Minoan Tholos Tombs

To be ignorant of history is to remain always a child - Cicero
Featured in Macworld - one of the
best history sites on the web

exhibit menu

the dromos of the tholos tomb

the entrance

inside the tholos tomb


The Minoans buried important people in tombs. In 1981 this tholos tomb was discovered near the village of Phylaki. It was carved out of a soft rock (kouskoura) and is lined with limestone stones inside. The entrance to the tomb is at the end of a long deep dromos. Inside the tomb the chamber is square and is similar to other Minoan tombs which have been found.

The tomb was robbed at some time, and a few stones of the tomb are now missing. However, otherwize the structure was in very good shape. At some point after that the tomb was used as a trash dump, but that may actually have helped to preserve some of the contents.

Only a few stones are missing from the tholos where a hurried robbery took place at an unknown date. The largest items were stolen and stones were then thrown onto the floor of the tholos tomb, damaging the smaller items that were left. The tomb was subsequently used by villagers as a rubbish dump where animals -- dead and alive -- as well as the clothes of consumptives were thrown. Its usefulness as a rubbish dump may actually have served to preserve the remaining contents of the tomb from being robbed as well.

Nine burials were found inside. They also found some fine examples of Minoan Art, including ivory decorations from a wooden box, including the heads of warriors wearing boar's tusk helmets; plaques with sphinxes and wild goats and figure of eight shields. A gold necklace and 15 seal stones were found as well as amulets and bronze weapons and utensils.

Part of The Minoans a HistoryWiz exhibit

copyright HistoryWiz 1999-2008

Through Amazon.com
HistoryWiz Books

Your purchase of books or other items through links on this site helps keep this free educational site on the web.