Erotic Vase Find from Sozopol

As often, something seems lost in translation in this one from Focus Fen:

A Greek painted vase with erotic scene on it was discovered during excavations in the Bulgarian coastal town of Sozopol. Professor Bozhidar Dimitrov, Director of the Bulgarian National Museum of History, announced the news exclusively for FOCUS News Agency.

One of the oldest Greek painted vases found on Bulgarian territory was discovered during excavations, which started in October 2011, at the fortified wall of Sozopol and the St Nicolas the Wonderworker Church in the beginning of the old town. It was discovered in the lowest layers, remains of Sozopol’s history of the end of the VII and the middle of the VI centuries Before Christ.

“There is a strong erotic scene on the vase, which unfortunately was discovered in several fragments. There are several naked young boys and girls, having sex in some untraditional way. Such a scene is found for the first time on the territory of our country,” Dimitrov said.

“The scene is a rarity, we have thousands of vases found here, but this is the first one with such a scene on it. We have seen similar items in Greece. The Ancient Greeks used to consider sex a free gift from the Gods; it is for the Christian Church to be the first to start labelling what is right and what is wrong in the sex. It imposes restrictions, allowing only one position between the man and the woman and it is not by chance that this position is called ‘monastic’. For good or evil, the Ancient Greeks did not think this way,” Dimitrov commented further.

Lacking a photo, I guess we’ll have to let our imaginations run wild with the “untraditional way” phrase. I recall a similar phrase in a translation of Herodotus … if I get some time I’ll try to track it down …

ADDENDUM (the next day): The coverage from the Sofia Echo is rather more clear and includes some other information, to wit:

[…] Archaeologist Dimitar Nedev told Focus that there were such erotic scenes in finds from ancient Greece, but none so large, expressive and done by such a good artist.

According to a preliminary analysis of the style, the painting was made by one of the prominent artists in Apollonia – the Artist of the Running Satyr.

The painting is comprised of seven figures; the scene is erotic, with good style, expressive and very “spicy”, Nedev was quoted as saying.

He said that the find would widen the knowledge of the region, its trade contacts, and the aesthetic and artistic criteria of ancient Hellenes and Thracians who used to live in this region.

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