Dum lucet - bibamus sodales, (how) do we archaeologists understand the ancients?
The discussion is based on the interpretation of three archaeological finds in Slovenia: I. Can a glirarium serving as an urn in a 2nd-century incinerated grave also be understood as a symbol of eternal life? II. A partially preserved 2nd-century marble statue of a tragic heroine, identified by the author as Dido, has been interpreted by H. G. Frenz asa representation of Medea. However, the small figures attached to the well-carved, even if badly preserved work cannot possibly represent Medea's two young children, since one ofthem clearly shows an elderly, high-ranking man ofvalue. Either this is a new, unfamiliar detail from the Medea story, or the heroine is not to be identified with Medea after ali. III. Drinking vessels, decorated with realistk figures and (or) long inscriptions (bronze vessels, mainly imported, dating from the lst century B.C. to the lst or 2nd century A.D.; glass beakers with reliefs and incarvings from the lst and 3rd centuries; Samian ware - terra sigillata; an ACO beaker with a long inscription; thin wal!ed pottery; face beakers), as well as locally produced house urns and a selection of pots with figures or inscriptions are analysed in regard to how much the decoration reflects their practical use (rare) or use for religious (private much more often than public, especially cemeterial) purposes.
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