A bronze age tomb filled with epic treasures was found near the palace of the legendary king Nestor
Archaeologists in Greece unearthed the skeleton of an ancient warrior that has rested undisturbed for more than 3,500 years with more than 1,400 precious objects.
The tomb, found in Pylos, on the southwest coast of Greece, has been hailed by the Greek ministry of culture as “the most important to have been discovered in 65 years in continental Greece.”
The skeleton of the adult male was found this summer by a University of Cincinnati-led international team who was excavating what they initially believed was a Bronze Age house.
Instead, they were presented with a spectacular find.
Stretched out on his back, a skeleton lay on the floor of the grave. Weapons lay to his left, and jewelry to his right.
This gold ring found in the warrior’s grave depicts Minoan imagery of a leaping bull. Four complete solid-gold seal rings to be worn on a human finger were found. This number is more than found with any single burial elsewhere in Greece.
The remains were literally covered with objects. A bronze sword, with the ivory hilt covered in gold, was placed near the head and chest. Next to it was a gold-hilted dagger, while more weapons were found by the man’s legs and feet.
A plaque of carved ivory with a depiction of a griffon with huge wings lay between the man’s legs, and nearby was a bronze mirror with an ivory handle.
A bronze mirror with an ivory handle found in a grave of a warrior at Pylos in Greece. Credit Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati
Six ivory combs were discovered within the wealthy Mycenaean warrior's tomb. (University of Cincinnati)
Gold cups rested on the chest and stomach, and near the neck the archaeologists found a perfectly preserved gold necklace with two pendants.
Removed from the earth and cleaned, details of the chain, including finials in a “sacral ivy” pattern, become clear. A unique necklace of square box-shaped golden wires, more than 30 inches long with two gold pendants decorated with ivy leaves.
|A detail of the chain’s box weave.|
Spread around the head were over 1,000 beads of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, agate and gold. Four gold rings, and silver cups as well as bronze bowls, cups, jugs and basins were found nearby.
“It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts. All the cups, pitchers and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver and gold. He clearly could afford to hold regular pots of ceramic in disdain,” said Sharon Stocker who, along with husband Jack Davis, led the University of Cincinnati team.