Mycenean-era tomb with grave goods discovered in Salamina
A Mycenean chamber tomb with grave goods dating to the 13th-12th centuries BCE has been discovered in the centre of the main town on the island of Salamina, during works to link a home with the central sewage network.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Friday, archaeologist Ada Kattoula of the Western Attica, Piraeus and Islands Antiquities Ephorate said it was the third tomb located in the area, following two discovered in 2009 during excavation to install the sewage pipes. Those finds had led to the discovery of 41 intact pottery vessels in very good condition, with inscribed decorations typical of the era, as well as pieces of roughly 10 more vessels, she said.
“The excavation conditions are extremely difficult because there are many springs in the area and the specific tombs, being carved into the rock, are prone to flooding. We needed pumps to empty the water. With great technical difficulty and significant assistance from the contractor we were able to investigate,” Kattoula said.
The tomb is part of a Mycenean-era cemetery discovered many years earlier and investigated in archaeological digs held in 1964, 1992 and 2009. The chamber, carved from the natural rock in the area, is 2.6 metres by 2.9 metres across and 1.5 metres high at its tallest point. It is slightly smaller than the other two tombs in the cemetery, which measured 3×3 metres across.
The tomb contained the skeletal remains of at least five people, indicating it was a group grave typical of the time. Chamber tombs were dug into rock, as roughly square chambers accessed via “roads”. With each new burial, the entrance was opened and the remains of the previous dead were moved aside to make room for the new body and its grave goods.
The tomb will remain buried while the skeletons will be studied and the vessels found within preserved. The find will greatly contribute to forming a complete picture of Salamina’s Mycenean cemetery.
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