Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2015

4 July 2016

Kalochorafitis. Two Chamber Tombs from the LM IIIA 2-B Cemetery. A Contribution to Postpalatial Funerary Practice in the Mesara

Alexandra Karetsou & Luca Girella

City: Padova

Year: 2015

Publisher: Bottega d'Erasmo - Aldo Ausilio editore in Padova

Series: 978-88-6125-070-3

Description: Paperback, 437 p., numerous figures, 30 cm


The volume illustrates the architecture and the finds from two LM IIIA2-B chamber tombs excavated in 1973 and 2010 at Kalochorafitis in south-central Crete and 8 km N of the palatial site of Phaistos. It is organized in 12 chapters. The first one is devoted to the history of research about the investigation of tombs and cemeteries in the West Mesara plain. Chapter 2 illustrates the excavation report of Tomb B in the site of Anevolema, west of the village of Kalochorafitis. Despite the lost of most of the excavation information, the authors suggest a reconstruction of the finds position inside the tomb as regards the 8 larnakes and the other finds. Chapter 3 analyses the 8 chest larnakes found inside Tomb B. Four out of eight larnakes are undecorated. Among the decorated ones A. Karetsou gives a detailed description of Larnax 7 and its complex pictorial decoration distributed on the four sides. The iconographic cycle constitutes a real amalgam of ideas: scenes with plant motifs, birds, argonauts, chariot and bull leaping comprise an imaginary narrative inspired by the journey of the dead to the otherworld. Chapter 4 contains the excavation report of Tomb D by I. Antonakaki. The tomb was excavated in the spring 2010 on the west slope of the hill next to the road to Tymbaki, 1 km from the village of Kalochorafitis. The tomb is smaller and contained 4 chest larnakes. They were all undecorated except for Larnax C, whose description is the focus of Chapter 5 by the same author. This larnax was decorated with stylised octopuses on three sides: however, on one narrow side the focus was on a central panel divided in two sections illustrating two ritual scenes with female figures in procession holding a boat model, a sword, an animal for a sacrifice and other tools. Chapter 6 illustrates the pottery from both tombs by L. Girella: 74 vessels were found in Tomb B, 14 in Tomb D. The chapter is divided in two parts, the first of which describes the pottery by shapes, whereas the second one contains the catalogue. The same author discusses in the following chapter the overall character and relative chronology of the pottery. In the first part, the relative chronology of the identified contexts together with some phasing problems is analysed. Also, there is a general discussion of the relationship to the other chamber tombs of the Kalochorafitis cemetery (i.e. that one published by C. Davaras and E. Banou in 2003). In the second part, aspects of pottery groups and production are discussed. Bronze, stone and faience objects are analysed by L. Girella in Chapter 8. Five seals were found in the excavation of Tomb B and they are richly presented by M. Anastasiadou in Chapter 9. The author analyses also aspects of chronology, use and distribution of LM III seals during LM III. The human skeletal material from the LM IIIA2-B Tomb B and D mainly consists of remains from Tomb D excavated in 2010. A. Nafplioti discusses the bones in detail in Chapter 10, with special attention to the lifeways and mortuary practices. The data suggest post-depositional manipulation of the dead and the performance of secondary activities following the original burial episode/s inside the tomb. A petrographic analysis of 72 samples is provided by E. Nodarou in Chapter 11 in order to investigate the range of fabric present in the assemblage, the connection between fabric and shapes, the origin of the raw material used, and the possible production centre. Finally, in Chapter 12 the cemetery of Kalochorafitis in its regional context is analysed, with special attention to funerary and iconographic aspects.


List of Tables [13]
List of Figures [15]
List of Plates [20]
List of Colour Plates [21]
Acknowledgments [23]

Chapter 1: History of Research: Postpalatial Tombs and Cemeteries of the West Mesara Plain (Alexandra Karetsou -A.K.) [27]

Chapter 2: Excavation Report (A.K.) [33]
2.1 The Late Minoan IIIA2-B Cemetery at Kalochorafitis. The Site [33]
2.2 Excavation History [33]
2.3 Excavation Report on Tomb B/1973 [39]

Chapter 3: The Larnakes from Tomb B/1973 (A.K.) [47]
3.1 The Monochrome Larnakes [47]
3.2 The Painted Larnakes [49]
3.3 Larnax 1 (HM 20587) [51]
3.4 Larnax 8 (HM 20589) [54]
3.5 The Figurative Larnax 7 (HM 20590) [
3.6 Larnax 7, brief description of the scenes [59]
3.7 Larnax 7, detailed description of the scenes [75]
3.8 Discussion [70]

Chapter 4: Excavation Report on Tomb D/2010 (Irini Antonakaki – I.A.) [117]

Chapter 5: The Larnakes of the 2010 Tomb (I.A.) [127]

Chapter 6: The Pottery from Tombs B and D (Luca Girella – L.G.) [137]
6.1 The Pottery from Chamber Tombs B and D [137]
6.2 The Pottery from the Kydonian Workshop [154]
6.3 Chamber Tomb B: Pottery Catalogue [157]
6.4 Chamber Tomb D: Pottery Catalogue [204]


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