Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Newly discovered Minoan tombs yield weapons, jewelry and pottery

I noticed that there is a report that 50 more late Minoan tombs have been discovered near the town of Chania. Minoan burial practices varied widely over the course of their social development. Early cave burials gradually evolved to interment in "house" tombs. House tombs are grouped into two types, "Complexes consisting of a series of long and narrow parallel chambers within a single rectangular building or complexes consisting of a group of square and oblong "rooms" within a single building." Monumental tombs did not develop until the Middle Minoan period.

Of the tombs recently discovered, the oldest were of the Mycenaean type. "...certain variations of the Mycenaean tholos form are peculiar to Crete and hence appear to be purely Minoan versions of their Mainland Greek prototype. These variants include vaulted tombs with a square or rectangular rather than circular tomb chamber. Most of these tombs are also keel-vaulted rather than corbel-vaulted."