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Join Patricia Karvelas, ABC broadcaster and proud Greek-Australian, to discover the most intriguing objects from the Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes exhibition from the British Museum. Listen to the complete tour or individual object stories. See images of objects in the transcripts.

Ancient Greeks audio tour with all stops

From heroic statues and battered armour to beautiful amphorae, delicate jewellery and children’s games – every object has a compelling story to tell.
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Presenters: Patricia Karvelas

Introduction

Patricia Karvelas, a proud Greek-Australian broadcaster will be joining you on this tour and sharing with you 20 objects that have been chosen for their beauty, significance, and fascinating stories.
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Presenters: Patricia Karvelas

Statue of Nike

Nike, the goddess of victory, was the goddess whose favours determined the fortune of gods and mortals alike.
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Group of women playing knucklebones

The Ancient Greeks loved games of chance. One of the most popular games was knucklebones.
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Head from a statue of an athlete

Bronze was the prize medium for sculpture and very few large statues have survived from antiquity. The metal was valuable and was often melted down and made into nails and arrow heads.
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Panathenaic prize amphora

This large ceramic container known as an amphora, would once have held olive oil harvested from the sacred olive trees of Athens.
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The Vaison Diadoumenos

This statue is a Roman copy from the 2nd century CE, of a now lost masterpiece of Greek art.
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Handle of a cista (casket)

This statuette brings together two of the biggest names in Greek mythology, the warrior Peleus and the famous huntress Atalanta.
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Head from a statue of Euripides

This marble head is a portrait of one of the three great writers of tragedies in Athens, the poet and playwright, Euripides.
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Volute krater – saving Iphigeneia

This vessel is called a krater and was used for mixing water and wine in a manner similar to the modern punch bowl.
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Aulos (musical pipe)

The Greek flute or aulos, as it was called, was thought to be brought to Greek mainland and islands from central Anatolia, the region of modern-day Turkey.
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Honorary stele – The Apotheosis of Homer

This relief sculpture, by the artist Archelaos of Priene, is a masterpiece from this period of Greek history.
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Statuette of a warrior on horseback – The Armento rider

This small statue from Armento, dates from the 6th century BCE, and is among the earliest works of art to come from the Greek communities of Italy.
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Armour

This collection of armour gives you a good sense of the type of protection worn by heavily armed foot soldiers as they went into battle.
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Engraved sealstone

This gem represents one of the most exquisite examples of high-quality gem carving that survives today.
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Amphora – Labour 3: Capture the Erymanthian boar

This fine example of black-figure painting is attributed to the Antimenes Painter, one of the most prolific artists of the late 6th century BCE.
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Statue of Aphrodite

This statue of Aphrodite is a copy of the lost original and belongs to the 1st century CE.
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Amphora – Killing love

This vase depicts the death of the Amazon queen, Penthesilea, at the hands of Achilles, and was made by arguably the greatest of the Greek black-figure vase painters, the artist Exekias.
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Pinakion (personal identification tag)

For the ancient Athenians, the most democratic way to select a person to carry out a civic duty was sortition, that is to say, choosing people randomly by lot.
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Hydria (water jar) – A woman's realm

This vase shows a large number of well-dressed women gathered at a fountain house. Appropriately, the scene is painted on a hydria, a vessel designed to carry water.
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Gravestone – Phila, the generous benefactor

This stone memorial is evidence of the change in the status of Greek women that occurred in the Hellenistic period, the period that runs from the end of 4th century BCE onwards.
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Frieze block from the tomb of King Mausolus

This sculptural panel comes from one of the ancient world’s most famous buildings, the colossal tomb built for King Mausolus of Karia, the so-called ‘Mausoleum of Halikarnassos’.
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