The Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus, has announced the completion of the 2017 season of archaeological excavations at the Bronze Age settlement of Kisonerga-Skalia near Paphos, conducted by a University of Manchester mission, under the direction of Dr Lindy Crewe (Director, Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute). The site exhibits a long Bronze Age sequence, and earlier Late Chalcolithic occupation, beginning before 2,500 BC until abandonment around 1600 BC.

The aims of the season were to continue to expose the latest phases of occupation preserved at the site. In the north of the area under excavation, the preserved occupation dates to the Chalcolithic period. Here an interesting area of Chalcolithic pit graves was revealed.

Although there were no grave goods to securely date the four burials excavated, sherds within the deposits indicate a likely Middle Chalcolithic date. This is important as it was previously thought that the burials at the neighbouring settlement of Kisonerga-Mosphilia were all associated with houses.
Further southwards, a building complex dating to Middle Cypriote III–Late Cypriote IA1 was revealed. There is no later occupation indicated during the Bronze Age. This final phase at the site is characterised by the construction of a large complex of over 1200m2 devoted to industrial activities, including beer production and large-scale cooking or firing.

Other activities undertaken include spinning fibres and grinding grain. This complex was built over the ruins of earlier Bronze Age houses and appears to indicate a community-wide effort of construction. This unusually large open space may have been used for gatherings or another unknown function.

In Area P/B2 an area of 55m2 was exposed. Two parallel long walls, seen on upper and lower part of Figure 1, appear to form a contained space. On the interior faces of both walls we have investigated wall tumble and superstructure collapse, suggesting that this area may have been roofed. A sounding dug between the walls revealed an underlying area of destroyed building material and extensive ashy deposits. The sequence of events suggests a deliberate destruction of an earlier Bronze Age built feature.

Further areas of stone wall tumble were associated with the wall seen upper left in fig. 1. The wall tumble was removed to reveal a series of two floor deposits. Lying beneath wall collapse and above the upper surface, the upper portion of a terracotta figurine was retrieved (fig. 2). This figurine is unusual but it is probably of Middle Cypriot date. Very few figurines of this period are known and all have variable characteristics. Its decoration is of local Kissonerga style, comprising impressed circles with a central dot and lines framing a row of dots. The figurine has a very elaborate hat and triple pierced ears.

There are still areas of the final phase complex to be revealed at Kisonerga-Skalia. It is hoped that in future seasons evidence for the nature of the occupation and the activities being undertaken at the site will be revealed. Outstanding questions remain: why was such a large complex constructed and only occupied for maybe one or two generations? What was the function of the large open area and why were so many large-scale heating/burning installations constructed?
Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor from 161 to 180, ruling jointly with Lucius Verus until Verus' death in 169 and jointly with his son, Commodus, from 177. He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is a significant source of our modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. It is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy.

I'd like to share a quote today, as I spoke to a young woman late last night, who wondered if the Gods were real--who had started to doubt. I sent her this part of the Meditations, and it seemed to sooth her worries. I hope it does the same for you, should you ever doubt.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 2.11-12

“Do, say, and think each thing as if it is possible to die right now. To leave the discussion of human affairs, if there are gods, it is nothing terrible—for they would not ensnare you in evil. If, moreover, there are no gods—or if the realms of men are not their concern—why would I live in a universe emptied of gods or their foresight?

No, there are gods and they are concerned with the affairs of men. And they have completely arranged it that the human race many not fall into evils that are truly evil. And if there is any evil in what remains, they would have foreseen this too, so that it would not be possible for us to fall into it completely. How can anything make a human life worse which cannot make the person worse?

The nature of the totality could not have overlooked this because of ignorance, or, if knowledgeable, because it was incapable of guarding against or correcting these things. Nor could it have made so much a mistake because of inability or lack of skill that good and evil things would happen to good and evil people indiscriminately. Nevertheless, death and life, fame and infamy, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these things are indications of good and even among men even though they are not intrinsically noble or shameful themselves. Therefore, they are not good or evil.

How swiftly everything disappears—in the universe, the bodies themselves, and in time, their memories with them. What kinds of things are all those sensed goods, especially those that delight us with pleasure or terrify us with pain or are shouted out because of pride! How simple, and despicable, and filthy, and temporary, and dead! It is the mark of our intelligence to recognize this—what these things are whose beliefs and voices obtain fame; what it means to die, and, if a person looks at dying itself and disentangles its phantom fears with a portion of his intelligence, he will suppose that it is nothing else than the work of nature. If the work of nature frightens someone, he is a child.”

Thank you all for the prayers! The fever has started to drop--which is a great relief! I'm going to try to get back to regular posting tomorrow. One more video today, which had me in stitches but which is also educational: The Try Guys Try The Ancient Olympics. See you tomorrow!

Still sick. More sick, actually, which is not how it's supposed to be, I think. If you have a prayer to Asklepios to spare, I'd be much obliged. For today: humor. I needed a good laugh!

Sorry, I'm still as sick as a dog. As such, I'm still mostly stuck browsing YouTube. I'm not a Star Wars fan (I was raised a Trekkie), but even I know the theme song. For those of you who do not, this is it. This is what it would sound like on ancient Hellenic instruments, and it's kind of awesome. The second half of the video shows which instruments were used and what defines them, so I'm just going to leave you with it. Back to bed with me!

My lovely girlfriend, who catches every flu in town, has finally managed to pass one on to me, so I am officially phoning in sick. I'm not going to leave you without a post, though! Since I'm reduced to spending my day surfing the web and watching bad movies, I've stumbled upon something very awe-inspiring.

Photographer Dustin Farrell spent the summer of 2017 chasing storms while toting a 4K camera rig that takes 1000 frames per second of raw, uncompressed footage. (For comparison: most movies are shot at 24 frames per second.) After driving 20,000 miles over a 30-day period, he had recorded 10 terabytes of data, which he then whittled down to 3:18 of spectacular video. Make sure to turn the volume up!

If anyone has to ask why I'm sharing it with you on Baring the Aegis, well, you might be in the wrong place. Bless Zeus!

I know at least a few people who frequent Baring the Aegis are users or proponents of divination via tarot cards, so I thought I'd share: Calliopi Kapousizi currently has a fundraiser up on IndiGoGo for a Hellenic mythology tarot that's quite pretty!

"In the ancient times of Greece the Oracles had a role in people’s lives. Answers would be given to questions about the future and history was written according to what the Fates determined. Oracles, secrets and mysteries in the ancient times are things that are possible to experience today by using the cards of the “Tarot of Fates” deck and find the answers to matters that trouble us. It was done then, in the ancient times and it is done again today. All you have to do is believe and you can find the oracle hidden in you.

As Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured it allotted to each person with her measuring rod and finally Atropos, inevitably, would cut the thread of life. She chose the manner of each person’s death and when their time was come, she cut their life thread with her shears.

So, Lachesis presented the things that were, Clotho the things that are and Atropos the things that are to be. Goddesses of great honor, placed by the side of Zeus said to be the daughters of Nyx and sisters of the Hours.

The interpretations of the cards are easy and clear. The images and figures have been carefully selected because the meanings hide stories to be explored based upon the history of such an important civilization. The book that is included contains stories for each figure, so that you can learn and therefore understand more about the meanings of the cards and any deeper meanings that are hidden.

My goal is to bring to all of you the chance to get to know piece by piece, story by story my country’s history and to use your imagination to discover the mystical part of the ancient Greek world where divinity always played an important role.

Collecting funds for the “Tarot of Fates”, will provide us the ability to pay for the printing (making a start with 500pcs) and promotion expenses. Even though we believe that you will spread the word after seeing our work, we won’t stop there. An e-shop with amazing Greek products such as clothes, jewelry, decoration, shoes, games and much more is being prepared. And if we reach the goal x4 android + ios applications is also planned. And our journey will begin thanks to your help."

It's not a  "standard" deck (which has 78 cards with 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards divided into four suits), but consists of 57 cards and an instruction manual for use. They also offer other purchases like shirts and jewelry connected to the imagery of the cards.

If you'd like to check it out, go here.