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News: Greece
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The grave was found intact since it was carefully located at a blind spot that tomb raiders could not reach. Photo Credit: EUROKINISSI/Ministry of Culture/CNN Greece.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Intact burial of prominent figure found during monument restoration

The ancient grave had been hidden in the monument's basement

An intact tomb of a prominent woman has been unearthed on the island of Sikinos, Greece. The discovery was made at the site of Episkopi, during restoration works of the site’s monument.

The monument of Episkopi is a late antiquity mausoleum which was later turned into a Byzantine church. It is considered a unique palimpsest from the ancient to Medieval times in Greece. Restoration work has been underway since 2017.

Archaeologists were surprised to find a cist grave, located at a blind spot in the monument’s underground area so that tomb raiders wouldn’t reach it.

It contained the burial of a woman, probably a prominent figure in the community she had lived in, as is evident from the jewellery found within the grave. Among the items found were gold wrist bands, rings, a pendant, a buckle with an embossed chamomile, along with glass and metal vases and other minor findings. Fragments from the individual’s garments have been also been preserved.

Archaeologists think that the impressive monument might have been built to shelter this grave. Also, a  burial inscription from the monument bearing the female name Neiko is of particular interest and perhaps associated with the discovery.

Restoration works at the site are being carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Sports along with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades.

NOTES