“Αthyrmata” (plur. of athyrma) is the ancient greek word for toys as opposed to games: animal figurines, marbles (spheria), knucklebones (astragaloi), miniature vases, whistles, spinning tops (stromvos), buzzers (iynx), rattles (platagi).
Ancient toys in a box
Learn what is an athyrma (toy or animal figurine), a rattle (platagi), a spinning top (stromvos), a jinx (iynx), marbles (spheria), knucklebones (astagaloi) and play with your friends as children did in ancient Athens.
The ceramic toys by THETIS are wheel-thrown and hand-painted prior to firing following the ancient techniques and materials. As they do not contain any toxic substances or especially small parts they are safe to be used by children, preferably under adult supervision due to the possibility of breakage. Τhey are available in collections for boys and girls blending at least four objects of the above.
In Greece it is used in the context of the primary school 4th grade History lesson “Everyday life in antiquity”.
“Marbles”, i.e. small spheres made from clay, glass, faience or semi precious stones form the basis of innumerable games from prehistoric times to our days. The “marbles” in our collection are either based on ancient prototypes from geometric and archaic settlements in Attica (8th-7th centuries BC), or are decorated in a free style with incised and painted motifs.
Pyxis with marbles and knucklebones
Pyxis: Ceramic cylindrical box with a lid based on ancient prototypes from the 5th cent. BC (see Ancient Agora collection). “Marbles” (spheria) , i.e. small spheres made from clay, glass, faience or semi precious stones form the basis of innumerable games from prehistoric times to our days. The “marbles” in our collection are based on ancient artefacts from geometric and archaic settlements in Attica (8th-7th centuries BC).
Knucklebones (astragaloi): A game of very ancient origin, played with five small objects, originally the knucklebones of sheep, which are thrown up and caught in various ways. The pastern-bone of sheep has six sides, two rounded ends upon which it cannot stand, two broad and two narrow sides, one of each pair being concave and one convex. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey contain allusions to games involving knucklebones. The game of knucklebones was very popular in ancient Greece and Rome and has survived to our days in modern Greece under the name “kotsia”.
Concept - Design EA/THETIS΄ Workshop