Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


15 September 2010

The Pylos project (University of Minnesota)

The Palace of Nestor, on the Epano Englianos ridge in southwestern Messenia, was discovered in 1939 and excavated from 1952 to 1966 by the late Professor Carl Blegen of the University of Cincinnati. The palace, dating from ca. 1300-1200 BC, is among the best preserved of Bronze Age complexes in Greece. In addition to architecture, excavations uncovered wall and floor frescos, Linear B tablets (the first ever discovered on the mainland), sealings, jewelry, pottery and other artifacts.

Twenty-four years after the close of the original excavations, a University of Minnesota team resumed investigations in 1990. In that year, a stone-by-stone, dimensioned state of the main palace complex was drawn. From 1991 to 1998, MARWP (Minnesota Archaeological Research in the Western Peloponnese) documented the numerous ancillary buildings and other built structures. Thousands of ceramic and fresco fragments, as well as a handful of Linear B tablet fragments, were recovered. MARWP also studied, in the form of a topographical survey, the area immediately surrounding the palace. Several chamber tombs and shaft graves were rediscovered and mapped, one of which now no longer exists.


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