This ancient Greek wine cup may have the earliest Greek depiction of constellations

This ancient Greek wine cup may have the earliest Greek depiction of constellations

Ancient Greek drinking cups and vessels have plenty of interesting images painted on them: mythological figures, a lively symposium, or even people vomiting. But new research suggests that one wine cup may have one of the earliest known Greek depictions of constellations.

The skyphos — a.k.a., a two-handed wine cup — in question dates to 625 B.C.E. and is on display at Greece's Lamia Archaeological Museum. The cup, which was found in a trench near the seventh-century acropolis of Halai, north of Thebes, was thought to depict a "random assortment of animals," Live Science reports. But in a study published in the journal Hesperia, researchers at the University of Missouri suggest that the animals aren't random at all, but are actually stellar constellations.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us