Lead tablets with curses found in Athens

Lead tablets with curses found in Athens

In Athens they have been discovered five lead tables accompanied by curses and dating back about 2,400 years.

They have been found in the grave of a young woman, and of the four tablets it can be said that they were engraved with curses, where the gods of the underworld are invoked. On the other hand, the fifth tablet was blank and it is suspected that it could have been used to perform a spell or incantation performed orally.

According to investigations, it is revealed that the five boards were pierced with a metal nail, presumably made of iron, and later folded and then left in the woman's grave.

One of the curses was made on a marriage of innkeepers named Demetrius and Phanagora, in which it could be read:

Cast your hatred on Phanagora and Demetrios as well as their tavern, property and goods. Unite my enemies Demetrius and Phanagora in blood and ash, with all their dead. I join you in a union, Demetrius, as hard as possible and will strike a kynotos on your tongue.

The word kynotos means dog ear and it is also a word used to define the lowest dice roll there is. On the other hand, the act of driving a nail into the tablet is translated, in a ritual way, as the feeling that is desired to the people who appear on the tablet.

Regarding the woman's tomb, it must be said that it was excavated in 2003 by archaeologists from the Greek Prefecture of Classical and Prehistoric Antiquities. When the tablets were found, they were sent directly to the Piraeus Museum so that they could be studied and obtain as much information as possible.

Ancient beliefs reveal that this kind of boards worked best in an underground place since it was believed that the underground places were an excellent vehicle for curses to reach the underworld, where the gods could carry out the orders of the tablets.

The writing on these tables is also said to be quite clear and very eloquent, suggesting that were written by a scribe specialized in curses. It is also believed that this person was specialized in performing other kinds of services such as spells, hexes, and enchantments.

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Video: Ancient Curse Tablets