ELEUTHERNA - 2010
Tomb - Dress and personal ornament - Metal - Glass - Cemetery - Building Type - Find Type - Material Type - Site Type
Type of Operation
University of Crete
Eleutherna. N. Stampolidis (University of Crete/Museum of Cycladic Art) completed the excavation of a tomb at Orthi Petra begun in 2009 (see previously AR 56 [2009-2010] 189). A chamber-tomb (3 x 2.8 x 2.20m) was sealed with rough stones to a height of 1.80m. A table of offerings was probably set beyond the doorway. Within are the skeletons of four women buried in the first half of the seventh century BC. The eldest was aged 68-72, the others are considerably younger at 25-28, around 16 and approaching 14 years of age. They had enjoyed a fine diet and were in good health. The causes of death are as yet undetermined. A ‘bed’ of four stones set neatly on the tomb floor had sockets for feet; beneath, a pyramidal-shaped stone with a depression on its upper face may have held a lamp or aromatic substances. The oldest woman lay in the centre, flanked by the others (two were buried embracing): all (and especially the eldest) were decked with jewellery. Their elite status is clear.
Some 150 items of jewellery include pieces in gold and silver as well as materials rarer in this period, including amethyst, carnelian, rock crystal, faience, Egyptian Blue and amber. Many are simple beads, discs, wire spirals and the like. However other items include gold pins and a necklace, composite amulets, and a disc with low-relief decoration picked out in granulation depicting a Master of Animals (between lions) surrounded by bands of zig-zags and interlocked S-motifs. Gold bands (0.14-0.16m long x 0.03-0.04m wide) may have lozenge-patterns or the stamped head of a Daedalic-style goddess. Amulets portray pairs of standing women. Also present were two large bronze bowls and a basin with triangular handles, and a glass lekythos decorated with black and silver lines. Ceramics include four amphorae and lekythoi of Cretan-Cypriot, Cypriot and Phoenician types.
Widespread press coverage was given to the excavation in 2010 by N. Stampolidis of another tomb at Orthi Petra, close to the Tomb of the Warriors. Within the tomb, a huge pithos (1.20 x 1.80m) set on its side was sealed by a slab. The pithos contained two skeletons buried around 680-600 BC: one was a woman 25-27 years old, and the other a youth of perhaps 17. Over the woman lay a cover of white wool or linen, on which was sewn numerous gold ornaments (over 3000 small cut-out pieces were recovered, including lozenges, circles, squares and triangles, usually 0.01-0.03m and up to 0.05m long). There were 386 beads of gold and silver, amethyst, carnelian, rock crystal, amber and faience. Other finds include a small scarab and sheet rosettes, plus an ornament located on the upper torso of the woman. This last (only 0.02-0.03m in size) bears a design picked out in granulation and filigree which when viewed from one direction shows the head and bust of woman combined with the body and ‘wings’ of a bee making a goddess in Daedalic style, but inverted can be read as a lily. Vessels of faience are present. Associated with the male were an iron spearhead and an iron brooch fitting.
To Vima tis Kyriakis 26/09/2010. Ethnos, Eleftherotypia, Kathimerini and Ta Nea 28/09/2010; Naftemboriki and Rizospastis 29/09/2010; Veto 03/10/2010.
Date of creation