Focused precisely on these questions, the University of Cincinnati renewed excavations at the “Palace of Nestor” in 2015, under the aegis of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with the permission of the Ministry of Culture of Greece.

 

In a previously unexplored field near the palace, on the very first day of excavation, the tops of the walls of a stone-lined shaft were revealed.  On the floor of the grave lay the skeleton of a single adult male.  He had been surrounded with a fabulous hoard of wealth, deposited at the time of his funeral.

Plan of the burial (Credit: Denitsa Nenova)

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 proves 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.

 

Jonida Martini and Sharon Stocker excavating the upper layer of artifacts immediately after bronze was discovered (Credit: Jack Davis).

Destroyed by fire, the remains of this palace slumbered in an olive grove until first discovered and excavated in 1939 by Konstantinos Kourouniotis, director of the National Archaeological Museum, and Carl Blegen, professor at the University of Cincinnati.

 

Blegen continued the excavations alone from 1952, discovering the name Pylos preserved on several clay tablets, inscribed in Greek in the Linear B script. It is clear from more than a thousand such tablets that the king (wanax) whose throne graced the central megaron of the palace ca. 1200 B.C. ruled an area encompassing all of modern Messenia and supporting more than 50,000 individuals.

 

From his excavations at the “Palace of Nestor” Blegen learned little about the Mycenaean civilization prior to the 13th century B.C.  How had the palace achieved dominion over such a large territory and when had this happened?

 

Other grave gifts had originally rested above the man, but later spilled onto the body, crushing it and all beneath.  These included bronze jugs, a basin, many perforated wild boar’s teeth from the warrior’s helmet, and thin bands of bronze, probably from his suit of body armor.

 

The warrior buried in the tomb was certainly a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, local leader of his generation.  He ruled at the time of very beginning of Mycenaean civilization, when the magnificent shaft graves excavated by Heinrich Schliemann were being used for the burial of Mycenae’s elite.

 

He would have lived on the acropolis of Englianos at a time when mansions were being first built with walls of cut-stone blocks, in the so-called Minoan ashlar style, their walls decorated with wall-paintings.  It is no surprise that the majority of the 1500 or more objects with which he was buried are of Minoan style or Cretan manufacture.

 

Blegen and Kourouniotis excavated several examples of the well-known Mycenaean tholos (or beehive) tomb nearby, as did Spyridon Marinatos, prior to undertaking his excavations at Akrotiri on Thera. Looters had in most instances reached the burials before them.

 

In the case of the new warrior burial at Pylos we can be certain that all finds in the grave are associated with the single male burial.

 

The discovery of so much jewelry with a male burial challenges the commonly held belief that apparently “female” offerings only accompanied deceased women to the hereafter.

 

Directors Stocker and Davis comment on their discoveries:

 

"The last thing we expected to find was a Mycenaean shaft grave.  It was good luck to discover it, almost as if its occupant wanted his story to be told.

 

The project also in 2015 uncovered the remains of houses, the early Mycenaean fortification wall around the acropolis of the settlement, and garbage deposits of the Middle and Late Bronze Age.

 

Finds from the excavation are safeguarded in museums in the area. The archaeological site of Pylos is located nearby.

 

 

 

"The warrior buried in the tomb was certainly a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, local leader of his generation.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

"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.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

Some of the finds found in the grave (Credit: Denitsa Nenova)

Side view of a gold ring found in the grave.

Credit: Chronis Papanikolopoulos

GRAVE OF THE

GRIFFIN WARRIOR

 

"It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.  All of the cups, pitchers, and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver, and gold.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

The dead man lay on his back on the floor of the tomb, weapons to his left, jewelry to his right. Stocker and Davis remark: “It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.  All of the cups, pitchers, and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver, and gold.  He clearly could afford to hold regular pots in disdain.”

 

Near the head and chest of the dead man was a meter-long sword, its hilt coated with gold.  A gold-hilted dagger lay beneath it.

 

Still more weapons were found by the man’s legs and feet.  Gold cups rested on his chest and stomach.  By his right side were hundreds of carnelian, amethyst, amber, and gold beads, a gold chain and a pendent, dozens of seal-stones carved with intricate designs, and four gold rings.  A plaque of ivory with a representation of a griffon in a rocky landscape lay between the man’s legs.  Nearby was a bronze mirror with an ivory handle.

Contact

 

Project Directors:

Sharon Stocker: sharon.stocker@uc.edu

Jack Davis: jack.davis@uc.edu

The Griffin Warrior needs your help!

Webdesign: Takin.solutions Ltd. 2016-2018 | All Rights Reserved |  Web content: Palace of Nestor Excavations (PONEX)

 

 

 

Focused precisely on these questions, the University of Cincinnati renewed excavations at the “Palace of Nestor” in 2015, under the aegis of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with the permission of the Ministry of Culture of Greece.

 

In a previously unexplored field near the palace, on the very first day of excavation, the tops of the walls of a stone-lined shaft were revealed.  On the floor of the grave lay the skeleton of a single adult male.  He had been surrounded with a fabulous hoard of wealth, deposited at the time of his funeral.

 

 

GRAVE OF THE

GRIFFIN WARRIOR FOUND AT THE

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 proves 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.

 

 

 

Other grave gifts had originally rested above the man, but later spilled onto the body, crushing it and all beneath.  These included bronze jugs, a basin, many perforated wild boar’s teeth from the warrior’s helmet, and thin bands of bronze, probably from his suit of body armor.

 

The warrior buried in the tomb was certainly a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, local leader of his generation.  He ruled at the time of very beginning of Mycenaean civilization, when the magnificent shaft graves excavated by Heinrich Schliemann were being used for the burial of Mycenae’s elite.

 

He would have lived on the acropolis of Englianos at a time when mansions were being first built with walls of cut-stone blocks, in the so-called Minoan ashlar style, their walls decorated with wall-paintings.  It is no surprise that the majority of the 1500 or more objects with which he was buried are of Minoan style or Cretan manufacture.

 

Blegen and Kourouniotis excavated several examples of the well-known Mycenaean tholos (or beehive) tomb nearby, as did Spyridon Marinatos, prior to undertaking his excavations at Akrotiri on Thera. Looters had in most instances reached the burials before them.

 

In the case of the new warrior burial at Pylos we can be certain that all finds in the grave are associated with the single male burial.

"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.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

 

 

 

The discovery of so much jewelry with a male burial challenges the commonly held belief that apparently “female” offerings only accompanied deceased women to the hereafter.

 

Directors Stocker and Davis comment on their discoveries: "The last thing we expected to find was a Mycenaean shaft grave.  It was good luck to discover it, almost as if its occupant wanted his story to be told.

 

The project also in 2015 uncovered the remains of houses, the early Mycenaean fortification wall around the acropolis of the settlement, and garbage deposits of the Middle and Late Bronze Age.

 

Finds from the excavation are safeguarded in museums in the area. The archaeological site of Pylos is located nearby.

 

Destroyed by fire, the remains of this palace slumbered in an olive grove until first discovered and excavated in 1939 by Konstantinos Kourouniotis, director of the National Archaeological Museum, and Carl Blegen, professor at the University of Cincinnati.

 

Blegen continued the excavations alone from 1952, discovering the name Pylos preserved on several clay tablets, inscribed in Greek in the Linear B script. It is clear from more than a thousand such tablets that the king (wanax) whose throne graced the central megaron of the palace ca. 1200 B.C. ruled an area encompassing all of modern Messenia and supporting more than 50,000 individuals.

 

From his excavations at the “Palace of Nestor” Blegen learned little about the Mycenaean civilization prior to the 13th century B.C.  How had the palace achieved dominion over such a large territory and when had this happened?

 

Side view of a gold ring found in the grave.

Credit: Chronis Papanikolopoulos

 

 

GRAVE OF THE GRIFFIN WARRIOR

 

 

 

"It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.  All of the cups, pitchers, and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver, and gold.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

Plan of the burial (Credit: Denitsa Nenova)

 

 

 

The dead man lay on his back on the floor of the tomb, weapons to his left, jewelry to his right. Stocker and Davis remark: “It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.  All of the cups, pitchers, and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver, and gold.  He clearly could afford to hold regular pots in disdain.”

 

Near the head and chest of the dead man was a meter-long sword, its hilt coated with gold.  A gold-hilted dagger lay beneath it.

 

Still more weapons were found by the man’s legs and feet.  Gold cups rested on his chest and stomach.  By his right side were hundreds of carnelian, amethyst, amber, and gold beads, a gold chain and a pendent, dozens of seal-stones carved with intricate designs, and four gold rings.  A plaque of ivory with a representation of a griffon in a rocky landscape lay between the man’s legs.  Nearby was a bronze mirror with an ivory handle.

 

 

 

"The warrior buried in the tomb was certainly a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, local leader of his generation.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

Contact

 

Project Directors:

Sharon Stocker: sharon.stocker@uc.edu

Jack Davis: jack.davis@uc.edu

The Griffin Warrior needs your help!

Webdesign: Takin.solutions Ltd. 2016-2018 | All Rights Reserved |  Web content: University of Cincinnati Excavations at the Palace of Nestor (UCEPON)

t

 

Focused precisely on these questions, the University of Cincinnati renewed excavations at the “Palace of Nestor” in 2015, under the aegis of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with the permission of the Ministry of Culture of Greece.

 

In a previously unexplored field near the palace, on the very first day of excavation, the tops of the walls of a stone-lined shaft were revealed.  On the floor of the grave lay the skeleton of a single adult male.  He had been surrounded with a fabulous hoard of wealth, deposited at the time of his funeral.

 

 

GRAVE OF THE

GRIFFIN WARRIOR FOUND AT THE

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 proves 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.

 

 

 

Other grave gifts had originally rested above the man, but later spilled onto the body, crushing it and all beneath.  These included bronze jugs, a basin, many perforated wild boar’s teeth from the warrior’s helmet, and thin bands of bronze, probably from his suit of body armor.

 

The warrior buried in the tomb was certainly a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, local leader of his generation.  He ruled at the time of very beginning of Mycenaean civilization, when the magnificent shaft graves excavated by Heinrich Schliemann were being used for the burial of Mycenae’s elite.

 

He would have lived on the acropolis of Englianos at a time when mansions were being first built with walls of cut-stone blocks, in the so-called Minoan ashlar style, their walls decorated with wall-paintings.  It is no surprise that the majority of the 1500 or more objects with which he was buried are of Minoan style or Cretan manufacture.

 

Blegen and Kourouniotis excavated several examples of the well-known Mycenaean tholos (or beehive) tomb nearby, as did Spyridon Marinatos, prior to undertaking his excavations at Akrotiri on Thera. Looters had in most instances reached the burials before them.

 

In the case of the new warrior burial at Pylos we can be certain that all finds in the grave are associated with the single male burial.

 

 

"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.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

"The warrior buried in the tomb was certainly a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, local leader of his generation.

S. Stocker, J. Davis

Plan of the burial (Credit: Denitsa Nenova)

 

 

 

 

The discovery of so much jewelry with a male burial challenges the commonly held belief that apparently “female” offerings only accompanied deceased women to the hereafter.

 

Directors Stocker and Davis comment on their discoveries: "The last thing we expected to find was a Mycenaean shaft grave.  It was good luck to discover it, almost as if its occupant wanted his story to be told.

 

The project also in 2015 uncovered the remains of houses, the early Mycenaean fortification wall around the acropolis of the settlement, and garbage deposits of the Middle and Late Bronze Age.

 

Finds from the excavation are safeguarded in museums in the area. The archaeological site of Pylos is located nearby.

 

 

 

Destroyed by fire, the remains of this palace slumbered in an olive grove until first discovered and excavated in 1939 by Konstantinos Kourouniotis, director of the National Archaeological Museum, and Carl Blegen, professor at the University of Cincinnati.

 

Blegen continued the excavations alone from 1952, discovering the name Pylos preserved on several clay tablets, inscribed in Greek in the Linear B script. It is clear from more than a thousand such tablets that the king (wanax) whose throne graced the central megaron of the palace ca. 1200 B.C. ruled an area encompassing all of modern Messenia and supporting more than 50,000 individuals.

 

From his excavations at the “Palace of Nestor” Blegen learned little about the Mycenaean civilization prior to the 13th century B.C.  How had the palace achieved dominion over such a large territory and when had this happened?

 

 

 

 

The dead man lay on his back on the floor of the tomb, weapons to his left, jewelry to his right. Stocker and Davis remark: “It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.  All of the cups, pitchers, and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver, and gold.  He clearly could afford to hold regular pots in disdain.”

 

Near the head and chest of the dead man was a meter-long sword, its hilt coated with gold.  A gold-hilted dagger lay beneath it.

 

Still more weapons were found by the man’s legs and feet.  Gold cups rested on his chest and stomach.  By his right side were hundreds of carnelian, amethyst, amber, and gold beads, a gold chain and a pendent, dozens of seal-stones carved with intricate designs, and four gold rings.  A plaque of ivory with a representation of a griffon in a rocky landscape lay between the man’s legs.  Nearby was a bronze mirror with an ivory handle.

GRAVE OF THE GRIFFIN WARRIOR

 

 

"It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.  All of the cups, pitchers, and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver, and gold.S. Stocker, J. Davis

 

Side view of a gold ring found in the grave.

Credit: Chronis Papanikolopoulos

 

Some of the finds found in the grave (Credit: Denitsa Nenova)

 

The Griffin Warrior needs your help!

Webdesign: Takin.solutions Ltd. 2016-2018 | All Rights Reserved |  Web content: University of Cincinnati Excavations at the Palace of Nestor (UCEPON)