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Excavation, Dating and Content of Two Tombs in Daphne, Odos Olgas 53, Athens1

In: Greek and Roman Musical Studies
Author:
Egert Pöhlmann Institut für Alte Sprachen, Universität Erlangen Nürnberg, Erlangen, Kochstraße 4 egert.poehlmann@as.phil.uni-erlangen.de eva.poehlmann@t-online.de

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Abstract

On 13. and 14. May 1981, in the course of emergency excavations in Odos Olgas 53 in Daphne, Athens, two tombs were excavated, the second of which was heralded as the Tomb of the Musician by the press. The contents were transferred to the National Archaeological Museum and later, after restoration, to the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus. In Tomb I there were found the bones of an adult person in his or her 40s, together with four lekythoi, which can be dated by their shape and the style of the paintings to about 430 B.C. In Tomb II there were found the bones of a young adult in his or her early 20s, together with toys, tools, a writing case with stylus and inkpot, fragments of a papyrus scroll and five leaves of two different wooden note-books (polyptycha), together with the remains of a lyre, a harp and one tube of a pair of auloi with mouthpiece. On the papyrus fragments and the polyptycha scanty remains of writing in the Ionian alphabet can be read. Some mythical names point to poetry; musical notation, alleged by the inventory books to be detectable, could not be seen. The harp is an example of the type called the ‘spindle harp’, which is represented on vase pictures from 430 to 410.

Il 13 e 14 maggio del 1981, nel corso degli scavi di emergenza ad Odos Olgas 53, nel sobborgo di Dafne ad Atene, furono scavate due tombe: la seconda tra queste fu annunciata dalla stampa come la Tomba del Musicista. I contenuti furono trasferiti al Museo Archeologico Nazionale e in seguito, dopo il restauro, al Museo Archeologico del Pireo. Nella Tomba I furono trovate le ossa di un adulto/a sui quarant’anni assieme a quattro lekythoi, databili intorno al 430 a.C. sulla base della loro forma e dello stile delle pitture. Nella Tomba II furono trovate le ossa di un giovane adulto/a sui vent’anni, assieme a giocattoli, strumenti, una cassettina per scrittura con stilo e inchiostro, frammenti di un rotolo di papiro e cinque fogli di due diverse tavolette in legno (polyptycha), assieme ai resti di una lira, un’arpa e una canna da una coppia di auloi con imboccatura. Sui frammenti papiracei e sui polyptycha si possono leggere ridottissimi resti di scrittura in alfabeto ionico. Alcuni nomi mitici fanno pensare a un contesto poetico; non è possibile leggere alcuna notazione musicale, come originariamente supposto dai libri d’inventario. L’arpa rappresenta la tipologia della cosiddetta ‘arpa a fuso’, rappresentata sulle pitture vascolari dal 430 al 410.

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