Two unplundered Mycenaean tombs discovered at Aidonia cemetery in Nemea

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Two unplundered Mycenaean tombs discovered at Aidonia cemetery in NemeaThe chamber of the tomb with the fallen roof and two pits opened from collapses in the Mycenaean period, circa 1300-1200 BC (photo: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth).

Two new unplundered chamber tombs dating from the Late Mycenaean, i.e. the period of the Mycenaean palaces (circa 1400-1200 BC), were unearthed during the systematic research project of the Antiquities Ephorate of Corinth at the Mycenaean cemetery of Aidonia in Nemea. The first of the two tombs which preserved its chamber roof contained two primary burials and the collected bones of 14 more individuals. The second tomb had no roof as it had already collapsed in Mycenaean times. Inside and above it, however, three primary burials were discovered.

Aerial photograph of the passageway/ dromos and chamber of the two new intact tombs on the east side of the Mycenaean cemetery at Aidonia, Nemea, including the tombs from the earlier excavation (photo: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth)


Both chamber tombs yielded clay vessels and figurines, along with small objects such as buttons. These findings can be compared with the burial goods of the Early Mycenaean tombs (circa 1600-1400 BC), excavated in previous years at Aidonia and contained tableware and storage vessels, weapons and artifacts indicating status. The two new, unplundered Mycenaean chamber tombs at Aidonia point towards an understanding of the site’s evolution over time and its association with the palatial systems of the surrounding areas, Mycenae in particular.

Tomb’s dromos, preserved sealed entrance and chamber roof, circa 1400-1300 BC (photo: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth)


Located on the northwestern edge of the wine zone of modern Nemea or Flyasia of antiquity, Aidonia was a major center in the region during the Mycenaean period (ca. 1700-1100 BC). Aidonia became known after extensive looting of the Mycenaean cemetery, possibly in the winter of 1976-77. The subsequent rescue excavation (1978-1980, 1986) by the Archaeological Service under Kalliopi Krystalli-Votsi and supervised by Konstantina Kaza, brought to light 20 Mycenaean tombs, the majority of which belong to the chamber category and are organized in a cluster.

Stirrup amphorae from the tomb that preserved its chamber roof, circa 1400-1300 BC (photo: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth)

 

These are graves cut into the rock and comprise of three sections: a passageway called the dromos, an entrance and an underground burial chamber. Only a handful of the Aidonia chamber tombs were found intact, while one of the looted ones contained a pit in which a stunning collection of jewelry had been saved. The findings from the rescue excavation proved their link with a collection of Mycenaean jewels which had been up for sale in a New York art gallery in 1993. The Greek State successfully claimed the collection which was subsequently returned, making these movable findings from Aidonia probably the most important case in Greece regarding the repatriation of illegally exported antiquities.

Prochous with narrow neck from the tomb that preserved its chamber roof, circa 1400-1300 BC (photo: Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinth)


Continued antiquities smuggling at Aidonia has necessitated more excavations to investigate tombs that meanwhile have either been or are endangered of being plundered. In 2016, the Corinthian Ephorate of Antiquities launched a new, systematic research program, headed by Konstantinos Kissas, Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the Universities of Graz, Austria and Trier, Germany, with Director of the Nemea Center of Classical Archaeology  Kim Shelton of the University of Berkeley, California as main collaborator. The new program had previously documented the existence of an additional cluster of graves and brought to light an additional chamber tomb on the same level as the previously investigated cluster. The excavation part of the program’s 4th season was concluded on July 25.

Tornos
  1. 19/02 03:07

    Greece-UAE Broader Strategic Cooperation Forum held in Athens on Wednesday

  2. 19/02 03:04

    Greek PM: Lignite phase-out a key aspect of national energy policy

  3. 19/02 02:59

    Greek Youth Summit in Melbourne inspires renewed commitment to community

  4. 19/02 02:56

    Greek state budget recorded a primary surplus of €498 million in January

  5. 19/02 02:55

    Cyprus protests Turkey’s illegal Famagusta plans at European Union's top level

  6. 19/02 02:27

    Historic Plaka single-arch stone bridge in Greek Region of Epirus restored

  7. 19/02 02:02

    New space dedicated to ancient Greece at Musée des Moulages in Montpellier

  8. 18/02 23:40

    Cyprus President Anastasiades discusses EIB support for local projects

  9. 18/02 22:37

    Greek Foreign Ministry's Secretary General visits United Arab Emirates

  10. 18/02 21:15

    Athens suburban and intercity train services resume after 24-hour strike action

  11. 18/02 19:07

    Rallies in downtown Athens against social security bill concluded

  12. 18/02 17:47

    Summer Nostos Festival organized between June 21-28, 2020 in Athens

  13. 18/02 15:32

    Media report: Short-term rentals soar in Greek cities and neighborhoods

  14. 18/02 11:55

    Greek PM: Government is moving ahead with its national reforms plan

  15. 18/02 11:22

    AP: Europe’s busiest airport at Heathrow hit by second day of disruptions

  16. 18/02 11:11

    Cyprus has highest number of marriages per capita in European Union

  17. 18/02 02:25

    World Bank: Cyprus reunification would boost national income by 7% in a decade

  18. 18/02 02:18

    Greek FM hails EU Foreign Affairs Council's decision to enforce Libya arms embargo

  19. 18/02 02:14

    Greek government pulls back migrant detention plans following backlash

  20. 18/02 02:11

    Social insurance bill tabled by government in Greek Parliament on Monday

  21. 18/02 01:58

    Australia’s daily Greek newspaper "The Greek Herald" celebrates 94 years

  22. 18/02 01:49

    Two new permits for hotels in Chania and Corfu issued in Greece

  23. 18/02 01:44

    Greece and Turkey commence talks on confidence-building measures

  24. 18/02 01:35

    German ambassador hails HELPE-Juwi solar power park in Kozani of Greece

  25. 17/02 22:12

    US authorities renew tariff exemptions for Greek olive oil and cheese

  26. 17/02 20:30

    Tourist arrivals in Cyprus this January rise by 4.5% annually

  27. 17/02 15:00

    Greek chefs win bronze medal in culinary Olympics 2020

  28. 17/02 14:48

    Athens transport and public services affected by Tuesday strike in Greece

  29. 17/02 10:28

    2nd Athens Fashion Film Festival concludes at Technopolis on Sunday

  30. 16/02 15:01

    Obama invites Giannis Antetokounmpo in Chicago event (video)

  31. 16/02 14:56

    Turkey to reopen Varosha ghost town on divided island of Cyprus

  32. 16/02 14:50

    Mobile app could offer solution to Motorways’ electronic tolling in Greece

  33. 16/02 14:45

    American Hellenic Institute protests Turkey turning church museum to mosque

  34. 16/02 14:40

    Sea route between Greece and Cyprus discussed at ministers’ meeting

  35. 16/02 14:37

    New President of the Greece’s Council of State announced

  36. 16/02 14:33

    Piraeus port to Athens city tram service gets another setback

  37. 16/02 14:19

    Reuters: Greek islanders protest against plans to construct new migrant camps

  38. 16/02 12:14

    Greek Health Minister proposes e-platform on coronavirus at EU ministers’ meeting

  39. 16/02 10:09

    Greek banks will place more than €7 billion in the bond market

  40. 15/02 21:28

    Hollywood stars describe Greece as their absolute favorite to visit

  41. 15/02 21:23

    Greek Foreign Minister in Munich for 56th Security Conference

  42. 15/02 21:00

    Rising interest in e-platform for primary residence protection in Greece

  43. 15/02 17:11

    Minister: New decisions on asylum ready within 24 days in Greece

  44. 15/02 15:54

    In France the first dead Chinese from the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe

  45. 15/02 15:46

    No buses, trolleys, tram and metro in Athens due to strike on Tuesday

  46. 15/02 15:04

    Greece still has one of the highest numbers of radio stations in Europe

  47. 15/02 13:40

    Greek students create smartphone application to fight sea pollution

  48. 15/02 12:39

    Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari wins through to St. Petersburg semi-final

  49. 15/02 11:30

    United States government offices in Greece to close on February 17

  50. 14/02 21:14

    St. Valentine's: Crete has its own Patron Saint of Love, the Martyr Yakinthos

  51. 14/02 20:37

    Cyprus’ building permits rise sharply between January-November 2019

  52. 14/02 20:28

    European Investment Bank head: Greek economy's prospects are excellent

  53. 14/02 20:12

    Energy Minister: Greece to launch tender for 49% of HEDNO in September

  54. 14/02 18:41

    Strong Belgian interest in Greek destinations for 2020

  55. 14/02 18:05

    Greek government aims at the dynamic development of cycling tourism

  56. 14/02 16:12

    Greek Prime Minister: The creation of well paid jobs is a government priority

  57. 14/02 12:19

    Reuters: Air China cancels flights to Greece due to public safety concerns

  58. 14/02 01:20

    Media report: Affluent Chinese cash in on Greek golden passports

  59. 14/02 01:17

    Hollywood actor Gerard Butler to attend Battle of Thermopylae anniversary

  60. 14/02 01:13

    GNTO records strong interest for early bookings from Italy

  61. 14/02 01:08

    Ancient Greek Art Exhibition at Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens

  62. 14/02 00:48

    Municipality report: Wood borer insect threatens Athens' mulberry trees

  63. 13/02 23:45

    Chinese Cosco's new online platform for Greek port of Piraeus meets opposition

  64. 13/02 22:45

    Minister: Feasibility study on e-mobility soon to be finalised in Greece

  65. 13/02 22:09

    Greece and Algeria united against any foreign intervention in Libya

  66. 13/02 21:47

    Sales of new cars kept growing in Greece during January

  67. 13/02 21:40

    Piraeus Bank successfully completes €500 million bond issue in Greece

  68. 13/02 21:26

    Research: Over 4,700 infected people have recovered from the coronavirus

  69. 13/02 21:03

    Cyprus signs deal with Israeli consortium for Larnaka port and marina

  70. 13/02 19:52

    European Commissioner Gentiloni: Greek economy well on track

  71. 13/02 19:16

    Greece's Council of State to announced ruling on Athens Metro Line 4 tender

  72. 13/02 18:53

    Scandinavian airlines removed advertising following online criticism (video)

  73. 13/02 18:24

    AP: How COVID-19 virus is impacting Asia’s cruises and passengers

  74. 13/02 16:37

    British Airways breaks fastest subsonic New York-London flight record

  75. 13/02 16:31

    Tourism Minister: Nearly 1 million Israelis elect Greece for their vacations

  76. 13/02 14:11

    European Commission: Greek economy to grow by 2.4% during 2020

  77. 13/02 13:26

    ForwardKeys: Fewer Chinese tourists in Europe due to Coronavirus outbreak

  78. 13/02 12:18

    The world’s first floating city to be built within the next decade (video)

  79. 13/02 10:37

    Increased chances of European Central Bank purchasing Greek bonds

  80. 12/02 23:42

    Orthodox Archbishop makes first official visit to Consulate General of Greece in Sydney

  81. 12/02 23:36

    Stavros Niarchos Foundation “Health Initiative” grants €400 million in Greece

  82. 12/02 23:28

    Cypriot Diaspora Youth Conference takes place in Canberra of Australia

  83. 12/02 23:23

    The growth rate of arrears to the Greek government has eased

  84. 12/02 23:14

    Religious Tourism report: The doors of Halki Seminary will open again

  85. 12/02 22:47

    Submerged buildings found in ancient city and modern luxury resort of Crete

  86. 12/02 22:37

    PM welcomes arrival of first of Aegean's 46 new planes

  87. 12/02 22:15

    Tourism report: Tripadvisor assumes greater pricing control over tours and activities

  88. 12/02 22:04

    Minister: Greek government has a comprehensive plan on migration

  89. 12/02 21:46

    Guardian: Nea Smyrni neighbourhood in Athens among top-10 in Europe

  90. 12/02 21:39

    Greek parties express consensus on national issues at Council of Foreign Policy

  91. 12/02 21:32

    Closed hosting structures for immigrants will be ready in Greece by summer

  92. 12/02 21:00

    Greek Health Minister in Brussels for extraordinary meeting on coronavirus

  93. 12/02 20:49

    2nd Athens Fashion Film Festival at Technopolis on February 14-16 (video)

  94. 12/02 16:44

    Use of plastic bags plunged 98.6% in Greece between 2017 and 2019

  95. 12/02 14:39

    New Swiss hotel management education courses open to Greek citizens

  96. 12/02 14:21

    Greek 10-year bond yield drops below 1.0%

  97. 12/02 12:52

    New elected head of European Committee of the Regions

  98. 12/02 10:13

    Greek exports achieve new historic record in 2019

  99. 12/02 00:35

    Pipes to connect Greek island of Aegina with mainland water supply damaged

  100. 12/02 00:22

    Greek government is proceeding with the reduction of VAT on drugs