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Thread: Ancient Mycenaean Tomb discovered on Lefkada Island

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    Ancient Mycenaean Tomb discovered on Lefkada Island

    Ancient Tomb Discovered on Greek Island
    By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS,
    AP
    Posted: 2008-03-05 21:15:00
    Filed Under: Science News

    ATHENS, Greece (March 5) - Road construction on the western Greek island of Lefkada has uncovered and partially destroyed an important tomb with artifacts dating back more than 3,000 years, officials said on Wednesday.

    The find is a miniature version of the large, opulent tombs built by the rulers of Greece during the Mycenaean era, which ended around 1100 B.C. Although dozens have been found in the mainland and on Crete, the underground, beehive-shaped monuments are very rare in the western Ionian Sea islands, and previously unknown on Lefkada.

    The discovery could fuel debate on a major prehistoric puzzle - where the homeland of Homer's legendary hero Odysseus was located.

    "This is a very important find for the area, because until now we had next to no evidence on Mycenaean presence on Lefkada," excavator Maria Stavropoulou-Gatsi told The Associated Press.

    Stavropoulou-Gatsi said the tomb was unearthed about a month ago by a bulldozer, during road construction work.

    "Unfortunately, the driver caused significant damage," she said.

    She said the tomb contained several human skeletons, as well as smashed pottery, two seal stones, beads made of semiprecious stones, copper implements and clay loom weights. It appeared to have been plundered during antiquity.

    With a nine-foot diameter, the tomb is very small compared to others, such as the Tomb of Atreus in Mycenae, which was more than 46 feet across and built of stones weighing up to 120 tons.

    But it could revive scholarly debate on the location of Odysseus' Ithaca mentioned in Homer's poems - which are believed to be loosely based on Mycenaean-era events. While the nearby island of Ithaki is generally identified as the hero's kingdom, other theories have proposed Lefkada or neighboring Kefallonia.

    Stavropoulou-Gatsi said the discovery might cause excitement on Lefkada but it was too soon for any speculation on Odysseus.

    "I think it is much too early to engage in such discussion. The location of Homer's Ithaca is a very complex issue," she said.

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    Ancient tomb.........

    ESPECIALLY, considering that there is no archaeological evidence establishing that Odysseus ever existed.

    Lefkada is probably the ancient Leucas, If so, it was , many centuries after the time of the legendary Odysseus, a member of the Ionian League and issued its own coins during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE.

    As I see it, the fact that this island had an ancient vaulted tomb of a local ruler is very tenuous evidence on which to base a hypothesis that it was the home of Homer's Odysseus, especially insmuch as there is a nearby island , Ithaki, having a name presumably derived from the Ithaka of the Homeric epic.

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    It has been awhile but aren't these round tombs called "tholos tombs"? If so, there are some at Mycene and there are associated with that culture, right? These tombs look pretty difficult to make so where probably confined to the ruling class. If this is true, we shouldn't expect to find them everywhere in Greece but only near the very wealthiest ruler's residence.

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