Agora Deposit: N 12:4
Title:   Tomb with coffins
Category:   Burial
Description:   Mycenaean Chamber Tomb below Middle Stoa Terrace.
The tomb was entered from the west by a stepped dromos, at least 4.20m long by 1.10 to 1.50m. wide, splaying slightly toward the doorway, which was 1.26m high by 0.60m wide at the base with a lightly arched top. The doorway was found blocked with a stone packing, which included near its top a broken conglomerate grave marker, and which proved to have been erected at least three times; during one of the occasions of reopening, the doorway was widened 0.20m to the north. The chamber, while described as a "small irregular trapezoid", is of about average size and actually quite rectangular by Agora standards. As in most cases, it is broader than deep (2.72m by 1.75m). Although the roof had collapsed, the walls were preserved to an average height of 1.35m.
Four burials were found undisturbed laid out parallel with an east-west direction, in all but one case facing the door. The greatest interest attaches to the remains of rotted white wood which surrounded both these skeletons, and was especially well preserved in Burial D. These fibrous remains seem certainly to represent coffins rather than biers, perhaps rough unsmoothed boxes of cypress or pine measuring 1.65m long by 0.45m. broad and about 0.40-0.43m high. Although there were four burials, these must have taken place within a generation of a single family: The father (burial C) and son (burial D), were buried at the same time, having died in battle or the hunt and "brought home from the field in hastily constructed boxes" or possibly the victims of a disease " which made it desirable that they be kept in coffins until a tomb could be excavated for them", then, after a slight fall of the roof, the mother (burial A) at the opposite side of the doorway, and finally, after a more serious slide, the adolescent boy (burial B) in front of the doorway.
Bibliography:   Hesperia Suppl. 43 (2009), pp. 103, 105, tables 6.1, 6.2.
    Hesperia 35 (1966), pp. 45, 55-78, pls. 19-24.
    Agora XIII, pp. 242-247, 274, pls. 59, 75, 90 (Tomb XL).
Chronology:   Myc. IIIA:1
Date:   July-August 1965
Section:   ΜΣ
References:   Publication: Agora XIII
Publication: Hesperia 35 (1966)
Publication: Hesperia Suppl. 43 (2009)
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