60 ancient graves beneath Chania

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ancient graves in chania

Sixty ancient graves were recently discovered and excavated in Chania. These 60 graves, full of invaluable findings, reveal a lot about Chania and its 5,500 years of history.

This is just one of the secrets revealed by Dr. Maria Vlazaki, the head of the local Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, during her speech at the American School of Classical Studies.

The archeologists discovered 60 graves in the heart of the city of Chania, south of the prefectural building.

“The stunning fact is that except for the typical domed graves we found more shaft tombs dating back to 1450 to 1390 BC”, says Mrs Vlazaki.

“They belong to two architectural designs which were unknown for the time in Crete. These graves were suitable for individual burials, mostly of warriors with some significant amount of copper weapons”

One of the most significant graves found is the older one, the so called “Grave of the Primogenitor”. It contained the bones of a robust adult, at the age of 35, according to Tina McGeorge’s study. He had wounds at the left side of his body and a broken rib. The burial was accompanied by valuable funerary offerings.

The grave of the leader, subsequent to the previous one, attracts the attention; it is a unique in its construction shaft tomb, following the example of the Mycenaean tombs.

The grave was rich in funerary offerings. The particular dead person was also at his 35 years of age, tall and robust, with large facial features, such as the eye cavities. The pronounced joint of the left cubitus might suggest the constant effort to hold the weight of the huge Mycenaean shield.

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