Warrior Tomb in Pylos, Dating to 1500 BC
An astonishing new finding came to light in the Peloponnese by archaeologists Jack L. Davis and Sharon R. Stocker, of the University of Cincinnati. The unique archaeological site of Chora continues to amaze, constantly bringing to light significant artifacts of unique archaeological value and beauty. The “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation is in charge of the identification and maintenance process.

Here you will find more information about this unique discovery:

An unplundered shaft tomb with rich burial offerings was discovered during the summer by an international team of archaeologists near the Mycenaean Palace of Nestor in Ano Eglianos, Chora, at the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor. The tomb, which belonged to a warrior, dates to approximately 1500 BC (Late Helladic II period), and constitutes the most impressive exhibition of prehistoric wealth in burial tombs in continental Greece to have come to light in the last sixty five years. 
Next to the warrior the following had been placed: a bronze sword with gilded ivory handle, gold signet rings and cups, a rare gold chain, silver cups – some with gold rims –, bronze vessels and cups, a bronze amphora, bronze jugs and bowls, more than 50 seals, engraved ivory pieces, and more than 1,000 precious stone fragments. Many of those artifacts are Minoan-style. 
According to the excavators, who have been working in the area of Pylia for more than 25 years, the discovery of an unplundered shaft tomb, where a young man of about 30-35 years had been buried with more than 1,400 unique artifacts, is especially important, as the high quality of the artifacts proves that Pylos, like Mycenae in northeastern Peloponnese, was heavily influenced by Minoan art around 1500 BC. The fact that no Mycenaean or Minoan pottery was found in the tomb is also remarkable. 
The Palace of Nestor on the hill of Ano Eglianos, destroyed by fire at around 1200 BC, was discovered in 1939 by Konstantinos Kourouniotis, director of the National Archaeological Museum, and was excavated by Carl Blegen, Professor at the University of Cincinnati. Blegen’s excavation mainly focused on the late phase of the Palace of Nestor, as there is little evidence regarding its early phase, before 1300 BC. Targeting this early, and relatively unknown, period, Davis and Stocker began anew the excavation at Ano Eglianos in May 2015, and on the first day unearthed one of the tomb’s four sides. The cleaning and maintenance of the findings was carried out by restorer Alexander Zokos.
On the tomb’s floor, which is 2.44 m long, 1.52 m deep and 1.22 m wide, the skeleton of an adult man was found recumbent, placed in a wooden coffin. To his left and by his feet lay weapons, to his right were jewels, near his neck there was a unique, excellently preserved gold chain, and on his chest and stomach gold cups had been placed. To the skeleton’s right, and around the head, more than 1,000 fragments of semi-precious stones were discovered – carnelian, amethyst, agate, and gold –, also more that 50 seals with engravings of goddesses, bull-fighting scenes, and other obscure images, as well as 4 gold signet rings – valuable personal items – with engravings of Minoan scenes. By the dead man’s feet an ivory tablet was discovered, depicting a winged griffin, and next to it a bronze mirror with ivory handle. 
Offerings initially placed on the coffin were scattered after its disintegration and had crumbled on the skeleton, thus complicating the excavation process. The offerings that had been placed on the coffin included: bronze jugs, a large bronze basin, thin bronze bands that were probably part of the warrior’s armor, and perforated wild boar tusks from the warrior’s helmet. 
The dead warrior was evidently a leading figure in his time, meaning the early Mycenaean period, when the shaft tombs of Mycenae were used for the burial of Mycenaean aristocracy. This warrior would have resided on the acropolis of Eglianos, at the time when the first stone carved structures were built, according to the Minoan example, their walls decorated with frescoes influenced by Minoan art. Thus, according to the excavators, we shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that the 1,400-plus artifacts that accompanied the dead warrior are Minoan in style, or were created in Crete. They also add that the deposition of so many pieces of jewelry in a man’s tomb contradicts the view that had been prevalent to this day, which stated that jewelry was placed mainly in women’s tombs. 
Commenting on their rare finding, Jack L. Davis and Sharon R. Stocker say that the last thing they expected to find last summer during the excavations at Pylos was a Mycenaean shaft tomb. Its discovery near the great plundered tholos tomb IV at Eglianos was indeed a great stroke of luck; that tomb had been used for a long time, and had received a lot of burials. 
The excavation at Ano Eglianos also brought to light the remains of some small houses, a small part of the acropolis’ early fortification, as well as a deposit dating to the Middle and Late Bronze Age.
The excavation program of the University of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA) was carried out by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. All work was carried out under the direct supervision of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Messinia, with the participation of 45 archaeologists, expert scientists and university students of various nationalities, from many universities abroad. 
The University of Cincinnati’s research program at Ano Eglianos in Pylos was supported by the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, the Louise Taft Semple Fund of the Department of Classical Studies of the University of Cincinnati, and by private sponsors, such as the Greek-American Phokion Potamianos, James H. Ottaway, Jr., trustee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and Robert McCabe, president of the Board of Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and his wife, Dina McCabe.

Catalogue of Findings

Gold: 4 intact gold signet rings; 2 crushed gold cups; a silver cup with gold rim; a gold chain 0.76 m long, its ends forming ivy leaves; many gold fragments.

Silver: 6 silver cups.

Bronze: A long sword with gilded ivory handle – a rare technique that mimics embroidery – had been placed on the warrior’s left breast. Right under it was a dagger with gold handle, of a similar technique. By the warrior’s feet were bronze weapons, bronze vessels and cups, an amphora, jugs, and a basin. 

Seals: More than 50 seals, probably made in Crete, with ornate Minoan-style engravings that depict goddesses, altars, reeds, lions, bulls, bull-fighting scenes, etc., also of Minoan style. 

Ivory: Several ivory fragments, one depicting a griffin with big wings, another a lion attacking a griffin, as well as 6 ivory combs.

Semi-precious stone fragments: More than 1,000 carnelian, agate, jasper, and amethyst fragments. Some of them were probably used to decorate the shroud of the dead.