Ancient World Now:The Bronze Age

Click here for direct link to audio podcast Episode #34.

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The Princess of Vix must’ve been an amazing lady! When she was buried around
480 BCE, they laid her to rest in a chariot and put in her grave an enormous wine-mixing vessel called a krater. The bronze krater was made in Laconia (area around Sparta), or on the island of Rhodes, measures 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weighs 450 lbs. To get an idea how big that is, take a look at the photo of its excavation!

This single archaeological find points to the significance of imported wine to the wealthy Celtic warrior class and to Bronze Age trade between the Mediterranean and Europe. Ah, if we could only catch a glimpse of this maiden. I am quite sure she’d outshine the Mona Lisa. And she would crush her completely in any physical contest! I’d give anything to have her gorgeous gold torque (480 grams & 96% pure gold)!

Margaret Oliphant’s exceedingly useful Atlas of the Ancient World, gives two-page general, but erudite, breakdowns of time periods and civilizations. I reach for it to remind myself which came first, the Sumerians or the Assyrians. Or to answer questions like: when did those crazy Roman emperors rule? Today I read from Oliphant’s section on the Bronze Age.

In addition, I read a section on Bronze Age Trade from The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece by Robert Morkot. These Penguin atlases remain my favorite. If you are following along with my podcasts, this is a good book to get. You can pick it up used from Amazon for a couple of dollars, believe it or not.

Always on the lookout for references to the ancient world in our everyday lives, I found this 70’s punk band called
The Vix Krater! Their logo was this funky sketch of our lady’s famous vessel.

Next week: Crete & the Minoan civilization (Bronze Age continued!)

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