Science to test Argonaut myth

Gold jewelry found last year in an unplundered Mycenaean royal tomb on the outskirts of Volos will be tested for links with one of the most enduring ancient Greek myths, the Argonauts’ expedition, an archaeologist said yesterday. The 14th century BC treasure – gold beads from necklaces and jewelry made of gold and semiprecious stones – was found with vases and other offerings in four pits inside the tholos tomb, a beehive-like subterranean structure usually associated with Late Bronze Age royal burials. According to local antiquities director Vassiliki Adrimi-Sismani, the Culture Ministry has approved tests, to be conducted by June with Louvre Museum experts, to determine the gold’s provenance. «We want to investigate to what extent our area had contacts with the Black Sea, that is to what extent the myth of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece has to do with the gold we found,» she said. The myth tells how King Jason of Iolkos, near Volos, led an expedition to Colchis, in modern Georgia, to steal a golden ram’s skin. This may allude to trade deals with the gold-rich region.

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