Atalanta’s Wreath?

Since strange archaeological finds are in the news this week, we note with interest the discovery of a gold wreath, found buried with a woman in Thessaloniki, Greece, from about 2,300 years ago.

Although it was found in a grave, we believe the wreath did not belong to its occupant, but to the legendary Atalanta, who frequently spent her Sundays doing her long runs from Boeotia to Thessaloniki. She routinely was awarded the victor’s wreath, and at least one version of her story tells us “the wreath was upon her head of gold,” which isn’t exactly a gold wreath but work with me here.

Atalanta could have easily dropped the wreath from her head as she bent over to pick up a golden apple, as she was wont to do on occasion.

These days women runners are not so easily distracted, but I suspect a few could still be undone by a stack of golden flapjacks.