Two rich burials discovered in excavations at Petras cemetery on Greek island of Crete

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Two rich burials discovered in excavations at Petras cemetery on Greek island of CreteMid-Minoan primary male burial in a pit with a copper handbook (under Grave Building 2) Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece

Two burials with rich grave goods were discovered in a pit of the Middle Minoan IA era (2100-2000 BC) in Siteia, NE Crete, during excavations of a palace-related cemetery, according to Athens News Agency.

Mid-Minoan IA beads of various types, made of ivory, carnelian and crystal ores.  Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece

 

The excavations took place at the cemetery of Petras in the area of Siteia, dated to 2800-1700 BC (Pre- and Proto-Palatial periods) and they have been going on for 14 years under director emerita of the Ministry of Culture Metaxia Tsipopoulou.

In the first pit, a primary or original burial of a man included the first weapon found in Petras, a bronze short sword, Tsipopoulou noted in a statement. The first burial also included a "secondary burial of a woman with a large number of gold beads of very fine workmanship" and beads of silver, crystal, carnelian and jasper.

Aerial view of the Petra cemetery. The excavated area is nearly 3/4 of an acre. Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece


The second burial, also a principal one, was dated to the Proto-Minoan II period (2600-2300 BC) and included "dozens of gold beads with exquisite pressed decoration of spirals, as well as hundreds of other beads of gold or silver, with a diameter of 1mm, which appear to have been sewn onto a garment."

A third burial, elsewhere, was unique to Petras and comprised of a tomb made of perpendicular schist slabs, forming a box-like structure. This contained two secondary burials of children under 10 years old and two gold bracelets from thin sheets of gold. 

Secondary burials in the Grave Building 27. The bones have been transported from the landfill site neatly (apparently in baskets). Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece


For its era, the Petras cemetery has proven to be by far the biggest on Crete. It belonged to elite family members related to the palace in the area. So far, 26 funerary buildings of 45 to 150 sq.m. have been excavated, along with five burial pits that include irregular stones or low walls. 

Small Early Cycladic Tomb. Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece

 

According to Tsipopoulou, the cemetery contains at least four or five funereal buildings that were noted in 2018 but have not been fully excavated yet. It also features two extensive areas for rituals, dating to between 1900 and 1700 BC (Middle Minoan IB-IIB) and two periboloi, or low built enclosures, east and west.

Early Minoan III seals of ivory. Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece


In antiquity, Petras had a large port and served as the entry gate to eastern Crete during the Pre- and Proto-Palatial period for the incoming trade of raw materials, objects as well as ideas from Syria and Egypt.

Early Minoan and Mid Minoan beads and gold bands. Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece


Its palace, according to the official excavation site https://www.petras-excavations.gr/en was constructed in the Middle Minoan IIA era (19001800 BC), slightly after the large palatial complexes of central Crete. The preserved section of it covers 2,500 sq.m., but it's impossible to calculate its original extent becuase the whole southern section has been destroyed.

Early Minoan gold bracelets.  Photo Source: Department of Antiquities of Greece


In the 14th century BC (during Late Minoan IIIA), after the destruction of its palace, there was building activity in the cemetery that appears to be related to honoring ancestors. This activity lasted to the 12th century BC.

During this year's season, the excavation staff included 19 graduate and doctoral students from the Universities of Athens, Crete, Thessaloniki, Kalamata, Madrid, Harvard, Rhodes and Toronto. Senior excavators included professors David Rupp, Miriam Clinton and Sevi Triantafyllou, Dr. Maria Relaki, along with nine workmen from Siteia. 

The study group includes 26 archaeologists from Europe, the United States and Canada. The excavation, the stabilization of architectural features, the conservation of findings and their study are funded exclusively by INSTAP, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory which was founded as a nonprofit organization in the United States in 1982.

 

Tornos
  1. 16/11 19:00

    Athens-listed Fourlis Group to launch property investment company in Greece

  2. 16/11 18:54

    Ermou street in Athens among the world’s most expensive thanks to tourism

  3. 16/11 18:48

    Piraeus Bank to manage agricultural products guarantee account in Greece

  4. 16/11 18:32

    112 approved investment plans for Greek aquaculture units reach €93.1 million

  5. 16/11 18:23

    Greek Tourism Minister voices support to Antetokounmpo brothers

  6. 16/11 16:43

    Jazz for kids: The story of a rhythm at Gloria theater in central Athens

  7. 16/11 16:37

    Changes to Athens museums opening hours due to Polytechnic celebrations

  8. 16/11 14:56

    Greek and international grand cru wines at Athens event on Sunday

  9. 16/11 14:04

    Brexit: Theresa May to face no confidence vote after Tory MPs reach 48 letters

  10. 16/11 12:44

    Greek airports announce record breaking arrivals in first 10-months of 2018

  11. 16/11 11:27

    SRB chief: Greek banking system has significantly improved

  12. 16/11 10:51

    Hollande visits Athens to congratulate Greece for its success after years of austerity

  13. 15/11 21:33

    Brexit negotiations: What is in the withdrawal agreement and the proposals on travel

  14. 15/11 21:12

    MSCI relegation for three Greek banks impacts Athens Stock exchange

  15. 15/11 21:05

    Three Athens metro stations close on Saturday due to Polytechnic uprising feast

  16. 15/11 20:58

    Prince Charles' favorite food is ‘Groussaka’ a special version of Moussaka

  17. 15/11 20:52

    MIG negotiations with Fortress fund over Attica Group sale close without deal

  18. 15/11 20:47

    Euro Working Group approves measure to leave Greek pensions uncut

  19. 15/11 20:19

    EU Brexit divorce agreement in peril after two UK cabinet ministers quit

  20. 15/11 20:02

    Greek PM dons Antetokounmpo shirt in support against racist slur

  21. 15/11 19:38

    Greek Court of Audit greenlights Athens Airport concession extension by 20 years

  22. 15/11 18:31

    US companies seeking to explore synergies and investments in Greece

  23. 15/11 16:08

    Pallas Theater in central Athens now caters to non-Greek speakers

  24. 15/11 15:55

    Greece expected to receive its first snow of the season on Friday

  25. 15/11 13:49

    Cyprus Airways connects Athens with Larnaca daily during the winter of 2018-19

  26. 15/11 12:39

    UNWTO and Municipality of León develop first shopping tourism project in Mexico

  27. 15/11 11:28

    Statues of Chinese artist Xu Hongfei to decorate the Greek port of Thessaloniki

  28. 15/11 10:14

    Roman amphorae found at ancient port of Akrotiri-Dreamers Bay in Cyprus

  29. 15/11 09:18

    Travelodge announces weirdest requests from British hotel guests in 2018

  30. 15/11 01:12

    ΑΒΤΑ: Five key principles for selling travel products to the over 50s

  31. 15/11 01:09

    UNWTO: Communities needed in Cultural Tourism’s digital transformation

  32. 15/11 00:57

    IATA: "Spirit of change" needed from governments to boost European competitiveness

  33. 14/11 23:02

    Religious Tourism: Greek Holy church in Turkey abandoned to ruin

  34. 14/11 22:51

    Traffic diversions along Athens-Thessaloniki motorway for maintenance works

  35. 14/11 20:40

    Wedding tourism: Greek island of Santorini among the world's top destinations for 2019

  36. 14/11 18:35

    Outbound tourism from India to double by 2022

  37. 14/11 18:28

    Tourists in Cyprus drive beer deliveries up by 3.6% in first 10 months of 2018

  38. 14/11 15:20

    Social media channel: The 14 most beautiful nationalities in the world (video)

  39. 14/11 14:12

    No ferry service in Greece on November 28 as seamen join general strike

  40. 14/11 12:05

    Greek National Tourism Organization clip wins world’s “Best Tourism Film” award (video)

  41. 14/11 10:56

    Ancient city of Tenea unearthed in Greece - its prosperity to Roman times confirmed

  42. 14/11 00:08

    Research: New ranking method could help hotels to maximise their revenue

  43. 13/11 21:52

    The cherished flavors of Tselementes, Greece’s original ‘Masterchef’

  44. 13/11 21:38

    Survey: Greek CFOs most optimistic in Europe for Autumn 2018

  45. 13/11 21:26

    Greek museums and sites record rise in visitors and revenue in first seven months of 2018

  46. 13/11 20:12

    Original winter swimming race across Vouliagmeni Bay in Athens on December 2

  47. 13/11 19:13

    Disabled 14-year-old girl captures Greek hearts at Athens Marathon (video)

  48. 13/11 19:05

    Greek government to lessen social security contributions for professionals

  49. 13/11 19:01

    Lower property tax to boost consumption and real estate in Greece

  50. 13/11 18:53

    Bank of Greece drafts plan for slashing NPLs by €40 billion

  51. 13/11 18:13

    ASTA International Showcase conference on island of Rhodes in Spring 2019

  52. 13/11 14:43

    British Tourism: Hard Brexit's impact on the Greek economy

  53. 13/11 14:37

    More than 2,000 investors visit Greek pavilion at Web Summit 2018

  54. 13/11 13:25

    Survey: Lower labour costs in hotels and restaurants in Cyprus

  55. 13/11 11:04

    Greek and Italian PMs discuss cooperation in investments and energy

  56. 13/11 10:17

    Lake Antinioti: In the footsteps of the Durrells at Corfu's otter lagoon

  57. 13/11 01:55

    First Greek supermarket opens in Germany

  58. 13/11 01:51

    5786 Turks have sought asylum in Greece following the failed coup in 2017

  59. 13/11 01:46

    Greek exports to surpass 33 billion euros by end of 2018

  60. 13/11 01:41

    Bank of Greece points to higher residential property prices in Q3 2018

  61. 13/11 01:29

    International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas held in Greece

  62. 13/11 01:20

    Culture Tourism: The Platonic Academy of Athens, the world’s first university

  63. 13/11 01:13

    Campaign to save Hellenique Fondation "Greek House" in Paris

  64. 13/11 01:05

    Lemnos Gallipoli Committee commemorates Armistice Day 1918 on Mudros Bay

  65. 12/11 23:55

    Antique musical instruments at Ancient Nikopolis Museum in Greece

  66. 12/11 21:50

    The superb health benefits of Greek honey

  67. 12/11 21:43

    Vote for the Greek island of Corfu in EUFCN Location Award competition

  68. 12/11 19:25

    Nike honors of Greek Olympic legend Louis with new Air Zoom Spiridon

  69. 12/11 16:20

    UAE investment firm Mubadala invites Greek firms for cooperation

  70. 12/11 15:06

    Sports Tourism: Greek girl wins karate world championship (video)

  71. 12/11 13:01

    China expresses strong interest in Greek products and services

  72. 12/11 11:55

    EBRD-funded programs for Greek small and medium-sized enterprises

  73. 11/11 20:58

    Voice of Greece renewed program beginning on Monday, November 12th

  74. 11/11 20:46

    Brimin Kipkorir Misoi from Kenya wins 36th Authentic Athens Marathon (video)

  75. 11/11 20:29

    Educational programs for kids at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens

  76. 11/11 18:53

    APRA welcomes European Court of Auditors’ special report on passengers’ rights

  77. 11/11 16:42

    Direct metro connection to Athens airport resumes operations on Saturday

  78. 11/11 12:35

    UNWTO: Outbound tourism spending from the Gulf 6 times the global average

  79. 11/11 10:11

    Russian archaeologists unearthed ancient Greek settlement in Crimea peninsula

  80. 10/11 14:08

    Saffron 'the red gold of the Greek land' to reach Chinese shops by 2019

  81. 10/11 13:59

    Greek industrial output grows by 2% year-on-year in September

  82. 10/11 13:55

    Cyprus building permits significantly grow between January – August 2018

  83. 10/11 13:47

    Photo of flight attendant breastfeeding passenger’s baby goes viral

  84. 10/11 13:35

    Education Tourism: First school reader in demotic Greek turns 100

  85. 10/11 13:22

    Medical Tourism: Onassis Foundation head notes new era for transplants in Greece

  86. 10/11 12:31

    IMF more optimistic on Greek economy that European Union

  87. 10/11 11:16

    The Times 2018 spotlight on Cyprus: Opportunity knocks for investors...

  88. 09/11 21:23

    Religious Tourism: How Arkadi became symbol of self sacrifice for freedom

  89. 09/11 21:23

    NGTO and Aegean launch new campaign to promote Athens and Thessaloniki

  90. 09/11 21:07

    Power supply restored on the Greek island of Rhodes

  91. 09/11 19:53

    History Tourism: Phryne, the Ancient Greek model who stripped for her freedom

  92. 09/11 19:36

    Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria gets nod of the European Commission

  93. 09/11 19:19

    Russian tycoon Rybolovlev released but remains still under investigation

  94. 09/11 19:10

    Archaeological Museum on Greek island of Corfu to reopen after six years

  95. 09/11 18:43

    Greece extends Golden Visas for affluent foreign investors

  96. 09/11 16:41

    New Victoria Hislop book inspired by the Greek island of Makronisos

  97. 09/11 14:58

    16 Greek enterprises participate in business mission to Nigeria

  98. 09/11 14:47

    Record 415 exhibitors in Philoxenia and another 200 in Hotelia

  99. 09/11 12:49

    Greek Cultural Day marks Greek migration in Sydney of Australia

  100. 09/11 12:42

    Evgenios Vassilikos: November established as Month of Marathon for Athens tourism