil method of preservation was apparently effective enough to keep the wine from evaporation up to modern day. The bottle is on permanent display, along with other wine antiquities, at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz History Museum of the Pfalzworth a visit if traveling near the area of Speyer, Germany. The Romans also adapted wooden cooperage, an invention they acquired with the spoils of conquering Germanic tribes, to wine storage and transportation. This was a great advance for operations previously accomplished in skins or clay jars amphora.

    They may also have been the first to use glass bottles, as glassblowing became more common during this era. Beginning about BC, Roman exploits were as significant as Roman experiments as the armies of Rome planted wine vines in the wake of their conquests, all over the land mass now known as Europe. It wasn't long before these regions began developing their own vineyards and the Roman Emperor forbid the import of French wines to eliminate competition with the local wines.

    Over the next few centuries, France would become dominant on the world wine market. Monastic wineries were responsible for establishing vineyards in Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhine Valley.

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    Sacramental usage preserved wine industry methods and traditions through the dark ages. The end of the Hundred Years War in left the city of Calais as the only French territory still under British control and trade between England and France nearly cut off.

    Political conflicts between England and France ultimately benefitted competition in the export wine market. From untiltariffs restricted French wine imports and encouraged those from Portugal, so the English "discovered" and developed a great love of Port. Exploration, conquest and settlement brought wine to Mexico, Argentina and South Africa in the s and s. Although there were many attempts during this period to plant European wine vines along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of North America and in the Mississippi River basin valleys, none were successful.

    Each vineyard planted would die off within two or three seasons. No one apparently sought to determine why, even though little difficulty was encountered in Mexico or California vineyards.

    In the late s, one answer to this mystery would ultimately prove fatal for nearly all the vineyards of Europe. The success was such that the King of Spain forbid new plantings or vineyard replacements in Mexico afterfearing his colony would become self-sufficient in wine. This edict was enforced for years, effectively preventing a commercial wine industry from forming. As in Europe, however, vineyards survived under the auspices of the church and the care of the missions.

    Father Serra continued to establish eight more missions and vineyards until his death in and has been called the "Father of California Wine". The variety he planted, presumably descended from the original Mexican plantings, became known as the Mission grape and dominated California wine production until about In the s and '60s, the colorful Agoston Harazsthy, a Hungarian soldier, merchant and promoter, made several trips to import cuttings from of the greatest European vineyards to California.

    Some of this endeavor was at his personal expense and some through grants from the state. Overall, he introduced about different grape varieties, although some were lost prior to testing, due to difficulties in preserving and handling. Considered the Founder of the California Wine Industry, Harazsthy contributed his enthusiasm and optimism for the future of wine, along with considerable personal effort and risk.

    He founded Buena Vista winery and promoted vine planting over much of Northern California. He dug extensive caves for cellaring, promoted hillside planting, fostered the idea of non-irrigated vineyards and suggested Redwood for casks when oak supplies ran low.

    French chemist Louis Pasteur, among many discoveries relating to his germ theory of diseases, first proposed and proved, inthat wine is made by microscopic organisms, yeasts.

    This led to the discovery and development of different yeast types and properties and ultimately to better hygiene, less spoilage, and greater efficiency in wine production. Chauvet vineyard and winery, circa Joshua Chauvet planted his own vineyard in Agoston Harazsthy had employed him at one time. Chauvet also started the first brickyard, the first lumber mill. Hotel Chauvet in tiny Glen Ellen still exists today.

    Photo courtesy of Fleet Irvine Photomurals InDr Jules Guyot, another Frenchman, published the first of three treatises describing regional traditional vinicultural and viticultural practices as well as his own observations and arguments on the economy of grape growing. Before these documents, viniculture was a practice that had been apprenticed from generation to generation for over years, with very few written records and no formal instruction.

    These cuttings carried a species of root louse called phylloxera vastatrix which attacks and feeds on the vine roots and leaves. Phylloxera is indigenous to the Mississippi River Valley and was unknown outside North America at the time. Powdery mildew, a fungal disease, also indigenous to North America, had previously migrated to Europe and caused problems in some areas.

    No one, however, had any idea of the wide-reaching destructive potential of Phylloxera. Native American varieties developed resistance to phylloxera by evolving a thick and tough root bark, so that they were relatively immune to damage. The vinifera vines had no such evolutionary protection and phylloxera ate away at their roots, causing them to rot and the plant to die and driving the pests to seek other nearby live hosts, spreading inexorably through entire vineyards and on to others.

    Byphylloxera had spread to vines in Provence. Over the next 20 years, it inhabited and decimated nearly all the vineyards of Europe. Many methods were attempted to eradicate phylloxera: Finally Thomas Munson, a horticulturist from Dennison, Texas, realized that native American vines were resistant and suggested grafting the vinifera vines onto riparia hybrid rootstocks. So, there began a long, laborious process of grafting every wine vine in Europe over to American rootstocks.

    It was only in this manner that the European wine industry could be retrieved from extinction. Downy mildew, another fungal disease in American grapevines, unfortunately probably migrated to Europe on some of the rootstocks imported for grafting. One tragic consequence of the Phylloxera devastation is that many of the native species indigenous to Europe, since they were of negligible commercial value, were not perpetuated by grafting and became extinct.

    There was some debate generated by this replanting that the quality declined in "post-phylloxera" wines. Whether this was indeed the case and whether this was due to the rootstocks themselves or to the relatively sudden and nearly universal youth of the vines, or to changes in vinification techniques, or to some other concurrent factor or variable, is unknown. Undoubtedly, it will remain a matter of theory and opinion and provide animated conversation at wine tastings, but ultimately never be proven.

    European consumer demand was unabated, especially in France, yet the vineyard blights resulted in shortages of wine for many years.

    French producers turned their focus to the French North African colonies of Morocco, Tunisia, and particularly Algeria. Fraud and adulteration became problems. In a short period of just over a decade, Algeria grew into the World's largest wine exporter, taking over the position of France. AC became the model for all wine producing countries to both protect reputations and markets for the wine trade and authenticate product origins for consumers.

    Northern California wine harvest, c. Around the turn of the century, the quality of American wines had reached excellence by international standards, as testified to by the three dozen medals won by them at the Paris Exposition. Photo courtesy of Fleet Irvine Photomurals During the period when the Europeans were contending with phylloxera, the American wine industry was ironically flourishing.

    ByAmerica had a fully developed and proud commercial wine producing business. While it took a hundred years instead of 20 to complete its course, the results were even more devastating. It didn't spread from vineyard to vineyard, but from town to county to state to the entire nation.

    Alcohol abuse and alcoholism and their related problems were much more widespread and affected a radically larger share of America's population in the early and mids than they do at present day. Excessive use, rather than moderate use, was the norm in an era of fewer entertainments and diversions.
    Was James' ossuary found in Israel?

    Is it a really neat hoax? Aramaic and Greek were the most common languages in Palestine at the time. Hebrew was spoken and read by few; it was mainly a religion of the upper classes and of the priesthood.

    Probably because of the low status of women at that time, the name of James' and Yeshua's mother was not included in the inscription. Many speculated that the Yeshua referred to might have been Yeshua of Nazareth, who Christians commonly call Jesus Christ.

    The James referred to would then be the brother of Yeshua mentioned in the Christian Scriptures New Testament Incidentally, the box was empty. If it held James' bones, then there might have been a remote possibility of extracting a DNA signature from the marrow -- an interesting thought. BAR editor Hershel Shanks said: John Kloppenborg is a professor of religion at the University of Toronto.

    His specialties are in early Christian history and epigraphology the study of inscriptions. But in the circle I move in, I have yet to meet anyone who thought the inscription authentic.

    When a person died, their body was typically left in a cave to decompose. A year or so later, when the flesh had rotted away from the bones, the latter were stored in an ossuary.

    This ossuary is typical in size; it measures about 20" long, 10" wide and 12" high. If the James whose bones were once stored in this ossuary was the James, a Jew who led the Jewish Christian movement in Jerusalem, then it would be the most ancient piece of hard evidence of the existence of Yeshua of Nazareth a.

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    The only other evidence from that era is contained in the text of the Bible, the Gospel of Qother gospels and epistles that never made it into the Bible, and in other literary works.

    Unfortunately, the ossuary was allegedly purchased by collector Oded Golan from the antiquities market and was not uncovered in an archaeological find. Archaeologists use the term "unprovenanced" to refer to such objects. Professor Eric Meyers said: We're missing all of the rest of the stuff that could have filled in the blanks. That's very sad and that's why we don't want to encourage archaeological looting and this sort of activity.

    One says that the collector purchased the box about 30 years ago from a Jerusalem antiquities dealer. Another is that it was purchased about 15 years ago. The belief that this was the ossuary of the brother of Jesus was dealt a serious blow when "linguistics experts provided evidence showing that the inscription was dated centuries after the time of Jesus. Is the ossuary a modern forgery? Forgeries of biblical objects and even the biblical text has a glorious two millennia history.

    It was natural for some archaeologists and religious historians to suspect that the inscription or even the entire ossuary is a fraudulent modern copy of a first century object. However, experts have examined microscopically the patina on the box itself and compared it to the patina in the grooves of the inscriptions. Specialists at the Geological Survey of Israel have searched for evidence "of modern pigments, scratches by modern cutting tools or other signs of tampering.

    They extracted some patina -- a cream-colored film on the surface of the stone -- and found that it matched the patina on the inside of one of the letters. The box appeared to be ancient. Can the age of the ossuary be determined? One source said that soil remains were found in the box.

    Other sources state that there was no organic matter associated with the box's creation or use. If the latter is true, then it would be impossible to use carbon dating methods. Even if soil were present, this dating method would only determine the date of the soil, not of the box itself. But it could have originated in the Galilee centuries later.

    French archaeologist, Andre Lemaire, and Dr. Joseph Fitzmyer, a widely respected American scholar of Aramaic, have determined that the dialect in which the inscription is written matches most closely to the Galilean dialect of the late 2nd to 6th century CE.

    There are two indications of this: The suffix "uy" was used on the word "brother" in "brother of Jesus. It is the latter wording that appears on the ossuary. It appears that the box was constructed for a man by the name of James who lived in the Galilee sometime after the first century CE. Could the ossuary have been for the James of the Bible? In order for this ossuary to have been for James, then:
    Aegae was eventually supplanted by a new capital at Pella in the 4th century BCE but retained its status as the spiritual home and burial ground of the Macedonian kings.

    Aegae Becomes Lost to History Both settlements were partially destroyed by Rome in BCE following the Battle of Pydna when Macedonia was finally defeated, and a landslide which buried the older capital in the 1st century, after which it was uninhabited. Only a nearby early Christian basilica built from the stones of the ancient ruins marked the forgotten location.

    In the s, on what had once been the southeast side of the Macedonian royal palace, Greek refugees from the Euxine Pontus region of Asia Minor founded the village of Vergina, and the still unidentified fallen stones were used as masonry in the new houses. Royal Macedonian Burial Mound in Vergina. Professor Manolis Andronikos, a pupil of Romaios, eventually became convinced the so-called Great Tumulus, Megali Toumba, must house the tombs of the Macedonian kings.

    But it was the British historian, Nicholas Hammond, who first voiced the idea in fact in that the ancient ruins lying between Vergina and Palatitsia rather than those at the town of Edessa were in fact the lost city of Aegae, a contention that was not immediately accepted. A model of the tomb of Philip II. CC by SA 3. A more recent analysis suggests that in the holokautoma, the total incineration, his body was wrapped in an asbestos shroud to help separate the bones from the pyre debris.

    Since his death inthe Eucleia and Cybele sanctuaries, the acropolis and vast necropolis with graves dating mostly to the Early Iron Age 1, BCEand the northeast gate, have all been revealed, along with the royal palace, which is now considered to be the largest building in classical Greece. Occupying 41, square feet sq. All in all, some tumuli have been exposed covering over hectares between Vergina and Palatitsia and they reveal the extent of the ancient city, which, with its suburbs, covered some 6, hectares.

    Intending to show the Greek world his impressive enhanced religious capital at Aegae with its revolutionary palace design that would have been visible from afar as visitors crossed the plains below, and when entering its older amphitheater at which the tragedies of the resident Euripides must have once been heard, Philip was stabbed at the wedding of his daughter, Cleopatra, in BCE.

    A bust of Philip II of Macedon. After cremation, the bones were carefully collected and placed in the twenty-four-carat gold chest or larnax weighing 11 kilograms However, the discovery of traces of the rare mineral huntite and Tyrian purple porphyra hint that Philip may in fact have been cremated in an elaborate funeral mask. The gold larnax found in the main chamber, which contained the cremated bones. Image provided by www. Along with two swords and a sarissa pikethey were left to decay in a now collapsed mud brick structure above the tomb.

    Once again, this would have followed the funerary rites Homer described for Patroclus. The Macedonian burial tradition, clearly following a heroic template, may have influenced Plato when he was writing his Laws which outlined the ideal burial in an idealized state. The weaponry is representative of a soldier who fought in both the Macedonian cavalry and infantry regiments. In front of the sarcophagus in the main chamber were found the remains of a wooden couch decorated with five of fourteen finally recovered chryselephantine miniature relief figures thought by some to represent the family of Philip II.

    And the contents are fascinating; they include a Scythian gold gorytos, the distinct two-part quiver that traditionally held arrows seventy-four were found often poison-tipped and unleashed by a compact powerful Scythian compound bow. This is suggestive of a warrior woman whose identity we probe further in the epilogue. The gorytos, along with the exquisite items retrieved from the main chamber of Tomb II, are now on display in the Archaeological Museum at Vergina; the gold wreaths and the diadem have been described as the most beautiful pieces of jewelry of the ancient world.

    The Scythian gorytos quiver and a pair of ornate greaves were photographed as they were found lying in the antechamber. Antikas explains that from to osteological and physiochemical analyses backed by CT and XRF scans X-ray-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray fluorescence have provided new theories regarding age, gender, paleopathology and morphological changes to the bones which are now catalogued by 4, photos.

    Although the new investigations employed the latest tools in the science of physical anthropology that the earlier examinations of teams had not benefitted from in the s, the technology has not yet put an end to the debate. Miltiades Hatzopoulos, summarized the background to the previous research: No doubt there is much more still to be discovered; the recent excavations at the Kasta Hill polyandreion communal tomb at Amphipolis some miles km from Vergina and the newly unearthed tombs at Pella and Katerini, remind us we have only unearthed a fragment of classical Macedonia, and, we suggest, no more than fragments of the story of Alexander himself.

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