Prehistoric Gorgoneia: a Critical Reassessment

The purpose of this research is to investigate, re-evaluate and synthesize earliest images depicting the Gorgoneion (gorgon’s head) and Gorgon (whole-body). These figures refer to prehistory covering a wide chronological frame in the Aegean World. Ten artefacts in total comprising of pottery, masks, seals are examined simultaneously for the first time. A detailed, critical evaluation of their dating, and the trade connections between mainland Greece and the Aegean are discussed. The issue is about making a symbol of the deceased introduced much earlier than the Archaic and later antiquity, showing the evolution of this form and the associated mythology has deep roots in the remote past. The forms of the Gorgon of the Archaic period depict a monster demon-like bellows, with feathers, snakes or spiral tentacles in the head, tongue protruding from the mouth and tusks. Snakes are the predominant element of this gorgon, which composes the gargoyle’s hairstyle. This figure is identified and appropriately assessed from a dozen of images in pottery and semiprecious stones, in the wider prehistoric Aegean, making the related myths on Gorgon-Medusa interwoven with myths that have had a wide reflection throughout the later ancient times.

ESB in Western Black Sea

The commercial and cultural links between the West-Pontic region and the Aegean basin date well before the appearance of ESB tableware. In this article is analysed the presence of this type of pottery in the Western Black Sea. In the period between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, in this region was recorded 14 forms specific of workshops from Western Asia Minor. In archaeological sites from the Black Sea coast this type of ceramics is encountered in a larger proportion than in the inland settlements. Troesmis on the Danube line is a settlement where a significant amount of ESB has been discovered.