Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


6 March 2014

A Prepalatial Tholos Tomb at Mesorrachi Skopi, near Siteia, East Crete

Yannis Papadatos & Chrysa Sofianou Aegean Archaeology 10 (2009-2010) [2013]: 7-31.


This report is concerned with the excavation of an Early Minoan circular ‘tholos’ tomb of the Mesara type and the survey of the surrounding area at the site of Mesorrachi, near the modern village of Skopi, in the region of Siteia, East Crete. The excavation and the survey were undertaken during two different seasons, the fall of 2005 and the summer of 2010 by the 24th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in collaboration with the University of Athens, Department of History and Archaeology. The excavations revealed a circular tomb. Through surface survey it was possible to identify the location of the corresponding settlement, but test trenches did not reveal any other structures in the area. According to the finds, the use of the tholos and the habitation site are contemporary. dated to EM I, probably the beginning of the period. the EM IA phase. The existence of such an early tholos tomb in this remote area of East Crete, very far from south central Crete (Mesara and the Asterousia), which constitutes the core area of this type of tomb, allows a reconsideration of the issue of the origin and the first appearance of the tholos tombs in Crete and contributes with new data to the ongoing discussions about population movements, cultural and/or ethnic diversity and integration in Prepalatial Crete.

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