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By Peter Chrisp

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Statue completed by sculptor SILVER MINES ≤ Athens owned between 10,000 and 40,000 slaves, mostly prisoners of war and convicted criminals, who worked in the state silver mines at Laureion. Conditions were extremely harsh, and the slaves did not survive for many years. After digging out the raw material, slaves crushed, washed, and heated it to separate the pure silver from other materials. inside the SILVER mines MINING SILVER To get at the silver in Laureion, slaves had to tunnel underground, following the veins of silver embedded in the rock.

This 1860s painting by Edgar Degas shows Spartan boys preparing to wrestle. ≤ spartan GIRLs In most Greek poleis, girls had little physical exercise, spending much of their time sitting as they spun and wove wool. In Sparta, however, spinning and weaving were left to slave women. Spartan girls, like the one shown in this 6th-century bronze figurine, had to go through hard physical training to turn them into strong, healthy women. ≤ physical exercise During training, boys lived in boua ("herds").

Altars came in many shapes and sizes, from small plain stone blocks to this vast, elaborately decorated altar to Zeus at Pergamum. Those in danger, such as runaway slaves, threw themselves on the mercy of the gods at the altar. Killing anyone here would bring the god’s anger on the whole polis. SACRIFICES > This statue shows a man carrying a calf to an altar to be sacrificed. Sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle were killed as sacrificial offerings. The choice of animal usually depended on what the worshipper could afford.

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