Friday, May 20

The Mysterious Skull With The Golden Wreath Of Protection

skull with gold wreath
I photographed this skull with a gold wreath while in Crete. It was discovered while excavations were taking place and is believed to have been that of an athlete.

Gold Roman ringIn the second large photo below a coin is also shown which was found inside the skull's mouth. This is a silver tetradrachm from the Cretan city of Polyrrhenia from the period of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37AD).

The coin was placed in the mouth of the deceased as Charon's fare for passage to the underworld.

The ring was found in the left hand of what is believed to have been an athlete. Though not very clear the stone has a picture of a female hanging a shield, or trophy on a column - indicating his prowess in his field.

The gold wreath indicates the deceased's success in athletic contests and also alludes to posthumous deification. The wreath has also a supernatural side in that it offers protection from demons.

For some reason I feel that the athlete would be proud that his skull, wreath and ring are on display some 2000 years following his death - a form of immortality.

2000 year old skull with golden wreath
However some bones and skeletons I think should be left in peace - see photo below.

3000 year old Minoan skeleton
To me these bones have an element of sadness about them. They are very ancient, from the Crete Minoan period, and could well be several thousand years old. Some things though should perhaps be allowed simply to rest.

See also: The Crete Coincidences And What Is Really Important.

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  1. I must admit I'm torn between fascination about the like of an athelite who lived o long ago and the idea of respecting the dead.

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  2. If we left everything to rest then we may not have the historical knowledge we have now, but I understand your view. The skull and wreath is amazing, great post (of course!)

  3. i do so appreciate the historical significance of these magnificent remains and feel as you do that this athlete might well be pleased with his status - such as it is with his remains - of immortality - and of perhaps, even, the gift to the world he gives us and honors us with by allowing them to be seen - and at the same time am totally empathetic/sympathetic to the position of allowing all remains to remain in their resting place - a fine line but i am so grateful to be able to witness their life and their world -

  4. never seen a skull wreath like this before to think it has been around for 2000 years amazing. agree we should respect the dead but they are only bones

  5. Wow, how did I miss THIS post?
    Wonderful post, Mike. I agree, there is an element of sadness about these bones. Who were these people? What were their lives like?

  6. Anonymous00:36

    I think the dead need respect. If it were up to me, we would leave them in the ground where their lives once were (just personal thoughts).

  7. Anonymous18:40

    I have searched my entire life for 'meaning' or a spiritual 'truth'. Not just 'my truth' ...The Truth. I think if it were my bones I would be happy to help any future generations of mine in their search for meaning. (but those are just my thoughts as well). I love your blog by the way Mike, I found it in my never ending quest for truth. :) Regards,

    1. Thanks Lisa. Good luck with your continued search.

  8. Anonymous16:51

    Its funny, but no mention about this discovery in the Greek newspapers, nor on TV news. Being Greek and living in Greece, this was apparently hush-hush, for reasons unknown. Or maybe they did not consider it of importance, to inform us. Maybe it will go on sale, just like many other ancient artifacts. Politicians do need money, u know!!!! Lina

  9. Crete has fascinating art and architecture. They lauded athletics. Bull riding originated there as well. :)