Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 November 2014

The date of the tomb of Clytemnestra

David J. Mason The Annual of the British School at Athens 108 (2013): 97-119.


The construction date of the Tomb of Clytemnestra at Mycenae is disputed, opinion being divided over whether the tomb was erected at the end of Late Helladic IIIA or towards the end of Late Helladic IIIB. The article attempts to resolve this debate by examining all of the dating evidence for the tomb. It stresses that the most valuable clues to the date of the tomb come from the excavations that were carried out in 1952 and 1953 on either side of the Great Poros Wall, the retaining wall that supported the eastern side of the earthen mound above the tomb. Several trenches of these excavations are discussed in detail, specifically V and M, both of which were sunk into the earthen mound behind the wall, and L, P, III and IV, all of which were located immediately in front of the wall. The information on these trenches is drawn not only from the published reports, but also from the original excavation notebooks. The pottery from them is used to determine the date of the tomb. What emerges is that the Tomb of Clytemnestra was, in fact, built at the beginning of Late Helladic IIIB.


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