A cursed vessel under the Ancient Agora of Athens


The archaeological excavations in Greece never cease to amaze. The discovery of a vessel under the Athenian agora in 2006 by M. Handler, from the University of Cincinnati, did not generate greater expectations than the majority of ceramics found, which end up being stored waiting to analyze their iconography or the names written on them. , which are usually their authors or owners. However, this vessel turned out to be very special, as Professor Jessica Lamont, from Yale University, recently published in the American magazine Hesperia. It was, nothing more and nothing less, than a vessel intended to curse the 55 people who were inscribed on the outer surface of the vessel, along with words typical of Greek curses, such as bind or consume. Inside the vessel they introduced the severed head and destroyed lower limbs of a young chicken, which would not have been a year old at the time of sacrifice, and pierced the bones with a huge iron nail, another example clearly comparable to the Mediterranean execrations

 And along with all this, a bronze coin.The intention, then, is clear: the aim was to ensure that the people inscribed on the vessel were incapable of "thinking" or "moving", as defenseless as the chicken in the ritual had been, and, perhaps, aided by the magical power that It supposes its presence in a kind of intentional animal cemetery, since pyres with remains of other animals that were sacrificed were found around the vessel. It is, without going any further, a 2,300-year mooring of destruction, a surprisingly elaborate curse if we compare it to papyri or lead tablets.

Archaeologists also emphasize the container and the location where it was found, and experts emphasize the unusual number of victims, many of whom are women. Everything indicates that it could have been a judicial complaint seeking to silence witnesses, incapacitate judges or prevent the participation of opponents. The area found, the plaza, makes Lamont think that, perhaps, this vessel belonged to one of the artisans who had their shop there, and that he probably found himself in the problem and requested expert help, but with the materials he had. more at hand.
What saddens us most is that we will probably never know whether or not witchcraft was on the side of truth, nor whether the curse worked.

Here we leave you the link to Greek Reporter, one of the first places where this news appeared to the general public:
https://greekreporter.com/2021/06/01/ancient-greece-jar-contained-curse-to-kill- paralyze-55-people/

And the link to the JSTOR platform, which contains the article published in the Hesperia magazine:

Pietro Viktor Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com

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