Grave of the “Griffin Warrior”, Palace of Nestor, Pylos, Greece
Centuries before the destruction of the Mycenaean palaces, a warrior died and was buried alone near the site of the later “Palace of Nestor at Pylos.” His burial was accompanied by one of the most magnificent displays of wealth discovered in Greece in recent decades. The character of the objects that followed him to the afterlife prove that this part of Greece, like Mycenae, was being indelibly shaped by close contact with Crete. This was the time of the very birth of European civilization.
The warrior’s tomb was discovered and excavated in summer 2015 by a team sponsored by the University of Cincinnati: students, professors, and professional archaeologists from a dozen different universities, representing as many different nationalities. Project co-directors Sharon R. Stocker and Jack L. Davis of the University of Cincinnati note: “The team did not discover the grave of the legendary King Nestor, who headed a contingent in the Greek forces at Troy. Nor did it find the grave of his father, Neleus. They found something perhaps of even greater importance: the tomb of one of the powerful men who laid foundations for the Mycenaean civilization, the earliest in Europe.”
Overlooking the bay of Navarino, high above the sea on the ridge of Englianos, sits the “Palace of Nestor at Pylos,” the most completely preserved of all Bronze Age palaces on the Greek mainland.