Rich grave offerings dating from the fourth century BC, including exquisite gold and silver jewelry, have been discovered in a crowded ancient cemetery on the northern Aegean island of Thasos, it was announced yesterday. Around 150 artifacts have been excavated so far from the seaside necropolis at Limenas, close to the island's new port. The closely clustered group of graves dates to between the fourth and the first centuries BC. The Culture Ministry said the jewelry included ornate gold earrings decorated with miniature dolphins, flowers and figures of Nike, the goddess of victory, gold necklaces, rings and brooches, silver bracelets, weaving implements, clay figurines and a «unique» collection of pottery. Of perhaps greater significance were the human remains themselves, found in an excellent state of preservation. A study of the skeletons, to be conducted next summer in cooperation with Adelphi University in the USA, is expected to provide valuable information on diseases and causes of death in ancient Thasian society.