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Tholos Tomb Gamma

Tholos Tomb Gamma: A Prepalatial Tholos Tomb at Phouni, Archanes

Yiannis Papadatos
with a contribution by Sevi Triantaphyllou
Volume: 17
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: INSTAP Academic Press
Pages: 166
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  • Book Info
    Tholos Tomb Gamma
    Book Description:

    This publication includes a detailed discussion of the pottery, the finds and their parallels, and a reconstruction of both the excavation and stratigraphy of Tholos Gamma in the Bronze Age cemetery of Phourni at Archanes. This evidence is used to give the historical outline of the tomb from its foundation in Early Minoan IIA until its excavation in 1972. Several problems concerning Prepalatial mortuary practices are discussed, with particular reference to Tholos Gamma and the new evidence resulting from the study of this funerary assemblage. The artefacts from the tomb include pottery, metal objects, marble figurines, other small finds, and skeletal remains.

    eISBN: 978-1-62303-075-9
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Plates
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    One of the ideas concerning Prepalatial Crete that has gained broad acceptance and has been repeated in almost every study is that most of our knowledge derives from cemeteries and tombs. However, the common, frustrating conclusion is that, despite the adequate body of evidence, the reconstruction of the Prepalatial period faces serious problems. This situation is due to the quality of the evidence and the character of Prepalatial mortuary practices themselves (Branigan 1988; 1993; Soles 1992; Watrous 1994).

    The Prepalatial tombs were of collective character with continuous use for several centuries and for a large number of burials. This practice...

  9. 2 Excavation and Stratigraphy
    (pp. 3-12)

    Archanes is situated 23 km south of Herakleion and the north Cretan coast and 15 km south of Knossos (Fig. 1). The focal point of the area is the small valley in the center, which is the southernmost part of the larger Herakleion plain, consisting of rich, fertile, marl deposits. Until very recently the economy and organization of life of the local population depended largely on the agricultural production of the valley, mainly olive oil, grapes, and wine. The valley is surrounded by low and high hills and is relatively separated from other neighboring areas. One of the few natural...

  10. 3 Pottery
    (pp. 13-26)

    The pottery of Tholos Gamma is small in quantity and in most cases very fragmented, worn, and non-diagnostic in terms of shape and decoration. For this reason, the distinction of wares on the basis of fabric and surface treatment is essential for dating most of the sherds. In many cases, however, wares cannot provide a precise date, especially when other data, such as shape and decoration, cannot be identified. That is why many sherds are dated to rather broad chronological horizons.

    This ware is characterized by a very distinctive fabric with reddish, brown, or gray biscuit. It is fine with...

  11. 4 Other Finds
    (pp. 27-48)

    All the burial containers of the tomb, 11 larnakes (L1–L11) and one pithos (L12), come from Stratum II (Figs. 5A, 17–18). They are characterized by great variation in almost every aspect of their morphology: the shape of the sides, the dimensions, the number, form and arrangement of the handles, and the form of the rims. As a result, no larnax is similar to any other. The same diversity also occurs in the lids. The shape of the lids generally corresponds to the shape of the larnakes, although not always entirely. Both the larnakes and the lids are usually...

  12. 5 Discussion of the Excavation Evidence
    (pp. 49-54)

    The entire Stratum I is related to the destruction of the tomb, the collapse of the roof, and the sealing of the burial stratum (Stratum II) that lay underneath. The identification of 3 layers within Stratum I (Fig. 4A) is of special importance because it shows 3 different phases in the destruction of the tomb and the formation of the thick, 2.20 m deep soil fill inside and above it.

    The first phase of the destruction was undoubtedly the collapse of the roof represented by the lowest layer, Layer 3. The large number of stones in this layer belonged to...

  13. 6 Mortuary Practices
    (pp. 55-62)

    The major problem besetting the study of Prepalatial mortuary practices is that the evidence derives from collective tombs that were used over long periods of time, cleared periodically, looted in modern times, not well excavated, and left unpublished or poorly documented. Thus, it is not surprising that many aspects of Prepalatial mortuary practices remain uncertain.

    According to the available evidence, one of the most important features of Prepalatial mortuary practices is that the tombs were of collective character (Branigan 1970, 1993; Pini 1968; Soles 1992). They received a large number of successive burials and were used for a prolonged period....

  14. 7 Conclusions
    (pp. 63-66)

    The discussion of the character and dating of the tomb stratigraphy and mortuary practices allow the reconstruction of the history of activity in Tholos Gamma and the area surrounding it.

    Tholos Gamma was erected as a freestanding building as early as EM IIA. The 3 possible EM I sherds found inside the tholos cannot support a construction of the tomb at such an early period, but they may indicate some activity in the area as early as EM I, a hypothesis that needs further evidence. In EM IIA, the only other tomb used at Phourni was the neighboring Tholos Epsilon...

  15. Appendix: The Human Remains
    (pp. 67-76)
    Sevi Triantaphyllou
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 79-82)
  17. Index
    (pp. 85-88)
  18. Tables
    (pp. None)
  19. Figures
    (pp. None)
  20. Plates
    (pp. None)