Two clay burial containers estimated from the Late Minoan era were accidentally discovered in Roussies, Kentri by Ierapetra on South Crete.
The clay coffins were discovered when a farmer tried to park his vehicle in an olive grove and the soil gave in.
Local media speak of an “archaeological treasure” that has immediately mobilized the archaeological service.
The clay coffins have reportedly embossed ornamentation and are in excellent condition.
They contained two skeletons and some 24 pots with colored ornaments and depictions.
One larnax was broken but in good condition.
Larnakes (singular Larnax) are small closed coffin, box or “ash-chest” often used as a container for human remains in Minoan culture and Greek antiquity, either a body (bent on itself) or cremated ashes.
The first larnakes appeared in Minoan times during the Aegean Bronze Age, when they took the form of ceramic coffers designed to imitate wooden chests, perhaps on the pattern of Egyptian linen chests. They were richly decorated with abstract patterns, octopuses and scenes of hunting and cult rituals.
“The positive thing is that they were not emptied by thieves and this will help archaeologists get as much information as possible. This is a great day for Ierapetra. When you see that in a 4 meter hole there are such important antiquities you feel awe,” Argyris Pantazis, deputy mayor of Local Communities, Agrarian and Tourism of Ierapetra, told cretapost.
The archaeological treasury came into light when a local farmer tried to park his vehicle under an olive tree.
The soil was soft because of watering the olive tress and because a water pipe was broken, Pantazis explained as to why the ground gave in, thus bringing into the light the tombs.
“We are particularly pleased with this great archaeological discovery as it is expected to further enhance our culture and history. Indeed, this is also a response to all those who doubt that there were Minoans in Ierapetra ” Pantazis stressed.
Late Minoan era is between 1500 – 1100 BC.
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