Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jason's Golden Fleece ID'd

Greek mythology, like the Bible, is basically "legendary history".  It isn't all true, but it is grounded in historical events and places.  The most famous example, of course, is the historical existence of Troy and the Trojan Wars, although we can never know for sure if this war really involved a hollow wooden horse used to perpetrate treachery.

Recently, the Golden Fleece in the story of Jason and the Argonauts, has been identified with the Svaneti region on the Black Sea Coast of the Caucasian Republic of Georgia where sheepskins are used to collect gold flakes from eroding deposits in stream bed, much as they have in historically attested writings since 0 CE. It makes since, therefore, that this place could also have been the mythical part of the Colchis kingdom (also transliterated "Kolchis") on the Black Sea coast where the golden fleece myth originates from the Bronze Age Mycenean Greek people.

There are also remains of "warrior women" in Georgia, a bit further inland, correlated perhaps to the tale of the Amazons in roughly that region in the Argonauts story.

Interestingly, this would make sorceress and legendary tragic bad mother Medea ethnically Southern Caucasian, one of several points in the Argonaut story (another being the women of the island of Lemnos, which was one of the last to have a non-Indo-European language flourishing on it) where there is an interface between the pre-Greek and proto-Greek people (Jason had a Greek father and a pre-Greek mother).

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