Live Science reports that Melania Gigante of the University of Padua and her colleagues analyzed the contents of a 3,000-year-old cremation burial found at the Greek site of Pithecusae, which is located on Italy’s island of Ischia.
It had been previously thought that the burial held the remains of a lone child, but the new study identified the remains of at least three adults, and other small bone fragments thought to have come from sheep, dogs, and birds. The burial also contained a wine-drinking vessel, or kotyle, bearing an inscription stating “I am Nestor’s cup, good to drink from.
Whoever drinks this cup empty, straightaway Desire for beautiful-crowned Aphrodite will seize him.” The reference to the hero Nestor, and the meter of the verse, could reference the epic Greek poem The Iliad, Gigante explained. “This study is only the first step towards a more complete interpretation not only of the Tomb of Nestor’s Cup, but also of the customs and funerary uses at the dawn of Magna Graecia [Greater Greece],” she said.