Cover of Agora Bone Well

Agora Bone Well

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American School of Classical Studies at Athens


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Even though Dorothy Thompson excavated the Agora Bone Well in 1938, the well and its remarkable finds have never been fully studied until now. Located outside the northwest corner of the Athenian Agora and dating to the second quarter of the 2nd century B.C., the well contained the remains of roughly 460 newborn infants, as well as a few older individuals. Also found in the well were the bones of over 150 dogs and an assortment of other animals, plus various artifacts, including an intriguing herm (treated here by Andrew Stewart) and an ivory chape. In addition to a thorough examination of the contents of the well, the authors provide a thoughtful analysis of the neighborhood in which the well was located and carefully compare the deposit with similar accumulations found elsewhere in the Mediterranean. The product of close cooperation between archaeological, palaeoanthropological, and faunal scholars, this interdisciplinary work will be of interest to a large audience across a variety of fields.

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