Sunday, October 12, 2014

Greek Ministry of Culture, Press Release 12-10-2014

12 October, 2014

Excavations proceed on Kasta Hill, Amphipolis, from KI' Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

Continued the gradual removal of part of the fill, the second room, behind the Caryatids until the surface of the floor was to a depth of 6m. from the dome. Removing the backfill revealed a big part of the mosaic floor, which covers the entire surface of space ie 4.5m. wide by 3 m. along. (Photo 1).

The mosaic is made of small pebbles: white, black, greyish, blue, red and yellow. The main scene is surrounded by a cartouche [frieze], width 0.60 m., which is composed of a double loop and blocks (photo 2). The background of the scene is in shades of gray-blue.

The main scene depicts a chariot in motion, drawn by two white horses (photo 3), which draw a bearded man with a laurel wreath on his head (photo 4). In front of the chariot is shown the god Hermes as psychopomp [meaning "a conductor of souls to the afterworld"], who once petasos, jacket, winged sandals and holding caduceus (photo 5) [these things identify the figure as Hermes psychopomp]. The composition is directed from east to west.

The [mosaic displays excellent craftsmanship] in the art of detailed characteristics of both [human] forms and horses, as well as in the harmony of colors. The modern synthesis is the burial complex dated to the last quarter of the 4th century BC [assertion that the mosaic provides additional evidence of a tomb date of last quarter of the 4th century BC?]. The mosaic has been damaged in the center, in the shape of a circle, diameter 0,80m. However, many parts of the damaged portion were found in sandy embankment. Over the next few days [we] will try welding and restoration, to synthesize, to the extent possible, the overall picture of the [procession].

The mosaic floor, east to west, has [not?] been revealed in its entirety, as the excavation is still ongoing in these parts. In the south of the mosaic floor and between the piers of the Caryatids was revealed a limestone threshold, covered with white plaster. To the north of the floor revealed the marble threshold of the door leading to the third space, decorated with Ionic molding at the bottom of the (photo 6, 7). [NOTE: The excavation is apparently proceeding from north to south. The third chamber has the mosaic floor with the horse scene. The fourth chamber, to the south, has not been excavated yet. The entrance to the fourth chamber is between the caryatids and originally had a marble door, suggestive of a tomb.]

Also identified, just below the doorframe, inwardly of the third space, a further two portions of the door panels of marble.

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