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Where myth and archaeology meet: Discovering the Gorgon Medusa's Lair.

Finlayson, C, Gutierrez Lopez, JM, Reinoso Del Rio, MC, Saez Romero, AM, Giles Guzman, F, Finlayson, G, Giles Pacheco, F, Abulafia, D, Finlayson, S, Jennings, RP and Rodriguez Vidal, J (2021) Where myth and archaeology meet: Discovering the Gorgon Medusa's Lair. PLoS One, 16 (4). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Here we report the discovery of ceramic fragments that form part of a Gorgoneion, a ceramic image representation of the Gorgon Medusa. The fragments were found in a deep part of Gorham's Cave, well known to ancient mariners as a natural shrine, between the 8th and 2nd century BCE. We discuss the context of this discovery, both within the inner topography of the cave itself, and also the broader geographical context. The discovery is situated at the extreme western end of the Mediterranean Sea, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. The location was known to ancient mariners as the northern Pillar of Herakles, which marked the end of the known world. We relate the discovery, and its geographical and chronological context, to Greek legends that situated the lair of the Gorgon sisters at a location which coincides with the physical attributes and geographical position of Gorham's Cave. We thus provide, uniquely, a geographical and archaeological context to the myth of Perseus and the slaying of the Gorgon Medusa.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Where myth and archaeology meet: Discovering the Gorgon Medusa’s Lair, Finlayson C, Gutierrez Lopez JM, Reinoso del Rio MC, Saez Romero AM, Giles Guzman F, et al. (2021) Where myth and archaeology meet: Discovering the Gorgon Medusa’s Lair. PLOS ONE 16(4): e0249606. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0249606
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 10:09
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 10:09
DOI or Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249606
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14770

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