The Greek Culture Ministry made a statement with regard to the tomb of an ancient warrior, thought to have been buried about 1500 B.C., that has been discovered at the palace of Nestor archaeological excavation, reports ABC.
The tomb is said to be the the most complete Greek find of its kind since the 1950s. The find is thought to include gold, silver, ivory, and bronze artifacts, as well as engraved gemstones and an "ornate ivory-and gilt-hilted sword."
The 3,500-year-old tomb has been speculated to have belonged to a warrior, aged 30-35, who was an important member of the Pylos elite. The Mycenaean-era tomb was found near Pylos.
Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker with the University of Cincinnati are reported to have lead the team that made the important discovery. Over 1,400 pieces are said to have been cataloged.
The archaeologists note that the pieces recovered from the tomb point to a strong Minoan influence on the Mycenaeans, reports Ekathimerin.
The palace of Nestor, adjacent to where the warrior's tomb was found, is thought to have been constructed about 1300 or 1200 B.C., after the warrior's death. Nestor was said to have been razed in 1180 B.C., about the same time Homer, of The Odyssey and The Iliad, is thought to have lived. The ruins at Nestor were first excavated by Carl Blegen in 1939, reportedly with tablets bearing script and pottery being found. Classical Greek society is though to be a descendant of the Mycenaean civilization.
Thomas Brogan, a director with the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete stated that seeing the Nestor warrior's tomb was a "highlight of my archaeological career," reports The New York Times.
How this Minoan-Mycenaean cultural change transpired has piqued the curiosity of historians and archaeologists -- the new discovery of the warrior's grave at Nestor may help provide understanding. Many of the pieces found in the tomb are said to have Crete origin, where Minoan culture is thought to have risen and taken hold.
"Perhaps we can theorize that this site was that of a rising chiefdom," Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, James C. Wright was quoted. "I'm still shaking my head in disbelief. So many walked over it so many times, including our own team."
Davis and Stocker started exploring the area outside the area where the palace of Nestor is thought to be located. When they first hit on the warrior's tomb they assumed that it was most likely constructed in the medieval era or that if it was classical that it would have been looted. The researchers were astounded when one of their team informed them, "I hit bronze."
Dr. Davis made statements with regard to the influence of Minoan palace culture on the Greek mainland and his feelings that the warrior's tomb could reveal important clues about how this process occurred.
Researchers plan on attempting to extract DNA from the griffin warrior's teeth to attempt to determine exactly where he was born. The archaeologists are also looking for plant matter in the tomb that may allow for radiocarbon dating of the site.
"We've come a long way from Heinrich Schliemann," Malcolm H. Wiener was quoted. Schliemann was a German businessman who was reported to have excavated Troy and Mycene in the 1800s, according to National Geographic, to prove that Homer's Odyssey was based on historical fact. He found jewels 1,000 years older than the time Homer was thought to have lived.
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