view of Nemea Valley  

FROM THE DIRT TO THE MUSEUM

a website sponsored by
the National Endowment for the Humanities
and Bryn Mawr College
 
  

 
 
 

 
 
WHAT IS A MYCENAEN CHAMBER TOMB?

 

A Mycenaean chamber tomb is a very common type of tomb in this region. It is dug right out of the rock.

In a tomb, an entranceway (dromos) leads down to a wall of stones (stomion) that block the entrance. Inside the stomion is a chamber (a room), usually circular in shape.

The Mycenaens tended to bury people in pits or to place them directly on the floor of the chamber. The tombs often contain more than one burial.

In excavations of these kinds of tombs, archaeologists have found pieces of broken pottery (sherds) in the entranceway. Some archaeologists think that these sherds show that there might have been special feasts or rituals before a body was placed in the tomb.

 

SIDE VIEW OF A TOMB
You can see the section drawing of a tomb we excavated in 2006. A section drawing is when you pretend to cut something right in half and then draw it.  The light brown line is the ground, the dark brown line is the bottom of the tomb. The colored lines show different sections running across the tomb the other way.


 

 
TOMB PHOTO
This is a photo of a chamber tomb that we excavated in 2006. The top of the tomb has been taken off by a plow.

 

TOP VIEW OF A TOMB
Now look at the tomb from the top. See how much larger the chamber (yellow) is than the dromos (red).  The brown rectangles show the test trenches we dug when we were looking for the tomb.


 

 
 
Copyright © 2007 Johanna Best