The Agora Bone Well [Paperback]

Maria A. Liston (Author); Susan I. Rotroff (Author); Lynn M. Snyder (Author)

ISBN: 9780876615508 | Published by: American School of Classical Studies at Athens | Series: Hesperia Supplement | Volume: 50 | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 200p, H279 x W216 (mm) 95 figs, 5 tables

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The Agora Bone Well


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.

Reviews & Quotes

"Depuis la découverte, il aura fallu attendre 80 ans pour aboutir à cette publication de grande qualité, qui intéressera autant les archéologues que les historiens de la religion et de la société grecque."
Guy Ackermann
Museum Helveticum (29/07/2019)

"The publication itself is as significant as its subject: it represents a model for archaeological publications, careful as the authors are to evaluate and integrate multiple lines of evidence and inquiry, consider different interpretations for the formation of the deposit, and engage in differential diagnosis, as it were, for analyses and interpretations."
Debby Sneed
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"'Unlike most multidisciplinary volumes, this text weaves together a clear, concise, and coherent narrative. While the content is academic, the writing shines with an accessible empathy.'"

American Journal of Archaeology

"...this volume represents a well written, engaging story full of sociological insights, unanswered puzzles and human pathos […] All in all, The Agora Bone Well is an example of the best sort of cooperative scholarship our field has to offer."
Kenneth Kitchell
Classical Journal (01/05/2020)

"Cet ouvrage apporte donc un certain nombre de réponses longtemps attendues et constituera, sans aucun doute, une référence très utile et très riche pour tous ceux qui s’intéressent aux pratiques funéraires dans le monde grec antique, en particulier celles liées à la mort des tout-petits."
Reine-Marie Bérard
Revue des Etudes Anciennes (28/10/2019)

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