The re-use of tholos B at the Ayia Triadha cemetery
Simona Aluia Rivista di Archeologia 35 (2011) : 137-145
The aim of this paper is the interpretation of the phenomenon of re-use of tholos B, by the re-examination of information given by Roberto Paribeni and the comparison with similar cases all over the Mesara plain. Tholos B was constructed in the Protopalatial period and was used until MM II. After a long chronological gap, it was emptied and then re-used. Last corpses were buried inside larnakes and didn’t rest simply on the floor of the tomb as in the MM period: this indicates not only a radical change of funerary customs, but also the increasing importance of the individuality of each occupant and the evolution of social organization of Late Minoan communities.
Despite the scarcity of human bones, of larnakes and of grave goods, maybe the re-use wasn’t occasional: due to the collapse of the north-east side of the tomb, probably part of the burials have been lost. Anyway, quite certainly, the tomb didn’t contain the whole community (or a large part of it) any more, but members of a restricted social group. From an ideological point of view, the tholos probably constituted during the LM period a tangible symbol of the past, so its re-use is an evident sign of political and social continuity. The link with ancestors was symbolized by the re-introduction of some of the previous grave goods.