May 19, 2020

Top 10 Unexpected Discoveries Involving Tombs

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8 min
10
Clues To Greek Origins

In 2015, when a team couldn’t get permission from Greece to excavate a slope near the ancient Palace of Nestor, they settled for a grove nearby. They never dreamed it would yield the most complete tomb found in the country since the discovery of Troy. A shaft lead to a male skeleton surrounded by over 1,400 artifacts. Precious metals and stones, ivory, ornate weapons, and stone seals made for a rich but confusing treasure. Items such as a mirror, combs, and beads are typically associated with female burials, and Mycenaean tombs usually contain multiple corpses.

Mycenae was the hub of Greece between 1600 and 1100 BC. The unlooted state of the grave is a miracle itself, but the fact that it dates from the hazy 1500 BC makes it priceless. Scholars trying to identify the origins of Greek civilization, which was forming during that time, got an undisturbed view of the older cultures integrated in the tomb. Most artifacts came from Crete, the Baltic, the Middle East, and possibly Egypt. The cosmopolitan nature of the grave might one day name the society that ultimately influenced the birth of Greek culture.

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