According to an official statement made by the Greek Ministry of Culture on 11th August, two undisturbed Mycenaean chamber tombs (dating from circa 1400 – 1200 BC) were found near the ancient site of Nemea in the Peloponnese. The location pertains to the Aidonia burial site, and as such, the rare discovery entailed five burials along with the remains of fourteen individuals that were later transferred to the chambers. The remains of the occupants were also accompanied by clay pots, figurines, storage vessels, weapons, and a myriad of other smaller objects.
In terms of history, Aidonia, situated next to the vineyards of Nemea, was a strategic Bronze Age settlement – and as such, these tombs allude to the Mycenaean sphere of influence in the coastal regions of Peloponnese. According to the press release, the key settlement rather mirrored the flourishing period of the Mycenaeans from 17th till 12th century BC. In that regard, the detailed assessment of these tombs might shed more light into the historical development of the ancient town and its ties, as a focal point of the region, to the neighboring villages.
As for the unfortunate episodes of looting, archaeologists estimate that such illegal activities occurred at the Aidonia burial site in 1976-77. Archaeological excavations were carried out in 1978-80 and then in 1986 – and these series of endeavors allowed historians and researchers to study the legacy of the Mycenaean influence, funerary practices, and architectural prowess in the Peloponnese. To that end, around 20 chamber tombs were found over the years – with some flaunting their distinct sections and access roads (dromos).
In fact, the archaeologists previously also came across a few unlooted tombs that housed intricate jewelry items. Quite intriguingly, one of these finds allowed the researchers to identify and repatriate a set of jewelry that was to be sold in an auction house in New York in 1993. In any case, a systematic research program was started in 2016 for the excavation of the remaining tomb networks at the site, and it is the fruit of collaboration between experts from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth, Universities of Graz, Nemea Centre of Archaeology, and University of California.
Source: Greek Reporter
Image Credits: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth