Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


18 November 2017

Major archaeological discovery near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece

British School at Athens

A monumental Mycenaean rock-cut chamber tomb came to light this summer at Prosilio near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece, during the excavations conducted there by the Greek Ministry of Culture & Sports/Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia and the British School at Athens/University of Cambridge.

The tomb, known as Prosilio tomb 2, is one of the largest of its kind ever to have been discovered in Greece. A rock-cut passageway (dromos), 20m in length, leads to a monumental façade 5.40m in depth. The façade gives access, through a doorway (stomion), to the burial chamber which has an area of 42sqm, making this example the 9th largest out of c. 4000 Mycenaean chamber tombs that have been excavated in Greece in the last 150 years.

The chamber’s roof was originally gabled and had a height of c. 3.5m. Over the years, and perhaps even since Mycenaean times, the original roof started to crumble creating a cavernous interior with an existing height of 6.5m. The crumbling of the original roof disturbed, to some extent, the burial and its furnishings in the chamber but also helped seal the burial layer. Inside the chamber, a rock-cut bench was carved on all four sides of the rectangular tomb. The bench was enhanced by the addition of mud-plaster.



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