Archaeological Museum of Eretria:

Terracotta figurine of a centaur (950-900 B.C), from the cemetery at Leukanti.

This is the earliest known representation of the mythical creature. It was found broken in two pieces with each individual piece at a different tomb, an indication that it was shared between two owners.

There is some discussion if the symbols painted on horse figures were also painted on actual horses. To me it also seems as if he is wearing a harness of some sort.

Archaeological Museum of Isthmia:

Black and White tessellated floor with marine scenes, from the Roman Bathhouse.

Archaeological Museum of Isthmia:

Black and White tessellated floor with marine scenes, from the Roman Bathhouse.

The splendid geometrical designs that frame the main scene.

Archaeological Museum of Isthmia:

Black and White tessellated floor with marine scenes, from the Roman Bathhouse.

The blue of the ancient greek world:

The earliest blue in the ancient greek world has been found in pigment lumps within Cycladic vessels- it was perhaps used both as a cosmetic and a pigment for painting sculptures and murals. Later on the Minoans and the Mycenaeans imported lapis lazuli from modern day Afghanistan, as well as blue faience objects from Egypt. Later on the Mycenaeans finding lapis lazuli too expensive developed their own blue-mainly for the production of blue glass- known as “κυανή” (cyane).

Sometimes I come across some terrible misunderstandings about ancient greek art- and life in general- being parrotted not by social media users in their teens and tweens, but primarily by respectable institutions. One of those, some years ago, was that the ancient greeks did not have any notable production of significant wooden objects- they had astounding furniture and sculpture btw, it’s just the climate that doesn’t favour their survival.

The most recent such misunderstanding is the dismissive one-liner in this BBC documentary about how ancient greeks did not have the color blue in their art, because they did not have it in their vocabulary (not the only mistake in this documentary). Actually, they had the color blue practically everywhere, blue is in fact omnipresent in art within greek space from the neolithic era to today. And it’s an integral color to the palette of the ancient greek world.

After all the greek world is always surrounded by the clear sky and the ever moving sea, how could blue not be in its collective mind.

Archaeological Museum of Eretria:

Banqueting platters.(Classical)

The first one was for serving fish. The dip in the center was for serving some type of broth or sauce along with the fish.

Archaeological Site of Eretria/ House of Mosaics:

Mosaics from the House of Mosaics. (Hellenistic)

I would have liked to have taken some better pictures, but works in the site are still in progress so it can become a unified tourable archaeological site- there is also a stadium, a theater and several residences. The House of Mosaics is actually housed inside a small building which cannot be visited, and I had to take a picture from behind a glass door.

Still you can see that it is a mosaic in the macedonian style, with the designs rendered in colourful pebbles. There are several floral motifs, scenes with lions, griffins and sphinxes, as well as an armed nereid on a seahorse.

*It might look as if I used my camera’s flash, but I didn’t- I just brightened it a bit in photoshop. Never use flash while photographing antiquities. All museums and sites ban flash photography.

Archaeological Museum of Eretria:

Terracotta application of a head of Medusa, from the “House of Mosaics” (370-300 B.C)

I wanted to get a good frontal picture of this particular artifact, but this strategically placed reflection was impossible to get rid off. I guess Medusa still has it.