“Lady in Gold” unearthed on Crete

Archaeologists made an important discovery when they unearthed an ancient female skeleton covered with gold foil in a grave in the ancient city of Eleutherna on the northern foothills of Mount Ida near Rethymno, Crete. The finding dates back to the early Archaic Period.
The findings were inside a 2,700-year-old twin tomb, the only one in ancient Eleutherna, located very close to a necropolis of fallen warriors. The woman, of high social or religious status, was interred with a second skeleton in a large jar placed behind a false wall, to ward off body snatchers.
The tiny gold ornaments, ranging from 1 to 4cm long, in different forms (square, triangle, and diamond-shaped) were found next to the remains of the woman, discovered a few weeks ago by a team led by archaeology professor Nicholas Stampolidis of the University of Crete – head of the Eleutherna excavation.
A unique jewelry piece depicting a bee as a goddess was also found amongst the thousands of gold plaques. Excavators also unearthed perfume bottles, hundreds of amber, rock crystal and faience beads and a gold pendant in the form of a bee goddess.
The findings are so extraordinary that they justify the decision made recently by the Archaeological Institute of America to include the excavations at ancient Eleutherna among the best worldwide.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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Melina Mercouri: A tribute to the “last Greek Goddess”

Sixteen years have passed since Melina Mercouri, one of the great women of Greece, died on March 6, 1994. On the 16th anniversary of her death, as well as of International Women’s Day (March 8), the Eugenides Foundation is hosting an exhibition-tribute to the late, multifaceted actress and politician, emphasizing her relationship to education and culture. 
Internationally acclaimed actress, singer and politician, Melina was characterized by many as the epitome of womanhood, as well as the “last Greek Goddess.”
An ardent supporter of the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, Melina, as minister of Culture, openly claimed them and devoted herself to this goal.
The exhibition titled “Melina-Education-Culture” will run from March 9 to April 8. 
Melina Mercouri Foundation: www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr
Greek News Agenda: Melina Mercouri: “Culture is Greece’s heavy industry

Eleusinian Mysteries

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Eleusinian Mysteries were secretive ceremonies of initiation into the cult of Demeter and Kore (Demeter’s daughter Persephone), whose main sanctuary lay in Eleusis, west of Athens.  Demeter was the goddess of agricultural abundance, and Persephone, Demeter’s daughter was the goddess of the Underworld and of fertility of the earth.  

Demeter and Kore, as well as Dionysus, god of wine and ritual ecstasy – were central figures in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which represented the foremost mystery cult in ancient Greece.  The low and frequently overlooked ruins lying beside the path that leads down the northern slope of the Acropolis into the Agora are the crumbling walls and terraces of a building complex that once played a major role in ancient Greek religious life – the City Eleusinion.  Archaeological traces of the once-celebrated rites stretch across the Attic landscape from the Athenian Agora and the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos to the intriguing sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis.  Athens Plus (23.10.2009): Secrets of Eleusinian Mysteries still confound (p.12)   Photo: Demeter and Persephone stand on either side of a nude youth. Fragments of the Great Eleusinian Relief (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Award to the Greek Film: “The Secret of the Snake Goddess”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The film titled “The Secret of the Snake Goddess” is a Canadian – German – Greek co-production. The Greek company Anemon Productions and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) have produced it and the documentary has won awards in Canada and Greece.  It will be broadcast by the slot “Doc on Air” by the Hellenic Broadcast Corporation’s channel ET-1 on January 5, 2009. This is the story of the discovery of Knossos and the Minoans by Sir Arthur Evans in the beginning of the 20th century. Following Canadian archaeologist Alexander MacGillivray, the documentary travels from Crete to Boston, New York and Toronto, to discover the secrets behind the most famous Minoan masterpieces. Film Awards: Yorkton Film & Video Festival (May 2008), Golden Sheaf Award for Best Documentary – History; International Science Film Festival: Athena Award – Special Mention of Art  J. Alexander MacGillivray: Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000).