The Curses of Ancient Greece: Tablets Found in Athens
In mid-June 2021, researchers from the German Archaeological Institute discovered 30 lead tablets with “cursed” messages in Athens, which are more than 2500 years old. The inhabitants of Ancient Greece thus asked the gods to harm their enemies. The message indicated the name of the recipient – the sender was never mentioned. The tablets were found in a well near Kerameikos, the main burial ground of ancient Athens.
- The well was the only way to “connect” with the underworld, since during the reign of Demetrios of Phaleron (317–307 BC), the townspeople were forbidden to bring such messages to the cemetery
- In addition to the well, the Athenians sometimes put cursed objects in tombs, hoping that the dead would take spells to the underworld