“Lord of the Gold Rings: The Grave of the Griffin Warrior of Pylos”
Lecture by Dr. Shari R. Stocker and Prof. Jack L. Davis (Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati).
In 2015, archaeologists discovered a 3500-year old undisturbed shaft grave near the Palace of Nestor at Pylos in southwestern Greece. Excavators Shari Stocker and Jack Davis describe spectacular weapons, ivory combs, seal stones, and Minoan-style gold rings, which afford unparalleled insights into art and ritual at the dawn of Mycenaean civilization.
The University of Cincinnati archaeological excavations at the Palace of Nestor, Pylos resumed on May 18, 2015 for the first time since 1969. During the course of the campaign, the so-called grave of the “Griffin Warrior” was discovered a few hundred meters from the Palace. This presentation will describe the excavation of this remarkable grave and discuss the four gold rings found therein. The discovery of so many gold rings was unexpected and unusual. The iconography of these rings is extraordinary and of great significance for the study of Minoan and Mycenaean ideology in the early Late Bronze Age. This undisturbed burial affords an excellent opportunity to examine aspects of Early Mycenaean funerary ritual, gender association with grave goods, and burial structure that cannot be obtained through more standard multi-individual burial contexts.