Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Coffin with scenes from Homer's epics found

A 2,500-year-old stone coffin with well-preserved color illustrations from Homer's epics has been discovered in western Cyprus, archaeologists said Monday.

"It is a very important find," said Pavlos Flourentzos, director of the island's antiquities department. "The style of the decoration is unique, not so much from an artistic point of view, but for the subject and the colors used."

Only two other similar sarcophagi have ever been discovered in Cyprus before. One is housed in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other in the British Museum in London, but their color decoration is more faded, Flourentzos said.

Artists' conception of what Homer may have looked like: