Early Cycladic cist tomb found in Greece

A  cist tomb from the Early Cycladic period (2700-2200 B.C.) has been unearthed during sewage treatment works in the village of Nea Styra on the Greek island of Euboea. The tomb was found just two feet below the surface of the road. It is six and a half feet long by one and a half feet wide and made of slabs of local brown slate. Previous road works had disturbed the tomb, removing part of the cover and the slabs of the short sides, but the find was not archaeologically excavated at that time. The long slabs on the south side and the other part of the cover were still in situ.

Three burials were found in successive layers inside the grave. Burial A is located 3.6 feet beneath the modern road. It includes the remains of an adult man in supine position with his left arm bent at the elbow, part of a glass vessel and a few ceramic pieces.

After archaeologists removed the bones of Burial A, they found skeletal remains from Burial B. This individual was also placed in supine position. Next to him was a bronze coin, and at his feet archaeologists unearthed a bronze basket, a bronze tray with decorative perforations around the edge and six glass vessels with conical and spherical bodies.

Burial C emerged under the remains of B, again in supine position. No grave goods were reported.

The grave goods are now being studied and conserved at the Archaeological Museum of Eretria. Archaeologists hope to be able to get a firmer date range from radiocarbon analysis. They will focus on the five glass vessels recovered, because as flukish luck would have it, they are all intact and form a typological unit. Also of particular interest is the bronze basket with its embossed body and loop handle with two pointed decorations crafted of a thin sheet of bronze at the terminal ends. It may shed new light on how copper was utilized to create highly decorated objects in the Early Cycladic Era.

When the artifacts have been researched thoroughly and stabilized, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Euboea plans to display the grave goods in the Archaeological Museum of Karystos, a small local museum with a fine collection of ancient Greek and Roman pottery and sculptures.

2 thoughts on “Early Cycladic cist tomb found in Greece

  1. Yes, it seems as if :yes:

    Contrastingly, it might be that the very first burial down there is indeed Early Cycladic from 2700-2200 BC, while the ones on top would be younger. Real coins that old would rather be a surprise.

    Note that in the Greek URL from the post there are interesting Mediterranean cooking recipes, and –even if I do not know how ancient the cooking is– also this.

    (Mary Thermou rings a bell, but I forgot which one)


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