Pericles’ Wine Cup Found on Construction Site

Bust of Pericles, Museo Pio-Clementino Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons

A cup dating from the fifth century BC and believed to have belonged to the classical Greek statesman Pericles has been found in a pauper’s grave in north Athens, Art Daily reports.

The shards of the smashed wine cup were found on a construction site in the north Athenian suburb of Kifissia. Archaeologists discovered the name “Pericles” scratched under one of the handles along with five other names.

Archaeologists are almost certain that the cup belonged to the ancient Athenian politician as on of the names included “Ariphron,” Pericles’ older brother. “The name Ariphron is extremely rare,” Angelos Matthaiou, secretary of the Greek Epigraphic Society told Greek daily Ta Nea. “Having it listed above that of Pericles makes us 99 percent sure that these are the two brothers,” he said. Archaeologist Galini Daskalaki added, “This is a rare find, a genuine glimpse into a private moment.”

Pericles was an Athenian General during the city-state’s golden age, he died of the plague in 429 BC during a Spartan Siege.

The cup will be displayed in the autumn at the Epigraphical Museum in Athens.


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