Bronze Age Eleusis and the Origins of the Eleusinian by Michael B. Cosmopoulos

By Michael B. Cosmopoulos

For multiple thousand years, humans from each nook of the Greco-Roman international sought the wish for a blessed afterlife via initiation into the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis. In antiquity itself and in our reminiscence of antiquity, the Eleusinian Mysteries stand out because the oldest and so much venerable secret cult. regardless of the large acclaim for the Eleusinian Mysteries, their origins are unknown. simply because they're misplaced in an period with out written files, they could purely be reconstructed with assistance from archaeology. This booklet presents a much-needed synthesis of the archaeology of Eleusis through the Bronze Age and reconstructs the formation and early improvement of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The dialogue of the origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries is complemented with discussions of the theology of Demeter and an replace at the nation of analysis within the archaeology of Eleusis from the Bronze Age to the tip of antiquity.

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Extra resources for Bronze Age Eleusis and the Origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries

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At that time the village had about fifty huts and the mansion of the Turkish governor of the area. 8 later travelers and the dilettanti expeditions 1765–1860 At about the same time, the first serious interest in exploring the site was expressed by the Dilettanti Society. Richard Chandler, accompanied by the architect Nicholas Revett and the painter William Pars, visited the site during the first expedition of the Dilettanti in Asia Minor in 1765–1766. 9 They called it “Saint Demetra,” a saint whose story had many similarities to the myth of Demeter and Persephone – except that her daughter had been abducted by the Turks, not by Hades.

3 topography and geology The ancient site of Eleusis is located in the western end of the Thriassion plain, a large alluvial plain of about 350 sq. , which extends from Mt. Aigaleon in the east to Mt. Parnes and Mt. Pateras in the west and from Mt. Kithairon in the north to the Eleusis bay in the south. In the west the plain is broken by low hills of Late Cretaceous limestone; the rest is made up of Pleistocene sediments, with several hills made of limestone and dolomites of Triassic–lower Jurassic age.

5 This extension stretched the crust, creating blocks separated by faults. 6 The mineral-rich sediment that resulted in the fertile soils of the Thriassion plain was deposited during the late Neogene and early Quaternary. Following the uplift of the surrounding mountains, weathering and erosion transported rock from the mountains down into the basin. About 200 meters of LANDSCAPE AND ENVIRONMENT 1. Map of Attica showing Eleusis and surrounding topographic features. Prepared by Dr. 7 The soil of the Thriassion Plain is a Fluvisol, which is a young, alluvial, and usually fertile soil, whereas the surrounding mountains have a thin Leptosol soil.

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