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TOMB E

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   Lacking its own distinctive enclosure, Tomb E lies to the south-west, on the same line as, but at a lower level than, Tomb B (Fig. 40, Plan 2). The burial chamber measures 3.35 m. long x 2.50 m. wide x 1.90 m. high internally. The inner surfaces of the walls are smooth and carefully plastered and display a purple band running all the way around the chamber at a height of 1.46 m. above the floor. Along the south-east side of the interior lies the funerary stele with its base and palmette finial, which have fallen in from above (Fig. 45). The stele is made of local limestone and painted decoration is visible on the palmette with its double volutes, which permit comparison with early Ionic steles of the early 5th century BC and attest to Ionic influences in Macedonia. The fallen stele with its base, together with the absence of sockets for a wooden beam, suggest that the tomb did not have a stone roof and was therefore covered with a mesh of pieces of wood and branches.

   The excavation of the tomb has yielded a fragment of a Nolan amphora with a depiction of the goddess Athena, some interesting fragments of red-figure vase-painting, various terracotta figurines and some fragments of glass vessels, while from the area around the tomb two fragments of marble statues have been unearthed: a section of an arm bent at the elbow, with the forearm up to the wrist, and the bare sole of a foot, which must have belonged to the funerary monuments, and probably to pediments (Fig. 46).  

   To the west of Tomb E survive the two short sides of an enclosure constructed of small stone slabs (surviving dimensions 3.14 m. long x 2.20 m. wide), within which no other structure or pit-grave was found (Fig. 47, Plan 2). This fact suggests that the enclosure formed part of the base for the pedestal of a virtually intact marble lion (only the legs are missing) which had been deliberately buried just a short distance away, probably to prevent it from being stolen after the tomb was looted (Fig. 48). The lion is 1.20 m. long and dates from the early 5th century BC.

 

 

Dr Georgia Karamitrou – Mentesidi

 

 

 

 

 
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 Tomb Δ is of similar construction to the other built chamber tombs, and its burial chamber is roughly the same size as that of Tomb B, with internal dimensions of 3.45 m. x 2.50 m. x 2.66 m. It preserves in situ two of the five stone slabs that formed its roof, each of which measures 3.80 m. long x 0.90 m. wide x 0.45 m. high. The slabs rested on a wooden beam, the large sockets for which are visible in the two side walls. When the upper surface of the stone roof blocks was cleared, vivid black scorch marks and the remains of a fire were revealed. Rather than the remains of the dead person’s pyre, these are believed to have been caused by the burning of a variety of materials in the performance of posthumous rites (Fig. 44). The tomb is enclosed by a rectangular edifice used for worship purposes, the south-west section of which was destroyed when the later Tomb B was constructed. Three sides of the rectangular plan survive, while on the north-east side three courses of stone masonry laid in a stepped arrangement survive, and Z-shaped lead-coated iron clamps can be seen. Against the inner wall of the south-west side lies a rubbish pit (which was actually partly hewn out of the stone), in which a quantity of ash was found. Apart from the rectangular plan, on the south-west and north-west sides remains of floors were found, constructed of slabs made from a mixture of gravel, sand, scoria and probably lime. The scattered drums of Doric columns also attest to the grandeur of this building.  

   The tomb dates from the first half of the 5th century BC and was looted via a small opening in the south corner measuring just 30 cm. across. Of the grave goods only a few remains survive, such as fragments of terracotta figurines, gold rosettes and bronze phialai with holes in their bases that had been crushed or deformed after they had been used to make libations during the performance of devotional rites. It is worth mentioning that other similar ‘crushed’ phialai have been found scattered throughout the Necropolis. 

 

   Mrs Karamitrou-Mentesidi Georgia

 

TOMB Γ

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  To the north-west, on the same line as Tomb B, a smaller built cist tomb was uncovered, measuring 2.90 m. long x 2.14 m. wide x 2.28 m. high internally. It is constructed of courses of stone masonry, with a well-dressed inner surface and smooth coat of plaster. At a height of about 1.70 m. above the floor there are traces of a purple and black band, which runs around all four sides of the burial chamber. Two large sections of stone slabs in the interior come from the roof of the tomb, which has collapsed. 

   Within the tomb the marble head of the statue of a bearded man was found, which dates from the early 5th century BC and comes from the tombstone, which was destroyed. Other finds worthy of mention are the fragments of a gold necklace and small sheets of gold. It is clear that the tomb was disturbed and looted in antiquity. It is also clear that, after the tomb had been desecrated, the deceased’s closest relatives or priests placed the head from the tombstone inside the burial chamber.

 Dr Georgia Karamitrou – Mentesidi

 

 

 

The House with the Pithoi

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  Dwelling houses with several pithoi (large storage jars) in successive settlement phases from the Hellenistic period (3rd – 1st BC) have been identified. Α series of large stone blocks used for a floor attest to the existence of an earlier monumental structur bellow these phases.

   The narrow walls, built of rubble masonry low down and mud bricks higher up, supported a wooden superstructure. A courtyard area contained a drainage conduit covered with tiles, while some of the rooms contained pithoi, a rectangular hearth and two circular structures framed by stone slabs.


 
Dr Georgia Karamitrou – Mentesidi

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TOMB B

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 Tomb B is the second largest tomb in terms of external dimensions, measuring approx. 8.0 x 8.0 m., and also second largest (almost equal in size to Tomb Δ) in terms of the internal dimensions of its burial chamber, which measures 3.44 x 2.56 m. and 2.42 m. high. It was discovered a few metres to the north-west of Tomb A and at a slightly lower level. In terms of its method of construction, it differs greatly from Tomb A, since here stone blocks have been placed only around the perimeter of the burial chamber and do not extend into its lateral walls. They consist of two or three successive courses of stone, which at many points have been disturbed and plundered. There is no doubt that this perimetric structure served as the euthynteria or base for a building of worship constructed above the tomb at ground-level. The burial chamber, however, remained an independent unit and because of its small size preserved the stone slabs of its flat roof, which measure 3.41 m. long x 0.45 m. wide x 0.83 m. high and were supported by a wooden beam, as can be seen from the sockets in which it rested. Ancient grave-robbers entered the tomb through a hole opened in one of these roof slabs, which was 0.83 m. thick. These slabs were connected to each other externally by means of Z-shaped lead-coated iron clamps. The courses of masonry on the floor of the burial chamber – part of which bore a glossy red plaster – indicate the existence of a couch. Very close to the external surface of the tomb’s west wall vivid traces of a pyre have been found, from which two iron spearheads and sherds vitrified by the fire have been collected. The only remains of the precious grave goods that were deposited in this monumental tomb are the fragments of at least 12 alabaster alabastra, a few fragments of bone with engraved decoration, pottery sherds with vivid scorch marks and four small gold rosettes.  

 

   The tomb can be dated to the second half of the 5th century BC. The southern section of an earlier edifice on the same site was destroyed in order to construct the tomb. The ground-plan of this earlier edifice, which was probably used for burials and worship, encompasses Tomb Δ. 

 

 

 Dr Georgia Karamitrou – Mentesidi

 

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