Mycenaean grave discovered on Greek island

This is a video from Mycenae, called the Treasury of Atreus.

Associated Press reports:

3,000-Year-Old Tomb Found on Greek Island

Nicholas Paphitis in Athens, Greece

March 6, 2008

Road construction on the western Greek island of Lefkáda has uncovered and partially destroyed an important tomb with artifacts dating back more than 3,000 years, officials said on Wednesday.

The discovery could reopen debate on a major prehistoric puzzle—where the homeland of Homer’s legendary hero Odysseus was located.

The find is a miniature version of the large, opulent tombs built by the rulers of Greece during the Mycenaean era, which ended around 1100 B.C.

Although dozens have been found in the mainland and on Crete (Kríti), the underground, beehive-shaped monuments are very rare in the western Ionian Sea islands, and previously unknown on Lefkáda.

Bronze Age on Lefkáda

“This is a very important find for the area, because until now we had next to no evidence on Mycenaean presence on Lefkáda,” excavator Maria Stavropoulou-Gatsi told the Associated Press.

Stavropoulou-Gatsi said the tomb was unearthed about a month ago by a bulldozer, during road construction work.

“Unfortunately, the driver caused significant damage,” she said.

She said the tomb contained several human skeletons, as well as smashed pottery, two seal stones, beads made of semiprecious stones, copper implements, and clay loom weights.

It appeared to have been plundered during antiquity.

With a nine-foot (three-meter) diameter, the tomb is very small compared to others, such as the Tomb of Atreus in Mycenae, which was more than 46 feet (14 meters) across and built of stones weighing up to 120 tons.

Odysseus’ Home

But it could revive scholarly debate on the location of Odysseus’ Ithaca mentioned in Homer’s poems—which are believed to be loosely based on Mycenaean-era events.

While the nearby island of Itháki is generally identified as the hero’s kingdom, other theories have proposed Lefkáda or neighboring Kefaloniá (Cephalonia).

Stavropoulou-Gatsi said the discovery might cause excitement on Lefkáda but it was too soon for any speculation on Odysseus.

“I think it is much too early to engage in such discussion. The location of Homer’s Ithaca is a very complex issue,” she said.

Mycenaean town discovered: here.

5 thoughts on “Mycenaean grave discovered on Greek island

  1. Greek subway workers discover ancient tombs

    11:38 | 11/ 03/ 2008

    ATHENS, March 11 (RIA Novosti) – Workers digging a subway in the historic city of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, have unearthed a massive tomb, filled with ancient treasures, the state archaeological service said.

    Around 1,000 graves, some of them containing jewels, coins and artworks, were discovered to the east of the city center at the site of a former cemetery.

    Most of the graves date back from the first century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. Thessaloniki was founded in 315 B.C and is believed to have been named after the sister of Alexander the Great by King Cassander of Macedon.

    A separate group of 94 graves was also discovered near the railway station at the site of another ancient cemetery in Thessaloniki. The graves range from plain coffins to five-room marble mausoleums.

    Work on the city’s subway system started in 2006 and city officials say the first 13 stations are to be completed by 2012.

    Similar tombs from the same era were discovered in Athens during excavations in the 1990s prior to the construction of the city’s subway station, but were destroyed by workers. Parts of them are now on display in several metro stations.


  2. Pingback: Odysseus’ palace discovered in Greece (?) | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Ancient Mycenean jewelry discovery in Greece | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: ‘Philistines were not European invaders’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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