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by Archaeology Newsroom

The question of the origin of the Mycenaean vaulted tomb

Many scholars have dealt with the issue of the origin of the vaulted tomb, and the question whether it derives from Crete or mainland Greece is often involved in the general theoretical problem of the extent and nature of propagation of the Minoan civilization in the Aegean of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. The question of the origin of the Mycenaean vaulted tomb had indispensably been related with the more general issue of the “Minoization” of the Aegean, an issue which had become an open dispute in the bosom of the archaeological society during the years of “heroic” Archaeology. The Mycenaean vaulted tomb as a burial type prevailed mainly in mainland Greece. However, its construction presupposes an architectural dexterity which cannot be found there in the Meso-Helladic period, while it is highly possible that certain tombs in Messara on Crete —belonging to the Messara type-were roofed with a stone vault.