Archaeologists have just announced the astonishing discovery of a completely untouched tomb of an ancient Greek noblewoman at the Episkopi excavation site, which is located on the island of Sikinos in Greece.
Thema News has reported that the prominent woman’s name was Neiko, and that the box-shaped grave has remarkably never been looted. Because of this, a wealth of ancient artifacts and jewelry were discovered inside the fully intact tomb, with the skeleton of the noblewoman wearing many of them. It is believed that the grave had been carefully hidden away from would-be thieves by concealing it inside of a separate chamber at the site.
The discovery of the tomb came about after the Ministry of Culture and Sports turned their focus to restoring the Episkopi Monument in 2017, which were works that were completed with the help of the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities.
The Greek tomb itself, which was fashioned into a building almost resembling a temple, is believed to have been constructed with the goal of holding the prominent woman’s grave.
According to the Ministry of Culture, the elaborate Sikinos tomb that held Neiko was filled with items like rings, necklaces, and vases, along with a host of other items that would have been buried with the Greek noblewoman.
“The wealth of jewelery worn by the woman betrays that she was a prominent figure in the Sikinos society. From the tomb, golden wristbands, rings, a necklace, a brooch with a cameo relief, along with glass and metal vases, other smaller finds, as well as organic fragments of the costume of the dead, were wrapped around the grave.”
— Greek Reporter (@GreekReporter) July 22, 2018
Other theories about the building that held the prominent woman are that it was built in late antiquity and may have once been used during the Byzantine era as a Christian church, and was then used after the death of Neiko to hold her tomb. The mausoleum is of considerable height, and archaeologists have noted that it would have been considered a very ornate and special building during ancient Greek times.
After the death and burial of the Greek woman on Sikinos, the area that is directly around her tomb eventually became a settlement, with other buildings constructed around the burial site, which would have included different chapels scattered throughout the area, along with a monastery, according to Tornos News.
Excavation appears to be ongoing at the Episkopi site on Sikinos, and archaeologists should have more information in the future about the identity of this Greek noblewoman named Neiko.