Since 2017 the Ministry of Culture and Sports, through the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades, has gone ahead with the work of restoring the special and very important monument at Episkopi, Sikinos with a budget of 750,000 Euros, funded by the NSRF operational programme for the Region of the South Aegean.
The building which is a well-preserved temple shaped mausoleum of late antiquity, later converted into a Byzantine church, is an impressive palimpsest of antiquity and medieval times, unique in Greece.
During restoration work on the monument, a woman’s unplundered burial came to light. The cist grave had been placed in a concealed spot in the monument’s basement to prevent plundering by grave robbers.
As stated in the Ministry of Culture’s announcement, the rich jewels worn by the woman show she was a prominent figure in Sikinos society. Gold bracelets were collected from the grave, as well as rings, a necklace, a buckle with an embossed cameo, along with glass and metal vases, other small finds and organic fragments of the dead woman’s dress.
One can conclude from first estimates that the impressive mausoleum was erected to house this woman’s tomb, while there is a particularly interesting link with an unknown till now funerary inscription from the monument recording the female name Neiko.