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Amphipolis mosaic portrays Abduction of Persephone

Greek archaeologists clearing dirt from the stunning mosaic floor at the burial mound complex at Amphipolis in northern Greece have revealed a third character in the mosaic composition that confirms the scene depicts the Abduction of Persephone.

Amphipolis mosaic portrays Abduction of Persephone
The mosaic on the floor of the Greek tomb shows Persephone, 
daughter of Zeus and Demeter, as she is abducted by Pluto 
[Credit: Greece Ministry of Culture]
According to a statement of Greece's Culture Ministry on Thursday, the third character in the scene is Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and the goddess of agriculture and fertility.

In the mural, which is made up of pebbles in colors that include white, black, grey, blue, red and yellow, Persephone is shown in a white tunic with her hand raised in fear.

Amphipolis mosaic portrays Abduction of Persephone
Persephone, detail [Credit: Greece Ministry of Culture]
"It is obvious this is the mythological representation of the abduction of Persephone by Pluto," the Greek ministry said.

The mosaic scene is now clear: wearing a yellow robe, Hermes, the soul guide, is leading with his winged sandals a chariot. This is pulled by two white horses and driven by a bearded man wearing a laurel wreath on his head and a red robe.

Amphipolis mosaic portrays Abduction of Persephone
Amphipolis mosaic portrays Abduction of Persephone
The mosaic at Amphipolis, like the mural from the Royal Tombs at Aigai,
 portrays the Abduction of Persephone by Pluto to the Underworld  
[Credit: Greece Ministry of Culture]
Although it was initially speculated that the bearded man depicted the deceased interred in the tomb, the scene suggests the bearded character is Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld, who kidnapped Persephone, according to Greek mythology.

The depiction of the abduction of Persephone in the mosaic floor directly links the Amphipolis tomb to tombs in Vergina (Aigai), Greece. A mural representing the same scene was discovered in the royal cemetery of these tombs, where King Philip II, Alexander the Great's father, is buried.

A new 3D video has been released showing the inside of the Kasta Tomb 
and the impressive mosaic that was recently unearthed, complete 
with the three figures of Pluto, Persephone and Hermes 

Editor's Note:  It is therefore almost certain that the tomb belongs to a member of the royal Timenidae family of Macedonia or to one of the senior officials connected with the dynasty.

Author: Rossella Lorenzi | Source: Discovery News [October 16, 2014]

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