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

In: Greek and Roman Musical Studies
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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.

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