2,000 Years Old Roman Pots Containing Demon Traps

Two years ago, a team of archaeologists were excavating an ancient building at Sardis that was constructed after the earthquake. They found two mysterious containers underneath the floor that each held small bronze tools, an eggshell and a coin, resting just atop the remains of an earlier elite building that was destroyed during the disaster. The Sardis settlement, found in modern-day Sart, was situated in the middle of Hermus valley, at the foot of Mount Tmolus. Excavations have previously uncovered a bath-gym complex and a synagogue in the region.

According to Elizabeth Raubolt of the University of Missouri, Columbia, nearly identical ritual deposits dating back to the early Imperial era were found around the Artemis Temple in Sardis during the early 20th-century excavations. And locals seem to have buried strange things under their floors long before the earthquake. The U.S. archaeologists believe the residents of Sardis would have planted the eggs into the ground to prevent another earthquake in the region.
Archaeologists who found them in 2013 suspect the artifacts may have been part of a ritual to ward off disaster.
Credit: ©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis / Harvard University

The Roman historian Pliny wrote about how people would immediately break or pierce the shells of eggs with a spoon after eating them to ward off evil spells. Eggshells were also put inside "demon traps" buried in modern-day Iraq and Iran to lure and disarm malevolent forces, Raubolt explained. And sometimes, whole eggs were buried at someone's gate to put a curse on that person.

In one grisly example, archaeologists in the 1960s found 30 pots and jars dating back to the Lydian period, some 500 years earlier, each containing an iron knife and a puppy skeleton with butchering marks. It's not clear if those "puppy burials" are linked to the later egg entombments of the Roman era, but they at least attest to the long tradition of ritual practice in the region, Raubolt said.

2,000 Years Old Roman Pots Containing Demon Traps 2,000 Years Old Roman Pots Containing Demon Traps Reviewed by Tripzibit on 19:28 Rating: 5

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